Monday, September 29, 2008


I had a whole post planned for this, but I can't wait for Husband to send me the pictures, so here goes:

Beta 1 (Saturday): 312
Beta 2 (Monday): 725

So far, so good! We're...moving in the right direction! I can't bring myself to use the "p" word yet as I'm sure you all understand. I had intended to post about the first beta, but after we told our mothers, I started to feel superstitious and anxious, so I decided to wait until the second beta before we told anyone else.

We are stunned and happy. After 3 years, 1 month and 16 days, something good happened. F said she first tested positive on 7dp3dt and has been feeling pretty sick already. We have one more beta on Wednesday and then they will schedule the u/s for late October.

I'm wondering when this news is going to sink in!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some Truly Good News

I wasn't sure how today would go because I started the day by spilling coffee on myself as I got out of the car at work. It wasn't a lot of coffee, but it seemed like a lot of coffee. I had nothing in the car to wipe up the coffee, so I walked into the office with coffee dripping off my pants legs. Just my luck, there were a number of people in our lobby for the class we are holding this week, so I'm sure they were curious about the coffee (it was really obvious). Thankfully, the coffee wasn't a total indicator of how the day would go because we received some good news today.

It turns out that we have 5 embryos frozen!!! 3 were frozen on day 5 and another 2 were frozen on day 6. That is SUCH a relief. It removes some of the worry I had about the quality of our embryos, and if this cycle doesn't work, we can try a frozen cycle and save a little $$$.

F is still very optimistic about this cycle, and we are trying to be. Actually, I think Husband and I are trying not to think about it. His birthday is this Thursday, and we again feel like another birthday celebration is somewhat on hold. We did have a bit of a scare yesterday because F told me she realized she is having an allergic reaction to the PIO, so the nurse had to call in a new prescription for her. Anyone know anything about allergic reactions preventing implantation?

It's always something!

Friday, September 19, 2008

One Week Down

One week down, one week to go. And it's been the longest week ever! I don't think it was only because I am antsy to know what the outcome will be. Of course that is part of it! This week was the first week in a while where I didn't have appointments or anything. Plus I'm worn out and just wanted it to be the weekend since, oh, Monday at 8am, and I had a lot of meetings; most of them were grueling and required a lot of energy. I guess there was sort of a let-down too. It's like returning to work after the holidays.

Yesterday we received the bill from the clinic for ICSI and a few other things. Funny how they can be so poor at communicating cycling details but so prompt at sending us our bill ;-) However, I did notice a possible item of interest: we were charged a cryopreservation fee. Does that mean we had embies to freeze? It's a bit odd b/c the date of that charge was 9/13, which was transfer day, and I know they were going to culture them until Monday at least. We were charged $300 for something, however. I'm going to file it under "something to think about later that might mean possible good news."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Transfer Revisited

Ok, now that I have had a few days to get over my hormonal psychosis (complicated by the fact that AF or something like it decided to come on Sunday, which explains some of the weepiness on Saturday), I wanted to write more about the transfer itself. I've been quite self-centered over the past few weeks as I dealt with my cycling woes, and I want to make sure to give transfer its due and not shortchange our surrogate and the wonderful thing she is doing for us.

I think it was good that we had to wait 2 hours for transfer because it gave the four of us time to bond even more. F's husband is pretty quiet, but he and Husband really hit it off and chatted a lot. F felt like an old friend as we sat there talking about every subject under the sun.

It is the oddest experience to watch your embryos being transferred into someone else. I am so amazed that there are women who are generous enough to do this for someone else, often someone they don't know well. Transfer went very smoothly, something F was worried about because some of her previous transfers have left her very crampy. Maybe the RE's technique has improved ;-) Our RE was in rare form and quite jocular as he prepared for transfer. The man had the gall to tell us that if he were a woman, he'd never have a baby himself and that surrogacy was the way to go. As well, the clinic has helped several women lately who have pursued surrogacy due to job conflicts. There are many, many valid reasons for surrogacy, but the reasons he listed (job conflict and desire to avoid childbirth or the "inconvenience" of pregnancy) are certainly not OUR reasons for pursuing surrogacy. It was insulting to me, Husband and F.

After transfer, Husband and I stayed in there with her for the required 15 minutes. It felt pretty intimate. Here we were, the three of us who will (hopefully) play a role in adding a baby to our family. It helped that I had IVF and FET cycles under my belt so that I could empathize with F's full bladder and the awfulness of hearing the toilet flush seemingly next door while you are trying to block out the bladder twinges (though I wish I had had valium for MY previous transfers...or heck, valium that day!).

After transfer, F and I hugged. She left with our embryos for a few days of bed rest while Husband and I went to our favorite Mexican restaurant to celebrate my birthday, celebrate making it this far and celebrate the possibility of what might come.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


We transferred today. It turns out that as of this morning, only 4 of our embies were 8-celled. Quite a few more were 6-celled and the rest were less. Based on that, the embryologist decided we should transfer today. Argh. After waiting almost 2 hours, we finally saw our three embryos transferred to our surrogate (the clinic transfers 3 embryos for 3-day transfers; two for 5-day). It was surreal to watch. It's a relief to have gotten to transfer although I must admit that it was disappointing to find out that only 4 of our embryos had progressed to 8 cells.

It's funny because yesterday and the day before I was telling myself and anyone else who would listen that if we got to transfer, I would feel relieved because we had gotten over all the previous hurdles. Now that it's happened, why does a three-day transfer feel like a failure? I guess I'm just amazed that out of 15 embryos, only 4were on target developmentally. I guess it makes me worry about the outcome of the cycle overall. I had to struggle not to cry when I got off the phone with the embryologist this morning, but that's the way this cycle has been: one big roller coaster ride.

I know a three-day transfer does not mean the cycle won't work. After all, my surro's last, successful cycle was a three-day transfer. But it makes me worry. It's going to be a long two weeks before beta, but I'm going to try to put it out of my mind. There's nothing I can do about it now.

And one day it will be nice to post when each post isn't so up or down.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Embie Update

I just heard from the lab at the clinic, and we have 15 embryos! I'm still picking up my jaw from the floor. 15! The embryologist wants to push for a 5-day transfer, but he'll let me know for sure tomorrow morning, so I guess I still don't know what day transfer will be LOL. He said they are all Grades 3 or 4, so I guess that's decent? Oh well, I'm not going to worry about that now.

Hopefully I'll know more tomorrow!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


21. That's the number of eggs retrieved yesterday. I doubt they are all me (no expert), it seemed like we were looking at 11-12 that were mature, but who knows. I guess they wanted to get everything they could find. Hopefully we will have plenty to work with. Surprisingly, they decided to do 50% ICSI. Based on our last SA numbers, we were told we weren't candidates for ICSI which sort of left us uncomfortable b/c it felt like we were introducing one more variable into a situation already fraught with "what ifs." So while we were surprised that they were performing ICSI on half of them after all (and they hadn't yet even tested the sample that Husband had provided yesterday), I think we are relieved by their decision. Of course, if we're going to have pay the same amount for 50% ICSI as for 100% ICSI, I wish they'd just ICSI all of them!

I feel pretty good physically. It's nice not to feel as much pressure in my ovaries (although I am a little sore), and I'm reveling in being done with shots and appointments. Now I have to try to get back to "normal" while I wait for tomorrow's update from the lab. F, our surro, had a scare yesterday. She woke up to some light red bleeding. They had her stop lupron on preparation from transfer, and the consensus between her and the nurse is that her lining is likely really, really thick (she was already at 10mm on 9/3) and that stopping lupron might have caused the bleeding. Thankfully it stopped, but she says she still feels crampy. One more thing to worry about!

Thank you all for the good retrieval and birthday wishes! My birthday was good. My coworkers had a small celebration for me, and Husband and I celebrated with takeout, a little cake and about a 1/2 glass of wine. I think I was ready to go to sleep by 9:30 LOL. We plan to go out to eat to really celebrate it on Saturday. That will be fun. Maybe we'll have just had transfer that day and can truly breathe a sigh of relief that now all we have to do is wait 2 weeks! I hadn't intended to be as frank with friends and family about this cycle, but after it started so shakily, I just couldn't dissemble anymore. I've been likening it to some track and field event with hurdles. I didn't expect the stimulation part to be as high of a hurdle as it was, and now I feel drained as I face the next few hurdles of fertilization and embryo growth. I had always thought the highest hurdle would be the cycle working, but now, I'll be relieved if we just have good embryos transferred (not that I want to stumble on the last hurdle of course!).

Monday, September 8, 2008

Retrieval: Wednesday!

Boy, those are words I never thought I would write for this cycle! After the low of Thursday, things started getting back on track. My E2 continued to rise, increasing from 1286 on Friday to 2788 on Saturday, 3144 on Sunday and 4155 today. I even got to decrease shots to two last night and no Follistim. Predictably, this happened after I'd ordered another $1300 worth of medication but oh well. If the cycle doesn't work, I have a good start on the next cycle's meds.

So, yeah, retrieval is Wednesday at 8:30! Tomorrow is my birthday, so retrieval is a great birthday present. I've been to the clinic every day since 9/1 for bloodwork and u/s. My arms look like a junkie's. My stomach looks like a war zone. I'm so ready for retrieval and to have a big ol' glass of wine.

Last week turned out to be an expensive week between buying the extra drugs needed for my increased dosages, going to the clinic daily (b/c we foolishly didn't buy the monitoring package) and getting the bills for our surro's and her husband's lab work in July. Oh, and did I mention that our air conditioning died? Luckily it hasn't been too hot lately, but it did climb to 86 degrees in the house over the weekend (steamy!). Fortunately, we have the privilege of paying about $700 to possibly fix the problem. Nice!

Oh well. As Husband says, it's just money. Although now would be a great time to win the lottery ;-)

Friday, September 5, 2008

One Day at a Time

Another roller coaster day in my house! I went to my u/s this morning with a good deal of trepidation and was prepared to see shriveled follies. Instead I saw 10-11 growing, good-sized follies (around 13-15mm). Lining is 9. Ok. My e2 came back at 1286, which is where we thought it would be yesterday, but the important thing is that it increased. I start Ganirelix tonight and return tomorrow for more bloodwork. I know my e2 numbers once I start Ganirelix might be funky, so I'm just going to take it one day at a time from now on. All this will be over soon. Either I will be cancelled or I will have retrieval.

I'm along for the ride at this point, so I'm going to try not to worry anymore. It's out of my control. Problem is, I've never been very good at not worrying ;-)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I don't know what to think anymore

Ok, so a day that started well is ending on a downer. Despite seeing progress with follies on the ultrasound today, my estrogen has actually dropped by like 180 points. I'm flabbergasted. Clearly this is not good. I'm to up my estrogen to 700-freaking-units tonight and return tomorrow.

I'm getting really tired of this and hope we can decide once and for all what to do tomorrow. I had tentatively been anticipating a retrieval next week. Now I'm back in limbo.

Why is this happening to me???????? Clearly a rhetorical question since no one can answer that. There is not why; it just is what it is.

Tiny Sigh of Relief

I'm never, ever one to count any chickens before they are hatched, but I think I can breathe a small sigh of relief. E2 yesterday was 990. The ultrasound today revealed about 10 follies at 10mm or greater, so lots of progress has been made!

I am sore, bloated and exhausted. I forgot how quickly all the shots and appointments take a toll on you. I feel like I look 4 months pg, and I am walking like it too LOL. Might as well enjoy it since this is the closest I'll get to being pg!

And not to overlook our surro F's important role in this. She had an estrogen/lining check herself yesterday. Her lining was at 10, and her estrogen is 500. She's pleased because with her last surrogacy, they had to increase her estrogen three times before her numbers were where they wanted them to be. She continues to be my cheerleader, and I marvel at her optimism.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Glimmer of Hope?

If I had posted right after my appointment this morning, it would have been a pretty morbid post since I had been crying all morning. My ultrasound was fairly unremarkable: 1 follie at 10mm and lots of follies under 10mm. Yesterdays E2 was 149, so some progress had been made. However, I was sure it wouldn't be enough and was preparing for the inevitable cancellation.

At 3, I called for my instructions and was pleasantly surprised to hear that today's e2 had tripled to 459. I'm to stay on 600 IUs and return tomorrow for another date with the dildocam and more bloodwork. During the depths of despair, we scheduled an appointment with the RE for tomorrow afternoon to discuss the cycle and what's going on, so I guess we'll keep that appointment just in case. But whew. I feel like I've received a stay of execution. Let's hope it continues. Interestingly, 459 is almost exactly my level during my first IVF cycle after 7 days of stims and 2 days of Ganirelix.

Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow. F, our surro, has been so sweet trying to keep my spirits up.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Still On for Now

I guess we are still on for now. My instructions are to increase my Follistim again to 600 IUs and come back tomorrow for what would have been a normally-scheduled monitoring appointment. Unfortunately, the nurse didn't leave my estrogen level, so I have no idea if I am making progress or not and whether the increased dosage is a last-ditch emergency effort or an attempt to catch me up to where I should be. I tried calling my clinic but the office has closed for Labor Day I guess since I got the after-hours answering service. Hopefully I can get some answers tomorrow when I go back in.