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June 3, 2011 / Magic Mama

A Pretty Good Start

14 eggs retrieved, again, so we’re probably looking at about the same estimated numbers as cycle 2. Holding our breath for at least 2 unaffected, HIGH QUALITY embryos for transfer on Wednesday! We will get a fertilization report on Sunday. Resting for now.

June 2, 2011 / Magic Mama

Yawn

I guess I haven’t had much to say lately. Mostly because I feel like I’ve said it all before. The shots, the appointments, the updates. I’m very grateful for the opportunity, but bored by the process. I’m not really optimistic. I’m not really pessimistic. I’m just going through the motions.

Fast forward through the last couple weeks. Yesterday morning’s ultrasound showed significant follicle growth — especially on the right ovary, as usual. There were so many that, without realizing it, I stopped watching the measurements on the screen for a while. See? Bored. But it’s actually really fascinating.

Here’s a shot of the screen from my camera phone. The black cluster in the middle is four follicles from my left ovary. The tech measures across each follicle by clicking a point on both sides and drawing a line through the center. Then, as she moves the wand slightly, more follicles appear. It’s impossible to imagine how she manages to keep track of them all — just a bunch of blobs floating around like clouds (I saw an owl face yesterday).

With about 15 mature follicles, we were ready to trigger last night — right in the middle of the fancy dinner with my girlfriends that we had planned over a month ago. In the past, I would have skipped dinner for the big moment, but by now it didn’t really seem like enough to cancel my plans. Hubby graciously offered to drive to the restaurant so that we could do the shot in the car. I considered, but envisioned an awkward encounter in an unknown parking situation.

Instead, I opted to text a couple of my girlfriends who I voted Most Likely to Jab a Giant Needle in My Butt. “Any chance you would feel comfortable giving me my shot in the bathroom during dinner? If not I TOTALLY understand.” I started with Erin. She’s in the medical field (although I realize occupational therapy probably doesn’t involve injections). And she’s spunky and straightforward. These seemed like good qualifications. While I know she would have been there in a jam, it turns out she has a thing about needles. She recommended Rian because she’s brave and strong. And after some back and forth with a few more details, Rian was in. “Let’s do this!”

When it came time, I mentioned to Renee that Rian was going to give me my shot. But that she was maybe less than thrilled about it. Renee volunteered instead. We took over the restaurant bathroom for some cleaning and mixing and she performed like a left-handed pro. We made it back to our table in time for the first course.

Thanks to all the ladies for your willingness (including Krista who offered to help in the future) and for the delicious dinner with even better company. I’m glad I didn’t miss out! Now, it’s time to celebrate my birthday (which is today) and then rest up for my retrieval bright and early tomorrow morning.

May 17, 2011 / Magic Mama

Catching Up

  • We moved into our new house this weekend so I have had zero time to blog, and now I am condensing it all into a lazy, bulleted summary of random things.
  • The surprise thank you cupcakes that I delivered to our friendly RE staff and nurses before our recent consultation for Round 3 were extremely well received because, well, who doesn’t like cupcakes? It felt good and I highly recommend it.
  • There was a Lupron shortage when I ordered my prescriptions from my typical specialty pharmacy, but I spoke to one of our nurses over the phone and she was able to track down one kit at an obscure pharmacy. And then she thanked me for the aforementioned cupcakes.
  • We met with our doctor about our last cycle and potential future options and had a good talk. For now, the gist was… The two embryos from Round 2 were graded B3 and B3, so they were not actually better than our Round 1 embryos which were B2 and B3. It seems that the staff that day was just a bit more open, optimistic and hopeful which skewed our expectations. // There’s no clear reason why it hasn’t worked. Probably chromosomal issues. // There were less eggs retrieved last time (14) than the first time (24) because he started me on lower stims since he felt I had been dangerously close to OHSS with my high estrogen levels. If possible, he’ll shoot for somewhere in the middle this time. // Depending on what we end up with from the PGD results, we may consider including the female carrier embryos among the potential embryos for transfer. On our first cycle, they were a couple of the top-graded embryos but we chose to rule them out. // If this cycle doesn’t work, we will have to start weighing the pros and cons of our options moving forward (more IVF w/ PGD, donor egg, adoption, etc.), which would warrant it’s own novel of a blog post so I won’t get into that for now. // Off the top of my head, I think that’s everything. I should have taken notes.
  • On Friday, I’m headed out of town for a girls’ weekend (yay!). Any pros out there have some tips on flying with my Lupron kit? Should I bring a copy of my prescription or a doctor’s note? How do I present the Lupron vial and syringes to TSA? What about my sharps container that already contains used syringes? UPDATE (8/8): If you’re finding this via a Google search, which I see some people have, I took my Lupron on the plane (carry-on) by keeping the vial and syringes in the labeled box and putting it through security in a bin. No doctor’s note. And no questions asked.
  • I have recently decided that sleeping in and giving myself my shot is preferable to dragging myself out of bed before hubby leaves for work. I like his participation, but I like sleep more.
  • I’m getting too comfortable with all of this. Meaning, I keep nearly forgetting to do my shot. And, it took me until this morning to realize that my day 10 ultrasound is scheduled for Monday while I am still out of town. Fortunately, it’s not a big deal to move it until Tuesday. I will just wait until after the appointment results for my morning meds.
  • Next month, I’m tagging along with hubby on a trip to Chicago. While he’s working, I’ll be lunching with Roccie. Can’t wait to meet!
  • I think I’m already tired and moody from the Lupron, but I’m stoked about the sunshine this week and hoping that the hints of summer will keep me smiling. (Silk screen printed poster by slidesideways)
May 2, 2011 / Magic Mama

Round 3

For everyone who has been waiting anxiously on the edge of their seat concerning the status of my period… I made the deadline. And I didn’t even have to wear white shorts! But thanks to A Shadow of My Former Self for the witty comment/advice on my last post. So, Round 3 will proceed as planned: Lupron start May 14, Menopur and Follistim start May 24, and (according to our papers) the estimated week of retrieval is June 2 — my 29th birthday. Our FET also fell on hubby’s 30th birthday this year. IVF party animals!

I’m relieved that we will be trying again in just a couple weeks — without the dreaded wait. But our latest BFN was disappointing and discouraging, to say the least, and now I’m having trouble mustering up nearly as much optimism. Third time’s a charm?

April 26, 2011 / Magic Mama

Dancing

As I’ve mentioned many a time, the waiting is one of the hardest parts of all of this (besides the bad news). Of course, there is the 2ww, but there is also waiting for the next cycle when all I want to do is keep moving.

Turns out, we can try again soon if I get my period in the next week. This would mean Lupron start May 14, Menopur and Follistim start May 24, retrieval June 3-ish and transfer June 8-ish. So, does anyone know a good menstruation dance?

April 25, 2011 / Magic Mama

BFN Again

Today’s beta confirmed yesterday‘s POAS as expected — negative.

Thank you all so much for your supportive comments, emails and texts. And consider yourselves still on-call. We are working on scheduling our third (and likely final) fresh IVF/PGD cycle. More when we know more.

April 24, 2011 / Magic Mama

Puffy Eyes

Two tests. A lonely line and a digital -NO. At 9dp5dt (9 days past 5th day transfer — equivalent of 14 days past ovulation), that’s enough for plenty of tears.

I was feeling like this really might work. Like maybe the fatigue and nausea and cramps were a sign of something brewing (even though I kept telling myself and others that they were side effects of the hormones). And I felt good about our embryos. And the fact that we at least had the start of something the first time around.

But this morning I woke up feeling very much not pregnant. I laid there wishing I didn’t have to pee. Because I didn’t want to know. I tried to convince myself it was just jitters, but I couldn’t keep myself from frowning while I waited the three minutes holding hubby’s hand. And then forced myself to look.

Beta is tomorrow.