November 12, 2014

Long time no write

Hi folks,
Sorry I've been MIA for a couple of months!
I've tried to take a break from overthinking things.. so no blogging, & no reading forums on IVF.
I have to say it's helped my mental state a little.

So here's an update:
We've so far had three unsuccessful full stim cycles for baby number two.
For the last one we decided to go for fresh sperm again rather than using the frozen stuff.
This meant poor DH had to undergo another TESE op (& it was a bit more invasive this time due to a different surgeon's technique, & the fact DH is now on blood thinners for his heart condition). He's thankfully all good now though.
Annoyingly, we only found out just after my EC that they were doing a "freeze all" this cycle due to my elevated progesterone levels (someone was meant to have told me earlier, just like we were meant to be told our usual FS wasn't doing the TESE, therefore it wouldn't be the "minor" procedure promised to us... not happy Jan!).

So, here we are about day 11 of our frozen cycle (hopefully). We had 7 eggs retrieved last cycle, of which 2 survived to day 5 & were frozen. I always wished we could have some frosties, now I get my wish.. but not quite the way we planned!

It feels weird to not be busily injecting during a cycle, like something's missing, but it's awesome. I'm not bloated, & I feel more like myself. Hopefully this is a better place to start from.

September 1, 2014

ICSI #5 - PUPO positivity

Our embryo transfer was this morning. I had to bring darling toddler in with me as DP was working, daycare wasn't open yet & we have no family in the state. I initially freaked out when I was given the time of the transfer but the clinic assured me it would be ok to bring DS in with me. And it was. I put the blue hat on him & shoe covers over his boots. There was no point trying to put one of the adult sized gowns on him - he would have drowned in it! He brought his iPhone in & sat on the chair next to me. He's such a good boy. I'm so incredibly lucky! :)

I showered with antibacterial soap earlier (I use it on my face for acne & it was less perfumed than my regular shower gel). I didn't get a chance to wash DS as I had to wake him & then hurriedly dress him to go to the clinic. I put a tiny bit of concealer on my pimples but didn't wear makeup, deoderant or perfume.

The procedure was straight forward. FS said we had one beautifully hatching blastocyst to transfer but the only other surviving embryo was at early morula stage. They'll keep an eye on it but he said it would have to get its act together today to be any good to freeze. Yep. Story of our lives. Fifth cycle & fifth time we've only had one decent embryo on transfer day. But yes, it does only take one & DS is proof of that! He was also a hatching blastocyst so I'm fairy pretty positive.

Now for the 2ww. Fingers crossed the crinone doesn't send me insane (again). I'm going to "try" not to google every symptom as I know they can also be side effects of the progesterone or just in my head. I still don't know what the answer is to getting through this time.. except maybe staying busy. Which is a goid thing, as I'm off to work this afternoon! Right now I'm lazing on the couch watching tv, considering going to bed for a quick nap, then I'll have to pick DS up from daycare. I'm missing him but trying to enjoy the rest.

August 28, 2014

ICSI #5 - Easy EPU

So yesterday I had my egg collection. No big deal, been there done that. Although I have to say I wasn't happy with the nurse this time - when I got up on the operating table & they asked me to put my legs up in the stirrups she lifted my gown up onto my belly so my bits were hanging out in the breeze! I mean I know they will be when they start the collection but usually they wait until I'm knocked out to do that! Can't a girl feel like she's retaining SOME dignity??!

After going home I wasn't in too much pain, just a tiny bit tender in the abdomen. I didn't need any pain relief so it can't have been too bad. I guess that's probably because they only had to poke around for four eggs this time! In my first three cycles where I averaged 10 eggs I was a bit more sore. I woukd take the extra pain if it meant I had more eggs. But alas..

The lab just called with an update & out of the four eggs collected only three were mature & therefore injected. And out of those three only two have fertilised. It's pretty rubbish but that's life. I'm not losing hope yet. I started feeling clucky this week, the first time since having my toddler, so I'm taking that as a good sign. I'm really ready for success now. I'm truly open to a new little one entering our lives & filling us with more love! Bring it on please Universe!!

August 26, 2014

ICSI #5 - Trigger night tension

Gearing up for yet another EPU (Egg Pick Up or Egg Collection) tomorrow.
I got the call yesterday afternoon with all the details about my trigger and hospital admission but unfortunately I was on-air (working in the control room of television news) at the time and missed the call. I realised it was about 4.40pm so I called back to ask if I could speak to someone after 5.30pm as that’s when I’d be free, but nope – they were only available until 5pm! So I had to speak to someone whilst we were on-air.. absolutely nightmare! I was trying to count & animate graphics & concentrate on my job at the same time as listening to a nurse give me important details & jot them down! I felt so rude that I had to keep asking her to wait a second, then get her to repeat what she just said. Then she kept asking me to repeat the details back to her because she was concerned I wasn’t taking it all in. It was very hard to talk back as I was trying not to let my colleagues hear what I was saying as they don’t know I’m doing IVF again. Ugh. I couldn’t call back in the morning as I needed to inject the trigger that night & they wouldn’t leave details on my voicemail.

So after all that, I had a minor panic last night because I was unsure I’d heard the nurse right. She told me to trigger at 9.40pm but not to inject Gonal-f anymore. Then when she asked me what time I usually inject the Orgalutran, 10.15pm, I’m pretty sure she said “you may as well have that at your normal time too”. Of course when I got home after 7.30pm I started to think about it. I’m “pretty” sure they’ve always instructed me to do the trigger at night & not to inject anything else that day. I tried googling things like “trigger and orgalutran” and “last orgalutran before trigger” but nothing was that clear. My interpretation was that the orgalutran shouldn’t be taken close to, and especially AFTER” the trigger injection. I posted the question on an IVF support page on Facebook & one lady responded. She suggested I ring the clinic’s after hours number but she also thought I shouldn’t do the orgalutran again. I rang the clinic and the machine’s message said the after hours specialist was available between 5pm and 10pm. By this stage it was10.45pm. I rang & got voicemail. Starting to stress out a bit at this point I decided to send a text. Straight away the Dr called back & was rather abrupt (I guess I woke him up!). He basically said there’s no point doing the Orgalutran as it won’t stop ovulation after the trigger. So I felt better. But since then I’ve started stressing about ovulating! Did he mean I should have taken it BEFORE the trigger?!  What if I ovulate before tomorrow morning? I just went to the loo at work and (TMI warning) had a lot of CM. As a 5-cycle veteran of this process you’d think I’d know what the hell I’m doing by now! That’s why I’m blogging this extremely boring post – so I can refer back to it next time & hopefully avoid the anxiety! Ha.

Right. I’ll be finished work in about half an hour (10.30pm) then it’s off home to quickly pig out and drink a gallon of water before I have to start fasting at midnight. I have to be at the hospital at 8.10am tomorrow. DP will bring DS and then drop him off at daycare at 8.30am before coming back. He’s on standby once again in case the frozen sperm doesn’t defrost well. At least our usual Dr (FS) should be performing the op tomorrow – last time he was away so there wasn’t anyone familiar in the operating theatre. So that’s a plus & makes me feel a bit better. Only 3 big eggs appeared in the ultrasound so looks like we’re working with small numbers again. It’s like déjà vu. Only this time we’ll be successful ;-)

August 16, 2014

ICSI #5 - Crazy shit. Day 2.

So, again on a whim, I decided to do another cycle this month. Next month will be busy at work and I just found out the Australian Government is increasing the Medicare Safety Net threshold from January next year (2015) which means our out of pocket expenses will increase. So the more cycles I can fit in before then the better. If this one doesn't work I'll probably do one more before Christmas. Probably.

I don't know how I do it, but crazy shit always seems to happen when I start a cycle. First clinic appoint - car battery dead. Running late. Garage key missing. Can't get other car out. Toddler running rampant. Hubby rings right then. Abuse hubby. Blame hubby for lost key & flat battery. Run back upstairs dragging narky toddler behind. Go ballistic. Crack the shits. Find the key in handbag.

Ring clinic. Tell them we'll be late. Back downstairs. Open garage. Buckle poor squirming toddler into car. Take off. 10 minutes late, but all fine at clinic.

Bad mummy & wifey moment. Probably won't be the last.

So last night was my first injection. As per every other cycle, I stress about the time I pick for injections. It has to be the same time every night and has to fit into a break time during my erratic shifts. I study my roster & decide upon 10.15pm this month. But last night, I was still flat out as my alarm went off... in a room full of colleagues, and no escape. As soon as we finished, I bolted to the loo so I could inject. But of course a colleague was walking out with me and insisted upon waiting outside the door.. with other colleagues.. and many members of the public walking by. I could hear their conversations from inside, and hoped to God they couldn't hear me LOUDLY unravelling the plastic bags and opening the plastic container with Gonal-F pen and ice block in. Hands shaking, I rigged the pen & I stabbed my tummy in a panic. Of course blood started pooling on my belly & OF COURSE I was wearing white! Stuffing paper towel under my top I hurriedly packed everything away, again LOUDLY, flushed the loo, washing my hands & dashed out. I'm sure I took WAY longer than the duration of a pee, but they didn't say anything. God how embarrassing! They probably thought I was having issues from dinner or unwrapping sanitary pads or something. Ugh.

To top all that off, the killer headache kicked in first thing this morning. Ah yes, I remember you. And you SUCK! Panadol is not helping. I'm drinking as much water as I can to no avail. This bit really blows. Actually all of it blows, who am I kidding?

My boss has kindly agreed to rework my roster to avoid my calculated Egg Collection date (cycle day 14), but this is MY rough calculation based on previous cycles, and is no guarantee. So this still doesn't alleviate my stress in trying to cause little impact on the rest of my department. My boss & I had discussed taking a week or two off around the collection date this time but that hasn't panned out. My dear & much loved Nan passed away a couple of weeks ago so I had to take time off to travel interstate. If I took time off now it would look too suss and raise too many questions. Maybe next time. I hope my new Angel up there can pull some strings and ensure there doesn't need to be a next time.

I'm just so so immensely grateful I have my beautiful and happy little boy, so I know I am infinitely blessed... but it still feels so unfair to have to face this horrendous journey again to complete our family. Why any of us should have to go through this infertility garbage I'll never understand. But at least I have been, and still am able to use IVF. I know I'm lucky, really.

July 18, 2014

ICSI #4 - All Over

Just woke up & AF came with a vengance.

I feel defeated.

July 17, 2014

8dp5dt - Is this the end?

I've been reluctant to post any "symptoms" during the 2ww in case I jinx myself & end up with egg on my face. But it seems it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Is this the end?

I was awoken up by painful intense cramps the morning of 4dp5dt & thought it might have been implantation. They only lasted a few hours on & off .. something I don't usually experience in a normal cycle. I then started getting backaches, slight nausea, upset tummy, sharp pains just next to my belly button & a really nasty headache that lasted for 2 days from 6dp5dt. Surely these were pregnancy symptoms??! I was starting to feel a little smug. Now I just feel like a mug!

This morning I used a leftover First Response (FRER) HPT from our last cycle. It expired about 9mths ago but surely it would still pick up any HCG in my system? Nope. A pretty definitive & glaringly obvious BFN. I was down, but clutching at straws thinking there's still hope. Too early? Faulty cos it was expired? So I ordered another packet of FRERs with my online groceries to be delivered tomorrow. I could test again tomorrow & see my BFP! But tonight I saw blood. A very faint hint on my panty liner.. & then a few red spots on the Crinone (progesterone) applicator. AF's coming... & she can kiss my ass.

So I had half a glass of wine tonight.. my big FUCK YOU to infertility!

I just don't know if I can do this again. It's shit. It really is. IVF is no picnic. It interrupts & takes over your life. It's unfair. It's painful. It's horrendously expensive. It's emotional. And it's shit.

July 9, 2014

IVF (ICSI) costs round #4

These are our costs so far for this round of ICSI:

Fertility Specialist initial consult: $195 (covered in full by Medicare cheque)

Cycle fees: $9922 paid upfront the day before embryo transfer
(approx $5256 rebate from Medicare - safety net not reached)
$4666 out of pocket

Egg Collection: $250 (private health excess - AHM)

Embryo Transfer: $250 (private health excess)

EC Anaesthetist: ? approx $500 ? (bill to come)

Ongoing frozen sperm storage: $220 per six months

Paid so far: approx $5766

Should be out of pocket: approx $6200 ??!!!

Hoping there's no other bills to come that I've forgotten about! 😱

Transfer day!

And once again I'm PUPO!

We have one morula onboard. The two embryos that had reached the desired 6-8 cell stage in our last update ended up slowing down & didn't have enough cells. The lab will "keep an eye on them" but they're probably no good for freezing. The third embryo that was only five cells at the update sped up & became a morula (not quite blastocyst) by this morning. The FS said it could be that or maybe the cells were so compacted that it was hard to count the cells properly back then. Either way it's our only hope for this cycle. Out of four cycles now we've NEVER ended up with more than one viable embryo on transfer day! I guess a FET isn't an option for us :(

We found out the day before Egg Collection that our FS was in Bali for a conference & wouldn't be there. We had a female FS fill in instead. She was nice but it was a little disappointing. We weren't expecting him to be back for the Embryo Transfer today either but he actually flew back this morning & scheduled us at midday so he could perform it for us. So lovely & kind of him!

So, we came home, ate lunch on the couch in front of the tv for a while, then went to pick up TJ from daycare & take DP to work. Fingers crossed my darling & overactive toddler sleeps this afternoon!!!

Here goes the dreaded TWW!

July 6, 2014

Crinone Hell

Having a bad day.
I'm now sitting alone on a bench in the local park, shitty that so many people & their dogs are here and I can't have a private breakdown! And one dog just sniffed my butt. Seriously.
Go away people! Stop enjoying your leisurely Sunday & feck off!! Go home to your effing blissful lives!
I have a toddler at home who's pining for the dummy & won't effing sleep.
I have a hubby who is ignorantly going about his day getting little outside jobs done & not interested in the war brewing inside.
I have a body going completely nuts from the bombardment of chemicals injected into & squirted up it!
I am going out of my mind & no-one fucking cares.
The world goes on.
And so must I.
But for now I'm sitting alone on a park bench trying to hide the ridiculous & irrational tears welling up inside me.. while hubby is home with our gorgeous (no doubt fast asleep) toddler, probably wondering what all the fuss is about.
Fuck you Crinone!

July 5, 2014

Vag Gel & Wind

Right on cue - I'm plagued by the most offensive room-clearing farts!
Thank goodness hubby is working.. but god save him when he comes to bed tonight!!!
I'm in pain until I release the evil. Ah the joys.

Speaking of joys, I took my first dose of Crinone (progesterone) tonight. Enough said about that (most of you ladies will know what I mean).

1 Day Post Egg Collection

Just got the call that all three eggs fertilised normally.
This is great news seeing as there's only three to start with.
I won't get another call until Monday (2 days from now) with an update on how they're developing.
Fingers crossed they keep dividing away in the meantime!!

I'm feeling much better today. Good enough for a (slow) walk. It's a gorgeous sunny but chilly day outside. Hopefully we can wear TJ out enough that he'll have a big nap this afternoon. DP is working later so I'm home alone with the little darling :)

July 4, 2014

Egg collection day (CD14) ICSI #4 (cycle 1, TTC #2)

An early start saw us drag ourselves & our bloodshot baggy eyes out to the clinic & day hospital for egg collection. Poor TJ had to be woken up & dressed quickly, then rushed into the car with no breakfast or milk. But he's such a trooper. He strutted out of the lift & over to the toy section like he owned the place! Maybe it feels like home to him? After all, he was created there!

After signing a bit of paperwork I was admitted & had to say goodbye to my boys. DP then took TJ to daycare for a few hours. I was led into the same cubicle as previous EC's to get changed into the sexy backless gown & fluffy robe. After about half an hour of trashy mag browsing (seriously who can concentrate on an article knowing your bits are about to be laid out for a room full of people to gawk at!) & a bunch of recited questions from the anaesthetist, I was collected & led down the hallway. I laid on the table, answered multiple questions asked simultaneously by various theatre staff, & had some happy juice inserted through the back of my hand. I was asked to help them get my legs into the stirrups.. oh the indignity! Wish they did that while I was knocked out!! An oxygen mask was placed on my face & I started to feel drunk. Aahhhh that's the stuff!

Seconds later (probably more like 20-30mins later) I started coming to in Recovery. I wasn't in any pain & had my blood pressure and temperature taken by the nurse. She then removed the lovely pad from between my legs. I tried to feel under the blankets for which hand they'd placed the tape on to tell me how many eggs they'd collected. Hmm.. I then lifted each hand up to see if it was perhaps just written on my skin? Nope, nothing. I started to panic. I heard the girl next to me ask the nurses how many she had & they said 10. I then heard the nurses chatting to each other about one procedure being cancelled (which they were happy about) & gathered that was DP's sperm extraction surgery. He'd also had to fast from midnight in case the frozen sperm wasn't usable. I waited until they walked me back to the cubicle & DP came down before asking about my eggs. Three. That's it. Three eggs. Seriously???!!! I'd had about 6-7 follicles on the scan 2 days ago. Did I ovulate & lose them? Or were these not worthy of collection? I guess I'll be asking these questions later. For now I'm just a little depressed.. as well as a bit tender in the tummy.

On the upside, the scientist called me this afternoon to say all (!) three eggs were injected with sperm & were doing "as well as can be expected at this early stage". She also said we actually had three straws of frozen sperm (one was apparently not entered into the system properly - which begs the question - is it actually DP's??? 😁) so we now still have two straws left. This is good news as DP has a heart condition after an attack out of the blue last year, so we're hoping to avoid surgery for him.

So, I know it's just a numbers game but previous cycles yielded 10-11 eggs & we only ever ended up with one embryo to transfer. Starting with just three eggs isn't a great beginning. I'm feeling guilty like this is bad karma from me not being more positive & "into" this cycle. I do really want it to work but I guess I protect myself by being negative & pretending I don't want it as much.

My hopes for any frozen embryos is a bit optimistic at this point I think.. now it's all about at least one making it to transfer day. Please divide away my little ones!!

July 2, 2014

Triggered! (CD12)

I have just given myself the Trigger injection (Ovidrel).
Thank goodness I have no more Orgalutran jabs - they're ouchy!

So I'm booked in for Egg Collection on Friday morning at 7.40am. This is less than ideal as our toddler's daycare doesn't open until 8.30am. Hubby has to come with me to the clinic & wait, as he'll be on standby again for testicular sperm extraction (under general anaesthetic) in case the frozen sperm doesn't fare well after thawing. That was a pain last time, but this time it's a logistical nightmare! We have no family here & the only friends we could call on will be working, AND don't love kids! I couldn't really leave TJ with them.

So.. now I'm trying to find a babysitter. I really wish I'd had him babysat more often now. He's only ever been looked after by my mum interstate, and one lovely babysitter who's just given birth to her third child! I'm feeling so emotional about this! He's quite clingy these days & I know he'll lose it as soon as we try to leave the house! I'm finding it hard to focus on the purpose of all this, the end goal, cos I just feel so guilty about leaving my little guy!

The fact that  I don't appear to have many follicles this time (maybe 6-7) isn't helping my mood. As well as the fact my boss is constantly quizzing me about my availability for shifts. I just want this week to be over so I can be home with my bub & over the pain.

June 27, 2014

Ouch!! (CD7)

Ouch! How did I forget just how painful the Orgalutran injections are????! Those needles are bloody huge! I really don't remember those! I mean, I remember the Gonal-f pen jabs & they're not too bad.. but these new ones I started tonight are torture! My tummy's sore :(

I also had a blood test at the clinic today & the nurse was a butcher. I'm left with a bruise & bright red puncture mark! She was pretty rough during the internal scan too. It was a little "uncomfortable" to say the least. And she kept mumbling during it.. the only thing I could make out was "early days yet" and "only 4 immature follicles". She didn't fill me with confidence!

It's funny how all the hellish details are just erased from your mind when you finally get that beautiful healthy child! I remember it was tough, really tough, but all those stressful hurdles & painful procedures just evaporate when that new little soul fills your world.

I hope I don't have to wait too long to forget again.

June 24, 2014

Time to try again

Well.. here we go again! All aboard the crazy train!!

We've just started another ICSI cycle to embark upon our journey for a sibling for our precious TJ.
He's amazing. Life is chaotic. But there's more love to share.

Watch this space.......