Monthly Archives: February 2013

Pain

I am NOT ashamed by my infertility.
I am NOT embarrassed to talk about my infertility.
I DO get exhausted by the realities of infertility. Today is one of those days where I’m absolutely exhausted by our almost 5 year journey through this shit storm of treatments, losses, and failures.

I’m not in the right mindset to write a post about our most recent failure, but I will write something. Eventually. Right now, I’m trying to pick up the pieces of my broken heart and trying to gather up the strength to go through the process of another transfer. Please excuse the radio silence for awhile. I appreciate all the love and support that has already been offered by my Twitter followers. I don’t know how I’d make my way through this without each and every one of you.

Another Fertilization Report and the Transfer

After receiving our first fertilization report on Wednesday, I was optimistic that Thursday’s fertilization report would be just as good. Dr. P. called in the morning on Wednesday, but made me nervously wait until the early afternoon on Thursday to call.

On Wednesday, we had 10 growing embryos. On Thursday, we had 9 growing embryos.

We lost 1.

“Okay”, I told myself. It wasn’t the end of the world. We still had 1 more than last time.

Dr. P. let me know that we should show up to the clinic on Friday at 2:30 for a 2:45 transfer.

On Thursday night, I dutifully took all my extra pills and extra progesterone support. The two V.aliums helped me have the first peaceful night of sleep in a long time.

I started filling my bladder at lunch time on Friday and popped my last V.alium at 1:45. E came home early from work and we headed over to the clinic around 2:15.

I ran into my cycle buddy as she was also waiting on her transfer. We talked about our egg retrievals and she told me that only 4 of her eggs fertilized. She wasn’t sure how many total they got, but it was less than what we did. I was feeling very thankful by that point.

She went back for her consult with Dr. P. first and found out that 2 of the 4 stopped growing and that they would transfer the remaining 2. I wished her luck and told her that it only takes 1! I hope for nothing but the best for her.

Back to our situation…. shortly after arriving, we were called back into the consult room to meet with Dr. P. He showed us the fertilization report and we were shocked to see that embryo #10 made a comeback overnight! The big decision was looming though – how many to transfer? We asked Dr. P. to give us his honest opinion first. He said that based on our last two failed cycles of transferring two embryos each time, he would suggest transferring 3 embryos this time around.

E and I looked at each other. We had talked about the possibility about transferring 3 before the cycle even started, but never came to a final decision. We talked about the chances of all 3 implanting (about 10%) and if my body would be able to support a possible higher order pregnancy (RE thinks so based on my height and build).

Next, I asked which embryos would be chosen if we decided to go with 3. Dr. P. showed us the report again and we saw that there were 9, grade I (top rating) embryos and 1, grade II. He said that he would consult with the embryologist and give us a few minutes to talk.

After Dr. P. left the room, E and I had another discussion. We trusted Dr. P’s opinion and decided to go with transferring 3. When Dr. P. returned, we told him that we were onboard. We decided that a 5-cell, a 6-cell, and a 7-cell (all grade I) embryos would be our lucky 3. We chose to freeze the remaining 7 embryos.

We walked back into the procedure room where I stripped from the waist down and received my HCG booster shot from Nurse D. I put my feet in the stirrups, verified my name and how many embryos would be transferred, and waited for the catheter to be inserted. E, Nurse D, and I watched as our 3 little embryos made their way from the catheter into my uterus, their new home for the next (hopefully) 9 months.

I was told not to test before February 15th because of the HCG booster shot. My first beta is scheduled for the 19th.

Who knows how many will stick? All 3? 2? Or just 1? Please let it be at least 1.

I do have to say that this transfer felt different from the previous 2. As we watched the embryos on the screen, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm and excitement all at the same time. I had a dream last night that our first ultrasound showed twins. Everyone at the clinic seemed so happy and optimistic for us all. I left the clinic feeling confident and at peace.

I guess we’ll have a final answer in about 10 days. 10 long days.

Untold Stories of the E(gg) R(etrieval)

E and I were sitting on the couch the other night and I had mentioned to him that I didn’t really remember much about ER day. I told him that the last thing I remember was freaking out about the EKG machine and then didn’t remember anything until we got back to the house.

Last time, I apparently made a fool of myself when it came to taking pain medication while sitting in the recovery room. I was handed two T.ylenols and they kept falling out of my mouth. I was interested to find out what went on in the recovery room this time, so I asked E to fill me in.

According to E, when we entered the room, I was passed out cold while reclining in a chair. I would randomly open my eyes,  ask how many eggs we got, and then pass out again. Apparently this went on for about 20 minutes or so. When the anesthesiologist came to take the IV out of my arm (which by the way, I still have a wicked bruise), I gave her a nasty look, but didn’t say anything, as she took off the layers of tape that were used to keep the IV in place.

After the IV was out, I guess I was just saying random things over and over again. I was cracking everyone up, but I guess I didn’t reveal any juicy secrets. It took about 45 minutes total for them to convince me to get changed out of the hospital gown and back into my regular clothes. I was also sucking down orange Gatorade, which meant that I must have really been out of it. I detest the orange flavor.

Finally on the way out of the room, I sprinted to the car. Guess I was ready to go home?

I was pretty foggy and out of it for a few hours after coming home, so I assume the medicine hit me a lot harder than it did last time.

ER and a Fertilization Report

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Yesterday was the big day. Egg retrieval day. On Sunday, we requested to be scheduled for ER on Tuesday afternoon because E had to give a presentation at work in the morning. Request was granted and we were instructed to show up at the clinic at 12:45 for a 1:00 retrieval.

Upon arrival, we were presented with a clipboard of paperwork to be completed before heading back for the surgery. After the paperwork was filled out, we met briefly with Dr. P to sign more paperwork and to discuss the potential risks of the surgery. As if I wasn’t anxious enough.

About 10 minutes later, I was summoned to the pre-op room and E was left to do his thing.

I slowly changed out of my clothing and slipped on the hospital gown with the strings that never seem to tie tight enough in the back. I walked over to a chair and shook hands with the anesthesiologist. She reviewed my medical history, gave me a shot of Lidocaine in the arm, and inserted the IV. One of my nurses came over to hold my hand because she noticed that I was tearing up a bit.

Side note – Thank goodness for my two nurses. They have seriously kept me (almost) sane throughout this entire IVF cycle.

After the IV was inserted, my other nurse popped her head around the curtain, asked if I was ready, and walked me into the operating room.

I hopped up on the bed, put my legs up in the extra-large stirrups, and laid down on my back. The anesthesiologist gave me some oxygen, placed the blood pressure cuff around my left arm, and stuck on some pads to monitor my heart rate. She asked me if I was ready for “the good stuff.” I told her I was ready to go, so she started the IV. In a few seconds, I felt a rush of warmth surge through my body. I started to feel drowsy.

All of a sudden, I heard some loud beeping. I was screaming in my head (ok and maybe out loud too), what the heck is going on? I was told that the pads were just being readjusted and that everything was ok. I remember asking my nurse how everyone else’s retrievals went earlier in the day and then I was out.

Next thing I knew, E was leading me to the car.

I sat on the couch this morning, trying to remember what happened after the surgery yesterday, but my brain is foggy.

E told me that Dr. P came into the room and told us that they retrieved 20 eggs and that 16 of them were mature. So exciting, right? We got 9 more eggs than with our first IVF cycle! Not bad at all for my P(c)OS ovaries.

After some recovery time, I got dressed and we headed home. I slept a lot yesterday afternoon and spent some time with a heating pad that a friend so graciously dropped off for me to use. I started my post-retrieval medications last night – an antibiotic, a steroid, and baby aspirin. I also added in progesterone this morning.

I impatiently sat around the house this morning. Waiting for that call from Dr. P.

My phone rang shortly after 11:30. Here it was. The fertilization report.

Dr. P. let me know that out of the 16 mature eggs retrieved, 15 fertilized through ICSI. 10 fertilized normally and the other 5 fertilized abnormally. I did mourn the loss of the 5 eggs, but am happy with the fertilization rate. Currently, we have one more embryo than we did with IVF #1.

Now we wait again. Tomorrow we’ll receive our second update and (hopefully) schedule a time for transfer for Friday.

If you’re the praying type, could you please shoot some extra prayers our way. If not, how about some good thoughts? I appreciate all the love and support that has been offered here and especially on Twitter. You’re all helping to keep me sane and have eased some of my anxiety. I appreciate all that you do for me!

It’s Trigger Time!

Yesterday afternoon, E and I headed down to the IVF clinic where retrievals and transfers are performed for another follicle check. We were instructed to arrive at noon, but my scan wasn’t performed until almost 2:00 PM. My RE apologized several times for the long wait. Sure the wait sucked, but I understood that there were a few retrievals and transfers happening. Back-ups happen all the time.

My blood was drawn first and I was sent back into the waiting room until the ultrasound bed opened up. About 45 minutes later, I went back into the same room where my retrieval will take place. Dr. P. measured a bunch of follicles that ranged between 16 and 20 mm. I was told that pending blood work would determine our retrieval date, but to expect a Tuesday afternoon retrieval appointment.

E and I drove to the hospital to drop off my vials and to stop at the pharmacy to pick up my post-retrieval medicines. Holy meds is all I have to say.

I received a call about an hour later. My E2 levels jumped to 1,610. I was instructed to stop stims and to trigger at 1:00 AM for a 1:00 PM retrieval on Tuesday.

Even though E has given me two trigger shots in the past, I was still a nervous wreck. After the Super Bowl wrapped up, I sent E off to bed for awhile. I woke him up around 12:45 AM so he could help me prepare the shot. I relaxed as much as I could and E gave me the shot. No big deal as usual. The anticipation is definitely worse than the actual shot.

I stopped by the clinic this morning for my last blood draw until my beta to ensure that the trigger shot was administered correctly. I should hear back this afternoon about my HCG levels.

I’ve been instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight tonight. It will be a long day tomorrow and I’m already thinking about what I’d like for dinner tomorrow night. We’re hoping to get at least as many mature eggs as we did last time, which was 11. We’ve opted to do ICSI again, so hopefully our fertilization rate is also as high as it was last time. We’re just hoping and praying for a different end result. We want our positive.

IVF 2.0 – Update #2

After my lackluster appointment on Monday, I had an excruciating wait until my next appointment on Thursday morning.

I managed to get to the clinic by 5:50 on Thursday morning and was in the first group of lucky women who went back for blood work and ultrasounds. One of the nurses came by around 6:15 to take my blood. After a quick stick, I waited. And waited. And waited some more. My RE finally came into see me around 6:50 or so.

Lots of follicles popped up on the screen and they definitely looked bigger than they did on Monday morning. Dr. P. let me know that the follicles were all measuring around 10mm. Initially, my heart sank. Again. I knew that there was no way that my egg retrieval would still be scheduled for Monday, the 4th.

I had a mini-meltdown in the hallway and cried on my nurse’s shoulder. Again, E’s TDY date is looming closer and closer, which throws me into an irrational state of mind.

After grabbing a few extra boxes of meds, I headed off to work for the day. Around 5:00, I received a phone call and found out that my hormone levels jumped from 62 to 562. Finally, some good news! I was instructed to come back the following morning (today) for another check.

This morning, I showed up early again and endured the same long wait back in the ultrasound room. I randomly struck up a conversation with another woman in the waiting room because I noticed her at my last appointment. Turns out that she’s also a teacher and we chatted in between the curtains while we were waiting on Dr. P. The 45 minute wait doesn’t seem so long when you have some to talk to.

Blood was drawn again and follicle sizes were checked.

Lining is now at a 12 – up from a 7 on Monday.

17 follicles were counted and measured at 12mm.

I’m still waiting on my phone call to find out where my E2 is sitting at.

As of right now, ER will happen on Wednesday with a transfer on Saturday. We’re cutting it close with E’s TDY date, but if we stay on track with this schedule, he’ll be here for everything.

Once I find out what my numbers are, I’ll most likely update the post. For now, I wait. And wait. And wait. Always waiting.

***UPDATE***

E2 levels rose to 1,038. Next ultrasound will be on Sunday afternoon. Possible ER on Tuesday afternoon. We’re getting close!