Sunday, November 27, 2011

Transfer completed

On Friday, I decided to postpone transfer.

In the morning I rang the Queensland Fertility Group Lab to check on my embryos and was shocked to learn the 7 cell embryo was still just 7 cells, and the 8 cell embryo was now 12 cells. I got nervous, and thought it unlikely that the embryos would be viable given how slowly they were developing. The embryologist told me the 12 cell still looked okay, but the 7 cell was being downgraded, not because it looked bad, but because it was developing so slowly.

I rang my fertility specialist and he didn't seem all that excited by the results either. He mentioned we could move the transfer to Saturday, so we could see how they go. I decided that was a good idea. I'd rather not transfer unviable embryos. So at the last minute we decided to wait.

My anxiety levels crept up and so did Matt's. On Friday afternoon I rang the lab again and asked them to have another look at the embryos. Only 5 hours later the 7 cell embryo had suddenly kicked on to being 12-13 cells and the 12 cell embryo had started compacting into a morula. This is all good news. It is amazing how quickly it all changes. At 10am I think I might not even have any embryos to transfer, or at best 1. By 3pm everything is rolling well again.

Saturday transfer was early. Technically the embryos are just about 5 days old (based on when they made, and how long they've been thawed). Ideally they would be blastocysts, but when we see the embryologist he said in the morning when they looked at them they were both morulas. He then said he'd another sneaky look just before transfer and one looked like it has started cavitation, meaning it was turning into the blastocyst. Super news again!

My fertility specialist asks if I'm sure about putting them both in. Logically one healthy baby is the desired result, but I've had so many not work, my brain does not compute that two embryos going in could genuinely equate to two babies out. I can't even really perceive one baby out. I say yes to two embryos. My fertility specialist looks a little nervous for me. I'm glad he has so much confidence about the success of this transfer!

Matt and I slip out to the patient lounge and sit for 30 minutes and then it is back on with life as normal - like embryo transfer was just a trip to the dentist. I had lunch and movies with a girlfriend planned and Matt and I had a few errands we wanted to run before then.

I've got nearly 2 weeks before I do the pregnancy blood test.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The night before transfer

I'd be lying if I said I felt great. This week a few things have happened and I've felt waves of anxiety with every thing that has not gone quite so smoothly.

Firstly, yesterday morning I rang the lab to find out how our lovely little embryos went through the thaw, only to find the lab didn't have my paperwork. A few hours later my fertility specialist rang me and explained there had been a clerical hitch that resulted in my thaw instructions not being faxed. My paperwork was sent immediately and the thaw started a day later than planned. 

Today I rang again to find out how the thaw had gone and was pleased to learn I had 2 good looking embryos, one had 8 cells, the other 7 cells. I then learned that three embryos had been thawed, as one of my embryos didn't survive the thaw. 

I'm still booked for transfer tomorrow, but I need to ring first thing in the morning and make sure the embryos are still okay. If anything is looking iffy, the transfer may be moved to Saturday. I'm hoping that the two thawed embryos just keep on growing overnight and that tomorrow I will have only good news.

On the good news front, Matt has arranged to leave work early to be able to make the transfer, so he will be with me and we will both leave a hope in our hearts.

With the small setbacks, I admire my fertility specialist even more. He rang me personally to tell me that the thaw hadn't gone ahead and discussed all the options at that point with me directly. Again today he spoke with me about the result of the thaw and went out of his way to make a transfer time that was more suitable for us and making it a lot easier for Matt to make it.

Frozen embryo transfer (FET) eve has a very different feel than it did in August when we did our first  FET. Last time everything pre-transfer ran smoothly, however everything after transfer went pear shaped. I'm hoping these little set backs before transfer bode well for smooth sailing post transfer.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Frozen embryo transfer take 2 - Booked!

When I rang to get my blood test result it was all on! Being 'monitored' is a funny thing. I ring after so many tests and it is so dull, but when it's happening even the receptionist seems pumped! She rapid fired out instructions:
  • you don't need another blood test
  • transfer is on Friday
  • start luteal phase support tomorrow
  • how many do you want back, 1 or 2?
  • call on Thursday to find out what time your transfer will be
  • organise to pay your cycle fee
  • do you know what you need to do?
  • Okay good luck.
So my frozen embryo transfer is officially booked. Tomorrow our embryos will be defrosted. I'm pretty sure it is a more sophisticated process than a few minutes on low in the microwave. Over the next few days I will be able to find out how they are progressing right up until they put them back in.

On Friday Matt has the last day of school with his students - he's going to be getting wet and wild, Queensland waterslide theme park style. Meanwhile in a hospital room 100 kilometres away, I'll be with a doctor, and a number of strangers, getting knocked up -  well at least we both hope so. 

Thoroughly modern conception.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Excitement as a new cycle begins

Let's face it, I've had a crazy year. We've had a crazy year. Getting pregnant has been happening. Damn fallopian tubes have been a problem, but they are gone. I wonder about the babies that got stuck in the tubes, maybe they were okay, maybe they had the same chromosomal problems the babies that have miscarried did - I don't know. But surely out of eight shiny, beautiful embryos there must be a couple of good ones.

I've already started with blood tests, looking for ovulation this cycle. Based on the results that I'm getting, the fertility specialist thinks that is going to happen in the next couple of days and when it does, we are taking two shiny, little embryos out of the freezer.

Given our history, I don't think that both will take. All I want is one to do what it is supposed to do. And if somehow both stick, I'm ready to cope with double trouble. As ready as anyone - who has no kids and no idea just how hard that could possibly be - can be.

In the past couple of months I've been surrounded by people having babies, my neighbour, three of my work colleagues, my in-laws. I feel like I've cuddled more babies in the last month than I have in my whole life. And each cuddle seems to give me more hope.

I have such hope for this cycle I can barely contain it. Every once and a while I catch a glimpse of my own enthusiasm and I start to think about how having so much hope means I'm also potentially in for a big fall if it doesn't work. I'm throwing caution to the wind. I just don't want to put the breaks on my enthusiasm. I really want this cycle to work and I can't see any reason why it shouldn't, so why shouldn't I be hopeful, excited and positive.

All positive baby making vibes are welcomed over the next couple of weeks.  :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Work is just a necessary evil

This week I feel I could quit and never work again.

While I may have from time-to-time dreamed of being independently wealthy and not needing to work, the desire just to throw in the towel is a foreign feeling for me. I've always gotten some level of enjoyment out of my work. Right now my job is like a love affair turned sour - I'm going through the motions, getting the job done, but the passion has evaporated.

For a while there I thought it must have been the job so I was looking, looking, looking for something else. A new, exciting, less stressful job. This week the penny dropped. It's not the job, it's me. You see, I've gone crazy. Rational thought has left the head, all that remains is a relentless body clock ticking maddeningly chiming hourly "you need to get yourself a baby a get yourself on maternity leave".

I wish I could soak in the many thoughts and recommendations that everything will be fine and that we will have children and once we do I'll wish I hadn't wasted all this pre-children time being a nut case. While I don't mind people saying it and some days it may even make me feel better, most of the time it simply washes over me. It just doesn't matter how rational your arguments are, I can't hear you. You see, all I hear is tick, tick, tick. I think once you want to have a kid and you've had years of set backs, all the amount of rationality in the world doesn't help. I've actually gone crazy. Sorry. Rational discussion on the topic doesn't matter anymore.

When I think what would I do if I didn't work, the picture gets much worse. All that time to sit around and feel sorry for myself and think more about wishing we had children. No thanks.

I've realised it is more likely my personal dissatisfaction, versus my job dissatisfaction, that makes me not want to go to work. With this revelation I've come to a decision - I'm going to stop looking for, thinking about, applying for other jobs - and I feel really good about that.

Work is a necessary evil. Once I've got this part-time balance right, I'm sure it will be excellent. Just the right amount of distraction and time to do things I enjoy or that are good for my health.

I've also made another decision this week. As I'm clearly getting nutty again, I'm not going to wait to do my next frozen embryo transfer. I've spoken with my fertility specialist and he said physically there is no reason I can't try again straight away (I heard the subtext - but you may be getting a little nutty, so perhaps need to calm down a bit).

Nutty or not, I'm lining up again.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Back to life as we know it

A month has passed now since the curette and I'm in my fourth week back to work. I'm finding it hard to get the balance right with my part-time hours and my project's deadlines. Without a doubt I'm working less hours, so that's good.

What I've noticed over the last week or so is that I'm finding it really hard to get back on track with the discipline around what I eat and getting some regular exercise. On top of this, after months and months of not drinking, I've got a taste for post-work vinos again.

It seems that earlier in the year my motivation was the best chance of IVF success, then with the gallbladder issue I had no choice but to be good. My frozen embryo transfer cycle came straight after and I was still on roll at that point. Even when everything turned pear-shaped, I was doing a couple walks a day on the beach. The post-op infection led to a range of other problem that meant everything went straight through me. Now that discipline is required to keep the weight from creeping back on, and preferably still going down, I just can't find any. Everyday I wake up with the best intentions and nail it, until about 6pm and then there are snacks, desserts, wine and all things calorie laden. Urrrghhhhh.

Last week Matt and I discussed when we should try again with our next frozen embryo transfer. I've already reached the point of wanting to try again as soon as possible and Matt is happy to try again if I feel up to it. I can't remember when the fertility specialist said I'll be to do another transfer, but I'm hoping it will soon.

This part-time experiment was about being and feeling healthier but it just isn't feeling that way. I've even caught a cold this week making me feel more run down. I've been trying acupuncture and while I'm happy with the needle component, I struggle with the chinese herb and dietary recommendations (ie no dairy), so I'm thinking about dropping it.

I guess I feel uncertain, about work, about my health and about the chance of success with our next frozen embryo transfer.