Sunday, January 29, 2012


As stated in an earlier post, Owen loves to be naked. This is becoming a problem... Recently, he has learned how to work zippers. I didn't realize just how capable he was becoming until Friday morning when Miles went to get Owen out of bed to find him like this:
(And yes, I do put my son in pink, pig pajamas.)

Kind of funny, and not such a big deal, right? Well, last night before going to bed I went in to check on Owen. I knew he would look nothing like he did when I laid him down since we heard him jibber jabbering away in there for an hour and a half after we put him to bed. But I certainly did not expect this:Owen successfully unzipped and undressed himself from his pajamas. I guess he was so bound and determined to be "nay-nay" (naked), that nothing was going to stop him. He's such a stinker! I guess I should just be glad that his diaper was still on. I was afraid he would get cold in the night, so I redressed a very tired and floppy Owen, only this time in footie pajamas that had a snap over the top of the zipper hoping this would deter him. Well...I guess it didn't work, because Miles said when he went in to get him in the morning, sure enough, he was nay-nay! Let's just hope this fetish goes away before he starts preschool.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

IVF: Frozen

I got a call from the embryologist yesterday. He informed me that the two embryos they were observing seemed to grow well and they ended up freezing them. He said they looked similar to the ones they implanted on Sunday, but they're just a day behind. I asked about the other embryos. Between his Australian accent, the fact that he was taking fast, and using technical explanations, I didn't get a whole lot out of it. Basically, I think he said that a couple were "blasts" (blastocysts) but that they had poor formation and "wouldn't turn into babies." He also said the others weren't good and said something to the effect of "the fragility of creating human life." I mean...totally understandable, right? It's so amazing and incredible that they have this technology and that it *works* already. Not to mention that you can *freeze* life?! It's kind of mind-blowing to think about these little embryos being put on "hold" until we're ready to see if they will make babies for us. Simply amazing.

In other news, I've had more insurance frustrations today. I got a call from RCC billing stating that my insurance denied a claim. WHAT?! Yeah. After the preauth they gave RCC and sent to me in the mail, they are denying claims. So annoying. Miles spent a fair amount of time calling the insurance company dealing with it. On one claim, apparently they thought I had dual coverage (which I don't) and denied it based on that. Miles corrected them and told them to take the other insurance off. And I guess the deal with the medications is that there is a limit (even though I called about this earlier to confirm there was no limit) on how much Bravelle you can get. They said it is 40 vials and I had already received 45. They wanted to have my doctor talk with their doctor to explain why I needed more. Again...very frustrating since I obviously needed and used every bit of medication for my cycle. Obviously every person is different and you never know how they will react to the stimulation medications, so it's absurd for them to pick an arbitrary number and decide that is all you need. Ugh. My nurse, Katie, called and confirmed with me the total I had used (about 52-53 with two partial vials left in the fridge) and said she would call to get it taken care of. Again, I know I shouldn't be upset. I mean, the fact that my insurance is covering this at all is A-MAZING. And I am SO SO appreciative. But it's just frustrating to deal with kinks like this in the middle of it all and worry that there will be bigger problems or that they will not follow through with your coverage. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with insurance companies.

Besides that, I'm feeling good. I think I'm pretty much over my flu and feel stronger than I have in the past few days. I think about those little embryos floating (actually, hopefully *sticking*) inside of me. I'm anxious for the next 9 days to pass without any problems or complications and take a blood test to give me more reassurance. I just have to keep having faith, be patient, and know that whatever the outcome...we will be ok. I have a beautiful little boy that lights my life with so much joy. I have a wonderful, understanding husband. I have a warm, safe home to live in. I have all of my needs (and many of my wants). I am so blessed. And on top of all that...I have two "maybe babies" in the oven and two in the freezer! Life is good. :D

Also...if you have any interest, I found this random article online about a study done comparing births between fresh and frozen embryos. Kind of interesting.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

IVF: Day-3, Day-5 & Embryo Transfer

I'm a bit behind on my IVF updates because I didn't do a post on Friday and was sick all day yesterday. Sorry for those who have been wondering.

On Friday, Katie called me in the morning to give me the embryo report. She said that on day-3 they want to see 8 cells. They grade their quality from excellent to poor with most typically falling in the good to fair range. This was the breakdown of our 9 embryos on day-3:

2 - 8 cell good
3 - 8 cell good- (minus)
1 - 9 cell good
1 - 5 cell fair
2 - 4 cell poor

She said based on this report they wanted to grow them out to day-5 to see which ones come out the strongest and if any come up from behind. She said that the 5 cell embryo could jump ahead, but it was unlikely that the two 4 cells would and that they would most likely just fall behind.

Katie said to come prepared for the transfer on Sunday morning. She said to arrive at 8 AM for an 8:30 AM transfer. She told me to come in comfortable clothing with a "filling bladder." She also said they would be giving me Valium to calm nerves and relax my uterus. I was pretty happy with our day-3 results and excited to see how they would continue growing on day-5.

The next day I woke up at two in the morning feeling totally nauseous and awful. This continued all night long and I was finally able to force myself to throw up in the morning. Of course I was terribly concerned about how this might impact our transfer day. I stayed in bed in the fetal position sleeping on and off most of the day. I called RCC to talk with a doctor about whether or not I could take Zofran to help with the nausea and what we should plan for the next day. He assessed my situation to make sure it wasn't hyper stimulation problems due to the egg retrieval. He said it was ok to take the medication and to plan on coming in the next morning and decide based on how I was doing whether or not we would do the transfer then or extend to the next day (which is not optimal).

Around 5 PM, Kerry came by with the Zofran. She was headed to a Robert Burns dinner where Matt had a part in the presentation and I was supposed to attend with her for her birthday. We were both really sad that I wasn't able to go with them. :( But I am so grateful she brought the medication because within 30 min to an hour, I was feeling well enough to drink more liquids and eat 4 saltine crackers. Woo hoo. I am incredibly grateful for all the prayers, virtual hugs, positive thoughts and fasting (thanks Mom) because one Unisom (thanks to my friend and neighbor, Meri) and 9 hours of sleep later, I felt much improved in the morning (oh, and 7 lbs. lighter too).

Also, I need to give some praise to my husband in here for being so amazing to take care of both Owen and me yesterday. I was a stinky mess, and Owen was crying/screaming all morning long because he knew I was home, but he couldn't "have" me. He's such a mama's boy and was so sad I wouldn't hold him or play with him. I felt terrible for both Miles and Owen. Our friend, Bridget, relieved Miles for about an hour and a half in the afternoon by letting Owen come over for a play date. After that, he seemed to be much happier.

This morning I was so happy to be feeling well enough to take a shower and get out the door to our appointment. We dropped Owen off to Carly's at 7:20 AM and headed up to Sandy in the icy snow. (Yay! It *finally* snowed!) When we arrived, our doctor pulled up right after us. I was happy to see him and said, "You came!" He had mentioned that he was going to a youth conference this past weekend and might be back late Saturday night and could possibly be there for us for a Sunday morning transfer. I wasn't planning on it, so I was happy to see him. It was also very nice considering that he had a very limited window of time to be there and only came in for us. :)

He brought us back and said that the embryologist was running late due to needing to change his tire this morning. Since he didn't have the day-5 report in front of him, he talked hypothetically with us and what we wanted to do in terms of how many embryos to transfer. We said we wanted to transfer two if available.

Luckily, the embryologist arrived shortly thereafter. The doctor had me take my Valium while he went over the report with us. I don't feel like I got a really good understanding of what happened to all 9 embryos. He explained a lot of technical things about each stage of embryo development and "morulas" and "stage 3" and when it breaks out of the shell, etc. I decided to look some things up about this. I found this site, which tells a lot about each stage of embryo development and kind of makes my head hurt. Here are some pictures from that site of excellent embryo development.
Anyway...what I gather from what he said is that we had two embryos that looked pretty good. Both were blastocysts (what they want) with one being further along than the other. He also said we had a couple that weren't as far along (morulas, not blasts) that they would like to grow out until tomorrow to see if they will turn to blastocysts and be worth freezing. I think when they call tomorrow to let me know about those two, I'll ask Katie for a broken down, layman's report on all the 9 from yesterday.

Here is a picture of the two that were transferred today. Since we named our embryos last time, we had to name them this time as well. We went with Dusty (he said it's the size of a speck of dust) and Potato (Miles says it's for "scalloped" potatoes - you know, the scallops around the edges). Dusty is on the left, Potato on the right.
As compared with the two from last time. These were named BOB (Blast-o-baby) and Pepper (for being the size of a pepper flake). Pepper is on the left, BOB is on the right.
By the time the nurse came in to get us, I was feeling the Valium take effect and was quite woozy and dizzy. I don't remember it affecting me as much last time, but I'm sure that had to do with being dehydrated and not eating more than 8 crackers within the previous 30 hours. Here is a picture of Miles and I while I was laying down on the bed keeping warm under blankets while waiting to go into the OR for the transfer.

The transfer went well. We saw them suck up our two embryos from the dish and watched on the monitor as they were shot up inside my uterus. You can't really see them individually, but you can see the liquid as they go in. Then the embryologist (with an awesome Aussie accent) checked to make sure they didn't get stuck on the side of the catheter. They didn't, so we were all good. I rested in the room for about 15 min or so. We talked about the possibility of twins. While it's daunting, we would of course be ecstatic. Although if the embryos split and we got triplets or quads...oh heaven help us! In all reality, we would obviously take whatever we are blessed with. At this point...we're just hoping for one. :) After a bit, we got ready to go. Let me just say...that Valium is practically like sedation on me. I was so dizzy and could hardly stand on my own. I guess I'm a light-weight when it comes to drugs.

The nurse gave us our instructions. She told me that bed-rest is a strong word, but to basically take it easy today and lay around. I was obviously more than ok with this, especially since I was still recovering from being sick. Poor Miles was in for another day of care-taking! She said to keep exercise to a minimum for the next couple weeks and just do light activity. I am supposed to return for a pregnancy blood test on Feb. 2, but I'll be in CA. So she gave me a script for it so I can still get the results and not have to wait.

I went home and have been sleeping and mostly laying around (and playing with my baby since yesterday I hardly saw him at all and missed him so much) today. Now is the long wait. But of course even a positive pregnancy test in 12 days is not a guarantee. I just hope all goes well. We're crossing our fingers and keeping our faith! And thank you to everyone for your love and support!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

IVF: Embryos & Fortune Telling

First of all, I forgot to mention in my last post that my doctor actually left the office and went to the store to go buy our doughnuts that he promised us. I couldn't believe how nice he was to do that. Miles said, "If you think how much his time is worth...those are *really* expensive doughnuts!" When he came back with them, I thanked him and he said, "You're welcome. It's a first for me." What a wonderful, sweet, doctor I have!

Ok...on to the report. I got a call from Katie just before 10:30 AM. (Which is when she said she would call by). She told me that of the 13 eggs they retrieved, ALL were mature. They inseminated all of them with ICSI. This is the breakdown:

1 fertilized abnormally (likely bad chromosomes)
2 showed no signs of fertilization
1 broke apart/dissolved


9, nuevo, neun, negen, neuf, NINE! fertilized normally

Yay! I am super excited about that (if you can't tell). If I recall correctly from last time, only 7 of 15 fertilized. So 9 of 13 is great! I'd love to have some left over for freezing, but if not...all I want is just one good embryo to do its job!

Katie said we'll plan for a day-5 transfer (Sunday) at 8:30 AM. Otherwise, she'll call me on Friday to confirm our plans or tell us to come in that day for a day-3 transfer if for some reason we're losing too many embryos or whatever the case may be.

For now I'll just sit back, relax, enjoy some time with Owen, and let my body recover while those little embryos grow, grow, grow!

Oh, and I have another cute story to share. This morning, Owen was eating a fortune cookie Miles left on his tray last night. When he was done, I went over to see what his fortune was.

Here is what it said:
(If you can't read it - Soon someone new coming into your life will be a best friend). I can only hope it's one of those embryos that are growing in the lab. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

IVF: Egg Retrieval - The Count is in!

Miles and I went in early this morning for the egg retrieval. We had to be there by 8:30 AM, which meant dropping Owen off around 7:45 AM. Unfortunately, Mitchell got sick with the flu and was unable to watch him. (We hope you're feeling better, Mitch!) But I had some amazing friends who stepped up and were willing to take his place. on out it gets pretty detailed and descriptive of the procedure. If you have a weak stomach or prefer not to know, skip to the end.

After we got there Miles provided a semen sample that they prepared for ICSI following the egg retrieval. We talked with our nurse, Katie, about the possible side effects of the retrieval. I also asked her to explain the procedure to me. This is my layman's way of describing it: The HCG shot I took a couple of days ago triggered my body for ovulation. This allowed the follicles to release the eggs from the follicle wall. The doctor takes a probe that has a really long needle in the center of it that sticks out at the end. He goes up vaginally and inserts the needle through the uterine wall and directly into the ovary where they aspirate the eggs from inside the follicles. They fill each tube with up to five eggs (and their surrounding fluid). It really is crazy. I've done this before, but I haven't always asked questions about the medical side of things. I am so incredibly grateful that we have this technology and the ability to create life outside of our bodies. It is absolutely miraculous!

After we chatted, I got dressed in my garb:

The anesthesiologist (Wayne) came over to chat and get medical info from me. Miles mentioned to him that I was excited to be put under. When I went back into the OR, the nurse there said, "Wayne tells me you're excited for the anesthesia." I said, "Yep!" I told her I just like fighting it and seeing how long I can stay awake, as well as how loopy and goofy I get afterward. Wayne worked for a bit to get my IV going. Luckily he numbed the area because he was doing quite a bit of poking and prodding with the needle for a while. :( Next, the embryologist (Klaus) came in to talk to me while I was still lucid. He asked my name, my husband's name and why I was there. Since I was feeling snarky, I pretended I didn't know Miles's name for a second and told him I was there so they could steal my babies. Not sure if he was amused or not. He responded by pointedly saying, "You're here for an egg retrieval, right?" I decided to stop messing around and said, "Yes."

Shortly after that I started to feel dizzy and woozy. I said, "You started the drugs, didn't you?" Wayne said he did. So I started counting. One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.... The doctor came in and talked to me for a second. I heard the nurse say, "She's still counting." The doctor said, "If you can count to 100, I'll give you a doughnut." So I busted through and counted super fast - one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, THIRTY! And so on, until I got to 100. Then he said, "But you have to remember." That's the last thing I remember....

As I was waking up, I remember saying something strange. I asked the nurse who was helping me recover and she said she wasn't there and would get Katie for me. Katie came in and I tentatively said, "Did I say, 'My vagina is dancing?'" She smiled and said, "Yep. And we all got a good laugh out of it." Awesome. Yeah...I don't know. All I can remember is that my uterus and abdomen felt weird and *bubbly*? I guess saying my vagina was dancing was the best description I could come up with. Seriously...pretty sure that goes down as the strangest and goofiest thing I have ever said or done coming out of sedation.

Here's a picture of me all groggy and attempting to wake up:
I also said I remembered the doctor telling me I could have a doughnut if I counted to 100. She said, "Yep! He said that. We'll get you your doughnut." A little later, the doctor came in and asked us what our favorite flavors were. He also told us that we got 13 eggs, which was great, and a few more than expected.

Later, I couldn't remember how many we had gotten. I asked Miles and he said, "Thirteen." The woman in the bed next to us was also recovering from her retrieval. She said, "You got thirteen?" The nurse said, "Not you, that's the person next door. You got two." I felt so bad for her. Then she said, "Oh. That's what happens when you get old." :( made me totally sad for her. A bit later I heard her talking with her mother. She was telling her that they got two. She said, "We'll have to see how many fertilize. We might not end up with anything." heart ached for her. Infertility is so so hard, and can be that much more devastating when you put so much into trying to make it happen and it isn't successful. I hope and pray things work out for this unknown woman on the other side of the curtain.

So now we wait to hear from Katie sometime tomorrow morning. They did ICSI (directly putting the sperm into the egg) today and we'll know tomorrow how many actually fertilized. Here are a couple stock photos I found of "ICSI" and one with explanations of objects in the pictures:

Seriously...can you even imagine how intricate this microscopic process is?! Incredible.

As for how I'm feeling, I didn't remember it being very painful or that uncomfortable in the past. But maybe that's because I didn't have a baby to take care of and could just lay around all day. Granted, Miles stayed home from work today and took care of Owen for me (thank you, honey!) but I think it was the fact that I knew I had responsibilities to take care of and couldn't just lay back without thinking about it. That, and Owen whining and crying for his mama... :( I've felt pretty crampy and tender. It's most comfortable for me to lay down rather than sit or stand. But it's gotten better as the day has gone on. I also took a nice long 2 hour nap today while Owen napped and Miles took care of him. I was pretty sure I could have slept forever if I hadn't forced myself awake.

Also, I again need to give a shout out to my friends. When I called my friend, Holly Smith, to ask her to watch Owen, I was in tears when she so willingly accepted and did it with such joy and kindness of heart. Of course, Carly Andelin has been watching Owen multiple days over the past week and was also willing. (I just didn't want to wear her out.) ;) I really do have amazing friends. Then, on top of it, earlier this evening my amazing friend and VT companion, Leslie, came by to see how I was doing and brought me a 1/2 dozen cupcakes from Sweet Tooth Fairy. She is AWESOME.

Seriously...I am blessed with wonderful people in my life. Thank you!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

US #4 & #5 +Trigger Shot

I went in yesterday for another US. He said that things are looking good and he estimated a Tuesday or Wednesday egg retrieval date. He told me to come in today. (As it gets closer to the time of retrieval, they like to monitor the egg growth and hormone levels closely so they will know when the best time is to harvest the eggs. So I'll probably expect to go in almost daily from here on out.) I talked with the nurse about medications. She gave me some to get me through until today since I had another appointment scheduled. She asked me how I was feeling and if I was tender or bloated. I told her I was indeed both and also incredibly tired and nauseous. She said that was pretty normal with the increase in estrogen. She said she would call later to confirm dosing.

Later that afternoon she called and told me to do 3.5 vials of Bravelle, plus 1/2 of the vial I had left over from the day before. So I ended up doing 3.75 vials and a little less on the low-dose HCG. It's kind of crazy figuring it all out and often seems like such a small difference when it's a matter of drops of liquid. She also told me that my nausea and tiredness were to be expected as my estrogen spiked from 700 to 1000 in two days. I guess it's just preparing me for pregnancy...and boy am I in for it. I'm pretty sure I need to get my act together now before it all hits and I become a sluggish, lazy, blob on the couch. Also, I can't believe how these microscopic egg follicles that are growing can cause so many different feelings in my body. Today, Owen was laying on my chest and pressed down on his knees (into my abdomen) to sit up. It was pretty painful and uncomfortable. Not to mention I feel bloated. It's just odd.

Alright, back to my appointments. I went in this morning for my fifth US. We talked about potential retrieval dates again and he mentioned he will be out of town this weekend. I knew it was a possibility he wouldn't be around on the weekends for me since I am off from his current IVF schedule due to me not being back from Christmas in time to start with his other patients. Currently, they are all in the process of doing their retrievals and implantations. I'm about a week behind. He told me to come in tomorrow and again that he was expecting I'd be ready Tuesday or Wednesday. He also mentioned that since we are doing ICSI he likes to let the eggs grow a little more. He said if we didn't do ICSI and just put the eggs and sperm together over night, it would give the eggs more time to mature and grow. However, when you do ICSI the same day as the retrieval, they don't get that chance. I talked with the nurse again, got more meds and went home to wait for the confirmation call on dosage.

She called me this afternoon and said, "Change of plans." She told me that my estrogen level had gone up to 2000! It went from about 1000-2000 in one day. She said that the doctor decided that since my estrogen level was exactly where they want it, and I have a number of eggs that are about the optimal size (18-20...not sure the unit measurement) that he wants me to do my HCG trigger shot tonight. So no more of the other medications - just the HCG. She gave me instructions on how to mix the HCG and administer the shot. She said that it has to be done at *exactly* 10:30 PM tonight. I don't know all the details and how it works exactly, but I just found a pretty good site that explains IVF step-by-step. This is what it says about the trigger shot:

"The next step in your IVF treatment is triggering the oocytes to go through the last stage of maturation, before they can be retrieved. This last growth is triggered with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

Timing this shot is vital. If it's given too early, the eggs will not have matured enough. If given too late, the eggs may be “too old” and won't fertilize properly. The daily ultrasounds at the end of the last step are meant to time this trigger shot just right. Usually, the hCG injection is given when four or more follicles have grown to be 18 to 20mm in size and your estradiol levels are greater than 2,000pg/ML."

So that's basically what I said. The nurse told me I don't need to come in tomorrow anymore (which is nice since the doctor was coming in early at 7:45 AM for me so that Miles could watch our sick Owen {more on that later} and not be too late to work). She told me tomorrow I need to take a home pregnancy test some time after noon to make sure the HCG is properly in my system. (This is the hormone your body would naturally produce when you are pregnant. Obviously, I won't actually be pregnant.) Then on Tuesday I can't eat solids past 3AM (let's be honest...I'm not getting up in the middle of the night to eat anyway) and clear liquids only up to 5 AM. We'll show up around 8:30 AM, prep for a 9:30 AM egg retrieval and should be out by 11 AM. Thankfully, Miles's awesome brother, Mitchell, will be watching Owen during that time.

So there it is! We're getting closer to hopefully creating a life. I am so excited and as annoying as it is to go in for appointments daily, I'm anxiously awaiting our Tuesday egg retrieval!

Friday, January 13, 2012

IVF: US #3 & Insurance Frustrations *%&#!

I went in yesterday morning for my third US and blood draw. The doctor said things are looking good and told me to come in again on Saturday. I said, "It doesn't seem like there are very many eggs. Is that ok?" He looked at my records and said, "Anything that is a 10 in size or bigger should be good to harvest." He counted them up and said, "You've got at least 9 or so. That's just fine." He seemed ok with it, so I guess I should just be ok with it and stop worrying.

I talked with a nurse (Crystal) about my medications. I only had a few vials of Bravelle left at home so they supplied me with a box until my insurance sends me more in the mail. On the way home I called my insurance to follow up since I hadn't heard from them since my nurse (Katie) had called in a refill. They said they had no record of the office calling or having a refill. I called RCC and informed Crystal. She said she would take care of it. She called me back later and said the insurance has changed how they do infertility medications and you now have to get a preauthorization for every order and can't do refills. She said they are working on it and should call me, but that if I don't hear from them, to call tomorrow morning. She also informed me later that evening that I would stay on four vials of Bravelle today and do three and a half tomorrow.

I called the specialty pharmacy today to find out the status of my order and tell them to send it to me overnight. They said that the authorization is still pending. I explained the urgency of the matter and she said she would tell them to review it right away. She said I should expect a call within two hours.

Four hours later (still no call), I called back. They said it was still pending and they were waiting on paperwork from the Women's Health Center on the insurance end of things. I told them this was ridiculous since I am in the middle of a cycle and without my medication it will kill everything. I couldn't believe that they were taking so long to authorize something that had already been authorized in the past and was to help me continue on in my IVF cycle. UGH! The woman put me on hold to talk to her supervisor and then we got disconnected.

Obviously, I called right back and spoke with someone else. After talking with her (and being on hold for forever) she explained that it has to do with the dates of the cycle, them making sure I'm still on the same cycle, and determining how much medication to send. She said that sometimes the doctor's office will have medication that they can give me until my insurance sends it out. (Which I already knew...but honestly?! What if they didn't??? What then? Oops...sorry we didn't get your medication to you and your cycle is screwed up. Puh-lease!) I told her I would call my doctor's office and check with them. She told me to call the insurance company directly to see what I could do to push it along. frustrating.

I called the office and spoke with Katie and told her everything that went on since she was gone yesterday. She said not to worry and that they would have enough to supply me with until it came in from the insurance company. She also said she would call them and try to light a fire under them. Ugh. I know I shouldn't complain when it's being covered and everything, but it's just so frustrating when this is a very time-sensitive and expensive procedure and they are dragging their feet about getting me a refill on my medications. Oh, and did I mention that Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day so...yeah...I basically won't be expecting my medications until Wednesday.

Ok...I think I'm done venting. I think I'm also rather furious because I just spent the last 2+ hours dealing with this and didn't even get anywhere. I can think of so many better things I could have spent my time doing. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

IVF: US #2

I went in on Sunday for a blood draw. After they got the results, my nurse called and told me to reduce my stimulation medication (Bravelle) from 8 vials to 7.

Today I went in for another blood draw and an ultrasound. This was the first US where the doctor checked my ovaries to see how the egg growth was going. It didn't look like there were that many to me. I asked him about it afterward and he said positively, "You've got a good half dozen." He seemed to think that was enough. It kind of worries me because last time they retrieved about 15 and of the 15, only 7 fertilized. And of the 7 fertilized embryos only 2 were good enough for implantation. And of those two, one implanted. I know that's all you need - just one good egg/embryo. I guess I just worry if we don't have enough to work with, we'll be left with nothing. I just have to trust that the doctors know what they are doing.

He did also talk to me in the past about being a good candidate for a low-stimulation cycle (less medications and less eggs). He said, "I'd rather have 2 or 3 good quality eggs than 15 poor quality eggs." So...I guess that's what I'm hoping for with the little eggs that are growing inside of me.

The nurse called me later this afternoon and said to decrease my Bravelle to 5 vials tonight and 4 tomorrow. I go in again for another blood draw and US on Thursday.

Some other random thoughts...
The nurse was talking to me about ordering more medications. We were trying to determine approximately how much I would need (which is hard when you never know if you will stay the same, go up, or go down on the medication). She was saying that sometimes you can be a little more "greedy" when the insurance company is covering it and over-guesstimate how much you will need. I asked her hypothetically what I would do with my leftover medication if my cycle is successful. She said that I should hold on to it for at least the first 3 months (when concerns of miscarriage are higher). She said they also have a medication "depot" where they accept medication for patients who cannot afford to pay for them. I was really happy about that because I'd love to help someone else out if I can.

Something else I've been thinking a lot about is how incredibly blessed I am with wonderful friends who are willing to watch Owen while I go to my appointments. So far, just one friend has taken on all of the babysitting. I am so grateful to know that I have a competent, caring mother watching over my son, and that he has a great time while he's there. I'm also appreciative of the friends who have expressed willingness to step in when necessary. It's so reassuring - especially when I have so many appointments and don't always know when they will be. I have wonderful friends in my life!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

IVF: Suppression Check/US #1

I went in for my first ultrasound (US) and blood draw today. It was just a suppression check to make sure that my uterus lining looked good and that my ovaries were ok and didn't have any cysts. The doctor said everything looked good and we could continue with our schedule as planned. Afterward I spoke with the nurse to go over how to do my stimulation medications. She explained how to combine the three different medications and turn the powdered medication to liquids. The best part about our discussion was that she said I can do the injections subcutaneously in my tummy. This is AWESOME news. The last cycle I did, Miles had to give me the shots with these huge needles that went in my hip as an intramuscular injection. I always iced beforehand and after a few days of that would get quite sore. The stomach injections are super easy and are rarely anything but slightly uncomfortable. Plus, that means I can do them myself so I don't have to worry about Miles being home or available to give me the injections. I was super excited when she told me this today. Yay for a new and improved IVF cycle!

In other news, we got letters from our insurance authorizing the medication and medical procedures. Again...even though I already know it's covered under our insurance, every time I get a reminder of that I feel so blessed and in complete awe.

I go in again on Sunday for a blood draw and Tuesday will be my next ultrasound. I'll post again on Tuesday when I have more exciting details to share other than just my hormone levels.