Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 5 Report

Today is a first. We actually made it to the Day 5 Report. Dr. M. called us himself to deliver the news... which is not great, but not terrible either.

Out of the 5 embryos, 3 have arrested, and 2 are still growing. They are growing slowly, so we will not do a transfer tomorrow (which comes to me as no surprise). One is doing better than the other, and the other is "small with disorganized cells." Doc said that could mean the embryo is beginning to arrest, though we wouldn't know for sure until tomorrow.

Doc said he is hopeful that we will get one blast to freeze and do a FET in the future. He also said that he was surprised by how this cycle went after ER. He expected more eggs and more of them to be mature. To be honest, we are not surprised... the report he gave us is better news than we've ever gotten to this point. I am a bit disappointed that he is surprised by all this though.

The plan is to let our two embryos grow one more day and see how they do. Dr. M will call me tomorrow with the news. So we continue to be in limbo (which, again, is no surprise).

I said from the beginning, if we get one blastocyst it will be a miracle. We would be thrilled. That is still true. And as of that moment, there is still a chance for that to happen. Pleeeeeeeeeeease grow, embryos.

I have thought ahead a bit to figure out what we'd do if x, y or z happened. Actually...... I haven't thought about the option of no embryos too much because it's too hard. I'll deal with that if it becomes a reality. I'm trying to keep it all at bay for the next 24 hours and just believe in our two embryos.

Right now, I'm just so tired (poor sleep last night), and that's making it foggy. I'm going to try to get distracted again (which isn't working too well. I keep getting distracted from the distractions!!), and when my mind goes to our embryos, fill my head and heart with positive thoughts.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

One more sleep

It's the night before our Day 5 Report. Tomorrow between 9-12, we will get a call from an IVF nurse to either 1) schedule our transfer for Thursday, 2) tell us we are doing a freeze-all, or 3) tell us that our transfer is canceled in the event that we have no blastocysts. As you can imagine, we are nervous. And I mean we - John is noticably nervous too...

Can you blame us for being nervous given our history? If you don't know what I mean, go back to my posts from December... I will never, ever forget December 9, 2013. That is without a doubt the worst day of my life.

This time around, we are remaining positive (somehow!! Don't ask me how!!!), yet our hearts are still scarred and guarded from our past experience. This evening, I cleaned up all of the IVF meds. Usually, we keep them out and accessible, but incase things go bad tomorrow, I want them out of sight. We don't need any painful reminders laying around the house.

We also hung up the painting I made over the weekend. Meag & I took a painting class together. The painting of the day was a butterfly picture, and with Meag starting stims for IVF that day and the fact that her follies/embryos are nicknamed butterflies... Well, we had to go paint!!! Of course I added a ninja mask to mine :) And also made sure to paint five butterflies - one for each of our embryos.

How have I survived the past several days without ripping my hair out? My therapist gave me a few breathing and visualization exercises. I've also been doing Circle+Bloom. And my therapist told me to think of these 5-6 days as a marathon. I LOVED this idea as soon as she suggested it, and knew exactly how to do it. I usually think of a marathon in three segments (10 miles run with my head, 10 miles run with my legs, 10K run with my heart) so I assigned one segment for every two days. Right now, I'm at mile 19 so to speak. The fatigue has set in, but I know from experience that I'll survive. I just have to keep going and accept the pain for what it is.

I was chatting with a fellow Dreamer this evening, and made a list of reasons to have hope:
  1. New clinic, new doctor, new protocol 
  2. New clinic's embryology lab is among the best in the country
  3. No call yet, which according to our paperwork means we don't have any 'abnormal results' 
  4. Fellow bumpie with a similar IVF history switched to our doctor and is now pregnant
  5. Above bumpie also mentioned that 40% of her embryos made it to blastocysts
  6. Feeling any amount of hope, no matter how small, is better than feeling hopeless
As long as we have one blastocyst to transfer (fresh or frozen), we will be ecstatic. I'm laying down to sleep and my final wish and prayer of the day... You can guess it. Please, please, please...

And just for fun, and because JayTee is AWESOME, I leave you with this:

Sunday, February 23, 2014

My Feelings on Becoming a Mother

I have been diligently completing the Circle+Bloom Mind+Body Program for IVF/IUI. Currently, I am repeating the tracks for CD13+14 which are meant to be used between ER and ET. Following the body awareness and relaxation exercise, each track leads you through a guided visualization.

Today's visualization was to imagine yourself pregnant, then holding your baby, then watching her grow into a small child. The point of this was to identify how you feel. Do you harbor any negative feelings about becoming a mother? Any possible impediments that are blocking the process?

No, infact, I have no fears about becoming a mother aside from the possibility that I may not become one. When I visualize myself pregnant, holding my baby, hugging my toddler, nurturing my child, admiring my teenager, adoring my young adult... I am filled with so much gratitude and love, my heart could burst. I am so proud of how beautiful my child is. I see a beautiful person on the inside and outside, and it makes me so happy that I am brought to tears.

The program guides you to take those feelings and place them in your opened hand. Look at them nonjudgmentally from all angles. I see a small, glowing, purple heart. Then the program tells you that it is ok to keep those feelings outside your body. But that's not where I will carry mine. I placed it back inside of my heart, and point it towards our five embryos who are growing in a dish right now. I want to bathe them in this positive, loving energy.

Dearest Embryos,
     I pray that you are growing at this very moment into four perfect cells each. I pray that each of you has minimal fragmentation, and will continue to flourish over the next several days into perfect blastocysts. I pray that at least one of you is the child I imagined above. You hold so much potential within you. You are already a miracle and deeply loved by your mother and father. Please focus on getting big and strong, and remember that I am always here for you.

Love always,
Your Mama

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Day 1 Fert Report

9 eggs retrieved, 5 mature and 5 fertilized. Now we have to wait until Day 5 to get the next report. I will likely lose my mind before then! Please, please, please let them be dividing... With minimal fragmentation.

I made this!! So fun :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

IVF #3 - Egg Retrieval

I woke up this morning all excited like a kid on Christmas morning :) Today was ER day!! We managed to get out of the house and to the clinic almost on time. John did his thing, I encouraged him to eat breakfast (though he didn't), and after showers out the door we went.

When we arrived, we checked in. John had to drop off his cup at the lab, while I went down to the IVF suite. The nurse brought me to curtain 1 where I would be residing for a little while. She gave me some paperwork to fill out, and the most fabulous wardrobe (including a pink gown, blue robe, booties and a hair net). I spoke to the doctor and anesthesiologist, then the nurse came in to do my IV. Ugh, one of my least favorite parts. This nurse wins "Nurse of the Year" in my book. She was awesome and managed to get the IV in my arm and it barely even hurt!! That's a huge improvement from every other IV I've ever had to get (always in my hand... I still have a little scar from ER #2).

After emptying my bladder, I walked into the OR. The anesthesiologist was so funny! I asked the nurse which end of the table was for my head, and the anesthesiologist said that the hole in the table was the butt hole. HAHAHAHA!!! And the OR nurse ended up having the same name as me... that doesn't happen every day because our name is pretty rare. I was pretty excited about that! The anesthesiologist told me to pick out a good dream (I chose to dream about blastocysts!) and out I went.

I woke up in bed #1 and learned that we got 9 eggs! NINE EGGS :) We are thrilled!! The lady in the bed next to me got 34 eggs. I can't even imagine what it must've felt like to carry around almost 3 dozen eggs for the past week plus!

Now we are just praying that enough of our eggs fertilize so that we get at least one blastocyst to become our takehome baby.

Recovery wasn't so much fun. Anesthesia is not my friend. The anesthesiologist had given me some zofran, but when I tried to sit up I started to feel light headed. Usually, patients are cleared to go home within an hour of ER... it took me four hours before I was ready. They offered me an IM shot to help with the nausea, but at that point it was starting to get better. They were also about to do some acupuncture to help, but at that point I was ready to get up and see about getting home. I guess I'm just sensitive to anesthesia and I needed time for it to work itself out.

Now I'm home, John is waiting on me hand and foot (woohoo!!), and I have two of the best in-home doggie nurses in the whole town ;) I am expecting a call tomorrow to let me know of the initial fertilization report. Many prayers have already been said and many more are on the way!! I appreciate all the warm thoughts, dances, stickers, good vibes and prayers from all of you :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

IVF #3 - Follie Scan #4

I am losing my mind waiting for my nurse to call with instructions... I know with 99% certainty that I'm triggering tonight, but I've been obsessively checking my phone ALL DAY. It'd be nice to get my call... any minute now... tick... tock... tick... tock...

FINALLY!!! An hour later the phone rings :)


Anyways, today's follie scan was after 7 nights of stims, 1400iu Follistim, 105iu Low Dose HCG, and 155iu Lupron. Here's the result:

Lining: 7.1mm, type 1
Right: 7 follies above 15mm
Left: 3 follies above 15mm
E2: 2,929
Prog: 1.8


  • Tonight - Trigger at 8:20pm
  • Tomorrow -
    • b/w and u/s in the morning
    • John takes last Doxycycline at night
    • Cici - no food or drink after midnight
  • Friday - ER (arrival time 6:45am)

I had another cute doctor this morning for my u/s. I think they must stick all the young, cute doctors with early monitoring. Not complaining at all! LOL! John was not so entertained by my observations of the two cute doctors. HAHA! Oh, well!

The bloating is pretty significant. Thankfully it doesn't start to become really uncomfortable until the evening... like, right about now (5:00pm). It will all be worth it though!

It's crazy that about a week from now... we'll know. Either we'll get a shot with a blastocyst of our own, or we won't. I haven't paid any mind to how I will pick up the pieces if we don't get a single blast. I am very thankful that I have a session with my therapist tomorrow night. I know just what we'll be working on! I've spent the past six weeks shutting down any "what if" thoughts that went beyond the ER. Now the time is upon us, and I have no other choice but to face reality. I just pray it is a reality that I can handle.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

IVF #3 - Follie Scan #3

After 6 nights of stims (1,650iu Follistim, 90iu Low Dose HCG, 150iu Lupron), here's where we're at:

Lining: 7.0, type 1
Right: 11 follies (five 14-15, two 11-13, four 10)
Left: 8 follies (one 16-17, two 14-15, two 11-13, three 10)
E2: 2,277
Prog: 1.5

Instructions: same dose tonight (250iu Follistim, 15iu Low Dose HCG, 5iu Lupron), return tomorrow for monitoring.

I saw my doctor for monitoring this morning. He is soooooooo cute. I mean, completely adorable. Just the way he talks you through everything, "Ok, so let's take a look at the uterine lining now. We're just going to measure it here." So cute. I want to fold him up and put him in my pocket. LOL

Doc told me that there are eight follies in range right now, and possibly four more that could catch up. He said I'll either trigger tomorrow or Thursday, and my ER will be either Friday or Saturday.

I asked him what would happen if our embryos arrested... would we get a call before Day 5? Or would we have to wait for the final report? He told me that we'd actually have to wait for Day 6 for the report, but, "don't think so negatively. Think positive!" I replied, "I was just thinking history." He told me that he was happy with the way things were going now. He's so cute, so fine, I'll listen to him ;)

But seriously, it's getting harder and harder to shut down the post-ER fear. I was chatting with some Dreamers on FB chat, and I about had a panic attack. They're so excited that ER is getting so close... the thought makes me want to vomit. I mean, I know. There's no way to stop the clock, and I wouldn't want to do that even if we could. We have to march on, and the results will be what they will be. I have just been doing so well shutting down all of the post-ER thoughts. I truly haven't let myself go there. But soon... really soon... I'm gonna be right in the middle of it. Just the thought makes me sick.

::deep breath:: The one thought that is getting me through is that in a week plus, we will know. Either we will have blastocysts or we won't. And whichever it is, I know eventually we will find peace and happiness. I guess it's the process of working through it all that turns my stomach.

Monday, February 17, 2014

IVF #3 - Follie Scan #2

Five nights of stims behind me (1,400iu Follistim, 75iu Low Dose HCG, 145iu Lupron)... Here's the status:

Lining: 5.5, type 1
Right: 11 total (two 14-15, four 11-13, five under 10)
Left: 5 total (two 11-13, three under 10)
E2: 1,592
Prog: 0.8

Instructions: continue same dose tonight (250iu Follistim, 15iu Low Dose HCG, 5iu Lupron), return for more monitoring tomorrow

I'm feeling the beginning of the inevitable bloat. Injection sites are tender but no bruising. Tired and nauseous at times. Emotionally, I'm still shutting down any thoughts that go beyond ER. John tried to steer the conversation towards donor embryos yesterday... I don't know what his problem is!!! He seems to think that people out there are just aching to hand them out. I started to explain to him that is not the case, and then realized, hey wait a minute, we promised not to discuss this until after this cycle was concluded!! As soon as I called him out on it, he started laughing and backed down. Busted! LOL! He had to work this morning, but I have the day off. I found the fridge door wiiiiiiiide open ::head desk:: But he remembered to take his doxycycline this morning without any reminders, so we're letting him off the hook for that one! 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

IVF #3 - Follie Scan #1

Three nights of stims (300iu Follistim, 15iu Low Dose HCG, 5iu Lupron) and monitoring this morning:
  • Lining: 4.4mm, type 1
  • Right: 11 follies (one 11mm, ten under 10mm)
  • Left: 6 follies (all under 10mm)
  • E2: 461
  • P: 0.6
Instructions for the next two nights: 250iu Follistim, 15iu Low Dose HCG, 5iu Lupron

Return for monitoring on Monday.

I'm feeling things happen in my ovaries, especially the right side. It's putting pressure on my back, so I'm feeling a bit uncomfortable there. The joint pain from the Lupron is mostly gone (woohoo!!).

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day 2014 - I love my sweethearts more than I can say!

IVF #3 - Stimming

I've got a feeling that the stimming phase is going to go very fast and will be on the short side. I have always responded quickly to the meds, and with my doses up this high (300iu Follistim - let me tell you, that pen goes on for miles!!)... it's going to fly. I have my first monitoring appointment tomorrow, and I'm already feeling things happening in my ovaries. And on the other side of things, Dr. M said that we wants to make sure that we don't trigger too late. At the first sighting of a 17 or 18mm follie, he wants to trigger. If I go beyond seven days of stims, I will be floored.

I didn't actually get to speak to my nurse when she called on Wednesday with my instructions. I remember thinking, hmmm, she didn't say anything about when John should start his Doxycycline. And then it slipped my mind. I just called and, oops, yeah, he was supposed to start that already. ::eyes rolling so freaking hard:: The nurse told me it was ok for him to start it tonight or tomorrow and then stop it the night before my retrieval. I'm obviously annoyed by this, but trying to let it go.

I had some spotting yesterday... very unusual spotting. I'm chalking it up to the very, very weird period I had at the start of this cycle. *******WARNING: gross, TMI, skip past this if you are squeamish******* My period was dark brown almost black and thick. I mean THICK. It only lasted half a day, and seemed to come out of me in one big glob. SO GROSS. And the spotting was light brown and mixed with what looked like EWCM. Perhaps this is the Lupron messing around with my body. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


My poor car seems to be wearing the scars of our infertility.
  • Ding - someone's car door dinged the side of my car during IUI #1. I was in so much pain from ovulation, that I didn't even care when I noticed it.
  • Scrape - I scraped a parked car while turning out of the parking lot at work the day before beta for IVF #1. I knew it was a BFN thanks to my testing frenzy. I couldn't hold back the tears during my meeting, and kept my head down the best I could.
  • Nail - there was a nail found in my tire while I was stimming for IVF #2.
  • Smash - as I was pulling out of the parking lot at my clinic this morning, I smashed my rear bumper on someone else's parked car. Thankfully, their car was just fine. My bumper, not so much. I am officially all out of tears. Instead of crying, I just feel pissed off.
John & I went in to sign some consents and do some blood work for the study. I also had my baseline. The good news is that we are all set to start stims tonight. John pissed me off while we were signing the consents. He wanted to just sign and run to work, but I wanted the lady to check and make sure we didn't miss anything. He was breathing down my neck as I was reading. ANNOYING. I told him that I was going to put my pen through his eye. LOL. Then I backed my car into a parked car. Awesome!

Sunday, February 9, 2014


I am not allowing myself to think ahead beyond our egg retrieval. It's working. Maybe a little too well, because to be honest, I'm hardly thinking ahead at all. My mind is quiet and still about what might be.

We did decide to participate in the research study. At first I was a little reluctant to relinquish control, but now I feel relieved to know that it is entirely out of our hands. We don't have to think about what to do if x, y or z. The doctors will figure it all out, if there is anything to figure.

It's getting close to baseline time. Just a few days to go.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ONE MORE BCP!!!!!! And a Research Study?

Tonight after 9:03pm, I will be all finished with BCPs :D The countdowns go as follows:

11 hours, 37 minutes until the last BCP
6 days, 20 hours, 34 minutes until baseline
7 days, 11 hours, 37 minutes until stims

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

The Lupron is still giving me joint pain, but I'm dealing with it. The heating pad is helping my back and hips. My ankles are feeling it too, but it's a very dull ache that I can distract myself from pretty easily.

My clinic contacted me about participating in a research study with our current IVF cycle. The study will compare two different culture mediums (Sequential and Monophasic). After ER, our embryos would be randomly divided. Half would be cultured in the sequential culture medium and the other half in the monophasic culture medium. The benefit to us is that we'd get CCS for free. The drawback is that they would have control over how many and which embryos to transfer (this is assuming a lot... assuming we even get a blastocyst worthy of transferring!!). If we get one of each type, then they'd transfer two embryos. If we only get one of a kind, regardless if we have more than one of that kind, then they will only transfer one. I don't know what would happen with future transfers if we were fortunate enough to have frosties.

John & I will have to discuss this possibility. I am leaning towards saying no. I don't feel that we are a good candidate for this study. Why would they want to include us even knowing our history?? While the CCS is appealing, it is something that I don't think will benefit us much. I have a feeling we will get one blastocyst... we'll know soon enough if it is chromosomally normal after transferring it (if we make it to that point).

The truth is... I haven't been thinking past ER at all, and that is my defense mechanism through all this. By considering this study, I'm being forced to think ahead... I don't wanna do that!!! So anyway, I'll discuss it with John, but think it's gonna be a short discussion.

Monday, February 3, 2014

2014 9+1

I have officially started my year long journey to qualify for guaranteed entry to the 2015 NYC Marathon. There are a few ways you can guarantee your spot for the race (YES, there are actually more people who want to run than there are spots!! So you can't just register):

  • Run for charity - they expect you to raise over $2,500. If you don't raise enough, you don't get the spot
  • Run another marathon really, really fast - my age group would need to run a 3:20, which is never going to happen for me
  • Enter the lottery - let's face it. My luck stinks! I've applied to the lottery six times and have never gotten a spot this way!
  • Do the 9+1 program -in a nutshell, run 9 marathon qualifying races and volunteer at one over the course of a year. For more details, check out the NYRR website
I have decided to do the 9+1 in 2014 to earn a spot in the 2015 race. I did the 9+1 in 2012, and it was a long and tiring road to earn my spot for the 2013 race (which in the end, I couldn't run because I chose to do IVF instead). This time around, I anticipate that it will be harder. 

Who knows what life will bring in the way of our TTC efforts. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to get pregnant soon and do the bulk of my 9+1 while pregnant. The 2015 Marathon could be my comeback race!!! (I have goosebumps at the thought!!).

Or maybe we'll crash and burn through this round of IVF and decide it's time for 'alternative' methods to build our family. As much as that would be devastating to give up on a biological child, at least I'd be able to get my body back. I would use the 9+1 as an opportunity to build my endurance base back up. The 2015 Marathon would be a tune up race for my first ultramarathon!!!

I have no idea what's going to happen in the future, but one thing is for certain: I'm gonna try. And I'm gonna wear my Team FUIF jersey every single step of the way!! 


Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You've gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
You gotta get up and try try try

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Three nights of Lupron done. I feel joint pain, strangely enough only on my right side (hip, back, ankle). I am also extremely aware of my right ovary. And the little muscle in my right groin (the same one I injured in the 2010 Disney Marathon) is very tender and sore. All on the right side.

I may or may not have had a hot flash tonight. And I definitely woke up the past two mornings sweating my ass off.

Other than that, things are uneventful. Just chipping away at my countdowns. I am ready.