BETA DAY

What a day what a day! I was restless last night I barely got 6 hours of sleep. I decided not to do ANY home pregnancy tests at all before my blood test today. I was completely clueless as to what the outcome would be. My clinic made me wait until after 2 O’Clock before they called me with the results. My HCG is 425 and my progesterone is 39!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was in complete shock when I heard that first number. Never in any previous cycle have we had numbers like that at our first beta. I’m so happy, this feels like it’s really it, like we are going to be bringing a baby (OR 2!) home with us in October. It feels like a miracle, I’m floating on cloud 9 right now and my husband’s reaction was the sweetest thing, I’ve never seen him so emotional, we have been waiting so very long for such good news. I’m going to do a little symptom round up so I don’t forget what I’m feeling!

My biggest symptom so far has been tiredness, I’ve been napping once a day the last few days and not really voluntary naps more like falling asleep on the couch watching TV but I have just noticed overall I’m more tired.
Sore boobs, I felt like my boobs were much more sore right after retrieval but they still feel heavy and tender right now.
Nausea, I know it’s early but I’ve definitely felt little waves of nausea here and there the past few days.
Bad taste in my mouth, not sure if this is really a symptom but i have taken a few bites of different fruits or foods the past few days and they haven’t tasted right, I ate a few strawberries this morning and they almost tasted bitter I only had 3 before I said I can’t do this anymore.

I go back Friday for another HCG and progesterone and I’m praying for a nice doubling number to get me through until my first ultrasound!!!!! I feel so grateful and lucky that we got good news today I’m hoping it continues!!!!!

Buns in the Oven

We drove through a blizzard to get to our day 3 transfer. I cannot praise my husband enough for his superior driving skills and patience to get us to where we needed to be! Imagine my surprise when we got there and they said BOTH our embryos were great quality! We have NEVER heard that before at any previous transfer, in fact most of our other clinics were really vague about the grading or cell count of the embryos they were putting back. This time they explained everything perfectly. One embryo was 8 cells with little to no fragmentation and the other was 6 cells with little to no fragmentation. The doctor doing the transfer said the cell counts were right where they needed to be for day 3 and the lack of fragmentation made them great quality! He even said if we hadn’t done so many previous cycles they might have insisted that we only put back the 8 cell embryo and try to watch the 6 cell until day 5 and freeze but since this isn’t our first, second, or even third go around he said putting back both would be fine as long as we were okay with the chance of twins, which we definitely are now. He did say it was pretty amazing and unusual to only get 2 eggs at retrieval and end up with two good quality embryos to put back.

I’m doing a few things different this time post transfer, just silly myths I’ve read from other bloggers and fertility websites but hey it can’t hurt!

-SOCKS AND SLIPPERS, I have been wearing socks and slippers 24/7 since transfer, I have even been wearing socks to bed which is WAY out of the norm for me, even in winter I like bare feet, Supposedly this keeps your blood from going to your extremities to keep them warm so it stays in your core and helps the embryos implant.

-PINEAPPLE, this one is actually kind of proven, it hasn’t been hard for me to do because I was actually eating pineapple everyday for a month before this as part of a new diet plan I’m on so it’s really just a continuation of that. I am wondering if there’s a point when I should stop eating it? Does anyone know if it becomes a detriment at a certain point in the cycle, I’m eating about a cup a day, core and meat, usually mixed with cottage cheese for some protein, such a great snack!

-BED REST, I know there are pretty much two camps on this,the doctors say there is no need for it and go on with life as normal but I’ve done that the other times and obviously it didn’t work so this time I’m trying out the bed rest camp.I spent 3 solid days being lazy watching Netflix and having my husband wait on me hand and foot and it was lovely. Today I’m back to the grind of cooking and cleaning and laundry but I’m taking breaks to rest and trying not to lift anything heavy.

At this point I’m trying to stay busy until my blood test on the 22nd and hope times goes by fast. We are thrilled with the outcome of the cycle so far and so hopeful that these buns currently in my oven are going to bake for a full nine months!

PS. loyal readers and commentator’s I know my comments section isn’t showing comments right now but I can see them all and I read every single one and SO appreciate them ALL. I need to get tech support AKA my husband to figure out why they aren’t showing so hopefully that will be fixed soon! Thank you again for all your support!

TWO

The retrieval went great, we ended up getting TWO eggs from my four mature follicles. The doctor who did the retrieval actually said she thinks one of the follicles was a cyst because of the fluid she pulled from it, so technically getting 2 eggs from 3 follies is a normal ratio because apparently there’s usually eggs in 80% of follicles. I cannot sing the praises of our new clinic and doctor enough they are so compassionate and truly care about the outcomes for every single couple they work with and it just shows in every interaction we have had with them from the beginning. The doctor who did the retrieval came and sat with us after and explained that she went into each follicle more than once to make sure she got everything she could for us. She asked us sincerely about our plans moving forward and said she was glad we seemed to be in a good place emotionally even though our outcome was less than normal, we were prepared for it and expecting it. We ended up joking and laughing our way through the morning and I think nurses were expecting us to be more upset with our outcome but there is a kind of peace that has settled over us this cycle that has helped us feel less anxious about the things we have no control over. what a relief it is to not feel so desperate. My hubby kept my spirits high all morning even in my moments of of doubt and took wonderful care of me the rest of the day as my anesthesia grogginess wore off. I am crampy and have a full feeling in my abdomen but I don’t have anywhere near as much pain as I remember having after my last retrieval which is really great. I got the call with the fertilization report this morning and both eggs successfully fertilized so we couldn’t be happier. We will get another call tomorrow with a progress report on how they are growing and let us know if we are going to do a day 3 or day 5 transfer. We are fairly certain we will be a day 3 transfer as the clinic prefers to do day 3. So our PGS( genetic testing) is officially cancelled and we are looking at doing a day 3 transfer of hopefully 2 embryos. My prep for the transfer is simple just once a day vaginal suppository crinone( progeserone) the one surprise is that the doctor doesn’t want me to do lovenox shots he doesn’t think they are necessary and I have literally done them every cycle and pregnancy up to this point so I was nervous but then I said to myself why am I anxious about not doing something that hasn’t worked every other time! So once I thought about it that way I was fine with it and happy not to have to do anymore shots.
I’m excited for our progress report tomorrow and to get a firm day and time for our transfer. Until then I am snuggling with my parent’s dog and taking it easy whatever happens from here on out is out of our hands I’m just going to take care of myself and leave the rest up to God.

Shots shots shots

Great news! They think there are 4 mature follicles and I’m doing my HCG shot tonight and having my retrieval first thing Monday morning! My HCG shot will be the last of my shots this cycle and I’m super excited to be done poking myself multiple times a day with a needle. Next step, bring on the suppository progesterone! I know 4 follicles isn’t a big number but when it’s double what you started with it’s pretty great news. I’m definitely feeling better going into the retrieval. We are supposed to be doing PGS( genetic testing) with our embryos but I went onto my portal and they already have an appointment scheduled for me for a day 3 transfer and then a follow up pregnancy test 14 days after that. I think they are just anticipating that even if we get 4 eggs that may not equate to 4 embryos so maybe not enough to send out for testing? Obviously we will do whatever the Doctor thinks is best and if that’s a day 3 transfer then that is what we will do. I was pretty opposed to transferring more than one embryo when we started talking about doing this again, naturally due to my previous failures and potential lack of freezable embryos I’m anticipating they will suggest transferring 2 back if we have that many on day 3 to transfer. I’m surprisingly okay with that, I don’t think my chances of ending up with twins are very high. We will see what kind of quality embryos we end up with. Twins really freaked me out when I first started thinking about trying to get pregnant again and it’s something that you really have to take into consideration when your doing fertility treatments. We know at least 3 couples personally who have twins from IVF cycles. One set was born at just after 28 weeks gestation and while they are happy and healthy now it was a very long and scary NICU stay for them. Ideally we would love to have two kids in the long run if it’s possible, so having two at once could be a big blessing especially after how long we have waited. We have a lot of close family to help and support us so I do think we could handle the needs of twins. What is more scary for me to think about is worrying how my body would handle growing not just one but two babies, if it comes to it I would definitely be up to the challenge! I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself with thinking about the potential outcome of this cycle but that’s kind of impossible. I think instead of being cautiously optimistic, I’m going to just go ahead and let myself be fully optimistic, screw caution. I’m feeling excited about the retrieval and possible transfer and whatever comes after that!

New Year New Life

We always start the New Year with best intentions of having a better year than the previous one. This is especially true for me and my family this year after all the stress, sadness, and loss we went through. However, I entered the new year still grieving the losses of my Aunt and Cousin and I didn’t much feel like jumping on the New Year new me band wagon. I felt like New Year, same me. This mindset is slowly changing and I’m starting to feel a little bit lighter emotionally. I’m not sure if it’s the sun coming out a few days in a row that has changed my mood or that I have been making intentional changes to actually feel better. So even though I’m a little late and we are already a few weeks into the New Year I do finally feel ready to jump on the New Year new me bandwagon!

First things first I’m making an effort to let go of things that I cannot control. I can control my reaction to these things and that makes the difference between it being a catastrophe and a bump in the road. This was tested when we had our insurance company requesting piles of medical records in order to clear us for our new cycle which was supposed to start LAST weekend. Thanks to insurance being sticklers my cycle got delayed by over two weeks and I had to have another period and start a new pack of birth control pills wahhhhh. I was NOT happy about any of this and in previous cycles or just before in life this could have ruined my day or my week and my attitude. Instead I told myself that these things happen and in the grand scheme of things a delay of two weeks is nothing and I reminded myself to be grateful that insurance covers almost all of our IVF costs so the wait is well worth it. I was able to say well that sucks but overall I’m really lucky and this is not a big deal and MOVE ON. I’ll tell you what, it was pretty awesome not holding on to the anger and just kind of accepting it. I feel FREE, that is the only way to describe it. I guess you can only read so many inspirational MEME’s on pintrest before your mind just starts repeating them to you in situations where they are helpful!

Hubby and I also decided to lose weight and really do it this time. We enlisted the heIp of a nutritionist and he set us up with meal plans and we started today! We are excited to be doing it together and very motivated for health reasons for both of us. I know it’s kind of crazy to try and lose weight during a cycle because the hormones can kind of screw with things but I’m willing to take the chance. If things go well as they should we won’t be doing a transfer this cycle we will be sending the embryos out for PGS ( genetic screening) so I think trying to get healthy is going to be a good thing for me to focus on as we go through this because there’s going to be a lot more waiting. Instead of taking my anxiety out on a bag of chips or carton of ice cream and then feel terrible about myself and our situation, I’d rather exert the control I have over eating healthy and working out. We both have good reasons for wanting to make this change and I think if we stick together we can really do it and make it a lifestyle, you have to start somewhere.

We had our appointment with the doctor to go over potentially using cousin A’s eggs in the future as a plan B in case things don’t go our way this cycle. She came with us and met the doctor, she was a total rock star and very comfortable answering all of the Doctors questions, I’m already forever indebted to her just for considering doing this for us and showing up to the doctor appointment. It’s such a relief to me to have this as an option if things don’t work with my eggs. The worst part for me after an IVF failure was where do we go from here and what do we change next time in order to give us a better chance. In this case we already know that if this doesn’t work than next time we will use donor eggs, hopefully Cousin A’s if we got that far and she got medically cleared but we are still open to anonymous eggs if for whatever reason it doesn’t work out with A. It takes a layer of stress and doubt away to already have a plan in place and know we would just have to execute it. Overall it was a great appointment and we all left feeling good about it.

So to wrap up, instead of doing New Year new me, we are doing New Year, new life. We have been complacent for years and we are finally making the kind of changes that can actually result in a new life. At the end of last year we moved, now we are getting healthy, trying to have a baby, and being intentional everyday. I’m not perfect but for the first time in a long time I do feel like I’m doing everything I can to be the best possible version of myself. We have an exciting year ahead of us! For the first time in a long time we are filled with hope, hope for lot’s of positive things to happen, we also hope to have the ability to take the negatives that are bound to come for what they are, react accordingly, let go of what we can’t control and move forward with light hearts!

Update with the Dr.

Today we had our meeting with the Dr. to go over all the blood work he did and go over our options and make a plan. He is still Dr. Wonderful as far as hubby and I are concerned. He is very open, he has a big heart, and his honesty is totally refreshing. He really seems to understand that we have already been through so much and he genuinely doesn’t want to put us through any unnecessary stress or heartbreak. He said the updated blood and sono don’t show anything surprising they all point to me having an egg issue of quantity and quality. He outlined our options as follows.

A: Stop any and all treatments and adopt.

B: Try a micro lupron stimulation IVF cycle

C: Use donor eggs

I already started the pill at the beginning of my last cycle in preparation for a January IVF cycle and retrieval and so we are moving ahead with option B and trying the Micro lupron cycle. It is a type of stimulation that we haven’t tried before so fingers crossed I respond well to it! He did say that if I don’t respond well and it doesn’t look like we will get more than a few eggs he may cancel the cycle so be prepared for it to be a kind of fluid cycle where things can change depending on progress. If all goes well and we get a enough eggs and make some embryos depending on how they grow and how many we will either do a day 3 fresh transfer, so I will be on progesterone post retrieval just in case or we will let them grow to blastocysts freeze and do PGS then a subsequent FET. We are hopeful that even if we don’t get enough eggs and embryos to try to grow to blasts that we at least get enough to put back one or two on day 3 and complete the cycle beginning to end.

We talked to him about Cousin A and how if our January IVF cycle doesn’t pan out or ends up with negative results that we would be ready to move on to donor eggs. He suggested that we schedule a sit down informational appointment with him and all of us so he can give her the down low on the actual process and whats involved. He thinks it would be a good idea to do this in the next couple of weeks so that she has plenty of time to think it over once she has all the information and doesn’t feel any type of pressure or obligation to go through with it. We told him if she changes her mind which could very well happen then we would be willing to use frozen eggs from the company that our office works with and try that way. He said either way our chances of getting pregnant and ending up with a baby using donor eggs are very good and he said just think of it this way if you use your cousins eggs or you use frozen donor eggs your going to be okay. It was a really nice and calming thing for him to say and I really took it to heart. Whatever ends up happening we are going to end up with a baby and it’s going to be the baby we were meant to have and we are going to love them unconditionally and we are all going to be okay.

Angels all around you

Angels all around you, that is what my Aunt used to say to me when I was having any kind of procedure or baby related issues or tests. I always kept her in the loop of what was going on with me even when I wasn’t sharing it with anyone else but my mom and husband. She was always praying for me and feeling deeply for what was going on with others even when she was the one who was sick. Losing her was and still is a raw pain that creeps up on me unexpectedly, usually when I’m alone driving and a sad song comes on the radio. I console myself with the thought that she is now one of the angels that she used to speak of and I feel her presence often. My Aunt had two sons and a daughter. Cousins are a BIG deal in my family, there are lot’s of us we are all close and love each other fiercely and fight like siblings. My dear sweet Cousin A (Aunts daughter) is very much like a sister to me, all the benefits of sleep overs and family fun, gossiping, and confiding in each other and none of the drama over stealing each others clothes, boys, or attention from our parents. She has been incredibly strong through my Aunt being sick and passing, her strength is not tainted with bitterness and it hasn’t hardened her, she is still sweet and and feels for others even after all she herself has endured, it is very much a characteristic that she got from my Aunt, so unselfish.

She is so unselfish in fact she has offered to donate her eggs to us. We still have to go to the doctor and she still needs tests and clearances and we aren’t sure of if and when it would all happen but the fact that she was even willing to consider it and then say yes has given us back so much hope that we will be able to have a baby in the next year. She has said for years that she doesn’t want children of her own. She hasn’t wavered on it and I was surprised that as she got older and even had serious boyfriends that her answer always remained the same. A few weeks ago we were having an adult sleepover, wine and gossip, when it came up in conversation again and her answer was still no she didn’t want kids. Cousin A is in her mid to late twenties now and I would say plenty grown up enough to make a decision like that for herself. So casually at 2 o’clock in the morning after several glasses of wine I asked her if she wasn’t going to use her eggs then could I have maybe have some? She immediately said yes if I’m able to that would be so cool. I said are you sure it wouldn’t be too weird to see hubby and I raising a baby that might potentially look like you and have your DNA? She said no I think it would be awesome then off to bed we went.

I took her quick yes with a large grain of salt, you see I have had people offer me things during my infertility journey before, for example there uterus. I can’t even tell you how many family members said I’ll carry a baby for you after my miscarriages when we thought my body was rejecting the embryos not that the embryos themselves were the issue. Then the minute I said well hey I’m going to the doctor next week and I’m going to ask him about gestational carriers they would quickly answer back that they hadn’t really thought it through and they were sorry but they just couldn’t do it. Mind you I’m not in the habit of asking people for use of there uterus’ but I will tell you at least 3 were offered to me and all backed out when I mentioned doctors appointments and anything closely relating it becoming a real situation. I had resigned myself to the fact that if on our next go around my eggs don’t work that we would be writing a check for $15,000 for 6-8 eggs from a random stranger picked off a donor egg internet database. I was not going to ask any family members to donate to us, it never felt like a fair thing to ask someone. However, after talking to my cousin it ended up feeling right to ask her to consider it and it was kind of on a whim. It turns out I desperately do want the absolute luxury of having some kind of genetic ties to my child. The ability to say where they got there eyes or nose from and the benefit of knowing there complete medical history even as the years go on and it evolves and changes. If our baby got even a hint of my Aunt or cousins selflessness and sweet temperament I would feel beyond blessed.

I told hubby the next day about asking her, he was surprised because we had never talked about asking a family member to donate but he was excited at the possibility now that I brought it up. I decide to wait a few days after our sleepover then I texted Cousin A and said hey remember when I asked you for some of your genetic material so we can try to make some good embryos and I can have a baby? I then sent her several informational links about being an egg donor what it really takes, the whole process and some hard questions. I told her to become well informed take all the time she needed and really think it over and if it was a No then we completely understood. She said she would read up on everything and let me know but at that point her only concern was that her eggs wouldn’t cooperate and she didn’t want to let us down. She has the sweetest heart and her response brought me to tears. A few days later I woke up to a message from her that said she read everything and she was IN! I really think it take a very special person to consider donating there eggs at all let alone to a family member. Tears again, even though we don’t know if we need donor eggs yet ( I have a gut feeling we do) just having the option of a known family member donor to do a fresh donor cycle with feels like the best Christmas present we could have asked for.There is still a lot of unknown but I feel a sense of peace with this now that I have been longing for and hadn’t been able to find in any of our other options of moving forward. The situation truly feels like it was orchestrated by our angels above.

New Doctor, New plan

We met with our new doctor yesterday and he was wonderful! He had gone over our medical records and history before we arrived which was helpful because of how extensive it is. He has been doing his job for over twenty years and is a co-founder of the clinic that we are using so we felt like we were in really good hands. He did say that our case is extremely difficult there is not a clear reason for our issues and it could be multiple factors. He did say that our history is and I quote”horrific” and he understood if we didn’t have any “gas left in our tanks” to go through more treatments. He even suggested maybe pursuing adoption and then revisiting fertility treatments once we already have a child in our home. I do think it was eye opening for both my husband and myself to have him be so understanding of the physical and emotional toll that our journey up until this point has taken on us and say if it’s too much you don’t have to continue because he wasn’t promising us a miracle by any means. In fact his plan of action is kind of like a scientific test of our fertility in action. We had decided previously that we will be pursuing the treatment that h e suggested to us, within limits that we felt comfortable with and we were extremely happy with his plan. It’s a one step at a time process and here is how it plays out if all goes according to plan.

Step 1: At the start of my next period( 2 or so weeks away) Start birth control pills. Stay on through all of December.

Step 2: Start Stims to grow eggs in January, Egg retrieval at the end of the month.

Step 3: Wait for embryos to hit blastocysts roughly day 5. This is where the test begins. We have never had our embryos make it to day 5 or blastocyst they have always put them back day 3 or frozen them before day 5 because they never looked like they were going to make it. New doctor explained that is not normal at least a few of our embryos over our last IVFs should have made it to day 5 and blastocysts. He is calling this a stress test on our embryos. Here is our first potential split in my road.

Step 4a: IF our embryos make it to blastocyst we will do PGS on them to check for genetic abnormalities.

Step 4b: IF none of our embryos survive to blastocyst for testing we are done using our own embryos. We will discuss the options of donor eggs or adoption with the doctor and move on accordingly.

Step 5: IF embryos that made it to blast come back from testing as genetically normal I will have a test done called endometrial receptivity assay. It will consist of a mock cycle with transfer prep where they will do and endometrial biopsy on the day that would have been transfer day. My biopsy will be tested for inflammation and will also be sent to Spain to be tested for it’s receptivity. They will actually be able to tell if my uterus would have been receptive to implantation of the embryos on that specific day of my cycle with that specific transfer prep. If it comes back as receptive we know exactly what cycle day and exactly the dose of prep meds to do for transfer. If it comes back as not receptive we try again another month and based on the previous sample either wait longer to take the biopsy or take it sooner. This is a new test and it’s not completely proven but it seems worth it to us to have a better idea of when my uterus would be receptive to implantation or IF it is receptive AT ALL. We also think this test would be beneficial even if we end up using donor eggs and creating embryos, then we have a better chance of them implanting in me!

Step 6: Transfer embryos that have been tested and are completely normal, on most receptive day for implantation.

So as you can see it’s going to be an extensive process if we make it all the way through it. There are several points at which things could go wrong and then we would not move on to the next step of the process we would have to re-evaluate. We are happy with the plan as it’s completely science based and we believe it will give us an accurate and final answer to whether or not we will be able to build our family using our own genetics or not. Hubby and I both agreed that by doing this we will feel as though we have given this our absolute best and we will both be content to move onto other means of creating a family whether that would be with donor eggs or adoption will remain to be seen.

Now here are my unfiltered feelings on our new plan. I’m extremely happy with it. I think it will give us the answers that we have been searching for. I think it may yield answers that might be difficult for my husband to accept. I am staying in a positive mindset BUT if our history is any indication of the potential outcome of this “test” I am apprehensive to think that any of our embryos will make it to blastocysts when previously they never have before. That does not mean that I don’t have HOPE that they will. I absolutely am hoping and praying that we get the outcome that we want, which would be a happy , healthy child, created from our own embryos. However, I have become slightly jaded by our history and everything we have been through up until this point. As much as I can hope and pray that we make it through every step of this process my heart and my head are telling me to prepare myself for disappointment and struggle. Although I am trying to fight those feelings, I really hate to go into this feeling like it’s not going to work. That is not a good mindset to have. I am happy that we will be able to go through the holidays and not have to worry about doctors appointments or shots and we will start the new year with a new plan and renewed hope for building our family. I am happy that this new plan has steps and we can focus on and take things one step at a time. We are trusting our new doctor and his plan for us but I’m also giving it to God, I’m giving him the stress and the worry, I am letting go of trying to have any kind of control over the situation and I know that whatever is meant to be for us will find a way to happen.

Make Plans, God Laughs

So after my last post I was floating on cloud nine and super excited about our follow up appointment with our doctor to go over our test results and discuss our options. I was resigned to the fact that he was going to suggest donor eggs and I was ready for it. What I was not prepared for was for him to say that he thought we should try IVF again with MY eggs. WHAT?! I’m not a doctor but based on my history and latest results this was NOT the conversation I was expecting to have. He talked a lot about PGS, the genetic screening of embryos before putting them back, it would require me to grow the eggs mix them with hubbys stuff and let them grow for between 3 and 5 days then they take a cell from the growing embyro and test it to make sure its genetically normal before putting it back.

He kept saying it would increase our chances because he thought the majority of our loses have been genetic and he thinks this will help. I can’t tell you how much I DISAGREE and how DISAPPOINTED I was with his plan. My reasoning behind it is simple. I have never produced a lot of eggs, the most I produced in a single cycle was 8 and from those 8 we ended up with 4 okay embryos, we put back two in a fresh cycle and then froze two and put them back on a fet. We had a chemical during the frozen. My last IVF cycle I made 3 eggs and we got 3 embryos and put all 3 back. My beta came back at 65 then went down from there. Out of all those scenarios how would genetic testing of our embryos have helped us conceive? We have put back every viable embryo we have ever created together and never ended up with a baby.

When I brought that point up to the Doctor he even said oh well there is a stipulation that if you don’t have enough embryos to test then it’s not worth it and they won’t do it because if you only have a few we will just put them all back anyways. HELLOOOO THAT’S ME, THAT’S BEEN ME EVERY SINGLE IVF CYCLE, what could possibly change that now? As I sat in shock with him continuing to state that we can just try it I started to look around the room and tune him out, I saw the not so strategically placed pamphlets for PGS all over the office we were in. From there I started to feel like he was simply pushing us towards this because he must get some kind of kickback for sending people that route seeing as it’s about $2,000 out of pocket for the testing.

I cried all the way home and unfortunately my husband couldn’t understand WHY, to him this sounded like great news, we can try again, with my eggs, with %100 our embryos and we had never tried PGS before so to him we were trying something different, I tried to explain to him we never tried it because we aren’t people with an excess of embryos trying to decide which ones to put back, we have put them ALL back and it’s never worked. I felt like it wouldn’t work. I told my parent’s about the appointment and they were confused, what is he doing different from any other doctor you have gone to then they said, I told them nothing except charging us an extra $2,000 and setting us back a month to test our embryos. They got it. I felt physically sick after the appointment and I told my husband I didn’t think it was going to work and I was scared and didn’t want to go through with another IVF just like the ones we had done before. They were hard on me physically and emotionally and unfortunately I wouldn’t be going in blind this time.

I took a few days to sort through these emotions and the following Monday I found out that a new science based IVF clinic in a hospital 10 minutes from our house had opened. We knew it was going to open but didn’t know when and didn’t think it would be so soon. I called and made an appointment, we go in about two weeks and we had to wait a month for the appointment. We were told at the other clinic that they don’t like to cycle people around the holidays so we would have to wait until January to start so we didn’t see waiting another month to go to a new clinic as a setback. I don’t know what this doctor is going to say and I might not love his plans for us either BUT if we end up going the route of trying a traditional round of IVF again I would much rather do it 10 minutes from home than 2 hours, that alone has taken a lot of the overwhelmed feelings away from me.

This is a really long post but all of this has been marinating in my head and I have to get it out. It’s been an incredibly stressful and emotional month. First I was blindsided by the new doctor and then a week ago my cousin who I wrote about in my previous post, the one who had breast cancer and was real with me about trying again, she passed away. It wasn’t completely unexpected because her condition had been deteriorating rapidly but her death was sudden, she went into cardiac arrest. We pray that she went quickly and painlessly and is now a guardian angel looking over us with all our other family that have gone too soon. Losing the person who I was always able to talk to about my fertility issues and get a real and honest response from has been hard. She and I would always text in the middle of the night we would both have insomnia from steroids, mine for fertility and her’s for her chemo. I have found myself struggling to fall asleep since she has passed, once I do I sleep soundly but I sit awake looking at the clock until 2am before my eyes give out and close unwillingly. I cry thinking that I want to talk to her and tell her what’s going on and I want her honest feedback and it’s not possible. I have taken talking to her, just in my head now, hoping that my words reach heaven and she can find a way to send me the answers that I’m desperately looking for.

Losing my Aunt and then my Cousin both to cancer within 6 months of each other has been the hardest thing that my family have ever dealt with. Through all the sadness and tears I see the little faces of my young cousins, nieces, nephews, and last but not least my cousins 3 year old son that she had to leave behind. They are smiling and innocent and continue to bring us joy and laughter through these impossibly hard times. It has only cemented for me the feeling that children are the ultimate bringers of joy and happiness and one way or another my husband and I will find a way to bring a child into our family, I see clearly now that it is worth fighting for.

Shopping for Genes (get it)!

I’m SO happy about all the wonderful responses I received after my last post. I have dug deep into all the fabulous donor egg blogs suggested to me. Every post I read from them I could relate to and seeing there adorable baby announcements and bump posts gave me hope that those are all in my future too! We received our latest test result from the new doc and we knew my AMH was really low .5 but my FSH came back in the normal range however I had a really low ATF (amount of resting follicals on day 3). The low ATF plus the low AMH plus our history of failed IVFs and the fact that I only made 3 eggs the last retrieval almost 3 years ago puts us in the position of DE as our best option moving forward.

If you can’t tell already I have warmed way up to the idea of donor eggs. Like so warmed up that I already picked a donor! Which is why I can’t wait to get the show on the road with this process. So here is what happened. I did massive amounts of research and spent every night reading blogs written by wonderful women who used donor eggs and have beautiful babies and are living happily ever after or are currently pregnant and loving every second of there new bumps and I decided that this was our next step. It gives us a chance at having nearly everything we want. Literally the only box it doesn’t check as far as fulfilling our wants is that genetically I won’t technically be related, but I will have carried the baby for nine months and birthed it so I dare anyone to tell me after all that that he or she isn’t “really” mine. Some new information I have read about donor eggs says your body decides which genes are expressed and that possibly some DNA gets passed from me to the baby in the placenta or something. All very cool stuff but at this point being genetically related to my child has become very unimportant to me. I have an absolutely beautiful sweet niece from my brother and his wife and while I don’t think we look identical by any means she calls me her twin and acts very much like I did when I was growing up and honestly if that’s that closest connection biologically that I end up having to a child I am perfectly fine with that. I have made my peace.

Once I decided that I was fully on board with DE I went on our clinics website and checked out our options through them. They offer fresh DE which seems to be what most of the other DE mommy bloggers have used, at least the ones I have read. In fact if anyone has used Frozen donor eggs from a bank please leave a comment because so far that option is much more appealing to me but I haven’t read many first hand accounts of people using it. After discussing it my husband and we thought Frozen DE from the bank our clinic works with would be a great option for us, we live a few hours from our doctors office so logistically it works better and I like that we know how many we are getting it won’t be another added anxiety of whether or not our fresh donor produces enough eggs. We would receive 8 frozen oocyte eggs and there is a guarantee that if none of the eggs once mixed with the sperm grow into a viable transferable embryo we get a new set for free.

So I search the egg bank website for hours every night writing down donor numbers that appealed to me based on there baby pics and general info. Then I dug into each profile checking medical histories and essays they wrote and personality qualities and narrowed it down from there. I nixed women with anxiety or depression listed, even if it was listed as situational. If I get to choose my kids genes I’m going to avoid passing on those things that I myself carry that are not desirable if they can avoided! Anyways I got really nitty gritty with it and I had showed my hubby a few and he wasn’t excited about them and neither was I so I kept looking. Then I found HER, she has my dark curly hair, a really big pretty smile, she’s tall, which a lot of the donors weren’t and I am, and she has brown almond shaped eyes like me. We don’t look identical but I would say we have enough of the same characteristics that shes a really good match for my physically. I LOVED her answers on her essay she seems so sweet and NORMAL and her medical history is pristine. When I showed my husband her adult picture which we were able to view after signing the anonymity contract with the egg bank he said she’s the one. I had felt that same sense of calm when I opened her picture for the first time myself, it was like oh here she is and she is perfect for us. Actually I think finding her is what finally made the decision for me that I was not only 100% on board with donor eggs but if I got to use her eggs and her genetics then I was EXCITED about it. I’m ready to get started making OUR baby with the genes that we got to pick, now I just hope they fit(haha). I’m really getting into this genetics humor.