Words to keep me sane

Sometimes the only action you can take is to let go.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fertilization report

Husband got the call today. The lab called my work number first but moved on to his cell phone when I wasn't there to answer. So things look like this: out of 23 eggs retrieved (one more than we thought) 16 were mature. Out of the mature eggs, 13 fertilized. We should get another update on Friday, along with a transfer time for Saturday provided that I have been able to fend off OHSS until then. They also mentioned transferring on Sunday depending on how things look. Husband and I don't know what to think. Part of that whole "hoping for quality not quantity" was about not having so many embryos...not more than we could ultimately use. Granted, with no idea as to what their quality would be or currently is, it is hard to say how things will look in another few days. Six previous losses means something is wrong but is it the embryos, my body, both? We realize that putting back a good embryo is no guarantee of a healthy pregnancy. So we will wait and see and I will continue to rest and not worry about what I can't control. Thanks to everyone for their well wishes and encouragement. They are greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What a difference a day makes

When I last checked in, things were looking the way we wanted them to look. My body wasn't going crazy, we had follicles but a modest number, we were almost there and I was happy. Saturday brought another monitoring appointment. Follicles had increased to about 12 - 13 mature. I returned home and eagerly awaited the phone call that would give me my trigger shot and retrieval instructions. The phone rang, but instead it was my RE calling to explain that my E2 level had unexpectedly jumped from the day before and was now in an uncomfortable 4000+ range. Our options, he expained, were as follows.

1) To cancel the cycle completely - no trigger shot - and let my body simmer down. However, as we had been conservative and hadn't pushed too hard with stimulation he couldn't guarantee that the same thing wouldn't happen on a subsequent cycle.

2) Trigger as planned and retrieve the eggs, watch me closely for symptoms of OHSS and if they are mild or if none develop, transfer one embryo.

3) Same as option 2 but if symptoms are moderate or severe, freeze all embryos and do a frozen embryo transfer at a later date when I am back to normal.

After some careful thought we decided to go ahead and trigger, with the understanding that we would take all preventative measures possible to mitigate OHSS: rest, fluids, protein, and something in my IV during retrieval to start the protein/fluids situation moving in the right direction. Retrieval was yesterday at 8:30AM. Everything went well. I was, however, shocked to learned that they got 22 eggs. We don't yet know how many of them were mature...I'm guessing that several probably weren't but I also know that my guesses really mean nothing when it comes to this process. We will hear tomorrow from the emryology lab to see how things are going. I have been a good little patient and have camped out on the couch drinking protein shakes and "resting my pelvis." I was told the less friction the better. I'm not sure exactly what causes friction but I am limiting any and all movement just in case. It wasn't in my plan to take several days off of work after retrieval, but I am more than determined to stay feeling good if at all possible. Our RE has recommended a day 5 transfer from the beginning due to our recurrent losses and this is still the plan if we end up transferring at all. By Friday we will guage how I'm doing and make a decision. I guess we could call this a detour on our route but still with the hope that we will eventually reach our final destination.

Friday, November 23, 2007

...It's The Destination

“Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm” -Unknown

Still moving forward and taking things one day at a time. My wish for this cycle was to be conservative and aim for quality over quantity. Since at least part of our problem has been ectopic pregnancies, we have no idea what to expect if we actually get a healthy embryo in the place where it belongs. That, coupled with my tendency to respond with gusto, has made my RE treat me with kid gloves. Thankfully it looks like we are getting results that we are both happy with. As of this morning's ultrasound it looks like I will do my evening meds tonight, my morning meds tomorrow, and trigger sometime tomorrow. Retrieval will be on Monday. This is pending today's E2 results, but as long as it hasn't taken a drastic jump we should stick to this schedule. I have another ultrasound appointment tomorrow morning, too. I feel like we can see the station up ahead...just a few more stops now. I keep reminding myself that ultimately this isn't in my control. I read Randine Lewis' "Letting Go" meditation last night before bed and it helped reaffirm my understanding that I have done all I can do by following my doctor's instructions and doing my injections faithfully. Beyond that what will be will be.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chugging Along...(updated)

Live in the present. Do the things that need to be done. Do all the good you can each day. The future will unfold. -Peace Pilgrim

I thought the above quote was fitting for today. It is day 5 of stims and so far I think we are on track (trying to see just how far I can take this train metaphor. :) I had my first ultrasound to check follicles this morning. Don't remember the exact counts and sizes but I know I had six measurable ones on the right, with about 10 small ones. One of the measurables was pretty large and it will probably end up being the odd one out as we wait for the others to catch up. I think there were about three measurables on the left with about 15 small ones. My lining was at 7.3. I haven't been asking my E2 numbers because I think less knowledge is sometimes better with me. The less I know the less I can drive myself crazy analyzing. I do know that My E2 on Sunday was in the 300 range. My RE dropped my follistim dose to less than half of what it had been, which seems to have been his plan all along. I am waiting to hear from my clinic to find out the plan for my next u/s. As it stands now I would go in on Thursday/Thanksgiving. There was some hemming and hawing about this between the nurse and front desk staff so I will get the final word later today. It's possible they will have me come tomorrow and Friday instead, but ultimately it is my RE's call. So I'm chugging along...feeling pretty good and managing not to obsess about the details so far. Due to the aforementioned appointment schedule we will be spending a quiet holiday at home, just me, husband, and stepson. Much easier than traveling to any of our families' homes and trying to juggle schedules, injections, and excuses as nobody is aware of our current situation. We're keeping it simple. Wishing all of you and yours a happy Thanksgiving!

Today's estradiol is 853. Not really sure what that means but I guess they are happy with it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Peace Train

So at work I recently discovered Pandora, which is my new favorite way to add some enjoyment to my day. I have created a mellow work "radio" station for my listening enjoyment and lately it has been playing Peace Train by Cat Stevens about once a day. I love this song. The words and the rhythm make me smile. With tomorrow being my baseline ultrasound day for IVF #1, I've decided to adopt the concept of a Peace Train for this cycle. Heretofore the best theme I could come up with was the traditional "roller coaster." In the interest of a positive attitude I thought that Peace Train might have a better connotation. If all looks good tomorrow, then I will officially climb aboard and ask the conductor (mental image of my RE in a train conductor's cap) to punch my ticket. So far the lupron isn't making me too crazy. My moods have surprisingly remained mostly stable and no one in my immediate presence has suffered any undeserved bodily harm thus far. Of course this is subject to change. I have been fretting somewhat about my initial follistime dosage. My previous injectable/IUI cycles showed me to be a good bordering on ridiculous responder and from what I've read on other blogs my dosage seems on the high side. I talked to one of the nurses about this and she seemed surprised that I would question the dose. My closest-thing-to-a-lupron moment might have have been when I emphatically told her I DO NOT WANT TO HYPERSTIMULATE AND I DON'T FEEL THE NEED TO PRODUCE 30 EGGS! She assured me that the dose can be reduced if my levels rise too quickly. The bitchy, pessimistic side of me is already rehearsing my "I told you so" speech and in my weaker moments I have already envisioned my cycle being canceled because my ovaries are in danger of exploding. Clearly I have some pre-stim anxiety going on here. I realize I need to trust my doctor and the process, however, given that it is my body I am inclined to think that I know better. Time will tell. Must remember: "now I've been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come and I believe it could be, something good has begun." Off to pack for my journey and planning to leave mental baggage behind.