Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Holidays...

It's been awhile, and there's really nothing new to report. I haven't heard from the clinic, and though our next cycle has been in the back of my mind, I've been enjoying the holidays. It's been a great time of year for us...lots of family, friends and pure joy. I feel so blessed with my life.

Two interesting conversations with family during this holiday season:

1. My husband's aunt was almost certain we were pregnant. She said she had a very vivid dream where I was pregnant. So vivid, she had to ask her sister (husband's mom) if we were trying to have another baby. I'm hoping it's a good sign that others are dreaming of me being pregnant. I've dreamt of friends being pregnant and they actually were or became pregnant very soon. I feel pretty strong about the power of dreams, so I'm really hoping this is a good sign.

2. We haven't talked much with our families about egg donation (just my Mom and my husband's parents)--that's as far as we took it, and I am hoping the subject stayed that far with our families. So, I was pretty surprised when my sister-in-law came over for dinner tonight and said that she wishes we could have another. She then asked if we could try in-vitro to have a child. Husband replied," that's the only way." Strangely, she then said, " I was thinking of donating my eggs." I was really surprised that this conversation came up with her. I actually was biting my tongue, and I felt like saying "we've tried donated eggs." We kept our mouths shut about our egg donation experience. I have to admit, my sister-in-law would make a great egg donor--she's tall and pretty. She's a talented painter. If she wasn't my sister-in-law, I'd ask her to donate for us.

Wish I had more to report, but it's been quiet here. Hoping 2011 brings lots of happiness, good health, and maybe a baby! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Feeling Normal Again

All this waiting has made the failed DE cycle just a past memory. With the holidays and all, we've been busy decorating the house, making cookies, and shopping. It's been a fun time, and our daughter really enjoys this time of year. It's great to see how happy she gets when decorating the tree and talking about the presents she wants for Christmas. I love it.

I can finally say that my PIO shots are also a distant memory...thank goodness! I thought those shots would haunt me forever. I ran last week for the first time in over a month where my butt felt normal pain from those darn shots! I'm still amazed how long the effects lasted from the injections, especially when I only took them for two weeks and a few days. Ahhh, relief!!!! (Note: My butt felt normal when walking. Running was a different story.)

The last I heard from our clinic: they are still evaluating donors and they will let me know when they have a few for us to view. I'm guessing with the holidays that things move a little slower there. Seeing that 2011 is only a couple weeks away, I think we are looking at a March/April cycle now. We're okay with that; we just want to give it another 'go' and hope this time is a success.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Waiting, That's All

I hear crickets chirping around here lately. It's been quiet and not a whole lot going on. I haven't heard from my clinic since my last appointment almost 3 weeks ago, so I can only hope that they are busy evaluating potential donors. Due to the holidays coming up, I have a feeling our next cycle will be in February or March. January seems unrealistic to me, especially since we have not selected a donor yet. I'm excited to get rolling with this cycle, but I have to say the high hopes no longer exist as they were with our first cycle. Burned once and I guess, I build up a defense to positivity. Truly, I'm still hopeful that it can happen for us, but I sense more caution this time around.

That's all for today...just waiting...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Last Night's Dream

I don't remember my dreams (I'm talking the dreams we have while we sleep) very often when I wake in the morning. However, this morning I remember my dream very vividly. It seemed so real.

There was a baby girl in my dream. I was holding her. She was beautiful. My husband and daughter were in the dream with me. I asked my husband, "Did I really give birth to her?" He replied, "yes, she's our baby girl." It was like I was in a dream within my dream. I kept staring at our baby girl and saying repeatedly "she's so cute!" I was so in love with her.

Then, I woke up! (I hope I have that dream soon again.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What went wrong?

Despite our great transferred embryos and the fact that I've carried a successful pregnancy before, I still wonder 'what went wrong with our cycle?' Thought I'd revisit these thoughts/feelings now that I've got past the BFN reality. Everything seemed to go so well for our cycle. The embryos just didn't implant, it wasn't meant to be. Maybe embryo quality wasn't as stellar as they looked on day 3, seeing that all the remaining embryos arrested before or by day 5. That seems to be the conclusion I keep coming back to. Knowing that our donor was not proven, nor has she ever had a child herself--it's easy to come to that conclusion that egg quality had a role. After all, DH and I produced a healthy baby with his sperm and my bottom-of-the-ovary egg. Who would of thought: I had a better chance at getting pregnant with my POF egg than a healthy 25 year old woman's egg?!? Crazy to think. Just makes me realize more and more what a miracle my daughter truly is.

So, I'm ready to move on to my next cycle. Ready to get pregnant. I feel I've learned so much from my last cycle, and let's hope my wisdom helps with this next cycle. For one, we are definitely going with a PROVEN egg donor, and by proven, I mean, one that has had a successful child herself or her donated eggs have produced a LIVE birth. I think this is so important, especially after seeing what happened with our cycle. By no means am I blaming our donor for our BFN, for every donor has to start somewhere. Our donor did everything she was supposed to do and produced enough eggs for us to even have a cycle. She showed up for her appointments, took her medications, and followed through with her commitment. And, I thank her for that.

Another thing I've learned--do not have the beta test on a significant date (like a wedding anniversary!) Seriously, that was not planned out, but it's definitely how it turned out. Yes, on our 4-year wedding anniversary, we received the official news that our beta was 2 or in other words, a BIG FAT NEGATIVE. Would have been a great anniversary present, but it didn't turn out like the way we would have liked. Knowing that our next cycle will be around January or February, I have to be careful. Daughter's birthday is in January and mine is in February. I will have to plan around these important dates. Seriously, I can't take another BFN, especially on my birthday!

That's all for post: still feeling the PIO injections! (have to remind myself for next post; otherwise, I forget--so much on my mind)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Never say never"

Those were the words of a woman who also journeyed through the emotional roller coaster of DE/IVF recently. I told her that this BFN cycle could be our last DE cycle. Not that we didn't want to try again, but DE/IVF is not cheap and can be very heart-breaking when the final outcome is not the desired outcome.

We had our follow up appointment this morning with my original RE doc, Dr. L (who has always had the BEST bedside manners of any doctor I've ever known). Those bedside manners are one of the major reasons why I enjoy working with him. However, if you read in my last post, I hadn't seen much of Dr. L, which did upset me. Not that the other doctors were not friendly or anything (they were friendly and answered any questions I had), but they were not my doctor.

DH and I are waiting in the conference room for Dr. L, thinking let's get this over with--we know the cycle did not work and there's nothing we can do about it now. Dr. L walks in and one of the first things Dr. L says is that he was almost sure I would be pregnant right now. On the recipient (my) side, everything went perfect, and on the donor side, everything went great. He went over the lab report of our embryos in detail, which somewhat surprised me. Will the explanation of the report make us feel any better? Then, he got to the discussion of freezing embryos, and he was disappointed. His instructions were not followed through by the lab; in other words, there was a miscommunication. He was not happy, and he made it known, not only to his lab, but to us. He really thought if our transferred embryos did not produce a pregnancy, at least our remaining frozen embryos would. But we had no frozen embryos. Due to this miscommunication, he wants to rectify the problem with us--he wants us to cycle again with ALL IVF expenses covered (including donor meds) by the clinic; we'll be responsible for the donor fee and our meds. I'm not sure what my facial expression was at that point (maybe just a blank stare in disbelief). I'm not even sure I said much either. DH was rubbing my back, and I'm thinking, 'did he say what I thought he said?' EVERYTHING IS COVERED but the donor fee and my $500 worth of meds!!! Holy crap! Really?!? Am I dreaming? Dr. L apologized for the miscommunication, and said we should find a new donor (preferably a proven one), so we can rule out possible poor egg quality. He also wants to use ISCI during the next cycle AND he is going to oversea the ENTIRE cycle himself and make sure things are done correctly. Despite our BFN cycle, I'd have to say these are the best news we could ever receive from a follow up appointment. We never would have expected such news. I feel like we are being taken care of, and by a doctor who really cares about making this work for US. He wants us to have a baby. DH and I are amazed that Dr. L admitted to the miscommunication, for we never would have even known it occurred unless he told us.

Wow, and my last post I was furious with our clinic! I'm wondering how many clinics would actually rectify something that would be seamless to the couple. I'm feeling extremely grateful and lucky. And, I'm in shock. Another cycle is on the horizon, and a lot sooner than we had hoped for! We are planning for a cycle in January or February of next year. There is some truth in "never say never."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wrong Decision

I'm thoroughly convinced that we made the wrong decision with the clinic we selected. Not only have we had some "not-so-great" moments at our clinic in the past couple months, but today was the icing on the cake. I got my blood drawn today, and the "vampire" did the WORST draw I've ever seen! Bled through the gauze pad and the mark left on my arm looks like she took blood in four different spots. I'm just so done with this cycle, and for this "vampire" to botch my excellent veins, I'm mad. I feel like crying all over again. And just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, the nurse said I might not get the beta results until tomorrow morning! Seriously?!? I know, it's negative...why does this have to drag on any longer?!? I'm DONE! What kind of clinic draws your blood in the morning and then can't give you the results until the end of the day? Now, I have to wait until tomorrow morning and take another PIO injection. This roller coaster of emotions seems never ending! I'm sorry to be such a downer, but for the amount of money one pays for this cycle, I expect more than what I've been experiencing. My original RE at the clinic who I wanted the entire time through the process; I've only saw him once (1st appointment). I'm so mad at myself for choosing our clinic that only had a 50% success rate. It's hindsight now, but I wish I had chosen a clinic that had an 80% success rate. I just couldn't justify the extra costs of travel and the inconveniences of being away from home. Definitely a wrong decision on my part! If you can learn anything from my experience, go with a very reputable clinic with a better than average success rate.

3 hours later...

I did get a call from my original RE doc after hours, telling me the results I expected. He believes there was a problem with embryo quality, but he needs to review the lab reports before coming to that conclusion. Shouldn't he have seen the lab reports before the transfer??!? He wants us to make a follow up appointment to review everything.

What's next? I'll try to continue to update this blog because I have a feeling our journey is not over....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Tough Day

DH and I decided last night that I would do a HPT this morning. It was 12dp3dt, so most would agree that it's adequate time if a pregnancy should be detected. The HPT was negative. I guess, I can't say I was surprised. Last night I told DH that I was optimistically cautious and pestimically hopeful. Does that even make sense? We agreed, there was probably a 50/50 chance since our clinic's success rate with donor eggs is 50% (not the greatest percentage, seeing that some clinics boast a 80% success rate). So, I was fine for the video camera (yep, DH has been documenting this journey) and then, DH gave me my PIO injection. As I was warming the injection site, I was overcome with crazy emotions. I was balling my eyes out! I was sad, disappointed, shocked and even a little angry. I was a wreck. I was sad that I'll never hold another newborn of my own; I was disappointed after all meds, injections and high hopes; I was shocked that the outcome was not what I wished for, and I was angry that I didn't go to one of the best clinics.

Today was my daughter's picture day at preschool, and DH was doing her hair (while I tried to compose myself). After a few good tears, I asked her if I could do her hair. She gave me a frown and said, "but you're sad Mommy." And I realized this whole journey wasn't just about me. I was sad for her, too. Obviously, she didn't know why Mommy was crying today (we did not tell her about the transfer). I was sad that she would never have the sister or brother that she wanted so bad. I felt like a failure to her. I couldn't provide her with something that would bring her love, friendship, and someone to share life's moments with. Ultimately, I didn't want her to be an only child like me. (As my DH would put it, "but you turned out fine.") Yes, only children turn out normal without siblings. But I see bonds between other siblings (young and old), and I have to say, an only child does miss out on such a connection. Friends are great, but I guarantee you my best friends communicate with their siblings more than they communicate with me. I get it, it's a bond they share...they are family. I miss that, and I don't want my daughter growing up feeling the same way...or realizing later in life that bond she misses. I'm disappointed for her, too. That's all.

There were a lot of tears today. It was a day of grieving. It will take some time. What next? Where do I go from here? I have my beta tomorrow morning for the official outcome, and I'll take my one last PIO injection prior to that (which seems silly at this point). I'll try to compose myself better tomorrow and hope each day gets easier. For now, another cycle seems out of the question (no money)--a lot of money for a lot of grief. Sad to think. In honesty, it was a lot money for a possible dream. Unfortunately, this dream did not come true. :(

Sunday, October 10, 2010

To Pee or Not Pee on a Stick? That is the question

9 days post transfer...

I might have convinced DH that I should POAS before Oct. 14th. Afterall, that is our wedding anniversary, and I'd hate to receive bad news on that day...though good news would be extra special for our anniversary. It's a toss up! I'm not sure if I should POAS or not! I've gone this long without knowing, what's a few more days?! This is the question of the week, though.

Ideally, I want to wait until the blood test; this way the answer is definite. I just pray our definite answer is POSITIVE.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Did I feel something?

(5 days post transfer) I know crazy?!? I must be crazy! That's how I'm feeling during this two week wait. Honestly, after the news of no embryos left for freezing, I am somewhat gearing myself up for a BFN. What are the chances that the embryos transferred are of good quality? And, if they are of good quality, what are the chances of implantation? I've read anywhere between 10% - 40%. Those aren't very good odds. And, as I'm thinking BFN, I start getting twinges in my uterus area! Really?! I think my body is playing tricks on me. Is it possible to feel implantation? It's about the time of implantation based on my transfer. They aren't cramps...well, some might consider them cramps. They are very mild, as if something is going on. Is it possible my embryos are still thriving?? I wish I knew.

The only other symptoms I feel are sore boobs (which I've been feeling for awhile due to the progesterone). Otherwise, I feel normal...are the mild cramps/twinges normal? I don't know...

I do know this waiting period is nerve-wrecking! I even imagined today what I would say if the clinic told me "sorry, it was negative." I'm not losing hope, just trying to be realistic (if I need to be)...I don't want to have my hopes crushed either.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Little Discouraging

It's 3 days post transfer:

Since our transfer, I've tried to take it easy as the doctor instructed. I've been watching a lot of movies on the couch, which has been quite relaxing (no horror or suspenseful movies--that would defeat my purpose of staying mellow!) I even watched Princess and the Frog with my daughter yesterday. Feel asleep on the couch during it, which I haven't done in a long time. It's difficult getting a nap in with an energetic 4 year old, but she let me sleep.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I get around the internet quite well. I had been reading a lot about doctors recommending 5-day transfers over 3-day transfers. Some doctors feel that if an embryo can't make it to 5-days than it would never had become a viable pregnancy. These doctors argue that other doctors quickly transfer 3-days because they're afraid all fertilized embryos will arrest by day 5 (with nothing to transfer on day 5). I didn't worry about this information until I received the phone call from the lab today. Would you believe it?! All the remaining embryos didn't make it past day 5 for freezing. The embryologist assured me that it occurs quite often. Those news were a disappointment to me. We had agreed that this was our one and only DE cycle, so I shouldn't be upset, right? Now I worried that the 2 beautiful embryos we transferred might have had the same fate as the remaining embryos. This two week wait has now become an emotional roller coaster. To be optimistic, I keep telling myself, 'maybe these embies have a better chance in me.' 'Our transferred embryos looked really strong on day 3 while the others did not--which is why they didn't survive past day 5.' It makes me wonder though...16 fertilized after 24 hours (thinking a 5-day transfer). The following day, it was confirmed that I'd have a 3-day transfer with at least two great embryos. Is it because the other embryos looked so bad? All these thoughts and questions go through my head. Then, I read stories where the 5-cell or 6-cell embryos work. It's such a crap-shoot! You never know which embryo will work. I'm praying the embryologist and doctor were VERY correct, saying my two transferred embryos were great. I just need one to stick around.

This two week wait is going to be longer than I anticipated.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Transfer Day!

I couldn't ask for a better day! We woke up early to give my injection. Shortly after, we heard our daughter waking up--and she must have woke up in a good mood, for she was singing in her room. It was so cute and such a great start to our day. DH and I smiled at each other while listening to her--she is such a bright spot in our lives.

The weather was beautiful today, so we had a lovely drive to my Mom's house, where we dropped off our daughter. She was so excited to spend the day and night at Grandma's. We left for the hospital and arrived an hour before the transfer time (as instructed). My bladder was already full by the time we got there, so I didn't have to drink much water. Dr. H (who I've never met) and Dr. B (who was assisting) came into our room to tell us about the transfer process and the latest update that he heard regarding the embryos. He mentioned if they were not "top" quality, we could transfer 3 embryos. The word triplets made me nervous! Luckily, once we got in the sterile room and saw the embryologist, she said we had one 10-cell embryo and one 8-cell embryo. Dr. H said you could not get better than a 10-cell embryo on a 3-day transfer. That was good to hear. The decision was finalized then--we wanted to transfer two, which Dr. H recommended. We even got a photo of our embryos. The whole transfer process was cool to watch, and as Dr. H explained, this will feel like the longest pap smear. He was right, but it really wasn't that bad. The worst part was after the transfer--the catheter to empty my bladder. I am not a catheter fan (not sure who would be). I was glad when that part was over! They wheeled me into the recovery room where I was to lay down for the next 3 hours. Dr. H said to stay mellow and stress-free for the next 2 weeks. DH and I brought our laptop with movies, so we watched 'Valentine's Day' during our wait time. It was a funny romantic comedy--just what I was in the mood for!

We were starving by the time we left the hospital, so we picked up some Quaker Steak & Lube food on the way home. We are now going to watch another movie to cap off this fabulous day. I'm so happy and relieved that things went so well today. The two-week wait is upon us now; hopefully, it will remain calm and stress-free.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Surprising News...

My transfer is tomorrow, October 1st! They called this morning saying there were five very strong embryos that were standing out from the rest. Their thinking is the strong embryos are better off inside me than in the lab (especially since they can tell so soon of their quality), so they want to transfer tomorrow. I was surprised, for I had the impression yesterday that we were transferring as a 5-day. Wow, tomorrow is the day!

Then, a lightbulb went off in my head! I forgot to take my antibiotic and Medrol. I know the antibiotic is a precautionary drug to help prevent infection, and the Medrol is for any inflammation. I started the meds one day late, so I'm praying that won't affect our success in a negative way. The nurse said to start taking them today, and there's nothing we can do about it now. I am mad at myself for forgetting, but I'm trying not to let it bother me too much. I don't need the stress. I keep thinking at this point, God will be determine if this transfer is a success.

I feel great, though...a little nervous but I more excited than anything. I hope to post tomorrow, but we'll see. I'm looking forward to meeting my beautiful embryos tomorrow. Hopefully, they like their new home! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fertilization Report...and Those Darn PIO Shots

Another morning phone call...and fortunately, a GOOD morning! Of the 21 eggs, 16 fertilized!!! Yay! I was so pumped, my excitement must have been very visible. My daughter asks, "Why are you so happy?!" It's so difficult not being able to explain the details with her, or for that matter, in a way that she would comprehend. Due to the amount of fertilized eggs, the lab predicts that we will have a 5-day transfer. If they wait until day 5, she explained, they will have a better idea of the strongest embryos to transfer. If that's the case, our transfer will be on Sunday, October 3rd!

My PIO injection (3rd one) this morning was interesting. DH started to insert, and I'm saying "ouch, this one hurts." He takes it out and moves it to a different location. I could feel this one going in, too. (DH thinks I didn't ice the area as well) The injection was not pain-free as the other two, but this time, I didn't have the shooting soreness down my butt muscle afterward--strange.
I don't know what to think. I like the fact that I could walk better today, but the actual insertion was definitely not enjoyable. These PIO injections are a PAIN in the REAR...literally. After all these injections, I'll have one tough rear!

On another note: I don't have very many childhood friends, but I received a call from one of them today. Guess what? She's pregnant! I'm super excited for her. Wish I could have shared my fertilization report to her, but we have been keeping the whole DE journey to a minimum. That discussion is for another post.

Update to follow tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Retrieval Day!

I was a little nervous about today. The weather was horrible. Our local weather/news channel even predicted last night that this morning's commute was going to be a tough one. I worried for whatever reason, maybe our donor would not show up or be extremely late. Guess who was late? Us! We had a 9:00 am appointment, and due to the weather and traffic, we arrived about 20 minutes late.

DH did his part, and then we met with our RE nurse. She had good news--our donor had 21 eggs retrieved! Yay! Our donor rocks! I don't know how things will shake out with fertilization, transfer and then the ultimate outcome, but I do feel a lot of appreciation for our donor. She never missed an appointment (that we're aware of), and she obviously did all the right things, for we now have 21 eggs!

Hoping the good news continue...

Monday, September 27, 2010

First PIO injection - completed

I did it - I made it through my first PIO injection. I iced the area for about 10 minutes prior, and my DH did a great job with the injection. I didn't really feel anything when the needle went in, and as the injection went through the muscle, I started to feel some pressure/soreness in my butt muscle. It wasn't horrible pain or anything--just sore. It felt like the injection was over in 5 seconds, but my DH said it was at least 10 seconds. I didn't watch, so I had no clue what was going on. Afterward, my DH rubbed/massaged the muscle and then applied a heating pad for at least 15 - 20 minutes. When I got up (I laid down on my belly during the injection) to walk, my butt muscle was very sore (I feel like I overdid a workout yesterday--which isn't the case). It's been over an hour, and the entire right butt muscle is still sore (no major pain, just sore). DH says I'm sensitive.

I'm glad it's over, and I now have expectations for the next one. The actual injection was easy and fairly painless. It's the AFTER soreness I wasn't expecting. One down, many more to go!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I got a wake up call this morning...

Literally! However, it was a great wake up call. Dr. H (another RE in the practice) called at 8:15 this morning to let me know that our donor is triggering today and that I should begin progesterone shots tomorrow morning. Yay! I'm really excited that we are getting closer to my transfer date, which will either be Oct. 1st or Oct. 3rd.

Not so excited about tomorrow morning's PIO shot. (In fact, I'm a bundle of nerves!) I hear it doesn't hurt going in (if you ice beforehand), which I hope is the case. After the shot, women have said to massage the injected area VERY well and then apply a warm heating pad. It sounds like it will be at least a 30 minute process. My DH thinks I'm making a bigger deal about it than it is, but that's easy for him to say. I do give him some credit, though--I would have a difficult time sticking him if I had to. (Guess, I wouldn't make a very good nurse!)

I hope to look back at this post in a few days and laugh...and think 'what was I so worried about?'

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Exceptionally Excellent

Yep, those were the words out of Dr. B's mouth--"exceptionally excellent" lining. (I REALLY liked hearing that!)

This morning I had my bloodwork done and an ultrasound to check my lining. My lining was 13mm, and from what I could tell, it was triple stripe. (I saw three layers on the ultrasound). He said the Vivelle Dot patches are working great for me. Yay! I'm up to 4 patches now--remove old and add 4 new every other day. It's been very easy for me, and I've been following our calendar diligently. I'm in a holding pattern now until our donor is ready. Once she is triggered to mature her follicles, I'll start taking the PIO shots, which could happen as soon as this coming weekend. Less than a week away!!!

So, how am I feeling (besides fighting a nasty cold now)? I feel pretty darn good. I'm nervous about the shots, and I'm hoping that anxiety becomes trivial once I start them. Otherwise, I feel optimistic about our DE cycle. No major mishaps (knocking on wood now) and my body seems to be cooperating like it should. I keep thinking I could worry, but it really isn't going to get me no where...but drive me crazy! So, I have decided to remain calm and optimistic. I pray, I hope, I imagine that our daughter will have a sibling and that we'll have a baby or two in our arms soon...that would be exceptionally excellent! :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Did I hear the word "follicles?"

This morning I had my baseline ultrasound appointment. I've been looking forward to this day for a long time now, for it's the day when the whole DE process really gets rolling. I mean, it's the first significant day on my DE recipient calendar. It obviously was a big day for me because I couldn't sleep at all last night. (geez, what am I going to be like the night before the BIG transfer!?!)

Currently, I'm on Day 3 of my period, so I wasn't sure if it was normal to even have the baseline u/s today. The nurse assured me that this is a typical time to have the procedure. Dr. B (whom I have never met, nor can I pronounce his name--nice nonetheless) did the ultrasound, measuring my lining at 8mm and noting the few follicles in one ovary. I said, "follicles, really?" "There's two, nothing like there should be though," he replies. He then preceded to locate my other ovary. I was somewhat in shock. For one, a doctor hasn't been able to see any (meaning none, nil, zilch!) visible follicles in my ovary for the past 5 years. Secondly, my one ovary has been non-existent the past couple years. Either this doctor has REALLY good eyes or my ovaries are changing their appearance! Regardless, Dr. B made by day. Maybe there is some inconsistencies to this crazy condition, as I like to refer to as some doctors call it "Primary Ovarian Insufficiency." (Sometimes called Premature Ovarian Failure). Failure would imply complete failure of your ovaries and that's obviously not the case--my daughter is a perfect example that sometimes they do actually work! Yep, I'm excited about follicles! Enough to make a baby? Probably not.

So, I regressed. My lining was somewhat thick, but that should shed some more in the next couple days. Dr. L (my RE) will see the ultrasound and blood results this afternoon, and hopefully, I'll get the green light that I can begin my Vivelle Dot patches tomorrow. My donor also has her baseline ultrasound tomorrow morning, so I'm hoping that goes well too.

It's so hard to believe that we are at this point now! A couple months ago it seemed like this day would never come. This may sound silly, but I feel so lucky to even have this opportunity to become a donor egg recipient. Don't get me wrong, I much rather have created a sibling for my daughter the natural way, but this opportunity is better than none at all.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Video: Donor Egg Child

I've known about this video for a long time now. When I first watched it, I was so impressed with this teenager--she seemed so level-headed and mature (not that I didn't expect it), but I was happy to hear her thoughts on being a donor egg child. Hearing her makes me feel good about our decision to try an egg donor's eggs (probably why I've watched it like a dozen times now). I'm in the "tell" camp; I think it's important that a DE child knows that her genetics are different from the birth mother. And, I think it's important that the child knows this at an early age. (just my opinion)

Anyway, here's the link to the video.

I think anyone who is considering egg donation (as a recipient) should view this video.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting in shape and eating well (not so often)

Wow, I can't believe how fast time's almost September! This past month I've really concentrated on being physically fit and can even boast that I completed 3 running races (two 5K's and one 5 miler) in the past 5 weeks! My first races since 2004! I'm definitely not as young as I used to be, but all the running has made feel great physically. I feel stronger even on those days where I have work on my feet for 10 hours straight. Somehow exercise always seems to bring a little happiness into my life, too. I'm all for making the mind and body happy.

Along with the running, I've tried to improve my diet. Unfortunately, I'm not so successful with that. I LOVE food--who doesn't? After my 5K race today, I had some delicious cheese fries with bacon and a huge turkey deli sandwich with coleslaw on it. I won't be eating like that once we start the protocol, I swear. When I was pregnant with our daughter, I remember eating pizza (my favorite food) like every other day. All that pizza was showing too--I gained around 45 pounds with her. I always told myself that if I ever got pregnant again, I was going to be a healthy pregnant woman who only showed in the belly (not the thighs, hips and face). Probably wishful thinking...but there's nothing wrong with that. :)

I'm ready for September though--I'm physically and mentally ready. Well almost ready...I am still uneasy about the progesterone shots (I'm a wuss!), but I'm not sure if I'll ever be ready for them. I'll just do them and hope they get easier.

Goodbye August, hello September...I am ready for you!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nurse Teaching Appointment

Today's "nurse teaching" appointment went very well, thank goodness. Of course, it didn't calm my nerves about the progesterone oil injections, but DH was instructed on how to give an injection, which he feels confident about giving to me. However, when he is out of town for a couple days, I will have to find someone to give me the shots--that makes me nervous. There is no way I can give them to myself!

We went over our cycle calendar in detail--that gets me excited!!! I have my baseline ultrasound September 9th, and then I begin the protocol. The transfer date can't be set in stone until we know how our donor responds to her medications. It is possible that our transfer occurs at the very end of September or early October. September is just around the corner! :)

DH had one question today at our appointment. "Can I videotape the transfer?" Surprisingly (at least I was surprised), he was told he could! This will definitely be an unforgettable experience! Let's hope it's a successful one too!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mixed Emotions

I was somewhat excited about receiving my medications in the mail today (how excited can one get about syringes and needles?) Receiving the drugs meant we were closer to our DE cycle, which definitely gets me excited. I opened the packaged and inspected everything...estradiol patches (which I currently take as my HRT), progesterone vials, syringes, and needles. Yikes, looking at the needles made me a little light-headed. I hate needles. Prior to conceiving our daughter 5 years ago, I did acupuncture, but those needles were nothing compared to what's to come with our DE cycle. Seriously, I can't look at the needles again until it's time to actually receive the progesterone injections, which will probably be in a month or so. Out of sight, out of mind...the medication and needles have been put away for now.

Excitement about our cycle continued through the day until...I got a call from our clinic. See, not only did I receive my DE medications today, but we were having our "nurse teaching" appointment tomorrow with our DE coordinator/nurse. It's 4:15 and a nurse calls saying that our nurse will not be available for tomorrow's appointment at 10:00 am but Friday would work better. (Just great, I found a sitter for our daughter--which she was looking forward to and Friday was busy for us). She then said that she could do the "nurse teachings" tomorrow with us, but she was the only nurse in the office tomorrow, meaning she might get interrupted throughout our appointment. (Fun, we love waiting around...NOT!) Then, she says, "can you hold, please?" "Sure." Fifteen minutes later...I just hung up! (Did she forget about me? No problem, I'll call back.) When I called back, I got the automatic message "please call back during normal office hours from 8am - 4 pm." Needless to say, I was irritated. This experience is not seating well with me. I might be over-reacting, but I feel like the clinic is very disorganized and I don't want them screwing up a "once in a lifetime" experience for us. Not to mention, I don't want to see our savings go down the drain. (by no means has this been pocket change for us)

Let's hope tomorrow's appointment goes better than today's communications.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Our donor...who is she?

It's a mystery! (We chose an anonymous donor). I think about her sometimes and wonder if I've ever seen her (in a store, at the gym, etc.) It will always be an unknown for us, which we are perfectly fine not knowing. Obviously, we have some information about her--the information that helped us select her as our donor--such as her age, weight, height, eye color, hair color, occupation, and medical history. We also received three photos of her, which pictured her as a baby, toddler and young child. Does she look anything like me? Not really. Does that really matter? I don't think so. Heck, growing up, I never felt I looked like my parents (besides eye color). I occasionally wondered if I was adopted, and I know that wasn't the case. I wasn't my Mom's mini-me in the physical sense, but I can say (husband can second this) I sure do have my Mom's mannerisms now. So, I'm not really too crushed if our ED child looks nothing like me.

So who is our donor? She's a young woman who decided she was going to help a couple have a child. Why? I do wonder what her motives are, but then I think does it really matter? Did she need the money? (So what, most people need the money nowadays.) Did she witness a friend or family member suffer from infertility? Or maybe she wants to do something good for someone else? Regardless, her reasons for donating her eggs--she has a kind heart (even if it's for the money). Donating your eggs is no walk in the park. The screenings and procedure itself can be very uncomfortable and not to mention very time-consuming (multiple trips to the clinic). Not just anyone would donate their eggs. Some women might not be concerned with the actual procedure and time commitment, but the way they feel after donating their eggs. I've never been an egg donor or considered donating my eggs (when I had some), so I can only imagine the questions/thoughts of an egg donor.

It's only human nature to think about the unknown. I have a feeling though...once our baby is in my arms--how he/she got here will not matter, but knowing the baby is ours to love is all that matters.

Friday, July 9, 2010

...and still moving along!

Yay! I heard again from our clinic today, and everything is still looking good with our donor (the last of her lab work must have checked out okay). We were also given a timeline for the next couple months leading up to our transfer date. If all goes as planned, my baseline u/s and lab work will be on Sept.9th with a possible transfer date of Saturday, October 2nd! It feels great to have a date even though October seems far from now. I'm sure it will be here before I know it!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Moving along...

Communication has picked up with our egg donor coordinator. She's trying to get my cycle to match up with our donor's, and it looks like we'll have a calendar in place for all the important dates for our cycle soon. As of right now, it looks like we'll have a transfer date in late September/early October. It's very exciting! Being our first (and hopefully only) cycle, I have so many questions, though. Hopefully, at our next meeting at the clinic all my questions can be answered. It's funny, though...through this entire process, I have so many questions and just when I think I've thought of everything or knew everything about egg donation--there's more questions.

Speaking of moving along, my husband and I have joined a gym to get in shape. It's been over a year since we've stepped into a gym, and yesterday was my first time back. I jogged 2 miles and lifted some weights and judging by today's soreness, it appears I overdid it just a little bit! Despite the soreness, it sure felt great to be back at the gym.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Donor Selected

We were excited to receive two additional donor profiles yesterday morning; so in total, we had a choice between 4 donors. I have to admit, I was hoping for a few more than that, but I won't complain. By afternoon yesterday, my hubby and I had decided on our favorite donor of the 4--she was one of the new additions given to us. When it came down to decision-making, we really weighed in on their family medical history, and I was still set on a blue-or green-eyed donor. It's so difficult to pick the "right" donor! I really hope she is the right donor for us.

I contacted our donor coordinator this morning with our selection--I didn't want to waste any time! (if you couldn't tell, I'm a very motivated person) Our next steps are dependent on our donor now. She needs to have additional lab work and a consult, and once that is completed (and everything looks good), we have to sync up our cycles. I'm hoping this next step goes smoothly. It's funny I've been hearing stories where donors back out or can't cycle for several months (due to commitments, etc), so I'm definitely keeping in mind our 2nd choice for a donor (if things don't work out with #1). Keeping my fingers crossed!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

An unexpected supporter

I was driving in the car today with my 4 year old daughter, and if we aren't singing to the car radio, we are chatting away about everything and anything. We've talked many times before about her having a brother or sister, and the conversation happen to come up again today. I said, "I hope I can have another baby." Without any delay, my 4 year old said, "you will, Mommy!" And of course, that proceeded with telling me her favorite names for a sister (Hannah) and brother (Andrew). I really didn't expect her optimistic comment, but it truly made my day (and I couldn't help but feel the hope that she had for me). When my cycle begins, I know she'll be cheering for me!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Well... Really?

Yep, still waiting here! After not hearing from our egg donor coordinator for almost a week, I picked up the phone last week. I wanted to know what was taking so long. She informed me that she's waiting on some photos from a couple donors. I know we all have busy lives, but how difficult is it to email or mail a photo? It gets me wondering, 'do these donors really want to donate their eggs?' I hope I am not over-reacting, but I don't see how such a task can take over 2 weeks! Is it really the donors holding up the process or is it our clinic? So, that was last week, and I'm hoping we have some donors to view this week.

While I had the clinic on the phone, I figured I better make the best of our phone connection. So, I fired away with a few questions. Fortunately, I did get some good news out of our communication. All our blood work came back great and my hubby's semen analysis was fine. Yay! No obstacles on our side, so once again, bring on the donors!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

No word, just bills

When I started to this blog, I had hoped to write fairly frequently. However, the past couple weeks has been very quiet on the egg donor front. I was starting to get discouraged since I hadn't heard anything from our clinic. Unless you count the bills in the mail from all the blood work analysis and appointments, which so far has totaled over $1,000! Yikes! That's what happens when your health insurance isn't so great! :(

I can't believe it's been 4 weeks. I emailed the egg donor coordinator this past Monday, who responded Thursday saying she'll have a couple more egg donor profiles emailed to me after the weekend. Being Memorial Day weekend means not until after Monday. I'm thinking 'can this drag on any longer?' I'm anxious and excited to start the next step!

It's been awhile, so I've had a lot of time to think...or not think. From my last post, I was disappointed with the few egg donors that met the characteristics we desired. Sure enough, after a good night sleep, that disappointment vanished. There's never going to be an egg donor that looks like me...or is like me. So, there's no reason to get hung up on all the physical characteristics of our egg donor (though some would be nice!). It's important that she's healthy and produces great quality eggs. That's what matters, so no additional thought needed.

Bring on the egg donors, I'm waiting!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another appointment...

Well, I have to say I was nervous about today. I had another appointment at the fertility clinic. We had to drop off the hubby's sperm and then I had a saline ultrasound. Of course, I googled "saline ultrasound" last night and found out that slight cramping occurs during the procedure, but otherwise, it normally lasts a couple minutes and is painless. Sure enough, I got worked up over nothing because it was painless and quick (maybe 5 minutes). Fortunately, my uterus looked good, so at least I have something in my favor!

We also met with their donor coordinator, and I have to say I was a little disappointed. They gave us two donor possibilities, and they were fine. I guess, we (yes, the hubby felt the same way) were expecting to see a few more than just two. Based on the characteristics we listed, they came up with two donors! TWO!?! Really? It's not like we didn't like the options, we just wanted more choices. The coordinator said she'd look through some more possible donors, but she didn't feel they met our preferences. The more I think about it, though--we are going with an anonymous donor, so why are we being so selective? And, it's ME being selective. (this is a subject for another post) I'll sleep on the thoughts for now.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

First step toward ED

Well, we have been thinking about egg donation for awhile now, and I had set up an appointment with the RE specialist weeks ago. I was extremely excited and really looking forward to this appointment. I was a little nerved before getting there--traffic was bad and parking took at least 10 minutes--I was late! Of course, my husband was late too (we had to drive separately since he was coming from his job). Fortunately, the office didn't seem irritated with our tardiness. We went over my history with the a resident doctor (who was really sweet) and then the doctor (who confirmed my first pregnancy 5 years ago) reviewed my history and explained the process of egg donation at their clinic. Of course, all our questions were answered. The doctor then did a transvaginal ultrasound to see the condition of my uterus. They were unable to find my one ovary, and it appeared no visible eggs were left in my visible small ovary. So, it looks like my chance of another spontaneous pregnancy was non-existent. We met with the donor coordinators and discussed next steps. My husband and I both need to complete some blood work and meet with a psychologist (standard procedures at the clinic). I have to have a saline ultrasound and my husband needs a sperm specimen analysis. We also meet again with the donor coordinators to discuss possible egg donors. Overall, the appointment was what I expected, and I felt very comfortable with our doctor and his staff. As I drove home, though, I started to get REALLY nervous about the egg donation process. I don't know if it was the knowledge that I would need progesterone shots during the ED cycle or if the reality of it was setting in (as we became involved in the process). I'm still excited, but now I'm nervous too!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Miracles do happen...

The next two months after my diagnosis were rough, but I was determined. I did LOTS of research about POF and how to lower my FSH levels. I heard some good things about acupuncture, so I thought I'd give it a try (even though I hate needles!) After my first visit with the acupuncturist (who was also an M.D.), I was very optimistic. This doc truly gave me hope, and he seemed confident that I could get pregnant. (Fortunately, my boyfriend was completely supportive!) So, I continued the HRT that was first prescribed to me with my diagnosis and continued at least weekly acupuncture sessions.

One day, my boyfriend and I were running at the track (trying to stay healthy), and after about a mile of running, I started to feel very sick. I was thinking maybe I ran too hard, but it really didn't make sense to me--I ran cross country/track as a teenager and never felt like this after a hard run. Then, I was trying to think when my period was due, and I thought I was a day or two late. I had only been on HRT for two months, so I wasn't really sure how precise my cycle was while taking HRT. My boyfriend talked me into taking a home pregnancy test, so I did. It looked negative to me (what did I know, it was the first hpt I've ever taken!?) Or maybe I was in denial--how could I be pregnant? I was diagnosed with POF and I haven't had a period on my own in almost 9 months. The next day, I took another hpt, and this time I realized I had read it wrong--it was positive! Needless to say, we were both extremely happy!

I went to the specialist a week later, and he confirmed the pregnancy. I was almost 7 weeks pregnant! Everything went great with my pregnancy; in fact, I felt normal being pregnant (as if my hormones were finally in sync). Our beautiful daughter arrived one day before my due date. She truly was a miracle, and I am now a believer that miracles do happen!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Extraordinary News

It was almost five years ago when I got the news. I still remember that day very clearly. I had researched my symptoms prior to seeing the doctor, so I had some idea on my diagnosis. However, hearing the words from a specialist, "your ovaries are the size of a woman in her late 40's" was not what I had expected to hear. Sure, you know the diagnosis is Premature Ovarian Failure, but what does that mean? It's not like my friends or family members have it. Then, as I sat with my boyfriend at the time (now amazing husband) listening to everything the doc told us, my eyes filled with tears. I couldn't believe this was actually happening to me. When the doc said my chances of conceiving my own biological child was only 5-10%, the tears flowed. I always wanted a big family (I'm an only child), and the news were absolutely crushing to me. I never heard of an egg donor until this day.