Category: ICSI


Like I told you in the beginning, as I finish this IVF journey I may jump around.  Mainly because I will write what I feel at the moment.  I am about to head to bed and I am listening to Oceans by HIllsong United. This song is going to be important to me for the rest of my life because this was my song during my twin cycle.

As you can imagine after 2 failed IVF cycles we were feeling defeated. We still had our son and so we tried to keep things in perspective that he just might be our only one and we were grateful for that.

My husband needed surgery to extract sperm and not just any surgery.  The surgery he needed was going to be a Micro TESE and only a handful of people truly specialized in the surgery.  I went back to find the original article done on this surgery because if we were going to do it, we were going to the best. At this point we had already spent $50k in IVF cycles and had our sweet son to show for it, but two heart breaking failures.

That is when I found Dr. Bruce Gilbert in Great Neck, NY. http://brucegilbertmd.com/micro-tese/

At this point we were ready to drain our financial resources for another child (as this cycle ended up costing a whopping $48K.)  We made an appointment with him, as you can imagine he is booked out far in advance.  But of course getting there would not go smoothly.  Our flight got cancelled and knowing that we did not want to have to reschedule and push our cycle back, we flew in to Maryland, rented a car and drove 4 hours to get to the appointment on time at 8 am.  We were exhausted and that is when we coined our phase, “if this was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.”

I will go into more details about Mirco-Tese and the Cycle in a different blog but for now I just want to talk about the song.  So during the 5 months, I leaned on God with everything, I mean I could not have walked during this time if it wasn’t for him.  And anytime I started to doubt or feel weary, the song Oceans by Hillsound United would come on geh radio or pandora, and I would think to myself, there is God reminding me again to trust HIM.

Well I go up for the week of ER and transfer, and I am just praying that Oceans would play. I am listening to Hillsong United Pandora station, Christian radio, and NOTHING. The song that I have heard probably a 100 times in the last 6 months in my moments of doubt does not play for me one freaking time. I was so low, and so sad. Because even after transfer as I leaned on HIM, I am asking please give me a sign this worked, give me MY sign. Nothing. After almost 2 weeks of being in New York for ER, Transfer then 4 days of bedrest, I finally am leaving to go back home.  I drive to LGA, and I am thinking well, we did our best, but I don’t think this worked.

Then as I approach the airport, OCEANS PLAYS on chrisitan radio, and ends right as I park the car the rental car to turn it. I burst into tears, the ugly hyperventalating tears. People must have thought something terrible had happened because I could not stop crying. And I KNEW, I KNEW at that moment HE never left and I was pregnant. Then 8.5 months later I gave birth too 2 healthy, beautiful 35 week twins that needed no NICU.

Moral of the story: Never lose hope.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Love and Sticky Dust,

IVFwoes

Back Tracking

Now that I have been through the IVF Process, gotten pregnant, and I am on bed rest that leaves me with a lot of time.  I am going to go backwards and fill in the gaps from June to now.  There are a lot of things I will do differently for my FET transfer.  I plan on doing that once this baby turns 1.  Then we have a huge decision to make and that is if we will ever go through IVF again, I would love to have 4 children and my husband wants to have 3, but it’s a huge decision and expense.  Plus after the HORRIFIC experience my husband had we now know he will also have to have surgery and be put under.  Although this time we would potentially have two children.

Keep checking back I will start tomorrow from the beginning!  Hopefully over the next year I can talk about my journey into motherhood and the decision to start the FET! 

Lots of love!!

IVFwoes

Sorry I have not been keeping up on the blog this last week. I have been very tired this past week. I am thinking that it’s the side effect of the progesterone and all the other drugs. With my body mimicking pregnancy, I think I am feeling the full side effects of fatigue!

Anyway, I knew I had told everyone on Twitter I would share our egg retrieval story. The Huz and I look back at it now, and realize that we must be extremely positive people, because we could have easily been really upset or discouraged after the process. Instead, we thought everything went great! Until the Huz and I had our check up and the doctors where apologizing for what happened during retrieval. We both were like what went wrong?

Well let’s go back to the Friday before retrieval at my weekly check up, and they tell me that I will probably have retrieval on Wednesday at the rate of egg growth. They also warned me that my estrogen may be high due to the number of eggs. Nurse Red says to me that she hopes that it’s no higher than 2200. She would give me a call once the blood work came in. When I get the call, my estrogen is 2208. THANK GOD! Then she said that tomorrow Dr. T will call after the blood work. She tells me to lower my Follistim from 300 to 50.

Then as you all may have read my Chicago story “STFU and do what I say” It was not easy getting that blood draw, and my cycle would have been cancelled if I didn’t. My estrogen went to 2800 and it was for sure that I was having retrieval on Wednesday.

So I go in Monday and I am so uncomfortable I am having a difficult time breathing. They take my blood and my estrogen was at 5000. I stopped taking Follistim, took the HCG trigger on Tuesday and went in on Wednesday. Walking had become unbearable, I felt like my ovaries were pushing on everything.

The Huz’s procedure was in-patient, so he went to the doctor’s office and I went to the outpatient surgery wing. My surgery was supposed to be at 9 am at 10 am I was still laying there. My MIL was with me and we are wondering what was going on.

The Huz is at the urologist office, they are supposed to do a biopsy to get sperm. They do the initial biopsy and give it to the embryologist who I will call Dr. G for Genius. He comes back and says there is no sperm in the specimen. Dr. Urologist looked white as a ghost according to the Huz because he had guaranteed sperm, and right now there wasn’t any. Basically what happens next is enough to make anyone nauseous. Dr. G and Dr. Urologist began to weigh their options, we had no donor sperm, since I was already on the over stimulated side, there was no way I could wait another day and I was prepped for surgery. They decide they have to basically operate on the Huz in the office! The Huz obviously is awake and is only given a local, as they cut deeper he repeatedly has to tell them he feels pain, and they keep giving him injections. The Huz witnessed Dr. Urologist take his testicle out, basically cut it in half and dig for sperm! The whole time, the Huz (who is not very spiritual) says he is praying to God that there is something, some sperm somewhere. Because the last words he heard Dr. Urologist say to Dr. G was if there is no sperm in that sample we will not find any.

This whole time I am just waiting, wondering what is going on. Then they take me back and retrieve 31 eggs and 26 of these are mature.

Dr. G said because of all this last-minute and being unprepared for what happened could be the reason our fertilization rate dropped drastically. We already knew we were going to have to do ICSI, so at least that was in the plan. He was able to injection most of the eggs but not all the sperm was fully mature. They worked on our group from 10 am to 7 pm that evening. In the end we have 6 viable eggs for a 5 day transfer. They implanted 2 blasts, and only one made it to the 6th day so it could be frozen.

Dr. Urologist explained that if we ever do IVF again, the Huz will also be put anesthesia and have surgery too. The Huz had a ton of stitches inside and out, and could not get out of bed for 4 days. We looked pathetic, me on bed rest for 2 days, he not being able to walk, and my sister working overtime to take care of us.

So thank goodness we didn’t even realize what went wrong until a week later! But, hey everything happens for a reason and we are fine! We haven’t decided yet if we would do IVF again, we will def use the frozen embie when the time comes, but to go through everything again, right now we are not sure. We will keep you posted. As for now we are just praying and hoping that these two stick or at least one!

Beta is on Thursday, can’t wait! We are both pretty excited!

Yesterday was ER.  I was so happy because I was so ready to get these eggs out! The Huz also had to have surgery as well.  He was dropped off at the office since his was in-patient surgery.  I went down to the outpatient hospital wing, and waited.  After they called me back and I stripped down and put on the @$$ open gown.  I lay on the bed, ready.  They had told me that they were going to give me some protein afterwords to help me since my ovaries were so big.  We waited for a long time before I went back and my mother in law stayed with me until I went back.  We both wondered what was taking so long.  My husband finally came down, and we found on that the first biopsy did not find any mature sperm.  The second cut that was extremely deep did find some good sperm, which we later found out from the Urologist.

I finally went back, and they moved me to the other bed, and that is all I remember.  They did not count down, let me know the anesthesia was coming, they just put me out!  I woke up in the recovery room.  They had started the protein and I had to finish two of these large bottles before I was allowed to leave.  They told me that I am going to be in pain for a couple of days. But I am in real pain.  My abdomen is pretty swollen, a little cramp-y, but what I realized is causing the most pain is constipation.  I am going home from work, and I am going to lie down.  My husband is also lying down all day, and I will join him.  My sweet mother in law is going to bring down dinner tonight.  I have acupuncture tomorrow and I am  hoping that will help.   

Other than that, we are waiting to hear how many will survive in the end.  Our clinic only does 5 day transfers, so my ET will be on Monday.  They will implant two, and we will hope that the other can be frozen.  This process is pretty exhausting, I have a new respect for those people who have gone through multiple IVFs. 

I hope that for me all will work out well.  I pray for those who have gone through these multiple times.  I wish the best for those starting their journeys.

Before this whole experience I had an intense fear of needles.  I never looked when people drew my blood.  I would always have to take the time to mentally prepare myself if I was going to get a shot.  I remember my very first acupuncture appointment (back when I was going for asthma) and it was terrifying! I was in so much pain because I could not loosen up my muscles.  I was so scared.  Now needles have become second nature.  I still hesitate when I am taking my morning shot.  But it has become less stressful.  I am going to acupuncture twice a week right now.   I am also going to a chiropractor once a week to help with aligning my hips and all that good stuff.  I do not want to even know what the total cost of all of this will amount too.   This whole process is so expensive and we are over the $10,000 mark.  However we have paid for a lot of our treatments up front, and the only payment left is for ICSI.

I had my sonogram check up today, everything looks good.  I had a little fluid in the endometrial cavity, but that was my period coming to an end. Then I had the weekly blood draw, which I am keeping count of tubes of blood and I am now up to 13.  

I am still excited and very hopefully.  My mom and mom in law are both having a very hard time containing their excitement, especailly since there are only 8 total people who know about our relaitonship with IVF.  So we are all still on team hope.  Dr. T seems very optimistic too.  He said that my ovary functioning test was very high so we should get some really good eggs. The Huz is doing his part too.  He just finished up his antibiotics, and has been eating so healthy it really puts me to shame. He wants his swimmers to be in tip top shape.  He is so supportive and feels guilty about all the shots I have to take, which is very sweet.  Also, The Huz is a man that never dreams, and he told me that he had a dream he was playing with our baby’s curly hair last night.  Precious! 

Anyway, I just wanted to check in.  Also to any military spouse’s Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day.  I too am an Army wife, and its nice to be recognized!  The Huz has had 2 deployments to Iraq and I am the FRG lead so we know how tough it really is!

Have a positive IVF day!

Daily Shout Outs:

@VeeNora hoping next week your receive you BFP!

@IVFjess praying for you to have peace.  Also praying for positive news!

@Ashann7 hoping you have a wonderful transfer and for lots of stickiness!

@fertilitychick that the adoption process goes smoothly, as a person who conducts home studies, I know the hurry up and wait game is very tiring!

@babywishes25 that everything will go perfect in your IVF! Only positive thoughts to you!

Holy Infertility!

Holy World of Infertility!  I am now a part of the 1 in 6 couples in America that has a form of infertility.  We had an idea that we might be inducted into this exclusice group upon marriage.  My husband is a survivor of testicular cancer, and with that we knew that the months of chemotherapy and drugs as a child could possibly affect his ability to conceive.   As soon as the wedding was over we went to a specialist, and found out what we had already known.  “It looks like your only chance of conceiving is with IVF.”   The first blog I read started out with, “So you’re going to have IVF, Congratulations and I’m Sorry.”  That was the perfect quote to begin this journey!  We are extremely excited, however it is a hard reality to know that you cannot conceive naturally, when they are so many people who “accidentally” get pregnant. But to us the good news was there is sperm and he is in great health, so with the help of ICSI, hopefully we can make a baby! 

I will be back daily, to write about the journey of IVF for the next two months, hopefully I will continue for another 9, and will be pregnant! But for now lets just keep hope in the forefront and see what happens.

I never knew that another organization could have more acronyms than the military!  My husband  has been in the Army for 11 years now and when I showed him how many acronyms there were, he said either someone has too much time, or you are nuts for trying to learn them all.  So what do I do?  I print a list and try to learn them all.  This list is a little dated but for your viewing pleasure I present the IAASLO3 (Infertility Acronyms and Abbreviations List of 2003.)

2WW = 2-Week Wait
47XXY = Klinefelter’s Syndrome

ACA = Anti-cardiolipin Antibodies
ACTH = Adrenal Corticotropic Hormone
AF = Aunt Flo (menstruation)
AH, AZH = Assisted Hatching
AHI = At-home Insemination
a.i = alt.infertility newsgroup
a.i.a, aia = alt.infertility.alternatives newsgroup
a.i.p, aip = alt.infertility.primary newsgroup
a.i.s, ais = alt.infertility.secondary newsgroup
AI = Artificial Insemination
AIH = Artificial Insemination from Husband
ANA = Anti-nuclear Antibodies
AO = Anovulation
AOA, AVA = Anti-ovarian Antibody
APA = Anti-phospholipid Antibodies
APTT = Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time
ART = Assisted Reproductive Technology
ASA = Anti-sperm Antibody
ASRM = American Society of Reproductive Medicine
ATA = Anti-thyroid Antibody
AWOL = A Woman On Lupron

B2 = Baby Two (mailing list)
BA = Baby Aspirin
BBT = Basal Body Temperature
BCP = Birth Control Pills
BD = Baby Dance (sex)
BFN = Big Fat Negative
BFP = Big Fat Positive
BG = Blood Glucose
BMS = Baby-making Sex
BSE = Breast Self-Exam
BT = Balanced Translocation
BW, b/w = Bloodwork

C# = Cycle Number
CAD = Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet
CAH = Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
CALP = Carbohydrate Addict’s Life Plan
CASA = Computer-assisted Semen Analysis
CB = Cycle Buddy CBAVD = Congenital Bilateral Absence of the Vas Deferens
CCCT, CCT = Clomiphene Citrate Challenge Test (Clomid Challenge Test)
CD = Cycle Day
CD56+ = Natural Killer Cells
CF = Cervical Fluid
CM = Cervical Mucus
CMV = Cytomegalovirus
CNM = Certified Nurse Midwife
COH = Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation
COW = Curse of Womanhood (menstruation)
CP = Cervical Position
CPFM = ClearPlan Fertility Monitor
CVS = Chorionic Villae Sampling

D&C = Dilation & Curettage
D&E = Dilation & Evacuation
DE = Donor Eggs
DES = Diethylstilbestrol (a synthetic estrogen)
DHEAS = Dihydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
DI = Donor Insemination
DIPI = Direct Intra-peritoneal Insemination
DOR = Diminished Ovarian Reserve
DOST = Direct Oocyte-Sperm Transfer
DPO = Days Post-Ovulation
DPR = Days Post-Retrieval
DPT = Days Post-Transfer
DP3DT = Days Post 3-Day Transfer
DP3DT = Days Post 5-Day Transfer
Dx = Diagnosis

E2 = Estradiol
EB, EMB = Endometrial Biopsy
EDD = Estimated Due Date
ENDO = Endometriosis
EPO = Evening Primrose Oil
EPT = Early Pregnancy Test
ET = Embryo Transfer
ETF = Embryo Toxic Factor
ETA = Embryo Toxicity Assay
EW, EWCM = Eggwhite Cervical Mucus

FBG = Fasting Blood Glucose
FI = Fasting Insulin
FET = Frozen Embryo Transfer
FF = Fertility Friend or Fat Friendly
FHR = Fetal Heart Rate
FP = Follicular Phase
FM = Fertile Mucus or Fertility Monitor
FSH = Follicle Stimulating Hormone
FTTA = Fertile Thoughts To All
FUR = False Unicorn Root
FV = Fertile Vibes

GD = Gestational Diabetes
GI = Gastrointestinal
GIFT = Gamete Intra-fallopian Transfer
GnRH = Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone
GP = General Practitioner
GTT = Glucose Tolerance Test

HbA1c = Glycosylated Hemoglobin (also called Glycohemoglobin)
hCG, HCG = Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
HCP = Health Care Practitioner
HEPA = Hamster Egg Penetration Assay
hMG, HMG = Human Menopausal Gonadotropin
HP = Hannah’s Prayer (Christian infertility / pregnancy loss group)
HPT = Home Pregnancy Test
HRT = Hormone Replacement Therapy
HSC = Hysteroscopy
HSG = Hysterosalpingogram

IBT = Immunobead Binding Test
ICI = Intra-cervical Insemination
ICSI = Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection
IF = Infertility
IGTT = Insulin and Glucose Tolerance Test
IM = Intra-muscular (WRT injections)
INCIID = International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination
IOR = Immature Oocyte Retrieval
IR = Insulin Resistant
ITI = Intra-tubal Insemination
IUFD = Intra-uterine Fetal Demise
IUGR = Intra-uterine Growth Retardation
IUI = Intra-uterine Insemination
IVC = Intra-vaginal Culture
IVF = In Vitro Fertilization
IVIg = Intravenous Immunoglobulin

LAD = Leukocyte Antibody Detection Assay
LAP = Laparoscopy
LH = Luteinizing Hormone
LIT = Leukocyte Immunization Therapy
LMP = Last Menstrual Period (start date)
LO = Love Olympics (sex)
LP = Luteal Phase
LPD = Luteal Phase Defect
LSP = Low Sperm Count
LUF, LUFS = Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome

MAI = Miscarriage After Infertility (mail list)
MC, m/c, misc. = Miscarriage
MESA = Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration
MF = Male Factor
m.h.i, mhi = misc.health.infertility newsgroup
MIFT = Micro Injection Fallopian Transfer
m.k.p, mkp = misc.kids.pregnancy newsgroup
MMR = Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine
MRI = Magnetic Resonance Imaging

NEST = Non-surgical Embryonic Selective Thinning
NK = Natural Killer Cells (CD56+)
NORIF = Non-stimulated Oocyte Retrieval In (office) Fertilization
NP = Nurse Practitioner
NSA = Non-surgical Sperm Aspiration

O, OV = Ovulation
OASIS = Overweight & Seeking Infertility Support (mail list)
OB = Obstetrician
OB/GYN = Obstetrician/Gynecologist
OC = Oral Contraceptives
OD = Ovulatory Dysfunction
OHSS = Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
ONNA = Oh No, Not Again (mail list)
OPK Ovulation Predictor Kit
OPSS = Overweight & Pregnant Support (mail list)
OPT = Ovulation Predictor Test
OTC = Over The Counter
OTTC = Overweight & Trying To Conceive (mail list)
OW = Overweight

P4 = Progesterone
PA = Physician’s Assistant
PAI-1 = Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1
PANFERT = Pregnancy After Infertility (mail list)
PCAO= Polycystic Appearing Ovaries
PCO = Polycystic Ovaries
PCOD = Polycystic Ovary Disease
PCOS = Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
PCP = Primary Care Physician
PCT = Post Coital Test
PESA = Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration
PG = Pregnant
PGD = Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis
PI = Primary Infertility
PID = Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PIO = Progesterone in Oil
PLI = Paternal Leukocyte Immunization
PMS = Pre-menstrual Syndrome
PNM = Perinatal Mortality
POC = Products of Conception
POF = Premature Ovarian Failure
PROM = Premature Rupture of Membranes
PTSD = Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PZD = Partial Zona Dissection

RE = Reproductive Endocrinologist
R-FSH, R-hFSH = Recombinant Human Follicle Stimulating Hormone
RI = Reproductive Immunologist
RIP = Reproductive Immunophynotype
ROS = Reactive Oxygen Species
RPL = Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
RSA = Recurrent Spontaneous Abortion
Rx = Prescription

SA = Semen Analysis
SART = Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology
s/b, S/B = Stillbirth
SB = SugarBusters diet
SCORIF = Stimulated Cycle Oocyte Retrieval In (office) Fertilization
SHG, SonoHSG = Sonohysterogram
SI = Secondary Infertility
SIS = Saline Injection Sonogram
SLE = Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
SPA = Sperm Penetration Assay
SPALS = Subsequent Pregnancy After a Loss Support (mail list)
s.s.p.l, sppl = soc.support.pregnancy.loss newsgroup
STD = Sexually Transmitted Disease
SUZI = Sub-zonal Insertion

T1 = Type I Diabetic — Juvenile Diabete
T2 = Type II Diabetic — Insulin Resistant, Adult Onset
T4 = Thyroxine
TEBG = Testosterone-Estradiol Binding Globulin
TESA = Testicular Sperm Aspiration
TESE = Testicular Sperm Extraction
TET = Tubal Embryo Transfer
TL = Tubal Ligation
TNF = Tumor Necrosis Factor
TORCH = Toxoplasmosis, Other, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus & Herpes test
TR = Tubal Reversal
TRH = Thyroid Releasing Hormone
TSH = Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
TTC = Trying to Conceive
TTCAR = Trying to Conceive after Reversal
TUFT = Trans-uterine Fallopian Transfer
Tx = Treatment
TZD = Thiazolidinediones

UR = Urologist
US, u/s = Ultrasound
UTI = Urinary Tract Infection

V = Vasectomy
VR = Vasectomy Reversal

WBC = White Blood Cells
WHR = Waist to Hip Ratio
WLS = Weight Loss Surgery
WNL = Within Normal Limits

ZIFT = Zygote Intra-fallopian Transfer