Tag Archives: In vitro fertilisation

Tin

Why hello friends.

I took the train to my scan yesterday so here is the latest instalment of Train Journeys To And From The Clinic. Behold:


Small latte and a mozzarella, tomato and basil black pepper baguette, fact fans. Also bonus featured in the foreground is my kindle and reading glasses case.

Another piece from my Train Journeys To And From The Clinic exhibition:

I call this beauty: “I was literally the only person on the train.”

So that was an exciting start to the day. The good news just kept on coming because my lining is a peachy 10-11mm. Luscious. They were extremely busy and running late so decided to perform my scan in the embryo-transfer room. It was very strange being back there after so long. I remembered all my embryos that are gone now and the one that is still here. It was also done by a (very lovely) nurse who took ages and ages. Then a few more ages. Then zoomed off in a panic about something and took a further (Stone) age to return. I missed my train, but was given the green-light go ahead, thumbs up for transfer so who cares.

Oh my God I nearly forgot:

Jason Mraz – I’m Yours

Stevie Wonder – Signed, Sealed, Delivered

California Dreaming’ – The Mamas and the Papas (eye roll)

Coldplay ft. Beyonce – Hymn for the Weekend

The Eagles – Hotel California

Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

Olly Murs – Dear Darlin’

Womack & Womack – Teardrops

This Old Heart Of Mine – Rod Stewart

Soz, I was in there ages.

Bonus fact of the day: it is very nearly my 10 year wedding anniversary. I am hoping that I will be pupo this year. I never thought when we got married all those years ago the road to babies and parenthood would be quite so littered with pot holes, rabid dogs and blind hills as it turned out to be. Anyway, I have one more day of buserelin, then I up the estradiol to 10mg (does that make anyone else sick? I am all the sicks), start Utrogestan (*weeps*) and continue with Evorel patches every other day until a week on Wednesday when everything crossed, we will have an embryo to transfer.

We have almost made it to the end of this FET and what will probably be the end of the line for us as far as baby-making goes. I am 90% decided that I don’t want anymore treatment after our miracle frosties have been transferred. We have jumped through all the hoops now for this FET (not particularly elegantly) and the end is in sight. Just a couple more (rather important) embryo-thawing obstacles to navigate.

BB xx

p.s. Apparently 10 year anniversary is Tin. Hmm. If you have any genius anniversary present ideas then please hit me with them in the comments below. Ta chums.

 

 

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Patchy

As I suspected, the little witch arrived too late for a down regulation scan on Friday. I did however make it to the clinic for repeat thyroid bloods on Wednesday to Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, Damien Rice. Seriously.

I had a whole exciting blog post written in my head about Wednesday but sadly I’ve forgotten the entire thing aside from something about the people on the bus being smelly so probably for the best all round.

I had my down regulation scan today instead. And I got the train and nobody was smelly (or maybe that means I was?) First things first: flower news update. They have replaced the fake flowers with fresh. Apart from they are getting a bit old and my God did they stink. Maybe I have a sensitive nose (see above), but that is no excuse for half dead, mouldy flowers. You can buy flowers for £2.99 in Aldi. Maybe I’ll put that in the suggestions box.

The good news is that I am Officially Down Regulated. Hurrah! Someone give those ovaries a high five. Lining was a peachy 2.6mm. Dermoid nasty was unremarkable. My tsh results had not arrived back yet but my nurse went foraging for them and found them lurking some place. We were awarded a 2.4 so good to continue with no thyroid medication, gold star!

I have been given the green light to crack on with oestrogen patches. Hopefully this will cancel out some of the buserelin side effects because I have been somewhat of a dragon on them this time around. I just did my first patch however and had a minor whoopsie. The nurse told me the patches were ‘very sticky’. The packet it came in was very thin. I started trying to open it and peeled off the front. It was very sticky. I stuck it to my leg. It’s basically a big advert saying ‘HELLO I’M HAVING IVF’ and I have a swimming lesson tomorrow. I am not happy. So dumb to make the patches with all the information written on the outside. It has the name of the drug, the dose. This is so strange. I read the instruction leaflet. I have stuck the label to my leg. I open the pack and stick the patch to my leg instead. It is see-through and basically invisible unless your face is at the top of my leg (what the hell are you doing).

So now I have one patch, alternate days for two weeks and continue with buserelin. Then two patches on alternate days, plus buserelin, for another week. My next scan isn’t until 10th October… by which time my lining should be all beautiful and lovely and ready for a transfer.

BB xx

 

Lower your weapons! We have a plan (ish)

Wow, thanks ladies. I’m glad I have such a fierce team behind me. I sucked up all your outrage and spoke to the consultant yesterday evening.

ME: Why do I need a laparoscopy again? Why? WHY? Oh god, what’s wrong with me? I thought you said I shouldn’t have anymore surgery? Wh…

DR HERO: (interrupting) Oh umm, yes, well that must have just been an error. You don’t need a laparoscopy. I don’t think it would be beneficial for you to have any further invasive surgery, but I would recommend a hysteroscopy to check on the scar tissue we found and possibly remove a small polyp.

Oh. Turns out that for whatever reason, I was accidentally booked in for a laparoscopy and it’s been changed now to a hysteroscopy. Much less offensive. He also said although he would recommend it, the hysteroscopy is optional and I don’t have to have it if I don’t want to.

When I had the scan, I asked about the lining and the nurse told me that bar the small polyp it looked normal so I am slightly alarmed to hear about scar tissue (thank you ERPC!). I’ve decided not to think about it anymore.

I don’t know about you, but I am finding that whatever hospital I go to, whatever clinic, this entire assisted conception journey is an absolute administrative battle. My new clinic are so pleasant and helpful on the phone, and to their credit sorted this little drama out within a day. Do you feel like you are constantly falling out of the system too? I feel that unless I am chasing and questioning constantly there are delays; that I’d never get any information if I didn’t ask questions. I wonder if they appreciate how uncertain and stressful this whole process is and that a better level of communication would go a long way to alleviate some of that. Hell, we might even be able to book holidays! Make plans with friends in advance! Can you imagine?

So, the exciting news is that I currently have more of a plan than I have had since September!! Scream!! Bad news is that it involves both a) hysteroscopy and b) Zoladex injections. I am going for my first Zoladex on Thursday this week, another one late December, hysteroscopy mid-Jan then commencing (fingers, toes, eyes crossed) IVF after that.

I am confused (no surprises there) about when I finish Zoladex. The doctor said 3 injections, but he also said that I’d be able to start Menopur a couple of weeks after the hysteroscopy. That would mean starting Menopur a few days after my last Zoladex injection which doesn’t sound right to me. Has anyone else been down regulated for months before starting straight onto stims?

I have a follow up appointment next week which is pretty pointless now, but due to my still high levels of confusion I’ve decided to go anyway and shall hopefully come away with a more concrete idea of what is happening when.

Since I’m starting down regulation on Thursday, I’m going to tell myself that IVF3 is officially afoot, even if my transfer (fingers crossed) won’t be until the beginning of February.

Now, come on 2014… show us some love!!

BB xx

More bad news! Why expect anything less!

Well, judging by my severe cramps and stark white pregnancy test, Project Miraculous Natural Conception is a bust. What a surprise. To add insult to injury, I’ve been chasing my clinic for two weeks to find out what my next treatment steps are. As I’m sure you well remember me whinging before, they said that they world proceed with one of three options depending on how my mid cycle scan looked. They were:

a) Hysteroscopy to check the lining
b) Zoladex injections to get rid of fluid and help with endo
c) Straight onto IVF

I finally spoke to someone at the clinic today who confirmed that they have booked me in for an operation on 13th January.

No, your eyes aren’t broken. Another operation. The only thing that both my previous clinic and this clinic have been clear on is that they want to avoid more surgery for me. The reasoning being that I have already had the endo extensively operated on and my egg reserves are now low; the benefit doesn’t outweigh the risk anymore.

What is the operation for? Your guess is as good as mine. I haven’t a clue.

Do I need Zoladex in the meantime? In the two natural cycles I’ve had the endo has apparently gone wild, so presumably another two natural cycles before the operation is a bad idea. Again, I don’t know.

All the information I have is that they have booked me in for an operation. Nobody has told me what it’s for and nobody has asked me if I want to go ahead with it.

I am beyond fed up now. I’ve emailed them a list of questions which hopefully a doctor will reply to soon before I throw myself out of the window.

You can fuck off now 2013. Please don’t try to cram in anymore bad news on your way out.

BB xx

No plan. What a surprise*

*SARCASM ALERT.

You probably forgot I had my follow up consultation yesterday amidst all the Pumpkin Smackdown excitement. Good job for you I remembered.

I was pretty nervous, but happy to be finally getting a new plan together. I was apprehensive about how the Christmas closure would affect this cycle and I wanted to know if we’d be cycling before Christmas or after Christmas. Well, I needn’t have worried because there are no fucking plans, and no cycling visible on the horizon anyway.

If you see me anywhere, will you tell my body to go fuck itself? Ta.

I will keep this short because I am so bursting with self pity and rage, it might grow so big you will die from reading it. Apparently, as well as a naff AMH, the antral follicle count unveiled abnormalities with my lining and fluid in my right ovary, around my uterus and also somewhere else important I’ve forgotten. This means I need to go back for another mid-cycle scan in about 3 weeks. This will either show that:

a) (unlikely) Everything is magically fine and I can aim for an embryo transfer in January.

b) (also quite unlikely, Dr Hero seems to think this will resolve itself?) The lining stays looking weird and I will have a hysteroscopy to investigate, and god knows what else once they find out what is wrong with it.

c) (most shit, and most likely) They will scan me and all the fluid is still there, which means it’s likely to be something endometriosis related. If this is the case, they want to try and shrink it, which will mean shutting down my system entirely: at least 3 months of that fucking troll Zoladex and no IVF cycle until March at the very earliest.

Fluid was present at a scan I had in July, so I can’t imagine it’s going to disappear anytime soon. My lining has always been fine so I imagine the change must be a result of the ERPC/miscarriage. I hope that it’s nothing drastic, but knowing my luck so far it will be. Why scar my lining? Why? Why me when I’m already so fucking infertile? Infertile is an adjective isn’t it?

I wonder how many people I know will be pregnant by March. I’ve been trying to get pregnant since 2010 and now I am looking at having a baby in 2015 at the earliest? Fuck off body. I mean it, just fuck off. I imagine I will actually be a fully fledged alcoholic by the time March rolls around.

I’m going to sign off now before I write fuck again. Oh, hang on, final bit of bad news. They think I will have to have a general anaesthetic for my egg collection (whatever, fine by me) because they are concerned it will be tricky, but now they are also suggesting the eggs might need to be removed laparoscopically. What the actual fuck? (oops, sorry)

His message was: don’t worry we will get there; you just might need “the extra special treatment”. Yeah well, fuck off I don’t want it. I am also crapping bananas about the cost of all of this “special treatment”. I’m not made of gold.

I am planning on going ALL OUT next month to become naturally inpregnated, even thought the chances of that are about 1%. Kind of imagine that if IVF is a no-no, magical natural conception will be a bad idea/impossible anyway but who cares. If you see my husband, warn him will you?

I’m going to go and have a nervous breakdown now.

BB xx

P.s. You are probably crying a lot about this. I know I am. To cheer you up I have transcribed a real life event that happened to me today on the bus. I had a pen and note pad in my handbag so this is how it happened IN REAL TIME.

A Bus Story
By an extremely barren Betty

There is only the Bus Driver, an Old Lady (sat at the back, 80ish) and myself on the bus.

We drive past an enraged man on the pavement who starts jumping around and screaming as we sail past him.

Bus Driver: (shouting at the top of his voice) If you’re not putting your arm out, I ain’t stopping!!

Old Lady: (also shouting at the top of her voice) You tell ’em! It’s just getting worse. York is the worst place to be a driver. It’s so dangerous! The streets are too narrow and the tourists are idiots. The whole place has gone downhill!

The entire following conversation is screamed at full volume

BD: I disagree… Ilkley is worse.

OL: Yeah, full of druggies.

BD: No, I mean for driving!

OL: Oh, shame. It used to be such a pretty place.

A police car comes into view ahead, sirens blazing

OL: Oh Lordy! would you look at that!

BD: He’ll never get through that gap.

OL: It’s probably a murder hunt.

Still shouting as loudly as humanly possible, which turns out if you are a bus driver or an 80 year old lady is pretty loud.

BD: I don’t watch TV anymore!

OL: Me neither, I got rid of mine.

BD: Yeah well, I got rid of mine AND the radio. I don’t pay my TV licence now either. They keep writing to me demanding money, but I just write back and tell them to get lost.

OL: Good for you. It won’t work though, what with the government? I don’t trust them. I don’t pay them anything.

Some further conversation ensues about beating the government that I don’t understand because it doesn’t make sense.

OL: (In a knowing voice) It’s a government authority.

BD: Yes it is.

Short pause while another Old Lady and an Old Man get on. OL number 1 turns to me and says something about Wetherby and teacakes, but I only hear every third word so I politely nod and laugh at the end. She seems appeased. She tells me something about rain. I laugh again and roll my eyes. She looks confused and slightly angry.

We travel for another 5 minutes in a beautiful silence, then the Old Man presses the buzzer to stop the bus at the next stop and walks to the front of the bus preparing to alight.

OL1: (turning to OL2 and still shouting) You’re not supposed to get up until the bus stops.

OL2: I know! There are signs up everywhere. He can’t have read the signs!

Old Man stands firm at the front of the bus.

OL1: If you get up early and you fall it means you can’t sue ’em!

OL2: No. People who stand up early are just making fools of themselves.

Old Man looks stoically straight ahead into the mid distance.

OL1: I know a lady who did that and was terribly injured. I won’t go into it.

OL2: Impatient idiots.

OL1: Yes, just like car drivers.

Never mind all the onboard drama. The bus driver was a LUNATIC. It is 40 minutes of extremely windy roads which we hurtled along AT 60MPH (I don’t know what that is in American; it is fast for a crap bus). It was terrifying. I travelled the entire journey in the brace position.

I get this bus pretty much every week and the same oldies always get on it too. I decided to apply my rule about flying – ie if the air hostesses cry, then shit is bad. The old people seemed totally chilled, if not somewhat euphoric. Now I am wondering if they are going somewhere every week, or if it is just purely for the thrill of the ride?

The AMH News Report

I am aware that I have been somewhat quiet of late. Maybe you are less aware. Probably. Whenever anyone else posts, “I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long!” I usually think either a) have you? or b) who are you again?

I kept going to write something, but I just kept writing long, whiny posts filled with boring crap. I also (thought I) was on the verge of getting news everyday: about to go to an appointment; about to get some results; about to get a New Plan. However, as I’m sure you all know All Too Well (I sang that in a Taylor Swift voice) waiting is par for the course with all this IVF shizz. More waiting. More admin fuckery. Blah blah. The main news I have to report is that my AMH is 9.66. The nurse was very sad faces about this as it is apparently “very low” for my age. I am aware that a lot of you ladies have much lower AMH than me. I was sorta expecting it to be lower given the amount of invasive surgery I’ve already had on my ovaries. I’ll take 9.66, thanks.

My antral follicle count was 25 – 12 on the left and 13 on the right. I don’t understand how that fits with low AMH and I can’t be bothered to find out.

The upshot of this is that I will probably be having 400 Menopur instead of the 225 I had last time. I feel irritated that the other clinic never bothered to properly check my ovarian reserve. I’m not sure what they based my dosage on other than I have severe endometriosis. I feel irritated that they wrote in my notes (and also told me at egg collection) that my response was “sub optimal”. Well, I recall them informing me that I “might only get one egg”. Pretty sure that 2 eggs = pretty fucking optimal according to that. I think they knew exactly what they were doing, and they gave me a low dose on purpose. They told me not to worry because I’m only 30 which means that “the one egg we get will be a good one”. Yeah well, thanks for that. Dick heads.

I should have known a couple of weeks ago what my next plan of action would be. I should have known last week. I should have known this week. I could go on about this for a very long time but I’m tired, so luckily for you I won’t. I will tell you that I have an appointment with the consultant (Dr Hero!) again on Monday so hopefully a New Plan shall be forthcoming then. If it’s not, I am going to go mental. Mental in many, many ways. Many you couldn’t even imagine. Don’t try; it will break your mind (this is coming from a person who a few weeks ago spent several days in bed. Not asleep, not reading, not crying, not watching TV. Just lying there. Like a statue. All day.)

I don’t know what to say. I appear to have failed at not writing a long, whiny, boring post. Sorry about that, but I think I’m about to projectile vomit a big dirty whinge-boo-for-me right in your faces. Two of my cousins are due on my non-due date. A lot of my friends are currently pregnant. Scratch that, most of my friends are pregnant and most have babies. Most are annoying. Most don’t understand. Most feel awkward around me. Most don’t want to know how I am. Most are very happy right now with babies and houses and good jobs. Most can spend all their hard earned savings on nurseries and family cars and houses with gardens. Most have families around them who are excited and happy, not sad and disappointed. Most have lots of friends to hang out with in the same boat as them. Most are pregnant; most have babies.

Sorry, I’ll clean that up later.

I’m attempting a new Get My Shit Together routine which includes Eating Properly and Doing Exercise: current World Record is 50 lengths in 35 minutes (sandwiched by a 5 mile power walk). I am intermittently stopping being an alcoholic but that only seems to last a couple of days, then a nice glass of Sancerre has my name on it and you know, one thing leads to another.

I have missed my virtual world the last couple of weeks so I shall endeavour to be more present in it from now on. I bet you have missed me too, you guys.

BB xx

P.s. Any more current fancies? I have a new one: Pasha from Strictly Come Dancing. This will be meaningless to any Americans, sorry. When I go on Strictly, I hope I am paired with Pasha.

Wrap me up in red tape and hang me with it

Oh, you get lots of posts when the shit hits the fan don’t you?

I have to confess, this post title is slightly dramatic. I wrote it yesterday when I was trying to book an appointment to see a specialist closer to home. Turns out I couldn’t do that without a referral from my GP… which, you guessed it, I don’t have yet because I’ve only just moved. Marvellous. Not one to be deterred, I dragged my husband down to register yesterday so that I could make an appointment to see a GP who could then refer me. Alas no, that is not allowed. Of course not, silly me. You have to wait 24 hours for them to put you on the system, call back tomorrow. I cried. They didn’t budge. I could have climbed over the desk and added my own bloody name to the database in about 2 seconds flat. Anyway, I was bound by the red tape yesterday, bound I tell you.

Good news is I successfully managed to book a private scan for Thursday, and an appointment with my GP for today.

I sat in the waiting room. They were running very late. The doctor kept coming out and calling people in. There was a lady sat in front of me with her husband, a baby and a toddler. The baby kept pulling happy faces at me. I felt annoyed. Then the lady turned to her husband and said, “oh I hate that doctor. She is awful. She is so nasty and mean. She is the worst doctor in the world, I will never go to see her even if I think I am dying.”

I don’t know why, but that affected me so badly. I was obviously already feeling pretty stressed, but my anxiety just hit a new high once I started worrying about having to persuade the doctor that I really need help. Would she believe me? Would she just tell me I’m being silly and wait for the 12 week scan? Would she even refer me?

Infertility is really turning me into someone I don’t recognise. I am a proper nervous wreck at the moment and have been for sometime. I felt more stressed waiting to just go in and see the GP for a chat than I have done for interviews, or big exams, or even the effing viability scans. My body seems to have developed a whole life of its own where it just does whatever the fuck it likes irrespective of what I want, or what is going on in my head.

Anyway, panic was unfounded. I mean, I get it. I can tell the doctor ain’t one to suffer fools gladly. She won’t be writing any hypercondriac sick notes. Lucky for me, I am no fool so I was fine.

I can’t tell you how much better I feel. I did spent a large chunk of the appointment crying and trying to speak through snot and hyperventilation but I think I covered all the basics. The good news report (in light of my imminent forthcoming miscarriage, obviously “good news” is perhaps not exactly the phrase to use but whatever):

1. I was beside myself with the idea of booking a midwife (hour long!!) appointment when I am having a very highly likely non-viable pregnancy, nevermind booking the 12 week scan. The GP hasn’t booked me in for anything yet. She agreed we might as well wait it out and book it later if a miracle happens, pigs fly and my fragmenting, dwindling foetus glues it’s bits back together and starts randomly growing again.

2. She thought she could get me an NHS scan instead of my private one. Of course, they didn’t answer the phone while we were there but she just called me and she has booked me in for another early scan tomorrow morning (NHS! free!). She also told them that she thinks I need continuous monitoring for the next few weeks for the potential-ovary-torsion situation and the viable/non-viable foetus situation. Excellento.

3. She is happy to refer me wherever the hell I like. She can write me a letter on the day, and I can be on my merry way whenever.

So that’s it. Not exactly good news, but I won’t hang myself with the red tape any time today. I feel like I’m being looked after rather than thrown to the dogs. I think I will have probably avoided any emergency trips to A&E if they really are willing to just continue to monitor me, and once it’s all over I should be able to go privately quickly for another round of IVF.

So my next scan is now tomorrow instead of Thursday, and hopefully continuing hence forth for however many weeks this embryo clings to life for. I don’t think it will be long. My husband can’t come with me tomorrow so I hope I can keep my shit together. Apparently I have to take an overnight bag “just in case”. Bleugh.

I imagine I will update you with my ever increasing bad news shortly, lucky you.

BB xx