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"As for me, I'll take one baby marinated in a dish please"

Question:

Here is a question:

What do the following countries have in common? 

Italy

Bosnia

USA

Czech Republic

Germany

Croatia










Give up?


Yep.  We went to five countries and stayed in Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, flats and apartments and almost all of them in all countries were completely or partially furnished by Ikea.  Tables, coffee cups, chairs, cabinets, duvet covers and more (does Ikea sell toilet paper?)  If they do, then the store provided that too.

Not that I'm complaining.  I have my fair share of Ikea at the Hummel Cantina despite Ben putting a ban on ever putting together one more particle board piece of furniture.  I love the stuff myself.  But who would have thought that the Nordic giant would find itself in Bosnia?

But it has.  I'm pretty sure it is working on taking over the world.  My hat is off to you Sweden and your giant blue and yellow 20 block stores.

Here is a fun Swedish fact:  It is legal to masturbate in public.  

Who would have thought.



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And here I didn't think I was superstitious



 I didn't think I was that superstitious. However, after reflecting on both rounds of IVF, I think I might be just a little bit.  Not anything gross like wearing the same underwear for the duration of the IVF treatment (really).  Or weird like eating 12 grapes at midnight the first week of every month.  Just a few little things here and there that I did last time that I wanted to do this time as well.

Case in Point:



 Heather's BFP cake from 2011                                                                         And again from 2013






Magic Red Sweats


Rubbing the same strange Czech egg that was a few doors down from our favorite pizza place (which I also felt the need to eat at the day of egg transfer both times)


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Thumbs up from the Gennet Bed

Visiting a "spa/bathhouse" (although, one was in Budapest and the other in Karlovy Vary)










And a bunch of other things I don't have pictures of.  It seemed like a
lot of our decisions were based on, "well, we did it last time and it worked, so I think we should by our new egg christmas tree ornament from the same store as last time...."













Oh well, in the words of Dr. Danek, "Whatever works for the patients mind might just help. You never know."  - spoken like a man who deals with crazy ladies all day, every day.

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kick your shoes off and make yourselves at home



It's done. 



It's done.  Two embryos transferred into yours truly, and two cycropreserved for possible future Hummel greatness.




A couple key players getting ready for the big move.  On the right is Nikola (our coordinator), Ellyette and Ben in his saggy gown (gotta keep his signature style regardless of what he wears...)

On the right is the lady who makes all the magic happen.  It's our embryologist.  She was Ellyette's embryologist as well.  Let's hope she can make another miracle for the Hummel's.
Here is Ellyette a couple minutes before the transfer and right before she decided to go poop.  Good luck maybe? ummmm...


And guess who didn't bring any additional diapers because she was too wound up about the day to think rationally about anything else?  That would be me.  So we took her, sticky diaper and all into the transfer to show all the doctors what they'd really helped create.

Fortunately, there was a store that sold diapers right next to the clinic, that Ben went to while I was recovering.  Of course he bought swim diapers thinking they would be great for Croatia.  And they will be.  But they aren't to be used as a regular diaper we found out after she peed all over Ben at lunch.  Twice.



Along with the diapers, I also forgot an oversized shirt.  Fortunately in the last two years, enough people have forgotten their coverups that Gennet began providing some of their own.  Thankfully.  As if a stinky baby wasn't enough.  If I had to walk in naked with a stinky baby they might have just changed their minds about transferring anything.



I think the reason I was so out of sorts was because we were anticipating a day five transfer and Nikola emailed us three hours before the transfer on day 4 letting us know we were going a day early.  So of course, I have a mild freak-out about what went wrong with our embryos that we had to transfer a day early.  Note to self: Google isn't always the best source of information when trying to keep calm about a stressful situation.  

Anyway, we went in and talked with the embryologist and she was happy with the quality of our embryos as four were just beginning the blastocyst stage (a great stage for those of you who aren't savvy in the IVF language). 

Overall, it was a great day.  A big thanks to Ben for saying that traveling to Salzburg, Austria with my parents was too far, even after I pouted for an hour.  Three hours to show up for a transfer in a city five hours away doesn't add up.

So yes Ben, you were right.  (There I said it)

Now it's time for the two week wait.  Hello Croatia.  I'll see you soon.


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Calling all embryos


The first 48 hours of embryo news is in:

15 follicles out of Krista

9 mature eggs

7 fertilized

And today we are still 7 strong.  They are 2-4 cells, which is great news.



Day one visual.

Day 2.  Look at those little guys divide.  Here's to hoping another Hummel is one of those little guys below..



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the buildings


What do you think of when you see all these buildings in Dresden, Germany?








Some would say beauty.  Others would say how incredible the architecture was.  And still others would reflect on the war torn city's history and the rebuilding process that has taken place over the last 70 years.  


However, when I see these buildings, I think of how each one was built so intricately that the echo of a single baby's meltdown can transcend throughout the entire central district.  The unbelievable procession of which the sound bounces off each building onto the next and the next and then the next, without skipping a single area.  Was this intended?  Was it a communication outlet during trouble times where the entire community could respond to a single echoing siren?  Who knows.  

What I do know is that this is the place Ellyette chose to have her first major meltdown of the trip.  Do I blame her?  Not really.  In the last two weeks, we have gone from Prague to Venice then over to the Cinque Terre.  Then back to Milan to fly back to Prague.  Then to southern Czech to visit Ceske Krumlov and then back to Prague.  Then Dresden and Berlin Germany.  So for her to have finally had enough with the planes, trains, buses, car, trams, boats and metros is understandable.  But leave it to Ellyette to have a complete and total screaming meltdown in the middle of a Dresden plaza that echoed thoroughly with tourists all around to get her point across.

Can't lie, the kid has style.




Meltdown plaza

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Extraction complete




In my "Gennet tour" post, I had a picture of a bright yellow chair with microscope eyes attached to it.  I thought I would be in that yellow chair this morning for my extraction.  Nope.  I had a chair that was much more daunting.  Imagine getting into the yellow chair from previous post, but having this baby shining on you.  And by you, I mean certain parts of you.




What it looked like

















What it felt like from the stirrups



Thank goodness they knocked me out cold after a couple minutes of looking at nothing but that light and various nurses and Dr. Denak walking around.


But 13 eggs and some tea and cookies later, I felt like a million bucks. Well, if you exclude the whole hurting uterus and coming out of general anesthesia part.  Although, it is amazing the positive effect tea and cookies can have.




Ben also did his duty, which the embryologist said was "sufficient."  Ha!  That Ben.  So we wait until tomorrow to find out how many embryos 14 eggs and sufficient sperm can create.  Go team Hummel!

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Borderline Junkie?






When Ben and I were on our way to the train station the other day to attempt to rent a car for a couple days, we passed under a tunnel where four guys were pulling out needles to shoot heroin (I presume).  I was shocked that they didn't' even care that we were walking by and kind of grossed out.  After we got out of the tunnel, I said, "can you believe those guys?  They were right out in the open shooting up.  They didn't even care that we were walking by.  Crazy!"

Then Ben said, "I know.  But look at where you have taken your shots over the last two weeks."

And it's true.  With all the traveling that we have done, and needing to keep a pretty tight shot schedule, I have had the pleasure of taking my shots in about as many places as we have changed Ellyette's diaper.  

Without further ado.


Guess where we will be taking the meds?
The car rental facility in Milan, Italy
Down by the river in Prague
The bus headed to Ceske Krumlov
On the bus
And the final trigger shot - a rest area outside Dresden, Germany


Those guys have nothing on me when it comes to taking shots.  A little scary.







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Tour of Gennet

In honor of my egg extraction tomorrow, I thought I would take everyone on a tour of Gennet.  This is what my day is going to look like starting at 8:30 a.m.

Hi Gennet!  Thanks for Ellyette.  You really outdid yourself.


Second floor waiting area.  The upside?  A coffee machine and TV.  The minus side?  Seeing Avril Lavine's new video.



Moving right along......




Check it out! The examination room and ultra sound wand.  Condom included.
Not even the sunshine yellow of this chair makes it remotely appealing.
Glad to know they have microscope eyes to really get up close and personal.   Good thing I have no shame left.



Dr. Danek meeting Ellyette for the first time.  What a guy, he even gave her some sort of weird dinosaur paper puzzle thing with over 100 pieces that you need to collect. Umm.  Whatever.  He's still the best Dr. out there.  We salute you Dr. Denak

Ben with our coordinator Nikola.  She get's to deal with all the crazy infertile ladies on a daily basis.  Yikes!  We might want to do something especially nice for her when this is all finished.




The tour wouldn't be complete without Nana, Papa and Ellyette waiting outside the clinic at the Starbucks a stone's throw away.  They let you sit for as long as it takes for E to nap.




See you after the chair with attached microscope tomorrow


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The best cure for hurting ovaries

With all of our travel adventures both this time and last, I forgot that IVF isn't that fun.  The shots aren't fun, the side-effects aren't fun and the appointments aren't fun.  Over the last four days the Gonal-F shots have (hopefully) started to pump out the amount of eggs that I would normally produce in one and a half years. And today I started both Menopur and Citrotide. So with that comes hurting ovaries.

What do hurting ovaries feel like?  Well, they feel like you are producing a years worth of eggs in four days and carrying them around in addition to a 23 pound child.

But, it is hard to complain too much when your view taking the shots every morning looks like this:



And your pain killers look like this:



Wine a cure for hurting ovaries?  Yes, it works.  And my totally awesome doctor said I can have this fantastic ovary numbing remedy all the way until they put the embryos back in.


Now that I think about it.  I'm not sure why everybody who has to go through this doesn't go abroad.  So far, it's worked ok for us.

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Traveling with a one-year-old


Traveling with a one-year-old is easy....  If you don't mind changing diapers in such exotic locations such as:

Park benches












Boat benches















Airplane bathrooms

















A back ally






















On the ground in various courtyards





















On the stairs of non-bathroom restaurant courtyards















Thank goodness for hand sanitizer.


And in other travel news, to my great relief, Ellyette did not fall into a Venice canal.  While she did attempt to launch herself overboard the side of our water taxi a time or two, I was on my mom "A" game.  No drownings on my watch.

In fact, the last few days not only has she done water taxi's and ferries, she has also taken four airplane rides, three taxi rides, a bunch of trains and 2 long car trips.  And she has done it like a champ.  Thank you to my parents, Micky Mouse Clubhouse, the iPhone and stickers.







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