Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where I Am Now

I'm about to begin my seventh IVF cycle and it’s a very strange place to be. Never in my wildest (bad) dreams could I ever have imagined getting to this point. One, two cycles maybe, but never seven. Like everything else in life, I suppose, it sneaks up on you. At first, I lived normally while trying desperately for IVF success. Then, I lived IVF while trying desperately to be normal. Now, IVF is living me and I’m too indescribably drained to try much of anything at all.

Today marks four and a half weeks since my March 13 retrieval and I anxiously await my CGH results from CCRM. I produced a record-breaking (for me) 17 eggs, of which 13 were mature, and 10 embryos were vitrified after Polar Body Biopsy (PBB). I opted for PBB because I've never before made enough embryos to even try for Day 5 CGH so I never expected to have the option. It didn't help that I was dubbed a poor responder by my previous clinic; I suppose some labels are hard to shake, if even in your own mind.

Here is my history:

Previous clinic:
(E2 never above 1,300)
IVF#1 – 4 eggs, 2 mature, 2 embryos
IVF#2 – 7 eggs, 4 mature, 4 embryos
IVF#3 – 8 eggs, 5 mature, 4 embryos

(E2 up to 4,000)
IVF#4 – 13 eggs, 9 mature, 4 embryos
IVF#5 – 9 eggs, 7 mature, 5 embryos
IVF#6 – 17 eggs, 13 mature, 10 embryos

You can see that my response has improved notably since switching to CCRM. Even their basic protocol -- which includes Dexamethasone, Menopur and lower stims -- helped things along significantly, as evidenced by my first cycle there. We added Saizen in IVF#5 (bringing me one additional embryo) and then I found DHEA, which really seems to have upped the ante. I was only on it for five weeks at the time of IVF#6 (they say optimal response is reached after four months), so I can barely contain my excitement over what my upcoming cycle will bring (aside from more acne and, possibly, hair loss) after taking it for 12 weeks. It's a blatent violation of my first rule of IVF -- nothing hoped for, fewer tears -- but I just can't help myself.


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