Bonne Chance

One of the things I really like about my clinic is that they only give you instruction sheets for as far as you have gotten.  So, your stims sheet will only go to retrieval.  Your retrieval sheet with only go to transfer. And, your transfer sheet, will go to beta, the end of the line.  It really helps to compartmentalize the process and not get you ahead of yourself.  And, there are so many instructions on each sheet, it would be three pages easy if they gave them to you all at once.

Today I got the post-transfer sheet complete with the date of beta day*. 

scene'sAnd I got embryos.  Oh, did I get embryos. Four to be exact.

Yes, you read that right. We went from three to four – although, if you want to be nit-picky, we went from two to four, two being how many we transferred last time. 

After my acupuncture session, I headed over with the full, but not really uncomfortably so, bladder to the prep area where Mr. X was waiting.  The embryologist came out and spoke with us about how many contenders were left standing.  Of the 7 from Sunday, three had arrested (as had the four cell, but we weren’t really expecting a robust future there).  We had three beauties left and a nice looking fourth that while not at the level of its three counterparts, was still better put back than left to the freezer, which it probably wouldn’t have made it into.

Dr. Salsa and the embryologist both agreed that given our history, it was not that aggressive to transfer all four and see what sticks.  It also means that we had none left to freeze, but for some reason, that doesn’t bother me.  I think alot of that is because I specifically asked the embryologist if I should be concerned about the quality of the embryos that we were going to transfer since there were no others that made it and he said no. 

So, four it was. No bladder drama either this time, which was a real nice change from last time.  And, I wore the wonderful earrings that my friend made for me. On the left side, it said “Bonne” and on the right it said “Chance”, good luck, which some how sounds so much more encouraging in French.

Bonne chance, little four. 

image: scene’s

*I must disappoint those of you who want to know the date.  I share all kinds of things here, but that is just one thing I cannot bring myself to divulge.

Lucky 7

Do you want to know the lengths I went to this morning to be prepared to receive the call from the embryologist while still being able to complete my morning gardening?

I put the cordless phone in my sports bra so that I could be hands free and still do my thing.  And, darned if it didn’t fit nicely!  I am sure any passing neighbor would have been greatly amused to see me wheeling out the wheelbarrow with my mulch with a white cordless phone sticking provacatively out of the top of my blue sports bra.  I always like to give a good show.

In the end, it didn’t matter because it reached that hour with no phone call that I either had to take G for his walk or he would do without since it is So. Freaking. Hot.  The boy has a fur coat, and anything past about 10am is just brutal for him.

So, I entrusted the phone with Mr. X who was still lounging in bed and warned him that he was required to answer the phone on pain of death.  I departed with the pooch, fully aware and not a little bit relieved that the embryologist would likely call while I was gone.  And he did.

Today’s fert report: of the 10 contendas that we had on Friday, 7 are 6-10 celled and there is a straggler 4 cell little guy that he’s watching. This means that two contendas have been voted off the island.  But, 7 are still going strong with one bringing up the rear.  For now, we are focusing on our lucky 7.  We are still in the game and that is good.    

Transfer (5d) is on Tuesday.  We have been having some discussions amongst ourselves that we want 3 embryos transferred.  Last time we had 2 transferred with zilch result.  I brought it up with Dr. Salsa and the embryologist at my WTF meeting after March’s IVF failure.  At the time, they made rather non-commital noises, but didn’t rule it out completely either.    

Regardless of how many are transferred on Tuesday, that’s when the hardest part begins: The Wait.

So far…

So good.

Of the 14 ladies they retrieved yesterday, 11 were mature and of those 10 fertilized normally (thank you ICSI!). 

For today, we have 10 contenders.  I am very, very happy with those results.

We hear from the embryologist again on Sunday with the status of our little guys or gals. Hopefully, they  will continue to grow – grow damn you, grow!

I am so thankful that we have had such a good result so far.  It makes me want to hug kittens and puppies and tickle babies.  I’m so happy I’m almost tempted to start using exclamation points.  Oh, the horror.

Requiem for A Cycle

It was a beautiful spring day today. The sun shone brightly, the trees showed off their new green bling, the geraniums were in full bloom. I started off the day on a professional high after having given a kick-ass presentation yesterday out of town.

By 12:30, I felt the defeat that only infertility can sock you with.

At 11:30, I had my IVF post-mortem with Dr. Salsa.  I had no problem with the clinical details – my E2 levels, number of follicles on any given visit, lining check – all of which were projected onto the wall in a weird sort of Excel spreadsheet.  I could handle the discussion of a new protocol.  I could even handle the discussion of what could have possibly gone wrong such that my two beautiful embryos decided not to hang around. 

What I couldn’t handle was when Dr. Salsa decided to share with me just how unbelievable it was to him that this cycle didn’t work by sharing stats from the clinic:

Of the 13 women, including myself, who cycled in that particular period, 11 – yes, 11 – got pregnant.  I was one of 2 who didn’t.  And, just to drive home his point, he said, “I would have put money that you would not have been one of the two.”

Um, NOT HELPING.

So, let’s recap. Even though I had a pretty perfect cycle with an embyro that made it to the freezer and no apparent risk factors, I managed to be one of 2 out of 13 women who still couldn’t get pregnant.  I already felt awful about the negative. I already felt – rightly or not, that is not the question – like a giant failure with a capital F. I already felt like shit just being there, seeing the financial coordinator who did get knocked up with Dr. Salsa’s brand of IVF.  THIS WAS NOT INFORMATION THAT I NEEDED TO KNOW, AND CERTAINLY NOT NOW. 

Later, when I was home and had spent some time decompressing with the dog, I sent Dr. Salsa an email. I explained that I did not want to know about how everyone else did. I explained that I am an inherently competitive person and in this particular arena, hearing about others did in the exact same IVF cycle when mine did not work was just not helpful. I asked him not to share that kind of information with me again because it just sends me into competition mode, and usually, I end up with the short end of a very long stick, which just makes me feel worse.  Sending the email helped and his response was very nice. He apparently knew by my expression the minute he finished the sentence that this was not information that was helpful to me.  It doesn’t un-ring the bell, though. It doesn’t make me forget that I was in the 15% who didn’t make it this time. 

And, so what if I was able to have a lovely glass of w(h)ine with dinner? I’m still no closert to being in that magic 11.  I can feel the bitterness choking me.