Have Embryos, Will Travel

FrostiesYesterday we transported our embryos from RMA of NJ to SIRM NY.

It was not a quick process. The transfer paperwork and coordination took a few months to complete, then plans needed to be made to synchronize the 2 labs (and pickup/dropoff times), next we had to schedule the day off work, and last drive through the Lincoln Tunnel 4 times in a 6 hour period.  At the final leg, we handed our 2 hard-earned-over-6-fresh-cycles PGS normal embryos directly to the head of embryology at SIRM. Today, she e-mailed me to let me know they both made it safely.    I am so relieved to have that process behind us.

Yesterday I realized I was not happy (nor comfortable) setting foot on RMA of NJ property. It dawned on me that I am harboring quite a bit of anger towards the clinic in general as well as our former RMA doctor, Dr. Morris.

She dropped the ball and she gave up on us.  In fact, for the last year of our cycle she was on a hardcore, restricted calorie diet and became difficult and rude.     She stopped calling.  She stopped following up.   She passed too many important conversations off to our nurse. In fact, her last voice mail to me said “there is nothing else we can do for you.”  However, she would of allowed us to cycle on the same crappy protocol over and over, just taking our $$ and not making any changes.

I know RMA of NJ is ranked as one of the best clinics in the country.  But be aware, it comes at a price.  It’s such a large facility that you could complete multiple IVF cycles and never see your actual doctor.   I would recommend that if you are planning to cycle at RMA of NJ, that you choose these 2 founding doctors:  Dr. Scott or Dr. Bergh, or Dr. Kim.      Especially if you are a difficult case.   Keep in mind though, in the end, they wanted nothing to do with our difficult case, well nothing but our money.

That’s a bitter pill to swallow after 6 IVFs, a failed FET of a PGS normal that I miscarried 9 weeks, and the donation of our entire savings.

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They found me how?

To the person who found this site via the search term “ganirelix poop,” can’t help ya there. Perhaps consult your doctor?

And you, yes you, who found this website via a search for “fucking doll side effects.”  REALLY?    Perhaps consult a therapist?

Besides the searches for “5ab embryo” or “5bb embryo” (WELL DONE PEOPLE, SERIOUSLY) there are also an inordinate # of people landing here after searching for the “side effects of fucking.”  Consult. Your. Doctor.

What is Normal? It’s Bittersweet.

We received our PGD results back and added another chromosomally normal embryo to our tiny stock in the freezer.   When my doctor called with the results, I broke down into happy tears at my office.   While many people would think 2 embryos equals a poor showing, my husband and I are overwhelmed and amazed to just have 2.  It really is relative.

The better of the 2,  a hatching 6BA embryo was chromosomally abnormal.    If we had not done genetic testing, we would have transferred that 6BA hatching embryo.  Thank god we did PGD.

Yesterday, I looked around and realized that 90% of the woman I began this journey with are either pregnant, about to deliver or have newborn babies.  And I’m the pathetic one who is excited about having 2 embryos frozen.    It is a very lonely and painful headspace to be in.

I will be cycling again in June.  Same protocol.  Same bat channel.  But first we are going to spend 7 days putting around the British Virgin Islands.     A well earned break before the madness begins again.

Round 2

Yesterday, we had a face to face appointment with our RE to discuss our first IVF and the protocol for the 2nd.  

After having a few weeks to reflect, I cannot honestly say my first IVF cycle was a complete bust.  Based on my age, and my baseline numbers, we (and the doctor) expected to end up with 3-4 blasts..  And while we only ended up with 1, it was a high rated, chromosomally normal blast.  

While these results aren’t ideal, they are also not a bust.

Nonetheless, 7 of my embryos looked fine on day 3-4, and died before day 5. Those embryos did not have have a lot of fragmentation or clouding, so that’s worrisome.  She said my ovaries acted like that of a 38 year old woman. I am 36. That was (and is) difficult to swallow.

So we need a new plan moving foward, and that is the Microdose Lupron Flare protocol.  Change is important here.  I see no point in following the exact same steps as my first IVF when it did not yeild ideal results.  My doctor said there are a small percentage of women who do not respond well to the antagonist medications.  I know so much of this is trial and error, so I hope I was having an off month the first time and didn’t respond well to the antagonist (Ganirelix).

I discussed my concerns about the Microdose Lupron Flare Protocol with my doctor, specifically about the additional LH from the Menopur. She acknowledged that during a flare cycle your body does “flare it’s own LH.” She told me that Dr. Schoolcraft at CCRM uses the MDL and even though it seems like a pure FSH protocol would yield better results, all their numbers indicate that a LH/FSH mix works better for 95% of their patients. I asked if they would monitor my LH throughout my IVF and she said yes. I had monitoring and bloodwork 6 out of 10 days of my last cycle, so as long as they are monitoring my LH levels, I am OK trying the MDL.

Up Down, Up Down

Not only is our single embryo chromosomally normal,  it’s a 5AB.

Today, immediately prior to learning our embryo grade, we had a discussion about our lack of confidence in this next cycle.   Our last interaction with our doctor about the embryos quality was on day 5 and she gave this embryo a 30% chance of survival and it was deemed “of poor quality.”

Since then, we’ve been hounding the clinic a few times a week for a report on the embryo grade.  When no answer was forthcoming, we both just defaulted to the last discussion we had about it:  of poor quality.

However, our 1 Paulette did some rockstar growing between day 5 and 6.   

Now, If we could just get a few more decent embryos out of our next cycle…