Friday, August 31, 2012


I always like to have goals. They take a big challenge that seems overwhelming and break it down into something manageable. For me, the TWW is an overwhelming challenge with only one goal- that elusive positive pregnancy test. This time I'm going to attempt to break it down into mini-goals... 14 to be exact... One for every day of the wait until beta. Some things I'll have control over, some will be things I hope for, but every day will have a milestone, a potential victory over the TWW.
Day 1- I'm hoping for a 75% thaw rate (9 of 12 eggs) and a 50% fertilization rate after thaw (since I can't have half an embryo, I'm going to think positive and round up, so hoping for 5 embies). Last cycle we had a 54.5%  thaw rate (6 of 11) and only 1 of 6 fertilized (16.7%!) so I'm really just looking for an improvement.
Day 2- this was transfer day last cycle... I don't want it to be transfer day this cycle. My goal is to not have to have any contact with the clinic today.
Day 3- I want at least 75% of my embies to still be growing today.
Day 4- to still be able to walk or sleep on my side with no knots from PIO
Day 5- simple... I want to have transfer today.
Day 6- I want to be happy/hopeful for this cycle.
Day 7- this is the day I made them switch me off of PIO last time because I was in too much pain. This time I'm going to try to stay on 1ml PIO with 1 Endometrin, as opposed to 2ml PIO or 3 Endometrin.
Day 8- I want to have our next door neighbor over for dinner. She's alone and super sweet, I want to do something nice for her.
Day 9- I want to try 3 new things today. I know it sounds ambitious, but I'm thinking along the lines of a new recipe, an ingredient I've never used before, finally tackling the sewing "lessons" my mom wants to give me, etc.
Day 10- I want to make it at least this far before I start peeing on sticks. This might be a hard one... I have a lot of sticks.
Day 11- I want to change something today. Not sure what... Just something.
Day 12- I am not going to go on FertilityFriend or any forums today to take my mind off possible "symptoms".
Day 13- day before beta. This is a hard goal to make. I think for now my goal will be to not obsess. No more than one HPT per day (though I'm going to try to withhold from testing all together), no checking and rechecking... And rechecking and rechecking... A test a bajillion times a day, no googling symptoms, no freaking out if I see a tiny spot of pink on the tp. If I have a positive test at this point, I want to enjoy being pregnant. If it is negative, I want to be focusing on the next step, the next cycle.
Day 14- another simple goal... I want a positive, strong beta.
Today is day zero. "Ovulation" day. I do have a goal for today, but really it's for the entire TWW- my goal is to post and update every day, even if it's just a short check-in.
I've decided on a post "format" for the next two weeks:

Day 0
Goal: daily posts
Met?: we shall see!
Mood: snappy
Symptoms: tired
POAS?: no
Want to?: no reason
Report: we got up at 6:30 this morning and were on the road to Dallas at 7. Patrick had to be there by 11 to do his part and luckily we made good time and were there by 10:30. Character that he is, Patrick promptly told the nurse that these were his favorite doctor appointments, asked if his special room was ready, and asked if he could still come "visit" after I was pregnant and "not giving him any". The other woman in the waiting room was laughing her butt off and saying that it was the most interesting thing she has ever heard in a doctor's office. The nurse told him they were ready for him, he came over, high-fives me, and says, "Go team!" I reply, "See you in five minutes" and he actually blushes as the women crack up. 
So now we're back home, waiting for the report tomorrow and praying for good news. Tonight, I have to up my dose of PIO from 1ml to 2ml. That extra ml makes it a lot more painful. 
The things we do for baby.

Please, God, let my eggs be strong and make them fertilize into strong embryos.

I blog with BE Write

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Joys of Hormones

Just a quick update-
My lining yesterday was 7.8mm with a triple stripe pattern. All my cysts were gone, too! My doctor was very happy and told me that I could start acting pregnant because it's just a matter of time until I will be! 
Other than that, I'm hormonal.
Yesterday, I was weepy. Today, my temper is short. I wish I could slap somebody... I think it would make me feel better. 
Patrick has to give me my PIO shot in 30 minutes and I wouldn't be surprised if he jabbed me with some gusto because of how shitty I've been since I walked in the door. Not that he hasn't deserved some of my wrath. He greeted me with additude, too, and I'm just not in the mood to deal with it tonight.
I wonder what emotion tomorrow will bring.
Transfer still set for Wednesday! I can't wait to hear how many eggs thaw and fertilize!
Next week is going to be exciting!

Please, God, grant me patience. 

I blog with BE Write

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Let me preface this post by saying that I'm a Christian and my faith is very important to me. Regardless, I do not push my beliefs on others because I do not like when others try to push their beliefs on me. I strongly feel that we each have the right to believe whatever we see fit and nobody has the right to judge another for their faith, ideals, or views. With that said, I apologize in advance if I say anything that offends somebody. My views are my own, you can share them if you want, but you don't have to... I'll love ya anyways!
*Disclaimer over*

Over the years my faith has been through many stages and varying degrees of belief. These past few years have been tough and I've found that there is a lot of comfort to be found in faith. Sometimes the only way to handle a problem is to give it up to God. Nevertheless, I do have my moments when I question... When I ask "why" or "when"... And I've found that God does answer, in His own way.
I am not a morning person. I get up if I have to, but I have made sure our bed is a comfortable oasis of sleepy-time bliss, and I do not like to leave it in the morning. A few months ago, right as we were starting our house craziness and going through the FET nightmare, I was torn as to how to proceed. One Sunday I woke up and I was awake. I checked the clock and it was about 7:30, but I could not fall back asleep. Patrick, being the early riser he is, was already up, watching Sports Center, and he was pretty surprised when I came puttering out of the bedroom. I lounged on the couch, reading my forums as he started watching some political show. Then he got up to make us breakfast and coffee (such a great man!), and as he was in the kitchen the political show ended and Joel Osteen came on. I'm ashamed to say that it was pure laziness that kept me from changing the channel. (I don't have an issue with Joel Osteen, I just think those MEGA CHURCHES *insert announcer voice* try so hard to appeal to everyone that they have become too much of a show)
Anyways, on this Sunday, Joel preached about how, when we try to force things to happen the way we want them, we stray from the path God has laid for us and we leave His "anointed light". He said that when we leave that light, things in our lives don't go right because it is not what God has planned for us. This struck a nerve for me. I briefly mentioned in a post back in June that I felt for a long time that everything in my life was going wrong. I wrote that post soon after I saw that sermon. It was a turning point in my life. I truly felt like Joel was speaking to me directly... But it wasn't Joel Osteen, it was God speaking to me through that sermon. Joel went on to say that we need to live our lives for ourselves and for God. That we should not let the thoughts, actions, or words of others influence the decisions we make or the life we live. That sometimes we get so caught up in pleasing everyone else that the person most unhappy is us, because we have strayed from what God wants of us to what people want of us.
One thing he said really stuck with me. He said that sometimes others will try to justify their opinions as being "from God". His exact response to that was, "I speak to God as well. If that was what He wanted of me, He would have told me Himself."
It was literally a life-changing moment for me. I told myself right then that I would stop living for others, stop trying to force my life into the mold I wanted it, and to start living for God and allow my life to be what He wants it to be.
It's amazing what faith can do. I won't lie and say everything has been kittens and rainbows since then, but it has all worked out in the end, and it's been easier to deal with the rough stuff knowing that it will work out eventually. And I do know that it will work out. I may not know how or when, but I do know it will and it will be for the best.
Tomorrow I have my BW/US appointment to check my lining for FET. If everything looks good, I start progesterone shots the next day. On Friday, they will thaw my eggs and Patrick has to go in to give his sample, they'll ICSI the eggs, and my PIO dose will double. Then it's wait and pray and see how many make it to transfer on Wednesday. If we get crappy results we have "emergency reserves"- our 5 blasts from our fresh cycle!
Please pray for me this cycle. I have high hopes, though guarded, that this is our time, but I'm scared of a repeat of my May cycle. I want this so badly! I don't know what our next step will be if this doesn't work and that scares me, too, but I have faith.
Sorry if this post was all over the place! I think the Estrace is screwing with me... I'm an emotional, scatter-brained mess... But these things were on my heart today so I needed to voice them. Thanks for listening to my hormonal ramblings.

Please, God, let everything work out for this cycle and give me strength for these next few weeks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Playing Catch-Up

I've been slacking.
My life has been such a crazy whirlwind of activity, I don't really know where to begin!
The quick version:
In May we started the process to buy a house. We put in an offer, it was accepted, we had an inspection, everything looked good, closing was set for the end of July, we went into underwriting. We begin the IVF prep. Weekend before 4th of July we went to Chicago. On the 3rd, our lender calls to tell us there are issues, our loan is on hold. Two... Or was it three?... weeks (that felt like two months!) of stress, uncertainty, and craziness follow as we try to get stupid errors cleared. In the middle of this, we begin our IVF cycle. Finally, as we are faced with losing the house we love, along with the couple thousand we have already put towards it, and I'm about to lose my mind, by the grace of God, the final issues were resolved and we ended up in a better position than when we started.
My last two weeks:
This cycle I was on 20 units of Lupron, cut to 10 units when I started stims. They cut out the Repronex, and started me on 125iu of Follistim. The goal was to only get 10-12 eggs and get me to ET without having to freeze. The first few days were good, though I started off I bit slow. After 3 days of stims my E2 was at 91.2, at 5 days it was 180. They upped the Follistim to 150, I went back the next day, E2 was at 370. Kept the dose at 150, at day 8 it was 948, at day 9 it was 1909 (dose down to 75iu), on day 10it was 2550 (at which point the vein in my arm collapsed, and the vein in my hand blew when they tried it get blood there. Luckily they got enough blood in the tube to run my estrogen)
At that point they were only counting about 12 follies over 10mm, the biggest ones were around 14-15mm, so I was excited. The next day it was up to Dallas for my hopefully final sono before trigger. The RE counted a few more than 12 follies, a few were around 18mm, a few in the 14-16mm range, but most were under 12mm so I was still hoping for around 10-12 mature. they told me it was most likely trigger night.
Got the call later that my E2 was at 4200... Soooooo much better than the 5700 it was last time!...and that I would be triggering at 9:00pm for 9:00am retrieval that Saturday!
On Saturday they retrieved 27 eggs.
That's one more than my last cycle.
The doctor said they all looked really good, but that they wanted to cancel my ET again. He told me that with my E2 being over 3000, it cut my chance of success to 15-20%. He said they would freeze half the eggs, like last time, but this time they would grow the fertilized eggs to day 5 before they froze them, and he would let me cycle for my FET as soon as AF came since I didn't "technically overstimulate". I also wouldn't have to do BCP or Lupron, just go straight on the Estrace.
He said that if I waited, he gave me a 90% chance of being pregnant by Halloween.
I was upset. My last cycle kept replaying in my head like that damn "Call Me, Maybe" song. I didn't want to pay another $3000 for a worthless FET. I didn't want to take the meds and the painful PIO shots, only to find out my eggs didn't fertilize and my embies didn't survive the thaw or arrested. I didn't want to make a four hour drive to transfer one, slow dividing embie. I didn't want to get my hopes destroyed again. I didn't want the heartbreak.
I was close to tears and I know the doctor saw it. I told him I was worried about a repeat from last cycle. He said that ultimately it was my decision, but that I needed to go home and think it over and not to let my emotions overshadow my logic.
So I told myself to wait and see. I consoled myself with the fact that I had 5 days to tell them not to freeze, that I wanted to transfer. That if I felt we were going down the same path, I didn't have to wait.
This is how it compared.
Previous cycle                               Current cycle
26 retrieved                                   27 retrieved
23 mature                                      23 mature
11 eggs frozen                              12 eggs frozen
12 ICSI'd                                      11 ICSI'd
6 fertilized                                    8 fertilized
6 day1 embies frozen                   5 blastocysts frozen
I'm so excited by how much better we did, I can't even tell you!
In the end, I couldn't argue with the numbers. A 90% chance is much better than 20%... which, by the way, I did the research (googling) and the studies backed him up that estrogen levels over 3000 drop pregnancy rates to only 15-20%.
But back to my life... Quick version again.
Saturday was ER, Sunday we moved into the new house, Monday I started Heparin, Tuesday I went back to work, got the day3 update that 8 out of 8 embies were still growing and looked "perfect", Wednesday I expected to start feeling like poopy, but didn't, Thursday I expected to start feeling like poopy, but didn't, Friday I started feeling optimistic that I would not feel like poopy, got the report that 5 out of 8 embies made it to blast and were frozen and that they all looked "amazing". Saturday, a full week after ER, I was feeling amazing. Hardly any bloating, hardly any pain... Except when I over exerted myself moving the Sunday and Monday right after ER... Not AT ALL what I had last cycle! 
Fast forward a few days to Thursday (yesterday), 12 days after ER. I started spotting Wednesday night, so I had put on a pad before bed. I woke up Thursday to cramps and AF had come with a vengeance from hell! Heeellllllooooo, CD1!
Called the nurse to report my period, she asked if I had had a beta. Um, no...
She asked if I had stopped my meds. I'm only on the Heparin.
I reminded her that I had not had a transfer. She had to call me back.
She called back and said that the RE said I could have my baseline done in Houston, but he wanted me to get a beta done too. I told her I could have the baseline done the next day, with same day results. I reminded her that the RE also wanted me to have a CBC done the next day because I'm on Heparin, and I could have the beta done at the same time. She said she'd call in the orders and that I could stop the Heparin.
This morning I went for baseline. They normally do blood first, but instead they put me in the U/S room. U/S showed 4 cysts, 30 mm, 26mm, 24mm, and 19mm. I thought for sure it was BCP for me!
After the U/S they said there were no orders for B/W so they called to make sure and the nurse said they didn't need it.
I figured she had put my orders for B/W with LabCorp since I needed the CBC, so I made an appointment with them for later. Since Patrick took a half day at work, I drug him with me to LabCorp that afternoon. When I got there the lady told me they had no orders for me. She called my nurse, who was confused as to what I expected to be done. I again reminded her about the CBC and beta, which seemed to confuse her more. Um... We had this conversation YESTERDAY!!! ... But she agreed to fax the orders.
I get my blood taken and we leave. About 30 min- 1 hour later, the nurse calls me back and says that they don't need the B/W! I told her I've already done it so she says she'll call them and tell them just to dump it. Come on, lady! Get your shit together!
Good news... The doctor says my U/S looks fantastic! Only four cysts, considering I had 27 eggs retrieved only 12 days ago, he thinks is awesome. When you put it that way...
Since we aren't stimming this cycle, he says the cysts won't hurt anything, soooo... I start Estrace tomorrow!!!
Only one monitoring appointment on the 29th, if everything looks good I'll start PIO on the 31st, and transfer should be September 4! I can't believe it's already so close!
Now I just need to make it through the next few weeks of insanity!
Please, God, grant me strength and patience! Thank You, for all the blessings You have given us these past weeks!