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Archive for May, 2010

All through the 3 ultrasounds that I have had here, the techs have found nice beautiful follies…8-10 on each side. Here at CCRM they only measure the 6 biggest ones on each side. And they always saw more than that, and were left unmeasured.

Every other person that I talked to along the way was like… “wow… you are sooo young” and “wow… you have a lot of follicles”. What is a girl supposed to do when everyone from the nurses to the phlebotomist to the ultrasound techs to the genetic counselor says this???? Believe it… and so I did! My impression was ok… I can’t expect 20 or so eggs but surely I can expect something in the 15ish range.

Especially after talking to the genetic counselor, I needed at least that many to have 2 normal blasts at the end of this. The stats go like this… There is a 50% drop off from fertilization to blast stage. And another 50% drop off from blast to normal blast (after CCS testing of the embies). So if I need atleast 2 normal blasts, I need 4 that make it to the blast stage, which means I need 8 that fertilize. And I am assuming that only 70% of the mature eggs fertilize –> need 10-11 mature eggs. And I am assuming that only 70% of the retrieved eggs are mature –> need 14-16 eggs retrieved. And this number perfectly matched what my ovaries had.

Today, as I was waking up from the ER, Dr Su (who did my ER) walked up and told me he got 10!!! TEN!!! That is it! TEN!! I started bawling then and there. (Apparently I wasn’t completely back to my senses yet. It would take me another hour from that point to completely wake up.)

All my dreams of 2 blasts were out the window. I am devastated. The anesthelogist walked up to me (as I was tearing up…. the tears never stopped) and was like… “dont worry… it only takes one”. I know…. but I dont want to hear that.

Aside from the drop in my expected blast number, I feel cheated. I was shown the promise of 16-20 and only given 10!!! Talk abt a reset of expectations.

Oh yeah… here is what pissed me off even more… as the doc told me they got 10, I asked him why that low. And his explanation was “we see this with patients who we coast for so long”!!! Really? if you see that happen, WHY THE HELL DID YOU COAST ME IN THE FIRST PLACE???!!! I have been telling you that my history shows that I need stronger meds for a better response… did anyone listen to me??!!  I am sooo pissed off and angry… I can’t even begin to explain!

As soon as I got some energy after dozing off in the hotel room, I called the nurse up and demanded an explanation. Nope… they dont know much. Plus my nurse was off today for memorial day.  So I am calling back tomorrow to get a consult with Dr Sch himself.

I want to say “This is unacceptable”… but really… who am I kidding?! Do I have a choice? It is, always was, and always will be beyond my control! I just have to find a way to live with it!

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Almost done cooking them

The trip to Denver did not start right at all. Delayed flights changed to cancelled flights. After 5 hours in the home airport, decided to just get a hotel than to go home only to come back in 4 hours. Land in Denver on Thursday morning (as opposed to Wednesday night). Baggage lost due to the flight reschedule (thankfully meds were in my carryon). Missed doc appt because of waiting for baggage. Our hotel reservation got screwed up because we booked through priceline and we were considered a “no-show” the previous day. After 3 hours of waiting in the lobby, we finally got a room at 4 in the afternoon. Drive back to the airport to file a claim on baggage — was told that it is nowhere to be found! Albeit it showed up at the hotel today – 4 days later!

So that was what went wrong!

Now onto what seems to be going right… (touch wood… touch wood… touch wood)

My dear dear follies… they are doing great. Remember my last post of the menopur shot on the airplane. That was my last stim shot ever! Yes… last one. I was told to stop all my meds and they have coasted me ever since. I was extermely surprised.. but I am not complaining. They have asked me to keep up the lupron and the dexamethasone though — to prevent my LH from surging. There are about 8-10 follies on both sides and they have been growing steadily since I landed here. Touch wood that they actually have an egg in them and that they are mature! God… please let that be the case! There are a couple follies in my left that have been leading the pack. They were 20mm each 2 days ago when the rest were 17-18ish mm. The doc had decided to sacrifice them for the wellbeing of the many more that are in the 17-18mm range.

And yes.. I am almost done cooking them… I triggered last night at 10pm. My ER is scheduled for 9am tomm morning. The tentative date that I receieved when I started this cycle was June 2nd. But now the ER is two whole days early… which means I only cooked the eggies for 9 days. In fact, I only stimmed them for 6 days. And this makes me really really nervous. We all know how fast growing eggs are not the best quality ones. Slow and steady is the usual motto for these kind of things. So where do I stand.. and where do my eggies stand??!! Don’t know.

I guess we will know in the next couple of days. Wish me luck!

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Here is a first

You know how we try to live our life despite our IF/IUI/IVF schedules. We have all had our firsts as far as needles go… our first menopur shot, our first shot outside our house, first one in a restroom stall in the mall, etc etc.

Here is another first for me… When flying at 30,000 ft in an airplane restroom!! :)

Ps… Just landed in Denver. Was supposed to land last night. Delayed and cancelled flights sent us for a spin. Things are back under control… Sort of. Have a monitoring appt at CCRM in an hour. Will keep u guys posted.

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Already on stims!!!

Yes… I have not posted the obligatory meds picture yet… but I am already on stims.

Yesterday was Day 1 of stims. On the smallest dosage ever. Shit scared abt whether my body would respond to it. You know I ought to really let the docs do their own thing but somehow find it hard to do that. I will keep trying!

This weekend was busy — school work! I spent all day Saturday on school work and part of today on it too. The big project is due this Friday. I know… technically I have a lot of time, but not really. I leave to Denver on Wednesday night and want to try and get as much of this project done before that. Also, just found out about a homework that is due the following Tuesday and am not too happy abt this. I was picturing/imagining/hoping that our time in Denver is going to be a mini-vacation. But this is turning out to be far from it! :( School sucks! Why am I doing this again?! But, you know what, it is good to be this busy. My mind is so occupied that I am not stressing over this cycle (yet!).

Back to stims… so they have me on 1amp of Menopur in the morning and 75IU of GonalF in the evening along with the 5IU of lupron + dexamethasone. So that accounts for 3 shots a day. It is not that bad at all. Needles wise, I hate the lupron. The fact that I have to draw the medicine using the same needle that I have to inject myself with, makes it that much more difficult. Sticking the needle into the medicine vial to suck up the medicine blunts the needle so much that it takes a lot more pressure to pierce the skin afterwards. Ugh… has anyone figured an easier way for this? Menopur is no biggie — did this for all my previous cycles. Gonal F — now there is an interesting story for this. You see, I have not used the GonalF pen before. I have used the Follistim pen for all my previous cycles. Now this contraption looks almost the same, yet the way you prep the pen and select the medicine amount is a little different. And did I read the instructions before sticking the needle in my belly for the first time???? Nooooo… me….. reading instructions???? Inconceivable! OK… fine not totally inconceivable.. but yes.. I was arrogant enough to skip that step. And boy… did that get me!! I take the pen out of the box for the first time, see that it is already set to the dose I want, insert the needle into the pen, and insert it into my belly. Now I try to push the end of the pen to dispense the medication… but nope… not happening!! Freak out… yell for DH to come over… ask him to read the instructions while the needle is still in my belly hoping that I dont have to withdraw and redo the piercing. Thinking back… it was a funny site actually! But I lose patience, take the needle out, call the CCRM nurse line and had the nurse walk me through it! I know… I was such a baby! But you know what… they are charging me $845 for nurse services… and heck I intend to make full use of that money! Anyways… I digress…So apparently there is a prep phase for the pen where you dispense the first 37.5IU into the air — to push out any air bubbles. And DH found the instructions for first-time use just as the nurse was walking me through it. All’s well that ends well — and this ended well too.

So talking abt money, we got our CCRM bill in the mail a couple of days ago. Let me say that for the first time, I was able to completely comprehend the words “sticker shock”! Total we owe to their lab and clinic before the start of our cycle = ~$16K! And this does not include the medications, the doctor charges for retrieval, blood draw/US charges, etc. I don’t know if this covers the charges for the CGH testing (chromosome analysis for embryos). Note to self: Ask during the next phone call!

Excited that we leave in 3 days. This is becoming more real as the days roll by. And before I know it, I will be entering CCRM’s surgery entrance to get prepped for my ER! Sweet!

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Life is in the way

Wow… time is flying waaaay faster than I expected. Too much of madness going on around me.

Work is getting interesting. Got a new assignment so can’t slack off there. I am also taking classes that will count towards a master’s degree when I decide to get one. I started taking one class a quarter this past January. And the projects, homeworks, and late nights due to that are keeping me on my toes. We have been thinking about moving to the suburbs for a while now. In reality, I wanted to move before I started this cycle but then that would have meant moving when I would be on stims which I wasn’t fond of. So that has been pushed off until next month. Oh yeah… talking abt stims, I have already started my lupron shots. Things are craaazzzy!

I am surprised I am functioning as well as I am. With school and work kicking my ass big time, I hardly have any time to think and ponder and dream and aggravate about the upcoming IVF. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing because I don’t try to control the process — which I know I will miserably fail at and hence will cause me to stress over every single detail. Bad thing because I am not on my toes abt getting appts figured out or medications picked up. For example, only the day before I was supposed to start my lupron, I realized that I am supposed to take dexamethasone with it and that I didn’t have it with me. Turns out my nurse dropped the ball on it and didn’t put in an order for me. Wow… the old controlling me would have figured all this out a couple of weeks before I was supposed to start any meds. Its all good — no damage done — no stress needed and everything is still under control.

I still have to call my local clinic regarding scheduling my baseline US + BW which I have to get done on Thursday and my first US + BW the following Tuesday. I haven’t picked up my stims yet — which I plan to do either tomorrow or on Monday or sometime before Saturday — which is my first day of stims.

Wow… I am such a slacker! Life is sooo much in the way of my IVF right now!

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I have a schedule!!!

Yipdee Dapdee Doooooo!!!

Woooohoooo!

Just got the email from my nurse… basically a Lupron protocol (I can’t tell if this is long-lupron or micro-dose lupron — haven’t done lupron before).   Here are the details:

5/12 – Start Lupron 10U + Dexamethasone

5/16 – Last BCP

5/20 – Suppression check  + BW

5/22 – Decrease to Lupron 5U, Dexamethasone, Menopur – 1 amp, GonalF – 75U

5/25 – 1st U/S + BW

5/26 – Travel to clinic

6/2 – Tentative ER!!!

YAY!! Anyone planning on being in Denver between 5/26 and 6/4??

FYI: Rambler, my AMH was 7.2!

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Sticky dust, Shipping blood

I got the endometrial biopsy done a couple of weeks ago. We were asked to get this done because of our high failure rate for IVF. This is to check if my ute was naturally producing certian protiens called beta-3 integrins during the implantation window. Apparently, the integrins are in effect the sticky dust. The presence of those protiens indicate a healthy ute environment for the implantation of the embies. These guys explain it better.

So my mission was look for a positive OPK and show up at my local RE’s office 9-11 days after the surge to get him to scrap some tissue off my uterus. Sounds like fun! But in reality, the biopsy wasn’t that bad. Love my local clinic/RE… too bad they couldn’t knock me up! Showed up on day 9 after the surge, took the sample, and shipped it off to the lab.

And… its official. I have no sticky dust in my ute. That’s right. The results showed that I don’t have any integrins! Blah. But here is the kicker. Not only was I negative for the proteins, but I was also “out of phase” — aka, it seemed like my ute was not in the implantation phase. Could I have screwed up the OPK?! Sucks!

So the plan of action is to kick my body into menopause for two months prior to my embie transfer – in other words, take back-to-back depo-lupron shots . Apparently, this is supposed to get back the stickiness. Don’t ask how. I am not asking either. The things that we do to will our bodies into making babies. Unbelievable!

The downside is my transfer gets pushed off to 3 months after my ER. More waiting on the horizon! Not looking forward to this.

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The last time I had my CD3 tests run was about a year ago. And this far away clinic is too specific that they HAVE to use THEIR lab to run these tests. And oh boy what a pain this was. I wasn’t willing to travel to the clinic just to drop off blood — not worth the expenses. Apparently, they are ok with drawing the blood at my local clinic, wait for it to clot, have it spun down, seperate the serum, freeze it, and ship it to them. And I have to say… they do make your life a lot easy by actually giving you the option of buying a blood shipping kit from them — which I happily did. But I still had to find a clinic that was open in the weekends who were willing to do that for me. I will bare you the long winding, frustrating story of trying to find a lab, and just say that my local clinic accepted to do it.

CD3 was last sunday. Things went smooth. Went for the blooddraw, waited for the serum (why the hell does it take 1.5 hours to spin down blood?? Don’t know!), put it in the freezer for 24 hours, packed it in the shipping kit (which was really cool by the way), and shipped it to the far away clinic.

The results:
FSH was 5.3 : They like to see it below 10… So this is good
LH was 5.5 : They like to see it below the FSH. Little elevated. But this is consistent with my extremely high AMH and my high AFC. So my nurse said not to worry. And I am listening to her!
E2 was 54: They like to see this below 50. Just a tad bit higher. But no biggie is what she said.

Dr.S is supposed to review all of this and give me a schedule. I was supposed to hear back from my nurse on Friday but didn’t get a call. So most likely, come monday, I will have a schedule!! Oh my… just saying that is making my heart race. Trying to contain my excitement!

Now… there is one last hurdle I have to get through before I am OK’d for the cycle. Remember my elevated TSH from my ODW for which my endocrinologist had upped my meds, I have to retest the TSH to make sure it is below 3.0. I am having that tested on Wednesday. Fingers crossed!!!

Oh oh… BTW, I started my BCPs with my last period. So this means, if all goes well, my ER will be during the memorial day weekend. Wow!

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