Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Renewed Sense of Hope

Yesterday evening we had a consultation with a different clinic in our area. I'm so glad Michael pushed me into making and keeping the appointment. Although not as geographically convenient, Dr. D. and his nurse were light years ahead of the last clinic in terms of compassion, knowledge and personality.

Dr. D, who closely resembles Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters (yes, I had to Google that), actually has 10 month old twins born from IVF so clearly he understands the emotional roller coaster of infertility.

He reviewed our records and had the same major question we did, why didn't Dr. K increase my stims mid cycle? Dr. D was not only concerned about Mike's low motility, morph and testosterone, but also his volume is low so in turn his count is low too.

Dr. D also expressed some concern over my elevated FSH of 10.7 (follicle stimulation hormone). He really likes to see it at least below 9. He also said my AFC of 9 (antral follicle count) wasn't where it should be for my age which could be Decreased Ovarian Reserve. Thankfully, he did a dildo cam ultrasound and counted 13 antral follicles. He mentioned, it will likely be higher but since I've been on birth control for 2 weeks my ovaries are suppressed. Dr. D also mentioned my AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) number is normal.

I got a little worked up when he was talking about decreased ovarian reserve and Dr. D calmed my nerves saying all labs read things slightly different and the numbers they get could be different. I definitely felt much better after the ultrasound and hope when I go back for CD3 blood work my FSH will fall into the normal range too.

Overall, he said they would do the Microdose Lupron protocol and not have me on BCP for more than 10 days for risk of over-suppression. He said they will also be very aggressive with the stimulation. They would also do ICSI and he feels overall our embryos have a better chance in their lab as they are very 'type A' about every detail. Dr. D's words, not mine.

My next steps include stopping the BCP and waiting for my next period to go in for CD3 blood work and ultrasound and moving on from there.

I'm so glad we got a second opinion and Michael and I both have a new sense of hope. We can only pray this cycle works and brings us a little miracle.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hello IVF #2

The last 12 days have been a living hell. IVF on its own is a roller coaster of emotions, but IVF with no embryos to transfer is a whole new mind game.

Its like a grieving process, you go through second guessing everything, finding someone/something to blame, self diagnosis and research and then finally acceptance. Google is like the little devil that sits on your shoulder and tells you to "just Google one more thing".

At times I wasn't sure who was having a harder time dealing with this, although we both dealt with it in different ways. Michael had the Google devil on his shoulder while I cried a lot. I found a lot of comfort with the girls on the Infertility discussion board on the Bump. I believe Michael found his comfort in research.

On Tuesday we went to see Dr. K for our WTF appointment - as in what the fuck happened. He addressed all our concerns without us really needing to ask. Since he's been doing this for 20+ years I'm sure he knew what would have been asked.

Essentially, it boils down to my medication doses. I'm considered a poor responder and I wasn't stimulated enough. They thought I would have had more mature eggs at retrieval. He didn't see a need to do any further testing at this time because he thinks if he ups my doses the next time I will have more mature eggs and more to fertilize that will make it to transfer. He seemed confident he'd have me pregnant by Christmas.

As part of our grieving and the Google Devil, we also looked into a couple other clinics. We've agonized over whether or not to switch clinics for at least a full week. In the end, we've decided we would have a consult with the new doctor but in the meantime, I'm starting my BCP for my second IVF.

I finally feel like the grieving, anxiety and tension are behind us and we can move ahead. We should have a good weekend. I have a hair appointment followed by Notre Dame football game and then a birthday party for a friend on Saturday. Sunday should be our normal routine - Mendards and the grocery store.

Blog Awards

1. You Can Only Use One Word!
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. Have Fun!

The Survey~
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your hair? blonde
3. Your mother? caring
4. Your father? FrankieJ
5. Your favorite food? shrimp
6. Your dream last night? blur
7. Your favorite drink? water
8. Your dream/goal? Baby
9. What room are you in? cube
10. Your hobby? scuba
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Mother
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? shy
15. Muffins? pumpkin
16. Wish list item? maid
17. Where did you grow up? Illinois
18. Last thing you did? coffee
19. What are you wearing? earings
20. Your TV? Samsung
21. Your pets? Dogs
22. Friends? Awesome
23. Your life? STRESSFUL
24. Your mood? Tired
25. Missing someone? Michelle
26. Vehicle? Ford
27. Something you’re not wearing? socks
28. Your favorite store?
29. Your favorite color? Green
30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Yesterday
32. Your best friend? Michael
33. One place that I go to over and over? Work
34. One person who emails me regularly? Marcia
35. Favorite place to eat? Kaminari

Bloggers I want to past this award on to:
Some Womb Thoughts
MyIVF Reality
Thoughts from an Overwrought Mind
JME's World

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I'd really like to know if the embryologist got to tell my embryos I love them. I will never get that chance. They never even got the chance to come back to me. They didn't make it. The one stopped dividing, never made it past a two-cell embryo. The other kept fragmenting. I don't even know what to say I just wanted a chance and its gone.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Transfer Cancelled

I cannot believe this happening. About 15 minutes before I was supposed to leave for the embryo transfer I get a call from one of the embryologist at Dr. K's. She tells me the embryos aren't ready for transfer. WHAT? Of the two that fertilized one is progressing slowly, it should be a four cell embryo by now, but its only a two cell. The other one has fragmented. She said it could be fragmenting to get rid of the bad cells and still turn around. She made it perfectly clear that she is not telling me they are not viable, she is waiting for the embryos to tell her if they are viable or not. Must be nice to be able to talk to embryos - please tell them I love them.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Embryo Transfer Tomorrow

So after sitting on pins and needles since yesterday, I got a call at work from the nurse at Dr. K's office saying she had some good news. Our two embryos are doing very good and ready for a 3 day transfer tomorrow. She said we'd have the opportunity to sit down and talk to embryology to discuss the other eggs/embryos. I will keep praying that these two transfer back, snuggle in and make themselves at home.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Only 2 Fertilized

I just got the call this morning that only 2 of the 7 eggs retrieved yesterday were fertilized. We are beyond disappointed and hope those 2 make to transfer. When I spoke to the nurse this morning she thought it would be a 3 day transfer, meaning Tuesday. I'm heartbroken.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Egg Retrieval This Morning

After 13 days of stims, many trips to Dr. K's for ultrasound and blood monitoring, I finally got the green light to trigger on Thursday night for Saturday retrieval. My stomach has enough welts and bruises and I'm emotionally drained.

Mike administered my Novarel trigger injection at exactly 9 pm on Thursday night. The shot itself didn't hurt, but I woke up several times throughout the night because I was laying on my stomach and the injection site was sore. By sore I mean, sensitive to the touch, even the water in the shower, hurt.

On Friday I was wearing my new pair of 7 jeans that I scored for a deal on RueLaLa. Boy was that a mistake. They hit me a bit higher on the waist for 8 hours I cursed myself for wearing them. Although they looked wonderful with my red patent leather Enzo pumps. The price we must pay to look cute.

Based on my last ultrasound on Thursday morning - early morning - 6:30 early morning, they saw 9 follicles, four of which were already mature and they figured after a couple more days and the trigger a couple more would catch up. I told Mike I was convinced somehow we would end back up at 7.

Saturday morning the dogs got up about 5 am for breakfast and to go potty. Mike got up with them, had a couple of left over pieces of pizza and came back to bed. I'm always hungry when I first wake up, however due to the ER this morning, I wasn't able to eat or drink after midnight. As gross as it sounds, Mike came back to bed with pizza breath and it made me even more hungry. Dare I say, it smelled good?!?

We slept for another couple hours before getting up and getting ready. Mike was lucky enough to be able to produce his semen sample at home. Once he was done, we hopped in the car and headed to Dr. K's. This was the first trip I've been on with Mike and his semen and I've never seen him drive that fast with so much fury and frustration for red lights and slow drivers.

We arrived at the office and after the poky receptionist checked us in, our nurse Janet took us back to the embryology lab for the procedure. Because I've had so many surgeries throughout my life, I'm hyper-sensitive to smells and sounds in medical settings. I thought I was going to pass out and all I had to do was sign the consent form. After 'emptying my bladder' and changing into my gown, booties and hat I was transferred into the pre-op room where they started my IV. Mike and I sat there quietly holding hands for a while until it was time.

At 9:05 am I kissed Michael goodbye and headed into the procedure room and just about lost it. I told Terrence, the anesthesiologist he needed to put me out and the sooner the better. He took my instructions, quickly put the blood pressure cuff on my right arm, the oxygen monitor on my left index finger and the heart monitors on my chest and said he was giving the good stuff.

After it was over, they brought me back to the pre-op, or now post-op room and Mike was sitting there reading the newspaper and happy to see me. He said he heard me laughing and then crying as I was being transported back to his company. I have no idea why I was laughing or crying for that matter. I continued to cry for a few minutes longer before realizing I really had no idea why I was emotional, so I stopped. Then I realized I had the hiccups.

After dozing on and off for a few minutes I started to come back to reality. Terrence brought me some water, extra strength Tylenol and some animal crackers and let me tell you, those were the best damn animal crackers I've ever eaten. They were so good Mike ate like half of them and had to sneak up to get a refill.

Soon enough I was getting dressed and being wheeled out to the car. On the way home, we did all our normal Saturday morning errands, with the addition of getting more dog food. I of course waited in the car.

I've been home for a couple hours, watched two movies (Coyote Ugly and Something About Mary) and have taken a nice little nap. Its now time for the Notre Dame game so I will go snuggle on the couch with Mike and eat some left over pizza, if there is any left and tonight I will be sure to say a little prayer tonight for my 7 eggs.