Tag Archives: IVF

2016 in review

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Well the new year is here. I had high hopes for 2016. In truth many wonderful things happened and were achieved in 2016.I feel that the good things are often overshadowed by the fact that I failed to get the thing I wanted the most, a baby. 2 failed transfers, much heartache and being filled with hormones which rival a sorority house whose cycles have synced on the day before AF hits left me a little jaded. I have decided to remind myself of some of the good things that happened in 2016 to get some perspective.

  • Hubby and I finally achieved our goal of our own home, whilst getting there was a long road (3 years since purchasing the land long and 9 years of saving long) it is totally worth it because we are both totally in LOVE with our home (I’ll post more on the house another day with pics).
  • My youngest nephew Coda was born.
  • Hubby and I have gotten even better with our communication. It’s the kind of open and honest relationship I have always dreamed of having. Whilst he is generally the suffer in silence type, he is opening up a lot more now which I love.
  • I celebrated 1 year in my role as Reference & Information Services Librarian in January (it will be 2 years tomorrow). Honestly I can’t believe I have only been here that long. It feels like forever and I have done so much in this role.
  • I was asked to act up in the Branch & Customer Services Coordinator role for the last quarter of the year. It was so challenging and I loved it. I really enjoyed all the work with the programming and promotions. If they ever develop a role for that here I will totally apply 🙂
  • I have developed a close group of friends at work. I am not someone who makes close friends easily and I decided last year to put myself out there more and got great results. The result is a group of friends I can count on, sound off ideas on, have lunch and sometimes dinner with, go for walks after work and to the gym with, go to the movies with, we even went bowling. This awesome group of people has made a huge difference to my work and home life and I have such a great time with them!
    I feel very fortunate to have met people like this in my workplace.
  • Hubby and I have learned a lot about DIY (seriously LOVE YouTube!!!). We have done basically all of our landscaping ourselves (Hubby much more than me), we have installed our own washing line and even learned how to lay bricks and built our own brick mailbox. The mailbox isn’t the most professional job, but it is the mailbox that love built and was a great bonding experience and we did much better than Homer did with that BBQ.
    bbq
  • I quit smoking! Something I have been wanting to do for the longest time. February  15, 2017 will mark one year since I have quit. Sometimes (rarely now) in times of stress or emotional upset (like 2 failed IVF transfers) I kind of want to reach for a smoke, but I have been so good. VERY proud of this accomplishment. I did put on weight after quitting because instead of smoking I would eat. To be honest I let myself do this because I truly feel that was the right choice for me. Now that I have been successful in quitting smoking I have turned my attention back to my food. I have yet to conquer emotional eating, I am SO bad for this!

 

So there is a lot of really good things that happened this year. Often it is hard to think about them when something that is so all consuming is constantly at the forefront of your mind. I could choose to give in to it, or I could combat it another way. Yes IVF transfers failed for us twice one of which was a PGS tested perfect lil man embryo, Yes I REALLY got my hopes up on the lil man transfer, Yes my FS doesn’t seem to be the most open and communicative. So Hubby and I have done a tonne of research over the past couple of months and put some things into action which I will talk about in another post coming soon 🙂

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Catch up…

I know, I know, I don’t call… I don’t write… I am a bad blogger. I am very sorry for seriously dropping the ball here. I have to say though I was so touched that some of you reached out to me to make sure I was okay, it meant so much to me.

I want to assure you all that I am here and okay. I have been somewhat busy with crazy life stuff and been going through some things. I have had lots of stress at work, pressure, heavy workload and what not. Mostly it is all very stimulating stuff, but I am sometimes stuffed by the end of the day. I have also been going to the gym a lot more and pilates once a week which often means getting home very late to start with.

I have been having some issues with anxiety. Why must infertility be such a bitch? A coping mechanism I have utlised to deal with this is that I have turned down my filter quite a bit and speak my mind so much more. Weirdly this seems to be working for me as I was asked to act in a very senior position at my library for the last 3 months. Basically I was acting coordinator of 4 branch libraries. I have also recently spoken out about a couple of little things that have bugged me at work and the response has been amazing. Then I presented an idea for bay end merchandising which is VERY different for our library service and the branch supervisor loved it and we actioned it within a few days displaying new items that had not been circulating. The change in circulation within one month was HUGE! They are really pleased which is great.

I have not been being overly good with food which means no loss and no gain which I am actually okay with. I don’t know why, but I am just kinda over the weight obsessing even though I am supposed to because of the fertility stuff, but I am just so over it. It makes me do unhealthy things and have serious stress and anxiety. Where I am now I regularly work out and I eat pretty well, isn’t that healthier?

[I started writing the above some time ago…]

I have fallen behind a bit at the gym due to busy Christmas stuff.

We used our last embryo, it was a boy, it didn’t work out. I was absolutely crushed. Every aspect of the environment, him and me was perfect. There was no reason for it not to work. We were so sure it had. I like couldn’t even believe it when she told me it hadn’t worked I wanted to know the numbers. They weren’t good.

There are so many people in my life announcing they are pregnant at the moment. It is just very hard. There are a few times where I have had to stop and take a deep breath. Sometimes I immediately shut my phone or computer off when I see an announcement. SIGH. I have to just keep believing that one day will be my turn. I can’t give up.


Raw: Infertility

Warning: this is going to be raw. I am not going to edit it and I am going to babble. I do not expect my thoughts to be flowing perfectly because that’s not what happens to my emotions when I think about this. This post is about the struggles of infertility from my perspective and I’m not gonna lie, there will be swearing and talk some people might find uncomfortable. Oh and it will probably be long. How long? Hmm… as long as I need it to be hahaha. 

I’m just going to say it, I am going to say what we are all thinking. Infertility is BULLSHIT! It is a horrible, no good, low down, nasty bugger of a thing!

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Source: iaintskinny.wordpress.com

One of my fears growing up was that I would be barren, I have no idea why I had this fear. There was certainly no precedence for it, but have it I did and more than once I have wondered whether my fear somehow brought on my condition/s (AKA PCOS, Insulin Resistance and a slow as all hell metabolism). You know mind over matter and all that jazz. Obviously this is probably ridiculous, but you think a lot of strange things on the IF journey.

The IF journey has a huge effect on not only the women involved, but also their partners. If they are open about their struggles it will possibly also effect their immediate family, other children they have and friends.

I often feel as though the word ‘infertility’ could be used synonymously with ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’ because in my mind there is no doubt it causes or greatly contributes to causing both. There is no way you could go through this process, this journey and not be affected by it, if I ever meet someone who says they aren’t I am going to ask what prescriptions they are on because I need to get me some of that!

Each month is this stupid mental and physical roller-coaster. Let’s have a look shall we…

From day one of your cycle (first day of Aunt Flo (AF)) you are cramping, in pain, yet dedicated to trying for a baby so you are already basal temping first thing in the morning and recording it down like a dutiful soldier (let’s not mince words here because you are fighting the war against infertility). For those who haven’t experienced this let me be more clear, we take our temperature and write it down, then chart it to figure out when we are ovulating. We do all of this first thing when we wake up of a morning before even sitting up in bed. We do this everyday of our cycle, which means we do this every day of the year, every year until we fall pregnant (or switch methods).

Once AF has finally disappeared a new game begins. Depending on how long you have been trying to conceive (TTC) you might be just basal temping, you might be using ovulation strips (you pee on them) to identify when you ovulate and there are many other techniques and/or medications you could be trying. Pretty much the further into the game you get the more you try. At this point I am more than 4.5 years into this baby making game… tenacity people 🙂 So here is what I do. I temp every morning, once AF finishes we then start the sperm meets egg method which involves having sex every two days, from the 10th day of my cycle I continue basal temping and back it up with peeing on an ovulation stick. Once I get a positive result we ‘try’ three days in a row, then skip one day and then have sex again. After that comes the wait, you’d think this meant a holiday which I would totally deserve as all the above is pretty exhausting whilst maintaining a full time job, house and eating, pooping and now apparently exercising and whatnot.

“The two week wait” – this sentence wets the eye of even the toughest of the infertility community. The two week wait is the space between when you ovulate and the end of your cycle. It is completely torturous and the whole time you are asking yourself if there was more you could have done to ensure pregnancy and you are praying and begging whoever is in charge up there to help you out. Trust me, it doesn’t matter how non-denominational you are, at some point you will pray. Naturally stress, anxiety and angst is probably not good for a developing embryo, but hey there is only so much chocolate one can eat and we can’t have alcohol because we are trying to get knocked up. ‘Knocked Up’ I used to enjoy that movie, now it just pisses me off.

The closer you get to the end of the two week wait the more anxious you become. You pay attention to every little twinge in your body, do you feel nauseated? You cup your breasts trying to figure out if they are bigger or sensitive. You have conversations with yourself convincing yourself over and over again that there is no point in taking a pregnancy test early because the results won’t show properly. How long can you hang out? This past month I made it to day 29. I had no indications whatsoever of AF, no cramps or spotting at all. So I tested, and… nothing. Big fat negative (BFN). Naturally I was upset, an hour later I go to the toilet and there is AF. Meanwhile what is this ‘Aunt Flo’ stuff? It’s a period. I HATE getting my period, but I love when my Aunts come to visit. It is a period in every sense of the word and the words it gives you when it comes are “You period Are period Not period Pregnant period Again period!”

2ww

Source: sachablack.co.uk

Then with the beginning of your period you are back to cycle day 1 and get to start the fun all over again.

You would think this would be enough to throw anyone off balance right? Right! But just for the heck of it, let’s add on some more stuff.

Amongst all of the above you will need to be seeing probably a GP and a Fertility Specialist (because we are all made of money too) and they might put you on Clomid which turn your ovulation cycles into overdrive, imagine if a normal ovulation cycle is a Nicholas Sparks novel inspired film like the Notebook, well Clomid and it’s awesome emotional side effects are the equivalent of Arnie taking on the predator. You will be WAY emotional, in fact on day 6 of my first round of Clomid I cried in the middle of a restaurant you can read about cycle 2 of Clomid here and here.

If you have PCOS and/or Insulin Resistance you will probably be put on Metformin which can also have some amazeballs side effects. Seriously you guys they are so awesome… not. In a post called ‘The Metformin Effect’ I discussed the fortunate and not so fortunate side effects of this medication and also have some very handy hints on how you can handle them until your body is used to it and settles down.

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What is your fave colour?

If you have a lazy ass metabolism you will probably be put on something like Eutroxsig or Oroxine. This can be hit and miss and definitely look up the side effects in case you have a bad one. I was on Eutroxig at first and all my hair started falling out. Then I finally got changed to Oroxine and thank god the hair situation has calmed down.

Then you have the surgeries. Convinced I had endometriosis the specialist decided to do a laparoscopy complete with a uterus clean out, tubal flush and ovarian drilling (which is exactly what it sounds like). For me this was not fun. I also got an infection in one of the wounds which made me very sick and I still didn’t get a baby.

Then you can move on to IVF. This is where you spend your savings, or take out a loan/second mortgage, dip into your superannuation or just spend your future kids college fund on a variety of medications and medical procedures where they give you lots of drugs through needles to send your ovaries into crazy egg producing mode, you have a bunch of blood tests (more needles), then ultrasounds where they stick a wand up your vajayjay, then they put a massive needle up and through your vagina wall and into your follicles to extract said eggs (apparently some women are knocked out for this, but I got to experience it all in HD! Honestly one of the most traumatic experiences of my life to date), then you get to be completely angry at your partner because all they have to do is have a date with a sample cup. The sperm and eggs are put in a petri dish for 24 hours for their own date and then the angst begins again.

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Sperm meets Egg

For me it went like this.

Because I had done wayyyy too much reading into statistics I decided that 11 would be a good base number… we got 9 so that was already disappointing for me. Overnight 6 fertilised which is more than 50% which is good so then I was happy. Come day 3 and 3 were looking good, come day 5 and only 2 were looking really good.

They transferred 1, more tubes and what not up my vajayjay freezing the other and sending a sample for genetic testing. Then I was sent home to start the dreaded TWW yet again (see above). My TWW did not end as hoped and there were LOTS of tears to be had.

Meanwhile your first period after egg retrieval and transfer is a painful SOB!!! Seriously it was SO BAD that the cramping disturbed my bowls and I had to leave work because the bleeding and diarrhea was sooo bad I could not be out in public!

Then there was more waiting to see if the embryo we had frozen was normal… 4.5 weeks later we found out it was THANK whoever is upstairs!

I truly hope that one day my journey ends with my husband and I having a child, but to date I can summarise my IF journey as follows: waiting, perfunctory sex, all of the NEEDLES and going broke. Not to mention the fact that I feel like my vagina should be charging admission at this point, she’s reaching studio 54 numbers now. And then there’s breaking your heart once a month when AF arrives or you don’t see that second line on the pee stick. I just want to earn my stripes!

There is still much for me to figure out like how to do those pee sticks without peeing on yourself… so hard to pee on teeny stick when you first wake up in the morning.

I have terrible days, friends, an unhealthy obsession with chocolate, fellow bloggers and a sick sense of humour seem to get me through. What gets you through?

 


All over red rover?

I am mostly over my flu/virus thing, but still tired a great amount of the time. I am also hungry a lot. I have been making an effort to cook proper dinners and have better foods at work which is always a good thing.

Over share time.

This morning I woke up to some bleeding. Not a lot. Pinkish. I haven’t had anymore since this morning. If it is AF then that bitch is early, like, a lot early… 5 days. I don’t think I have ever got AF early in my life. Now is not a good time to start.

The clinic happened to call this morning to see how I was dealing with the waiting period, it was the lovely UK nurse. I let her know about the bleeding and that the symptoms that I have been having seem to have dissipated. She said that it didn’t necessarily mean that the cycle had failed and this sort of thing did happen commonly. She then suggested I come in Saturday morning and have my beta test instead of waiting for Monday. I jumped at the chance because it means that I am not going to get the news in the middle of my work day on Monday which works SO much better for me.

Everything started so well, but I just have this feeling that this one hasn’t worked. I am waiting for this realisation to really hit home. I am guessing that will be about .25 seconds after I get home tonight.

I know that the cycle technically isn’t a complete write off yet, but sometimes you just know these things about your body right? Something doesn’t feel right about it. To be honest if it were 5 days from now I would assume I was getting AF.

Feeling a little sad panda, but positive Polly will find her way back I am sure.

sad-panda

I would love to hear about your experiences. Was your first transfer successful?


Day 3 news

So it seems we are traveling well with our little embies. We got a call from the scientist yesterday, sorry for the late report, yesterday was madness all round.

Anyways, let’s get on to what you really want to hear about. We had 6 fertilise and on day 3 none of them had ceased development.

At 8:20am on day 3 we had 1 which has 8 cells, 3 which have 6 cells, 1 with 5 cells and 1 with 4 cells.

So there are 4 at the stage they would want on day three which is 6+ cells. In saying that I am not giving up on the others either because not all of the eggs would have fertilised at the same point in time over the 24 hours they were exposed.

So it looks like we are all set for a 5 day transfer tomorrow.  embryos

I am feeling very excited and grateful at this point.


Hycosy

Well that was one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life.

Yesterday I went for my Hycosy procedure. I’m not going to lie, I was scared. I had been told it would hurt and I knew they were not administering a local so no part of me was looking forward to this. In saying that I knew it had to be done so that we could find out about the hydrosalpingx and then next week go and see the specialist and see what to do about it. I had basically already surrendered myself to waiting quite a few more months to start IVF and honestly I was not in a great place mentally.

Over the past 6 months or so there has been much in my life that has felt like an uphill battle. Stuff with the house, with my fertility, with my weight issues and the eating issues that surround that, family stuff, my uncle passing away,  stuff with Hubby’s work and whilst I love my job I have been starting to experience a little burnout. I am just really tired guys and this hydrosalpingx felt like another kick in the face. My positive Polly attitude was struggling big time.

I took Hubby along because a) I was scared and b) I wasn’t allowed to drive afterwards.

So I get on the bed, they levitate me so high I feel like this

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She tells me I may get some slight discomfit, but to remember it will soon pass. Turns out “discomfort” translates to severe abdominal stabby, crampy pain, but you have to hold still. It does pass after a minute or so and I think Okay, cool, I did it. Nice job.

Then she started sending in the water and I just got wave after wave of this ongoing pain.

DeanScreams

It was awful. Did. Not. Like! I managed to not make a sound, but I had a couple of tears going and man did I feel nauseous too. Apparently the pain was being caused because the amount of water they had to put in expanded my uterus to the size it would be if I were 8 weeks pregnant. Awesome.

After awhile the pain calmed down a little and they started looking at all my stuff. The tech said that everything looked nice and clear and the doctor said, “what about the hydrosalpingx?” The tech replied that she couldn’t find one. The doc took over and found it, but it turns out that it is not a hydrosalpingx, but rather a small tubular cyst.

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Yup, no hydrosalpingx!

Happy tears and goodness and making hills alive with music and whatnot!

The sheer relief I felt at hearing this news was huge! I hadn’t realised how much dread I felt at having to “fix” something else.

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It also means that our appointment next Monday with the specialist will be for a much different (and happier) purpose 🙂

Happy trails to all.


Fertility update

I went for my internal ultrasound that you have to do before commencing IVF. It was just supposed to be for a follicle count, but the lady doing it (who it turned out was a gynecologist because they were short on techs that day) found something.

When I called to make my nurses appointment to go through the treatment plan they said I needed to go and get another ultrasound where they inject dye into my tubes and look for obstructions. I immediately called the ultrasound place and booked in (delaying my treatment for at least another cycle as the ultrasound has to take place at a particular time in my cycle) and asked them to send me the report from the one I had the week before. The results said, “Probable left hydrosalpingx”. WTF? What is that. So naturally I went to Dr. Google. Turns out it is a distally blocked fallopian tube filled with serous or clear fluid. Great. The Dr. that did the ultrasound did ask me a few times during whether I had had any abdominal surgery and I told her only the laparoscopy last September and my fallopian tubes were fine at that time. Not feeling great about this. Especially when I looked at possible treatments and apparently just clearing it out often ends up with re-occurances and a higher chance of ectopic pregnancies and that the most common treatment is removal of the affected tube because even if you do IVF if the fluid leaks into the uterus it could cause issues with the fetus. So March 7 I have the next ultrasound. Not looking forward to it, but what can you do? It has to be done.

I am kinda over the roadblocks that keep coming in the way of IVF.

On the upside of things we had our nurses appointment where we went through the treatment plan. To get started all I have to do is call them when this other mess is fixed up.

SO. MANY. NEEDLES.

I do not enjoy needles. I am a lot better than I used to be, the multitude of blood tests and the surgery helped greatly with that. Still, I got quite nervous when she was going through it all. Then we saw the costs. I had looked at the costs when we first started going to this specialist (2 years ago), but it was still a shock! We will get some back from medicare which will be a huge help, but it will still hurt for awhile. Once we do get in our house and manage to pay for our floors (that’s a story for another post) as well as our driveway, landscaping, deck (that’s probably going to have to wait a bit now) and now the IVF we are going to be having a few toasted cheese sandwich nights in our future.

We have done it hard before and know how to tighten the purse strings enough to recoup cash and still get by. I was just really hoping we wouldn’t have to. That credit card I have not used since our honeymoon 4 years ago is going to have to be thawed out too. We had been budgeting really well so have a lot in savings, but it won’t be enough.

But if we end up with a child of our very own it will be worth every single penny, every worrying thought about money and it will be worth eating toasted cheese sandwiches until the mere thought of them makes us nauseated!

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Dreaming of our baby.