Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A sign??

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

IVF Cycle & Longest 2 Week Wait Ever!!

So I figured I should write a new blog post since I haven't written one in a long time! A lot has happened since I last wrote a post. Since I said from the beginning that this blog was for me and my future children, there may be some things in here that people not going through infertility will not understand, and some things may be a little TMI.

But anyways, my IVF cycle officially started when we were in Las Vegas on January 26th. As I've mentioned before, an IVF cycle is extremely long!! On January 29, I started birth control pills (bcp) for 3 weeks. It is common to go on bcp's at the beginning of an IVF cycle to regulate your cycle and we also don't want any "left-over" follicles from the previous cycle hanging around. Two weeks into the bcp's on February 13, I was started on an injectable drug called Lupron which suppresses the pituitary gland, it basically tricks your body so it doesn't know where you are in your cycle so the doctors have total control over the process (i.e. no early ovulation, stuff like that). As you may or may not know, Lupron made me feel very sick at first. I even missed work the first day after taking the drug. Thankfully after a few days of what felt like "morning sickness," the side effects seemed to go away. Lupron is a medicine that is continued throughout the whole cycle up until the night before ovulation induction. I took my last bcp on Feb 17th, which brought on a period on February 20th. This doesn't necessarily constitute a new cycle as the doctors do not care about this period, it's more so an inconvenience on me, more like a "fake" period.

My baseline blood work and ultrasound was completed on February 21. I then started my FSH (Follistim) and what the doctors call a "magic diluted solution" (sol x) on February 24th. I was on a retreat for the Chautauqua Leadership Network (CLN) on February 24th, I went up to my room at 8 pm to give myself my now 3 injectable shots after being duct-taped to a wall Lol. I developed a very large bruise from these shots, thankfully that was the only time that happened. I posted a picture on February 24th on this blog if you want to see it, I won't lie, it's pretty gross!! Starting on February 26th, I started going up to Buffalo every other day for bloodwork and ultrasounds. On Monday March 5th, Casey and I made a daily drive to Buffalo until Thursday March 8th. It was our morning "date" haha.

Ovulation induction occurred via the injectable Ovidrel (hcg) on March 8th at 8 pm, which allows me to ovulate approximately 36 hours later. On March 9th I had to take the dreaded antibiotic Doxycycline which I absolutely hate! It always makes me feel so yucky! Worst antibiotic ever! It's take as a safety precaution though for the upcoming procedure. I was also required to use a medicated douche that night which surprisingly made me feel more violated than my practically daily transvaginal ultrasounds lol.

On March 10th, I needed to be in the doctors office at 7:15 for Egg Retrieval. After a bunch of questions and having the IV stuck in my arm, I was taken into the IVF room. I remember as soon as the anesthesiologist attached the sedation drug to my IV, I instantly felt the drug creep up my veins into my shoulder and that's the last thing I remember before being wheeled back out into the recovery area. At this point, they told me that they retrieved 7 eggs. We were hoping for 10-12 eggs, so this was definitely less than what we were hoping. After drinking a bottle of water & eating some crackers we headed out of there to head home! I was very sore all day Saturday, the cramps were much worse than period cramps and I felt a sense of mental "emptiness" it was a weird feeling that I wasn't quite expecting.

On March 11th about 9:30 I received a call from the Doctor for my fertilization report. He proceeded to tell me that out of the 7 eggs retrieved, only 3 fertilized but 2 of those were considered to be abnormal, so we only had 1 good embryo. I was really upset when we received this phone call. I couldn't believe that out of 7 eggs, only 1 turned into a healthy embryo. The 1 embryo came about from ICSI where they directly inject a sperm into the egg. The chances are higher of fertilization with this process, so it has become a commonly used fertilization procedure. I know all we need is 1 embryo and I am so thankful for it, but the original plan was to have 2 embryo's transferred and that we'd have others that would be frozen for possible future use. I am very thankful that that 1 embryo did make it though, so I think it'll be a super baby :-) Oh and I forgot to mention I started on Progesterone Sunday called Endometrin to thicken my uterine lining in hopes that the embryo will attach itself and stay on my uterine wall. This definitely isn't the "funnest" stuff as it's a suppository that I get to take 3 times a day haha.

Embryo transfer normally takes place 3-5 days after retrieval but when there is only 1 possible embryo for transfer they like to do the transfer ASAP because "my incubator" is better than their incubator. So now the plan was to be in Buffalo for transfer on Monday March 12th at 9:00. We just needed the cells in the embryo to divide overnight. If this didn't happen, I would receive a phone call on Monday morning that the transfer would not happen.

Wouldn't you know that my phone rang on Monday morning while I was in the shower, my stomach literally sank because I was under the impression that a phone call meant bad news. I frantically answered and Dr Sullivan said, come on up, you have "1 beautiful 4 celled embryo ready for transfer" :-) So Casey & I headed up there for a 9 am appointment. I was given a prescription for Valium to take 30 minutes before the transfer. The Embryo Transfer occurred and I had to lay on the exam table about 30 minutes after transfer. This is when I started to feel "goofy" from the Valium, it not only put me to sleep but it made me feel so silly, kind of like I was tipsy, I think Casey got a kick out of this. So Monday consisted of another day of rest for me.

So now, all we have to do is wait...I think this will be the longest 2 week wait of my life. After 2 weeks, I will get a blood pregnancy test. If it's positive, I'll have a followup blood test as well as an ultrasound. If it's negative, the I will stop the progesterone and a new period/cycle will begin and we will take it from there. I have a lot of hope and think there's a reason that only 1 of the embryo's survived and that it's meant to be our baby! So lots and lots of prayers and all extremities crossed! :-) <3