Nugget of hope.

Finally the universe has decided to grant us one frickin’ favor. Got a call from the lab. Despite telling us yesterday at the transfer that we would have nothing to freeze…they had continued monitoring our remaining embryos and as of this morning we have ONE FROZEN EMBRYO!! All others arrested and had to be discarded, but one single embryo made it through the night, and it’s actually a very nicely graded blastocyst.

So. If/when the fresh transfer fails…we have one more shot.

Team X-Men still holding on. Optimism, bitches!

There’s an embryo inside me.

Now there’s a weird sentence to type.

We got 1. 1 out of 12 retrieved eggs made it to day 5. It’s beautiful, according to both the RE and the embryologist – they both said it was a textbook perfect blastocyst.

Had the transfer this morning, obviously. After the circus that was the egg retrieval, this was just downright simple and pleasant. My husband actually got to be in the room with me when they transferred the embryo, so that was actually nice that he got to experience something with me (although they let HIM pee beforehand…asshole).

We got there around 11, me with a bladder that was starting to get uncomfortably full. I got naked from the waist down (hey, I got to keep my shirt on…little victories!!) and my husband got into a weird jumpsuit thing that covered all his clothes. We were in the room waiting for the nurse to come get us and he kept complaining how awkward his suit was.

I just glared at him. “Do you REALLY want to talk about awkward situations in this lab after the last week of my life?” He shut up really quick.

They got me settled in the room where it was all going down and I got on the table. My doctor inserted the speculum and got the catheter prepped and ready for the two embryologists in the next room that were prepping everything. They brought in the embryo, we confirmed it was, in fact, our name carved into the little petri dish. There was a moment when my doctor told everyone to hold still and not breathe (then she corrected herself and said I could keep breathing, thanks lady) and then poof. Little nugget was in. And that was it. They let me up and released me to the bathroom. BEST PEE EVER.

Everyone was just so fucking optimistic. They kept saying “Aren’t you excited?!” and things like that. No. No I’m not. This is literally our only chance. We have nothing left. So I’m sorry if I can’t muster up a happy face for my one little blastocyst. Yes, we only need one, as my husband keeps annoyingly reminding me. My lining was perfect and everything should be good for the little nugget to make itself a nice little home. I will allow myself a tiny bit of hope, because if I don’t, I might kill someone or something in the next 10 days. Joy oh joy, the couple that my husband knows that has gone through IVF (successfully and with 10 fucking frozen embryos to play with) are going to dinner with us on Saturday. I flat out KNOW that is all she’s going to want to talk about but fuck, I don’t want to. I want to pretend this isn’t happening. I want to go full blown ostrich, head in the sand, with this whole thing and attempt to gain a tiny semblance of normalcy back in our lives.

Now we wait. There is literally nothing else I can do. By June 8, I will either be pregnant or not pregnant. The latest SART report for my clinic is for 2014 and that year for women under 35, they had a 65% positive pregnancy test, and 55% live birth rate. Hopefully they’ve improved a bit in the last 2 years. And hopefully I can be a part of that fantastic live birth statistic 9 months from now. See? Optimism, bitches!

Keep our sole survivor in your thoughts. There’s a lot of pressure on it right now.

The odds are not in our favor.

I’m really rolling with the Hunger Games comparisons aren’t I? Day 4 embryologist update and I am just…done…emotionally. I have no optimism left to fake at this point.

From 8 “excellent” and 3 “average” yesterday, we are down to 1 “beautiful” morula that they will transfer tomorrow, and 1 early blastocyst that will most likely get frozen. All the others are lagging behind and will most likely be lost to us. From 12 at retrieval to 2. A whopping 15% survival rate. Yeah. Given all of this information, and the fact that we are just that unlucky, I’m thinking parenthood ain’t happening for us.

My husband is still optimistic that we still have 2 chances, although he’s definitely shaken up. I’m already at the “fuck this” stage. I know the odds. They’re shit. Time to start mentally preparing myself to be the fun aunt to everyone else’s kids, because we can’t afford to do all of this again. I can’t spend yet another $16,000.

I know I’m being emotional and dramatic. I know this. I apologize to everyone out there rolling their eyes at me. I’m sure I’ll look back on this some day and laugh at how emo I’m being.

Well. Shit.

 

Grow you little X-men, grow.

When we spoke yesterday, the embryologist said she would call again on Saturday to update me on the magnificent 7. So when I looked at my phone and saw the lab calling this morning…I was legitimately terrified. SO MANY THOUGHTS ran through my head and every single one of them was bad.

Turns out? Surprisingly good update. Two more embryos decided to join the party last night, so we’ve got 9 going at the moment. 5 are currently rated “Good to excellent” in her words, which she said was the highest quality for their lab. A few others are lagging behind, but are still definite possibilities for transfer or freezing. Of course, we’re only in day 2 and so much can change. I figure statistically we’ve got a change at having 3-4 make it to the end. Which would be amazing. But as long as we get one, I would be reasonably happy, if a bit (okay, a lot) disappointed.

We’re still aiming for a Monday, day 5 transfer. The newest question is…how many do we transfer? Assuming we get more than one of course. The RE was very adamant that she did not want to put in more than one at a time for me. I’m 31 and my only known issue is mild hypothyroidism. So there’s no real fertility issue on my end. She says that putting two in won’t do much to increase my odds of getting pregnant, but it will increase my odds of multiples. I was fine with 1, I figure if anyone knew best, it was this lady.

Until today. We found out yesterday through a random well-timed facebook posting, that an old friend of my husband’s is going through her 4th FET to try to have their second child (baby #1 happened on their first cycle!). They reconnected a bit and have been talking about IVF and the whole process (which is great, because he has had NO ONE to process all this with but me). And she’s put it in his head that EVERYONE transfers 2 every time, no matter what doctors say, because it increases your odds. So now he’s pushing for 2.

It’s so hard to decide this. I mean, I don’t think we have the money to go through the full cycle of IVF again with stims and retrieval and ICSI. We’re at about $16,000 after meds. I’m kind of thinking that whatever embryos we get from this cycle…these are our only chances at a child that’s genetically ours. Say we only get 4…if we transfer two at a time that’s only two tries before we have to turn to adoption. She had 10 blastocysts to freeze, which we will flat out never have the luxury of having.

I guess I’m getting ahead of myself because we aren’t even at day 5 yet. For all I know, our 9 embryos will all say screw this, I’m out. Or we’ll only have 1, meaning I’ve been freaking out about all this for nothing.

I miss the days when my hardest decision was deciding between the Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake backpack.

Oh…the title of this post? Mr. Oh Just Relax has taken to calling our embryos “future X-men” – I’m not entirely sure why, something to do with them being mutants with superpowers since they’re being grown in a lab, but it makes him happy, and I like that.

Let the embryo hunger games begin.

Had my egg retrieval yesterday morning. 12 eggs retrieved and ICSI’d and just got the call this morning that 7 fertilized overnight. Not as good as we hoped, but I’ll take it. Now the hunger games begins. I figure statistically we could end up with 2-3 embryos at the end of the next 4 days. Hardly seems worth the money and effort and pain…but I know I’ll feel differently if it works.

I’m currently sitting here with a heating pad shoved against my stomach, a position I assumed around 9AM yesterday morning and pretty much haven’t left in the last 24 hours. I thankfully asked for the day AFTER the retrieval off as well as yesterday and it’s a good thing because I guaran-damn-tee you I would not have been able to concentrate today.

The retrieval was…stressful. Also very fast. We arrived at 6:30 yesterday morning and were on our way home by 8:30. The actual retrieval happened at 7:15. The 45 minutes beforehand were all prep work. The nurse that was assigned to me was a very very sweet older lady, I’d guess in her 60’s. She was wonderful….but holy crap her hands were SHAKING. She had me sign all kinds of consent forms and paperwork and took my history. Then…she had to place the IV. She left the room for a second and I turned to my husband in a panic. “The woman with the SHAKING HANDS has to place my IV?!” He just laughed. Bastard.

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We are go for launch.

I get to trigger tonight at 7:15 for an egg retrieval Wednesday morning.Yay? I don’t know. I have mixed emotions (SHOCKER, RIGHT?!).

Miss Dominant Follicle on the right finally calmed her sassy pants down and let the others grow. 12 total follicles at the moment between both ovaries that the doctor measured between 16-20mm. Not too shabby. Endo lining is at 11.5, which is apparently good (I should really learn more about this stuff). My final E2 and progesterone levels were taken this morning and I’ve been officially approved for a fresh transfer instead of a freeze all.

God I hope we get some decent embryos out of this. I’m so scared that they’ll do the TESE and will find no sperm and that I’ve gone through all of this for nothing. Think some happy, positive thoughts for me. Holy crap do I need them.

Also, even though no one I know in real life reads this, I feel like I need to preemptively apologize to everyone I encounter through tomorrow. The sheer amount of estrogen and various hormones swirling through my bloodstream is terrifying. I don’t mean to be a psychopath to you and I sincerely love you. Except for Patrick the Intern. Him? I still want to stab him with a PIO needle even without the hormones.

 

Number of vials of blood drawn: 17

Number of Twat Wand Sessions: 8

Number of self injections: 22

The one where I lose my shit.

Finally happened. I knew it was coming. Had more bloodwork and monitoring today after 7 days of stims and I completely freaking lost it.

Apparently one follicle on the right side is just dominating all the others. It’s already at 18mm and the other 5 on that side are lagging behind at between 14-15mm. Currently up to 6 follicles on the left side, all between 12-15mm. The plan is two more nights of injections to let all the others catch up, go in on Monday for yet another twat wanding, and hopefully trigger Monday night for a Wednesday morning retrieval.

I held it together quite nicely during the bloodwork and checking out. But then I got in my car and just lost my mind. I think I sat there for a good 10 minutes in the parking lot of the RE’s office just sobbing. I don’t know even know why particularly. Blame the hormones I guess. My mind immediately just started beating myself up over this even though intellectually I know I have ZERO control over what’s happening in there.

What if the others don’t catch up? What if she can only retrieve one mature egg? Or none? What if my piece of shit body is the reason we’ve just wasted $16,000? I was supposed to be the solid one of this process to help counteract the reason we needed IVF/ICSI in the first place. I was supposed to be good.

Again. Beware the what-ifs.

I know I’m being irrational. I know this. I know there are women out there that don’t even respond to stims at all. So yay for my body for doing what science told it to do, albeit not quite as nicely as we’d hoped. But fuck. I just feel like wallowing for a second. I’ve been surprisingly optimistic during the last few weeks. I deserve a day to just be pessimistic and wallow in my sweats and a t shirt. So dammit I’m going to take it!

Solid high five to Mr. Oh Just Relax. I walked back in the door with snot and tears all over my face and he just hugged me and said he loved me. Didn’t say anything else. Smart guy.

 

IVF #1 Running Tally:

Number of vials of blood drawn: 16

Number of Twat Wand Sessions: 7

Number of self injections: 16

No jokes in the stirrups, please.

 

Seriously. No RE should be cracking jokes pre-9 AM while I’m half naked in stirrups. She did it YET AGAIN. We were chatting as she prepped the twat wand and started looking at my ovaries. She mentioned seeing some good follicles and I said, yeah I can feel them.

Then, AS SHE IS MOVING THE WAND INSIDE OF ME, she says “I bet you’re really starting to feel things move in there, huh?”

I just snorted and glared at her. Talk about a trick question. I really like this lady and I’m sure I’ll send her a fruit basket or something if she knocks me up (side note…is this appropriate? I feel like I will literally owe her my first born but fruit cannot convey enough thanks). But for the love of god, let me put some pants on and even the playing field a little.

First monitoring appointment since starting stims. It went pretty quickly and she seemed pleased so I’ll take it. At least 5 follicles going strong in ole Righty, she mentioned a bunch of measurements but I didn’t catch all of them. I know one was at least 14.5 mm and I think I heard another 14 and a 13 in there. Ole Lefty has around the same amount, not quite as large, but still double digit sizes I think. So I get to add Ganirelix to the shot cocktail party tonight to keep me from ovulating these hopefully lovely mature eggs I’m growing here. My E2 levels were at 449 (again, no f-ing clue what this means, but she seemed pleased). I go back Saturday at freaking 8:45 in the morning for more bloodwork and another monitoring appointment. Egg retrieval is still tentatively set for Wednesday, and she still hasn’t made a final decision on if we’ll do a fresh transfer or a freeze all.

Also, how is it possible that these stupid follicles are measured in MILLIMETERS yet have the ability to bloat me up so freaking much?? This is ridiculous. Science baby, you better be awesome.

 

IVF #1 Running Tally:

Number of vials of blood drawn: 13

Number of Twat Wand Sessions: 6

Number of self injections: 10

That’s not how you do that.

That is what I wanted to say to the new medical assistant that drew my blood this morning. Had my first blood draw appointment this morning since starting the stim medication. LUCKY ME, I got the new girl. SO F-ING LUCKY. Are you sensing the tone yet?

Now. I don’t exactly love getting my blood drawn. But it’s typically no big deal. Just a pinch and then I just sit there until it’s done. I don’t know what this poor girl did, but mother of god it HURT. I want to say it was the angle she jammed the needle in there. Immediately I thought, Ohhhh this shall suck. And then she kept moving the freaking needle around while it was in my arm. WHAT THE HELL LADY?!

The gauze and band aid they normally slap on my arm after a blood draw is usually just a formality, I rarely bleed. Oh not today my friends. Today I bled through the gauze and I’m currently sporting a fantastic bruise. I head back in on Thursday and if I see that girl coming after me, I am running.

Estradiol is at 191 after 3 nights of injections (look at me pretending to have a clue what that means), so I was told to just keep on keeping on. Same dosage, same two medications, do NOT add the ganirelix yet.

I don’t really feel too different yet. No awful side effects to tell about, just a little dizziness after injecting the Menopur along with the burning. Last night I could feel some twinges in the ovary regions, but I could be completely making that up in my head just to convince myself the medications are working. Honestly, a teeny tiny part of the pessimist in me was convinced that I would get a phone call from the doctor saying “Uh nothing is happening and you clearly fail at injecting yourself.” But nothing like that happened so I guess I’m stabbing myself correctly. Yay me! I go back Thursday morning to draw more blood and have a date with a super sexy ultrasound wand. My calendar tentatively has next Wednesday for the retrieval and I’m curious to see if it’s still looking that way after Thursday. Think happy follicle thoughts for me.

 

IVF #1 Running Tally:

Number of vials of blood drawn: 12

Number of Twat Wand Sessions: 5

Number of self injections: 6