Saturday, December 14, 2013

Post Transfer Consult & January Transfer

In case you are wondering if I had fallen off the face of the earth after our last transfer and chemical pregnancy, the answer is no.  Actually Babe and I were on vacation down south, to the (slightly) warmer state of Texas.  It's actually pretty funny, the day we left last Saturday, Dallas was actually warmer than Anchorage, Alaska!  It was a good thing we didn't fly into Dallas.

On Monday, while on vacation, we had our post transfer phone consult with Dr. Keenan.  This was actually scheduled before we left NEDC on our transfer date.  Dr. Keenan said there were a few things that he wanted to go over and try to figure out what, if anything would have caused this transfer to not be successful.
  1. The embryos:  The embryos were excellent, at 6AA and 4AA after they were thawed, so they were great.  There were no problems there.
  2. My lining:  My lining was fine at the transfer.  Again, no reason for concern there.
  3. The transfer process:  The transfer we perfectly without a hitch, so not a problem.
  4. Anything post transfer:  I mentioned that I was sick with a cough and was on antibiotics and inhaler meds, and he said that was not a problem.  I also mentioned that was some stress due to a death in the family, pain from the PIO and travel.  Dr. Keenan said, as far as stress, as long as I was not so deeply affected by it that I could not sleep or eat, it would not have been a problem.  Everything else should not have been an issue either.
So, as I am already aware, sometimes even with the most perfect embryos and best situations, we may still not be successful.  Dr. Keenan said sometimes, it may take more than one transfer for us to be successful.  If we wanted to go back for a January transfer, we could do that.  I told him we have already decided we would do that, and Katie already has put on the list of January transfers.  He said let's pray that the next time we would be successful.  I love that he used the word "pray".  Even though he does not say things outright, I can tell he is a man of faith.  Did I already mention that I love Dr. Keenan?

On Thursday, I received my protocol from Katie for our January transfer.  Our transfer date is Tuesday, January 21st.

I'm already on BCP, and am looking forward to moving forward to our January transfer.  I just put together my calendar with all my dates and times for meds, shots, etc.  I will order my meds on Monday, and will start my Lu.pron shots on December 22nd.

January will be here before I know it.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Beta #2

My hCG from my second beta came back at a whopping 4.  So instead of doubling, it dropped from 13 to 4.

I am officially no longer pregnant.  I get to stop all my meds including the dreaded PIO.  I should get my period in the next 3 - 7 days.

Katie said it was a chemical pregnancy, meaning an early miscarriage.  In a way, I'm glad I didn't test early at home, because I might possibly have gotten a positive result, only to find out that later that I am not pregnant.

We are already planning on going back in January for another try.  NEDC transfer dates in January are the 15th through the 21st.  I should be getting my protocol by the end of next week and we get to do this all over again.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Beta #1

I went to my local clinic for my beta this morning.  It was busy at the clinic as I'm sure lots of other people were like me, having to do the beta first thing Monday morning after the holiday weekend.

After waiting anxiously, I finally got the call from Katie, the NEDC nurse at a little past 3 pm.  My test came back positive.  TECHNICALLY, I am pregnant.  However, my hGC number only came in at 13.  NEDC likes to see the number at 75 by now.  So, it is not looking good.  For now, we are "cautiously optimistic", Katie's words.

Katie said sometimes the embryo may take a little longer to implant and therefore the number may be low.  However, I also know that I had cramping and spotting at 4 days past transfer, usually an indication that implantation was happening.  I'm fairly sure it's not delayed implantation.

So now we wait for my second beta that will take place on Wednesday.  If the number doubles then, then I may still be pregnant.  But honestly, though I know I should remain positive, I'm fairly sure this cycle is a bust.

The good news is this is the closest I've come to being pregnant.  In all my past IVFs and IUIs, my HCG numbers were 2 or less.  I even took a home pregnancy test to see if it would turn positive, since Katie said that I was technically pregnant.  But alas, it didn't show the 2nd line.  When Babe got home from work today, he saw a very faint second line, but that was hours after I took the test.  You are supposed to check only 2 minutes after.

So, we wait some more.  The bad news is I have to continue taking my pain in the ass PIO shots.  Only 2 more days.  I can do it!

Please continue to pray for me and my beta on Wednesday.   Though I'm sorely disappointed, I'm not giving up quite yet.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Transfer Day 11/20/13 (Delayed Post)

I apologize again for my much belated post about our transfer day.  Anyway, here is how the day went.

We arrived at Knoxville on Tuesday night, the night before on scheduled transfer on Wednesday, November 20th.  We were told to make sure we have our phones handy just in case our transfer times got changed, but we didn't get a call from NEDC so we were a go for our scheduled 11:45 am transfer.

We slept in a little, did my morning PIO shot and had breakfast at hotel.  Then at 10:45 I took my medication for the transfer: a Va.lium, 3 Tyle.nols, and one Albu.terol tablet.  I started downing bottles of water, but realized later, it was too late.

The National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC), also known as the Southeastern Fertility Center

We arrived at NEDC (also known at the Southeastern Fertility Center) at 11:15 am as scheduled.  We checked in at the front desk.  Then we were shown into the recovery area where we met Katie the IVF nurse, and another nurse, I think her name was Julie.  I was told to undress below the waist, and to put on a gown, and a cap.  Then Dr. Keenan and Carol, the embryologist came and met with us.  Dr. Keenan chatted with  us a little and even drew a couple of half moons on my butt because I was telling him how sore my butt was from the PIO shots, and he wanted to make sure were were hitting the right spots.

Carol then told me that they thawed all three of the embryos from our first donor family.  Out of the three, 2 survived the thaw.  They were both "excellent quality" embryos, as per Carol.  Below is a photo of our embryos.  The one on the left was graded 6AA and had completely hatched.  The one on the right was graded at 4AA.  I did a bit of research on embryo grading.  It looks like different clinics may use different grading systems.  The one I found closest to what NEDC uses can be found here.  

Pretty much, embryos are assigned 3 separate quality scores - a number and two letters.
  1. The blastocyst development stage - expansion and hatching status; with a rating of 1 - 6
  2. The inner cell mass (ICM) score or quality; with a rating of A-C
  3. The Trophectoderm (TE) score or quality; with a rating of A-C
So this means that the embryo on the left, my 6AA, has completely hatched out of it shell (6), has many cells that are tightly packed (A), and has many cells, forming a cohesive layer (A).

The embryo on the right, the 4AA, is an expanded blastocyst, cavity larger than the embryo, with thinning of the shell (4), has many cells that are tightly packed (A), and has many cells, forming a cohesive layer (A).

*I am paraphrasing the info found on this website 

In other words, they were excellent embryos!  I was so relieved to find out that we had 2 excellent embryos to transfer.  Carol shared with me a photo of our babies.  Aren't they beautiful?  I was so happy to finally meet them!  

Two "excellent" embryos, graded 6AA on the left, and 4AA on the right
We went over some paperwork, and I was off to my transfer.  I was wheeled into the procedure room.  I was a little surprised that Babe was not allowed in the procedure room, unlike my other IVFs.

By now, my the Va.lium has kicked and and I was starting to get a little loopy.  Dr. Keenan asked how my bladder felt and I told him, probably not full enough.  He said he would just have to fill it.  I asked Katie if they get a lot of people coming in with bladders that are not full, and she said more than they'd like.  I had to climb onto the table and put my legs in the stirrups.  Then came the speculum (my least favorite part), and he proceeded to clean what I assume is the entrance to my bladder.  I was not prepared for how much that solution stung.  Then he inserted the catheter into my bladder and filled it.  I could definitely feel that it was full, but not uncomfortable.  The then proceeded to clean the cervix with the stinging solution again.  That was the most uncomfortable part of the whole procedure.

Katie put the ultrasound wand on my lower belly and I was able to see what Dr. Keenan was seeing on a large TV screen.  The large dark blob on the top of the screen was my bladder.  He showed me that the middle part below the bladder where the "+" was was my uterus, and to the left of it was the cervix, and then to the left of it was my vagina.

He then inserted a catheter into my cervix and into my uterus.  It was a test transfer, with no embryos in the catheter, but it was cool to see how it would be done.  Then when he was ready, Carol passed the embryos to Dr. Keenan through a window in the wall, and they asked me my name and my birthday again, and also if I knew how many embryos were being transferred.  I said two!

Katie asked if I was ready and I said yes.  I started getting emotional and started tearing up.  I apologized and told her I was getting emotional, and she said no worries.  Dr. Keenan inserted that catheter with my babies into my uterus and he told me to watch for the flash of white light as that's when the embryos would be transferred.  

There was the flash of white light!  The babies were in me.  He removed the catheter and gave it to Carol to make sure there were no embryos left over in the catheter.  And then we were done!  Below is a photo of the transfer.  The two white spots under the "+" sign is where the embryos were placed.  And I hope they had a chance to snuggle in nicely.

2 embryos (white) transferred into my uterus, right below the "+" sign on the screen.
I rested for a short while in in the procedure room.  I was trying to savor the feeling of having 2 babies in me.  Before long I climbed back onto the bed and was wheeled back into the recovery room where Babe was waiting for me.  The foot of the bed was raised while I laid there to rest.  Babe and I chatted for a while.  It was kind of a weird feeling because we could tell there was another couple next to us, but they were being so quiet.  I was thinking it would have been great if I could have met up with some of the other embryo adoption mamas from the Face.book group in the recovery room right after our transfers.  After a while, the nurse went over our post transfer instructions and advised me not to cheat with a home pregnancy test.  I was then allowed to use the bathroom to empty my bladder.  When I came back, Dr. Keenan and Babe were chatting, talking about work related stuff which I thought was pretty cool.  I changed back to my normal clothes and we were pretty much done.  We were able to catch a photo with Dr. Keenan before we left the clinic.

We went to a barbecue place called "Sonny's" for lunch to celebrate our transfer day.  The we went back to the hotel to rest.  I was trying to answer texts from friends and family, but the Va.lium was taking a toll on me.  I was so tired I slept for 4 hours straight.   When I woke up, we went to a restaurant recommended by a friend called The Chop House for dinner.  I ordered my favorite, lamb chops and a virgin pina colada to celebrate.  We were excited and a little giddy that we were PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise).  Babe and I joked about how I just got knocked up by another man!

We went back to the hotel and went to bed early.  The next morning, we left and started our 14 hour drive back to MN.  The nurse advised us that we needed to stop every 2 hours to walk around.  It was a long ride and we stopped and spent a night in Madison, WI.

So that's how my transfer went.   Tomorrow (Monday) morning, I will have my beta at 10:30 am.  The local clinic will fax the results to NEDC, and I will get a call from NEDC with the results sometime tomorrow afternoon.  I will find out after waiting for almost 10 years, if we will finally be parents.

Though I have had no desire to do a home pregnancy test, I am a little nervous now.  Prayers appreciated!




Saturday, November 30, 2013

10dp5dt

Hi everyone!  First of all, I need to apologize for the late posting.  Especially after my transfer.  A lot has happened since my last post more than a week ago, so I wanted to get this out right away before I forget.  My only main excuse is that I have been sick.  I have this terrible cough that has gotten worse since I got back from my trip to TN.

Anyway, I still owe you a post about my transfer, but that will be another post.  I promise.

But here's what's been happening:
  • Today I am 10dp5dt (10 days post 5 day transfer)
  • According to this due date calculator, I am officially 4 weeks 1 day pregnant.  
  • This week we had a beautiful funeral service for Babe's grandma.  Though it was a bitterly cold and windy day.
  • On Sunday, which was 4dp5dt, I had some pretty strong cramping like my period was coming.  I also spotted for a day or so.  I believe this is a sign of the embryos implanting into my uterus.  It's a good sign!  I don't think I've ever had implantation cramping or spotting before in my previous IVFs.
  • My PIO shots have been getting better.  I think we in the beginning we were injecting a little too low and I was sitting on my injection sites.  Now we are aiming a little higher.  The other day, Babe hit a blood vessel on my left side.  I knew something was wrong right away because the shot hurt.  He found blood when he drew the plunger up to check for blood.  He just pulled the needle out and injected another site.  Fortunately no blood shot out like I've heard in some stories.  However, that left a HUGE bump and a nasty bruise.  It still hurts after a few days but has gotten a little better.  Then on my other (right) side, one of the injection sites left a huge lump.  Not huge in diameter, but it was tall/high.  I have nicknamed this bump "Mount Vesuvius" (don't ask me why).   I was sure everyone could see I have this lump through my pants.  This too has gotten better after a few days.  But between those two huge lumps, and the other twice daily shots, I constantly feel like someone stuck 2 bean bags down the back of my pants!
  • I have not been able to sleep well since I started my PIO shots.  Because of my sore butt, I have been trying to sleep on my front which does not work for me at all.  Every so often I am able to fall asleep on my side without laying my injection sites.  This means I sleep in a weird angle, and my back has been sore.  And when I wake up in the mornings, my back and butt are just so sore I can barely walk.  In addition, because of my weird sleeping angle, I've had cramps in my left calf in the middle of the night or in the morning.  Those are still sore till this day.
  • We have had to tell both my brother-in-law (Babe's brother) and his wife about our embryo adoption.  Babe went hunting last weekend and this weekend, so BIL and SIL have been my backup shot givers.  They are both nurses and live not too far away, so they were the best choice for us.  We made them promise not to tell anyone about this, unless/until it works.
  • Currently I am sick.  If you remember, I had a cough that would not go away, and I was worried it would impact my surgery and transfer.  After we got back from our trip to NEDC, my cough worsened.  It is so bad, it sounds terrible and super loud, it's scary.  It's also different from before because this time, there is wheezing comes from deep in my chest.  And when I cough my whole body is just so worn out.  I went to the doctor's the other day and because there I may be pregnant, they could not do a chest x-ray on me.  Instead, they drew my blood and did a white blood cell count instead.  The count was elevated indicating I had a bacterial infection.  So they sent me home with antibiotics, nebulizers and an inhaler.  I go back on Wednesday for a follow up appointment, but to be honest, I have not felt any better.   I hope things get better soon because I am so worn out from all the coughing.
  • With me being sick, we stayed home for Thanksgiving this year.  This is the first time we have not spent the Thanksgiving holiday with family or friends.  But it was nice because I got to just rest and not worry about infecting others with my cough.
  • My beta is scheduled for 10:30 am on Monday.  Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, I have to wait until Monday instead of Friday.  I have not tested at home yet though I could have yesterday.  And to be honest, I don't really have a desire to test.  Maybe because I am sick.  But mostly because I have had negative experiences with POAS.  I used to always get my period an hour or so right after I POAS.  So, I'm just going to wait it out.  It's hard because just about every gal on the embryo adoption/donation group on FB who tested at home or had their betas are pregnant.  Here I'm thinking, someone's gonna have to be the statistic.  Someone has to have the negative pregnancy test.  It's probably going to be me Plus I have not had ANY pregnancy symptoms.  None.  Nada.  Zip.  But I am also aware a lot of people don't have any symptoms until much later.  So in the mean time, I am going to try enjoy being PUPO.

You may notice that I edited a few of my last posts.  Babe is concerned that I had too many identifying information and circumstances, so I edited it to keep the posts confidential.  It's hard to blog anonymously while trying to give a complete story.

Anyway, I will be working on my much delayed post about my transfer at NEDC next.  Stay tuned!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Walking The Streets Of Gold

**Edited - Removed identifying information for confidentiality**

Babe's grandma went home to be with the Lord yesterday.  We got the call when we were on the road driving home to MN.

Even though we are sad that she has passed, Babe and I are grateful that she didn't die on Wednesday, our embryo transfer day. That would have been really difficult for us. 

Grandma was quite a character. Though not highly educated, she was sharp, witty and had a lot of spunk. She would watch people like a hawk and noticed the smallest details.  In fact when Babe and I were first engaged, we were at a family dinner. She was the first to notice my engagement ring!  She was very competitive when it came to games which we played a lot.  She didn't mess around and spoke her mind as she pleased. But she loved her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. 

We will miss her terribly!  I was privileged enough to spend over a decade knowing her, and helping take care of her during the last days of her life. 

Grandma, we miss you already but I bet you are having a great time dancing a polka with Grandpa!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

PUPO - The Short Version

I thought I'd do a quick update, a short version as I know some people may be waiting for details. My MacBook which I brought with me o this trip, the battery decided to die on me. So I am using my phone to do a quick update.  I will writer another post later with more details. 

NEDC thawed 3 embryos from our first choice donor family. Unfortunately only 2 survived. Two "excellent quality" ( quoting the embryologist) embryos were transferred. One was graded 6AA and was fully hatched. The other was 4AA.  Dr. Keenan said the transfer went "perfectly" without a hitch. 

We are driving home to MN tomorrow.  Grandma is still hanging on.  I'm glad because I did not want her to die on the day of our transfer. 

I will write another post later with more details when I am on a computer.  I'll include my babies' first photo too. 

Today I'm PUPO!!  Pregnant until proven otherwise. 

First beta is on December 2nd.


Monday, November 18, 2013

On Our Way To Knoxville

**Edited - Removed identifying information for confidentiality**

We started our drive to NECDC this morning.  We are currently spending the night in Indiana with my friends that we were supposed to meet up yesterday.  I guess it worked out good because there were some major storms in this part of the country.  It just so worked out that we are still able to meet up with them.  So we are about halfway there. Tomorrow we will have another 8 hours of driving to TN. 

We spent time with Grandma yesterday. That was probably the las time we will see her alive. She had not been eating or drinking for a few days, so the nurse though she only had a few more days left.  We are prepared if she goes but we really don't know when she will leave this earth.  Only God knows. 

My PIO shots have been a challenge. Here I thought we were doing so well after our first shot. But my butt was really sore that night. In fact that first injection site still hurts now.  I think it hurts more than the other shots since the first one. I don't have a problem with the physical action of the needle sticking in my butt. It's the after that hurts.  I feel the lumps in my butt and they hurt all the time. It hurts to sit down, and then when you have say down, it hurts to get up. 

The worst part for me is getting in and out of the car.  Or trying to climb into bed at night, and out of it in the morning.  On our drive this morning we took a bathroom break and stopped at a rest stop.  I could barely walk!  And that was just after sitting for 3 hours!!  It was taking me so long to walk to the restroom I was worried I wasn't going to make in time!  Needless to say I was in a lot of pain today. And tomorrow I have another 8 hours to sit on my very sore butt. 

Ahhh.... the dreaded PIO.  Five down, only 20+ more to go before the pregnancy test. And then *hopefully* (if I'm pregnant), another 2 more months of twice daily shots!



Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Kink In Our Trip

**Edited - Removed identifying information for confidentiality**

We are encountering a kink in our trip.  We were supposed to start our drive to Knoxville tomorrow (Sunday) morning with the intention to stop one night in Indiana to visit a high school friend and her family.  We have decided to skip that and not leave tomorrow, and skip seeing my friend.  We may leave on Monday instead.

Babe's elderly grandma entered the hospice program.  She has heart failure and at her age, they will not be doing anything major to help with the heart failure.  Not sure you are familiar with the hospice program, but it is pretty much end of life care.  The goal is to keep a person as comfortable as possible until she is ready to leave this world.

Yesterday the nurse told us that he thinks Grandma only has a couple of days left to live.  We are saddened by this but also know that it is her time.  Grandpa also live a very long life, so they spent many many years together.  Grandpa passed away a few years ago and Grandma has been missing him terribly since.  Babe was very close to his grandparents.  He was probably the closest grandchild to them, not distance wise, but quality time wise.  He spent many many hours with them.  It's so funny to see how much of Grandma and Grandpa is ingrained in Babe.  So it is important for us to be there for Grandma.

With this latest development, we have decided to wait and see how things play out tonight and tomorrow.  We will most likely still leave for Knoxville on Monday.  It has been interesting because we told the family we are going through the Chicago area to visit some friends.  But now that there's a possibility that Grandma may be leaving us anytime, we have had to tell Babe's family that really we are driving all the way to TN for "adoption related" stuff.  We have never told Babe's family about embryo adoption, but just that we are adopting.   We only plan to tell them if it works, and only after we safely pass the first trimester.

I think for a while there, the family thought it was weird that we would still go out of town to visit friends at this critical time.  We have now told them that this visit is time sensitive and cannot really be changed.   Because my transfer is on Wednesday, and there is a 24-hour bed rest, we won't be able to leave until Thursday morning.  That means the earliest we can be home for a funeral would be Friday, with us driving 14 hours straight.  If worse comes to worse, we will just start driving home for the funeral after the transfer on Wednesday (and go against NEDC's policy) if we need to.

Right now, we have no idea how long Grandma will remain with us.  She could leave us tonight, or she could be here for another week.  I have spoken to Babe's aunt who is the primary care giver about our situation and she assures us that she understands.

For for now, we continue to wait and see how things play out.  If nothing changes tomorrow, we will plan on driving to Knoxville on Monday.

Please keep Grandma and Babe's family in prayer.  Also, pray for us as we figure out all this.  This is a difficult time for us as we want to be excited for the transfer, but at the same time, we are preparing ourselves to say good bye to Grandma.  Pray for God's perfect timing in all this.

Thanks everyone!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mammo, PIO... Oh My!

I had an interesting day yesterday.  I had a post-op follow-up appointment for my surgery to remove polyps in my uterus.  Everything looked good, and I found out I actually more than one polyp though they were pretty small.  So everything should be all set.  I also asked the doctor about if I should have a mammogram done.  I had called the clinic a couple of weeks earlier asking if I should schedule one now since I had just turned 40 in August, or if I should wait till my next annual physical in April.  I also mentioned that I may getting pregnant soon with a frozen embryo transfer.  When I spoke to the nurse then she said I could probably wait till next year to do it.

Anyway, back to my appointment.  When I asked the doctor about it, he suggested we should just get it done right away.  Like the same day.  He wanted to be safe and get it done now.  If I were to get pregnant, they won't do a mammogram as it is an x-ray procedure.  I won't be able to get one while breastfeeding either.  So, I may be 41 or 42 before I could have one done.  He said we could probably wait, but why take the chance when we could take care of it right away.

Wow!  My first mammogram!  And an unexpected one too.

So, the doc had the nurse walk me about 50 feet down the hall to the imaging clinic right next door and they were able to get me in right away.  It was a new experience for me.  I've heard lots of horror stories about getting a mammogram.  I didn't know what to expect.  Usually, I am pretty well prepared and researched for anything new.  But the technician was very nice and explained everything to me, step by step.

All I can say is that it was not excruciatingly painful, but it was pretty uncomfortable.  But I am glad that is done and over with.  I will get a letter in the mail with the results and any follow-up steps if needed.

Image from http://www.funnypart.com/funny/mammogram.shtml


I started my PIO shots this morning.  I have been super nervous about it.  Of all the things about the embryo transfer process, this is what worries me the most.  At NEDC, you take the PIO shots 5 days before your transfer, and then continue until your pregnancy test.  If you are pregnant, you continue taking the shots for 10 - 12 weeks.  In my past IVFs, I have never done PIO shots.  Instead, I have always used the progesterone suppositories.

Babe has been super excited to "shoot me"!  This morning, I started off by warming up the heating pad (buckwheat filled pillow/pad) in the microwave.  I also have a smaller rice filled pad that I heated up as well.  I used the heating pad on my butt while warming up the bottle of PIO in the rice pad.  I read somewhere to warm up the oil as it will help thin it out and makes it easier to inject.  I filled the syringe with the 18G needle and made sure there was 1 CC of PIO. Then I switched out the 18G needle with the 22G needle.  

I laid on my bed on my front and told Babe to let me know when he was ready.  I made sure to exhale when he quickly stuck the needle in me.  I felt it go in, but no pain.  It was kind of ticklish actually since he was being gentle and careful.  He even let go of the syringe and let it stick straight up, with no hands!  Then he pulled the plunger back a little to check to make sure it did not draw up any blood.  If there were blood, it would mean that he struck a blood vessel and he would have to pull out the syringe, change the needle and stick me again.  Luckily there was no blood.  So he SLOWLY injected the PIO.  I showed him a couple of videos of where people injected really slow.  I told tell he was counting under his breath.  He's so detail oriented like that, and that's why I love him!

When he was done injecting all the oil, he left the syringe in for couple of seconds before pulling it out.  I then rubbed the site vigorously for a few seconds.  He put a bandaid on, and then I put the heating pad on and rubbed it for a few minutes.  And to be extra safe, I used a handheld massager on the spot for a few minutes.

I can honestly say it was a breeze.  All the worrying for nothing.  The worst part of it was Babe's freezing hands!  He really seem to enjoy doing this.  I think it gives him an active role in the whole process.  In the past, I did all the shots myself except for the intramuscular trigger shot for my IVFs.  The whole morning, I did not have any pain and barely even remembered I had a PIO shot. 

However, this afternoon, about 6 hours later, I can tell my butt is sore.  I guess it is not going to be as easy as I thought.  I read somewhere, after a week, you can REALLY feel it.  Oh well, it will all be worth it eventually.  I hope.

Here's to TWO firsts for me.  A mammogram and my first PIO shot!

I leave you with a couple photos of my PIO and the needles used (sorry they are not of the best quality).  The top one (18G) is used for drawing the oil into the syringe.  The bottom one (22G) is the one used to inject the oil.  Notice the huge size difference in the needle!  You have to make sure you don't forget the change the needle before injecting, or you could be in a lot of pain!

PIO, and the two needles used
Top needle used to draw the oil, bottom used for injecting.  See the difference in size?


Thursday, November 14, 2013

We are a GO for November Transfer!!

We are a GO for November transfer!!  

Sorry if you have been waiting all day for an update.  I had my ultrasound and blood work this morning.  My lining was at 9.3 mm, so I knew it was looking good.  But I had to wait for my blood work results to come back and the clinic had to fax the results over to NEDC before I would hear anything back from Katie, the NEDC nurse.

After my appointment, I met up with some ladies from our infertility/adoption group for lunch.  It was really nice to catch up with everyone.  We had met about 3 years ago in the infertility support group and now all the ladies have baby girls, with the exception of Katie who adopted embryos, who has a set of boy/girl twins.  It was so fun to catch up, see the babies and just see how far we have all come.  I am the only one yet to have a baby, so everyone was super supportive and just very excited for my upcoming transfer.

By 3 pm, I still had not heard from NEDC, so I called and left a message with Katie.  I also called my local clinic to make sure the results had been faxed over since they had an issue with getting the fax to go through back in September.  The clinic assured me they had already faxed it and it went through just fine.  So I called and left another message.  By 5 pm I had given up hope that I would hear from Katie (as it was 6 pm at NEDC) and just assumed that I would get a call tomorrow.  I was pleasantly surprised to get a call after 5 pm from Katie.  I was happy and excited to hear from her.  I said "Isn't it a little late for you to call?  I thought for sure you would have gone home and I was expecting you to call tomorrow".   Right after I said it, I thought oops, I hope it didn't sound wrong, like I was complaining about it.  She said Thursday is the long day for them and they were crazy busy with appointments that go late.

So, my lining looked good at 9 mm and my estradiol numbers were good too, though I didn't ask her what they were.  On Saturday, I start progesterone in oil (PIO) and reduce my Es.trace to 2 times a day.

My transfer is scheduled for 11:45 am on Wednesday, November 20th.  We are to arrive at the clinic at 11:15 am.

Yay!  We are officially a GO for our transfer next week.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

PUPO In A Week!

If all goes well, I will be PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) in a week!

It seems pretty unreal that in a week, I could very well be pregnant.

Am I excited?  Kind of.

Am I nervous?  Kind of.

On the FB embryo adoption/donation group, there are a few ladies that will have their transfers next week like me.  It seems like everyone is pretty psyched up about the transfers.  I guess I kinda am too.  Though, like I have mentioned in the past, cautiously optimistic.

After years of IUIs and IVFs, it all seems too familiar.  Excitement ....... kind of.  I'm also familiar with the feeling of failure when it doesn't work.  So for now, cautiously optimistic.

After waiting almost 2 years in the adoption process (first international adoption and now embryo adoption), it feels like we have finally arrived.  Like being matched in a traditional domestic infant adoption, or receiving a referral in an international adoption.  In a week, I will finally get to meet my babies for the first time.  And hopefully I will be able to meet him/her/them in 9 months!

I haven't done this in a while, but I just took some time and looked at the pictures of both sets of twins of our donor families.  It brings me such joy to see these beautiful kids, knowing that I will be meeting with their siblings for the very first time next week.  I get so emotional it brings tears to my eyes.  I'm already crying and blowing my nose.  We could potentially have children that look a lot like them!

I am so grateful for these two families that have decided to donate their beautiful embryos so that we could have hope and the chance to became parents.  I pray that God will allow us to have a successful pregnancy, not just so that we can be parents (though we want it so badly!), but also so that we can have a relationship with one or both these families.  I really like these families!!  I also do not want to disappoint the families if this does not work.

I have to remind myself to trust God.  A friend once said, enjoy where you are at, no matter what the future outcome may be.  Be excited that I could potentially be pregnant next week.  Savor being PUPO after the transfer.  Even though things may not turn out the way we hope in the end, enjoy it while we can.  Because if things do turn out wonderfully and we didn't savor the moment, we would have missed out on enjoying the moment while we had it.  We can't take back what is in the past.

So this is a note to self to be more excited.  Trust that God has a perfect plan.

In the morning, I will have my appointment for my ultrasound and blood work to check to see if my lining is thick enough and my estradiol numbers high enough for my transfer on Wednesday.  Please pray that my lining is at least 7 mm at the appointment.  If not, we may have to delay the transfer a couple of days, like we would have had to do in September.  But we ended up canceling altogether due to the polyp in my uterus.  I will post tomorrow on whether we are a go on Wednesday.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

10 Days!

10 Days till transfer!

Last night was my last Lu.pron shot.  Yay!  This time the shots didn't give me any problems.  No headaches or hot flashes that I noticed.  Maybe I was too distracted by my cough.

I also increased my Es.trace to 3 times a day instead of 2 yesterday.  I'm praying that my at my ultrasound appointment on Thursday my lining will be at least 7 mm.  I have been using a heated pad on my lower abdominal area to try and get more blood flow to the uterus. I also trying to eat raspberries everyday day for the same reason.

I feel like the transfer is here too suddenly!  I feel like I am not ready!  If all goes well we leave on Sunday and start our drive to TN.  But we will stop halfway in Indiana to see a high school friend.  Suddenly I realize I only have one week to have sushi and alcoholic drinks!  I need to start thinking about packing! And starting PIO!  Oh the dreaded PIO.......

This week is going to pass by too quickly!


Friday, November 8, 2013

Doctor's Visit

I went to the doctor's today to have my blood pressure checked out.  I started off with getting my flu shot.  Then I met my new doctor who will be my primary care provider.  All these years, I have never had a primary doctor.  Most of my doctor's visits were either to my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist, i.e. fertility specialist) or to my gynecologist who does my annual check ups and have my hysteroscopies.  I have always been healthy and never really saw the same doctor because I only went to the doctor's so rarely.

The doctor and I went over how my BP (blood pressure) was elevated at my surgery last week, and how I was to monitor it over a week and since it was still high, I decided to have it checked out.  We also went over the fact that I had a cold more than 3 weeks ago, and had been coughing for 3 weeks.  We went over all my previous and current medications, including those related to my frozen embryo transfer - birth control pills, Lu.pron and Es.trace.  He agreed that coughing and hormones can cause my BP to be elevated.  

My BP is higher than normal but not high enough that he would be terribly concerned right now.  I am not excessively overweight, do not smoke and rarely drink.  However, because of my family history of high BP, he wants me to incorporate lifestyle changes - exercise more, eat more fruits and veggies and reduce sodium in my diet.  He wants me to monitor and track my BP for the next couple of months.   I am happy that he decided not to put me on medication.  At least not yet.  

He is aware of my frozen embryo transfer coming up and noted that there are a few different types of BP medication that is safe for pregnancy.  If I do get pregnant from this upcoming transfer, he said I will need to be monitored more closely anyway by my Ob-Gyn because I would be considered high risk.  Hopefully my BP will get back to normal before becoming pregnant.

The doctor listened to my heart and lungs and everything was good.  Lungs was clear so no bronchitis.  He looked into my nose and saw some swelling and congestion.   Since I've had this cough for 3 weeks, he decided to prescribe me some antibiotics for the cough and possible sinus infection.  Especially with my travel to TN and my transfer coming up, he wanted to make sure I get over whatever it is that is causing my cough.  I told him I'm so worn out from the coughing.

He also ordered a bunch of tests for me.  I think it is mostly related to checking for my BP and cholesterol.  I did a urine test, blood work for cholesterol and I think also for my thyroid, and even an EKG!  I'm familiar with urine test and blood work but the EKG, that was new for me.  When I had my EKG tested, the nurse noted that my heart was really strong.  I wasn't sure what she meant and if it was related to my BP.  She said no, it's just that I have a strong heart which is a good thing.  She showed me my graph compared it to the other patients', and said it looked really good. 

The nurse also said that my doctor is really good and very thorough.  He takes time with his patients and listens to them.  She said he is one of those doctors that put his foot down and refuses to be rushed with his patients.  When I was researching which doctor to see, I saw that he has over 25 years of experience and has good reviews from patients.  Looks like I picked a good doctor!

So right now, I'm pretty happy with the outcome of this doctor's visit.  I am taking antibiotics  and Muci.nex for my cough.  

I am not on any BP medications yet, but will do the following:
  • Monitor my BP daily for the next couple of months
  • Increase my activity levels - need to exercise more
  • Lower my salt intake
  • Eat a diet high in fruits and veggies (I should be doing that anyway!)
  • See the doctor for a follow up visit in 2 months.
I'm so happy I don't need BP meds (yet)!

I'm hoping this antibiotics will do the trick for my cough.

12 days to transfer!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

2 Weeks! And Prayer Request

2 weeks!!

I am scheduled to have my transfer in exactly 2 weeks!  It seems like getting to November 20th has been a drag, but at the same time it has flown by.  I guess being sick kinda screwed up my momentum.

I have the following prayers requests.

I had a cold about 3 1/2 weeks ago.  Then I started coughing.  The cold went away, but the cough lingered. I have been coughing for about 3 weeks.  It has gotten better, but it has lingered.  I was actually worried that the cough would be a problem for my surgery but it wasn't. It's been a week since the surgery and still I'm coughing.  I keep thinking it is getting better and it will eventually go away, but it is still here.  It's really tiring and wearing me out.  I would like to be in my best health for my transfer in 2 weeks.  Please pray that this cough will be gone soon.

When I was at the hospital for my surgery last week, they found that my blood pressure was pretty high.  At recovery after the surgery, my BP was still pretty high.  The nurse told me that I need to monitor my BP and if within a week my BP is still high I need to see my doctor about it.  My BP has been fairly normal in the past.  I did some research and found out that BP can be elevated by things such as taking birth control pills, cough medicine and estrogen.  All things that I have had the last few weeks.  Also, coughing can also raise BP.  However, high BP also runs in my family.  Both my sis and my brother, both in their 40's are on BP meds.  My parents are also on meds for this.   On the other hand, I am not a prime candidate for high blood pressure..... I am not heavily overweight (though I could use to lose a few pounds), don't smoke, rarely drink, don't eat much processed foods, and don't deal with a lot of stress.  The things that are going against me are family history, possibly too much sodium in my diet, and being not very active.   I am praying that this high BP is only a temporary issue for me right now.  The last thing I want to do is to go on BP meds before my transfer.  But at the same time, I also want to make sure my BP is controlled before getting pregnant (hopefully!).  High BP can cause complications in pregnancy such as preeclampsia.  Please pray for my blood pressure.  I've always been very healthy and didn't think that high BP could hit me so early.  I suppose turning 40 is the magic number.

If you recall, my before my September transfer was cancelled, NEDC was going to delay it a couple of days because my lining was not thick enough at the ultrasound appointment.  But then they found the polyp and the cycle was cancelled all together.  Anyway, I am nervous that my lining will not be thick enough again when I have my ultrasound appointment next Thursday.  First, September proved it took a while for my lining to get thick enough (though in the past, my lining has never been an issue).  Secondly, I just had a hysteroscopy last week and they also did a D&C and scraped my lining.  That could be a good thing as then the lining is fresh, but it also means it might need more time for the lining to build up.  Thirdly, I started spotting a little today.  Not sure why, but I am.  Maybe it is nothing, but I'm a little concerned.  Finally, for the September transfer, I had spent 2 months of weekly acupuncture sessions, and yet my lining was not thick enough.  Because of the timing of my surgery, I will only have had 4 sessions of acupuncture before my transfer next week.  Not sure how much that will  help.  Anyway, I could use prayers that my lining will be thick enough so that I can have my transfer as scheduled on 11/20.  The good thing is this time we are driving, so we have more flexibility if we have to delay our transfer.

So, I could use your support and prayers in the following:
1. Cough to go away.
2. Blood pressure to go back to normal and not go on medication.
3. For my lining to be thick enough next week so I can keep my 11/20 transfer date.

Thanks!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Surgery Went Well

Happy Halloween, ya'll! 

I'm sitting here eating a Snick.ers candy bar as I write this.  We are not handing out candy this year, but we bought a bag of candy just in case kids showed up.  But instead of handing out candy, I'm eating them myself.  I'm only having one.  Ok maybe two.

Surgery went well this morning.  We were concerned about the heavy fog this morning but it was all cleared up by the time we left the house.  Traffic seemed to be heavier than usual though and there was an accident on the way to the hospital.  But we left early enough to get there early enough for our 8:30 am check-in with about 10 minutes to spare.

Went through the usual check-in procedure - paperwork, insurance, etc.  Then we were shown the waiting room and told that I would be called after about 15 minutes.  After waiting about 45 minutes (I should have checked with them earlier), a nurse came out to tell me that I was early and my surgery was not until 12:30.  My clinic screwed up on the timing!  I was a kinda mad, but I was too tired to do anything about it.  The good news was my doctor was possibly running early on the earlier surgeries.  So we just waited.  I told the nurse I had to pee if we were going to have to wait again, and she showed me the way to the bathroom.  While there she said she would have me produce a urine sample as well.  She asked if I had ever had my tubes tied or had a hysterectomy.  I said no.  Any chances that I could be pregnant?  I said no.  I told her I am still slightly bleeding from my period.  In fact, I had 2 periods in 10 days, I told her.  Still she wanted a urine sample.

I was finally called into the pre-op prep area.  The nurse had me change into a gown, cap and socks.  I told the nurse that I was still bleeding slightly/spotting and she gave me a pad, and one of those "super sexy grandma-ish one-size-fits-all" disposable underwear.  I was styling!  The gown was also pretty cool.  It's a special gown called "Bair Paws".  It was made of a special paper material and attached to a hose that blew in warm air into the gown.  There was even a special remove control that you can control how warm you wanted the air to be.  That was the highlight of my stay I think.  I didn't take a photo of the gown, but here's a photo of the remote control.  I did find a website about it.


The nurse asked me lots of questions including all the meds I take and when.  I told her about Lu.pron and and that I was adopting embryos and will be having a FET in November.  She had never heard of embryo adoption and thought it was so cool.  I was very happy to be able to tell her about embryo adoption.

Later, I met the anesthesiologist and we went through the usual questions again.  I mentioned how the last couple of times, I had nausea at recovery even though they gave me Zo.fran.  Plus I had also thrown up after I got home.  They decided to give me a nausea patch for motion sickness too.  A lot of times the drive home makes the nausea worse.

The nurse put in an IV line in my arm.  Later a nurse anesthesiologist came and injected some pain and meds and something to relax me in my IV line.  I said good bye to Babe, and was wheeled into the OR at noon, half an hour earlier than my original scheduled time.  I was feeling a little loopy already.  They put an oxygen mask on me, injected my anesthesia meds, and I was out.

Unlike my prior experiences, my recovery went very well.  I woke up feeling pretty good.  I was not awakened suddenly and multiple times by the painful squeezes of the BP cuff, or jarring noise of the BP machine.  No nurse yelling loudly at me asking me how I was feeling.  I was not desperate for the nurse to leave me alone and let me sleep.  I was not nauseated and feeling like I was going to throw up when the nurse raised me higher on the bed.  She did ask me a few times my pain level and gave me more pain meds as needed.  She asked me if I thought I was ready to sit up, or if I wanted some more time to rest.  I told her wanted more time, so I took another short nap.  She gave me iced water and some crackers. She was nice and I didn't feel rushed.  I felt pretty good.  

Soon it was time to sit up in a chair.   Babe came in to be with me and not long after, it was time to get ready to head home.  I went to the bathroom to pee, and put on a pad and one of those "infamous" hospital underwears.  Babe helped me get dressed, and I was wheeled out in a wheelchair armed with a plastic ziplock "puke bag" provided by the hospital.  Just in case.

I got home feeling good all the way.  No need for the puke bag.  Didn't puke when I got home either unlike the last couple of times.  I had some leftover comfort food from dinner last night and went to bed.  I napped for about 4 hours.  I started feeling some cramping so I took another dose of the pain killers.  It's important to manage to pain before it starts to become a problem.

So all in all, I had a good day.  I might even sneak in a couple more candy bars later.  And now I'm off to relax and watch a movie with Babe.  

Good night, everyone.  Hope you had a great Halloween celebration!

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Surgery Tomorrow AM

In less than 12 hours, I will have a hysteroscopy to remove my polyp in my uterus.  Surgery is scheduled for 10:30 am, and check-in is at 8:30 am.  The weather is forecasted to have heavy fog with about a 1/4 mile visibility.  This will make our drive to the hospital challenging.  We'll have to leave earlier to anticipate bad traffic.  I had to call my doctor's office yesterday to make sure it was OK for me to have surgery with a cough.  I had a cold about 2 weeks ago.  That went away, but then I started coughing, and it's been lingering since then.  It's gotten a lot better, but it's still here.  Doc says it's not a problem as long as I am not feeling bad and don't have a fever.

I've had two periods in 10 days.  I finally started my period on Saturday 10/19 after it was a no show (plus a little drama that included peeing on a stick) and starting BCPs.  Then I took my last BCP on Friday, 10/25.  I was fully expecting that I would not get a period this time since I had only just had my period.  But nope, my period came on Monday.  I'm still not done with my period yet, but my clinic has said it was fine if I was still bleeding during my surgery.  So, that's good.

I had my baseline ultrasound and blood work done today.  My lining was 4 mm which is good.  Katie called this afternoon and told me I am all good to go to started Es.trace tomorrow.  I take half a tablet in the morning and half in the evening.  I am to start fasting at midnight tonight (no food or drinks), but I will take a tiny sip of water to take my Es.trace in the morning.

Babe took me out for dinner tonight at my favorite Asian restaurant.  Kind of a "last supper" before the surgery.  Just kidding!  It was so that I can order enough food that we have leftovers to bring home.  I know that I will be starving and craving comfort food after the surgery.  

However, based on how my past surgeries turned out, I'll probably come home and throw up from the effects of anesthesia first.  Then I'll feel better and eat my first meal.  After that I'll probably sleep off the rest of the day.

I'll do an update tomorrow when I feel up to it.  I would also appreciate prayers for my surgery and recovery.  Thanks ya'll.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Weird Dream

I woke up to a weird dream this morning.  I will be having my surgery to remove my polyp a next Thursday.  My surgery is scheduled for 10:30 am, so I have to check in at the hospital at 8:30 am.

I dreamt that it was the morning of my surgery.  I overslept and woke up at 9.  I was frantic because there was no way I could make it to the hospital in time.  I was going to miss my surgery!   For crying out loud, now I would have to cancel my November transfer!  I don't remember if I even tried calling to hospital to work things out.  I just remember feeling frantic and angry that my transfer was going to be cancelled again.

What is the deal with my dreams?  Like Babe said, most of my dreams involve me being in frantic situations.  Why can't I just have happy dreams that I wake up with a smile on my face?


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 2013 ICLW




Hello again, ICLWers!

I'm a couple of days late on ICLW this week.  Hopefully I will be able to catch up on commenting.  Welcome, if this is the first time you are visiting.

This next month should be a pretty exciting month for me.  Before the November ICWL, I will hopefully have had my transfer of my adopted embryos.  My transfer is currently scheduled for November 20th at the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) in Knoxville, TN.  I was originally scheduled for a transfer in September, but two days before I was supposed to hop on the airplane, we found out that I have a polyp in my uterus.  So sadly that transfer was cancelled, and I am currently scheduled to have a hysteroscopy & polypectomy to remove the polyp on October 31st, yup Halloween.  After trying for almost 10 years, including multiple rounds of Clo.mid, IUIs, surgeries (this will be my 4th hysteroscopy!) and 4 rounds of IVFs, AND turning 40 in August, I have to wait yet again.  But this is best as we want to ensure that my body is in the ideal condition for the transfer.

I am excited as we have started our protocol.  I started BCPs last week after a bit of a drama, which included taking a pregnancy test.  Took the test on Thursday, started BCP the same day and my period started on Saturday.  I started "loopy Lu.pron" yesterday.  Next week, I will have my baseline ultrasound on 10/30, and my surgery on 10/31.  And if everything looks good, I will start my Es.trace on 10/31.

For those of you new to my blog or to see how I got here, swing on over to my "Our Journey So Far" page.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Took A Pregnancy Test

Yup, you read that right.  I took a pregnancy test today.

No, let me rephrase that.  I HAD to take a pregnancy test today.

You may remember in my last post I mentioned how I was a little concerned because I am supposed to STOP taking my BCPs (birth control pills) next Friday 10/25.  But I have not even started taking them yet because I still have not gotten my period since I stopped taking Estrace on 9/18 when my September transfer was cancelled.  I had asked Katie, the NEDC IVF nurse about it last Friday when I received the protocol.  She was not worried about it and said it is fine as long as I start my BCPs when my period started.  So, a week later and still no period, so I called Katie today and asked her about it again. Since it has been a month (minus one day) since I stopped Es.trace, she told me to take a pregnancy test, just in case.  If it was negative then start the BCPs today.  Well, I'm pretty sure I am not pregnant.  I even told Babe that I'd bet $100 that I'm not and he refused to take me up on it.  Smart guy.

I had to run to Tar.get to buy myself a pregnancy test kit.  Gosh I don't even remember the last time I bought one since I have always been pretty adamant about not peeing on a stick after my IVFs.  I think I threw out the last kit I had since it had long since expired.  I bought the cheapest Tar.get brand kit I could find.  Well what do you know.......I'm not pregnant.

So I started my BCPs today.  I will be taking it for only 8 days, and then will stop.  My period is supposed to come after that, and hopefully I will not still be bleeding (if I get a period at all) when I have my surgery on the 31st, 6 days later.  So, today was kind of exciting.... me taking a home pregnancy test.  I almost forgot how to do it and had to read the instructions again.

I had an interesting day yesterday.  When I cancelled our trip out to Knoxville in September, we had to cancel our flights too.  We currently have about $550 in credit with Delta airlines for those tickets.  Someone on the Face.book embryo adoption/donation group suggested I try calling Delta to see if I can get my rebooking fee of $200 per person waived due to medical reasons.  So I called Travelocity whom I booked our travel package with to see if I could do that.  After being on hold for about 15 minutes, I spoke to "Mike", and then was transferred to "Jerry".   We all know I was neither speaking to a Mike nor a Jerry as I was quite obviously speaking to someone in India!  I asked "Jerry" if I could speak to someone about waiving my rebooking fees as I had to cancel my travel plans due to medical reason.  I explained to him my procedure was cancelled due to a medical reason, and I had to have surgery first.  He asked why I didn't tell them about it before when I cancelled back in September.  I said nobody asked me why I was canceling.  I had only heard about Delta sometimes waiving fees due to medical reasons after the fact.  Then he put me on hold and contacted Delta.

He came back and asked me to provide information about the hospital and doctor information.  I tried to ask him which information he needed, the clinic where I was supposed to go for my transfer in Knoxville, or the hospital that I will need surgery from.  I have to say I was getting pretty frustrated and annoyed because not only was I having a hard time understanding him, he kept interrupting me.  I finally gave him NEDC's info and Dr. Keenan's name and clinic information.

The next thing he said totally surprised me.  Because I said "National Embryo Donation Center" and "Southeastern Center for Fertility and Reproductive Surgery" (Dr. Keenan's practice), he said don't worry ma'am', everything will be alright.  I was taken aback for a bit.  Did he just say what I thought he said?  He said him and his wife has gone through that before and everything will be OK, whatever "that" means.  He put me on hold again and spoke to Delta on the other line.  I kept thinking, don't tell me everything is going to be alright.  You don't know that everything is going to be alright.  You don't even know what I am going through.  What did YOU go through?  IVF? Donated eggs?  Adopted embryos?  Maybe things turned out well for you, but does not mean it will for me!  I was starting to get really annoyed.

When he came back, he said he will transfer me to someone from Delta and they will waive the rebooking fees.  Again he said don't worry ma'am, everything will be alright.  I was ready to hang up on him, and was so happy to finally speak to someone from Delta instead.   I know that "Jerry" said that with good intentions, but I didn't want to hear it from him.  Especially when he knows nothing about me nor what I am going through.   I think it was unprofessional of him to say something like that.  What do you think?  Babe thinks it was no big deal, that "Jerry" could relate since he had similar experience, and was probably just trying to be helpful.  I still think it was unprofessional.  Maybe I'm being too emotional.

Well at least the good news is I now don't have to pay the $200 rebooking fees on those tickets when we are ready to use them.

And FedEx brought this today.  My 14 day Lu.pron kit.  I start on Monday.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

We Have A Transfer Date!

Sorry for the silence.  Been waiting for an update from Katie the NEDC nurse with the November protocol.  I finally got it on Friday.  So here's the deal.

My transfer is scheduled for Wednesday, November 20th.

I start Lu.pron next Monday, 10/21 already.

Baseline ultrasound and Estradio lab work is only 10/30.

My hysteroscopy/polypectomy to remove my polyp is on Thursday, 10/31 (yup, on Halloween!)

Ultrasound before transfer is 11/14.

Felt like nothing was happening, and now suddenly everything is happening quickly.  I ordered my Lu.pron kit today and should be getting it on Thursday.  I picked up my BCPs at Target today. I'm supposed to start them when I get my period, which till today is still a no show.  I took my last Es.trace on 9/18, which is 27 days ago.  I'm a little concerned, but Katie said as long as I take it when my period starts I'm OK.  I'm praying it will start soon.

Based on my protocol, I'm supposed to stop my BCPs on 10/25.  I'm worried that even if my period comes anytime soon, I may only be on BCPs for a few days.  Then my period is supposed to come (I hope!) but I need to have stopped bleeding before my surgery on 10/31.  Feels like it may be cutting it close!

This cycle feels a little rushed, with trying to fit in my surgery, and my period being a no show.  Also, I am stressing out a little about our trip to Knoxville.  Flights have gone up $200 per person for November, and with our cancelled flights in September, we will have to cough up another $200 extra per person for rebooking fees with Delta.  That means we will have to pay and additional $800 just for our flights.  That is also assuming my body responds properly and my uterus lining cooperates and is thick enough for transfer.  If not, then we may have to postpone the transfer for a few days.  Meaning we may have to change our flights again.  And spend more money.

Babe is suggesting that we should drive out to Knoxville this time.  That way, if we are postponed again, we have more flexibility, not have to cancel our flights and pay another $200 rebooking fee per person.  I'm thinking maybe that is not be such a bad idea.  Except for the part where we have to drive 14 hours to Knoxville.  Each way.  A total of 28 hours on the road!

I have a bit of time yet to decide.  I may just start looking at hotels for  now.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Surgery's A Go

Went to see Dr. B today, my gynecologist that did my last 2 hysteroscopies to remove my polyps.  First I saw the ultrasound technician, Mark.  My local clinic sent the ultrasound report with a description of the polyp and a copy of the ultrasound image, but the image was just a mess.  You couldn't see anything but a bunch of black splotches.  They probably just faxed the report over and you know how faxes can be.  Fortunately I brought my copy of the report that the clinic sent me and it was better.  There was also no indication of what the size of the polyp was on the report.  Again, luckily I asked about it when I called the clinic last time (it was 6mm x 6mm x 4mm).

Not that it really mattered since Mark was doing the ultrasound again, and that would be the "formal" report for Dr. B.  When Mark saw the report I brought with me, right away he could see the polyp.  I was kind of blown away because there was no way I could have picked anything out of those images.  Well, he is the one with the trained eye!

We proceeded with the ultrasound and right away, he identified the polyp.  It is in the middle of the uterine cavity, measuring at 7mm x 5mm.  It seems like it had grown a tiny bit in 13 days, though Mark wasn't concerned.  He said it was the size of a Green Giant pea, squeezed so it was a little elongated.  He made sure to note that it was the Green Giant pea, as the are a little bigger than the other types (he's kinda funny like that).

Mark asked why we needed to remove the polyp.  I started giving an explanation and then realized it was a rhetorical question.  Doh!  That made me feel kinda silly.  Anyway, he explained we needed to remove the polyp because it can act like an IUD (intrauterine device, for birth control) in the uterus.  It can irritate the uterus, prevent pregnancies and cause miscarriages.  So, Mark confirmed that I have a polyp that needs to be removed "so that we can get you pregnant!".  His words.  He also noticed that my right ovary sits behind and under my uterus, an odd location.  This is not a surprise to me I already knew this.  We had issues accessing my right ovary during one of my past IVFs.  He also thought I am going ovulate on my left ovary in the next few days.  Is that even possible, since I was on Lu.pron and birth control?

Next, I saw Dr. B.  Since this is going to be my 3rd hysteroscopy, it was a quick appointment.  I told him how my September was cancelled, and how we needed to get this polyp removed in October so I can have a November transfer.  He listened to my heart and breathing to make sure I was healthy and walked me down to his scheduler.  I also explained that it needed to be done before I  started Es.trace for the transfer, but I didn't know when it would be since NEDC would not be able to give me the protocol till later this week, or next.  He gave me the scheduler's business card and I am to call her once I hear back from NEDC with my protocol and the exact timing the surgery needs to be done.

The only complication is Dr. B is going to be gone for a week on a missions trip overseas between October 19th and 25th.  So that might be a problem.  Plus his surgery schedule is getting pretty full.  But he assured me we would work something out.  He usually only does surgeries on Tuesday and Thursdays, but if he had to, he would do the surgery on an evening or even a Saturday.  You gotta love this guy!

So I'm gonna have to bug Katie, the NEDC nurse to see if I can get the protocol as soon as possible!

So for now, my surgery's a go, though I don't know exactly when yet.

I'll leave you with an image of my ultrasound from today.  My polyp is white bean shaped thing between the 2 white arrows.   It seems pretty large to me, but it's actually only 7mm x 5mm.

Image of my polyp (between the 2 white arrows)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Why Does This Have To Be So Hard?

** Please be forewarned:  Whiny, downer of a post ahead **


Why does this have to be so hard?

It shouldn't be so hard to build a family.

Yes, I have gone through lots to get to where I am today.  Months of medications.  Multiple surgeries (plus another coming).  Multiple IUIs.  Multiple IVFs.  Adoption homestudies.  Still more waiting.

It should get easier after this right?  Umm.... no, not really.  If you have gone through the infertility journey, you know it's not as simple as just getting to a positive pregnancy test.

In my case, I have to get to my embryo transfer first.  Hopefully in November.

After the embryo transfer, there is the wait for the pregnancy test, a.k.a the dreaded 2 week wait.  You pray for a positive result with a good number.

I'm sad because at least one embryo adoption mama is not pregnant this week.

Ok, so yay, you have a positive pregnancy test!  But then you wait for your hCG numbers to double everyday.  If your numbers don't double as expected, chances are you are miscarrying.  That's a scary place to be.

OK, your numbers are coming back great.  You experience cramping.  Or spotting.  Or even bleeding.  Is this normal?  Should you be concerned?  So many of these are normal in pregnancies, but it can also mean you are miscarrying.  It seems like you can never be sure, always second guessing if you are losing your baby.

Then comes the wait for your next milestone, the appointment to see your baby's heartbeat.  This can also be a scary time for many.  Most people have wonderful appointments and get to see their healthy babies.  But sometimes the doctors don't see a heartbeat.  Or there is an empty gestational sac, which means there is no baby.

I'm so sad because my high school friend J. just found out today that she has an empty gestational sac.  She is devastated.  She struggled for years before getting pregnant with her first, and now just found out she has no baby after all, after being excited about expecting a second baby.

Most people go through life with healthy, happy pregnancies.  But for many of us that have struggled to get pregnant, and to stay pregnant, it can be a very stressful time.  We never know what the next day may bring.  We pray that we will make it to the next milestone, but also expecting the worst to happen.  We know that a pregnancy is beautiful, but it can also end at any time.  And usually we have no control whatsoever over it.

We feel disconnected, not wanting to get too excited or attached.... just in case it doesn't work out.  This is especially true for those that have experienced multiple losses.

Maybe because we infertiles seek out other infertiles.  We see success stories, but we also see a lot of failures.  Of losses.  We know what can go wrong.  We see and feel the pain that others go through, and we grieve with them.  Even though we may not have gone through the same things, we know it can happen to us.  Though we pray that it doesn't.  But we know it can.

Though I hate the fact that I have never gotten pregnant before in my life, ever; I am grateful that I have not experienced a loss.  But I am also aware that this is a real possibility for me.  I have friends and family member that have experienced losses.  Even my mom lost a baby girl when she was 8 months pregnant.

So when people ask me if I'm excited about my transfer, that there is hope that I may get pregnant, I can't gleefully say "yes!".

Because truthfully, it's pretty scary.  I'm afraid that I might not get pregnant.  And I'm afraid I might..... and have to face all the things that could possibly go wrong.

It sucks that this has to be so difficult.  Sometimes I wish that I was a "normal fertile" person.  One that can just enjoy the excitement of "trying", dreaming of being pregnant and bringing a healthy baby home.  One ignorant of the world of infertility.

As I'm writing this, I'm reminded of the conversation with my friend K who is finally pregnant after 6 losses.   It was fairly early in her pregnancy and she was being cautiously optimistic but not quite yet super excited about her pregnancy.  She was afraid that she would miscarry, expecting it even.  She'd lost all the other pregnancies before, why not this one?  She didn't want to get excited about it, or get attached to this baby.

I reminded K that there really is nothing that she could do, or not do, to cause or prevent a miscarriage.  If it were to happen, it would happen no matter what.  Instead, though difficult, she should enjoy her pregnancy.  She was a mama NOW.  She should savor the time she has with her baby now, even if it is just for a short period of time.  We don't know why God allowed her to get pregnant but then took those babies home early.  Or if God will take this one too.  But He has blest her with this baby now and should savor the time she has with it.

So, I am reminded that I should take my own advice and trust that God has a plan for me.  Whatever He brings..... pregnant or not, miscarry or not, I should enjoy each step that I take.  I need to remind myself to trust in Him because He has a plan for me.  And the plan is good.

He never said it would be easy.  But He did say He will be with me every step of the way.



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

From The Sidelines

It was a week ago today that I found out my transfer last weekend would be cancelled.  That day and the next few days after was a disappointing and discouraging time for me.  I posted about my cancellation on here, and also in the embryo adoption Face.book group and received a lot of "I'm sorry"s and how it is better to catch the polyp now and have it taken care of before the transfer.

I really appreciate getting all the support and comments on FB as well as on here.  But it still stung.  I didn't want to hear the sorries or "at least" comments.  I wanted to be in TN, having my transfer, and getting my babies in my womb so I could be home with them.  I wanted to be home thinking about if I should POAS (pee on a stick), or if the cramp I was having was a baby trying to implant.  Or if my spotting was normal.

I'm sorry if this sounds like I am ungrateful for all the support and comments.  I truly am grateful.  But I also don't want to be going through this, waiting again.  Trying to figure out when my transfer is going to be.  Trying to figure out details of my surgery.  Looking at flights and hotels again.  Looking at the calendar for the next 2 months again.

It feels kinda like getting a negative beta test.  I guess I am going through a kind of grieving, grieving what could have been.  Should have been.  But also knowing there is a next step.  That this is not the end.

This past week have felt like I am sitting on the sidelines, watching people pass me by.

I watched on as a few other embryo adoption mamas were at NEDC having their transfers.

I watched on as embryo adoption mamas celebrated "Breakout Day" or "Defrost Day", days where their babies were defrosted transferred into their mamas waiting wombs.

I watched as others talked about their PIO shots.  I am grateful I didn't start my PIO shots yet when my transfer was cancelled.

I watched as others peed on a stick (POAS).  Please pray for those still waiting for their betas, and one EA momma that had a negative beta.

And I also watched as an EA momma miscarried on FB.  Please pray for her.


Even though I am not happy to be where I am, having to wait again, I am truly am grateful that we caught the polyp  now before the transfer.  It's just the getting to my November transfer part that will be the challenge for me now.

When my transfer was cancelled, I let Debbie our NEDC counselor know about it and requested she let the donor families know.  Debbie passed on a couple of emails from both our donor moms with notes of encouragement, and that they were praying for us, my surgery and our future transfer.

It is a wonderful feeling knowing that your donor families are praying for you.  Sometimes it is hard to remember that they may be just as excited for me to have a successful pregnancy as we are.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 2013 ICLW



Welcome ICLWers!

This should be a very exciting time for me.  

I should be in Knoxville, TN right now for the transfer of our adopted embryos from on the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) this Sunday.

Well at least that was the plan.  Two days before we were to hop on the airplane, we found out that I have a polyp in my uterus.  Dr. Keenan from NEDC recommended that we postpone our transfer until November.  So sadly, I had to cancel my travel plans and wait another couple of months before I get to meet my adopted babies waiting for me in TN.  In the mean time I have an appointment with a specialist at the end of the month to schedule surgery to remove my polyp.

This is obviously a very disappointing time for me.  After trying for almost 10 years, including multiple rounds of Clo.mid, IUIs, surgeries and 4 rounds of IVFs, AND turning 40 in August, I have to wait yet again.  However, I want to make sure that my body is ready and in the ideal condition to give my babies the best chance at life.

It is another reminder that no matter how much I try to plan, prepare and control things, in the end I am not in control, but God is.

It sounds like a cliche, but it really is all in God's timing.

For those of you new to my blog or to see how I got here, swing on over to my "Our Journey So Far" page.

Thanks for visiting.  Hope you stick around to see how things play out in the next couple of months.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Polyp #4, not #3

I received instructions from Katie, the NEDC nurse today.  I am now totally off Es.trace and should expect to get my period in the couple of weeks.  Once that starts I will start my BCPs (birth control pills) and will stay on BCPs until I am directed to stop.  This week and next, NEDC will be super busy with the September transfers.  I just saw on NEDC's FB page that there are 28 recipients families this month.  Not sure if that number includes me or not.  Katie will send me my protocol for my November transfer sometime the end of next week or the following week, after all the September transfers are done.  NEDC's November transfers will be done on November 19th through the 21st.  So our transfer should be one of those dates.

I was able to schedule my appointment with the specialist who will do my polyp removal surgery for September 30th.  That is the soonest I can get in to see him.  I want to make sure that I can get on his surgery schedule for the end of October.  I am working on getting my lab results from my local clinic here that did my ultrasound faxed to him.

When NEDC received my ultrasound result yesterday, it indicated that there was a polyp but for some reason did not state what the size was.  So I called my local clinic today and spoke to an ultrasound technician about it.  She said at the appointment on Tuesday, the polyp was "tiny", 6mm x 6mm x 4mm.  She said at my baseline ultrasound appointment on August 30th, they would not have seen the polyp because the it would have looked like a "snowflake in a snowstorm".  But since then (17 days), the polyp would have been engorged with blood and have grown to that size.  I suppose  the polyp isn't large, but when you are trying to get pregnant, and in comparison to the size of an embryo to be implanted, it's best to remove it.  I want to make sure we have the best chance for a successful pregnancy.

I was trying to figure out when my other surgeries for polyps were, so I checked my "Our Journey So Far" page.  I suddenly realized that this is actually polyp #4, not #3.  This will be my 4th surgery to remove a polyp!  The past 3 hysteroscopies were done on:
     September 2005
     March 2008
     December 2008

Gosh, I hope this is the last polyp I will have for another few years.  And hopefully by then, my family will be complete, and I wouldn't care less if there any polyps in my uterus.