Saturday, January 29, 2011

And Then There Was One

We got the call from the embryologist this afternoon and we have one. One single blast graded 4AB. The other 3 ceased to develop after 6 cells. The bottom line: I make really sh***ty eggs.

I'm not sure how I should be feeling. I'm disappointed, but at the same time grateful that we have at least one. I'm not a crying-type of girl and am usually pretty stoic, but in the past few hours I've gone through a myriad of different emotions and now, I'm just trying to figure out what to do next.

Should we do another cycle and try to get some more embryos? Do we just transfer the one embryo and call it quits? I'm really not sure...Doc wants to quit with this FET. Since we were able to get one blast, I'd really like to have at least two blasts to transfer back. I know I said that IVF #3 would be it, but damn, if that little thing called hope is making me a liar.

I guess we'll talk to Dr. Sur and see what he recommends.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Random Thoughts

It's now only two more days until we get the call from CCRM to let us know if we have any embryos left. It's been a torturous wait and as the day gets closer, the wait seems even more painful.

Part of me wishes I could just hide under a rock for a while until the call comes just so I don't have to deal with anything, but the world doesn't stop functioning just for me and because of that I have some items I have to deal with that have been hankering in the back of my mind.

1) I just got an invite for a baby shower "diapers" party for my SIL. She's expecting a baby boy (#2) in March and although this is her second baby, her friend and her sister have decided to throw her a "diapers" party...mind you, it's not a baby shower, it's a "diapers" party. WTF is that? My guess is since it would be rude to have another baby shower for baby #2, they're being slick and throwing a "diapers" party. What a load of crap (pun intended)...

2) One of my best friend's from college is due for her first in March. Luckily, she's on the East and there's no mandatory baby shower attendance.

3) Another one of my friends is due in June/July. I'll probably be required to go to her baby shower...

4) I went to my first rodeo while I was in Denver. They had the National Western Stock Show (mother of all stock shows) in town and since Doc and I had nothing to do, we went to the rodeo. My impressions? Pretty dang cool...Those cowboys are badass. Sad thing is I'm deathly allergic to horses (I found this out while taking equestrian in college for PE -- I took doped up on allergy meds before class) and in the middle of the rodeo I had to leave because my allergies started to get really bad. So I hung out looking at cows and sheep (not allergic to cows and sheep) while Doc watched the rest of the show.

5) I'm glad to be home...Although Denver is a beautiful city and there's a lot of good things, one of those things is not Asian food. I do not like asian-fusion and there seems to be a plethora of asian-fusion as well as combo-asian (Chinese-Vietnamese-Japanese). Seeing as those three foods are as different as Italian, German and French, I'm not sure how you can combine them together. I'm sure there are some good places that we didn't try, but we gave it our best by going to the ones that were very highly rated on Yelp and I was not impressed. I'm very happy to be back in the Bay.

Now, back to praying for that good report on Saturday...

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Numbers

After waiting by the phone all morning, we finally got the call which was bittersweet.

Of the 9 eggs retrieved, 5 were mature and 4 fertilized with ICSI. The remaining 4 ceased to develop. So, we have 4 embryos with which we'll  freeze on Day 5 (if any make it that far), do CCS testing, and then do a FET probably in March.

I'm happy and sad about the numbers. I really wanted more, but at the same time 4 is more than both previous cycles put together. I'm praying that these embryos make it...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Retrieval Update

I'm still recovering from the anesthesia, so I'm going to keep it short and sweet...9 eggs. No surprise -- right on target with what the ultrasounds showed us. So, now it's just waiting for tomorrow's fertilization/maturity report.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I'm finally triggering tonight! After 14 long days of stims, my follies are ready to be harvested and I'll be going in for retrieval on Sunday.

As of  yesterday's bloodwork, my estradiol was 2, 300 and at today's ultrasound, my stats were:

Right: 24, 23, 21, 21, 19, 12, 11
Left: 21, 20, 19, 11, 11, 10

So it looks like I'll get 9 mature follies with a few additional immature which I hope they can mature in their labs. Wish me luck for Sunday!!

Updated: Holy! My estradiol is 3,011! No wonder my ovaries feel like their about to explode. Poor, poor ovaries...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Slow and Steady

That seems to be my motto for this cycle. It's been 12 days and I'm still stimming. My estradiol levels have been consistently rising between 250-300 per day and approximately 1-2mm of follicle growth. I currently have 8 mature follicles and possible 2-3 additional small, probably immature follicles.

So, now what? Dr. Sur has me stimming for another couple of days with trigger on Friday, barring any unusual numbers. That means retrieval will be Sunday, a whole 4 days later than what we had originally anticipated.

We discussed our transfer options with Dr. Sur today and basically came to the decision that we would do CCS if we had more than 3 mature eggs and we will push to blastocyst regardless of how many mature eggs we get.

I'm so scared to hope for anything at this point. With our last two IVFs resulting in identical outcomes, I don't know what to think. Our numbers don't differ that much from our last cycle in terms of follicles and E2 levels, so I'm just hoping that the combination of longer stimming and lupron/HCG trigger will work some kind of miracle because God knows that's what I need right now.

Right: 22, 19, 18, 18, 18, 8
Left: 18, 17, 15, 8, 7
E2: 1,789

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Another Update

Sorry, my posts are not going to be very entertaining...Mostly just filled with a lot of monitoring mumbo-jumbo. Which leads me to my latest stats below:

Right: 13, 13, 12, 12, 11 (plus 2 <5mm)
Left: 11, 11, 11, 5
E2: 735

So far it looks like I have 8 in the running with 1 possible catch up and two that are way too small. I was hoping for more, but am thankful that all of them seem very close in size. So, no issues with a dominant follicles/follicles.

I'm scheduled to have my ER on the 20th, but I've been reminding everyone at CCRM about my immature eggs and telling them that I want to be stimmed for at least one more day, if not, a couple more days. During my last cycle, I stimmed for 12 days and that cycle was a huge bust. I'm definitely going to push for at least 13-14 days...That would put my ER at the 22nd or 23rd. So, I'm definitely going to be extending my calendar.

I'm also monitoring my E2 closely. I'm going to insist that I not trigger until I'm at about 2500. My last two cycles I was at 1,600 and 1,800 and the results were terrible. When I last talked to Dr. Surrey, he said with 10 mature eggs, he would be looking for E2 values between 2,000 and 2,500, so that's what I'm going to insist on.

I've been pretty complacent with my last two cycles and have gone along fairly well with what the doctors have suggested, but this time around I'm going to have to be my own advocate and go with my gut feelings.

As for my life outside of CCRM, DH and I have been spent our last couple of days in Denver watching matinees and going shopping at the outlets. The weather has been beautiful and quite warm, so there's definitely nothing to complain about on that end.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Where Are My Follicles?

I went for my first CC.RM appointment today and I had my Day 6 follicle scan. Looks like there's only 8...How I went from having 15 to having 8, I do not know, but that's what the NP told me this morning.

She did the ultrasound pretty quickly and didn't really seem to be looking for small follicles, so I'm hoping that there are a few more that are hiding around in there. But, the stats are as follows:

Right: 11, 10.5, 10.3, 8, 7.5

Left: 8.5, 8.5, 8

E2: 291 

I'm still plugging along with my meds, so we'll see if that changes when they give me a call this afternoon!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 4

After 3 days of 300IU Go.nal-F and 150 Meno.pur, my stats are:

Right Ovary: 9 follies (ranging from 4.6 - 7.9)
Left Ovary: 6 follies (ranging from 4.8 - 7.3)

E2: 70
LH: 3.2
Progesterone: <0.5

It looks like a better follicle count than my last two cycles, but the E2 is still a bit low, so I'm anxiously waiting to hear back from CC.RM to see if they decide to up my dosage or keep me the same.

And the last bit of news is that we leave for Denver tomorrow! Both Doc and I will be out there for the full 2 weeks and luckily, my work has been very understanding so I'll not be required to work while I'm out of state. I'm hoping that the rest and time away from work will help this cycle.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bloat and Other Cool Things Happening To My Body

First off, thank you everyone for your support!! I so look forward to your comments!

I started the stims this weekend and I feel the bloat setting in...I'm not peeing like I usually do AND even though I haven't been eating that much, I still feel very full (that's the most sure sign). I've been feeling like this since I started the estrace a couple weeks back but sure enough, it's getting worse. I don't even want to think about stepping on the scale because I'll freak out and if I freak out, I won't eat or I'll go on a mad exercise binge and I cannot do either of those things. So, I'm just going to take deep breaths and not think about how I feel.

I had one hell of a time with the Go.nal-F pen...The last two cycles I've used Foll.istim and since I'm a pro at that I thought the Go.nal-F pen would be a breeze. Not so much. I wasn't quite sure about the whole pulling-the-dosage-tab-thing. I think I may have not given myself the full 300 IU dosage the first time because I was afraid to pull the tab too hard. Second time around, though, I was prepared and I pulled that sucker as far as it would go out and I think I finally got the hang of it.

Can I just say that Meno.pur must be devil water! I always seem to forget how much that sh*t burns. I can't believe I pay $80/vial for that.

And my last rant, my face...It's dry and oily and zitty all at the same time. How does this happen? By the end of the day, my nose and forehead have a nice shiny sheen from having sucked all the moisture out of my cheeks and around my mouth. And then, low and behold, I have two beautifully matching red zits on my nose and chin.

I feel oh so pretty today.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Got the Green Light... begin the stims tomorrow night. The baseline ultrasound came back fine with 14 follicles (9 on the right and 5 on the left) and the bloodwork came back ok with LH at 0.5 and estradiol at 116. The estradiol is high because I'm taking estrace for the estrogen priming. So, I start stims on Saturday and then our flight out on Wednesday.

This is the highest antral follicle count I've ever had, so I'm pretty happy about that, but based on my less than stellar IVF cycles 1 and 2, I'm not counting my chickens based on my eggs.

As for CCRM, I'm really surprised at how thorough they are. I have an ultrasound and bloodwork appt every single day that I'm in Colorado. But, after my morning appointment, I'm not sure what I'm going to do while I'm there for 2 weeks! I think I'm going to go stir crazy...I'm arming myself with the full seasons of Dexter, Mad Men, and Big Love (I specifically saved all the episodes to watch while in Denver) and I'm bringing along a whole bag full of books.

After living in NY for 5 full years, I haven't lived in cold weather for more than a few days at a time and only to go snowboarding. I really hope it's not too cold in Denver. I think I'll try to think of this as an adventure, braving the cold for our possible progeny!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What's the 411?

Well, AF was right on time and she arrived yesterday. Strangely enough, though, without any of the usual pre-notification spotting. Don't know what to make of it, but I won't dwell on it, let's just get this show on the road.

We have confirmed plans -- finally. Our schedule is like this:

1/7 - first ultrasound and bloodwork
1/8 - begin stims
1/11 - second ultrasound and bloodwork
1/12 - flight to Denver!

I can't believe we're already doing this. It seemed like January was so far away when we were doing the planning, but here we are 2011.

Based on our discussions with Dr. Sur, we will be pushing to Day 5 no matter what. I sincerely believe that CCRM's lab is good enough that if they don't survive to Day 5 in the lab, they wouldn't have survived in my ute. Also, this way we have a chance of doing some testing if the embryos make it and/or if they don't. Either way we'd get some answers.

I can't even begin to express how scared I am to move forward with this IVF cycle. I've been trying to stay calm, but the closer I get to actually starting the stims, the more anxious I am. I can't even say that I'm excited...more petrified than anything else. I wish I could say that I am hopeful or excited or even happy, but I can't. I'm just downright scared, more scared than I've been in a very long time.

I really feel that we've done all we can to prepare for this cycle. I've researched. I've taken supplements. I've cut back on exercise and increased my food intake. I've done it all and more, so please, please let this work.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I can't believe it's already the new year! Doc and I spent the week in Tahoe snowboarding and skiing, hopefully, for the first and last time this season. The snow was amazing, probably the best I've seen this early in the season.

Now that we're back, I started my first shots last night of cetro.tide and started the estrace also. Oddly enough, just when I need AF to start, there's been no sight of her even though I'm on 12DPO...Usually I start spotting 10-11 days past O, but as life would have it, for the first time, I seem to have a full length luteal phase.

We can't even book our tickets yet to Denver until AF starts. I had anticipated having my usual 2-3 days of spotting so that I'd have early warning, but it doesn't appear to be working out that way. I'm so ready to get the ball started on this process. It feels like I've been waiting forever! I'm just hoping that 2011 holds some good news for us.