Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Frozen Embryo Transfer Schedule

It's been a few weeks since I've posted. I wanted to update you all on my FET schedule.

I started birth control 10 days ago (I know. Weird. My nurse says that birth control helps settle everything down, and now that we don't care what my ovaries do or produce, we can use birth control to help us get my uterus on track for transfer).

I have two more days of birth control to take. Then, I will go in on 11/2 (Monday) for a baseline ultrasound and bloodwork, just to ensure that there are no cysts and that everything is good to go.

I'll start progesterone shots that night. Admittedly, I need to do more research on frozen embryo cycles because I don't know much! The progesterone shots are supposed to create a good lining in my uterus, preparing it well for the embryo.

I have an 11/16 ultrasound and bloodwork check up, and then our actual transfer day is set for 11/23. 

Only three total office visits for a frozen embryo transfer! 

We have three embryos that are frozen, but we plan to transfer only one in at a time. Here's to hoping there's a 2016 baby in our future.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sunshine and Good Grades!

After getting the news Friday night that we would not be doing a fresh embryo transfer this month, we were admittedly bummed. We felt like we were just pushing and pushing to get to that ending point, so when the plans changed and we discovered Dr. Sasson didn't want us to do a fresh transfer (he was worried that we would "waste" an opportunity for pregnancy in a non-optimal uterine environment due to high estrogen levels) we felt like there wasn't any closure or ending to our latest IVF cycle-coster! 

Friday night, we did not know the three remaining embryo grades or even if they had made it to the full blastocycst stage.  We were told that three early blastocysts were remaining and that all three would be frozen. We did not know anything else.

Because I no longer needed to have my cell phone permanently affixed to my body waiting for embryo updates, I left it inside all morning on Saturday. We ran errands and worked in the yard. For a few hours, I forgot about hormones and fertility. I felt sunshine on my face (or at least recognized it) for the first time in a few weeks. Glorious.

We came into the house for lunch and I saw I had a missed call and voicemail from Shady Grove. What. Could. This. Be? 

Of course my hormonal mind jumped to all sorts of crazy:

- The lab caught fire. 
- The embryos were stolen.
- Maria (the embryologist) was in an accident and couldn't make it to the office to freeze them in time. 
- You get the point. 

I froze. Picked up the phone and played the message:

Hi, Rachel. It's Maria. I just wanted to let you know that we did successfully freeze three embryos at the full blastocyst stage. Two have AA grades and one has an AB grade, which is fantastic! Just wanted to let you know. Have a great weekend.


I immediately started crying and jumping up and down. Chris was upstairs attempting to put Gabe down for a nap. I skipped up the steps and ran into Gabe's room. We have three--two AA and one AB! 

A high-five, jumping, hugging party ensued for a few minutes, Gabe included. (That kid will do anything to avoid a nap!)

What awesome news. What a relief! The night before, we were feeling down about how the events of this past week had played out. We were feeling uncertain and just on edge.

Now, we are feeling optimistic. Honestly. This is the first time this cycle that I say I feel confident in the outcome. 

In a world of statistics and odds, we just keep coming back to God's Will for us. We know He is sovereign and His plan is the one that He has hand picked for us because he loves us. It's hard not knowing what it is, but today, we can see how His plan has gotten us to where we are now. Who knows what these next months will hold, but I know who'll be walking right next to us.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Just Kidding....No Fresh Transfer

Dr.  Sasson called a few hours ago. He decided to freeze the three remaining embryos to implant starting next month. Now no transfer tomorrow. He said my hormone count is too high (estrogen =4000) and not safe for a baby right now. Not horrible news but I'm still kinda bummed. Just more waiting. God's gotten us this far. I know He'll be with us for another month of waiting.

It's tempting to Google and research but honestly, I'm just tired. Tired of the roller coaster. For tonight, I'm going to step off this ride.

Day 4 Post-Retrieval

We still have 3!

Transfer is set for 11: 30 tomorrow morning. We will be getting a call between 7-8 AM to tell us if all three made it through the night. If only 2 made it, we will not go for transfer, but freeze and do a transfer next month.

I'm relieved. I'm still anxious. I'm grateful. I'm scared.... I don't know what or how I feel, really. Hormonal? Yes. That's it!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Day 3 Post-Retrieval

And then there were three...

We have two eight-cell and one ten-cell.

I will get a call tomorrow (Friday) afternoon with a final update. If we still have three, we will transfer one in on Saturday morning. If we have two or one, we will freeze both to be transferred in next month. Debbie said that their latest stats show a 67% success rate for a frozen embryo transfer, which is higher than the fresh transfer rate, hence why we would want to go the frozen path. It would give my body a month to chill out prior to transfer (my hormone levels would get back to normal too).

If I'm being honest, I still want there to be three tomorrow so we can transfer Sat and freeze the remaining two. I don't know if that's how it will go though. In the end, we want a baby however that happens.

For now, I'll keep praying and eating Oreos.

Day 2 Post-Retrieval

4 remain.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Day 1 Post-Retrieval

Just got a call from the embryology lab:

We had 8 eggs retrieved yesterday, 7 of which were mature.

Of the 7, 4 were successfully fertilized.

So, we have 4 in the game right now.

I asked again about the frozen vs. fresh transfer situation. If we have 2 or more embryos on Thursday (3 days post retrieval) we would go ahead and do a fresh transfer this Saturday and freeze the remaining. If we have less than 2 remaining on Thursday, we would freeze the 1 or 2 and go for a frozen transfer next month.

One day post retrieval

Just wanted to write a quick update about the egg retrieval yesterday:

Dr. Sasson was able to get 8 eggs. We will know many fertilized today and then each day that goes by, we will be called with an update about how they are progressing.

We are shooting for either a Day 5 transfer (Saturday 10/10), or if we have a high quality embryo at that point, we will freeze it to be transferred in next month. This was a bit surprising to me, as I had heard that fresh transfers usually have a higher success rate than frozen transfers. Apparently, Dr. Sasson tells me, the statistics have changed in recent years. Frozen transfers at Shady Grove now have equal to or greater chances for success than fresh transfers, especially for women whom have had high dosages of stims in their most recent cycle (me!)

Right now though, I am just praying that many eggs have fertilized and that we will have something remaining by week's end. I hope some of my sanity remains by that point too!

Thanks for your positive thoughts and prayers. There is nothing better than waking up on egg retrieval day to texts from praying friends; thank you for lifting this cycle up to the Lord.

Twas the Night Before Retrieval...

It's the night before retrieval and I am eager to have this next procedure completed. I wouldn't say I'm nervous; I am just eager to know how many eggs Dr. Sasson can get from my slow-to-respond ovaries.

Chris and I spent the past few days in Philaldelphia. We had morning monitoring appointments each day, and we just didn't feel like driving back and forth 6 hours round trip multiple days in a row. Gabe stayed with my in-laws, and Chris and I got to have a few date nights; it was heavenly. The weather didn't really cooperate, so instead, we enjoyed just relaxing at the hotel, watching movies, taking NAPS( Oh naps, how I have missed you!). It was just what we needed to reconnect and gear up for tomorrow's retrieval.

Dr. Sasson said that I had 16 eggs, but he thinks only 8 of them will be the correct size to fertilize. It's still a bit of a guessing game at this point, so we shall see.