Monday, March 31, 2008

Snowbabies, etc...

Snowbabies, Grandsickles, Neice and Nephbrios...whatever you want to call them...we have 11 of 'em!! Our official count is in. 11 embryos have been biopsied and vitrified. Vitrified is a new thing they are doing to freeze the embryos. Typically, when freezing embryos in the U.S., they will take the embryo down in stages until it is frozen. My doctor went to China to research this new technology in freezing. I believe the lab at CCRM is the only one in the states that uses vitrification at this time. The embryos are basically "flash frozen" (think of your frozen veggies..."flash frozen for freshness") rather than taken down in stages. The "old" way usually has about a 70% survival rate when they thaw the embryos. With vitrification, there is greater than 90% survival rate with many couples not losing a single embryo. And after they are thawed, they look just as good as embryos from a fresh cycle! The biopsies have been sent to a lab in New Jersey. Currently, they are the only lab doing Micro-Array, the genetic testing we are having done. The results should take about 5 weeks. I will start depot-lupron tomorrow or the next day. So we're cookin' (as Uncle Neal would have said!).

Monday, March 24, 2008


Off the subject of IVF, Denver was actually pretty fun. My mom was with me Monday thru Saturday. She has never been to Denver, but more than that, it was awesome to just have some one-on-one mother/daughter time. We went to our share of malls (there are plenty in Denver!) and a "road trip" to Colorado Springs to visit my bff and her family. We watched chick flicks, ate and just hung out. It was perfect!

While there, I also met a new friend. I was waiting for a blood draw one day and we started chatting for a few minutes. Then I saw her later at acupuncture. We quickly realized we had a lot in common...her last name is my maiden name, we both have PCOS, her mom's name was going to be my mom's name (long story, involves the movie Mildred Peirce!) and we were both from Michigan and go to the same acupuncurist here too! She is very sweet and I know this was not the last I will see of her!

Then Ryan got to Denver on Saturday. By this point I was starting to get a bit uncomfortable and "full" feeling. We still did a lot though. We took another trip to Colorado Springs, went to the U.S. Mint, more malls and more eating! ha! I was exhausted most of the time at this point and took almost daily naps...which I never do! I just could not keep my eyes open mid-afternoon!

All in all, it was a good trip...the weather was to die for! 50's-70's and sunny every single day but one! It was good to come home and see the rest of our family and our dog, Thor, but we flew in to a snow storm, yup, in late March! But it is still good to be home!


Whew...I am back from Denver. What a whirlwind that was! I had my egg retrieval...28 eggs!! Of the 28, 27 were mature and 26 fertilized. I spoke with John, the embyrologist, yesterday for my "day 3 update" of our "babies". Of our 26, they have all divided (grown). They would like to see them between 6 and 8 cells on day 3. 13 of ours are 6-8 cells...the othe 13 are only slightly behind. John said that this does not mean that they won't "catch up". We will get another update on day 5 and/or 6. At that time, they will remove some cells for genetic testing. The cells they will remove will come from what will be the placenta...not from the mass that will become the baby. The genetic counselor told me, or prepared me, that it is common for many of the embryos to be "abnormal" and to not feel like something is wrong with us.

I did get a little "sick" after my ER. By sick, I mean OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome). It was a mild case...I had it much worse with my first cycle. What happens is, after ER, free fluid collects in the follicles and around your organs. This can make you very bloated, very sore and uncomfortable and also hard to breathe. I had all these lovely symptoms, but again, not too bad compared to the first time. I am feeling much better now, thank God!

I will start my depot lupron (for my lining issue) with my next AF (Aunt Flo...period). This will be 2 shots, 30 days apart. So after the 60 days, I will go on bcp for 21 days overlapping the last 4 or 5 pills with lupron (more shots) to prepare for my FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer). This will most likely happen in July, I think.

Speaking of shots...I decided to do a little tally. To date, for this cycle only, mind you, I have had and/or given myself 52 shots (thigh, belly, hip), had 11 blood draws (and still counting), 1 IV (2 attempts and 2 shots to numb the area first) and approximately 90 acupuncture needles. That means I have been "stuck" about 157 times in the last month! yeouch!!! Of course, it will all be worth it in the end!