IVF Diary vol III: 10 -14 Apr 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Wait and Hope Phase Day 3 (i.e. the bit between Egg Retrieval and Transfer!).  PM Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

Medical procedures undertaken. Egg retrieval – I wrote about it in a separate post here.  Basically the procedure went well, but I was in pain immediately waking up from the anesthetic.  I had Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) by the time I got to the day of Egg retrieval, so the pain was to be expected (according to the doctor – I was oblivious).

Any results? 17 Eggs retrieved, 12 of these were mature, and 10 of those fertilised.  The clinic’s protocol is that if you get 7 or more fertilised eggs then they aim for a Day 5 transfer.

So when I woke up from the egg retrieval, the doctor tried to explain to me the symptoms of OHSS and that I need to watch out for certain potentially dangerous symptoms – such as shallow breathing and vomiting.   Apparently she explained all of this to Chris in a whole lot more detail whilst I will still recovering, which was a good thing, because my exact recollection of her words were shadowed by the pain I was having in my abdomen!!!

I put together a nice little chart showing how for this cycle my estradiol levels sky rocketed in comparison to my previous cycles and what we got out of them.  Remember, we are trying for quality not quantity!!!

estradiol results.jpg

What are my symptoms?  The day of my egg retrieval surgery (Monday) and the day after (Tuesday) I was practically in bed for most of it, or sedentary on the sofa.   I was suffering with gas (farts and burps galore!), pain in  my abdomen particularly above my belly button and below my lungs.  The pain killers really weren’t helping much with the pain, they just caused constipation, so I gave up on them.  I could barely eat a plate of food.  I ate small portions of soup and bread, I tried to eat salad, but that filled me up after a few bites and made me feel nauseous. I couldn’t even drink much water/gatorade my tummy felt like it was about to puke all the time.  Wednesday I braved work because I had to get up and move around.  Mentally I was fine, but the lower half of my body was not playing ball.  So I left work after lunch to work from my bed instead because all I needed was to lie down propped up.   Lying down completely flat and sitting upright/standing weren’t particularly comfortable, but hunching over a bit was OK. I went to bed last night swearing that if I was not better in the morning I would be calling the clinic for an ultrasound.  Well despite a crappy nights sleep, I did feel a bit better once I got up.  So I weighed myself and measured my waist.  No change – but I was still almost 8 inches wider round the waist and 5lbs over my normal weight.  I wasn’t getting worse – just not any better, I decided not to call for an ultrasound.

This morning we both waited until 0800 before getting on with our lives because this was the time that the clinic would have called if we were to go in for a Day 3 Transfer, just in case some of our embryos weren’t surviving.  But they didn’t call, and we breathed a sigh of relief.  Although we know from our last cycle, that this doesn’t mean we have good quality embryos waiting for us on Day 5.  So without any updates on their progress until the day of our transfer, all we can do is hope they keep growing strong.

How do I feel today? I was feeling really down yesterday about my OHSS symptoms and frustrated with my body.  I am not a good ill person.  I was pretty grumpy at Chris too.  On Tuesday I decided to enlist the help of my friends and gave this status update on facebook:

“Please send us a happy thought for us as I tuck myself up with a hot water bottle, drinking fluids and electrolytes and eating salty food as I try to ward off the symptoms of ovarian Hyper stimulation syndrome so that we can transfer our embryos this week!!! Anything to make us smile would be greatly appreciated! Post your favourite funnies below! (Although not too funny because my tummy hurts!!!)”

In the spirit of National Infertility Awareness Week‘s theme #StartAsking….I decided to ask for help from our friends to help us get through this rough patch!  I am glad I did 🙂  I received many funnies…and gave me a smiley warm feeling inside that my friends were thinking of us.  They say laughter is the best medicine!

Also, if I am honest with myself I am nervous that we have one less embryo than from IVF cycle 2….but I must remind myself QUALITY not QUANTITY is important!!!!

What’s next? Our Embryo transfer is scheduled for 0700 Saturday morning!!! Yikes!!  I can’t wait to be PUPO – Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise 🙂  Oh and I need to do this progesterone in oil injection on my own.  *GULP* my mountain, my nemesis :-s

The Final Countdown!!! 



*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal), 5mg Melatonin at bed time and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF Diary Vol III: 07-09 Apr 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Stimming phase: day 9.  AM Lupron 0.5mg (5 units) injection.  Today is TRIGGER DAY!! WHOOP WHOOP!!!

Medical procedures undertaken. Monitoring vaginal ultrasound and Estradiol blood tests check 3 on Thursday & 4 today, Saturday!

Any results? Uterine lining 13mm and several follicles >21mm, a few more at 19mm and some smaller ones between 11-18mm, I’m not surprised I’m feeling so sore and bloated! They are much bigger than any of my previous cycles!

What are my symptoms?  Wow I am ready for these eggs to go.  I am feeling much more bloated and sensitive in my ovaries than any of the previous cycles.  Headaches and tiredness galore.

eggs out.png

How do I feel today? I am feeling positive.  I’m feeling excited.  I’m feeling ready!!! I’ve had three days off work keeping myself busy with fun things like shopping, knitting and baking!

Today at a party I was playing with a little girl and someone who I had just met a few hours earlier asked me “so when are you planning on having one of your own?”  I turned around slightly surprised and replied to him in front of everyone in the room, “hmmm soooo in about 9 months time!!”, he said “Oh, umm, wow” taken aback at my response, “You are trying now?”  I said “Well, yes, as of next Saturday I will be pregnant…..we are going through IVF!!”.  Everyone in the room looked a little unsure and shocked at my bluntness!!  Then I got a whole sea of “Oh Congratulations!!” “That’s awesome!!!”.  It’s funny how open I can be about it all now.

What’s next? Trigger tonight at 9PM and then egg retrieval surgery is on Monday 0630 AM!


The Final Countdown!!! 



*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal), 5mg Melatonin at bed time and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF Diary Vol II: 26-28 Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.  I am taking baby steps in learning how to inject the progesterone myself.  Last night I held the needle and hovered it above my skin but cried, well sobbed… and begged Chris to do it.  I realised that I had never actually watched this huge needle go in before because I have always been lying down on the bed face down.  So the first step was watching it break the skin.  He checked for blood, then I took over from Chris and injected the oil so I know what it feels like and I took the needle out.  There are definitely some challenges with injecting yourself and reaching round at the right angle – fortunately I am pretty flexible (thanks yoga!).  We will do the same again whilst I build my confidence up! baby steps….!!

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

What are my symptoms?  My recovery from the Egg Retrieval surgery has been incredible!  Compared with last time when I was practically crippled with pain and constipation I am in a way better place.  The runny/dribbly/itchy nose and continuous sneezing has started to wear off.  I treated the symptoms with nose saline spray (with aloe) and antihistamines.   I was only constipated for about 1.5 days, and for someone who poos 3-5 times a day this wasn’t insignificant! But again, it was no where near as bad as last time when it was 3 days.  I don’t sleep well when taking the progesterone injections or the estrogen patches, I’m not sure which is the culprit.  I suspect it’s the progesterone because I remember being like that when I was only taking the progesterone suppositories for the IUIs.  I woke up very early this morning with some sharp tummy pains, the kind you get from being very hungry.  OK enough whinging, really, I am in a good place!

How do I feel today? I guess technically we are in the 2 Week Wait. I’m getting nervous that I am too positive now!!! Although last night I had a dream that I had to knit my embryos, and I dropped the last stitch, which meant I dropped an embryo on the floor and I had everyone looking for it!!! Don’t pscyho-analyse me too hard ;-p I went back to work on Wednesday and people were surprised to see me in good health because I had originally booked the whole week off as sick leave based on my experience last time.  But it wasn’t needed!

Any results?  Out of the 14 eggs that were retrieved, 11 of them were mature.  Out of the 11 mature eggs all 11 fertilised successfully!  This means an automatic go to Day 5 Transfer space!!!  Our clinic doesn’t provide updates on the embryo progress unless things are going badly.  We haven’t heard from the clinic and today is Day 3, so we are assuming things are all good.  Our next update on how many made it to blastocyst will be on Saturday morning when we go in for our Transfer!  It’s really strange because I know so many other clinics offer daily updates, but I’ve come to the conclusion that ignorance is bliss.

What’s next? Day 5 transfer is scheduled for 7AM this Saturday :-s who needs a lie-in when you can make a baby the good old test tube way!

Weight. Aghhhhh. I can’t even….

Waist. Seriously bloated and look pregnant.

Boobs. Getting bigger by the day – someone is happy about this! Not my bra, that’s for sure ;-p

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 The sun has been hiding.  I think that the whole sun thing has no bearing on my fertility considering the amount of sun I got in August last year when we went through IVF the first time!

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF Diary Vol II: 25 Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Some cocktail of anesthesia drugs, x2 tylenol the nurse gave me before the Egg Retrieval procedure.  I have avoided the pain killers so far.

Medical procedures undertaken. The Egg Retrieval!!! My appointment was at 0630 AM, so we got up nice and early at 0500, I actually slept quite well, I thought it might be a bad nights sleep with nerves, but it wasn’t.  The nurse picked us up from the waiting room, she exclaimed “Oh I know you guys!!!! You are French!!!” (We thought she was teasing, but I found out later she wasn’t and she actually thought we were french).  She said “Oh I am supposed to be just bringing the patients up today….but….I’ll sort you guys out!!”  She took over from the other nurse so she could be with us.  Haha, I think she actually just loves Chris 🙂  She was very sweet.  Anyway, we were number 2 into the surgery room this time (out of 5).  I was feeling pretty relaxed about it all, knowing vaguely what was about to happen.

The nurse got the Intra-Veinous drip into the back of my hand with no problems (because my hand has nice straight veins!!), it didn’t hurt at all.  It was cold in the ward, I was wrapped up in lots of blankets but my right hand just wouldn’t get warm because of the drip running through it.  We waited about 40 minutes or so, and even got a game of cribbage in.  I was made to go pee.  Chris was called to do his part for the day, and then it was my turn – the anesthetist gave me something that started to make me feel woozy, I was a lot more aware than last time around, so I tried to take a good look around.  I was shuffled over to the operating table and was given something else, then zzzzzzzzzzzzz I was asleep.  I don’t think I was awake for getting my legs into the stirrups this time!!!  30 minutes later I was waking up with the nurse asking me lots of questions.  I was talking random crap about how nice they were.  The nurse continued to monitor my vitals (blood pressure and heart rate), I was made to sit up, then finally I was made to go to the toilet to pee for her to check it.  There was a teeny bit of bright pink blood, but not much.

Chris helped me get dressed and I was taken to my car in a wheel chair.  I was feeling woozy, but no where near as much pain as I experienced last time around.  In fact I was wondering if the local anesthetic was taking longer to wear off.  I am sat here now 6 hours later, and I have some pain, but not half of what I felt last time.  However, I do have a very very drippy sore nose.  I think the oxygen tube must have damaged my nose somehow, or the anesthesia drugs have caused this.

What are my symptoms?  Really not too bad apart from the runny, dripping nose.  I am taking it easy on the sofa, but I haven’t needed to snooze yet and my tummy is tender, but not extremely painful.  So overall I’m grateful!

How do I feel today? Super relieved to get today over with, I’m feeling very positive!!!

Any results?  14 Eggs retrieved!!! That is really much better than I expected.  Last time we got 9 of which, only 6 were mature.  So I am hopful for 9 mature eggs this time 🙂

What’s next? We will receive our fertilisation report tomorrow morning.  Then hope for a 5 Day Transfer – this is our goal.  But of course we will do a 3 Day Transfer if things aren’t looking promising.

Weight. Not even looked at it.

Waist. Continually growing.

Boobs. NSTR.

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 None.  I’m tucked up on the sofa, hopefully tomorrow I will get out for a short walk.

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

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!!!


IVF Diary Vol II: 23-24 Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Stimming phase: Days 9 & 10. PM: Saturday AM: cetrotide, Sunday PM: Ovidrel (the trigger!!!).  I did the trigger injection myself and decided to record it and post the video to my personal facebook page #thisiswhatinfertilitylookslike. (the video is at bottom of my blog post :-))

Medical procedures undertaken. Monitoring appointment – ultrasound and blood test.

What are my symptoms?  Tiredness – afternoon naps have been required!!!! Nausea that comes and goes.  Sunday, I have felt a little bit better than I have done over the past few days, but the ovaries are starting to twinge with odd pains here and there :-s These eggs are ready to go!!!

How do I feel today?  Excited.  Nervous.

Any results?  My follicles are looking great.  Randomly, in my right ovary all the follicles look the same size and shape.

“My good English eggs are ready!!!”

(The Dr’s words…not mine!!! Every single time I have seen him he makes a reference to my Englishness)

What’s next? Egg retrieval Monday 0630 AM!!!! Trying to mitigate any potential mild OHSS symptoms like I got from last time.

Weight. I haven’t weighed myself, I need to do this before the surgery so I can monitor OHSS.

Waist. My waist is 6cm larger than the same time last time!!! Whoops!!!

Boobs. NSTR.

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 None.  It’s winter.  It’s cold out there.  Oh and we were like the only city in Virginia to get a pathetic amount of snow, it was mostly rain for us! I am pleased so it hasn’t messed up any of this round of IVF.  I hope other women didn’t face problems with the snow storm who may need to travel from further way.

VB Snow Storm

The snow storm wasn’t quite so apocalyptic as it was in other parts of Virginia!

Fun Activity to keep Dani from going insane. It will be time to relax and recover, so no specific fun activities.  However, I am quite excited to watch Orange is the new black – I have a lot of catching up to do!!!!

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.


IVF_Diary_Vol1a.pngMedication(s) administered and dosage(s).
2 injections: (AM) Cetrotide 0.25mg, (PM) Ovidrel – HcG trigger shot (yippeee!).

Medical procedures undertaken. Ultrasound and Estradiol blood test, Chris came along this time.  The ultrasound was very uncomfortable with all the pressure building up in my ovaries.  Today’s appointment was with one of the senior doctors who I had not yet met.  The ultrasound seemed to be just a brief check that everything was to his satisfaction before he decided when I will trigger – Monday or Tuesday; this time the nurse wasn’t recording the follicles.  The doctor asked me what I was planning on doing this weekend…I said “nothing!!”.  He said he thought that was a good idea, perhaps I could just about manage some shopping (Chris was behind me shaking his head, miming ‘Nooooooo!!’).  But really, I’m not a shopping kind of gal anyway.  He also told me I should drink lots of water or gatorade (2-3 litres) to keep myself hydrated.

How do I feel today? I am super pleased no more menopur or cetrotide injections!!! Those medications are just AWFUL.  Just one injection this evening, and I will be drug free until Monday! I’ll take that 24hr break!

What are my symptoms? I struggled with falling asleep last night because I like to sleep in the ‘recovery position’ and that was almost impossible as my ovaries are very painful.  I even woke up once from the pain.  Today I am still ‘waddling’ and feeling just a little bit sorry for myself.  It’s a pain I have never experienced before.  It is kind of like the pain after being punched in the stomach and been winded (if you know what that feels like!!), I also just feel generally ‘heavy’.  It has been a glorious sunny day, my mum is visiting, we had plans to spend the day on the beach and all I really wanted to was lie on the sofa and watch TV.  Not really like me at all 😦

How does Chris feel today? He is pleased the injections are over (well for now anyway), he is sad that my tummy hurts.  He bought me some flowers to cheer me up today.  He also bought me some cat fishing bait for when I am in bed on monday.  What is cat fishing bait I ask you?  Well it is a roll of crepe paper party streamers…I think his idea was that I can ‘bait’ the cats to sit on the bed with me and keep me company.

Any results? Today the smaller follicles on the left had caught up, but they are now at 16-18mm, which is just where they need to be.  There isn’t an official count, but I know that there are at least 15 follicles in total.  I have nothing to compare it to, so as long as the doctor is pleased I’m pleased!!! I don’t know my estradiol results yet.

What’s next?  Chris will administer the Ovidrel trigger injection at 10PM this evening in time for my egg retrieval procedure on Monday 7AM! Nice and early :-s

Weight. NSTR

Waist.  Despite my little bloating around my ovaries my waist has amazingly stayed the same size throughout the stimulation phase.  I think I am lucky, but I have been good about not eating too much crap despite my cravings.

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 I managed to get out for a short walk to the beach and around the neighbourhood – about 45 mins to soak up a little bit of sun.

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.