Monday, 31 March 2008

The dreaded follow-up appointment

I had my appointment with our fertility specialist Doreen today. And as per our last two appointments, she started by saying 'Well that didn't go the way we planned!'. Like, duh. Could you state anything more obvious? I went to the appointment by myself this time, it's just too hard for Murray to keep taking time off, and I make decisions better when I'm by myself.

Doreen said that IVM doesn't seem to be working for us and that it would be better for us to move back to IVF. I'm happy to do that, well not exactly happy but I knew it was coming. I told her that I hated the Synarel and that it turned me into the bitch from hell, so they are going to change my protocol and I don't have to take it - Yay for me! Instead I will have a couple of Orgalutran injections to prevent a premature LH surge. I'm not thrilled about the extra injections, but when you add up five or so weeks of sniffing Synarel twice a day, that's 70 doses! Give me the injection any day.

We also talked about my risk of OHSS. In my first IVF cycle, I started on 75iu Gonal-F which did nothing, then bumped me up to 112.5 which also did nothing. With my IVM cycles, I was on 150iu and even that was very slow going. They wanted me to start again on 112.5iu but they have bumped it up to 150iu at my request. We also talked about the cut off for a freeze-all cycle if I do hyperstim. Usually they say if you get more than 20 eggs then they wont transfer, but they will leave it to my discretion and how I am feeling if it is over that. If I get 30 or more, then I don't get a choice in the matter.

So I stop taking my HRT today (thank god - the crinone was making me nuts!) and I should get my period in the next couple of days. I need to book my Day 21 appointment for next month and then we get the ball rolling again. I'm looking forward to having a month without having to inject or subject myself to medical procedures. I just want to focus on myself and my husband for a bit.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Another 'woe is me' post

So life seems to go on whether we want it to or not.

I went to the gym this morning for my personal training session, but had to stop half-way through because I felt so ill, a combination of the drugs, diarhoea and the end of the flu. I've never done that before and I hate feeling so weak. My trainer gave me a talking to about looking after myself and not beating myself up over everything, but I can't help it.

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately, and especially reading about people who have come to the end of their infertility journey and have decided to live their lives without children, child-free. The couples talk about how they can have fulfilling lives with each other, focus on their careers, travel the world, spend time with their nieces and nephews etc. They say that their partner is enough for them.

That's not enough for me. I want a child more than I want anything else in this world. I could handle being in a crappy job, or not owning my own house or any number of things. But I can not and will not accept not having a child. I love my husband more than anything in this world but I don't know how I will be able to function if we are unable to realise our dream.

It's scary that I'm even thinking about this. I'm just so scared right now of this not working. We can afford three more cycles at which time we will have to seriously consider our options. We have already had three unsuccesful cycles. The statistics are against us.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


Thankyou everyone for your thoughts. You have no idea how much they have helped me over the last few days. I'm still feeling pretty down, which hasn't been helped by me coming down with the flu today, but I guess we move on. It's not like we have a choice in the matter.

They couldn't give us any answers on Monday about what went wrong. I'm going to ask about the possibility of three day transfers versus blastocyst transfer, and also whether they will consider doing a double embryo transfer if the next cycle doesn't work. I know they laughed me down last time, but there are only a finite number of cycles that we can financially and emotionally afford. I fear that if we don't fall pregnant by the end of this year, which is three or four cycles away, we won't be able to keep trying.

I'm still doing the HRT, if I stop taking it I will get AF straight away and that will stuff up my body apparently, so lucky me is still pumping myself with hormones.

I have an appointment with our fertility specialist on Monday morning. I think we are going to go back to trying normal IVF. I really do believe in IVM and would love to continue with it, and we may still go back to it, but right now I need the percentages on my side. I need to do something, anything to make this happen.

I'm trying to find research that I'm sure I have stumbled across before but can't seem to find now. The journal article (I think) was about using a combination of IVF and IVM, doing a normal IVF cycle but taking the mature and immature eggs at egg collection. They can treat the mature eggs as per normal and then use IVM on the immature eggs. I'm sure I have read something about this but for the life of me can't find it. If anyone has seen this before, can you please forward me the source? I would really like to be able to take it to my clinic as an option.

Monday, 24 March 2008

No transfer

My heart is broken into a million different pieces and I don't know if it will ever be put back together again.

Our two embryos have stopped growing and are unsuitable for transfer. We have nothing. Everything that has built up to this moment has been a waste. The drugs, the egg collection, the emotions - for nothing.

I am struggling so much right now, I just don't know what else I can do.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Delayed transfer

What a great Easter I am having already. You know how I was thinking having the transfer on Easter Sunday was a nice little omen, a sign about new life and all the things that lie ahead for us? Well it was crap, total and utter crap. Our transfer has been put off until tomorrow, that is if it happens at all.

I just spoke to Steve at the clinic, and apparently of our four remaining embryos, two have stopped growing, one is nearly at blastocyst stage, and another is trying to get there. They want to give them extra time to develop so we wait until tomorrow. Steve admitted that the situation wasn't great and that the embryos weren't doing what they were meant to do. All my confidence walked right out the door in that moment.

Im not sure what the plan of attack is after this cycle. Doreen has said that they wont consider double embryo transfer for a while because I'm so young, but I'm getting desperate. Maybe we should stick to doing 3-day transfers instead? We just seem to lose too many embryos trying to get to 5-days. But then the success rates are a lot higher with blastocyst transfer.

The other side of this is deciding whether or not to continue with IVM as a treatment or whether to go back to IVF. Murray and I made an agreement in the beginning that we would give IVM four attempts, but now I'm not sure if we can stick to that. I don't want to do IVF, last time I had six weeks of injecting and sniffing for my body to do absolutely nothing and have to cancel the cycle which devastated me. Yet if I could get through all of that, the success rates are so much higher.

So yeah, Happy Easter everyone.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Our little embryos...

I just got off the phone from Steve at the clinic who gave us an update on how our embryos are going. At the moment we have one 8-cell embryo, three 6-cell embryo's, and the others have arrested.

Transfer is booked in for 11:15am on Sunday, but Steve will call us in the morning to make sure that we have a blastocyst to transfer.

I feel so relieved to hear that they are growing well, I wish I could get an update on them every day!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

What gives you the right?

This cycle really has been a cycle of ups and downs.

Last night I had a big cry to my Mum because of what somebody had said about me to somebody else. Confused? Me too.

I called my brother last night to see how the new baby was going, and I had told him previously that I would be going into hospital for an IVF procedure, but hadn't given him any other details. Because it can be quite confusing, and also because a lot of my family don't know about us doing IVF, it's easier to leave it like that for the moment. Mitchell asked if I was okay after the procedure and I said I was fine and just a little bit sore.

Then he said that his girlfriend's (Alicia) mother had been saying some things about me, basically questioning why I was doing IVF, that I was too young to know what I was doing and that I was obviously getting ripped off, because there was no need for us to do IVF.

My first question is, what the hell gives this woman who doesn't know me at all, the right to talk about me and question my decisions? And then to say disparaging things to my brother and his gf about me, that's just not right!
Why does IVF suddenly put my life and my decisions on the table for discussion? It happens at work, with family and friends, and now with strangers as well. It's all well and good to think what you want to think, it's called free will. But don't go around, talking about something that you clearly have no idea about whatsoever, deliberately trying to make me look bad.

I stayed calm while I was on the phone to Mitchell, and explained that both Murray and I had medical issues which is the reason we need IVF, and that our chances of conceiving naturally were very low. After I explained that, he got really upset that this woman had said what she had said. I kept myself together until I got off of the phone, and then I called my Mum and cried my eyes out.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Seven little eggies.

Seven little eggies went out one day, over the hills and far away....

Yes, if you didn't know by now, I'm a little nutty. I am also very excited! Seven of our eight mature eggs have fertilised! So we are at the same point as we were last cycle.

My positivity is slowly returning...

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Three posts in a day...

I really am going nuts. Well at least this is what I imagine people feel like when they are crazy. I can't stop my head from circling around a billion and one different thoughts, and I can not hold on to any of them. I have a horrible headache, can't sleep, and am sick of it all.


I am sick of treatment. I have always been of the mind that we will do back to back treatment, and make the most of this year financially, but I need to have some time out if this doesn't work. I need to have a month of just 'me' time. Some time where I don't need to think about whether my body is doing what it is meant to, where I can just do normal things that other normal people do.

I just want my head to stop hurting.

Maturation results

Just got the call from the clinic, eight of our ten eggs have matured which is a great result. Last cycle we had thirteen eggs and eight matured also, so statistically we are doing better. We should have fertilisation results tomorrow afternoon.

Am still a bundle of nerves over everything though, wish I could just fast-forward the next few weeks and get the result.

I am slowly going insane...

Nobody from the clinic has called me yet. I know it is only 1.25pm and that they don't close until five, and that they might not have comprehensive results until later in the day. But I am still freaking out. I am not normally a nervous person, but today I am going out of my mind with fear. I just want this to be it.

I am so scared that it's not going to work again. I am trying so hard to be positive, to the point where I deliberately went into a baby shop today and bought some small things to prove my positivity. Like duh, who I am trying to prove it to.

My nerves are shot to pieces, I almost wish I was at work to distract myself from my nothingness life without a baby.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Ten is a good number

Just got back from having my egg collection done at the hospital. We ended up with ten eggs, which while it is less than the thirteen we got last time, is still a good number. I'm fairly well drugged up at the moment so not in too much pain, but have some referred pain in my shoulder and chest which is killing me at the moment. I'm not as groggy or nauseous as I was last time which is good as well.

My gorgeous friend Fiona drove me in today as Murray couldn't get the day off work. I was worried the whole thing would freak her out, but she said that it helped her understand what I'm going through a lot better. It's so nice to have good friends :-)

We went down to the clinic to have a chat with Steve, and he said that the procedure was a bit easier this time, I assume because my eggs were bigger. He said that although be got less than last time, they seem to be of good quality, and the different protocol (more FSH) has definitely helped out.

So now the eggs mature overnight, Murray goes in tomorrow morning to give his sample and then they will fertilise the eggs. Fingers crossed we get good numbers from all of that! Our Embryo Transfer is booked for Easter Sunday, and blood test on April 2nd.

Saturday, 15 March 2008


Well my trigger injection is over and done with thank goodness. Still feeling like crap but hopefully that resolves itself shortly.

Pass the bucket please

I thought I was coping really well with this cycle, but the side-effects are really starting to hit me. I have had a nasty headache all day, tightness in my chest, bloating, but the worst thing is the nausea. Everywhere I go, there seems to be a new smell that screams out 'I want you to throw up!' I went to get my legs waxed (so that the surgeons wouldn't discover the old growth forest I've been growing in my pants during the egg collection!) and all I could smell was the horrible acetate acryilic nail smell that salons have. I nearly hurled on the spot. I ate a really nice salad for lunch, and now feel so sick from it that I've spent the last hour curled up in bed.

I'm starting to get nervous about my trigger injection tonight. I have done it before, so I know that I can do it, but I tend to work myself into a bit of a state over these things. Fingers crossed it's easy and painless.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Another good scan!

My scan went well this morning which I am so grateful for. After a bit of a down evening last night, I really needed a pick-me-up.

My scan shows that my ovaries are doing what they are meant to do for once! I now have:
2 x 9mm follicles, 3 x 8mm follicles, 4 x 7mm follicles, 1 x 6.5mm follicle, 1 x 6mm follicle, 4 x 5mm follicles and lots more smaller than 5mm; my endo is at 8.9mm which is thicker as well.

The clinic are really happy with my progress and have said that it is going a lot better than our first cycle.

I also got some good news, my specialist is back from leave on Monday and is going to do my egg collection. I was really nervous about having a different doctor doing it, but they made the decision for her to do it. I feel so relieved and confident about the procedure now.

Still feeling really crappy physically. I've had diarrhoea on and off all this week, as well as cramps and bad nausea. Not to mentions the terrible mood swings that poor Murray is having to deal with! Steve said that it's all because of the drugs, but that I should feel a bit better after EPU. Not much of that methinks...

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Aunty Becca

Yep, A.licia has given birth to baby number 3. Charlotte Hailey Van.derleer was born at 4.02pm this afternoon. We have been in for a hold and she is just gorgeous.

I feel really numb about the whole thing. It was hard to be civil to Mitche.ll and A.licia after recent events, but I also didn't want my anger to spoil what should be a big moment for them, so I just stayed quiet through the visit.

I want to cry, and I feel like it would be good for me to have a cry about it, but it just wont come out of me. Maybe later...

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Latest scan

Had my scan this morning, I now have:
5 x 7mm follicles
4 x 6mm follicles
4 x 5mm follicles
and lots follicles smaller than 5mm.

It's not great but at least they are very slowly growing. Endo at 7.5 which is also thicker. I am to keep injecting Thurs/Fri and then go in for another scan/BT Friday morning, with EPU on Monday.

I've become hyper-sensitive to my gonal-f injections - grrr. I've been fine with my gonal-f injections up until now, but the past two mornings they have been incredibly painful, so bad I've had to pull it out and start again because I am in agony. I'm nervous about how I'm going to cope with the trigger, last time that wasn't too pleasant and if my body isn't coping with these, it could be bad for trigger. I've tried using icepacks to numb the area but it didn't make a difference this morning.

I can't believe we are nearly ready for egg collection again, and then the countdown is on. Transfer should be on Easter Sunday by my calculations- hopefully that is an omen, the celebration of new life :)

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

My dysfunctional family

I got a phone call last night at 11pm, after I was already in bed, from my brothers girlfriend. My brother was in Armadale, lost, had no money and was being chased by aborigals. And what has that got to do with me you ask? Good question. Lucky me had to go out and pick him up so he didn't get bashed up.

When I picked him up, I didn't say a word. I wasn't trying to give him the silent treatment, but I honestly didn't have anything to say. If I tried to say anything I would either be met with aggression, which I just couldn't handle; or he would get all apologetic and say how things are going to change, which is what he has said for the past two years. Shock horror, nothing has changed.

I am sick of having such a dysfunctional family.

Will head into the clinic tomorrow morning for another blood test and scan. I had another 150iu injection this morning, and one tomorrow morning. Hopefully that will be enough to kick my ovaries into action. I'm almost tempted to up the dose myself but I won't go against the clinic like that, at least not now. Fingers crossed we will be able to go ahead with egg collection soon!

Monday, 10 March 2008

Disappointing scan

Had my scan this morning, only to find that not only have my follicles not grown, some have disappeared altogether. Antral follicle count was 25 from memory, now I have 11 on my left side, 4 on my right (or is it the other way round?) that are less than 5mm and a scattering of 5mm & 6mm follicles. The nurse gave me some gonal-f to take with me in case the doctor wants me to inject more beforehand.

I'm starting to get really nervous about this cycle. Last time it only took three days of 150iu injections to get them to a decent level. Today is five days with a worse result. How much more confusing can this get?

I also spoke to the nurse about Dr Aitken performing my egg collection. Her reassurance to me was that "he retrieves lots of immature eggs in his IVF egg collections", which is another way of saying he has zero experience in IVM egg collection. I am so totally screwed.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

IVM #2

So I'm back into the swing of things.
This cycle I am doing 5 days of 150iu Gonal-F injections, the first of which I did this morning. It was actually quite scary starting again. You forget how much strength is needed to keep going. I'm exhausted by the process already.

My fertility specialist is going to be away for my egg collection. I'm really quite scared about this, I'm sure the other DR who will do the EPU has experience in IVF egg collection, but IVM is so much harder and painful. I don't think I could handle anything more painful than I already had, and that was with someone who was experienced in IVM EPU. Also the fact that it's a male, I know you are meant to leave your modesty at the door, but it does still upset me that every man and his dog has played around with my girly parts.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Cycling again

My period arrived this morning, so we are officially onto IVM cycle 2. I'm quietly excited but still nervous. Actually right now I'm PMS'ing and pissed off at work so IVM hasn't been a huge focus in my head, which is probably a good thing. Not to think about it too much that is.

I have my Day 2 scan & bloods tomorrow, then injection gonal-f on Thursday through to Saturday. Another scan/BT combo on next Wednesday and then hopefully egg collection the following Tuesday. Last cycle my dose was 150iu, I think they will be upping that this time to get my follicles to grow a little bit more before EPU to make them easier for collection. Hopefully in turn that means it will be less painful for me!

Work is driving me crazy at the moment, but we have just had our maternity leave upped from 8 weeks to 12 weeks paid leave, plus I am eligible for 6 weeks long service leave in September, and that doesnt even touch on annual leave. When I go on Maternity leave, I will get to have 6 months at half pay plus whatever annual leave I have. However much I want to leave my job right now, I have to stay- if only for the benefits. I will be looking in other branch's though to see what else is around. I am sick of putting in extra hours, bringing work home, having very little support and not being recognised for any of it. I also don't like having IVF used against me. I spoke to the lady who is about to become my boss (again - the one who told me that due to my 'life choices' my role was no longer compatible to me) and she said the reason that I was struggling to keep up with my work is that I have too much time off! Like- what the fuck! I have had two annual leave days this year and that is it! She does my head in, and I can not work in close quarters with her. Grrrrrrrr.

OK PMS rant over... for now!