Monday, August 22, 2011

2ww is over

Well the 2 ww is over and I'm so glad...waiting is the worst in my opinion. Dr. Thomas called today to give us the news, not what I was hoping to here but almost what I was expecting to hear at this point - four times doing the same thing - heaven help me! It gets old wishing the same wish, wanting the same thing, and not feeling like the last few YEARS have moved us anywhere closer to our dream and what we wanted.

Here's the email I sent out to everyone this afternoon:

Just wanted to let you know that our 4th IVF round was unsuccessful.

Dr. Thomas called to tell me he was tired of having to give me bad news and I told him I was tired of hearing bad news.

I'm very lucky to have such a supportive husband, family & friends to go along this journey with - I appreciate every single one of your cards, prayers, thoughts, texts, facebook messages, emails etc. I am very grateful to have such a wonderful support system in my life that has allowed us to do this four times hasn't been easy, but I know this is just part of our story that I'm hoping has a great ending!

That's about all I've got for today - the house is nice & quiet for me to get some work done and Sally is curled up in my room with me just hanging out...I know you all love the Sally updates too (ha!)

Thanks again for your continued support,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Transfer Day + 2ww

Today is our transfer day for IVF #4 - this is the last step in the process...the doctor's have done all they can do after the transfer, and for the next 2 weeks we wait to see if those embryos decided to stick and become babies.

This is always a weird day to me - it's very hopeful because there is a sense that you are PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) as they like to say in IVF land...but there's also a sense that you just hope beyond hope that they do what they're supposed to do. This is the only part of the process my body doesn't seem to understand / do very well so I hope this time it's different.

We should get a picture of the embryos today as well as the container that they lived's sort of a strange out of body type experience when they hand you that because it just doesn't seem possible that our embryos were just sitting in their container and then they go in me...but at least they're back where they're supposed to be. Thank goodness for modern science that this is even possible during our lives!

Not sure if I'll take pictures today or not - usually I do for the transfer but it's truly the same as every other time...go in, get into scrubs, lay on table & wait for doctor, doctor waits for embryologist to send the embryos  through the tube and I have to lay on a table for 30 minutes afterwards. We have to be at the hospital at 10:30 for an 11:00 transfer - one funny thing they let you do is bring music in to listen to during the helps pass the time after the transfer but during it's just nice background music (but the actual procedure takes less than 5 minutes total).

This is a picture of us during the second IVF (all in our outfits!) - just to give you an idea (HA!) - as you can see, Richard is less than pleased to ever have his picture taken! I love him in spite of himself!

Here's hoping...

IVF #2 (05/2010)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Retrieval & Embryos!

Yesterday the retrieval went really well - 12 eggs retrieved from me & everything went really well. I slept a lot during the day - watched some TV and had my first progesterone shot (long needle). Seen here (which is the same needle that we did my trigger shot with so the rest of my progesterone shots will be with this needle in the muscle in my back/hip area that has muscle in it) - I'll show my lovenox shots sometime soon so you can see what those are - but those are pre-filled syringes and the needle is small but it's the shot that hurts the most:

I was pretty sore yesterday from the retrieval & just really tired but all was ok. Today got a call from my favorite old IVF nurse (she now works in another part of the hospital) who called to say we got 6 embryos to fertilize. They will keep all 6 fresh so they can pick the best two on Monday for the transfer back into their mama! :)

So in sum:
6 fertilized at the 2PN level (perfect!)
2 didn't fertilize at all
4 fertilized but they were 1PN (1 of these) and 3PN (3 of those) which essentially means there was too much DNA or not enough DNA in the embryo so they weren't of good genetic make-up.

That about sums up my last 2 days - trying to stay positive through it all. Hopefully everything goes well on Monday!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Trigger Shot + Free Day

Got the official word from the doctor yesterday about 4:45pm that I would do my trigger shot last night at 11:45 and then have a free day today...with the directions not to eat or drink anything after midnight tonight.

Here is Judy on the left (IVF head nurse I believe - works with all the surrogates) and the "blood draw lady" I call her but this is who struggled with me the one day I almost passed out - we've become good friend's now - now that she understands I need to lay down to have my blood drawn and she should start with my amazing vein in my left arm!

So the next step in the process was last night I took my last dose of Lupron and then took my trigger shot at 11:45 (notice I took a picture of the clock so you can see I made it as well as the needle/how big it is) - poor Richard has his ambulance rotation tomorrow so I'm sure he'll be exhausted all week! The shot went fine - he drew it up and mixed it correctly and he also gave me the shot with minimal pain so I can't complain about that. The picture of my ovary there is showing my left ovary with my cyst in it as well as all those follicles - it's doing just as well as the right one (go figure!) and everything is looking good.

Today is a free day - no appointments, no shots, just no food/drink after 12 midnight tonight! :) I think I'll have a bowl of cereal around 11:45 - haha!

Tomorrow we have to be at the hospital at 9:45 and I'm ready to go and get this horrible feeling out of my stomach! Tomorrow is usually kind of rough / I think I remember sleeping a lot last time that day. Imagine having to pee really really bad it hurts...all the time - that's how I feel.

Good thing I'm going to lunch with Michelle & her boys today to take my mind off of things - that will be fun - look out photobooth, here we come!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hello August - Doctor's appointment today!

Happy Monday! :) It was a great sign today at the doctor that he was ON TIME for the first time I think EVER...when I got there early they did my blood draw (went great!), then got me back in the room and set-up for the doctor. Dr. Lindheim had walked by to say good morning and asked how everything was going...he's just so nice!

Every wonder what an ultrasound probe looks like? Probably not but I'm going to show you on here!

L-R: Dr. Lindheim, me and Dr. Ressler

Dr. Lindheim took the camera - this is what it looks like to be laughing while getting an ultrasound...good grief!

Dr. Lindheim got a better shot of my ovary that has the cyst in it (on the right) but still has follicles growing in it - grow follies grow!!

Chris is my main IVF nurse for this round - she's so sweet & thought it was silly I was taking photos!

This would be my MASSIVE chart!! So much paperwork...Dr. Ressler went over everything with me that I needed to know today!

Everything with the appointment went great, follicles are doing well - they are thinking my retrieval will be Thursday with a transfer on Sunday but we'll just have to wait until the blood work comes back this afternoon. He thinks I'll need an extra day of follistim to keep them going strong (looking at only about 7 right now that are "front runners/winners" he calls them - but between the follistim today and the HCG shot the night before my retrieval, we should get a few more from that...some are just not getting as big as they thought).
Dr. Lindheim was helping me take pictures (to get better angles of the ultrasound machine) and explained everything so well! We were all laughing pretty much the entire time. (Attached is a picture so you can see what Dr. Lindheim looks like and Dr. Ressler (who is studying to be in fertility and has a few more years of med school) :)
I go back tomorrow morning for a final ultrasound & blood draw. If I go back tomorrow I will see Dr. Thomas so I probably won't have any fun stories to report but he did stop by to see how things were going this morning which was really nice :) We'll do blood work & ultrasound for any of you out there that are keeping track of the blood draws I believe we're up to close to 5 or so) :) 
Other great things about this morning - got a great parking spot in the garage, tried McD's pancakes (not my favorite) and got a Coke (love!), and have a day full of meetings which will hopefully make the day go SUPER fast!!!

Tonight was a great night with mom & dad and having dinner with them - I missed a call from Richard so I missed Snow Castle (dang!) but hopefully either Kona Ice will come around soon or I'll have Richard drive me over tomorrow to get it (HA!)