IVF Diary Vol III: 17-19 Apr 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). 3DP5DT (3 days past 5 Day Transfer)  PM Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

Injecting into my right side is much harder than my left side – even though I’m injecting with my right hand on the right side – it’s just that I have more flexibility in turning my torso left than I do right.  Is that weird?  Or is that standard for right handed people??

Last night, my first night in a hotel on my own without Chris on hand, I gave myself the progesterone in oil injection.  I felt queasy and thought I was going to pass out as the needle got half way in.  Fortunately I didn’t, but the whole experienced has made me feel nervous about doing it again tonight :-s

We also experimented and replaced the needle with a new one after drawing up the oil to see if it made a difference.  It felt slightly sharper/easier to pierce the skin so I will keep doing that – I have enough needles stored up!!!

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil! Woohoo!!!

Any results?  The nurse called with the news about our embryos –  none of them were of sufficient quality by the end of day 6 to freeze.  Chris came to my work to give me a big hug.  The news definitely sucked…but now we know what we are dealing with.  We have both kind of pushed this news into the corner for another time to think about.  We need to focus on the right now instead.  These two little cheeky embryos had better stick!!

What are my symptoms?  The Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome symptoms have subsided, my ovaries have had lots of sharp pains and twinges the past two days, but the overall abdominal pains has almost but dissipated except for after eating.  Sore boobs….Chris hugged me and I yelped a bit from the tender boobs!!!!

How do I feel today? I had a lovely dream that I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl…like she was the most beautiful baby anyone had seen, the day of coming back home from the hospital we went to a party and showed her off to everyone, then I realised that I didn’t know how to breast feed her and some ladies had to help me. Awkward.  That was weird…but what wasn’t weird was the fact that this dream felt so real when I woke up for a slight second I thought it had actually happened for real 😦 I hope it was my body telling me something!!!

What’s next? Is it test time 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 daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

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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!!! 

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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.

On being PUPO at P-1 Day (Prove Day)

I officially have the status of being Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise (PUPO).  I can ‘enjoy’ this status for about 24hrs longer because tomorrow morning I have my first ever beta pregnancy blood test.  What is a beta pregnancy blood test?  This is a blood test that will reveal ‘quantitatively’ the amount of hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadatropin) in my blood (hCG is the hormone that is produced when a woman is pregnant).

The last 24 hours have been interesting.  Yesterday I thought my period was about to happen.  I discovered a bit of dark brown spotting….I freaked out.  Then I thought perhaps implantation bleeding?  But surely this is way too late for implantation bleeding and unlikely to be possible??!  (Remember I have an upside down uterus so perhaps the blood from the implantation has taken a while to ‘gravitationallly’ find its way out! Perhaps it is not impossible?!?!)  But then I had horrible aches that felt like a period for several hours afterwards.  I felt that it was all over.  I went to bed last night pretty much expecting to wake up to my period flowing.  I even got upset when Chris told me I should go to bed with a pad and knickers on.  I shall not surrender!!!! But no!!! Cruel Aunt Flow teases me!!! Nothing has shown itself since.

Last night I had a weird dream.  I basically took three different home pregnancy tests.  The first was positive, because I couldn’t believe my eyes, I took a different brand…and it came back positive.  So Chris made me take this crazy test.  The results were really hard to interpret.  The lines looked like inter-twinned ladders and required knowledge of matrix calculus to understand it, and so we argued over whether it was positive or negative.  It was positive.

Today, I have been aching like my period is about to arrive, however, I have been experiencing those sharp pains again like in many of my other previous 2 week waits.

The problem with being PUPO is that the progesterone injections and estrogen patches I am being ‘topped up with’ each day to help make a cosy and attractive womb to Huckleberry and Huckleberina are probably causing all of these symptoms.  So I am not going to think too much about it all….I remain as I mentioned in my previous post – indifferent.

Lots of people have been sending their love and support over the last few days, and for this we are truly appreciative for the kind thoughts.

So….all that is left to do now is…Prove!  I’m excited, nervous and scared all in one breath…or maybe it’s just the drugs!!! Who knows?!?!

Ohhhh just one last thing I will levae you with to make you smile….here is the spectacular bio-luminescent plankton we observed on Sunday.  Chris did a great job of the pics! I hope we didn’t use up all our luck this epic weekend of fun!

the bio-luminescent plankton

the bio-luminescent plankton

bio1

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.