Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And Then There Were...

One. Out of 14 embryos, 10 were able to be biopsied. Out of 10, only one was determined to be genetically normal. One. The other nine had what I was told was "multiple chromosomal anomalies". In plain old English that means they were shitty. 'Nuff said.

So, they transferred the Lone Embryo (which they feel is a great one that is changing into a blast) and now all we do is wait.

I am really upset about the whole situation-I mean one? Really? Even the doctors were surprised by that-at my age there should be two or even three viable ones. I guess you can look at it from the perspective that we at least now know why we've had so many IVF failures. But it doesn't make me feel any better knowing that not only do I have crappy tubes, I have apparently crappy eggs as well. We never stood a fighting chance, it seems.

So, Lone Embryo, you are the last chance for us. It's obvious that they won't let us cycle again with my own eggs, so you could very well be the end of our reproductive road. So, please.....try to fight. You're proven to be healthy. You will be loved and cherished, should you become a real live baby. Now it's up to you.

No pressure, but we already expect a hell of a lot from you, and you haven't even been born yet. Just imagine what high school's going to be like.

Please try, anyway.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back From Folli-Land

Yaaay! I'm alive!

We got the call over the weekend from the monitoring nurse (not Nurse Blondie, whoever was on call this weekend) that, at least as of yesterday, there are still 14 embryos plugging along to Omeletville, which is great news. We got instructions for our transfer (Tuesday at 1:30, bring water, make sure there's no jewelry, deodorant, blah blah blah) and were told that no news was good news. There's a chance that the transfer could be pushed to Wednesday afternoon (in which case we'd get a call Tuesday morning), depending on when they receive the CGH results, but they've apparently been pretty quick about getting those results back-I guess that's one of the perks of having a major genetics company within 10 minutes of BIC. Woot!

I've been reading up on CGH (which stands for comparative genome hybridization) and it seems like it's a good fit for us. There's two types of CGH-the Array CGH and just CGH analysis -I believe that they're doing the Array testing, since they're doing the biopsy on day 3 and we'll get the results back within 24 hours-the other testing actually requires biopsy on day 5 and either transfer day 6 or freezing the blasts for a FET. CGH testing actually looks at all the chromosomes, not just 12, which standard PGD does. It has up to a 60% success rate and only a 5% miscarriage rate, which is perfect for us. Of course there's drawbacks, like in any procedure, but it seems to be a good fit for us, which is why Dr. Pipsqueak recommended it in our case.

She rocks. Just sayin'.

Of course, there is the chance that we might have nothing to transfer, or have embryos that are chromosomally viable that aren't the best quality, but I'm having a really good feeling about this. We're actually not anxious at all about what's going to, or not going to happen-it's as if we've kind of passed it along and realized that there's no sense worrying about things that we can't control right now. Neither of us can afford to be stressed out right now; plus, it won't change the outcome. It's really interesting that we're not worried or obsessive about the testing or results, but I'm going to go with it and not read into anything too much.

I'm feeling better, finally-my left side is more tender than the right, but the nurse told me that they aspirated more follicles on that side. I'm hydrating like a madwoman, just in case that old whore OHSS comes along, but I feel pretty good, once I slept off the anesthesia and could finally....well.....got to drop the "kids" off at the pool, if you get my drift. That's the one things about the anesthesia and progesterone combo that I don't like-the Doody Highway gets a traffic jam, and you feel bloated and crampy to begin with. Yuck. So I was a happy camper when that resolved itself.

I totally can't believe that I've sunk to a new low by talking about crapping here. Ye-gads, what's next-tampon comparisons? Fiber supplements? Sheesh...

Cross your fingers for us, if you can-hopefully I'll have more news soon!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Omelets Abound.

Sorry for the short post, but here's the lowdown:

14 eggs. All mature and fertilized via ICSI

Got a call this afternoon from Dr. Pipsqueak that since all were mature, they want to do CGH instead of PGD, to check all the chromosomes. Yeah, it costs more, but they think that, should all 14 continue to develop, it will be beneficial. If they don't continue to mature, they're going to do straight PGD. So, we're going for it. We've made it this far, right?

Now I feel like doody, so I'm going back to bed. Catch ya on the flip-side.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Follicle Omelet With A Side of Home-Fries

Just got the call-the huevos are cooked enough to crack open those bad-boys and make an omelet. Trigger tonight, then retrieval Friday morning. Just in time for yet ANOTHER snowstorm. Driving up the Garden State Parkway is going to be such a nightmare that I'm already looking forward to the drugs for ER. And the drugs after ER. Hell, maybe I should take some now, just for shits and giggles.

The count, as of this morning, was 24 good-sized follicles, so hopefully that will get more than 12 eggs. The more I get, the more for PGD, and the more normal ones we'll end up with. Or, at least, that's the theory-we all know that IVF has odds much like the roulette table at The Borgata.

Minus the hookers, of course. Because hookers in an IVF lab is just awkward, not to mention it might be a little hard to explain to said theoretical children why there's a creepy lady in hoochie clothes giving the camera a thumbs-up in the procedure room (take THAT as a visual, people!). Yeah, that's where my mind goes to in all this-creepy hookers. I'm so fucked-up.

Let the fun begin!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Keeping the "Z" in Zen

I've been going to BIC every day now, since Thursday morning, which is great in the way that I feel like they're watching me closely to make sure that I get enough follicles to trigger, but not so good due to the fact that I have to go EVERY DAY for bloodwork and a dildocam. Which doesn't get more comfortable as the days go on.

When I mentioned this to the monitoring doc, she pointed out that, even though it's a pain, at least it's not the opposite issue, that I don't make enough. She's got a point-there's no sense bitching about it when there's plenty of people who would actually want to be in my situation.

It takes someone pointing out the obvious to you to put things in perspective.

So.....here's where we're at. I'll probably trigger Tuesday or Wednesday with ER being on Thursday or Friday, depending on what they see tomorrow. There's about 20 good-sized follicles chugging away in there, but they want the right side to catch up to the left, so we get the optimal amount. They seem to be really excited with how the stims are going-I'm only on 75 IU/day, which is NOTHING compared to the typical dosage is-and my estradiol is climbing nice and steadily, which is nice to know. I'm starting to get a little uncomfortable and I'm exhausted, so I'm just about ready for this part to be over.

It's weird, because even though you're injecting yourself with 2 needles a day for a few weeks, and you get headaches and bloated, tired and hormonal, I feel like this is the easiest part of the cycle. Everything is timed out and choreographed perfectly-you get into a sick sort of routine with the injections. It's the second half that's the bitch, because of the progesterone and the waiting to see if it worked (and then waiting to see if anything is viable, at least in my case). The Two Week Wait while taking Progesterone is not unlike standing on the edge of a high-dive at the community pool-you know, logically, that once you take the plunge there's no way that anything bad will really happen to you, but your body gets into that "fight or flight" mode and you're frozen with fear and can't take that first step into the unknown. Not to mention that you're probably naked up there and have to pee and you've got twenty kids screaming at you from the bottom to JUST HURRY THE HELL UP ALREADY. The 2WW, to me, is like a free-fall of anxiety and obsessiveness that, at least this time around, I cannot feed into, for my own sanity's sake...well, and Sean's too-he still hasn't patched up the hole I punched in the wall going up the stairs from the last cycle (stupid Progeste-rage). The only problem is, how do I put that into practice?

That's what I need to find out-to practice what I preach. I feel like I can't afford to let any anger, panic or anxiety in during this upcoming 2WW, like it's potentially poisonous to the outcome. I know realistically that it's not going to affect whether or not I get pregnant, but it seems like EVERY DAMN cycle I have something happen in that two week time period that causes me to lose control completely. Sean's not really a help in this, unfortunately-he has anxiety issues of his own that manifests itself, so me getting my Progeste-freak on just escalates into a group meltdown at our house, ending up with me breaking something and crying hysterically.

So, any suggestions? I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts or what they did to make the wait easier.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Uh oh.....

Okay, so either (a). I'm starting to noticeably bloat from the Folli-STING, (b). I had on the wrong outfit (leggings, boots and a tunic dress) or else (c). I've been in a bit of denial with gaining some poundage around my middle, but I was, for the first time EVER, asked the following question today by a substitute nurse...

"Soooooo, when are you due?"


Of course, me being the snarky bitch that I am (and also suffering from that "insert-foot-in-mouth" disease), after just staring at her for a second (and mumbling,"what was that?"), shot back with "No, I'm not pregnant, just fat". And watched her get all uncomfortable, red-faced and embarrassed (with me trying to stifle a giggle just from the look on this woman's face), awkwardly backpedal and repeatedly apologize to me. I did try to be nice, though, and said, "Don't worry, I've been asked that before" (lie!) and "It's not a big deal" (bullshit) as she slunk out of my classroom back to the office across the hall.

But, it did bother me, a little. What the fuck? I would never, NEVER ask anyone that! Okay, maybe going through everything that I have I might be a little hypersensitive to that, but, I mean.......REALLY!?!?

And yet, another voice inside my head whispered "From your mouth to God's ears".

So, is it a horrible faux-pas that can be laughed off, or is it a sign? Who knows.

By the way, yesterday's check showed 11 follicles on the left and 12 on the right, percolating away at less than 10mm. Next check tomorrow.

So far, so good.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Yaaaaaaaay PHLEGM!!!

Okay, so....because the gods just LOOOVE to fuck with me, I ended up getting sick on New Year's Day. And, trust me, "sick" isn't a slick codeword for "Jaysus I drank too much and flashed my bra and hurled on the side of someone's car before passing out on the bed before removing my pantyhose".

That was New Year's 2003. At least, I think it was.

Seriously, though-we went out with some friends to see a show and had a yummy dinner in a nice restaurant, where I graced the audience of the small bathroom of this top-rated restaurant a showing of my ample belly whilst shooting up Lupron-the old ladies were aghast! There's a heroin freak in the ladies room! Oh, wait.....aren't junkies SKINNY??? Thaaat's right.....

Anyway, so the entire evening I had a little tickle in my throat-you know the kind, that makes you cough or constantly clear your throat like you've got a pube stuck in it (c'mon....you know you were thinking that!! Oh, you weren't? Um......). I decided to dose myself with a little Nyquil when we got home, and then the next morning woke up to pretty much sounding (and looking) like Kathleen Turner...and I mean the Kathleen Turner NOW, not the sexy as hell Kathleen Turner from 20 years ago. So it's not like I'm congested, but there's sinus pressure and obviously some kind of post nasal thing that's making me lose my voice, RIGHT IN TIME TO GO BACK TO WORK. Did I mention that I'm a teacher? A MUSIC teacher? And I can't take sick time because of the upcoming cycle? Um......yeah.

Oddly enough, the kids have really taken pity on me, which is surprising, since middle school- aged kids don't have pity for anyone unless it involves the red ring of death showing up on their XBOX 360 during a crucial moment in "Call of Duty". I'm totally taking advantage of their short-lived sympathy, though, because it's not going to last...

Where was I? Oh, yeah-snot. Or lack of it.

So it's obvious that I have a sinus thing. And since I'm on meds, I apparently have to be careful as to what I can take when cycling (Only Sudafed, which is a lot like showering with a garden hose-it's just not doing the trick). Well, someone clued me into the Wonderful World of the Neti Pot. It looks like a teapot, but don't be deceived.......it's a nose douche. So, I bought one of these things and I now look like a complete horse's ass in the bathroom in the morning jamming the spout of this thing up my nostril and trying not to gag as I prevent the saline solution from running down the back of my throat.

I'm sure Sean is JUST LOVING that, 10 years into marriage, he's got a glimpse of what I'll be like in about 20 years-chubby, snarfing and gagging while douching my nasal passages. Here's to another 20, baby! MWWWAH!

Hopefully this will do the trick, because I don't want to go on yet another medication (plus, if I can hold on, hopefully the Doryx right before the retrieval might do the trick!). If I still feel like shit on Thursday when I go for my dildocam to see if I can start stims, maybe I'll ask for something then.

Oooh, IVF cycles in the winter are SO MUCH FUN! Why didn't I do this more often?

Now, excuse me while I go hock up some lungs.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Eating Lightning and Crapping Thunder

Well, Happy New Year, everyone. I don't know about you, but I was certainly glad to kick 2010 to the curb, that dirty slut. Although it wasn't quite as bad as The Shit Year That Was 2009, it wasn't the days of wine and roses, either. I guess you can say that it was a year of transition.

Mom's doing really really well with her recovery. She's using a walker and zipping around fairly well-getting herself in and out of a chair, going to the bathroom and such, and is also using a single-prong cane in therapy and practicing movement in the house. The cane makes her a bit more nervous than using the walker, but she's also using a treadmill at therapy, so they're pretty confident that she might not need anything by the summer. Her progress is truly amazing. The only snag is that her CA-125 has been slowly creeping up for the past few months. She's not ready yet for more chemo, so the oncologist put her on Femara to try to lower it. So, this is that awful limbo-waiting period that we need to go through to see what the deal is. Dad isn't good with this stuff, so it's been a struggle to keep him afloat, be the cheerleader for mom and try to manage my own mess of a life. Yeah, what else is new, right?

My brother and SIL (yeah, we starting talking again-that's a post for another day, though) moved to The Sunny Land in the South in September with My Handsome Nephew (hereby known to all here as MHN), which my parents didn't take well AT ALL, but......there wasn't much they could do about it. They did come for Christmas, so that was exciting to have them all here. MHN is absolutely adorable and sweet-natured (yeah, I know everyone says that, but he really is) and obviously has his mother's sweet temperament, which is a relief, considering that my brother can be a horse's ass sometimes.

Work is......work, which I hate to say, because I really like my job, apart from the part-time status. I'm still doing as much work as I did last year, sans half my salary and no insurance. I really think, despite reassurances from colleagues that "things will only be like this for this school year", that they won't bring me back to full-time-I mean, why should they, if they can get me to work just as much and not pay me? Which means that I'll have to look for another job, which BLOWS for teachers right now in NJ. Luckily we have Sean's health insurance, but for all the grandstanding from his employer that they get 100% employer-paid benefits, they really are shitty with the coverages and out-of-pocket expenses. But, it's better than nothing, so for that I must be thankful. We're actually considering moving out of state (perhaps to The Sunny Land of the South?) to get away from the hot mess that is the Garden State right now-I know that it's not better in a lot of places, but for the amount of taxes I'm being raped for here, I'd rather have less of a shellacking somewhere else. Plus, Sean HATES his job-he's never going to move forward in the company, and he's feeling stagnated, which just gets his anxiety and frustration going. Not a good combination, trust me.

Oh, yeah, and about that infertile thing. Well......I'm still infertile. But Dr. Pipsqueak convinced us to do one last college try, with the addition to that trusty little sidekick of PGD. Since it's not covered by insurance, we had to beg, borrow and steal (well, not STEAL, but beg and borrow is more like it) the $5K that insurance won't cover in order to start the cycle. I started Lupron on December 31st-Happy Frickin' New Year! I got to shoot up in a restaurant that was listed in Zagat's as "the fourth most-popular in New Jersey"-that's a first for me. The food was SLAMMIN', though......

So, we'll see about how this develops. Hopefully this will work, and we're done. Or, this won't work, and we'll know that my eggs are shit, and then we'll proceed from there. But, the past year and a half has taught me something important. I'm a strong person. I still have fight left in me, and I won't know if this will work or not if I don't at least try. So, I'll try it.

Now, pass me the Tylenol and a tank top, bitches.....I feel a headache and hot flashes coming on! Yaaaaay LUPRON!!