Eleven. (update)

That’s how many eggos I have sitting in a dish in a lab, hopefully getting their little selves fertilized.  I’m definitely pleased with the number–can’t go wrong with double digits. 


Today was a LOT of waiting….caught a 6:15 train to be in by 7:30, but was not actually on the table until 11:30 or so.  A LOT of waiting.  And of course…power went out again at home after the sitter arrived:  T left much later than I did (he didnt need to give his business until 9:30, which should have been a sign that it would be a long morning–still don’t know why they needed us all there at the same time!) and then he left when he was done to rescue our sitter from the cold, unpowered house.  I finished my book, looked around a million times at the people I “met” yesterday morning in pre-op (I always like to guess/make up their stories) and flipped through the pretentious pile of New Yorker magazines the waiting room is stocked with.  Not an US Weekly or even a Newsweek to be found.  Who wants to be cultured while sitting there for four hours?  Give me the gossip rags, tyvm…


Oh.  And they gave me someone else’s ID bracelet upon check-in.  After about an hour, I was sitting there, looking at it absentmindedly, thinking how weird it was that they put a nurse’s name and the dr’s name, but not my name…and then I thought it was weird they put the hurse’s birthday…(I was tired, okay?)  Turns out they had printed two of someone else’s.  Her husband and I joked about how rich we could have been if I had missed the mistake.  Pissed, but rich.


Will hear tomorrow about fert rates.  Tick tock, tick tock…


UPDATE: Not worthy of its own post…but received call today that all 11 were mature, and 10 fert normally and naturally(ummm…naturally?  ha.)  While this sounds like amazingness, I have always had a pretty swell fert rate.  It’s how they look later on…and the fact that they don’t want to hang out in my utes for 9 months that is the problem.  Nurse said it will be either day 3 or 5…which perplexed me, for I thought my Dr wanted to return to “what worked” when I got preg with P–and that was a day 3.  Also, thought he specifically said that cocultured embryos were only transferred on day 3.  Bueller?  Anyone?  Me, I’ll do what he recs…but I’m so hesitant to just transfer two.  We have been doing two over and over and over and over…….and nothing.  We find out Wed morning if we go in Wed, or if it is Fri.  Nothing like waiting til the last minute!

Sometimes, it just isn’t easy.

Where to start?  Yesterday we lost power here.  It happened early afternoon, and when I called the electric company, I was told the problem was noted and would likely be fixed by 8pm today (Saturday).  No power=no heat (and of course, no tv…) so I decided last night that we would all schlep over to a hotel if it wasn’t on by late evening.  Without power I couldn’t look up local hotels, so while on the phone with my dad, the IVF nurse called and left a message saying to discontinue all meds and take the Hcg at midnight.

I think I dropped the phone.  Wthedgehog?  Last I knew, my follicles were too small and I had at least another day of stims.  Also, at this point, I hadn’t yet given all my blood for the coculture.  And of course, the message was left after office hours, so I placed a call to the service, only to be told I’d be called back between 730 and 8pm.  Fast forward through packing for three by candlelight (while one lies face down on the rug, screaming bloody murder for some reason I can’t even remember now.) and we are at the hotel, it’s 8:45 and I haven’t yet heard from the doctor.  So I call back.  Play up the no-power thing.  And someone calls back in less than 15 minutes.  Apparently, it is fine to give the blood with the hcg…and the doctor was also able to help me understand why I triggered so early–it seems my E2 was plateauing a bit, and the worst that can happen is an E2 that dips down, so instead of risking that, they had me trigger.  This morning at my preop ultrasound, he told me that Corn.ell triggers patients much earlier than other places–they usually trigger between 16 and 18.  My largest this morning had grown from about 16.5 to 18, so that was reassuring.

Trigger shot: 12am.  Bat Mitzvah ending in our hotel: 12am.  Lots and lots of happy people swarming our halls, talking in outdoor voices until about 1.  5:08, cue alarm clock, so the three of us could get in the car by 5:30 and get down to the clinic for 6:30 start. 

(Lots of time somehow passes between leaving the clinic at 7:45 and 1230pm…though all I rememeber is a stop home to pick up bathing suits for a swim in the hotel pool with P, swimming in the hotel pool with P, and then cleaning up P after I let him eat his lunch naked on a towel in the hotel room.  Nudity +applesauce+spoon=a very fruity lower half.)

Got a call from a neighbor who had just stopped home to let us know her power was back on.  We packed up our junk, got in the car, and headed home.  Stopped off at our favorite deli for lunch.  As soon as we shut the door behind us, the power goes out.  We are cursed, I am thinking.  After about a minute, the lights come back on…and so does the radio.  And who do you think is singing to me right then?  Yep.  You guessed it. 

(So I start to cry a bit.  I take P next door to look around the card store instead of standing there crying my eyes out…and wouldn’t you know.  Playing there too.)

I said to T–either this past week has been God’s way of telling us to keep fighting for this–or God’s way of telling us to let it go.  Still not sure which it is…

Getting Closer…

We have at LEAST two feet of snow on the ground.  Perhaps more.  I have never missed California as much as I do right now!  This morning T shoveled the driveway, telling me I could “make my own decision” about my own shoveling, since I forgot the ask the doctor when he requested that I ask (read:  he doesn’t think I should shovel.  You know– A few lifts of the shovel could knock all the eggs out and they’d be lying there in a pile after snaking down my velour pantleg and over the top of my boot…).  This drives me eff-ing crazy.  But whatever.  So I cleaned off the car and got P ready to go.  We left around 8:30 to drive the 25 minutes to the burb clinic (couldnt go to the city–my car suucks in snow, and besides, there were hour-long delays on our train line due to fallen trees).  So.  Made it there in an hour, family in tow.  It seems I am close to trigger, but not quite there yet.  My biggest one today was 16.5.  Lining was 11.2, I think (yesterday, it was over 12.  When I asked why the change…he said it all depends on the dr that measured it, but that he was very precise.  Ha)  Again, I find that Corn.ell does some different stuff when it comes to measuring.  They really only scout around up there for the biggest ones, and then kind of include the others in a giant +10 grouping.  I’m not sold on the fact that it’s trigger tomorrow…16.5 seems a bit small still, wondering if they’ll push to Sunday night.


I’ll find out in a few hours what happens tonight, but I’m guessing same dose (187.5/150/ganirelix), with a trip into the city tomorrow morning, to get the last tubs of blood drawn for the co-culture as well as the regular bw/us.  E2 yesterday was 1005, the day before it was 725 or something, and the day before that, in the mid-five-hundreds.  Guessing today it is about 1219 (approximately…).


Also…had a minor meltdown after reading the new SART data for 2008, and saw that my old clinic had a 10% greater success rate for peeps in my age group than my current one.  Thanks a bazillion to my bud Ginger who talked my crazed, hormonal self through my doubts.  We’re at the best place for us right now.  That’s all there is to it.


On the drive home today I said to T, Wouldn’t it just be so great if this one worked?  Because you kind of lose sight of the end-game while going through it all, especially after this many times.  As T says, it’s like we plan to have our lives really suck for a few weeks at a time, and perhaps, just maybe, there is something good that happens when it is over.  I can’t even begin to really imagine what that would be like right now…


How is that Monday was only two days ago?  It feels like a year ago.  Or at the very least, four days ago.  This morning I went up to the burbs to have the ultrasound and the bw, leaving P with my friend at 7:15.  Thank you a million K (if you know, I ever let you know I write this.  lol).  The weather was nasty and apparently will be getting nastier.  Why oh why didn’t I get new tires before this winter began?  Crimeny.  So the tech said I was not close to ready–the follicles were measuring around 12mm.  Umkay.  So they were between 10 and 11 on Monday, and now are just at 12?  On Monday afternoon they dropped my Gonal dose from 450 to 300, and then yesterday dropped it further to 225.  So that would explain the slow growth.  But why, I ask?  I mean, if he was confident on Monday that I would be likely retrieving this weekend…why slow things down?  Is there something about the EPP that I don’t know about?  I am NOT on target for retrieving this weekend–I put my money on Monday.  T will be away on business Mon and Tues, so we have a nice tray o sperm into the freezer to use if/when necessary (if only it were that easy—instead it is 850 bucks.  I swear…why couldn’t we just chuck it in a ziploc and put it next to the tortelloni soup in my own freezer for a few days?)


So why the slow growth?  My stomach has no more roooooooooom (said in an extremely annoying whiny, whiny voice) for three shots a night for the next three to five more nights!  I guess I will find out in a few hours when they call…


(as for Miley…I’m driving home in the slush, mad as heck for feeling duped about my follicle growth and triggering potential, just feeling fed up, feeling like I’m just going through the motions for something unattainable, feeling tired, feeling uuuugly…and then I hit one of the five presets, and There.She.Was.  Reminding me to climb up the friggin mountain.  It did help with the perspective, I admit.  So again.  I write about it.)

Cycle #4 (or 5, or 7, depending on how we count)…Ultrasound #1 (UPDATED)

After a glorious Sunday morning we didn’t have to wake in the dark to get to the dr…I woke at 5:20 this morning (getting better at getting out fast!  maybe I should get myself one of those city jobs and be a commuter).  I was lucky to see my own dr this morning for the ultrasound.  He measured five at about 11 mm, and said there were a bunch “just under 10″ that will likely be available come retrieval.  We’ll hear back today b/t 4 and 7 about dosing for tonight, if I add the Ganirelix, and if I need to come in tomorrow or Wed morning.  Here’s the crazy catch–he told me that we would likely be HcG-ing in a couple days, with a retrieval likely over the weekend.  WTFudge?  That seems reaaallllly quick.  We were predicting a retrieval Mon or Tues…could we be wrong?  I mean, we’ve done this seven times, Dr IVF has done it what….seven thousand?  Hrm.  Who do YOU put your money on?


Also:  Any ideas how one gets into NYC by 7am with a two year old to consider, no family that lives remotely close by to help out, and a husband who needs to be on a 5:30 am flight that morning to Boston?  Wednesday morning could prove to be verrrrry tricky.  I can’t imagine dropping P off at my neighbor’s at 545 am…and I can’t imagine bringing him into the city for monitoring with me (people have done this there…but those babies are BABIES…P is not.  But he was.  Back…when we started…sigh…not focusing on that.  Focusing on this.  Focusing on NOW….)  So.  Just waiting to see where we go from here!


Update:  Start Ganirelix tonight.  Decrease Gonal F from 450 to 300, stay on 150 Menopur.  Bloodwork only tomorrow (yay, up to the burbs instead of the city!  One more hour of snooze time!  I’m already tired…and it’s only Monday.) with next ultrasound Wed or Thurs.  E2 was only 316, but the nurse said that is standard for an EPP cycle, that the number dips and then surges.  Glad she clarified, or I would have been worried!

Argh. (and a not-so-argh-update)

I woke at 5:15 this morning, to catch a 6am train into Grand Central, walked the mile to the clinic, and was right on time for the 7am start.  Apparently, however, I can arrive before 7am and get in earlier.  Sweet.  How much earlier can I wake, I wonder?

So.  The question of Has it Started or Hasn’t It still haunts me.  The ultrasound showed some a great number of antrals–maybe 14 to 16 total?  But.  My lining is 8.6.  You know, the number they shoot for AFTER you’ve stimmed and are looking to transfer.  So what the hell?  My uterus is definitely working, but at a very very very very slooooow pace.  This is what I have been trying to explain to the nurses, but they don’t seem to be getting it.  Usually, this is how things go:

I cramp for a week.  Then a start to spot about a week after cramping begins.  Very faint spotting that hours later becomes Hey!  It’s Me!  I’m Here!  That energized greeting lasts for about a day and a half, and then it tapers down and down, and is virutally gone by day 4 or 5. 

This time:  Hey! It’s Me! I’m Here!  No….wait….I’m not.  Wait!  Yes I Am! No….wait….I’m not.  Or am I?  Or arent I?  Or am I?   There was no continuous cramping, no definite starting point.  So alas, my confusion.  As well as the doctor’s, it seems.

I now wait until between 4 and 7 tonight to find out what happens next.  Do I a)start the stims tonight, b)do another night of ganirelix and add another patch and go in for another ultrasound in a day or two (yay another 5am start!)?  The doctor assured me that if my blood results were normal this does not indicate a need for a cancelled cycle (and since my AFC was nice, he anticipates a low FSH), perhaps just one put off for a few more days.  After all, I wasn’t expecting AF until tomorrow…but my body never does what is expected (when will I learn that?)


UPDATE: nurse called, it’s a go ahead tonight for the stims.  450 Gonal F, 150 Menopur.  Back in Sat morning for bw.  Of course, I was so stunned by the news I didn’t think to ask what any of my numbers were or why it was okay to go ahead if the doctor this morning had shown some concern…oh well!


IVF Fresh Cycle #4, For Baby Number Two, Commences.  (cue NBC’s Olympic coverage intro-music here…)

So ridiculous, I couldn’t even make this stuff up…

Where to begin?  I’ll start with the wedding this weekend.  It was nice to see my husband’s family–and we had a good time.  Was it a little overwhelming (at first) to see two cutely pregnant sisters there?  Yep.  But they were lovely and sweet and of course they love me just the same, even if I’m not pregnant.  They had nothing to do with the Unfortunate Wedding Incident, however.

Picture it: me, in my regular, non-pregnancy dress, just being happy for my sisters while trying not to think about my own empty utes.   I was instead just busy being happy for their good fortune, and enjoying a night in the city with my husband.  The ceremony is fine, the cocktail hour fine, and then we arrive at the reception location. 

 I am standing in between my inlaws, watching a few people gettin jiggy with it on the dance floor, waiting for the wedding party to be announced.  A very well dressed older woman comes over, and my mother in law introduces her as the grandmother of the groom.  I in turn introduce myself, and then she says, very loudly (both because she is old and because the music is very loud) “And you’re NOT pregnant” (clearly referencing the other knocked up family members). To my ears, it seemed to come out very, very, slowly from her lips….aaaaannnddd youuuuuu arreee nooooooottt preggnnnantt.

I cannot fully describe what happened to my insides.  I am pretty sure any emptiness I had already been feeling just stretched wide open, and my insides went numb and hollow.  I smiled, and said very clearly (wistfully?), “No.  I’m not pregnant.”  My inlaws then attempted to jump in with, “She has a wonderful two year old at home!” “He is such a joy!” “She and T have such a great little guy!”  And I stood there, perfectly still, and tried to say a few more things about whatever else I could think of (not much). 

When she left, I counted to five mississippi’s in my head, and then turned to my father in law and said I was going to find the restroom and would be right back ( I was smiley and upbeat.  I swear it!).  I ran into T out there, and at the sight of him my eyes welled up and he pulled me aside, surely there was some incident with the Pregnant Duo that upset me.  I tearfully explained everything, promising I would be fine as soon as I recounted everything…and I really was.  We went back in, and I was about to make a joke about it to my in-laws, when my father in law grabbed me, hugged me, apologized profusely, and wiped his eyes over and over.  Holy crap.  Known the man for eleven years, and had never seen him cry until this moment (he had consumed numerous martinis at this point which I am sure added to his emotion…but still).  He also later called me “His Hero” (Imagine my surprise to see him upright and hangover free the next morning!)

Seriously.  That is the kind of scenario that you sorta-imagine would happen when you’re envisioning Interacting With the Pregnant World, but then common sense tells you it never would…and then it does…?   I forgive Grams her stupidity because 1)she is old, and old people say very very stupid things.  I plan on taking advantage of that myself in 50 years, 2)in her oldness she must also be blind because my dress was in no way one that could be confused with a pregnancy dress, and 3)she is A Stranger Who Hasn’t A Clue.


Okay.  So on to Part Two .  We had relations this morning, and soon after there was some bright red blood.  Assumed it was from relations, or relations-plus-coculture-leftoverness, or a combination.  But the bright red spotting has continued.  So is this day 1?  I never have bright red immediately.  I don’t start my cycle this way…it’s more gradual.  I decide to call my nurse after a few more hours of this.  She is OUT of the office today.  Of COURSE she is.  And the message says to call the other number only if there is an emergency.  Is this an emergency?  Mmmm…don’t think so.  But if it is day 1, that means this cycle was 25 days (nurse did say the coculture might cause my period to start earlier).  Luckily, I came across the paperwork for the Priming Protocol, and it states that if I get my period prior to finishing the Ganirelix (last night was only shot one of three), I needed to finish the shots before coming in to the office.  So.  I will just check out the situation down there for the rest of the night and then call the office in the morning, but I will not be trying to fight through the morning snowstorm to get to the train at 6am to get in for the monitoring. 


T is always telling me, “It’s always something with you.”  It drives me nuts, but I guess he’s right.  I mean, REALLY, Grandma So-and-So and My Body?  You couldn’t make this eas(ier) for me?  I’m thinking then, that Wednesday is Start Day.  We’ll see (also, this early arrival now puts us likely dead-on for the huge meeting T has down South once a year and can’t miss…so we will likely be freezing some dudes, I’ll likely be HcG-ing my own rear…).  It’s always something…but maybe confusion and oddness on this end will mean babies on the other.

All Cultured-Up and Ready to Go.

This morning was the co-culture “uterine scraping.”  He also did the sounding to measure my utes for the potential transfer early next month.  The entire procedure was over in about…six minutes.  Maybe less.   Did it hurt?  Yes.  Was it excruciating?  No.  And I do believe I don’t have the greatest of tolerance for being pried open and then poked up at.  But I did it.  It was a BILLION times better than what I thought.  Just some really short intense cramping, and to compare it to the HSG, it was more intense and more localized.  I think the HSG is more of a tight, pinchy feeling while it is being done, and this was more a shooting cramp one.  However, nary a tear welled up in my eye(s), and I was up and getting dressed as soon as the dr shut the door.  I have had a small amount of residual cramping, but really, nothing to write about (though I just did….)  Would I do it again?  Yep. 


My medication situation was a bit touchy for a while–my insurance has a special prescription plan that is headquartered in TN, and the original ship date was last Friday.  Well, snow down south made that impossible  (Ahhh!  Snow in the South!  The world is ending!).  And of course, the company couldnt get its act together to meet the next scheduled date, which was this past Tuesday.  And then on Wed I received a call that they couldn’t meet the newly scheduled date of Thursday (yesterday), due to The Snow Dump here in the East.  I told the poor representative on the phone (and I quote)…”I am a psycho infertile woman.  I need the Ganirelix by Saturday.  I cannot not have it.  What are you going to do to make it happen?”  A few hours later, she had called my nurse (love her, btw…never met her…but love her) who in turn called a local pharmacy about 15 minutes from my house, and I was able to pick up part of the meds yesterday and the rest today.  So I am ready to go.  Let’s hope the FSH stays nice and surpressed when I go in for a Day 2 start sometime mid to end of next week…and we get this cycle on track.  Patch on tomorrow, then GanirelixGanirelixGanirelix, change the patch every 48 hours, get a period…then, Go Time.  In my bones, I feel like this is going to be my last try, success or failure.  (Sidebar: we have begun filling out the adoption paperwork and are looking to have that all completed in the next month or two).  I just don’t know how much more of this my marriage can handle…and while this is my One Lone Dream, I understand that at some point, it may have to be sacrificed for the good of my family.  I don’t want to face that quite yet, but I can only stick my head in the sand for so much longer…


On tap for the weekend: Tomorrow evening is a family wedding where I will be chilling with my 23ish weeks pregnant sisterS-in-law.  But I’m feeling good about it.  And strong.  (whispering to myself repeatedly for the next 24 hours…Good and strong, good and strong, good and strong…)

Cycling with the Stars

So.  Today I went in to “the city” for some bloodwork–wonders of wonders, I made it off the waiting list, and I’m scheduled for my co-culture this upcoming Friday.  They needed to take a nice vat of blood (ok, a few large vials) for the co-culture medium, and it is easier for me to head into the city on a weekend than to go twice during the week.  First, must say…holy packed waiting room.  I have never cycled at a place this…enormous.  Seriously.  It was more crowded than church.  But all said, it was just over an hour.  Now I don’t have to go back until Friday for the procedure (ouch ouch ouch), and then I don’t go back until cycle day two, which should be in about a week and half.  And then, if all looks good blood/ultrasound-wise, I begin injections that night.  For some eeenoying reason, this office “prefers” I use the Gonal F pen.  I LOATHE the pen.  Especially since I’ve usually been mixing the Gonal F and the menopur, therefore only needing one shot…but I was told Dr. IVF “prefers” the pen.  So I shall do the pen.

As for the title of this entry…T and P came with for the drive this morning, and after they exhausted the nearby bagel stores/drugstores/cruising the streets for free parking, they were waiting down in the lobby (I try not to bring P to appointments when it can be helped–for my own sanity and stress level, and of course, out of courtesy for the other patients).  T said they were running around, and then a woman in big sunglasses came down the elevators, flanked by three large men in black.  She smiled at my two guys, and T thought, “Is that…?”  but he wasn’t certain, until he watched the entourage exit the building and get into a waiting black suburban.  Yep.  He confirmed it to be C.eline Di.on.  Of course, this makes sense.  She’s certainly in the news for her own struggles.  I didn’t catch a glimpse myself–perhaps I already had a needle attached to my arm, or, more likely, they went out some super-secret way.  So here I am.  Cycling with the star.  Money may bring people a lot of things, but it doesn’t seem to bring them everything, does it?