CCRM · donor egg ivf · donor eggs · estrace · infertility · ivf · ivf grants · ivf loan · lupron · progesterone · San Diego Fertility Center · sdfc

SDFC Phone Consult

We had our phone consult with the donor coordinator (Jenna) at San Diego Fertility Center yesterday afternoon. She was incredibly informative, was ready to answer all of our questions, and really put our minds at ease. I don’t have a single doubt that if we chose to go to SDFC, we would be in the best of hands for completing a donor egg cycle.

She walked through the process with us, detailing each step of a donor egg cycle. We would have to do a trial run cycle, in which I would start estrace (estrogen) when my period began to increase the lining of my uterus. I would have to have 3 total ultrasounds (one baseline and then 2 more at one week apart) to check to make sure my lining was increasing. Throughout that cycle I would increase the estrace gradually to see how my uterus responds. Then I would take progesterone to make my period start, start birth control pills to link up my cycle with my donor’s cycle, then begin to process again to build up my lining to prepare for transfer. Estrace and Progesterone: my two least favorite of the drugs! And then when I actually do the cycle, they will add in lupron (the shot that burns as I remember it!) Ah well, the things we do!

I asked if they had a bank of frozen eggs available. She said that they didn’t really do a lot of donor egg cycles with frozen eggs because the technology hasn’t developed enough to successfully freeze single cells. She said that they are constantly trying to develop new ways to make it more successful, but their thoughts are that using frozen eggs at this juncture does not have enough success for them to promote it. I found this information very helpful since that was one of the things I liked about the Chicago clinic ($15,000 cycle for a frozen donor egg cycle). I remember Dr. Surrey at CCRM saying something similar, so it’s easy to trust her: they have found great success with freezing and thawing embryos, but eggs just don’t have enough cells to keep them viable.

Ryan asked her to explain what should make their clinic stand out above the rest. He explained that we were doing a little bit of shopping around, and while we love their customer service (so to speak) San Diego is certainly not our cheapest option in regards to treatment or travel expenses. She said that they are really the pioneers in donor egg IVF. She said that CCRM is known for their successes in IVF and embryo testing: they have an impeccable lab and are on the front end of developments in IVF treatments and protocols (exactly!). Basically what she said, although not in these exact words, is that SDFC is for donor egg IVF what CCRM is for regular IVF. Their founder started donor egg IVF something like 24 years ago, and the first ever donor egg baby is not 32 years old (I don’t know if those are the exact numbers, but you get the gist). Basically, they’ve been at it for a lot longer than most clinics.

So, right now, they are top on my list and I think Ryan agrees. He was very pleased with the consult yesterday. We both know it will probably be a while though because we have to figure out the money issue. SDFC does have an agency that they partner with a lot who does infertility loans. Jenna is supposed to send me some information on that. I’m also looking into grants some more because now I know that they will accept money from third party lenders (CCRM wouldn’t so I didn’t want to go through the grant process if they wouldn’t accept the money – a lot of grants want to pay directly to the clinic).

I also have to get this polyp removed before we can do anything else. I have an appointment with my new OBGYN on March 22, and we’ll hopefully be able to schedule the removal for soon after. It looks like this is going to be a pretty long process. I would be thrilled if I could get pregnant this summer, but it’s looking more and more like it will be closer to a year from now.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

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6 week ultrasound · estrogen · ivf · progesterone · ultrasound

I know, I know, it’s been forever!

Okay so first, my sincere apologies to all of my blog-followers! I know I have been the worst blogger ever! I have been living without Internet for the past month and therefore have been unable to post. I have been hounded by several of my friends and I have been made aware of how worried my absence has made some of you. Rest assured- everything is fine!

So- there is a lot to update you all on. The last time I posted was just after our first ultrasound at 6 weeks. At that time I tried to post a picture, but for some reason my connection wouldn’t let me at the time. So here’s the picture from that first ultrasound…

That’s our little butter bean and the yolk sack!

Since then, I have continued to get blood work every week to check my estrogen and progesterone levels and they have continued to look good. We had another ultrasound at 8 weeks 4 days and this is what we saw…


The heart rate was 165 and the baby looked perfect! Sorry the picture is so dark, but you get the idea!

I have had pretty bad morning sickness, although it is starting to subside. It is definitely worse at night. It was really bad from weeks 6-8. I felt nauseous ALL THE TIME! But now I generally feel good all day and then around 6:00 I start to feel pretty sick, throw up, and then feel somewhat better. It’s all okay though- it’s wonderful reassurance that our little baby is still there!

My face still looks terrible. No amount of washing makes it any better…I sure hope that pregnancy glow that I keep hearing about shows up soon because right now I feel like I look pretty much like death!

They have started to wean me off of my meds. I am down to one progesterone suppository a day and only one estrogen patch every other day. I am hoping that once I stop taking all these extra hormones I will start to feel a ton better, but we’ll see!

I think the hardest part of all of this is R is still in Baton Rouge trying to finish his thesis and I am in Jackson. It’s tough not having him here, especially since we’re not exactly sure when he will actually get here. He keeps having set backs on getting finished and that’s kind of stressing me out (I know, I know, I’ve already gotten the lectures on how stress isn’t good for baby). The biggest thing is trying to figure out our health insurance because we thought we would be able to get on his insurance with his new job on september 1, but if he doesn’t start on September 1, then we are out of luck! I think we have figured something out though and I’ll be able to go to one of the doctors I had in mind– long story, but a friend of mine arranged for me to see her doctor without insurance until we get something set up. It looks like I may have a solution before then anyway though- thanks to my fabulous dad who knows how to work the system! 🙂

Anyway, my first OB appointment (when I will be officially released as CCRM’s patient) is August 24! I would so love to have another ultrasound then, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I have come to realize that I have already been able to see my baby much more than the “normal” pregnant woman and for that I count myself lucky. I could stare at that little black and white picture for hours! Poor kid…who knows what I’ll be like when I can actually stare at his/her face!

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early pregnancy · estrogen · progesterone

Estrogen and progesterone

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. I’ve been in our new house the past week or so and we don’t have internet set up yet so it has been a little difficult to post anything. Anyway, I had blood work yesterday to check my hormone levels and everything looked great! My estrogen was 496 and they want it above 300. My progesterone was 40 and they want it about 20. My nurse seemed pleased. She said that assuming everything looks good at my ultrasound on Monday we I’ll start weaning me off of the progesterone suppositories and the estrogen patches. While I am looking forward to not have to do either of these things, I am terrified to not have that extra support. By doing the suppositories three times a day and changing out my patches I feel like I am doing something to help things along. I have to get into the frame of mind that in a couple of weeks I am going to be considered a “normal” pregnant person and I won’t be getting these frequent checks.

I am obviously looking forward to the ultrasound. Hopefully we will get to see the heartbeat and we will know at that point if we are having a singleton or twins! R is convinced that we’re having twins, but I am fairly confident we’re having one. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I of course will be happy either way as long as there is in fact a baby in there and he/she/they is/are growing and healthy.

I will be six weeks tomorrow. It’s a small milestone but it seems huge to me! I was reading today that after you see the heartbeat at the 6-7 week ultrasound your chance of miscarriage drops from 50% to less than 10%. I will still be a nervous wreck, but I think that at that point I can at least start to get a little more excited. I am so used to getting bad news regarding my fertility, it just doesn’t seem like this is my life that I’m living. I hate that the worry is really keeping me from enjoying these first few weeks of pregnancy. I sure hope I’m right that this ultrasound will bring good news and I’ll start to enjoy this a little more.

Please keep the prayers coming for me and this little bean- by the way R has started referring to him/her/them as our little okra…pretty cute huh?

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positive pregnancy · progesterone

What a morning!

It has been quite a morning! I decided to go to the LSU health center to have my blood drawn this morning, because we’re on the LSU insurance and it would be covered at the clinic. So I got there as soon as they opened at 8:00, had a nice conversation with the doctor who also struggled with infertility (it’s amazing how many people really go through this), and then went back and had my blood drawn. Well, after I got my blood drawn they told me that they may not be able to get the results until Monday! What?! I explained that it was very important that ccrm get the results today and they said they would try but couldn’t guarantee it. Ugh! So I immediately emailed my nurse and asked her what I should do. She told me to try to get it done somewhere else because if its positive they’ll need me to get it done again on sunday or monday to make sure it’s doubling. So I had go call the RE that I first went to (the same one who was so rude at my baseline ultra sound and they were nice enough to let me come in as long as I got there before 10:00 because they close at noon on Fridays. It was 9:30 when I called and I live at least 20 minutes from his office. So I jumped in my car, while emailing Julie to fax an order to them. I made it at 9:59! Whew! Luckily they were actually really nice to me and the doctor was asking how everything went as in how many eggs they got, etc. So all in all it ended up being okay – $180 later. But hey, that’s money that I’m willing to spend I suppose. It’s annoying because it is free at the lsu clinic, but oh well! Regardless of what ccrm needs me to do, there’s just no way I would be able to wait until Monday to hear the results – I would go insane!

Okay so I know y’all are dying to know – I just got the results as I was typing this. I’m pregnant! My beta was 79. They like to see it about 50 so that’s good. My progesterone is 28 and they like to see that above 6, so that’s awesome! I’ll go back in on Monday to have my levels checked again and make sure my beta is doubling. I am still in complete shock and completely worried that something’s going to go wrong. We just aren’t used to getting good news!

On a side note, for all of you friends who read my blog. Please don’t tell anyone unless they flat out ask you. We know a lot of people know what we’ve been going through and people are curious so if they know and ask, then by all means you can tell them. But we’re not going to make any big announcements until after the first trimester. There are so many things that can go wrong that we just don’t want to risk it. We’re going to tell our immediate families, and close friends who know that we did IVF, but no one else.

Please keep the prayers coming for our little peanut or peanuts! And thanks for all of the support. I really think it has made all of the difference! Lots of love to all of you!

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estrogen patches · ivf · progesterone · side effects · waiting

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Okay so I was doing pretty well with the whole waiting thing. When I was in Colorado, I was patient and felt like I could wait forever for the pregnancy test. But now, for some reason, the waiting is killing me! I guess maybe I feel like I’m not as in control here…which is weird! I’m in my own house, but I feel like I am so much more susceptible to things that could hurt me or my chances of getting pregnant. Such as the whole moving process, or my dogs jumping too close to my stomach,or the excessive heat of Louisiana! I’m trying to just let go and leave it up to God. It’s in His hands and there’s nothing I can do about it…I just want to know!

The progesterone is messing with my head… that or the estrogen patches. Either way, I have an off and on crampy feeling in my uterus/ovaries. It’s not exactly like period cramps, but pretty damn close. Different enough that it makes me think that I might be pregnant, but close enough that I freak out that my period is on her way. I am also super bloated – to the point where I actually look pregnant. Which is fine and everything if I actually do turn out to be pregnant, but if not then it sure is uncomfortable! And the worst of the side effects is the acne. Oh my goodness is it terrible!! My forehead hasn’t looked this bad since I was a teenager. In fact, I’m not even sure it was this bad back then! Like i said, I am okay with all of these things if it means I’m pregnant, but if I’m not pregnant…ugh! I know that all of these things are probably the progesterone. It is known to mimic pregnancy symptoms and I kind of remember that from my last IVF, although it is amazing what you forget from cycle to cycle. That’s kind of why I want to make sure to get it all down in this blog so that just in case I have to do this again I can remember exactly what I was feeling at this time.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Six more days until the blood test! I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to take a test at home before then. I’m going to try really hard not to, but it’s going to be really hard!

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