Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 6 Report

I hope you all don't mind that I've been SUPER active on all of your blogs for the past few days. Your posts have been keeping me busy as I follow my doctor's orders of relaxed bed rest for 3 days! For those of you that know me in real life, you can imagine just how hard this is for me. I am going nuts. I would much rather be working on projects in the house, cleaning, playing with the dog outside, doing laundry, or be at school working than sitting HERE on the couch. I've watched movies, I've watched my favorite comedies, I've read, I've blogged, I've planned for school, I've caught up on blogs, and I've responded to past due emails...I've done it ALL! It wasn't as bad Saturday and Sunday with hubby here..but now that he is back to work today..I'm about to lose it! Buckwheat keeps looking at me with confusion in his eyes as if to say "You're really gonna just lay there all day?!?"

I know, I know. I shouldn't be complaining..sorry. I am SO grateful that we had three lil embryos to put back in on Saturday!!!!!

The embryologist called yesterday with the Day 6 report of my other two embryos. Remember one of them was on track cell wise, but the other one was lagging. It was only at 3 cells on Day 3. Well, they DID make it to the blast stage!! However, they were not of good enough quality to freeze. :( BUT the embryologist said if those two made it to blast stage, it was a good indication the ones inside of me would make it too because they had picked the best three to put inside of me. I was absolutely shocked that they had made it to blasts, considering how behind the one especially had been. This news definitely gave me a lil more hope.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Not Sure How I Feel

Leaving the house this morning...on the way to the transfer!

We transferred 3!!!

Now, let me tell you the details. Well, this mornings transfer could of been worse and it could have been better too!

We arrived at 7:45 and prepped for my first round of acupuncture. It went well and after he took the needles out the embryologist came right in with her report and recommendation. She started by explaining to us that none of our embryos had made it to the blastocyst stage yet. But the good news was that they all still were progressing! Our go-getter (the lead) was compacting and she said she felt as though he/she was close to an early blast stage. If the go-getter continues she thinks he/she would make it to that blast stage by tomorrow. The other two were just starting to show signs of compacting. Since they weren't quite there yet, she did perform assisted hatching on all 3. *For my family members and non TTC friends who aren't familiar with this term, assisted hatching is when the embryologist thins or makes a small hole in the zona pellucida that surrounds the embryo (a protective layer). Before an embryo implants into the uterus it must hatch from the zona pellucida. There is some evidence that in some women the zona becomes toughened, restricting the embryo to hatch. By making a small hole in the zona using a micromanipulation, this may make it easier for hatching to occur and there is some evidence that assisted hatching may improve implantation rate.

So like my title says, I don't know how I feel. Part of me was really disappointed that they were not text book and at that blast stage yet. Then another part of me was extremely grateful that they have continued to progress and are showing signs of making it to that blast stage. I could have showed up and been told they all arrested. (worst case scenario) The embryologist could tell I was having mixed emotions. She assured me that she would not put anything in me that she did not think had a chance and also shared with me she has seen many pregnancies happen with embryos similar to mine. The fact that they weren't at blasts yet doesn't mean they aren't strong embryos, she said they could just be growing at a lil slower rate and taking their good ol time. :)

Okay - details from the actual transfer...
Once again my bladder was killing me! The nurse came in after the embryologist had discussed everything with me and said "Are you ready?" We went back to the procedure room and she did an ultrasound to check if my bladder was ready, full enough. I was already dying and thought for sure it may even be too full. Nope, she said I needed about five more minutes even though she could actually see my bladder bulging out of my lower abdomen. Ahhhhh! Dr. Hayes came in a few minutes later and checked again and she said the bladder was perfect, so we proceeded. She put the speculum in and did another trial transfer to get everything measured up just right. Keep in mind, during this the nurse is pushing down on my bladder with the ultrasound so Dr. Hayes can properly see what she is doing. My legs were shaking and I couldn't barely breathe it hurt so much. My embies flashed up on the screen with my name across the monitor and the embryologist had me confirm they were indeed mine. Then she brought them in and Dr. Hayes inserted them. The embryologist went to check that they all had made it successfully out of the tube. Nope! 2 of them had stuck in the catheter. OMG...they have to go back in again. Dr. Hayes went back in and said the placement of them really was perfect. They were not touching and there was some room between them and the first one that had been placed.

Dr. Hayes did say it was VERY rare for this to happen (the embies sticking in the catheter). Then, I told her that this also happened last transfer and her face just lit up in shock! I asked her how rare was it and she said it usually only happens once every FEW years!!!! And here it happened to me twice in the past six months!!!!!!!!!

So after all three of them were finally in ...I had to lay there for an other ten minutes. I was laying there going nuts and poor hubby's hand is probably severely fractured. She came back ten minutes later to release me to the bathroom. She said "I have good news for you". I was thinking in my head the only good news right now could be getting my ass to the toilet! I was ready to just push her out of the way and make a run for it. The good news was Dr. Hayes went and looked in her records to find the last patient she had who had their embies get stuck...and sure enough that woman got pregnant! They wanted me to know as they felt it was a good omen. Hallelujah! Now please watch out before I piddle all over these damn stirrups!

Afterwards, I had my follow-up acupuncture appointment and then needed to stay laying down there for a total of 2 hours. They wheeled me out and I had hubby pick me up my favorite Chinese on the way home. YUM! Then, I passed out for about 3 hours. What a day! What a day!

2nd round of acupuncture

What's next? Just those wonderful PIO injections each night for the next 10 days, lots and lots of waiting, and an abundance of PRAYERS. My beta is scheduled for September 6th.

Friday, August 26, 2011

His Timing

I found this quote tonight on a new blog that I came across. :) I love finding new blogs!

"God's sense of timing will confound ours, no matter what culture we're from. His grace rarely operates according to our schedule."

I am praying so hard that a pregnancy is in God's plan for me right now. I struggle to let go of "my plan" and leave it all up to God's grace. I have to accept that a child will come into our lives when God is ready to bless us with one. With that being said, I am hoping His Timing will bless us with a beautiful blastocyst (or 2) waiting for us tomorrow morning.

The worst case scenario that could happen is finding out tomorrow when we arrive that nothing progressed to transfer. If that is God's will, I would rather come to terms with it tomorrow morning than in 2 weeks. If these lil guys (or girls) aren't going to make it inside of me I think I'd really like to find out tomorrow than go for 2 weeks thinking I might be pregnant. Yes, I would be DEVASTATED if we came out empty-wombed tomorrow, but I know how much more it would hurt to go through that 2 week wait hoping, praying, and dreaming of actually being pregnant and then being faced with a BFN.

The past few days I've been trying really hard to shed a positive aura. I've read some blogs about how this won't happen unless you are positive and mentally ready for a pregnancy. Not thinking, what's the plan if this doesn't work? Like I've said before, this is REALLY tough to do when all you have ever experienced is heart ache. I am definitely trying though. I want those lil guys to have the best possible chance of becoming our miracle. I'm praying that I have a happy post for ya'll tomorrow. Lots of love to all of you and thank you for being here for me. I can't express just how much it means to me. I am not alone.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 3 Report

The embryologist called around 11:30 this morning. She explained to me that their clinic does an Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor rating system. On Day 3 they want to see them at 6-8 cells. After a fertilization report (I had 5), they expect only 30%-50% of them to keep progressing to a blastocyst, so she said what we are seeing here below is pretty typical.

I have 1 - 8 cell graded Good. It has minimal fragmentation and the cells are all similiar in size. The go-getter!

I have 3 that are between 6-8 cells and graded Fair (more fragmentation than the one graded Good and cells not as similar in size).

I have 1 lagger that is only at 3 cells.

She seemed pretty confident that the 8 cell would make it to the blastocyst stage and said the other 3 have a chance and that it was good that they were all at 6-8 cells. Only time will could go either way.

She said even if they are not quite to that blastocyst stage we can discuss putting them in anyways (as long as they were progressing). If none of them make it to blast, she explained we could talk to Dr. Hayes and consider putting 3 in. If we have 1 or 2 blasts, she would recommend just putting 2 in.

I am definitely pleased that we are making it further this time than last IVF. Remember last IVF, they put two in me on Day 3 - one was a 6 cell and one was a 5 cell. I've never had an 8 cell at this point before, so that excites me. And I've definitely never had a chance at a 5 day transfer before either, so also grateful about the possible chance. I'm just praying that they keep progressing and that I have something to transfer on Saturday. I would be over the moon happy if at least one made it to a blast, as pregnancy rates really improve when they make it to this stage.

The nurse called later this afternoon to schedule the actual times for Saturday. I need to be there at 7:45 a.m. I will have an 8:00 acupuncture session and a 9:00 transfer. Then I will have another acupuncture session immediately following the transfer. The embryologist will come in and speak with us before the transfer to discuss grades and make a final decision as to how many (God willing) we will put in.

So what do you ladies think?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pins & Needles

Hi ladies (and Daddy) - I am just dying here waiting to hear how our 5 lil fertilized eggs are doing. I want to be so excited, but then I just worry it could come all crashing down in a matter of hours. The crashing down part is what I am used to. THIS is so hard...trying to fight off the dreaded feelings of failure with hope. I really feel like an emotional wreck...I have been crying at the drop of a dime, literally. I just don't know how the hubby puts up with me.

I thought being at work today would be a good distraction. Wrong! While I got a lot of work done, my mind just could not let go. I just couldn't stop thinking of them! It was good to see most of my co-workers today, although there were a few I could have went without seeing..ha! My room is pretty much up and ready for the first day. I just am waiting on my official class list, so I can do some labeling of notebooks, journals, mailboxes, etc.

I was at school for 8 hours (most work I've done all summer) and I am exhausted! I'm already on the couch with my feet up and I don't plan on moving. Hoping I get the call early tomorrow. Til then, I will remain on pins and needles.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fertilization Report

5 of the 6 fertilized! I was real pleased to receive the call at 9:00 this morning. (not like last cycle with old doc ... being notified at 8pm) Hubby and I are beaming - but realize this could all come crashing down at any second. It's really something you just are expecting when going through infertility feels as though you can only be on an "up" for so long.

But we will continue to pray, pray, and pray. The embryologists will leave them undisturbed tomorrow and check on them on Thursday (Day 3). So I will be waiting patiently til then (yeah right).

In other news, I had my first PIO shot this evening. Not too painful, but for some reason had some blood this time.

I'm a little bummed I couldn't make a family camping trip that everyone is leaving for tomorrow. Hubby can't go either - he has to work and I just didn't feel comfortable being 7 hours away from home right now. So the plan is to go into school for the next few days and try to stay busy and distracted there.

Thanks for all of the comments and words of support. You all really are the BEST! Thanks to waiting and wishing for the Hugger award! :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Retrieval Day...Take Two

Today's retrieval went pretty smoothly. I was there by 6:30 a.m. and the procedure started promptly at 7:15 a.m. The valium before was a nice touch and the anesthesia worked wonders. Again, I remember being in the procedure room for like a minute before being completely "out". I remember my doctor saying "Okay Christie, I'm going to put the speculum in" and I didn't even feel it. I woke up and heard my doctor whisper in my ear that she had retrieved 10! I was pleased to hear the double digit number as last time I had 8 retrieved.

The embryologist called at about 2:00 p.m. with the maturation report. Out of the 10, 6 are mature. 3 were immature and 1 was degenerative. So 6 have received an attempted fertilization through icsi this morning.

So now I wait until tomorrow to hear the fertilization report. Please, oh please, let it be good.

Oh and yes, the before and after pictures...

Good morning!!!

2nd time is the real charm, right? :)

Yes, hubby still loves me even though I sleep with my mouth open and look like this!

The love of my life, who holds me afloat in so many ways. Love you hubby!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I sure did it!'s true. I triggered last night at 9:30. Hubby and I will be going in for the retrieval tomorrow a.m. We have to be there at 6:30 a.m. and the procedure will begin at 7:15.

At my ultrasound yesterday, doc measured 7 on each side. I asked her how many were "contenders"...haha and she said 5 on the right and 4 or 5 on the left. She said with how high my fsh is she is pleasantly pleased with how many follicles took off. Now PRAYING those lil guys make it and come out nice and mature and healthy!

I am not one bit nervous for the retrieval part this time around...just excited! Thanks for all the well wishes! I can't believe just a week ago we were facing a cancelled cycle and now here we are going into a retrieval tomorrow. I'll be sure to post an update tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We're Getting There...

Hi ladies!!! I had another ultrasound and blood draw this morning. Things are moving along well - I still have 5 growing follies on each side. The lead is now at 13 mm. Whoo hoo! I am to continue the same dosage and will be going back Friday morning for another follie check. My doctor said she is predicting that I will be triggering on Friday or Saturday, which would be a Sunday or Monday retrieval. WHOO HOO! She also said my uterus looks fantastic and the lining is thickening up nicely. After my ultrasound, I had an extremely relaxing acupuncture session. I fell asleep again and woke up feeling very refreshed. A few hours later I received a call from the nurse and my estradiol is up to 966! This is all starting to feel real again...can't wait for retrieval day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

They Woke Up!

So I was back to the doctor this a.m. for another ultrasound and blood draw. I have to say I walked into the ultrasound room feeling kind of numb. This past week has had so many ups and downs...I just didn't have a clue where this appt was going.

The doctor took a lil looky with her magic wand and was really pleased with what she found. She measured five follicles on each side, with the largest around 9mm. She was really excited that they had started to take off and that they were much more visible this time. We waited for the bloodwork to come back and my estradiol has risen to 479...whoo hoo!

So this means I will continue stimulating. Dr. said I can probably plan on it for the rest of the week. I called the pharmacy and orderered two more cartridges of Follistim (900 & 600) and 5 more vials of Menopur. I'll go back Wednesday morning for yet another ultrasound and blood draw. Who would of guessed I would be stimming for a full two weeks? It really doesn't matter long as we get there. I'm just relieved those ovaries finally woke up! All of your prayers are working - so thank you very, very much! :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Get Me Off Already!!!

I want to start today's post by thanking so many of you. After what happened on Thursday, so many of you offered me advice, prayers, your love, and support. Every day I say to myself I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends/family who continuously offer me comfort through this journey. Thank you!

Before walking into the ultrasound this morning, I felt as if my body was telling me it would be cancelled. I'm not bloated at all and I really don't have much ovary pain so I had figured things weren't progressing as they should be.

So we went to the ultrasound this morning and things indeed looked kind of quiet on the ovary front. The doctor measured the two largest follicles on each side and both sides measured around 6mm. He said at this point we would at least want to see them around 8 or 10 mm. So hubby and I walked out of the office feeling defeated and as though things were over. Walking out we already started talking about what's next? Where do we go from here? How do we move forward? We both felt comfortable with trying again and using a different protocol and wrote down some questions we had for Dr. Hayes for our wtf meeting.

Then I met up with one of my dear friends Megan at A.lter.ra. I told her all about the cycle and how defeated I was feeling. About an hour later I got a call back from the nurse with the results of my estradiol levels from the blood drawing this a.m. Remember we were looking for the estradiol to be up to 200. It came back at 214. The nurse said the doctor would like you to continue on with your meds and come back for another follie check Monday morning. I was like "Uh, oooookay". I expressed to her that I for sure thought my cycle would be cancelled due to the ultrasound. She said the doctor was hopeful that my ovaries just needed a lil kick start. She said since the estradiol level was finally improving, we might still have a chance that the follies could take off.

I got off the phone and ran back to tell Megan what the nurse had said. I was sitting there and all of the sudden I was like Oh crap - I only have enough Follistim left for one more night (tonight). On Thursday, my doctor didn't want me to order more quite yet because we weren't sure if I was going to need it and she mentioned that if I did need it, they could bridge me over. So I called the nurse back and I am really thankful she will give me a supply to cover Sunday and Monday nights dosage. Thank you!!! This stuff is very pricy, so I appreciate their willingess to help. I can then order more Monday morning and will have it for Tuesday (if needed).

So here we are...Day 8 of injections and continuing on. I think Monday's appointment will really determine if we will make it to a retrieval or not. For now, I'm grateful the estradiol went up & hopeful that things continue to progress; however, I'm also prepared that it could go the other way too. I felt like I've been on a never ending emotional teeter totter ride these past couple days. Up...Down...Up....Down....Up....Down! I'm ready to get off already! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wasn't Expecting This One...

Well, I thought my ultrasound went well this morning. My doctor measured some follicles on each side (about 3 on the left and 5 of the right). Not as great as last time ..but hey, a start. There were some other smaller ones too, so I was hoping they would take off. Gave my blood sample and I was out the door with a smile. I was on top of the world this morning ...literally daydreaming in the car counting my blessings.

But, then it all came CRASHing down. A few hours later I received a call from one of my nurses. My estradiol level which we were hoping would rise after the increase in medication, actually DROPPED! It went from 62 to 55. I really don't understand what is going on with my body. I was finally starting to feel more optimistic about everything and now this. She said if it did not rise a great deal by Saturday - they would be cancelling this cycle. :( I asked well what do we need it to be by in order to keep going and she said around 200. My stomach sank when I heard the words 'cancel the cycle'. I was driving, so I pulled over and called the hubby. Luckily he was able to answer and I just lost it.

Have any of you ever experienced something like this before or know of someone else who did? My friend Makelle shared a similar story with me where they wanted to cancel her cycle due to low estradiol levels and she refused. She is now pregnant with twins...but, the only difference is her level never actually dropped, like mine. I really don't know what to say..I don't want to come on here and be all negative - but I think it's looking pretty glim for the continuation of this cycle. Two more nights of the same dosage (525 Follistim & 75 of Menopur) and then back on Saturday morning for ultrasound/bloodwork. I should know by Saturday afternoon whether it's a go or a bust.

I have so many things running through my head...primarily that... I guess this new protocol was not the one. Maybe back to the first protocol or back to the drawing board?

I'm trying to be positive here guys...I really am. I am fighting with every ounce of my heart, body, and soul to not give up on this cycle.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Mellow"this time around

Well, after 3 days of stimulation, my doctor could see some follies starting to grow at today's ultrasound, but they were really small at this point. (as to be expected) She measured a couple on each side to gauge future growth.

My bloodwork came back and my estradiol was lower than she would have liked at 62.9. Therefore...she increased my dosage of meds. Instead of 375 of Follistim, I will be taking 525 of Follistim in addition to the 75 of Menopur each night. The Follistim pen doesn't even go that high - so I will need to do two seperate injections to get my full dosage. So that brings me to officially 5 pokes a day.

Am: Micro-Lupron
Pm: Micro-Lupron, Follistim x 2, and Menopur

Acupuncture has been going GREAT! I was so relaxed in both my sessions so far this week, I actually fell asleep! My acupuncturist said my body is in another whole state than it was for IVF #1. He said I wasn't nearly as stagnated as last time and overall I seem much more refreshed & mellow this time around. I'd have to attribute this to not being in work right now. My days consist of sleeping in, putzing around the house, laying out, reading, and laundry...which is a lot less stressful than being at work for 8-10 hours managing 30 children. Just him saying I seemed like a whole different person this time around, gave me a sweet glimmer of hope.

At dinner tonight, I was telling hubby how blessed I feel to have met so many amazing women through this journey. I feel as though I have a growing support system and I couldn't be more grateful. EVERY e-mail, text, FB message, blog comment, phone call, and card that I receive makes me SMILE from ear to ear. Please know how much every one of you means to me..thank you!

Follie Check #2 scheduled for Thursday morning!

Friday, August 5, 2011


I started the Micro-Lupron injection this morning. Easy as pie!

I also had my CD3 ultrasound this morning and it went really well. I am waiting for the phone call this afternoon to hear what my estradiol is at. As long as it is low, I will have the go ahead to start the Follistim & Menopur injections tomorrow. It's pretty crazy to think I will be having my retrieval in less than two weeks. This is all going really fast.

I was telling a few friends that I just don't have a good vibe yet. I guess you could say I'm feeling guarded. It's like I don't want to let myself get excited because I know the grueling pain (first hand) I could experience if this doesn't work. I'm hoping once I see those follies growing next week, that it will spark my excitement & make me more optimistic!

I will say going through this while on summer vacation helps, when considering the endless appointments. It's a bit less stressful when you don't have to worry about asking your principal to leave school for an "appointment" and you don't have to plan extra lessons for someone to teach while you are gone. And I sure won't have to plan for a sub for my retrieval and transfer days. That part is nice.

Thank you to everyone who has offered me their support going into this new cycle. I can't tell you how much it means to me. It really does give me strength knowing I have so many wonderful women cheering me on. Ya'll mean the world to me!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trial Transfer

I have had a few dear ladies text/email me to ask how my trial transfer went. Thank you ...that really means a lot to me!!!

It went really well! For my non TTC friends, a trial transfer is when the physician inserts a tiny plastic catheter into the uterus. This allows the physician to measure the depth and direction of the uterus in preparation for the actual transfer. I needed to have a full bladder so the doctor could better visualize the placement of the catheter.

For some reason for IVF #1, this trial transfer KILLED! I remember my sister was standing next to me holding my hand and I was lifting my rear off the table because it hurt so bad. This time around - barely felt a thing. My new RE was really concerned as to why it hurt so bad last time. She said its possible she used a thicker catheter than necessary. RED FLAG!!! Also, last time my old doctor did not make sure I had a full bladder, which could have affected the execution of the actual transfer. UGH! Anyways, just really happy that it went well this time around. My RE said my uterus and ovaries looked perfect!

I'm going to leave you today with this short lil video clip A Miracle 4 Us posted. I enjoyed it as it captured what so many of experience on a daily basis. But I want to know, where are the other 1 in 8 couples that are going through this in my real life? I swear i don't know 1 couple in my real life (outside of the blogosphere/support group) that are experiencing troubles trying to conceive. Not that I want anyone else to struggle as we do...but hey it would help to know someone going through this to relate to in my everyday life. I might not feel as "ashamed"....working on that.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tentative Schedule

Hubby went back to work today. A friend of mine asked me if I have big plans for the month of August. I sure do! Come on...this is every girl's dream right? I LOVE spending the last month of my summer getting poked, prodded, and shooting myself up. Can you tell today is one of those bitter days? Here is my schedule for IVF #2:

Microflare Lupron Protocol
*These dates could change (+/- a couple days) based upon how my ovaries respond to the Follistim & Menopur.

7/13 - 8/2 Birth Control Pills

8/1 Injection Teaching (review) & Mock Transfer

8/2 Consent signing

8/3 Begin acupuncture (2-3 times a week)

8/5 Day 3 Labwork & Ultrasound
Start Micro-Lupron Injection (10 units twice daily 12 hours apart)

8/6 Day 4 Start Follistim Injection 375 units every PM
Start Menopur Injection 75 units every PM

8/7 - 8/14 Multiple Ultrasounds and labs to observe/monitor growing follicles

8/15 Administer hCG shot to trigger the follies to go through the last stage of maturation before retrieval.
STOP micro-lupron, Follistim, and Menopur injections

8/16 Begin Doxycycline antibiotic twice a day with food

8/17 Egg Retrieval - 34 hours after hCG shot
Begin Progesterone injections 2cc daily

8/22 Embryo Transfer
Begin Estrace 2 mg tables twice a day

8/31 Lab draw to check progesterone and estradiol

9/6 Lab draw - Pregnancy Test