July 27, 2009

hot potato... no, hot needle!

I begin my first full round of infertility injections this week, Thursday through Sunday. And right now I feel like this is a game of hot potato! No one wants to catch the potato (or needle) and do what needs to be done with it. I am awful with needles, I pass out getting my blood drawn and have even stopped breathing, therefore, I am certainly out of this game! There is no way in God's creation that I could stab myself, not a chance!

Then there is my dear husband Matt... he has given hundreds of shots, the problem is his patients were pigs and certainly couldn't yell ouch. Bless his heart I know he keeps saying he won't give me the shots because he doesn't want to cause me pain, but that leaves us still looking for someone competent in handling a needle and syringe.

The dr's office will gladly give me the shots on Thursday and Friday, they told me to just stop in anytime I want and they'll do it quick and I can be on my way. That still leaves us with Saturday and Sunday to figure out someone who can help us. Unfortunately I thought I was getting the pre-filled cartridge pen, so it would make it super simple, but I'm not. I'm getting the good old fashioned bottle of medicine and syringe. Ughh... =(

Matt and I are supposed to be going out of town this weekend with a bunch of our friends to Lake Delhi to camp, go on the pontoon and jet skis and other fun stuff, but those plans may all be on hold if no one will be able to do this for me.

It's moments like this that I get frustrated. I so wish our plans weren't constantly dictated by what day of my cycle I'm on, or what medicine I need to take, and I wish I wasn't such a weeny with needles (but, the nurses at the dr's office have complemented me quite a bit in the last month about how much better I'm getting, ha, because I'm not passing out? Or because I still have to look away, lay down, and then sit on the end of the table for several minutes while I regain my nauseated composure?). I wish we weren't having to deal with all of this infertility "mess"... but we are. And it's also moments like this that I can choose to either have some hope and faith that there is a reason for all of this, or get sad. I think I'll choose option one today.

July 24, 2009

I am his "master"...his words, not mine

It's official, one piece of good news for the week, and one piece of bad news for the week. I'll start with the bad news to get it out of the way. It appears as if this round of fertility medicine did not do the trick. We were pretty bummed today when we came to the realization that we are not pregnant, and therefore will be moving on to the next medicine. Although the medicine did cause ovulation, which was a mini-success, we are not pregnant... yet!

We will be starting the same cancer medicine as last month again this weekend, and then next week we will be adding in some pretty powerful injectible medicines (gonal-f for all of my IF buddies). I will do shots in my stomach for 4-5 days, then more ultrasounds to see if follicles are growing, then eventually another shot in the butt to release the eggs, followed by an IUI (think turkey baster (or google it) and you'll get the idea, lovely... I know!)

Although I'm pretty bummed that this month wasn't our lucky month, I am trying to remain hopeful for next month. And for the first time EVER we'll be able to start medicine right away, instead of having to wait 2 weeks for things to "get going". So at least my anxiousness will be calmed a bit, always a good thing for our marriage. =)

Now for the good news, and the title of this blog, I HAVE MY MASTERS! I officially graduated last Friday! It was a great week in LaCrosse, Wisconsin!

It started with a quick trip to get a noise in our car checked out, only to find out that they were going to need to fix it before we could drive it, so since I was leaving the next day for Wisconsin, where my school is at, I got this jazzy rental car for the week:

Renee, who I work right across the hall from and took all of my classes with, and who is also my very good friend, and another teacher rode up with me. We also all stayed together in a suite for the week to save some money. The week was broken up into several "sessions". We had one session to present our research to our peers and staff, and then 4 sessions to complete book talks related to the books that we had to read before we arrived on campus, and then 5 sessions to attend other research presentations of our choice. The session that obviously caused the most stress was the one where I presented my research. I was actually lucky enough to get assigned the very first session. So Tuesday morning at 8am I presented my research, it went really well! I had tons of great questions, about 30 people attended, and several people wanted to know how to get ahold of the materials that I used for my research. My research was based on a program that helps teach students sight words.

Here is Renee and I before our presentations:

Here we are after the presenatations! *that would be my nametag flipped up in the wind... not a nasty huge band-aid! :

Here is the lecture hall I presented in: (some people were lucky enough to get classrooms, but I got a lecture hall...thanks luck!)

About half of the 500 graduates were from Iowa, one day we all took a picture together:

Later in the week we did a tour of the main chapel on campus. Viterbo University is a catholic university and the chapel has two parts, the smaller chapel has sisters praying 24 hours a day, it was phenomenal to enter that part of the chapel! You could feel God in every inch of that room, it was amazing! Here are some pictures of the chapel.

And the way too cute sister that gave us our tour!

On Friday we had our graduation speaker in the morning, because he spoke for 2 hours they brought him in before the ceremony, he was phenomenal! The most motivating and inspirational speaker I have ever heard!

Friday afternoon Matt, my mom and dad, my grandpa, and Matt's parents Patty and Kevin all arrived for my graduation ceremony. It was so nice to have all of them there!

Renee and I before the ceremony:

Getting my diploma!

Matt, Me, & my parents & my Grandpa (not sure what my dad's doing, and it's the only one we have together, sorry dad!)

Me, Matt, and Patty & Kevin

Me, Mom, Patty & Matt...this picture makes me laugh everytime!

As my graduation present from Matt, he surprised me with a camping trip! We were on the way home and we suddenly pulled off on a gravel road, and ended up at this camp site at Spooke Cave!

We had so much fun, we even did the corny spooke cave boat ride, and no, I didn't jump when they turned the lights off, but Matt somehow thinks I did, yeah right! =)

Matt & I in the corny picture thing:

Overall it was a great week. I can't believe that I'm done with school, I already feel bored... I know, that sounds so silly. I like having things to do to feel accomplished and keep me busy, so it's weird to not have assignments in my planner to do, cross off, and feel accomplished. I guess I'll either have to get over that feeling, or start my phd! =)

July 11, 2009

Oh, the world of over analyzing everything!

I'm very thankful that this next week I'll be very busy while in La Crosse, Wisconsin finishing up my last class and graduating on Friday! Why am I thankful? Because I'm going to drive myself crazy (and probably Matt too) wondering if we actually have a chance to get preggo this month! It's very hard to not over analyze every little twinge, pain and sign that this might actually be our month. Although, I must admit, that most of the "symptoms" that I am experiencing are all directly related to the shot that I got on Tuesday. The shot actually is the hormone that your body produces when you are pregnant, so it only makes sense that that hormone would produce symptoms of pregnancy...urrr, of course it would!

So I am off on Monday morning at 6:00 am. First stop the hospital for bloodwork, second stop Viterbo University in Wisconsin. I am excited to have everything almost wrapped up. I have a presentation to give about my research, a paper to write while I'm there (we don't find out the topic until Wednesday and then we're given an hour and a half to write it) and 4 book talk/discussion groups.

Gotta go pack and get my stuff all together!

*I will have internet at our hotel this week so I'll plan to update part way through the week... yeah for 6 days until graduation!!!!*

July 7, 2009

a needle in the haystack... or butt

I can't believe it... it seems that my body may be responding to the new medicine! We had an ultrasound last Friday that showed one little follicle (which is what grows and releases the egg during ovulation) in my left ovary. It was too small (only 13mm, the Dr. wants them to be at least 20mm) to ovulate yet, but it was at least a hopeful sign that I was responding, but maybe not as well as I should have been at that point.

Today Matt and I went back for another ultrasound, we had a few different scenarios that could have unfolded.
1)the 13mm follicle could have grown to 20 or 22mm and be ready for ovulation
2) the 13mm follicle could have stopped growing, which would mean the end of our chances for this cycle
3)the 13mm cycle could have gone away, also ending our chances
4) there could be other follicles growing and ready too upping our chances of success

Well option #1 it was!!! The 13mm follicle is now 24mm!!!! The nurse was VERY pleased with our little follicle so she gave me a trigger shot in my butt to make the follicle ovulate and come out of my ovary. The shot wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, it actually was better than the blood draws are. So hopefully the shot will make the egg "drop" and we'll have our very first chance at conceiving a little King! I'm trying not to get too excited but as you can tell it's probably a little late for that.

Even if nothing fabulous happens this month I really am just ecstatic to know that I am able to produce a large enough follicle for conception to even happen!

July 1, 2009

meet little miss Chuse!

Well Matt held true on his promise, no baby by summer... new kitty for me! We have been on the hunt for a few weeks, but hadn't seen anything that we really fell in love with.

That was until my mom called last week and told us she had found us a kitty. One of her friends had found a kitty in the parking lot of the casino. She said she thought she was kind of wild, but she was super cute. On Wednesday night mom brought the kitty over and we fell in love, she was super sweet, very soft, and looks just like a wolf/lion. She has a long mane like a lion but is colored like a wolf. =)

She stayed with my mom over the weekend while we were out of town. During the weekend I received 4 texts from my mom asking to keep her, I knew then we had a good kitty.

She is SUCH a lover! She is constantly pushing her way up on our faces to cuddle, we love it! She has to be touching one of us so that she can sleep. She and Junie are finally becoming friends. We were a bit worried on Sunday when we introduced the two of them and Junie growled and hissed at Chuse (which I'm pretty sure she learned from being around my dad's cat). But this morning when I was cleaning up the kitchen I looked over and Junie was chasing Chuse down the stairs, then Chuse came chasing Junie up the stairs. They have been playing and being nice to each other all day, thank goodness!

As for the name, Chuse is actually a German word, the only German word that I was really able to teach Matt when we were dating and I was living in Germany. And since we fell in love while I was in Germany we thought we should incorporate some German into our household, and it's better to do that with a pet than with a child. =)

On a side note, we're getting very excited for our dr's apt on Friday. So far the new medicine (Femara) has had NO side effects, what a blessing after the last medicine made me a crazy lady! We will know Friday morning whether or not this new medicine is doing anything to help grow the follicles/eggs, we're praying it will produce some results so that we're not forced to move on to injectibles.

For now I'll leave you with some pictures of our new kitty: