Archive | April, 2012

Tranferred two, now the wait begins…

27 Apr

 

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The transfer happened on Wednesday and it took me a full 48 hours to process the whole experience.  I am still amazed the whole process works at all.  I went in all optimistic and left filled with awe and anxiety.  It began with a phone call that morning before we even got to the clinic.  Our Dr. told us that the CGH test results were back and for someone of my age and history we could expect a 30% normal rate. Unfortunately for us we weren’t above average at all (like in the egg retrieval).  Instead we only got two.  Getting only 20% was a big shock, but granted way better than 0%.  I was both thrilled to have some normal and crushed that we didn’t have  any more than two after what sounded like such a high yield. 

One of the reasons I wanted to do IVF to begin with is the whole concept of “banking” embryos.  For me it was a huge selling point.  As my eggs and I speed towards 40 and my clock ticks away I had hoped that I could have this safety net of frozen embryos in the bank.  Even if we didn’t need them it just would have been piece of mind.  It sounds greedy to even say this, but I was hoping for a future chance for a sibling.  Instead I feel the opposite.  If this doesn’t work we have to start from scratch and that’s it or if it does work my next chance to make embryos will be when I’m 40.  I am not the superstar embryo creator I thought I was after all.  And while I have hope to one day have a baby one way or another, I feel the door to have a sibling is even more remote.   I started the process back when I was 34 thinking we’d have one and then we’d see about a second.  Maybe an only child will be fine, but I just wanted the choice and it pains me to see that slip away. 

On the flip side, maybe I saved myself from 8 miscarriages, right?  If eight fertilized and were abnormal that’s what would have happened naturally.  So the silver lining is maybe I dodged some more bullets which alone would make this whole process worth it.  Given my last pregnancy was chromosomally normal, we know it takes more than that to survive in my uterus.

So as I wait I keep thinking of all the hurdles ahead. What are the chances this works at all?  If it does work, what is the chance it or they will last?  I’ve already lost at least one chromosomally normal embryo, so why would these be any different?  Beta news will be in one week.  It will be hard to think about anything else in the meantime.

In the meantime life is feeling back to normal after acting like a china doll for three days.  My 1 day bedrest and 2 days of minimal activity end today but I think I am still going to be paranoid about lifting things or moving too quickly. 

On a happy note- We got our first call from the kitten adoption wait list today, so hopefully we will be able to add to our family that way.    I am so ready for new kittens!

 

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And now there are ten

22 Apr

Yeah! We made it through the retrieval!  15 eggs were collected, 14 matured and 10 were fertilized.  Now comes the chromosomal testing.  How many of these are actually chromosomally normal?  I am guessing we will lose at least another 5.  I know we only need a good one or two, but watching the numbers drop is a bit disheartening.  Three days from now (Wed.) we will both hear the results of the testing and do the transfer.  We can choose how many to implant at that point.  The decision may be made for us.  If there is only one left, that will be it.

Meanwhile we’ve changed to the new protocol of drugs which involves one injection of progesterone nightly.  I had my first last night and was expecting the worst.  I’ve heard these are really painful.  I was ready with my heating pad Mr. Star did some massaging.  It was the first time he actually gave me an injection which was a whole new step.   If we are lucky enough to have a successful IVF cycle it will be that way for weeks, so I better get used to it.

The one thing that surprised me after the egg retrieval was this new liquid restriction.  I am not allowed to drink more than 1 Liter of liquid a day.  I can not have water, only Gaterade or Propel.  I still have 3 more days of this.  I see my 1 liter bottle on the counter and I stare at it thinking, this is all you have left for the day.  It feels a bit like I am trapped in the desert.  The reasoning behind the restriction I was told was to prevent too much bloating in the ovaries..  When they retrieved the eggs liquid was extracted and the concern is that if I were to have too  much water those empty reserves would just fill up with liquid.  At the same time we are having a record heat wave, so I find myself obsessed with thinking about beverages.  Strangely alcoholic drinks are ok, so I was able to enjoy a glass of a wine and cocktail last night when we were out.    This is just a really weird step in the process I didn’t expect.  I am probably taking it way too seriously.

Today I am spoiling myself with a Reiki session!  My Resolve support group facilitator is also a certified Reiki practitioner and I am planning to see her today.  I had my first session with her a few weeks ago before the IVF process started.  I had been told that you can’t describe Reiki, you just have to do it.  So I did and it was AMAZING!  I had no idea what to expect, but figured it couldn’t hurt.  I found it to be an incredible physical and emotional release.  I felt like a new person afterwards.   I have no idea how my body will respond this time.  After having my eggs forcibly extracted from my body some holistic healing sounds a really good idea.  Plus I love talking to Linda who herself went through IVF to have her twins and has a very positive and comforting presence.    Looking forward to restoring some balance.

Weekend with the Elephant

15 Apr

This weekend it seemed like the Elephant in the room followed me from place to place.  I got that look yesterday at my friend’s birthday party for their 2-year old.  As couples would enter the party, we’d ask “how are you?”  and “look at little sarah…, etc.”.  They’d light up then look at us dumbstruck.  I’ve gotten so used to the face I feel like I can read their mind.  They see that we are not pregnant and remember we have no kids and draw a complete blank.  Since they can’t ask us how OUR kids are doing they just smile and move on like they saw a ghost.  It’s all very awkward.  I know some people are able to make jokes about it, or will even cough up to “we’re trying” or “we’re hoping soon” or something like that.  I haven’t been able to do that.    The best I can think of is, “we’ve been trying for over 4 years and have unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss”.  It sounds way too depressing, so instead I say “we’re doing great”.    When I was first married, the question would have been “are you planning to have kids?” or “when are you going to have kids?”  Now I just get the uncomfortable look of confusion & pity, like they don’t know what box to put us in.  Since we are not parents, what else is there to talk about,  oh, look, is that someone I know over there? let’s see…

After that I went off to acupuncture at this special fertility acupuncture clinic and the elephant followed me even there.  Only this time I was in a waiting room full of people with various fertility problems.  This time we are all avoiding the elephant with eyes averted and focused on our phones and magazines, almost pretending we aren’t there.  Meanwhile we can hear the receptionist talking on the phone with a patient about her upcoming IVF cycle and retrieval.  I find myself looking away.  I know that is why I am there, but somehow I found myself feeling embarrassed and awkward as people’s fertility issues were so casually and graphically explained within earshot as if they were commonplace.

We had our follow up ultrasound this morning with my IVF doctor.  Good news!  We have about 18 follicles growing, which is in line with what was expected based on my age and PCO diagnosis and everything seems to be going ok.  My stomach continues to be the pin cushion for “stabby time” (my lovely name for med time 2x day).   They still need to do some more growing as they are 10 mm and they need to get to 18.  If all continues on track we will be scheduled for retrieval this coming Friday.

Mr. Star got to have his big moment today giving his “sample”.  This was the first time he had to do it AT the clinic.  As if it is not awkward enough, the nurse came into the waiting room with other couples and announced “ok, we are ready for you to give your sample now”.   Dutifully no one looked up, even though we all knew what that meant.  I guess we are all used to this by now.  After it was all over he gave me the report.  Apparently the “sample” room has a sofa with animal print pillows and a TV with a VCR and DVD player.  It included a surprisingly exotic collection of porn videos that featured mostly Asian women and anal sex.  It made us wonder about the demographics they were going for and made for a good laugh on the drive home.    Points for Mr. Star for doing the deed.  I can’t imagine having to do that at the doctor’s office.  Instead I get to get my parts extracted next weekend ;  )

For fun on the drive home we stopped by the cat shelter.  Since our cat died in December we’ve been thinking about maybe getting kittens and I’ve lately been feeling SO ready to adopt.  Apparently we are a few months early though, kitten season is a few months out still.

It’s Official- IVF Begins

10 Apr

We kicked off our first-ever IVF attempt today with my first round of injectibles.  It was actually ok.  I am feeling positive that maybe I can handle this.  It was my first time injecting myself with anything and the whole concept had me really nervous.  Now that I’ve done it, it seems a little less daunting.

I feel like I should be really excited about getting back in the game, but to be honest, I am just finding myself going through the motions.   There is some relief to finally be doing this after all the waiting, but I don’t have this super optimism that something amazing is going to happen.  Maybe that happens later.  Instead I find myself thinking “Here we go again doing more steps towards a journey that just seems to keep going”.   Even if it works, the whole thing is resting on me not miscarrying and there’s no real evidence that IVF is going to help.

For this reason, I feel really mixed about this cycle.  I am excited to be doing SOMETHING but still feeling really bitter that I find myself going this far and spending so much time and money with so little proof that it will help.  I have a lot of self-doubts about taking this path.  Since last June we’ve spent most of our time prepping records, doing tests and meeting with IVF and immunology doctors and I find myself feeling empty handed after it all.  Maybe instead of doing all that we should have just kept trying naturally.  It’s been over ten months since I lost my last pregnancy and there’s this feeling that maybe, just maybe the next natural one would have been the ONE!  Instead I have been forced to wait on trying while gathering medical records, scheduling doctor’s appointments, doing countless tests and questionable treatments (even though I did it I still find LIT pretty questionable in terms of efficacy).  So it is with this heavy, doubtful and bitter heart that I am starting this process.

I took of my meds to record where we are.  My first week I am on the Gonal-F, Menopure, Cipro, Dexamethasone, Metformin, Baby Aspirin and Pre natals.  I am expecting some pretty funky side effects.  Any tips on what to expect?