Friday, November 30, 2012

When the Third Time Isn't the Charm

I have been trying to figure out how to write this post since last night. At first, I wanted to be bitter. I wanted to say how it isn't fair that some other people, who haven't been through half of what I've been through have their positive pregnancy tests (BFPs), and I don't have mine.

I wanted to be angry because, once again, my body has failed. me. My baby has gone through a good portion of it's development in a petry dish, and I STILL couldn't manage to grow it the rest of the way.

I wanted to be sad, because I had believed in this cycle so much...and for what?

I won't lie. I'm a piece of these and a little bit more.

As I was lying on the acupuncture table last night, I asked my acupuncturist to listen to my pulse. They can tell, through your pulse, if you are pregnant or not. It was kind of my last hope. I was wanting her to tell me that she thinks I'm pregnant. Instead, she listened to it and only remarked, "It is strong, but we have to calm your heart down." It was beating a mile per minute. I just knew, from her tone, that she didn't think I was pregnant. As soon as she left the room, I broke down in such helpless, uncontrolled sobbing.

When you suffer from depression, you have the unfortunate experience of your thoughts running away from you. Your mind does its own thing. I fell into a complete anxiety attack, and my thoughts escaped me, and I could not control them. What did I do wrong? Why am I not good enough? How can other women just get pregnant on their own, and why can't it be me? On, and on, and on.

I could hear my therapist's words, about how my thoughts are something of their own, and if uncontrolled, can trigger a downward spiral. So, I desperately went through every "tool" in my coping box to try to stop them. I used the questions that I was given on the day of my transfer: Are these thoughts helping me? No. Are they necessarily true? No. Is there a different way of thinking about this? Yes.

But it stopped there. I went right back to sobbing.

So, I broke out my next tool. Grounding. I reminded myself where I was physically. I was wearing a blue shirt. I was wearing jeans. My purse is black. I have two needles in each of my ears. There is a lamp in the room...

I know this sounds stupid. But, it works.

Once I calmed down again, I started to count the ceiling tiles. I counted them over and over and over again until the thoughts were gone, and I was calm.

Then I went back to the questions. Are these thoughts helping me? No. Are they necessarily true? No. I still have a few more days, anything can happen. Is there a different way of thinking about this? Yes. Although this time might not be a success, I was lucky enough to have four embryos make it to freeze. That means, unlike the other two failed IVFs, I do not have to start all over again. I don't have to go through the whole, horrible process from the top. I am blessed in that regard.

So, when I woke up this morning to find another negative test at 13 DPO, I knew that this was likely over. And I also knew that I can't mope about it. I can grieve, and I can be disappointed, sure. But, I also have to keep reminding myself that I have four more chances without having to ever go through another fresh cycle. And for this, I am so, so, so very grateful.

I also have read that when your estrogen level is as high as mine was, that there may be less success in implantation. In fact, at some clinics, it is protocol to "freeze all" if your estrogen is too high, which means that they freeze all the embryos and wait until your levels have dropped to do a transfer. In this way, FETs (or frozen embryo transfers) often prove more successful than a fresh IVF. So, when I go in for my FET, my estrogen won't be off the charts, and my body will be a much better incubator then.

I will be okay. I really will. I thank you for all your prayers and your support, and I ask you to continue to pray, just in case of some sort of miracle. Thor might not have made it, but my other embryo Avengers will. :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cryo Report

I forgot to update with my cryo report. The nurse called me today to tell me that they were able to freeze four embryos total. I guess the others didn't make it another day, or they weren't good enough to freeze. I will get a cryo report in the mail, and maybe that will tell me more.

I am so, so, so happy about this. This means I have four more chances, or two more chances if we decide to transfer more than one in the future. It also means that if this cycle fails, I won't have to go through the torture of a whole, new fresh cycle. This also takes a huge, giant burden off of me. I was simply terrified the last two cycles because I had no back up embryos. I had nothing. It meant that I had to submit myself physically and emotionally to a whole, new, fresh IVF cycle. And just thinking about having to go through it again after my last cycle was so devastating.

But now, I have four embabies all snugged up and bundled in a freezer in Towson. They will either be siblings for Thor, or they will be my next opportunity to get this show on the road. I much prefer the first option. :)

I am going to ask tomorrow to see when I get my flash drive filled with pictures, too. They didn't tell me that I was excluded from the study, so hopefully it still happened. For those of you who don't remember, I volunteered to take place in a study where the embryos are monitored under a special camera that tracks their growth every twenty minutes. Usually, embryos are checked on once a day, which involves them having to be moved from their incubator to the microscope. This study is not only to document embryo growth patterns, but also to see if they do better if they aren't moved. I am all about science and forwarding it, especially when it comes to possibly helping other women who are suffering what I am.

There. You were spoiled with two updates today. One slightly less cranky than the other. :)

9 DPO: I'm still here.

I've found that people get worried when I don't update my blog with lots of details. Of course, I did post a little while ago that I wasn't going to blog as much after my transfer because there are some things I want to keep to myself.

With IVF, it's hard to keep anything to yourself. For example, most of the staff I work with knows what I am going through because I've had to inform them of my impending frequent latenesses and absences. They have been very excited for me, but this also means that they will be asking about it, and then what do I do? Just lie to their face so I can keep the results under wraps for a little while? It's definitely not as easy as a "normal" pregnancy, where you find out and can keep it between you and your spouse for a whole trimester. I am not afforded that luxury.

I have been a bit irritable with FF lately, and I'm thinking of going off grid for the rest of the week. The passive aggressive crap toward my decision to start testing now has grated on my nerves this morning. Someone actually had the nerve to ask me, "Aren't you supposed to wait with IVF so you don't get a false positive?"

Excuse me? Are you trying to tell /me/ what I should do during IVF? Me? The one who has been through it twice already? I think I understand the dynamics of when I should test. I also understand I can't get false positives this time around because I DID NOT USE THE HCG TRIGGER. I also understand it is early -- which people love to point out and lecture me, even if I give them absolutely no reason to -- please do keep your opinions to yourself. When you go through this sort of thing (and I hope to God none of you have to), then you can lend me your advice.

Maybe I am being moody. This is very possible. Aside from FF, I have been keeping very positive. My friend lent me her hypnobabies pregnancy affirmation program, and I have listened to it before bedtime. I might not be officially pregnant yet, but I'm going to treat myself like I am and stay in that mindset. I've been surrounding myself with positive thinking, and when something or someone becomes negative, I remove myself from it all together.

I joke around with the husband and say to him, "Do you think this is good for me and Thor?" It's a running joke in our household now. Referring to myself and Thor just reminds me that I am technically carrying my baby right now. He just has to stick and hold on for the ride.

Nothing else has been happening, really. Just waiting, praying and hoping. No real symptoms aside from some cramping yesterday and feeling "off" though I can't pinpoint what "off" actually is. I don't read into symptoms much anyway. If I had to take 10,000 units of HCG with a 5,000 unit booster and I never had symptoms from that, I doubt I am going to have symptoms this early in the game.

There's your update. I'll peek back in sometime this week, maybe.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Some pictures!

They didn't give me embryo pictures yesterday, but I forgot to post these, so here you go:

This is the card they gave me to get through the two week wait. I thought it was very thoughtful.

And this is my embryo report card. My baby's first report card. Hahahaha.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I am PUPO!

I am PUPO! That's the term us ladies in the IVF community use after a transfer. PUPO = Pregnant until proven otherwise. What a wonderful feeling, to be technically pregnant. To know that right now, I am carrying around my little embryo. <3

I will start at the top of the day. The embryologist called me at 7 am to tell me that not only is my transfer still scheduled as planned, but all nine of my embryos made it to day five. We were both so happy about this because it is such a rare occurance, and I wasn't expecting it to happen, really. In my mind, I was trying to be a realist and kept telling myself that only 30% of embryos make it to a day 5 transfer...and here I am, defying the odds. 100% of mine made it. Not only are they defying the odds, but I also can't help but to think back to my previous RE who was trying to tell me that my egg quality was bad due to my weight, and that we couldn't move forward until I lost about thirty pounds. There was nothing wrong with my eggs at all. In fact, B and I make beautiful, healthy embryos.

The best embryo was picked to transfer today. Two blastocysts were taken to be frozen already. The others will be watched for another day or two, and then the ones that are still going strong by tomorrow will be frozen. So, I already have at least two on ice. I could potentially have nine on ice. I won't know until next week, sometime.

I was so happy this morning. B said that he is going to call the embryo we put back "THOR." I told him that name is not carrying over to our baby, but he's enjoying the nickname none-the-less.

Before we left, I prepped the pie and the card that I bought for the staff at SGF. Inside the card, I wrote, "We are thankful for you giving us hope." Then, I took a sports bottle filled with water (the procedure has to be done on a full bladder to get the best ultrasound image) and we head out.

A pumpkin pie.
Thank You Card and Pie

B hates taking pictures. I asked him to look happy as we head out to our big day, and this is what I got. Hahaha.
Our doggie, Sailor, was happy, though. :D

When we got to the hospital, we went up to the center's office so I could drop off the pie and the card. The secretary was so grateful and wished me luck at my transfer. I didn't want to linger in there too long because there were other patients in the waiting room, and I have to be mindful of whatever they might be feeling today too. While I might be happy and joyful, I have no idea what their situations are. So, we scooted out and down to the women's surgery center.

A nurse escorted us right back into one of the patient rooms. I changed into my hospital gown, and she came back to tell me that it was going to be about another hour since there were three retrievals ahead of me, and that I could feel free to use the bathroom in that time, but not to when it got closer to the procedure. I immediately got up to use the restroom, since I have a tiny bladder, and I was already uncomfortable from chugging all that water.

Within that hour, I used the restroom three times. Hahahaha. I am the worst at keeping a full bladder. B kept yelling at me, telling me it was too close to the end of the hour, but I just couldn't hold it. I snuck out the last time, then hurried back to my room and chugged more water. While waiting for the doctor, I got to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on the little TV!

My hospital footies (with traction on the bottom!)
Al Roker and the piss-poor actor from Chicago Fire

Dr. K. was my doctor today. He came in and brought me my "embryo report card" as he called it. The report card said that we retrieved 18 eggs, 9 fertilized, 0 fertilized abnormally, and 9 have made it to day five. He was very pleased with this. He pointed at the part that said one would be transferred back today, and that one is rated "HA-BG" or "Hatching Blastocyst  of Good Quality." "Good" is the higest rating they can get, so he said that the embryo was perfect. B and I had to sign the report card, and then it was go time!

Me and my full bladder (despite the fact that I used the restroom five minutes before this) walked back to the tiny transfer room located by the operating rooms. I passed by other ladies who were just out of their retrievals and all hooked up on machines while they recovered and said a little prayer for them. Then, we went into the teeny-tiny room that sits next to the IVF lab.

I climbed up onto the stretcher and they put a pillow under my bottom to elevate my hips and my downstairs business to the most uncomfortable and unflattering position ever. Then the transfer got started. The embryologists came in and had me verify my name and date of birth, then the doctor got everything set up "down there" which was awful both because my bladder was full and one tech was holding the ultrasound wand against my pelvis, and also because I don't think my cervix was cooperating, and the doctor couldn't get the catheter in. So, I had the unpleasant experience of him needing to use a little clamp that opens up the cervix...and that sucks. At this point, he knew I was not a happy camper and promised this was as uncomfortable was it was going to get. I asked what the big, black space on the monitor was, and he said, "That's your bladder. Please do not empty it right now." And we all laughed...which hurt to do. But it was funny. I told him I'd try.

The embryologist came back with my embryo in  this long pipette attached to a syringe, and I watched on the monitor as it was inserted into my womb, right next to the wall. At that very moment, I was, in all medical terms, pregnant. After the lab confirmed the embryo was out of the tubing, I was disconnected from everything, covered up and wheeled back to my room for a resting period of around fifteen minutes.

During this time, I closed my eyes and envisioned my embryo floating to my uterine lining and sticking there. Make yourself comfortable, Thor. It's going to be a long stay.

After the resting period, I got dressed, hugged my nurse, and B and I headed back home. I ate some soup (because my acupuncturist told me before that eating soups after the transfer helps the womb stay warm and the embryo to implant), let everyone know it went okay, then went to take a three hour long nap.

And now, we wait. SGF provides their patients with a little card attached to a paper that explains positive thinking and how to remain in a positive, healthy mindset during the two week wait. The card is supposed to be read once a day, and has ten ways you can put yourself back into a positive mindset. The paper included three questions about how to challenge negative thoughts, and they were:

1. Is this thought really true?
2. Is this thought helping me right now?
3. Is there another way I could look at this?

What a thoughtful piece of material to give, really. It makes me feel like they actually care. :)

So, here goes nothing, right? I'm so positive right now, because I feel like we've been given a second chance at SGF, and everything has gone well so far. Even if this doesn't work out, I have beautiful, frozen back up embryos to try again with. I won't have to go through a whole new fresh cycle, which is the worst feeling ever, knowing you have to do all the shots and suffer all the stress all over again.

As many have said already. This is my turn. I've waited long enough, and now it's my turn. One of my co-workers told me yesterday, "It sucks you have to go on Thanksgiving, but hey, if this works, you'll forever look at Thanksgiving in a whole new light."

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. <3

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm Allowed to Cry

This is what I said to my husband when he asked me why I was standing in the kitchen and crying. He replied, "Everything's going as well as it can." To which I responded with, "I shouldn't have to do all of this!" And then waved to the pills, the syringe filled with progesterone, the sharps box and the alcohol swabs. "I shouldn't have to have a conversation with you discussing if we should put back one or two embryos!"

And I shouldn't.

I found out yesterday that another one of my friends is pregnant. Just after her wedding. I am happy for her, of course, and I am happy with how everything is going for me, but I still can't ignore that big part of me that is jealous of her, and angry at myself for not working the way I am supposed to. Why can't I be like my friends and just get pregnant the normal way? Why do I have to be the one who has to go through all of this to get my baby?

And I don't want to hear anyone tell me, "Well, it will be worth it, and your baby will know how much you wanted it." I'm tired of hearing that. I'm tired of hearing it, and I am sad that my baby had to grow in a petry dish before it could grow in me.

But at the same time, I am glad that right now, I have nine little embryos floating around in a dish in a dark lab in Towson. All nine of these guys might not make it to Thursday to freeze the ones I don't use, but I have them for right now. And if this was thirty years ago, I wouldn't have this opportunity. I would be wallowing in my grief over not being able to get pregnant, month after month after month. And there wouldn't be this option. My nine embryos wouldn't even exist.

I am allowed to cry. I'm allowed to have these moments, because what I am doing is not natural by any means. What I am doing is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. I am also still hopped up on hormones; though, I'm down to just two now: estrogen and progesterone. Those are natural, at least. They are also the devil. If you thought I was a hormonal, emotional mess before, you've not seen anything yet.

So, while I might be crying, I am not blind to everything that has gone right for me so far. And I will list them here so I don't forget:

1. My husband. He's come a long way through this process, and though he sometimes doesn't understand feelings and emotion, I know he hurts when he sees me hurt. And I know he wants this too.

2. My friends. Sometimes I find it hard to talk to them about these things, because it makes me feel awkward. But even when I do, they support me and remind me that it will happen, even if it is not right this moment, it will happen.

3. My family. I think they are tied with my friends, really. They've also been really supportive. I told my dad that I had to miss Thanksgiving dinner with him because of the transfer and needing to be on bedrest, and he offered to come down and visit me on Thanksgiving. My mommy also offered to come down and see me on Thanksgiving. And my sister has been leaving not-so-subtle messages on facebook telling me to transfer all nine embryos...which is not going to happen. Haha.

4. My co-workers. I am so glad that I wound up where I am now. Everyone has been so supportive about this process. They ask me questions, they encourage me, and they keep me positive. My principal saw me yesterday and said she was happy I was doing okay after surgery and to keep her updated. I am really blessed that I found somewhere to work where I have this kind of support.

5. My support group. My girls on FF. They have been with me through these last two years, and though some have come and gone, there is always someone there to lift me up when I am down. <3

So, see? I'll be okay. But allow me to be sad every now-and-then, please. I'm prone to breaking out in tears. You've been warned. :P

Day 3 Embryo Update

On day three, an embryo should be around 7-10 cells. My count is as follows:

1 embryo at 5 cells (this one probably won't make it to day 5)
2 embryos at 7 cells
3 embryos at 8 cells
1 embryo at 9 cells
2 embryos at morula stage, which is the stage before a blastocyst. Morulas are 16+ cells. These two are the strongest so far. :)

Tomorrow, the only update I will get is when to come in for my transfer on Thursday. So, I won't know how they are doing until Thursday.

I am surprised I still have all 9 embryos! I suspect that five cell one probably isn't going to make it to a blastocyst, and the seven cells are cutting it close, but still, the numbers are great. Yay!

Monday, November 19, 2012

My First PIO Shot On My Own

Because my husband was being difficult tonight, I did my PIO shot on my own. This is the rather large needle that goes in my butt cheek. So, it's hard enough trying to twist around and keep my butt cheeks relaxed, and it's even harder to stick yourself with a huge needle. But, I did it.

And there was blood everywhere when I was done.


I have to do PIO shots for the next three weeks. When I am pregnant, I will have to continue for another month after that.

Let the bloodshed begin!

How Are My Babies?

Nurse A. called with my update!

She said, on day two, they generally want to see the embryos between two and four cells. Mine are as follows:

1 embryo at 3 cells
5 embryos at 4 cells
2 embryos at 5 cells
1 embryos at 8 cells!!!!!!

She said my embryos are ROCKSTARS and that they are going to do a Thanksgiving transfer. :) B thinks that our 8 cell embryo is a mutant and will have super powers, so if that one continues to grow well, it will probably be the one we put back. :)


Sunday, November 18, 2012


The nurse called early today and said, "I have some very good news!"

Out of 18 eggs, 13 were mature.

Out of the 13, 9 fertilized.

I have 9 embryos!

That is enough, as of right now, to try and push to a five day transfer! Keep in mind, that probably only half of these will make it to five days, but that's nature's way of keeping the strongest and getting rid of the ones that weren't going to be strong enough to hold on anyway.

I will keep everyone updated, of course.

Also remember that after my transfer, I will probably not be updating for a little while. So, you'll have to deal. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Egg Retrieval! SUCCESS!

I got 18 eggs!


The surgery went over relatively well. I came in at a pain level of 8 (out of 10). After the surgery, I was at a 9, and was in tears. The nurse gave me some pain medication, and I felt better within five minutes.

The doctor came in soon after that and told me my egg count. I was soooooo happy (and not just because of the pain meds). I recovered pretty quickly, and despite some bleeding while urinating, they released me and told me to keep an eye on things.

I still hurt. I left the hospital at a 4 out of 10, and I'd say it's probably a 5 right now. I'm eating lunch, then going to bed with a heating pad.

But 18 eggs! OMG!

Tomorrow, between noon and 3pm, I will get my fert report to see how the eggs have managed, and now many have fertilized. :)

Thanks for your prayers! Keep on praying, though! I hope all those eggs are mature and fertilize! 

Not off to a good start...

It's like deja-vu from my first IVF cycle. I am in so much pain and discomfort, I can hardly walk. I don't WANT to walk. I want to lie back down in bed and be left alone. :(

The doctor gave me Vicodin for after the surgery. I was never offered pain killers for my previous retrievals, so I have a feeling there is a reason why he is giving me Vicodin. I wish I could take it now -- that's how much I hurt. I'm practically in tears.

I hope this doesn't mean I ovulated on my own. I really, really hope I didn't, or I will be crushed.

We leave the house at 7. My husband's specimen is to be delivered by 7:30. I am to report to the women's surgical center at 8 am. My retrieval will start at 9 am. I should be home by 11am-12pm. I'll probably go to bed right away, so you should all have an update in the early afternoon.

Wish me luck! I don't know how I am going to get to the car at this point, so it will be interesting.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 13: Last Bloodwork and Ultrasound...for now.

Ultrasound still looked good. It also still hurt like a bitch. He didn't really look around as much as he did yesterday, though, so it didn't last as long, thankfully.

My E2 came back at a whopping 8241.This is good news and bad news. It's good news because (from what I understand), if my numbers are still rising while I am not taking any stims, that should mean that more eggs are maturing. But, it could also mean that my estrogen is just sky-rocketing and there are some studies out there that say high estrogen levels at retrieval can mean poor quality eggs. So, I don't know how to feel, especially since this also severely increases my chance of OHSS. My nurse emailed me and told me to drink as much gatorade as I can tonight, and to keep doing so after the ER. So, that's what I'll be doing. I swear I've already peed like twenty times today since I've been drinking so much, and my ovaries are pushing on my bladder.

I squeezed in an acupuncture appointment at 1:45 today too, because I am in so much discomfort. I left work early so I could go to it, and the session lasted a little over an hour. It helped, especially with a pain toward the middle of my abdomen, but sitting in the car for nearly two hours afterwards didn't help to keep the pressure off, and now I'm uncomfortable again.

8 am tomorrow is when I go in for the surgery. Send me some good vibes. :) I will update tomorrow afternoon!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Well, I've triggered! The needle went in well enough, and the lupron has been administered. My little eggs should finish cooking in time for the retrieval! Tomorrow, I go back in for another ultrasound and more bloodwork. I am not looking forward to it since it hurt so much today. I can only imagine what it is going to feel like tomorrow.

Come on, eggggggggggiessssss.

Day 12: U/S and B/W

The ultrasound was super uncomfortable today. So much so, that the doctor apologized for hurting me and havnig to "be rough." It doesn't help that my ovaries are sitting way back, so you can only imagine what has to take place to get a good view of them. Ugh.

But, my follicles are still doing great. The doctor said I might trigger tonight or tomorrow. I think they are leaning toward tonight, but he thinks that my doctor might try to push me one more day, so he didn't want to say for sure. I'll know more this afternoon when my estrogen levels come back. I am hoping it didn't sky rocket up, since that wouldn't be good, but my nurse assured me that they don't cancel cycles this late in the game. Worse comes to worst, I'll have to freeze all my embryos and wait a month for a transfer. But, she said she's really optimistic because this is farther than I've ever gotten before. She could tell that I am nervous as all heck.

I will update this afternoon with the E2 results and whether or not I'll be triggering tonight or tomorrow. I really hope it is tonight. I really, really do.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


OHSS has been in the back of my mind. Especially now, since I'm in lots of discomfort. Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation syndrome happens when your estrogen gets too high. Your abdomen swells with fluids (usually after the retrieval), and your body goes berserk. If it is mild, you can drink lots of Gatorade and hope it goes away. But, if it is severe, you are put into the hospital for 7-10 days with a tube in your abdomen to drain the fluid and an IV to keep you hydrated.

I am 99% sure that I developed OHSS after my last ER. In fact, I think it happened BEFORE the ER, since I was in so much pain, and because they found a whole lot of fluid when they went in to do the collection. Then I had those really, really bad cramps later on in that week, also a sign of OHSS.

I am getting worried about it because my estrogen is pretty high (that is why I have to "coast" or not take my medicine tonight), and my discomfort level is rising as the day (now night) goes on. It hurts to go from sitting and standing, and walking is bothersome. I am almost feeling how I felt before my first ER -- and that was miserable.

Here is hoping all stays well. I'm still really excited!

Day 11: U/S and B/W Almost there!

I woke up this morning feeling rather bloated. Despite the discomfort, I am taking this as a good sign, since bloating means big ovaries, and big ovaries means lots of follicles.

My appointment was at eight in the morning. I went in to a rather busy office. A nurse was trying to explain to a woman who spoke no English that she would be getting an internal ultrasound. That was amusing. I was taken into the exam room and saw Dr. K. today. He's always pretty funny. The lights turned off, and I watched on the screen to see how my progress was going.

What I saw nearly made me cry. Good tears, not bad ones.

There are lots of follicles! They've been keeping track of only six of them until now, but today, he measured most of them, and there are at least fifteen from what I saw. The biggest ones are around 19mm (I thought I saw one that was 21mm), and there are a handful that are around 13-16mm. I think this is when I started to get emotional. I never got to watch my ultrasounds before, so seeing all of those follicles reassured me that it is going to be okay. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. One of those follicles contains a part of my baby, I just know it.

When he was done, I saw the screen with the follicle count, and there were fifteen measured that I could see, unless it went onto another page. Dr. K. told me that we will probably be doing the retrieval on Saturday or Sunday. This is probably to let all those 13-16mm catch up some. They should be around 19mm for the ER. When I asked him how many follicles he saw, he said, "Millions! There were millions of them!" Haha. I'll just ask the nurse when she calls back later today with my E2 numbers.

It is said that each mature follicle (16mm and up) should produce 200 units of estrogen. I an anticipating my E2 to be around 2,000-3,500 or even more than that. Hopefully, it's in that range, since that would mean that my follicles are carrying good eggs. Of course, I'll update later when I get the phone call.

So, if my ER is on Saturday or Sunday, then (if I have enough embryos to make it to a five day transfer), I will be transferring on day of or the day after Thanksgiving. If I can only make it to a day three transfer, then I should go in on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. I'm gonig to take the whole day off so I can stay on bedrest and relax after the transfer.

I am so happy. :)

UPDATE: Nurse S. called back to tell me that my E2 level is...
...4016! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Hahaha. She told me that this is GREAT, and that I am not going to take my shots tonight. Instead, I'll take the antagoist shot tomorrow morning, then come back in for another ultrasound and bloodwork. I also asked her how many follicles the doctor measured this time, and she told me he measured at least 25. 25! I was off by ten whole follicles! So, this is great, great, great, great news! Yay!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 9: Ultrasound and Bloodwork

I had a really early appointment today. Getting up early sucks.

The ultrasound went well. Dr. Y. was really surprised to see how many follicles are there. He said I still have 20+ on each side, and they are measuring six of those right now. On the ultrasound, they look really great. There are so many! He is happy with how I am progressing and said they'd probably start seeing me more often.

When Nurse A. called me to tell me about my bloodwork, she said my E2 has risen to 1026 and to keep my doses the same for now. I thought I was going to come back tomorrow morning, but they want to see me on Wednesday, probably to let my follicles grow a little more. She doesn't have an estimated egg retrieval date yet, but I am going to guess it'll probably be over the weekend. That also might mean my transfer (if all goes well) will be on Thanksgiving. Wheeeeeee.

But still, I went from 400 and whatever to 1026 in two days! That's great!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Three Shots Now!

Here they are! From left to right: Ganirelix, Gonal-F and Menopur. The trio that will get me my baby!

Day 7: Bloodwork and Ultrasound - Holy Wow.

Last night, around 8pm, I realized I totally forgot to make my appointment for this morning's b/w and u/s. Oops. I called and left a message as soon as I remembered that I had forgotten, but of course, the office was closed by 8pm. So, I made the executive decision to show up at the office ass-early today, at 7am, in hopes that they would have time for me. When I got there, the office was completely empty, except for the receptionist. This is strange, since the mornings are usually busiest at a fertility clinic. That is when you need to get your ultrasounds and bloodwork done, and trust me, there are a TON of women who need this done every day. But today, it's empty. So, of course, they could see me.

 The nurse who saw me today was joking that the schedule must be off, since they are usually very busy on a weekend morning. She took my blood and asked me how I was doing. I told her that I was "feeling it" since this morning I woke up very bloated, and my pelvis feels heavy. As I've already been through this twice before, I know that means that my follicles are a-growin' even if it's still pretty early in my stims.

 After bloodwork was done, I was put into an exam room. Soon after, Dr. W. came in to do my ultrasound. I told her I was excited to see what was going on in there. When the ultrasound began, she measured my uterine lining first, then turned the wand toward my ovaries. The first thing she said was, "Wow!" And there, on the screen, of just one of my ovaries, were lots of round follicles, growing nicely and evenly, from what I could see. She laughed and said, "You are really going to start feeling this soon." To which I replied, "I am already feeling it, trust me." Then she joked around and added, "Well, when it comes time to count ALL of these, you may as well take a nap, since we are going to be here for awhile." That's a great thing to hear, really.

 She also asked me if I was going to freeze any this time. I told her that I want to, but I've never made it that far before. And she said, "Oh yeah. Well, I think you this time around." She checked on my other ovary, and that one is doing just as well as the first. When the ultrasound was over, I asked her how many follicles I have so far. She said the biggest ones are around 11mm at the moment, but I have, at least TWENTY follicles ON EACH SIDE. Of course, she reminded me that all of these probably won't grow or hold mature eggs, but she's very optimistic that a good amount will.

I have never had TWENTY on each side before. At the most, I've only ever had maybe fifteen combined. So, this is great to hear. The doctor said that depending on my e2 levels, they may want to see me back tomorrow, because of how many follicles I have growing.

 She would like to see /any/ rise at all of my e2 level, but of course, if it has sky-rocketed, they will have to drop my dose and keep an eye on me. With this many follicles, OHSS is definitely a factor and something they'll want to avoid. Not to mention, it's something I would like to avoid, as I don't want to end up in the hospital for Thanksgiving. I will update later this afternoon with my estrogen levels. :)

***UPDATE*** My e2 rose to 430, and I now have about six measurable follicles (ones that are big enough at this point to matter). So, that's not so bad! They raised my menopur from one vial to two vials, and I start the ganarelix tonight, then tomorrow morning and every morning after that. So, now I'm at three shots a day. Party on!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ultrasound and Bloodwork #1

The doctor said these words: "Lots of eggs! You are doing, really, really, really, really well." And then we bumped fists.


More later!

UPDATE: My nurse said that they measured four follicles that are about 5-6mm right now, but I had a bunch of little ones as well that should grow. I'm still waiting for my blood work results. Today, I had to get stuck twice. One draw at the doctor's office, the other at LabCorp for my pre-surgery draw. That's still a week away, so don't get all excited just yet. ANOTHER UPDATE: Blood results are in. My E2 only rose up to 164. Ideally, it's supposed to double everyday, and it obviously did not do this. So, my doctor wants me to up my Gonal-F from 187.5 to 225, and keep my Menopur at the same dosage. I'll go back in on Saturday for more bloodwork, and another ultrasound, and hopefully my e2 will have risen by then.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Video Blog: What I do every night at 7pm

This video is sideways because my droid, although I am recording with the phone vertical, likes to process the video as being horizontal. Stupid phone.

Anyway, this is what I go through every night at 7pm. Soon, I'll start giving myself a shot in the morning too. That's three shots a day for up to fourteen days. Fun stuff, right?


Day 3 bloodwork results

My E2 was 129, which is good! I am going to stay on my current dosages and go back on Thursday for an ultrasound and bloodwork. I'm excited to see what is going on in there! Grow, eggies, grow!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Numbing Fear

I had to get this out of my head and onto paper, so to speak.

Deep down inside, I am terrified of this cycle failing. I have all the hope in the world that it won't, but I am beside-myself-scared that it will. I just keep thinking about how I am going through all of this all over again, and how nothing has worked before -- so why would it work now?

And then I yell at myself for thinking this way. And I wonder if it would be best to just pour myself into this round of IVF and really, truly believe it is going to work. But then I get afraid again, because if I make myself believe it will work, and it doesn't end up working, then I will be as crushed as ever.

I don't know what I should do. Cautiously optimistic makes me scared too. I just don't want my heart to be broken again.

So far, this is not fun.

This is only my second day of stims. I am doing 187.5 iu of Gonal F, and 75 iu of Menopur. So far? It has sucked. Yesterday was my first night giving myself the shots, and an hour later, I had severe cramping, and then developed a headache. Then, my anxiety level went through the roof, and I ended up crying myself to sleep.

 All of today, I've felt sick. I've had a constant headache since the morning, and extreme fatigue. I went home from work a little early so I could sleep it off, but I was woken up from my nap. My anxiety level is still really high, but not as bad as it was yesterday.

I have my bloodwork appointment tomorrow. Hopefully, they will maybe tell me I can lower the doses some, since this is torture already, and I still have 10+ days to go. I am so terribly irritable, and I don't want it to affect my life or my job.

Ugh. I'll update tomorrow with blood test results!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 1: Appointment

Today I had my appointment with a doctor at the clinic. She went over how this protocol is going to go, and gave me my schedule of doom. My ultrasound checked out great. I have no cysts. Before the birth control, my AFC was (at least) 42. This time, it was (at least) 48. 48!!!!! And she said that was probably being modest. She's expecting we'll get more eggs this time based off that alone, but we will see. Anything can happen, as we saw my last two attempts.

She said we are going to be more aggressive this time around, and because I'm not on a lupron protocol, we should be able to get more eggs than last time. She suspects I was being over-suppressed my last attempt, and that is why I didn't get a lot of eggs. Hopefully, without the lupron, it will go better this time around. She also mentioned that because I have such a high AFC, that I should respond well to the stims. In fact, I should have responded well to a low dose, and now we will be using higher doses.

Again, I am feeling much more hopeful. Especially because my AFC looks great compared to what FCM said I had my previous cycle (they claimed I only had 10, but my doctor thinks they might count a different way than SGF does).

Oh, and sadly, FCM continued to play run-around games with B and I when it came to getting paperwork/files from them. So, B went into the office today and got the papers from them himself, since they keep claiming (and who knows, it might be true) that they sent us the files in the mail...twice...and they never got to us.  Whatevs!

I'll get my bloodwork results in tomorrow, and I'll start my stims on Sunday if all still looks good. :) Here goes nothing!