Tuesday, August 30, 2011

And then there were 2

The doctor called today and only 2 eggs were viable. He said the others were just too immature, and after almost 3 weeks of stims there just wasn't much more we could do to change that, which I understood. It's just so incredibly frustrating that we had to spend as much as we did on the drugs for only 2 eggs. Women w/ a normal egg count can produce around 20 eggs and only need a fraction of the medication I did. It's also hard not to get discouraged right now about the success of future cycles. It's so much to go through for such a small chance. But 2 is all we get and I guess we better like it. Two is better than 0. So Thursday will be considered Day 3 of our two embryos' lives and they will officially have a grade from the embryologist. They grade them on a 1 -3 scale: 1 being very good, 2 average and 3 poor. This grade will tell us the likelihood that the embryo will continue to grow and end up a viable pregnancy. My understanding is it does not predict anything about the 'normalcy' of the embryo as far as any genetic or chromosomal abnormalities, it simply tells us how great the likelihood of a miscarriage.
So we are holding our breaths for Thursday when we get the report from the embryologist. And praying. It's in God's hands now and I am nervous and worried and scared. But hopeful. Still hopeful.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Level 1 Complete

The egg retrieval is over! It's a relief. I wasn't sure what to expect in the way of pain, and of course how many eggs we'd have, but it went okay. Our doctor got 5 eggs total - 3 of them were mature, the other two were still slightly small and therefore probably immature - but 3 out of 5 isn't so bad. Now we wait for the fertilization report tomorrow. Doc will tell us how many of those 5 eggs fertilized. Of those fertilized eggs we'll wait another 2 days and then we'll know which of those fertilized are growing embroys.

So it'll be a nail biter of  a week. Tonight I start on the progesterone shots which I am not looking forward to. I hear they are a real pain in the ass :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Standby for take off...

Our last monitoring appt was today! So here's the final count: on my right ovary I have a 24 and an 18, on my left I have a 21 and two 13's. I didn't know this until the nurse mentioned it, but when the follicles get as big as 24 mm they aren't 'good' eggs, so that one won't count, but she said the 21 and the 18 for sure should, and hopefully the two 13's. They want the follicles at least 14mm. Doc has me taking one more megadose of Follistim tonight to hopefully push them over the edge, and the nurse said the hCG shot tomorrow night might also give them one last blast. For $500 for tonight's dose I just had to order, those slackers better catch up! So we are hoping and praying that we will have 4 eggs total for retrieval, which is scheduled for Monday. Thankfully my uterine lining isn't an issue this go around since I've been on the estrogen supp's. I don't have to do the Viagra!

I'll update next week after the retrieval. I'm not as nervous for it now as I was before our appt this am, now that I know there's a good chance at 4 eggs instead of just 2. I am just praying with everything I have that my eggs are good. So much depends on that. The one advantage of doing this though is to figure that out. Because if they're no good than obviously that changes the game plan quite a bit. But I am trying not to go there; I am trying to take this one day at a time.

Please pray for us. I have never been so nervous/scared/anxious/desperate for anything like this in my entire life. I knew this IVF would forever change me in some way, no matter the outcome. Time will tell what that change may be.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What do my follicles and Peter Pan have in common?

They are in no hurry to mature. We have two that could be considered mature (just barely), but the other 4 are not ready for retrieval yet. So my doc increased my Follistim dosage to hopefully help speed them along and will measure again on Friday. It sucks because it means another $800 for just the next 2 days of meds, but I certainly want to have the best chance of as many eggs fertilizing as possible. If even just the biggest two of the four that are still too small mature enough, that would give us 4 good contenders. I would be thrilled with 4. Four would be better than 2. So that's it for now; we'll see if there's been any progress Friday morning and go from there...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Slow and Steady...

Just a quick update after this morning's appointment: follicles are growing! We still have 5 or 6. There are follicles on my right and left ovaries. I don't know about the integrity of the eggs in my right ovary since that's the one that's only partially there, so I am glad there are 2 or 3 in the left too. The biggest is only 14mm so we still have a little ways to go yet. We go back Monday am to get measured again but I am still betting they won't be mature enough and ready for retrieval before the end of next week. My doc is holding off on the Viagra for my uterine lining until Monday, but I am willing to bet he's going to have me start on it as well next week. Walgreens told me about a new program they have with New Life Agency that's an awesome deal for their cash paying patients: you buy their Pharmacy card for $25 and you get $100 off instantly for every $1,000 spent. And then they sent me a $25 Walgreens gift card!

So I'll update again after our appointment Monday. I am really looking forward to the w/e. My husband is treating me to a mini getaway at a hotel here in Dallas with a nice dinner and everything. We can certainly use a little R&R :)

Monday, August 15, 2011


Today was our first monitoring appointment! It went well; I feel better. I was pretty nervous about it. I figured we'd have some eggs at the end of all of this to retrieve, but I have been nervous that it'll be a situation like our 3rd cycle on inj's and timed IC back in April where we only had 1 mature follicle. But this am doc saw what he thought were 5 follicles - 2 on my left ovary and 3 on the right. The biggest two are only 10mm so it's still really early (they'll need to be at least 18mm before they're ready for retrieval). We go back Friday morning to have them measured again and he'll check to see where my uterine lining is in terms of its thickness, since that has been an issue. But I have been on an estrogen priming protocol so hopefully that will not be the case this time. And the nurse mentioned this am that she thinks doc is going to go ahead and have me start on Viagra suppositories on Friday, which also addresses my thin lining issue. So our goal is to have 5 -6 mature follicles for egg retrieval, which is about standard for women w/ DOR. If at least 3 of those fertilize and make it to blastocyst on day 5 we'll transfer all 3 to give us the best chances that at least one will make it, and if we have any more than 3 make it to blast we'll freeze, just in case. That's the plan. We still have a little ways to go yet; I know we won't have any mature follicles much before the end of next week.

I had a pretty rough w/e. I have been so nervous about this IVF. So much is at stake: all the money we've spent, and continue to have to spend, the fact that this will probably tell us whether or not my eggs are any good or if we're just chasing rainbows (it sucks we won't know that until the very end), and of course I think about what we'll do if this doesn't work. How will we fund another IVF cycle before it's 'too late'? Or will another IVF cycle even be an option? How will I make it through emotionally? And if it does work? That's a much better scenario to contemplate, but one that brings its own set of anxieties.

So I had a hard time this w/e, and the only reason I didn't succumb to the depression I feel lapping at my heels everyday is my husband. For those that know us, I don't have to tell you how great my husband is. For those that don't know us, I'm sure you know all to well that infertility isn't something you can get through alone. It's so crucial to have a strong support system; people that you can lean on when you're at your weakest. Because there are so many weak moments in infertility. And my husband has been so incredibly strong and supportive for me. I have been very hard to live with these past couple weeks since starting the meds for this IVF cycle. So yesterday when I decided I was going to wallow in my depression, my husband could have ignored it, chose not to deal with it, because that would have been the easy thing to do. But he talked me off the ledge again. He reminded me that we still have much to be hopeful for, and he reminded me that we can still make plans if this IVF doesn't work. But what made me feel better was just knowing how much he cares, how much he's invested in our future, and not just IVF and babies but me. He just wants a future where I am happy and it was really nice to be reminded that it's not always going to be up to me. That I have a partner who has my best interests, my needs and my wants, at the forefront. In infertility it's usually about sacrifice and uncertainty. There's so much fear and anxiety as a result. But my husband saved my sanity yesterday because he looked into my eyes, into my core, and told me he'll always be here to take care of me. My happiness and well being will always be his number one priority. How can I feel hopeless knowing that?

I don't know why God has put us in this situation but I know why God brought my husband and me together. Without him I would still be hiding under the covers.