IVF # 5 – Fertilization Report – The 411

ivf 5 - fertilization

This morning, my nurse, Justine, called to update me on my how my little eggs are doing.  Of the 10 collected, 6 of them made it to the fertilization stage.  They were able to inject four of the eggs and I have three that have fertilized.  I will be transferring all three of the embryos on Tuesday, provided all three are still with us.  Fingers, toes, eyes, arms, and legs are crossed that all three of them are good and strong and will be able to be transferred on Tuesday !!

I expected that only 1/3 of what is collected will remain, which is typical.  Not too shabby eh?  Two girls and a boy hanging on and hanging out to stick into this ole womb ! 🙂

Last night, I had the WORST abdominal pain and pain in the back of my legs.  I took Dulcolax to help “clean out” my digestive track, which is helping, but the pain in my legs is still there.  It was a bit difficult to walk around last night.  I spoke to my nurse about it and I am going to Albany Medical Center this afternoon to the emergency room as a precaution and let them scan my legs to rule out blood clots.  It could be just because of the stirrups, but I am not one to sit around and wait for something to happen.  I would rather them SAY it is just sore because of the stirrups instead of awaking to not being able to breath etc… I am working with the film crew doing some outtakes and also cooking some organic squash and sweet onion and cabbage for dinner later today.  I did not want to head over to the hospital until noon when the film crew heads back to the train station en route to NYC.

Here are some photos from my day yesterday….

IVF 5 - luck socks      ivf 5 - surgical socks      ivf 5 - getting ready for er

ivf 5 - egg retrieval day

Egg Retrieval Day – The 411

baby - 10 eggs

This morning, I got up at 6:00 am and took my shower and put on deodorant and scentless lotion.  I got dressed and then made sure my camera crew was awake.  Since I could not eat breakfast, I was salty LOL.  I stayed in the room until 7:10 am when the car service was scheduled to arrive.  My cameraman went down and ate his food in 10 mins and was ready to go when I hit the lobby.  We hopped in the car and then headed over to CNY.

Upon arrival, I gave the front desk girl two gift bags and checked in.  My nurse, Kimmy, came and got me and the camera crew quickly and had me get dressed.  CNY now has these dark blue, fresh out of the dryer warm, bath robes that they use for surgery instead of the white ones.  I LOVED the warm robe !

My camera crew had to get “suited up” to come into the OR to film me getting set up.  The first thing that was done was my IV was put in and then the nurse did some blood work.

The first person to come see me was the Embryologist and she thanked me for the gift bag and was really touched by them.  They got a kick out of having the custom made cookies that were flown in from Dallas.   We went over my information, confirmed the donor info, and I was asked if I wanted to shave the sample of use the whole thing.  Since this is my last own egg procedure and last procedure at CNY, I opted to just use the entire vial.

Next, Dr. Grossman, my RE, came in to greet me and he thanked me for the gift bag and told me that he had it on good authority that “He was the BALM,” making reference to the EOS balm I put in the bags.  We went over what was to happen today and he asked if I had any questions.

After a while, the Anesthesiologist came in and he went over the same information and then went over the meds I would be administered, my allergies, etc.   He also mentioned the gift bag and said thank you.

Kimmy came back in and took some additional stats and then I was given propofol, versed, and two other meds including an antibiotic.  I started to fall asleep and when I awoke, Kimmy and the anesthesiologist were there and talking and I told them I was starting to wake up and I should not be.  They smiled and informed me that the procedure was over and I did well !   That was when I noticed that my feet were back down LOL.   I thought I was waking up too early !

I went back to sleep off and on and the camera crew came back in after the Acupuncturist came and placed all the needles.  I went back to sleep so I do not know what was filmed.  After a while, Kimmy came back in with a diagram from the Acupuncturist and removed the needles while Mark filmed and then she helped me get up and walk to the bathroom to get dressed.  Dr. Grossman came hopping out of his office, very excited, saying we got TEN eggs !   How exciting !   Kimmy had already told me.  She went over my discharge instructions and then I got changed and called the car service, who was running late.  Since they got there closer to 11 am, I asked that they drop us off at Carrabbas Italian Grill for lunch.  I could not eat since yesterday, so I was ready to eat !

We ate lunch, and then called the car service, who was not answering the phone because it was a busy time of day.  I was like HELLO, I just had surgery and I told you to be back here AT NOON !  We walked over to Target to pick up a few items and some Gatorade and then walked back across the parking lot to the restaurant to await the driver.  He finally showed up at 12:25 pm.  We went back to the hotel and the staff greeted me and asked how things went.  They gave me my package that arrived and then I came upstairs and got in the bed.

I feel pretty good, except this gassy tummy.  I hope this bloating goes away quickly.  It is THE WORSE thing about this procedure.

I intend to take it easy the rest of the day and nurse a couple of bottles of Gatorade. I have spaghetti left over from lunch that I had them pack up when they brought the dish to the table.  I am supposed to teach my cameraman how to make a pasta dish with ground turkey, penne, and a five cheese sauce.  I will work on that in a few hours LOL.  Right now, I am enjoying my heating bad and watching random shows on television.

I will update you tomorrow with the fertilization report !! 🙂    Thanks for all the prayers and concern.

IVF # 5 – Trigger Day 2 !! – The 411

baby - novarel trigger

Today, my day started off kinda rocky.  The hotel called last night and arranged for a car service to come and pick me up at 10:15 am to take me to my fertility clinic.  At 10:30, I was still awaiting their arrival and I was supposed to BE at CNY at 10:30 am.  I was LIVID!  One thing that irks me is waiting for people.  I am PAYING you, you are not transporting me for free.  The driver arrives and explains that he was told to run someone up the street to Hertz.  I of course checked him and then moved on.  He got me to the clinic in 5 minutes LOL.

I went in CNY Fertility Center and Spa- Albany and did my intralipid infusion of two bags of intralipids and I hung out with my nurse, Kimmy.  We took a few selfies and chatted for two hours.  I absolutely LOVE my nurses, Kimmy, Stacy, and Aileen !  They are the most down to Earth, calming spirits.  That is a good thing when you are going through such a trying time.

After I finished my intralipids, the clinic called a cab for me and then I came back to my hotel, ate some lunch and then watched my soap operas and the Real before getting concierge to take me grocery shopping.  I did my shopping and came back in and made a nice juicy burger for dinner since I did not feel like going to the mall.

My ovaries feel ridiculously inflated and I am a bit uncomfortable.  It will only get worse tonight after my double trigger shot.  But I hope this pushes my follicles right to the edge and all the eggs in there mature and are ripe for the picking in the morning when they put me on that table !

I just lathered my backside with Emla cream to numb the area I am going to do the IM injection of the Novarel at 9:30 pm.  I want to go to sleep, but the film crew will arrive at 11:30 – 12 so I will probably lightly sleep until then so I can greet them when they come in.

I am very tired, but also excited about what possibility tomorrow can bring !  I am claiming this to be MY cycle !  I am claiming that my eggs WILL be mature and they WILL fertilize and I will more eggs than I need for Tuesdays transfer and will have a few to freeze for another time.

I am hoping and praying for 10 or more eggs. Putting that out there in the universe and whispering it into the ears of God !  If He wants to give me more than 10 dynamic eggs and wants to give me 14 or 15, hey, I am not arguing !  lol

Thanks to you all for your prayers, your concern, and for sticking this out with me.  You all mean so much to me !  xoxo

IVF #5 – Stim Day 20 – The Last Night of Stims – The 411

One More Day

Today is officially my LAST NIGHT of Stimming !!   I have been patiently injecting myself am and pm for the past 20 days !  Tomorrow morning, I do my injection of Ganirelix, Neupogen, and Lovenox and then I wait until 9:30 pm and do my 1st Novarel trigger shot.

I went in this morning for monitoring and I have 11 follicles on the right and 3 on the left.  I am hoping that by Saturday retrieval they are ALL mature and retrievable.  I am getting anxious.  I just need this to be MY cycle !  My doctor called in a script for Viagra for me to take vaginally to make sure my lining is an 8. Of course insurance will not cover it and its $41 per pill !   $900 for a prescription… I swear insurance companies are rip offs !  Since my lining looks pretty good today, as opposed to the drop it took last week on Friday, I am only going to get 4 of the 20 pills they called in.

IVF 5 stim day 2                           IVF 5 - Follistim   ivf 5 stim day 4 neupogen     ivf 5- viagara                 ivf 5 meds 2

This evening, I will inject the Gonal-F and Menopur.   I have packed all of my belongings and shipped them to the hotel and I have my dress and coat laid out that I am wearing for the funeral tomorrow.  I am going to just wear it to NY since I am not lugging luggage with me.  It is easier to just wear a comfy dress and take my dressier satin overcoat that I will switch into and a pair of heels. I am taking an oversize purse with my laptop in it and the heels so it will be easy for me to move about.  I am meeting my make up artist for breakfast in the morning and then leaving from breakfast and heading up to the Bronx to the funeral.  I am not looking forward to attending a double funeral AT ALL !   I absolutely HATE funerals.  They are too sad.  I will be there to show my love and support and will forgo the burial.

I will update tomorrow with how things went ~

IVF #4 – Egg Retrieval Day – The 411

baby - seven ehThis morning, I arrived at CNY Fertility Center and Spa at 8:15 am.  I checked in and sat in the lobby with my mom until I was taken to the dressing room to change into a hospital gown, cap and socks.  I got changed, verified my information, got weighed in and then was escorted to my operating room.  I got on the table, discussed the procedure with the nurse, spoke with the Anesthesiologist, met with the Embryologist, and met with Dr. Ditkoff.  They answered all of my questions, and I theirs.

My IV was put in and I remember getting the antibiotic and after that, I woke up.  I do not recall anything else, not even the doctor coming back in.

I awoke and learned that they collected 7 eggs that looked pretty good.  I went back to sleep as they infused the two bags of intralipids.  I woke up a couple of times and then I woke up for good and was ready to eat.  I had heavier bleeding this time than I remember having in the past.  The bleeding subsided later in the day.

After the driver picked my mom and I up from CNY, we went to A Tailored Tea to pick up scones.  We went back to the hotel and rented a movie on PPV.  I had the concierge take me to grocers down the street and got the stuff needed to make garlic mushroom chicken, buttered noodles, squash with onion and peas with snaps.   I came back and started dinner, which my mom was supposed to finish, but when I looked up, she was in the bedroom lying across the bed watching Law and Order SVU.  I finished dinner and ate and am relaxing in my fluffy pink post egg retrieval socks I found at Target.


baby - fluffy socks ivf 4 post er

My fluffy pink post retrieval socks

I am going to relax the rest of the evening and just watch tv.  I wish I could hop in the shower, but was told to wait until tomorrow.  I am feeling pretty good.  I have no bloating yet, thank goodness.  Maybe I will get lucky and will not have any…  I am keeping a heating pad, on low, on my tummy.

Tomorrow morning, I will get a call from Embryology to update me on the eggs, fertilization, etc.  Prayerfully, all of the eggs will fertilize and grow.  One can hope right?

IVF #4 – Trigger Two – The 411

Twas the night before Retrieval…….

baby - bravery socks ivf 4

I arrived in Albany this morning, went to my hotel, checked in, had the concierge take my mom and I to Cheesecake Factory for lunch, then we came back to the suite and unpacked.  One great thing about being a repeat customer, the entire staff knows me and my film crew and they also give me the best suites in the house !  This time, they gave us a two bedroom suite.  I love that this hotel has a full kitchen in every suite.  It makes for healthier eating because I can cook what I want to eat.  The hotel served a full hot breakfast every day and serves a nice full course dinner Monday thru Thursday nights.

After getting unpacked, I put on my “bravery socks” that were sent to me by my Canadian sock buddy.  I love the double pink !!! Twin girls?

baby - baby dust

I have my baby dust that my sock buddy gave me as well.  I have taken it to all of my appointments and I have it here with me for good luck.

Tonight, I will do my double trigger of 10,000 Novarel.  Last night, I did the injection intramuscular since I have read that the HCG is more concentrated in the blood when done IM as opposed to Sub-Q (which can be affected by body weight and body fat).  I am debating if I should do a Sub-q injection for the second trigger. I have until 10:30pm to make up my mind.  The doctor’s office always gives Sub-q instructions.

baby - novarel trigger

In the morning, I have to be at the fertility clinic at 8:30 am so that I can check in and then go to acupuncture prior to the procedure.  I am praying that this double trigger coupled with the adding of HGH will help me produce mature quality eggs that will fertilize.  I will be asking my doctor in the morning about doing regular fertilization first and then converting to ICSI if it is possible for me to have a higher fertilization rate.  The fertilization also depends on egg maturation and quality as well.

Wish me luck !  Send up prayers !  Thanks for the support 🙂

IVF #4 – Stim Day 5 – The 411

baby - ivf 4 stim day 1

This morning, I went in -15 degree weather to the women’s imaging center for my ultrasound.  Guess who has 12 follicles?   ME !!!!   I am glad that the follicle count is increasing, which is indicative of my body returning to normalcy after my miscarriage this past summer.    After my transvaginal and pelvic ultrasound, I trekked over to LabCorp and got the blood work done.  It is really sad when the entire staff KNOWS you !  They are all rooting for me too.

I got instructions from my doctor to remain on the same medication dosage and return on Monday for another ultrasound and more blood work.

From the looks of things, they anticipate my egg retrieval being on Friday, February 27th.  I was thinking it would be on Monday instead.  I have a monitoring appointment on Wednesday, and depending on what things are looking like then, they will let me know if I am to trigger Wednesday night and again on Thursday night for a Friday morning retrieval.  That puts my embryo transfer on Monday, March 2nd, for a three day transfer.  This time, I am doing a double trigger and doing a three day transfer in lieu of a five day.  Dr. Kiltz wants to put back all of my embryos on day 2 or 3 and take it from there.  He feels that putting them back in earlier will possibly increase my chances of them sticking and staying.   Fingers, toes, legs, and arms crossed !  Prayers sent up….

The Dreaded Wait- The 411

baby- wait

I was not cut out for all this waiting !  My mind races to a million places and I worry.  It is killing me that I only have two embryos hanging out at the clinic growing and worrying if they will continue to develop and grow.

Thousands of dollars in medications, fourteen days of injections, perfect diet, and I get eight eggs and only TWO fertilized?   I really only need two, but hey, it would have been nice to have some back ups for FETs if this cycle did not work or ended in another miscarriage.

The embryologist does not check my embryos again until tomorrow morning .  I will definitely call them tomorrow mid-morning to check on my babies.  Prayerfully those two are great quality and the one being thawed out will make it through the thaw.  I already knew the frozen one was as 4AB so at least it is a great quality embryo.

This whole process is so unfair.  It is so nerve wrecking !!

No one told me that PIO would IMMEDIATELY yield symptoms ! Oh Em Gee !   My nipples are aching already and started hours after the first injection !   I have abdominal cramping and twinges.   I just hope I do not develop any allergies to the oil.   The injections are super easy, not what I expected at all.

I am beyond bored here in Albany !  I wish my mom could have come with me.  I will get out of the room and go to the mall tomorrow and see a movie or something…

IVF #3 Fertilization Report and the Plan – The 411

baby- fertilization

This morning, I waited patiently for my clinic to call with my fertilization report.  I had to go into the clinic at 11 am anyway to get my PIO shot instructional.  Before I left, they had not called and when I arrived, the nurse told me she called me and left a message.  I realized they called my home number and not the cell.

Out of eight eggs retrieved from twelve follicles, only two of them fertilized. The other six were not of a quality / maturity to even fertilize.

I was given the option to do a three day transfer with the two embryos if they make it to day three or to wait and see how they develop and do a five day transfer.

I was disappointed that more eggs did not fertilize, but even with my first cycle,( twelve egg retrieved and only seven fertilized and four made it) and my second cycle (four eggs retrieved, three fertilized and three made it to blasts) I wanted to wait it out and let the strongest survive.

By waiting until Monday and doing a five day transfer, I had the option of thawing my frozen one and transferring that one with the other two, so ultimately, that is what I decided to do.  I had one frozen from my first cycle and it was perfect quality and made it to day six.

So…. on Monday, I will transfer the three embryos and pray that at least two of them stick !  My mom wants me to have triplets… why, I do not know !  Two would be more than enough but hey, we beggars can not be choosers LOL.  I will take whatever the good Lord wants to bring through me !

I was about to get in my feelings about only having two eggs fertilize, but then, I only really need two.  I do not want to be stuck with the decision of what to do with extra embryos should I have babies in this cycle.  That would be really heartbreaking to get rid of embryos.

I chose to remain positive and trust that THIS IS MY CYCLE !

As for the progesterone in oil shot, it was no where near as bad as I thought it was going to be !  Did not hurt at all when the nurse injected it !  I was really glad since I had been fearing the shot with dread.

The nurse gave me some extra needles so that I can do them myself or I can come back to the clinic to get it done.  I am not going to pay $20 RT in a car service just to get the shot.  I have to do this on my own.  I will try to do it in the buns but if I run into problems, I can always inject my thigh.  I have a prescription for Emla cream so I will fill that today and numb the area prior to injecting it.  You rub the cream on an hour before injecting.

I am now back in my hotel room and just whipped up a burger and baked potato for my lunch.  I put on a pot of collards earlier this morning to accompany my pan seared center cut pork chops.  For some reason after my retrieval, I am always STARVING !  I ate so much food yesterday when I got back, I felt ashamed.

So now ladies, pray for my two little ones that they keep growing and dividing and that my frozen baby thaws well.   Come Monday, I will be PUPO !! 🙂

IVF #3 Egg Retrieval – The 411

baby- cny resting room spa

This morning, I left the hotel at 7:30 am and headed to CNY Fertility Center and Spa in Albany for my retrieval.

My mouth was dry as cotton since I was not allowed to eat or drink after midnight the night before.

I checked in, was promptly brought to the back and I got changed into my gorgeous bathroom and hospital gown and was walked down to my OR for the morning.  After voiding, getting weighed and asked a ton of questions, I met all my nurses, Dr. Grossman, the anesthesiologist, the embryologist, and then I was given meds and woke up with my intralipid infusion already under way.  I had a little cramping, and my nurse gave me more toradol in my IV.

I slept off and on while they continued to monitor me and by the time my second intralipids infusion was done, I was wide away.

The nurse came in and told me they got eight great eggs.  I had eight huge follicles and then the other 4 were smaller.  Based on my E2 being around 1700 at my last monitoring, I predicted I would have eight mature eggs.

After getting dressed, I went up to the spa and purchased a lavender heating pad that you pop in the microwave.  This thing is divine !

My driver picked me up, took me to A Tailored Tea Room to grab a few scones and I came back to the hotel and put on my jammies, got a scone, made some coffee and climbed in bed to watch tv.

I intend to stay in bed and rest today.   I made a burger last night so all I have to do is put a baked potato in the microwave and cook it.

It is raining in Albany all day today, so it is perfect snuggle under a warm blanket weather.

The only thing I am missing is my baby Langston (my four year old Maltipoo) who jumped in the car with my sister over the weekend and is visiting with her until I go get him around Christmas.  He is a traitor, I know !  It will be nice to have a little break.