Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Week Six: the search for a size comparison that isn't fruit . . .

A lot has happened since the last time I updated with our good news. (Well not that much, but it makes me feel like I'm more productive)

- I went to see the nurse at my fertility clinic. She moved me onto progesterone pessaries (1/3 the cost of crinone), told me that the horrific pain I was having (not to mention the five month pregnant bloating) was hyperstimlation rearing up again (yay!), and let me know how far along I was (5 weeks and 2 days at the time - it's now a week later so I'm 6 weeks and 2 days)

- The pessaries are . . . Different. (TMI alert) They're inserted like a tampon, twice daily, then I have to lie down for half an hour. In that time they melt and the progesterone gets in my system. The side effects seem less extreme then the crinone, but in combination with the heat, they're not the most comfortable things in the world.

-the hyperatimulation is more under control now I understand that I have it again. It's controlled through drinking water and Gatorade, and while it's still a problem, it's significantly improved.

-Nausea kicked in over the weekend. At first I thought it might be the tummy bug doing the rounds, but that was a 24 hour thing, and this has been 5 days, so not so much. No vomiting, but relatively strong nausea, particularly in relation to food. And it sticks around until early evening.

-Almost everyone knows. Which both comforts me and terrifies me in equal amounts. Some people picked it up through the massive, swollen belly I had last week.

-I am pretty terrified of something going wrong and I probably will be until we a) hear a heart beat, b) see a scan, c) get through the first trimester d) are holding the baby. Part of the problem is that symptom are changed by the progesterone, so I don't feel like I'm controlling my body, so I don't feel like I can trust it. I keep holding on to all the positives though - it was a strong positive result, I've had no spotting at all, I'm healthy . . .

-we have our first baby things. A cute singlet with planes on it (we're both plane enthusiasts, M. More than me, though I do intend to impart my love of Spitfires), two winter onesies, a pair of tiny red sneakers and two board books (including Where is the Green Sheep!) I also got a present of a bib and a singlet from a co worker who promises to hold a baby shower, even though I'm changing jobs at the end of the year.

- And our current due date is . . . 22 of July :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Verdict

The phone call came at 1.14pm

My doctor was on the end of the line and he said the magic word . . . Congratulations.

I'm pregnant.

It's still really early days. I still need to take the crinone to make everything hospitable in there. And we won't get our scan for a few weeks due to a whole bunch of real life stuff going on. But for now, we're just enjoying it (well M. is. I'm really bloated and achy, so not so much)

A pregnancy and I didn't even pee on a stick once!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A different kind of two week wait

Well, only three more sleeps until my pregnancy test and I can honestly say that this has been a very different two week wait.

Some of the differences:

- I know almost all my symptoms can be attributed to the progesterone. Which actually stops a lot of fretting. Instead of worrying whether it's pms or pregnancy I just blame it on the progesterone.

- My breasts are definitely bigger. As in, my bra is getting rather small and hurting me. So, I need to go bra shopping or get a crop top of some sort.

- I know that the first part was already done.

-I'm very, very, very tired. Like fall asleep at work tired.

-I seem to get progressively sorer during the day. Especially in the stomach.

All in all, it's gone much quicker than I thought it would. Just a few more days and we might know something, one way or another . . .

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Words I hate seeing

Whenever I've started a new drug during this cycle, I've done a bit of research of the side effects. Something that really irritates me is the number of time side effect information is proceeded with 'Most women experience no side effects'

Obviously, I'm in the minority because I've experienced a multitude of side effects with each of the drugs!

Synarel - tiredness, achiness, forgetfulness, mood swings (all to extreme levels)
Gonal-f - hyperstimulation, bloating, tiredness, cramping
Crinone - tiredness (yes, I've just been tired for the last 6 weeks!), sore breasts, depression

I realize they put the 'most women' in the information to calm worried women who are about to put all these hormones into their bodies, but when you're already the minority (infertile), the last thing you need is to know you're even more of a freak because you have side effects to everything!

(This post totally brought to you by a person trying to distract herself through the two week wait)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another type of hormone: the wonders of crinone

So, soon after the egg pick up (still want to say harvest), the doctor put me on crinone, a vaginal gel that contains progesterone. (if that's tmi, you may not want to read anymore.) basically it prepares the uterus for pregnancy and then acts as a support.

The application of it is easy, but not necessarily pretty (unlike the shots and the nasal spray, I can't do this one in the car). The side effects, though, are the real killers. Someone described it to me early as having all the symptoms of pregnancy and all pre menstrual symptoms at the same time. The leaflet that comes with the pack, though, warns of:

"Very common side effects"


"cramps, abdominal pain, head ache, breast enlargement (here's hoping) or pain, feelings of severe sadness and unworthiness, decreased sexual drive, sleepiness, feeling emotional, constipation, nausea"

That's just the very common side effects. The common side effects also include my old favourite, bloating, vomiting and painful joints.

So basically I'm going to be a bloated, depressive, big breasted walking ball of pain.

In reality, I seem to have relatively mild side effects, though the depression is one to watch. I have a history of anxiety and depression, but at least this time I know it's a possibility and can take measures to curtail it. Like looking a photos of grumpy baby meerkats (photo to come)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cycle one: Egg Transfer

With the doctor's ok, we were able to go ahead with the egg transfer yesterday ( must have been all those crossed fingers you guys had). Because it was a weekend, we had to go to a different hospital (just a specialist one) in a suburb near the city. We were, of course, really early, so we went for a short walk around the block before heading in.

Once in, I signed the million pieces of paperwork, and then M. and I were taken to get changed. This time I got to keep my top half on, adding a beautiful gingham hospital gown and a nice fluffy robe to the mix, along with feet covers and hat. M. got hospital scrubs, plus feet covers and hat. We were then taken into the lounge to wait with a few other people. Luckily it was just a short wait before we were taken through.

The embryologist came and saw us first. He let us know that they'd frozen four embryos early, 2 had gone through to blastocyst (one of these was put back in) and another four looked like going to blastocyst yesterday or today. Which makes 10 altogether, which is a very good number.

Then I got to lay back and put my legs up on these bars. The doctor put the speculum in, which was the only painful part of the whole process. (I found relaxing made it a lot easier). Then the embryologist came out with a catheter with the embryo in it, the doctor placed it in, the embryologist checked it had left the catheter (Those tiny cells. Always playing hide and seek, you know). Then I was good to sit up and go.

M. And I got back into our regular gear, then made our way back to the patient lounge. The nurse made us both a cup of tea and we had some cheese and crackers. About 30 minutes later we were good to get on with our day (the nurse suggested no bungee jumping though).

So in less than two weeks we'll know something. I still need to take it relatively easy because of how close I was to serious illness. But one thing I am doing is taking a quiet walk every day, which is good on many levels.

Don't fret, I have plenty of posts planned to keep us all busy during the two week wait! Just hold on until I tell you about the wonders of Crinone . . .

Friday, November 4, 2011

One of those kinds of weeks

After the egg pick-up we weren't sure if we'd go ahead or wait a cycle for the transfer. Because of the huge number of eggs they got, I was in serious risk of hyper-stimulation, and I actually got very bloated and put on 2 kilos, which is not a good sign.

Luckily over yesterday and today, I've regained some equilibrium. The pain is gone, most of the bloating is gone and I've actually lost 3 kilos in two days, which is relatively remarkable. So the embryo transfer is on for tomorrow morning.

I've got 'lush' lining in there, and I'm on crinone (progesterone - more on that later) to make everything nice in there, so we've just got to wish and pray and hope that the embryo likes it all. So, in two weeks time we'll find out if we're pregnant or not.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Update from the Embryologist

30 eggs removed.

20 mature enough to fertilise. (the scientists ended up using ICSI)

13 embryos at the moment. This could obviously change if some of them fail.

Keeping everything crossed.

Egg-pickup: The Long Version

The pick up was set for 2.30pm which meant we had to get a few things sorted in the morning. I had to fast from 8.30, so I had to have my thyroid tablet and some breakfast in the morning, along with a tonne of water. Of course the minute I started fasting, I was immediately hungry and thirsty.

We had to be at the hospital by 12.30, but it's me, so we were there by 12. They pretty much took me straight through after I paid a huge amount that my shoddy health insurance doesn't cover. When they got the right file (take 2) we went through all the blood pressure, pulse, go through medical files stuff. Then I waited. And waited (I finished a book)

Fnally it was time to get changed. The joy of a private hospital is that they gave we the regular hospital robe (yuck) plus a fluffy hotel room robe to wear over the top. Since there was no way I could do up the straps, this was excellent.

I waited a little longer and then they took me to a cubicle on an extremely uncomfortable hospital bed. Unfortunately Question Time was on tv. Fortunately Tony Abbot didn't speak. There were some small mix ups with them asking me if I was someone else, which raised my anxiety levels, but when I mentioned the anxiety the nurses were wonderful, making sure to comfort and stay with me. They let M. in briefly to sit with me and to give me his 'sample' (the males get all the euphemisms) which I had to tuck between my legs to keep warm. I'm sure there's a joke in there, but I can't think of it right now.

Finally they took me through to the surgery area. They put the observation gear on, including a child blood pressure cuff (for my tiny arm). Then I waited a bit more. Finally the anesthetist came in and promised to try and avoid the reactions I've had in the past. Then the embryologist came in for a quick chat and to collect the 'sample'. Finally they took me through to the operating theatre. My doctor caught me on the way in and let me know that he'd catch up with me after.

The anesthetist knocked me out pretty quickly with talk about a tropical island, and before I knew it they were waking me up. The best part was that they let me keep my glasses right up until knocking me out and when I woke, I had them on again. This helped with the anxiety so much. The first question I asked, of course, was how many. When she said 30 she wasn't really sure, which is why I've asked M. to verify it over and over again :) They gave me some pain killers and a wonderful hot blanket.

There was a bit of a backlog, so even though I was quite alert I had to wait there a little before moving into the next area. There they gave me some water (yay)and my own clothes (more yay) before the doctor came in to confirm the 30. However, he's very worried about the hyperstimlation risk, so the transfer may have to be put off for a month, which sucks.

Then into the sit up recovery room where I discovered that M. hadn't left the book I wanted to read in my bag. So I was left with the wonderful magazine collection and the tv until they discharged me.

I'm on panadol forte at the moment, but there's still a little discomfort even with that. I'm drinking a tonne of liquid and resting. I need to check in with the doctor later today to let them know how I'm feeling and I should hear soon about the number of embryos we got. So keep the fingers crossed.