2/27/2009

My 2nd Beta is...


401 !!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you GOD!! That's a little more than double the 174 from Wednesday!!! Goodness!...Is this really happening???? I keep telling Jerry that it feels so surreal. He has to keep reminding me that it's definitely SO REAL. All these years of saying 'congratulations' to others, it feels so strange to be on the receiving end. I'm still having a little bit of trouble actually letting myself feel totally happy. I guess I'm going to have to allow myself to feel totally happy. That may take some time, especially after all these years of heartache.

For years and years, I've always bought the EPT brand of hpts. And every single time, that evil pee stick laughs and says "As if!" So today after the blood draw, we went to the Target near CCRM and bought an EPT. But I didn't use it until after I got the 2nd beta phone call. I wanted to make sure that this time, I'm going to beat it. And I did! I finally saw the POSITIVE sign!!



I know we've still got more hurdles to jump, but this is the furthest we've ever gotten. I don't know if I can ever feel like I've "crossed over" to the other side, as our struggle with infertility has been so long and painful. This is a whole new feeling, a feeling I've never felt before. So it's going to take some time to get used to it.

When Jerry and I were at the clinic this morning, I whispered to him, "This is the place that miracles happen." And he whispers back, "That's right." And then we said a little prayer for everyone going to CCRM and other clinics, that they get their miracles too. I want to say a special "Hi" to a lady I met in person at CCRM this morning. "G" came up to me and congratulated me on my bfp and let me know that she reads my blog. I was so touched, and I wish her much success! (And everyone that is struggling this horrible disease.)

We'll be leaving early tomorrow morning to head back home, so I will catch up with everyone's blogs as soon as I can. I will close this post by THANKING each and everyone of you for your comments and congratulations!! Ya'll don't know how much it means to me reading each congratulations comment.

2/25/2009

After 3 IVF/ICSI/PGD-FISH-CGH & 4 FETs....



CCRM nurse: Hello. Is this Jerry?

Jerry: Yes.

CCRM nurse: Hi. This is Jen.

Jerry: Hi Jen. How are you?

CCRM nurse: Fine. I just wanted to call and tell you congratulations!

Jerry: What? Congratulations?

CCRM nurse: Yes, congratulations.

Jerry: Seriously?

CCRM nurse: Yes. It is positive. We look for 50. And Linda's number is 174.

Jerry: 174?

CCRM nurse: Yes, 174. I wanted to call you as soon as I had the results. We are still waiting on her progesterone. So continue meds as scheuled.

Jerry: Thank you!

2/23/2009

To POAS or not? That is the question.


First of all, I want to thank everyone for your comments on my posts. You don't know how much it means to me to read all the well wishes. I cannot thank you enough.

I want to go home. For me, this is the worst 2WW ever. There is so much riding on this. I don't know if I can take another BFN. I am being totally serious. I'm afraid that if it doesn't work out this time, it's going to break me for good.

I wanted to POAS last Saturday, which was 5dp5dt; but I decided against it. I didn't want to see a false negative. So I fought the urge to POAS that day. Then I was going to POAS on Sunday. Again, I chickened out. I'm just so scared that I might not see that ever elusive 2nd line. I've never had a positive hpt or beta, and it would just totally destroy me if I saw another negative.

So that leaves today. Can I fight the POAS off another day? I don't know. Today is 7dp5dt. There should be enough hCG to be detected today, right? Yet, I'm just so scared. I've been "holding and saving" my urine this morning and staring at my box of 3 pack First Respone Early Result pregnancy test. Who knows, I might hold off until tomorrow.

My beta isn't until Wednesday. Can I hold off the evil hpt until then? -- Just two more days? Beforehand, I've always tested the day before my beta. I did so because I am such an impatient person. I wanted to know one way or the other. And when I received my BFN call from the nurse, at least I was a little prepared for it. It didn't make it less painful, but I knew what was coming. OMG, I don't want to ever feel that way again.

The main reason I haven't POAS yet is because if it was negative, I wouldn't want to continue on the meds -- 3 Prometrium daily and 4 Vivelle patches every other day. For those paying out-of-pocket, you know how expensive the meds can be. For instance, each Vivelle patch costs roughly $10 a patch. That's $40 every two days. And I've been on the patches ever since January 28th. And in my mind, if I don't see the two lines on the hpt, why would I need to keep dumping money into a failed cycle?

I haven't felt any "symptoms" although I wouldn't know what positive symptoms would be like. Here's the break down:

1dp5dt -- Mild AF-like cramping off and on, body felt very hot. Sore breasts. Urine production more than usual. Nausea.

2p5dt -- Mild AF-like cramping off and on, body felt very hot. Sore breasts. Urine production more than usual. Nausea.

3dp5dt -- Mild cramping off and on, body temp felt hot, like I couldn't regulate my body temperature. Sore breasts off and on.

4dp5dt -- Cramped once in the morning and then no more cramping, body temp felt warmer than usual. Twinges in my lower abdomen. Felt bloated in my lower abdomen.

5dp5dt -- No cramping, body temp felt warmer than usual. Twinges in my lower abdomen.

6dp5dt -- No cramping, body temp felt warmer than usual. Twinges in my lower abdomen. Strong heartbeat. Irritable. Emotional.

7dp5dt -- Ever so lightly "different" cramping once this morning, body temp feels warmer than usual. Twinges in my lower abdomen. Irritable.

I have no idea what to think of my "symptoms." I always cramp about a week before AF shows. Aaack!

Oh please God, let there be at least one baby growing in there! I promise that we will be the best parents that we could be, raising our child(ren) to love and serve You! We just need a chance... our child(ren) need(s) a chance... PLEASE...

2/17/2009

I'm PUPO with triplets!


Yesterday was a good day!

All 3 of our blasts not only survived the thaw but also re-expanded "beautifully" according to our RE and embryologist. The doctor was pleasantly surprised with one of them - July '06 (the one from Pensacola that was biopsied twice and frozen with two different methods). If you look at the pic above, we have one blast from each of the IVF cycles. The blast on the bottom right is from the July '06 IVF/ICSI/PGD-FISH cycle in Pensacola, FL. That em-baby has been through one biopsy on Day 3, frozen the old-fashioned way (slow freeze), shipped from Pensacola to Denver, thawed, re-biopsied, vitrified (flash freeze), and thawed a third time for transfer. The blast on the top is from the July '08 IVF/ICSI/PGD-FISH cycle at CCRM. This em-baby has been through the least of the three: biopsy on Day 3, vitrified, and thawed for transfer. The blast on the bottom left is from my latest cycle - the November '08 IVF/ICSI/CGH/PGD-FISH cycle at CCRM. This em-baby has been through biopsy on Day 5, vitrified, thawed, re-biopsied, vitrified, and thawed again for the transfer.

The ET (embryo transfer) went well. I decided to try acupuncture before and after ET. What's $225 in the whole scheme of things? Besides, that's the only thing that we haven't tried, and I'm a bit desperate here. Ok, I'm a lot desperate. Anyway... It wasn't as bad as I thought. The acupuncture session took place in the same room as the ET. There was soft, soothing music playing in the background. The acupuncturist was very nice and talked me through the whole process. She told me to inhale as she placed the hollow tube that held the acupuncture needle on my skin and to give a quick blow as she tapped the needle in my skin. She put two needles in my right ear and then she went onto do the left ear. Then she put a needle on the top of my head. Next, she moved onto putting two needles in my abdomen, to the left and right of just below the belly button. Then she put one needle in the middle of each calf. Then she moved onto the top of the feet. After she inserted each needle, she gave it a quick twist. She left for about 15 minutes or so and then came back to give the needles another twist before leaving again. Then she came back and took out the needles. She would return to do another session right after the transfer.

The ultrasound tech then came in to check the fullness of my bladder. For the past few days, I've been having to urinate a lot. I haven't changed the amount of liquid I've been drinking, so maybe it's due to the Prometrium. I don't know. But I didn't need to drink but a few sips of water before my bladder was full.

Dr. Schoolcraft peeked in and told us the good news about the embryos. We have blasts representative of three development stages. The November '08 em-baby is encased in the zona pellucida (shell). You can just barely see the halo surrounding the blast. The July '08 em-baby is in the process of hatching out of the shell. The July '06 em-baby is completely hatched. Then he proceeded to get me prepped for the transfer. Then the embryologist came in, and we got to see the embryos on the monitor. Jerry asked if he could take a picture of the monitor if the flash was turned off. And that's the pic that you see on the top of this post - our three beautiful em-babies. The ET was over in like 5 minutes or so. Dr. Schoolcraft gave us a good prognosis of getting pregnant with a 1% chance of triplets and 25% of twins.

There's a verse in the Bible that I've been taking to heart lately. It's from Mark 11:24. "Therefore, I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours."

So for now, I'm going to believe that I'm PUPO with triplets - That is Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise with triplets!!

Please dear God, I'll do anything...

2/03/2009

FET #4 - Update


Jerry is an expert at giving me the shots by now. I just can't do it myself. There is something within me that is preventing me from sticking myself with a needle. I've already had to order another Lupron kit. What's another $600 in the grand scheme of things, right? It's not even a drop in the bucket of what we've already spent. Anyway... Here's what my FET schedule looks like so far:

January 11th - Almost Positive OPK.
January 12th - Positive OPK, P4 = 3.5 so no ovulation yet.
January 15th - P4 = 7.7 so ovulation has indeed occurred. Start Lupron shots (20u).
January 26th - AF arrives right on schedule. Received updated FET calendar.
January 28th - Start estrogen replacement therapy. 1 patch.
January 30th - Remove old patch and replace with another patch.
February 1st - Remove old patch and replace with another patch.
February 3rd - Remove old patch and replace with another patch. E2 = 83.

Let me tell you one thing about these patches... they hurt when I'm removing them. Ouch! I tried everything I could think of, including removing them in the shower and rubbing vitamin E oil on them. Those patches are sticky little buggers.

CCRM wants the E2 level to be above 50 for the first check. Mine was 83. So I guess that's ok. But here I go over-analyzing things again. With my last IVF cycle (November 2008), my first E2 was 73. Now how could my E2 for a FET cycle be higher than for the IVF cycle? I'm not taking any stim drugs now, just Lupron to suppress my ovaries and the estrogen patches to build up my uterine lining. But with the IVF cycle, I was actually taking stim shots (Menopur shot in the morning and Follistim shot in the evening). Hmmm...

So the next thing on my calendar is to progressively add more patches.

February 5th - Remove old patch and replace with 2 patches.
February 7th - Remove old patches and replace with 3 patches.
February 9th - Remove old patches and replace with 4 patches.

Then I have a date with the dildo-cam (ultrasound) to check my uterine lining and have my E2 level check. After my nurse gets the results, I will be told how many patches to use every other day.

February 11th - New patch(es). Start Prometrium vaginal suppositories 3X/day. STOP Lupron shots (yay!). Start Tetracycline 250mg at bedtime and then 4X/day until gone. Start Medrol 16mg once each evening for 4 nights.

Then I go in for a P4 check on February 12th. The level of my progesterone will determine if my cycle will be canceled or not.

I'm really nervous, as my body tends to want to ovulate. Remember my 1st FET?... I was on BCP and Lupron shots yet my body just had to pop out an egg and cancel everything. Ugh. I guess I should be happy that I do ovulate on my own, but still...

If everything is a go, we'll be headed to Denver soon. Oh GOD, please let it be positive this time! I don't know how much more heartache I can bear...