Freeze All (IVF FET Cycle)

FREEZE ALL… I should have known….

I remember playing a silly running game in elementary school..  First, everyone stands on one side of the gym.  When the teacher yells “GO”, everyone runs.  When he/she says “FREEZE”, everyone stops.  They keep doing this till someone, the Winner, reaches the other end of the gym.

I would always be somewhere in the middle… not the slowest, and definitely not the fastest.  But I always looked at the finish line on other side of the gym thinking “today, I’m going to be the winner.”  The funny part is when you get to 3-4 steps into it, you start developing a good stride..then they yell “FREEZE” and you MUST freeze or else you’re out of the game.  And only ONLY if you run as fast as you can, and abruptly stop when they yell freeze, you just might have a chance to win.  I can’t remember the name of this game.  But I believe the adult IVF version should be called “Freeze All”.

See, under the suggestion of my IVF doctor, we chose to do a (Part 1) “freeze all” (no immediate transfer), then to a (Part 2) Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET).  The first part went pretty smoothly, rather quickly actually.  Then they told us to wait.  We waited till my next cycle started, then on cycle day 3 (CD3), they did a sonogram/bloodwork.  Based on my results, they put me back on birth control for 2 weeks… to let my ovaries rest.

I’ve been in a pretty good mood… I’ve been patient… Even enjoyed myself a bit while I’ve been on been on this birth control regimen.  But, yesterday I went in for a check up and I have, yet, another week on birth control and they added a nice little dose of Lupron to my daily routine.  So I remain frozen, feet in place, eagerly focused on that finish line…. And our little ones stay frozen.

……Until they say “Go”

 

 

Birth Control

Well, I have been on birth control for the past week. My next check will be on March 24th.  So I must wait.  So, while I’m on this birth control, I find it very appropriate to talk about my teenage boys.  Ahhh, the living “birth control” that my peers (some also parents) seem to laugh about.  Everyone seems to cringe when you talk about this stage of parenting. And I do a lot of cringing!

Having teenage boys is like having 2 toddlers, attention-wise.  My 2 teenage boys have very different styles:

  • The older one loves dub-step, keeps his room clean, loves to longboard (skateboards that are longer than the norm), and plays a guitar.
  • The younger brother loves hip hop, has a disastrous room, loves to play sports, and wants to be a deejay.

Just because they are different in styles & personality does not mean the challenges lie with one more than the other.  If it’s not their grades, it’s social networking, ever-increasing hormones, bullies, or peer pressure.  The list goes on.  We’ve had talks – about EVERYTHING.  More than once …a week, every week. Always, always… my attention stays on them.

And having lived on my own as a single mom for several years, I developed a little bit of a mean-streak.  I call it “wearing my emotions on my sleeve”, my family calls it “public outbursts”.

I’m not a big (muscular) person.  I’m rather petite.  My voice is a little mousy.  When I’m upset, I don’t think my tone or facial expression could even intimidate a puppy.  But I’m smart, and I’ll out-talk anyone who messes with me or my children (and sometimes my husband, but I have learned to let him be in charge in those situations).  Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t happen often and it takes a lot to trigger that Crazy-Mother-Alarm.

Lately, I’m learning that I have to be more mindful of my public outbursts in front of my boys.  This weekend was a particularly new challenge.  My younger son was invited to a party last night and he was pretty excited about it.  He bought himself a new shirt to wear.  He was texting his friend who was going to meet him there. Listening to hype-music as he was getting ready.

Any decent parent can relate when I say I NEVER let my kids go to anyone’s house if I have not met their parents.  So, we GPS’d the address and both walked up to the house so he can join the celebration.  Lo & behold, we were greeted by a make-shift security guard who demanded $3.  I asked, “who are you?” He replied, “Security.” Mind you, this kid must have been about 16 or 17 years old.   (Reminder: we’re at a house in the suburbs)  He proceeded to argue with my son about the $3, when I finally said, “you do realize his mom is standing right here, don’t you?”  Then he straightened up and said, “yes, ma’am.”  I was very appreciative.

The other *air-quotes* Security Guard went in to retrieve the Party Host so I could ask if his parents were home.  The Host came out, passed me, and hugged the girls who were patiently standing behind me.  (They must have known about the ‘cover charge’ as they stood behind us like it was a line at the club).  The Host looked like he was drunk or high – kind of stumbling as he talked with the young ladies.   The Guard reminded the Party Host that I was there, he straightened up and said, “hello ma’am”.   I asked if his parents were there and he replied that no adults were there.  Here’s the kicker: I asked, “where are your parents?” He replied, “on their honeymoon.” I suggest, “so, that’s why you are charging $3 for your party?” He smiles and proudly says, “yes.”  I looked at his droopy eyes, then noticed the solo cups on the table behind the Guards……

I did all but yank my son from this young boy’s parents’ front yard and throw my son in the car. After all, he’s twice as big as me.  I said, “let’s go” and he got in and closed his eyes.  I am sure he was embarrassed.  I was embarrassed for him.  Why?   Because as a mom, sometimes you get a 2-second window to decide if you’re going to be “Crazy-Mom” or “Sane-Level-Headed-Mom”.  For some reason, the latter never shows up to the party.  Not this one, at least.

On the way home, I told my son what could happen if the cops came and there were no adults there. I told him he can be as mad at me as he wanted.  He said he wasn’t mad.  He had permission to tell his friends that I was just being crazy.  He said it wasn’t necessary.  I asked him if he was OK.  He said he was fineHe said the friend he was going to go with ended up not going either.  Why?? Cause his mom didn’t trust the Host.  Somehow, that made my son and me feel better.

One party missed: that’s all it was.  He went to one the night before and has another to go to next week.

We ended the evening on a Redbox Movie Marathon complete with Steak N Shake burgers and milkshakes.

It’s all worth it, folks.  I wouldn’t trade these teenagers for the world.

FET CD4

What a whirlwind weekend we had! My husband’s birthday is this Wed and I surprised him with a spontaneous trip to New York for the weekend.  It was SO much fun, yet SO exhausting… I’m glad to be back in quiet, go-at-your-own-pace, warm, sunny Florida.

While we were there, we went to a spot called “40/40 Club” which was awesome.  Great music, good service, nice atmosphere. This gorgeous chandelier surprisingly reminded me of little sperms surrounding an egg…. or that must be IVF-Brain talking..

ImageAnyway, I had my ultrasound/bloodwork done for Cycle Day 4. Initially, it was planned for last week, but I ended up canceling because I realized I wasn’t in full-flow mode (which is required for a CD 1). The problem of having Luteal Phase Defect (link courtesy of WebMD) is I can start spotting right after ovulation if I don’t take progesterone!

So, everything looked nice and calm during my ultrasound. BUT my estrogen level was a bit too high (104) so she’s putting me back on birth control for 2 weeks. 2………..     longgg……..     weeeeks….

Meds were already delivered last week. I’m almost ready to start the second phase of IVF: My FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer)

 

Day 6 Update (6 Little Snowflakes)

I just received a phone call from the nurse who informed me that we have 6 little snowflakes.  We had 4 yesterday, but 2 caught up!  They just needed a little time to grow… So now we have 6.

Coincidentally, my cycle started today.  So I have an appointment tomorrow morning for an ultrasound & bloodwork.  They’ve faxed in my prescription… and here it goes!

Day 5 Blastocysts

I started this post around 9 o’ clock last night… but I was just so exhausted that I closed it and went to sleep.  Waiting can surely take the energy out of you!  We got the call from our nurse around 8:30pm and she gave us the news.. this time she broke it down for us:

Of the 13 eggs retrieved, 9 were mature, they ICSI’d (injected the sperm into the eggs) and 8 fertilized… that’s what we already knew from our Day 1 call.

So, of those 8, 4 were frozen.  She explained that they were B-graded expanded blastocysts.  I tried to ‘google’ what this meant and found this link from the Advanced Fertility website.

The other 4 were given 1 extra day to catch up and we will get our final count this afternoon.

So, we have 4. I’m happy, nervous, excited, and anxious….

We’re not transferring during this cycle, instead my body rest and do an FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) next cycle… so until then, I’ll be checking for updates on all my fellow blogging buddies!

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

Waiting

One thing we hate doing is waiting.. I don’t think I’m out of the norm when I say this.  We all hate waiting, don’t we?

Reason why I don’t go to Disney World, and if I do, I make sure to utilize their Fast Pass system.  Reason why I use the UPS route system to drive to work – attempting to make more right turns than left. Reason why I request a read receipt when sending important emails so I know the recipient at least received my email before they actually respond. Yes, my impatience can be quite annoying.. but I just hate waiting.

So, it’s now after noon on my side of the world and I have yet to receive a call from the nurse about our 5-day-old embryos.  I did call, but they transferred me to the nurse’s voice mail.  Now, I have nothing more to do than wait……

The Joy of Decaf

CAM00040Right out of high school, I worked as a hostess at a restaurant called Shari’s.  For those unfamiliar with the chain, it’s like a Denny’s or Perkins.  My main duties were to greet people with a smile, seat them, bring them water, and ask if they wanted anything else to drink.  Coffee was the drink of choice.  Might have been because we were in the heart of Coffee-Town: The Greater Seattle Area. But, my guess is that coffee would have been THE answer whether we were in Seattle, in our adopted home of Orlando, or anywhere in between.

Very rarely, would I hear a request for decaffeinated coffee.

The coffee snob in me would think, decaf?? Why in the world would anyone want decaf when they could have the real deal! I’m picturing myself saying this with a villainous tone, hands raised up, shaking (from caffeine-overload)

There were some exceptions to my rant here such as those who need to cut back on caffeine for health reasons.  But for those who “look like coffee drinkers” (yes, I guess I’m stereotyping here), the word “decaf” may trigger a smirk on my face just for a micro-second until I can regain my composure.  MY idea of “coffee drinkers” would look like fun-looking people, smart-looking people, anyone older than 17…. they all get a decaf-requesting-smirk…. and of course, if you’re going to get a coffee drink without the caffeine,  why not get something obviously different? Like juice??

 If I could give my early-twenties self any useful advice, I would tell her (nicely, because I am a feisty one), “instead of smirking, smile, and maybe offer a hug.”

My older, wiser, infertility-struggling self now knows better now to even THINK of judging a decaf drinker!  Because a Decaf Drinker is not a weak one! She may be holding on to her last bit of the fun life she had BEFORE she started fertility treatments.  She has already given up wine (another vice that grape juice just won’t EVER mount up to), girl time (because her meds are driving her bonkers), and zumba (if she’s going through IVF, her doctor has told her to lay low for a bit)!  The ONLY thing she has left is a drink that TASTES like coffee!

So decaf drinkers, be proud! You have found something to fill that little hole in your morning routine.  And one day, hopefully one day soon – you will reunited with your beloved drink of choice: Regular Medium Roasted Caffeinated Coffee.