The pudding club

It’s been almost a week since I was on here…that’s not like me.  I have been hiding from the world a little bit.  It’s been a really hard week to get through.  My first scan looming over my head.  Would there be a baby?  Would there be a heartbeat?  I’ve had lots of lovely messages wishing me luck – but all I wanted to do was curl up and sleep, avoid polite conversation, time to fly.

Thursday morning I felt numb to the world.  Fortunately I was busy at work so the afternoon appointment came around quickly.  Chris met me at the clinic, he was already there in the waiting room, patiently waiting for me. I felt sick to my stomach.  This was it!  We didn’t have to wait long before we were called back.  The nurse took my vitals (weight and blood pressure), then we went into the ultrasound room together.  I sat up on the bed and before I had to time to wonder more about the possibilities my doctor walked in.  I don’t really remember what she said to me, but like I had been all week I’d had enough with the small talk.

As soon as the ultrasound wand was in me we could see my extremely hyper stimulated ovaries….I had many huge follicles still – like two times the size of the ones I am used to seeing during stimulation phase.  My doctor exclaimed my ‘hyper’ situation, and I said, yes, I have been feeling them 😦 And then she found a sac, zoomed in and there was a little blob on the screen!  I was holding my breath as she found the heart beat – and there it was 144 beats per minute (BPM).  I just cried.  She measured the size of it and it was measuring 2 days behind at 7 weeks 2 days, I was technically 7 weeks 4 days, but she said that was close enough!

As I sobbed, Chris asked what happens next and my Doctor said we now graduate to my OBGYN!  Oh…I don’t have one since we moved to the US and went straight from our family doctor to the fertility clinic.  Then Chris said we need to find one near our new house…to which I corrected him and he said – “no, we got the house today!”  I couldn’t believe it, he was telling me right there that we got the house we wanted and he had the call from our realtor an hour or so before the appointment.  Cue even more tears from me and excited happy doctors & nurse in the room.  What a day for good big news.  I hugged my doctor and nurse and thanked them with tears running down my face!  It was surreal as I walked out into the waiting room with my face red from tears, I am sure people couldn’t tell if it was good or bad news I just received!!  And that was it…we left our clinic realising we wouldn’t be back too soon.

Finally I’m in the pudding club – for real! I’ve been in a bit of shock, but I am embracing the pregnancy now.  I believe it is happening.  This is our time.  We have even agreed to give the blob a nickname – Rocky – our little fighter.  It also looked a bit rock like on the scan 😉

I realised I needed to find an OBGYN quick that works with the hospital we wanted to give birth at, so I did my research and made my first pre-natal appointment in the ‘normal’ world.  My first appointment and next scan will be at 10w2d – a little later than they like, but it was the earliest they could fit me in.  I’ve also been allowed to switch to progesterone oral capsules (but taken transvaginally) – these little things cost over $380 for 1 month’s worth!  Completely different to the progesterone in oil which cost only about $90!!! But I am sure it will be worth it so I don’t have to inject myself whilst travelling again (I’m off to Turkey tomorrow – not looking forward to this trip at all).

This week has been such an emotional roller coaster – and yet on the face of it, it has been easy…we have no complications.  Just when we thought this was the end…

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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!

IVF Diary Vol III: 29 Apr 16 – Stage 1 complete

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). 13DP5DT (13 days past 5 Day Transfer)  Prove time! PM Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

Medical procedures undertaken. Beta hCG blood test – AKA THE PREGNANCY TEST!

Any results?  We are pregnant! Last night I got back from DC, Chris was already at home, I asked him – “Are you ready to do this?”.  He nodded nervously.  So we went to the toilet together and I peed on the stick, turning it the wrong way round so I couldn’t see the window.  I left it on the counter top for a minute or so, and we turned it over together.  2 lines!  Woohoo!!! Except it was kind of a weird experience.  It wasn’t quite like last time when I was really excited.  It was like….OK, this is a good step forward….but now we have to wait and see what my levels come back tomorrow.

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the test line was darker than the control line!

Today the doctor called with my results (it wasn’t my doctor who called) – he is a straight talking kind of man.  There is absolutely no beating around the bush with him, he tells it like it is (he gave me the news that our first pregnancy was not viable and he was pretty blunt with us).  He said he had positive news!  OK I like positive news! He then mumbled something about my hCG levels, I asked him to repeat what he said because he wasn’t clear (he has a foreign accent), he said it was a nice high level that they like to see of 485!  My progesterone and estrogen levels were good too.  When I got of the phone I was a little disappointed, I was hoping for a little higher being 13DP5DT….but then after a while I reminded myself that this first number doesn’t matter so much (it’s higher than last time so that’s good!), it will be the next number that tells us the likelihood of this pregnancy having a chance!

What are my symptoms?  So I have pretty much been certain I am pregnant since the return of my OHSS symptoms earlier this week.  My belly sticks out ridiculously – I have put on 7″ round my belly.  The area beneath my ribs and belly button are painful if I bend over, or try to get in and out of bed.  I am feeling nauseous – not sure if that is pregnancy related or OHSS related. I couldn’t eat more than 5 spoonfuls of my porridge this morning.  I have had lots of sharp pains.  I’ve also had period type pains.  I have an unquenchable thirst.  I am peeing about 30 times a day.

How do I feel today? I am excited to be moving onto the next stage!  But having some reflections back to IVF cycle 1.  We lived in this ignorant bliss for 5 days last time.  This time is a whole lot different.  We are definitely in a better position than cycle 1 so I am trying to keep positive, it’s just hard not to think about what happened to my body last time we saw those two pink lines.

 What’s next? Wednesday is beta #2! Is it Wednesday yet?

The Final Countdown!!! 

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

IVF Diary Vol III: 20-24 Apr 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). 8DP5DT (8 days past 5 Day Transfer)  PM Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

These injections do not get any easier!! Fortunately (for me) the past two evenings Chris has been doing the injecting part.  Kudos to him.  It doesn’t get any easier for him.  He had a nervous laughing fit the other night after he pierced my skin and was starting to inject, and I was trying hard not to laugh at him (I didn’t want my muscles to tense up or to shake the needle around as it was inside me!!!). Nope, it doesn’t get easier.

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil!

Any results?  Apart from finding out I needed to be taking iron supplements, I wrote a post about that and had a brief ‘freak out’ moment of feeling like maybe I had a chance to improve my egg quality.  But that was silly, and I realise that now.  I did go out and buy some iron supplements.  I bought it in liquid form because I find the majority of pills hard to stomach (there is something about the pill lining they use that makes me puke them back up).  Basically the supplement tastes like I am swallowing a tablespoon of blood. BLEUGHHHHHHH.

What are my symptoms?  Yesterday I struggled with my OHSS symptoms.  We had a nice day out watching a parade and going to a festival that celebrates NATO.  But it’s really the first time I have been out and about for a significant amount of time not sitting down.  We then went to the shops and after about an hour my stomach was in pain.  I just needed to sit!  I was also incredibly thirsty all day, nothing could quench my thirst!!!  Last night I got up to pee FIVE times!!!! I also found it hard to get in and out of bed each time because of my hugely bloated painful tummy.  I am a little worried that my OHSS has done a U turn and rather than getting better is now getting worse.  This could mean I am pregnant though because OHSS can get worse as my body starts to produce hCG after the embryo implants.  It’s something I’ve been told to watch out for….If things don’t subside today then tomorrow is my last chance to go in for an ultrasound before I am supposed to be back in DC – I don’t want to be getting worse whilst I am away from home!  I am going to take it easy today though, maybe I just over did it yesterday.

How do I feel today? It has been really hard not to pee on a stick the past few days.  Especially yesterday with my symptoms developing as they were I just felt like I might see a positive!  And so now I have my expectations set high, I’m terrified to be wrong and see a blank white space on that pregnancy test.  So I haven’t done it.  I looked back and compared my symptoms from cycle 1 (BFP – positive) to cycle 2 (BFN – negative) and actually I seemed to have experienced similar symptoms in both cycles.  I guess it is that damn progesterone and estrogen making me feel like this!

Chris told me that if this cycle fails he wants to wait several months before transferring our final frozen embryo.  Which I understand why he feels like that.  But I feel differently about it.  I said we should have this conversation later and not now.  I need to be positive, I need to be hopeful right now, I want this to work so so much I can’t even think beyond this.  Last cycle I was OK with thinking about the future and what’s next because I knew we could always give IVF another try.  This time for me is different.  I know there isn’t a next IVF.  I know this to me is all or nothing.

 What’s next? Friday is test time – in between all that I have a work trip to DC to occupy me and keep me busy!  This does mean I will be doing more injections on my own 😦 and Chris will be on his own in the house alone this week when perhaps we really need each other right now.

The Final Countdown!!! 

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

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 😦

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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!!! 

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*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 15-20 Mar 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Ovulation Control Pill (OCP) Reclipsen 0.15MG-30MCG x 1 per day, Lupron 0.5mg (10 units) injection AM.

I started the Lupron injections on Thursday morning.  Although the amount of liquid is tiny and the needle is small, I still freaked out about giving myself the injection.  I tried to do it, but the needle bounced off my skin, so I asked Chris to do it so I could feel how hard it needs to e to pierce the skin. But on Friday, I did the injection myself! It didn’t hurt, I was just slightly hesitant and the needle went in slower than I expected.  Saturday, the needle bumped off my skin again!  I’m sure I will figure it out.  Also, there is barely any blood after these injections so I don’t really need gauze and I can’t tell where I just did the injection which means I am finding it difficult to figure out where to put a plaster over it!  I discovered putting a plaster over the injection site means that I don’t have to remember the next day where I just did my previous injection.

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil.  But – I did have a post op follow up appointment with my Doctor to go over my results from the hysteroscopy.  I knew the biopsy results were good because they come through on my clinic’s app and I am sure she wouldn’t have had told me to start the Birth control pills if there was anything wrong.  However, on the day of the appointment I started to get a bit nervous because I thought if everything was OK, why did she still need to see me?  When I arrived the nurse asked where my husband was?  At first I just joked with her “He’s working – I hope!!!”, but then it dawned on me….should he be here with me because it’s going to be bad news?  I didn’t even think about bringing Chris along.  The nurse did the usual vitals check and took me to the Doctor’s office to wait.  As I was sitting in her office there was one pamphlet on her desk that stuck out – it was about uterine cancer.  My heart started to beat faster!! My head was  racing.  Fortunately the doctor arrived quickly after I sat down.  She cut straight to the chase and said everything looked just fine! Phew.  She took a look at her computer and said that there was just one area of redness of my uterus she had seen on the camera that she thought might be inflammation, but the biopsy did not show any signs of inflammation. So all good!  A very quick appointment, I was in and out in 5 minutes…it was just like being at a doctor’s office in the UK!!!!

What are my symptoms?  I have two symptoms I want to talk about – my upset tummy and my hormones!

At my post op appointment I asked my doctor about my upset tummy.  I told her my diarrhea has been playing up, maybe it’s just my Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) being bad or, is there any chance it could be something related to the hysteroscopy?  The only thing that could cause diarrhea is the cytotec pills I took that ‘softens the cervix’ prior to the surgery.  Maybe it caused a mis-balance of bacteria in my tummy, but it should go away soon.  It wasn’t the most helpful advice I’ve received from a doctor…but as usual not knowing what causes my poorly tummy I am used to.  So I decided to put into practice my knowledge of things to make diarreah go away.  The first is to take some probiotics.  After my appointment I went straight to the shops and looked for a probiotic yoghurt drink.  Now in the UK, there are these little drinks that you can take daily – there are different brands like yakult and actimel, they are very common in the supermarket.  But here in the US, I haven’t ever noticed before until now, they are not common!  I tried looking for a US store that sells Yakult and it’s typical!  The only place nearby is the Commissary!  As a civilian, I am not allowed to shop at the Commissary!! (The Commissary is where the military can buy their groceries at a discount).  Anyway…I did discover something similar in the organic section – Kefir.  Kefir is a fermented milk drink with kefir grains in it.  I wasn’t sure if this would aggravate my upset tummy or the probiotics would do its thing.  There were also some juices with probiotics added, this to my mind didn’t seem the best for my tummy because real fruit juice can make things worse for me.  Anyway either the Kefir has had a positive effect or my tummy is getting better on its own.  The past few days I have returned to normal upset tummy (where I experience diarrhea about once a day rather than 4-6 times a day for the past two weeks!)

My hormones.  I am going to do a separate post on this, but in a nutshell, the Lupron and Birth Control Pills are doing weird things to me.  On Friday evening as I was getting ready to go to the ball (!!!) I was curling my hair and tried to pin it up how I like to.  But for some reason it wasn’t working.  My hair looked awful, I was getting frustrated at it…then I flipped out at my inability to make my hair look half decent.  Like seriously got mad and threw stuff across the room.  I looked in the mirror and I felt nothing, I looked back at myself and felt nothing.  I didn’t feel sexy, I thought I looked hideous.  Chris kept telling me my hair looked lovely down and I should leave it, but I just kept looking at myself and I felt like I was out of my body – I was in somebody else’s body. I felt…..nothing.  It was weird.  I didn’t like it!  Could it be the Lupron doing this to me?

How do I feel today? Chris and I had an evening of sharing our feelings about this IVF cycle.  It got emotional.  We realised we have both been bad at not sharing our feelings, we both made assumptions about things and came to wrong conclusions.  We just didn’t talk enough about what was going to happen this cycle – the changes in my protocol and the uncertainty around dates of key things happening in the cycle like when the Egg Retrieval and transfer might be.  Particularly with the transfer (Day 3 v Day 5).  The difference being that this cycle came around quickly (we both felt unprepared for it), and my period started much earlier than I anticipated.  Because I had been so busy with work, we just hadn’t been keeping the communication lines open…but we re-opened them – that’s good, but it took us a while to figure that out!

Any results?  Other than my post op results being clear!

What’s next? I stop the Birth Control Pills next week and keep the Lupron injections going.  I am off on travels to Europe next week so I have the added issue of figuring out what times to take my pills and injections!  I made a mistake of taking my Birth Control Pills after my dinner, so now in Europe with them being 6 hours ahead at the moment, it means I would need to be taking them at 2AM! Doh!  The Lupron injections won’t be so bad – I can take them at 1PM at lunch time.  I may also have to give myself an injection on the plane as I fly transatlantic!!!! Double doh!

Weight. I still haven’t got on the scales yet!

Waist. NSTR.

Boobs. NSTR.

The Final Countdown!!!

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*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: 10-15 Mar 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Ovulation Control Pill (OCP) Reclipsen 0.15MG-30MCG x 1 per day

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

What are my symptoms?  I have had a really bad upset tummy since the weekend.  I have no clue what is causing it…it could just be a really bad case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Usually stress makes my tummy worse, but actually, I have just stopped being stressed!  So maybe my body is coming down from stress and is having a big WAH at me.  Or I got the bug that everyone else seems to be coming down with. Or. it is the melatonin…because there is definitely a correlation with tummy upset and starting the melatonin.  A quick search indicates that melatonin could actually be a treatment for IBS!  But mostly for those who suffer with IBS-C (Constipation) not IBS-D (Me – Diarrhea) .  I will have to do a bit more digging and see how it goes over the next few days.

How do I feel today? Work stress is mostly over!  I have a lot of travelling to be doing, but it’s not stressful travel!  I have cancelled a work trip to Germnay in anticipation that I will be having my egg retrieval surgery that week!  And now I can schedule in some of that leave I am owed from the leave I cancelled from cycle 2! Woohooo!  This is good news.

My medications have yet to arrive, there was a slight mix up with the nurse ordering the wrong drugs.  So they are supposed to be arriving tomorrow by FedEx….the only problem is I am currently in DC and am driving the 4 hours back first thing, so I hope the meds dont arrive in the morning because I won’t be there to sign for them!  That wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t need my Lupron on Thursday morning!! And the pharmacy called this afternoon (when my order is supposed to be on the way!) to tell me my co-pay was high.  Well DUH…no higher than usual. Fortunately I caught the phone before I headed into work without my phone for the day, I may never have spoken to them until it was too late!!!! They have never checked with me before, but I think it hit the over $500 mark this time because I am getting more of the expensive gonal-f 😦 The old newbie infertile me would be stressed about it.  But I am not, I am a seasoned veteran about these things now, so I am pretty chilled out about it.  I can’t control it, so what ever happens, happens.  (Please Please Please FedEx arrive in the afternoon!!!)

Any results?  Not yet….my follow up appointment from my hysteroscopy surgery is on Thursday afternoon.  But I am anticipating the all clear.

What’s next? Lupron injections start Thursday morning.

Weight. I am terrified to get on the scales:-(

Waist. Shrinking a bit after all the diarrhea 😦

Boobs. NSTR.

The Final Countdown!!!  I decided to add in a calendar countdown so if people read just one entry they know what stage I am at in the whole cycle! Plus I love crossing things off.

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*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 begins!

Here we are again.  It’s like deja vu, right?  Seriously, Christmas seemed like ages ago, but somehow IVF round 2 only felt like a week or two ago.  It’s all come around again quickly for us.  I don’t feel quite so ready for it – mentally, my mind has been at work, physically, my body has been at work (hahaha!) what I really mean is – I need to do some exercise!!!

I started my Birth Control Pills on Thursday evening and phoned the nurse who is covering for my nurse whilst she is on leave to schedule in my IVF cycle.  She gave me the important dates and told me she would order my medications.  I put down the phone with dates in my hand, excited…then a little later realised that she hadn’t asked me what meds I had left over from my last cycle! Aghhh!  And it was very late friday afternoon so I knew there was no chance of catching her in time.  Also, I haven’t received notification from the Pharmacy yet that my prescription has arrived with them  and I need my Lupron by Thursday morning!  I am in Washington DC for two days next week, so my only real day to receive by FedEx my giant box of medication goodies in time would be Monday.   Aghhhhhh!!!!! I hate this last minute panic thing!!! I am sure it will all be fine and the script will be with the Pharmacy today.  Zen Dani……Zen.

I had my last alcoholic beverage last night – a wonderful glass or two or red wine. Bye bye alcohol!  Although this cycle has creeped up on me, I am feeling excited.  This is it.  It’s all or nothing now!!!! Wish us luck!!!!! Eeeeeeek….

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IVF cycle 3 Calendar

Chris told me I was too graphic in my last post about my period, so here is a Too Much Information Warning…….!!!! Don’t read past here if you don’t like reading about periods! I’ve been popping the painkillers for my period and surviving OK, the short sharp pains have gone, thankfully, it’s just the typical period pains now.  But I did have something happen to me that I’ve never had before.  I passed a ball of old thick dark black blood about the size of a large grape.  It wasn’t clotty, but thick and sticky, kind of like a truffle!  I got a little freaked out, but then remembered that putting a camera into your uterus and taking a biopsy from the the uterine lining 9 days before your period is probably not a normal every month occurrence; so I should not be surprised my body is doing some weird things.  I have a post-op appointment next week, so I will mention it just to be sure.  (Things I never thought I’d write about and share to the public world – my period!)

The hysteroscopy

I am insanely missing my blog right now!  I have been so busy with work and other things that my blogging has suffered, and I am constantly thinking about things I want to write about and get out of my head, I just haven’t been able to.  There is definitely a truth in writing being a form of therapy…a therapy I’ve come to rely on and when it’s not there I start to get itchy.  Anyway, I am here!  Briefly albeit 😦

Today I woke up at 4AM and could not get back to sleep, I won’t lie, I was a little anxious about the hysteroscopy procedure today.  We got up at 5AM so I could shower before inserting the cytotec pills into my vagina!  Nice.  We arrived at the clinic at 6:30AM and the nurses were great as usual.  I was first on the surgery list, a few other ladies were there for their egg retrievals after me.  I got changed into my beautiful one size fits all, modesty covering gown and climbed into a bed with freshly warmed sheets and a couple of extra because I get so so cold in that prep/recovery room!  I signed my life away and took the obligatory pregnancy test.  It would be miraculous if I was pregnant and we all joked about how we all would be happy if I had to be sent home because it turned out to be positive.  No such luck.

The nurse prepared the back of my right hand for the IV needle.  I have wonderful veins, but the nurse managed to bust it and it started swelling up like a balloon.  I started to feel faint like I was about to pass out.  I’m not a needle fan so watching this made me feel sick.  So she tried again but on the inside of my forearm.  She got the needle in, but it felt really, really weird.  She wasn’t happy with it, so she called another nurse to come take a look and try on my other hand. I was feeling really light headed at this point, so she lay me down almost completely.  The other nurse had done my IVs both times previously, so I started to feel a little better when she attempted to insert the needle in the back of my left hand.  She also used lidocaine to numb the area first so I was instantly less nervous because I couldn’t feel the needle jabbing around inside me!  Finally, the IV was in!

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Pre-sedation! The nurses wrapped me up all nice and snuggly

Chris came back to keep me company whilst we waited for my doctor to arrive.  After about 20 minutes she arrived and asked if I had any questions; I may have mentioned this before but she has a real awkward bed side manner, it is actually now growing on me!  Then the anesthesiologist gave me a cocktail of drugs through my IV, and I started to feel like I had 4 or 5 strong margaritas (apparently margaritas was what he was putting through my IV!).  I was wheeled on my bed through to the operating room, and I concentrated really hard on looking around the room to see what it was like.  But that lasted 30 seconds and I was out.  Next thing I knew, I was waking up with Chris next to me, and everyone was laughing and joking at me because I had apparently been dancing to Elton John music in the surgery. Hmmmm.  OK, if that’s what you say!  I think it might actually be credible thing I’d do!

I vaguely remember them also saying that everything looked good on the camera and they had taken a biopsy to be sure.  I had to ask Chris later if I imagined this conversation because I wasn’t sure if I had dreamed it!

I was really, really sleepy coming out of this cocktail of sedation drugs compared to my egg retrievals. I struggled to wake up and felt very woozy. I asked the nurse if the drugs were different, but she said they were the same, they may have given me a little more this time, or just being tired and stressed can make recovery time longer.  Well, both of those things are true so I guess that explained it.  After an hour of coming out of the operating room, I was ready to be driven home.  We stopped off at Panera bread to buy some breakfast treats.  I also ordered a decaf caramel latte and when I took a sip of it I was convinced it had no coffee in it at all!  It just tasted like steamed milk to me.  Chris tried it and said that it definitely had coffee in it.  I didn’t believe him, miffed,  I didn’t drink anymore of it until I got home, when this time I took a sip it definitely had coffee in it!  So something weird was going on with my taste buds!  I attempted to eat my giant cinnamon roll, but my mouth was sooooooooooo dry I could barely swallow a mouthful.  My throat is sore and my mouth dry now still!  Well at least this time I don’t have a drippy nose!  Ah well, I think I would rather have been sedated than have none, so I can’t complain in the grander scheme of things.

So once again, everything looks normal.  We still have no explanation as to what may be wrong.  I  am pleased that there is nothing obviously wrong with my uterus (well, I am still waiting for the results of the endometrieal biopsy they took whilst they were in there today!).

Tomorrow I will phone and see what the plan is for starting IVF round 3 because my period is due to start 3 days before my results appointment, so I need to see if they will start me on down regulation before the results.  I also don’t really know much about their lupron down regulation protocol and how long they do it for.

For now I have a very busy week ahead of me, but I have a quieter weekend coming, so I hope to catch up with the blogging then and get me some blog therapy in!

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