Yassy’s note;Natural IVF cycle and finally…

In 2012, we were still thinking about trying for another round of IVF using the frozen embryos, but we did not opt in for doing the another round of IVF right away. We did not give up on our chance, but we needed time to try for another round.

Us (me and my husband) and rest of my side of my family take turn to visit each other’s home;Japan vs USA. For the year of 2012, it was our turn but we were not sure what would be the best way to go schedule wise.

 IF we tried another round of IVF before the trip back to Japan and possibly got the good news, then, we would not be able to go see my side of family because of frequent monitoring at the clinic plus OBGYN checkups and all other necessary visits.

  If we go see them first and then try another round of IVF in the year of 2012, it is better but if we do so, possible months looked like around hot months (strong air conditioned in the building) , or colder months (chilly,windy,snowy weather).

 I did not like the idea to do the transfer during the cold month or hot months because the colder it is, the more it makes me want to go quicker for the bathroom trip and if outside is hot,many hospitals use strong air condition in the building and too cold for me to even visiting on days that I do not have to do embryo transfer.

 I was not confident that I could do the transfer without fail;coming with full bladder,holding for 15 minutes extras on the bed after the procedure under the such environment.

Therefore, we decided to take a break in 2012 for the IVF and instead, we decided to visit our family in Japan. Then, we decided to go visit hattasan soneiji temple in Japan.

Hattasan soneiji temple is located in the city called “Fukuroi city“,which is in south western part of Shizuoka prefecture.

 Part of the reasons that we decided to go there beside wishing for the good luck,getting rid of bad luck for the next round of IVF,was because I had not had a chance to dine my favorite broiled eel dish,and Shizuoka prefecture is famous for the eel. Plus, for my husband, visiting historical place was interesting to him.

Also, the temple has long stair step that is called “Shi-n-zo-u Ya-bu-ri no ka-i-dan”; “shi-n-zo-u” means “heart”,”yaburi” means “challenge” , “ka-i-dan” means “stair steps” in Japanese.

 The long stone steps are known to make visitors out of breath by the time you reach to the top.

 Once you see ahead of you and think “OK, a little bit more steps and should be on the top”, you are wrong.Still more to go..

It is very spacious temple with such unique stair steps and I thought it would also be a good exercise for us too, and the scenery was great. That was added bonus visiting the temple.

Also, the temple had the one special spot; small building across the stone bridge,which my father told us that this is the place you would wish only one thing and it is believed that “the only one wish” shall comes true.

Therefore, we have visited the special spot, and I wished for the success of IVF.

 Then, in 2013, when it was my family’s turn to visit us, my father got us amulet and other charms from the temple for the good luck for the success of IVF.

 He  came to visit us before we start another round of IVF. I have kept those charms/amulet all the time with me. Whenever we visit the clinics,I kept the the little daruma doll that is believe to bring in the good luck plus all other charms my father brought to us in my purse.

Another round of IVF; Before starting with Natural cycle with frozen embryos..

As you can guess, as you age, the lower the success rate will be for the IVF. I was approaching to big 40 in a few years,and we wanted to do the another round of IVF as quick as possible.

 Again, before we try the another round of IVF with natural cycle, we had to read,sign,and notarized the consent forms. Then, we visited the billing department to ask for the cost of natural cycle using the frozen embryos.

This time, since we had 3 frozen embryos left, we did not need to repeat the fertility drug part to stimulate the ovary to retrieve the eggs produced. Therefore, the cost of the cycle was lower but it was still the expensive price to pay for.

The natural cycle with frozen embryo IVF cycle was estimated as $4,980 and mock egg transfer procedure ($400),  pre-screening testing,medications, pregnancy testing, storage of embryos, follow-up visits with doctor was excluded.

What included were ovarian monitoring with sonograms,blood test for estradiol/progesterone, laboratory preparation of embryos for transfer, assisted hatching, ultrasound guided embryo transfer.

We also learned that if we got blessed with little one;become a pregnant, then, the clinic would want the separate cost for the pregnancy package deal,which was $550 that included a couple of times of clinic visits for monitoring the little one in the belly up until 6th week via ultrasound and blood test to keep monitoring the hormone level.

After that, checking with insurance companies for the coverage, I had to do the mock embryo transfer (had to be full bladder) along with cervical check and other blood tests including HIV/Hep B Surface Ag/Hep C ab when next cycle came because we did not do the another round of IVF within 6 months. The blood tests needed to be updated every 6 months.

Natural IVF cycle..

With the natural cycle, steps you would take is very similar to the stimulated IVF cycle but slightly different.

When your cycle started, you would call the clinic on day 1. Then, they will have you come on day 2 or day 3 for the baseline blood test along with sonogram. From there on, your ovaries will be monitored.

Since you are not giving yourself fertility drug shots, the clinic visits are much less frequent.

Next time you visit the clinic will be cycle day 7 through day 11. During the time, you will get your blood drawn to be checked for estradiol and progesterone (hormone level check) as well as sonograms to monitor your ovaries.

  Somewhere around day 10, if you did not have frozen embryos, since you would want to get the egg retrieved,and then to get it fertilized, you will get HCG shot 2 days before the egg retrieval day.

  When the eggs were fertilized, you would wait 5 days to see if the embryo could survive the 5 long day in the dish. If they did, you have the embryo to be transferred into your uterus.

When you have frozen embryos to be transferred, you would still get the HCG shots 2 days prior to the could have been the egg retrieval day without actually getting the egg retrieved.You would skip that part.

After that, you would wait 5 days, and then finally,the embryo transfer day.

 Before the transfer, the laboratory staff would pick the best embryos in the bunch and thaw them to be transferred.

Natural IVF cycle with frozen embryos..

 Just like before, we were asked how many embryos we wish to be transferred. We decided to try 2 embryos again. Our 2nd round of embryo transfer was September,2013.

embryos transferred in September 2013

2 embryos transferred in September,2013..

On the day the 2 embryos were transferred, I tried to stay laying down as much as possible with legs a little up.

 Another long 2 weeks wait til the pregnancy blood test had started.

 With our little son “Liam”, I feel one day passes by so fast now, but that 2 weeks wait was longest wait ever. The 2 long weeks wait had the anxious/nervous/exciting feeling all mixed together.

Unfortunately, those 2 embryos did not implant as we hoped they would. Another sad moment for both of us.

 By now, we have experienced embryos not making it to the 5th day, when they did, embryo did not get implanted two times… We still got one embryo left but, we were very disappointed for the result.

 After the sad news telling us that I was not a pregnant, once again, we were very sad but knowing we still got one last chance to try (We wanted to keep trying until we get blessed but financially, it is hard on us and, we were aging each year..), we decided to try to be positive and stay strong. Stress is not a good friend for this.

Natural IVF cycle; One embryo,one last chance.. and finally….

We then decided to try another round of Natural Cycle with frozen embryo. We were not sure if we could afford to try more even if we wanted to.This round was possibly the one last time. It was November,2013.

This time, after the embryo transfer procedure, even though we were told ok to resume to the ordinal routine from the next day, but since I have read that the first 5 days after the embryo transfer is the most crucial date for them to implant in other news article, I have decided to stay much more cautious this time and,I made myself laying on the bed with legs a little up as much as possible for more than a day and made myself not to move around much. Plus refrained from strenuous physical activities.

Embryos transferred in November 2013

Liam as embryo… November 2013..

As you can guess, that one last standing embryo eventually became our little son “Liam”. We have received the great news that telling me that I was a pregnant finally.It was December 2013. Great Christmas gift for both of us.

 I still remember how we spent the day we received the great news.

After visiting the clinic for the pregnancy blood test, we dropped by the nearby Asian store to get Palette’s meal to stock up her freezer. Then, we decided to dine in at PF Chang’s because we do not have much chance to dine in in our area.

It was cold day and I remember it was raining. My husband then took me to the nearby store to show me things that he thought would be interesting to try.

 After coming back to the house,I was cutting down beef heart for Palette so I can portion out her meal to freeze them. It was that time the phone rang and, at first,I did not know who my husband was talking to downstairs,but he came up and told me the great,great news.

As soon as I hear the great news,my tears started coming out because I was very very happy and we both knew that the road that come to the positive result was such a long one.Not only that, we had so many emotional/physical stress and all the emotions came out.

 In the kitchen,we hugged and cried for a while.. It was that much of news that meant so much to both of us. While we were doing the natural cycle IVF for the last embryo (Liam), I found a few 4 leaves clovers in our yard. It might had nothing to do with this,but I kept the clovers in between the book I was reading. I still have one. It brings good luck,and we wanted one:-)

 One embryo, one last chance, and we got blessed with him:-)

 I do not know what to say about this. Embryo ,which is “Liam” to be, beat the odd!  Our doctor was amazed for the result knowing it was the last embryo, and it would have been our last try with IVF.

Pregnancy test and beyond..

Now we knew that I was a pregnant, next chapter of pregnancy journey has begun. In my case, I had to visit the clinic about a couple of times for the blood test and ultrasound for the doctor to monitor/assess the embryo (Liam).

I still remember the doctor showed us the image of the embryo (Liam);white dot in the sac my uterus, and said “Can you hear the baby’s heartbeat?”. He did find him/her right away and amazed how strongly growing this little one was. It was still weaker sound just enough to be able to hear if the room was complete silence but we did hear the heartbeat for the first time:) It was mid December,2013.

Liam Dec 12,2013 heard first heartbeat

When we heard his very first heartbeat…

There was no arms and legs yet, but we saw the white spot in the sac that turns on and off as we hear the sound of the heart.

Hearing that heartbeat, I felt more real, and we both were feeling grateful.

That little heartbeat sound was such a strong beat to my heart and it made the big impression on me.

Meanwhile,we had to find the OBGYN we wanted to go to for the rest of the pregnancy weeks after the IVF doctor release us to the regular OBGYN.

Then, one incident that got me worried if I were still fine for the pregnancy-wise; I took Palette out for the potty and the ground was slippery from the rainy weather previously and when she suddenly pulled hard, I fell on my butt.

Then, I had heavy bleeding after that. Therefore, when we went to go see the doctor, I told him about the incident and it made his face white,which made me nervous.

However, everything was good, and he saw Liam was growing at the rate he should. He reassured us for that.

After the positive pregnancy blood test,doctors are to determine if the pregnancy is in the uterus,and embryo is at the appropriate size (growing as it should), the doctor will refer you to the OBGYN in your area.

With us, on the second visit, the doctor said to us that today’s visit will be the last visit for both of us and now we will be seeing OBGYN in our local area next.

All in all, after the positive result from pregnancy test,I got to see him only twice.Then, rest of the pregnancy weeks were monitored by high risk OBGYN and regular OBGYN in our local area.

I was blessed with Liam at the end but, even if I got pregnant, at that time, I was still nervous/worried/scared of miscarriage and all other possible difficulties we may face against. Never ending worries to come…

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Jan 08, 2015 | Comments are off | IVF

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