Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Yesterday was our 3-day transfer. The clinic was running right on time, so I was happy not to have an extra-long wait like I did last time. I did a 30-minute acupuncture session and right after they checked me in and took me back. Transfer is a lot easier than retrieval and much less involved. No IV, no fasting, and John got to be in the room too (though he did get to wear a sweet surgical outfit, hair net and all).

The doctor on duty talked to me about our embryos and told me we still had both and they were both 8 cells, which was great (most embryos are between 4-10 cells on day 3 with 6+ being more ideal). The embryos are also rated based on fragmentation. Just because an embryo has some fragmentation doesn't mean it won't grow into a normal and healthy baby. We had one fragmented embryo and one embryo with no significant fragmentation (which they said had a "high likelihood of implantation). We decided to transfer both because the risk of multiples is still pretty low, although not impossible. It felt like the right decision for us and we knew the likelihood of the second making it to freeze on day 5 was very low, so we wanted to give it a chance in hopes that it would grow better in its "natural environment." I don't know if that's really true, but it makes me feel better anyway.

My clinic doesn't require any strict bed rest, but I have been mostly on bed rest the last 2 days. I did another 30-minute acupuncture session right after the transfer and then we came home and I have been on the couch or in bed pretty much since. Tomorrow I will probably be up and about more, but I still can't lift anything heavy or do any strenuous activity. I am trying to focus all my positive energy on one or both of our embryos snuggling in cozy for the next 9 months. The next couple of weeks will be nerve wracking yet again, but I am going to try and stay busy, distracted, and positive.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

ER/Fertilization report

Yesterday was egg retrieval and we got 6 eggs. That was consistent with the ultrasounds I had been having. Overall it went fine, except when they could get my IV in on the first try. Yay. I woke up in the same amount of pain as usual, but this time I didn't have them give me any IV pain meds. Last time I ended up super nauseous from that, so this time I just took extra-strength Tylenol and I was ok. I would rather be in a little more pain than have the nausea. It was funny because I was telling one of the nurses when I first woke up that the pain after ER is the worst part of IVF. Then I corrected myself and told him that dealing with my insurance, specifically Aetna Specialty Pharmacy, was the worst part of IVF. I kind of went off for a minute and a few minutes later when I was more with it, I had a good giggle about it.

Anyway, today I got the call that only 2 of the 6 fertilized. Not the best report and not nearly as good as last time, but 2 is better than none. We will definitely be doing a 3 day transfer on Monday (my clinic requires at least 4 embryos to push forward to a 5 day transfer) and we will transfer both if we still have both. I am trying to focus all my positive energy into our two embryos growing and staying strong over the next few days if you want to join me in my positive thinking. :-) But nobody should call me because if my phone rings, I will get nervous it is the lab calling to say they didn't make it. Maybe this is the worst part of IVF, worrying about my little embryos and hoping we make it to transfer.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

IVF #3

Well I have been a huge blog slacker. Sorry to anyone who has been waiting for an update. I really do want to journal this process, for my own records and so I can easily share our journey with friends and family. I was in a pretty long funk though for awhile leading up to this cycle. I found it hard to get excited about doing it all again. I am so thankful to have another shot at this and to even have the opportunity to do IVF. The whole process is very draining though. I was excited that try #2 went so much better than try #1, so I thought I would be more hopeful going in to this cycle.

Anyway, I started stimming on 9/7. After 4 days of stims I already had a lead follicle at 14mm and then a 12mm and a 10mm so they started me on Ganirelix on stim day 5, which seemed pretty early to me. That meant ordering more Ganirelix and paying out of pocket because my insurance will only cover 4 vials in a 30 day period. I used 3 before the cycle even started as part of my suppression with estrogen priming. Luckily my nurse was also able to give me a couple of samples, so it wasn't too outrageous. Oh, and if I haven't mentioned here before, I absolutely hate Aetna and especially Aetna specialty pharmacy. I won't go it to the whole long story, but know that if I had any other choice, I would not use them. They have caused me a lot of added stress this cycle with messing up my medication order.

With having a lead follicle so early, there was talk I might trigger as early as stim day 9, which seemed too early for me. Luckily things slowed down a bit after starting the Ganirelix. My sister Rachel came for a long weekend visit and I would have been super sad to miss out on some time with her if I would have had to have my retrieval while she was here. It all worked out though and we had a fun weekend enjoying Boston, Plymouth, and Martha's Vineyard. I had a couple of monitoring appointments while she was here, but those were early enough that she was still sleeping when I got back.

So I ended up stimming for 11 days and triggered last night. I have 6 follicles between 14-23mm so hopefully we will end up with 6 eggs. There were a couple of small ones too (less than 12mm) so it's possible one or more could catch up. It's also possible that one or more of my follicles are cysts and don't have an egg at all. My estradiol level was low and slow to rise again, but it finally started doubling every 24 hours, so hopefully all is good there. I've really been trying not to stress or obsess about the numbers, but of course that is hard.

Egg retrieval is tomorrow morning. This is the first time it will be on a weekday morning, so we are scheduled early and will arrive at 7:00 for a 8:00am ER. Traffic is crazy headed north on weekday mornings, but we will leave at 6:00 and hope for the best. I will take it easy all weekend and we will either have the transfer Monday or Wednesday, but we are hoping for a 5-day transfer again.

I can't say that I am as excited as I should be, but I am feeling better than I was a couple of weeks ago. Having Rachel here was a much needed distraction and has helped lift my spirits. Maybe I will be more excited when we get lots of eggs tomorrow and hear a great fertilization report on Saturday. Each step of this process is stressful though, so please send all your positive thoughts and vibes our way that the next few days will bring lots of good news.

Rachel and me dipping our toes in the ocean at Martha's Vineyard at sunset

Me and Rachel in Boston at the Harbor