CCRM · donor eggs · estradiol · FSH · one day work up

Follow up with Dr. Surrey RE: day three blood results

Before I get too much into what the good doc said, here is information regarding my hormone levels, more specifically compared to my levels in 2011.
FSH levels (determines egg quality and ovarian reserve)
Normal: below 10, Mine in 2011: 9.7, Mine now: 14.4
Estradiol (estrogen levels)
Normal: below 50, Mine in 2011: 78, Mine now: 48
AMH (determines egg quantity)
Normal: 1.8, Mine in 2011: 0.9, Mine now: 0.8
Okay, so the biggest difference is my FSH level. It has risen quite significantly. According to the doc, this obviously isn’t great, but the good news is that my estrogen levels dropped to a normal range. He said something about how the FSH levels and estrogen levels work together and if one is high, you want the other to be low and vice versa…I didn’t really follow and the more research that I do online the more confused I get. From what I can tell, low estrogen levels aren’t a good thing and it just means I’m closer to menopause, but I suppose I’ll trust the doc for now and ask more questions when the time is right. My AMH levels haven’t changed much, which is good, although they are very definitely in a not so great range. Dr. Surrey said that from what he’s looking at right now, I’m not in the range where he’s going to say no way, no how. But, he’s also not fully confident in my chance of success. He said that considering in my last cycle, while it is obviously considered a success, it still wasn’t a great outcome in that I only retrieved 7 eggs, only 5 of those eggs fertilized, and of those 5, only 1 made it. And while we are glad for that 1, it doesn’t necessarily predict great success for another IVF 4 years later.
He then went on to say that there are two more pieces to the puzzle that will really give us a clear picture of what we’re working with: an antral follicle count and a glimpse into my uterus. Both require an ultrasound that they want to perform in Colorado. So then came the news I’ve been waiting for: he wants us to come out for the one day work up. I’m totally okay with that (even kind of excited). I remember feeling so informed after going for the ODWU last time, and I really feel like it would give me peace of mind.
Ryan and I did have a conversation last night about all of this and I shared what we discussed with Dr. Surrey. We are both pretty adamant that we don’t want to go through multiple IVFs to achieve our goal. I simply don’t want to put all those hormones into my body. It’s been shown that they increase chances of ovarian and breast cancer, among other things like making you crazy and fat!! That’s not saying we don’t desperately want another baby, but we’re just more willing to use other means to achieve that goal this time, like using donor eggs. When I mentioned that to Dr. Surrey, he said that using donor eggs would give me about an 80% chance of success, and could even end up being the most cost effective. However, he made it clear that he doesn’t want me to rule out using my own eggs just yet, at least not until we get the missing pieces to the puzzle at the ODWU. He did say that he would make sure we had meetings set up to discuss the donor egg process while we’re out there. It will be much easier to discuss all of these possibilities in person instead of over the phone.
So anyway, now I just wait for the nurse to call and we’ll schedule to go out there. I’m thinking it will end up being towards the beginning of February. It has to be done between cycle days 5-14, so that either means next weekend (eek!) or February. I just don’t think I can get my act together in time for next  weekend. Especially since this go around I have to figure out child care. So, now it’s just the waiting game. In the meantime, I’ll try to get healthy and prepare my body to be poked and prodded. I need to eat healthier, drink less wine at night, and drink lots more water! New year resolutions!!

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CD 3 bloodwork · egg quality · egg quantity · Estrodiol · FSH

Test results

I received some of my results from the day 3 blood work. We’re still waiting on the AMH levels, which will indicate my egg quantity – the reserve that I have left. The results that we do have we’re given over a voicemail, so I really don’t have any further information other than what Julie the nurse gave me on the message. We have a follow up phone consult with Dr. Surrey tomorrow, so we’ll get the AMH level and more info about what all this means.  So, what we do know… my estradiol level looks normal. I’m not really sure what that tells us, but I like the word “normal”. My FSH level, which indicates egg quality, is high. She said the top of normal range is 10 and mine is 14.4. NOT GOOD! Again, I don’t really know anything further than that information, and there may be something more to it, but from where I’m sitting with the information given to me so far, things aren’t looking real good. Ryan had been pretty silent through this whole process so far, so I don’t really know what he’s thinking. I guess I’ve been the same way. We don’t really have the time to talk about our feelings regarding IVF like we did before Anadine. Ha! I think we’re both waiting for the final declaration of “we can’t do this with your eggs” before we start discussing other options. I guess we’ll know more tomorrow. I’ll be sure to post then.
CCRM · ivf · phone consult

Phone Consultation

Well, we talked to Dr. Surrey last night and it went as expected. We didn’t get a whole lot of information because we can’t really get that information until we have tests done. The good news is (I guess it’s good news) he wants me to go ahead and have blood work done here to determine my hormone levels before we travel all the way out to Colorado. He said last time my FSH levels were normal, but my AMH levels were low. He assumes my levels have gotten worse (obviously), but we just don’t know how much worse. So he wants to figure that out first before we travel for more tests. The way he put it was if he has to give us bad news, he’d rather do it over the phone than making us travel to hear it. That makes sense to me and I’m glad for that. It’s just that he kind of made it pretty clear that he doesn’t expect my levels to be that great, and the chance of bad news is pretty likely. However, I have to remember that when we first went to Colorado for a one day work up, we were going for a donor egg one day work up. Then after they did some of these tests, we got the news that we would be able to try with my own eggs. So I guess I’m just praying for a miracle at this point. And I’m glad for a doctor that doesn’t give me false hope.
The nurse is supposed to call me to give me the directions for getting the blood work done. I have to do it on Cycle Days 2-4, which will probably fall sometime around next weekend. I’m assuming they’ll send me a container, I’ll take it to a lab, get my blood work done, freeze it in my freezer, then send it back to CCRM. So hopefully that means I’ll be getting the results in less than 2 weeks. Now that we’ve started, I’m ready to get the show on the road…or at least know the plans ahead of me. It’s still easier this time around though. I have plenty of things to distract me, and for her I’ll be forever grateful!
CCRM · ivf · trying for baby 2
Wow. It’s been a long time since I have even looked at this blog, let alone written an entry in it. So much has happened in the last three and a half years with our little miracle baby, and we have loved (almost) every minute of it. I’ll be honest…this age (3) has just about killed me. She is such a headstrong (too smart for her own good) child. I keep telling myself that her headstrong personality is what got her here in the first place. Her persistence, even as a little embryo, is what made her “stick” and it’s why she’s here today. I truly believe that. She’s tough, resilient, and also perfect in every way!

So I guess I should mention why I am here, looking at my blog, and posting again for the first time in years. It seems as though we are about to embark on the IVF journey again…well, maybe. We have a phone consultation appointment tonight with Dr. Surrey at CCRM. We’re going straight to the big guns this time. There’s no need to waste our time elsewhere. I don’t expect much from the phone consult. I remember last time it was mainly just a way for them to charge me $300 to tell me I need to come our for a one day work up for them to really determine anything, but it’s gotta be done and so we’ll do it.

The one day work up will really be where we get the answers to my main question: do I need to just use donor eggs this time around? I fully expect for them to say yes, I do. I’m trying to prepare myself for that possibility. And, to be honest, I don’t know what I’ll do at that point. Before Anadine, I was so determined to have a baby that I was willing to do anything it took to get there. Now that I’ve seen what my eggs and Ryan’s sperm can create, I don’t know how I would feel about doing it any other way. But at the same time, I so desperately want Anadine to have a sibling. And y’all, she NEEDS a sibling! ha! So, I just don’t know… I guess we’ll see when we get there.

It’s funny. Even after finding success in getting pregnant, having a beautiful and healthy baby, and raising her to be the fun, spunky, and crazy three year old I hoped for, I still find myself letting my struggles with infertility define me. I really do hate that, but I truly can’t help it. I have found peace with it. I know it’s a part of my life story, and that’s okay. In fact, I feel so much more at peace this time around. It’s not so much a goal that I have to reach this time. It’s more of a decision to just try and see what happens. But it still hurts when people ask if we’ll have more children. I find myself just blurting out “well, we have to do IVF to get pregnant, so when we get $20,000 maybe.” That’s so not fair to that person, I know, but I can’t help it. I just throw up at the mouth sometimes. And now Anadine is asking for a baby brother. I just tell her to pray to God for one, but bless her heart, it takes a little more than that (though, believe me, prayers are being said!)

 I’m excited, but nervous. I just recently started feeling like my body was back to normal. My hormones are finally balanced out, and my weight is back to what it was before we started IVF. And now I’m looking at starting all over again. But, it’s all worth it…I think!