My CCRM IVF Journey

Our successful journey through IVF #2 at one of the world's top fertility clinics

About Us

Hi, I’m “Auntie Em,” a 29-year-old infertile from the Midwest. I would love it if you’ll follow along with us on our journey as we try for our BFP!

If you’re interested in our back story, here we go…

Summer 2007: Began feeling severe pain starting a few days before my periods. Pain was strong enough to prevent me from sleeping. Husband (who was my boyfriend of two years at the time) convinced me to book an appointment with an OB/GYN. It had been eight years since my last pap smear (!!!!!).

September 2007: Visited OB/GYN. An ultrasound revealed a 13x9cm mass lodged between my ovaries. Tumor marker blood test came back elevated. Immediately referred to gynecologic oncologist on suspicion of ovarian cancer.

October 2007: Gyncologic oncologist performed another ultrasound and an MRI. Determined that mass was too large to be removed laparoscopically and that a laparotomy would be a better surgical option so that staging could take place if ovarian cancer was present.

November 12, 2007: Verticial laparotomy revealed the mass was a cystadenofibroma, a benign tumor lodged between my ovaries. Extensive stage IV endometriosis was present. Proceeded with removal/draining of numerous chocolate cysts and endo lesions, and partial removal of one ovary.

December 2007: Post-op appointment. Gynecologic oncologist recommended BCP until we were ready to TTC and to consult a reproductive endocrinologist as soon as we were ready.

December 21, 2007: Hubby popped the question!

October 2008: Wedding day! I went off BCP during our honeymoon.

November 2008: First local RE appointment (what a great start to married life!). We were told that we could try two IUIs, but our main route to pregnancy would likely be IVF. The RE suggested immediate treatment. She labeled me as a “poor responder” despite good test results and suggested to us that donor eggs might be a more viable route–all before we even attempted to conceive naturally or tried a single fertility treatment! We were heartbroken and panicked. HSG showed my tubes were open.

January 2009: IUI #1 (BFN)

February 2009: IUI #2 (BFN)

April 2009: IVF #1 with microdose lupron protocol. Estradiol on trigger day = 3431. Sixteen eggs retrieved, 14 were mature, 13 fertilized with ICSI. Clinic only performs 5-day transfers, and on Day 4 all but two embryos mysteriously arrested.

May 2009: Transfer of one okay-looking blast and one okay-looking morula. Beta #1 at 8dp5dt = 16. Beta #2 = 23. Beta #3 = 40. Beta #4 = 48. Ultrasound at 6w0d showed nothing in my uterus. Presumed ectopic pregnancy. Methotrexate injections brought HCG levels back to zero.

June 2009: Local RE recommended DE as “the fastest path from Point A to Point B.” Embryologist tells us that almost all embryos were highly fragmented. Neither doctor had any answers as to what went wrong.

July 2009: Phone consult with Dr. Surrey at CCRM. We decided to start saving our pennies to cycle there in 2010.

April 2010: One-Day Workup at CCRM. New endometriomas were visualized on ultrasound. Despite this news, Dr. Surrey seemed very optimistic for us, and all testing came back normal. At home, I was diagnosed by local endocrinologist with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Began taking 50mcg Synthroid/day.

May 2010: Attempted endometrial biopsy to check for beta-3 integrins, but new local RE office mixed up the scheduling. Dr. Surrey decided that I should go through the two-month Depot Lupron treatment after ER regardless just to be safe, given my history of endometriosis. CD 3 bloodwork results are perfect. Dr. Surrey chose the “standard lupron” protocol for us.

July 2010: Started BCPs for attempt #1 of our IVF cycle. Made the “go big or go home” decision to elect CCS testing for our embryos.

August 2010: Cycle canceled due to an estrogen-producing cyst at suppression check. Decided to be monitored until lead follicle is 18mm, and then triggered to induce ovulation.

September 2010: Progesterone check showed that trigger shot did not induce ovulation. Started a prometrium/lupron overlap protocol to induce AF. Finally, this works! Suppression check showed that estradiol is still a little elevated, but Dr. Surrey gave me the green light to start stims.

October 2010: Dr. Minjarez retrieves 24 eggs after nine days of stims. Twenty-two are mature, and 19 fertilize with ICSI. On Day 6, we have six blasts biopsied and vitrified. Five highly-rated blasts are normal. Lone abnormal had Trisomy 2 (an extra copy of the second chromosome). AF arrived 12 days after ER, and on Day 3 I received the first Depot Lupron injection to ensure beta-3 integrins will be present at embryo transfer.

November 13, 2010: Second Depot Lupron injection.

December 10, 2010: Start BCPs for FET prep.

January 13, 2011: Frozen embryo transfer!!!!!

January 22, 2011: Beta #1 = 278!!! (Progesterone 29.7)

January 24, 2011: Beta #2 = 751!!!

January 31, 2011: Beta #3 = 11,050! (Progesterone 28.57, Estrogen 626)

February 9, 2011: First Ultrasound = Two Heartbeats!!!


12 Responses to “About Us”

  1. Jen said

    Wishing you all the best on your journey!

  2. sue said

    GL! after 3 failed local cycles, i’m doing my last one with my own eggs at ccrm. i am currently on BCPs and will be doing the MDL protocol. i will hope and pray that your one cycle at ccrm works, the IF rollercoaster is a horrible horrible ride. we had our one day w/up done in jan and were very impressed with the center. have you gone to any IF boards? they are a great place for wisdom and advice. i also was lucky enough to stumble upon wayward stork blog and it really helped me gain a better understanding of ccrm. GOod Luck Girl! I’m rooting for you 🙂

    • auntiem10 said

      Hi Sue! Thank you so much for your comment. I would love it if you would keep me updated on your IVF cycle!!! My fingers are crossed so tightly for you! I have found a lot of great advice on an IF board called IVF Connections, but I will have to check out the wayward stork blog today. Thank you for the tip! 🙂 Best of luck with this cycle!!!!!!

  3. sue said

    i sure will! i was happy to have found Lisa’s blog as i wasn’t familiar with ccrm and her blog helped me alot and put me at ease with going all the way there and more than anything it gave me a little bit of hope after so many failures. for some reason my profile is still in moderation for ivfconnections i heard that was a great board…maybe i’ll try again and see if i can get in. wishing you well 🙂

  4. Josey said

    I can’t wait to read through your backstory!! My friend just sent me the link to your blog. I’m from the mid-west (MN) and have lived in Colorado for 6 years. However, we live 300 miles southwest of Denver (and the closest RE), so after 18 months of TTC, we’re finally making the jump to an RE – specifically, CCRM. Everything I read about them is that they’re the best. I hope you’re another one of their success stories!!

  5. Anita said

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I am about 5 weeks along after successful ivf at ccrm with Dr. Surrey. Really helpful to see what you have gone though. I am currently in the nerves nerves nerves stage waiting for my first ultrasound at week 6!

    • auntiem10 said

      Thank you for commenting, and CONGRATS on your success!!! I know all about the nerves leading up to that first ultrasound. I would love it if you would comment and let me know what happens! Best wishes!!!

      • Anita said

        I took your advice and asked for another hcg check at week 5 day 4 along with the e2 and p4 monitoring that had to be done. It is at 6,996! I feel a lot better, and like you said i think the one more week wait for the ultrasound will now be a bit easier. Thank you! I will let you know how the ultrasound goes…fingers and toes crossed…

    • Anita said

      Made it through the first ultrasound! Only one resident, heartbeat in the normal range although my obgyn’s ultrasound machine wasn’t sensitive enough to get a solid lock on the heartrate. The machine kept saying 120 but she thought it looked more like 135-140. So i might suggest that people who cant go to ccrm for their first ultrasound find another fertility clinic to go to rather than a regular obgyn. Dr. Surrey suggested this but then the ivf nurse told me it was fine to go to my obgyn, so i did that for ease of getting an appointment. But in any case all seems well thus far. Seems like a long way to go though….!

  6. I enjoy reading your story and cannot wait to follow along the journey that lies ahead of you. I’m super excited for you!
    I was wondering how you coped with your Ectopic Pregnancy, we just had our first BFP which ended up being an Ectopic Pregnancy. I was the 1% statistic, I have never had Endo, an std, PID, a yeast infection or bladder infection. So we are nervous and skeptical to jump back on the “baby makin’ wagon” but we have decided thats what we need.
    We also learned our RE appointment has been moved up from Dec 2011 to August 15th!!! YAY!!!

    HUGS! and TONS of happy thoughts!
    Mrs. Sunnyside Up

  7. sooz said

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for your successful pregnancy.

    I just wanted thank you for posting your blog. The information has been so helpful and your candidness in the whole IVF process has been such a welcome read. I really appreciate all the effort that you’ve put into documenting the IVF steps and you FET process. 🙂

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