My CCRM IVF Journey

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

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Transfer Day Recap

Posted by auntiem10 on January 17, 2011

We flew into Denver on a cold, snowy Wednesday…

Our flight was smooth, and before long the Rocky Mountains loomed in the distance…

It felt surreal to be back when we touched down at Denver Interntaional…

We picked up our rental car and made our way to the Homewood Suites, staring in awe at the snowcapped mountains along the way…

Wednesday evening, we enjoyed dinner at our “good luck restaurant,” Maggiano’s. We ate there the night of our ODWU, when we received great news about our chances for success, and we ate there the night before my egg retrieval, another day of good news. So we felt like perhaps dining there on this trip would bring us continued good luck. : )

We arrived at CCRM at about 12:45 p.m. on Thursday. First we had our blood drawn, and we encountered a mix-up. The phlebotomist didn’t realize that my hubby needed his blood drawn for communicables, so she had to add that to her schedule. She drew our blood and then seemed confused when I asked her if my blood would also be tested for estrogen and progesterone. She said she didn’t have any orders for that and asked when my transfer was scheduled. I told her we were heading right upstairs for the transfer after having our blood drawn. She then reassured me that the blood she had drawn for the communicables could also be used to test estrogen and progesterone, and not to worry about it. The phlebotomists there are absolutely fabulous, but this mix-up was just stress we didn’t need less than an hour before our transfer. Oh well, small potatoes in hindsight.

After this, we headed upstairs and met with Anna to finish signing all paperwork. This took only a few minutes, so we had time to snap a few pictures of the upstairs lobby before getting called back to our room. Here is the lobby area upstairs at CCRM that overlooks the downstairs lobby:

Here is the upstairs lobby looking in the opposite direction:

Once we were called into our surgical waiting room, I was instructed to remove all clothing from the waist down. The nurse also gave me a valium. Here’s where the magic happened once Dr. Surrey walked in…

An ultrasound technician came in shortly after I was settled in bed to check to see how full my bladder was. I had been pacing myself so I wouldn’t be ready to burst by 2:00, and the u/s tech was way early, so my bladder wasn’t full enough. She instructed me to start chugging and then told me that Dr. Surrey was on his way up. It was only 1:30–thirty minutes before our transfer was set to happen. Things started moving quickly from there, and I didn’t have time to get nervous.

Next, a nurse came in and asked me about medications that I’m currently taking. The ultrasound tech started pressing very hard against my uterus (because it is retroverted) and proclaimed my bladder full enough. Dr. Surrey arrived and told us that our 5AA embryo re-expanded 95% and our 5BA embryo re-expanded 75%. He started to get me all set up for the transfer while the embryologist wheeled in a huge incubator contraption with a large TV screen showing our magnified embryos. She had me sign a form stating that we were transferring two CCS normal embryos while my hubby worked on preserving memories. He was so amazed at the sight of our embryos on the screen, he forgot to snap a picture of the incubator itself. But he did snap several pictures of the magnified embryos on the TV screen:

The 5BA embryo (Embryo #21):

The 5AA embryo (Embryo #15):

Dr. Surrey quickly did a trial transfer and then indicated to the embryologist that he was ready. The embryologist gathered our embryos in a long pipette, and they were placed into my uterus. The u/s tech was pressing down extremely hard on my abdomen the entire time. Then the embryologist went back to the incubator and double-checked that no one was left behind. : ) I was tilted practically upside-down and left to rest for one hour. After 15 minutes, I was given the opportunity to use a bedpan for some relief, but I just held it. (I was too embarrassed.) By the end of the hour, I felt like I was going to pop, but I made it. My hubby was mean (ha ha) and kept cracking jokes toward the end so I would feel more miserable. : ) Since Dr. Surrey showed up early, we started everything at 1:40 p.m. and were finished by 1:55 p.m.

At the end of the hour, I was allowed to get up and use the restroom; however, they wanted me in a wheelchair while I was waiting for the restroom and right after I was finished. They wheeled me to our rental car, reclined the seat, and instructed me to go right back to our hotel and get into bed. I’ll find the bed rest restrictions we were given and post them here later this week. But basically, I rested in bed (on my back or side) the rest of the day Thursday and all day Friday. I was allowed to get out of bed only to use the restroom and grab a quick snack.

On Friday, my nurse called to tell me that my blood was indeed checked for my estrogen and progesterone levels, and everything looked great. My estradiol was in the 590+ range (needed to be at least 300), and my progesterone was 30+ (needed to be at least 20 because I’m injecting PIO). So even though there was initial confusion about the bloodwork, everything turned out fine.

On Saturday, I was able to get out of bed and shower. My hubby dropped me off at the airport before returning our rental car so I wouldn’t have to be jostled around on a bus. Our flight home was actually quite bumpy (while taxiing on the runway and in the air), so I wasn’t very happy about that. Oh well. We were very happy to get home, and I’ve been resting as much as possible since then. We absolutely love Denver, but of course we wish to be a family of three or four the next time we visit. Now we just wait for the verdict on Saturday!

Posted in CCRM Pictures, Embryo Transfer, FET | 14 Comments »

The Fountain and Downtown Denver

Posted by auntiem10 on October 1, 2010

Today I’m heading back to CCRM for another ultrasound, blood draw, and our IVF cycle review.

(This is the famous fountain in the lobby at CCRM.)

Yesterday we had a fun day. After spending our morning at CCRM, we ate a quick lunch and then headed downtown. We had reservations to tour the Denver Mint. They are VERY strict about security there, and I wasn’t able to take in my camera, so I have no pictures. Darn! It was neat though. The Denver Mint only makes coins, and the tour includes an overhead view of three of the rooms where coins are stamped.

Afterwards, we drove by the Capitol building…

And headed to our dessert destination, d Bar Desserts. We love The Food Network (this restaurant is owned by Keegan Gerhard, a judge from Food Network Challenge, and his wife), and I’m a chocolaholic, so we had to make time in our schedule for their “Cake and Shake.”

Yep, it was amazing if you like chocolate. The space itself is small, but the interior is very pretty and modern…

We LOVED this mid-day dessert rendezvous. We normally don’t even eat dessert at restaurants, so this was a rare treat. The cake was SO rich, we each brought at least half of the slice home. You can choose between a chocolate or vanilla shake or malt. Yum!

Last night we took Cassie’s suggestion and went to 3 Margaritas for dinner. We went to the Littleton location on County Line Road, and we really enjoyed both the food and the 5-mile drive west toward the mountains. It was a day of great food!!!

Today after we finish up at CCRM, we’re heading back to the Garden of the Gods and Manitou Springs. We went to both places when we were in Denver for our ODWU in April, and we loved it. I will be sure to take plenty of pictures of both to share. We’re also planning to explore the Outlets at Castle Rock, which is something we haven’t done before. The weather here has been beautiful, so it should be a nice day!

Posted in CCRM Pictures, Denver area | 2 Comments »

Eggmaker

Posted by auntiem10 on September 26, 2010

This morning I dragged myself out of bed (it’s amazing how wiped out one can be after a long drive) and headed to CCRM for my first follicle scan and bloodwork.

I snuck in my camera and snapped a couple of photos…

Here is one angle of one of the monitoring rooms.

Directly across from the bed is a TV monitor on which you can see everything on the u/s screen.

Here is a quick photo of one of the little consultation rooms in the main hallway, where you meet with your nurse to discuss your cycle.

My follicle scan went really well. The u/s tech saw about 19 eggs this morning!!! I can’t believe it, since I haven’t been feeling much of anything in that region. She measured the largest eight follicles, all of which are 9 or 10mm. She told me that is a little ahead of schedule; they would normally expect the lead follicles to be about 8mm by the fourth day of stimming. The other 11 follicles were smaller and weren’t measured, but they could still stimulate and catch up. My antral follicle count was 19-21 in April at our ODWU, so these results are right in line with what I expected. The nurse cautioned me to drink tons of water because she thinks I may overstim, so that is something we will have to watch.

After my u/s, I had my blood drawn. I won’t receive those results until later this afternoon or early this evening. The nurse said she doesn’t expect any of my dosages to change, so we will see how it pans out.

I picked up a few things at the grocery store and am now back at the hotel. I’m not sure what I’m going to do today. There’s not a cloud in the sky and the high is 88 degrees, so I may find a park and wander around. I also might sit by the pool and read one of the many magazines I brought, or drive to Barnes & Noble to find a book. Tomorrow I am meeting a fellow CCRMer for lunch, and I’m excited for that! : )

On the way back to the hotel, I snapped a few pics of the mountains while stopping at stop lights. They are so pretty!

Posted in CCRM Pictures, Denver area, Follicle Scans, IVF Take Two | 7 Comments »

Denver Pics!

Posted by auntiem10 on April 20, 2010

Our trip was kind of a whirlwind, and we didn’t quite capture all that we wanted on camera, but we did our best!

Posted in CCRM Pictures, Denver area | 1 Comment »