Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yesterday's History and Tomorrow's a Mystery

I'm just dropping in to say nothing much is going on right now.  I'm still talking my Estrace pills and Lupron injections every day.  I just looked at the calendar and realized I've had at least one injection every day for almost 60 days.  Wow, that is a lot of shots.  My DH comes in every morning on his way out the door and gives me my morning injection along with a kiss goodbye.  I barely even wake up when he gives me the injection.  How sad is that.  

I have an appointment on Friday morning for blood work and an ultrasound to determine if I'm ready to start progesterone suppositories (yuck).  This will be the last drug that I have to introduce into the "mix" in order to get my body ready for the biopsy.  This protocol will be the same one I'll be on before transferring the embryos back into my uterus.  

I'll check back on Friday with an update.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Forgotten Pleasures

When you are going through an IVF cycle there are so many things you have to give up, such as,caffeine, anti-inflammatory drugs, allergy medicines, ALCOHOL, vigorous exercise (such as running) and the list goes on and on.  I refer to this period of time as "being pure".  A friend of mine even went on a special diet that excluded wheat and dairy products.  That was a bit too hard core for me and I've already made so many sacrifices I just couldn't handle the diet on top of everything else.

I recently been reintroducing all the above back into my  life.  I am having a nice ice tea with lunch, I ran 3 miles on Thursday and I then took an anti-inflammatory afterwards and the last two weekends I reintroduced a bit of alcohol back into the mix.  Of course last night I reintroduced a bit too much alcohol to my body and I was paying for it this morning.  I drank a ton of water and I'm feeling better now.  When I went for my weekly acupuncture visit this afternoon I didn't mention the alcohol because my acupuncturist frown on alcohol consumption.  

A quick update as to the status of things: I'm still taking my daily Lupron shot and I'm taking Estrace pills twice a day.  By my estimates the biopsy will be around August 12 or 13th, right before our holiday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Blogger

Welcome New Readers.  This is my first time to participate in International Comment Leaving Week (IComLeavWe).  I am a very new blogger but not new to the world of infertility.  I just finished my 5th IVF and we did CGH testing and froze the embryos.  You can read my first post on June 4th and June 11th to get the background on.

For my family and friends I'm sure you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about.  There is a very famous blogger ( and she has a list of blogs each month and you choose 5 to read each day and leave comments.  This is a good way to learn about other girls experiences and offer support to them and receive support from them.

I hope everyone enjoys my blog.  It has been a great experience to be able to put into words my feelings and share this with my family and friends.  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Birthday Wishes Do Come True

I had a fantastic birthday weekend.  It started with dinner on Friday night with my girlfriends.  Thanks girls for the wonderful dinner and yummy margaritas - cheers!  Then on Saturday night my hubby took me for a nice romantic dinner and he even bought me a sweet romantic card (not typical for him).  My weekend ended with my mom going to church with me, then brunch at Flying Biscuit and a funny play at Ansley Park Playhouse called Sunday at Loehmans.

My birthday wish that came true was I got a phone call right when I was walking out the door to church from my RE.  The results from the CGH testing came back.  We have 2 normal embryos out of the seven that were tested.  Unbelievable!  I am on cloud nine with this news.  This is such a sign of encouragement from God.

The next big hurdle is to get my uterine lining corrected.  This is the last major issue I'm dealing with before I get the green light to transfer the embryos back into my uterus.  I will have a biopsy in about 25-27 days and it will take about 3 weeks for the test results to come back.  I'm still doing my daily shot of Lupron and I will start taking Estrace this week (natural estrogen tablets).  My RE is hoping that the mock transfer drugs will correct the issues with my lining.  I guess I 'll know if it works in about 5 or six weeks.

Below is me celebrating one more year!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The F Word

In my house the bad "F" word is forty or in my case 40 something.   Today is my birthday and I'm one year older and one more year into my advanced maternal age.  The older you get the less time you have for baby making.

Pregnancy rates over the course of one year)

Source: Management of the Infertile Woman by Helen A. Carcio and The Fertility Sourcebook by M. Sara Rosenthal

A woman's fertility starts to measurably decline around age 27, due to the depletion and aging of her eggs. For those under 30, it's estimated that the chance of getting pregnant in any one cycle is 20% to 30%. By age 40, it falls to 5%, according to the American Fertility Association.

Those are some scary rates.  At age 42 I have a 5% chance of getting pregnant naturally and given all my problems I doubt I could ever get pregnant without major medical intervention.  I know God can work miracles and I hope with him and the wonderful advancements in medicine I'll reach that goal sooner rather than later.

I'm off to get ready and go out with the girls for a fun night of food, margaritas and a little live music.  The hubby is taking me to a posh restaurant tomorrow night.  I plan to spend this weekend focusing on me and not my infertility.

I wanted to post a shout out to my wonderful parents.  I'm lucky enough to have 2 full sets and I thank God for giving me such wonderful parents.  I hope when I do have a baby I can be as wonderful to my child as my parents have been to me.  I love you very much.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lucky 7

I got a call from my RE today and one more embryo made it the the blastocyst stage.  This call did not come until 5:02pm.  I was suffering all day wondering what was going on with my group of slow growing embryos.   I feel like I got a bit of encouragement from God today with this news.  Seven embryos will be tested and hopefully we won't be waiting too long on the results.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Waiting Game

Remember how hard it was when you were a kid waiting on Christmas or your birthday?  That is what these past 5 days have seemed like.  I did get some very good news from my RE today.  As of today I had 13 embryos and 6 made it to the blastocyst stage.  These were biopsied and immediately frozen.  The lab is watching the other seven embryos and hopefully some of them will make it to the blastocyst stage tomorrow and those will also be frozen (they were biopsied today).  The biopsy's of each embryo were sent to the fancy lab for CGH (genetic testing).  The results will be back in 2 - 6 weeks.

The next step is for me to continue my daily shot of Lupron and wait for AF to start.  Once my period begins I will start taking natural estrogen and on cycle day 25 I'll have another biopsy of my uterine lining.  My RE is hoping that the drugs used when transferring the embryos back into the uterus will help straighten out my lining issues.  If so, then I will be able to transfer the frozen embryos in September.  If NOT, then I will do 3 long months of medically induced menopause and that will delay the embryo transfer until December or January 2010.  

We started our baby making process in January 2007 - two and 1/2 long years ago.  I am really praying for the best.  I know God has a plan but it is so hard to understand the timing of his plan.  I am attaching a link to my church message this past Sunday.  It is about 32 minutes long and it was so powerful for anyone waiting for something in their life.  I felt as though this message was written just for me.  I have felt such utter despair and depression throughout this process.  I try to live my life and not let my infertility rule my life but it is a struggle.

Here is the link: .  Then click on The Waiting Room, message Forgotten 7/12/09.  After hearing this message my prayer to God is "I need your encouragement.  I'm tired, I'm frustrated, I'm scared and I'm worn out.  I'm going to choose to believe that you haven't forgotten me and that you are preparing me."  Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me.  Please don't stop now.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Long Wait

I got the update call from my RE today and the good news is out of 26 eggs, 20 were mature and 16 were fertilized.  That is excellent news and now the next big hurtle will be to see how many make it to day 5 (blastocyst stage).  The wait until Monday will feel like forever and it is always scary wondering how many are going to "make it".

I had to go to work today because it is quarter end and I've got a huge reporting package that is due on Friday.  I felt okay today but I'm extremely bloated.  What normally happens is all the follicles fill up with fluid after the eggs are extracted.  The full fluid filled follicles make me so bloated that it is hard to take a deep breath.  It feels like something is pressing on my diaphragm.  I have to follow a low sodium diet to help with the bloating.  I go back to acupuncture on Saturday so hopefully that will help with the bloating.

Here are a few "fun" facts as to what it took to get to this point:  50 shots in the belly, 7 blood draws, 7 vaginal ultrasounds and countless acupuncture sessions.  Not to mention lots of very early appointments to avoid missing time from the office.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Lonely Uterus

Today was the big day!  We had to be at the clinic at 6am and my retrieval was at 7.30.  My RE came in early so that he could personally do the retrieval himself.  Now for the VERY good news he got a whooping 26 eggs.  Not bad for someone that is 9 days away from turning 42 years old.  I am pleased by the awesome number and now I'm patiently waiting to see how many of the 26 are mature and will be fertilized.  The next report will be tomorrow afternoon.

The next major hurtle will be for the embryos to continue to grow and make it to the blastocyst stage which normally occurs on day 5.  Boring and feel free to skip -  definition of a blastocyst - an embryo that has developed for five to seven days after fertilization and has developed 2 distinct cell types and a central cavity filled with fluid (blastocoel cavity). The cells in a blastocyst have just started to differentiate.  The blastocyst embryo transfer done on day 5 - at a more "natural" time for the embryos to be in the uterus, and very shortly before actual invasion and embryo implantation.

However many embryos that make it to this stage (and these will be the creme de la creme) will be sent off for CGH testing.  This is HUGE news as I will be the first patient from my clinic to have their embryos sent for CGH testing.  This is the testing cutting edge for at the very famous Colorado (CCRM) clinic.  My embryos will be sent to the same lab that CCRM uses.  CGH testing allows for the testing of all 23 chromosomes vs. PGD testing that only tests 9 chromosomes on day 3.  

I'm praying for lots of my embryos to make it to the blastocyst stage.  I figure like any good party the more the merrier.

I headed back to the couch as my pain meds seem to be wearing off now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Trigger Happy

At my appointment this morning I had 21 follicles and my E2 jumped to 5,149.  I got the go ahead to give myself the trigger shot at 7:30 p.m. sharp and my retrieval will be on Wednesday morning at 7:30 am.  My mom is taking me to the retrieval because my hubby has a hard time getting off work on such a short notice.  His patients get really mad when they have to reschedule.  Not to mention there is no one better than your mother when you don't feel well.  

Wednesday will be a long day because we have to BE at the clinic at six a.m.  At least I can spend the remainder of the day resting.  

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Double or Bust

At this mornings appointment I still only have 17 follicles but they are growing.  I actually think I have a few more than that but I got the weekend u/s tech who measures on the light side.  The big (bad) news is my E2 (estradiol) increased to 4,368 which is 2,000 more than yesterday.  This is not good and my RE is letting me skip tonight's shot.  I have my shots in the morning at a reduced dosage and then I'm back tomorrow for my blood work and ultrasound.  I also have my H&P appointment tomorrow with the doctor himself.  (H&P - health and physical)

My uneducated guess right now is that I will take my trigger shot tomorrow and the eggs will be retrieved on Wednesday.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fireworks & Explosions

The fireworks today will be in honor of Independence Day and the explosions are what is happening to me right now.

I had 17 follicles at my morning check up and my E2 (estradiol) is 2,335.  It is making a nice climb but is about exactly the same as my last cycle.

Dr G & I had a fabulous dinner last night and we are off to a cookout at my moms house today.  I'm dragging my English friend Sarah with me but I told her we wouldn't make a big deal about gaining our independence from her country.

Friday, July 3, 2009

And then there were 10

I had my follicle check this morning and I now have 10 (measurable) follicles.  I know there are more but the u/s tech this morning isn't one of the regular girls and she measures a bit different.  My estradiol was 1,687 - YIKES!  It spiked over 700 points last night.  I've already told my darling hubby that he needed to be extra nice to me today because I was not responsible for my actions.  I guess it is a good thing that we already had reservations at a nice restaurant tonight so I won't be complaining that he never takes me anywhere or that I have to cook dinner.  Ok, I admit I don't do much cooking to begin with.

I have another appointment at 8.15 am tomorrow, so much for sleeping in and enjoying the start of my holiday.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I need a bigger basket

I've heard a pictures worth a thousand words, well todays picture is worth 5.   What you see is a scan of my left ovary and the dark spots are the follicles.  Today's check up revealed 5 more follicles for a total of 9. My estradial was 896 and I'm doing my best to keep the emotions under control.  I warned 2 of my girlfriends before lunch today that if I burst into tears during lunch that they should just carry on and ignore me.  Luckily that didn't happen and we had a nice lunch.  

I will be going in every day from now until my trigger (the shot to "release" the eggs).  I'm still exercising but at a much slower pace.  I went for a 5 mile walk but I would not have won any prizes for my pace.  At least I was willing to brave the 90+ degree heat for a nice stroll around the Chattahoochee river.