Tag Archives: fertility

Embryos En Route

1 Jul

Our embryos have just embarked on their 10 mile journey to the new clinic.

They were picked up from Cary, NC 20 minutes ago and will be delivered to UNC in Raleigh tomorrow.  This is the last step in getting completely transferred to the new clinic.  And the last piece of the puzzle for our second FET.

While I would have preferred to transport them myself, I’m just thankful it’s almost done.  So If you have a minute, say a little prayer for our last 4 embryos.  These 10 miles will be some longs ones.

Leg 2

 

 

Apple Turnovers and NC Knitting

30 Jan

I’ve been to the fertility clinic 5 times in the past 8 days.  I’ve decided to make it a habit to go to a bakery and buy an apple turn over and a small cup of coffee after every blood draw/ultrasound.  After going to a few different ones, I think I’ve found the most delicious apple turnover in Cary, North Carolina: Once in a Blue Moon Bakery.  Seriously, the best I’ve ever eaten.  Sugar Buzz Bakery is a close second. 😉  It’s the little things, right?  And it makes blood draw/ ultrasound day a little less unpleasant.

And how is everything going?

So far so good!  I went in for blood work on Monday and they found my estrogen was just a bit lower than they wanted it (135) so they upped the gonal-f to 100 and left the menopur at 75.  I went back in Tuesday and my estrogen had gone up to 245, which is great.  My ultrasound showed at least 20 follicles all 7mm to 11mm.  Tuesday’s ultrasound was pretty unpleasant as I’m starting to feel my ovaries.  They don’t hurt unless they get pushed on, but it’s not the most comfortable.  And considering my retrieval is at least a week away, I’m assuming it’s only going to get worse.

Today’s ultrasound showed at least 12 follicles (she didn’t count them all) measuring between 8 mm and 13 mm. My estrogen came back at a whopping 753!  That’s a huge jump in just a couple days. 🙂  Starting ganirelix tonight to make sure no ovulating happens before everything gets nice and big.  They like to trigger when most follicles are between 18 mm and 23 mm.  We’re getting there!

Symptom-wise, my headache isn’t as bad as it was over the weekend.  It’s just dull and in the background now.  I am tired and super bloated.  I would love to just sleep for the next week.  I know i was bored pre-IVF, but these days I am so incredibly thankful that I don’t have to do this AND go to work.  You ladies who do both are super women!

I’ve been knitting up a storm for the past few weeks.  Want to see? 🙂

The floor in our new house is very… scratchable… And our dinning room furniture was in desperate need of a makeover… AND the dark furniture and the dark floors needed to be broken up…
Thus.. Chair Socks.  I just love how cute they are.  And they can go right into the washer and dryer. 🙂

chair socks

I started these before Christmas and finished them up a couple weeks ago.  They were an interesting knit, but I think I’ll do the heels differently next time.

Love Socks

Click for pattern

I made these for my mom’s birthday.  She got them on Monday, just in time to wear them through Illinois’s bitter cold week.

Mombirthdaysock2014

Click for pattern

I made these baby socks out of some left over sock yarn.  I made myself these socks a couple years ago and just love that our baby will have socks that look just like mine. 🙂

20140125_104709

Click for pattern

And finally, this baby sweater.  I bought this undyed wool specifically to knit during our IVF.  I knew I’d want to knit something baby related, but didn’t feel like trying to find a gender neutral color that I loved.  After I knit it and a matching hat up, I found I actually really liked the color.  It’s a soft cream color.  I might end up dying it later, but for now it’s going to stay like this.

Mossy Baby Sweater

Click for pattern.

I’m sure more baby knitting and sewing will commence over the next 6 weeks until we know the results of our FET.  It feels hopeful, like I’m putting good vibes out there and preparing for the best possible outcome.  We’ve been joking that if both of our embryos make it, I’ll have to duplicate everything I’ve made so far. 😉

Blood work tomorrow and blood work and ultrasound on Saturday.  More soon! ❤

Meds are Here!

20 Jan

Fedex came at a decent hour this afternoon and dropped this crazy mess on my front porch.  Things just got real. Yikes!

20140120_140928

 

The gonal-f is stored safely in the fridge and the rest has taken up residence on the counter that houses my coffee maker.  Because I won’t be needing that for a while.  The length of some of those needles is nauseating…  It’s hard to believe I’m still missing three medications.

This week is going to consist of a lot of waiting.  Jeremy is working in Maryland for the week.  I never love it when he goes out of town, but this time is different because our parents aren’t just down the street anymore.  It’s going to be a very quiet week until things start moving.  And I do hope they start moving soon because I am ready to get going.  I am ready to get this show on the road!

Medication.

19 Jan

These past two weeks have been dragging by.  But I’m through them, which means injections start this week!! 🙂

This past week has been full of ups and downs as I’ve been fighting since last Tuesday to get my meds.  It doesn’t help that Dr. T’s office didn’t call my prescription into the pharmacy until I’d been taking my birth control for a full week.  I called a few times and it seems like they just didn’t understand my hurry.  Maybe it’s a southern thing?  I wanted to make sure they were ordered and delivered with plenty of time to spare just in case anything should go wrong.  Apparently I’m the only one who thinks that way.  But I was completely warranted as getting ANY of my meds was a total nightmare that involved a lot of tears, hours and hours of phone calls, and transferring to 4 different pharmacies….  I still don’t have my prometrium, my progesterone in oil, or my lupron, but at least all of that isn’t necessary right away.  I won’t need any progesterone for at least another month since we’re not doing a fresh transfer.  It’s not any one person’s fault either, but rather a collective of the Dr’s office, my insurance company, and 2 of the pharmacies.

My gonal-f, menopur, and ganirelix are on their way here via Fedex and I find myself staring at the tracking page hitting “refresh” every hour or so… Still in Memphis….
MedTrackingOn the plus side, I ended up pay half of what I was expecting for those three drugs.   Now that things are sorted out, I feel like I can breathe again.  I don’t know when I’ll start injecting this week, but I do know that it will be this week.  If my period hasn’t started by Thursday then I go in for an ultrasound and bloodwork and we go from there.

I’d been doing such a good job keeping it together, but the medication debacle really threw me for a loop and I’m starting to get a little anxious about this.  IVF.  2 months ago I never would have imagined that we’d be living in North Carolina getting ready for our first IVF cycle where a doctor has given us a 70% chance of having our own baby.  WOW!  We never imagined that we’d get this opportunity and I can’t believe it’s here.

I’ll update tomorrow once I have medication in hand.  I think it will make things feel even more real!

37: HERE WE GO!

5 Jan

Yes.  It’s starting.  This is our IVF cycle.  I’ve never been so excited to take a birth control pill in my whole life.  I’m eyeballing the box and waiting waiting waiting until bedtime tomorrow to pry it open.  Woohoo!

In other news, we took our Christmas decorations down.  We put our tree up before our furniture was delivered, which means we set up around the tree… I’m in dire need of another bookshelf, so I think this calls for a road trip to Charlotte, NC this week to visit their Ikea.  I’m soooo used to having one 25 minutes away (hence why my entire house is made up of Ikea furniture;) ) and this whole 2 hours away thing is throwing me for a loop.  BUT, it’s going to keep me occupied for most of a full day, which is an excellent thing right now. 🙂

Have I mentioned that I’m bored?  I’m trying really hard to keep busy, but I miss working.  (What?!).  My house is mostly clean and dinner gets made every night.  I’m sewing up a storm.  And I’ve gotten a ton of reading done.  But I’m really starting to miss teaching and leaving the house on a regular basis.  Although I can tell the greyhounds enjoy having someone home most of the time.  And I am enjoying getting projects done that I’ve been putting off.  I’m trying to look at it like a mini, stress relieving vacation before IVF.  If this goes well, I might never go back to teaching.  And it will be so worth it. 🙂

36: IVF, Here We Come!

11 Dec

Today marks our 36th month of trying.  That’s 3 years.  I haven’t felt the need to discuss the past couple because it wasn’t like we were going to magically get pregnant naturally.  lol.

Anywho, we met Dr. T this evening.  It’s true what they say that everything seems to move a bit slower down south.  Our original appointment of 3:30 got pushed to 4:30 and we didn’t actually see him until 5.  He was, however, quick and efficient, less personable than Dr. B, but I don’t need a new friend.  I need a doctor who can perform a medical miracle.  I need a doctor who has found a way to combat OHSS and a doctor who tells me my chances of conceiving are close to 70%.  I need a doctor like Dr. T.

Enter: Lupron Trigger Protocol.

In normal IVF, you take birth control for a couple weeks to settle everything down.  Then you move on to heavy injectables that stimulate the ovaries into creating ridiculous amounts of follicles (and therefore eggs).  You then use an hcg trigger to trigger ovulation.  Then you go in for your retrieval where the doctor sucks all of the eggs out of the follicles, combines them with some sperm in a lab, and transfers embryos back into you 3 to 5 days later.  Any leftover embryos are then frozen.

With Lupron Trigger Protocol, you still take birth control for a couple weeks and then move on to really heavy injectable to stimulate the ovaries.  Instead of triggering with an hcg injection, you trigger with…. a lupron injection.  It still causes ovulation, but it effectively squashes your estrogen and uterine lining.  The eggs are then fertilized and the resulting embryos are frozen.  During the next cycle, you take a couple low dose estrogen injections and then have a frozen embryo transfer (FET).

The reasoning for this is 1) The lupron trigger eliminates (or so Dr. T says) the chance of OHSS because it lower the estrogen.  We saw last summer than I react well to lupron.  We don’t need to be afraid of really beefing up my ovaries. Excellent. 2) Dr. T believes that the estrogen numbers with fresh transfers a couple days after a retrieval are too high for optimal embryo health.  I can see that.  Waiting until the following cycle allows him to create the perfect embryo environment.

This plan sounds awesome to me.  Every time I end up with OHSS they tell me that it will have no effect on our chances of conceiving, but I have a really hard time believing that.  I worry every time that it’s going to impact us because my body is angry and in pain and that can’t be conducive to baby making.

Lupron Trigger Protocol used to be done with fresh transfers until they realized that it didn’t work very well when it came to maintaining a pregnancy.  They’ve done a great job at tweaking it and the miscarriage rate is as good if not better than an hcg trigger fresh transfer.  Dr. T has put our chance of conceiving around 70%.  Dr. B had only given us a 40-50% chance.

Another excellent thing?  Because we’ll be able to push the meds and retrieval process so hard, we should end up with a good number of frozen embryos.  A frozen transfer with this clinic is only $1000.  That’s what we paid per IUI in Chicago.  We could end up with our entire family in one go.

So what’s going on in the meantime?  This month, Dr. T wants to schedule a saline ultrasound.  I’ve never had one.  I’m not looking forward to it.  😦  He also wants to do a couple other blood tests because a lot of my original tests from Dr. B are over a year old.

After that?  We’re ready to roll as soon as my period starts in January.  Wooo hooo!!

NC RE Questions.

9 Dec

Life in North Carolina, so far, is good.  It’s a little lonely, but I knew that would be the case for a while until we really started getting out there and making friends.  We’ve learned that most people in Durham are also transplants and because of that no one around here has a lot of family close by.  They say this makes making friends a bit easier than in other parts of the country.  I suppose time will tell. 🙂

We’re slowly starting to be able to navigate on our own.  But honestly? I don’t know how people got around in new places before gps.  I would be just terrified if I didn’t have my phone with me here.  I don’t think I would leave my house alone. Ever.

I joined a knitting group.  My first time was last week and the second will be tomorrow.  The ladies I met were great!  They were all a good 7 to 25 years older than me, but that’s ok.  Because of the whole infertility business, I feel that I don’t often fit in with women my age anymore and that’s fine with me.

At this point, I’ve decided I’m not going to join a Resolve support group.  I loved my group in Illinois, but it took a while to really build connections, and I’m really hoping I won’t be a member of the infertile community for much longer.  Plus, the closest group is 45 minutes away, which is a bummer.

Which brings me to…. Our new RE!  My first appointment with them is tomorrow at 3:30.  I’ve been putting a list of questions together over the past week or so.  I’m hoping to both get a good idea about what I can expect from him as well as let him know that I’m not interested in screwing around.  We have a $30,000 fertility coverage max and I plan to use it wisely.  If he can’t do what we need him to do, I won’t hesitate to find another Dr.

I’m going to attach my list of questions.  If you have any thoughts about additional or follow-up questions, please let me know! 🙂

  • What is your clinic’s overall cost per cycle?  Does this include medication?
  • What is your yearly charge for freezing embryos?
    Is it covered under my insurance?
    How long until they are moved to long term storage?
  • After reviewing my medical records, do you have any theories as to what the problem might be?  Is it more than just endo?
    –>Has he looked at my records before the appointment?
  • How much experience do you have with IVF and endometriosis?
  • Do you prefer a day 3 or day 5 transfer?  Why?
  • How many embryos do you typically transfer? Why? (we want two transferred).
  • What are your personal success rates?
  • What do you think my chance of success is?
  • Do you recommend genetic testing?
  • Do you use ICSI? Why or why not?
  • What do your retrieval and transfer protocols look like?
  • Should I expect bed rest after transfer?
  • What kind of medication protocol are you thinking about? Why?
  • Do you use long term lupron to treat endometriosis? Why?
  • How often will I get updates on my embryos before the transfer?
  • Will you be doing my retrieval and transfer?
  • How will you handle my past history of OHSS?
    At what point do you typically cancel a cycle?
    Is this based on ovary size or estrogen number?
  • What is the protocol if I do get pregnant?
    How long do I see you?
    Do you have a recommended OB?

I know.  I’m a control freak.  It is what it is.  😉  I will update after tomorrow’s appointment.  Cross your fingers and say some prayers for us!