Barbados day 7: Egg-traction day

Today was the day for egg extraction.  Steph had the final couple of injection Friday night and Saturday morning that would make the eggs mature in preparation for today.  As she mentioned in the last blog, they switched to a different medication than the normal HCG to keep the hyperstimulation from causing things to swell too much.

We took the bus in to the appointment, but after we were on we couldn’t figure out how to let the driver know we wanted to stop since it didn’t have the string to pull.  Thankfully a lady on the bus yelled at the driver when she noticed we wanted to get off.  So we drove by the bus stop, but got dropped off right in front of the clinic.

The doctors said the extraction procedure went fine.  They used an anaesthetic that they said doesnt quite put you to sleep, but you don’t feel any pain.

We are back in our cottage now.  We moved from our hotel yesterday to the Airbnb.  The cottage is a pretty nice place, very quaint.  Unfortunately it does not have an air conditioner, so it may not be the most relaxing for Steph for recovery.

They said they extracted 51 eggs, and the embryologist said that is the most she has ever seen.  Unfortunately, that many probably means the recovery time and pain level will be harder than normal.  We will hear over the next couple of days how they develop.

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Barbados Day 4: Good News Bad News

I’ll get to the good news – Kyle is HERE! The passport agency said gave him his passport right away and got on his flight out of SF as planned. He got here around 2 yesterday, changed into his trunks and got into the ocean, took a nap on the beach and woke up for fish and chips and rum punch.

This morning was my 2nd scan where they determine which day they do the extraction…this is where the bad news begins.  I have LOTS of stimulated follicles which you’d think is a good thing but once I take the “trigger shot” they will all mature at once which is a big problem with the number I have. Long story short they changed up my meds – they will extract and fertilize them on Sunday – then that’s it. 😞 I will still have a rough recovery it sounds like but nothing compared to what it would be if they’d kept on the same track. They will have to freeze the embryos and then I will have to fly back to Barbados some time in the future to have them transferred.

From what I’ve heard the success rates are generally lower with frozen embryos but they said their chances are still good. Still it feels like the worst possible thing that could happen every step of the way has happened to us and today I feel about 0% hope we’re ever going to have a baby.

We will keep you updated again  as we know more. For now you can pray for me as I’m getting swollen from the hyperstimulation and stomach pain will increase as things enlarge until Sunday. Then for the recovery the following days. At least Kyle’s here now and that definitely helps! We’re going to make the best of our unnecessarily long vacation for now.

Barbados Day 1

Never thought I’d be in a romantic ocean view room in Barbados with my Mom…but here we are. We made it!

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Yes my mom made the ultimate sacrifice to take a week off work to come to her daughter’s aide for ‘a medical emergency out of the country’ So she’ll be here with me as I have my first appointments with our doctor  and find out what the backup plan is for when you show up missing half the ingredients for the bun you’re baking.

Our flights were windy and rocky but no hurricane in NYC! Just some sweat stains from the turbulence. Mom sat by someone who threw up on BOTH of the flights. I sat next to the most terrified person I’ve ever met – She had a death grip on the seat the entire trip and when we landed she started clapping and cheering then repeated “I am alive I have made it, I am alive I have made it…” until we deplaned.

We walked down to the clinic where I have my first REAL appointment at 9am (EST) tomorrow. It felt strange to see it in real life after it being a background photo on a website I’ve looked at for over a year.

Next we walked to an Indian restaurant – we are in the West Indies after all – and had a delicious dinner. As soon as our sweat dries we’re gonna hit the water! The hotel has a private beach, pool, hot tub (who wants it when the low tonight is 82) beach bar and restaurant. Tonight they’re playing Dirty Rotten Scoundrels outside on the beach and I hope I can stay awake long enough to enjoy it.

Kyle has an appointment Tuesday morning at 10:30 at the passport office and if all goes well he’ll be out on that evening’s flight and arrive in the nick of time on Wednesday.

We have basically no cell service or wifi connection so I likely won’t get your emails or texts or see your comments throughout the day. But I’ll still try to update the blog daily-ish from the business center!

– Steph

Kyle Wilson and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

As I’m sitting on my to  patio  cooling down from my  morning hot flash I thought I would use this time to tell you all about our day yesterday. Our plan was to leave Eugene at 8, have a brunch with friends and Medford, head to California for more time with friends and fun. Here’s what went down:

7:30 – ” Sweet we are running early. I’ll just get the last couple things and we can sit down and enjoy some coffee. Where is your passport? Mine’s right here”

8:06 – ” Okay the worst thing that will happen is we missed brunch. No big deal we will find it.”

9:30 – “Ok obviously it is not here. We have to figure out how to get a new one.”

By 10:00 we’ve learned that with the right paperwork, and the right emergency, you can get a passport expedited within 24 hours. But you have to do it at a regional passport office. There are 4 on the West Coast: Seattle, San Francisco, LA, San Diego. My coworker and hero (Lindsey) has a husband who works at the Eugene Airport. He dropped everything and booked Kyle on a buddy pass to the first flight out of town to Seattle! He would arrive at 2:21. Plenty of time to plead his case, get a replacement, and get on his flight to San Francisco where I would pick him up at 10:45. She called to make his appointment over at the automated system. Appointments every 30 minutes! Sweet they are wide open! Wait. The last option is 1pm?

So yeah, the office closes at 3. Kyle gets on the customer service line and they tell him book the appointment at 1 and then call later to say you are running late, get there as fast as you can and have all your paperwork, documentation, and passport photos ready to go. Passport photos??

No problem. We got this! It just so happens that diagnostic orthodontic facial photos are nearly the same as passport photos. We drive to my office, take the photos (the lightbox is off) retake the photos (website won’t crop) reload the site and print (out of ink) reprint (Lindsey texts arrive at airport 12:15 no later than 12:30) cut photos (handle comes off paper cutter) reattach the handle and print paperwork, get in car, drop Kyle off at 12:28.

I don’t know every detail of the next part but I know that the flight took off late and Kyle got to his Uber at 2:50. Arrived after 3 to the office and banged on the locked door until somebody let him in. Hope! The guy asked him what his emergency was and after Kyle explained he said there was no way to get a passport today. Kyle said, “I think I tried to bribe him even”. But it takes about 6 people to get the job done, some of whom had already gone home. In cases of “life and death” he could call them back but our case of life does not qualify.

IMG_20160902_181611162_TOPOn the road to California I had to do my hormone injection at exactly 6 p.m. So at the tippy top of Mount Shasta I pulled to the side of the road and filled my syringe. I lost four vials of hormone because the altitude had pressurized them and when I remove the needle for liquid shot out all over me. No problem. They probably have replacements in Barbados. I finally got everything in one vial and strolled in to the Chevron bathroom which, luckily, had a single room bathroom. With some Cirque du Soleil moves I got the shot in myself and tried to follow the instructions to aspirate it. The needle just kept coming out but I remember the nurse in the YouTube video saying in her 14 years she’s never seen or even heard of somebody hitting a vein but do it just to be safe. I know, I know, not the day to test fate and yes I did hit a vein and dark red blood came flowing out – no paper towels. Shoot! Out of toilet paper! Hey help me alcohol pad over my wound, cut the line at Subway to the grab a handful of paper napkins, stuffed them in my pants and got back on the road. Oh wait. My dog is carsick. Let’s barf first.

At 11 I picked up an exhausted and defeated looking husband from SFO. We got back to my parents around midnight and now I am leaving for Barbados late tonight on my own. The clinic does not even know that any of this is going on so they will find out when I show up for my 9 a.m. appointment on Monday. Hopefully they can roll with it!

Since it’s a holiday weekend, Kyle will not have the chance to get an expedited passport until Tuesday morning. He has changed his flight to Tuesday night and hopefully can meet me in Barbados Wednesday afternoon. According to our IVF plan extraction and fertilization should take place on Wednesday so prayers are appreciated!

IMG_20160829_211444772Speaking of which, are friends Joel, Krista, Sam, and Renee met with us to pray over us and our trip on Monday night. One of the things Renee prayed has just been stuck in my head: the God is in the details. I honestly have had such a peaceful feeling through all of this (ok there was about half an hour there where I was freaking out) and her prayer has been coming to my mind constantly. Maybe we’ve taken a ‘miracle’ into our own hands with IVF but ultimately God is in the details of what will happen. Still your prayers are coveted! That travel would be smooth for both of us, that the procedures can still proceed correctly, and of course that Kyle could get a passport on Tuesday! So send us your good vibes and wave your passport at the screen for good luck! We’ll keep you updated as we know more.

-Steph

Bon Voyage

We begin our trip tomorrow morning.  We are driving down to the bay area tomorrow, and then flying to Barbados Saturday night.  Its kind of hard to believe that the trip is here.  For a long time, it has felt like something that was happening, but way off into the future, and now it feels like it snuck up a little.  As we leave, its some mixed emotions, excitement for trip mixed with some nervousness about the medical procedures when we get there.

We began the injections on Tuesday.  Seems kind of crazy that we watched a few YouTube videos, and I am now qualified to give shots!  So far they seem to be going alright minus the general unpleasantness of injections, and the inevitable side effects of the hormones.

-Kyle

It all started with a nose job…

Toward the end of our fertility treatment in CA my Dr sat me down and said, “WHY won’t you do IVF? I know I could get you pregnant with IVF.” I told him we know several couples who have gone through that process and it wreaked havoc on their marriages – I said I’d rather be happily married with no kids than risk that. He looked off into the distance and didn’t say anything for several moments (really! That’s not for dramatic effect!) then finally replied, ” Well that’s true. We make a lot of babies but we make a lot of single parents.”

What causes this? Well there are couples who feel they have no purpose or happiness without children and we don’t fall into that category. The hormone injections, I hear, are no help in keeping the love alive! But that’s only a few weeks so most couples (I hope!) could prepare for and move past that. The one I feared the most is (dun dun duuuuuh) The Machine.

The Machine is the all consuming focus on getting pregnant! Nothing in life – or in your marriage – exists outside this goal! We experienced it to some degree when we were pursuing such a smaaaaaal scale fertility treatment. All of the testing, appointments, medications…every day, and truly it felt like every moment, revolved around fertility treatment. It often felt like there was no part of our lives, no decision, no meal, no work day, no evening that wasn’t consumed by what we were supposed to be doing and what we hoped was working!

The worst part is that our medical team didn’t have the same goals as us – it felt like they’d keep giving us hoops to jump through but we’d never get around to anything that might make a baby! Just testing, pills, appointments, medical bills and more testing.

As my 35th birthday began to approach we decided if we were going to give it another try we’d better do it now. The thought of the all consuming machine taking over made me wonder if becoming a parent could possibly be worth it. I called the fertility clinic to schedule a consultation. “Let’s just see what they say” Well they said after I pay a $500 down payment and compete the packet they send (14 pages of paperwork) they will schedule me a consultation which were booked out 13 weeks in advance. The Machine!! I could just barf.

And then I remembered the nose job.

Years ago I worked at Target and a co-worker went home to Iran for a few weeks and came back with a new look! She told how her airfare, nose job, recovery, and vacation were about half the cost of having a nose job done here. She said the American medical system is all about the corporation and covering themselves for liability over patient care. I have never felt that way more than with our fertility treatment so it got me thinking….or Googling.

What I found was for less than 50% of the cost and 2 weeks out of the country we could get the same treatment in almost any other country in the world with a better chance of success.

If we were to do IVF in the U.S. right now our estimated success rate of clinical pregnancy is at 32%. At the Barbados clinic it’s 65%.

So price was a huge benefit and the success rates a hopeful advantage. But the biggest reason we chose this route is that we can prepare, go give it a try, thenbarbados come home to our real lives. If it works we’ll be grateful and excited!! If it doesn’t then we’ll have had an amazing vacation and know we left no stone unturned without having the constant reminder in our memories at our home, work, doctor’s office, and daily life weighing on us. Oh yeah…and we get to spend almost 3 weeks in Barbados!

So far our experience has been great! Our doctors here in Eugene happily ordered the tests we needed. Within 5 minutes of meeting my doctor he told me “It’s insane how much they charge to do IVF and you guys sound like you’re doing this for a the right reasons. Give me a list of what you want and I’ll order it!” We’ve spoken with Dr. Skinner who will be performing all our procedures and she said our test results are excellent. One example is a hormone test that I indicates how many ‘good eggs’ they’ll have opportunity to retrieve. The scale goes from 0-20 and for my age they want a 3 as a minimum and 5-6 is ideal. Mine was 11!

Kyle and I will take turns writing blog entries to keep you updated on the experience so keep checking back to this site.

Thank you all for supporting us and praying and hoping for us!
Here’s the place we’re going if you want to check it out. http://barbadosivf.com