It's unusual…

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

It’s been so long… November 10, 2008

Filed under: IVF — gertyrae @ 12:03 am
Tags: , , , ,

and I have so much to tell.

Well, then again maybe not.

Obviously there was no transfer so it was just a matter of waiting for AF and maybe feeling a better in the interim. Well, I started feeling better by last Sunday and started losing some of the weight I’d gained by Thursday. Only 3 pounds of the total 8 I had gained, but it’s a start. Then, my friend AF arrived on Saturday in a way I’ve never known before. It was like she wanted to add insult to injury. First, a mind-freak headache on Friday that no medication could get rid of. Then Saturday morning she decides to hit me in the lower back so I couldn’t sleep without a heating pad pain. Now that’s fun – and it’s also NEVER happened to me before so I was shocked. I always thought we had a mutual agreement – she doesn’t make life too miserable and I won’t complain about her too much. Well she broke her end of the bargain, so now anything goes.

Anyway, back to reality…today is CD2 and I went in for blood and sono this morning to start my FET. Blood is apparently fine, I found out later….Sono showed approx. 8 cysts in each ovary – yup that’s 16 cysts! The biggest were at 36mm and the smallest 16. The PA asked me the inevitable – aren’t you in any discomfort question and I told her that compared to how I felt a week ago, I could run (well maybe walk) a marathon. Anyway, I got the message later that I’m still good to go. I knew he would go ahead….he doesn’t get concerned when I have cysts and they do go away so I guess he’s onto something. Started Estrace tonight and we are off and running again.

Now, in my personal life – Misty was a pirate for Halloween…see pic. We had a nice Halloween…quiet and relaxed…my brother and SIL moved apartments today, so I spent the whole day lugging boxes – “How do you like that, ovaries?!” As previously noted, I’ve lost some of the weight gain…I would like to lose more, but since I still haven’t been given the go ahead on exercise…it’s walking only for now.

And that’s all folks!!!

Pirate Misty!

Pirate Misty!

 

OHSS is NOT my friend!! November 1, 2008

Filed under: IVF — gertyrae @ 12:01 pm
Tags: , ,

And it came to visit anyway…bastard!!!

I have gained 7 pounds in two days and yesterday was just horrible….:(

Today is a little better, but my stomach is HUGE! And so uncomfortable. I just want to cry – I’m sure the hormones coursing through my body don’t help.

 wish there were some way to get this fluid out of my system, short of draining through the abdomen. Been there, done that and it’s not fun. But there’s a part of me that would welcome it, the part that can’t take a deep breath and want’s to sleep all the time.

It doesn’t help that I’ve had to go to work the last two days in my misery…

And of course my wonderful Dr. K calls to see how I’m doing and proceeds to tell me how unbelievable I am and how well I’m handling all of this…yeah thanks.

Anyway, our computer at home died yesterday so my next update won’t be till Monday…hopefully, I’ll be reporting how unusually my OHSS went away miraculously!!!

 

So sorry…. October 29, 2008

Filed under: IVF — gertyrae @ 7:57 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Haven’t been around for a few days.

All kinds of exciting stuff happening. 😮

We had 47 fertilize!!!!!! I’m so happy about that! This was our last shot so whatever fertilized is whatever we will get. Don’t get too excited reading about those 47 – I’ve had 60 embies transferred to date – 1 pregnancy, 2 chemicals…so it’s not a set in stone thing that I’ll get PG off one of these embies, but it certainly does improve my chances.

Now, onto me…

Went to work on Tuesday, felt kinda crappy and bloated but that’s to be expected. By the end of the day, I was feeling like shite. Went to my mom’s and visited her for a while, mostly as a break and then went home and crashed.  Got up this morning and found I had gained over 4 pounds in one day. Now, I’m starting to get nervous. Go to the Dr. to get a full blood panel done and proceed to wait. Get a call from the RE @ noon and they tell me that if Dr. K decides to do a 3dt it will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow. But, she also tells me they haven’t gotten my bloods back yet so she’s not sure what he’s going to decide. Then I get a call at three – my blood came back okay. I am hyperstimmed, but it’s not going to be hospital worthy. Thank God!!! I did that two years ago and let me tell you, it’s not fun spending three days in the hospital and having gallons of fluid drained from your abdomen.  My estrogen is down to 2100 from 6000 and my liver enzymes are good. So, it looks like I’m going to be very uncomfortably for the next few days, but that about it.

AND – no transfer. He wants to wait a month or two, let my body get back to some semblance of normal and then we’ll do frozens.

It’s all good by me…I was getting way more worried about the OHSS than anything.

 

Day 8…. October 24, 2008

Filed under: IVF — gertyrae @ 11:44 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

…and there’s lots of follies there. We have 40 some-odd counted at or over 11mm with the largest being 15mm. I’ve been taking Cetritide and Microdose Ovidrel for the last few days to sort of keep things growing at the same rate.

Had a nice little chat with the PA who did my sono this morning. They have been asking me how I feel EVERY day for the last three or four day and my reply is ALWAYS “I feel fine.”. So today, the lovely O asks me the question as she’s measuring little circles on a screen and I give her my usual reply. She comes back with (and I’ve paraphrased here)- “I wish I could record your responses so the chronic complainers could understand the difference.” She made me feel really good about the fact that I don’t piss and moan over every cramp and pull. Although, I did forget about the lovely blackandblues that appear on the belly after doing injections for a week.

And as far as how I feel, I really do feel fine. I’ve been walking the hound every day and we took in our friends lab for the weekend (I will get pics of these two in action up on the board), so I’m sure I’ll be doing more walking in the next few days. I have a slight “heavy” feeling in my pelvic area, but that’s about it. I am gaining a little weight, but I’m not sure if it’s fluids or my eating habits.

Have to go back tomorrow a.m. for more blood and sono…my arms are starting to look really interesting after blood six days in a row. I’m thinking two or three more days of stims and then it’s retrieval time.

On another note…got some apples the other day from Jericho Cider Mills (live happily appily!) and if the weather tomorrow afternoon is as predicted – I think I’ll be making some apple crisp! and I have some leftover marshmallows so it might be junk food night with Rice Crispy treats to go with the Apple Crisp.

 

Day 5 of stims… October 22, 2008

Filed under: IVF — gertyrae @ 7:40 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

…and I already have 30 follicles at or around 11mm.

Did I mention that I’m a freak?! Of course, of those follies I’ll be lucky if one is decent. I did the 150iu of Gonal F up until this morning…now I’m doing 1 vial of Cetritide and 8 units of Micro-dose Ovidrel. All with daily monitoring. I have to give the Dr. credit, they are definitely monitoring me closely.

 

Oh and Estradial is 1270, FSH is 11.8 and Progesterone was 1.8…..

I just want one good egg. One egg that will genetically be able to create a healthy child. One egg that I can count on. Out of all these stupid eggs, I just want one. I don’t even care how long it takes me to get to that egg….I just want it to be there.

Everyone thinks it’s sooooooooo wonderful that I create all these eggs. Everyone thinks that I’ll definitely get PG with all these eggs. What “Everyone” doesn’t understand is that after going through 60 – yes 60!!! – embryo’s, I had one good pregnancy. One healthy baby, who I lost because of my cervix. Now, I have to hope that of these that I get now…..there is one more baby. What are the real odds of that? Probably not that great. But, I keep hoping. And I keep praying. Cuz if that baby isn’t in this bunch of eggs…then it’s no baby for us.

And that’s my rant for the day.

 

Six days and counting September 19, 2008

Filed under: IVF — gertyrae @ 2:12 pm
Tags: , , ,

Since the transfer was last Saturday, I have resigned myself to the fact that it’s either done or not done. There is either a baby beginning to grow or I’m going to have to make “the big decision”. Which is pretty much already made…but I do have some misgivings.

I have been feeling some cramping – sharp ones every so often. But other than that, nothing much to speak of. This doesn’t really surprise me and I need to learn to get over the checking for symptoms nonsense. Just can’t seem to, though. It’s like I know better, but am still so hopeful that things might be different this time. I really, truly want to believe I am pregnant.

And, in order to keep myself busy this last week I have – gone to the aforementioned baseball game, attended a “lipstick and popcorn party” at a friends house and gone to dinner with a bunch of friends. This is all on top of working each day and walking my beast in the mornings. Although, today she got duped since I didn’t have time to do a full park session and she just got a quickie around the block. My Mother-In-Law bought us a beautiful patio set for my birthday gift so I think I will be enjoying that over the weekend. The weather has changed and it’s perfect firepit weather…chilly and crisp. 🙂

The signs, signals and onset of OHSS

As an additional bonus, I noticed that there are a few searches for “When does OHSS start”. Since that seems to be the only thing that links to my page, I figured I would explain what happened to me and maybe help someone who thinks they are experiencing OHSS.

I felt fine up to retrieval. I was a little bit bloated, but nothing too bad. Mostly just discomfort. I was still working full days and really not experiencing any pain. At my last sonogram, there were too many follicles for them to count and the PA told me to try and take it easy. Retrieval went fine, they got 49 eggs which is an astronomical amount of eggs and I was told to take it easy and wait for the call regarding fertilization. My doctor asked how I had been feeling and I told him the truth “Crampy but not in pain.” My transfer was three days later and I was still feeling the same. Maybe a little more bloated, but nothing to speak of. At the transfer, I was again asked how I was feeling with the same response. The day after the transfer was a whole different story. Mind you, this is now five days after the HCG shot (which is apparently the catalyst to OHSS) and I was wiped out. I wasn’t really in pain, I just had no energy to speak of. I called the RE’s office and they told me to take it easy and if I wasn’t feeling better to come in the next morning. The next day was a little better, went to the RE’s anyway just to be sure and by the time I was done there, I didn’t even want to drive home. I drove to my mother’s house as she was closer and laid on the couch all day. The RE had given me a prescription for Heparin at that point as they were worried about blood clots. By 6 p.m. I was starting to feel nauseous and dizzy. I tried to fight it while going back and forth on the phone with my RE, but by 10 p.m. I was actually delirious and couldn’t even make any sense. So, for the record – full OHSS had set in by six days after trigger, five days after retrieval and two days after transfer. My husband drove me to the hospital and the rest is history. Apparently, as the abdomen fills with water (from the empty follicles taking in water) the fluids begin to push the diaphragm, lungs and stomach out of the way…which leads to the incredible sickness.
Once the fluid is drained either naturally or via withdrawal, the relief is incredible.

So, that’s the OHSS story. I certainly hope that I can help someone identify the symptoms early on so they don’t have to go through what I did.

And on to continue the 2WW….:|

 

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

Filed under: Infertility,IVF,Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 1:28 pm
Tags: , , , ,

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…..my 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.