Our one frozen embryo

Earlier this week at dinner Chris and I were talking and the topic of ‘we haven’t talked about timings for #2 baby yet’ came up.  I talked about the minimum suggested time between giving birth and getting pregnant again according to doctors is after 12 months.  I am not sure I would want to get pregnant sooner than that anyway!  And so I said to Chris,

“well we can get ready for a frozen embryo transfer with our one left in the freezer after a year”.

Chris then said, “But I would like to try and conceive naturally first before doing a transfer”.

I paused, looked at him for a moment and just burst into tears.

I couldn’t explain to him exactly why I was crying, but I had a gazillion emotions running through me at that moment.  It was difficult to process, but here are some of the things running around in my head before I could even get a word out between the tears….

  1.  A reminder that we were not able to conceive naturally in the first place.
  2. It’s so so so unfair.
  3. But what about our embryo in the freezer? How can we leave that behind?
  4. I would LOVE to conceive naturally and believe that our infertility can be resolved and that pregnancy ‘resets’ my hormones (somehow).
  5. We haven’t got to take home #1 yet, I can’t imagine #2!
  6. Aghhhhhh this stuff is just scary to think about right now.
  7. HORMONES HORMONES RAGING HORMONES can’t stop crying, why can i not stop crying???!!!

So Chris consoled me and asked me to talk to him.  Once I gave my nose a good old blow, I started thinking all these things out loud.  We had a long talk about it all, our thoughts, opinions and differences.  But for me the most important thing I wanted to explore was the fact that we have one embryo in the freezer still.  I was unsure what I felt about that, and how we should be involving that into our decision making.  It lead to some general questions about the existence of life and ethics.  Our journey to conceive and the stages we have faced along the way.  We talked about attachment to our embryos and changes over time.

Every month I receive a bill of $60 from my fertility clinic for embryo storage costs. A monthly reminder of what we are lucky to have.  This little embryo was frozen from our first IVF cycle and is the only embryo out of our three IVF cycles that made it to the freezer.  So our frozen embryo is now over a year old already.

Each of the subsequent IVF cycles after our first I have often questioned the logic of pursing another round of IVF when we have one embryo ready to go.  But it was all about an assessment of risk.  Risk that we would prepare for a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) for our one and only embryo not to survive the thaw and have nothing.  So the idea was to get at least another one to the freezer so we could de-risk the chances of preparing for a FET and not having anything to transfer.  It was all about numbers.  But the longer I think about it and further we got into IVF, our embryo is not just a number.  It’s a life we created. Although many argue it’s not really a life as some people consider a life to be.  It’s kind of mind boggling, and I wish I could articulate it in words.

So part of my response to Chris was my wrapped up with my convoluted feelings about our frozen embryo.  Maybe it’s guilt or maybe I’m thinking why the hell are we paying $60 a month if we don’t plan on using it!

It’s complicated and we have lots of time to decide what to do if we decide to try for #2 baby.  But I don’t ever forget about our frozen embryo, it’s existence and it’s strength to survive out of all our others 23 embryos (not including Rocky of course!).  May be it’s a future brother or sister for Rocky.  May be it will never survive the thaw.  But it’s definitely not forgotten about.

 

 

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A little thought

Before I get into this post I just wanted to say….

I received so much love from you all on my last post I can’t thank you enough for your kind words.  Donald Trump might stupidly say that “He knows words.  He knows all the words.” (Please, please America don’t let him be your next president) But actually you guys have all the words and know how to say them just right -for the whole time I have been blogging here on the GPCH your words have meant that I have managed to get through this journey without going insane.  Thank you so, so much XX

OK here is my little thought….

Someday we will probably show our child their first ever photo.  Chris and I have joked that it would be the best photo for a wedding speech.

blastocyst 3BB blastocyst 3CB

But here Rocky is…with his sister or brother that never made it.  This is just heart wrenching and would probably be a bit uncomfortable for some people who twig that we only had one child.  So perhaps we won’t ever show this photo at their wedding, but I will definitely want to show it to them at some point in their life.

I’m not going to lie, I have struggled a little bit with the fact that one of our embabies didn’t make it. It’s been even harder as there are several ladies in my local support group who recently also went through IVF just after me, all of them have found out they are having twins.  And a few ladies on Instagram who went through their IVF cycles the same time as me also found out they are having twins (two are even having identical twins!).

I know that having twins is not easy, but I can’t help but mourn the loss of Rocky’s brother or sister and ask myself – why?  Sometimes I even get jealous of these lovely ladies and I know that is a terrible feeling to have because I am SOOOOOOOO lucky to have one wonderful baby inside me right now.

Infertility is complicated. I read an article that Resolve published an advertised recently on their facebook.  Reading it helped me put into perspective these kinds of feelings I have. I hope you find it interesting too…

infertilty wounds

Read here: “Healing the Wound of Infertility”

The Enhanced 2 Week Wait

It’s kind of like I’ve received my invite to join the pudding club, I’ve completed my application, I’ve done my best to fill everything out correctly, I’ve been thanked for my application and told I will be welcomed, subject to approval!  But there is a pause….no one is communicating with me, my doubts are creeping in.  May be they found something in my application that they don’t like.  May be I won’t be joining the pudding club after all.  This period of waiting is what I am calling the “Enhanced Two Week Wait”.

During this period of time, it doesn’t take much to make me stop and think about what might be.  And when I think about what might be I briefly hold in the tears.  Sometimes it’s tears of sadness and other times it’s tears of relief and happiness. 

With the sadness I think what might happen if we look at the screen and there is no fetal pole or no heartbeat.  I won’t be able to hold those tears back.  The immense sadness will wash right through me.  I  won’t be able to not think about the injections, the pain from the OHSS, the tiredness, the surprising love for someone I have never met….all for nothing.  It will be for nothing with a cruel ending that results in a horrible painful bloody mess.  It will all have been for nothing. 

And then sometimes I’m on the brink of tears of relief and happiness.  With the happiness I think what might happen if we look at the screen and there it is…wobbling around in there – only just the size of a grape, unknowing as to how much it is loved and wanted to be held in our arms.  I will feel relief that it was all worth it; that I am proud of ourselves sticking to the path on this rocky journey. 

I will keep these little thoughts in the back of my mind that will continue to creep every single time I feel a pain in my uterus for the next week, reminding me something is going on down there.  Just 5 more days and one of these opposite realities will come to fruition.

I am just over half way into this ‘enhanced 2 week wait’, and there is absolutely nothing I can do but patiently wait.  It’s been a tough first week being away from Chris in a country where there is a 6 hour time zone difference…picking up the phone to talk has been challenging with the nature of our work, it doesn’t help.  I’m becoming a pro at giving myself these progesterone injections, I even gave myself an injection without icing the area first.  It turns out that it just stings a little bit afterwards so it wasn’t too bad pain wise.

I have had sporadic pregnancy symptoms, which doesn’t fill me with confidence, but I know that this is the case for many women who go onto have successful pregnancies.  I just can’t help but err to the side of negativity. 

Symptoms:

Peeing a lot.  I have been on this plane for just 4 hours and have been to the toilet 7 times already. Boobs.  They don’t like being touched or leaned on (i.e. lying on my front is painful!!) Sorry Chris, no boob touching just yet!! 😉

Nausea.  I have had only a couple of instances of being on the verge of puking, but these were easily resolved as soon as I got some food in me! 

Tiredness.  It has been a hard week with work and travelling to Europe I’ve had little opportunity to catch up on my sleep so I am constantly yawning.  I have even set my alarm a couple of times this week for 10-15 minute PKs (Power Kips). 

Period type pains.  These pains don’t last very long maybe a minute or two and come randomly in waves.

Actually listing out all these symptoms makes me realise that perhaps I am a bit more pregnant than I really thought I was!  In addition to this I am still suffering from OHSS albeit a lot less.  Twisting my torso around or bending down/reaching up still is painful.  😦

I hate to wish my time away in this life, but I really wish it was Thursday already!

PIO on the go

I had a plan!!!! My plan was to give myself the Progesterone in Oil (PIO) injection at Philadelphia airport lounge in between my two flights.  I would get some ice from the bar, put it in the ziplock bag I had packed and ice my backside to numb it.  I would then use the nice clean, usually quiet, restrooms to prepare and administer my injection – there are even sharps containers to dispose of my used needles.  It seemed perfect.

But nothing ever goes to plan in the land of infertility!!! Oh no!!!

My flight to Philadelphia got delayed once we boarded – we sat out on the pan for an hour, then they decided that the aircraft jet engine was actually broken (just as well we didn’t take off then??!) so we headed back to the terminal and de-planed.  Practically all the passengers on the flight were transfer passengers and because I was soooo desperate to pee I ended up at the back and so waited forever in the huge queue to figure out if it was possible for me to get my connecting flight to Amsterdam.  By the time I got to the agent, my flight in Philly to Amsterdam was boarding…so no, I wasn’t going to Amsterdam.  I explained to the agent that I didn’t mind flying the next day – but that flight was oversold already. Grrrrrr.  He was going to send me to Amsterdam via London – and I would need to stay in Heathrow airport for about 15 hours before getting to Amsterdam a day later.

Ummmm no.

So I asked about the possibility of getting to Brussels – my true destination.

After the attacks in Brussels I booked my flights via Amsterdam because there were still no direct flights with my preferred airline – American – from the US to Brussels.  But the agent said…hmmmmm I wouldn’t have thought about sending you to Brussels instead of Amsterdam, but if that is what you want then I can get you there via London tonight.  So I accepted the challenge of the additional transfer in London and decided what the heck, I’ll go to Brussels airport (I guessed it wouldn’t be that bad).  From that point onwards I was just unlucky with every flight and barely made the connections. My plan to do the PIO injection in a nice clean restroom went out the window, I was going to have to do it on the transatlantic flight.

I ended up doing the injection in the teeny weeny aircraft toilet.  Fortunately I got some ice so I was able to numb my backside whilst I prepared the injection.  It was pretty challenging to do all of this in the teeny toilet with no flat countertop space…., plus I just get the general heeby geebies about aircraft toilets (people are just so gross in them and never clean up after themselves -sorry grumpy frequent traveler whining!!!). Then there was the turbulence! Everything went slipping everywhere…the progesterone bottle…the needles…the alcohol swabs! Aghhhh!!!! Finally once I got the injection drawn up and ready to go, I got all flustered thinking about people waiting outside and wondering why the hell I was taking so long!  So it took me a couple of minutes to mentally – wooooohhhhsaaaaaaahhhhhh – breathe – relax.

I waited for the turbulence to calm down and I managed to finally give myself the injection and pierce the skin without any issues.  But of course it takes a few minutes for the oil to be injected because it is so thick…and whilst that was going on the turbulence came back!  I was hopping around the toilet trying to balance on one leg and not tense up my butt and leg muscles whilst the needle was still in it.  Very challenging indeed.

I then remembered it was the day to put on new vivelle dot patches (estrogen) on my tummy, as I was doing this I dropped everything on the floor.  Gross.

But despite all this, I barely had any blood after this injection (impressive considering all the joltyness), and I was super proud of myself for not completely freaking the f*** out.

Having said that….I don’t want to have to do that ever again!! I do not recommend to anyone doing this injection on the go.  I did the Lupron one in the plane toilet before and that was easy compared to the Progesterone.  If I’d been more organized I would have asked my doctor for some progesterone suppositories for the days I am travelling.

Anything to keep this little one growing inside me 🙂

PS.

If you are interested to know – my unexpected trip to Brussels airport wasn’t too bad, but it did trigger some thoughts.  I thought about that day as I went to pick up my luggage.  I thought about how that day there were many customs border staff stopping practically everyone to check their bags as they left the airport.  I recall that how at that time I laughed because I was one of the lucky ones who did not get my bag rummaged through.  But today as I went through customs there was only one man.  I thought about how if I had been stopped by customs that day, I probably wouldn’t have been upstairs in departures when the bombs went off.  It was then weird to walk out of the baggage area to see the boarded up area from where the damage had been caused from the explosions upstairs.  I recalled the images of this area in the media and matched it to what I saw today.  A shiver went down my spine as I tried to find my way out of the airport to the train station.  No starbucks for me today.  The route to the train station today brought us out through the parking garage I had found myself in immediately after the explosions, not knowing where the hell I was or where to go.  Today I found myself thinking back about my whole experience.  It was very solemn…but I was OK.

fierce

What’s infertility got to do with a terrorist attack?

I have been surprised at how many people have commented on my apparent levelheadedness during the terrorist attack in Brussels airport.  Although the absolute fear and terror was running through my mind, my actions seemed logical.  I’m surprised, because I just did what I did – and even I am somewhat surprised at my own response.  However, I think that it is all mostly about an element of luck.  Some people have told me, they believe in some kind of divine intervention (I personally do not believe that, whether god exists or not).  The luck was the third suitcase bomb didn’t explode.  The luck was that I wasn’t closer.  The luck was that the terrorists were ill prepared to carry out a more sophisticated attack.  (Apparently, they had been planning more, but for some reason failed to implement it).  The luck was that I was in the right place and it simply wasn’t my time to die.

A friend of mine made a really interesting comment about the difference between a man and woman’s propensity to take risk.  A woman’s appetite to take risk varies with her menstrual period, where as a man’s appetite for risk remains relatively stable.  When a woman is in her ovulatory stage, she is less likely to take risks.  Therefore, hormones surely have a role to play in risk taking.  So what does that mean for a woman who is going through infertility treatment and jacked up with lots of hormones?  Does this mean that a woman’s propensity for risk is heightened or lowered depending on the stage of their treatment, how different would it be compared to if they were in their normal menstrual cycle?

During the attack, I was on Day 12 of the down regulation part of my IVF cycle, preparing for my upcoming stimulation phase.  I had already been experiencing some of the side effects from these drugs (I wrote about them in my previous diary entry here).  The question I have is – had I not been on these drugs would I have reacted differently to the situation?  We will never know the answer, because we will never know what could have been.  But it is an interesting question never-the-less!

I can tell you that the feelings and emotions I have been experiencing after getting caught up in the attack are not dissimilar to how I felt after being told our pregnancy was not viable.  I’ve experienced random crying over what could have been.  Sadness, frustration, anger and numbness – all feelings that have washed over me in the immediate days past these traumatic events.  I never thought I could ever liken an impending pregnancy loss to surviving a terrorist attack.  But I am, and that is simply how I have been feeling over the past couple of days.  I’ve also experienced the overwhelming feeling of love and kindness from friends and family after these events.  And I mean overwhelming to the point where I have been dumbstruck.

I anticipate that I might attend some kind of therapy after experiencing what I did this week.  The question I have is, why haven’t I been so accepting of undertaking therapy for infertility after our loss and constant failure? If these feelings I am experiencing are so similar, perhaps I should have gone to therapy over our infertility sooner? I don’t know, but perhaps I just didn’t realise the intense emotions and trauma infertility slowly piles up upon us.  Or maybe, the reason is because I feel like I have absolutely no control over a terrorist attack, and maybe I *believe* I have some control over my infertility.  I think my perspective might have changed over the past week; I know some of you wonderful ladies have tried therapy for infertility and swear by it.  Going to therapy doesn’t mean I am weak, it means that I am strong, strong enough to recognise that help is there for the taking.


 

For those inclined…a couple of journal articles on risk taking and a woman’s hormonal cycle:

Variations in risk taking behaviour over the menstrual cycle:  http://people.uncw.edu/bruce/hon%20210/pdfs/risk%20taking.pdf

The influence of menstrual cycle and impulsivity and risk taking behaviour:  http://www.ledonline.it/NeuropsychologicalTrends/allegati/NeuropsychologicalTrends_17_Iannello.pdf

 

Average number of blastocysts per IVF cycle

It’s a really simple question – what is the average number of blastocysts per IVF cycle?  After our failed IVF cycle I posted a status update in my local resolve support group’s facebook page, I explained what had happened with our cycle: 14 eggs retrieved, 11 mature, 11 fertilised, 2x 5 Day blastocysts transferred (5BB & 5CC) on Day 5, 9 still alive on day 5, but 0 were of sufficient quality for cryopreservation.   Some ladies commented how they had similar results with 0 embryos making it to the freezer, and one lady posed the very good question how common is it to have 0 make it to the freezer? Perhaps it is more common than we think?  So it got me thinking…at no point has my doctor said what a typical number of eggs, embryos or blastocysts she would expect out of a cycle for us – the only stats we were ever told was all about our likelihood of a successful pregnancy from 1 cycle of IVF, and ultimately, a live birth.  And of course, that is the only statistic we only really care about, right?  This holds true, until you get a Big Fat Negative (BFN), then the other statistics start to matter and grind at you.

So I looked into it, and asked google – what is the average number of blastocysts per IVF cycle?  But I couldn’t find an easy answer, or at least one that I held great confidence in.  I’m the kind of person who needs to see the supporting evidence, and not just some seemingly arbitrary numbers some random person has posted on a website.  But although I didn’t find any national statistics per se, what I did find, made me feel a whole lot better about our last cycle.

The statistics that the Pacific Fertility Center in Canada are claiming are [1]:

11 – Average number of eggs retrieved

9 – Average number of mature eggs

7 – Average number of eggs that fertilise (approximately 80%)

7 – Average number of fertilised eggs that will form embryos (98%)

7 – Average number of embryos on Day 3 of culture

3.5 – Average number of blastocycts on Day 5/6 (50% of good quality day 3 embryos make it to blastocyst)

It was not clear if this was their clinic’s statistics or where the source of this data came from.  So my confidence is not high in it, I don’t know over how many cycles or patients this average is calculated.  But at least it gives you a flavour of what numbers to expect.  Note, it does not mention average number of blastocysts making it to cryopreservation!

Another clinic, Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago, provides a nice pretty chart of their own statistics, broken down by age for the period of 2003-2005.  First of all my first alarm bell is that is over 10 years old now!  Has anything changed in Assisted Reproductive Technologies in the last 10 years? Hmmmmm.  Anyway, here it is….

ivf-eggs-embryos-babies

Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago’s average number of eggs, mature eggs, fertilised eggs, 8 cell embryos and Day 5 blasts [2]

Their numbers are slightly lower than the Canadian clinic’s…but there could be many reasons for this because, again, there is no clue as to how many cycles/patients this average is calculated over.  This clinic does publish their statistic of how many blastocysts make it to cryopreservation.  And here is the money shot statistic people!!!!

number-embryos-frozen-age

Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago’s average number of blastocysts frozen per cycle in 2010-2011 [3]

Just look at how low these numbers are! An average of 1.7 for women younger than 35 years old.  And this statistic is a little bit more up to date than the ones above – this was for cycles from 2010-2011.

So what is the point of this post?  The point is that we didn’t have any blastocysts that made it to cryopreservation, but we did have 2 blasts that were transferred and 1 that could have been frozen, but they decided it might not survive the thaw.  For our first cycle we had one blast make it to the freezer.  The point is, we had high expectations for more to make it to the freezer, when in actual fact the reality is, we were better than average to have so many good Day 3 embryos and we were typically average with transferring 2 on Day 5. Yes, IVF cycle 2 was a failure, but we were pretty average with our second cycle!!! This doesn’t mean we are less likely to succeed with cycle 3, rather the odds ARE in our favour.

Happy dance Dani!!!

stay the path

[1] Source: http://www.pacificfertility.ca/our-resources/guide-to-ivf-lab-results/

[2] Source: http://www.advancedfertility.com/ivf.htm

[3] Source: http://www.advancedfertility.com/cryo.htm

 

 

Good plan batman

First of all, let me say a big thank you to everyone who showed us support by commenting on my last update.  It has been a really difficult weekend.  Full of emotional roller coasters.  Chris and I have been brought to the edge with our sadness and confusion about our second failed IVF cycle.  I couldn’t reply to your comments without crying.  I am sure some of you who have been there have felt that overwhelmingness.  I read each and everyone one and they mean a lot, so thank you for your support.

Today we had our follow up appointment.  Chris and I prepared for the meeting the only way we know best….by making a list.  We wrote a list of all possible scenarios for ways ahead on this pudding club hunt.  And then we individually wrote down what we felt about each scenario and exchanged our thoughts.  We discussed where there were differences.  It was difficult and emotional to do as we realised that we agree in some situations, but not in others.  It’s OK at this stage that we don’t agree or have the same point of view, but it was bloody hard and we had some very raw and honest conversations.  We used up a few boxes of tissues 🙂  But what was good about this exercise is that we were ready to come to this follow up appointment prepared for whatever the doctor was going to suggest doing next.

When my doctor spoke to me on the phone to tell me the bad news that our IVF cycle had failed she mentioned poor egg quality, I took away bad things from this when I needn’t have.  This was just my doctor’s first impressions report, she hadn’t really looked into my case in detail or reviewed my history.  But this is what she did at today’s appointment.

Our doctor was very positive and believes that our best chance is to try again.  We expected that, but she ruled out egg or embryo donation for us or the necessity for genetic testing.  Our chances are still high more than 50% success.  We will make a couple of minor adaptations to our next cycle with my medication protocol by switching from antagonist protocol to Lupron (Down regulation) protocol.  I am a good responder to stimulation so she believes this may help improve the egg quality.  We will also carefully review our Day 3 v Day 5 transfer options at the time.  I had some excellent Day 3 embryos this time around, similar to my first cycle when I got my positive.  May be my embryos don’t do as well in the culture afterwards.

But before we go into another round of IVF, I need to have a hysteroscopy.  This is a small surgical procedure where the doctor inserts a camera through my cervix to look at my uterus and fallopian tube opening closely to check for any potential damage from my suspected ectopic pregnancy, scarring or inflammation as well as checking for endometriosis and taking a small biopsy for further testing.  So I am scheduled for my procedure in two weeks time!

We have a plan we are both happy with.  I felt a huge relief off my shoulders because our doctor was genuinely positive for our next round of IVF – and we pushed her about it too (well Chris did!!) – there was no BS-ing!   So all things going well after the hysteroscopy, we are looking at an April IVF/ICSI Cycle:-)

Thank you all for sticking with us through this, it has been hard, but you make it all the better!!  XXX

butterfly

Top tips in preparing for an Egg Retrieval

As this is my second round of IVF, I am feeling a little bit more prepared for tomorrow’s egg retrieval surgery.  Here are some tips for preparing….

  1.  Take a day off work the day before Egg retrieval.  Fortunately both times for me it has been a Sunday the day before and so have not been at work.  The chances are you are waddling around by this point, ovaries full of beautiful follicles!
  2. Stay hydrated in the days leading up to and after Egg Retrieval.  Take a water bottle around with you every where (make sure it is BPA free, glass bottle would be better).  Add in the occasional sports  drink, such as Gatorade or Powerade.
  3. Prepare you body to prevent constipation.  Prune juice worked wonders for me last time around.  I tried collace and that just did not get my bowels moving.  I am trying prune juice and green tea the day before Egg Retrieval, just in case this helps.  (I don’t know if it will, but it won’t hurt!).  It’s a mix of the anesthesia drugs, pain killers (if you decide to take the narcotics), dehydration and your ovaries ballooning from the follicles that are leaking in your ovaries that create the conditions for constipation.  Plus if you are constipated, you don’t want to be straining yourself after the surgery.
  4. Pack your bag with some funky happy socks (ask if you are allowed to wear them), trashy magazines that don’t require too much concentration to read (you will be nervous whilst waiting so make it light reading with pretty pictures works well!), water bottle (remember you can’t drink/eat anything before the surgery so don’t forget this), powerade/gatorade for car journey home, with a banana or something similarly easy going on the stomach.  (You are not supposed to eat fried/fatty/heavy food after the anesthetic – it helps with your recovery if you avoid these foods.)
  5. Change bed sheets day before Egg Retrieval so you can snuggle up into nice clean bed sheets when you get home.
  6. Get the hot water bottle/heat pads ready.  I like hot water bottles because they are just that little bit warmer.
  7. Have soft brushed, stretchy, baggy clothes ready, including pyjamas.  Go to surgery in loose clothes…the bloating will be almost instantaneous after surgery you might think that they snuck a pillow into your uterus whilst you were out of it.  Cosy socks – treat yourself to the ones with aloe lined in them, after all you will be in them for 24hrs or so, you might as well make them soft and beautiful whilst you are at it.
  8. Stock up on healthy bite-sized snacks such as grapes, clementines, celery, raisins and pistachios.  Chicken or vegetable broth is probably all you will be able to stomach for lunch, and is easy going on the tum!  But also stock up on a little treat or two for later in the day.  YOU DESERVE IT AFTER THE PAST FEW WEEKS!!!!
  9. Borrow, rent or add to your watch list a completely new season of a TV series.  Because really, the day after you are not going to be wanting to get off the sofa much.
  10. I am also going to be keeping my sanity and avoid thinking every 5 seconds when I am going to get a fertilisation update by knitting, reading some more of ‘Gone With the Wind’ and adult colouring in (meditative colouring in no less!).
  11. Egg Retrieval tips

    Egg Retrieval survival kit!  On the left is what I will be wearing and taking with me to Egg retrieval.  On the right what I will mostly be wearing (pyjamas!), eating and entertaining myself with!!!

Feel free to add your Egg Retrieval tips below!! Share the love!!!

 

Avoiding the Mirror

I have been avoiding the mirror a lot lately.  I look at my face in the mirror, but not my body.  I can’t even look down, when I shave my legs I avoid looking at the area between my legs and boobs.  It’s the part of my body that feels disgusting to me (apart from feet – feet are pretty disgusting to me too).  I don’t necessarily mean that I am disgusted with the way my physical body looks, but I have some strange issues with my stomach in particular.  Both in the physical and emotional sense.  I am slim build, lucky to have a fast metabolism, I don’t have any eating disorders, I love food and we have a good relationship (except for the sugar, sugar and I are always going at it head to head!!).  So this doesn’t have anything to do with me thinking I am fat.

I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and this means that I suffer from random stomach pains and I get terrible bouts of diarrhea.  Certain food and stress triggers my IBS.  My relationship with my stomach has never really been a good one.

The worst issue I have are things touching my stomach – whether that is me, my clothes, the cats or even Chris.  There are times in the day where I cannot bear for things to touch my stomach – even my stomach touching the stomach (i.e. when bending over).  I hate the way it feels.  I have tried to explain it to Chris many times and even to myself, but I just can’t put words to how it makes me feel.  Disgusted is probably not really the right word, but it’s pretty close to how I feel.  But then there will be occasions when I am absolutely OK with my stomach being touched – I am unpredictable, there is no way of knowing if it is OK or not.  It is worse after I have just eaten, but I can often mitigate this by having a hot water bottle on my stomach, this helps for some reason.

The weirdness of not touching my stomach also extends to not looking at my stomach.  I don’t know why, but may be I have so much hate for the pain and grief it has caused me over the years.

Add in the bloatedness from the stimulation drugs from this IVF cycle and the problem perpetuates.  I hate squeezing my tummy ready for the needles, I hate touching it and I hate looking at it.

What will I be like when I am pregnant?  Well from the short period of time I have been pregnant I think this weirdness will still prevail, will it get worse?  I hope not!  For Chris’s sake at least because I know he will be wanting to feel close to the little one growing inside of me!

dani in the mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall…..

 

Preparations for IVF Round 2

This week My nurse ordered my medications in preparation for IVF round 2.    Our doctor did tell us that she might up the stimulation drugs…but I didn’t know it might be DOUBLE 😦 Last cycle I took 300iu Gonal-F and 75iu Menopur.  This cycle I will be starting off with 400iu Gonal-F and 150iu Menopur.

Menopur is the one that frigging burns too 😦  The nurse said to me “Don’t worry, it’s still one injection.”  Well, I guess in that case I should count my blessings!

When I spoke to Freedom Fertility Pharmacy (my favourite people – not!) after telling them I am likely to be starting stims on 7th Jan, the lady on the phone said….”Great, should I schedule a delivery for your medication to arrive the 5th Jan?”.  Ummmm no, that is way too close for my comfort, and after your previous perfomances, I just don’t trust you!! (OK, so I didn’t tell her it quite like that!!).  I don’t need that stress again!

Now….just to wait for my period to start next week!  Fingers crossed all goes to plan.  But for now, this is me signing off the great pudding club hunt for a week of festivities.

Have a very merry and peaceful Christmas everybody!!! XXX