IVF #2 CD8: Daily Monitoring

Hello.  Today is CD 8, Stims Day 6.  I went for my blood work and ultrasound this morning and discovered that my follicles have been busy trying to grow.  My estrogen count is 1,443.  I have 12 measurable follicles.  My right side is continuing to overachieve with seven follies.  My left side is chugging right along with five.  At the moment, I'm looking like this...

Left Follicles                                                     Right Follicles
  1. 14.6                                                          1. 15.9
  2. 11.8                                                          2. 15.9
  3.   9.0                                                          3. 15.8
  4. 10.7                                                          4. 11.4
  5.   9.5                                                          5. 15.1 
  6. ----                                                            6. 11.4
  7. ----                                                            7. 11.1     
   The sonographer told me I would be in daily monitoring from now until transfer unless something changes.  I already made my appointments.  Things appear to be progressing along.  My back is starting to kick my butt and my level of fatigue is also rising.  I'm about to start inhaling the Gatorade again because these headaches have been returning and there is nothing fun about them.  There is also the nastiest nausea that I have ever felt.  Considering how there has been a stomach virus going around, I'm not too sure of what this is.

Stims Day 6     
  • Gonal-F 112.50 ius
  • Menopur 150.00 ius
Stims Day 6 Symptoms/Side Effects
  • Bloated
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Backache
  • Hot Flashes
Stims Day 6 New Developments
  • Daily Appointments starting CD9 ( 1 Dec 16)
Next Appointment
  • Bloodwork and Ultrasound-IVF CD9
                           
I'll check in tomorrow.

-K

IVF #2 CD7: Tired!

Hi everyone!

Today was the introduction of Cetrotide.  So, I woke up this morning, tried to get everyone out and on time, and then realized I was about to walk out without my morning dosage.  So, I managed to pull everything out of the fridge, and without numbing myself with ice, took my needle.  Ugh.  It's a good thing I was in such a hurry this morning.  I didn't have time to focus on the HURT!!!  UGH!

It wasn't until I was halfway home this PM when I realized that tonight I'll be taking three shots before I lay head to pillow....and I'm already exhausted.

Tonight, I'll be taking Gonal-F and Menopur (double dose).  So how do I feel?

Well, honestly, I'm sleepy.  I am so tired, so fatigued.  I feel exhausted and I would like nothing more than to take a nap.  I remember taking my last shots at 7:30 because it worked well with our schedule. Because my schedule altered this cycle, I'm taking the meds at 9:15.  I wish I could take them earlier now.  I really want a nap.

Other than that, I'm great.  Not much cramping today, so I'm not even sure everything is working today.  But I assume so.

Let's pull today's stats and see what tomorrow's bloodwork and ultrasound bring us.

I'll talk to you later.

-K

Stims Day 5
  • Gonal-F  112.50 ius
  • Menopur 150.00 ius
Stims Day 5 Symptoms/Side Effects
  • Bloated
  • TIRED
Stims Day 5 New Developments
  •   Cetrotide to be added 29 Nov AM
Next Appointment
  • Bloodwork and Ultrasound-IVF CD8, Stims Day 6

IVF #2, CD 6: New Cycle, New Symptoms, New Adjustments, and New Players

So, today is CD6, Stims Day 4. And apparently my body is just itching to overachieve. I went to my BW & US appointment this morning to see if any of my follies are starting to progress. The sonographer said she counted 13 on my right and 10 on my left! 


BUT...don’t get too excited. Only four of those thirteen are measurable right now. I have one 9.9 cm follicle on my left side. My right side, which loves to overachieve, currently has 11.5, 10.6, and 10.3. Looks like we’re trying to hit that 18mm mark sooner than later J. My lining measured at 5.3 and I’m all about making that as healthy and thick and beautiful as possible if it means providing a nurturing place for our baby(ies). I am all positive for this cycle.

If you have followed the blog for a while, then you know last cycle, my estrogen count on stims day 4 was 724. That was MUCH higher than they wanted it to be and they adjusted the amount of medication I took. Well, this time, I’m performing a bit better at 588, but still higher than the RE likes on stims day 4. So, I’ve been adjusted again.

Tonight, I will adjust my Gonal-F by 37.5 ius. I’m only taking 112.5 ius. The Menopur will remain the same dosage tonight BUT tomorrow a new friend joins the party….CETROTIDE!

(Okay, for all the nerdy people like me, I totally heard the ominous echo and had a vision of a Cetrotide transformer showing up. I love my imagination).

Anywho, I start one vial of Cetrotide tomorrow AM. Now, what is tremendously awesome is comparing my first cycle to this one and seeing the similarities. Like my last Stims Day 4, I am starting to develop a headache. I had a nasty one hit me almost immediately after taking my Gonal-F/Menopur cocktail last night. It went away but today, about 1400 (2pm), I started having one live behind my eye. It almost feels like a migraine but isn’t. Also, returning to the party, just like last time is the bloat. I guess the follies really are trying to grow. I certainly won’t complain!

Nurse A. just called and confirmed all of my meds and scheduling. I return to the office on Stims Day 6, IVF CD 8, and we’ll see what happens then. Here is today’s breakdown and I hope you find it helpful.

Stims Day 4
  • Gonal-F 112.50 ius
  • Menopur 75.00 ius
Stims Day 4 Symptoms/Side Effects
  • Headache behind right eye
  • Felt first “tugging” of ovaries. Never knew what my #ttcsisters were talking about until I felt it
  • Short stabby prick in right ovaries
  • Bloated
Stims Day 4 New Developments
  •  Estrogen count is 588
  •  Gonal-F reduced by 37.5 ius
  •  Cetrotide to be added 29 Nov AM
Next Appointment
  • Bloodwork and Ultrasound-IVF CD8, Stims Day 6

I will update you tomorrow!

-K

IVF #2 CD 4: IVF #2 has officially begun (Stims Day 2)



Hello everyone!  Happy belated Thanksgiving.  I should have written a couple of days ago, but it has been so busy in my household that it was next to impossible to do so.  I have my IVF #2 Baseline blood work and ultrasound on 22 November.  Everything was quiet and "beautiful" per the sonographer and I left with my new medication calendar and follow-up appointment scheduled.

While at the RE's office, I met a young woman who was just starting her IVF journey and she and I were sharing experiences as her husband has male factor infertility numbers similar to S.  The young woman seemed appreciative of the fact that I was willing to talk to her and it reminded me of our IG community.  It's nice to have people who understand and can relate to what we're walking through.  I told her she was more than welcome to talk to me about it in the future as well.

Fast forward past the 30+ people in our home and the controlled chaos of the Thanksgiving holiday (not to mention the gratitude of God) and yesterday found me at the start of ovary stimulation.  The first dosage was a bit tricky logistics wise because I had to excuse myself from all of our guests to take the dosage.  I also had a couple of changes from our first IVF cycle.

And so it begins...
Last cycle I was started on 225 iu of Gonal-F and 75 iu of Menopur.  I responded much quicker than expected and the RE ended up reducing my Gonal-F to lower my risk of OHSS.  (My estrogen numbers were high!). This cycle, I have been started on 150 iu of Gonal-F and 75 iu on Menopur.
I'm interested in seeing how my body will respond though I have to admit I have already felt ovary twinges and I'm familiar enough with them by now that I know it's not my mind playing tricks on me.

Here's my breakdown for the Stims Day 1:

Stims Day 1
  • Gonal-F    150 iu
  • Menopur     75 iu
Stims Day 1 Symptoms
  • Definite recognizable twinges in my ovaries, particularly right side
Stims Day 1 Developments
  • N/A
Next Appointment(s)
  • IVF CD6:  Bloodwork (Monday, 28 Nov 2016)

I'll see if I can post again tonight with an update on stims posting today.

I love our community

I've said it more than once.  Our #TTC community is amazing!  I've had more support in my virtual family than I could have ever imagined.  But this latest episode?  Oh my am I overwhelmed.

There was no way S. and I could afford another $4K in meds.  I told S. that I was going to contact the #TTC community on IG for assistance.  My honey was skeptical.  I told him it couldn't hurt to try and we'd be no worse off than when we first started.

So, I put out the call for Menopur, Cetrotide, and Gonal-F pens.  Several ladies contacted me.  We were able to connect and discuss what was needed.  Some ladies just contacted to let me know they were sharing my request with others.  Two ladies in particular became saving angels.

In the past four days, I have received all of the items requested plus some beautiful notes of encouragement and #TTC goodies.  I've also shared some laughs and encouraging words behind the DM screen.  I tell you I am humbled.

This community really is amazing.  I don't have enough thank yous in me because there are simply not enough to show the gratitude I have for you all.  This journey is hard.  It's especially hard because S. and I are in this solo.  With the exception of one girlfriend who has successfully walked through this journey herself and one #TTC supporter who successfully delivered her own healthy bundles, no one knows we are having these issues.  Even the supporters don't hear from me often.  It gets frustrating.

Every day I log on to my phone or computer and I see messages of encouragement from #TTCsisters worldwide to each other.  I see you all mourn when a baby receives angel wings.  I see you celebrate when a baby is born.  I see excitement when a #BFP is announced.  I see fierce Mama Bear protectiveness when someone comes insensitively to another sister or brother (I see you all out there and love you too!) walking this journey.  I also see the shared devastation  and support when a #BFN is shared.

If our entire world could embrace the support and love that is found in this community, it would be a powerful thing.  I thank you for that.

I plan to edit this post to include pictures of the meds received and the gifts attached.  I think it is important to see that there are still wonderful people in this world.  S. and I still needed to make some additional purchases, but no where near $4K and that is a HUGE blessing.

Thank you very much and may God Himself cover you with His love and blessings.  My husband and I thank you.

-K

Gearing up for IVF Cycle 2: The Follow-Up


Hello everyone. Oh my! I had no idea that it had been so long since I have posted. I sincerely apologize for not writing, but truth be told there hasn’t been much to write about. You were there via Instagram for the devastating blow of #BFN after the faint positive from the blue dye test. (Note to self: Never EVER use blue dye again). Then, there was the celebration of my ttc sisters who succeeded on their IVF journey. That was exciting and fun and sad at the same time. But I am still thrilled for them. Now, it’s back to reality.

I started birth control for IVF cycle number 2 on November 3rd. That tiny little sphere was basically my “here we go again world” war cry. And here we are taking it day by day. So what does today bring? Today brings intake. Yesterday was our follow-on What in the World (WITW) appointment.

 The news gave me a lot to think about.

The new pill regime begins

I talked to Dr. G and her response was the protocol worked beautifully. We produced 12 good quality eggs, 9 of which were mature. Four fertilized. Two eggs divided quite nicely. One was a beautiful blast, the other only slightly behind. They were implanted. One of the remaining stopped growing pretty quickly. The other actually looked like it was going to continue dividing. It was in the same stage as the slightly behind blastocyst when it stopped dividing as well. And nothing remained.

I asked if it was an egg issue, a sperm issue, or something else. And she explained that it could have been anything, but if she had to guess, she would have guessed S.’s sperm count. It was low. Really low. Much lower than it had been for the IUI and that was significantly less than 1M. When counting sperm per grid, S. only had 7 moving per grid. I’m linking this Mayo clinic page that breaks it down much better than I, but here’s my layman.

Sperm is looked at under the microscope to see how many normal sperm appear in squares on a grid pattern. If they use a big 4 corner squares gril, they are looking for a number x50K to determine sperm per ml. If done by 9 big squares grid, they are to look by x22K to determine sperm per ml. S. had 7 or 350K. A normal minimum is 5M and my husband (if I understood correctly) had 350K after sperm wash on the day of retrieval. 

Not exactly a great number

 All of that being said, Dr. G reminded me that it only takes one good sperm and one good egg for success. She also said that with counts this low the very DNA of the sperm can be affected and the embryos can stop developing if the pregnancy will not be viable or if there will be genetic issues. She suspects that is probably what happened to us despite the blastocyst and morula looking very good.

We’ve gone to one of the top specialists in the nation for male factor infertility and he said the S. had no findable issues. I think it’s time for a follow-up. Either way, we are pushing forward and I pray everything works out. I’m a couple of days away from ordering some of the meds and our community has been able to help with others. I am investing in no stress and just focusing on God.

We will conceive.


-K