Tuesday, July 31, 2012

IVF#2: 4dp2dt Blood Word Update

First, I want to show everyone that I am on the last part of my post transfer checklist:

But, after blood work came back today, they told me that I need to do a booster shot of HCG again, so my beta test has to be moved from 8/6 to 8/10. That sucks. More waiting. But, whatever I have to do to get this little embryo to stick...that's what I'll do.

So, now I have to sit tight until 8/10. A whole other week. Ughhhhhh.

Monday, July 30, 2012

IVF#2: 3dp2dt or 5 DPO

I can't sleep. Again. It's strange, really. I'm beyond exhausted, but when I get into bed, I can't turn my mind off. Everything is racing through it, from IVF to how much editing I need to get done, to what I should be doing during the day, but what I don't do because I end up sleeping most of it away...ugh.

I'm just barely 5DPO right now. Not even halfway through the TWW. It's actually not really bothering me much, the waiting. I feel much more at ease this time around than last time. I will say, that at the back of my mind, I keep thinking about what happens if this doesn't work...but I try to push those thoughts away as soon as they bubble up.

On the symptoms front, the only thing I've been experiencing is extreme fatigue. All I want to do is sleep. For example, today, I woke up at 5am, ate breakfast, went back to sleep at around 6, slept until my husband woke up at 8, fell back to sleep when he went to work...slept until noon. Woke up. Ate lunch. Played around on the computer. Went back to sleep at around 2 or 2:30, then slept until 5:45. Isn't that ridiculous?

Everyone keeps telling me to just do what my body wants/needs me to do, and I guess right now all it wants to do is sleep -- except for when I actually want to fall asleep, and then I stay up with my mind racing. Go figure.

It's really too early for any symptoms, to be honest. I read on another woman's IVF blog (she also had a 2dt) that her doctor told her that implantation should happen around 4 or 5 DPO for a two day transfer. I am not so sure if I believe that, but even if it is true, I wouldn't have enough HCG in my system to have any real side effects. It's most likely from the progesterone that I'm taking, in all honesty. The nurse wanted me to stay on the injections so that it doesn't drop again like it did last cycle. The injections are a little more powerful than the applicators, so that's probably what is making me so darned tired.

What else...hrm...

Oh, Nurse A. called me this morning and bumped my blood work day from today till tomorrow. That will probably be my last round of blood work until beta day, which is 8/6. Little milestones. They are what get you through all this waiting. ;)

Thank you for the continued support, and keep those fingers and toes crossed that this little bean sticks and holds on. :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

IVF#2: 1dp2dt or 3 DPO

Firstly, I want to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and comments and your prayers. They've really helped me this past week. :)

I had my day three blood work today. The nurse said I'd probably have to take a booster shot of HCG due to my past history during the last IVF. But, we were both pleasantly surprised when the results came back and all my levels are looking great. So, no booster shot for me. Yet. My next round of blood work will be on the 30th, and we will reevaluate then.

So, what is my little embryo up to, you might ask? Well, this chart is from an IVF center in New York. It explains what the embryo should be doing day-by-day. I've read that embryos that are hatched before transfer are technically a day ahead of schedule, so I suppose on the chart I'm around day 2 or 3?

Days Past
Transfer (DPT)
 Embryo Development
 One The embryo continues to grow and develop, turning from a 6-8 cell embryo into a morula
 Two The cells of the morula continue to divide, developing into a blastocyst
 Three The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell 
 Four The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
 Five The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation 
 Six Implantation continues
 Seven Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop 
 Eight Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream 
 Nine Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted 
 Ten Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted  
 Eleven Levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy 

Friday, July 27, 2012

IVF#2: Transfer Day

 I had another restless night last night, mostly due to the fact that I was certain that when I woke up, they would call me and tell me that my embryo didn't make it and there would be no transfer. I waited by my phone all morning, but thankfully, no one called.

I went to my transfer today by myself because my husband had to be on call at work. I got to the center, and there was only me and one other woman there. Both of our names were the same, and we were both having a transfer done. I sat nervously in the waiting room, expecting for Nurse S. to come out and tell me that there would be no transfer today. At one point, she came out and sort of stared at us both, and in my head I thought, "This is it. She's going to tell me to go home." But instead, she said, "Now I have to figure out which one of you I put in bed first."

After Nurse S. gave me my progesterone shot, I was taken into the back room first and put in the bed by the window. Shortly after I was settled, the other woman came in and laid down in the bed next to mine. It was kind of awkward. What do we say to each other? Have fun?

The transfer went over okay. No cramping. No bleeding. Everything went smoothly. The embryologist told me that my embryo was a  4cell+3, so it's grade was high and was looking pretty good. Here it is, my little Hope:

Doctor P. assured me (since I must have looked pretty nervous) that it only takes one, and this is going to be the one. After being made to lie down for a half hour, I got up and went straight to acupuncture.

My acupuncturist told me I was really on edge and my liver was working overtime. So, the first thing I had to do was calm the heck down. Then, she put some needles in place to help direct blood flow to my uterus. Before I left, she told me that the only thing I should be thinking about is the word "Welcome." Welcome to my uterus, little embryo. Please, stick around.

I got home and joked with my husband that they probably mixed my embryo up with the other woman's embryos, since we both have the same first names, and I'll end up with a white baby. Hahaha. I crack myself up.

I've been on bedrest since I got home. The husband doesn't quite understand what this means and keeps asking me to go to the Apple Store with him, or out to dinner (sushi at that), or he asks me why I am going back up into bed. He'll catch on. I know he will.

Anyway. That was my day today. Now I'm in my two week wait, and a hell of a two weeks it will be.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

IVF#2: Embryologist Report

Last night was rough for me. I cried myself to sleep. I was so afraid of getting the call this morning and hearing that it didn't go as planned. Three eggs isn't a lot. Especially when it's not guaranteed that they will even fertilized. Three eggs is hedging your bets, and the odds have seemingly been against me this whole time.

The embryologist told me that she'd call around 8 am. So, I woke up with my husband and waited around for the call. She ended up calling around 7:40.

Only one egg fertilized.

The other two fertilized with more than one sperm and had to be discarded.

I only have one embryo.

I know it's easy to say, "Well it only takes one, right?" Right. You are right. It only takes one. And plenty of women have had success with just one egg transferred. I shouldn't write myself off yet.

I think I'm more upset because of different reasons. Mostly that this is a long, long process. Two months for one cycle. It's emotionally and physically draining. You are doing things to your body month mentally and physically that aren't normal. At the end of it all, you are expecting to get enough eggs so that you can freeze the rest and not have to go through it all again the next time. Once again, I have nothing left over to freeze. If this cycle doesn't work, I'll have to start all over again, from the top. And even worse, I'm going to have to wait longer and take a break between this IVF cycle and the next while they try to figure out what is going wrong with me.

And that's my second reason. Something is wrong with me, and no one can figure out what. There are lots of different possibilities, the biggest one having to do with this sudden weight gain over the past two years. They have a tentative plan set up for next cycle...but I'm not even sure I want to bother.

I'm tired. I'm very tired.

Why is it so easy for everyone else, and so hard for me?

Now, all my hopes rest in this one little embryo, who still needs to make it through another night. My one chance.

I shall name this embryo "Hope."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


It was really sad when my favorite nurse, Nurse A. said to me, while flipping through my charts, "Aww. You've been here a long time. I just found notes from 2011."


IVF#2: Post-Op

Well, things didn't go as planned. Again. They only got three eggs. Again. I didn't ovulate early...apparently my eggs just suck. Or they aren't growing.

I feel awful. I can't stop crying. Why can't this just work out? I don't want to go through this again...

Tomorrow, the embryologist will call me around 8 am to tell me if the eggs fertilized or not. I hope they do, but I'm giving up on getting my hopes up.

I don't understand why this is happening to me.

Not On Schedule

It is always a great sign when you come in for surgery and find that they forgot to actually put you on the surgery schedule. Fun, fun.

It is 2:30 am...do you know where your child is?

I can't sleep. I am so nervous about today's surgery that I can't turn my brain off. And? I am starving. But I am not allowed to eat or drink until after the surgery.

This sucks.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

IVF#2: Follie Scan #4 - Pre-Op

Today was my last scan before surgery tomorrow. Yay! The husband and I dragged on last night and waited until midnight to take my trigger (HCG) shot. They wanted me to do it as late as possible so I could come in early for surgery and hopefully not ovulate beforehand again. It's still my biggest fear. I think it's everyone's fear at this point.

Dr. B. said she expects 5-8 eggs now. They also informed me that they will be doing assisted hatching this time around. This is an extra procedure to encourage the embryos to attached to the uterine lining after they are transferred. Whether you knew it or not, our "eggs" (or embryos in this case) have outer shells, and they have to shed this outer shell in order to attach to the uterus.

Assisted hatching is basically when the embryologist makes a little hole in this shell to help the embryo hatch and attach to the uterine wall. So, it will give me a leg up on the situation, and hopefully this time they will hang on to that wall and snuggle in. :)

Everyone seems to be rooting for me there. Dr. B. is determined to get me in before I ovulate, and the nurses are happy that I'm able to move forward and we didn't have to cancel.

Surgery will be at 8:45 tomorrow. Keep us in your thoughts. :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

IVF#2: Follie Scan #3...or is this #4? I lost count.

My scan went well this morning, but Dr. B. said something that sort of made me sad. She was talking about how people with PCOS go a few different ways during IVF. They either end up with canceled cycles because their levels are all off (which almost happened to me), or they end up with a bazillion follicles and have to go to the hospital for over stimulation, or they sort of fare in the middle and while they won't be one of the people who gets like twenty eggs at a retrieval, they have a few good ones.

She said she doesn't think I'll be one of the people who get twenty eggs at the retrieval, despite the fact that I have around twenty follicles. She estimated I'll only get 5-10 eggs.

Now, I am nervous I won't even get five eggs. I told her I just want enough to have some to freeze afterward, and she said that's a good possibility, and that even if we get just four, that would leave us with two to transfer and two to freeze. She just wants it to go better than the first time around.


Anyway. If my blood levels look fine this afternoon (keep your fingers crossed that they don't drop again), I will take my trigger (HCG) shot tonight, and my ER will be on Wednesday. This means my transfer will probably be Saturday or Sunday, depending on how the embryos grow.

This process sucks, by the way. Just throwing that out there.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

IVF#2: Blood work and Follie Scan #3

I thought I was only getting blood work done today, but when I got there, they put me in an exam room. So, while I was confused, I was also relieved because I wanted to make sure that my follicles were growing still after that E2 drop. The scan went well, and the doctor said everything looked fine, so they put me in the phlebotomy room to wait for the nurse to draw my blood.

Nurse A, one of my favorite nurses, came in and looked confused. I guess someone forgot to put me on the list of people who were coming in today. I thought she was confused about the results of the scan. Anyway, I asked her what it means, exactly if my E2 is dropping. At first, it seemed like she didn't really want to say what it meant, but she finally gave in and said that it could mean my follicles stopped growing and that they will have to cancel the cycle. This made my heart stop. She said it without much room for argument. So, my next question was if the follicles grew since yesterday, and the sonographer peeked in and said that they did, in fact, grow. That made the situation a little better!

 I asked Nurse A if my follicles are growing and my E2 goes down, what does that mean? I got another sort of dodgy answer, that it meant that they are still getting to know my body, and if this cycle didn't work out, they will know better what to do next cycle. Okay. After I asked her if it is possible some people don't respond to Lupron (the drug that is supposed to keep you from ovulating), she said that is definitely possible, and there are other drug options for next time.

Blood was drawn, and I was sent on my way and told to call back at noon. The whole ride home, I was quiet and upset. I don't want my cycle to be canceled. I don't want to have had to go through all these shots for nothing.

I fell back asleep when I got home, and woke up at noon to call the nurses back for my results. After waiting a little bit on the phone (because Nurse A is the only nurse in today), she picked up and said, "I have great news! Your E2 went back up!" Relief washed over me.

I am going to take 150 Gonal-F and 75 Menopur tonight and then come back in tomorrow for another scan and more blood work, and my ER will be on Wednesday. I'm a little nervous about waiting so long on the ER (as I thought it would be Tuesday), but it is what it is. I just hope I don't ovulate before them.

Have I ever mentioned how stressful this all is? I should get a massage or something.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

IVF#2: Follicle Scan #2

Woke up early this morning for my appointment. And when I mean early, I mean I woke up at 5 am for no reason, continuing my string of waking up between 4-5 am this week. Ugh. My appointment wasn't until 8:30, so I tried to go back to sleep, but it was no use. I couldn't turn my brain off.

But enough about that! Let's talk appointment! Dr. B. did my ultrasound today and said I had lots of big and little follicles in there, and that it was looking good. I asked her how many total, and she said "between fifteen and twenty." So, I'm rocking the follicles! Yay! I also told her that I was terrified of ovulating early again, which she assured me had little to no chance of happening since I'm doubled up on Lupron.

My blood results were okay, but my E2 level dropped, which means I have to up my Gonal-F back to 150 to try and get those numbers back up. After reading about E2 levels dropping, these could be the scenarios that would cause or happen because of such a thing:

1) My follicles are slowing down and not growing much anymore. This could lead to poor egg quality because if the follicles don't keep growing, the eggs won't keep maturing, and they will be useless to me upon the ER day. If my E2 levels continue to drop, they might cancel the cycle all together, in which case I will be crushed and pissed off at the same time.

2) My body is trying to ovulate again. E2 usually drops before you ovulate and then after you ovulate. It picks up again right before you get your period to prepare for a baby, if there is one. If there isn't, it will drop again. This makes me nervous, especially since the doctor specifically said today (before the blood work came back, that is) that there was practically no chance that I'd ovulate again on such a high dose of Lupron.

I will probably keep scouring the internet for more information about a drop in E2, but the nurse didn't sound too worried and said it dropped "a little bit" which makes me think that maybe my follicles are just getting lazypants and are slowing down.

Please let this cycle work out...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

IVF #2: First Follie Scan

Good Morning!

Today was my first follicle scan. I had more blood work done first, and, already, the nurse couldn't find a good vein. She poked around, and I'm sure I'm going to have bruises later, then finally switched arms when she couldn't get a good stick on my left arm.

She saw my tattoo for the first time and asked me if I was a writer. I told her that my book comes out in November, and she went on to tell me about how her daughter wanted to be a writer, but went to law school instead. Anyway. I'm off topic.

Dr. P. did my follicle scan today. He looked at my left ovary first and found at least eight follicles there. Then he looked for my right ovary and couldn't find it. Low and behold, my ovaries are still "kissing" like last time, and are sitting right next to each other. All together, he said I have at least fourteen follicles...that's two better than last IVF cycle! Woowoo!

So, now I have to wait until 1pm for my blood results to see if my estrogen is on track and if I have to come back in tomorrow. Dr. P. said my estimated ER (egg retrieval) date will be Monday or Tuesday. I'm right on schedule!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ovary Eating a Cheeseburger

Last IVF cycle, I told my husband that my ovaries felt fat, and he made the comment "like they ate cheeseburgers?" So, we kept saying through the cycle that I had "fat little cheeseburger ovaries." Because we are stupid like that. So, I told him I was going to draw a picture of a fat little cheeseburger ovary, but I never got to it.

But you don't have to wait any longer! This is what they feel like right NOW:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

IVF 2: Bloodwork on CD 4/Day 4 of Stims

I was hoping today that they would give me an ultrasound, since I can already feel my ovaries plumping up, and I don't remember being able to feel it this early the last IVF cycle I went through. I went back and looked through my blog and found where it said I was feeling "bloated" but this is less of a "bloated" feeling, and more of an uncomfortable awareness that my ovaries are floating around, all fat and stuff.

But, no ultrasound. Just some blood work. I called back for my results, and Sharon the Nurse told me that I'm responding really well, that my e2 (estrogen) level is at 472, and that we are going to lower the Gonal-F from 150 to 75.

I think my first round of blood work the last time, my levels were in the 700s, but I can't remember how far into the shots I was, so maybe I shouldn't compare. I hope the numbers come up a little bit, as that means I have more follicles growing, and thus, more eggs.

I go back in on Thursday for more blood work and definitely an ultrasound. I guess we will find out then!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hungry, Hungry Hippo

Today, I woke up with the goal of getting my ass on the treadmill. I need to cut out this apathy and get moving again. So, after I did my writing for the day (and my napping), I walked for 40 minutes on the treadmill, and I feel proud of myself! Yay!

Also, this IVF cycle I've been experiencing hunger like no one's business. After I finish eating, I'm hungry again in like thirty minutes. And I don't mean I'm hungry because I'm bored or anything, I mean that my stomach is actually rumbling and I am legit hungry. I don't remember this from last time, and I'm wondering if maybe it's the Lupron? Since that's the only thing that has changed between cycles so far? But God, am I hungry.

So, I need to keep walking, or I'm going to put on a million pounds.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ready, Set, Stims!

Here we go again! Tonight was my first night of stims (stimulation drugs). This is a picture of all the crap that I need to mix my shots, and this is not including everything, either. There are needles in the box on the right, and the long needle on the left is for the vials in the box on the left.

I am glad I kept my instructions from the first IVF cycle, because I totally forgot how to mix all the vials, and what went with what and blah blah blah. But, I figured it out, and everything has been injected. I'm sure I'll have a bruise where I used the needle with the Menopur and Gonal-F in it because I left too much air in the syringe, and it didn't exactly go in very fluidly.

Just nine more days of stabbing myself in the stomach with 2-3 needles a day. Then I get to stab myself in the butt with the annoying, long, hurty needles filled with progesterone-in-oil.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Tentative Schedule

Well, the beta was negative. Dur.

Anyway, for Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I am injecting 10 units of Lupron, 150 units of Gonal-F and 75 units of Menopur. Then I go back in on Tuesday (and probably every day after Tuesday) for more blood work and ultrasounds. @Whee. This is the not-so-fun part of IVF.

The First of Many Appointments

I had my blood work and an ultrasound done today. My u/s looked fine (no cysts!), and I will find out about my b/w around noon.

The nurses managed to fill me with false hope too. The one who was doing my b/w asked me when I got my period after my birth control pills. I told her that I didn't get my period, and I didn't get a period the last time either. She sorta looked at me for a moment and then said, "Well, we'll have to run another test, then." Soooo, I was like...okaaaay.

So, while I was on my way to the examination room, another nurse stopped me and asked me when I got my period. I told her that I didn't get my period, and she also stared at me a moment and then said, "Well, we will run a hcg test too." Blah. Fine. 

There have been times in the last couple of weeks where I questioned if I was pregnant or not. I've been hungry right after eating, and some mornings I wake up and I feel sick. I've been super emotional. So...I came home and I took the last pregnancy test that I have in the house. It came up negative. Silly nurses and their false hope. :< 

I call them back at noon to see if my blood work is good. If all is okay, I will start stimming tomorrow. Then, about ten days after that, I will have my egg retrieval, and three days after that, I will have my transfer. 

Let's get this right this time, okay? 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Lupron Begins

Today started my injections of Lupron. Also, I have to take baby aspirin from here on out, like I did last time. The injection went over well. I feel like I'm an old hat at this now. I just want to press fast forward and get all the shots over with, though.

We were watching Gene Simmons' Family Jewels, and on the show, his wife's sister is going through IVF for her second time. Granted, I think it has been eight years between when she had her last kid through IVF and this one. Still, it showed her struggling through the hormones, just to get to the doctor, who tells her that her lining wasn't thick enough and she'll have to wait a month and do it all over again. She was so upset. I couldn't help but to feel for her. I think I'd completely break down if I was told that I had to start all over again. I mean, I /am/ starting all over again now...but it's not the same when you've managed to get through the whole process.

Here's hoping that doesn't happen to me.