Where I’m at…

Ok, here’s where I’m at. So yesterday the doc called me to let me know that the one embryo we had was affected by the condition that we’re trying to screen out. This means we are back at square one, which is most definitely still not pregnant. I felt like I knew that this was going to be the case since the clinic first called to tell me that we only had one embryo suitable for testing. So over the past two weeks I had more or less been preparing myself for the bad news.

I wasn’t overly emotional yesterday. I took the doctor’s call in one of the meeting rooms at work – all of which have glass walls! So I had to sit facing the one solid wall, have the chat, have a quick cry, wait until my tears dried up and then go back to my desk. I did go out a bit after that to buy myself a coffee (the second for the day – I normally only drink coffee 2-3 times per week), but aside from that I was ok.

Hubby is all anti-IVF and anti-the-clinic and unhappy with the doctor. I had been feeling a bit let down by the whole process, but now I’m back in neutral territory. If anything, I have the renewed sense of ‘we’re doing the right thing’ and ‘how lucky are we to have had bubsy the traditional way and for him to have escaped inheriting the condition?’ So, you know, it’s all good.

Hubby thinks we should abandon IVF altogether. He’s been saying that since rounds 3 and 4. I still think IVF is our pathway. I still feel confident with the system and our doctor. Nothing they’ve done has made me feel uncomfortable or nervous. I’m thinking that I’d like to catch up with the doctor in September, before we go on our little interstate trip, so that we can start Round 6 after we get back. I’d like to get one more round in before the end of the year. If it doesn’t work this next time, then I’d wait until 2016 before we try again and just take it slowly from there.

We still have lots of positives on our side. I’m in my early 30s. There has been nothing to indicate that we have fertility issues. We have a very healthy child. Bar the condition that keeps appearing in our embryos, the last lot of testing showed that we apparently have very good genetics.

So, there’ll be a slow introduction of my proposed strategy to hubby. I mean, he wants to do it the traditional way, test the embryo if I get pregnant and then decide what to do. But ultimately, I think that if I was pregnant, then I’d keep the baby regardless. In fact, I’d probably refuse to have the embryo tested. I mean, both Hubby and his mum and others in his family have the condition. And where it has been detected, doctors have been able to manage the condition and have everyone live a good quality of life. We also know that having the gene defect doesn’t always mean that the condition will emerge, nor does it give any indication of how severe (or light) the condition will be. Plus, really, the traditional way means:

– 3 months to get pregnant (assumed!)
– test at 6 weeks
– immediate abortion if embryo affected (if that’s what we wanted)
– physical recovery
– emotional recovery (would I ever really recover?)
– try again…

That to me looks like a minimum 6 month process in itself!

We have been doing the right thing. I know it!

And goodbye to round 5

Ok, so the one embie we managed to get, from the 14 eggs collected, was affected. No transfer for me. Probably not for the rest of this year. I’m taking a big break.

The plus side? If you think that there can be a plus side. The plus side is that as we did the fancy carrier map testing this time around, which also looks for other detectable genetic defects (aside from just the condition that we are screening), was that it came back all clear.

I told the doc that we’re gonna take a break. I asked again if it’s a worry that of the 5 cycles we’ve done, in 3 of them we’ve only managed to get 1 embryo. She said that for a day 5 cycle, getting 1 to 3 is very normal (and unfortunate).

That’s all.

Potty mouth f*****s and why IVF sucks

Monday’s drip feed of information over a few hours, via phone, while I was at work:

– 14 eggs collected confirmed

– 10 eggs fertilised – oooh, nice! …. Oh, wait….

– 1 embryo developed enough for biopsy

– You have to wait for another 10 days or so before we get the results from the biopsy

– Good luck

Well f*** that!

So let’s have a quick look at my stats:

– 5 egg collection surgeries (and 1 hysteroscopy)

– 67, that’s 67 (!!!), eggs collected

– 13 embryos

– 4 unaffected, with 1 tbc

– 4 miscarriages

Based on our statistical trend, it is more likely for this current embryo to be affected (and hence useless to us), and even if it is unaffected, based on our statistical trend, we would miscarry.

So why bother?

Better use of time and resources:

– I could have spend the past two years investing time into doing better at work, spending more quality time with bubsy (instead of being too tired from full-time work, too stressed and distracted from IVF and just too damn spaced out or spazzed out from the drugs) and doing fun things for and with my family.

– I could have put all that money spent towards a deposit for an investment property, renovating our bathroom (5 times over!) or our kitchen (at least twice), setting up a studio like I’ve always wanted, going on 3 monthly domestic holidays (like, luxury ones where you stay in places that replace the mini shampoo bottles daily), bought fancy clothes and shoes, gone out for lots of dinners or taken a huge chunk out of the mortgage.

Things I could have avoided:

– Multiple fights with hubby, which if bubsy is around, he gets super upset and starts crying (or occasionally tells us off for being too loud).

– Multiple meltdowns, where bubsy ends up being the one who comes and tries to comfort me.

– Bad skin.

– Avoided avoiding people when I’m at my worst drug induced state.

– Being constantly grumpy and scowly.

Our options:

– Abandon the idea of having a second child and move on with life.

– Try again.

– Switch doctors.

– Switch clinics.

– Try it the old fashioned way, test the embryo in me, abort if affected, keep if unaffected – our views on the ethics of this have yet to be thought through.

Our current decisions:

– To make no decisions for at least 3 months.

– Potentially not do anything further on this whole have a second child thing until next year.

Round 5: what now?

Okaaay…. so I had my egg collection last Tuesday, 14 eggs collected. No embryo transfer was scheduled as the doctor was worried that I might get OHSS due to the increased meds. If anything, I think this has been my best recovery from the past 6 surgeries that I’ve had – I’ve had absolutely no pains in my abs and apart from a bit of discomfort when, well, let’s just say, there’s an internal pressure change, I’ve been good! And today, well, as of a few minutes ago, it appears that my period has just started. That would explain a lot! Like, the fact that I can’t sleep for starters, that I haven’t been able to calm my mind for days, that I’ve been binging on chocolate since the surgery (after being so good for months!) and that I had an absolute meltdown two days ago over hubby’s CV!

So… does that mean I can call up my PDG nurses and report on my day 1 to schedule in a frozen embryo transfer? But of course they haven’t even been able to tell me how many good embryos I have yet as it’s not day 5 until Sunday. And as of about a month ago the clinic has ceased their Sunday office opening, which means no one will call me until at least Monday. And do they normally call you to tell you about your embies’ development when you’re not going to do a fresh transfer? I assume they would, and I guess there’s nothing stopping me from calling them. So many questions!

But taking a step back, is this even my period? I mean, it sure feels like it (now that I suspect that it is), or is this just some post surgery bleeding? But the surgery was four days ago now. Is it normal to get a period so soon? My last one was only 19 days ago or so. I guess that could work. But I normally have a 30+ days cycle. Arghhhhh! I need answers!

Aside from that: a Chinese gender prediction calendar says that we’re going to have a girl next (did I just totally jinx my chances of having a baby now that I’ve voiced that? The rational part of me says no, the irrational part says that I’ve totally stuffed it up!), we’ve scheduled in 3 separate celebrations for bubsy’s upcoming b’day (with hubby’s family, my family and his playgroup  – funnily enough, we haven’t thought about what to do on his actual b’day!), had lunch with my 88 years old grandma today for the first time in ages (yes, I feel bad that I haven’t seen her in so long), I don’t know what’s going on with the new re-structure at my work (I haven’t been called in to be told that I don’t have a job…) and I’m up to book 4 of my re-read of the Princess Diaries.

I’ll keep you updated!

Peace out!

Instant happiness in a mug

Ingredients:
– 1 heaped tablespoon of self raising flour
– 1 heaped teaspoon of cocoa
– 1 teaspoon of sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
– 1 heaped tablespoon of butter, melted
– 2 tablespoons of milk
– A few pieces of chocolate or a spoonful of peanut butter or chocolate spread, jam even (optional)

Method:
1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a mug. Make sure you get rid of any lumps. You should have a thick but runny batter.
2. Stick the optional goodies into the middle of the batter.
3. Microwave for 60 seconds.
4. Enjoy!

I would have included a couple of photos of this instant happiness (i.e. chocolate mug cake), but I eat it as quickly as it cooks!

This cake is great for any occasion – post-surgery, pre-surgery, when you’re on IVF drugs, when you’re off IVF drugs…

Round 5 – eggs collected!

Fourteen eggs collected today. Feels like it’s a good number. I’m recovering relatively well too (I have 4 other egg collections and 1 hysteroscopy to compare it to!). So that’s about it. I’m going to take it really easy today. So far post-surgery I’ve watched Ellen videos on youtube, eaten a bread twist from Bakers Delight, drunk tea and slept. My current plan is to drink more tea, google and read a book – all in bed!

Not sure if I’ve mentioned my mum and her thoughts on IVF before? But I had another mini-run in with her yesterday. To provide some background, some comments that I’ve had from my mum before are:

– Oh, [your grandmother’s GP’s wife] says that you’re too young to be doing IVF.

– Why don’t you just have a baby naturally, test the foetus and abort it if it’s affected, like your brother and sister-in-law? ** They deal with a completely different kettle of fish! **

– Oh, how much have you spent on it so far?

– Why is it taking so long?

Look, I love my mum, but she just doesn’t have a clue when it comes to IVF. And I’m not saying that everyone does have a clue, but you’d think that after two years she’d come to realise that things are not working out for us the way we were hoping it to.

Over the past year I’ve just kind of stopped telling her anything about where we’re at and what we’re up to. But occasionally I have to tell her bits and pieces when it affects our usual routine. For example, I had to tell my mum that I wouldn’t be driving Bubsy out to her this Wednesday morning as I usually do as I’d be at home recovering from surgery. So my mum’s question was, “Well is this it? Is this when they put the embryo back into you?”

*sigh*

I’ve explained to my mum why we’re doing IVF, but she just forgets the details around it. Hence, dot points one and two above, and her need to voice these irrelevant opinions to me. I’ve explained to my mum that hubby’s condition is degenerative and that it’s not expected to get better and why we don’t do overseas travel, drink alcohol or caffeine or put ourselves in strenuous circumstances. But again, my mum forgets, and will then say things like, “Oh, did you see the sale fares to Singapore? … Why can’t you go? Your hubby’s been looking really well lately” or “Can’t he have even just a tiny bit of coffee?” There’s a reason why hubby does look so well – we take really good care of ourselves!! AND! We follow his doctor’s instructions!

Anyway, so my plans beyond today are: get better, wait for period, call up and schedule in a FET.

Fingers crossed!

Round 5 – Day 9

One more injection to go (for the now…). I have to take it in 4 hours. Here’s hoping that I wake up to do it! Because it it currently 3am and I’ve been awake since 2am. Is it the drugs causing insomnia? Or me stupidly having two coffees yesterday morning and heaps of sugar in a dessert heavy meal last night? Or MSG in the awesome chicken pie? Who knows…

At my last scan, 2 days ago, the doc (not my usual counted 8 follicles in one ovary and 6 in the other. So, all in all, this double dose of drugs hasn’t seemed to increased the number of follicles like it’s meant to. Or does the double does increase the quality of the eggs? So many questions, so many hours of this night still to go – no answers.

Time to find something incredibly mundane to do so that I hopefully fall asleep again!