May 30, 2014

Scrapbooking Infertility and/or IVF Journeys

Here's the thing about scrapbooking... most of it is about showcasing happiness and contentment. I've fallen victim to this too in the past - it's easier to put on your rose-tinted glasses and write/create about what makes life great.

But what about the aspects of life that aren't so great? In my personal case, I'm talking about loss, infertility and IVF. Back when we were trying to conceive Rowan, I didn't include our infertility journey in any of my scrapbooking. I kept this blog (private at the time) as a place to get out all of my feelings about the process, and in my eventual pregnancy album made a single page where I chronicled the path we took to where we ended up:

(click image to see more detail)
In reality, the journey to conceive a child could have very much been a separate album. It might not have been the most positive album in parts, and over time I've learnt

May 15, 2014

FET #4 Preparation

Looks like we're about to start again! Saw the IVF specialist today and I'm booked for surgery in 4 days (a curette) to clear everything out and encourage positive immune response to embryos. It's all a bit over my head at the moment and very quick turnaround time, but at this point in time we'll give almost anything a try once to get my body in peak condition to welcome an embryo!
For more information about what we are trying and why it was suggested by our IVF specialist, see this article. Essentially, the point is to injure the endometrial lining so that the body rushes immune cells to the area, therefore giving the uterus a boost or so to speak. There have been some interesting studies about the positive effects these procedures have on women experiencing unsuccessful IVF attempts, I've discovered today. The effect of the immune cells lasts around three months too.
Interestingly, we got stats on the embryos transferred so far... 1 x B grade and 2 x C grade (transferred in that order). This last embryo? It's running a little late but got to being frozen in the end. Running late? Sound at all familiar? ;)
(for the record, Rowan's embryo was an overachieving early one... traits just like Matt!)
I also pushed for progesterone in the second half of my cycle (as recommended by our IVF nurse) and got a prescription for that too. So while I've prided myself on having 'natural' cycles so far, it's time to throw a little more at it and see what happens...

May 9, 2014

Another Negative FET Cycle

We lost another of our precious embryos this morning. To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement. With every embryo that I don't get the chance to grow and nurture beyond 10 days brings us one step closer to the realisation of potentially undertaking more full IVF stimulation) cycles.
We have one remaining frozen embryo left from the cycle that Rowan was conceived in, and have an appointment with our IVF specialist next week to talk about the next step (probably some progesterone support for the second half of my cycle). Years earlier, when pregnant with Rowan, I mused over one of those embryos joining us again one day, a special 'twin' (conceived in the same month) but born years apart. I always thought that was cool. With each loss we have, I feel sad that this might not be the case.
Can I even call these unsuccessful cycles 'losses'? It feels almost like a mockery of those women who carried babies for much longer. I'll never know whether any of these three embryos kept growing, tried to implant into my uterus or even started forming foetal/placenta cells.
If there is one thing I'll care to admit though, it will be that I'm glad every embryo we have had thawed so far has done so successfully... and all have made it home to within me once more.