This cycle seems like it's all about 3's. This is my 3rd IVF cycle and I had 3 embryos implanted yesterday... so dare I say that hopefully, "Three times a charm?"
Well here they are, my 3 very pretty blastocysts with one that hatching and is ready to be implanted LIKE RIGHT NOW!
I didn't genetically test the embryos this time around so I'm not sure if they are boys or girls. Honestly I don't care what the sex is as long as I get an opportunity to experience motherhood.
So yesterday I did my transfer and my doctor discussed with us that implanting 3 is being aggressive. But due to my past history with unsuccessful pregnancies we decided that 3 was the way to go. Now the downside to that is that if all 3 take then we would need to terminate one of them. Having a triplet pregnancy makes for a very unsuccessful pregnancy. So she wanted to make sure that we were all in agreement that if this occurred that this is the road we would take. Even at two I take a risk of possibly losing one. I would do whatever it takes to have a successful pregnancy whether its one or two.
So the first three embryos have become blastocysts now with the first one already hatching. All three are Grade 1 which is the best Grade. Embryo 4 & 5 will be frozen, those are a Grade 2. Embryo 6 they are letting it grow till today to see if we can freeze that one as well. 7-9 embryos might not make it and they are a Grade 3. I hope they do but i won't find out till later.
So i leave you with a sample video of what a transfer entails.
I still feel that this is probably the most uncomfortable process of the IVF cycle. I would rather be put to sleep during this but unfortunately you must be awake during the process since you must have a semi full bladder. So as usual, feet up in the stirrup, a speculum is put in place just like a pap smear, you are rinsed clean, which feels so weird. Once its good to go an ultrasound is performed on your lower abdomen to get the image of the uterus up on the screen. It's not fun when they press down on you while your bladder is full. And I of course cramp up during the procedure. We wait for the embryologist to come in the room with the transfer catheter which has the embryos. My doctor then inserts the catheter into the uterus and pushes the embryos through. The procedure is guided visually on a monitor with an abdominal ultrasound. Once transferred, my doctor holds the catheter in place for about 30 seconds and then she slowly removes the catheter. Since the embryos are invisible to the naked eye, the embryologist will then check the catheter under a microscope to make sure the embryos were released. Embryologist comes back in and says "all clear" meaning that the 3 embryos were successfully transferred to my uterus. I then lay there for a good half hour before i was released to go home.
Here we are holding what's probably the earliest picture of what our future baby or babies look like.
It's unbelievable what goes through your head once you know that the embryos are inside of you. You can't help but get emotional during the process and of course feel nervous. This is it, this is why I put my body through hell for 6 weeks, just for this one moment. To be next to my husband holding a picture of our future child. A picture I wish to share in the future with our child. We just sat there in the room talking about what our child would be like and how I would share these stories with him/her.
Instructions were simple; Continue taking my twice a day Crinone medication which contains the natural female hormone called progesterone that helps prepare the lining of my uterus so it is ready to receive and nourish an embryo. And bed rest for 2 days. As you can see I am one to listen to doctor's orders. Plus with 2 great furry companions, how can one resist. I have to admit that I go crazy while on bed rest because I can't sit still but for all that I go through physically and emotionally, I have to be patient and rest so that this pregnancy takes. I can't do anything to put myself at risk for a failed pregnancy. So relaxing and being stress free is what's on the agenda for today. Tomorrow I can go about my way but of course I won't over do it. So now I am what you call PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise).
It will be 10 long days of waiting before i can take a pregnancy test and check my hCg levels. So now I just sit here and remain positive and stress free and wait to see if i start experiencing pregnancy symptoms. Right now I just feel cramping but I literally feel cramping throughout my entire cycle. My body feels tired so i'll be resting a lot today. I think for the next 10 days I will be tired just like past cycles.
Once again I thank God for my wonderful life. For the wonderful husband that I have who allows me to stay home and not stress about anything in life. I am grateful for everything that I have and hope that I can have this one little miracle. I know that I won't disappoint as a mother. To that I leave you with...
Can I just say how glad I am that the shots and egg retrieval are a thing from the past. On Saturday, July 25th at 7:07 am I was taken into the procedure room to retrieve the eggs that I have been cooking up in my lower belly. I am not a fan of needles... ironic I know, since IVF is all about needles. But sometimes you just have to make that sacrifice. But I put on my best "Yay, I'm excited" face although deep down inside i was freaking out. As you can see from the picture I look happy, we're even being goofy and the last picture...uhhhh not so happy. That's a "ugh why do i feel so crappy" face. It's never fun to be put under and then to wake up all groggy and in pain. My Anesthesiologist was wonderful and of course Dr. Evans is too. The entire staff is pleasant and make everything possible to make you feel comfortable. Robert was allowed to be there with me while the Anesthesiologist hooked me up. Once he was all done my vitals were taken and all looked good. Robert was escorted out and I got teary eye because I was afraid of the feeling and the outcome. They walked me into the room, had me lay down on the bed and put my legs up in the stirrup. Not my feet, my legs which is an extremely uncomfortable position. The Anesthesiologist asked my DOB and my weight and I don't remember the rest.
After 30 minutes, they woke me up and of course i was very groggy. I was kept there for a little over an hour and was told that Dr. Evans had retrieved 16 eggs. That was excellent news! My 1st IVF cycle they retrieved 12 and 1 cracked. I was really shocked too, this cycle my belly was much smaller and didn't feel so full but I am glad that 16 eggs were retrieved. Came home and slept all day and all night. Anesthesia sure does give you some good deep sleep.
So basically what happens is: They put me to sleep with IV sedation, have my legs up in a stir-up and they insert an ultrasound probe inside of my vagina with a needle attached to it. The probe goes in through the wall of the vagina towards the ovaries and into each ovarian follicle. The eggs are gently removed (sucked out) through the needle. After the egg retrieval the eggs go to the embryologist who puts them in an incubator and watches them for a few hours to let them mature. Once they mature the sperm sample is rinsed and then inseminated into the egg and they will be watched for the next 5 days right up to the egg transfer.
Yesterday, Sunday my doctor emailed me and told me she had good news. She said she had retrieved 16 eggs, 11 eggs matured and 9 fertilized. So I have 9 embryos that are growing in the lab. With a scheduled transfer date of Thursday. I am keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that the 9 embryos are of good quality and that on Thursday I have 3 healthy looking ones to transfer. This time I will be transferring 3 embryos and we are hoping to god that one takes... or two... :-) I'm not trying to be selfish I would be happy if one took. I am trying to stay positive and optimistic and would be so heartbroken once again if one does not take. I put my body and mind through so much and nothing would make me happier then to have a successful IVF cycle. This cycle we passed on the genetic testing so I won't know the sex of the embryos on Thursday. I pray to God that all goes smoothly and that he can grant me the honor of being a mother. I know Robert would make an excellent father and I want to give him this honor. He hurts like I do. He questions "why us?" just like I do. Nothing would bring me greater joy then to give him some joy. He is a wonderful human being and an exceptional husband with so much love to give. I beg you lord that you please grant me this one request and I promise not to let you down.
So with that I leave you with...
Well it's officially done. I just did my last shot. The Trigger shot is the last shot of my IVF cycle. This shot causes the eggs to complete the maturation process and to help release the eggs in about 36 hours which is when I will do the my egg retrieval. I was nervous about getting this shot since i so fear needles and this one is the biggest needle of all from all my other shots. Robert had to refresh his memory and we watched the trigger shot training video again. It needs to be done on your lower quadrant area (butt) since its an intramuscular injection. My trigger shot scheduled time was 8pm. I was a nervous wreck for the last hour. Prepped my needle with the medication and called Robert into the bathroom. He made a few jokes just to relax me a little but I was like a zombie. I leaned over my bathroom counter, put all my weight on my left side and let him go at it. I felt the poke of the needle and felt it go all the way in and then the burning sensation of the medication going into my system. Finally it was all over and he put pressure on the area and rubbed it a little to spread the medication. I looked up and saw Robert from my bathroom mirror and got emotional. He gave me a hug and told me it was over. I smiled but yet cried because this is it. I am one step closer to the exact same place i was a year ago - "My egg retrieval day".
As I sit here with a soar butt, and finally feeling the cramping and pressure in my belly like if my follicles are FINALLY growing, I can't help but think of the last 14 agonizing shot giving days. During this process one can't help but think and think. At least that's what I did. Google becomes my best friend, my confidant and my teacher. The one site where i can read up on IVF, other's blogs that are going through the same thing and the place where I try to fill my head with positive IVF inspirational quotes. This is how I dealt with it the last 14 days. Like i've said in past blogs, this cycle was so different from last year. My eggs grew at a much slower pace. I did not feel during those 14 days what i am actually feeling now as i sit here typing up this blog. Within the last 30 minutes I have finally reached that uncomfortable feeling. Where my body feels so bloated and soar. I just want to lay here and relax, which is exactly what I'm going to do. Tomorrow I rest and enjoy the fact that I am not giving myself any shots. Then at 7am on Saturday, July 25th I will be put under to retrieve my eggs. Here's hoping that I have a successful retrieval.
This blog helps me out a lot. Although i've done this before, it's nice to go back and read what I experienced last year and compare with what this cycle has been like.
It's amazing what a woman puts her body through just to try to conceive a little part of herself into this world. Ironic how life works. Those who shouldn't have kids pop them out left and right and those who so badly want the chance to hold a little something that's a part of them in their arms struggle to have a child. I may not be perfect, I am skin and bones, I am a friend, a wife, a person who considers herself honest and kind. Yes of course i'm human and I have my moments like everyone else does but I still consider myself a good person. I am extremely fortunate to have an amazing husband who gave me the chance to stay home so we can make our wish come true. I have been so lucky to have experienced this cycle while at home and I hope that being stress free and relaxed definitely helps me out this time around.
Well folks I have ran out of things to say. I thank those who read my blog and thank the friends I have that listen to my crazyness. With that I leave you with...
"Everyone wants happiness. No one wants pain. But you can't make a rainbow without a little rain."
See you back on Saturday!
I never thought I would be taking so many shots for so many days. Today is my 13th day of doing shots, started off with 3 for the first week then moved it up to 4 shots. This IVF cycle has definitely been different then last year's cycle. Last year I was extremely bloated, crampy, constant headaches, breast tenderness and constantly felt pressure from the growing ovaries. This time around i'm not that puffy, i have major breast tenderness, swollen ankles and knee joint pain. I haven't felt much pressure this time around which explains what is currently happening at the moment.
I went to do an ultrasound and blood work on Monday and was suppose to do my trigger shot that evening, but the doctor decided to keep me on the shots for an additional 2 days for possible retrieval on Friday. Just to give my follicles some extra time to grow a little more. My follicles were between 10mm - 15mm. They need to be at least 18mm in order to do the egg retrieval. So i went back today for another ultrasound and blood work and the numbers were a little higher, 12mm- 17.5mm. Both Dr. Winkler (who has been seeing me these last few days) and Dr. Evans decided that I need to grow a little bit more before doing the retrieval. So my egg retrieval has been pushed back to Saturday. I'm really scared. It's not pleasant being put under and then waking up feeling like crap. Oh and i'm also nervous for my trigger shot tomorrow because that needle is BIG! But it's just part of this process and this journey.
So happy that is officially the last day of my shots. See ya later - Gonal, Menopur, Cetrocide and Omnitrope.
Well I was hesitating sharing my experience again since I never posted about my 2nd IVF cycle. But decided to blog about it since this has become my personal journal. Let me take you back to my second IVF which was back in November of 2014, where all I did was take progesterone and hormones just to get my uterus ready for the 2 frozen embryos I had left (boy & girl). During that time things were not going great at work and I was stressing a lot. Sadly the embryos did not take and I was heartbroken once again. So after many talks with my husband we decided that things at work were not going to get better and if we wanted to truly give IVF a real chance again, then i would need to quit my job. So i did the unthinkable and quit my job. I stressed about it for 1 month but after seeing that I din't even get pregnant, to hear those terrible words, "Sorry, you're not pregnant" was all that i needed to hear to convince myself that i definitely needed to quit.
I took a few months off trying to make a baby to kind of get myself back on track again. With 2 failed IVF's, quitting my job due to the stress, I felt a little overwhelmed. Then in March of 2015 I decided to move forward. Talked with my specialist and my OBGYN & had a hysteroscopy and A&D per their advice just to make sure that my uterus was ok and that I didn't have anything bad going on down there that would keep me from getting pregnant. Everything looked good, I had 2 cysts but both were benign and I was scraped clean and ready to begin IVF for the 3rd time. On May 16th I began BCP again and after 3 weeks of taking them they found i had a cyst on my right ovary so my IVF was put on hold. I took BCP for 3 weeks and felt crummy and all for nothing. Yes I was annoyed and frustrated because I wanted to start right away with my shots but I needed to listen to my doctor and hope that the cyst goes away on its own. I was to contact them back as soon as I got my period again.
7/8/15 I finally got my period and contacted my doctor's office to schedule an ultrasound and make sure that the cyst went away. 7/10/15 had my ultrasound and the cyst was still there. My doctor said that I have an Endomitrioma Cyst and it will not go away on its own. So she suggested we start IVF - skipping BCP and going straight for the shots and that she would just monitor the cyst. The only way to get rid of it would be by a laparoscopy but i can't do that because of my kidney being behind my belly button or open surgery. She confirmed that the cyst was on the back side of my right ovary and that it would not or should not interfere with my IVF process. On that note she also suggested I take growth hormone for this cycle since I still had the cyst. So I began taking the 3 shots nightly as you can see from the picture above. Gonal 225, Menopur 75 and Omnitrope 25cc.
And here you see my blotchy looking belly after being given the shots. It's never fun to get the shots and I'm almost positive that it's not fun giving them either - Poor Robert!
First week of taking the shots I began to feel cramping right away but not as bad as my first IVF. I guess each time it will be different.
The growth hormone's side effects were swelling or swollen legs/feet and joint pain. Guess what? I immediately began to swell up. My legs were hurting bad and were restless. My ankles were nice and swollen too, or like Robert likes to call them now, "My Kankles". It's been an interesting week. I have been limping around the house all week. I feel like an old person, limping around and my ankles are swollen and my knee joints were hurting. I do have to say that this time around the side effects have been different. I have not had really bad cramping and nausea which is great, my biggest complaint has been the swelling only. Everything seems tolerable this time around.
7/15/15 I went to my second Ultrasound appointment to see how my follicles were doing. I had 4 on my right ovary and 2 on my left measuring between 10-12 mm. The number of follicles were definitely a lot different then last year. I guess as i get older the less follicles i make.
7/17/15 went to my 3rd Ultrasound and things are looking better. The cyst is still the same which is good and I had a total of 15 follicles (11) on my right ovary and only (4) on my left ovary. But we are currently watching the big follicles which are at 10-13mm. There are 5 on my right ovary and 2 on my left ovary which we need to try to get to at least 15mm so that i can do my trigger shot.
I am now to add a 4th shot to my nightly routine. Cetrocide which will stop my ovulation. It's a pain to have to get 4 shots a night. I got a little emotional when Robert gave me 4 shots. I think it's more emotion then pain. You put your body through so much and you say to yourself, "why me, why us?" Sometimes it just seems so unfair. But Robert quickly makes me snap out of it. The prepping of the shots takes a while too. All this IVF stuff is very complicated. Side effects I'm getting now is breast tenderness and I still have the swelling of the ankles. I am to go back on Monday for another ultrasound at the West LA office this time since my doctor will be at a conference. That day i will be told whether I retrieve my eggs on Wednesday or Thursday. I am hoping for Thursday because that's when my doctor is back from her conference. I am extremely nervous about the egg retrieval. Just to know you're being put under and hoping that they can get the most amount of follicles is really nerve wrecking.
I leave you with...
"The pain that I've been feeling can't compare to the joy that's coming. "
Hi, I am Hereta (pronounced Eretha) and I am your typical dog loving - candle maker. Since dogs don't have a voice, I believe it's our job to speak on their behalf. "Don't shop or buy while the homeless die."