Sunday, February 14, 2010

ivf - day 34 - calendars are of utmost importance

I'm speaking to the choir to those who've gone through IVF, but if you haven't, trust me on this: you live, breath, die, and inject by your calendar.

It's seriously what you live by.

I think of it kind of like a syllabus in college classes. You know EXACTLY what you're doing each day, down to the very minute.

Just for fun, I thought I'd share my first cycle calendar with you. This was from my IVF cycle back in the summer of 2009. I was brand new at this and had no idea how much information would be thrown at me, so I just printed some calendar pages from a template in Word. As you can see, I filled them up rather quickly.

1st month (not so bad)

2nd month....oh my! I'm writing all over the place. You can see I'm tracking my follicles and my bloodwork, not realizing this is not NEAR enough room for that. I think I got one or two appointments on here and surrendered.

I had also pre-filled the important dates, like the egg retrieval and different appointments, not knowing they could change by a day or two here or there. Silly me.

3rd month....I've finished highlighting my days to the pregnancy test. I can still remember what a relief it was to highlight off that last day.

This cycle, I thought it would be more fun to make my calendars pretty. Considering it's a brutal process, I figured it needed some style, right?

To create my calendar pages, I just used 4 products. Very simple, I know.

At the top of each calendar page, I've just documented a few sentences about what's happening that month, or what I'm hoping to happen. Then, I'm documenting my appointments, injections, oral meds, etc, so I don't forget anything.

These are hanging above the desk in my office on a magnet board. I like having a visual in front of me at all times. Before, I highlighted the days off, but this time, I'm not doing that, just keeping the calendar in front of me helps tremendously. So far, so good, I haven't forgotten anything yet.

I'll be sure to post the entire calendar toward the end of my cycle so you can see how it compares to last time.

If you've been through IVF before, I'd be interested to know how you kept track of all your appointments and such (especially if you kept track of your follicles - more on this later). Just comment here or shoot me an email if you'd like.

Last, here's the update for me this cycle:
  • On Tuesday, I was lowered to 5 iu's of Lupron.
  • Saturday, I started my stimulation meds: 150iu Follistim at 6:30am and 75iu at 6:30 pm. I also have 75iu of Menopur at 6:30pm and 5iu's of Lupron at 6:30am.
  • My first Estradiol check (E2) and ultrasound will be on Wednesday.
Grow follicles grow!


Keshet said...

Thinking of you, April and wishing you the best:)

Courtney said...

Just wanted to say I'm keeping you in my prayers! I haven't gone through IVF, but I have been down the IUI road a few times. Love how you are documenting everything...especially how you're using the calender pages. Take care and well wishes that this is your month.

Melanie said...

April, I keep my fingers crossed for you! The idea with the calendar pages is so great and you a right - let's do it in style!
I only had one fresh cycle and since that ended in an ectopic we opted for a frozen embryo transfer on a natural cycle the second time round. With the fresh cycle I did not really have a method to keep track. Just like you mentioned it felt a little like a fish out of water and no one can really prepare you for what is to come. Luckily our clinic provided us with a very detailed plan of what is supposed to happen on which day and I used that as a starting point. The amount of meds changed every other day after the scan & bloodwork but that was basically the only thing I had to adjust on our individual clinic plan. They even got the date of the egg collection right. Apart from that I did not document much because I wanted to live as normal a life as possible and I felt that if I let the process take over I would not be able to go through with it. Basically, I tried to ignore it - as if that is possible. Afterwards I put away all the documentation because of the horrific outcome but I scrapbooked the experience and that helped a lot.
Take care!

Anna Sigga said...

Girl I just love your attitude towards this difficult process - this is probably one of the most difficult things to tackle.

Your calendar is fab and you are both in my thoughts!

julie.schellin said...

hoping for the best for you! I truly appreciate your amazing attitude.

AnilĂș Magloire said...

I think it's very cool that you're documenting your journey.
I never got to try IVF, but I still had to take lots of meds, and have lots of operations and I too kept LOTS of those calendars.
Yours is beautiful!

I wish you all the best in this!

Anonymous said...

wonderful use for those calendar pages! ... and I will be praying for you :)

Kimberly said...

April...really LOVING all your process in building and is all coming along so BEAUTIFULLY! I can see how much you are going to LOVE your HOME when you can finally live there. :)
I am continuing to pray for you and your pregnancy process too...I already and choosing to believe this is going to happen for you you guys!
Loves ya,

Anonymous said...

OMG love that you scrapped a calendar! I just purchased one of those giant pre-printed calendars and scribbled the information in, but my clinic is full of over-achievers so I get a printed-out calendar from them at the beginning of the cycle with detailed info, and get a new one as we reach each milestone to keep me up-to-date with the appointments, etc. Luck to you!