Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

It's twins!!!! They're measuring within a day of eachother and have nice strong heartbeats of 128 and 127 beats per minute (bpm).

The ultrasound tech could tell how nervous we were and she scarcely had the dildo cam in before she said "It's two!". Thank goodness she came out with it so fast, my heart was about to jump out of my chest. Then we saw the little flutters of their hearts - you don't hear the heartbeat at this early stage, but you can see a little flicker on the ultrasound. It's utterly amazing.

We met with the doctor afterwards, but I admit that I didn't really take in much of what he was saying. We did take home a big information pack. My next ultrasound is in two weeks' time. I'm glad we can have one so soon. I think he'll let me have ultrasounds whenever I want them.....

I continue to feel sick as a dog but I'll take it all on the chin.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Feeling Sick

There's nothing much to report this week, other than that my hormone levels have gone up. My E2 rebounded from the drop last week, back up to 737 on Monday and my P4was up to 74.4. Since it was steady at around 59 for a couple of weeks and we made no change in the doses, this could mean that the placenta has started to kick in with its own hormone regulation. I have another hormone check next Tuesday at the same time as the ultrasound and then the weaning starts.

I've started feeling more and more nauseous since Sunday. I suspect this is the infamous "morning sickness" which is supposed to start at about 6 weeks: I'm at 6 weeks today. Mine obviously started a bit earlier, at 5w3d. It seems to be getting worse now, lasting almost all day. I can barely take my supplements or eat anything, but once I do eat, I feel better for a little while. Once again, I'm very happy I work from home and am not having to travel at the moment. I can't imagine feeling like this on the road or in the office.

I have all the common symptoms: sore boobs, some minor cramping here and there, a stronger sense of smell, fatigue and really strange, vivid dreams. The one last night was about former President Bill Clinton cleaning our kitchen floor. I won't even attempt to interpret that one......

We're excited and terrified in equal measures about Tuesday's ultrasound; it can't get here soon enough.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I had more blood tests on Wednesday. Everything's still looking good, however my E2 (estrogen) levels did drop from 867 to 324. They want them above 300, but because it's close I'm adding a tablet a day (Estrace) to my tummy patches. My P4 was perfect at 58.2 (59 last week). They didn't seem worried about my drop in E2 and even left it up to me to add the tablet, which I will, just to make me feel more confident. Apparently the levels can fluctuate depending on when you change the patches. I'd just done the 48-hour-patch-change-around an hour before my blood was taken so perhaps that was it. I sneakily added a third beta (pregnancy hormone check) to my other blood tests, just for reassurance. It was 3980 and doubling time is 38 hours, still well ahead of the necessary 48 hours. Here it is graphed out:

We're still very nervous and hesitant to get excited. Perhaps after the ultrasound it will all seem more real, but for now we're holding on for dear life.

It's amazing how much of a numbers game this really is. With both CCRM cycles combined, these are the numbers that finally got us to this, albeit early, point.

Eggs Retrieved: 41
Eggs Mature: 30
Eggs Fertilised: 22
Embryos Successfully Developed to Blastocysts and Biopsied: 7
Embryos Normal: 2 (1 per cycle)

It seems like we scraped through by the seat of our pants. It took forty-one eggs to get just two normal embryos.

The five abnormal embryos all had mistakes on just one chromosome each:

Embryo 1. 47 chromosomes, an additional 12th chromosome
Embryo 2. 47 chromosomes, an additional 13th chromosome
Embryo 3. 45 chromosomes, only one 19th chromosome
Embryo 4. 45 chromosomes, only one 22nd chromosome
Embryo 5. 47 chromosomes, an additional 22nd chromosome

In all likelihood none of these embryos would have implanted at all, but if they had, it would have lead to a miscarriage. Interestingly, most of these five abnormal embryos were graded more highly than the two normal ones. Had we not tested, we would have transferred by embryo grade and it wouldn't have worked until we transferred the lower grades, ie the normal ones.

The questions still remain over the failure of our previous local cycle. We had seven blastocysts from that one cycle. If we had two normals in seven blasts in Denver, surely we had some normals in seven blasts from the local cycle, too? We know that three of the seven were lost during the fresh transfer, due to trauma (dilation of the cervix, spasms). But were all the normal ones in that batch? The remaining four were transferred from frozen. Judging by the beta numbers from the frozen cycle, one implanted but then didn't make it over 100 beta points. The pregnancy was lost at 5w2d. Knowing what we know now, these are the possible reasons:

1. The normals really were in the fresh batch of three that were lost for mechanical reasons.

2. Transferring normals with abnormals somehow compromised implantation of the normal embryos.

3. My Protein S deficiency, which causes blood clotting, compromised successful implantation.

4. There were no normals in the local cycle (hard to believe).

Obviously we will never know for sure and now we're firmly looking forward, not back. However, we've learnt a great deal from our trials and tribulations, which has undoubtedly helped us get this far.

I want to finish this entry by acknowledging that many of my blog friends and real life friends aren't where we are yet and I'm rooting for all of you. Mother's Day is a particularly hard day for everyone who's going through infertility and I'm sending strong thoughts of support to you. Please let this be the last bad year for all of us.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Beta # 2 Is In

Without further ado, it's 439. 439. Wow. That's a doubling time of 37 hours, nicely ahead of the appropriate 48 hour doubling time. Here are our values graphed onto averages for a singleton pregnancy. Hmmm.

We're extremely encouraged and starting to get at least somewhat excited at this point. So many more hurdles to jump over, but so far so fabulous.

We've already had a small "emergency" call from the clinic in Denver. They called back on Wednesday late afternoon and of course I thought they were calling to tell me there'd been a dreadful mistake and they'd given me someone else's numbers, mine were negative, terribly sorry and so on......... It all still seems too good to be true, hence my apprehension. However, the call was in fact made to tell me I had to get a shot of Rhogam Immune Globulin within 72 hours of my bleed on Tuesday night. My blood type is O negative, so my blood must not mix with that of the fetus (it's not actually a fetus yet, still an embryo), so they wanted to take the necessary precautions and give me this protective shot. I went to my OB/GYN for it.

The next big milestone will be the ultrasound in two and a half weeks, where they'll be looking for a heartbeat. It'll be on May 18th or 19th. In the meantime, I'll need to go in for estrogen and progesterone checks to make sure the levels are good, as well as CBCs (complete blood counts) to check my blood platelets since I'm taking a Heparin derivative (Lovenox) for my blood disorder. I'll need my platelets checked once a month from now on.

So it's sparkly for us tonight. Mine's a sparkly water, but I might be so decadent as to have a slice of lemon in it.