Thursday, August 30, 2012

The low down and the down low

Damn you fertility treatment and your insidious infiltration of happiness and general well being!

This treatment cycle moved so quickly, I'm already on the 2-week wait roller-coaster and once again, it sucks.

Last week I went in for my first blood test on day 12 of my cycle. When I rang my fertility specialist to be told when I needed to do my next blood test I was surprised that I needed to go back the next day and go in for an ultrasound. I thought it must just suit the specialist to see me on that day for the ultrasound (which is to check that my uterus lining is looking like a nice soft cushion that little embryos would just love to snuggle into) and that he wanted the blood test result to check my hormone levels that corresponded with the ultrasound.

Once again the ultrasound is internal. To try to elevate some of the embarrassment about the whole situation my specialist starts a funny conversation about how his teenage son asked him what sort of deviate he was to decide to become a gynecologist. He assured me it wasn't because he wanted to look at girls private parts (phew).

Throughout the scan the fertility specialists say he thinks I ovulated the day before. What? Really? He needs to check the blood test result to be sure.

Once I'm re-dressed from the waist down I wander across to the doctor's consultation room. He is looking at my blood test results and confirms he thinks I've already ovulated (on day 12 of my cycle!). He confirms he is going to request my embryos are thawed that day and that transfer will be on 3 days time.

Crickey! I'm stunned by the speed of it. I usually get blood tests for a week and half, before we get to ovulation (which usually happens between day 18 and 21 of my cycle!).

I mention to the doctor I've had some spotting for the past few days. His face then looks perplexed. He explains while it can happen around ovulation, it is not ideal. He wants me to start progesterone medication immediately and to let him know if the bleed develops into a full blown period. If that happens, we will potentially have wasted the embryos that are being thawed.

Thankfully once on the progesterone the spotting disappears.

The thaw of 2 embryos for transfer results in 3 embryos being thawed, our last 3 embryos. One embryo didn't survive the thaw but the other kicked on, slowly at first, but by transfer day 1 is a blastocyst, the other still a morula. Both apparently look pretty good. I've nicked names these embryos obi wan and obi two, a tenuous link to Star Wars famous princess Leia plea - help me obi wan kenobi, you're my only hope.

I decided at the last minute to throw acupuncture in the mix again this time. I saw the acupuncturist just before transfer, that day after transfer and again 5 days post transfer.

And so, we wait. It sucks. Some days I think it has worked, other days I think it won't have worked. I really struggle at work at this time. I just don't cope well with the everyday frustrations and difficulties of the office. Everything that is crap about work is so amplified. All week I've been fighting with myself just to get to work. I get there every day and it isn't as bad as I've made it out to be in my mind.

Not long now before the home pregnancy test obsession will be let loose and we will see if obi wan and/or obi two have settled in.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Feeling futile

Before it was medically confirmed, I was pretty certain this transfer cycle hasn't worked. I did 3 home pregnancy tests and all were completely negative.

I blew off the blood test wait and went in a couple of days early to simply get the result confirmed. And it was - negative.

Did you hear the sound of the twist top wine bottle opening?

I've experienced anxiety throughout the wait and while I have definitely been frustated about a the cycle not working, I have already decided to head straight back into another cycle.

Logically I know I just have get ready to try again, but this failure has me asking questions about just how much more of it we can take. I resent the money we've spent on numerous treatments and treating lost pregnancies. Tens of thousands of dollars that is just running through our fingers like water. I also resent that my career is stalling. Spending more, earning the same, going nowhere, with nothing but pain, heartache, scars and sad feelings to show for it.

With failure after failure you have to ask, when do you stop? When do you decide to just simply get on with your life? While I don't know the answer to this question I do know, it is not yet.

Three frozen embryos are still waiting to be used, and I intend to burn through them, before ploughing straight on to make more embryos (presuming we are able to replicate another successful stimulated IVF cycle) unless by some miracle I actually manage to get pregnant, and have a baby.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Not pregnant (yet?)

As always, I cannot resist the urge of the early at home pregnancy test, and this time I'm not getting the result I want.

I tested 6 days after transfer, knowing it was really early, it was negative. I tested again the next day, 7 days after transfer, and still negative. Why test so early? Well, because we transfered 2 embryos, I think if they have both taken, it is likely I will get a positive early.

Last time we did transfer I got a positive at 7 days past my 5 day transfer of two embryos. By the time time we got to ultrasound there was only 1 baby, so I don't know if there were 2 at one point.

I am disappointed to not be getting a positive yet and beginning to think perhaps it hasn't taken this time. Not being one to give up, I'm waiting until 9 days post transfer to test again and if that one isn't positive, I will no doubt test again 11 days post transfer.

I think that what ever the result is on 9 days post transfer should be pretty accurate as 9 days post a 5 day embryo transfer is 14 days post ovulation, and when my period would be due if it weren't for the progesterone medications I'm on.

I've heard my friends still start their period, even when on the progesterone medications post transfer. Perhaps if I'm not pregnant this time, that will happen to me too?

My blood test will be 11 days past embryo transfer, and I guess if I haven't had a positive home pregnancy test by then, it will be settled once and for all with a blood test.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cycle mania creeps in

Its official. Fertility cycles mess with me. A few things I've noticed about myself in the past day or so that I believe have started as a result of the fertility treatment:
  1. I'm a sook. Not crying sook (yet), but things upset me more easily.
  2. I whinge. Everything sucks, especially anything associated with fertility treatment, for example I have resisted starting the progesterone pessaries because they suck, and now I've started using them I've whinged about it - a lot.
  3. I don't stick to plans. Fertility takes over everything else can wait - that includes riding to work, catch ups with friends
  4. I'm lazy (well lazier). The couch holds an extra special appeal right now. 
  5. I don't manage with the regular stresses of life well. A frustrating incident at work send me into a near panic attack and a less than helpful shop assistant has me demanding to speak to a manager or sending scathing emails to head office.
I've just been reading an online forum on bubhub for all the women going through fertility treatment in July/August. I don't join or post, but reading gives me a great sense of solidarity. Also, I realise while I'm certainly driven a little crazy by treatment, so are a lot of women. One lady posted that she was losing her mind having learned the next door neighbour's cat who managed to get out just one night was now pregnant. She was pissed off that the cat gets knocked up first go. 

So crazy has kicked in, but I don't think so crazy that a pregnant cat would upset me, but I'm not sure as it hasn't come up. It just might. If you have any pregnant pets, might be best not to mention it to me.

Hope still reins supreme. 

Not long to wait before we know if it has worked this time.