Tomorrow…IVF #5

I just realized the story of 4 has been told. Tomorrow I will elaborate on 5 and 6 – get them out of the way so we can focus on 7 and 8. Yes, I’m planning on doing 2 back to back with the hope of having 1 or 2 normals. Will do CGH. “What is that?” asks the member of the public… it, I say.

I know I said I’d give the topic of my uterus, vagina and ovaries a rest for 2 weeks but damn if that isn’t hard! I want to talk about them! A lot!

oh right….I was wrong! I might do micro array and not CGH. Again, google it if you really want to know. For slackers – it is a way to find out if the embryo that IVF has created has normal chromosomes. This greatly improves the chances of pregnancy – especially in “geriatric” mothers to be.


To my IVFC friends…

I am so very fortunate to be a member of this message board. Even though we don’t know each other in real life – I have been so comforted by your words and support. You’ve let me rant and rave and ramble – things I could never write on this blog. So this post is for you..just to let you know that you have helped lighten my load during my darkest hours and I’ll be eternally thankful for each and every one of you. You are some of the strongest, wittiest and kindest women that I know.


Drugs make me happy

I woke up this morning in a post hangover state (yes, I had a few too many glasses of red wine last night). I decided that even if I felt like shit I was not going to look like shit – so I showered, did my hair, put on some makeup – in fact, when the anesthesiologist came in to give me a little pre-op intravenous valium he made a comment – something to the effect of “you sure are all gussied up – where you going after this?”. Nice guy actually – he made my experience painless and actually quite stress free.

Certainly different to how I was feeling when I arrived at the surgery center. Our babysitter called to say that our dog Toby had escaped. At that moment I actually thought I might faint from upset. Within 15 minutes we got a call back to say that Toby had been found rolling around in a pile of dirt at the neighbor’s house construction site. At that moment I felt a huge weight come off my shoulders. While I was there for an unpleasant procedure….at least I still had my dog, my cat, my husband and my sweet little boy. Things could be far worse and it took that mischevious Toby to make me realize it.

The most morbid part of the affair was having to fill out a certificate of information for the county where I live…asking how many miscarriages I’d had in my lifetime, the mother’s maiden name (I actually put my own mother’s information until I realized they were referring to me). I am the mother of this embryo and the form that I filled out will be given to the county and they will issue a death certificate. That was unbearably sad and I’m relieved it will be going to my doctor to add to some statistical volume rather than arrive in my post box sometime when I least expect it.

So, I’m feeling good now (thank you percoset, xanax and grape Glaceau vitamin water) and ready to enjoy my son’s first real Christmas. No more pity parties around here – in fact, I’m not going to mention my uterus or ovaries…or vagina even for at least 2 weeks. We should know in 2 – 4 weeks the gender and the reason why it died.

And now I think I’ll go back to bed and enjoy the silence. Thanks all for your kind notes – I’m going to be just fine.


I’m all set for tomorrow – physically anyway. I’ve filled my script for percoset, antibiotics and pherengan (which is spelled wrong and I can’t be assed to look it up). The last drug is an anti-nausea anal suppository which I will not be using. Wanna know why? Because the last time I used it (when I was in the hospital for preterm labor) I vomited! I have the Always maxi pads (with WINGS!!) and 10 xanax. I have not used maxi pads since I was 15. Cannot wait!

We go in at 10:15 to give blood – pre op and karotype on both me and my husband. The procedure is scheduled for 12pm. I’ll probably get hooked up to an IV with fluids and that is when I’ll beg for the valium. They will give it to me – nobody wants to deny psychological pain relief to a woman who has just had a pregnancy loss.

So, I’ve been loading up on oral progesterone – to the point where I am walking around feeling high as a kite – kinda like I took 10 valium. So far I’ve had only a few cramping episodes but I’m all too aware that my body is trying to rid itself of its inhabitant. I’ve been waking up every morning and having to remind myself that something has changed – that I’m not pregnant anymore. It reminds me of the times when I have lost my grandparents – waking up is just proving to be a rude reminder that all is not well…and that things aren’t the way they used to be.

I had a friend say to me “well at least it was early”….and I know he meant well but it pissed me off. This pregnancy loss represents 1 year of trying, around 50K dollars, probably over 50 blood draws, 25 ultrasounds, 3 egg retrievals, countless hopes, dreams and now tears. It isn’t just a mass of cells that I will expel – it had eyes, the beginning of arms and legs, a heart that was beating! This was going to be my child. So please, if you are reading this and you are my friend IRL – don’t try to make me feel better by minimizing this. It will only piss me off and I’ll say something rather nasty.

I’ve mentioned that I am a member of an IVF board – where all sorts of women meet to offer support and knowledge about their journeys with infertility… So many women on this board have had such horrible struggles – the kind of thing that is just imaginable. Some can’t even bear to read posts where the word pregnancy or baby are mentioned. Some are bitter and even claim to hate fertiles for taunting them with their pregnant bellies. I never could understand that, really. I swore I’d never feel bitterness toward a pregnant woman or saddened by the sight of a newborn…until this happened. As soon as I walked out of the RE’s office on Friday I saw pregnant women everywhere – and little babies in strollers, being held by their fathers. I swear it – I must have seen about 6 of them in between the office and my car…and then I finally understood. I felt angry and bitter and pissed off…at people I don’t even know.

Ah well – tonight I am taking my wee son to meet Santa Claus…and then I will stay awake until midnight drinking glass after glass of water….because there is nothing worse than a mid day operation. I’ll be thirsty and starving all morning, dammit all.

One thing – I pray to God that this embryo is abnormal…because if it is normal then it is going to open up a whole new world of hurt and worry for me.

….and that was that.

I met with my RE today…when I called them yesterday to tell them about the scan at the hospital they decided that waiting til Monday would be a bad idea.

At this practice ultrasound technicians perform all the scans and the doctor is never present (which is a first for me). This particular technician is a nice woman but doesn’t like to get into the details – which, to be honest, annoys the hell out of me. I suppose she is just doing her job and would probably get in a bit of trouble for sharing the information with me ahead of my meeting with the doctor….but come on. I knew better than to quiz her so I asked only one question ” does it still have a heartbeat?” and she said, “I don’t think so, I’m sorry”. (“I don’t think so” – WTF?) Before the doctor came in to meet with me I started crying. I couldn’t help myself. It really pissed me off – the last thing I wanted to do is sit and cry in front of my doctor. Luckily I found a great little trick – if you are ever in a situation where you need to dry the tears up quickly just dig your fingernails into the palm of your hand. Works like a charm.

So….I’m no longer in limbo. A D&C is booked for Monday. I feel sad but relieved. The stress of wondering, waiting, hoping against hope was getting to me. My body is already indicating that something is not right – I’m starting to have light cramping. I just hope and pray that I don’t miscarry before Monday as that would not only be very unpleasant but I need the embryo to be tested. I want to know if it was a boy or a girl – and I want to information about its chromosomes.

Right now I feel worse for my husband. He is taking it hard. I think he is surprised by his reaction. But I suppose I’m not. We both got our hopes up. We sorted through Alex’s baby clothes, we decided where the baby would sleep, the nuchal scan was booked, we were in discussions about finding out the sex….we told all our friends….we contemplated and began loving something as much as we love our son…..but what we didn’t do is expect a result like this. And for good reason – gestational sac problems are not common. Only 1.9% of pregnancies will end with this result. I’m sad for us but I am even more sad for our son. He is such a good, happy, social boy and he deserves to have a brother or sister. The thought of him as an only child breaks my heart. And so….we’ll begin treatments again as soon as my body is back to normal.

I won’t give up – at least not now..

It doesn’t get much worse…

Typical me….I just had to keep digging. I booked an ultrasound with a fetal medicine group this am (outside of my doctor’s care). I just didn’t feel comfortable with the results I’d been given – especially with regard to the sac size. I mean, you don’t have to be a genius to see that this embryo is running out of room. When they did the scan they discovered that the baby had grown (and yes, I’ll call it a baby because that is what it is to me) which was good news but the sac had not grown. In fact, the baby and the sac are measuring the same. This is a horrible prognosis – 80/90 percent of pregnancies with this result end in miscarriage. The baby simply does not have enough room to grow and loses its heartbeat. I think the Dr. at this practice was a bit relieved that I knew all about the prognosis and was able to discuss it in a matter of fact way. It was only when I thought about all I’ve been through in the past year and the idea that in the next few days this baby will die inside of me…that is when I started to cry and couldn’t stop. I felt worse for the doctor – it can’t be easy for them to sit and watch some stranger fall to pieces.

I’ll be ok now that I have the facts. I can stop hoping and prepare myself for the worst. I honestly thought the getting pregnant part would be my only struggle – I didn’t in my wildest imagination believe that I’d be faced with this kind of predicament…waiting for this much hoped for, much love child to simply die inside of me and there is not a thing I can do about it.

I hope I’m wrong but….the odds are stacked against me. I’ll post on Monday when I have the ultrasound at my RE’s office.

You know what the worst thing about all of this is? Most of the embryos that have this happen to them are normal. Fuck.


I keep meaning to post IVF # 4 – 6 and their stats, etc. You know, just in case someone really wants to hear about my ovarian response to gonadotropins. Actually I learned a lot from reading about other people’s cycles. I probably wouldn’t have my son had I not come across a blog back in 2006 where a woman had zero fertilization of 17 good looking eggs – thanks to her I made sure we did ICSI on each cycle and had good fertilization.

Unfortunately this blog is turning into one long moan and I am sorry to say that there isn’t much I can do about it. I’m not the kind of person who can wait and see. I need to know what I am facing.

So here I am facing a deep dark hole – I am 8 weeks today. Yesterday, at 7 weeks 6 days, the embryo measured 7 weeks exactly – 7.2 days if you use another measurement. I have earned my google MD….and over the past 24 hours I’ve become an expert on reading fetal ultrasounds prior to 9 weeks gestation. So the facts are that I measuring behind – to be precise, the embryo is measuring (the CROWN RUMP LENGTH or CRL) exactly 1cm. This corresponds to a gestational age of 7 weeks exactly (there is a plus or minus of 5 days but….I received this reading from two different techs so I’m going to trust it). Last week I measured 3 days behind and now the gap is widening. This could mean a number of things.

The Bad:

1. Abnormality. Triploidy/other chromosomal abnormality in the embryo seems like a reasonable diagnosis for slow fetal growth.

2. Sac size not growing fast enough to accommodate growing fetus. My sac is measuring 5 weeks 3 days (which translates to 2/3 days ahead of the embryo). I won’t bore you with the minutiae but basically this is a death sentence.
3. Blood flow problems. I have a blood clotting issue. I am on lovenox injections once per day to keep my blood clot free and flowing. Hopefully this is working because these shots are a mother. My legs are bruised and battered and quite frankly, I spend a good deal of my day dreading them. When my husband does the injection it definitely doesn’t hurt as much. I’m such a wimp that I SLOWLY stick the needle into my thigh and then even more slowly inject the fluid. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to giving myself injections.

The good (there are some glimmers of hope here):

1. The embryo is a girl. Read this: The longitudinally collected observations showed that CRL in female fetuses was significantly smaller compared with that in male fetuses
2. Late implanter. Could be – I did have lowish betas and who knows when I actually conceived on an IUI cycle (though I suspect it was within a 24 hour period of November 4th).
3. Tech error. Again, highly unlikely that two techs are going to come up with the same measurements.

So I guess I just have to wait until Monday’s ultrasound. I have to remain hopeful that growth will be consistent and that the heartbeat (154 bpm) will remain strong. The prognosis isn’t good though – from every story I have read of women in the same position…probably 80 percent resulted in miscarriage.

Not great news

The baby is measuring approximately 5/6 days behind – measuring 7 weeks exactly. My RE said that he was concerned but that the only thing we can do is wait and see at the next scan. I quickly booked another scan with a fetal medicine expert – they found that I am measuring 7 weeks 1 day. I should be measuring 7 weeks 6 days. At my last scan I was measuring 3 days behind.

It isn’t what I wanted to hear, naturally. I’ve googled and searched for information – and found that most women with this prognosis have gone to miscarry. Sure there are a few women who went on to have normal pregnancies…and there is always a chance that I had a late implanter (which I suspect is the case) but I’m not filled with optimism that this is going to turn out well. Again, I hope I’m wrong.

There is probably nothing worse that how I feel right now – I want to hope for the best but I know too damn much. Now I just have to wait until Monday and hope that this little baby grows and thrives meanwhile preparing myself for the worst.


So, I had a dream last night that my beta HCG flatlined. I woke up scared that maybe this pregnancy is over. I just talked my RE into seeing me for an ultrasound. If everything is OK he is going to give me the “calm down, you neurotic New Yorker” or…he’ll have to admit that I have psychic, all knowing powers. I hope it is the former. You see, I’ve been wrong about just about everything regarding this cycle/this pregnancy. Have I mentioned that I am certain that we’ll be having (arghhh) a boy? My husband is equally as certain that we’ll be having a girl (he cites his male intuition). Considering that I’ve been mostly wrong…maybe he is right?