Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another twist

Okay I don't want to create bad karma and I promised myself I would only think optomistic thoughts but I lied....haha. So the clinic did not call me back like they said they would (this happened yesterday too) so I had to call and follow up. I hate calling because it always makes me feel so desperate but I gave in and called around 3:30 because they close at 4:00. So I asked if they still wanted me to take the gonal F and they said of course (like I should know when they didn't call me back). Then I asked if my estrogen was still high and she said that it had dropped. This kind of frustrates me because I thought they were planning to call me if it dropped. Anyways, she asks if I took my superfact this morning and I said of course (because they told me to) Then she said I shouldn't have because we could have used a little spike in the estrogen. Okay, so what am I supposed to do about that now. Anyways, so now I am worried about it "bottoming out" , although I don't know what that means and what the risks are assoicated with that.
Anyways, I am still triggering tonight and taking the Gonal F but now I am worried that my eggs are going to dry up because of my low estrogen. Also another thing that keeps popping into my head is that my eggs are going to be stale because they have been hanging around for too long. If everyone could just wait until all of their follicles got big enough to retrieve why wouldn't they?????? Some sort of quality must go down now that I am 4 days past my regularily scheduled retrieval.
Oh yeah and I am worried about G's sperm. We were told that he couldn't releave himself for 4 days before the procedure but then they kept moving the date back. So now we are worried that his boys will be wonky because he hasn't releaved himself in over a week. I asked the lady today if he should pull one off and she said it was up to us. ahh.........so frustrating aren't they the professionals. So now the question is to wank or not to wank......hahah!

We are going for it!

So it has been total limbo for the last 2 days. We keep thinking we will go into the clinic and they will make a decision one way or another. Yet we kept going in and they would tell us to take one more night of Gonal F and then decide after an ultra sound the next day. So today after the same decision for the fourth day in a row I asked to speak to my doctor instead of the IVF nurses. I told him I couldn't take it anymore and that I either wanted to convert to an IUI or get on with the retrieval (okay I wasn't that authoratative but I did pussy foot around the subject and I tried to tell them how taxing it has been on me). So although they upped my Gonal F and I am taking it for the 14 consecutive day in a row tonight I am also scheduled to trigger (Unless they call me and my estrogen has bottomed out). We have a plan and I am over the moon excited. I am going to do my best to stay optomistic and although they may only retrieve 3 little eggies I will love those eggs and just be happy they got any. Please keep your fingers crossed for me I am going to need the positive vibes! Our retrieval is booked for Thursday and then the transfer will Sunday...........can we say finally!!!!!!! Yes I really thought about cancelling but after a lot of soul searching and a bit of pressure from my mom and sister I am just going with the flow.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The saga continues

I am learning that I don't have a backbone. I am so easily swayed it isn't even funny. I went into my drs appt today thinking I was putting my foot down and cancelling the cycle and now we are still in limbo. Dr. G says he wants to take one last look tomorrow and then decide if we should give up on the IVF cycle and opt for an IUI. I have a lot of feelings about this and they are running through my head like crazy. I think I might actually know what it feels like to be mentally ill (I am not poking fun I am serious) and to have uncontrolable thoughts jumping into my brain.
So here is the updated follicle situation. At our clinic they expect to only retrieve eggs from follicles that measure at least 2.0 (again I don't know the unit of measure). Generally the follicles grow .2 per day and we have until Tuesday for them to grow. As it stands I have three that look good to go (1.9, 1.8, 1.7), three that are on the verge (1.4, 1.5, 1.6) and two that are a long shot (both 1.2). So I guess if the three that are on the verge grow there .2 or more then my doctor is going to suggest that we continue on to do the retrieval. Otherwise he will suggest an IUI. I am not that stoked about an IUI, because the reason we are doing IVF is because we aren't good candidates for IUI. The stats for women over 35 with Stage IV endometriosis doing IUIs are ridiculously low! I feel like they just do IUIs when IVF is cancelled to keep their patients busy and feeling like there is some hope left.
So those are our options. Try to retrieve between 3-6 eggs or convert to IUI and be more aggressive with the stim drugs next cycle. By the way my sister is insisting that she wants to give me her eggs and she is very serious. I have told her the ugly truth about the process and she says she doesn't care she wants to do it. Her husband has offered to take off time from work the days she has drs appointments and they have already dicussed the details. Hubby and I feel so loved and so much better to think that we have a back up plan. I know that she has offered before but I thought seeing me go through the tears and endless appointments that she would be turned off. She says one month out of her life no matter how uncomfortable it is is worth my lifetime of a happy family. She also mentioned that I could give her a lung or kidney. Then we joked about selling her eggs on the black market to finance her renovation on her house. I have the best family in the world even though they drive me crazy most of the time.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My dreams are dashed!

Today feels like the worst day of my life. I went to the doctor thinking that I had 6maybe 7 follicles for my retrieval on Tuesday and now there is a 90% chance the cycle will be cancelled. I have so many thoughts and feelings running through my head and I am just damn sick and tired of this entire situation! I am mad as hell at everyone and everything and mostly at myself. Why did I believe that IVF was the answer to all of my problems? No I didn't expect it to work the first time but I thought at the very least it would be a learning experience. I figured we would get a bunch of follicles, we'd implant a couple and maybe it would or maybe it wouldn't work. Well I don't like what I learned and I am feeling very hopeless. Today we found out that 3 of our 6 follicles from yesterday are not coming along and will not make it to retrieval day. Unless some sort of miracle happens tonight, and I am not affraid of begging and pleading for this miracle. Then tomorrow wer are left deciding if we want to continue the cycle if we only have 3 follicles or should we just call it a day.
Hubby and I have very conflicting feelings about this. I can't handle any more heart break and just want to stop. Plus it seems like flushing away money to retrieve 3 eggs ($5800) and hope for the best. If we stop now we are only out $3000 (My work pays $2000 of it) that we paid in drugs. But if we do the retrieval we are out an extra $5800. I looked up the research and the stats of getting a bfp are very low for women my age (35) who only retrieve 3 eggs. I just think that next time we could skip the birth control pill (apparently my body didn't bounce back from it) and we could start with a higher dose of Gonal F. However, hubby thinks we have put too much into this and that we should follow it through. He is of the mind set that it only takes one egg. The problem with this popular theory is that research proves that women my age who stimulate fewer follicles not only have low ovarian reserve they also have low egg quality. Therefore our chances of having a viable embryo are less too. Hubby thinks we should wait so that we can get more information about our eggs. I just can't even think about how I will feel if I go through the retrieval and then have no eggs to transfer. Or if I am left to transfer low grade embryos and have to go through the BFN again. I will be devasted!
I talked to my parents and they agree with hubby (but remember I am surrounded by sunshinny people that put a positive spin on everything!). My parents have offered to pay for the cycle and say that we should use it as a learning experience. I think they are amazing and that the offer was so generous and filled with love. However, I would rather use that money on a cycle that wasn't doomed from the beginning. Why not wait a month, have a fresh start and see if we can get more follies. Trust me, I will be sure to take them up on the offer of paying for a cycle but I just don't think we should let our emotions get in the way. Yes I have been through a lot this month, yes it would be nice to think that we are still in the game, but no I don't want to be let down again.
At this point unless a miracle happens tomorrow and suddenly the lazy 3 catch up I am leaning towards cancelling the cycle.
What do you ladies think? Please be blunt and don't be affraid of hurting my feelings. I like honesty and I need help!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

and then there were five.....!

Well not what I dreamed about but I guess 5 are better than just one measly follicle. At first I got excited because while I was having the ultra sound the ultra sound teach counted out loud and from what I overheard there were seven on the right side and two on the left. By the way I hate the left because it is where I have the majority of my cycts and this just gives me more reason to hate it. Anyways, when I met with the IVF nurse she said that in fact that I had three on the right and two on the left. They are all measuring approx 1.2 (I don't even know the units of measure). Again I am not totally excited about the results but I don't get any reaction from the IVF nurse. She said that my ovaries have been working hard since Monday and that 5 follicles is absolutely fine. Uh hello lady.....for close to $8,000 fine isn't what I was hoping for. I wanted to be a follicle making machine. The doctor said the goal was 10-15 and I would have liked to have had 16 for good measure. Anyways, like hubby always tells me I am not going to have a pity party. Five is enough to do a retrieval and we only need 2 for transfer day anyways. Also I am thinking that maybe the other follicles the ultra sound tech counted might have been just a bit too small to count and might grow for my appointment tomorrow. At this point I would be over the moon for nine follicles!
Confession- Last night I tried to convince hubby to inject me with all the left over drops in my Gonal F pens. It would have been a total of less than 40 (again I don't know the unit of measure) but it would have made me feel better. He wouldn't do it but I know I can break him. Tonight I am using a pen that has 300 in it and I am only supposed to use 225. I am going to do my best to convince him that we should use the entire pen. I know you are all thinking I am crazy...and you are correct. I am baby crazy and in my opinion the doctors are just guessing my dosage. Come on I produced 9 follicles on my own with no meds during my observation cycle (and that was on day 3!).
I wish everyone else a very successful month whether you are cycling or not!

Monday, November 22, 2010

One Freakin Follicle

Tell me I didn't go through all of this for one freakin follicle. I have been on Superfact since Nov 8 and just finished four days of Gonal F. I have no idea what day that makes me in my cycle (for some reason I think maybe 5 but I could be making that up) and I only have one follicle. This can't be good! Does that mean all that money I have spent on meds has been for nothing. What annoys me further is that when I was at the clinic this morning they acted like it was normal but then called my husband in the afternoon to say that they needed to up my dose of Gonal F.....no kidding Sherlock. Why the He** didn't they figure that out while I was at the clinic and why did they sell my another Gonal F pen that was for the wrong dosage. So my husband had try drive 2 hours (one each way) to go pick up the right dose for tonight. So anyways now I have gone from 150 to 225 of Gonal F per day. The most ridiculous thing is they won't let me return the pen that they sold me this morning. They said instead they will combine the left overs from varioius pens to create a full dosage......seems ghetto to me!
I think today might be the first day that I let my hormones affect me at school. I know that the stress of IVF has been what caused Hubby and I to fight lately but I didn't think it was directly related to my hormones. It has been more about the pressure I feel surrounding the whole process. But today I was a bitch. My kids were just being kids but I couldn't take it and got mad at them for flipping pages in their binders. Um.....not exactley teacher of the year...haha. I guess it could have been worse.
Anyways thanks for all the support and I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who doesn't have a saint for a husband. I know he is trying he just needs to up his game. Driving to the clinic today definitely earned him some extra points. As far as the perv of an accupuncturist I have decided to take DH to the next appointment. That way hubby is more involved and Dr. Perv can back off!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trying the Postive thing.....still fighting with hubby

Everyone keeps telling me that this is a stressful time in my life and that fighting with the hubby is to be expected. Basically they are telling me to cut hubby some slack. I guess I am just way too stubborn for my own good. I will give in but it really isn't in my nature. We kind of made up from our previous fight over the lasagna/preggo co-worker but that was short lived. I have a very short fuse right now so I think my silent treatment is just the tip of the iceburg. So basically fight #2 was over my Gonal F shot. Hubby knows that I can't give the shot to myself (I faint when giving blood) so when I started my shots on Thursday night I mentioned to hubby (who I have barely been talking to) that they had to be taken around the same time every night. Hubby didn't seem to have any reaction to what I said and proceeded to shoot me up. So then about an hour later when things between us seemed to be going much better he announces that he has a work Christmas Party to go to on Friday night (that he has never mentioned before). So basically what he is saying is that he will be out all night and I am Shit out of luck as far as the shot goes. This frustrates me to no end because he minimalizes the situation and says just give it to yourself. Oh sure, why didn't I think of that.....ah freakin asshole...I can't do it! So I had to drive an hour to my sister's house to have her inject me. His excuse for not telling me about the party was that we weren't speaking anyways and that the shot is no big deal. Got it, I am in this alone!
On another note I think my accupuncturist might be a pervert. No seriously the first time we met he was way too casual and I am 100% sure I caught him looking at my boobs. This is bizarre because I barely have any but I did catch him with locked eyes on my little beauties. Then yesterday I had lovered my pants for him to insert the needles in my tummy and he unbottoned my pants and zipped my pants all the way down. Um so low that my pubs were exposed, correct me if I am wrong an accupuncturist isn't a real doctor. Plus even my own doctor tells me to unzip my pants he doesn't just do it himself. The entire experience just seems to be really seedy. He swears a lot and talks about his personal life like we are old pals. Before each appointment we meet in his office and I feel like I am at a bar being hit on. Seriously it is just weird. The thing is, he is reasonably priced and I really want accupuncture on the day of the transfer. Plus, I don't think at this point I could find anyone else to come to my clinic with this short notice. Trust me if this cycle doesn't work I will not be using him next cycle.
Anyways I have been trying to be positive which is kind of a struggle for me because I am a realist, knowing the statistics of getting preggo on your first round of IVF I just don't want to get let down.
So to keep positive and to have fun with this process today I compiled a list of possible baby names. Actually I don't even know if I like half of them but it was fun to do. So here they are:
Boys Names
Girls Names

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Always on my mind

So I am in a bad mood tonight. I actually had a relatively productive day at school and wasn't set off until the very end of the day. It was finally confirmed that yes my collegue (friend) is 4 months pregnant. I am not 100% sure why but I am definitely annoyed. I called a mutual friend and asked her if I was completely off my rocker. She seemed to think my feeling were valid. My point is simply this, it would have been nice for her to tell me (which she still hasn't) personally that she was pregant. The reason it bothers me is because she has been super curious throughout my IVF process and throughout all her questioning it might have been nice for her to have given me the heads up on her pregnancy. Back to this in a second.
Then when I got home from school Hubby was in the kitchen making sandwiches for dinner (he made me one for dinner last night and another to take in my lunch today). Seriously the last thing I wanted to eat was a freakin sandwich. Hubby can be sensitive and truth be told he doesn't like to deviate from whatever he considers to be a suitable plan. You see being that we are only a two person family food often goes to waste. He doesn't do the grocery shopping very often so generally he doesn't know what goes to waste. This week however he did the grocery shopping. One of the things he bought was a frozen lasagna which we made for dinner on Saturday night. We had it Saturday night and then Sunday for lunch even though I am not a huge fan of left overs, Then he had it for lunch on Monday but I was not into it. He seemed bound and determined that we would in fact eat every piece of that lasagne. I know what you are thinking, hubby is cheap. This is not the fact, he loves to eat out. He doesn't check prices at restaurants there is more to this. I think it is control and because he has it in his head suddenly that we are wasting things he has to make a change and he will eat that entire lasagne and now the sandwich meat. Well good for him, I am not eating anymore sandwiches or lasagna. So as he ate his tired old sandwich I had chicken pot pie, which was delicious by the way. He told me that if I wanted to waste food it was up to me. Well that was a no brainer!
So back to the Preggo Drama Queen. When I told Hubby that I thought it was inconsiderate of her not to come to me. Hubby was less then supportive. He told me to get over it, that other people get pregnant and that it just wasn't about me. Well of course her pregnancy isn't about me and I will get over it I just wanted him to say she sucks and then on with the night. That however, will never happen from my husband. He will never look over at me and admit that my infertility sucks. He says it is fine and that we are going to get through it. I know that we will make it through it, but come on just one time can't he just say it sucks dirty hairy balls. Maybe I need to stick Wanda up his ass a couple of times, inject dye into the tip of his penis, and inject him with hormones. I am sick of his looks that tell me to get over it. He glazes over when the doctors talk to us. There is no bloody way he even knows what a freakin follicle is. Seriously this guy could not even tell you when pr how a woman ovulates. All he knows is his wife complains a lot more than any of his previous girlfriends.
Now that I am venting I will also mention that when I do try to "stay positive' and allow myself to day dream about having a baby he shoots me down. He will not indulge in any baby talk at all. I have tried, lord have I tried anything and everything. He refuses to even discuss baby names. When we were deciding if we would pursue IVF I had to send him an itemized email addressing all of the decisions that needed to be made to get a specific response. Otherwise he just tells me to make the decision.
He won't even entertain the idea of adoption or foster care....why the heck would he be, IVF isn't really any inconvenience to him. He doesn't even technically have to pay any $$$ towards it. Yes I get it, when you are married you share money, but our money that has been reserved for IVF is actually the money my grandmother left me in her will. It has always been in an investment under my name.
Okay, my final bitch fest. I have a bladder infection which freaks the heck out of me. My regular doctor told me that infections can lead to miscarriages and that is just not what I want to hear!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Aunt Flo is mad at me

I still don't know if it is the hormone injections or the accupuncture but my period is here and it is making itself known. At my last IVF consult I was told from now on I can only take Tylenol which sounds reasonible....reasonible to someone who doesn't have Endometriosis. I need my drugs!!!! I am in pain and unless I take the entire bottle of Tylenol it isn't going to help.
Hopefully it is a short one!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

She came early!!!

I am a bit confused I am on CD 25 and got my period today. I am not sure if it is because I finished my BC pills Wednesday or if the accupuncture brought it on early. I am just worried that my Day 0 ultra sound is now scheduled too late. They based it on my 28 day so this is why I am wondering. I also think they consider Dr G's schedule (heaven forbid he have to come in on the weekend!). Hopefully it doesn't matter because I am taking the Superfact anyways.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Getting poked....and not in the good way!

So I started my Superfact injections on Monday and I still haven't been able to put the needle in myself. I feel like such a baby because the needle is so small and it is painless, I just can't bring myself to doing it.
Today was my first time at accupuncture. I have been thinking about doing it forever but I have to be honest I wasn't 100% sure if I thought it would make a difference. A parent at my school who has endometriosis too is confident that her two sons are the result of accupuncture so I gave in and decided it couldn't hurt. I don't have any insurance coverage for it and with the cost of the IVF this month I have decided to limit the amount of times I am going (I hope that isn't the wrong decision). I am going to go every Friday for the next 3 weeks and then on embryo transfer day the accupunturist sugggests going before and after. The total cost will be around $450 which doesn't seem terrible considering all of the other related expenses. I am not sure how authentic my treatment was (I am sorry to say it and I don't mean to offend anyone but I would have preferred an asian doctor performing the accupuncture). I hope this guy knows what he is doing because he only put in 8 little needle things and I really didn't feel anything. The only thing I noticed was that I have period like cramps. However, that could be because I am expecting my period in the next couple of days....haha
So I am pretty sure a girl at work in pregnant. I actually went to Teacher's College with her and we are friends (kind of) outside of school. She knows that I have been trying to get pregnant and always asks me for the update on what fertility treatment I am pursuing this week. I am guessing that she is pregnant for a couple of reasons. The first reason I think she is preggo is because she a significant ponch. I also have a ponch but she is much thinnner and very aware of her physical appearance. Yesterday in the staff rooom she was wearing a form fitting shirt and her hands were cupping her belly the way that only preggo women do. The second reason I think it is possible is because when she was pregnant with her 2 year old daughter she did not tell anyone at work for 5 months. She is a bit of a drama queen (she is actually the drama teacher) and loves attention. Being a teacher is a lot like still being in high school and people gossip about everything. I have no doubt that she heard the talk last time and loved every minute of it. Years ago there were rumours that she was bonking the gym teacher and she loved the attention. I am actually kind of pissed at her. She loves asking me about my troubles. She gives me the head tilted sighs and in my perverse head she gets some pleasure out of my pain. She seems to go out of her way to flag me down in the parking lot to check out her daughters latest outfit or new word. I smile and move along quickly but she must see how uncomfortable it makes me. Okay back to my issue with her not telling me. Clearly I know that her pregnancy isn't about me but surely to god she will have the decency to pull me aside give me the old head tilt and tell me her splendid news. Instead here I am with everyone else guessing behind her back and listening to people putting together clues trying to figure out if she is in fact going to experience the miracle of life once again.
By the way Juno is on again and I LOVE IT!!! I swear if it wasn't for "Sixteen and Pregnant", "I didn't know I was Pregnant", and "Juno" I don't know how I would torture myself.
My next appointment is Nov 18 and that is where I will get my Gonal F and the butt plugs. I called the clinic and they provided me with more research that did confirm that the best way to take progesterone is in the anal canal, so yes I will in fact be swollowing my pride and shoving a melting goo pellet up my buttocks.
Sorry for my agressive email I did mention that I am on injectibles so that is my disclaimer!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In the Butt!!!!

Um......how come I didn't know that my progesterone was going to be an anal suppository. You ladies amaze me,you take everything in stride. I feel like such a suck because I am in fact disgusted.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More support for the 3 versus 5 day transfer (Not that it is my opinion)

Dr. Smith replies again
You're right that many programs will transfer the embryos on day 3 when they are concerned that the embryos may not develop to the blastocyst stage. HOWEVER, its not because they feel the embryos will do better in the uterus. They know there's no scientific evidence to back up this assumption. It is because they do not want to face the patient and infom them their embryos failed to reach the blastocyst stage. They are afraid that you will think the embryos failed to grow because of suboptimal lab conditions. As I explained, the embryos fail to reach the blastocyst stage because they are genetically incapable of doing so, not because anything anybody did or didn't do. In our program, we attempt to grow ALL embryos to the blastocyst stage. We have at least 1 blastocyst stage embryo for transfer 96% of the time.

You'll notice in your research into the pactices of other programs that no programs claim that their pregnancy rates improve when failing embryos are transferred to the uterus on day 3. The rationale for a day 3 transfer is to get out from under the "blame" for the failing embryos. By transferring failing embryos on day 3, the program also transfers the responsibility for the subsequent failed cycle to the patient. It is a subtle manipulation of the patient's emotions. Here's the scenario: "We're so sorry the cycle didn't work, but you know the embryos were still growing when we transferred them. We don't know what you did to them afterwords. Wanna try again?" Using this pyschological manipulation, it becomes the patient's fault the cycle didn't work, not the programs's. See how it works?

My continuing debate on 3 versus 5 day transfer

Dr Smith replies:
You are correct that only the embryos that make it to the blastocyst stage (and beyond) can generate a succesful IVF pregnancy. In my lab, and many others, all embryos are grown to the blastocyst stage and only well developed blastocyst stage embryos are transferred to the uterus on day 5 or 6. Extra embryos are cryopreserved at the blastocyst stage.

Why aren't all programs doing this? There are numerous reasons for continuing to perform day three transfers: its cheaper, its less work for the lab, lower liability because the lab has the embryos for a shorter period of time, everybody makes it to transfer, if the cycle doesn't result in a pregnancy, the program can still look good, etc. You'll notice I didn't say anything about a day 3 transfer improving your chances of getting pregnant - it doesn't. The reason programs continue to transfer day 3 embryos is because its more convenient for the lab and the docs.

However, growing the embryos to the blastocyst stage prior to transfer does not automatically result in a pregnancy. Because the embryos have reached the blastocyst stage prior to transfer, its reasonable to assume the embryos a capable of implantation. BUT the embryos are transferred to the uterine cavity and they still must attached to the uterine wall (endometrium) and continue the implantation process for 10 ten days before a "pregnancy" is established. The attachement and implantation processes are currently beyond our control and these represent the crap-shoot in all of this.

At least with blastocyst stage embryo transfer you know the embryos are capable of implantation. When day 3 transfers are performed, its completely uncertain as to whether or not the embryos made it to the blastocyst stage (unless there's a pregnancy). If you don't become pregnant, you're left hanging. What went wrong? Were my embryos O.K.? Should I do this again??? Of course, your doc's answer will likely be "Yes" since that keeps him in business. As you can see, there's a potential sinister side to day 3 transfers...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

3 or 5 day transfer??????

Please help me. I don't really get the difference between having a 3 or 5 day transfer but I know people are passionate about it. I have had 3 people in the last week tell me I have to do a 5 day transfer but my clinic generally does 3 day transfers. My fear is that if I wait until 5 days they will all have expired (if I have any embryos that is). My other fear is that they will transfer embryos at 3 days that aren't viable. A friend of a friend was telling me she did 3 rounds of unsuccessful IVF that were 3 day transfers and then when she waited for a 5 day transfer she had success. I am so easily swayed, now I am obsessed with a 5 day transfer. In my head I have decided if I have more than 6 good looking embryos I want to wait until day 5. Am I crazy?????
Any input would be great!!!