Category Archives: 2.0 IVF

2.0 IVF- And now for something completely different

There’s never anything to report on the fourth day.

My clinic called to tell me that I have to be there tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. because my transfer is scheduled for noon. I felt like saying, “Can I just come at 1 p.m. instead so I don’t have to wait as long for my doctor?”

So, as a means of breaking the tedium and the tension (because I do still spend almost every waking moment wondering what the embryos are doing), I offer E’s recent interpretation of a classic nursery rhyme:

“Hickory, dickory, plop.
The mouse pooed on the clock.
The mouse got a cloth and took it to the sink and got it wet
And the mouse cleaned the clock up!”

Potty humour. At 31 months.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, E.- the third year, Second Thoughts

2.0 IVF- Relief

The clinic called this morning at 8:45 a.m. as I walking E. to nursery school. It had been a stressful start to the morning. I woke up too early and couldn’t get back to sleep because I was so nervous, and E. woke up on the wrong side of the bed, so hangry he couldn’t even calm down enough to eat anything, and telling anyone who would listen that he was “planning to have a horrible day” at nursery school.

The nurse on the other end of the phone was calm, reassuring. They always sound so calm, no matter what the news is they’re delivering.

“I’m just calling because your doctor has already looked over your chart,” she said. “He’s looked at the report from the embryologist and has decided to go with a five day transfer.  We’ll call you tomorrow to confirm the time for Friday, but it will probably be noon.”

Thank FUCK.

I was so relieved I cried as soon as I had hung up the phone.

One more box checked.
One more hurdle cleared.
One step closer.

What was tormenting me, in the wee hours last night when I couldn’t sleep for fretting, was the realization that if we’d had to do a day three transfer I wasn’t going to get what I most desperately needed from this cycle.

Not a baby. A baby still strikes me as this amorphous wisp of a dream, that can’t even be given voice lest it vanish on the wind.

No, I’m talking about closure.

When our second FET failed and we made the decision to do one more fresh IVF cycle, a significant part of our reasoning was that if it failed we wanted to be able to say that we had done everything we could to make E. a big brother.  We wanted to give 2.0 his/her own chance, not just rely on the embryos that were left from E’s own cycle.

I realized last night that if our doctor had told us we had to go to a day three transfer, and it didn’t work, and anything that was frozen also didn’t work, I’d never get that closure.

E. was the product of a blastocyst transfer.

If we’d never got to blastocysts again, I would have always wondered what could have been. I would have remained unsatisfied with this cycle. I would have always believed something could have been different.

I would have come right up against the fact that money had become the deciding factor. If we’d done a three day transfer, and everything had come back negative, if we’d had insurance coverage for procedures, I’m sure we could have rationalized trying one more cycle in the summer. But paying out of pocket? Not a chance. We’ve blown through all the money we saved all last year for our shot at a 2.0, and then some. Fronting up for another fresh cycle would have been out of the question.

Now we’re one step closer to lining up all the variables to make sure that, no matter what the eventual result is, we can walk away from this cycle confident that we gave it our very best shot.

The next step?

Achieving an attrition rate better than the 77% nonsense that happened with E’s cycle where 17 day three embryos produced only four blasts.

If I could wish and make it so, I’d ask for four. Two to transfer. Two to freeze. Just like with E.’s cycle. Enough for a couple more second chances.

And now, we wait. Again.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 IVF, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, E.- the third year, Money Matters, Second Thoughts

2.0 IVF- Retrieval Recap

I figured I should post a recap of my retrieval experience, partly in case anyone stumbles across the blog looking for that sort of information, but mostly as a record for myself.

On Sunday we weren’t asked to be at the clinic until 11 a.m., but Q. and I went down there quite early so we could stop at a grocery store (as E. had eaten the last of his Che.erios and the WORLD.WOULD.STOP. if there were none for breakfast on Monday) and so we could pop into a store near the clinic so I could do the penultimate look for a particular Bruder dump truck and excavator combination. I have been looking for this for months now. I did find it once before in another branch of the same store (when I had E. in tow), but someone had stolen the excavator.

Anyway, given this store is a block away from the clinic, I’ve been going in every time I’ve had to do cycle monitoring to look. They’ve had Bruder logging trucks, and cement mixers, and cranes, and, on Friday, even a fire truck and a tow truck carrying a jeep, but not this set. E. already has the Bruder garbage truck. He loves it. He’s played with it every day for months now.

The thing with the Bruder trucks is their size. I don’t want more than two in our house. So even though I knew E. would like the crane, or the fire truck, or the tow truck, I kept refusing to buy them. I was holding out hope that this branch would come through.

Sunday I dragged Q. inside. “We just need ten minutes to see if we can find the truck for E.,” I told him.

I scanned all the shelves. I’ve learned that stock turns over incredibly quickly in this store (largely because they sell things far more cheaply than anyone else). I pulled out boxes to look behind them. Logging truck. Crane. Fire truck. Cement mixer. Tow truck with jeep. Garbage truck. Giant excavator.

“They have a lot of them,” commented Q., looking a bit overwhelmed.

I sighed. “There’s one more spot to check,” I told him. I circled back to where, on Friday, I’d found two enormous flatbed trucks with backhoes. They would have been perfect except they were SO big I really didn’t want to bring them into the house. Plus they were a lot more expensive.

The two flatbed trucks were still there. But so was one more box- a box with a dump truck and a mini excavator priced at the (ridiculously inexpensive) sum of $35.

I may have cheered.

I didn’t even hesitate for a second. I grabbed it, showed it to Q., and said, “E. is going to lose his mind on Christmas morning.”

That was pretty much the highlight of my day.

After that we wandered over to the clinic, where all the nurses in the IVF suite commented on our giant truck. Q. went off to do his thing, one of the nurses came in to take my blood pressure and get my IV hooked up (she wasn’t at all pleased at what the IV for the intralipid infusion had done to my right arm), and then we just chilled out for an hour or so.

I think it was around 12:30/12:45 when my f/s turned up (the retrieval was scheduled for noon but he is always, always late), and they called my name first. I went to the ‘loo (massively awkward with an IV attached) and then we headed into the OR. The nurse walked me through what would happen, and then she started up the drugs. I remember that my legs suddenly got really heavy and that I was feeling a bit dizzy. Then my f/s came in, started getting ready, realized I was still feeling more than he would like, and ordered more drugs.

That’s the last thing I remember until I was back in my cubicle. Q. says I actually fell asleep during the retrieval, which is a new one for me, and not really something they wanted to have happen, so he and the nurses kept having to remind me to “take deep breaths, Turia!”. Q. was sent off to buy the Dostinex to guard against OHSS. Apparently I had a lengthy conversation with one of the head nurses about taking this pre-emptive measure. I don’t remember this at all.

We stayed in the cubicle until 2:30 or so, when the nurse came to take out the IV, and I told Q. I felt well enough to go home. We went downstairs and hailed a cab. Arriving home we learned that E. had refused to take a nap, but he seemed to be in good spirits and had absolutely loved spending the day with his Auntie C. He’d made a snow globe, and a bunch of vehicles out of bits and pieces from the recycling, and had read stories, and had a blast. Q. snuck the giant truck upstairs, and I crawled onto the couch and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon/evening.

I am so so so glad Auntie C. is staying with us for this week, as it was a life saver to have her able to entertain E. That meant Q. could keep an eye on me, and make dinner, without E. getting riotous or stroppy. At one point Q. and Auntie C. forcibly bundled E. (who was protesting mightily) into his snow gear so he could go play in the 20-odd centimetres of snow that had fallen over the last day. Once he was outside, as predicted, they all had a marvellous time.

Once I got onto the couch, I felt well enough to eat, so I ate some white bread, and then a whole wheat roll. Then, when I still felt ok, I ate some pretzels and some rice crackers. When they seemed to settle well enough (I was still completely starving by this point, having eaten nothing since 9 p.m. the night before), I ate some of my sister’s granola. I think that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as shortly thereafter I realized I had better go hang out in the ‘loo for a while, and sure enough I puked my guts out.

For supper I drank around a third of a mug of miso soup and then ate some french fries. That stayed down, and by the late evening I was feeling much much better, although I was still very sore and uncomfortable. I went to bed early, around 9 p.m. Poor Q. had to come up to give me the first PIO injection and he had a terrible time with it. I realized this morning that we were using a 25 gauge needle, which is what they tell you to use on the instructions, but if you’re using castor oil, which is even thicker, you have to use a 22 gauge needle. No wonder he was struggling so much to get it in!

Monday I felt much more human. Still sore and still massively bloated, but no longer nauseous. I felt well enough to go do my duty day at E’s nursery school, and then went and got (another) poutine for lunch. It is perhaps the one good thing from this whole mess- being under doctor’s orders to eat terribly.

Now it’s a waiting game. I don’t know what their cut off for blastocysts is.

I hope we make it.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Cycle Madness, E.- the third year, Medical issues, Medications, PCOS, Second Thoughts

2.0 IVF Day Twelve- Fertilization Report

I’m not going to lie. I’m disappointed.

Yesterday they retrieved 25 eggs.

Of those 25, 12 were mature enough to be ICSI’ed.

Of those 12, 10 fertilized.

Obviously it is a great ratio of mature eggs to fertilized ones, but I am gutted that so many of my eggs were immature. I’ve felt all the way through this cycle that I was stimming too quickly- so much more quickly than the cycle that produced E. Now I wonder if I was right.

I don’t know if we’re going to be able to go to blastocyst with ten embryos. They’re going to call me tomorrow to tell me whether or not I should be on standby, but the final decision won’t be made by my f/s until Wednesday morning, so I could literally have only a couple of hours notice.

I want to go to blastocyst because that’s what worked with E., but at the same time, I am so worried that if we do go to blast, I’ll have the same terrible attrition rate that we did in 2010. If 17 embryos produced only 4 blasts, what if 10 only produce two? What if we have nothing to freeze and this becomes an ‘all or nothing’ transfer?

I’m not ready to have my hopes of making E. a big brother extinguished. I was counting on having something to freeze so we could revisit the whole issue next summer/fall if we had to.

I am holding on to my doctor’s assurances that they have massively improved their technology with regards to embryos and embryo survival between days three and five.

I am holding on to the hope that maybe the embryoscope will help support a couple more who might have struggled in the regular incubator, that our decision to use it might make a difference.

I know, I KNOW that it only takes one.

I just wish we were starting with a better hand.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Medical issues, Medications, PCOS, Second Thoughts

2.0 IVF Day Eleven- Retrieval

25 eggs.

Still feeling not at all well, and am struggling to keep food down. I don’t remember anything from the retrieval after my f/s arrived, did a few preliminary things that made me jump, and then demanded the nurse give me more drugs. Q. says my f/s commented during the retrieval that it had taken a surprising amount of drugs to get me to the right point, which probably explains my total lack of memory and my current state.

Will post more tomorrow after we get the fertilization report.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Medical issues, Medications, Second Thoughts

2.0 IVF Day 10- On the Edge

This is the part I really don’t like.

After all the hustle and bustle of cycle monitoring, the day before retrieval is eerily quiet. No clinic visit. No injections. Our city is currently in the middle of its first serious snowfall, so outside is quiet too, except for a few muffled traffic sounds when the occasional car struggles up our street. When I look outside all I see is whirling snow.

In August 2010, I wrote this the day before the retrieval:

I feel like I’m in a roller coaster car that has slowly, painfully crept its way up that first high arc. Now I sit, poised on the edge, knowing it’s too late to back out, waiting for gravity and momentum to take over and drag me screaming through the whirlwind that is retrieval/transfer week.

Yep. Right there again.

The trigger shot went smoothly. We opted to go to bed beforehand and set three alarms, although we only needed the first one. There was one bad moment where I knocked over the vial with the powder and it almost rolled off my nighttable, but I caught it in time (the lid was still on but it could have broken). I think this is the first time I’ve mixed the HCG myself, but I guess I’m an expert now at such things. Q. woke up enough to jab me and then we both went back to sleep (until 5:55 a.m. when, for reasons known only to him, E. decided to wake up for the day).

Yesterday after I was finished at the clinic I went to the mall to try to finish my Christmas shopping. I felt too wretched to be able to work properly, and E. was at nursery school, so I seized the opportunity. It was a great opportunity to remind me why I do so much shopping online these days. Oh well. I managed to get most things ticked off my list- I just need a Christmas ornament for Q’s stocking and I’m sorted. I also made a significant detour to go to MEC to change over the boots I’d ordered online (one problem with online ordering- guessing at sizes), only to finally decide once I got to the store and tried on the other pair that the size I’d originally chosen was indeed the right one. While at the mall I ordered a poutine for lunch since I figured that was the saltiest thing I could think of, and I washed it down with a whole lot of Gatorade. I can’t wait to be able to get back to my usual diet.

Thursday I had a truly hilarious meeting with my PhD supervisor where he, in all seriousness, worked out a timeline where I could defend by late May. This timeline was dependent on my giving him a full draft by the 12th of February (doable), and on him reading said draft and returning it to me within two weeks of receiving it (not going to happen in a million years). Then he (finally) gave me the comments on two dissertation chapters I gave him in April. The irony of this escaped him. I made it clear that I was happy to entertain the idea of defending in late May provided we both agreed that the minute our timeline wasn’t being adhered to we would abandon that plan and opt instead for early September (it will be impossible to get my committee into a room in the summer- they all travel). He felt this was fair.

The only annoying thing with September instead of May is if I get a post-doc it will delay when I can start, but this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things and is what I accepted could happen when I made the decision not to give him the draft in December.

Not much left to do today except eat salty food, drink Gatorade, and try to ignore my sore and bloated belly.

I can’t even think about a positive beta. One step at a time. First we need enough mature eggs to make enough embryos to get to blastocysts. I had a nightmare last night after the trigger shot that we had a ton of eggs retrieved but only ONE fertilized. Am obviously hoping for a much much better result tomorrow.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Second Thoughts, ttc

2.0 IVF Day Nine- Good to go

For the first time ever I was the very first woman in to the clinic this morning. My f/s had asked me to come in “as early as you can” because he was only going to be there for a short time early in the morning and he wanted to make sure he saw me (and do my ultrasound as it turned out).

Our clinic’s cycle monitoring hours officially start at 7 a.m. I was there at 6:45, and only just beat the next lady in. By 7 there were at least ten of us waiting around. You have to be quick at that place. At 6:50 Q. called so I could (once again) talk to a very irate toddler, remind him that I was at the doctor (like we’d talked about) and convince him to eat breakfast. E. was finally well enough to go back to nursery school today, thank goodness.

Did my bloods and then discovered that my f/s wanted to do my ultrasound myself so I sat around for twenty minutes or so before he got there. He told me I had a “beautiful” uterine lining and then hastened to add, “I don’t tell all the ladies that!” Then we made jokes about his appearance as Santa at the clinic Christmas party the night before.

I wasn’t too surprised when he said I was good to go. The room where he did the ultrasound had a computer monitor so I could watch what he was doing, and I recognized from the measurements he was getting that there wasn’t any more room to grow for most of the follicles. It’s a bit of a relief, as I feel really wretched at the moment, but also a touch nerve wracking as I will have stimmed for four days less than I did with the cycle that produced E. My f/s doesn’t seem worried about it, and the nurse thought it was good that I responded so well and so quickly, so I guess nothing is wrong. It’s just hard to have it be so different.

We did one last round of stims- 225 iu Gonal-F and 300 iu Repronex. I do one more Lupron injection tonight at 6 p.m., and then all that’s left is the trigger, which is scheduled for 1 a.m. tonight. That’s really the worst possible time- midnight we’d stay up for it, 2 a.m. we’d go to sleep and wake up for it, but 1 a.m. is right in that mid-zone where I’m not sure which would be more annoying.

Retrieval is scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m. I could use all the good thoughts you’ve got to spare.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, Second Thoughts, ttc