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Friday, April 29, 2011

and then there were 3

It's crazy to think we went from 29 eggs retrieved (and 22 fertilized) to 3 genetically healthy embies. But those are the numbers. We have three genetically healthy embies! And in terms of blast quality, 1 is perfect, 1 is near perfect, and 1 is really good (I'm assuming this translates into AA, AB, and BB for those of you hip to the IVF lingo). Our CF carrier embie was missing an X chromosome; we had 1 CF normal with an abnormal CCS result (I was so overwhelmed with info I didn't ask which abnormality but will ask my nurse); and 1 CF normal that they were unable to test (i.e., a No Result). I also didn't think to ask how many of the remaining embies were CCS normal vs abnormal to get a sense of my rate of chromosomal abnormalities. I'll ask my nurse.

So, a wee bit disappointed that there aren't more. But also SOOOO excited that we got some. I got so scared when Dr. S called that he was going to say none passed the tests. But we have 3 which gives us lots of chances for 1-2 babies from this IVF cycle!

Now we need to figure out when and how many. The first question is an easy answer - ASAP. My nurse will be calling soon to work out the calendar. The how many -- we're thinking one. DH and I have talked about this for months now and have oscillated between 1-2. But today we realized just how much we've gone through to get these three healthy embies. And twin pregnancies are higher risk for damage to the babies. So it seems like if we want to be consistent with what we've been doing (i.e., everything we can to have healthy babies), that transferring two may not make the most sense. We can transfer singles with each FET until we find out which one/s of these embies will be our baby.

In other news, I'm still bloated today. I think my body did not like me biking to and from work Wed and Thurs this week. I've been bloated since Wed night. It's annoying and makes it hard to concentrate but otherwise I'm fine.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A new day

Thank you all for your words of support. Yes I'm feeling more hopeful today. I have no way of knowing how the CCS results will turn out so no sense getting bummed out about them until I know what they are. Once again trying to just focus on the present and what I can be doing for ready my body today so it's as healthy as possible for FET. I biked in to work today -- my first exercise since ER. I feel good. Out of shape, but good. And I'm meeting with a colleague/friend today to discuss best health insurance in the event we have twins -- how's that for remaining hopeful! :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

RGI results are in

We got the RGI results in today. I'm still in a bit of shock. Of the 14 embies tested, 5 were affected (i.e., have both CF mutations). That's 36%. Not that I really thought it'd be exactly 25% but I think I was secretly hoping for it to come back less than 25% not more. In addition, 2/4 were uninterpretable due to monosomy 7 which I think means loss or partial loss of chromosome 7 (which can happen during cell division, esp for us older ladies). That leaves 7 embies. But one that was identified as a carrier has reduced accuracy due to allele drop out and shared markers between DH and me. This one is only to be transferred with our permission which sounds scary. Basically it means they're pretty sure it's a carrier but there's a small chance it's actually affected.

We are therefore left with 6 that RGI is comfortable transferring without reservation. Of those, 1 is a carrier (has my CF mutation) and 5 are normal (no CF mutations).

Six is great. But it's a little scary because now we await the results from the CCS. And hope that at least 1 of the embies identified as healthy as per CCS is one of these 6. We should get CCS results back any time in the next 3 weeks.

I feel a little less hopeful this cycle is going to work out (I let myself get my hopes up when we had 29 at ER). I try to remind myself that going into this I was of the mindset that the first IVF will be information gathering -- to find out if DH and I can even fert an egg (turns out we can fert 22 thank you very much), whether they can make it to blast (and 64% of ours did), and whether would be genetically healthy. So this is all part of that information gathering.

It's National Infertility Awareness Week

What is infertility?Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system often diagnosed after a couple has had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if the woman has suffered from multiple miscarriages and the woman is under 35 years of age. If the woman is over 35 years old, it is diagnosed after 6 months of unprotected, well-timed intercourse.
Who gets it?Infertility is a medical problem. Approximately 30% of infertility is due to a female factor and 30% is due to a male factor. In the balance of the cases, infertility results from problems in both partners or the cause of the infertility cannot be explained.
What are the risk factors?
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • Tubal Disease
  • Endometriosis
  • DES Exposure
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
What are the signs and symptoms?Often there are no signs or symptoms associated with an infertility problem. Listening to your body and getting regular checkups will help to detect a problem. Early detection and treatment of a problem are often critical in achieving successful pregnancy outcomes later.
How is infertility treated?Medical technology now offers more answers and treatment options to men and women trying to conceive a child. From hormonal treatments, ovulation induction and Intrauterine insemination to more advanced technologies like in vitro fertilization, ICSI to surrogacy, egg/sperm donation and even embryo donation. For more information on treatment of infertility visit the Family Building Options section of our site.
What medications are used?There are a variety of medications used to treat infertility. It is important to understand the medications and what their purpose is and to speak with your physician about the medications that will be used in your specific treatment plan. Read more about Fertility Medications.
What is artificial insemination?Artificial insemination is now more commonly referred to as IUI (intrauterine insemination). It is a procedure used for couples with unexplained infertility, minimal male factor infertility, and women with cervical mucus problems. The procedure uses the husband's or donor's sperm, washing and treating the sperm, and then injecting it into the woman during the time of ovulation. Read more about IUI.
What is In Vitro or IVF?In vitro fertilization (IVF) gets its name from the fact that fertilization occurs outside of the woman's body, in a lab dish instead of a woman's fallopian tubes. Typically, a woman will use ovulation stimulating drugs to produce an excess number of eggs. These eggs are surgically removed from the woman and fertilized in dish with sperm. If fertilization takes place, the physician transfers the embryo(s) into the women's uterus. Read more about IVF.
How can I find an infertility specialist?
Visit RESOLVE’s Professional Service Directory to find an infertility specialist in your area or visit www.sart.org.
Can my OB/GYN treat me? In many cases the difficulty experienced in becoming pregnant can be resolved by a gynecologist without a referral to a specialist. Often the problem comes down to timing intercourse with ovulation, which may be assessed using one of the over-the-counter urine LH test kits (ovulation predictor tests). Your OB/GYN can also conduct a basic infertility evaluation. If a problem is found during your evaluation and for more complex fertility issues, it is advised to see a specialist. 
What questions should I ask my doctor? It is important to go into the visit with your doctor prepared. Visit the "Downloads section" of this site which covers important questions to ask your physician on a variety of topics.

Monday, April 25, 2011

RGI

DH just checked in with RGI to find out when our CF genetic test results will be ready -- we should hear from them with results tomorrow!!!!! So exciting!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Back on the couch

I had 2 days of feeling like a normal girl again. Bloat nearly gone, I fit into some of my regular clothes, no nausea, less tired. It was lovely. So lovely that I got all cocky and did some yard work this AM. And experienced a sharp pain in my left ovary area. OK, OK lesson learned. I'll take it easy. I was just so happy to get back to my life. I so bored with taking it easy. But someone once told me that when you rush things take twice as long and I'm feeling like that is definitely happening to me here. So I'll stop rushing.

A friend coincidentally posted this on her FB page today. I thought it was appropriate for those of us going through IF treatment so thought I'd share:

"Sometimes the paths we take are long and hard, but remember: those are the ones that lead to the most beautiful views."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

AF

The bleeding was in fact AF! This is exciting because in order to AF to arrive, my estrogen must have fallen. Which means the end of OHSS! And I did feel so much better yesterday. And today I actually fit into a pair of pants (no more sweats and stretchy skirts for me. Until I'm preggers that is!). We're thinking I might have had a surge of estrogen right before AF came that led to the GI distress and bloat (wicked PMS from being on the stims).

So I'm still big -- the 5 lbs I gained while on stims is still here. Otherwise I feel so much better. And feel like I have more energy now that I'm bloat-free. So hope to start slowly getting back into exercise to start to lose some of this weight and get back in shape so my body is ready for tranfer.

Re: transfer -- since we haven't gotten any of the results of the genetic tests in, we can't start meds this cycle for transfer. Which we knew would probably be the case. So this month is just a month for my body to return to normal and detox all those stim meds. Assuming there are some embies to transfer, we'll start prepping my uterus in May (when AF comes) and probably have transfer end of June.

Friday, April 22, 2011

OHSS & AF

My OHSS really scared me last night. I gained 6 lbs yesterday in all - this was all in one day. I was so uncomfortable - my skin hurt from the stretching.

Additionally, I woke at 2AM last night and vomited & had diarrhea (sorry if TMI). Now I did eat sushi last night so I guess these symptoms could have been bad sushi. But my friends and I eat sushi at this place all the time with no problems so I'd be surprised if that's what happened. 

Even later in the night I went to the bathroom and was bleeding. It could be AF but it was different than usual (instantly came out out red blood not the usual brown that I usually have my first day - again sorry if TMI) and seems a bit early. So I have a call into my nurse to find out if this is bad news or just wicked PMS. 

I did hear from one of my CCRM buddies who said that AF came a week early for her after ER so it's possible that the bleeding was AF. Which would be awesome. The bleeding was definitely the scariest part of last night's shenanigans. She also said that her OHSS always got much better once AF came so let's hope AF, if this is what's going on, brings me OHSS relief as well.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gained another 5 lbs today

The good news: I was feeling better these past 2 days. I went into the office to work and walked the dogs (my adorable beagle and a dog we're dog-sitting. Sadly no, we haven't gotten a 2nd dog...yet) around the block.

The bad news: Today I felt really big. And was back to waddling to make room in my pelvis for what feels like sore, cue-ball sized ovaries. As the day goes on I've felt bigger and bigger. And more and more uncomfortable in my own skin (my skin hurts from the stretching). Just weighed myself. I gained 5 lbs during the course of hte day. So the OHSS isn't gone it seems. I found this shocking. It's been over a week since ER. Surely I can't still have OHSS.

So I looked on webmd (I know, I know. Probably not the best source of info but it's late and my nurse isn't available this late). Here's what they have to say:

"Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is the overstimulation of the ovaries that may occur as a result of assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART is a type of infertility treatment that uses multiple eggs at one time to raise the chances of producing embryos that are good candidates for fertilization.
Before an ART procedure, a woman uses medication or hormones to stimulate multiple egg production (superovulation). The eggs are then collected for laboratory use. In a small number of ART cycles, superovulation overstimulates the ovaries. This problem is called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
Doctors monitor closely for signs of ovarian hyperstimulation during superovulation. When this condition develops, the medication is stopped. Any procedure, such as egg collection, planned for that particular cycle is postponed until all symptoms are gone, usually in 2 to 4 weeks.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome can be mild, moderate, or severe:
  • Mild hyperstimulation causes enlargement of the ovaries and discomfort and fluid buildup in the abdomen.
  • Moderate hyperstimulation causes additional symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. This condition may require bed rest.
  • Severe hyperstimulation can cause life-threatening fluid buildup around the heart and lungs and in the abdomen, and a drop in blood fluid content. This condition requires urgent medical care and hospitalization to prevent liver failure, stroke, or heart damage."
My armchair diagnosis is that last week I probably had moderate OHSS (bc I definitely had nausea and shortness of breath and didn't want to move at all). Now I'd say mild (no nausea or breathing problems but definitely bloat and enlarged ovaries).

I had no idea this could last 2-4 weeks! boo!

So DH is off to the store once again, stocking up on more salty chips and Gatorade.

At least I'm not going crazy. I was really starting to wonder today if maybe I had just gained a ridiculous amt of fat while taking it easy last week after ER. I'm relieved to know there's a medical reason behind my enormity and discomfort. Annoyed that I'm still uncomfortable. But now, knowing that I could be feeling this way up to 3 more weeks, I find it comforting in that I can now plan for that. And I now know what's going on with my body. The not knowing drives me bonkers.

Luckily no work tomorrow. And we're going to a crawfish boil which means access to lots of salty food :) Maybe that's all I need -- one really good, salty boil to clear this all up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No pampering for me today

So not surprising to anyone who knows my skin, my face broke out big time when on the stims. I scheduled a facial today to pamper myself and my poor face. Little did I know you can't get a facial if you have cystic acne. So no pampering for me today :(

But DH and I plan to have a date night at a local restaurant with live blues music tonight -- should be a fun alternative. I'll save pampering for next week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

OK, more recovery it is

One of the many reasons I love my on-line support system is that you give me such helpful wonderful support and information! Thank you ladies for sharing your stories with me. For those of you not privy to those emails, here's what I've learned. My poor little ovaries were mega-stretched out last week with all my large follies. And it takes time for them to recover from that and return to normal. So it may take until AF comes next week for me to feel normal again. My CCRM nurse recommended we abstain from sex and hot tubs until AF comes. So it makes sense that it'll take until then for the healing to be done. So I will also abstain from exercise until then too.

Also I may not easily lose the stims weight. But that's OK bc soon I'll (hopefully!) be preggers and the extra weight can then go towards the calories I'll need to grow my baby/babies. :)

I've been having a lot of ovarian pain last night and today. I'm assuming that's my ovaries trying to return to their normal size. So more sitting still for me today (walking hurts) to allow them to recover.

So in light of all this abstaining, what can a girl do for fun?! A friend reminded me that there is a lot of sushi to be eaten this week! And a glass of wine here and there won't hurt either. So there is a bright side to this recovery period.

And another bright side -- I am so thankful that I'm doing FET rather than fresh transfer. My body doesn't feel healthy enough for fresh transfer. Glad I have the time to heal from all my glorious eggies being made so that my repro system will be as healthy as possible for receiving my embies in (hopefully) June.

Oh and just thought of another bright side - so thankful it's spring break this week so I can work from home in my pj's and minimize walking. The timing of this has worked out really well in that sense.

No word from RGI yet. I didn't think it'd be that fast but of course was secretly wishing it would be. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

OK I'd like to be done recovering now, thank you

I'm not feeling very well this evening. I'm finally not feeling bloated (so in all my bloat lasted 5 days post-ER), but it's official -- I've gained 5 lbs of fat from the stims :( But I knew that could happen. So while the 5 lbs are annoying (and make it difficult to find clothes to wear -- thank goodness I'm working from home a lot this week -- in my pj's), they are not shocking.

I was totally planning on going for a nice, light bike ride this evening with DH to start getting some exercise to get back in shape. DH needed to do some yardwork before our ride, so I joined him in the backyard and did some very light hoeing in my vegetable garden. After just a few minutes of hoeing, I started feeling REALLY crampy -- the type of crampy I feel when AF is coming but worse (although AF isn't scheduled to arrive for ~ 1 more week). So we nixed the bike ride and I came inside to relax until the cramping passed. The cramping has finally decreased. But now I feel nausea. :(

I know that it'll pass and in the end it'll all be worth it if I end up pregs (or find out I can't get pregs so we can look into adoption, donation, etc), but right now I'm just plain frustrated. It's been over a week that I've been uncomfortable in my own body. I had no idea going into this that the post-ER period was so icky. Not that it would have changed what I did. But I would have been more prepared perhaps to know that my life would be pretty much on hold for the 2 weeks in Co and another week after Co to recover from the ER.

Sorry for all the complaining. My main purpose in wring this isn't (just) to vent. I'm also curious what other ladies have experienced. What was your post-ER period like? How did you cope with the weight gain? How many days/weeks after ER were you able to start exercising again?

14 "good quality" blasts

According to the CCRM embryologist, we're doing really well. Of the 22 fertilized eggs, 14 made it to day 6 and will be biopsied and frozen. For those of you interested in the numbers, 5 arrested prior to day 6 and 3 are of poor quality and thus won't be biopsied/frozen. I didn't get specifics on the numbers of AA, AB, and BB's but he quickly read through the list and it sounds as though most are either AA or AB (A=perfect quality, B=good quality).

The next update will be with the results of the genetic testing. The embryologist anticipates that RGI will call us this week with the results of the PGD testing and that CCRM will call next week with the CCS results. And then we hope that the healthy ones as per RGI match the healthy ones as per CCRM. According to the genetic counselor we met with at CCRM, on average, ~ 50% of embryos are genetically healthy as per CCS. That will leave us with ~ 7. If 1 in 4 tests positive for CF (has both genetic mutations), maybe then ~ 2 of those 7 will be screened out leaving us with 5 genetically healthy embies. Obviously real life doesn't nec follow group stats like these that closely but the stats suggest there's a decent chance we'll have some embies for transfer. I hope.

It seems a bit surreal to think there are 14 little blasts out there that DH and I made. I am so excited that we've made it this far!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Today I almost felt like a real girl again...for about an hour

I woke up this morning and felt...not bloated. I couldn't believe it. I weighed myself and was still 5 lbs more than before the IVF. But without the bloat. It was an amazing feeling! I went to the farmers market and went shopping. There was a bit of soreness with each step but even with that I felt the best I have since ER.

Then I came home and ate breakfast. And the bloat returned. :(

So I'm going to try an experiment today -- I'm not going to load up on Gatorade and salty food today. I've been doing that for the past 4 days and it hasn't helped. I'm going to just eat as I usually eat and drink as I usually drink and see if I accumulate less bloat. And I'll monitor my weight to make sure this strategy doesn't make things worse.

Co Sand dunes

My camera died while we were in Co so I couldn't post pix of our trip to the Co Sand Dunes. But my SIL did so I thought I'd share one. As you can see, totally worth the 3.5 hour drive from Denver.

Me, DH, & my brother at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Co

Friday, April 15, 2011

No fluid in my belly

Just got back from an ultrasound appointment -- luckily it looks like the excess fluid isn't leaking into my abdomen. So I'm guessing I probably have mild OHSS but not scary OHSS. And thank god nothing leaking into my cavities. Just the thought of it was giving me mad heebie-jeebies.

I'm still very uncomfortable. My weight in the morning is 5 lbs more than it was before the IVF and I'm pretty bloated. And during the course of the day, I gain an additional 5 lbs so that by bedtime I weigh 10 lbs more than I did before the IVF (and am uber bloated). This has been the case the past 2 days (i.e., I'm on day 3 of the post-ER bloat roller coaster).  From what I've heard from other ladies who've gone through IVF, this may last ~ 5 days. Which although annoying isn't terrible timing -- hopefully means I'll be feeling better by Monday so I can finally get back to work (although if it goes away sooner so I can enjoy my weekend and this gorgeous weather we're having, even better). In the meantime I'm taking today off too to relax, drink my Gatorade, and eat lots of protein and salty food. The ultrasound tech will send the results to CCRM today so I hope to find out before the weekend whether they can give me any meds to help manage this.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

OHSS?

Well I may be paying for my fabulously high number of fertilized eggs with OHSS. I flew home last night. By the time we got in (around 1AM) I looked like I was 5-6 months pregnant with bloat. I weighed myself and weighed 10 lbs more than I did before the IVF! Today I'm bloated but luckily not that bloated and 5 lbs more than before IVF. I've emailed my CCRM nurse to find out what else (other than lots of salt and fluids which I've been doing) I can be doing and if I need medical treatment. I'm scared but trying to focus on what I can be doing rather than the what-ifs. DH is very scare (I think my huge belly last night really freaked him out) and off to the store stocking up on salty food and gatorade (recommended to help prevent OHSS). I'm taking today off work to stay home, hydrate, and relax so my body can hopefully heal. And in case my nurse says I need to go to the hospital. If I do, my understanding is that treatment will consist of monitoring me, giving me fluids, and worse case, draining the excess fluid.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

22 eggs fertilized normally!

More good news! of the 29 eggs retrieved, 24 were mature and ICSI'ed yesterday. Of those, 22 fertilized normally! The 5 that were immature yesterday were not mature today so will not be ICSI'ed.

We are so excited that 22 fertilized normally! When we met with the genetic counselor last week she explained that statistically, it is very likely that if we have 12 eggs fertilize (hypothetical number used based on the fact that I had 29 follies maturing on that day) that it's very likely that we will end up with 2-3 that are genetically healthy. And 2-3 would be awesome (as it only takes one!). But bc I've never been preg, we're hoping for some extras in case I m/c. And we'd also love some extra so that if the 1-2 they transfer do result in live birth, that we have some for sibs in the future. So hopefully our 22 fertilizing normally will mean we'll have more like 4-6 genetically healthy blasts. Some for FET and some for the future. This is of course our best case scenario. We'll be happy to end up with 1-2 healthy embies at this point.

They will call again on Monday to let me know how many make it to blast stage and are biopsied for the CCS and PGD tests then frozen.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

29 eggs retrieved!!!

I'm so happy to report that we had 29 eggs retrieved! They didn't tell us how many of those are mature but they did say that they will do ICSI on the mature ones today and call us tomorrow to let us know how many of those fertilized. If any were immature today they will let them mature overnight and if any more are available for ICSI they will ICSI them tomorrow.

Sadly 29 is not the CCRM record for number of eggs retrieved. My nurse told me she remembers a young egg donor who had 73. So my 29 are not the record but we're still SO excited! :)

I'm under doctor's orders to rest today. Which is good news as I'm pretty sore. No complications with the procedure though. But plan to have a netflix marathon in the hotel room today. They fly back home tomorrow night.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Triggering tonight!

We're triggering tonight! At 11PM DH will give me a shot of Novarel to trigger ovulation. ER will be at 9AM Tues morning.

I haven't been asking my E2 levels -- I figure by not asking it's one less set of numbers to obsess about :) But it seems my level is high today as we're switching from Lupron to Cetrotide. I'll have one shot of Cetrotide tonight instead of Lupron. Then after my trigger shot, no more shots for this cycle. Exciting!

We're nervous and excited and nervous. Excited to see how many eggs, whether they fert, how many fert, how many make it to blast, how many if any are genetically healthy, etc. But scared that those numbers may be low. I'm also very sore today -- my ovaries must be huge as it hurts to sit today whereas in past days, the discomfort really only occurred when I walked. And I'm feeling nauseous tonight which I'm guessing is the increased E2.Wow, this paragraph sounds like a downer. I'm actually in pretty good spirits overall.

For today's fun outing, my brother, SIL and I (DH stayed in to do a bit of work) went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. They wheeled me in a wheelchair so I didn't have to waddle (my new walking style as it makes room for my eggies and thus I feel less pain) and feel pain with every step. We had a lot of fun and I was much more comfortable in my wheelchair :)

May trigger tonight

Just got back from today's u/s. The nurse thinks we may trigger tonight! Thank goodness - my ovaries are really sore today. Which isn't surprising -- in today's u/s they saw approximately 12-14 large follies on each ovary plus lots of little ones. So some of my little ones continue to catch up. I'm so curious to see how many mature and immature eggs they're going to retrieve. The range of sizes of the 16 largest ones (the ones they measured) was 16-20.8.

We'll find out later today if we're going to trigger tonight. If so, that would put ER on Tuesday. Which would be awesome bc we won't have to change our flight (currently scheduled for Wed) although we of course will change it if we don't trigger tonight and need to stay longer. I'll post when I hear from CCRM what the plan is.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

U/s went well today. Follies still growing at same rate. Ranging from 14-17.5 in size. Estimated ER now Wed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

4 more popped up

We had yet another u/s this AM. 4 more follies have caught up with the 11 that were ID'ed the first u/s as being the same size. So I have approx. 29 follies total, 15ish that are around the same size (which is 14-16 today). Still a few more days to go before trigger. I'm feeling much more bloated today and having an even harder time walking around. But it's all for a good purpose -- there's still a chance some of the smaller 29 might catch up. And even if they don't, having 15ish follicles at trigger ain't too shabby. My Rx is 75 Gonal-F tonight and 1 vial of Menopur tomorrow morning (and 5 of Lupron and same Dex as always).

In sight-seeing news, we went to Dinosaur Ridge today and took the bus tour of the dinosaur footprint fossils. Fun, interesting, inexpensive (only $4 per person for the bus tour! Such a bargain!) sight-seeing(with little walking involved).



We then drove over to Red Rocks Park.

After Red Rocks, we drove part of the Lariat Loop which was a gorgeous drive (and another free yet fun way to do some sight-seeing now that I'm not feeling up to walking around much). I definitely recommend it. We stopped at the Buffalo Overlook and drove around until we found more elk and a herd of buffalo. Very cool!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

29 follies!

Found out this afternoon that I have 29 follies!!! While not all of these may have eggs or have mature eggs by ER this is definitely great news. The more follies I have the more eggs they can retrieve which means the greater the likelihood that we'll have some that fertilize, make it to blast stage, and are genetically normal.

It also explains why I'm so uncomfortable already given ER is tentatively scheduled for Monday or Tues this week. My poor little ovaries must be so swollen with all these follies -- 13 on one side and 16 on the other.  I'm having a more difficult time walking around today than yesterday -- more pain with every step. And I feel like I need to waddle now -- I guess to make room for all those follies.

We had a genetic consultation today. They explained that CCS will take ~ 2 weeks to get results. PGD will take ~ 1 week. They will call us with results as they come in. Then I'll go on meds (estrogen and progesterone) to prep my uterus for transfer. They estimate that if ER is Monday 4/11 that we'll have the CCS results by first week of May and FET mid June.

I have another u/s and bw appointment tomorrow morning and will continue to have them every morning until ER to continue to monitor my progress. Meds doses have changed based on my amazing response. I'll be taking 75 of Gonal F tonight and 1 vial of Menopur (lupron and dex stay the same).

CCRM u/s appointment 2

DH arrived last night. We had our 2nd u/s appointment this AM. Follies continue to grow at good rate. They measured 11 today and they remain around the same size as each other (in the 10-13 range). We'll get results from bloodwork later today to find out if I need to change my meds (currently on 2 vials of Menopur, 150 of Gonal F, and 5 of Lupron). The nurse thinks I'll probably trigger on Sunday for a Tuesday ER. But this timeline remains tentative.

We've had a great time taking easy hikes around Garden of the Gods and Rocky Mt National Forest. I brought my heart monitor so I can make sure I don't get my heart rate over 140 (as per CCRM instructions re: physical activity pre-ER). But my hiking around days (even these easy hikes) are over. My ovaries are now so swollen from all my wonderful follies that it hurts to walk -- I feel a sharp pain with each step. Luckily we have found some fun looking drives and bus rides we will look into doing this weekend. I'll post info on them if/when we do them for my CCRM ladies who may want ideas of things to do in the Denver area.

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, & Garden of the Gods

Here are some photos of our stay at the Stanley Hotel which is located in Estes Park, north of Boulder and Denver. We stayed here Sun night. We went hiking around Estes Park Sunday and then hiking in the Rocky Mt National Forest Monday.
The Stanley Hotel - King's inspiration for The Shining

Although we didn't see any ghosts, we did see incredible views

Here's our first elk sighting -- a herd just on the side of the rode in Estes Park
Mule deer -- first spotted by us in Estes Park

On Tuesday, we spent the day hiking around Garden of the Gods Park.
Bullhorn Sheep that we spotted at the Garden of the Gods park

View of the Garden of the Gods while hiking around the park

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Candlewood Suites, Englewood, CO

As promised, here's some info on Candlewood Suites, the hotel we're staying at during our CCRM treatment. So far I'm very happy with this hotel. The staff have been very friendly and helpful. It's very clean and quiet (and for those who don't know me, I'm the lightest sleeper I've ever met and I've had no trouble sleeping soundly here). The 4th floor has the smoking rooms and smells strongly of smoke on that floor (I stayed on that floor 1 night before we went to the Stanley). Avoid the 4th floor if the smell of smoke bothers you. We're now staying on the 3rd floor and there's no smoke smell at all.

Also we are 5 minutes from CCRM. I left my room (not the hotel, my room) at 7:53 for an 8AM appointment and was at CCRM at 8AM exactly.

Here's what my room (a double queen suite) looks like:

It's small but has everything we need. Little desk that doubles as our dining table (and where I keep/administer my shots). TV with DVD player. Window air-conditioning/heating unit (no complaints). The closet is usual hotel sized. It comes with laundry basket for dirty clothes and includes iron and ironing board.






Here's the kitchen & bathroom. Kitchen comes w/ full-size refrigerator w/freezer, microwave, stove w/ 2 burners, coffee pot, dishwasher, & sink w/ garbage disposal. No oven. There is a toaster in the cabinet & you can rent a toaster oven. The freezer has an ice machine. It's very loud though so you may want to turn off at night while you sleep if you too are a light sleeper.
The room includes plates, bowls, glasses, a couple of storage containers for left overs, colander & silverware (incl. cutting knives,  spatulas, canopener). Also includes 1 skillet & 3 pots of various sizes. I've cooked a few meals & everything has worked fine.






The bathroom is small but functional. The water pressure and temp in the shower are both good. Comes with 3 sets of towels. As an fyi -- the rooms are only cleaned 1x per week for extended stays. If you need fresh towels in the meantime you can just get from the front desk.















In addition to the room, the hotel also has laundry room (free laundry -- you just need to supply your own detergent etc) and indoor pool and hot tub (for those who can use a hot tub). There is a small exercise room with elliptical machine, stationary bike, and maybe a treadmill. And a weight machine. I used it Sunday and I was the only person there. There is a TV in the room to watch while working out.

Overall, we're very happy here. My brother and SIL (who are in the room next door to ours) also really like it here and would stay in a Candlewood again after the experience we've had here so far. If all continues to go as well as it has here, we'll probably stay here again when we come back for FET. I recommend it to other CCRM ladies.

First ultrasound appt -- Best Response Ever

Had my first CCRM IVF monitoring appointment this morning. My nurse said that I am having the best response she's ever seen to stims! I have approximately 13 follies developing and this AM they were 8.5-10 in size. She said that was great because there are a lot of them (and it's still early on) and they are all around the same size so shoudl be ready for transfer aroudn the same time. The ultrasound person also commented that I had a lot of follies.

I also had my IVF physical today to make sure I'm healthy enough for anesthesia. After giving myself a menopur shot this AM then giving blood after my u/s to monitor my estradiol and progesterone, I also got a pin prick during the physical to check my iron. I truly felt like a human pin cushion today. But it was all worth it. I'm healthy (so healthy I'm almost boring according to the doc I met with which I'll take as a compliment) and the follies are responding and responding well.  

I will have my next u/s Thursday morning.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In Denver

Arrived in Denver safe and sound. Candlewood looks good so far. I will post pix later this week for those of you who may stay here for your Denver trips.

And I'm very proud of myself. I gave myself my first shots tonight. :)

to Denver

Today's the day. We had our first stims shot this AM. 2 vials of Menopur. And tonight I fly to Denver.

As a fun side note, my brother, SIL, and I will be staying at the hotel that inspired Stephen King's The Shining tomorrow night. Not only are we hoping to see some ghostly action, but it's gorgeous:

http://www.stanleyhotel.com/

Friday, April 1, 2011

Game On!

Great news! My estradiol level dropped to 46 (and needs to be below 50 for the cycle to continue) & there is no evidence of cysts! So we are a go for this cycle!!!

The only glitch is that this delay sets us back a couple of days. So I won't have my first u/s appt at CCRM until Tuesday. So I'll be in Co a few days more than I really need to be. But those days will be with my brother and SIL so it's all good. More time to play with them before the shots make it difficult to hike around. I will have to do a bit of re-arranging of things at work just in case I'm not out there longer than originally planned. But I think that should be doable.

I'll start stims tomorrow morning. I'll be doing Menopur in the mornings and Gonal F & Lupron in the evenings. The morning and evening shots need to be spaced 12 hours apart and need to be consistent. I'll continue with the Dex pills as well. All shots will be sub-q (i.e., in my belly). Getting ready to turn into a human pin cushion.

So glad this cycle didn't get canceled! Was starting to worry if I have some sort of curse that prevents me from actually going all the way through an IVF cycle. And now we're back on track to seeing whether they can even retrieve any eggs, whether eggs fertilize, whether they can grow to 5-day blasts, whether any are genetically healthy, whether transferred ones implant, etc. So much we get to learn!!!