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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

this doesn't seem to get any easier


Dr. S had the genetic counselor bring it up to us again today. The idea of banking. Banking whatever embryos we get this cycle, going home to cycle again, coming back for another egg retrieval and doing PGD testing on our bank of embryos after we've pooled them together from both cycles. He mentioned this in our ODWU in June and it didn't go over well.

This time wasn't much better. We understand why he's suggesting it. Our potential for success is much higher if we do this. We are paying almost $7k to do genetic testing on our embryos and there may not be much to test. If we bank them, it saves us money on the genetic testing on our next IVF cycle. But this logic only works if you know you'll be returning for another IVF cycle if this one fails.

Here are my numbers from yesterday and today.

Day 10 stim check
left: 10mm, 4mm
right: 19mm, 16mm, 16mm, 13mm, 9.5mm, 8.5mm, 6mm, 4mm

Day 11 stim check
left: 11mm, 5mm
right: 22mm, 18.5mm, 17mm, 15.4mm, 13mm, 9mm, 9mm, 5mm

I was supposed to trigger yesterday for a Wednesday retrieval. Each day they give me one more day to grow these follicles. But this is it. I've used the last of my second order of stim meds tonight. Pending anything crazy, I'll trigger tomorrow night for a Friday egg retrieval surgery. 

Nurse sweet pea thinks we will get eggs from the 5 largest follicles plus maybe the 11mm on the left.
Six eggs if we're lucky.
Then you start doing the math.
15% usually don't fertilize when they inject each egg with sperm (ICSI)
50% of the embryos typically don't make it to the day 5 blast stage for PGD testing
40% are likely to have chromosomal abnormaliities (due to my age) and will be unavailable for transfer

If I'm average, I'll have one normal embryo to transfer after everything we've been through.
That's if my embryo is not one of the unlucky 2% that don't survive the thaw.
Then I have a 70% implantation rate once that embryo is transferred to my uterus.

To bank or not to bank.
If we say yes, we're essentially "banking" on this cycle failing. What if we just take a leap of faith? Believe that our eggs and embryos will beat these averages.
Have faith that this is going to work out despite the horrible odds.
Believe the age old saying that all infertiles hate to hear "it only takes one." 

I think we're going to have to. We need to bank on "success". I don't know that we have much of a choice. A and I can't continue to go through this. We are tapped out. Financially. Emotionally. Physically. 

Last night, I didn't sleep much. I tossed and turned. Thinking about what to do. To bank or not to bank. Today I was exhausted and emotional. And no closer to an answer. It was one of the most draining, difficult days of my life thinking about this decision.

A and I fought. I cried. Cried until I couldn't breathe. I'm scared of this IVF failing. We've put so much into it. But as I fall asleep tonight, I'm choosing to pray and have faith that my embryo(s) are fighters. These ones. The ones I'm growing right now. They are strong and will make it through each of the upcoming hurdles. I choose to believe they will become babies.


47 comments:

Laura Crosby said...

How much does it cost to bank? It's something you may want to consider if you guys might try a surrogate further down the road :)You have to do what's best for you!

Kerri Andersen said...

i do not struggle with infertility but i really admire your strength. i imagine that your blog is a great comfort to others who are going through the same thing as you. thank you for being brave enough to share! I'm praying for your success!

Marcy said...

You are such a fighter, which must mean that your embryos are fighters too. Hug.

Anonymous said...

Love you, friend, and I am praying for your babies as well...

Nathalie Willmott said...

Believing with you xx

hellavalot said...

Not much, just wanted to say that if I believed in prayers, I would be praying very hard for you. Instead, wishing you all the very best, and will be thinking about you!

Mrs B. said...

What a tough decision to make. I don't think I could go through and bank them on my first cycle. I think you've made the right decision to keep going. It does 'only take one' and your embryos are gonna be little fighters like you are! I am sending you lots of love and positivity on some good looking embies, and a nice amount of eggs to choose from.

Infertile625 said...

Stick with your gut girl. Hugs to you, you are one of the strongest ladies I know.

Suzanne said...

Tapped out. It's a perfect way to put it. I feel all of those things and my heart aches that this most difficult decision has been put before you at a time when you need and want to feel positive. Thinking of you always, especially this week. Lots of good twinkle finger vibes coming your way!!

Sillymama said...

They may be small, but those embryos are strong! Keep positive and do whatever you need to over the next few days to feel at peace with it all...that means manicure, pedicure, massage, chocolate...whatever will work for you! Sending you all of that and more!

Amanda said...

Oh man, Jessah... this is tough stuff. I don't blame you for feeling emotionally spent and physically drained. You are such a fighter, my friend. No matter what you decide to do, I'm so, so proud of you. You've fought hard for your family. Praying with you that these follicles grow over the next two days and that the retrieval goes really, really well!

Thanking of you! Hugs!

Mrs. Lost said...

Praying for you guys that this will be the one! xoxo

Kristin J said...

You have the right attitude today! You have to believe in them if you are going to see your dreams come true. Praying for you and those future babies!

Always Maylee said...

I think having faith is all you can do at this point. I know you're scared of failure, but focus on success instead. I'm thinking of you and sending you lots of positive energy. Good luck this week!

xo, Yi-chia

Emily said...

I assume that this decision on banking doesn't need to be made until Day 4/5 post retrieval right? Until then, you won't know exactly how many you have to work with. I think it's smart to bring up the topic now and discuss with hubby and Dr. S, but ultimately the final decision shouldn't have to be made until you see what you get and how many make it to blast in the first place right?

Just breathe girly. Don't let all those statistics determine how many you think you will or will not have make it to blast for testing. You just never know what's going to happen...you already know that though. ;) Hang in there. You are strong!

Non Sequitur Chica said...

What a tough, tough decision. I am fairly conservative when gambling so honestly, if I was able to swing a second cycle, I would bank the embryos and go for the second cycle. Of course that is also me thinking into the future- that I would like two kids and so if I only have to go through the drugs and the monitoring while my eggs are younger, then I would like to get it over with.

Good luck making your decision. I know that you guys will make the right decision for your situation.

Kelly Z said...

Fingers crossed that everything goes super well for you and you get many good eggs that all fertilize!

Amie said...

Praying so much for this to work for you!

Darcie K said...

Oh girl, I feel so much frustration and confusion for you. These decisions are so hard to make. What a rollercoster ride this has been for you. I believe you are making the best decisions you can, and your doing it with so much strength and grace despite how you think you are. This is such a tough road, and I admire your ability to navigate the bumpy parts so eloquently. I'll be thinking of you. Grow follies grow!!!!!

Aislinn said...

Oh hun, this is all so hard and you're such a strong woman to go through it all. I don't have any wisdom for you and A, but I will say that you have to do whatever it is that will make you not have any regrets at the end of it all. That's all any of us can do on this journey.

I hope that whatever you and A decide to do brings you peace and hope. You guys are an amazing team and will make it through this together. I'm thinking about you guys <3

Gypsy Mama said...

I'm sorry you are faced with so many tough decisions. I'm glad that you woke up with a choice you felt good with.

I didn't know other infertiles hate to hear "it only takes one!" I love to hear that because it gives me hope.

I am crossing my fingers for you girlfriend :)

bellehavendrive said...

Darn. :( I hate this for you. I hate that you have to make these kinds of decisions. It's just not fair. To go with faith or statistics ...? I'm so sorry ... I hope the Lord gives you an answer.

shay said...

ugh, such hard decisions... praying that you make the right choices for YOU and your embryos!

Cristy said...

Thinking of you Jessiah and praying with you too. Wrapping you in love today.

Just T said...

I personally think your little embryos will be fighters just like you!

Whitney B. said...

I wish I could understand what you are going through and say something really amazing. I'm so sorry you are going through this, all I can say is doctors are not God. They do NOT, no matter how much research and study, they can not predict what the Lord has planned for your life. Stay strong.

Caroline said...

Choosing to have faith! So beautiful Jessah - even though it's not hard, I'm so glad you are choosing life and so glad you are choosing to believe!

Anonymous said...

You are not alone. I'm 36 starting cycle #4. Our embryos just don't make it to blast- heartbreaking :(. I'm DOR too. Making these huge decisions is the hardest part of ivf. I didn't choose ccrm b/c of $ ( i'm considering donor egg if this doesn't work.) You're a strong, smart & beautiful woman- you're doing all the right things. Pray. Then try to let go. It's in God's hands. I'm praying & cheering for you :)

Amy said...

I just wanted to leave a quick comment and tell you or remind you that God doesn't work within percentages. Our God isn't one that we confine to a box so these numbers that we all look at, mull over, fixate on...He doesn't even consider them. Who are we to think that our loving God, creator of the Heavens and Earth isn't able to do this for you and A? I know for certain that I cling to His promises and these thoughts that He is greater than all things here on Earth during our trials of growing our family.

In my opinion, it sounds like you already know what you want to do about to bank or not to bank. My thoughts are that if it is part of His path for you, He'd make the funds and decision more readily available and clear to you. The hardest part I know for me with our journey towards a family is to sit and be patient. When there isn't a clear answer, I don't move.

Aside from the POAS, your numbers sound very similar to mine. My left side is the problem child and doesn't respond well or produce as many follicles. I too with this last round of IVF had to extend things to try and get some to grow and hope that the others wouldn't outgrow themselves. You're doing great with all of this.

I wish you the best of luck with retrieval this week. Enjoy the experience, I know that sounds weird, but what an amazing gift you have to go through this and experience this. You're going above and beyond. I hope you enjoy what I call the glorious retrieval nap...once they put me under and I awoke after the procedure it felt like I had been asleep for ages in the la-la land of naptime. :)

Will be thinking and praying that this is God's will for you both.

Anonymous said...

Sweetie, if you really believe God is wanting you to just do this one cycle and not bank for later, then you also need to prepare to listen to what God is saying if it doesn't produce a much-wanted pregnancy. I'm so sorry you are in such a conflicted place!

Ashley said...

I'm sorry this is such a hard process. Praying that the Lord will give you wisdom and discernment in your decisions. Keep praying and reading the Word- He will lead you.

Sarah said...

I read your post this morning and have been thinking about you and what I wanted to say in my comment. I know you aren't asking for advice or opinions, but I really feel in my heart of hearts that you guys should finish this cycle to the end...ER...Transfer. I know it's hard NOT to look at numbers and percentages, especially when you've put so much money into this. But I really feel like, this is in God's hands. Can you imagine going through a whole cycle again? The shots? The tears? The appts? The worries? I understand there are benefits to banking them and testing and trying another cycle sometime. But I truly feel this is your moment. It truly only takes one embryo. Sure, would it be nice to have a few in the end? Of course. But it truly only takes one. I know it's easier said than done..to go through with the cycle to the end...to transfer. But I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and wishing you PEACE with whatever you decide :) You are so deserving of a happy ending here!

Lisa Mace said...

Praying for you! I am having a hard cycle too. I have cried a lot today. :( It just isn't fair we have to go through this. I hope you are doing a little better.

Anonymous said...

Do you know for sure that this is your last cycle and after this you won't try again if it fails? If you're sure this is it, then I would obviously just eliminate the option of banking.

If you are open to maybe trying again after this, then I would think about whether you mind possibly shelling out another $7000 for genetic testing plus the cost of another transfer if this one fails. That is the only amount of money you'd be losing by not banking, from what I can see.

If you take the chance and just transfer now and it works, you will save yourself the emotion, time, money, and stress of an unnecessary extra cycle. If you try this and it doesn't work and you end up being open to trying again, you will only "lose" the cost of genetic testing and transfer at most by not having banked, right?

I think if I were you and based on what you've written I'd try the transfer this time. Also, if you only end up with one or two embryos on day 5 would you consider just transferring them without genetic testing? It seems like it would be cheaper to do that than to test just a couple embryos at the cost of $7000. Isn't the cost of transfer cheaper than the cost of genetic testing? It seems to be the testing would make the most sense if you had a lot of embryos to choose from for transfer.

Good luck whatever you do. I know how hard all of these kinds of decisions are.

Sorry, I didn't see the last paragraph of your post when I wrote the above. I'm with you in thinking it's best to give your current cycle a chance and stay hopeful. Also, not to be cynical but sometimes the banking in my opinion can be a way to boost clinic stats, since after 2 or 3 cycles, they will be more likely to find the best embryo to transfer and the pregnancy and live birth per transfer stats will look much better that way. Go with your heart!

Amy said...

It does only take one!!! I am sorry this journey has been so hard for you- my only advice? Let it all out- cry and shout if you need, just don't keep it in. Thinking and praying for you both xoxo Amy

jess said...

I am so sorry you have to deal with this...it sucks! We have very similar circumstances. All we can do is try our best and then pray through it. These decisions are so tough. Take some time and you will know what decision feels best in your heart. Prayers and hugs coming your way!

Aubrey said...

Oh Jessah, I know JUST how you feel and I'm so sorry that you have to even think about this. Here's the thing though... you really don't have to think about it until after retrieval... Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised with more than five eggs and that you'll have no need for a second cycle! AND... maybe, just maybe, this is it! Maybe your lucky embryo will come from one of your eggs that you retrieve on Friday... I'm praying for you!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Infertility is an emotional roller coaster. I have endured a few ISCI IVF's that were unsuccessful or ended in miscarriage. I found myself broken down and a mess. I too was exhausted emotionally, physically and financially. After some therapy, soul searching and praying I had my "a-ha" moment. My transformation is giving up control and putting it in God's hands. Yes, easier said then done but once you can let it go and give it to God you will have a sense of peace fall over you. I am happy to announce that I am starting an IVF ISCI cycle in October with a whole new perspective.

Instead, I am sticking with my faith and continuing to pray, asking God to help me through it. Any time I start to feel weak around my faith or start to get stressed, I pray, or read something positive. I lean on God a lot.

Remember at this point, you have done everything you can do. The doctors have done what they can do. Now it's up to God.

Often doctors don't give a lot of hope or they throw a lot of statistics at you. But putting your faith in God, instead of in those numbers, may get you where you need to be. Don't let the statistics tell your story. If it's in your heart and you pray, it will happen.

God has made plans that God-only knows. the excruciating challenge is, you don't know. And you won't know until after-the-fact. If you are going to relinquish control to God, you will have to do so without knowing His plans. You will have to trust Him in the midst of uncertainty.

Remember...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord; "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11


ADSchill said...

Oh hon. I understand where you are at. Its such a draining and emotional rollercoaster. There are so many decisions to make and they seem impossible. We ended up with 5 embryos, two of which we lost halfway through my pregnancy and two of our last three didn't survive the thaw...but our last embryo became our son. I went into that FET thinking all the odds were against me and I was scared. But it does happen. If you can't see being able to do a second retrieval than your decision to trust this batch of embryos is the right one for you. I know I will never do IVF again for all the same reasons you listed. We all have our limits. This will work. Keep your head up and get some awesome IVF socks!

conceptionallychallenged said...

I'm sorry this cycle is so hard on you. And I think doctors should get better at respecting their patients limits, whether they be physical, emotional, financial or other. They're supposed to help you, not make it even more difficult. (I understand they mean well, but still...)
I'll be rooting for your success!

Em said...

I love your last line. I'm choosing to believe that right along with you. If I could, I'd hold your hand and pray for these follicles. But because we're states apart, I'll just pray, my friend.

The Granberrys said...

I think making difficult decisions when there are no guarentees is the hardest, most anxiety ridden thing ever! I am praying for SUCCESS for this cycle...and for PEACE.

Amber said...

Aww honey. I don't have words. I could offer advice, bu I think it would only contribute to the turmoil and you have to do what is best for you guys. I will pray for you and offer lots and lots of cyber hugs!

Melissa said...

Praying praying praying! Praying this is the one. HUGS.

Jennifer T said...

I hate the statistics for chance of success. Why can't it be more of a sure thing? Especially when there is so much invested in this? I hope you are feeling good about what you decided to do and ultimately it is what gets you your baby! I hope your egg retrieval went/goes well! You are in my thoughts and prayers!

Lisamarie said...

Hey friend. I'm praying for you. So is my mom and sister. You are beautiful and strong. And you have a hotie husband. Chin up, buttercup!

Anonymous said...

I just had my retrieval at CCRM on september 9th - we are waiting on CCS results for only 4 blastocytes. In retrospect, I wonder if maybe we shouldn't have done CCS testing for such a small number, but what's done is done. I'm 42 and this is my first and last attempt at IVF ~ I sold my childhood home to pay for the procedure ~ there will be no second chance at a first child. I've been doing a lot of emotional second guessing and dealing with a lot of "what if's" myself, and your words really touched me. So much of this process is out of our hands, at a certain point, all we can do is put our babies in the care of the best doctors & embryologists (CCRM) and our higher power. I too, choose to believe that I've created fighters. What more can we do?? Best of luck ~ I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers and keep track of your progress. Hang in there. ~jaggirl

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