Egg retrieval update…

28 11 2012

Sorry for the long silence…day before Thanksgiving, Dr Braverman told me I was progressing much more quickly than expected, so we had to change plane tickets etc.  I cooked dinner for twenty, including a friend from the UK in the States for the first time, and my husband left for New York the next day.  I arrived on Saturday and my ultrasound that night (which interrupted the doctor’s attendance at a bat mitzvah) showed that I needed to trigger in an hour or so!!  Of course I didn’t have a trigger with me, so he found an ovidrel… but I was nervous it wasn’t enough, so he found me a second to appease me 🙂  Triggered in the restaurant bathroom during dinner, and ER was Monday morning.  Six eggs, five ripe and the sixth was ripened in vitro later that afternoon, and all fertilized.


Now just hoping for blasts to freeze!


Last week home before ER!

19 11 2012

Happy Thanksgiving week, people… are you ready?  Are you hostessing or attending dinner elsewhere?

I have been doing Thanksgiving for strays for easily 20 years or so.  This year is no exception– though we do have a number of good friends who attend annually and no longer count as strays at all– so I’m getting ready for about 20 people.  It’s nominally a “pot luck” dinner but that means two people are bringing a dish (an appetizer and sweet potatoes) and probably two other people will bring desserts and someone else will bring wine… which is fine, I really like to cook and I have it down to a method.  I do my grocery shopping well in advance and have a meticulously-listed plan telling me all the things I need to do each day leading up to Turkey Day so I don’t ever get overwhelmed.  It also has a minute by minute, play by play schedule for the day of, starting at 5am (walk one hour) and concluding with “run sink of hot soapy water and start coffee when dinner is finished.”

So for instance, yesterday I chopped celery and onions and sauteed it with herbs for the stuffing… chopped and fried bacon for garnishing the brussels sprouts… prepped ingredients for the enchilada casserole for Tuesday’s dinner with my British houseguest… and sorted out linens, table decorations etc.  Tonight, I take the turkey broth I made on Friday out of the freezer and use it to make a gravy base with some nice dark roux, and then on Turkey Day I just finish it with the deglazed juices from the pan.  I’ll also slice the brussels sprouts, trim the green beans, and make a banana bread and a cranberry-orange-pecan bread.  And hope I have time for a pedicure tonight, as well.

Tonight will be day four of FSH stims for this ER cycle.  Last time I didn’t notice boob soreness but I feel it this time! and my tum is already feeling pooched out.  I hope this means my follicles will all have eggs in them this time.  (Since we’re not changing anything about the protocol, I’m doubtful on that score, but whatever.  I trust Dr. B and we made 3 blasts last time, so I will be over the moon to get 3 more this time.)

How are you?

Dang cytokines etc are even higher now. Grumble grumble, freak out freak out.

15 11 2012

Dammit. Braverman just emailed me and then called me to chat… my last immune retest panel just came back and my cytokines are even HIGHER now than first and second test! They’re 51.9/37! And NKa are higher too.

So he said a few things: 1, after we discussed the supplements I’m on, he says there’s no issue with possibly being on ones that aggravate cytokines (he says greens/spirulina are the current consideration for that.) I’m on myoinositol, melatonin, metformin, L arginine, vitamins A C D E and fish oil, and MaxiFlavone. All good he says. Second, we discussed whether it’s a lab issue. The Y forum has a current thread about whether San Jose gets lower cytokine levels than RFU. Dr B’s thought on the matter is RFU gets more accurate results and he doesn’t think it’s a lab issue. Instead, he thinks there’s something innate in me, it’s not a diet issue or a supplement issue, and thus, we’ll need to make certain therapies are in place before we consider any FETs. (I already knew this.)

So… we have time to sort it out… he said one option is neupogen plus prednisone. The other is IVIg and humira. I’m fine with both frankly. He said neupogen alone isn’t really showing a decrease in cytokines in the immunological literature, but it is showing that in the reproductive literature. He also says neupogen plus prednisone has better results on that front. But “we have time,” he kept repeating, and “it will get resolved, we’re not putting any embryos back in you unless we know they’re safe.”

And then? the doozy… “Have you considered a surrogate? Not saying that is necessary– but if you wanted to avoid being on all the meds possibly necessary to bring down your inflammation…”

We chatted about that for a moment, but really the bottom line is no. I am 100% in favor of anything other people want to do… but us, we, I just couldn’t see paying $60-70k for someone else to carry the baby. He said well, keep your ears open, you might meet someone or find a family member who is willing. Yeah, I will keep my ears open, but really… I doubt it. We don’t have sisters, and none of my best friends live even in the same state. And they’re all my age. So who wants to get pregnant for free at 40+?? not happening.

AND I want to carry the damn thing myself. After all this, I WANT MORNING SICKNESS THANK YOU.

that is all.

moving along…

15 11 2012

Well, after my estrogen overdose this weekend, I further effed up by missing my estrogen shot which was supposed to happen Tuesday night.  I did it last night, in the correct amount! and hope it doesn’t mess me up to be a day late.  I don’t start Gonal F stims until tomorrow night, and I’ve been (at least) managing not to mangle any of the cetrotide/ganirelix injections.  I should be okay, but I will find out for sure tomorrow at my bloods and ultrasound.  Whiiiiiichhhhh… I need to schedule, right now.  God, I’m getting sloppy!

Oh joy… I’m supposed to get bloods and sonograms done the day before and the day after Thanksgiving, and then arrive in NY on 11/24, but I can’t do a local ultrasound the day after Thanksgiving as everyone is closed!  so just bloodwork on that Friday… even Dr. Braverman’s office is closed that weekend, and they say I don’t need another ultrasound and bloods until Monday morning 11/26!  I’m nervous about that– but Dr. B knows what he’s doing, so I guess I will just chill at my cousins’ house next weekend and relax…. ish….

I totally screwed up this weekend.

12 11 2012

My husband and I went to Dallas to visit family for the weekend… and Friday was a hectic day and a half for me.  I was struggling to complete a work deadline (it had to be electronically filed with the court) by midnight so not too hard to manage, but I wanted to also get some other things done before we left town.  I ended up needing some mentor review from a supervisor at the office, so I figured I’d just e-file from Dallas when we arrived.  We planned on getting there around 9pm so no big deal.

Then, our favorite burger place halfway to Dallas ended up taking forever to make my dinner, so we were an hour late getting to Dallas.  And, I knew I needed to do my first estrogen priming shot that night too. 

The hustle and bustle of arriving, setting up my computer, reading my boss’s edits and making the corrections and getting the document e-filed by midnight made it seem that a silly little estrogen shot was a wham-bam-needs-no-thought maneuver.  This was my first mistake!

Also, I do IM (intramuscular) shots a little differently.  I do them in my arm, in the thickest part of the deltoid muscle, and with a 27 gauge needle (pretty skinny for an oil-based shot.)  So I get the needle in, then make my poor husband do the hard work of pushing the plunger down.

This time, poor baby, I totally screwed the pooch and loaded up TWO cc’s of estrogen instead of the POINT TWO cc’s I was supposed to take.  That’s right folks– 2, not .2.  TEN TIMES the amount of estrogen.

He sweated and huffed and puffed and finally got it all in me (and trust me, it wasn’t the most comfortable shot ever.)  And I e-filed my pleading around 11:45pm, and went to bed, and woke up at 4am FREAKING OUT because I had just realized my estrogen overdose.

Thank goodness Dr. Braverman tells me it’s okay, just “a lot of stuff you didn’t need to take.”  I don’t think I have enough estrogen in the vial for the remaining doses, but otherwise, no lasting harm done, that I know of.

Of course all that extra estrogen will make my endometriosis grow, and will make my liver tumor swell… but I just hope it doesn’t hurt my eggs.  I feel like SUCH A SCHMUCK.

I’m still on ganirelix every morning, and .2cc’s estrogen every 3rd night… and I start Gonal F on Friday.

How are you?

I have one butternut squash in the pantry, and never cooked one before.  My husband likes soup and we finally have a little chilly weather, lows of 40s and highs of mid 60s, so I think I will make this for him tomorrow night, adjusting the quantity for my lonely one squash of course:

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

4 Tablespoons butter
3 large shallots
2 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon curry powder
2 1/2 -3 pounds butternut squash 
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Fresh herbs (optional)

  1. Mince shallots and garlic and set aside.
  2. Wash and peel squash; cut into ¾-inch cubes.
  3. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add shallots and garlic; cook for several minutes.
  5. Add curry powder; stir well.
  6. Add squash and cover the pan.
  7. Cook squash over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
  8. Add stock, cover and simmer until squash is very tender.
  9. Puree small batches of squash and liquid in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  10. Garnish with fresh herbs.

I am OH so happy today :)

7 11 2012

A good laugh!

5 11 2012

Got this from WishfulBabyBump… thanks!

Hahaha!  Reminds me, last week I had a friend tell me I just needed to think positively, that the mind was powerful enough to make anything happen.  That, also, made me laugh quite heartily 🙂

Speaking of being positive… how about an easy fall dessert for your Thanksgiving table?  I get so tired of the same old same old pecan pie and pumpkin pie.  Everyone always brings them to my potluck, so if people want them, that’s fine– but I like to toss in something a little different.  Usually I make a dark chocolate-caramel walnut tart… or like this year, my sour cream spice cake…  But here’s something a little different.  This version of the recipe has homemade puff pastry, but you can also buy it already made in the freezer section (Pepperidge Farm makes a decent one.)  It’s quick and rustic-looking and very autumnal in flavor.

Pear Hazelnut Tart in Puff Pastry Crust, from Fine Cooking.
For the rough puff pastry
9 oz. (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. table salt
8 oz. (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the hazelnut filling
2 oz. hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
To finish the tart
2 medium ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Make the puff pastry:

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and toss to coat with flour. Using a pastry blender (or, toss it in the food processor) cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is dry and rough with 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks of butter. Add 1/2 cup very cold water a bit at a time and continue cutting until you get a shaggy dough that barely hangs together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a rectangle, then roll into a 6×18-inch rectangle, flouring the rolling pin as necessary. It’s okay if the dough is ragged at first.

With a pastry scraper, fold both short ends toward each other so they meet in the middle. Fold one half over the other half to make a 4×6-inch rectangle. Turn the dough so that the fold is on the right. Roll into a 6 x 18-inch rectangle and repeat the folding technique. Wrap in plastic; chill for 20 minutes.

Position the dough so the fold is on the right. Roll into a 6 x 18-inch rectangle and fold the dough again as directed above, flouring lightly if needed. It should be smooth with visible flecks of butter. Divide the puff pastry crosswise into 2 rectangles, one about 3/4 inch longer than the other. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.

Make the tart:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425° F.  On a floured surface, roll out the smaller pastry rectangle to a rectangle roughly 9 x 14 inches. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and trim the edges to get a neat rectangle 8 x 13 inches.  Roll out the larger pastry rectangle to roughly 11-1/2 x 14 inches and trim the edges to get a neat rectangle 11 x 13 inches. Cut this rectangle into four 13×3/4-inch strips and four 8 x 3/4-inch strips. (You’ll have leftover dough, which can be refrigerated or frozen for another use).

Moisten two of the shorter strips with a bit of water and lay them, moistened side down, along the short sides of the smaller rectangle. Moisten two of the longer strips and lay them along the longer sides of the rectangle, overlapping the shorter strips at the corners. Repeat with the remaining four strips, stacking them on the first set of strips to make a double-high edge.

In a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts until coarsely chopped. Add the sugar and pulse until finely chopped. Add the egg, butter, and vanilla, and process until creamy.

Spread the hazelnut filling evenly over the bottom of the tart crust, up to the edges. Arrange the sliced pears in a shingled crosswise pattern over the filling, alternating directions with each row. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle it over the fruit.

Bake until the crust is puffed and golden brown and the fruit is tender, about 23 to 26 minutes.

Pear-Hazelnut Tart in a Puff-Pastry CrustAnyway… I’m on my last couple days of lupron now, and I start ganirelix on Thursday.  I am quite happy with myself, despite a few slips over the weekend I did lose 3 lbs since last week.  I need to be more disciplined about walking and doing pushups every morning.  I did a good quick hour-long walk this morning with 200 pushups (in sets of 20, let’s be realistic) and since there were a couple little hills, I did sweat a tiny bit.  I’m trying to be better about my eating, also.  Somehow, this being fat thing might actually help me with that.  When I was training all the time and had less bellyfluff, I could eat a lot more.  I finally clued in this weekend that I just don’t have the room in my tum for the same quantities.  When I eat less, I physically FEEL BETTER.  Duh, Georgette, get a clue.  

So perhaps smaller quantities, though less emotionally satisfying, will be physically more comfortable especially as I return to the ovaries-of-plenty thing.

I met with a fertility friend from the real world for breakfast on Sunday morning after church.  It was funny because I texted her to remind her about the time change on Saturday night.. then promptly forgot myself, and showed up for church an hour early… as it was the Spanish Mass, I decamped to the Donut Crown, bought some kolaches and donuts for my husband and his childhood friend staying the weekend with us… drove home, deposited said treats in the kitchen (minus one chocolate frosted buttermilk donut, because after all, I have to keep body and soul together) and then snuggled in the bed for another 20 min before going back to church… anyway, that donut helped me not order something extravagant at the cafe with Amy… instead I ordered oatmeal with fresh fruit.  Ironically the oatmeal sucked, so I ate some semi-ripe fruit and drank tea and that was about it.

She and I gabbed a good 3 hours (she’s getting her beta on Thursday after an injects IUI; she’s got Hashi’s and has had two losses, so I’m really crossing my fingers this is the one for her) and then I helped hubby hold down the couch for the rest of our Homeland marathon.  And, we went to see Argo last night.  True story about an AMAZING American hero who helped rescue some of the Iranian hostages back in 1980… good flick, if you get a chance to see it you really should.

OK, ok… back to work!

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