Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tick tock

It's currently 5dp3dt (or it will officially be at around 12:45PM since that's about the time my transfer was).

Waiting, the most fun part of IVF! I read this blog post at Team Baby last week and it really hit home because I feel the same way. When you're stimming you're getting feedback every day, you kind of know what's happening in your body and stuff is happening. Once the transfer happens there's basically nothing else that can be done and you don't know what the hell is happening in your uterus, it's total lack of control. 

Everyone asks how I'm feeling and physically I feel fine, pretty much normal, but emotionally I'm a crazy person. My behind is awfully sore from the PIO shots and one side has gotten lumpy. I had the progesterone and estrogen check on Monday; my progesterone was 92.5 and my estrogen was 2320. Symptom-wise there's pretty much nothing happening that can't be attributed to the progesterone/estrogen. I have had cramping the last two mornings right when I wake up but that could be attributed to nervousness/anxiety/all that guacamole I ate. 

I'm probably going to be POAS before my beta because I would just prefer to know in the privacy of my own bathroom that it failed or it didn't. There's something about a nurse telling me it's negative that sets me off into uncontrollable sobbing. In my opinion it's better to have an ugly cry in my house than out and about in the world. I have not yet informed Doug of my plan but I'm pretty sure he knows after Monday I'll starting peeing on every home pregnancy test I can find. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Transfer, IVF 3.0

Our transfer was Friday, 11-11-11, which some people think might mean good luck but at this point I'm wary of anything that might be considered good luck. Since we didn't have to be at acupuncture until 10AM we went out for breakfast. After breakfast I went to acupuncture for 45 minutes before we headed to the surgery center. Friday the surgery center was completely packed, the nurses were pretty apologetic, they had a lot of procedures that day. Once they brought me back we had to share the waiting area with a two other couples waiting for transfer as well as a woman who appeared to have just had some type of eye lift done and another woman who was behind a curtain and had abdominal drains in, ick. Dr. Downer came in and I have to say that maybe we just caught him on a bad day last year because he was 100% better this time. I wouldn't say he was warm but his bedside manner drastically improved and he was pleasant. I suppose I shouldn't call him Dr. Downer anymore. 

We transferred (1) 9-cell, grade 2; (1) 8-cell grade 2 and (1) 7-cell grade 3, they all had some fragmenting but I'm not sure to what degree. The grade 3 was the Doug embryo and the other two were the embryos with donor sperm. The nurse who was with us during the transfer was SO nice and sweet. When the embryologist brought the embryos in Doug got to look at them through the microscope which was pretty cool since he hasn't gotten to do that before. The transfer took no time and I had zero cramping, which was pretty remarkable. They wheeled me out to recovery and had me lie down for 30 minutes before I got to get up. Right after we left the surgery center we headed back to Dr. Needles office for another round of acupuncture and then we went home. Bless Doug's heart he waited on me hand and foot all weekend. I watched a lot of television, played on the internet and knit. I didn't shower until Sunday, after my 48 hours was up, and I was so ready, I felt grimy and greasy by then. 

I did get the call from the lab this morning that the remaining three embryos didn't make it. Two of them arrested after day 3 and one made it to blastocyst (day 5) but it was poor quality and didn't have enough cells to freeze. Granted, I imagined we wouldn't have any make it to freeze because we never have, but it still upsets me because what does that say about my egg quality and the quality of the embryos we put back?
I'm going to acupuncture today and I'll continue going twice a week until the beta, which is Thanksgiving week. This will either be the best Thanksgiving ever or the worst.

Here are our embryos, I think the one in the lower left hand corner looks the best (to my untrained eye at least).

Friday, November 11, 2011

Little reminders of optimism

Transfer is at Noon today. I have to be at acupuncture at 10AM, then the surgery center at 11AM to take a valium and fill up my bladder (more funtimes!) Despite my plan of sleeping in this morning I woke up at 6:14AM. I'm trying hard not to freak out but I hope all the embryos survived overnight and the grade 1's are still grade 1's and I hope the transfer goes well (Dr. Downer is doing it, ugh) and I hope and pray this is the cycle that finally works. Because in reality this is our last chance with either one of our genes, after this we won't be using my eggs/Doug's sperm anymore. It's sobering to think about and even more irritating to me that reproductively-speaking I'm young and women ten years older than me are getting pregnant with their own eggs. Doug believes everything happens for a reason and I tend to believe him but it's hard.

For happier thoughts these are some little reminders of optimism floating around our house this week:
The fortune from my cookie a few weeks back

My self-written message on the chalkboard in our kitchen

Flowers brought to me Monday by my very sweet and thoughtful friend

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Embryo Update, IVF 3.0

Well the good news is they all made it through the night, the bad news is that the two fertilized with Doug's sperm are not doing so great. Our clinic uses a grading scale of 1-4, 1 being the best, 4 being the worst. The two with Doug's sperm are a 2 cell, grade 3 and a 4 cell, grade 4. The four with donor sperm are a 7 cell, grade 1; a 4 cell, grade 1, a 4 cell grade 2 and a 5 cell, grade 3. To compare last year we transferred three 8 cell, grade 2 embryos. I don't think we've ever had grade 1 embryos before so if those two make it until tomorrow that will be really good. I don't have a transfer time yet because apparently there are a lot of transfers tomorrow so I'm waiting for a call back. 

I'm trying super hard to be optimistic but I have to say I'm a little dissapointed we didn't have more eggs/embryos to work with. Last cycle we had 9 embryos make it to day 3 (granted the ones that weren't transferred didn't make it to day 5 but still). My poor little ovaries. I know we are lucky to have what we have though and hopefully one of those embryos will implant. 

I'll go to acupuncture tomorrow morning before the transfer and then right after transfer, hopefully that will help my stress. Plus Doug and I have tickets to David Sedaris tonight and he never fails to make me laugh.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fertilization Report, IVF 3.0

They called! I was on the verge of going nuts waiting. Embryologist called, he is new to our practice so this was the first time I had spoken to him. Anyway, out of the 10 eggs retrieved, 8 were mature and the other 2 were too immature. Out of those 8 we had them fertilize 2 with Doug's frozen sperm (we know that the chances of those surviving and implanting are almost zilch but we have to try). Anyway, the 2 fertilized with Doug's sperm (via ICSI) both fertilized normally. The remaining 6 were fertilized (also with ICSI) using donor sperm, out of those 4 eggs fertilized normally (surprising but I tend to believe its because of my crappy eggs not crappy sperm). So as of right this minute we have 6 fertilized zygotes. Tomorrow the lab will call us again and give us an update on cell division, etc. Last time we had two arrest overnight between days 1-2 so that could have again. We're just hoping and praying for at least three good quality, 8-celled embryos to transfer on Friday.

In other news, I have developed an awful headache and either my face is flushed or I have a fever. Off to locate a thermometer.

Retrieval, IVF 3.0

I talked to Dr. Needles on Monday morning and told him the retrieval was set for Tuesday at 7:15AM so he had me come in for a session yesterday morning at 6AM, bless his heart. I had such a nervous stomach yesterday, not so much concerned about the procedure but more about how many eggs, etc. Acupuncture helped alleviate some of the nervousness but once we got to the surgery center it came back.

Our surgery center experience was good, it's the same one we've been to the other two times so I already have medical records there and everything. The IV placement wasn't as bad as it's been in the past and my RE, whom I like a lot, Dr. Groucho (he looks like a taller version of Groucho Marx, minus the cigar) did the retrieval, which I was really happy about but that means that Dr. Downer will probably be doing my transfer (as long as we have embryos to transfer).  The anesthesiologist knew my boss which was nice and I had the same surgical nurse as I did last year. The last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist taking off my glasses and saying "I'm going to give you something to relax" and then I was out. I woke up in recovery, a tiny bit dizzy and hooked up to the heart monitor and blood pressure machine.The nurse gave me some ginger ale and once I said I could go to the bathroom she unhooked me and let me go (as with most every type of surgical procedure you have to pee before you leave). Luckily I had no problems there and she took out my IV, let me get dressed, and wheeled me out. I was slightly horrified to find a lead (from the heart monitor) under my boob as I was getting dressed. I was more mortified that someone had seen my boobs than that I had had a team of people in my lady parts.

I really wanted a hamburger after we left but it was 10:15AM and no place was open for that yet so I got Doug to bring me an egg sandwich from Panera. I spent the rest of the day laying around, knitting and watching tv (A Baby Story of course, because clearly I am a masochist). I was pretty sore yesterday, walking, sneezing, going to the bathroom, were all painful but today I feel pretty good, still a little sore though. I started taking estradiol vaginally yesterday, plus prednisone, and doxycycline. The PIO shots start tonight, fun!

Of course the million dollar question is how many eggs they got. The magic number is 10, however we don't know how many were mature and how many fertilized. The embryologist is supposed to call this morning to give us the details. I am on complete and total freakout mode until I hear from him. I really, really, really hope they were all mature and they all fertilized, but past experience has shown that doesn't happen. Update to come....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ovary Update #4, IVF 3.0

It appears I'm ready, had my ultrasound this morning and I have 5 good sized follies on the left and 5 on the right. My lining is 10.6 too. I'm triggering tonight and the retrieval will be Tuesday morning. Of course  I'm fretting about how many eggs they'll get and if they'll fertilize, etc. Also I don't know if Dr. Downer or my RE will be doing the retrieval. I guess it doesn't really matter since I'll be out of it and I'd rather my RE do my transfer since I'll be awake for that. Provided everything goes well and the eggs fertilize and we have embryos to transfer I'll have a 3 day transfer on Friday, which will probably irritate my bosses but they'll live. 

I'm taking all good thoughts, prayers, vibes, etc. Please, please, please let it work this time.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ovary Update #3, IVF 3.0

This morning I had a chatty ultrasound tech, who talked about things other than my ovaries, but I asked the nurse who called this afternoon and I have 9 follicles over 10mm right now, 5 on the right and 4 on the left. I didn't hear my lining number but I don't think I have to worry about that particular thing. I'm doing 450 Bravelle tonight and tomorrow night, plus the oral meds and then I get a Ganirelix injection Saturday morning and Sunday morning and go back for another ultrasound Sunday morning at 9AM. The nurse said I was still looking good. Fingers crossed...

Physically I'm started to feel like I have a really full abdomen and a tiny bit of shortness of breath. But I don't mind, if it means more mature eggs I'll be happy to deal with it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ovary Update #2, IVF 3.0

Elbow to elbow in the waiting room this morning. There was almost no place to sit and yet again people who feel it's necessary to bring their children to the fertility clinic. I got there at 7:33AM and didn't get my ultrasound until 8:25AM. I read half of my book while I waited.

Lining is 8.5, three follicles on the right and four on the left. The nurse said I was right where I should be but I can't help but be disappointed there aren't more follicles. I'm taking so much Bravelle, plus the letrozole, DHEA and dexamethasone, my poor ovaries are being pushed really hard.

I got a little upset yesterday, mainly because of a few minor work irritants but I still went home and cried at lunch. So much frustration and sadness, we would give anything for this cycle to work.