Monday, December 20, 2010

CCRM Cycle #2 - Day 3 Transfer

I am happy to report that we transferred three beautiful embryos this morning!

9-cell, grade 4-
8-cell, grade 4-
8-cell, grade 4-

And according to Dr. Gustofsen these embryos are the same or better quality than the BEST embryo we put in to get Dru!

The better news is that the remaining 6 embryos had the following ratings:
6-cell, grade 3+
6-cell, grade 3+
5-cell, grade 3+
4-cell, grade 3+
4-cell, grade 3+
4-cell, grade 3+

So although they aren't great, they are MUCH better than last cycle. Last cycle we transferred a 6-cell grade 3+ as one of our best embryos. And the remainder of the embryos were 2 and 4 cell with 50% fragmentation (those listed above have 15%).

The embryologist told us that all 6 are in contention for surviving to day 5 or 6 for freeze. She said she's seen 4 cell embryos make it. Last time, more than 1/2 of the ones we didn't transfer had arrested by day 3, then the rest by day 4.

I'm go grateful for such great results.

I'll tell our transfer day story in another post.

Thank you for all your prayers and support,

Saturday, December 18, 2010

CCRM Cycle #2 - Fertilization Report

I am happy to report that yesterday Dr. Gustofson retrieved 19 eggs! I had 7+ measurable follies at AFC, and no more than 15 on trigger day, they were happily surprised to find 19 eggs in there. My E2 level on trigger day was 2600, when in the last cycle it was 3100, so I'm not entirely surprised with the following fert report.

Today's fertilization report is nearly in line with our last cycle:
10 mature
9 fertilized with ICSI

They will call us on Monday to let us know if we're doing a day 3 or a day 5 transfer - I'm thinking it'll be day 3. The embryologist, Kim, told me that they'd need 4-5 well maturing embryos on day 3 to push to day 5.

The recovery this time is SO EASY. For the most part my biggest complaint is light headedness (very mild) so can I even complain about that? I have had no bleeding/spotting and very minimal cramping.

Stay tuned for Monday ...

Monday, December 13, 2010

CCRM Cycle #2 - Update

On Saturday CCRM gave us the free pass for appointments on Sunday, so my MIL, FIL, and DH took off for the slopes. Dru and I had a relaxing day back at the homestead - it was nice. Turns out Cop.per Moun.tain was 28 degrees at the base and who knows what ungodly temperature at the top ... so I am SO grateful that my bovaries prohibited me from skiing.

I got a chance to visit my dear bloggy friend and her two miracles - I have to pinch myself that we have children. She too has elevated FSH prior to 40, but both of her pregnancies were done without medical intervention - true miracles! While we were there Dru, for the first time, told me what sound cow's make ... he didn't get the "oooh", part but he gave the "mmmmm" sound ... pretty stinkin' cute. And he's really stacking blocks now, like multiple blocks on top of each other - he has quite an attention span for it. He's run into a few new play toys here - including a wind up toy that has him enamored and a handful of larger push cars - he's even making a vroom sound! He's perfecting his ball playing skilz as he passes different balls back and forth to Nana. He is adorable.

We went in for our ultrasound and bloodwork this morning and saw about 9-14 follies developing between the two ovaries, with the largest being 20.5mm. I still don't have my Lupron trigger (as I trigger with HCG+Lupron) so I asked about getting that. Also, I had enough meds to get me through today (Monday) and I figured that would be fine - except that if I need more Menopur tomorrow, I'll need to buy that from CCRM because if Free.dom Phar.macy shipped it tonight, it wouldn't arrive until noon on Tuesday - too late for my shot timing.

When my nurse called today (who, by the way, just got back from a week in Bar.bados! Rough life!) she gave me my E2 levels and suggested that there is a chance they might push to trigger on Wednesday, leaving the ER for Friday. She said that if they do that, that might leave too much room for my E2 to rise - so they might give me a Lupron only trigger (to help avoid OHSS) or they might give me Lupron plus a 1/2 an HCG trigger, or ... she warned me that we might need to do a freeze all. She indicated that the criteria was an E2 in the 4500-5500 range. Given that I'm at 1600 today, I think I'll be ok. She also had me take my Cetrotide at 4P (rather than at 9:15P like I usually do) and she asked that I take another Cetrotide tomorrow morning before my 7:30A appointment. She indicated that it will give me an additional suppression shot while we wait to see what the trigger timing will be ... all in an effort to extend the time I'm stimming, hoping my blood levels don't go too high.

We'll see. More to come tomorrow ...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Enjoying Denver

Yes, that's a big rib bone he's gnawing on :-)

We're all in Denver now - me, Berilac, Dru, MIL and FIL. We again are staying at the same great place we stayed last cycle. We have some generous friends and for that we are so grateful. Last night, when everyone finally arrived, we went out to dinner at TG.I Fr.iday's and Dru had his first baby back rib - I guess it's confirmed, our egg and sperm were not swapped out last April in the lab ... yep, he's ours!

This trip has been generally unremarkable. We've spent the majority of our time working remotely and watching Dru push all sorts of fun toys around. Though today at the Den.ver Chil.dren's museum he took 3 steps - he's well on his way to walking! I think he'll be walking before his first birthday next week and before we return home.

In between the shots, the work, chasing the wee-one, Berilac and I are trying to sneak away at each opportunity we get - to enjoy each other and enjoy being a couple. This process is so draining - we need to pour into our relationship. The best thing we can do while waiting for a child is to build a strong family to bring him/her into. And I'll say that now that a child has entered the picture - nurturing the relationship has become something we need to purposefully care for.

While we're here, I'm hoping to spend some time with IRL friends and a lovely bloggy friend I have in the area - and I can't wait! I also plan on taking Dru to Mon.key buz.iness while the rest of the family hits the slopes.

This evening, we were able to have dinner with some relatives ... but because there were 5 of us squeezed into the car on the way there, Dru didn't take his 2nd nap of the day (which he usually does at home in the crib, but when out, he'll sleep in his carseat no problem!) Well, today we learned that he won't nap with a couple of too-fun people crowding his back seat! When we got to our aunt and uncle's house Dru hadn't slept for 5 hours - something he NEVER does so he was screaming (again, something he NEVER does) so poor Berilac took him out in the car/carseat in order to give him the break he needed to settle down for a quick nap - he was able to catch 45 mins of zzzz's to resume the evening with the family. Though, coming home after 8P wasn't much better - I was hoping that he'd fall asleep quickly because it was so dark and he was so tired from a full day of fun ... but no such luck. He FINALLY fell asleep 2 minutes prior to arriving home. But our star sleeper did fall right back to sleep when we took him in and put him immediately down. Note to self - take 2 cars next time!

As far as the cycle goes, it seems to be tracking just a bit behind the last cycle ... in terms of follie sizes/counts and hormone levels. At least it did after the first appointment here on Thursday. Then I had Friday off from intimate ultrasounds. Today's appointment revealed a pretty good count - maybe 4 equal size follies on the left, plus more smaller ones that likely won't catch up, and 6-7 equal size follies on the right, plus more smaller ones there too. When they called to give me my cycle instructions they told me to maintain my meds: 150iu Menopur in the morning, 300iu Follistim at night, I started Cetrotide on Thursday night ... 2 nights earlier than the protocol anticipated - which is exactly like last time. If everything stays on par with last cycle (or there abouts) I guess we'll be doing the retrieval on Thursday. We'll see ...

There are many thoughts going around inside my head about this cycle. I swing from being just completely grateful for Dru and feeling content about whatever the outcome. To being worried that Dru might not have a sibling. To being stressed out that we took all this time - away from work, from our parents, from the folks we're staying with - and all this money (need I identify just how much an IVF cycle is at CCRM? Think - the cost of a car! ... and not a sedan!) only to feel like it was a big waste. What I do know is that there's nothing I can do to make this cycle successful or not. I am not in control. So I'm trying to get prepared to just accept the outcome -whatever it may be.

Life is flying by so quickly that Berilac and I keep asking each other - can you believe we are in Denver, cycling again? It seems unreal.

I hope all this time, effort, energy, money ... isn't spent in vein. Lord we humbly continue to ask for the blessing of children.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

IVF #2 in full force

I remember waiting to conceive Dru ... and I remember seeing fellow infertiles "lap" me by starting their second round of treatments after they've already had their first child ... and I sat with empty arms ... my heart was broken. First I want to say that if that is you, and you are reading this, know that if I could reach through the screen and give you a big hug I would. The pain of infertility and loss is incredible and for that I am so sorry.

But here we are, almost 12 months after having Dru and neck deep in our second CCRM cycle (the first one was successful in 4/09, resulting in our son in 12/09). I started my period on 12/1 and went in for a local monitoring appointment on CD2 (12/2) to learn that my endometrial lining is thick 8mm (likely due to the estrogen priming piece of the protocol - though this didn't happen last time - if you review my posts back in 4/09 you'd see). So Dr. Schoolcraft asked that I wait until CD4 to start stims.

As far as protocol goes, mine is: EPP/Antagonist, same as last time. I watched for LH surge with OPK's, then 10 days later started Estrodial pills 2mg/twice daily, 11 days after surge I started .25mg Cetrotide (as there's a national shortage for Ganirelix!), I only took 2 doses (when I supposed to take 3) because AF arrived a day earlier than expected (and I took Endometrin twice daily starting 3 days post ovulation - but obviously that didn't help).

I started 2 75iu amps of Menopur in the morning and 300iu/Follistim at night, starting on Saturday 12/4. Today will be my fourth day of stims and my first local monitoring appointment. My lining was 9mm and triple stripe. My right ovary was showing 5 follies at about 8mm and my left ovary was showing 2 follies at about 10. There were a few more on either one, but the RE did not measure them. I feel like last time I had 15 follies and this time I have 7 ... but I'm trying not to get ahead of myself and get disappointed ... easier said than done.

If you think to pray for us, please do. We would really love a sibling for our precious Dru. We fly to Denver tonight -Dru, me, and my MIL. Berilac will be joining us on Thursday night.

Here we go again!

Please do keep us in your prayers,