Monday, September 29, 2008

Transfer Done

We had our transfer on Thursday. I think the whole thing is best summarized through this email that C sent to our friends.

Hi all,
We are home and A. is resting comfortably. The whole process was a little over three hours long! We got there and our acupunturist, Jeanenne, was the first to greet us. She ran us through what was going to happen: meet with the embryologist, valium, acupuncture, transfer, acupuncture. Sounds easy, right? ;)

It actually was pretty easy. For me at least. The embryologist was super nice, and we got some good news - a second embryo fertilized since Tuesday, so we got to transfer two! The first one was a grade 3 - high quality, grade 4 is the highest. The second embryo was grade 1 because the cells weren't uniform in size, but the quality was still good enough for implant. We heard two things about that second embryo - the acupunturist says that often the second one "acts as a cheerleader, encouraging the body to create strong volumes of the needed hormones". One of our favorite nurses, Britney, said that the second embryo "is clearly a fighter and has a good chance of maturing". Good stuff either way.

OK, on to the process - it was AWESOME. I got suited up in surgical gown, mask, hairnet (I considered keeping the whole ensemble for Halloween but chickened out). The transfer room was dark, only one light on, and they had music playing. The doctor (Dr. Garzo - one of the best in the country and a Chilean!) was joined by another Doctor fellow from UCSD, another one of our favorite nurses, Angela, and the embryologist. They rolled the incubator into the room and I got to see both of them! I looked at them through a microscope and they seemed like they were vibrating, or moving somehow, it was the coolest thing!

The transfer itself was fairly quick, but nonetheless incredible - we saw everything on the ultrasound. When the embryos were transferred in, we could see them - they looked like two white glowing balls, like stars, kind of. Incredible. We of course both cried through the whole damn thing.

From there, back to a recovery room for round two on the acupuncture. Then a bit of rest, discharge information and on our way home. Our most favorite nurse of all, Tiffany, discharged us and she also came to see us before the transfer - she was incredible and has been so helpful too.

Now A. lays on her back for three days - literally, she can only get up to go to the restroom, then she comes right back and lays down. I'm considering getting her a bell but I think she'd like it just a litttttlllle too much.

Pregnancy test on October 8th - two days after A's birthday, hopefully that'll be good luck.
Thanks again to all of you for the love, support, good vibes and good humor. I'll keep ya'll up to date.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Head Strong

I have a friend here at work who is probably one of the smartest people I know. Her brilliance is more of a people-smarts than a book-smarts. She can read anyone and any situation. It isn’t that she’s not book-smart, she is, but her people-smarts should be studied.

After my miscarriage in June, she gave me this book entitled “Many Lives, Many Masters”. It’s a book based on a psychiatrist’s case study regarding past life therapy. The book presents the notion that each one of us has a group of souls who stay with us through multiple lifetimes and that the purpose of each lifetime is to learn a variety of lessons from each other. This isn’t anything new, there are a number of religions and spiritual paths that have similar doctrine.

There are a number of thoughts presented in the book, but the reason she gave it to me and the one idea that has stuck with me through this whole process is that the right soul will enter our life when it is supposed to happen. It helped me move past the miscarriage and helped put our next attempts in perspective.

Yesterday, when we got the call from our doctor with the news that only one egg had fertilized, I was crushed. I wanted so badly for all 3 to fertilize. I was already feeling nervous that only 3 of the 10 were viable and this felt like an even deeper blow. I was terrified that this was the beginning of the end and was feeling hopeless. I wanted to update yesterday, but just didn’t have the heart to get online. I felt like I was disappointing C, my family and even you guys to a certain extent. I know it’s stupid, but I want to be a source of hope to this community and not just heartbreak.

I called my acupuncturist last night to give her the news – she told me that this little embryo doesn’t know that it was up against 9 others. She said that it’s time to get my head on straight because the focus changes from me to the embryo and to preparing my body for it’s arrival.

After my progesterone shot last night, I took some time by myself to clear my head and to talk to this little soul out there to let it know that we are ready. I have a beautiful, healthy body to keep her safe and warm for the next 9 months and we’ve got a home filled with love and laughter to help her become a happy person. We love you so much already and we can’t wait to share our lives with you.

Our transfer is tomorrow at noon and I am ready. Please wish us luck.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I guess the retrieval went well. They took out 10 eggs and 3 of them are viable. The doctor came as I was in the recovery room and said that 3 of the 10 eggs were mature, 5 were intermediate and 2 were immature. She said that of the 5 intermediate, 3 of them looked like they were closer to mature than immature, so that after closer analysis they might determine that they might be able to work with them. Later that afternoon, they called and said that only the 3 mature eggs are viable.

I've got mixed feelings on this. I'm grateful that they've got something to work with but nervous that it's not more than 3. Even if they would have come back and said that 1 of the 3 intermediates was viable, bringing our potential total to 4, I would still be feeling great trepidation.

They icsi-ed the 3 yesterday and today we'll get a call as to how (if at all) they are progressing. I don't know if it means anything that they haven't called yet. Part of me wonders that this must mean they are still alive, otherwise there would have been nothing preventing the doctor to call and tell us it's a no-go.

I'm terrified. I am really trying to hang on and focus on the idea that everything is happening exactly as it is suppossed to. I am so much luckier and more fortunate that the majority of people on this earth and that, whatever happens, we are going to be fine - but I'm just f*ing scared. I think I thought a few weeks ago, that I'd be feeling at this point that pregnancy and children were assured. I thought I'd be feeling more confident and secure than ever, but the fact is that I feel farther and farther away from that security.

So now, we sit and wait and worry only to hope to make it to the next stage of sitting, waiting and worrying.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Trigger Happy

Went in for our u/s yesterday - Dr. Love 2.0 said everything looked "perfect" and that we were ready to trigger. Yay! C got her final booty-shot lesson with one of our favorite nurses, we filled out some final paperwork and then later went out for my last (last for a while) sushi dinner at our favorite spot. 

C was pretty nervous about administering the shot. Actually, nervous is a gross understatement, she was shaking. As I loaded the syringe, she did a couple-two scotch shots and a few minutes later - the HSG went in like butter. I couldn't believe how much it didn't hurt! For anyone else - our tip to you - go in faster than you think you should. The faster you go, the less you can feel it. 

We go in for tomorrow morning for the retrieval and then the finger-crossing, waiting game begins. Today, I'm going to try and stay as chill as possible. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Plugging Along

Good u/s today. My lining is 9.8, which they said was great because they are usually hoping to see 8 right about now. I've got 4-5 follies on each side each growing at about the same pace. They said that this is what they like to see rather than one pulling ahead of the rest. The follies are measuring in the 11-12 range.

According to the master calendar, our egg retrieval should be taking place this Sunday, but they said that it will be delayed by a few days. It doesn't sound like a big deal - they just want those follies to keep growing a bit. I think they said that they want to see them around the 18 mm size before we pull the hsg trigger. I really don't mind waiting a couple of extra days.

Last night was the first night that I felt unusually tired and I am definately feeling it today. I don't know if the foll.stim is catching up with me or what, but I feel pretty wiped out.

C got a lesson from the nurse on how to administer a booty-shot. I was surprised to see how fast she needs to go in!! It's like throwing a dart! With the tummy shots - I've been going in pretty slow and usually don't feel much. At least I won't be able to see it coming.

Peace and love to everyone out there!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Despite the assurances made by the nurses, I have been a little freaked out by my low e2 level. They like to see it double every day. Here's how I have progressed:

Friday - 40
Saturday - 84
Sunday - 87
Monday - 109

I just got the call - today we are at 268!! I am thrilled - what a relief!! I'm on 300 of folli.stim, 2 vials of meno.pur and 5 of lu.pron.

U/S and bloodwork is scheduled for tomorrow - I'm excited to see how those little follies look!

Monday, September 15, 2008

On The Road

Today's u/s and blood test went well. I'm on day 6 of stims - and my lining is measuring at 7.4, which they say is great. Normally they like to see 6 at this point so I'm thrilled that we're coming out a little ahead.

Dr. Love 2.0 said that it's still really early to determine how many follies they'll be able to retrieve, but at this point, he is seeing 8, possibly more. Right now, they are all measuring around the 7-9 size.

They said that my estrogen level is a little lower than they'd like to see at this point, but that it's not too uncommon to start off a little low and then increase. I'm on 5 units of lupron, 2 vials of menopur and 250 of follistim.

Next blood test is tomorrow and next u/s is Wednesday.

No real emotional side effects from the meds - I'm starting to feel really bloated, but other than that, there has been no real effect to my mood.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

So Far So Good

So far, I'm feeling great. I got home last night and took my first dose of folistim and menopur. The folistim is old hat - the menopur is new. It's a little tricky mixing the medication, but not a big deal once you get used to it. I had a little bit of a freak-out because the needle that I use to draw the water is about the size of a javelin - I had forgotten that I get to switch out the big needle for something similar in size to the Lupron needle. Crisis averted.

The folistim always has a slight burning sensation for the few minutes post-injection, but it doesn't bother me too much. The menopur goes in pretty easy, but I have felt sort of a deep dull ache afterwards. It's hard to describe - it's not as strong as a menstrual cramp or as sharp as an ovulation pain - it's like a centralized deep muscle ache. It's not bugging me that much right now - I imagine that if it gets worse as the medication continues, it might get a little distracting.

Acupuncture was GREAT last night - a really good session. Usually I fall asleep, but I was pretty reved up to get home and start the injections, so I didn't go under quite as hard - but I really felt the whole thing working last night. My whole body just felt pulsey and alive. Since I've started the stims, by practitioner introduced cupping last night. It was my first experience with it - but she suctioned these glass cups along my lower back - the idea being to increase blood flow around my lady-parts. It felt pinchy at first and then mellowed out.

I'm pretty thrilled to be feeling so good today. One of the things that I have kind of been struck with today is that I feel really strong and I especially feel brave. What we are going through, what we are putting our bodies through isn't easy on any level. I used to get sceeved out putting an earring through my ear and now I'm giving myself 3 shots a day in order to start a family. We are brave to put our bodies through this and strong to keep trying cycle after cycle. I know there are some couples out there who are struggling - I hope you can make some time for yourselves and recognize that you are amazing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Green Light

Got the call today -we will start stims this evening. My levels are: P4 0.5 and E2 39.

I'm excited which is loads better than what I was feeling on Monday. I think what I've finally figured out (it's only taken about 4 months) is that I never really know how I'm going to feel each day - I just need to wake up and kind of go with it. This is such an emotional and physical roller coaster that I can't take any one day too seriously. If I'm having a disconnecty kind of day, I need to chill out and remember that it's most likely going to be different tomorrow.

I've got acupuncture tonight - which will be a great prelude to the injections. I'm hoping that the effects will be mild - keep you fingers crossed for me, but mostly for my wife.

Peace to all of you out there!

Monday, September 8, 2008

E2 the Blues

We had our E2 appointment today, which is the appointment that green lights the stimulants. Dr. Love 2.0 is still seeing 4 on the right and 9 on the left. He saw a small cyst in there that he doesn’t think is anything to worry about. He said it looked like a corpus luteum cyst. We’ll find out about my estrogen and progesterone levels in a few hours to know if we are OK to start the stims.

I was expecting to feel excited but I don’t really feel anything at all. I don’t know what to feel or where to go, emotionally, right now. Do I try to figure out a way to get excited about all of this and not just focus on all of those needles? If I can manage to get excited, am I better off trying to balance this excitement with some level-headedness? Will this protect me more if we don’t get a BFP? With everything that's at stake, is it even worth it to try and protect any part of myself right now? All this start and stop has left me feeling nothing. My go-to place is to get up into my head and detach a bit. I think I’d be most comfortable going through the motions for the next few days – but does taking my emotions out of this process make it less likely for this to work?

One of the things I really liked about the acupuncture in this process is that the treatment does attempt to connect me emotionally to the pre-transfer stage. What happens in this if I disconnect?

I know these are not questions anyone can really answer – I guess I just can’t quite figure out how to find faith right now. I can tell myself that whatever is supposed to be happening right now is what’s happening – but is it true if I can’t feel it?

Saturday, September 6, 2008


My period arrived this morning, so we are ready to proceed to the stims. We go in on Monday for the u/s and bloodwork and if everything looks good, we'll add folisti.m and meno.pur to the daily injection schedule. 

I've taken folisti.m for our two IUI cycles and didn't experience any side-effects, but I'm not sure about the meno.pur. Does anyone have any experince with this drug? Do I need to buy my wife some flowers or a suit of armor or anything?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It Won't Be Long

One of the good things about Hurricane McFailin’ making landfall in the Twin Cities this week is that it’s providing some good distraction to our impending IVF.

I’m off the birth control pills and am just waiting for my period so that we can begin the stims. If all goes according to the master calendar, the egg retrieval should take place on 9-20 and the transfer on 9-22.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be done with the bc pills. The Lupron isn’t having any noticeable side effects – I don’t even mind the shots all that much. The needle is really, really small and I’m thankful that I can administer it myself.

I’m trying to stay positive and grounded – but I’m nervous. I’m nervous to move beyond this point and be on the other end, waiting for news. I like being here – feeling like I’m actively involved in the lead up to the process and not just waiting for time to pass. I’m scared to think about what it means for us if it doesn’t take.

C is wonderful and supportive – but I do feel a little alone. Thank you to all of you and letting me join this community.