Wednesday, May 25, 2016

To test or not to test

Last time I went through IVF I choose not to take any home pregnancy tests but rather wait until I had the blood test at my clinic and got the official result. This time I have been thinking about testing earlier. The reasoning is that it would be nice to prepare myself a little, especially if the result were to be negative. The problem with home testing is that it can be difficult to figure out exactly when to test. If I look at this which shows the day to day of what should be happening with the embryo, it suggests you can start testing on day eleven already if not sooner as your levels of HCG the pregnancy hormone should be high enough by then.

However some clinics like mine get you to give yourself injections of the HCG hormone during the two weeks after transfer which could then cause you to have a positive test even if you aren't really pregnant! I read that it takes roughly one day for each 1000 IU amount of HCG hormone to leave your body. So since I had a 2500 IU injection on Monday then I wouldn't want to test before Friday to be totally sure. However I found another link that said it can take up to a week for a 2500 injection to leave your body! So getting a false positive may not be so unlikely.

And what if it's negative? Well it's possible it's still too early and you should wait and see what the blood test says to know for sure. Even if the test were to give a faint positive, then testing a few days later should show the line getting darker if the HCG level in your body is increasing which is a good sign. A very faint line could possibly indicate a chemical pregnancy. Despite all that I am still considering testing, but taking the result with a pinch of salt. I will try to wait until the blood test but it's starting to feel like time is passing at a snail's pace. On the other hand I am beginning to feel more nervous as the deadline gets closer. I just really hope that it works this time. I hate the thought of having to go through the whole IVF process again.

Monday, May 23, 2016

One week down #MicroblogMondays

I'm nearly one week into the two week wait now. Since the rough last few days I've been feeling fine again and pretty much normal. Now and then I thought I felt the odd twinge or pinching feeling in my uterus which could possibly mean some implantation is happening but who knows! Hopefully work will be a distraction and the time will pass quickly until my blood test next week. 

I already had a friend texting me today asking about whether I have any baby news yet, even though it's only one week past transfer and WAY too early to know anything! This is one of the reasons why I was hesitant to tell people that we would be doing IVF as I didn't want to get asked if it had worked or not. I would like to decide on my own terms when I am ready to share, no matter what happens. If it's positive then I would ideally want to wait a few weeks and see if I stay pregnant unlike last time when I sadly ended up having an early miscarriage and if the result is negative then I also might not feel ready to talk about it so soon. 


Painful cyst after transfer

As you can see from this post title it's been an eventful few days and not in a good way unfortunately! The first two days after transfer I was feeling great! I had to give myself another shot of the HCG hormone which also went fine. Then Friday morning I was awoken at 6.30am with severe stomach cramps. At first I wondered if it could be implantation cramps already although it would be too early for that. It was very unpleasant as I couldn't use a hot water bottle or take a painkiller (both unadvised during pregnancy) so I had to just grin and bear it. I couldn't seem to get comfortable or go back to sleep so I got up and had a glass of water and tried to relax on the couch but I also started feeling really nauseous at that stage. I even wondered if it could be morning sickness but again unlikely this early! Awhile later it got really bad and I had to throw up. I also felt weak and dizzy and the pain which seemed to be centered around my right ovary was not getting any better. 

At that stage we phoned the clinic's emergency number and were told to come in and get checked out. I felt very nervous going there wondering what could be wrong with me. I also worried that it could be OHSS but that seemed unlikely since I only had one egg extracted and it rarely happens for poor responders. After waiting for over an hour on the uncomfortable waiting room chair I got to see a doctor. She examined me and said that I don't have any leaking fluid in my stomach which would indicate OHSS but I had an enlarged ovary from the hormones and a ruptured cyst on my right hand side which is causing all the pain. It should go away by itself but if the symptoms get worse over the weekend I shouldn't hesitate to go to hospital and she recommended I come in for another scan Monday. I was relieved it was not even more serious and also glad when she commented that my womb lining looks nice and thick! 

For the rest of the day I still had a dull pain but I seemed to be feeling a lot better and the nausea was also gone by the afternoon. The doctor said I can take paracetamol but I decided to not risk it if I can avoid it just on the off chance it might affect the growing embryo. I also hope all the stress of the past few days won't stop the embryo from implanting! Over the weekend I felt gradually better and was back at work today. This morning my scan also looked fine so thankfully the cyst does seem to be going away by itself.

I can say from experience that having a ruptured cyst is extremely painful and horrible. I also can't help wondering whether it might have been avoided, like whether my clinic could have noticed it growing and drained it or warned me about it at least. Another thought I have been having is that if this IVF round ends up with our miracle baby I doubt I would want to do it again in the future. Despite the fact I would love more kids, I don't think I would want to keep putting my body through it. Right now a healthy baby and not having to do IVF anymore is my wish!



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Transfer day is the best day

This morning I went to my clinic for my appointment still not knowing if I would actually have something to transfer or not. When I arrived and the lab guy asked my name he seemed to be confused or something which made me worry that my name wasn't on the list and then he went to get the doctor's assistant. So then I was worried that he might be getting someone to talk to me and tell me the sad news that my embryo hadn't made it. Thankfully that wasn't what happened! The assistant arrived and took me to the quiet area to relax and drink some water while I waited to be called. I think the lab guy was just in a bad mood that day.

The circle and bloom relaxation tapes have one specifically for transfer day so I listened to it and tried to calm my mind. When I went in for the appointment the doctor firstly got me to confirm my name and birthdate and then informed me that we have a really great looking embryo; 8 cell with some "construction". I was so happy and relieved as you can probably imagine! The transfer itself also went without problems and afterwards I relaxed for awhile and the nurse gave me some instructions for the next two weeks, No sport, baths, or hot water bottles on my stomach and I should drink lots of fluids and try to avoid stress.

When I googled 8 cell day three embryos with compaction I came across a positive study which says they have a higher chance of leading to pregnancy than ones without. I feel like I have good reason to feel positive that this just might work this time!

I've been feeling so happy, ecstatic basically that we have a chance at all this month. So today has been a really good day!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Awaiting the call

Last night it took me ages to fall asleep and I also woke up early, at 7am which isn't like me on a Saturday. I think it was the nerves. Last time around the clinic had phoned me around 11am with the fertilization results so I was expecting the call around the same time. However they phoned while I was in the shower and my phone was on vibrate so hubby also didn't hear it. I tried to call back but it was displayed as "private number" therefore I wasn't able to and since it is outside of the clinic's opening hours I haven't been able to get through to them since. 

I can't believe that they didn't phone me again or leave a message! It would be nice to know for sure whether we have an embryo growing at the moment so I can at least relax this weekend and not be worried, but I just don't know now. I am hoping that if the egg did not fertilize that they would make an effort to get through to us on the phone because that would be beyond awful if I ended up showing up there bright and early Tuesday morning (Monday is a holiday here) only to find there is nothing to transfer. 

Since we would only have one embryo unlike two like last time our chances of it working have decreased. They say it's only about a 13 percent chance with one, whereas it can be 33 percent with two. It's possible that getting the endometrial scratch several weeks ago increased my odds, let's be optimistic and say it doubled them, but that would still only bring the odds to 26% which doesn't sound that good. That's the thing with IVF though, the chances of a round working are never great but we try anyway.


Friday, May 13, 2016

It all boils down to one

This morning was the egg retrieval procedure. It went fairly standard without complications and afterwards I rested for several hours with a drip and then had an appointment with the doctor to make sure everything looked ok and finally get a chance to find out how many eggs were collected.

A very disappointing one. One measly egg, after almost two weeks of injections and close to one grand spent on meds. Not to mention so much hope for good numbers and potential extras to freeze. Don't get me wrong I am absolutely grateful and delighted to at least have the one but it is disappointing.

Tomorrow the clinic will phone me to let me know whether it fertilized and I am feeling very nervous about that. Last time we had a 100% fertilization rate, both embryos fertilized and were top quality so I am really hoping that this one might also be good.

I realise that our chances are not as great as they would have been had we gotten say ten eggs in which case the doctor could have chosen the best two embryos to put in. I have already started to think that maybe I need to stay somewhat neutral and prepare myself that it might not work. I read a few articles the past few days about women who are poor responders to the meds. It said we face a greater challenge than others. Nonetheless it reported that mini IVF can be effective which is where you have a cycle with minimum meds but still end up with good quality eggs and embryos, but it can take several more rounds to work and a lot of clinics don't offer it as it makes their statistics look worse. No harm having a plan B in the back of my mind just in case.

I am trying to stay positive for the call tomorrow. All our hopes rest on this single egg!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Day 12 Trigger time

Yesterday morning doing the injections I felt very unmotivated and dejected. I was wondering what is the point of me doing this if the meds aren't working for me?  Once I reminded myself that I only have one more day to get through and then I'll have a break from needles I felt somewhat better. Yesterday evening I also felt particularly run down and had stomach cramps so I just relaxed with a hot water bottle on the couch. I've started feeling more bloated and uncomfortable now, hopefully that's a good sign.


This evening at 10pm exactly I'll give myself the trigger shot. This is the hcg hormone will tells your body to ovulate in 36 hours. My egg retrieval operation will be Friday morning and the idea is to catch the eggs when they have finished their final preparation process in the follicles but just before they are released for ovulation. Therefore the timing is crucial.

Yesterday I went to the shops and stocked up on avocados. There was a study that showed that women who ate a lot of them during IVF had better odds of it working. So I'm doing what I can! Apart from that I will keep doing my meditation in the evenings and try to not be too anxious even though this is obviously a very stressful thing to be going through!


Monday, May 9, 2016

Ultrasound disappointment

I'm in shock, that appointment did not go how I was expecting at all. I had been feeling so hopeful that maybe all ten follicles would be growing this time and that we might have the option of as many as ten eggs this time with the possibility of extra embryos to freeze.

During the ultrasound the doctor was being very quiet and just taking some photos of the screen. I eventually asked "wie sieht's aus?" which translates to "how's it looking?" and the answer was not what I was hoping to hear. Apparently my body is just not responding well to the meds, like I had feared the other day. Only two follicles are growing. The rest haven't changed at all! 

The doctor even asked whether I would still like to go ahead with the egg retrieval this Friday, since I will most likely only end up with one or two eggs. I am so disappointed. It feels like my body is failing me again, firstly by not being able to get pregnant naturally and now by not responding to the IVF meds. Certainly having less eggs doesn't help our odds of this working.

I decided that I still want to go ahead with the egg retrieval procedure though because I've come this far already and since I had the endometrial scratch done the womb lining should be more fertile this month. I am hoping and praying that we will get at least one egg at the retrieval and that it will be mature enough, of good quality and then fertilize. The transfer would be a couple of days later if we even have something then to transfer!

The whole IVF process is so unpredictable and hard. I am trying to still stay hopeful but part of me is really worried after the bad news today.