Friday, December 11, 2009

Update

Things are working! Thank god! My estrogen level was over 500 yesterday and I have 2 follicles growing at the same rate. Now if only we can get them to continue to grow at the same rate and mature together! The estrogen level is what I am so excited about. Even though the follicles only measured around 11.0 the estrogen level tells us that they, or one, are going to continue to grow. Sometimes you see the results in the estrogen before you see the growth in the follicle(s). I am back down to taking 112.5 of Menopur and go back for another ultrasound on Saturday morning in Minneapolis. I am hoping things will be ready by Monday and we will be doing IUI Monday or Tuesday. Please continue to pray that things keep growing and keep us in your hearts as this will be our last round of injections and IUIs. Thank you.

Love, Kristen & Eli

Monday, December 7, 2009

Follicle Study #3

Things are still going VERY slow. My estrogen level today was 89. Glad it is still rising and not falling. There were multiple small follicles again, but none have grown since last time. Today Dr. Malo increased my dose from 112.5 to 150. Hopefully that will help! My next appointment is Thursday, pray there is change!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Friday, December 4, 2009

Follicle Study 2

My second follicle study was changed to today instead of Saturday. I was hoping for some good change, but there wasn't really any change. Multiple small follicles still and none that have started to "take off". I am to continue with my same medication dosages and have my next study on Monday. Hopefully by then there will be some change. It seems like things are going slower this time. However, I should know by now that my body reacts different every cycle even if its the same medication. Pray for change on Monday and continue to pray to god and let him know its okay now to give us our miracle, we are waiting and more then ready!

Kristen & Eli

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Follicle Study 1

I had my first follicle study for this cycle on Tuesday. There wasn't much change, not much growing, just multiple small follicles. Dr. Malo increased my medication and I will now be taking 112.5mg instead of 75mg of Menopur a day. Hopefully that will stimulate some more growth. My next follicle study is Saturday. Please say an extra prayer for us this cylce as it will be our last cylce of injections.

Love, Kristen & Eli

Friday, November 27, 2009

Much Needed Update...

So sorry for the 'late' update. This week has been crazy busy!
Last Friday late afternoon I got the call from Dr. Malo's office that yes, the pregnancy test was negative. Even though I was very upset I was surprised at how calm and collected I felt when I was talking to the nurse practitioner. Each time we go through this I think somehow the dissapointment gets, not easier, but more routine.
On Sunday, I got my period. Waited for 3 days and had my baseline ultrasound on Tuesday or Day 3. For the most part things looked good. However, there was an unusual spot on my right ovary and was somewhat concerning to the nurse practitioner. She said it looked like signs of ovulation and most likely it meant nothing but wanted to make sure. She explained that the eggs are grown in 'follicles' which resemble blisters. Once ovulation occurs the 'blisters' or follicles burst and release the egg. Those follicle usually return to normal, however they can sometimes fill with fluid or blood and form a blood clot. They can also sometimes produce estrogen. So, I had my blood drawn to make sure it wasn't producing estrogen. If it was, my body would not react to the injections and would need to be put on birth control for 2 weeks. I prayed all day hoping this wouldn't postpone the cycle and god must of heard my prayer because we got good news! It wasn't producing estrogen and so on Tuesday I started another round, most likely our last round ever, of injections. This time Dr. Malo wants to be more aggressive and try and produce more then one mature follicle. Hoping this works and that Oviarian Hyperstimulation doesn't occur. My first follicle study ultrasound is next Tuesday, hoping there is good change. Please continue to pray as this is our last attempt at getting pregnant with 'medical help' for quite some time.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with family and/or friends. I know we have so much to be thankful for!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bittersweet

Today will be a bittersweet day as I sit and wait for the nurse from Dr. Malo's office to call. I had my blood drawn this morning for a pregnancy test, but I already know the answer. We tested at home yesterday. Our hearts are heavy.

Love, Kristen & Eli Wolfe

Friday, November 13, 2009

Laugh

Just thought I'd share with you a funny thing my husband said to me today. We were talking about when I could test and he said he was anxious to know and then said "Well can't you just take a first responder?" So funny, so cute, he has no clue :)

Love, Kristen & Eli

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Update

Things didn't go as planned on Tuesday. I didn't make it to acupuncture instead I had to stay home in bed all day as orders from Dr. Malo. I woke up Tuesday morning with mild symptoms of OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome); nausea, bloating, PAIN in both of my ovaries and vomiting. I wasn't too concerned at first because it wasn't anything like the time I was hospitalized. However, since I now know the severity of OHSS I decided to call the clinic and tell them. They were concerned because of how fast I went from mild to serve in April, so they wanted me on strict bed rest until all symptoms were gone. I laid low most of Tuesday and felt better by Wednesday. Thank god it didn't turn into something worse!

Otherwise, I have been feeling fine. Lots of cramping and boobs so sore it hurts to put a bra on...but those are side affects NOT symptoms. I am on so much progesterone hormone to keep the lining of my uterus good that I have much stronger side affects this time. I would like to say they are symptoms of a pregnancy but can't. My blood pregnancy test isn't until the 23rd but I may test at home in the next week.

Other then those updates nothing is new. I have been doing a lot of relaxing and trying to keep my body healthy and stress free. We haven't been talking about it much and just not worrying about the outcome. Its been a pretty stress free cycle and I like it, and I know Eli does too! We WILL have a baby one day, but its up to god to choose which day. Keep praying!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Monday, November 9, 2009

Update

The insemination on Saturday at the Minneapolis clinic went well! I was so glad the nurse was very nice and did a great job of explaining and answering any questions. So now, we just wait. The long and dreaded 2 week wait. I go in for a pregnancy test 2 weeks from today, Monday. Please continue to pray, this just has to be our month. Please god, please.

In the past I have had bleeding before the 2 week wait was over, so they are calling that a luteal phase defect. To help prevent that this time I am on two different medications that i started yesterday. The nurse practitioner who prescribed them said they are the same medication that they use with those going through Invitro. The one medication is called Vivelle dots. They are medication patches that go on my lower abdomen and continuously give progesterone. I will change them every 3 days. I was afraid they would fall off during shower, baths etc. but they haven't come off at all. The other medication is called Endometrium. It is a long skinny pill that is inserted vaginally. Its just like the progesterone suppositories I did in the past and yes they are super annoying. Especially since I have to do them twice a day! They will be so worth it though! Hopefully these medications will help with the luteal phase defect. They will keep my uterine lining thick and make a good home for an embryo to attach :) One of the things that is concerning with a luteal phase defect is miscarriage, when the uterine lining isn't good enough to keep a pregnancy. I also did acupuncture yesterday, Sunday. It hurt a little more this time, especially in my ears. Those are the worst spots! I am going to continue to do acupuncture and my next appointment is tomorrow at noon. Hoping she will forget about my ears :)

Love, Kristen & Eli

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My body is ready...am I ?

Yesterday I had my third ultrasound. There are some new follicles and ones that were there before have disappeared. I have one "almost" mature follicle on my right that measures 1.67 and the two that were on my left seem to be gone. The nurse practitioner that did my ultrasound couldn't get a clear view of my left ovary, so there may be some follicles she missed on that side. She said its normal for follicles to disappear, especially when you are on a low dose and slow paced follicle stimulation plan like I have been on. Last night was the last injection of Menopur and tonight, between 5:00pm-7:00pm, I will be giving myself the Ovidrel injection to make me ovulate. I will be having two inseminations, one Friday morning and one Saturday morning. I'm not looking forward to having the one on Saturday as it will be at the Minneapolis clinic, I was hoping that wouldn't happen. I am trying to have a positive outlook on this cycle, staying positive and relaxed. I'm not sure what our plan will be after this cycle, right now it is to take one day at a time. Eli seems a little more relaxed with cycle as well. We haven't been talking about it all the time which helps. Please pray hard for us in the next couple of days. All prayers I got for this cycle seemed to help, all of the little follicles in my ovaries didn't grow!! So keep praying!!
This time I am also going to incorporate natural medicine/Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture. I have had a lot of people email me with suggestions to try acupuncture. I did some research and found a clinic in Bloomington that insurance will cover. Here is some info about acupuncture and PCOS;
Acupuncture is a 3,000 year-old traditional form of Chinese medicine used to promote health and treat disorders. It involves the use of very fine, sterile, disposable stainless steel needles placed at selected acupuncture points.
The practice of acupuncture is based on the understanding that a vital energy called "Qi" flows along pathways or meridians throughout the body. Each pathway is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ. Acupuncture allows Qi to flow to areas where it is deficient and away from where it is in excess. If Qi is blocked or obstructed in its flow, pain or dysfunction may occur.
Acupuncture regulates and restores the harmonious energetic balance of the body, causing pain or illness to be resolved. Acupuncture points are places along the meridians near the body's surface where Qi can be manipulated by the insertion of acupuncture needles.
There are hundreds of acupuncture points and each point has a predictable therapeutic effect. Problems can be addressed by needling points close to and distant from the problem being treated, because the meridians run throughout the body.
Upon insertion of an acupuncture needle, people may experience varying sensations, ranging from no pain at all, to a slight pinch, a feeling of heaviness, warmth or possibly tingling and an electric sensation. The needles are retained for 20-45 minutes and people often become deeply relaxed and sometimes even fall asleep. After needle removal, you may feel energized, sleepy or lighter. You may notice immediate improvement of your symptoms.
Acupuncture provides a safe, effective, drug-free and natural approach, strengthens and balances all systems of the body, and assists our own internal energies to restore endocrine harmony encouraging conception and a healthy pregnancy.
Acupuncture emphasizes holistic care. PCOS is a very complex disorder and due to multiple hormonal imbalances. The abnormalities in the ovary are really more the result of the whole body’s dysfunction, not the cause. Currently this disorder is not well understood, so there is no single solution to reverse PCOS or assess all the symptoms. However, you can certainly choose acupuncture as a holistic medicine along with a healthy diet to improve your overall health – as a way of achieving better emotional balance and well-being, regulated periods, enriched sleep, and greater energy. Optimizing a general sense of well-being definitely influences the body’s internal hormones, chemicals and metabolisms, which in turn effectively minimize and eliminate numerous factors in the processes of PCOS.
Acupunture treats the underlying, root causes of conditions. PCOS is one of the major leading causes of infertility. Recently conventional medicine has not had a great deal of success in treating PCOS and infertility. The most popular form of treatment is with the use of ovulation inducers like clomid, hCG and gonadotropin. Unfortunately, these drugs do not easily or effectively address the underlying failure of ovarian health such as poor quality of eggs or an androgen rich surrounding environment. As a result, women have a lower pregnancy rate, a higher rate of miscarriage, and potentially undesirable side effects from drugs.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are designed to stimulate the body’s own natural production of hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle by gently correcting underlying deficiencies and/or eliminating disruptions. For example, when applied they can;
a) restore reproductive energy in the kidney system which represents the reproductive endocrine system to normalize the production of hormones that regulate ovulation.
b) balance the liver system which controls smooth flow and distribution of blood to remove obstruction or constriction of blood circulation in the pelvic organs, which might be caused from living with high stress, consistent anger, frustration and/or anxiety.
c) build an adequate supply of blood to sustain a normal menstrual cycle, nourish the eggs to be revitalized, and support a healthy pregnancy.
d) help dissolve the thick, waxy coating found on the surface of the ovaries to improve ovarian function, enhance egg quality with the use of Chinese herbal medicine.
e) soothe the sympathetic nervous system to relax the body, reduce stress and influence healthy ovulation


My first appointment was today. I was a little nervous before, but it went very well. The needles only gave a little "pinch", especially in areas where there isn't much skin. The ones in my ears and feet hurt the most going in. Once the needles are in she inserts them a little more and then leaves them in for 20 min. It was actually very relaxing and I felt warm and tingling in the areas where the needles were. She put needles in my ears, arms, stomach, legs and feet. My next appointment is Sunday. I felt it to be very beneficial, if not physically but mentally. I will be going back!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ultrasound #2

There was a change in plans. I got a call Friday evening from Dr. Malo's office, the nurse who called instructed me not to come on Saturday for my ultrasound but to come on Sunday morning. Good news and bad news. Good news, the appointment Sunday wasn't until 9:30AM, instead of at the crack of dawn. Bad news, it was the morning after Halloween!

Sunday morning came and went, thankfully fast, because it was the worst visit ever. The environment and the staff at the clinic were not as nice as the Lilydale office. There were two women who were in the ultrasound with me, one performing and one watching? The woman who did the ultrasound was so rough I had never been in so much pain with an ultrasound. I kept telling her how bad it hurt and she just replied with "your ovaries are hard to find and we need to look at them". I was in tears by the end of the ultrasound and they didn't give me anything to clean up with (if you ever have had a vaginal ultrasound they LOAD on the gel). At the Lilydale office before they leave the room they get a wash cloth and warm it up and hand it to you. Its little things like that, that make these frequent visits much more pleasant. Thankfully a woman who I recognized came in after the ultrasound, she was from the Lilydale office, and gave me my treatment plan. The two follicles on the left side hadn't grown much more, and unfortunately multiple smaller ones were getting bigger. The plan is to continue on the same medication I am on until Wednesday when I go back in for my third ultrasound, thankfully at the Lilydale office.

On top of the horrible ultrasound I ended up sitting at a pharmacy after the appointment for over an hour! I told the nurse practitioner who went over my treatment plan that I had run out of medication and wouldn't be receiving the medication until Monday when Fed Ex could deliver it. She said if we had been at the Lilydale office they could give me an "emergency" dose for one day, but the Minneapolis doctors are more strict and won't do that. So, she wrote me a prescription and told me to go to this pharmacy down the road who had the medication in stock. After about 30 minutes of waiting for them to fill it the pharmacist calls me up and tells me my insurance will not allow them to fill the prescription. The insurance company was saying it was too early to fill another prescription with that medication because it shows that I had recently filled it. True, but it doesn't say that it won't be delivered until Monday. AGHHHH!!! The pharmacist tells me I can pay for the medication out of pocket and have my insurance company reimburse me. Considering I asked him how much it comes to, over $700.00!!!! Who did he think I was? Who walks around with $700.00 on the them?? After that I just left. At this point it had already been over an hour since I had first gotten there. I called back to the clinic to tell them the situation and they too suggested I pay out of pocket!!! I asked the nurse if it would be okay for the one day to take Repronex, the medication I had taken before, for the one night. Since Meopur and Repronex are made by the same supplier and basically the same drug she said that would be just fine. Thankfully!!! I was so irritated and mad by this time I was willing to do anything to just get home. After all that I really hope I won't have to go back to the clinic and if I do then I hope its a better experience.

On top of everything that happened, I started having some bleeding Sunday night. I was super concerned because this had never happened before. It wasn't very heaving but enough to wear a liner. However, it was gone by the time I woke up yesterday morning. Still concerned I called Dr. Malo's office. The nurse on the phone seemed concerned but told me that it may be because they have me on such a slow pace injection plan that my uterine lining may be confused and shedding some, or that the ultrasound tech yesterday hit my cervix and she is sorry if that happened ( HA!). She told me to call back immediatley if I have a fever, cramps or more bleeding.

So glad Sunday is over! I have many things to do this week so hopefully I can keep my mind off things! I will update on Wednesday after my ultrasound. Please keep praying and send some positive thoughts my way I am needing them! Thank you.

Love, Kristen & Eli

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ultrasound #1

There are two follicles growing! Both follicles are on my left side, but they are not big enough yet. They both measure around 1.1. I asked the woman who did the ultrasound how big they like them to be when ready. She said in a non-PCOS patient they will wait until at least 2.0, but in a PCOS patient they can be mature at 1.5. My next appointment is on Saturday at the crack of dawn, 7:50 in the morning! Too early for a Saturday! It will be at the Minneapolis office since the Lilydale one is closed on Saturdays. Hope I can find it!
The spots on my abdomen seem to be getting better after a couple of days. However, another one shows up about 4 hours after an injection. Pray they keep going away.
Thanks for every one's messages and prayers!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

and it begins....

Everything was going great with the injections until recently when I started seeing the same reactions happen; warm to the touch, pain, swelling and redness at the injection site. Here are some pictures of my abdomen and worse spot yet so far. This is a result of one injection. I'm not too worried about any of the spots on my abdomen so I will just wait and mention it to them on Thursday when I go in for my first ultrasound. Hopefully I won't get too many more. They take awhile to go away and I don't want my whole abdomen full of them, it already hurts to wear jeans! Besides the reaction nothing more is new. I will update on Thursday after my ultrasound.
Keep praying!!!
Love, Kristen & Eli

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Cycle

I started my injections today! I had my baseline ultrasound this morning and everything looked good to go ahead and start. My next appointment is not until next week on October 29th. Seems so far in between now and then. Dr. Kopher's office always made me go in every 2-3 days. I hope by then I am not too overstimulated since my ovaries are so sensitive. Please pray this will be my time! I believe this will be our last try with injections. Thank you so so much!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

FINALLY got my period yesterday! I think this is actually the first time ever I have been so excited. It always seems like forever when I induce a period. It isn't fun either because I haven't had one in about 3 months so its no good but oh so worth it. Tomorrow, day 3, I have my baseline ultrasound. I most likely will be starting injections tomorrow, depending on the ultrasound results. This month I am going to really try and relax about the whole thing and not sit an worry all the time about whether it will work or not. I have a few distractions that I am planning on using to keep me busy ~Aren't they so cute?? We got some family pictures taken last weekend and this is the best picture we could get of them two, sort of both looking :) Those are my girls~

Here are some more pictures that we had taken. I think they turned out great!



Love, Kristen & Eli

Monday, October 12, 2009

Okay to start!!

I had my blood drawn this morning and my progesterone level was exactly the same as last week. They are thinking that's just my baseline. I also had a negative pregnancy test, no surprise there! So they gave me the okay to start Provera to induce a period. On day three of my cycle I will have my baseline ultrasound. The injectable medication I will be taking is called Menopur. From what I have been reading it is the same as the Repronex I was on. Same medication just different names. I am a little nervous about starting that again as last time I ended up with cellulitis. However, Dr. Malo thinks its the best medication for my situation. Dr. Malo's office uses a mail order pharmacy so I will be having my medication brought to me by UPS tomorrow! One less time I need to make a trip to the office! I excited to be starting another cycle but can only pray this time it will work. I will update when I can, but for now take medication to bring on a woman's worst time of the month :(

Love, Kristen & Eli

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Delay

There has been a slight delay on getting this cycle started. The last two times I have had my blood drawn my progesterone has been elevated. Could mean two things; I have ovulated on my own or my body is thinking about a period. My pregnancy test was negative so we ruled that out. They wanted to go ahead and start the Provera to induce a period until I told them I have been having pain on my left side, GREAT! I should have never told them! I HIGHLY doubt it was ovulation because I have had this same pain before. I contribute the pain to the surgery I had when I was 15, but who knows what causes it. So now I am to go in to clinic tomorrow and have another blood draw. If I continue to have the pain she wanted me to also have an ultrasound. I have had some pain, but do I dare say anything? I really think its nothing. I will see how I feel tomorrow.

This weekend Eli and I had an amazing time in Duluth, MN. It was an Anniversary trip from my dad. We were to go in May but that's when I ended up in the hospital so we postponed it. We stayed in a hotel in Canal Park right on the Superior and we had a suite with a jacuzzi, two rooms and huge windows that faced the water. It was gorgeous. We did wish it would have been a little warmer as we didn't expect to wake up on Saturday and see snow on the ground! Its always nice to be home though! My dad and his girlfriend Trisha had Jordan and both of the dogs while we were away. I bet they are glad we are home too! Little Miss Mya needs a little more time with potty training :) Hope everyone had a good weekend even though this weekend only reminded us of the dreaded winter that is coming!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Friday, October 2, 2009

Good News!

Things have been going well! The Metformin side effects have finally settled down some and although somewhat discouraging, I have lost 6 lbs. I hoped for more by this time but I will keep working on it. I have lots of other good news as well!

We got another puppy! She is 7 weeks old and is the most adorable thing ever. Her name is Mya and her and Macey just love each other. I was worried about having 2 dogs, but actually found out 2 is easier then 1. They play with each other and keep each other company. Here is a picture of our newest addition:

The other good news is Eli and I talked about things and have decided to go ahead and try another round of injections and IUIs before the end of the year! I think our biggest influence was the fact that we won't be paying anymore out of pocket this year, insurance covers everything 100% since we reached our max out of pocket. We made a deal to try once or twice more before the end of the year and if by that time we still don't have our miracle we will talk about IVF. Eli did say that if we were to do IVF we would have to wait until Spring or Summer when his business picks up or I get another job or increase hours. So we will wait until Spring or Summer :) I had my blood drawn at clinic the other day because they want to induce a period since I haven't had one since July. The pregnancy test was of course negative, however my progesterone level was up so we can't induce one yet. I go back next week for another lab draw!
Hope all is well with everyone! Missing summer already but ready for fall!
Love,
Kristen & Eli

Monday, August 24, 2009

Second opinion

I don't think I am very good at updating my blog! It has been almost a week since both of my appointments and I haven't updated at all, so sorry.

Last Monday my appointment with Dr. Kopher went well. We talked about the last cycle and what went well and what didn't. He was very happy with the amount of medication we used and the amount of follicles that grew. He felt this last cycle was more controlled then the last cycles with Follistim. However, the one downfall was getting cellulitis on my abdomen from the injections. I asked him why he felt things weren't working. He said there could be multiple reasons, one being luck, two being maybe the follicles weren't "good" follicles and three this was only the third time I have ovulated EVER in my life. His suggestion was to keep trying what we have been doing. We have gone through 4 cycles, 3 being successful ovulation. He gives women 6 successful ovulation cycles with injections before he is convinced it won't work.

I explained to him that we would like to take a break from the injections and what would be his suggestions in the mean time. He brought up taking Metformin. I told him I had an appointment with Dr. Malo the following day. He suggested I go to the appointment, see what Dr. Malo has to say and go from there. I left the appointment feeling well. He took the time to answer all of my questions and explore every opportunity.

So the following day, Tuesday, I went to my appointment with Dr. Malo. My wonderful husband did come with me for support, as much as he didn't want to. We met with a nurse practitioner the first half of the appointment, going through all of my past cycles and history as well as Eli's history. She was very surprised at Eli's sperm analysis and the fact that he smokes a pack a day. She said she sees more times then none that smoking greatly affects men's sperm analysis. I think god knows that he isn't willing to stop smoking, so he is giving us a break in this area! We then met with Dr. Malo. He went right into all of options and what he thought would be worth trying. He also went over the things that Dr. Kopher has done and said he would have done the same and thinks Dr. Kopher is handling my care well.

Here are the options he gave us:

1. Try another cycle with injections. He as well isn't convinced injectables don't work in a woman until they have had successful ovulation for 6 cycles. He did say he would try another medication that is like Repronex but doesn't give the injection site side effects.

2. Have surgery known as "ovarian drilling". He said that in countries like Europe, reproductive medicine doctors do ovarian drilling before even trying injections. He said it wasn't an "experimental" surgery, patients just opt not to go down that road. The one downfall of the surgery is it may cause scar tissue that would prevent follicles to pass through the tube to the uterus. He said it works for about 60% of PCOS patients that do it. Effects show right away.

3. Take Metformin for the next 3-6 weeks and try to lose weight.

4. Be very aggressive and go right to Invitro Fertilization. This he felt would result in a successful pregnancy for us.

He left the decision up to us and explained we need to choose what to do based on how aggressive we wanted to be with things at this point.

We went into this appointment knowing we would take a break, so option number 3 was what fit us the best at this time. He did an ultrasound that day too check my uterine lining and to "make sure" PCOS was what I had. He said that my ovaries are "text book" Polysitic Ovaries. He also had blood drawn to check my liver function before taking Metformin. This post is getting long, so I will add some info on how Metformin works with PCOS in a different post. I left Dr. Malo's office feeling well, I think maybe when we decide to "try" again we will go back to Dr. Malo.

Things have been going well on the medication. however I am experiencing many side effects. Stomach upset, lots of diarrhea after eating, not feeling hungry and feeling tired. Despite the side effects I have lost some weight so things are going well and the side effects might be worth it in the end! If I don't get a period by the first of September I have to take some medication to induce one. Dr. Malo stressed the importance of getting a period while taking Metformin.

Until next post...whenever that will be :)

Love, Kristen & Eli

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What a break will do!

Things have been going very well, on our so called "break" from all of this. Not having to squeeze appointments in everyday and not having life schedule around everything. Its nice to be "normal" again. I feel like our relationship has even gotten better, not that it was bad before. I feel like we have grown closer and we've been having such a great time together. I also feel like I know more about my husband. We've gotten chances to actually talk about "normal" things in life, like how our day went, work, family and Jordan. Don't get me wrong I still think about having and baby and being pregnant all the time, but I don't let it consume my life.
Physically I also feel better. I have lost at least 7 pounds from just stopping hormones and I don't feel so bloated all the time. Which in return makes me less self conscious. Eli has also noticed these things! Things are going well, what a break will do for you!
I have my appointment with Dr. Kopher tomorrow morning and Tuesday morning with Dr. Maylo. Eli won't be coming with tomorrow but he will be on Tuesday. I know he doesn't want to but is willing to for my support.

I will update tomorrow after the appointment!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cycle Update

I apologize its been so long since I've updated....

It didn't work, again....I got my period. My period came 10 days after the last IUI, which is very abnormal. Its not supposed to come until 14 days after the last IUI in a "perfect" cycle. This happened before, with the last time that we did a complete cycle. When I called Dr. Kopher's office and told them I had gotten my period the nurse practitioner was a little concerned and talked with Dr. Kopher. They both agreed that it was too early for a period, especially when I was taking extra progesterone. Dr. Kopher suggested a follow up appointment to talk about maybe testing for a Luteal phase defect. Luteal phase is one of the "phases" in a woman's menstrual cycle. Its the time between ovulation and menses. I'm not sure how they test for a defect but I'm sure I've got it...why not add another problem to the list.

After all the tears and feelings of frustration and disappointment Eli and I had a very serious talk about what to do next. I like always want to keep trying. Eli wants a break. He expressed his feelings about what he was thinking and feeling and really wants a break. He feels like this has totally overcome our marriage, life, and everyday conversations. He is tired of "timed intercourse" and giving "samples" on the spot. He told me he "misses his wife" and wants to have some time to relax and not stress about trying to have a baby. He asked me to give him six months and after the first of the year we will have a discussion about when we will start this whole roller coaster again. I was very upset at first but came to realize I need a break too. As much as I want to keep going I am tired and emotionally and mentally drained. I am no longer mad or upset at Eli for wanting a break, I am thankful. Thankful that he is the strong one in the relationship and thankful that he is always looking out for us as a couple. I am not sure where I would be emotionally in the next couple of months if we kept going and ending with the same outcomes.

Despite the break we are taking from all of this, I am still going to continue to see Dr. Kopher. There are some things that we could try that would take a couple of months to even see if they have any effect. Metformin being one of them. It is a drug that is given to diabetics ans is often used in those with PCOS. There have been many reports of women with PCOS who take Metformin and get their cycles back or get pregnant on their own. That is one option I would be willing to try. Another is having a laproscopic surgery to see if there is any scar tissue affecting things from my previous surgeries. I have a follow up appointment with Dr. Kopher on Monday August 17 to discuss all that has happened and all that is left to try.

I also scheduled another appointment for a second opinion. I enjoy seeing Dr. Kopher and feel he is giving the best care and exploring each option but I am wanting a second opinion. I contacted the Minnesota for Reproductive Medicine office and have an appointment on Tuesday August 18 with Dr. John Maylo. I have only heard wonderful things about him and great success stories. He is currently reviewing all of the cycles and things we have done so far, as well as my history and Eli's history. I am excited to hear what he has to say and to find out what he suggests we start with when we are ready to try again.

This has been one stressful month but feel alot better about things. We have already taken time off to relax and enjoy ourselves. This past week we went to South Dakota for the 2009 Sturigs Motorcycle Rally. It was a blast and definitely worth doing again. We had so much fun riding, relaxing and site seeing in the gorgeous Black Hills!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and enjoying themselves and their family and friends. Things that are the most important in life! Thanks for all of the love!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tomorrow and Friday are the days! We are doing the inseminations tomorrow afternoon and Friday morning. I took my trigger shot this afternoon. I have one mature follicle that they can see. Since my left ovary is so hard to get to by ultrasound, they think that there could be another one on that side. Dr. Kopher did see one on the left side a couple of days ago so it could have grown or stopped. My final Estradiol level today was 348. I am so relieved that those injections are over. My mom and I tried to take pictures of my abdomen but the pictures just didn't do it justice it was that bad!
Please send a little extra prayer our way in the next day or so and those following. We would really appreciate it! Thank you!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not much changed from yesterday to today. My Estradiol level today was 184 and my follicles were about the same. Dr. Kopher said he would like to see me tomorrow and if things haven't changed maybe increase the dose of medication for the last part of the cycle.
Along with the ultrasound today I seen Dr. Kopher for my abdomen. There is a large portion of my abdomen that is red, warm, painful to the touch, itching and hard. He started me on antibiotics for possible Cellulitis from an injection site. Cellulitis is a skin infection caused by bacteria. Normally, your skin helps protect you from infection. But if you have a cut, sore, or insect bite, bacteria can get into the skin and spread to deeper tissues. If it is not treated with antibiotics, the infection can spread to the blood or lymph nodes. If its not one thing its another!
I will update tomorrow!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Good news, good news...we are almost ready for the trigger shot and inseminations! I seen Dr. Kopher this morning and there are still just the two eggs growing at the same rate and are almost mature enough for ovulation. My Estradiol level today was 184. I was a little surprised that the level isn't higher but it might be the difference in medications. With the Follistim I remember my E2 levels were very high. I am going to ask the clinic tomorrow why there is such a difference.
I really can't wait to stop giving myself these shots. I am still getting a very bad reaction to them. They are huge red welts that are very painful. I had one of the nurses at work give me the shot tonight in a different place to see if I get the same reaction.
I will update tomorrow! Pray this is my turn!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I was a little worried today after I looked at my Estradiol level online...it decreased! Last time it decreased I had to stop the cycle. I called Dr. Kopher concerned. They reassured me that everything looked good and that today I actually have 2 follicles growing, one on the left and one on the right. My Estradiol level was 134 and that is where they would expect it to be based on the follicles size and where I am in my cycle. They weren't completely sure why the Estradiol level decreased but they definitely were not concerned. My next follicle study and blood work is to be done Sunday morning.

Love, Kristen & Eli

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Long past due update...

Sorry for the late update...as everyone has asked how things have been going. Eli surprised me with a brand new computer last night, so there should be no more late updates :)

Last Friday I started a new round of injections. I take two injections daily. One called Lupron, which puts my ovaries on hold, and one called Repronex that is a stimulant for my ovaries. Since my ovaries have been so hyper sensitive, these two drugs together should fight against each other producing a perfect outcome. Not too much stimulation and not too little. That's the plan at least and we all know how perfects plans turn out in the infertility world! I have had one major side effect from the Repronex. The injections are very painful and leave huge welts on my abdomen that are bigger then a half dollar in size, red, itchy, painful to the touch and bruising. I did see Dr. Kopher on Tuesday and he said it is one of the adverse effects of the medication, however its not harmful and as long as I can handle it then we can keep going. This effect happens in about four out of a hundred people. He did offer to stop the cycle, but I felt I could continue and live with this side effect even though its uncomfortable. Everything else has been going well. Tuesday was my first follicle study and I had one measurable follicle on my right side. My estradiol level was 191. That is a great start! I am having my second study tomorrow morning. Dr. Kopher wants to keep an "eye" on me because of how "finicky" my ovaries have been in the past.

I will update tomorrow as soon as I get my results back, and as soon as I have time! Tomorrow I am watching my nephew overnight for the first time. He is 9 months old and keeps me on my feet, but I am so excited to snuggle and have him here overnight. Thanks for all the prayers, wishes of luck and support.


Love, Kristen & Eli

Monday, June 15, 2009

The New Plan

No news is good news...right? Not this time... Sorry for the late notice but we haven't had a computer working for the last week so I haven't had time to update. Thursday afternoon clinic called and told me to stop all medication and that Dr. Kopher was canceling the rest of the cycle. Besides the fact that I was devastated, I was thinking now what. Now what do we do? What is the next step? If this isn't working do we have to do Invitro? The nurse who called told me that Dr. Kopher wanted to talk to me in clinic the following day. She left me at that and didn't tell me what he wanted to talk about. Was it good or bad? I immediately called the clinic back to talk to someone but none of them could really answer my questions. The nurse I usually talked to wasn't there that day. Since I was so upset, Eli didn't go to work Friday and went to clinic with me.
Dr. Kopher talked to us about why he cancelled the cycle. Apparently when I missed that dose my estradiol levels kept decreasing. They wanted the levels to come down one day but the next it was supposed to come back up and it didn't. He said they weren't good follicles anyways because if they were my levels would keep increasing. He also cancelled because I had over 13 active follicles and we would have had a worse case of Hyperstimulation this time. He said my ovaries are very sensitive and have become sensitive to this medication. So now where do we go from here?
We went over our options with him. We could try the injections again but adding a new medication called Lupron. Lupron would be an additional injection each day with the Follistim. Lupron is a man-made form of a hormone that regulates many processes in the body. Lupron overstimulates the body's own production of certain hormones, which causes that production to shut down temporarily. It reduces the amount of testosterone in men or estrogen in women. He is hoping that this will help with the overstimulation.
Another option is try a surgery called ovarian drilling. Its a laproscopic surgery with a laser that drills holes in the ovaries to drain some of the multiple follicles that I have. However, it is still an experimental surgery and can cause scar tissue on the ovaries causing more problems with infertility. I told Dr. Kopher this wasn't an option for me. I do not want anything else hindering our chances.
Another option would be to go on a drug called Metformin and see if I get me cycles back on my own. We could also try Clomid again with this medication.
He also brought up Invitro. He said he wasn't saying that we needed to do it or that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant any other way, but he just brought it up. I asked him if we did invitro would I get pregnant. He didn't hesitate or anything and said Yes, you would have no problem.
After discussing with Eli we have decided to do the injections again with the new drug Lupron. If this doesn't work we are leaning towards Invitro. Not because I am convinced I need to but because I want to. I am tired and emotionally drained and just want this over with. We start the next cycle before July fourth weekend. I will update more as I find out more.
Thanks for all of your encouraging words, thoughts and prayers.

Love, Kristen & Eli

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday June 9th I went to clinic and from Monday my Estradiol level jumped from 410 to 1267. At that time 8 follicles were measurable! They were not all mature, but measurable over 1cm. I was not to take any medication yesterday, just "coast" for the day and see what happens. Today I went into clinic and there were even more measurable follicles, however my Estradiol level went down some to 1157. Apparently that is what was supposed to happen, so today I got to take the medication again. I go in tomorrow morning and see whats happening. Dr. Kopher doesn't want to have to cancel this cycle, however its still a possibility so that I don't end up in the hospital again with Hyperstimulation. That is why they are taking extra caution with the follicle growth. I really hope some of the follicles stop growing and only a couple of them mature. I will update tomorrow or as soon as I can, our computer isn't working right :)
Thanks for all of the support.

Love, Kristen & Eli

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Update

I had my 3rd Ultrasound this morning, Sunday June 7. Still not ready yet. There are 2 follicles growing on my right side and still small ones on the left. Dr. Kopher predicts everything will be ready for insemination by the end of this week if not earlier. It seems like no matter the dose it always takes about 2 weeks. I'm not sure of my estradiol level today, but on Friday it was 135. Still slowing increasing. I keep thinking about this working and not working...how can god let me down yet another time...this time just has to work out :)

Love, Kristen & Eli

Friday, June 5, 2009

Update

It has been a week since I've started round #3 of the injections. I think things are going well. Much slower than last time as we have decreased the dose of medication. Dr. Kopher decreased the dose to try and prevent Hyperstimulation again. I had my second ultrasound this morning, still not much change but there is one measurable follicle on the right side. Hopefully things start to take off soon.
There is some good news....last Friday when I went to pick up the injections from the pharmacy the total was $0!!! I was stunned and surprised, I had my check ready for that big payment. Apparently we hit our max out of pocket for insurance. It makes things a little less stressful not worrying about how we are going to pay for things.
My estradiol level on Monday was 67...I will update later on what it was today.

Love, Kristen & Eli

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Start of Round #3

Today I had my baseline ultrasound to make sure everything looked okay to start injections. I don't usually have to have by blood drawn with a baseline ultrasound, but today I did. The ultrasound tech measured a follicle bigger than a cm and I needed my blood drawn to make sure that follicle wasn't being stimulated. I didn't hear from Dr. Kopher today so maybe tomorrow. Hopefully everything will be okay so we can start this third round.
Thank you so much for all of the new messages from people reading my blog from the Safe Haven Blog. I appreciate it very much. Thank you!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Writings from Mom

This is something another woman wrote. My mom gave it to me and when I read it, right away I connected with this woman, whoever she is. The feelings and emotions, she says them perfect in her writing.

"There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss, and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better in a sense. I will be better not because of genetics, or money, or that I have read more books, but because I have struggled and toiled for this child. I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over and over again. Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams. I will notice everything about my child. I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life. I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him/her and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me. I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see. Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love. I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain. I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have succeeded. I have won. So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save my discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs. I listen. And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes. I have learned to appreciate life. YES, I will be a wonderful mother!" (Author Unknown)

YES, I know I will be a wonderful mother, someday :)
Love, Kristen

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Results

Yesterday I had my Hysterosalpingogram, and after almost fainting 2 times, crying, mom crying and horrible pain, we FINALLY got good news! My uterus looks great, my tubes are clear and the dye they put in came out at my ovaries (which is what they want it to do). I felt like finally we are deserving of some good news through out all of this. Maybe this was gods sign to me that he is still listening and things will work out! Now we just wait until the end of May when we can start injections again!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I don't know where to go from here. For some reason this time has been very hard for me to "recover" from emotionally. My life feels empty, my arms feel empty and my heart so empty and alone. I have been trying to look to God for his grace and strength to move on, but I'm still mad at him. Mad things once again didn't work out. Mad that I have to ask the question "Why me?". Just mad at everything and why God has chosen this difficult path for me. I have so many unanswered questions right now that can't be answered. I feel blank. I feel silent. I am constantly thinking about what has happened and trying to figure out why. Why is something we will never know. How can God, creator of all things, let bad things happen to good people? Why is he doing this to me and why isn't he helping? I need God to do something for me right now, show me he is still listening and does care. Show me that someday he will answer our prayers and give us a miracle. I don't know how or what that something will be, but I will know when it happens. Until then, I'm not quite sure how to get rid of this wall between me and God.

I attended a conference yesterday for work. It was about pregnancy and fetal loss. Although I have never been pregnant or lost a baby, I felt and extreme connection with those who have. Each month I feel in my heart this will be the month. I dream about being pregnant, imagine a belly, a baby, a baby's room, boy, girl, what will he/she look like, where will I register, when will I have a baby shower..... All of the things a pregnant woman thinks about. I get confident and excited and just can't wait to take that test and see that + sign! All to only get shot down when I get that - sign and then a period. I feel like I have lost all that I "dreamt" I had, I lost that baby, my baby, another chance for that life I've dreamed of. I know I cannot completely compare losing a child and infertility, but I am positive I can compare the emotions felt and the grief process that happens. Maybe that is why I like to take the patients that are going to lose a baby or have a stillborn. I can connect with them on a level they are on. I can share emotions, feelings and be free with my words to them and their families. I learned a lot not only about myself from the conference but also about my patients and families.

One quick update on our "plan" this month. Monday I am going to have my hysterosalpingogram done at Regions Hospital. Eli is unable to go so my mom is coming with me. I am a little nervous because I have heard that it hurts. I plan on relaxing over the weekend and not thinking about it too much. This Sunday is our 1 year Anniversary! Can you believe it, its amazing how fast time goes by!

One more thing....this week is National Infertility Week. So please pray for those who you know are having trouble or cannot conceive. Thank you so so much for your support!

Love, Kristen

Friday, April 24, 2009

This month wasn't in God's plan. We had a negative blood pregnancy test today. We are not pregnant :( . Eli doesn't cry much but when the doctor told us, he did. We are both so lost and devastated. Where do we go from here? Why isn't this working? So many unanswered questions that only He knows the answer to. I am so sad ...
I know we have talked and planned on taking a break, however we have together along with Dr. Kopher come up with another plan. We will wait this cycle out, I will sooner than later get a period. After the cycle is over Dr. Kopher ordered a Hysterosalpingogram (an x-ray that looks at my tubes and ovaries) to make sure there is no problems with my tubes. Than at the end of May start another round of injections, on the account that the x-ray came back okay. Dr. Kopher said it may be just "Bad Luck" or there is another underlying problem. If after that set of injections a pregnancy doesn't happen then we would talk about doing a small surgery that would allow Dr. Kopher to look on the inside with a camera. He would look at the scar tissue from my previous surgery. Sometimes so much scar tissue can make pregnancy impossible. He would also look for any sign of endometriosis. Which he doesn't believe I have because I have never had symptoms, but it still could be a possibility. If he were to find either two, in vitro fertilization would be the only option for pregnancy. At this point it would be something we would think about doing when and if the time comes.
Besides the bad news, my appointment went well. My ovaries and abdomen have decreased in size (still can't wear jeans yet!). I'm not nearly in as much pain, just sore. I am still on strict restrictions, however things will only get better from here. Dr. Kopher said he didn't want to put any bad karma on us but if I would have gotten pregnant this month it could have been dangerous. The pregnancy hormone makes the sweeling and pain 10x worse. My next appointment is on Wed.
Please continue to pray for us. I know someday God will listen ;). Thank you everyone for the cards, flowers, messages and phone calls in the past week. Everything has helped to make the week easier and faster! Thank you.

Love, Kristen & Eli

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Prayer

This is a prayer that I found and say every night before bed. It fits our situation so perfectly; just thought I would share it.

O Lord, we long to have a child of our own. We are frustrated with all of the futile efforts we have made to fulfill this desire. We turn to You as our only hope because all life begins with You. We ask that You grant us the privilege of bringing a child into this world to rear and nurture in your admonition. Please remove every hindrance and obstacle to our conception.
We stand in faith that You will grant our petition just as You did when Hannah cried out to You for a child; nevertheless, if in Your infinite wisdom, You have looked into the future and, for whatever reason, determined it is not Your will for us to be the natural father and mother of a child, then we ask that You give us the grace to accept Your decision. Show us the next step to take. Help us exalt Your will above our own desires.
Give us peace as we submit to Your timing and Your sorvereign plan now. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Update

A lot has happened since I last updated....
Last Thursday and Friday I had the inseminations done. Following Dr. Kopher said I should expect to be a little sore in my abdomen. Friday night I was starting to feel somewhat bloated and had some pain. Saturday it was a little worse but I didn't think anything of it, just thought the pain was normal and that it would go away. I went to work Saturday night, but could barely walk and was very uncomfortable. Sunday I wasn't feeling well at all and so I called in sick to work, thinking I just needed some more time to rest. At this point I wasn't walking very well at all and was in a lot of pain. I tried everything to help the pain; warm packs, warm baths, Tylenol, resting. Nothing seemed to help. I did finally fall asleep on Sunday night and when I woke up Monday I felt a lot better, or so I thought. Monday evening I started having sharp pains on both sides of my abdomen and started feeling nauseated and vomiting. I called Eli and told him I wasn't feeling okay and that we needed to go to urgent care or the ER. We decided to just go to the closest which was the ER in Hudson. They put an IV in, drew labs, gave me pain meds and did ultrasounds. They came to the conclusion that I had Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome. Basically meaning my ovaries are enlarged and were causing the pain. I was given the option to either stay there overnight or be transferred to Regions to stay overnight. I chose to go to Regions because the OB/GYN doctors are there 24/7 and there isn't one around the clock at Hudson Hospital. We got to drive to Regions instead of be taken by ambulance. I was admitted and given a new IV, labs were taken and another ultrasound done. I slept most of the night with the pain medicine they gave me. The doctors came in the morning and explained more about what was going on. They were worried about things getting worse. Fluid could build up in my abdomen that would need to be drained, I had an increase risk for blood clots and had an increased risk of my electrolytes being off. All things were fine so far, but I needed to be monitored closely. After begging to go home, they let me leave around 12:30. They made me promise to rest and to watch myself closely for any changes. They were a little hesitant to let me leave but trusted I would follow up.
Today I had my first follow up appoiontment at Dr. Kopher's office. Things still looked pretty good. My electrolytes were okay and my abdomen still bloated but not more than before. I had a negative pregnancy test today, but it is still very early for it to show up. I have to do daily weights and measure my abdomen at home and call with any extreme changes. I also have to take some time off work. i have been trying to rest as much as possible. If things do get worse, it can happen in a matter of hours. Things will cerntainly get worse if I am pregnant. I have another appointment with Dr. Kopher on Friday as well as a lab appointment. Please continue to pray that we are pregnant and that things continue to get better over time. Thank you for all of your calls, messages, flowers, cards etc. Everything is very much appreciated. Thank you!

Love, Kristen

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Plan for the rest of the cycle

My last ultrasound and blood work was yesterday! Yeah, so glad that is over with! When the doctor called yesterday she said that I had about 4 mature follicles that were growing and would be ready. There were 3 on the right and one on the left. Originally there was 5, but one wasn't continuing to grow. Dr. Kopher wanted them to get a little bigger, but didn't want to wait any longer than 12 hours or so because others are also growing and he didn't want to have eight mature follicles at the time of ovulation. So yesterday was also my last day of Follistim and today I gave myself the Ovidrel injection to release the mature eggs. Tomorrow is insemination #1 at 9:00AM and Friday insemination #2 at 9:30AM. Then the dreaded two week wait! I have no trips planned or things to do to pass the time quickly this month, so I'll have to try hard not to think about it! Please keep praying! Thank you for all of your encouraging words and messages I appreciate each and every one. Its things like that, that keep me positive! Thank you!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Much Needed Update

I have had such a busy schedule lately that I haven't had time to update on my blog! Plus we STILL don't have the Internet at home so it makes it hard to find a computer to update on. Since the last update A LOT has happened. I have had 3 more ultrasounds and blood work done. Friday my level was 328, Sunday my level was 693, Monday my level was 1255! There are about 5 follicles that are growing all together. Three on the right and two on the left. I did ask the doctor who called yesterday if five was too many and she said no but that we could cancel the cycle if Eli and I were not comfortable with it. We talked and have continued to go on with the cycle. The chance of all five fertilizing is not very likely, however the chance of more than one fertilizing is very likely. I had my fourth, and hopefully last, ultrasound and blood work today. I don't have the results, although I know that the follicles were much bigger than yesterday. So, if not tonight, very soon I should be ready to give myself the injection to release the eggs and than follow with two inseminations.
Please continue to pray for us as we go through this for a second time. Please pray that this month will be our month! Thank you.

Love, Kristen & Eli

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Utrasound #1

Today was my first ultrasound and blood work. There were some eggs growing, but still many little ones. My estradiol level today was 114. Which is a great start! Last month my estradiol wasn't to that level until the 3rd ultrasound and blood work. So hopefully things are going faster this time! My next appointment at clinic is on Friday. We will see than if there is anymore change.
Please keep praying...although we can't control what god already has planned for us...please pray for strength and courage for Eli and I as we continue on this path of waiting for one of God's Blessings!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Last Monday at my baseline ultrasound I got the okay to go ahead and start round #2. Friday was my first injection. We are going to continue with the same dose as last month. There have been so many people tell me they have been dreaming about me and having a baby/babies. I once again am going into this with a positive attitude, at least trying. We still have decided to give this one more try and than take a break for awhile. But....lets pray this is the last time we even have to think about it....its going to work this month!
My first ultrasound during treatment is Tuesday morning. I will update after that! Please continue to pray for us!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The start of #2

Finally....after 3 LONG dreaded weeks we are going to start try #2 this week! Monday afternoon is my baseline ultrasound with Dr. Kopher. Where he looks to make sure everything is okay and ready to start the injections. I also stop taking birth control tomorrow, which is a relief because I hate taking them. My first injection will be Friday if everything is okay to start. I hope that things happen a little quicker this time, as last time I did injections for over two weeks and was at the doctor's office 12-13 times in those 2 weeks! I hope this second time is a charm.

One more thing I wanted to share...as I have become addicted to the "blogging world". There is a blog that I have been reading called http://www.kellyskornerblog.com/ and she has a prayer list and she added me to her prayer list! She prays for those waiting for a child. She is an awesome woman and does wonderful things for others. Check it out if you are interested!
Pray for us, god is listening!

Love, Kristen & Eli Wolfe

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Results

Finally after the two week dreaded wait I got my period on Sunday night. We were both devastated. I am so thankful that Eli was still in town that night, as he left for a week the following day. I have come to realize that things don't always work the first time. Eli and I have talked and we will do the injections one more time and then take the summer off. I would much rather be pregnant but if I'm not after the second time there is a summer full of things waiting for me to do. There are 3 trips on the Harley planned that I will not be able to go on if I'm pregnant; as well as some other fun and exciting things. Please continue to pray as I am not giving up, just can't take the hurt and disappointment month after month.
We start the injections again April 3 with the first ultrasound a couple of days later. Thank you for all of your support, prayers and thoughts. Please continue to pray that the second time will be a charm!

Love,
Kristen & Eli

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Update

Yesterday and today were my two artificial inseminations. They went well and as planned. I was worried about them being painful, but they felt similar to a routine pap smear. Cramping is the only side affect I have been feeling, which could also be ovulation cramping. Dr. Kopher said that my percentage of getting pregnant this month was about 30%. I am staying positive and will continue to be until the long dreaded two week wait is over. Starting tomorrow I have to start progesterone suppositories twice a day for 14 days. After 14 days we will wait to see if I get a period. If no period I can take a pregnancy test. I have good feelings about this month. Others have said the same.
I leave for Florida on Wednesday for 1 week! When I get back that 2 week wait will be almost over. The trip will definitely let me relax and make the wait go a little faster. Please keep praying and sending positive thoughts our way! Thank you so much for every one's messages, phone calls and encouraging words. I wouldn't be able to stay positive without each and everyone of you! Thank you!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ultrasound #6

I just heard from the nurse and today was my last ultrasound!!! I'm excited but so nervous. Tonight I give myself my trigger shot of Ovidrel. This medication will release the egg. I will then go to clinic tomorrow afternoon for the first artificial insemination. The second one will be sometime Saturday morning when Dr. Kophher is available. Following the insemination I am to do vaginal suppositories of Progesterone. The next 2 weeks will be the longest 2 weeks of my life! I leave for Florida next Wednesday for a week so that will help to get my mind off things and make the 2 weeks go a little faster. After 2 weeks we will know, either I get my period or I don't. If i don't I go to clinic for a blood pregnancy test. If I do, I will start another round of Follistim. I hope god was just challenging us for this last year and is done! Please pray a lot in the next 2 days and following 2 weeks. Prayer brings miracles and a miracle is what we need! Thank you!

Oh....my estradiol level today was 481!!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ultrasound #5

Today there was good news!! I have one follicle that is almost mature enough for ovulation! It measured about 17mm, almost to 20mm! My Estradiol level today was 310 so that made a big jump. I was reading on the Internet and it said that for every mature follicle your Estradiol level should be 200. So I may have another one growing they didn't see. I asked the nurse why I would only have one and if it would decrease my chances of pregnancy. She said every one's body responds different and you only need one egg for a baby. Women who ovulate on their own each month only produce one egg, so its equivalent to a normal ovulation cycle. Dr. Kopher would like to see me tomorrow for hopefully the last ultrasound. Most likely I will be ready tomorrow to take my trigger shot and do insemination Friday night and Saturday morning. Please keep praying, god has to know how much we want this to work! Thank you!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ultrasound #4

Ultrasound and blood work number 4 was today. I left the clinic today feeling very frustrated and cried all the way home. I was just feeling like things are taking so long and not going anywhere. I was reassured by my mom and Eli to stay positive, so I am but its hard. Today there was just 1 follicle growing and it was about the same size as it was on Saturday. When Dr. Kopher's nurse called she said things were going well but just taking awhile. Dr. Kopher wants to keep me on the same dose and would like to see me again on Wednesday. Eli had to pick up another dose of medication from clinic today. Its getting super expensive, as the medication is about $75.00 for just 3 days. I hope we are done soon! She said that I would more than likely be ready by this weekend for ovulation. My estrogen level also made a huge jump and today it was 213!! So that is what put me back on my feet to stay positive. I will update Wednesday after the nurse calls. Please keep praying for us!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ultrasound #3

Today I went to the clinic for my third ultrasound and blood work. I feel like I live at the clinic! I actually saw Dr. Kopher today, usually I see an ultrasound tech, so it was nice to see him. There were two eggs today that were measurable. You can't measure the follicles until they are greater than a cm and for maturity they need to be greater than 18 cm. The two that I have today measured about 1.1 and 1.2. I asked him about the length of time and he said they are slower to get to 1cm but after that they grow very quickly! He is expecting them to mature this week. He wants to see me back for my fourth ultrasound on Monday. My estrogen level today was 118, so it too is slowly increasing! I did ask Dr. Kopher about my chances and how likely it is that this works for those with PCOS and he responded with "this will work". I am leaving this in gods hands, with Dr. Kopher's expertise, and waiting for that miracle we have been wanting so bad.
I will update on Monday after ultrasound #4!!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Ultrasound #2

Thursday I had my second ultrasound and blood work. There was a slight change, multiple follicles that were still very small. The ultrasound tech said they don't start measuring the follicles until they are over a centimeter. On Monday my estrogen level (blood work) was 84 and on Thursday it was 107. So I guess that is a good thing! They would like to see me again for another ultrasound and blood work on Saturday Feb 14th. I will update after I find anything out. I hope this is working. I was a little nervous and the nurse could tell and she reassured me that everything was right on track so far. She said I just haven't "taken off" yet and I will. Hopefully it comes soon! Keep praying for us!! Thank you!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ultrasound #1

I had my first ultrasound and blood work done on Monday. The ultrasound only showed multiple follicles that were still small and immature. The nurse from Dr. Kopher's office called and said I could skip a few days from coming in and to come on Thursday morning for my second ultrasound and blood work. I wasn't too discouraged because when I started the injections the nurse said don't expect change if any on the first ultrasound. I am excited to see what change Thursday brings. The injections have been going great. In fact I have less side effects then I had with Clomid. I get nauseated about two hours after the injection and sometimes have bad cramping but that's about it. I was instructed not to do any physical activity where I could fall or where my ovaries could be "bouncing" a lot. So I have been just walking on the treadmill instead of my usual elliptical workout. It was also disappointing not to be able to go with Eli and Jordan snowboarding on Sunday :( Oh well this will all be worth it, I just know it!
Funny thing happened today when I was doing my daily injection Jordan was in the room and he said "What exactly is that for anyway?". I explained to him that instead of taking the pills to help me get pregnant I was doing the shots. He then replied and said "Are you injecting sperm?"!!! It was so funny. I couldn't believe he said that!! The things that come out of his mouth amaze me everyday!

I will update on Thursday after the nurse calls with the results. Please continue to pray for good things! Thank you!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Friday, February 6, 2009

Shot Class

Yesterday Eli and I went to our shot class. Where we learned how to use the Follistim Pen (picture above) to do the injections. It was actually easier then I thought, its just a subcutaneous shot not an IM shot. I just give myself 100units of the medication a day in my abdomen. The nurse said she doesn't know how long I will have to do the injections it all depends on my body. My first ultrasound and blood work is on Monday at 8:00AM. She said most likely my body will not be ready and may not have any eggs, but they just want to get an idea on how fast my body is reacting and to make sure I'm not negatively reacting to the drug. Monday Dr. Kopher will review my ultrasound and my blood work and let me know if I should increase my dose, decrease my dose, keep it the same and when I should come back for another ultrasound and blood work. The nurse said to expect at least 6 ultrasounds and blood work during the course of one treatment! That clinic will become my home away form home! We ended up having to pay for the medication yesterday, which we weren't expecting. Insurance did cover about $900.00 and we paid about $300.00 out of pocket. It was amazing how quick I was to give the pharmacist my credit card without even thinking twice. I would do anything and pay anything for a miracle!
I am really hopeful that this will work, at least to make me ovulate. It just has to I don't know how much more disappointment I could take. Everyday I pray and I am leaving it up to god. He has to know how wonderful parents we are and how much we want a baby. Work is getting harder because there is about 9 nurse who are pregnant. There isn't a night that goes by without talking about some one's "pregnancy". Still, I love my job and love working with laboring moms and nothing will make me lose my passion for it.
I will update on Monday after I hear from Dr. Kopher. Please pray for us, as I know prayer can do miracles.


Love,
Kristen & Eli

Monday, February 2, 2009

Update

I finally got my period after taking 10 days of progesterone. I was then instructed to start on birth control until today Monday Feb. 2. They said it was to put my body "on hold" so that I didn't ovulate on my own. They will control everything with the injections. I also had a baseline ultrasound this morning. They looked to make sure I didn't have any follicles on my ovaries so I would be able to start the injections. Everything looked fine so we are good to go this Thursday to our shot class where I will take my first injection. The ultrasound tech said that sometimes it can take 1 week and a woman's body is ready to ovulate where others it could take up to two weeks. The treatment time will depend on how fast my body reacts to the injections. I have learned that the main injection I will be taking daily is Follistim. I am a little nervous but ready to start. I think I am most nervous about Ovarian Hyperstimulation. This can happen especially to those with PCOS whose ovaries are already enlarged. The ovaries can become even larger and cause multiple problems and lead to hospitalization.

I recently have started reading a book called "Multiple Blessings". It is about Jon and Kate plus 8, for those of you who know about them. I am half way through and can't believe how alike my life is to Kate's. Before she had her children she was a labor and delivery nurse, like me! She was shortly diagnosed with PCOS after her marriage to Jon, at the time Jon was 24, Kate was 28 ( I am 24, Eli is 28). I was very surprised when I read that Kate also did the injections that I am starting this week and that is how her and Jon had their first set of twins and then the sextuplets! I thought for sure she had done invitro, but she just did the injections. I couldn't believe it. I know it seems weird but I feel like God wanted me to read her story to give me a positive attitude about this month. I have very good feelings about this month and multiple people have also said this to me.

I am inspired by Kate and how she dealt with the pain and disappointment throughout her diagnosis and first disappointment of the injections not working (they worked both on the second month!). God was a very important part of her life as she was going through everything. In her book she quotes many verses from the bible. One of my favorites is Psalm 139:16, which says that "all of our days are fashioned for us before we've even lived one of them". I truly believe this and know in my heart god has a plan for Eli and I and knows when, where, and how our baby will come. Its so hard to give up on god when I see so many undeserving people at work have babies and I am having such trouble. Here are so more quotes that I have fallen to love:
"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart" Psalm 37:4.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6.
I definitely have found another way to deal with everything and have looked up to god even more as the days go by.

My sister gave me the best advice this weekend, she said that I just need to take everything and hand it to god. Take my nervousness, disappointment, hurt, pain, all feelings and "problems" and hand them to god. Let him deal with everything. I love her for giving me that advice and I am trying to do it. My sister is a good support person for me, as I feel we have gotten closer over last couple months.

Please continue to pray for Eli and I as we start the injections on Thursday. I will update you as soon as things start getting going. I believe my first of many ultrasounds and blood work is scheduled a week from today.
Thank you.

Love, Kristen & Eli