Sunday, September 7, 2014

There is no limit to His Greatness!!! to avoid leaving anyone in suspense.....we made it to day 5 with a BLASTOCYST!!!

Why the excitement?
1.  Last IVF cycle the doc had us thinking we have bad egg quality and bad performing sperm.  He was slightly optimistic on the sperm, but much less optimistic on my wife's egg quality.
2.  The Stim cycle went without a hitch and we went into ICSI with 7 eggs after retrieval.  The last we had heard, 4 eggs were fertilized.  Of the 4, one was successfully frozen on day #5.  The remaining 3 showed very little to no progress on day #6.

Since our last successful cycle in 2011, our clinic has changed its protocol and now freezes embryos at day #5.  Took quite a while for us to get our minds wrapped around the concept of "suspending" cell development and restarting it 30-60 days later.  Many of you may have been aware of this one; I was not.  After my wife's next cycle, our embryo will be tranferred "back home" and we will patiently wait for God's grace to continue.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back at it one more time....

Hi everyone!!
So last I wrote....we were in the middle of a cycle when it was cancelled.  Personally I had to reassess where we were.  I had sperm issues and there was some thought by the doc that my wife's eggs might be poor quality.  Now I'm not one to dismiss the experience of the professionals the stare at these number and develop protocols in their sleep, but often there are new variables that weren't considered.

Now I've read good sperm can make up for poor egg quality and good egg quality can make up for poor sperm, but if there are issues with both....where are you?

Here's what happened......I had just had bariatric surgery prior to our last cycle.  It never dawned on me that there was any relationship between post surgery recovery, physiology of my reproductive system, and hormonal impact.  There are mixed studies involving increased sperm quality post bariatric surgery, but what I will tell you is that my sperm was "dead on arrival" during our last cycle.  Neither the doctor nor the urologist could explain it.  After some additional reading, and other related conversations, it occurred to me that there is a period of time, post surgery, where the body is shutting down systems during ketosis and later during the initial phases of malabsorption.  Once my body settled down and began to have enough energy, food, and hormonal activity, "systems" begin to spin up.  By 8 months my sperm function was back to 4 years ago when we had our first successful IVF baby.  It literally scared me to death.  I have 3 jobs:  give my wife her shots, cheer her on, and provide beautiful swimmers.......I didn't want to fail!

Both my wife and I had recommitted to our health and our well being.  As a result, I lost 200 lbs and my wife lost more than 50.  When we went back to the doctor we were prepared to talk about donor eggs and moving forward.  Once he saw my sperm numbers and heard about our health change, he insisted that we do a new baseline test to see where we were. My wife's AMH and FSH had "returned" to the levels she was 3 years ago.......very unexpected.  The result was one more IVF cycle.

We are on day 8 of STIM and my wife is responding beautifully.  Her numbers are great and I've given my cryo backup sample and preparation for transfer.  We are poised for something wonderful.  Will keep you posted.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Day #13 - Trigger Day

What a journey!!!  As some of you are aware.....our first cycle ever, circa 2011, we very smoothly.  No issues, stim'ed well and had a beautiful result.  Our second cycle earlier this year did not go so well.  My wife and I both agree that we may have started Ganirelix 24 hours too late.  However, this is in the past.  I mention it though to point out how perspective, relaxation, and taking ownership of your cycle are paramount to getting through.

So tonight I give my wife (1) shot in the arm of Ganirelix, and one in the "you-know-where" as the trigger shot (HCG).  I'll keep you posted.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Day #9

Heard good news today folks!  If you recall the doctor moved us up to 350UI of Follistim as a "tweak".  Well it appeared to do the trick.  E2 number for today was 1087; 300 point jump!!!  My wife is incredible.  She maintained even though she's been dealing with food poisoning for the last 48 hours.  IVF is not for the mentally weak that's for sure!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cycle day #8

I apologize a million times....been really caught up with so much going on.

So, we're on day #8 of stims.  All is going well.  My wife's lining is perfect and the estrogen (e2) numbers are right on target.  We were anxious on day 6 when we introduced Ganirelix because during the last cycle we experienced a reversal of the estrogen level (not good) followed by an eventual cancellation

This cycle my wife is leaving all the worrying about numbers up to me.  We decided that I would watch the numbers, as I normally do, but that nurses and doctors would only speak with me regarding daily status numbers and any changes to medications..  We thought it would keep her stress down and give ME something to do.  LOL.

 I can tell you that the headaches she is experiencing are more painful that before (could be the menopur, which wasn't present during our first successful cycle).  We will find out later this afternoon if there needs to be any changes to the dosages.  So far so great!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cycle #3....Here we go!!!

Hi all!!

Had an interesting month.  Earlier this week we thought we might be pregnant was still fun, but also disappointing.  It wasn't, however, devastating.  I think we both realize we've been so blessed with our two year old, our other beautiful children, and a wonderful marriage.  We agreed that we would try until my wife turned 40.  I definitely think it's important to agree on framework and "soft" deadlines.  It helps you plan and it helps you get on the page with each other.  Above all other things this is a partnership of dedication, commitment, courage, and shared sacrifice.

So we had our day 2 ultrasound.  My wife's lining was very thick and the may delay the stim cycle by a few days.  We will know more this afternoon after the blood tests.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Great Start....but cycle was cancelled.

Hi everyone!

Although we started with a bang with very good e2 numbers, great lining, and wonderful response to the stim meds, things slowed to a crawl on day #7 after we took Ganirelix.  If you are not aware of the significance, ganirelix is started to prevent a woman from ovulating while the follicles continue to grow and the eggs continue to mature.  The e2 number stalled at ~800.  Our IVF staff (I call it that because they apparently make "med tuning" decisions as a committee) increased the Gonal-F to 450 units but kept the Menopur at 350.  The following day the e2 number made it to the 900s but not significant enough to continue the cycle.

Now if you ask me, I believe my wife began ovulating on day #6 and they may have missed the opportunity to catch the eggs before they began to drop.  In other words they may have started the Ganirelix a day too late.  Clearly I'm not a doctor, but you can set your watch to my wife's body.  In our previous cycle we were stimming excellently and began the ganirelix on day #6.  My research supports the fact that ganirelix introduced into too early or too late can cause a problem similar to what we experienced.  We'll never know for sure.

Were we disappointed?...YES!  Did we blame them among ourselves?...YES! 

However, a funny thing happened on the way to the opera.....My wife and I grew even closer and became more determined to end things on our terms.  What did we do?....we had sex like rabbits just in case we could right the ship and get pregnant on our own.  We were unsuccessful but it was awesome trying and even better for our morale.  I really love this woman!!!

We're trying again in the beginning of the year and we WILL BE SUCCESSFUL.  Catch you later.