Thursday, January 31, 2013

Trigger tonight, it's on.

I'm anxious.  I have been looking at the clock on top of the piano all afternoon, because we are triggering tonight at 10pm sharp.  I've been getting some warm prayers from my friends, and god, if you are holding your remote on me, let this be my turn, that's all I am ever going to want to take a short cut on...
So far we have a total of 12 eggs on both side; right ovary is nice and perky; left is a bit timid (as usual), but we have 12 eggs, so that's good.  However this is not even the beginning yet, our challenges include 1. A solid retrial 2. Good embryo development 3. Successful transfer 4. To stick or not stick...
In the past (2 cycles) we've always had about 12 eggs during stim; 7-8 at the time of retrieval; 2 or less at transfer. I've dreamed, prayed and wished so many times that somehow all of the eggs developed normally, but it never happened...I would get those dreadful phone calls from the nurse informing me the cruel reality, then somehow manage to get through the rest of the diminishing days... But hey, things could be different this time, who knows..?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The antagonist

Went to day 6th u/s, cold day, getting up in the morning is ever so painful now days! Ultra sounds shows left and right ovary growing total of 10 (><10) follicles, although mt left ovary was in quite "hide & seek" mood today.  Well, I was expecting maybe a few more follicles given that I'm on the top dose of stim.
However the nurse called in the afternoon to say that my E2 turned out unexpectedly high (comparing to the follicle growth), the doctor is changing her plan with me,  that I was to start the Antagonist tonight (with Ganirelix).
 Will be back on Monday. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The morning after..

A few days ago hubby and I went to see a movie, since I am such a terrible movie-bully, we I decided that we should see "Mama" over "Zero Dark 30" (ghost, no war!).  Now mind you I am the type that is neither brave enough to see the graphic scenes nor satisfied not seeing them, so half of the time my face is behind my scarf, natural...  If you haven't seen this movie, don't read this!
The film never explained the reason for "her" insanity, I joked that she must have had an IVF without insurance and it didn't work. After all. it's just a movie, but I can't seem to recover from all the creepiness, yak! :(

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Post consultation & the ongoing IVF

We had a simple and reassuring phone consultation with the doctor at the Copenhagen Fertility Center. I called the hospital at 9:30am (3:30 CET), and a receptionist quickly transferred me to the doctor.  While he was very confidant that short IVF would be the more appropriate in my case, he apologized for the price of the drugs being so high in Denmark (8000DKK=1428USD), I almost laughed -- my IUIs costs that much per cycle not including the drugs!  My clinic doesn't even thaw the sperms for free-- I have to pay for the thawing (which, they take it out and put it in a little oven, booya! $100!)  So far, my hanging heart is able to settle a little thinking into the future, the uncertain future. 
I'm currently 3 days on stim (2Clomid+450Folistim+Menopur).  I can feel things happening inside, it even irritates when I sit or bend forward.  Now my biggest fear is not whether it succeeds or not, but am I going to recover from the heavy Stimulation again?  I have read people entered into early menopause due to fertility drugs, what if my body stop working on its own thereafter?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

IVF aboard!

DH and I won't be in the States this summer (and every summer, hopefully), so naturally, I'm already planning on the future IF treatment during our absence from our clinic in NY. Of course I'm crossing my fingers for this upcoming IVF(our 6th!Yay), hopefully, all of what I am doing now will prove to be unnecessary.  Because where we will be mostly during the summer, we are better off going to Denmark for IVF. After a bit extensive research, I found several hospitals in Denmark that have good reputation on IF treatment. I locked it on Copenhagen Fertility Center (I LOVE when a website is simple and informative). Everything is listed on there. Turns out the cost of IVF & IUI is about 1/3 of what I am paying (out of pocket with insurance) in NY!  After thumbing through the treatment sheets I thought they were more personalized with the word "unexplained"-- with my RE, they could never identify my "unexplained self" on book so they just mark me with "poor egg quality", where in fact, at a worse case scenario,  we always had one fair quality embryo to transfer, however because I also never had a m/c, evidently no embryo made it to / fail to implant, and that's where we need some answers.
Here's the Danish clinic's IVF price list--

1 Danish Krone = 0.18 US Dollar

Contract on 3 standard IVF-treatments  DKK 36,500 = 6515 UDS
Microinsemination (ICSI)   DKK 3,500 = 625 USD
Aspiration of sperm from the testis (TESA)  DKK 4,000 = 715 USD
(The offer concerns 3 completed treatments, i.e. treatments with egg aspiration regardless of the outcome. The contract terminates with the birth of a living child.)
Assisted hatching (Zona drilling)  DKK 2,500 = 446 USD
Utilization of donor sperm  DKK 900 = 160 USD
Freezing and storage of sperm per year  DKK 1,000 = 180 USD
Freezing of fertilized eggs  DKK 2,500
Transfer of thawed, fertilized eggs  DKK 4,000
Treatment with donor egg (egg donation)  DKK 35,000 = 6247 USD

And so is amazing HOW MUCH we are being charged so over the top for infertility treatments (procedural and cost of drugs ) in the US. Regardless where you are, they are *NOT* cheap, and so many people struggle everyday on top of  stressful lives, besides the frustration of dealing with IF, they also have to battle insurance companies over coverage so they can afford to have a child of their own! WHAT THE HECK America?!?! There is no reason for it, and there is not enough help for people suffering IF..if you don't have insurance you might as well forget about it :(

Here's another form of IVF I found intersting, it's just like the micro IVF.

Low Cost IVF

Cheap IVF treatment

Japanese model / low-stimulation IVF
In recent times there has been much focus on low stimulation protocols to improve egg quality and protect patients against too much medicine, and finally the risk of overstimulation.
Likewise, the increased cost for medication on new drugs for patients a desire to reduce drug costs and still maintain a good chance of becoming pregnant  was seen.

We have, in cooperation with ISMAAR organization proposed a gentle treatment with the principle that we will only have a few ovarian follicles, but maintain good pregnancy s chances.

The treatment is also called Japanese model, where we use the tablets in the form of tamoxifen or clomiphene combined with a low dose of FSH.

Our initial results were promising and now presents the first definitive treatment cycle of a total of 29 treatments has been finalized.

Pregnancy rate for these patients was 31% overall clinical pregnancy per started treatment and a total of 11 children.

The pregnancy rate for our patients up to age 40 is fully satisfactory and with medication is the price:
Low stimulation IVF 9,500 kr for the IVF and app 5000 kroner for the medication,
Thus a total of 13360 kr ( 2385 USD)
Common IVF on public hospital costs DKK 5000 for IVF treatment and approx. 10,000  in medicine:
Total public  15000 kr  (2677USD)
  To qualify for this treatment, the woman must be under 40 years old and have normal blood tests for FSH, LH, AMH.

*I wrote to the center (had to fill out a qualification form) and got a response the next morning, they have scheduled a phone consultation for us and the doctor next week.*

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Out fishing...!

DH and I decided take a short trip into the Catskills today. As we were pulling out the garage, we called to confirm our reservation, only to learn that our reservation actually "fell through", so we thought why not just throw ourselves out here and see where we end up?

Poptar for breakfast :)

The snow was beautiful, the drive was smooth and scenic.  I was so fed up with noises of the city (NY! Go figure!); the constant heartache in our IF treatment; the lack of trees and nature, that I really really really wanted to be AWAY from it all, for a day. We drove by several places along the Catskills mountain but sadly the Inns were mostly all closed, or door's open but no one around...


 Finally we came up to Hunter Mountain, a pretty awesome ski spot town.  Luckily finding a room here was easy, and they are reasonably priced because it's during the week (no need to haggle!) and the place is new construction so things are nice and bright.  I was prepared to stay in a dark stinky motel since we didn't have any plans hatched :)

 I don't think I am (mentally) fully aware (or want to) of how stressful the last 3 years have been for us, both of us.  Our lives were militarized  Every month I follow the safe protocol -- AF --> day 2 blood & u/s --> back in 6 days blood & u/s --> OPK --> Trigger----------------------------------> BFN; -----> now I'm so familiar with the systems that I can practically write a manual for the new patients (It's amazing my clinic hasn't dropped me). ..Like someone said, when she is in her treatment, life seems to be promising... My heart throbs with the thought of somehow, this time, our dream might come true -- meanwhile I feel increasingly embarrassed seeing the same staffs over and over and over again.  I sense the genuinely sorriness they feel for me, but I just kept coming back... Last night I dreamed that I had a positive hpt, which I immediately corrected myself--in my own dream! 
Now I'm really beat, my head feels like it's stuffed with cotton (my writing probably doesn't make much sense at this point). DH is out picking up some Chinese, poor guy, he was so excited for the exotic cuisines in the local restaurants...

Well, good night! Y'all!

Monday, January 14, 2013

A day under the blanket

My cat sleeps all day and all night, and she loves it under the blanket--I guess it makes her feel safe and cozy... that is something I'm so desperately needing today. I sobbed all day on my husband's shoulder. He gazed at me with sad eyes and said:"never give up hope, you know I always have your back, we will solve and I." and then we made a pinkie promise... he is my beautiful, safe and cozy blanket.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I didn't test today. I've been having these dreams in the past week that were very wild and exhausting, yet during the day I feel abusolutly blend: mild cramps especially when I'm sitting; no noticeable twigs or anything; sad mood don't take things well--forgive me for being pessimistic but I've been going through this nearly every month for the past 3 years. It sucks and I want it to stop!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

7 dpo- meh

Thought I was having a bit soreness and some nausea, but they all vanished yesterday. This morning I woke up feeling "empty" again, that's not a good sign. I did a hpt this afternoon and it was stark Snow White negative. Hmmm. (Still I prefer to know along side than be crushed all at once) -- Does it make me more depressed? I'd say no. I'm already depressed about this whole "motherhood thing".  I'm considering moving the Feb IVF to this Month, if RE gives the ok. Sometimes I feel like giving up, living my life the way it was pre-IF.  But the desire just drives me forward, and my dear husband, who's been so kind, tender and encouraging, tells me to keep trying...still, we can't figure out what the hell is wrong with this body of mine that has not been cooperating except being healthy.

 I'm starting to feel very tired from all this Infertility crap. We've started this in 09, 3 years later I haven't even had a miscarriage. That just does not sound right, as if my body is rejecting the idea of becoming a mother?! I wish we could find out one of those days.

Friday, January 11, 2013

6 dpo

I wish I'm not feeling any cramps.  I try to stay busy but somehow my brain activity slows down significantly during the 2ww--I'm just sooo anxious to be over with.  Either yes or no, just let it be over so I can continue to be hopeful.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Even though I know my chance of conceiving naturally is low (unexplained, but-) I still get anxious. The first 3 days is easy, from 4 days on to 8 days is the worst. Usually I stop testing if by the 9th day it's still complete stark, I know to move on... However I still have another shot at a natural cycle next month, this helps easing the emotion.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What does IF give me

I had often always known, that conceiving was going to be a problem for me.  When I was a late teen, I got pregnant with my boyfriend at the time. I practically lived in junk food; smoked pot; drinking and never ate healthy. Yet I got knocked up without s shred of care.  That was the only time I got pregnant, ever. It's all been down-hill since then. We spent 2 years trying DH's sperm,  then spent the last year trying the DS.  Now I just feel numb, numb from emotions. The roller-coaster ride is not easy, not when I don't see where the end is or it's there at all.


So my 9th iui was non-eventful except I was inseminated with 2 different donor's sperms in the B2B iui.  Someone mentioned in a post that she thinks the best timing for the insemination is 6 hours prior to the egg release.  I peaked at 11am on Sat, and had ovulation cramp at 8pm Sun, that means I should probably inseminate around 2pm on Sunday, giving the short lifespan of frozen DS (6hr, 12hr, 24 or 48hr? Can someone gives a definitive answer??). Lately we have been thinking about doing home insemination to better control the timing. "Cryos International" seems to be a great facility, unfortunately its New York branch doesn't have the perfect donor that fits our criteria, only at its Denmark branch do they have 3 good profiles.  I wonder if they could deliver from Denmark to the US, because they are licensed in NY as well. They offer a rank of counts from low to high for a increased pricing.  They range from 5m, 10m to 30m, which is really great as the best count we got from Fairfox (without any choice) was 10m.  While I know people do become pregnant with low sperm/mot count, I do believe 30m give a better chance than 10m, and that might be the key to many of us unexplained.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I'm back in the clinic for a second insemination today because I've actually peeked yesterday. Since I was notified of an extra vial of sperm from our previous donor still in the storage, and we have no other available vials of the current donor ( painful lesson--remember to call for the sperm delivery before iui), it seems logical to just used up the vial and at least knew we gave all every cycle. Both donors are approved and properly screened. However the clinic wouldn't do the insemination of two different donors b2b.
The reason being in the event that a donor child is born with genetic disease, the parents can't trace it to the donor as result of the double donor. That seems like a moral code, because the clinic is not at any fault for the insemination they do, and they are not responsible for any risk that came with the sperms. Eventually after contacting the head of the department who gave the go ahead, we signed the consent and went through the iui. It might not do anything, but I'm at peace knowing we have done our best.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

What's in the storage, doc?

I'm at the clinic now waiting to speaker to a nurse, and find out what is in the storage exactly. I recall we might have one IVF storage but truth be told, we've done so many cycles that neither of us remember. I had a terrible night, lots of dreams, lots of action which are all a big blur now.

Friday, January 4, 2013

I screwed up :.....(

When we came home tonight I decided to do a LH test-- and there was the long waited surge! Then my husband asked if we were doing a B2B iui this time, that's when it hit me--I never called the spermbank to have anything shipped! GARRRRR! My head just blew up. I can not believe that I was so concerned about the cycle that I simply forgot about the foremost important thing............
We currently have a frozen unit for IVF at the clinic, which I don't think can be used for IUI.  Talking about screwing up!! Farewell, January cycle :(((((((

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The New Year IF Resolution

I stopped taking my prenatal vitamins --yes, you heard it right, I stopped taking it since last week. I hate taking pills, even cramp pills. Every morning taking the vitamins remained me of my inability to conceive my own beautiful babies naturally, that I needed these capsules to bestow upon my chances.
I also stopped caffeine intake, because I had been a coffee drinker, though never a heavy one.
The fact that I hadn't even had a m/c suggested that my eggs never made it to implantation -- something happened before that- It could be the egg quality, the timing, the sperm quality the fertilization or my uterus...the frustrating thing is I couldn't find out which compartment is not compliant;(
So my NY resolution is :
1. No more Prenatal until something turns up.
2. No more caffeine that makes me nerves.
3. Be hopeful that the two of us will achieve a complete family.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Fairly Stretched Cycle

I haven't had a sign of surging, and it's CD18.  My 28 day cycle always gets disrupted by cysts. Therefore I won't expecting to see any surge until next week.  People who does this naturally gets to do this 12 times a year, but with our situation, we can do -- 12 natural cycle;  4-5 injectable cycle or 3 IVF/year with natural IUI ---these are my choices... dragging myself to the clinic for monitoring and getting intimate with my "future baby daddy" in the IUI room for the past year has been part of my living ritual...
Now Kim K is preggers (REALLY???) -- my turn has gotta be here soon!