Friday, February 21, 2014

Game On!

I went back to the IVF clinic yesterday to hand in my "permission slip" from the cardiologist, and to get officially set up for implantation. I felt a little sheepish since I pushed really hard to get those last tests in on time, but whatever. We have a girl waiting on us in a freezer. We have to be serious and keep going for her. I am where I should be on the drugs, and everything looked good when they checked me over. We are officially scheduled for February 27 for the transfer. That is next week! I have been walking in a bubble since then thinking about how this is the LAST WEEK that my body will be my own for a few years between being pregnant and breast feeding. I was sure to have a beer last night with dinner. :) On the flip side of that, I just want her with us. She shouldn't be in a lab in Denver. She should be with us under our care. She is ours and we want her so bad. She will be in me, but at least then she is with us. We can then watch her grow firsthand, and I am so excited for it.

Is it next week yet???

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ready for Takeoff!

I just got back from the cardiologist, and am pleased to report a clean bill of health (again!). I was kind of nervous going into it. I just really, really, really needed this to work out well. No pressure, right?! I am so very relieved that it is over and all is as it should be with my heart. Thanks God!

My cardiologist said that hormone fluctuations can cause heartbeat irregularities, but because it has stabilized out, and I am not planning to be on these drugs forever, there is really no need for concern. He is there if I have any other problems, but at this point he isn't anticipating any. We are back to our original plan that we laid out before. Due to my family history of heart disease, I will go back in five years to re-run alllll the tests I have done with him so far, and in between now and then, I will just go to my general practice doctor for regular checkups on my cholesterol.

Because the cardiologist wanted me to stay on the hormones while doing the holter test, I haven't lost any time on my IVF schedule. I have fully ramped up on the drugs needed to prepare my body for implantation. I am at the highest dose I will be on for this current drug, and I feel ok. To be on the safe side, I am laying low and not doing things to get my heart rate up. Thursday, I will begin tapering the drug off in my system. It will take a few weeks to get fully off of it, but it is a relief to know that I will have the worst of it behind me.

Tomorrow, Chris and I go to the fertility clinic to get everything set up for implantation, currently scheduled for February 27. I had my cardiologist give me a letter for my file at the fertility clinic as further confirmation that this is not a concern. Here we go! Excited! And VERY relieved!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Holter Monitor

Well, life has been kind of stressful with this latest development. I told the IVF clinic that my cardiologist prescribed the Holter monitor as requested, that he thinks there is a chance that he can get all the testing done in time, and that he thinks I should stay on the hormones as prescribed while he investigates the issue. They responded to just do as he says and keep them posted. There was no real comment about cancelling the implantation, and I didn’t push that point. I just want the opportunity to try to get it all done. I hope that everything comes out clear so we can just move forward as planned.

Yesterday, I got set up with the monitor. It is quite a mess of wires and such, that all transmits data to an old school blackberry phone that was clipped to my belt. I was a little horrified when I google-imaged it ahead of time to see what I was in for, and debated on just working from home, and laying around on the couch to just pass the test so we can move on. But, what if there really is a problem? I owe it to myself and to our potential little girl to find out, so I just wore some baggy clothes that day to cover up all the wires and just did my usual schedule at the office as I normally would. My heart felt ok. I felt a little agitated this morning from stress, and hope that didn’t throw anything off on my test. We will see. 

Here's a diagram of what it looks like. I had a part that hung around my neck in addition to all this stuff too. All of the wires hooked into that part, and then the neck part transmitted to the blackberry that was clipped onto my belt (if that makes sense).

Rather than having to go back to the hospital to turn it back in when I hit the 24-hour mark of wearing this thing, they give you a UPS bag to dump it all in, and you ship it to Illinois where they grab the data that was collected so it can be turned over to your cardiologist. I did some research to find a UPS drop box with the earliest pick up time. It turns out the UPS store downtown by my office is the best one. The UPS label they gave me was for UPS ground, so I spent the big bucks to upgrade it to overnight shipping. Doing that allows me to get the results faster. I begged and pleaded to get an appointment next week with the cardiologist for the follow-up (he is booked solid for a couple of weeks, so he is really doing me a favor by squeezing me in.) My appointment with him will be the day before I am due to go back to the IVF clinic to get everything set up officially for the implantation. We are cutting this close. Sheesh.

If everything comes back clear from the test, I can go to my IVF appointment the next day and we are off to the races with implantation. If it comes back that I have an arrhythmia, I will probably need to cancel the IVF appointment and I have no idea where we go from there. It is so frustrating. We have gone to all this trouble to create this girl. Now what? Will I not be able to carry her? What do we do then? I can’t imagine hiring a surrogate. Or not doing it at all. I am trying really hard not to think about that. I had no problems being pregnant with the boys, so why is this coming up now?! Trying to have some faith and patience. I wish this was less stressful. It is out of my hands at this point. I have done all that I can do. Prayers, prayers, prayers.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


The cardiologist just called. He wants to do the test with me on the hormones. I guess that makes sense. He found my heart to be perfectly healthy. I should be able to weather this drug with no issues. So what is going on there? I guess we will find out. I passed this info to my IVF doc. We will see what she says. I gave her his phone number too. They work for the same hospital, so maybe they can talk? We shall see.

Monkey Wrench

We’ve been plugging along over here. On Monday, we got a date nailed for the embryo transfer: February 27. I started ramping up on my next round of hormones to start to get ready for it. Things were going well, and then I started to feel a little funny. My heart felt like it was pumping kind of hard and irregular. I feel like I can’t quite catch my breath. I googled it and saw that a fast heartbeat was one of the side effects of these new hormones I am on. Great. Since this is one where I start with a low dose and over time, you take more and more of it, I thought I should call my doctor to talk it through with her. Well, she freaked out and said that that is not a typical side effect and wants me to talk to my cardiologist about a possible arrhythmia in my heart. I guess there is a thing called a “holter monitor” that they have you wear for 24 hours to measure your heart’s activity to check for such things, and she would feel better if I did that step before proceeding with the transfer and pregnancy thereafter.

Sigh. Seriously? This means putting off the transfer date. Dammit. Here’s the deal: after my dad died this summer, I was encouraged to go see a cardiologist to have the once-over done on my heart to check everything out. Heart disease runs in the family, and my dad died early from it, so no harm in being vigilant from an early age. I did my homework before starting this whole process, working with a cardiologist to run a ton of tests. I got a clean bill of health. I thought I had this covered. I called my cardiologist and asked him about this new development, and he thinks I need to do this extra test, and has ordered it for me. I will get a call in a few days to go pick up my holter monitor and get started. Once they collect the data from it, it will take a couple of weeks to get the results and meet back with him to see how it all went.

I honestly feel like this is a reaction from the meds. I have never had these symptoms before taking this drug. So what do I do now? I have two options:

  1. Quit IVF for the time being (quit the drugs, and cancel the implantation on February 27), and do the holter monitor test. My gut says that it will come out clean. I will have missed a month on moving forward with IVF. I am traveling a bunch in March/April, so really that means waiting a few months to do the implantation. Insert lots of bad words here.
  2. Keep taking the hormones and pray that they get the heart test over with in a timely fashion so I can implant on February 27 as planned. I run the risk of testing positive for the arrhythmia, which sends me down a whole other rabbit trail.
And, what if I quit the drugs, pass my heart test, and then take the hormones a few months from now when we are ready to do the implantation, and experience the same symptoms? Can’t I have a different drug? I need to ask that question. Hormones do screwy things to your body. God, I just want to be done with IVF already. This really sucks.

I wish my IVF doctor and my cardiologist would talk with each other and coordinate what needs to happen, rather than me having to be the go-between. I feel like I need a better answer on what this drug does and if it has an impact on the outcome of this upcoming test. I asked my cardiologist again and will see what he says.

Kind of want to stick my head in the sand and hide from this lose-lose situation. Jeez…