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

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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

The End

IVF ROUND 6

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

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

Hitting the Wall

IVF ROUND 6

DAY 7 – Monitoring Day
(Monday April 29)

Meds: 300iu Gonal-f , 150iu Menopur, 25iu Cetrotide

Notes: estrogen=467.9; LH=4.39; progesterone=n/a; lining=8.8mm; Left Ovary=13.1, 13.6, 9.4; Right Ovary=14.4

Man, these results are frustrating me. Still only 4 follicles and they’re getting too big for more to catch up, in my opinion, but my estrogen is only up 200ish. I’m having a hard time reminding myself that every cycle is different. Maybe my body isn’t used to the barrage of hormones after this long of a break.

We added Cetrotide last night. I don’t remember the needle being that long. It drew a lot of blood.

I’m not liking this cycle so far. It started off good but now I’m not so sure. N was trying to be reassuring yesterday but I’m just meh.  I know it’s still very early in the game but I don’t have a good feeling. And I’m already stressed about next cycle. I think we’re at max medication doses. What else could we do?

Emotional: Woe is me

Physical: Tired. I don’t like talking about CM but it’s there and it’s a lot. Sorry.

Food: I don’t remember lunch. Short ribs and cauliflower mash for dinner.

Quickie Update

IVF ROUND 6

DAY 6 
(Sunday April 28)

Meds: 300iu Gonal-f , 150iu Menopur

Notes: estrogen=209.7; LH=1.63; progesterone=0.251; lining=5.4mm; Left Ovary=9.9, 9.4, 6.8; Right Ovary=9.9

Nothing exciting. Again, writing yesterday’s post this morning and I had a not so good monitoring appointment this morning. I’ll update again once I get all the results from today’s test.

Last night was same old same old.

Emotional: Game of Thrones… that is all.

Physical: Still really so very tired. And crampy in the uterus. My pants is current unbuttoned.

Food: Hot dogs for lunch. Shrimp stir fry for dinner.