Sunday, October 31, 2010

WHAT DID I DO DIFFERENTLY?

A few of you have asked me what I did differently this cycle than last and whether I think it made a difference. Well, for a start I didn't overstimulate this time with my IVF cycle so when the embryo was put back it was into a much better environment. Last time it was a 4AA blastie that was put back (the best quality) BUT I was bleeding internally, swollen and had alot of fluid which I really think contributed to it not sticking. This time there was no OHSS so I felt so much healthier and it was actually a day 3 embryo and not a blastie that was replaced which I was initially disappointed with but now I am just in awe! 

Other things I did differently were:

#1 - I started writing this blog after the last failure and I really think it helped my mindset. I have felt like a new woman in many ways since I started blogging and getting the thoughts off my chest and not keeping them bottled up. I also think it opened the door for the grieving process for my mum to come to fruition as writing about it made me realise I still hadn't grieved her death properly. So much healthier emotionally!

#2 - I purchased a Preparing for Pregnancy hypnotherapy track that helped keep me relaxed and feeling positive. I mostly listened to it the week leading up to egg collection, inbetween EC and transfer and in the 2WW which kept some of the negative thoughts at bay.

#3 - I drank my smoothie every night! You can find the recipe here.

#4 - I took elevit and fish oil tablets (but I did that last time too)

#5 - I did acupuncture fortnightly.

#6 - (And probably the biggest change) I rested up on modified bedrest (ie. the couch!) for 3 days after transfer.Last time I launched straight back into work but this time I didn't. 

#7 - I was on progynova as well as progesterone as I told my FS that I felt I had a progesterone issue due to charting and so he went with what I said and added that in too for after transfer support.

But in reality, it was probably just that my embryo was a really good quality one just waiting for a nice cushiony lining to attach itself to! 

GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU STILL BATTLING TO GET THERE! I have faith that you will achieve your dreams too. It's still early days for me aswell but I'm feeling confident about this little bub sticking around. I can finally see myself holding a baby in my arms and I feel this is a great sign!

Friday, October 29, 2010

EMBRACING IT

I'm embracing my pregnancy now (still feels weird to be saying 'pregnancy' and 'my' in the same sentence!). The HG and I just realised that worrying and wrapping ourselves in cotton wool to avoid getting to carried away and then having our hearts broken was the wrong approach. There would be no avoiding getting our hearts broken either way, so we are just going to embrace it and get excited. We went supermarket shopping tonight and brought our very first pack of nappies! We were so lost - we stared at those nappies and didn't have the faintest which ones we were supposed to be buying! Who knew there were so many different types to choose from! In the end we just grabbed a 30 pack labeled Newborn and hoped for the best. We decided we would get one or two items every shop so that it wouldn't cost us so much closer to the time. I then carried on around the corner and then realised the HG wasn't with me only to backtrack and find him still examining the baby aisle! So cute. He's being a tad over protective of me but I think it's rather sweet. I wasn't even allowed to unload the trolley (not that I'm complaining!) or do vacuuming, hang out the washing, lift the washing basket or put away dishes that require reaching up or down. Hmm . . . I could get used to this!

Also, I had my follow up HCG BT today and my levels are up from 193 on Monday to 1036 today which the nurse said is rising nicely. I went to acupuncture and had a pregnancy boosting treatment and then this weekend I have a huge chicken and vegie soup simmering in the crock pot to get all the extra goodness and a whole lot of relaxing and socialising (translate: celebrating!) to do. 

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SURVIVING THE FIRST TRIMESTER!

I'm so nervous. Now that the euphoria has settled down somewhat I am just a touch anxious about getting through this first trimester without any mishaps. First goal is getting good follow up BT results on Friday, then of course that first scan at 6 weeks and then that magical 12 week mark. I know it isn't a guaruntee once you get there but I think I'll be able to relax just a tad more! Does anyone know anything that can help prevent miscarriage? I'm eating so super healthy and have acupuncture lined up for Friday. Have been feeling a wee start of morning sickness (yesterday felt really quite crook in the arvo!) but nothing today (probably because I got some crackers to munch on whenever I felt hungry) but the sore boobs are starting to kick in. I've had some cramping (more sharp pains occasionally that come and go) but nothing I'm too concerned about. I've heard cramping/pains can be quite normal - if you've experienced it please reassure me! 

Any first few weeks survival tips/stories most welcome!! 

PS: I also want to apologise for being so slack in the second half of ICLW! Sorry gals, promise to double the commenting next month!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

STILL IN UTTER SHOCK!

So I totally did not sleep well last night. I was lying in bed wired and didn't drift off until about 1am. Just totally still in utter shock and sooooo excited! I have NO IDEA what to do now. I don't know what foods I'm supposed to avoid, what happens next, what activities I need to avoid doing . . . me know nothing! I have concentrated solely on getting pregnant for so long that I am not sure what to do with myself now I am. I have already got a midwife thanks to a referral (apparently she is the most in demand so I got in super early and she happens to live 3 doors down the road from me! How convenient is that!) as I was told by another friend that they are so in demand you need to get in the second you find out. So I did. Felt weird ringing a midwife! I have another BT on Friday and then I assume a first scan around Monday 8th November (which right now seems a million years away!) I still have no symptoms except a full, crampy feeling and perfect skin. Hope the morning sickness stays away too! A girl can dream!

I am so overwhelmed by all the messages of congratulations. I had no idea I had touch so many lives over the last 3 years to have such a huge response. I was in tears reading through all the messages and cannot tell you how much they all mean to me. I read them out to the HG last night and we were both just amazed with the response. I had nearly 600 hits on my blog yesterday alone! Wow. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

To those of you who are still going through this - please don't give up! I will be beside you every step of the way!

And remember - AF type cramps don't mean nothing!

Monday, October 25, 2010

HPT PHOTO

As promised! Not as dark as it might have been if I hadn't drunk so much water to make myself capable of POAS (peeing on a stick for those of you who wonder what POAS means!) but dark enough for me! And I just discovered that berry smoothies and me no longer go together. Hmm . . .

THE RESULTS ARE IN

I GOT MY BFP!!!!!!

Holy crap! We are in total shock and I am feeling slightly manic! After 3 long years and 3 IVF cycles I can finally say I'm pregnant! The nurse rang and I was shaking so much when she told me it was a positive. She told me all these instructions and info that I'll have to call her tomorrow about because I didn't hear a word of it! The only part I remember is that my HcG is a nice strong 193 and I am due early July. I ran out the back door in tears  and the HG thought it was a negative before I yelled 'I'm PREGNANT' to which he screamed and hugged me and we danced around the backyard in shock and laughter. Before we told anyone we raced off to get a stick to pee on and of course I didn't feel like going to the toilet so I drank about a dozen huge glasses of water and at 3pm this afternoon STILL got a beautiful strong second line! Will post a pic later.

OMG OMG OMG!!!!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU 
FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!
 
Especially to my beautiful BC girls who have been my rock every step of the way. 
I could not have done it without you!
Holy shit, I'm freakin pregnant!!!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

ONE MORE SLEEP!

That's right ladies, just one more night to go! There is nothing more I can do and nothing can change the outcome. I have done everything I can to get a positive result (including resting up for three days after transfer) and if it didn't stick then it wasn't meant to be. I can't make an embryo that wasn't destined to become a baby, become a baby, no matter what I do.

I really don't know whether I am or I'm not. It's tough this not knowing, it's beginning to feel like being stuck in limbo. I know tomorrow is going to be tough if it's a BFN. I'll be devastated. BUT, I'll get back up again, climb back on the bandwagon and keep going because I can't NOT be a mum. This is our dream and we will achieve it one way or another. I have come to the acceptance that we may only be able to have one child and that's ok with us. 

My inkling is that it will be another BFN but perhaps that is because BFN's are all I have ever known during this long and torturous 3 year quest to motherhood. I could be wrong. I hope I'm wrong!

So in advance - THANK YOU for all of your well wishes and support! I promise I will be back to update you tomorrow one way or another.  It is either going to be an incredible high or an incredible low. Please keep your fingers crossed for us!

Friday, October 22, 2010

I HAVE A CONFESSION

Last night I googled. More than once.

Yep, I broke my own promise not to let myself get dragged into the whole symptom googling but I couldn't help it! I had a bleeding nose. Well, rather I was just sitting at the computer last night and suddenly blood started dripping out of it. And for no reason! Sure, my nose has been blocked, but not enough to need to blow it and agitate anything so I posted on FB and joked I was going to google 'bleeding nose pregnancy symptom'. Except then I found out it actually, genuinly CAN be an early pregnancy symptom! I held out for about 10 minutes and then madly googled 'bleeding nose, cramping pregnancy symptoms?'. I read for about 5 minutes before guiltily clicking off and kicking myself for giving in. The only thing I gained from that little exercise was to make myself more nervous than I was before! Yesterday I would have said I was 90% sure AF was on her way. Today . . . I have no idea again. It doesn't help that the nurse called me yesterday just as a courtesy call to see how I was feeling and when I told her I had had cramping, she said it means nothing. Aaaaggghhh! I just want a baby. I want to finally cross that finish line with everyone else who crossed it 2 years ago. Who are crossing it now for a 2nd (and even 3rd!) time since I started TTC. Please?! My current favourite fantasy is imagining myself being able to type those three letters: BFP. And have them typed about myself. Not, 'Congratulations on your BFP' to someone else, but 'I got my BFP'.

So, so far (just to drive you all crazy!) my symptoms are:

* AF type cramping
* Heaviness feeling in abdomen
* Blocked nose (not runny, just stuffy)
* Random bleeding nose for no reason
* Dehydrated and thirsty all the time
* Bloated

BUT, I also have no tiredness or sore boobs or weird veins or nausea which seem to be the main theme in early pregnancy symptoms. I don't know what to think!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NEED SOME POSITIVE VIBES!

Aaaaggghhhh! Okay, I admit it, I am starting to struggle. You know that horrible achy type heaviness you begin to feel just before your period arrives? Well, I have it. And it sucks! When I felt nothing going on it was easier to remain in that positive headspace than when you start feeling something that reminds you that this might not work. If anyone else felt this way and still got a BFP, now is the time I want to hear from you! I'm really trying not to let it shake me though, trying to keep a positive outlook, trying to hold onto that hope. But I also feel a need to accept that this might not have worked so I don't crash and burn when that call comes in on Monday. Going just a little bit insane right now!

I also want to say thank you so much for all your wonderful comments and support! My Competitiveness in the Infertile World post really seemed to strike home for some of you and I just want to say if you EVER feel like you are alone and you want someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to email me at mummyinwaiting(at)gmail.com as I am always here to listen and offer support to anyone who needs it. I have also had a few comments from people saying they feel like an intruder reading and commenting on my blog when they have never experienced infertility themselves. Don't feel like an intruder! I started this blog not only to help other women going down this path themselves to have something to read and relate to, but also to bring awareness to the cause and help people who aren't directly affected by it to put a face to it and gain better understanding and knowledge of this issue. Because it is a very personal struggle and also somewhat taboo in the general population, the fact you are reading is fantastic. There are no intruders on this blog! I appreciate every little ounce of support, every comment and every email more than you could know. So please keep reading, spread the word and thank you to all my followers, readers and lurkers alike.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CRAZY MUCH?

Yep, the craziness is starting to set in! I just want to know now. I really have no idea either way. At this point last time I already knew it hadn't worked. Call it gut instinct or the fact I had had cramping right from transfer and all OHSS symptoms had gone away (if I was pregnant then they would have intensified, not gone away) but I knew it was going to be a BFN. This time around I am clueless. The only time I have had cramping was during the weekend which would have been days 3 and 4 after transfer. Since then I've had nothing. I did wake up at about 4am this morning and have a wave of nausea but not sure whether to read anything into that. And a bit of a dizzy spell in the shower but from 4am onwards I hadn't slept well so potentially that was just plain tiredness. Otherwise, I just feel kinda blah - headachy, bloated and a bit like a cold is on it's way. But really, who bloody knows!

We won't be doing any HPT (home pregnancy tests for those of you unfamiliar with the lingo!) because the HG won't let me. I'm in two minds - it would be nice to test and have a heads up before THAT phone call but at the same time I would like to hold onto the hope just that little bit longer. And I don't want to make myself crazier. I just can't imagine it ever being me announcing that BFP and I don't want to get my hopes up only to have them crushed. I'm still trying to decide whether I want the HG to take the results phone call or whether I want to take it myself. Decisions, decisions! Last time I had spotting on the day of the BT (14dpo) and this time it is actually 15dpo I have my BT, so no spotting would be a good sign. Not sure if the progynova will prevent my period this time though? Anyone?

Aaaaggghhh . . . 5 more sleeps!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

COMPETITIVENESS IN THE INFERTILE WORLD

Have you ever noticed how competitive it can be in the infertile world? I know I've touched on this before in this post about the hidden lines within infertility circles but this goes above and beyond that. Sure, sometimes we find we can relate more to other women who are in a similar predicament to us (ie. been TTC a similar amount of time, similar infertility issues and treatment history etc) but some women are just downright competitive. An example? I was chatting to a friend of mine the other day who mentioned attending her first support group meeting and a woman approaching her to chat. The woman asked my friend how long she had been trying for, to which she replied '15 months' and the woman kinda stuck her nose in the air and wandered off to chat to someone more 'worthy' of her time. I think this behaviour is pretty disgusting. #1. She had no idea what the situation was that my friend was going through! 15 months may not seem as long as some people but she didn't stick around long enough to hear that they were faced with severe male infertility and there was practically no chance of getting pregnant without ICSI. #2. Who are we to judge? Just because someone has been trying less time than you, is it that easy to forget how difficult it was for us at that point? It just doesn't seem right to me that women who are all going through the same hardship can be so callous.

Ok, everyone has a different journey to get to that magical BFP but I think the competitiveness of who has it 'worst', who's been trying the 'longest', that someone is less deserving of a BFP because it came 'naturally' as opposed to through IVF, or a conception as a result of an IUI puts them into a different category than a conception via IVF, or even a conception from a first IVF attempt . . . the list could go on. Sure, feel envious (I do and have!) but it isn't a competition and I think it is sad. It's as though because we can no longer compete to be the super fertile one, we compete to see who has it the worst and who is worthy of our support and congratulations. And it shouldn't be this way at all.

We are all in this together. Have you ever come across competitiveness or found yourself snubbed? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Monday, October 18, 2010

UPDATE ON OUR OTHER EMBIES (FINALLY!)

After deciding this morning that enough was enough (and several nagging, anxious calls from the HG to find out if there was any news) I rang and left them a message to which they called me back an hour later. WE HAVE A FROSTIE!!! WOOHOO!! I can't tell you how happy I am! And believe it or not the embie that made it to blastie and was good to freeze was our little lagger 3-cell on day 3 (was 2-cell on day 2). Who knew huh! It was a bit slow so didn't become a blastie until day 6 BUT it made it! I am so thrilled that if this doesn't work out we have another chance. We have hope. We are over the moon!

DOWN TO THE 1WW . . .

And my confidence is already waning. I wouldn't say I'm not staying positive, I'm just nervous. Nervous, nervous, nervous. I'm trying my hardest not to symptom spot (given it's really too early anyway!) but since I started cramping on Saturday morning, it's been hard trying not to read too much into it. Freaking out? You bet! Still trying to be positive? Of course. Already thinking ahead to what to do next? You betcha! I can't help myself! I am already contemplating the future and what to try next. I have been thinking about adoption, meetings with bank managers, getting a second opinion, having to do this ALL OVER AGAIN. But deep down I am still hoping I won't need to and this little embie is sticking as we speak. I am expecting a call from the clinic today about my other embies but given Saturday was day 5, the fact they haven't call leads me to believe that they haven't developed and they are trying to soften the blow. Perhaps. Or maybe they just forgot or they forget just how hard it is for us. Will keep you posted!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

HELP KEEP ME SANE!

It is now 1pm on Day 5 and still no word from the clinic so I'm guessing I won't be getting an update today. I thought they would have called by now about the status of our remaining four embies, but I am hoping no news is good news. It means they are probably letting them go another day before making judgement as I didn't get THAT call with the no frosties news until day 6 last time (although it was slightly different as I had a blasty transfer so knew they were just watching the one until day 6 which unfortuantely didn't make it to the freezer). I would ring them but given it's the weekend I don't want to go through the circus of trying to reach anyone. So I will just try to be patient and stay positive. And eat salt and vinegar chips and onion dip which is ALL I feel like! Yum!

I'm planning to avoid googling throughout my entire 2WW (wish me luck!) and to avoid that I thought I would just ask you dear readers to share your early pregnancy symptoms with me! That way when I start freaking out about cramping (which I have at the moment) and every other thing under the sun I can refer to your posts and stop freaking out when I read that one of you had cramping and still got a BFP. And so on and so forth! So please help me stay sane and share with me! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

OFFICIALLY PUPO!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the words of support today. I appreciate it so much as I was feeling a little fragile this morning. As you know, I decided to go back to work and when I got there I had the call that they were going to do a 3 day transfer so I couldn't stay. Now, even though my going to work when I had arranged annual leave was to do them a favour as we had one guy away and another sick (but at work) my boss gave me the guilt trip when I said I had to leave which really pissed me off and was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. He knows it too because after I returned from the bathroom after a little cry, he was all nice, asking how it all worked, wishing me luck etc. Grrr . . . so typical of him though, speak first and then realise later what an ass he was. I shouldn't be surprised though, that's just him and having worked with him for 9 years (9 years! Holy cow!) I know what he can be like. 

ANYWAY, enough out of the venting corner! I am officially PUPO! For those of you who don't know what PUPO means it is 'Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise'. And I am feeling good. We have a beautiful perfect little 8 cell emby onboard (nice even cells too) and the rest are being taken through until Day 5 to see if we can get anything to freeze. Of the 5 remaining we have one that hasn't divided from 2 cells (and isn't likely to), one that is 3 cells (was 2 yesterday so you never know!), one 5, one 7 and one 8 cell (that wasn't as nice as the other one). She thinks there is potential for the 5, 7 and 8 cell to become blastocysts so please keep your fingers crossed! The way my clinic operates is that they don't do a freeze all. They used to but found they would be freezing embryos they pretty much knew wouldn't become a pregnancy so they now only freeze those that they consider 'viable' as to avoid putting woman through transfer after transfer with embies that they don't feel are ever going to create a baby and end up putting the woman through so much unnecessary disppointment and grief. So please pray for mine to become nice and strong and viable!

As for this little one, transfer went very smoothly. My FS was the one who did transfer (don't you just hate having to have a full bladder! Soooo uncomfortable being in such a precarious position and busting to go to the loo!) and as we left he said to the HG that it was looking really good this time. So I'm going to hold onto that! We went to lunch at my favourite pub and then I came home a blobbed on the couch for a few hours and watched 'When in Rome' and 'Valentine's Day'. 

So, as of right now I am feeling relaxed and positive but watch this space . . . let's see how long that lasts! D-day is Monday 25th October.

Wow, 3 blog entries in one day! Is that a record?!

TRANSFER

Just had a call from the embryologist saying we are having transfer today. We have one great looking 8 cell embryo but the rest aren't looking so great. I'm pretty disappointed (ok, more than a little upset) but trying to hold it together as I don't want to ruin my 2WW by being distraught at having no frosties again. They will culture them on until Day 5 and see how they go but it's not looking good. I really hoped this cycle would be better than the last and the fact this could be our last chance weighs very heavily on my mind (due to the financial cost of IVF and the fact we don't know where we would get the money to try again). I plan to give this little embie everything I've got though and it only takes one right?

I really need some encouragement right now!

WAITING

The worst part of all this is the waiting. Waiting to see how you are responding to the drugs, waiting to see how many eggs you'll get, waiting to see how many fertilise, waiting to see if they will develop, waiting to see if you have a good embryo to replace, waiting to find out if any made it to the freezer, waiting to see if you're pregnant. I'm surprised we aren't nervous wrecks by the end of it all (hmm . . . actually, we probably are!). It's the waiting that does my head in! Right now I am at work and waiting to find out if transfer will be today. In some ways I want it to be today just so I can get one safely onboard, but at the same time I know blastocyst transfers have higher success rates. So just sitting here anxiously, waiting . . .

In other news, the HG has been having a bad run of it lately. I forgot to mention that after egg collection we came down to the car to find the battery was flat (I was not impressed!) because he had forgotten to turn off the lights. I guess that is not entirely his fault considering we were late that morning due to traffic and roadworks and on top of the nerves, I was in panic mode by the time we arrived. I guess he can be excused for forgetting. Thankfully his dad came to our rescue. Secondly, he was working on his tractor and trying to wire something up when it all went wrong and the wires burst into flames in his hand. Again, thankfully it could have been much worse and he wasn't left with burns that were too bad. It wasn't the first time he's caught fire and nor will it probably be the last. But guess who got lumped with having to wash all the dishes because he couldn't put his hand in the water . . . (yep, you guessed it!). I swear he sometimes does these things on purpose! Who needs children when you have a husband like that huh!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

DAY 2 EMBRYO UPDATE

Good news! All 6 of our embies have divided into 2-4 cells which is right where they should be. Tomorrow morning they will call me with another update - if there is a clear front runner tomorrow then they will get me in for a 3 day transfer tomorrow morning. If there are a few competing for star status then they will let them go to blasty and then do transfer on Saturday.

I'm actually doing pretty good, no pain except a wee bit of stiffness (I was thinking about vacuuming but bugger it - that's what husbands are for right?) and just a bit of anxiety which I would say is completely normal at this stage of the journey. Particularly given this could be our last chance at IVF. I like to think we could afford to do more cycles but the reality is that we may not be able to. So this time has to work! The beauty of it is that I have a great feeling about this cycle which was entirely lacking last time, so I am taking that as a good sign!

So far, so good!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

FERTILISATION RESULTS

After bungling my cell phone and accidentally hanging up on the embryologist the first time around this morning, we finally managed to touch base. As suspected, quite a number of my eggs were immature. I figured as much considering the large discrepancy in numbers from what we were told at our scans and what they actually retrieved. So, of our 17 eggs, only 8 were mature and 6 of those have fertilised normally. I can't help but feel a wee bit anxious about having only 6 fertilise compared to the massive 15 we had last time, but I just need to put it into perspective that even though we were told 17 initially, 6 out of 8 is really not so bad. And considering how last cycle turned out . . . 

I can only hope now that our 6 little embies will be strong and go the distance! I'm actually alot more nervous than I thought and prone to anxiety at the moment. I guess this is completely normal and I should just breathe and have faith. I'm feeling totally fine today, was shocked to wake up with no trace of stiffness and cramping and feeling almost 100%. I have booked the entire week off work but I am now considering going tomorrow and Thursday just to take my mind off it all, seems silly to stay home when I feel fine. We'll see. Fingers crossed everyone!

Monday, October 11, 2010

DONE & DUSTED!

First of all, thank you so much for all the support and well wishes! I was shocked to find a whole bunch of messages on my FB fan page from you all and can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate the support I have had. It means alot to me!

Well, the egg collection is done and dusted and as suspected we got less than last time . . . instead of 18 we only got 17. Really. They reduced my dosage to 75iu and my ovaries still manage to over-achieve! Hopefully the fact we didn't have to coast this time will mean we actually end up with some really strong embies. I fully expect that some of those 17 will be immature as I'm not quite sure how we went from a scan on Saturday that we were given a prediction of just 6 eggs, to actually retrieving 17 eggs (especially when we were told we only had 13 follies total on the scan!). There were actually 18 but due to the amount of pain I was in and the fact that number 18 was tucked in among a whole lot of blood vessels, the FS doing my procedure decided to leave that one right where it was rather than risk internal bleeding (wouldn't that have been fun!). Unfortunately, once again it was a very painful procedure for me but I didn't nearly faint this time which is a slight improvement!

I must confess I had a bit of a cry this afternoon though. Not because I am unhappy with the results but just because I was in so much pain and the underlying stress of a 3rd IVF cycle in 10 months has been taking it's hidden toll on me. I'm feeling alot better now though and think I just needed to let it out after being so strong for so long. I now feel ready for whatever is thrown at us over the coming week and I am just so hopeful that we get some nice looking, non-fragmented embryo's this time and a few to freeze. I admit I am nervous after yielding such a large number again and the risk of OHSS, but one step at a time. First up is the anxious wait for those fertilisation results tomorrow and then we'll go from there. Hopefully they're having a little party in those petri dishes!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

WHY LIE?

I just read another blog post which reminded me of something I wanted to write about. Why do some couples lie about how long it has taken them to concieve? I know infertility is a taboo topic but case in point - a friend of mine had mentioned that they had been TTC for over a year with nothing happening. Soon afterwards they became pregnant and had their baby. Fast forward a year and a half and I had just hit the one year mark and was feeling a bit down and lost about it all. So I contacted this person and asked how long it had taken them to concieve hoping for some advice. And they said 'Oh, it only took us a few months, just relax and it'll happen for you'. What?! I knew full well it had taken them longer than 'just a few months' so why lie? Why not be open about the fact it had taken awhile? Were they embarrassed? Do they simply 'forget'? I know I'm not the only one. No wonder infertility remains such a silent topic when some women won't even admit it AFTER the fact. I understand why some people like to keep it private when they are actually experiencing it, but if someone who is struggling themselves reaches out to you, why would you make them feel like they are alone when you know full well what it is like?  Or at least have some idea even if you did manage to concieve on your own eventually? I don't understand. Does anyone have any insight into this?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

HERE WE GO AGAIN!

That time has come - trigger time! Had a scan this morning and now have 6 great looking follies between 16mm and 20mm and a few more around 14mm. Just waiting to hear from the nurse what time to trigger tonight and what time egg collection will be on Monday! I'm feeling so incredibly nervous but excited too. I sincerely hope this will be the last time I have to do this and my recovery will be alot easier this time around. I'm sure it will be but I have the whole week off work anyway so I can just take it easy.

I miss my mum today though. I miss her every day but particularly at this time. I dearly wish she was here to be with me next week. It's such an anxious time and being home alone (the HG has to work) can be quite isolating but I also don't want to overdo it and return to work too early. I wish I was one of those people who had so many visitors that I had to tell people not to visit! If only! It sucks that so many of my closest friends are actually Australian (hmm . . . am I going to regret admitting this?!). It's funny how friendships evolve over the years. Everyone goes off in different directions and you lose touch with some, some friendships just slip away as you realise you just don't have that much in common anymore and sadly, some friendships just end because people get tied up in their own lives and it isn't a two way road. These days so many of my most meaningful and close friendships are with women who I have met through infertility. I do know I am incredibly blessed to have such wonderful women in my life but I just wish we weren't so spread out all over the world! I'll be alright though - I have a load of recorded programmes and movies to catch up on that'll keep me occupied!

Friday, October 8, 2010

UPDATE

Well ladies, no trigger for me tonight. I had another scan this morning after increasing my dosage and it appears that the FS I saw yesterday has a machine that's slightly warped! The sizes he noted were larger than they actually were so another puregon shot tonight and then yet ANOTHER scan and blood test tomorrow and then hopefully trigger tomorrow night for Monday pick up! My E2 levels are spot on again today and we have 13 follicles over 1cm so looking good! Had acu today to give them a helping hand too. Grow follies, GROW!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

SIX AND COUNTING . . .

I had my first scan today and we have 6 follicles measuring between 15mm and 19mm and about 6 follicles between 10mm and 14mm. The FS who did my scan said we are doing really well and he wouldn't have me on anything more than the dosage I am on at the moment as it seems just right for me. YAY! Only took 3 cycles to get here! So looks like 6 good quality eggs so far and counting. And trigger could be as soon as tomorrow night! I was shocked when he said that. They don't usually do scans two days in a row but lucky me, he wants me to come in tomorrow anyway as he wants to see whether it is better to trigger tomorrow night (for retrieval Sunday) or Saturday night (for retrieval Monday). And of course my 4th blood test in a row tomorrow (after a horrible experience yesterday where the nurse put the needle in and my vein moved so she then moved the needle around IN my arm trying to get blood before removing it and changing arms!) Wasn't pleasant! Needless to say, blood tests aren't my favourite activity of the day but we do what we have to do.

I know it's silly but I can't help feeling a teeny bit disappointed at only having 6 as last time I was spoilt with 18, but look where that got us! I just need to repeat the mantra 'Quality over quantity, quality over quantity . . .'

Edited to add: Just had a phone call from the nurse to say my E2 levels have dropped so I now need to increase my puregon. This cycle has been so different to the last two! I have always been asked to stop the puregon, never increase it! I hope this isn't something to worry about?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

FIRST BT RESULTS ARE IN . . .

And everything is looking perfect! Nurses words! I actually got a text message just telling me to carry on with the same dosage and go in for another blood test tomorrow but being the control freak I am, I had to follow that up with a phone call to find out exactly how things were progressing. Given I have one cancelled cycle and another over stimmed cycle I am a touch paranoid and I do in fact have E2 levels to compare against. The nurse was lovely though and was happy to discuss my results with me. So basically, my E2 levels on Day 6 stand at 1400 (for those in the States I believe the conversion would make my E2 levels 381 as you use picograms and we use picomols which means you divide my results by 3.67 - learn something every day!) and the line they want them to be on is . . . 1400! WOOHOO! It's nice to be on the right side of the line for once instead of flying above it! To give you an idea, last time at this point I was around 2500. First time around we were at 7000 (1907)! Yep, much improved. Very happy! So, from here on in I have BT's every single day so we have no chance of things going haywire again and they can control my dosages. First scan looks like it will be on Thursday.

SO RELIEVED!

Monday, October 4, 2010

KIRSTY'S STORY

A big thank you to Kirsty for allowing me to share her story on my blog and taking the time to write it while juggling the responsibilities of a first time mum with a newborn! I really appreciate it! 

Kirsty finally achieved her dream after numerous IVF attempts. I hope her story inspires you as much as it has inspired me!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One of the first things that drew my partner and I together when we were in our early 20’s was the fact that we both didn’t want children.  There are many and varied reasons behind this, too many to put into words but this all changed the day after my 30th birthday, when I was overcome with a desire to create a new life - It’s like a biological time bomb went off inside of me.  I wanted to create our own family and give this new unit every opportunity to achieve the best that it could.  To nurture a child of our own into the best that it could be and surround it with love and opportunity and moreover, love again.
 
Dear Partner took a little further convincing, but after quite a few months of deep relationship building (and eventually a massive ultimatum), we decided to come off the pill and ‘not try’, but see what happened.  After 6 months of not trying, nothing had happened.  In fact, my period hadn’t even really returned to any form of a normal cycle and I was already beginning to obsess over it.  DP and everyone around me said we just had to ‘relax and it will happen’… how I got sick of hearing that one comment.
 
About a week before my 32nd birthday and almost 12 months of ‘not trying’, I finally convinced DP to go and get his swimmers tested.  He, of course, was of the mindset that there couldn’t be a problem with him.  I can still remember him giving his sample and me running to the other side of town with it in a freezer bag because he was too embarrassed.  If only he knew what was to come!
 
A few days later, off we went to the GP to be dealt a fairly devastating blow in a fairly callous manner.  The GP just stated matter of factly “there’s something wrong with your sperm, you need to seek fertility treatment, here’s a referral”.  Well, happy birthday to me!
 
Before we knew it we were at the FS and having more tests.  It turned out that I had mild PCOS, and DP had very high sperm numbers, but very low motility and morphology – there was a very slim chance of us ever conceiving on our own.  Because of the issues with DP’s sperm we were told that it would be best to go straight to ICSI as they just wouldn’t be likely to penetrate the egg on their own.  We walked out of there, our heads spinning, having just paid for our first cycle and still not actually believing that we had come to needing IVF.
 
Soon enough we were injecting each night.  I can’t explain how exciting it was to actually be doing something to help us along the way to achieving our dream. I have heard so many horror stories of people’s reaction to the drugs, but can say that I was one of the lucky few who not only was not bothered by them, but also actually blossomed!  Just a short couple of weeks after that, after countless early mornings for blood tests and scans we went in for our egg retrieval.  It was a very exciting time.  I sailed though the surgery (our clinic gives full sedation) and awoke to find a big fat number 9 on my hand.
 
For those who have been through treatment, we know about the ‘sweet spot’.  The number of eggs that is considered good, where quality and quantity work in your favour.  I knew that 9 eggs was spot on and I was happy.  The following day we received a call to say that 8 of the nine eggs had fertilised and were looking good.  Four days after that I took off to the clinic in my lunch break and had the transfer of a particularly healthy looking morula.  DP wasn’t able to make it as he works in a factory and they can’t just take off for short stints.  I remember walking back to work with this tiny secret inside of me… I was “pregnant until proven otherwise”.
 
The first week of the TWW flew by in a happy daze of positivity.  Again, if you’ve been through fertility treatment, you’ll understand this.  Then the doubt started to creep in.  I just had a feeling inside of me that it hadn’t worked, so I tested at about day 8 or 9.  Sure enough, no second line.  I convinced myself that we were out and the tears began to flow.  The next few days passed in a flood of tears and yet still no show of AF.  The day of the blood test came and in I went, to have the negative result confirmed, as there was still no sign of AF.  I then promptly went shopping with my DP to dampen my sorrows.
 
When we returned home there were a couple of missed calls on my mobile (possibly the first time ever I forgot to take it with me).  I sent DP out to the bottle shop to buy me a bottle of expensive champagne to further drown my sorrows and then I called the clinic.  Imagine my absolute surprise when she said to me “Congratulations, you’re pregnant!” seriously, you could have knocked me over with a feather.  I raced to the bin where the HPT sticks still were and discovered that I could have actually known a few days previously, if only I had waited long enough for the result to actually show on the test, because it was there as clear as day, two blue lines.
 
We managed to keep the secret from our family and friends for about a week and then I just had to tell.  Everyone was so excited.  While they didn’t know we’d done IVF, they did know how long we’d been trying.
 
For the next few weeks, I was exceptionally well, if just a little tired.  Everything was going great… then we went for our eight-week scan.  We walked into that room on top of the world and crashed within about a minute of getting on the table.  The scan showed that our baby had stopped growing about a week before – it was just a matter of time before my body figured it out.  So, life turned from the happiest to the most miserable.  I was booked in for a D&C two days later.  I can’t even begin to explain the emotional turmoil that we went through in those two nights.
 
A couple of months later when things were back on track, I was booked in for a FET; we had three embryos left from our previous cycle.  Everything for this cycle also went well, although I was much more hesitant of getting a positive outcome.  Imagine my absolute horror to receive a phone call at work, as I was just about to walk out the door to tell me that I needn’t come in as unfortunately none of our embryos had survived the thawing process.  Emotional CRASH again.  I decided at this point I was out!
 
DP and I talked for a while after the emotions had passed and decided to try again, only to find that our clinic was closed over Xmas and we would have to wait until the New Year!  I had another melt down over Xmas when a close family friend announced her pregnancy and then stated to me “we only tried for one month, I don’t know what all the fuss is about”.  This one comment put me in a dark place for quite a while.
 
Cycle number three resulted in zero eggs collected.  This was too big a blow to even discuss.
 
Cycle number four resulted in one collected and one transferred but it wasn’t of a great quality and no big surprise, another negative result.  By this point I was really struggling.  All the drugs and emotional drama associated with IVF was really getting to me.  At this point, we decided to tell our family and a select few friends.  DP just couldn’t be the only one to provide me with the emotional support required to get us through – I wanted this a lot more than him, he just wanted me to be happy.  We also got to the point where the financial pressure was beginning to show.
 
Cycle number five brought a big surprise where we had 15 eggs collected, then next day only 8 had made it to the next stage, but the odds were still in our favour, by transfer we were down to 5, but it was all systems go.  The transfer went well and so did the TWW, I was comfortable that this was the one.  An early HPT showed a second line and my spirits were way up.  Finally the day of the BT arrived, along with AF type cramps.  Crash again!  I went in for the test anyway, and by the time they called to let me know the results AF had decided to appear to confirm them.  This was DP’s birthday; the birthday gods just didn’t seem to shine on us.
 
Cycle number six was another FET, only one embryo survived the thaw and it already had some portions dying when they completed the transfer, but since it was our only hope, in it went anyway.  What a surprise, again, another negative!!!  On the day we let our family know this, my sister in-law decided it was a perfect time to announce that they were pregnant with their third child – an “accident”.  The problem was that they told everyone except us, and we heard it through the grapevine.  Wow, was there a big family bust up over that one!  I would never begrudge anyone the happiness and joy of being able to conceive a child, no matter how they do it, but I really expected our family to show us some respect and deliver the news that could be hurtful to us, a) directly to us and b) on a better day.  I spent a great amount of time explaining “I can be happy for you and sad for myself at the same time”.
 
DP and I sat down again a discussed what we would do.  His parents had offered to pay for two cycles for us, so we knew that money wouldn’t be an issue, but my emotional health was.  Also, the government had changed the way that IVF was being rebated and the cost was going to escalate dramatically after this attempt.  We decided to give it one more crack but this was it.  It’s hard to put a price, be it financial or emotional on the desire to have a family, but that’s the reality of infertility.
 
We went into the seventh cycle with a very relaxed attitude, it was all in the hands of the medical gods and we would accept whatever the outcome was.  It’s hard to explain, but I had probably come to terms with the fact that it was unlikely I would ever carry my own child.  Again, I reacted well to the drugs and was in my happy place, very much like the first cycle.  When I went for my first scan, the sonographer started and exclaimed “hooley dooley!”  It seemed I had A LOT of eggs in there, all of a good size.  A few more days growing and they were ripe for the collecting.  In I went again.  By this point, I could almost quote what the nurses were going to say to me on the way to theatre.
 
Collection went well and I awake to a massive 29 on my hand, yep, that’s right, 29.  No wonder I could barely walk by the time I got to collection.  The next day they rang to advise they had actually collected 30, but only 11 had made it through the night.  This goes back to the quality versus quantity from the first cycle.  By day five in we trotted for another transfer, we were down to only five embryo’s at this point.  They handed over the photo of our little bundle and then off I went, legs up and everything on display for our final transfer.
 
When they showed the embryo on the screen under the microscope I could see it had changed dramatically from the photo – the embryologist explained that the photos were taken in the morning and there was still growing going on.  After the transfer DP dropped me back at work and called out “see ya mum”, we were so confident.  I guess after seeing these little beings so often, we got to recognise what looked good.
 
Again, another agonising TWW, which was now nearly a three-week wait due to the changes in the clinics procedures.  Again, the first week, week and a half sailed by and then of course the doubts crept in again and CRASH, down I went again!  I really wanted to have a glass of wine to drown my sorrows, but I guess there was still a glimmer of hope, so I didn’t.
 
The next morning, after DP had gone to work and I had sooked in the shower I decided to do a HPT to confirm what I already knew, that way I could have a glass wine with dinner.  So I peed on the stick, popped it on the bench and set about brushing my teeth and hair.  I glanced out of the corner of my eye and then took another look… what the?  There was that blessed second line, if only very faint!  I screamed, I called DP – his phone was off!  I called his mother!  I called my friend, who had also completed IVF, but was also a scientist, so knows the intricacies of HPT’s.  I got to work with that bloody test in a snap lock bag and asked one of my friends to confirm that there was definitely a second line there!!!  Then I called the clinic and asked if I could come in earlier to confirm.  They happily agreed, but still made me wait another two days.
 
I think I did another five tests in those two days.
 
Sure enough after the blood test, they confirmed that we were in fact pregnant. 
 
I guess it’s hard to know whether, although in our hearts we had said no more, whether this would actually have been the case if we had of received another negative.
 
My pregnancy was relatively trouble free, some bleeding at the start, which was a result of dropping hormones, that we corrected with drugs, polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid – man I was HUGE) and onset pre-eclampsia at the end which resulted in me being induced at 37 weeks.  Labour was relatively quick, but extremely painful as baby was spine on spine and I actually ended up with an emergency c-section as baby was a stargazer, rather than having his chin on his chest.
 
Now I sit with our gorgeous baby boy, Jameson, who is already ten weeks old and I think, “would I do it all again to get the same result?” and the answer is a resounding yes.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

100TH BLOG POST!

After my little tantrum yesterday I am pleased to say that the puregon appears to have set in and started balancing out those hormones! I woke up to a beautiful sunny Spring morning and after a pretty decent sleep I am feeling refreshed and happy again! Yay! It sucks that the morning had to start so early (getting up at 6.30am to do my morning jab) but I went back to bed and opened the curtains to let the sun stream in and finished my Lee Child book. It would have been even better with a lovely coffee to sip on but unfortunately I had to be strong and hold out on that desire! I think the drugs may be affecting my memory though because this afternoon I made a batch of peanut brownies and popped them in the oven and wandered off to muck around for the 15 minutes they would take to bake . . . 40 minutes later . . . CRAP!! Very crispy brownies! So I had to do the whole lot all over again. 

In other news . . . THIS IS MY 100TH BLOG POST! I can't believe I have already written 100 blog entries since June! A HUGE thank you to all of you who have followed me on this journey. I appreciate the support so much and I just really hope that this cycle will result in our dream coming true. I really don't want to hit that three year mark in January! 

And to finish off - one of my lovely forum friends sent me an email last night after reading I was feeling down. She had attached a reading that was in a calendar she had brought for herself. It is written below and I hope it speaks to you as much as it spoke to me:
KEEP BELIEVING IN THE THINGS 
YOU WANT TO COME TRUE 

Someday.......you'll see. It will all be worth it
All the hopes, all the dreams. 
The sacrifices. The courage. All the hard work. 
All of it will turn out to be abundantly worthwhile.

Someday you'll open the door on a brand-new day and be rewarded 

with everything working out just the way you wanted it to. 
So never stop believing in the things you want to come true.

Just start by taking one step in the right direction. Then another. 

And if you have the faith and the will to continue on,
do you know what you'll discover?

How capable you are, how amazing you can be, 

and how patience and belief can lead to some very meaningful things 
and some very lasting gifts.

Someday, you'll see. It will all be worth it.


Friday, October 1, 2010

HANDLE WITH CARE

I'm at that stage now. The stage where I am feeling oversensitive to everything. Those of you have done an IVF cycle before know what I mean - the part where all the drugs mingle together to alter your hormone levels and mix you up. This is tough and being my third cycle I am completely and utterly terrified. I have done a great job of putting it out of my head until now but the anxiety is kicking in. My cat woke me up at 2am (again by tipping over the bin in our room and proceeding to make a racket to wake me up so he could go outside) and then I went back to sleep and dreamt for the remainder of the night. I am tired and fed up. I desperately want a coffee. I am CRAVING caffiene like you wouldn't believe.

Money issues are also causing stress. I can't believe how close we are to Christmas and I haven't even THOUGHT about Christmas shopping. I am usually THAT girl that everyone hates who has it all finished and wrapped by the 1st December. This year I don't even know how we are going to afford to pay for presents. I am one of those woman who hate to be in debt and due to the nature of life at the moment our credit card is at the highest I have ever allowed it to be. And it stresses me out. And then to top it off the HG called this morning to say that the alarm is going off at home and the security company was going to go out and check it out = a $60 call out fee. I never get to buy anything nice for myself anymore because I am juggling bills and spending what little money is left over on acupuncture that costs me $66 a pop and I still don't have a baby to show for what is now thousands of dollars spent on acu in the last year and a bit. I don't even enjoy it anymore but feel like I have to go because if I don't it will jeopardise this cycle.

I think it's all just getting on top of me at the moment and I need a good sleep. Preferably without dreams.

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