Saturday, December 13, 2008

Big News!



Our home study is done and we are on file with our agency now. We got home from work yesterday and found out that our profile is on the agency's website now, too! We're so excited! I am so glad we stayed up late on Monday and finished it. Steve overnighted the box of profiles to the agency, so I'm sure that's why they were able to get it online this week. Yay!

I told Steve that we're going to celebrate tonight! This is such a big deal for us. :)

I told my sister in law over the phone last night, and she was so excited for us, too. That made me feel great. I emailed everyone on our email list, too! I'm also going to include a letter with our Christmas cards to 'announce' that we're adopting but also to ask people to mention us if they know of someone considering adoption. Our agency encourages you to network as much as you can.

Anyway, I'm doing my little happy dance right now!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our Home Visit

This past Wednesday night we had our home visit for our home study done. We think it went really well. We talked about our house, our neighborhood, and our neighbors. We mentioned how we have a great park nearby with a splash park (I can't wait to take our child there looks like so much fun!) We also talked about how we have a library and schools nearby. We gave a tour of our house. Then we talked about what happens next. We should be on the waiting families list fairly soon - we're waiting for the final home study report to be written and then we have to wait for the proof copy of our profile to arrive. After we approve the proof, they will print up 50+ copies of the profile and we'll attach our photos to them. Then we'll send them back to the agency, and they will distribute them to their different offices.

We are both so happy to be at this point. I know I wrote it before, but I really do feel hopeful now. I know it's going to take time for everything to come together, but I feel like we are really going to become parents through adoption.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our Individual Interviews

Our individual meetings went well. We were there for about 2 1/2 hours. I went first because I was so nervous. We looked at the photos we had taken over the weekend. I had sent a copy of our edited profile last night. We need to make a couple of minor changes. All of our reference letters are in (yay!) Our fingerprint results came back. We turned in our medical forms, too. At this point, we need to make a final draft of our profile, choose the final 5 pictures, choose the layout/colors for our profile, and send it all to the agency with another check. We'll be doing that over the next week or so.

After all that, we were interviewed separately. We talked about growing up, our parents, our siblings, our childhood memories, our religion, our jobs, any family history of violence/substance abuse, our relationship, etc.

We both felt like it went well. We feel so much relief to be to this point already. Now we're moving towards the home visit!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just wanted to write a quick update. We have our next appointment tomorrow night. I'll try to write an update when we get home, but it might be too late.

We have been really busy. We retook photos this weekend. Hopefully we took some that will work. I'll try to post some when I get a chance. We also rewrote our profile. We'll take that with us tomorrow. We've been working on the house, too. I just want to make sure everything is really organized!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Interview #1

Well, it went really well. We were both a bit nervous before we went into the office, but we think it went well. Our case worker asked us a lot of questions. We spent about an hour with her. She went through questions about us dating, our marriage, us as parents, and confirmed some things we had written on our paperwork.

When we got home we jotted down some of the questions we were asked in case you are interested:

How did you come to choose adoption?
Do you know any birthmothers? Do you know anyone who has adopted? Was adopted?
How did you meet? When?
What caught your attention about the other person?
When did you marry? Previous marriages?
How would you describe your marriage?
How would you want your relationship to be with your child?
What is your philosophy on raising a child/discipline?
Will you work FT? PT? Stay at home?
How does your family feel about you adopting?
How would you deal with a family member that had a problem with the adoption?

Our case worker is going to read our profile tonight and talk to us about it tomorrow. We will probably have to make some changes here and there. We also looked at our photos and narrowed down the bunch. We'll be retaking some of them, too, so that they are as clear and bright as possible.

So far, so good. We're getting there...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Home Study

I have been wanting to write an update, but this is the first chance I've had. We have been doing so much for our home study and have been so busy.

I think the last time I wrote, I had mentioned how we were about to go to our first meeting that was part of the whole home study process. We went to it and met our caseworker. She ran the meeting/class. She's really nice. She went through the whole process from start to finish; they talked a lot about openness in adoption vs. closed adoptions of the past; they talked about birthparents, etc. They sent us home with a huge binder of information, plus more forms to fill out. We had to have fingerprints done, and get physicals from our doctor. We also have to work on our profile. We had to write out a birthmother letter and then information about ourselves and where we live. They will have all of it printed professionally and we'll add our photos to it. You wouldn't think that would take so long to write, but when you want it to sound just right, it takes forever! Plus, I'll make a change and then Steve will make 5 changes...that's how it goes. :)

Tomorrow night we meet with our caseworker for our first interview together. The next Monday night we meet to have our individual interviews. After that, the caseworker will be coming to our house for the home visit to make sure our house is safe.

After all of this part is done, we will be in the "pool" of waiting families. There are about 100 couples waiting right now. It could take up to 2 years to be chosen (if we are ever chosen, because some couples aren't chosen...I hope that doesn't happen.) If a birthmother has an adoption plan set up with the agency, she looks through the profiles of the waiting couples and can choose one from them or from online. So, the agency isn't choosing you, the birthmom is. We just have to hope that someone will really connect with our profile.

On top of all of this, it has been very busy at my school. We've had so much going on, including state testing. I worked late at school, too, because I had volunteered at one of our festivals in the evening.

We celebrated our 9th anniversary this past week, too. We went out to dinner together and tried to keep our eyes open since we were so tired!

I guess that's everything for now. We're both excited to be putting everything together - I think it makes us feel more hopeful than we've felt over the past 2+ years.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Well, the agency got our application, and we are on the list for Tuesday night's Domestic Adoption Awareness meeting. We just found out last night that we will be meeting our caseworker at this meeting -- now it feels very official!

I think we're going to try to do a few more things around the house this weekend. We have so many odds and ends that we (okay I!) want to make sure are done prior to a homestudy.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Adoption Application

Steve and I spent a lot of time working on our application yesterday. We are almost done. We still need to find some info on our health/life insurance. I also need to draw a floorplan of our house (or find one from when we bought our house.) Then we will copy everything and send it on its way.

We have two books to read -- Dear Birthmother and Adopting After Infertility. I started D.B. and Steve started A.A.I. So far so good. Both books are required reading for the domestic program.

We are taking tomorrow off to work on organizing things around our house. Of course, we probably don't need everything to be done, but we'll feel better by doing it. I am going to try to organize the laundry room and the computer/guest room. If it doesn't rain, he is going to work outside in the yard.

We aren't really sure what we'll need to do for our actual home study, but it feels good to be productive.

Today we went to a cider mill and apple orchard with my sisters. We wanted to take some pictures and we thought it might be a good place. (Plus I LOVE cider reminds me of being little!) We are hoping that one of the pictures could be used for our profile. The agency puts a picture of the adopting parents on the cover of your profile. Then you write little captions for the other pictures inside your profile.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Today's Consult

We had our consult today at the adoption agency. It went really well. Of course we were both so nervous. I know I barely slept last night. I kept having these crazy dreams, and then I would wake myself up from them. I do that when I'm anxious.

We met the director of domestic adoption. She was really nice and made us feel very comfortable. She told us the history of the agency and then told us about the adoption process. She said the average adoption (domestic) takes 12-24 months with their agency. The birthmothers choose you and then you are matched. They have about 90 waiting families right now. They place about 100 babies per year.

So now it's up to us to take the next step. We need to fill out the big formal application and mail it in with a check. Then we would go to a domestic adoption meeting either in October or November. After that we would move on with the Home Study.

We both left there feeling really positive and a bit overwhelmed. I'm glad it went so well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our first appointment

The agency called us yesterday and left a message. I called them back today and set up an appointment for a consult. It's next Tuesday!

What questions should we ask?

I have lots of adoption books here at home. I'm going to start going through them tonight. (I've been reading mostly memoir-style books about adoption, but I'll pull out the informational books, too.)

When I made the call I was so nervous! I had butterflies in my stomach! This is such a big exciting step for us.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Next Step

Steve and I spent the last two weeks talking about what we wanted to do next. We looked at all of the paperwork that we had from the adoption agency that we liked. We talked about whether we should go forward with international adoption or domestic adoption. We decided that we are going to pursue domestic adoption - We are hoping that we will be able to adopt an newborn infant, so domestic looks like the way to go. We decided to send the form in now, especially since it will probably take a while before we have our consultation appointment set up.

I dropped the form in the mailbox today!

I have to say - it's a good feeling. A really good feeling. For the first time in a very long long time, I feel hopeful that this will lead us to a child.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our Follow-Up with Dr. K.

We had our follow-up appointment with Dr. K. after work today.

I expected to go in and have her say that we could try another round with different medications or even higher amounts. She didn't.

She said she recommended that we either use donor eggs or that we adopt. My eggs were not good. She reviewed all three of our IVFs with us. She pointed out how during IVF 2 and 3, all of my eggs were fragmented. Some had darker areas on them, too. (That means they are older - either older in general, or that they were in the follicle too long before they could be retrieved.) The higher levels of medication (which she said were the highest she would put me on) didn't help with better eggs.

She recommended that we take a break, and if we are leaning more toward adoption, then that's what we should do. I told her that I would be worried to take such a gamble on donor eggs -- what if I actually have implantation issues as well as egg quality issues? I told her I just can't go through all of this heartbreak again.

She said that she knows we'll be parents someday, and that she hopes that if we decide to adopt, that we bring our baby in for a visit.

I could barely say thank you to her. I was crying so much it was hard to get the words out. We just feel so sad. I think part of me is a little relieved at this point, too, though. We made a decision and we're moving forward.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

4 Days After...

It's been four days since we found out the our 3rd IVF did not work. Coincidently, the day we found out was also my first day of school. In some ways, it was a good thing - I was able to see my students and keep busy with getting my classroom together. In other ways - it was so hard.

Very few people at my work know we did a 2nd and a 3rd IVF. One of the people that does know told me that I shouldn't lose hope - that we could adopt and then get pregnant. I tried to explain to her how that only about 6% of couples who adopt go on to have a biological child. Most importantly, though, is that we aren't going to adopt in the hopes of the adoption helping us to get pregnant. We will adopt because we want to become parents.

Steve told me he feels confused -- why didn't this work for us? I just feel such a sense of loss.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Our test was negative today. I just feel numb and can't quite believe that it didn't work again.

Monday, September 1, 2008

This is a picture of us in a sculpture garden in Saugatuck, MI. I think Steve blinked just as the picture was taken.

We went away this past weekend for a couple days. My birthday was yesterday, and I have been feeling so down lately. I didn't want to be home for my b-day. I guess I didn't feel up for much celebrating. So I had asked Steve if we could go somewhere overnight. He booked one night at a hotel not too far from Saugatuck, MI. I ended up adding on an additional night this past week. It worked out well.

I didn't forget our stresses, but it was nice to have something to distract myself a bit.

I go in tomorrow morning for our beta. I'm going to try to get there at 6:30am, so I can be one of the first patients seen. Tomorrow is also my first day back to school -- perfect timing,huh? Nothing like stress upon more stress!

We're going to have them call our house phone with the news. If it's bad news, I don't want to get it and then have to finish working the rest of the day. If it's good news, then we will find out together.

I wish all of this didn't have to be so hard.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I know I haven't posted in a few days. I wasn't sure what to write. Our beta is next Tuesday (my first day back to work after summer vacation.) I'm nervous and anxious. It's hard to wait.

It's been really hard. Steve and I have been doing our best to hang in there, but it's been so stressful. He's a great listener, but he wants to fix everything and he can't. I know it's hard on him,too.

I'm just worried. I'm really emotional -- I can't help it. We've been through so much up until now. I would love to hear some good news on Tuesday.

I wish I knew what was going to happen.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pics of our Embryos

These are the pictures of our embryos. The pic on the top shows the embryos we put back. One of them is at 5 cells and the other two are at 6 cells. The picture on the bottom is of the other three that weren't doing as well - they were only at 4 cells on day 3.

Just thought you might like to see them.

Day after ET

I've been so worried about the fragmentation. I wish I knew success stories of people who put back embryos that had been fragmented. I feel like I did last cycle - we put back the one that had a lot of fragmentation and it didn't work.

Why can't I just have good eggs? Why?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We're home

We just got home. We transferred 3 embryos. They were graded B- and had 10-15% fragmentation. On the bright side, the assisted hatching worked.

I'm headed to the couch now. :)

Our Transfer is Today!

Well, the nurse called. Our transfer will be today at 4pm. I have to be there at 3:30pm. My mom is going to drive me to the appointment since I won't be able to drive home. (They will give me Valium so I'm relaxed during the transfer.) Steve is going to meet us there since it's on his way home from work. Then I'll drive home with him afterwards.

We have 2 embryos at 6 cells and 1 at 5 cells. They are doing assisted hatching on those before they transfer them.

We have 3 others that are at 4 cells. The nurse said their quality wasn't so great.

I'll try to post at some point, but I know Steve is going to be watching me like a hawk and making sure that I stay on the couch or in bed! :)

Thanks to everyone for checking in on us...I appreciate it so much.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fertilization Report

We got our fert report: 3 of them are at 4 cells, 1 is at 3 cells, and 2 are at 2 cells. The embryologist is going to look at them tomorrow and if they do assisted hatching, they will do the transfer tomorrow at 4pm.

Otherwise, we're looking at a transfer on Saturday.

I think I'm almost hoping for the assisted hatching and the transfer tomorrow. We've never had the AH done before, so maybe that would be what we need.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I got the call at 10am...

Out of the nine eggs, SIX of them fertilized!

Now we have to wait for tomorrow's phone call - they will tell us then if we're going to do a 3 day or 5 day transfer.

I'm taking it easy today. I'm still pretty sore. I was going to go work in my classroom, but I decided to wait until tomorrow. I think I need the extra day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Egg Retrieval Today


They got 9 eggs - that's the most we've ever had!

I'm so happy. Steve is so happy!

I'm going to rest now on the couch. My Darvocet is kicking in!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Day Before ER

I went in for my bloodwork at 7am this morning. The nurse said that my E2 was 2782 yesterday. She drew my blood today to check to make sure that the HCG (trigger shot of Novarel) was working.

If you are reading my blog and have never been through IVF before...

Tomorrow my retrieval is at 9am. I have to be there by 8:30am. That's so they can talk to me about the anesthesia, get the anesthesia ready, ask me about allergies, give me my first progesterone shot, etc.

My progesterone shots start tomorrow. I'll be doing one shot in the hip every night.

I reminded the nurse that we are supposed to have Assisted Hatching done on our embryos. She said to mention it again tomorrow, so they can make sure the embryologist is aware that we're doing that. (I would have mentioned it anyway because I don't want them to forget.)

I'll know tomorrow how many eggs they retrieved. I won't know if they were mature and if they fertilized until I get the fertilization report on Monday.

The whole procedure is about 30-45 minutes long. Afterwards, they make sure that you are waking up okay from the anesthesia, and they give you something to drink and eat. After they are sure you are okay, they let you go home.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow - I feel hopeful again. We've done everything we can do to get us to this point, and things are out of our hands now. I'm worried, too, but I'm hoping that we improved our odds somehow this time.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trigger Shot

I'm doing my trigger shot (Novarel) at 9pm tonight. Actually Steve is the lucky one doing the trigger shot at 9pm!

I'm so glad we're almost to retrieval. :)

ER will be Monday morning at 9am.

Today's Appointment

I'm up to 15 follicles today! I had 7 that were 18mm or greater. The rest were between 10 and 15. It's looking like I may trigger tonight; I'm just waiting for the phone call.

I'm feeling more optimistic. Everyone keeps saying "three times the charm." I hope so.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Follicle Check

I had a different tech today, and she saw 13 follicles instead of 14. The sizes didn't seem to have gone up a huge amount, so they may have me stim for another day. They will call me this afternoon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Follicle Check

Drumroll please....

I have 14 follicles! Yay - that's the most I've ever had. :)

My estrogen was up, too - 1666. I'm going back in tomorrow for another check.

I am wondering if they will tell me to trigger tomorrow night. Guess I may find out tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Follicle Check

I had my ultrasound and bloodwork done this morning. My E2 was over 1000. I forget the exact number.

I had 6 follicles on each side!

Right -- 15, 12, 11, 10, 10, 10

Left -- 14, 14, 13, 12, 12, 11

I also have 5 that are smaller than 8mm. It's possible that some of them might catch up, too. I'm really happy with my numbers. On day 8 of stims from last cycle, I had only 9 follicles. So it looks like I'm a bit ahead this time. I go back in for another check tomorrow morning.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Book List

I love to read, and I love finding new books. I've been thinking that it would be nice to have a list of IF-related, IVF-related, and adoption-related books. I'm going to start it here, but if you add books that you like in my comments section, I'll add them to my list. You can even add a little review if you like, a description of the book, or how it helped you (or didn't help.) I would like to have a fiction section, too.

Books about Infertility

Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler -- This is a book with a lot of basics and with additional information about charting and reproductive health. It's good if you're just starting out ttc.

Fertility & Conception by Zita West -- An easy to read early fertility book. (Posted by Jill)

Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein -- This is a memoir that deals with infertility treatments, miscarriage, and adoption. (Also recommended by kitty love)

Infertility Survival Guide by Judith Daniluk -- Good info for the beginning stages. (Posted by Andrea)(Also recommended by Ifoundhim)

A Few Good Eggs by Vargo and Regan -- Kkind of a 'girls' guide, made me laugh. (Posted by Andrea) (Also recommended by Morgan 2004)

The Conception Chronicles -- It was a light-hearted approach to our heartache (posted by Jill)

Unsung Lullabies -- A good one for coping with IF, the emotions that come with it, as well as relationships with others. (Posted by LostinSpace)

The Infertility Survival Handbook -- It goes through everything from finding an RE, testing/diagnoses/treatment, financial and marital strain, etc. It is written by a women who when through 7 years of IF. (Posted by LostinSpace)

Conquering Infertility (Posted by hopefaithlove)

Books about Infertility/Alternative Medicine

The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis -- My acupuncturist recommended this book to me. It's a pretty easy read with suggestions on how to make changes to your diet/lifestyle that my help with conceiving.

Fertility Wisdom by Angela C. Wu -- Traditional Chinese medicine and how it can help you overcome IF.

Inconceivable by Julia Indichova -- I read this a while ago. Indichova wrote about how she was trying to have a child and how her FSH (I believe) levels were very high. She used alternative medicine as well as dietary changes to help improve her FSH levels.

The Fertile Female by Julia Indichova -- Indichova writes about how she has worked with women who are trying to conceive and have not had previous success.

Books about IVF
Is Your Body Baby Friendly by Alan Beer -- This book is about IVF, but it's also about other steps your doctor could be taking if you've had m/c or failed IVFs. It's a pretty interesting book.

Everything Conceivable by Liza Mundy -- General info on ART and its ethical implications..interesting read, but made me kind of neurotic:) (Posted by Andrea)

The Couple's Guide to In Vitro Fertilization by Liza Charlesworth -- A good step-by-step approach to IVF (Posted by Jill) I second Jill's recommendation on "The Couple's Guide to In Vitro Fertilization". I would suggest this one to anyone just "thinking" about IVF as the first few chapters are about finding a good RE, testing, finances, etc. (Posted by LostinSpace)(Also recommended by krissyh21)

IVF the A.R.T. of Making Babies - (Posted by Morgan2004, krissyh21, and hannahandben)

Books about Adoption

From China with Love: A Long Road to Motherhood by Emily Buchanan -- Buchanan writes about her own struggles with infertility and how she chooses adoption. She eventually adopts two little girls from China. This was a really good book.

Secret Thoughts of An Adoptive Mother by Jana Wolff -- Wolff addresses issues like "Will my child ever feel like mine?" and "Will she want him back?" I thought it was a good book.

A Love Like No Other: Stories from Adoptive Parents Edited by Pamela Kruger and Jill Smolowe -- I really liked this book. Each chapter is from a different parent's point of view. It's all about different adoption situations.

China Ghosts: My Daughter's Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood by Jeff Gammage -- This book is told from the adoptive father's point of view. He adopted his daughter from China. The story is about the process before and after the adoption and how he has tried to learn more about his daughter's background. Great book.

The Mistress's Daughter: A Memoir by A.M. Homes -- I just read this over the past few days. It's told from Homes' point of view. She was adopted as an infant. When she is about 30 years old, her birthmother asks to speak with her and meet her. The story is about what happens after that. It's not a very uplifting story at all, but I thought it was interesting.

Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home by Kim Sunee (A Memoir) I read this book recently, too. I really liked it. Sunee was born in Korea and was adopted a three year old. Her adoptive parents brought her back to New Orleans. Eventually as an adult, Sunee moves to France. The story is about how she tries to find her place in the world and it incorporates her love of cooking and food in the process.

Two Little Girls: A Memoir of Adoption by Theresa Reid --A woman and her husband journey to Moscow and Kiev to adopt their daughters.

Related by Adoption: A Handbook for Grandparents and Other Relatives

Adoption is a Family Affair!: What Relatives and Friends Must Know -- I haven't read this, but saw it listed on a chatboard.

Fiction about Infertility, IVF, /or Adoption

The Baby Trail by Sinead Moriarty -- The cover says, "Mix Bridget Jones with Charlotte from Sex and the City and you've got Emma, the charming heroine of The Baby Trail..."

The Martian Child by David Gerrold -- This is a novel based on a true story. It was also made into a movie with John Cusack (which is also really good.) I really liked this book. It's the story of a single father adopting a son.

Perfecting Kate -- that deals with IF (premature ovarian failure specifically). It's a pretty light read - sort of "chick lit". I liked it a lot! (Posted by hannanandben)

What other books would you add?

Today's Appointments

I went in for bloodwork and an ultrasound today. My E2 came back at 687 (that's up from 211) and the nurse said that's "fantastic." My ultrasound showed 3 follicles that are 10-11mm and 13 that are under 10. That's so many more than I had last time. I'm so happy!

I go back in on Wednesday morning for the same type of appointment.

I also met with an IVF support group at the doctor's office. There were 4 of us that are all going through IVF in the next week or so. It was nice to talk to people who are going through the same things. I was the 'veteran' of the group, though. Everyone else was trying it for the first time. In a way it was nice because I was able to answer a lot of their questions.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ultrasound and Blood Work

I'm feeling a little better today. I have actually had a headache every day for the past six days. Maybe the headaches are done! (Or maybe I'm just being really optimistic...)

We had a fun night out last night. We went to see Chelsea Handler's comedy show with a friend of ours. She is so funny - I laughed so much. I think I really needed to do something like that - it took my mind off of things for a while.


I had my ultrasound and bloodwork done yesterday. I have 6 follicles (3 one each side.) They are fairly small. I didn't ask for actual sizes at this point. My estrogen (E2) level was at 211. I have to keep my dosages the same and go back in tomorrow morning for another ultrasound and more bloodwork.

I'm waiting for more Bravelle to be delivered. When the original order was sent to me, I wasn't sent enough. I was actually 52 vials short! That's a lot of vials to be missing. Hopefully they will arrive on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. That's the last thing I need to stress about at this point.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Having a hard time

This has been a rough week so far. I don't really want to complain, but I can't help it. I just don't feel well. I've had a headache every day, and Tylenol won't make it go away. I feel tired and very irritable. I know it's the extra hormones, but that doesn't make me feel any better. I've had a few moments where I almost start crying, too. I'm not talking about crying at a sad movie or a sad story. I'm ready to cry over silly things. I also hurt myself last night with my needle. I couldn't get it to go in, and I managed to give myself half a dozen bruises on the left side of my stomach. I'm looking quite lovely today.

I'm hanging in there, though. I just have to remind myself why we're doing this.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bravelle and Menopur

I started my stim shots today. I'm injecting Bravelle and Menopur in the morning and evening along with the Lupron. As far as side effects go, I have another headache today. I'll probably try to rest in a bit and see if that helps.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lupron Shots

I went in for my ultrasound and bloodwork this morning. Everything looked fine, so I was able to start my Lupron shots tonight. I'll be doing all of my injections at 7am and 7pm. I will use 20 units Lupron twice a day and then I'll add in 300 units of Bravelle and 75 units of Menopur starting on Wednesday morning. I'll be doing those injections twice a day, too.

I am also going to go to a preparing-for-IVF meeting next Monday. They are holding it at my RE's office. I'll be able to talk with other patients who are going through IVF right now, too.

I'm doing okay tonight. I feel pretty good. Steve said to me that he is really happy that we are able to try again. That made me feel good and made me worry a little less.

Friday, August 1, 2008

How Strong is Strong Enough?

I just read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch right after our IVF didn't work. I loved the book, but one particular part stood out to me the most. Pausch was speaking about obstacles that prevent you from reaching your dreams. In his words,

“…brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.”

Within the past week one of my sisters and a couple of our friends have said how strong they think we are. I have to admit that I haven't felt very strong at all in recent weeks.

Lately I feel like my feelings get hurt very easily. I go into self-preservation mode. I'm really worried that we will go through this IVF and it won't work. I'm not so worried about the going-through part of it...we've been through that part twice. That feels like old hat. The needles, the injections, the side effects - that doesn't really worry me. I'm worried about the call at the end of the
2 week wait. The call that I've gotten 6 times so far - after 4 IUIs and 2 IVFs. The call that I don't want to get anymore.

Part of me is still hopeful this will work. I think that would have to be the case, or I wouldn't be signing up for another round. I'm hopeful that my doctor knows what she's doing. I'm glad that she's willing to be more aggessive and try "newer" things. I feel like she hasn't given up on us, so why should we?

So for now, I'll try to find some strength each day. I think I can find that in the hopes of our families and of our friends. I know I can find it in my husband. He jokes and says that I am "a rock." I think he's the one who is the rock - he has been so supportive throughout the last two years (and during the last 15 years that I've known him.) Sometimes you can't find all of the strength in yourself and that's okay. Sometimes you need to let others be strong for you.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

IVF Meds Have Arrived

This is a picture of my medication for our third IVF procedure. I had a little bit leftover from the last round, but most of it arrived today. The plastic bags and paper bags contain needles and syringes. The two bigger plastic bags contain 60 needles and syringes. Ouch! I just realized the Lupron is not in the picture. So picture two more bottles added to this collection!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Protocol

I'm hoping things go better this cycle. This is what we're doing differently:

I had an endometrial biopsy done.
They put me on Folgard because I tested + for MTHFR.
They put me on baby aspirin earlier in the cycle.
DH and I are both doing a round of antibiotics (Azithromycin) just in case there are any underlying infections.
We are doing 2 estrogen tablets a day from the day of ER.
We're doing Assisted Hatching (along with the ICSI that we were already doing.)

I'll be doing the Microdose Lupron protocol.

Friday, August 1st - take last birth control pill.
Monday, August 4th - Ultrasound, bloodwork, and start Lupron (twice a day)
Wednesday, August 6th - Start Bravelle (300 units) and Menopur (75 units) twice a day

ER would be sometime mid-August.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Talking About IF

How much do other people know about your infertility?

We never told anyone when we decided to start ttc. Why would we? "Hey, we're going to make a baby!" It just isn't something most people do, right? But we had been married for almost 7 years when we started ttc. I'm guessing most people don't wait that long. For us, we waited because of different reasons. I guess at first, we just wanted to be married and enjoy it just being the two of us. Then it was we'll wait until after we finish our degrees. Then it was let's wait until we have a house. (Well, I was ready much earlier than Steve, but since it takes two to make the decision...we waited.)

We tried for about 8 months and talked with our family doctor and my obgyn about some things we thought might be issues. We started the process of having an SA done. Then my family doctor and the obgyn suggested we see an RE, a reproductive endocrinologist. That's when we decided to talk to our immediate families about us having some issues. I guess we mainly did it for the support. It's hard enough going through all of this. It's even harder when people make comments or ask when you are going to start to have babies. I guess I figure if people know, they will be more sensitive.

Most people have been supportive. I have had a couple of instances where someone has said things to me that have hurt my feelings, and it has caused me to shy away from them with any IF news. I guess it's just a self-protective kind of thing. I don't want to feel hurt by anyone else's opinions or comments.

I guess I was wondering if it would have been easier had we not said a thing about what we've been going through. I don't think it really would be easier. In fact, I would probably feel so much more isolated and upset. I guess right now I feel like I have to censor myself with certain people and that's tough enough.

Do you talk about your IF issues with anyone? Are you glad that you do?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Biopsy and MTHFR

I asked my doctor about the MTHFR diagnosis. She said I have the C677T version; I'll just have to take Folgard and baby aspirin. Not Lovenox or Heparin since I don't have the clotting version.

I had the biopsy done, and it went okay. It didn't take too long - maybe 10 minutes or so. My doctor had a hard time getting the catheter in, but finally she was able to get it where it needed to be. I had a lot of cramping when she did the biopsy itself. I've also had some bleeding since then, but it's not too bad.

If all goes well, we'll be starting Lupron soon for IVF #3.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Endometrial Biopsy

I'm going in to have a biopsy done tomorrow. Some studies show that women who have failed IVFs sometimes have success after having a biopsy done. I guess the biopsy process "changes" the lining of your uterus.

I'm just anticipating pain. My HSG was very painful. I realize that it's not the same, but it still seems painful.

Why else do they do an endometrial biopsy?
They might find abnormal cells.
You may have problems with your lining.
Your hormone levels might be off.
You might have an infection you didn't know about.
Your RE might suspetct endohyperplasia (related to low estrogen and low progesterone.)

Basically - if you have a problem with any of these things, you might have a problem supporting a pregnancy.

Oh, I also tested + for MTHFR - Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. It's a gene mutation which can in some cases lead to problems getting or staying pregnant. In my case, I'm not absorbing/processing folic acid and they are putting me on Folgard. I'm not sure which mutation I have - I guess there's two. One of them can lead to blood clotting issues.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More Blood

I had to have more blood taken this morning. The nurse from my RE's office said the lab did something wrong with the vials of blood she sent over. I had an autoimmune workup done last weekend. Normally it's given to patients after recurrent miscarriages, but since I've had two failed IVFs, my RE wanted me to have it done. Last Saturday they took A LOT of blood - over 10 vials. Maybe closer to 12. Well, today she took at least 4 more. I was hoping to have my results back by the end of the week, but I'm not sure if that will happen now. I'm also waiting on karyotyping results. Those take 4-6 weeks. I keep hoping they will miraculously turn up early.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm having a hard time this weekend. I'm just struggling with my feelings about why this won't work for us.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My latest painting

This is the painting that I decided to make. It's 3 feet across by 4 feet high. I have a thing for trees - they tend to show up in a lot of my paintings. Not sure of the significance - maybe I just like the almost-permanence of the huge tree we have in our backyard and the one by our old condo. The strength and grace of them. Or maybe it's the whole family-tree connection and symbolism that I like.

The counselor at my RE's clinic had suggested I think of a way to honor the embryos we had during our IVF cycles. I decided to paint something that would be a memory and a way for me to start moving on to whatever we decide to do next. I painted the background and tree last night. I made little bird templates and used them to creat a collage bird to represent the four embryos we had during IVf #1 and #2. Each of those little birds is looking to the left (I was thinking of it as the past.) My bird on the right is the only one that's flying. It's moving on from what's happened in our past and toward whatever is going to happen in our future.

I am happy with how it turned out.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Our FollowUp Appointment with RE and then some

We had our followup meeting with our RE, and it went okay. We're not sure what we're going to do. She thinks my main issues are/may be egg quality/quantity and implantation (maybe.) Dr. K. thought that I would have had more eggs and better quality eggs this time. She said she still thinks I have a good chance at having more eggs/good quality if we try again because we had 3 grade A blasts with the first cycle. She thinks part of it may be my age and that my eggs are starting to change as I get older. But it's not necessarily one month you have some and the next month you have none. It goes kind of up and down like a wave.

She suggests that if we try again we try the Microdose Lupron but with higher doses of Bravelle (or Gonal F instead of Bravelle) 2x/day and she even said she could start me on 2 estrogen pills/day (even though she didn't think that was part of the issue.) She also said she would run bloodwork for blood clots and for immunity issues - that may be related to implantation issues. She also mentioned doing assisted hatching on our embryos, too.

If we go through a 3rd cycle, I would want to do the August cycle, so it would be before school starts. That's right around the corner...

Our other option is to skip the 3rd IVF and head straight into adoption. We are both willing to move forward with that if that's what we decide we should do. We like the agency we already spoke with - we feel comfortable with them.

It's such a hard decision. There are so many things to consider - the timing of everything, the emotional stress of everything, the financial aspect of it all, and did I mention the emotional stress of everything?????

It's so hard. I don't know what we're going to do.

I had the autoimmune bloodwork done on Saturday. I also had cycle day 3 bloodwork and ultrasound done in case with go through with cycle #3. We should get our bloodwork results back in a week, except for the karyotype results. That may take up to 6 weeks.

After our followup on Wednesday, I met with the counselor at the RE's office on Thursday. We talked about the stress of all this and how dealing with the negatives has been so hard. The counselor has been through 3 IVFs, so she really understands the emotional toll that it takes on a couple.

We talked about grief and she let me know that it's okay to be sad - to be mad - to be angry. She talked about how when an IVF fails, it's like you are dealing with a death - a death of children you'll never know. What we're dealing with feels so "heavy" - I feel like there is this weight on me all the time. She asked me how I'm taking care of myself and I told her, "I don't know." Isn't that sad? I am not even sure how to take care of myself at this point anymore.

She suggested I do something positive to remember our IVFs and our embryos - much like you would do to honor someone that passed away. I'm working on a painting - I told the counselor how much I love to paint and how much I've missed it over the last few months. I already had something in mind for the picture - I just had to start it.

So, I've been trying really hard to work through being sad, being depressed. I am not sure how to do it but I'm going day by day - I went for a walk and looked out at the lake nearby, I worked in our yard and took my aggressions out on the weeds, I started my painting, I've been reading, I've been talking to family and friends. I guess it just takes time.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

2 and a 1/2 years ago...

I'm not sure why I'm posting this picture. This weekend was one of hardest times in our lives. I think I just want to remember a time when we were both really happy and not worrying as much about all of this.

About the picture -- We were visiting our friends in New Jersey. They happened to mention this house where the owners went all out with their holiday decorations. I decided I had to see it, and they were very happy to take us to it.

Picture the Griswold's house. But picture it x 10! I was practically giddy.

There were a ton of people, and we were even allowed to walk through the backyard. They had little scenes set up with moving elves and santas. We got to walk around and look at everything. Their front yard was also decorated to the hilt. That's where we took the picture above.

I love this picture because we were so happy that night. Okay, I was ridiculously happy for some reason - I love all those crazy Christmas lights. I guess it makes me feel like I'm little again. And Steve - well, I think he was just happy because he saw how happy it made me.

I know that we're going to get through this, and one way or another we will be parents. I know that in time, we won't hurt quite so much as we did this past weekend. I know that we're going to have some more major decisions to make over the next few months. And hopefully those decisions will lead us to our child.

I wanted to say that I really appreciate everyone who took the time to comment on my blog or to email me. I really appreciate my friends from FF, the Nest, and LP who encouraged me through this round of IVF, too. Having people understand what you're going through means a lot.

Thank you so much for taking the time to think of us.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Our test was negative.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beta is One Day Away

One more day to get through (Friday) and we'll be at our beta day on Saturday. My appointment is at 8am. I'm hoping they call with the result earlier rather than later. I think last time I found out around 11:30 am or so. DH is going to be with me - I'm so glad. I was alone when I got the call about IVF #1. That was one of the worst days of my life. I know DH feels the same.

I'm feeling okay. I'm sure it's way to early for symptoms, anyway. But you always hear about (or as in my case, read about online) people who had a million and one symptoms prior to finding out they were pg.

Monday, June 23, 2008

So Upset Earlier...

The IVF nurse called and left a message on my cell phone. Unfortunately, I was in a workshop all day and couldn't really check my messages/or call her back. When I got to my car and listened to the message, she said that my progesterone was fine, but my estrogen was low: 128. The last time it was checked it was at 775, so that's a huge drop. She just said that I should increase my estradiol tablets to two a day instead of one.

After I drove home and really thought about it, I started to get pretty worried. Last time we did IVF, the same thing happened, but I remember the doctor saying she thought it might have been a lab error and not my actual level. So here it happened again, just a few days away from my beta. Pretty worried is an understatement. I was freaking out.

I talked to DH and he said I should try to get a hold of the nurse to ask her for more information. I tried emailing her, but the email came back to me. I decided to call the on-call line for the nurses. I'm so glad I did. I would have been worrying all night about it.

She said that there haven't been any studies done that show that low estrogen prevents you from getting pregnant. She also said that they have been doing their own internal study and have see women with higher estrogen not get pregnant and women with lower levels get pregnant. That made me feel better. She said they just wanted me to increase the dosage to bring it up a bit higher, but they are not worried about it.

I have been trying so hard this cycle - trying so hard not to cry, trying so hard not to get super-emotional, trying so hard to not take out my stress on dh, my family, or my friends, trying so hard to be positive and think about the good things that could be happening, tryng to just hold it together in general.

DH said he thinks I just hit a wall tonight. I started getting all choked up on the phone with the nurse and then after I hung up, I just started sobbing. I just couldn't keep it in anymore. I have to admit - I do feel much better. Maybe I should have cried a bit sooner :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Things To Do During the 2ww....

Hmm...I'm hoping that this last week of my 2 week wait goes by quickly. I'll be busy during the days with a job-related workshop that I'm attending, but I know I'm going to need ideas for things to do in the evenings. I just don't want to sit around either watching television or thinking too much about Saturday's test.

Any ideas?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Baby's First Pics

This was our ultrasound right after the transfer. At the bottom "x" there is a little patch of light - that's where the embryo was placed.

This is a picture of what our embryo looked like on the day of the transfer.

My bloodwork from Tuesday came back fine. My estrogen was at 800 and my progesterone was greater than 20. Both levels are good. I had to go again today and have it retaken. Hopefully it will be okay.

I have been taking it easy. Bedrest for 24 hours. Now just hanging out around the house. Not doing much of anything. I get kind of antsy, though! Everytime I look out the window, I keep seeing weeds that need to be pulled. I just don't want to do anything to strenuous right now - it might be fine, but I don't want to think - what if???

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Steve said he's giving me 5 minutes on the computer and then he wants me back on the couch :)

They transferred our one little 8 cell embryo. It had started to fragment but the doctor said it's possible for it to correct itself once it's inside me. As my husband reminded me, 3 "perfect" embryos decided to not implant last time, so maybe this one will.

They'll check my estrogen and progesterone on Thursday (of this week) but I won't have a beta pg test until June 28th.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Transfer tomorrow!

We got the call - our embryo made it through the night and is at 4 cells. We're doing a transfer tomorrow!
Could I be any happier?

(Well, ask me in 2 weeks!!!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

When I talked to the nurse earlier, I asked her why we might have gotten such a low number. I reminded her that we had done such an aggessive protocol and that we had less than with IVF #1.

She said I probably have a diminished ovarian reserve, but the doctor could tell me more when we speak next time.

So I may not have many eggs left at all.

Our Not-So-Great Fertilization Report

They called us about the eggs around 1pm or so. The nurse said that of the 5 they retrieved, only 3 were mature, and only 1 fertilized. We are pretty upset, as you can imagine. I'm holding onto hope, though, that this little one is a fighter.

Looks like I'll probably be back in on Tuesday for a 3 day transfer. She said one of her patients who had the exact same thing happen just delivered a little girl. So at least it's possible that it could still work.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

DH calls them the Fab 5 - that's how he's referring to the eggs they retrieved today. He's been trying to make me laugh and to make me feel better. He's such a good guy.

Egg Retrieval Day

Today was our ER day. The doctor was able to retrieve 5 eggs. We were both pretty disappointed that it wasn't more. We hope that at least some of them (if not all) will fertilize today and make it to day 3 or 5.

We really hoped we might be able to freeze some, too, but I don't think it's very likely.

Friday, June 13, 2008

All Set for Tomorrow

My estrogen was 2751 this morning. My progesterone was 6.0. The nurse said that's good - it means it's working.

So far, so good.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday's Appointment

Brenda asked me if I had different ultrasound techs doing the u/s yesterday and the day before. I know yesterday I had 2 different people doing the u/s - the one person is the regular tech. The other person is new and being trained for IVF. I get the impression she's done ultrasounds before, just not for in-vitro. She started on her own and wrote down the measurements. When the regular tech checked the numbers against the day before, she found that the newest numbers were smaller.

The regular tech re-did the u/s and used her numbers on the report. I think she tends to measure all the way to the very edge of the follicle, where the newer tech wasn't doing that.

I had the regular tech do an u/s today - and ALL IS WELL! I was worrying for nothing!

Right: 23 20 17 16
Left: 20 19 18 17 16 and 10.

So I'm up to 10 and at least 4 less than 10...yay! I'm feeling better about things.

Just got the call: Egg Retrieval will be at 9am on Saturday (have to be there at 8:30am.) Trigger shot tonight at 9pm.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Today's appointment

Well, somehow I appear to have misplaced a follicle. They counted 8 today and somehow counted 9 yesterday. Not sure what happened - maybe one was counted twice yesterday?

I didn't have any growth on the left side at all. Is this normal? (Of course, I'm freaking out a little bit...)

The right had growth - up to 17, 17, 14, and 18.

My estrogen was 1686 and my progesterone was 1.4. I have to go back in tomorrow morning for another u/s and bw. Does anyone know what my progesterone should be at this point? I forgot to ask.

I am feeling pretty full right now - I hope ER is soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The nurse called and said my E2 is at 1292. Retrieval should be Friday or Saturday. I go back in for another u/s and more bw tomorrow morning.

June 10th, 2008

I had another appointment this morning. I'm still waiting on the office to call me with my Estrogen results. Plus they need to tell me the plan for tonight and tomorrow.

Here's what I had follicle-wise:

Right 17 16 14 11.5
Left 16 14 14 13 11

I had one more today. Yay :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Today's update (edited)

Well, I arrived at the clinic and found out there was no power. We had really bad storms and tornadoes in the area yesterday. Some areas are still without power today. The staff found flashlights and managed to do everything they needed to do without most of the power. (They had a backup generator.) I had an ultrasound done in the dark and had my blood drawn in room I'd never been in before (but it had a window with lots of sunlight.)

I had 8 follicles that she mentioned...4 on each side.

Right - 15 13 10 11
Left - 11 10 10 10

E2 - 843.9

I go back in tomorrow morning for a repeat u/s and more bw.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Another u/s and bw appointment tomorrow morning...

Thursday my estradiol was 161 and Saturday it was 474.

Thursday they saw around 11 follicles, but they were pretty small. Saturday they saw 1 at 10.5, 1 at 10, and 4 that were close to 10. I guess the others were too tiny for now.

Crossing my fingers for a good "report" tomorrow!

Friday, June 6, 2008

After 3 days of stims...

After 3 days of stim shots (Bravelle and Menopur or Repronex), I had an ultrasound (u/s) and bloodwork (bw) done. My u/s showed 11 follicles. All are less than 10 right now. My estradiol was at 161.

I go back in tomorrow (Saturday) morning for another round.

I talked to the nurse about my reaction to the Repronex. She said it's common. She suggested I dilute the mixture with a tiny bit more water and then ice it after. If that doesn't work I can do intramuscular shots (hmmm....let me think about thanks!) or I can reorder the Menopur since the backorder is done.

I'm trying the first option for now!

No more headaches really...well, the little ones I've had I've managed to take care of with Tylenol. Still having hot flashes. Oh well.

I'll try to post tomorrow with an update on my estradiol and follicles. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This is what one day of meds looks like with a Microdose Flare protocol. I do two injections of Lupron - one in the a.m. and one in the p.m. I also do one shot of 3 Bravelles and 2 Menopurs mixed with one cc saline.

Oh, and one baby aspirin in addition to my prenatal.

Side Effects

I am just a barrel full of side effects - Lupron has given me major headaches, irritability, and hot flashes. Last night my head hurt so bad that I had to try to sleep while sitting up. Even that didn't work.

I started my stim shots last night and gave Repronex (instead of Menopur) at try. I have an itchy spot on my stomach about the size of a half dollar. I also have a bruise on my stomach from one of the Lupron injections.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Today is Lupron Day

I was supposed to stop my birth control pills on Wednesday, but I took one Thursday night by accident. I had to wait an extra day to start my Lupron. So my bloodwork and ultrasound was this morning. I'm all set to start my Lupron injections tonight. Tomorrow and every day after I will be doing 2 Lupron shots a day. On Monday I will start my stim shots - So I'll be up to 3 shots a day at that point!

The ultrasound tech called me to tell me my estradiol is good - 30.5. I can start my shots tonight without a problem. I asked her about my lining and she said at this point it's too early to tell. I asked her if I should worry at all about it since none our 3 embryos had implanted during IVF #1. She said no. She said that during ER the doctor checks the lining and will prescribe something if she is worried about a patient's lining. She said mine was fine all through my last cycle and it's so hard because we don't know why they didn't implant.

It was nice that she is so understanding. It's hard because I know they know what they are doing, but I still couldn't help but wonder if there was anything else we could do to help our situation.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Friday is right around the corner....

I go in for an ultrasound and bloodwork on Friday morning. I also start my Lupron shots that day, too. I'm excited, but I'm sort of nervous, too. Not nervous about doing the shots - been there, done that - but nervous about the whole cycle not working. How can you not be, right?

Anyone know of ways to really stay positive and calm through the whole cycle? (Maybe that's impossible! How about ways to stay positive and calm on some days throughout the cycle!)

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Drugs Are On Their Way!

Well, my IVF meds are on their way! I should be getting my box o' fun on Friday. My sister has said she'll pick it up for me at the RE's office. They close before I can get there.

I also received my protocol:

May 27th - Last birth control pill
May 30th - ultrasound and bloodwork. Start Microdose Lupron 20 units/twice a day.
Take baby aspirin, too.
June 1st - Begin Bravelle 225 (3 vials) and Menopur (2 vials) for 10-12 days.
June 13-20th - Somewhere in here will be my egg retrieval and embryo transfer.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The fun begins...

I had my cd3 bw and u/s today. They said my estrogen was 53.7 and my FSH was 6.7. When the tech checked my follicles, she said I had 7 under 8mm. I'm wondering if 7 is kind of low and if this is my official antral follicle count. (Questions I should have asked then, but didn't.) I start bcp tonight. The IVF nurse is out of the office until May 5th, so when she gets back she'll write up the rest of my protocol and give it to me. I'll most likely be on bcp for about a month before I start any actual shots.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cycle #22 and Waiting...

I'm still waiting for my next cycle to start. Once that starts, I can start taking birth control pills to begin the next IVF cycle.

This whole waiting thing is not easy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spoke with RE's office

We may be trying IVF one more time. We did not get approved for the study, but our RE is going to try to work with us on our next IVF. Her office manager is reducing some of the fees for us. We were happily surprised - We both feel like we're being given another chance and we need to try it. It looks like it may be the June cycle.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Follow Up with the RE

We had our follow-up appointment today with Dr. K.

She told us that out of the patients that had negative results this cycle, she was shocked that we were one of them.

She said at one point, I had a dip in my estrogen level but that it could have been an error with the machine that reads the equipment. (It said my estrogen had dipped from roughly 2,000 to 1,000 but then next bloodtest it was back up to over 2,000.) She wasn't really concerned because I still produced follicles and they were growing and at the right size. I know at one point they upped my estrogen, too, so that's probably the day she was referring to.

She said that she was surprised by the lower number of follicles/eggs that we got. I had 12 follicles and only 8 eggs. She said that could be due to statistics or it could be due to my age. She said the same thing about our other 5 embryos not making it to FET. She was surprised that we didn't have any make it.

I asked her if she thought I had problems with implantation. She said it's hard to know. My tests for my lining were fine. She said that there is research being done right now on implantation and what things might be indicators of problems, but there's still a lot they don't know.

She said that she thought we should try again if we wanted to and that we have a very good chance of it working. She started to mention about me participating in a study, and I told her I was going to ask her about that, too. She said they might have a couple studies coming up, including an internal study where they would be looking at hormone levels. She said we would still have to pay some fees but the overall fee would be reduced. We said it was definitely something we would consider.She mentioned possibly increasing my Menopur (and maybe the Bravelle) or doing something called micro dose flare which I think she said is a different Lupron dosage.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday, March 25th

The last few days have felt like a blur. Everyone has been so nice to us. Our family has been looking out for us. Friends have called to check on us.

DH and I have decided to go back to looking into adoption. We went to 2 meetings with one agency last year. We also met with another agency yesterday because DH and I had the day off. We know the whole adoption process can be very long, so we're trying to start things. We figure we'll meet with a few agencies and then choose the one we like the best. We will probably look into domestic adoption, but I'm open to international as well. We'll see.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Our test was negative. We're not pregnant.

We are so sad right now. I don't even know what else to say.


I had my blood test done an hour ago.

Now I'm just waiting for the phone call.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One More Day...

Tomorrow is our beta blood test.

DH and I both had stressful days. We couldn't help but worry.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

14 Days Past Retrieval

It's so hard waiting.

Yesterday I had so much to do - I helped organize and run a huge art show for my school district. It was great - I spent the evening talking to students and parents. But here we are again today and I'm back to waiting....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

11 Days Past Retrieval/Ovulation

I'm not going to lie - I took a pg test yesterday morning and this morning.
Both tests were negative and it's very early to test. It's just that I read about how so many people get early results and I wanted to be one of those people for once. (Who am I kidding - I just want to be one of those people who gets a positive result, early or not.)

I had a blood test done this morning to check on my progesterone and estrogen. I take an estrogen tablet every night and I also have to be given an injection of progesterone each night. I thought that the other shots were not so bad - not a picnic, but not too bad. These shots are something else.

Progesterone shots are intramuscular, so instead of the medicine going just under your skin you are injecting it directly into muscle. The needle is big and long and it hurts going in, while it's in, and as it is being pulled out. The PIO (progesterone in oil) is also very thick - it's the consistency of vegetable oil (I think it's actually in sesame oil, I remember right.) Not the easiest thing to inject into a muscle.

I have also had a lot of pain at the injection site and around it. I think the PIO must move through the muscle as it's absorbed. I am very sore and tend to lean over when I sit to avoid sitting on my bruises.

We found out today that the 5 fragmented embryos we had definitely did not make it to cryopreservation. I knew that the possibility of them making it was not good, but a tiny part of me hoped at least one would survive. We will have to completely start over with a new IVF if this one doesn't work and that probably won't ever happen.

To say I'm sad about this is an understatement.

I'm going to try to keep busy today. I think I need to be distracted for a while.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

9 Days Past Retrieval Day

I am 9 days past my retrieval day (or my "ovulation day.") I have been feeling fine all week until today. Had a headache for most of the day and just feel tired. I felt very warm, too, and I have had some cramps.

I want to think that all of the symptoms are a good sign, but I'm not so sure....I'm still keeping my hopes up, but it's kind of hard when you don't feel well.

A friend of mine wrote me an email and said she was sending positive vibes my way....I told her to keep sending them because I needed all that I could get!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pictures from our Embryo Transfer

These are pictures from our transfer. The arrow is the ultrasound showing the embryos as they were transferred. The 2nd pic is our 3 grade A blasts.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

There are 3 embryos inside me right now!

Our ET went well today. We had 8 embryos but 5 had fragmented by today. She said that the 5 were probably fragmented because of my age and the eggs being older.
We were left with 3 grade A blastocysts. The doctor recommended putting back all 3. Her reasons had to do with my age and with us doing IVF only once. She also said that it was possible that we could put back 2 and freeze 1. However, that one might not make it to freeze or through the thaw. And then it might not become a viable pregnancy. So the three of us decided that 3 was our best option.
We were fairly calm today. I also did acupuncture before and after the ET,so hopefully that will help. DH has been great - he is making sure that I am truly on bedrest! (I'll be on bedrest for 24 hrs. and I'm taking Mon. and Tuesday off.) Our pregancy beta test is scheduled for Friday, March 21st.
Keep your fingers crossed for us! I'm so excited and nervous! I can't believe we have 3!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Embryo Transfer is Tomorrow!

We had a call from the nurse yesterday. Our ET will be on Sunday at noon. We have to be there earlier (11:30am.) The nurse said we still have all 8 embryos! 2 are at 8 cells, 2 are at 7 cells, and the other 4 are at 6 cells. She said that's exactly where they want them for day 3.

I'm getting excited for tomorrow. Wondering how it will all go. We've been so fortunate up to this point - I'm happy with the 8 embryos and happy that they are all growing so well. I hope our luck continues tomorrow.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thursday's Update

The nurse called today to give us our update:

We still have all 8 embryos.
3 are 5-cells (She said this is "fantastic")
4 are 4-cells (She said this is very good.)
1 is 3 cells (She said that is good.)

We're definitely going to have the transfer done on Sunday.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

All 8 Eggs Fertilized!

The nurse called - all eight of the eggs that were retrieved have been fertilized!

One day past Egg Retrieval

Well, yesterday was our big egg retrieval day. We got to the doctor's office at 9:30am. They took us in right away. I had to change into a hospital gown and lay down on a gurney. They went through everything that would be taking place - before, during, and after the procedure. I had an IV put in my left hand. They gave me some type of anesthesia right before the procedure. I just remember things getting blurry and then I was out. When I woke up, they were asking me to move from the table in the ER room back over to the gurney. They wheeled me back into recovery. I was kind of in/out of it for a little bit. Then I felt fine. Steve joined me back in the room. They had me drink some juice and eat a cracker. They also gave me a Darvocet for the pain.

They were able to get 8 eggs! We are waiting to hear about the fertilization report. The nurse said they will call this afternoon.

I'm feeling better today. I was very sore yesterday. Still a bit sore today, but much better. I'm just taking it easy.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Friday and Saturday

Well, yesterday I went in for my next ultrasound and bloodwork. Things are "looking good" according to the nurse.

Right 16 14 13 12
Left 15 15 14 13 12

My estrogen was up to 1462!

This morning I went in for my 4th ultrasound and bw for this week. They told me that I have 5 follicles on the right and 5 on the left.

Right 17 16 15 12 10
Left 18 18 18 17 16

My egg retrieval (ER) will be here really soon. I'm getting excited! :) Today the nurse said I was responding "beautifully" to the medication and that things were looking good.

Sunday March 2nd

The doctor's office called. My estrogen is up to 2889. I am supposed to stop the Bravelle, Menopur, and Lupron. I am going to take 2 ovidrel injections at 10pm and have bloodwork done tomorrow at 7am. Our ER is going to be Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ultrasound #3 (and more bloodwork, too)

My appointment went well.

I was happy for two reasons...1.) The ultrasound tech that I like came back from her vacation! and 2.) She said that I have 8 follies right now plus 5 more small ones!

Left - 12, 12, 11, 10 and 3 <10
Right - 13, 12, 12, 11, and 2<10

It hit me today that about one week from now I will be doing ER. Wow. I'm so glad the day is getting closer!

I go in again on Friday for more bw and another u/s.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


At this point, I have been on Lupron for 15 days and I have been on Bravelle and Menopur for 5 days. I'm not sure how long I'm going to be stimming for - I guess I'll see how things are progressing at tomorrow's ultrasound.

Friday 2/22 - Everything was suppressed and I started stims.
Monday 2/25 - I had 1 10mm follicle, 3 that were close to 10mm, and maybe a few others that were smaller. (The tech didn't give me too much info on that.)
Wednesday 2/27 - ....we shall see tomorrow. Hopefully I've had some growth!

I'm doing okay. I've had an ongoing headache all day but that's one of the side effects. I went to acupuncture tonight and that seemed to help a bit. I'm also extremely tired and achy - and Steve would say I'm cranky, too!

I'm trying to be optimistic about this whole cycle. A lot of the girls in my buddy groups online have gotten positive betas recently...I keep wondering am I going to be one of them, too?

Hopefully this stimming part will go quickly (or at least feel quick!)

Friday, February 15, 2008


I started my Lupron injections on Tuesday night. So far I have done three. They are going really well. I was nervous to start, but it's not a big deal. I haven't had any headaches (yet.) I hear they are pretty common when you take Lupron.

I continue my bcp until Saturday and then I stop that. I think I go in next Friday for bloodwork and an ultrasound. I have to double check my schedule.

I've been doing acupuncture 2x a week. I love it! It helps me feel relaxed and I feel like I'm doing something positive for myself.

I also bought a relaxation cd - I figure if I get anxious about the shots I can use it to calm myself.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Photo of IVF Meds

Here's a picture of all of our IVF meds (I think 2 other boxes were actually in the fridge at the time I took this picture.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Feeling down

I am really looking forward to trying IVF in March. (Looks like ER and ET will be in early March, not late Feb. as planned.) Really I am. I'm just having a hard time being happy about the whole waiting process and then the whole what-if-it-doesn't-happen part of it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Days 1-4

I went to the doctor on Saturday (cycle day or "cd" 3.) I had bloodwork and an ultrasound done. The bloodwork came book - my estrogen was at 64.5. I was told that's a good level.

I started birth control pills that night.

On Feb. 12 I will start giving myself Lupron shots. I will continue the pill and add in a baby aspirin.

On Feb 22. I'll have another ultrasound and more bloodwork. I'll start Bravelle 225 (3 vials) and Menopur 75 (1 vial) on that day. Those are more shots.

I'll be back in the office on Feb. 25 for an ultrasound and bloodwork.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Cycle Day 1

I am on Cycle Day (CD) 1 today. I am going in for bloodwork on CD3, Saturday. I will also be starting birth control pills shortly after that. I have to call on Monday and schedule a date for my trial transfer.

The roller coaster ride has begun...