Wednesday, November 30, 2011

IVF #2

IVF #2 begin in Sept 2011. Leading up to that I had a endometrial biopsy in August that turned out normal and had also started acupuncture/herbal tea. After the stress and anxiety of cycle #1... I felt all of these would get me into the right frame of mind for our next attempt. I was right!! Cycle 2 was way better than cycle 1. I highly recommend acupuncture for anyone undergoing IVF. I went once a week for a month prior to my cycle beginning then twice a week through beta.... then back to once a week. 
Cycle 2 protocol was a way different protocol altogether... For cycle 1 I was on a Microdose Lupron protocol and Cycle 2 I was placed on an antagonist (Centrotide) cycle. Dr. C was basically worried that maybe my previous cycle medications had affected my egg quality so we changed it up! 

Cycle #2 Medications! Double the Boxes!

Here is the antagonist protocol I was on: 
  • Start Estrace 21 days into cycle (2mg tablet am & pm) 
  • Stop Estrace 9/4 
  • Begin Stims 9/5 - 450iu Gonal F and 1 Menopur Powder Daily
  • Start daily Centrotide injections once follicles reach 12-13mm
  • Egg Retrieval 9/16
  • Embryo Transfer 9/21
  • Beta 9/30
As I said already... this cycle was awesome. I felt better then I had during cycle 1. Not as heavy or sore. Not sure if it was because I was just used to it now or what? I even had way more follicles this time so I figured I should be hurting even more! Maybe the key was keeping busy. I tried to schedule daily activities/appointments for things to keep my mind off of it as much as possible. Needless to say... ER was here before we knew it! 

Matching War Wounds!

ER 9/16 - Egg retrieval went well. Got to see my favorite operating room recovery nurse (I had fell in love with her during the previous cycle ER). She gave me more apple juice and crackers... yummmm after not eating since the night before. After such a great 11 days of stimming I was so excited to hear they had retrieved 20 eggs! So exciting!! 20 WHOLE EGGS!! Such a great number to hear after getting 11 the cycle before.The next day Dr. C called with the fert report... 20 eggs were all matured and icsi’d, 17 actually fertilized and were looking good. We decided to move forward with a day 3 biopsy to PGD them again. See IVF #1 post for PGD Information. 
ET 9/21 - Adel and I went into embryo transfer day ready for anything. After hearing such disappointing news on this very day of cycle #1 we didn’t want to be unprepared again. We were hoping the different protocol would have done the trick and we would have improved egg quality this time. Dr. C came into the room and went over the report with us... We had 3 chomosomally normal embryos. Better then cycle #1 where we were only left with 1 but still... so crazy to see the other 14 with such serious genetic defects. What was wrong with my eggs? I am 33 years old, relatively healthy, etc, etc. Why are my eggs producing so many unviable embryos? Anyway... those were fleeting thoughts cause we had 3 embryos to work with! 1 was a beautiful hatching blast BB, one was a expanded blast CB and one was still a morula. The expanded blast and morula were really not great quality... at all (even though we knew they had all their chromosomes). Dr. C didn’t really think they would be successful so we opted to throw all three embyos in and see what happened! I was ecstatic. Not so much because of the potential for multiples but because we had basically braced ourselves for such bad news... that 3 was good for us. That still left us with none to freeze but these things happen. Because of the PGD we even knew the genders... two boys and a girl. I loved the idea of putting both sexes in and letting god decide which one made it. Gender selection was never our focus and we looked forward to being surprised at an ultrasound gender reveal. ET was beautiful, happy, optimistic and just felt right.
2WW - Bed rest (strict 72 hours) and the 2 week wait went fine. I have such a hard time laying around for days on end but I was really focused on relaxing and not thinking too much! Lol. I started POAS 6DP5DT (6 days past 5 day transfer) and it was a faint positive!! YAY!! Tested daily till beta day and they all looked good!

POAS Obsession? 

Our 4 year wedding anniversary was the day before our beta and I was really thinking this baby was the best present ever!! 

Betas/HCG - First beta was on 9/30 (9DP5DT) and it came in at 54. I was concerned that was pretty low. I was involved in a IVF cycle forum and everyone that was posting their initial betas were in the 100’s but Dr. C convinced me that pregnant was pregnant. Beta #2 was done three days later at 12DP5DT and was 420. OMG. Talk about an increase!!! My numbers were now right in line with all the other ladies on my forum! My last beta was 15DP5DT and my HCG was 1966. I was official/officially pregnant. And so excited. Next stop... ultrasound! 

Pregnancy was awesome! Even if only a few weeks in. I definitely felt it. My boobs were gigantic and sore (mostly from the progesterone). I was tired. Peeing all the time. Dreaming crazy dreams. The whole nine yards. 
10/11 - Sat down to use the restroom, looked into at underwear and saw they were bright red. Wiped... lots of blood. Red blood. I immediately thought it was over. Frantically called Dr. C who advised me to come in the next day for an ultrasound (one day earlier than my already scheduled u/s). He told me to take it easy/bed rest for the night and we would see what was happing the next day. I also called my dad... who is a doctor and always my go to during any medical situation. Actually, I go to him for everything medical or not.   :)  He had also advised me straight to bed rest and to update him with the next days ultrasound results. 
10/12 - Dr. C, Adel and I all piled into the exam room for our ultrasound. I was feeling nervous but decent since I hadn’t been cramping at all... and the blood had basically stopped overnight. Dr. C showed us a few things... the first was an abnormal looking mass that was a twin at one point... Second was a large hematoma in the uterus and third was a beautiful gestational sac, fetal pole, etc. It was still a bit early to see any heartbeat etc but there it was, right on the screen, our baby!!!! Dr. C seemed pretty grim... he said the hematoma was right next to/pushing on the healthy looking baby and the baby looked to be about 50% separated from the uterus. He said it could go either way at this point. He recommended I “take it easy” and try to stay off my feet as much as possible over the next week. He stated I might see more blood since we saw some in the uterus. I am also an rh negative blood type (O-) so I needed a rhogam shot for the miscarriage of the twin. This ensures my blood doesn’t build up any antibodies towards the healthy baby or future babies which would in turn attack them. 
Taking it easy was tough... that coming weekend was my brother’s wedding... which I was in. I made sure I rested frequently, laid around their couch, missed things like the bachelorette party, spa day, etc. Definitely took it easy till the day of the wedding which I needed to be standing for some of. I was actually feeling really good... I hadn’t had any more bleeding, no cramping, etc. I honestly felt as though we were going to get good news that coming week. 
10/18 - Ultrasound with Dr. C to see what we could see. I don’t know if I was just naive or what. But I actually thought the baby was fine. I climbed up on the ultrasound table and even had my phone next to me so I could take a video of the heartbeat for Adel (who was at work). *facepalm*  Dr. C was looking around in there for a bit longer then normal. Then slowly says “this is not good”. Eeeeep! He showed me the ultrasound screen which no longer showed a baby on my uterus. He saw a very large hematoma still in there but the baby was no longer attached. I was devastated. At that point I was a lil over 6 weeks pregnant (well not any longer) and really thought this was the one. I tried not to fall apart in the exam room while getting dressed and they shuffled me into Dr. C’s office for a quick meeting. I was advised to stop all meds (progesterone, estradiol valerate and baby aspirin). Dr. C said to expect a heavier than normal period and to let him know when I started bleeding. We also called Adel from his office. I wanted Adel to be able to ask the doctor any question he might have. Everyone in the office lined up at the door to give me a hug on the way out and I lost it. Very sad. 
It took 6 days to actually start bleeding again. During that time my mind was playing tricks with me. I actually started thinking maybe Dr. C had missed something and maybe the baby was still there. I had been ready all sorts of stories about missed miscarriages (the internet is evil) and was getting my hopes back up. But alas, early 10/24... I started bleeding, severely cramping for hours and eventually the tissue passed. Much bigger then I expected... was about the size of a lime. 

That for me marked the end of cycle #2.  

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