Saturday, October 29, 2011


With Crystal posting blogs so much recently I wanted to take my turn and write a quick note. My life during the week is busy and uneventful with all my travelling going on. When I get home on Thursday night, all I want to do for the weekend is relax and enjoy being home. I spend all week being gone so I want to spend as much time on the weekend actually being in the house that I work so hard for. The only downside to this is with Crystal being cooped up at home all week. She only wants us to leave the house when I'm back. We usually find a good compromise.

During the week I am way too busy to follow regular tv shows. By the time I eat dinner and get back to the hotel, it is usually in the vicinity of 8-9pm. I then (sometimes) try to get in a workout and watch an episode or two of Star Trek: The Next Generation on my laptop (supernerd, I know...) before video chatting with C at 10. We try and wrap up before 11 and I go to bed as soon as I can after that.

Thank goodness for the DVR which allows me to still follow the shows I care about (Biggest Loser, Big Bang, Bones, etc). While I realize I can track all these episodes down online, they are available only temporarily and I am paying for the convenience of the cable company to figure this all out for me.

This evening Crystal got a call from her family to update her on the blizzard (10 inches and counting!) and I took the opportunity to watch one of my recorded shows that she doesn't care to see anyways. To my dismay, the first 50 minutes of the show were of the world series going into extra innings and I only got 5-10 minutes of what I wanted to see. Now I love sports more than the average man, but let's be honest: watching a recorded sporting event, with only a passing interest in either team, when you already know the outcome, is painfully boring.

This exact scenario is the reason we gave up trying to follow The Amazing Race and Undercover Bosses. 60 minutes always went long because of a prior football game and I got sick of tracking down episodes online just to see the last 15-30 minutes. In my moment of frustration, I decided to lodge my complaint with the cable company which will remain anonymous.

As the website does not allow users to email in a comment or complaint, I clicked the button to chat with someone. My specific complaint being, I am paying more than they deserve money for their services, tv guide information, and dvr access. These things are supposed to happen automatically. When they refuse to update the tv guide when sporting events, breaking news, etc cause channels to push back their shows, any recordings I had planned become a waste of dvr space. It seems so simple to push out a tiny update to the tv guide for one channel. It is not uncommon for them to send us messages through the dvr receiver already.

Apparently it's not that simple...

I chatted with a nice lady named Honey (Honey?!?). Don't worry, I was very kind and polite. I just wanted my voice and complaint to be heard. I did not actually expect any resolution. Her solution was for me to reset the entire receiver anytime there is a delay on a channel with a show I might be interested in. I explained that I required the dvr because I travel weekly and cannot constantly monitor shows (or reset it on demand!). That's why I pay them to take care of all that for me. Her response was then for me to call sales and ask them :)

The reason for this long story was to show how our conversation ended. Because she had no answer for me, she tried to butter me up at the end.

Then it started to get a little strange...

Then it got even stranger...

So I humored her.

Anywho, that's where our conversation ended. Crystal and I had a really good laugh at how casual that conversation got in a hurry. Maybe it's a new call center tactic?

Only four more weeks of travelling for the rest of the year!

Monday, October 24, 2011

We survived!!

This picture was taken before we headed into the IUI procedure on Sunday. 

We got to the doctor's at 8am.  They needed to collect a sample before we did the IUI.  However, being Sunday, they were short staffed.  There was only one nurse who was there that acted as the receptionist and then there were only 2 doctors.  We didn't end up getting called back into the examination room until 9:30am.   I was a little nervous but I figured that I had been giving myself shots for the last week and that I could do this no sweat.  I was just so thankful that Jon was there.  It really made it so much easier.

One of the Dr's came in.  One of whom I've never met- Dr. Williams.  He was really nice and friendly.  The nurse was in the room too and she came over and showed me the vial of the sample just to confirm my name and birthdate... didn't want to end up with someone else's sample!!  Jon and I joked about that last week.  "what if they mix up samples and we have an asian baby??"  Haha... you never know.. it could happen! 

Jon was able to be in the room and he had his own seat in the corner of the room.  The doctor went ahead and started (like you would your anual exam) and the look on Jon's face was priceless when the doctor showed him the speculum.  He just looked horrified.  After, he said that it looked like a torture device.  Then the doctor showed us the catheter that he was using and explained everything.  The whole procedure took only a minute and I kid you not, other than the speculum... I didn't feel a thing.  After it was over I had to lay there for about 15mins.  They set a kitchen timer so we would know when to leave. 

Then thismorning, Anne (Jon's mom) was able to come with me.  I was really thankful to have her there with me.  The same thing went down for the IUI but it was another doctor (Dr. Witz) that I barely met yesterday when I was leaving the clinic place.  He was really funny.  He came in and introduced himself and then was talking to the nurse.. I wasn't sure when to introduce Anne, so I just waited a little as he was getting siutuated.  Then, Anne introduced herself and he looked at the both of us and he said:

 "this is one of the reason's why I love my job.  You get to tell people, 'my mom was there when I got pregnant!' or in this case 'my husband's mom was there'" 

 Anne and I cracked up laughing. 

Again, I had to verify the sample vial and they showed me the catheter and then it was over.   I was grateful that both doctors made me feel comfortable and relaxed.  I wasn't stressed out and I am hoping that this will bode well. 

I know that I have been very open about documenting this and you are all going to be dying to find out what the results are.  I haven't made up my mind what to do about that.  I do know that having a miscarriage is a very real possibility or even a negative outcome is a possibility... but for me, writing this all down has been been very therapeutic.  So, we will see.  I will go back in on November 7th for a pregnancy test.  Then I will decide what to write on the blog. 

November 7th... heh, that's the morning we leave for the cruise.  So we'll go to the dr's office and then head to Galveston to get on the boat.  They will call us in the early afternoon so we won't miss the call :)  The boat doesn't leave until 4pm.  This will either be a celebration or mourning cruise.  Either way, it is going to be a fantastic vacation that we so very need.  Jon especially!!  With all his travelling, he just needs down time where he can't be reached by phone, text or e-mails for work. 

2 weeks!!! :) 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nothing like a weekend full of DR appts... IUI tomorrow!!

So, today I went into the doctor's office.  I got there for 8am and when I got there there were already a few people waiting.  The nurse said that there were quite a few IVF procedures today.  I was fortunate enough to go in first.  I barely had any wait time- sweet!! 

Even with my bruised arm- the blood work was painless.  She used one of those butterfly needles. Bless her :)  She wasn't the best at the ultrasound.  She had a hard time seeing anything on my right side.  Oh well.  Then she looked at my left and I had 2 good sized ones.  One at a little over 20mm and the other was right under it.  After it was over she said she'd call me later to let me know what Dr. G wanted me to do.

After I left I headed to the church to help clean.  Jon was there and another family in the ward.  I felt bad coming late, but there wasn't much I could do about it.  Afterwards, we went home and then we headed over to Beth's (Jon's sister) house to babysit for a little while.  While we were there I got a call from the nurse.

Dr. G wanted me to take my trigger shot between 2-6pm and then we set up an appointment for me to go in tomorrow (Sunday) morning for my first IUI procedure then I will have my 2nd on Monday morning.  It's weird to go in on a Sunday and I feel bad for the nurses/doctors that have to come into work.  I am really thankful that it has worked out this way though.  Jon is here and in town and he can go with me tomorrow.  Then on Monday Jon's mom, Anne, will come with me.  I'm a little nervous because I'm not completely sure of what to expect.  I've read about how it goes and it doesn't seem like it'll be a big deal.  So, we'll see.

I am really excited, but at the same time apprehensive.  Every thing seems to be falling into place and it is much better this time around than the other times.  I looked on my patient portal where my doctor's office enter in all my stats so I'll go ahead and write them down.  It doesn't look like my LH is surging (to tell if you're ovulating) but hopefully the trigger shot will do it's job and get that done. 

LH: 6.31
Estrogen: 436
Progesterone: 1.67

Oh, and Andrea, because you asked what IUI (intrauterine insemination) was... here it is:

"Following intercourse, only a small proportion of the sperm ascend the female genital tract. The goal of intrauterine insemination (IUI) is to increase the quantity of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and thereby facilitate fertilization.

Before the IUI procedure, the sperm are washed and placed into a small volume of sterile medium. This is injected directly into the uterus via a soft, thin catheter. This portion of the procedure is comparable in sensation to a Pap test. The woman is able to resume normal activity immediately after intrauterine insemination.

For intrauterine insemination to be effective, the woman must have normal ovulation, open fallopian tubes, and a normal uterine cavity. Ovulation induction with fertility drugs may be indicated for women with ovulatory disorders. The sperm of the male partner, or donor, is analyzed beforehand to determine count, motility (movement) and morphology (shape and size)."


One last thing... after coping the IUI stuff I decided to look up the bio's on my doctor and Dr. Secret-Keeper... one thing it said about Dr. seecret-keeper that made me laugh out loud:

"Dr.'s... clinical interests include the psychological impact of infertility treatment"

Are they kidding??  I'm no psychologist.. but I did study psychology for 4 years and let me tell you... he grades pretty low in my book with that.  Sorry, I just found that a little funny :) 

My Dr's full bio (this is more for my record keeping than anything else)

Dr. Jason Griffith - Medical and Practice Director

Photo - Dr. Jason Griffith

Dr. Griffith completed his residency and fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He completed his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University and he also earned a master's degree in physical therapy from Baylor University. After serving six years in the U.S. Army Medical Specialist Corps, he returned to Texas to complete medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
During medical school, he earned the McNutt and Klein awards for academic achievement and was inducted to the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. He has published in peer-reviewed journals, as well as presented original research at national meetings. He is a fellow in the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as reproductive endocrinology-infertility.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 11 Stats

Jon made it home last night safe and sound.  I love Thursdays!  As he unpacked we watched a recorded episode of the Sing Off.  Vocal Point from BYU is on it and they have been rockin' it.  It was a good night. 

So, the appointment today was much better!!  My doctor (Dr. Griffith) was there and he did the ultrasound.  Hands down- he is a billion times better than Dr. Secret-Keeper (that's his nickname...).  Jon was able to come so that was nice.  The other great thing was that the new blood girl wasn't there today and the old blood girl was- hallelujah!  She took one look at my arm and was like "Woah!  What has she been doing to you!??"  I told you I was bruised!   I only have one good vein and the rest are real wimpy. 

I have a history of having "slow going" blood so I always have to drink a ton of water to help with that.  The only downside is that for my ultrasound, they want you to come with an empty bladder.  I went to the restroom right before we got to the doc office and while I was waiting.  The wait was longer than usual today too.  So, during my ultrasound you could see my bladder.. and my doc decided to crack the "i'm a psychic" joke by telling me I'd have to make a "pee stop" soon.  Heh, nice.

Anyways, the ultrasound was much better than last time.  My fav nurse, June was there too.  They were all happy to see Jon. 

June:  "You brought a husband with you today!!"
Jon: "I do exist, I promise."
Dr. G: "Yeah, I've seen him at least 2 times- so I know he's real!"

During the ultrasound, Dr. G measured a follicle on my left side measuring in at 15mm.  I have a few other medium sized ones (10 and 11) but this one is the biggest.  My lining looks good and we're moving right along.   Dr. G was like "that's a beauty!  Wooo-wee!! Look at that!"  haha... he was all smiles and excited.  Much better than the other guy that was a serious downer "yeah, looks like it'll be a while.. keep your hope alive"  thanks, buddy...  :)  We do have a lof respect for Dr. G.  He knows his stuff.  Fun fact about him: he spent time in the army as a doctor.

I got my blood work back:

LH: 5.12
Estrogen: 316
Progesterone: 1.76

Today is Friday, right?  So, what happens when you have a weekend and it looks like your follicles could start to ovulate?  You go into the doc office on Saturday.  We are listed to clean the church tomorrow too.  Sorry, Jon... you'll be by yourself.  I have to go to a different doctor's office too.  It takes about 45mins to get there.  Blah.  So that'll be business as usual... blood and ultrasound.  Fun.  My poor arm hasn't had time to heal!!  It does look much better than it did on Wednesday.  Tonight I give myself a shot again and then depending on my results tomorrow I might do the Bravelle shot as usual or I could possible have to do the hcg trigger shot (to aide the ovulation).  Craziness. 

I'm expecting that the IUI (well, there will be two of them) will probably be some time this week.  There are few downsides to that:  a. Jon won't be here and b. I have no idea when both IUIs will take place.  You just can't plan for it.  So, if I asked someone to go with me it would be like the day before... and I would have to hope their schedule was clear.   We'll see what happens.

Well, thanks for sticking this post out.  I will leave you with a picture of Sookie. She got stuck under the couch yesterday.  It was hilarious.  She wasn't stuck for very long, promise.  LOL.. a little tight under there, eh?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 9 stats

LH: 6.98
Estrogen: 111
Progesterone: 1.71

My visit today was business as usual: ultrasound and bloodwork.  There is a new girl there who does the blood work.  The other girl who used to do it is still there but she hasn't taken my blood at all this cycle.  Anyways, this new girl.. I have to wonder if she's REALLY new... my right arm is seriously bruised.  She's not very gentle :(  

My ultrasound today was with the new doctor of the clinic (who was just added to the practice).  It is usually just a nurse who does it, but on certain days this new doctor is there and a nurse sits in the room with him while he does it.  This guy has the worst bedside manners of all time.  Last cycle he commented on my thin lining and just looked at me and said "I just don't see this working.  Our goal is to get you in and out and back to your OBGYN.. and it looks like you'll probably be with us a little longer"  Nice.   I know honesty is the best policy, but there are ways to be more tactful about it, no? I even told my real doctor about this when Jon and I met with him after the negative results and he wasn't pleased.  I felt like I ratted the guy out!  I haven't seen the new doc since that one ultrasound last month.. until today. 

My heart sank when he walked in.  The nurse usually moves the screen so I can see what she's looking at and she'll explain everything.  This guy is like Dr. Secret-Keeper and keeps the screen to himself.  He just makes an already awkward situation even more awkward.  A nurse (old blood girl) was in the room just standing in the corner not saying anything. The doctor was quiet through most of it.  He made comments here and there "lining looks good"... more silence... then said... "right side has small follicles... hmm" .... "left side.. well.. there is a larger one... but it's only one... how much of a dose are you taking each day? hmmm"  You just feel like you are second guessing the whole cycle as he sits and squashes all your hopes and dreams.  Then when it was over he was like "well, just be patient... this looks like it'll be slow for you.  I know we want you to be progressing more, but just be patient for now."  So, again, I left the ultrasound feeling like "what just happened??"

I go back on Friday and Jon is going to come with me!  Hurray!  I am just keeping my fingers crossed that I will progress more.   The other thing that happened with this appointment that wasn't normal was some of my blood work.  My estrogen went down a little.  When they called to tell me that they said "your doctor isn't too concerned about it because it didn't drop a lot"  which means... this isn't completely normal.  The goal is to get your estrogen levels up... like towards 800. 

Dear Body, please do what you're supposed to do.  Thanks.  Heart - Crystal

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lots of Dr visits

This morning Jon flew out again to Milwaukee.  It was so good to have him home this last week!  I miss him already.  So, to stop myself from getting too mushy about him being gone, I wanted to share with you something a little funny.  Someone in Milwaukee wanted to play a practical joke and decided to write something on the roof of their building to give people a panic attack as they were flying into the city.  Jon sees this every week and the first time he saw it he called me to tell me about it when he got off the plane thinking it was hilarious :)

The picture was from google sightseeing

Awesome.  Haha!

Anyways, this week I have a lot of doctor appointments.  I had one this morning.  Good ol' blood work and ultrasound.  I have another one on Wednesday and I'm assuming I'll have one again on Friday.  I just wanted to write down the stats of today's visit. 

For those of you who may be wondering what the ultrasound is for, I'll explain.  It's an inner ultrasound where they can measure your lining and also measure follicles (sacs that hold your eggs and release them when you ovulate) in your ovaries.  Last cycle, I had good sized follicles, but a really thin lining (which means that the chance of implantation was thought to be slim).  This was due to the medication I was on.  I was responding great with the follicles, but not so great with my lining. 

Anyways, today is cycle day 7.  My lining is measuring in at 6 (last time the thickest it got was a 3).  Then I had a few follicles around 10mm.  A mature follicle for someone not on meds avg around 18 and those who are on meds can get as large as 24mm. 

Then here are hormone stats:

LH:  7.96
Progesterone:  1.81
Estridol (estrogen):  118

My doctor says that I am right on track and right where he wants me to be. Yay!! Finally something good!  The nurse, June, who did my ultrasound was all excited.  She said "you respond amazing to these injections!"  So, I will continue with the shots and then go back on Wednesday morning to see how I'm progressing. 

Tonight will be the first night I'm alone to give myself a shot.  Mind over matter.  It really doesn't hurt at all... it's just the thought of actually doing it is what sketches me out.  It's not a normal thing to do to yourself... so it's natural to be sketched out... right??   

Last thing.. I'm not the only one who had to get a shot today. Sookie had a doc appointment at the vet.  It was her yearly visit and she had to get two shots.  Heh, poor thing was all confused when we got home.  She could barely walk in a straight line.  Now she is passed out on the couch.  I have a feeling she'll be there for the rest of the day... oh to be a cat.  Life would be much more simple :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Potions 101

Beginning yesterday, I started my injections for IUI.  Where I have to stab myself every night.  Doesn't that sound lovely? Part of my nightly puncture process involves mixing my drugs together before injecting them... kind've makes me feel like a potions master.  Jon jokes that instead of alchemy turing lead into gold... we are turning  sodium chloride and bravelle into a baby :)  To make the act of stabbing myself with a sharp object easier... we went to the store and got Disney Princess bandaids.

About 5 minutes after taking this picture... my shipment arrived of my entire month's dosage...

Apparently I am injecting my own weight in drugs over the next few weeks... haha.  We did get 2 free ice packs out of it.  There is one box not in the picture because it's in the fridge.  There was a sheet showing all the costs of the medications in the box showing  a total of $2,300... thanks to insurance $115.00.  Insurance can stink to deal with.. but when they finally buck up and listen we really do appreciate it. 

Now to figure out how to concoct felix felicis...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Proof that Jon is still alive!!

I cannot tell you how awesome it has been to have Jon home this week.  I feel spoiled!  He leaves on Monday again... but such is life.  I am so thankful for him and for how hard he works.  I am really proud of him.  I know I couldn't do his job!! 

The best part about this week is that he had to work from home because he can't connect to his client from his work office (due to security reasons)... so he HAS to work from home.. nope.. no way around it :)  He had to go into his work office today, but that's usually the standard thing for him on Fridays.  Anyways, he works upstairs in the "game room".  Our old kitchen table is up there (thanks, Anne for helping me get it up there!!  We did good work that day!) and that's where he camps out when he works from home.  Nothing to distract him up there.. other than the cat sometimes. 

Here is what the set up looks like:

And yes.. those are 2 laptops you are seeing... craziness.. both for work. 

He goes back to Milwaukee on Monday.  However, we do have something to look forward too... he has 3 full weeks there and then we are getting on a boat and CRUISING for 5 days to Cozumel and Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico!!  I found an amazing deal on VacationsToGo (they have the best prices compared to everyone else) about 6 months ago and we have just been looking forward to it!  How is this all going to work out with the current infertility cycle I'm on... no idea.  I'm not too worried.  It'll all work out.  If I need to go to the doctor the Monday morning we leave, I can do that.  Excitement!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Insurance rant

I will try to be brief...
Doctor's office ordered my meds from a specialty pharmacy out of Maine that apparently isn't apart of my insurance's plan.. but they covered my trigger shot from that specialty pharmacy last month.. go figure.  So, today... new drug order was put in to that same pharmacy.. we figured it was a go because they covered it last time.  Specialty pharmacy called and told me that insurance told them that I had met my lifetime max in prescriptions.  This = false.  Me = displeased.  I called my insurance and they told me that they told the pharmacy that because they have their own specialty pharmacy.  This = they lied to the pharmacy and put me in a panic.  I am no where near hitting my lifetime max!  They've only covered 2 medications for this whole process.. I had to pay out of pocket for the others because they weren't covered.  Ridiculous!  So then I had to call the insurance's specialty pharmacy to see if they even offer the injectables I need and they do.. so called doctor's office to give them the news and now I wait. 

Chances are.. the pre-auth on my meds won't go through in time and then we'll have to wait for next cycle.   If this wasn't so time sensitive it wouldn't be that big of a deal.. but I need to start my meds no later than Friday.  Anyone know how to speed up the pre-auth on meds??   

Patience, Crystal... Patience!! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Catch up and infertility news

I apologize for the lack of blogging.  I just get into a rythm and forget to write!  Then when I go to write, I get overwhelmed thinking there is just too much to catch up on and then I just don't do it.  So, here I am trying to make ammends with our blog :)

Things that have been going on:
  • Jon is still traveling (surprised?)
  • I was able to make a small trip out to NH in June.  My sister, Shannon had major back surgery and I had a free flight.  So I went and visited and helped out as much as I could.
  • Shannon was able to visit during her recovery (even got an airport card from her doctor)
  • Beth's family (Jon's sister) moved out to Houston- woohoo!!  We love having them close!  She also took some cute pictures of us (note the picture in the post).  Check out her website here
  • I have been called to work with the 8-9yr old girls at church.  They are so fun!  I just wish I was more creative with Activity Days!!  Oh well, it'll come :)
So, the other reason why I have decided to blog better is because with the infertility problems  that we are facing (mentioned in a previous post), I felt that it would be a good idea to document it.  There are a lot of women out there who are facing infertility and I am hoping that through documenting our next cycle will help others. 

During this last General Conference, Elder Anderson talked about infertility.  His talk was just what I needed.  Wanting to have a family is a righteous desire and a commandment that we have been given from God.  However, there are those who will not be able to have children this life but they will be blessed with that opportunity in the next life which is comforting to know.  However, that doesn't mean that we should just give up hope.  So, we are doing all that we can to have a family.  Patience is something that I need to work on in all facets of my life, but even more so with wanting a family.

After meeting with our doctor yesterday we have deiced to start an IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) cycle with injectables.  I have a "learning appointment" tomorrow afternoon to help me learn how to give myself shots.  Scary!!  Thankfully, Jon is home this week only working remotely and he will be able to help me.  I couldn't do this without him!  Then, on Wednesday I go in for blood work and possibly an ultrasound.  I am excited, but nervous.  I will keep you posted!

**Quick edit: for just a little bit of information. This will be our 3rd cycle with this doctor.  We have been doing Letrozole and Clomid with a hcg trigger shot... so because I wasn't responding the way he wanted me to (and the end result was negative both times)- this is why we are doing the IUI with shots**