August 30, 2011

Day 5 Egg Transfer --- it happened!

First of all, nobody wasn't really sure if my ET was a GO today till RE checked my fluid level. If it was too much, I was told all the eggs had to be frozen for next time FET.  Today I went to my appointment time, bladder filled with water like I was instructed. In a procedure room, DH was looking nervous.

RE checked the fluid level. All the fluid was pretty much gone! He said that my ovaries are huge. I guess that was expected. My bladder was filled, uterus looks good, no more fluid in ovaries--- so I did Egg Transfer!! 
RE and embryologist gave me a picture of 2 best ones!
My nurse was pushing lower tummy with ultrasound devise and UGH it was SO uncomfortable. My bladder was hurting. Anyways, everything went perfect. The nurse told me to stay laying very still for 10 minutes and that she would be back with a bedpan for me to pee in. Ah I started to sweat after a few minutes, couldn't hold pee anymore. I tinkled a bit and told DH to go get the nurse.  I seriously think I have 1 main bladder, and 2 reserves. I had to call her 3 times for pee pan in 45 min. I wish I could pee like a horse at once and done with it. Oh no. It's kinda silly but I was dealing with bladder issue a lot more than feeling the happiness of reaching to the egg transfer and seeing this miracle science technology. 

I've been together almost 9 years and this is the FIRST TIME his sperm and my egg met! Isn't that something!??  Now I wait.  My first Beta is next Wed 9/7, 2nd is Fri 9/9. They said they would tell me the result on of after 2nd Beta.

August 28, 2011

Day 3 Fertilization Report

Recap of Egg Retrieval 8/25 : 26 retrieved, ended up 24 matured, 17 fertilized

Day 3

3 embryos @ 4 cells
5 @ 5 cells
4 @ 6 cells
2 @ 7 cells
3 @ 8 cells

My nurse said 14 are doing good. But the 3 embies with 4 cells are very slow, not looking that good. 
I have a "Tentative" Egg Transfer scheduled on Tuesday 8/30. I say "tentative" because RE needs to check my fluid level before okaying for the 5-day transfer.
Another issue I am having is that PIO shot is kicking my butt. So far I have 3 pokes on my butt and they are reddish and a little swollen. If I keep doing this everyday, sooner or later my butt cheek is going to be double in size!

August 27, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries w/ indian spices

I have too much influence from FoodNetwork TV Program, Aarti Party.  I DVR every single episode of her cooking show. I LOVE indian spices. So exotic and flavorful. This is one of the easiest. If you are tired of regular potato deep-fried french fries, this will top that. Healthy baked sweet potato fries!! Yummy!

Serving : 4
Cook Time : 35 min

Kosher Salt
3/4 teaspoon garam masala (it's a seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices, then again into 1/2-inch sticks
Olive Oil


Preheat the oven to 450F (230C)

1. In a small bowl, toss together 1 heaping teaspoon of salt ( yamamori 1 teaspoon), garam masala, cumin and some freshly ground black pepper to taste.

2. Add the sweet potatoes to a large bowl, drizzle with enough olive oil to coat and sprinkle with the spice mixture. Toss well to coat evenly.

3. Pour the sweet potatoes onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, making sure all the pieces are evenly spaced. Bake 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway through. remove the potatoes from the baking sheet and serve immediately.

August 25, 2011

Israeli Couscous w/ Mint & Lemon

Do you like minty lemony flavored salad?? This is it!

Serving :6
Start to Finish : 30 minutes

Ingredients :

Salt for pasta water
8 oz (1 1/2 cups) Israeli couscous (pearl couscous)
5 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
5 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
1/3 cup golden raisins
3 TBSP very thinly sliced lemon zest
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted ( you can toast in a frying-pan)
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes


1.Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add couscous, and cook until al dente. Drain, and drizzle with just enough oil to coat. Spread on a baking sheet, and refrigerate 10 minutes
Adding all the ingredients on top of couscous

2. Combine couscous and remaining ingredients. Sprinkle some salt for more taste. You can add more lemon juice or olive oil to your liking.  Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 min before serving. 

Egg Retrieval

So on my 2nd Ultrasound on 8/23, I had 32 follicles, which is down from 39 on 8/22. Did the trigger shot at 10:30pm which is 36 hours prior to retrieval. RE said the timing is very important, especially me being over stimulated a bit. The cramping yesterday 8/24 was worse but not a whole day, just from time to time. I couldn't sit still all day so I was in the kitchen cooking! I prepared 5 different dishes! Anyways, today was the big day. Egg Retrieval. I got 26 eggs, 22 matured ones! Not so bad, right? My RE said the trigger shot timing seemed to be perfect. And I am so happy that we could save those eggs!! I am still bloated. Not as bad. At least I don't feel like I am a frog anymore,, all those eggs are out of me! Now I wait to see how many of those are going to survive to day 5 for transfer. Meantime, THE PIO shot starts tonight! Scary....   The nurse gave me sets of smaller needles for injection saying that I don't have enough meat on my butt for bigger ones. That was very nice of her! Dosage is 1cc a night. Is that a standard? Let's see how wimpy I really am on these shots.. 

August 23, 2011

Ultrasound #2

After I was told I don't have to be back for ultrasound until my blood test shows lower E2. This morning, I went in for blood test. The E2 was down to 5700 from 6400 yesterday, showing it went down. I guess stopping the stim shot was good. They called me while we were shopping in the AM saying that they wanted me back in the office for 2nd ultrasound. So I did. My follies are now up to 20mm. They want me to start suppositories tonight. Trigger tonight at 10:30p, ER on Thursday.
RE said I might be in pain or some kind of discomfort after ER since I have so many follies now. He said my ovaries have to calm down or I have to feel ok in order to do ET.  And of course, over-stimulation can compromise the quality of eggs, but he won't know until he pulls out those eggs. I understand, in short, that basically my body has to be good and embryo have to surviving on day 5. Skipping the fresh transfer and having have to freeze all my eggs are still a very possibility at this time. (sigh)

August 22, 2011

Ultrasound #1-- Over Stimulated?- Change of Protocol

Today, I had a very first ultrasound to see how I am responding to fertility drugs, and to count and measure follicles that are growing in my ovaries.
Before I signed up for the cycle, RE did say that I might respond to those fertility stimulation drugs easily so he had to be really careful of my dosage. Well, he was right. I think this is the result of over stimulation. I had 39 follicles today. When I left the office, my protocol for the drugs were the same,,, which I am to get Follistim and Luveris shots tonight as I have been doing. My nurse called me just now saying that they made changes on my protocol. From what I understood, my ovaries got so excited with all these stimulation drugs, responded really well. But having lots of follicles means lots of estrogen produced. As a result, my estrogen level is high and this is not good for egg transfer. The worst case, she said, is that I might have to freeze all the eggs and wait for the FET. Just disappointed. But I don't expect EVERYTHING to go perfect from the gekko anyways. I have to be OK with that.  My nurse said If that happens, this is the best for my health.She explained to me in a way I can calmly understand the situation.
So for now, I will go to blood test every morning to monitor my estrogen level. Then they will do u/s again. I am hoping I get to do at least ER as planned.

Pumpkin Croquette-- Japanese home cooking

Croquette is served quite often in Japanese household. It's not fancy meal like Sushi. It's more like everyday home cooking meal.  I made with Kabocha Pumpkin, but most commonly we use potatoes. We eat this dish all the time, served with other items to go with rice. 

Point : Kabocha Pumpkin is naturally sweet. But you can add some honey to have the sweetness a bit smoother.

Start to Finish: 45 min

Ingredients: using 1/2 Kabocha (whole is really big. If you want leftover for freeze, use 1 whole Kabocha Pumpkin, it becomes really good lunch!)

1/2 Kabocha Pumpkin

* Honey 1TBSP
* Butter 1TBSP
* Salt to taste



1.Peel the skin (green part) of Kabocha, Take the seeds out and cut in 1/2 inch diced. (3cm).. this is for microwaving purpose

2. Put some paper towel in heat-resistant cookware (this is to absorb the water), microwave for about 5-6 min till become soft.

3. While it's hot, mash the Kabocha with masher, add Honey, Butter, Salt to taste. You can adjust the honey and butter depending on how sweet and buttery flavor you like. 

4. Make patties in the size you like and dip in order of Flour, Egg, Breadcrumbs. Then deepfly. 

The best sauce to go with this dish is this! You can find it at any Asian store, or wherever sell Japanese food. This is MUST-HAVE sauce for Japanese food, especially, Pankocrumbed flied food!

If you can't find this, It's OK. My husband use Ketchup!

August 10, 2011

How am I doing with IVF drugs-- Lupron and Dexamethasone

These are the first two sets of medication I have been taking for a week or so, followed by Birth Control Pills. I took the last BCP on Monday 8/8 hoping to get period by next Tuesday 8/16. BCP is only to put my body on RE's IVF cycle schedule. They want us to have period on the certain week to do the procedures. 
The only time I took BCP was for my acne when I was in 20s, just for a few months. That was all. I had not taken BCP for SO LONG so I thought I would get a full effect,, like getting bloated, making me eat more which cause weight gain etc..  It turned out BCP was not bad at all.

For now, I am only taking 2 of several other medications. The nurse explained to us how to use needles, how much to take and so on. Very detailed instructions.  Anyways, Lupron and Dexamethasone are the two in the pictures I am currently on until next week. And there are more coming. 

The pill is Dexamethasone,,, steroid pill. I take this in the AM because it causes insomnia. Yes, I take it 4AM with breakfast. After all day working, it still wakes me up in the middle of the night. I have been getting broken sleep, but I am not tired. This pill makes me wired-up all day.If I want to have a good sleep, I have to run around the block or exercises or something that makes me tired, which I can not do everyday!

Lupron is to suppress hormones at the pituitary level. I understood in my own way that this is to calm our body, they don't want our own hormone start acting up. The Injections in the AM, can be done on my thighs or stomach, wherever the fat is. I can't do it. My husband has to poke me. I have no side effects from this medication whatsoever that I can feel. And needles are pretty tiny so injection isn't so bad either. One time we poke too close to the muscle on thigh, it gave me bruises! I am learning.  

More updates to come on how I am coping with these IVF drugs! 

August 9, 2011

Fresh Basil Pesto Pasta

Pesto Pasta is BY FAR my most favorite pasta! Canned pesto is good but nothing is better than mixing fresh basil in our own food processor! This is my husband's recipe. Garlic, tomato and red onions are the only vegetable we added to this pesto pasta this time. Sometimes, we add chopped grilled chicken.

Serving : 4
Start to Finish : 45 minutes or less

1 red onion
2 roma tomatoes
Pasta ( I used angel hair pasta)
Salt and pepper

Pesto Ingredients:
1 whole garlic bulb ( not each cloves)
1/2 lb of fresh basil
1/4 cup of roasted pine nuts ( roasting can be done in a flying pan for more flavor)
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup or more of olive oil depending on how oily you want the pesto to be

1. Put all the ingredients in the food processor and make pesto.

2. Chop 1 whole red onion. In a flying pan or wok (wok is better. it holds large quantities ), sauteed with 4 garlic cloves (chopped or sliced), then add the chopped tomatoes and pesto, then add the cooked pasta. Toss everything. You can adjust flavor by adding salt and pepper, more pesto, more garlic, vegetables etc.... 

Talah~  DONE!  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper is good!

(optional 3. if you add Lemon oil, it gives more flavors but it's ok not to have it)

Marble Cupcake topped with CreamCheese Frosting

You won't believe how easy it is!!

I've been into this TV show called "cupcake war" lately. Every other week, I go to cupcakeries in town to treat myself. They are not cheap. The ones I buy are like $3-$3.50 each cupcake. Because I love them so much, my chef husband decided to bake for me. Less cost but more tasty! We used the silicon mold for baking so we didn't use the paper cup.

Serve : 8-12 cupcakes
Start to Finish: 30 min or less
Pastry Bag and Star tip ( to squeeze the cream on the cake) OR icecream scooper (you can just scoop the cream and place it on top of cake)

Marble Cupcake : 1/2 a package of cake mix ( I used marble cake mix) 

1. Bake in a cupcake size mold, follow the direction on the box

Cream Cheese Frosting :15 min
  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
  • 1.5 - 2 cups of powdered sugar,, depends on how sweet you want
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

2. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness.

3. Either spread on with a blunt knife or spatula, or spoon into a piping bag to decorate your cake or cupcake.