Saturday, April 21, 2007

Status quo

Unfortunately, good news did not come our way today. Another BFN. I did not feel positive about this cycle from the beginning. Here is a recap:

Retrieval - 4 days past estimate - donor was responding to meds; however, growth of follicles was slow and there was a concern about hyperstimulation. 13 eggs retrieved (Each of my own retrieval cycles produced many more eggs than this but who's counting?). Of the 13, 5 eggs were immature, 3 did not fertilize, 1 embryo had cell division problems, which resulted in 4 embryos on day 3.

Transfer - all along the plan was to transfer on Day 5, but because we had less than 6 embryos the clinic asked us to come in on Day 3. The Dr. mentioned that we could come back on Day 5, but I was an emotional wreck and just wanted to continue on with the transfer. We transferred 3 embryos (one 10 cell and 2 eiqht cells - all beginning to compact with little fragmentation). We let the remaining embryo continue in culture to see if it would make it to blast.

Cryo news - The remaining embryo did not make it to blast. This confirmed in my mind that we would most probably not have a BFP.

I am pretty frustrated at this point - I know that I have not had good results on my own (i.e. BFP), but each of my own retrieval cycles resulted in at least one blast and I have had 4 FET's from my cycles. I assumed that we would have had much better results from a donor.

The donor that we chose had one previous cycle before ours and it resulted in a chemical - I specifically asked about her previous cycle before we chose her and was informed that there were sperm issues in that cycle (not sure if they had to perform rescue ICSI or what) but was assured that we did not have this same issue.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am pissed off. What the fxxx? This was supposed to be the answer.

TM mentioned that maybe we have a different issue other than egg quality, but I am at a loss to know what else could be out there. My FSH was a little over 6, my HSG was normal, both of our karotyping was normal, I respond well to meds, no issues with retrievals or transfers, lots of eggs, lots of blasts, 70-80% thaw rate for the blasts, (though please note - my embryos have been graded right about a 2 with some fragmentation - but each time, "They look good" per our Doc). The issue of egg quality came up during our first retrieval cycle as we had to go in on a day 3, but we did end up having blasts from that cycle also. What am I missing here?

We could have done PGD (and I wish that we had now), but since we had had so many failures we were encouraged to go right on to donor egg. The Doc seemed convinced that we have an egg issue.

We will probably schedule our cycle review right away, neither of us is very patient and I want to get a plan in place. We talked about adoption again today, but neither of us is ready to give up yet.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Senseless tragedy

In light of todays events, my struggles with IF seem low on the priority list.

Today the tragedy at VT brings everything into perspective. My sympathies go out to all of the students, family, and staff of VT. I am praying for the families and friends that have lost loved ones in this senseless tragedy. I keep thinking of all of the young people and their teachers who lost their lives today for no reason. I keep thinking about the parents who have lost their children, families who have lost a parent, and the countless friends of the innocent victims. The sense of loss is overwhelming.

Life is very fragile and we can't take one moment for granted......

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Transfer Day

Yesterday was transfer day. All in all it went fairly well, but damn the stress was unbelievable. We started out the day not knowing if we would transfer or not. The drive was tense! When we got to the clinic, I almost lost it, but maintained my composure (in front of everyone except TM of course). The Dr. didn't keep us waiting too long and came in with the news - 4 out of the 5 embryos looked good. We were given the option to wait and see if they made it to blast and transfer on Thursday (provided some of the embryos make it to blast of course) or go ahead and transfer today. We decided to go ahead with the transfer. Here are the stats:

1 - 10 cell
2 - 8 cell

All with very little fragmentation and beginning to compact (cells multiplying enough so that individual cells are hardly visible).

We asked about grading and for some reason our Dr. doesn't seem to be too interested in grading. He thinks that it is too subjective. He did say that our embryos were 2's and "looked good" (1 out of 4 being best) and that the clinic has not had a grade 1 embryo this year so far. What???? We are not talking a small clinic here - this is a big operation in my area, with a TON of IVF and IVF DE cycles. I could take his statement a couple of different ways:

1) Let's keep the emotional woman in the stirrups calm
2) Embryologist's are never satisfied (he has alluded to this previously)

So at the end of the day, the transfer went well and now all we have to do is wait...........

Monday, April 9, 2007

Waiting is tough

This is probably my toughest cycle so far. I think that I say that about each cycle though. Maybe with the other ones I always felt like I had another chance. But this one seems final somehow......

TM and I were accepted a year and a half ago into a IVF guarantee program at our clinic. We both had to go through numerous tests and prove that we did not have any insurance that covered infertility to qualify. We ended up qualifying and were accepted into the program. It covered 4 cycles of IVF and any associated FET's. The Dr. talked to us and told us that in his opinion we did not need the program as my test results and age did not indicate any issues, but I am risk adverse. I felt like it was better to enter the program and not worry about anything financial should we have to go through two or more cycles. Of course, we passed the two cycle point some time ago.....

After our third retrieval cycle and associated FET failures, we sat down with our Dr. for yet another cycle review and he offered a donor egg cycle in place of our 4th and final guaranteed program cycle. We had been talking with the Dr. for some time that egg quality could be an issue for me particularly with the poor results of my first IVF retrieval cycle. He thought that this issue was confirmed with our repeated and consistent IVF failure.

All along we had considered DS due to TM's cancer history, but after our 3rd retrieval BFN we started to talk about DE. TM was very comfortable with both DE and DS. I was comfortable with DS but not DE. I felt like a failure. All these years, I always thought IVF would be easy for us since "there is nothing wrong with me" - I was so naive. It took me 2 FET cycles to become somewhat comfortable with DE probably due to the sheer pain factor of the BFN's combined with the positivity exhibited for DE from TM and my clinic. On the day of my last BFN, I was so frustrated, I just kept thinking "what is wrong with me", I was so tired and so disappointed. We scheduled our cycle review for a couple of days later and the Dr. made the DE offer. Since we had been talking about it for so long, and I had come to terms with the fact that my eggs are not working, we decided to take a look at the donors. We took a month or so off from all drugs and picked out a donor. Our clinic has a large donor program and does all of the preliminary work (medical and psychological testing, family history, etc.) before accepting a donor into their program. All that was left for us was to choose. It took about a month for our cycles to sync up and then we got started.

In reviewing my previous posts and comments, I didn't go into very much detail about DE while we were going through the selection process. I know that it seems like we jumped right in, when in fact it was a long drawn out process. I still am on the fence about all of the things that surround DE - who to tell, when to tell, what to tell, etc. Although we have chosen this route, it is still painful to me that this route is necessary. We have not shared DE with anyone outside of blog land and I don't anticipate that we will anytime soon.

I am still grieving about not being able to have a biological child. I am grieving about all of the potential children that we have lost. I am hoping that DE is the answer for us. I am worried that this next cycle will not work. Basically, I am a mess.

I know that whatever happens I will make it through. But it sure doesn't make the process any easier.

I didn't get an update on anything today.......we are still planning on transfer tomorrow unless we hear otherwise.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


I am thinking this morning and going over my history with IVF. Over the last year and a half I have been going full force hoping that one of these times one of my cycles would just work. I am so frustrated to be at the point where I am starting to think I have been beaten. I let myself feel some hope over the last two days........and now I am back to reality again. Of course it is on a day where I can't just hide in bed all day, I have to pull myself together along with Easter dinner and take everything on the road. I have to keep telling myself that this time might be different and make it through the next few days without having a nervous breakdown. Why does this have to be so hard????

Here is a breakdown of my cycles so far:

1st IVF: 3 -3DT - BFN
2nd IVF: 2 -5dt - BFN
1st FET: 2 -5dt - BFN
2nd FET: 2 -5dt - BFN
3rd IVF: 3 -3dt with assisted hatching (could have gone to 5 day, but Dr wanted to try a three day with the assisted hatching - he was worried about triplets - ha)- Beta = 5; subsequent BFN
3rd FET: 3 - 5dt with assisted hatching - BFN
4th FET: 3 - 5dt with assisted hatching - BFN

Now we are in the thick of DE cycle #1 - today we got the news that out of 13 eggs retrieved, 5 were immature, and 3 did not fertilize. So we are left with 5 fertilized embryos. The Dr wants us to come in on Tuesday for a three day transfer. All along the plan was to come in for a five day transfer, but since we have less than 6 embryos at this stage, the feeling is that a three day transfer may need to happen. This is not good news. The only other time that a three day transfer was mandated for me was our first cycle when all of our embryos did not look good at all. I did not get any grading information today for our DE embryos as it was not available, this causes me concern.

The plan right now is to go in on Tuesday and find out if: 1) there are any embryos to transfer, and 2) we should transfer on Tuesday or wait until Thursday.

Right now, I am feeling really down and not sure how I am going to make it to Tuesday. Of course, I will make it and will survive no matter what happens, but damn this is stressful.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April Fools

I want to send out a big "Thank You" to all of my blog supporters in cyberspace. It means a lot to me just knowing that I am not alone in the world of IF (DE in particular).

While I am new to the world of blogging, I have been a lurker for some time now. Reading blogs of other fellow IF survivors has helped me immeasurably. I have gained knowledge, perspective, strength, and definition of purpose. I strive to be emotionally secure and focused and not to doubt myself.

That being said - Some days are harder than others. I think that for every step that I take forward I end up taking two steps back. Today was particularly hard, I purposely missed a baby shower, opted out of the family get together for Easter (pregnant relatives, cute kids, nosy questions - you know the drill), and had a lupron meltdown. My husband, a.k.a. The Man or TM for short, shows real patience when dealing with my meltdowns. I don't seem to have them very often, but when I do.........look out. Usually a meltdown does not come out of the blue. Something or someone sets the wheels in motion. Today was no different. Let's just say that someone played an "April Fools" joke that hit a little too close to home. The jokester did not try to intentionally hurt TM or I, and in fact apologized later, but the damage was done. Let's put it this way, there is a new winner in the insensitivity comment contest. I used to think that the winner was - "You should just stop trying and adopt. I know someone that adopted and as soon as they did they ended up pregnant.", but winner no longer.......someone else has taken the crown in this category. Maybe one day I will share, but for now it is better left unsaid.

Insensitivity is one reason that TM and I do not plan on disclosing DE to friends and family. Most family members are supportive but there are a few that believe that we should not be pursuing IVF and cannot seem to comprehend the process at all. I don't want to answer their questions or feel the need to explain. Said family members have never been supportive, even through TM's diagnosis, treatment and recovery. I could not imagine that they would be a source of support now. So, it makes sense to just keep this to ourselves for now.

I am so grateful that IVF and DE is an option for us. TM is completely recovered and almost 10 years out at this point. We have been blessed with a wonderful donor who is willing to help us become a family. I cannot express how thankful I am - even when some days are tougher than others.