Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pregnancy Results

Hey all,

I'm sure you are all waiting for an update.  What a long ten days it was waiting for the blood test that would give us the results of this transfer. Unfortunately, I am not pregnant. Wah, wah, waaaahhhh....

Yes, it blows. Blows bad! Like a ginormous elephant just had to blow his nose, and missed the tree as his tissue and you're standing right next to the tree, blows. Like my visual? But what can you do? We have all been anxious, and nervous, and talking about it over the last ten days. I talked with the intended parents a few times during the waiting period and they were so hopeful and excited and so anxious to know.

Yesterday, I went in for the blood draw and was a total mess! I was nervous, my stomach was a little off, and I couldn't sleep passed 5:30 am. The test was at 9:00 am and we got the results around 2:00 p.m. It was a very long five hours for sure. The nurse was nice on the phone and tried to handle the information she had to deliver gracefully, but it must really blow to have to make phone calls like that every day or even once a week, or however much it happens. She told me that it was nothing that I did or didn't do, which I know in my head, but part of me will always wonder. The odds were definitely in our favor, and the doctor himself told the intended parents that he really didn't have a medical explanation for why the embryo didn't attach, just that this is sometimes just one of those things. Not great to hear, especially when you just want an explanation for what went wrong. I asked what we could do differently the next time around and he really said there was nothing they would change. They were pleased with the quality of the embryo, and with how my body responded to the protocol with the medicines and the shots during the cycle. Again, just one of those things. I was told to discontinue all my meds and shots, and to expect my period within the next week or two.

So...after taking some time, I spoke with the intended mother over the phone. They are both obviously disappointed and were very hopeful that this would yield a positive result. But they are also ready to move on, and try for another cycle.

I say, why not?! There are no reasons for why I couldn't go straight into another transfer cycle after I get my period.  So, that is what we are doing. At this point, we are just waiting for my period, so that we can start with the Lupron shots and be on the way to building my uterine lining again. We might have to do a week of birth control just to make sure my own biology doesn't kick back into gear and try to ovulate. The nurse was worried that if we went straight to the Estrogen pills and didn't do the birth control or Lupron, that I might ovulate through the estrogen pills, which would not be ideal. Just part of the process. It takes a good three weeks to do build the uterine lining, so we are aiming for another transfer by the end of July.

Truthfully, this process is exhausting. I felt defeated, weary, and overall sad. I'm sure the intended parents had those feelings, and a thousand more! I can't imagine what they have been through over the last few years with their own trying. I wish I could have a baby for everyone with a struggle! They want another child so bad, I can taste it. I want to provide that for them, and we are in this together! I will do what it takes to give that to them. I definitely knew this was a possibility when I signed myself up to do this again, but of course, hoped it wouldn't take more than one try! This is just the nature of this process, and while extremely disappointing, I tried to prepare myself for this side of things as much as I prepared myself for a positive result. I'm actually looking forward to a little bit of a break from the daily shots of progesterone with the large needle that has to be injected intramuscularly (in my upper butt area). I was starting to get really sore! There's always a bright side, right?

There is a possibility, if the doctor recommends it, that we may transfer in two embryos this next time around, but that is yet to be determined. It will require a little amendment on our contract, but not a big deal. Everything is negotiable, right?!

So, going forward, I want you all to know that I appreciate your support and kind words more than you know! Sharing this news is a little hard, but I am keeping my eye on the prize! I will keep you all updated as we start moving forward with this next cycle. Until then...pray, think happy thoughts, send good vibes, do whatever you do...we need extra this time! :)

Will update when there is something to update!
Thank you so much for reading!!


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Now we wait...

Hey all,

It's been a busy month here just getting ready for the embryo transfer and preparing my body to give this little embryo the best odds he or she has of feeling comfortable enough to stay awhile! The last I left you with, I was asking you to think sticky thoughts and pray sticky prayers. I am still asking for those!

For the two to three weeks before the transfer, I was preparing my uterus for the embryo transfer. That included all of the meds like the estrogen tablets and progesterone shots with the large needles and a few other meds that are to be taken for the 5 days leading up to the transfer. My upper hips are really sore already. It hurts a little when I walk, and definitely to the touch. Hopefully, this part will be worth it! If the embryo transfer was successful, the progesterone shots will continue until week 12 of pregnancy. Yay! (loads of sarcasm here if you didn't catch that!)

Throughout the weeks leading up to the transfer, I was going to appointments at a nearby monitoring clinic that are able to send results to the fertility clinic in Connecticut on the same day. There was mostly blood work ordered to make sure the levels of estrogen and progesterone were rising appropriately, but also a few ultrasounds to get a base measurement of my uterus lining and another a week before the transfer to make sure the medicine did its job. A week before the transfer, my uterus lining was nice and thick, at 10.7 mm and the clinic said it looked great, but that my estrogen levels were slightly low, and to add one pill to my morning and evening dose. That seemed to have done the trick since my levels were checked again the day of the transfer and everything was right on track!

My dear friend, Krista, came with me for the transfer trip. Troy had to work some and he was able to help with the kids as well, and I was very thankful to leave them in such good hands. Helped me relax, which was key! Krista was a little freaked out about giving me my progesterone shots but she did great!

The transfer was set for June 8th, and we got there on the 6th, and were able to do some exploring of New York City together and we enjoyed our time! If you are ever in the city and want a great place for brunch, the Boathouse in Central Park is amazing! Such beautiful scenery and great food!

The closer the transfer was getting, the more nervous I was feeling, but it was great to spend some time together just us girls, and that definitely helped to ease some of my nerves!

About a week before the transfer, the fertility clinic contacted the intended mother and asked her if she would be interested in a laser acupuncture treatment for me. After telling me about it, I decided that we should go ahead and try it! The clinic we have been working with is the only one in the state of New York that offers laser acupuncture and they have found that in a lot of cases, offering it to women right before and right after an embryo transfer can increase the woman's chances of a successful transfer by up to 15%. Why not, right? It was a quick procedure and the acupuncturist was very passionate about her job and knowledgeable about the process and their benefits. She put me at ease almost immediately! The laser did not feel like anything, and all the acupuncturist did was count the beeps the laser would make in certain areas of my body. The inside of my ears, the middle of my forearm, a couple of spots on my legs, and feet and two spots right over my uterus. The idea is that these areas, when stimulated, can help promote blood flow to the uterus and can also minimize uterine contractions which are both good things when wanting an embryo to implant! The same areas were again lasered right after the transfer, but this time the area over my uterus was not touched.

The transfer itself went great as well! Since we are working with frozen embryos this time around, the embryologist unthawed one of the four embryos the morning of the transfer. It survived the thaw, and was even starting to grow more just in the few hours between the thaw and the transfer. Good signs! The night before and an hour before the transfer, I was required to take a little bit more progesterone in different forms. I was also required to have a very full bladder. I apparently had not drank enough because when they checked my bladder, it wasn't full enough, so they asked me to drink some more. They checked my bladder three times and I drank 48 ounces of water in about a half hour to help things along. I was pretty uncomfortable by the time the transfer was happening, as I'm sure you can imagine! My bladder needed to push on my uterus just right so as to create an angle that would make it best for the embryo to settle in. When everything was ready, the embryologist came into the room where Krista, the intended mother, the doctor and one nurse, and I were waiting. They made sure we were identifying the proper embryo for the intended mother and that I was the right oven! My uterus lining had grown to 11.7 mm and the doctor was pleased with that. He kept saying "perfect" and so we decided that it would hopefully be a continuing theme for this whole process! A perfect, sticky process! We were all able to see the embryo being transferred into my uterus. It was such a bright light, and so hard to miss! Once the transfer was completed, I was able to empty my bladder, and get ready for the last laser acupuncture treatment. I asked the doctor about what he thought our chances were of this being successful and he said 60-70% including the acupuncture success increase! Those aren't bad odds!

The intended parents, Krista and I all drove back to the city together! The intended mother wanted me to sit in the front seat with it fully reclined and with my feet up, and so that is what I did. I was told to take it easy for the rest of the day, and since we had done so much walking and sightseeing in the city for the last two days, we were happy to oblige. We got some food delivered and just enjoyed the calm and rest! Our flight was early the next morning and so we got some sleep and prepared for the flight back.

Now the wait...It. Is. Torture!!! The pregnancy test is on Wednesday morning. It's a blood test like last time which is the most accurate this early! I am so anxious for the results. I have experienced both phone calls, the unsuccessful transfer, and the successful transfer, and we all can guess which one is the best! It's nerve racking, and I can't imagine how the intended parents are feeling! It is only 10 days from the transfer but like I said...torture.

So for the next three days, I need all of your prayers, and well wishes, and sticky thoughts to continue! We should get the results by mid afternoon, and I will try to update either that day, or the next day depending on the results! PRAY PEOPLE!! I'm so nervous and am trying to stay calm and am doing everything I'm supposed to do but the not knowing is exhausting in a lot of ways!

Thanks for reading, and for the support!