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Monday, 28 November 2011

The most UNBELIEVEABLE of news

Hi my dear friends and bloggers!

Below is the unbelieveable update.

I caved on the eve of my BDAY and against all reason and good judgment I decided to POAS.

Below is what I saw...

I was completely speechless........................................................despite the clear double pink lines staring back at me immediately on the HPT (that I had sooooo wished for), I still could not believe it!!! HOW one EARTH could this be REAL ???? Could this really be happening??? I was so stunned I could not even cry...I had prepared myself so hard for the was completely surreal.

I composed myself, and Caution decided that had to wait for the blood BETA test scheduled for Monday (as I read that the trigger HcG shot given to me 15 days prior could have skewed the results.

At least this gave me hope to get through the weekend, and DH and I were able to smile and dream about this during my birthday! It was the sweetest birthday ever :) 

This morning I went into the clinic bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as early as I could get myself out of bed, and never happier to have a needle stuck into my arm! Bring it on!

I just received a call back from the BETA is......wait for it.......802!!!

I am pregnant.

I want to share this amazing moment with my fellow TTC'ers and bloggers that have helped me get this far. I am sharing my happiness with YOU! Yes YOU! You guys know who you are...

There is a long road ahead still, but I thank you for being there with me, encouraging me, and listening to my TTC madness!!!

I know now, miracles can happen :) and they will happen for you!


Shantih xo

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

To TEST or NOT to TEST? That is the question....

I have had many chances through my very first IVF cycle to congratulate myself for all the accomplishments, and the strength that I have shown through the process. I have to give myself that praise.

I don't know what is going on TODAY. Is it the hormones fest in my body that is finally making me despair? Or is it the bouts of emotional outbursts that always seem to be the prologue of an impending AF arrival? Or, (and this is the hardest of all options to type), is it the possible pregnancy that is making me act like a crazy woman?

Finally the fear vs hope struggle is coming to a boiling point within me...this wait until the BETA test is killing me.

I am constantly arguing with myself about the Pros and Cons of taking an HPT. And the emotional fallout that could succeed doing so. Neither argument is convincing enough, and I vacillate between one and the other dozens of times in a single hour! It is driving me BANANAS.

In one of those fits, I ran out of my office during lunch time with the excuse of doing errands and straight to the closest Pharmacy to purchase 2 FRER HPT tests.

They are in my bag. At my feet. Still in the box. I cannot bring myself to open it from sheer fear.

This is what 13 months of TTC and consecutive BFN can do to a person....

Tomorrow is my 38th birthday (yes I know, a really BIG number in the world of infertility!), and with it and this IVF cycle, are all my hopes and fears all wrapped into a box with a nice big bow around it.

It feels like a ticking bomb. I could either spend the day celebrating the most wonderful thing in my life, or........crying in complete disillusion and despair......

To Test or NOT to Test??

Monday, 21 November 2011

2WW: Fear vs. Hope

Been a few days since my last post, but I have been trying to concentrate on resting and purposely staying away from blogs and forums to try and put "IT" out of mind....It is hard. I am undoubtedly in the very dreaded and excruciatingly slow 2WW.

Last Wednesday we were nervously led into the OR, for the second time in 5 days for our Day 5 transfer. The first thing that we saw as we were ushered in was a picture of an embryo on the giant flat screen hanging on the wall. Both myself and DP were both silently in awe although we were unsure what to think or what to say as we had never seen an embryo before. The doctors (husband and wife RE's) quickly broke our silence by happily announcing: you have a BEAUTIFUL embryo!
We both remained silent overwhelmed by emotion. At that point I could not utter any words, as I was invaded by hope again. Fearless and innocent HOPE.  Fat tears streamed down my face despite my efforts to contain them.

After the procedure which took only about 5 minutes, we remained in the room for another 30 minutes, as they recommend lying down immediately afterward for some time. We just continued to stare at the screen, and hold hands and smile at the possibility that this cell could be the beginning of the baby that we so dearly long for. I think we both love him/her already.

So, we are now at that dreaded 2WW. Full of renewed hope and fear all at the same time. The last 13 months have made us fearful and insecure, following the cumulative disappointment month after month. But IVF has of course made us hopeful again, it almost feels like we did the first few months of TTC.Why else would we put ourselves through this grueling and intensive treatment if we didn't think it would work? It's as though all those injections and hormones that I have put my body through were now demanding payment in incremental installments of HOPE.

OH MY! I am in for a big bill!!   

I haven't yet started obsessing about symptoms and I hope that my birthday this week will distract me from analyzing the symptoms since I simply don't have any! I will do my best to wait until the blood test, but can only take one day at a time.

Here I am...accidentally here, balancing on the tight rope between Hope and Fear...

Monday, 14 November 2011

The numbers game :)

Friday 11.11.11 was our collection day. It is a peculiar date. Everybody in our clinic seemed to think it would bring us good luck. And overall, I think it truly was lucky for us.

Let me explain....The procedure went very well, despite the fact that it is quite painful, and very definitely something I would rather avoid in the future.Actually that may be somewhat understated: it f***ing hurt. Luckily, DP was right in the OR with me, holding my hand and reassuring me every step of the way. He was really great.
The sedatives they give you do help to take the edge off, but they do not spare you from the very real pain. All in all, it lasts about 15 minutes so, it it over pretty quick. So, I will not dwell on this part....
The recovery was quite fast and by the next morning I was already feeling like my reproductive organs did not want to jump out of my body.

We got a call from the lab on Saturday announcing that from the 3 eggs they had effectively retrieved (the other 2 were not mature), one of them was not fertilized because it was not mature. So we had 2 mature eggs and BOTH fertilized! YAY (I guess??) !!!

Sunday we received the second call with the embryologist report. Of the 2 that had fertilized, both were growing well, they have now began splitting and they are both 4 -cell embies:
- a GRADE 1  (Grade 1: even cell division, no fragmentation)
- a GRADE 2 (Grade 2: even cell division, small fragmentation).

We are told both of these embies are good quality. So, I guess this is good news, as long as one doesn't fall for the numbers trap.....When I read other blogs and I see that there are women capable of having a dozen eggs retrieved and more than half a dozen fertilized, transfer several and s then spare some for freezing...I sincerely can't get my head around that!We are content with the 2 little ones we have.... :))

So, let's recap, for those (such as myself that can get lost in all the details):
- 13 antral follicle count
- 5 potential follicles after stims
- 3 eggs collected
- 2 eggs fertilized
- 2, 4-cell embies @ DAY 2
- they will do SET (single embryo transfer, as per local law) on DAY 5

That is a lot of math! So what does all this math compute to??? Where are we now??

I guess we are exactly at the same point we have always been...hoping that in the midst of all these numbers, we end up with.... a baby!

It would be really cool to be able to tell him/her that he/she was conceived against all odds, amidst a mess of numbers, on a very lucky day...11.11.11

What else is possible?


Thursday, 10 November 2011

1 good EGG + 1 good SPERM

This should be a quick post (I always say that and then ramble on...) just to issue an update all my fellow TTC'ers and IVF'ers that are interested in the details of these processes....

All systems are GO for tomorrow morning 8am egg collection.
I am surprisingly handling everything quite well, including the needles (except for the shock of the first one that made me faint and lose consciousness in my kitchen at the horror of my DP). I have survived the nightly 2-3 injections, what a relief! Since I was on the short protocol, I did my last 3 shots last night and this morning I took the massive dose of antibiotics to prepare for the procedure.

So here's what we are dealing with: 3 mature enough eggs, and 2 smaller ones that hopefully have caught up since the last U/S. We are hoping to get as many as possible, but the truth is...we just need the 1 good one. And of course, the 1 good swimmer.

Strangely, and maybe naively of me, I am excited. I have never been excited for a surgical intervention before.

For now, all I dream for is 1 good EGG + 1 good SPERM = 1 healthy multi-cell embie  :))

Have a great weekend!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Oh my little follies!

I had the second U/S (CD 8) this morning. The news were not as exciting as earlier in the week. I am not as thrilled as I was on day 3, let me tell you.

Doctor measured 3 follicles of average size... approx. 8mm... Although I am in no way qualified to interpret this information I can't help but feel a bit defeated, and worried, and at the verge of panic, although I am trying my hardest to keep myself  together here. I guess I started this process with so much hope, I am deathly scared to be disappointed.

My understanding of this is quite limited still, as I am still learning, and the doctors do not stop to explain everything to the patient. I asked her some tentative questions trying to see if the reaction is hopeful or if she looks away from me...she didn't look away (must be a good sign) and she gave me hope. No mention of cancelling anything. She said that sometimes it takes a bit of time for them to kick-start. She simply thought keeping the stims up over the weekend and check again on them on Monday. She says we continue ahead.

While it is exciting to be involved in every detail of my stimulated menstrual cycle, I am also realizing how difficult it is! Prior to starting IVF stims, and U/S every 3 days, I had a much bigger picture of what was going on in my body (if any at all) and the only thing I tracked was whether I ovulated and whether I got a BFP at the end of the cycle. NOW I have a whole set of new markers: follicle count, follicle growth, ovarian response to stims, cysts, endometrium lining thickness, sperm count, sperm quality, egg quality, fertilization reports, embryo quality reports, and of course the dreaded pregnancy test results!!! Too many markers to obsess, worry and cry about. 
Oh how I loathe people that never know or worry about any of this...and How I envy them (and not in a good way)!

Although this bit of news came a bit unexpected to me, (as I had unrealistically pictured all 13 of the ones counted on Monday to show up for the second U/S)....maybe it was the wake up call I needed to alert me that I am in no way "out of the woods", and that I must manage my expectations. I have a feeling that this is the beginning of another bumpy ride...I have to find a way to hold on...

I shall keep wishing for follies to grow through the weekend...what else is possible?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

What else is possible?

Just an report that the weekend went by while I counted the minutes to our Day3 ultrasound scheduled for Monday. I spent the entire weekend trying to unwind, visualizing furry bunnies and cute follicles...I did nothing stressful, in fact, I didn't even do any house work or pack my agenda with seeing friends and parties, and social activities...all I did was RELAX. It was quite nice.

Although, I did try to prepare myself for the worst kind of news (seems like infertiles are always preparing for disappointment), I was elated to see images projected on a screen that showed that we have more follicles than I had even hoped for!!! The doctor counted 8 follicles on one ovary and 5 on the other....I was impressed, and she was pleased as she said that it was a normal count..... So, IT IS A GO! We are officially trying to make a baby this cycle!

I was then led into the the doctor's office to sign consent forms on use of human embryos, and on freezing of potential embryos. I have to admit that the fact that we could have potential babies frozen in a lab refrigerator freaks me out a little...I mean, after how hard and long this infertility road has been, I cannot fathom that we may have multiple potential babies. And what's more, I would like to take them all home as babies! However, I am understanding that this is IVF lingo, part of the positive externalities of the treatment. But it is still weird to me how nobody flinches when they ask: would you like to have your embryos frozen? There isn't a hint of hesitation. I still pause at those questions, and feel like I need to take a breath to get my head around it for a minute.  I am always tempted to answer: yes please, I want them all, I will take 4 of them!

Once I got over what seemed to me the strangest questions in the world, I was led to the nurse's office to discuss the protocol, the calendar and all the IVF medication instruction. And let me tell you, there is a lot to discuss. Again, I am being introduced to new lingo: Hormones, Human Gonadotropins, Injections, Menopur, Gonal, etc, etc...I am a walking pharmacist now. The nurse handed over to me information booklets, DVD's, packs of medications, vials, and an entire kit of potent stimulants, AND some good news! I was shown how to give myself the nightly injections. If you know me, you would know that I am deathly scared of needles and that this is no small feat for me, it in fact nothing short of a miracle! Not only did I listen and understand without flinching, but I walked out of the nurse's office determined to be the best injection giver out there! Ok, that is probably not very likely, but I am determined to overcome my fear...
Before I forget, the good news is........I can keep the caffeine in small doses, even during pregnancy, she said! Like a good friend of mine always asked upon receipt of great news: What else is possible?

Well...although I am still a bit in disbelief, I am soooo happy, it is finally here. We are really doing this! It is hard to describe what I feel. It is a sense of excitement, like the way one feels on the eve of a marked event, like before university graduation, or your wedding day, or just after a job interview for that dream job that went very well even though you still don't have the offer on the table...but the possibility is exciting!

This wonderfully positive and charismatic friend of mine that I mention above, always thought that asking that open-ended question opened our hearts and our minds to the idea that no matter what wonderful thing happens in your life, there will be more is not the end of wonderful things, it may only be the beginning.

So, Danya, you would be proud of me, I am staying open to the possibility of even more good news, and even more potentials.....I am asking myself continuously: what else is possible?