Jun 28, 2009

The Network Grows

When we first came to the idea of going to India we were alone and then we found an online forum with a couple hundred people doing the same thing! Since then we have made so many wonderful online friends. These friendships have become a lifeline to answers and information, and one special connection arranged a doctor for us. I have now had the chance to speak with this special connection and we could have ran up the phone bill for hours! Everyone who knows us knows that this is Joy and she and her hubby were our guardian angels a couple of months ago.
Since this journey had started I have been in touch with many Canadians starting this journey and returning home in the tww. As of late we have a positive from British Columbia and a tww in Thunder Bay and a couple in Calgary gathering information and choosing a clinic. I have made contact as well with a wonderful woman in the UK who hopes to cycle later this summer. So our list of friends grows daily and we are thrilled.
The update on our trip is that we have booked the hotel and were pleasantly surprised to get a call from Amit yesterday that the booking rate was further reduced. Also yesterday I went to the Indian Visa office. As I pulled up to this location I see a line of people who were waiting for the office to open. I figured with this line I would be there about 2 or more hours. Fortunately, I ended up being the second person called as the rest of the people were there for passport services. Within 20 minutes I was on my way home and can return in 10 business day to pick up Visas. I often get scared when things go well. The last 12 years have been full of disappointment so I rarely expect things to go smoothly, and when they do I silently worry that they will fall apart.
Well, I am off to call Thunder Bay and catch up on this recent trip to Mumbai and the 2WW.

Jun 26, 2009

Pro nucleus

Going thru this journey I sure have learned alot! Whether it be from people across the world, or the doctors here in Canada. I met with Dr M on Wednesday and he gave me IVF 101 lessons which lead to the ultimate discussion on embryo quality, our embryo quality. The whole process is amazing to me and I am still in awe of what has been accomplished. So onto our embryos. We have 12 and all are 6 or more cells. The bulk had two pro nucleus and a few have one strong pronuc and one weak. These are the grade B or grade II. All in all we have 4 straws of varied divised embryos ready to make the long trip to Mumbai. I also had the opportunity to meet Core Cryolab and was honored with a facilities tour. This location in Toronto handles cord blood for stem cell preservation and frozen tissues. Greg at Core went through the details of the shippers with me and showed me shippers that were charging, charged and used and a shipper that had just arrived from Australia (anyones????) It was great to see how secure the shipper is and how it is locked/sealed, definitely gave me peace of mind. Our embryos will land in Mumbai two weeks before us and head to Lilavati Hospital upon arrival. Saturday at 8 am I am gonna brave the Indian consulate to drop off our Visa apps. I figure if I cannot hand deliver I will mail on Monday and we should still be in good time for our trip.

Jun 19, 2009

Getting Ready

Flights are booked and we land in Mumbai on July 26 at 11pm! Nothing like seeing the city in the dark. Currently working with Amit in India to get a good hotel rate. Visa apps will be sent in early next week. Payment to SI is in the works. Frozen tank (R2D2) has a quote on shipping and will meet shipper Greg next week face to face. Follow up on embryos next Wednesday with Dr M. Whew, a few things are on tap and then we start to shop. I hate shopping so I dread this. The only part I look forward to are the few gifts I want to take. This weekend will be busy as last weekend I was not in ship shape to do much. I did have b-fast with Nicolle last week and we had a great time yakking it up for a few hours.

Jun 18, 2009

Horribly Sad News

I have had horrible news that one of my surro friends whom I have had the chance to meet in person has lost their pregnancy. The pregnancy has ended at almost 20 weeks and I feel sick. When I heard this news I was crushed. We know going into this nothing is for sure or guaranteed. This does not make this any easier for C&M. I am sure the news has devastated them and the shock is unbelievable. My heart aches for them. I guess it is very personal to me as I have had the chance to spend time with C and know what a wonderful soul she is and how they so wanted and loved this baby. Secondly this is the same stage where we had lost our last baby in 2008 and I know the pain all too well. C&M please know that I cannot stop thinking about you. When you are ready to talk I am here for you. I know you will get through this as you are strong and I can tell you only time will heal this horrible wound.

Jun 13, 2009

Now we start rolling

Thanks for all the kind words and encouragement. The whole thing is quite surreal. This being my first IVF cycle I had no idea what to expect. Today is Saturday and it is the first day I can sit and stand without huge pain. The effects the drugs had on my ankles of all places have finally eased and they no longer burn and feel like they have bugs crawling all over them.
We are 6 weeks minus a day from flying to Mumbai, and boy do we have alot to do in this time. Firstly gotta find a flight and get our Visa apps in. After this we will work on a hotel. In between we need to shop a little and organize babysitting for the cats. Evil dog will go to gramma and grandpa's and probably spend a few days north at their cottage. He gets a great vacation too.
Today we are off to ICICI bank locally to open an account. This should make the money transfers to SI much easier and more visible for us.
Have a great day everyone!

Jun 11, 2009

Frozen numbers are in!

Dr M has just called and he is so kind to call us late into the evening to share the news. We officially have 12 embryos frozen! The number is huge!!!! We are so very thrilled. All the heartaches in the past and the recent IVF cycle have come to a wonderful number of embryos. The support from all of you has truly helped us and we thank you for it.
Off to bed, if I can sleep with this exciting news!!!

Embryo Update

Late yesterday I got an email update from the doctor. Its so confusing:
5 eggs fertilized perfectly normal, 4 looked fertilized normal, 8 did not show evidence of normal fertilization and one did not fertilize. It is a little complicated, when I meet you I will explain details further.
The bottom line, we have good number of dividing embryos. The final number of divising (surviving viable) embryos will be known tomorrow and I am planning on freezing everything that can be frozen. Today we have a total of 9 embryos that divided, few more might

So it looks like we have a 50% fertilization rate and a few slow pokes (8) may catch up before we freeze today! I will have the final numbers later today. I am so lucky to have as many as I do so I feel fortunate. I am still quite aware that I had my retrieval on Monday. I am still very sore and my ovaries are reminding me of the stress I put them through. Before the retrieval the ultrasound showed my ovaries were "kissing"...meaning so ginormous that they were touching. I am anxious to hear our final numbers today. We need to now get busy with Visa applications, flight and hotel bookings and some shopping! Time is now finally ticking very quickly and we are 6 weeks away from going to Mumbai!!!

Addition: Its our wedding anniversary today! Sheesh with all this embryo counting we forgot!!! One year ago we were married on the beach in Bahamas with good friends close by.





Jun 9, 2009

Egg Retreival

After is no picnic!!! But lets start at the beginning. Got to the clinic for 7 am and went to the triage area. Changed into my lovely gown spoke with the nurse. The nurse was wonderful and kind and beacause I was the only EPU I had her full attention. I did the pre-op medical questionnaire and blood pressure then had my iv put in. This is all no biggie. Soon after the nurse too Mark to "provide his sample" and in true super hero fashion he was done in record time. The nice surprise was that Mark was invited to come into the op room to support me. Next the nurse took me to pee and then we were off to the OR. Such a lovely bed awaited me with beautiful stirrups ready to go. Got settled in and then we decided what music to listen too..and at this point music was the last thing I cared about. Next the fun began as the doctor gave me a nice dose of narcotics thru my IV. Ahh..I love being a bubble head, love it. Mark is sitting right beside me looking like a doctor with all his protective gear on. After the speculum is inserted I get cleaned and numbed and then the doctor starts breaking into each follicle as we watch this on the screen. during this the nurses are continually running test tubes of follicle juices to the lab. Because I had so many they had to go back and forth back and forth. The whole process was about 1/2 an hour and the end result was 18 eggs!!!
I feared being awake for this but now an happy I got to see it all. Once I proved I could pee we were allowed to come home. Then the fun began!!! Once the narcotics wore off I was in pure pain. I am swollen from crotch to breast bone! Moving is painful, almost to the point of tears! Not at all what I had expected. Mark calls the doc and they talk about it and recommends rest rest and more rest along with loads of Advil. The Advil has helped take the edge off and this morning the swelling has lessened somewhat. I am up now to have my coffee and see whats going on then I will go back to my heating pad and Advil and work from home, in bed. In a way I am thankful we did this here at home, especially since it was my first time. The comfort of home is amazingly necessary right now. My Marky is a champ and has taken extremely good care of me ~ he made sure I ate, drank and was as comfortable as I could be. He put up with my few outbursts of pain and weathered my storm. He is the best and is one step closer to being the best daddy ever.
Now we wait to hear the fertilization numbers and then book our flight and hotel. Finally we are here, exactly where we are supposed to be.

Jun 6, 2009

Follicles

Well here they are - one view of my follies. This picture was snapped by the doc himself as he seemed to understand OUR camera better than us! Too funny. Doctor feels that we should have 15 embryos to freeze! EPU is on Monday.




And here is me with my last shot taken at the doctors office this morning

...look how impressed I am!!!



Jun 4, 2009

Update

17 follies is the count and 2 more days of drugs. Saturday I will go for more bloods and ultrasound then hopefully take my trigger Saturday night and EPU will be Monday morning. I am feeling quite full and belching like a truck driver! Nurse Joan and I were laughing about the gas effects of the meds this morning. The total bill is climbing and my newly increased Visa limit is maxed ~ but this is what it takes and I will not cry about it. Some surro buddies have flown to India this week to see their growing babies and beautiful surrogates. I am hoping that Mark and I can do this as well but money may be the deterrent sadly. My friend Jojo is onto attempt #2 in the next week and I am praying for a positive. She is a kind and generous soul who deserves the best news. Some other surro friends have recently had negatives and this breaks my heart. Most are in the "what to do next" phase and are financially tapped. I have said it before, the whole process is stressful, full of good news one day and not so good news the next day followed by bad news. All we can do is stick together and get thru it. A new friend in Northern Ontario has found a shipping company for her frozen embies and has shared these details with me. What an amazing group we are looking out for each other!
Will follow up on Saturday with the latest. Until then, stay strong and positive!

Jun 3, 2009

Drugs

I thought it would be fun to share this picture... this is the stimulation protocol I was on and this depicts 11 days of it all.



Tomorrow is scan day and I am very excited to see whats happening with my follies.

Jun 1, 2009

Added stress

On Saturday I had my second stim scan and the news was not good - including the blood test. From the conversation with the doc all I heard was "cancel cycle". I immediately went into panic mode, denial and anger. My estrogen level was not where it was supposed to be, thus my 20 beautiful follies now became maybe 6 on track. Oi vey. so, plan...up the meds and see what happens by Monday. Today is Monday and the plan has worked. 12 follies are now getting bigger and Dr C feels that more may mature by Thursday. Whew...what a relief. The stress of this journey is too much sometimes and the constant let downs from the past haunt me. If you have not been thru this shit (sorry Gege for the cursing) you do not know the horror of it. So, Thursday I go in for another scan which will hopefully lead to the much anticipated trigger shot! This weekend will be one we will always remember...finding out how many embryos fertilized and knowing how good our chances will be. My next post will be Thursday or Friday. Til then please pray my follies grow and mature.