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.