Our Baby Transfer! (i.e. frozen embryo transfer)

My posts have been much fewer and far between because the past few weeks/month(s) have been a bit of a whirlwind and while I have loved sharing our experience with everyone, there were parts that I’ve held off blogging about out of respect for Lenny’s wishes.  Mainly, we figured that if something did work out and we were to get pregnant, it probably wouldn’t be best for our parents to find out via my blog…

So now I’m going to start catching you up, and there is a lot to catch up on.  We’re ready to share.

The last updates I had given on our cycle we were “delayed”.  They had found cysts in my ovaries (results of the hyperstimulation last cycle) and my body was taking forever… no ovulation and nothing from the docs as to what was going on.  Then, out of no where, we had answers and we had a plan.  On September 20th I finally ovulated (sorry if this is TMI), and I started medications to pursue a frozen transfer five days later.  We were ecstatic – I was convinced the cycle was going to be cancelled again.  That was a Monday.  I started estrogen supplements (estrace) once a day, and progesterone supplements (crinone) twice a day.  P.S. I HATE crinone more than any of the other meds that I had to take, including all of the shots.  Don’t want to be too descriptive, but if your doc prescribes this I strongly recommend you ask if there are any alternatives… send me a message if you want more details  🙂

I went back for monitoring on Wednesday and Friday.  On Friday they determined that our transfer would take place on Sunday, September 26th.  It was really going to happen!!

On Saturday I spent a majority of the day packing my car- I had decided that I was driving home after this cycle and if we had to come back I would just fly.  I wanted to move my stuff back home regardless of the outcome.  My car was packed and ready to go on Sunday morning as I drove to the train station.  I ate a small breakfast and had a cup of decaf coffee on the train.  On the subway I was so nervous I had to get out my phone to mess around and pretend like I was doing something (no cell signal in the tunnels).  When I arrived at New Hope I was beaming and was the most nervous I’d been since we started the journey.  Imagine my excitement when I saw the largest group of people in the waiting room I had ever encountered…

So the way that a frozen embryo transfer works is this.  They selected two of our six snowbabies on Sunday morning and took them out to “thaw”.  The thawing process takes a few hours and my transfer was scheduled for 11a.m. but they had asked me to arrive at 10a.m. so there I was.  At 10:50 I had yet to be acknowledged.  At 11:10a.m., in tears, I walked out of the waiting room to make a few notes on my phone for my blog.  I was convinced that neither of the embryos had survived the thawing process.  At 11:15, my name was called and she was smiling – THANK GOD!

I followed her upstairs, changed into my gown from the waist down and went out to the waiting room to wait my turn.  There were five other women there.  Two were in the recovery chair, looking still very drugged.  Two were waiting with me.  One tiny asian woman and another chatty woman who would become my “buddy” for the day.  Both went back for their transfers before me.  The wait was the hardest part.

My name was called, I verified my information, they checked my medical bracelet to make sure everything matched, and I was led back to the chair from hell (unfortunately one that I had gotten all too used to).  I think I mentioned it in an earlier post, but forget the regular stirrups (again, sorry if TMI)… this baby has holsters for your thighs.  There were two nurses and the doctor in the room waiting for me.  I positioned myself, the most unflattering lights in the universe were shown on my most unflattering parts, and another doc walked in to assist.  Then the most magical and scientifically amazing thing took place…

On a screen above my bed I was able to watch the entire process.  (The doctors chose to transfer two embryos to increase our chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.  The average success rate of an IVF cycle is less than 30%, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much.)  The second doc asked me to verify that the name and birthday on the screen, NEXT TO THE TWO MICROSCOPIC EMBRYOS matched mine.  He then used a tiny syringe to extract the first embryo from the microscope slide and carefully handed it to the doctor, and the first embryo (Baby A) was transferred; it took all of 2 minutes.  Then he repeated the process with the second embryo (Baby B).  It was all over in less than 10 minutes.  I was then escorted to the recovery chairs and my legs were propped up.  The woman next to me, clearly also in recovery, grabbed my hand, squeezed it, and druggingly said “we’re Pupo!” It was approximately 15 minutes later that I figured out that Pupo (pronounced pup-o) actually stood for p-u-p-o, “pregnant until proven otherwise”.  Wow, I was pregnant until proven otherwise…

To be continued…

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IVF Meds – A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A lot of people started reading my blog to understand better what the process of IVF entails.  I have now learned that is just the beginning.  Hopefully I’ll be able to elaborate on that in the next couple of weeks…  In the meantime… Today we’ll elaborate on the meds.  I have talked about the multiple shots and I tried to take a picture of all of the supplies.  My picture on my camera phone was so-so. But then one of my IVF pals on the forum that I contribute to uploaded a great, much more artsy picture.  See below:

Yes, this wide array that could be considered your own personal pharmacy are the meds (and subsequent needles for administering) required for one IVF cycle.  Makes you cringe, right?  The craziest thing is that as you progress through the cycle the needles get longer and bigger  🙂

But honestly, they’re not that bad.  Especially when you consider the possible results of taking the meds.

Weekend of crap – no more!

This weekend I pigged out, literally.  I don’t remember eating that much ever.  And it wasn’t good food – it was pasta, meats (which I just recently started eating again), wings, fried fish, french fries, candy (chocolate specifically) and tons of salt.  In my defense we were on the road and at a wedding, watched the Sunday game at a pub, and then had a cookout.  But that is no excuse!

I am now back on a “healthy kick”.  I think I’m going to do a detox diet, not the crazy all-juice ones or anything that’s actually not good for me.  I found one that you just eat all natural foods; you cut out refined sugars, most carbs, etc. and just eat natural foods like fish, rice, veggies, and fruit for 30 days.  I think that it could be great for my health and also for me to learn what other healthy foods I like.

We are going to be in Los Cabos in 3.5 weeks and Florida in 5 weeks… both times I’ll need to wear a bathing suit.  I figured there’s no better time than now to start eating much better and treating my body the way I want it to treat me!  🙂

An Update on our Status

Hi Everyone!

I’ve gotten quite a few questions lately as to our status with our treatments since I haven’t posted much lately… that’s because not much is going on.  We’re kind of waiting to figure out what the next steps are but I’m feeling really good about everything.

I will keep you all updated, it just might be a bit delayed as we try to figure everything out.  In the meantime, you might just have to read about my life without the treatments  🙂

Who’s Life Is Interesting Enough for a Blog?

I’ve struggled as of late to come up with blog entries – I don’t want to write about meaningless things such as what I ate for breakfast and what day of the week I do laundry; that’s what twitter is for.  I started the blog to share with others what Lenny and I were going through with all of our infertility struggles, and also to keep in touch with friends that I don’t get to speak to much.  But when I’m not actively seeking treatments, or am between cycles – what do I talk about?  Who’s life is interesting enough for a blog, anyways?

Hopefully if you’re still reading it’s because you want to hear about the things we’ve been up to lately.  I do realize that our lives are about so much more than what I’ve blogged about so far, so I want to share what our day-to-days are like.  We “deal” with life’s challenges by continuing to live our lives and enjoying the many blessings we already have.

On Saturday Lenny and I had a garage sale in the morning and got rid of quite a few things.  We also made about $70, hehe.  After the garage sale we got all dressed up and headed downtown to volunteer at the Guys and Dolls Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Black Tie Fundraiser.    It was for a great cause, and we now have two friends who work for the organization that we wanted to help out.  We volunteered with our friend Andrew.  It was a lot of fun to get dressed up and attend an event for such a great cause.

Why I Recommend Living with Your Inlaws Without Your Significant Other

You think I’m joking, right?

Nope!  I have to admit I was extremely skeptical about how living with Lenny’s parents in New York during our treatments would go – especially since Lenny wouldn’t be there most of the time.  While I love all of Lenny’s family dearly, I’ve never really had a lot of time to get to know them well.  Most couples that have been together almost eight years know each others families very well.  But with Lenny’s family living states away, we estimated that I only saw his immediate family on approximately 20 different occasions before we were married.  That’s not a lot of time to get to know each other well.

So I packed up my bags and we drove out to New York.  It helped out that for the first two weeks that I was there Lenny’s parents were in Ireland.  It gave me the time to get a feel for the area, the house, and the New York life.  It also made me extremely lonely living alone for two weeks with no friends or companionship, so I was grateful when they returned and I had someone to talk to.  And the crazy thing was that Lenny’s mom very quickly became my New York friend.  We went shopping together, ate dinner together, went for walks together, and just chatted.

When I first moved in there were so many questions: did I need to label my food?  Would we eat every meal together?  Never eat together?  How much should I stay in my room to give them their personal space without being anti-social?  Would I need to tell them where I was going every time I left?  Would I need to tell them what time I’d be home each night?

But somehow, easily and naturally, everything worked itself out.  It wasn’t awkward or uncomfortable at all (for the most part).  They were so flexible and loving and helpful, as well as patient considering someone had invaded their space indefinitely.  In addition, their love and admiration of Lenny made me love and miss him more.  It was also nice to finally form a real relationship with my mother-in-law.

There are other perks as well… like Peg’s cooking.  Oh my goodness I ate better dinners while there than I could ever make for us.  She is a great cook and always makes it look so easy!  Another perk, the red wine!  In New York, somehow, the red wine just tastes better.  There were not as many responsibilities – it was kind of like going back to high school or college time which was such a great break.

Living with my in-laws indirectly strengthened my marriage while helping me to form a positive relationship with my in-laws… a win-win situation.  I also ate well, drank well, and got enough sleep – rare but awesome  🙂

Sorry for being absent…

I apologize for being absent for a few days – it has been a long few days!

On Sunday I had my last appointment of this cycle.  In a few weeks I will find out whether or not I need to go back to New York… So Sunday after my appointment I took the subway/train home, took a nap and then got on the road to head back to Indiana.  I had packed my car on Saturday so that I would be ready to go.  I drove for 1.5 hours and went 18 miles and half-way considered turning around!  But after that I was home free.  I drove until around midnight and finally stopped off in Bedford, Pennsylvania and spent the night at a Holiday Inn.  The next day I drove the whole day and finally got back to Indiana around 6:30p.m.  I’m home!

Since then I have been working on unpacking and getting caught up with “life”; it’s so hard to be gone for so long with so much still going on back home.  Especially with starting ICFI….

ICFI is the organization that Lenny and I founded.  The mission is to provide support to families struggling with infertility; raise awareness about infertility; provide a comprehensive website of local (Indiana) specific information; and provide fundraising opportunities to families struggling with infertility.  It has been such a whirlwind getting things off of the ground.   I finally was able to submit our paperwork/application to become an official 501c3 and we are now just waiting on that approval.  We have started to form the board of directors, which has already met two times, and we only need a few more members.  We have also formed a committee that will help to plan the events and the first committee meeting was this week (the day after I returned from New York).

Our website is up and running but there is so much left to be added to the site (www.MyICFI.org).  I’ve been advocating for the organization for a few months now, meeting with anyone I know to let them know what we’re trying to do.  Infertility effects between 1 out of 6 and 1 out of 10 couples (the numbers vary depending on who’s reporting).  With statistics like this, every one I talk to has personally experienced, or knows someone who has personally experienced, struggles with conceiving a child.

Overall I think everything is going really well.  There are some struggles – the main one being that most of the time I feel like I am doing this all alone and it’s a lot of work!  But it will all be worth it  🙂

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