Friday, July 31, 2015

Recombine Monthly Contributor Post!!

Here is the link to my newest Recombine post!  I had originally written this post prior to our retrieval and transfer.  I had submitted it for review and everything, then we got our embryo report from the embryologist and everything changed!  I had to quickly contact Recombine and have them delete my post because our situation had changed.  I want to say that this post is 100% my opinion and experience.  I'm not a doctor, I'm not medically trained in any way, and I know nothing about anyone's journey but my own!  Just my experience and my two cents!!  Enjoy! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Embryo Transfer Day

our first baby photo!

On Saturday I got a call from the embryologist that really threw me for a loop.  He said of the five fertilized embryos, that three had continued to grow and that there were two that were ideal for transfer.  If you've been reading for awhile then you know that we've always only transferred one embryo and have only ever considered transferring one embryo, that's just what we have been comfortable with and I never thought that I would even have to make a decision about transferring two, until Saturday...

Although we had three embryos, it sounded like our 3rd embryo may not be the best quality and we might even lose it.  Our embryologist, from the beginning recommended us transferring two.  He said that we have done the "safe" thing by transferring one embryo three times now and it has not been successful for us.  He said we need to seriously consider taking more of a risk if we ever want to be successful.  I admit, it was not what I wanted to hear, but I know that in his 31 years of experience, he knows what is best for each patient.  And I am paying him and our doctor for exactly that, their experience, they expertise, & their knowledge, for a successful outcome.  

So we took a risk.  We transferred TWO embryos!  It has been one of the scariest and hardest decisions we have ever had to make.  I was so sure that Joe was so against it and then when we sat down to talk about it, he said it is time to be more aggressive and we need to transfer two so I agreed. I didn't just agree to agree, I agreed because of many factors, but I think deep down in  my heart was the right decision for us.  Maybe I was just lying to myself for awhile that it was a bad idea.  

The idea of twins scares me and it is not at all what I want for us.  As much as we have gone through people might wonder (and probably judge me) on how can I say that, how can I even have an opinion of what I want, I should just take what I can get at this point!  But the risks are so much higher with a twin pregnancy, not to mention the financial strain it will certainly put on us after just building a new home and having a relatively large mortgage.  There are no guarantees that this transfer will work, there are not guarantees that it will even turn out to be twins, but there is a real chance that it could turn out that way.  We know that we can get through anything, together.  We have gotten through some extremely trying times in our relationship, just like everyone else has.

When I think about whether or not we made the right decision, I think of this quote:

The transfer itself went perfect.  We arrived around noon, changed into our hospital gear and got the show on the road.  It's about a 10 minute process.  They insert a speculum, clean the area with saline, then they place the embryos in a dish, they actually put them up on a big screen TV in the transfer room where were able to see them with our own eyes before they were drawn into the catheter.  Once they're drawn into the catheter it's placed and they are inserted back into the womb, they left the catheter in for 1 minute and the doctor said that both embryos placed right where he likes to see them. They drained my bladder with a catheter which hurt worse than the actual transfer itself! Ouch! We were then moved to the recovery room where we stayed for 1 hour and then released to come home. I am on bed rest today and will return to work tomorrow.  We will find out in 2 weeks if one or both of our embies decided to stick!  Fingers crossed!

Friday, July 24, 2015

IVFx4 Egg Retrieval

Happy Friday blogland!  I can't believe how quickly this week is going!  I spent most of my week traveling back and forth to Springfield and it was kind of exhausting honestly, but SO WORTH all of the extra monitoring and attention to detail.  So much different from my previous doctor.  

I got the call on Tuesday that my retrieval would be Thursday so on Tuesday night at 9pm I triggered (ovulation) and then got up bright and early Wednesday to make my first of two trips down to Springfield.  I needed to have my pre-retrieval blood work done so I made the 250 mile round trip for the 3rd time this week for 5 minutes of being in the office for a blood draw.  I got home and waited for Joe who I expected to be home about 6 or so but didn't end up home until after 8 so it was about 11:30 by the time we got the car loaded, got on the road, got some food, and finally made it back to Springfield (for my second time that day).  I was exhausted so I hit the hay pretty quickly for our 7:30 appointment.

the view of Springfield from our hotel room (our Capitol building in the background)

We got to the office at 7:30 on the dot and they got me back into the exam room right away to change.  Joe also had to wear scrubs since he would be in the room with me for part of the procedure. They put my IV in (only took 2 sticks!) and gave me a Valium and I felt great.  They got me into the procedure room and gave me the fentanyl and I went right to sleep.  Joe was able to watch the eggs in the lab on a TV screen as they were extracted and placed into the dishes.  He said it wasn't really easy to tell what was going on, but pretty neat to be able to watch.

Once I woke up they told me they collected 10 eggs (out of the 15 measurable I had at my last scan) which I am so happy with.  It's a pretty significant difference from the last egg retrieval I had where they collected 34 eggs, but I know that QUALITY over QUANTITY is better and I'm 100% happier with this outcome over the last time.  I know that my last batch of eggs were crappy quality after speaking to my new doctor and embryologist and I feel like that is a huge factor in why I have had 3 failed cycles.    
here's my post retrieval selfie at Cracker Barrel, I was starving but I hardly remember even going there!
This afternoon I got the phone call from the embryologist that 5 of our eggs had fertilized and another 2 had the potential to fertilize still.  He said there is a possibility we might have a 3 day transfer rather than a 5, so I could be going back down Sunday, but we are hoping our embryos grow stronger and we make it to a 5 day transfer.  Our embryos are also being monitored with the Eeva Test which we were lucky enough to be candidates for.  The Eeva test is a non-invasive testing done to embryos that helps an embryologist in the selection of the best embryo.  The test creates videos of the embryos as they develop which the embryologist can use to help determine which has the best quality.  This is a relatively new type of testing so we weren't sure if it would available to use, but we got lucky and were able to use it for this cycle.  Our embryologist said that he still grades them based on his own knowledge and uses the Eeva testing as a kind of back up to what he determines.  We even get a video of our embryos when they're done fertilizing that show them developing.  

I am feeling very hopeful about this cycle.  Whether we end up with a 3 day or a 5 day transfer, the 31 years of experience that my embryologist has keeps me confident that whatever he decides is for the best.  Although they are recommending that we transfer 2, we are still only comfortable with 1 embryo this cycle since we have a new batch of eggs (with hopefully much better quality), a new doctor, and the treatment of what we thought to be the issue of why I wasn't getting pregnant in the first place.  We are hopeful that this will be it for us! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

IVFx4 - Last Day of Stims

Hello blogland!  I thought I'd pop on and give you guys an update since I've had 2 scans/blood work appointments in the last 3 days and another tomorrow.  Friday's appointment went well.  They called and said that my estrogen was at 491 and I had 7 measurable follicles so they kept me on the current doses of the meds I am on and told me to come back Monday (today).  

I got up at my usual time today and made the 2 hour drive back down to Springfield in the heavy fog this morning and had another good appointment.  I ended up with around 15 measurable follices (ps. measurable is anything over 10mm) all measuring between 10-22mm.  They said they would call me this afternoon with instructions and I was really hoping for the phone call that said we could trigger, but instead they want me back down again tomorrow with one more night of stims.  My estrogen basically quadrupled and is at a whopping 2128, still within range, but certainly rising quickly.  The range is anywhere between 1000-4000 during an IVF cycle so we are sitting pretty as far as that number is concerned and we are right where he wanted me as far as follicle count goes so all looks really really good for this round.  

She said we should expect retrieval to be either Thursday or Friday this week and I should find out more tomorrow!  I really cannot believe we are at this point.  The time is flying and everything is going so well.  Although I have had to travel to Springfield multiple times in a row, I am glad they are watching so closely.  It's quite the difference from my last cycle where they only monitored me one day.  I have really high hopes for this cycle!  I'll keep you guys posted as I find out more! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

IVFx4 Update

I should definitely be charged with blog neglect!  I am sorry that I have been lacking in updating as quickly as I usually do, this last weekend was absolutely non-stop and I’m glad it is over!  We decided to have a garage sale on Saturday & Sunday and if you’ve ever had one, then you know how much work they are.  I made about $200 so I was happy with that, but really wish we could’ve agreed to just have it the one day, oh well, just happy it is over!

On Friday I had my doctor’s appointment at 9AM which meant I had to be up and moving and out the door by 7, that actually meant an hour of sleeping in for me which I gladly welcomed and took advantage of.  The hard part about switching doctors is you already have preconceived notions in your head about the way appointments and protocols work, and then you assume they all work that way.  I learned on Friday that is definitely not true!  Nothing major, but still different.  I got to the office, had my blood drawn, then was called into the room right away for the ultrasound.  The doctor was not in the room to perform the ultrasound, the nurse did it, took pictures and measurements, and then sent me on my merry way to be called later that afternoon.  Panic immediately set in, I had no idea if everything that the nurse saw even looked ok!  I texted a friend of mine who sees the same doctor and she said that I wouldn’t hear from them until about 2-3pm in the afternoon and they would call me with the plan.  I pouted for a brief moment and then decided, it is what it is, time to move on!

After my appointment I met up with a fellow TTC sister for breakfast!  I have never actually met anyone in person that I only know online, but it was wonderful!  We talked for several hours a small little cafĂ© downtown Springfield, had breakfast, and then made plans to meet again as soon as we could.  Her name is Gina and she is so sweet.   Gina and her husband are also treated by Dr. LdM so I was able to confirm with her too the way this was all working out was the way they did things.  It was very reassuring to be able to talk to someone who has already been treated by my new doctor.  Also, much to my husband’s surprise, she was not a Craigslist killer as he suspected she might be.  We found out that we both have appointments on Friday back to back around 10 so we are going to go for lunch afterwards.

So finally around 2:30 in the afternoon they called with the plan.  I have been instructed to continue with a decreased dose of Lupron, 5cc, 50iu of Gonal F, and 75iu of Menopur.  I started Sunday and continue at least through Friday.  So far everything is going well.  I’ve never had to do 3 injections at one time and I had never used Menopur before so that was a little tricky, but I watched a couple videos and feel more confident with it now.  Joe and I are both on Doxycycline as well.  I really have no idea when my potential retrieval will be, but will of course know more on Friday after my follow up appointment.  I would imagine early next week. 

So much about this cycle is different.  I’ve been trying really hard not to base anything on my past cycles because they aren’t really comparable.  They clearly have me on very low doses because of how well my body has responded to the FSH in the past.  Last fresh I was on 200iu of Gonal x day for around 10 days and I had 34 eggs, Dr. LdM only wants to see 10-15 eggs.  Even their ultrasound protocols are different so it isn’t really fair to this clinic or to myself to compare to my past cycles. 

I am still feeling very positive and at peace with everything.  Life really is good and full of many other blessings that we enjoy.  There was a brief upset in the balance for a day or two, but everything is back on track, I am focused on ME and MY cycle only and I have a very good feeling about the outcome.

I do want to share with you guys the link to my featured post for the Online Fertility Conference hosted by Miss Conception Coach.  For day 1 of the conference she featured my post about dealing with pregnancy announcements, a very tough part of infertility, but on that can certainly be dealt with and overcome.  Please check it out!

And lastly I unfortunately have to mention the loss of on our of most inspiring infertility warriors, Kirby, she was not a blogger, but she was huge in our Instagram community of TTC sisters and she unfortunately succumbed to the complications that she had after her lung surgery.  She was in critical condition in a coma and had been unresponsive for quite some time.  She passed on Monday and she will be so missed by so many.  Although I never met her in person, I had an extra soft spot for her in my heart and she was a pug owner, her baby Willow will surely miss her mama as much as her husband and the rest of her family who has to suffer from this loss.  Many prayers to all who have been affected by the loss of Kirby.  She was one of our biggest advocates for infertility awareness leaving notes around her city for anyone to pick up and read, spreading messages of awareness and hope and our entire community has been shaken by this tragic loss.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


I seriously cannot believe that it is already July!  I think I can speak for most when I say that this year is FLYING by and it kind of saddens me that every year I get older, the time just seems to go quicker and quicker.  So this is the month that we have been patiently waiting for anxiously awaiting.  I was just reflecting on our journey so far and it seems so surreal that at this exact time last year I was stimming for my first fresh IVF cycle, now here I am, a year later, and 3 IVF cycles later and we are about to hit it again.  I hope and pray that this is it.  

It has been about 9 months since our last failed cycle in November and although 9 months seems like a long time (and trust me, it is!) it was a really good, much needed break for both of us.  We had, what I feel like was a necessary amount of time to really, truly reevaluate our situation, get our second opinion, and find some answers before prematurely jumping into another cycle.  As much as I wanted to wayy back in January when I first started seeing Dr. Loret de Mola, I am so happy that he approached our situation the way he did.  Although I was really not planning on having to wait 3 months for a cycle (just like I did last year), it has been worth the wait.

We have been able to focus practically all of our energy on the house and I think that was a really important part of our healing process and our ability to move forward comfortably and realistically with another cycle.  It isn't just about doing an IVF cycle and getting pregnant, it's about being in the right state both physically and mentally, eliminating all the stress that you possibly can, treating the underlying cause of our infertility, and ultimately ending up with a healthy pregnancy and I feel like now we are finally at that place where that can be achieved.  I don't think we have ever been in a better place than we have now.  

For this cycle we will be comfortably settled into our forever home which is a huge step.  Right now the room that I plan to be our future nursery is kind of a catch-all room that I really want to get cleaned up and emptied out, when I look in there now, I get anxiety because of all of the clutter in the room and I think it would be a good place to maybe do my yoga practice and meditation while we are cycling.  I can make it a sacred space for the time being.  I will be able to come back to my own home after this retrieval and transfer which I think will also be helpful and different from last year.  If you remember, last year we were living in my parents basement (bless their hearts), stuffed into one room that was not our own.  At the time, it seemed fine, but I have a more confident peace of mind knowing I can come home to my home.  

If you guys follow me on Instagram then you have probably noticed that I am really trying to focus on my mind, body, soul, and spirit, not just for this cycle, but for every bit of the rest of my life. Practicing this on a daily basis has honestly made me feel so much more at ease about this cycle, no matter what the outcome.  I am trying very hard not to base this experience on my previous experiences with IVF and this cycle is already different so I'm reminding myself of this regularly as well.  Different protocols, different meds, different doctor, etc. and all for the better.

Today kicks off a big month for us.  Another new chapter in our book.  Friday I start my daily Lupron injections and next Friday is my baseline appointment where things will hopefully look perfect for the start our 4th, and hopefully last cycle of IVF.  Thank you all for your continued love, prayers, thoughts, & support.  You guys are awesome.
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