Thursday, June 26, 2008

hope on hold

The fate of our 3 frozen embryos won't be decided until we have the results back from the genetic testing. 4 to 6 weeks from now... there are several options. Some I'm more comfortable with than others. I honestly don't know if D has let it sink in yet. He's currently in Canada for business and has been crazy busy with work all month. (Yes, there were lots of conference calls and lots of laptop time logged while we were in Colorado.)

Until we know what we're dealing with, hope is on hold. I'd rather not speculate.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 6 report: now we wait


We have two more embryos that made it to blasts and were able to be biopsied and frozen. The rest arrested and were not able to be biopsied or frozen.

That leaves us with 3.

My exact feelings are "*ugh*". I'm not completely surprised, I do have crap eggs... you can't deny that w/ 9 embryos fizzling out between days 3 and 6.

Now we must wait 4-6 weeks for the results to come back from the lab.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 5 report

Well, this morning started off by my sitting by the phone and waiting... and waiting... and WAITING. I gave up around 2pm and called them. A guy named Terry talked to me and said that ONE embryo was biopsied and vitrified (frozen) today.

The 'others' weren't to the blastocyst stage yet, and they would be checked again tomorrow. I'm suppposed to get a call tomorrow also. Now, he didn't say that any (of the 11) had died... just that they weren't blasts yet. I should have asked for more details, but heck, I didn't.

I'm not sure what to think at this point. I guess it's good that they aren't dead (yet), but iffy that only 1 could be frozen today. And then there's the whole CGH testing, it's completely possible that that 1 embryo could be genetically abnormal.

More tomorrow... hopefully.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 3 report

We still have 11 embryos growing!
They were all dividing right on schedule (between 6 and 10 cells at this point) but
2 of them were more fragmented than the others.
So, if we don't count the fragmented ones, there are NINE still in the running.

You know what? If we were doing a fresh transfer and still had nine in the running, they'd push us out to a 5 day transfer anyways because there are so many still growing.


Next lab update will be on Tuesday, on day 5. That's when they do the biopsy, and freeze on day 6.
They'll call both Tuesday and Wednesday with updates.

I still can't believe we've gotten this far. Amazing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

back to the usual

The flight home was uneventful and we've picked up all of the dogs. Laundry is going as we speak, and D is mowing the yard. Back to your regularly scheduled Saturday activities!

I should hear tomorrow morning about how our 12 embryos are doing. I won't be surprised if there's some attrition, but we'll see. They are in Very Good Hands.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fert Report!

Be ready to have your socks knocked off...

14 retrieved
12 mature
ALL 12 fertilized w/ ICSI !!!

The embryologist said they were all looking good, and would be checked again on Day 3 (Sunday). On Day 3 if they weren't looking great, the option is a micro-array biopsy. It's not CGH, but yields the same results. I guess it's a newer techinque and a different study. If we're doing crazy talk and they can be cultured to Day 5, the embryos are biopsied at blast stage and then vitrified.

Results of both kinds of testing are running 4-6 weeks. I promise I'll post as soon as I know!

We fly back home this afternoon. Bloated, drug free, and with perhaps a teensy eensy bit of hope.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

ER Report!

Today's magic number is 14. FOURTEEN!!!!!

No puking or (severe) nausea. CCRM rocks.

I am at risk for OHSS because the follicles were 'so big' and because they got so many. Doctors orders are to eat salty foods and drink gatorade as well as take it easy for the next couple of days.

We'll get a call tomorrow morning telling us how many were mature and how many fertilized. They're going to play it by ear with the CGH stuff and growing the embies out to day 5. Good. Regardless it's a freeze all cycle. And btw, their thaw rate is like 95%. Cool.

(btw, I added photos to some of the below posts... go take a look at what we've been up to!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stim day 14... day before ER

This was my last day of stims! Woo Hoo!!! I did the trigger shot last night, which wasn't bad once I got the nerve up enough to stick a 2" needle in my butt.

E2 (estradiol) level today was 3118, which is good. (more follicles, the higher the E2) After the usual am blood draw, D and I went down to Colorado Springs and went to the Garden of the Gods park. It was really spectacular! After that we went to the base of Pike's peak, to Manitou Springs and walked around a bit. I had the best chicken salad *ever* at a cute little cafe called Adam's Mountain Cafe. The roads beyond the main drag were SO steep. I have no idea how in the world they get around in the winter.

Garden of the Gods (this kind of rock formation is called a flatiron)

Garden of the Gods ('siamese twins' formation)

Garden of the Gods- view of Pike's peak through a hole in the siamese twins rocks.

Manitou Springs... so nice!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oh, that's rattlesnake on my shirt.

We just got back from dinner at The Buckhorn Exchange.
I'll just let the photos do the talking!

D while waiting for our table.

The 'ambience'... I seriously contemplated going veggie!

Hmm! David's menu consisted of a rattlesnake appetizer, and main course of yak, ostrich and quail. I had the unadventurous (beef) steak and tried to not loose my cookies. :-)

Trigger, not Tigger...

Follies are still cooking, no mention of an E2 level...

The big news is that I get to trigger tonight at 10pm!!!
ER is scheduled for 9am Thursday, we have to be there at 8am.

Tomorrow we're going to go down to Colorado Springs after the bloodwork in the am.
Thursday is out b/c of ER and
Friday we fly home at 2pm mountain time.

I just hope I'm not puking on Friday and can make it through the airport without incident. At least we have a direct flight.

Off to get ready for dinner. It's D's birthday dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stim day 12

Today we moved residences down to a hotel *much* closer to CCRM. The good thing about the hotel is the free breakfast and high speed internet...oh, and there's an IHOP next door! We loved staying with friends (thanks Sarah and Matt!!!) but it was 62 miles each way to the Dr's office. And D needs to be online for work, which wasn't possible at their house.

Follie watch 2008 update: 11-12ish follicles growing today. Dr Surrey was on the fence on when to trigger me, but decided to hold off. So now I'll do the trigger probably on Wednesday for a Thursday ER. Since this is our last IVF, and based on my tests, I think he's wanting to grow as many of these follicles as large as possible for as long as possible. That's fine by me, but I could really do without the welts (thanks repronex) and bruises (user error from the lupron).

One of the appointments today was with a genetic counsellor to go over what all is involved with the CGH testing we're doing. For some reason I was under the impression that the embryos were frozen at 2 cells. Turns out they (try to) grow them out to 5 days before taking the biopsy. After taking the biopsy they are vitrified. This terrifies me for several reasons. IVF 1 only got us 2 crappy embryos in the first place, and IVF 2 had a better quantity, but the ones we didn't transfer all arrested on day 4. Who's to say we'll even make it to day five for them to even have a chance to do the biopsy. The counsellor lady said that sometimes they'll do it on day 3 or 4 if things aren't looking good, but they really try to grow the embryos to day 5. Ugh.
So NOW I pretty much don't care what the results are, if they make it to day 5 I'll be shocked.

Not sure what our plans are for Tuesday. U/s appt in the AM. D wants to go down/up to Colorado Springs and up the train at Pike's Peak. I'm not sure if my lungs would like that altitude change (walking down a hall briskly still makes me cough). Other options include a tour of the Coors brewery, go to Boulder, or go to the local mall! You know, options, options!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

stim day 11

Today's appt was bright and early at 7:30am. Welcome to my Sunday. We welcomed 11 follicles to the u/s screen this morning. Most in the 17-19mm range. 2 were over 20mm, which is great. We'll probably trigger tomorrow, with the ER on Tuesday. More details as I find them out tomorrow.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day-- between the 2 of us we have 4 appointments. Much to D's dismay, he is probably going to have to do a blood draw while out here. If you recall, it was quite the production in December.

Today we went up to Estes Park with friends, photos below.
View of Long's Peak.

Evidence that We Were Here.

I would also like to thank everyone back home who is taking care of our (many) animals and our home. At last count there are about 10 people helping 'hold down the fort' while we're gone. Also to Al and Sarah for their help in making this possible.
It's been a long road... are we there yet?

Also! Today was D's 33rd birthday, celebrated with beer, a fabulous homemade cheesecake (thanks Sarah!), and coveted Redskins tickets. Not too shabby. I love you!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"like a spa"

This morning was my 1st u/s at the main CCRM office. It really was like a spa. There was a waterfall in the 2 story entryway/ reception area and their check-in desk featured brocures on stress management, relaxation, and accupuncture retreats. The photo above is the view from the parking lot. Can you stand it?!?!!!

Today there were 7ish follicles in the 15mm range. Meds stay the same, and I have to go back tomorrow for another scan. Unfortunately the nurse didn't say what my E2 level was... *shrug*.
After that we went on a lovely hike at Rabbit Mountain with friends. I don't think I got burned either. Bonus! We saw some neat wildflowers, prairie dogs, and great views of the snow caps.

This is a view from the hike.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stim day 8

Today was my first u/s appt out here at CCRM. Their equipment still blows me away. Anywho, there were 7 follicles in the 10mm range, so they definitely need to cook for a while longer. It's a good start. My E2 was 758.

Per Cindy's question, we're doing ER only because of the CGH testing. Because of how long the testing takes, they have to freeze all. Then based on the results, you schedule a FET. Depending on the results we may transfer to me or a surro, or it's completely possible that there are no viable embryos, in which case it's game over.

Right now I have NO expectations of a baby at the end of this cycle, which for me is just fine. This is just what DH needs for closure, so be it.

"business or pleasure?"

For some reason today the question of the day was whether my trip was for "business or pleasure?". Ummm.... well.... you see... it's kind of complicated. I'd really love a T-shirt that said "I went all the way out to CCRM and all I got was this tshirt!" Heh. That'd be one $$$$$ shirt, that's for sure!

As you may have guessed, I made the trip out to Denver this morning, compliments of United Airlines and a very expensive plane ticket. My first appointment is tomorrow morning for the usual ultrasound and blood work. I had a scan yesterday back home and the Dr. found FIVE follicles. Tho I swear he only checked one side. Regardless, five is wonderful b/c last cycle at this point there were none to be seen on the u/s, and I was just waiting for the cycle to be cancelled.
Five is good.

The weather is lovely, there is zero humidity, and I can see gorgeous snow capped mountains in the distance from my friend Sarah's house. These views beat home, any day of the week.

I have one or two days left on my antibiotic for the bronchitis I picked up. My cough is at least productive now. Annoying, but productive. The cycle meds are lots-of-fun. The repronex is leaving welts, and for some reason the lupron is bruising me. SO attractive. Oh and I'm having some metallic taste food aversions. Lettuce is a definite gross food at the moment. Surprisingly, chocolate is still palatable. LOL

Saturday, June 7, 2008

While in Colorado...

We're going to go here for D's birthday dinner.
The Buckhorn Exchange

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Now featuring bronchitis

*sniff*, *gasp*, *sneeze*, *cough*

I got a lovely diagnosis of bronchitis at the Dr. today. Oh, and IVF safe antibiotics and an inhaler. One of my neighbors is convinced I have pneumonia. Where'd you get this, you ask? From MOWING THE GRASS on Friday. I'm (deathly) allergic to grass, and the Dr said it was not impossible for this to be the result. Friggin' allergies. I am very much looking forward to starting my allergy shots once this IVF crap is done with for good. Before TTC I was on an inhaler, pills, and 2 shots a week for my allergies. But b/c of interactions, etc., I had to go off those meds. Let's not even talk about the pets.

Today I started Lupron (was supposed to be yesterday, but there was a pharmacy mix-up). Tomorrow I start the stims.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Welcome back!

You've probably landed here wondering what's new...
Well, a lot!

We had some unexpected news from the last of our tests with CCRM and the RE basically told us we needed to cycle ASAP.  My FSH is going up and AMH is borderline.  Since I am a poor responder with a very low antral follicle count, we don't have numbers on our side.  There is no time to lose.
SO, we're going to Colorado for a little impromptu 'vacation'.  I leave on 6/11 and David on 6/13.  We'll be there until the 20th, hopefully not longer.  It really just depends on how I react (how well I grow eggs) to the meds.

I received the first box of meds today.  Picture will be forthcoming!

The cycle details, because I know some of you are interested in such intricacies.
Protocol: microdose lupron flare
Meds: BCP Ortho-Novum, microdose Lupron, Gonal-f, Repronex.
Dosage: 2amps Repronex am, 300iu gonal-f pm.

I pretty much talk to the nurses daily as we communicate back and forth about the meds, current scans, and appointments.  

Today's CD3 scan went well,  NO CYSTS.  Those nasty cysts were an issue with IVFs 1 and 2.  I was pleasantly surprised to see there were none today.  
Stims (gonal-f / repronex) start on Thursday.  Lupron started today.  In case you're keeping count, that would be 6 shots a day for the immediate future.

On the up side... there's a Nordie's Rack (outlet) store in Denver, and I get to spend some time with my lovely friend Sarah from high school.  It shouldn't be snowing in June, and I should get to see some mountains up close this time.  Cool.