Thursday, September 23, 2010

Schoolie says

So...we talked to Dr. Schl. in Denver finally. Boy, he is one cool cucumber. It was an interesting talk, but somewhat surprising to us. We expected major optimism from him (EIGHT NORMAL BLASTS!) but well...

He certainly wasn't pessimistic, but was not as hopeful as we thought he would be.

He said he thinks we should try this transfer and that if it doesn't work, we should consider a gestational carrier (Whoa!), because while all this time everyone has thought we have an egg issue, now that we have a number of chromosomally normal blasts, it appears we may have a uterine issue behind our failures as well (14 transferred embryos resulted in only two pregnancies, and of our five losses, two were not tested and so may or may not have been due to aneuploidy)...

Dr. Schl's warning about my uterus was more than a bit of a surprise to us, although maybe it shouldn't have been (we've wondered about my uterus ourselves). He's funny too the way he talks - he advised that we would want to consider a "proven uterus" should this cycle fail.

In terms of the "how many" question, Dr. Schl. said he thought that we should definitely transfer two normal blasts and that it would not be unreasonable to transfer three normal blasts (two "typically developing" normals and one of the day seven blasts). He said that transferring three could result in triplets, but he estimated our chances of a singleton pregnancy are 50% if we transfer three. (Of course, he's making up that number but it gives us a sense of what he's thinking). Denver normally has a 71% pregnancy rate with two normal blasts transferred, so he's thinking our chances are significantly less than typical. But hey, 50% is nothing to sneeze at, either.

Anybody else have Denver tell them they can transfer three normal blasts? Don't think I've heard of that before, that I can recall...

Apparently the embryologist will pick which embryos to transfer. Fine by us. So that's the lowdown. There's some kind of protocol they've used with women with recurrent miscarriage that is supposed to reduce inflammation, so I will be going on that once I get the specifics. In the meantime acupuncture is continuing 2-3xs/week and I'm off all caffeine.

We have many thoughts over in the Mo and Will household about our recent Dr. Schl. chat. Honestly, we don't know what we are going to do regarding the transfer. At the moment we are thinking we will transfer at least two. Three is a terrifying prospect, but then again, the idea of not getting pregnant (and being told not to try again with my uterus) is also terrifying.

More to come.


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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Your embryos are frozen - why would ever transfer more than one?

It's getting to be decision time.

Here we are - in the fortunate - can't-even-believe-we-could-be-so-lucky - position of having eight chromsomally normal frozen embryos. Four that developed typically and on time.

And now we are faced with the question of how many to put back when we go to transfer.

A few people have asked us, Since they are frozen, why would you even consider putting back more than one? Why not just do a single embryo transfer? You've got eight, after all, and a singleton pregnancy is lower risk than a twin pregnancy.

These are good questions. Tough questions.

Of course our hope, and our goal, is to have a healthy baby. We are balancing our deep desire for a good and safe outcome with a reality that may be harder to understand, but I'll give it a try anyway.

Folks, we are seriously running out of stamina. The past seven IVFs and our five losses have taken us to the mat. All the treatments and surgeries over the last three-plus years, including the most recent two months of depot lupron, have taken a deep toll on us individually and as a couple.

To put it starkly, I don't think we have eight tries left in us emotionally. That's just the facts at this point. If we don't succeed fairly soon, I think we may be packing it in. Chromosomally normal embryos or not. There is also the practical matter that having already spent two weeks "vacationing" in Colorado this year, I don't have enough time off left for eight separate tries either, but that seems like a more surface explanation.

These may not be the best reasons to put back more than one embryo, but it's as honest as I can be.

This may seem weird to say, but after everything that has happened, and despite our genetic results, I can't imagine getting pregnant. And I can't even come close to imagining staying pregnant.

Would I be happy with one baby? Definitely. Happy with twins? Yes - although the idea is a bit daunting. Do I realize that a twin pregnancy is a higher risk pregnancy? Yes, I do.

We'll talk to Dr. Schl. soon. We'll get his thoughts on what our odds are, given our history and situation. We will tell him our thoughts. And then we'll go from there.

Promise to keep you posted.


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Thursday, September 9, 2010

How I have missed thee

So sorry to be silent for so long. I've been reading your blogs, cheering you on quietly, not commenting very much at all. I have had my head down and have been just slogging through the depot foot in front of the other. I don't recommend it to anyone, but those days are behind us.

Hard to believe it, but we have actually started a calendar for our embryo transfer, which is currently scheduled for Oct. 8. My depot lupron days are finally over and I am on to birth control (ha!) and daily injectable lupron, which will be followed by vivelle patches. Oh, yes! Estrogen! How I have missed thee! Let me count the ways!

Also I will start twice weekly electro-acupuncture momentarily to try to increase blood flow to my uterus. As of now, all caffeine has been stopped.

The idea that we will be trekking back to Colorado - and for a transfer no less! - still seems vague and distant, although I realize (somewhat dimly, it appears) that in less than a month we will be back in Denver. Wow. Huh. When did that happen?!

Also, next week we will speak to Dr. Schl. about how many embryos and which ones to put back. We vote for as many as he'll agree to. Maybe two normals + a day 7? We'll see what he has to say.

Thanks for hanging in there with's hoping the other side of the mountain is approaching.

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