Monday, April 27, 2009

Another milestone

Yesterday marked 5 weeks and 1 day pregnant - that officially makes this pregnancy longer than pregnancies #3 & 4. These pregnancies were each 5 weeks long and had low and non doubling betas.

Today, I am celebrating the little things.


In other news: I had my Progesterone and Estrogen levels retested today and they look great!

Estrogen: they want the level to be > 300; after cutting my dose in half my estrogen level is 739! (appropriately down from Friday's 799).
Progesterone: they want the level to be >6; after cutting my dose by 1/3 my level is 31.4! (appropriately down from Friday's 34.5).

It looks like my weaning schedule will happen a lot earlier than anticipated. The nurse suggested that starting this coming Wednesday I should NOT use any more estrogen patches and cut it down to 1 Endometrin a day. This news was shocking to me, so this is when I asked her if they would be monitoring me? She of course said we'd do a repeat hormone level test on Friday and if all looked good, I'd be off estrogen patches entirely and would stay on 1 Endometrin/day until 8-10w when the placenta is supposed to take over progesterone support. I then asked her if we would be doing any further monitoring of these levels, you know like beyond this Friday? And she said NO! She indicated that they see higher levels like mine in FRESH IVF's rather than in FROZEN cycles (ahhhh, so that explains it!) ... and that some people (like me) just don't need hormone support ... huh??) ... I of course protested and asked her if everything would be ok if we weren't obsessively monitoring things? And she responded by saying "We do this ... ALL.THE.TIME, we know what we are doing." ... Of course she affirmed my fears but I thought it was funny that here I was arguing with the experts ... as if I'd been asked by a Stanford REI doctor to lecture to his fellows or something!

Anyway, all is good for now. This experience has been overwhelming; I keep trying to take one day at a time. When I'm not looking for the other shoe to drop, I work towards trying to accept that ... today, I am pregnant.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hormone levels in ... more good news

Considering we don't really have any information right now as to what is going on inside my body, we are trying to stay positive.

I believe it was a good sign that my progesterone and estrogen levels from this morning came back good!

Progesterone: they want it to be >6, mine was 34.5
Estrogen: they want it to be >300, mine was 799

So on Sunday I start weaning off the meds: down from three to two progesterone (Endometrin) tablets per day which means my mid-day dose will go away ... my poor MALE office mate - who watches me crawl to the floor during lunch will stop wondering what the heck I'm doing! And I need only apply 1 estrogen patch to my skin on Sunday (instead of 2).

This information has no bearing on the success of this pregnancy (except that it means that things aren't over yet - but that would have come with it's own symptoms) nor does it mean anything about how many or how few babies are (hopefully safely) tucked in that womb. All this really is, is good news - something I'm not usually the bearer of.

In other news today, the most recent anonymous post (near bottom this time) did not go without my notice. I would like to respond - as I've now received my SECOND "controversial" comment since In2MeSee's inception ... all within the same post! Go figure ... I've been writing for nearly 2 years and this one post has solicited less than overly supportive comments ... hmmmm. But I digress for now, I will respond in another post.

For now, I'm just grateful for some good news!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fertiles: Don't contribute to the isolation

Ran into some friends this weekend ... learned that they are not only pregnant, but due in a few weeks! .... SAY WHAT?

If you are a fertile and you are reading this, here are a couple of tips:

1. Your infertile friend already feels isolated by the fact that they can't have children, when you do get pregnant, please TELL your infertile friends. Cause guess what? When they see you when you are 7-8 months pregnant, and you have some huge belly - they are not only going to think you swallowed a turkey, no, they'll be able to put 2 and 2 together ... instead of feeling protected by you (which is likely what you were trying to do - or you might have been protecting yourself because you are afraid of an uncomfortable confrontation) they are going to feel completely LEFT OUT of the entire process, which only encourages the fear that they really ARE isolated and alone and don't belong.

2. And along these same lines, since we're here already ... please don't further their isolation by NOT inviting them to baby showers - allow them the chance to turn down the invitation, rather than "protect" them. All you're doing when you protect them is confirming their fear that they really don't belong.

Ok, I think I've said enough here, verbal beating over.

Instead here are some pointers for telling your infertile friends about your news:

1. Send your news in an email - let them know that you're sending it in an email because you respect them and want to give them any emotional space they might need to process the news.

2. If you're ready to share your news, don't put off telling your infertile friends till the end. Rather, tell them first, so that if/when they hear the news from someone else they won't feel like you were hiding it from them.

You may think all of this is crazy. You may think that infertiles are more "sensitive" then you'd like ... but would you tell a guy who just lost his job that you just got a raise at work? Would you go on and on to him about how many people you now have reporting to you ... as he has run out of unemployment checks and is considering working at Burger King to get by? ... No, I didn't think you would. Man up people.



Man, I am not making friends today. This is not the first circumstance where I've inserted foot and shoved. Though I don't want to "take back" anything I've said above, instead, I want to add more context.

Thank you anonymous for your comment. I believe that you have some very valid points. I'm sure it does feel like you can't win for losing! Here's the deal: infertiles (especially primary infertiles) don't have the joy of being parents, the awe of creation when they look into their baby's eyes, the excitement and connection to share with their spouses over a positive pregnancy test, etc, etc, etc

... so it doesn't really surprise me to hear that they (we) get upset by most things baby, right? ... as someone who has been through the ringer I can tell you that I wouldn't wish infertility on my worst enemy - words like: painful, exhausting, isolating, heartbreaking ... don't even begin to describe the experience. So yeah, this stuff hurts. But pretending like it doesn't exist unfortunately, won't make things better - well, they might make it better for you, but they won't for the infertile.

I think I did a disservice in my original post by NOT communicating how important it is to approach these topics/discussions with respect, grace, and gentleness ... you can gently (but truthfully) tell someone something they don't want to hear and it ends up being LESS uncomfortable than if you exclaim your excitement over something that would clearly cause pain to another person.

Ok, you are totally right in saying that if you do not know that a person/woman/couple is struggling with infertility then how can you handle it with grace and respect? Let me tell you, I am not suggesting you learn to read minds! Heavens no. But I also don't think it takes a rocket sciencist to see the signs that there might be an infertile among us ... women who get quiet or look away at the mention of pregnancy, birth stories, and the like ... I don't think it would hurt anyone to talk less exuberantly about their child's poop if the signs are so obvious that you notice someone suffering ... and you can then go on to treat them with a little more care. If it turns out you were wrong, well then, you just bored one less person with stories of poopy diapers. (Yes, I'm sure if I'm ever able to have children someday, I will do this too, I'm just saying ... poo, not the most riveting conversation topic!)

Something that you didn't directly say, but that would benefit many people is ... KNOW YOUR INFERTILE ... you're right, some don't ever want to see a baby shower invitation for the rest of their reproductive years ... here's something my AMAZINGLY sensitive friend did ... she emailed me and let me know that friends were going to be throwing her a shower. She indicated that she'd agonized about whether or not to invite me, as she really wants me to be apart of her life, yet she also wants to respect the pain and difficulty a shower might cause me. (Can I tell you that I am crying as I type this, at the reminder of this amazingly sensitive friend!) She wanted to move forward in a way that would respect my feelings ... WOW. So what she did, so beautifully was she became a student of Polly Gamwich. By talking with me, reading my blog, praying with me, she learned that I wouldn't react so well to an invitation showing up unannounced in my mailbox, but one sent with concern and care ... it went a long way. So, if you have any infertile friends, learn about them (don't overwhelm them with personal questions about their lady bits) but use all that desire not to hurt someone and that wisdom to not judge someone until you've walked in their shoes ... and be delicate, and respectfully and humbly ask how you can better love your favorite infertile.

Ok, I'm sure something I've said will get me in trouble, but I really wanted to respond to anonymous, cause I NEVER get "argumentative" (for lack of a better term) comments ... and it's kind of exciting.

Monday, April 20, 2009

CCRM: Beta #2

Praise God!

On Saturday our beta value was 108, 48 hours later it should double, so adequate results this morning would have been 216, but instead our result was 300!!

4/18/09 (11dp3dt) Beta #1: 108
4/20/09 (13dp3dt) Beta #2: 300

Here is a nifty chart for those of you that might need to see this graphically to tell what's going on:

Berilac and I are thrilled. We were praying that God would not only give us a "decent" second beta number, but a great second beta number, and considering that the clinic wanted the value to double and it tripled, I don't think we could be more grateful.

My FIL was praying that the number be above 230! How cool is it that he's trying to understand this whole situation enough to "get" what a good beta number would be? Um, hello? Who's the lucky daughter-in-law?

So we are done getting betas. We have a progesterone/estrogen check on Friday, but beyond that, we wait until the 6.5 week ultrasound on Cinco de Mayo (for those of you that don't know what that is - and yes, some people don't - it's the fifth of May).

Two weeks and 1 day to hold onto hope, to stay positive and trust God, two weeks to struggle to stay focused at work.

Today we celebrate because again ... we are still pregnant.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

CCRM: Beta #1

After getting a positive home pregnancy test on Friday morning, Friday night Berilac and I were able to celebrate the success of our cycle. We went out to dinner, we joked that after overcoming such a huge stressor how much more appropriate it would be to toast with glasses of wine rather than water - but we gratefully tilted back our cups in celebration, then we came home and fell asleep watching a movie - like old married people.

I will admit that Friday brought with it a bit of relief that we haven't experienced since January of 2008 ... when you get pregnant (even if it only to miscarry) at least you get an opportunity for the pregnancy to work out. We are grateful for this opportunity, but the label of "habitual aborter" has not left us unscathed.

Over the course of our celebratory evening, we stopped each other as one of us would veer into "what if this one doesn't work," we knew to hug tightly when we saw that look in the other's face that of course was followed by an "I'm scared." We shared many a deep breaths.

We saw pregnant bellies pass by (man, I had no idea Friday nights are a big belly fest at the local Cubian restaurant!) but we did not smile knowingly to one another or brush legs under the dinner table. We stared ... questioning if we would be able to get there someday and we continued with our celebration, regardless of the symbols of things we "kind of" have ... we tried to enjoy the night and for the most part we did.

Back at the ranch (for those of you who don't know we don't actually live in a ranch - hello? we're Californians ... a small, rented duplex on a comparable size property is not even close) ... after falling asleep on the couch to a movie, when we moved to the bed, of course Berilac was out like a light (I've always been envious of how quickly that boy starts lightly snoring once his head hits the pillow) and I lay there listening to his soft breathing, thinking ... hoping ... praying. Trying to imagine what a healthy, successful pregnancy would be like. And I kept coming back to the gravity of the next morning and the infamous first beta ... dum, da dum dah, DUMMMMM! And of course it didn't help that the lab is only open from 8-8:30AM so I'd be rising and shining at 6AM to get my progesterone supp inserted in time to laze around for an hour before racing to the clinic (nothing like the pressure of having a short night of sleep in front of you to "help" you FORCE yourself to sleep!) Somehow I dozed off and I awoke bright and early this morning, ready to challenge my "habitual aborter" title.

Can I just give a shout out to the nurses of CCRM here for just a moment? (I know most of you are only reading this after having scrolled to the bottom to check out the number, so I'll just do what I please) ... those ladies are FANTASTIC! Last night I realized that I only had enough Endometrin to last me through mid-day Sunday, I called the urgent call line at CCRM and they suggested ways we could get me what I needed by Sunday (do I even have to say that they quickly and effectively followed up with those suggestions and I have my Endometrin as we speak?) ... not only that, but somehow I LOST my beta lab slip and only noticed in on Friday night ... THE NIGHT BEFORE THE BETA!!! ... I sent one email to the IVF nurses and by Saturday morning, 8AM, when my local lab opened, my local clinic had received a fax and I was no longer "in a bind" to get my ever-so-important beta. So thank you CCRM nurses!

Anti-climatically, the blood draw story ends here. There was no more excitement to the blood draw, if you're an infertility patient you've been there 100 times before (probably literally) you can just think back to your most uneventful one and that was how exciting it all was.

Directly after the draw, after running many errands, we got on our way to a baby shower of a couple of fellow infertiles from one of my infertility support groups. As we all know showers are essentially ... well, torture (but for any fertiles out there reading this - it does not mean we do not want to be invited - we just want to attend on our terms - you know, if we're not on the verge of emotionally breaking down ... then we come) ... but this shower was different. It was easier for me to connect to because we had scored two points for Team Infertile (it was a double shower of TWO girls in our infertility support group that are quickly approaching their due dates!) so that was the high point. However, Berilac and I knew that we should be getting our results while at the shower (you know, the place you want to get all fragile with a call to your fertility clinic at ... A BABY SHOWER!) And wouldn't you know it, in all of their efficiency CCRM called early in the day and gave us our results while people were still arriving to the shower.

It was aggravating for me that CCRM's original call went straight to voicemail (probably as aggravating as it is for you that this post is running at the mouth like it is ...) so we promptly dialed them back and navigated the clinic's answering service to speak with the nurse. It was so cute when she said "Congratulations, you're pregnant!" and I responded by saying "Yeah?" ... she quickly got the gist and replied "but you already knew that, huh?" She said we had a nice strong beta, and although I hesitated for a just a moment - thinking how wonderfully blissful it would be NOT to know the exact number to obsessively track, measure, and compare, I asked her "what was the HCG level?" and she responded: "108." She also confirmed that my Progesterone level was also "good" but this time I opted not to get the details and just trusted her to do her job (something I completely LOVE about CCRM, you actually CAN trust them).

So that's it folks. 108. A "solid" singleton pregnancy beta level. As a matter of fact, it's nearly the exact average (100) for singleton pregnancies at this stage.

We celebrate this number for today - again, we are pregnant.

But I can't make any guarantees on where my heart and mind (and sleep) will wander off to on Sunday night as we prepare for beta #2.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pregnancy #5: Today, I'm pregnant.

(Job 1:21) The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.

Today we praise the Lord for giving.

In preparation for tomorrow's beta, Berilac and I decided we would pee on a stick at home, to prepare ourselves for the type of call we would be receiving on Saturday. (Sorry for the blurry picture, it was taken with my iPhone.)

We are so grateful for pregnancy number 5, we hope that tomorrow's beta results will support a healthy pregnancy.

I guess I don't remember what a pregnancy feels like, otherwise, this one is DIFFERENT than all the others ... and will be a healthy and full term pregnancy - here's hoping.

Thank you Lord that we are pregnant today, please keep our embryos nestled safely in our womb for a good long stay.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

7dp3dt - not feeling the love

I know it's too early to know anything for certain - especially when a blood test is NOT involved, but I will tell you that I'm not feeling it. And if I were pregnant with triplets - I'd be feeling it, I'm sure. It doesn't even seem to me that I'm pregnant with one, let alone three.

I have not POAS today, but I did test out my trigger. I just wanted to make sure the trigger was gone ... to allow the option of testing early, but testing out trigger was so traumatizing that I've decided I'm just going to wait until beta. I will not POAS until just before beta - to prepare myself for the news of the dreaded call.

Days are dragging on.

Work seems unbearable.

Distractions are hard to find.

Emotionally, I'm a wreck.

Pray for me if you think of it - I'm really struggling with feeling loved by God. All I can do is cry out and cling to some good old scripture ...

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)

How do you maintain hope while trying to prepare yourself emotionally for the worst? I want to stay hopeful, but at the same time, I don't want to be winded by the blow to the gut should the results come back negative - how does one keep this in balance?

Please continue to hold my hand while I wait ...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

CCRM Cycle #1 - Pregnant until proven otherwise

It was a bit shocking yesterday to learn that we would be doing a day 3 transfer. As a patient that has had 4 miscarriages the thought is that most of my embryos should "look perfect" (or at least be successfully developed!) at day 5 - Dr. Schoolcraft told me in a previous conversation that generally women who have recurrent loss produce many great looking blastocysts - which is misleading - as great looking blastocysts can be normal or abnormal (the thought being that if you are getting pregnant you make blastocysts, but if you are miscarrying those blastocysts are likely chromosomally abnormal - especially in my case) ... but in this cycle, we didn't even make it to blastocyst!

I mean, the fact that I've gotten pregnant so many times, so "easily" indicates that Berilac and I make embryos that make it to day 5 ... so to have only 2 embryos of 7 make it to the 8 cell stage on day 3 is strange. How the heck have we been getting pregnant if 5/7 embryos aren't developing on track? Some might think it's because we must have implanted late in our previous pregnancies but in fact, I've freaked out many a relative when asking them to pray for us when we were "early in our pregnancy" and they would ask "how far along are you?" and I'd respond "3 weeks and 2 days" ... I'm not sure they actually believed me! ;-)

So when the embryologist called yesterday and told me the news, I had one and a half hours to get my stuff together to get down to CCRM for my pre-transfer acupuncture appt. I had to call my husband and my mom. I had to update all you fine ladies. I had to email my support network and ask for prayer. I had to take a rinse-only shower (I guess those embryos don't like my Whole Foods, all natural shampoo as much as I do!) I had to prep my pad for my arrival home - putting important things in reach of the recliner I would soon call home during my 2 day, upcoming, bedrest: remote controls, liquids, numerous pill jars. And when I was done, my dad raced me to the clinic.

We arrived right on time. We took a lovely picture of me in front of the infamous (and likely VERY expensive CCRM lobby waterfall) sporting my must-have IVF occasional t-shirt. I emailed this pic to my husband (surprising him that I even ordered the shirt) and he asked if CCRM created it for us (using our embryos as the pics!!) as a memento or something - too funny! (For anyone who doesn't know - the answer is NO - they barely let you get a glimpse of them before they deliver them to your lady bits - let alone graft a t-shirt for you!)

After taking the umpteenth million blood draw on this trip, we went to the surgery center and waited for someone to call us back. Now, let me tell you, my dad does not look young for his age. I was taking every chance I got to announce that this was MY DAD joining me today (as Berilac had to head back to California on Monday) but I will tell you, I was getting side ways glances from some of the other lobby patients while we waited ... I think the situation was exacerbated because I look like a teenager - it was awesome!

My acupuncturist brought us back and although navigating the gown change out was a bit delicate with my dad in the room, we managed. I relaxed, got stuck like a pin cushion, got a big tasty valium to take the edge off (ok, ok it's purpose was to relax the smooth muscles in my uterus - but I tell you my mind was pretty grateful!). A few nurses popped in and out checking my vitals, taking a peak at how that bladder was filling up - and I am happy to report that I only had to drink 16 ounces of water to make my bladder large enough, I guess my ovaries are still so large that they helped magnify my uterus on ultrasound.

My favorite part was when the embryologist came in and looked at me and said "Polly?" and I said "Yes" (knowing they like to double and triple check that they are putting the right embryos back into the right uteri). He then looked at my dad and said "Berilac?" ... it was TOO funny, dad and I broke out laughing. I told the embryologist that he was my dad and he responded saying - "you'd be surprised, at a place like this we get all kinds!" He confirmed what we had discussed earlier on the phone. He was still reluctant to give us information on the other 7 developing (although not so well) embryos, and this was all the further information that we got:
  • The three embryos transferred did not have any fragmentation removed - there was not enough to warrant it (that's good news).

  • They performed assisted hatching on all three embryos. (They said I was on the cusp in terms of my age and since I had had a failed IVF - they went for it.)

  • Of the 3 that fertilized on day 2, 1 of them had already completely arrested.

  • They will watch the remaining 6 embryos until Friday and evaluate for freeze. (It is my understanding that only 25% of cycles result in embryos that make it to freeze - so sadly, I'm not expecting any.)

Enter Dr. Schoolcraft ... the man, the myth, the legend.

I love building this whole thing up like he's a rockstar or something ... I will say that my dad has a very odd, dry, eccentric sense of humor, so I warned him that Dr. Schoolcraft is not a man you kid around with - thankfully he took my advice and didn't say anything to wig Dr. Schoolcraft out - the last thing I need is an offended doctor threading my cervix and handling my babies! The first thing Dr. Schoolcraft commented on was that we decided not to do the genetic testing and I told him that we opted out of it this time, but if we need to do it in the future - we'd be willing to at his clinic (they have really proven to me that this experience does not have to be as horrible as my last clinic experience - doctors/nurses really ARE competent!) and he broke a little smile at that, knowing I was admitting that I did not trust them earlier when I could have. He asked me if we were ok transferring three embryos and I did NOT delay in saying yes, he then said, "you could have triplets you know" ... pwaaaa haaa haa! (I laugh in the face of triplets!!) I responded asking him the chances and he said less than 5%, I told him I'd be grateful with whatever we get - if we get any babies at all ... (Lord please, please give us children!!!)

Then we started the procedure. The embryologist, Dr. Schoolcraft, and the ultrasound tech all stayed in the room - all concentrating their efforts on my nether regions, while my dad sat by head holding my hand - what a great dad! As the doctor began his descent I reminded him what a horrible transfer experience I had had in January, telling him that my last RE spent 35 minutes trying to just place the catheter and Dr. Schoolcraft's response was "I don't think I could keep my embryologist entertained that long!" ... ha! a joke from the stern faced one himself!! It was great. After that it seemed to go fine. He made mention of understanding why the previous transfer would have been difficult, but I only felt one twinge of pain and after a soft yelp the ultrasound tech said "he just placed the catheter" ... they delivered the little ones and closed up shop.

After it was over Dr. Schoolcraft said it was a great transfer with perfect embryos and he wished me luck.

I of course endured another session of acupuncture and got wheeled out of there. I wore my shirt all around with pride and ALL of the surgery center nurses ooooh'd and ahhh'd over it saying how cute it was and that they'd NEVER seen one like it before! (And the phlebotomist said the SAME thing!!). Now, I've known at least two women who have worn their shirts to CCRM - so there's got to be more ... Brenda, Lisa, how come you didn't sport it in all it's glory? I thought for sure you had??!? ... I'm guessing if any other patients in the lobby saw me in it (which they HAD to have) they likely thought I was just a naive, novice infertile (spreading baby dust!) going in for my first IVF that of course (roll eyes) will work like a charm. I just thought - of all people - those hanging out at the last resort fertility clinic .... are the ones that can appreciate such a shirt!

So there you have it. I'm now lying around incubating a few little babies. Praying that they stick around for the long haul. I've got a uterus full of babies and this was my story of becoming pregnant until proven otherwise.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

CCRM Cycle #1 - Day 3 Transfer

The embryologist called and he and Dr. Schoolcraft have decided that we will do a transfer today!

On day 3 they like to see embryos that are 8 celled and are graded highly. Here is their grading policy:

Grade 4 means even cell division with no fragmentation
Grade 3 means even cell division with small fragmentation
Grade 2 means uneven cell division with moderate fragmentation
Grade 1 means uneven cell division with excessive fragmentation

We will be transferring 3 embryos today:
8 cell, grade 4
8 cell, grade 3
6 cell, grade 3+

We had hoped for a day 5 transfer, but we are praying that at least one (if not all three) babies will be healthy and stick around.

Please pray for us today, for an uneventful transfer and for the blessing of children.

Monday, April 6, 2009

CCRM Cycle #1 - Day 2 ICSI Report

So it turns out that all 4 of the immature eggs that they retrieved on Saturday matured - I guess the last one matured after I got off the phone with the embryologist.

Well, so they ICSI'ed the 4 eggs and 3 fertilized ... so now we have 10 embryos!

I asked the embryologist if they find that day 2 ICSI'ed eggs are less chromosomally normal than those originallly mature at retrieval and she said they were still collecting data on that, but that they have definitely seen take home babies from day 2 ICSI'ed eggs - that was reassuring.

I asked her how they use the day 2 ICSI'ed embryos ... let's say I was able to make it to day 5 would they transfer any of the day 2 ICSI's as morulas? And she indicated that there are two scenarios for the day 2 ICSI's:

1. If you end up having a day 3 transfer, and you don't have enough embryos, they will transfer some or all of the day 2 ICSI's as well.
2. If you make it to day 5 they will transfer the blastocysts (day 1 or day 2 ICSI'd) and the remaining day 2 ICSI's will be evaluated for freeze.

The short of it is ... we have 10 embryos and we are praying that God will bless us with a normal embryo or two to transfer into my womb for a nice long, warm, comfy, cozy 9 month journey ... please continue to pray with us.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

CCRM Cycle #1 - Fertilization Report

I am pleased to report that on Saturday Dr. Schoolcraft retrieved 14 eggs, telling us that it was a very "standard" retrieval. He got 1 egg for every follicle he flushed. He used a smaller needle, so the recovery has been much better than the past two retrievals (stupid monkey clinic!).

So here's the data in summary:

14 eggs retrieved
10 eggs mature
7 fertilized with ICSI

Of the 4 immature eggs on Saturday, 3 matured by today. Tomorrow the embryologist calls us and lets us know if any of the late bloomers fertilize.

We will get a call on Tuesday morning to find out if we're doing a 3 day transfer or a 5 day transfer.

We are happy with our decision to do a fresh cycle and are hoping and praying for some amazing embryos on Tuesday.

Now, back to my movies and slothfull lying around!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The smoking gun

Tonight at 10:15 PM MDT we trigger! Our retrieval is set for Saturday morning 9:15AM.

Today we had 10 follicles measuring 1.5cm to 2.3cm (though the estimated number of mature eggs at retrieval is still 6-8) ... and it's official, we are going to go for a fresh transfer.

I will be triggering with HCG and Lupron, in hopes of avoiding empty follicles this time.

I am hopeful, but I am scared too. I know that I am not in control. I know that doing the fresh cycle is the right thing for us to do - but I can't help but think of stories of women who tested their embryos only to learn that the BEST LOOKING embryos turned out to be the abnormal embryos. But I keep going back to the fact that I am not in control of the outcome of this cycle. I am going to pray that we put back two or three normal blastocysts (see how positive I am? I'm hoping we're going to make it to blastocyst stage and that we'll have 3 to transfer!)

My blood labs today showed the following:
E2: 3162
P4: 0.9
LH: 1.8

We take 75iu of Follistim this evening and I go in tomorrow morning for my last bloodwork before retrieval. I picked up my Lupron, Endometrin, and Vivelle patches from Todd's this evening. I am locked and loaded and ready to go! ... ready to pull the trigger!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Other things I should be doing ...

I'm fortunate enough to take the week off during my cycle. I'm sitting in this gorgeous 3800 square foot home that resides in a beautiful golf course community; I could be touring the local aquarium or zoo, but instead I'm inside. I could be productive and get my taxes done or clean out my inbox but probably the BEST thing I could be doing right now is kicking back, cuddling up on the couch with the too cute kitty, and napping while I attempt to watch a movie.

But instead, I'm farting around with the follie measurements from today ...

My nurse must have been off today, because I consulted with a different one. I told her we were still going back and forth about the PBB/CGH and told her if we could have a contingency plan it would be a no-brainer. She then told me that she anticipates getting all the eggs! ... like 11-14 or so. I then told her that in my past two ER's I've only gotten 5 and 1 mature egg respectively and on those cycles I had many more follies. She patted my arm and apologized and said we'd likely keep pushing. She then agreed with my nurses' guesstimate of 6 to 8 mature eggs.

We will still monitor tomorrow and Friday, but we also booked a monitoring appointment for Saturday ... just in case. I don't think I'll get instructions to trigger tonight, so ER will likely not happen until Saturday or later. (Sheesh, all this dragging on follicular development is exhausting!)

Ok, back to all the excel fun! I'll update with bloodwork results later.
Sat 3/28: ~6-8 follies
E2: 2169
P4: 0.7
LH: 1.0