Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary to us!

Today is our 10th anniversary and we couldn't have gotten better news.  The nurse called this afternoon and my beta is 220.  I am officially pregnant!  I will go again on Friday to make sure the numbers are multiplying like they should.  There are no words to describe how we're feeling so I'm not even going to try.  Let's just say a lot of prayers have been said and a lot of tears have been shed.  This is still very early and we are certainly not "out of the woods".  But we are choosing to celebrate this awesome news that we've waited over 5 years for.

Since my body is now producing HCG on its own, they need to really keep an eye on the hyperstimulation.  I'm pretty uncomfortable and there is definitely a lot of fluid in there.  I walked into the lab this morning to get my blood drawn and the lady thought I was there for the glucose test - a test you take when you're about 5-6 months pregnant.  I'm going in tomorrow for my doctor to check me out.  The good news is that it will eventually go away.  Oh yeah, and that I'm pregnant.  :-)

I took a picture on the day I found out I was pregnant with Taylor.  I thought it might be fun to compare.  There is (literally) a huge difference.  I'll post those tomorrow!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011


There is a saying in the online infertility world:  Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise.  I guess that's how I feel today.  We transferred 2 beautiful, perfect blasts this morning at 9:30.  Now it's up to my uterus to grab and hold on to these babies!  We have 13 just as perfect blasts that will be frozen and 3 more that might develop enough overnight to be frozen as well.

Here are their pictures.  Aren't they cute?

Also, something that's not so cute?  Hyperstimulation!  It has happened again.  It doesn't seem to be quite as bad as last time but they are still keeping an eye on me.  The Dr. said he might need to drain some fluid next week but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.  It's frustrating that this has happened again.  Especially since my e2 numbers (like last time) didn't give us any indication I was at risk.  Just to give you an idea of the amount of fluid that is collecting in my abdomen, I took a picture this morning.  Although I don't have 6 pack abs, my stomach is usually flat.  You can imagine the looks and questions I'm getting from my neighbors.

Our blood test is scheduled for July 4th.  That seems like a really really long time away.  I'll be on bed rest most of the week so I'll try to keep up with the blogging to help pass the time.  That is if I can fit that in with all the tv I plan on watching.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Another Update

Got another call from Mike today.  All 24 are still growing and they are all still at a grade 1.  He sounded completely shocked.  This truly is amazing.  But yet, it still may not work.  That's such a hard thing to grasp when you want to be so hopeful.  But this process has certainly taught us that even if everything looks "perfect", it may not mean a thing.  He said he leaves the babies alone on day 4 so we will not be getting a phone call tomorrow.  The transfer is scheduled for 9am Sunday morning.

So tonight we are thankful.  We will choose to dwell on that.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Second fertilization report

Mike called again today and the report could not have been any better.  We had one more egg fertilize overnight so now we have 24 beautiful babies growing.  He said at this stage he likes to see each embryo have 2-4 cells and all of ours have 4 cells.  Also, he said he gives them "grades" on day 2.  1 is considered perfect, 2 is average and 3 is poor.  All 24 of our babies are 1s, or perfect.  I couldn't have said it better myself.  We will get another report tomorrow.

I'm sure you are all wondering how Brandon did last night and I am happy to report that he surpassed my expectations.  It took me a very long time to get up the nerve to let him do it but I hardly felt a thing.  I'm so thankful since we have many more of those shots ahead of us.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First fertilization report

Just got a phone call from Mike (the embryologist) and one of the nurses.  Of the 28 eggs that were retrieved yesterday, 25 were mature.  And 23 fertilized.  He said we are over-acheivers  - I guess the numbers don't usually look quite this good.  He said with that many to work with, we are almost definitely looking at a 5 day transfer which will be Sunday.

We have 23 babies growing right now.  That's just a little surreal.  Not all of them will make it.  Mike said he would call us tomorrow to let us know how many had passed on and how many were still growing.  But having so many to work with definitely increases our odds to have 2 excellent ones to transfer on Sunday.  Grow, babies, grow!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Egg Retrieval

Today was the big day!

They called us back to sign some forms and then I was escorted to change while Brandon was taken to the "happy room".  We shared a quick kiss in the hall where he told me "good luck" and I said "go get 'em!".  I changed into the gown and hopped up on the bed.  My doctor was finishing up with the egg retrieval before me so I had several minutes to sit and try to relax.  I was thankful there were no instruments around to stare at.  The anesthesiologist came in to ask me some questions, start my iv and before I knew it we were walking into the procedure room.  The first thing I noticed was the music playing.  How can things not go well with a little Creedence Clearwater Revival in the background?  All the nurses I've encountered at this practice have been great but my favorite one was in there waiting for me.  I love that.  She hugged me and told me how excited she was for us.  A guy popped in from the room next door and said, "Hi!  I'm Mike, the embryologist.  I'll be taking care of your babies!"  I wanted to hug him, too.  He gets major points for calling them "babies" and not embryos - much more personal.  I got all situated and the anesthesiologist hooked up the blood pressure cuff and pulse monitor.  My pulse registered over 100 right away so he gave me a jump start on the good stuff because he thought I must be nervous.  That was nice of him.  Little does he know, a resting pulse of 100 is normal for me.  Once my doctor came in they told me to think of my favorite place and that's the last thing I remember.

I woke up to talk of 28 eggs.  I thought I must still be dreaming.  28 eggs??   I believe the average is 10-15.  Holy cow!  Once they realized I was waking up they came over to tell me the good news.  They also told me that I was quite a chatter box.  I thought they meant when I was coming out of the anesthesia, but no.  Apparently I woke up in the middle of the procedure and started talking.  There's no telling what I told them.  Thank goodness I don't remember any of that.

Besides some cramping I felt pretty good.  I drank some juice, ate some crackers and peed:  the three things they require you to do before they'll let you leave.  Once I was up and dressed they walked me into the conference room where Brandon joined me.  The nurse came in to give us the post-op instructions and to show him how to administer the PIO injection that he'll have to give me nightly.  For at least 3 weeks.  I hope he was paying close attention because I didn't even feel the 1.5 inch needle-in-my-behind when the nurse did it this afternoon.  I'm sore tonight but it's because the oil is so thick.  I'll be sure to give a report tomorrow night on Brandon's attempt.

We left the office and headed to Target to get my 2 prescriptions filled.  One was for my pain today and one was for valium which I'll get to take before the ET.  We got to the pharmacy about 1:30 and there was a big sign saying they were closed until 2.  By now I was feeling really crampy and needed those pills.  We walked around the store very slowly trying to kill some time.  I must have still been a little loopy from the anesthesia because I kept finding things I just had to have.  Along with my prescriptions we brought home 2 water guns, a sprinkler and a Wii game.  Just slightly random.

They said we would get a call tomorrow to let us know how many of our eggs were mature and how many fertilized.  As long as things progress well, our ET will be on Sunday.  I'm finally letting myself get a little excited about all of this.  Which scares me to death.  Even with as well as things are going, nothing is a guarantee.  I guess that's a good life lesson in general, huh?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cycle Day 9

This is the last night I'll be on this "cocktail" of injections. The first night I had to mix and inject, it took me a good 30 minutes to make sure everything was right. Tonight it was mixed and injected in under 5. Tomorrow is one last ganirelix shot and then the HCG trigger at 11:30. I wish I could say that was the end of the shots. Unfortunately I graduate to bigger and better things after the ER on Tuesday. I refuse to dwell on that tonight; look for a lengthy post on PIO injections next week.

Friday, June 10, 2011

2nd Monitoring Appointment

I went in for more bloodwork and an u/s this morning.  At the u/s they measured all the follicles again and they had all grown quite considerably.  I was trying to keep count in my head but I lost track.  There were even more that have developed since Wednesday.  We're working with well over 30 follicles.

After my bloodwork came back they gave me a call this afternoon.  Apparently, I'm almost done cooking these eggs!  Tonight and tomorrow I inject 75 follistim, 75 menopur and the ganirelix shot.  Sunday I do the ganirelix shot and then the HCG trigger at 11:30pm.  Except for a blood draw, I have a shot free day on Monday (Yay!) and then my ER will be Tuesday morning at 10:30.  On Tuesday we'll know how many eggs they were able to retrieve and on Wednesday we should know how many fertilized correctly (using ICSI).

A bit about the process for those that don't know:

The ganirelix shot I started last night is to prevent premature ovulation.

The HCG trigger shot that I give myself Sunday night will do several things.  It will induce the final maturation of the eggs within the follicles, cause the resumption of meiosis, loosen the egg's attachment from the follicle wall and allow for the timing of the egg retrieval.  If the egg retrieval is not performed or  not performed at the right time after the HCG injection is given, I would ovulate on my own which would not be good.  There would be no eggs to retrieve from the follicles because they would have already released them.

The ER process is much like the cyst aspiration and when they drained the fluid when I had OHSS.  The BIG difference this time is that they knock me out for it!  He will go in, guided by u/s (my good friend, the dildo cam), and insert the needle into each follicle and aspirate the fluid out of each one.  The eggs are microscopic so he won't be able to tell how many eggs are there and some of the follicles could be empty.  Once he aspirates all of the fluid from my follicles he will hand the fluid off to the embryologist.  They will examine the fluid under the microscope and isolate the eggs.

Our RE uses a process called ICSI.  This is where they inject the sperm into the egg to fertilize; as opposed to combining the egg and several sperm in a petri dish and hoping it fertilizes.  So as they wheel me away for surgery, Brandon gets to go to the "happy room" and do his thing (that's really what they call it).  I'm not trying to get any sympathy here but really????  That's all I'll say about that.

So we're definitely on the right track.  I will feel better after I know some of the eggs have fertilized.  Since we haven't been able to get pregnant at all, I'm a little worried that maybe that's one of our issues.  The only way to know is to go through this process and see how they fertilize.  I'll be anxiously awaiting that report the day after the retrieval.

So there you have it.  The next few days in a nutshell.  I feel a little overwhelmed but excited at the same time.  We're one step closer!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

1st Monitoring Appointment **Updated**

Had bloodwork and an u/s this morning.  Things are definitely happening in there!  Here are the stats:

Right ovary:  15 follicles measuring under 10mm, 1 measuring 11mm.
Left ovary:  8 follicles measuring under 10mm, and one each of 11mm, 12mm and 13mm.
My lining is 9mm.

All of that is good news.  I'll go back on Friday to measure them all again.  He doesn't want me to change my meds so the next 2 nights of shots will be like the last 5.  Things are progressing.....

**I heard back from the doctor this afternoon.  My e2 level is 1659 so they told me to cut my follistim dose in half.  I also start Ganirelix shots tomorrow night.  From everything I've read, that e2 number seems pretty high but I'll wait to worry until I get the number on Friday.  I just really really really really don't want to overstimulate again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Steer Clear!

Apparently the hormones have kicked in.  I'm moody and angry.  My family would argue that I'm irrationally angry.  Nonsense!  Tonight is day 5 of the shots.  Along with the moodiness, they've brought headaches.  I can definitely feel things working but so far no bloating or weight gain.  Tomorrow we get to see how things are growing in there.  I'll update when I'm back.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cyst Aspiration & Injections

Brandon was out in the field all day yesterday and all night last night which meant he had today off.  He came home around 7am, had a shower and some breakfast and was out the door with me headed to this appointment.  Even though I'm sure he was exhausted, I am so thankful he was able to be there.

I'm not sure if it was better or worse that I knew what was coming.  And again, they made us wait in that room a good 20 minutes with ALL the instruments just laying there.  Taunting me.  The doctor came in and I made him check one more time just to make sure the cyst hadn't gone away.  He laughed but appeased me.  It was still there.

He got everything set up and started.  I think the worst thing about this process is the lidocaine injections.  I lost count of how many times he poked me with that needle.  I don't think I'll ever complain again when the dentist has to numb my mouth.  After everything was over and they left me to get dressed, Brandon said, "Wow.  He's not very gentle, is he?"  Let me say that I really do like this doctor.  My only complaint is exactly that.  He doesn't really tell you what he's doing down there until it's already happening.  And let's be honest, no one likes a surprise hello from the dildo-cam.  Or a lidocaine injection!  Some fore warning would be nice.  He can also be a bit over zealous with the u/s wand.  He was moving that thing in all kinds of directions trying to find that cyst today.

But it's done and the cyst is drained.  We did our first shots tonight so today is considered day 1.  Here is what I have lined up the next few days:

6/3-6/7 - 150 follistim and 75 menopur.  These are both given subcutaneously.  I do mine in my stomach.

I will go back in on Wednesday, 6/8 for an u/s to see how things are growing!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bump in the road

I had bloodwork and an u/s this morning to check my e2 levels, my lining and my ovaries.  My lining was great, my right ovary was great but my left ovary has a cyst.  He said if it's an estrogen producing cyst he will need to aspirate it before we can proceed.  If he doesn't, the cyst will interfere with the stimulation process.  If it isn't producing estrogen we can leave it alone and start the shots tonight.  We had to wait on the bloodwork for my e2 levels.

I got the call at 5:15 this afternoon that my levels are too high which means the cyst is active.  They scheduled me for an aspiration tomorrow morning.  The procedure is exactly the same as when they drained the fluid from my abdomen when I had OHSS.  I'm trying not to freak out.

Brandon is in the field training cadets and doesn't have much cell phone coverage.  I texted him and said, "Call when you get a chance.  I'm freaking out a little.  Nothing is wrong."  I wish I would have taken a few extra seconds to think about that before sending it.  Oh well.  He called in under 5 minutes worried to death.  I'm trying to tell him what's going on but I could hardly hear him because the wind was so bad.  Turns out one of the only places he has coverage is at the top of this mountain.  He happened to be standing up there because he was waiting on a helicopter to come pick him up.  Never a dull moment!