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Plan B... or E, F...?

Jun. 20th, 2006 | 11:19 am
location: Texas
mood: contemplativecontemplative

The good thing about going through bad things is that bad things start to feel less bad. I completely wiped out this week, but believe that it was mosty hormonal. My emotional state was so out of sync with the experience that I knew it was not real. Also, all of my perceptions of the world were skewed in my hormonally destroyed brain, so I knew that I just needed to sit tight and let this shit pass. No running away from home and no major life decisions until the crazy brain clears. Lots of naps and forced exercise and absolutely no conversations with real human beings....

Anyway, after forcing myself to work out, cutting out my beloved cabernet habit, and making myself get up and out of the house first thing in the morning. (something you are not always motivated to do when you office at home), I feel like elusive sanity may have finally returned to me.

So, that leaves me with planning my longer term strategy, which, if you know me, is actually incredibly predictable -- I decided to return to grad school. I am currently (somewhat delinquent in) completing my masters degree. I don't need to do any more coursework, but decided that it would be easier to revise my thesis with my prof if were actually in residence. Also, he is teaching a course this fall that I would *really* love to take. So, my plan is to leave my beloved Austin and to return to Chicago for the 10 week fall quarter. I will finish up my thesis as well as get my brain rev'ed up again by taking a couple of courses. After that, I will revisit the PhD plan....

I have thought a lot about happiness, in both a personal and a more abstract/intellectual level. I have wondered a lot about how one can best build the most reliably happy life.  I think that one critical practice is to make sure that you have many different areas of your life that are bringing you satisfaction/fulfillment/joy . It was this reasoning that helped me to realize that I didn't want to do my PhD at Chicago.  I loved the program, but it would have been 10 years of my life dedicated to that one all-encompassing project, a project that would have been at the great expense of my marriage, my ability to become and be a good parent, and to live a slightly more indulgent/non-student lifestyle in my late 30s. (You can only eat ramen noodles for so many decades.)

But, as I begin to fear that babies are not as certain as I would like, I want to make sure that I have continued to invest in the other areas of my life that are fulfilling. I felt so empty when I lost the pregnancy and I think it is very risky to set myself with just one main project/goal in my life.

Of course, baby planning is still huge. After my cold winter on the south side, dear husband and I will return to beautiful, sunny Cape Town in January (their summer!) and try for round two of IVF.



Hitting the books, once again...

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Botox, pretty nails, and the XBox 360

Jun. 13th, 2006 | 09:33 am
location: Texas
mood: okayokay

When New Nurse mentioned that I needed to come in to talk to the doctor on call (my doctor was out for the week), I was a little confused. My numbers were so low and my impression was that I probably would be able to get rid of everything on my own. I had dropped from 186 to 47 in a week, and thought that I could just test in a week again to see if it was safely back to my normal non-pregnant status... but, new nurse said that I really needed to come in. Dear husband wisely stated that I should rely on the medical experts and not on my Internet research, and I agreed...

So, in on Thursday at 8:45 am, early for my appt, as usual. Since I am seeing the doctor on call, I ask if things are crazy busy this morning and she says no. I am pretty quickly headed back to to examining room and change into the lovely paper gown. Medical assistant wheels in the dildo-gram and tells me the doctor will be in shortly. I wait about 20 minutes... medical assistant comes back in to tell me that the doctor got called away for a 911 call at the hospital across the street, but will see me first when she got back. I get a sinking feeling about some poor woman showing up at the hospital with an obstetrical emergency, tell the assistant not to worry about me, and resume reading my book. Another twenty minutes and I decide to nap on the examining table. Wake up around 10:15 and think, "This is crazy! I do not even need to be here. I am leaving..." but decided I should stick it out just a bit more. I mean, kicking back by myself reading and napping in the middle of a work day was not exactly awful. Finally, around 10:30, Dr. blows in. "Hi, Jennifer. Let's see.." as she opens my chart.

"Okay, I see here that you had a first beta of 36"
"Yes, that is right"
"And a second beta of 186"
"Yep."
"But, see here, your third one is 47"
"Uh huh"
"I really think the only thing for you to do at this point is to go in for another blood test to see if it drops on its own"
"Thank you. Good bye"

I am so exasperated with my medical health options. I think I am just exasperated, in general.

So, on to emotional rescue strategies...

"Hi, Stephanie? Is there any way Dr. M can get me in for a Botox appointment today? Oh, and I was thinking I might want to talk to him about dermal fillers....."

"Hi, Lee, I was trying to see if you could squeeze me in for a manicure and pedicure today? Yes? Great!"

"Hi there, I am a new patient and would like to schedule laser skin treatment for your first available appointment... June 29th? See you then.."

"Hello, John, I was wondering, do you have the XBox 360 gaming console in stock? What about the RPG game Oblivion? Great! Hold those for me... I will be right over..."

I am not sure what is more expensive, infertility treatment or its failures...

(I can't believe I just admitted to being a geeky gamer in my blog)

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Monday must be sperm day

Jun. 7th, 2006 | 08:09 am
location: Texas
mood: cynicalcynical

I have found nothing to be more mind crushingly miserable than waiting for beta numbers. I woke up on Monday morning, the bleeding has slowed to mild spotting, and decided to take another pregnancy test. Since I wanted to compare the same brand/type, I had asked David to pick up some of the same First Response tests. Unfortunately, the tests in the new box were different, they were the 'old' version, which were revamped because they provided such faint positives.

Anyway, I took the test and it was, of course, an un-definitive faint positive. Then I go online to my IVF 'spotting during betas' group and find that one woman who believed she definitely miscarried got her beta numbers back and found that she did not. So, with these two new pieces of information, I decided I could not wait until Wednesday to find out. I called New Nurse and she agreed that I could get tested that day.

I head over to the lab and was glad to see no one was waiting. Then, right after I sign in and sit down, a youngish, gorgeous guy walks in. This poor, big strong guy has a look of abject terror and is holding a grocery bag with about 20 knots it -- obviously holding a specimen cup. He doesn't even speak to the lady, who says, "Please just sign in and sit down." He looks mortified, still has not uttered a word, and sits down across from me while trying nervously to cover his grocery bag with his hands. Immediately after that, another very nervous, overweight man walks in with another clearly obvious specimen cup. He, too, looks like he is about to have a panic attack and tries to quickly hand it off to the lady behind the counter, who cruelly announces, very loudly, "ARE YOU DROPPING OFF A SPERM SAMPLE?". His answer, of course, was inaudible, but first handsome man jumps up (obviously thinking that he can just dump this thing and get out of there.) She then yells, "IS YOUR NAME ON THE SPECIMEN CUP?" Again, his answer inaudible. "YOU HAVE TO WRITE YOUR NAME ON THE SPECIMEN CUP". I can't help but glance over at the terrorized handsome man who has now slumped back down in defeat. He looks frozen, but then slowly starts to tug at his multi-knotted bag with a look of insufferable misery... meanwhile panicked second man is nervously navigating a sharpie marker...

At that point, I was saved by the receptionist (or those poor men were now saved from my further observation) and was called back for my bloodwork. I know it is cruel, but women are so accustomed to the repeated physical indignities of exams, lab work, and fertility treatments, that I could not help but find their horror maliciously entertaining. Please, it has been a bad week, so allow me one bit of insensitivity toward the world...

My regular lady was being shadowed by a extraordinarily beautiful young girl with a big 'student' tag on her shirt. Obviously being taught the basics on how to do administer this test, I let her know she can take my blood if she wants to practice. Her eyes shoot open, "oh-my-god-are-you-sure-i-haven't-ever-done-this-before-you-really-don't-mind?!" I guess my malice had turned to masochism, as I let her ineffectively jab that needle into my arm. Little pretty girl keep apologizing and thanking me in repeated and rapid succession, pulled the blood vial off of the syringe, and accidentally sent it all crashing to the floor. She was mortified, but again, my sick brain was merely entertained...

As is typical, I wake up early, call the lab and ask if they can fax my results over to WPH. I then call New Nurse, no results yet. I wait until 2:30, no results yet. Finally, she calls at 4:20. "I am sorry, Jennifer, but your numbers have dropped to 47. The doctor wants you to come in on Thursday to discuss a D&C"

Whatever.

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More blood, less bitterness

Jun. 4th, 2006 | 12:52 pm
mood: sadsad

WARNING: If you are male or otherwise horrified by the scary things that womens' bodies do, skip this post.

After I started spotting, I immediately went to the ivf boards and was happy to find a group of fellow spotters who were happily pregnant with growing babies. This encouraged me quite a bit and I even made my poor husband read what all these women were posting (in great and graphic detail) about their spotting patterns. After reading that weeks of spotting were followed by excellent ultrasounds with strong heartbeats, we both felt pretty confident.

Since I had finally added my husband's long standing request for HBO to our cable package, we decided to stay home and watch "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." The light comedy was a nice escape from the rollercoaster of the last two days (or 30 days, really). Of course, immediately after the movie I went back into my obsessive panty checking mode. I was devastated to find that my light spotting had turned into extreme, bright red bleeding. I think I just went into a devastated shock. I couldn't face David, so just went straight to bed. I felt so crushed, so sad. I felt like me being pregnant was just too good to be true, and of course, it was. I don't know why I couldn't bring myself to tell David. I just wanted to sink into that dark black hole (that is my true character) and never come out.

He came to bed and I tried to pretend like I was asleep, but of course, starting crying again. I tend to be so good about sharing and talking when I am in any kind of emotional pain, but this was just too much for me. It was like talking about it would acknowledge it and I just wanted to sink into a black pit of nothingness where I didn't have to even deal with it. He talked me through it and I finally fell asleep. Of course, the minute I woke up I started crying again. Again, I just wanted to stay in bed and not speak to anyone. I didn't want to have to tell anyone. I didn't want anyone to feel bad for this poor, pathetic girl who can't fucking get a baby. I mean, my brother cried when he found out I was pregnant. I didn't want to tell all these people who were so happy for me that it all got fucked up. I feel like such an emotional charity case.

David did not go to the office but sat there with me in bed for three hours... getting me to talk and cry and process. I was shocked with how helpful it was. I was actually able to get up get some work done after that.

The bleeding only increased over the last two days. I took another home pregnancy test and it was super faint, unlike the nice dark ones I was getting on Tuesday.

It was so strange to say that I was pregnant. I loved it so much that I just repeated it over and over throughout the day... "I'm pregnant!" I guess it is good I got so many in, because it sure didn't last long.

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Blood and bitterness...

Jun. 2nd, 2006 | 03:25 pm
location: Texas
mood: worriedworried

I started spotting yesterday. It, of course, upset me quite a bit. I called David and then called my doctor. New nurse was incredibly sympathetic and kind. Maybe before I just got her on a bad day... hell, maybe that was her first day and she was just overwhelmed.

I called Dr. H. in Cape Town and was able to get him on the phone immediately (as an American, I still am amazed at how immediately available the Cape doctors are via email, cell phone, etc.). Dr. H. recommended that I get back on progesterone immediately. My local doctor prescribed it and said that sometimes stopping the progesterone can cause spotting.

(Dr. H. had previously told me that studies indicate that women with otherwise normal progesterone do not need to continue the progesterone once they positive pregnancy test.)

The spotting increased a bit last night, but has been the same all day today. I stayed in bed most of the day anyway.

I will do another beta test on Tuesday, which will be 21dp3dt. That should tell me a lot.. if the bleeding doesn't get worse that is...

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Beta Numbers

Jun. 1st, 2006 | 08:22 am
location: Texas
mood: hopefulhopeful

One of the major differences in going abroad to do IVF treatment is that your immediate follow up treatment back home is being done by your regular (less invested and/or interested) ob/gyn and not your fertility clinic. Dr. H. told me to do my beta-HCG blood test 11 days after my embryo transfer, which was Saturday, May 27th. So, I called my regular doctor (with whom I have been regularly working with to get pregnant for well over a year) on Thursday morning, punched in the now memorized extension for her fabulous nurse, but ended up on the line with lady I've never spoken to. I apologized and said I was looking for Nan, Dr. R's nurse and she said that Nan was gone and that she was the new nurse for Dr. R. I quickly explained my situation and let her know I needed to order a beta-HCG and progesterone test for Saturday, May 27th. She hedged a bit, said Dr. R was out of town until next Tuesday and that she would have to review my chart and call me back. I was a little peeved, as Superhero Nurse Nan would have just ordered the damn thing, but I figured New Nurse would see in my chart how they had been helping me over the last year, including their guidance in getting me ready for this IVF cycle.

I wait and wait, and no call back. I had a pretty good repoir with Nan, and didn't want to get off of the wrong foot with New Nurse, but was worried with the holiday weekend that the "I-don't-give-a-shit-if-you-are-pregnant-Nurse" was going to just forget to order my tests. I call again in the afternoon, leave a voice mail, asking if she had the chance to review my chart and see that Nan and Dr. R. had worked with me to get ready for this cycle and if she was going to order the pregnancy and progesterone tests. Nothing.

So, now it is noon on Friday on a holiday weekend. I call a third time and get her voice mail, again, (which gives an now very annoying bullshit line of how she returns all calls before 11 am) and leave a third request. This time I am the testy-pissed off hormonal bitch and leave a nastier message... something to the effect that I can't believe after Dr. R and Nan have invested so much time and effort in helping me to get pregnant over the last 18 months that I am now having to switch to another ob/gyn at the last minute because her new nurse won't even call me back!

My phone rings about 5 minutes later. New Bitch Nurse kept making excuses about how she was very busy. Yeah, whatever, Nan was a superhero, never missed a beat and certainly never whined about her job to me. Bitch Nurse finally ordered my tests.

I get my blood drawn on Saturday morning at the lab, but, after my positive HPT, have not had the nerve to take a second home test. What if a new test came back negative? I wanted to believe I was pregnant for as long as possible, even if that was only a few days. Finally, on late Sunday I get up the nerve to take a second one. The line was definitely darker and even quicker to appear!

Even though I didn't have my lab results yet, I knew I needed a second test ASAP, since one hcg-beta means very little (what matters most is the rate of change between the tests), so on Tuesday I have to start the "Can I please have another pregnancy test?" voice mail routine with New Nurse. I am also hoping to hear my results from Saturday. She says she does not have my Saturday test results yet, but promises to call when she has them.

Now at the lab to get my second test, I query, "Do you have my Saturday blood work results here?" She answers, "You haven't gotten them, yet?" in a suprised tone. I said no and she gave me a number to call the main lab directly for results. I rush out to my car and, pretending I am calling from my doctors office, and ask for my results. She is just about to tell me, but then says, "Oh, I am sorry, these haven't been run yet because of the holiday. You can call back in the morning."

Tension is building in my psycho brain. I am now waiting to hear the two numbers together. They mean everything! I wake up early Wednesday morning. Call the lab and do the same routine. The lady on the phone says, "Okay, you are calling for Ms. W's hcg-beta results for the 27th and 30th?" I am trying to stay calm, not betraying the fact that these two little numbers mean everything to me... "What is your name again?" "Nancy, from Dr. R at WPH" I answer. "What is your last name?" She asks, very suspiciously. I am an awful liar, so I confess. "This is Jenn W. and I am trying to get my own results."

"I am sorry ma'am, but I can't tell these to you."

Bitch is looking right at my oh-so-desperately-needed numbers and won't tell me!

She puts me on hold for 8 minutes. She returns and says she has faxed them over to Dr. R's nurse and that SHE will be calling me with the results.

I wait about 15-20 minutes, then call New Nurse. "Hi, New Nurse, CPL faxed over my test results about 20 minutes ago, can you tell me what they are"

"No, Dr. R. is reviewing them and I will call you later."

Bitch!

Finally, phone rings at about 10:30.

"Hi, Jenn, this is New Nurse from WPH. Your result for 5/27 is a beta of 36 and 5/30 is beta 186."

I answer, "That sounds kind of low with a pretty fast doubling rate, but otherwise is basically uninterpretable?"

She laughs, "Yes."

I will have my third hcg-beta test on Tuesday, June 6th. It should be well over 1500 if this pregnancy is viable. I am optimistic.

My sister insisted that I would not crave my coveted glass of wine when I am pregnant. She is a liar.

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The Two Week Wait

May. 26th, 2006 | 09:06 pm
location: Texas
mood: optimisticoptimistic

Arriving home was a bit of a relief. We overindulged on Mexican food and all of our favorite restaurants. Considering the IVF cycle had added about 6-7 lbs of heft to my frame, it probably was not the smartest indulgence, but well worth it!

Since people who do IVF can get false positives from residual HCG (the shot done before egg retrieval), I decided to follow the not-so-medically recommended IVFers Home Pregnancy Test plan. The plan is that you start HPTs almost immediately, until they go negative. Once you have a negative, you know that a future positive will be the real deal. So, right before we left Cape Town, I had David head to the pharmacy with me where I loaded up on 8 or 10 home pregnancy tests. I was surprised, but I guess because my HCG shot was minimal, I was already testing negative. (At that point I was still curious at the prospect of even seeing a positive pregnancy test and thought -- My god - nothing I do can turn one of these things positive!)

So, after that you start the count. The day after the transfer is 1dp3dt - or one day past a three day transfer. I tested again on 6dp3dt (equivalent to 9 days past ovulation or 5 days before your period) and got a negative. It didn't bother me too much, as I knew it was rare to get such an early positive. Next test on 8dp3dt, again, negative. I started to get down on that day as I had really awful nightmares that night. I dreamt that my doctor did surgery on me and cut my heart out and then they washed my uterus out with shampoo... obviously, not a good fertility dream. My sane husband decided to intercept his wife's downward spiraling practices and asked that I not test again until 10dp3dt, or Friday, May 26th. He asked that I put the test face down on the counter and that HE would break the news to me.

So, this morning, we had the group pee fest. I actually used two tests, First Response and one purchased in Africa. I went back to bed with an ominous feeling, telling David that a new stairmaster, botox, and cosmetic resurfacing should be part of his consolation speech. Well, that did not go as planned. My otherwise always perfect husband comes out and says, "There is nothing there." I respond, "They are on the counter," He answers, "No, I mean, nothing there, no lines." I remembered I placed them face down, so I said "You have to turn them over" and run into the bathroom. Of course, he realizes the new protocol has been bungled when I see the two negative tests clearly sitting face up on the counter. I was not very pleasant, mumbling, "You mean they have ONE line, not NO lines" I went back to bed and he was so sweet to me, but I was in shut down.

I decided to just work myself to death, but then, after he left for the office, meandered back into the bathroom to check them out again. I decided I had cracked because I was certain that I could see a barely discernable shadow on both of them. I had been duped by false evaporation lines after the 10 minute mark, but never on First Response. In any case, this put an immediate end to my work productivity as I scoured the Internet for info on false positives and evaporation lines. (www.peeonastick.com can keep you busy for hours.) Finally, I call my poor husband at 12:00 and tell him that I think I see a shadow, but that you can't see it in the light of our bathroom, only in the sunlight. He rushes home and in the midst of my explanations about evaporation lines and plans for a consolation margarita fest, we decide I will test again - no drinking or peeing for 4 hours and I would test again at 5pm. David runs out and stocks up on more tests, I nap, and finally 5pm rolls around with me parched and about to burst all at the same time....

Back into the bathroom with the First Response and straight out into the sunlight. He asks, "Is the second line supposed to pop up right away?" I answer "Yes, I think so" as I look at the bright white negative. But then, that shadow starts to appear again, and I pass it off to him. He says, "Well I think I am seeing that line again." I say that I think anything before 10 minutes would be considered a positive and he shows me the stick:



I really couldn't believe it and started into a tirade about how light it was and how I must have really low HCG and that maybe it was not viable... I finally got my head clear and realized this is not a measure of HCG, but merely a detector of it and I've got it!

I called my mother, who over the moon, but maybe more excited to get me off the phone to call my 7 siblings' families... I left the work to her with a caution that this was very early detection and that we still had lots of hurdles to get through... and off we went to Mexican food. I have to say, I have never enjoyed water with my fajitas as much as I did tonight!

My first beta blood test is tomorrow, but I won't get the results until Tuesday.

Until then, a microscopic organism, half me, half David is parasitically growing in my uterus. So, today, I am happy!


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We're home

May. 20th, 2006 | 07:31 am
location: Texas
mood: calmcalm

After a mere 35 hours, we have made it home. Since everything ended up moving a bit faster than we anticipated (egg retrieval was 3 days earlier than I expected and transfer was 2 days earlier), we ended up with about one week left with me not able to engage in the last few activities we planned. With two little embryos trying to burrow their way into my uterus, the long planned safari in a 4x4 and shark diving were out.

Fortunately, we made it over to Robben Island the day before the transfer. It was a very sobering experience. It is very strange, because, as a foreigner, you are absorbing the horrors of apartheid up close for the first time. But for the locals (who are the tour guides), this still seems to be a time of celebration and hope.

Robben Island is just few miles off the coast of Cape Town and has served as a place of exile and imprisonment for centuries. It even served as a leper colony, before treatment for the disease was understood. During the last half of the 20th century, it served as a prison for political activists who protested against the racist apartheid regime. Nelson Mandela (recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who ultimately became president of South Africa) is the island's most famous political prisoner.

We toured the entire prison island, where we were able to see lots of the different animals... Sorry, but I can't remember all of their names. Of course, the penguins and ostriches were easy to remember and interesting to see:



Then we began the tour of the prison. It was amazing the lengths the nationalist party went to degrade and dehumanize the political prisoners. This prison was only for blacks, coloureds (the term still used for mixed race in South Africa), and Indians, but each received differing levels of food and clothing based on their race. Blacks were forced to wear shorts, because they were seen as 'boys' and received less food. (The nationalist party was also working to break down the coalitions that formed between oppressed racial groups by this inequal and harsh treatment.)

They were also told to call the wardens "baas", which sort of matches up to the word "master." It is hard to stomach the fact that these political leaders, most of whom were attorneys, doctors, and university professors, were forced to stand and call these wardens master. Being a warden on Robben Island was an awful, poverty wage job, and most of the men who oversaw these prisoners were the worst sorts of human beings.

Seeing Nelson Mandela's cell was almost surreal. He spent 18 years of his 27 years in prison in this facility. The enormity of it is difficult to take it. I look at the measly little felt mat that he slept on and think of how he wrote that he spent years petitioning to upgrade to that mat from a mere straw one. Ever tidbit in that cell, from the extra blankets to the little stool, took years of work and petitioning to receive.



As I already noted, all the tour guides were former political prisoners who endured imprisonment and abuse at Robben Island. But in his typical upbeat tone, our guide closed with a celebration of the fact that, after decades of abuse, the justness of their cause finally overcame their oppression. He closed our tour with these words

"Many people ask us why we are not resentful or angry, but the fact is that we do not wish for this place to be remembered as a place of hardships and suffering. Instead, we want this place to be remembered as a place of triumph of the human spirit."



I know we are all always navigating between the crushing enormity of the suffering in the world and the intense investment we all develop for the most minor things in our own lives. I think as I wait in this dreaded "2 week wait" to see if my IVF was successful, it is helpful to be pulled a little out of my own little universe. I am not saying that it is wrong to be so heavily invested in the dreams and desires of our own lives (it is, in my view, the very thing that makes our lives meaningful), but that it is helpful to try to find a navigable balance. Doing IVF can do a number on your head, but doing IVF in post-apartheid South Africa, can *really* do a number on your head.




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Update...

May. 16th, 2006 | 08:52 am
location: Cape Town, South Africa
mood: happyhappy

I woke up this morning feeling a little gloomy, fearing that this might be the day that I learned I was completely infertile. I was prepared for anything, but really did not want to hear that none of my embryos made it.

Because of our new concern about my egg quality, David and I had already decided that we wanted to PGD anything we had today, so David called the office early this morning and left that message for Dr. H. Later in the morning we received a call back from the office saying that Dr. H. wanted to talk to us before we decided to come in -- the reasoning being that if we were committed to not doing the transfer today that there was no point in coming in just yet.

We waited and waited and finally, when noon rolled around, David decided to call the office again. He got Dr. H. on the phone who had just gotten our results back. He said we still had three little embyros growing! We had one 4-cell that he said was of average quality, one 6-cell that was good quality, and one morula (more than 12 cells) that was excellent quality! He also explained that we could not do PGD testing on our best morula because the cells were already compacting and that if we did it on the 'average' 4-cell embryo it might not survive.

The other news was that my egg quality was not in fact poor, but that 11 of the eggs were just immature. In a second round of IVF he would take them a day or two later. (For you IVF experts, my follicles were in the 18-20 range, but Dr. H. says some women are not mature until they are larger than that.) This was excellent news and gave us a much better sense that our healthy embryos were *not* more likely to be abnormal.

Dr. H. strongly encouraged us to move forward with the transfer as soon as possible, so we immediately called a cab and made our way to the clinic.

The transfer was painless. I finally met Karin, the IVF coordinator, and she just emanated goodness. She controlled the sonogram on my belly while Dr. H. did the transfer. It was so exciting to watch the transfer on the sonogram. (Well, you could only see the burst of bright white that was the fluid, but the embryos were in that fluid...)

Dr L. told us to expect about at 35% chance of pregnancy and that, if pregnant, about a 20% chance of twins.

Right now, I have two healthy and happy embryos from David and me tucked in my uterus, so I am going to be happy and optimistic for now...

We have three good ones!

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My eggs are crap

May. 14th, 2006 | 04:44 am
location: Cape Town, South Africa
mood: sadsad

Dr. H. called today. The fertilization results were very disappointing. Only 5 of the 16 eggs were even able to be fertilized. (They expected between 12-14.) Apparently, I have very low quality eggs, which he did not expect. As of now, 4 of the 5 embryos are still growing. Dr. H. says that if we drop to only two by Tuesday that we should do the embryo transfer early, without the PGD test. If we still have four on Tuesday, then he says we can still do the PGD.

I don't know about doing a rush transfer without PGD if we get down to just two surviving embryos. If I understand this properly, then my crap eggs would increase the likelihood of those last two still being abnormal. I feel like doctors are biased toward not wanting to have to abandon the embryo transter, but I am very reluctant to transfer something that will probably just result in a miscarriage. (I think no embryo transfer because we find out the last two are no good from testing is better than dealing with a miscarriage.)

There is still hope. I have four still growing. I only need one good one.

I have to say, I can't believe that I have bad eggs. I really was not expecting that.

We are going to head down the the Waterfront for the afternoon. We are going to visit the aquarium, do some shopping, and have a nice dinner at a new restaurant.

We won't know anymore until Tuesday. They don't like to keep disturbing the embryos, so that is when we will get the next update on how they are doing.

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