Friday, November 19, 2010

Nurse Consultation

Last Thursday, we had our nurse consultation appointment with one of the nurses from Dr. M's office. The appointment was needed to go over any questions we had and to sign two different contracts. One contract talked about the process of IVF and what to expect. The other contract was the cryopreservation of embryos consent. That consent was a little harder to sign, since it wasn't just a signature it involved answering some difficult questions, that I never even imagined I would have to make. We had to decide what we would do in different situations if we had frozen embryos. For example; what would we want done with our frozen embryos if I die? If Eli dies? If we get divorced? These questions were hard to answer. Those frozen embryos, if we have any, will basically be our "babies". It was not easy to decide what you would do with them. After some discussion we decided what we would do in each situation, well I did most of the deciding, Eli trusted my decisions :-)
The last part of the consultation was going over the medications that I will be taking. I was completely overwhelmed. I had no idea how much medication was actually involved in this whole process. I was given a chart with each medication listed on a day and time. Everyday involves a different medication at a different time and most medications are time sensitive! I am going to have to pay close attention! Here is a list of most of the medications:
*Vivelle Patches
*Progesterone in Oil

Most of them are injectable medications, so I hope I don't end up with cellulitis like I have in the past. After the nurse described all the medications Eli said "Is that ALL she has to take?" and "Is that even safe for her?". Already worrying about me :-) Love that guy!
This consultation appointment was the last thing on the "preparation list". So now, we wait until December 26th when I start my first stimulation injection! I don't want to wish away the holidays since I love this time of year, but I can't wait to get started!
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! I can't wait for Thanksgiving and of course Black Friday!!!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I got this email today!!

November 16, 2010
Kristen Wolfe
Elijah Wolfe

Dear Kristen and Elijah:

Thank you for your participation in the Attain® IVF Program. This letter shall serve as confirmation that IntegraMed received $21,700.00 on 11/16/2010 as payment in full for your participation in the Program.

This payment will cover up to three stimulated IVF cycles and three frozen embryo transfers as necessary to achieve one pregnancy that results in the birth of a take home baby. Please refer to your participation agreement for Program details. Center for Reproductive Medicine - Minnesota will not issue you any additional receipt for services covered under this Program, as they will not be billing you directly for those services.
Please feel free to call me toll free at 1.866.YOUR.IVF with any questions. Thank you again for your participation in the Attain IVF Program.

Tammy Scott
Attain® IVF Program
Client Relations Representative

Yes!! One more step closer!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SIS and Trial Transfer

I had my Saline Infusion Sonogram and Trial Transfer on Wednesday. The whole procedure took about 10-15 minutes. Dr. M did the Trial Transfer first. He took the same tube that they would insert the embryos with and did a trial. This test detects if there is a bend in the cervix or if it is straight, so that on the actual transfer date they don't have trouble inserting the embryos. Dr. M said that mine went right in! So good news there! Second he did the Saline Infusion Sonogram. A speculum was placed and my cervix was washed with betadine. Next, he inserted a similar, but smaller, tube as the trial transfer into the cervix and into the uterus. The speculum was removed and an ultrasound probe inserted. Saline was injected through the catheter and into the uterine cavity. The saline distends the uterine cavity and allowed Dr. M to take pictures of my uterus from the inside. The test detects polyps, fibriods, endometrial adhesions and more. Dr. M took about 6 pictures of my uterus. He didn't see any abnormalities or anything concerning! Good news there too! However, he did state that my uterus had an "indent" on the top but we already knew that from the Hysterosalpingogram I had about a year ago. The "indent" doesn't mean anything, Dr. M said that I was born with my uterus like that. Dr. M called it an Arcuate Uterus. It won't affect getting pregnant or keeping a pregnancy. Although, he did say he would make a note of it for the embryo transfer so that whoever does the procedure doesn't place the embryos on the top of my uterus.

Normal Uterus on Ultrasound
Arcuate Uterus (Close as I could find!)

Our next appointment is scheduled for next Thursday. We have an IVF nurse consult. This is where we will be going over our IVF contract and she will discuss more in detail. Please keep praying for us! Thanks so much for all your support!
Love, Kristen & Eli

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Hamster Baby ?!?!

There is so much "preparing" that comes with the start of IVF. Tests, blood work, appointments, consultations etc. Sometimes it feels never ending! Eli has been such a trooper through all of it and has been more then willing to do what he has to do to prepare. One of the tests that he had to do recently was a Sperm Penetration Assay. A PSA is a test that measures the number of sperm that are able penetrate an egg for fertilization. It is a routine test for those preparing for IVF as it determines the need for ICSI or not. ICSI, or Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection, is a procedure that includes the injection of one single sperm into an egg that assists in fertilization. ICSI is used when there is male factor infertility including low sperm count, sperm motility less then 35% and/or poor sperm morphology.

I bet your thinking where does a hamster play in all this?!?! Its actually pretty funny! To perform the test they take a sperm sample and put it together in a petri dish or test tube along with a hamster egg!!!! They watch under a microscope to see what the sperm do around an egg. So last week, Eli's sperm were hooking up with a hamster egg! We thought it was pretty funny! The test came back at 100% penetration, the sperm knew what to do on their own. They also did a sperm count and it was amazingly high at 400 million active sperm! Great news all around, no ICSI for us! Thank god! When I called Eli with the results he said "so we have a hamster baby coming?!?!" So glad he can find humor in all of this! Makes this stressful journey a lot easier on us!

This Wednesday I have some tests that need to be done and next week we have a nurse consult where we will go over and sign our IVF contract! Wednesday I will be having a Saline Sonogram and a Trial Transfer. Both tests can cause a lot of cramping :-( so please think of me and pray for minimal to no cramping! I will update Wednesday after the tests!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Start to our IVF Journey

WOW!! I can't believe how many responses I got back from people who want to continue to follow our journey! I feel so blessed and I'm in awe of all the support. Thank you! I also want to ask those who I invited to continue to follow that nothing be said about my blog. You can talk to me about it but PLEASE no one else. There are reasons why I chose to make my blog private and there are reasons why I didn't invite some to continue reading. Please don't talk about it to family members, Eli, co-workers etc. Please respect our wishes! Thank you!

Okay, lets start from the beginning. For the last couple of months Eli and I had been trying to find a loan or some form of financing for IVF. We were having a difficult time and were getting turned down loan after loan. The economy has made it almost impossible for one to get approved for any type of loan! I had basically given up hope that we would find the right financing option and had it in my head we would just have to wait and save the full amount. I was feeling a little sad about this, I just wanted to start IVF, I felt like we had waited long enough. Well we don't have to wait anymore, it all changed thanks to my amazing husband. A couple of weeks ago Eli came home with two dozen roses and a card. Inside the card was a check for the amount we needed to pursue our IVF dream. I fell into his arms and cried and cried and cried. Next to the day I married this wonderful man, this was the best day of my life! I asked him when we could start. His response, whenever you are ready. Ready! I have been ready for the past 3 years! The next day I made the confident call to Dr. M's office and we started our process!

Our first step was meeting with Dr. M, which we already did. We met with him a couple of Fridays ago where he talked about the process of IVF, the risks, the benefits and answered any and all questions/concerns that we had, honestly. We went over so many things. He said that the hardest part for me will be the stimulation part of the cycle. The goal of IVF is to get about 1-2 dozen eggs mature with out hyperstimulating. Since I have hyperstimulated in the past he was a little concerned about it. He said on average 90% of people get through the stim part just fine. We just need to make sure I am monitored closely and the dosages of stim meds are adjusted accordingly. This makes me slightly nervous, but hopefully I will be a part of that 90%! We talked about a lot of other things, that I will make a post about sometime soon. Its just too much for this update!

My next step was to jump start a period with Provera. They checked to make sure I wasn't pregnant and also tested to see if I had ovulated since my last period in July. No I wasn't pregnant. No I hadn't ovulated. As frustrating as that was to hear, I was ready to start the Provera. I took it for 10 days and 1-2 days following started a period. Three days later started birth control, which I am still currently on. I will be on birth control until sometime in December. At our meeting with Dr. M he said I would be on them for about 6-8 weeks. I was aiming for 6 weeks bringing us to the second week in December.....which I later found out wouldn't work. The Dr.'s take a 3 week "break" from IVF in December. Of course! My luck! What would this journey be without any bumps in the road, right? So, I start stim meds December 26th and our estimated transfer date is January 4-11th, 2011 ! It feels so good to finally have a date! There are still some tests we have to do before then, both Eli and I. Eli has had some of his done and I have mine scheduled.

This is all becoming so surreal and we couldn't be happier! After our meeting with Dr. M, Eli hugged and kissed me in the parking lot and said "We are going to have a baby". Best feeling in the world!!

Love, Kristen & Eli