Archives for category: Infertility

We’ve got 4. 4 little beauties that made the cut to the freezing stage. 3 were Day 5 blastocysts, and 1 little guy was a Day 6 blastocyst.

I could barely believe the phone call this afternoon. The way my doctor was talking, all our little embies were turds. J said he actually used the word “duds”.

Suck on that, Dr. How do you like them duds?

So I’m trying not to dwell on the fact that we could have had a really solid chance at a Day 5 transfer, as the two embies we popped in on Day 3 were the best of the bunch (and, frankly, the only ones the doctor seemed to think were worth anything).

This has been really positive news, and I can’t say I remember the last time I heard good news in relation to all of this (non)baby-making bullshit. The problem with me getting good news is that it’s now given me a dangerous amount of hope for this current cycle. If those “dud”/turd eggs made it to blastocyst stage, how could the ones cooking IN me not make it that far? I know, though, that there’s still so much up in the air. Nothing is for sure. I might have a turd uterus. Who knows?

In other news, there was a monkey in our local IKEA store who was wearing a shearling coat. For real. It was pretty much the most amazing news story ever. Here’s a photo, along with one of my favourite cat-themed memes:

Where do you find monkey coats in this city?

Where do you find monkey coats in this city?

-Monkey Lovin’ Regular Van.

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Yesterday turned out to be our transfer day. After much waiting, our doctor went over the results of how our little embies had been faring. As it happens, they weren’t faring too well.

We had 13 eggs fertilized, 7 by ICSI, 6 “naturally”. Of those 13, the eggs fertilized naturally ended up doing a bit better than their ICSI friends. Weird… It’s like the final push from my body and J’s body saying, “We’re doing this naturally”. We had no embies develop to 10-cell status, with most being 5s and 6s. We had a couple that were 8s (maybe some that were 7s–I wish I had researched what the numbers meant before we went), with most of them being Grade 3 frags. We had two little gems that were 8s (I think they were both 8s) with Grade 2 (naturally fertilized), so we made a game day decision: despite my doctor’s initial insistence of putting just one little embie in me, we decided on 2. My doctor didn’t fight us–he supported our decision and admitted he didn’t think the results we had were the ones we were going to have. He suspects this is the PCOS rearing its ugly head–lots of eggs, but lots of crap. My doctor hasn’t given up hope on them yet, though. He said we should let them keep growing and see if we have anything freezable.

So, I came home from the transfer PUPO, as the lovely wannabeayummymommy would say (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise). I mowed down on some pineapple, chugged my Gatorade, played the next chapter of The IVF Belief CD for post transfer to pregnancy, and willed with all my might that these two sweet little embies are sticking around for the long haul. If I’m honest, I was kind of falling in love with the idea of twins before our doctor poo-pooed the idea in earlier appointments. I’ve got names, I had the whole movie playing in my head.

It’s taken me a bit of time to wrap my head around how different this process is to the IUIs we’ve done. I started falling into a negative thought spiral where I was wondering why on earth this would work when all those IUIs hadn’t, but J was right when he said this is global thermal nuclear war: this is a whole new ballgame here.

Proof #1: My left tube was blocked this whole time. Even after the first laparoscopy when he opened it, it was a dud. Any month that we IUI’d and I ovulated from my left side, we were out of the game.  Statistically, most of our IUIs were done during a left sided ovulation.

Proof #2: Even though our IUIs involved multiple eggs, they weren’t necessarily the best ones. From the 23 that they took out of me during this IVF process, only 13 of them fertilized. Of the 11 that we tried fertilizing naturally, only 6 of them actually fertilized. So if my math is right (and the chances of that are slim), all things considered, we were dealing with a 25% chance of getting pregnant with the IUIs, supposing that we were dealing with an ideal egg released from the right side and with J’s best swimmers reaching it. That’s a slim chance.

Maybe I’m still trying to convince myself that this could actually work. The idea of being pregnant seems so so so foreign and so so so unattainable. I need to change this mindset. I need to focus on the positive, to visualize how amazing our life will be upon the announcement that we did it. WE DID IT. We’re going to have tiny Family Van’s and J’s running around the house and our life will be crazy (because we’re both a little crazy, let’s be honest), but it will be so filled with love and happiness.

That’s what I need to focus on.

-Pineapple-Eatin’-Visualizin’-Crossin’-All-She’s-Got Regular Van.

Just got a call from the clinic. I’m in standby for a potential 3 day transfer. My doctor will decide after reviewing the embryology report.

Uh…standby? That can’t be good. I had 13 fertilized eggs. From what I’ve been reading, day 5 transfers are done when there are a lot of eggs to play with. Does that mean I’ve lost most of them?

Spazzing a little…

– Spaztastic Regular Van

So I haven’t updated in a while, not for lack of exciting news. No BFPs yet, but things are progressing.

Our first IVF cycle is well underway. I had my egg retrieval yesterday, yielding the following results:

  • 23 eggs retrieved
  • 11 reserved for standard IVF–6 of which fertilized
  • 12 reserved for ICSI–7 were useable–7 fertilized

I’ll find out tomorrow whether we’re doing a Day 3 or a Day 5 transfer. I’m still pretty nervous about those little guys, and how they fared today. My doctor seems pretty adamant about only transferring 1 little embie, but I guess that could all change if they aren’t growing well or if they look kind of crappy.

J is super positive, and seemed a bit surprised that I wasn’t doing cartwheels about the results. I keep reminding him we’re not out of the woods yet, and there’s a looooooooong way to go before we can even think about actually being parents (this idea seems so so so far away).

I’m really uncomfortable. Yesterday after the transfer, I was in more pain than I was after my last surgery. Now, having said that, I also didn’t take any pain killers, as we were advised against Advil and we didn’t have any Tylenol. I took today off of work as well, which I wasn’t planning on doing, but oh my goodness, there was no way I would have been able to teach today.

So…that’s the news so far. Still cautiously optimistic, and anxious about tomorrow’s results. Fingers crossed!

– Already Looking Pregnant I’m So Bloated Regular Van.

I had a cycle monitoring appointment again today. It was pretty non-eventful. I spoke with my doctor more about the fluid in my left tube, and he said that if it’s going to go away, it’ll go after I ovulate. If it’s still there, treatment would involve one of two methods of closing up the tube: another laparoscopy (the free method covered under our provincial health program), or a method he does in the office ($600 out of pocket). The first option requires anesthesia again, while the other doesn’t. I asked if it was normal for this fluid to go away. He didn’t really answer, which probably means no. He said if we were to go on to do IVF, he would definitely be closing up the tube before we went ahead. From everything I’ve read online, if you’ve got fluid in your tube, it can leak into the uterus, causing an inhospitable environment for a growing embryo. That doesn’t make me feel too positive about this cycle, but anyway…

So we left things with me continuing the Puregon for at least the next two days. I called J, let him know we’d probably need his services (and spermies!) towards the end of the week.

I carried on with my day, and then at 4:00, I got a phone call from the clinic: I was surging!

Pardon the expletives (here they come)…

Holy

Fucking

Shit

My body is ovulating on its own. No trigger shot. My body is doing what it’s supposed to. I wanted to give my innards a hug and tell them I was proud of them (if I’m honest, I did this inside my head after I got the call). Could this be the result of the clean eating diet I’ve been following? It hasn’t been that long (maybe 3 weeks?), or a result of the surgery? Or did little righty over here just figure her shit out? Whatever the case, I’m pretty happy. Baby or no baby, I ovulated on my own. That is so freaking awesome. I have yet to have a cycle at the clinic where my body ovulated before the doctor could give me a trigger shot.

So–IUIs tomorrow and Wednesday. I’ll be wearing my koi fish socks to bring me some luck. Come on, body. You can totally do this.

-Ovulating Like A Boss Regular Van.

Today’s cycle monitoring appointment was not a good one. I’m spazzing out a little, but trying to hold it together.

The good news: 3 good sized follicles are growing on my right side. Righty is never the party starter, so this is exciting. There’s one potential fella on the left side, too. Looks like 150 of Puregon is what’s doing it for me.

The bad news: Apparently, there’s fluid in my left Fallopian tube. This is the tube the doctor opened during the laparoscopy. He said it could just be the result of my ovaries being stimulated (best case scenario). If this is what’s happening, everything will just right itself. Worst case scenario: we’ll have to “treat that”. I don’t know what that means, but I am pretty sure it involves another surgery and the removal of that tube.

*insert silent spaz right here*

I can’t find any information online about stimulation and follicle fluid. Why is it suddenly showing up? Is this a result of the tube being opened? Should I be (more) worried? Anyone have any experience with this?

I’m back on Monday, so maybe I’ll know more then.

Ugh. What a turdy bunch of news.

-Fluid-filled Regular Van.

So I had a cycle monitoring appointment this morning, which entailed blood work and a VERY uncomfortable date with Dildo Cam. Ouchie mama. Was it the technician? I don’t know. I figured it was because my ovaries were just BURSTING with follicles on account of the Puregon.

I guess I was wrong.

My doctor wasn’t overly thrilled with what he saw, and upped my dosage to 100 mg from the 50 that I’ve been taking for the past week. Okay, I think. Not sure what that means, but I guess it’s okay.

Then I get a phone call this afternoon. My blood work was reviewed and Doctor Man wants me to go up to 150 mg tomorrow and Friday, then come back to see him on Saturday.

Obviously, I started googling like crazy. What did my blood work say? What’s going on? What’s wrong with my ovaries? I responded well to both Clomid and Femara (always had at least one juicy follicle in there), so I really didn’t think I’d have any issues with the injectables. Those are supposed to explode my ovaries, aren’t they?

So…uh…why aren’t my ovaries exploding with juicy follies? Why do I have to take more of this stuff?

Any help, blogging friends? I’m freaking out a little (but I’m filled with the best salad I’ve ever had-so it’s not entirely bad).

-Wake Up, You Ovaries! Regular Van.

Remember just yesterday when I said injectables would be a hasty decision for this cycle?

Guess who’s doing injectables this cycle? That’s right–this lady right here.

After leaving my appointment feeling like I’d just been bowled over, I sat on the subway in a daze, staring at a bag of needles and drugs, and a sharps collector.

Wait…what just happened? I don’t remember going into this appointment intending to leave with these things, yet here I am.

Let’s rewind a little.

So the appointment started off normal enough, and then it was my turn to talk to my doctor (he’s only involved in the last part of the 3-part cycle monitoring appointment–one person takes my blood, someone else does my ultrasound, and then it’s doctor time). We talked about where to go now, he sort of asked me what I wanted to do, saying that we had nearly maxed out the oral drugs, “…but then we did the surgery…”, suggesting, what? That the surgery resets everything to zero? I should have asked, but I didn’t. I think the message I was sending was that I’d prefer to try another month with oral drugs, but obviously he’s the expert, so I was looking to him for guidance on this one. Then he talked about scheduling, already looking ahead to the next cycle (that’s promising–thanks, Doctor). He asked me what I did for a living, and then kind of made a face. There are more appointments involved with injectables, I guess, and I said that J and I had discussed that if I needed to do them, this would be a good month as I’m still off from school.

And then *poof* the cycle was set. Injectables. Done.

He warned me about multiples, about selective reduction, and then slipped in that this could possibly (though the risk is small) turn into an IVF cycle.

Um…what?

I wasn’t ready for that. But everything was happening so fast, and I always feel like I’m taking up too much of his time. He sounds sort of annoyed sometimes when I ask questions, so usually I just keep them for Dr. Google.

It was my favourite nurse who showed me how to inject myself. She was there at our first appointment when J passed out and couldn’t get up for 20+ minutes, so she looked at me and said, “You’re not going to be getting any help with these, are you?”. Nope. Flying solo on this one.

So…$1000 later, here I am. Injectables. I still don’t know how I feel about all of this, but too late for that, I guess. All systems are go.

-Preparing to be a human pin cushion Regular Van.

I know what you’re all here for…updated scar photos! Here it is:

Aren’t they things of beauty? Belly button is still pretty gross looking, so I’ll hold off on those photos for now.

Okay, so now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s a wee update:

  • My trip to England was great. It was the perfect length (a week), and the weather was amazing! I had to keep reminding myself I was in England–it only rained once! It was a lot of fun to spend time with my gran, my mum, and my sister. A great ladies trip, indeed.
  • I had had the joy of experiencing constipation for the first time in my life. Holy crap (no pun intended–okay, maybe a little pun intended), it really hurts! A few days before I was supposed to leave for England, I was having some pretty intense pains in my lower abdomen. I thought it might be related to the surgery, so I went in to see my doctor. He prescribed me antibiotics and ordered a urine test done to see if there was an infection hiding in there, but said it could also be constipation. The nurses had warned me about this as a side effect of the pain meds, but I thought I would have experienced it way sooner (not a week later). Also, I didn’t touch the prescribed Tylenol 3s after the surgery, so the only narcotic pain meds in my system were the ones they used in my IV (which I assume they always use?). Anyway, the urine test came back showing a wee infection (that time there was no pun intended–I’m on a roll today!), so I took the round of antibiotics. The pain minimized over a few days and I felt okay leaving for England.

While I was there, though, the pain came back with a vengeance. We were to fly home in a few days, and a seriously intense pain started in my lower abdomen again. I’ve mentioned before that I am tough when it comes to pain. I can take a lot, but this was crazy. Everyone was in bed but my mum and I (we were watching the Olympic opening ceremonies), and I just started crying after about 30 minutes of this pain that was kind of spasming without letting up. My mum got me a hot water bottle and said it sounded like constipation she had after having my sister. It was unbelievable to me that this pain came from poop. Anyway, the next day I was fine and it has yet to return. I get it now, anyway. Constipation hurts.

  • I learned that if I want my period to come, I should take a pregnancy test. Without fail (that’s a bit of an exaggeration), whenever I take a pregnancy test, my period comes later that day. It’s like my body has let go and everything starts flowing. This was the case on Saturday. I used my last test even though I knew I had a snowball’s chance in hell of actually being pregnant this cycle, but my period was late. It’s a long cycle, but it’s like clockwork–32 days. This time, it was 37 days. I expected some disruption because of the laparoscopy, but there’s always that little smidgen of hope that we have. Anyway, my disappointment was slight this cycle, as we were flying blind. Maybe I ovulated, maybe not, and who knows when? It’s been a long time since I’ve been so happy to see my period. I’m super pumped to get this cycle going! Lefty is often the only ovary to show up to the egg-making party, and she’s the one who’s had a blocked tube this whole time.

I was supposed to go to the clinic today to start cycle monitoring again, but I kind of slept in…I’m on vacation! I’m supposed to sleep in! Anyway, I’ll go tomorrow morning and see what the doctor is saying. I talked with J, and we both agree that injectables would be a hasty decision for this cycle. I’m producing at least a couple of good follicles every month with the Femara, so I think I’m just going to stick with that for this first real cycle after the laparoscopy. I ALWAYS ovulate from my left side, but that blocked tube wouldn’t let anything get out. Could it actually be that THAT was what’s been causing the problem the whole time?

Seems almost too easy…

I’ll write another update tomorrow after my appointment.

-Unblocked and ready to rock Regular Van.

*WARNING! POST CONTAINS PICTURES OF TEENY TINY LAPAROSCOPY INCISIONS!*

I peeled off my steristrips today to see what was hiding under there. It’s the first time I’ve seen the visible results of the laparoscopy.

The marks are frigging tiny! Here’s a picture!

So small! In other news, I think I may be allergic to steristrips…

The stitches under my belly button are a lot grosser, but still not anywhere near as gross as I’d thought they’d be. I’ve had stitches before: my forehead, under my chin…I was expecting Frankenstein stitches , as per usual. These are barely stitches.

I feel great. I was outside weeding our back garden today and was thinking about where I was a week ago. I was so nervous about this procedure, and didn’t know what lay ahead in terms of pain, outcomes, etc. If I could talk to my former self, I’d say, “Self? It’s no big whoop”. Because it wasn’t. Now I’m just crossing everything that my innards have sorted themselves out and all systems are go. If I get pregnant this cycle, it will be small miracle because:

a) I have not had an ounce of ovary stimulating wonder pills this month;

b) Today’s cycle day 17 and the first day we’re givin’ it a whirl since the surgery; and

c) As if I could get pregnant by just having sex. HA!

Here’s what’s happening in my life that has NOTHING TO DO WITH BABY MAKING OR THE INABILITY TO MAKE A BABY (yes, other things are actually happening!):

I booked a flight to go to England with my mum next week. I am a proud first generation Canadian, with parents who emigrated here soon after being married. They left behind their families in search of an adventure. I can’t even imagine doing that, much to my mother’s delight. She still sometimes gives me a hard time about living an hour and a half away. I don’t bring up the fact that she moved to another continent…

Anyway, I spent most of my summers growing up in England, and have managed to get over there every couple of years since being a financially independent adult. I have 2 grandmothers there, as well as uncles, aunts, and cousins. The trips are never very eventful, but they’re satisfying. Vicky from the Real Housewives of Orange County talks about her “love tank”, and while what she’s describing is a romantic love tank, I understand what she’s talking about and the need to replenish it every now and then. Mine is a family love tank, and I need steady doses of my grandmother to keep it full.

I spoke with her on the phone today, and she sounded pretty awful. She’s battling a chest infection and was really hoarse. I haven’t been able to speak with my grandmother for a few weeks now, as every time I’d hang up the phone, I’d break down in sobbing tears. She just says things, y’know? She knows the struggles we’ve faced with all this infertility bullshit, and she wants nothing more than to hear I’m pregnant. Anyway, I guess my mum told my grandmother that I keep crying when I get off the phone with her, so she opened by saying, “I don’t want you to get upset…”, then proceeded to tell me that I need a break, and that there’s something in the air over there in England that is going to make my next phone call to her be the one where I tell her I’m expecting. I held it together. I didn’t get upset.

I asked her how she was doing, and told her she needed to get better. “I’ll be better when I see you and your mother”, she told me. This was before I had confirmed that I was coming, but that comment kind of sealed the deal. How could I not go after hearing that?

It will be a great trip, and much needed. I love traveling with my mum. We giggle on the plane together and go for coffee and scones when we’re there. I’m really looking forward to it.

-Leaving On A Jet Plane Regular Van.