Happy Weekend! I intended to post an update sooner, so I will go back a few days and catch you up on life since. I have written a little bit each day, so if it seems all over the place and random, that’s because it is! Long post alert!
Tuesday/Day 1 – After the embryologist called to let us know 10 of 10 mature eggs fertilized, I spent hours and hours on the phone sharing the news. I couldn’t stop talking. I still can’t. I can’t sleep. I can’t sit still. I could run a marathon if it weren’t for my enlarged ovaries. Seriously.
I met Chris at San Diego Fertility Center later in the afternoon to review what it would look like financially for us to make the change and follow Dr. F. We were also able to chat with her for quite some time prior to meeting with the finance ladies. She was of course THRILLED to hear our news. I was supposed to have an acupuncture appointment immediately following, but for the first time I was not craving it. I was too hyper and high-strung and knew I wouldn’t be able to relax. I was happy Chris was able to meet to Jeneanne. (Acu and SD Fertility are in the same building.) Since it was nearing 5p, we had the perfect plan….CELEBRATORY DATE NIGHT!!
Hapihour at Hapifish, a favorite place in Leucadia, was calling our names! We figured out it was the first time I ordered a beverage in a restaurant/bar since the end of April. The Sangria, Sake, Sapporo, and Sushi were fantastic and just what we needed. Even though we have a tremendously long road ahead, it felt so great to be out enjoying each other with a HUGE weight lifted off our shoulders and a major milestone conquered. I even had another small cocktail at home, getting crazy over here!
Wednesday/Day 2 – I was not going to receive a call from the embryologist today, so I could breathe a little bit easier. It was my first day back in the office, and it has been beyond difficult to focus. I am trying. The company I work for is very small – 3 other female employees and my male boss. All are aware we are going through the IVF process, and I have felt supported as far as time out of the office for appointments, retrieval, etc. But to be totally honest, it doesn’t seem there is much care or concern. I know IVF is extremely difficult to comprehend; however it feels strange to be in daily environment where I don’t particularly feel the love and support I would expect and appreciate. Example – I didn’t get a call, text, or email Monday or Tuesday to see how I was doing and/or how things went. And upon my return, I didn’t hear…“How are you feeling? How did it go?” Nothing! OH WELL!
I moved pretty slowly Wednesday and Thursday at the office and kept the heating pad on my stomach for most of the day. My right hand, where they tried the IV 3 times, hurts so badly and is severely bruised, and of course I keep bumping it on everything. I have a crampy kind of feel going on, nothing terrible. I think I am very lucky. The bloat and constipation I heard about are legit, NOT FUN! So much for the no weight gain I mentioned in my last post…From retrieval to Wednesday, the scale was 5.5 lbs higher than normal. As of today, the scale was back to normal, although my stomach still looks as if I am a few months pregnant. I really like the look, not so much the feel, especially when I have a full bladder.
Chris is at Shaver Lake this weekend for one of his best buds bachelor parties. His liver is probably quite confused and angry. This is our first time away from each other since the beginning of May. It feels VERY strange!! Getting these phone call updates without him here is tough, but he SO deserved a weekend away like this. He offered to stay with me, but there was NO way I was holding him back!
THURSDAY/Day 3 – A call from embryologist was expected “some time.” They let us know all time sensitive items take precedence and calls are secondary. Totally get it, but holy hell, this journey and the many waiting games are no joke. It is pure TORTURE!
Thankfully, I had an intense distraction. I was DETERMINED to get Garth Brooks tickets for his November shows in San Diego. It has been a dream of mine to see him for about 20 years. They went on sale last week, and both my dear friend and I were unsuccessful since their system crashed. So they were going back on sale Thursday. Initially, there were 2 shows, changed to 3, and ultimately upped to 5! I was in multiple virtual waiting rooms and called the box office exactly 87 times. Yep. I know. I have problems. It would ring and then go busy. The online system crashed again and then rebooted, and I GOT IN! Every ticket is the same exact price, and you do not get to pick where you sit, they assign best available. SOOO, I got tickets for Saturday (10:30p) on accident, I thought it was Friday, but WHO CARES!! Once the Thursday (opening night) show was added, I was curious to see what tickets it would “assign” me, and I was given front row, not the floor, but just to the side of the stage! SO, I HAD to buy those too! I am SO EXCITED already!
Back to reality – Paranoia is in full effect. I don’t think my brain is in my head, and my heart doesn’t feel like it is in my chest. I feel EXTREMELY nervous, anxious, jittery, and shaky. Since retrieval, my ability to concentrate has been nonexistent. I am sure it is a combination of 1. Complete stress and anxiety related to this process. 2. Coming down off the numerous medications, hormones, and anesthesia. 3. General adrenaline. I hope I calm down soon.
Tuesday’s call came at 11:21a. So as the day dragged on, and I didn’t hear from Lisa, the embryologist, I was completely convinced she was waiting to call me because she had terrible news. Crazy, I know! I FINALLY called to get the update.
Here comes an abundance of confusing, scientific information. If you have questions, seriously please let me know. I know it is A LOT! Sooner than later, I plan to do a Frequently Asked Questions blog with the many questions we receive, so let me know if you have any!
Here is the update as of yesterday, Thursday 9/24 at 4:30p:
- All 10 embryos were still growing and developing.
- Assisted Hatching was performed on all 10. A laser is taken to the outer portion of the embryo so cells will begin to grow on the exterior. These cells will be biopsied Saturday.
- Our clinic grades using embryos using – Good, Fair, and Poor. We hear they are EXTREMELY tough graders. This is based on appearance, growth, cells, etc.
- We have 7 Good, 2 Fair, and 1 Poor!
- I do not want to get overly excited based on the “grading.” A beautiful embryo doesn’t mean it is healthy or genetically normal, and an ugly embryo could be perfectly healthy.
- Yesterday, today, and tomorrow are critical with regards to their growth and development. Things can change in an instant.
- Statistically speaking on average – 75% of mature eggs retrieved will successfully fertilize. We had 10 of 10 fertilize with ICSI, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. The sperm was injected into the egg versus placed next to or on top of it.
- Statistically speaking on average – 95% make it from days 1-3. We had 100%.
- Statistically speaking on average – 50% will make it from days 3-5 or 6. Lisa is hoping for better due to my age, but it could also be less.
Today, Friday/Day 4 – No call or update. On a totally different note, Reese has been my therapy dog the last two days at the office. I love having her, as I don’t feel the guilt of her being home alone all day. She also has enjoyed the extra space in the bed.
Tomorrow, Saturday/Day 5
(I already want to throw up) I will get a call letting me know:
- Number of embryos still going
- Number of embryos biopsied. The biopsied cells (NOT the actual embryos) will be sent to a company in New Jersey (what the hell?!) for genetic testing.
- Number of embryos able to be frozen. The surviving embryos will stay at RPMG.
- They will give an embryo until Day 6 if it needs it. However, I was informed those requiring an additional day are usually not of wonderful quality.
As you know or can imagine, I am quite emotional. Anything can bring me to tears. Random – I saw a news segment dedicated to Remember Me Thursdays for orphaned animals not adopted at the huge event held a few weeks ago. OMG. Also, the San Diego Humane Society just received 29 puppies and dogs from South Korea. I will not share further details, as I was nearly sick to my stomach, but it hurts my heart so badly. Chris – Don’t be surprised if you come home to another fur baby. Kidding, kidding, but we may need to discuss.
In all seriousness, what REALLY brings tears to my eyes are the caring messages, kind words, thoughtful gestures, love, and support. I do not mean to sound redundant, but I will never be able to appropriately thank you.
As odd as it may sound, these little ones, embryos, snowflakes, frosties, embabies, embies, future children, etc. are SO wanted and SO loved by SO many, it absolutely blows my mind. I am trying to figure out the best/easiest way to save and document every text, email, FB comment, message, card, etc. so one day Chris and I can look back with our children and realize how fortunate we were to have you standing by our side through this journey. We love and appreciate you! Xo
Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best. – Robert Tew