We are slowly getting ready for our marvellous holiday! We leave Tuesday morning for Kuala Lumpur, staying for three nights of shopping and sightseeing before flying to Langkawi for five nights of pure luxury and relaxation. Then through Singapore for 'the great Singapore sale' for two nights of retail therapy and yummy food before getting home on the 16th. We are really looking forward to some time away from work and 'normal' life - this will be really good for us.
So maybe it's not my period... it seems to have gone back to just spotting. Bleh.
My last post I said I don't trust my doctor, but the truth is I have only met him the once, and everything I feel is based on that one meeting and obviously this cycle being a bust. So I am trying to change my way of thinking, and I guess my August appointment with him is me giving him another shot. If he can make me feel more confident that he can do this, then I will proceed and do something in between now and November. But if I come out of my appointment feeling the way I do now, then we will be on an extended break until November, and probably January before we begin treatment again. *sigh*
The dream is gone. That spotting I thought was my miracle implantation? Was my period instead. On Day 20. Oh so much fun.
Besides the logistics of how I am getting my period only nine days after I stopped injecting (biggest follicle was only 14mm last Wednesday), I am exhausted. This non-cycle really took it out of me. Not so much emotionally, although there was certainly a fair share of that. But physically, getting to the appointments before work, and then getting to work late and feeling guilty. Doing injections every day, leaving me black and blue and very sore all over my stomach. Putting on about three kilos, partly from hormones, partly from rabid hunger that seems to come over me whenever I take these drugs. Being tired - all of the time. The feeling of 'being a number' at the new clinic.
Yesterday I booked an appointment with Dr Linda Wong, another FS based at the new clinic. The first available appointment is in November, the day after we get back from Hong Kong. We go on holiday in two weeks, and I have an appointment with my current doctor on August 5. My doctor has until November to get me pregnant or I move to the new doctor, the one who I wanted to treat me way back at the beginning of everything in 2007.
I know what my doctor is going to say. He will want me to do the Ovarian Drilling, to lose weight and then try iui. But I just do not have any faith that it will do anything. I am concerned that ovarian drilling is an outdated technique (both of my old FS agreed), that it may not work (it doesn’t work in many cases), and may leave me with scar tissue on my ovaries. And then he wants me to lose weight. Well hang on, I did that already and it didn't make one iota of difference to my cycle. If anything, my cycle was worse when I was at my lowest weight. And I certainly wasn't at my lowest weight when I fell pregnant with V. Then he wants me to do donor iui. Well I have PCOS, I either don't ovulate on my own (or have 80 day cycles), or I hyperstimulate with drugs - there really isnt an in between (I haven't tried clomid which might work - I don’t know). But look at the success rates with iui. At my clinic they are less than 10%. I'm sorry but I am not going to go through all of that for 10% It's just not going to happen. So all this does, even if I do everything my doctor asks, is leave me another 6-12 months down the track with no baby. Maybe that is what he wants. After all, one of his first comments to me was about how young I was and I didn't have anything to be worried about. I turn 24 next month. I know I am young. But if I am old enough to be married, vote, own a house and work fulltime, then I think I am well and truly old enough to make my own decision about having children.
That turned into a bit of a vent. I just don't trust my doctor, it's as simple as that. Unfortunately until November, I have no other choice except to do what he says or write off the next six months.
I know I am not pregnant. I know the chance of us conceiving naturally is next to nothing. But for the first time in a very long time, I am hoping for a miracle. I don't expect it, but I have to be honest and say there is a tiny tiny piece of me that is hoping we are pregnant this cycle. I am guessing that I am about 5dpo and I had the tiniest of tiniest bit of spotting this afternoon. It could be anything, absolutely anything and totally not related. But it doesn't stop me from hoping that this is our miracle. Logically my brain says not to allow myself to think this way. But the heart doesn't work like that, I can't get it to stop.
Sorry for the lack of blogging, I am just feeling a bit over everything at the moment. I'm trying to get myself together as I have my uni exams this Thursday and next Monday and haven't studied anywhere near as much as I should have. I can't seem to motivate myself to do anything, even going to work is a struggle. I don't feel overly depressed, its just a general crappy feeling, so I'm not too concerned. Will keep an eye on things to make sure my moods pick up over the next week.
My estrogen level has doubled to 10,500 so my doctor has cancelled my cycle. My lead follicles were around 13/14mm so nowhere near egg collection yet and it was just too dangerous to proceed.
Am so exhausted by the whole thing, I just want to get pregnant - surely the exhausting part is meant to be once you have had the baby!
Now we have to do this all over again… I don't know if I even want to put myself through it. The stress, the impact on my body, the money, the rescheduling my life, running late to work because my clinic is 40 minutes in the wrong direction. But of course I will because I want a child. I don't want another break. I want my hormone levels to be normal and to be doing my egg collection in a couple of days.
Am going to have some serious s-e-x over the next week, in the miniscule hope that the FSH might boost our chances naturally. I know that our odds are next to nothing, but I have nothing else I can do.
I'm not a mess. I'm not broken. I haven't even cried. I don't feel like I am in the slump that I usually am when this stuff happens to me. This time I'm fed up. I feel let down. I'm angry.
Had my blood test and ultrasound this morning, which showed my lead follicles at 12mm, with over 20 follicles on each ovary - ouch! The new clinic don't measure each follicle so I don't know any more than that unfortunately. What I am most worried about though is my estrogen level - currently at 5000 on day 9! I went back through my old IVF records and the cycle where I had severe OHSS and ended up in hospital, my E2 levels were 5470 on day 14...
A comparison of the two cycles
May 08 -
CD 6 -210, CD 9 - 530, CD 12 - 1800, CD 14 - 3000, CD 16 - 5470, CD 18 - Trigger, CD 20 - EPU
Ended up in hospital for three nights with OHSS, vomiting, severe pain etc and of 20 eggs retrieved, froze all four blastocyst embryos.
June 10 -
CD 6 - 900, CD 7 - 1600, CD 9 - 5000.
I'm really starting to get nervous about the whole thing. I am informed, I know that I run the risk of hyperstimulation each cycle, especially as I have had it in the past. But I so badly don't want to get it. I get incredibly depressed when I get sick and it messes me up in my head. I don't want to be dealing with that right now.
I rang back the clinic to say that I wanted a note made on my file that I was concerned about OHSS, that I didn't want to cancel this cycle and be over-cautious but that I wanted to do whatever I could to avoid it. I know some people do protein-rich diets which can help, and maybe it might be worth me coasting a bit to see if my levels will drop back. I don't even know if that is possible, all though Dr Google seems to think it can happen.. All I remember about my last OHSS stint was that I was in agony and I don't want to do that again.
Does anyone know what their estrogen levels were like before their egg collection? And if you had a high number, did you end up hyperstimulating? How did you manage it? I need reassurance that I can still go ahead without ended up a complete ohss mess.
So I had my blood test done in the morning at SJOG Murdoch and then we drove down to Bunbury to participate in the Church of Christ State Youth Games (SYG) and it was great fun! We missed the first session where I was meant to play basketball, but the second session was XerDance which is like this...
...except that instead of two people doing it in a nice spacious area, there were two groups of 16 people doing it in a tiny squash court - crazy stuff! Somehow I made it through to the semis, and then into the grand final and came fifth over all which I was pretty impressed with! And I kept my heart rate monitor on over the THREE HOURS that we were dancing (admittedly with 10 minute breaks every now and then), and I burnt off 2000 calories. I am not exaggerating! So for all those people looking for the latest weight loss craze, I think we found it.
Today I was in the fishing competition which was my first time ever fishing. I managed to catch six fish, but unfortunately they were all toadfish or blowies which aren't counted. In previous years they did count and I would have won as I managed to hook a 300gm rare type of blowie - a North West Blowfish which as the name would suggest, shouldn't be anywhere near Bunbury which is in the south west of Australia! Just goes to show how our planet is warming but I digress...
Then Murray and I were on the Handball team. Now I have never watched, nor played Handball before, but let me say - it is a workout - and loads of fun! We played a round robin competition and finished bottom of the ladder with no wins (that's consistency for you!), but I scored a goal and made some awesome saves in my turn as goalkeeper.
We just got back home an hour ago and I have had a nice hot shower to hopefully help my muscles out, I have a feeling that I wont be able to walk tomorrow! I already can't wait to do it all again next year!
On the IVF front, my estrogen level was at 1600 yesterday morning, after being at 900 the day before, which I'm a little worried about. From memory 3000-4000 is the cut off for OHSS, and my follicles are still very small which makes me think that my levels could get quite high. I am going into Concept tomorrow morning for more bloods and an ultrasound so hopefully my little follies are growing well.
Nothing too exciting - estrogen is at 900, endo lining at 11mm and they want me to go and have another blood test tomorrow which I wasn't expecting. I guess they are trying to be careful to avoid OHSS, which I would love to not have to deal with again. But unfortunately that means delaying my little trip down south by a night. Updates as they come...
First bloods and scan are done with. Will call the clinic in the afternoon for results but at this stage I have five follicles at 8mm and heaps smaller than that (they don't count or measure small ones apparently). So I won't start orgalutran just yet I think - probably keep going with the puregon and go back for another scan next week.
My energy levels are non-existent at the moment but am going down south for the weekend for our church's youth games so will be doing a lot of sport and exercise -i imagine that will boost me up a bit. That, or I will sleep through it all!
I feel so peaceful and positive right now. Even though there are so many things going on with work, family, uni and IVF, when I would normally feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, I just feel so... at peace. I really believe this could work and I haven't felt this positive in such a long time.
I am on day four at the moment and am on 200iu of Puregon. I am hoping that this will be enough to get a decent response at egg pick up. The new clinic I am at doesn't do day 2 bloods or scans which was a little nerve wracking for me, but it's their protocol so I am going with the flow. I go into the clinic again on Friday morning for bloods and scan so we will get an idea then of what is going on.
I had a lovely email from a reader (Hi Aimee!) who has given me great confidence in my clinic through her experience there.. I am really trying to get into this notion that happiness is something that I can choose to have (sometimes at least - not while in the depths of depression of course!), and so I am choosing to be positive about the clinic. After all without the clinic we would not have a donor and have this opportunity that has been presented to us. So thanks Aimee :-)
I was about to say that I was off to bed but it is only 7.30pm! So maybe I might snuggle with Charlie and Murray and do some reading for a while. Hope everyone is doing well.