Monday, April 27, 2009

Meet our triplets

They are the most beautiful embryos ever as far as I'm concerned. They may or may not become babies, but we love them just the same. These are the 3 blastocysts we transferred on Friday. We have no idea which is which, but that's okay. Whether we become pregnant or not, we will always have this picture.

Isn't it amazing that we all looked like this in the beginning?

So as Adam posted a few days ago, the transfer went well. We arrived at 12:30pm for some blood work to check my estrogen and progesterone levels.

I had been drinking water all morning to make sure my bladder was full. We were checked into our room, where I took a wonderful and welcomed valium to help relax me and my uterus. The sonographer came in to do a quick ultrasound to make sure my bladder was full enough. It was VERY full, so she let me go and pee some out....a whole cup's worth. The hardest part is stopping mid-pee (try it sometime....NOT easy.....but I managed and felt much better afterwards.

Next, the embryologist came in to discuss our embryos. This is the most nerve-racking part because you have no idea what he is going to say. Is he going to say that we have 1, 2 or 3, or even none......and what quality are they?

The embryologist, John, was the same one I had completely lost it with sobbing on the phone when he had called to tell us we only had 1 quality embryo. This time, he said "I have good news this time" with a big smile on his face. He was probably thanking God that he didn't have to deliver bad news again considering my emotional history with him. Anyway, he told us that all 3 had survived the thaw. Anything over 75% is considered good. Ours were at 100%, 95% and 90% so we were really happy with that.

Next, Dr. Surrey came in to do the transfer. The funny part is that he has been our Doctor this entore time, calling the shots on dosages, protocols etc. for us, but behind the scenes because this was the first time we actually met him face to face. He was very nice and was pleased with our embryos as well. John wheeled this huge incubator into the room with a big screen on it so we could see our little embabies. Adam was allowed to take the picture above as long as the flash was off. They loaded them into the catheter and with ultrasound guidance of pushing on my full bladder, they dropped them right into the middle of my lining in the middle of my uterus. The whole process took about 15 minutes and was pretty quick and painless. I think the valium helped this time.

Dr. Surrey removed the catheter and I had to lay there for 45 more minutes completely still. After 45 minutes, they came in and told me I could finally go to the bathroom. I honestly think I peed for 3 full minutes.

I was on strict bedrest from Friday afternoon when we got back to the hotel until Sunday morning. My shower on Sunday morning felt so good. We finished our adoption paperwork...which took 4 hours, but it's ready to go if needed. We are ready to be parents either way.

We flew home today and per doctor's orders I had to use a wheelchair at both airports. It felt a little silly, but I was not going to risk walking the lengths of the airports when he told me specifically not to. I'm not allowed to lift anything heavier than 10 lbs. until the pregnancy test.

I am currently 3dp5dt (for those of you without a phd in infertility lingo, it means 3 days past a 5 day transfer) Our blastocyts are considered 5 days old at the time of the transfer. I am trying not to obsess over every little cramp, twinge etc.

I took some very important items with me on the trip. I took and wore my St. Girard necklace from my parents, my thumbring from my Gommers (which I held during the transfer), and my aromatherapy stress relief spray from Adam's parents. I also received some beautiful flowers from 2 of my very best friends, Kristi and Janna, which I kept right next to my bed to keep me smiling. I took turns smelling the stress relief and the flowers.

My very sweet and thoughtful friend Angelique had put together a care package for me before we left as well, which included snacks, a movie rental gift certificate and a hilarious book, which I loved reading.

I took everyone's love, thoughts, prayers and sweet messages with me and held them close to my heart, as I know Adam did as well. We feel so loved and know that no matter what happens at this point, we are very loved and supported.

Finally, I wanted to share something pretty cool with you.......
Adam and I decided to get out of the hotel on Sunday night since I was officially off of bedrest. We went out to dinner and decided on P.F. Chang's. We each received a fortune cookie at the end of dinner.....I cry everytime I read them.

Mine said "Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood." The other side says "girl." Adam's read "Adventure can be a real happiness" and the other side says "December." If we get pregnant, we would be due in late December / early January. If we adopt, we could definitely have a baby by December as well. The fortunes could mean us giving birth to a child or adopting a child.....but whatever the outcome we're excited to see what life brings sign at a time.

Thanks for being here!

T & A

Friday, April 24, 2009

Transfer Info - from Adam

People of the internet -

This is Adam. Tiff is currently laying horizontally and can't type, so I thought I would take the liberty to update everyone on today's big events.

Overall, today ended up being optimal conditions for us which was great. All 3 of our embryos were thawed and transferred successfully! Further, each of the 3 embryos were in great condition. The embryologist can tell you what % of the cells survived the thaw and 75% is really good. For each of our 3 embryos, we had 100%, 95% and 90% cell survival. Finally, the transfer went smoothly. So, it was a positive outcome on all fronts today. Now, we just sit back and hope we get lucky.

We got back to the hotel around 3pm Colorado time. Now, Tiff is trapped in bed until Sunday morning and can only get up to use the bathroom, brush her teeth, and wash her face. We didn't realize how difficult this would be. She's already tired of being confined to the bed. Further, I had to go out and buy some beer so I can make it through the next 36 hours as well. :-)

Anyway, that's all I have for now. If anything amusing happens on Saturday, I'll let you know. Otherwise, Tiff will blog again on Sunday when she can sit up straight.

Thanks for being here!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Here we go!

We are here safe and sound in Denver.

I think the universe may be messing with me. We went to pick up our rental car when we arrived......turns out to be an orange mini-van. A mini-van? Come ooooonnnnnn!!!! Such a "Mom" car! We asked for a compact car.......a mini-van? Seriously?

We walk into our hotel and the first thing we see is a huge advertisement for a Mother's Day brunch coming up. I am usually a HUGE fan of holidays.......Mother's Day, not so much. The only good thing about Mother's Day is that we adore our Moms so much that we can at least honor them....and of course our Grandma's......other than that, as far as I'm concerned right now, it's one of the worst days of the year.

So our transfer will be at 1:30 tomorrow (2:30 Chicago time). We have to be there at 12:30 for more bloodwork and to get me prepped etc. We should be back to our hotel around 2:30pm and ready for bedrest. I will sleep off my valium and Adam will find some sports to watch I'm sure. Then it's bedrest for me until Sunday. My nurse told me that strict bedrest ends Sunday morning, but to take it easy. Dinner or a movie would be fine on Sunday night though, so that's what we'll do. We fly home Monday and it's on to the 2ww for me. I loath the 2ww.

I had bloodwork yesterday to check my progesterone levels. They like it to be higher than 6 and mine was 12.6 so we got a "very good" report.

So that's where we're at. We'll update tomorrow when we get back from the transfer. Please pray that oour precious little embryos survive the thaw and are welcomed home in my uterus! I want them to make themselves very comfy for the next 9 months.....even if it means triplets!

We have 3 blasts........from 3 cycles

Embryo #1: From IVF #1: PGD tested "normal", created in March '07...this little embryo has been transferred between 3 different clinics....little traveler.
None to freeze from IVF #2
Embryo #2: From IVF #3: Created on September 20, 2008........what would've been my brother Ryan's 30th birthday.
Embryo #3: From IVF #4: Created on March 3, 2009........created on my grandpa's (Gompers)birthday.

Please say a special prayer for each individual embryo. They mean more to us than you can imagine.

Thanks for being here!

T & A

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Last Shot

Is it wierd that I got emotional last night when I stuck myself for the last time? I never in a million years thought I would be sad about that....but I was. I just can't believe this is the end of the road for trying for a biological baby for us. Sticking myself with needles, doctor's appointments, surgeries, blood tests and procedures etc. has been our life for 4 years, that it's wierd to think about not doing that anymore.

I started my tetracycline tonight, which is quite the treat. I have to take it 4 times a day and it literally feels like it is tearing my stomach apart, piece by piece. The first time I had to take this medicine, I learned the hard way that you absolutely cannot take it on an empty stomach. I vomited and dry heaved all day and had to force myself to eat something to make it stop. It was miserable. I am still doing 4 estrogen vivelle patches every other day as well. I started the progesterone this morning, which is 3 times a day and am already starting my headaches that come with, fun. I also started my medrol tonight, but that's just once a day for the next 4 not too bad at all.

I still can't believe we're leaving on Thursday. It's very surreal and to be honest, we're ready to get it over with. The transfer is always my favorite day, because I can say I am pregnant as soon as they put those little embabies back in my uterus and we bring them home....or back to the hotel in Denver this time.

I'm really excited that CCRM gives you a valium before the transfer. I've never had that before and have always gone without anything. My cervix is a pain in the butt and very uncooperative. You also have to have a full bladder during the procedure and they tell you to stay relaxed to make it go smoother........yeah right. I've never been able to relax for the other transfers so I'm hoping the valium will help. I mean, seriously, you try relaxing waiting for the embryologist to come in and tell you how many of your embryos survived and what quality they are, with a FULL bladder, with 8 people in the room, in stirrups, while they dilate your cervix while poking and prodding you with a metal catheter.......seriously, come on. Don't get me wrong, the transfer is by far the easiest part of the whole process.....but I think I just tell myself that because you're literally on adrenaline with excitement at that point. The day of the transfer you are infertility language it means "Pregnant until proven otherwise."

Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes. We definitely need them. I can't thank all of my family, friends, and blog friends enough for all of your support while I'm being a "negative Nellie" as they call me at my old RE's office.

I went to church with my Mom this morning and I got a huge hug from Pastor Melinda. She married Adam and I and has known my family for a long time. She has been following our blog and sending prayers to the Big Guy upstairs for us, which means a lot. I'm hoping she has some kind of "in" with him that we don't have. :)

Thanks for being here!

T & A

Friday, April 17, 2009

Transfer Update

22 shots of lupron down and only 2 to go!!!! I'm also up to 4 estrogen patches every other day. The good news is that my body is responding. I went in for some more bloodwork and an ultrasound this morning. My lining is 9.5 which they said is "wonderful." Hey, at least they didn't say "perfect." :) My E2 level is 708, which is also right on track. So we're still all set for our transfer next Friday.....ONE WEEK from today!

So the wierd thing about only having 2 more shots left, is that it's my last 2 shots ever until we either have a baby or adopt one. It's still hard to believe that this is the end of the infertility road for us. 4 awful years and it's almost over. It's wierd that we've always had a "plan." Next time, we'll try a new Doctor, or maybe we'll try a new protocol....or we'll do special training on our embryos etc. ....this time we're done. Part of me wants to start sobbing with sadness and the other part of me wants to celebrate.

I had my support group last night and had a blast again. Lots of tears, but laughter at the same time. Those girls "get it" and it's so nice to have all of them in my life.

So that's where we are right now.

As always, thanks for being here!!!

T & A

Friday, April 10, 2009

2 weeks until Transfer

So my arms and veins were feeling pretty neglected lately so I treated them to some bloodwork this morning. It was my first estradiol check since starting the lupron injections and Vivelle estrogen patches. 15 shots down, 9 more to go. Ugh....I hate lupron. CCRM called to give me my results and it was 328.....which she said is WAY above what they like to see....but that's a good thing, apparently. There really isn't a maximum at this point, just a minimum. I would normally be excited about this, but I'm super bitter instead. Woo hoo....way to go....yeah. The only time I will get excited about test results are when they result in a baby.....yet, those are the only tests that don't turn out to be perfect.......

When I went in this morning for my b/w and to see my FCI nurses...whom I love.....they were really sweet about everything. Since we're technically patients of CCRM and FCI just does our monitoring at this point, they didn't know what was going on. I filled them in about our one little quality blastocyst and how we're transferring all 3 of our little from every Dr. we've seen. One from Dr. Morris, one from FCI and now the one from CCRM. It's like a smorgesborg of blastocysts. I'm sure I just butchered the spelling of Smorgesborg....but you figured it out.

I told them we're not feeling very hopeful and that we will be filling out our adoption paperwork while I'm on bedrest after the transfer.....they told me they understood why I was being a "negative nellie" so they would be my cheerleaders.

So, I can't believe our transfer is happening in 2 weeks. Our last "try" for a biological baby is happening in 2 weeks......that's if our little ice-babies even survive the thaw. Wow.....see how positive I am? Honestly, stick a fork in me, because I'm done. I'm done with all the needles and the drugs, done with all the hope and disappointment, done with the financial stress and done with the tears. Just done. I am so bloated, I could survive in the dessert for weeks with the amount of water I'm retaining. I'm like the pillsbury doughboy on hormones.

Thanks for being here!

T & A

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pure Estrogen Baby!

My "bonus" AF arrived right on time on Friday. I couldn't believe that my body finally decided to cooperate and follow the schedule CCRM gave me. My body owes me AT LEAST that.

So, I started my estrogen Vivelle patches tonight (CD3) and lowered my dosage of lupron. I'm sure our house should be a fun one (as if it could get any more hormonal around here) over the next few weeks with all the hormones flyin' around.

We finally booked our trip today too. We fly out on Thursday, April 23rd and come home on Monday, April 27th.

We went to a wedding in IN this weekend for one of Adam's friends from IU. You can almost read facial expressions and hear the questions running through people's minds when they find out you've been married for 5 1/2 years and don't have any kids yet. I was considering grabbing the microphone from the band and making an announcement like "Adam and I hate kids so we don't think it's a good idea that we have any" or "yes, married for 5 1/2 years and no's none of your freakin' business." I was actually pleasantly surprised that noone just came out and asked.....bless them.

Thanks for being here!

T & A

Thursday, April 2, 2009

People Story

Those of you who know me, know that I love my dirt magazines. US Weekly and People are my favorites. Anyway, I received this story from People in an e-mail. I love this story. It's so refreshing when celebrities are willing to share their stories too and bring awareness to infertility. Courtney Cox Arquette is one of them. She suffered miscarriages before conceiving daughter Coco on her 3rd IVF attempt. Nicole Kidman suffered several miscarriages as well. Those are just a few. Now Constance Marie is sharing her story as well.,,20269221,00.html?xid=email-peopledaily-20090402-20269221

They all have happy endings, but there are several that don't.

That song I posted earlier "I would die for that" says it all. I would die for a happy ending for us.

My biggest enemy these days is "hope." I can feel her creeping in every now and then....tapping me on the shoulder and whispering "you can't shake me because you want this so bad." Then I am reminded that she has always failed me in the past and I want to knock her out. Hope is not my friend. She has hurt us way too many times in the last 4 years and Adam and I are trying to go into this last attempt as unattached as possible. We both need to protect our emotions at this point.

I have my next support group meeting on April 16th and am already looking forward to it.

Thanks for being here.

T & A

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Last BCP

I took my last birth control pill last night! WooHoo! So now I am only taking my daily "hate" injection. My bonus af should be here on Friday and then we are 3 weeks and counting until the transfer!

Adam and I decided to bring our adoption papers with us to Denver, so we can fill everything out and have it ready to go when we get the bad news on May 6th. I will be on bedrest Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so it will give us something to do when we're stuck in our hotel room and sick of movies, TV and reading.

I had a rough weekend. I had a dream on Friday night that I found out I was pregnant and Adam and I were SO ecstatic, but then I woke up, realized I was dreaming and started crying. We were supposed to go to a birthday party for our friend's 1 year old son that night and I just couldn't do it. There were going to be kids, babies and pregnant people there, and I know it sounds lame, but I emotionally could not have handled it that day. My friend Lauren and her husband, Paul were MORE than understanding and it was very appreciated. They are such great friends.

I've been a pretty crappy friend lately. I've been so secluded. People have been reaching out to me in phone calls, e-mails etc. and I've been so selfish. I really need to start getting back into the land of the living. Sorry friends!!!!!

So, okay, the lupron not only makes me crazy these days, but it makes me have the craziest dreams. I could seriously give Speilberg a run for his money with the dreams I've been having. None of them have been fun or happy....with the exception of the pregnancy one. I woke up this morning shaking because I had AWFUL gut-wrenching dreams last night. Just so you understand exactly HOW scary we're talking here.....let me recap a few of them.

The first entire dream talks about a guy who was murdered. It's like there was a narrator in my dream talking....a creepy voice. This guy and his wife were hanging at a friend's house, when the narrator cuts in and says "when he went to get something from the pantry, a pillowcase was thrown over his head and he was waiting to be killed." It cuts back to the wife who is now looking for her husband and can't find him. The narrator voice cuts in again and says "How scared would you be if you had a pillowcase shoved over your head and you were just waiting for them to kill you, but you didn't know how or when it would happen?" "What would you say to your husband if this was the last time you would ever speak to him and the murderers gave you that chance?" So I woke up...trembling.

I finally fell back asleep only to have a dream that I was at my Uncle Larry's funeral all over again. I couldn't walk or breathe because I was sobbing so hard in my dream. The funeral was outside in a huge park and when I went out there, I couldn't find my family anywhere and had to sit by myself. The rest of the dream was me trying to frantically find my family. Instead of waking up trembling this time, I woke up sobbing.

You would think I had taken a hit of acid before falling asleep or something.

On another note, Tenley took her last pill this morning. She's still on a ton of eye drops, but this oral medication makes her sooooo gassy. It's awful. She's a little bomb dropper and Adam and I argue over who she snuggles with on the couch. We are so relieved that these pills are officially over!!!! :)

She seems to be able to see big things. Today is 3 weeks hopefully she'll regain her full vision in the next 3 weeks.

Thanks for being here!

T & A