February 26, 2016

Embryo update

Just a quick update.

I thought the clinic were going to call me yesterday afternoon but I didn't hear from them until this morning.

The nurse said of the five eggs collected yesterday, only two could be injected with sperm. The others mustn't have been mature or good quality. Today those two are showing good signs of fertilisation. I start with my first six clicks of Ovidrel any time tomorrow (for luteal support, instead of Crinone thank god!) and they'll give me another embryo update on Sunday (2 days from today). At this stage my transfer, if it goes ahead, will be on Tuesday (5 day transfer).

I stupidly got excited yesterday at the thought of having enough embryos to freeze. I should know better. This is all we ever get and we're lucky to end up with one to transfer. Feeling more than a little deflated. And crampy.

Got to pick myself up & have a lovely day out with hubby today. And cling onto hope.

February 25, 2016

E-day (EPU)

I set off at 6.55 this morning via cab into the city. Luckily the traffic across the bridge wasn't too bad so I was there in 15 minutes. The building is still undergoing repairs so a Genea rep was in the foyer providing lift access to the 4th floor only. After checking into reception I was taken straight through to the day surgery, rather than having to change & leave my belongings in a locker first. Thank god, as I wasn't given a magazine or anything, so I could use my iPhone for entertainment & to contact hubby.

He was at home getting our little guy ready for daycare, which didn't open til 8am. We don't normally take him til around 9.30am so it was a major operation. He did it well but unfortunately his cab was 15 mins late. Either way he wasn't going to make it in time for my egg collection which happened about 8.10am so I had to go it alone, again.

I was escorted into theatre by my FS doctor who pushed the recliner from my cubicle in for me to use later. Two nurses got me prepared & in the operating chair, before my FS started working on getting the cannular into my hand for my light sedation (Fentanyl). He had a false start in my right hand (ouch!) so had to switch to my left. That was probably the worst part of the whole ordeal! Within a minute I started feeling lightheaded & was laid back ready for the procedure. FS inserted the speculum, cleaned me inside, then started administering the local anaesthetic to my ovaries. That was a tiny bit ouchy at times. He proceeded to drain each of my follicles, of which we'd seen 7 on the last ultrasound. I could feel a slight bit of poking on the inside but it definitely wasn't hugely painful - I just took a deep breath & it was over in seconds.

The lovely embryologist, who had briefed me on the procedure earlier, was in the room, looking through the fluid retrieved from my follicles. She told me they found 5 eggs so my FS removed everything from my vajajay & finished up. I was given a moment to regather before being helped into the recliner & wheeled back to my cubicle. I was given tea, toast, biscuits and Panadeine. The embryologist came back in to tell me they had 4 good eggs to work with & would call me later after they cleaned them up, thawed the sperm & injected them (I'm having ICSI). FS came in to check on me & discuss the next steps. I asked about doing a 3 day transfer if we end up with only one embryo, seeing as this may be our last shot, but he wasn't particularly keen on that scenario. He didn't think it would make a difference to the chance of success, and in fact would prefer to save us the angst of enduring a TWW for nothing. Anyway, he was happy to discuss that later once we know what we're working with.

I'm still waiting for a call from the clinic (my advice: have a nap as soon as you get home.. I'm now ready for a nap but at 3.49pm, there's a good chance the clinic will call the minute I fall asleep!).

Update to follow...
*crossing fingers*

February 23, 2016

Go for launch!

Another BT & date with the dildo cam this morning (thankfully only about 8 women waiting this time) - and we counted 7 follicles, 2 on the right and 5 on the left. Of those there are three good ones at about 19.5, 19.5 and 18mm. Endo thickness has risen to 8.1. I'm stoked! It's our best yield in about the last 4 cycles. God I hope they all have mature eggs in them & that hubby's frozen sperm hits the mark!

The nurse rang about 4.30pm (I was getting worried they'd forgotten about me!) to say I'm booked in for my egg collection at 8am on Thursday - cycle day 17. So tonight I'll have the Trigger injection (Ovidrel) at precisely 8pm. This morning was my last dose of Luveris, Gonal-f and Cetrotide. Thank the Lord!! My belly looks like a pin cushion! I feel so bruised & bloated, my tummy is still upset now and then, and I just feel blah! 

So we're go for launch!

It's really scary just how positive and hopeful I feel. Dangerous even.

February 22, 2016

4th anniversary

So on this very day 4 years ago, we drove to the clinic, met our doctor in a sterile room wearing funny hats & robes & shoe covers, and "picked up" our future child. Of course we didn't know that this would be our child.. we hoped, but after one unsuccessful ICSI cycle and the second resulting in a miscarriage at 9 weeks, we were a little nervous & cautious. It took me a long time to get over the fear of losing that pregnancy. I just had to make it to my 6 week scan, then I just had to make it past 9 weeks to last longer than my m/c, then I just had to get to the 12 week scan so I could announce it, then I just had to get to the 19 week morphology scan.. once that was all clear, I was happy but not content yet. I think once I'd made it past 24 weeks (the so-called safe point) I really allowed myself to enjoy being pregnant.. I started "looking" pregnant & embraced my blooming body. I loved being pregnant... everything was amazing to me, even with all the aches, pains & the not-so-pretty symptoms. I lapped it up. I didn't want it to end. It was something I feared I would never experience in my lifetime.. & something I wasn't sure I'd get to experience again.

This week we hope to get another shot.

After about 15 (?) more disappointments, I wish I could say we're numb to the process. Unfortunately I still dream of that little bubble in the screen turning into a huge part of my life. I don't think hubby feels the same. He doesn't allow any real hope to creep in. I get it. He's protecting himself, it's how he copes with this crazy, artificial world. But I need the hope. I couldn't put myself through all this without it. So we battle on.. & hope we win the war.


UPDATE: After waiting in an even busier clinic this morning (well, actually outside the clinic, in the corridor, as there was no room) for 1.5 hours (!!!!!) I finally got my ultrasound and blood test done. I have to say I felt really sorry for all the nurses & sonographers.. they were flat out & all patients were pretty peeved with the ridiculous wait times. Anyhoo, the scan showed 7 follicles & a 7mm lining. The nurse called before lunchtime to let me know that my FS was pretty happy with 3 of them at 17mm, 16mm & 14mm. He wants me to go for another blood test & scan tomorrow morning (kill me) and I might be having the pickup op on Thursday or Friday (I'm hoping Thursday!). I don't think my endo thickness is great so I'm a bit worried, and trying to research ways to naturally increase it. It seems orgasms & exercise are the order of the day :-) 😝

February 21, 2016

CD13, 10th day of stims

TMI warning!!!

Ugh... SUCH a dodgy tummy today! :-/

Yesterday my stomach was rumbling really loud at work & I just thought I had a bit of wind from something I ate.. but then I had to rush to the loo last night.

Then this morning was my first opportunity in FOREVER for a sleep-in - I'd demanded that DH look after DS in the morning for a change so I could get some much-needed rest. BUT.... I had to get up & go to the loo. I was not well. I crawled back to bed after doing my injections at 8.30am & tried to get more sleep but at first I was in too much pain - stomach cramps, headache, nausea, - then that started to subside but my little guy was making a racket in the lounge & the neighbour's boys were stomping around upstairs so I gave up. Mind you, I still enjoyed lying around in bed until 11am.

I lazed around on the couch but eventually I had to get ready for work as I started at 2pm, training up for a new role. This was NOT the best day for me to have to concentrate. I was sweating for the first hour or so but luckily I came good. Then tonight the diarrhoea struck again. 

I remember this happening last round & I was freaking out about my egg retrieval. It must be related to the medications. Fingers crossed my blood test & ultrasound show some serious progress so I can have my egg collection soon & stop these meds. Plus my belly is getting sore from the 3 injections a day & all the bloating!

IVF clinic comparisons (Australia)

Someone just posted this link on an IVF Facebook group I'm in & I thought it was really useful.
Sorry, it's only for Australia.. hopefully there's similar sites out there for other countries.


It's worth noting, though, that with clinics that appear to have multiple locations in the one city, e.g. Genea in Sydney, some clinics are only for blood tests and ultrasounds. You usually have to have an initial appointment in the CBD (or main location) with a nurse to sign up, go through and collect your medications. You may also need to have your procedures (egg collection and transfer etc) in their city day surgery. So make sure you keep that in mind when choosing a clinic based on location, and ask these questions.

For us, IVF Australia was much more convenient as everything was done in Greenwich & they had an (albeit small and poky) car park. Bump also did everything in Mosman & had a great car park, plus they had a courier deliver all your medications to you. With Genea, I get my monitoring in St Leonards but everything else requires a trip to the city on public transport which I find a bit of a pain (no car park, even for day surgery pickups, although there's VERY limited street parking out front).

That's just my comparison on convenience. As you'll see on the website, IVFA & Genea are the most expensive with Bump bulk billing most things. Bump wasn't for us as they provide quite standard treatments & I needed a more "out of the box" approach after so many failed cycles. I think a lot depends on your specialist also. My FS at IVFA was great, got us pregnant twice, but after the birth of our son, just kept using the same protocol despite no change in results. We moved to Genea for a new approach & they have great success rates. The FS I went to is well known for second opinions & has tried me on a couple of different drugs.. I guess if that doesn't work then at least I'll know we tried everything.

Hope this helps!