Finn & Rebecca

Finn & Rebecca

Friday, July 31, 2009

Going to be a blast

Haven't posted updates as everything happened so fast. Went in on Wednesday for egg retrieval. You go under anaesthetic as it is quite a painful experience. A rather long needle is put through the wall of your uterus into your ovaries and the fluid within each follicle is sucked out and hopefully contains a mature egg. Well...they only got 4.

Secretly I was so hoping for more but realistically, not a bad result for a low responder. Prof says the 4 looked good and he was happy with them. The 24 hours after ER was stressful as we didn't know if the 4 would fertilise and had to wait until 11am yesterday to find out. I procrastinated until 12pm and then called. Only one had fertilised. One. Only one. So I agreed that they do rescue ICSI (follicles are injected with sperms) on the other 3 yesterday afternoon.

Prof called and asked to see us this morning and that possibly we would do the embryo transfer. When we got there, Prof informed us that the 3 other follies had been ICSI'd and that of the 3, one was looking okay so far but the other 2 were non-viable. So instead of just one, we now have 1 and 1/2. He told us that the egg quality on retreival had looked great, DH's little guys were fabulous and that it is just luck of the draw that some eggs are abnormal. Not every egg is a good egg.

He was willing to do the transfer immediately but he recommended and we agreed to carry on watching the frontrunner to see if it is going to grow properly into a blast (reach blastocyst stage - see pic above of a good blastocyst) and the new little one for a couple more days to see what happens. We felt this was the right thing to do as even if the embie doesn't carry on growing and we don't get to a blast 5 day transfer, we will know instead of transfering an embie on day 3 and waiting waiting waiting for 2 weeks and then it not resulting in a pregnancy anyway. Even if you transfer a blast, it does not guarantee a positive but at least you know it had made it to almost hatching stage.

Hope we have made the right decision.

So little embies...grow, divide, live. Please live so you can come back to the mothership on Monday.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Slow and steady

Went for scan # 3 on Friday. Mmmmm. Follies are growing but real slow. Hoping that this slow and steady growth means I will have some great quality mature eggs. There were two dominant follies at 15mm but the rest are still 12mm, 11mm etc and they need to get to 18mm. So here's to hoping they catch up over the weekend as we really want more than 2 eggs this time around. Why? So we can be more selective about which ones to put back rather than just put back what we have.

The Prof has now moved ER day to Wednesday! This means that I will be on CD18!!! Was initially a little concerned that I would be so late in my cycle but Prof not I will carry on watering the garden and singing to my follies...

May the new moon, bright after the eclipse, tune into the growing of my follies and supercharge them with mother energy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Follies or follies?

Follies or follies? Time will tell...

Went for my CD10 scan this morning. Now there are 8!!! Yip, 5 on the RHS and 3 on the LHS. But....the follies are still small - 11mm at best. They need to grow to at least 16-18mm before maturing and being ready to pluck from my ovaries.

So, Prof has added a few more ingredients to my secret recipe protocol and I am going back for next scan on Friday CD13. He doesn't believe my follies will be ready to be retrieved on the usual CD14 (Sat) but only on CD16 (Mon)! I was secretly hoping to do ER (egg retrieval) on Sat as I wouldn't have to take work days off but alas the body has its own rhythms.

Yay, more injections mmmmmm - my tummy is starting to look like a pincushion!! Last IVF I was on a very mild protocol and only had 10 injections. This time around, the Prof has hotted things up and I will have had 17 by Thursday!

Am talking to my follicles and saying the following affirmation...
"My eggs are growing, ripening and maturing...My eggs are of great quality..."

Maybe I will make up a little song and sing it to them hee hee...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Prof's Secret Recipe

This is what you want to see in your ovaries when you are on an IVF cycle...many big and happy follies! (This is not my ovary btw but it would be great if they looked like this at day 13!!!)

Went for my CD6 (6th day of my cycle) scan yesterday morning....went okay but had a hilarious experience with the sister...!!!

The scan showed 6 follicles on the LHS and 1 on the RHS - still very small obviously as they would be on day 6, so they still need to grow lots. I also have a cyst from last month's ovulation on the RHS which they will keep an eye on. My FS (Ferility Specialist) aka Prof, asked if I had already taken the Menopur (Menopur stimulates the development of follicles) injection that morning and I said yes. He then prescribed a Fostimon (also a super follicle stimulation shot) injection for after the consult, 2 amps Menopur and 1 amp Fostimon on Sat (that's 2 injections!!!) and 2 amps Menopur and 1 amp Cetrotide (this inhibits ovulation and keeps the follicles in the ovary so they can be grabbed later) on Sunday and Monday (Again 2 injections each day!!! Thank goodness for my Dr DH!)....eeeeeeeeeeeeek

Then I go for the next scan on Tuesday to see what's cooking.
The Prof also suggested that I talk to my follies and ask them to grow.....LOL!

Anyway, so off I go to the sister who is getting everything ready. She injects what she thinks is the Fostimon and then is about to give me another injection! I ask her why she is giving me 2 injections and she says she is giving me the 2 Menopur for that morning!!! So I say heck no, I have already had that injection and that I had told the Prof that! So there she is holding the injection in the air and we are looking at each other in disbelief, not knowing whether she has given me the Menpopur or Fostimon and not sure what to do!!!

I had joked only a few minutes before saying that it seems like I am on the Prof's Secret Recipe! So I burst out laughing and told her I want a credit for the 2 extra amps of Menopur! She called the Prof who also found the situation amusing (in the way only a dr can) and he said, give her the shot, it won't go to waste - who knows this may just be the winning combination! So you never know...we will see!

So on Friday I had in total 4 amps Menopur, 1 amp Fostimon and 3 Femara tabs! Hoping this is the boost my little follies need!

Rather amusing hey...of course if this cycle doesn't work I am still going to ask for my credit LOL!

On the down side, tests came back showing that my AMH levels are a little silly 1.1 which is on the border of pretty useless. Less that 1.1 usually indicates poor response to IVF / failed IVF (AMH = Anti-Mullerian Hormone, which shows a one's primordial reserve of eggs basically).

But my FSH is good at 4.2. Also my antiphospholipid tests came back which looked into if I have any lupus anticoagulant which usually interferes with the embryo / causes blood clots with the placenta etc - they use this test with repeated m/c's and it is ALL GOOD - no worries there...

So still feeling very positive about this cycle...grow little follies grow!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

And so IVF #2 begins

It is time. My period arrived this morning and so IVF round 2 finally begins.

I will be sharing my journey here instead of talking about it. Better that way. Better than dragging all who care along the ups and downs of an IVF cycle. Which under consideration by those around you, no matter how well meaning, sits thinly on the reality of the excitement, hope, expectation, fear, joy, disappointments and sadness you experience. And silly really when it is an opt-in procedure - you "asked" for it. Well...we did and DH (dear husband) and me are really positive this time around.

So I pray for a really fantastic cyle with lots of lovely follies (follicles), then embies (embryos), a smooth retrieval and transfer and our long-awaited BFP (big fat positive). I will be using the infertility lingo along the way, explanations in brackets for the fertile...

My protocol (stimulation meds) is as follows:
CD 2 (CD = cycle day) = 3 x Femara tabs
CD 3 = 3 x Femara tabs, 4 amps Menopur (injected into stomach courtesy of DH, who was a medic in the army and since has used his old injecting skills on me! He is so fab really!)
CD 4 = 3 x Femara tabs, 3 amps Menopur
CD 5 = 3 x Femara tabs
CD 6 = 3 x Femara tabs, 2 amps Menopur & scan to assess follies

Wish us luck.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stress and the body

This is my mum at 25 with me aged 6 months...

My mum is finally in her own bed at home. After two weeks in hospital since diagnosis, she is finally well enough to return to her housie on the hill with her own canister of oxygen. After the biopsy, she developed an air leak which progressively got worse so she has been on oxygen since then. Further aggravated by extreme emphyseuma this took some time to heal. Then she got brain swelling from the radiation to her head, then an infection which left her extremely fatigued. Due to limited oxygen all this time there were a few days when she was completely disorientated and confused - similiar to altitude sickness.

I was so relieved that we went to Knysna to see her last weekend. It was upsetting to see mum so sick in hospital but as soon as she started feeling better, I got back glimpses of the mum I know. She is so much better now and can chat again - we will wait to see what happens now as the course of radiation kicks in - takes 3 weeks to have full impact. Her oncologist says she can only have one course of radiation and after 3 weeks if she is feeling up to it, a course of mild chemo - all to prolong the time she still has. And I plan on spending as much time as I can with her - hoping to go back in a few weeks....I am numb to the reality...or so I thought...

Onto the stress part. Well, I was supposed to start my next IVF cycle on Monday, which has to begin on day 1 of your cycle (first day of one's period). But my period never arrived! And as at today, I am 4-6 days late. Very unusual and the only time this has happened before was when I was pregnant with the last of course I have been freaking out in the last few days in fear I could be pregnant with ectopic # 3! Yesterday, I couldn't take the stress anymore and went for a blood test. Negative. Thank God. Had it been a miraculous conception in the correct place it would have been the most fantastic thing, but not having had to deal with the sheer anxiety of contemplating going through another surgery right now has left me with immense relief.

So...why is my body playing games with me? Why now when I was so sure that I was ready for the next IVF cycle? Stress? Am I more stressed that I thought? Is my belief that I bounce back quickly masking my body's truth? I have also read that antoibiotics can delay a period and I completed a course for my hectic flu experience last is a little frustrating. I was planning on going back to be with mum during my 2 week wait which is now getting further and further away...oh dear body please let go of this long 36 day cycle so I can start again? New beginnings dear body, new possibilities.

It is more important to me now than ever before. I so wish for my mother to meet her grandchild before she leaves. As I write this I look for hidden meaning. Have I just become aware of a mind-body thread? In delaying, my body buys more time for me, for her? No...can't be. I will breathe deeply. I will relax and go with the flow. I will trust my body and it's process. I will trust the universe's plan for me...I will take one day at a time.