Better Odds Than a Scratch Ticket

Wise words from my husband when I was complaining about how our little embryo had almost no chance of being normal and how the odds are so very stacked against it. We had a cycle already where we sent one for testing and it came back abnormal. But N remained adamant that this little dude embryo had beaten all the odds thus far and why wouldn’t it be normal?

Well, I won’t keep you in suspense much longer. Our embryo is a champion. A beautiful AA grade normal/balanced day 7 superhero! I could not be more proud and relieved. I can’t believe it!

The day was pretty busy yesterday. I didn’t have time to dwell on negative thoughts, thankfully. Dr P called at 6pm and my heart dropped when I saw “Private Number”. I tried to sense the tone of the phone call by the way the phone rang. I tried to sense the tone of his voice when I picked up but as usual he was impossible to read. And then he said “I have great news…” and I just melted.

N walked in halfway through the call and I just gave him a thumbs up and his face lit up. Lucky was next to me smashing his dinner into the table.

Of course, in this game, all good news comes with scary stats. These are new stats are quite scary. Since it’s a day 7 embryo, the odds of pregnancy being successful drop from 60ish% (if it were day 5 or 6) to 30%. But I’m trying to remember that day 7 embryos are a new thing and the sample of data they’re extrapolating from is small. I’m also trying to remember that Seven (the name I’m giving this embryo) is an absolute death defying superhero and it scoffs at shitty odds. So bring it!

Next steps are to call with my next period (Around June 11) and we’ll follow the same FET protocol as we did with Lucky. So a million weeks of birth control and Lupron and then estrogen and progesterone and a transfer around about the 23rd of July. We have a trip planned on the 25th so the timing will be interesting. But he did say we have wiggle room with the length of time for BC which is good.

I can’t believe it. I can’t believe we got this far. Wow. I’m so relieved. Thank you all so much for the prayers and positive vibes. We have another big ol’ mountain to climb but at least we can rest and take in the view for about 3 more weeks.



Prune Juice

Well, my apologies for grossing  you all out but I have not pooped in days. The stress of the last couple of days has wreaked havoc on my stomach. As the young, hip kids would say. I literally can’t even.

The day after I wrote my last post was Thursday. Day 4. A notoriously bad day for us as most of our embryos die on day 3. I willed my phone not the ring. I visualized the 2 little guys dividing and growing. I realized at about noon that I was in full on hope mode. Consequences be damned! And by the time 4pm rolled around and no one had called, I rejoiced. They made it to day 4!! Both of them.That is in-fucking-credible.

The morning of day 5 I was brimming with confidence. We definitely have 2 on the go. They’ll call at 10:30 to say they biopsied and froze both. at 9am I get a phone call from them. But it’s to set up a follow up appointment. She says that they should call with news that day if it’s day 5…10am… nothing… 11… silence. 12… 1… 2… What the hell is going on? By the time I left work at 3:30 I’d heard nary a word from anyone. When I got home I remembered that the paperwork said they would email on day 5. I checked my email like a crazy person and checked the patient portal like a psycho. Nothing. I texted my 2 friends who I share an RE with and they assured me that there’s no way they wouldn’t call if we’d lost any embryos. They were confident that both were still growing. It made sense so I let it go.

Saturday. We’re now on day 6. I usually have a few day 6 embryos so this could be okay. Again, I’m refreshing my inbox as soon as I wake up. This is really strange. Why the radio silence? Did they forget about me? Again, my friends are assuring me that they call with bad news asap. But at 3pm I’ve had it and I call. Unfortunately, the damned clinic closes at 2 on the weekends and it sounded like the answering service was for emergencies only. So the three of us went out to dinner and that helped take my mind of it somewhat but only somewhat. But when I got home I kept asking N what if they forgot to call? What if they’re saving bad news til the evening? Why weren’t they calling? I was definite a fun date that night.

Sunday. The clinic opens at 9 and 9:01 I’m on the phone leaving a message for them to call me back right the fuck away. 9:30 she returns my call and says that as of Saturday morning they were both still growing and hadn’t been biopsied yet. The embryology department will email in a few hours with the final count. We’re now on day 7. Day 7 biopsies are new at my clinic. I’m not overly worried about that until I start googling day 7 embryo success rates. What a smart lady I am. Now I’m really refreshing my emails every half hour. We went out for brunch with N’s mom and brother and I had several mimosas. My stomach was in knots. We got home at 1pm and still no email. My stomach hurt so much at this point that I couldn’t get out of bed. The three of us stayed under the covers and watched Ozark for the rest of the day. But then I got afraid. I’d lost a bit of hope and I didn’t want to hear bad news. I’d gone through every possible scenario and each made me sicker than the last. So when 2pm rolled up I let it roll by. I couldn’t call again and have them tell me it’s a no. Not after I’d had so much hope.

I couldn’t sleep last night. Lucky has been a bit sick, waking up screaming for Daddy. So after he settled at midnight I was tossing and turning listening to his breathing and practicing my speech to my RE when I see him next. They really have to revise their policy. On day 5, fucking call man. I don’t care if all are still going or none. We can’t be doing this, people. I’ve been a good patient of theirs for 5 years and 6 cycles. Their record with me has been near immaculate thus far but I was so mad last night. My stomach was in a shambles. I was in pain and worried about everyone. I think I finally dozed off at around 2am.

When I got to work this morning I immediately opened my email for the refresh game. At 8:50 the email popped up and my entire bowl seized up. Am I ever going to poop again?

“Cycle Freeze Report”. I stared at the title for a minute. Freeze means good news. But what if it’s not? It has to be! But what it’s just to say there’s nothing in this freeze report. See ya!

“Dear Useless Bowels,

The XXXX Embryology Lab carefully monitored the development of your embryos and we want to let you know that we have been able to freeze 1 embryo.”

One… We did it. We’re not at all out of the woods yet but, by golly, we did it!! We only have a 30ish% chance of this one passing PGD testing but we made it!!!

I don’t know if it’s because I’m in it now but this feels like the most stressful of all my cycles. Just based on these last 3 days alone. It was just too much.

We’ll find out in about 7 days if the embryo has made it to the next phase. Keep those fingers and toes crossed of us please.

Now if you’ll excuse me. I have to find a way to build up my defenses again so that I can deal with this next few days. I also have to find some prune juice or something.

Happy Monday everyone.


Fertilization Report

Four eggs were mature and two fertilized normally.

I’m wondering if it’s self preservation that has me disregarding these two already. I was mentally writing down what questions I’ll ask about moving forward when we go to our follow-up appointment. I’ve pretty much already given up on them.

I won’t hear anything from the clinic until Friday but I’ve already prepared for neither of them to make it biopsy. The thought of one or even both making it to Friday has not crossed my mind. And then after that, the chances of one or both passing PGD testing is completely out of the realm of possibility for me.

I really appreciate that everyone around me (yourselves included) are able to be positive and hopeful. That’s what this is all about, right? Rallying.

Anyway, I definitely think I’m self-preserving. I’ll need all this energy to get up and go again if I have to. I don’t have time to fight between hope and despair.

I hope I’m not coming off flippant or ungrateful. Let’s just say if, by some miracle, we beat all the odds and we happen to have a healthy baby from this cycle, you can be damned sure that child will be the most spoiled child on the planet so that I can make up for essentially turning my back on it today.


Egg retrieval #6

Because of the merger, my egg retrieval was at a different facility this morning at 8:30. It wasn’t a terrible experience. Same story. Just new faces to get used to. The walls were also paper thin. I heard all the full pre-op conversations and a phone call with an RE and her patient about how only one of her 5 eggs fertilized and they recommended to do a day 3 transfer and opt to not do pgs testing even though she suffers from RPL.

It was a long 2hr wait for retrieval and I thought about the patient on the other end of that call the whole time. I sent out positive thoughts for her and her embryo. I hope her transfer works.

The operating room was a little different. A lot more strapping down (arm and waist) which was unsettling and the stirrups weren’t attached to the bed like at the OB office they were harnesses on poles. Creepy. The anesthesiologist was a very lovely soft spoken young lady. I really liked her. And she and the nurses made me feel very comfortable. I was fine all the way until I walked into the operating room when I felt tears sting my eyes and my breathing become shallow. Maybe nerves. Maybe memories. But I calmed right down the minute I heard Africa by Toto playing in the background. I wanted to tell everyone I’m south african and this is the whole country’s jaaaam. But I just squeaked out that I liked this song. But everyone was too busy strapping and fussing to get excited with me.

After I read my name and dob back to everyone with clipboards I laid back to enjoy the best part of this damn journey and woke up to one of the worst parts. Anesthesia grog. Was served the usual ginger ale and animal crackers when the surgeon walked in with the pretty nurse who was shadowing her. 5 eggs. Thank goodness the grogginess masked the internal groan. I think the doctor sensed my disappointment because she laid her hand on mine and said lets see how it goes.

And that was that. N came back and seemed a little disappointed at the news too but sucked it up and went to get the car after I got dressed.

We distracted ourselves with talk of Game of thrones and Lunch. He dropped me off at home and went back to work. I had an almost 2hr nap and then waited impatiently for my saint of a nanny to drop of little Lucky. I was drowsy for most of the day but very grateful that he kept my mind off the obsessive fertilization math. It’s only now that I’m writing this that I’ve given it a thought.

And now I’m thinking of the phone call this morning. What if only one fertilizes. What if what if what if.

Here’s hoping I can fall asleep. I’ve been up since 4 so maybe that helps. Just trying to remember that if I have to do this again that it’s not that bad the 6th time around.

Thanks everyone for following along and sending positive thoughts. I will keep you posted. Xxx

The End


DAY 12
(Saturday May 4)

Meds: 300iu Gonal-f , 150iu Menopur, 100 units Lupron, 5000 units Pregnyl
Notes: estrogen=2128; LH=2.52; progesterone=1.04; lining=10mm; Left Ovary=22.8, 13.7, 11.6, 13.2, 15.9, 22.8; Right Ovary=20.6, 13.1

Double trigger tonight. Lupron and Pregnyl. Subcutaneously. I haven’t done it before. Injected at 8:30pm. Retrieval set for Monday.

I am suffering from the worst Lupron headache. I actually think I might puke. I will try to post again before retrieval.

Emotional: Ready to get these eggs outta here!
Physical: Dying
Food: Fish and chips

I Would Like a Drink


DAY 11
(Friday May 3)

Meds: 300iu Gonal-f , 150iu Menopur, 0.25mg Cetrotide
Notes: estrogen=1603; LH=2.98; progesterone=0.633; lining=9.5mm; Left Ovary=21.6, 19.5, 13.5, 10.6; Right Ovary=21.6, 19.5

Can I just say that I forgot how awesome the ultrasound techs are. This morning I had A again and the first thing she said to me was “You don’t watch Game of Thrones do you?”. Uhh, instant best friends!!! Shit, that reminds me she pointed me to some youtube videos I should watch about each character and their development over the season.

I know some people don’t understand the obsession with TV shows and Movies but I am all about it and I love that it brings people together. My friends and I have whatsapp groups for movies and tv shows and I just got into a GoT fb group with some people from work so it’s opened up some lines of communication with some colleagues. And for someone who’s navigating living with social anxiety, it really helps to have something to talk about when you’re battling fight or flight responses to simply being in the same room with someone you don’t know that well.

But I digress.

6 little follicles trying their utmost. Come on little monkeys! I told my boss that we’re pretty much done with appointments and I’ll probably do retrieval on Monday and that it’s not looking good. He said “What about being positive?!” I said I was trying but I know how this works. He’s nice.

I don’t know. Maybe I should be more positive? Maybe tomorrow. I wish I could speak to Dr P directly. I want to know how he’s feeling about the cycle. I mean he has a million patients and I’m sure he’s barely glanced at my numbers, but I like to imagine him sitting at his desk with his head in his hands puzzling and puzzling about how he’s going to help us have another baby.

I just got the call with the information now and I have to do another night of shots and go in tomorrow for monitoring. That will be day 12 and hopefully the last day. I’m a little bummed because I have a long awaited hair appointment that I have to move again. Argh, so many greys! I need them gone! And I want to try a new summery colour too.

Alright. I’ve gabbed enough. Hopefully everyone has a fantastic Friday. Please have a glass of wine for me. Thank you.

Emotional: Ready to get these eggs outta here!
Physical: Headache is back. Geez.
Food: Seafood chowder!

Almost there


DAY 10
(Thursday May 2)

Meds: 300iu Gonal-f , 150iu Menopur, 25iu Cetrotide
Notes: estrogen=834.2; LH=2.03; progesterone=0.537; lining=9.5mm; Left Ovary=15.5, 16.6, 10.8, 8.2; Right Ovary=16.2

Has it really been 10 days? This process always goes by so quickly. I wonder if they’ll have me trigger tomorrow night or Saturday. My money’s on Saturday so that they don’t have to do a retrieval on a Sunday lol. Has anyone ever had a retrieval on a Sunday?

Anyway. I have to wake up at 4 in the morning! Good night!


Emotional: Had therapy today. Feeling a little energized
Physical: Headache all but gone. Still very tired.
Food: Leftover Chinese