Monday, October 25, 2010

Many Thanks

I just wanted to thank all of you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers of comfort.  We are, obviously, heart broken.  It's so frustrating to have done all of these treatments only to end with such certain finality.  I know that our issues with high DNA fragmentation make this situation a more likely outcome but it does not decrease the pain of another failure. 

While we will be taking some time to recover we will be moving on to adoption, possibly embryo adoption/donation and/or traditional domestic adoption.  Of course, just because you stop fertility treatments does not mean to stop trying and praying for a natural miracle.  We'll be exploring some other natural options as the adoption process can be long.  We have sp.erm and I do ovulate on my own so maybe with time we'll eventually have the right sperm meet the right egg...that is what happened with Hammer.  It took his parents 14 years before they conceived him and I can tell you that they were definitely not putting forth nearly as much effort as we have been. 

This blog will not end it will just change a bit.  I welcome you all to follow along with us as we continue to walk down this long and winding road to becoming parents.  You have been such a support system for me that I could not imagine continuing on this journey with out all of you.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Mr & Mrs Hammer

Friday, October 22, 2010

Not meant to be

We just learned that our blood test was negative.  Three beautiful embroys...gone.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

24 hours

That's how long until we'll know the outcome.  On 10dp3dt I hadn't actually fallen asleep until 2 am and then woke up at 7:30 am.  I was so exhausted and I think I ended up with a migraine because my head was pounding all day and I was nauseated.  I ended up going to bed at 9:30 pm to try to get myself back on a schedule.  I did fall asleep but then woke up at 2 am, grrr....  I ended up tossing and turning and falling back in and out of sleep until about 8 am.  During that time I had wild, vivid dreams that were all over the place and made absolutely no sense.  On top of that, when I was up at 2 am I was extremely hot and cramping.  Not intense painful cramps but more like pre-AF cramps.  The cramps have continued today (11dp3dt) and I am STILL tired.  But the bbs are totally 100% not sore anymore :(  With our first pregnancy and chemical I had sore bbs so I'm concerned about that symptom being missing even though I know many women (several of them are you my dear readers) do not even have sore bbs.  At this point I'm totally confused and leaning towards it not having worked.  I did get my blood drawn today but we won't hear until tomorrow morning.  I still can't bring myself to test partially because I'm scared and the other part because I just don't want to waste the money if we're going to find out soon.  But I have to say the suspense is killing me.  I just want to know so I can be put out of my misery.  At this point I think we need a miracle.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The State of Affairs (9dp3dt)

It's 12:40 am and I can't sleep. Not that it's from worrying but I seriously have not been able to fall asleep. Things have changed since my last post. Even when I look back at my symptoms across the last few days I think, wow this could have worked. Except that beginning 8dp3dt (11po), which was the morning of my last post, my symptoms started disappearing over the course of the day. The sore bbs began to decrease and there was no cramping. Today at 9dp3dt they are practically non-existent although I have started with mild cramping this evening.

Last two cycles on 9dp3dt I had sharp painful cramps but these are very mild in comparison and more like typical PIO induced cramps. Maybe in the last two cycles that was late implantation? I have begun to wonder if maybe our embys tried to make it causing all those glorious symptoms early on but didn't which is why they are fading? I still can't bring myself to test so I'm left with going through all these mental hoops. When our cycle worked last time I was so fatigued compared to this time where sleep is evading me. Yesterday I was up at 6:30 am and again today. I was happy to see that I was fatigued all day today and was hoping that it was a good sign like last time but here I sit still typing away at 12:48 am. I just have a feeling that we'll be getting bad news on Friday. Hope is ever elusive and my faith is struggling to keep afloat. This is it for us, our last chance to have a child of our own. And while I do look back and remind myself that God gave us three beautiful embryos it is not a guarantee that it worked and that frightens me to death. Maybe I'm just doing too much thinking at too late of an hour. I think I do better in the day time when I can spend my time sitting on a lounge chair watching the ocean waves and pods of dolphins swim by every few minutes. Five and a half more hours till the sun comes up. One more day until beta.

Monday, October 18, 2010


The beach has been an amazing distraction.  I really don't have any desire to test prior to beta because I just don't want to ruin my vacation.  I'd rather not risk seeing a negative screen and possibly spoil a beautiful cloudless day on the beach.  Especially knowing what happened with IVF#2 where I had negative tests up until my beta of 24.

On the symptom spectrum, I've been all over the place:

  • 7dp3dt (10dpo) Sunday - cramping mainly on the right side, nausea, (TMI) loose stools, but no bloating & has gone away almost completely, super sore bbs
  • 6dp3dt (9dpo) Saturday - mild cramping, sore bbs, constipation, bloating ultra nauseas and nearly lost my dinner over night, room was almost spinning.
  • 5dp3dt (8dpo) Friday - nausea in AM resolved with eating, same at lunch, sore bbs, constipation, bloating
  • 4dp3dt (7dpo) Thursday - abdominal bloating, constipation, twinges & pulling (possibly from constipation?)

The lack of bloating and loose stools has me really thrown while the other symptoms are encouraging.  So I really just can't tell one way or another.  One minute I will feel like it didn't work so I'll talk to my emby's to let me know if they are there and then end up with a ton of symptoms.  It could go either way people.  I just think the bloating being gone is the most concerning but then Hammer reminds me that PIO can either give you constipation OR diarrhea and that if I have the latter I wouldn't really be bloated like I was last time when I was contstipated the whole cycle.  *sigh*

I think all this thinking calls for some sunbathing...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This is a big day for the "Ham"bryos. If all is continuing to go well they should be hatching out of their shells and beginning implantation. We hope to have made this a bit easier for them by having done assisted hatching prior to the transfer. I've been having mild cramping on and off today and yesterday but this is pretty much par for the course as far as IVF cycles go. I think it must be the progesterone since this is the third time that the cramping has occurred and we have had BFN & BFP. So now I'm on 'twinge watch' to see if I can feel any twinges of implantation. I think I do but maybe I just want to feel it.

Right now I have indulged myself and have taken off the entire week since Thursday we are heading down to FL for vacation. Normally I'd be at work but I have to say this is much better. Yesterday, since I was feeling crampy in the morning, I continued to take it easy. Later that night, Hammer and I went to a concert. I was a bit concerned when I was there because the bass was so loud that there was massive vibration coming through the seat and into my pelvic region. I began to worry that I was literally shaking our babies to death but I have no idea if that's possible or not. Regardless I ended up kneeling on the cement during the opening band. I think the people around me thought I was crazy - they would be right. Once the headliner came out everyone was on their feet so no kneeling was needed and the bass was not nearly as bad.

Today I'm occupying my time with packing and wrapping up a few things before we take off tomorrow. I sure hope that this trip is an excellent distraction from all things 2ww related. I found that sitting at my desk at work only ended up in me pretending to work while I put myself through all the mental contortions of "Am I/Am I not" and sought Dr. Google hourly for confirmation. Maybe forced internet absence will be a good thing. Don't worry, it's not total absence. I promise to keep you all posted.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Ham"bryos are in the oven

Well the transfer went really well. We started off our day very early at the acupuncturist. I laid there envisioning my uterus getting ready for the 'planting' of our embryos and praying that we had healthy ones to transfer. We had been told to arrive at twenty after eight with a full bladder. But when we got there the clinic wasn't even open yet! Then I started to worry that the reason was because all of our embryos had died over night and they had cancelled but forgot to tell us. (irrational I know) But shortly after we saw the front desk girl pull widely into the parking lot, clearly late. My bladder has yet to forgive her.

We had the on-call RE who was wonderful and who was the same RE who did our retrieval. I think he performs the best retrievals at the practice because I felt so good afterwards unlike last time. Anyway, the RE came in with the report on our embryos to discuss what we would be transferring. We were shocked to hear the best report we have ever had!

10 cell - grade 1, 0% fragmentation
8 cell - grade 1, 0% fragmentation
8 cell - grade 1, 0% fragmentation

We've had maybe one 8 cell grade 1 but the rest have been of lower quality. So even though we've had more embryos the quality just was not as good. We ended up deciding to transfer all three and our RE highly recommended it since we've had previous failed cycles. Afterwards we headed back to the acupuncturist to 'cover' up our embryos. So now I'm back home on bed rest. We're praying that at least one makes it's home for the next few months.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fert Report #2 - The Power of Prayer (aka keep it coming ladies!)

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and positive thoughts.  We got our call this morning at about 8:40 am regarding the transfer time.  We are all set for an 8:45 am ultrasound guided transfer for tomorrow.  While on the phone with the RN I asked if I would still get a call from the lab.  She said she wasn't sure but that if she got the message to schedule then everything should be going well.  So I hung up with her and immediately called my acupuncturist with the transfer time so that we can schedule our pre & post sessions.

Shortly after that my phone rang again.  It was the lab.  I was greated with a chipper female voice but the whole time I was holding my breath that maybe she was just one of those overly happy morning people bearing bad news.  On the contrary, she reported that all four of our embryos are growing strong.  Our lab grades early embryos on a scale of 1-5 (1 being the best) and then gives percent fragmenation.  Day 2 embryos should be between 2-4 cells.  Our little "Ham"bryos are:

4 cell - grade 1, 0% fragmentation
2 cell - grade 1, 0% fragmentation
4 cell - grade 3, 0% fragmentation
6 cell - grade 3, 0% fragmentation

Did you read that?  NO fragmenation!!!  The Embryologist encouraged us that the grade 3's having no fragmentation typically mean that they were in the process of dividing when she looked at them and not to be concerned at all.  She said that everything looks perfect.  We discussed how many we'd transfer because we have elected to do assisted hatching.  Typically this is used for a number of things but one of them is when a couple has had failed IVF cycles with healthy embryos, and that's us.  Hence the Medrol that I'm taking to prevent any inflamation that could harm our embryos and their intentionally cracked zona.  Hammer and I are very encouraged and thankful for all of your prayers and ask that they continue as we wait till tomorrow to put our little "Ham"bryos back where they belong - at least for 9 months.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fert Report - Prayer needed

Well of the 9 eggs we retrieved, 7 were mature but only 4 went on to fertilize normally (1 abnormally & 2 did not fertilize).  We will have our transfer on Sunday.  Please pray for our four little embryos that they continue to grow and divide normally!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trigger and So Much More

Last night we had everything set up to do our trigger at 10pm. We were lounging around on the couch watching a movie in our pajamas when my cell phone rang at about 8:30pm. It was one of our good friends who live in town. Hammer has known the husband since high school and the two of them moved to our current city around the same time when looking for their first jobs. As couples we've been close for many years now so it was not unusual for the wife to give me a call.

What was unusual was the frantic voice that I heard on the other end rambling on about ambulances and if we could watch the kids. Apparently her husband was having a late dinner and somehow a small chicken rib bone slid down his throat. He could get some air through but they had to call the ambulance as the bone was very far down. We immediately told her we were on our way over to watch the kids.

When we got there the paramedics were able to get a good portion of the bone out but our friend still felt like there was something lodged in his throat. So they went to the ER to get an X-ray and rule out any remaining bone fragments while Hammer and I tried to calm the kids down and get them back to sleep.

They have a 3 year old and a four month old who were obviously woken up to the sound of sirens and 6 men trampling through their house. Strangely enough we were able to get the 3 year old calmed down the fastest, probably because we could reason with him a bit letting him know that his daddy was alright and just 'getting a check up.' He was out by 9:30 which gave us enough time to do the trigger at exactly 10pm. The baby was just totally rattled and it took till about 12:30 am before I finally was able to get her to fall asleep. Our friends came home around 2am with news that the did find an additional bone fragment in his throat and were able to remove it with a scope while he was under sedation.

So while everything ended well we are exhausted. I had to call in late to work since my normal time to get up is 5 am and less than 3 hours of sleep is just not going to cut it. That and it took me forever to fall asleep because we were both wound-up. At 8am I woke up to do the HPT trigger test so that I could call the clinic by 8:30 with the results. I tried going back to bed but my phone rang again and it was my clinic calling with my TSH results. I have to say I'm a bit perplexed by them. They tell me they want my TSH below 2.5 but when my results came back slightly over 2.5 they said it was fine. How can it be fine if it will continue to rise above 2.5 with my increasing estrogen? She said that they can retest at the beta blood draw but as I understand you need it below 2.5 to implant so what if it's too high to implant which makes the next blood draw null and void? I tried to argue logic with her but it was going no where and it probably didn't help that I was still very, very groggy. Time to enlist the help of my medical family and call my brother the nurse practitioner for advice. But first I to get ready for work. Hopefully our retrieval day will be much less eventful!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Better. That was the overall assessment for today. And I’ll take it. I had another RE today but this one was the happy-go-lucky RE. I think it’s exactly what I needed. I didn’t need the fatherly face of my concerned RE but a hopeful one and that’s who I had today.

I compared my current count to our more successful IVF #2 and we’re not too far off.

L= 20, 20, 17, 16, 16, 13

R= 19, 15, 10

Lining = 10

E2 = 1,915

IVF#2 at this point had 19, 17, 16x4, and 12. We retrieved 8 mature follicles and 7 fertilized. I hope that my E2 being higher than ever means the healthiest eggies yet. I also requested to have my TSH/free T4 checked today just to make sure everything is just perfect for implantation.

So we are scheduled to trigger tonight for retrieval on Thursday. Please be praying that our estimated 6-7 follicles are all mature, that they fertilize and that we have healthy embryos for transfer on Sunday.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What to say....

Well the theory still stands, 'What I see on follie check #1 is what I will have"  But today during the ultrasound while Mr. Hammer wrote down all the measurements the RE was making, I was just sitting there singing a worship song in my head.  I actually had a moment where I realized I didn't hear what they were saying because I was so focused on my song.  Weird.  I suppose it was a good thing because the news was not showing improvement just status qou.  I did have a moment where I teared up afterwards but I think overall this is about as good as we can expect.  There really is no explanation for my right ovary's lack of response so I'm just going to accept it and continue to pray for a miracle this cycle.  I've heard of women with fewer follicles than me get pregnant and women with more follicles than me end up not pregnant.  There is no way to know the outcome at this point and it's all in bigger, more capable hands than mine.

I have one more follicle check on Tuesday and we were guaranteed to trigger that night.  So our retrieval will be Thursday and I'm pretty sure we'll have a 3 day transfer again which will be on Sunday the 10th.  Our prayer is that both Hammer and I have done all we can to create healthier eggs and swimmers.