My CCRM IVF Journey

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

Archive for the ‘FET’ Category

Treatment Recap Links

Posted by auntiem10 on February 3, 2011

Below I’ve added links to my recaps of the major components of an IVF cycle with CCS testing, Depot Lupron treatment, and an FET. I thought having these links in one spot might provide a clearer picture of what to expect from cycling at CCRM, but you can also click one of the Categories on the right pane of this page to see more.

Our One-Day Work-Up Experience

Instructions for shipping CD 3 bloodwork to CCRM

A recap of all test results, at the ODWU and locally

My IVF calendar

My Egg Retrieval Experience

Our Day 6 Biopsy Report

Our CCS Results

My FET Calendar

My Frozen Embryo Transfer Experience

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Posted in Chromosome Testing (CCS), Egg Retrieval, Embryo Transfer, FET, FET Calendars, IVF Calendars, IVF Take Two, Testing | 8 Comments »

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 »

9dp5dt (Beta Day!)

Posted by auntiem10 on January 22, 2011

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!!!!!!

Our first beta is 278!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer from CCRM called with the results shortly before noon my time. She said, “Congratulations!” I said, “Oh my God, are you serious?!” She said, “Yes, your test came back positive.” I said, “What was my HCG level?!” She said, “We were looking for a level of 50, and yours is 278!” I immediately started bawling. I couldn’t help myself. My DH and I have both been shedding tears of absolute joy. We can’t believe it!!!!!!!

My instructions are to stay on the same medications and see if the level doubles on Monday. I already have an appointment for 7:30 a.m. So we will just go from here!!!!!

We are still in shock, so I’m sorry I am short on words! : ) This is the happiest day of our lives. Hopefully the good luck will continue.

Posted in FET, Pregnancy | 73 Comments »

8dp5dt (One Day ‘Til Test Day)

Posted by auntiem10 on January 21, 2011

I have suddenly developed an eye twitch, so I’m pretty sure that means I am a nervous wreck. Our beta is tomorrow! After months and months of planning, spending a small fortune, injecting needles, taking hundreds of pills, and pinning our hopes and dreams on the outcome of this cycle, we will know our fate by tomorrow afternoon. Eeeeeeek!!!! It is really sinking in now. This is it.

WHY did I think that work would be a good distraction today? All I can think about are our embryos and the two scenarios that lay before us–BFP or BFN. I have basically accomplished nothing since arriving this morning. I really shouldn’t let myself get nervous–after all, there’s nothing more that can be done–but that’s easier said than done!

I have not taken a home pregnancy test, so I have no clue which way things will go tomorrow. My dad will leave at some point during the day, and we will listen to the voicemail our nurse will leave us when we are alone. I’ve been imagining this scene for months: I suspect that we’ll play the voicemail on speakerphone in our living room, and I’ll have my head in my hands, ready to either whoop for joy or cry sad tears. And of course, I’ll update this blog either way immediately. My DH keeps kindly reminding me that we are so fortunate to have three CCS normal popsicle blasts remaining in CCRM’s freezer, and he is so right. I’m sure a negative result would be devastating tomorrow, but we can try, try again if this time doesn’t work out. Last IVF cycle, we had zero embryos left and basically no hope that we could even produce good embryos. So regardless of tomorrow’s verdict, we’re a thousand times better off than we were a year and a half ago.

Oh, please let this work!!!!! Fingers crossed!!!!!!!!!!

Posted in FET | 22 Comments »

7dp5dt (Two Days ‘Til Test Day)

Posted by auntiem10 on January 20, 2011

Yesterday was a nightmare. I arrived at my workplace only to find that our elevators were not working. I had to climb A LOT of stairs to the top floor, all the while remembering how the nurse at CCRM emphasized taking it easy and doing nothing to tax my body until after my pregnancy test. Then last night, I encountered the most nightmarish hell of a commute I’ve ever experienced. Heavy snow began falling around noon and wreaked havoc on my metro area. I left mid-afternoon, attempting to get home before the roads were too bad, but it still took me three hours and 15 minutes to drive 20 miles from work to home, and during all the slipping and sliding, I just about had a panic attack more than once. When I finally pulled into our garage, thankful to have made it safely, I burst into tears because all I could think was that the stairclimbing + hours of driving stress had to have killed our embryos. It was the absolute polar opposite of CCRM’s instructions to “take it easy.” I was just so upset.

I have been feeling so positive about all of this, but I’m not sure anymore after yesterday. In a way, I wish I was brave enough to just take a home pregnancy test. If a second line would show up right away, I could continue through the next two days with an extra bounce in my step. But on the other hand, the test may remain stark white negative, and I wish to prolong that misery as long as possible. So I will not POAS, and I will try to take back my optimistic attitude over the next few days. I also plan to take it easy today and have already called to say I won’t be in.

Symptoms that are out of the ordinary for me but could just be progesterone-induced or random: Off and on cramping. Sore nipples. Lack of appetite (this started a few days ago). One instance of constipation, which is really weird for me. A weird heaviness in my uterus area, which could just be hand-in-hand with the cramping I”m feeling. Insomnia (which I’m sure is just related to the looming pregnancy test). That’s about it for now.

Two more days!!!

Posted in FET | 19 Comments »

CCRM’s Bed Rest Instructions

Posted by auntiem10 on January 19, 2011

Here are CCRM’s bed rest instructions (you are required to be on bed rest on transfer day and the day after):

Activity and Positioning:

  • In the car on your way home, position yourself in a reclined position in the front seat with your head lowered. Once you reach your destination, make yourself comfortable in bed, on a couch, or a recliner. You do not need to be flat on your back in bed but in a reclined position with your feet elevated to the level of your hips. You may keep your kneees bent. Your head should be elevated no higher than 45 degrees.
  • You may lay on your back or your side, NOT on your stomach. You can prop yourself with pillows.
  • Do not put anything hot on your abdomen such as a heating pad or a laptop computer.
  • During your bed rest, we prefer you do not use stairs unless you have no other options. One flight up/down per day is permissible.
  • It is recommended that you limit your activity. You may get up to use the restroom or get a quick snack. For meals, have food brought to you whenever possible.
  • NO sexual activity.

Once Bed Rest is Over:

Continue with normal, light activity. You may travel once bed rest is over. You may walk, use stairs, and resume most normal activities with a few restrictions.

  • Short walks are OK but NO exercising! Avoid increasing your heart rate, becoming winded or short of breath. 
  • Do not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds.
  • Do not overheat: no heat on abdomen, avoid exposure to extreme temperatures outdoors, no hot tubs, steam showers, or saunas.
  • Showers are OK, but do not submerse in water – no swimming pools or bath tubs.
  • Diet: Continue to eliminate all caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Eat a healthy diet, avoid undercooked meats.

Posted in Embryo Transfer, FET | 5 Comments »

5dp5dt (Four Days ‘Til Test Day)

Posted by auntiem10 on January 18, 2011

This morning I called and scheduled my pregnancy test. 8:00 a.m. on Saturday!!!! Ironically, my dad (who knows nothing about our IVF cycle) will be at my house through at least part of the day. He’s flying in Friday night from NY, staying overnight with us, and heading to my grandpa’s house on Saturday. My uncle, who lives 20 minutes away, is picking him up to drive to my grandpa’s, but I’m not sure yet what time that is happening. We wish to wait until we are alone when we receive our beta results, so I plan to ask our nurse to leave us a voicemail. If it’s negative, then we definitely don’t want to find that out while hosting my dad. If it’s positive, then we want to be alone and celebrate!

Thanks to everyone who chimed in about the mild cramping I was having at 3dp5dt. I now know not to get too excited about it. The mild cramping has continued, with particular intensity yesterday morning. I’ve also been rather thirsty and have soreness in my chest. I know all of these symptoms are likely progesterone-related. However, I don’t remember any cramping while on PIO for IVF #1, so I (being an optimist) am taking it as a good sign. My friend IRL told me the only time she felt cramping while taking PIO was during her BFP cycle after cycling at CCRM, so that gives me some extra hope!

This 9-day wait until beta does not really seem all that bad to me. I think I learned some patience during our long, long wait to get to this point. Or maybe I’m just satisfied being full of hope and optimism right now, dreaming of the happy phone call we may receive on Saturday. If our news is going to end well, then I’ll be happy to leave this limbo. But if our news is going to end negatively, then I want to stay right here forever, where excitement and happiness abound and pessimism and negativity are far, far away.

Posted in FET | 6 Comments »

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 »

3dp5dt (Six Days ‘Til Test Day)

Posted by auntiem10 on January 16, 2011

This morning I woke up with the unmistakable feeling of mild AF cramps in my pelvic region. It seems like I’ve read that this may be a sign that at least one of our embryos is sticking around? Maybe others can weigh in here (pretty please?!) … I would really appreciate it! With IVF #1, I don’t think I felt anything at all. The feeling has continued on and off all morning. I hope I’m not just imagining it or that it’s not a product of digesting food or something! I did not feel anything while on bedrest or yesterday, so this morning was the first time I felt a single symptom. I wish that when the embryo implants, a dinger would ring or something! It currently feels like cramps and/or a heaviness in that area. Can medication cause this?

Six days until Test Day. Ahhhhhh! I won’t be taking any sort of home pregnancy test this time around. With IVF #1, I convinced my very reluctant husband to let me test the night before beta. I had felt awful all day–headache, nausea, fatigue–and had decided that morning sickness might very well have already shown up. (In hindsight, I think I had a sinus headache.) So I took the test, and we saw the faintest of lines after three minutes. We literally had to squint to see it. But still, I had always heard the phrase A line is a line, so I was over the moon all night and into the next day as I had my blood drawn and waited for the call. A few hours later, my nurse at that clinic called and said “You’re pregnant!” I could barely breathe as I asked, “What was my HCG level?????” Her answer? “Only 16.” So I was just BARELY pregnant, and after two weeks and a heartbreaking ultrasound that showed nothing in my uterus, I needed methotrexate injections to restore my body to an unpregnant state. It was the worst to go from the highest of highs (seeing the second line on the test and hearing my nurse proclaim me as pregnant) to the lowest of lows (slowly rising betas and that horrible u/s). This time around, I’m going to be smarter. If this fails, I will be disappointed only once (when my nurse calls), and I’ll make sure to clarify that I don’t wish them to exclaim that I’m pregnant unless I have a strong HCG level. The emotional damage has been done, and we don’t want to go through it again!

Tomorrow I’ll have a recap of our whirlwind trip to Denver. I had meant to post it today, but I decided to report my crampiness instead and ask for feedback. I really hope our embies are sticking around for the ride!

Posted in FET | 11 Comments »

We’ve Done All We Can

Posted by auntiem10 on January 13, 2011

Here they are … our transferred embryos!

The embryo on the bottom right is Embryo #15, our best blast and a 5AA (which was hatching). We saved our second-best embryo (a 6AA) for a future transfer and instead transferred Embryo #21, a 5BA. The 5AA re-expanded 95% after thawing, which is really good. The 5BA only moderately expanded at about 75%. The 5BA is a Day 6 blast, so that may have something to do with the slow expansion. Dr. Surrey said they both looked beautiful and he is optimistic. The embryologist said she sees twins result from embryos like ours, so we are happy that the professionals were happy with our blasts. As long as one sticks, we will be overjoyed.

Now I’m in bed for the next few days. I have more pictures, but this internet connection is slooooow, so I will post them from home this weekend. I’ll also write about transfer day later. (It’s hard to type while lying down!)

Thank you all SO much for thinking of us today!!! I will respond to your e-mails when I’m upright again! : )

Posted in Embryo Transfer, FET | 15 Comments »

Rocky Mountain High

Posted by auntiem10 on January 12, 2011

First of all, thank you all so much for the supportive comments/e-mails!!!!!!!!!

We are here!!! Our flight was delayed a bit, so it was kind of a long day. We took some aerial pictures from the air of the mountains and airport, but I’ll wait to share those since our Internet connection is slow as a turtle. We’re at the Homewood Suites, and it’s really nice. I will try to take some pictures of our room to share at a later date, so that you can compare it to the Staybridge (where I stayed for the first part of this process).

Okay, confession time: we completely changed our minds about something. We are going to transfer TWO embryos tomorrow. When the lab calls in the morning, we’ll ask them to thaw our best embryo and a lesser-quality embryo. We have been talking about all our original reasons for choosing to transfer only one embryo, and we examined all angles of each reason. At the end of the day, we decided that we would rather have twins than have gone through the past nine months in vain. Even transferring two is still no guarantee, but we just want the best odds. Our absolute worst case scenario is that this fails. If we have twins, fine. If we have a singleton, even better. If they both have broken bones, we will figure out how to deal with it. We can handle anything else that comes our way, and I believe we aren’t given more than we can handle. I feel bad that it may be annoying to read how we’ve see-sawed back and forth with this decision, but the one advantage of this long wait is that we’ve had the luxury of time to consider all angles. So there we go. I have already assigned my hubby the task of photographing our embryos tomorrow and will share them here while on bedrest. : )

Now that we’re here and this decision has been made, I’m no longer stressed out or nervous. I’m excited!!! I’m praying for our embryos to thaw well and for things to go smoothly, but I’m comfortable knowing that I’m in the best possible hands and that we’ve done everything we could to make this work. That is a good feeling!

Posted in FET | 16 Comments »

The Transfer Details

Posted by auntiem10 on January 11, 2011

I just heard from CCRM about an hour ago about our transfer details. I was thinking they forgot! They stressed me out because a nurse (not my regular one as she is ill) called me while I was in rush hour traffic on my way home from work. I asked her to just e-mail me the details because I obviously couldn’t whip out a pen and write everything down while zooming down the interstate. When I arrived home, I immediately checked my e-mail, and I read these words: “Please call us tomorrow as we must confirm that you started your progesterone on the correct day.” I immediately thought, is this going to affect the day of my transfer? Of course, it was after hours, so I was stressing about reaching someone. In desperation, I e-mailed the general IVF nurse inbox and asked that someone call me if they were still around. Luckily, just a few minutes later, the same nurse called me. She explained that the day you start progesterone can affect the day of transfer. I told her I started progesterone exactly as my calendar indicated (on the 8th), and she told me that the 13th will still be fine. Sigh of relief! I’m not sure what the confusion was all about, since they obviously could have just pulled out my calendar, but oh well.

Our transfer is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time with Dr. Surrey. I’ve opted not to do acupuncture, so we just need to be at the clinic at 1:00 p.m. I’ll have my blood drawn and then head up to the area where our transfer will be held. I’m supposed to start drinking water on the way over so my bladder will be full enough. No information about which particular embryo will be transferred, even though I’ve asked for this information for a month. Oh well. I assume our Day 5 5AA is our best option and will be transferred first. The embryology lab will call Thursday morning to seek approval to start the thawing process, so I will find out for sure then.

Please send me your best positive vibes at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time on Thursday!!!! My next post will be from the Homewood Suites in Denver tomorrow! : )

Posted in Embryo Transfer, FET | 21 Comments »

Progesterone Party

Posted by auntiem10 on January 10, 2011

Huge congrats to Pie, who is presumably cuddling her sweet little CCRM baby as I’m writing this! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Well, my progesterone situation was finally resolved today. My local clinic told me they faxed my results yesterday at 10:01 a.m., but CCRM did not receive them. I had my local clinic re-fax the results this morning, and I heard from my CCRM nurse around noon. My progesterone level yesterday was 19. My nurse said that they are looking for my progesterone level to be 20 on the day of transfer, so my level after only one PIO injection is very, very good. She instructed me to continue with my calendar as written and let me know that she’ll call tomorrow with my official transfer details.

Edited to Add: I opted for progesterone in oil injections over suppositories (supplementing with one Endometrin at bedtime), and since PIO injections are more easily detected in the blood, CCRM looks for a progesterone level of >20. If you have opted to just do the suppositories three or four times/day, then CCRM looks for a progesterone level of >5 because the suppositories are less detectable in the blood.

Holy cow! We fly out the day after tomorrow! We’re experiencing a mini-blizzard today (6-8″ of snow so far), so I had to take a vacation day. Lots of shoveling outside + cuddling with my pooches ensued. That means my only work day this week will be tomorrow, and then we’re Denver-bound. After such a long wait, the last few weeks sure did pass quickly!

Posted in FET | 7 Comments »

Fax Machine Headaches

Posted by auntiem10 on January 9, 2011

My FET calendar indicated that I needed to have my progesterone level checked this morning, so I made an appointment for 8:00 a.m. On Friday, the receptionist at my local clinic let me know that they hadn’t received the order for this morning’s bloodwork. I spoke to my nurse in the afternoon, and she promised to fax the order so that it would be ready for my appointment this morning. The nurses at CCRM always call me later in the afternoon (especially on Fridays) and my local clinic was already closed, so I couldn’t call to confirm that the fax was received. No one answers the phone at my local clinic on the weekends.

This morning I was at my local clinic bright and early for my blood draw. I had to wait for a while because the nurses were busy with a few embryo transfers in the IVF lab. Finally a nurse showed up to draw my blood. She had to go through my hand (ouch) because the first stick in my arm didn’t work, and my other arm didn’t look promising. After she drew my blood, she dropped the bomb: they never received the order for my bloodwork. They couldn’t run the progesterone check until the order was received, and they were only going to be in the office until 10:00 a.m. (and were busy with transfers during that time). I promised to call CCRM’s after-hours line and have the order sent immediately. I was able to be connected to a nurse at CCRM, and she said that my nurse would send the order in a few minutes. At this point, I wasn’t sure if my local clinic would have the time to run my bloodwork.

The morning and early afternoon passed with no word from my nurse. Finally, I sent an e-mail to her, asking if my local clinic had faxed my results. She wrote back and said nothing had been received, and that she had re-faxed the order at 8:30 a.m. my time. This is just a tough lesson that I felt I should share here: if you know you have bloodwork coming up, be sure to double-check that CCRM faxed the order and your local clinic received it. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s. I don’t know who (besides myself) dropped the ball with this situation. I’m not sure if the order was faxed Friday at all, or if the order was faxed and the local clinic’s fax machine did not pick up. Regardless, I should have checked before Friday to make sure that all my ducks were in a row. If I had done that, then any miscommunication could have been cleared up in time for this weekend.

So now I’m wondering: Did my local clinic receive the order, run the test, and the fax did not go through? Were they too busy with embryo transfers to receive the order and run the test? If they didn’t run it today, are they able to save my blood until tomorrow when it can be tested, or will I have to go back there in the morning?

Tomorrow a snowstorm is going to dump a lot of snow on the ground and make for a hairy commute, so I really hope that I don’t have to go back to the hospital for another blood test. But if I must, I’ll go. Hindsight is 20/20!

Posted in FET | 6 Comments »

My Estradiol is an Underachiever

Posted by auntiem10 on January 7, 2011

Well, my lining looks great, but my estradiol level is a little low today. The optimal result should be >300, and my level is 216. So tonight after work, I’ll be picking up a new medication called Estrace and taking it orally for an undetermined length of time. However, the good news is that I received the all-clear for our FET next week! Yay!

We also discussed our wishes for the number of embryos to transfer. The plan that my DH and I feel the most comfortable with is this: We want the lab to thaw one embryo the morning of transfer. If it thaws well and looks good, then we will only transfer that one embryo. If it does not thaw well or looks not so great, then we will request that they thaw a second one, and we will transfer both. Yes, we are nervous about twins if we have to resort to this plan, but we are nervous about transferring an embryo that looks bad and ending up with a BFN. I think the first one they will thaw is a Day 5 5AA, so I’m hopeful that it will thaw beautifully and that our eSET wishes will be granted. We won’t transfer two unless the embryologist recommends it based on the way the first embryo looks. My nurse wrote these wishes in my file, and I will also express them to the embryologist the morning of the transfer.

So, Lupron and I have parted ways for now. Tomorrow I’ll start PIO shots, Estrace, Medrol, Tetracycline, and Endometrin. Sunday I will have my blood drawn to check my progesterone. Tuesday I will receive the transfer instructions, including the time of our transfer and which doctor will perform the procedure (I’m assuming Dr. Surrey will unless he has a conflict). Wednesday we will fly out, and Thursday is the transfer!

I’m going to spend this weekend (in between the shots and pills and nerves and planning!) trying to forget about all of this! Tonight we’re hanging out with friends, tomorrow we have lots of errands to run + a house to clean for our petsitter, and Sunday we have playoff football + college basketball to watch. I hope this is my last unpregnant weekend for the next 9 months. : )

Posted in FET, Testing | 18 Comments »

My Uterine Lining is an Overachiever

Posted by auntiem10 on January 7, 2011

So far so good today! I went to my local RE’s office and had my blood drawn, then stripped down for the ultrasound. My lining is 14.5mm! The magic number was >8, so my body definitely overachieved on this result. I asked the u/s tech if your lining can be “too thick,” and she said that my result is perfect. She also pointed out that my lining is triple stripe, so all of this is wonderful news!

My #1 stressor going into this morning’s appointment was the idea of cysts near my ovaries. I’m cyst-prone and figured a cyst might result in a postponement of our FET. This turned out to be a dumb thing to worry about, because the u/s tech told me that they usually don’t care if cysts are present before an FET. In fact, the order CCRM sent did not even instruct my local clinic to check my ovaries. However, the u/s tech checked anyway, and she commented that my ovaries are quiet except for the dumb endometrioma that is still present. So barring any issues with my estradiol level (which I’ll hear about later today), we should be good to go next week!

Posted in FET, Testing | 3 Comments »

ONE WEEK AWAY!

Posted by auntiem10 on January 6, 2011

Not much to say other than Finally! This long wait is finally almost over. I’m impatiently awaiting tomorrow’s results and hoping that we receive the all-clear for next week’s trip to Denver. Is it next Thursday yet?! : )

Posted in FET | 4 Comments »

One Patch Two Patch Three Patch Four

Posted by auntiem10 on January 5, 2011

This morning I removed the three patches I had placed on my lower abdomen two days ago, and applied four new patches. From here on out, I will place four new patches on my skin every other day until (hopefully!) approximately Week 9 of pregnancy. One box contains eight Vivelle patches, so I’ll be using one box every four days for the near future. That’s a lot of hormones (and $$$)!

The only side effects I can report are that I feel really good and that I’m having a lot of CM (TMI, I know). Adding estrogen back into my body has provided complete relief from the hot flashes I was experiencing with Depot Lupron, and the 5 units of regular Lupron I’m currently injecting daily don’t affect me at all. I’m assuming the abundance of CM is normal????? Hopefully it just means that my body is prepared to handle this little embryo next week.

I’m working on my mental attitude toward this transfer. I am somewhat of an optimist by nature, but I struggle with that when it comes to IF. I thought by this point–after CCS testing, Depot Lupron treatment, and great-quality embies–I would be feeling super-optimistic about next week’s FET. But suddenly, I’m worried about whether something is fundamentally just wrong with ME–a clotting issue or some other problem that hasn’t yet been identified. I feel like everything up until now has gone way too easy and textbook for us, and something big is about to go wrong. I guess I’m afraid I used up all my good luck during the ER and CCS results?! Or maybe my brain is protecting itself from possible failure. Pregnancy is all we’ve been striving toward, and I feel like we’re not lucky enough to have it happen for us. The idea of experiencing pregnancy seems about as likely as winning the Me.ga Mill.ions jackpot right now. I’m just bracing myself for the rug to be pulled out from under us. I am pretty freaked out about everything, but am trying to find my normal positive nature in time for next week. The stakes are so high, but we already won the lottery in part by having four more normals after the one we’ll transfer next week. I need to remember to count my blessings and trust in fate.

Eight more days! And, we leave for Denver one week from today!

Posted in FET, Struggles | 7 Comments »

Refocused on Single Digits!!!

Posted by auntiem10 on January 4, 2011

In a span of 48 hours, I attended both a baby shower and a funeral. Completely opposite spectrums of life. The baby shower was obviously held in honor of my SIL, and the funeral was held for my high school best friend’s grandma. Today I’m finally back in my normal routine and refocused on the fact that we are NINE days away from our FET. Single digits!!! I can’t believe we leave for Denver one week from tomorrow. This wait has seemed so long, it just became the status quo for me. And now, we are finally about to move past all of this. Hopefully we won’t have to revisit the FET process until we’re ready to try for a sibling!

The baby shower wasn’t so bad, thankfully. It was much easier to handle than I had anticipated. It helped that we’re so close to transfer, that I helped host so I was always busy, that my SIL is so so nice, and that I just happened for some reason to be in a good place emotionally that day. I did feel emotional when I saw the beautiful purple blanket that my MIL lovingly handmade and then kept secret from all of us until the big day, and at times the mommy-centric music playlist made me feel a little tearful, but then I would get over it by chatting with a guest or helping out with the shower. It’s over, and I am moving on. If all goes according to plan, we will have seen a heartbeat at least a few times by the time BIL and SIL’s baby arrives and we’ll be in a great place emotionally to welcome our new little niece. Trying to stay positive here.

This week: I stuck three Vivelle patches on yesterday and will stick on four new ones tomorrow morning, and continue with four patches every other day hopefully through several weeks of my pregnancy (weird to even type!!!). Friday (six days pre-transfer) is the appointment that will determine our FET fate–I visit my local RE’s office for an u/s to check my lining (which will hopefully be 8mm or greater), rule out cysts (there will hopefully be none), and measure the estradiol level again (should be 300 or greater). I’m continuing to inject 5 units of Lupron in the morning and take Synthroid for hypothyroidism, one 81mg aspirin, and one prenatal vitamin in the evening daily. If I pass Friday’s check, I’ll discontinue Lupron and start PIO on Saturday, along with Tetracycline and Medrol. We are rounding the last lap and it feels great–woo hoo!

Posted in FET | 5 Comments »

First Estradiol Check

Posted by auntiem10 on December 30, 2010

I just found out that my first Estradiol check was 101 today. CCRM was looking for a level of 50 or greater, so I hope this is good and doesn’t mean I have a cyst producing estrogen! The nurse just instructed me to continue with my calendar. Looks like the Vivelle patches must be working! : )

Posted in FET, Testing | 4 Comments »

TWO WEEKS AWAY

Posted by auntiem10 on December 30, 2010

I can’t believe we’ll be transferring an embryo into my uterus two weeks from today! Time is flying and crawling at the same time, if that makes any sense. If I stay busy, it flies. If I focus on it nonstop, it feels like it will never get here. But time is moving along, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. In just 14 days, we’ll be waking up in Denver and preparing for a hugely monumental day in our lives–eeeeeeek!

This morning I headed into my local RE’s office for bloodwork. The results have already been faxed to Denver, so I’m just waiting to hear from a nurse there. (My local clinic won’t release the results to me.) Today they are measuring the level of estradiol in my body to make sure the Vivelle patches are doing their job. From reading others’ blogs, I think we want the level to be greater than 50 today (14 days before transfer). It appears that a level below 50 doesn’t automatically mean cancelation; instead, I believe CCRM will add a medication called Estrace to my regimen. I could be wrong on all of this though; I’ll ask for clarification when a nurse calls me.

Next Friday (I said Thursday in my last entry but was mistaken) is the biggest hurdle standing between us and a 1/13/11 FET: more bloodwork and an ultrasound to rule out cysts and measure my lining. I am cyst-prone, so this next step makes me nervous. However, I started BCPs as I was coming off the Depot Lupron treatment, which means I shouldn’t have had the opportunity to ovulate, so hopefully this will keep any cysts at bay. If everything comes back normal next Friday, I’ll be cleared to stop Lupron and start PIO, Endometrin, Tetracycline, and Medrol next Saturday. I believe they will check my Progesterone level on 1/9/11 to make sure my body is prepared to handle supporting an embryo. And pending a good outcome, we’ll be Denver-bound in just 13 days!

Right now I’m busy preparing for a two-hour trip to see a friend tomorrow morning, a New Year’s Eve party at our house with my in-laws tomorrow night, preparation for the baby shower on Saturday, and the actual event itself on Sunday. I can tell you unequivocally that keeping myself very busy has helped immensely during this long wait. Yes, my life has become one giant countdown, but I’ve tried to stay busy so that I “only” think about it 50 times an hour instead of 100 times an hour. : ) Anything you can do to keep your mind busy on other things will probably help time to pass more quickly!

Posted in FET, Testing | 3 Comments »

One Foot in Front of the Other (Baby Stuff Ment.)

Posted by auntiem10 on December 28, 2010

On Christmas Day, I glimpsed my cousin’s four-month-old daughter for the first time. She was born in August, but for selfish reasons, we hadn’t scheduled a trip to meet her yet. With the exception of my local friend who was successful at CCRM last year and now has a son, we’ve pretty much avoided babies like the plague. I don’t remember the last time I held a baby. 

When we arrived, I noticed that my cousin proceeded with caution, slipping the baby out of the room, presumably to be sensitive. I think I shocked her when I asked to hold the baby right off the bat. She plunked her down on my lap, and I gently held her underneath her armpits and talked in a singsong voice to her. It felt surreal to be holding something so small. She loves to be in a standing position, so I pulled her up so that her small little sneakers grazed my thighs, and I gently swung her to and fro so that it looked like she was dancing. She flashed her dimples at me as she grinned… perfect little circular indentations on either side of her perfect smiling little mouth, and my heart both soared and ached simultaneously. How is a mixture of these two emotions even possible? Before long, I held her out for my hubby to hold. Tentatively, he pulled her onto his lap and mimicked my singsong voice. To see him with a tiny baby, even one who isn’t ours, made me love him even more. We are so ready! Please, just let this work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Later, I fed her a bottle. She is moving toward being able to hold the bottle herself, so her teeny tiny little fingers gripped the sides of the bottle, which looked huge in her hands. I rocked her, and her eyes grew heavy. I thought about the FET that is rapidly approaching, and found myself praying with all my might that my hubby and I will be doing this same thing next year, only with our own child. What an amazing miracle that will be for us.

But for now, Christmas is over and I’m focused on another miracle: the baby growing in my SIL’s belly. Her shower is this upcoming Sunday, and it’s all my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law are discussing these days. I can’t wait until it’s over! Yesterday’s Christmas brunch with the in-laws was filled with way too much baby talk, and I found myself on the couch with all the guys, watching football instead of gabbing with the women in the house. So sad that I can’t just feel genuine happiness for her and instead feel traces of jealousy and resentment. They are such nice people and deserve every ounce of happiness, and I just can’t go along with it. Considering the ease with which she and my BIL conceived, I’m sure I will be enduring more pregnancy announcements in the future, so I hope I can find more grace to deal with these situations as time passes.

In FET news, I’m placing one Vivelle patch below my waistline every other day. When I stick on a new one, I remove the old one. This Thursday morning (two weeks pre-transfer), I have my first blood draw to check my estradiol level. The following Thursday (one week pre-transfer), I’ll have more bloodwork and an ultrasound to rule out cysts. If I pass these hurdles, I’ll be cleared for the FET on 1/13/11. No side effects to speak of, thankfully–besides all this baby chatter, things are pretty quiet right now.

Posted in FET, Struggles | 6 Comments »

Small Change to FET Calendar

Posted by auntiem10 on December 24, 2010

Yesterday I talked to a nurse at CCRM (not my regular nurse since she was out), and after talking, we decided that I don’t need to have bloodwork drawn today after all. The nurse said any bleeding after two months of Depot Lupron is a good thing, and it’s been consistent enough that she’s confident calling it AF. The spotting was heavier for a while yesterday, and I’m 99% sure at this point that it’s AF and not breakthrough bleeding. So we’re calling Wednesday Cycle Day 1, otherwise known (hopefully!) as the first day of my pregnancy.

Since my previous calendar listed 12/24 as the estimated day on which AF would arrive, the dates going forward had to be adjusted a bit. I expressed a desire to move up our FET date by two days if possible, since AF had cooperated a few days early, but it turns out that they are booked. So I will have to stick with the 1/13/11 FET date and simply add in two extra days of Vivelle patches. No big deal.

Patients are supposed to begin sticking on the Vivelle patches on CD 3, so I’m starting them today instead of Sunday as originally scheduled. I also start taking 81mg aspirin every day from this point forward, and I reduce my daily Lupron dose from 10 units to 5 units. And instead of having my estradiol level checked on New Years Day as originally planned, my first check will now be next Thursday, December 30th. Everything else stays the same, and you can check out my FINAL FET calendar below (click to enlarge).

 

Posted in FET, FET Calendars | 2 Comments »

THREE WEEKS AWAY

Posted by auntiem10 on December 23, 2010

Another week has passed, and we are now 21 days away from meeting our embryo! We fly to Denver in two weeks and six days, barring any changes to our calendar. I feel fortunate that the last part of this long wait is occurring during the holidays, because we are staying busy and time is passing very quickly right now!

I’m pretty confident now that this spotting/cramping is AF, because it has continued consistently for over 24 hours. The cramps are no fun–it kind of feels like I’ve awakened sleeping giants–but the spotting is still just that, maybe a wee bit heavier than just spotting, but not a full flow for sure. And it’s pretty much brown, not really red (gross, I know, but I’m adding this for future FET patients coming off Depot Lupron. If my husband reads this, he’ll probably barf). Just to be safe, I’m having my blood drawn tomorrow morning at my local clinic to make sure it’s not just breakthrough bleeding. I’ve sent an e-mail to the IVF nurse inbox at CCRM, asking how to proceed with my timeline since apparently AF showed up two days earlier than what’s on my calendar. If my levels are low enough, then I think I may need to start the patches tomorrow (CD 3) instead of Sunday, as indicated on my calendar. So if I can move everything up two days, then perhaps I can finagle my way into a 1/11/11 FET date! : ) Their calendar is apparently very booked though, so I’m not holding my breath, but it would be nice to conclude this very long odyssey to pregnancy ASAFP (as soon as friggin’ possible). Otherwise, I’m assuming I would just add an extra two days of patches to my protocol and stick with 1/13/11 as our transfer date. Either way is really fine, but it never hurts to ask! : )

I’m still waiting to hear which particular embryo Dr. Surrey is selecting for our elective single-embryo transfer (eSET). Will it be Lucky Number 15 (Day 5, 5AA) or Lucky Number 20 (Day 6, 6AA)? I’m thinking it will be #15 based on the fact that it was vitrified on Day 5, but I’m not sure. I think for some reason, figuring out which one is going to be transferred will make this experience feel more real!

Posted in FET | 1 Comment »

Is This AF?

Posted by auntiem10 on December 22, 2010

Yesterday morning, I took my 12th and last BCP. And this morning, I am spotting and cramping. Only 24 hours had passed since my last BCP, so I’m thinking this is not my actual AF yet. Plus, I have a history of spotting/bleeding on BCPs. But usually, that spotting happens just after the first few days of BCPs, not after 12 of them. And because I’ve been in menopause for the past two months and haven’t been able to build a lining, I’m thinking AF will be very scant this time around and may not be detectable if I’m also having breakthrough bleeding. The cramping feels real and AF-like, so I have to wonder whether it’s the real deal or not.

I asked my IVF nurse after my last post if I really needed to have a full flow, given the Depot Lupron treatment put me in menopause for the past two months, and this is what she said: “You may only have a very light period, but it should be slightly more than spotting.  If you do not have any bleeding or spotting by Christmas Eve let us know and you can have ultrasound and bloodwork done so that we can start on time.”

This morning I sent an e-mail, requesting an order to go in for bloodwork on Christmas Eve. If my hormone levels aren’t down enough by then, we lose our 1/13/11 FET date, so I want to be as proactive as possible. Hopefully they will agree!

In other news, we’re just preparing for Christmas festivities and counting down the days to our transfer. We’re scheduled to leave for Denver three weeks from today! My MIL and SIL are currently obsessing over the upcoming baby shower for my pg SIL and emailing me with plans/questions every hour of the day–the event is 11 days away now. I will be very happy when it’s over. Happy for her, sad for me. Same old story. I know that they will be thrilled for us when/if it’s our turn next year, so I just need to do my best pokerface and pretend to enjoy myself.

Posted in FET | 4 Comments »

Coming Up This Week

Posted by auntiem10 on December 20, 2010

Sometime this week should mark the beginning of Week 1 of my pregnancy! : ) The embryo won’t be transferred until approximately Day 20 of my cycle, but if all goes as planned, Week 1 of being pg starts with the arrival of AF. I may be jinxing myself by writing that, but this is my attempt to stay positive.

I’m still on BCPs and Lupron, but I will swallow my last BCP tomorrow morning. Then I start waiting for AF, which I’m hoping will arrive on Friday at the latest. I’ve been concerned this entire time that I won’t have a “real” AF, since my body has been in menopause for the last two months. My calendar states that I must have a full flow before I can start the patches, but I’m wondering what I can expect. I’m only taking 12 BCPs, the minimum allowed by CCRM (b/c I’m impatient and want to move forward with this process), and I’m wondering if that will be enough time to build a lining to shed. Fellow DL patients, would you care to weigh in? Hopefully my lack of patience won’t result in a canceled cycle.

Also, if AF started before the estimated date on your calendar, was your FET moved up?

Once AF starts, I’ll wait until CD 3 and then start slapping on the Vivelle patches. I’ll also reduce my Lupron dosage to 5 units/day. And then we move forward from there. Only 23 days until we will be flying to Denver. Finally, after this incredibly long wait, our transfer is just around the corner!

In other news, diaper cakes are the devil. I spent Saturday rolling up size 1 baby diapers with my non-pregnant SIL to create the three-tier diaper cake that will be displayed on the gift table. Shopping for supplies in the baby aisle surrounded by boppys and onesies gave me a feeling of dread. Rolling up the teeny tiny Elmo-covered adorable diapers made my heart ache. My DH helped a little and exclaimed, “Wow, these are so small.” I think his heart may have been aching too. Even though our transfer is quickly approaching and our excitement is building, the sadness still lingers. Thirteen days until the baby shower–Lord give me strength and acting skills. : )

Posted in FET, Struggles | 5 Comments »

Lupron Has Commenced

Posted by auntiem10 on December 17, 2010

This morning I started 10 units of Lupron, which is step 2 in my protocol. Woo-hoo! Jabbing myself with a needle no longer even fazes me. My DH and I chuckled a bit last weekend because my in-laws’ dog has been diagnosed with allergies, and my MIL and FIL are now administering injections to help their boxer become resistant to the allergens. My MIL showed us the injection supplies and acted as though we should be impressed. Even my needlephobic hubby practically had to stifle a yawn. I’m not sure if my MIL realizes that IVF = lots and lots of needles, but we couldn’t muster the same excitement as everyone else about the shots. : )

I continue 10 units of lupron and one BCP daily until Tuesday, after which I discontinue BCPs and wait for AF. Once AF starts, I drop my dosage of lupron to 5 units/day until the day (tentatively January 7th) on which I’ll have bloodwork and an ultrasound to get the official green light to transfer the blast on 1/13. Three weeks and six days to go!

Posted in FET | 8 Comments »

FOUR WEEKS AWAY

Posted by auntiem10 on December 16, 2010

If all goes according to my calendar, our FET will take place four weeks from today! We are busy counting down the days. Even my hubby has gotten really excited, joining me in my countdown, whereas before he’s always acted a little guarded and nervous. He’s even been tolerating my nonstop pregnancy and FET chatter without annoyance–he’s a saint. Whenever the next step in this long journey is looming, all I start thinking about is babybabybabybabybabybaby. He’s been enduring it all as one of the most patient and understanding husbands alive.

I took my seventh BCP this morning, so I have five more to go. Tomorrow I start Lupron. I’ll take my last BCP on Tuesday, and then the wait begins for AF. I’m not sure what kind of flow to expect. My reproductive system has been shut down by Depot Lupron since October 17th, and I’m only taking 12 BCPs, so will my body really have time to build up enough uterine lining to cause a full flow? I’m not sure if I should just expect spotting or a real AF. As long as something happens by Christmas Eve, I’m scheduled to start sticking on the Vivelle patches the day after Christmas. And then we go from there, with hopefully ZERO delays! I feel like my heart wouldn’t be able to take another postponement, but I know I would just have to deal and adjust. I am stronger than I give myself credit for. Nothing has knocked me down yet.

My hot flashes are totally gone after a full week of BCPs. TGFE! (Thank God For Estrogen) I’m still waking up hot at night, but I think that’s because my hubby opened the vents more to let additional heat circulate through our house. I’m feeling crampiness and pressure in my reproductive region, which I guess means my ovaries and uterus are coming out of hibernation. My uterus has a big job ahead, so I’m glad it got some rest. : )

Another weekend is approaching, full of baby shower stuff. My non-pregnant SIL is coming to my house, and we have to buy materials and then build a diaper cake to display on a main table at the shower. I am not looking forward to this project for obvious reasons, but I’m just going to take a deep breath and go along with it. It’s weird to me that I have good days and bad days regarding SIL’s pregnancy. Earlier this week, my eyes filled with tears when my non-pregnant SIL sent me a word scramble she had created as a game for the shower, and I ended up feeling sad and bitter all day. But then yesterday, I was excited to mail the invitations and start planning out some of the food that guests will eat. I know that the only reason I’m even halfway okay with everything is because I believe that our turn could be just around the corner. Think of me as a bad person if you wish, but it’s the truth. If our FET fails, it will be devastating for me to meet that baby at the end of February. Oh, please just let this work. All of my hopes, dreams, and happiness are riding on January 13th, 2011.

Posted in Depot Lupron, FET, Struggles | 4 Comments »

Consents (This Is Really Happening!)

Posted by auntiem10 on December 14, 2010

Over the weekend, we received two consent forms in the mail from CCRM that we needed to sign for our upcoming transfer. Our FET is still far enough away, it feels like it will never get here. However, these consents were a very real reminder that we’ll be back in Denver before we know it! In fact, if all goes according to plan, I’ll be on my second day of bed rest one month from today.

Interesting take-away from consent form #1 from–Regarding Number of embryos to transfer:

Recommended limits on number of 2-3 day old embryos to transfer
Embryos               age <35         age 35-37      age 38-40     age>40
favorable               1 or 2                 2                     3               5
unfavorable               2                    3                     4               5

Recommended limits on number of 5-6 day old embryos to transfer
Embryos                age <35         age 35-37     age 38-40   age>40
favorable                  1                        2                     2               3
unfavorable               2                       2                     3                3

* Favorable – 1st cycle, good embryo quality, excess embryos available for cryopreservation, previous successful IVF cycle. All other situations are considered to be “unfavorable” according to the guidelines.

* Donor Egg Cycles: Age of the egg donor is used to determine the number of embryos to transfer.

* Frozen Embryo Transfer: Number of good quality thawed embryos should not exceed the limit on fresh embryos for the age group.

Interesting take-away from consent form #2–Regarding Pre-Treatment Recommendations:

These are CCRM’s guidelines for avoiding any activity, behavior, or medication that would reduce the woman’s chance of conceiving or increase the risk to an unborn child.

1. Women should take a prenatal vitamin on a daily basis. These vitamins should contain folic acid, which reduces the chance of neural tube defect (e.g. spina bifida)
2. Smoking must be avoided before and during treatment.
3. Recreational drugs are absolutely contraindicated.
4. Ingestion of aspirin or aspirin-like products (e.g. Motrin, Advil, Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve, etc.) should be avoided during treatment. Tylenol is a suitable alternative.
5. The use of alcohol should be eliminated during treatment cycle.
6. The use of all prescription and over-the-counter medications should be discussed with the treatment team.
7. Caffeine should be eliminated during the entire treatment cycle.
8. A normal healthy diet is encouraged.

I just thought I would share these take-aways with those who may not already have this information.

Posted in FET | 5 Comments »

Tick Tock (Baby Stuff Ment.)

Posted by auntiem10 on December 13, 2010

Thirty-one days until our FET… time is moving along. I’ve taken 4/12 BCPs and will start Lupron on Friday. My feelings about the FET are all over the place–I feel anxious, excited, and terrified. I want to fast-forward to January 22nd (our scheduled beta date), but if things are going to turn out badly, I want to pause time now so I can hang on to this feeling of hopefulness. I want a freaking crystal ball so I can know how this will end. I wish I could produce some kind of zen attitude about events to come, but I just don’t trust my body or my luck. I am trying, though!

This weekend was very baby-centric, and I only wish this was because we had our own baby. I have talked quite a bit on here about my sister-in-law’s pregnancy, and now her baby shower is rapidly approaching (20 days). I purchased her gifts online and paid extra to have them shipped so that I could avoid any baby aisles, but then I ended up having to go to the store and switch out a couple of things anyway. I spent way too much money, and I think the reason why in part is that I’m attempting to buy her patience and understanding due to my obvious struggles throughout her pregnancy. That is an awful way to think, and I hate myself for it.

I’m also in charge of invitations for the shower, so I spent part of Saturday carefully addressing the envelopes and preparing to stick them in the mail. And yesterday, I spent many hours wrapping my gifts to SIL, talking about the upcoming shower with my MIL and other SIL, and looking at the decorations and gifts that they have purchased. Oh, and talking to the pregnant SIL and looking at her belly, too. I dread the shower. I’ve come to accept that this baby is coming in just a few short months, but acceptance does not erase my grief or sadness. I feel like a very jealous and selfish person, but I am doing my best to keep these feelings private. I try to treat her as I would hope to be treated, even though our situations are different: she got pg her first month ever trying, and I will always be infertile. I actually didn’t cry on the ride home last night for the first time in several visits, so that is improvement.

Two weeks ago, SIL invited us to attend her 3-D ultrasound. The entire family went, except for us. My hubby ended up telling his brother that it’s too difficult for us to do that kind of stuff because of our fertility battle. He didn’t even ask me if I wanted to go before he sent his response, so he must have felt very strongly that this would be upsetting for both of us. This is really the first time he’s acknowledged our pain to one of his family members. Apparently his brother was very understanding about it, which is good. Later we saw the photos on FB, but viewing them at home in private was much easier than it would have been to attend the u/s and feign excitement. We are excited for them, of course, but the sadness we feel for ourselves puts a damper on things, and his family doesn’t really seem sensitive to that.

So we are just plugging away, wishing that time would move faster so we can conclude this very long IVF/FET cycle. And hoping that 2011 starts out for us with a big bang in the form of a definitive BFP.

Posted in FET, Struggles | 6 Comments »

FET: The Final Frontier (I Hope!)

Posted by auntiem10 on December 10, 2010

Today is my 29th birthday, and I already have the thing I want most: a green light to start BCPs today! The other night I walked out of my local pharmacy lugging this big brown bag full of meds…

(You know you’re an infertility patient when your meds won’t fit into anything smaller, even for what is considered the “easy” part of this process [the FET]) : )

Bye-bye, hot flashes! Onto BCPs I go…

(Bags of Syringes, Endometrin, Tetracycline, Medrol, Progesterone in Oil, Vivelle Patches, and BCPs. Lupron was delivered the next day, and 81mg aspirin was picked up yesterday, so neither are pictured.)

We still have four weeks and six days until our planned FET date, but the clock has started and we are in the home stretch … FINALLY!

Posted in FET | 7 Comments »