Monday, May 2, 2016

California Conceptions Cycle #1 Timeline

11/18/2015 completed and submitted application online.

11/20/2015 clinic received application. completed and submitted hubby and my medical and treatment history.

12/04/2015 phone call with my coordinator Valerie to discuss details of treatment, cost and ask questions. scheduled a phone appointment with Dr Zeringue.

12/07/2015 phone consultation with Dr Zeringue ro review health history and discuss options. Very knowledgeable and super sweet doctor. Informed him that we are ready to proceed. We will receive email with the next steps and required bloodwork.

12/09/2015 received email from Valerie with paperwork we need to sign and lab requirements. completed and emailed back all paperwork needed.

12/10/2015 OB appointment annual checkup. Discussed what i will need locally from my Doctor as far as ultrasounds and monitoring. they'e on board and ready to help any way they can. Dr Seligman and Omega OBGYN are the best. Blood drawn for OB Panel and homocysteine levels.

12/14/2015 blood work all normal per Debbie and she faxed it to California Conceptions. Valerie confirmed receipt and will contact me once the doctor reviews the results.

-- Happy New Year --

01/07/2016 Cycle Day 1.

01/09/2016 Started Birth Control.

02/17/2016 Saline Contrast Ultrasound 10:30 a.m. California Conceptions w/Dr Zeringue - got the all All Clear. The staff at the clinic is nice, they seem to be always behind schedule wise, my appointment was about an hour late.

02/22/2016 Psychologist Skype sessions with Tice Elkins.

-- all prerequisites have been completed -- now we wait for a donor profile --

02/25/2016 Valerie sent us a profile today and we accepted it. Signed all the papers and returned them back to the clinic that same night. It is a seamless profile we couldn't have asked for anything better, provided both donors are being truthful about their history they are both young and healthy and have a relatively medically healthy background. It is a frozen/vitrified profile so we will have a little flexibility when it comes to booking flights and scheduling Dr appointments. But if all goes well we are looking at an April transfer. Sent payment $12,500 no turning back now.

02/26/2016 Called Valerie and confirmed she received our consent. She will talk to Dr Z to see if we can use the Saline Ultrasound from the 17th as our base ultrasound. She will also ask Dr Z about motion sickness meds for travel. She will email me timeline calendar and meds prescription as soon as she has the info from the Dr. 

02/27/2016 Still on birth control, this is the longest i have ever taken birth control. I don't know if it's the brand itself or if all BC are similar but i'm having a bit of a facial acne problem. It started on the left side of my face then one side gets better the other side starts flaring up. I keep reminding myself to ignore all the petty issues i am having right now but i truly pray they take me off the birth control soon before all my skin is covered with blemishes.

03/01/2016 Apparently Valerie sent me my meds calendar and prescription on the 26th but since they switched to a new computer system they have been having issues and i never got her email. I got a call today from the Pharmacy they sent my script to asking for more details that i couldn't answer. Needless to say it has been a frustrating day. Also found out that the embryos we were offered are not available yet and i was asked if i would want to do a fresh transfer. Honestly with all the logistics issues they are having i don't want to risk another miscommunication so we are opting for a frozen transfer which means my calendar is going to change.

I ended up finding a different pharmacy i would like to go through for my meds and hopefully Valerie will get my email and fax the script to WinFirtility but i guess there's no rush now cause it seems we will be an April transfer instead of March.

03/02/2016 I received a tentative calendar for a frozen vitrified cycle. Tentative transfer date is April 18. If baseline Ultrasound goes well i start meds on the 23rd of March. Baseline Ultrasound scheduled for Friday March 18th.

03/07/2016 Medication all paid for through WinFertilityRx and set to be delivered on Friday $560.

03/14/2016 Received medication on Monday due to weather delays.

03/18/2016 Baseline Ultrasound all clear will start Lupron injections on the 23rd of March.

03/23/2016 First Lupron injection, taking 10 units subcutaneously in the morning.

03/24/2016 did some reading and these seem to help people build a good lining. my dosage was off for the vitamin D so i'll be taking 2000 IU (5 pills).

03/25/2016 Last Birth Control pill.

03/30/2016 Started Estrogen patches and reduced Lupron to 5 units per day.

03/30/2016 Egg donor had her retrieval, Valerie said she will contact me with updates about our embryos once she gets the fertilization report from the embryologist. Everything seems to be on schedule for April 18 transfer if my lining check goes well.

04/12/2016 Lining Check at California Conceptions went great, my lining is 10 mm. Tomorrow would be Day 1 of Progesterone. Below is a picture for the purpose of comparison, the one on top is from the internet and the one on the bottom is mine. I had a really great looking lining.

*** on a side note it seems i found the solution for my motion sickness. i took 4 flights with this combo and i did great on all 4 flights about 3.5 hours each.

04/13/2016 Last Day of Lupron, First Day of Progesterone. Flew back home and Courtney Weeks did my first shot, it all went well. She's going to show JJ how to give me the shots tomorrow. I fly back to California on Sunday and Embryo transfer is Monday April 18.

i kept myself entertained at the airpot making hexies

*** a photo for comparison: the difference between the Lupron needles (far right) and the Progesterone needles (pink one is to draw the medicine and the grey one is to inject).

04/16/2016 these progesterone shots are not a walk in the park. My bummmm is always sore. I've been using heat and massaging the injection sites afterwards and it's helping. I've been told that it gets easier. Honestly it's all for a great purpose and I'm willing to take these shots and deal with the discomfort of it all if that means we get to take home a baby. 

04/17/2016 i made it to Sacramento today. Tomorrow is the big day and I'm too excited. I'm definitely not nervous or anxious I'm just happy we are finally here. Jeremy couldn't make it to the transfer because he has school on Monday but my new friend Carly (a fellow fighter) will be there for me as my "transfer doula", she coined the term, and we she will document the happenings for us.

04/18/2016 today was transfer day. I had such a great day with Carly. We had breakfast, chatted, laughed and had a peaceful day. My appointment was at 10:30 we were there on time and everything went smoothly. I met with the nurse first and she explained what's expected of me after the transfer. All i remember is avoid high carb foods. Then I met with the embryologist, Natalie, who explained to me everything in such detail that I feel I've acquired new knowledge and  great respect to this process. The transfer needs to happen with a full bladder so all i could think of when can i use the restroom?

Carly and I in front of the clinic
We decided to transfer only 1 embryo since it's our first attempt with this this clinic and they have really high twin rates. If we would have transferred 2 embryos we had a 50% chance of having twins and seeing all the twin results on the Facebook group got me worried. I know some people won't approve of us being so conservative with this treatment but we really pray for 1 healthy child and a healthy pregnancy without any complications.

Day 5 Grade 2 Expanding Blastocyst
I'm back at the hotel now just laying in bed eating some cheese sticks, drinking water and keeping my body temperature warm. I've notified pretty much the family and close friends of the happenings and I'm gonna wait till I get some good news before I post anything to Facebook.

This is such an interesting process. I got to talk to the embryologist and she explained how the freezing and thawing process happens. It's all so mind blowing how it's done. 

The hardest part was not being able to go to the restroom because they want you to have a full bladder and that will help guide them to the uterus. 

I kept saying I'm not gonna cry, oh it's nothing, we've done this before but I have to admit I did cry after the transfer was completed; Everyone was so nice and sweet I guess it must have triggered something.

I pray pray pray that this is it for us. I really have a positive attitude this time around. Physically I'm healthy ( last time we did this I had an intestinal infection and I was on 3 different antibiotics) and mentally I'm optimistic. So all I need is God's hands and for nature to do its thing.

Baby Shaffer is the little white dot in the center of the uterus
It will be the best thing the day we are able to share some good news with everybody. This is gonna be the longest and shortest 10 days of my life. 

04/19/2016 Light cramping today on the left side I pray the embryo is implanting and all is going well.

04/25/2016  I was planning to document all the symptoms during my 2 week wait but i didn't feel much up until today. I felt period like cramping throughout the day. Around 10:00 a.m. when i went to the restroom i noticed some very light pink spotting and that was it, just that once. Obviously i did some googling but all i have read so far can be interpreted either way i am praying for a positive outcome. i keep remembering that song "waiting is the hardest part".

04/27/2016 First Beta was not what I was expecting. We were really hoping for good solid numbers but our results came back at a 9.22 of hcg level. The clinic wants to see minimum 30 to consider it a strong pregnancy but from what I looked up on the American Pregnancy Association website anything over 5 is technically positive and the numbers could range from 5 to 50 during the first 3 weeks of pregnancy. 

The low number could be the result of many things my educated assumption and hope is that it was late implantation since I didn't start feeling symptoms till Monday the 25th. 

Right now the doctor wants me to keep taking my meds as usual and go back on Friday for a second beta and hopefully the numbers have doubled by then and they will decide from there what to do next. We are still hopeful that the numbers will go up. 

This is the first time i feel stuck in a situation where i can't eat or take anything that can improve our chances. I can't fix it and that's new to me.

04/29/2016 Second Beta did not bring any good news unfortunately. My numbers didn't double at all in fact they barely went up to 9.93 so i received a call from the clinic to stop my medications and retest next friday to make sure my numbers are falling back down as close as possible to 0 before we get to start again.

I must say we are very disappointed. We, again, let ourselves get delusional and believe that this is going to be easy for us like it's been for some other couples who have taken the donor route. We wanted to be part of the success stories instead of the statistics but for now we take comfort in knowing that i CAN get pregnant. In the last 7 or more years trying to get pregnant this is the first time we have gotten a positive even if it didn't last. 

For now all we can do is wait and hope that somewhere out there our baby is still waiting to join us.

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