We’re in Atlanta!

We made it! Flew in Wednesday night and had all day Thursday to swim in the turquoise pool here, and read (my dear friend sent me her first published novel, just in time), and go to the grocery store. I have fallen quite in love with this Staybridge Suites—-DH keeps teasing of me, saying, “Babe, you’re all over this Staybridge’s jock,” because, homebody that I am, home away from home is important to me. Our room here is handicap-friendly, so all of the tables and countertops and drawers are low. Being short, we love it. Also, the free breakfast in the morning is excellent. And my deep love of swimming is satisfied by just skipping down the hallway. Our rental car, too, is just the cutest thing, a two-door Fiat that I chose from the line-up in an instant. Small, cute, low, short—we’re living life in miniature. I love extended travel, how your belongings are narrowed down to a few basic items, your home not cluttered by the unnecessary. DH is currently over at our cute kitchen table in a striped chair reading about enlightenment and awareness (he is obsessed with the words of Douglas Harding in recent days). I am doing deep breathing on this cute plush couch. Soon, we will be being massaged for an hour and a half, to get our Zen on. I am nervous. Really nervous.

I am nervous because 8 of our donor’s eggs were fertilized this morning with DH’s sperm. I know that as I type they are in some warm culture medium in a lab a few miles away. I am gathering strength for The Call tomorrow morning at about 10:30 a.m.—the fertilization report. Our donor is “unproven” and so it is true that pretty much anything can happen. But with 8 eggs, I believe, our odds are pretty good. I also met for maybe ten minutes with Dr. Shapiro, who was nice if rushed. He must have shaken my hand in parting three times before I was ready. But he seems kind. He stuck a catheter up there and said that the transfer was going to be “cake.” He listened to my heartbeat and exclaimed at its racing. He said I look like Debra Messing. Pop-culture illiterate that I am, I had to ask who that was. I said I get Grace Kelly and Esther Williams a lot. Then I asked if it was normal for blood to run down my butt when I take out the PIO syringe.

Yes, a pretty impressive rivulet of blood coursed down my butt cheek after my PIO injection last night. I was so f’ing impressed with myself for doing the shot I didn’t even care–but did worry that some of the progesterone might have “bled back out.” Dr. S assured me that it doesn’t work like that, that all the progesterone is in the muscle, where it should be. He said I hit a blood vessel my first shot out of the gate, and the only reason they caution against this is because of the bleeding and bruising–nothing to worry about. Woo!

I have decided to do the shots myself because DH will (sadly) be flying back to LI on Monday (and to work on Tuesday) and I will need to administer the progesterone Tuesday through Friday. I don’t want to go to RBA at 4 p.m. each day I am not with him to have a nurse do the shot; I just want to get comfortable doing it myself. I was so freaking nervous last night I had a mini-breakdown, scolding myself for not using the vaginal cream, saying dramatic things like, “This is a disaster!” while pacing bare-bottomed through our hotel room, wielding a syringe. But then I watched a helpful youtube video of a young woman self-administering for the first time, and in one unthinking instant, I turned around, looked at my bare butt in the mirror, and awkwardly stuck that long needle all the way in my left upper quadrant. I tried to pull back on the syringe to check for blood but I’m not sure how successful I was; finally, I just plunged the medication in, hearing all of those forum voices out there cheering me on, voices that said things like: “If these things have to be done just so, they would not leave it to us novices.” The needle did not hurt! Now there is some soreness. Dr. S encourages me to try it in my thigh next time. I’m feeling like such a badass I just might.

But I’m not really feeling like a badass. What I’m really feeling is weak in the knees, kind of serious, and worried. But writing to you is helping lighten me up.

I really like Georgia. I cannot get over how friendly people are here. I keep thinking they are being ironic when they say things like, “No, no, excuse me, darlin,” but they are being authentically nice! And everyone is so easy-going and chatty. It reminds me of the good people of southern Ohio.

I was hoping to be able to take a cab to and from RBA on transfer day so that I can take Valium, but they say that is against the rules. I guess that makes sense. So: no Valium for me. I guess I’ll just have to try to rid myself of this anxiety on my own. I can do it, right? I can do it.

Still looking like most likely transfer day is 9/4, Wednesday. I’ll keep you posted sisters. Do some visualization for me!


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  1. LH

     /  August 30, 2013

    Yes, you can do it! Good luck loveliness. Everyone is pulling for you! xo

  2. Woo hoo! Welcome to Georgia, hon! And bless your heart for the self-injections… that sounds awful. I’m glad the south is treating you well, hoping that Dr. Shapiro and the rest of the staff at RBA continue to impress! Wishing you the very, very best tomorrow with The Call!

  3. Sounds like a great start!


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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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