day 5.

The Embryologist called me early today – 7:30 am!

He once again explained to me how the embryos are supposed to look on this day:

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The part labeled embryoblast is also called the “inner cell mass” which will become the fetus.

ALL SEVEN OF OUR EMBRYOS MADE IT TO BLAST. 

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I am blown away! I never imagined this to be the case, ever. I have diminished ovarian reserve, this is not supposed to happen. I am just sitting here with my jaw on the floor in disbelief.

The embryologist said that currently, 3 embryos are perfect and ready to be PGS tested. He said 2 additional ones are more than likely going to catch up to the same stage and will be able to be tested, too. I’m not sure what will happen with the other two, so I guess we will see what he says tomorrow morning when he calls us.

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I’m stopping my PIO shots, and all my other medications. I will start birth control again, and we will go from there. I am a little confused right now as my IVF nurse just told us we are transferring in AUGUST (uh…no?!?!) because my Dr said July. I have an email in to her, and I hope we get this cleared up because HOLY ANXIETY. The whole point of this is to transfer in July. I had this whole thing planned in my head of how it is supposed to go (a terrible idea, I know…life hasn’t gone according to plan yet so why would it now?) so I just hope that she was reading the wrong date or whatever.

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The Embryologist is supposed to call us again pretty early tomorrow morning with the biopsy news! I’m nervous, excited, terrified, guilty, worried, scared…you  name it.

I just want this to work in the best way possible.

Today marks 25 weeks since our sweet girl left our lives. It feels like it’s always the same thing every week; Its Tuesday, I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it all, and then I get sad. I know she wouldn’t want us to be sad, and would be happy for us that we’re getting stronger and moving on. It makes me sad to think about bringing a sibling into Landon’s life who isn’t her…but it also makes me feel a little excited. I know she would want that for Landon.

Life after loss is just a fucking mess.

I miss you, sweet K. I’m so thankful I have you looking out for me. I love you baby girl.

day 3.

This morning the embryologist called at 9:53.

He explained to me that on the third day they like to see the embryos dividing into 7-9 cells, with 8 cells being “perfect”. He said that our embryos have little to no fragmentation which is a very good thing as well.

We have 6 embryos that are in the 7-9 cell range, and we have 1 embryo that is a little behind at 6 cells. The embryologist did tell me that there is a very good chance that 6 cell embryo could catch up though. He even said “I could go check on it after we get off the phone and it could be in the 7-9 cell range”.

Hell yes. I just cannot believe it! 

 

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Here is a chart to show you the stages of Embryo development along with a description of what should be happening.  

I truly credit some of this success to the book “It starts with the egg” by Rebecca Fett. She discusses specific studies that have been done for Diminished Ovarian Reserve women; She then gives you a suggested list of supplements and vitamins to take (all with the approval of your doctor, obviously). I seriously think that all of those have made a huge impact on my embryo quality (also, the fact that we have no Male factor infertility issues what so ever helps a lot).

I started taking the following supplements 4 months before our cycle:

  • 600 mg CoQ10 Ubiquniol
  • 75 mg micronized DHEA
  • Prenatal + DHA
  • 81 mg baby aspirin
  • 400 mcg Folic Acid
  • 500 mg Vitamin C
  • 2000 IU Vitamin D3
  • 3,000 mg Acai berry extract

In the book the author states that DHEA is supposed to do wonders for women with DOR. I spoke with my RE and he had never really read any studies about it, but agreed to let me take it as long as I kept him updated on if I stopped or whatever. I’m pretty sure if this cycle yields ALL good quality embryos, I’m going to buy him the book as a gift 🙂

Now, there is a chance that the eggs all fertilized because we chose to do ICSI instead of regular IVF fertilization.  ICSI is a process where one single good quality sperm is injected into the egg (see below). This is always done for people choosing to do PGS testing (click the link to learn more about PGS testing), and often used when you have Male Factor Infertility as well.

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From here, we wait until they call me on Tuesday morning. The embryologist said he would call me before 9 am, just incase we needed to come in for a transfer later that afternoon.

He told me that he recommends that we push to day 5 even if we decided to do a fresh transfer instead of freezing them and transferring in July. I’m really happy that he seems to think they are all good quality; What a great feeling for us! I guess we will see what happens on Tuesday when he calls. If we are looking at only 1-3 being good quality and growing normally, I think we may look at transferring fresh, but if they look good we are going forward with the day 5+6 biopsies. The PGS testing results should take about a week to get back.

quotes.

I love following other baby loss moms on IG; I know that sounds morbid, but it’s not. I feel comfort from it. I feel that those women truly understand the pain that lives daily in my heart. Everything they post is something that I could have posted myself at any given time. Today, I came across this from one of them. It reminded me of my post from the other day. It hit me hard so I wanted to share it with you.

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“The ones who tried their hardest to hold on, yet could only look on helplessly while they lost the thing they loved the most.”

Yep. 1,000% yes.

I felt helpless. I feel helpless. I will always feel that way.

There was nothing to be done.

We were failed by modern medicine, baby girl. It’s such a damn shame, because we wanted you so much; you were the thing we loved most.

#7

I’ve been waiting all morning for my Fert report. I didn’t sleep at all, and was so anxious that I got out of bed at 6:45. I don’t do well with patience. But, that being said…

ALL SEVEN FERTILIZED. 


All of them! 

They were all mature. They all fertilized. They are all growing. 

From almost being canceled to having all mature AND fertilize? 

I am extremely happy. When the Nurse emailed me, I started crying. I cannot believe it. 

Thank you everyone for your positive vibes, love and everything else. We are thrilled with the results. 

Now, I have to continue my meds (Progesterone shots, estrace, doxy and Medrol)  as if we were moving forward with a day 3 transfer, but if they grow well, we will push for blast (choice A). This would have us transferring in late July. If on Sunday they don’t look like they’re doing too well, we will get a call from the lab and I will go in that day and have one or two transferred (this is choice B for us). 

I am so happy. I know my girl is looking out for me ❤ 

eggs. 


Seven! Not a bad number for my shitty ovaries/DOR. I’ll take it. I’m feeling pretty confident that they will be good quality as I’ve been on all kinds of supplements for upward of 4 months leading up to this.

 

Don’t I just look so awesome in this blue hairnet and hospital gown? 

The anesthesiologist blew the vein in my left arm (thanks) and had to go in my hand. IV’s are the worst part of any procedure in my opinion. You wanna cut my abdomen muscles open to take a child, feel free, but PLEASE GOD get the fucking IV right the first time.

Then, as we were getting in position,  the nurse who has been there since we started seeing Dr.J asked me what my daughters name was. I said “Kenley” and then started crying. She walked closer to me, handed me a tissue and said “I know exactly how you feel. I have been there“. This made me cry harder; I told her I was so sorry she knows this pain.

After she woke me up I think I asked her about it? I vaguely remember bits and pieces of what she said. Her daughters name is Stella. Her cord detached from her placenta. She was stillborn @ 34 weeks. (thank you Shane for the reminders)

She said “we went on to have another baby, and that’s what we are going to do for you“.

I cannot tell you the comfort it brought to me for her to ask about Kenley before the retrieval. I knew that was K’s way of letting me know she was there with me.

So, thank you to the nurse. You may not see it, but you helped me so incredibly much by letting me know my girl was there, and for simply saying her name out loud.

Tomorrow morning we will know how many eggs were mature, and how many fertilized. Here’s hoping everything is A+ quality in there.

My ovaries are sore so I think I’m going to take a nap.

Keep our 7 eggs in your thoughts and send us all the good vibes you can manage.

One last thing. A baby loss momma I met through IG (who lost her Son) sent this to me the other day. I woke up to it and it made my heart skip a beat. Seeing her name and knowing that someone else thought of her and I is what helps heal my heart.

I love you sweet girl.

Thank you for being with me today; I couldn’t have asked for better company.

strength.

There is a saying that goes ” You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”.  I kind of hate it a little bit; It always struck me as insensitive in a way? I don’t know if that is even the right word, and let me explain why.

These people didn’t want to have to be “this strong“. They literally were dealt a shitty hand and had to deal with it. When someone dies, majority of the time the person who loses said loved one has no other choice than to go on. Sure, you could lock yourself in your house, become a hermit, take drugs, drink yourself to death etc etc, but sometimes you know that’s not possible even though every fiber of your being wants it to be. It applies to anything, really. But it always comes back to the fact that this person is being put into a shitty situation then the worst thing happens. You didn’t ask for the worst thing to happen – it just does. So that’s why you have to be strong. No one asked you for your fucking opinion, life just decided it wanted to fuck you.

Today at Therapy we were discussing moving forward with IVF and all things involved. My therapist is constantly amazed at the information that Shane and I have regarding all things TTC. She tells us that she knows we have done our homework on the subject, and that she’s happy Dr.J listens to us when we have a concern/suggestion about a protocol. She also always makes it a point to tell us that we are “so strong”, or “brave” for moving forward with IVF. I appreciate her sentiment obviously, but I am secretly rolling my eyes at it.

I didn’t have a choice. My daughter was stolen from me, without any warning, and what else am I supposed to do? I don’t feel strong. I don’t feel brave.

How do I feel? Angry. Sad. Like I was failed by modern medicine and doctors.

I definitely don’t feel strong or brave when I think about doing IVF. I feel pissed. I am so beyond frustrated that this is where my life has led me. I’m obviously thankful that we can afford to do this, and that my husband is on board, but sometimes I just step back and think “really?“.  It does not make me brave to do IVF after the loss of my child; if I want to continue to grow my family what other choice do I have? The answer is none, because I was never given one. I’m not strong because I give myself shots every night, and go through countless doctors appointments and labs. I’m determined. 

I will not let this define me. I am forever changed by my daughters death, but that’s not the end of my story (or ultimately hers). I am a damn good mother, and I know that I will have more children. I will love them with every single piece of my soul just like I love Landon and Kenley.

The IVF stuff is not what makes me strong and brave. Loving Kenley, even though she is not here physically, that’s what makes me strong and brave.  Waking up every morning and functioning after the loss of my daughter is what makes me strong and brave.

Living every day since I heard she didn’t have a heartbeat is the strongest and most brave thing I have ever done and will ever do.

monitoring 4.

The last monitoring appointment – thank sweet baby Jesus.

I have been exhausted this past week; too much running around and not enough down time for myself. Not to mention all the shots, and dildo cams that I’ve been given over the past 9 days. Whatever, I can handle those things, what I can’t handle is not sleeping. I need sleep.

Last night Landon had one of his weird coughing attacks. We put him to bed around 8:30 and he started coughing almost immediately. After about 45 minutes of on and off coughing, I went in and gave him a puff of his inhaler. I hoped that it would fix the problem because it usually does – nope. He started coughing even harder, and yelled that he was going to throw up. So he ran to the bathroom, and I ran to meet him. He didn’t throw up, thank god, but he just kept hacking. I finally got him calmed down, and he fell back asleep for about an hour. Around 11:30 we were just getting ready to go to bed and he started again.

He ran to the bathroom, saying he was going to throw up again, and sat there, half asleep, spitting into the toilet. My poor little dude. After a few minutes I calmed him down again, and decided that we were going to put him in a hot shower to break up whatever was going on in his chest. Into my shower he went. He sat there with the warm water running over him, letting the steam do wonders. About 12:30 he said he was ready to get out of the shower. I got him out, and got him dressed in his PJ’s. (Side note – Shane had to be up for work at 4:15, and was up with us until about this time.)

I put Landon back to bed, and rubbed his head for a few minutes to calm him down. He fell asleep pretty quickly, but the minute I got into bed he started coughing again. I got my bathrobe on and went to make sure he was okay. I just decided to sleep on the couch so Shane didn’t have to hear Landon hacking on the monitor when he had to be up for work in like 4 hours.  1:30 rolls around, and Landon stops coughing…finally. I must have passed out because I woke up at 3:45 and walked back into bed…only to have Shane’s alarm go off at 4:15. Ugh.

I don’t even remember him leaving, but I do remember telling him (as he kissed me good-bye) to be “Ninja quiet” because if he woke Landon up I was going to kill him 🙂

Then, my alarm went off at 6:30.

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Pretty sure I’ve never wanted to sleep in more than I did this morning.

I dropped Landon off at my Mother in Laws, and I drove to the RE. Shane met me there (he’s amazing btw, have I told you that?) and we walked in together. The receptionist asked if I knew what time my appointment was (uh yes?). I said 9 am. Well, turns out they scheduled me for the wrong f’ing clinic. You’re right receptionist! – I do not want to drive to the Canton office, thank you. The receptionist is amazing though, so she took care of it, and got us right in. I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t have handled them rescheduling me. I may have lost my shit on everyone. It’s gonna happen one of these days, I’m telling you. Someone’s going to say the wrong thing at the perfect moment, and I’m going to fly off the handle.

When we got in the room, Dr.J came in and did his business. We had a ton of progress overnight! It’s like my ovaries decided to finally join the party. I’m pissed it took about $4k worth of medicine to make it happen, but thanks for showing up, guys. Dr.J always seems so surprised when something good happens for us; It kind of makes me laugh and makes me feel like shit at the same time. I always tell him jokingly to be positive, and he always replies “I’m being positive, but Randi, Science“. Which makes me laugh, because I totally agree with him, I’m just being overly optimistic because someone has to be, right?

My ovaries have: (excuse my scribble…I can’t math apparently)

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So all of my follicles have grown, and some extras have popped up!  There are now 11 follicles of measurable size; my AFC for this cycle was only 13 to begin with. This means of those 13, 11 of them are responding to meds – I will freaking take that. My uterine lining is 10.5, and my Estrogen was 1259, up from 1037 yesterday. They had me take my final dose of Follistim, and Menopur this morning in office. Hopefully that and the trigger will push those 14’s + 15’s up around 17/18.

We are going to trigger tonight @ 10:45 and my egg retrieval is set for Thursday at 9:45am.

I can’t believe I’m here – for so many reasons. I shouldn’t be here, but I am. I should have my daughter in my arms, but I don’t. I should be watching a beautiful 6 month old girl roll around the floor instead I’m kissing her urn goodnight every night, feeling guilty for moving forward with my life. Today marks 24 weeks that she has been gone; Today in a pregnancy is viability. How ironic that it’s a day during my pregnancy that I felt so much relief, yet here I am 24 weeks out from her death and I feel so much grief, pain and anger?

How are those things fair?

Why is life so cruel?

How is a mother supposed to live her life without her child?

These are questions I will ask myself every day, I think. No matter what, things will never be right. I will always forever be missing my first daughter; my beautiful, perfect, sweet girl whom I tried so incredibly hard for. The daughter I did everything for.

My forever best friend.

I would breathe my last breath in a heartbeat if I could bring you back to your Daddy and Brother, my sweet girl.

I wish I could have saved you.

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monitoring 3.

Today I had my third monitoring appointment; things looked A LOT better in there!

Saturday I had 4 follicles on each ovary; today I have 5 measurable ones on each ovary! Dr.J said I really “rallied” here at the end. I’ll take that.

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The plan is for me to continue my Follistim (425) and Menopur (150) tonight like normal. Take my Ganirelix in the morning (to stop my body from ovulating by itself). I will take my left over Follistim and Menopur to my appointment tomorrow at 9 a.m.; I will have an Ultrasound and Blood work while I’m there. After we see how things look tomorrow morning, they will (more than likely) give me another dose of Follistim and Menopur, then draw my blood. After that I will go home, and Shane will give me my trigger shot (hcg) in the evening at the time the RE tells us. We will then do our Egg Retrieval on Thursday morning!

I can’t believe that things are actually looking good for us. It has been an extremely emotional last week for us, and I am S T R E S S E D. It’s so hard to not know what is happening with the cycle. I mean, you’re given this calendar at the beginning of the cycle so you have an “idea” of what to expect, but things can change at the drop of a hat.

I’m so so thrilled that things are looking ok for us. I mean, we’re not out of the woods yet obviously, and we know just because we get pregnant doesn’t mean we will have a take home baby – Unfortunately.

Speaking of Kenley, tomorrow will be 24 weeks . It has almost been six months. I can’t.  I can’t even begin to believe it. It makes me so incredibly sad; I don’t think my brain can make sense of it. I mean, I know she’s gone but it just hurts so much to think about it. When I start to think about it, I feel dizzy; I’m pretty sure it’s a defense mechanism, but still. I get hot, and feel the room spinning when I let my brain go to the dark places. I want to do something special for her tomorrow, but I’m sure I will just let myself down so I better not set any expectations. Maybe I will light a candle for her tomorrow evening? If you light one tomorrow, think of Kenley.

I know she’s gone and she will never be here with us. I wish I could just hold her again. See her beautiful face again. Run my hands over her face, and through her auburn hair. Oh baby girl, I miss you so incredibly much.

You’ve changed my life, and I will never be complete until we are together again.

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randomness.

For the past two weeks or so, I’ve been seeing more and more cardinals. Cassie tells me when she sees them on runs, or out and about. Last night I put landon to bed and sat on the couch to relax. I looked out the back door and there was a cardinal sitting on top of Landon’s trampoline cage. This same cardinal has been in the exact same spot every night for about a week.

I know she’s looking out for me, especially during this stressful IVF cycle. I’ve been talking to her at night lately; a little more than I usually do. I’m asking her to send me signs and guidance on this cycle, and life in general. I know that the next few days are going to be full of a lot of really weird choices for us so I’m trying to prepare myself for that.

I’m hoping that this cycle isn’t over for us yet and that we may have a chance still, but I’m just not sure. When you put all your information on the interwebz, it gives everyone the chance to give you their opinion on everything. It is so important to me to be informed about this cycle, and know my options, but holy shit is it overwhelming. Everyones body is different so different protocols work for different people. There are so many ways that this could go. I know SO MANY women who have gone through this, or similar and I love that they give me advice when I ask for it. They are so helpful and knowledgable; I don’t know how I would get through this process without them.

I’m trying to let go and trust my Dr, it’s just really hard.

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I bought my bridesmaid dress for my sisters wedding yesterday. I’m so excited for her, and I can’t wait to be a part of the whole thing. We have her bridal shower planned pretty much, just need to get her invites done. I will hopefully have some serious time to dedicate to this coming up soon. I also wanted to register for that 5k for stillbirth awareness and I need to find time to do that.  I feel so thinly stretched lately. ugh.

I also bought myself a necklace. d293abf634410383da960c539ade3eed

I’m so excited to get it. It’s 14kt Rose Gold, and hopefully the chain is a little stronger than the necklaces I was wearing. My amazing friends sent me a necklace with Kenley + Landon’s names on it, but the chain broke. I was so upset and took it to get fix, but they said it couldn’t be fixed as it was only rose gold plated. I knew I had to find something that would stand the test of time. I’m absolutely in love with this necklace and I can’t wait to have it near my heart.

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