Hey there. Just a quick update tonight as I’m still suffering the effects of a general anesthetic from an operation I had this morning and I’m struggling to think, let alone type.
On Friday I had my WTF appointment with Wazza. He says yet again my hormone levels at blood test were superb (apart from that all important hCG level of course). he seems convinced as long as we have strong embryos we’ll get a positive pregnancy result.
I asked if there could possibly be anything wrong with my uterus which would be causing the embryos not to implant. He says he doubts it. All tests have been clear and even if there was something like NK cells or some undetectable inflammation, the predni.sone, clexa.ne and aspirin would be overcoming it.
Just to be sure though, he has introduced F.eldene (an anti-inflammatory drug) on top of my regime and he’s increased the level of predn.isone and clexa.ne I’m taking. He’s also getting me to inject FSH even though it’s not a stim cycle to try to increase my estrogen levels (I think) by encouraging more eggs to grow.
He also told me about a procedure he’d be happy to do which was a Hysteroscopy, endometriol biopsy (which I’ve already had once before), but this time adding a Lipoidal flush to the mix. He showed me a paper which outlines studies where there has been some success for women with ‘unexplained infertility’.
I don’t know much about Lipoidal flushes, and really haven’t had any time to consult with Dr. Google, but I think the theory has to do with an oil being flushed through your tubes and uterus which heals any inflammation which may have gone undedicated. This may not be the full story, but I trust Wazza and I was grateful he wasn’t just asking me to do the same protocol as last time and just ‘hope’ for a different outcome. I think it puts you in a better frame of mind if you feel like you are doing something different or something more to achieve a different outcome.
Naturally, given everything else I’ve gone through to achieve this pregnancy, I happily said I’d have the operation. Since I was about to start Day 1 of my next cycle and this procedure was most successful if performed somewhere between day 2 and day 4, he booked me in for today. That suited me fine. I really don’t like having a long time to think about these things. It just makes me more nervous about it.
Now it’s over, and apart from not bouncing back after the general anesthetic as I normally do, and apart from it feeling like they had a party ‘down there’ without me, I’m not in that much pain. Good news really.
So I’m on day 2 now of my next cycle. We’ll unfreeze our two 3 day frosties when the time comes later in the cycle and try to grow them to blasts. If either doesn’t get that far, I’ve still got my day 5 blast frozen as well for back up.
I’m not sure how hopeful I feel about this cycle, but there is definitely still some hope there. I’ll keep you posted on how I go.
Thank you for being such a wonderful support to Hector and I. I read all of your comments to Hector and he is always chuffed that you are all out there barracking for us. This is such a hard journey to go through. I don’t want to be at the end of the line, but the end looks like it’s out there soon one way or another. Geez I hope the ending is a happy one. I know I have to prepare myself for the possibility it won’t be a happy ending, but I’m not quite up to seriously considering that yet. I wonder if I’m just kidding myself?
As you know, it isn’t measured on effort.
And I’m not pregnant.
Progesterone: 122.5 (perfect level for pregnancy)
Estrogen levels were perfect too. Seems I can create the perfect environment for a pregnancy to flourish.
But I just can't seem to be able to get pregnant.
What do I have to do?
We are so sad. Hector has gone out to buy me all the bad food I haven't been eating lately in my quest to be healthy. He is so sweet. I also suspect he's gone out to call his mum without me hearing so he can spare me from having to deal with her grief on top of my own. Not that she doesn't deserve to grieve. She does. We all do. It's just hard for me to hear today. I know it's selfish, but I can only deal with my own grief today. When I'm stronger I will be able to sound positive for the future. Not today though.
Today is about being angry that the world is unfair. Today is about having a frank and open discussion with the universe about what it's got against me. And to tell the universe how angry I am at it.
I am tired of the disappointments. I'm tired of having our lives on hold. I'm tired of the drugs and the injections. Of having to keep my hope levels elevated. Because we all know IVF won't work if you don't feel positive. Ha. No matter how positive I try to remain it never seems to work anyway.
Today, I just feel tired. Worn out. Worn down.
Luckily it's another rainy day in Brisbane today. It matches my mood well. It's strange how much it's raining here at the moment. After years of the worst drought in history, finally it's raining a lot. I just wish my drought of good luck would break soon to. The only thing that's breaking for me at the moment is my heart.
Life just stinks today.
You all make me laugh with your comments. You know me well. I’m obviously pretty predictable!
Of course I’ve been conducting my scientific experiment again. POAS’ing every morning.
I had a preg.nyl injection last Thursday and then had to have my last preg.nyl injection on Tuesday morning. So I POAS’ed on Tuesday morning before injecting and as expected it was negative. Well, there was the faintest of faint lines, but you had to hold it on the right angle, in the right light, and squint quite a bit to see it.
So the next morning (Wednesday) I POAS’ed again and there was, as expected, a strong positive line from the preg.nyl. So nice to see, but obviously from the injection the previous day. I POAS’ed again this morning (Thursday) and the line was still there, still just as strong. I expected it to be lighter, since preg.nyl has a half life of 33 hours but it wasn’t lighter at all. I’ll see what it’s like tomorrow.
I love seeing the two lines, but it’s definitely not cause for excitement yet as it’s still obviously the preg.nyl in my system. If the line stays as strong by Saturday or Sunday morning then I’ll allow myself to get a little excited.
I’m meant to have my blood test 14 days after my transfer which was Monday of last week. I think they mean Monday of next week is when I’m meant to go in, but perhaps I’ll see if I can go in on Sunday. Not sure yet. I’ll see how long I can last. I’ll call Wazza’s office tomorrow and ask them to send a form to pathology for me in case I need to go in on Sunday for my sanity. Obviously if they say ‘no way’, I’ll have to wait until Monday. I hate finding out at work. It’s much more civilised to be in the privacy of your own home, with your other half right beside you, when you get the result.
I’ve been feeling a little queasy today and a little light headed at times, but I suppose since I’ve obviously got enough HCG in my system to give me a strong positive on POAS test, it’s probably no surprise.
Despite trying to be very patient, I think I’m going a little crazy with the waiting. Saturday and Sunday will no doubt be the worst days. I’m trying to find things to do over the weekend to distract me, so I’ll see how I go.
Thanks for thinking of me. I’ll keep you posted on how I go.
Thank you everyone for such lovely comments. They mean the world to me and they’ve made me feel so good about everything. This blog not only helps me get my thoughts out, but it really helps to know you are all thinking of Hector and I and that you are all wishing us well on our journey to our happy ending. Though it’s a hard journey, it’s made somewhat easier to have you all on our side. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Well, I’m half way through the 2ww and I’m coping pretty well really.
This time I’m fairly c’est la vie about it all. I’m trying pretty hard to keep all the emotions under control and so far it’s working well.
Eventually I had one of the remaining embryos grow to blast which was frozen on day 5. So that makes three little frosties waiting in the freezer for us.
So after all my worries, this turns out not to be the last chance saloon cycle. I think that really contributes to my calm view of this 2ww. Perhaps the other reason I’m calmer is that I feel I’ve moved into the veteran category of IVF’ers now. Veteran IVF’ers find it easier not to cling to false hope nor false negatives. Though I wish I’d never become a veteran IVF’er, it is a much calmer place to be.
Today the two little embryos should be burrowing in to a comfy spot in my uterine lining. Hector has been calling to the embryos each day trying to get them to follow his voice so they’ll hit the side on their way and find my uterine lining to stick on to. Very cute. Even cuter is the burrowing noise he’s making – trying to teach them how to snuggle in tight. Let’s hope they’re listening to their dad.
I have to have my last preg.nyl injection on Tuesday. I know this will confuse any pee-ing on a stick I do. Not sure if I should bother doing it at all. But off course I probably won’t be able to resist. I just won’t really be able to put any stock in any positive result I may get. I’ll try to keep you all posted if I do my standard daily scientific experiment, but don’t get too excited if I do get two lines as it’s probably just going to be the preg.nyl still in my system. The blood test will still be the definitive answer (well at least I hope it’s definitive!)
I’m trying to ignore any symptoms, but to be honest it’s been pretty easy to do as I’m not getting too many symptoms. Normally the HCG, estrogen and progesterone, makes me feel pregnant during the 2ww even when I’m not, but strangely, those symptoms have been a little absent this time. I have had a blue vein appear on one b.oob. But apart from that, there’s been very few symptoms. Apart from tiredness. I’m feeling very tired. I am usually fairly gifted when it comes to an ability to sleep, but at the moment it’s more than a gift, it’s more an obsession! I expect that’s from my body reacting to all the medication I’m on though. Hector, who often has trouble sleeping, has always been jealous of my sleeping gifts, but at the moment he’s just highly amused and asks every hour or so on the weekend if I’m planning on going back for ‘second sleep’ (or third sleep – or highly embarrassingly, fourth sleep!). I’m glad he finds it cute. Most partners would probably find it rather annoying!
At least I feel different this time, even if it’s due to lack of symptoms. Feeling different this time gives me hope there could be a different outcome. And to be honest, I think the stats of a 60% chance of a positive outcome should still apply to this donor cycle. Both donors we’ve been blessed to use are ‘proven’ in that they’ve both had children before. They are both young and therefore the stats should be on my side. Even if the stats aren’t on my side this time, there are frosties there as back up.
Though, to be honest, I hope one of my favourite blog followers, Mel is correct when she said: Once I have my twins from this cycle I won’t care whether I had blasts or not! (That made me smile so much!) As much as I’m glad I have my little icybubs in the freezer, I so hope I don’t need them except as the possibility of a sibling for this successful bubba.
One week to go till we find out. I hope I can keep my calm demeanor for seven more days. If I could have been this calm throughout all my 2ww’s, this horrible IVF journey would have been a lot easier I think.
PS. One of the strangest side effects I have this time is a really sore jaw. I phoned my FS about it and he said not to worry about it, that it’s unlikely to be from the medication (though Dr. Google tells me it could be from the prednisone I’m on). It’s annoying, but if I get a positive outcome this cycle it will the tiniest price to pay.
Yep, you got it. Again, I didn’t get the dream of two hatching blasts being returned.
I’m not complaining mind you. Yesterday I had two 8 cell grade 2 embryos transferred.
Yes, it was disappointing that we weren’t game enough to go to day 5. But I’m more than happy to be PUPO.
Even with my gorgeous young donor eggs and my proven sperm donor fertilising them, for some reason we didn’t have an abundance of high grade embryos. They don’t know why. They said it was just ‘the luck of the draw’. My luck anyway.
Of the 19 eggs, 12 fertilised and two were clearly ahead on day 3 being the 8 cell grade 2 ones I had transferred. They froze 2 others which were just behind and we’ll wait and see tomorrow if there are any others which make it to blast. They think there would only be two which might make the distance and even then they aren’t sure.
As my lovely blog follower Lilypily said in her comment on her last post, her little bubba was a 3 day 8 cell embryo, so I am still extremely hopeful this could be the winning cycle for me too. (Thank you Lilypily, you have no idea how much you made my day with that comment!)
I wish it had all been a bit more clear cut but there is still so much hope out there that these two little bubbas inside me will stay the distance. Let’s face it, it’s the best chance I’ve had so far.
So fingers crossed. And legs crossed. And everything crossed.
The scientists and doctor couldn’t pinpoint any reason that we didn’t have a better run with the embryo growth. On paper we should have had a much higher number of embryos to play with going to day 5. I must admit, when they showed me the sheet with the embryos growth and gradings on it at my transfer, I got upset and shed a tear or two. All the grade 1′s and grade 2-’s just jumped out at me telling me the universe was still trying to play with my head. My darling FS told me I had every right to get upset with all I’d been through. He said the eggs looked fabulous, the sperm donor’s sample was brilliant, and there just wasn’t any reason for it. He said it just wasn’t fair. And although it wasn’t, I have to look on the bright side and be really grateful for having my 2 good quality embryos inside me, which is still my best chance I’ve had throughout all these IVF cycles. Everyone in the room while I was having the transfer were extremely understanding and really positive and for that I was really really grateful.
Now it’s time to just sit back and chill for the next 14 days. Yeah right… anyone who’s endured the 2ww knows how unlikely that is!
And lots of good thoughts go out to my amazing egg donor who is still not feeling on top of the world after her EPU. What a wonderful woman to go through all this for me. Now I’m off to rest some more so I can do everything in my power to make her discomfort worthwhile. We’ll get there. We’ll get that elusive BFP. It just has to be my time, this time – doesn’t it?
A dozen is a pretty darn good result I reckon. And that’s we got. We can’t believe how much better this cycle has been compared with any we’ve done before.
Eight eggs were fertilised through ICSI (micro injection of the donor sperm into the egg) and seven of those fertilised. The rest were fertilised through IVF (surrounding the egg with the donor sperm). Only five of those fertilised. Odd. But we still ended up with a dozen embryos which is more than enough to provide us with a happy healthy bubba. And so we are delighted.
Not sure if we are going to day 3 or day 5 yet. I’m going to have another chat with the scientist tomorrow. Luckily I have the head scientist looking after our bubbas this time and I know he has decades of experience in looking at embryos. I value his opinion.
He did say he wasn’t sure it mattered as our donor was so young, so it would more than likely work whichever way we went (he clearly hasn’t suffered the bad luck we have over the past two years). It was nice to hear his positive attitude, but I’ll wait for a positive blood test before I let myself become that positive I think.
Something in my head wants to take at least some of the embryos to blast. I can’t really tell you why. I just have this thing in my head that every time I hear of someone having a hatching blast transferred, they end up pregnant. Of course I’ve also heard a few success stories with day 3 transfers, but I’ve also seen (and been through) a few failures. Maybe it’s also because our embryos always looked good at day 3 and terrible by day 5 (could never even get to blast) that makes me wary of day 3 embryos. Not sure.
There is one thing I’m sure of though. I’m sure I’m tired of having to make decisions about this. I wanted someone to say “well it’s clear, you should have a transfer on day X”, but they didn’t. They said it was up to me and either was an ok decision. They said, lets wait until we see them on day 2 and you can make a decision then.
So tomorrow I will make the decision. Let’s hope I make the right one…
It’s hard to believe how giving some people are.
We’ve probably all given blood at some stage of our lives. It’s not the most pleasant of processes, but we all know how much it can mean to someone for us to take an hour out of our day having a small amount of our blood drained. And so most people have done it and some wonderful people do it regularly.
I used to do it regularly until I had about 4 goes in a row where my iron was too low, so I felt like I was wasting their time. And since I’ve been on fertility treatment my iron levels are great, but I’m still not in a position to donate blood. I feel bad about losing blood donation out of my regime. Blood donation saved my life when I was a few hours old as then I needed a complete blood transfusion. I was a rhesus baby meaning my mum and dad’s blood types were incompatible and so my mum’s blood saw mine as a foreign body and started sending in antibodies to combat it. (at least that’s the short story). Now there is apparently an injection mums have to stop this, but 43 years ago, that didn’t exist, so I had to be born a few weeks early and have my body transfused with a good samaritan’s blood. As a little girl growing up, hearing my ‘birth’ story, I was always very grateful to that person for donating their blood to help me survive.
Blood donation is one thing. But donating body parts and gametes is quite another.
Now, 43 years later, I’m again blessed to find myself in need of another type of donation. A double donation in fact. And this one is even more amazing.
Hector and I find ourselves in the position of needing an both an egg donor and a sperm donor. And I have found both. And we feel very, very lucky.
My sperm donor lives in the US and having had a child of his own, would really like to help other couples fulfill their parental dream. It’s pretty special to think of doing this at all not to mention being able to ‘get over’ the thought of providing your own gametes, your own DNA to another couple. I think it takes a very special person to do that.
Sperm donation is however relatively easy to do. (Apologies to any males reading this, but let’s face it, it’s the easier of the gamete donation process) Egg donation on the other hand is not quite so easy. So apart from needing to emotionally make the decision to donate eggs – which must be just as hard as the decision to donate sperm – an egg donor also needs to go through a cycle of sniffing, injecting, side effects and then a operation under a general anesthetic to be in a position to be able to donate their eggs.
So I think it takes a particularly special person to that. An amazing person, a giving person, a selfless person and a very brave person. That person has to walk in the shoes of an infertile for a cycle to be able to be in a position to give hope to another that they may share in the dream of having or extending a family.
My donor is one of these people. She is wonderful. She’s gone through the cycle, she’s done everything that could possibly be asked of a donor and more. She’s done her best to not only make sure this donation is the best it could possibly be for Hector and I, but she’s also been lovely enough to support me emotionally throughout.
I can’t express how grateful Hector and I are. Today was EPU. My donor flew to Brisbane last night and went in for the operation this morning. And for all of our bad luck we’ve experienced in the past, as far as egg collection went, we could not have asked for a better result. We have 19 (count them…. NINETEEN) good looking mature eggs!!!!
I have never seen Hector so happy. He said “it’s about time a cycle went our way – this is the best chance we’ve ever had!”. It’s so lovely to see him trying to reign in his excitement. (it’s usually me who has to do that!)
Unfortunately it didn’t go quite so well for my poor donor. She had a bad reaction to the anesthetic and ended up back in hospital this afternoon due to vomiting. They’ve given her protein and some anti OHSS tablets and promise me that she wasn’t ill from OHSS but rather from the anesthetic for which I’m glad. Not glad that she was sick, but glad it wasn’t OHSS which can be quite serious.
My donor tells me she recovered well after going back to hospital. I presume they gave her a drip with anti nausea drugs. I’m so relieved she’s feeling better. I really wouldn’t wish any illness on a woman who has gone through so much for me.
Hector and I (and my donor) are now waiting anxiously to hear about fertilization results tomorrow. Half of the eggs will be fertilised by ICSI and half through IVF. We will take six to blast (I think – I have to discuss this tomorrow with Wazza) and the rest will be frozen on day 3.
All will be fertilised with our donor sperm. We were considering doing half donor and half with Hector’s sperm, but as time as rolled on and Hector has become more comfortable with the thought of using donor sperm he’s decided he’d rather cut to the chase and give us our best chance of becoming pregnant. And he’s convinced this is through using donor sperm.
I’ll pop back in the morning and let you know fertilization results. But for now, I’d like you all to spare a thought for all those beautiful gamete donors in the world who give us infertile some hope of getting our happy endings. Hats off to you all.
I thought I’d try to explain the bad place I’ve been in over the last many weeks. It’s not so easy to do now since it’s lifting, but I’ll have a go.
After the last failed cycle, the one where I finally got to see those two lovely lines on a p.ee stick which had me quite excited only to be let down yet again by the blood test, I became very angry at my infertility. I had so much trouble regaining strength.
I knew I had a wonderful donor waiting in the wings and although it was a relief, it was hard to believe after all these let downs that even another donor cycle would work. I started believing I would never be able to make Hector the dad he wanted to be and I was angry at the world for not letting this happen.
I was tired of the drugs, I was tired of the injections, I was tired of the side effects and of how IVF takes over your life. I was just tired of it all. I wasn’t sure I even had it in me to do another cycle. I knew if I didn’t I would be letting Hector down, letting his family down, letting my donor down, and all in all, letting myself down. And so I was deeply troubled. I wanted Hector and I to reach our happy ending more than anything, but I just wasn’t sure if I could find the strength to do it.
I wasn’t sure where to turn. I couldn’t tell Hector (though I think he knew and was starting to feel the same way). I told him that this next time had to be the last time. He understood and agreed.
So we started talking about what our life would be like without children in it. It was sad, but we knew we’d survive and still be happy in our relationship with each other.
All the while life was complicated by my son returning from China and staying with us while he was setting his world up for his wife and son (my gorgeous little grand baby) to arrive. Hector and I thought it would be difficult for him to set himself up in a country he hadn’t lived in for 5 and half years, but in true Y gen style, it all fell in his lap. The job, the car, setting up house – it was all a done deal within six weeks of his return.
Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful to have my son around me after so long away. It was good to see him getting along well with Hector and when his wife and my grand baby arrived, it was amazingly wonderful to be able to cuddle Lawrence to my hearts content.
But wow, how easy he made it all seem. Everything I’ve had to fight for in life seemed to have just fallen in his lap. A part of me felt like the universe had some sort of gripe with me that it didn’t have with other people. And watching how amazingly good Hector was with Lawrence just cut at my heart like a knife. Hector just loves kids of all ages, and watching him smile and play with Lawrence was such a double edged sword. I was so happy that he could get joy from someone I loved so much, but it just reminded me of what Hector and I have not been able to achieve over the last two years. The joy of having our own baby. So I felt guilt for failing on the fertility front and then guilt for allowing negative feelings to come into my relationship with my grandson.
Joy, sadness, anger, guilt and confusion. My head was in a spin. And although I was going through the motions of organising my incredibly wonderful egg donor to start a cycle with me, both my head and my heart were confused.
I stayed away from talking about infertility and IVF as much as I could. I tried to live life as if it wasn’t happening. And when I did think about it, I got scared. Let’s face it, this was my last cycle and if it didn’t work, it was all over. Done. And could I cope with it if it was over? I wasn’t sure.
So I was scared to stop IVF, but wasn’t sure I had the strength to keep going. Wow. How screwed up was my head?
Eventually however, the more I stopped thinking about it, the more strength I regained. I started to feel – well, not entirely positive about it, but not as negative as I’d been. And because I had continued to go through the motions of organising towards our final cycle, our double donor cycle – before I knew it there it was upon us. And now we are in the middle of the cycle.
And I’m ok. Not only do I now think I can do it, but I’m almost excited about it. Almost. I have to protect my heart from being entirely excited – but it’s looking good.
As it turns out, I’m on day 12 of the cycle. My donor – who is an entirely marvelous woman – has been sniffing her syn.eral for a few weeks, has been injecting FSH since day 6 and went for a scan yesterday which showed she’s grown 17 eggs. Can you believe it? Seventeen!!!!!! It’s hard not to be a little hopeful with that number. Warren, my FS, is really happy with the cycle and is speaking incredibly positive about it which never happened when I was cycling with my own eggs. He keeps sneaking in references to how long I’ll need to take this drug or that drug once I’m pregnant. He never normally refers to pregnancy when I’ve been cycling with my own eggs and always just told me to not concentrate on that part.
My donor is flying to Brisbane next Thursday for a Friday pickup. Warren tells me that if he gets the number of eggs he expects, he wants me to freeze some at day 3 and take six embryos to blastocyst. I should be transferring two on Wednesday week. Wow, imagine that! I feel almost greedy having so many potential embryos! I wonder if I may even get my dream of returning two hatching blastocysts? Wouldn’t that just be amazing?
But lets not count our chickens just yet. In this IVF world, there are plenty of things that could go wrong between now and next Wednesday week. I think it’s ok to be a little hopeful, but I don’t want these emotions to get too far out of control. History tells me the higher you fly, the harder you fall.
Please universe, can we have a truce now? Please let Hector and I fly this time. Please.
(I apologise if this post is rather confusing, but being in my head over the last number of weeks has been pretty confusing too.)
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. There’s been so many reasons. I’ll fill you in over the next few days. If I’m honest though, the main reason I haven’t blogged is that I’ve been in a very strange place over the last month or so, and it’s been a bit scary to admit it in black and white.
There’s been other more practical reasons too though. My internet has been pretty intermittent lately and my laptop has been acting up. Last week I finally lashed out and got real grown up internet connected which helps. And this week, Hector did a very,very sweet thing and bought me the one thing I wanted more than anything else (no, not a baby – as sweet as that would have been, it’s entirely illegal). He bought me an iPad. Now I can lie in bed and blog to my hearts content.
I shall be back soon to tell you the exciting things that have been happening as well as the reason I’m in the oddest headspace I’ve ever encountered.
Oh – the reason Hector bought me such a nice present is because it was my birthday yesterday. My 43rd birthday. 43 is a lovely age for many reasons. Unfortunately it’s just not a great age to get to when you’re still trying to have a baby.
I think my recent birthday has been one of the major contributors to my odd head space. That and the fact I’ve started another cycle (it’s day 10 today). My last cycle probably.
I shall return shortly to update you all on everything.
P.S. Thank you to those who’ve been checking up on me. I really appreciate it. You all have not been far from my thoughts over the last few weeks.
What can you do?
Try again next time…
The last time.
Please universe, let next time be our time.