6.0

Still. Sigh. 

Back in next week. Let’s see if one more week can make a difference. 

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#MicroblogMonday : Date night

Yesterday was date night.

Well more like date day. His mom and dad were off doing a pottery lesson as an anniversary present I bought them, while I got to spend three glorious hours hanging out with him.

We took advantage of the great weather and took a stroll through the park. Then stopped at Starbucks for a quick refresher. I had an iced tea and he had some lukewarm milk. Then we went shopping, he started to get fussy so we took a break to sit down and sing nursery rhymes together. He loves singing songs together. We then met up with his parents and had dinner at a summer food market before we headed back home.

I am absolutely smitten with him. DH doesn’t mind. Besides, with him travelling so much I have to find something to do with my time!

I hope we can do it again soon. I have to find another excuse to get his parents to go out so we can spend more time together.

Hopefully he doesn’t grow up too quickly so I can enjoy more of these days with him. Wait, did I mention I am talking about my 7 month-old nephew?

Hoping for another date night soon!


Head over to Stirrup Queens for more #MicroblogMonday posts

 

6.0 on Day 14(!)

“5.9. Which we will round up to 6” – Dr. Go’s exact words.

He gave me a choice on whether to continue for one more week to see how thick things get or just stop now and we can talk next steps at our follow up in August.

I opted to keep going. I mean why not. I’ve come this far. And at least I will know what my body is capable of (albeit with a whole lot of medical assistance).

Back in on the 28th for a lining check on Day 21. Come on 7.0!

Chose your own blog post

Another one of those where I have so much to say I decided to put it all in one post split into three. The choice are:

  1. NYC or bust
  2. The return of the in-laws
  3. Moist and Creamy

 

1.NYC or Bust

This weekend was my quick trip to NYC to visit DH for a mini vacation from work. I booked Friday off and planned to fly out at 8:30 Thursday night. I was super organized. I took my suitcase with me to work so I could leave right after work for the airport. All day Thursday I scrambled to get work done so that there would be nothing urgent left on my plate until I got back on Monday.

I got on the train to the airport (a quick 20 minute ride from work), and just as the doors for the train was closing, I received an email from the airline: “due to an unexpected event your flight has been cancelled”. Say what? They automatically rebooked me on a flight the next day at 2:30pm. So I would essentially loose my entire vacation day to an ‘unexpected event’!

I arrived at the airport and headed for the airline counter to find out more. Apparently all planes to Laguardia had been halted for the day by air traffic control in LGA. So all flights were cancelled. They claimed weather was the reason (it had been sunny and hot, with some rain later that evening in New York). But I am not so sure. Around the same time news was breaking of the Nice. France terror attack…

All remaining flights to JFK were fully booked, so my only choices were cancel my trip or fly out the next day. I decided to go see DH the next day. I made the best of the rest of that evening by inviting over my bestie for drinks and dessert. The next morning I treated myself to a blowdry at the salon before heading to the airport.

In NYC DH and I spent the rest of our weekend enjoying our favorite eats, doing a bit of shopping, and even spent the day at Rockaway beach on Saturday. All of this while playing Pokemon GO! It was a great weekend!

2. The Return of the In-Laws

My in-laws have come and gone. They arrived Monday afternoon and spent the afternoon with my mother who then got them to my Mother-in-law’s eye appointment that evening. MIL has a followup eye appointment in September. They want to see if the problem is getting worse or staying the same before they decide if surgery is needed.

Unfortunately with my pending trip to NYC on Thursday (see part 1: NYC or Bust, above), I was swamped with work obligations and evening meetings. So I did not get to even spend a meal with them. We did chat every evening though to catch up on our day.

They left Thursday afternoon for Ottawa. They are thinking about buying an apartment in Ottawa to make that their summer home so they can visit their kids and grandkids more often (my sister-in-law lives a couple of hours drive away in Kingston).

They will split their time between Ottawa and Kingston for the next month or so, and hopefully in September when they come back we will spend a bit more time together.

3. Moist and Creamy

In the category of TMI:

I did a half-ass job to keep the suppositories hidden from my in-laws last week (see Part 2:The Return of the In-Laws). Mostly because I was lazy and honestly couldn’t figure out how to hide them in the fridge other than peeling the name sticker off the labels, and storing them in the paper bag they came in. My applicator and estrace pills were on my bathroom counter all week, so I am pretty sure MIL could have snooped around and found them if she was so inclined. But I didn’t say a thing and she didn’t ask.

It was hectic travelling (see part 1: NYC or Bust, above) and ensuring I took my suppositories as required as well as keeping them cool this past weekend. They held up quite well on my travel days. I packed them in a cooler bag with an ice pack and checked that into my luggage (mostly because I didn’t want to risk them throwing out my ice pack because of the liquid/gel restrictions for airplanes – I know there is an exception for medicine, and I have my prescription, but you never know. I would rather not have them throw out a few hundred dollars of medication).

The problem with checked baggage though, is that bags get lost. When I got to the airport my bag did not appear on the conveyor belt! Ugh! I started second guessing how smart I was to have checked the meds in my suitcase in the first place.

An airline rep carted me off to the office and was starting to fill out a lost bag claim, and arrange to replace the lost meds (although I was not sure where I could find a compounding pharmacy to make the suppositories on quick order in NYC), when the bag magically appeared after all! (Hurray!) Albeit damaged, (Ugh another claim to file…).

In the end, the meds survived. The ice pack cooler combo held up quite well. The rest of the weekend we managed to get by. We came home every 6 hours or so, to allow me to take the meds on time.

Unfortunately, one night I did forget to put the suppositories back in the fridge (Oops!). But thankfully, even with the excessive-no A/C heat in DH’s apartment this past weekend, they did not melt! Phew! (our theory is that they melt at body temperature, and it never got that warm inside the bathroom overnight). But it is good to know that they can survive a bit of time outside of the fridge.

The worst part was the excessive heat and walking around caused a whole lot of moist and creamy discharge. I mean the stuff leaking out and up my butt crack was a very interesting feeling when walking about in public. I kept having to find a bathroom to just go wipe it all off. Fun!

giphy (2)

And then there was sex… I insisted we use a condom (to which DH replied: ‘But I think I have forgotten how, its been so long!’), and even then the moist-creaminess managed to get everywhere! Ugh!

I will glad to be over with this whole part of the cycle.

Lining check on the 21st (day 14). I’m still taking bets on how thick the lining will be this time around…

#MicroblogMonday: Day 4 update

Microblog_MondaysDay 1 of this my last mock cycle redux, part 3, was Friday.

I started the estrace (2mg twice a day, vaginally) and Viagra suppositories (25mg 4 times a day, vaginally) on Friday night.

Saturday all day I had a nagging headache. Not bad enough to be debilitating, but just enough to be annoying and make me want to just lie down. Same thing Sunday. I pushed through it though and took ibuprofen as needed. Today it seems to have subsided though.

I have a sneaking suspicion it’s the Viagra. It makes sense. Basically it is causing my blood vessels to dilate, and more blood to flow everywhere, including my head. So a headache makes sense. Hopefully my body will just get used to it in the next few days and the headaches don’t last the whole month.

Walk of shame to the work washroom with my little medication ice box was interesting. I am thinking of bringing in a small toiletries pouch to disguise the package instead, so it just seems like I’m going to ‘powder my nose’ next time. Live and learn I guess.

Also on the TMI front: apparently having a BM an hour after inserting a suppository is a bad idea (i.e. everything falls out!). Not sure that I can control that part though. It has only happened once so far, so hopefully I am still absorbing enough of the meds! Boobs are fine though. No pain yet.

Lining check is scheduled for Jul 21 (Day 14).


Want more #MicroblogMonday? Check out Stirrup Queens.

The in-laws are coming to town!

My in-laws are coming to visit next week. I know, that is a scary sentence.

They rarely visit. This will be the second time since we have been married (7+ years ago) that they are visiting (we do visit them once a year or so). But this time DH, also known as their son, will not be here (off in New York for work). So I am on my own!

They are nice enough people. But very private. They love to travel so are out of country for most of the year and when they are in the country, they live on the west coast. We speak on the phone or via Skype quite regularly though. His mother is your typical overly protective brown mom. Dad is the typical stubborn ‘don’t like change’ kind of person. Which is a ticking time bomb when you couple that with my stubborn ‘tell it like it is’ attitude. Yet the last 7 years has managed to be quite cordial.

But when they do visit, or we visit them, it is always stressful. Dad will want to ‘fix’ or improve something of ours that I don’t agree with. So finding a polite way to decline is always tough. Mom cooks up a storm in the kitchen, which is fine by me, but she goes out and buys a whole bunch of ingredients that will just go bad once she leaves. Typical in-laws stuff.

But it is all good. It will be nice to see them again. They are making this visit to get her eyes checked out. We are suspecting either retinal detachment or macular degeneration so it is important for her to get this checked out soon. We were able to pull some strings and get her an appointment on Tuesday with an ophthalmologist friend close to home (the benefits of having doctors in the family!).

I hope that it is not too serious and treatable, but this visit may end up being a bit longer than their usual few days if she needs surgery.

Oh! and by the way, I will be in the middle of this mock cycle, Viagra suppositories and all!

We haven’t told them about the IF treatments just yet. They know that we are not having children now, easy enough to explain since DH is still finishing up med-school and is away most of the time. They don’t know that we are exploring our options. And honestly I don’t want to tell either set of parents until we know for sure what we are doing. It brings up too many hopes that could result in disappointment later. Also DH is not certain his parents will understand the whole DE/IVF thing. So that will be an interesting conversation if it does happen.

I toyed with the idea of keeping the suppositories in a cooler in my room for the duration of their visit, but I’m not sure that they will last, and I will have to keep topping up the ice as it melts. Seems like too much trouble. I think I’m just going to leave them in the fridge and hope that she doesn’t go snooping through my fridge. Maybe I will peel the labels off so they can’t tell what it is or who it is for. So awkward. But I figure, since they are very private people, they will respect mine too. Right?

Any tips on how to make this any more discreet?

Sometimes a girl needs her Viagra

I am honestly amazed that someone even thought to take a pill that was created to help with erectile dysfunction and found a use for it in boosting the success of IVF for those with thin lining issues. I also find it very amusing that between my husband and myself, I am the first one to take Viagra.

The Science

The science behind it makes sense though. In order to have a successful implantation, the uterine lining needs to be thick. In the range of 9mm thick is considered ideal. A thick lining is grown with the use of estrogen (estrogen induced endometrial proliferation to be exact). However another factor is blood flow. If there is inadequate blood flow, the estrogen can only do so much.

Enter Nitric Oxide (NO). The actual chemical reaction that occurs to cause the blood to flow is over my head (I am not a scientist by any stretch), the study does go into the details if anyone is interested. Essentially, NO causes smooth muscle to relax  which in turn causes blood to flow more freely. Viagra (generic name Sildenafil) is basically NO in pill form.

The most effective way to deliver the NO with limited side effects is through vaginal suppositories (apparently just shoving a little blue pill up there will not have the same effect, and taking it orally had nasty side effects). The suppositories are made by grinding up a pill and mixing it with the suppository materials (basically looks like white wax that melts at body temperature) to turn it into a little bullet shaped suppository that can be easily inserted in the vagina. Daily dosage is 25mg, which needs to be taken 4 times a day in order to keep the effects even throughout the day. So 4 suppositories are made out of 1 pill (I need a 21 day supply, so total of 84 suppositories). I will post a picture of the suppositories soon in case anyone is interested. This is what they look like:


Because Viagra normally comes in pill form, these suppositories need to be specially made (compounded) for this use. Only a compounding pharmacy (I never knew they existed until last week) has the skills and equipment to do this. (FYI: your neighborhood pharmacy/grocery store is probably not a compounding pharmacy, but they can direct you to one in your area).

The sildenafil treatment is stopped a few days before transfer to ensure that the drug is out of the body and will not affect the embryo. It is not clear what impact this will have on any embryo and it is understandable why no one has conducted this research yet.

The Hunt for a Compounding Pharmacy

I asked my regular pharmacist for a recommendation and did a quick google search of my area for ‘compounding pharmacy’. I called 3 places that showed up in my neighborhood on google. One place refused and said they could not do it. The other two said they would have to look into it and call me back. Both places provided quotes that were within a few dollars of each other. Both said it would take a few days to compound after I dropped off the prescription.

The pharmacist that I did end up going with was very nice. He said this was the first time he had to compound viagra/sildenafil into suppository form so he did some research about its use and provided me with a printout of his research too. He even asked if I needed an applicator and provided me one (no charge). I wish I had asked for 2 applicators so I can keep one at work. I might go back and ask for one next time I am in the area.

The Game Plan

So now I wait for CD1 so I can start this next cycle.

A few things I have learnt so far, and will need to keep in mind for this cycle:

  • The suppositories need to be refrigerated. This is going to be a challenge, as I will need to insert 2 doses every day I am at work. I need to find a discreet way to store the correct number of doses at work, and discreetly walk with my little package to the bathroom (located in a publicly accessible hallway) insert a suppository and walk back. Still haven’t worked out the logistics of this. I am also travelling for 3 days in the middle of this cycle. So I will need to figure out an icepack/cooler bag situation for my travels as well.
  • Use the applicator. This will help. Since the suppositories are designed to melt at body temperature, it can get messy when trying to insert it with just your fingers. I find pushing 2 tiny estrace pills up my vagina very messy (I wish I had the applicator for the pills on my last cycle!), so I can only imagine what something cold, melting and slippery will be like.
  • Use an ice pack to transport the suppositories. The pharmacist was helpful in providing me a small ice pack to transport the suppositories back home. These are expensive pills to loose to something as silly as melting. I will be using the ice pack to transport them to my work fridge (1 hour commute). And for my travels.
  • Sildenafil/Viagra is not covered by my drug plan. I also made sure to check with my drug benefits insurance plan to see if the cost of the suppositories would be covered. They are not. I believe that most drug plans don’t cover drugs used to treat infertility.
  • Stock up on panty liners. Some people have mentioned that there is some messy discharge that occurs as it melts inside the vagina. So I will be stocking up on, and probably will need to change, panty liners frequently. I might also buy some cheap granny panties if things get really messy.

The Hope

In this study  70% of 105 women were able to achieve an endometrial thickness of >=9mm. None of them had been able to achieve this thickness in their prior cycles. This group of women also had higher implantation and ongoing pregnancy rates compared to the women who could not achieve that thickness. I hope that I am one of the 70% that this works for.

Now we wait for Day 1 of this, my last mock cycle, redux, part 3.