4DP5DT…written Saturday 19 November.

The TWW wait is going OK.  I’ve been feeling calm and have been sleeping reasonably well…always a good indicator for me. The hardest part right now is the clexane Injections! Good lord! I had no idea what they would be like but it turns out that they burn like hell for about ten minutes and leave a bruise. I can actually tell how many days I’ve been taking it simply by counting my bruises. Leaning next to counters or trolleys is very sore. Oh well, nothing to be done and if it helps achieve a healthy pregnancy it’ll be all worth it. 

Today my husband and I were at lunch and I shared something that was on my mind. I know I’ve said that this is my last try but I’ve been wondering if I meant that. I think if it ends in miscarriage then I do, but if it simply doesn’t take and we get a negative result, I’d like to try again with the two frozen embryos we have. My  husband was delighted… he wanted the same thing but didn’t want to push me into another cycle if I wasn’t up for it. Yay for being on the same page!

1DP5DT…written 16 November.

We got news this morning that one embryo made it to day 6 and was frozen. This is the same outcome as our last cycle, the difference being that this cycle we used 8 eggs compared to 16 last cycle, making this cycle more successful. So we now have two frozen embryos and 8 eggs remaining…still hoping we don’t need them though. I’m feeling ok today, although some work frustrations have given me a niggly headache, grrrr.

Transfer day…written Tuesday 15 November. 

Transfer  was booked for 11.30 today but we had to arrive at 10 for the atosiban drip. Everything went smoothly, although they ran an hour late and so my bladder was FULL. The doctor was actually horrified and emptied it a little with a catheter (ouch….it still stings to wee), repeating that he couldn’t believe I had managed with that full a bladder… lol, what can I say, women are just better at tolerating these things than men?! 

What was very nice was that our actual doctor did the transfer for the first time ever. There are four specialists at the clinic and they usually rotate days…We’ve just never been there for transfer on our doctors day. But today he requested that he get called down to do our transfer despite it not being his day, which I really appreciated. He knows how long a road we’ve travelled and it was nice to not be treated as a number. 

The transfer went very smoothly once my bladder was deflated a bit. Today, Day 5 we had 4 good looking blasts, three hatching. We transferred the two best and will know tomorrow whether or not the remaining two will be frozen. I really hope they will be although more than that, I’m hoping that we don’t need any more embryo transfers ever again. We even took photos for the first time ever because we’re convinced that we will never be going back into that room. 

I also did some other things this time around which I’ve never done before. I kept my feet nice and warm. I hear this is good for blood flow to the uterus. I also avoided ice cold water and only drank tea and warm water. I know this sounds odd but I’ve met a lovely massage therapist who also does Reiki. He offered to do distance healing for me…. I’m pretty sceptical but hey, can’t hurt right? He also really helped me to visualise positive outcomes and to get my own energy right, which I did, and felt very calm and peaceful… and even a bit optimistic. From transfer my husband and I went to my naturopath so that I could have acupuncture. This was great and I’m going back again on Tuesday. Now I am just chilling with a warm heat bag on my tummy, warm feet and pineapple ready for dessert! 

Tonight I will start baby aspirin and clexane and continue with the estropause, uterogestane and estradot every second day. (Update on the clexane….ouch, it burns). 

I really couldn’t do much more and am hoping that this is our cycle. Test day is scheduled for 28 November which is 13 days post 5 day transfer. I’ve queried this as it is longer than previous cycles, so we’ll see what they say. 

A great morning… written 14 November 2016

Today was a big day in my family and I have been anxiously staring at my phone waiting for two very big pieces of news.

This morning my sister gave birth to her second daughter. It  hasn’t been an easy pregnancy at all and there was concern that the baby might have Down Syndrome. I have just had news that my sister has delivered her baby girl safely, and that she is perfectly healthy. What an immense relief. Of course we would have loved her unconditionally but I am overjoyed that my sister and her husband do not have this challenge to face.

We have also been waiting for news on our embryos, having not heard how they are doing since Friday.  I have just had the call from the embryologist and all 6 have continued to grow normally over the weekend.  We are so thrilled. Transfer is booked for 11.30am tomorrow but we have to go in at 10.15 to have an atosiban drip administered. This is new since our last transfer and is now standard with all IVF protocols at our clinic. Apparently research has shown that the uterus contracts very subtly, sometimes slowly and sometimes fast. If they can calm the uterus down and ensure that the contractions are minimal, the chances of implantation are better. I’ll take better chances of success any day. 

What a great morning. 

Nupogen wash….written Saturday 12 November 2016

This morning I had the nupogen wash. The procedure itself is similar to having a pap smear, so no big deal really. The worst part is that you have to have a full bladder. My appointment was for 8am and the doc kept me waiting until 8.45. Honestly, procedures requiring a full bladder should  always be  punctual…it’s just not fair to keep a lady with a full bladder waiting. And then you have to lie and wait for the nupogen to do its thing for 20 minutes…sob! And to make matters worse I have a slight tummy bug, so was having to keep things extra tight, if you know what I mean. Anyway, it’s over now and will hopefully help the embryos stick and implant. Here’s hoping!

We were told not to expect news of our embryos over the weekend so we won’t know how they’re doing until Monday.  To be honest it is actually better for me…somehow time passes more quickly and less anxiously when I’m not waiting for news. So on Monday morning we hear how our embryos are doing and my sister has her baby…Kismet. 

Fertilization report…written 11 November 2016

So you may or may not remember that we had 16 donor eggs and one embryo frozen. We have decided to transfer two embryos and so the decision was made to thaw and fertilise 8 eggs and then to use the best two embryos. 7 of the 8 eggs survived the thaw and as of this morning 6 are developing normally. We won’t hear back until Monday as they don’t report on the weekend.  So let’s hope those 6 have a blessed weekend. Grow babies grow.

The gift of hope this Christmas

Blogging friends, a lot has been happening in our lives which we were unable to share up until now. I’ve actually blogged the whole way along but they are all in my drafts folder…I’ll be making them public shortly for those on a similar journey who might find comfort in the details of someone else’s process.

For those who prefer to skip straight to the end…I am 8 weeks pregnant following a Donor Egg Cycle we did in November. So far, this pregnancy has been very different from our previous two in that it has been entirely ‘normal’… implantation bleeding, beta’s doubling in 33 hours, a strong heartbeat of 132bpm at 6 weeks 4 days and perfect growth a week later and an even stronger heartbeat of 160bpm at 7 weeks 4 days. Listening to the sound of our baby’s heartbeat was perhaps the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. There were no tears, just enormous grins, laughing and thank you’s.

Medically, we have done several things differently this cycle, including a neupogen wash, an atosiban drip on the day of transfer, intrallipid injections, clexane, prednisone and progesterone injections rather than pessaries. I have also continued with acupuncture and chinsese meds. As we had decided that this would be our last attempt, we decided not to hold back and to do absolutely everything we could think of to maximize our chances.

Emotionally, we didn’t tell anyone about the cycle. This was actually very helpful in facilitating a calmer process. Whilst we have so appreciated the enormous love and support we have received over the years, the flip side of it is coping with a lot of concern and questions during cycles. This is especially tough when things are complex and there is a lot of uncertainty. This cycle we had only our own emotions to deal with and I lent on my husband and team of professionals for support during the key aspects of the process. By far the most beautiful part of not telling anyone was that we were able to ‘announce’ and surprise our loved ones for the first time ever. The joy and shock when they found out was beautiful… a wonderful memory that we’ll always treasure.

On the whole I feel peaceful and optimistic. There are moments of anxiety and fear, but I keep reminding myself that this is a different pregnancy and that we are doing things very differently… in the hopes of a different outcome and a baby in our arms sometime around the 6th August. This is the only gift I want this Christmas.