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 now...next 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.