From Within My Bunker

Over the weekend, my mother joked that I had “hunkered down in my bunker” and she was right.   I didn’t relate the details of our shitty IVF cycle to many people.  I just felt so defeated.  We only got 6 eggs.   If you know our history (see sidebar), with only 1 embryo to show for it, we felt sure we would lose the numbers game again, and end up with no blasts.

This morning we were evacuated from our home due to a major gas line break.  In fact, a two block radius of stores, apartments, and homes were evacuated. I was sleeping when the fire department came knocking at our door.  You see, I was up all night worrying about 0 blasts again.  I  finally fell asleep around 6am.  The fire department showed up at 7:30am

We packed up the important parts of our lives (including 2 angry cats) and exited within 10 minutes.  I find it amusing that I forgot my jewelry and makeup, but packed our passports and my brand spanking new MACBOOK.  I guess that means, when push comes to shove, perhaps I am not a vapid bitch?

Anyhoo..  I was forced to spend the morning at my in-laws.   They are really lovely people. But I wanted to field the 9am phone call from my doctor stating “all your embryos died” alone.  I wanted to cry, alone.    I honestly felt I had earned this tiny little perk of facing my hurt, fears, and shame, alone.

No call came at 9am.  Then, no call came at 10am.   I had been (calmly) fine for the prior 5 days, but once 9am arrived, I was a complete wreck and still sitting on my in-laws couch. Two amazing friends quickly assured me that passing 9am mark was good news, because our clinic gives biopsy reports between 11am and 1pm, not bad news.   Nonetheless, my abused heart thought “my doctor is just delaying the inevitable, difficult conversation.” Dramatic, perhaps?  But I have suffered so much, and I have not been able to keep a positive headspace at all.  Zero embryos will do that to a girl.

At exactly 11am I received a call from my doctor.  From her car.  On her day off. Incidentally, I now have her cell phone number (which I promised I would burn).  She was animated and excited.   We froze 2 very good blasts. TWO.   While I am sure some of you aren’t impressed, we are fan-fucking-tastically impressed.   Two. Strong. Blasts. Frozen.

So with only 5 fertilized eggs, this cycle, from all angles, looked like a complete bust.  In fact,  on the day of the trigger, we debated canceling.

Yet, this was, in fact, our best cycle yet. (so far)

I have pondered why this cycle was better.  Was it the acupuncture?  Was it the supplements?  Was it the human growth hormone?  Was it the swap from HCG to Menopur?  Who knows?  I will just say it was a combo of all of the above.

And now, we wait 2-3 weeks for the 24 chromosome testing results.

Bottomed Out

My doctor just called and the news was not good.  My estrogen has stalled at a low, low number.  I am are triggering tonight and we are expecting very few eggs.  Please kindly spare me the it only takes one comments.   I had 9 mature eggs last time that yielded exactly 0 embryos.

Edited to add: Even on the antagonist, my estrogen jumped 250 points over night. This is quite a relief. Sadly, my follicle count is still low (for me). This is an exhausting, unforgiving process.

Extraordinary Care

According to my friends, I will, by choice, stalk my doctor for monitoring and ultrasound.   Our clinic has a handful of satellite offices, and I will travel to any location if my doctor is monitoring there that day.  I then have a handful of secondary doctors I prefer and I will go whatever distance is necessary to see them for monitoring.   As a sidebar, I get very ornery on the weekends when the doctor choice for monitoring are slim pickins.  Like tomorrow…

So, It’s unfortunate that the end of my stim cycle has fallen on a weekend.  Today, after monitoring, my husband and I both grew concerned when the weekend nurse called with instructions issued by a doctor we have never met.  A very competent, senior doctor, but someone who has not been in the IVF trenches with us for 12 months.  This is generally how our clinic is run, and they are very successful, but our “challenging” IVF journey isn’t the norm for them either.  We made the decision to e-mail our doctor and voice our concerns immediately on the assumption that she would not read the e-mail until Monday, and at that point the damage of dosage tweaking and too early triggering would be too late to reverse.   To our surprise (but in hindsight, not really) she called us within an hour, logged into the database, reviewed my ultrasounds and bloodwork, changed one of the instructions, left notes in our file, and addressed our concerns.   She then informed me that she will be reviewing everything tomorrow and I should expect another call from her.  I was so touched by the effort, I started tearing up.  Fucking hormones.

Holy crap.  She’s an extraordinary doctor.   I have not preached this on my blog, but I do shout it from the rooftops on our clinics message board.      And after trolling the wide wide interwebs infertility world, I know what we have found with our doctor is unique.   I only wish I could somehow return the favor.   She told me last week that when I get knocked up, I will leave her, and she hopes we can meet for dinner.  I hope so too, on both accounts.