Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beta Result

Got the call from our RE this afternoon.  Our result..... NEGATIVE of course.  That is what I expected, so no surprise there.

I was at work when she called, but I had a few minutes to talk with her.  I thought I was handling our conversation fine, but she was just being so nice that I couldn't help but start falling apart.  She said we had gone through so much already with doing 3 IVF cycles with her.  We've been on this journey so long, and we did everything right.  I have a good functioning uterus, I ovulate regularly, my body responded well to the IVF meds, etc.  But when it comes to egg quality, there just really isn't much that we can do about it.

The RE suggested we consider egg donation.  She had suggested we think about it during our conference with her earlier on this cycle too.  She wants me to come in and do a conference with her and discuss that option and give me more detailed information.  I don't know.  I think Babe and I have to make that decision on our own.  She also suggested we meet up with her counselor to help us work through our next steps, and if donor egg is an option for us.

You know, I never considered donor egg as an option for us.  I always just thought that our kids would either have both of our DNAs, or neither.  However, now I think that's not fair to Babe.  If it were the other way around, and we had male fertility issues instead of egg quality issue, I'd probably still want my DNA in our children.  I think once you've gotten this far in your journey in trying to build your family, you start becoming open to other options.  A few years ago, I thought I'd never do IVF.  But look at us now.

I'm sorely disappointed that we are not pregnant, but I'm also not devastated.  As I was driving home from work today, I realized Babe and I have not been happy in the last few years.  Sure we've had some happy moments, and did some really fun stuff like traveling.  But we have not been truly happy for a long time.  It's hard when something important is missing from your life, and most people around you just don't understand.  People are sympathetic, and try to be supportive, but unless you have or are going through infertility, you just don't understand.

We have to view our future differently now.  Now that traditional IVF is no longer an option for us, our future is not so "bright" anymore.  That same hope is no longer there.  But it is a different kind of hope, though I am not sure yet what it is.  One thing I do know and still believe in is that God has a plan for us, and that all things work for good, and according to his purpose.  We just got to figure out what His plan is.


My beta is in 7 hours.... at 8 am.

How am I feeling about it?  Honestly, I'm not optimistic.

A couple of nights ago, Babe asked me if I am going to take a HPT (home pregnancy test).  Surprisingly, it never even occurred to me to take one.  This whole time (OK, it's only been a little over a week since my transfer) I never even thought too much about the beta or considered taking an HPT.  I have just been so busy at work.  I asked Babe if I should take one, but he didn't know.  Neither did I.  Still don't.

Well, I just checked my HPT test that has been laying in the back of my linen closet.  It expires in December 2011.  There's 2 in the box.  It's probably going to waste.  Since we started fertility treatments a while back, I've only taken a HPT once or twice.  Never needed to.  My period always came.  I think the last time I got my period the morning of my beta, even while on progesterone.

I think my HPT is going to waste.  Still can't bring myself to take it.  Like Babe said earlier tonight, if we don't take it, we have at least one more night of hope.

Hope.  I'm really not that hopeful.  Though I am hoping I will be surprised when the nurse or RE calls with the results in the afternoon.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Free from Bedrest

In about an hour, I will be done with my 48 hours of bedrest after transfer.  Though it's been pretty tough to stay laying down most of the time, I'm glad I was able to just slack off, take long naps, sleep late and just lay around watching TV and movies.  One movie that I did watch that I really enjoyed was "The Switch" starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman.  Not that I'm a huge fan of Aniston but in the spirit of "having a baby"  I thought it would be fun to watch it.  And it was a great movie, I really enjoyed it.  Of course, not really realistic, but pretty funny and sweet.

In a couple of hours, I will be going back to work.  It will be interesting since I've been off work for 5.5 days (Sat - Thurs PM).  I was supposed to have my transfer on Monday, was going to "try to work from home" on Wednesday.  Since out transfer got postponed to Tuesday, and I had to be on bedrest for 48 hours, I can't go back to work until later this afternoon.  It will be interesting.  We are so swamped right now, and I am so behind.  I was going to try to work from home yesterday and this morning, but decided to screw it.  In the bigger picture, it's just work.  Who cares.  My personal life is much more important right now.  I will deal with the consequences of work later.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


One. That's how many we had to transfer this morning.

When Dr. K (one of our RE's partners) came in and we saw he had a photo of one embryo, we knew we weren't going to have good news.  He went over our embryology report with us, and pretty much all the other embryos had stopped growing except for one.  It was at a morula stage, which means it was at a day 4 stage (today is day 6), it was not even at a blastocyst stage yet.  I asked the doc what our chances are with this one embryo, and he said "not good".  I wonder if it will continue to grow.

The transfer went well without incident.  I did fairly well of not filling my bladder too full, but yet enough I didn't need a catheter put it.  Babe and I were able to view the entire process on the ultrasound monitor.  Dr. K pretty much walked us through the whole process.  He did a trial transfer first, to make sure there were no issues with access.  Pretty neat to be able to see the catheter enter into the uterus via the cervix, release the embryo, and then back out.  The embryology tech also checked the catheter under the microscope after to make sure there was nothing left in the catheter after.  They took an ultrasound picture of the process, but I'll have to post it later when I get Babe to scan it.  

After the procedure, I had to lay on the table for 10 minutes before allowing to get up and use the bathroom.  Then I rested in the recovery room for another 30 minutes before we were allowed to go home. On the way home, we stopped by and did some Chinese take-out.  Got home, had lunch, and took a nap.  I wasn't really planning on napping, but I think the "happy pill" totally relaxed me and made me sleepy.  I got up at 5:30 pm, and the day's almost over.

So, that's where we are.  Transferred one not-great quality embryo.  No twins, nothing to freeze.  We didn't get  a chance to decide how many we wanted to transfer either.

This is not what we had hoped for considering our numbers - 12 retrieved, 8 matured, 7 fertilized, 5 embryos still going yesterday, and today, only one left.  But it is what it is.  I'm trying to remain hopeful,  but to be honest, it's getting pretty difficult.

 Beta is on 7/13.

We are now praying for a miracle.

Here We Go

No call from the clinic this morning, that means it's a go.  It's 10:30 right now, just took my "happy pill" (va.lium).  Let the filling of the bladder begin.

Here we go!  More with an update later.....

Monday, July 4, 2011


The clinic called before 8 am this morning to tell us that our transfer has been postponed till tomorrow at 11:30 am.

My embryos are a little slow.  It is currently day 5, but they are a the day 4 stage.  The clinic wants to wait another day to give the little embabies a chance to grow into blastocysts, which is ideal for implantation.  So I'm a little bummed.

The good news is, I still have 5 embryos still in the running.  3 are still growing and compacting (nurse's word), which means they are at the morula stage, right before they become blastocysts, which is when we would want to do the transfer.  The other 2 embryos are a little behind, but could possibly catch up.

Also found out that we actually had 7 that fertilized, not 6.  One must have fertilized later.  Because we have  a few embryos to work with, they want to wait till tomorrow to pick the best ones to transfer.

So, we wait some more.  Though slow, I'm relieve that we still have a few embryos to work with.  Please pray that they will continue to grow in leaps and bounds, and we will be pleasantly surprised tomorrow when we do the transfer.

Where we are right now, day 4 stage: Morula (though we are currently on day 5)
Image from

Where we want to be at transfer time, day 5 stage: Blastocyst
Image from

Check out this site at for more info about embryo development.

Reality Check & Blessings of Technology

If you have been following my journey from the beginning, you may or may not know that prior to my first 2 IVF cycles done here in MN, I did one cycle of IVF overseas.  This happened in 2009 when I was back in my home country for 3 months.  There are reasons why I did it there, which I will not go into now.  I've always only referred to this cycle as my third, but in reality, it is my third done here, but my fourth in total.

I did some digging today and pulled up my IVF report from that cycle done overseas.  During that cycle, I had 12 eggs retrieved, out of these 8 fertilized and cleaved.  Out of the 8, only 2 had kept growing till day 5.  We transferred both of those, and obviously, I didn't get pregnant with that cycle.

So, even though I am happy at how this cycle has turn out compared to the last 2, with having 6 eggs fertilized, I have to confess that I am worried that I may not have the results I am hoping for.  I'm afraid that I may find out at the clinic that I only have one or two that is in a decent enough shape to transfer.  Or worse yet, I may get a call at 8 am saying, sorry, but your embryos arrested this morning, and it's a no go.

I know, I shouldn't worry about it, because there is nothing do about it now.  It's all out of my hands.  Still, I can't help but worry......

Switching gears......

Tonight, my sister and her husband, myself and Babe chatted for a while over Skype.  In our families (Babe and I), only my sister and her husband knows in depth about our infertility, as well as the details about how many cycles of IVF we have gone through.  We were able to chat over my MacBook, and their iPhone.  The best part was when they prayed over us.  Over Skype. How cool is that?  What a blessing technology can be.

This is it.  Transfer day, here we come!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Next Up... Transfer

We didn't get a call from the clinic yesterday, so that was a relief.  Instead the Embrology lab called this morning while we were at our church's 4th of July Freedom Celebration service.  Of course, I had the phone on silent when the call came, so the lab left a message.

Our transfer is tomorrow, Monday 4th of July, at 10:45 am.  At 9:45 am, I will need to empty my bladder, take my Val.ium tablet, and start drinking water to make sure my bladder is full at transfer.  This is really tricky because if you don't have a full enough bladder, they will need to insert a catheter into my bladder to fill it up.  Don't want to have to do that!  So far in the past, I've had no issues with making sure my bladder is full.  It is keeping the bladder full during and after transfer that is the issue.  I just remember dying to pee during and after the transfer.  After transfer, you have to lay there for a while.  That's the hardest part.  Then when you are finally allowed to get up, you can barely walk to the bathroom because you have to pee so bad!

Anyway, when the lab left a message, they didn't give me an update on the statuses of the embryos, other than when they looked on Saturday, they were still growing and dividing.  They would have called if there were concerns or changes.  I should have called this  morning, but since it was a weekend, they had a short day, so I decided against it.  So, right now I have no idea how many embryos are still growing, or at what stages they are at.  The real test will be tomorrow morning, when they look at where the embryos are then.  If they embryos are slow, they may wait and do a day 6 transfer, but right now that is unlikely.

We've never had to make a decision on how many to transfer before, and we hope that tomorrow, we will have the change to experience that for the first time.

Please continue to pray for my little embabies (embryo/babies)!  Will update tomorrow.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fertilization Update

The embryology lab called this afternoon.

Found out that instead of 11 eggs as we originally thought, we actually had 12 eggs retrieved!  That's the most we've ever had.

Out of the 12, 8 were mature, and out of that, 6 have fertilized and are now dividing.  This again is the most fertilized eggs we've had so far among the 3 cycles.  So we are pretty excited.

The eggs were of various quality, and were between 2 - 5 cells each, and that is pretty decent for retrieval +2 days.  Sounds like the fertilized eggs are rated at Grade 2, which again is decent.  The nurse said that Grade 1 is not that common, and they would be worried of the eggs were at Grade 3.

Again, we are optimistic, but also trying to be realistic.  Based our past history, we know that a lot can still go wrong.

Here's how the last couple of cycles went:
Cycle 1: 8 eggs retrieved from one ovary, 6 were mature, only 2 fertilized naturally. Nothing to transfer because the embryos arrested by day 4.
Cycle 2: 7 eggs retrieved from both ovaries, only 3 were mature and ICSI'd, only 2 fertilized. Had a day 3 transfer, instead of a day 5
All in all though, it looks like this cycle is doing better than the others.  Because we have 6 fertilized eggs, the plan is still to have a day 5 transfer.  The clinic will call again with another update on Sunday.  Unless things change, they will call tomorrow (Saturday) morning. 
I have to say though that I am pleasantly surprised by how this cycle is turning out so far (touch wood!  Hope I didn't jinx it!).  I was actually feeling quite discouraged and almost hopeless when I started this cycle.  During the last 2 cycles, I was not working, worked out at the gym, ate healthy, took chinese herbs and did acupunture.  This time, because I am now working, I have been working long hours, have not gotten enough sleep, have not been eating well, have not worked out in months, and skipped the chinese medicine and acupuncture.  Yet things have been going better than before.  So, I am praying that this will continue.
I started my tetra.cycline (antibiotics) right after egg retrieval, and have to continue taking that until tomorrow night.  Also started my Endo.metrion suppositories this morning.  Not fun.  Feeling lots of bloating, worse than when on stims, and also kind of constipated.  I'll have to continue taking it until my beta.
So, I won't have any updates until Sunday (hopefully, unless things change).  So in the mean time, I would appreciate prayers for my eggs/embryos to continue to be grow and be healthy, and make it to transfer.  I've never dared to even think this, but please pray for the possibility that we may have extra embryos to freeze too!