Today

I went to my clinic to get a final blood draw, and ultrasound this morning to see what my levels are and what my Endometrium (lining) is. Dr Yelian did it himself.

Results: Endometrium 12.4, E2 185+, P4 26.87. My PIO dose has been increased to 1.5ccs. Ow! The transfer is tomorrow at 2:15pm. I will need to be there 30 minutes early, and I will be having acupuncture both before and after the transfer.

I stopped by the Temple today to light candles, meditate, pray, I asked a monk for a blessing, I asked for strength and grace, for this blessing to become a reality, and for happiness good health and harmony for my family. I also asked for forgiveness because I’m a tremendously flawed person. But I am becoming someone I like.

Then I went and got my hair done, because you know what? I don’t want to spend the next few weeks looking at my dark roots. I’m such a girl (I don’t know where this vanity comes from, I’m not even a big makeup wearing person). On the way home, I stopped Costco and bought a big fragrant pineapple, some milk, and some nuts.

You know what I didn’t do today? I didn’t hide me knickers at the ultrasound. In fact I took a picture to prove it.

I even wore hot pink ones just to give my otherwise boring underpants choices a pop of color. I’m starting a knicker revolution. Not really but my blue skirt and hot pink underwear made me laugh and Dr. came into the room before I could shove them out-of-the-way. So here you are. My knickers. It’s not the full shot but its them all the same. Also notice I was not tidy and didn’t fold anything. Its been about 100 degrees lately so knit skirt, t-shirt sandals, I’m golden.

Meditations tonight, some happy thoughts, my first butternut squash soup of the season. A nice peaceful, quiet, evening.

Thank you to everyone that responded to my earlier post, What ever happens is out of my hands now. But I will be praying my little Jinyu snuggles in tight.

Lastly, I’m going to post my IVF song. Don’t look at the video just listen to the music and lyrics. It’s by Ian Britt, an incredible artist and a friend. It’s what I’d say to my imaginary baby. (Shameless plug) You can buy Ian Britts amazing work on iTunes.

Wish me luck. Thank you so much!

The Shape of Us

 

Cleavaged

During the egg retrieval process not only is the egg retrieved but there is a cumulus corona of cells that comes with it. The cumulus corona is then separated from the egg, and the egg is looked at under a microscope. It can be hard to see the egg at first, because if the cumulus corona is degenerated then chances are pretty good the egg or oocyte is also degenerated.

Once the egg/oocyte is checked to be viable, usually a process called ICSI is performed on the egg. If everything goes well for the fertilization process, the combined sperm and egg become a one-celled zygote. That happens on day 1 after retrieval. by day 2, assuming the growth is occurring normally, the zygote cleavages into 4 cells.

Now because I am 9, when I hear the word cleavage(d) I think boobs. However in the IVF world it means that the egg has split and the cells are multiplying.

My most recent zygote has cleavaged and become 4 cells.

I won’t hear what happens between now and Tuesday unless it arrests or becomes a blastocyst. I’m crossing my fingers toes and eyes until Tuesday, and will probably start frantically working on some new projects to keep myself from obsessing over the little bundle of cells that Molly who I love, is er.. embryo sitting.

Announcement

I have a really exciting announcement for those of you interested in the protocol I am using for IVF. Dr. Frank Yelian Director of Life IVF Center has agreed to do a Q&A session online a live chat, tentatively scheduled for May 18th, at 7pm Pacific time.

I know it’s not an ideal time for those of you on the East Coast, but you don’t have to be a patient to take part and its free. I will send out more details and the link to it, once I have a general idea of how many people might be interested. Please let me know if you are interested in attending so that I can make sure there is room for everyone.

In the meantime I want to give a huge shout out to Molly, the amazing embryologist at the clinic I go to. Shes incredibly sweet, really kind-hearted and has her own blog that you can find here: Joy of an Embryo Sitter. Have a look, she’s really busy but you can learn a lot about the different stages of embryos from her blog. Plus she deserves some nice comments and encouragement, since she works in this world day in and out.

Everyone that is a nurse or works in the lab wears these green scrubs, and you can always find her with a big smile in her green scrubs, with sock monkey slippers on. Love that!

A few weeks ago when I was feeling so sad, she was kind enough to email me and ask me if I wanted a picture of my 1 Blastocyst. Of course I said yes. Because I’m feeling a little sorry for myself today, I thought Id share it with you. Its rated as a 4AA quality which is the best rating this clinic give out. (I think)

1 blast might get me pregnant, but I don’t want to transfer unless I have 2 or 3, having to start from zero after a transfer stinks so I’m trying to hedge my bets. Plus I’m not getting any younger, so better to collect eggs while I can. Looking at it makes me feel a little better. So here is my little goldfish:

I am not affiliated with Live IVF Center in any way other than being a patient there. I am not employed by them nor am I compensated by them.

Viva La Vida

Today was my day 8 monitoring appointment after hearing that on day 2 there were no follicles. The plus side of this is that I wasn’t bleeding, but no I still can’t look the ultrasound tech in the eye. I’ve given up on that. Shes a really pretty, nice, woman. I just want to apologize to her that she’s seen my vagina more in the last 4 months than I have in my whole life.

It was stressful. I was given the blood-work, then the ultrasound, for some reason they can never find my right ovary, I’ve mentioned that before but I’m not kidding, at least once a month they can’t find it. It wanders off like my husband in the grocery store when he sees that there are 1 bazillion choices of soup. I keep shopping and he stays there staring. 10 minutes later I notice he’s not with me, and then I can never find him either.

During the ultrasound, the tech couldn’t find my right ovary. She called for the dr to come in, who also couldn’t find it. He told me to get dressed and from the lack of success I assumed this would be a throwaway cycle at best, and the beginning of the end at worst. I was at the desk waiting to check out my bloodwork came back, the Dr stopped me asked to do another ultrasound. Apparently my E2 was so high that there was no way there were not follicles in there. Without ever getting a clear look at my right ovary, the Dr  found 2 follicles, one that was 5mm and the other was 14.1mm so he wants me to monitor again on day 10. There was good news today but after the fear of this past week, I am back to squishy and a little raw. I’m sitting here relieved, a little hopeful, and a little vulnerable. I don’t know yet what comes after this, if I will be doing a retrieval or not, but after the anxiety of this week I’m trying to slow down, to one day at a time, one hurdle at a time. LH was 4.3, so I’m not close to my “surge”.

To clarify a few things, I’m not doing traditional IVF, I’m doing something called Minimal Stimulation IVF or Natural Cycle IVF, it’s a protocol used a lot in Japan, and China, its supposed to be a good for older women, and women with certain issues, like cancer, or PCOS. It also costs a lot less than traditional IVF, the idea is to get fewer, but higher quality eggs. There are only a couple of clinics in the US that do it, and they are crazy busy. Upon entering the office for the first time, my husband said, “He’s either incredibly talented at what he does, or its free”. I’ve never been to any doctors office that’s so busy. It still surprises me every time I go.

I should also mention that the Dr is compassionate, kind and patient. I am not the easiest person to treat, I question everything, I am impatient and vague reassurances don’t cut it for me. I am demanding, without being a dragon lady, but he has always taken the time to answer my questions. I believe he cares about his patients and isn’t a used car salesman like so many of the IVF clinics you hear about are, making promises they know they can’t keep.

Women in this for the long haul, I think the most important thing you can do for yourselves is take care of you. Eat well, sleep enough, avoid additional stress, exercise enough. This process is not for the weak or faint of heart, have a good support system. If its family or your significant other awesome. But a solid group of girlfriends wouldn’t hurt either *something really I need to work on*, and if there is a peer-to-peer support group offered at your clinic, give it a shot.

Today was good news. I think I need to take some time to breathe, and then actually put in practice the awesome advice I just gave you.