IVF with donor eggs

Lining Check

I drove over to Jackson last night for my 8:00 appointment this morning. I had the ultrasound and Dr. Isaacs said “wow that is one beautiful endometrium!” It kind of made me giggle. He measure the lining and he said “yep, no matter how I measure it, it’s going to be above average.” Just what I like to hear, doc!

I received a phone call from them later to tell me that they had gotten my lab results on my estrogen, but probably wouldn’t get my progesterone numbers until Monday. They wanted to let me know just in case San Diego called me.

I just receive an email from San Diego and she said that everything looked good with my report. She didn’t even mention the lack of progesterone. She said that my lining measured 10mm and had a trilaminar appearance. I of course googled this to make sure, and Dr Google says that most clinics want your lining to be above 8mm and want the trilaminar appearance. Whoop! Now I wonder, have I reached this too soon? My worries in past cycles have always revolved around eggs and embryos, I’ve never paid much attention to the transfer part. I’ve also always done a fresh, day 3 transfer, so there hasn’t been a whole lot of time for me to worry about it anyway.

In other news, I woke up yesterday with a UTI. Because, you know, I don’t have anything else going on in my female parts, so let’s just add some burning during urination to the mix. Ugh! Luckily, I’ve started my antibiotics and things are feeling better. The nurse in San Diego said this shouldn’t affect my cycle and I’ll be well done with the antibiotics and it will all be cleared up (hopefully) by transfer day. So now there’s just one more pill to add to my daily pill reminder box.

Speaking of which, I’m to continue with my two estrogen pills in the am and two in the pm. Nothing else added to the regimen just yet. I’ll go back for an ultrasound next Friday. San Diego wants me to snap a picture of the ultrasound screen with my phone and email it to them. This makes me think they’re not actually getting the ultrasound pictures from Dr Isaacs. That makes me a little angry. What am I paying $300 per ultrasound for?!

IVF with donor eggs

FET is a GO!

Well, I stopped birth control on Tuesday (hallelujah!) and went in for my baseline ultrasound and blood work on Thursday. All looked good! We are a go!

I started estrogen tablets yesterday. I take two in the morning and two at night. They also have me taking a prenatal vitamin, 2 mg of folic acid in the morning and another 2mg at night, and baby aspirin…I feel like I'm swallowing pills constantly! I've been taking everything except the estrogen for a few months, so this feeling isn't new, just thought I'd mention it.

So far, I haven't noticed any major side effects from the estrogen. I'm moody, stressed, crampy, and tired, but all of that can be attributed to me starting my period today. I'm glad to see my period. They said to expect it when I stopped birth control, but I was only getting spotting. I feel like my uterus is prepping to build a new, fresh lining now. Out with the old, in with the new! Sorry, that may be TMI!

I'll go in for another ultrasound and blood work appointment next Friday. Praying that everything keeps doing what it's supposed to!

IVF with donor eggs

PGS Results

Of our nine embryos, 6 are normal. This is excellent news and exactly what I expected best case scenario to be. However, we have one boy and five girls, and we really really really want a boy. I'm happy about our one, excellent looking, boy embryo. I don't ever want to seem like I'm not grateful for what we have been given. But I always promised that I would be honest in this blog, and I would not be honest if I didn't express a little bit of disappointment. And if it all came down to it, I'd be thrilled with a girl. Because as cliche as it is, I just want a healthy baby–obviously. We still have one chance though…let's just hope this one baby boy sticks. It's in God's hands now. Now, it's time to prep for this FET.

So in FET prep news–I've been on birth control for two weeks and Holy Moly it always amazes me what birth control does to me. My boobs have grown so big and they are so sore. I guess I'm just getting prepared for the progesterone that will make it ten times worse! It's just crazy how birth control, the simplest of hormones during this whole process, changes my body so much. 8 more days of this, and then my baseline ultrasound on August 10. Let's hope for no polyps or anything else that could get in the way for us moving forward with the FET.

And while we're praying…Ryan takes his boards on August 8. We really need him to pass this thing! He has been studying so hard and him passing would be one less thing for us to stress about.

Lots going on, lots to pray about, lots to be blessed about. We'll just keep chugging along!

IVF with donor eggs

Sunday’s Report

Well, we have 8 embryos that have continued to grow to the blastocyst stage. They are all ranked good (the clinic rates them good, fair, and poor, so you can't get better than that!) The embryologist said that they are all at versions stages from multi cells to one that is actually hatching. Then we have one other embryo that is still growing, just doing it a little slower. They are going to keep watching it and if it doesn't arrest, they'll PGS and freeze that one as well. The other three stopped growing altogether. We should get another report on the ninth embryo sometime today.

I think I'm happy with 8 good embryos. It makes me nervous that the PGS testing could dwindle that down significantly, but I guess that's the idea, right? Waiting on those results over the next week will be excruciating!

Just as I finished that post, I received the phone call from the lab. That ninth embryo continued to grow to a hatching blastocyst! So it was biopsied for PGS and frozen. It was rated "fair/good." Yay!

IVF with donor eggs

Embryo Report from Friday

I didn't have a chance to post the embryo report from Friday, so I'll post it now. We'll get another report sometime today, so I'll update on that when I get it.

So on Friday the lady from embryology called me to ask if we had decided to do PGS testing. I explained to her that we have sent in the paperwork checking off that yes we do, and I have told our nurse numerous times that we do. Ugh! The lack of organization in this place. Anyway, then she started to tell me that the were going to hatch our embryos and watch to see which ones grow, and they will freeze the eligible ones on day five (which is today). So she was telling me all of this, and I interrupted her and I said, "okay sounds great, but we haven't gotten our embryo report yet today. Could you tell me how many we currently have?" Again, the whole thing is just so confusing. Luckily, she was able to give us the report:

She said that at day three they want to see them at 3 cells or higher. We have 12 embryos that are between 4-8 cells. She said that one of our eggs fertilized after we had our fertilization report, so we actually had 13 fertilized eggs, and then 12 of those continued to grow to 4-8 cells. The one that fertilized late is at 5 cells. She said that all of them are ranked good to fair, which at this stage is great to see.

So I'm optimistic. The phone call today will be a biggie. It will tell us how many we are testing/freezing. And then it will be quiet for about a week which is when we will get our PGS results. That's going to be the phone call I'm most anxious about. We will know how many normals we have, as well has how many boys vs girls. Eek! Please keep the prayers coming!

IVF with donor eggs

Feeling better today

We received our update from the lab today. Apparently two more eggs matured, so we had a total of 14 mature eggs. They performed ICSI on all 14, and 12 fertilized. The numbers are still disappointing compared to what we were expecting, but I'm glad to have 12 fertilized embryos. As mamajo said in the comments yesterday, 10-15 eggs is considered the sweet spot for quality (thanks for reminding me of that!). So now we just hope that these 12 embryos keep on growing and dividing over he next several days. We will get our next report on Friday, so stay tuned!

IVF with donor eggs

Egg Retrieval

Egg retrieval is complete and I just got the call from the lab. They retrieved 18 eggs, 12 of which were mature. I'll be honest, I'm disappointed. I feel terrible that I'm disappointed because I realize 12 mature eggs is a great number. I know so many women who would kill for that many eggs- I was one of them! But when you're paying $9,000 to a donor with a history of having on average 23 mature eggs in her previous cycles, 12 is a disappointing number. I grateful for what we have. I have to find faith that the lab will keep them healthy, they won't be damaged during PGS testing, and that most of them test as PGS normal. I just have this fear that it's going to take us multiple transfers to get pregnant, and I'm afraid we won't have many to work with. This is where I wish I could have the optimism of an infertility newbie- I've just been burned too much and have heard too many bad stories. But I'll try to stay optimistic, and I'll start praying for these 12 eggs to become embryos. That's the next phase. We will get the fertilization report tomorrow.

IVF with donor eggs

Sunday Ultrasound Update

Our donor went in for a final ultrasound today and everything looks great. They are now predicting that they will retrieve 29 mature eggs. Yep, 29! WHAT?!?! Apparently she must have had some follicles that we’re measuring just under 14 mm (the minimal cutoff for the probability of housing a mature egg) and they must have grown overnight because we went from having 19 to 29 in just a day. I’m just amazed!

Anyway, eggs retrieval is set for Tuesday morning. Ryan is in San Diego now and says it is absolutely beautiful. It felt really weird this morning saying goodbye to him. I mean, he was going to make our embryos–without me. I’m trying not to think too much about the emotions that draws up. It is what it is. And really, it’s okay. It’s what we signed up for, and more than anything I’m just in shock that we are finally to this point! I mean, it’s really happening!

IVF with donor eggs

Follicle Counts and Egg Retrieval


So we have kind of been on standby waiting to hear how our donor is doing before making travel plans, and it’s been driving us a little crazy. We received an update on Wednesday, and at that point our donor was showing 30 follicles, 5 of which were 10-14 mm. Our nurse told us then that in previous cycles our donor had egg retrieval on Wednesday, so we were kind of gearing up for Ryan to go out there Tuesday morning and come back Thursday afternoon. We were looking at flights for those days, and just sitting and waiting all day for today’s ultrasound update before actually booking them. There were times that I thought, “to Hell with it” and wanted to book the flights, but something kept telling me to hold off for our update. Thank goodness we did!

So the nurse emailed us today and said that our donor is looking great. She still has 30 follicles showing, 5 are 18-23 mm, and 14 follicles are are over 14 mm. I’m not sure if that means we have a total of 19 follicles measuring over 14 mm, or if the over 14 mm follicles include the first 5 that were mentioned. Either way, they are good numbers and we should have plenty of eggs to work with. I’d be lying though if I didn’t say that 14 total follicles would be a little disappointing considering she has had 21-25 eggs retrieved in her previous cycles. But I hate to be that way, and I’ll obviously be grateful for what we have, regardless.

But the big news is that she said that egg retrieval will most likely be MONDAY! Monday wasn’t even ever on our radar. Our estimated retrieval for the whole time has always been Tuesday – Friday, so Monday seems like such a shock! So we changed everything around and booked his flight for Sunday afternoon and coming back Tuesday night. The nurse said that retrieval will be Tuesday at the very latest, so him coming back on a 6:00 pm flight should cover that possibility.

We also finally got some questions answered on our Wednesday email – most importantly our antibiotics question. Apparently she finally talked to Dr. Kettle, and he said that they used to prescribe antibiotics, but because of new technologies in ICSI, it isn’t necessary anymore. So we feel better about that. She also answered our question about how long Ryan was supposed to abstain from, well, you know, and she said 3-5 days. So that’s kind of the bummer about the egg retrieval being on Monday thing – Ryan thought he has at least another day before abstaining. OOPS! We are right at 3 days prior to retrieval now – sorry that was probably TMI.

So, it’s really happening! All of this waiting, waiting, waiting, and then all of a sudden the past hour has been BUSY!

We also went ahead and booked our flights for our trip for transfer in August. Here’s hoping that I am cleared for going through with it. August 10th is my baseline ultrasound – please pray for no polyps, good hormone levels, etc. It would suck to have to cancel those flights (and of course the transfer)!

So, yeah, next week is going to be full of embryology reports! So Get Ready, Get Set, GO!


PS – I feel like I should also mention the other stuff going on in my life right now, so everyone can understand the additional stress we are under (and so I can remember it down the road – not that I really want to). So, I was in a wreck two days ago. Anadine was in the care with me, too, which made it super scary. We are both fine, thank goodness! But now I’m dealing with insurance, car repair, etc. And my body feels completely beat up. I am so glad I am not doing my portion of the cycle right now. Added hormones and shots would not make things better. But poor Ryan. He did not need the added stress while he is also studying for boards. Plus things are super busy at work for him. I guess no time is a good time, but it hasn’t been easy. I’m just so glad we are okay and he is so supportive.