My CCRM IVF Journey

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

Archive for the ‘Dr Surrey’ Category

Beta #2

Posted by auntiem10 on January 24, 2011

I just heard from my CCRM nurse… Beta #2 is 751!!!!!

This is a doubling time of 33.48 hours. Wow!!! I can’t believe I am actually pregnant. It just feels surreal. I asked my nurse her opinion about whether there is a singleton or twins growing in my ute right now, and she told me that it’s really hard to say because she’s seen either scenario with these HCG levels. One baby or two doesn’t matter at all to us; we are just thrilled that the strong HCG number means hopefully at least one embryo is settling in!

Next step is to have my blood drawn again the next few Mondays to check my estrogen and progesterone levels. Then our first ultrasound will occur on February 9th!

Dr. Surrey also called me today to say congratulations. He said everything looks great but obviously, we’re not out of the woods yet. He reminded me to take it easy and told me in a funny way to avoid s.e.x (“You shouldn’t do much more than kiss ‘DH’ right now”).

We told my DH’s mom and dad on Saturday. This blog is a huge outlet for my excitement over the news, but my DH doesn’t really have an outlet, so I figured it was only fair that he got to tell someone! We are confident that they will keep our secret just between the four of us until we’re ready to announce to his siblings and grandma. My family cannot keep a secret, ha ha, so I will wait to tell them for at least a few more weeks, maybe longer. My MIL was overjoyed. I told her that twins are a possibility, and she looked mindboggled. She is the mother of triplets, so I think she was excited about the possibility of twin grandchildren. She and my FIL teared up and both acted so excited! We’ve kept all family members completely in the dark about everything having to do with CCRM, so it felt great to let it out. Secrets weigh 1000 lbs.

On Saturday afternoon, I finally POAS and saw my first-ever definitive second line. After IVF #1, we saw a ghost line, the kind where you had to squint to even see it, but otherwise I’ve never seen a positive of my very own. I won’t post it here because I want to be respectful, but it was an amazing sight!

Thank you all so much for the congrats on Saturday and for following our story! I hope we can provide hope to others considering CCRM.

Posted in Dr Surrey, FET, Pregnancy | 31 Comments »

Surprise Call from Dr. Surrey

Posted by auntiem10 on October 23, 2010

Earlier this week, I was leaving work when my cell phone lit up. I was surprised to see CCRM on my Caller ID and even more surprised that the caller was Dr. Surrey. My first thought was that they mistakenly gave us the wrong CCS results! : ) But actually, he was calling to give me our results, not realizing that I had already received a phone call last week. I was happy that he called so I could get his perspective on our chances for pregnancy.

He seemed very impressed at the number of normals that resulted from our six blasts. Apparently, he only expected 30-40% to be normal. I’m not sure if he was basing this prediction off general statistics or his personal thoughts about our cycle. He also seemed very impressed by our grading. Apparently, our best CCS normal blast is the 5AA (which he called “a perfect Day 5 blast”) and our second-best blast is the 6AA (which he called “a perfect Day 6 blast”). He did mention that the 6AA has hatched out of its shell before vitrification, so it will be more delicate during the thawing process. Hopefully it will survive!

He asked whether we had decided how many embryos to transfer (one or two), and I asked him about our chances of twins based on the grades of our embryos. He said if we transfer one embryo, we have a 60% chance of that one embryo implanting. If we transfer two, we have an 80% chance of at least one sticking. The current twin pregnancy rate with two CCS normal embryos hovers around 40%.

I told him that although we aren’t seeking twins, we are leaning more towards transferring two simply for the increased odds of a pregnancy. If both embryos stick, we’re going to have a temporary freak-out, but we would rather have two children than no children after this FET. Dr. Surrey agreed with our decision and asked me to just tell our nurse if our plans change. We will transfer the 5AA (Embryo #15) and 6AA (Embryo #20). As long as there is at least one heartbeat at that first u/s, we will be absolutely overjoyed.

Then he asked if we had received an FET date. I told him 1/21/11 and he said jokingly, “Okay, I’ll try to be there for that.” I guess even though you may not see your doctor at all during your IVF cycle at CCRM, they do try their best to perform your embryo transfer. If he is there, then great, but if not, then no big deal. Any of the doctors there can handle it, I’m sure!

We discussed the dates of the depot lupron injections and the lead-up to the FET, and with that, our conversation concluded. He seemed very optimistic for us!

Posted in Chromosome Testing (CCS), Dr Surrey, FET | 8 Comments »

Slowing Down the Stimming

Posted by auntiem10 on September 30, 2010

We just got the call a little while ago–tonight I’m reducing the dosage of Follistim to 75 units, and tomorrow morning I will only inject one vial of Menopur. I did ask about my estradiol level today, and it is currently 2487. Last year on the eighth day of stimming, I was ready to trigger and my estradiol level was 3431. I obviously stimmed way too fast last time (with the microdose lupron protocol), so I’m thrilled to see the huge difference in my estradiol level. I’m not sure what my estradiol level was on Tuesday when I last had my blood drawn, but apparently today’s result was a huge increase, and that’s why Dr. Surrey reduced my dosage by half.

We go back to CCRM in the morning for another monitoring session, and then we have our IVF cycle review. Tomorrow I plan to ask how close to trigger we are. Physically I am feeling perfect except for a little bit of pressure in the ovarian region. Last year my ovaries were huge (as a result of stimming too quickly), and they made the stimming process very uncomfortable. I’m amazed by how good I still feel eight days into stims, and I feel very fortunate to have few side effects. I am very impressed at how well Dr. Surrey has controlled my estradiol level, and I hope this difference will lead to some good-quality embryos!

Posted in Dosage instructions, Dr Surrey, IVF Take Two | 2 Comments »

Surrey Chat

Posted by auntiem10 on August 12, 2010

Yesterday I requested a quick chat with Dr. Surrey so that I could gauge his take on my high estradiol level. He called at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time, and we spoke for about 10 minutes. It was a good conversation, and I feel more optimistic!

He said at CCRM, they see these high estradiol levels all the time. It just means that the BCP/Lupron combo hasn’t suppressed me enough yet. I asked him if there is much of a chance that the level will have dropped significantly by tomorrow, and he said sure, they see that all the time. He can’t promise that it will drop, but it is definitely a possibility that we will be given the green light tomorrow to start stims on Saturday.

In the event that the estradiol level is still above their threshold of 50, here is the game plan:

Plan A) If the level is around 60, we will proceed. I’ll start stims on Saturday and travel to Denver on Wednesday.

Plan B) If the level has dropped but is hovering around 80 or so, I’ll stay on Lupron for up to another week, and then get rechecked. This will continue until the level is around 60, and then I’ll start stims the next day.

Plan C) If the level has stayed the same or gone up, I’ll have to go on BCPs for a month, and then start all over with Lupron. He rarely experiences a high estradiol level the month after this treatment, but if it remains high after a month, he will change my protocol from standard Lupron to GnRH antagonist and proceed from there.

I asked how confident he is that the mass seen on u/s is an endometrioma. He said given my history of stage IV endo and multiple nasty endometriomas, he’s of the opinion that if it “looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it’s probably a duck.” (He has said this phrase to me during each of our conversations, LOL.) It’s slightly possible that it could be a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst, but it is more than likely an endometrioma. He is pleased that it’s actually reduced in size since my ODWU in April. He mentioned that there is probably a functioning corpus luteum somewhere near my ovaries producing estrogen. There is not necessarily a correlation between size and estrogen production when it comes to cysts, so it’s possible that the cyst is invisible on u/s but still producing tons of estrogen.

He doesn’t think surgery is necessary, so we will just see what tomorrow brings. I’m done sulking and will just accept whatever plan we have to follow. : )

Posted in Cancelled IVF Cycle, Dr Surrey | 6 Comments »

Dr Surrey Update

Posted by auntiem10 on July 1, 2010

Yesterday I heard back from my nurse regarding Dr. Surrey’s feedback after reviewing the digital images of my endometrioma. This is what he said:

Looks like she now only has a single mass down from the three seen here. Let’s just repeat in one cycle.”

This week has been full of good news. My TSH level has been basically cut in half with the help of Synthroid, and no surgery is on the horizon yet (well, except for the egg retrieval!). At the beginning of the next cycle, I’ll go back to my local RE’s office for one more ultrasound to make sure nothing bad is growing in there, and a few days after that, I’ll start BCP!

In other news, today is my 5-year dating anniversary with my wonderful husband! I simply could not ask for a better partner, and I can’t say enough good things about how amazing he is. Despite the struggles we are enduring with infertility, I truly do feel like the luckiest girl alive!

Posted in About Me, Dr Surrey, Testing | 5 Comments »

Just Waiting

Posted by auntiem10 on June 24, 2010

My ultrasound images from Tuesday have been forwarded to Dr. Surrey (he’s apparently out of the office this week) and my thyroid panel recheck bloodwork has been drawn… so today I find myself on Cycle Day 10, just waiting for the next stage of treatment. I’m not anticipating hearing from either doctor’s office until next week, but I’ll be sure to post the results. In the meantime, the work week is winding down, and I can’t wait for the weekend!

About my thyroid recheck… I just wanted to clarify why I’m allowed to move forward with my IVF cycle so soon, considering I had mentioned previously that my local endocrinologist wanted me to have two blood draws over a 12-week span to get my thyroid levels under control. I forgot to mention that during my regroup appointment with Dr. Surrey, he told me that the most important time for normal thyroid levels is during the embryo transfer. This is because thyroid disease can cause problems for the fetus. He told me that as long as I am taking Synthroid and have had one blood draw, he would be comfortable with proceeding with our freeze-all cycle. I just wanted to provide this info for future CCRMers who may have newly discovered thyroid dysfunction!

Posted in Dr Surrey, Testing, Thyroid Stuff | 2 Comments »

Regroup with Dr. Surrey

Posted by auntiem10 on May 20, 2010

I just hung up the phone after my regroup with Dr. Surrey. He thanked me for traveling to Denver to meet with him and asked about our trip. He is very personable!

The first order of business during our conversation was my thyroid. My local endocrinologist has not yet sent a report to CCRM detailing my appointment last week, so Dr. Surrey wanted to know how it went. I told him that I have begun taking Synthroid to regulate my hormone levels, and he was happy to hear that.

Next he reviewed all of my test results. We look basically perfect on paper, so he was very encouraged by that. Communicables, hysteroscopy, blood flow to uterus, and CD 3 bloodwork were all normal. No problems there.

Dr. Surrey wants me to have an ultrasound locally next cycle to measure the three endometriomas that were seen hanging out by my ovaries. He wants to avoid surgical intervention unless they grow significantly. That will be my next order of business.

The next topic was my hubby’s semen analysis. All of his numbers were good, but the motility of his swimmers was just a little bit low. He gave us three options:

A) Perform ICSI on the embryos for a better fertilization rate, due to the fact that our local lab performed ICSI last year with a 93% fert rate.
B) Allow the lab to analyze the back-up sample and day-of sample, and allow natural fertilization to take place if the motility has improved.
C) Split the eggs into two groups, half of which would be ICSI’d and half which would naturally fertilize.

I think Plan A makes us the most comfortable, but we have a few months to mull it over. We are of the mindset that because almost all of our 13 embryos arrested on Day 4 during IVF #1, we should do whatever we can to improve fertilization rates. Plan B makes me nervous because we’ve never done an IVF cycle without ICSI. What if that results in a terrible fertilization rate? I feel the same way about the embryos that would be left to naturally fertilize if we choose Plan C.

Dr. Surrey then said that he would recommend a “Standard Lupron” protocol. I will take birth control pills for a short period of time, and then inject Lupron for one week. Afterwards, I would stimulate the eggs with Menopur + Follistim until they are big enough for retrieval. Sounds a little simpler than the MDL protocol I was on last year!

The last part of our conversation centered around our timeline. Dr. Surrey is fine with our plan to wait until October to cycle. He suggested that we have our first follicle scan and bloodwork done locally to reduce the number of days of our stay. However, he mentioned that there is a conference in the Denver area from October 23-27 that some CCRM REs and embryologists will be attending. During that time, they’ll be reducing the number of patients cycling so that employees will have time to attend the conference. It shouldn’t really affect the hubby or me, but I wanted to include this info for CCRMers who find this blog and are looking to cycle at the end of October.

My nurse Dawn is going to follow up with me and provide more information about the medications that we will need to buy and how the timeline will work. And as always, I will add that info to this blog! : )

Talking to Dr. Surrey got me excited about seeing those gorgeous Rocky Mountains again! : )

Posted in Dr Surrey, Testing | 9 Comments »

Altering the Plan

Posted by auntiem10 on May 4, 2010

After Dr. Surrey agreed to allow me to do the Depot Lupron treatment yesterday, K and I put on our thinking caps and really talked about our upcoming cycle. I was feeling pulled in every which way, and I needed a sensible person to help me sort out my feelings.

I just have a bad feeling about doing the Depot Lupron treatment before a fresh cycle. It seems that many of you out there are doing the treatment while your embryos are being CCS tested. In our case, chromosome screening testing was not recommended, so Dr. Surrey’s plan for us was to do the Depot Lupron treatment, take 28 days’ worth of BCPs, and then immediately start stimulating my ovaries. I was not comfortable with the idea of shutting down my ovaries so completely, and then expecting them to be rock stars and churn out a decent number of eggs. At our ODWU, Dr. Surrey told us that he didn’t see a difference between those who do the DL treatment and then go into a fresh cycle, and those who do not. Still, I could not get comfortable with this plan. My worries were driven home by a comment on my blog entry yesterday (thank you so much to this person; it really helped to solidify what I was already thinking).

We made a decision to alter our timeline (again, ha). I know it seems as though we can’t make up our minds, but any IVFers out there likely know how easily things can change based on test results or recommended treatments.

Our ultimate motto going into this cycle is “No Regrets.” We want to be able to reflect on the cycle and know that we gave our bodies every opportunity to succeed. And even though Dr. Surrey was not concerned about me going straight from Depot Lupron treatment to a fresh cycle, I feel as though I may later regret this decision if I just decided to go with the flow. Our intuition is telling us both that “Plan B” is the right one for us.

I already called the Business Office and learned about the added expenses involved in our new plan. I just sent an e-mail detailing our new timeline to my CCRM nurse and asked for approval. This new plan is going to add a couple of months to our original plan, but as my blog friend Mo recently wrote, 30 days of waiting is a drop in the bucket at this point. We’ve already waited about a year to cycle at CCRM; what is 45 more days?

Here is our plan:

May 11–See endocrinologist, hopefully start Synthroid
May, June, July, August–Send CD3 bloodwork, regulate my thyroid levels, live life!
September–Start BCPs for IVF
October–Travel to Denver, Egg Retrieval
November, December–Depot Lupron treatment
January–Start medications for FET
February–FET

No, it doesn’t thrill me to endure more waiting … to go through another holiday season with a hole in our hearts … to incur extra expenses with medications, travel costs, repeating communicable testing, and the cost of the FET itself. Every adorable child I see dressed up for Halloween and every baby picture we receive in a Christmas card will hurt. I won’t lie about that.

But honestly, for the first time since we started planning our second cycle, we have etched out a plan that doesn’t make my pulse race. With this plan, I know that the Depot Lupron won’t be affecting my egg quality, and I know that the lapse will allow the stimming meds to leave my system. I think that peace of mind can only help me when it comes to stimming.

For the first time, I feel 100% comfortable with our plan. Now I only hope Dr. Surrey and the nurse agree!

Posted in Dr Surrey, Money, Struggles | 6 Comments »

The Great Mix-Up

Posted by auntiem10 on May 3, 2010

This afternoon I drove 30 minutes to a local RE’s office for my endometrial biopsy. I had scheduled this appointment on April 22nd, the first day of my LH surge. When I got to the office, the receptionist spent a lot of time second-guessing me about my testing “window,” which I thought was strange. I explained to her that I had confirmed with my CCRM nurse that my “window” was from Saturday, May 1, to today. She then disappeared in the back for awhile before returning with the bombshell: there was a scheduling mix-up.

Apparently the original scheduler was under the assumption that an endometrial biopsy could be performed by a nurse in the office. The RE himself was already gone for the day, and the nurse did not know how to do the test. They offered to let me come back in the morning, but by then I would be 12 days after the LH surge, meaning there was a chance my sample would be “out of phase” and I would need to have a second biopsy next cycle.

I called CCRM, and the receptionist was able to flag down my primary nurse. She told me that at 12 days post-LH surge, there was a good chance that my sample would be out of phase. I asked her to talk to Dr. Surrey about just letting me do the Depot Lupron treatment. I requested this for several reasons:

* the ultrasound scan at CCRM showed three endometriomas, which will probably continue to grow if I’m not on Depot Lupron or birth control pills.
* it will probably take a few months to get my thyroid hormones under control, during which time my endometriosis will continue to grow.
* my hubby is still accruing the vacation time he will need.
* many patients with endometriosis also lack the beta-3 integrin, according to Dr. Surrey.

My CCRM nurse called back this afternoon to tell me that Dr. Surrey thinks that is a good idea. Therefore, I guess I can skip the biopsy completely! I’ll start the Depot Lupron treatment three months before September or October, when we are going to start stimulating my ovaries. (The hubby and I need to sit down and figure out which month we will cycle.) This means I’ll be starting the Depot Lupron shots either in June or July. It’s going to be one long, hot summer!

I’m annoyed by the mix-up (PMS is not helping matters), and I think the test would provide valuable information, but I’m happy that I can still do the Depot Lupron treatment. I guess I will need to decide if I want to do the endo biopsy with my next cycle, just to get some answers!

Posted in Dr Surrey, Testing | 13 Comments »

The Verdict

Posted by auntiem10 on April 30, 2010

I heard back from CCRM a little while ago, and Dr. Surrey wants me to see an endocrinologist ASAP. He won’t proceed any further until my thyroid levels are under control. My local OB also apparently faxed a letter to CCRM stating that her position is that I should see an endocrinologist, so it’s unanimous.

I’m planning to research in-network providers this weekend and ask my OB’s office Monday morning if they will try to schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist on my behalf. When my results came back wacky last year, I did try to schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist and was told that I would probably have to wait 4-6 months just for an initial appointment! I now regret that I didn’t follow through with scheduling an appointment after our IVF cycle failed, but my local RE had made me feel dumb for questioning the abnormal results. Live and learn.

The CCRM nurse said that they will get involved in scheduling the appointment if necessary, but they don’t want to immediately portray themselves as bullies. It humored me when she said, “If they give you any trouble, you tell them that Dr. Eric Surrey will be contacting them to discuss this matter.” LOL. Hopefully my local OB’s office can pull some strings and get me an appointment relatively quickly (they closed at noon today, so that’s why I have to wait until Monday to contact them).

I am actually happy about this development, because I know CCRM is taking steps to ensure that I’m as healthy as possible when we do cycle. I don’t mind waiting a little longer if it means that my thyroid levels can be tamed. Plus I’ve felt for years that I exhibited symptoms of hypothyroidism–fatigue, always feeling cold, inability to lose a significant amount of weight even with healthy diet/exercise, hair loss when I blow-dry my hair, charlie horses in my calves. I’m guessing that at least a few of these symptoms are related to my thyroid function. Maybe a little medication will help!

Posted in Dr Surrey, Testing, Thyroid Stuff | 6 Comments »

One-Day Workup

Posted by auntiem10 on April 14, 2010

Last week, K (my hubby) and I traveled to the Denver area for our “One Day Work-Up” (ODWU). This work-up is required by CCRM before you can cycle there, and it involves approximately 6-7 hours of tests, instructions, and enough information to make your head spin Exorcist-style. You must be between Cycle Days 5-13 on the day of the test.

I scoured Google before our trip, looking for first-person accounts on blogs, so I thought I would detail our own experiences here.

Warning: The ridiculous length of this post is not for the faint of heart!

In my next few posts, I will talk about where we stayed, where we ate, and what we did while NOT at CCRM. In a future post, I will also talk about two headaches we have already incurred while dealing with CCRM, and suggestions on how you can avoid the same mistakes.

We are just one short nonstop flight from Denver, so we flew in the morning of the ODWU. We woke up at 3am to make a 6:10am flight, and we arrived at Denver International Airport at 7:15am Mountain Time. We took a bus to Budget Rent-a-Car and picked up a Chevy Cobalt. We took the toll road (for a hefty $12.25 fee*).

** BTW, cash is not accepted on the toll road. Instead, a sensor somehow tracks your mileage, and the credit card you provide to Budget is charged with the toll fee many days later.

Anyway, we arrived at CCRM at 8:40am for our 9am appointment, and we breathed a sigh of relief. We checked in with the receptionist and were given the day’s schedule. The order in which the appointments take place may vary, but I believe the ODWU includes all of the “appointments” detailed in the following paragraphs.

Minutes later we were called back by our assigned nurse, Dawn. She spent two hours reviewing general information–the IVF process, CCRM’s business practices, contact information, an explanation of a typical medication protocol, and then demonstrations of how to administer some of the injectable medications that I did not use during my first cycle (Menapur, Cetrotide). We were able to ask her any questions we had, and she did her best to answer.

At 11:00am, I checked in with the front desk again (which you must do after every single appointment throughout the day, annoyingly), and shortly after got called back for my doppler ultrasound. K went to the basement to do his manly duty*.

** Later he informed me that the process has its pros and cons:
Pros: The room has a TV/DVD combo for a man’s viewing pleasure as well as a library of dirty magazines.
Cons: When his manly duty was complete, he had to knock to indicate that he was finished and hand his offering to the tech (the same tech who later drew our blood). : )

The doppler ultrasound (and the room in general) is cool. A TV is mounted on the wall that allows the patient to see everything on the ultrasound machine.

Once she started wanding me, she immediately asked if I suffer from endometriosis. I though, “Oh no.” She then pointed out three (small) endometriomas that have recurred on my right ovary. Great.

Then, she measured my antral follicle count (AFC). These are the resting follicles that sit in the ovaries, one of which will be ovulated each month. This count is used to estimate a woman’s ovarian reserve. A desired AFC would be anywhere between 11-30 resting follicles. Anything less can indicate diminished ovarian reserve (DOR); anything more can indicate polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The u/s tech eventually measured 19-21 resting follicles in my ovaries!

Next, the u/s tech measured the blood flow to my uterus. She pressed a button on the u/s machine that lit up my blood vessels like a rainbow so that she could find a good, fat one on each side. Then she pressed a button, and the ultrasound machine took a measurement, which sounded like my heartbeat. The threshold for this test is any number below 3; anything higher indicates that not enough blood is getting to the uterus. My levels were, I believe, 2.4 on one side and 2.17 on the other. I was a little worried since I didn’t obey the 72-hour no-caffeine rule (and caffeine supposedly restricts blood flow), but everything was perfect!

(FYI: We were told by our nurse that if this reading would have been too high, then CCRM would require acupuncture for a certain number of weeks.)

Next, the u/s technician studied the shape of my uterus. She drew lines around it on the u/s machine, and pressed a button. The image of my uterus appeared in 3-D, and she tilted the image sideways and looked at it from all angles to spot irregularities. Luckily for me, all was perfect there too.

The tech had a difficult time finding the ovary that had a chunk removed during my 2007 surgery (see the About Us tab on this blog for surgery info), so my wanding lasted for.ev.er. She was nice about it, but finally gave up and told me that I would have to come back later in the day so that someone else could find it.

After checking back in at the desk and meeting up with K, Anna from the Fertility Labs of Colorado (FLC) called us back for our consent review. FLC works hand-in-hand with CCRM, apparently. This portion of the ODWU was basically a review of a bunch of paperwork detailing what we’ll do with any remaining embryos if we divorce, if one of us dies, etc. We were instructed to sign the documentation throughout the day so that some pages could be notarized.

We had a few free minutes, so I was called back again for round 2 with the doppler ultrasound. A different technician found my partial left ovary pretty easily and took lots of pictures. K watched the TV screen and thought it was pretty cool.

After checking in at the front desk AGAIN, it was time for my hysteroscopy. I had heard a lot of horror stories about this test, so I was pretty afraid. I had a bad experience with a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), and I was afraid this would be worse. This test is performed by your chosen RE, so it was my first chance to meet Dr. Surrey. He came in and tried to make me feel more at ease, asking about our trip. The beginning of the test was similar to a pap, and he quickly performed a mock transfer. Then he turned on a machine that expanded my uterus with carbon dioxide. I felt cramps for about 30 seconds that increased in intensity as he used a scope to look around inside my ute. Just as the cramps got pretty bad, he announced that he was finished and turned off the CO2 machine. He said everything looked good and left to prepare for our consultation with him. Overall, this test was not as bad for me as the HSG. It didn’t feel good, but it wasn’t unbearable. I spotted lightly for about two days afterwards (whereas I bled much more after the HSG), and there was no lingering pain. It probably helped that my cervix is easy to work with.

K and I then met Dr. Surrey in his office and barraged him with questions. The summary of our conversation is that he feels like with a better protocol, better monitoring, and a better lab, we will have a great shot at achieving a pregnancy. He didn’t agree with our local RE’s recommendation to move toward donor eggs or her decision to put me on the aggressive Microdose Lupron (MDL) procotol. He does not recommend comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS), since we are young and he anticipates retrieving a lot of eggs. He recommends just watching the endometriomas and only feels like surgery should be an option if any of them start to grow rapidly. He thinks our chances are excellent.

I left his office feeling lighter than air! Locally, we were labeled poor responders, at high-risk of cancellation, victims of a biochemical pregnancy. At CCRM, we are “unexplained” and given excellent odds of success! For the first time ever, I honestly felt (and continue to feel) like we may actually conceive a child of our very own.

I checked in AGAIN, and then we were called back to meet with the genetic counselor. She reviewed the process and some risks of CCS testing and explained that if we were to add this to our cycle fees, we would have to schedule a 90-minute appointment to go over the specifics. Then she annoyed me by asking for payment up-front for this portion of the ODWU. I informed her that we are only going to pay whatever my insurance company denies. By this point in the day, I was tired, hungry, slightly overwhelmed, and just kind of over the ODWU, so I may have been a little snippy.

Our last two appointments were for bloodwork and with the Business Office to have a mini-heart attack over the costs. The phlebotomist used a butterfly needle, which is so much less painful than what my local RE’s office used, and she successfully stuck me on my first try! K had a smooth experience as well. At this point, we had to pay about $1400 for charges from the ODWU that my insurance would not pay.

The appointment with the Business Office was quick and just involved a couple of sheets of paper on which the fees are listed:

Package fees (starting with Lupron consult and ending after first pregnancy test): $12,340 (of which $7480 is paid directly to CCRM and $4860 is paid to FLC)
Anesthesia: $430
Medications (paid to pharmacy of your choice): $3500-$6500 (approximately)
Total: $16,270 to $19,270

Not included:
* The ODWU itself, which can cost upwards of $4K without any insurance coverage
* ICSI $2600
* ICSI w/IMSI: $3100
* Embryo freezing (paid only if you have embies to freeze): $975
* PGS, MESA or Testes Biopsy, Pregnancy Tests: Varies

The paperwork states that you have to pay a $1000 deposit to reserve a place in the current or upcoming session, but we were not asked for any money.

And with that, our ODWU was complete, and we were free! Just in time to walk outside and discover that the battery on our rental car was dead, yay!

To Be Continued…

Posted in Dr Surrey, Money, Testing | 9 Comments »