August 7, 2012

The morning arrived with yet another injection of progesterone. There is a bit of a learning curve here, but despite sleepy eyes and nerves, my husband has yet to miss. His concern for giving the injection properly helps calm my fears. I know I’m in good hands even though the shots themselves suck.

A little after 9 we grabbed our things and headed out for the planned transfer with the realization that we may not be able to go through with it. Before a decision could be made a few tests needed to be completed. Ultrasounds indicated that I do have mild ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS). The medication given to help prevent did it’s job and allowed my body time to begin healing. The RE agreed to allow transfer but would allow only one embryo to be transferred. When we started this journey I wanted to transfer two. I’m paying a lot of money and putting in a lot of time and emotion into something that was (and continues to be) unpredictable and in turn wanted the best odds of having at least ONE baby come from it.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about transferring only one. And it scares me. What if the wrong embryo was transferred? What if it doesn’t stick? What if we have to go through this again? Transferring only one scares me more than the complications of two. But I understand the decision and don’t want to put myself, and potentially my baby, at risk. So with a little relief that we could continue with a fresh transfer, we headed downstairs to prep for the big moment.

A decade of dreams found themselves at pause in the handful of moments the embryologist shared the positive outcome of our embryo development. In that instant I was unable to hold back tears of joy and anticipation. So much in my life has come down to the single, perfect embryo selected for transfer and my resolve found representation through tears. One perfect 5-day blast (rated 5AA) was to be transferred within the hour. And with it, the hopes of a new journey.

This microscopic grouping of cells holds within it the potential to build our family. And although it was nurtured in a lab, nothing but love went into making it.


Categories: Emotions, ICSI, Infertility, IVF, OHSS, Procedures, Transfer | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Egg Retrieval

Yesterday proved harder than I had imagined.

We arrived a little more than a half-hour early as traffic was better than we anticipated.  Around 8 AM we meet with the anesthesiologist and went over the risks of being put under.  Fifteen minutes later we were escorted into a recovery room.  I was given the orders to change into the standard hospital dressing gown and was walked into the retrieval room.  The anesthesiologist had a hard time getting the IV into my hand.  OUCH!!!  A few minutes later the RE came in, they strapped my legs into place, my head became heavy, and the next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room with Joe, crying.  It is amazing the wave of emotions that come with this journey.  Nobody will ever be able to comprehend all that I feel.  And it is difficult to explain.  In that moment in the recovery room I felt blessed to be with somebody willing to undergo such a challenge.

A few minutes later the embryologist came in and shared that retrieved 24 eggs and 20 were mature.  She said they looked like “A” grade eggs but would know more once they fertilized via ICSI (this is when they actually inject one sperm into the egg).  Everything looked good but they shared concerns of OHSS and sent me home with a care sheet on when I should call.  They also explained that we may not be able to transfer this cycle if we do end up with mod/severe OHSS, and if we do transfer we may only be able to transfer one embryo if I have mild OHSS.

We were on our way home by 10.

Throughout the day I experienced lots of pressure and cramping in my lower back and belly and nausea.  I was in and out of sleep all day and struggled to get comfortable.  The pain brought with it fear that I was moving in the direction of OHSS.  I’m afraid of postponing, afraid of the health risks, afraid of not transferring the right embryos.  Just afraid.

I woke up this morning to more cramping.  Notably better than yesterday, but cramping all the same.  I hear from others this is normal and I shouldn’t count myself out of this cycle just yet.  But this journey has been tedious, speed-bump after speed-bump.  I pray for a positive outcome and think positively as often as I find myself thinking in the negative.   So when I got the call from the embryologist this morning that 17 of my eggs had fertilized I was thrilled.  Maybe things have finally turned in my direction.  As the day has progressed I am feeling better, have more energy, and less cramping.   I’m not out of the woods yet, but I believe I’m on my way!


Categories: Emotions, Follicle Count, ICSI, Infertility, IVF, OHSS | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Game Plan – Not What I Was Expecting

Yesterday my husband and I went in for our consultation to discuss our IVF options based on the new testing that we had completed.  I thought that this meeting would be like the one I had at the end of March, where I was informed that Standard IVF with ICSI would be recommended and that my husband and I would both be able to answer question, set the cycle date, etc.

I was wrong.

Because of our history, the RE is recommending we do genetic testing on our embryos after day 5, freeze them (so we can wait for results), and then do a frozen embryo transfer 6-8 weeks after the egg retrieval.   This will cost an additional $5,000.

We are shooting to start our cycle in July.  This will begin with 3 weeks worth of birth control pills and then medications starting on day 1 after I finish the three weeks of birth control pills.  And 100% of payment will be due on day 2.

In addition to the genetic testing, there are a lot of other fees we were not prepared for.  Communicable disease testing on both of us (standard for IVF), cost of care fees, cryopreservation for embryos that are not transferred,  time off work (they want you off your feet for 2 days after the embryo transfer), and anesthesiology.

Here is a run-down of the costs:

  • IVF Procedure (with ultrasounds and blood work) –      $10,600
  • Anesthesiology –                                                            $400
  • PSG (genetic testing) –                                                $5,000*
  • Cost of Care Fee –                                                         $927*
  • Cryopreservation –                                                        $840
  • IVF Medications –                                                        $3,500
  • Communicable Disease Testing –                                 $1,500

GRAND TOTAL – $22,767 *   $16,840

*Update: We have decided NOT to go through with the genetic testing and found that the Cost of Care Fee is included in the $10,600 IVF price.

This is a LOT more than we anticipated…and I’m freaking out!  We were already struggling to find the money for $12-15K but NOW.

I don’t know what to do…I’m conflicted on the genetic testing, so if anybody has had this done or recommended I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.

If you have suggestions or ideas on ways we can raise money, PLEASE share!  And if you can find it in your means to help, I am putting myself out there (and with a lot of humility – this decision hasn’t been an easy one) and praying that with the help of family, friends, and those who find my struggle worthy of assistance we can have our family.


Categories: ICSI, Infertility, IVF | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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