MicroblogMondays: The First Scare

We had our first scare in this pregnancy, thinking that the babies might be coming.  I thought we had another nonstress test last Thursday.  I didn’t think much of it, and just continued with my day.  Annie wrote me a text not too long after the appointment started with the babies’ heart rates.  I was a little puzzled about this information because she usually would write me about 1.5 hours after the nonstress test time to tell me the results.  So then I realized that it was a scan and not a NST.  Annie reported that the babies seemed to be doing well, with biophysical profile of 8 out of 8 for both of them.  She then told me that she was in for a blood draw.  The doctor ordered bloodwork.  I was immediately alarmed because blood work is not the usual part of the routine.  Annie said that “all should be good” and that “the doctor just wanted to check some things because he stated he was just paranoid” as she said she hadn’t been feeling well the previous few days.  Her urine also showed traces of protein, so our OB was just double checking.  My immediate thought was preeclampsia.  Annie said that Dr. OB was not worried about preeclampsia because her blood pressure has been really good.  He said it could be because she is off Zoloft or it might have something to do with the liver.  I asked her how she wasn’t feeling well.  She said that she had been feeling out of sorts, nauseous, with tummy sensitive to touch and feeling dizzy at times.  She and Dr. OB both thought that it wasn’t anything serious and it might be related to the pregnancy being close to the end.  So I asked THE question: if it is truly liver problems, what next?  She said, if it is liver problems, then they would go right to delivery.  If not, then she just carries on.  Annie said that the blood test results should come back in a couple of hours.  We didn’t actually hear about the results for another few hours.  To be honest, those few hours were quite difficult to wait because it could mean instead of going home and preparing for dinner, we could be packing up and going right away.  Bob was the calm one.  He thought that at 34 weeks 1 day we were in good shape even if it meant delivery four weeks early, especially that they were doing well at our scan that day.  To him, we are ahead of the game already.  But I just really really wanted the babies to stay put for a bit longer so they would be as healthy as possible when they are born.  And I really didn’t want Annie to have any serious health issues.  I would like her to have the best possible experience with this pregnancy.  My mind also went crazy with all the things that we had NOT packed and what flight we should take so we could reach the hospital quickly if a C-section was going to be moved up to the next day.  And what if we miss the birth?  And what about all the newborn clothes that are not washed or purchased yet?  All these things were going through my head while I tried my best to carry on my day with the responsibilities that I had.  Once again, my very wise friend A. came to the rescue.  She told me to try my best to have faith in this process and not to worried because the babies have come this far for twins.  The average NICU can handle them now.  With her help of talking some sense in me and my husband’s calmness, I could stay focused on my tasks at work for a while.  Later on, about 2 hours later than promised, Annie heard that two out of three blood tests were normal.  I could breathe a bit more easily.  The final blood test result came two hours later, and it was clear as well.  So Annie didn’t have what the OB was testing for, and she was just very uncomfortable because of twin pregnancy.  I was relieved, but at the same time I knew that we needed to know exactly what to do when THE time comes.  Over the weekend we have gotten more newborn clothes from friends.  We finally purchased a dresser that comes fully assembled and will be delivered on Wednesday.  We also assembled the bassinets on the play yard in our room so that we don’t have to scramble when we come home in the future.  All I can do is to praise the Lord for calm people around me and for keeping the babies and Annie safe and healthy.  And I feel comforted that they are being closely monitored by Dr. OB.  Bob is now paranoid about his Batman shirt and his red underwear.  He did NOT wear them on Thursday because they weren’t clean.  He jokes this was all because of him not wearing these.  He thinks that he really needs to diligently put on these two items twice a week until the twins are born.

Almost 35 weeks.

The Most Peculiar Cycle

When it comes to IVF cycles, I am convinced that it’s best to know your body and to be vocal.  Let me tell you why.

After all the crying and then being told to proceed with the cycle, I took 5mg of Letro.zole from cycle day three to cycle day seven.  AF was very short this time.  I only bled for three days.  We baby danced on Sunday.  Then I started spotting again on Tuesday which actually matched my experience with my previous cycles with cysts, that I would usually spot mid-cycle.  I have been doing castor oil pack nightly to help reduce the size of Muriel the Cyst.  When I saw the spotting, I knew that the castor oil pack was doing its thing.

We went back to the clinic for a scan on Wednesday.  Dr. Dry Humor, who did my second retrieval at the current clinic, was the one who was present for my scan.  My lining was 9.5mm and the size of my cyst had reduced from 25mm to 16mm.  Way to go Muriel and castor oil pack!   He didn’t see much follicle growth on either ovaries and told me to return in a few days for another scan.  I didn’t have an expectation of the scan so I didn’t have much feeling or thought about the outcome. I was just glad that the devilish cyst decided to pack her bag and begin her departure.

Out of curiosity, I took my basal body temperature the next morning, which was cycle day 10 according to my own cycle and cycle day 9 according to the clinic.  It was the first time I had temped during this cycle, so I had no way of knowing what my BBT was from cycle day 1 to cycle day 8.  But I was shocked when I saw that it was 98.  98 may not mean anything to others but it often means that I am either sick or I have ovulated.  My cover line is usually around 97.3 and 97.4.  Anything above that usually means ovulation.  Period.  I thought it was a fluke so I asked around.  Some ladies who have experience with Clom.id or Fe.mara told me that sometimes their BBT goes up during and a couple of days after they took the meds.  The next morning, my BBT was 97.6.  Still above my usual cover line.  BBT this morning was 97.7 and was taken an hour before my usual time, so it could have been even higher had I taken the temperature at my regular time.  I was determined to get to the bottom of it.  So I decided to ask for my progesterone level to be checked.

Today is CD 11 (according to the clinic calendar) or CD12 (based on my natural cycle).  Dr. Italian did my scan.  Lining has gone down to 8mm.  The cyst seemed small, although it wasn’t measured.  Then the strangest thing happened.  My right ovary had a 10mm follicle and my left one had a 12mm and a 10mm.  I didn’t expect any follicles because there were none three days ago.  I told the doctor about my elevated basal body temperature and he agreed to check my estradiol level and my progesterone level.  I also reported to him that I had been spotting and was still spotting.  I was instructed to return on Monday to check on the progress of the follicle.  We got my blood work done and left.

The phone call this afternoon confirmed to me that yes, as a patient, we have to be on top of things and know our body.  The progesterone level is 17.1.  Based on this level, it means that I did indeed ovulate.  It’s actually a good progesterone level.  I’m so glad that I checked my basal body temperature and trusted my instinct.  But I don’t know what this all means.  Isn’t it odd for my body to be producing multiple follicles during the luteal phase?  What does that mean for the timing of retrieval (if indeed the follicles continue to grow bigger and bigger for retrieval to happen)?  Or maybe Muriel the Cyst was actually a follicle that began to grow in my last luteal phase and matured in the follicular phase of this cycle, hence the size of 25mm on cycle day 2 (or cycle day 3).   It’s all very puzzling to me.

I asked the nurse who phoned me what this all means.  She did not have an answer for me.  She told me to ask the nurse practitioner that I usually see for my monitoring scan on Monday.  I am so curious to see what Dr. No Nonsense will say about this.  I have heard of women with high FSH who would start to recruit follicles during the luteal phase when the ovaries are supposed to be quiet.  The end result is an early ovulation the following cycle.  I don’t really know how healthy the follicles/eggs may be if they were recruited out of phase.  Do I take birth control pills to sync up my follicular growth with the right phase of my cycle?  This is all so puzzling.

I don’t know how to feel about this.  I guess I will hold off my opinions, feelings, and thoughts until our scan on Monday.  This is the strangest place of unknown I have ever been.  When do I get my period next if I had ovulated early?  When should we do a transfer next?  Will I still get my period fourteen days after ovulation even with follicular growth in the luteal phase?  This is an uncharted territory and I feel like I am lost.

Pray that God will give us clarity and wisdom for directions in the upcoming days and weeks.  It’s hard to wait for God’s timing without being able to predict approximately when things will happen.  This journey requires us to exercise patience and trust.  I am definitely experiencing that right now.

My Not So Happy New Year

Good news: we didn’t have to cut our vacation short.

Bad news: a pregnant doctor found a big cyst on my left ovary.  The cycle is canceled, again.

My period came at 5:45pm on December 30th.  My clinic counts full flow after 4pm as cycle day one the next day.  I was totally relieved as we could stay on vacation as planned.  No frantically driving back to the city for that short ultrasound.  I was teasing myself for the little trust I had in God for His timing.  I didn’t know that my trust would be tested again very soon.

What a way to start the New Year, right?  Getting a baseline ultrasound for our new cycle on New Year’s Day, the cycle that we would finally transfer and have a chance at pregnancy.  Sounds like a great new beginning right?  Soon, that sense of a fresh start was crushed by the news.  Delivered by a pregnant doctor nonetheless.  She walked in with a glow on her face and her hands resting on her bump.  Like Maddie said, Who glows???  Maybe it’s a California thing, because all the pregnant ladies around her just look tired.  But yes, Pregnant Doctor was glowing.  I didn’t much mind her.  I just wanted to get the scan done to know that we were good to go with this cycle.  I kept my fingers crossed and whispered “No cysts”.

Then there it was.  Huge round dark circle on the screen, measuring about 25mm.

I know the drill.  I knew the cycle would be canceled.  This sense of unfairness overcame me and my heart again.  I was sad, disappointed, and hurt.  But on my face, I probably looked composed and calm.  I was not calm at all.  I was trying so very hard to hold myself together.  We discussed calmly about the next steps.  I asked if it was an estrogen producing cyst.  She suggested blood work to check the estrogen level, although later on at home I realized that the level wouldn’t accurately reflect the estrogen level since I had been taking Estradiol for priming.  I got poked anyways.  And estrogen did come back at the 800 level.  Very high.   I was instructed to connect with my RE’s care team the next day.

On the car ride home, I was extremely quiet.  All I wanted to do was to cry.  But I didn’t cry in the car.  Bob wasn’t feeling much better.  At first he said that it was okay that we just wait for the next month.  Then he said that he didn’t want to transfer in February because of the bad memories from our transfer and chemical pregnancy last year in February.  He wanted to just do a freeze all cycle again in February and try to transfer in March.  I almost lost it there but I kept my mouth shut.  Both of us were in extremely bad mood, very hurt and angry.

I was so angry at God.  I was so angry at the world, at the unfairness of it all, at the waiting, the pain and suffering that we have had to endure.  Then I felt guilty for being angry at God.  I vacillated between guilt and anger all day.  Tears kept coming down when I was cutting vegetables.  Bob told me to just rest instead of cooking.  He didn’t understand that at that moment, I just wanted to be left alone and let my emotions and tears out while doing something productive.  So he left me alone to read in bed upstairs.  When I was done cooking, I went upstairs, squeezed next to him and rested with my eyes closed.  With his body behind mine, and his hand moving up and down on my back, I curled up like a fetus and just let myself cry the best cry I could have.

Will all the tears be worth it in the end?

This delay had hit me harder than any other delays.  I have been so ready for a transfer since November.  Our wonky 42-day failed cycle in November pushed our December cycle into the time of the two week lab closure that made it impossible for retrieval and transfer.  We celebrated the rest that we had during the holiday season and tried to make the most of it.  We were so hopeful for finally moving forward and believed that this new year would bring the long-awaited transfer.

What a way to start our new year.

Needless to say, a severe headache consumed the second half of my day.  It took a really long time to go away.

I kept my eyes tightly shut this morning and did not want to wake up.   I was praying and talking to God about how disappointed I was in my body and in His timing.  I didn’t like His timing a bit.  My head knowledge tells me that God’s timing is the best.  But my heart was rebellious.  I was chatting with Maddie about it.  And I was saying that Elisha is probably the best person to talk me out of this nonsense that I was feeling.  How do we talk to God and pray to Him when we feel that He is so so far away?  When we don’t feel His love and that He has my best interest in His mind?  It’s such a struggle to stay faithful, positive, and trusting in God’s plan and timing.  I don’t know how others do it.

My prayer is that my trust in God and His plan will be strengthened.  I realize how fragile my faith and trust is.  Asking for God’s peace and strength is an everyday occurrence.  I’ll pick myself up again soon.  I just need to allow myself some grace and some time to get over the hurtful feeling.

My dear friend Jane made me laugh for the first time yesterday.  When I told her about the cyst, she said: “Cyst name suggestions: Agatha or Muriel”.  I burst out laughing.  The last thing that I had in my mind was to name my cyst, although this has been my tradition to name my cysts to make them go away.  It helps to have friends who would take care of that for you.  I love that she always gives me two choices.

Muriel it is.

Good bye Muriel.  I don’t want to see you next month.

The Most Idle Cycle

Can you believe it? I still don’t know what’s going on this cycle.

Ever since the last scan on Sunday, I had not heard from my clinic.  I am not too concerned because my follicles were tiny so I don’t think I will ovulate any time soon. I waited patiently both Sunday and Monday.  I finally emailed my nurse yesterday but her auto reply said that she was out of the office.  I didn’t feel the immediate need to contact the nurse team line as this was not an urgent matter.  This morning I called my own nurse’s direct line and left a message.  I received an email from her just now:

“What a disappointment this cycle…  Dr. No Nonsense has not been in touch and we do have you in mind.  He is back officially tomorrow and you are one of my patients that we will be discussing about next steps.  Hang in a little longer.”

I did an OPK yesterday and got a faint line.  I don’t think I am in imminent danger of ovulating.  I can still wait a couple more days before another scan, if that’s what the clinic decides to do.

The funny thing is, I am feeling fine.  I am not overly anxious about the future. I know my own timeline: I wanted to make a couple more embryos this month and next month, and transfer before the clinic closes on December 21.  But I’d be stupid if I didn’t learn a thing or two about fertility treatments.  Unpredictability is the name of the game.  Waiting is another name of the game.  Last two cycles are like miracles.  Things went well and we got embryos.  I can’t possibly expect every single cycle to be the same.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.

So on that note, I am doing okay.  At times frustrated.  But most of the time, I am just going with the flow.  The truth is, what can you do?  Nothing.  You can’t force the follicles to grow.  You can’t force your period to come.  You wait.  Although my mind must be churning subconsciously as I have been waking up three to four times a night for three nights already, needing to use the bathroom, or overly thirsty and needing a drink of water, or just plain sweaty.  Don’t know what’s up with that.

The good news is, I have confidence that God knows what’s going on.  God knows the answers.  God has the plan.  I put  my trust in Him and He’s been giving me peace.

Life goes on.

IVF #3 Has Begun

IVF #3 has begun.  I didn’t quite know how to feel about it.  Many people have asked about my feelings.  I was feeling ambivalent for a while.  You know, the constant struggle between trusting that it will happen to us and doubting that it’d ever work.  After last week’s BFN, I got all 40 vials of Menopur just like the first protocol that Dr. E and I had talked about using for this cycle.  I had a luteal phase of 15 days.  I often think that a luteal phase of 15 days is such a tease.  There is a glimmer of hope that we might just be one of the lucky ones that beat the odds and got pregnant in between IVF cycles.  Especially when the basal body temperature was well above the coverline.  On Satuday, the temperature dropped and that little sliver of hope disappeared.  I knew that I wasn’t pregnant even before the drop of the temperature but that was still a little disappointing.

When AF came at full flow, I notified Dr. E via email.  I assumed that we would start four vials of Menopur on CD2, just like the first cycle.  She responded with a whole new protocol.  I was to get my bloodwork done on CD2 and start taking three pills of Femara on CD3.  Huh?  I was confused.  The schedule said to take 3 Femara from CD3 to CD8, and to start two vials of Menopur on CD6.  Dr. E will see me on Saturday for the first monitoring ultrasound.  Okay.  I just got 40 vials of Menopur but good thing I got them through a friend at a discounted rate.  But still.  And I was again confused.  Last cycle, I was put on 2 Femara at first and then four vials of Menopur.  There were no embryos left to be transferred.  I am a little weary about being on Femara again.  But, since I decided to go with this RE, I have to trust that she knows what she is doing.  My FSH turned out to be 19.  This is the highest I have ever gotten but it’s not too far off from my previous highest, which was 18.7.  I asked Dr. E why the change of protocol.  She responded with this: 

“When women have less than 5 follicles they respond better sometimes to starting the Femara first.  When I saw your ovaries on ultrasound I saw very few follicles.  Given the FSH of 19 and the few follicles, the ovaries want me to whisper to them.”

Remember I never asked her the number of antral follicles?  I guess I really only had a few on the scan.  Dr. E has officially become the “Ovary Whisperer”.  I hope that she is not talking so softly that the ovaries are put to sleep instead.  

This cycle is not without its minor dramas.  My RE’s medical assistant called in the script of Femara for me.  I called the pharmacy down the street from work at 4pm on Monday to make sure that they had my prescription ready.  The lady reassured me that they were working on it and it should be ready by 5pm.  At 5:30pm when I arrived at the pharmacy, I was told that it wasn’t processed because my insurance only approved for one pill per day and denied three pills per day.  The pharmacist tried to override it online but was rejected.  He said he’d call my insurance and see if he could get it overridden.  I had to be at my Bible Study at 6:35 or so and it was 45 minutes away with traffic.  I needed the meds that night.  Needless to say, I was antsy and stressed out.  But then, I quickly reminded myself that this was something out of my control and there was no use to be stressed. I prayed and calmed down.  Once I was done praying, the pharmacist called my name and said that as long as I and my doctor knew the risk of taking a high dose, the insurance was okay with paying.  Yes, we are aware of that.  So I got my pills for that night.  The pharmacist rocked.  And guess what?  There was no traffic so I got to Bible study on time.

A bigger drama was due to my husband’s work.  We have been on COBRA from his old job so we still have our fertility coverage.  His current company agreed to giving us a monthly stipend to cover for the cost of COBRA.  So I have not been in a rush to finish up any treatment or medical appointments because I thought that we would keep the same insurance.  Last week, his current job rolled out their healthcare coverage.  It’s not a Cadillac plan like the one that we have now but it’s okay.  It’s more like an Accord or Camry.  I am okay with switching over in January as long as I can finish my fertility coverage for this cycle.  However, I didn’t realize that his current company is going to start the new coverage on December 1st instead of in January 2014.  In order to use up our fertility coverage, we have to finish a portion of the cycle by November 30th.  We have about $2900 left.  Unfortunately, because the amount is not enough to cover for the whole cycle even with the insurance contractual rate, we are now officially “cash-paying” client.  As a cash-paying client, we hand over a $12,400 check at our first ultrasound visit, which is this coming Saturday.  My RE’s clinic is going to hand me a superbill for the claims so we could be reimbursed with the remainder of $2900 from the insurance company.  I know that $2900 is not much in comparison to $12,400 that we have to pay.  But every single bit of money helps.  Dr. E’s finance person reassured me that as long as we do our retrieval by 11/30, the cost of the cycle up to the retrieval should be enough for us to claim the $2900 back.  I think we’re cutting it very close this time.  It looks like the retrieval will most likely be Friday 11/29.  

“If there is going to be a retrieval.”  I keep hearing that sentence in my head.  That’s the part of me that does not trust and does not believe.  That’s my biggest fear, that we wouldn’t even get to retrieval.

Anyhow, because of this, Bob has been feeling a little guilty about switching jobs and giving us this drama with healthcare coverage.  He is also feeling the stress of IVF as well as the same ambivalence that I have been feeling.  Needless to say, all of these stresses make us prone to fighting.  A discussion of the insurance coverage late a night after a long day of work turned into another fight.  We’re fine though.  We usually talk things out then and there.  But I could totally feel the nervous energy yesterday throughout the day.

I also think Femara is giving me a headache everyday.

On the plus side, I gathered enough courage and told my mom about our history of IVF #1 and 2 and that we were about to start #3.  My mom is a very sweet and supportive person.  I never doubted that I would get tremendous support from her.  However, I was afraid of her not being able to keep a secret given her history of sharing everything with her sisters.  I hadn’t told her anything because she was traveling in Asia during our first two cycles.  I considered not telling her and hiding all the medications.  Bob and I discussed about it and felt that we should come clean so we don’t have to tell any white lies.  We wanted to be open about what goes on in our household.  And open we are.  The talk with my mom went very well.  She had read up on the process before and had some basic understanding of it.  She promised me that she wouldn’t tell my aunts.  She was probably a little mad that I had shared with my dad but not with her.  She can’t blame me for doing that.  My dad is the best secret keeper in the world.  

My mom has been cute ever since then.  On Monday she checked on my husband several times in the evening whether or not I got home already because I had to do my injections.  (We were doing 25 unit of Omnitrope.)  She asked me many thoughtful questions and was concerned that the process was painful.  I hope that she does keep her promise of keeping things to herself.  We shall see about that.

I chatted with God for a long time this morning.  I prayed to Him and talked about all my fears and my ambivalence.  I talked about our desires to be parents but at His timing.  I prayed for my total trust and submission to His authority and to be joyful and hopeful regardless of the outcome of this cycle.  I prayed for protection over our marriage so that we are for each other rather than against each other.  Unlike the nervous energy that I felt all day yesterday, I have been feeling tremendous peace throughout the day today.  I hope that this peace will remain with me the remainder of this cycle.  

And I hope that we see a few follicles growing on Saturday.  

Deja Vu

This sounds so familiar.  One embryo is a grade one two-cell.  Just like the last time at this point.  The other one has stopped dividing as of now.  But Dr. E said that we’ll continue to keep an eye on it.  My fear is that this grade one two-cell embryo may decide not to divide and grow.  We really want to make a Daisy this time to join Clay.  Why is this so hard?  I am going to be off for the rest of the week so I have a lot of time to ruminate on the embryos.  Ugh.

I am praying for God to take care of my emotions so that I can keep calm and keep faith and trust in Him that He already has a plan for us.  

Thumbs up? Or thumbs down?

Bob and I feel that we have grown a whole lot individually and as a couple in the last couple of days.  This has been such a huge emotional roller coaster ride.  I do not wish this upon anyone.  Infertility sucks.

Dr. E called on Friday to let us know that one of the embryos had been growing better than the other two.  In other words, the other two weren’t doing well.  That one good embryo was a grade one, two-cell embryo, which was where it should have been at on day two.  She said she’d update us the morning of transfer on day three.  Needless to say, I was happy that we had one good one but was a bit bumped about the other two.  One thing I helped myself to be sane was NOT to consult with Dr. Google.  I decided to be an ostrich and buried my head in the sand.  I didn’t look up any information online and just proceeded to have a very good rest of the day.

Saturday was supposed to be transfer day.  We were getting ready to go to my pre-transfer acupuncture session at 8:30 when Dr. E called.  Unfortunately my phone had been acting up lately and her phone call went straight to voice mail.  She emailed me for me to give her a call.  It can’t be a good thing when your own RE wants to talk to you right before transfer, right?  When I called her back, she was about to begin a retrieval.  She promised to call us back after the procedure was done.  My heart was pounding so hard.  I was trying to guess what the news would be.  On our way to acupuncture, she called us back and said we have to discuss how the embryos were doing.

Here is the gist of it: the one good grade-one embryo was still a grade-one.  However, it was a four-cell embryo rather than at five- to six-cell.  Dr. E said that she had one patient with a pregnancy resulting from a four-cell embryo with a day-three transfer eight years ago.  In other words, it’s very rare.  It’s not impossible, but rare.  So the pregnancy success rate with a day-three four-cell embryo is low.  What we could also do was to wait until day five and see if the embryo turned into a blastocyst.  If it did, then the implantation and pregnancy rates would increase greatly.  However, since it was only a four-cell embryo on day three, the chances of it becoming a blastocyst would still be low, but not as low as getting pregnant with a four-cell embryo on day three.  Our job was to make a decision two hours before the scheduled transfer and let her know.  She also mentioned that the lab we are using is very good with culture so the embryo being cultured at the lab will be as good as being in my uterus.  She said that letting it grow to day five will give us a lot of diagnostic information for the next round if it doesn’t work for this round.

One of the other two embryos decided to join in the race and turned into a two-cell embryo on day three.  Dr. E said that miracles do happen but we probably wouldn’t think too much about this one embryo.

My first instinct was to let the four-cell embryo grow to day five.  Bob’s first instinct was to put it back and see what happened.  There were so many what-ifs.  We had to go into my acupuncturist’s practice, apologize for being late, talk to her, talk with each other, and go out to pray.  We prayed and talked some more.  It was almost the toughest decision that we had to make when all of our hopes and dreams for this cycle are riding on this one tiny embryo.

I had been trying to be strong in this whole journey since things were going quite well for us.  I finally couldn’t hold my tears and cried like a baby.  Why does it have to be so hard?  Why couldn’t we just have a couple of embryos that looked fine so that we could put them back?  Why did we have to struggle with a decision that could mean baby or no baby?

Bob wanted to give the embryo a chance in my uterus instead of letting it die in the lab.  We decided to go ahead with the transfer.  I went inside to get my acupuncture done while he called Dr. E.  A couple of minutes later, Bob knocked on the door and said that Dr. E wanted to chat with me.

Lying on the acupuncture table, tears streamed down my eyes and soaked my ears.  Dr. E wanted to protect me physically and emotionally for the next two weeks.  If we did the transfer and got a BFN in two weeks, the physical and emotional toll on me would be great.  She called this IVF naivete and that we would make a very different decision if we had done a few rounds of IVF already.  If we still decided to transfer today, she would be 100% supportive of our decision.  Dr. E’s words, expertise, and my trust in her helped us decide to let the embryo grow until day five.

In a matter of days, we went from three embryos to potentially none.

While I was in the acupuncture session, Bob chatted with Dr. E about the embryos and all the implications.  The lab normally doesn’t give an update on the embryos on day four but Dr. E would request for one and let us know how they are doing.

The rest of the day was fine.  Bob and I picked ourselves up, went and enjoyed a very good day together.  Sitting in front of the ocean in our car, we talked about our hopes and dreams, what we had to go through to make a baby, and how to trust that God would provide.  My mind has already gone to plan B, C, and D.  Even the words “donor eggs” came across my mind.

Bob kept on joking that at four-day old, his offspring is already like him, being very slow in growing and taking its sweet time.  Got to appreciate a funny husband at times like these.

With a few more tear drops last night, I went to bed thanking God for giving us a great RE.  I prayed for a healthy embryo and for God’s will to be done.  I woke up this morning feeling refreshed.  Bob usually has his phone on mute.  At 8:45, he went and picked up his phone and just happened to see that a call was coming in.  It was Dr. E calling bright and early in the morning!  When I knew it was her, all my muscles started tensing up and I buried my head in the comforter.  I could hear a bit of what she was saying to Bob.  Once I heard the words “great news”, I jumped up and looked at Bob.  He put the phone on speaker so we both could hear the news.  The four-cell embryo yesterday decided to do a bit of a catch up and it is now a very good looking morula!  Apparently the morula stage is where it is supposed to be on day four right before it turns into a blastocyst on day five!  Wow it went from a four-cell to a morula in a matter of one day?!?  Dr. E said that there is a 95% of chance that it will turn into a blastocyst tomorrow!  Talk about a major turn of events.  We went from a 5% chance of it turning into a blastocyst to 95%!  The other embryo also turned from a two-cell to an eight-cell embryo.   It’s a grade-three so quality isn’t as good.  We don’t know what will happen to it.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Dr. E told us to get ready for our transfer at 10:15am tomorrow, five days after our egg retrieval.

We went from a high five, to an okay, and now maybe one thumb or two thumbs.  Will it be a thumbs up or thumbs down?  Only God knows.  🙂  I can’t wait to see what the future holds.