Thursday, July 24, 2008

Embryo transfer

It's transfer time tomorrow!! I'm so excited and so nervous I can hardly stand it. All 4 of the embryo's are progressing the way they should. Tomorrow they will choose the 2 best ones and place them in the exact location.
I've been reading a lot about the process and found some good and bad things.

The good:

At our IVF clinic, we have the woman lie on her back for 1 hour after embryo transfer before going home. We request that she also limit physical activity for the remainder of that day. This means hang out on the couch or in the Lazy-boy recliner - watch videos, read, boss hubby around, etc
Boss hubby around? Yes! Doctor's orders

The bad and scary:

No matter how good the IVF laboratory culture environment is, the physician can ruin everything with a carelessly performed embryo transfer. The entire IVF cycle depends on delicate placement of the embryos at the proper location near the middle of the endometrial cavity. The basic principle of embryo transfer is placement of the embryos to the ideal location in the uterine cavity with as little trauma and manipulation as possible. When it comes to successful IVF outcome, the importance of embryo transfer technique can not be overstated.

Now I need the Valium!

We're so close! Keep the prayers coming!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We have embryos

I called Max yesterday and we started out with 25 eggs. 7 eggs where immature and could not be used. 10 eggs he tried to fertilize doing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) That is where they inject the sperm right into the middle of the egg. I don't now how they do it. I've seen pictures but don't know how they get instruments that small? Really the process is amazing.
So 10 of them he could not get the needle in the egg. Hard shell. (Keep the jokes to yourself, ha, ha)
So that leaves 8. He fertilized all 8 and only 4 took. The quality of the eggs was not that great. I was devastated!! I was so worried that meant they would not make it. He was still going to work with the 10 other eggs.
Today I got much better news. The 4 embryos from yesterday were doing great. Splitting the way they should. I was thrilled. He also fertilized 4 more eggs and will freeze them.
We still have to get them to keep spitting and make it to blastacyst phase.
I talked with the nurse Lana and we are planning on transfer Friday!! I'm so nervous and so excited!! Pray and cross your fingers that my body and my little embryos make it to Friday!!
What they do in Transfer is use a catheter and an ultrasound to guide them to put the embryos in the best spot in my uterus. They give me Valium, thank heavens!! Not because it hurts but to keep you calm (some how this whole process seems to get you a little on edge, can you feel the sarcasm oozing?) and to help keep you down the rest of the day.
The only problem is they need me to have a full bladder so they can do the ultrasound. It helps them to see better. I'm not looking forward to that. Hopefully the Valium will make me feel so good I won't care that my bladder is going to burst! Or that I even have a bladder.
So as of today, You know with this process it is a one day at a time thing. We will plan on Transfer Friday at 11:30.
So pray that my embryos keep doing there job and that my body heals.
Shaun and I are so excited! You really become numb to it all after a while. It's so hard to get your hopes up and go through so much and then be let down. We've had a lot of that. But it is so exciting!
I wanted to make a list of all the medications they have me on now for the future. It would be fun to look back and see how things might have changed. These are the medications they have me on for now:

Heparin injections in my stomach twice a day
Progesterone oil shot in my outer hip that Shaun has to give me every night. Yikes!! We continue this for 6 weeks, even into pregnancy until the placenta takes over
Keflex 500mg 3 times a day
Prenatal vitamins once daily
aspirin 81mg once daily
Metformin 500mg with dinner
Folic acid 1mg at bedtime
prednisone 20mg at bedtime for five days then back down to 5mg at bedtime
Tylenol with codiene to help with pain (sore swollen belly, and it is annoying!)
I can't wait until I'm off of all these medications.

Keep splitting little embryos!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

party in a petri dish

My retrieval today went well. They were able to retrieve 26 eggs! That is an excellent amount. There are 12 REALLY good ones and 13 good ones, so I guess that leaves 1 bad one? I was pretty out of it from the anesthesia. Sleepy time.
So tonight there is a party in the petri dishes! They are going to inject the sperm right into the egg on some of them. And put 75,000 sperm in a petri dish with 1 egg. It's seems the odds are in are favour but you never know.
They also think they will have to freeze them when they get to the best stage and we will have to wait until end of August early September to put them back in because of the high risk of hypo ovarian stimulation syndrome (ohss) This has really bummed me out today. I'm just so sick of injections and all these medications. I'll find out more details tomorrow when I call Max (embryologist) to see how the "party" went, And talk to Dr. Guanala, Who has been amazing, and her staff. I'll find out what will be the next step.
party on little eggs!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

correction for in vitro post below

tomorrow is retrieval not transfer. Transfer is when they put the eggs back in me. But tomorrow will be to go and retrieve the eggs from the ovaries. It's Easter all over again!

in vitro

I've started off my blog with a bang. Right in the middle of in vitro therapy. For those who don't know, Shaun and I have had a very loooooooooong struggle to have children. It's been emotionally, physically, mentally, finically challenging. Whew!!
I wish I would have starting my blog a long time ago so the whole journey could have been better documented. I tease with Shaun that our children's time out will be at the computer reading all about how hard it was to get them here, and they better start being good!
This infertility stuff has been such a roller coaster, and me, being an extreme roller coaster lover, you know the higher the better, But not with this ride. I've wanted to jump off the tracks many times. I'm so thankful to have friends and family who pray for me daily. Thanks for all the support, I could not have done it with out you.
Back to being in the middle of in vitro. This might not make a lot of sense to those who might not know the process, but I'll try to just say what's going on right now. I've been giving my self injections in my stomach to stimulate my ovaries to produce multiple eggs. I've been going to my doctor every other day to be monitored. They have found that my ovaries are more than happy to work overtime!! They have produced 24 egg follicles just on one ovary, and 19 on the other. Yikes!! It's like a hen house in there. And, she stopped counting!! So there could be more!!
unfortunately, this does not come without concern, My Estiodial level is very high (as you can see with how many follicles are growing.) My ovaries are at least 3 times there normal size.
This cause's me to be at high risk for hypo ovarian stimulation. (OHSS)
They have grown so fast, that I have to go in early for my egg transfer. That is to go and suck out all the fluid in the follicle and the embryologist will then sift through it and find the eggs and start to harvest them. (inject the sperm into each and watch them split and grow) The whole process really is amazing!!!
We really could use all of your prayers at this time. They will not know how bad the OHSS will be until after transfer tomorrow, and I follow up for labs and ultrasounds. If it gets really bad I will have to be in the hospital and my stomach could swell up and it causes a lot of problems for my body, so they might have to go ahead and harvest my eggs, and get as many as they can to the blastacyst phase (day 5 of splitting) and then freeze them until my body comes down and brings it self back to normal. Otherwise, If They put the eggs back in, it could be a long time before my body comes down, and that could be dangerous. So we may have to wait another month.
Whew! Are you overloaded with too much information? It's a lot to explain. That's the quick version. I might try and go back and give tidbits of this process, But just trying to write it all is exhausting.
After tomorrow's transfer. We'll call the embryologist and get an update on the quality of the eggs, how many eggs we have, because not all the follicles will contain a egg. He'll let us know step by step the process of the egg and sperm split and how they are doing. Amazing stuff!!