Archives for posts with tag: IVF

Today marks ten weeks. Those tiny buddies are growing bigger and stronger everyday.

We had an ultrasound today, and saw baby b moving around. Baby a was spread eagled facing the camera…pretty funny. They’re looking more like tiny people and less like blobby goobers. I’m thankful for this.

So far, everything is looking great. Both babies are measuring at exactly ten weeks. Can’t really beat that. Heartbeats looked good today–171 and 180.

Warning! Poop talk ahead! Not for the squeamish!
In terms of symptoms, I’ve had very little of anything that might suggest I’m preggers. I was super bloated last week, which got me excited over my adorable baby belly–until I had a night of rip roaring farts and a couple of good poops and the belly was gone. No one really warned me about the havoc pregnancy wreaks on your digestive system. Oh my. Constipation is in full effect, and having a poop is pretty much the greatest thing ever these days. My doctor asked what I was doing about it. Uh…waiting? I’m not a big pill popper, so I tend to just ride things out. He suggested I try Colace, which I have done exactly once, as the result was a severely clogged toilet. It was like weeks worth of waste just flowed from me. A bit shocking, really. I’m not feeling ready to open those flood gates again quite yet.
End of poop talk.

I’ve been super tired, but on a weird, weird schedule. I take little naps over the lunch hour, using my mittens as pillows, which inevitably results in Mitten Face. I fall asleep promptly upon returning home, and it’s all I can do to shove some food down my throat that passes for dinner. But then I’m up until 12:00+, which is not normal. Usually, I don’t nap but I’m in bed by ten, eleven at the latest. It’s driving my early bed time husband crazy.

My appetite is off, too. All of the foods I once found delicious are gag-inducing at the moment. I would have taken a good spicy shrimp curry any day, and yet even as I type those words, I feel like I’m going to retch. All I wanted were fish tacos last week, but now the thought of those turns my stomach. Weird.

The nausea is there, though I haven’t puked yet. I’m not generally a puker, though, so I’m not overly surprised that I haven’t experienced this particular delight of pregnancy yet.

Generally, I feel great. People keep telling me I’m glowing, though I’m chalking that up to finally opening up the new thing of bronzer I’ve had sitting around instead of using those little left over crumbs. I’m drinking a buttload of water, too. That probably helps.

So overall, things are awesome. I’m so thankful for two happy growing babies in my belly, for still feeling human through all of this, and for a pretty super husband who has been more than a little neglected. I need to do something kind for him. He deserves it.

Progesterone and Estrace stop next week, which is a little anxiety inducing, but that’s a story for another time. Synthroid dosage is being doubled Monday and Friday, though TSH levels were tested today so that may change.

NT scan booked for February 12th. Won’t see the babies again until then. It’s amazing how much I love little blobby goobers already…

In other news, anyone have any recommendations for twin strollers? I’m thinking Phil and Ted’s Promenade. The Bugaboo Donkey looks like a behemoth, and apparently, we all hate big strollers here in Toronto.

-Full Of Love (and babies) Family Van

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This morning, I had my first ultrasound post BFP. I thought I was going to puke from the moment I woke up until the moment I saw the ultrasound tech’s face break into a smile.

I should clarify that I have experienced no real morning sickness up to this point, only mild nausea. The pukiness could definitely not be blamed on that.

We’ve got two beautiful looking blobs growing in my uterus. Two beautiful strong beating hearts, and I am so, so, so thankful that today’s ultrasound turned out the way it did. I know we’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re further out than we were before today’s results.

Both babies are measuring at 7 weeks 1 day, which is exactly where I am pregnancy-wise. Heart rates were right where they should be, at 121 and 130. My doctor said the number was pretty insignificant as long as it was over 110.

I’m back next Tuesday for another ultrasound, and booked in for my NT scan on February 12th. Until then, I’m going to do all I can to make sure these sweet little blobs have the coziest home possible.

Hooray!!

-The Family Van

This post has been brewing in my head for a couple of weeks now.

IVF worked for us. I’m pregnant.

The whole experience has been totally surreal, and I still don’t believe it’s actually true. According to IVF.ca’s due date calculator, I’m about 6 and a half weeks gone. Craziness. All of it…craziness.

I’ve been a total Debbie Downer about the whole thing. Neither J nor I, nor anyone else who knows the news has been allowed to get excited yet. First, it was waiting for the results of the first HCG (because as if those pee sticks actually told the truth), next it was waiting for the results of the second HCG, which grew nicely in 38 hours from 217 to 522. Then we had to wait for the third HCG, the BIG one that would get us out of the beta testing hell cycle, which it did at 3641. But now…now we really wait.

Tuesday is our ultrasound, and I’m not allowing anyone to even smile about this pregnancy until I see that it’s a) in the right place; and b) there’s a heartbeat. I’ve heard the stories, I’ve felt the heartbreak that comes through the posts of those who have experienced that particular hell. We’re not out of the woods yet.

Debbie Downer. I totally wasn’t kidding.

If I cup-half-full it, we’ve never been closer to a baby as we are now. I love my sore, massive bowling ball boobs, because it means something is happening. I love my erratic mood swings, and my wild fits of sobbing tears (though J probably wouldn’t say he loves them), because it means my hormones are through the roof. I love (and I never thought I’d be uttering these words) the progesterone suppositories that I insert 4 times a day because they’re keeping my uterus comfy and cozy and made it a lovely place for an embaby (babies??) to nestle into and implant. Same goes for the estrogen I’ve been taking. I love it.

It worked. Holy shit, it actually worked and there’s a teeny tiny little buddy/buddies in there, growing and developing just as it/they should be.

So Regular Van no more.

I’ve been waiting for two long, long years to finally sign off this way…

-The Family Van.

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.

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.

Cycle Monitoring – Cycle Day 4 – Duration: less than half an hour (what?!?!)

I started all over today with a fresh round of cycle monitoring. Things were speedy. So speedy, in fact, that I didn’t even have a chance to drink my coffee OR eat my oatmeal (thank you, Starbucks).

My doctor spent more time with me than usual, clearly not thrilled to see me back and unpregnant. The feeling is mutual, pal. Believe you me.

We discussed what happens now. He asked me a question he’s never asked me before: “What were you hoping for from this appointment?”. Basically, where are we going from here, was the question put to me. I guess now that I’ve failed so many times at the IUI game, more options are open to me. He brought up IVF for the first time as an available option, and talked again about the laparoscopy. I could go ahead with IVF even without the surgery, he told me. The ball is entirely in my court, it seems. He talked about injectables again, which I turned down for this month, as it’s the last month of school and I guess injectables involve a lot more appointments. He was fine with that, and bumped up my Femara intake for this cycle from 2 pills to 3. I didn’t get the sense from him that he was overly confident about this month, but never mind.

So my plan is to go ahead with the laparoscopy before we hop aboard the IVF train, in the hopes that we figure out why the hell I can’t get pregnant. I have a sneaking suspicion there is some endometriosis going on in my business, and my hope is that the surgery will be able to clear up some issues. Crazy, I know, but maybe we could even manage to have a baby naturally. My gut is telling me there’s a reason I haven’t gotten pregnant yet, and if we do the IVF now, we’re unnaturally forcing something that isn’t supposed to happen yet (if that makes any sense). I feel like the surgery is going to give us some answers to my effed up lady parts. I could be wrong, but this is what my gut says.

I’ve been really sad this past week. There have been a lot of tears and a lot of hopeless feelings and thoughts. I don’t really know why this week has been so hard, but I can feel myself falling into a nasty funk that will only be exacerbated by the copious amounts of free time I’ll have over the summer. I’m not complaining about having the summers off (I swear–I SWEAR!!!), but it’s hard to go from days that are so structured (every minute of every day), to no structure at all. That’s a dangerous recipe for an infertile with an internet connection.

Anyway, that’s what’s happening in these parts right now. My mum was worried about me, so she picked me up and brought me home. I’m kind of worried about me, too.

-Sad sad sad Regular Van.

This morning in CBC, there was a really interesting story about egg retrieval. The experiences of some of these women sound similar to what I’ve been reading in personal blogs, though the women in the story were donating their eggs to someone else.

If you’re interested, the story can be found by following the link, and then clicking on the podcast link at the right. Well worth a listen, though it didn’t helps paranoia that EVERYONE is talking about IF except those who are suffering tot hose who are close to them.

Here!