Beta Results Are In

Beta rising!

Beta rising!

I was delighted when I saw my Clearblue test show up as 2-3 weeks on Sunday because I knew that meant my HCG was over 200 well before my first beta. I was scheduled to go in on Tuesday (18 days past egg retrieval) for beta #1, but I woke up with what felt like the beginning of a urinary tract infection on Monday morning. No!! My nurse suggested that I come in to give a urine sample, and while I was there said it was ok to do my beta one day early, on 17 days past egg retrieval.

I got the call later on Monday afternoon to let me know that my beta was 610! THIS IS SO VERY EXCITING! All the positive tests were wonderful to see, but hearing this nice strong number really made everything seem a little more real. I know there are many more hurdles to jump, but we definitely did some celebrating last night.

Because we did IVF, our families knew ahead of time when we were scheduled to have the beta and there was no point in waiting to tell them the news. We still got to have a bit of a surprise by telling them one day early, when they weren’t yet expecting it. In an ideal world, we would get to surprise everyone by sharing this happy news when we’re a little further along and confident that we have a healthy pregnancy. But after seeing the looks on everyone’s faces and hearing their reactions (my mother-in-law actually squealed!), I don’t think I would change a thing. This will be the first grandchild and niece/nephew on both sides, so it was a very special announcement to share. And I’m comforted knowing that if something were to go wrong, we have so much support and love around us. What a great night!

Right after we Facetimed our families to tell them the good news!

Right after our Facetime with our families to tell them the good news!

Now back to reality, including this undiagnosed UTI and beta #2 tomorrow. They are doing a culture on my urine sample, so we won’t know until tomorrow if I need antibiotics or not. In the meantime, I’m chugging an insane amount cranberry juice and water, hanging close to the toilet for my fire pee every 10 minutes, and praying for a beta that is rising appropriately. I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that I’m both elated and terrified at the same time.

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IVF Update: Egg Retrieval

11 eggs, yay!

11 eggs, yay!

We got 11 eggs today. The process went well and I’m feeling pretty good tonight, considering. Even though I was hoping for a few more eggs, I’m extremely thankful that we got the amount that we did. It is scary to think about how many we could lose in the process before we get to transfer, but it is out of our hands now. The best I can do is rest up and say some prayers!

When I’m feeling less groggy I’ll write a bit more about the experience. For now it is time to sleep!

IVF Update: Pulling the Trigger

When I went in for my bloodwork and ultrasound yesterday morning, the NP thought I would trigger on Thursday or Friday. We received the surprising news late yesterday afternoon that we were ready to trigger! My nurse said that because I have 5 follicles over 18mm and my estrogen has risen nicely, it is go time. Now for the fun part. Because we go to such a busy clinic, they explained early on in the process that they do many IVFs each day, meaning your trigger time for retrieval could fall at a very strange time. How about 1:45am? Haha! So we set about 5 alarms and got up to trigger in the middle of the night. It was an easy process because I’m triggering with Lupron to avoid OHSS, therefore the injection was subcutaneous, not intramuscular.

I think we’re all set for the retrieval tomorrow at 1:45pm. My clinic puts me completely under, which I’m thankful for. I can’t eat or drink anything after midnight tonight, so I’m going to be a hangry lady by the time the procedure gets here. Hubby is all ready to go with his part – lots of pressure! I keep reminding him that it is definitely better than having a large needle poked through your vaginal wall and ovaries.

I can’t believe we finally made it to this point after so many long months of trying on our own and then 5 IUIs. I’m feeling a wee bit nervous, but mostly very excited and thankful that we’re here and everything has gone smoothly so far. It is absolutely astonishing to think that we are potentially creating our future kid(s) TOMORROW! As always, I really appreciate all the support from everyone throughout this cycle and would love some prayers and good vibes for a successful egg retrieval.

Here are my stats from trigger day:
E2: 2,755
Lining: 10
Follicles: 5 follicles greater than 18mm, 9 between 13mm and 18mm, more that are smaller
Triggered with Lupron .8ml

IVF Update: Batting 1,000

Today is Day 10 of stims and everything is looking great at this point! It’s every day monitoring from here out, and my doctor thinks we’ll trigger on Thursday or Friday (Day 12 or 13). Here are today’s stats:

E2: 1,520
Lining: 10.1
Follicles: 11 measurable follicles, 12-16mm, 5 more that are smaller
Keep the same doses of meds (225 Gonal f, 150 Menopur, .25 Cetrotide)

One thing I wasn’t prepared for was some pain during the ultrasound. It makes sense because it is getting quite cramped in my nether region, but it was the first time I noticed pain during an ultrasound. My only other complaint at this point is just feeling very exhausted. Back tomorrow for more fun!

IVF Update: Moving Right Along

I’m now on Day 9 of stims. I had monitoring appointments on Days 6 and 8. After my appointment on Day 4, they increased my Gonal f from 150iu to 200iu to get things moving. Here’s a recap of the appointments:

Day 6:
-E2 482
-Six measurable follicles 9-11mm
-13 additional smaller follicles
-Lining 6.1
-Instructed to add Centrotide on evening of Day 7, and then every morning each following day through trigger
-Instructed to increase Menopur from 75iu to 150iu when I start Centrotide

Day 8:
-E2 754
-Lots of measurable follicles, largest at 15mm
-Lining at 8.4, triple stripe
-Instructed to increase Gonal f to 225iu

I go back in tomorrow for monitoring. I’ve been feeling pretty good for the most part, but the past two days I’ve been very tired and feeling quite larger and in charge in my lower stomach. I’m hoping we’re looking close to ready to go tomorrow!

IVF Update: Slow Start

After three days of stims, I had my first monitoring appointment this morning. They saw 10 follicles on the right and 9 on the left, all under 10mm. My E2 was 115. My nurse said they would like to see it a bit higher, in the 200-300 ballpark, so we are going to slightly increase my dose of Gonal f from 175iu to 200iu. Hoping this will get things moving!

IVF Protocol: High Responder Antagonist

Didn't think I'd ever see these guys again

Didn’t think I’d ever see these guys again

We had our second IVF consult last Friday and made a plan to move forward. We were able to get all our MANY questions answered and I’m feeling excited and optimistic heading into this cycle. Our protocol is High Responder Antagonist. From what I’ve read, the antagonist protocol is very common, and my doctor is choosing to use Lupron for the trigger because he feels I’m at extra risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) due to how well I’ve responded to small doses of meds during my IUI cycles.

One big thing we discussed is whether to do intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or not. Our RE recommended it for us, but said as long as we get a decent amount of eggs (8+), he would be comfortable doing 2/3 ICSI instead of all of them. This will help us to know if our problem is with fertilization, and we also like the idea that some of our eggs/sperm have the possibility of meeting “naturally” and making an embryo. I completely understand why couples with low morphology choose ICSI, and I think it is a great option. Since this is our first IVF, we think doing partial ICSI is the right choice for us.

We also expressed our desire to do a single embryo transfer (eSET). Our RE agreed that this is the best option for us, based on age and diagnosis, as long as we have quality embryos. This will be a decision we make together after we see how everything is progressing.

So I’m on birth control for 2.5 weeks and then will start stimming. The fun has already started as I’m feeling nauseous and breaking out after five days on the pill. Lovely. I have a feeling that is just the beginning of the IVF fun. Below I’ve listed a breakdown of my meds and timing:

-Birth control (Alyacen 1/35): Sept 13-Oct. 1
-Pre-IVF ultrasound and bloodwork: Oct. 2
-Start stims (175iu Gonal F, 75iu Menopur): Oct. 5-? (10-12 days, typically)
-Add in Ganirelix when instructed
-Trigger (Lupron): ~Oct. 15-17
-Retrieval: ~Oct. 17-19
-Start estrace after the retrieval
-Transfer: ~Oct. 20-25
-Start progesterone after the transfer
-Beta test 14 days later