5 days post 5 day transfer.

So I got the call last Friday to say all 6 of our little Embryos had survived so far although they were a little behind. By day 4 they should be almost at Blastocyst stage and ours were still at early morula stage and not yet compacted. I was told that while this is not great we are still in with a chance and to be in Geelong at 9am Saturday morning for transfer.

The transfer went ahead without a hitch and they implanted the strongest looking little embryo (compacted Morula – not yet blastocyst) into the thickest section of my lining. Dr Lynn seemed very positive and told me she would see me ‘when I was pregnant’. I came home feeling very positive and happy to have been able to do a transfer. They embryologist also advised me they would give the embryos an extra day to see if any could make it to blastocyst on day 6 and been frozen. I was hopeful that at least one of the 5 would make it.

Sunday morning rolled around and unfortunately I got the call to say none all the embryos had failed to make blastocyst stage and none could be frozen. I was gutted. There were so tears and honestly a bit of disbelief. I was so sure at least one of them would make it. After about an hour of feeling terrible I made the decision to still be positive for the one little one inside me. Just because the others didn’t make it doesn’t mean this one didn’t too. I will be crushed next week if we get a negative result but until then there is no reason not to be positive. We are still in with a chance!

I was lucky enough to go to the Ed Sheeran concert that night and Missy Higgins was the support act before hand. Some of the songs made me pretty emotional but it was such a brilliant night out. I’m choosing to just keep focusing on all the good stuff going on and hope for the best. I now only have 2 and a half days left at work before I am free!!! (free to find a new job haha) and also to have 2 weeks holiday. We will be up the coast in Newcastle next week when we get the results of my pregnancy test. I see it as either we are in a beautiful location to celebrate – or we are in a beautiful wine region (the Hunter Valley) to commiserate if need be. Either way, we will cross that bridge when we come to it. For now it’s back to my VERY long ‘to do’ list before I say goodbye to my career in Podiatry!

x

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Day 16. Cycle 5.

So alot has happened since my last post. It has taken me a while to post because there were so many things up in the air and I felt like I needed more information before I could post anything that was definite.

Day 9 scan showed about 8-10 follicles growing nicely and lining was sitting at 5mm. Not amazing, not terrible. I was asked to go back for another scan 2 days later – day 11. The next scan revealed 23 follicles – a lot more than I have ever had before, yet my lining had gone backwards – now 3.7 which was pretty disappointing. The nurse advised me we may need to do a freeze all cycle and try a transfer at a later date depending on how things go. I was advised to start taking Progynova 3x per day and see how things were looking at egg collection.

Yesterday was day 15 and the day of egg collection. To my amazement we collected 10 eggs which is a huge improvement on my previous best of 4. The change in medications obviously worked for me and this was a great result. I spoke to our doctor after the surgery and she advised me that my lining was looking ok and that we should be able to go ahead with a transfer this Saturday. I have to continue on the Progynova and also start progesterone daily from tonight.

This morning I got the call from the lab to say out of our 10 eggs, 7 were mature and 6 fertilized. This is a great result and double the best that I have had at this point in the past. The scientist advised me we would get an update on Friday (day 4) and organize transfer for Saturday.

Here is where my nerves have really kicked in. I feel like we have fought so hard to get these precious little embryos and I am terrified of losing them. We have never had any embryos make it to Blastocyst before and I’m keeping everything crossed that at least 1 makes it to Saturday. If I’m being honest I would really love it if 2 make it to Saturday. 1 to transfer and 1 to freeze. If we have one little blastocyst that is able to be frozen it helps to take the pressure off this cycle and know we have a back up plan in the freezer. I am trying to do my best to not think too far ahead and just ‘go with the flow’. Always easier said than done.

For the next few days I will keep taking it easy (I’m still in a bit of pain following the surgery) and try to prepare my body as best as possible for a little Embryo on Saturday. Please keep everything crossed for me that we can go ahead with this transfer. x

Here we go! Cycle number 5.

Finally we are off and going again! Today is day 2 of my cycle so all meds start today. I’m excited to feel like we are moving forward again! This morning I started on 5mg Letrozole (tablets) and Estraderm patches and this evening will be the first of many injections! Two a day to start with – 300 units of Bemfola (a new one for me) and 150 units of Menopur – which I have done before.

While injections are never fun I know the tricks now to try and make them as pain free as possible. In seven days I will do my first blood tests and scan (day 9) and assuming everything travels to plan – egg pick up should be around day 14-16. As everything starts – so does the cost! We have so far spent about $400 on medications, tomorrow we pay the first installment which will be $5000 and then in about a week we pay the next installment of $3265 – a total of $8265. If we need to do Filgrastim infusion (which is a high likelihood) that will be an extra cost – I’m not sure how much yet. The other extras in Day surgery fee at the hospital (usually around $500) and the anesthetist fee (usually around $300).

Overall it will be a very expensive month but hopefully it is all worth it! Feeling good at this stage and will see how I go with side effects along the way. Also only 3 and a half more weeks of work!! The countdown is on!

Will update how I’m feeling as the cycle progresses.

x

A new year and a new start.

Here we are already into February and planning our next cycle to start in about 10 days. I am feeling confident and hopeful for this year. It may not be this cycle that we get our BFP but I’m hoping it will be sometime this year.

2017 did not end well. We had 2 offers on my business and both of them failed to result in a sale. One couldn’t get finance and the other one we couldn’t agree on terms. It was a very difficult and stressful time and I really struggled to get through to the Christmas break. As I expected, Christmas wasn’t easy and there were a few tears in the car on the way home after battling through ‘baby’ talk during lunch. While I’m very happy for my 2 sister’s in law who are both pregnant it was very hard listening to the planning of baby showers etc over lunch. Ultimately I got through and enjoyed probably a couple too many glasses of wine.

After Christmas was out of the way we were able to plan for 2018 and have since employed a lovely guy to take over from me in my business so I can have a break and then a career change. Unfortunately it will be another 5 and a half weeks before he is able to start due to other commitments, however I am so happy just to have an end date and know I finish up soon. My husband will take over running the business so I can properly step back and focus on my future. I am beyond excited to finally be finishing up after waiting for this for years.

Cycle number 5 is all planned to start in about 10 days and I am very much looking forward to getting into it! I feel like my health is the best it has been in a long time and I generally feel good. Knowing this is the first cycle with our new specialist is also great to be taking a new approach and see how we go. I’m not expecting an miracles as it might take a bit for her to get the ‘recipe’ right but I am hopeful we are heading in the right direction.

2018 is already proving to be a positive year and I hope it just keeps going!

Will keep you posted on this next cycle as we get started. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Big Fat Negative – Again.

I should be getting used to this by now but it is still never easy to hear yet another negative result. I never give up hope that each cycle might finally be ‘the one’ and I guess that is a good thing but it’s still tricky. I so badly want to be a mum and to know I am growing a little version of my husband and I inside me. Not meant to be yet though. The most frustrating bit is that I should have had my blood test this morning to confirm this yet even though I arrived 5 minutes after the GP clinic opened and an hour before I had to start work, I still had to leave before my turn as it was taking so long to get through the couple of people before me. I will try again at lunch time but I just want to get it over with!

I’m looking forward to having a break from it all over the Christmas new year period but I’m also a bit nervous and apprehensive about Christmas too. With both my brother’s wife and my husband’s sister pregnant I know there will be a lot of baby talk going on which is sometimes easier to handle than others. I’m hoping it’s not too hard but I’m nervous all the same.

I’m trying to focus my energy on the new year and doing our next IVF cycle in Feb. I have made an appointment with our specialist for January so hopefully we can get started on another cycle in Feb. I’m also hoping that I might be finished up with my business by then but it’s hard to say given we still haven’t got a sale even with a few people saying they are very interested. We just need to get contracts signed and a deposit in the bank and then I will be able to relax a bit more about it all.

So all up I’m feeling flat and also frustrated at the moment. Disappointed that things still aren’t going our way and nervous about how I’m going to handle the next few weeks. I guess like everything else I just have to hope for the best and hope 2018 is our year. I said that about 2017 a full year ago and couldn’t have been more wrong but fingers crossed 2018 really is our year. I don’t know if I can cope with another full year of disappointments. x

The waiting game.

Today is 8 days post ovulation and I am starting to get a bit nervous/impatient about the results later this week. For the first couple of days post ovulation I had quite sharp pains in my lower tummy which can apparently happen as the follicles fill up with fluid after the egg is released (or so google tells me). It all settled within a couple of days and I have been fine since. No other real symptoms other than sore boobs but that is just a side effect of the Progesterone I am using.

I’ve decided I will do my first HPT (Home Pregnancy Test) tomorrow morning. It will probably be too soon for a pregnancy to show up but I can at least see if the HCG from the trigger shot has left my body. My blood test is on Friday morning but I still feel like this might be too early? I figure if I get a low positive then they will check again a few days later and if not I will continue to test at home until Monday which is when my period is due. Either way I will know by early next week.

I have been quite busy with lots of other things to focus on over the last few weeks so I haven’t thought too much about it until the last 24 hours or so. Obviously I would so desperately love to be pregnant but I’m still not particularly confident given my lining was still thin. At least we can have a break over the Christmas holidays and then be ready to throw all our energy into another IVF cycle in Feb.

Also my Brother rang me last Thursday to tell me his wife is Pregnant. I’m really excited for them as it has been a long road for them too. 12 months of trying plus a miscarriage at 11 weeks which was really horrible for them both. They are going to be amazing parents and I’m really excited to be an Aunt!

Hopefully some time next year we will also get to share some happy news! Will post the results of this cycle when I feel up to it. x

Ovulation Day!

So today is day 14 and in theory (assuming all goes to plan) I should be ovulating. I saw Dr Lynn for a scan last Thursday and while my lining was still thin it was slightly improved compared to last cycle which is a positive. The Trental I am taking is supposed to slowly improve your lining each month so as long as we are not going backwards that is good news! I have not had any side effects from it either which is great. I had 3 follicles growing last Thursday but they still needed to be a bit bigger before Trigger. So I continued Gonal-F for 2 more days before Trigger injection of Ovidrel on Saturday. Dr Lynn also advised me to increase to 3 Estraderm patches every second day from the 2 I was already on. We were then advised to try naturally Saturday, Sunday and again today (being Monday).

It was great timing actually as we had our early Anniversary celebration on Saturday night. We had booked a nice dinner in the city and at the last minute my parents kindly booked us a night at our favorite Hotel which was lovely. They then looked after our Pup for the weekend too so we could just relax. It was very generous of them and very much appreciated! It was nice to just be 2 people out having a nice dinner rather than focusing on all the other craziness that has been going on in our world.

Tomorrow night I have to start the Progesterone pessaries (which are not much fun) and then continue them through until my pregnancy test next Friday. I’m still not really expecting any miracles this round as my lining is still thin but at least we are trying something and can then prepare ourselves for another full IVF cycle in February. I will be nice to have a bit of a break over Christmas and the new year, ready to tackle the challenges of 2018!

 

There will be sunshine after the storm.

Since I last posted I feel like my world got picked up, tipped upside down and then thrown back down again. I’m slowly putting everything back into place but to be quite frank, life has been hard.

So as suspected last week brought news of another failed cycle. I was never confident given how thin my lining was but there is still that little piece of me that hopes I am wrong and that a second line will show up on a pregnancy test. Not meant to be this time. Literally on the same day I was dealing with this, my husband decided to quit his job. He has been very unhappy at work for quite some time. We had spoken about him looking for something else and potentially looking at a career change but he was going to hang in there a bit longer. Or so I thought.

As I walked back from the bathroom early in the morning – having just seen one line on yet another negative pregnancy test, he told me he was going to quit that day. I didn’t even get a chance to share my results with him. I was freaked out, angry and upset that I couldn’t talk him out of it and he was going to do it that day. I was shocked. Up until that point he had enjoyed a well paid position (even if he didn’t enjoy the work) and that had enabled us to continue on this IVF journey. My first thought was ‘how are we going to keep doing IVF now?’. While my business creates more than enough income for us to survive on, paying for IVF every few months is a whole different story. To add to our situation is the fact that my business is up for sale (has been for some months) as I am no longer enjoying my career and wanted to change too.

My first thoughts were selfish ones. a/ how can we keep doing IVF?  b/how can I change careers and get out of a position I hate if he beat me to it? One of us has to keep working to pay for our mortgage/life? Quite simply, I freaked out. I cried more over the next 24 hours than I have in a long time. I didn’t know how we could make it all work. I resigned myself to the idea that I will just have to take my business off the market and keep going for another year, until he is properly settled in a new role. I was stressed, scared and sad about how or if we would be able to try for a baby in that time but I figured we had no option.

What I failed to see initially in my own selfish, freaked out state, was how broken my husband was. He had avoided telling me how much he was struggling for fear of putting more stress on me. I failed to see that he had no option. His job was breaking him and he needed to get out. So after long discussions, many tears and some yelling we finally saw where each other was coming from. It was without a doubt one of the toughest periods in our 3 years of marriage but once again, we will make it work. He had to give 3 months notice so that’s 3 more months of pay before he is unemployed and 3 more months to find a new job. He has already spoken to a few people in his industry and at worst has 3 days a week work lined up when he finishes. We will get by.

To save my own stress levels and happiness we have also decided to employ someone else to run my business so I can get out and find something else too. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders knowing I have a way out too. I can only imagine he feels the same. Struggling to conceive has been a huge battle for us both over the last 2 years and has taken it’s toll on us both physically, emotionally and of course financially. We both hate the feeling of not being able to control the course our lives is taking and having no control over my infertility. At least we have been able to take some of that control back in regards to our careers.

I have no doubt things aren’t about to magically get easier but once again we are tackling life as a team and we will make our dreams happen. Even if it takes a little longer.

On that note today starts a new beginning. The start of another ovulation induction cycle and anther chance to bring new life and positivity into our world. I saw Dr Lynn yesterday and she suggested one more round of ovulation induction and if we don’t have any success we can go back to IVF next year. This sounded like a great option to me. Yesterday I started Trental 400 – a drug designed to increase blood flow – which should help thicken my lining. I also began 2x Estraderm patches, to be changed every second day. Starting this evening will be Gonal F 87.5 units + 2 clicks of ovidrel every second day. I have a follow up scan with Dr Lynn next Thursday to see how we are travelling.

In this process I have learned that it’s ok to fall apart. As long as you pick yourself up and try again. While life seems to have endless bumps in the road at the moment, we can only hope each one is bringing us closer to an even better bump. A baby bump. x

 

Just keep swimming…

So I am now 5 days post ovulation and feeling like this 2 weeks is going to last forever! We eventually managed to ‘do the deed’ last Thursday night so I am confident we have a good egg and some good sperm meeting up – just have to hope my lining was enough to support an embryo. While I’m not feeling super confident I’m not going to totally give up either.

This weekend marks the spring racing carnival in Melbourne – specifically the Melbourne Cup. This is always an event my husband and I enjoy getting involved with and this year shouldn’t be any different. Much of the advice around IVF is ‘don’t let it run your life and don’t stop having fun’. So this weekend I am going to take that advice and enjoy myself! I have decided that I will have 2 Champagnes on each of the 2 days we are going to the races. While you are told to assume you are pregnant during the ‘Two Week Wait’ I think it’s pretty safe to assume that won’t be the case. At best it might help me to relax a bit and at worst (and I am pregnant) then 2 drinks is not going to be the end of the world. I know many people who have been totally drunk in the early weeks of their pregnancies before they found out they were actually pregnant! They have gone on to have beautiful healthy babies.

Obviously as soon as I do get a BFP (Big Fat Positive) then I will abstain from all alcohol but given how long this journey has been going on and how many times I have avoided drinking for no reason, I’m going to enjoy myself this weekend! I have bought a new dress to wear to Derby Day (traditionally Black and White dress code) and I want to feel a million dollars. This last 2 years has been so tough on us both and I think we deserve to let our hair down and have some fun! It will also help to take my mind off the possibility of another negative result in a few weeks.

So for the moment I’m using Dory from ‘Finding Nemo’ for inspiration – just keep swimming, just keep swimming… x

Highs and Lows.

So it has taken me a little while to post this as I was a little bit lost and didn’t know how I felt. On Monday I went for my follicle tracking scan. I had to go to a different office to have the scan done (as Dr Lynn was away at a conference) and frankly the lady was very rude. She didn’t even acknowledge that I was a person and didn’t speak to me until I asked her questions. It was a combination on weird and rude! She scribbled my results on a piece of paper and I took them up stairs to speak to the nurses at Dr Lynn’s rooms.

The results showed that I had 4 follicles growing, the biggest measuring 17mm and 15mm. This was a good sign. However my lining was measuring a measly 3.8mm. I instantly felt deflated and assumed the cycle would be cancelled. They nurse was lovely and told me not to give up hope. She reminded me it is still early days in the cycle and that they could modify the meds a bit to hopefully help thicken the lining and improve my chances of implantation. I headed back to work feeling conflicted. I really wanted to stay positive but at the same time felt like our chances had just been slashed. I never expected our first cycle with Dr Lynn to be the one that results in our baby but I also didn’t expect to feel like we were going backwards.

I had a little cry that night and I think that helped just to relieve some of the emotion rushing around inside me. The plan was now:

Tuesday – Trigger (10000 units of Pregnyl) – BD (baby dance/intercourse)

Wednesday – BD

Thursday – Ovulate – BD

Friday – Start Crinone Gel daily

Sunday – 1500 units of Pregnyl Booster

Tuesday – 1500 units of Pregnyl Booster

Saturday – 1500 units of Pregnyl Booster

Pregnancy test 16 days post ovulation.

Now this all seems pretty simple and straight forward except for the fact my poor husband has come down with a headcold! There is nothing to get you in the mood like a snotty miserable husband! We did have a little giggle on Tuesday night when I made him wear a face mask! Last night was an epic fail as he just felt too sick and we had to abandon so hopefully tonight gives us another chance for his little guys to do their job!

I definitely ovulated this morning as planned – felt a nice sharp pang in my left side almost exactly 48hrs after the trigger so that side of things is definitely working! At least we know we have had some success this month even if nothing else comes together. I have booked again to see Dr Lynn the day after my blood test, (assuming it will be negative) so we can work out what to try next time to increase my lining.

So a tricky start to the week but I am still smiling and just seeing this as another little bump in the road. Hopefully not too much longer until we have better bump news to share! x