Monthly Archives: June 2009

“There’s Gold in That Thar Mine”

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 I’m waiting for my sync chart to come out and avoiding my PhD application . I finally decided to call my donor coordinator today to see what is going on. One of the posters on the Fertile Thoughts on line support group I participate in suggested I ask what my donor’s last cycle looked like. Here is what I learned today:

  • Last cycle she produced 37 eggs!!! (Wowsa, that’s a whole lotta eggs)
  • The previous cycle she produced 21

On my only IVF cycle, I produced 10 eggs and 2 of them were immature. Only one fertilized and that was the immature egg, go figure.

That’s very encouraging. If you split between eggs per 3 recipients, that’s roughly 12 eggs per couple. Now I am not sure how my eggs will fertilize or even if any of them will make it to blast but it is enough to make me smile. It is hard in this situation to be too optimistic because in IF, you learn the defeat can be around every corner but I’ll enjoy the sunshine for a bit .

Now We Are Three

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colorpage9 I got an email from the donor coordinator stating that a match has been completed for our donor and now there are three recipients!!

I spoke with my nurse who stated that there will be typically 45 days give or take until the egg retrieval. This puts us roughly to the second week of August (more or less). It is perfect for me because it means that I won’t be in TX and I won’t be in the UK (two trips that I have planned for July and August). The July trip is a TDY (temporary duty assignment) and the August trip is for an old friend’s wedding. My lovely stepson will be visiting from KS but that means he and MO2 can amuse themselves in DC while I remain on my 24 hour bed rest after the ET. Hopefully, I’ll get my sync calendar next week.

Now I just have to figure out how to get Tricare to do my blood work and ultra sound while I’m in TX.

Good Luck, Susan!

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My friend Susan just began her 2 WW with DE. They transferred two excellent blasts and she has her beta July 1. As a veteran of IVF, Susan has never caved to POAS (pee on a stick). I can never make such a claim (sadly).

Speaking of POAS, Andrea of Bella and her Fella (see blogroll right), POAS (I think her transfer was last week) and got a faint + this morning. Good for her!

I am terrified that DE won’t work. There is one woman on my DE support board that has had 2 BFN DE cycles (no explanation as to why). The rational part of me realizes I have 6 cycles and if I don’t get pg, I will be doing adoption. But I so long to be pregnant and truly I am afraid. I just saying to myself, I have 6 cycles.” over and over again. This has led to much worry about what could possibly go wrong with my DE cycle.

I did find out something else. When I was at my last RE, I asked them to test me for Factor V Leiden ,a clotting disorder common to people from the Southern part of Sweden (where my great grandfather comes from). Some common indicators that you might have Factor V Leiden are cold hands and feet, cold nose (even in heat), sensitivity to cold temperatures, headaches etc…I have those symptoms (always have). At my last RE after this testing, the nurse just said, “you have a mild clotting disorder, just take baby aspirin every day.”

Now I am a good patient and when you tell me to take something, I will. I’ve been taking baby aspirin for the last year and it has made a difference. I no longer get migraines which is awesome. (I’ve been on anti-migraine meds for years on and off trying imitrex, zomig, fiorinal, maxalt amoung others). But the nurse never told me what my clotting disorder was and I like to know things like that.

My mother was diagnosed with Waldenstrom’s syndrome 2 years ago  and had to go through a watered down version of chemo (she didn’t lose her hair). Waldenstrom’s is also associated with thickening of the blood (an additional clotting issue) and isn’t diagnosed until people are in their 60s. As the name suggests, it is associated with Scandinavian immigrants and their descendants.

I am taking no chances and had the military run genetic testing on my for Factor V and a mutation known as MTHFR (among other things). I got the results back and sure enough, I’m heterozygous for Factor V (which means I carry one gene for this). This better than being homozygous (carrying two genes) but still puts me at increased risk for increased miscarriage, stroke and embolisms. I will probably have to wear those support hose during my pregnancy and on airplane flights (even after pregnancy for the flights so I don’t develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT)).

The primary treatment for Factor V is baby aspirin and in some cases, heparin, warfarin or lovenox shots during pregnancy. I’m waiting on my nurse to get back to me on what I will need. I also don’t know when you begin this treatment. Is it immediately after transfer? After a positive beta? I’m not really sure.

Here are the problematic factors I’ve ruled out for my DE cycle:

  1. uterine abnormalities to include polyps/fibroids and shape (no bicornate uterus for me).
  2. no lining problems (because I’ve got great lining)
  3. No MTHFR or cytomeglovirus
  4. No physical abnormalities

Now if I could just stop worrying…we still have to see how my eggs fertilize and grow.

 

Fruits of My Labor

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gardenAt least I can labor in one way!

Here is a view of my first harvest of the season! (I already ate one tomato so it is is absent from the photo). Had the cucumber at lunch, very tasty. I’m thinking that jalapeno jelly might be a popular Christmas/Chanukah’s gift (to off set my homemade limoncello).

My cucumber plants are taking over the garden. Today I realized that it was climbing a tomato tower. I lost a big cherry tomato plant trying to extricate it.

Thank you for viewing my gratuitous posting, dangling for comments.

Birth Control Pills (and a really BIG bill)

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bcp Back on an old friend in preparation for my donor cycle.

MO2 is convinced that prolonged use of birth control pills (>20 years although not consecutively) may have contributed to my infertility. (I think it was the cheapy pills I bought in the Dominican Republic while stationed there, much cheaper than pills in the US). I will take these until it is time to start the lupron injectibles.

So my cycle will go like this: BCPs—Lupron—Delestrogen—Progesterone in Oil (PIO). I’ve used them all before but only the PIO gives me pause because it is a little painful and there is a really LONG needle in the tuccus! However, as a veteran of all things IVF, in the end it is not a big deal. As MO2 was deployed for the last IVF, I’ve learned to even give myself the PIO shots withthe help of a chair (balance butt cheek over edge of chair-don’t look-stab exposed portion with PIO-curse loudly).

A speaking of cursing loudly, I paid the $29,000 bill for our shared risk donor egg cycle last week. I hate debt and part of me resents debt to have kids. I know it is a means to an end and you can’t take your money with you when you leave this world so what better thing to spend it on. But at least if it doesn’t work with the 6 shared DE cycle, I’ll get it all back for adoption.

This starts week 2 of our 30 day count down for the shared donor. So far we have 2 recipients. If we don’t get a third by July 8th, our 3:1 cycle becomes a 2:1 cycle.

A Little Levity Please

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I have to admit I have a scary fascination with the Knackers (Tinkers, Irish Gypsies). This began when we lived in Augusta, GA and ran into women who looked as though they stepped out of a weird adult beauty pagent. I was then introduced to the world of the Irish Travellers . Check out the following for some background, http://www.fraudtech.bizland.com/travelers.htm .

Today a friend sent me a web site that has the Tinker (same origins as the Travellers) wedding of a 16 year old girl in the UK where her family spent 150,000 k  on wedding http://tackyweddings.com/2008/10/30/outer-limits-tacky-150k-wedding-for-uk-16-year-old-girl-ugliest-dress-ever/. I read the article with my mouth hanging open. I’m not sure what is more appalling; the price tag, the clothes, the girl and her mother’s matching boob jobs or the fact that she was getting married at 16!

Anyway check out the other tacky weddings on the site. My personal faves are the Shrek wedding and the permutations on camo weddings!untitled

How to Choose a Donor

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(disclaimer: the following is only MY opinion as it is an individual choice)

We chose our donor over the weekend! It was a fun decision and since we’ve had access to our RE’s donor database for over a month now, I already had a running list of likely candidates. Keep in mind that we are in a 1:3 program which means that we share our donor potentially with three other couples. The woman we chose has already been selected by 1 other couple, so we would be the second recipient. Our shared risk program allows us to do up to 6 cycles with potentially 6 different donors if we don’t get pregnant. I’d like to get pregnant on the first try but I’m not overly optimistic.

Our RE’s office is fairly selective about recipients and the screening is arduous. this includes physical screenings, family medical screening and psychosocial testing. Motivation is not super important to me. Some people are put off by the donor saying , “I’m doing it for the money.” I am not put off by that and find the honesty refreshing. That’s not to say that is something that we choose our donor by but it is not an exclusion either. Our donor will be anonymous. untitled

So here was our criteria for choosing:

  1. Must have delivered her own children (proven live births)
  2. Must be same race as us
  3. Must be a repeat donor (thus has already been through the process), Thus, she knows how to do injectibles and what the cycles entail. It means that it is less likely our cycle will be cancelled due to donor non-compliance. Additionally, the donor coordinator knows that she produces high quality eggs (or she wouldn’t be invited to donate again).
  4. Relatively young (early to mid 20s preferrred). Less % of chromosomal abnomalities and better egg quality.

We ended up choosing a woman in her early 20s who was on our original list and is in the 1:3 program. She has two children of her own and is a repeat donor. My nurse tells me she might be able to give us information on her previous cycles. I believe we are now in the 30 day count down. I am hoping we’ll do our transfer early August.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday Monday

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Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin’ all of the time…

The Mamas & the Pappas

This is how I feel about Monday today.

I have 4 days until my first SG visit for my mock transfer. I have one more delestrogen injection. Even though I did my own injects for my last IVF cycle (with good lining and decent albeit odd looking egg production), I still worry that I am doing something wrong. This has prompted some frantic phone calls to MO2 (who is away for a military nursing course until the end of July).

The delestrogen is more viscous than lupron, making it harder to draw up into the syringe. I have to do it a few times to get the right amount (.2 cc) into the vial. Then I was stabbing myself in the belly (a la lupon) only to discover that it is an IM injection and I should have been stabbing myself in the leg. Oops. MO2 says not to worry about this, all it will affect is the dilution slightly. Last night, I used my leg and bled on my shorts (oh well, it is proof that I did it).

I hope my lining looks OK on Thursday. I hope I get accepted into the program (probably a 95% chance of this). I hope I stop worrying. IFers worry more about conception than the average person. I would say that this feeling that the other shoe could drop, that something horrible will happen is the worst thing about IF. All the happy naivete that the, “oops, I’m pregnant” people have is lost to us. Today I resolve not to worry about things so much. Before I know it, Thursday will be here.

Blue days, all of them gone
Nothin’ but blue skies from now on
(Blue skies smilin’ at me
Nothin’ but blue skies do I see)

Thank you, Irving Berlin!