Embryo Transfer Day !! – The 411

ivf #5 think positive

Today was my embryo transfer day !  Here in Syracuse, a snow storm started yesterday and continues.  When I got ready to leave to head to the clinic, the streets were in horrible condition and the people here drive like the ground is clear !  No respect ! lol.

I prayed the ENTIRE 15 minute drive to the clinic that I would get there in one piece.  I  cussed out everyone on the road because they were flying around me and others who chose to drive like we had sense.  Just because you are driving an SUV or minivan, does not mean that you are Richard Petty and can use your car like its a snowmobile !  I was a nervous wreck by the time I got to the clinic.

I went in, checked in, and then was escorted to the spa for my pre-procedure acupuncture.  It was very relaxing !

An hour later, I was taken to the OR and the nurse explained what we were doing today and then Embryology came in to tell me I had two nine cell embryos and one eight cell embryo with a tiny bit of fragmentation.  The embryos looked great for day threes and were strong looking embryos and just what they expected to see on day three.

IVF #6 - transfer day 20

After speaking with the Embryologist, Dr. Kiltz came in and gave me a huge hug and kiss on the cheek.  We chatted for a while about all kinds of things and then he asked how many I was thinking of transferring, as he already had a figure in his head !  I told him I was torn between transferring two and transferring three.  I was leaning more towards three because I really want twins and am willing to take the risk of triplets.  I wanted to up my odds for twins.  I figured if I only put back two, one was not going to take.  I was sitting in the ER texting my mom and my friend SpiritBabyComeHome asking their advice.  Both said to do three.  I looked at Dr. Kiltz after thinking about their earlier replies and said lets do THREE !   I told him I was keeping the two cutest ones and the ugliest one could go home with him. lol.

After Dr. K checked my uterus and lining, he then called for Embryology to bring my babies out.  Dr. Kiltz put them in and then had me relax with my bottom elevated.  Shortly after, the acupuncturist came in and did my post op acupuncture.  I relaxed and just listed to the music playing throughout the clinic.  Before I knew it, it was time to get dressed and check out and gear up to drive back to hotel.  The drive back was a lot more pleasant, as the roads had been cleared some by then.  I came back in, showed my mom the paperwork and the picture of the babies, and immediately put on my pjs and started ordering food.  I order pork fried rice from one place, a large NY cheese pizza from one place and also a turkey club, salad, hot wings, and a soda from the last.  Thank goodness, all of it tastes good !  I wasn’t sure about these places, so I wanted to make sure I had enough delivery for lunch, snack and dinner since I have no plans on going back outside until we leave for DC tomorrow !

So ladies, I am PREGNANT until proven otherwise… Okay… I am just PREGNANT !  We will not put anything other than that out into the universe !   🙂

 

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Blog Update 01/17 – The 411

baby - ivf egg and sperm

My embryos are growing in a lab and awaiting Mommy to come get them and nestle them inside ! Tomorrow at 10:30 am, I have acupuncture and then at 11:30 am, Dr. Kiltz is going to transfer embryos to my womb.

Today, I got up as usual and started my injection and pill swallowing regimen.  I then learned that a friend, Comedian Joe Torry is flying in to Syracuse and performing tonight at Funny Bone Comedy Club and Restaurant at Destiny USA.   My mom and I went there this morning to see Will Packer and Tim Story’s new film Ride Along 2.   The movie was really good.  After the movie, we went to Cheesecake Factory for dinner.

Tonight, I am going to go back to Destiny USA for Joe’s comedy show.  It should be a lot of fun.  I tried to get my mother to come along, but she has declined to go.  She only likes a handful of comedians because she says they do a lot of cursing and the majority of their content is about sex or vulgar.  lol

In family news, my sister who lives in North Carolina and my little mini me niece drove up to my other sister’s house in Northern Virginia/DC area for the impending birth of our niece’s baby. My niece is finally having some contractions and her mucus plug came out last night or early this morning.  By the time I get back to the DC area, I will be a great-auntie !  Not sure I like that title… I am not even a mother yet…

This week is going to be a stressful one. My mother will get the results of her CT Scan on Thursday at her appointment with her Oncologist.  We are praying that she gets an all clear, despite the fact that she is acting like she expects them to find something.

I would love to hear from you ladies as to what you feel I should do if I have more than two embryos tomorrow.  I am torn still as to how many to transfer back.  As far as I know, I have three, three day embryos.  I am not sure if I should transfer two and hope for the best, or transfer all the embryos.  My dilemma is, if I transfer three, then I will have no embryos left and will have to do another cycle with another donor since my current donor is no longer cycling.  I do have another donor that I like, but she does not look like me and is much lighter in complexion than I.  If I transfer two, then I would have one to freeze, if it is of quality to freeze, and transfer later.  The only concern there is that the embryo may not be good enough to freeze and also that even if frozen, does not guarantee that it will survive the thaw.

If I transfer all three, and none of them stick, then I have to start all over again.  The new donor would have to do a fresh cycle instead of a frozen one.  There are no donors in the frozen bank that I like.

Why does this have to be so darned complicated?   If only all of the eggs would have made embryos, then I would have two transfers worth of embryos or even three if I did two at a time.  Then again, that would all depend on them making it to freeze and thawing properly.

I definitely want twins, however, I do not want triplets.  My mom wants me to have triplets… not sure why that is even a thought in her head, given how she knows I have no tolerance for a lot of foolishness and just a little bit of patience. Two will be a lot of work, but I am mentally prepared for it.  I just can not see myself with three kids. Whoa !

Prayers needed tomorrow and please weigh in with your thoughts ~

 

UPDATE 1/12 – The 411

IVF 5 - Keep Calm Keep Stimming

Whew !  Making progress….  I am starting to feel like my old self !!

Today was the last day of the z pack and other than slight bowel issues, I am pretty much back to normal.  Things seem to be clearing up from the bottom end too, thank goodness LOL.

The doctors office called today and gave me instructions.  I continue on my same meds until Thursday and then I stop the Lupron only on Thursday.  On Friday, I start to 1ml progesterone in oil injections and the three times a day vaginal Endometrin progesterone.

On Friday, my eggs will be thawed and fertilized and I am PRAYING for ALL seven of them to come thru for me !!  I decided to drive from Washington DC since my mother now wants to come with me.  I am picking up a rental on Friday at the airport after my baseline appointment on Friday and will leave for Syracuse at 2am on Saturday.

Saturday morning at 10 am, I have to report to CNY for the HCG wash and the two bag intralipid infusion.  Dr. Kiltz wants to do the wash a couple of days before the transfer because it has proven to be more effective.

My mom had to have two teeth surgically removed yesterday that were damaged by chemo.  There goes my plan to go to Dinosaur BBQ lol.   She will have to nibble on soup or something…  I will relax on Sunday and get ready for the transfer on Monday morning and we will drive back to DC on Tuesday morning early.  My niece is set to be induced on Monday if she has not gone into labor by then.  She was due on Monday the 11th.

So, here we go !  Twins 2016 underway !!!

IVF #6 – Stim Day 10 – The 411

Today, I had my CD 2 baseline appointment and unfortunately, my transfer is going to be delayed a week because my lining is 8mm.  I was instructed to stay on Lupron for an additional week, allow my period to complete and shed my lining and then go for another lining check and blood draw next week.

I called around to find an imaging center back at the beach so that I would not have to travel to Washington again for an appointment and was able to schedule an appointment on Monday at a local hospitals offsite imaging center, which does not do detailed radiology scans because they do not normally do IVF related scans.  They referred me to another private imaging center which does do detailed scans so I made an appointment with them and the first available appointment was on Thursday, New Years Eve.  I faxed my orders to them today and I emailed my nurse to ask her which appointment she wanted me to go to, since I am not sure exactly what she is looking for.  I have to wait until after the next scan to start taking the estrogen.  Luckily for me, I am just going with the flow and am not on any particular time schedule.  Now it looks like I will be bumped back until the week of the 18th for my transfer.

I called Xytex today to get an idea of their dates and times of operation and when to have them ship the sperm vial so that I can get it there in enough time for my fertilization.  Now I have a little extra time and will not worry about the shipment getting caught up in holiday travel.

So for the next week, I am still on Lupron and the other meds and supplements I am supposed to take.

Have a great night everyone ~

Embryo Glue – Does It Work? – The 411

ivf - embryo glue

Embryo glue – does it work or not?

Does embryo glue really work? We were initially sceptical. A low-cost product that helps your embryo to implant? It sounded too good to be true. For fertility expert Robert Winston, it was. ‘The embryo does not need glue to attach itself to the uterus’, he blogged. For him, the embryo is master of its own destiny. ‘Adding substances is a very simplistic and unlikely solution.’

But embryo glue has grown up. A few years ago, we would have told you to save your money. Today, we’re seeing the roll-out of embryo glue to more and more fertility clinics, updated research and positive feedback from patients. We’ve changed our mind.

If the idea of having an embryo glued into you doesn’t appeal, don’t panic. Despite its name, embryo glue isn’t really a glue at all. It’s a specially developed solution that contains, among other things, high levels of a substance called hyaluronan, also known as hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronan occurs naturally in your womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Studies have shown that it makes secretions from these organs stickier, aiding fertilisation and implantation. Embryo glue mimics those uterine secretions. On your embryo transfer day, your embryos are dipped into the ‘glue’. Then they’re placed in your uterus. The adhesive effect of the medium may help your embryos stick to your endometrium.

Simple idea. Good name. Patients understand the concept. If embryo glue helps your embryo and womb hit it off for longer, rather than drifting apart at the crucial moment, we call that implantation-friendly.

You might have come across hyaluronic acid in the earlier stages of your pregnancy journey. It’s used in some forms of lubricating gel products supposedly to boost your conception chances after sex. The levels in embryo glue are more highly concentrated.

Like every new product or technique sold to the fertility sector, embryo glue has faced opposition. A 2012 study published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics and Gynecology cast doubt on its effects. That gave marketers of the product a very bad morning.

But more recent research suggests otherwise – and it certainly swayed us. For example, a review carried out by the Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Sub-Fertility Group, published in the respected Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2014, showed more promising results.

The review explored the benefits of assisted reproduction techniques involving adherence compounds (including hyaluronic acid) and their effect on embryo implantation. The results of 17 studies were analysed and compared. The authors concluded that the evidence does suggest that clinical pregnancy and live birth rates are improved by the use of hyaluronic acid. Other studies suggest embryo glue may be particularly beneficial for women who’ve had repeated implantation failure or unexplained infertility.

Let’s talk money. The good news is that, like an endometrial scratch, embryo glue is a relatively low-cost fertility add-on. It’s not going to break the bank. Clinic fees are around $0-300.  CNY Fertility Center and Spa offers this with all transfers at no additional cost.

Our thinking is this. At that price-point, clinics may be thinking more about their success rates than their bank balances. Although embryo glue will boost clinic revenues, any uplift in live-birth rates is good for business. They know that fertility patients are increasingly guided by the stats. So if they see value in an affordable product, perhaps we should to. It doesn’t seem like money for nothing.

The success stories about embryo glue are encouraging. It’s still relatively new. Research into its benefits is continuing. But if you’ve had failed IVF attempts, or issues with implantation, we reckon it’s worth serious consideration. Speak to your clinic.

IVF #5 – Embryo Transfer Day – The 411

I am Officially PUPO !! (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise)

IVF 5 - embryos

This morning, I had a hard time sleeping due to having vivid dreams.  I got up at 4 am and watched Law & Order SVU for an hour and a half and then I fell back asleep until about 7 am.  Shortly after I got up, Kimmy, my nurse called to let me know that three of the embryos had cleaved and were dividing beautifully and that the Embryologist  said they were perfect ! Of course I danced a jig !  😉

I got up, showered, got dressed and went down to the lobby for breakfast. I had the staff call ahead and schedule a cab to pick my up at 8:45 am to take me to CNY for my acupuncture and embryo transfer.  The cab was on time and we headed to CNY.  Of course the cabs here are not regulated, so this time, I was charged $20 instead of the $12 he previously charged me. I asked if there was a surcharge and with an attitude, the driver said NO. So I replied, okay then you are just rip off artists then…. give a receipt !

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I went inside, checked in, and then was escorted upstairs to the spa.  I got changed into my robe and slippers and sat in the waiting area in front of the fireplace and waited until it was time for my acupuncture session.

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After my acupuncture, I was escorted downstairs to my OR room for my transfer.  I was greeted my my nurse, Kimmy, and she did a blood draw and then Dr. Grossman came in to tell me that I had two Grade 4 AA and one grade 4AB embryo and they were really strong and over 8 cells already !! The Embryologist came in to assist Dr. Grossman, since they now use Embryo Glue with the embryos to aid them in sticking.  The mock transfer and the transfer went by really quickly and then I had to rest for- 15 mins before they would come get me to take me upstairs to the spa for post transfer acupuncture.

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After my acupuncture, I headed back downstairs and had the staff call a cab for me to take me back to the hotel.  I ran upstairs, put the boxes on the cart and rolled it back downstairs for FedEx to pick up my clothes and other belongings I had shipped here ahead of my arrival, and I came upstairs to my suite, grilled two thin center cut pork chops, heated the squash and cabbage I made yesterday, and ate a nice little plate of food, while watching my soaps.  Now I wish I were in Canada so I can see tomorrows Bold and The Beautiful.  The show is only 30 mins so I miss sooo much waiting for the next day LOL.

I am relaxing in my hotel room until this evening and then I am going to have concierge take me to the mall so that I can go get dinner either in the food court (think Five Guys Burger and Fries) or PF Changs for pork fried rice and then I will head over to Cheesecake Factory for a slice of the to die for Lemon Meringue Mascapone Cheesecake !  I… can… not… wait !  🙂

Stick babies stick !!!

IVF # 5 – Blood Clot – The 411

ivf 5 - blood clot

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So, I spent the night after retrieval in excruciating pain.  First it was the awful gas bubbles in my tummy that were trapped and had no where to go.  I was ridiculously uncomfortable.  I way lying in bed and then noticed the backs of my knees were also hurting pretty bad.  I could not get comfortable and  my right knee pain was radiating down into my calf.  I was finally able to fall asleep after the Dulcolax I took earlier in the day kicked in.  I was still bloated and the abdomen was distended and my legs ached.  I told my camera man to keep an eye on me and if he noticed my breathing change to call 911 immediately.

I talked to my nurse when she called with the fertilization report and she suggested I go to Albany Medical Center.

When the camera crew was leaving, I arranged for a cab to come pick me up to and take me to the emergency room. I got there in about 20 mins, checked in and waited for a room.  I was seen by an ER doc and then sent to radiology in the middle of his interview.  I gave him my list of meds that CNY printed out for me to take over the next few days and off I was rolled to radiology.  That was THE longest ride ever !  I had a doppler done of the groin and both legs and the scan did not show anything above the knee.   After I was done, I was rolled back to the room #13 that I was previously in and two more ER docs and an assistant came in shortly after and explained that doppler scans and xrays do not show much below the knee and that it was suspected that I had a clot in the right leg in the calf. The good thing was that the Lovenox was started again after egg retrieval, so it will help dissolve any clots, being that it works very quickly, unlike Cumadin and other blood thinners that take days to build up in the system.  Lovenox begins to work within two hours of the injection. Next, the insurance coordinator came in and got my information, registered me, and took copies of my insurance card and id.  I relaxed on the cot and watched television for two more hours before they finally let me go.  It took AN HOUR for a cab (after calling 2 different companies) to show up to pick me up and take me back to the hotel.  I ordered pizza on the way back and it arrived within 20 mins of my return.

I was instructed to walk several times a day to increase blood flow and to monitor for various symptoms.

The leg pain was gone by last night before bed, so I was happy about that.  The bloating has done down some and I am no longer in pain.

This morning, I got up an inserted the estrace, Endometrin, did the PIO injection, took the antibiotic, and later took the Prednisone, Claritin, and prenatal vitamin.  I have to insert the Estrace three times a day and the Endometrin twice a day.  I was going to do the Delestrogen, but since my elevated hormone levels are the cause of the blood clot, I will just stick to the vaginal dosage.

Tomorrow, I have to report to CNY Fertility Center and Spa in Albany at 9 am for acupuncture and then I will be having my transfer of prayerfully all three of my embryos at 10:30 am.  I called today, but they do not check the embryos again until tomorrow so I am praying and hoping all three of them are still with us and growing and dividing strongly.  I won’t know about the 4th one until tomorrow either.  I have had dreams about three and so has my mom, so I am going to go with THREE !