Dec 31, 2009


And just to compare apples to apples, here is another test done this morning at 18DPO...

I think it's fair to say that the line has gotten darker! So, the 3 week countdown begins.

At the moment I'm feeling rattled for the first time this cycle. I've coped better than ever before with every other aspect of the cycle, including the wait for the pregnancy test. But the past two days feel like two weeks, and the three weeks until the scan feels like 3 months. Part of it that I was so busy before, we had a lot going on and were preparing for Christmas as well. But now, Christmas is over and a lot of the personal stuff we have happening now is on hold over the holidays. Normally I have every day filled with some sort of activity with my son (swimming, playgroup etc), but even those are on hold for the holidays. Being a stay at home Mum with nothing to do and nowhere to go doesn't provide a lot of distraction! And normally I would go for long walks with the pram, spring clean the house etc etc, but obviously I'm also trying not to overexert myself and getting paranoid at every little twinge.

I do want to fix this though, so I will fix it. I didn't really get to enjoy my pregnancy properly with my son, mostly to do with the issues surrounding IVF. I really want to be able to enjoy this pregnancy, especially when there is a very good chance it will be our last one. And knowing that morning sickness could be only a week or two around the corner, I should be enjoying this part of it! Time for some more soul searching it seems...

Dec 29, 2009

Test Result

The test from the specialist's office...

No denying that! He made a comment that it was a very strong positive, also saying 'you do know what that means don't you?'. I found it quite funny that someone who was adamently opposing quantitive blood test because 'hcg levels don't mean anything', would then imply multiple babies based on a urine test result. But yes, we both realise what it 'could' mean and so are now anxiously awaiting the scan to find out more!

The scan is booked in for the 21st January so in about 3 weeks time. So for now, we just keep waiting!

16DPO and test day

Here it is...

Sorry, again blogger has turned the photo around. The one on the left was 14DPO, the one on the right was done this morning at 16DPO. So far, so good!!

Testing day at the clinic today, not expecting to hear anything new as it's just a urine test, but I should get to find out the date of the scan. Let the countdown begin!

Dec 27, 2009

An early result

Well, looks like it may be 3rd time lucky for us again! I caved and did a HPT this morning at 14DPO...this is what I got...

Now while I am obviously still a bit hesitant to crack out the champagne because of our recent cycles not working out, I'm feeling a hell of a lot more confident than I was the last two times. I think mainly because we managed to get such a good strong line, darker than ever before, at only 14DPO on a 20mIU test, but also because I feel like it's different this time. Hard to explain really, but lets just say that I'm cautiously optimistic.

So now we wait for the scan which I'm assuming will be in about 3 weeks time. Of course I still have the official test at the clinic on Tuesday, but it's just a urine test basically the same as what I have just done at home. I don't believe they are planning to follow up with a blood test. Either way I will most likely continue to do some HPT's at home over the next week to keep an eye on it and help me get through until the scan.

Dec 20, 2009

Blastocyst photos

Here is the photo of the embryos that were transferred on Friday...they don't do them justice, especially the top one. The embryologist showed me pictures that were taken more recently when I arrived for transfer - the top one in particular was looking much more like a fresh blastocyst would look.

(I think I have explained before, but the freezing process means that embryos compact, then have to re-expand once thawed)

I'm still in awe of such technology that allows pictures like this to be possible.

Dec 18, 2009


Once again, we have made it through transfer. And the great news is that they only had to thaw two to get two!! Oustanding results and very much unexpected. So we still have another 4 left in the freezer.

The embryos looked fact one of them the specialist said was the best looking frozen blast he has ever seen! Although it's very much a case of only half the battle...we pretty much always have managed to get embryos that look great, but they obviously haven't all (or even most) resulted in a successful pregnancy.

The pregnancy test for this cycle is actually going to be a urine test - the pathology labs must all be closed over Christmas. So on the 29th, I need to take a first morning urine sample into the clinic for them to perform the basically the same thing that I will be doing that morning at home!

Feeling pretty good at the moment, not necessesarily positive or negative either way about the actual outcome of the cycle, but feeling good about the whole process. It seems so different than other cycles I've done...hopefully I can keep this great feeling going!

Dec 16, 2009

Scan update

The scan today went well - both ovaries are looking normal and my lining is at 10mm with the 'triple stripe' pattern which is all good news. So transfer is scheduled for Friday afternoon. I'm hoping that we don't have too much to worry about seeing as how we have 6 frozen blasts to choose from, but this is IVF so who knows what could happen.

The other news from the specialist today was that he thinks that if this cycle doesn't work, then I may be able to get another one in before the new medicare system kicks in!! My blood test for this cycle would be scheduled for the 29th, if it doesn't work out then I could start bleeding on the 31st making that day 1 of the next cycle. The medicare system bases the refunds on the date of your first cycle day, so I would still be able to get the rebate under the 2009 system and safety net...just!! Was a big shock to be told this today, but it's obviously great news that we still have an option there.

I'm still coping really well emotionally too. I'm not even finding all these meds too inconvenient so far. Now that my son has me up at 5-5:30am every morning, the 5:30am tablet is no problem, I'm pretty much always home for the 1:30pm one while my son is having his nap, and I usually aim to go to bed by about 9:30pm anyway so I haven't found that an issue. I don't seem to have any noticable side effects from the progynova, and so far so good with the pessaries. For some reason, the side effects are terrible on the Crinone, but I seem to do fine with pessaries.

So feeling good so far. Not feeling particularly positive or negative about the outcome of this cycle. I'm at a point right now where I have realised that I have no control over the outcome, therefore it will do no good for me to try. I have to let go and trust in my future, for my family, and I feel so much better for it.

Dec 8, 2009

So far so good

Well, I've been on 12 hourly Progynova tablets for a week, and as of today I am now taking them 8 hourly. So far, I am coping very well...better than I have for any other cycle I have done so far. I'm still in the same frame of mind that I described in this post, and am enjoying the freedom and flexiblity that comes from only having one child. I have been having such a great time with my son and we have been enjoying loads of social experiences with other parents and children as always.

There are other major things going on in our lives at the moment too which is keeping me very well distracted. Between that and Christmas fast approaching, I'm finding that I'm even forgetting that I am on an IVF cycle. Which also obviously doesn't leave much time for the obsessing that normally goes along with it.

Let's just hope that the rest of the cycle goes this smoothly!

Nov 25, 2009

Here we go again...

Yep, that's right, I've been given the go ahead for another cycle next month. My ovaries and uterus are all looking normal so we are good to go. We are doing another HRT FET cycle which will go along these lines:

28/11 - last day of contraceptive pill
2/12 - start progynova tablets every 12 hours
8/12 - change progynova tablets to every 8 hours
13/12 - start pessaries every 12 hours, continue progynova tablets every 8 hours
16/12 - scan to check lining and ovaries for cysts to get go ahead for transfer
18/12 - transfer day

Based on this, the blood test will most likely be on the 29/12, so I will be kept hanging over Christmas. On the other hand, if it is a negative, I will have one hell of a new years!

I also spoke to the specialist about double embryo transfer (DET). It's something that has been on my mind for the last couple of months. I've done quite a lot of research on DET and on twins because obviously transferring two embryos increases your chances of conceiving twins. Before I had my son, my clinic was advocating DET for me, so this is what I went with. Looking back now, I really don't think I was informed enough to have made that decision - I don't believe that it is one that should be taken lightly. In fact, when my hcg level was through the roof at the start of my son's pregnancy, I was completely panicked about the idea of twins, and even started to wonder if I should have transferred two.

I don't want to have that sort of regret or worry this time around. Originally I was dead set on only doing single embryo transfers, but with a lot more research and some good talks with my hubby, I have decided that, particularly on a FET cycle, it is worth the risk for us. One of the major influences for us is financial - with the new government rebate structure looking to add thousands of dollars to IVF (my clinic estimated today around $2K more out of pocket per cycle), it's just not going to be that affordable for us anymore and I really don't know how far we will be able to go with it. This cycle will be our last for a while, I would think at least 3-6 months.

After speaking to my specialist today, he agrees with me. Again he allowed me to voice my opinion first, and only gave me medical statistics and info, then after I had made my decision, he told me that if it were him, he would also do a DET. He estimates that my chance of success with a single embryo transfer in a FET cycle is around 20%, a DET would increase that to 30-35%. In my personal situation, he estimates my chance of twins at around 15%.

I feel much more confident with the idea of twins after having my son - I now know what type of parent I am, and how I react to different situations - I have more confidence in my abilities as a parent in general. We are in a better position work/business wise this time around than we were last time. With my son, my hubby wasn't around much and left for work around midnight so was never there for the early mornings and was always tired so wasn't able to help much in general. This time he should be around a lot more for help. I am, and always have been, very healthy. And while I know that this doesn't mean we won't have complications during a multiple pregnancy, it's not a factor that could increase the chance of such complications. If we did manage to get a child out of IVF this time, we wouldn't be going back for a third attempt - I can justify it to try and get a sibling for my son, but I couldn't justify the emotional, financial & physical risks for any more than that. This just scratches the surface of the physical and emotional aspects that I have considered.

Now, none of this guarantees that we wouldn't have problems with a multiple pregnancy/babies, but I feel better knowing that I have considered & researched the risks, and applied them to our situation. I feel like I am much more informed that what I was the first time around, and am confident that a DET is right for us in this particular cycle.

Of course, we still have to get 2 embryos to survive the thaw!


It's funny how much perception can change everything.

During my short break from IVF, I have been doing a lot of thinking and mental preparation, just in case the specialist tells us today that we can do another cycle. Financially, I can't really turn it down, so I wanted to make sure that I could get my head space in the right place, otherwise it could end up a disaster. It would be a tough cycle, especially when the blood test would be due somewhere around Christmas Day. I am the sort of person that LOVES Christmas and everything about it (yes, even the crowded shops!), so I'm really scared that I would not enjoy this time of the year as much if I'm dosed up on hormones.

But I'm happy to report that I am feeling strong again. Better than I have in ages actually. I read a book - Trying to Conceive, edited by Michaela Ryan . It contains the real life IVF journeys of 15 different people in all different situations. Now I wasn't really expecting to get anything much out of it. I came across it at the library, had heard of it before, and thought it might be an interesting read. But I actually did manage to be helped by this book. The book encourages you to look at the emotional aspects of your life as well, for blocks that may be affecting your chances of conception through IVF. Now while I personally don't believe that every day emotions or 'emotional blocks' make much of a difference to the chances of success with IVF, it did encourage me to take a closer look at myself and how I feel about everything going on. It may not give me any better chance of conceiving, but it has made me feel stronger and given me a new perspective on everything.

The main thing I realised is that I am being way too hard on myself - I am coping much better than I give myself credit for. I am tough on myself by nature, I believe that I should be able to do anything, which often has me wrongly believing that I should be a superwoman all the time.

I've also managed to get myself to a place where I can see positives with our current situation. Not that there are really positives to having to go through IVF, but that we are a wonderful family of 3, and there are advantages to the fact that we have only one child now. Not that I didn't appreciate my son before, because I do...enormously. That's one of the difficult things about IVF the second time around - the guilt that you feel for wanting more. But I have always wanted more than one child, so coming to terms with the fact that we may not be able to has been a step I have had to take. I thought I was there before, but seeing other people's siblings together has still brought me sadness to wonder if my son would never get to experience that.

My perception now has changed - I no longer get sad when I see other people with mutiple children. In fact, I am increasingly noticing more and more people that only have one child. (Funny how you see what you think!) And at times I will see someone struggling with 3 or 4 kids running rings around them and think, wow my life is easy with Jake. But more importantly than that, I now have a better understanding that everyone has a different path to follow. That is their path, this is mine. There are positives and negatives to both, but each must travel their own path, and see the best in what they have.

So while I still have that strong pull in my heart for another child, I'm not feeling that sad desperation anymore. I can be around other pregnant women and watch siblings together and not feel sad for our family. I truly hope that one day we are blessed with another miracle, but for now, I am enjoying every minute with my son.

Nov 12, 2009

Back again??

My specialist ended up bringing the appointment forward to today when I hadn't started bleeding earlier this week. I don't normally bleed until I come off the meds, but he wanted to see me anyway as he was concerned about possible ectopic pregnancy. Turns out I started bleeding yesterday morning anyway, but I still kept the appointment today.

Obviously there was not much that he could say about what happened, except to try and stop me doing HPT's...I've now compromised and said I may stop (not) if I get a quantitive test straight up. He's agreed to one, possible negotiations on a second depending on the result of the first.

Anyway, I was all prepared to have quite a good break thinking that we wouldn't have had the option of another cycle this year anyway, but he has asked me to go on the pill from tomorrow, then go in for a scan at the end of the month. If my ovaries are all clear from the stim cycle, then I can do a FET cycle in December if I choose to.

Now as I have said, I was all set for a break, and looking forward to it. But...we could save a good chunk of money on a cycle in December compared with early in the new year. A FET in December will see us out of pocket only $450. If I wait until the new year, between paying the safety net again and the new government changes, going by the government website, it looks like it would be closer to $2K out of pocket. I haven't got the new figures from the clinic since the changes so I'm hoping that I'm wrong about it being that high, but I would think it would be in that vicinity.

I just don't think I could turn that down based on those cost savings. The financial outlay of IVF is taking it's toll much quicker and much more severly than last time, now that we are living on one income.

So for now, I will start the pill tomorrow as he suggested. I don't get any side effects from the pill and I'm taking a multi-vitamin every day anyway, so it's no inconvenience to take another little pill with it. Then will talk it over with the hubby before the scan, bearing in mind that if my ovaries haven't gone back to normal by then, the decision will be taken out of our hands anyway.

Nov 10, 2009


I got the results of the blood test back this morning...hcg level is down to 6. Needless to say that the nurse was a lot more sympathetic this time. And with a level so low there was obviously no suggestion that I need to wait any longer to cross this cycle off the list.

I have dealt with this cycle's failure enough that I wasn't actually upset to get this news...more relieved that it is over and I can get off the meds and start to move on.

I will be taking a much needed break from IVF for a short while...not sure just how long yet. I am really starting to struggle emotionally with it, and I don't feel that I would be capable of being the absolute best parent I can to my son if I were to continue on right now. He is my number one priority and I will not do anything that could jepardise our relationship or his future.

I would like to look at going back in the first few months of next year, but it will depend on when I feel I am ready to jump back onto this crazy rollercoaster, and also on our financial situation, which has already taken a bit of a beating from our IVF journey so far.

So for now, thanks for reading, and as always, for your much treasured support. I hope to be able to share with you more soon xo

Nov 9, 2009


So I managed to get the blood test request without too much trouble...the nurse was not happy though. No one should ever be made to feel that way when doing IVF...but that's another story...

I doubt I will get the results today now, but they are marked as urgent so I'm hoping to have them pretty early in the morning. Until then, I wait some more.

Bad news, good news

Well the bad news is that it's looking like I was right, that I am indeed having another very early miscarriage. The test this morning (3 days since the last test, 19DPO) was negative. The shadow of a line that was there before has now disappeared. The good news is that because of this, it's looking like it won't go on as long as the last one. I now have a good reason to (strongly) request a quantitive hcg test from my clinic, and I'm expecting it to come in at under 25. (The tests I have measure anything from 20mIU) Since the last test was done 4 days ago and was over 25, if a test now shows a level under that, I don't think that even my clinic would suggest I stay on the meds. So hopefully in the next couple of days I will be drug free again.

I'm doing ok now. I already knew that this wasn't going to work out, so I have had my few days to grieve. I must admit, I was a bit of a mess this time around, but I'm starting to feel much better now and am just looking forward to getting off these crazy meds and going back to enjoying my son without this IVF nightmare constantly inteferring.

I will update more once I speak to the clinic...wish me luck!

Nov 6, 2009


...that I am not just bitter and pessimistic. Again, it won't seem to upload the right way around so I'm sorry they are all on the side. The far right one was done at 13DPO, the middle one at 14DPO and the far left one was done this morning at 16DPO. Spot the line...if you can :(

Nov 5, 2009


Well, it's a mixed bag again. The story is this...I did a HPT at home (as always) on 13DPO and 14DPO - both times it came up with an extremely faint line. So much so that if you blinked you would miss it - you really have to look hard to see it.

My blood test today came back positive...but as I've mentioned before, my clinic only does qualitive blood tests - so anything over 25 is a positive. The average hcg level for 14DPO is around 100, therefore you would think that the line should at least be as dark as the one I did last cycle on the day that I measured 85 - but it is sooo much fainter than that.

I do understand that there is still a chance this may work, but after what happened last time, and with the HPT's not yet coming up with a nice line, it is hard to not expect another miscarriage. My follow up appointment/scan is booked for 1st December, so still a long time to wait.

My plan is to continue to test at home - if the tests don't get any stronger, or in particular if they get stronger and then weaker, I will phone the clinic and ask them to bring my scan forward - they should be able to bring it forward by a week and a half. Hopefully my instinct of my last miscarriage will give me enough credibility for them to do this.

So for now...I wait...again...

Oct 28, 2009

Final frozen count

I ended up forgetting to phone the clinic yesterday to get the final frozen embryo count - toddlers are the best distraction to IVF! I have since phoned them, and the final count is 5 frozen blasts from this cycle. We still have one leftover from the cycle I concieved my son so we now have a total of 6 blastocysts in the freezer. Very happy to get 6 from 16, my old clinic used to look for 1 in 4 to make the 5 days, so to get more than that is great.

Feeling ok still, trying to take it easy but am finding it near impossible with a very active toddler to chase around. I think he senses that I'm supposed to be resting! Just trying not to worry about doing the wrong thing - having my son has taught me that sometimes it's just a matter of waiting for the perfect baby to come.

Oct 26, 2009


Here is a pic of the blastocyst that I had transferred today...


Well we managed to get to transfer! I had one good looking blast transfered today. So far there have been 3 others frozen. The scientist is keeping a couple more overnight, if they turn into blasts by tomorrow then he will freeze them. I am to phone the clinic tomorrow to get the final frozen count. So we lost a lot from the 16, but it's still a pretty good final result - especially considering how many eggs were collected.

So now I just stay on the Crinone once a day until the blood test, which is scheduled for the 5th November. I have a follow up appointment booked for the 1st December which will either be a scan or will be to discuss this cycle and plan the next one, depending on the result of the blood test. Having just looked at the calender, the blood test is only 10 days away! That is the quickest two week wait I have ever had.


I'm happy to say that after a day of quite strong abdominal pain all day on Friday, I did start to improve on Saturday. Yesterday I was even better again. I am still bloated quite a lot, but the constant abdominal pain is no longer there and I am feeling much better. What a relief!

Oct 23, 2009

Here it comes

OHSS that is :( It started with some quite severe cramping early hours this morning, and has progressed to steady abdominal pain all day today. I'm also now bloated to the point where I look 4 months pregnant. To explain it to those who haven't had it, it's kind of like having a 'stitch' over your entire stomach...all the time. I am still trying to rest as much as possible, minimising the amount that I pick up my son, drinking at least 3L of water a day, as well as gatorade and sustagen (for protein).

I had to phone the nurse today to set a time for transfer on Monday. It is now booked in for 12:30pm. I have to phone an hour before to check if we have something to transfer. She asked how I was doing and I did mention the pain to her. But basically I'm doing all the right things, and that is pretty much all I can do. I'm just really hoping that it doesn't get much worse over the next couple of days.

Oct 22, 2009

Fertilisation Results

I got the fertilisation results back earlier - out of the 20 eggs collected, 19 of them were mature enough for sperm injection, and out of those, 16 of them fertilised! Wow, what fantastic results!

Still feeling ok, drinking loads of water, trying to rest as much as I can (with a toddler around!), as well as trying to up my protein intake.

We are going to attempt a blastocyst transfer so the embryos will now be grown until Monday. I need to phone the clinic tomorrow to get an appointment time, then phone an hour before to confirm that it is still going ahead. I have been told that sometimes they will grow them out until day 6 if I do get some OHSS symptoms or if the embryos need to be grown for a bit longer before transfer.

I'm also drug free for another couple of days - this clinic doesn't start the progesterone until day 4 after EPU (my last clinic started straight after EPU). So I start Crinone on Sunday night.

Until then, I wait!

EPU Results

First of all, I'm sorry I wasn't able to update last night. The anaesthetic really knocked me around. I ended up quite sick again (although not as bad as last time) and was pretty much like a zombie until I passed out in bed just after 7:30pm. Feeling better this morning, still tired and shakey though.

As for the results - 20 eggs! Was quite shocked and concerned when I found out. At least I know my concerns about OHSS were justified, but still it still worries me that they collected so many eggs. No wonder I was feeling very uncomfortable the last couple of days. I haven't had a chance to talk to my specialist yet (well, apparently I did for a while in recovery but I have absolutely no memory of it!), but I'm feeling good apart from the anaesthetic symptoms so I'm hoping transfer can still go ahead.

I will find out the fertilisation results at about lunchtime today, so will update once I know more.

Oct 20, 2009


Well, the trigger injection went off without a problem. In fact, it was so much easier than I expected. For those familiar with IVF meds, I was given the Ovidrel injection - so much better than the Pregnyl injection (the Pregnyl needs to be mixed yourself, very fidley and in my opinion, a lot more painful). I have had the Ovidrel once before, but still expected it to hurt more than it did.

I'm feeling quite uncomfortable and bloated today, still can't shake overstimming from my mind. But it is nice to have a day off the meds. I'm already getting nervous about tomorrow though, I really hate general anaesthetic.

I have to be there at 12:30 tomorrow, but judging by my last experience with the day surgery place and what I know of EPU's, I don't expect to be home until around 5pm at least. I will try and update tomorrow afternoon/night depending on how I am feeling, otherwise will do so the next morning.

Oct 16, 2009

Follicle scan appointment

I had my follicle scan today and am happy to report that it went well. The first thing I noticed on the scan was lots of good follicles, at first it made me and the specialist a bit nervous about overstimulation, but it turned out well. I have around 18 follicles in total...a lot, but he is only expecting around 10-14 eggs which is pretty much textbook perfect. Lining is also looking really good at around 7mm, and again a triple layer pattern.

So only the one scan needed. Egg pick up is scheduled for Wednesday next week. I am to continue with the daily injections & 12 hourly nasal spray until Monday night, then a trigger injection to be given at 2am (!) Tuesday morning. Nil by mouth from 6:30am Wednesday, admission into the day surgery at 12:30pm. The fasting shouldn't be too bad at all - with all my last cycles I had to fast from around 2am so it was hard for me to get through without breakfast. But this time, I will be able to have breakfast early, then basically just skip lunch. Much easier for me. But that 2am needle is going to be fun!

I'm actually feeling quite heavy low down at the moment, and with 18 follicles I still can't shake overstimulation from my mind, but there's not much I can do now but wait and see how we go.

Oct 9, 2009

First one down

Well the first injection is now behind me...and thankfully it wasn't as bad as I expected. I guess I had built it up in my mind a bit after developing quite the fear of them last time, but it really wasn't too bad at all. I did hesitate for a bit, but managed to get it done pretty quickly and with minimal pain. Only one week now until my of the great things about having a toddler this time around is that the time goes by a lot quicker than when I didn't have one!!

Oct 7, 2009

It begins...officially

So I had my appointment today - he gave me a scan to check to make sure my ovaries were all set for stimulation and I was given the go ahead to start the cycle officially. And since he scanned me today, there is now no need for me to get the blood test tomorrow, one less thing to do! I also maxed out my credit card and picked up my meds & cycle instructions. I have stopped the pill now and am just on Synarel every 12 hours. From Friday I will start daily FSH injections - 125iU of Puregon. My first scan to check on the follicle progress is on Friday the 16th.

I'm a bit nervous about the dose actually - it is a very small dose as far as IVF goes, but last time around when I was on 100iU, I produced 16 eggs (but only 13 mature). I do trust my specialist though, just hoping I don't overstimulate. That would not be pleasant with a toddler at home to look after, and I really want to be able to do a fresh transfer.

A bit nervous about the needles as well - last time I started off with no problems, but the more and more I progressed through IVF, the more I started to develop a fear of the needle. By the last cycle, I was really struggling to get through the injections and needing a lot of help & encouragement from my hubby. The FSH ones shouldn't be too bad, it's the trigger I am the most worried about. Oh well, all I can do is push on!

Sep 24, 2009

Cycle plan with dates

Ok, so here is the specific plan for this cycle:

22/9 Started the pill
23/9 Blood test to confirm hcg level at 0 - all clear
24/9 Start Synarel (nasal spray) 12 hourly
6/10 Stop pill
7/10 Appointment to pay for cycle and pick up meds
8/10 Blood test to confirm down regulation has worked
9/10 Start Puregon (injections) daily
16/10 Internal scan to check progress of follicle growth
20/10 Rough estimate of egg pick up

So I started the Synarel today...that taste brought back so many memories. I really hate that stuff. At least I only need to do one spray twice a day - last time it was always two sprays twice a day. (For those who haven't had it before, it makes you sneeze/feel like sneezing for around 30 minutes after doing it, and has an absoutely awful taste that runs down the back of your throat - words can't describe...yuck!).

I also found out the cost for the cycle which isn't too bad - pretty much what I expected. Although with the new safety net changes starting in January next year, I don't know whether IVF will really be affordable for us. The clinic's paperwork estimates an average 80% less in safety net rebate, this would add an additional $3,000 to each cycle! So one cycle would likely cost around $4.5K! To give you a slightly better chance than a natural conception. It is absolutely ridiculous - all that will happen is that IVF will only be for the rich, and it will make the multiple birth rate skyrocket due to people wanting to put multiple embryos back to give themselves the best chance because they can only afford one or two cycles. So basically heading towards the American system. It baffles me why they have come up with this system - the money that they save on safety net costs, will end up being spent on hospital costs relating to multiple births/pregnancy complications and the like. It is difficult enough for those of us who don't have the ability to conceive naturally without adding so much financial burden on top...and for a lot of us, taking that opportunity to have a baby away from us. And not only that, but the people who can easily conceive naturally are also given extra money for nothing in the form of the baby bonus! Now where the hell is the logic in THAT??

Anyway, ranting over, sorry about that. It's just really difficult when we are looking at the possibility of IVF being taken away from us. I'm sure those of you in the same sort of position as me understand. But, enough of the things I can't control...onwards and upwards!

Sep 23, 2009

Blood test...all clear

So the blood test result came back in this afternoon to say that my hcg has dropped down to 0, meaning that it should be all systems go tomorrow. Will update after the appointment when I have more information...

Sep 21, 2009

All systems go!

That's right, we have decided that we will be jumping straight back in to another cycle this week. It makes much more financial sense to get another cycle in while we are over the safety net this year so we are just going to do it! So the pill starts tomorrow, blood test the next day, then the appointment to pick up the meds on Thursday.

I'm feeling ok and as prepared as I can be at the moment. I am really loving being off the meds though, so I may change my mind from next week!

Sep 17, 2009

The new plan

Well, the scan today revealed as suspected - the embryo did implant, but has not continued to grow successfully. The specialist showed me where the sac was and told me that by the look of the scan, he is expecting me to miscarry naturally once I stop the meds so I shouldn't need a D&C which is great news. I'm actually feeling ok about it having had all this time to prepare. He assured me that there was nothing that I did wrong, the embryo was just not capable of becoming a baby. In about 20% of cases, there is something chromosonally wrong with the embryo and it doesn't continue to develop into a viable pregnancy.

So...the plan for the next cycle. It will indeed be a stim cycle, he definately agreed with me that it would be the best way to go with only one frozen embryo. We discussed the cycle and have decided on a down reg cycle with 125iU of Puregon and blast transfer. I have the option of starting straight away - as it was a HRT cycle, the miscarriage won't have any affect on the next cycle, providing that there is no hcg left before I start (as it can affect egg quality)

So, I stop all existing meds today, go onto the pill on Tuesday next week, blood test on Wednesday to check if the hcg level has gone back to 0, then an appointment on Thursday to pick up the meds, starting Synarel (a nasal spray) that day. (Although he is also talking about using another drug in place of Synarel which is a once only be decided at the appointment next week.) Next step is the Puregon (a form of Follicle Stimulating Hormone, given as a daily injection). As mentioned, he is putting me on 125iU - it is a reasonably small dose, but I haven't been on a dose that high before, last time I was on 100iU. But, I trust his judgement.

After that comes the egg pick up (EPU). I have talked to him about the possibility of a local anaesthetic instead of a general (which it is normally done under). I get very nervous about generals and find the recovery a bit difficult. Especially now that I have my son to look after, and my husband leaves for work at around midnight. After a general, you are supposed to have someone with you for 24 hours - not only do I not have that, but I am also responsible for my son in that time. He has suggested that it may be possible and we can discuss that as the time gets closer. As mentioned, he is also planning a blastocyst transfer which means that the embryos are grown to day 5 before transfer.

For those not familiar with the IVF process, here is a very simple summary:

Sequence of Steps for an IVF Treatment Cycle
Suppression of own hormones using nasal spray ( & contraceptive pill)
Follicle growth (stimulation by injections)
Ovulation timing (based on ultrasound scans)

Trigger of follicles (one off injection)
Collecting the eggs from the follicles

Collection and preparation of sperm
Insemination of eggs with sperm

Progesterone support (twice daily pessaries)
Assessment of fertilisation

Embryo division & growth
Embryo transfer to the uterus
Embryo freezing (if any surplus embryos)
Pregnancy blood test (approx 2 weeks later)


I'm feeling quite good about this plan, very nervous about going back to a full stim cycle, but still feeling ok about it. Until the appointment, I really didn't think that I would be able to continue with IVF right now, but it has inspired me to want to keep going. I feel so much better after having a really good talk with my specialist today. I talked to him about the quantitive blood tests - he still strongly disagrees with doing them. His belief is that they can't tell you anything so they shouldn't be used. He is very involved in the industry and has quite strong opinions about the way that things are done in the medical profession. He is very well respected though and apparently has the best success rates in QLD, so I do have to consider that. But, he was still happy to discuss it with me (and I think if I pushed, he would give me the blood tests). He did joke that he should form a support group for me and the other patients who are very 'involved' in their treatment process, but he also assured me that it was a good thing and that he is more than happy for me to remain as involved as I like, asking as many questions as I like and contributing to the decisions along the way. After our talk today, I am back to feeling very confident with my choice of clinic/specialist.

So, onwards and upwards I guess. I have the next week to decide if I am happy to jump straight back in, if not all I need to do is phone to cancel the appointment, stay on the pill, then make another appointment for whenever I want and I can start straight away from then. At this stage I am leaning towards just jumping straight back in, but I will make my final decision over the weekend after consulting with my hubby a bit more and looking into our finances.

Sep 10, 2009

Ruling from the clinic

I heard back from the nurse after she spoke to the specialist. He gave me the option to stop the medication, or to continue and wait for the scan. He has admitted that there is very little hope for this cycle, but his style is to not give up until the scan. Probably why they don't do quantitive blood tests.

I have managed to find a compromise and brought the scan forward by a week to next Thursday. Not that I believe there is any chance of a pregnancy from this cycle, but I want to do the right thing by the clinic and follow my specialist's recommendations. This way, I still get to come off the meds a week earlier than if I had not got the quantitive blood tests. And I am much better prepared.

Needless to say, next time I will be demanding the quantitive blood tests from the start, regardless of their standard policy.

Another one bites the dust

I don't come bearing good news unfortunately...hcg level from yesterday came back at 50. I spoke to the clinic and confessed to them about the blood tests. A hard thing to do actually as the nurse was quite upset about it. I do feel bad, but I still maintain that they should have offered me the tests when I asked about it. And after all, all I did was follow my instinct, which turned out to be correct.

Anyway, I have asked whether or not I need to stay on the meds for the next 2 weeks. Recluctantly, she is checking with the specialist and getting back to me. With the level being so low and in particular, dropping, I really don't see the need for me to have to keep putting myself through all these drugs. A side effect of failing the cycle should be to allow me to have a part of my life back.

Sep 9, 2009

More news

pending tomorrow. Just got a phone call from the GP clinic, results are in. They don't give results over the phone so I have made an appointment with the GP for tomorrow morning at 9:15am to get the results. Holding my breath until then...

Blood test results

I managed to get my blood test results this morning. Had to make another appointment to see the GP to get them, but I got them. Not great news unfortunately...level was 85. At the same stage with Jake's pregnancy my level was 1,786. Now I definately wasn't expecting anywhere near that, but at 19DPO I would have expected at least 300, not 85.

As the GP didn't know my circumstances, he kept telling me that it was a positive result and wanted to refer me to an OB. Even though I commented on how low the level was. He probably thought I just ovulated later than usual. But I managed to convince him to allow me to do another blood test to check the doubling time. He was going to make me wait another week to do the test, and was going to charge me for it, but I managed to get it bulk billed and done today, 2 days exactly after the last test was done. Again, I have been told I will have to wait 2-3 days for the results. I'm really hoping that I get them by Friday.

Needless to say, I am quite upset today. I realise that, especially on a frozen cycle, the embryo could have just implanted later than normal. But with a level as low as 85, it's hard to have much hope left.

Sep 8, 2009


I managed to get my quantitive blood test request from the GP yesterday and had the blood test done, but have been told it will be a 2-3 day wait to get the results which was pretty disappointing. I may even have to have another appointment with the GP to get them! Makes me appreciate specialist care more!

In the meantime, I am going to continue to POAS every second day, hoping to see that line get darker. 15 days until scan day and counting!

Sep 7, 2009

Testing, testing

Yes, that's right. On top of going to the GP this morning, I have also started to POAS every morning as a matter of routine! I was nervous all over again when it was hard to see a change between Saturday & Sunday's test, but felt better this morning when the line was noticibly darker. Still no where near as dark as my tests from my last pregnancy (which may be part of what is making me a bit nervous), but dark enough that it has changed from yesterday morning's test.

Now for some bizzare reason, blogger keeps rotating the picture, so I'm sorry about having to tilt your head! The one on the top was done yesterday morning, the bottom one is from this morning...

Sep 6, 2009


Ok, so with a little extra encouragment (thanks guys!), I have now booked an appointment with a GP to request a quantitive blood test (or two). Have had to book in with a different GP than my usual one - he was the one who referred me to my IVF speacialist so I thought it would be a bit harder to explain! But have found a medical centre in my local area and managed to get an appointment with a GP there for 9:15am tomorrow morning. I'm hoping that I will be able to get the blood test done early enough to get the results tomorrow afternoon, but I may have to wait the extra day.

I just feel like I need this. Another HPT this morning was still only a very faint positive, I feel like I can't really accept this until I know more about what is happening inside me.

Sep 5, 2009


Umm...yes...I am in shock. My blood tests results came in yesterday afternoon....and apparently I am PREGNANT!!! :O

More than happy to eat my words on this occasion, still seems so weird though after I had myself convinced that this cycle had failed. A HPT yesterday afternoon was still negative which I think made it even harder to accept. But one done this morning is finally showing a faint positive.

Unfortunately though, my clinic only does qualitive blood tests, so I have no idea what my hcg level is. This is also making it hard for me to accept this. I have a scan booked in for Wednesday the 23rd...I don't know how I am going to get through the next 2 and a half weeks without going insane.

I am debating going to a GP to get a quantitive blood test request to help me, but may yet just settle for becoming a POAS addict waiting for the line to get darker.

I really just can't believe it...I am one of those people! First cycle back, and a FET cycle at that! A chance at a baby, without having to do any injections!

Sep 2, 2009

Another one bites the dust

Yep, that's right...I caved. I ended up doing a HPT at 12DPO and again at 13DPO...both negative. I'm remaining on the tablets and pessaries until the blood test on Friday, but this obviously means a negative result for us this time. With 20mIU tests, something would have shown up by then otherwise. I also started getting cramps this morning at 14DPO so I would not be surprised to see my period turn up very soon.

I'm feeling ok about it considering. I really didn't have a big expectation for this cycle anyway, being our first one and being a FET cycle. Still disappointed though obviously - it would have been nice to be one of those couples who only need to do one IVF cycle for a baby.

The really disappointing thing for me is that it looks like we have to delay IVF for a short while... there are a few financial issues we need to get sorted as well as some business goals that could affect our ability to continue with IVF right now. It's very unfortunate timing for me, if I had of known earlier, I would have done a stim cycle rather than a FET for our last cycle. Can't be helped now though, I'm hoping that the break will only be for a couple of months - now that we have paid our safety net and hospital excess, it would be a bit silly to not take advantage of that by getting in another cycle this year.

After some consideration, I have pretty much decided to do a full stim cycle next time, rather than try another FET with our last frostie. It's not great odds to try and thaw a single embryo, and even then, much less chance of a sucessful pregnancy. Considering that I need to do HRT FET cycles, it really isn't that much more to do a full stim cycle. At this stage, I would rather twice daily injections instead of 8 hourly tablets - they would have less effect on my life...I could re-gain control of my bedtime and wake up time! The main big difference for me would be EPU (egg pick up) which is normally done under general anaesthetic - but I believe my specialist offers the option of a local anaesthetic instead which I am very interested in finding out more about. (I hate GA, and the 24 hour recovery time).

I am still going to keep my appointment on Monday to talk to the specialist about the next cycle. That way, when we are ready to go again, we can get straight back into it. I'm pretty sure that he will recommend a stim cycle as well. The odds are more like 50-60% (well he reckons he is getting 80% at the moment but I think that's a bit crazy!), instead of 15-20% with a FET cycle. So a big difference and one I think is worth doing it for.

So now we wait...some more. I thought this whole process would be easier than it has been...maybe it would be if nearly all the mothers I know didn't already have second/third children or were pregnant again. While I am still incredibly grateful to have my son in my life, that urge for another baby, a sibling for my son, is just getting stronger.

Aug 30, 2009


I didn't expect to feel like this...I never had this problem last time. I've never been one to POAS (pee-on-a-stick) earlier on in the two week wait. The first time around, I would always do a HPT before the blood a way of preparing myself for a negative result. But I would always wait until around 14DPO (days past 'ovulation') at least before I would even consider it. And while of course I struggled waiting until that time, I was never tempted to POAS any earlier.

This time around, I can feel so much temptation to POAS! I ordered some HPT's online a while ago and got them in the mail the other day. I have been thinking that I will do one at some stage before the blood test like I used to do the first time around. I really do find it easier to deal with a negative result privately and on my own terms, rather than at a random time of the day with a nurse over the phone. For this cycle, the plan was to do a test on Wednesday which would be the equivilant of 14DPO, with the blood test being on Friday.

But I'm only 11DPO today and I can already feel those HPT's calling! I think I'm just getting frustrated with the not knowing. I had forgotten how many small adjustments I feel like I need to make to my life after a transfer. And some of these adjustments are a bit harder with a toddler - being careful not to overwork myself, not letting Jake jump on my belly, trying to minimise the amount I have to pick him up (which most times, can't be helped), not having those few glasses of wines at the end of the week. Not to mention the 8 hourly tablets and 12 hourly pessaries...the novelty is definately wearing off!

Plus I'm really not feeling that confident about this cycle - being my first one and a FET cycle, it doesn't give me great odds in my mind. Oh well, not too much longer before I can pull out the HPT's!

Aug 25, 2009

Meet Frosty

Out of interest, the title of this post is due to my hubby insisting on calling any frozen embryos 'Frosty'!

So, for a bit of scientific looks a bit different from the usual blastocyst image. Here is a picture of one of the blasts that were transfered from my successful pregnancy cycle (so it could very well be my son!). The embryo that we had transfered yesterday was from the same stimulated cycle as this one.

The big clump of cells that you can see towards the bottom right hand corner is what would develop into the baby if it were to implant. Now, the reason that the first picture looks so different is due to the freeze-thaw process. They draw out all the water and inject a special chemical solution into the embryo to freeze it, then they reverse the process to thaw, removing the solution and replacing the water. This process causes the embryo to contract. Upon thawing, ideally the embryo would then begin to re-expand and continue to grow.

In the first picture, you can see, in particular towards the top right area, where the embryo has started to expand again which is obviously a good sign for the embryo. But, I am all too aware that good signs don't always carry a lot of weight, so all we can do now is wait and hope.

Aug 24, 2009

Transfer day

Well, I'm very happy to report that we made it to transfer! The first one of our two frozen blastocysts was thawed sucessfully, meaning we still have one blastocyst leftover in the freezer.

It has been quite a nerve-racking day though, transfer was initially scheduled for 12:45pm. I phoned at 10am to check on the embryos but they had not yet been thawed, checked again at 11am and was told that transfer would now be taking place at 1:15pm, but all the receptionist knew was that there was something to transfer. Another phone call at 12:45pm (which sent me into a bit of a panic) advised that the specialist was stuck in theatre and my transfer would now be taking place at 5:30pm! So the rest of the afternoon was spent worrying about how our embryo was coping since it had already been thawed. Just to add to my nervousness, the clinic phoned me at 5:15pm to see if I could come in straight away as they had managed to catch up some time - just seeing their number on my phone made me think something was wrong!

I met the scientist, who showed me a picture of our embryo and advised me that he had only needed to thaw one of the two blasts. He explained what I was seeing really well and told me that he was happy with how the embryo had survived the thaw process. Transfer took place smoothly and my blood test date and review date was set. My pregnancy blood test is set for Friday 4th September (ironically the same date my pregnancy blood test was for Jake 2 years ago :o), with the review being booked in for the following Monday.

So, the next step for me is to continue with the 8 hourly tablets and 12 hourly pessaries...and just wait. I'm feeling pretty good at the moment, hopefully I have my head space in the right place for the next couple of weeks. I will also be trying to minimise too much heavy lifting, generally taking it easy, making time to relax each day but also continuing to walk every day. Other than that it will pretty much be business as usual here.

As a side note: I did get to take home a copy of the embryo picture - I will scan it in and include in another post.

Aug 19, 2009

Scan results

The scan went well today, seems all that pill popping paid off and I have managed to grow a good enough lining to attempt a transfer. My lining is now 8mm and is showing a triple line pattern which is a positive thing to see.

So I start progesterone pessaries tonight, then every 12 hours as well as continuing with the 8 hourly progynova tablets. The pessaries aren't too bad, I've decided that the best times for me to do them will be 8am and 8pm. You are supposed to lie down for 30 minutes after each one, but the nurse has told me that as long as I can do 5-10 minutes it will be fine which is helpful with a toddler running around to look after!

So at this stage, transfer is booked in for this coming Monday at 12:45pm. I need to call the clinic at around 10am to see how my embryo/s are doing. The aim is to thaw one at a time with the hope of transfering one. I must admit, after my last FET experience, I am not all that confident about getting to transfer, but my FS still has some hope because they are blastocysts, so it is worth giving it a go.

Aug 5, 2009

New cycle plan

The appointment went really well today, I had a few questions about the different methods of approaching a FET cycle and was a bit worried about discussing them with my specialist. But he was really fantastic...listened to all my questions, gave straight answers without rushing and allowed me to be involved in the decision process.

We have decided that this time we are going to do a medicated or HRT cycle. This involves taking a tablet called Progynova every 12 hours for the first week, then every 8 hours after that. The idea of this drug is to grow the lining, without needing to also grow a good follicle. A scan in 2 weeks time to check if the lining has grown well enough for transfer, if so then progesterone pessaries twice a day starting that day, continuing with the tablets every 8 hours as well. Then hopefully transfer on the 5th day after that.

This cycle is a lot more straight forward in that there is no need for repeated scans, urine samples for OPK's or trigger injection. Most importantly, it bypasses the ovaries all together so I don't have to worry about if and when I will ovulate. Which obviously makes the timing a lot easier as well - much more control. The down side of this type of cycle is that if I did fall pregnant, I would have to continue the 8 hourly tablets & twice daily pessaries for another 6 weeks.

In my case, because we only have 2 frozen embryos, there is still a good possiblity that they wont survive the thaw process, leaving us nothing to transfer anyway. So we agreed that the most important thing for us it to get to that transfer moment so that we can see what these embryos are going to do.

Another reason for our decision - the blood test result from last week put my progesterone level at 35. He said that he would have liked to see it at around 60, people who don't ovulate at all are usually around 20. So I'm in the middle somewhere. Because of this, I would also feel a lot more confident having the progesterone support after transfer - I just don't trust my body to produce the hormones that are needed to sustain an embryo should it implant.

I feel really good about our decision and much more confident about getting to transfer day. So, tablets start tonight at 10pm, then 10am & 10pm every day until Wednesday next week when they will be at 6am, 2pm and 10pm. We have set alarms on both my phone and my hubby's phone - the nurse has told me that if I miss even one of the tablets, I will have a withdrawl bleed and the cycle will be over. No pressure there!!

Aug 4, 2009

Day 1

Well after two days of spotting (very strange for me), AF has arrived this morning making today day 1 of my new cycle. I phoned the clinic and spoke to the nurse this morning, I can still keep my appointment tomorrow as any treatment will commence on day 2 anyway, so it just means that I will start (most likely) Clomid tomorrow.

Let's hope that this next cycle is not as whacky as the last one. It's been nearly 3 months since my initial appointment...wouldn't mind having a transfer soon!

Jul 30, 2009


Not much happening at the moment while I wait for my appointment next week. Had the blood test yesterday, now it's less than an week until I find out more. I seemed to be showing signs of ovulation up until Monday/Tuesday this week though which was very strange, I am really interested to hear the results of the progesterone levels from yesterday.

Will update again after my appointment on Wednesday...

Jul 24, 2009

The Catch Up

So, I will try and keep this very simple. We had always planned to go back to try again once Jacob got to around 12 months old. I was ready when he was only 7 months, but was still breastfeeding and not ready to wean. I ended up choosing to wean him at nearly 11 months, with the aim of going back to the fertility specialist a month later. We ended up moving to a different area, but still managed to get to our initial appointment only a couple of weeks later on the 21st of May. I had done some research before the move and found a fertility specialist/clinic that I was really happy with, and so far I have been very happy with my decision.

My new specialist sifted through our records and decided that he wanted me to have a laparoscopy/hysteroscopy & dye studies. I didn't have this done the first time around - as our male factor meant IVF/ICSI for us no matter what, and there was no reason to suspect endometriosis on my part - my old specialist wanted to do a few rounds of IVF before going down that road. My new specialist likes to make sure that he has done everything he can before doing a transfer - probably the reason why his success rates are higher than some big city clinics.

So the lap/hyst/dye studies were done a month later on the 17th June. I struggled a little to recover from the general anesthetic, but otherwise my recovery was very good. He found a floppy retroverted uterus (probably the result of my last pregnancy, not something that affects fertility), but otherwise everything was perfect. No signs of endometriosis, which was great news as it can negatively affect the chances of success with IVF.

As we have 2 frozen blastocysts from our successful pregnancy cycle, the next step was to plan a frozen embryo transfer (FET). My specialist has found the greatest success comes from trying to mimic a natural cycle as much as possible, so I was given a prescription for Serophene (Clomid) to try and help me ovulate, and a date to start taking it. They are tablets that you take for 5 days from day 2 to day 6 of a cycle. I was to take 1.5 tablets a day, or 75mg. Then a scan was booked in for day 12 to see what was happening. The scan showed 1 follicle on each ovary, but they were still only 9mm and 10mm (they need to be around 18-21mm to be mature). Another scan was done 4 days later, the 10mm one was not growing at all, and the 9mm one was now 13mm which was considered quite a slow growth. Another scan two days later revealed the remaining follicle was 15mm, again very slow growth. Yet another scan the next day revealed no change in the follicle size, and fluid from the follicle outside of it, indicating a possible spontaneous ovulation and resulting in a cancelled cycle. That was yesterday.

My specialist is still not really sure what went wrong as my lining was fantastic the whole time. He has arranged for me to have a blood test next week to check my progesterone level so that he can learn more. Then I have an appointment the following week (unless my period arrives sooner) to review the cancelled cycle and start again. Next time I will be on 100mg of Serophene (2 tablets). I am obviously feeling disappointed, but as my specialist said, I want to make sure that our embryos have the very best chance they can at succeeding. He is also not charging me at all for the cancelled cycle which I was pretty amazed by! They are simply carrying over the money that has been paid to the next cycle, and bulk billing for all the scans/appointments. Very impressive I thought, considering what I know of other clinics and what I paid at my last one.

Overall so far I am coping really well. It has been hard bringing back all the painful memories of our first experience with IVF, but this time around I have my precious munchkin to cuddle when I get home. There is not the sense of urgency that I felt last time, obviously I am still desperately hoping that we are blessed with a second miracle soon, but there are much worse things to do than spending the waiting time as a part of our beautiful family and sharing every day with my precious son.

Jul 23, 2009

A new start to a new dream

Thanks to a suggestion from a good friend (thanks Car!), I have decided that it is time to ressurect this blog. For those who are not already aware, we have decided that the time has come for us to start trying for baby number 2. Obviously for us, this involves another trip on the IVF rollercoaster.

Not wanting to have my little munchkin's blog taken over by IVF talk, I have so far kept most of it out of print. But I do feel like it would be a positive step to record this new stage in our journey. To allow myself to process it all, as well as keep our lovely friends and family up to date on our progress.

So welcome back to any of my familiar readers!! And to any new readers - welcome to Butterfly Dreams...Take 2!