IVF DIARY VOL I: 11-14 Aug 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1b.pngMedication(s) administered and dosage(s).  Progesterone 1ml, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

We hit a blood vessel with the progesterone needle!!! Well mum did the check once the needle was in, drew back a little bit and she saw blood, she coped with it calmly and I told her it was OK we just change the needle and try the other side of my buttock.  I explained to her it was just one of those things that happens occasionally and that is why we check.  She was so worried she hurt me.  Poor mum.  She did well not to pass out because I think I would have done if I saw that!! It didn’t actually hurt, but I did get some tingling, numbing sensations running down my leg!!!  Then it bruised a little but afterwards, but no different to any of the other injections.

I think I have finally sussed out the Estrogen patches (vivelle dots – which by the way are nothing like a ‘dot’).  Sticking them oblong ways round and peeling them off from outwards to inwards towards the belly button is the easiest and least painful way to pull them off…I’ve tried every way round!!!  I still haven’t quite found a good way to remove the sticky residue.

2 patches - change every two days

2 patches – change every two days

Medical procedures undertaken. Nothing!!! But I returned to work yesterday to find lots of emails – from my medical insurance company notifying me of all the claims that had been submitted by the fertility clinic for all the medical procedures over the last IVF cycle!!! Every single ultrasound, blood test etc has an individual claim number…this is going to be a pain to track as soon as the bills start arriving through the door – time for a spreadsheet!!!

How do I feel today? I am 8 days past my 3 day transfer and honestly – I am not feeling positive anymore.  A few nights ago I woke up with horrific pain in my abdominal region.  I can’t pinpoint where it was exactly.  I cried as I curled up and thought I was going to have to take myself to hospital (I was in a hotel with my mum at the time), but after 15 minutes the pain subdued.  The next day I felt the residual pain, which I can only describe it to be like what you might experience after you have cramp in your leg after the cramp goes away, but the muscles ache from the cramp and is on tenterhooks for cramping again if you move too fast.  I have not experienced any more of this type of pain since.  I wondered if it was implantation cramping, but it was so painful, could it really be that?

The day after this night of pain I was due to do some guest lecturing at an offsite location near DC…let’s just say my office messed up and I was unable to access the site I was visiting because someone decided to handover their work and something fell through the gap.  Cue RAGING DANI…..8 hrs of driving and a night in a hotel wasted because someone didn’t properly do their handover when they were leaving.  So I called my boss, told him the situation and asked for the rest of the afternoon off – he pointed out that I needn’t have asked – he was actually more worried when I left a message for him to call me back that there was something more serious wrong (i.e. with my health!).  So I went shopping with my mum.  I will save the details of this for another post dedicated to shopping, but this is when I really started to feel more negative about everything and I have not been able to shake it off since.

What are my symptoms? I I have had lots of mini sharp pains and some dull aches like I have experienced in two of my previous IUI cycles.  My boobs are growing fast with much sensitivity!  I ache, like having a period time type ache all over my body.  The injections are not so bad, but they kind of rule your life a little bit.  It know it will be worth it if I do end up successfully carrying huckleberry and huckleberina to term, so it’s something to just live with.  (By the way, this is for Chris mostly, and anyone who has missed my previous blog post – we will NOT be naming these poor babies huckleberry or huckleberina, they are just affectionate names whilst they are inside me 🙂 )

How does Chris feel today?  Chris had a weird dream last night about using blown up balloons as a rope to do some climbing – he used about 30 balloons, then they burst.  I thought it might have been some kind of dream about how he felt about IVF, that we had put all this effort into getting so far, climbing up the mountain and it was all for nothing – a blow out.  He said I was being silly, and perhaps I am, but I dream a lot so I always try to think about why I dream certain things.

Any results? No.

What’s next?  Enjoy the rest of the time my mum is visiting – we have quite a fun packed weekend planned!

Weight. Fortunately my weight loss was only temporary, I am getting away from the danger zone of being underweight.  I have enjoyed plenty of eating out over the last few days of my trip to DC!!!

Waist.  Slowly the bloat is disappearing, but not quite back to my normal waist size.

Boobs. Woah they have grown massive!  Chris can look, but not touch – they are way too sensitive :-p I’m going to have to change the scale on my chart at this rate!!!

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 Sooooo much lovely sun.  What an amazing summer we have had compared to the Augusts of the previous two years.

150814_IVF1_Stats

*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 I: 07-10 Aug 2015


IVF_Diary_Vol1fMedication(s) administered and dosage(s). 
 Progesterone 1ml, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

The progesterone injection sites tend to ache for about 24 hours, just in time for the other buttock to start aching!  In some ways, it is only painful in that it feels like I have just had a really good gluteus maximus workout (I wish that were the case!!)

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil – hooray!

How do I feel today?For the last few days I have been too busy to think about infertility or being pregnant until proven otherwise!  We have done quite a bit of siteseeing which has helped occupy my mind.  I am now on a work road trip with my mum in DC so we have filled our time well so far.  I’m feeling not too bad.

I am also feeling lucky!!! After my last diary entry I forgot to write that the evening of my embryo transfer I was on bed rest so I could not go to see Cirque du Soleil (I had booked front row tickets as a Birthday gift for my mum).  So we gave my seat up to Chris’s friend and instead my friend came over to keep me company with pizza and a movie.  The show started at 8pm, so you can imagine my surprise when I heard someone fumbling with the front door at 9.15pm.  Chris and mum were back early.  They started telling me some story about how short the show was and that it was pretty disappointing.  I was upset!!!  But then they told me the truth…the show had been cancelled due to the Storms!!  How lucky am I?? I don’t get to miss out on seeing Cirque Du Soleil after-all!!! So I rebooked the tickets for next weekend (no front row tickets available 😦 ) Talk about luck??? I just hope I haven’t used up all my luck just yet ;-P

What are my symptoms? Bloated still, but the pain from my ovaries has reduced.  I feel constantly dehydrated despite drinking about 4 times the amount I ordinarily would. Of course this means I am peeing 4 times as often.  My weight….I am hope it is not a symptom, but there is definitely a weird correlation!!! See below for surprise trends.

How does Chris feel today?  I don’t really know because he is back at home 😦 But I do know he is super happy that he has finally booked our campervan for our road trip out West in October.

Any results? We did not hear from the clinic today whether the two other embryos made it to freezing.  I am really disappointed at the lack of communication from them.  Especially as we received a questionnaire in the post today requesting feedback on their customer service for this IVF cycle.  Seriously??! My cycle isn’t over just yet!

What’s next?  Keep calm – I’m pregnant until proven otherwise.

Weight. So my weight is still lower than when I started this cycle, not by a huge amount, but enough to put me on the border of having the ‘underweight’ BMI label.  I do not want to be underweight, this is not good for trying to conceive. So I have dutifully been eating more, but with the bloating and re-hydrating there is just sometimes no more room left in there!!!  If you look at the chart below you can see my insane waist to weight ratio.  It just makes no sense.

Waist.  Trying to wear comfy clothes to let the bloat hang out.

Boobs. Tender and filling out a bit.

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 We had some beautiful weather on Sunday, I now have a slight glow to my pale skin!

150810_IVF1_Stats

*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 I: 05-06 Aug 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1b.pngMedication(s) administered and dosage(s).  Progesterone 1ml, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2, colace x1

Medical procedures undertaken. We woke up nice and early for our 7AM appointment.  As we parked up our doctor also parked up, so there was this awkward moment of where I was walking very slowly (still constipated and sore from the egg retrieval) and she clearly had somewhere to be!  Of course Chris had lots of questions for her as he collared her on her way into work about me and my recovery.  Anyway, so we were called upstairs to the IVF surgery room and I was ushered to the same cubicle I was in on Monday.  The nurses immediately noticed I was waddling and I told them about my constipation and bloating.  They were very sympathetic and gave me advice on taking extra colace, prunes, prune juice and apricots to get things moving.  They did not want me straining myself to poo!!!  One nurse said that she sees so many patients like me and doesn’t understand what causes it.  The doctor said it was the progesterone, but I was constipated before I took the progesterone!  After I got changed into my gown and deli hat, I walked back to my cubicle and our doctor was looking over our chart, she said we had 2 beautiful strong embryos, but 2 not so strong that needed to be left in culture for longer to see if they survive to blastocysts on Day 5 for cryopreservation.  And then off she went….there was no discussion.  So I guess we are doing our transfer today then.  I turned to Chris and said is that OK?? And he shook his head in a manner that was like sure why not.

The nurse took my vitals and I started to sip my bottle of water; she warned me not to drink too much because I wouldn’t be able to pee until an hour after the transfer :-s  I drank 3/4s of a bottle of water and that was plenty…in fact probably a little bit too much. Chris got changed into his ‘egg packing factory suit’ – he looked awesome!  He was going to come into the surgical room with me! Brucie bonus!  He was well trained by the nurse on when to take photos of the embryos and where he would sit for the procedure.

IVF1_Chris

Twit-twoo!!!!

IVF1_Both_of_Us

As we were waiting, I overheard the lady in the cubicle next to me begin to cry.  She was going in for her egg retrieval and had just had her Intra-venous drip inserted.  The nurse asked her what was making her sad (I like this nurse, she clearly has much experience with these kind of situations).  The lady said she was afraid of going to sleep.  As the nurse explained the process and how it was just like taking a strong sleeping pill, all I wanted to do was pull back the curtain and giver her the biggest hug ever and tell her it’s OK, it is no where near as bad as general anesthetic and you are going to be just fine – I know it’s scary but it’s going to be easy and won’t hurt.  But of course this is a big no-no, talking to other patients.

After about 30 minutes of waiting I was taken into the surgery room on the trolley (very lazy!!!) and I scooted onto the table.  I put my knees in stirrups this time and I was fully bare and exposed to the world.  Unpleasant.  Chris was sat behind me so he could hold my hand.

The surgery room

The surgery room

The doctor knocked on the embryology lab door to give the go-ahead to get the embryos prepared.  We watched on a TV screen to check that the embryos had our name on the petri-dish and then we saw our two embryos for about 5 seconds!

Our two little 8 cell embryos - AKA HuckleBERRY and HuckleBERINA (because they look like raspberries)

Our two little 8 cell embryos – AKA HuckleBERRY and HuckleBERINA (because they look like raspberries)

They did look pretty good!  They looked nice in shape and symmetry, the doctor was very complimentary about them.  Then two embryologists came into the surgery room, read my wrist band and asked me my name – this is performed by two people so absolutely no mistakes are ever made getting the wrong embryo in the wrong patient!!! The embryologists went away to prepare our embryos.  After this moment, the doctor checked my abdomen, both physically and using an ultrasound (not a transvaginal ultrasound for a change woohoo!!!) except my bladder was full, I was constipated and still sore from the egg retrieval –  I winced the whole way through.  Everything seemed good and he inserted the speculum  and washed out my uterus.  The nurse came and told me that from what she could see on the screen, my ovaries were super enlarged still and I have a mild case Ovarian Hyper stimulation syndrome that will go away soon, I just need to keep up my fluid intake.  Then the doctor knocked again on the embryo lab’s door.  This time the embryologist came in with a soft flexible catheter with the two embryos ready and loaded to be inserted into my uterus.  Using the ultrasound as a guide he inserted the catheter and we ‘watched’ the embryos be ‘puffed’ in by air into my uterus.  I say ‘watched’…I could barely see the screen from the angle I was at.  But I nodded my head not wanting to disappoint him that I missed it.  Before the speculum was removed the catheter was given back to the embryologist just to check under a microscope that the embryos were not still in the catheter.  A few moments later the speculum was removed which was a huge relief, it wasn’t painful, rather very uncomfortable I wanted to pee right there on the table.  I was scooted back onto the trolley and wheeled back to my cubicle where we were told not to go anywhere for 1hr…not even the toilet!!! Eeeek!!

We read a bit and then played a game of crib whilst we waited.   I won!  If I hadn’t have won, I am not sure Chris would have survived the rest of the day.  That made time fly by and then it was time to go!!! We were given a couple of souvenirs…the petri dish our embryos grew in and a little card with the results of our egg retrieval.  Chris took the deli hat too – I think he likes it a bit too much.

IVF1_souvenirs_blank

Souvenirs!!! Petri dish our embryos grew in, report card and a deli hat. Stash!!!!

How do I feel today? I had a terrible night’s sleep dreaming that we would turn up to the clinic with just 1 weak embryo to transfer 😦  But now we have done the transfer I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I feel like I can get on with life right now and enjoy this summer!

What are my symptoms? I woke up with similar pains from the egg retrieval, tender, hard bloated stomach (very hard) and constipated.  I was waddling.  When we got home I sent Chris out to get prune juice, prunes and apricots.  The prune juice worked it’s wonders about an hour or so later.  The nurse told me not to strain, so when it was time to go to the toilet I tried my hardest to just let it all come out, but seriously, once it did all come out, it was the BEST feeling.  I am no longer waddling in pain and my stomach is not so hard anymore.  So I think most of my problem with pain was constipation.  I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Diarrhea variant) so I am currently sat here with a gurgling tummy, and I am soooo pleased I am back to normal! (Fingers crossed anyway!!)

How does Chris feel today?  Feels good.  He looks forward to this 2 week wait being over. (He is a man of many words :-))

Any results? Two 8 cell embryos transferred and safely inside me – huckleberry and huckleberina because they look like raspberries and Chris always talks about calling his son Huckleberry.  So let’s just say this is a compromise!!  2 other embryos are growing in culture hopefully over the next couple of days, fingers crossed they survive and can be frozen. I’m  Pregnant until proven otherwise.

What’s next?  Enjoy the two week wait.  My mum is visiting so she has been brilliant so far putting up with everything tht is going on, so I’m hoping to take some time off to enjoy some local sights and sounds.  The pregnancy test will be the day my mum flies out in 13 days.

Weight. OK so I think I have actually lost weight, if you account for all the fluid I have taken on and my waist size.  This isn’t surprising considering I have reduced my intake of food because it won’t physically go in!!

Waist.  Still bloated, but hopefully it will improve tonight now I have relieved myself!!!

Boobs. Starting to feel tender from all the hormones!

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 Fat chance!  It’s miserable out. Plus I’m on bed rest so I’m pleased about this fact!

150806_IVF1_Stats

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