The blog is being brought to you from a little different perspective today...the daddy-to-be (hopefully) side. Let me just start by saying how proud of Holli I am. I knew she would do great with everything because she is such a strong person, but she has really exceeded my expectations. She has been so strong through everything and extremely positive. It's weird to say, but I'm kind of glad God put us through this because it has brought us closer. I love her more and more every day. As for today, we got more good news from Nashville. Because I'm such an impatient person I've gotten a hold of the voice mail box number to Nashville since about Holli's second appointment. Each time we have a message I try and get it first, but it never fails that she gets it every time! So of course today I tried getting the message three or four times but it wasn't on there yet. Like usual, the first time she tried today it was on there. The lady said all 10 embryos were still growing. Six of them are at the cell stage they want them to be at by day two after retrieval. She mentioned that she thought the other 4 would catch up in the next day or so. We are still scheduled to go down on Tuesday for the embryo transfer. Thank you all for the prayers and kind words of encouragement!
We just checked our voicemail from the clinic, and here's what we know as of now...
1. Out of my 41 eggs that were retrieved yesterday, 24 were mature. 2. The lab performed ICSI (a procedure where they actually inject the sperm into the egg) on all 24 eggs. 3. Overnight, 10 eggs were fertilized.
Now, we just get to play the waiting game. Our instructions are to call back tomorrow around noon to see how our little fertilized eggs are progressing.
Today was the big egg retrieval day! We had to be at the clinic at 8:15 to get signed in and prepped for surgery. I got nice and comfortable in the bed with a blanket and a People magazine. I wasn't nearly as nervous as I thought I would be. The anesthesiologist came in about 9:15 to start my IV. It was the first time I had an IV in my hand, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The last thing I remember was they were wheeling me down the hall into the OR, and I had to scoot out of the bed onto the OR bed. The nurses announced the time....9:34....and said my name, and I was OUT! The next thing I knew, I was back in my room. I supposedly had been awake for a while, but to me, it seemed like I just opened my eyes. I started talking and talking and talking, and I'm pretty sure I didn't make sense. Brad got the camera out and video taped me. I must admit, the video is pretty hilarious. I will try to put it on here if I can figure out how to make the size smaller. I remember talking about Michael Jackson because they were giving me Demerol, and I also said I was an "egg-making machine"! haha The nurse was super nice, and she brought me a Sprite and some graham crackers. I was STARVING since I hadn't eaten or drank anything since last night.
Right after waking up...I'm pretty sure I had no clue what was going on.
Anyway, the embryologist came in and told us how many eggs they got. Let me start off by saying the average is 8-15 eggs. So when the lady told us they got 41 eggs, I couldn't believe it! I know not all of those eggs are mature, and not all of the eggs will fertilize, but I thought this was great! After letting me lay for a few more minutes, they had me walk to the bathroom. This was my test to see if I was ok to leave, and of course I passed! :) They took me to the front door in a wheel chair, and now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I told the nurse about 5 times how much fun it was to ride in a wheel chair. When I got home, I took a 3-hour nap, and I felt as good as new! My mother-in-law came over tonight and gave me my first progesterone shot in my back hip. This shot was the one that I had been dreading the most because the needle was not as small as the ones I had been using, but when she gave me the shot, I didn't even feel it. Today was a great day, and I am so anxious for tomorrow to get here so that we will find out how many of those 41 eggs actually fertilized. The next few days are going to be so exciting as we continue to hear updates on our little embryos. Thank you to everyone for all of your sweet comments and prayers!
Anyway, for your viewing pleasure....make sure you have the volume turned up!
I can definitely tell I am way out of my normal routine. Driving back and forth to Nashville everyday for appointments that last maybe 20 minutes are really starting to take a toll on me. I can tell I'm much more tired than I was at the end of last week, and when I get home and try to take a nap, Bailey is wide awake. Actually, as I type, she is running around the living room rubbing her face on the carpet and barking at me because she wants food! haha
My appointment yesterday (another estradiol level check and ultrasound) was good. The thing that stuck out the most about yesterday is that I didn't have my normal lady to take my blood. When I sat down, she told me that she wasn't normally up there, so she didn't exactly know where the other girl kept everything. Needles don't seem to bother me much, but after she said that I start getting a little worried...especially since I'd never seen her before. She put the elastic band around my arm to get my vein to pop out before she got any of the other supplies out. By the time everything was out, my arm was tingling and I couldn't feel my fingers. She stuck the needled in my arm, and then realized that she didn't have the little tube attached for the blood to start being pumped out, so she was trying to hold the needle in place, grab the tube, and hook the tube up to the needle. The whole time this was going on, the needle was sliding all over the place in my arm. I was 2 seconds away from asking her if she wanted me to hold the needle when I finally started seeing the blood flowing. Thank goodness! The ultrasound went smoothly as usual. I still have a ton of follicles...about the same as last time, but obviously bigger. My estradiol level had jumped up again to 9,496. They told me that I could stop my Lupron and Follistim injections, and take the HCG trigger shot at 10:15 (last night). This meant that the egg retrieval would definitely be on Thursday! :)
I went back today for one more estradiol level check and to speak to an IVF nurse about what to expect for the egg retrieval and the transfer. I have to be back at the clinic tomorrow at 8:15, and the egg retrieval will be at 9:15. She did tell me today that the procedure normally lasts 20-25 minutes, but because I have so many follicles, it will probably take more like 30-40 minutes. I do get put under a light anesthesia which I'm happy about so I won't remember anything. We'll find out tomorrow exactly how many eggs they retrieved, and then on Friday, we will know how many of those eggs actually fertilized! Isn't that crazy?! I can't believe the time is already here. They actually went ahead and scheduled my pregnancy test which will be on March 12th....only 2 weeks away!!
Today I realized that I think I could make the drive to Nashville with my eyes closed. But all you drivers out there, don't worry, I don't think I'll be trying that any time soon! I did have the thought that I should just get a hotel room down there for the next couple of weeks and just spend my days at my doctor's visits, shopping, and eating at fun places. Then I came back to reality and realized I would miss Brad, Bailey, and my bed too much to do that! My doctor's appointment this morning went really well. I believe my ovaries have really been working overtime because based on the ultrasound, I have a ton of follicles. Here's a little bit of what I can remember: Right ovary: 9 follicles all ranging from 13-22 mm, 7 follicles from 10-12 mm, and several other smaller ones that she didn't even bother counting Left ovary: 5 follicles between 13-20 mm, 6 follicles less than 10 mm, and a few smaller ones I feel like this was GREAT news...I mean the more follicles the better, right? My estradiol level was 7,722! If you read my last post, you might remember that on Friday, this number was 2,131. So it did increase...A LOT! I'm still not 100% sure what this number means. Brad has been doing some research, and he said he read somewhere that this number gets higher with the more follicles there are. This would make sense considering all of the little follicles I have in there. My IVF nurse lowered my Follistim medication again. I just have to take 75 units tonight. I go back for another appointment in the morning at 9:45 to check this estradiol level and to have another ultrasound done to check the growth of the follicles. We've been told to expect to take the HCG trigger shot tomorrow night, and then that will make Thursday the big egg retrieval day. I am so ready for Thursday to hurry up and get here! I do miss my kids at school already though. We had all of those snow days, and now I've been off for these doctor's appointments, so I feel like I'm so far behind. It looks like I might not be able to go back to work until Friday, so hopefully they won't miss me too much in the next few days. :)
I had two appointments in Nashville this week (Tuesday and today) to check my estradiol level and to have an ultrasound done to check my progress. After Tuesday's appointment, my estradiol level was 450, and I had around a total of 20 follicles (some of which were considered micro follicles). Mom came down and went with me to my appointment this morning. The ultrasound technician gave me a clipboard and paper, and while she was doing her thing, she told me the measurements of the follicles, and I had to take notes for her. I was happy to do this because I was actually able to see the progress for myself. On Tuesday, all of my follicles were under 10, and today, the results were something like this.... Right side= 5 follicles between 10-14 mm, 6 follicles under 10 mm, and I can't remember how many micro follicles (she was talking so fast) Left side= 3 follicles between 10-14 mm, 4 follicles under 10 mm (I think), and a few micro follicles For those that don't know, the follicles (or eggs) are mature when they reach a measurement of 18-20 mm. So I feel like I'm getting closer which is exciting! My estradiol level today was at 2,131. I'm not exactly sure what this number means, but I do know that it's supposed to increase. I also know that if this number gets too high, they can cancel this cycle, and we'd have to wait and start all over again. I know this isn't going to happen though, so I'm not too worried about this. I do have one change in my plan for the weekend. I'm supposed to continue doing 1 injection of Lupron (5 units) every morning, but now they want to decrease my dose of Follistim in the evening. Starting tonight, I only have to take 150 units of Follistim. I guess this might have something to do with my estradiol level jumping from 450 to 2,131 in three days, but I'm not sure. I go back on Monday for another "check", and I'm hoping that they will tell me that things are still progressing. As of now, I have a feeling that the egg retrieval might be on Wednesday. This could always change depending on how my body continues to react. I'll just continue to take the medications this weekend, and hopefully by Monday afternoon I'll know more. Brad and I are looking forward to having a relaxing weekend with NOTHING to do. We have about 20 shows on the DVR that we still need to watch, and of course, we have to cheer on our CATS tomorrow! GO UK!!! :)
I just finished giving myself my 2nd shot of the day! This was the first time I had done the FSH shot. I'm using the Follistim pen that you just twist to however many units you want to give. I wasn't sure what the needle was going to look like...I had a feeling it was going to be big, but when I opened the box, it was labeled as a "micro-fine" needle. I was so relieved! Brad and I watched the how-to video from the clinic so I wouldn't mess anything up, and then I went in the kitchen and sat on the floor so I could give it to myself for the first time without him watching and without Bailey jumping all over me. I must admit, even though I do have several bruises on my stomach, I feel like I'm actually getting pretty good at this.
I headed down to Nashville on Thursday morning for my suppression check appointment. I thought I was going to have to take a sick day from work, but we were off of school for our 8th snow day!! Let me just say that the snow is getting a bit ridiculous, and I am SICK of it. I don't think I've ever been so ready for Spring. They're calling for more snow here tomorrow and Monday, so it's looking like the snow days aren't over yet. Anyway...back to my appointment. I ended up getting there about 30 minutes early, so I took a bunch of papers to grade while I sat in the waiting room. As soon as I got out a stack of papers, they called me back. They're always on top of their game at the clinic, and I was so glad I didn't have to wait long. My first stop was the blood station. They had to take blood to check my estradiol level. I went straight from giving blood to have an ultrasound done. This was done to make sure I didn't have any cysts. The ultrasound lady said everything looked great, and she moved me to another room where I had to get weighed in and have my blood pressure checked. I don't know what it is about the blood pressure cuff, but everytime a doctor puts one of those on my arm, I can always feel my blood pressure shoot up. I warned the lady that this always seems to happen, and sure enough, my blood pressure was a little higher than usual. I guess it's just nerves or something. My next stop was with a nurse practicioner who listened to my heart and lungs and asked me a bunch of questions. She then proceeded to do a trial embryo transfer. This little procedure was done just like it will be the day they actually do the real embryo transfer so that they can get all of the measurements and make notes so that everything goes smoothly on the big day. The lab technician came in next and she went over what they do on the day of the egg retrieval. She showed me pictures of what the eggs will look like after they are fertilized and what they should look like once they start developing. It's so amazing what they can do! She said that if they do a Day 3 transfer then they will transfer 2 embryos, but if they do a Day 5 transfer, then they will just transfer 1 embryo. The Day 3 and Day 5 just means that's how many days they wait after the egg retrieval to transfer the embryos. After checking out and receiving a voicemail box to call after every appointment for results and updates, I was on my way home. What was supposed to be a 3-hour appointment ended up only lasting 1 1/2 hours, so I got home earlier than expected, and I got to enjoy the rest of my snow day by laying around with Bailey. As of now, the plan is to take 5 units of Lupron every morning, and starting tonight, I have to take 225 units of Follistim which is the stimulant drug. I go back down to Nashville on Tuesday and Friday for more check-ups. After I start this new injection tonight, I'm not allowed to pick up anything over 10 lbs. (which means no picking up Bailey), and I can't do too much cleaning. So, needless to say, I am spending ALL day today cleaning and doing laundry. Thank goodness Brad is being the good husband that he is and helping me clean! :) I better get back to it...I've got to tackle the bathroom next....the worst room in the house to clean! YUCK!