So I had my long awaited follow up with my doctor yesterday. The ‘game plan’ appointment. We had to decide whether or not to try another IVF cycle despite our complete flop of a last cycle.
He couldn’t really give us any explanation for why things had gone so terribly last time, only that the chromosonal problem is likely a major factor and the rest of it is really chance.
So we are going to give it one last go with my eggs. I’m very hopeful that third time’s a charm. This will remain to be seen. I am doing accupuncture this cycle, and also really trying to watch what I eat. The cycle will start in about a week from now.
If we don’t get embryos from this cycle, the doctor agreed with us that there’s no point continuing. We can’t afford to keep throwing money at seemingly hopeless cycles, and I can’t continue to deal with the utter disappointment and heartache each time it fails.
So this is our last roll of the dice with this process. If things don’t turn out, then we will have a significant break, before looking further into the donor egg process.
Keep your fingers crossed for us.
Ok, now I change things up a bit. From now on I’m going to start writing in present tense, because, well, this is now current.
Until now this has been a process of a sort of therapy for me. Writing everything down as a way of thinking things through and hopefully gaining a feeling of control again over everything.
I have been writing retrospectively as I only started putting words to paper/blog a short time ago. I want to keep adding to this as things happen, but now in present tense.
I have put this blog out there in the web-universe for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, I would love for this to be a way of communicating what I’m going through to my friends and family. I am happy for people to know what’s happening, but its tough relaying information over and over again.
Also, for people I don’t know who are going through a similar time to me. May you stumble accross this blog the way I have stumbled accross so many others, and take comfort in knowing you are not the only person going through it, just as I did.
So – where to now?
As I write this I anxiously await our genetic counselling appointment on the 22nd of April. This happens to be the first day at school for term 2 and yet another missed day of work for me. My health and potential pregnancy has got to be a priority for me at this stage in my life, but it is very hard to juggle the demands of work and not let the kids down. But I’ll continue to try.
I don’t know how much the genetic cousellor will tell us that we don’t already know, but I’m hoping we get some information specific to my particular case.
And then what? Do we continue with IVF and PGD or go straight to donor eggs? The amount of money this process has cost us to date is mounting and its hard to see the money you worked hard to save disappear on medical bills that so far have yeilded no positive outcomes.
My obvious preference would be to carry a baby that is my own – genetically. But what if we go though another year and many IVF procedures and don’t end up getting pregnant. I’m not sure if this is a prospect I could handle emotionally, physically and financially.
THe donor egg route is also a difficult one. This is a process full of restrictions in Australia. I am so very very lucky that I am loved, and have already had my sister and several close friends offer me there eggs. I feel truly blessed with this and it does make me feel that I will be able to be pregnant myself one day – whether the baby is biologcally mine or not. To these people (who know who they are) I love you so much for this truly special offer. I appreciate it more than words can express.
My sister is also going through a tough time right now. She is 30 something weeks pregnant and awaiting blood test results to see if she is also a balanced translocation carrier. She has the added stress of her baby’s health but with pregnancy that has gone this far, the chances of her baby having problems is extremly slim. If she is a balanced translocation carrier, then I won’t be able to use her eggs anyway.
So I am in a period of wait and see, which is why I am taking the time to write everything down. Patience is not a particular strength of mine, but this infertility journey is going to necessitate me developing some.
And lastly, I am going to try not to let this process take over my life. If it takes a year, two years or more to get pregnant, I need to continue to enjoy my life in the meantime. I hope writing things down will also allow me to do this.
My next update will be after my genetic counselling appointment and hopefully I will know more.
Until then, for those of you taking the time to read all of this nonsense, I apologise for all of the spelling/grammatical/punctuation errors that no doubt plague this blog. It’s a little to raw for me to go back and read through at this stage. Please feel free to email, message me or add to comments with any corrections. Thanks in advance if you made it to this point 🙂
I went back to see my doctor to talk about embarking on the next cycle of IVF. To my surprise, the minute I walked through the door my doctor asked me how I felt about being referred to another specialist – the same one who had done my last FET, and the doctor we were hoping to see.
The new doctor was the head doctor at the clinic and apparently my case was different enough to warrant the switch to the ‘special’ specialist. I was pleased with this. Before leaving, I was sent out with forms for more blood tests – genetic testing to be completed to see if there was a reason so many of our embryos died.
I had the tests done while still at the hospital, eager to move onto the next step with the new doctor. Things were all looking very positive.
So our appointment with the new doctor came along, he changed the IVF medication protocol that I was on, had the ‘fat’ talk with me and left me feeling like this guy really knew what he was doing, and that this cycle would surely be successful.
But then we hit a little bit of a hurdle. Well, more like the Mount Everest of Hurdles. And it all started with a phonecall.
When it was time for the first round of IVF, I was excited. I thought that this would be it and things would finally start to happen.
I began injections and surprised myself by doing them easily (despite the bruising on my stomach making me look like I’d been sunbaking in a hail storm). Things moved slowly as my doctor had started me on low doses of the drugs due to my PCOS.
Then halfway through the cycle we hit a bit of a hurdle. Blood tests were not showing normal levels of estrogen and the doctor suggested that we might need to cancel the cycle. The thought of this was devastating. I was so sure this cycle would work and I would be pregnant. The doctor took one look at my tears and suggested we keep going for a couple more days to see if things changed.
So I fronted up to the next appointment with Marty in tow, bracing myself for the worst, but got some perplexing news instead. Apparently after two more days of injections, my estrogen levels were through the roof. The doctor had the lab re-run my previous results and it turns out they had initially got them wrong! Just ‘one of those things’ apparently. But for me it meant ovaries the size of watermelons and a strong chance of OHSS (ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome). It also meant they couldn’t do a ‘fresh’ transfer on this cycle and that we would need to wait to the following month to do an FET (frozen embryo transfer). I was miffed but glad at least that the cycle hadn’t been completely abandoned due to the pathology lab’s cock up.
The egg pick procedure was booked and we ended up with 12 eggs, 9 of which fertilized. These were really pleasing results and we looked forward to having plently of day 5 embryos frozen for future transfers.
The thing I found most tricky with this blog, was where to start. What is the ‘begninning’ of all this I wondered. So I guess I thought I’d add in a BI post (before infertility).
In April 2011, Marty and I got married. This was the time that I came off the pill. In the beginning, we weren’t ‘trying’ but we weren’t preventing either.
At this time, I was still unsure whether or not I was ready to be pregnant. Having kids was always something I knew I wanted, but I still kept finding reasons why I’d like to wait ‘just a little longer’. Reasons included, holidays, parties, festive seasons and other general occasions where I thought I’d like to partake in a little more partying and frivolity before I wasn’t able to any longer.
But on and off this year, we were trying, and it never amounted to anything. This didn’t really concern me at this stage. I was content with life. I was newly married, I enjoyed my job and was having a great time with many of my friends who were still childless.
Life was good and ignorance was most certainly, bliss.