Saturday, September 18, 2010

Transfer Day

So, today was it....our transfer day! We had a different doctor perform our transfer Dr Sanfillipo-he was amazing! I was so pleased with his bedside manor. When Dr Sanfillipo came in we got the final result of our embryos-Of the five, three were mature. All three of the mature ones fertilized. Today we had two embryos come in at 6A (6 cells, quality A) and one at a 4B (4 cells, quality B). He said the 6A's were perfect (the B was still pretty good)! You can't get anything better than an A. The picture I have showing is what a 6 cell embryo looks like (this one is not mine). We had only planned on implanting 2/3 of the embryos-however, the 4 cell was not able to be frozen. The embryos need to be at least 5 cells. So, instead of discarding the embryo we decided to implant that one as well.
Once we made the decision to put all three in we went back to the OR and got prepped. It truly was one of the most amazing things I have every seen. They inserted a catheter then all of a sudden on the ultrasound you see three little white specs-my embryos. It truly was amazing-I was almost crying on the table.
I have been on bedrest allllll day-luckily Doug bought me lots of Grays Anatomy to watch and some chick flicks and my aunt brought over some amazing food for us....yum!!
Yesterday, Doug and I went to the Christian bookstore. I was casually going through the books when one caught my attention called How God Makes Babies. The first page I opened said this. "From the very moment the sperm and egg join together, so many details about the baby are already decided. If the baby is a boy or girl, what color her eyes will be, what color hair she will have, whether she will be tall or short, if he will have big feet, if she has freckles...and more." "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose. Jeremiah 1:5" Isn't that amazing! These embryos are only a few cells-but they have a sex, DNA....amazing!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Retrievals and Candless Birthday Cakes

Today has been a crazy day. A day of crazy highs and crazy lows. First, I finally made it to retrieval. I had to be at Magee by 7am-I had my surgery a little before 8am. All of the girls there were great. They took such good care of me! I was so thankful-my own doctor was the one to do my procedure. There are 3 physicians who perform IVF and they all have assigned OR days-so depending on what day you go in you may get another doctor. Dr Wakim is amazing-he is such a kind and gentle man. We were able to get 5 eggs/follicles. I was hoping for more-but 5 is better than 1. I will call in tomorrow to talk to the embryologist to see how may fertilized. I then go back on Saturday to get hopefully 2 embryos implanted.
It's been hard to be so excited for this procedure today-today would have been our twins first birthday. So instead of planning a big princess party or superhero party-I am planning surgery dates and implantation dates to try and get pregnant. Some days are much easier than others. There is never a day that goes by that I don't think about it-I am not sure if that is something that is going to change or not. But other days the feelings of grief are so overwhelming. Its like I am living those days all over again.
I am so thankful and lucky to have such a wonderful husband and family. Doug's mom brought us over a bunch of food this afternoon and my mom is on her way over with my fav salad from Mad Mex. My little Dunky Dog is another saving grace in my life. I swear he knows when I need him the most. When I got home from surgery today I ate my lunch-then he hopped up on the couch and snuggled as close to me as he could and we took a long nap together!
Say prayers for fertilization ladies and gentlemen!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Answered Prayers

During this journey through IVF we have prayed....a lot-for many different things. IVF is so different than trying to conceive naturally. When you just "try" to have a baby you don't think about all of the different "things" that go into creating a life-LH levels, E2 levels, progesterone, follicle size, time of ovulation, sperm count and motility and so much more.
The other day I got a call from one of the nurses basically saying that my ovaries were "underachievers." For someone my age they typically expect 10-20 follicles...I only had 3 viable. To even make it to retrieval you need 5. I was talking about this with one of my good friends at work and she really made me think about the differences between trying naturally vs ART (advanced reproductive technology). And I never really thought about it that way-I've never really known it any other way. Most couples just do their thing and surprise-9 months later you get a baby. On the reverse end of it-it can be a little more stressful-I know every little detail of my future baby's conception-I know every hormone level-I know every injection I take-I know how many follicles each ovary has-or doesn't have. I am so thankful for my friend bringing this to my attention because-knowing every single detail gets me so stressed and so anxious. I go to Magee every morning about 7 or 730 and get a call with results by 2-3 in the afternoon. That wait just kills me.
That conversation with my friend really made me realize that there is NOTHING else that I can do. I have gone to every appointment my doctor has asked me to. I have taken every injection on time. If my follicles are slow to grow-there's nothing I can do-It is in God's hands and that's where I need to leave it. And that's exactly what I have done the past few days. I had a pep talk with my ovaries. I said they need to shape up or ship out. Then I just prayed....and prayed and prayed and prayed. I prayed that the follicles would grow. And I am so happy to say that I got a good report today. 3 more mature follicle showed up on today's ultrasound!! Hopefully in the next few days a few more will show up. God can and will do amazing things when you leave your worries in his hands!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My stomach will never be the same again...

So, I have come to the conclusion that my stomach will never ever be the same again..I know I have no model physique or anything...but I have lost a lot of weight and I looked...O.K. Don't get me wrong... I don't want to be one of "those girls" who whines and complains that she can't get pregnant then, when someone is doing something to help her get pregnant she complains again. I am not trying to do that. I am just stating The Simple Facts of IVF. I am now into Cycle Day (CD) 9- and Day 5 of injectables. On Tuesday I started my Ganirelix-which shuts down the pituitary-so I don't ovulate on my we have that in the am. Then Repronex, which causes my ovaries to produce more eggs in the pm. So-as you can see by my picture my body is a little irritated with me. I have a rather large bruise on my lower left abdomen and some itchy red spots on the right side of my abdomen. What is harder to see in the picture is the size my stomach has ballooned out to. Seriously....I look like a blimp....I have had to pretty much pack up my clothes and resort to loose dresses and yes....stretchy pants! ;)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shoot Me Up Baby!

Shoot me up with the good stuff baby! Project IVF has commenced! My lovely box of baby making meds arrived the other day as you can see by the picture on the left.....lots of stuff to "shoot up with" Doug thoroughly enjoys the job of "shot giver!"
I go in on Saturday for my first appointment-baseline bloodwork and ultrasound. That night I will start "stimming." Which is just a fancy way of saying Ovulation Induction-I will begin to inject 225u of Repronex into my abdomen for approx. 10 nights to try to get my ovaries to produce as many eggs as possible. About 4-5 nights in I will start another injectable that goes into my abdomen that's called Ganorelix-that shuts down the pituitary glad-that will prevent my body from ovulating on it's own. After those 10 nights I will take another injection of HCG-the pregnancy hormone-that will prime the eggs- I will go in about 35 hours later and have a minor surgery and have my eggs taken out. While I am having surgery-Doug will give his "sample." They will then put his sperm into a centrifuge and spin out all the dumb sperm (the slow swimmers, ones with out tails, missing heads te he-I make myself laugh!) Then my eggs and his sperm get put together to make BABIES!!!!!!
3 Days later I go back in and 2 beautiful embies will be put back in my uterus....Then the fun part a Progesterone injections....That's right a 2 inch needle gets shoved directly into my boney butt for 2 whole weeks!