FET 1 Complete

Everything went perfectly fine and I am now heavy one 5AA graded day 7 blastocyst!

We got to the clinic about 20 minutes early so we sat in the car and listened to a really trashy podcast. We’re trashy people and watch trashy reality tv and now we listen to trashy podcasts that review the trashy reality tv.

At 8 I went in for pre-transfer acupunture. I managed to get really relaxed so that helped a little until my bladder started bothering me. Our transfer was set for 9:30 so I started drinking at 9 but alas. 9:30 came and went and I was in dire straights by the time the nurse came to get us at 9:50.

I always thought these things were so strictly timed. I can’t remember our other transfers being late but either way. A Dr P did the transfer. He was fine. Definitely not enough time to get a read on him. At least he was gentle right? The ultrasound tech was lovely. She explained everything in detail again. And time time we got a picture!! I get sad every time I think about not getting a picture of Lucky. I’ve asked several times and no one has ever gotten back to me. Actually, I don’t know if it’s sadness or irritation that my need for things to be even and in order was disrupted. I have pictures of every single embryo transferred except him.

Anyway, I did acupuncture again afterwards. I could only relax for half the session then I started getting antsy. I think because the first I was on my stomach and the second I was on my back and I do better laying on my stomach as far as relaxing goes. She put needles in my wrists but they’re the kind that you can attach with tiny stickers so they can stay in. She said I should keep them in over night. I’m about to take them out now. She said something about that being the heart 7 point related to calmness.

We eventually got home and N had to go to work. I had some lunch then took my parents to Target so mom could start buying gifts for family back home. She has 6 grandkids over there now. It was cute watching her forget their names and get flustered with the amount of stuff she needed. She’s truly blessed.

I laid down for a bit when we got home and then we went all went out to dinner. Nothing fancy. Just the cheap Chinese buffet down the road. Omg Lucky was in his element. This kid loves to eat and seeing so much food was such a treat for him. He was squealing with excitement all through dinner. He shoveled handfuls of noodles into his mouth and ate everything off everyone’s plate. He spooned chocolate pudding over his watermelon and screamed with delight when he experienced the flavour in his mouth. It was so so funny. And then when we weren’t looking he grabbed a handful of wasabi and ate it!! He was fine and it really was funny. His eyes started watering and he was saying “ahh ahhh” really quietly. And then when the burn ended he whispered to himself “too ‘picy”. He’s a funny guy. I love his greedy little body.

We were pretty toast after that. N had a rough day of work installing four 125lb batteries into a boat so he’s body was screaming by the time we got into bed. And I think the acupuncture or the progesterone or just the excitement of the day tuckered me out. All three of us passed out almost immediately.

And that is that. Beta is set for Monday the 19th. Again, I don’t think I’ll test before but I do have dental surgery set for next Thursday and I’m not sure how to navigate that. I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t want to have to use the P word pre-emptively and I don’t want to have to explain IVF to them if they don’t understand. So maybe I’ll test on Thursday morning. That’ll be 7dpt. Ugh that may be too early. Okay, I’m not going to worry about it now.

Okay, I’m off to do some more laying down. I’ll check in again before beta. Wow, I’m still kinda in disbelief here. What if this really works?

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Mind the Gap

Well, I’m in an FET cycle so it’s definitely time for an update I think! We’re actually at the almost end of this FET cycle. Transfer is set for Friday! Let me just catch you all and myself up.

I started my period on Sunday, June 16th. I went if for a baseline blood test on Tuesday the 18th and all was good to go.

Started birth control that that evening for what seemed like forever.

I finally added Lupron 20units on July 9th along with the birth control. And I finished the birth control on July 15th but continued the Lupron.

On Friday, July 19th we did another baseline. Endo lining was 3.5, No cysts and 10 antral follicles. Blood test results: Progesterone – 0.324; LH – 0.966; Estradiol – 9.49.

On the 19th I dropped Lupron down to 10 and added Estrogen 2 pills twice a day.

On the 23rd we did another Estradiol check (68.69). I would increase Estrogen pills to 2pills 3 times a day on the 28th.

On the 25th, Me, N and Lucky went on our first overseas family trip for a friend reunion of sorts. Two of my bestest friends, one lives in the UK and one in Switzerland. So we all decided to meet in Gatwick at UK friend’s house, I haven’t seen her in 15 yrs and the visit was just awesome. We did a good amount of touristy things, so my feet are still kinda toast lol. We ate a lot of great food. And drank a lot. I think I’m officially a gin and tonic girl now. I wish we had more time to explore more and see more but I think it was perfect for a first trip. We did Brighton, a castle, a lot of shopping and a day and a bit in London. London is too big to do in that short amount of time but it was great, nevertheless.

The flights however were pretty traumatic. Lucky was really tough on the way there. We flew at night and got there in the morning and he only slept for 1hr. The rest of the time he was whiney and busy. We had all the snacks and all the toys and nothing worked. At one point, I was holding him and he yanked the mask off the sleeping lady next to me! She was really nice though, she said that he was an angel and that she’s done it before by herself with 2 little ones. I don’t know, we were pretty traumatized.

But he was a champ on the trip itself. Well, kinda. His dad had to carry him around most times because he didn’t like the stroller (push car, buggy, etc.) but we were able to trick him into it during nap times while we were out and about. And he was about 5hrs off his sleeping schedule. Eventually we just let him sleep whenever he wanted to (Usually around 11 or midnight). It was a holiday after all.

The flight back was even more traumatic. What started out as him being a bit warm and fussy at the house, quickly descended into the very stressful flight with his fever spiking between 103 and 104 periodically for 6hrs. We’d never dealt with it that high for that long before and I only brought tylenol with me. He slept most of the way home and was just a lethargic mess. We felt helpless up there. When we landed we rushed off the plane and had someone rush us through customs so we could get him to the dr. They called the EMT to take a look at him and at the point his fever was down a bit but he was just laying on his dad. They offered us an ambulance to get through Boston traffic but we declined, since our friend was already there to pick us up. He cried most of the way home but by the time we got home we thought the worst was over. Unfortunately on Saturday it started again and we eventually took him to the ER where his fever was at 105. Eventually, they gave us meds and ran all the tests and gave him an antibiotic and after about 5hrs there they discharged us and things got better from then on out. He still has some diarrhea but the fever never came back. They think it was just a tummy bug.

He’s fine now. Yesterday I bought him an ice cream sundae after his follow up with the paediatrician. He’d been through so much. Chest x-ray, Blood draw, 3 intramuscular injections. My poor boy. I’m just glad it’s over.

I had to squeeze in a monitoring appointment during all of this baby drama on Saturday morning. My lining was at 8.1 and I had 2 follicles. My progesterone was at 0.278, LH at 1.23 and Estradiol at 145.1.

With that I was given the go ahead to stop Lupron that night and then next day to start Progesterone shots that Sunday (August 5th) at 9am.

9am shot means that I would have to find someone to help me do the shots at work. Since school is closed the nurses wouldn’t be there. And I don’t really have anyone close enough that I trust but I took the leap. I got a colleague to agree but then I realised we have nursing teachers who were likely in the building. I asked one and she actually declined. She said she’s not employed as a nurse and didn’t want to risk anything. I’m writing this matter of factly but at the time I realised that I’d have to do the shot myself and I was in a flat panic (yes, I cried). The colleague who said she’d help disappeared just before 9 (ugh) so I rushed to the bathroom and attempted it myself. It was awful. I got it in the first time and pulled back all the blood so I had to pull it out and blood was pouring out. I didn’t have an extra needle so I just had to do it again. I was shaking so badly and getting dizzy. All I kept thinking was if I fainted and bumped my head and bled out I hoped that lady would be happy. Eventually, I stuck it in again and didn’t hit any blood vessels and pushed everything in while the other wound was still dripping blood on the floor. What a mess. But I did it! I don’t need anyone!!

I’m proud of myself but still salty that she didn’t want to help me. I hope I never see her again.

That being said, today’s shot was textbook. No pain, no blood, perfect. I really don’t need anyone.

Anyway, this has gone on long enough. I’ll try to post again before Friday. Just to get thoughts and feelings before go time. I really haven’t had time to process this whole cycle. I think that’s a good thing, though. But I’d hate to have a nervous breakdown on the drive up to the clinic. Thankfully, I have a therapy appointment on Thursday. That’ll help.

 

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.

xx

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.

xx

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.

 

I Would Like a Drink

IVF ROUND 6

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!

Miracles Needed

IVF ROUND 6

DAY 9
(Wednesday May 1)

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

I really hope these 5 follicles are the best 5 follicles there ever were. These low counts are just not compatible with our history of shitty fertilization and dismal PGD testing results.

It’s miracle time, guys.

tenor

Emotional: Meh
Physical: Meh
Food: Chinese