Wow, what a wonderfully exhausting weekend! Beautiful wedding, gorgeous bride!! A truly great weekend with family and close friends! I’m post separately later this week about the wedding when I’m feeling more up to being awake. I didn’t get to bed until 2AM this morning and was up at 7AM for my monitoring appointment, so needless to say, I slept most of this afternoon and would love to crawl into bed soon for the night.
My appointment this morning went very well, although not exactly as I was expecting. I was told they would just do an ultrasound to check on my follicles and draw another estradiol level. Both of those were done, but I also got to see the doctor to review my ultrasound results and discuss next steps in a bit more detail.
So first, the ultrasound tech told me everything looked really good for stim day 8. Below is a view of my ultrasound report showing I have 16 follicles large enough to measure at this point. The more the better I’m told! The standard rule is for at least 3 follicles to measure 18mm or larger to move forward with the egg retrieval. My largest at this point is 17mm, but I have a lot that are just a bit behind that. I am beginning to feel a lot more pressure and fullness, so I guess that’s a good sign, things are progressing! The best way I can describe how I feel is hung-over, except darnit, I didn’t get the fun leading up to such a feeling! I still have a headache which seems to come and go, sick to my stomach in waves here and there, and very, very tired. My lining is 8.9mm, which I guess I’ll assume is good since no mention of it was made by either the tech or the doctor, and I didn’t think to ask.
Dr. Duran was on today, so after my ultrasound he came in to review my results. Eric decided to have breakfast with his family this morning, which I understand, but I really wish he’d been with me today. Dr. Duran wanted me to sign all the consent forms for the egg retrieval, as he’s estimating I’ll be ready for my HCG trigger injection Tuesday night to fully mature the eggs before an estimated retrieval on Thursday morning. This is still tentative, but wow, we’re getting close! HCG is the first intramuscular injection I’ll need, which Eric will do, but I’m terrified. Eric is obviously more than qualified to give me an injection, but let’s keep in mind the majority of his patients are out!
So the consent forms… I signed most of my portions, and Eric will sign the morning of our retrieval, but there were a few questions I felt odd deciding myself. Again, feeling like I’m having this baby alone. Most of what I decided were the recommendations of Dr. Duran, which I trust, but still, Eric is a part of this too. We are obviously using my eggs and Eric’s sperm, as no issues have been found with either. The lab expects fertilization to happen unassisted, but if for some reason several of the eggs don’t fertilize on their own, I consented for the lab to attempt to force fertilization through ICSI. They basically inject sperm directly into the eggs. I also consented for assisted hatching on day 3 embryos if it’s necessary. Dr. Duran told me eggs can sometimes have a hard outer shell and pregnancy rates are increased if this layer is manually compromised prior to transfer.
As far as when and how many we will transfer, this is one of the areas I wished Eric was present to discuss. If our embryos are graded excellent or good, since I’m under 37, we’ll only be allowed to transfer one on day 5, as the University’s implantation rate (not live birth rate) is 53%. If our embryos are only graded fair or poor, which we don’t expect, but if this happens, I consented to transfer two embryos on day 3. This would give us a chance of 45% for one baby or a 25% chance of twins. Again, these are not live birth rates, which are obviously lower.
We will be freezing any embryos not transferred this cycle, well, assuming we have enough to freeze. At this point, there is no indication that we won’t have some to freeze. There was one question on the consent I didn’t complete, as I really felt I needed Eric’s input. The question asks us to decide what should happen to our frozen embryos should Eric and I both pass away. Our options are to discard the embryos, or to donate them to an infertile couple. After much consideration, Eric and I decided we would like to donate our embryos. This is a very personal decision, one which I hope our friends and family will accept.
My estradiol level this morning was 686, so being it still needs to increase before retrieval, my dose of Menopur was doubled starting tonight. I was a bit nervous, as everyone keeps telling me it can often burn after injection, but again, I didn’t notice any pain. I’ll inject these same, higher doses, tomorrow evening as well and then return Tuesday morning for another ultrasound and estradiol level at 8:15am.
Just a few more days now… I can’t believe we are getting so close!!!