Day 6: The Little Embie that Could!

Good news folks- we have ONE FROZEN EMBRYO & we are so pleased. We have never had any embryos to freeze in past cycles so this is such good news!πŸŽ‰

So of the five embryos they were watching: four made it to day 6 but the other three were behind in development and not considered ‘good quality’.

Only one little embie was frozen today that made it to full blastocyst and was starting to expand before being frozen. It was considered a grade 3CB embryo which means it made it to full blast and the cells that form the baby and the placenta could be seen. The embryologist told me it was of good quality which is all that really matters.

Funny thing is remember in my last blog post how I said there were five embryos remaining and two were delayed at day 3 being only 4 & 5 cells when expected is between 6-10…well our little embie that became our frostie was actually that 5 cell embryo that was not expected to survive. It started off slow but ended up surpassing all the rest! This goes to show never count those out who start off slower or expected to lose- they could be your little engine that could (or in our case little embie that could!) πŸ’ͺ❀

The yellow arrow below indicates whereabouts our frostie was in development when frozen ❄.

Below is a table that my clinic provided to me that shows how a typical good quality embryo should develop (for your knowledge & interest).

So, now those two embies they transferred to me on day 3 should be at the stage of hatching and will begin to implant (hopefully) within the next few days πŸ€žπŸ™πŸ’›.

Mike & I have been trying to keep our minds occupied best we can. The hardest part is the waiting and not knowing. We won tickets to go to the GLOW Barrie and spent a few hours there last night enjoying & having some much needed time together.

Now the long wait. Hope will have good news to share in the next few weeks. But no matter what happens we have had a positive experience at this new clinic and we are very happy we chose to try there for lucky number three. The results show progress in positive ways and I can only be thankful for that and continue to hope. Xo

#ABabyfortheBaloghs #littleembiethatcould #luckynumber3


Day 3: Transfer Day!! πŸ˜

Well we are officially PUPO!!! (Pregnant until proven otherwise). And I’ve decided this time around i am going to be excited until I have a reason not too.

Transfer of our two embies went well today without hiccups. Both embryos were on the high end of where they should be in development at a day 3 embryo stage- they were 10 cell & 9 cell and normal is considered between (7-10 cells).

My 5 remaining embryos will be left to develop to day 5 and any that reach blastocyst stage by then will be frozen. Currently 3 embryos are developing as expected btwn 7-9 cells but two are far behind at 4 cells and aren’t expected to survive. I won’t get an update until day 6 (Sunday) with how many made it to be frozen. The Doctor today felt based on the numbers that at least 1 should make to freeze…hopefully more! We’ve never had any make it to be frozen before so this would be amazing news! πŸ€žπŸ€β„ Sundays update cannot come soon enough!

After transfer we headed back home and I had post embryo transfer acupuncture done to help these little embies grow & stick.

I also participated in the essential McDonald’s French fry 🍟post transfer as recommended to me by my fellow infertility warriors. I am not sure exactly how it’s supposed to help but I figured it couldn’t hurt! πŸ˜‰

We are feeling really hopeful with these numbers and how things have been progressing this cycle. We are hopeful we will have an amazing reason (or two) to celebrate this Christmas πŸ‘ΆπŸ™πŸ¦„!

Found a fortune cookie hiding on my countertop yesterday & decided to open it and my fortune read “All your problems will be solved”. Heck yes!! πŸ™Œ

Thanks for caring & all the prayers. Say a special one for us tonight pleaseπŸ™

Will update with how many made to freeze, if any, on Sunday.

#ABabyfortheBaloghs #thirdtimesthecharm #transferday

Day 1: The Results Are In!

Drum roll please….

The embryologist called and informed us that:

8 eggs retrieved

7 were mature πŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ₯š

7 have fertilized normally with ICSI


Seven is a lucky number they say too!

We will receive another update tomorrow on how these 7 beautiful embryos are developing and time for our transfer on Thursday (Day 3).

As a refresher here are the statistics from last cycle (that failed):

9 eggs retrieved

7 were mature

6 fertilized using ICSI but 3 fertilized abnormally

3 normal looking embryos on Day 1 (same as today)

So, already our numbers have exponentially improved! By this time last cycle we had lost 66% of our embryos and today we are only down 11%. Can’t be upset with those numbers!

Lets hope tomorrow’s update heads the same numbers & good news! πŸ™πŸ€žπŸ¦„πŸ€πŸ˜

We spent last night relaxing and decorating our tree. Hope everyone is having a Happy Holiday season! πŸŽ„πŸŽ

We are hoping for a very special Christmas gift this year ☺🀰.

#ABabyfortheBaloghs #luckyseven #thirdtimesthecharm #ivfnumberthree

Day 0: Egg retrieval Day πŸ₯š

We did it! Survived yet another egg retrieval, #LuckynumberthreeπŸ€ .

It started out quite stressful as there was a car fire on the 400 southbound and we were at a dead stop in traffic with all 3 lanes at a total stop. Managed to get off highway and take back roads that were very congested and 3 more car accidents (hope everyone is ok). Made it about 35mins late to the clinic but all was ok (minus our elevated blood pressures,haha).

I have to say how happy I am to have switched here . The nurses were fabulous and so attentive. The Dr I had was the medical director and she was wonderful. The embryologist introduced herself to me and explained she will call me tmrw and will even try to get a picture of my embryo prior to transfer!

Mike & I felt so informed and kept in the loop which I loved.

The procedure itself was not without discomfort & pain but the Dr was quick & I was heavily medicated. We spent over an hour in recovery where I received IV hydration, cookies & I slept 😴.

Our follicles were slowly growing nicely. Here is a picture from my ultrasound on Saturday (2 days ago) to give you an idea what growing follicles look like. Ideal size for retrieval to have a mature egg inside is 20mm (2cm). Minimum is 17mm (1.7cm). As you can see I had 3 large follicles on the right and 6 follicles on the left but not sure if one would make it large enough and it didn’t.

Now the big news we retrieved πŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ₯š EIGHT eggies.

Amazing considering my diminished ovarian reserve. Tomorrow we will be notified how many were mature, fertilized normally using ICSI & how they are looking. πŸ™πŸ¦„πŸ€ž

Thanks for all the well wishes today & prayers. πŸ™πŸ’•πŸ

Now back to bed i go, haha. Still feeling quite uncomfortable and bloated and sleepy.

#IVF #myivfjourney #mountsinaifertility #eggretrieval #8eggs #thirdtimesthecharmπŸ€ #ttc #ivfwarrior #diminishedovarianreserve #lowAMH #embryodevelopment #infertility #infertilityawareness #infertilitysucks #ttccommunity #ivfsisters #prayingforourmiracle πŸ¦„ #ABabyfortheBaloghs

Third Times the Charm…hopefully πŸ€

I am sorry I haven’t been very active with my blog this past month. I have been really sick past few weeks but wanted to make sure to update you on whats been going on.

I started my estrogen priming beginning of November (while on a much needed short vacation to Las Vegas to see the Backstreet Boys perform with my childhood bestie- the BSB were amazing fyi and they still got it! 😍🎀) for 2 weeks to suppress my ovaries to help my follicles for IVF#3 all grow together and be similar in size.

Then on day 3 of my cycle I went for blood work & U/S & I started Letrozole (Femera) 2 pills for 5 days. This is a horrible drug…makes me have hot flashes like crazy, migraines and made me super emotional and depressed. I had a really hard day on my 3rd day of that medication. I felt helpless, hopeless and alone. But I persevered and made it through the sadness.

Along the way on day 5, Menopur was added nightly which is an injection into the abdomen. I have never taken this one in any of my previous cycles and boy does it burrrrn πŸ’‰πŸ˜–! I am taking a dose in the middle range as this Doctor does not want to flood my system with super high dose hormones like has been done the past 2 times. Also on Orgalutron again to stop ovulation and keep my Luteinizing Hormone low until it is time to trigger for retrieval. The goal here is Quality over Quantity. I have to remind myself of this as it is scary to think I will put my body and mind through all this (and the financial burden too) for the goal of only retrieving 4 or 5 eggs resulting in most likely 1 or 2 embryos. What matters is that those embryos are good quality and the pearl we have been praying for πŸ™.

Today is considered cycle day 15 and my ultrasound showed 5 potential follicles that should be large enough for egg retrieval in the next few days. I have 1 perfect size and a few that are close behind. Then I have about 4 more follicles that are too small and they don’t believe will catch up in size in time for harvest. I am a bit disappointed but need to trust that my body is doing what needs to be done.

Considering how ill I was the past 2 weeks and having to have a tooth pulled due to a major infection; I am honestly surprised my body is doing this well. The Doctor and nurses have assured me that being sick hasn’t affected anything and not too worry. I am to continue to try to stay relaxed and take it easy.

These daily commutes back and forth to Toronto are starting to take a toll. I am tired. I am sore. It takes me about 2 hrs every morning in rush hour traffic to get there on time for my blood work to be drawn followed by ultrasound and seeing the nurse. I am back again tomorrow so will see what the progress shows 🀞.

I had a massage this week and did 1 session of acupuncture . I don’t know if it really helps but I need to know I have done and tried everything I could to make this miracle happen. My hubby has even been on this special sperm enhancing vitamin for the past 3 months that the doctor recommended. At this point i think we’ve tried it all!! πŸ˜‰

So now we wait for egg retrieval day and hope that “lucky number three” is meant to be! Then we have planned to have 2 embryos (if we have 2) transferred 3 days after retrieval/fertilization into my womb to see if gives them a better fighting chance of survival.

It sure would be a Christmas miracle!! 🎁🀰 πŸ’“

Thanks for hanging in with us. I will update with progress as I can. Xoxo

#ABabyfortheBaloghs #luckynumberthree #thirdtimesthecharmπŸ€

Finally some hopeful news!! πŸ˜„

Okay….so today has been a big day! The agonizing 9 week wait to find out if our journey to baby is over or still continuing happened today and it’s GOOD NEWS! Our genetic tests all came back normal so we are good to go with IVF#3! Third times the charm, right!?! ☘

We have decided to try with the new clinic as we feel really confident with our new doctor. She is young, smart, empathetic, and I believe in her. That’s what matters. She gave Mike & I hope again that this could work. I believe in her new protocol and way of thinking…it makes sense to us. And a fresh set of eyes may be just what we need! πŸ‘€πŸ€ž

She wants us to get started right away as she feels enough time has been wasted waiting on results as will be almost 5 months since our last failed cycle. We both agree, we’ve been mentally preparing ourselves for this. Its go time! The plan as of now is I will return to the clinic on day 19 of this cycle which is November 5th for my cycle blood work and to go over the protocol, pick up the hormones and start my estrogen priming for 1-2 weeks. Estrogen priming is used to suppress the ovaries prior to a cycle to ensure that all the follicles, once stimulated with the hormones, grow & develop together evenly at the same time best that they can. This gives you a better outcome to retrieve more eggs, in theory.

After the estrogen priming and my next cycle comes I will start oral Letrozole for 8 days then begin the injectable hormones until the follicles are large enough. Then will be time for egg retrieval again! I anticipate this will occur sometime in the beginning half of December πŸ˜„ Right near my Daddy’s birthday. Maybe this is a good sign πŸ’™.

She also wants to transfer 2 embryos on Day 3 (vs Day 5) this time to see if being in the uterus sooner, the natural environment, will help them to survive and develop. Its worth a shot. Putting 2 embryos in increases odds of twins by 15% but also increases odds of at least 1 of the 2 hopefully developing and implanting. I’m scared for the potential for twins due to my uterus issues (retrograde, tilted & small septum) and I am considered high risk but the doctor feels this is worth the risk and I trust her. We will deal with the extra precautions & complications if that time comes.

Now there is always the chance that the IVF could be cancelled at anytime (which had happened before) if I dont respond to the medications or dont have enough follicles to proceed with egg retrieval. But we are hopeful all will work out. Again, this IVF will be completely out of pocket and funded solely by us- but if the end result is our miracle baby (or 2) then it’s all worth it.

Will keep everyone posted. Thanks for hanging in with us and for all the love, prayers & support. Xo πŸ’“πŸ™πŸ

How Do You Keep Looking Forward?

This is something I struggle with on a daily basis lately…constantly worried about today & whats going on with my body and why things aren’t happening for us when we try so hard. “Why aren’t we getting pregnant? Why won’t this work for us? Why do I have an autoimmune disease? Why hasn’t IVF worked yet? Where will we get the money for all this? Why does this have to be so hard? Why was my Dad taken from me at so young when I need him right now? What will the genetic results come back as and how will this shape our future? Why, why, why?!?”…πŸ˜–
I forget to be hopeful, I forget to look forward to the good that could come for Mike & I. I sometimes forget to be thankful.
Changing your mindframe after going through what we have is very hard. It’s easy to say “look at all the good things in our life and what we have accomplished” but none of that matters (in the moment) when the one thing you desire is basically out of my/our control. We can do everything right but still end in an unhappy end result. πŸ”ΈοΈπŸ”ΉοΈπŸ”ΈοΈ
My goal for the next 4 weeks as we countdown until our gentic results come in is to try and look more forward to the future and be hopeful. To have faith things will work out as they should. πŸ™
To enjoy what we have now. To keep looking & moving forward…one step at a time…one day at a time until we get there. Until I get there…wherever ‘there’ may be as its uncertain right now.
If any of you struggling with infertility or any hardships and have ever felt like I do please let me know. Lets keep supporting each other and lifting each other up. Lets keep our heads above water. I’ll tread water for you as long as I can and I ask you do the same for someone else. πŸŠβ€β™€οΈπŸπŸ’œπŸ€

#womensupportingwomen #infertility #ttctribe #infertilitywarriors #ttcsisters #autoimmune #community #infertilitysucks #infertilityawareness #lowovarianreserve #IVF #myivfjourney #keeplookingforward #justkeepswimming #headabovewater #strength #courage #faith #hope