Blog Update – 1/28 – The 411

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That moment when you feel like you have done all you can and God laughs and continues to shut doors in your face.  Why?  What could I have done to deserve this as my constant end result?

What is God’s lesson or blessing in “NO” ?

What next?

Does anyone know why a 29 year old would produce embryos with fragmentation? Why does a 39 year old produce embryos that are only “fair” in grade?

Fifth BFN…. 18 embryos … no baby.

The End ~

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IVF #5 – BETA IS….. TWO – NEGATIVE… BFN ! – The 411

ivf 5 - BFN

After sitting and stewing most of the morning, I decided to go to the lab at the hospital to have my beta done since my mom had an emergency dental appointment after radiation treatment today.  My beta is 2.  Having a feeling that it is negative and seeing it live and in person, are two different things.   I am pissed off.  At the same time, I am glad that I did give my own eggs one more chance before moving on.  I realize that just because the eggs make embryos and they “appear” normal, does not mean they aneuploidy does not exist.  The embryos can appear normal but will not implant if they are abnormal, which happens more often than not the older we get.  Our eggs are just simply hard boiled.

This is the reason why doctors push for women who are advanced maternal age to move to donor eggs so that the embryos are healthy and not “aged”.

If anyone has any advice about donor eggs and good clinics I should look into, please feel free to send me the info !!

** Also, if anyone is in need of Lovenox (30mg), Desogen(Apri) birth control pills, or Delestrogen, feel free to shoot me an email, as I have left over meds I will now not need. (planbchronicles@gmail.com)

Let the research begin !

IVF #5 11DP3DT – ANOTHER FAILED CYCLE – BFN – The 411

baby - BFN 2

Today, eleven days past three day transfer, and I got another negative on the HPT.  I tested Friday, which was 9DP3DT and it was a negative as well.   This morning, the “pre-period” type cramping started and I have no other symptoms.  So, even with a different protocol and using embryo glue and transferring three perfect embryos, still NEGATIVE.  I have now stopped taking all the meds except the Synthroid and Lovenox.

This was my last own egg cycle.   I have had a few people tell me that I should attempt to do a couple of IUIs before moving on to donor eggs, but I truly do not see how that would be a benefit.  My egg quality seems to be good, my numbers on all of my tests seem to be in the normal range, yet, for some reason, implantation alludes me.  Although the quality seems to be good, with maternal aged women, there is really no way of knowing that the embryos are viable unless they are tested genetically, and even still, that is only testing one cell so things can be missed.  So many ladies I have spoken with over these past two years that have done genetic testing and transferred the embryos, only to have them not take, have said they wished they had just moved on to donor eggs instead of paying thousands of dollars for testing.

I did have testing done on the embryo when I had a miscarriage following my first IVF and the baby was genetically normal, so I did not feel I needed to test my embryos.

At this point, I am tired.  Tired of injecting my body with meds.  Tired of going through these cycles of hope to disappointment.  Tired of hoping.  Tired of believing.  Tired of having faith.   At this point, I am ready to move on to something more sure fire.

I have an appointment with my Internist and with my OB on Tuesday and will talk to the OB about doing a biopsy of my uterine wall to determine if there are implantation issues or endometriosis that has not been diagnosed.  I have been on a very aggressive autoimmune protocol, so my immune system is not the culprit.  I want answers.  Is it the eggs?  I do not want to save up and shell out $30,000 plus meds for a donor egg cycle, only to transfer embryos that will not implant.

I am going to have to wait until after the new year to be able to do the donor egg cycle at the clinic I want to use.  This clinic, IVF NJ, has a 92% success rate.  I  am torn about doing a donor egg cycle at CNY.  I have done five own egg cycles of IVF and still do not have a baby in my arms.   At CNY, it would cost me about $19,000 to do a cycle, but I would rather apply that money to a cycle with a clinic with proven success rates.  I love CNY, but I really have to think about the end game.   I also do not have a lot of egg donors to choose from at CNY.   The women who are black, do not possess the attributes I would want in an egg donor, nor do any of them resemble me in any way.  That is important to me.  I want my child to at least look like I am the parent. I will speak to the donor egg coordinator and get more info, but I am really leaning towards using IVF NJ, CCRM, or UCSF Center for Reproductive Health.

I am disappointed, but not as heartbroken as I thought I would be.  I think deep down, I knew this cycle would be a bust and I would have to go the donor egg route in order to have a healthy child.

This weekend, I have been on set the entire time filming for Valerie the Pajama Chef and also Plan B Chronicles.  We are about to tape the one on one interview segments and then it will be a wrap for the weekend.  My film crew is leaving at 4 pm to head to Union Station so they can go back to NYC.

Tomorrow, I am supposed to go to LabCorp for beta, but I think I will just let my OB do the blood draw while I am at the office for appointments on Tuesday instead of doing blood draws twice.   There is no way the beta will be positive, so what is the point?

This is going to be a LONG six months, but at least I will pay for the procedure and will not owe any monies after the fact.  Now I am torn as to what to do with all the baby items I have amassed.  I have tons of cases of diapers, clothing, blankets, books, toys, bottles, and baby items.  I really do not want to move that stuff to another home in 7 weeks and stare at it for six month….

IVF #4 – Beta Day – BFN – The 411

baby - BFN 2

Although I have been taking HPTs for several days and getting negatives, I still had to go in for a blood test this morning. The doctor’s office called at 1pm to tell me what I already knew.

I called Dr. Kiltz on Thursday and again on Friday leaving voicemails on his cellphone asking for a return call.  His birthday was Thursday, so he was not available since he had plans over the weekend, per the nurse.

The reason for my call is to get some answers about the mishap on the day of my retrieval when Embryology discarded my six eggs instead of watching them for maturity and then doing rescue ICSI, which rendered that cycle with only one egg to work with.  I was so livid that I almost cancelled my transfer when I found out the morning of.  Also, I asked Dr. Kiltz in January to order Embryo Glue for my transfer, which I understood he had ordered and when I got there, no one knew a thing about it.  Mistakes like this are no acceptable.  Suppose the Embryo Glue would have helped the embryo stick?  Suppose they had watched the other eggs and they matured and all of them or most of them had fertilized and stuck around for the three days until transfer?  There are too many unknowns and what ifs.

I also want to talk to Dr. Kiltz about doing another own egg ivf and completely changing the protocol and meds to Dr. Sher’s suggested protocol for advanced maternal age women. After watching the video, I learned that the reason why eggs are immature is because of ovarian overexposure to testosterone from the Menopur.

Initially, I started on 150 units of Menopur and the last two cycles, it was upped to 300.  According to Dr. Sher, Menopur should not be added until the end of a cycle and only in small amounts of either 37.5 units (1/2 vial) or 75 units.  Adding it at the end of a stim cycle gives the ovaries just enough testosterone to function but not enough to ruin the eggs and stout their development.  If too much testosterone is introduced to the ovaries, it will compromise the eggs development and you end up with a cycle that has lots of follicles that produce no eggs or immature eggs.

I had made up my mind before learning all this that I would only do this one last cycle before moving on to donor eggs.  After having a few conversations with fellow IVF’ers, I was left with “give it one more try with an different protocol and meds and them move on so you do not end up always wondering if it could have worked.

My mom and I talked about it and she feels that I should go for it.  She said the same thing, that if I did not try changing the meds and heeding the advice given, since it seems to explain the issues in my past three cycles to a T, then I would beat myself up should I get pregnant using donor eggs and always wonder if I could have done something different.

I have taken all the right supplements, followed the proper diet, exercised, gone to weekly acupuncture and then went through stims and ended up in the same place. It would not be a stretch to think that the protocol I am on and the meds I have been taking are just not right for me and something could be tweaked to get a better outcome.  The fact that my embryos make it to day five blasts without losing them is promising and lends to a decent egg quality.

I am going to discuss my concerns with the doctor and see what his thoughts are.  My friend who changed to this protocol and these meds had the best cycle out of five and is currently pregnant and will be giving birth in a few weeks.  She had a lot of great quality embryos come from that cycle.

I learned from information from Dr. Sher that HGH does not do much good (obviously !).  That was a waste of money !

I am planning on giving my body a break until next month and then start another cycle.  I will take this time to drop the weight I gained this past month while on stims and work on losing even more if I can. I was looking really good before I started injections !  Now my tummy is pudgy and black and blue 😦

IVF #4 – 9DP3DT- 2 WW- Doubtful – The 411

baby - sad face

Today, I am 9DP3DT, and I am having period like cramping.  I feel like my period is about to start at any time.  I am now doubtful that this cycle has worked.  I did test this morning and the HPT was negative.  My beta is scheduled for Monday, which would be the 13th day post three day transfer and 11 days post blastocyst date.  I almost skipped my estrogen and progesterone suppositories today, but felt I better keep inserting them just in case.  I did not do the PIO shot nor the Lovenox.  I am bumping into things and bruising pretty badly with light bumps so I do not want to keep taking the blood thinner daily.  I did do the Neupogen injection and used the last vial I had.  A fellow IVF’r from my clinic overnighted me more Neupogen that she had left over from her previous cycle.

I am trying to keep busy and not focus on another failed IVF attempt.  I have no symptoms, except the swollen boobs which is contributed to the PIO.  My mother is disappointed but told me not to worry about it and to just start saving up for a donor egg cycle.  Why not add another $25,000 out of pocket to the already $70,000 I have spent in the past year out of pocket trying to have a baby?  That would have almost paid for my Range Rover Sport I have been eyeballing !  $70k and nothing but a dead baby and tons of research to show for it !

My mom’s platelet count improved and she was able to to her chemo treatment this week that they were unable to do last week.  Today, I took her to get the Neulasta injection which prevents her white blood cell count from dropping.  She has one more chemo treatment and then she will start radiation !!  A light at the end of the tunnel !!

My mother’s blood sugar is elevated because of the steroids she has to take.  The blood sugar is ranging from 200s to 500s.  They put her on Metformin, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much.  We are going to see her PCP tomorrow so that she can be evaluated for insulin injections.

I am looking forward to burying myself in work this weekend !  Two of my producers are coming down from Manhattan to work on development and scripts for two new webseries I am producing.  I completed the SAG AFTRA New Media contracts for the projects this week and I pretty excited about it !

I spent the day for the past two days baking fresh blueberry muffins, miniature Dominican Rum bundts, and cranberry orange scones and I wrapped each in individual cellophane baggies and got some really cute boxes from Michael’s to put them in for each of my nurses and all three RE’s I deal with at CNY.

mini rum cakes blueberry muffins cranberry orange scones

Please keep me in your prayers… this is going to be a rough few weeks for me ~ 😦

IVF #3 8DP5DT and a BFN – The 411

baby - hpt

This morning, I decided to POAS.  I went out last night and got the FRER, which is supposed to be the best HPT on the market to detect early pregnancy.  NEGATIVE.  Just one line.  Not a hint of a faint line….

I thought for sure that with everything done in this cycle to address my autoimmune issues that those embryos would definitely stick since they had a suppressed immune system to thrive in.  It appears that nothing has taken root.  I should be getting at least a faint line by now.

For now, this is going to be the end of my TTC journey.  I am not going to keep beating my head against a brick wall.  Thousands upon thousands of dollars in medications, even with finding bargains…  Thousands of dollars wasted at at a fertility clinic….   Now, to be able to go further, I would have to shell out with $18 or $32 thousand more dollars to CCRM for either and own egg cycle or a donor egg cycle.   The more I think about it, what is the point in me doing a donor egg cycle?  To give birth to children who will share none of my dna AND have no father?  Would these kids hate me?  I have no desire to use the eggs of my sisters, as that would be just giving birth to my niece or nephew and nothing about that appeals to me and seems a bit too cooky.  Even more hard to explain to a child….

I thought of trying IUI, which is a lot cheaper, but that is the equivalent of timed intercourse and thus a waste of time if IVF would not work for me.   At this point, I am not even going in for beta.  I will just wait for my period to start in the next week.

I am out of options and out of patience.   Now, I have to get rid of the arsenal of baby items I have been stocking for over a year now.

I am beyond angry.  My two best friends “accidentally” get pregnant.  I spend a mint trying to do this “the right way.”  Trying to do the “right thing” in the eyes of God and…. He laughs in my face.  What have I ever done to deserve this?  I guess what they say about life not being fair is true….  #done