Friday, November 27, 2009

And today's word of the day is...

dis-ap-point-ment   [dis-uh-point-muhnt] / [dɪsəˈpɔɪntmənt] / hear  **
  1. the act or fact of disappointing: All of his efforts only led to the disapppointment of his supporters.
  2. the state or feeling of being disappointed: Her disappointment was very great when she didn't get the job.
  3. a person or thing that disappoints: The play was a disappointment.
  1. 1605-15; DISAPPOINT + -MENT
  1. failure, defeat, frustration
  2. impasse
  3. setback
  4. fiasco
  5. mischance
  6. dissillusion
  7. false alarm
  8. flash in the pan
** Compliments of (An Service)

We received the call at 11:23am to let us know that we're not pregnant.  We immediately called Jane (not knowing if she had already received the results), and sure enough, she already had.  Needless to say, all of us were somewhat shocked.

Dr H called us this afternoon to follow up with us and discuss options.  Hearing from him really helped; more on that later.  For now, we are all trying to stay upbeat as we consider our next step in this journey.  Jane is doing okay, and though the Potatoes are a little bit mashed up, we haven't beome French Fries yet...

My apologies for not updating everyone sooner, but I'm sure you understand. 

Thank you all for your good thoughts, well wishes, and prayers.

Potatoes 1 & 2

Today will be a loooong day while we wait for the Pregnancy Results!

Jane's appointment is this morning, and we should know by noon if we are pregnant!  Wish us luck!  :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

We have frozen Embryos (yes, that's a GOOD thing)!!

This morning, the Clinic notified us that two of Potato #2's embryos had achieved the desired blastocyst stage, and had been vitrified/cryopreserved and stored!  YAY! 

I was also made aware of a great site that does a wonderful job of explaining the advanced assisted reproductive techniquest that we are using.  It provides a timeline, pictures, and statistics, and we really wish we had known about it before hand, as it is likely that it may have impacted some of our decisions to date!

Jane also went to get her estrogen and progestorone levels checked today, and they are "perfect."  The Clinic wanted her estrogen above 250, and her progesterone between a 10-47; Jane's levels were 357 and 25.9 respectively!  YAY!

So, we keep praying and hoping for good beta results next Friday, and really want to thank everyone for their continued well wishes, good thoughts, and prayers!


Potatoes 1 & 2

Monday, November 16, 2009

Embryo Pictures!

WOW - what a difference good eggs make for good embryos! Below are pictures of the two "perfect" day three eight-cell embryos (according to the embryologist and Dr H2) that were transferred to Jane today (on Day 3).

Potato #1's is a Day 3 EIGHT-Cell Embryo who, like his papa, likes Cuban food, long walks on the beach, Star Wars, Star Trek, playing guitar (with his extra fingers), pondering world peace (for which he hopes to one day receive a Nobel Peace Prize), and playing with his doggies. 

Potato #2's is a Day 3 EIGHT-Cell Embryo who, like his papa, likes Italian food, long hikes, gardening, family, and playing with his doggies.

Scroll down the page and compare these Day 3 embryos to the Day 5 embryos that were transferred to Jane back in August, and against the "generic" sample of a Day 5 eight cell embryo shown further below.

All I can say is "WOW!" I guess THAT is what a Day 3, eight-cell embryo is supposed to look like!!!

YAY - Now comes the hard part - the waiting!  We need to wait until the Friday after Thanksgiving to find out if we are pregnant (well, actually... if Jane is)!!  It is going to be difficult (not to mention wierd looking) to be walking around with all of our fingers and toes crossed for the next couple of weeks!!!

Calls, Calls, Calls... :)

8:45am Call #1: From Embryologist
Each of our batches have (3) "nice" 4-6 cells embryos, and (1) "beautiful" 8 cell embryo! Given how beautiful the 8 cells are, he is recommending that we transfer TODAY. Needless to say, we are kinda' surprised (as we didn't think today would be "the day"), but we are all for it - after all, the embryologist knows what he is talking about!! So, the donor team has been notified!

8:48am Call #2: From Clinic donor team
Jane has been called, and is scheduled to be in for the transfer at 11:15am. Unfortunately, due to the drive distance, this means we can't be there (earliest we could be there if we left immediately would be noon - ugh)! The Clinic will email us some paperwork to sign/pdf back to them.

8:50am Call #3: From Jane
Jane is excited that today is the day, though is equally surprised (as we were)! She is gearing up to get there, and will be hitting the road soon. We explained that we can't make it on time due to the distance, and she is understands (have we mentioned how awesome she is?).

8:52am Call #4: From Donor Team
Either Dr H2 or the Embryologist will be calling us to further discuss the embryos and the "transfer options." This may impact the paperwork we need to complete/pdf (?), so there will be a slight delay in the paperwork.

9:01am Call #5: To Jane
Called to update her on our conversation with the Clinic. Apologized again that we can't make it there for the transfer (as much as we really wanted to be there!). Invited her to lunch with us and our moms on Wednesday.

10:01am Call #6: From Dr H2 (Dr H's associate)
We each have (1) "perfect" Grade A embryos which are doing great, and are "exactly" what they want to see for transfer! In addition, Potato #1 has (3) "nice" embryos with 4-6 cells and Potato #2 has (4) "nice" embryos with 4-6 cells. Dr H2 indicated that given the perfect quality of the embryos, he really recommends transfering them today, and to let the additional embryos go on through Wednesday or Thursday in the hopes that they will develop into nice blastulas that we can cryopreserve. We may also choose to transfer some of the other embryos, but that may introduce additional risks including multiples, but the last thing we want is to create any risks for Jane, or additional multiples - two is definitely enough!! :) So, we agreed to go with the transfer of the perfect embryos from each of us, and to let the others grow out for cryopreservation! We also reminded Dr H2 about the pictures... :)

10:18am Call #7: To Jane
She is on her way to the transfer, excited and doing well! We updated her on our conversation with Dr. H2, and talked about how excited we all are!!

10:38am Email #1: From Donor Team
Paperwork to fill out, initial and sign re the "consent for disposition of embryos".

11:19am Email #2: To Donor Team
Initialed/signed documents re "consent for disposition of embryos".

Though we really are somewhat dissapointed that we can't be there for the transfer, we are really excited too! More info posted as it happens! Yay!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fertile Friday Update...

Dr. H called us a little while ago and gave us an embryo update:
  • (14) Donor #414 eggs were thawed; and separated into two batches (one for each of us Potatoes)
  • (1) Donor #414 egg wound up being immature
  • (6) Donor #414 eggs in each were successfully fertilized (way to GO, sperm!)

Dr. H commented that this really is great proof of the quality of Donor #414's eggs, and that since so many fertilized and looked good, it appears likely that the transfer will actually occur on day 5 (Wednesday), rather than on day 3 (Monday).

Since they don't like to distrub the embryos, they will be next checked on Monday morning to see how they are progressing and give us a call with an update.

Yay!! :)

Fertile Friday (a.k.a. Friday the 13th)

Weeeeeeeeeee're Baaaaaaaack - and ready to blog! Why? Because we're still working on getting pregnant of course!

During the past few months, we spent time working with Dr. H at the Clinic to identify another donor since the last donor just didn't work out. Too many of her eggs wound up being immature, none of the embryos seemed to develop properly, neither of the two implanted "took", and none of the fertilized embryos survived to freezing - pretty much an all around failure! Dr. H assures us that her remaining eggs will be destroyed, and that she won't be used as a donor again. Whew!

Our new donor (a.k.a. 414), is a proven donor (just as the last one was), but is also commonly referred to internally as a "super donor", as she has donated many eggs which have all resulted in healthy babies (including twins). Granted, there aren't any guarantees, but we're hoping to not break her success rate!!! :)

This time, we spent a lot more time focused on the frozen egg vs fresh egg debate. This isn't exactly a very easy decision, as it seems that there are so many conflicting opinions out there, and there appear to be very few quantifiable and scientifically-based studies to help in the choice. Though the CDC does have a great site dedicated to these statistics (specifically check out the Assisted Reproduction Technology Report which includes fertility clinic updates by state/clinic), the data can be several yers old. Issues to consider include the changing regulatory lansdscape and technology... Advances in cryopreservation and the technological (and legal) ability to grow embryos out to five days are relatively newer advances, which make it even more difficult to interpret the officially reported numbers to the CDC against the backdrop of assurances from embryologists and fertility clinics, and doctors alike that the success rate of fresh vs frozen is now equal to each other. We ultimately chose to go with frozen eggs for a variety of reasons.

Meanwhile, Jane has been awesome! We can't say enough good things about how excited we are to be working with such a wonderful surrogate who has become a friend. We know that this hasn't been easy for her or her own family, as it inevitably creates a major disruption, yet her ability to maintain a positive attitude throughout the process has been especially helpful and encouraging for us. Jane cycled back onto her medications this summer and has been doing great - according to the Clinic, her system is ready to be pregnant! And, of course, so are we!

Friday the 13th (yesterday), became known as Fertility Friday. Frozen eggs were thawed, and we drove to the clinic to do our FDA required labwork, and provide our specimens for fertilization. Due to scheduling reasons, we didn't have an opportunity to discuss the status of the frozen eggs with the embryologist, but expect a call today to learn their status, along with how they fertilized.

Don't worry, we'll update the blog MUCH more regularly now that we are back on track!

Oh, and in keeping with the theme of Fertility Friday (as opposed to the ever spooky Friday the 13th), we are looking for something to rename the day after Thanksgiving, commonly referred to as "black Friday", since that is the day we will find out if we are pregnant!

Any suggestions?