Showing posts with label IVF #1. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IVF #1. Show all posts

Monday, August 23, 2010

Infertility- His Perspective.

Recently I approached Mike about writing a blog post.  You have all heard my side of our infertility story about a million times. But in the over 2 years that I have been writing this blog, Mike has always remained silent. Finally he agreed  (probably because my blog design is no longer pink) and decided to write a summary of his highs and lows over the last 4 years.

Here is our Infertility Journey according to my amazing husband...

It’s April 2008 and all I can do is try and calm Aly down.  Through her tears and sobbing voice over the phone all I can gather is that Dr. T could offer no solace, no alternatives to the struggle we’d been facing for practically our entire 7-year relationship.  I understand at this moment that I’m going to become more familiar with a 3-letter word I wish I never knew—IVF.  In a vain attempt to comfort this beautiful woman of mine I whisper that, no matter what, “we’ll overcome this.”  We’ll somehow come up with the money, I will make the time, I will shake the heavens in order to provide us with the family we’ve both been fighting for.

It’s July 2006 and we’ve decided to go off birth control.  Why not?  The experiences we’ve been through in 5.5 years have matured us to a degree where we feel like we’ve known each other all our lives.  I’m five months out of West Point and cannot wait to start a life with my new bride.  I knew since I was 12 years old that the woman I would spend my days with would be the one I could picture being the mother of my children.  Six weeks into our fledgling romance I knew she would be my wife.  I knew we would be parents together and it was the most intoxicatingly romantic notion to me.  I loved her already and she didn’t even know it yet.

It’s May 2008 and we miraculously already secured an IVF cycle.  While I’m selfishly trying to advance my career by trying to get into the 75th Ranger Regiment over a 3-week period the true Soldier, Aly, is in NC being poked, prodded, and taking daily self-administered shots.  I’m now somewhat familiar with a host of acronyms unlike any I’ve heard in the military: IUI, RE, ICSI, AH…and to be perfectly honest, while I know what they stand for I haven’t the faintest clue what they mean.  The experiences have been odd, make no mistake about that—the nurse laying out a plethora of nudie mags for my “enjoyment”…having to generate a sample in a PUBLIC restroom because there were no other available rooms (yeah, don’t ask how long that one took with people walking in there every few minutes while I was trying to do my part to produce my child). 

It’s July 2008 and after nearly two years the process has taken a toll.  We’d experienced the high and very low of one failed pregnancy (not including the ones early in our journey).  I feel inadequate as a man, blaming myself for not being able to give my wife a baby.  I never tell her this because I feel the need to maintain some semblance of bravado.  I’m not always very receptive or understanding of the range of emotions Aly exhibits after being pumped full of hormone-inducing drugs.  And finally I feel like the almost scientifically designed monthly intimacy is tearing us apart.  For a period of time I wrongly resign myself from the marriage emotionally.  It’s an extremely demanding time.  And all the while I’m failing to acknowledge that whatever is hard for me is actually ten times harder for her.  But it’s all been worth it: on July 4th we get—in my angel’s esoteric language—a BFP.

It’s the early morning hours of February 28 th , 2009 and I’m quickly / gingerly navigating the streets of Phenix City, AL as the three of us make our way to Columbus Regional Hospital while listening to George Michaels’ classic “Father Figure” to commemorate the moment (what can I say, it was on the radio).  In a blur the moments pass by—I know Aly is angry at me for filming her in pain, I know the whole birthing process isn’t anywhere near as dramatic as they depict on TV, and I certainly know that the doctor staring at my wife’s lady parts looks like he should be drinking at a Pi Kappa party instead of directing her to “focus [her] energy into [her] pelvic region” (all the while I curiously stared at the process I had absolutely sworn to Aly I would have nothing to do with in the previous nine months).  And then he appeared in our lives.  London Michael, our IVF Miracle.  Suddenly the pain of the previous two years melted away…the feeling of failure when we miscarried, knowing that was supposed to be our moment…the look I could see on Aly’s face, knowing in my heart that the process was consuming her every day and that this wasn’t just something she was doing, it was the ONLY thing she was doing…the locked feeling in my chest when the nurse told us we’d lost one of the twins…suddenly the pain wasn’t as painful.  Our Journey had ended and here before us was the most beautiful thing we’d ever seen.

It’s the next Chapter in our lives.  London will be 18 months old in a week.  It’s sad but I genuinely fight the urge to cry every time I look at him.  I see my red-headed, green-eyed little man and he represents more than one simple night spent between his mother and I.  He represents an era in our lives unmatched by any struggle the two of us had previously undergone (and buddy, we’ve been through some struggles).  I look back at the experience and smile at the hardship and understand that all along the Big Guy had a plan for us we couldn’t possibly see.  And now it’s time to begin the Journey anew.    -Mike

Big Thanks to my awesome husband for taking the time to write this. (Seriously, how freaking sweet is he?) As you can tell he is the real writer in the family. He might just be showing up here a lot more in the not so distant future.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

IVF with PGD?

**Due to popular demand, I added a few definitions down at the bottom for some of the random acronyms in this post!**

With IVF #2 slowly quickly approaching (UGH, 4 more months) I have gotten back into doing "baby research". For most people this entails looking at the newest carseats and cribs but for us it means scouring the internet for the newest advances in reproductive technologies. When we got pregnant with London we did IVF with ICSI and AH.  This time I am thinking of throwing PGD into the mix. My RE has not recommended this to us yet but we haven't really discussed next cycle yet either. I had an initial consultation and she added me to the January IVF schedule, but we haven't discuss actual protocol.

The reason I would like to add PGD to this cycle to because of our recurrent miscarriages. We had 3 miscarriages before getting pregnant with London and then we lost his twin at 11 weeks.  I would LOVE to somehow cheat the odds and escape from IVF #2 without another miscarriage.

Here are my reservations about PGD though. I have heard that it can sometimes damage the embryo thus making it stop grow. Even the idea of this breaks my heart. There is nothing I can do if some of the embryos that we create from IVF stop growing.  But to think that WE caused it to stop growing breaks my heart. I know this may sound silly to some because I know we are doing it for the greater good of the healthy embryos but I can't help feel bad for the ones who won't pass. The ones who are never going to get a shot at implanting in the uterus. The ones who will begin and end in a petri dish.

So I have a questions for people who have done PGD.  They don't give me details about the embryos do they? They just get a pass/fail grade right? I have this huge fear that they are going to show me this chart on ET day with the embryo's picture/gender/hair color/birth weight/shoe size/and an age progression photo of when the embryo is 21. (TOTALLY KIDDING) I just fear that I will be given too much info thus making me feel even more guilty about the embryos that did not make it. Basically I just want to make sure they don't tell me gender. While I am aching for a little girl, I do think some things should be left up to chance. I want to use the most healthy embryos regardless of gender. I can't imagine if we chose to not use  "embryo London" based solely on his gender. We would have missed so much. Every baby regardless of gender has a place in our family, we just don't know it yet. When we showed up to our ET the Dr used his medical expertise and chose which little guys were getting put back. Knowing personal information about them (like gender) would have always made me feel guilty for the ones we didn't put back. Does this make sense? I apologize if not, this has sort of become a 'random stream of consciousness' post for me. For that I apologize to you, but just writing all of this down has been very therapeutic for me.

Anyway... I think I am going to talk to my RE about doing PGD during our next IVF cycle. Basically I just want to make sure that we have the healthiest embryos transfered at ET. I want to minimize my time at the Dr's office and away from London. I want to minimize the already difficult emotional times that come with infertility and IVF. I want to have a baby with the least amount of heartache. I want to be fertile and get pregnant when my husband bumps into me in the hallway. Since that is not going to happen PGD might just be our next best option.

RE:  Reproductive Endocrinologist (Infertility Specialist) 
IVF: Invitro Fertilization
ICSI:  Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a technique where they take one sperm and inject it directly into the egg. Mainly used when there in a issue with the males sperm. 
AH: Assisted Hatching, used to basically crack the shell of an embryo before it is transfered back. It aids in implantation
PGD: P reimplantation genetic diagnosis, genetic testing to make sure the embryo is chromosomally normal before transferring.
ET: Embryo Transfer. The procedure where they put the embryos back inside of you. 

Friday, July 4, 2008

4dp, 5dp, 6dp, 7dp, AND 8dp3dt!

OK so I do realize I have not updated in a few days and here is why

4dp3dt (Jamie and Ashley), this means "4 days past my 3 day transfer" (they put 3day old embies back inside me so I am 4 days past the 3 day transfer) So this morning I woke up and got what I THOUGHT to be a positive pregnancy test, I took another kind though, and that one was negative. I got a little excited but counted it as a negative.

5dp3dt: One test again had a super super super faint line on it, but again the other test had a negative.

6dp3dt: All tests were negative, I started to get REALLY discouraged. I just didn't feel pregnant. Mike and I had started to move money around in our bank account to cover the $7,000 we spent on IVF, and I started to have buyers remorse because I'm just NOT pregnant!

7dp3dt: Two more test had faint faint lines on them, I QUIT!!!!!!! I can not sit here and stare at two F-ing tests for another day. I was pissed why can't pregnancy test either have one line or two, why do they make them to show FAINT barely visible lines. A few cuss words later, I tried to relax. I mean I went back to look at the tests and maybe they are not so faint, wait, WHAT? Why don't I have to squint to look at that pregnancy test? Wait, there are really TWO PINK lines on that test? Ugh, I guess I will have to wait until tomorrow to take another test to know for sure.

8dp3dt (TODAY): If a picture is worth a THOUSAND words this one should be worth 7,000 ($)

Yep, that's right ladies, I AM PREGNANT!!!!!! I will still have my beta on Monday which will give us a exact NUMBER of how pregnant I am, it also might give us an idea of how many babies we have growing in there. Everyone please keep praying that this baby sticks. The first hurdle is down but I still have about 9 months worth to go. Mike and I are ECSTATIC!! There is really something so magical about a digital pregnancy test, something about the word PREGNANT popping up, just gives me chills.

Ok, I'm off to make Chicken Salad, Mike and I and his entire family are going to Callaway Gardens for the 4th of July activities. We have decided to go ahead and tell his family today (They ALL know we did IVF, I mean I actually stayed with my MIL, so they are kind of chomping at the bit) Here is how we are telling them. We bought this t-shirt a few months ago to give as a present to Mikes 18 month old niece, Lily. We are going to give her the present today and see how long it takes the whole family to figure it out. EEEKKK!!!, I'm so excited!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Yet another lazy day. It feels good to just lay around and take it easy, I mean I do have a good reason, so I don't feel guilty about wasting the day. Testing mania begins tomorrow. Its way to soon to get a BFP (Big Fat Positive) but testing will at least give me something to do every morning. Mike goes back to work tomorrow, BOOO HISS!!! So I'll be pretty bored over the next few days. Ok I'm off to bed!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Wait, did today actually happen? Here is how it went down.

7am: Wake up and take my progesterone and QUICKLY go back to sleep.
9am: Wake up for the day (well, kinda)
9am-3pm: Lay around in bed and watch TV (GOD BLESS TIVO!!!)
3pm-7pm: SLEEP!!
7pm: Wake up long enough to eat the Chinese food Mike cooked (when I say cooked, I actually mean he went out and got take outs.)
8PM-10PM: Watched "Good Luck Chuck" with my amazing hubby. (cute movie, I love Dane Cook)
10:30pm: Update Blog

So as you can tell I am DEFINITELY taking it easy. I keep rubbing my stomach and BEGGING the embies to implant. I mean, I am pretty persuasive. After all I am their Mother, they better start listening. :) Ok I'm headed back to bed, its been a GOOD 3 hours since I had any sleep, my body is craving it HAHA!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Yep, I am officially ONE DAY past my 3 day transfer, and pregnant until proven otherwise. After 3 weeks away, I finally drove home today. WOOO HOOO, sleeping in my own bed WITH my husband will be NICE for a change. The 7 hour trek home was rather uneventful. I am happy to say, it is 9pm on a FRIDAY night and I (and the triplets) am off to cuddle in bed with my amazing husband. Life really is good!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I some how managed to talk Dr P into transfering 3 embies this morning. We transfered 3 8 cell grade 1A little ones. I thought for sure he was going to do 2 good ones and a slacker 4 cell, but nope he decided to do the 3 perfect 8 cells. I am sooooooooo excited. The embryologist helped me talk him into it, I'm tall (5'10") so they decided together that I could handle 3 even if all of them took. I also mentioned that we were OK with reduction if any of them split and we ended up with more then 3 (which I have to say, I'm not sure we are ok with it, but it really helped my argument.) The only thing that sucked is that when we got there, they told us that we needed assisted hatching. The "shell" (I cant remember the proper name for it) was really thick on our embies so they needed a little help breaking out. That cost an extra $750 but in the scheme of things thats not really all that much. Dr P gave us a 25% chance of trips, 50% of twins, and 75-80% of a singleton. UGH, Let the TWW begin!!
Everything went well, Dr P is AWESOME and so is everyone at his office and Carolina IVF. This has been a totally positive experience for us.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Well its official, as of tomorrow, I MIGHT be pregnant.

I just got the word, I still have 9 good embies left, and Dr. P wants to go ahead and do a 3 day transfer tomorrow. I'm trying to talk him into 3 but he really only wants to put 2 back in. I'm only 27 and healthy, so he really thinks 3 is too many. I'm going to ask him to put 2 of the best embies back in, and then one of the lower grades that probably wont make it to freeze anyway, hopefully that argument will work. I don't know, I'll be happy with 2 or 3 honestly!

If all goes well tomorrow, I will be heading home on Friday. WOOO HOOO!! It will be so nice to just lay in my OWN bed for a change. Oh and it doesn't hurt that Mike will be there with me too :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fertilization Update!

So I got a call from the dr today and of the 19 eggs they retrieved, 17 of them were mature, and 11 of them fertilized correctly. The Dr seemed VERY pleased with that, and told us we should be happy as well. So I guess we are. Tomorrow the Dr will decide if we will do a 3 or 5 day transfer. Right now he is leaning towards a 3 day but it all depends on how the embies are doing tomorrow.

I'm feeling ALOT better today. I'm still REALLY sore, but I can sit and stand on my own now. Mike left this morning. I was a little worried about that initially because as of last night I couldn't even get off the couch with out him pulling me to my feet. They gave me a bunch of pain meds but I have not had to use them since yesterday. They told us to drink a bunch of Gatorade and V-8 to help prevent against OHSS. The Gatorade is not a problem, and I have been drinking about 60-80 oz a day. V-8 on the other hand is NASTY!!!!!! I took 3 sips of it today and almost puked. I think I'll stick to the Gatorade :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

ER Update!

I'm really pretty out of it ladies, but I just wanted to update that they got 19 eggs out this morning. Now I'm just waiting for the fertilization report tomorrow. Thanks for all your well wishes. I'm heading back to bed now for the rest of the day.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Long Story Short

Sorry I have not updated, I have been in lots of pain recently. I went to the Dr on Friday and I had 29 eggs. The ER will be on Monday at 8am. Mike got here LATE last night, and will be giving me my HCG trigger tonight at 8pm tonight. I'll try to update more tomorrow, but its hard for me to be in the upright sitting position (I'm standing to type this).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


So after a week of eating Rice and Beans (I'm not complaining, they are good) I went out and got Chick-fil-A tonight. It was soooooo yummy!

I got a phone call from Mike today and yep, he got hired for his dream job. I've heard him talk about this since he graduated from West Point, and now finally its become a reality for him. He worked really hard to get this job, so I'm super proud of him. His new job does have perks for me too.
1) We won't have to move anytime soon. Well at least for another 2 years. Which means if we do get pregnant, I can justify spending the time and money on decorating a nursery.
2) Shorter deployments, I mean seriously, show me an Army wife that WANTS to do 15 months away from her husband. Shorter is ALWAYS better.
3) If we get pregnant from this IVF cycle, he will actually be here for most of the pregnancy and the birth. For all of you non-military wives reading, that is a HUGE concern for army wives these days. You would be surprised how many husbands don't ever lay eyes on there child until they are 3-6 months old, or leave a 3 month old and come back when they are 1.5 YEARS OLD.

On a different note, I got a call from my Dr's office today and I am responding so well to the meds they are again cutting the dose in half. I'm down to 75iu Gonal-F and 75iu Repronex (and of course my Lupron). I'm really hoping for a Sunday ER now, but it might not be until Monday though. Oh and my e2 was 1526 today for those of you who know how to read those numbers.


Almost 2 dozen!

I had another Dr appt today. I had 20 eggs this time, WOOOHOOO!!. They measured in size from 12-14mm. I'm guessing that is right on track because the u/s tech said they looked "REALLY JUICY!" I'm going to lay down for a little while. I got up at 5:45 this morning so a nap is well deserved. I'll update again this afternoon when I hear the results of my blood test.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We have lemons!

I guess things are still growing well in there. I can definitely tell a difference since even yesterday. Nothing much happened today. It was ALOT of laying around and watching TV.

I have yet to mention my new hobby. I have started crocheting (its like knitting). It keeps me preoccupied so I don't go insane from bed rest boredom. Since I am making a little baby blanket it also keeps my thoughts positive. I had a picture that I took the other night but it appears the computer ate it. As soon as I can get my sister-in-law to email it back to me, I'll post it.

Have I mentioned that I miss my husband? Ugh, its really hard to go through all of this without him. I would give anything to be able to go lay in bed and cuddle up with him. I knows its only a few more days and he should be here but, wow, I never dreamed I would miss him so much. I'm sure part of that is TOTALLY hormones but we figured out the other day its been over a year since I was really way from him for this long. The last time was June '07 when he was away doing some training in NJ for 3 weeks. Its only been 10 days since I saw him last but it feels like its been FOREVER. I'm expecting him (if all goes the way its planned) to be here LATE Friday night.

I'm going to lay down because I can not longer sit upright with out it hurting! Ugh, only a few more days of this!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Well I just got back from this mornings ultrasound and it looks like I have AT LEAST 18 eggs. Hopefully over the next few days more and more will be popping up. I'm so excited! This is REALLY good news! The Dr will call me later and let me know how my blood work looks and give me my new dosages of meds. I think they will be lowering it a little. I'll post again as soon as I hear from them. I'm off to lay down then at 1:30 I have a MASSAGE!! I'm sooooo excited!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I can officially feel my ovaries!

Since this isn't my first ride on the infertility train, I kind of know what to expect. However after waking up from a nap today, I felt like I was smuggling grapes across the boarder in my ovaries. Today is only day 4 of my stims so I can only imagine how much worse it's going to get over the next week or so. Right now I'm wearing work out shorts with an elastic band, and I have to keep pulling them up over my belly button so nothing touches my painful midsection. On top of feeling like an overstuffed fruit basket, I'm SUPER bloated. So these shorts that I keep tugging on are on the verge of no longer fitting. I'm drinking a TON of water and Gatorade to trying to keep from getting OHSS (over hyper stimulation syndrome). It usually doesn't happen until after the ER (egg retrieval) and there is no real way of preventing it, but the Dr's told us that TONS of fluid helps.
Besides feeling new parts of my body today, it has been relatively uneventful. I talked to Mike this morning and assuming he is still able to get a 4-day pass has decided to drive up here (rather than fly) for my ER. This will work out ALOT better because now we don't have to deal with the time constraints of a flight. Also he will be able to drive down to Savannah when he leaves here to pick up "The Girls" (Leia, Maddy, and Abby). They are still at my sisters in bad doggy quarantine.
Well I better be off, its movie night with the mother-in-law again. Tonight we are watching, "Reign Over Me" with Adam Sandler. Hopefully its good.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A MUCH better day!

I have not cried at all today, and I must say it was quite an accomplishment. Today went well, I was able to get out of the house FINALLY. I went out to lunch with a friend of mine, then on the way home I stopped and picked up the new Gavin Degraw Cd (it really sucks by the way). After that I just took it easy for the rest of the afternoon.
My mother-in-law and I rented the movie "Derailed" to watch tonight. I've already seen it but she started watching it on Lifetime today. I QUICKLY made her turn it off because they were cutting out some of the best parts. So we stopped at Blockbuster (and Taco Bell HAHAHA) and rented it.
On the IVF front, I have finally figured out what the heck those red welts are on my stomach. Apparently one of the shots I take is giving me a bad reaction. I put them all in different places on my stomach this morning, so I was able to figure out that it is the Repronex. My only option to make it stop is to give it to myself IM (inter-muscular). Those are the shots you get in the butt when you go to the Dr office and they HURT. The idea of putting a huge needle in my butt twice a day is NOT APPEALING. So, as you can imagine, I have chosen to just stick with the way I am doing it now and just COPE with the welts.
Mike picked up Daisy up from the kennel today, which made me SUPER happy. I'm sad that she will have to go back on Sunday, but TONIGHT she is home and sleeping in her own bed. I told Mike today that I WISH she was better behaved, because honestly I think I would feel MUCH happier if she was able to be here with me. I mean, I love all my dogs, but Daisy, Daisy is my BABY. I mean I got her when she was 6 weeks old and she is almost 7 now. Oh, well, I cant have everything, but it does look like Mike will be able to make it for my ER, although ticket prices went up to over $300 in the last 24 hours :-/

Ok well I'm off to watch Derailed.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Today was ROUGH!!

The title says it all!!! The emotional roller coaster has started. I cried almost all day today FOR NO REASON!! I keep telling myself that its normal and its just my body's way of practicing for pregnancy HAHA.

Besides the tears, today was Ok. I went to the IVF labs orientation. It was pretty boring. However I did pay for my IVF. That was definitely the biggest purchase I have ever made. I guess there is no turning back now, even if I wanted to. :)

Ok I'm off to bed, I'm going to try to sleep away this horrible day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just what I needed...

So as most all of you know Mike and I have 4 dogs. Daisy (a bulldog) is the resident bitch in our household, Leia (a hound mix mutt ) is our super sweet, outgoing, good natured dog, Abby (a 15 year old 3.5lbs tea cup poodle) is going deaf and sleeps all day, and Maddy (a Lab mix mutt) is a very nervous, sweet, scaredy cat type dog. Well ever since I left for Ft Bragg, Mike has been in an Army school so I had to do something with the dogs (aka: The Girls). I took Daisy to the vets to be boarded because she fights with all my sisters dogs. Then I drove Leia, Maddy, and Abby down to Savannah to stay with my sister. Well I called my sister this morning and she was sitting at the vets office with her two min-pin's. Come to find out, Leia attacked her dogs and she had to take them to the vet to get their wounds cleaned and stitched. I just don't get it. Leia is SUCH a good dog, she NEVER fights with dogs, we take her to the dog park all the time and she plays with dogs of all sizes. So now I am totally stressed out about this, and I feel guilty that she hurt my sisters dogs. Iwould tell my sis just to take them to the vet and board them, but then again I feel bad boarding Leia because she HATES staying inside. Man, I worry about these dogs SOOOOOOOOO much, I can only imagine if all this IVF stuff works and we end up with a baby. I'm going to be a MESS!!

On an IVF note, I started taking my stims this morning. That means from here on out I'll be taking 6 shots a day, wooohooo!! LET THE EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER BEGIN! Stims always make me super emotional. All of that has not started yet though, so right now the only problem I have is with the Loopy Lupron. It has made me a little distant, like I am trapped inside my own head. Its nothing bad, almost like the feeling you get from taking cold medicine. Other then that and a tiny nagging head ache. I'm feeling pretty good. In an attempt to de-stress, I made an appointment to get a massage next Monday. I'm very excited about that. Ok well I better go, I need to look up plane ticket prices for Mike to HOPEFULLY come up for my egg retrieval. My fingers are crossed that all of that works out!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This is what trying to have a baby looks like...

These are all my meds for my IVF cycle, keep in mind, that they are covering a love seat!