IVF ramblings

Bullet-points, because I haven’t been able to get it together to write a coherent post, sorry y’all. Here’s the latest in our trek to IVF 2013:

  • Hosted a baby shower Saturday 4 hours away and survived to tell (it wasn’t so bad, though I am now dreading the next baby shower I am scheduled to throw February 9, especially if it’s on the heels of a IVF BFN).
  • Got our IVF consent forms filled out, notarized, and turned into the clinic after much discussion and deliberation between C and I on all of those fun scenarios the clinic makes you decide on. For example, what to do with any leftover frozen embryos if we both die? If I die? If C dies? If we divorce? Just your regular light reading after a tiring weekend away.
  • Started new diet per my acupuncturist recommendation (no dairy, avoid red meat, avoid sugar, avoid white and wheat flour, avoid peanuts, coffee. Mostly eating proteins, veggies, fruits.). It’s only day two, but it hasn’t been bad. I’m mostly finding I just need to plan meals out better and buy much more veggies.
  • Still going back and forth on who and how to tell people about what’s going on. I need to tell more people so I don’t feel weird about asking for help when the time comes, but oh, how I hate doing it. More to come on this, I’m sure.
  • My period is expected in a week, then it’s 2 weeks on BCPs, then I start stims a few days after that. I’m a little fuzzy on if I start BCPs on CD1 (I’m guessing no..) or later, then how long after that I would go in for monitoring to start stims. I need to nail this down and get a rough schedule so I have a better idea of what we’re dealing with. It’s all happening a bit faster than I expected, which kind of had me in panic mode earlier this week.

Less than a month until stims for IVF 2013. Holy sh!t. We’re doing this. It’s scary. It’s crazy. It’s huge. It’s expensive.

And…it’s exciting. I’m here, freaked out but moving forward just the same.

IVFers: question for you: Hubs and I are trying to get a better idea of what could happen as far as numbers could go with eggs and embryos. Could you comment and tell us how many eggs were retrieved, how many fertilized, how many were transferred and how many made it to freeze? I know it really varies from couple to couple depending on different factors, but I would just like to have some real-life scenarios to ponder. Thanks!



Posted in IVF

25 thoughts on “IVF ramblings

  1. Damn, girl, even *I* can’t believe that you’re already less than a month away! It doesn’t seem real, so I can only imagine how surreal it feels for you. Although, perhaps these preliminary steps, the documents, the diet, etc., are helping ease you into it a bit? It definitely sounds like you are giving it your all. I think you mentioned on twitter (or someone did) doing all this and then it being for naught. But I don’t think that’ll happen. Plus you have to leave it all on the table – go big or go home – because there are no regrets allowed. You know? I’m impressed with your ability to stick with this diet, but it’s one of those things that will likely make you feel really good and you’ll wonder why you ever eat any other way. Until the coffee and coffee cakes start calling. Or is that just me?

    Ok, anyway, I went off on a tangent there, but I want to say that I am excited for you. And I’m pulling for you. Huge hugs!!!

  2. Hi gorgeous,

    I wanted you to know that we are all here for you every step of the way.

    Hubs and I were lucky enough to fall pregnant from our first IVF cycle. I do have pcos so naturally had a lot of eggs. We had 18 collected, 15 of which were mature and 11 of which fertilised (using icsi to give us the best shot). We had one 5-day blastocyst transferred (which is still hanging on now at 9 weeks pregnant) and we have 5 more blasties on ice.

    We were lucky in that my eggs were good, hubs’ swimmers were good… just my broken pipes so never the two could meet.

    IVF is incredibly taxing hon, try and ensure you create special moments with your hubs and son and especially moments just for you.

    I truly wish you all the best xx

  3. Hi,
    Glad to find you again! I read your other blog for a long time, I never commented though… I was going through our own struggles and couldn’t bring myself to… (severe MFI with all of the toppings, 25 months to get first ever BFP, IVF with ICSI)).
    I’m kind of an overresponder to stims, so maybe my particular numbers aren’t a good example, but you asked for it, so I’ll gladly share.
    I was on on the pill for 30 days, on day 5 after stopping the pill I started with gonapeptyl 0,1mg. On the day 3 of gonapeptyl I added gonal F at 150IU. I did both shots daily for 5 more days at those dosages. Stopped gonapeptyl (in total got 7 shots) and did one more shot of gonal F at 150.Then only gonal F at 112,5IU for 4 more days (10 days total of gonal f, 6 at 150, 4 at 122,5).
    35 eggs retrieved, 34 mature, 28 fertilized with ICSI, 15 made it to day 5. Mild OHSS.

    Three single embryo transfers done in total so far. (Legally in the country I live, due to my age (late late 20’s) and other factors, we can only do single transfers. I will add though that our treatments are pretty much 100% covered by Social Security so I really can’t and won’t complain.
    1 fresh transfer = BFN; FET1= BFN; FET2 = BFP! Due early May 2013!
    We have 12 blasties on ice.

    I wish you all the best!

  4. Ok so I’ve had three ivf cycles. 1) full down reg with acupuncture 7 / 3 2) antagonist with acupuncture 13 / 3 but all three were day 5 embies 3) full down reg 4 / 2 hideous cycle but we got Molly – go figure.

  5. To make this all about myself for a moment (and I think I may have told you this before): It’s so strange to me that I never really once gave such weight to those tricky questions or thoughts about leftover embryos, or what happens if one of us were to die, etc. The hardest part was just making the decision to move forward, and once I climbed that hump, it was a full-speed, down-the-hill, let’s-get-this-fucking-party-started sprint to the finish line. Perhaps it was because we were childless at the time (the thought of no child ever was pretty arresting); perhaps it was because we had to go straight to IVF/do not pass go/do not collect $200. I dunno. It was just a relief in so many ways to have made the decision and to be moving forward. Which is exactly where you are now. It’s on. This is happening. We’ve got your back, dude.

    I did have a few acupuncture appointments before I started stims, but none during or after. It just didn’t jive with my work schedule, and I didn’t particularly enjoy my provider, so it didn’t seem worth my effort to turn my days all upside down for it.

    I was told that I was responding to stims really well, and at one point they pulled back on one of my meds (I can’t remember which off the top of my head–either the Menopur or GonalF). I was so hopeful for retrieval, but was devastated to wake up afterwards and learn they’d only retrieved SEVEN. Of which only 5 were mature. Of which only 3 fertilized with ICSI. We transferred 2, and the third arrested. 0 for the deep freeze. 1 became the kid who just wound his arms around my neck.

    All that to say it is indeed a fucked-up rollercoaster, that things can go so differently than you expect, but that WOW, it can work out in the end, well beyond anything you could have ever imagined.

    P.S. I have a book (Budgeting for Infertility) that I’d be happy to send to you, if you’d like. I know you have some insurance coverage, but this might have a few tips for curbing some of the expense. Not sure if it’s too late at this juncture–wish I’d offered it to you earlier! Just let me know! http://www.amazon.com/Budgeting-Infertility-Bring-Without-Breaking/dp/B003F76KBI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355406424&sr=8-1&keywords=budgeting+for+infertility

  6. Hey there! Check out my IVF Timeline page. It has a sample IVF calendar that was my protocol and has all of our history of retrievals, fertilizations, transfers, and freezings. Everything is there. I also added a page with costs for every line item of IVF and FET. I hope this stuff helps! I liked knowing what to expect before our first IVF got underway.

    Your cycle is coming up! It is exciting! Its scary too though. But I am going to assume that baby shower comes on the heels of a BFP 😉

    Good luck!!!

  7. That does seem fast, but why delay if you are both on board and ready to get going? I was just going to recommend checking out Courtney’s IVF calendar. Having never been through it before and not knowing all the details, even I felt comfortable with how organized she made it seem and straight forward.

    Good luck!! Keep us posted every step of the way!

  8. IVF number one:
    8 eggs. My clinic fertilizes a minimum of 3 with ICSI (even if no apparent male factor), just to be sure you have something to transfer. Only one of the ICSI eggs fertilized normally, the other two were abnormal. None of the five non-ICSI eggs fertilized.
    On transfer day (day 3) we had just the one embryo and transferred it at six cells)

    IVF number two:
    My stims doses were almost tripled.
    17 eggs. 14 mature. 10 fertilized with ICSI. Scheduled for day 5 transfer. I had mild OHSS.
    All ten still dividing on day 3.
    On day 5 we transferred a blast and an early blast but were told the others had sort of petered out.
    We only had one to freeze, a hatching blast.

    Andy and I agonized over what to do with the many, many embryos we were sure to have in cryo. Unfortunately it was never an issue for us.

  9. I was told I had about 14 mature follicles two days before retrieval. We got 20 eggs! 12 fertilized. We did ICSI on half- 5 fertilized through ICSI and 7 without. So, that helps for the future to know we don’t have a fertilization issue, or we can assume we don’t. Out of the 12 embryos, by day 3 only 2 were at 8-cell so we transferred both. Sadly, none made it to freeze (the day I found this out was a very, very low point. 20 eggs and nothing to freeze.) Out of the two transferred embryos, we ended up with a healthy singleton pregnancy who is now 4.5 months old and laughing 🙂

    Wishing you the best of luck.

  10. I have DOR (AMH is 0.3) and in IUI cycles some of my follicles would frequently disappear WELL before trigger and without ovulation. My RE said they were empty and so couldn’t continue growing. Because of this, he was very up front that we wouldn’t do retrieval without at least 5 follicles (which would hopefully mean at least 2 eggs). We decided to roll the dice and do stims. At least then we would know had tried. We were given 5% odds we would make it to retrieval.

    Instead of sad news, every single step of IVF we outperformed our (and our doctors) wildest expectations. He and the embryologist both expressed shock and amazement about our numbers. They said we were one of the most successful folks they had ever seen, especially given the severity of our diagnoses (dealing with more than the DOR – because being told ovaries old isn’t enough).

    We had 13 follicles on retrieval day! 11 of them had eggs. 9 were viable eggs (big enough to be fertilized). ALL 9 fertilized with ICSI (according to embryologist 100% fertilization is pretty much unheard of). Because so many fertilized, we changed from a scheduled three day transfer to a five day transfer. On day 5 we still had 5 living embryos. We transferred 2 blastocysts and I am now pregnant with twins! All three remaining survived the freeze and we have 3 snowbabies waiting for us.

    I have all of the details of our IVF experience on my blog (http://caseyandalexis.blogspot.com/p/our-ttc-journey.html)

    IVF is a huge step and y’all are doing all the right things! I have so much hope for you this cycle!!!

  11. OH IT’S ON! Yeah, IVF came up super fast one me too. I had my last IUI in January took February off for thinking, had my hysteroscopy in early March, and started stimming with my next CD3.

    Feel free to read through my posts from March 19-April 25 2011. It’s all over in there. But here is my summary:

    We did a “natural” IVF meaning I had no supression with BCP or lupron before stimming. Started stimming on CD3. Had my retrieval on CD12. We retrieved 18 eggs(with 17 follicles no less), 15 were mature, 10 fertilized, transferred one embryo and 5 more made it to freeze. Our clinic is EXTREMELY conservative with freezing of embryos. They have to be pretty highly graded to even be considered for freezing. My Doc was also pretty conservative. She didn’t want me to overstimulate and since I responded well to injectables with IUI’s she decreased my dose of gonal-f pretty quickly.

    I know how scary it is. But Rhianna is right. Getting past the decisions to move forward is the hardest part. My cycle was a breeze. It came up quick and before I knew it we were transferring. The biggest decision for me was to decrease from transferring two to one embryo. Because of my age, we had discussed 2 was our best option. But the risk of twins was super high and Babe completely freaked out. So we did one and we got Raegan.

    Now as we approach our FET#2 and we HAVE to transfer 2, we’re both a little freaked but excited! I will be here for you through out the process. Feel free to contact me any time you have a question or if you need ANYTHING!

  12. I don’t have any IVF advice or numbers to add, but I just wanted to remind you that I’m pulling for you with everything I’ve got . I’m only a ping away, every step of the way. I remain in awe of your fortitude and bravery in pursuing your family dreams and I have the highest of hopes for you guys. 🙂

  13. Just catching up on your posts now. I had 2 IVF’s and am the luckiest woman alive because my son is from IVF#1 and I’m nearly 20 wks preggo from IVF#2. I took a bunch of stuff leading up to my IVF but the one thing I think really helped my egg quality (which is my biggest issue – well, that and my age (41)) was taking CoQ10. I took 800mg per day – 400 in the am and 400 at night at the advice of my naturopath. I did regular acupuncture and also choked back royal jelly with propolis every morning and night. I also took vitamin D and a B Complex. Our first IVF we retrieved 20 eggs, 8 fertilized (5 with natural IVF and 3 with ICSI) and only 2 of the natural IVF’s made it to 5 day blast. We transferred one and froze one. After my son was born, we tried a FET with our frozen embryo but it didn’t work. 2nd IVF we retrieved 11 eggs, 7 fertilized (all with natural IVF this time) and 2 made it to 5 day blast. We transferred one again and froze one and I’m pregnant now. I took the bedrest pretty seriously as well. I did nothing but lie in bed and watch tv. The hubs brough me meals in bed and I got up to go to the bathroom and for my PIO shots only. I don’t know if this had anything to do with it working … you never know!

    I really hope you have the luck that I had. I remember feeling SO bummed out that only 2 made it both times but here we are … with one at home and one on the way. I hated hearing this when I was in the process of doing my IVFs but I’m proof that quality over quantity really is the key. You just need one good egg 🙂 Good luck – I’ll be following along!

  14. Sorry I am so behind on posts. But I will third what SRB and Gemini Momma said above 🙂 No IVF advice or numbers to share of mine own but I am here for you and supporting you through this journey and will be here if you need me. Hope your new diet continues to go well. I am proud of you and excited for you! Wishing you all the very best with the cycle ahead!!

  15. Wishing you all the best of luck. It really is scary to be staring down the barrel of such an expensive procedure. Just remember to stay positive, even if it gets hard to do so. Once you’re in this, take every chance that comes along. We did, and it made all the difference.

    Good luck!

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