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.

July 22 - baseline ultrasound & bloodwork

Guess what? The cyst is back! Yep that was my reaction too. wtf?

Had a 9:30 appointment - doctor probably walked in around 10:15 (how do you run so late at 9:30 in the morning I'll never know) - especially when 1 person came into the office after us that had MISSED her appointment that morning...not sure how that works but oh well.

The looked at my uterus, lining, right ovary (10 pre-follicles or whatever they're called) - so good! Then they moved over to the left ovary and bam! "There's your little friend" Dr. Thomas said...I was less than pleased that we had to re-measure that. He said he'd let me move forward with the cyst if my estrogen levels came back below 50 from the lab so they would call me later.

Went out to "Grand Central Station" in the middle of this hallway that has what feels like a million people walking through it and took blood work - I don't like to look when they take blood, and it seemed to take forever today...just wasn't in the mood.

As we walked out I told Richard I'm so over this entire process but maybe the cyst just wants to hang out with my baby when it gets in there this's really the only thing I can do at this point to keep from crying & keep a smile on my face because it's one of those days where I'd like to just cry, scream at everyone in that doctor's office especially for being late on a day that I really didn't want to be there and throw all the medicine at them and use a few choice cuss words that would essentially boil down to screw you and your stupid IVF procedure. I understand it's my choice, and that's why I can't do anything I mentioned in the previous email - maybe it's my body's way of dealing with the fact that I don't want to do this again...even though it's going to suck beyond words if I can't have my own child - at least I can get part of my life back and not have to keep going back to the same doctor's office and waiting and hoping for something that's not going to happen.

That's about all I've got for today - pretty cruddy day, but on the bright side - they did call to say I can start my follistim and antibiotic (both me & Richard) and continue my lupron tonight so here we goes nothing. I'll share sometime soon (maybe tomorrow what all that stuff looks like so you can see the difference in the needles (not much) etc.

Thanks to everyone for the support & love they've shown - it's amazing & what keeps me going, and I mean that...I couldn't do it without everyone being so supportive and only wanting the best for Richard & me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

brief update from ashley

had a great time at my 31 convention but between the car ride / sitting most of the day - my back is killing me, especially on the left side so I'm going to the chiropractor today / to get a half hour massage

the lupron I'm taking for IVF is not going as well as in past rounds - I'm exhausted most of the day, have a dry mouth and just feel queezy most of the time - it was so bad last night I slept from 6:15-8:15 and THEN ate dinner to go back to sleep after that

I go back to the doctor on Friday to do a baseline ultrasound & check before we start the stim drugs...if I feel like this with just lurpon, I'm a bit nervous how I will feel with stim drugs in me too

happy thoughts this week for me - it's been a rough week and a half for this body of mine

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thirty-One National Conference & New Fall 2011 Catalog!

This past Wednesday (July 13th, 2011) through Saturday (July 16th, 2011) I went to the Thirty-One National Conference in Columbus, Ohio. More than 8000 consultants packed the streets of Columbus to get motivated about their business & learn how to take it to the next level! My roommate was my very dear friend (and "31 bff") Kelli McCann - she is so sweet & I am truly lucky to have met her & become such good friends through 31. We push each other, encourage each other and keep each other on our toes! We had a great weekend & we are both more excited than ever to get going with the fall catalog! There are so many new patterns and purses in this catalog that we can't wait - here is a link to the new catalog:

Here's my 31 website:

Kelli & I with all of our ribbons (please notice that Kelli is trying to hide her "OHIO" tag!)
What's behind those boxes? The new fall product that we can't see yet!
Yes Kelli, I want to take the picture right now! :) Love this girl!
My sales for the year - I'm so grateful for all the support for my very FIRST year of my business!
YAY huge beach ball!!
I feel very lucky to have Tiff as my director & all the support of my friends/family for my business - I'm looking forward to the next year and our 2012 conference in Atlanta, Georgia August 1st - 4th.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 2: Another day, another shot

Another day - another 10 units of Lupron - people ask me if it makes me feel different and so far I don't notice anything - but honestly it could make me more tired & I would never know :)

Tonight was Kelly's 31 party & we had a good time - I got in the pool afterwards & hung out with her friends/family - they're so sweet! I've entered the party & now I'm just waiting for her to get a few more orders (hopefully!) :)

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 1: Lupron Starts Today

I'm going to call this Day 1 of IVF #4 for the McFarlands. It's a very sunny & hot day here in Florence, KY - the sun is shining & the humidity is through the someone that sufffers from seasonal allergies - the air is less than ideal! It's July 10th (the day after Richard's birthday) and I'm hoping only good things come from this cycle.

Today starts "Lupron" and in very simple terms - it's tricking my body into stopping the natural production of estrogen and allows my body to create more so more follicles can grow during stimulation. There are articles & articles online about what it does / side effects etc. but I won't bore you with the details of all that.

Here is my set-up for Lupron - the bottle has the actual drug in it, the needle which goes into me and alcohol swamps to clean the top of the Lupron bottle every time and to clean the area where I'm going to stick.

Here is the needle - to be honest, Lupron is the easiest drug through the IVF process to give myself - I usually do all of them myself now because I can :) and I only have to give myself 10 units per day. I do this for 23 days so it is a lot of sticks but at least the needle is small and I'm able to do it myself. I just pull the bottom down & push back up to get all the air out and then put it in the bottle/pull down until it's below 10, then back up to 10 and then it's ready!

Here's the bottle and I can travel easily with it because it's so small and I know what I'm doing at this point now! Sometimes I bruise because I hit something and that does hurt a bit more than normal but the bruise isn't big at all with these. Typically I give it to myself around 8pm each night because I know I'll be home and can keep myself on a schedule - it's quick & easy and I usually just want to get it over with. I can give these shots anywhere - my leg, my arm, my stomach so I choose my leg because it's the least painful and I can cover it up with pants/shorts/capris etc. The follistim (the next round of shots) go in my stomach as do the Lovenox (which are my least favorite/bruise really bad) so I tend to give my stomach as much of a break as I can!

The whole process seems to take forever and fly by all at once - it'll be interesting to see how this one goes since we've gone through 1 fresh / 2 frozen cycles already and this is only our 2nd fresh cycle - hopefully it goes well & we have good results.

That is all for now - if you have any questions along the way - feel free to ask me, email me or leave a comment on the blog & I'd be happy to answer anything - there are no limits! I've probably been asked the question before so I'm happy to answer anything!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy 29th Birthday Richard!

Happy "Almost 30th Birthday" to my husband Richard - like every year, he got a HUGE cookie cake from Great American Cookies & it didn't disappoint - it was delicious!! We had a great party today & everyone had a ball swimming in Kelly/Greg's pool & using the slip & slide in our backyard. I drank enough beer to float a boat but I'm not really supposed to drink through the IVF process so I had a few extra today! :) I love that Bud Light Lime - it's just SO good!

I was excited to have a party at home for Richard - I love just relaxing & hanging out with was a nice hot day here in Florence, KY (almost 90 degrees today) and we had a nice time outside/inside and had lots of yummy food to go around!

Happy 29th birthday Richard - looking forward to next year when you turn the big 3-0!

Friday, July 8, 2011

2nd Cyst Removal

Today has gone better than I expected (always a nice thing!) -

Woke up this morning at 8 (it was nice to sleep in because I've been getting up every day this week to walk the dog her full mile / get back to the gym) but my body told me last night I just needed as much sleep as possible. I got ready & one of my Thirty-One customers stopped by to pick up her order (I love meeting new people through 31!). I took the percoset at 10 (1 hour before procedure) and we headed to Dr. Thomas's office at the Christ Medical Arts Building. We were almost to the hospital & I started to feel a little light headed and kind of dizzy (it said that could be one of the side effects to the meds) and when I got in the parking lot I took a Valium. I was really glad Richard could take off work to go with me - he's such a strong person, and it just really helps calm me to have him by my side. (Thanks to his friend at work Andy for standing by for him so he could come!)

When we got up to the office, they weren't ready for us yet so by about 11:15 we were called back and Kathy told us Richard would have to wait in the waiting room (I was a bit shocked and didn't quite understand but I said "Love you" and went with the nurse). When we got back to the room & I got ready Dr. Thomas came in and we had this conversation:
Dr. Thomas: Do you want your husband to be back here?
Me: Yes I really do, but Kathy told him he couldn't come this time
Dr. Thomas: Oh, he can be back here - that's no problem - can someone go get him?

Needless to say, that made me feel A LOT better - Kathy told me afterwards that she was sorry but typically Dr. Thomas didn't like husbands in the room when they do those types of procedures in the office because so many of them have passed out in the middle of it and it's a pain to pick a grown man off the floor during a procedure! Kathy says "I guess he likes you and he knows you're a paramedic so you probably won't pass out" and Richard goes "What would I pass out over?" and she said we'd be surprised - just the other day they were doing a routine ultrasound and the husband hit the floor! I don't know what I'd do if Richard just passed out! :)

Once they checked that they had everything, we were ready to go and everything went fine - something in the procedure happened which caused me to bleed a bit more than normal (and caused for A LOT of cleanup for all involved - I apologized for the mess but everyone goes "No, it's Dr. Thomas' fault!") because I told them I was leaking so another doctor came in after we were done to check everything and make sure I was ok. I felt the poke of the needle but then it wasn't too bad - they are sending all the fluid from the cyst off for testing - it was a bit darker he said than last time (he wasn't sure why at this point) but I told him it was a lot darker than I had anticipated. Dr. Thomas said I did great and I told him it wasn't as bad as I was anticipating. He did give me an injection to numb part of my insides for my vaginal wall so he said that combined with the percoset/Valium, it was the perfect combination. I told Kathy I didn't feel like getting up right away, so I just laid there for awhile longer and we just chatted. They are so sweet and nice to me - they truly want this to work & know how frustrated I must be with everything. Dr. Thomas came back one last time so we asked him if flying to Colorado was ok in August right after the transfer and he said "Oh yeah, where are you going in Colorado? Have a great time - I just got back from there about 3 weeks ago." That was music to my ears!

As we were on our way out we chatted with Kris the IVF nurse this time because I wanted to check on the prescriptions being called into CVS (my birth control & Richard's antibiotic for later in the cycle) and also my amount of follistim.. Judy was there (the head IVF nurse) and she said to get something on my stomach and relax the rest of the day - we stopped at Wendy's on the way home and I slept from 1:15-4 and now I'm thinking about going to watch a movie. My stomach is still a bit sore & I don't feel 100% so hopefully with a good night's sleep tonight I'll be my normal self again.

Thanks to everyone that has been so supportive & understanding through all of this - it's been rough on my body / I wouldn't wish this experience on anyone - but I hope I'll look back a few months from now & say that it was all worth it.

Here's the picture of me today (it was a glasses/Ellen T-shirt kind of day for sure!) - we got the green light to start Lupron on Sunday so that's exciting news:

I have to write on my calendar everything I need to remember so I don't forget (I try to blame the drugs but I think it's just the million different things that go on during a fresh cycle, I want to make sure not to miss anything!)

I thought getting a pretty box from Target to keep all the IVF meds in was a good idea -I also keep paperwork in the blue plastic container so I don't lose anything because I've been known to do that a time or two!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stupid Cyst

Today I had a doctor's appointment with Dr. Thomas - running a bit late as usual but not as bad as sometimes so that's good! Terry has retired (my IVF nurse) so Judy told me that when I got there...there's TONS of new people in the office.

He said the cyst in the left ovary was still there / was about the same size. Good news is that my right ovary & uterus looked great! Dr. Thomas wants to drain the cyst on Friday morning so I'm waiting to hear when that will be scheduled. I had 2 prescriptions to fill (Valium & Percoset) at CVS today (where I learned about the Casey Anthony verdict) and came home to work from home the rest of the afternoon. I take the Valium when I'm in the parking lot & the percoset an hour before the procedure.

Richard is going to try and take off work for it so he can be there with me - that made me feel better. I'm trying to document IVF #4 a little more so here are some photos from today.

Here's my view from the chair:

There's the cyst on the screen:

Stupid cyst :(

Dr. Thomas - writing prescriptions:

Kathy (chocolate milk nurse) :) with her eyes closed:

I love coming home to my home and here's Sally who doesn't want to sit down but I wanted to share my new swing!

Hopefully Friday goes well - ready to get rid of the cyst for a second time!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Great 4th of July Weekend!

This weekend has been amazing!

Quick run-down:

Thursday - last day of June/end of fiscal/Mom's birthday we ended up going to Bob Evans with them for dinner and then relaxing with them at their place - we were going to go to the Freedom game but decided it was too hot/we just weren't in the mood
Friday - had a half day with work so worked from home in the morning, then headed down to Versailles to pick up the swing from grandma & grandpa and brought it home - thanks to Richard for putting it up for the most part as I was a wuss he said!
Saturday - went to see Kelli's new place in Kenwood/her garage sale, went to Michelle's wedding, stopped by Nancy/Jr's, went to reception, went to Barb & Jim's to visit and then stopped by Sharon & Ken's to say hi too!
Sunday - Crystal & Caleb came down to swim and hang out
Monday - went to the gym for the first time in MONTHS, went to see the movie Bad Teacher, then went to Mexican with Amy, Tommy, Jack & Caroline

Overall, this weekend has just been a lot of fun because it's been busy yet relaxing and I got to catch up with so many people that I haven't seen in a long time! Here are some pictures to show how much fun it was!

I'm truly so lucky to have such wonderful friends/family in my life to spend my time with - I think I'll sleep good tonight because I am pooped! :)

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July and Happy Independence Day to everyone out there!!