Result Are In

Today was actually our REAL test day. Since we were expecting a positive we wanted to have the good news to ourselves for a day before announcing to our faithful blog followers. Unfortunately our test(s) came back negative and we just couldn’t give you sad news on Thanksgiving. 😦

I just left from getting my blood drawn to confirm our home pregnancy test and tonight I’ll stop all my medications and be done.

When I talked to our clinic this morning they sounded truly shocked. She said there’s always a “luck factor” in IVF but my lining was perfect, our embryos were textbook perfect and beautiful so they really thought I’d be pregnant right now.

Because of that she said they have to assume there is something else going on like “natural killer cells” which is when your body fights off a pregnancy with antibodies – and they may want some additional testing done before trying another transfer.

I think she said all that to reassure me that it can work in the future but it made me feel even crappier that this round didn’t work. Like “You picked all the right lotto numbers and turned it in to the state…they really should have given you a big check I’m not sure why you didn’t get the money. Maybe next time they’ll drop that check off!” Ok I know that’s a pouty and extreme analogy but I’m still on a lot of hormones so cut me some drama slack. 😉

So I know everyone’s next question is Will we try again? We decided that – yes – we are going to give it one more try. When that will be is undecided. Even though the cost is significantly lower for a frozen transfer, it’s still quite an investment so it may be a while before we’re ready to take that on as well as the emotional factors to consider and the physical/mental toll the medications take.

Mostly I just feel let down. I really felt that God led us to this clinic and this treatment so I just feel confused as to why we’ve had so many let-downs in this area of our lives. 

All day I’ve been thinking of the story of Job in the Bible. Ok – now my meds aren’t THAT crazy – I’m not about to compare my suffering to Job! But last month I’d memorized a verse in Job that keeps coming to my mind. It’s Job 23:8-10, “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

It’s reminding me today that when we are confused and we don’t see God anywhere around us, he knows exactly where we are. So even in my disappointment I am grateful today that he has given me that reminder that, if nothing else, He sees me. 

We’re sorry to share sad news with you. I know a couple people asked how to support us in the case of a negative test and I think just giving us some space to process – I think we’re fine talking about it but not necessarily looking for that so maybe a text instead of a call? But mostly we already feel supported by all of you and are thankful for your continued prayers for us

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Back in Barbados

Hey everyone! I’m happy to report I had smooth travels (WITHOUT my boot!!!) back to Barbados. I had about half a day here yesterday and spent the afternoon driving around the island and relaxing in my hotel.

This morning I went back to the clinic for the transfer. Dr. Corona explained to me they give each embryo to scores: a letter (A-D) which is quality and a number (1-3) which is the actual size. So they thawed out top 2 … Being the largest and highest quality. Katerina the embryologist even took “baby’s first picture” for me before preparing the catheter. 🙂

 

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The procedure itself is surprisingly simple. They insert the embryos into a catheter, insert them into the uterus, and then the embryologist checks the catheter to make sure they went out into the world. I didn’t feel a thing and, in total, it probably took 90 seconds or less. I layed there for about 5 minutes and headed out. That quick and easy!

I spent a couple hours walking around St. Lawrence Gap where I’m staying (kind of a fancy part of the island) and did some window shopping and chatted with some locals. There’s a sport called Road Tennis that’s popular here – it’s basically tennis sized ping pong. There’s a huge court where “the pros” play within walking distance and it was fun to meet some people watching them practice and get away from the touristy stuff for a little.

The only instructions I had for today were to not take a shower or get in water. Since I leave at 7am tomorrow I’ll be leaving without swimming in the ocean at all which feels a little wrong!

I’ll continue my injections and all medications until Thanksgiving day which will be pregnancy test day! This marks the first time in my life I have been dying for test day to arrive. The countdown is on!

 

2 Weeks to Go!

Hey friends – Many people have been asking for an update so thought I’d throw one out. Exactly 2 weeks from today is our transfer! It can’t come soon enough!!

I’ve been on various pills and injections for the past 4 weeks. It’s been a different experience this time around…feeling many more physical side effects including lack of sleep and feeling really exhausted before/during/after the work day, lots of vomiting, and generally feeling down emotionally. My latest meds that I started last week have the absolute strangest potential side effects including, but not limited to: Acute awareness of your heartbeat, bleeding or inverted nipples, rash on the eyelids, and brown patches of skin on the face. (I’m happy to report the only of these I’m experiencing is the heartbeat deal).

So I guess the meds are going as planned, my testing here with my doctor is coming back 100% as expected so things are looking good! One little hiccup has hicced up though; last weekend I did some unexpected shoe shopping and brought this cutie home:

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Yes I nearly made it down an entire flight of stairs successfully! But that last step was a doozy and I broke my ankle and tore a ligament. The next day I got the honor of being my ultrasound tech’s first ever patient to have a scan in a boot (the ONLY way to make the stirrups experience less comfortable)

I had a follow up yesterday with the Orthopedist who says at least 4 more weeks in the boot. So I could use all the have-mercy-give-this-girl-an-exit-row-aisle-seat prayers you have laying around. It’s pretty uncomfortable so I’m not looking forward to 24 hours in the air over one weekend with this puppy! Not to mention walking around in a million percent humidity, being the 14th passenger in a 9 passenger van, or going all the way to Barbados and not walking on the beach.

They Dr. was nice enough to schedule me a follow up x-ray they day I fly out to see if I can leave the boot at home but she told me not to get my hopes up. But I can’t help it. They’re up! I’m being a good little patient and following all the rules hoping to make this transfer appointment the least complicated it can be!

I will arrive back in Barbados the afternoon of Nov. 10th, transfer on the 11th, then fly home the morning of the 12th. Definitely a less than desirable travel time to vacation ratio but I guess I’d better get used to making sacrifices for my kids, right? 😉

Thanks again everyone for your support and always asking how things are going makes us feel so special and thankful that our future little Wilson is already so loved!

We’re Baaa-aaack.

Sorry for the lack of updates – We were making the most of our last days in Barbados!

Saturday we spent most of the day on the water. We did a catamaran tour where we snorkeled in Carlisle Bay  which has all kinds of tropical fish and two shipwrecks. Kyle and I both touched sea turtles (!!) during the swim there were five or six of them that were just swarming around our group. It was so incredible! We also saw the green monkeys at Oistins on Friday so my Bajan animal bucket list was happily satisfied.

We became real naturals with the bus system and spent Sunday morning driving through the tropical regions of the island and ended up at Bathsheba which was really breathtaking. The buses don’t run much on Sundays so we accidentally had 2 hours to explore the beach and found a little rum shop to pass the time.

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Then we headed north to the Animal Flower Cave. Since we just celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary (traditional gift is “fruit and flowers”) Kyle got us a tour of the cave. The Animal Flower is a sea anemone. The ones in the cave look like tulips. Our tour guide said the tide comes up so high each day it fills the cave and brings the anemones with it and washes others back out to sea. Each day there are different anemones there so they never know how many or how big they’ll be.

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Our flight back to the States got delayed so we missed our transfer at JFK and they next flight out was 11 hours later — We’ve decided we’re bad travel luck for each other! But we eventually got to a hotel where we spent a refreshing 3 1/2 hours sleeping then hopped off the plane at SFO and onto the BART. My Mom picked us up from the station on her lunch break and drove us to our car in Vacaville…we had a quick bathroom break and drove straight home. I think this morning was the greatest shower of my life and it feels great to be back.

frozenNow for the baby stuff! We had 24 blastocysts frozen. (holy cow!) I start 3 medications tonight and will start injections again in about 2 weeks then back to Barbados in just over 7 weeks. This definitely wasn’t our plan but we are both feeling better about it now that we’ve had some time to come down from the original disappointment and are feeling hopeful.

Fun with numbers: We (ok “we” may be an exaggerated term) sat down and did the math and figured out if we did 2-embryos per transfer we could pay for the transfer procedures, flights, medications and accommodations for all 24 of our baby-cicles and it would cost about the same as ONE round of IVF here in the States.

Barbados Day 13: Vacation Day 1!

Today we had our last appointment and all is well! While there is still some swelling I am officially CLEARED of hyperstimulation!

We didn’t get our embryo numbers update – they’ll freeze them all tomorrow and email us an official final-final total. They ‘looked’ today and, as expected, many of the 42 did not continue growing to the blastocyst stage and many did. She said, “Don’t worry you’ll still have plenty more than you’ll need!”

We set our next appointment to come back for the frozen embryo transfer pretty much as soon as we can which will be November 11th.

I think Kyle and I were both a bit surprised to find out the frozen transfer requires *MUCH* more medications and injections than this round. But they set us up with everything we need and in about 10 days we begin meds and daily injections until I return.

The best part of today was that it truly felt like our first day of vacation!!! With no dietary restrictions we went out for Indian food and I had every carb I could fit into my Roti: curried lentils, spiced chana and sweet potatoes with plantains. And drank soooo much glorious water!

We went shopping in Bridgetown and explored the capital city. Kyle said the bus station transported him back to Transkei.

We toured the Mount Gay rum distillery which was really interesting learning about the island’s history and rum making. They used to drink it as soon as it was distilled until traders discovered by coincidence that aging it (due to the several month ship-journeys to deliver to Europe) made it taste much better. I’m not a huge rum fan so I can’t imagine what it tasted like before!

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Bajans are serious about their rum! Our tour included a rum punch (plenty for me!) followed by 6 “tasters” (in quotes because each taster was more than a wine tasting serving!). Our tour guide said she’d heard in other countries you buy shots of rum at the bar. Here they only sell it by the bottle.

We’re off to Oistins Fish Fry tonight which is apparently what everybody – locals and tourists alike – do on Fridays. We’re looking forward to getting 2 weeks of vacation into the next 2 days then heading back to real life.

Barbados Day 11: Moving Day!

Oh glorious air conditioning! Our host kindly drove us (maybe not very directly) to our new apartments. We checked in and cranked the AC. I fell asleep within about 10 minutes I think and woke up feeling better than I have in a week! Thank God!

No hyperstimulation symptoms today either. I felt so good even went swimming in the ocean and grocery shopping where our inner 7th graders found this little gem and couldn’t resist stocking up…get it? “Stocking up” because all of you are getting one in your Christmas stocking! At first I was concerned about the natural flavoring.

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Ok back to being a grown-up: Emma called at 7am for my noon-check because she was so worried about my “giant ovaries” She seemed surprised at how I’m feeling (way less than Kyle and I are I assure you!) and is calling me twice a day instead of once a day. No matter what they’re having me go in on Friday for a scan and if things still look good then I’ll get to go off my diet restrictions and I’m going to celebrate with a gallon of water!

Barbados Day 10:The Sweat Lodge and Our Futbol Team

Well we’ve certainly spent more time indoors than we originally planned! Our little AirBnb is adorable but not ideal for recovery. The past 2 days I’ve spent very little time away from our one circular fan. Kyle is a wonderful nurse but we’re just drenched in sweat. Our host said this is the hottest month he can recall since living here and our nurse, Emma, told me the same thing today…and she moved here from London 11 years ago! So tomorrow we are moving to a new place with air conditioning and I am so excited I am counting down the minutes! If we won’t be outside enjoying Barbados at least we’ll be enjoying the indoors a little more.

Of our 51 eggs 43 fertilized – Another clinic record! (I mean REALLY we should get a certificate or a trophy right?) Normally the embryologist evaluates them daily until Day 5 which is the ideal for transfer and/or freezing. They rank them 1 being the absolute best and brightest of the bunch down to 4 which is still viable bit not the strongest. Emma said our embryologist (Katerina) is a t.o.u.g.h. grader and if she gives a 1, “It’s a bloody perfect 1” haha Emma is my fave!

Today 42 of our 43 are still growing and 10 are 1s. All the others are 2s and 3s so – as Emma put it – we can have 3 football teams! Although she might have meant futbol teams.

Usually they evaluate daily and call us update us with new numbers but Katrina said because we have SO MANY petri dishes she doesn’t want to keep opening and closing the door to the incubator that many times a day for fear of effecting the growth process so we won’t get another number update until Day 5 when they’re done cooking.

Tomorrow is Day 3 post-eggstraction so it’s the day Hyperstimulation pain and suffering should set in. I’m not sure I’ll sleep tonight knowing what’s coming. It’s like I’m sitting outside the principal’s office just imagining the horrible punishment that awaits me.

To help prevent hyperstimulation I was given a strict diet of no sugar, no carbs, high salt and high protein, no more than 1 1/2 liters water daily…oh and no alcohol for 24 hours after my procedure haha. So basically I’m on the Atkins Diet which is NOT for me! Blech. But I’m so swollen I don’t have much room or appetite for food anyway.

From here the nurse will call daily to check on my symptoms and decide if and when I’ll need to return to the clinic for another surgery to drain the fluid. They do that in the case the ovaries become so refilled with fluid it leaks elsewhere and causes severe bloating to where it pushes your other organs to limit lung capacity and other scary sounding stuff.

So now our biggest hope is to get through the hyperstimulation symptoms with no drainage needed and before getting on the plane on Monday. However symptoms typically last 2 or more weeks. A bonus would be that the medications they changed will be so successful that I won’t have any worse symptoms at all and we’ll get to do some of the fun vacation-stuff we had planned.

Thanks everyone for checking in on us and all your prayers and support!