That’s right—6!


6 of the 8 eggs fertilized normally and are growing growing growing. Holy shit!

I got the call at 8:30 a.m. I said, “Is that number good?” knowing it was good, but needing the reassurance.

“It’s great,” said the nurse, and I could hear the smile in her voice.

I let go of all tension. The relief was a drug. Felt suddenly sleepy.

I know this is going to sound very “yeah right,” but I actually had a feeling it was going to be 6. I just kept seeing that number yesterday, a solid number, a good number, a not unrealistic number, but also a number that puts us in pretty safe territory. I don’t know what exactly will happen from here, but Dr. S did say during my appointment that if I got this number, I could expect to most likely have a single embryo transfer and 1 – 3 frozen embryos. I am trying very hard to focus on what is right in front of me, to not ask too much, but as I’ve written about before, my dream is to have a family of two siblings, eventually, and that pesky desire keeps popping up to the surface. I have to remind myself: Perhaps my dream will be fulfilled, perhaps not. What is important right now is to focus on sending growing vibes out to those petri dishes a few miles away, and to prepare my body to become a loving vessel for what I hope will be one healthy little blastocyst this coming Wednesday (if all grows well).

Oh. God.

I can’t believe it. Some part of me is not believing it. Many parts of me are not letting go of my fears.

For example, I’m worried about progesterone. While I had the nurse on the phone, I had to talk to her about my PIO injection problems, which felt strange, because all I wanted to do was let the good news sink in. I told her that last night, I hit a nerve cluster or something with the IM needle, which sent an electric spark through my right side and totally freaked me out. I tried a second time in a different spot and got another shock. Then I broke out in a cold sweat, came close to passing out, and became nauseous. (Then I cried, but I didn’t tell her that.) So I stabbed the other side, near the same injection site of the night before, where I knew it was safe. Problem was, I woke up at 5 a.m. with a buttock throbbing so severely we had to immediately go to CVS to get ibuprofen and a heating pad. Then I just laid on that pad from about 7 a.m. until this morning’s lupron shot (last one!). Right after I took the needle out of my belly, I got The Call.

“I think I’d like to switch to the vaginal cream,” I said. She seemed to want to help me figure out where to do the PIO injection, but I assured her that I was doing it in meticulously the right place. She said she would have to get the go-ahead from Dr. Shapiro for me to switch to the cream and, if so, I could come pick up samples at RBA to tide me over until a pharmacy opened on Tuesday that sells it.

So, weirdly, I am sitting here thinking about progesterone just as much as I’m thinking about our embryos! Not what I expected. What ever is? I really don’t want to mess with the protocol. But I also don’t think it will be a good idea for me to totally stress myself out every night with these shots. I’ve read of women who become so sore from the shots that they have trouble sleeping most nights, and if that happened to me, I’d worry about the lack of sleep being bad for the growing embryo inside me. Another part of me is concerned that I am overreacting. That I was just extra-sensitive because of the hour and a half long massage I got. That I am not following icing and heating pad instructions (putting ice on the area seems crazy to me, seems it would constrict the muscle, but maybe I should try it). Anyway! I’ll figure it out. If Dr. S is okay with me going on the cream, I will need to restrain myself from obsessively googling potential problems of switching from one to the other.

Oh, sisters, we are constantly on guard, aren’t we? Trying to figure everything out. Control what we can. Safeguard against any and all potential problems. Our minds do not stop questioning, preparing, planning. I think it is time for me to go the Aquarium!

One interesting thing to note—DH did not have a very strong reaction to the news of 6. He smiled and kissed me and went back to sleep. I realize that he was zonked from having been woken up by me at 5 a.m. for an emergency run to CVS, but still—I hope he can get in the mood of celebrating with me. He is incredibly supportive of me, but I know that there is a part of him that feels he is along for the ride, not in the driver’s seat. Although he is thrilled with the RBA guarantee program (“It’s an incredibly robust product,” he once said), and thinks of children and fathering more and more (“I know that having a baby with you is going to be amazing,” he said yesterday), he has trepidations about entering this phase of life, and is a little freaked out by the process of having fertilized donor eggs, a little freaked out by the IVF world in general. But when he voiced these sort of low-level anxieties to our couple’s counselor, and said he sometimes wonders if he is being irresponsible for going forward with this plan even while having them, Jori said, “So what? So what if you are not in the driver’s seat? So what if you have some uncertain feelings? You’ve made the decision to do this, haven’t you? You’re doing it. So do it.” I could have kissed her in that moment.

In other news, we tried watching our donor’s favorite movie last night, but we couldn’t get through it—ha! It is one of those super-precious indie movies that DH and I have a particular dislike for, although the soundtrack is fabulous. It was my idea to try to connect to her in this way—maybe it was silly. But even though we couldn’t stomach the entire film, I still felt I knew her a little better. She likes good music. She likes hipsters and the hipster-world—I guess you could say I’m a “hipster” too, whatever that means. She is 22 and probably very interested in youth culture. It’s wild to think she is about 18 years younger than I am. Her young eggs fertilized similar to how my older eggs did—of the 6 retrieved during my IVF, 4 fertilized. Of her 8, 6 fertilized. But during the next few days, the differences between our eggs will become clear (none of mine grew into healthy blasts). I am so thankful to her and will hold her in my heart today.

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  1. 6 is awesome! so far so good, friend. also, your donor sounds incredibly endearing. also, i’m now curious about this movie that is one person’s FAVORITE and un-stomach-able by another. SUCH AN EXCITING TIME! AGHHHHH!

    • I KNOW SO EXCITING! It’s HAPPENING! I am not just writing about it, wondering about it, researching it, waiting for it. It is happening RIGHT NOW! I feel a little drugged—I think dopamine and endorphins are having a little party inside me today. They’re like, It’s all cool, sister, just sit back and enjoy the ride. And I’m like, Uhhhhmmmm, okay, I guess I will, I will try. I once read something about quitting smoking—the writer said quitting smoking was like taking off a pair of too-tight-fitting shoes that he’d been wearing for twenty years, without realizing how tight they were. I kind of feel like that, like I’m taking off tight shoes I’ve been wearing for 2 1/2 years, but the shoes are still right there, staring at me…okay, I believe that’s enough mixed metaphorical language for one comment. (: Thank you for the encouragement!

  2. Such good news! I haven’t researched the difference between Crinone and PIO at all, but Dr. Slayden recommended the gel to me for my IVF too (which I was surprised). He said they have great results with it and that he wouldn’t wish PIO injections on anybody! Good luck to you!

    • Woo! That’s reassuring! I am currently having a mad love affair with Crinone, one that wouldn’t have been possible without having gone through hell with PIO. It was like getting out of an unhealthy relationship and moving on to a nurturing one, ha!

  3. Sending growing vibes to your embryos!

    By the way, I don’t think it’s a big deal about not using Valium for transfer. I think that concern was in your previous post. Anyway, I didn’t take anything for my first two IVF transfers and it was fine. As you know from the mock transfer, it doesn’t hurt at all. I was too transfixed by watching the screen to think of much else anyway. The main benefit of the Valium seemed to be to help me nap afterwards, but you could also watch a dumb movie in your hotel room or do something else relaxing.

    You most likely won’t hear much else, so try to stay distracted. They will call tomorrow or Monday to tell you what time to come on Wednesday, but I didn’t get an update on the embryos. But with such good news, I hope the wait goes by quickly and you can enjoy your time away.

    • Thanks for that! I’m glad you think I don’t really need the Valium. Now that I have this good news, I don’t think I will either. It’s absolutely amazing how much more relaxed I am now, oh my lord, the difference is dramatic. This sense of security will take some time getting used to. There’s some part of me that is still saying, Don’t let down your hyper-vigilance, keep watch, keep worried—as if that ever helped anything anyway! I think I will just come back to the hotel afterward and read or something. It’ll be fine. xoxo


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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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