Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 15

Got the call this morning that all 5 of our embryos are still growing and doing well (the nurse even said they were above average) and we are going to do a 5 day transfer on Friday. Yay! I did not get much sleep last night. I did a lot of reading yesterday about the risks vs. benefits of transferring 1 or 2 embryos on day 3 and was feeling some stress about making the best decision. Now I don't have to worry about that at all, since we have known all along we would just transfer 1 if we made it to day 5. As much as having 2 babies at once would be great (you know, 2 for the price of 1) and I have no doubts about my ability to mother twins, a high-risk pregnancy really scares me. I am at an increased risk for preeclampsia as well as gestational diabetes, so a twin pregnancy would be extra risky. Not to mention the very small chance that one or more embryo could split and I could have 3-4. Yikes. So we are doing a single embryo transfer (SET) to give us the lowest risk of multiples. Best case scenario is we will transfer 1 and still have 1 or more to freeze for the future.

The next few days are going to drag so I am going to try and keep busy, not obsess over statistics, and keep hoping for the best. All of your support and positive vibes are so encouraging, so thank you so much.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Days 12-14/ER and Fertilization

Well we have had a couple of big days. Sunday morning was my egg retrieval and everything went really great. I felt much better going into than I did last time. Partly because I knew what to expect and partly because my follicles seemed better than before. Everything went very smoothly and we got 8 eggs! Yes, we went from 1 retrieved last time to 8 this time. So obviously a huge improvement. I also had a lot less pain after the retrieval, although I did have more nausea and the drive home after was pretty brutal (John thought I was asleep...I was just concentrating on not throwing up). I rested a lot yesterday and feel almost back to normal today.

We also got the call this afternoon that 5 eggs fertilized with ICSI, so another hurdle is past. So we have 5 little embryos growing in the lab. I will hear how they are doing around 11am tomorrow and then we will know if we will do a 3 day transfer on Wednesday or a 5 day transfer on Friday. If all 5 are still growing at a normal rate, we should be able to push to Friday. If any arrest between now and tomorrow and/or they are growing a little slow, then we will do the transfer on Wednesday. For now, we are planning to transfer one embryo back to lessen our risk of twins. We will decide tomorrow for sure, but if we only have 2 left by Wednesday and one or more is lower quality (therefore not likely to make it to freeze) then I would rather transfer two. I wouldn't mind twins as far as raising 2 babies at once, but twins means a high risk pregnancy and smaller babies and a lot of other factors I would rather not have to risk.

For now though, I am so happy and relieved and feel like this could actually work for us now.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day 10-11

My ultrasound today went pretty well and my follicles have grown. I have 7 follicles 15-22mm and one more that is little. Overall, my follicles have grown at about the same rate and are a lot closer in size than cycle 1. Hopefully this will mean more mature eggs at retrieval. My E2 also jumped to 600, so progress there too. I did one last night of stims tonight and will do my Ovidrel trigger tomorrow. Egg retrieval will be Sunday morning, so things are working out great. Hopefully my eggs continue to mature and my E2 keeps going up between now and then. I won't have any more ultrasounds or blood work though. So no more obsessing about numbers for me. Time to relax and prepare for the retrieval.

I am now going to the chiropractor 2-3 times a week for the next 4 weeks to try and fix my back issues from the accident. My x-rays showed quite a bit of lost curvature in my spine (meaning the disks don't have as much space between them as they should). It's possible I had issues before and the accident exacerbated things enough to cause me pain. Or maybe I just have a muscle strain. Either way, I hope to feel better in the next few weeks. I hope any back pain I have again will be pregnancy related. :-) He also said getting everything realigned could help in my IVF efforts as well. Silver lining? Here's to hoping.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Days 8-9

Today, I had a good ultra sound. My follicles on the left are 20.28, 17.92, 17.12, 15.4, 13.08, 12.33, 11.59 and I have one lone follicle on the right at 16.3. Yes, that's right, I have 8 follicles after 8 days of stimming. This is better than last cycle and better than a few days ago when I had my last check on Sunday (4 total). I am happy that more have popped up and am hopeful there will be some mature eggs in there somewhere (more than 1 would be an improvement from last cycle).

The less than exciting news is that my E2 (estradiol) is only 286. This is low. Lower than it was at this point last cycle, even though I have more follicles this time. There are many reasons why one will have low E2, but I am tired of googling and speculating because I just don't know so I am not worrying about it. At least it is going up. But the general target is 150-200 for each mature follicle. So it's possible there are not eggs in my follicles. Or that they are poor quality. Or that the Ganirelix is suppressing the E2 number. Again, no more speculating for me. But I am still hopeful it will start to go up and fast.

Next check is tomorrow morning, so at least I don't have to wait long. Trigger could be anytime between tomorrow and Saturday. I am hoping for tomorrow or Friday so I can have my retrieval on the weekend again. That works out so much better for John's schedule and so we don't have to spend hours in traffic. But I want to have the retrieval when it's best for my eggs, so if that means Monday, then of course we will make it work.

The other good news is my nurse is back. I feel bad because she was out sick for a week, so she must have been pretty sick, but I feel 100% better now that she is back. She is so amazing and she knows my history and she is always on top of things and she really is the best. I know nurses (and doctors) are people with lives outside of their jobs, but my doctor is also out of town so it was stressing me out to have all these "strangers" calling the shots.

I saw a chiropractor today for a consult and had some x-rays done. Tomorrow I go back for my first treatment. He went up and down my vertebrae one at a time and made all these notes to his assistant about all the parts of me that are "deficient." I just want him to help me with the back pain, but maybe my lazy ovaries will get a little help too? One can hope I suppose. I still haven't heard anything from the trucker's insurance. I hope they are excited about the rental car and towing storage fees they are going to get to pay. I'm certainly not worried about it.

That has been my mantra this week: don't worry. I have been trying to stay distracted and relaxed. Having a bunch of appointments at least gives me something to do. And driving is getting less scary.

And Kayla and Sam got a kitten. Isn't she cute?


Monday, July 22, 2013

Days 4-7

For my first IVF, I was really into the details of my cycle. I kept a notebook with all the info on my meds, detailed list of the dosages I took, my appointments, and a bunch of notes. This time, not so much. I am just kind of going with the flow and trying not to obsess about numbers. That is easier said than done, but I'm definitely being a record keeping slacker. Even with this blog. It think it is partly because I have been distracted by the car accident and the aftermath from that. I am trying to be proactive and do what I can do to speed things along, but really I am just waiting for other people to do their jobs (like the police report filed) and the other driver to file a claim with his insurance. Today I saw my PCP and she recommended I see a chiropractor, so I have an appointment with him this Wednesday. I am so hoping that I am not going to need any kind of long-term treatment, but I am still having back pain almost a week after the accident. She also says I have PTSD because I am having anxiety when I drive. I have no choice but to drive because I have so many appointments, so I am trying to manage that best I can and hopefully it will subside soon. More than the physical aspect, the emotional and mental part has been hard on me. I can't help but worry that all of this extra stress is going to effect my cycle negatively or the need for any treatment will delay things. So I haven't been online much and I'm just trying to take it easy each day, take my meds, and just chill out.

Anyway, as far as my cycle, things are going okay. I have 3 follicles on the left and 1 on the right and they are between 11-13mm. My E2 on Sunday was 104 (which I know sounds low, but up from 39 last Thursday). Hopefully my follicles will continue to grow together and my E2 will continue to rise and we will actually be able to retrieve 4 eggs. I know the numbers sound so low, but anything more than 1 egg retrieved will be an improvement from last cycle. For now, it doesn't seem like I have any cysts this time, so that is also good. I will continue stims for two more nights and have my next check on Wednesday morning. I also add the Ganirelix shot tonight, so I am now on 3 meds: Bravelle 300IU, Menopur 150IU and the Ganirelix. It seems a little early for the Ganirelix, but I am trusting my doctor and not worrying about those details. I am worried about running out of Menopur and Ganirelix though, since my insurance vial manages and limits the number I can get (they don't even give me what my doctor prescribes, weird and annoying) so I will likely need to order more and pay my $250 co pay again or pay out of pocket if they won't approve coverage. Also, my nurse that handles all that for me is not in and has been out for about a week now. I know, one more thing to worry about.

If you are reading this and you think I sound like a basket case, you are probably right. Just writing things down does help me feel better, but I know I need to not worry and just take it easy. I wish I knew the magical way to do that. I can't even go to the gym right now because I am not supposed to aggravate my back injury and walking for too long or even sitting for too long causes more pain. My doctor today said I could do yoga though and that stretching should be good for my back. Hopefully the chiro will recommend some other things too. I also might get a massage or something else this week. I went to acupuncture on Sunday and that helped and I will go again before the retrieval. But I do understand better now why the number one reason women stop pursuing fertility treatment is stress. Followed by financial concerns. But don't even get me started on that. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Seriously. On that note, the pool in my back yard is calling my name.

Oh, and for a little inspiration, I found this on Pinterest and have been repeating it to myself often the last few days.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Days 1-3

Well this cycle is off to a crazy start and I'm already behind with blogging. Tuesday morning I went it for my baseline blood work and ultrasound. Later that morning, I drove to Waltham for acupuncture. On the way home, I got rear ended by a semi-truck on the freeway. Seriously. I am ok, just very stiff and sore with primarily back and now rib pain. I had been stuck in stop-and-go traffic for almost an hour. Things started to pick up once we were past the work site, but then suddenly the cars in front of me stopped. I had to brake hard and fast and I honestly thought I was going to hit the car in front of me. I looked in my rear-view mirror just in time to see a black semi approaching at what I knew was much too fast and before I could do anything else, he had hit me and I was spinning across the road. Luckily, I didn't hit anyone or anything else (seriously a miracle). I was very shaken up and I never want to feel that kind of adrenaline again. I was able to pull my car over to the safety of the side of the road and then the driver of the truck came over and started yelling at me. This does not give me a lot of confidence about the way things are going to go. Hopefully it isn't too long of a process to get everything taken care of, but I don't have high hopes.

Anyway, my first fear was that this was going to interfere with my cycle. My nurse actually called while I was waiting for the ambulance and tow truck (yes, I went to the hospital to get checked out). She told me everything looked good from my baseline and that I was good to start stims that night. I told her I had been in an accident and asked her if I could still start. She said yes since my injuries don't require heavy pain killers or surgery or anything like that. I'm now more worried about how the stress of all this might effect the outcome of my cycle. I'm trying to chill out and not stress, but of course that is easier said than done. It doesn't help that it is ridiculously hot here and there is little relief. One silver lining is that the rental car has excellent AC.

I had my first ultrasound and blood work after starting stims today, and not much is happening since baseline. I have 5-10 small follicles (less than 12mm) on the left and then just one 12mm follicle on the right, so it seems all the action is going to be on the left this time.

My next ultra sound and blood draw is Sunday morning, and I will have stimmed for 3 more days at that point, so hopefully something more exciting will be happening by then. I also have acupuncture that day too. I also think I might find somewhere to get a massage to help with my back pain and help me with some stress relief too.

Join me in mourning the (most likely) loss of our little blue Subaru (we haven't heard yet if it will be totaled, but that is my best guess).

So sad
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Monday, July 15, 2013

Here we go again

Sorry to be MIA but nothing much has been going on. Just waiting. And I have been doing acupuncture. I have been to 3 sessions so far and am enjoying it (just not enjoying the drive to and from...I don't miss commuting). I see 2 different acupuncturists and both are great. They are very different than the lady I saw in UT, just different personalities, and different from each other. One new thing about my current clinic is one session I did cupping. This is where they apply cups to different points and suction them in place and leave them there, just like the needles, for 30-45 minutes.

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You can see my cupping marks a bit here. This was 2-3 days after my treatment, so they are much lighter here, but I was going swimming and wondered if you could still see the marks so I had John snap a pic.
Anyway, tomorrow is my baseline ultrasound and blood work and hopefully tomorrow night I will be starting stims again. I have been wearing an estrogen patch for about 6 days now and I did three days of Ganirelix shots Fri-Sun which is supposed to help "gently" suppress my ovaries (vs. birth control pill taken prior to the cycle, which may have over suppressed me last time). If my ultrasound and blood work comes back good (meaning no cysts) then I will start with 300iu Bravelle and 150iu Menopur tomorrow night. Then starts the every 1-3 days of monitoring which means early morning appointments and lots of driving. I will keep doing acupuncture as well and will have 2-3 sessions while I am stimming and will do a treatment right before and after egg transfer (of course hopeful we will make it that far this time).

I'm not as excited to be getting started this time. It's hard to be too excited about something that failed the last time you tried. But I am trying to stay positive and hopeful and all of that and not dwell too much on anything else. My protocol is different this time and I have to hope the changes will make a difference. The difference. So far I haven't had many side effects from the estrogen, but today I am really weepy. I don't know if part of it is being overwhelmed with starting the new cycle or what, but I have been crying off and on all day about silly little things. Mostly cheesy music and reading about friends getting pregnant (after years of trying). So not even sad tears. I will take it though if it means a better chance at success.

Also, we had a great weekend in NH and I got lots of relaxing in, which was just what I needed going into this next cycle, since the next few weeks will be a little crazy.
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John and I at the Flume Gorge in Franconia Notch State Park, NH