I apologize. I have had time on my hands but apparently no time to post… This cycle is the the most bizarre of my entire career as an IVFer. I started off slow, few follicles, estrogen level LOW (I mean LOW). Slow to rise and beyond frustrating. The higher your estrogen (as a rule of thumb) the more follicles in your ovaries. After 6 days of high dose stimulation medication (enough to wake up the ovaries of my dead grandmother) my estrogen was at 270. Which means I had very little going on. That was Saturday. By Monday I’d reached a whopping 590. Wednesday – 790..and today up to 1200. I have four decent size follicles on my right side and 1 on my left (ONE!!!). There are few more smaller ones on each side. My response has been dismal. What looked like a promising antral follicle count has turned into my worst cycle on record (so far).
Anyway – my nurse keeps telling me to calm down but the truth is that we have just paid 25K dollars to find out that this might never work for us. Actually, we paid 25K dollars to find out that we have to spend another 25K dollars to do another cycle so that I can have enough embryos for genetic testing. We need six embryos…and I am not likely to have more than 2 or 3. It might take just one but I am not likely to have many normal embryos (given my history). I may not have any at all left – but we are about to find out. The testing will take about six weeks to get results – in that time I will most likely return to cycle again and combine my embryos for testing at the same time. Apparently the success rate of transferring a PGS (pre implantation genetic screening) normal embryo is 22% for polar body biopsy (this is where they test the egg for all of it’s chromosomes and is done with older patients such as myself) or 65% with one embryo and 80% for 2 normal embryos with CGH. In order to do a CGH biopsy your embryo needs to survive in the dish for 5 days. I might not have any embryos that make it that far…but I have before. They pushed me to do polar body biopsy but I refused. I know I can make blasts and…if i can’t then that is even more information that I need to determine our next steps. So we’ll try to grow the embryos to blast and if they do not survive we will send out their remains to be tested.
So it has been a stressful time for me – this cycle is going to determine whether or not we keep going with IVF..or if we should be thinking of other options. I cannot keep doing IVF after IVF – spending mountains of cash and having this same result. I also cannot just randomly put embryos back into my uterus knowing that they might well cause me more miscarriages which will cause untold damage to my uterus (not to mention my psyche).
As for Denver – I’ve had a fun time. I met up with someone from the fertility boards that I post to and we decided to be roomates. We are staying at the Inverness which is a hotel/conference center. I have to say that I am very glad that I met Sherry. She is a fun girl with a lot of energy….a true New Yorker…you know, the kind who makes friends with everyone and the lampost too…the kind who doesn’t mind sending her food back 50 times until it is right and ask for a discount from every person she meets along the way. I love her. Sherry is a few years older than me and is having her best cycle to date after taking the growth hormone Saizen. I wish I had done the same…but figured with 19 antrals that I did not need it. She is triggering tonight and I bet she gets at least 15/20 eggs (her highest yield prior to taking saizen has been 8 with the average being around 5). Amazing.
I trigger tomorrow night for an early Sunday retrieval. We are looking for 5 and praying for 8.
How I keep doing this I will never know – but I think it has something to do with a little blonde 2 year old boy who cannot, must not bury me and his father alone.