Monday, September 27, 2010

We may have ourselves a miracle...

...courtesy of Nurse Heather. We will know by the end of the week.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Things I Couldn't Say

Beta was negative.

There is nothing left to heal me. This time, defeat brought so much more than usual. It brought the end.

We are being forced to be done. We are out of miracles. We just found out that our infertility coverage ends January 1st; 2 weeks exactly before DH gets his bonus that would allow us a second chance. Our clinic won't wait. Our portion is due by November 13th. We don't have it now, and won't by then. Our credit cards are maxed, we have already borrowed against our retirement. We don't qualify for bank loans, and our family can't help us. There is nothing else. I never thought a mere $3,000 would cement our fate. (and how pathetic are we, that it does?)

I met with another RE, Dr. W, this week. We were offered a free consultation, and even though it is over 1 1/2 drive one-way, I figured I'd give it a try. After the consult, I left even more defeated.

He is convinced I have bad eggs. He says we need PGD, and even then doesn't think we have a great chance. Most of this is centered on my AMH (antimullerian hormone) level. Mine came back at 1.1, which my clinic said was fine - anything over 0.7 is "normal" in their opinion. Dr. W disagreed completely. He told me that if we cycled with him, he would double my FSH to 450 iu, and add menopur instead of the low dose hcg. He seemed very willing to risk a cycle just to find the "why's". It was as if the puzzle was more appealing than actually ending with a healthy pregnancy. When I expressed concern with my embryos not making it for the extended culture he wants to do, his reply was "then they wouldn't have made it in your uterus, either."

I left in a haze. If I cycle with them, they will allow me to pay my financial portion in January. But honestly, my gut told me to run! They don't have any statistics listed with SART, and their sister clinics had much lower rates than my current clinic. When I asked Dr. W about the clinic's current success rates, he arrogantly said, "oh, 55, 65%. Very respectable. Very high!" I didn't believe a word. The secretary had told me that their rates were comparable with their other clinics (roughly 40%) but the Dr. made an excuse that the reason the other clinic's rates were low was because they couldn't include data from clinical trials they had done (the trial patients rates, he claimed, were over 70%). But that just raised more questions for me. What about all the prior years reported? The rates were all about the same, some much lower.

It felt like a trap. One that I can't bring myself to step into, no matter how desperate I am. I can't risk my dreams, and my health.

I don't know what else to do. I can't fathom trying to cope with the fact that the last 7 1/2 years were for nothing. That having LJ was a fluke, and that we will never have the family we have so desperately tried for.

I don't know how I will ever accept that it is all actually over. When I hoped for things to "end", this is not exactly what I had in mind.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nothing much to say...

Sorry to keep you all in the dark. I really appreciate the emails and texts checking in on me, though! I totally love you guys!

The only problem is that I don't think I can find the words to tell you how this week has been. My beta is tentatively scheduled for Monday, but I think I'd die on the spot if it was a decent number, if positive at all. (Yes, I POAS. BFN at 12dp2dt)

There is so much more to tell, but I just don't have it in me to "say it out loud" so to speak. I think I just need to "be" for a while.

Hopefully, it won't take too long. Thanks for understanding.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

You almost made me crazy, Anniversary. ALMOST!

I almost POAS today.

Not because I have a "feeling", or because I am just so damn eager to know (because strangely - I'm not), but because 9 years ago today, I POAS. And that was a pretty good day.

The night before I had had this crazy dream. (I know, I know... me and my dreams) and I was telling my friend about it on our way to the store to pick up some lunch. When I had finished explaining what had happened in my dream, she stopped in the middle of the aisle and asked, "Well, are you late?" Of course I was late! During that period of time I was always late. I honestly hadn't thought anything of it. When I told her that, she insisted that she wasn't going to let me leave the store until I bought a pregnancy test. So, I did.

The whole way back we were quiet. I felt dumb buying a test, and she felt confident that my dream "meant' something. When we made it back to school, (we were in cosmetology school together) I excused myself to the restroom to take the test. Because this was before I was an absolute basketcase (thank you, IF) I nonchalantly took the test and set it on the back of the toilet while I washed my hands. I glanced back at the stick while the water was still running, and totally did a double-take. It was positive.

I left the restroom in a daze. I was shaking so hard I almost didn't dare walk. My friend already had a client in her chair, but as soon as she saw my face she went white, and mouthed the words, "no way." I didn't know what to do. So, I ran into an empty classroom and cried tears that came out of nowhere. I wasn't sad or anrgy. I was in complete shock. When another friend came in to see if I was okay, she saw the test on the counter next to me, and offered to take me to the Dr. to confirm. I quickly dialed my family physician on my cellphone and asked if I could come up. The nurse told me that it wouldn't be a problem, so we told the instructor's we had an emergency and left.

I walked into the office, was spotted by the nurse I had spoken to and quickly ushered into a room. She gave me a cup and some instructions and pointed me to the bathroom. After she had done the test, she came back in and said, "It's positive, would you like to know your due date?"

About 7 1/2 months later, this little beauty entered our lives.

I almost POAS today.

P.S. I still have the pee stick from that day. I am never going to throw it away. And so far, it hasn't given me a reason to. It still looks the way it did the day I tested. The test strip never turned yellow, and the lines are bright and crisp. Man, they sure don't make 'em like the used to!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Calling All Experienced IVFers

(Can I just tell you how awkward that feels to call you all something that ends with "effers"?!?)

How long after transfer did your doctor have you do a beta? Is it just me, or is 17dpt a little long?

Honestly, I'm not really sure I want to know, but still... 17 days?? I thought 12-14 was the norm. Am I wrong?

ETA: Actually, I meant 17 days post retrieval. I thought it right, but typed it wrong. Apparently, it's not just a speech thing. LOL

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Flip Side

Last week was awful. I pretty much just let you all believe that it was all IF related, but there was a lot more happening, too. Here's the rundown:

Sunday: Have Dr. H threaten to cancel my cycle because of my illness.

Monday: Learn that DH's 31 year old cousin died in his sleep. We have no idea how.

Tuesday: Super painful monitoring appointment, followed by a late-night trigger.

Wednesday: I am told that LJ's hero, her kindergarten teacher Ms. M, has passed away. LJ is beyond devastated. (So am I.)

Thursday: Retrieval. Only 6 eggs.

Friday: Fert report. Dr. recommends 2-day transfer. I have a melt down. (We will have to miss Ms. M's funeral, which is heartbreaking to me.)

Saturday: Transfer. (Let's not talk any more about it, k?) That night, after visiting my friend and relaxing, I left for home at about 1:20 AM. But wait, where's my car? What's that, Mr. PoliceDispatcherMan? You say m car's been towed? Oh. Nice. The "perfect" ending to my "perfect" week. (It cost me$225 to get my car back. I am going to go after my friend's HOA to reimburse me. If they are going to implement a rule that you can't park on the streets after 1 AM, you should probably let the residents know, right?)

Sunday: Sit in bed and feel sorry for myself all day long.


The embryologist called me today. I love him.

Dr. R told me that I shouldn't pay any attention at all to the "grading" when it comes to my little MB. He said the only reason he didn't grade it "good" was because of some fragmenting. He told me that "many, many, many" times, embryos that are graded "fair", or even "poor" on day 2, become healthy Strong blastocysts by day 5, ("it happens ALL. THE. TIME!") and since we can't know what my embie will do, we might as well assume it will do great. :D :D :D :D When I said, "but fragmented embryos have a lower implantation rate, right?" he replied in a high pitched tone (and I imagined a scrunched up face...) "eeeeeeehhhhhhhhh." as if he wasn't all that convinced, and then redirected the topic. LOL! It made me laugh. He reminded me that women "my age" and with my FSH and AMH levels, have really great success rates with single embryo transfers. (I found one study done in the Netherlands that quoted rates in my age group as 72% vs. 76% for double embryo transfers. Granted, they all transferred blasts, but I am willing to overlook that little fact right now.) He was careful to tell me that it could go either way, as all cycles can, but he gave me a little ray of hope. He seemed very optimistic. He told me that embryo grading is very subjective, and not to worry about it.

Seriously, love him.

That whole conversation lightened my mood considerably. He didn't just sound like he was rooting for us, but he supported his statements with facts. He spent a good 30 minutes discussing it with me. I feel so much better! Especially considering that for most of my cycle I was leaning toward a single embryo transfer anyway! It wasn't until the end when a nurse gave us a few more stats that I started to think transferring 2 was a possibility.

So, there you have it. Monday brought me a not-so-small miracle. I have a bit of hope. That's right. I said it. HOPE. I am still suuuuper nervous, and not at all delusional about this being a for sure thing, but at least now I actually believe it's 50/50.

Thank you, Dr. R. You can soooo come to my birthday!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Over Before it Began...

Well, at least that's how I feel.

When we arrived at the clinic this morning for transfer, we were promptly ushered into a conference room where we waited anxiously for Dr. H to come in and give us an updated report on how our embies were doing.

He started by telling us that all 6 of the eggs retrieved were mature, which he said almost never happens, and that that was a good thing. Then his expression changed. He told us that as of right now, we still had 2 embies. 1-3 celled, graded fair, and 1-1 cell, graded poor. I started crying.

He said that they had seen poor embryos make it, and women have successful pregnancies, but ovbiously the odds weren't good. He said the fair embryo is where all our hope lies. I cried some more. He said the embryologist was strongly recommending that we do assisted hatching because the zona was pretty thick. He said that it could be what really helps the little guy take off. We agreed.

When we went back for transfer, they got me in the stirrups and all ready to go. The embryologist came in and told us that they had a new fancy-shmancy camera hooked up to the microscope, and he was actually going to let us watch him do the assisted hatching. They put it on a giant flat screen TV in the room, and we watched as he used a laser to etch a tiny tunnel through the zona to help the embryo hatch. (It was pretty cool, and we actually got video, but I can't figure out how to get it from my cellphone onto blogger.)

Dr. H inserted the cathedar, and told the embryologist (Dr. R) that we were ready. He cheerfully replied, "loading 1 embryo". Wait. What? I quickly said, "no, 2, right?" He looked at me all confused, and Dr. H clarified. "1-3 celled, and 1 poor." Dr. R called back, "oh, the requisition just says one. Why are we doing both? The poor embryo never cleved. It's arrested." I started sobbing. Obviously, both Dr. H, and Dr. R didn't quite know what to say, so Dr. R finally offered to load it as well. "We can tranfer them both, Meim, if you want us to." "What's the point?" I asked. "It would be like tranfering the ones that didn't fertilize!" "That correct" he said. "I'm sorry for the confusion" said Dr. H. "I misunderstood Dr. R and I's prior conversation."

[MB before the assisted hatching]

So, in went one embryo. 3-celled, with a "fair" grading. When it was over, and I had managed to stop crying, Dr. H asked if we had any questions. I asked him if single embryo transfers were ever as successful with "fair" embryos, and he answered that they didn't usually do single embryo transfers unless the embryo was graded "good" or better.

Yeah, I'm screwed. I feel like this was all for nothing. I am angry because instead of getting answers, all we have are more questions. Was it the sperm or the egg? They don't know. Is it possible for us to have better success with ICSI? They don't know. They can't tell if the sperm actually made it into the eggs, but didn't fetilize, or if they didn't get though at all. They can't tell us anything!

And to make things even better, Dr. H told me to be watching for signs of OHSS. With my estrogen levels being as high as they were and only getting 6 eggs, he said that it is still a very real possibility. Nice, huh?

Also, in addition to the PIO which we all know I just LOVE, I am also on heparin twice a day to give this little embie that we've named, M.B. (maybe baby) a better chance of implanting, as well as to help prevent another ectopic.

I feel pretty close to hopeless. I wish we never even did this.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Not really sure what to say, here.

Dr. H just called with the fertilization report. We knew something was up beforehand, because I had checked our patient portal online, and saw that there was an appointment set up for us tomorrow.

He said that only 2 of the 6 fertilized, and that rescue ICSI wouldn't be worth it at this point. Because there really is no point in waiting any longer (why stress the little embies longer if we aren't waiting to "choose" the strongest ones?) we are going to transfer both tomorrow. Yeah. A day 2 transfer. Yikes.

The embryologist has assured us that both embies look really good so far, and that our chances are just as good with the 2 day transfer as we would have on day 5. Dr. H said that he doesn't have any real statistical data on day 2 transfers, but that he would estimate at least (he made sure to emphasise that) a 40-50% chance.

So, excuse me while I freak out a bit, and try to wrap my head around not having anything to freeze (so long, back up plan!). Tomorrow is going to be rough.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just What I Needed to Hear

My Munchkin is awesome. Seriously.

After I got home and immediately updated this blog - I crashed. When I woke up, DH was on his way to class, and LJ was assuring him that she would take really good care of me. (They are both treating me as if I'm made of glass.) I've been sore, but I'm trying really hard not to take any pain pills, as not to mess with the chemistry in my body right now. I have been doing pretty good, so I told him earlier that I wouldn't need anyone to stay with me while he was gone, but LJ insisted. "If you need anything, Mom, just tell me. I will bring you anything you need." (Did I mention how awesome she is?)

Anyway, a few minutes after he left as I was laying in my bed watching T.V., LJ came in and started talking to me about her day. She told me about the really cool cup-stacking trick they learned in school and even recited the arrays of 24. She had a lot to say.

After we finished talking, I told her to please go into her room and put away her clean laundry. She agreed, and headed out the door. Then she stopped. She turned around and this is what she said:

"Mom, I'll love you no matter what." She stood for a minute, and then explained.

"Even if this doesn't work. Even if you adopt, and even if you don't. Even if I never get a baby brother or sister, I'll still love you."

I was crying before she finished her sentence. I hadn't realized how much I needed to hear that. All I could do is hug her. Probably for way too long, but she didn't seem to mind.

She is truly amazing. I realllly hope this works. Everyone deserves to have a big sister like LJ.

And honestly, everyone deserves to have an LJ.


Retrieval went well. We got 6 eggs - which I was pretty bummed about - until my RE came in and told me how happy he was with the results. He said that with my estrogen being as high as it was on Tuesday, (2993) that only retrieving 6 eggs points to better quality.

As expected, my ovaries were assholes. The nurse kept telling me that he really had to "dig around in there". Of course I am feeling it now. I usually have a pretty high pain threshold, but I needed 2 shots of demerol before I left.

So, that's how it went. Fertilization report tomorrow, and then updates every other day after that until transfer.

I'm glad the worst is behind us.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Oh, Boy...

This is really going to happen.

I trigger tonight at 11:30, and retrieval is scheduled for 10:30 Thursday morning.

I am super nervous because BOTH of my ovaries were little bastards today. It took a considerable amount of *ahem*, coaxing, shall we say? to get even a glimpse of them. He could only count about 7 follies today, but then again... it was a pretty crappy view. My E2 was 2993 so we're figuring about 10 mature eggs, but we shall see.

I am so scared that my considerably pissed-off little oophors are going to throw a tantrum and protest the entire procedure on Thursday. I'm considering sleeping duct-taped to the bedroom wall on Wednesday night to ensure that gravity has a chance to pull the little suckers down. UGH! we go.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

just a side note...

First and foremost: if you haven't already, please stop by One Day's blog and give her some love. This is not a one-time thing. She is going to need our continued support.

For those of you who had already offered her some encouraging words, THANK YOU! I saw your comments, and it made me cry. Thank you for the incredibly heart-warming act of human decentsy. I really love you for it! (But then again, I already knew you were amazing!)

Now for the side note.

My appointment went well today. My lining is back under control, at a manageable 14mm (RE thinks the fluid in my uterus was skewing the measurement last time). We were able to find my left ovary, and overall I have about 7 large follicles. My E2 is up to 1900. I will probably stim for 2 more days, and my RE is going to monitor me very closely. I will probably stop the frequent updates and just let you know of any real developments.

My biggest fear right now is having to cancel due to illness. I have had a cold for a few days, but today spiked a fever of 101*. My RE said if it gets to 102, we will have to cancel. Let's hope Ty.lenol is really all it's cracked up to be.

Oh, and Mummy,


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Thoughts for a Friend

Please, please go stop by One Day's blog. She is suffering through an unimaginable horror and could use ALL OF YOUR kind words and well wishes. I honestly can't imagine what she is going through.

Please go, now.


One Day's blog.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Houston, we (might) have a problem.

I had another appointment today. Here are the stats:

Right Ovary: 11.17mm, 11.4mm, 12.14mm, 7.03mm, 11.84mm, 15.32mm, 8.03mm

Left Ovary:... hello? Are you there, Left Ovary? (poke) hello? (jam wand at impossible angle) I know you're in there somewhere! (jam harder while smooshing Meim's tummy) Well, this is strange. (ask Meim to roll onto her left side with wand still in place) Hmmmm. (10 minutes and an unmentionable amount of torture later) Nope, can't find it.

YES, THIS REALLY DID HAPPEN, AND NO, WE NEVER DID FIND THE DAMN THING! But, Oh, did I feel it!!! (I can still feel exactly where it is, in all it's enraged glory, but we never could find it on u/s)

Also, Dr. H was a bit concerned that my lining is already at 15mm, with a pocket of fluid in the center. Apparently, embryos don't implant as well once the lining reaches 22-23mm, and they don't like to swim in fluid either. He said that there have been people in that situation that have actually had to do the retrieval and then freeze the embryos in order to have a period and then begin again in "more control circumstances."

See, the problem is that my uterus is "hypersensitive" to the hormones in my body. Namely, estrogen. You know, like the estrogen created as these follicles grow. The estrogen that is going to continue to increase over the next 4 days, as those little follicles grow big and strong... also making my lining thicken. Can you see why this is an issue? I can't stop the meds or my follicles won't be big enough to have mature eggs, but if I stay on them, my lining may be too thick for the embryos to implant.


So, in addition to feeling like I got punched repeatedly in the stomach, and my lady parts all assaulted and junk... I am in FULL PANIC mode that my cycle will be canceled if my lining doesn't chill out, and my uterus doesn't dump that fluid. It really could go either way from here.


I am to stay on my same dose and go back in on Sunday for another scan/blood draw.

Please pray for me.

ETA: today's E2 is 937 (is that good?)

Also ETA: I found a study that made me feel a bit better. You can read it here

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cycle Update

E2: 368
Left ovary: 3-4 follicles at about 10mm
Right ovary: 5-7 follicles at about 10 mm

I am staying on the same dose, and going back in on Friday for a repeat. I hope I get a pleasant surprise and there are a few more follies that pop up.

At least they all seem to progressing together. *sigh (oh, and my right ovary is a bitch.)