Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happy ICLW!

It's been awhile since I've participated in ICLW, so for all the new visitors...Welcome, and here's a little recap on my infertility journey. Warning: It's a long journey.

It's been 2+ years since my husband (Doc) and I have been TTC. When we started TTC, like most newbies, I assumed I'd be knocked up within months, but six months passed and I could tell that something was not quite right. My luteal phase was short. I had very light, 2-3 day periods. No existent cervical mucus.

So, I tried the alternative, natural methods first. Went to acupuncture, took delightful tasting herbal meds, started yoga, reduced exercise, gained weight...But all for nada. So, then I went to a local RE who does everything except IVF and with her we did two rounds of IUIs (a clomid and a letrazole cycle). I responded, but again we got the BFN.

After those three rounds, the RE was out of options and we were still unexplained, so she suggested we move on to IVF. She assured us we'd be pregnant in no time. Doc's sperm analysis was top notch. I was still relatively young (34). I responded ok to the meds. All the physiological stuff was a-ok. It was a no-brainer...on to IVF.

So, Doc and I bit the bullet and with hope in hearts we went to a local IVF RE who had the best stats in the Bay Area. We started with an antagonist protocol because I had done the clomid challenge and had just barely squeaked by. It seemed things went fairly smoothly. The only cause for concern was that my follies took a little longer in growing. But, by day 13, I was ready to trigger and I had 9 good looking follies for retrieval. Good news was I had 9 follies retrieved. Bad news was out of those 9 follies only 3 were mature and only 2 fertilized. We transferred 2 ok-quality embyros on Day 2 and got a BFN.

The doctor was stumped. He had only encountered this one other time and really didn't have any answers as to why this had happened. He suggested we stim for another day or two and do away with BCPs, which may have oversuppressed me in the beginning of my cycle. Doc and I thinking that this was just a fluke decided to give it another go.

Although we liked IVF RE #1 just fine, we decided to go with another well known local RE. He suggestion was to do a microdose lupron protocol with estrogen priming, but when I asked him about the extra day or two of stims, he said that it would not help to produce mature eggs and it would only cause the eggs to be overmature. We trusted his opinion and went with him and the result was almost identical cycles. We had retrieved 11 follies, but out of those 11 only 3 were mature and only 1 fertilized, so we had only ok quality 3-day embryo to transfer. Another BFN.

At this point, we obviously knew it wasn't a fluke and something was going on with my eggs, so we went to the best and headed to CC.RM for what we thought was our final cycle. We talked to our doctor there and decided that we'd push to blastocyst no matter how many embryos we had and we'd also push for CCS (if we had enough blasts). If this was going to be our last cycle, we really needed some answers. I knew that CC.RM's lab was excellent, quite possibly the best in the country. If we pushed to blast and we had zero embryos make it, then we knew there was quite likely an issue with egg quality and then at least, we'd have some closure.

Our third IVF cycle went very similar to our last two IVF cycles. We did an antagonist cycle, but this time we stimmed an extra day, growing my follies to over 20mm and letting my estrogen rise to over 3,000. We also did a double HCG/lupron trigger. We retrieved 9 eggs, 5 were mature and 4 fertilized. Of those 4, we had only 1 perfect 3-day embryo and that made it to blastocyst by day 6. We froze our one 4AB blastocyst and decided not to do CCS.

After this cycle, we decided to give CC.RM one more try. Our fourth IVF cycle was the same protocol but this time I also added in saizen. I reacted the exact same way and they let me stim for an extra day. At retrieval we got 11 eggs, 5 were mature and 4 fertilized (one extra fertilized late, but it didn't make it past day 2). Of those 4, we had 3 make it to blastocyst -- 4AB, 3BB, and a day 6 5BB. We decided not to do CCS because on day 5, when the decision needed to be made, we had only 2 blasts.

So, now this is where we stand...We have four blasts on ice and we'll be transferring two (4AB and 3BB) in a FET sometime in August or September. All I can say is that it's been a very long journey and it's changed me a lot. I'm not the same person I was two years ago. I wish I could say that it's made me a stronger, better person, but I can't confidently say that. I just know that my life will never be the same.


♥ C said...

Hello, Thankyou for my comment, wishing you all the best on your journey as well and I really hope you get you Positive soon!

ICLW #23

Kristin said...

Wow, you've really had a rough go of it. I hope your FET does the trick and your dream of parenthood is fulfilled.


Jes G said...

hoping your little frozen embabies decide to stick with you for the long haul!! best wishes!

Jacksmom said...

Life is never the same after IF, we're just not as innocent in believing how it all works out. It's scary. Hang in there, and best of luck with your FET! Happy ICLW!

ICLW #121

Mrs. Buv said...

Don't give up!! I'm sure we are all a bit different after going through this. :) -Randi ICLW

Jamie said...

Hello from ICLWland! Wishing you and your snow babies all kinds of luck moving forward.

Casey said...


I'm another ICLW bug. (New person here.) Best of luck, and ICLW hugs to you.


Anonymous said...

Hello from ICLW. I hope your FET is successful.

Anonymous said...

Happy ICLW! I'm hoping your FET goes perfectly & ends up with a sticky BFP!!! Hang in there! Your turn is coming!

Anonymous said...

hi - stopping by from ICLW

oh my... so have they diagnosed you? do they have any ideas why the problems?

OliveLEAH said...

How exhausting! Praying your FET goes well!

TurtleMama said...

Hi Sooz,
Sounds like you have had quite a journey. It was interesting to read about everything you did. It seems at every step you learn something new to add in to make the results a little better. I have a question for you. Is there a particular reason you are choosing to wait until later to do the transfer? Is it better for your body to have all those stim hormones out of your before you transfer? The good thing about going to CCRM after you had done the other places is they knew what they needed to tweak. With me, I am a blank slate and have no clue how I will react to the injectables. That's nice that you can enjoy your summer knowing you have your future babies waiting for you. Maybe our paths will cross in Denver. Wishing lots of luck to you too!

Veronica Tilden, DO said...

There is much you can do to help yourself if you are asking "What if my luteal phase is short?" And even if you've moved on to IVF. Supporting your overall health will support your menstrual health and fertility. Make sure you have plenty of fat soluble vitamins and minerals in your diet! Take a look at my blog for more info. Good luck!