Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another BFN and no more embabies :(

So, today, R got another BFN when she POAS. Still, we're now at 6dp3dt and it's early, early, early. She said that she asked all the OBs she knew about it and they told her not to worry - still plenty of time to get a BFP. She sent an email saying she was going for lab work tomorrow - I had told her that I would pay for her to have an early Beta test if she wanted to, so maybe that's what she's doing. She didn't specify in her message... I guess doing a Beta would answer our question with some finality, huh?

Dr. H left a message on my cell this week and B played it for me tonight. Apparently none of our little embabies made it until Saturday, so we have no back up. This is it - a one shot deal. Plenty of folks have had success on the first try, and I still have some hope that this will work out. R says that she's been a little off lately - feeling pukey and nauseous for no reason; nearly threw up at dinner tonight! Maybe that's the early hormonal changes starting up. I know that sometimes low grade nausea is the first symptom that women feel, even before a pregnancy test. So, we're still waiting - fingers crossed!! I'm not going to tell R that there are no more embabies... that would put WAY too much pressure on her and the stress might not be good if the embies are still deciding what they're doing in there. I'll tell her later - when we're sure about the status of this transfer.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

POAS - Take 1

R tested today and it was negative, but the ONLY women on SMO who tested positive at 5dp3dt were carrying triplets, so I don't feel too bad about it at this point. We'll see what the rest of the week brings. I'm not giving up hope unless we get a negative beta, but I just KNOW that this is going to work for us!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The 2WW is torture!

Wow... the waiting this time around is much, much worse than any other facet of this journey!! R actually POAS yesterday because she couldn't stand it any more. Of course, it was negative... only 2dp3dt! She'll be starting to do it regularly on Wednesday, I believe. OMG, I can't wait for that first BFP!! We talked yesterday morning about it, and it worries me that she's going to feel SO bad if she gets a BFN instead, when really there's nothing that she could do to influence that. She stayed on bedrest for about 36 hours; it's the age of my eggs that's in question here. I hope the fact that I've always been very fertile will help us out here. I took the DHEA daily for the 6 months leading up to transfer and, according to that report in the fertility journal, 3 months of taking DHEA improves fertility of older women to the point that it's virtually indistinguishable from that of a woman 5-10 years younger. Part of me desperately hopes that's true... but a huge part of me is terrified that we'll get triplets if that's the case!! Plus, I read yesterday where use of ICSI can induce splitting in embryos - it increases the chances of splitting to about 9%, up from less than 1%. How's that for something else to worry about?!

I leave out tomorrow a.m. for Fort Sam - 2 weeks of OBLC. At least I'll be busy a lot of the time and won't be able to worry too awfully much about the embies. (yeah, yeah, I'll worry anyway, I just can't let it affect me adversely while I'm in training!) She'll call me once she's tested... if she gets a BFP on Wednesday, she'll call me immediately; if it's a BFN, then I am sure that she'll test for a few more days to be sure, and/or wait for our first beta, which should be around the 7th of June.

I've been thinking all kinds of sticky thoughts!! It has never really sunk in that this might not work... everything has fallen into place just right; Bill has discussed this with "the boys" and I know that they're on our side; I know that we'll be seeing that BFP next week!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Transfer - at last!

Well, it turns out that today was the big day!! I called Dr. H this morning to check on our embabies. He told me that they were just checking them and he'd have to call me back - of course, I immediately assumed that they had all died during the night! He called back about 20 minutes later and said that they were doing very well, but they did want to go ahead with the transfer today at 2pm. They want to transfer 3, he told me - and he asked how we all felt about the possibility of triplets. "We don't" I said... "twins would be alright, but no one wants trips." They want to transfer 3 because of my age... I understand that, but what about "never transfer more than you are willing to carry" or "never transfer more than you are willing to raise"? At any rate, I assumed, like he told me yesterday, that he'd let R know, so B and I went out and ran some errands - I had 9 cats to spay/neuter for AAMC, and I wanted to be out of there by noon so I could head to Cary for the transfer.

My phone doesn't get a signal inside the AAMC office because the building is metal-sided, but when we came out, I had a message. I assumed that it would be from R, telling me that she was getting ready to head up for the transfer. It wasn't... it was from K, asking me to run an errand for her :(

So, I called R and ended up waking her up. She had not been called by the lab and had no idea that we were going ahead with the transfer. Yesterday, Dr. H called and told her that it was possible, and that he'd call her back this morning to let her know for sure - then he failed to do so. Seems like typical NCCRM... they may be great at infertility, but they SUCK at communication. So, I checked in with Dr. H to be sure we were still on - he said yes, at 2:00. I told him that no one had bothered to notify my surro, it's already 12:45 and she lives at least 2 hrs away. Don't worry, he reassured me, get here when you can ; we'll keep the embryos waiting until you get here.

Poor R had to drag out of bed and throw on some clothes, then head over. I packed a bag, grabbed the stuff that I've collected for her over the last couple of months, wrote a check for the phone and mileage reimbursements that I owe her, grabbed the transfer fee and threw it all together - then I headed out. We got here within 5 minutes of each other. I parked at the hotel and walked down because I knew I'd have to move both cars at some time; seemed easier to do it this way.

We were hanging out in the waiting room, chatting, laughing at our dhs who declined to be present... I wore a green shirt and my green SMO bracelet that says "Think Positive" in yellow (so I had on both lucky colors); R had a green hair scrunchy on, and was wearing the 4-leaf clover necklace that I gave her. Dr. H came into the lobby to talk to us. All 7 embabies are still growing!!! He chose the best 3 - all 8-celled, 2 are grade 4 (deemed to be perfect) and 1 was grade 3 (small amount of fragmentation). The other 4 embryos were 8-9 celled and grade 3, I think maybe 1 of them was a grade 2; they're going to continue to grow them out until Saturday, and if they make it, they'll freeze them as back up. He gave me a little pic of the ones we're transferring today. Our first baby picture!! It's absolutely awesome! He said they were running behind and it would be another 45 minutes or so.

An hour later, they called us back and stuck us in this tiny room with little more than an incubator (equipped with microscope) and an OB table. The lab assistant brought in a tiny petrie dish and placed it in the incubator; he turned on a light, adjusted the knobs and asked if we wanted to see the embies. They look so tiny!! I guess that they are - but they just looked so much bigger in the picture! As usual, they had R get undressed from the waist down (typical for any visit to NCCRM, I think). 10 or so minutes later, Dr. T came in. I've never met him, but I immediately liked him. He was casual, polite and very willing to answer any questions. There was NO "holier than thou" attitude about him. He explained to me that they wanted to transfer 3 embryos because of my age, and that it's really about equal to transferring 2 embryos from a younger woman. There is, he told us, a slight chance of twins, and virtually no chance of trips, but he asked if we had discussed what we would do if all 3 embryos DID stick. Well, I know that our contract states NO S/R unless it's life-threatening, but R and I both agree that we may have to rethink that. She doesn't want to carry 3, I don't want to raise 3; we're both praying that we don't have to make that decision. So, for now, we'll push it aside and concentrate on sending energy to the embies so that they can stick (at least 1 of them!).

Basically, the transfer was little more than a pap exam. They used a standard speculum, and Dr. T cleaned her cervix with huge q-tips and some clear solution (probably just saline). They sucked the embabies up in a 1cc syringe and attached a long, thin catheter to the end; they placed a wide u/s transducer on her lower abdomen and we could see her uterus and the catheter was also visible. He told us that he was going to deposit the embies at the thickest part of her lining, and wiggled the catheter around so we could see it. Then there was a --whoosh-- of white that almost immediately disappeared - and it was done. The lab assistant checked the catheter and syringe to make sure that no embies were left behind. She had to stay in a prone position for 20 minutes, then they let us leave.

I drove her car over here to the hotel, got her checked in and into the bed, and went out to pick up dinner. I got some McD's fries (just to hedge our bets... not going to discard any of the superstitions), and we had Ragazzi's. We spent some time hopping around on SMO, and I posted some information about our transfer. Now, we wait... the hardest part, I think. She's got to wait at least 6 days to POAS - I mean, she doesn't HAVE to wait, but that's about the soonest anyone could reasonably expect even a faint positive.

I've got everything crossed and I'm sending lots of energy to my embabies... stick, babies, stick!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Embryos --

Yesterday, B made tea, lit the incense and offered some pecan halves to "the boys". He's good at directing energy, so I know this will help!!

So, I called the embryologist at 10:30 this morning - couldn't stand it any longer!! I HAD to know how our babies were doing. The ended up using ICSI (which is our fault, really... since we didn't abstain for the 3 days as "requested" - we only had 36 hrs before he had to produce the sample, so it's no wonder that his counts were a little low). At any rate, all 7 of them fertilized, and as of this morning, they were all at the 2-4 cell stage and dividing normally. The embryologist said that they look good so far. He's going to recheck them tomorrow morning and see how they're growing. Our transfer date is based on how the little embies are doing in the petrie dish. If they are growing well, we wait; if not, we go ahead with the transfer. Right now, we're tentatively scheduled for 2pm tomorrow, but that may changed based on what he sees in the morning. He's supposed to call me at 9 or 9:30 so we'll know more then. I hope they all continue to grow!! Wouldn't that be GREAT?! To have all 7 make it!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Retrieval disappointment

B and I decided to go up and stay in Cary last night. There's a Comfort Suites right next to NCCRM, and he was going to need the hotel room for his "contribution" anyway. We got a HUGE room with a king-sized bed, a work area and a kitchen for only $64 (NCCRM's special rate). We went out to dinner at Friday's and then just kind of hung out the rest of the night.

At 8:15, we walked over to NCCRM and I checked in - B picked up his sample kit and went back to the hotel. They didn't call me to the back until 9am and didn't take me into the OR until just after 10. After the midazolam and fentanyl, I kind of lost track of what was going on, but the last time I saw the clock it was 10:20. They told me that Dr. M showed up to do the retrieval at 10:40 and I was out shortly after 11. They brought B back to sit with me then, and finally the embryologist came out to tell me that they'd gotten 7 eggs. JUST 7!! I was so disappointed, even though they said that was good for my age.

I know that the HCG triggers ovulation after a certain period of time, and I wonder if we lost a few to that. I also know that not all follicles have eggs in then, but still... I guess I shouldn't be too upset. The girl that came out of the OR ahead of me had to be no more than 30 and they only got 12 from her. I saw a post on SMO where a couple used a donor in her early 20s and only got 5 eggs.

As B says, "it is what it is" and I need to stop stressing. I can't change the end number that was retrieved. We find out on Wednesday how many embryos we have - if we get 5, I'll be happy. I really believe that this will work the first time, but I'd like to have a couple of totcicles as back up anyway! On a positive note, I didn't like the idea of having to thaw out and destroy the remaining embies after we have the bab(ies), so maybe this is God's way of taking care of that for me.

It only takes one, huh? And I KNOW that this will work the first time!

I'm crampy right now, and have slept most of the day, but otherwise I feel alright. They want me to restrict activity for 18 days, like that's possible!! I just hope I don't torse an ovary and end up in the hospital during OBLC!! That would suck!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Just a quickie update

HCG was 109, which the nurse says is good; I have to be at NCCRM at 8:30 tomorrow, with retrieval at 9am. Finally!!

AT LAST!!

Today did NOT start out good! I had to be at work at 9am, so I showed up at NCCRM at 7:35 am. They open the doors at 7:45 and start the testing at 8am - I wanted to be SURE to be the very first in line - which I was. By 8:05, I was done with the blood draw and I sat, and sat, and sat. I figured that I could be out of there by 8:15, and at work by 9:15 - no big deal.

So, at 8:15, I asked the receptionist how much longer before they start the ultrasounds. "Oh," she tells me "they don't even come in until at least 8:30." I was SO angry!! If I had known this, I could have tried to make other arrangements for work - at least tell them not to schedule any 9am appointments!! So, I told her that I couldn't wait - I was leaving. I paid for the blood work then l left - got into my truck, backed out of the parking space then stopped... I weighed my choices - I can leave and get to work almost on time, and possibly ruin this cycle - or I could have the u/s and deal with any repercussions of being late. So, I pulled back into the space and went back upstairs.

I was out of there about 8:45 and at work just before 10. It wasn't that big of a deal - only 1 appointment at 9am and he was pretty cool about everything. BUT, it was a good thing that I went back up!!

My E2 today was 1744; I had 5-6 follicles in the desired range on the left side with another few mid-sized; on the right, I had 5-6 that were between 18 and 23mm, with more in the mid-range. My instructions tonight were to take 1 syringe of Ganirelix and 2 syringes of the HCG trigger. HERE'S where we ran into another problem!!

I was pretty sure that they pharmacy had only shipped me 1 syringe of the HCG trigger, but I called to be sure. Yep, the rep told me - they sent one. I told him that I needed 2 and asked how many were ordered. There was a pause, then an "ooohhhh" from him - there were 2 on the script but only 1 was shipped. He put me on hold then came back and told me that they shipped "1 syringe at the request of the customer". Oh, hell no!! I told him that there was NO way I would presume to override the prescriptions from the RE - I don't have that type of knowledge!!

In the end, he called around and managed to find it at a Walgreen's in Sanford, so I had to drive up there after work to pick it up. I took both syringes at 10pm, tomorrow I have a Beta drawn (just an HCG level), and retrieval is set for Monday!! We're almost there!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Looking good!

Another u/s today showed 4 follicles on the right that are within the desired range (18-22mm), with another 4 mid-sized and 1 smaller; on the left, there were also 4 within the appropriate range and about 4 mid-sized ones. Finally they're starting to really respond. This just might be over soon!!

My E2 was 1460 today, and we will continue with the same protocol - 15 Ovidrel, 200 Follistim, 1 Ganirelix. Back tomorrow for more of the same. Come on follicles!!! Grow, grow, grow!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

More improvement

So, my E2 is still going up - today it was 1009. My left ovary has 6 follicles measuring 11-21mm in diameter; the right has 7 that are between 11 and 20mm and another smaller one. That's better - at least I feel like we're making some progress.

Again, no change in my meds - 15 units of Ovidrel, 200 of Follistim and 1 Ganirelix. Wow, I'll be glad when the injections are done! My thighs are so bruised and sore!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Go estradiol!

E2 today was 790!! Hopefully my follicles are responding to the same degree! Tonight we continue the same as last night - 15 units of Ovidrel, 200 IU of Follistim and 1 syringe of Ganirelix. Another u/s tomorrow to see what my ovaries are doing. I'm getting tired of driving to Cary every day, but I guess there's not much other choice. SPWHC just wanted WAY too much for the monitoring!! $350/ultrasound!! Crazy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Moving along

My E2 today was 482 - I have 4 follicles greater than 10mm on my right ovary, with 7-8 more mid-sized ones and 2-3 small ones; on the left, I still only have the 2 follicles that are greater than 10mm and another 4-5 that are smaller. This is NOT the response that I had hoped for. I'm beginning to get discouraged, but they keep telling me to hold on - it's early yet.

They're increasing my meds starting tonight - 15 units of Microdose Ovidrel, 200 units of Follistim and 1 syringe of Ganirelix (which I found out is an FSH antagonist - it prevents ovulation due to endogenous FSH while a woman is undergoing ovarian stimulation with exogenous FSH). The Ganirelix burns like hell and leaves a bruise and a knot. Hopefully this will help with my ovarian development... I hate to think that I'm going through all of this for nothing!

Tomorrow is just a blood draw. Eman made a point of repeating that on my message tonight - "you do NOT have to come to Cary tomorrow"... LOL At least they learned.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I drove ALL the way up there...

... and all they did was draw blood for an E2 level. I was PISSED. I can have freakin' blood drawn here at the hospital - there's NO reason that I needed to go all the way to NCCRM for that! I bitched out a few people, then called after I started home and left the nurse a curt voice message that she needed to double check before she left me messages - being a contract worker, I don't get paid for time that I take off, and then there's the additional driving - gas isn't exactly cheap and my truck doesn't get stellar mileage either. Anyway, hopefully this won't happen again.

On another note, my E2 was 355 today; so we continue on the same protocol - 10 units of Microdose Ovidrel, 175 IU of Follistim - and come in tomorrow for bloodwork and an ultrasound. All I can say is, if I drive up there again tomorrow, they'll damn well do an ultrasound!! LOL

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Not sure if this is good or not...

My E2 today was 209; the u/s today showed 2 follicles at or just larger than 10mm with 5-6 smaller ones; the left ovary also had 2 follicles that measured at or just above 10mm with 3-4 smaller ones. Seems that only 4 of my follicles are really responding to the meds. That's NOT good. The nurse told me not to panic at this point, because it's still early in the process. They've increased my Follistim to 175 IU tonight, and they want to repeat the E2 and u/s tomorrow morning. Come on ovaries!!! Get off your lazy asses and do something! I haven't asked anything of you in more than 5 years now!!! I guess it only takes 1 good egg - I would just feel better of there were lots to work with!

I still feel that this is meant to be... everything is just falling into place too easily to be otherwise. I went to see my sister, mother and grandmother today for Mother's Day. My grandmother asked me to come into her bedroom and talk for a minute - she's giving each of her grandchildren $12,000, which is the largest cash gift you can make tax free in a given year. So there's half of R's compensation without effort!! See?? It's just meant to happen for us.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Finally... starting stims!

Oh, thank the good Lord that I'm done with BCPS!!! Maybe I can let go of some of this damn water! I've got so much edema! Just call me "Sponge Bobbi"!

Today was my initial evaluation at NCCRM; my estradiol was 32 and on the u/s, they counted 8-9 follicles on my right ovary and 4-5 on the left. Hopefully that will increase with the meds.

Tonight I started on 10 units of ovidrel (low dose hcg) and 150 units of follistim. Of course, in their effort to simplify dosing, they managed to make it much more difficult (IMHO). They've created this thing called a "Folllipen" which is a dispensing device - you load a glass ampule of the drug into the pen, dial your dose and inject it. Well, of course, I was sure that I could figure it out on my own (instructions? We don't need no stinkin' instructions!) and in the process of experimentation, I managed to waste an entire dose of the follistim (which I estimate to have cost approximately $125). What an idiot! Now, I'll probably have to get them to send me additional meds so that I can complete the cycle. And, of course, it's the one drug that Tricare won't even consider covering, so I had to pay it out of pocket... they sent about $1,000 worth, and I wasted a good 10% of it! IDIOT! Oh, well... spilt milk at this point.

The injections weren't bad - tiny needles... my next u/s and E2 is on Sunday a.m. (Happy Mother's Day) - hopefully it will be good!