@Mrs. A

@Mrs. A

BabyDance
BabyDance

April 9th, 2011, 10:28 pm #1

Did you do co culture with any of your Cornell cycles?
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Mrs. A
Mrs. A

April 9th, 2011, 10:57 pm #2

That was one of the reasons I left Cooper and went back to Cornell.

So real quick, I was with a local RE for 2 cycles, moved on to Davis/Cornell for 2 cycles, then moved on to Check/Cooper. First IVF there was BFP but chemical. Having some renewed hope that I could get PG, I figured co-culture could be the bullet and so I jumped back to Cornell.

But given the wait list with co-culture I couldn't get biopsied right away. So I cycled (#3 with Cornell) in the meantime without it (BFN). But by the time I finally did my endometrial biopsy I was having really terrible response to the stims and after cycles (#4 and #5) that didn't make it to retrieval, I hung up the dancing shoes and left co-culture on the table. Presumably my endometrial cells are still somewhere in their lab.

Subsequent to that I knew of a few other ladies who did Cornell co-culture and the anticipated embie quality was not there (and no BFPs either).

It's a toss up but if I was throwing my Hail Mary - I think I'd do it. But knowing what I know now, I'd go in with more reasonable expectations. Unfortunately, the price tag is nothing to sneeze at either!
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BabyDance
BabyDance

April 10th, 2011, 12:06 am #3

I'm sorry to hear what you went through with co culture. They seem to have gotten me in fast for it, so I'm wondering why it's such a problem sometimes. You know they set me up for it this Tuesday, which is just 5 days post surge (which for me is probably 3DPO), but I ovulated really early this cycle (I think because I started baby aspirin). I just read Spandy's study that it's a much higher success rate if it's done greater then 5 days post surge. So I called Avery to see if I can switch it to Thursday. I just feel like then it's much closer to when an embryo would actually end up there in a natural cycle, and that would be the right time to do the culture. I hope she isn't pissed, but I just feel Tuesday is too early. I have mixed feelings about it, but willing to try. I know you say you haven't seen success with it, but there are many stories online of it helping.

I read through your list of IVF's. Wow you've been through a lot. I hope you are feeling well, and glad you are out of this hell. Good on you.

My plan is to do this one at Cornell, and if it doesn't work, back to Check for natural cycle monitoring or just OPK like crazy (I guess I should try the mucinex??). Unfortunately, since I'm out of town, I just find it so difficult to deal with getting the right answers for what to do each cycle with Check, I guess because I'm not physically there. We have MF, and I just can't seem to get someone to advise me what to do to TTC naturally in between IVF. IUI's are a total bust, because the counts are low. We are going to a urologist to see if there's something to do, because I really would rather just keep trying naturally, but it feels pretty hopeless. Check just says it should still work, but I don't see how with low counts.

I guess I decided on Cornell this month because of my age (40.5), and just feel like I didn't want to regret not trying the almighty Cornell. I was with Check for 5 months, and will just return, if needed.

One thing I can say about doing Cornell is that my protocol is completely different then what they usually do with anybody, so I'm glad for that, since there aren't that many Cornell successes over 40. Sch1star is a rarity, it seems. I'm not sure if you saw my post about my acu telling me Davis had a 42 year old get pregnant with twins on 75 Menopur, that's it. That's what made me call back Spandy. So I'm doing 150 Men with EPP. That's what he would agree to do, with coculture. I'm really nervous the priming will suppress me, but he insists. Who knows, some people do get a better response with it. Anyway... thanks for responding, and I really hope you are feeling great, and thanks for giving a little hope when needed. XO BD
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Mrs. A
Mrs. A

April 10th, 2011, 1:00 am #4

I know that feeling of desperation. God knows I felt it on many occassions. And when Dr. Davis saw little chance, if any, for success, I felt pretty low. And thank God I hadn't heard that story about the Davis 42 yr. old when I was cycling, because I would've jumped off the GWB! Good for her though! I wonder what her stats were (other than age)?

I think that if he'd come up with a different protocol for me to try I may have stayed for another cycle. But the last protocol I used (Clomid with 150 Gonal F and 75 Menopur) was the end of the protocol rope for him which is why he cycled me 3 times with it. I had a good rapport with him and he was always very amenable with my requests. But I requested trying several options re: protocols and he rejected the more "experimental" ones like HGH.

Obviously it's easy for me to Monday morning quarterback a lot of decisions I made BUT, the bottom line, is that at the end of the day I can say I tried the "almighty Cornell"...and gave it a hell of a try at that. They are a good clinic and I do think that since you have the opportunity you should give them a shot. Just try your best to keep a very level head with the cycle.

Also, I'm glad that you're trying to push out the biopsy date. I hope that works out for you! As for the quick appointment time...who knows, maybe with the Passover and Easter holidays coming up some women decided to sit out a cycle and hence the openings? Regardless, glad you got in because that's half the battle.

Even though I'm in NJ I cycled as an OOT patient with Cooper (I wasn't willing to do the 1.5 hours each way). Somehow I was blessed by the Cooper fairy godmother because I swear on my life that there's not a single negative thing I can say about the OOT process.

As for the Mucinex, I had to LOL! I hope it can be that easy for everyone!! But if doing natural cycling, why not give it a shot.

Oh and one thought...IF, and I pray NOT, you end up back at Cooper, maybe ask for a phone consult with Dr. Cohen. She is trained by Check and he speaks highly of her and just recently a Check OOT patient had a callback with her and found her to be very helpful and responsive.

Wishing you tons of luck with Spandy and Cornell. Just know that you really are giving it a great shot!

Oh - and one last thought - if you do find that the EPP oversuppressed you should have a bit of a clue fairly early on. You can request to pull the plug on IVF, do TI or IUI instead, and wait to do the cycle on the following month without EPP. But hopefully none of that will be necessary because the golden egg and sperm will meet on your fluffy bed of endometrial cells and fall in love and make a perfect embie!
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BabyDance
BabyDance

April 10th, 2011, 3:07 pm #5

You did give Cornell a hell of a try. My acu told me about her patient, just a month or so ago, 42, FSH 30, 40, and 100, got pregnant with twins with Davis on just 75 Menopur, no priming. That's what made me call Spandy back and beg for the same thing and we came to the agreement of 150 with priming.

I am in a very bad place, my DP has a 14 year old, and it is just so painful to think I may not make it through this with a child. I have 4 sisters, 3 have children. It's very very hard on me, and he has MF. I am having a hard time thinking I would catch that egg if he was ok, but he's not. That's the answer I can't seem to get properly handled with Cooper. How to handle the MF. The OOT monitoring doesn't bother me, but I can't get a confident answer from someone as to what to do. If this fails, I will start again with them, and I know Wendy in the Andrology lab at Cooper was willing to talk to me anytime. But, it still was never clear as to what to do.

Mrs. A - I read through your whole history, and I know you went through hell, but is there anything in particular that you really think helped? Supplements, or anything? Did you ever see a difference in quality after adding the ubiquinol? I've been taking it, but the only thing I think that has made any difference so far is the baby aspirin and I think I feel better with DHEA. Did you take DHEA?

Thanks for the tip about Dr. Cohen. I will keep that in mind.

As far as the EPP suppressing. I will be so pissed if that happens, since I had to skip a cycle. I said it to Dr. S, that I was afraid of that, and he kept saying no, no... but, it seems to happen all the time.... so I don't know how he can deny it...

Anyway, I really hope they don't give me a hard time about pushing the biopsy two days. I would just feel much more comfortable. I get scared they will think I'm nutty! But, it's my friggin 15,000 or 17,000 or whatever it's going to be, and my life!!!

As always, hope you are feeling well, and thank you for helping out... it is much much appreciated. I'm so sorry you went through what you went through, but you are coming out on top!! XoXO BD
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Anonymous
Anonymous

April 10th, 2011, 6:26 pm #6

because obviously that is low stim...and not the go-to normal "mantra" for Davis. How many follies did she make and/or embies transferred?? Are they fraternal or identical twins?

Are you on baby aspirin now? Please be sure to discuss this with either a nurse or Spandy right away. I did the baby aspirin thing but Davis ONLY allowed me to take it in the LP. and Check was also adamant about not taking it in the stim portion of cycling. Spandy may say "no prob" but IMO it's important that he know you are on it prior to undergoing retrieval.

And you are really putting me on the hot seat huh . I did take CoQ10 and Ubiquinol in large doses, amongst a slew of other supplements. Even after suffering through gobs of disgusting Royal Jelly paste (before I switched to pill form) and then stopping after a few months, I still continued the CoQ10/Ubiquinol. All I can say is what I said to another gal on here recently. I can't make a direct connection but what I saw was that my AFC went down and I had zero improvement in egg quality...assuming you are defining egg quality by day 3 embie status. If you want to focus on egg quality alone and make an assumption that the Ubiquinol would/should help...here's what it got me after months of continuous (and expensive!) usage.

My last Cornell retrieval
11 cell, 5 cell, 4 cell

My last Cooper retrieval (this one was the cycle immediately preceeding my natural BFP)
11 cell, 4 cell, 3 cell

As Dr. Schattman at Cornell put it to me..."the embies are too fast and too slow".

I have no reason to think that my natural BFP evolved into some gorgeous 8 cell embie BUT after our exchange last night...I got to thinking, maybe co-culture could have made a difference. Since I can only assume that I produce crappy embies based on my retrieval results...maybe the fact that the conception took place naturally inside me really did help?? I do know that when my DH and I met with Cooper nurse Marie to thank her for her help in my natural BFP, she mentioned that sometimes the IVF cycle process can disturb the uterine environment and maybe for me that was the case???

Anyway, by the time I was moving on to DE, I had stopped all supplements altogether except I started two: Vitamin D and B12 shots. I knew I had low levels of Vit D based on my Nov. 2009 physical. At the time the dr. recommended I take a supplement and I did but for whatever reason I was never really good about being consistent with this one supplement. Go figure! I would suffer through that Royal Jelly crap, gagging, and yet I was haphazard about Vit D. I guess in my mind I thought that somehow I was compensating with natural sun exposure? I don't know. But the bottom line is that when I went for my 2010 physical in November, my Vit D levels were even lower than the prior year. That's when I got VERY serious about the supplement and I ran out to CVS and bought Nature Made Vit D and started 2,000 units per day. I realized this was very important for my health, regardless of TTC. Especially given that my mom's Vit D levels are basically zero and she has to take prescription Vit D medication. Then the other thing I did was take B12 shots. My DH suffers from bad allergies and as a result, fatigue, and he's always taken B12 shots. B12 is important for cell energy and cell division and I reasoned that given that I had poor division with my embies that maybe B12 shots could help with that?? I am no science head, but that was my reasoning. And since I knew that there was no harm in taking the shots I felt comfortable to proceed.

As for your $$$, that's right damn it! It is YOUR money. However you earned it or came across it makes no difference...it's YOURS and you deserve to make sure it's being spent properly on the folks you hire to help you get a take home baby. So who cares what they think. Just know that Avery is very nice and I'm sure she will help you out as much as she possibly can in re-scheduling.

I'm also sorry you are feeling stuck in a bad place. This crap can suck the living daylights out of anyone. But you are trying your absolute best. There's nothing more you can do than try. And are you able to come up with a back-up plan? Maybe of DP's sperm is MIA on day of ER you can have back-up DS available? Is that an option?
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BabyDance
BabyDance

April 11th, 2011, 1:07 am #7

She had 3 embryos transferred. It was after 10 IVFS with Zhang, Check, and 2 with Davis. I am not sure if they are fraternal or identical. Good question. I know, crazy! The acu said she was a physician, so part of the reason Davis put up with her (thanks a lot!).

I am on the baby aspirin now because I had read that DHEA thickens your blood and it's good to take them together along with acu. I was planning to stop the DHEA at stims, and now that you are saying this I will probably stop the aspirin at stims as well. I know others have taken up to 2 days before retrieval. I am convinced I ovulated early this cycle because of it. But, I did have the first 5 day cycle I've had in years. It was just right. So I wanted to stick with it as long as possible. I'm not sure if I want to even bring it up with Spandy. He's been a bit rough with me. Not too chatty. The nurse had told me to stop everything already.

As far as the ubiquinol and such. I'm almost done the bottle. I was thinking of getting another one, but I may not. I don't really think any of these things make a difference, to be honest, except the baby aspirin, DHEA, folic acid, Vit D, IMHO. I have some leftover CoQ10 - I will just take that and stop everything at stims, except maybe the Vit D and Prenatal, and extra folic.

I have to say, since you had 5 cycles at Cornell, I would have been curious what co culture would have done. Makes sense what you are saying about the natural environment. It seems there are just some that don't do well with IVF and then succeed naturally.

A bit nervous to talk to Avery tomorrow - really want to move the biopsy based on my early ovulation. Just a gut feeling. I hope she understands and that they can do it. If not, I guess I will have to just do it. Going tomorrow morning for the bloods. I hear it's a lot.

I do not have a back up for DP. Did you mean in case his sample isn't good? It seems to me that it's not going to be a problem with IVF/ICSI. It's natural that I'm so worried about. I'm hoping we can get the script for Clomid this week. He has been taking Fertailaid.

Thank you so much for your input. It really is helpful to talk to you.

XOXO BD
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