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.

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.

Nurse Mummy to the Rescue

It dawned on me over a week ago that when I go for my work trip & mini day break with mum up to DC tomorrow, I will not have my handy man (AKA hubby) with me to administer the progesterone in oil injection.  Uhoh, I worried that I would not be able to do it on my own – have you seen the size of that needle?  It’s 3 times the size of the one that is injected into my abdomen!!  The first time I tried to inject myself was a complete failure, I froze to the spot.  There was little chance of me administering this 1.5″ long needle myself – in my buttocks.  I thought I was going to have to cut our trip short, until I realised that my mum could do it!!!

Now – my mum is a self admitted needle phobe.  Fortunately, she is only a needle phobe from needles being administered to herself.  She works in a school and has administered an epi-pen to a child before.  The challenge to inject me with this ginormous needle still was not insurmountable.  So we got mum into training ASAP.  Once Chris had tried administering the injection on me once, he then started training my mum.

First night of training – observation.  Mum observed Chris and he explained every step he took.  Here is a simple 10 step programme.

  • Step 1: Prepare items: 1.5″ 22G needle, progesterone in oil, gauze, x2 alcohol swabs, sharps container, ice pack for numbing, heat pad for massaging afterwards.

Progesterone_kit

  • Step 2: Dani lies face down on bed and Dani ices the buttock that will be injected (change from L-R buttock every day)
  • Step 4: Prepare medication: take lid off progesterone bottle, alcohol swab top, extract 1ml of progesterone using needle, check for air bubbles.
  • Step 5: Alcohol swab injection area on buttocks, Dani looks away :-s
  • Step 6: Breathe!!!
  • Step 7: Pull skin apart at injection site and hold down.  Let Dani know you are going to stab her 3-2-1: stab!
  • Step 6: Pull back on needle slightly to check for blood, if air bubble is seen, all is good
  • Step 7: Inject progesterone
  • Step 8: Remove needle and place gauze on injection site & massage.
  • Step 9. Dani continues to massage injection site area with heat pad for about 10 minutes.
  • Step 10: Go have a cigarette to calm your nerves (mummy, not Dani!!!)

Second night of training – prepare medicine with Chris’s guidance, observe Chris injecting again.  Practice injection using lemon and vegetable oil to get feel of how hard it needs to be ‘darted’ into the skin.

lemonslemons2

By the way – when life gives you lemons…..stab em with a needle and inject vegetable oil. Waaaaay more fun than making lemonade!!!

Third night of training – prepare medicine without Chris’s guidance (Chris observes), Chris injects again while observing.  Continue practicing with lemon.

Fourth night of training – prepare medicine.  Inject with Chris’s guidance.  (Success!!! Mum has a little lie down with me afterwards, she was nervous, but I hardly felt a thing!!)

Fifth night of training – on own administer everything without Chris’s guidance, Chris observes and only interrupts once to slightly change the grip on the needle.  Mum is now fully Qualified!

D-Day: She did it!!!! Mum did this all on her own without any help from me at all.  I am so grateful and proud of you Mum!

I tried practicing with the lemon against on my bottom to see if I could do it my self just in case – and it is possible on my left side, but very difficult on the right side, so despite my needle phobia I would probably still need help to inject on my right side.

After Mum qualified and passed her 5 night training plan, she told me that throughout this she has learned that the you can overcome anything for your children. Awwww. Thanks Mum, I love you lots and can’ thank you enough for overcoming your fear to help us out.

IVF DIARY VOL I: 04 Aug 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1fMedication(s) administered and dosage(s). 

Doxycycline to reduce chance of infection after the egg retrieval.

Acetaminophen/Codeine #3 300/30mg 1 every 4-6hrs as needed for pain – although I took one this morning, I’m afraid this is not helping with my constipation and I don’t think it is helping with the pain, so I’m not taking anymore.

Colace, to help counter my constipation.

Vivelle Dot Patches x2 (Estrogen usually administered to menopausal women).  These are super easy – they stick to my abdomen…now that is something I can do myself!!! I love the fact that they say on the box “Do not use if you are pregnant”. HA!!!

Progesterone in oil – 1mg.  Oh my goodness, this is an intra-muscular injection with a 1.5″ needle. I lay down on the bed on my front.  Using a cool pack I iced my buttock cheek in the top right hand quadrant where Chris injected it.  I hardly felt the needle going in as a result of the ice numbness, but I felt like Chris was pushing really hard so I said he doesn’t need to put pressure on it when it’s in me!  He told me that there was hardly an imprint of the needle on my skin, he wasn’t pushing! I guess that is just how a needle feels going into the muscle!  Afterwards we massaged the area and then I applied a heat pad to the injection area.  Owwww I feel like someone has kicked me in the butt cheek!! It’s really isn’t so bad, but I am not the one adminstering it, so I can look away!!

Medical procedures undertaken. No procedures on me per se, but my mature eggs were “ICSI’d” yesterday afternoon and our fertilised eggs are being looked after by the embryologists so they develop into embryos.

What are my symptoms? I am massively bloated – my waist increased by 4cm and I put on 3lbs despite the fact that I hardly ate anything yesterday.  I am constipated, I poo usually 3 times a day and so far nothing.  I’ve taken some Colace which takes 12-36 hours to work – not soon enough.  My bowels and stomach also hurt whenever I pee and fart.  Farting releases a little bit of the pressure, but does not relieve me!  It hurts when I walk, the pain is not getting any better.  The nurse said I should call tomorrow if the pain continues to worsen or I put on anymore weight because I could be at risk from Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome.  They would need to do an ultrasound to check how my ovaries are doing.  I really really hope this starts to go away so I can go to work tomorrow plus I want to be better before my transfer.  In the meantime the nurse advised drinking liquids, not just water but juice, gator aid and soup.  Eat small portions….I am soooo hungry, but I can’t physically eat a whole meal right now!!

Day1

Day 1 – pronuclear stage: 1 cell with 2 dots in the middle.  This indicates a normally fertilized egg with each dot representing genetic materials from the mum and the dad.

Any results? This morning I received a phone call from the IVF nurse co-ordinator who gave me an update on egg/embryo status.  When I answered the phone she sounded so somber I thought she was going to tell me it had been a complete failure.  But here is what she told me.  Yesterday they retrieved 9 eggs, 6 were mature, this morning 4 had successfully fertilised, 2 had not, but they may be late developers and so they will call me if they do make it.  If they don’t call, they haven’t made it, and 4 will be the number.  (They didn’t call in the end 😦 ). I won’t get any more updates until I arrive on Thursday for my transfer procedure (3 days). I’m not sure I like the fact that we won’t receive any more updates, but at the same time, what can I do about it if I was told if they are progressing well?  Nothing, so I guess this way it stops us thinking too much about it.

How do I feel today? I am trying to stay positive, I won’t lie that I cried for a very brief while after I got off the phone from the nurse.    I was initially upset that less than 1 in 2 eggs made it through to fertilisation.  I couldn’t help but think how somehow this is my failure.  But I realise this is ridiculous, so I cried for only a minute.

How does Chris feel today? Poor Chris found the intra-muscular injection quite traumatic, I feel really bad.  But he did it!!!  I will let him tell you all about it in a separate post.  He is quite pragmatic about the number of fertilised eggs – 4 today seems like a good number to come away with.  However he feels confused, like me, about whether we should wait for a 5 day transfer.

What’s next?   I am not sure about the 3 versus 5 day transfer.  We do get to discuss things with the doctor on Thursday, but we haven’t talked about it since we started our IVF cycle.  I’ve read a lot about the fact that if an embryo doesn’t make it to blastocyst stage at 5 days then it is unlikely to have ever been a viable pregnancy anyway (I am not sure how they can really know that for sure).  So wouldn’t it be better to let them get to 5 days to see if they survive to blastocyst stage rather than having false hope with a day 3 transfer and waiting two weeks to see it fail;?  This seems like the worst kind of gambling!!!

Weight. I’ve gained 3lbs of whatever over night, it’s not food that’s for sure!!! I’ll keep an eye on it.

Waist.  My waist has bloated 4cm in the last 24hrs, which might not sound like much, but it sure is a significant gain for me over this time period!

Boobs. NSTR.

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 I’m not really allowed in the sun because I am taking doxycycline 😦 but I did sneak in a bit (wearing sun cream of course) this morning and had a slow waddle down to the beach.

150804_IVF1_Stats

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