Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good Things Come in Threes

Thanks to everyone for being so patient about my updating this blog.  Since we found out we were pregnant, I've been waiting until the obligatory 12 weeks to give any sort of news.  And now I have news.  Lots of news.

Mr. Muffin and I are having triplets. 


We found out at our first sonogram, which was at 6 weeks.  The nurse had this funny look on her face, and the doctor leaned over and said, "are there three?"  Sweet Linda just nodded.  THREE BABIES.

This was my face when I found out:

This was Mr. Muffin's face:

Needless to say, we were a bit shocked.  But now that 6 weeks have passed, we've had some time to adjust and figure some stuff out.  And now we're thrilled.  We weren't planning on it, but we're excited about it.

Now that our family and some close friends have heard about the triplets, we've been getting some interesting reactions.  I've made a list:

Reactions When I Say "I'm Pregnant With Triplets"

"Wow, congratulations!"  (this is my favorite)
"Did you cheat?" (from a guy I know who is a father of triplets)
"Oh, my God!" *followed by grim look*
"Did you have in vitro?"  (none of your business, nosy pants!)
"You're going to have a C-section, right?" *followed by worried look*
"It's a shame you won't be able to enjoy your pregnancy now."  (I....what?)

Everyone also has advice to give me.  Even the people I know who don't have children and have never been pregnant.  You'd be amazed at how helpful people become when they find out you're pregnant.

Helpful Advice I've Received

"You shouldn't gain too much weight in the first trimester."
"You should gain as much weight as possible in the first trimester."
"You shouldn't be drinking caffeine, should you?"
"You shouldn't eat lunch meat."
"You can eat lunch meat if you want."
"You should be sure to drink orange juice so your babies won't be blind."

Lastly, here are some pictures of the Teeny-Tiny Muffins, followed by a list of nicknames for them while in utero.  I would appreciate you voting for your favorites in the comments section.

The Three Muffins

Baby A at 12 weeks
The trouble maker - hard to get clear picture, but head to right, rump to left

Baby B at 12 weeks
Baby B's head is to the left, and it's flashing a gang sign with its left hand.

Baby C at 12 weeks
Chillin' in its little hammock, head to the right

Suggestions for Nicknames

Harry, Ron & Hermione
Wacko, Yacko & Dot
Snap, Crackle & Pop
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Kirk, Bones & Spock
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
The Charmed Ones
The Divine Comedy
The Sprouts
The Three Amigos

Thanks everyone again for your prayers and encouragement.  I will keep you updated as we go on.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hot Muffins In the Oven

Well, lots has been happening around the Muffin household.  It's best described in three phases:

Phase One: The Retrieval

We arrived last Thursday at the ARTS (Assisted Reproductive Therapy Something) department at our appointed time to participate in what Mr. Muffin refers to as "The Harvest."  They ushered us in, and gave us forms to fill out, and then gave me a hideous, hiney-baring hospital gown to wear.  They were also very concerned with my urinary health.  I assured them I was fine.

They gave me an IV, and then we waited.  Then the happy-medicine doctor came in, and told me about the happy medicine he was going to give me to make me go nighty-night.  Then it happened.

When I awoke, I apparently was delusional and told Mr. Muffin that I wanted to have twins so I wouldn't have to go through this again.  I also asked him four times whether he had called my mom yet.  I remember none of this, so he could be making it up to mock me.  But he swears it's true.  Best news, though.  They got 16 eggs.  SIXTEEN.  Yes, I am awesome.

After the nurses had again made sure of my urinary health, we were released.  I came home and rested.  Not too sore, a little groggy.  Had some comfort food and my mommy came and sat with me.  Not bad at all.

Phase Two: After the Retrieval, Before the Transfer

Ouch.  Just...ouch.

I had trouble walking because it was like a giant bruise in my abdomen.  Imagine if someone took a long needle and punctured your internal organs.  It's just like that.  No, really.  That's exactly WHAT IT IS.

I was pretty sore on Friday and Saturday, had trouble moving about.  But I endured.  The embryologist called us on Friday and said that out of sixteen eggs, thirteen were normal.  Them's really good odds, peeps.  But even better - they said that they typically shoot for 50% of the eggs to fertilize normally (so 6 out of 13). 

All thirteen of our eggs fertilized normally.  Yes, 100%.

I'm convinced it's because of Mr. Muffin's Swedish/Viking heritage.  They are some hearty folk.  I've drawn a picture to illustrate:

Phase Three: The Transfer

So they had us tentatively scheduled for a day three transfer, because of my age and history.  So we showed up on Sunday at 8:45 a.m.  More hideous hiney-baring gown, and more concern for my urinary health.  The lab supervisor told us that we had three grade 1 embryos to transfer.  Dr. Rod and my favorite nurse, Linda, did the transfer, which basically entails them turning me upside down and...well, it involves my hoo-ha, so I'll spare you the details.

The transfer went beautifully, so now we are in the "two week wait".  Mr. Muffin is giving me nightly progesterone shots with a giant needle, but since I ice my butt down first, it doesn't hurt too bad. 

Thanks again to everyone who has prayed for us, and continues to pray for us.  We hope to have great news soon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Prep Time Almost Complete!

I visited the doctor again today, and am pleased to report that all systems are go!  We are due to have the egg retrieval on Thursday.  I have six follicles (huge) on the left, and five follicles on the right.  I've decided to name the ones on the left Greg, Marsha, Peter, Jan, Bobby and Cindy.  The ones on the right I've named Marlon, Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Michael. 

I would like to take a minute to publicly thank two dear people for their help in this process.  Mrs. Hair Stylist and Mrs. Chicken Farmer both donated medicine to me.  Mrs. Hair Stylist gave me medicine and tons of syringes and stuff.  Also, she's a great hair dresser.  I know you can't see me, but I'm pointing to my hair right now, and trust me, it looks fabulous.

Mrs. Chicken Farmer also donated medicine, and has just been genuinely supportive and is quite possibly one of the sweetest people on earth.  She and Mr. Chicken Farmer are expecting their Teeny Tiny Chick in January.

So I extend my heartfelt gratitude to those two, and everyone else who has supported both Mr. Muffin and myself through this.  We hope to have some great news to share with you in a couple of weeks!  In the meantime, I will let you know how the retrieval goes.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

That Feeling of Fullness

I went back to the doctor's office today, and saw my favorite nurse, Linda, who does my sonograms.  All is developing beautifully, with six follicles progressing on the left side, and five follicles on the right side.  When she asked me how I was feeling, I said, "I've been feeling a little bloated and sensitive."  What I meant was, "I feel like a beached whale." 

You may or may not know the anatomy of the female reproductive system.  For those of you that 7th grade health has been a long time, I've drawn some diagrams.

The Female Reproductive System
Now, when you take stim meds, your follicles (see above) are stimulated all at once to produce as many eggs as possible.  When they get stimulated, it looks kinda like this:

Follicle Stimulation is so sexy!
Now, normally, when a woman ovulates monthly, one follicle in the ovary will be stimulated, and will produce and drop one egg.  So ladies, you know that kinda crampy, full feeling you get when you're ovulating?  Multiply that times 10 or 11, and you'll get the IVF feeling.  I've provided some illustrations below. 

*Please note: drawings are not to scale.

Me on August 1, 2010

Me on August 21, 2010

Probably me on August 24, 2010
But don't worry.  My doctor assures me it's all normal.  Thanks, doc.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chock Full of Vitamins and Nutrients (Sorta)

I know that last time, I listed out the ingredients for the making of the Teeny-Tiny Muffin.  Today, I would like to discuss the directions and what to expect when you combine those ingredients together.  Particularly, the medications.

In the fertility lingo, I'm taking what are referred to as "stims" (stimulation meds).  My stims amount to 150 I/U of Menopur (just today raised to 225 I/U) and 150 I/U of Gonal-F.  This is in addition to the Lupron injection I take every day.

The side effects of Menopur are:

Hot flashes
Mood swings
Other symptoms too numerous or gross to list

The side effects of the Gonal-F are:

Hot flashes
Mood swings
Other symptoms too numerous or gross to list

The side effects of the Lupron are:

Hot flashes
Mood swings
Other symptoms I don't even want to look up right now

I guess you all noticed the theme here.  I know that it is, in fact, as hot as the seventh level of hell in Texas right now.  But I have been having ridiculous hot flashes.  I pretty much just sweat all the time.  Especially in the morning, while I'm getting ready for work. 

Now, I have a precise, perfectly-timed regimen for getting ready in the morning.  My regimen has been thrown off by the hot flashes, which make me sweat, which makes my hair get frizzy.  And let me say, that nothing brings on a mood swing faster than my hair being frizzy.  Yesterday, I got so frustrated that Mr. Muffin actually backed slowly out of the bathroom with his hands raised, like I was some sort of rabid animal.  Good times, kids.

So, beware, gentle chefs, when combining these ingredients.  It may just start to get a little hot and cranky up in your kitchen.

My morning cocktail

Monday, August 16, 2010

Step 1: Gathering the Ingredients for a Successful Tiny Muffin Recipe

I am starting this blog as a therapy for what might be a traumatic, but hopefully will be a joyful undertaking in my life.  My husband, Mr. Muffin, and I are embarking on the wonderful world of In Vitro Fertilization. 

For those who may not know, in vitro fertilization (or IVF) is a process by which Mr. Muffin and I will mingle his Swedish (by way of Kansas) genes with my English/Irish/French (by way of Texas) genes in a petri dish in the hopes of producing a Teeny-Tiny Muffin, which will then by implanted back into what my doctor calls a "fabulous looking uterus". 

We have been trying to conceive (or "TTC" in infertility lingo language) since we married two years ago, and so far it hasn't been happening.  I have issues, you see, with my girly parts.   It's not super bad, but it's bad enough to at least prevent me from joining the Fertile Myrtle Club.  I will spare you the gory details for now.

After meeting with our fertility doctor (Dr. Rod, who is AWESOME) for a year, and trying six different methods of conception, along with a myriad of medicines, we are now pulling out the big guns, and trying IVF.  Hence, this blog.

So, the ingredients for the Tiny Muffin include:

1 determined, but terrified and excited Mrs. Muffin
1 beautiful uterus
1 determined, but terrified and excited Mr. Muffin
30 million ecstatic sperm
15 vials of Menopur (injected in the stomach daily for 10 days)
1 vial of Lupron (injected in the thigh daily for 21 days)
3 Gonal-F pen thingy(s) (injected in the stomach daily for 10 days)
1 vial of Progesterone in oil (injected into my ass by Mr. Muffin with a 1.5" needle daily starting 8/28)
2000 mg of Metformin (4 pills daily for the rest of forever)
2 prenatal vitamins (daily)
1 baby asprin (daily)
1 petri dish
1 embryologist
1 fertility doctor
5 fertility nurses (all of whom have intimate knowledge of my hoo-ha)

So, I have gathered my ingredients together, and am proceeding with the recipe.  The approximate prep time for the Teeny-Tiny Muffin is 28 days, and if successful, the bake time will be 40 weeks.  The observant chef should note that this recipe prepared in this way has a tendancy to double itself, causing two Teeny-Tiny Muffins.  Please don't be alarmed.  Yet.

Stay tuned for further updates from the Muffin Kitchen.