Failed cycles? Plenty of eggs but crappy results? I bet I know why…

I wish I had written this a long, long time ago but it took a friend cycling to make me realize how important the following information will be for those of you going through IVF, IUI….  Do not ever let your follicles get too big.  My former RE likes to trigger when the cohort (most of the eggs) are measuring 17.  The simple fact is that eggs (especially older eggs) often will not have great outcomes if they get much larger than 22.  Heck, even 20.  If you are doing an IVF cycle and you notice that most of your eggs are in the 18 or 19 range then you should have triggered…plain and simple.  Do the research and see what happens when your follicles get too big…  

When in doubt you need to question.  Try a low dose cycle for the heck of it (you can always convert to an IUI).  I find it interesting that I produced the same amount of eggs on 300 menopur/300 follistim as I did with a 150 menopur/150 follistim – sometimes more isn’t better…in fact, sometimes more is not good at all.  Just a little PSA.

Let me know if any of you have had bad results with large follicles (or the reverse and don’t forget your age!).  Good luck to everyone trying….

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Someone once said….if you keep looking for trouble you are going to find trouble.

Whoever said that is an asshole but true.

So yesterday must have been my 1000th hysteroscopy. I told him that there is no way I will stay awake (like a certain doctor once did to me – hell, I was awake for a d&c with just a little valium and that was not right).

This time the uterus was fine BUT the doctor asked, “so did anyone mention that your uterus has a sort of cliff or a bulge to it”. What? A bulge. So it was explained as more of a septum. After all these tests and laps and hysteroscopies (which isn’t even a word so says my spell check). After all of that. I’m talking 300K.

300K and now I get this.

The good doctor explained that it probably wouldn’t impede any implantation but that it probably was the reason for my preterm labor. He told me I could probably hold twins but not triplets.

Funny. I just want to hold anything.

So I’m in a funny spot, doing the buildup of my lining to see how it will grow. Using the vivelle dots (or strips as I would rather call them) and seeing where all of this goes. I want to put the embryos back in by early October. It is time.

I’m so scared it won’t work and so scared that it will and I’ll lose them. Why can’t I just get pregnant and, well, be like everyone else? It is still a mystery but I’m piecing it together. The completely crazy chromosomal disasters that are most of my embryos take two to tango. I can’t blame that on just me and I am still making normal eggs at age 41 so that is good. The fact that I have two normals on ice is even better but typically they only work with women with a normal uterus. Do I have a normal uterus? I’m not sure anymore.

I do have normal, open fallopian tubes. How nice.

Peeing on a stick….

Was just having a discussion with a fellow IVFer on home pregnancy tests. Listen. I’m a damned expert and I am going to tell you a secret. They all suck with exception of the FRER – First Response Early Result. That thing measured the tiniest beta in the world (beta for you non scientific babymakers is the measurement of the HCG given off by am implanting/implanted embryo in your bloodstream). 11 is very low and FRER got it.

All batches are different but I need to post this.

Tell the others to F off. Seriously…..the dollar tree brand told me I was not pregnant until I was 5 months along. I peed on every one of them just to spite them and then posted them on the wall and gave them the finger. I’m not making this up. I hate that brand – sue me, dollar tree.

I guess I need to tag this as a rant…..and advice. I am also not joking when I tell you that I approach people looking at the clearblue easy in the CVS pharmacy aisle and have convinced them to buy the FRER.

Hey, at least I’m passionate about something.

Decision!

Yesterday at the doctor’s appointment my RE told me that I would be released to my OB on December 22 which sent a shiver down my spine… I don’t have an OB here in Atlanta and judging from my requirements, there isn’t an OB in Atlanta who fits the bill.

Call me spoiled but I had the most amazing doctor with Alex. Her name is Janice Marks and she was recommended by my NYC RE. Knowing how worried I was about staying pregnant he recommended that I see Dr. Marks. In his words, “I’ve seen her operate and she takes command” – boy was he right! She is on top of everything, tests for everything, monitors your every move. In essence, she was neurotic about my pregnancy so that I could relax. When I asked my RE yesterday if he knew anyone like Dr. Marks in Atlanta he told me, “there is no other Dr. Marks – she is one of the best doctors I’ve ever worked with” (He previously worked at Lenox Hill with her).

So I called her…and she says she thinks we can do it. I’ll be going back and forth for important appointments like the first and second trimester screenings (the nuchal and that amnio) and then she will want to see me come to NYC around week 34 if all goes well. I’d be induced at 38 weeks.

It might be a little bit of a hassle – uprooting my son for a month…and once I deliver I’ll be far from home – but the relief I feel at knowing she will be in charge of my birth is so worth it.

Mind you, my friend called me today and in the course of conversation let it slip that one her friends had a miscarriage at 8 weeks….that brought me back to earth. This is not a done deal. Some might say I’m stupid for telling anyone let alone the internet but I’ve been through enough struggle, enough loss to understand that this is not something to be ashamed of nor is it something I can control. I’d rather share my journey with my friends and perhaps help someone else out there who is still finding her way through infertility. If I miscarry I’ll be fine – I have enough support and for that I am very grateful.

5 weeks 5 days

I don’t know – am I? I thought I was 6 weeks tomorrow but who am I to argue with my RE? Sorry for the lengthy absence but I’ve had nothing to say. In times of stress I tend to retreat and shut everyone out.

I was doing fine, actually. I fully intended to wait until Friday the 5th of December for my ultrasound but…I woke up this morning and scheduled an ultrasound. I KNEW it was too early but my curiosity and nervousness got the better of me. And, as expected, there was no heartbeat. All that could be seen was a gestational sac and a yolk sac. My RE assured me that this was completely normal and that early ultrasounds are discouraged for this very reason – it just causes more stress. He instructed the nurses to prohibit me from having another ultrasound until next week – which made me laugh. When I quizzed him about my need to do IVF in the future (I mean…IUI did work and IVF did not) he told me that I basically got lucky (I’m not sure I agree with him but that is another story). Then he rolled his eyes and reminded me that I should focus on the good news and not start planning for the failure.

Before some wise ass tells me to “think positive” and stop being so negative – I would like to say just one thing. It is easier to fall from a chair than a cloud. I read this on my IVF message board and couldn’t agree more. So back off and understand that my negative thinking is protective. Thanks. And to all my friends who call and email and worry about me – I’m fine. I just don’t feel like talking about it. I’ll be back soon, I promise.

My next ultrasound is scheduled for a week from today – Monday. I have absolutely no idea how I am going to keep my mind occupied but considering I have a very active toddler, I’m sure it won’t be hard.

Wow…(warning someone else’s graphic miscarriage mentioned)

I was googling this am. (more about that later). Every single morning I have been getting up at 4am. I don’t know why. So, I decided to alleviate my fears that this pregnancy might turn into another blighted ovum (I had one once – have not shared the details yet). Googling “blighted ovum” brought me to this page (WARNING – miscarriage mentioned in detail):

http://losingmaia.blogspot.com/2006/06/my-dead-baby-was-to-be-urinated-upon.html

Read at your own peril – it really upset me. Even more upsetting were the comments below her post…..I cannot believe things like this actually happen in the world.