Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another Report

So today I got the report from my freezer folks. I shipped 6 blasts from SIRM to CCRM for genetic testing. I found out that two of the six did not make the thaw process. Unfortunately, one of the ones that didn't make it happened to be my best one of the batch. I guess it hatched during the thaw and that kind of messed it up. So of the ones that are left they were graded as follows: 4AB, 4BA and, 2-4BB.

In total I now have 11 that will be genetically tested. Now back to waiting for the results.

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's Not My Best Time, but It's Still Good

Most races that I run I try for a PR (personal record). When i first started running three years ago, it was easy to set a pr at almost every race. I was improving and getting a little faster each time. Then two Thanksgivings ago I ran my fastest 5k ever. I'm still not sure how I did it. I haven't set a 5k pr since then. I honestly think unless i trained super hard I'm really not going to do any better than that. That Thanksgiving morning I peaked.

In the ivf world i think i have hit a plateau. It seems like all of my cycles have very similar outcomes. My first one I had five blasts, the second one six, the third eight, and my most recent at CCRM seven. I was a smidge disappointed because i thought i would pr at CCRM. Don't get me wrong, I feel blessed to have such good results, but i really was hoping for ten. I thought i would have the most at CCRM. I know it's all about quality and not quantity, so maybe these are better quality than my past cycles.

As far as my frozen blasts that I had transferred there, i still don't have the results. They will give them to me on Wednesday. It seems like one of them may be MIA. They said that they would be testing five and i said there are six and they seemed a bit puzzled. So maybe i have a blast hanging out on the Vegas strip. Lol! I'm not worried about it. I'm sure it is just a paperwork error.

So now i wait to see how many of the seven are genetically normal. It can take 2-4 weeks to get the results. The grades of the embryos are as follows: 1-6aa, 2-5ab, 1-4aa, 1-4bb, 1-3ba, and one 2/3 (not quite mature enough to have a grade). I'm so hoping I have some normals.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Small Town Success.

In my local town, I am a pretty decent runner. Usually, when I am in shape and not ten pounds heavier from fertility drugs, I'll place in the top three in my age group. Now if I were to live in a bigger town, I probably would not fair quite as well.

CCRM is the big town and I'm hoping that in the big town my blasts are just as good as I have been told they were in the small town. In addition to how many ever made it to blasts at CCRM, they will also be thawing, biopsying, and vitrifying my blasts from Vegas. In Vegas they graded them as 1 grade 1 and 5 grade 2. Grade one is the best but grade two is still decent quality. I am so curious to find out how CCRM grades them. I wonder if they will even think they are the same quality. I guess I will find out tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Game Day Report

So while I was in the air heading back to Florida, CCRM called and left me a message. Out of my 26 that were retrieved, 23 were mature and 20 fertilized. I was very happy with the report. The most I have ever had in previous cycles mature and fertilize was 16. Monday I will get my day 5/6 report. I"m hoping that 8-10 make it to day 5/6.

Tomorrow it's back work. We had such a nice vacation. I hate for it to end!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tips for Fellow CCRM Gals

I wanted to pass on this info before it slipped my mind. I always appreciate tips and suggestions that I get from other people's blogs or message board so here it goes:

Flights : Don't book a return flight home. You really have no idea when you are going to go home. I only had to pay about $20 more a ticket by booking them the day of my trigger shot. That's much cheaper than having to pay change fees and price increases. is a great web page that let's you compare flights from various airlines.

Rental Cars: They are expensive. Make sure you ask about charges such as an additional driver and fees for the toll pass. I didn't ask those questions and ended up costing us an additional $100. Also, know that when Thrifty offers you a mystery car that mystery car could be a minivan. It's very hard to get them to change their mind about the minivan - but doable if you are persistent and dramatic.

Lodging - For my first two nights I stayed at Marriott Townplace. It was okay, Clean but very basic with only queen size beds I really only suggest staying there if you have reward points because it only costs 7500 points a night which is a super small amount of points. Once running guy got here we moved to Element which I strongly recommend. It is very comfortable and convenient to many things. We stayed in a one bedroom which also made it nice. Make sure to stay ask for the SkyRidge medical rate. Also, check the web site for various deals. For my first four nights, I got a deal that was buy a night get the next one half off. I used the SkyRidge rate for the last two nights In addition, you get free continental breakfast and Monday-Thursday there is a happy hour and snacks.

Day Trips - Vail, Keystone, and Breckenridge are about 1 hour and 40 minutes away. We went up on the ski lift and explored Vail (pictured above). They also had a precious farmer's market at Vail. We also went to Boulder which is about 40 minutes away and explored the town. It's very cute. We also explored Pikes Peak (pictured above) and the Garden of the God's (pictured above) which are in Colorado Springs.

Parks - There is a little park right down the road from Element called Sweetwater Park. It is fun to walk around and get a little exercise there.

Activities : We enjoyed the Denver Zoo (pictured above) -warning if lots of strollers and babies are a trigger for you don't go. It was very reasonably priced. We also explored Coors Field and Invesco Field - they have tours - but we didn't take one. The Park Meadow Mall around Lone Tree was very nice. I hear the Cherry Park mall is also very nice with lots of upscale stores. I also enjoyed going to the movie theater. On Tuesdays movies are only $5 and popcorn is only $1 if you are a Regal Club Member.

Restaurants: Lone Tree has many chains. We really didn't eat at any unique places in Lone Tree, but there are plenty of chains to dine at. In Denver we ate lunch at a place called D Bar Dessert that someone on a a message board had recommended to me (near the Zoo). It was a really good with great desserts and lunch items. Also, in Boulder Mustard's Last Stand (recommended to me by someone on a board) was a tasty little hotdog joint. We ate at a place called La Sandia (I think) at the Park Meadows mall and it was decent.

Relaxation - I had a great morning at the spa one day complete with a pedicure, massage, and facial. I went to Woodhouse Day Spa which is across from the movie theater. They did a really nice job. I got a manicure at a little nail place inside the Panera Bread plaza and it was very reasonably priced. Also, it was very relaxing to just chill out outside at Starbucks or spend some time reading a book outside.

CCRM Day 7 - Game Day Results

When I was running the Disney Marathon and trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I wasn't sure if I had qualified until about an hour or so after the race. The race time clock starts when the first corral goes out, and I wasn't in the first corral. Also, I started my watch too early, so when I crossed the line I knew that I was close, but not 100% sure I qualified. I found out that I had just squeaked by with a time of 3:39:54. My qualifying needed to be 3:40 or better with a 59 second grace period.

That's a little bit how I feel about today's egg retrieval. I kind of know my results, but I won't know anything firm until tomorrow. Dr. G did my retrieval and he got 26 eggs. That's my most ever. From past experience though, I know that regardless the amount that's retrieved usually only 15 or 16 are mature and usually almost all of them fertilize. Hopefully, I will get at least 15 or 16 and then half will make it to blasts and then half will be genetically normal.

CCRM is so professional. I was so impressed with how smoothly things ran. We were there from 10:00-12:30 and every t was crossed and every i was dotted. Running guy headed back this afternoon and I head back in the morning. Looking forward to hearing my game day results tomorrow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

CCRM Day 6 - Last Day Before Trigger

I really appreciate corm's thoroughness. Today i went in for blood work and it turns out that in addition to testing my progesterone and e2 they were also making sure that I had an adequate amount of hcg in my system. It makes me feel good that they verified that i gave myself the shot correctly. The shot was no big deal. Kind of like when i had to give myself the progesterone in oil for the last cycle.

We went to the Denver Zoo today and had a great time. For lunch we ate at this place called D Bar Dessert. It was really good and not too far from the zoo.

Tomorrow is retrieval day. I spoke with the anesthesiologist and she seems great. Hoping i get a good amount of great eggs tomorrow!

CCRM Day 5 - Trigger Time

I am really surprised that trigger time is the title of this posting because as of this morning the ultrasound lady thought I had one more day left of stims. However, I received notification around noon that I should take my final dose of Gonal F this evening and then at midnight do my trigger shot. There is really no telling how many eggs they are going to retrieve. I think at various points in this cycle I have had 13-24 which is quite a range. I am trusting the process though. I haven't asked even once about my e2 levels. It really is liberating not to worry about anything. Just for giggles today I asked about my uterine lining. It was a nine. Perfect if I were doing a fresh transfer.

So my retrieval is scheduled for 11:00 am on Tuesday. I have to be there at 10:00. It was good to find out when I was going to trigger because we wanted to book our plane tickets home, and every day you wait you risk a price increase.

Today we went to Vail. It was beautiful. I'll try to post some pictures - I'm not sure if I am skilled enough to add pictures to a blog - LOL! It was the last day the lifts were open for the summer season. There were so many things (horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, et) I wanted to do there, but I didn't think CCRM would recommend them right now. We will have to go back again when my ovaries aren't aching.

So I have about an hour left before I can trigger. I am really tired and ready for bed, but I have to try and stay awake for just a little while longer!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 4 at CCRM - Running Guy's Big Day

I had another ultrasound and blood work today. Again, I am staying on the same amount of medication. I might trigger tomorrow night. It looks like there will be about 13-15 mature eggs and 5-6 immature eggs. That's about the same from my previous cycles. It doesn't matter how many i produce usually only 15 or 16 are mature.

So after my appointment, running guy got to have a big day. We loves football- he played all through middle and high school and for some of college. Plus his dad was the local high school football coach, so he basiically grew up on the football field. Needless to say, he loves to see football field stadiums. So while we explored Boulder we also got to see Colorado Universities stadium. On our way back to Lone Tree, we stopped by Invesco Field and Coors Field. He was like a kid in a candy store. It was fun seeing him have so much fun!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 3 at CCRM- Appointments and Exploring

Exhausted. That's how I will describe how I feel. As usual,running guy and I hit the ground running (no pun intended) and are both getting ready to go to bed because we had such an action packed day. To start with, we had our appoinments this morning. It looks like 20-22 follicles now measuring between 14-18. My physical was fine and running guy did his back up sample. We are doing the ccs testing, so we had to meet with the genetic counselor. She was very nice, but she went into so much detail on the science part of everything. We both make quick decisions and aren't very detail oriented, so the appointment was a bit long for two people who wanted to get to sight seeing.

Which brings me to our sight seeing. We headed to Colorado Springs and went to Garden of the Gods (a bunch of different red rock structures) and Pikes Peak. Both are worth seeing. Colorado Springs is about 45 min from Lone Tree. Needless to say, we got back to the hotel around six and then got ready for dinner.

I go back tomorrow for another ultrasound and blood work. Hopefully, they might know when I will trigger because i would like to book our return trip home. Also, ccrm forgot to call me and tell me what dose to to take for tonight and the morning. I had to call the after-hours line and have the nurse on call call me back. If they don't call by 630 that means they have forgotten about you and you need to call them. It has been their first mess up, so Its no big deal. Tomorrow we are heading to Boulder to explore the city and we want to go to the Newton store (the brand of running shoes we run in) which is located in Boulder.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 2 at CCRM - a day of relaxation

So I'm back at Starbucks again, sitting in the same seat on the patio and enjoying my delicious white mocha. Today has been a morning of pure relaxation. I spent the morning at the Woodhouse Day Spa and got a massage, facial, and pedi. It was a very nice way to start the day. No doctors appointments today. They kept my medication the same. I'm still taking one vial of menopur, 5 units of lupron, and 150 of Gonal F. I'm hoping tomorrow they give me an idea of when I trigger.

Running guy gets here in a few hours. I'm looking forward to his arrival. I'm going to be so jealous that he gets to run out here. The weather is so awesome. I so want to run, but ccrm says no running when stimming. Yesterday I went for a walk and it was so hard not to run because the weather was perfect, unlike the sweltering heat in Florida that i am used to running in. Speaking of running, I found the most precious running skirt, something I said i would never wear, at the mall yesterday at this store called lulumon or something like that. It's pink plaid and so precious! I can't wait to wear it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 1 at CCRM

I'm here in beautiful Lone Tree, CO enjoying a delicious decaf iced white mocha outside at Starbucks. My travel here last night was uneventful. The only small snafu was when Thrifty tried to put me in a minivan. I had selected the mystery car and the minivan was the mystery car for the day. It wasn't happening. I requested a manager and ended up in a midsize suv. Much better.

My report from ccrm this morning was good. I have 22-24 follicles. This is a few more than normal. In previous cycles I have been anywhere from 15-21. The ultrasound tech was surprised by the amount and asked me if I had PCOS. I told here I didn't this is just my normal amount. They range in size from 8- 12. I'm hoping that some of them are genetically normal. That is really the only explanation that we have for why this doesn't work for us. Every doctor we go to thinks it should have already happened by now. In addition to the embryos we have at the end of this cycle, they are also going to test my six frozen embryos from Las Vegas. I would like 2-6 to be genetically normal in total. We shall see....

So my impression of ccrm after day 1? Really good. I'm so glad I am out here and chose to cycle here. Running guy gets here tomorrow, so I guess today I'll go shopping. Hopefully, i won't do too much damage! Lol!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Missing Race Day Sign Ups - An Infertility Analogy

For months your friend have been getting ready to run in the marathon (have a baby). They have been training together. They have their perfect race day outfit picked out. They are jazzed and excited about what it coming up. They wish that you could join them. They want you to be a part, but you can't because for some reason you missed the race day sign up. You can't quite fathom it yourself. You were sitting at your computer and tried to register just like all of them did, but for some reason it worked for them and when you hit the registration button the race was full. What baffles you even more is the fact that your one friend who didn't even want to run a marathon logged onto the computer and registered with no problem. You have been running longer than all of your friends, but for some reason you never actually get to compete in the marathon.

It's marathon day, so like a good friend you go and support them. They are excited and you are so excited for them, but you wish that you could run the marathon with them. You know you could run it; if someone would just give you the chance. As you sit there taking pictures you notice there are runners who aren't even trying. Some are quitting; they don't care about being in the race. You think to yourself I wish I could have their spot in this race because I would care and try and give it my all. But alas, you are stuck on the sidelines because for some reason your race registration didn't go through. Other people had no problem registering, but you did.

Now the race is over and your friends are glad that you are there to celebrate. They are encouraging telling you that next time you will get to run with them. You all go to dinner and your friend have on their medals (baby). Several other people are wearing their medals in the restaurant. Everyone is talking about the race and there you sit without a medal because for some reason your stupid internet didn't work. You are going to try to sign up again for the next marathon, but this time you are using a high speed connection (CCRM). Hopefully, that will do the trick.

So I head to CCRM on Tuesday. I'm hoping that CCRM is my high speed internet connection. I am so happy for the people around me who get pregnant and are enjoying their children. I really haven't felt bitterness toward them, but I want to join them in the marathon and get off the sidelines. I am very blessed to have friends who also want me to get off the sidelines and are praying for me and are so encouraging to me during my infertility marathon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Advice from the Non Runner

As humans we like to give advice and share little tidbits of information that we pick up. People who don't run often give me pieces of advice like: 1. Doing all that running you are going to need to surgery on your knees (a possibility but highly unlikely) 2. You really shouldn't run outside while its hot (Great idea - I'll stay inside on the treadmill and then have a heat stroke in a race when it's super hot outside). I could go on and on....

With infertility well meaning people also give advice and offer solutions because after all they know someone who knows someone that had to take Clomid once and that makes them an expert on the subject. Here are a few of my favorites: 1. If you could just relax, you would get pregnant. (Really? That's all I need to do? Thank you so much! So when will I magically start ovulating once I relax seeing that I have never ovulated on my own). 2. Have you thought about adoption? (Adoption? What is adoption? No, I have never thought about it; could you please familiarize me with the term? Thank you so much for telling me about it. Until this very instance that you suggested it, I had never thought of it) 3. It's going to happen when you aren't even trying. (Really? So just stop trying and I will magically ovulate and then I will be pregnant?) 4. Maybe you should just stop trying. (Thanks so much for that encouragement). I could go on and on....

I could get really frustrated with people and hurt when they say things that seem insensitive to someone dealing with infertiility, but I honestly think that most people don't give advice with the intent to hurt someone. One of my favorite books is To Kill a Mockingbird. One of the themes in the book is you really can't understand what a person is going through unless you get in their skin and see things from their point of view. So when people say things that seem insensitive, I try to get in their skin and understand what their intentions are. In this uncontrollable thing called infertility, it's nice to know there is something that I can control - my actions and reactions to others.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gear Girl - Funded by the DINK Life

When we go to a triathlon or marathon, they always have expos where there is all this fun stuff to buy. I love shopping. In fact, it is probably my favorite hobby - if shopping can be considered to be a hobby. Anyway, I have earned the name of gear girl because at these expos I tend to buy my fair share of merchandise. My motto is if your not going to win at least look good while doing the event. My signature color is pink - even my bike and tennis shoes are pink. My husband - who hates spending money - even gets in the spending spirit at these expos. We are able to go a little crazy at the expos because we are DINKS.

The DINK life really isn't bad from a financial perspective. We are by no means wealthy, but we are blessed to live a comfortable life. Although after we pay CCRM our portion of the bill, we will see how comfortable life is :) Sometimes my girlfriends say just wait until you have kids and then things will change with shopping, etc. I always laugh and say that's right I will be shopping for myself and the baby!

I'm ready to trade the DINK life in for the DITK (dual income two kid) life. Hopefully, in the next few months we will see that become a reality. I still wouldn't mind being know as gear girl but maybe we could change it to baby gear girl! LOL!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Midway Into the Training Plan

When I was training for the Disney Marathon and was about five weeks out from race day, I got really annoyed. Running was no longer fun. It was just something, I knew I had to do, or I wouldn't make my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon with my Disney Marathon time. That would mean I would fall short of my goal and possibly have to run another marathon a few weeks later to try and qualify again. I really wanted to run in the Boston Marathon, but I was so sick of training. I knew that I had to push on despite my desire to quit and give up because if I didn't I wouldn't accomplish my goal.

These past few weeks have kind of reminded me of being five weeks out from race day. I'm doing everything I need to do (taking bcp, starting lupron, etc.) but it still feels kind of far away. I'm kind of over it. I want the baby, but I am tired of waiting around and doing the training. Plus in this race isn't doesn't matter how hard I try, push, or will it it's totally out of my control. It's tough.

My training plan is going fine though. The lupron is making me super thirsty, but no headaches or anything like that. In a little over a week, I start taking my real meds and then I will feel like race day is approaching, and I will be in a different frame of mind.