Monday, November 25, 2013

Bed Rest...Meh!

Countdown:
Pregnancy test - 10 days

There is a difference in bed rest and bed rest on your back. When you're told to stay on your back for 2 days, it gets really uncomfortable! Today, I was finally allowed to get up to shower and recline. It has made a world of difference! Tomorrow, bed rest ends. Celebrate good times, come on! I have enjoyed the relaxation with Todd, and Mom brought us yummy tortilla soup for dinners. Thanks, Momma! However, I welcome a few relaxing days where I can choose my activities. I think tomorrow will be celebrated by a grocery trip to Walmart. Step back! Wild PROVENCES on the loose!

Other than a stiff back, I have been feeling pretty well. Oh, I've had a headache all day, and I'm not sure what caused that. Otherwise, pretty good. :)

We got a call today about our fourth embryo. As of yesterday, it hadn't changed from a 5-cell. However, today, it grew to a 9-cell. They'll continue watching for at least another 48 hours, giving us daily updates...I hope.

My Progesterone shots started hurting. However, after some new icing and wrist-movement tips from the BFI nurse, we are back on track with minimal-pain shots. Love that!

Otherwise, everything is pretty low-key around here. The kids get here tomorrow, so the real fun starts then. We've been doing FaceTime talks with our nieces, again. They bring me pure joy!

Beta test (pregnancy test) is next Thursday, so we are definitely counting down here. Happy Thanksgiving!!...in case my crazy Walmart trips keep me too busy to blog. ;-)

Shot Scoreboard:
1.       Sunday morning – 225IU Follistim
2.       Sunday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
3.       Monday morning – 225IU Follistim
4.       Monday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
5.       Tuesday morning – 225IU Follistim
6.       Tuesday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
7.       Wednesday morning – 225IU Follistim
8.       Wednesday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
9.       Thursday morning – 225IU Follistim
10.   Thursday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
11.   Friday morning – 225IU Follistim
12.   Friday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
13.   Saturday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
14.   Saturday evening – 375IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
15.   Sunday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
16.   Sunday evening – 375IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
17.   Monday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
18.   Monday evening – Pregnyl, hCG trigger shot
19.   Wednesday evening – 0.5cc Progesterone
20.   Thursday evening – 0.5cc Progesterone
21.   Friday evening – 1cc Progesterone
22.   Saturday evening – 1cc Progesterone
23.   Sunday evening – 1cc Progesterone
24.   Monday evening – 1cc Progesterone


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Operation: Embaby Pick-Up

7:00 a.m. Update:
It's 7am.  Do you know where your babies are?  Because we do!  We are headed to pick them up.  We are about 30 minutes from the hospital in Oklahoma City.  So excited!  Jason Mraz keeping us in song.  What a great morning.

7:30 a.m. Update:
Hello, Integris Baptist Hospital.  We've missed you!

Early bird gets the worm?!  We beat the doctors here!!

I'm wearing my anchor socks to encourage the embabies to anchor down once they get inside!

I have a cute date for today...

8:00 a.m. Update:
After waiting only 20 minutes, someone arrived.  My blueberry boy is ready to go into the operating room with me.

8:30 a.m. Update:
Our embabies divided to 14, 9, 5, and 5 cells.  The goal is 8 for the first two and 5 for the last two.  They are discussing transferring 3.  We told them to do it.
Todd is thinking about 3 babies and remaining surprisingly calm!

9:00 a.m. Update:
We transferred 3 embryos.  I'm pregnant until proven otherwise!!
 
Now, I'm laying with my head below my feet for an hour.  Yawn!
 
Here's a picture of our two most mature:

11:45 a.m. Update:
Laying in the hotel bed and watching football.  I'm feeling very pregnant and sure it worked this time. ;-)
 
Sweet friend and sticky thinker, Ashleigh, read that laughing after transfer helps.  Sooo, I am reading my book by Jenny Lawson.  I just read a chapter about zombies, and I think you should all go buy the book and read it now just for that chapter!  I'm serious!  Go, minions!!
 
In 2 weeks, I'm having a tshirt made that says "Jenny Lawson Impregnated Me."
 
4:30 p.m. Update:
FaceTime is awesome!  I got to talk to my mom, Bradette, and my sister and her girls.  It made my day!  This is 3-year old, Blakelee.  She's a big girl but kind of little, in her words.  Love her!
And her 5-year old sister, Campbell.  Such sweet girls!

11:00 p.m. Update:
Wow.  Wow.  Wow!  Our Cowboys just upset Baylor.  Never a dull transfer day for the Provences! ;-). I made Todd watch from the office chair, so he wouldn't shake the bed too much. :-)
We will head home sometime tomorrow morning.  Goodnight, sweet embabies!  Get sticky!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Planning Ahead is for the Birds

Countdown:
Transfer – TOMORROW! – How’s that for a change of plans?!


Embaby Status:
·       Day 0: 12 eggs aspirated
·       Day 1: 2 fertilized & divided (2PN stage), 4 fertilized & not divided (1PN stage), 2 undergoing ICSI today
·       Day 2: 2 divided into 5 cells, 2 fertilized & divided (2PN stage)

Well, we have had a major change of plans.  Transfer is tomorrow. 
·       The 2 that were thriving yesterday have continued to thrive and are now at 5 cells.  The goal is to have them at 3, 4, or 5 cells.
·       The 4 that were slow (at 1PN yesterday) have not divided, so they’re goners.
·       The 2 that were ICSIed yesterday are at the 2PN stage today, which is thriving.  They will continue to watch these.  If both divide by tomorrow, they’ll watch them until it’s time to freeze them in a few more days.  If only 1 divides by tomorrow, they’ll transfer it with the other 2 strong ones, so I’ll get a 3-embryo transfer.

We could end up with 3 embryos!!!  If you don’t know how many babies 3 embryos can turn into, the answer is 6.  SIX!!!  The chances are small, but it’s not impossible.  That’s insane and so exciting and so overwhelming and so scary!  My dad just told me that if we get 6 babies, they’re moving to Texas.  J

They actually prefer to transfer on day 3 because it gets them back in their natural environment sooner.  However, they do 5-day transfers to see if they can tell which ones are the strongest when you have lots still growing.  We don’t have lots still growing, so they know which ones are the strongest.  Like my cousin, Bradette, said, I’m the best incubator there is.  Our dear friend, Samantha, did a 3-day transfer and had a successful cycle, so this is good news.

Also, I figured out why I’m so sore.  Here’s my conversation with Todd:
Me:  I just asked Mary Kathryn about my soreness.  She said that they used a different needle this time [on my retrieval] and I had a considerable amount of bleeding.
Todd:  I know.  Dr. Bundren told me that he had to get really close to a blood vessel on one side, and it bled.  They had to apply pressure for 6 or 7 minutes.
Me:  Well, that explains my discomfort!
Todd:  This is the 4th time I have told you.
Me:  Hmmm, well, maybe my anesthesia has finally worn off.

Therefore, I had some abnormal bleeding during my retrieval, which is causing my pain.  MK said it’s nothing to worry about and to take some Ibuprofen.  She always knows the right thing to say to me!

I’m pretty anxious for tomorrow.  I hope everything goes well!  I’ll be doing regular updates throughout the day.  Bring on my embabies!!

And Go Pokes!  J

Shot Scoreboard:
1.       Sunday morning – 225IU Follistim
2.       Sunday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
3.       Monday morning – 225IU Follistim
4.       Monday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
5.       Tuesday morning – 225IU Follistim
6.       Tuesday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
7.       Wednesday morning – 225IU Follistim
8.       Wednesday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
9.       Thursday morning – 225IU Follistim
10.   Thursday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
11.   Friday morning – 225IU Follistim
12.   Friday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
13.   Saturday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
14.   Saturday evening – 375IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
15.   Sunday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
16.   Sunday evening – 375IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
17.   Monday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
18.   Monday evening – Pregnyl, hCG trigger shot
19.   Wednesday evening – 0.5cc Progesterone
20.   Thursday evening – 0.5cc Progesterone

Thursday, November 21, 2013

They’re Alive…

Countdown:
Transfer – 4 days!


Embaby Status:
·         Day 0: 12 eggs aspirated
·         Day 1: 2 fertilized & divided (2PN stage), 4 fertilized & not divided (1PN stage), 2 undergoing ICSI today

Well, we got our call much earlier than I had expected today.  Dr. Bundren, himself, called.  It scared me a little at first.  Anyway, I’m going to try to explain this as best as I understand it.  (Here is the site I’m using to help me decipher the meaning of all of this:  http://www.ivf.net/ivf/embryo-development-o2591.html)
·         2 of our eggs fertilized and divided as they should have – I believe this means we are at the 2PN (2 pronuclei) stage.
·         4 of our eggs fertilized but have not divided.  They are at the 1PN stage, which is slow progress for where they should be today.
·         4 just did not fertilize at all.  1 was actually a bad egg, and 3 just did not take, which happens.
·         The 2 extra eggs they extracted yesterday did happen to mature overnight.  Therefore, they are going to ICSI them today.  Yay!

This means we stand at 8 embabies that are still being watched.  My emotions are mixed.  I’m happy there are still so many being watched.  However, only 2 of them seem to be thriving.  Tomorrow’s update should help us to understand more.

I have a call into Mary Kathryn for some clarification on this update.  Once she calls me, I’ll update this blog entry.

As for me, I'm super sore today.  I wasn't this sore last cycle, that I remember.  They used a probe and needle to extract my little eggies.  I imagine this is how a pin cushion feels.

Also, we had our first Progesterone shot last night.  Todd did a fabulous job!  Another one of my nurse/IVF friends said she hated the shots from the beginning and maybe Todd's technique is what makes mine tolerable until the bruises and knots set-in.  Thank you, Todd, for having good technique.  I love you for that!  (These shots will continue until second trimester.)

Shot Scoreboard:
1.       Sunday morning – 225IU Follistim
2.       Sunday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
3.       Monday morning – 225IU Follistim
4.       Monday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
5.       Tuesday morning – 225IU Follistim
6.       Tuesday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
7.       Wednesday morning – 225IU Follistim
8.       Wednesday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
9.       Thursday morning – 225IU Follistim
10.   Thursday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
11.   Friday morning – 225IU Follistim
12.   Friday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
13.   Saturday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
14.   Saturday evening – 375IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
15.   Sunday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
16.   Sunday evening – 375IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
17.   Monday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
18.   Monday evening – Pregnyl, hCG trigger shot
19.   Wednesday evening – 0.5cc Progesterone

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Ultimate Egg Hunt

7:15 a.m. Update:
We are headed to OKC and completely decked out in our IVF garb.  I know...nerds!

I got a new ring with anchors to go with my believe bracelet from last cycle.
Todd got an awesome new anchor bracelet, too.
Plus, I have on my egg socks...
...and Never Give Up tshirt.
Todd is, also, wearing his Crown & Anchor sweatshirt from our cruises.
I'm not posting any pictures of my face today because I can't wear make-up.  However, check out my cute chauffeur.
We are pretty excited this morning!  Can't wait to see Dr. Bundren today.  I may be going for my first-ever hug from him! ☺️


11:45 a.m. Update:
We were hoping for 9 eggs based on my ultrasound.  Dr. Bundren got 12!!  The anesthesiologist wrote it on my hand, so I wouldn't ask Todd a million times.  Brilliant!
He, actually, left 2 in there because they were close to an artery and didn't look mature.

Then, they just came back here and told Todd our sperm count looked low.  He's having to give a sample, although our urologist in Tulsa said there were no sperm showing in his samples.  Pray they can get enough to fertilize all of the eggs! Talk about a bubble burster!!

Also, we got new bracelets when we got here.  Have faith.  Never lose hope.  I'm trying!



1:30 p.m. Update:
They had to thaw 2 of our 3 vials, but they found motile sperm!  Whew!!  That was scary.  We are now headed back to Tulsa, and this girl is sleepy!


4:15 p.m. Update:
Well, we just got a very unexpected call from a blocked number.  I answered to find our embryologist, Camille, on the other end.  I immediately began crying because I knew this wasn't a normal call.  I thought she was calling to report none of our eggs were fertilized.  She told me she never makes this phone call, but she's been anxious about our case all day.  You too, huh?!

Anyway, she was calling to say TEN of the 12 eggs fertilized!  I about died from relief.  We hope half of them will be fertilized and make it to tomorrow, so 10 is a great start.  Dr. Bundren had told Todd he expected 10 to fertilize, but with the sperm issue, we were unsure.  She said she didn't find any sperm in the fresh sample Todd provided today.  She got all of the ones she used from the second frozen vial.  She had to give them Pentox, which is a drug to wake them.  However, it only lasts about 20 minutes, so it doesn't effect them in the long-term.  As they awoke, she moved the live ones to a fresh petri dish to use for the ICSI process.  As a reminder, ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) is how they fertilize our eggs because of Todd's vasectomy.  They clean the sperm and inject one into each egg using a needle.  It's hard on the eggs, which is why we only get a 50% success rate for pregnancy.  

Anyhow, we are relieved.  I cried.  Todd hugged me.  It just added to an eventful retrieval day!


4:45 p.m. Update:
I would embed this video, but my phone won't let me.  It's a video showing how they retrieve the eggs.  Really cool.  Plus, it's complete with piano music that will get anyone moving. 😉


6:45 p.m. Update:
Here's another video.  It's short, sweet, and lacking music.  Just pretend I'm singing "Lean On Me" while watching.  It's the ICSI process showing how they fertilize our eggs with sperm...one at a time.

This video is so cool!  I'm terrified of spiders, so I call our exterminator anytime something moves around here.  This is what Todd says our IVF process looks like...glowing from the bug spray!  Ha!



9:45 p.m. Update:
I just realized today is exactly 6 months after our first embryo transfer.  For some reason, that gives me peace.  Todd is getting my Progesterone shot ready, and then we are going to sleep.  I'm feeling quite a bit of discomfort, so I welcome bedtime.  Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SFT = Shot Free Tuesday!!

I’m so excited!  No shots today!!  Tomorrow night, Progesterone starts.  However, there are no shots today.  Celebrate good times, come on!  <singing>

Yesterday, I did my last Ganirelix shot in the morning.  I forgot to post a picture earlier of the equipment needed for the shot.  J  It’s much easier than the Repronex because it’s already mixed and in its own vial.  Basically, it just takes 2 cotton balls (1 for cleaning the injection site and 1 for rubbing the site after the shot), 1 Band-Aid, alcohol, and the shot.
Last night, we did the one and only hCG trigger shot, Pregnyl.  Mary Kathryn mixed it for us yesterday at the doctor’s office because they have had patients mix it incorrectly and basically ruin a cycle.  Todd had to inject this one because it was intramuscular, meaning it went into my rear (same location the Progesterone shots will be administered).  Mary Kathryn actually drew smiley faces on both sides for him, so he would know where to shoot.  That keeps him from hitting bone.  Ouch!  I would say it’s an easy on my shot scale because it felt like a mosquito bite for a split second and then nothing else.  I did heat before and after to make sure it was easy, but I don’t even think that was necessary.  This shot will basically trigger me to ovulate right one time.  It had to be given at 10 p.m. last night because our retrieval is tomorrow at 9 a.m.  It’s amazing how they have figured all of this out!  Since MK mixed it for us, the administering was pretty easy.  We used 2 cotton balls (for same reasons as above), 1 Band-Aid, alcohol, the 18 gauge needle for drawing the medicine from the vial, the 22 gauge needle for injecting, and the vial of medicine.
As I said, our retrieval is tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.  We are going to Bennett Fertility Institute (BFI) in Oklahoma City for this step, again.  Therefore, we will be leaving around 6:30 a.m.  I’m pretty excited, though, because I’m not allowed to wear hair products or make-up.  That makes my morning much easier and not quite as early!  I’ll do my best to do updates throughout the day.  We will not know anything about the egg quality tomorrow.  We’ll figure out how good they were about Monday when we get the final grade on the embryos.  However, I will get daily updates from MK about their growth starting on Thursday.  Tomorrow is out-patient, so we will be home and cuddled in bed tomorrow afternoon.

I’m cheering on my eggs right now and praying they are great quality!

Shot Scoreboard:
1.       Sunday morning – 225IU Follistim
2.       Sunday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
3.       Monday morning – 225IU Follistim
4.       Monday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
5.       Tuesday morning – 225IU Follistim
6.       Tuesday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
7.       Wednesday morning – 225IU Follistim
8.       Wednesday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
9.       Thursday morning – 225IU Follistim
10.   Thursday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
11.   Friday morning – 225IU Follistim
12.   Friday evening – 225IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
13.   Saturday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
14.   Saturday evening – 375IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
15.   Sunday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
16.   Sunday evening – 375IU Repronex in 1cc sodium chloride
17.   Monday morning – 250mcg Ganirelix
18.   Monday evening – Pregnyl, hCG trigger shot

Monday, November 18, 2013

All Systems Go!

Whew!  We are in the clear and ready for Wednesday.  Dr. B was slightly perplexed as to why I have only gained 3 pounds on these drugs.  I informed him my body is rebelling.  

My follies are growing well.  Now, we just have to see if they can get a few good eggs.

Our retrieval is 9am on Wednesday, which makes me very happy!  This means the embryologist will be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for our ICSI.

On a light note, Todd asked Mary Kathryn today if we got a discount if Dr. Bundren rode with us to OKC.  She just laughed.  Funny boy!

By the way, I realize I said I was at a loss for words on the last entry and then rambled on for many paragraphs.  Oops, my bad!