2WW Hell

Ok I’m officially in the depths of the 2WW. It’s 4 days after my 5 day transfer. That means if any of our embryos made it they are now 9 days old…I’m starting to obsess…do I feel PMS symptoms? Are those cramps? I haven’t seen implantation bleeding, but did I during my last pregnancy? Are my progesterone levels high enough? (Last time I used the injections, this time just the suppositories.) I’m craving sweets and my skin is broken out…I think I’m going a bit crazy right now, I need to find a good distraction!!!

Bored in Bed

20130401-100753.jpg
Day 2 of bed-rest…

Here is the update – As our doctors had requested we waited until day 5 for our transfer, even though my gut was telling me on day 3 we’d be putting them all in anyway. Saturday morning we headed to the office to find out how many embryos we still had and how far along they were. It’s the most nerve wrecking part of the process for me, once I know the news I can cope, it’s the waiting to find out that’s torture…

The office was running late that morning so it was another 30 min before we were able to meet the embryologist and get the full details.

She was the same embryologist we had two years ago. Ironically her news was also almost exactly the same. We had one Blastocyst a 2AB, one almost Blast and one Morula. The only difference is last time the Blastocyst was a 4BB. She said its very close to the same.

My husband was still concerned about the risk of triplets but my gut was telling me it wouldn’t happen and that we should do exactly what we did last time. The odds of the third one making it to freeze were not likely, (last time I had 2 extras and neither of them did). I felt that the best chance they have to survive was to be put back in my uterus.

Since our doctor was running an hour late (LA traffic is the worst) we had plenty of time to discuss our options. In the end we decided to put all three back in. When he finally arrived he didn’t try very hard to convince us otherwise, which I know if it was a big concern he would have. That’s why he initially pushed for day 5. If they were all Blasts it would have been a very different conversation.

So Valium in full effect I laid back and watched on the ultrasound as they put our three little embryos into my uterus. The doctor said it was a very smooth procedure and everything looked good.

After resting for about 30 min we were able to head home for my 48hr+ bedrest. Last time this was easier since all I had to do was sleep and have someone bring me food. This time I could hear my husband trying to juggle handling the twins. It was really hard to relax when they were crying. I think after surviving the first 24hrs he now has a much better idea of what I do all day 😉 I love our babies but they can be a handful at times! He passed out next to me in sheer exhaustion last night…

My back is starting to ache from all the laying around and I’m curious to know what’s going on inside of me. Are they still alive? Have they implanted? How many are there? The 2ww fun begins…uhg

The Russian Roulette Of Fertility

Image

I didn’t realize how challenging it would be to keep up the blog this week…

On Monday I had my retrieval. They were able to remove 10 eggs. Last time they only were able to get 6 so we were feeling pretty positive. I was groggy and cramping so that evening I slept away most of the stress while my husband juggled our two little ones. It was hard to sleep that night. My bladder was sore and being crushed by my swollen ovaries and the anxiety of wanting to know what was going on in our petri dishes was almost too much.

Around 11am the next morning we got the call. It wasn’t as good as we expected. Out of the 10 only 5 fertilized and 1 of those was abnormal so we were down to 4 embryos. Last time we had 5 on day one. We would not hear anything more until Thursday morning. At this point it could be a day 3 or day 5 transfer. It was going to depend on the quality of the remaining embryos.

Fast forward to this morning. We have three 8-cell grade 4 (excellent embryos) and one 4-cell grade 4. This most likely means we are now down to three. That is when it became very tricky. My doctor was pushing to wait until day 5 and to just put in the best 1-2 embryos. Their biggest fear was triplets. The embryologist mentioned though that there was a risk that we might not make it to day 5 and that I am two years older than I was last cycle.

We must have changed our mind a dozen times. Which is worse the risk of complicated triplet pregnancy or the risk of having none to transfer? My doctor’s partner assured us that he felt that we would have at least 1-2 good embryos on Saturday given my success last cycle and the way that the embryos looked today. So we are rolling the dice and praying that he is right. Day 5 transfer here we come…

Moving quickly…

Image

The doctor visit today confirmed that I have about 8 good size follicles with the biggest being a 14. That means I will most likely have the retrieval on Monday and the transfer on Saturday.

I’m beginning to feel a bit nervous and anxious. It’s all happening so fast. In a little more than two weeks I might be pregnant again…

Emotionally I have been through so much in the past few years, sometimes I can’t believe we made it through. Our marriage survived, we now have two beautiful little girls and our home is secure. It really makes you realize how much everything is just a moment in time, no matter how bad things seem you will get past it and things will improve…

The countdown begins…

Stopped in for blood-work yesterday so that they could check my estrogen levels. This is to make sure that the dosage of Menupur and Gonal-F are where they should be. Sadly I seem to only have one good vein for drawing and it’s already looking angry 😦 A call later in the day confirmed that everything looks good and to keep my dosages where they are (see below).

Image

I’m starting to dread the daily shots and pills right now though, good thing it will all be over in about a week. My stomach is starting to look like a pin cushion!Image

It’s all for a good cause though and will be forgotten quickly after it’s all over. I have more blood-work and an ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow. This is when things start to get intense. I’m excited and nervous to see how many follicles are growing this time.

I’m trying to get everything in order in the house this week for my bed-rest days coming up. No one has taken care of the babies for 24+ hours since they have been home. We have a routine…it’s a bit chaotic but its been working so far. I’d like to call it “organic mothering” , just going with my instincts and their cues. Not sure how to translate that to a sitter or my husband…for now I started with an excel sheet 😉

IMG_2337

It was strange sitting in a waiting room full of women all staring at me and my little twins in the stroller. I could tell some wanted to ask questions, but I remember being there myself. How badly you wanted to talk to someone, to feel that you weren’t so alone, but you knew that the minute you started talking you might tear up and start crying in front of an absolute stranger. I had a moment like that my first time around, the woman was very kind. She was there trying for her next child. She spent time talking to me, it was so comforting and gave me a little hope which I desperately needed at the time. I was definitely balling in the elevator on the way out, but it wasn’t in a bad way…

I happily talk to anyone that approaches me about the experience now, hoping to repay the favor. I don’t hide the fact that our twins were through medical assistance. I almost feel like it’s my duty to educate people so that there is a greater sense of understanding and compassion to this condition. Infertility has plagued couples since the beginning of time. It should not be something that we hide, feel embarrassed and/or ashamed about. It’s one of the hardest tests and woman and couple can go through, NO ONE should feel alone on this journey!

IVF Update

So I went to the doctor for a follow up blood test and ultrasound today. It looks like right now I have about 8 follicles growing. I think the last cycle I had 10 to start with but by retrieval day that had decreased to 6. My E2 was in the 30’s which they said was fine. So starting Saturday I will be doing 3 shots a day…Leuprolide in the morning and Menupur and Gonal-F at night. They are giving me a very high dosage this time since I do not react strongly to the meds, and one addition medication to help with better absorption. I recently found all the documents on my last cycle since I wanted to be able to compare the two. It feels like it was so long ago, yet vaguely familiar, like one of those Déjà vu dreams…

The doctor also asked how many we were planning on putting in this time. They really push for 1 embryo per cycle, I think it looks better for their records. Last time I had a decent grade blastocyst (it was a BB), an early blastocyst which they did not grade and a morula. The doctor believes the two blasts were what became our daughters. He said that if I have a similar outcome this time, l will have about a 40-50% chance of success with 1 embryo, and a 50-55% chance with 2, but the risk of twins goes up to 40%. I really just want one healthy full-term boy, but there are no guarantees in this financially risky business.

Image

It’s really tough to decide how many…Last time we were going for broke and doubted we would even have one. Now even though we know it worked, I’m older….almost 39, which means it could be more challenging this time around. The risk of twins again is scary but we also want to be successful. I’m really hoping this is the last time I have to put my body through all of this again. We still have about 10 days to decide and a lot will depend on what actually fertilizes and grows. I’m praying for good results and good decisions!

List Of Things To Do Before An IVF Cycle…

(This could also apply to people who are just trying to conceive)

This is a list of things I missed when I was pregnant…

1. Chocolate – Since it has caffeine in it the docs frown on eating any since it can cause miscarriages…

2. Coffee – I LOVE a good latte and missed it terribly…giving it up really made my skin glow though!

3. Cocktails – I’m a Gin Martini Dry Up With Extra Olives Girl (Hendricks Gin and Blue Cheese stuffed olives are my favorite) I had no idea how much I would miss one of these!

4. Mani-Pedis – I wore closed toed shoes for most of the pregnancy 😦

4. Hair Dye – Yes…I am getting to the age that I need to start covering up grays and without being able to do this I had to come up with some strategic hairstyles and welcomed the idea of hats.

5. Sushi – It’s tasty and usually very healthy, I craved it for most of the pregnancy.

6. Tuna – A Tunafish sandwich on sourdough bread with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and avocado…

7. Day at the Spa – No hot tubs or saunas during pregnancy, and soaking would have felt soooo good on all my sore muscles (back, legs, hips, ect)

8. Cold Medicines – I don’t like taking these but it was horrible suffering through a cold without them!

9. Airborne – The one thing that usually keeps me from getting sick – but the doc couldn’t guarantee it was safe to take so I wasn’t going to risk it…

10. Fancy Cheeses – There is nothing like a good triple cream brie!

11. Soft boiled eggs – It was a Sunday brunch tradition.

12. Salicylic Acid – It’s the only acne medicine that ever worked for me!

13. Sex – If you have a difficult pregnancy like I did you will not experience this for a very long time 😦

Below are some cranberry, pecan oatmeal cookies I made tonight since I was craving something sweet and I can not satisfy my chocolate urges right now…They turned out pretty tasty!

Image

Trial Transfer Day

Today I went in for my Trial Transfer, Ultrasound and Sono HSG. This was to see if there were any changes to my uterus since the last pregnancy and to check out how many follicles I may have. I have been taking the birth control pills since Feb 22 to prevent a dominant follicle from maturing. This is the first step with IVF. It’s great news that I can stop taking them tomorrow since they make me a bit batty 😦

The doctor said that it looks like I may have about 10 follicles right now and my uterus looks good so we can proceed on to the next step. ImageI was scheduled to start Leuprolide today so after the procedure I was instructed on how to give myself the injections and did the first one in the office, luckily this is one of the least painful shots due to a short tiny needle, I wish all shots were like this!Image