2dp5dt – Nothing in the Freezer

Hospital called – our three remaining embryos aren’t suitable for freezing. They only freeze good quality blastocysts and unfortunately those three haven’t made the grade.

I’m disappointed but not surprised – over the course of 5 cycles we’ve only ever had one frostie (which failed to defrost anyway). I can’t help but feel a bit nervous though. Ok, our embryos don’t make it to the freezer because they aren’t good quality. So what does that say about the two I have in the oven at the moment? Does that explain why we’re on our 5th cycle of IVF, despite having seemingly ‘great’ looking embryos transferred every time?

Anyway I have a bad cold and my PMA light is blinking red/empty. I’m bloated, constipated (thanks progesterone!) and my stomach looks like it has been attacked by Lilliputian bows and arrows. This freezer news has made me feel a bit sad.

I think I’ll have a raspberry Magnum.

2 embryos on board

Very pleased to report that I now have two blastocysts carefully snuggled in my womb – one ‘top quality excellent’ (doctor’s words) and one ‘smaller one’. What a relief!

The last few days have been exhausting. I’m on loads of progesterone this time around (2 x cyclogest pessaries AND a daily injection of Lubion) and it’s giving me some crazy dreams. Barely slept at all last night worrying about this morning’s transfer. Very pleased it’s over and very pleased we got two good ones.

Now I can relax and enjoy the 2ww*. The embryologist will call tomorrow to let me know if any of the other 3 remaining embryos are suitable for freezing – 1 is at the ‘compacting’ stage which means it might just make it to blastocyst in time. Anyway, not worrying about that for now. Not worrying about anything for a few days**!

*haha

**about 2 days I reckon, then I can start obsessively Googling ‘early pregnancy symptoms’ like a mad woman

And then there were 5!

I spent the morning clutching my mobile in my sweaty, eager little hand, willing the embryologist to call. She said she would call in the morning so she called at….11.55am. Erm, thank you for that.

Anyway good news – 5 out of 6 eggs were mature and all 5 successfully fertilised. What a relief! I’m pleased. I know we still have a long way to go but this is a weight off my mind. The ICSI situation threw me off balance yesterday – now I feel hopeful again.

I have decided to skip my Thursday lunchtime yoga class today as I feel like I’ve been pummelled in the stomach – or maybe karate kicked by a midget. I’m still sore and bloated so no downward dog for me today. It’s a shame as I LOVE yoga and I feel like it has really helped me through the last 12 months of fertility hell, but I think I need 24 hours of taking it easy. I’ll make up for it in a day or two.

Egg transfer is scheduled for Monday (day 5), fingers crossed our 5 little embryos keep growing until then.

Half a dozen (organic) eggs

downloadEgg collection happened this morning and I’m pleased to report that we got 6 eggs – from 6 follicles. What a relief!

As with all IVF stuff there is no such thing as a ‘good news day’. So whilst busy punching the air with our 6 egg news, we also received the news that husband’s sperm sample wasn’t good enough for ‘regular’ IVF and we’d have to opt for ICSI instead. Apparently his count had reduced from 5 million in our last cycle to 400k in this one. How did that happen?!

The embryologist asked if he had been unwell 6-8 weeks ago. We didn’t think so…and he’s been taking all his supplements. It’s weird. We need to follow up with the doctor on this one. 6-8 weeks ago he was rather stressed out (I was hit by a motorbike – long story) so perhaps that had a negative impact on things down below. Anyway, c’est la vie. We just need to deal with it – and we are VERY good at dealing with double whammy good/bad news these days.

I’ll get a phonecall tomorrow with news of how many eggs fertilised. ICSI can sometimes cause eggs to break up, so we’re just hoping that amongst our 6 there are a couple strong enough to cope with ICSI and make it to fertilisation. I am egging on my eggs – more news to follow.

Day 5 scan – feeling deflated

Well, I’m feeling a little disappointed this morning. Had a day 5 scan and looks like there are only 4-5 follicles growing. My left ovary is almost totally asleep.

So frustrating, I had 10 follicles in my last cycle (which we didn’t use as it was a frozen cycle) and 7 the time before. I’ve had 4-5 day 5 follicles in the past, back in the days when I knew nothing about IVF and was living in blissful oblivion of DHEA, CoQ10 and all the other ‘magical cures’ I’ve been chugging. My effort with diet, supplements, gallons of water etc don’t seem to have made any difference.

There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, my blood work has been almost exactly the same for each cycle. It’s the good old IVF ROLL OF THE DICE again. The doctor said it’s normal to have fluctuation between cycles and ‘it only takes one’, blah blah blah. I know it only takes one but I’m fed-up. I feel like a failure again. Aren’t we due some good luck by now? Why me? Why us? Why is God/Allah/the Universe not cutting us some slack?

We’ve decided to go ahead as planned. I’m worried if I cancel this cycle I’ll have 2 follicles next time, or maybe none at all, and will regret missing this opportunity. I’m also not getting any younger. I asked the doctor what he would do and he pointed out that he doesn’t have a crystal ball, but that we only really need one good embryo. That’s true, but what we really need is one positive pregnancy test. Hopefully my measly follicles will produce THE one this time around.

And so it begins! Again!

In the words of Mr Robert Plant – good times, bad times, you know I’ve had my share*. And I managed to have a pretty good share of both in the space of 12 hours today.

I kicked off my day with an early morning scan (‘dildocam’ ….sorry…..bad I know) to assess my antral follicle count. In my last cycle I had 7-8 follicles on day 2, pretty good for someone with my IVF history. This morning, after a good few minutes of rooting around to find my ovaries (is that good or bad?!), he counted 5 plus one small one. Not so good. I felt gutted. I’ve been taking DHEA for more than 2 months now along with all the new supplements. 5 follicles? Really? Is that all?

Anyway he took a blood sample and said that if my FSH level is 11 or more, we should cancel this month’s cycle and wait until August. He promised to ring between 6-7pm and I wandered off towards work, feeling disappointed and grim. What exactly is an FSH level? Surely mine will be crap, given that I seem to be mildly crap at everything IVF related?

I passed the day by doing my actual job that I am paid to do, and my part-time job which is Googling things about IVF, – ‘what is a good antral follicle count?’, ‘what is a good FSH?’, ‘how can I grow my follicles?’, ‘what is the highest FSH number you can have and IVF might work’, etc etc etc.

The day dragged on.

I walked home at 6pm clutching my phone in my sweaty little hand, staring at it forlornly every few minutes.

He rang at 6.59pm. My FSH is 7!  What  a relief – a piece of good news at last. That is actually a pretty good number.

So, despite my 5-6 follicles I am going ahead as planned. My hormone levels are good. Fingers crossed those follicles will grow nicely over the next week or so, and who knows, maybe a couple of new follicles might even appear. I did my first Menopur injection tonight and will go back for another scan on Saturday. I could do without another day like today – I think I like good news days and bad news days – not all news days.

* …well my woman left home for a brown eyed man, and I still don’t seem to care’ (that bit didn’t happen today)

Check out my stash….

… of neatly arranged IVF medication.

image

As arranged and photographed by my OCD-tastic partner in crime, Mr Husband.

So everything arrived today and we’re all ready to get back on the IVF bus, next stop pregnancy town. Let the waiting and worrying commence!

First mini hurdle will be the day 2 scan around the 29th June to see how many follicles I’m growing. Fingers crossed the DHEA has kicked in by then, watch this space.

A bit of good news

A teeny bit of much needed good news from the hospital… my AMH blood test is still 8.6. That’s 8.6 after a year of IVF, the same level I started with.

8.6 isn’t a great level for someone my age and I’m still in the ‘low fertility’ camp, but I’m really pleased that my egg reserve appears not to have changed much in a year. Basically AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) gives an indication of the number of tiny little eggs floating around in my ovaries. I’ve been imagining the number dwindling on a daily basis since we started IVF, so it’s a relief to know that isn’t the case.

Anyway it’s a small mental victory. Roll on our next (and final) cycle of IVF with my own eggs….! I’ll be back on the bus at the end of this month.

Today I Will be Mostly Eating….

sheff

I’ve been thinking about things I can do to improve my lot in time for the next cycle of IVF. We’ll be getting started again in early July. That’s not a lot of time when it comes to ‘improving one’s lot’ from an IVF perspective. Do you know it takes 3 months to create an egg? Well, yes it does. So I’ve actually already made the eggs we’re going to use in early July. That doesn’t stop my brain from wanting to do SOMETHING though. So I’ve chosen two things, let’s hope they make a bit of a difference between now and then.

1. DHEA. I’ve started taking 75mg a day of this slightly scary supplement in addition to all my other supplements. Side effects include hair loss, irritability, anger and a booming voice. I’m worried I may turn into Mr Bronson but I’ve decided to go for it anyway. Studies show it can improve ovarian function, which sounds pretty damn good to me, hair loss or not.

2. Eating more protein and less carbs. This study shows an 80% improved pregnancy rate amongst women who eat 25% or more protein in their daily diet, and less than 40% carbs. Amazing right? Sign me up….

….I signed myself up a few days ago. Since then I’ve been keeping an online ‘food diary’ using the ‘My Fitness Pal’ app. I had no idea how hard it is to eat more protein. The first thing I noticed is that I really don’t eat that much. That is a very strange thing, because I feel like I eat loads and loads – yet I’m averaging less than 1200 calories a day. Really? Yes. My eyes are definitely bigger than my belly. I have a few mouthfuls and I’m done. This is going to become an issue, see below.

So there’s that. And then there’s eating more protein. I need to eat around 90g a day which is 30% of my daily diet. So far today I have eaten a yoghurt and some blueberries (6g protein), TWO hard boiled eggs (yuck, seriously?! 12g protein), a little big of salmon and some edamame (15g protein). I’m pretty full now. And I still have to eat another 55g of protein today. WTF? How can 2 eggs only be 12g of protein?

Anyway I can see the way this is going….

batidos-para-aumentar-masa-muscular-despues-ejercicios

I guess I need to befriend the protein shake (25g  protein in one drink – hooray!). As I don’t eat much meat this is going to be tough. The low carbs thing is also hard. Do you realise there are carbs in everything? I think I may have to give up sugar, bread, rice, potatoes, fruit, booze and vegetables. Not quite sure what I am going to eat for the next few weeks but it may resemble something that Fred Flintstone would enjoy.

I really want to give it my best shot though. If it works, it’s worth it. Maybe I’ll develop some killer pecs in the interim. If you have any easy ways of eating high protein, low carbs in about 5 spoonfuls please let me know.