Friday, November 30, 2007

Not So Much of the Over-responding

I had a feeling this cycle was doomed right from the scan that showed only six follicles. I had thoughts of cancelling but decided to go with it for a bit. As you know, a few more follies joined in and I felt a lot more happy.

At retrieval today I was hoping for about eight eggs. Not the biggest crop but I thought it would be ok. As it happens we only got five. 5. I'm so disappointed.

The embryologist was very sweet and said we're looking for quality here, not quantity. I know she's right but it stands to reason that more choice is best.

Of course some won't fertilise and then, out of any that (hopefully) do, some won't divide well. I'm not all that hopeful that we'll even get to transfer at all. Shit, this is tough.

I suppose it is all a learning curve. It did seem that I was at risk of over-stimulating. Seems quite funny now. We can change the protocol for next time.

Fertilisation report tomorrow morning. I'd love to be able to post a happier story soon. Please keep your fingers crossed that some of them make it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What Could Go Wrong?

Could the trigger injection make me ultra emotional? Perhaps I have just finally cracked, something is definitely making me cry.

This week, the one where I'm patting myself on the back for taking -almost-everything in my stride, just took on a new look.

Last night I had to trigger at 7.30 to be ready for theatre Friday morning. I must say that is one pressure injection, I was worrying about spilling it or screwing it up all day. I got home at six and decided to walk my dogs locally rather than drive to the usual park, just in case the car broke down or I got held up. Over the top cautious but 'better safe than sorry' is a definite trait of mine.

I walked them around the woods out the back of my house and played with a ball a little. It was pitch black so not much fun but good enough. About 6.45 I thought I'd head back to get all sorted. Bath, mixed up etc. Mr L was working late so it was just me. I trudged through the woods until I was just at the back of my house, not far from the garden gate, and then Wham!! I fell over. Spectacularly.

There is a huge log that has been there forever, I was being so careful about walking when it was so dark, but I must have lost concentration and forgot. I fell right over it. A comedy fall, not a trip. My hand went down a ditch and ny head/nose hit a huge rock. There was such a cracking noise and this huge white flash. Like a cartoon. I didn't think that really happened but it does! I was sure I'd broken my nose.

I gathered myself together in a daze and headed indoors, collected ice from the freezer and made a cold pack. I looked at myself in the mirror. What a mess! and I mean mess.

I phoned my mum and as soon as she spoke I started to howl. I gave her such a fright too because I just couldn't speak for crying. And I couldn't stop.

It was now twenty past seven and I had to get ready for the trigger. Still sobbing, I put the ice pack down, mixed the Pregnyl, injected the mix and went back to cooling my eye. I didn't stop crying.

I'm swollen today. It hasn't really bruised (I never bruise) but both my nose and left eye are fairly puffy and fat. And I'm still emotional. So much so I've taken the day off work, that's just not like me.

Theatre tomorrow morning. No make up, as spotty as I've ever been in my life, and now with a fat nose and swollen eye. Fantastic. It gets better and better.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Little Better

Thank you all so much for your comments on my last post. I cannot imagine where else one could find such a wealth of knowledge alongside people who understand the emotional swings involved in this journey. It's truly been a gift to stumble across such a place. I'm really grateful to have you all :-)

The latest scan room news is actually better. There are now 10 follicles. All but two measure between 13 and 17, the two little 'uns are 8 and 9. I feel better although I had decided if six was all there were to be then I would just have to deal with it.

On a very positive note, I am really growing to like this clinic. I have seen the same nurse every visit, she's so gentle-mannered, and I like the familiarity of the same face each time. Last night she said she would reckon on theatre on Friday (which was confirmed after blood test results today) but then she told me that she was sorry but she wouldn't be there, she goes on holiday on Friday. I'm really worried. I told Mr L that this had thrown me and he reassured me that he'd be there. 'Yes I know that but I want Nurse Gentle,' was my less than tactful reply. Oh dear, I seem to have offended him now!!

This week has flown by. I can't believe it's only a day or two of injections left. It seems too speedy when I consider the build up. And now theatre is looming.

Now that is scary on a whole new level!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Only Six

The first scan, after 3 days of stims, was last night.

3 measurable follicles on each ovary. 8,8 and 11 on each. Symmetrical, yes, but not so good I think?

After being put on this protocol, due to being classed as a potential over-responder, I kind of hoped for more.

Now for some help, even although I have read so many blogs for so long, I am still unsure. Does having 6 measurable follicles at this stage mean that this is all there will ever be, or can some still join in this game? I'm sure I should know this but I'm uncertain. I know I should have asked the nurse.

So the roller coaster continues. I don't like the dips.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Show is on the Road.

Yeah! I survived Granny's birthday party. The family behaved very well and the oldies had a ball, even the entertainment was better than I expected. I'm so relieved it is all over. I don't think I truly realised how worried I was about it all until the Saturday afternoon. I've included a picture especially for Ms. Planner!!

Another reminder that I was not 26 weeks pregnant as I had, at one point, worked out I would be for this event. Saturday was also CD1. Still, it wasn't a huge surprise, just another ironic sign that the world is laughing at me.
I phoned the clinic and made an appointment for a day 3 scan on Monday morning. (This was really so awkward for work too. I couldn't even inform them until I wasn't there, if you know what I mean).

I had convinced myself that there would be a reason to be delayed this month. I mean really. I was quite shocked when we got the go ahead to start. The next shock was the box of drugs. Yes, I've seen pictures, but there really are a lot of drugs, huh? The lovely nurse talked me through the procedure and I gave myself my first injection. It was fine. Really fine. I'm so glad.

So, this is my second day of injecting. 225 iu Menopur twice a day for the first two days. Tomorrow I'm down to 225 iu once a day and on Thursday I'm back to the clinic for a scan and (hopefully) if all is well, will start Orgalutran too.

I still can't believe we are finally on this part of the journey. For as long as it has been in the planning stages I didn't actually believe it would come to this. I'm sort of in shock. It is probably best to be in shock. It kind of tones down the reality.

I hope I can continue with my head in the sand for a little while longer. Real life can be ugly. This afternoon I had two pregnancy announcements within an hour and a half. No one who is a big part of my life but they still launched me through a range of emotions, mostly anger (why??). The second one was a girl who told me she was trying when I was pregnant (before it was looking dodgy) I just had this awful feeling that she'd have a baby before me. Even then. That's all sorts of messed up. And sometimes it is really horrible to be right.

I'm calm now. Just got to make it to Thursday without freaking out. Hopefully something is happening and we will get to see this cycle through. Isn't it funny what we wish for sometimes?!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Next Exciting Event in my Life.

My Granny is 90 on Friday and we are having a big party. My brother suggested the idea about a year ago, and then went back home to London leaving mum and I to sort it! We're having a meal (Tip to everyone-Don't book a sit down meal when you have a complicated family, the seating plan was a nightmare) As if this wasn't bad enough, we have booked The Tar*tan La*ds ( a pair of silver haired old crooners, must be at least seventy each by now- highlight of Granny's DVD collection) to play. Still, she's really excited so I hope it'll be worth all the headaches. Family are arriving towards the end of the week. Mostly from the UK but my dad, and his wife, are flying over from Australia (she's his mum but my mum was always close to her MIL and continued to be after my dad left)
It'll be nice to see everyone although I am feeling a little tense about both sides of the family being in the same building. It hasn't happened since my parents split. Surely everyone will behave?

And I can't help but think, when I was pregnant in July, I was hoping to be doing all this with a bump. Sigh.

Still, the up and coming cycle helps me not to dwell on what might have been. The short version is....

No down regulation due to my AHM being 17.4 . Seemingly being over 15 puts me at risk of over responding, so I'll start on day 2 or 3 of my next cycle.
CD 1 expected on Sat or Sun so scan/bloods/startMenopur probably Mon or Tue
Another scan/bloods on day 4 of Menopur. Start Orgalutran.
See how it goes.
Possible egg retrieval dates 27 Nov- 3rd Dec??

It all seemed so wooly and far away. I really haven't given it a huge amount of thought. Not really like me. Now I write it I can't believe it is all kicking off so soon.

It's probably good to have had Gran's party to organise, saves over thinking everything else. The major downside of this timing will be having to cope with Christmas only a week or so after learning the outcome. It may not be easy but I still thinks it beats having done nothing. The frustration was killing me.

Please spare a thought for me on Saturday night. Between kilted, geriatric bagpipe players, a room full of 80+ and 90+ (mainly) woman and a family with a LOT of baggage, all in the same room for the first time in a decade. I just hope I manage to make it to next week!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Cross Pollination Day!!

Today is cross pollination today. I'm afraid I can't display the jazzy bee icon because I'm at work and my work won't let me into Goehde's site. Too many rude words it would seem. Who'd have thought it?!
If you can't guess who the host writer is then follow this link to find out.

Today I am a guest blog writer here. It's Cross Pollination Day! I thought I would take this opportunity to answer the question I posed to the group for the last book tour - Happiness Sold Separately.
When I began visiting other blogs and reading responses I was surprised to see that nearly everyone had answered my question - which I thought was pretty cool. It was my first book tour and I wasn't sure my question was even any good, but apparently it really got people thinking. So, I wanted to share with everyone where it came from.
I have quite a few infertility books, and I keep them on my bookshelf, but when my family or friends come to visit, I always take them off the bookshelf and put them in my bedroom, or at least turn them around so no one can read what they are. I don't really know why I do this. Everyone we know knows what we have been through. But for some reason I still feel a twinge (or more) of embarrassment for not being able to do something that seems so simple, something so many other people do without thinking about it. I'm actually ashamed of myself for feeling this way though because I know that I am helping to keep infertility and pregnancy loss topics that people just don't discuss. I don't want to do that anymore. This is such a lonely and isolating experience that I hate to think about someone else feeling the pain I have felt and not having anyone to talk to about it.
I understand what many of you expressed about it being a private matter that you don't want to discuss and I completely respect that. But for myself, I feel differently now. I used to feel that way too - it was and is a personal matter. But I now feel a really strong need to share my story, my knowledge, my experiences, to help people better understand infertility and people who face it each day.
My goal for myself is to make an effort to not hide my infertility, to not be embarrassed that I couldn't carry my baby for a full-term, to share information with people at appropriate times so that I can help to educate people about these things. I began volunteering for RESOLVE in my area, even though it really hasn't taken off yet here. But I will keep at it and hopefully one day there will be more of a presence. I shared my story with someone the other day whose daughter is just starting fertility treatments. (I heard this through the grapevine) It was difficult to do, to explain to someone who doesn't understand, and of course she said all the "normal" things like not trying so hard and we'll end up with 8 babies using fertility medication, but it was good. I offered my help should her daughter need someone to talk to, to help with shots, or questions. It definitely made me feel less embarrassed of my own situation and I think it may help her better understand what her daughter is going through too.
I want to help to increase the amount of empathy in this world, to make infertility a subject so important to everyone that it gets the attention it deserves from politicians, employers, etc., and to help at least one other person from feeling the isolation that I've felt.
So, that was my motivation for the question. I really enjoyed reading everyone's responses to it. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Short Protocol, Why Would That Be Then??

I got the results back from shiny new clinic. AHM 17.4 (pmol/l), the nurse said this was a good number and, based on this, they would expect a good response.
I only have her word for this as the only guide I have managed to find is their own which reads.....

<1.0 Negligible responses to ovulation drugs. Expected yields of 0-2 eggs. Most are stopped prior to egg pick up.
1.0-5.0 Reduced responses to ovulation drugs. Expected yields of 1-6 eggs (normal average=11 eggs)
>20 High responses to ovulation drugs. Risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

We have an appt on Monday for the consent forms etc (and payment, no doubt!) I asked if I was to start down regulating on day 20 or 21, which is either Tues or Wed. The person on the phone (nurse?) said no, I'd be starting on the first day of next cycle.

I didn't question this at the time but now I'm not sure why this would be. Is a short protocol not for those who don't respond well? I've never done stims before so I don't know what to expect. The ovarian assesment was to decide the type of cycle. I'm now wondering if they think I'll have a poor response, in which case why would she say my result was good?

As much as I hate feeling out of my depth, it does look very like we will be able to cycle this month and, for that, I'm grateful. I think it will be a relief to do something, to be trying. I'm not overly confident that it'll all come together and I certainly am not taking the process as a given. I know starting a cycle is only the first hurdle.

I do feel quite at peace though. At the moment I feel we are doing the right thing. I am writing this now to remind myself it the next few weeks. I hope I can hang on to this feeling!