Category Archives: ttc

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

2.0 IVF Day Seven- Whoa there, eggies!

Hit the clinic super early this morning to make sure I could get my bloodwork and ultrasound finished before my intralipids infusion, which was scheduled for 8 a.m. The nurse in the IVF suite was just about to start my IV when I had a phone call from Q., who had an incredibly angry toddler on the other end who needed to speak to me, since apparently all the conversations we had the day before about me going in to see the doctor very early didn’t sink in. They’d just spent thirty minutes searching the house, with E. absolutely certain that Mummy was still in bed sleeping, even when Q. pulled all the covers off.

The intralipids infusion was finished by about 9:45. I ended up feeling like I was going to fall asleep again, just like last time. Maybe it has something to do with all that fat going in to my body- the nurse wondered if it was the equivalent to eating a big Thanksgiving dinner. There were a couple of other ladies in there at the same time- they were both pregnant. Nice to get reminders that things do work there.

Went back over to the main part of the clinic and managed to see my doctor really quickly. My follicles are zooming- the lead follicle was measuring 16 on one ovary and 15.5 on the other. This seemed a bit too fast to me, and I think my doctor thought the same, as he changed my meds to 150 iu Gonal-F and 225 iu Repronex for today and tomorrow. I’ll go back in on Friday and Saturday for sure. The retrieval is likely to be Monday or Tuesday of next week, so that is definitely faster than the August 2010 cycle, but I don’t think it’s too fast if we make that timeline, as my cycle in August 2010 was longer than expected. Obviously since it worked I would have been happy to repeat that pattern again here, but we can at least say with confidence that we’re not going to be dealing with an embryo transfer on Christmas Day.

Dr. L. repeated his advice to eat lots of salt and drink lots of Gatorade- minimum one litre per day to be exact.

I am feeling pretty miserable now. Really sore through the abdomen and just generally lacking any emotional fortitude. We had a terrible night last night where E. freaked out so much at Q. trying to put him to bed that Q. had to come downstairs and get me to take over because he was getting too angry, and then he was so angry he didn’t want to say goodnight to E., which upset me so much that after I had put E. to bed I ended up sitting in the bathroom crying. Then E. woke up at 9 p.m. vomiting all over his crib, at which point I deeply regretted letting him eat the entire punnet of raspberries that had been all he was interested in eating all day (along with rice crackers). Q. is so stressed about work- he is supposed to be writing a chapter for an edited volume this month, but E. being too sick to go to nursery school has completely blown a hole in his plans, so now he’ll have to take work with us when we travel after Christmas to see my family. Definitely a night where I found myself wondering why we’re putting ourselves through all of this to try to expand our family, given some days it seems we can’t even cope with one.

Deep breaths. One day at a time.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Butter scraped over too much bread (a.k.a. modern motherhood), Cycle Madness, E.- the third year, Emotions, Second Thoughts, The Sick, ttc

2.0 IVF Day 6

The advantage to having a projectile vomiting toddler?

It takes your mind off of your ovaries.

Yep, it’s hard to stay focused on the fact that your entire mid-section feels miserable when you’re scrubbing puke out of the carpet (and the couch, and the table, etc. etc.).

I’m drinking three 12 oz. glasses of Gatorade a day. I went with the fruit punch flavour this cycle (in 2010 it was the lemon-lime). Thus far I’m underwhelmed. And I’m eating pretzels (lots of pretzels) every day as they had the highest percentage of salt of the snack foods I looked at. I should eat prepackaged processed meals (or fast food) too, but I can’t bring myself to stoop that low. I’m also back on the All Bran, but I don’t think my digestive system is the problem at this stage.

I keep telling my co-dependent cat that she can’t sit on my lap anymore if I’ve got the laptop out. She is not pleased.

On the bright side: signs that you’re really learning something in this parenting gig: You don’t start the second load of vomit-encrusted laundry because you suspect if you just wait a bit longer there will be more.

Sigh. Sometimes I really hate being right.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, E.- the third year, Food, Medical issues, Medications, Second Thoughts, The Sick, ttc

Getting started

Day 3 today, so into the clinic yet again. I was really hoping AF would have turned up a day earlier, so I could have gone in to the clinic on Sunday on my Day 2, rather than blowing a massive hole in Q’s workday, but no such luck.

E. was, as usual, pretty fragile this morning. He hates changes to the routine, and he especially hates me disappearing first thing in the morning when he’s eating breakfast. He held it together though, and ended up having a lovely morning with his Daddy (as I knew he would).

The clinic was busy but not outrageously so, although I still ended up being there for over two and a half hours. I was called fairly soon after my ultrasound by my fertility specialist, but then I sat in one of his offices for ages before he came in, and then there was another wait to see a nurse.

Anyway. In the end we had an agreed upon plan: fresh IVF cycle, with ICSI. Another round of intralipid infusion. A strong suggestion that I should do some acupuncture, so I’ve taken the brochure of the individual who does it right at the clinic, and will discuss that with Q. Dr. L. thought I should try it out before booking a session for the day of the transfer, in case I hated it. He said he hates it “because I really don’t like needles”, to which I replied, “well, I guess since I’ve started coming here I haven’t had that problem”, which made him laugh.

He is a really good guy. I ended up in tears in his office (yet again), and when he asked me why I was crying, I told him that this was our last shot.

“I’m going to do my very best,” he told me, and stood up to give me a hug. “I’m going to do everything I can.”

We’re aiming for a retrieval on the 18th of December, to allow for a five day transfer of blastocysts on the 23rd.

I took my first birth control pill this morning. He has me taking them until the 2nd of December, which moderately stressed me out this morning as I didn’t think that was leaving enough time. I just went and looked back at our cycle in August 2010, however, and it was an identical timeline- last pill on the 2nd, and I was in the clinic again on the 4th, so my period must have started immediately after I stopped the birth control. I also took a day or two longer than expected to hit the point where I was ready to trigger, so retrieval was on the 18th, and the transfer was on the 23rd. That means that even if it takes a couple more days this time around to get my period, we should still be on track. And if we’re a day later, and we have to transfer on the 24th, that will be ok too. I just don’t want to be dealing with an embryo transfer on Christmas Day.

I am still debating stopping the birth control pills one day earlier than we set up today (and starting the Lupron one day earlier as well, since I’m meant to start it seven days before stopping the birth control). As I was leaving, my fertility specialist said, “So we’re looking at transferring around Christmas, right?” and I agreed, but didn’t say to him that it has to be BEFORE Christmas because as of Boxing Day we’re going to be travelling to visit family. So I might adjust things slightly just to make sure we have enough wiggle room. Part of it is it’s been taking forever to get my period with these FETs- this time it didn’t start until a full week after the last PIO shot. But the Lupron/birth control combination is different.

Ok- question for my readers: do you remember how long it took to get your period after stopping birth control pills while on Lupron? I find it hard to believe my twenty-four experience from August 2010 is the norm.

I have a few things to think about. My clinic now has an embryoscope, which is apparently a special incubator with a low light that allows them to take pictures of the embryos every few minutes and create a time-lapse video of their development. This is meant to help with selecting the embryos to transfer as they can see which ones have been developing normally since the very beginning. I am tempted by this, but I’m not sure the cost ($750) is worth it, as it’s a very new technology. They’re the first clinic in Canada to offer it, and they’ve only had it for two weeks. I’m not sure if my fertility specialist was so excited about it because he thought it would be a good option for us, or because he just loves having all the latest technology available.

The reason why I am tempted to pay the extra for the embryoscope is we’re probably going to end up in December facing the decision that I have been dreading since we first started trying for a 2.0, and the one I was so hoping our FETs would let us avoid.

E. is the product of a two embryo transfer.

I don’t know if I can stomach transferring two embryos again.

I honestly don’t know at this stage if I would rather have E. end up as an only child than end up with a twin pregnancy. It’s something I have to think a lot more about in the next month, and talk about with Q.

I do know that right now the idea of a twin pregnancy scares me half to death.

Maybe it seems ridiculous to be worrying about this possibility when we’re not even into the IVF cycle yet, and we have no idea how many embryos we’re going to end up with, or what their quality is going to be. But that’s where my head is, and that’s what I’ve been fretting about in the back of my mind for months, even during the two FETs.

I don’t want to have to make this decision.

I don’t want to get a negative result from a single embryo transfer, and then spend months wondering if we could have changed the outcome by transferring two.

But I also do not want a twin pregnancy.

So. I’m doing the research (or, to be more accurate, asking nicely if my sister can do the research for me), looking into the statistics, weighing the options. We can’t make a final decision at this point, but I think I really need to sort out my feelings about the whole situation before we’re given a report on our embryos.

I see my endocrinologist tomorrow for my usual biannual appointment, which means I’ll be able to get his advice on adjusting my synthroid dose to deal with the birth control and then the stims. This is assuming the man actually gives some reasonable advice and isn’t just rude, which is always a tall order with him.

I e-mailed my supervisor today to tell him he wouldn’t be getting a draft of my dissertation in mid-December like we’d originally planned, and suggested that we meet in December to discuss a new timeline.

Full steam ahead.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Medical issues, Medications, Money Matters, Second Thoughts, Thyroid, ttc

11dp5dt

After I last tested, my sister decided to go and do some research. After trolling numerous online forums and controlling for five day embryos and successful pregnancies (and I have no idea how you would control for those variables when you’re just dealing with online forums, but that’s why she’s the scientist in the family), she e-mailed me to say that I had tested too early, and that lots of women didn’t see even a faint line until 9, 10 or even 11 days post-transfer.

All right. 8dp5dt is too early.

But a BFN at 11dp5dt, like the one I got this morning?

That, I’m betting, is definitive.

I’ll get the official word from the clinic tomorrow. And then Q. and I can start to think about just how far we want to go along this road.

In the meantime, I shall continue to plant the two hundred or so bulbs that E. and I bought this morning.  If I can’t seem to manage to support life in my uterus, at least I can look forward to something beautiful in the spring.

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Filed under 2.0 FET #2, Family, Second Thoughts, ttc, TWW

8dp5dt

So.

I tested this morning.

It was a clear BFN.

I’d been debating testing and refusing to test for a couple of days, mainly because I didn’t really believe deep down that the cycle had worked, but knew that if I kept refusing to test I could at least keep on trying to believe it had worked.

Q. has pointed out that it is still early and that I don’t exactly have the greatest track record with HPTs. To which I have made the reply that at other clinics beta day would be tomorrow, and the HPTs that gave me the negative result with E’s cycle were from the dollar store. This one was a FRER.

I bought a two-pack, so I’ll test again on either Sunday or Monday for confirmation before the actual beta. But at least now I’ve got a couple of days to start to get my head around it all.

I didn’t ever really think, not deep down, not in my heart of hearts, that we would transfer both of our remaining blasts and still end up not pregnant. Deep down I was convinced that one of them would work.

But here we are.

Looks like we’re going to have some tough decisions to make.

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Filed under 2.0 FET #2, Anxiety Overload, Emotions, Money Matters, Second Thoughts, ttc, TWW