Thursday, April 30, 2009

The clinic called

I couldn't believe that I missed the call from the clinic twice! I had left a message on tuesday (the day I was supposed to test) and when the nurse called back on wednesday I couldn't take the call. Then I missed her again this morning as I didn't hear the mobile ringing down in the kitchen! Anyway, to cut a long story short she was very nice and went through the routine of "have you started bleeding yet" "No.." "Did you stop the meds?" "yes..." "If you don't start your period in two days please test again, with your history we don't want to take any chance!" "yeah yeah I know...thanks!"
She doesn't see a problem in doing a fresh cycle but Dr.W will have to say the word. I'll be happy to do it in late July or August so that I have a good bit to detox!

And I have my first blog follower!!! Thank you Stacey!! You were the first blog I started reading and it inspired me to start writing my own, I actually find it quite therapeutic!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No last minute surprise

Ah well what can you do. Test still negative and this chapter is quickly closing. We have finished all our frosties and we'll have to do a new fresh cycle. Hopefully the clinic won't have too much of a long waiting list, we'll know on the 11th I suppose.

One thing I also want to say here: forums are absolutely fantastics. I have joined a good few of them and I have always found myself at home. And this time again the girls were there for me, their messages are so sincere and real. Even though I only know a handful of them in person. Even though they are cyberfriends. Even tough I may never met them most of them in real life. They are like the shoulder were you can cry without having to pretend that you are strong, they understand. They have been there too. They are encouraging, full of positive stories and suggestions. Elettra has been keeping me company with messages in the last few days and I never exchanged a message with her before. But she was there. And so were all the others. I don't know how I would have survived without you girls. Thanks for being there.

One final thing.
Today I told my mum that we are thinking also about adoption. To tell the truth it's a good while we've been thinking about it and we have gathered a lot of documents already, only a few still missing and then we'll send off the big envelop! My sister is in fact getting documents for me from home and she'll be sending them over here. Anyway, she was absolutely delighted and soooo positive it was just brilliant.
Onwards and upwords!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Well, it was too good to be true and yesterdy when I tested again with FR the line was two little penguins didn't stick around. So I spent all yesterday afternoon working on the balcony, planting new flowers in my pots and so on. It was a good day after all, I don't want to get too upset about this or we'll never survive this roller-coaster.

Just for fun I POAS in the afternoon, one of those OPK again, given that they'll go out of date by the end of the month, and there it was, smiling at me a nice second line, much stronger than on thursday (still not as strong as the control), but what the hell does it mean??? Anyway, after having seen that Mike insisted that I keep up the drugs until tomorrow, the official testing day. I am now afraid that either those damn sticks are evil (likely possibility) or that if tomorrow the test will pick up a bit of hcg it woudl be another ectopic. I am in fact terrified at that possibility.

Of course I am also thinking that maybe my uterus is not a "welcoming environment" and that it may never happen for us. Our embryos are top quality and still they don't stick in the right place. They survive freezing and thawing, they grow to blastocysts as if they were fresh and that's also not enough to get me properly pregnant?

Thankfully all our adoption documents are nearly ready and that thought, although it's a long way, gives me some peace.

I have anyway booked a phone review with Dr. W for the 11th of May and see what he suggests. Looking forward to a week of holiday and realax in Sicily next week, and can't wait to start detox!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

7DP5DT is that a line?

No, I don't think so...I think what I saw this morning when I POAS was just an evaporation line and now I don't know what to think...I have done an OPK as well which definitely showed a line, not strong mind you, but the line was not there on 4DPT. Anyway, I'm forbidden now from POAS until the weekend at least.

I admit I am a little disilluded...I do feel pregnant, please let it be true!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I am not sure I know how I feel. Of course I'm full of symptoms whether they are real or not is anybody's guess.
This morning (for real) I was quite dizzy. Sometimes I feel twinges in the belly (they can be real too in fairness). Sometimes I feel nauseous (this must be either nerves or my imagination). Often I'm tired but cannot sleep (nerves?). I think this sums up how I feel for now!

We were away at the weekend and we had a fantastic time, it helped a lot taking my mind off the 2ww. So officially there is one week to go before testing day but I'm quite sure I won't resist that long. I'm having weird dreams about tests and OPKs so I'll take it as a good sign for the moment. Relaxation helps a lot too. Here's hope!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Pregnant Unitl Proven Otherwise! My home connection gave up yesterday and I couldn't update the blog, so here I am now.

It all went well, out of the 6 penguins we had frozen, 5 survived the thawing and were put to grow. 1 stopped cell division while 4 grew nicely. Yesterday two were beautiful blastocysts and 2 were compacted morulas!! So two were transferred and the other two left in the incubator until today. If they grow to blast they'll freeze them again!

I am so happy and trying hard to be relaxed and stay positive. Only two weeks of madness now!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

FET day

Ok, so it's 12.10 and no call from the clinic. I have tried to manage the stress over the past two days but it hasn't been easy at all. I have made my mind up and I'm going to send a letter to Dr. W expressing my opinion on this lab policy that no news is good news.

I am going to have an acupuncture session at 2 pm and I'll be in the clinic by 3.30 pm. FET should happen at 4 pm.

Honestly if they call me now I'll make a scene! Well, I'm off to try and get something to eat...I've lost a kg since yesterday morning!! not that I complain but I feel really empty now!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The D-day

The "D-frosting" day has finally arrived...I got the call from the clinic to check that I was alive and well so that they could go ahead and thaw all my 6 penguins. Their policy is that they won't call you again unless there is some problem. I think it's terrible but what can I do? Hopefully the phone won't ring at all and I'll make my way to the clinic on thursday afternoon. The embryologist said that there may be the possibility that the embryos grow slower than the fresh one, in that case they'll know on thursday morning and they may delay the transfer until the friday. But all our energies go towards positive thoughts!! and please God the phone will be silent...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tomorrow is the big day

Tomorrow the little penguins will be defrosted. I am scared. Terrified in fact. But there's nothing I can do, only hope and pray that they'll survive.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 0: started progesterone!

Today is day 0 in the life of the embryos. I have started taking the progestrone (only in pessaries this time, apparently the clinic had carried out a small survey and there is no difference between pessaries and injections! glad to find it out after two cycles!!).

On the washing machine front: it has been delivered! Mike is already working on the connections, piping etc.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The washing machine

So it's Good Friday. Tons of washing up to do and the washing machine broke down. Not bad! Incredibly we manage to find a good deal on a Zanussi model and they'll deliver it tomorrow. Delighted with myself I have to say...these are the little things in life that make you smile.

On the fertility side. I stopped my nasal spray yesterday and I'll be staring the progesterone tomorrow. Still on oestrogens pills and patches.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A bit of a background...

Hi every one I'm Fran. And this is my story.
I am married to Mike since March 2007.
We kind of started having "free sex" since November 2006 and although we weren't really trying I secretly hoped I would get pg. Since the wedding we have started really trying for a baby and so the madness begun: sticks, thermometers, healthy life style, nearly no alcohol you name it...
I always felt inside me that it wouldn't have been easy getting pregnant, lots of cases in my family and in Mike's (his sister has 3 children, all born with IVF!! two twins and a girl three years later!) and although there is no evidence that infertility can run in families I felt we were really surrounded by it!
So by the time June 07 came after 6 months of timed bd and smiling OPKs and never, I mean never even got to point where I could have hoped to be late, we went to see my doctor.
I didn't seem to have anything wrong, correct ovulation, great hormones etc. Mike's SA showed a mildly reduced number (just above the minimum) and definitely low motility (like 11% fast motility, 5% slow motility, so that meant a staggering 84% still!). But the gyn said not to worry, it wasn't a terrible SA and that if by the time December came still no BFP I should do an HSG.

November 07came with no news and I decided that I really needed to be followed by someone more "in the know". The system is so different from where I'm from that I still have problem adjusting. Anyway, talked to my GP, told him what I had to get done, he referred me to Dr. W. I rang and the first appointment would have been sometime in June 2008! Privately! Ridiculous, it would have been quicker for me to go back home. Anyway, after a few phone calls I managed to get an appointment with Dr. T for the 20th of November. The visit was just 5 minutes long, basically just a chat in which he told me to do a scan (with his niece) and that we’ll book a lap&dye +D&C. Ok, I honestly thought that those 180euro were robbed, but what can you do? thank god my insurance covers. Got the scan done and of course there was no problem there, I had one done 3 months before at home but no, I had to repeat it. The day of the lap&dye came on the 4th of December. Dr. T talked to me when I woke up and said that my tubes were open but that I had a condition called “endometriosis”. Of course after participating to so many forums on ttc I knew what that was, but in the shock of the moment, I forgot to ask where it was, how serious it was etc. His recommendation was to start a treatment in January for “a few months” which consisted in shutting down my reproductive system to give the endo a chance of disappearing. I couldn’t believe it, I’m trying desperately to get pregnant and he’s telling me to go on a pharmacological menopause??Forget it. I went home for Christmas, I went to see my gyn there, he run lots of tests including CA125 which is a marker for endo (as well as cancer of the ovaries), internal scans etc. Nothing showed up which meant that the endo was so so mild only with the laparoscopy was noted. Mike went to see an urologist too who recommended some vitamins and amino acids to improve his SA.

In February 08 I went to see Dr. T again,Mike came with me because I knew all the questions I had would have been forgotten. He was very good, in fairness, he explained to me much more in details the results of the laparoscopy, I had adhesions which he removed, and the endo was very mild, just a few spots only at the back of the uterus, no where near ovaries or tubes. I thanked him and told him I didn’t want to do the treatment. He said no problem, this is just a recommendation, you don’t have to take it!
And I didn’t. In February I started having to acupuncture. The practitioner is great, she is specialised in infertility and I found her very reassuring and encouraging. In a couple of months I already noted that my ovulation was happening on the 14th or 15th day rather than later and that my LP was becoming Mike and I decided though that we probably needed more help and we sent out our application to a local fertility clinic in April. I had checked out all the possible fertility clinic around the city and the one we picked was well spoken about, had the shortest waiting list and it was also near home! Actually the cost of the first consultation and that of follow up consultation were even cheaper than Dr. T!

We got a cancellation appointment on the 22nd of May 08. Dr. W had studied all our medical files and recommended 3 IUI, and a review in September/October. Fantastic. Efficient and with a clear plan, I couldn’t hope for anything better. We would have started our IUI at my next cycle. We got the blood test done, I had my day 3 hormones repeated and Mike was told to repeat the SA so that the lab there would know what type of sample they had to work with.
On June the 4th he did the SA and we got a phone call that devastated us: the sample was very poor, the numbers this time were very low (like 10million/mL) and that we would have wasted our time and money with an IUI. I wasn’t ready to face ICSI to be honest. I have never taken hormones in my life, not even the pill, I didn’t know how my body would have reacted to the treatment and on one thing both Mike and I are very sure, our (my) health is priority number one. We had a long chat with the endocrinologist and decided we go ahead with one IUI anyway.
I started the cycle on the 14th of June. No side effect whatsoever from the treatment, at the first scan I had already 3 follicles (11, 10 and 9mm), there was the possibility that the IUI was going to be cancelled but thank God at the second scan I had a nurse with a different opinion and despite the fact that all the 3 follies developed she said we go ahead anyway. I got the IUI done on 26th of June, everything went very well, P did the procedure for me and she had no problem with the catheter, I didn’t bleed at all. I was also give a prescription for progesterone and …. for the pill in case af shows up and it’ll be ICSI then. We had one great surprise the day of the IUI: Mike’s SA was much better! So much so that the values before they treated the sample were all in the normal range!! The treated sample though didn’t prepare very well and this meant that the endocrinologist is still of the same opinion that ICSI would be the absolute best choice for us.
But the IUI, as forseen by the clinic didn't work and I started the pill on the 13th of July.

I found the all ICSI process quite stressfull...especially when i went collecting the bags of meds..but once started it wasn't so bad afterall. My protocol was Buserelin sniffer 3/day (two sniffs) than reduced to 1 sniff when started the stimulation. Stimulation was with Puregon 300IU then reduced to 225, then 150 and finally stopped altogther due to mild hyperstim; Luveris 75IU one a day. every scan was lived with anxiety, I developed this fear for hyperstimulation and in the end I had 24 follicles. They coasted me for two days and at EC they said if they got more than 20 eggs we would have gone for elective freeze. I dreaded it but it didn't happen. they got 16 eggs, 14 of which were good quality and all of the 14 inoculated fertilised! Even better all the 14 divided into nice little embrios and despite a touch of OHSS we got two transferred on day 3 (10 cells and 8 cells!) and 9 frozen penguins!
I tested a day early on the 11th of Sepember. I got the faintest positive result but it was definitely a line! the first one I ever saw. Just to complicate my life I decided to call the clinic and to get a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. Well I got what I deserved, the pregnancy was there but the values were so low that it coudl have gone either way. My BFP became fatter and fatter over the following weekend and when tested on the blood again on the monday the values where 6 times higher! So there I was. Pregnant. I never thought it could have happen to me, at the first round of ICSI.
And in fact the happiness was short lived. I started not feeling too good, had some spotting, I knew it wasn't normal. I went in for an early scan at 5+6 and there was nothing in the uterus...more blod tests were done, more scans...HCG was rising but slowly, they suspected an EP and they were right. I underwent surgery the day after Mike's birthday, i lost the left tube but the biggest scar was in my soul.

We had frozen embryos though and we went for our first FET in January 09. They thawed three to get 2 to transfer and everything went perfectly well. But it was a BFN.

Here I am now, getting ready for the next FET next week. They'll be thawing all the remaining 6 penguins (my little frozen embryos) and grow them to blastocyst.