Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wrapping up ICLW

This week really flew away! For me it has been a week filled with things to do and novelties. To wrap them all up here goes the list:

1) I had the WTF review on tuesday which went well, the plan is to have a hysteroscopy to make sure I have nothing that impedes the implantation in the uterus and then schedule the FET with the single penguin we had in this cycle. I will be on a modified protocol this time which will involve Viagra to maximise the blood flow to the uterus. I look forward to the experience :o)

2) Patches and the Dude came home also on tuesday, they quickly got to know each other and now are inseparable! They sleep together, play together, and even lick each other, so we are delighted with that. Patches was very affectionate from the very beginning, the Dude on the contrary was quite shy and would hiss at you if you were getting too close or try to pet him. Well, yesterday both Mike and I were able to pet him for quite a while (from under the table)! We are hopeful that he will relax a bit more but we know it may take some time.

3) My second PhD student submitted his thesis on friday! What a milestone for him (and for me!) I am really happy with the way his project turned out so hopefully the external examiner will be of the same opinion. The viva will be some time in April.

4) Mum and Dad have finally booked a flight to come visiting after Easter. It took two kittens to get them over here! They will love them and this is now the main topic of conversation when we chat on skype "how are the kittens?" "What do they do?" "Can you show them to us?" and so on. Bless them.

5) I have booked a weekend in London with my best friend, we are going to go to an amazing Spa (check it out here) in March! We went there for my 30th birthday 5 and a half years ago, it was about time we were going back!

6) Last but not least, I found new blogs to follow and I look forward to get to know better my cyber-frineds.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

All about the kittens

Yes, we have them at home since monday and all my IF sadness seems to have magically disappeared!! I had full-on AF as it always happen after a failed cycle, headaches from hell due to quitting the steroids and yet I am so happy!

So, I don't have new pics for the moment, but I'll post definitely more soon. Patches and The Dude are settling in very well, they have started playing with each other in a very friendly/playful manner, no more hissing! And also The Dude is much less shy, still doesn't want to be picked up and would quickly "run to safety" if he thinks you are getting too close, but I'm confident it'll pass soon. Patches is very very cuddly, he starts purring before you even pet him! I can't wait to go home in the evening.

There you have it, I've turned into the mad-childless-woman who talks only about her cats!

Ahh no, I'll be posting about the attic also and the adoption and the next IF steps as soon as I have some news, so don't go away, I'll be missing you terribly!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The kitties and the WTF review

Please welcome....the newest members of the family....

Patches O'Houlihan and The Dude Lebowski!

I can't believe we have kittens in the house! Well you may wonder about the names, I know, not the most classic cat names, but we had seen Dodgeball recently and Patches O'Houlihan really cracked Mike up (apparently the surname is typically Irish but no way the name is!) and we decided no matter what the cat looked like, if it was male or female, we would have have had a Patches! So Patches is the stripy-patchy one on the left, he's probably 3 months old and very affectionate. You pick it up and he starts purring in no time. The Dude is actually very shy, and walks really low on the ground, but he has eaten already and although Patches hisses at him a bit he's really cool about it! So Patches and The Dude are now adopted, they have found a cosy place under a trolley in the kitchen where the photo was taken and they don't seem to mind sharing it (allright, Patches is not too pleased...) we are very happy and I'll keep you posted on how they settle in.

And what do you know, while I was at the shelter I got the WTF phone call! Dr. W (the Super Doctor, the one who did the transfer) started with "Oh, Fran, I'm so frustrated it didn't work, you must be too!" oh got that right doc! Anyway, he thinks that maybe this cycle the quality of the blasts wasn't as high as the last time, nothing to be read into it really, it just happens. He also said that we should go ahead with the penguin, you never know, it's a nice blast, likely to survive the thaw, we'll be changing a bit the protocol so that I won't be on so much estrogen and we add a bit of Viagra to the mix. Seriously. I said right so, how about we make sure we have nothing to worry with my uterus? Can I have a hysteroscopy? He said sure! I would have suggested it myself if this FET failed, might as well get it done beforehand! And so he's contacting the doctor in one of the Hospitals (very near home) and we'll get that sorted out and then here we'll schedule the FET. He was really positive about us, he said that I always got pregnant on fresh cycles, it's just in the odds that sometime it doesn't work or they would have stats of 100% success per transfer!

Anyway, it may have been that I had Patches and the Dude ready to go home, but I was very happy about the conversation, again the clinic is really hands-on and I'm sure they really want to get me pregnant!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

ICLW lifesaver week

Thank God it's here. The ICLW week I mean. When I signed up for this round I was starting my ICSI #3 and of course I didn't know which three words to put down. I think I put "uncertainty" as one of them. Well, that's definitely the right word for my current situation.
Let's recap for the new readers:

IUI: 1
ICSI fresh attempts: 3
FET: 2
BFP: 2
Ectopic pregnancies: 2 (the same two as the BFP)
Tubes left: 0
Penguins available: 1

Needless to say, it is difficult to stay positive, I have my WTF review on tuesday and I hope we will have a strategy for what to do next. After the BFN just last week, I started looking into other options such as surrogacy, thinking that it's my uterus that has something wrong, but upon researching a good bit that doesn't seem to be a likely cause in our case. It could be just the chance of bad embryos like I blogged about a few days ago. We always made it to blasts, even from frozen transfers, but who knows.
My cycle-buddies all got pregnant, as it always happens with me, and the title of my blog never felt more appropriate (a part from the fact that it was not an easy journey for them either).

On our plate there is also the adoption route. After months of silence (we put in our application in June 09), I got a call last week that everything is now in order and we will receive a waiting list number for the preparation course within 3 weeks. The course will be available to us probably in 12 months (18 at the latest) and this means that our infertility treatments have now a time limit because we have to stop them 6 months prior to the beginning of the course.

So how do I cope with the difficulties I'm facing at the moment? Well, a part from the fantastic support of my cyber-friends and some IRL people, I finally convinced Mike to add fur-babies to our household! And on tuesday we'll pick up two young cats from one of the shelters! Pictures and names will be revealed then! Do stay tuned!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The pet project

We went to the DSPCA this morning and decided to adopt two cats!! We should be able to bring them home on tuesday, they have to be checked by the vet and microchipped before we can take them. I'll definitely post pics, they are soo cute! Hopefully they'll get on well with each other, they are still quite small, it shouldn't be a problem...
And this is really what I need right now, something to keep me busy, to care for something else other that Mike and myself.

My cyber-blog-friend Wishi just posted her outstanding beta, do stop by if you can, she certainly didn't have an easy journey and it's great to see that it may take time and various attempts but it does work in the end. And it's another one for the Fertilty Goddess' CV, I haven't missed one yet.

I cannot deny it, I do feel left behind, I so wanted this cycle to work for us and it didn't. Seeing the others celebrating and knowing I cannot celebrate and dream with them is tough.
The cats cannot be home soon enough...

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Fertility Goddess (for others of course!)

Well well well, some of you know this already, I seem to be a very good lucky charm for whoever cycles with me!! It started on my very first cycle, even before I had a blog back in 2008. I was cycling at the same time as two gilrs on a local board, we all got pregnant even if mine wasn't meant to be. On my second fresh cycle last summer I had four cyber-blog-friends within a couple of days of transfer . Again, we all got pregnant, for two of us it wasn't meant to be, one is having a boy and the other two are having twins!
And this time I had two cyber-blog-friends cycling with me, one just announced her pregnancy!! Congratulation tireegal I'll be moving you soon to the "other" list!! The other one, Wishi, is very good and won't test early, but her beta day is on Saturday! I am so confident this is her time!

So, am I a Fertility Goddess for others? But what about me?? Where is my Fertility Goddess?? Would you stop hiding??

I'm selling tickets next time!! And I wonder...can I put in on my CV?

Anyway, this morning I had to test again to confirm the BFN and call the clinic. Done now, it wasn't too bad. And review on tuesday so really not long now.

So there was the need for a good news around here and I got a call from the adoption board!! Can you believe it?? They wanted some final clarifications on MIL kidney transplant (that it wasn't a genetic issue) and also know more about our IVF plans. So I knew they have no problem with IVFers but they want a full commitment from 6 months prior the beginning of the preparation course. Given that they had told us the waiting list was 18-24 months is not like we were under any pressure. I was very honest, their latest file was updated last June so they didn't know about the second ectopic and obviously about this latest failure. I asked what was the current waiting time for the prep course and she said...drums please...12 months from now!!! That's much sooner than expected!! We should get our number within 3 weeks and if not to call her! I mean...she said to call her!! In any case we'll be called six months before the start of the course so that we can resubmit the medicals on fertility treatments and make sure we have a decision then. Holy cow! This means that we'll definitely cycle again in the summer (queue here please, priority boarding first! no pushing... the Fertility Goddess can deal with as many as 50 cyclers!) and we'll see how it goes!

On the puppy front. Thanks so much for all the comments, this definitely convinced us completely! We'll go to the DSPCA tomorrow (thanks C!) and we see what's there. I also already found a daycare for dogs! Although we are not sure yet if i's going to be a dog (or two!) or a cat (or two!!)

Note: Linda if you are reading, drop me an email and I'll tell you more about transfer and ectopic pregnancies, I couldn't find your email address!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So what now

Thanks to each and everyone of you. I just have no words. Thanks for all the tips on having a pet, I think Mike is nearly convinced!!! We may go for a small dog, there are many places around where we are that will take it if we go out of the Country, so it's doable!! I'll keep you posted of course.

I read a lot yesterday if it's really possible that my uterus is "unsuitable" for pregnancies like I feared. I found a clinic in Chicago that deals with failed implantation and that has a very informative website on all the known causes of pre-implantation loss, peri-implantation loss and of course post-implantation loss. I'll post it here because it was really helpful
I would be in the category of either pre- or peri-implantation loss. I don't have hormonal issues (ie I do respond to estrogen and progesterone and my lining thickens), I don't seem to have a physical uterine issues (polyps, submucous fybroids or scarring) and I'm dealing with the mild immuno issues with the intralipids. So it could in fact have been the embryos.

"Data from preimplantation genetic diagnosis suggest that 30% to 90% of in vitro fertilized eggs depending on maternal age are chromosomally abnormal. Furthermore, it has been estimated that 75% of karyotypically normal pre-implantation embryos fail to implant."

That's sound like there is a chance that maybe next time we'll be ok! We still got two pregnancies out of 5 transfers (plus one chemical at the second FET), so really we are well within the stats (still it sucks that it didn't work!).
The other thing is the position of the transfer. It's a very fine line and I think given that I don't have tubes any more we may risk a higher transfer next time.

My WTF phone-appointment is scheduled for next tuesday, I'll ask if it's worth my while having a third laparoscopy, to tidy properly the left over stumps of the tubes, remove the external fybroid and perhaps having a look to see if I do have any scarring from my exploratory lap&dye and D&C back in December 07. I'll ask also about surrogacy in Ireland, a friend yesterday said she'll be our carrier...can you believe that? Although I was moved by her gesture I don't think she thought it through and I'm not sure if she would even be suitable (she's 3 years older than me, had hormonal issues in past etc.). Still it was so generous for her to offer.
No calls from the adoption board of course, not sure what to do, if you are seen as an impatient harasser it doesn't really work in your favour!

Overall I feel well, my scientific thirst for knowledge is satisfied for now and I feel more relaxed about our future chances. I went to yoga yesterday and it was great, gong again this evening for a "Goddess gathering" of meditation and positive energy! Just what the doctor ordered!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Miracles happen... other people only.

I know most of you still were hopeful and I thank you for that. But I knew. I even dreamt of a negative pregnancy test last night and I told Mike this morning before testing. So we were both prepared. I think Mike can't believe that I have this sixth sense for many things that have to do with my body. Of course I'm not always right, but mostly I am.
Last night I had a good cry, with sobs and the whole lot while having a shower. I let it all out then and I was fine this morning when the test just confirmed my feelings. There's no hope i's going to become positive and if it does then it's even worse news.

I called the clinic to cancel my intralipid, I left a message to the nurses to see what I have to do with the meds, they'll call back.

I'll be booking a WTF review meeting on friday, when I'll call again. I am a bit hopeful now again that it may work next time. Out of 3 fresh cycle we got two pregnancies, a 100% success would be quite unlikely in any case, but we'll see what the doctor will say.
I have called the Adoption people to see where our application is at, I left a message, we'll see if they call back, certainly our file has not made its way to the Adoption Board yet but it's still with the HSE for assessment. How frustrating...

I also got some info through a local board about surrogacy, that may be an option but I'll have to check better, I have been fortunate that one girl is going through the surrogacy process at the moment and she' happy to share! So I'll call her his evening.
It makes me feel better to know that we may have options.

Also Mike is nearly giving in to get a pet!! Only concern is what do we do when we go on holidays...but I told him I need take care of something small...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thank you

I know you know this already but your comments are so soothing I do feel a bit better. I mean not that I feel I'm pregnant, I still think I'm not, but more at peace with the fact that I may not be pregnant.

I had another sleepless night, I fell asleep on the couch around 9.30, woke up for the PIO and estrogen and went straight to bed. I still woke up wide awake 5 hours later, that seems to be the sleep-span I get these days. And so being alone with your mind for 3 to 4 hours a night doesn't do me any good. You can imagine all the various scenario I played in my head and what we'll do next.

Is it time to give up? Will we try again? Is surrogacy really an option? Shall we just get a dog?

Anyway, you may be right that I'm protecting myself at the moment, so that I want be too upset tomorrow if the test is negative. I know already the clinic will tell me that the test day is not until the 20th, but come on...tomorrow is 9dp5dt or 14DPO if it's negative that's it. I don't want to spend another 260 euro on an intralipid (which by the way, I thought I should have done last friday, but this is another story), I'll save it for the next step, whatever that will be.
Again thank you for your continuous support, this community is a blessing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Outlook- not so good

***WARNING: Negative post ahead***

As the day progressed yesterday, all my positive mood faded away quite quickly. I don't think I'm pregnant, I don't feel anything a part from some bloating after I eat something. I know I am tired because I wake up every night at 4.06 am and lie awake for 2 hours before falling back to sleep for 10 minutes before the alarm goes off for the progesterone. Who wouldn't be?
I told Mike last night I didn't feel too good any more about this cycle, of course he was adorable but I could see the sadness in his eyes.
I think my uterus is just not capable of pregnancies. I got pregnant twice in my life, both times it was ectopic, of course the embryos are fine and strong, it's not them it's me. I'm desperately trying to find out if there is an expert in ectopic pregnancies I can contact and I have sent a couple of emails, we'll see.
So what do we do if this is a real failure?
Sure we have a penguin, but obviously if the problem is my uterus what's the point? A part from the heart-break of another 2ww I'm not sure it'll be worth it. I'm not sure I can ever have a normal pregnancy.
I could have more surgery, to remove the fibroid (never thought to be a problem) and properly remove the stumps of the tubes. I think in that case a higher transfer could be made with minimal risk of ectopic.
Surrogacy is also what I'm looking into at the moment. In Ireland the law seems to be very unclear, apparently my clinic is listed as one of the two that does surrogacy I will ask next time I call. We could go abroad also but major restrictions are in place in many Countries on non-residents and surrogacy there. If you guys have any knowledge please share, I need something to hang on to.
Test day still on wednesday. No spotting, cramping on and off as usual.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Year of the Tiger

Today is the beginning of the year of the Tiger, which is my year.

So I was thinking if we manage to get pregnant this time I will have a little Tiger cub! I'm 6dp5dt, I am tempted to test but I'm also very afraid of the disappointment and knowing that it may be a bit early. So I think I will test on wednesday given that I have to go to the clinic for my intralipid and it will be 9dp5dt, basically 14DPO so I'll definitely know by then.

I feel ok, sleeping pattern is crazy as usual on steroids and not fun at all, but sure if it's worth it I don't mind. I feel positive too, and of course also worried about how I'll react if the positivity is all in my head rather than on an HPT. Only a few more days....

Friday, February 12, 2010

Attic update

Well, of course I'm also 4dp5dt but I don't feel like blogging about it and decided to update on the attic project! The drawings are ready and the architect has now sent them to the developers for approval (we need their approval to apply for planning permission). Below I attach a few pics!

This is the overall view of the house from the side, the stairs are not visible but of course they're there!

And this is a close-up of the floor plan!

We really like it and hopefully we'll have the work done in the summer! I imagine having a wooden floor like Canadian maple and tiles in the bathroom with a green-yellow colour. I want this room to be bright and full of positive energy where I'll be doing my meditation and guests will want to stay forever!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We have a penguin!!

This was very unexpected and yet the clinic called just now! One of the compacted morulas became today a very nice blast!! The embryologist said it was even a bit bigger than the ones we transferred yesterday (it's a day older!) but it was perfect quality for freezing. The other one was also a blast but not as developed and she felt it wasn't worth freezing it.

We call frozen embryos penguins! So we have a penguin! I'm so happy!

No other updates a part from the fact that I'm resting a good bit, I want to give this two sweet-peas all my love now, I suppose I feel a bit guilty that I didn't have much faith in them...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Blasts on board!

Thank you so much for all your good wishes and messages, I do believe the positive vibes have arrived to Dublin from all over the World!

Last night while meditating I did this visualisation exercise that spreads positive energy from your inner self to the last corner on Earth. I imagined this energy travelling down the road to the clinic, really connecting with the embryos in the incubator. I thought about the embryos as mine really for the first time this cycle, I felt them.
This morning I was hopeful we would not get a phone call, I repeated some positive affirmation upon waking up and then off we went to the clinic for our scan. I am not sure what happened, there were so many people n the waiting room, like standing up and all, and we were waiting for ages (normally I never wait more than 5 minutes). Also Mike recognised a neighbour from his home town!! What are the chances! Anyway, the exchanged the usual "how are you keeping? you well?" like they were in a pub or something...I hope they know we won't say anything, we are quite open about IF but of course many people are very private about it.
Anyway, at 9.50 as Ivy as suggested on Sunday, I sent Mike downstairs to see if we would be long as our transfer was at 12.30. I also told him to see if he could get to talk to Ivy and get some news on the embryos and whether the transfer was going ahead. So he did, we wouldn't be waiting that much longer and the transfer was confirmed!! At that point I could have been there the whole day!
Scan went well, it was the Favourite Doctor that did it for me, only a tiny bit of fluid and she wasn't concerned. She new everything about the embryos she said she was checking with the lab every day!! How sweet can she be? She said everyone in the clinic knows us so well and they all can't wait to celebrate our pregnancy in the right spot! Awwhhhh...
We hopped in to work, I faked a UTI and off we were again to the clinic.

We had two nice fully formed blastocysts and wait...two more morulas! The embryologist said they'll culture them until tomorrow and see if they make it to blasts, if so they'll freeze them. The last time it didn't happen but still, our five little heroes are fighters.
I had the Top Doctor for the transfer this time, I never had him before so maybe that was the one I needed between my legs! Who knows. Anyway, he went over all the past transfers, he noted that the first transfer was done 5.5cm deep in the uterus, and it ended up ectopic. Than I had the two FET at 4 cm deep and one was a biochemical. But listen to this, the last transfer was done again at 5.5cm despite me warning the doctor about the previous ectopic, and sure was ectopic again!!! I could have got into a rage at finding this out, but I opted to let go and be calm for the new two blast-babies. The Top Doctor did the transfer between 4 and 4.5cm then asked me to lye down for a while and to take it very easy for a few days.
One negative omen: they gave me a pregnancy test!!! Noooooooooo I didn't want it!! But we took it (it seemed rude not to) an we put it away. My official test day is the 20th of February and I'm suppose to go in for another intralipid infusion on the 17th. I'd say I'll know if I'm pregnant before then.

So here I am, on bed rest for a couple of days blogging and working and waiting for the computer tech to give me a call before I throw the New Toy out the window myself!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A glimmer of hope

While I was posting about the blog award the clinic called.
The embryologist (Ivy) said it was good news that we have two compacted morulas which is the stage they should be today. The other 3 have not arrested but are quite slow, as if they were a day behind at 10, 7 and 7 cells. I am booked in for transfer at 12.30 which is early than I ever been in for transfer. Of course I have a scan tomorrow morning at 9.10 and Ivy said if they are delaying me to make sure I mention I have this early transfer. She also said that she hopes everything will progress as she expects but that she will give me a call by 10.30 if she feels the blasts do not develop or don't look so good. I'd say I'll ask tomorrow when I'm in.

So I'm breathing a little. After this post I'll be spending sometime meditating and getting ready for tomorrow, I have not been that good in fairness, meaning that I just couldn't even think about the possible transfer.

I also asked Ivy about the SA as I had forgotten when she called on Thursday. She said the sample had 11 million/mL for a total of 70 millions (which is a bit better than before) and a progressive motility of 37% which is much better than before (it was 15%) and normal morphology so Mike was very happy and proud that the vitamins and mineral he has been taking for months now do show some results!

I mentioned to Ivy about the two ectopics and again the possibility of using a minimum amount of medium for the transfer, she was so sympathetic and sorry for me, she said she'll leave a note just in case.

The plan tomorrow is to go in for the scan, go to work and the pretend to be a bit sick and go home for a few days...
(by the way, today the New Toy gave up BSOD and I was not able to restart the machine ever since...writing from the old one which I decided to reformat completely on friday night...ahhhhgggg thank God for external hard drives where I saved all my latest folders as of this saturday!)

Passing the time with an award!

Three dear blogger friends nominated me for the same award. While I sit on the edge of the chair, waiting for the phone to ring, I decided I better distract myself and properly blog about the award!
So thank you to Courtney at The Yerkes Life, Christina at The Subfertile Frugalista and Jess atA Greater Yes for awarding me with the Beautiful Blogger Award! Do check out their blogs, they are great girls.

Here's what I have to do:

* Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog. DONE!
* Copy the award and paste it to your blog. DONE!

* Tell us 7 interesting facts about yourself. DONE (see below)!

1) I love the smell of fog. It's such a familiar smell from home than when it is foggy in Dublin (very rarely) I immediately get that warm and nostalgic feeling in my stomach!
2) I have overcome my fear of flying. This was a big thing for me to happen, I am happy to report that lately I "nearly" enjoy flying! If you want to know how I manage drop me an email!
3) Mike and I have invented our own language. I suppose many couples do the same, but we have almost a coded language that often we realise people wouldn't have a clue about what we are saying!
4) I could live almost anywhere in the World. I am not particularly attached to a Country, I can see myself happy no matter where I am!
5) I hate someone touching my back. I can't have a massage, it's like torture for me!
6) I love cooking. Specially baking. I just don't do it often enough, coming back from work late is not really an incentive!
7) I have started wearing make-up. Just a little, I never wore it really, but I decided this year to make a bit of an effort!

And finally:

* Nominate 7 bloggers that you love and link to their blog. DONE!
4) Adele at Delinquent Eggs
6) Belowaverageathlete at Below Average Athlete

I couldn't have made it this far in this journey if I had been alone. Thank you for your love and support.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

6pm day3, no news and other updates

Ok it's 6pm. No call from the clinic.
I have undoubtedly become more nervous over the fate of the 5 little heroes. Last night I couldn't really sleep much, and tried to meditate a bit and live in the present rather than imagining the future. I eventually dreamt of babies. Somehow we had two in the house (not our babies though) and I was given one to hold. It was soooooo heavy!! I nearly dropped it! How could I have been so weak? Ah well, I will get stronger.

Today I spent most of the day working. Emails, projects, budgets, reformatting the old computer (still updating since last wonder I had to change it) and slowly but surely the crucial hours between 12 and 3pm went by. Then I started thinking maybe they won't go in checking on the embryos until later in the afternoon, so I was a bit on edge until 6pm. They didn't call, at least one is still alive. Tomorrow they will call with news of any kind, I'm trying to think positively and prepare myself emotionally to welcome these little fighter(s). I told you I would have been back in the loop in no time at all. I didn't have a single symptom of OHSS still I will have to go in for a scan on Monday morning. Mike had booked it on the way out from the clinic on Wednesday after ER and I kind of remembered about it only yesterday. I am kind of hoping for some form of confrontation with the nurse. I was also thinking at how I will write a letter of complaint if no embryo survives until transfer. Hopefully I won't have to. Isn't it terrible the kind of tricks the mind plays at night?

On other fronts, given that life goes ahead when we are concentrating on other things, our architect came over on Thursday with the plans for the attic conversion! We loved it! So spacious! We only asked to modify slightly the bathroom so that it'll have a small window and a bigger shower. Next week he's going to send us the updated plan by mail (I'll post the plans then) and he thinks we are ready to submit for planning application to the County Council!! If nothing else happens, at least this is very exciting!

It's also now February, still not a word on the adoption front, this is an utter scandal in my opinion. 8 months have now passed and we still have no idea what our placement on the waiting list is going to be. No reply to my last email a month ago either. Did I tell you? Apparently the same office that deals with adoption requests also deals with the swine flu!! How ridiculous is that? So they can work on adoptions only every other week....some aspects of Ireland are unreal.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Five little heroes

First of all I want to thank you all for your support. Please believe me, it was a horrible day yesterday, emotionally mostly and your words of encouragement were a bliss.

Physically I'm feeling well, just to tell you, I'm back in work, not a single painkiller taken. I agree with you that it was certainly the best and more sensible choice to trigger me with a low dose of HCG to avoid hyperstimulation, I only wish they had told me about the possible poor outcome at ER. That's all. I would have been prepared, I wouldn't have had unreal expectations and I would have felt part of the process rather than a powerless spectator. On my first cycle, I had 24 follicles. I had the full dose trigger, they got 16 eggs and I had a bare touch of discomfort for a couple of days after ER. they had told me that if they got more than 20 eggs I would have gone for elective freeze. It didn't happen. I am normally reasonable and I work with the clinic, I have always felt they worked with me too. I think they didn't expect this result either. But an informed decision and a calculated risk is acceptable to me, much more than a "don't worry, you'll be fine". That's me.

Needless to say I had very little hope for the 6 eggs retrieved. Yes, they were all mature. Yes they were all injected. Still I had to be prepared for bad news on the fertilization report. I had to. Every single time I have been optimistic in this process for the past 2 years of ART I got a massive kick in the ass. Every single time. You know I'm not being dramatic here. Everyone needs a safety net at some point to remain sane, mine this time was to give up hope.

So when the embryologist called I was ready to take any news that would have come. I wasn't nervous. I wasn't anxious. I wasn't worried. I didn't jump at the phone ringing (I have a specific ringtone for the clinic). The fact that a doctor didn't call already meant that it wasn't a tragedy (it wouldn't have been anymore for me). When she said 5 fertilized and looked good it was as if she was saying "I had coffee this morning". Nothing. I felt nothing. No relief, no big joy in my heart. I went through the motions of when will the next update be (Sunday) and would they call me earlier if things do not go well (only if they all die before Sunday, if there is even one left they won't call). I am tired. Is it normal? Is it ok to put my energy somewhere else rather than thinking of the growing embryos and the various scenarios that go with it? Did we do this too soon and I wasn't really ready? Perhaps I just need a bit of time to recover from yesterday. I will focus in getting ready to welcome back the embryos on Monday, but I also have to acknowledge the possibility that it may not happen.
My five heroes are already calling for my attention, for my support. As I write this I know I'm already hooked. Let the feeling grow on me and I will be back in the loop of worrying, hoping and praying in no time at all.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

So disappointed...

6 eggs.

Out of 18 follicles they found 6 eggs.
With an E2 of over 10000 they still only got 6 eggs. What went wrong I don't know. I spoke to the doctor, she said I had not ovulated earlier, all the follicles were there. I asked maybe the 5000 unit trigger was too little. She said they drained all the follicles and not just those that were big.
If I have to say I have any hope for this cycle I would be lying through my teeth. I'm thinking maybe the metothrexate in September has affected the egg production despite the impressive number of follicles. What a blow.
Tomorrow I'll be called with the fertilization report. I feel very close to that woman who had to be called by the doctor because none fertilize.

Update: I have done a bit of reading and I think now I know what went wrong. There is actually a name for the condition and it's called Empty Follicles Syndrome. When the number and size of follicles correlates well with E2 levels, the most plausible explanation for poor egg retrieval is an error in the trigger. I of course triggered at the right time, so timing would not have been the problem. But I was told to use only half the dose that would have been normally used. Just to explain better, if women forget to take the trigger, at ER they will get no eggs at all despite the presence of follicles of the right size. It's not like they get immature eggs. I think I would have been ok if I had been warned that 5000 U was what I had to take to prevent OHSS but that the possibility of retrieving a high number of eggs was small. Given that I specifically asked the nurse about this and she was completely positive that 5000 U would have been sufficient to trigger everything I didn't think about it at all. I feel I was not given the full picture and I am indeed dreading the call tomorrow. Perhaps I should call the clinic and see if I can talk to the Favorite Doctor.

Update 2: thank you for all your comments, I'm trying really hard not to give up hope but I'm sure you understand it's not easy. I did call the clinic, I could barely talk on the phone and left a message for my Favorite Doctor asking if she could call back because ER didn't go very well. She of course called back and was very sorry about it all. I told her I thought the trigger had not been enough she said possibly, but that many women do well with just 5000 U (Hi, I'm the one that falls in the 2% shitty stats of ectopics...twice...I mean come on..). She said it was a difficult decision to make, they didn't want to chance me having OHSS and having to freeze it all given that I don't do well with FETs. I said of course I would have understood that but when I asked the nurse she dismissed me quickly saying I didn't need to worry. I told her I thought all the 6 eggs would have been immature. She said I'm going down to the lab and ask, I'll call you back. So all the eggs were mature and have been injected. We have to wait and see if they fertilize tomorrow. I'm still not that much better, this was a shit result and there's no sugaring of the pill.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ready to trigger

My dears, I didn't have a second today to update the blog. Did you notice the new look? I thought I needed a change so after various attempts at changing things I'm happy with the result!

Anyway, I had my final scan today, I think they counted over 14 follicles above 14mm and 4 around 10mm. Lining looks good at 10.4 mm which I think it's the best I ever got. Now, they took blood also for E2 with the agreement that if I didn't hear anything I would have triggered with 10000 Units of Pregnyl, otherwise they would phone me.
And sure enough...
E2 is quite high, around 10000 (thankfully I lowered the Puregon!) so I'm to trigger with only 5000 U of Pregnyl this evening at 9.30.
ER is on wednesday at 9.00. I better be the first one!! And hopefully the moron won't be there to take pics of us!! They hope in this way I won't hyperstimulate as I'm borderline for OHSS with these values and number of follicles.

So strange how I responded much more to a lower dose this time around. Ah well, we just take it one day at a time and see how it goes.