Thursday, June 1, 2017

Ups and downs of an IVF cycle

Well, I've arrived at the first descending part of the emotional roller coaster that is IVF. After my last appointment, I had two more days of injections to try to encourage the smaller follicles to catch up. At my latest appointment, it wasn't looking as good as I'd hoped. I have two big follicles on my left hand side, the rest are still tiny and it's looking less likely they will catch up. There are also two follicles on the right hand side though these are small. The doctor tried to prepare me by saying that worst case scenario is we might only get two eggs at the retrieval. My heart dropped when she said that. I had really been hoping that this new drug, Elonva which has shown promising results for poor responders like me might help or at least that the DHEA I'd taken for the past two months would if not. The doctor said that she really can't tell how many eggs I will end up with, I might be lucky and get more or not. So now I'm worried about maybe even ending up with less than two! Or if I do get at least two I'll be terrified that they might not be mature enough. During my last IVF attempt I got four eggs at the retrieval but only half of them fertilized. Although, the ones that did then grew into very good quality embryos, I still didn't get pregnant. There are so many unknowns in this whole process.

Yesterday's appointment was disappointing. This time I had a different doctor too and she wasn't as nice as the others have been. When I mentioned I was meant to get blood taken to get my thyroid checked she disagreed and implied I must have misunderstood (with the implication being because my German isn't good enough. Although maybe I'm just extra sensitive at the moment...). When she found a slip in my file which was marked that I WAS meant to get bloods taken she still didn't say anything nice and later when I was anxious about the number of follicles she wasn't exactly encouraging. I also started to worry that she might be turning the egg collection wrong and the follicles would be the wrong size, but I eventually decided that it's better not to second guess the doctor as that would just lead to more stress! I'll keep trying to trust that they know what they are doing.


Following the previous scan where I had seven follicles growing, I had started to get my hopes up thinking how amazing it would be if we ended up with six or seven eggs meaning even extras to freeze (and maybe a potential chance of a second child!). I was getting carried away too far on the positivity cloud and now I feel like I've being rudely awakened from the dream. My thought after the appointment was "I'm just so sick of this sh*t". Excuse the language. I don't normally curse but IVF brings it out of me! Maybe it's a good thing we have decided this is our final round as I feel like I've reached my limit. It's so frustrating to go through a week of injections only to not have your body respond as well as it should.

It was also just one of those days where everything that could go wrong did. A good friends at work announced they would be leaving in a few months. After my appointment I went to the pharmacy beside the clinic and they were out of one of the meds I needed. They had the other two but they wouldn't sell me those as you aren't allowed to get items on a prescription from separate pharmacies apparently. On the way home, I was in a bit of a daze trying to figure out how I'd be able to get the hormones I needed in time to do this morning's shots and I went to the wrong platform just as my train was pulling off. The subsequent train ended up being delayed so I missed my connection and had to wait half an hour in a train station in middle of no where. I didn't end up getting home till almost 10.30pm. It was a long day. There was also storm with really loud thunder and I wasn't able to sleep for ages.

So then this morning I had to get up extra early to go to the pharmacy in town which normally stocks IVF meds (at my local pharmacy you have to order them and it can take several hours at least). Once there after waiting in the queue, I find out that one of the drugs I need isn't available at the moment (Predalon). This is for the trigger shot which I have to give myself tonight at exactly 9pm. When the lady at the pharmacy said I would need a new prescription, I started panicking! It just felt like everyone was going wrong. Luckily she was helpful and said she could phone the clinic and get them to fax over the new prescription (for something called Brevacid which is the same thing just twice the price apparently). Crisis averted. While I was waiting for her to get the meds for me, a pretty young mother came in and then the pharmacist ignored me and went over to 'oo' and 'ahh' at the baby for several minutes. At this stage it was getting later and later. Granted the baby was pretty adorable but come on! Eventually I got my meds, raced home, did the morning injections (I've been told to stimm for one extra day to try to give the follicles a chance to catch up) and then just about made it in to work on time.

The GerMann has been very supportive I must say. He keeps reminding me that he loves me whatever happens and says I'm not letting him down (sometimes I feel like I am). He said that he hadn't been getting his hopes up too much and had been remaining "realistic" about it all. He's used to us only getting a few eggs at the retrieval. I know whatever happens, we will have each other. I still really really want this to work though. The egg collection will be in two days. I'd appreciate if you could please keep sending prayers and positive thoughts my way!

12 comments:

  1. Oh man! You've had such a rough go of it! I can really relate....during our last cycle 3 days before the expected retrieval our RE offered up the suggestion that we cancel the cycle all together due to lower numbers than previously. It's such difficult news to hear after all the scans and injections! I hope those follicles catch up and your retrieval goes well. Also, I hope the rest of your week is better and you can do some nice things for yourself :) Sending lots of good thoughts!!

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    1. Oh, by the way - I'm "Chasing the Stork" on WordPress :)

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    2. Thanks for your support Sarah! Yeah it's really disappointing to have a scan like that after all the build up and injections and scans. I wish this whole process wasn't so hard at times!

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  2. Oh goodness, all those little things added up are really frustrating! I hope your little follies grow and you get a great number at retrieval. Thinking of you!

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    1. Thanks so much! Yeah it just seemed like everything was going wrong! I've been thinking of you a lot too. I really hope you are doing ok now.

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  3. Copingwithmiscarriage.wordpress.comJune 2, 2017 at 2:40 AM

    Sending you so much positivity! I know exactly how you feel about not knowing if you'll get enough eggs and if you do whether they'll mature or not. Although we're all at different stages we're all in this together and I'm really rooting for you. X

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    1. Thanks so much! Yeah everyone in this blogging community totally gets it which is nice. x

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  4. I so so feel for you, we never had problems with response to the meds, but we had downstream problems with implantation and then ectopic pregnancies etc. I just want to tell you that each cycle is separate, each batch of eggs (even just one) will have its own story. I went through many cycles between fresh and frozen and the my son was born from a highly improbable embryo (frozen on day six because it was slow, from a vary bad cycle, and then single thawed embryo) which I didn't even want to go ahead and transfer I was so sure that would not work. So I suppose what I'm trying to say is that you need just one good embryo. tons of positive thoughts from the UK. Fran

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    1. Thanks Fran. It helps to think of it that way actually. It's also true that everyone seems to have their own roadblocks on this journey. There as so many things that can go wrong in the process, but when it works it's amazing.

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  5. Hang in there. You are far from yourself while you are on all the medication so be patient with yourself and try to bear that in mind, not to mention the mental torture you are going through with no real idea what the outcome.
    I think you are doing amazing, functioning as best you can, continuing to live 'normally' and work.
    I wish you every success. I know less eggs mean less chances but you only need one good one so there is every hope still.
    Best of luck and more.

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    1. Thanks so much for your support, Tric. Yeah, the combination of the added hormones and stress can be tricky! Let's hope there will be at least one really good embryo this time!

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  6. Reading your posts reminds me of just how horribly stressful IVF. Even natural IVF isn't that much less stressful. You don't go through injections like that but you have to go to the doctor more often.

    I'm sorry you're having to go through this.

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