Monday, October 7, 2013

one step at a time

We had our regroup this morning. Basically, it wasn't anything new. A pretty quick phone call which confirmed what we already figured. 

He was expecting to retrieve 7 eggs. We got 7 eggs. 6 were mature. 4 fertilized. Since we froze the embryos at the one-cell stage,  we don't have any information on the quality. But visually, they appeared to be fine. Since we got the response we expected, no need to tweak my protocol. Estrogen priming protocol again.

Many of you have asked about this. Why did we have to make the banking decision so early? Why couldn't we let the embryos grow to day 3 or day 5 to see what we had before making a decision? It has to do with the freezing. CCRM has got this down to a science. They've tried freezing at all different stages and found that the survival rate is best when the freeze earlier. The risk of loss to the embryos from freezing is 1-2% which is very low. 

Did you learn nothing, my friend?
At one point, Dr. S said "after this next cycle, you can decide if you'd like to transfer or cycle again to add to the bank of embryos. I'd like to have at least 10 embryos to work with." I think I saw smoke coming from A's ears. He was livid at our ODWU when Dr. S brought up coming back for a second cycle before we even started the first. And the doc did it again. Hubby does not like looking ahead like that. But honestly, A's right. This is it, Dr. S. We got nothin' for ya after this next cycle. 

I almost f*cked up. Bad. And my hubby was pretty pissed at me. The day after our retrieval the embryologist called to give us our fertilization report and find out if wanted to bank/freeze our embies. Hubby and I discussed it. We agreed to bank. I dropped hubby off at the house and went to Target to get a thank you card for my bestie that we stayed with in Denver. As I was driving, I started freaking out about the money (that we don't have) and felt like we made the wrong decision. I called the clinic and asked if it was too late to change our minds. She said "yes, I documented our call and froze them immediately. You'll have to stick with your original decision." I wasn't upset which should've been an indicator that we made the right decision initially. 

When I got back to the house, hubby accosted me in the hallway and took my phone. He looked at the call log and said "why did you call CCRM at 11:15AM? What did you do?" I told him what I tried to do and he was really pissed at me. "Really" he said "you would make a decision like that without discussing it with me first. Especially after we already decided together". He was right. I was totally in the wrong. 

But the heck does that man know me so well? That's crazy that he knew I'd do that. Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying thanks for those of you that understand and validated our decision to bank. 

This study really help me feel like we made the right decision as well. 
The gist: Only 16% of the patients that didn't bank embryos (that had less than 10) made it to transfer. As opposed to 42% of the other group who did the banking.

Dr. S wants me to taking all of my poor responder supplements as soon as possible. Not sure if I've posted that here before. But a few of you have asked what I'm taking. 
Here's the list.

Myo Inositol 2gm (2x daily)
Melatonin 3mg (at bedtime)
Co Enzyme Q10 400mg (2x daily)
Omega 3 fatty acid 1000mg (1x daily)
Vitamin C 500mg (1x daily in am)
Vitamin E 200IU (1x daily)
L-Arginine 1000mg (2x daily)
Pycnogenol 100mg (1x daily)

No matter how you slice it, I have at least 3 more cycles before I could potentially do a FET. I haven't done my beta integrin 3 test which is an endometrial biopsy performed after you ovulate. It has to be done before I proceed to transfer to make sure I have the protein that can be missing with some endo patients. My question for the doc was regarding his recommendation on the order of things. Should I jump right into another stim cycle? Then do the test cycle. Then transfer. Or take a month off from stimming and get my beta test out of the way first. 

He said there is a recent Cornell report that shows some women's receptors can get overloaded from IVF. He said "if you respond well, you're probably going to respond well whether you wait or proceed." But since I'm a poor responder, I could benefit from taking a cycle off and giving my body a little break. Done. I'll take whatever advantage I can get. 

Still waiting for my period. 
Then I start the beta test cycle. 
Then my final stim cycle. 
Just taking this one step at a time.


Emily said...

Now I see why you had to make that decision so early. Interesting they freeze on Day 1. You said it yourself...they've got it down to a science, so trust them! I can only imagine the shock of them suggesting a third retrieval to bank before an FET. Yikes! I would have asked them if they had some dishes I could do in the back to pay for it. ha! God bless you two. You've been through so much, and you are almost there!

Aubrey said...

Our re groups sound awfully similar to me.... I hope you got my email! I'm sorry if it was too late :(. I'm glad you have a plan. My first instinct has been to trust CCRM with all that I have. It's hard not to question them sometimes, but they really are miracle workers... I'm banking on that for us both!! XOXO

bellehavendrive said...

I hope a plan to move forward helps you feel a bit better. :) I definitely think you made the right decision in banking!

Amie said...

It's sounds like you are doing everything single thing you can and making the best decisions based on the information provided to you. Praying for you Jessah :)

Always Maylee said...

One step at a time is the best way to proceed. Your body might do some good getting a bit of a break, so I think that was a good choice. I'm wishing you the best of luck moving forward!

xo, Yi-chia

Mrs. E said...

I so wish you had it easier. It sounds like you absolutely made the right choice with freezing when you did (those numbers are hard to argue with!) though I don't blame you at all for getting frustrated over the constant mention of more stim cycles... Your patience and positive attitude are amazing. Sending you lots of good news vibes for your beta test cycle. Thinking of you~~

shay said...

Wow, sounds like you made the right decision about banking. And too funny that your hubs knew you were up to second guessing yourself!

I agree that once you do 1 more stim cycle that should be good enough to not have to look for yet another after that. I mean, unless THEY want to pay for it? I think I would've probably come back at the dr with some snarky comment about how I didn't have a money tree in my backyard. I know he's only trying to give you future options, but that's just hard to swallow.

Take some time and indulge a bit. I've always naturally ended up having to wait a month in between cycles (for IUI's and then the IVF) and I find its so much better for me mentally and emotionally to be able to relax for a bit.

Amanda said...

Whoa, this is a lot of info. It may have been a quick phone call, but I feel like this answers a lot of my questions... I hope it answered a lot of yours.

I know the decision to freeze was intense... financially it's HUGE, but I think you made the right call. My thoughts are always, "if we've spent this much, and a little more will give us a better shot, why not?"

I think the cycle break is a good idea too... time to build up a follicle reserve.

Wishing you the best, Jessah!

Aislinn said...

I wish I had the perfect words to say, but I'm not sure what those would be. You're a strong woman, Jessah, and together, you and A are a strong team. My fingers are crossed that everything will go well during your cycles and that your dreams will come true soon <3

Mrs. Lost said...

Sometimes one step at a time is all we can do. You are stronger than you think, and this journey will just validate that. I will be praying for you guys. Keep your chin up!

Anonymous said...

What was your protocol this last cycle?

Caroline said...

So good to hear your update!!! Moving on forward, one day at a time!!

Sillymama said...

Your words, "one step at a time" is all you can do. Give yourself a break about the mishap with your hubby. This is not exactly a stress-free time for you both.

Kim @ Infertile Myrtle said...

It's crazy how our husbands know us so well. Since it was my body going through everything, he was very adament about being as involved as he could - so if I were to make a big decision w/o him, he probably would've responded the same way as A did. -- Our minds go through so much during these cycles, I can completely empathize with your last minute freakout. -- I'm rooting for you guys!

waiting and wishing said...

For what its worth, I think you absolutely made the right decision. I believe deeply that you have to set yourself up for the best cycle/transfer you possibly can. Its so important to know you've done all you can. I'm thinking of you and wishing you so much success!

Non Sequitur Chica said...

I took all of those egg supplements before my IVF cycle and although my husband thought that I just had very expensive pee, it makes me feel better that one of the best clinics in the country has the same protocol! I really think that they made a difference and I hope that they do the same for you!

conceptionallychallenged said...

Phew. The banking decision must be such a tough one. Amazing that your husband knows you so well though!
But how annoying that the doctors already bring up yet another cycle... I hope the next one works so well that even according to their numbers you won't need it!!

Nathalie Willmott said...

I love that your hubby know's you so well :D Thinking of you as continue on this journey!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your fascinating blog, Jessah. And good luck to you! I also just froze 5 day-1 embryos, and who knows if they'll thaw out & make it to day 5. I'm just on pins & needles waiting for my next ER in a few months. Thanks for posting your supplements; I'll give them a try for my next cycle & see if I get more/better embryos.


Sarah said...

You need a massage. Some wine and comfort food. A (free) vacation and a money tree. Oh friend, what a ride. But it sounds like you made the right decision and our moving forward one step at a time as you should :) Sending you lots of love!

jAllen said...

My Husband would have blown a gasket at the notion of doing a third cycle too! I 'm having a hard time just convincing him of CCS! I hope you enjoy your break and let the supplements do their magic!

Amber said...

Crazy that your husband knew right away that you had made that phone call! I am glad it was too late, so you can proceed forward with your plan. I know all this is torturous, mentally, financially, physically.... Hang in there Jessah. You've got a lot of people praying for you!

Dream Chase said...

*hugs* I know this is so hard, stressful, and scary. Praying that in the end when you see those two lines it will be worth every moment of this.

Mrs B. said...

How much better do things feel after a regroup? I feel like this is all coming together for you, almost. I wish I was filthy rich and could send you oodles of money friend!

Logan said...

WOW! I know you must be exhausted, and the process has is so overwhelming that taking it one step at a time is tough. I am thinking of you guys every step of the way... praying for emotional and physical strength for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessah,

I've been praying for you along your journey and I've only commented once or twice - but today after reading this blog, I really wanted to update you with my recent experience in hopes it will shed some insight to the statistics you've cited.

I've posted before when I was cycling with Reproductive Partners in La Jolla Ca....and I think I mentioned to you that my first fresh cycle did fail due to crazy stress and self doubt. During that cycle, they retrieved 13 eggs - 12 mature - 9 fertilized, and 7 made it to day 3. Because they told me that the eggs didn't look too great, I panicked and chose to do a 3 day transfer with the best two. It failed. 5 were left to grow to day 5 but the report said that they were fair to poor so we didn't have much hope, but 3 did make it and were frozen. Their status at day 5 were upgraded to good. The embryologist even commented that they can never tell at day 3 what their potential is. Two months later, I did an FET with one great little embyro and I am now so happily pregnant! I just wanted to give you all these numbers to give you perspective.

RPMG La Jolla never told me that I should keep banking or that they need at least 10 embryos to work with. They just kept reminding me of their stats and assured me that I will get pregnant. And when I lost all hope with my fresh cycle, they told me not to worry because they were even more confident with FET's. I needed that. I guess for me that reassurance and confidence from their end was what I needed.

The break I had in between the cycle was wonderful. I stopped obessing and being careful about everything, I drank coffee, and wine and had fun and did everything I didn't allow myself to do in the 2 years that we had been trying. And what I want to tell you more than anything is to keep believing, don't give up, because IVF does work, it really does especially for those that don't give up =). Keep going, I know that will is strong. You WILL have a baby!

Marcy said...

Sounds like you are doing absolutely everything one step at a time to get you to your baby. I'm so grateful that you are sharing your journey and all of the decisions that have to be made along the way. It is very informative for others that follow a similar path.

Sarah said...

Love the update Jessah. I love hearing about your protocol. I'm saying so many prayers and am amazed at your patience. :)

Janna Renee said...

I think it's amazing that he knows you so well, so that you don't end up sabotaging yourself! Just keep hope ;) I can't believe you were in Denver and I didn't know! Haha

"B" said...

Praying for you often. (New follower/commenter). CCRM has your best interest at heart and while the journey may be long I am sure the ending will be worth it. God Bless!

Twinkie said...

I just wanted to say good luck with your embryo banking!

Hope said...

It sounds like you're in excellent hands. I've heard great things about CCRM and (though I'm using a different clinic locally) have been taking their recommended supplements. I'm also hoping to bank embryos. Fingers crossed that this is the lucky combination for you!

Melina Millan said...

I totally admire you

andrea brionne said...

Wow there's a lot that I didn't know about IVF. I wish you the best of luck with everything! Your blog is adorable btw, came across it through Gentri Lee's blog

andrea brionne

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