Friday, November 4, 2011

Sally's Hips

Sally has hip dysplasia and vet said: keep up on glucosamine, restrict activity primarily up stairs and add fish oil to her food for 2 weeks and we will see if it helps...couple surgery options down the line that I'm sure she'll need but not yet :)

She's doing MUCH better today now that the drugs have worn off & she can jump again - she's not supposed to be jumping, but she does it anyway because she's a dog :) 

Glad she's doing ok and we have a plan in place to see how she does - I think this is only the start of her hip problem though - from talking with the vet yesterday, it sounds like she just has bad hips! 

Gotta love the Sally girl !

Sunday, September 4, 2011

my life through pictures...

Since we found out that IVF #4 didn't work, we've been trying to keep ourselves busy with different things - sometimes it's just easier to show you our lives through pictures...

We got a new computer, so this is me being silly with the "photo booth" program!

Sometimes it seems as though Sally can't get close enough to us...this was one of those moments

Our first Jimmy Buffett concert was a success - tailgating around 4, concert at 8, home by 11! Great times!

We were in the lawn so it was hard to see him (except on a jumbo tron!) but here he is!

Since we live so far away from our friends - sometimes we just have to Skype with them :) Abigail got a new bike!

Where's Caleb's belly button?? He loves to show you!

Florence Freedom game with our neighbors - last fireworks Friday!

Happy 80th Birthday grandma Moore!

Here is Grandma McFarland

As I mentioned, these last couple of weeks haven't been my favorite - but Lynn & Steph each got me a really sweet card & took the time to write so much in them...I truly love my friends & appreciate everything that they do for me to keep me staying focused on what's ahead.

Had dinner with Donna at Rio Grande in Newport after work to catch up on life - she is one of my favorites!

Stopped by the firehouse to visit Richard & bring the guys cookies from Great American Cookie Co. 

31 has been going really well - Jen had my only August party (took off some time for IVF) and this is my set-up at her many new things, it's really exciting!!

Did a Bridal Show at the Manor House with Tiff, Talia & Kelli...we had a great time!

We love photo booths so we did 3!
We did 2 on Saturday - had a ball...please notice the one on the left was as we were leaving after he woke up from his nap...he was less than thrilled (and so were we when we realized we didn't redeem our $20 gift card so we missed out!) boo!

All in all, some great memories in August - but with great times comes not so great times - some days are easier than others - some hours are easier than others. I'm hoping this fall comes some changes and things start looking up.

I'll keep hoping & let you know what I come up with! Stay tuned!

Monday, August 22, 2011

2ww is over

Well the 2 ww is over and I'm so glad...waiting is the worst in my opinion. Dr. Thomas called today to give us the news, not what I was hoping to here but almost what I was expecting to hear at this point - four times doing the same thing - heaven help me! It gets old wishing the same wish, wanting the same thing, and not feeling like the last few YEARS have moved us anywhere closer to our dream and what we wanted.

Here's the email I sent out to everyone this afternoon:

Just wanted to let you know that our 4th IVF round was unsuccessful.

Dr. Thomas called to tell me he was tired of having to give me bad news and I told him I was tired of hearing bad news.

I'm very lucky to have such a supportive husband, family & friends to go along this journey with - I appreciate every single one of your cards, prayers, thoughts, texts, facebook messages, emails etc. I am very grateful to have such a wonderful support system in my life that has allowed us to do this four times hasn't been easy, but I know this is just part of our story that I'm hoping has a great ending!

That's about all I've got for today - the house is nice & quiet for me to get some work done and Sally is curled up in my room with me just hanging out...I know you all love the Sally updates too (ha!)

Thanks again for your continued support,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Transfer Day + 2ww

Today is our transfer day for IVF #4 - this is the last step in the process...the doctor's have done all they can do after the transfer, and for the next 2 weeks we wait to see if those embryos decided to stick and become babies.

This is always a weird day to me - it's very hopeful because there is a sense that you are PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) as they like to say in IVF land...but there's also a sense that you just hope beyond hope that they do what they're supposed to do. This is the only part of the process my body doesn't seem to understand / do very well so I hope this time it's different.

We should get a picture of the embryos today as well as the container that they lived's sort of a strange out of body type experience when they hand you that because it just doesn't seem possible that our embryos were just sitting in their container and then they go in me...but at least they're back where they're supposed to be. Thank goodness for modern science that this is even possible during our lives!

Not sure if I'll take pictures today or not - usually I do for the transfer but it's truly the same as every other time...go in, get into scrubs, lay on table & wait for doctor, doctor waits for embryologist to send the embryos  through the tube and I have to lay on a table for 30 minutes afterwards. We have to be at the hospital at 10:30 for an 11:00 transfer - one funny thing they let you do is bring music in to listen to during the helps pass the time after the transfer but during it's just nice background music (but the actual procedure takes less than 5 minutes total).

This is a picture of us during the second IVF (all in our outfits!) - just to give you an idea (HA!) - as you can see, Richard is less than pleased to ever have his picture taken! I love him in spite of himself!

Here's hoping...

IVF #2 (05/2010)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Retrieval & Embryos!

Yesterday the retrieval went really well - 12 eggs retrieved from me & everything went really well. I slept a lot during the day - watched some TV and had my first progesterone shot (long needle). Seen here (which is the same needle that we did my trigger shot with so the rest of my progesterone shots will be with this needle in the muscle in my back/hip area that has muscle in it) - I'll show my lovenox shots sometime soon so you can see what those are - but those are pre-filled syringes and the needle is small but it's the shot that hurts the most:

I was pretty sore yesterday from the retrieval & just really tired but all was ok. Today got a call from my favorite old IVF nurse (she now works in another part of the hospital) who called to say we got 6 embryos to fertilize. They will keep all 6 fresh so they can pick the best two on Monday for the transfer back into their mama! :)

So in sum:
6 fertilized at the 2PN level (perfect!)
2 didn't fertilize at all
4 fertilized but they were 1PN (1 of these) and 3PN (3 of those) which essentially means there was too much DNA or not enough DNA in the embryo so they weren't of good genetic make-up.

That about sums up my last 2 days - trying to stay positive through it all. Hopefully everything goes well on Monday!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Trigger Shot + Free Day

Got the official word from the doctor yesterday about 4:45pm that I would do my trigger shot last night at 11:45 and then have a free day today...with the directions not to eat or drink anything after midnight tonight.

Here is Judy on the left (IVF head nurse I believe - works with all the surrogates) and the "blood draw lady" I call her but this is who struggled with me the one day I almost passed out - we've become good friend's now - now that she understands I need to lay down to have my blood drawn and she should start with my amazing vein in my left arm!

So the next step in the process was last night I took my last dose of Lupron and then took my trigger shot at 11:45 (notice I took a picture of the clock so you can see I made it as well as the needle/how big it is) - poor Richard has his ambulance rotation tomorrow so I'm sure he'll be exhausted all week! The shot went fine - he drew it up and mixed it correctly and he also gave me the shot with minimal pain so I can't complain about that. The picture of my ovary there is showing my left ovary with my cyst in it as well as all those follicles - it's doing just as well as the right one (go figure!) and everything is looking good.

Today is a free day - no appointments, no shots, just no food/drink after 12 midnight tonight! :) I think I'll have a bowl of cereal around 11:45 - haha!

Tomorrow we have to be at the hospital at 9:45 and I'm ready to go and get this horrible feeling out of my stomach! Tomorrow is usually kind of rough / I think I remember sleeping a lot last time that day. Imagine having to pee really really bad it hurts...all the time - that's how I feel.

Good thing I'm going to lunch with Michelle & her boys today to take my mind off of things - that will be fun - look out photobooth, here we come!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hello August - Doctor's appointment today!

Happy Monday! :) It was a great sign today at the doctor that he was ON TIME for the first time I think EVER...when I got there early they did my blood draw (went great!), then got me back in the room and set-up for the doctor. Dr. Lindheim had walked by to say good morning and asked how everything was going...he's just so nice!

Every wonder what an ultrasound probe looks like? Probably not but I'm going to show you on here!

L-R: Dr. Lindheim, me and Dr. Ressler

Dr. Lindheim took the camera - this is what it looks like to be laughing while getting an ultrasound...good grief!

Dr. Lindheim got a better shot of my ovary that has the cyst in it (on the right) but still has follicles growing in it - grow follies grow!!

Chris is my main IVF nurse for this round - she's so sweet & thought it was silly I was taking photos!

This would be my MASSIVE chart!! So much paperwork...Dr. Ressler went over everything with me that I needed to know today!

Everything with the appointment went great, follicles are doing well - they are thinking my retrieval will be Thursday with a transfer on Sunday but we'll just have to wait until the blood work comes back this afternoon. He thinks I'll need an extra day of follistim to keep them going strong (looking at only about 7 right now that are "front runners/winners" he calls them - but between the follistim today and the HCG shot the night before my retrieval, we should get a few more from that...some are just not getting as big as they thought).
Dr. Lindheim was helping me take pictures (to get better angles of the ultrasound machine) and explained everything so well! We were all laughing pretty much the entire time. (Attached is a picture so you can see what Dr. Lindheim looks like and Dr. Ressler (who is studying to be in fertility and has a few more years of med school) :)
I go back tomorrow morning for a final ultrasound & blood draw. If I go back tomorrow I will see Dr. Thomas so I probably won't have any fun stories to report but he did stop by to see how things were going this morning which was really nice :) We'll do blood work & ultrasound for any of you out there that are keeping track of the blood draws I believe we're up to close to 5 or so) :) 
Other great things about this morning - got a great parking spot in the garage, tried McD's pancakes (not my favorite) and got a Coke (love!), and have a day full of meetings which will hopefully make the day go SUPER fast!!!

Tonight was a great night with mom & dad and having dinner with them - I missed a call from Richard so I missed Snow Castle (dang!) but hopefully either Kona Ice will come around soon or I'll have Richard drive me over tomorrow to get it (HA!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Feeling like I'm going to the doctor's too much this week...

I woke up and said to Richard "I can't wait until tomorrow when I can sleep in and not go to the doctor" - how sad is that??

Went to the doctor today, got there and was first in the door at appointment was for 8:15, they got me back early, took my blood (left a bruise but whatever), but the doctor's assistant didn't come back until about 8:30 and the doctor himself came in around 8:35/8:40...8 follicles on my right, 3 on my left - still aiming for 20 total at the end. Because of blood work we are uping my follistim to 175 for the next 3 days and we'll see how that goes. And if you're wondering what kind of mood I'm in today that would be me in the top left corner ;) HA!

Richard got OT tomorrow, so I'll just be hanging out and hopefully catching up on my sleep! I'm very tired/'s still hard to focus on things and I'm pretty grumpy today. That pretty much sums it up! Here's a collage picture of the nurse that took my blood, the person studying to be a doctor who does my ultrasounds and a picture of the cyst with the follicles in the ovary - it's not as cool of a picture as on Wednesday but I do what I can with getting them to print it off!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Email about July 27th Drs Appt

Yesterday was such a crazy/busy day that I just sent a quick email out to my family/friends telling them how the doctor's appointment went -
Hi All,

Went to the doctor this morning & had a good appointment (everyone loves my outfit which means I should've been wearing my teal shirt with the huge flowers on it more!) :) I currently have 9 follicles on my right side, 4 on my left (which means the ovary that has a cyst in it still has part of it's lining that is producing follicles - yay!) - I met with Dr. Lindheim today and he's my new favorite doctor - he was so thorough and helpful and answered all my questions! I see him again on Friday since Dr. Thomas is out of the office. We're aiming for 20 follicles this time (theoretically, if they get 20 eggs, only a certain percentage will become embryos) so that seems like a good number!Dr. Lindheim said the follicles look much better than last time because they're all maturing at the same rate & are about the same size (for comparison, last time there were big ones, small ones...all over the board). They're doing a great job of controlling my numbers so that I can produce more eggs this time...he thinks they'll keep me on all the same medication levels so that's a good sign. I feel ok, not great, but ok...just pretty tired and really tired of going to the doctor's office.
Hope everyone has a good day!

I completely forgot to do my shots last night - you would think to yourself "How do you forget? You have to do them every day!" - well, what happened was, I worked until about 6, went out to work with a friend at work, came home and pretty much passed out on the couch, woke up and went into bed and went to sleep...very soundly & quickly! I woke up around 2:45 AM thinking "Oh no - I forgot to give myself shots!" so I went ahead and gave them (they tell me to do it as soon as I realize I forgot!) so hopefully it's not too bad.

Today I just feel tired - even after getting over 8 hours of sleep, my body is just exhausted...Susan at work reminds me that I'm asking a lot of my body right now so I better just take it easy! Easier said than done!

I'm hopeful about the process, but realize it could go either way so I'm just "here" about it - not happy or sad, just here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday - To-Do

Take antibiotic
Eat yogurt with breakfast
Go to doctor's appointment to get my blood drawn to make sure my levels are ok - try not to pass out because the woman stuck me in both arms & made me feel very queezy
Take excedrine because head is pounding (Judy my IVF nurse told me it's probably because of low estrogen)
Wait for doctor to call back telling me how much follistim to give myself tonight & if my levels look ok / schedule next appointment for this week
Follistim shot
Lupron shot
C&C 31 meeting
Prenatal / allergy meds

That's all for today...I'm exhausted already & keep having crazy dreams!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Follistim + Lupron + Antibiotic

Go to IHOP for brunch with friends!

Take antibiotic
Eat yogurt because I'm on an antibiotic
Give myself 5 units of Lupron
Give myself 150 units of Follistim
Take prenatal vitamin
Take generic Claritin so I can breathe in this Northern KY weather ;)

Just another day in the life of Ashley :)

For those of you that wondered what I have on the agenda today!

Friday, July 22, 2011


So - here is what follistim looks like :) This is the medication that stimulates my ovaries and allows them to produce more than the typical 1 egg per cycle. The right ovary looks great, the left ovary might not do much because of the cyst. With a "go" from the doctor today, I'll do 150 units for 3 days in a row, then go back in on Monday morning for blood work and testing to make sure the levels are ok - they will adjust if needed for the Monday night cycle.

Someone gave me all of this medication - I can not tell you how happy that made me (seeing as though these are thousands of $$ out of pocket for me....) a friend just gave them to me & they don't expire until next year - so sweet!

One 600 tube of medication

I had Richard help me hold the follistim pen to show you what it looks like - this is it with no medication in it

Now the medicine tube is in it

And the needle goes on top...did I ever think  I would think it's cute that we're both holding my shots in the same picture? No...I'm looking forward to maybe holding our child in our arms together instead of this stupid pen.

Here's the set-up for this one....

Both Richard & I have to be on an antibiotic (even though we aren't sick) so we don't have any germies in nice!

We start at turning that dial to 150 and I stick the shot in my stomach, and then push it until it's back to 0. I stood today and said "I don't want to do it" and Richard just looked at me and I did it and he said "Good job" How fun...I could think of 500 things that sound like more fun that that!

See - tiny needle, I actually think it's skinnier than my Lupron (that I went down to 5 instead of 10 units today) but that's still 2 shots / day until my retrieval. 

Stay tuned for more exciting news in the world of IVF (or maybe I should've just said information) - scratch the fun part, no part of this is fun to be honest. It's ok some days, it's horrible others - every day though is just another step in a long process to get to one answer - yes or no to the question "did it work?" With the answer being "No" 3 times in a row - I'm just ready to get this show on the road.