Sunday, January 31, 2010

Do You Know What Today Is?

Unless you've been living under a rock you should!!! It's the first REAL day of my IVF cycle! It's the day that I start growing my babies! I'm so excited! I will stim for 6-12 days depending on how long it takes my eggies to get mature. Sometimes I'm fast and sometimes it takes a while so I have no idea when my retrieval will be. I go for my first folly check on Wed. Remember... we want 8 mature eggs and an 8mm thick lining by the time of retrieval to stay on the shared risk plan! But you know I'm an overachiever so I would really like at least 12 mature eggs and a 9mm thick lining! Since I'm a cyster she said I would probably have some empty follicles. So I'm praying for at least 16 mature follicles to hopefully get 12 mature eggs! No pressure!

Also, I've had a headache since Mother Nature showed on Thursday! I hope the hormones make it go away tonight. I now remember why I used to take 3 straight months of BCPs. Besides the added benefit of only 4 periods a year... I would only get 4 migraines a year.

My last day wasn't so terrible. We all went to lunch as a group for the last time. It was nice. I held it together and didn't cry all day until the second we left. They all decided to wait so we could walk out together. The meetings only took about 10 min instead of the 30 that they had scheduled. So we were all done by 2:15. I was very touched that they wanted to wait on me to walk out together. I was still fine... no crying... until we were about to get on the elevator. We hugged our "mama" boss and she broke down crying. Then we hugged Tricia (she's staying on to help with the other funds) and she started crying. Then everybody started crying. Well you know if people are crying that I'm going to cry. So there we were, 10 women crying and hugging each other! I'm sure it was a sight for the men who walked by!

Here's a picture of the gang! And yes, that is one poor Dude in a sea of women! Can you imagine the stuff he had to endure!


xxoo,
Jaime

Friday, January 29, 2010

The End of My Hedge Fund Career

The beginning of my new life!! Every ending leads to a new beginning. I'm excited to see what's in store for me in the future. I can say with 99% certainty that it will not involve a hedge fund! I already have an interview set up for Tuesday and I was chosen for an interview with another company as well. I should find out today when that interview will be.

When we received the news last March that we were going to be laid off sometime between 12/09 and 3/10 it seemed like forever away. I can't believe it's already time to tell everyone goodbye and end this chapter. I'm so lucky that they gave us almost a year notice! We've been penny pinching since we found out so that we would have a nice nest egg. Also, Harbert is giving us 4 months severance. That's really nice! I can't complain with the way things have gone down. I know many people out there have gotten called into an office and told to leave that day with no notice and no severance. I'm thankful for the way things were handled here.

One of the guys in NY sent us this anteater picture. Too funny!

Weirdness: This morning I got on the elevator with Raymond Harbert (yes the man who owns Harbert!) and the Head of HR who will be laying us off today. In the past 2 1/2 years I have never been on the elevator with these men. I felt like this was a sign. Perry (HR guy) nervously looked at me and asked how I was doing. Raymond looked confused (he has no idea who I am). I said I was fine with a big smile and then asked if he was ready for us today. He looked down and sadly said no and that he hates these days. Raymond looked at me like it finally clicked and he got it. I feel a small victory that I put a face on our department. Hopefully he will remember me when he goes over the list of fine people he laid off today.

Final news: Mother Nature came calling last night so I am definitely ready to go for injections starting Sunday! It's almost here! I, of course, got a hormonal migraine yesterday and couldn't fully enjoy the final pit dinner or supper club. Jen took pictures so I'll post them as soon as she sends them to me.

xxoo,
Jaime

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TICK......TOCK.....

TICK....ohmygoshthisisthelongestsecondinthehistoryofseconds....TOCK. Could time go by any slower??? Seriously! I think the problem is that I don't have a lot to do at work since my last day is Friday. So time goes by sooooo slowly! I would much rather be busy! Another problem is that I'm so excited to start stimming. It's like being a kid waiting for Christmas! Luckily tomorrow night I have our final "pit" dinner for work and the January edition of Supper Club! I'm not happy that these two events fall on the same night but at least tomorrow should go by relatively quickly. I don't think I'll be as lucky on Friday though. They gave us the schedule for the layoffs and of course they are going in alphabetical order starting at 1. Since my last name begins with Z I am not scheduled until 4:15! Boo! So I have to watch everyone in my department get laid off one by one until finally it's my turn. Talk about a long, emotional day! Oh well, all I can do is be thankful for each day that I can crawl out of bed!

This cycle I have been trying out positive thinking and visualization. It has worked so far so I'm going to continue. The next big hurdle is stimming. I can be cancelled from the shared risk program if I do not have at least 8 mature eggs and an 8mm thick lining. I'm going to envision a little more than that since I read that a lining of 9mm or greater is ideal. SO--- let's all think, hope and pray for 12 excellent quality, mature eggs and a 9mm thick lining!!

Happy Birthday to Dad Z!

xxoo,
Jaime

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What $6,000 looks like

O-M-G! Here's a picture of my medication. At some point during this cycle, every bit of these drugs have to be injected into my body! I am a little overwhelmed at the moment!

I'm done with the birth control today and will start these meds on 1/31! Good thing my last day at work is Friday!

xxoo,
Jaime

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's on like Donkey Kong (updated w/ labs)

Barring any crazy lab work that may come in this afternoon.... Our IVF cycle is underway!! I had no cysts today and my lining looked great!! I'm still waiting for the official OK after my lab results are in at around 3. John came with me to the appointment today where we discussed all things IVF. He had to give some blood to make sure he didn't have any diseases but of course he has great veins so this wasn't a problem. She got me on the first stick too! We then had to check out and pay. This is when it hit me how much money we are paying. And I got very angry!! I wasn't ready for that emotion. I can't tell you how unbelievably SUCKY it is that we have to pay so much money for something that most people get for free! IT SUCKS! John really needs a new car and we could have gotten him a pretty nice one with this money. He's driving a 97 Camry with 180k miles on it so we can have a baby! He's such a wonderful husband.

The anger has subsided some and I'm back to excited. I went by the pharmacy to pick up my medicine after I left Dr. H's office. WOW! It's A LOT! I am soooo lucky that my insurance covers the meds. If we didn't have insurance it would have been $6,121.12. With insurance I only had to pay $104. That is one huge victory! I'll try to post a picture of it all so you can appreciate what I will be going through over the next few weeks. I'm not complaining though... it will all be worth it when I can hold my little bambino(a) in my arms!

Update: Lab results are in and I PASSED! I stop birth control tomorrow and start stimming 1/31! Only 6 days!!

xxoo,
Jaime

Saturday, January 23, 2010

So Tired

I am so tired! I slept 10 hrs last night and I'm still tired. I think it's because I'm dreaming all night long. Dozens of dreams! And I wake up between each one to tell myself it's not real. Hopefully my appt will go well Monday so I can stop the BCPs on Tuesday.

One of last night's dreams: There's a girl riding a motorcycle through the jungle. Someone is chasing her as she's making death defying leaps and bounds. She has a box on the back of her motorcycle she seems to be protecting and a man is reclined and lounging in the sidecar. She finally shakes the person chasing her so she stops to make camp. Another guy on a motorcycle comes along and they become friends. The friend takes the motorcycle for a ride without asking her but it's much faster than his. While he's whipping and weaving through traffic he wrecks it and the box goes flying into the woods. He gets the box and then takes her bike to have it fixed. It was better than new! He took it back to her thinking she would be elated! As he got closer she ran to him crying and clawing for the box. She opened it and there were kittens. Some of them didn't make it and she just started sobbing... I woke up.

My interpretation of this dream: I am the girl and my body is the motorcycle. Of course, John is the guy reclining in the sidecar, relaxed and enjoying the ride. Dr. H is the guy who "steals" my body and then wrecks it. But she makes it better than new because hopefully she will return it to me pregnant. The kittens are my eggs that I'm trying so hard to protect but no matter how hard I try some of them aren't going to make it.

I told John my dream this morning and he told me to stop telling him about my dreams. Haha!

xxoo,
Jaime

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dreaming...

I don't have a grand update for today but I just wanted to let you guys know that I get more excited with each passing day... 3 days until suppression check!!

These BCPs are making me have some VIVID dreams. I don't remember having such crazy dreams when I was on them for 15 years before we were trying for a baby. Every morning I have to wake up and repeat to myself... "it's not real. It's just a dream." I dreamed last night that I accidentally injected myself with the stimulating medicine (stimming meds). You may be wondering, how do you accidentally inject yourself??? I don't know but somehow it happened in my dream. So I started crying and freaking out that my ovaries were going to start developing and I would fail my suppression check. Nervous much? Hopefully in the next few days I won't sit on a needle and make this dream come true! haha!

Countdown... 3 days until suppression check!!!!
xxoo,
Jaime

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Little Fig Tree That Could

Mom and Dad Z brought us a fig tree when they came to visit in November. I tend to kill every plant I try to grow so I figured it wouldn't last long. Despite my lack of a green thumb this little guy is thriving.


Here's a picture of Tristan at Annie.
The below is a picture of Tristan wearing a jacket my Aunt Debbie made for her. It's so cute! She has an embroidery machine and embroidered her name on it.


I got a call from the pharmacy that ALL of medication is in so I can go by and pick it up. I'm a little nervous to see all of the stuff together. Just 5 more days until my suppression check with Dr. H. If everything looks good then the injections will start 1/31! That's only 11 days away!
xxoo,
Jaime

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Much Warmer

Starting Thursday or Friday of last week it was warming up in the south. Today it's sunny and in the 60s! Just the way I like it! I was definitely ready for the cold weather to take a break for a while!

I have a picture of Tristan from the play and a picture of "the little fig tree that could" that I was going to post today. However, I forgot my camera this morning. I'll post those tomorrow. :)

John went to the library Saturday and checked us out a book on IVF. I like to be in control but I know I can't with this. I guess getting as much knowledge as possible makes me feel a little better. John knows so little about what is going on that I can't wait to see his face when I start explaining the complexities of this procedure! Maybe he'll understand why it costs so much!

xxoo,
Jaime

Monday, January 18, 2010

Blood Doctor

I went to one of my "new" doctors this morning and it was refreshingly uneventful. There are no new ailments to speak of and he didn't even take blood! Wahoo! He said that 6-7% of women test positive for ACLs (the blood clotting issue) and 90% of them don't get blood clots. He said he agreed with Dr. H that I should take Lovenox injections (blood thinner) upon pregnancy but other than that I should be fine. He doesn't see a reason that I would need long-term care for it. Phew!

John and Tristan left Sunday morning for Atlanta. They stayed at the Hilton downtown and they saw Annie at 8PM. John said it was VERY good and the theatre was "cool". The Fox Theatre was designed in the 1920's and has been refurbished many times to keep that antique style. He said Tristan seemed to have a really good time. When I talked to him this morning they were eating at IHOP and then heading home.

Fertility news: I'm taking tons of vitamins and herbs, drinking tea, exercising and trying to eat as healthy as possible. Hopefully I'll be cleared to start my IVF cycle when I see Dr. H 1/25. Just one more week!!

xxoo,
Jaime

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Good News!

I just received a lot of news in a matter of 20 minutes!

1st - The IVF coordinator called and said that we were approved for shared risk. Since our insurance doesn't cover IVF we'll be paying out of pocket. Shared risk is a plan that covers two IVF cycles. It's a great plan because if I don't get pregnant after the two tries they will refund all but $5,000. So it will only have cost us $5k for two tries which is great. However, we're paying a little bit more than 1 cycle (about a cycle and a 1/2) so if I get pregnant on the first try we've paid more than we should have. That's why it's shared risk... Dr. H said that 85% of the people approved for shared risk get pregnant within the two cycles! You have to be in good health and meet a ton of crazy criteria to get in the shared risk plan so I thought I may not qualify. BUT I did! YAY!

Also, I told her that I'm losing my job at the end of this month and therefore will be switching insurances in the middle of my cycle. My insurance does pay for monitoring and medication. John's does too but he has a lot higher deductibles. So I asked her if she could go ahead and call in all of my prescriptions now so that they'll be ready by the end of the month. She agreed! YAY again!

2nd - As I was on the phone with Janet an announcement was being made in my area that the NY office finally made a decision and our official last day is 1/29. I was really hoping it would somehow drag into the first week of February so I would have my insurance for the whole month but it doesn't look like that's the case. Bummer. At least I have the good news about my IVF to keep me excited!

xxoo,
Jaime

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Braggy Stepmom

Just a quick post to say that Tristan made....

Straight A's on her report card!

In fact her lowest A was a 96! We're so proud of her!

xxoo,
Jaime

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wonderful News!

Thanks to Allison for commenting on my blog to say that the SIS wasn't going to be very painful. It really wasn't! I was concerned b/c Dr. H told me the HSG wasn't going to hurt and it was TERRIBLE. So when she said the SIS would hurt I thought it was going to kill me! It really wasn't bad at all though! That's not the only good news.... My uterus is "pretty" and my cyst is gone!! Dr. H was cracking me up b/c she kept talking about how pretty my uterus is. Never heard that one before! The procedure was quite simple. She used a catheter to insert some saline into my uterus. The saline blows up my uterus like a balloon so she can see if there are any fibroids hanging out. All was GOOD! Praise the Lord!! I know He is with me and helping me through this!

ALSO, I got my protocol! Here's how it will go down...
1/25 - Appt with IVF coordinator. We have to sign all documentation, get my meds prescriptions, do blood work and have an ultrasound to make sure I'm still cyst free.
1/26 - off birth control if labs and u/s are good
1/31 - Start meds.
2/10 - 2/14 - Possible egg retrieval depending on how long it takes me to get mature
5 days after retrieval she will put 2 eggs back in and freeze any remaining
2 weeks later - Pregnancy test!!
I should know by the end of February or beginning of March if we're expecting! :)

I was a little concerned about my dosage of meds, however. Last time she upped me from 75iu to 100iu and my emotions went crazy. For IVF I will be on 375iu!!! OMG! Watch out everybody. I would like to go ahead and apologize in advance for anything I do or say in the month of February!

xxoo,
Jaime

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Morning Interview

I had my interview for the Fixed Assets Tax Supervisor this morning. Doesn't that sound like an exciting job title!?! The interview went well. She said she has a few more people to interview but she wanted me to know that she was very impressed with me and by the end of the interview it was like she was trying to sell the job to me rather than me trying to sell myself for the job. It was a good experience and I got some more interviewing skills. This was a 3 hour interview with 4 people! However, if she does offer me the job I'm not going to take it. She said I would be working 60 hrs/wk until 2011 and it may even carry over to the end of 2011. A year and a half of 60 hour weeks is not what I had in mind for my next job. Especially when I'm trying so hard to have a baby. I certainly don't need that stress added the mix. I'm sure I'll be able to find something more suitable.

Fertility news - Still on the BCPs. It's so weird! I haven't taken birth control in over 2 1/2 years! I go in on Wed for my SIS with Dr. H. Check back Wed for what I'm sure will be a colorful commentary of SIS... I hear it's quite painful. I'm also going to try to get some more information out of her about a timeline.

xxoo,
Jaime

Friday, January 8, 2010

We Are The Champions

2009 National Champions!!

It's not the ideal way I would have liked to win but it's still a win! I would have loved to beat Texas with a healthy Colt McCoy at quarterback but that wasn't in the cards. I am so proud to be an Alabama fan and proud of the boys for all of their hard work, determination and poise! I don't know how they didn't let their nerves overtake them... my heart was beating out of my chest! It's so crazy to think that these are just boys. Most of them only being 19 or early 20's. Can you imagine that kind of pressure at such a young age? Congrats boys! Roll Tide!

It's still frigidly cold in Birmingham and getting colder. Yesterday there wasn't a whole lot of snow but this morning I headed to work in a snow storm. A literal, can't see more than 20 feet ahead of you, snow storm. It only lasted about 5 minutes but it was beautiful. It has stopped snowing now with maybe a quarter inch of snow that stuck.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Roll Tide!!! updated w/ lab results

I didn't learn as much as I wanted to learn at my doctor's appt this morning but I did get some information. For the past three days I've been imagining myself cyst free. I put my hands where my ovaries are and imagine that they are ready for IVF. I didn't know if it would work but good things have been said about the power of positive thinking. WELL - I have only been cyst free 1 time in the past 12 months and today was ALMOST 2! My right ovary was looking good and had 5 antral follicles. My left side was almost there. I did have a cyst but it was like no cyst I have seen before. They usually look like black circles. This one looked like two small antrals with some distance between them. Turns out it was one 25mm cyst with a 20mm blood clot in the middle. There was also some fluid around the ovary. That means the cyst is probably deteriorating and in a few days should hopefully be gone. More good news is that I had 9 antrals on that side. 9+5 = 14 antrals! I need 12 to qualify for IVF so one hurdle has been jumped!

She got my blood on the first try and as she was taking it I imagined that my levels were perfect. I should find out after lunch if I jumped that hurdle too. If my labs are good then I will start birth control pills tonight. I have an appt on 1/13 for a sonar ultrasound with dye (apparently this is quite painful) and an appt 1/25 with the IVF coordinator. On 1/25 if the cyst is completely gone she will go over my protocol of medications and a timeline for the cycle.

Other big news today: Alabama is playing for the National Championship tonight! I'm so nervous and pumped up at the same time! These boys have worked so hard to get to this game and I hope and pray they can pull it out!

Lab work looked good! I can start the BCPs tonight! My very first (hopefully only) IVF cycle is underway!!!

ROLL TIDE! Happy Name Day John!
Jaime

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Six days late but the evil witch finally showed yesterday afternoon! I made my baseline appt for tomorrow morning at 7:15! I can't wait to see what my protocol is and when I can start! I should have a lot more information after the appointment. Fingers crossed and praying hard!

I was able to change my interview to Friday at 1:30. However, the HR person said they may have to reschedule depending on the weather. I know it's a great company and a fantastic opportunity but I'm having a really tough time getting up for this interview. I'm sure I'll be able to suck it up and turn on the charm when the time comes though.

John decided to take Tristan on a little overnight getaway for just the two of them. She's so excited! They're going to Atlanta to see Annie on 1/17 in the Famous Fox Theatre and staying at the Hilton. The Hilton is attached to a mall which she'll probably love in a few years but I'm not sure if she's really that excited about it now. John is though. :o)

xxoo,
Jaime

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Double Brrrr

It is way too cold for Birmingham, AL! This morning on the way to work it was 20 degrees (-7 for the Canadians)! There's even a chance for snow Thursday night. Exciting!

I started spotting this morning so my monthly visitor is trying to show up. If she decides to show today then I will have my baseline appt Thursday morning.

I also have a job interview on Thursday afternoon. I'm trying to see if they'll change it to Friday because we're preliminarily closing the books for December on Thursday. I'm the backup for the lady who usually does this but she's going to the National Championship Game in sunny California so it falls in my lap. I'm not really sure about the job so I'm not super excited about it. It's a supervisor position in the tax department but I haven't actually worked in Tax for 2 1/2 years. My recruiter told me to just go in and interview to see what I think. I guess it can't hurt. It just couldn't be at a worse time. If I get the job I will have to start right in the middle of my IVF cycle. I'll have a lot of stress that comes with starting a new job (especially one where I'm managing 4 or 5 people and don't really feel comfortable with the material myself). I would have to take some days off for the egg retrieval and egg transfer. AND - we're going to Canada in March so I would have to ask for a week off immediately. I'll just have to leave it up to God. They're interviewing a lot of people so if I end up getting it then it was meant to be I suppose.

xxoo,
Jaime

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Brrrrr

It is cold in Birmingham, Alabama! John and I went to see the movie Couples Retreat last night. When we left if was 29 degrees! That's (-3) degrees for you Canadians. And who knows what it was with wind chill... BRRRR! One of the couples in the movie had been trying to have a baby for 12 months and weren't doing so well as a couple anymore. Ha! We laugh at 12 months! Try two and half years! The husband in the movie was extremely involved and bringing it up all of the time. It made me very thankful for John. He's very laid back about the whole process which is exactly what I need. If he was stressed out about it then I would just get even more stressed.

I should start my next cycle tomorrow or Tuesday which would put me at the doctor on Wed or Thurs. We'll see how my levels are and if I have any cysts. If everything looks ok we'll move forward with the IVF cycle. The whole cycle from 1st visit to pregnancy test will take about 8 weeks. So I won't find out if it worked until late Feb or early March! That's a long time!!

Here's a picture of Lexi lying in the sun. Isn't she cute!? You would think a black, furry dog would be hot in the sun but she loves it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

John and I rang in the new year together at home last night. We picked up some Chinese food, opened a bottle of wine and watched the ball drop. It was a nice, relaxing night with the hubby. It was special because we actually ate out. You see, John and I rarely eat out. And when I say rarely, I mean RARELY. We usually eat out once a month. That means no take out, no restaurants, no drive thrus... nothing. To some people that is perfectly normal but to my sister it is pure insanity. I don't feel like we're lacking though and it makes even a quick takeout meal of Chinese special. Luckily we got two gift cards for restaurants (one from my sister) for Christmas so we can go out maybe... hold on to your britches... twice this month.

I woke up this morning feeling like 2010 will be the year we have our baby. I hope my feeling is right! I will pray and have a positive attitude every day that this is the year! Last year I didn't eat the traditional southern good luck food of black eyed peas and here I am babyless, losing my job, and having some family issues. So this year I will find some peas and hopefully my luck will turn around in 2010. :) I can't say 2009 was a bad year though. I am blessed in more ways than I count and if those three things are the only things that were bad in all of 2009 then I would have to say it was a good year!

Here's hoping that we all have a miracle year in 2010! Cheers!

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