IVF Ball is Rolling Again!

get-the-ball-rollingI’ve missed blogging but I just didn’t have much to say. Dealing with a miscarriage was hard emotionally and physically. I wanted to give up. But I haven’t.

It’s been a bit over two months since I had my D&C. The wait was terrible. Not knowing when AF would arrive is worse than any other “wait” I’ve been through. I mean even the 2ww is better than what this wait was. At least with the 2ww you have that beta scheduled and know a date, but waiting for AF to arrive after a miscarriage seemed like an eternity, not knowing when she would arrive.

Anyway, enough ranting and on with the updates.

  • Because of the holidays, I was told that the IVF labs are closed from Dec 24 to the end of the year. Makes sense!
  • For me to be able to start the process this month and have the ER and ET before the lab closes, AF needed to be here no later than Nov 15th.
  • AF arrived on Nov 17th.
  • Nurse said we could move forward but I would be on BCP for only 11 days (normally I’m on for around 20 days).
  • Nurse warned me that this cycle could be cancelled if my lining isn’t ready.
  • She also acknowledged that some patients don’t even take BCP and some take them for less time, depending on their situation.
  • I said lets go for it! If it gets cancelled, I’ll start again next month.
  • I’m taking BCP through Nov 30th.
  • If all looks okay, I will begin injections on Dec 4th.
  • Estimated ER could be Dec 15; ET could be Dec 20th.

Even though I’ve been doing acupuncture twice a week, I’m still feeling a bit stressed. I keep telling myself to stop it, but my body will do what it will do. I was talking to my mom yesterday about it. As much as I’m thrilled to be starting IVF again, it also terrifies me 10,000 times more than any other cycle because this is my last shot. I don’t get another try. So my body is feeling the pressure even though my mind and heart keep saying it will be okay, no matter what.

Has anyone taken a shortened BCP protocol and gotten pregnant?

IVF #3 – Three transferred

I’m a tad behind in posting this but last Thursday was my transfer day. I had three early blastocysts so they decided to put them all in hoping one sticks. Of course I was extremely nervous that all three would take but then I remind myself that that would probably NEVER happen – it’s not like I’m in my 20s with no issues.

I had thoughts of being very productive while taking it easy the last three days but for some reason I wasn’t. I wanted to finish scanning my photos, organize my jewelry making storage cart, get some Etsy done and figure out how to use Hootsuite, wrap some more scarf balls, maybe paint another floorcloth, see where I’m going with this? I had plans. The only things I got done were I logged into Hootsuite and renewed my Etsy items. The rest of the time I laid around watching TV/movies.

I felt lost. Sad. The 2WW is horrible. I keep thinking that it should take 2-3 days for implantation and so many women can feel when that happens. I know others don’t feel it but I kept trying to figure out if I was feeling anything. I had a couple of cramps, pinches, but nothing that I think is implantation. So I became sad. Sad that this one didn’t work either. Sad that I had nothing and no one to keep my mind off of this horrible hell of a two week wait.

There are other women in the same cycle group that I’m in on Fertilethoughts.com and they are all getting geared up to start peeing on a stick. I did just about every day during the last IVFs two week wait, but I’m so scared to see that negative this time. Some reason this cycle is so much harder. Maybe I’m scared that I only have one more try left. Maybe part of me is trying to come to terms that I may never be a mother. I’m sure I’ll buy some and start some time this week but the fear is still there. I’ve never wanted to much in my entire life.

So today is 3dp5dt (three days past five day transfer) which means that it’s still too early to start testing.

No symptoms to report really.

I hope tomorrow is a better day.

IVF #3 – Two perfect; some fragmented

My status call this morning told me that all six are still growing. There are 2 perfect 2-cell embryos, 2 2-cell with 10% fragmentation, and 1 3-cell with 10% fragmentation. I asked my nurse about fragmentation and she explained it as little dimples in the cells. The more there are the worse it can be. Ten percent, however, is still in the good/normal range.

My nurse later emailed me and said that Dr. T said to make a tentative transfer time for tomorrow (day 3). I had my nurse call me and I was confused about that since I spoke with Dr. T and wanted to wait until day 5 to see if any make it to the blastocyst stage.

Tomorrow’s status will be the tell all. If they look fantastic, Dr. T wants to transfer them back in tomorrow. They say the embryos respond better inside the body. If they are still good, then maybe we’ll wait until Thursday.

Either way I’ll have to trust my doctor but it’s hard sometimes. After the retrieval I added in one baby aspirin a day. People say this can help with implantation. I hope it does.

Ickiness: The progesterone suppositories are gross. I’ve been on them for two days and I probably change my pantyliner at least four times a day. It’s so disgusting; why isn’t there a better way. But I’ll do what I’m asked, of course!

Bits to worry about: I will be curious how many embryos the doctor wants to put back in. Last time it was three – two were 8-cell and one was a 4-cell. My boss and his wife put four in and they had twins…yikes! What would I do? Seriously?

IVF #3 – Day after retrieval status call

I got the first status call this morning around 9:45 and the nurse asked me how I was doing since my retrieval. I told her I had pretty good cramps yesterday but today seems much better. She goes on to tell me that I’ll be bloated for a few days and if the cramps continue, to take the pain pills that were prescribed. I said I would.

She then gave me an update on my eggs/embryos. Out of the 9 that were retrieved, 8 were mature, and of those 8, 6 were fertilized. Of course I wished for more but I also need to be happy for what I do have.

Last time they only retrieved 4 and all were fertilized but one slowed down. So I ended up with 3 that were dividing properly. Tomorrow’s status call will give me more of an indication on how well they are dividing. Stay tuned!

IVF #3 – Retrieval day, 9 of 13 collected

This morning was retrieval day. My appointment was at 9:30am so I was there an hour an a half before. They got me checked it, vitals done, dressed in gown and comfy on the stretcher.

Eventually my mom came back. When I was called back, my mom was in the ladies room. When she did finally reach my curtained off room, she told me what just happened to her. On her way from the ladies room, she decided to go upstairs and go the food bar and get some food. She didn’t want to eat breakfast in front of me since I could eat or drink anything. So nice. The food bar was closed and she headed back down to the first floor. As she walked out of the elevator, he shoe caught on these plywood-type of boards that were on the carpet areas for movers to keep the carpet protected. The board came up a bit and mom landed on both knees, then slid sprawled out, face down. My mom was terrified, embarrassed and shaking like a tree. She just had her knee replaced back in April and it’s still healing. Two guys saw what happened and ran to help her. So did the security guard and two of the nurses. She finally got up and headed back to see me. As the day went on, she is stiff and sore. The security guard gave her some numbers to call if it ends up being bad. Those boards were supposed to be taped down the the movers said they didn’t think this would happen since not many people were in the building. Poor mom.

When mom arrived next to me and told me this story, she was laughing, which made me laugh. She painted a lovely vision of a beached whale – her words. So it was fun to laugh and not think too much about what was about to happen.

I love being put under anesthesia so that’s never a problem. It’s just the whole process is a bit nerve-racking. I must have emptied my bladder 14 times but finally it was my turn. We head to the OR and it’s as cold as a meat locker. Everyone is very nice and make you feel very comfortable.

The anesthesiologist gave me a tad of juice to relax me and I absolutely love that stuff. I would love to bottle it up and take a sip right before bed every night. Next thing I know I’m waking up in my curtained off room. Mom comes back and sits next to me.

The doctor came in and said he retrieved 9 eggs. Of course you always hope for more but I’m super excited with this number. Last IVF only 4 were retrieved so this is more than double. I’m happy and pleased.

The nurse brought me some crackers and water and I inhaled it all. I was so hungry. When I was ready, they had me walk to the other side of the room to make sure I’m okay to leave. I was. I never have any problems waking up.

The lady that went before me does. She was still there waking up when I left. They retrieved 41 eggs from her. Holy crap! I can’t even imagine the discomfort she was in when it was uncomfortable for me and I had 13. According to her records she always has a hard time waking up so they were prepared and took great care of her.

My mom drove me home and I had some lunch – real food and then took naps on and off all day long. The cramps got pretty bad but nothing I couldn’t handle. Just made me lazy and not wanting to move a lot. My mom was kind enough to drop my prescription off that they give you in our Goodie Bag, and it was for Hydrocodone, which I’ve never taken before. I thought the cramps would go away but they didn’t so I was happy she filled it and brought them home after she got off of work. I took one tonight hoping it will help me sleep more comfortably and maybe they won’t be as bad tomorrow. The last two IVFs I had very mild cramping and it didn’t last all day.

Tomorrow between 12-3pm is when I should expect the big call. During this call they will tell me how many fertilized, if any are dividing, and if how many cells they are.

Medications: I started taking the Estrace (sp?) tonight and beginning tomorrow I start taking progesterone suppositories 3 times a day. I hate this part but I’ll do what I have to do.

It’s estimated that Transfer Day could be Thursday, which would make it a day 5 transfer. This date could change depending on the daily progress. I can’t wait! I hope tomorrow and this week turn out well.


IVF #3 – What are you taking?

Were the first words out of my nurse’s mouth when she called me this afternoon. She was amazed on the huge difference this cycle has been compared to the last one. This morning, which is injection day 11, my appointment showed 14 follicles, but 13 were measured. It looks like maybe around 8-9 are mature right now based on my estrogen levels. So my estrogen went from 1330 to 1796 since yesterday. They are hoping that in the next day or so, the 15 and 16’s will catch up.

When my nurse said those four words to me on the phone, I simply laughed. Of course I still didn’t share that I was taking DHEA but who’s to say that’s what is making the difference. From what I’ve been reading, there might be more punch power in CoQ10. And since I had a minimal increase two days ago, last night I doubled up on the CoQ10. I know it didn’t make anything happen the way it did, but in my mind it helped.

I just did my trigger shot. I wasn’t nervous like I normally am at this time. I iced it up, mixed up the stuff and took it to my mom to give it to me. She laughs at me because I put an X where she needs to target…LOL.

It’s refreshing to know that I had no other injections tonight and from this point on. Now I get to think wonderful thoughts about my retrieval at 9am on Saturday and wish these follicles luck and super growth. With the possibility of retrieving 8-10 eggs, this just makes my odds that much better. This will allow me to do a day-5 transfer and pick which ones make it to blastocyst. That does make me nervous though because I still have some milestones to reach – retrieval, fertilization, division, and blastocyst. All of this in one week. I just know my eggs can do it.

So far I’ve shocked my nurse and I wonder if I’ve shocked my doctor too. Or maybe doing all these stimulating drugs has woken the fertility beast in me and is charged up now. Being single I would think things go into a deep hibernation.

IVF #3 – Injection day 10, 11 measured

Update time! Today 11 were still measured. I won’t do measurements tonight since they only grew a tad bit, but the largest is 18.2 and the smallest is 11.1. My estrogen went from 1231 to 1330 – only about 100, which stinks, but maybe they needed a day off and tomorrow will be better. 🙂

I’m to continue with the same dose and return to the doctor tomorrow morning. I’m REALLY hoping they’ll tell me to trigger tomorrow night.

IVF #3 – Injection day 9, 11 measured…still

I still am measuring 11 follicles! Yippie! So now the sizes are 17.6, 16.6, 16.4, 16.1, 14.8, 14.7, 14.1, 12.8, 12.6, 11.3, 11.2. The nurse said that they are going to try and get the 11 ad 12’s to catch up so they have more to retrieve. She’s thinking three more days of injections. She’s also estimating that Friday I’ll trigger, which puts my ER on Sunday. Again, this could change by tomorrow or even Thursday but that’s the predictions now.

See ya tomorrow!

IVF #3 – Injection day 8, 11 measured

This morning I was back at my normal office for my blood work and ultrasound. My poor arms are already bruised. I had my favorite U/S technician and she measured 11 follicles – 14.6, 14.5, 14.5, 13.8, 13.7, 12.6, 12.2, 11.6, 11.3, 10.3, and 10.0. They are so close to each other in size and last IVF they were so far apart that the smaller ones could never catch up. The technician asked me how many were retrieved last time and I told her four. She said this time there will be more. Of course you never know until the doctor goes in the get them, how many they will actually be able to retrieve.

My estrogen on Saturday was 369 and today it’s 803. Nice, huh?

Historical – day 8:

  • IVF #1 – 92.5
  • IVF #2 – 369, 5 measured
  • IVF #3 – 803, 11 measured

When my nurse called she said I could trigger either Thursday, Friday or maybe Saturday. I hope I have enough to do a day 5 or 6, which means we can see which ones make it to the blastocyst stage.

I’m on daily monitoring now so I head back tomorrow morning. I hope to know more tomorrow afternoon, which trigger date it could be.

Fingers and toes crossed for me!! 🙂

IVF #3 – Injection day 6, 5 measurables

Today I had my appointment at the Towson location. Usually Saturdays there consist of a long wait, but today was different. I ended up being a bit late but by the time I took out my Kindle and read a page or two, they called my name for blood work. I sat back out in the lobby and read a couple more pages and they called me to go for the U/S.

The technician did her thing so quickly that I couldn’t keep track of measurements. I asked her how many total there were and she said 11-12 but I don’t think she really counted. She was busy measuring the larger ones. I thought I saw one around 7mm, another around 9mm. The nurse said it’s still early so I hope that means others will catch up to the larger ones. I was in and out within half an hour. World record!

I left and ran a couple of errands. Got home and ate some breakfast. Then it was back outside to do yard work. I ended up missing the call from the nurse but she left my new instructions.

Tonight the dose stays the same. Tomorrow morning I add in Ganirelix along with my normal 300 Gonal-F. Tomorrow night I start an increased does of Menopur, 225, and same dose of 150 Gonal-F. The nurse also mentioned that they measured five follicles. I’m confused though. I’m supposed to be starting the Ganirelix when my follicles reach 14mm but I’m pretty sure none did. So why start me on this now?

Monday is my next appointment and when my regular nurse calls I’ll ask her why. Plus I’ll remember to get a copy of the U/S results like I did for IVF #2.

I’m not looking forward to the Ganirelix. I remember having to use a bit more force to push the needle in, compared to the other injections. Last time I used my normal force and I couldn’t break skin and it just made a nice hole in my skin. I almost passed out. It’s hard having to give yourself injections.