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...