Another anniversary and another Thanksgiving...

Another anniversary and another Thanksgiving came and went. We have much to be thankful for, despite our struggles with infertility. Many people spend their lives searching for their soulmate, their one true love. Some people are lucky to find the person they can truly call the better half of themselves, while others spend the rest of their lives searching and never finding. I am happy to count myself among the lucky ones. Last week, Jerry and I celebrated our 15th anniversary.

Deep down as each progressive anniversary approached I was convinced we'd somehow beat the odds. When we did our first IVF, we thought that that was it. All we had to do was IVF and then bammo! I'd get pregnant. Oh to be so naive again... And then the 3 FETs...those cycles were supposed to be "it." And even changing clinics and going to the best one, there are no guarantees.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. This was not supposed to be part of the plan.


Blood test results

While we were there in Denver, knowing that the cycle was going to be a freeze-all (due to the CGH testing), I wanted to make sure that all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. I want to go into the FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) knowing that we have done everything possible. I asked my nurse if there were any more tests that could be done on me and she mentioned that the only other thing that she could think of is the APA and Hypercoagular Panel. She said that the tests are costly, and they only recommend testing if a woman has had several miscarriages. I didn't want to take any chances, as it would be more costly doing another whole IVF/ICSI/CGH cycle than to have these tests done; so I asked her if I could go ahead and have those tests done. She said that she would talk with Dr. Schoolcraft about it, and he said that it'd be up to us. The APA is about $500 and the Hyper-Coag Panel is about $3000. What's another $3500 in the whole scheme of things, right? So two days before my ER, I had 10 vials of blood drawn (9 of them were for the tests and 1 vial was for my stim check hormone levels).

There may be a link between APA (Antiphospholipid antibodies) and implantation failures. APA have been postulated to bind to phospholipids on trophoblast tissue, impairing trophoblast development and preventing normal placentation. In other words, the presence of APA may prevent the embryo from implanting in the uterus. My APA test result came back as normal.

Hypercoagular Panel -
Most of my hypercoag panel came back as normal except for the Protein-S (free) and Plasminogen. My Protein-S level is low - mine is 54 and normal is 56 - 124. This means that I form clots easily (increased risk of thromboembolism). However, I have elevated Plasminogen levels, meaning that my body breaks up clots easily. It seems like one makes up for the other.

I was also tested for the MTHFR gene (hyperhomocysteinemia). I am heterozygous for the gene, meaning that I have one single copy of the gene (a1298c). The problem lies if there are two copies of the gene - causing the fetus to not get enough folate, leading to neural tube defect. But just as a precaution, I will be put on prescription Folic Acid (Folgard 2.2 mg).

My nurse said that she will call me after she talks with Dr. Schoolcraft about these results and see what he recommends. She said that my Protein-S is just two points away from normal, so he might just put me on baby aspirin or some other blood thinner.

While I had her on the phone, I asked her about how many days I would have to stay in Denver for the FET. She said that I could fly in the night before the embryo transfer and then leave two days later. And that my beta would be 9 days after the transfer. I told her that I probably would just stay in Denver until after the beta, so that I would know before coming back home. I would feel more at ease if I was not on the road during my wait.

I just want this to work. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!


We're home

Finally, after two days of driving, we're home! It's not an excited 'we're home!' kind of thing. It's the 'Whew, that was a loooooong drive' kind of deal.

My BFF in the entire world (besides Jerry of course)...I love you, Rachel!!... was so gracious to offer to take care of our 4 persian cats. We didn't want to ask her (we knew how much work it'd involve, and she's quite busy herself), but we had no one else to turn to.

I guess the other people in our lives must suffer from "infertility fatigue." We kind of knew it was coming, but we never expected to be this abrupt. We figured that people would fall away slowly one by one, but ever since our last BFN in July, people who said that they will be there for us weren't. It's ok. Ever since we got married, Jerry and I have been each other's support. It would make things nicer if we had family backing us up. We were naive for believing them when they told us that they'd be there for us now, when they didn't want us to get married in the first place. But I digress...

I've still got a lot to unpack and laundry to do (3 weeks worth!), so I'll post more later.


Fert Report - Day 6

Today, we learned that 5 more blasts were biopsied and vitrified. So out of the 22 embryos, a total of 15 made it to the blast stage to be biopsied. The embryologist could sense my disappointment over the phone, so she kept telling me that having 15 embryos out of 22 go to blast is "great." She reminded me again that the percentage of embryos making it to the blast stage is 40 0 50%, and we had 68% make it to blast. I know that's great... if you're not factoring in any genetics. Unfortunately, I know the severity that the genetic factor plays in all of this. So my mind starts doing the math. Cells from the 15 blasts will be analyzed. Due to DH's Robertsonian Translocation of the 13th and 15th chromosomes, roughly 65% of his sperm are affected. So right off the bat, 65% of the 15 blasts will be abnormal. In other words, at most, we should have 5 - 6 normals. Then we have to take into account the extra percentage that the other chromosomes might be affected due to the bulkiness of the translocation, making the embryos aneuploid. So again, the numbers will be decreased... By how much, we don't know. But there have been studies that show more chromosomal abnormalities - other than the affected chromosomes - when one parent has a translocation. Ugh. I hate this. It's so frustrating. Anyway...

While I had the embryologist on the phone today, I took advantage of that by asking tons of questions, including the grades of all 15 blasts. There were 2 blasts with a grade of 5AA. Two blasts with 4BB. One blast with 3AA. Four blasts with 3AB. Three blasts with 3BB. And 3 blasts that are 2/3.

Then I asked the embryologist at what point do they grade the embryos - before or after the biopsy. She said that the embryos were graded before the biopsy. That way, they would know which embryos were good enough to biopsy.

After getting all the information that I can about the embryos, I asked about the sperm. Basically, these questions were out of curiosity more than anything else. The total sperm count is 13.6 million, but the total motility was 2.7 million. She assured me that they do a morphological assessment on the sperm and pick only the best ones (as far as they could tell under the microscope) to fertilize the eggs.

After getting the info about the sperm, I had even more questions. I asked her how my eggs were (again, out of curiosity), and she said that they were "excellent." They did do ICSI (ICSI in lamens terms: physically inject one sperm directly into the egg), but they didn't have to do the laser ICSI , which she said was good. She explained that they don't routinely do laser ICSI, as the less things they have to do to the egg the better. She said that my eggs fertilized "beautifully."

The embryologist was so patient with me. She stayed on the phone with me for a good 15 minutes or so.

I guess I'm just trying to process all the information. I don't want to get my hopes up just to have them shattered. Been there, done that... not once, not twice, not even three times. Let's try years and years worth of disappointments. Not to mention that I don't even count the temp and fertility signs charting nor the medicated IUI's. Heck, that's "child's play," for a lack of a better phrase.

What happens next? We wait. The genetic counselor told us to expect to wait about 8 weeks, as the holidays are coming up. So now, we rolll the dice and the countdown begins...


Fert Report - Day 5

I wasn't expecting to hear from embryology today, but imagine my surprise when I got a call from the embryologist this afternoon with the day 5 report. Before I tell you how many embryos made it to the blast stage, let me explain the blastocyst grading (from what I understand). There are three components that go into the grading of the embryo: (1) blastocyst development status, (2) inner cell mass score, and (3) trophectoderm score.

The blast development status (expansion - hatching stage) is indicated by the number in the front. The number ranges from 1 to 6, with 1 being the lowest and 6 being the highest quality.

1 = Blastocoel cavity less than half the volume of the embryo.
2 = Blastocoel cavity greater than than half the volume of the embryo.
3 = Full blast, cavity completely filling the embryo.
4 = Expanded blast, cavity larger than the embryo with thinning of the shell.
5 = Hatching out of the shell.
6 = Hatched out of the shell.

The first letter is the grade of the inner cell mass (the cells that will become the fetus). The letters range from A to C, with A being the highest and C being the lowest quality.

A = Many cells, tightly packed.
B = Several cells, loosely grouped.
C = Very few cells.

The second letter is the grade of the trophectoderm (future placenta cells). Again, the letters range from A to C, highest to lowest quality.

A = Many cells, forming a cohesive layer.
B = Few cells, forming a loose epithelium.
C = Very few large cells.

Today, out of the 22 embryos, there were 10 embryos that have grown to the blastocyst stage, quality ranging from 2/3 to 3BB to 3AB to 3AA to 5AA. The 2/3 grade is the earliest blast stage, almost a grade 3 but not quite. She said that she went ahead and biopsied them because if they wait until tomorrow, the embryo might already be hatched. And doing a biopsy on hatched embryos isn't preferred. I wished that I had asked her how many blasts at each grade, but I was just so excited to get the day 5 report. Anyway...The embryologist biopsied the 10 blasts and then vitrified them about an hour later.

Tomorrow, she will check on the 12 remaining embryos, and hopefully they all will be good enough for biopsy. But then again, she did tell me that roughly 40 - 50% of the embryos only make it to blast. So I'm anxiously waiting for tomorrow's call.


Fert Report - Day 3

The embryologist called with an update on our 22 embryos. She said that all 22 embryos have divided and are excellent quality for the most part. She said that at this stage (Day 3), they'd like to see the cell number be between 6 - 10 cells. Seventeen embryos are within the 6 - 10 cells, with 11 embryos being at the perfect 8cells stage. Three embryos are at 4 cells. One embryo is at 3 cells, and one embryo is at 2 cells. She said that, on average, 40 - 50% of the embryos will go on and develop to the blast stage. We will get another update on Day 6 (Friday), after the biopsy and vitrification. I don't want to get my hopes up, but I'm somewhate relieved that the majority of the embryos are progressing nicely.

After the call from the embryologist, my nurse called to see how I'm doing. Yesterday, I wasn't feeling too well - very bloated and nauseous. We went in so that we could update our communicables, and I asked to see a nurse. After talking with the nurse, she wanted me to have an ultrasound and blood work done to check my CBC and electrolytes. The ultrasound showed a little bit of fluid in my ovaries and behind the uterus. I also was running a little bit of a fever (101 F). The nurse also weighed me, and I had gained 3 pounds since my physical. She said that wasn't bad, but for me to keep an eye on it. Yesterday after we got back to the hotel room, I weighed myself to get a baseline with the hotel scale. This morning, I weighed myself again and I had lost 5 pounds. But my stomach still feels bloated and distended. I will go in tomorrow for another ultrasound to see if there is more fluid build-up. Hopefully, I'm on my way to feeling better.

What I'm feeling now is no where nearly as bad as my 1st IVF in FL. OMG, it's like night and day. So the plan today is to rest and still drink lots of Gatorade.


Fert Report - Day 1

Kristy, our embryologist this cycle, called me this morning to give me the fertization report. Out of the 34 eggs retrieved, 25 were mature, 22 fertilized via ICSI. She said that I will get another fert report on Day 3 - Tuesday. I am anxious to hear about the embryos' grades. I hope all of them make it to blast, so that they can be biopsied for CGH. I will be on pins and needles until I hear from her again.

In comparing this cycle with my last CCRM cycle back in July:

July cycle
E2 at trigger (Lupron) = 4577
E2 post trigger = 5742
Eggs retrieved = 30
Mature = 26
Fertilized via ICSI = 23
Day 3 biopsy
PGD/FISH for chromosomes 13 & 15 = 7 normal for 13:15
Transferred 2 embies (grades 5AA & 4AA) = BFN
One embie made it to freeze on Day 6

November cycle
E2 at trigger (hCG) = 3534
E2 post trigger = 3944
Egg retrieved = 34
Mature = 25
Fertilized via ICSI = 22
Blast biopsy
CGH = Results in about 8 weeks but may be sooner

Now compare it to my first IVF back in FL:
E2 at trigger (hCG) = 3808
E2 post trigger = Didn't measure
Eggs retrieved = 23
Mature = 20
Fertilized via ICSI = 18, but one died before biopsy
Day 3 biopsy
PGD/FISH for chromosome 13 only (should've tested 15 as well) = 8 normal for 13 only
Freeze all cycle due to severe OHSS

Saturday's Egg Retrieval

Yesterday morning was my scheduled egg retrieval (ER) day. So we arrived at CCRM around 7:15 am. We were way early for once. So we took a walk around the building and started taking pictures. It was cold, but it felt nice with the sun beaming down on us.

We finally pulled up to CCRM's parking garage located on the west side of the building. Jerry pressed the intercom button and spoke with a receptionist, who then buzzed us in. So we pulled into the parking garage and parked right outside the double doors. We took the elevator to the 2nd floor and waited in the surgery waiting area. A nurse came to get me back for the pre-op. It took about 15 minutes to get me ready. During this time Jerry had to wait in the surgery waiting area. Once I was done (IV put in, heart monitor, blood pressure cuff put on, oxygen meter, etc.), the nurse went and brought Jerry back to where I was. We had a few minutes before the anesthesiologist came in to speak with us. He was extremely nice. We discussed how nauseated I get every time I go under, and he told me that he would try to pre-empt the nausea by giving me Zofran and Decadron in my IV.

Next, Dr. Minjarez came in. She was the on-call doctor, as everyone else had gone to the conference. She did my July ER, and I was hoping that she would be able to do my ER this time around. And I'm glad that she did! She even remembered that she did my ER last time. She said last time, I had 30 eggs. And she didn't know how many I'd have this time, but she told me that she would aspirate all of the follicles that she could see.

Then the anesthesiologist came back in and injected a relaxing drug in my IV. I don't remember anything after that. Jerry said that about 15 minutes later, Dr. Minjarez went to the waiting area and talked with him. She told him that the embryologist was still counting my eggs, but she said that I had 20+ so far.

The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room with a nurse hovering over me. She took the tube out of my mouth but kept the oxygen tubes in my nose. She also changed my IV bag - I think it's a bag of electrolytes/Heparin to prevent hyperstim. I drifted in and out of sleep. Then the next thing I remember was Jerry standing by my bed.

He had a worried look on his face. But I knew why. With my 1st IVF back in Pensacola, FL everything went wrong. But we attributed that to the incompetence of the FL doctor. And since I triggered with hCG back in Pensacola and now this cycle here at CCRM, we didn't know what to expect. Last cycle at CCRM, I triggered with Lupron, and I was just fine. So we didn't know if my bad reaction in FL was because of the incompetence of the doctor or my body doesn't react well to the hCG. After yesterday's ER, my bad reaction to the hCG in FL was due to the complete incompetence of the FL doctor. I triggered with hCG here at CCRM this time, and I was just fine! In FL, I triggered with hCG, the FL doctor retrieved 23 eggs and I developed severe OHSS and was hospitalized for 8 days. Here at CCRM, I also triggered with hCG and Dr. Minjarez retrieved 34 eggs. No adverse reactions. Hmmm. Makes you wonder huh? CCRM doesn't get the honor of being dubbed the #1 fertility clinic in the United States for nothin'. They really know what they're doing. I just wished that we had come here first instead of going to the incompetent FL doctor.

Let me tell you what a genius Dr. Schoolcraft is. He wanted me to do the hCG trigger this cycle, and he knew what a bad reaction I had in FL. So he kept me on the Antagon protocol so that I would have the Lupron trigger to fall back on. That way he kept his options open, if my E2 levels started to get extremely high. If my E2goes high, he could trigger me with Lupron. However, this time, my E2 level was almost the same as my E2 level with my 1st IVF back in FL. Dr. Schoolcraft triggered me using the hCG trigger and I didn't have the same adverse reactions as when I was in FL. Plus, this time, I had more eggs!

34 eggs!!! When I told my sister, she called me an Easter basket. Gotta love her sense of humor!

I'm waiting for a call from the embryologist today to see how many eggs were mature and how many fertilized via ICSI. I hope that the numbers are working toward our favor. So right now, we're just anxiously awaiting the fert report.


Trigger time!

So finally, after 15 days of stims I finally get to trigger!! This time, I'm not using Lupron as my trigger shot. Instead, I'm using hCG. My E2 is 3534.

I took my last Cetrotide injection this evening, and I get to skip the Follistim shot. Yay! The phlebotomist who usually draws my blood in the mornings (one of the nicest people ever) will be coming to the hotel to give me the hCG injection. The hCG has to be given at exactly 10 pm. This injection is intramuscular, and Jerry has never given me the intramuscular shot before. And tonight is not the time for him to practice.

Tomorrow morning, I go in for blood work only.

My egg retrieval is Saturday morning at 9 am. We have to be at CCRM at 8 am.

I am so excited to finally get to egg retrieval. I am anxious as to how many eggs they get from me, but I have to have faith that whatever number of eggs they get, that'll be enough. I'm already looking forward to the fertilization report on Sunday.


8th Stim Check

My E2 is slowly creeping up. Today it's at 2920. Dr. Schoolcraft decreased my Follistim from 300 to 225. I take it that he's thinking it's almost time for egg retrieval. When the nurse called me, she asked me if I was getting antsy. I told her yes, but I want what's best and it doesn't matter how many more shots I have to take.

After receiving the call from my nurse, we went to Todd's Pharmacy to get more meds - 2 more amps of Menopur. The people at Todd's know me by name by now and they know what I need. We are taking it one day at a time, as far as meds go. I don't want to buy more than I need. Jerry has been keeping all the receipts. Let's just say with 2 IVF cycles this year plus the meds, hopefully we'll get a hefty income tax refund.

While we were in a different section of town, we decided to just eat dinner over that way. Luckily, we had packed my evening meds (Cetrotide & Follistim) and took them with us. After dinner, we had to drive around the mall parking lot and find a secluded spot under a light. We had to keep the car running with the heater on because it's frigid cold tonight. Jerry liked it, but I couldn't stop shivering. So I got in the back seat of our Yukon and got the Cetrotide ready. It's basically just injecting a saline solution into the powder vial, waiting for the powder to dissolve, draw the solution into the syringe, and change needles. Once that's ready, I took my usual position when getting shots. I held the syringe up high, so as to not to bump it. Jerry made a comment about mall security and having to explain why we're both in the back seat with a syringe. We both had a chuckle at that. Anyway, he gave me the shot and drew blood this time, which is the first time this cycle that's drawn blood. I have bruises in my abdomen, but never a drop of blood. Oh well. It was bound to happen.

Tomorrow morning, I am instructed to take 2 amps Menopur and then go in for my ultrasound/blood work appointment at 9:45 am. It's getting close. I don't know if it's in my mind or what, but I think I can feel my ovaries getting bigger.


7th Stim check

Ultrasound shows that my follies are around 14 mm to 21 mm, with about 11 being mature and about 10 more little ones trying to catch up. The nurse said that I may not get as many eggs as last time, which was 30. My E2 level is only 2192, whereas last time it was 4086 after 12 days of stims. I'm still on the same dosage of meds that I've been on for the past few days. Tomorrow morning, I go back in for another ultrasound and blood work.

I can't help but think what the genetic counselor told us... That there is a possibility that we may not have any normals after CGH testing. Do you know how scary that is? Dr. Schoolcraft hasn't given us the donor sperm speech...yet. But our genetic counselor brought it up at our last meeting. And this evening I finally broke down and cried uncontrollably, shaking and bawling like someone who's lost all her hopes and dreams. This may sound ridiculous, but I feel like I'm mourning the deaths of the children that I will never have. I mean, they don't even exist; and yet, I feel like I've already lost them. How can I feel this way about someone that hasn't even been born? It doesn't make sense. I've had all these hopes and dreams for our future children, and suddenly I feel like someone had taken them all away. I feel robbed.

This is our 3rd and don't know if it will be our final IVF. We've sunk a fortune into trying to conceive. Where do we draw the line? When we're in debt up to our eye balls? I'm afraid we're already there. After 2 IVF/ICSI/PGD cycles and 3 FETs, and this will be our 3rd IVF cycle...when will my body finally say enough is enough? It seems like it's on its way there, as my ovaries aren't cooperating much this time. My mental state is shot all to hell. My happiness seems to depend on the results of the ultrasounds and blood work. I feel like my life isn't my own anymore. IVF has taken over. And if we can't do IVF anymore, what do I have left? Ugh. I hate this!


Today's hormone levels & a brief freak-out moment

I finally got the call from a nurse about my hormone levels. My E2 is 1798, LH is 5.3, and P4 is 0.5.

To sum up everything this cycle:

10/23... 1 amp Menopur & 75 iu Follistim
10/24... 1 amp Menopur & 75 iu Follistim
10/25... 1 amp Menopur & 75 iu Follistim
10/26... 1 amp Menopur & 75 iu Follistim (E2 = 73)
10/27... 1 amp Menopur & 75 iu Follistim
10/28... 1 amp Menopur & 150 iu Follistim (E2 = 103)
10/29... 1 amp Menopur & 300 iu Follistim & Cetrotide (E2 = 147)
10/30... 2 amps Menopur & 300 iu Follistim & Cetrotide
10/31... 2 amps Menopur & 300 iu Follistim & Cetrotide (E2 = 464)
11/1 ... 2 amps Menopur & 300 iu Follistim & Cetrotide
11/2 ... 2 amps Menopur & 300 iu Follistim & Cetrotide (E2 = 1052)
11/3 ... 2 amps Menopur & 300 iu Follistim & Cetrotide (E2 = 1798)

Tomorrow, I am instructed to take 2 amps Menopur and then go in for ultrasound/ blood work. It's getting close. The tech measures only the bigger follicles, so I really don't know how many eggs I'm cookin'. I've been comparing this cycle with my last cycle, and things seem to be similar but not quite. The only difference this time is that I started the Cetrotide one day earlier and am on more Follistim. I'm also doing the Cetrotide injections at the same time as the Follistim injections this time whereas last time, there was about 4 hours in between. But I've been told by my nurse to take both shots at the same time, so I've got to trust that.

I am freaking out. I NEED to have at least 30 eggs. With 65% of Jerry's sperm affected by the translocation, the percentage of chromosomal abnormalities in total is increased. In other words, there is a high probability that the percentage of abnormal sperm is even higher than 65%. There is no way to tell if the translocation has affected the other chromosomes; however, the genetic counselor said that there is a high likelihood that the percentage of abnormals is higher than the 65% originally thought.

Let me explain. Last cycle, I had 30 eggs retrieved. 23 eggs were fertilized via ICSI. After PGD, only 7 were normal for chromosomes 13 & 15. We transferred 2 grade AA blasts, which left 5 more embryos. Only 1 out of the 5 made it to freeze. By looking at that, it makes sense that the percentage of abnormal sperm is way higher than 65%.

One second, I'm all peachy. The next, I'm so sad. I don't know if I will produce as many eggs as last time. I'm trying not to stress out about it, but that's all I can think about. I have to make more eggs to compensate for the abnormal sperm. If I don't, then we might not even have any normal embryos after the CGH and then all of this would be for nothing. I know I'm jumping ahead of myself, but I'm the type of person who thinks two or three steps ahead. This sucks. It's so not fair.

6th Stim Check

This morning, I had my 6th stim check (day 12 of stims). The tech only measured the bigger follies, but I still have quite a few smaller ones trekkin' along. Today, my follicle sizes are between 12 mm and 20 mm. The nurse told me that 15 mm is considered "ready" for trigger. So it looks like I have a couple of days to go. After the appointment, we had to go to Todd's Pharmacy to purchase more meds. I got 2 more amps of Menopur and 2 more syringes of Cetrotide. Right now, we're going day by day, just like the last cycle. So far, everything with this cycle is very similar to my last cycle. While I'm waiting for the nurse to call with my blood work results, I thought I'd take this opportunity to post some pics.

Below is a panorama of the lake in Evergreen, Co. We had a great time walking around the lake. I've been told that when the lake freezes, it's opened for ice skating. How fun would that be!

Here are a couple of pics taken on top of Buffalo Bill's lookout mountain in Golden, Co. Of all the places that we've been to so far, this has the best view of the mountains. Below is a pic that we're going to get enlarged and framed when we get home.

Below is a pic from the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Co. The rock that we're standing in front of is the famous Balanced Rock. Jerry and I had so much fun exploring the park and we even climbed on a few, even though the signs say don't climb on the rocks. Whoops.


5th Stim check

So the time change had me all flustered this morning. We had to make adjustments as to when to do the Menopur shot. We had the hardest time last night trying to figure out when I should get the shot this morning. You wouldn't think that it'd be this difficult, but it was. Jerry and I had to literally count out loud the number of hours between the shots. Anyway...This morning, we woke up at o'dark thirty so that I would have enough time to get the Menopur shot and make it to our 7:15am ultrasound/blood work appointment in time. Even though the traffic from downtown to CCRM wasn't that bad, we were about 5 minutes late. The ultrasound showed my follies just trekking along, taking their own sweet time. My E2 is 1052, LH is 1.6, and P4 is 0.4. I am still on the same meds that I've been on for the past 3 days through tomorrow. We told the nurse that we have enough Menopur for tomorrow morning, but I only have 150 iu Follistim left. So she went and got me a 600 iu cartridge of Follistim to tide me over for the next couple of days. It will show up on our bill later (at least that's what happened last cycle). I will probably need to go to Todd's Pharmacy and get more Menopur and Cetrotide tomorrow.

After the appointment, we went to brunch at Ellyngton's Dom Perignon Sunday brunch at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Let me just say this: The food was divine! My sister told me about that place, saying that they were featured on the Travel Channel. They spend all week planning for the brunch, which I didn't understand why it would take a whole week to plan. But after having eaten there, I totally get it. The eggs and omelets were prepared anyway you like it - fresh at the buffet station. Waffles, pancakes, wide selection of breakfast breads/pastries/croissants/muffins and meats. They also saute fresh made-to-order meats, poultry, and fish. There was a salad station and a cheese and crackers station. There was also jumbo shrimp, oysters, mussels, salmon. And the best part was the sweets station - chocolate fondue (strawberries, marshmellows, bananas, etc.), cakes, tarts, petite fours, mousse, cookies, creme brulee, cheese cakes, tiramisu, key lime pie, etc. Totally yummy. Jerry and I only had that one meal today, and I am still full.

We were going to go back to the Garden of the Gods but I was so tired. Cookin' these eggies makes me tire easily.

Tomorrow, my appointment is at 9:30am. I'm hoping and praying that my little follies catch up to the bigger ones. I compared this cycle with my last cycle at CCRM, and I'm a little "ahead" as far as the E2 level goes. Last cycle's E2 at this stage was 986, and this cycle it's 1052. I'm curious to find out what tomorrow's E2 level will be. Last cycle, my E2 jumped from 986 to 4086 at the next stim check. I wonder if it'll do the same this cycle.


4th Stim check on Halloween

I had my 4th stim check on Halloween, on my 9th day of stims. I have about 20+ follicles, 6 - 15 mm. My E2 was 464, LH was 0.97, P4 was 0.2. My nurse told me to continue on the 2 amps Menour, 300 iu Follistim, and Cetrotide until Sunday morning, when I go in for my 5th stim check at 7:15am. Yikes! For those of you who know me, I am so not a morning person.

I'm getting really nervous now. I don't feel like I'm producing enough eggs. Maybe it's the pressure I'm under to produce a lot of eggs. I looked at my July '08 cycle, and it seems like I'm having a similar response. Last time, they retrieved 30eggs. I'm hoping with all my might that I produce as many, if not more this time. The pressure that I'm feeling is immense. But I'm trying not to think about it, but the more I try not to think about it, the more I think about it. It's a vicious cycle.

On another note, our puppy (we still call her a puppy even though she's 7 years old), was the hit of the hotel last night. She is just too much for one costume, she had to have two!! The first costume is Buttercup as Snow White, and her second costume is Buttercup as a princess. Let's just say she got a lot of attention from the valet to the front desk check-in to the Club Lounge, even Elways here at the hotel. She was like a celebrity; everyone (the hotel guests and the people who work here) was whipping out their cameras and taking pictures of her. The LA Lakers are staying here at the hotel (they have a game against the Denver Nuggets tonight) and Buttercup got all the attention! How funny is that!