Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I was just getting coffee....

I was just getting coffee and who do I run into but the embryologist and a manager from my clinic. Now I should mention that I work for a hospital and the IVF clinic is in the building right next to the hospital and everything is connected so really it should not be that weird to see them. BUT, what made it weird is that it was a few minutes before 9 - the time he said he would be checking on my 5 little embies and calling if there were problems. I SO badly wanted to ask how everything was going but with a co-worker at my side and being at the coffee shop I thought that would be inappropriate. Now that it is 9:10 and I still have not heard from him I am assured everything is still ok, right? I mean, really, how long can it take to check on some embies?? Did I also mention the irony here, that I went to get coffee to distract myself from the phone call that I am hoping does not come and who do I run into??? I think IVF has successfully taken over my life.

On another note, we are all fortunate that I got "good" news yesterday because a series of events that went down after work could have taken a much different toll. Let me explain: I stopped at the CO-OP to pick up a few items for dinner, parked my car, shopped and returned to my car. Sounds all good, right. Well as I was returning to my car a "MOM" sporting her Oh so stylish Baby Bjorn while driving got out of the car parked right next to mine and got in the back seat of her car to strap in her newborn. She was on the passenger side of my car and I was waiting patiently for what seemed like forever for her to get the kid situated before I even started my car or attempted to pull away. Then, as she is about to get out of the back seat I hear a thud. Yes folks that was MS. NewMOM smashing her car door into the side of my car. Did she even look my way or attempt to apologize - Oh no, she was way too concerned with maneuvering herself with the strapped on kid out of the car. Did I mention there were many, many open spots in the parking lot so she did not have to park right next to me. My questions are:

1. Does having children cause some peoples brains to go to mush and forget all common sense and courtesy? Should she not have at least acknowledged her mistake and apologized?
2. Is the fertile world out to get me and not let me into their club just yet?
3. Why does anyone still use those Baby Bjorn things - really, I don't care how comfortable they are you look like a fool wearing the harness sans child and they look impossible to operate. Personal bias for slings here - no need to set me straight since it won't work
4. How could she do that to Goldmember. Explanation: Goldmember is my 1993 Volvo that I love. She (yes, I know Goldmember really cannot be a she but it is my car so I can name it as I want) is named for her brilliant shade of, well gold. Actually it is more Champange but does anyone make a movie about Champangemember, I don't think so.

Well, now that it is 9:24 and I have effectively distracted myself form a phone call I am still hoping not to get so I better get back to work.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The fert report

The waiting in IVF and well, infertility, is almost unbearable. I could watch my chest rise and fall with each heartbeat while waiting for the call. Since this is the place IVF #1 crashed and burned we were obviously quite anxious. At my clinic the morning after ER call comes in at 7 am. Last time is came at 6:47 and this time at 7:04. Fortunately the new this time was a bit better.

15 eggs retrieved
13 mature and ICSI'd
5 fertilized normally

O.K. - breathe a little sign of relief. He did say the fert rate was low and they shoot for at least 65% but I am just happy that any made it at all. Also, the egg quality was a bit better than last by some inner shell in my eggs was a bit hard to puncture. Since my DH already has compromised swimmers could this be our problem? I guess I am still looking for some explanation.

Now I have my next item to obsess about - making it to the transfer. The embryologist said that 98% of fertilized embryos will make it. I guess that is a pretty good odd, right? Although I can't help but remind myself that nothing else goes as planned so why would I not be the 2% that fail. Then I have to worry about grading - does it ever end?

Well, on the bright side - this is the closest we have ever come and we now have 5 little ones incubating. Let's hope they hang in there and want to meet us on Wednesday.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Well, the retrieval went well - 15 eggs total, 8 on the right and 7 on the left, I think, although I was a bit spacy. The drugs they give you make me talk a lot and I am glad my husband is not in the room because he would continue to tell me all the "funny" (read embarrassing) things I said. Apparently this time I talked about how I dress my dog up for Halloween and how I want chickens. I have no idea where that came from, other than the fact the I do really want a few chickens someday. It is a bit of a sore spot with my husband and I because we do live in a pretty big city and have a city sized yard and chickens are, well messy. But I grew up in the country and we always got our eggs from the farm and it is just so much better. Anyway - I have NO idea where that came from because we have not discussed chickens for quite some time. I fear what else I may have said.

So now begins the official freak out for me. At this point in IVF #1 we got 7 eggs and only 4 were mature and none fertilized properly. They don't know the reason for the lack of fertilization but the embryologist said my eggs were highly fragmented. My FSH score is 7.4 and E2 was in the suitable rang, my ovaries are of good size and I have a good antral follicle counts so what else could be making my eggs of poor quality, if in fact they are? Some scenarios the embryologist suggested were the medications used for stimulation or suppressions or some inherent sperm defect since we do have to ICSI to get any fertilization. I just hate all the unknowns in the process. I will say that this cycle was so much better than last - no headaches, more eggs, good E2 - on day 4 of IVF #1 my E2 was only at 29 and this time it was at 182, so I seem to be progressing better. I do really hope that is the case. Perhaps it was the acupuncture??

On a final note - I must add that my clinic is so great. I really feel like Dr. Bowtie (note - today was the first time ever in 2 years that I have seen him w/o a bowtie b4 he changed into his IVF outfit - very, very weird) wants me to get pg, not just from a fiscal perspective but because he is such a great person. The lab folks are so personable, even as they prick you, and the IVF nurse/tech is just so caring, skilled and has a great personality. Not to mention that the CNP/Midwife I love so dearly was there today and she stopped in to reassure me after the procedure. They really are great people.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Trying to get trigger happy

Well, it looks like to trigger is tonight and the retrieval is scheduled for Sunday. I hate the whole daylight savings timing snafu and I will not be assured that we have it figured out until I hear that I did not ovulate prematurely. I am supposed to trigger tonight (Friday) at 9 pm and retrieval is scheduled for Sunday at 8. Does that sound right? I think that is 36 hours later taking into account the time change. This is the first time in my life I wish I lived in one of THOSE places that doesn't have daylights savings.

The stats for this cycle are continuing to look good - My E2 was at 1500 or so and I have about 15 follies that are ripe and a few others that are too small. My lining is currently at 11 and I think I saw a triple stripe. I have one last acupuncture appointment tomorrow morning and I think that will help me even out a little because I am starting to freak out and worry again about fertilization. DH keeps saying that worrying is useless because it will not change anything, and even though he is oh so rational and right I have not convinced myself.

On another note, for those of you reading this that I know, we got some good news with DH's father. He had his 6 month scan and his cancer has still not come back! Yeah! I hope this can be a trend we continue to see!

Can't sleep.....

ARGHHH....There is nothing worse, well at least at this moment, than not being able to sleep. Since my mind is racing, I am blaming it on infertility and all the stresses of IVF. In truth, I just ate a huge dinner out at a fancy restaurant with friends and consumed too much alcohol and food and am probably sleeping a little lighter than usual, but if I didn't wake up to obsessing thoughts of how miserably IVF #1 went I would probably be able to fall back asleep.

In truth, IVF#2 is so much different than #1. The first time I used the long protocol with lupron and 150 gonal-f in the morning and 75 menopur in the evening. From the 1st injection, I felt the lupron suck the life out of me. On day 4 of meds, my E2 was only at 29, so, basically I was still suppressed. They upped my meds a bit but I only managed to muster out 4 mature follicles after 11 days and non were of any quality. Although my E2 started to climb and continued to do so, I felt, well, funny. I usually have follicle pain and I had little, not to mention any signs of rising E2 such as the CM. Dr. Bowtie wanted to continue because he thought that with my age, 28, I would have high quality eggs. Boy was he wrong. The 4 eggs were highly fragmented and even with ICSI, none fertilized properly. I didn't sleep at all after the transfer and when the embryologist called the next morning, I think my subconscious already knew what he was going to say. It was funny how it happened though, if one must find humor and irony in the situation. Let me explain, I was making my dog his breakfast of scrambled eggs (yes I make him breakfast everyday) when I got the call. Not only was it like the scene from Sex and the City where Charlotte gets the exact same news while making Harry eggs for breakfast, but as I was scrambling eggs as he was basically telling me that my eggs were scrambled. My husband, mr. cycler, was out for an early morning ride to try and ease some stress but he wasn't feeling it so he came home after just a few miles. It just sucked and we were not prepared to hear that in addition to MF we may have another roadblock - poor egg quality.

The phone call with the embryologist left us with more questions than answers and I had to wait a full week and a half to sit down with Dr. Bowtie to get answers. That is the worst part - the waiting. Dr.'s wonder why we spend so much time consulting with Dr. Google and the truth is that we needs answers, even if they are not bonafide they are at least a distraction. I think Dr. Bowtie sometimes thinks I am having an affair with Dr. Google, but if he only made himself more available to my insane questions 24 hours a day I would not have to look elsewhere to fill my "needs". Anyway, the embryologist told us that we could have a problem that would give us a chance of mutation (read: birth defects) and that could be part of our problem. We were worried about being dropped from the cost share, wondering what to do next and basically had a week to freak out before anyone clarified anything. In truth, we found out that there are no solid answers to our questions and the only way to see if this is a problem is to try again with a different protocol. It was at this point that I looked to the blogs for answers b/c I could NOT be the only one out there with this problem, could I? And if others had similar issues what did they do to combat them?

So, that brings us to IVF #2. This time there is no lupron. I also had been going to acupuncture weekly, drinking a nasty herb decoction, seeing a chiropractor, got healing touch, and didn't work out too vigorously. At the clinic where I was getting acupuncture, the practitioner always acted like she was disappointed in me that I could not come 2x's/ week as she requested, so I quit her and sought out someone else. I have been seeing the new acupuncturist 3x's now during the stimulation and it seems to be countering the bad side effects and helping me relax. Not too mention, I do have 16 follies and a solid lining - now let's just hope the eggs are of some stellar quality. With my next appointment - day 11 - tomorrow to check the status of my follies and my lining and hopefully set my retrieval date for Sunday I am starting to loose sleep over this whole thing. I can't help but feel that since I started taking the ganirelix I have slowed down my egg production and this could be problematic. I also worry that I am going to long this cycle since last time I started slower but triggered already. I keep going between the two scenarios - no fertilization poor eggs and complete fertilization good eggs. The thing about IVF is that there is always something to obsess over. The process is a series of steps that you need to get past before you can graduate to the next obsession. As I have learned from my fellow bloggers, it doesn't end with a positive beta either. When does it end? Ever? Infertility has definitely scarred me and I don't think I will ever recover entirely. Once you take home that well deserved baby you start all over again. Even if you don't want to have additional children, you still know that you can't and that robs some of your womanhood.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Clinic + Me = BFF

I love my IVF clinic. Our friendship was rocky at first, but now we are BFF's. You see, when I started this whole fertility treatment thing I just went with my OB/Gyn. He has a specialty in fertility and they even do IUI's, but I wouldn't need that anyway because a few months on Clomid and I will be pregnant. Well, I was kind of right, I did get pg on my third round of Clomid but miscarried shortly there after. I stuck with them through 4 or so IUI's - 3 with injectable meds, but nothing happened. One of the CNP's then suggest that I get the ball going on IVF and since she used to work for a IVF clinic she thought that we could ease into it by having my DH get the ART SA. Little did we know that would change things, a lot. The SA came back with 1 - 2% morphology using Kruegger's and low motility and viability. The nurse just kept saying, the emryologist recommends IVF w/ ICSI. That was a huge blow. It was at that moment that I lost my, "maybe next month" optimism.

I switched clinics shortly thereafter and I was not so fond of this new clinic. The receptionist didn't smile, the nurses were straight to the point, and did the dr. really know me??? I must admit that I was being a little hard since I just left what I thought was the best clinic in the world - a place where they let me have a say, didn't shun my desire to involve acupuncture, herbs and relaxation, and were friendly. The new clinic was scary and I didn't know anyone and I was there for business purposes only. It was kind of like going from jr. high to high school and I thought my fertility days would never be the same.

The first thing my new clinic did to really set me off was put me on BCP, even though we did not have anything scheduled!!! Looking back on it, I was more angry at the situation then them. My husband just started working after years pursuing his PhD and we were just starting to get established. HOW COULD WE AFFORD IVF??? The new clinic didn't pressure me to get the ball rolling, rather they humored me through all my stages of realization and were right there when I was ready to make the leap. Also, I realized that they do IVF really, really well and once you join that club you get your IVF Letter Jacket and get to play the game rather than sit on the bench.

IVF Update
200 Follistim - morning
1 pre-filled syringe ganirelix
150 Menopur - eveing

Baseline E2: 9.4
Day 4 E2: 182
Day 6 E2: 714
Day 6 Follies: 12 total - 6 on each ovary - all about same size
Day 9 Follies: 9 on right and 7 on left - largest is at 15 and smallest at 6

I feel very different this cycle compared to last, which is good since that one resulted on zero fertilization. I go back Friday and am hoping the retrieval will be Sunday.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Trying to change my M.O.....

O.K., so I am not the most optimistic person, but I have to say I have made some progress. When I was at my acupuncture appointment today, which happens to be located in a Yoga studio, something amazing happened. I was waiting in the lounge for the person before me to finish up and all of a sudden I looked up and saw a herd of pregnant ladies moving toward me. Yup, a herd, about 7 total all rushing to, what I later learned, is the bathroom. Normally, I would scowl at them and hunker into my poor me spot, but amazingly, I didn't. Instead, I said to myself, oh when I am pregnant I would like to take prenatal yoga, how relaxing. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY CYNIC SELF???? Normally these drugs make me extra crazy and not even the least bit nice. Not too mention that I am taking 3 of them now - Follistim, Menopur and Ganirelix. If this is a side effect, I think I can deal with it. Who knows, maybe it is the acupuncture?

Tomorrow I go back for my 2nd ultrasound and 3rd E2. I am kind of nervous and hoping that all 12 little follies are still happily growing and that perhaps a few more joined the party. My clinic does not call unless there is a problem and so far they have not called. I think they do this to attempt to leave the patient to have a life outside of their office, but it doesn't work. I obsessively look at my cell phone all day and refuse to go to the bathroom because they may call at that moment and who want to hear me pee or flush. Finally at 4:30 I start to feel a bit of relief because the office is closed. I did say I am making some progress, and I am obsessing a bit less, but I still cannot let go.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The first post...

Well, what can I say - I finally made that leap and set up my own blog. I can't say I entirely know what I am doing, but hopefully I can't do any harm. A little background - I got into this whole blogging thing just recently while going through our first and soon to be failed IVF. My husband and I have been TTC for 3 years and despite 1 miscarriage, I am convinced the HPT industry is out to get me. We are know in the midst of our 2nd IVF and I feel as if I should finally contribute back to all the other infertiles since I have spent so much time reading about their lives, and at times wishing their successes were mine. I have been just a 2nd string blog girl and I hate to admit that I do much more reading than posting, but I feel as if I know more about some of these ladies than I do about my own sister. To get you up to date, here are our 2nd IVF stats:

No lupron since that killed me last cycle, was on BCP but ovulated anyway so the cycle had to be moved up a week to coordinate with my belligerent ovaries
Baseline Estradiol: 9.4
Day 4 Estradiol: 182
Day 6 Follicle Count: 12 total - 6 on each ovary, all about same size

I am incredibly prone to cysts - actually, after last month I think they are actually not cysts but follicles that try to ovulate but can't because of the BCP's they make me take. Unfortunately my RE (Dr. Bowtie), who has a medical degree and "a few" years of experience, isn't quite so sure. I guess it is his word against Dr. Google.

On another note, does anyone else think it is odd that when you spell check your blog the work "blog" is not recognized? No I do not want to change it to "bloc", this is Blogger, isn't it??