IVF with donor eggs


So sorry it has taken me so long to give an update. I could say I’ve been super busy, but 36 hours of bed rest is not super busy. I think I was just having a great time being able to have conversations with the hubs without being interrupted by, well, life.

We landed in San Diego Thursday afternoon. We ate a delicious lunch at an Irish pub and then headed to the beach to watch the sunset. It was beautiful! We had to climb down this cliff to get to the beach. It seriously was so cool and the perfect way to relax before the big day.

Transfer went off without a hitch. We ate a huge breakfast and then arrived at the clinic at 10:00. It was so surreal to finally be there. I had acupuncture (so relaxing!) and then it was the big moment!

The embryologist came in and let us know that our embryo survived the thaw well, was rated “good, good” before freezing and was still rated the same after the thaw. Here’s a picture of our hatching blastocyst!

It was pretty cool because we could watch on a screen as the embryologist sucked the embryo into the syringe (is that what they use?) and the whole time she was talking through and intercom to our nurse in our room. Then, before we knew it, the embryologist was walking in the room, there was some transferring of stuff between her and the doctor, and then we watched on the ultrasound screen as the embryo was transferred into my uterus. We even got a picture of that part! Where you see the little white lines and the arrow is where the embryo is!

Then it was acupuncture again and then back to the hotel for some bed rest.

Saturday afternoon we went to the hotel pool (no swimming for me, but at least had a change of scenery) and then we strolled to a place to have dinner. Sunday we went to the movies at a fancy movie theater- the kind with the big, comfy recliners and a waitress. Then we went to the cove to see the sea lions on the beach.

So cool!

We flew back home yesterday and I am finding the wait so hard! But I’m also terrified of the day that we find out if this worked or not. I know it’s weird, but I had a sudden attachment to this little embryo as soon as they transferred it. It probably has something to do with the meditation they had playing during acupuncture–bonding with your embryo kind of stuff–but I will be absolutely devastated if this doesn’t work. Up until this point I was prepared for bad news, and now I’m just not prepared at all. So for now, I’m as pregnant as I’m going to be, so I’ll just live in the moment. Right? That’s about all I can do for now.

Beta test is scheduled for Monday. I’m not going to mention it if I test early. I haven’t decided if I’m going to or not, but that will be between me and my husband. It’s about the only chance we have to keep the secret, so we’re going to take it. Hopefully there will be a secret to keep!

IVF with donor eggs

Holy PIO Shots, Batman!

Okay, these shots suck. They don’t just suck when the needle is going in, or when the medicine is going in…the pain simply stays around for who knows how long (to be determined because the shot I got last night still hurts!) Ryan just gave me my second shot and I’m trying not to be a big baby about it, but I’m totally sulking on the couch while my bum burns and throbs as I google “tricks to make pio shots better.”

So I’m going to try heating up the oil, icing the injection shot before, heating pad after, and massaging the area to avoid lumps forming. Yep, I’m pulling all the stops tomorrow to see if it helps. I’m usually not a huge wimp, but the thought of doing this every day for possibly 10-12 more weeks (if I end up pregnant) makes me want to, well…it makes me want to cry. Because that’s all I seem to be doing lately. I cry at commercials, the book I’m reading, sweet moments between students. Man, I’m just one big, hormonal basket case.

It’s all worth it…it’s all worth it…it is most definitely all worth it!

IVF with donor eggs

Lining Check #2

I went back to Dr. Isaacs on Friday morning to have my final lining check before transfer and everything still looks good! My lining is still measuring 10mm, so it hasn’t thickened since last week, but no one seems worried about that. I guess it’s in the good range (above 7) and is still showing the triple layers, so everyone on the medical end is happy. I guess I’ll be happy, too! 😊 I got tickled at Dr. Isaacs because he kept the “wand” in there extra long this time amazed at being able to see the contractions my uterus was having on the screen. He said usually the contractions aren’t strong enough to see on the ultrasound screen. You could see it moving, kind of like water. It was pretty interesting and completely explained the weird stretching feeling I have had for the past several days. Let’s just say I have been very aware that I have a uterus! He said once I start the progesterone, those contractions will subside and make my lining sticky and comfortable for my little embryo.

Speaking of progesterone, I start those shots today! Eek! I’ll do them every day from now until my pregnancy test, and then will continue through the first trimester if it’s positive. Last time I used suppositories for the progesterone. With my first failed IVF I used the shots, but only did them for about a week. I remember them being pretty terrible, but it’s all worth it. That was also 7 years ago, and I’ve gotten a good bit tougher since then. 😉

So this is really happening. I have so many mixed emotions right now- excitement, fear, complete shock! It’s amazing to think that two weeks from now I’ll know if I’m pregnant. It’s also terrifying that two weeks from now I may find out I’m not. I’m worried about letting everyone down. I’m worried about losing our one boy embryo. I’m so scared this just isn’t going to work.

And then I have the other emotions around if it does work. I’ll be elated, of course, But then I’m going through these fears about starting over with an infant, losing time with my five year old, and everything else that I am so aware of that changes once a new member of the family is added. When I was doing all of this with baby number 1, I was just ready to be a mom. Now I’m more prepared, but more aware. It’s just really hitting me that my life could completely change in two weeks. Of course for the better in so many ways…more ways than for the worse! But I am getting nervous about what I may lose. I picked up my sweet girl the other day and realized this may be the last week in a while that I’ll be allowed to pick her up (no heavy lifting after transfer) and I got a little weepy. Maybe that’s just the estrogen I’m taking though. Ha!

Anyway, it’s happening and I’m getting myself ready. I’m trying to get everything in order for my mom to come watch Anadine while we’re gone, and also trying to make sure things are set for when we come back. She starts dance classes that Tuesday we come back and I need to buy her dance shoes for it. I also need to get lesson plans written for my sub and for the week we come back. I need as little to do that week as possible! We fly out to San Diego on Thursday morning and transfer will be Friday. Ready or not, here it comes!

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.