The Not-So-Sexy Infertility Adventures of a Girl in the Big Apple

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Planning for Plan B

First of all, just want to thank all of you ladies for the recommendations on yoga videos.  I bought 2 Shiva Rea videos, and am liking them a lot (although I will never be able to do half the poses the way she does!)  I also bought Circle & Bloom's IVF cycle meditations (thanks Chon!), and am really enjoying those.

This past week I have been doing a fair amount of thinking and planning for Plan B in the event that this FET doesn't work.  I had a long talk with H about this on the way home from our upstate house this weekend.  I asked him whether he would want to try one last time with my eggs, and what he felt about moving to donor eggs.  I told him that my inclination was to try one more time with my eggs, but do a fresh cycle (no CCS testing).  My rationale is that I'm not likely to make more than 2 embryos, so I'd probably be doing polar body testing again, which has a much lower chance of success than CCS tested embryos.  Also, if my 2 normal embryos from this cycle fail then it's not a problem with my eggs being chromosomally abnormal.  The issue would most likely be that my eggs just aren't robust enough to survive, in which case I think a fresh transfer would do the least damage to them.  Lastly, I just can't bear the thought of waiting again for test results, and then waiting to do the FET - it just drags the whole process out, and I'm not getting any younger.

If that fails, I told him I would like to move onto donor eggs.  And to my surprise and delight, H told me that not only was he comfortable trying one more time with my eggs, he would also be comfortable moving to donor eggs if we had to.  It's not a decision he would make on his own (he'd be happy without kids), but if it was really important to my happiness he'd be up for it.  He says he does believe that once the baby arrived he would be thrilled.

I was so grateful and relieved to hear him say this - have I mentioned how much I love this guy?  It takes a certain amount of pressure off me mentally to know that this is still an option.  I don't want to have to go there, but at least I know I can if I need to.  Whew.

I have set up a contingency appointment with Dr. S the day after my beta so that if it's negative I can go straight into priming for the next cycle.  I don't want a month of down-time in between, it will just drive me nuts.  I think now I've done all I can do, so I will spend the rest of this month just trying to keep myself calm and sane.

Time is passing slowly but surely over here.  I took my last BCP today, and am on Day 5 of Lupron.  I've noticed that I haven't been sleeping very well the last week or so - don't know if it's just increased anxiety or if the Lupron is doing it to me.  I'm going to try to go to bed early tonight and get a good night's sleep.

February is going to be a big month for many of us cycling at C.CRM.  I am really bummed that I'm somehow missing ALL of you by a week or so, but at least I'll have some online cycling buddies!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One Week Down

Not much new to report over here, just counting down the days until the FET.  I've been on BCPs for a week now, and have had weird cramping and spotting every day.  I've also had headaches and feel pretty tired all of the time.  My period was still pretty heavy when I started them, which makes me wonder if starting BCPs and interrupting flow is actually good for you.  Oh well, too late now!

Have been holing up at home a lot lately.  It's been bitterly cold in NYC, and it's difficult to motivate to leave the apartment much.  We did have a lovely weekend in Upstate NY, where H and I have a little house that we bought in the early days of our relationship.  It's been a little neglected this last year, so one of my resolutions is to spend some more time up there this year.  I wish we could sell it, honestly, but in this market that would be a bad idea.  Anyhow, we spent the weekend toasting our toes by the fire, cooking, and watching football.  Was really lovely, and a nice change of pace from the city.

I am trying to set a few goals for myself in the next few weeks to help pass the time and also to get some things accomplished.  The most important one is to start exercising again.  That's really fallen off since my vacation - I came back with a slight cold and jetlag and just didn't feel like working out.  But right after I publish this post I am getting into my gear and heading to the gym for a run!

I also want to get a yoga video/DVD to do at home.  Something for an intermediate level, that has a good mixture of challenging poses and relaxing poses.  Does anyone have any recommendations?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

FET Scheduled

First off, I want to thank all of you ladies for the encouraging and supportive comments after my last post.  You made me feel so much better, as always!

My FET has been scheduled for Feb 16th.  AF came on Sunday so I started BCPs today, and am waiting for the rest of my meds to show up.  I'm happy to be starting the me something to do while waiting this out.

I still have some lingering doubts about transferring two.  I know the chances of me having twins are so small that I shouldn't worry.  I should be more worried (and am!) about not getting pregnant at all.  But I'm haunted by the blog I read of a woman who had repeated IVF failures, so her doctor cleared her to transfer 3.  She ended up with triplets!

Just to be clear, it's not that I don't want 2 children - I am just a bit freaked out about delivering healthy twins.  I've heard so many horror stories about complications with twin deliveries - and I am TINY, don't know how my body would deal with it....

I guess I just have to remember that the overall polar body tested stats are much lower than full CCS stats.  If I had 2 CCS tested embryos I would definitely transfer only 1.  But given the stats I guess I'm still leaning towards 2 (with some serious misgivings once in a while).

I booked the Hotel Teatro this time around, based on reading justagirl and myfertilityblog's posts on staying here.  If I'm going to be on total bedrest, I want to be in a nice bed!   Looking forward to a change of pace from Lone Tree, even if only from my hotel window...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Regroup with Dr. S

I just had my regroup with Dr. S.  Here's a quick summary of what we discussed:
1) I told him that I was inclined to go to FET with 2 normals, and asked if he agreed with that approach.  He did, although he said it would be "nice" to have more embryos.  But he also said that this might work and save us having to do another retrieval so we should try.
2) I asked him how many he thought we should transfer.  He said definitely transfer both - he thinks there is a much higher risk that I won't get pregnant at all given my history than me having multiples.  This was kind of sobering to hear, but not surprising.  Given how strongly he felt about this I think I will transfer both and hope for the best.
3) I asked him about BCP or no BCP and he said it doesn't matter, it's just for scheduling purposes.  I think I will do BCP because the scheduling is kind of a hassle.
4) Lastly, I asked him what he thought our chances of success were.  He said this was really difficult, because I was so "off the charts" (meaning I had an off the charts bad history with my prior two IVF cycles).   Acknowledging that it was a total shot in the dark guess, he gave me a 35% chance of success. Not great, but who the hell knows - it could be an 11% chance, it could be 50%.  Doesn't change anything in terms of the approach.

Following the call, I'm feeling less confident and much more nervous.  I was riding high after getting my results, but this brought me back down to earth.  I have to remember there's still a much higher chance that this won't work than the other way around.

I can only hope and pray for a miracle.  Man, this is going to be a long 2 months!  I'm just glad I have some good company (all of you wonderful ladies) to keep me sane along the way.  Don't you go anywhere peoples, I need ya!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Some Thoughts on India

I promised a post on our India trip, so here it is.  Just by way of background, this was our second time to India - 7 years ago we traveled in northern India (New Delhi and Rajasthan), so this time we decided to go to south India (Bombay and Kerala).  We have several good friends in India which is why we keep going back - not only do we get to travel to a fascinating place, we also have plenty of help navigating a potentially difficult country for Westerners and get to spend time with our lovely friends to boot.  A winning combo.

We landed in Bombay (now Mumbai) to start, and spent a few days there wandering the streets with our friends.  Compared to Delhi, Bombay is more modern (less cows and camels walking down the streets), architecturally interesting (lots of Art Deco and Gothic buildings, albeit mostly in a decrepit state), and has more of a tropical feeling (palm trees, views of the sea).  It is also, like most of India, chaotic, dirty, vibrant and full of life.  Wandering the streets was downright dangerous sometimes, due to a serious shortage of crosswalks and driver etiquette.  Drivers do not slow down for pedestrians - if anything, they speed up and hope to mow you down.  I found it stressful, if not terrifying, getting across the street most of the time.

But walking around really gave you a sense of street life, so it was worth it, even if it was challenging at times.  I'll pause here for some pictures, because as they say a picture is worth a thousand words:
Bombay street life.

Two stray dogs (which were everywhere in Bombay) taking an afternoon snooze.
An indoor market, selling nice-looking fruit.  Unfortunately we accidentally walked past the meat market as well (which we were told to avoid at all costs) and that was absolutely FOUL.  
An example of the type of streets we had to cross while walking around Bombay.
A view off Marine Drive, fronting the sea.  

Victoria railway station, one of the nicer examples of Gothic architecture.
This was one of the most remarkable sights in our whole trip.  This is the world's most expensive PRIVATE residence, owned by the Ambani family.  It is estimated to be worth $2bn, has 27 stories, 400,000 of living space, 9 elevators, 3 heli pads, an ice-skating rink, and a 600 person staff to take care of it.  You have to see it to believe it!

I just realized that I'm going to have to do multiple posts on our trip or this will be the post that never ends.  Next post will be on Kerala - you guys are going to be sick of hearing about this trip by the time I am done!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm Baaack

Hello everyone and Happy New Year!  Got back yesterday from my India trip, which was amazing and interesting and full of new experiences.  I'll be talking a lot about the trip in a separate post - it deserves it's own, with pictures!  But I first wanted to update everyone on my CCS results, which I was supposed to get during the trip but didn't.

What ended up happening was that I checked my mail and phone compulsively every day (they were supposed to email me if they couldn't get through to my phone) and got nothing.  After the month mark had past (which is when they said I could expect results), I sent a mail from India asking if we had heard anything.  My nurse said she'd check in with them, but after checking my mail & phone every morning and evening for the rest of the week I heard nothing.  

When we landed yesterday morning, I discovered there had been a voicemail from CCRM late last week telling me they had my results and to call them back.  I was really annoyed that nothing had showed up on my phone and that no one had emailed me - not really their fault, my nurse was out sick and the backup staff probably didn't realize they needed to.  What was even more annoying was that CCRM was closed Monday for the holiday, so I wasn't able to get my results until this morning, a week later than I expected.

But it was all worth it, because after testing my two embryos I have....two normals!  I can't believe it, am so relieved and happy.  Of course I only did polar body testing, which has a significantly lower success rate than testing all 23 chromosomes - but still, I couldn't ask for a better result.  I would've been thrilled with one normal.

We, of course, have a long way to go before bringing home a healthy child.  This is step 1 of a bazillion. I have a regroup with Dr. S on Thursday to discuss where to go from here.  I am thinking that we will go straight to FET instead of doing another retrieval, which is what I was expecting to have to do.  My inclination is to transfer one at a time, unless Dr. S tells me there is any downside in doing so.  

I've never done an FET before.  Can anyone provide me with a short summary of how it goes?  I think you do some priming the month before, and then transfer happens right after ovulation or something?  So I think I could expect to transfer a month and a half from my next period.  Is that right?

I have largely caught up on all of your blogs.  It seems like (despite a few scares) everyone has continued on in their pregnancies, which is fantastic.  There were also a couple of happy surprise BFPs (congrats to those people!!)  Those of us who are still waiting - I say 2012 will be our year!  

More to come shortly on the India trip, I can't wait to tell you all about it.  Here are a couple of pics as a preview: