Sunday, September 29, 2013

So... Now What?

Thank you so much for all of your amazing support and for your sincere happiness for our miraculous report of having FIVE euploid (normal) embryos.  We are still beyond happy and are so pleasantly surprised with how things have turned out thus far.  But, with that enormous amount of happiness, comes a lot of confusion.  I don't get it... If all five of my embryos are genetically normal, then something else must be wrong with me.  If all five of my CCRM embryos are normal, then I'd have to believe that at least one of my eleven embryos that were transferred here in Boston, had to have been normal... I mean... right?!  Wouldn't that only make sense?

Well, I had the chance to ask my doctor those very questions last week, and unfortunately, I didn't exactly get the answers I was looking for... Apparently, my doctor doesn't really know if CCRM's protocol could have produced better quality eggs than my protocols and cycles locally here in Boston.  And, when I asked if there could be anything else wrong with me... if there's anything else I could test for, I was told that I've pretty much done all I can - I've had a hysterosalpingogram which showed no blockages, I've had a hysteroscopy which showed no fibroids or polyps, and I've had the BETA 3 Integrin test which showed that I do not lack the protein necessary for implantation.  Based on those results, my doctor strongly believes that I do not have a uterine issue.  Rather, he said, we know what my issue is: my issue is my eggs.  UGH.  I swear, no matter how far I get in this process, my bad eggs will always haunt me.  I asked if, at this point, because I have five normal embryos, I would be on the same playing field as someone who doesn't have high FSH, or as someone who doesn't have a crappy egg reserve, or as someone who doesn't have bad and ugly eggs.  And, unfortunately, my doctor explained to me that no, I would not have the same chance of success as that of someone who, I would like to call... normal.  Blah.  At this point, I was sort of done with the conversation.  I didn't ask what my chances are or how much lower my chances are... I just didn't and don't want to hear it.  My doctor went on to advise me to transfer two of my best embryos (two 5AA's) and then he congratulated on my good embryo report.  Click.

Here's what I know: someone who ends up transferring a euploid (normal) embryo, has a 70% chance of implantation.  Even though my doctor said differently, I can't seem to understand how I wouldn't fall into that same bucket of chance for success.  Yes, my eggs suck.  Yes, the most eggs I've ever had retrieved was 10.  Yes, I've had a cycle with a really bad fertilization rate.  BUT... I have five normal embryos, people!  FIVE!  And so... I believe, I have to believe, that there's a pretty good chance of something else being wrong with me... Or... maybe CCRM really does work miracles?

So, at the end of last week, I took it upon myself to call a Reproductive Immunologist in NYC.  If I want to move forward in having auto immune issues tested, there are some next steps that I have to complete.  I'll need my local doctor to contact the RI in NYC for a Physician consult.  The RI in NYC will provide my local doctor with the list of blood tests that I'll need to have ordered.  My local doctor will order the tests and then would receive the results a couple of weeks later.  I would then sign a release for the results to be reviewed by the RI and then I'd plan to meet with the RI to hear my diagnosis and a potential treatment plan.  Only thing is... I'll need to figure out how to coordinate care with CCRM if I have an immune issue... And that's probably the biggest hurdle I need to figure out at this point.

While thinking about all of the other (immune) issues that I could have last week, I also heard from my nurse at CCRM with a laundry list of things that I need to complete before transfer: thyroid blood test (scheduled for tomorrow morning), Physical and PAP (scheduled with my PCP on Thursday - I also plan to ask my doctor on Thursday if she can e-mail the RI in NYC for the Physician consult so that I can hopefully get started with all of that blood work) and the most annoying to-do was having Nick's and my blood drawn for communicable diseases.  Blood draws themselves don't bother me - but these specific blood draws have to be done using CCRM's shipping kit, which I paid to have shipped overnight to us for Saturday delivery on Friday afternoon.  This means, Nick and I got to spend our morning at a local hospital waiting to have our blood drawn, then explaining about a million times to the phlebotomist and her manager that the blood then needs to clot, be spun and given back to us so that we could freeze and ship it back to our doctor in Colorado.  Luckily, after a lot of frustration on my part, we ended up walking out of there with our vials of spun blood that is currently being frozen in our freezer so that I can ship it back to CCRM tomorrow morning.  It's not until CCRM has ALL of the results for ALL of these tests that I can move forward and set the tentative transfer date that I was given (in November) in stone.
And so, that's where we are... sort of in a tangled web right now.  We're trying to have as much hope and faith as we possibly can right now... and I'm trying to train my mind not to think so negatively.  I just still can't imagine this turning out any different than it has in the past.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Praise God

...from whom ALL blessings flow!

I received the biggest blessing of my life today (to date).

My heart is so full.  I haven't felt this much pure happiness in years.  My head is puzzled, trying to figure this all out... but rather than making myself crazy tonight, I'm going to enjoy this amazing news.
I have five pretty darn good chances of making the biggest dream of my life come true.  And I can sleep tonight without the fear of waking up to face a day that might bring some really devastating news. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Baby Blasts!

Just a quick update from Amtrak as I head down to New Jersey for work...

WE HAVE FIVE EMBRYOS THAT MADE IT!  They were biopsied, the biopsies were sent off for the CCS genetic testing and my baby blasts were frozen.

Both of my frozen embryos from CCRM IVF #1 survived the thaw, so we ended up with a total of eight altogether.

The results are:

1 day 5 embryo, graded 3 BB, and
4 day 6 embryos, graded:

The 5AAs are 'perfect' and the others are 'good'.  One of the little guys came from one of the frozen embryos that they thawed on Friday.

For the next two to three weeks I will pray, pray, pray.  I know that these blastocyst results are good.  I'm trying so hard to be present in this success... to be thankful and grateful.  But the truth is, I'm scared.  I'm really scared.  This next report will be... everything.  I don't know how I'll sleep at night...

Friday, September 6, 2013

And we have....

.... 6 embryos (8 if you count the 2 that are frozen from our first CCRM cycle)!  9 of the 10 were mature, 6 of the 9 fertilized and 2 are still being cultured and watched.  I'm.... happy, relieved, thankful, grateful and scared.... Really, really scared.  My heart is very sad that we are getting ready to board our flight home.  I want to stay here until I know more.  I don't want to leave my embryos behind.  It's an odd rush of emotions.... to say the least.

We have a LONG road ahead.  We will be praying with all of our hearts for a good blastocycst report next week.  I will be on pins and needles until then, but will try my best to be present in this one very important accomplishment.  

Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts, for your love, support, thoughts and prayers.  We are infinitely blessed for each and every one of you.  Please continue to pray for our 8 embryos (babies).

And now.... it's back to Boston....

.... with smiles on our faces and happiness in our hearts.... at least for now.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Quick Egg Retrieval Update

We arrived at CCRM this afternoon at 12:30 p.m.  I was prepped, my IV was inserted (by far the worst part in all of this!) and we waited to get the show on the road for my retrieval at 1:30 p.m.
The procedure went well and I waited, not so patiently, for the doctor to come over to give us our egg count...
...which was ten.  Ten eggs.  10!  Me... Ten eggs. The thirty-one year old girl whose eggs are supposedly the age of someone who is in their mid-forties.  I'm still in shock.  And I know that the number of eggs is just that - just a number.  Anything can happen between now and tomorrow when we get the fertilization report.  We are trying to be positive and are hoping for much better results than last time.  We are praying that our luck will finally start to change. For now we are grateful, thankful and are relishing in this small miracle that we were given today.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More from Colorado

Have I told you all how much I love Colorado?!  This state... don't be surprised if I pack my bags and move here for good!  We've been trying to enjoy ourselves as much as possible in the midst of doctor's appointments, ultrasounds and blood draws.  Everything seems to be coming to an end - my best guess is that I will trigger tonight for a retrieval on Thursday.  I should know for sure later this afternoon.  My right side has still proven to be a complete bum ovary, but my left ovary is certainly pulling the weight with about eight good sized follicles as of this morning.  I'm pleased so far with my results - I know that I will never be someone who produces oodles of eggs, so if I can get eight, then I'll be glad thrilled!

On Saturday, we spent the day at Breckenridge.  Nick has been there before to ski, but it was nice visiting during the summer when there wasn't an ounce of snow on the ground.  He took me to his favorite place that he remembers... a little crepe cart/stand.  I devoured a banana foster crepe and then made my way to a french bakery and shoved a croissant down my throat.  Those extra 5 lbs have now turned into about 7 - I'm not kidding.  I was weighed this morning for my IVF Physical.  Awesome.
On Sunday, we headed over to a nearby town to do some outlet shopping.  I was really excited about my new purse, which I have been eyeing at Nordstrom for weeks, but didn't want to spend the money on.  Then, we went to the pool, and I watched my husband try to perfect his handstands.  Seriously.  That's my husband.  I think I gave him an A- on that one :).  Nick got back at me for taking a picture (and then posting it on my blog) of his handstand skills by ordering a frozen strawberry coronita at dinner that night.  I was so jealous.  I still am.  I might make Nick drive me to that Mexican restaurant immediately following my retrieval (actually, that's probably not a good idea... kidding... I guess I'll stick to Starbucks)!
We brought three Netflix DVD's of Breaking Bad with us and finished the first season on the third day that we were here.  LOVE this show!  We bought the second season at Target yesterday because we just couldn't wait to get home for more Netflix DVD's.  We devoured this amazing banana pudding ice cream while watching our show last night.  And yes, that is a half gallon tub of it... I know, I know, I'm gross.  But, this flavor didn't come in the pint sized containers, so I begged Nick to forgo his usual Ben & Jerry's milk & cookies flavored ice cream to share this with me for the rest of the week.  It's SO good (we don't have Blue Bell ice cream at home, what the heck?!).  Luckily we only had sushi for dinner last night and then hiked/walked Tinsley Trail again in anticipation of devouring that banana pudding ice cream deliciousness!
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