Monday, August 19, 2013

Cycle results/update

Sorry to anyone who has been waiting on an update for this cycle who isn't my immediate family that already heard the news that our cycle did not work. I had to check-out for a couple of days and tried not to spend much time online, then things were busy buying our new car, and then we went out of town.

So sorry to keep you hanging, but I found out on the 10th that our cycle was a bust when I started my period before I even went in for my blood pregnancy test (beta). My clinic has a policy that you still have to come in for your beta to make things official, since some women can have bleeding in early pregnancy. I had been testing at home for a couple of days and had negative tests, so I knew that the beta would be negative, and it was. Even though it was expected, it was still hard to go to the clinic that morning to be poked yet again for nothing. I took a couple of days to be sad and then I decided to move forward and not dwell on the failure.

Even though the cycle wasn't successful in that it resulted in pregnancy, we still had a lot of successes. We got 8 eggs. 7 were mature. 5 fertilized and made it to day 5. We also found out that we had 2 that were still growing on day 6 that were frozen (the other 2 had stopped growing). So all in all, things went so much better than our first IVF cycle and we made a lot of progress. I actually have hope again that this could work for us. Unfortunately, it is going to take trying again (hopefully just one more time) and moving forward. The other option is to give up, which just isn't really an option right now. This journey has been long and we have had so many bumps along the way, but I know it will be worth it when we have our baby.

I had a follow up appointment with my doctor last Wednesday and we decided to go ahead with another fresh cycle. We are going to keep our 2 blasts frozen for now and will hopefully add a couple of more to be frozen for more cycles in the future. My doctor still thinks our best chance for success is with a fresh cycle, so we will start over again. I will do the same protocol as last time with hopes of at least the same, if not even better, results. I will start my Estrogen Priming around Sept 2, assuming my body cooperates and I ovulate on "schedule" this month, since the timing of the next cycle isn't really solidified until ovulation is confirmed for this cycle. Hopefully I will start stimming around Sept 8-9th and ER will be around Sept 20th or so. We are planning a single embryo transfer (SET) again if we make it to day 5 again. We still feel very strongly that the risks of twins or high order multiples isn't worth transferring more than 1 for now and my doctor is on board.

So in the meantime, John and I are trying to have some fun and relax and enjoy the break from meds and shots and doctor appointments. We got our new car and took it on its first adventure this weekend and headed to Acadia National Park in Maine. We had a great time and we love our new car (Toyota RAV4). My back is mostly healed from the accident and all of that stress is nearly behind me. The weather had been beautiful in New England and super mild and we are loving it. So things are pretty good and that is what we are focusing on for now.

Acadia National Park-Maine

Friday, August 2, 2013

Day 18/Transfer Day

We just got back from the clinic (yay for traffic) and everything went great at transfer. They were running an hour behind, so the waiting wasn't fun, but not so bad. We transferred one early blastocyst and the other four were all still growing as of today and will be frozen tomorrow if they are still good quality, so we are still hopeful to have one or more make it to freeze to transfer in the future. They will send out a letter tomorrow so we probably won't know until early next week.

The next 10 days are probably going to draaaag by for me, but hopefully I can stay busy. Thanks again for all the love and support.

Here is our baby's first photo:

5 days old :-)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day 16-17

Talk about the longest 5 days of my life. Waiting this week has been tough. I am trying to stay busy and distracted, but it's hard. I feel like my mother instincts have already kicked in and I am constantly thinking and worrying about my little embabies growing in the lab. Wondering if they are ok, if they are growing, if they are safe and being well taken care of. The nurse told me that no news is good news. Well no news is still nerve-wracking. But my goal through this whole cycle is to focus on the positive and to be as peaceful about all if it as possible. Not worrying about the what ifs and what could go wrong, but focusing on how it could all go right. I want it to finally be our turn and I want to move forward with this next stage of our life.

My embryo transfer is scheduled for 3:00 tomorrow afternoon. I will go in for a 30 min acupuncture session prior, then will check in at 2:30. Hopefully the OR is running on time so I can have another 30 min acupuncture session post-transfer (but the lady leaves at 4:00, so if the OR is behind and I'm not done before 3:30, I will go back Sat morning for acu). There are some studies that say pre- and post-transfer acu sessions increase implantation rates. I want all the help I can get.

To get an idea of what is happening to our embryos, click on the link below and watch this video from Boston IVF (our clinic). They use a special Embryoscope Incubator that allows them to watch and evaluate the growth of the embryo while it is incubating. This cuts down on the handling of the embryos and can help preserve their quality. In conventional techniques, the embryo is removed from incubation and placed under a microscope and then put back. This takes that step out. Pretty cool, right? This particular embryo was from conventional IVF, where the sperm fertilizes the egg naturally. We did a procedure called ICSI, where they actually inject one sperm into the egg, as this increases fertilization rates. But the development to blastocyst is the same. Our embryo/blastocyst will be about 125 hours old when it is transferred, so it could be anywhere from 60-120+ cells by that time (which is why in the video it becomes impossible to distinguish the individual cells). There will be an inner cluster of cells that is the baby and the other cells will become the placenta. So there's your biology lesson for the day. :-) We will transfer the highest quality embryo/blast and then freeze any remaining that are high enough quality (sometimes they let them grow one more day before freezing).

Anyway, thanks again for all the support and well wishes. It means so much to us to have so many people rooting for us. If you can send a little extra love/prayers/positive vibes or energy to the universe or whatever it is you feel comfortable with around 3:00pm tomorrow, I would really appreciate it.