Countdown to meeting Obi!

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

update: dh's mobility, numbers, and initial speed all good! 2 hour speed a bit slow which won't matter for our IVF (we'll be doing ICSI). More results next week

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day of testing complete. We are exhausted. Appointment went from 7:30 to 4! all looks good so far - no uterine abnormalities. and I have 17 baseline follies! :D

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Co-Bound

OK it's finally hitting us that this is really happening! So we're planning our trip. Tonight. Yeah. How's that for the last minute?!? Denial much?

So here's the plan. I did get it together enough to plan to see a good friend from high school who lives in the area for dinner. So excited to see her and her family!!!

Additionally, we're thinking skiing. Not something we get to do much where we live now. DH has never been and I've only gone like twice in VT. We're thinking Eldora although neither of us is super excited about a whole day long lesson. We were hoping for a morning lesson then the afternoon on our own.

We may also have to check out the Buckhorn Exchange because, seriously, how Colorado is that place?!?

The depending on the weather and what's open we may take the train up Pike's peak or go hiking in one of the many parks in the area. Of course we want to see Co Springs and Garden of the Gods but we'll probably save those for our Spring trip (although GOTG may not even be open then depending on when we go) .

Suggestions for other things to do in the Denver area very welcome.

Will keep you posted!
Day 1 of no caffeine :(

Sunday, January 23, 2011

and we're off!

This is the week is all begins.
Monday I have my pap and baseline mamogram with a local OB/GYN.
Tuesday is my last day for caffeine until after Friday's tests. I think I should be OK with this. I've cut down to 1-3 caffeinated beverages per day (usually tea, although have enjoyed the occasional cup of coffee. Soda has been out of the picture for a while now).
Thursday we fly to CCRM.
Friday is the one day work up. We're booked solid from 7:30AM-3:00PM that day.
Saturday and Sunday - we relax and enjoy the Denver area. We also have plans to see a friend of mine from high school that lives in the area on Saturday (I'm so excited to see her and get to meet her DH and son!). The weather forcast is currently sunny and in the 40's in Denver which is less scary than it could be.

The only glitch in the plans is that DH is sick as a dog. It started yesterday and although we haven't taken his temp, he's hot to the touch. I've been giving him Tylenol to try to keep the fever down but I'm worried it could affect his sperm test results. I've re-read our CCRM paperwork and nowhere does it say that we need to reschedule if DH has a fever. I plan to call my CCRM nurse tomorrow to confirm. Cross your fingers for us that he'll feel better soon and that his fever won't impact our ability to go up there Friday -- because Friday is the last day we can go to CCRM this cycle. If we can't go Friday we'll have to wait until next month. And since we're no longer TTC on our own, that delays everything by yet another month :( So send us all the good, healthy, happy vibes you can spare!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Words of wisdom

A friend just posted this on facebook. Great reminder so I thought I'd share:

For healthy mental and emotional growth, we need a gentle, skillful, balanced approach, avoiding extremes. If we are becoming arrogant and self-important, the antidote is to think about our own problems and sufferings, to bring us down to earth. But if we are feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, helpless and depressed, it's important to reflect on our positive qualities or achievements to uplift our minds. - Dalai Lama

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Feeling better about RGI

Just got some great advice from a wonderful, brilliant MD friend who pointed out the following to assuage my concerns about going to RGI:

1. Having a different RE do the ER and FET is not uncommon in larger practices. DH and I have been working with the same RE for the past year (and he does all the procedures -- u/s, TT, IUIs, IVF) so it seemed weird to not have the same RE do it all for our CCRM IVF. But totally makes sense that at larger clinic, odds of having same RE are way smaller. So even if we stayed at CCRM for the entire IVF, we could end up with different RE's for ER and FET.
2. Regarding the embies being frozen 2x -- one of my CCRM group buddies also considered PGD. However, she was told that the PGD would work differently than what I was told. Long story short, they would only freeze/thaw the embies 1x prior to FET in her case. Can't imagine they would do something different in our case given that PGD is PGD is PGD. So something we'll ask about during our work-up appointment.

My friend also pointed out that we may want to advocate to get the comprehensive CGH to test all our chromosomes for issues related to advanced maternal age. DH and I talked it over and agree that makes total sense. Seems silly to do the PGD to increase our chances of healthy baby and not do CGH to also increase chances for healthy baby. Or at the very least, potentially get info to explain why we're not getting preggers if there's a chromosomal reason for our IF. And our insurance is so amazing that they may even cover some of that too so it may cost us even less than the $4000 CGH typically costs. We'll definitely tell Dr. S that we want that too when we go  up there in a couple weeks.

So the emotional rollercoaster continues. Was really down earlier this week about how complicated our IF treatment situation had become. But now feeling like yes it's complicated but not insurmountably so. And I have a wonderfully supportive DH and amazingly supportive friends and family to get me through it during the low points on the rollercoaster ride.

Friday, January 14, 2011

whheee!

Wow! Just had 3 glasses of wine during a very long dinner. And all I can say after a month off the sauce is WHHHEEEEEEEEEEE! :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

RGI not in network :(

So we found out yesterday that RGI (the Chicago clinic that CCRM recommended to our PGD and FET) is not in network. This makes us way less excited. I was already disappointed that Dr. S from CCRM wasn't going to do the FET but that we'd be goign to a totally new and unknown to us RE for the FET (so a total stranger would be getting me pregnant. It just seemed weird). But now knowing that we'll have to pay out of pocket for it makes it even less appealing...And I know I should complain about that too much as I know most people's insurance doesn't pay for ANY of their IF treatment so we are lucky ours covers what it covers. But still...there seem to be quite a few negatives piling up:

1. our precious little embryos will be frozen and thawed 2x rather than 1x
2. lack of continuity of care by the same RE -- CCRM RE in Co will monitor stims and do ER & a RGI RE in Chicago (who I will have never met) will do FET.
3. we'll have to pay out of pocket for FET by RGI when I would have been covered at CCRM if we didn't need the PGD.

So I'm starting to get a bit apprehensive about it all. And sad that it's not going very smoothly for us. I was hoping that once we transferred to CCRM, the experts would take over and things would feel easier. In some ways however they feel more complicated.

I think I'll call CCRM and ask whether there's any chance to do the FET with them. Keep our little embryos at CCRM the entire time, have CCRM biopsy and send cells to RGI for PGD, do just 1 freeze/thaw, and do FET at CCRM. That would be my preference...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Trip to CCRM booked!!!

We just booked our trip to CCRM! Got the hotel, car rental, and flights. And it's actually not all that expensive which is an added bonus.

The cheap rates may be due to the fact that the high is currently 24 degrees in Lone Tree, Co. Brrr.....But the plus side will be that perhaps DH and I can go skiing while we're there. DH has never been skiing (growing up in South Florida makes skiing difficult!) and I've only gone a handful of times so would definitely be something novel for us.

I'm so excited I just want to fast-forward to the 28th so we can have our appointment and find out if there are diagnosable reasons why we haven't gotten pregnant yet.

But there are other things I will need to do in the meantime (e.g., pap, mammogram) so I won't be in total waiting limbo. Still steps to take. Things to do to feel proactive about this process. Which is probably one of the most frustrating things about being in this holding pattern of no longer TTC is that I feel like time is passing us by. So tasks is good. A plan (going to CCRM, having a list of what tests we'll be doing, etc) is awesome!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

CCRM phone consult? Check!

Had my CCRM phone consult yesterday. Sorry I didn’t blog about it sooner – we had the consult then went straight to a party (which was a fun way to celebrate the phone consult!).

So first the good news – they can see us! We are scheduled for our day-long diagnostic appointment on 1/28. That’s a Friday so we plan to then stay in Denver to have a little weekend vacation while we’re at it :)

They will do some new tests that we haven't had yet & re-run some tests we did with our local RE. For example, Dr. Surrey wants to re-test my FSH levels. In the past, my FSH was 12 and 10 is usually the cut-off so it’s high but not uber-high so Dr. S. doesn’t think I have low ovarian reserve but he wants to double check as these things can fluctuate and if I do have low reserve he’ll treat me based on my “ovarian age” rather than my actual age. They will also take a closer look at my uterus to see if there are any problems there that may contribute to lack of implantation. They will also check DH’s sperm for possible DNA fragmentations. Given DH’s age Dr. Surrey doesn’t think that’ll be a problem but better to know now if it is so we can tailor treatment accordingly. So yay! More tests = the possibility of answers as to why two healthy people haven’t gotten pregnant after all this trying and IUI’s.

Assuming all goes well with the diagnostic appointment, we’ll start the first CCRM IVF the next cycle (so we’re looking at Feb to start the cycle).  We’ll do egg retrieval at CCRM sometime April-ish assuming all goes well with the stims. They will fertilize the eggs and grow the blastocysts at CCRM because CCRM has  the best techniques for growing embryos in the country if not the world according to Dr. S.

Here’s where it gets wacky (you didn’t think this was going to be simple with us now did you?!) – once the blastocysts have developed and look OK enough to proceed, CCRM will freeze them and send them to Chicago. The Chicago clinic will thaw the embryos to do the biopsies for the PGD. They will then re-freeze the embryos while they do the PGD and to store them until the next month when they will implant them. FET will occur at the Chicago clinic. So assuming I get pregnant from all this, our baby/ies will have traveled to at least 3 different states prior to implantation. Fitting for my babies don’t you think!? :)

Ok so you must have questions about all this. We certainly did:
Why are the embryos being shipped to Chicago? Isn't CCRM the best? Why can't they do it?
There’s a clinic in Chicago that Dr. S considers the pioneers of single gene testing. So the Chicago clinic is hte best for the PGD. Which is good. I like working with the best.

Why ship the embryos to Chicago for biopsy rather than biopsy & store them at CCRM?
Dr. S said this ensures that the lab knows which biopsied cells go with which embryos to decrease any chance of implanting the wrong embryos.

Why do the FET during a different cycle?
Dr. S said that is seems that the uterus is in better condition to receive the embryos during the next cycle rather than the cycle in which it’s affected by all the hormone treatments. So he would recommend that for us even if we weren’t doing PGD.

Won’t all this freezing and thawing kill our precious embryos? 
Both CCRM and the Chicago clinic have a 96-97% success rate when it comes to thawing.

Shouldn’t we also be doing comprehensive genetic testing given my “old” age?
Interestingly given my age (which Dr. S doesn’t consider “old”) and lack of history of m/c Dr. Surrey isn’t going to do complete chromosomal testing on our embryos at this point.  Just the PGD for the CF mutations.

We’re very excited to get the process started! And to have a plan! And to feel like we’re in good hands. Dr. S was amazing! Great bedside manner. Actually answered questions that we asked rather than talk around them like our local RE. We’re excited to work with him!

OK this may be the longest blog post ever so I’m going to stop now. Feel free to ask questions if I’m leaving anything out.


Monday, January 3, 2011

The TTC creep

I thought I wouldn't need to post until our meeting with CCRM Friday as I assumed that taking a break from TTC this month would mean I wouldn't have much to say (we're taking a break as we're between RE's and have decided to not TTC without medical assistance to ensure best chances of healthy baby).

And this was true during the holidays. Traveling to see family was a wonderful distraction and I found I wasn't thinking about TTC as much. But now we're back and the TTC thoughts have crept back in. Which makes me ask myself what does it mean that I continue to think about this so much even though we are not actively TTC right now. Am I obsessed with TTC? Am I a glutton for punishment? Why can't I let it go and give myself a mental break from it all?

What I've realized is that even when not actively TTC there are still so many reminders that DH and I have been/are working so hard to be able to have a child. There is of course the time spent with friends with babies (which usually doesn't bother me). This weekend we were with friends who have babies and DH and I took turns holding/playing with one of them. Seeing DH playing with the baby and me and thinking about what an amazing father he'll make one day was a bit overwhelming.

But there are also the daily/hourly/minute-ly reminders that creep up on me even when I'm all by myself without blatant baby reminders. Such as all the lifestyle changes I've made to help increase our chances. Like that I now drink tea in the mornings instead of coffee (and I've cut out soda altogether). That my calves were sore all weekend from going back to step class after taking a break from high impact exercise during my (terminated) IVF cycle. Shopping at Whole Foods now for groceries and using organic beauty products and filtered water to decrease my exposure to toxins. And although I'm happy about these changes (well not the sore calves!) because they are not only good for the future baby but good for a healthier me. But they are still new and thus still associated with the baby that we don't have yet.

I guess the plus side is that I'm still saying "yet". Which means I still have hope that CCRM will work for us and give us the baby we've been trying so hard for. But it's amazing to me how TTC really does take over your life. I had no idea before we started TTC just to what extent this happens. But I really can't escape it. It's everywhere. I guess all I can do is continue to take care of myself (physically and emotionally) during this time and continue to try to have other, non-TTC things going on in my life to serve as distractions and/or keep me grounded so that there's more going on with me than just TCC.