Monday, January 31, 2011

Transfer day

So, Saturday was transfer day. I went to the clinic with great excitement and expectations for the best, but instead I got a mixture of bad and ok....

It turns out that all but one of the embryos had stopped developing. :-( And the one remaining embryo was 'ok' but not as far advanced as they said it should have been by day 5. I was in shock and cried a lot.... the poor nursing staff stuck with me sobbing in the surgery room chair, ugh.

Anyway.... I got to see my tiny wee remaining embryo on the screen before they transferred it into me, and the transfer itself went fine. It was just all the emotion of being told none of the others survived (when I was totally NOT expecting that news at all!) and the worry about the less than perfect embryo transferred not making it either. :-/

I am trying to remain positive (of course) but I find myself kind of preparing myself for the possibility that the transferred embryo won't continue developing and that this whole IVF cycle might be a bust. But I don't even want to think about that right now. :-(

I have a blood test scheduled for 9 February so will see what the outcome of that is. Although, I must say that at the moment I kinda feel like it would be a miracle if the test came back positive!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Embryo update

So the clinic telephoned this morning and updated me on the following - 5 eggs fertilised "properly"; two eggs fertilised "abnormally"; and two didn't fertilise at all (due to being immature eggs).

At first I thought 5 wasn't that good a number (given that 9 eggs were collected) but the lab nurse said they were really happy with that result and she said they all looked "really good"! So that's a relief. :-)

I now can't stop thinking about my five wee embryonic 'children' busy dividing furiously in a lab petrie dish, lol! I really hope that they all keep dividing ok over the next few days and that none of them arrest between now and transfer....

The nurse said that, going by how they are progressing, the transfer day will be on day 5 (this Saturday), so a time was made for me to come into the clinic at 10.00am on Saturday.

Now I just have to wait out the rest of the week til Saturday, woohoo!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Retrieval day!

So, today was retrieval day. G and I got to the clinic just before 8.00am and G did a good job of distracting me from my nerves by having lots of random conversations with me, lol!

The nurse then took me to the prep room where she went though everything that was going to happen and got me changed into the hospital gown. Next in came the lab technician who also explained what she would be doing with each of the follicles during the procedure (i.e. checking them all for viable eggs etc). She said she would ring me sometime tomorrow morning with an update on their progress (following their insemination with the donor sperm later on today) and at that stage I will be advised of the likely transfer date.

Next came in the doctor (M) who inserted the IV line, after which I was ready for theatre. G came in and sat next to where I was lying and generally kept me calm. :-) The procedure itself was mostly ok but because I had specifically requested to be given the least amount of medication necessary to sedate me, unfortunately there were some times that I could feel the needle going into the follicle and it definitely DID hurt. Twice the nurse had to top up my IV line, but because the procedure was so quick (20 minutes tops in the theatre) the ovary prodding was practically over by the time the additional drugs kicked in, lol!

Ironically, it was actually G that had more issues than me during the procedure. The heat of the theatre made her almost faint (as she is currently 6 months pregnant) and the nursing staff suddenly had to wheel her out and lie her down in the recovery room long before the doctor had finished with me, lol! So, here I was, in the recovery room, sitting on the chair feeling pretty well my usual fine self (since I'd had so few meds); and there was G, collapsed on the recovery room bed drinking sweet drinks and eating the muffins provided by the nursing staff!! It was hilarious! Not sure that she will live that down for a while, hehehe.

So... as for the eggs, we got nine! :-) The lab technician who spoke to me before the procedure said that on average two-thirds of the eggs retrieved will fertilise (the outcome being more or less depending on the quality and maturity of the eggs etc) so hopefully that will give me approximately six or so fertilised eggs to work with providing the embryos all continue to develop as they are supposed to.

After about an hour in the recovery room (and once G was feeling alright again, lol!) I was then discharged and taken home by G to chill out and sleep on and off for the rest of the day. The nurse also gave me a bunch of progesterone suppositories which I have to start from tomorrow morning. I am really not looking forward to those as I have heard they can produce some pretty nasty side effects(!) but it has to be done in order to best prepare the lining of my uterus for the hopeful implantation in a few days time.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lead up to retrieval

Today I am starting to get nervous about the retrieval procedure tomorrow. I hope it all goes ok and that I don't suffer any (or too many) side effects. My dear friend G is going to pick me up at around 7.30am tomorrow morning as I am due to be at the clinic by 8.00am.

I have asked her to stay with me throughout the whole procedure as I really don't want to be 'alone' throughout it - especially if the meds have a strong amnesia-like affect on me, as it would be nice to hear later on exactly what happened from someone who was fully conscious, lol. :-) She has reassured me that she will stay by my side throughout the whole thing which is of big comfort right now.

Well, off to bed now to try and get some decent sleep before tomorrow....


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Second scan

This morning I got up early and went to the lab before 8.00am to have my second blood test drawn, so that the results would be through to the clinic by the time of my second scan at 12.30pm.

At my scan just after 12.30pm, I was told that my follicles are growing very fast - at a rate of 5mm a day instead of the usual 2-3mm. He thought that there might be approximately 10 mature eggs sitting there already; and as my largest follicle is already 23mm, he said that if we waited until Wednesday to retrieve them I would likely lose ALL of the eggs due to over-maturity!

So the decision was made to proceed with the retrieval at 8.30am on Monday morning. This means I need to take the final injection for this cycle tonight (the trigger shot, Ovidrel, at 8.30pm) and that is it (for medications) until Monday!

I have to fast from midnight Sunday and need to be at the clinic by 8.00am on Monday to allow time for the necessary prep before surgery. It turns out that my favourite doctor (of the three at the clinic) is supposed to be doing the retrievals on Monday, which was great to hear!

Tomorrow is a 'day off' from all of the drug taking which will be good. :-)


Friday, January 21, 2011

First scan

This morning I went to the clinic for my first scan and blood test and got the surprise of my life when the doctor said I might be ready to have my egg retrieval done as soon as this coming Monday!! (Cycle day 11.) So far there are 11 follicles growing on one side and 6 on the other! The lead follicle is already at 18mm and several others were in the teens. The doctor said that some of the 11 follicles were very small and may not develop any further, but there were at least 8 from that side that were progressing well.

I was expecting my retrieval surgery to be in at least another week's time (next Friday) or Wednesday at the earliest (as my clinic only does its retrievals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and my cycle only just started last Friday). So when I got into work I had to do a mad flurry of diary reorganising just in case I end up away from work on Monday!

The upside of having the retrieval this Monday is that I will end up with less days in total on these drugs - which is a good thing, not only for my body but also for my wallet, lol. :-)

So, tomorrow I go into the clinic again for another scan and blood test which will determine whether or not retrieval ends up being on Monday, or Wednesday after another couple of days' follicle growth. Tonight I take another dose of both the Gonal-F and the Orgalutran injections just like I did last night.

The rate things are currently going, this might end up being the shortest cycle I've ever had, lol! :-)


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The introduction of drug #2

I had my first dose of Orgalutran tonight, so I'm now on to two injections per night. So far so good ... although it has only been 20 minutes since I took my first dose of the new drug, lol. :-)

Tomorrow morning I will head to the clinic before work to get my first blood test and scan done since starting all of these drugs. I am curious to see what it shows! Then one of the nurses will phone me sometime during the afternoon to tell me what, if any, alterations I need to make to my drug dosages.

For now, though, I am heading to bed ready for my early start at the clinic in the morning!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Things have improved on the symptoms front, which now makes me wonder if I did actually have some random 24 hour bug on Monday rather than a reaction to the Gonal-F?? All of the nausea has gone and I have only had a couple of very brief, momentary instances of light-headedness since Monday. Phew. :-)

I am however starting to feel a little PMS-y, with some noticeable twinges going on in my ovaries. So no doubt things are starting to grow down there, lol. Can't wait for my first scan on Friday to see exactly what is going on with my follicles!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 2

Day 2 went fine and I took the second Gonal-F injection as planned in the evening. Then, sometime during the middle of the night, I got up to go to the bathroom. As soon as I stood up the room started spinning. Aaaagh. Didn't think much of it at the time though (as if it was just a momentary thing) and went back to bed.

But when I got up for the day in the morning, the room was still spinning every time I moved as well as feeling nauseous most of the time! So as soon as I got to work (as I was still not feeling any better) I rang the clinic and spoke to one of the nurses. She said she hadn't known of anyone describing those symptoms in reaction to that drug(!) but would speak to one of the doctors. Long story short, it took her most of the day to be able to talk to one of the doctors (as they had a lot of surgeries on today). When the nurse finally rang back, she said that oddly enough the doctor told her they had 3 patients at the clinic in just the last week complain about exactly these same symptoms (plus headaches) while also taking Gonal-F! So they didn't know if this was just a coincidence; or if there is some bug going around the clinic (as we were all in at the clinic at around the same time - last Friday); or if there is something weird about this batch of the drug causing everyone the same symptoms! Ugh.

Anyway, the doctor asked to see me straight after work to check me out and that she would stay behind at the clinic so that I could come in after-hours. When I got there we discussed the available options of (a) continuing with the Gonal-F plus some anti-nausea drugs to help combat the symptoms; or (b) changing to another type of ovary stimulant drug instead of Gonal-F.

In the end I decided to go with getting some anti-nausea tablets prescribed and to keep going as is for now (in case it really just is a random coincidence and is in fact a 24hr bug or something that I have managed to catch at the same time!) as there is the risk we would be compromising the results of this IVF protocol if I starting changing up all the drugs... She said that if the symptoms becomes totally unbearable, there is alway the possibility that we could cancel this cycle (since it has only just barely begun) and reassess with another plan of action next time around, but of course that is only the last resort option.

So... will see what 'symptoms' (if any) appear tomorrow!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

The start

Today marks the start of my IVF cycle with donor sperm. I have decided to blog about it in order to keep a record of all that happens (both the good and the bad) so that I don't forget anything and accurately remember it all! :-)

Yesterday I picked up my first lot of drugs from the clinic. Tonight (cycle day 2) I took my first injection of Gonal-F (150IU) to begin stimulating my ovaries. It felt very surreal to finally be starting this process - surreal but exciting too! I had been anxious pretty much all day about it (not about the injections, but just whether this whole process will work out for me and questioning all the 'what if's' etc with doing this on my own) but once I took the Gonal-F pen in hand I was fine. :-)

I will continue to take the Gonal-F for approximately 12 days. (The exact number of days will of course depend on the blood test and scan results.) On cycle day 7 I will also begin taking Orgalutran to prevent ovulation; and on day 8 (Friday 21 January) I will have my first blood test and scan at the clinic. The results from that will determine what happens next in terms of the next lot of drug dosages etc.

So, here it begins....!