Posts Tagged ‘IVF’

 If you have been following my blog, I am telling a story about myself and my marriage to my husband, the father of  my son J.O.  If you want to start from the beginning please read my post called Another story begins . . . ,  Hard times: a need to relocate . . . ,  There are good people in the world . . . ,   A place of posterity . . .  and  Chicago and a time of crisis . . .  or to learn a little bit more about my son, read:   And then it begins .

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We stayed in Chicago for a little over two years.  During that time I had a job offer from a consulting company that was too good to ignore.  The offer was a large increase compared to my salary that I was getting at the bank.  Initially I turned the offer down because they were only going to match what I was making currently at the bank.  Then the owner of the company flew into Chicago to meet with me and convince me to come on board.  When we met, she had increases the amount and I accepted the offer. 

The only drawback was that the job location was in Columbus, Ohio and I would have to commute back and forth.   There was a crew of people already there working on upgrading an application which supported the servicing of mortgage loans.  Within that crew there were two people who I had worked with in Texas.  The owner indicated that I was not going to be working on the same project.  Instead, I would be testing an application that manages delinquent mortgage loans.  The set up of the job was working ten days straight and then get four days off.  They provided accommodations and the expense for commuting back and forth to Chicago. 

My husband and I were in agreement about doing this consulting work, which would be a big help, especially since were paying the mortgage, taxes and insurance for my parents.

So off I was to Columbus, Ohio.  Upon arrival I got a rental car and then found the apartment that was assigned to me.  It was pretty nice.  It was a fully equipped apartment, which was at no expense to me.  The next day was my first day at work.  I connected with the two individuals that I knew, and they introduced me to the management that I would be working for.  The manager had a group of business analysts and testers in her department.  Their job was to ensure that all technology development work met quality standards.

In my first meeting with the manager she indicated that this ten days on and four days off arrangement was not going to work.  She wanted me there five days a week.  Well that threw a wrench into my plans.  At this point I had no choice.  I had resigned from my job in Chicago and I had to accept the arrangement requested, even though I wasn’t happy about the change.

After commuting back and forth two or three times, I realized that it was not worth the hassle because it provided me very little time with my husband.  So, I contacted the owner of the consulting company and I told her that since the working arrangements had changed I was going to relocate my husband to Columbus, Ohio and we would shut our residence in Chicago down.  Luckily for me, she agreed.  She also agreed to pay for the moving of my belongings.

So, here we go, relocating again.  At this point we put all of our belongings into storage.  We only took necessary items with us, and what would fit in our car.  We stayed in Columbus for almost three years.  Originally my contract with the mortgage company was for six months, but they kept extending it and I was put on many different projects.  The company treated me like one of their employees and valued my experience.

Besides having a great job, over those three years the consulting company annually had a company get together.  The first year it was in Florida.  In between meeting we saw some of the sights in Orlando.  For entertainment they provided tickets for Disney World and we also went to a dinner theatre.  The second year the meeting was held on a cruise ship and we went to Nassau.  The third year it was held in Florida again.  Once again Disney ticket, a swamp air boat tour, and a tour of NASA.  The benefits with this job were pretty sweet.

Meanwhile my husband was creating a new company that exported goods to West Africa.  He had an investor, the product, the processing plant, and investment funds.  In addition he found a partner that was going to be responsible for getting purchase agreements for the sale of the goods.  My husband’s responsibility was to create a processing plant in the U.S. and obtain the product, process it, and send it to West Africa to fulfill purchase orders.  The business was pretty straight forward and our intent would be that I would quit my consulting job and then instead manage the processing operations in the U.S., along with my husband.

By the fall of my last year at the mortgage company.  The location for the processing plant had been identified.  The structure needed to be modified, but we planned on starting business in a section of it until the modification were complete.  At this point we had a green light for the business. 

So we started the discussion about how I would depart from my current job, and then join the new company.  Our plan was for me to work through the end of the year, and after the holidays give my resignation notice. 

In December it occurred to me that in January I was turning forty years old, which was our deadline for trying to have a baby naturally.  We hadn’t been successful yet. You can read my post called Job, jobs. Sometimes they get in the way of life . . . or not? which has the details of the whole baby situation which eventually led to in vitro fertilization (IVF).  The income from the consulting job gave me the ability to save enough money to pay for the IVF process. 

Coincidently, during the process of setting up the processing plant for his company, my husband met a gentleman who had a daughter that had just given birth to twins as a result of IVF.  This is how we got a recommendation for a specialist for IVF.  So the decision was made I would resign in January, and we would relocate to the location of the processing plant which was close to the clinic that had the IVF specialist.

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If you have been following my previous posts, I am continuing with a description of how J.O., my son, came into my life.  Read my previous posts to review the story from the beginning.

I can not really describe our excitement when we had reached this moment.  Probably the best description would be exhilaration.  We were very close to successfully having a baby or babies.  Up to that point in time our situation was considered to be a hopeless dream.  My emotions were already all over the place because of all the injections. Add to that the exhilaration we were feeling at this stage in the IVF process.  It is at this moment that your thoughts begin to describe the current circumstances as being miraculous.

 At this point, the specialist reminds us that this is the critical stage of the process and that we needed to treat it very seriously.  He stressed that we should follow all of the procedures and recommended precautions.  This sounded pretty scary. Our exhilaration quickly changed to somberness (I’m not sure that is a word, but I am sure you understand it.).  It was obvious the jubilation we were feeling was much too early.

After the embryos were transferred to my uterus and after laying flat on my back for an hour or so, the procedure was to continue supplementing my system with progesterone.  The goal of this is to create a good environment for the embryos, which increases the pregnancy chances. Once again this comes with body aches depression, and mood swings.  I couldn’t tell you if they used synthetic progesterone medication or natural progesterone.  One of the risks of synthetic progesterone is the possibility of birth defects.  It is also true that using natural progesterone is not a guarantee for having a child without birth defects.

Besides supplementing my system with progesterone, the specialist recommend:

  • no heavy lifting for 48 hours
  • no strenuous physical activity
  • no tub baths or swimming for 48 hours
  • no douching, tampons or using a bidet
  • no alcohol, smoking or recreational drug use
  • no intercourse and no orgasms (this stays in effect until you can see a fetal heartbeat via ultrasound or you have a negative pregnancy test)

Unless advised otherwise, you can:

  • return to work immediately (assuming it does not require heavy lifting, physical exertion or being submerged in water)
  • engage in light activity (housework, driving, shopping)
  • travel
  • engage in sexual activity other than intercourse for your partner’s pleasure – no orgasms for you! (this stays in effect until you can see a fetal heartbeat via ultrasound or you have a negative pregnancy test)

We were then sent home and the specialist said he would see us again in one month.  At that time he would determine if I was pregnant.  Waiting one month was one of the most stressful times.  Plus there were so many mixed emotions.  You didn’t want to get overly excitement, especially since the percentages of success were not in your favor.  At that time the success ratio for a woman who is 40 years old was 6 to 10% chance.  The odds were not good. 

More to come later . . .

If you have been following my previous posts, I am continuing with a description of how J.O., my son, came into my life.  Read my previous posts to review the story from the beginning.

At this point we are at the first pinnacle of the IVF process, which was the fertilization stage.   Fertilization in the IVF process can be done in a number of ways, but in our case the lab technician put viable sperm into the lab dish containing the viable eggs.  The resulting embryos are allowed to grow and divide in the laboratory for about two days, which is sometimes referred to as incubation. 

Then we hit another mile stone in the IVF process, which is the transfer of the embryos from the lab dish to the uterus.  The number transferred depends on the age of the woman, the quality of the embryos, and the success rates of the clinic. More embryos can mean a better probability of success.  On the other hand, multiple embryos transferred also increases the risk of having a multiple pregnancy. Any then multiple pregnancy comes with increased risk of miscarriages, premature labor and premature birth.  It is also true that if there is more than one baby high blood pressure and gestational diabetes are more common.

In our case the specialist transferred four embryos into my uterus. It was not our decision.  The specialist made the decision.  He explained that we wanted to choose the healthiest embryos which were the four that were implanted.  It was at that moment that the thought of having multiple babies became very real to me.  I wanted a baby.  I knew that IVF could result in multiple babies, but the reality of that did not really hit me until I was pregnant with the four embryos.  I now realized I could have “babies.”

More to come later . . .

Considering what I have been describing in my recent posts, a situation that has been in the news in the last year comes to mind.  Yes, I am talking about the Octomom.  Many of you may be sick of hearing about it, but I just have to say my two cents worth.

I really can’t find anything good to say about the whole situation except,  any child brought into life is a cherished moment, and the children of the world are really gifts to all of us.  But .  (Dramatic pause) You know there had to be a but here.  But what kind of life will these innocent children have? 

I first of all believe the doctor who was involved was totally irresponsible,  and he should have his medical license revoked.  He was careless.  He implanted 12 embryos into Suleman. We should have the confidence that he can no longer repeat this type of situation.  In addition he should be forced to help support what he created, which was eight innocent children.  I believe he should support the children to give them the best life possible considering the circumstance and  especially since he played the role of  “master chef.”  He doesn’t deserve the title of doctor any more.  I also believe the doctor’s main motive for this whole situation was “show boating.”  In his sick little mind he assumed this situation would be regarded as something that is remarkable and become a notorious event.  Notoriety would then mean more publicity, which in turn means more patients, wich means more money in his pocket.  Vanity and greed are close companions  What a disease.

Now we come to the Octomom herself.  I really don’t understand her motive other than the same motivation as the doctor.  Eight babies bring notoriety, which brings new opportunities.  The new opportunities then evolve into more money in her pocket.  She definitely was not in the circumstance of being desperately wanting a child.  She already had children.  I also think we need to stop using the reference of “Octomom,” because it is just adding to her notoriety.  Instead use her name, Nadya Suleman, and she will soon be forgotten. 

I really don’t have any sympathy for her.  In fact I am somewhat enraged about her.  She has created a hopeless situation for those eight children.  Let’s also stop referring to the children as “the eight children” or the octuplets.  Their names are:  Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariya, Makai, Josiah, Jeremiah and Jonah.   Their lives will be affected forever.  And then on top of it all,  there are Joaquin, Diego, Wesley, Willow, Aria and Caleb who are the six siblings of Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariya, Makai, Josiah, Jeremiah and Jonah whose lives will also be heavily impacted by these circumstances.

Did she have a plan?  Sure.  How much money have the tax payers contributed to paying the expenses of this family? How much donations and assistance from volunteers did she use that could have been used by others that are in need.  And then there are the appearance on TV, product endorsements and who knows what else.  It really makes me angry.  But.  ( no dramatic pause) Didn’t expect that one.  Did you?  The children are here.  They don’t deserve the situation they are in as a result of decisions that were made by an irresponsible doctor and a sick woman.  I truly wish there was a way that the Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariya, Makai, Josiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Joaquin, Diego, Wesley, Willow, Aria and Caleb could be helped without helping Suleman.  That would be the best punishment for this woman (formerly known as  Octomom).