Friday, July 30, 2010

It's Official

Well, it's official.  It's a BFN (Big Fat Negative, for those of you who are not fertility challenged).

Dr. Hopeful actually called me to give me the news.  She seemed sincerely sorry that this cycle didn't work out.  I actually like her more and more each time I talk to her, which is not very often.  I usually work with the nurses.

Anyway, based on my last cycle which resulted in no transfer, and this cycle where my embryos were slow in growing, she is convinced the issue is egg related.  Well, no big surprise here.  She did agree though that the quality of the 2 embryos were much better, although slow ( I didn't mention that I did acupuncture and Chinese herbs this time).  And she had no issue with access to either ovaries.

My options for next steps are 1) consider donor egg, which would increase our odds to about 60% (I think that's what she said), or 2) try another cycle with our own eggs.

I told her we would probably not consider donor egg.  Plus we will probably not be able to afford another round of IVF.  In the back of my mind, I was hoping she would offer to do another round for a discount or for free, though I know that was probably going to happen.  I was right.

She suggested I have a phone consult with Andrology Lab director about the outcome from this cycle.  The last time I spoke to Dr. Lab Director, we had a very good discussion and I found him very helpful.  I will try to speak to him again this time, maybe next week.

So what's next?

I have no clue.  We'll probably take some time off TTC.  OK, you know that never happens.  Those of us who are fertility challenged never really stop thinking about TTC.

One thing for sure, I'm off my "diet restriction".  Which means, bring on the margaritas, cocktails, sushi, white mochas, soft cheeses and whatever else my heart desires!  I see many happy hours in my near future!  Start back my class.  Maybe train for a 10K? Just kidding, that would never happen.

I'll probably be reducing the number of blogs that I follow.  I hope you understand if I stop following your blogs.  Or I may keep "following" but may not stay up to date in my readings.  I'm already WEEKs behind in my reading anyway.  I now need to think about what we want to do next, if anything, and focus my energy on reading only certain blogs.  It's getting too hard to read once-TTC-but-now-I'm-pregnant blogs.  I hope you understand.

I never did get my mani/pedi that I thought about doing during my 2ww.  Maybe throw in a massage, that sounds good.  I know this sounds really terrible, but because of this failure (again), I feel like I don't deserve it, you know what I mean?  I know I shouldn't think this way, but I do.  I should be getting a mani/pedi/massage because I am finally pregnant, not because I'm NOT.

Would we consider another round of IVF?  Probably not.  Maybe.  Who knows.  I think if cost was not an issue, I would be up for it.  Is it smart to even consider trying again using our own eggs, knowing there is egg quality issue?  Probably not.  But I feel like I should not give up.  We were so close, or at least it feels that way.

Today, after going in for my beta, I met up with Annie from Cradles and Graves.  We both had appointments at the clinic this morning, and we both have Dr. Hopeful as our REs.  It was nice to be able to chat about how our cycles are going (or went).  I found out that the company I interviewed with (which by the way, still have not made up their minds and are interviewing some more candidates!) is the same company her husband used to work for.  And they have excellent fertility coverage.  So who knows.  IF, and a very big IF I get offered a position there, we could consider another round.

Through our conversations, I also suddenly realized that I did not take my Vive.lle (estrogen) patches during my 2ww.  I thought, OMG, did I screw up my IVF by forgetting to take these?  How could I have forgotten?  How could I be so stupid?

When I got home, I checked my IVF handbook.  When I found out I was having a day-3 transfer instead of a day-5 transfer, I moved all my info (dates, etc) from the day-5 schedule page to the day-3 schedule page.  And there was nothing about those patches on the day-3 page.  When I spoke with Dr. Hopeful, I asked her if it made a difference that I didn't take those patches.  She said not to worry, they don't do patches for day-3 transfers.  Whew!  That gave me a scare.  So now I have no use for all these Vive.lle patches.  Maybe someday, when we decide we are done TTC, I will donate those to others.

So far, I am doing OK.  Yes, I'm sad and devastated, but I'm also doing OK.  I'm handling this better than the last cycle because at least with this cycle, I expected that was a possibility of a BFN.  With my last cycle I was not prepared to have my transfer cancelled.

So yes, I'm doing OK.  At least for now.  But I don't know how tonight, tomorrow, or next week will be.  I'm sure there will be some venting posts in the future.

Thanks for all your encouraging comments in my last few posts.  It's really hard getting a BFN, and many of you know how that feels.  But I'm still grateful for the many encouraging and supporting words.  They are much appreciated and needed.

Period. Beta.

I got my period last night.

We're devastated.

The clinic wants me to go in to "triple check", just in case.  Whatever.

Babe thinks we should just save the money and buy alcohol instead (for me, he doesn't drink).

I'm still going in for the beta.  Just because.

This majorly sucks.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thoughts On This IVF Cycle

In less than 10 hours,  I will have my beta test.  God, I hope this works.

To be honest, I am not feeling optimistic about this.  I am still spotting, and I am having much stronger period-like cramps.  I know, I know, I've read that many people swear their periods were coming and were shocked to find out there were pregnant.   It would be great if that were me, but honestly, I'm not optimistic.  I know I should stay positive, but it's hard.  I'm not sure what we would do if this doesn't work.

I have been very emotional the last couple of days.  I'm not sure if it's dealing with Jack's cancer surgery, being worn out from helping out, hormones, feeling really tired, or just knowing that the beta's coming up, and it could be the end of our journey.  I've been weepy and have had a hard time falling asleep the last couple of nights.  

I try not to think ahead, but I lay in bed wondering what if it didn't work, what then? Another round of IVF (probably not)?  Adoption?  Will our lives ever be full?

But what if it DID work?  What would it feel like? Oh, I dare not even think about that!

I've been thinking about some stuff about this cycle for a while, so I'll put them down here.
  • This cycle was much shorter.   I didn't have to go on 12 days of Lu.pron, so things were happening pretty quickly.  Before I knew it, I was on stims, and egg retrieval was upon us.  But timing worked out perfectly for the job interview (still no news), egg retrieval, transfer, and being around to support Jack & Ellie through their difficult time.
  • There was less excitement this cycle.  We were more cautious.  Based on our last cancelled cycle, we know that things can go wrong.  We took things one step at a time.
  • This time I did not even see what my estimated due date would be if I got pregnant.  All I know is that it should be sometime in April.  When/if I get my BFP, then I will look into it.
  • I had very little side effect from the meds this time around.  I was not on Lu.pron this time, so I'm sure that helped.  I think the acupuncture and chinese herbs helped too.
  • I went into this cycle assuming that we only had one ovary to work with.  Fortunately, we were able to retrieve from both ovaries.  Unfortunately, we were only able to retrieve 7 eggs from both ovaries.  The last time we retrieved 8 from one ovary.
  • The good news however, the quality of the 2 fertilized eggs were much better quality this time, with no fragmentation.
  • We are grateful we were able to make it to transfer this time around.  We hope Icsi and Dicsi will stick around for the next 9 months!
  • Babe and I have been very blest to have people donate some of their unused/unneeded drugs.  That saved us a pretty penny.
  • I don't know what is in store for us if this cycle does not work.  This may be our last try.  Maybe.  Is this the end of our dreams of having biological children?  Would we consider adoption?  I just don't know.
  • Sometimes I wonder if we should have done the shared risk program.   We did have some insurance coverage, but it covered only one cycle.  I am starting to wonder if we should have signed up for it.

Tomorrow will be torture!

Spotting, Part 2 & 200th Post

Caution: Post may be TMI for some.

There was some brown in my discharge from Endome.trin again this morning.  And also more pink mucus on the applicator after inserting my morning dose.

Plus, I am feeling pre-menstrual like cramps today.

I checked with Dr. Google, and of course there are lots of cases of people that got BFPs from spotting, but I'm also sure there are lots that got BFNs.  You just never know.

I thought about calling the clinic to ask about the spotting, but I already know what the nurse is probably going to say.  It is normal to spot after IVF, especially with progesterone suppositories.  Beta's tomorrow anyway, so why bother.

Oh and I did just check.... I do have one home pregnancy test at home.  So, I could POAS if I wanted to.  

Very tempting.  But nah, gonna skip it.

Also, this is my 200th post!!  

I can't believe I have had that many posts!  I will be doing a giveaway later in honor of my 200th post and reaching more than 100 followings.  I have to figure out what to give away yet.


Caution: This post may be little TMI for some.

Just now, before I showered (I always do so before bed), I noticed that the discharge from the today's Endome.trin on my panty liner had a very light tinge of pink/very light brown.  And I mean VERY light.  I didn't think too much into it.

Then after I showered, I inserted my evening (or before bed) dose of Endome.trin.  I noticed that there was a bit of pink mucus left in the applicator.  This has never happened before.

I remember that I noticed this morning (or was it last night?) that I seemed to have some mucus when I showered.

Is this normal?  Should I be concerned?  Am I spotting?

Oh, and another thing, I noticed that my b00bs seemed to have "shrunk" to my normal size.  When I was on stims, and even after my transfer, my b00bs were fuller than usual.  They still were yesterday.  Now, not so much.

Is this a bad sign?  Am I over analyzing things?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

9dp3dt: What 2WW?

So it is now 9 days past my day-3 transfer.  I'm almost at the end of my 2ww.  I go in for my beta test on Friday morning.

The last week or so has flown by.  I have been keeping pretty busy.  I haven't posted anything for a few days because I felt that there was not much to update on the PUPO front.  No pregnancy symptoms, nothing.   I was experiencing some side effects from the Endome.trin including tiredness, cramping, and abdominal discomfort.  But that is pretty much it.  I'm not sure what that means.  I know lots of people get pregnant and don't experience any symptoms at all.  I'm trying not to think too much into it.

My transfer was last Monday and was on bed rest until Wednesday.  I took it easy on Thursday, just laying around watching TV.  On Friday, I watched Jack & Ellie's kids while they handled some legal issues before Jack's colon cancer surgery on Monday.  Saturday, Babe and I ran errands.  For Jack's surgery on Monday, I had emailed a bunch of Jack & Ellie's friends and family and requested bible verses.  I collected the verses they wanted to share them, printed them on colored 4x6 card stock, and held them together with a ring.   On Sunday, we went to church in the morning and later in the afternoon, a group of friends from church gathered at Jack & Ellie's to pray for Jack, Ellie and the kids for Jack's upcoming surgery.  It was wonderful to have so many people gather to pray and support them.  We gave them the booklet of bible verses then.  Then I stuck around to help out around the house with the kids, chores, etc. so Ellie and Jack could pack and do some last minute things before the surgery in the morning.  It was a long day and I was pooped out by the time I left around 9 pm.

Monday morning was Jack's surgery.  I spent some time with Ellie at the hospital while Jack was in recovery.  It's really tough to see a good friend go through something like colon cancer.  All I could do was try my best to help out in whatever ways I can.  Fortunately, Jack's surgery went well.  They took out the part of his colon that was cancerous.  He will still have to go through chemo therapy after this to take care of some smaller ones left in his small intestines that couldn't be removed.  But the best news is, none of his major organs were affected, so that is VERY good news. Please continue to pray for Jack & Ellie and the kids.

After my hospital visit,  I watched their kids until Ellie came home that night.  It was another long day.  Yesterday, I made homemade chicken soup for Ellie, and chicken broth (strained from the chicken soup) for Jack.   I brought those to the hospital and was able to visit with Jack for a bit.  He will be in the hospital for a few more days, but he goal is to go home by Saturday.

As you can see, my 2ww has been pretty busy.  Only 2 more days before I go in for my beta.

I have not had much time to think about if this cycle worked.  I am continually encouraged by the number of people praying for me.  Most of the same people praying for Jack & Ellie are the same ones praying for Babe and I during this cycle.  So I have been encouraged and continually reminded by these friends that they are praying for me too when I see them.  Also I know you out there in the blog world are also praying for me.

I know that during the 2ww, I'm supposed to take it easy, relax and try to stress as little as possible.  It has not been easy to stay relaxed these few days.  I have been busy with Jack and Ellie, but this is something I want to do.  Something I need to do.  Ellie is like a sister to me.  We are like family.  I know that if I were in her situation, she would do so much and more for me too.

I know its not the same thing, but colon cancer makes my infertility struggle seem so insignificant.  At least I am healthy.  I do not face the possibility of death.  I do not have to go through chemo.  Still, going through infertility has made me more sensitive to Jack and Ellie's situation.  Makes me think twice or three times before saying something or offering advice.  I know what it feels like to receive well intentioned but unhelpful, even hurtful advice.  I try to just be there for her, offering a hug, a prayer and support.

Someone asked how my 2ww is going.  What 2ww?  Keeping busy has helped me not obsess about it.  But I do think about it at night, when I lay in bed.  Though I don't think about it  during the day, it has kept me up at night.

I do think about what if this didn't work?  But what if it did?  WHAT IF IT DID??

Only 2 more days before I find out if my life will change forever.

Friday, July 23, 2010

One Woman, 2 Wombs, 2 Babies, Not Twins!

This lucky lady not only has 2 uteruses, but she is also pregnant with 2 babies at the same time.  But they are not twins!

At her first ultrasound, one baby was about 5 weeks along, and the other one 6 weeks.  She'll be having a double birth next year.  Read the article here.

I wonder since she has 2 uteruses, does she have 4 ovaries?  Does that mean she ovulates twice a month?  That sure doubles her chances of getting pregnant each month, right?

Can I just be half as lucky as her?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thanks, Facebook!

This was an ad on my page today.
So not only do I have do deal with pregnancy announcements, ultrasound pictures, birth announcements, baby pictures and "guess what cute thing my child said/did today", is also in my face with a "pregnancy solution".

Thanks a lot!

Yah, that one didn't get a "like" from me!

Psalm 139

Yesterday, I received this bible passage from one of my friends who are praying for and with us this cycle.  It is from Psalm 139 and I want to share this with you.  It is so appropriate after our transfer, and during our 2WW.

Psalm 139: 13 - 16 (New Living Translation)
 13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
      and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
      Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
      as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
 16 You saw me before I was born.
      Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
   Every moment was laid out
      before a single day had passed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Welcome July ICLWers!

Happy ICLW everyone!  ICLW or IComLeavWe stands for International Comment Leaving Week.  It's a great time to find new blogs and meet new friends.

I will be turning 37 in less than 3 weeks (Ugh!!), and Babe and I have been married for almost 8 years.  We have been TTC for our first baby for more than 6 years.  It has been a very long and tough road for us.

This ICLW coincides with a pretty exciting time for us.  Babe (my hubby) and I just completed our 3rd round of IVF.  You can read about our egg retrieval last Friday here and our transfer on Monday here.  I am so excited to finally a have photo of our embryos, Icsi & Dicsi.  We had a BFN on our first IVF, and at our last cycle, our embryos did not make to to transfer.  We now we are optimistic and praying that this cycle will work for us.

I just completed my 48 hours of bed rest as of noon today.  So now I'm in the dreaded 2WW (2 week wait).   Any suggestions on how to deal with the next 2WW?  I'm thinking maybe a mani/pedi.

Also, I'm PUPO!  I'm pregnant until proven otherwise!

Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you stick around to see how this cycle plays out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Introducing Icsi & Dicsi

As promised, here's picture of Icsi and Dicsi.  We are not sure which is which, but here they are anyways.  My first picture ever of my embryos.
They were both at 4-cell stage at day-3 transfer.  Even though we had less eggs retrieved, and only 2 fertilized, Dr. Hopeful noted that the quality of the eggs seem to be better, with no fragmentation.  Icsi seems to be slow for being only 4-cell at day-3, but Dicsi seem to be on target, so I am optimistic.
Here's a picture of the actual transfer.  The dark area in the top of the screen is my bladder.  The little white arrow (sorry it's so tiny!  Click on the picture to view a larger picture) is pointing to a white circle where the little 2 embryos were just placed into the uterus.

Please continue to pray that the embryos will continue to grow and implant successfully!

Transfer Day

I started of today with an appointment with AcuGirl at 9 am this morning.  I always enjoy my acu sessions, and pray each time she walks near my door that the session isn't over yet.   I had previously asked about doing a session after the transfer too, but she said based on their experience at her clinic, the success rate is the same as just doing it prior to.  So I won't see her again until I hear my pregnancy test result.

My transfer was at 11:30 am, but at 10:30, I had to empty my bladder, take my valium and start drinking water.  I had to make sure that I had a full bladder by 11:30.  I was worried about how much water I needed to drink because during my first IVF transfer, my bladder was SO full.  I desperately needed to pee during and after the transfer, but I had to lay there for 10 minute before I was allowed to go pee.

So this time, I was very cautious about how much water I would take in.  We checked in at 11 am, and by then, the valium had started to take effect.  I was starting to feel woozy and needed help from Babe to walk into the IVF suite.  I changed into my gown, cap and booties, and Babe changed into scrubs, cap and booties.  Amy, the nurse (the same nurse from retrieval day) gave us our discharge instructions - bed rest for 48 hours, no exercise, no showering for 48 hours (eww!), no sex still pregnancy test, etc.  She also put my ID tag on my right ankle, not my wrist.  This was different.  I guess it makes it easier for the doctor and the embryologist to confirm the tags since it is closer to them at my ankle instead of my hand.  Then I asked the nurse a question (probably a "dumb" question), I asked the nurse would I have to worry about sneezing or coughing too hard (I do tend to sneeze really hard).  She said not to worry.  She gave me an illustration:  Imagine a pea sandwiched between 2 pieces of bread.  If you sneeze or cough, it may move a bit, but it would not fall out.  That made me feel better.

Then Dr. Hopeful came in.  I was glad she was the one doing the transfer too.  As of this morning, both the embryos have grown to 4-cells.  Embryo #1 was a bit slow at 4-cell ( I think they like to see it at 8-cell by now), but Embryo #2 seemed to be on target at 4-cell, considering that was ICSI'd one day later.  It made me feel better that there was at least one embryo that was on target for growth.  She also gave us pictures of our 2 embryos and some other eggs that didn't fertilize.  I was so excited that I actually got photos of my embryos.  Proof that they exists!  I'll post those pictures later.

We then went into procedure room.  I'm pretty sure it was the same room my egg retrieval was done it, but this was the first time I noticed a large sliding window that joined to the embryology lab.  I laid on the examination table and the ultrasound tech put some gel over my belly and did and ultrasound of my uterus and bladder.  I made the comment that this was the first time I've had and external ultrasound, I'm so used to the vaginal ultrasound wand.  A new experience for me.  So, this is what if feels like to have an ultrasound done if you are pregnant!

My bladder looked good, so I did a good job drinking water.  I was glad because I felt comfortable, and not like I really had to pee.  I was also happy that I was able to look at the ultrasound screen from where I was laying.  Then Dr. Hopeful came in.  She put in a speculum (my least favorite part!), cleaned the cervix, and did a trial transfer.  I think this is done just so she knows exactly where to put the catheter.  Then she put in another catheter with the embryos in it and said 'here comes the embryos".
The ultrasound tech pointed out a little white circle indicated by an arrow on screen.  It's a little air bubble where the 2 little embryos are.  Then the catheter was pulled out, and the embryologist checked to make sure that nothing was left behind in the catheter.  And we were done!

I asked Dr. Hopeful about what "delayed ICSI" was.  I thought delayed ICSI was doing ICSI on the eggs that didn't fertilize naturally the first day.  I was wrong.  Dr. Hopeful explained that delayed ICSI meant they did ICSI on the 3 mature eggs on the first day.  Only 1 of the mature eggs ICSI'd fertilized.  Then they waited one day for the other immature eggs to mature a little more and they ICSI'd those.  Out of those immature egg, one more egg fertilized.

Dr. Hopeful said, yup, it's ICSI and DICSI (delayed ICSI).  Of course Babe, being the funny guy he is, named our embryos Icsi (embryo #1) and Dicsi (Embryo #2, from delayed ICSI).  So now we have names for our embryos!

After Dr. Hopeful left, I was left to rest for 10 minutes on the examination table before being allowed to go pee again.  Then it was off to the recovery room to rest/nap for another 30 minutes.  It was quite nice actually.  I was pretty relaxed, thanks to the va.lium.  I had Babe turn off the lights while I tried to nap, and he sat there playing on the iPad.  When the 30 minutes was up, I got dressed, Babe changed out of his scrubs, and I had to pee again before leaving.

We picked up lunch on the way home, and I have been relaxing in the recliner all day.  Spend the afternoon watching daytime TV - Rachel Ray, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, Oprah, etc.  I'm now watching "Julie and Julia".  It's nice to just bum around for a while, and letting Babe take care of me.

Though Icsi is a bit slow in growth, I'm optimistic that Dicsi is at least on target for growth size.  I'm praying that both will continue to grow inside of me and implant.  We are praying for either one or two babies!

So for now, I'm PUPO - pregnant until proven otherwise!

There's Something About the 19th

March 19th, 2009 - I found out that we had a BFN from my first IVF that was done overseas.

March 19th, 2010 - I had my egg retrieval for my second IVF.  We had no embryos to transfer.

July 19th, 2010 - Today, I am having my embryo transfer for my 3rd IVF.

There's something about the 19th.  Let's pray this 19th will be the one that brings a baby home for us!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Delayed ICSI

I googled "delayed ICSI" and I think it is the same thing as a "rescue ICSI".  It is ICSI done the next day after finding none or very few eggs have fertilized naturally.  Sound just like my scenario.  Unfortunately, the research findings is not very positive.  Success rates for rescue ICSI is pretty low.

Gosh, this is hard.  I need to stay away for Dr. Google!

(**Updated: I found out during transfer that delayed ICSI meant the mature eggs were ICSI'd right away, and then they let the immature ones mature one more day before they were ICSI'd the next day.)

Fertilization Report & Transfer

Dr. Hopeful's embryology lab called today.  Out of the 7 eggs retrieved, only 3 were mature.

It sounds like they did a "delayed ICSI" which I am not 100% sure what it means.  I think one fertilized naturally, and they did the delayed ICSI, I think the next day.
(**Updated: I found out during transfer that delayed ICSI meant the mature eggs were ICSI'd right away, and then they let the immature ones mature one more day before they were ICSI'd the next day.)

So now we have 2 fertilized eggs.

As of this morning (retrieval day +2) one was at 2-cell, and the other was a day behind at 1-cell.

So, we are doing a day-3 transfer instead of day-5.  

Our transfer is scheduled for 11 am tomorrow morning.

For being 2 days after retrieval, 2-cell and 1-cell seems like the embryos are growing really slow.  I just looked back at my fertilization report from my last cycle, and this is very similar to the last.  Only one egg fertilized, but then another fertilized the next day.  In this case, the second one had some help with ICSI.  The difference is we had more mature eggs last time - we had 6 - and this time, we only have 3. 

Also, last time we were going to do the transfer at day-5.  But since the embryos stopped growing before day-5, we had to cancel it.  This time, we are doing a day-3 transfer.  I guess we won't know if the embryos will continue to grow once we put them back in my uterus.

I have to confess that I am somewhat discouraged at how things are turning out.  I had hoped for a better outcome.  But I also know I need to think and stay positive.  It is not over yet.

I will find out more details about how the embryos are doing tomorrow.  I am not sure which doctor is doing the transfer.

Please continue to pray for my embies to grow strong and healthy, and that we will have a good transfer tomorrow.   Today, we had a few people pray for us after our church service and one of the guys said "This is your time!"

Yes, we are claiming that this IS our time!

God is in control, no matter what we will be OK.  We are just praying that it is in his will for us to have a successful IVF this time.

A Prayer Request - Jack & Ellie

(Image from CCF)
Please pray for my good friend "Ellie" (previously referred to as "E" in previous posts) and her husband "Jack" (not their real names).  We just found out a few days ago that Jack has been diagnosed with colon cancer.  Jack and Ellie are my 3-year old goddaughter's parents, and they also have a one-year old little boy at home.  Jack's only 43.

Jack is scheduled for surgery next week, and he'll probably need chemotherapy after that.  We do not know exactly what stage the cancer is yet.  Please pray for Jack and Ellie as they face the tough road ahead of them in the next few weeks and months.

I know there is a praying community out here in the TTC blog world.  Please keep Jack and Ellie and their family in your prayers.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Breaking the Silence on Infertility

The August 2010 edition of SELF magazine published an article about infertility titled "This Woman Has a Secret: Breaking the Silence of Infertility".  It is a very informative article and I hope it will build greater awareness about what many of us are going through.  Please take some time to read it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Egg Retrieval Update

Egg retrieval went pretty smoothly today.  We arrived at the clinic early (summer Friday traffic was much better than anticipated), and sat for about 15 minutes before we were called in.  I remember walking in through the "IVF Suite" door with a special password protected door.  Then a nurse asked me the usual questions: health, drugs, when was the last I ate or drank, etc.  Then I changed into my gown, cap and booties.

Steve, the nurse anesthetist, came and talked to me.  He asked me if I have had any problems in the past and I said no.  I did mention though that the last time I had my egg retrieval, I threw up when I got home.  He said he would give me some Zo.fran, the kind of drug pregnant women use for nausea.  He did say though, it may or may not help.  He was also going to give me something for my allergy congestion, and said I would feel pretty thirsty when I woke up.

Then Dr. Hopeful came in and chatted with us for a bit.  I was glad that she was the one doing the egg retrieval this time.  She was feeling pretty optimistic about this.  The right ovary was still in a difficult location, but she said she wouldn't know if she could get to it until I was asleep.  I was concerned that we didn't have too many mature eggs, especially only 3 on the left ovary.  She thought my numbers looked very similar to my last cycle and she wasn't too worried.  She said all we need is ONE good embryo.  Plus we would be doing ICSI, so that would help too.

Babe and I hugged, said our good byes, and he was off to the Andrology lab, and I was off to procedure room 1.  Steve had me hop up on the table and he covered me up with a warmed blanket, fresh out of the warming oven.  Steve then put an IV in a vein in my arm.  This is new since in all my past surgeries, I've always had them in a vein in my hand.  Steve said "looks like someone's been poking you a lot lately, huh?  You've got a nice juicy vein."  He was kind of a funny guy.  I preferred it that he put the IV in my arm anyway.  I think it hurt less.  At the last IVF, the IV wasn't put in quite right, and it hurt for a bit.  After the IV was put in, it was time for my "nice little nap" and the triple cocktail of meds (not sure what was in it) was injected into the IV.

The next thing I know, I woke up in the recovery room, and in walked Babe and Dr. Hopeful.  Dr. Hopeful was able to retrieve from both ovaries.  Yup, both ovaries.

7 eggs were retrieved.  

I guess Dr. Hopeful had to press down on my abdomen (when I was asleep), and I guess the right ovary moved to a location that was accessible.  I don't know how many eggs were retrieved from each ovary.  Dr. Hopeful seemed pretty happy with how things turned out.  We'll see what happens next.

I was given some water and liquid Tyle.nol.  Yuck, I can't stand liquid meds of any kind!  Next thing I know, it was time to dress, a wheelchair was pushed in, and it was time to go home.  We were out of the clinic by 9:30 and were home by 10 am.  On the way home, I could feel all the turns and bumps on the road.  I kept telling Babe to take it easy.  It was a little better this time though.  The last time I thought I was going to throw up in the car.  Just in case, we brought along a barf bag.  Luckily we didn't need it.

The first thing I did when I got home was walk into the bathroom and threw up my liquid Tyle.nol.  It still amazes me how fast something comes out the other way when you don't want it to!  My first thought was, God, I hope I don't have to throw up like this when I am pregnant.  But if I do, bring it on!

I felt much better after that.  I brushed my teeth, took my first dose of tetracy.cline, ate something and went to bed.  I spent most of the day sleeping, getting up a couple of times only to eat, drink, take my tetracy.cline and tyle.nol, and use the bathroom.  Recovery is going fine.  I'm still a little sore, but not too bad.  It hurts if I sneeze or cough hard.

So now we wait.  I was hoping we would be able to get more eggs, but I think I am fortunate to have 7, and from both ovaries.  Last time we had 8 from one ovary.  Now, we pray that the eggs are mature and especially that they are of GOOD quality.

I will be getting a call on Sunday with a report of how many eggs were mature and how many fertilized. We are doing ICSI this time, so I am praying that we will have many fertilized, and hopefully we will have some to freeze.

Again, I have to remind myself that God is in control.   Please pray with me that there will be the perfect number of mature eggs, the perfect number of eggs that will fertilize, the perfect number of embryos that will make it to day 5, and the perfect of number of embryos to be frozen.

Thank you all for your support, best wishes and especially for keeping me in your prayers.  I will update as I find out more.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's Almost Time

Well, it's almost time.

Had my stim day 13 appointment yesterday.  Here's where I was yesterday:
  Lining: 10 mm
  Right ovary:  16.5, 15.5, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10
  Left ovary: 21, 18, 15.5, 14, 13, 13, 11

It seems like my lining has shrunk, but the nurse is not concerned.  Sometimes it's a matter of angle.  Also, it looks like one of my eggs have shrunk, but again, it could be sometimes the measurements aren't 100% accurate.  The nurse couldn't tell me for sure if I would trigger last night or today.  It would all depend on my blood work and Dr. Hopeful.  I was hoping it would last night since I didn't want to have to order more Meno.pur.

Well the nurse called me back in the afternoon, and I was to trigger last night.  So last night I had my HCG shot at 8:30.  Babe did an awesome job with that and it didn't hurt one bit.

I am now scheduled for my egg retrieval at 8:30 am tomorrow (Friday) morning.  We have to be at the clinic at 7:30.  It looks like Dr. Hopeful will be the one performing my egg retrieval.

Please pray that the procedure goes well, and that the they will retrieve a good number of mature eggs.  Also, pray that they may be able to access the right ovary.

Well I also had my job interview yesterday.  I think it went fairly well.  I was pretty nervous in the beginning, and may have rambled on for a bit.  But they only spent the 1st half hour asking me questions.  And the other half, it was my turn to ask them questions.  It ended up more like a Q&A session.  All in all, I think the interview went well.  I thought it was going to be 2 interviews, but this is the only one.  They are still interviewing more candidates next week,  so I will find out in a couple of what their decision is.  Of course I hope they offer me a job, but I'm just glad that it's over.  Now I can just focus on the rest of the IVF cycle.

So tomorrow morning it is!  Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh My Bloatness!

Remember when I said I felt "full" last night?  Well I'm actually really bloated.

Didn't really think that I that bloated, was since I have been feeling pretty good this cycle.  Until I pulled out my suit last night.  I wanted to make sure that my pant suit still fit me.  The last time I wore the pants, which was not that long ago, it fit fine, in fact it was a little loose.  Last night, I could barely button them!  I'm not getting another suit so I just hope that I don't pass out in those pants!

At today's stim day 12 appointment:
  Lining: 12 mm
  Right ovary: 15.5, 15.5, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 mm
  Left ovary: 18, 16, 14.5, 14, 14, 11 mm

I'm getting really close.  I will have my HCG (trigger) shot either tonight or tomorrow night.  I'm hoping it's tomorrow.  I want to give the 14's a chance to catch up.  The clinic likes follicles to be at least 15 mm before doing the HCG shot.

Unless the blood work comes back with anything different, I am to continue my current meds of 150IU Meno.pur, 300IU Follis.tim and Ganirelix, and go back for another ultrasound tomorrow morning.  I will most probably have my HCG shot tomorrow and egg retrieval on Friday.

If not, they will call me this afternoon, and let me know if I need to have my HCG shot tonight, and then egg retrieval would be on Thursday.

It's all going to work out, timing wise.  Though tomorrow will be a bit tricky - 8:45 am appointment at the clinic, and 10 am job interview.  It will be close!

I'm off to prep for my job interview.  Wish me luck!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stim Day 11 Update

Today is day 11 of stims.   I added Ganire.lix to my morning shots this morning.  This will ensure that my body does not ovulate before my retrieval.  So 2 shots in the morning now - Ganire.lix and Meno.pur.

I had may appointment with AcuGirl today.  I had to move up my appointment this week as I have my job interview on Wednesday.  I told her I was a little concerned that the follicles are growing slow, but she assured me that may not necessarily be a bad thing.  We want quality, not quantity.  She used the heating lamp in my pelvic area again, and it felt good after.  I have been feeling "full" in my ovaries all day.  Tomorrow morning I go back for another ultrasound to see how my follies are growing.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that this won't interfere with my job interview on Wednesday.  Or maybe I sayg that the job interview won't interfere with this IVF cycle?  Where are my priorities??

AcuGirl and I had a discussion about how this cycle is going.  I have to say, I'm not sure if it's the acupuncture, the TCM herbs, not being on loopy Lu.pron, or just being distracted with the whole job thing this cycle, but I have not been feeling much side effects or stress.  At all.

No headaches, no hot flashes, no stress.  I'm feeling pretty good!  AcuGirl believes the TCM herbs really help with side effects.  I'm not sure what it is, but I am not complaining.  It feels like this cycle has flown by.  I can't believe I am almost at my retrieval already.

I have to prep for my job interview, but I am so not motivated......

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stim Day 10 Update

I had my 7:30 am Sunday appointment today.  I was surprised to see how busy the clinic was.  I suppose our reproductive cycles don't care what day of the week it is at the clinic!

At stim day 10:
  Lining = 9 mm
  Right ovary = 13 & 11 mm, plus 13 smalls (less than 10 mm)
  Left ovary - 11, 12, 15x11 (averages 13), 10 mm, plus 7 smalls

It looks like my follicles are taking their own sweet time to grow.  Hopefully that's a good sign, hopefully it  means they will produce mature eggs.  I will be adding my ganire.lix shots with my Meno.pur shots tomorrow morning.  The want to make sure my lead follicle in my left ovary (the 15x11) does not cause my body to ovulate before retrieval.

It's good to see that my ovaries are making progress, though not very quickly.  I just hope that the smaller follicles can catch up with the lead follicle.  I'm also glad that my right ovary is not producing too many follicles.  Hopefully that means the meds are being used to build up the ones in the left ovary.  A reminder, the last time, they could not access my right ovary because it was in a "difficult" location.  As far as I can tell, nothing has changed, and this probably means they will not be able to access it this time too.  So, hopefully the meds are being channeled to the left ovary.

But then again, who knows?  It's too hard to tell what would happen!

I have another appointment on Tuesday morning for another ultrasound.  we'll see then how much they have progressed.  It's starting to look like my interview on Wednesday is a go!

My BIL is arriving tonight to stay with us for a week.   There will be lots of sneaking around for shots this week.  We'll have to see how retrieval day works out with him in town!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Saga Update

Had my ultrasound and blood work this morning.  Looks like my follies are lazy..... still not much action at stim day 8.

Lining = 7 mm
Left ovary = 11 mm, 10 mm, and a bunch of small 8 and 9 mms.
Right ovary = Bunch of small 8 and 9 mms.

Not too much happening yet, even on stim day 8.

Based on today's measurements, I have another appointment scheduled for Monday morning.  It looks like I won't have a retrieval before Wednesday, so my interview should be fine.  I also have an appointment scheduled for Wednesday at 8:45 am.  That should give me enough time for my follow up appointment and make it to my interview at 10 am.  So I called back Ms. Co. Recruiter to confirm my interview on Wednesday at 10 am.

Then this afternoon, the clinic called.  Dr. Hopeful wants me to come in for an ultrasound on Sunday instead of Monday.  I hope this does not disrupt my Wednesday plans.  What sucks more is, because my appointment is on a weekend, I do not have a a choice for a time.  I am automatically scheduled for a 7:30 am appointment on Sunday!

Ugh... now we'll have to see how Sunday goes!

The Saga Continues

The call finally came today. Ms. Co. Recruiter called and said the people that will be interviewing me have a very full schedule the next few weeks. The earliest time that works for everyone would be July 19th. Well, that's almost 2 weeks away. I figured that would be fine. I'll probably have my egg retrieval before the interview, but hopefully before the transfer. So the interview was set for 2pm on July 19th.

Then, not too long after, Ms. Co. Recruiter called again. I guess the 19th isn't going to work after all. Now, she wants me to come in on the 14th.  That's next Wednesday.  That would be stim day 13 for me.  Hmm... This is going to be tricky.  Not knowing when my retrieval's going to be, plus I'll probably have frequent ultrasounds next week, I'm not sure how everything's going to work out.  I'm just hoping that I won't have my retrieval until at least after the interview.  According to the IVF schedule, the the HCG shot is usually on day 13, so maybe it will be OK.  Then again, it all depends on home my body responds to the meds.  So we'll have to see.

So I agreed to the interview on the 14th (for now).  I have another ultrasound tomorrow (Friday) morning, so I will know more about how my follies are doing then.   I told Ms. Co. Recruiter that I have a "medical procedure" next week, though I won't know for sure what day it will be on yet.  I told here I would let her know tomorrow once I find out more after my appointment.  So for now, I am set for an interview for July 14th.  Once I find out more tomorrow, I will confirm with her and make any changes if necessary.  I just hope I will find out more then.

The saga continues.....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Getting Antsy

I mentioned in previous posts about applying for a a job.  I had my phone interview on June 14th (Monday), that's more than 3 weeks ago.  The company recruiter told me things looked good, and he would get back to me at the end of the week with a decision on whether they would call me in for an in-person interview.  After a week and no news, I checked back with my recruiter.  I was informed that the manager for the position was out of the country, so it had been difficult to get feedback, and I would be updated.  Then a week later (this was last week), I was told that they wanted to have me come in for an in-person interview, and I had to submit references ASAP.  My recruiter told me that they would be calling me in the next couple of days to schedule an interview.  I thought I would get the call last week, and possibly have the interview before the 4th of July weekend.  No call.  Luckily I didn't take time to worry or think about the upcoming interview over the weekend.

Then yesterday, after all the 4th of July festivities, my recruiter called me again, and asked if I had heard anything, and I said no.  So she called the company recruiter.  Found out that he had accidently sent my application to the wrong person - the hiring manager instead of the gal who is supposed to do scheduling.  He apologized and assured my recruiter that someone will call me within the next couple of days.

Yesterday: No call.  Today:  Still no call.

I am getting antsy.  I hope they call tomorrow.  If not, the very latest Friday.  This means my interview will most probably be next week.  This will make things interesting.

Monday will be Day 11 of my stims.  Which means one of a few things.
  1. My egg retrieval will be next week.  Not sure exactly when yet, but in the past, I stimmed (on stimulation meds) for 12 days.
  2. My next appointment at the RE's will be Friday.  I will find out more how my follicles have grown then.  There is a possibility I may have daily/almost daily ultrasounds next week.  This makes it scheduling my interview challenging.  My appointments are always in the morning, so I am hoping to be able to schedule the interview in the afternoon.
  3. I am hoping I can schedule something earlier in the week, while I am still stimming.  If it gets any later, I'll have to worry about it clashing with my egg retrieval.  Of course I don't know the exact date of the ER yet, so that just makes it more interesting.
  4. I just found out this today, one of my BILs will be in town and staying with us next week.  He is getting laid off, and is in the process of networking and looking for a new job in MN.  He and Babe's family do not know we are doing IVF, so it will be interesting how we will work around my appointments and egg retrieval when he is in town.
Ugh... this is a pain.   When I first started on this job thing, I thought the timing would be perfect.  I'd have all my interviews done before my ER or ET.  But now, things have been delayed, and it is creeping up too close to my IVF schedule.  

If things go well with the interview,  I'll have to go in for a second interview.  

Why does this cycle have to be so "interesting"?

On another note, I had an acupuncture appointment today.  I finally noticed something today.  AcuGirl is pregnant!  I never noticed it before, but today I finally saw her belly.  She is due in October.  She is having a boy, her second boy.   I'm happy to say it didn't bother me at all.

I was having some allergies today, so AcuGirl put needles in a couple more spots -  around my elbows and around my nose/sinus cavity.  I can tell it made a difference after.

Well, let's keep our fingers crossed that I will get the call tomorrow to schedule the interview.  To be honest, I'm a little antsy, but not too worried.  I believe that God will time everything just right.

Stim Day 5 & 4th of July Weekend

I went in for my stim (stimulation) day 5 appointment yesterday.  Nothing exciting going on yet.  My lining was 5 mm, which was good.  On Friday, it was 8 mm, but I had a slight period so the lining shed.  Now it should start building up again.  There were 11 -12 follicles on my right ovary, and 12 on the left.  I am continuing my current dosage of 150 IUs of Meno.pur in the morning and 300 IUs of Follis.tim in the evenings.  I go back for another ultrasound on Friday.

Babe and I had a wonderful 4th of July weekend.  We were up in Upper Michigan visiting at my SIL's family home.  Babe's parents, his brother and wife, and our 3-year-old niece were there visiting her parents.  My SIL's parent's house is by a lake and we had a warm and beautiful weekend.  I guess they only get that kind of weather once or twice a summer, so we really lucked out.  We swam in the lake, kayaked, and even went out sailing.  We had such a great R&R time.  I let myself "indulge" in coffee, ice cream and almost raw fish (we had seared ahi tuna!)  Just a little.  But I was also very good, having a lots of fruit.

My SIL who is pregnant didn't "announce" her pregnancy while we were there.  She assumed we knew since my MIL told her that she had accidently told us.  She was very gracious about her pregnancy.  She didn't dwell too much into it, except for when she couldn't eat certain things.  The next time I see her, she will already have had the baby.  My niece is so cute.  She's all excited about the baby, and kept saying that she is having a little baby sister.  I wonder if she will be sorely disappointed if she gets a brother.

Thankfully, I did not have any trouble sneaking in my shots twice a day.  I just had to be really careful about not leaving any evidence of my shots (alcohol swabs, gauze pads, syringes, etc).  I just made sure that I took everything with me when I was done.  I didn't bring a sharps container with me.  I just brought a small plastic ziplock container for my used Follis.tim needles, and I recapped and put my syringes used for Meno.pur in a small cosmetic bag.  It worked out really well.

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend.  I was going to try updating my blog, but I was too busy enjoying myself!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

IVF, Here We Go Again!

This morning I went for my first baseline ultrasound for this next round of IVF.  Looks like everything is "quiet", which is a good sign.  Lining is 8 mm, which is considered thin, and a good thing.  I took my last BCP on Tuesday night, so I may or may not get a period this time.  But based on the lining, the nurse thinks I will probably have one.  As for the ovaries, there are 10 small ones on the right ovary (the "difficult" one), and 12 or 14 on the left (I think, I can't remember).  Nothing has changed with the right ovary, it's still high.

So, I'm ready to start my stims tomorrow.
     Meno.pur: 150 IUs (2 vials) in the morning
     Follis.tim: 300 IUs in the evening.

The best part of it all, I was able to get 3 boxes of Follis.tim 300 IUs samples from the clinic.  Score!  I really needed this because I only ordered enough to get me started.  Now I'm feeling pretty good about this cycle.

In the waiting room this morning, a couple came in with their infant son.  He's less than a year old as he wasn't even walking yet.  I know some people have a hard time with people bringing children, especially babies in an RE clinic, but it didn't bother me too much.  He was a real cutie, so I smiled and waved at him.  His mum smiled and said "It does work" (meaning IVF).  I said, "Is he your miracle baby?" and she said "Yes!" We starting chatting a little, and found out that her first IVF worked for her.  She said before this, she would have been OK whether IVF worked for her or not.  However, after having her son, she really wants to try again.

She was 39 when she did her first IVF, and she will be trying again at 41.  I can't remember if she said she only had one egg, or one embryo, but it took and now she is blest with a healthy and very cute baby boy.  I'm so happy for her.  She gives me hope!  She gave me her email so we will start communicating and maybe meet up again when she is in town (she lives 2 hours away).  She is also a patient of Dr. Hopeful.

So far, things are starting off well for me.

Tomorrow, we are heading out to Michigan to see my BIL and SIL, the ones that are expecting.  I'm sure they will be announcing their pregnancy then.  My MIL and FIL will be there too.  It will be an interesting trip, having to sneak around to give myself shots twice a day. And, I'll have my period at the same time.

 Good times.