It's unusual…

..what started out as an IVF journey and ended up being about life

It’s been a real long while…. December 31, 2008

Filed under: Infertility,IVF,Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 9:13 am

Sorry I haven’t been around. It’s been very hectic with California, Christmas, etc. I’m not sure I can even squeeze it all into one post.
My third beta was 16,000 so I was scheduled for a sono this past Monday – more on that later.
My sister had her first sono on the Monday before Christmas and was given a due date of August 15. I figured I’d be around the 20th then. She saw the heartbeat and everything looks great.
Christmas was great this year. My mom was actually feeling okay, we had a nice Christmas Eve albeit there was a little drama. When isn’t there drama when you have a group of 12 siblings and SO’s. Christmas Day was hosted by yours truly and went off without a hitch. Misty was crated while everyone was here due to allergies, but that actually worked out for the better and I may do that from now on. My Crown Roast of Pork came out late but it was delish.
And of course I got everything I wanted….mostly the pregnancy, I would have been happy with just that.
And we had our first sono on Monday. BabyMack is measuring in at approx. 13 mm and is dated at 7weeks4days so my due date is August 12/13. We saw the heartbeat which totally made me cry…I think I was going to hug Dr. K, but I had no pants on so it made it kind of difficult. DH was sooooooooooo excited.
Now of course it’s back to worrying. I made my appointment with the regular OB and am seeing him on 1/7, which is when I’ll find out about the cerclage.
Thank you so much for following along with me….I still can’t believe we got a second chance at this. I really didn’t think it was going to happen. Now all I can do is pray for a smooth pregnancy….mackbaby-2


Things are continuing to look pretty good December 14, 2008

Filed under: Infertility,IVF,Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 8:27 pm
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Beta was at 3800 on Saturday which is a good number, means things are progressing nicely. I have to go back this coming Friday (the 19th) for another beta and then on the 29th I go for a sono to see if the embie/baby has a heartbeat. That will be the biggie.

California was really nice. We spent most of our time with family, but we did get some driving time on the PCH in. It’s very pretty out there…but also wayyy too expensive for my taste. I’m a poor person…and I’m not sure I’d even want to be that wealthy. But it was great seeing family – we haven’t seen them since the summer.  BTW, for all the people who think the Santa Monica Pier is something they have to see – don’t waste your time. It’s an arcade and fair – no more, no less. If you go to the pier, go to see the seals, cormorants and grebes(light colored cormorant looking birds).  And the scenery…

Had a Christmas party at my house with all my local “Infertility Friends” and we had a great time. I had a house full of kids ranging in age from 6 months to 5 years and it was so much fun. Although, after 7 hours I guess Misty had had enough and she nipped at the 5 year old. I’m not happy about it, but his mother was great and totally understood that the dog was tired and just reacted to him running by. I was really upset cuz she had been really good with the kids all day….I never expected that at the end of the night. She didn’t even break skin, but it was enough to disturb me.

In other news, my sister just announced that she is pregnant. If all goes well, we will be due within two weeks of each other. I can honestly say that at first I was a little angry and/or jealous, but I seem to have gotten past it and am thinking how great it will be that these cousins will be so close in age and get to grow up together. I remember how much fun I used to have with the cousins who were around my age and I really think this is going to be a good thing.

And that’s all I got…..I now have to go back to working on my Christmas Dinner menu. We have 13 people coming over and I’m thinking of doing a crown roast of pork for dinner.

Oh and some pics from Santa Monica!


Beta and other thangs… December 10, 2008

Filed under: Infertility,IVF — gertyrae @ 1:49 pm

Haven’t been around in a bit cuz I’ve been super busy. We left for California on Monday and the Dr. called just as we were boarding the plane. My beta was 676…which makes me extremely happy…but I’ve been second guessing everything ever since. If I don’t feel nauseau I think it’s a problem, if I feel any cramping I think it’s a problem. What if the embie is not developing, etc. etc. 

I’m trying to enjoy myself here, but am very nervous. We are visiting family so it’s not like an action packed vacation, but I still worry. I go back for the second beta on Saturday when we get home, so I hope that number makes me feel better.

Anyway, kids are looking for me so it’s off to play more games with the niece and nephew.


I’m an official record-breaker! October 27, 2008

Filed under: Infertility,IVF — gertyrae @ 8:31 pm

65 eggs retrieved…yup 65!!!! Where’s a fainting icon when you need it?

The record at my RE’s office up til now was 60 – from a 20 year old….

Of course, her eggs were probably all good…not so sure about mine.

I feel good, not much pain and no real cramping. Dr. K gave me some meds to help prevent OHSS – Doxocystine. So hopefully it won’t happen.

We also may be postponing fresh transfer and doing a frozen. Since I’ve never gotten PG off a fresh, he thinks it might be better to just do FET’s. Especially since my body is under so much stress from the retrieval.

So, we are waiting on the fertilization report and then talk about transfer.


Progesterone Sucks… September 16, 2008

Filed under: Infertility,Life — gertyrae @ 8:09 pm
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Not only am I ridiculously emotional now, but I have to stick these suppositories up my hoo-haa with my finger. Nothing more attractive than that disgusting white gook….oh and popping 12 pills a day.

But onto bigger and better things. It’s now four days past transfer and I couldn’t possibly overanalyze myself anymore. You would think I would be used to this by now. Every cramp, twinge and pain is an “Oh, maybe this is it!” moment. I amaze even myself. Twelve transfers and I’m hoping this is it….I really have to break myself of this habit. I didn’t think a person could continue to be this hopeful after all this time. My resilience is pretty amazing.

I’m trying to distract myself here and there…went to Arthur Ave. in the Bronx over the weekend for some Italian specialties, attended a few parties over the weekend (no drinking of course). Monday, I came home, walked the dog and read for a while and today I’m off to a Yankee game. Let me establish that I am not a Yankee fan, my husband is. And since they are tearing down the stadium I thought it only fair to give him a chance to see his boys one last time.  We shall be sitting in the bleachers to get full view of the “bleacher creatures”, so that should be entertaining. There will be no bleachers in the new stadium, so it’s the end of an era. Of course, with me being a Mets fan, my husband is loving the fact that they are tanking again. It makes him feel better about the fact that the Yanks won’t be in the playoffs at all. Soon, it will be onto the football battles between us. Hopefully, the two week wait will pass quickly – NOT! But I’m trying.

No symptoms as of yet – really. Just some cramping and discomfort. But there really wouldn’t be. Implantation won’t occur until now – I can only pray one of them has made it this far and is doing it’s burrowing thing. I truly wish there were a way to speed this part of the process up.

My dog is now groaning cuz she wants attention, I guess I’ll have to go and feed the aminals….and then it’s off to the races.

Be back soon – LET’S GO METS!!!!!!!!


Check In Tomorrow morning… September 10, 2008

Filed under: Infertility,IVF — gertyrae @ 2:23 am
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My baby girl....

My baby girl....

Well, tomorrow I go in to have my blood levels and lining checked for the transfer. For those of you who don’t know the process, a hormone replacement frozen transfer goes sort of like this:

On Cycle Day 2 you go in for blood and sono – blood to check your FSH levels and make sure you aren’t pregnant – hahahahah!/sono to check that your lining has thinned out.

Then, after they get the results from the blood back  you get a call telling you to start your Estrace pills twice a day. Generally, you take 2 2mg pills a day for 7 days (up till CD9) and then on CD10 you start to take 3 pills a day. Plus the prenatal vitamin and Folate if necessary.

Then you go back to the office for more blood and sono. Now they are checking to make sure the estrogen levels are where they should be and that your lining is thick enough. Usually they are looking for somewhere around 8-10mm.  This is what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

If everything looks good, they set you up for your frozen transfer. At this point there are all kinds of variations in the treatment. My RE starts off with progesterone injections 2 nights before transfer. The first night is 1/2 cc and the second night is 1cc.  Continuing with the estrace and starting doxycycline and medrol. Go in for transfer and then do another 1cc of progesterone. Starting the next day, it’s progesterone suppositories, medrol, doxy and estrace. Take the medrol and doxy until they run out and progesterone and estrace until beta.

The dreaded 2WW and then beta day.

The reason for this blog is because I’m really stressing about this frozen cycle so I’m hoping the blog will have a calming effect. Good luck with that right?!

So, tomorrow I go in for blood and sono and (since I’ve done this 11 times now) I’m guessing the transfer will be on Friday. Barring any freaky things happening…which in my case isn’t that freaky anymore.

And now, it’s off to bed to spend some quality time with my significant other before all the nasty stuff starts. 🙂


I’m back…it was a really long walk. September 8, 2008

Filed under: Infertility,IVF,Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 1:28 pm
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Okay, so I left off on the transfer after OHSS. Went back for the beta on Valentine’s day and it was negative, which was actually a good thing.

I had 49 eggs retrieved, 36 of which fertilized and are embryos…we transferred 3, so I have 33 frosty babies.  I proceed to do frozen transfers in February (4), March (5), April (6), May (6), June (6) and July (4) and we lost two in the thaw process. Not one pregnancy, not even a chemical.

So I go for a second, third and fourth opinion. All the RE’s seem to agree with my RE’s protocol. They all think it’s unusual for me to have gotten 36 embies and not one pregnancy – but I’m starting to get used to this by now. One RE suggests that I have a D&C and Hysteroscopy to check out my uterus and clear the scar tissue off my cervix. I go back to my RE with the idea and he decides it’s not a terrible idea, but doesn’t think he’s going to find anything.  We do the D&C in August, find nothing and in September start another IVF cycle.

Thankfully, this time there is no hyper stimulation and there are 55 eggs retrieved. 36 of which fertilize and become embryo’s. We transfer six and still no pregnancy. So, we set up for another frozen cycle. I have my transfer of six embryos on November 6 and on November 21, I find out I am PG with a beta of 735! This is amazing news…I am thrilled to death. The best Christmas EVER!!!

I proceed to have an amazingly easy and wonderful pregnancy. I feel great. A little nauseau here and there but nothing to serious. I do have a couple of bleeding incidents but am told to stay on pelvic bedrest. In early February, I have a serious bleeding incident. Lot’s of bright red blood and heavy. Rush to the Dr. and he finds nothing. He sends me to a peri-natalogist and they can’t find anything on the sonogram or anything. All looks completely normal and it’s chalked up to a broken blood vessel. I have my Level II on March 7th and we find out it’s a boy. We decide to name him Rogan Daniel and are thrilled.

On March 15th I am at a St. Patty’s party with my husband and some friends. I go to the bathroom and feel strange pressure. I call my Drs. emergency number and am told to go to Labor and Delivery. DH and I rush off to the hospital and they take me in right away. I am immediately hooked up to a sonogram machine and everything looks great. Rogan is moving around, heartbeat is fine, plenty of amniotic fluid. Then they do an internal – my bag of water has broken through my cervix and is pretty compromised. I am immediately put on an 45 degree angle upside down, catheterized and told I will have to remain like this until I give birth. Which is hopefully in about 8 weeks minimum. My Dr. arrives at the hospital and tells us, after an examination, that he doesn’t think I’m going to make it through the night. He expects me to go into labor within the next few hours. But I don’t….Rogan and I hang in there…and in there…and in there. Everything is going fine. My Dr. is amazed (and of course tells me how unusual this all is) and we start to talk about steroids and possibilities. Then, exactly one week after my admission to the hospital, the unthinkable happens… water breaks. Now, it’s bad. We are worried about infection, early labor, etc. , etc. Within four hours of my water breaking, my temperature starts to spike…I have an infection and labor must be induced. At 9:30 p.m. on March 22, 2008 I gave birth to Rogan. He took a breath and his heart beat for a few moments and then he passed. We were devastated and didn’t think we could go on.

Well, time heals most wounds and we started to get better and decided to try again. I still had 20 embryos left so why not. I set up with my RE for a frozen cycle and we begin. I have six embryo’s transferred in June and on the weekend of July 4th, I decide to POAS and get a BFP!!! It’s a friggin miracle!!! I’m pregnant already…I go in for my beta on July 7th and am ecstatic….until the RE calls to tell me my beta is 49. Positive, but I know that it’s not a good sign. I took a HPT three days ago and got a positive – beta should be more than 49 by now. I go back a week later for a follow-up beta. Comes back at 69. So, I go back again at the end of the week – 79. Obviously, we are dealing with a chemical. So, three days later and another beta of 64 and I’m told to go off all my meds and come back when I get my period for another beta – which is 54. Okay, come back in three days for another beta – 27. Do you think this is unusual….are you starting to see a pattern? Go back in three days for another beta and we finally, finally, finally get a negative.

On to transfer number eleven. Obviously, by this time I am on a first name basis with nurses, doctors, PA’s, you name it. I can practically call in the meds myself. We do the transfer and against my better judgement, I POAS again and get a faint positive the day before beta. Why I do this to myself is beyond me, but what the hey? Anyway…go in for beta the next day and it’s 6.7 – – – are you friggin kidding me?! Not a negative, so stay on the meds.

Thankfully, I go back on Monday (only three days of waiting) to find that it’s negative now.

Which brings us to this week….my twelfth transfer coming up. And my last FET with my frosties. I can’t begin to say how much I have invested in this transfer. How badly I want this one to work. How frightened I am to have to think about doing another IVF cycle. And how worried I, my husband and my Dr. are about OHSS.

So, I decided to start this blog to help alleviate some of the stress. And maybe help me get through this transfer. And hopefully, there will be great news at the end of this. We shall see…I shall keep updating although I’m sure no-one is reading except me.


Introduction… August 31, 2008

Filed under: Infertility,IVF — gertyrae @ 11:41 am

It’s unusual, but then so are you…I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this in the last four years.

I’m Gerty – a 42 year old married woman with PCOS. I have been trying to get pregnant for four years now. I started at my OB/GYN when I was 38 and newly married. We went the Clomid route and after trying 50mg for a month , upgraded to 100 mg. and I was ovulating! This was it! I was so excited, I was temping and ovulating and we were going to get pregnant! After three months, I took my charts to my Dr. and that was when I heard it first…”It’s unusual, but we’ll send you to an RE and they will find out why you aren’t getting pregnant.”

So, I moved on to his recommended RE, Dr. SanRoman. He told me at the consultation that there is absolutely NO reason why he couldn’t get me pregnant. I was a classic case of PCOS and within a couple of IUI’s, I would be having my child. After a few jokes, some blood work and my first internal sonogram we were on our way. My first unusual experience with the practice was that they couldn’t get the catheter in for the IUI without great difficulty on their part and great pain on my part. I was told it was unusual, but it does happen when a patient has had cervical surgery (which I had) and wouldn’t affect my chances. Well, the first couple of IUI’s didn’t work, so we moved on to injectables and IUI. My first injectable cycle I produced more than 12 follicles – “Wow, that’s unusual” was the comment made by the PA doing the sonogram. By the way, I am now getting used to the internal sonogram. And my cycle was then cancelled – too high of a risk of multiples. We try again, this time I ask to go ahead when there are “only” eight follicles. Can we just take our chances? Okay, the Dr. said – but you will have to have selective reduction if you get pregnant with triplets or more. I’m thinking we’ll cross that bridge. Needless to say, I don’t get pregnant. So we do seven more IUI cycles and I get one chemical pregnancy, but no viable pregnancies. This is getting REALLY unusual and I’ve been doing some research on my own. I start asking questions – Maybe I should have an HSG (fluid is injected into the uterus and tubes while being watched on a radiology monitor to see if everything is as it should be), maybe there is some kind of cervical problem, maybe my eggs aren’t good, what are my FSH, testosterone and homo-cysteine levels? According to the Drs. (by this point SanRoman is a distant memory and I’ve seen everyone else in the practice), these are unnecessary worries and I should stop reading and talking about other options. I’m unusual, but give them time, I will get pregnant. I am now almost 40.

So, I decide it’s time to move on. I start talking to other RE’s and meet Dr. Kenigsberg. Who proceeds to tell me that I am unusual, but not too unusual and we will find out what is going on and see if we can get me pregnant. He does not make false promises and he certainly does not say he’s going to get me pregnant easily. He does an internal sono and the first thing he says is that he sees a ton of follicles which is a good thing. He sets me up for an HSG (wow, you think I need one?) and blood work, gives me script for Provera and sends me on my way.

HSG – my left tube is completely blocked, my right tube is swollen, spastic and mostly blocked. Basically, I could have done a hundred IUI’s and wouldn’t get pregnant. I am now a candidate for IVF.

Bloodwork – My FSH is good, my testosterone is high normal and my homo-cysteine is high normal. We are going straight to IVF and I am officially 40, so egg quality is questionable at this point.

We start IVF in January of 2007. I learn all about injections all over again, only this time it’s the big leagues. As of January 23, I have too many follicles to count and the big ones are at 19mm so it’s time for trigger and retrieval. I have my retrieval on January 25 and they get 49 eggs. We ICSI half (they inject the sperm into the egg so it doesn’t have to break through) and end up with 27 embryos. We transfer 3 on January 28th. And Dr. K has a problem with my cervix (surprise, surprise), but gets through without a whole lot of pain. On January 29th, I can’t even get out of bed. I feel like I’m going to pass out. I call my office and tell them I won’t be in, I call the Drs. office and tell them I’m on my way. I have gained 9 pounds in two days. I am now suffering from OHSS. They put me on complete bed-rest and tell me to drink Gatorade/Water to keep my electrolytes up. They also put me on Heparin injections to prevent my blood from clotting. By the end of the day, I am delirious and constantly vomiting. I am rushed to the ER, where Dr. K meets me and puts me on an IV of fluid. Apparently, my abdomen has swelled to the point where it is compressing my diaphragm and lungs. The next day they drain 2 gallons of fluid from my abdomen and keep me for two more days to monitor me. I start losing some of the weight and am sent home on January 31. I go in for my pregnancy test on February 14th and it’s negative.

Okay, break time – gotta walk the dog. Will continue this later. 🙂