Thursday, December 11, 2014

Welcome to the world Billy Pax and Matt

We made it to 31 weeks exactly on 11/18/14. After 2 weeks of labor and massive amounts of fluid build up from baby B (AKA William Pax), my body couldn't hold off any more. I won't go into the massive ways my body was shutting down, but it was very bad. It's called Mirror Syndrome and it happens with hydrops. Bily's hydrops never resolved and his left lung never developed. The docs tried and he lived for 10 days, but in the end they couldn't get his lungs to support his little body. He died in our arms on 11/28/14. ............................................................................................................................... His twin brother, baby A, Matt, is doing very well. He faces all the challenges of a preemie, but has faced no additional challenges. His breathing is great, his growth is fine and he's taking his feeds well by ng tube. Hopefully, over the next few weeks, he'll start waking up more and taking more feeds by mouth. He's 34 weeks now, so maybe in the next 3-4 weeks, he'll be able to come home.

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: 
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)


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. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

IVF #4 Day by day.

BCPs started March 28th with my period.  Last BCP April 10th.  Baseline on April 11th, everything is quiet and the lining is thin.   

Saturday, April 12, 2014 - CD 1 - Period starts

Sunday, April 13 - CD 2 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM

Monday, April 14 - CD 3 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM

Tuesday, April 15 - CD  4 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 2.5 mg Letrozole in the AM, 225 Follistim, 225 Menopur, .3cc Saizen, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM

Wednesday, April 16 - CD 5 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 2.5 mg Letrozole in the AM, 225 Follistim, 225 Menopur, .3cc Saizen, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM

Thursday, April 17 - CD 6 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 2.5 mg Letrozole in the AM, 225 Follistim, 225 Menopur, .3cc Saizen, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM

Friday, April 18 - CD 7 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 2.5 mg Letrozole in the AM, 225 Follistim, 375 Menopur, .3cc Saizen, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM 

         Ultrasound and Bloodwork - Quiet.  12 follicles all less than 10
         E2=65, P4=0.473, LH = 5.06
         They upped my Follistim to 375 because my E2 was so low. 

Saturday, April 19 - CD 8 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 2.5 mg Letrozole in the AM, 375 Follistim, 225 Menopur, .3cc Saizen, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM

Sunday, April 20 - CD 9 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 375 Follistim, 225 Menopur, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM

Monday, April 21 - CD 10 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 375 Follistim, 225 Menopur, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM 

          Ultrasound and Bloodwork - 14 total follicles, but one was large at 16 :( 
          All the rest 10 and under. 
          E2 = 145, P4 = 0.379, LH = 2.58

Tuesday, April 22 - CD 11 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 375 Follistim, 225 Menopur, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM 

Wednesday, April 23 - CD 12 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 375 Follistim, 225 Menopur, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM

Thursday, April 24 - CD 13 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 375 Follistim, 225 Menopur, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM

          Ultrasound and Bloodwork - 16 total follicles!!!  Lining at 11. 
          The biggest are: 16, 15, 14, 14, 13, 12, 12, 11, 10, 9
          E2 = 502, P4 = 0.418, LH = 1.8

Friday, April 25 - CD 14 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 375 Follistim, 225 Menopur, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM 

          Ultrasound and Bloodwork - Still growing.  Lining still looks good
          They are: 19.5, 16.5, 16, 15, 14.5, 12.5, 12, 12, 11, 9
           E2 = 775, P4 = 0.6

Saturday, April 26 - CD 15 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM & PM, 375 Follistim, 225 Menopur, .5mg Dexamethasone in the PM 

          Ultrasound and Bloodwork - Still growing.  Lining still looks good
          They are: 18.5, 17, 16, 15.5, 15, 14.5, 14, 13, 13, 13, 12.5, 11.5, 10.5, 9.5, 8.5
           E2 = 1030

Sunday, April 27 - CD 16 - Microdose Lupron 10 units AM, 375 Follistim, 10,000 iu Trigger

          Ultrasound and Bloodwork - Still growing.  Lining still looks good
          They are: 22.5, 21.5, 18.5, 18.5, 16.5, 15.5, 15.5, 15, 13.5, 13, 12.5, 12, 11
           E2 = 1295, P4 = 0.7

Monday, April 28 - CD 17 - I tested my FMU in the AM and it was very barely positive. This worried me, so I decided to take a 5000 iu Booster Trigger and also 100 Follistim and 150 Menopur

Tuesday, April 29 - CD 18 - Retrieval Day: 13 Eggs!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

IVF #4 Plan for April / May

So for our fourth and final IVF we'll do a Microdose Lupron Flare.  I'm perfectly OK with cancelling if this doesn't seem to be going well.  But, my understanding is that the Lupron Flare tends to give higher Estrogen levels overall, so hopefully this will reflect on good quality embryos. 

We'll do 2 weeks of birth control with a hysteroscopy on Thursday, April 3, 2014 just to check and make sure everything is ok and to do an endometrial scratch.  Then somewhere around the 11th-ish, we'll stop the BCP and start the microdose Lupron and then we'll throw in 225 iu Menopur and 225 iu Follistim.  Here goes..... 

Update:  The hysteroscopy went fine.  My uterus looks normal as expected.  I guess the uterine scratch was successful because I'm still spotting 4 days later.  :$  I hope that'll stop soon.  I'm still not sure how Letrozole will figure into all of this.  I tried to ask while drugged after the hysteroscopy, but I don't think I was too coherent!  :P 

I'm just standing by to stand by......

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

March Plan...

Friday, February 28 - Get my period.  Start 2.5 mg Letrozole.

Saturday, March 1 - CD 2 - Follistim 450 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg

Sunday, March 2 - CD 3 - Follistim 450 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg

Monday, March 3 - CD 4 - Follistim 375 iu, Menopur 75 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg

Tuesday, March 4 - CD 5 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 150 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg

Wednesday, March 5 - CD 6 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 150 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg

Thursday, March 6 - CD 7 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 150 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg

Friday, March 7 - CD 8 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 150 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg

Saturday, March 8 - CD 9 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 150 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg

Sunday, March 9 -  CD 10 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 150 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg (BD)

Monday, March 10 - CD 11 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 150 iu

Tuesday, March 11 - CD 12 - Folistim 300 iu, Menopur 150 iu

Wednesday, March 12 - CD 13 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 300 iu, Trigger (BD)

Thursday, March 13 - CD 14 - (BD)

Friday, March 14 - CD 15 - Probable Ovulation Day (BD)

And the results are..... 


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February IUI Plan

Sunday, February 2 - Got my period.  This is shaping up to be a strong period.  After last month's period, I'm glad to see it.  Start 2.5 mg Letrozole today.

Monday, February 3 - CD 2 - Follistim 450 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg

Tuesday, February 4 - CD 3 - Follistim 450 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg

Wednesday, February 5 - CD 4 - Follistim 375 iu, Menopur 75 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg

Thursday, February 6 - CD 5 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 75 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg, HCG 30iu
Ultrasound: 11 follicles growing.  The biggest ones are 10 and 8.  Woohoo!!!!!  E2 = 60

Friday, February 7 - CD 6 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 75 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg, HCG 25iu

Saturday, February 8 - CD 7 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 75 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg, HCG 25iu

Sunday, February 9 - CD 8 - Follistim 300 iu, Menopur 75 iu, Letrozole 2.5 mg, HCG 25iu

Monday, February 10 - CD 9 - Follistim 225 iu, Menopur 150 iu, HCG 200iu, Ganirelix
Ultrasound shows follicles at 18, 17.5, 12, 12, 12, 11.5. Estrogen =122.
DH and I got together in the evening.

Tuesday, February 11 - CD 10 - Follistim 450 iu, Menopur 150 iu, HCG 200iu, Ganirelix
Ultrasound shows follicles at 18, 17, 16, 13, 12.5, 11. Estrogen at 157.  P4 = 0.6

Wednesday, February 12 - CD 11 - Follistim 450 iu, Menopur 150 iu, HCG 200iu, Ganirelix
Ultrasound shows follicles at 19, 18, 17, 15, 13.5, 13 and lining at 11.5. E2= 271.
DH and I got together in the evening.

Thursday, February 13 - CD 12 - Folistim 450iu, Menopur 150 iu
Ultrasound shows follicles at 20, 19, 18, 16, 16, 16 (but the tech thinks one of the 16s is a cyst). Lining at 13.5!  And E2 = 397. 15,000 HCG trigger at 10:30 pm

Friday, February 14 - CD 13

Saturday, February 15 - CD 14 - IUI at 12:30 pm (They were running late.). :(  So that's 38 hours past trigger and since I didn't take the Ganirelix Thursday night, it's technically possible that my body could've started surging earlier....  Eh. Who knows?  What will be, will be. But, if there's a next month I'll definitely do the 2 IUIs instead of the one. DH's count was great. 415 million total sperm with an 88% motility. The sample ended up with 71M total and 63M motile. They just want to see anything above 10M in the sample and at least 50% motility, so it clearly conquers those goals.

So, I guess now we wait.

And the results are: 


I'm supposed to get pregnant and then miscarry.  I'm supposed to at least get a +.  I guess my body didn't read the script....

Friday, January 3, 2014

January IUI Plan

January cycle IUI:

December 6th - D&C
December 29th or 30th - Probable ovulation (finally!)
January 1st - Estrogen patch and progesterone injection
January 2nd - PIO injection
January 3rd - PIO
January 4th - PIO and another estrogen patch

January 9, 2014 - Got my period. CD 1
January 10 - CD 2 - U/S shows an early large dominant follicle. :( at 13.
                     E2 = 57, FSH = 7.2, LH = 6.1, P4 = 0.985, Endometrium was at 5.27

So, this cycle's not looking too good. It's like my body's already started days ago. I think rhe eatrogen was not good for me. So, we'll play this out, but it's not looking good. 450 iu Follistim.

January 14 - CD 6: Follicles = 17, 12, 8 and a few more under 10. E2 = 84, LH = 2.15, Lining at 6.55
                     Continue Follistim at 450iu, add 150iu Menopur and Lovenox

January 16 - CD 8: Follicles = 17, 13, 11. E2= 142, LH = 2.35, Lining is at 10 with a triple line.
                     Continue Follistim at 450iu, 150 iu Menopur, Lovenox and add in Ganirelix

January 17 - CD 9: Follicles = 19, 15, 12. E2 = 202, LH = 2.14, Lining is at 9
                     Follistim 450iu, Menopur 150iu, Lovenox and Ganirelix

January 18 - CD 10: Follicles = 21, 17, 13. E2 = 249, LH = 1.17, Lining = 9.2
                     Follistim 450iu, DTD with DH in the am

January 19 - CD 11: Trigger at 4am.

January 20 - CD 12: DTD with DH in the afternoon. Should've ovulated 4pm-ish.