Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Transfer Day!

Reunited and it feels so good...

Transfer day was finally upon us and we were excited and nervous! Our transfer was scheduled for 2pm, so we had some time to get work done in the morning and get our ducks in a row. Steve and I decided to head to Reno early because of some predicted thunderstorms in the Sierra and I thought it would be nice to have lunch before our transfer. It would also give me a chance to use the restroom before stocking up on fluids as they require a full bladder with transfer and I didn't want to have to be stuck sitting in the car, dying to pee.

For lunch, we decided on Olive Garden and I got myself what will hopefully be my final diet caffeinated soda for quite a while, plus a water, which I waited to drink until after lunch. At the end of our meal, I went to use the restroom for the final time and the server brought the bill and politely asked Steve if we had any exciting plans for the rest of the day. "Why yes!" he responded, "We are going to be reunited with our embryos!" Needless to say the server was a little shocked by his response but wished us well, lol!

When we arrived at the clinic, a little early, I was already bouncing in my seat and by the time they called us back into the room, my eyes were filling up (from having to pee)! Dr. W showed us a picture of our thawing embryos (due to my age and embryo quality, we choose to transfer two) and due to the fact that one was hatching, he suggested we get the show on the road. This was much to my relief because I had to pee!

Both Dr. W and the NP commented on how full my bladder was but pushed on anyway and I was dying! I could hardly focus on anything but having to use the bathroom! I guess I didn't need the third water we took to go from OG.

In awe and amazement, we watched as the embryologist brought our little peanuts into the room and loaded them into the catheter and watched in awe again, on the ultrasound screen as we saw a little flash of white, that was our little peanuts being transferred into my uterus. It was magnificent, we were both speechless.

When it was over, Dr. W reclined the table and set the timer, 15 minutes of inverted calm before I could pee. He left the frozen ultrasound image of our transfer on the screen and put on soothing music and Steve and I reveled in the miracle that had just taken place. At that moment, I was pregnant until proven otherwise. I had two, perfect little miracles inside me. In a few weeks, we will know if one or both of our embryos have snuggled in for the long haul. We hope and pray that they do.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Introducing, our embryos!

We were finally able to sit down with our doctor and discuss our embryos! We even got to see pictures of them and they are beautiful. The love I feel for these little bundles of cells is overwhelming. Our clinic grades embryos on a scale of one to three (one if the quality is not great and three is a perfect) and our embryos are all grade two, which is great news! That means that the cells that will develop into the fetus are grouped together nicely and the cells that will become the placenta are also formed together nicely.

I am all cleared to start prep for our frozen embryo transfer which means twice weekly inter-muscular shots for a few weeks and then every day inter-muscular shots of progesterone. These will be a little more intense than the every day shots I had to do subcutaneously but I know I can do it!

I noticed that we've had a lot of views on our IVF updates and I just want to thank everyone for your continued love and support! So without further ado, five of our six embryos!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Final Embryo Count

We have SIX embryos! SIX! I am very happy with that, especially due to the face that for my age range, only 37% of embryos make it to day 5/6 freeze and over half of ours did!

I would have liked to transfer two of our little embryos back this week, but I am only now (almost a week later) starting to feel better from the OHSS and it would have been too dangerous for me to have had them transferred back. So, we plan to do a FET or Frozen Embryo Transfer next month and we will reunite with a couple of our embabies then!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Egg Retrieval and First Fertilization Report!

WOO HOO! We had 21 eggs retrieved and I am super uncomfortable. It is day two and I feel like death. I can barely move and it hurts to even laugh.

At our ER, the doctor informed us that doing an embryo transfer, in five days, as we had originally planned, will not be possible :(  I have already started to develop OHSS, which is painful and is exacerbated by pregnancy. I am disappointed but in far too much pain right now to fully comprehend how much it sucks to have to wait to transfer any embryos we might have.

On the plus side, 15 of our 21 retrieved eggs were mature and 11 fertilized normally. So as of this moment, we have 11 little embryos chillin in the lab in Nevada! We expect this number to drop dramatically, as only 37% of embryos make it to freeze or transfer on day 5 (a freeze in our case due to the OHSS).

Finally getting ready for ER

My originally egg retrieval date has been pushed back twice but now we are finally on track to stop the stabbing and get ready to have these eggs retrieved. My doctor gave the go ahead to do the trigger shot tonight, which begins the ovulation process, so that they can extract the eggs at my retrieval!

The only problem is that I am at risk for OHSS, which is not surprising as I am already incredibly uncomfortable and my doctor says we should expect to retrieve somewhere between 15 and 20 eggs. So, for the next 7-10 days I am not allowed to drink water and must instead drink gaterade and whey protein shakes. I have a feeling this is going to get really old, really quick.

IVF is uncomfortable

Our first monitoring appointment showed a good number of follicles on each side, which is great news. The only problem; they were growing kind of slowly so the possibility has arisen that instead of ten days of poking myself with multiple needles and buring medications, I will have to continue to do so for another day or two. At this moment, when I am bloated, uncomfortable, in pain and have ovaries the size of Kansas, the idea of continuing to shove needles in my distended stomach is not an appealing one. BUT, it will help us accomplish our end goal: to get as many mature eggs as possible for fertilization, so I will do it and I will try to smile while doing so!

And We're Off!

A few weeks ago, I started a shot a day, with Lupron, to quiet everything down. The shots were easy, as the medication requires the use of an insulin syringe which are very small, so I barely feel a thing.

Things are moving very quickly and I have moved on to the big guns, two medications: Gonal-F and Menopur, in addition to the Lupron. These meds stimulate follicle growth. The hope is that my body will grow as many follicles (with eggs in them) as possible so the eggs can be retrieved in a little over a week and then fertilized.

I am normally terrified of needles. I hate them. I used to have panic attacks when I would have to get a shot or have blood work done but I have learned that this is a mind over matter thing. Not to mention the fact that I just don't have any other choice, IVF means injections. There are no oral meds for this so shots it is and shots I will do!

At first, I was icing my stomach before the shots so that I wouldn't be able to feel them (especially for the Menopur because the medication stings) but after a couple of icings, I realized I could still feel the shots so this morning I went ice free and it really wasn't that bad. So I am going all out, just poke and push, no icing necessary. One of the ladies I know said I was a bad ass for doing my own injections and for not icing but I have to say, I don't feel like a bad ass, I am just doing what has to be done.

My first monitoring appointment is coming up, at which, we will find out just how many follicles are growing and whether or not all these medications are working!

***a little side note: while I have written each of these posts as they occurred, I scheduled them to post a couple weeks after they were written. I've done this because if, for some reason, we have to deal with a negative aspect of IVF, I would like some time to deal with it privately before broadcasting it to the world***