July 30, 2010

Embryos on Ice!

It's like Disney on Ice, only without the cartoon characters coming to life.

*thumbs up to good news* 4 out of our 6 remaining embryos made it to freezing, which means if this cycle is unsuccessful we've got a couple of frozen cycles up our sleeves! :D

Do I feel any different at the moment? Not really, I was telling a work colleague this morning that besides a bit of cramping on and off yesterday and today, I feel like life is really back to normal. But now that I feel 'back to normal', I'm second-guessing myself?

Wait... is normal a good thing or a not-so-good thing?
Sore breasts: tender = progesterone or HCG?

Can we please fast-forward to seven sleeps from now so I can find out??

July 29, 2010

Hello Little One?

It's good to have rejoined the world again. Sure, I was thrown into the deep end back at work yesterday, and the kids were off.the.wall - but it was satisfying. :)

I wonder if there's anything going on within my body right now, I'd love to know whether this little embryo has implanted (or even if it's going to), with progesterone masking any possible changes - tender, swollen breasts etc. The hubby mentioned yesterday that I'm being awfully calm and patient about this whole waiting time, I told him that the closer it gets to next Thursday (blood work day) the more antsy I'll probably get.

A woman who has been cycling with me (IUI) took a home test yesterday and had a negative result, despite being adamant that her symptoms were pregnancy related. I'd told her that it was too soon to test, but she wanted to do it anyway. And now she's disappointed and waiting until her bloodwork. I don't want to say I told you so, but.... well. ;)

Time to go and knead some bread dough, then onto some paperwork for a meeting tonight.

July 28, 2010

Pea in the Honey Pot

I go back to work today (in about an hour) after sitting through a meeting last night and another one is scheduled for tomorrow night (different tiers of management). Although I’m a little anxious about using my body (or stretching/lifting too much), it’s time to rejoin the world again. Live some kind of normality for the next week-and-a-bit before my blood test.

Speaking of which, that’s now scheduled for Thursday (August 5th) at 9.30am, with results available in the afternoon. Many people have asked me if I’ll be taking a home pregnancy test... the answer is no. If I get a positive after all of this, I want to find out over the phone and then see lines for myself on a test. If it’s negative, I don’t think I could bear to see another BFN. So that means waiting the full amount of time.

I was told by the embryologist and my IVF nurse that implantation usually takes place 3-4 days after the embryo transfer... which means if it’s going to happen it may have already, or will be sometime day (nervewracking!). Besides the occasional twinge on either side (internal healing from egg collection last week) I feel normal. Although if you ask the hubby, he’d probably tell you otherwise... skin has broken out in a mass of teenage-like pimples, my emotions have been awry and despite my best fibre-inhaling efforts the progesterone is determined to clog up my insides (sorry!).

It’s funny, for the first couple of days after the transfer, I was worried that using the toilet would mean the embryo would fall out... I didn’t call my nurse about it but I did consult Dr Google.Apparently your embryo will not fall into the toilet bowl (imagine a pea in a pot of honey, it takes an awful amount of force to knock it about!).

Since this entry’s turning into a marvellous blog of toileting habits, I think I can consider this update done *nods*.

July 25, 2010

Transfer Day

One of our embryos stopped dividing after Day 2, but the rest (seven!) have plowed on.

Embryo transfer is done. One very healthy-looking embryo (an expanded blastocyst at 5 days!!) was inserted into my uterus via a catheter through the cervix (not as painful as it sounds) this morning.

See that white speck in the middle of the screen? That's our embryo.

Even though we were the first transfer scheduled for this morning (there were four other couples waiting, including the woman who was sitting across from me in recovery on Tuesday), the nurse on duty hadn’t shown up which meant the embryologist couldn’t get started until an hour later. As luck would have it, our IVF nurse was called in to work instead and got to hold the ultrasound wand on my tummy during the procedure (so the embryologist could get a clearer picture). And getting the transfer done by Prof. Gab Kovacs (an IVF pioneer in Australia and internationally) ... icing on the cake.

You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when we got to see a print-out picture of our embryo (sadly, not to take home!) and it looked perfectly round and healthy... so excited. And the best news? All of the remaining seven embryos had made it to blastocyst stage.

Err... what?  o_O

Apparently that’s not all that common, you literally had to pick my jaw up off the floor after that one. We’ll find out more in the next day or so about their grade, as they’re allowing them to continue developing a little more before picking the best candidates for freezing. But seriously... seven healthy blastocysts out of eight fertilised eggs? That’s brilliant news! :D

July 21, 2010

Fertilisation Results

*deep breath*  Results are in.... are you ready??

Out of the 14 eggs that were collected yesterday -
14 were mature
14 were suitable for fertilisation and mixed with Matt's sperm
8 fertilised and are dividing
2 more are fertilised but are being sluggish (I blame hubby's laidback genes :P)
Transfer day is Sunday
11 days after transfer I'll find out if I'm pregnant.

This result is even better than I'd secretly been hoping for.
Maybe, just maybe, we have hope.

July 20, 2010

The Harvest

Egg collection was this morning, and all things considered I don't feel too bad. A little bit groggy due to after-effects of the anaesthetic (they needed to give me some Zofran and even that struggled to hold me at bay for a while...whoops!) and tender down below, but only a little spotting.

My specialist wasn't there today to do my procedure (!!) but instead i had a lovely lady named Dr. Hope (yep...seriously!) who reminded me a little of my naturopath and had been on the news talking about IVF recently. She seemed really nice!

A little off-putting was getting to speak to the embryologist and walking into the operating theatre and being greeted by the team of four before getting to lie on the table and the mask coming down over my face. The room swam a little and then I woke up in recovery about half an hour later.

.... There was some great news there (I wondered if I dreamt it first), a smiling face told me that they collected 14 eggs!!

I'm so thrilled by that number, only four days ago they told me there were six follicles and now there were many more eggs. I'm not doing a huge happy-dance as yet because I don't know how many are mature, how many will fertilise etc. I'll find out tomorrow, and then they'll advise whether we'll have a 3 or 5-day embryo transfer. In the meantime, I'm going to rest up and relax and feel satisfied for my body coming through for me.

July 19, 2010

Egg Collection Day

I haven't been writing in this blog as much as I should have been over the last couple of weeks... I've been keeping some things to myself while other aspects of life I've been sharing with other friends.

Injecting myself has become easier over time, in fact I nearly escaped unscathed (no bruising) up until two nights ago, when a slightly wrong angle resulted in the tiniest of tiny bruises. Then came the HCG injection, to trigger my body to mature and release the follicles - that happened last night. Sure it was a syringe (as opposed to the Puregon pen) but I survived it. ;)

Want to see an amusing side-effect of the HCG injection?

Yep.... it makes you test positive. ;)

I've been feeling slightly uncomfortable over the last few days, mainly a bit of bloating, sore breasts, mild cramps and tiredness... all just uncomfortable, not too annoying (after hearing other people's stories I was expecting a horrible time). I know it'll all pass soon.

Which leads me to tomorrow.... egg collection day! At my scan last Friday they counted six follicles (I was hoping for more, but my nurse and specialist agree that this is a good number for someone my age, as egg quality tends to be good in your 20s). Who knows what tomorrow will bring, all I know is that it's time for bed and in 12 hours time I'll be under anaesthetic. wish me luck!

July 11, 2010


Day 4 of FSH injections.

Yesterday passed in waves of emotion, I just couldn't keep it in. I think that it was a bit of cabin fever (being at home for two weeks) coupled with a lack of sunshine, and a healthy dose of artificial hormones. Thank goodness I woke up this morning to a cloudless blue Winter sky, a hot cup of rooibus tea and a farmer's market full of organic yummies. It made a world of difference to my mood, and I feel almost ready to tackle being back at work tomorrow morning.

... I did say almost.  There's a little more work to be done tonight before bed (it's 9.20pm) because let's face it, I have a healthy dose of let's-leave-it-all-to-the-last-minute going on. It wouldn't be life otherwise. ;)

July 8, 2010

Grow Follicles, Grow!

It took me half an hour of holding the instructions and shaking like a leaf, all the while my husband sat next to me giving moral support, before I was able to give myself the first FSH injection.

And you know what? It didn't even hurt.

I'd psyched myself out that this was going to feel exactly like the Zoladex injections (they were very thick needles; the doctor did those) mainly because they were going in the same spot. But I did it.... I DID IT! I've officially started this IVF cycle and there's definitely no going back now.

Grow, little follicles, grow! (but don't overstimulate)

July 7, 2010

Blood Test Results

Well, the results are in and apparently my oestrogen levels are "within normal range" (I didn't think to ask what they were at the time).

I get to start FSH injections tomorrow.

And because I can, here's my attempt to get both my face and blood-prodded elbow into a single frame. I'm cool like that, you see. ;)

Blood Test

I had a blood test this morning to get my oestrogen levels checked and I'll find out the result in a few hours. Keeping my fingers crossed for this one because it'll mean I can start FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) injections tomorrow. If my levels haven't fallen low enough then it'll mean continuing with just the Synarel for a bit longer before getting rechecked.

My body has been getting used to Synarel, I'd been feeling very tired (a bit 'foggy') and was prone to emotional outbursts for a few days there, but now I'm just getting irritated nasal passages (ie, sneezing more often) for the first couple of hours after sniffing. I'll be on it for at least another 14 days, so it's good to know that it hasn't been as bad as I'd heard.

I'm going out to dinner with the girls tonight, which I'm looking forward to. They've been curious about the whole idea of IVF too, and I've been upfront and honest with them about it (rather than keep it a secret; if we share in it together the support network is bigger).

July 1, 2010


Four days into Synarel and I feel a decided lack of... well, not much. Some ladies on the boards I frequent have complained about headaches or dizziness on this drug, but I haven't experienced very much of that at all. If anything I've been a little tired, but that could be due to the cold my husband brought home with him at the beginning of the week.

I take my last birth control pill tomorrow night, so it will be interesting to see whether I get a period or not (according to my nurse, I may get a full one, just spotting or skip bleeding completely as my oestrogen levels are lowering as a result of the Synarel).

I've had twinges in my pelvic area the last couple of days and was feeling a little bit down emotionally last night, so who knows? I've turned my body over to the capable hands of Monash IVF for the next couple of months, so whatever happens... well, happens.

... and in the meantime, I sip the glass of white wine that I've been told I'm allowed to have occasionally. All about the sanity, you see. ;)