One or Two? What Do We Do?

Over the past couple weeks, Brennen and I have been trying to make a big decision – how many embryos to transfer.  I debated on whether or not I should blog about our conversations, our dilemmas, our feelings; but like I’ve said before, I want our fellow IVFers struggling with the same decision to know you aren’t alone in your thoughts.

In my last post, I described our decision-making process as a roller coaster. I lied. It was definitely more like a see saw.  It’s as if Brennen and I were living out a Dr. Seuss book.

One or Two? What do we do?
Put two in
But one may take
Or both will work
And twins we’ll make
But just put one
And it’s one shot
So we have more
Use what we got
But twins are risky
Statistics say
So maybe one
Is the safer way

And so on.

During our first round of IVF, we never had to deal with this decision.  From the get go, before we even knew how many embryos we had, we agreed that for the first try, we would transfer one.  In fact, on the day of my egg retrieval when the doctor asked if we had decided, I responded, “Just one.” Looking back, it was good that we made that decision so early, because that’s all we had – just one.  And when that one didn’t take, we didn’t have any frozen to give us another shot.  We moved on to Round 2 and didn’t talk about embryo transfers again until recently.  Our minds were focused on egg production and embryo development in round 2.  Once we jumped those hurdles, we found ourselves looking at each other going, “Umm…so one or two?”

I was talking to my best friend about all this, and she reminded me that right after we found out our first round was unsuccessful, I told her that I was definitely putting two in the next time.  I had forgotten saying that.  I guess when you’re still dealing with the heartbreak of a failed round, you say those kinds of things. Then, when you start to heal and your hope is restored with a more successful second round, you lose touch with those emotions that made you declare, “I’m putting two in!!”  I didn’t feel as strongly about two anymore.  We’ve had more confidence in the second round since the beginning, and so far, we haven’t been disappointed.  So, we felt comfortable saying we would transfer one this time, but if it didn’t work, we transfer two the next time.  Decision made.  Even though several members of my family started heavily campaigning for two, we stuck with one.

Then, a few days later, I looked at Brennen and said, “Ok, so now I’m thinking two.” Let me tell you, there is something about the upcoming holidays that really makes me want a baby, and transferring two would increase our odds.  Brennen blames the Christmas music that I prematurely listened to in October.  In my defense I was online Christmas shopping, so it felt appropriate.  He would still argue that it’s even too early to Christmas shop.  To that I would counter, “And that’s why you aren’t responsible for any Christmas presents.” Seriously though, Brennen and I come from such big, close families; and we can’t wait for them to share their love with Baby H.  And just thinking about the look on my Papaw’s face when I can tell him at Christmas that he is getting another great grandbaby…chills. So my mind was made up.  Two increases our odds.  I asked Brennen, and he said in his laid back, anything goes nature, “I’m game.”

Then, yes, a few days later, I backed off my decision a little.  Statistically speaking, pregnancies with multiples are riskier.  I’ve never been pregnant. I don’t know how my body will carry and have babies.  Twins make me nervous.  And I couldn’t help but think that if something happened to my babies, would I blame myself? My impatience?  I know it’s not fair to put that on myself or think that way, but I did.  I couldn’t help it.  I was back at one (cue the Brian McKnight).

So when I couldn’t take the internal tug-of-war anymore, I looked at Brennen and asked, “One or two?” He said, “Babe, really I’m game for whatever you’re comfortable with.” I finally had to make a rule that “I’m game” was no longer an acceptable answer for a decision quite like this.  So finally he said, “Let’s see what the doctor suggests.”  Let me stop right here and say, for me in that moment, that answer wasn’t good enough.  It wasn’t a definite.  I needed a definite.  I couldn’t drag a pro-con conversation out of Brennen for the life of me, and it was driving me crazy.  But now, I realize I can’t really blame him. He didn’t know what to say; he didn’t know what he thought because his opinions are usually based on research. They have been throughout this process.  That’s why he’s my human Wikipedia.  And he just needed some educated advice from our doctor.

Once I saw Brennen’s point-of-view, I called our nurse to let her know that we would like our doctor’s opinion when she called about my ultrasound results Wednesday.  Well, after she gave me the rundown of the Estrace, she relayed a message from our doctor – we have what he considers to be a perfect-looking embryo, a high grade A.  We understand that there is no guarantee in what we’re doing.  Trust me, we definitely get that.  But we have confidence in this doctor, and he has confidence in this embryo.  And that gave us something to talk about.

I called Brennen to tell him the good news.  After hearing in the first round that we didn’t make good embryos, I knew he would be thrilled.  I could hear him tearing up through the phone.  We talked it over for what seemed like the hundredth time, and decided to transfer our high grade embryo – just one.  Final answer. A huge weight had been lifted.

Then, right there in the Chick-fil-a drive thru, I did something I haven’t done in 5 years of marriage.  I told Brennen, “Yes, you were right.”

My dear husband
He was right
We just needed
Doc’s insight

Relieved to hear
And glad to know
About our perfect
Embryo

Decision made
Discussion done
In November
We transfer 1

 

Bring on the Estrogen, Baby!

In my last post, I mentioned how things had been pretty slow on the fertility front.  Well, today we started picking up some steam! This morning, we had our first pre-transfer monitoring appointment for a baseline ultrasound and blood work, the first checkpoint in the FET process. Now, this is all uncharted territory for us since our last transfer was a fresh embryo transfer and this time around it is a frozen embryo transfer; but I’ll try to explain our process as best I can. I may have to defer to my human Wikipedia for the reproductive cycle, aka my husband, for help.

At this morning’s appointment, the doctor was checking to see that my uterine lining was thin and that my estrogen was low, around 50 to 60. When Aunt Flo visited a week after the retrieval, I started taking birth control to suppress ovulation, shut down my ovaries, and give my body a chance to reset itself, much like what I did before stimming in September. My husband and I didn’t know exactly what we were looking for on the ultrasound this morning, but we figured we needed to see a sparse uterine lining and some pretty boring ovaries.  So as the doctor scanned over to my right ovary and projected it on the flat screen, I had a mini freak out when I saw what looked like growing follicles.  Nervously I asked, “Are those supposed to be there?” The doctor reassured me that those were the follicles from the retrieval that had filled with fluid and formed tiny cysts – totally normal.  Luckily, none of the cysts were cause for concern.  Whew, right? Next, blood was drawn, and we each went back to work and waited on the call from Memphis.

At 2:00, I got the call that said what we were hoping, “Everything looks good!”  On to the next step!  For the next two weeks, my body will need to build a more embryo-friendly uterine lining. To accomplish that, I’ll have the help of Estrace, an estrogen pill that I’ll take twice a day starting tomorrow (3 times a day in week 2).  Estrogen will help support the thickening of the uterine lining.  And the way we understand it, estrogen also prevents the production of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), thus continuing to suppress ovulation (more boring ovaries). That is, as long as it is administered towards the beginning of Aunt Flo.   And that, my friends, means that Aunt Flo should be here any day now. What fun!  If you didn’t catch the sarcasm, you’ve probably never had a uterus.

I have to admit, I’m a little nervous about the side effects of this new little pill; but because I’m such a hypochondriac, my husband has warned me, “Do not Google them, Breanne.”  He claims that if I do, I’ll convince myself I’m experiencing every possible one.  So instead, he has looked them up and can be the one that says, “Oh that’s just the Estrace,” when I complain about a throbbing headache (I didn’t cheat; I just heard about that one).

Once I’ve been on the Estrace for 2 weeks, I’ll go back for another monitoring appointment on November 9th to check up on, you guessed it, the lining.  If it looks good, we should be able to schedule the transfer for 5 to 6 days later.

I know that was a lot of technical mumbo jumbo (or at least our attempt at being technical), so thanks for making it this far into our post!  It’s crazy to think we are less than 3 weeks ’til the big day (barring any problems with our November 9th appointment). Emotionally, I guess you could say we’re sound.  We’re a lot better than we have been in the past, even though deciding how many embryos to transfer has caused a little stress over the past few days.  But, we’ve made a decision.  And after giving it a little time to sink in, we’ll take you for a ride on that crazy emotional roller coaster.  Until next time!

 

 

 

Thanks, Sis

Our frozen embryo transfer (FET) is tentatively scheduled for November 14th! The original plan was to wait another month, but our patience is in very short supply these days. The first step was to get on birth control, again. The irony continues. Then, next week I’ll begin taking Estrace if my lining looks “nice and thin” as the nurse put it. After two weeks of Estrace, if my lining has thickened and is ready for an embryo, we will proceed with the transfer 5 to 6 days later, the week of November 14th.

Since I’m just popping one pill per night, it’s been pretty slow on the fertility front. No shots. No crazy hormones. We’ve been using this time to catch up on the non-IVF side of life.  We went to the state fair. I visited one of my best friends and her new baby boy. Brennen traveled to Baton Rouge for a horrific Southern Miss loss to LSU. And I spent a couple days at my parents’ house helping my sister Caitlin transfer old home movies onto DVD’s. Watching those videos reminded me of how annoyingly corny and bossy I was as a child and made me sort of nervous about reproducing! After watching one scene in particular where I stole the video camera and in my nasal country voice narrated the story of Johnny Appleseed played by my dad who was in the front yard poisoning fire ants (not spreading apple seeds), Caitlin warned Brennen with a text, “CANCEL THE TRANSFER!” Then, there’s her favorite – the time I gave a news report from the living room coffee table and warned viewers of “sexual cartoons” and “slight tornadoes” sweeping our nation.

She picks on me a lot, and we have more than our fair share of differences. But she loves me. How do I know? Well, I’m an over-the-top planner when it comes to vacations. It drives Caitlin crazy and usually leads to the bulk of our arguments on family trips, even as twentysomethings.  But this past week we really started hashing out the plans for our upcoming trip to Disney World and Harry Potter World, and she let me be over-the-top…with no complaints. She even told me to create a Google Doc and share it with the family so we could plan our schedule, outfits, Fast Passes, dinners, etc. I didn’t know what to say except, “Really? Me?” And I’m pretty sure I heard a Hallelujah chorus in the background. Although she may not admit it, she knows I need distractions right now, and I think she’s helping me find them…on purpose.

As a thank you, I promised to start reading the Harry Potter books when I’m on bed rest after the transfer and have them finished by the trip. I don’t know much about HP (also something that drives her crazy), but I do know that when my little sister finally becomes Auntie Cait, she’ll have my kid equipped with their very own wand in no time!

Unexpected Emotions

My next post was going to be about our transfer schedule, but I don’t feel like I can give you a true glimpse into our journey without sharing with you what happened between us getting the embryo news and putting the transfer on the calendar.  This post is mainly for my infertility and IVF warriors out there who may be going through the same emotions as me and wondering if you’re alone.  I have to be real about it, even at the risk of sounding whiny or like a terrible person.


The moment Brennen hung up the phone with the lab, he hugged me with tears in his eyes.  It probably would have been a beautiful moment to retell if I would have cried too as we stood there in the kitchen in each other’s embrace.  But that’s not what happened.  My gut reaction was to hold back the tears and harden myself.  I kept saying in my head, “Don’t cry. Don’t cry.”  I haven’t seen Brennen cry during this whole process.  I’ve cried a lot.  So, I felt like it was my turn to be the supportive one. Maybe that’s where my downward spiral began.  Maybe I should have cried.

Don’t get me wrong. I was excited about the news of our frozen embryos.  I just didn’t do a very good job of showing it.  I didn’t cry tears of joy. I didn’t beam from ear to ear.  I didn’t squeal with excitement.  I got, as Brennen would put it, pissy.

After we talked a little more about what the embryologist said, I made the decision that we needed to get out of the house.  We had been sitting in the living room staring at the phone for almost two days, and the walls were closing in on me. I stepped into my closet, and suddenly I could see what a mess it was.  Then, I couldn’t figure out what to wear.  I tried on about 10 different outfits and piled the disregarded ones on the floor with the rest of the mess.  I saw the cluttered bathroom vanity, the loads of laundry, the dingy tub.  I rolled my eyes at Brennen’s outfit choice of a wrinkled t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops, especially since he told me it was cool enough outside for me to wear my boots.  I think I made some smart ass comment like, “Can you try to look like an adult today?” Harsh, I know.  We walked through the kitchen, and I saw the dirty dishes in the sink.  Once we were outside, I saw the weeds in the flowerbed and the spiderwebs draping our awning.  Then, I remembered the meetings I had coming up at work and the conference I had to be at next week.  Suddenly, everything on my to-do list that I had blocked out over the past few weeks came crashing into my head…all at once.

On the way to my in-laws’ house to drop off our dog for the afternoon (spoiled), Brennen was so upbeat and kept talking about our results.  Finally, I said, “Can we just not talk about IVF, embryos, and all that for a second? Just please, stop.” He looked at me shocked and confused, but he quickly covered it up with a look of understanding, even though I knew he didn’t understand.  He said, “Yeah, ok. That’s fine,” and we drove in silence.  This was NOT how I imagined this playing out.  I texted my mom, “What the hell is wrong with me?” “Hormones?” she asked.

She was right…as usual.  The next day, Aunt Flo made her appearance in all her glory.  So yes, I was probably crashing from all the hormones I had been on, and my body was trying to sneak in a quick PMS episode before Cycle Day 1.  And this hormonal imbalance brought all these negative emotions bubbling to the surface.

There was fear.  Just like when Brennen told me the lab had to watch our embyros for one more day, he was excited, but I immediately thought about how we lost all our embryos on day 6 during Round 1.  When I found out we had embryos to freeze, my mind went to “The last transfer didn’t work.” And because I know that this transfer, or future transfers, may not work, I fear that feeling of loss again.  It’s a loss that may be easier to deal with if I can somehow keep myself disconnected from the multi-celled blastocysts we have frozen, or so I thought.  Even though they are just cells, they are part me and part Brennen, and I am connected.  Maybe it’s that motherly instinct.

Then there was anger. When we got to Brennen’s parents’ house, they naturally wanted to talk a little bit about our big news.  At that point, I was more willing to talk about it.  It was slowly sinking in, and I was getting more excited.  I even hammered out a blog post.  Then, in the middle of the happy chatter, I blurted, “You know it really pisses me off.  It pisses me off that I was lead to believe that something was wrong with me.  That I couldn’t do this. That I didn’t have good eggs and wouldn’t make good embryos.”  It was the truth.  I look back at all we went through, and although I was relieved to know that we were able to get high-grade frozen embryos, I was so mad that I had spent all that time feeling so shitty about myself after Round 1.

And above all, the anxiety.  Like I said, for the past few weeks, I’ve blocked out everything that I thought might add stress.  I’ve been floating along, doing life the Brennen way (I’m so jealous of how he can do life sometimes).  Now, back to the to-do list.  Funny story  – During my little freak-out this weekend, I sat on the edge of the bed while Brennen tried to talk me through what was stressing me.  It went like this:

Me: I’m unnecessarily stressing about things I shouldn’t even be stressing over!

Brennen: Yes, you do that. Just forget about everything else, and tell me what the next step is on your list.  We’ll do it.

Me: I have to write a speech by Wednesday.

Brennen: YOU HAVE TO WRITE A SPEECH?!?!?!?!

Welcome to my head, Brennen!

I’m proud to report that my mood did improve during our late lunch Sunday. We talked about when we thought the transfer may be and how many we would transfer.  We talked about being injection free for a while, and we talked about things not IVF.  We even took the time to hit a few Pokestops.

I’m so excited to have the success we have had so far this round and know we should consider ourselves lucky.  Still, I’m an emotional fuster cluck lately.  I did such a good job prior to and during stimming of letting things go and accepting what was out of my control.  Somehow I’ve gotta whip myself back into shape and find that “zen” I had just a short time ago.  I know it’s not too far gone…

P.S. Hormones. Blah.

A Time to Chill

Today, we received wonderful news!

During Round 1, we had 9 embryos on transfer day and transferred one.  The next day, we got the call that the other 8 did not divide and grow correctly and were not viable.  It was heartbreaking news, and since the start of Round 2, our main concern has not been whether or not I’ll get pregnant but whether or not we can make viable embryos. See, we had been told that our poor embryo quality was likely the result of my poor egg quality.  And after Round 1, we thought that I couldn’t produce enough eggs in an IVF cycle to give us a chance of getting a “good embryo.”  Obviously, that concern was put to rest when Round 2 produced a whopping 41 eggs, 26 of which were mature and ready to be fertilized.  So naturally, we felt like the next bridge to cross was to still have healthy embryos to freeze on Day 5.

Well, Day 5 was yesterday, and as Brennen said in his post , our embryos were slow growers and weren’t quite ready to freeze yesterday morning.  So we had to struggle through just one more sleepless night.

My phone rang this morning around 11:00, and we jumped.  Brennen muted the Law and Order: SVU marathon that we had been using to preoccupy our minds and left the room.  We had decided that if we didn’t have any embryos left, I wanted the news to come from him, not the embryologist.  If you know Brennen, you know he has a pretty large voice for a pretty little guy.  I heard a “That’s fantastic!”, and a few seconds later, Brennen emerged with tears in his eyes and the biggest smile on his face.  He hung up the phone and told me the magic number.  Then, he grabbed me, hugged me tightly, and told me he loved me.

Brennen and I have shared so much of our infertility journey publicly.  Like we’ve said all along, it has been our therapy and part of our healing process.  Through this blog, we’ve really tried to convey the realness of this struggle so that those who have never suffered with infertility can understand the heartbreak, and those that have can find strength and solace in our story.  But now, we’ve come to a part of our story that we’ve decided to keep to ourselves – our frozen embryo count.

Before we began IVF, Brennen and I talked about the ethical dilemmas involved in the process.  In fact, prior to both our IVF cycles, we had to fill out fairly extensive paperwork on what to do in the event of our deaths, divorce, and all sorts of situations that would put our embryos’ fates in question.  We talked and prayed earnestly about it and are comfortable in all the decisions we have made so far and in the path we have laid out for the rest of our journey.  However, in such sensitive circumstances, we would like to shield ourselves as best we can from any judgment. That’s why we’ve decided to remain private about this aspect of our story.  Just know that we are good people, will be good parents, and all our little embryos will have a purpose.

A final thought – We still have not decided if we’ll transfer one or two embryos, although the majority of our family is campaigning for two.  It’s funny because we used to have to field the question “When are you gonna have a baby?”.  Now, it’s “How many are you gonna put in?”  We’ll decide on that later.  For now, we’re just gonna do what our little embryos are doing and chill.

 

 

Hurry Up and Wait

You would think that as much waiting as we’ve had to do during the IVF process, we’d get better at it; but I guess practice doesn’t always make perfect.  We received a call this morning from the embryologist to update us on the development and growth of our embryos, so we wanted to pass it along.  Before we do that, we want to clear up all the numbers we’ve thrown around lately.

Number of eggs retrieved on Monday = 41

Number of mature eggs fertilized using ICSI (sperm injected into the egg) = 26

Number of embryos on Day 1 after fertilization = 21 (5 of the eggs didn’t successfully fertilize)

Number of embryos on Day 2 after fertilization = 21 (11 rated A- to B+, 10 rated B to B-)

That’s where we were as of Wednesday morning when the embryologist called us.  We had gone from 41 eggs to 21 embryos.  We didn’t get an update on Days 3 and 4.  On Day 3, the embryo cells continue to divide.  On Day 4, differentiation occurs.  During differentiation, some of the cells form a border around the edge of the embryo; these cells become the placenta.  Another group of cells clump up in the middle and will eventually become the baby.  You can clearly see these two groups of cells in the embryo that we transferred during Round 1.

 

img_0127

Transferred Embryo from Round 1

 

From what we’ve read and been told, a high rate of embryo arrest occurs on Day 4 during this differentiation stage.  We’ve heard it referred to as the “die off day.” So naturally, we expected our number to drop from 21.

This morning (Day 5), Breanne’s phone rang at 9:45, and we flew to it with me yelling, “Let me answer! Let me answer!”  The embryologist informed me that we had 6 embryos – 3 that looked really good and 3 that looked pretty good.  However, they weren’t quite ready to be frozen.  It sounded like great news to me, but when I told Breanne, I could see the worry in her eyes.  Like last time, it looks like we have some slow growers.  And last time, our embryos didn’t make it.  She made the connection pretty quickly and just sat in bed staring across the room.  I let her stare for a little while then asked, “Well, what are you feeling?”  She responded, “Chocolate.”  That’s not exactly what I meant, but it summed it all up.  I went and bought my wife lots of chocolate.  So much, in fact, that the lady at Livingston Sweet Shoppe asked me if we were having a party.  I said yes to avoid looking like too much of a fat kid.

The embryologist told me he would check the embryos again this evening, and if they were ready to be frozen, he would call.  If not, he would check again Sunday morning and call us.  Let me just stop right here and say that waiting on a phone call that may not even come is miserable.  As the eternal optimist in the relationship, I hung up with the embryologist this morning feeling really upbeat.  But as the day went on, my excitement turned to nervous anticipation.  Breanne’s sister called around 6:15 this evening, and I jumped.  I could feel my heart in my throat.  Her phone hasn’t rung since.

It’s 8:30 now, and at this point we aren’t expecting a phone call until tomorrow.  So, it looks like tonight will be another night of Tylenol PM and Netflix until we can’t hold our eyes open anymore.

OVARYchiever

Since Breanne is still feeling sore and groggy and is operating on a very short fuse (trust me), I will be handling this update on the egg retrieval.

Day Before Retrieval – Sunday

As Breanne mentioned in her last post, she took the trigger shot of Lupron Saturday night in preparation for an egg retrieval Monday.  She had an appointment Sunday morning for some blood work, and we were told that no news was good news.  So since Sunday just consisted of hoping we wouldn’t get a phone call, we had some big plans for the rest of the day – see the Peabody ducks, grab lunch downtown, do some shopping in Germantown, and celebrate with a nice dinner that night.  Well, Breanne’s ovaries, and her hormones for that matter, had other plans.  She woke up Sunday morning feeling pretty bloated and crampy, so after the doctor’s appointment, she came back to the hotel to nap. I supported her by napping too.  Around 10:00, I woke up to a whimpering noise and looked over to find Breanne sound asleep with tears running down her face.  I woke her up in a panic asking what was wrong and she told me in the most pitiful voice, “I dreamed you left me.” I felt horrible and held her while I reassured her that was not going to happen.  Then, in true Breanne fashion, she muttered through her tears, “But you bought me a cake.”  I don’t think she ever even opened her eyes.  She just cried for a little bit and went back to sleep. Hormones.  We spent the rest of the morning lounging around the hotel room, eating take out, napping, and watching football. Or as I like to call it – heaven.  She finally started to feel better Sunday evening, so we grabbed us some good Memphis Barbeque and some frozen yogurt for dessert and headed to bed…after we went back to the barbeque joint so we could get Breanne’s purse that she left.

Retrieval Day – Monday

We had to be at the surgery center at 7:30 to check in.  The tricky thing about an egg retrieval is that the doctor had to retrieve the eggs before she ovulated.  That’s why the doctor instructed us to take the trigger shot at 8:30pm Saturday, precisely 36 hours prior to retrieval.  I was so nervous we would over sleep and not make it to the clinic on time that I set both cell phone alarms, had Breanne’s mom call at 6:15, had my mom call at 6:30, and asked for a wake-up call from the front desk.  Breanne would like for me to add, “After all that we still didn’t leave when we wanted to because Brennen didn’t account for his morning bowel routine.”

We made it to the clinic on time and checked in.  While Breanne waited to be taken back, I had to go upstairs to donate my sample, a much easier process than what Breanne went through.  I was able to see Breanne again just before she went back for the procedure at 9:00.  She was in good spirits and ready to lighten her ovarian load!  During Round 1, Breanne had about 16 follicles on the day she triggered, and 10 eggs were retrieved. On trigger day during this round, she had 32 follicles.  So when the nurse came out 45 minutes later to take me back to see Bre, I expected her to tell me they had retrieved 20 to 25.  Nope! She looked at me and said, “Now, she’s going to be sore.  We got 41.” 41? 41! I was in shock! I knew my wife was an overachiever, but I didn’t realize what an OVARYchiever she was!  They took me back to see her in recovery where she was drinking Ginger Ale.  She looked at me in a fog and said, “I don’t even drink Ginger Ale. But I guess I do now.” We had to hang out for a little bit in recovery so that she could use the restroom before we left. Doctor’s orders.  The doctor that performed the retrieval also talked to us about the potential for freezing some off the eggs since they had retrieved so many.  We gave him permission to do that, understanding that it depended on how mature those 41 eggs were.  In other words, if the majority of those 41 eggs were mature, we would freeze some of the eggs.  If not, we wanted them all fertilized.  After only having 10 mature eggs during Round 1, this was a conversation we did not expect to have.

We finally headed home from Memphis.  I love her to death, but Breanne was pretty short tempered on the way home.  We stopped at a gluten free café to get her some oatmeal.  She told me to get something easy to eat while I drove, like a grilled cheese.  I chose oatmeal.  She rolled her eyes and stormed out of the café to the car, the best she could storm.  Then, on the way home, the sound of me eating my oatmeal was making her nauseated, so she needed music to drown out my chewing.  Well, nothing on the radio was good enough, so she opted for her Amazon Prime playlist.  We were just south of Southaven, and service kept cutting out, which led Breanne to tweet some pretty mean things at our cell phone carrier.  Breanne is new to Twitter and still trying to figure it all out, but yesterday she got her first replied to tweet.  Sorry CSpire!

Bre’s mom met us at our house to help cook, clean, and keep Breanne company while I ran errands and what not.  She was a big help, especially in choosing what to watch Monday night.  1 vote for Dancing With the Stars from Bre and 2 votes for football from us.  Thanks, Connie!

Post-Retrieval Day 1 – Tuesday

The lab in Memphis called us this afternoon to let us know that 26 of the 41 eggs were mature enough for fertilization, so they fertilized all 26 yesterday.  21 made it to two-celled embryos today.  We’ll get updates over the next few days on how the embryos are growing and surviving and will know how many we can freeze on Day 5, Saturday.

It’s crazy to think that our future baby may have been created yesterday afternoon while we were driving from Memphis to Jackson.  His or her mother was either napping, fussing at me about oatmeal, or mad tweeting to our cell phone provider.  But whatever she was doing, she was being pretty damn awesome.

 

We Pulled the Trigger

Today is Stim Day 8, and I am definitely feeling my swollen ovaries.  This past Thursday, a week since my baseline ultrasound, they had doubled in size.  That’s like going from grapes to apricots.  Today, they’re probably the size of plums!!!  The cramping isn’t sharp, stabbing, or even a throbbing pain.  It feels more like inflammation.  You know that pain you get in your bladder when you have to pee really, really, really bad? That’s the closest comparison I can think of.  Except it’s like having two bladders.

Not to complain, but on top of swollen ovaries, I’m also dealing with my jaw.  It all started with a sneeze Tuesday night. Yes, just a sneeze.  It threw my bite off, and, according to the oral surgeon I saw last week, I’ve popped some cartilage out of place or something.  My luck! I can’t have anything normal like a cold or a stomach bug.  Instead I get infertility and a jacked up jaw!

Moving on to more positive notes…

Brennen and I arrived in Memphis last night since we had a monitoring appointment early this morning. During our appointment, the ultrasound tech counted…drumroll please…32 follicles!!! She saw 12 in the left ovary and stopped counting at 20 in the right.  We left our Round 1 notes at home, but Brennen swears he has them memorized.  He says that at this point in Round 1 we had about 16 measurable follicles, so we’re talking twice as many.  We decided to celebrate with a delicious breakfast at Bedrock Eats and Sweets in Downtown Memphis.  I had a glorious gluten free cinnamon roll waffle with cream cheese icing.  The perfect celebration!

With 32 follicles and a good-looking uterine lining, we had a feeling we would be retrieving Monday.  We were right! We got the call this evening to take the Lupron trigger shot at 8:30pm.  The trigger shot is administered 36 hours before the scheduled retrieval.  It’s called a “trigger” because it triggers the eggs to loosen up from those follicles and get ready to release.  However, the retrieval has to happen BEFORE they release.  I have to admit, I’m so nervous that I’ll ovulate before the retrieval; but, as my mother so wisely reminded me, “That’s out of your control.” So with college football playing in the background, we “pulled the trigger.”  And it just so happens that our Southern Miss Golden Eagles scored a touchdown during the shot, so I’m pretty sure that’s a good sign.

Retrieval is scheduled for Monday morning at 8:00am.  Tomorrow we will go in for just one more monitoring appointment.  We’ll update everyone after the retrieval.  Well, I’ll be doped up on anesthesia and pain pills, so Brennen will probably tackle that post.

One more thing…Brennen’s streak of no bruises ended on what turned out to be our last full day of stimming.  I jinxed us in my last post. It’s clearly my fault…

follistim-bruise

In his defense, the shot was administered in a Kroger parking lot on the way to Memphis.  But I think he still gives shots like a pro!