Monday, May 05, 2008

Round #2. I hope.

In theory, the second transfer should have been much easier. We’d already done all the screenings, there was no need to do another mock cycle, and the clinics (both hers and mine) knew exactly what to expect from our bodies – how we would react to all the hormones and drugs.

But for us (there is always a ‘but’, isn’t there?) things got a bit more complicated because Blaine and I were slated to move that summer from Ohio to Alabama, and we had a two-week vacation to Oklahoma scheduled for our time in transit.

What we had done previously was considered a “fresh” cycle, meaning my IM was stimulated, had an egg retrieval, and a transfer was done three (or five) days later with newly fertilized eggs. If there are embryos left over after a fresh cycle, and they are strong enough, the clinic will freeze them for later attempts, called a “frozen” cycle. In surrogate lingo, sometimes those frozen embryos are called “totsicles”, “snow babies”, or “maybe babies”, and to cycle with frozen embryos is much less complicated. Only the surrogate needs to be monitored, which is much more predictable, and the day of transfer can be determined in advance and won’t (shouldn’t) change.

My IP’s didn’t have any embryos make it to freezing, which was discouraging, so our only option would be another fresh attempt. Once again it was all about timing, and coordinating the cycles. Because the IM (or egg donor) is using drugs to stimulate her ovaries, those ovaries need a rest period in between cycles, to avoid the danger of hyper-stimulation. Again, it’s all about the calendar when planning the next attempt. The doctor figured out her rest cycle, then started us on paper again …. Coordinating cycles, starting her stimulation, and estimating when she would be ready for retrieval --- and then planning the weeks needed to prep my body with the drugs, blood tests, and ultrasounds to prepare my uterus to receive the embryos. Naturally, for us, because why would ANYTHING ever be simple, that month-ish of monitoring for me fell while we were vacationing and moving.

That meant I did the initial bit of my monitoring at a local fertility clinic in Ohio … then found a fertility clinic in Oklahoma that could monitor me while I was there on vacation (ironically, the same fertility clinic I had been a PATIENT at years before … and the same clinic I am using now) Then, the instant we moved to Alabama, before I learned my way around town or got my kids settled or even so much as unpacked the toilet paper, I had to find a new fertility clinic that could monitor me as the time of the transfer drew near.

But you know what? Things were going well. Maybe it was the Gods of Complicated Timing smiling down on us, or just bold-faced luck, but I managed to get all the tests and blood draws and ultrasounds I needed, exactly when the clinic in Maryland needed me to get them. I was responding exactly as anticipated to my meds, and actually feeling pretty proud of myself, that I had managed to overcome this potential scheduling circus and find doctors I needed in each location.

Then, one afternoon a week or two before the scheduled retrieval, I got a panicked call from my IM. She was terribly flustered, and you could hear the anxiety in her voice, “You’re not going to believe what I did,” she said in a shaky, alarmed voice, “I just realized that I did my meds wrong this month. I titrated down instead of up, and I’ve messed up the entire cycle!”

“Wait, you what? What does that word even mean??? How did you mess things up?” I replied.

Come to find out, one of her injectable medicines was supposed to be given in small doses at first, and increased gradually throughout the cycle. She had misread the directions (especially ironic, considering she was a registered nurse) and had given herself the largest dose first, gradually decreasing the med throughout the cycle, and had just now realized her error.

So what does this mean? First of all, are you ok? And second, is our cycle going to be canceled? I thought your ovaries looked good on the last ultrasound, and you were getting a good amount of follicles?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said, still shaken. “I called the doctor but they said there’s nothing they can do but continue to monitor me and see what happens.”

So our first cycle was a bust, and our second cycle was most likely going to be canceled? I was starting to wonder if I was jinxed as a surrogate.


Eloise said...

Oh, my! You are definitely the queen of suspense! Still enjoying the story. Keep writing!

KD said...

These cliffhangers are killing me!! Fun though. :o) Thanks Kristie!! I'm luvin it.

ps - Did the iPod at the dentist help?

utahsweeney said...

Yup, another cliffhanger. I don't know if you want to answer this, but you touched on your challenges with conceiving children... what was her fertility issue? I feel so nosy, but since you never mention her by name, I thought it was o.k. to ask why people commonly seek out surrogates. OK, I asked.

Grandma J said...

You weren't being jinxed.
What else is new? We already know the outcome will eventually be perfect, so lets just say the whole experience is just being "Escoed".

Stacie from MN said...

Just your luck! Kind of like if it can go wrong it will? I can't wait to hear what happens next since you always manage to make things work!

Dianna in Louisiana said...

What the Heck----- OOOOHHHHH NOOOO!!!! You have got to be blasted kidding us, right!!!!! Poor Couple, Poor You....Poor dr..... thank God she had the courage to fess up to her mistake! I'm sure that this type of thing just made the victory sweeter!

Anonymous said...

Well, shoot. Is nothing ever simple?? That seems to be the way my luck goes, though. Guess it makes the final result just that much better!

Looking forward to the next installment!!


new mom in law said...

More! More! More!

Angela Conklin
NC friend thru your entries

Rockess said...

ACK! I could totally see myself doing what the Intended Mom did. I doubt I would have had the guts to fess up to you about it though!


The magnet on my fridge with our family motto read " Nothing is so easy that it can't be screwed up"

That is until I lost it.

Is it on your fridge now?
Looking forward to the next chapter!


Bonita in Az said...

Kristie.....I just wanted answer a a comment you made in a previous post about not getting many responses to your surrogacy story. I never have a response because I am just so blown away but the complexity of it all! I never before realized how much was involved on the parts of both IM and surrogate! I am amazed, fascinated and have so much admiration for you and all surrogates and I see how very very special the gift that surrogates, and I dont want to forget their families, give families so desperately wanting a baby! So to tell you the truth, after reading each new installment, I once again speechless! There is nothing that I can say that compares to what you write and the amazing story you are writing! Thank you so much for enlightening me!