Thursday, June 30, 2011


Egg retrieval was this morning. We got two eggs. For this following along, that's one more than originally expected, but only half of what we were potentially tracking as of Monday (tho we knew the two small ones probably wouldn't catch up enough).

Retrieval itself was fine. The facilities aren't as nice as at my previous clinic, but not in a major way. Eventually got the IV in my forearm where I like it, after the vein blew in my elbow. :p this clinicdoesnt have the cold numbing spray that my previous clinic used pre-IV but I was a big girl and did fine.

Went to Lotus of Siam for lunch - reputed to be the best Thai restaurant in the country, and it was pretty damn good. Then back to the hotel for a nap. (I'm going to write a post soon about what to do in Vegas when you're here for IVF, with reviews of restaurants and hotels and stuff...)

They gave me a progesterone shot to help bring on my period - they said 2-10 days, but since my luteal phase is naturally short, I suspect I'll be at the shorter end of the range.

Once my period starts, I go back on the pill. And in late July start up the same regimen for retrieval #2. I'm going to do acupuncture (didn't with 5.1 due to travel) to see if that helps with ovarian response.

We did decide to do three retrievals - thanks for weighing in. It came down to: this was designed as our last ditch effort to use my eggs, so we may as well get what we can to give us the best chance of having at least one normal embryo.

I've been wanting to try the Blu.eprint juice cleanse, and got a grou.pon- typ deal for it a month or two ago, so I'll try that sometime in July - figure getting rid of all these drugs in my system canny be a good thing.

Fertilization report tomorrow. Since this is 1 of 3 somehow everything seems less important, so I'm not particularly stressed about any of it. Silver lining, I guess.

I mean, I really hope this works and we get at least one normal embryo. But if not, at least it's a clear sign to move on to DE.

Thanks for all the well-wishes!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Retrieval Thursday

I had another monitoring appointment this morning, and my expectation was that I'd trigger tonight. However, the largest follicle was up to 17mm, and there are now three more follicles above 10mm. So another day of stims may get us something from some of those.

I'm glad things are looking a little better. I just wish the follicles were closer in size - my track record with small (10-13mm) follicles isn't great - usually we get immature eggs from them. In fact I'm not sure we've ever gotten a mature egg. But we'll see...

I'm managing to kill time while I'm here. Went shopping at the outlets today. Tomorrow I'm going to wander the Strip. Wednesday I'm going to Hoover Dam, and my husband arrives Wednesday night.

My trigger shot tomorrow night is going to be in my upper arm, which will be interesting. Apparently, Dr. thinks it absorbs better there (although he doesn't believe there's a difference for Gonal F - I was doing upper thigh and then switched to tummy after the first appt showed no progress - I told him and he reiterated it doesn't matter. *shrug*) Upper arm is supposed to be done like a flu shot, so I get to lean against a door jamb to hold my arm still. Lol.

Still noodling on two vs. three retrievals. Leaning towards three. I appreciate all the comments weighing in.

Thanks for keeping me company on my journey!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Back in Vegas

I flew back to Vegas last night for my 10am monitoring appointment today. It was nice to have the week at home, and the flight is only about 80 minutes. I will say, flying to Vegas on a Friday night flight is interesting. The girl next to me and the girl across the aisle spent the whole flight doing their makeup so they could go party as soon as they landed.

Which put me in an interesting spot - the girl next to me was wearing a tiny leopard print mini, black patent heels, and tons of inexpensive jewelry. I was trying to figure out how to strike up a conversation to see if Vegas was work or pleasure (if you know what I mean), so when she started putting on her makeup I commented that she had a lot more stamina that I did as I was looking forward to going to sleep as soon as I got (back) to my hotel. Turned out she was in town for a going away party weekend with friends. Glad I didn't ask my original question... ;)

So the monitoring appointment. I could tell over the past few days that something was growing, as I've had the bloated feeling that comes with stims as they do their thing. Unfortunately, only one ovary is doing anything - three follicles 15mm-7mm. It seems unlikely the 7mm one will catch up sufficiently, so my guess is we get one, maybe two, eggs in retrieval. I go back on Monday morning to see how things are going - my guess is I trigger Monday night for a Wednesday retrieval.

It'd disappointing. My last two cycles with my original IVF doc got me 6-7 follicles and 2-3 embryos each. Dr talks about quality over quantity, but of course he'd say that.

I will say, while I do respect his expertise, I don't particularly enjoy our interactions - he's definitely less warm than my previous IVF RE (who in turn was less warm than my pre-IVF doc).

I have to decide before retrieval if I'm going to add a third retrieval cycle to our plan. Even though here I've been talking about three retrievals, then testing, then transfer, we only paid for two initially. We can upgrade to the 3-cycle plan anytime before the first retrieval.

I'm having a tough time with it. On one hand this cycle is so depressing I wonder if a third one is worth it. It would cost another $5k with the clinic, plus about $6-7k in meds. But the genetic testing cost won't change.

This is our last effort with my eggs. And if we can increase production by 50% by doing a third cycle, that seems worth it (2 eggs -> 3 eggs). Of course 2-3 eggs doesn't equal 2-3 embryos as we all know. Statistically, about 30% of our embryos should be sound. So really we're talking about trying to up our chances of having a single normal embryo. Ugh.

My husband and I have been talking about starting a donor egg cycle in parallel - we'd want to do the genetic testing with that as well, so that way we'd end the year with more options. And we do want more than one child (one of the reasons we went to this staggered plan was the possibility of collecting enough embryos that we could possibly end up with more than one normal one. Seems pretty unlikely now.

And if we do have a normal embryo, I lean more and more to getting a surrogate, given my 50% chance of a match that would lead to failure. But we could try donor eggs in me - one at a time, since the match issue is still there.

Blarg. All we want is to have a family. It sucks that it's this hard.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nothing to report, literally

We flew to Vegas yesterday afternoon, just over 24 hours after I returned from a wonderful, relaxing week in Mexico.

We are flying home tonight.

It's not quite that bad. I'm flying back to Vegas on Friday night for a Saturday morning appointment, but at today's CD9 ultrasound, I had basically no follicular activity. After SIX days of 750iu of Gonal F and a day at 525iu. Which is about $4800 of Gonal F, incidentally.

Fucking depressing.

I've never not responded at all, with my other protocols. Dr. says this protocol can take longer, and that the first days of Gonal F are waking up the follicles, but it's hard to believe.

So I'm going to fly back here solo on Friday night, and my husband will join me on Saturday if things have started growing.

This makes an already expensive venture even more expensive. Extra flights, four days of a completely unused hotel rooms... Ugh.

I'm trying to stay optimistic - given the amount of meds going into my body, SOMETHING should happen by Saturday... Right...?

Ps it turns out that while 450iu of Gonal F may not prompt side effects, 750iu does affect my emotions. Joy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Quick update

Nothing huge to report, but I did get my estradiol checked on Monday and it's satisfying low, so I was able to start estradiol valerate injections last night (I do them Tuesday/Friday nights, this week and next). And I'm all done with Lupron - yay!

Figuring out my packing list for meds and needles, since I leave on Saturday for my vacation in Mexico - I think half my bag is going to be IVF-related. My sister in law has kindly agreed to do my IM shots.

As I've mentioned, I'm largely off twitter these days, since I'm on such a long path for IVF #5. But I hopped on yesterday and was devastated to hear of the sad news @LeLesMe and @MaternalTurtle are dealing with. Love and hugs to both of them.