Archive | February, 2014

FET-astic

28 Feb

I know I’ve been fairly quiet over the past 2 weeks since we found out about our embryos.  Nothing has been keeping me from blogging really, other than the desire to just not think about anything fertility related for a while.  Other than popping a birth control pill at night before I went to bed, it’s been fairly smooth.  We still talked about the embryos everyday.  I still thought about them all the time, but I thought I should take advantage of not thinking about IVF for a while.  I’ve done some baby knitting, a bit of baby pinning, and a lot of baby dreaming.  In my mind, I’ve been skipping straight over the transfer and right to both pregnancy and beyond.

It wasn’t until last night that the thought of the FET (frozen embryo transfer) started to fill me with terror.  It was the same terror that IUIs used to fill me with. But worse.  Terror that it won’t work.  Terror that my body might kill all 6 of these babies.  Terror that if all 6 die then it will be completely my fault.

It seems silly and unfounded.  Before we moved to North Carolina, we were all ready to start an adoption.  We were all in.  And now, it sounds terrifying.  I think it might be because before, we chose adoption over IVF.  We chose to spend our money on an adoption.  I wonder now if choosing to forgo IVF was my way of protecting myself.  If IVF doesn’t fail, then my body hadn’t failed completely. If we skip it, that guilt wouldn’t enter the picture.  And then IVF plopped itself into our laps and it was too good to pass up…

If you can’t tell, I’m really struggling with guilt these days.  And I know I shouldn’t.  I know we still have 6 beautiful embryos frozen a few miles away.  I know I’m being premature and worrying about the what-ifs.  I know I would be perfectly happy with adopting a beautiful baby if this doesn’t work.  It’s the process of getting through this that’s really giving me trouble.

But we have to get through this before we’ll know what the future holds for our family.

Our FET cycle #1 is starting.  Today is cycle day 2.  Today, I started my estrogen injections (Mondays and Fridays), my lovenox injections (daily), baby aspirin (daily), and started using my estring ring.

My blood work came back with my estrogen a 6.0 and my uterine lining at a 2.  I’ve got a great, fresh base to work off of.

Projected FET date: March 20!!

Advertisements

Embryos: Frozen

13 Feb

North Carolina received a lovely snow storm last night.  It made the roads fairly dangerous, so Jeremy took a snow day and worked from home today and both my original flight and my rebooked flight to Chicago were cancelled.  It was a bummer, but the snow really is pretty. 

The cats did a lot of bird watching.  My bird feeders have gone relatively unnoticed for the past 2 1/2 months that we’ve lived here.  I had so many birds in Illinois, so it was a bummer that we never saw any birds here.  But then everything got iced over and those little birdies were hungry.  I’m hoping they stick around now that they know food is here.
ImageBut that’s not really what you wanted to know about, is it?  I FINALLY got a call from the embryologist today.  The office was closed due to the storm, so I really thought they weren’t going to call.  It was a pleasant surprise when I heard from them. 😉  Well, maybe that’s an understatement…

Here’s how he broke it down for me:  22 eggs were retrieved.  Of those 22, 11 eggs were mature.  That’s still more than the 10 we were hoping for.  Of those 11, 10 fertilized.  Those 10 were left to grow.  Today, they’re freezing 6 healthy, day 5, embryos!!  SIX!!!
We have SIX baby-cicles frozen in a lab!  
We’re very happy and very comfortable with 6 embryos.  One of our biggest concerns was that we would have too many embryos that we would then have to make decisions about.  It’s unlikely that we’ll need to worry about that now. 🙂

I feel relieved and confident and I’m so ready to go!!  I start my birth control tomorrow and then it’s FET time!! 🙂

Image

No News is Good News

10 Feb

“No news is good news” has become my mantra.  Technically, our embryos are 3 days old today, but I have no idea how they’re doing. 😦

I keep reminding myself that there is absolutely nothing I can do for them right now.  I know it’s unlikely that all 22 eggs fertilized and are growing strong.  It’s likely some didn’t fertilize or died already.  And technically, they’re being kind by not telling me each time we lose one.  I can’t decide if, given the choice, I would want to know about each one or not.

But, I haven’t gotten a single call yet, so we know at least some of them are alive and growing.

I’m feeling so much better today than I felt all weekend.  The day after retrieval was easily the worst day.  I was so bloated and swollen and uncomfortable that I just didn’t want to move.  I know this has something to do with the number of eggs retrieved.  More eggs equals more discomfort.   Yesterday was better, but not great.  Today I can feel that my ovaries are still pretty swollen, but they only really hurt if I move wrong.

I did find this post from Belle at Scrambled Eggs to be really helpful though in making me feel like I wasn’t crazy.  The nurse said I’d be feeling better within 24 hours and I definitely wasn’t.  There’s not a lot out there about what to expect post retrieval when you’re not doing a fresh transfer, so it was a nice resource to have.  And I completely second popping colace like it’s candy…

All in all, I’m feeling good.  I’m anxious to hear about the embryos, but I know they’re ok for now.  I’m REALLY REALLY happy we  decided to do a freeze all.  I really needed a break after retrieval and can’t imagine going in for a transfer today or tomorrow.

I am looking forward to flying back to Chicago for a few days this weekend.  I don’t plan on doing much traveling post transfer in March, so I wanted to make sure to see my family before then.  I’m really looking forward to it and it’s going to be an awesome distraction as I wait for our FET cycle to begin. 🙂

I did finish these up this weekend.  Our baby is going to have some warm little feet. 🙂

20140209_153904

Eggs: Retrieved

7 Feb

Last night, Jeremy and I went out for dinner and then a movie because, hopefully, it was the very last night of our lives that we won’t have a baby, in some form, to think about.  The lupron trigger did wonders for how I was feeling.  My ovaries still hurt a lot, but the overall droopy feeling was gone.  It was nice to get out and be distracted for a few hours. 🙂
1612742_700232037764_1825568954_o

Then we got up bright and early this morning to make the long drive to the clinic.  They took us back right away, had me change and let me camp out in a super comfortable recliner for about an hour.  The surgery before me (a tube reversal) was taking just a smidge longer than planned.  Compared to how scared and nervous I was before my lap last year, this was nothing.  I was so excited for these eggs to be fertilized and even more excited to be feeling better.
20140207_085246

They took me back into the OR and the last thing I remember was chatting with the nurse about how much we’re enjoying Raleigh.  Next thing I knew I was back in the comfy recliner with tears streaming down my face because the pain was so bad.  The nurse gave me some advil and Jeremy came back to see me.  The pain was at least an 8, so the nurse gave me some more meds in my IV.  Within 20 minutes it was bearable.  I actually came out a lot less groggy than I thought I would.  I did ask about my eggs 3 times though. 😉  We didn’t get the 10 eggs we were hoping for.  We got twenty-two.  22!!!!  I don’t know how many are mature, but it’s so much better than we were hoping!

These eggs have a long road ahead of them.  They need to survive ICSI (fertilization), they need to grow, they need to survive freezing, they need to survive thawing, and they need to survive transfer and implantation.   Since we’re not doing a fresh transfer, we won’t know until the freeze how many embryos we ended up with and what grade they are.  The told us to expect it to take 5 days.  I’m bummed that I won’t know how my babies are doing, but I’ve decided to take the approach that no news is good news.  If they don’t call us before 5 days, that means at least some of them are alive and thriving.

I’m feeling much better this afternoon.  I’m still a bit sore if I have to stand or move around too much, but if I’m still then nothing really hurts.  I’m a bit sleepy, but don’t feel drugged out at all.  I’ve had a bit of spotting.  I think I’ll be mostly fine tomorrow or Sunday.  I was told to stay in bed today and take it easy for a week.  No exercising, no heavy lifting.

I’m so thankful the retrieval process is over.  And I’m super thankful for all the kind and supportive words and thoughts from everyone. 🙂  4-5 weeks to transfer!!

IVF Stories.

6 Feb

Jeremy has been a BOSS and has been injecting me all by himself for the past week.  We started easy with me sticking the needle into my arm and with him pushing down the plunger.  After a few days, he felt comfortable sticking and injecting.  Now, he doesn’t even flinch at it.  Like a said, my husband is a boss.  While I can do, and have done, my own injections, intramuscular upper arm injections are hard mostly because the angle is really awkward.  Pinching skin with one hand and injecting with the same arm you’re injecting into?  It’s a pain.  So having him help me was a big relief.  And, I think it made him feel more involved in the process.  I definitely feel like he’s more involved than he was with our IUIs.

Since I had to go in for blood work this morning, I decided that I would take my second lupron trigger with me and let them handle the injections.  It would give him a break and allow him to get to work on time since it had to be done at 8:30.  Even though I left early, traffic this morning was out of control and at 8:15, when it was obvious I was going to be very late, I started to panic.  I didn’t have alcohol swabs or bandaids with me (I’ve been bleeding profusely lately) and the thought of pulling over on the side of the road to try to finagle a needle into my upper arm during rush hour didn’t sound pleasant.   I’m such a druggie.
Luckily, I was right by his office building and he told me to just stop by and let him take care of it.  He tracked down alcohol and bandaids and stuck that bad boy right into my arm while I stood in his cubicle.  And met his coworkers for the first time. 😉  It was awkward, but humorous.  If we get our babies out of this, that’s going to be my favorite IVF story.
It’s up there with the time I took an ovulation test in a McDonalds in the middle of Wisconsin a couple years ago. 😀

My final blood draw of this cycle came back with my Lh at 118 and my estrogen up to 5133!  I’m sure it will rise a bit more before tomorrow’s retrieval, but Dr. T is really happy with both numbers and gave us the final thumbs up for retrieval. 🙂
18 hours to go!

Trigger Happy

5 Feb

We got the OK to trigger tonight for a Friday morning retrieval!  Ganirelix at 9 tonight, Lupron #1 at 10:30 tonight, and Lupron #2 at 8:30 tomorrow morning.  And then back in for one final blood draw to make sure everything is working.

My estrogen today: 3,999.  That’s up about 2000 in just 2 days.  That’s doubled in 2 days.  Yikes.  My ultrasound showed that 8 follicles are ready now (18mm+) and 6-7 more that should be ready to go by Friday.  I will be so happy with 10 good eggs, although my estrogen suggests a lot more than that.  We’ll see.  We’re guessing it will be between 5000 and 6000 by retrieval.

I’m ready.  I’m sore and full and moody.  My head is achy and, as usual, I am exhausted.  But we’re so close!  The worst part is almost over. 🙂

In Terms of Arnolds…

4 Feb

When we had our first meeting with Dr T and he told us that I am an excellent candidate for Lupron Trigger Protocol, he told us he would be throwing everything he had at us.  And we, being excited and hopeful, said, “WOOOOOHOOO, IVF!”

My estrogen hit just over 2000 yesterday. ?!?!  It’s expected to hit 3000 by the time I go in for monitoring tomorrow morning.  Lord have mercy, I am SOOOO UNCOMFORTABLE!  I’m still at a doubled dose of gonal-f and menopur.  He’s still trying to bulk up the smaller follicles.
At my appointment yesterday, my nurse guessed that I’d have between 10 and 12 follicle for retrieval.  That’s much better than 7 and they’re not done growing yet.  In terms of Arnolds, this is how they looked yesterday:

The left is rather unimpressive.  Happy to be here, but only sporting 2, maybe 3 13mm follicles.Arnold_Schwarzenegger_in_Sydney,_2013

The right, however, is a beast.  10+ nice size follicles with many smaller ones as well.  It means serious business. 😉
conan-the-barbarian-arnold-schwarzenegger-movie-image

So I inject again tonight and the plan is to trigger tomorrow and then go in for the retrieval on Friday.  Hopefully tomorrow’s blood work will support that, because I am ready for this to be over.  I’m thankful that we get the opportunity, but IVF is no fun.

We might actually have some embryos this weekend!! 🙂