Our Frozen Embryo

It doesn’t seem fair that you existed in this world for 5 days, but we pressed the pause button.

We have frozen you in a moment in time, but we don’t get to meet you for a while yet.

You are known as the power of life, but we pay $60 a month to keep you just so.  It’s such a small cost in comparison.

You made it against all odds to grow strong, to be the strongest as you could in just 5 days, but we needed you to wait a while whilst my body repaired itself.

It’s been two years of knowing you, but we don’t know what the colour of your hair is meant to be, whose eyes you are meant to have, whether you have your father’s smarts or your mother’s craziness.

Will your sister ever get to play with you?  What do we tell her if you don’t get to play together? ….And if you do, how do we tell her that you have been in this world longer than her? It’s a mind blowing thought.

How can we ever make a decision not to meet you?  How do we make a decision instead that would result in us giving you to some researcher that will never think of you in the way that we do.  How do we make a decision that you are better off not with us?

I tell myself that you sing to yourself ‘The cold never bothered me anyway….It’s hard to imagine you with your own personality.  Your own you.  But we try to keep it clinical because that’s how we can cope, but it’s hard to not let our minds wonder to happiness and completeness.

Your existence in itself is both awesome but a challenge.  I wish it wasn’t a challenge, but it’s not so simple.  I wish we could look into that magic crystal ball and it tell us that you will be fine, it will tell us that you will fight to be here with us and you will win. We will win. The world will win to have you with us.  It would tell us you are small but mighty.

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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.

 

 

IVF Diary Vol III: 14-16 Apr 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Transfer Day!!!!  PM Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

The past few days Chris has been giving me my progesterone in oil injections because I have been too sore to turn around and attempt to give one to myself in the behind!  Last night I prepped the medication as per usual, I iced my backside, then usually I go lie on the bed face down ready for Chris to inject, but this time I decided to secretly attempt to inject it myself!  I stood with my side facing the bathroom mirror (which I didn’t actually use in the end). I held the needle like a dart, but it’s very difficult to get a true dart like action when doing this to myself! There was no hesitating this time (I must have tried this about 10 times last cycle).  Rather than ‘dart’ it in, I placed the needle on my skin and pushed a little – it didn’t break the skin! I couldn’t feel it because I had iced the area anyway, so I pushed harder.  You definitely have to push that thing in a whole lot harder than you might think!!!  Anyway, it went in and I started to inject the oil.  Chris walked into the bathroom as I was doing this and for a second ignored me…then realised what I was doing, I hadn’t told him I was going to do it!!!  He was super impressed!! After I took the needle out I realised that there was quite a lot of blood with this one – typical!!!  I hadn’t got the gauze ready.  I felt a little dizzy, but not too bad.  I put my heat pad on the injection site as usual and gave Chris a high five!  Can I give a high five to all my lovely supporters who have cheered me on with this injection!!!  You helped me do it! Thank you so much!!!

Medical procedures undertaken. 5 Day Embryo Transfer!!!!! I was very nervous that we would arrive and the procedure would be cancelled because I was still feeling the OHSS symptoms.  We arrived at 0700AM at the clinic and we were second in line – there were only two of us patients in the OR today.  Learning my lesson from previous transfers I did not drink anything when I woke up and ensured my bladder was as empty as it could be by the time I arrived at the clinic.  I started sipping my water about 40 mins before they took me in.  They recommend drinking 24oz, but seriously my bladder can barely hold 12oz and with the OHSS the past few days I have only been able to drink about 8oz at the most before needing to pee.  Once I was in the OR the doctor told us we had two beautiful embryos to transfer today and one potential to freeze.  Once I was in the stirrups, the doctor placed the speculum and the other doctor used the transabdominal ultrasound on my tummy. OH MY GOODNESS it hurt!  And this time not from a full bladder!  The Doctor exclaimed ‘Oh yes, you do have super enlarged ovaries!’ I just laughed out loud because I could tell him that without the ultrasound.  Anyway, the canula tube that the embryos would be transferred by was inserted into my uterus and we were ready to go!  The embryologist checked my identity, and went back into his lab and showed us the embryos on the TV screen, confirming they were ours – one of the blastocysts had started to hatch since he took the photo earlier in the morning (a new thing the clinic does!!!!  Very cool because before Chris would snap a pic of the TV screen with his phone!).  At this point I was crying because of the pain from the ultrasound!!! We watched the embryos on the ultrasound screen ‘arrive’ into my uterus 🙂  We had the same doctor do our transfer for our Positive result last year…not that this should make a difference…but….this is a good sign!!!!!

Any results?  The two embryos we transferred were graded 3BB and 3CB (Here is a useful link to find out more about blastocyst grading).  There is one blastocyst that might make it to the freezer (FINGERS CROSSED!!! This would be amazing so it can join our other frozen embryo!!!) Sadly the other 7 embryos are highly unlikely to make it to the freezer 😦

blastocyst 3BB blastocyst 3CB.jpg

The one on the right is the 3BB the one on the left is the 3CB –  we haven’t decided on a name for them yet!

What are my symptoms?  Still suffering with OHSS, but the important thing is that it is not getting worse.  Now we have to hope that it doesn’t get worse if I get pregnant (OHSS can either appear or get worse as hCG levels increases once you actually get pregnant)…so we are still on the watch.  I am really getting bored of not being able to do anything other than a gentle walk – and that is a short distance gentle walk too 😦

How do I feel today? I was feeling really anxious last night about today’s transfer and I did not sleep well at all.  I had awful nightmares about the Brussels attacks too.  I woke up from them and couldn’t stop thinking about it for about an hour or so before I fell back asleep.  Today I am feeling relieved that we had at least two to transfer and all those emotions came bubbling up in the form of tears as we left the clinic – a true mix of happy, scared and pained feelings!

BUT I am PUPO! (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise) and for that I am truly grateful.  We will be over the moon if this one blastocyst also makes it to the freezer.

What’s next? The two week wait…..eeeeeeek!!! To pee or not to pee (on a stick)…..that is the question!!!!

The Final Countdown!!! 

160416_IVF3_Calendar_Countdown.jpg

 

*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: 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!!! 

160414_IVF3_Calendar_Countdown.jpg

 

*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.

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

 

 

IVF Diary Vol II: 31 Jan – 1 Feb 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.  I still have not mastered injecting this thing myself, but getting used to seeing the needle going in and injecting the oil myself.

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

What are my symptoms?  I have had some aches and pains around my ovaries.  I am also quite tired, mostly because I have not been sleeping overly well since starting the progesterone.

How do I feel today? A little stressed with work situation at the moment.  At work as we were trying to sort some issues out amongst the team, and I was sat there consciously trying to remain calm, breathing through my nose and exhaling through my mouth slowly and consciously.  That worked for the morning, the afternoon I was just plain sad about work.  Someone who I barely know came to find me after a meeting and asked if I was OK, I seemed a bit sad and not my cheery self.

Any results?  At 5pm my phone rang with the clinic’s number, I couldn’t think why they were calling me.  The nurse answered the other line in a somber voice.  She had bad news.  Our 9 embies didn’t make it to cryopreservation.  So, no frosties this time around.  I tried hard not to cry on the phone, and burst into tears at my work desk as soon as I got off.  I cried in the car on the way home from work, trying not crash through the blubbering tears and snot.  We are gutted.  I am grateful we managed to transfer two at least.

What’s next? Beta HcG test will be 12 days from now :-s

Weight. NSTR.

Waist. NSTR.

Boobs. NSTR.

*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: 29-30 Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.  Remember I was taking baby steps with self injecting the progesterone?  Well, I have not progressed any further, in fact I probably regressed.  I am really struggling to pull back the needle to check for blood and keeping the needle still, then I freak out when the needle is moving around in my butt!!! I have yet to take the plunge with putting the needle in myself.  I am feeling pretty miserable with my lack of progress. I’m not going to give up, but I’m feeling frustrated at myself.

Medical procedures undertaken. 5 Day Embryo Transfer!  Our transfer was scheduled for 7AM on Saturday, so we were up super early again.  I learned my lesson from last time around.  No tea before the procedure.  Usually I am a real grump without my morning cup of tea, but as tea is a diuretic I decided to avoid it this time.  I also didn’t drink anything until I arrived at the clinic. For our first IVF cycle, in addition to tea, I also drank 3/4 of the recommended water to take 30 minutes before the procedure (24oz) and I was painfully busting to go to the toilet.  So, now knowing my bladder size a bit better, I decided to drink just a third of the 24oz recommended water (and no tea).  I was a little nervous it wouldn’t be enough, but the ultrasound clearly showed my uterus (Dr also commented on the severity of my retroverted uterus as if it was a surprise!).

As I got onto the table ready for the transfer procedure the Doctor gave us a run down on the status of our 11 embryos.  This time, she showed us the report (last time the Dr just told us we had 2 eight cell embies).  We had not been given an update since the fertilisation report so I was very nervous!!!  Amazingly, all 11 embryos were still alive.  We had three blastocysts, graded 5BB, 5BB and 5CC.  The other 8 embryos were still only 9-5 cells.  They were going to wait one more day to see if they would catch up.  When I said ‘so this means we will have at least one to freeze?’, she didn’t seem particularly confident that we would have any.  But I will remain hopeful that the rest will catch up!!  We were transferring the best two blastocysts we had, and I am happy with that!

We have named our embies Petrie and Spike…can you guess why we ended up naming them this?

ivf2_blasts

Introducing Petrie & Spike – our Day 5 Embryos – now on board!  (We think that weird stickie looking thing is a scratch on the petri dish – that or I will be giving birth to some stick man)

The Dr prepared me for the procedure, she washed out my ‘baby house’ as she called it, then practiced inserting the catheter, everything went smoothly!  Then the embryologist came to confirm my identity, he went back to the embryology lab to show on the TV screen in our room our name on the petri dish and then a zoomed in picture of our embryos.  Then he came back in the room with our embryos ready to be transferred.  The Dr quickly did the transfer as we watched on the ultrasound monitor the liquid with the embryos in it go up into my uterus.  Chris later described it looking like a ‘shooting star’.  I thought that was a lovely way to describe this!  I was wheeled back to the recovery room and I had to lie down for one hour before they would let me either pee or leave!!!

What are my symptoms?  I think the estrogen and progesterone are starting to kick in and I had a good old cry last night.  It wasn’t helped by my failure to do my own progesterone injection.

How do I feel today? I was pretty relaxed with the whole procedure today and I am feeling positive still. Woohoo!

Any results?  I am thinking of doing a home pregnancy test everyday from 7 days past the 5 day transfer – last time I tested the day before the beta.  But this time I am thinking of testing simply in the name of science.  I don’t know why, I’ll have a think about this – I’ve got a while anyway!  2 Week Wait here we come!!!

What’s next? Beta HcG test will be 13 days from now :-s

Weight. NSTR.

Waist. The Dr showed me my squished uterus today from my stimulated ovaries – there were some pretty big follicles still in there. I am not surprised I am still bloated as I am.  The Dr told me to keep up the drinking to help flush them out.

Boobs. Definitely growing.

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 Deleted from my diary…what’s the point?  The one sunny day at a weekend – I am on enforced bed rest!!!

*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: 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 round 2 – December/January 2016

We met for our follow-up appointment with our doctor yesterday.  There were no surprises.  Which is a good thing!  So the plan of attack is a fresh round of IVF…get a couple more embryos frozen:

  1. Schedule a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG – if you would like a refresher what this procedure entails, check out my post from last time here) – I will do this as soon as I start my period (who knows when that will be!!!).  It is very unlikely that my fallopian tubes will be blocked, but she wants to be sure.  Fair enough.  However, I am NOT looking forward to this test.  Last time I was completely naive to the potential pain ahead for this particular procedure, now that I know exactly how much it can hurt I’m a wee bit nervous!
  2. Plan to start Birth Control Pills to regulate my cycle in December with an egg retrieval date for early January 16.  There is a period of 3 weeks that the embryology lab is closed over the Christmas period.  Seriously – how unlucky am I?? Last time my cycle was delayed because the embryology lab was being refurbished.  Oh well – I guess everyone needs a holiday.

There is a potential chance we could start Birth Control Pills in November, and do a retrieval before Christmas, but I think it will be close to my 3 month period of ‘no baby making’ because of the methotrexate shot I had affecting fetus development.  I have been researching this, and I would be willing to go ahead a week or two earlier because doctors are overly cautious with this 3 month time stamp.  As long as I keep taking my folic acid I should have no problems.  However, this is something to be discussed once we have a better idea of a) when my period is likely to be and b) assuming my HSG test is all clear!!!

There will be no change to my protocol, perhaps a slight increase in some of the medication dosages to mature more of my eggs.  As a reminder from our first round we had 9 eggs retrieved, 6 of these eggs were mature, 4 of these eggs were successfully fertilised by ICSI, 2 good 8 cell embryos were transferred on day 3, and 1 of the 2 embryos made it to Day 5 blastocyst and was frozen.  Our doctor mentioned that she would consider waiting to Day 5 for the transfer this time around, especially as our frozen one is Day 5 – she wants them to be the same.  We like this plan!

This gives me some time to concentrate on work for a little while, get my body healthy and start growing some strong eggs!  What is amazing is what the horrrorscopes says for me next week…

horoscopes

I was already planning on going back on my sugar free, healthy diet next week! Freaky! Sooooo….which old friend should I Skype on Sunday next week and wants to reveal a long-held secret to me??!!!?!

IVF DIARY VOL I: 15-17 Aug 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1cMedication(s) administered and dosage(s).  Progesterone 1ml, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

Medical procedures undertaken. Nothing!!!

How do I feel today? I am 11 days past my 3 day transfer.  I am very close to ‘prove’ time…I am feeling sadly indifferent about being ‘PUPO – Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise’.

Time has flown by this weekend – it was quite an epic weekend.  First of all it kicked off with a games night with friends – we played Risk – I didn’t win 😦  But it was still fun (Did I mention I hate losing??)!!! Saturday day time we took a trip to the ‘not so Dismal’ Dismal Swamp.  The conditions were glorious.

Dismal_Swamp_AUG

Dismal Swamp – How did it get it’s name???!!!

Saturday evening we went to see Cirque Du Soleil’s Kooza.  I AM SO LUCKY!!!  You may recall that I originally booked front row tickets for my Mum as a Birthday present for the 6th August – which ended up being the same day as my 3 Day Embryo Transfer.  Because I was on doctors orders for 24 hour bed rest I was unable to go 😦  But then an amazing act of mother nature cancelled this show because of a lightening storm.  Thank you mother nature!!!  So we re-booked our tickets for this Saturday….and it was AMAZING!!!!  Any other circus will never be the same again….these people are just so talented – the story, choreography and music FABULOUS!

Cirque Du Soleil

Chris doesn’t like ‘Selfies’ (It’s not a selfie, but a groupie!!!)

But the amazing weekend didn’t end there!  Sunday we headed to Back Bay Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park for a bike ride where we saw mother nature in her awesomeness again.  Afterwards we had a dinner sunset picnic on the beach, followed by a hunt for bioluminescent Plankton.  The plankton was lighting up the dark skies of Sandbridge beach’s ocean water in an amazing luminous green colour.  As you walked on the wet sand the ground lit up with luminous green beneath you (A bit like in Avatar!!)  I wish I could show you some pictures, but there would be no justice in the photo, you just had to see it with your own eyes to appreciate what an amazing phenomena this is!

I also completed my 4 week online course on Data Visualisation…it kept me a little distracted, but honestly it was a mistake to sign up for it with everything going on over the last 4 weeks.  If it had started 3 weeks later it would have been good to keep me distracted in the 2 week wait rather than working when I was struggling to recover from the egg retrieval!!

We bumped into a friend at the supermarket on Sunday who has previously sent us a private message of encouragement after our facebook announcement of our Embryo Transfer.  I nearly burst into tears as she gave me a big hug and wished me lots of sticky vibes.  So lovely.

As you can see I spent a lot of time having fun this weekend, but I was not distracted from the fact that I was sad at times for absolutely no reason at all, I cried over the smallest things, and I argued with Chris over the smallest things.  DAMN DRUGS messing with my emotions!!!

What are my symptoms? The sharp pains have subsided over the last few days, which makes me think waaay too much that this IVF hasn’t worked.  Apart from the growing boobs and the emotional schizophrenic Dani, I have no other symptoms.

How does Chris feel today?  Chris has put up with a lot of my random outbursts of tears and overly aggressive and defensive approach to every day occurrences.  He has been worried about me, of course.  He is very hopeful and talks to huck and huck, telling them to bury deep and grow strong.  He helps keep me mostly sane about all this.

Any results? No.

What’s next?  Test time!  I will do a home pregnancy test at some point before my blood test on Wednesday.  I know they are not wholly reliable after IVF but I want to have some kind of expectation before hearing the results over the phone.

Weight. NSTR

Waist.  Still not quite back to my normal waist size 😐

Boobs. NSTR.

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 The sun has just not stopped shining this weekend…if sunlight is as important as they say they are for egg development then my eggs are getting BAKED!!!

150817_IVF1_Stats

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