Thursday, October 2, 2014

Update 24 weeks

I'm 24 weeks today. Sorry about the lack of updates, but it's been a hard few months. Everything looked great until our 18 week appointment. We then found out my cervix was funneling and shortening. My cervix was at 1.8 cm when it should be at 4 cm. even worse, we found out baby B was very sick. He has hydrops. Hydrops is when fluid accumulates through out the body for various reasons. It's more of a symptom than a diagnosis. They checked all of the usual suspects, but it remains unknown why baby B is accumulating fluid. Specifically, the fluid is accumulating around his left lung and abdomen. Because of this his left lung has been unable to grow and the massive amount of fluid has pushed his heart from the left to the center of his chest. This has also put pressure on his right lung compromising it's growth. The primary susoects are a chylothorax (a leak in the lymph system) or an inherent genetic metabolic disorder whcih would almost certainly be incompatible with life. Everyone recommended terminating B to give A a better chance and since they felt B wasn't going to make it anyways. We decided against that for a number of reasons. One main one was that terminating B can cause the loss of the whole pregnancy 10-15% of the time. We just couldn't take that risk with A's life. i ...... ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ But, back to the cervix.... We decided to do a cerclage. The doc was able to put in 2 stitches one above the other. We also started progesterone shots. I started these on my own. I had read plenty of studies and there seemed to be a low risk, high reward factor. In the upcoming weeks my cervix continued shortening. It is now just above the cerclage, but the stitch is holding and it has been stable since about 20 weeks. ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ So, we've gone back on a regular basis and each time we check, everything looks essentially the same. Cervix is poor, but stable. B is alive and the fluid remains about the same. A looks great overall. They both continue to grow on track and A is about 4 days ahead on growth and B is about a day ahead on growth. My current hospital, Hinsdale, really doesn't have the skills, equipment or will to help us fight for B. University of Chicago appears to have more fight in them, but Cincinnati Children's Hospital has the skills to help B. They're the only place in the region that can do fetal surgery to possibly put in a shunt in B's chest to drain the fluid and give his lungs a chance to grow before birth. I don't know if they'll do it. We always have to consider the risk to A and fetal surgery certainly posses a risk to the entire pregnancy. We think there will be a good time to try it. But, of course, the pressure on B's heart from the fluid on his lungs could cause it to stop at anytime. So, there is a lot of wait and see. .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... But, for now we're 24 weeks and we've reached the age of viability. We're not having any contractions. I've been on bedrest since 18 weeks and that seems to be keeping everything calm. But, obviously, 24 weeks is not optimal for birth. And, if born now, B will certainly not survive. And, A will have a very long road with no certainty of survival. Everybody needs to stay inside for as long as possible. And, so we wait...

Monday, July 21, 2014

14 weeks tomorrow

MaterniT21 results are in!

Negative for everything.  So, neither baby has a genetic abnormality.  Whew!  What a relief.

Next step, the level 2 ultrasound.  We'll do that as soon as we can at 18 weeks.  They stated if they couldn't see everything, we may have to come back at 22 weeks.  That's fine with me!

Ultrasound date is 8/19/14.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

12 weeks

Yes, yes. I haven't updated in a while. Things are crazy. As of Monday, both beans were still alive and measuring 6 days ahead. Woohoo!!!! Heartbeats were 175 and 160. There's been a lot of scares along the way. Too many to list here. We should get the MaterniT21 results in the next 2 weeks and then the biggest obstacle is the 20 week anatomy scan. I think if we get through both of those, I just might start believing. 

So, here they are: 
A:
 
 
And B:  

 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Second Ultrasound

The second ultrasound on Monday, June 9, 2014 at 7w6d shows: 

2 heartbeats at 177 and 178 measuring 8w1d and 7w6d.  (17.6 mm and 15.7 mm)

Whew! 


Next ultrasound at 9w3d on Friday, June 20th. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

First Ultrasound


Thursday, May 29, 2014 Ultrasound

6 weeks 2 days

And, the results are: 

2 heartbeats.  Each in their own gestational sacs.  Whew!  Measuring perfectly at 6w2d and 6w1d and heartbeats are 121 and 120. 

There might have been a third gestational sac that never really formed.  It's hard to tell and it really doesn't matter.  But, it would explain the wonky betas.  Let's hope that's it. 

We have a long race ahead of us, but it's a very good start. 

Without further ado, here's the pictures: 


 
I can't figure out how to turn this one, but either way, they're the same picture. 
 
Next ultrasound will be Monday, June 9th.  We'll be 7w 6d. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

IVF #4 The POAS Journey

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 8 days past retrieval (DPO) and 3 days past 5 day transfer (3dp5dt):
In the past I've had lingering trigger on this day and the next, so a + might mean nothing. 

It look pretty negative to me.  There might be the faintest hint of a shadow. 
But, that's probably the trigger. 



 Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 9 DPO and 4dp5dt: 
Is that the faintest hint of a +?  Can you see it?  It could still be the trigger.  I've been fooled by the trigger before.  Tomorrow will tell. 





Friday, May 9, 2014 - 10 DPO and 5dp5dt: 
Hhhmmm.  Well, that's a line. 


 Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 11 DPO and 6dp5dt:
That's definitely a darker line. 


 Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 12  DPO and 7dp5dt: 
THAT is a gorgeous line!


Monday, May 12, 2014 - 13 DPO and 8dp5dt:  Didn't test. 


Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 14 DPO and 8dp5dt:
It's starting to make the control line light.  Beta today.  I'm guessing it'll be between 300-400. 


And the beta is.........


385.  (I'll pat myself on the back a little for the correct guess and being able to read HPTs.  :)  )

Progesterone at 97. 


And the second beta at 16 DPO will be great, too, right?
No. It's not. Because life is never easy for me like that.
The second beta is 662.
Let me do the math for you. That's a 61 hour doubling time, which, of course, sucks.

I know, I know, vanishing twin/triplet, anything could be going on, blah, blah, blah.
But, really, we're done. No more betas, no super early ultrasound. We'll be doing an ultrasound on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 6w2d. Either there will be a heartbeat or there won't. I'll let you know.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

IVF #4 Results

13 eggs retrieved

Day 1: April 30, 2014: 10 were mature and 9 fertilized!!! That's my best response yet!


Day 2: May 1, 2014: All 9 still growing. 8 are 4 cell (right where they're supposed to be) and 1 is a 3 cell. We decided we're going to PGS them and include the 7 frozen since we're going to do it anyways. I hope this is the right decision.


Day 3: May 2, 2014: Feeling more discouraged today. :( They are supposed to be 8 cell today. 6 are 8 cell, BUT 3 of those are experiencing 10-15% fragmentation. One is a perfect 6 cell. (This doesn't worry me. I've had 3 6 cellers on day 3 before and they all made it to blast.) The other 2 are a 4 cell and a 5 cell, both fragmented. Those 2 have probably arrested. We finished the consent paperwork and our own bloodtests for the PGS stuff. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. If there are 1 or 2 that look great, we'll transfer them on day 5. If everyone's looking like they'll blast on day 6, we'll biopsy and freeze everything. Stand by to stand by....


Day 4: May 3, 2014: So, OK today. I found out they cultured them separately, so we know who has done what.
2 of the 8 cell-ers from yesterday are fully compacted morulas today. (This is just where they should be.)
2 of the 8 cell-ers from yesterday are 12 cell-ers today with no fragmentation. That's ok. I've had them at 12 cell before and they've made it to blast by day 6.
2 of them are 10 cell-ers. One of them was the 5 cell from yesterday! I'm surprised he turned it around! He has a little fragmentation, but otherwise looks good. What a fighter! The other 10 cell-er was an 8 cell from yesterday.
There's an 8 cell and a 6 cell from yesterday that are an 8 cell and a 6 cell today. That's a bad sign. Too bad about them. I had high hopes for them. :(
The last one is the four cell that was a four cell yesterday and probably a 4 cell the day before. This one's basically out of the running.

So, the plan is to see if 1 or 2 of the morulas are good looking blasts tomorrow and look ready to transfer. If so, we'll transfer at 9 am. If not we'll do no transfer this cycle. We'll just hope as many make it blast as possible and we can biopsy and freeze them.


Day 5: Here we are! So the 2 morulas from yesterday formed a perfect AA hatching blast and a 2cc blast. (We'll talk about the 2cc in a second.) One of the 12 cell-ers from yesterday jumped ahead and made a beautiful AA early blast.

Those 3 were transferred this morning.

The others are now 2 compacted morulas and 2 half compacted morulas. The 2 half compacted morulas don't look that good, so we'll see how they look tomorrow. One of them is the 5 cell to 10 cell from yesterday and the day before. :( Come on little fighter!

So about that 2cc....... They didn't want to transfer it. I insisted. When I looked at it with the embryologist she said that the ICM was actually really well formed, but the trophectoderm was degenerating. So would that make it a 2ac? I looked at some studies and feel really good about the decision to transfer it.

So, without further ado.  Here are the pictures I have: 

The one on the bottom left is the "2CC".  The top one is the top one below and the bottom right one is the bottom one below. 

This is the top one in the picture above.  It was an early blast rated AA in the morning, but really started to expand and by transfer it looks like it's hatching at the one o'clock in the above picture. 

This one is the 2AA in the morning.  It is definitely hatching at transfer which you can see in the top 2 pictures at between the 6 and 7 o'clock.  See that little bit sticking out?  That's the beginning of hatching. 



Day 6:  The embryologist called and stated none had made it to freeze.  Very angry about this.  She said they had made it to blast, but were 2CC and therefore not good enough to freeze.  I don't know if this speaks to an excellent quality for the 2 good ones and for an excellent quality of our frosties or what.  Hindsight being 20/20, I would have transferred the 2 morulas and the runt from above and vitrified and tested the 2 excellent ones with our frozen 7.  I think that would've given the most number of embryos a chance.  Or, I wish I had thought of really forcing the issue to freeze the bad ones.  If they don't survive the thaw, then so be it. At least they would've had a chance....  :(

Oh well, there's many things I would've done differently in this TTC #3 journey.  (Especially started sooner!)  But, all we can do is move forward and do the best we can.