Jun 7, 2016

We got one!


Good afternoon everybody!
I have been reluctant to post any sort of update since our retrieval numbers dwindled so fast last week.
I guess I was nervous it would cause more bad luck if I kept complaining ;)

So, I wanted to give you an update about my experiences with two back to back egg retrievals, what's on deck for the future, and most importantly....our final embryo count for this cycle!

I did my first egg retrieval on May 4th.
We completed 10 days of stimulation injections, followed by a 2-part trigger injection protocol on days 11 and 12, ending with our egg retrieval on Day 13.

My follicle count at baseline was 8, and by the time of retrieval, the number jumped to 17.
My estrogen was a tad high by the time trigger rolled around, so they opted for the two-part Lupron injection trigger vs. the standard hcg injection in the butt.

What's the difference, you may ask?

Lupron tends to be a more gentle trigger that doesn't spike estrogen levels.
High estrogen levels means a greater possibility for OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome)...which is no bueno (think lots and lots of fluid retention, weight gain, pain, bloating...for WEEKS following the egg retrieval)

Hcg is the holy grail for trigger shots.
It tends to produce plump, juicy ripe eggies that are more mature, but it does spike your estrogen more which could lead to the dreaded OHSS.

They retrieved 6 eggs, 5 of which were mature, 3 of the 5 fertilized.
By Day 5 we have 1 early blast, 1 morula, and 1 ten-cell.
By Day 6 we had one low grade full blast (3CD), and 1 early blast.
By Day 7 both died.

The second round was slightly different.
I stimmed again for ten days. My follistim protocol stayed a tad higher than the first round, never going below 150units (it went down to 75units first round).
On Day 11, I triggered with 80units of Lupron and the good ole hcg trigger shot in the butt.

Okay folks...this booty shot is not fun.
Mark kind of freaked out, but timing was critical, so we literally just stabbed and moved on.
It did kind of hurt....and continued to be sore in the area for about a week.

This round my follicle count went from 21, to 19, to 9.
They retrieved 7 eggs, six of which were mature, and of those six, 2 fertilized normally.

And that's where I left you.
Most because I was pissed that I went through 70 injections for that number.
And because I was bloated for nearly a week, with a very mild case of OHSS, I believe.
Coconut water FTW!!

So I turned my focus to our cat and our home and got my ever-loving shit together.
We spent a fun weekend at an exotic car show and lounging by the pool with friends.
I started training our new hire at work and that has been insane, and then I got our first Day 5 update on Monday from the Highland Park nurse.

Both embryos were still growing.
But they were exactly the same growth rate as the first round.
So it wasn't exactly exciting.

We had 1 early blast and 1 morula.

I would be getting another update today.

Now, as I mentioned before, when there is bad news, the head nurse calls you, if it's decent news, the normal embryologist will call you.

I am in a meeting with my boss and the phones rings (of course)
I squint....look at my phone...and run out of the room (totes professional)

Hi Tia, I have your Day 6 updates.
It's the embryologist!!

OK, so before I dive into details, I wanted to clue you into embryo grading and development levels so you understand what I'm about to say.

An embryo needs to make to a Blastocyst to be considered viable. (or blast, as I am calling it)
There are three stages: early, full, and hatching

Early means the inner and outer cell regions are just starting to form. There is a bit of separation, but no real grading occurs at this point because it's too early to define anything.

Full means the cells have fully formed an inner and outer mass and can now be graded based on quantity and uniformity.
Grading occurs as a combination of 1 number and 2 letters (for the inner and outer cells forms)
The more tiny, uniform cells the better.

A means there are hundreds of tiny cells and they aren't fragmented at all.
B means there are hundreds of tiny cells and there may be slight fragmentation.
C means there are few cells and there may be considerable fragmentation.
D means there are very few cells with considerable fragmentation.

Hatching means the embryo is starting to literally hatch out of its shell, ready to implant in the woman's uterus.

The number portion of the grading is 1-6, based on how far along the growth of the blast is; from early to hatching. Early is 1, hatching is 6.

Phew....so are you ready for our results?

One died.
I wasn't shocked.
The morula was slow to grow and history showed us that a morula on Day 5 is not good.

But the other one?

We ended up with a HATCHING GRADE 6BB EMBRYO!!!

It was successfully biopsied, frozen, and the cells are currently being shipped to New Jersey where they will wait for their siblings in our next round(s).


Kim, the head nurse, called me shortly after (I had to leave my meeting again) and was screaming

We chatted briefly about next steps and laughed and told me to make sure to pump my ovaries up with lots of medication moving forward....we are on the right path!

I can't tell you how happy this makes me.
This is another hurdle we needed to get over to have a chance at genetic testing.
It seemed like it would never happen.
But it has.

And I hope we get some more!

Right now the nurse wants us to take a month off from medication.
We are headed in to chat with Dr. Jacobs mid-June to talk about the first two cycles and what's on deck for the next round.

We will be gearing up for IVF #3 just after Independence Day!

Thank you for all your support and thank you so much for reading!!! XO


  1. Love this update, Tia! I'll keep sending positive prayers and thoughts your way. You go girl!!!

  2. WOOOOHOOOOO! I am so so happy one made it strong!!! Doing a happy dance for you right now!

  3. O.M.Gosh!!!! Congratulations, Tia and Mark!! Here's to round #3 and lots of eggies! Love you!

  4. Great news, congratulations.

  5. Great update!! Wohooo. And thank you for explaining everything is such great detail, very helpful in understanding.

  6. So happy for you! I finally had a minute to read through all of this, how exciting Tia!! Wishing you continued success on your journey to parenthood!

  7. Awesome! That's so exciting, sending positive vibes for even more!

  8. OH my goodness it's like a whole different language. I couldn't follow everything, but I got the gist. You got one and that is a very very good thing! Congrats. All those shots you take also reminds me of what a chicken I am. I have one shot I need to get and I have been putting it off for-eva!!!

  9. Woot woot wooooooooot!!!!! Yay yay yay yay yay!!!!! Happy dance over here!!! Congrats! So excited for you! Enjoy June!!!

  10. Yay!!! Weird question though, why do they keep them in NJ (not that there is anything wrong with NJ obviously) and do they ship them back to you when you're ready for them?

  11. Yep, I was going to say it's like reading a medical term paper, but so happy that you are happy!! And the NJ thing is weird too - why not keep them here?


  12. Woohoo!!! I'm so excited! Enjoy your break from meds, for real. Before you said there was a certain number of embryos you were hoping to get before doing the PGD and I can't remember what that number was...It sounds like they figured out a protocol that works better for you and you will hit that number in no time though!