Thursday, October 31, 2013

9dp3dt Beta Eve

It hurts to sneeze. I know this as I have just doubled over after 2 mild sneezes.

The trouble? A combination of two things, one of which is directly related to progesterone and I hope can be solved with prunes. Sorry TMI. The other is new today: bloating/swelling of my tummy.

I got Hubby to come and inspect, and he agrees that there has been a significant change in the, um, density? Consistency? Of my tummy. What used to be soft'n'squishy is now much firmer and full feeling.

I have had cramping continuously today. It started off rough, as I didn't get a very good sleep last night. The Dexcom sensor insertion went horribly wrong in vampire-fashion and bled. It did hook up and start working, but then it decided that I didn't really need sleep at all. I got woken by the Dex and Animas Vibe low alarms no less than 10 times. Oh, and i wasnt actually low. Cue a very grumpy morning me. Almost didn't go to work as I felt so crappy, but since I'm taking half of tomorrow I thought I'd better get in there.

Class was good, but the bloody Dex decided to swing the other way and scream high alarms at me throughout my lesson. I had to keep apologizing for it. :(

Let's just say that between the lack of sleep, the suspense, and the physical pain I am in at the moment with the cramping et al., I was super happy to come home mid arvo.

Oh, but then we needed groceries, and Hubby and I cooked dinner together (which I love!), and then we both worked until late.

I'm in bed now, so should shut all this off and go to sleep!

Wish us luck for tomorrow! :)

I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope we get a positive result.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

8dp3dt Only 2 days to go!!!

I have spent most of the past couple of days wondering how to stop myself getting too optimistic.

A quick look at the website of a pregnancy-test company shows that I have several "symptoms" which could be good signs: fatigue (I'm getting very tired by 3pm, to the point where it is strenuous to remain standing for more than a few minutes), dizziness (mostly related to the fatigue, I think), tender breasts (could be the progesterone?), frequent need to pee (and I have unintentionally cut back my water intake due to teaching class - I am thirsty a lot though so must remember to drink more water!), cramping (again, could be progesterone), mood swings (not consistent thank goodness, but did you see my last post lol?) and, lastly, unfortunately: constipation (mild, but combined with cramping and progesterone and pre-natal iron means more fatigue). That is 7 out of their 9 listed symptoms.

Beta will be at 10dp3dt on Friday, which means it will be 15dp ER (egg retrieval and conception).

Many of the people around me seem more outwardly excited than I am. I am trying really hard to moderate my emotions and not get too damn soppy about all this, lest it come crashing down around my ears. I must remember that it is a tough journey for any embryo to make it, and that it is definitely not guaranteed at all. So, I seem to be spending odd and random snippets of my day trying to calm other people down. A lot. Like my delightful friend who tells me she has already started knitting!

At least my Mum, Dad and Sister are no trouble. If anything, they seem to be a mixture of stunned, embarrassed, delighted, and worried about the whole IVF process. Mostly, it is expressed as not asking questions and letting me do the talking. We have always been a family that doesn't really talk about taboo stuff, and you can't get much more taboo than the nitty gritty of reproduction!

Tonight I changed both my infusion site for my Animas Vibe and my Dexcom sensor. The infusion site change went well, although after dinner, and working on some coding project, I was pretty tired.

The Dexcom sensor change was a disaster. It stung when I inserted the sensor, and when I removed the inserter, I looked and saw a pool of blood gathering under the clear plastic. Boo.

Maybe it knows Halloween is just around the corner?
Initially it was just a spot of blood, but it grew quickly until it was about 1cm diameter: about the width of the sensor base.

I was distraught. Each sensor is about $125 (my parents are kindly funding them, and I was so proud of being able to make the previous sensor last 14 days) and they do not grow on trees. But my bigger problem is that if I have to replace it, I have almost no spare real estate on my belly!

With my dress still hitched up under my bra, and the little snap-off plastic doohicky that helps snap the transmitter in place still attached, I grabbed my Animas/Dexcom manual, and promptly cussed when I could immediately find the phone number. The Interwebs knew it though, and in no time I was talking to my Pump Rep at 9.30pm. She assured me that it happens, that I should put the transmitter in and see if it works, and email her in the morning if it hasn't hooked up by then. If it's still dodgy then they will replace it under warranty. Fantastic!

Thank you everyone so much for your kind words and support! I really appreciate it :D

Sunday, October 27, 2013

5dp3dt Twinges

Saturday, and the start of the long Labour Weekend here in New Zealand. We have the step kids staying with us this weekend (they are ages 18 boy, 16 girl, and 12 boy) - they come every second weekend to stay and the first thing Hubby showed them when they arrived on Friday evening was the photo of our embryo. The younger two were quite positive, the older was more reserved. Hard to tell what they are thinking sometimes.

Today I slept in, and then got up, had a lazy shower, and helped Hubby prepare lunch for all of us. I am struggling to get enough healthy choices - I mean, pizza for lunch one weekend with the kids is fun. Pizza for lunch every weekend with the kids is too much. I need healthy choices at this moment in time if never before! Normally, our go-to Saturday lunch with kids meal is make-your-own filled rolls at MILs, with ham, salad, cheese etc. Of course, I can no longer have deli-meats, so I was going to get a little tin of salmon instead (yum!) and take that to MILs house, but she is unwell so Hubby just brought the pizza home with him. But hey, I am not one to complain when someone prepares a meal for me! It's just now I have even more nutritional restrictions (diabetes plus PUPO) and I now feel like I am spending most of my waking moments planning safe, healthy food and drink choices.

Even tea. Black tea has caffeine and I have decided to have zero caffeine intake. I am drinking Dilmah decaffeinated tea, but have also just got some raspberry leaf tea - I quite like it! This is coming from someone who thinks that green tea tastes like lawn clippings lol

So the guts of this post: perhaps the hormones have finally got to me?

Hubby and I had a really bad fight today. We hardly ever fight. And when we do, it's always over nothing. This was no exception, but it felt worse. It started when we were with the youngest at a newly opened playground for kids. It was literally teeming with toddlers and children. Although I may be pregnant, I still carry the years of being infertile with me, so that mixed with my childhood memories of the park and I was already having an internal battle. And then an incident happened that may have involved the youngest. Long story short, it felt like Hubby had instantly "sided" with his son, rather than trusting me. And he couldn't understand me, and I felt he was being irrational. Sometimes I feel really alone in this journey, afterall, he already has kids and cannot possibly have identical feelings to me about this situation, although I know he dearly wants a child with me now. It's just that after 10 years in this family, for him to say one sentence and it immediately devalues my place in the family, and makes me an outsider to the family group, and comes with the assumption that I don't want what is best for his kids. All that is just what I feel, not what I know or what is logical. But that doesn't stop if hurting me deeply and upsetting me. I know Hubby was also greatly upset, it wasn't just a one-sided thing at all!

He took the kids off to get an ice-cream while I sulked in the car - I really didn't want to be anywhere near them. Once back at home, we tried to reconcile but it just got worse. We both got really worked up and I drove off to give us both space to calm down. I went to my favourite garden centre and bought new vege plants, and while I was there Hubby phoned me and we were soon back right as rain. The thing is, while I was so angry and sad and upset, I was also getting really bad twinges in my abdomen, especially over my right hip, and right through to my lower right back. It didn't last very long, but I was concerned enough to decided to go home even before Hubby rang. I am not supposed to elevate my pulse or raise my core body temperature during my 2WW.

Once I got home, the house was empty as Hubby has to do some work, and the 2 of the kids were in town, while the youngest had gone with Dad. So I attacked the garden to work off some of my fury. It was quite overgrown as I had let if go fallow since autumn (I hate gardening in the winter - I am a fair-weather gardener) and it was great to get in there and rip out the old capsicum plants, corn stalks, and giant weeds! Bending and digging was hard, as was pulling out weeds. Every movement which activated my abdominal muscles made me acutely aware of them, and what might be behind them, and so I kept taking breaks. Soon enough, I was all hot and bothered just in time for Hubby to come home and find me covered in dirt. We had a big hug and all was good again. The world was righted on it's axis once again.

But here is the strangest part: in the overgrown garden I found: 1 chicken, 13 eggs, and a perfectly edible pumpkin that had been hiding out all winter! The chicken in question is one of our 4 pet chooks, and she has been going missing in the afternoons from the open-top fenced in area of the orchard that the chooks call home. I was digging out a particularly stubborn weed when this chicken burst out of the undergrowth, clucking like a mad thing! I went to investigate where she had come from and found a hole in the hedge, and if I stuck my whole arm in I could just reach the clutch of eggs. Unfortunately, they will all have to be thrown away cos they will be stin-ky!

Tomorrow, if the weather holds to be fine again, I will look at finishing the clearing of the garden and maybe even get it planted up. I might try and enlist some help with the heavy digging this time.

Hubby and the two youngest are out tonight playing in a band (yes, really) at a local private function, so I cooked a pasta dinner for the eldest and now we are watching another of those crappy James Bond movies. It's one with Roger Moore in it, not my favourite Bond.

So symptoms today, apart from the twinges: generally crampy feelings, they are normally small-sized and will move about every couple of hours - maybe starting quite low, perhaps below my uterus, and then moving to one side, then in the upper abdomen, then around into my lower back. This evening the cramp/heaviness is more similar with what I get prior to my period, and everything I have read suggests that these can be signs of implantation. By breasts are still a bit tender, but nowhere near as bad as 2 or 3 days ago. Blood sugars are getting more erratic unfortunately, and I am experiencing more low blood sugars after not having any during the stims and ER/ET processes. I am finding that I must keep myself well hydrated, otherwise I can start to get a headache pretty quickly.

Now officially past the halfway mark of the 2WW, and I am feeling really positive about this. I still try to maintain a realistic attitude, as the nurse said, I might feel symptoms, I might not, and in either instance anything could happen. Please keep your fingers crossed for us!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

3dp3dt A call from the lab

And.... the second-best embryo made it to morula then blastocyst stage but was too poorly to freeze.

I saw a missed blocked call on my phone and assumed it was the lab, so I called the embryologist M back. Instead I spoke to C who said that unfortunately our last embryo didn't make it to freeze. She was very kind and compassionate about it, and answered my questions. I called from my desk at work (open plan) as I thought, well it's no good waiting until I'm home as the lab will be shut. Plus I was already pretty certain it wouldn't make it, although there was always an outside chance we would get one to freeze, and that was my goal, I knew in my heart when the lab said back on Saturday that the second-best one was slow that it would be a long shot. Oh well.

The embryologist on the phone mentioned happily that the 3 day embryo we did transfer was of a good grade, so I asked her about their grading system. She said day 3 embryos are given a number grade of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. The one we transferred was a 5! How awesome is that?! She then went on to say how once they reach blastocyst stage, there is a different grading system of a number plus two letters. Anything 3 or below has such a low chance of turning into a healthy pregnancy that they are not generally frozen. She didn't offer a grade for our blast, and I didn't ask since she had already explained some of the biological issues it had. Sounds like it was a bit of a mess by the day 6 report! Poor little embryo.

My good friend and colleague was well within earshot and she knows what we're doing do I told her, and she said "well it doesn't matter cos you already have the best one!" and then "you know, I've started knitting already!" way to jinx things lol.

But actually it does make a big difference. I hope with all my heart that this first IVF cycle works. But the lack of any frosties means that there will never be the potential for a full-sibling. If this cycle works then we will not be eligible for another funded cycle. If this cycle fails we are not guaranteed another funded cycle, but it's likely that we would get one after about a 6 month wait.

Ah, the dreaded 2WW. Where suddenly every little feeling has the greatest significance to it. My symptoms are as follows: sore breasts and very tender nips, a hardening/ tenderness/swelling in left breast, occasionally mild cramping and feelings of pressure low down in abdomen, plus this evening I got two very distinct sharper cramps on the right side. My outlook is very positive, I'm very smoochy lolz, and overall I feel pretty calm about all this.

Diabetes has been ok, nothing dramatic although any stress I can see my bloodsugar shooting up. I have taken to bolusing for stress! And work is not even that stressful. I worked a full day today and again freelanced until 9.30pm.

We got some healthy burgers this evening, as they have little pottles of the best dark choc ice cream! Oh so delicious! I managed to carb count very well and actually started dropping rapidly with the hour of eating.

Hubby is being very supportive and kind to me like always :D he said this evening how great it would be for us to have a child together. Yes, it would indeed be great. Scary, worrying, hopeful, exciting a whole big mixture.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2dp3dt The waiting is hard

Because my mind is playing tricks on me and my body is doing this that are unusual.

Yesterday (Tues) I went back to work. I park my car down the bottom of a big hill and it normally takes me about 2mins to walk up it. Well. My feet felt like they were made of lead, my thighs were aching, my tummy was crampy (not really painful, just tense and heavy feeling). I slowed right down and just had to concentrate on breathing to get up the hill and to my first class.

I spent yesterday with pretty good blood sugars, although now I have the Dexcom I'm definitely more discerning and I don't like to be above about 12 mmol for any length of time.

Today when I woke the crampiness was much reduced, and it stopped quite suddenly at about 11am today - the same time my blood sugar dropped to 4.9 which is the lowest it's been in about 5 days.

This evening my left breast has a hard sore patch, feels like a sharp bruise, so in short I have no goddamn idea what these hormones are doing to me.

I am maintaining my positive outlook and I seem to be able to work ok. I definitely didn't get as tired today and worked a full day, then freelanced until 9.30pm!

Still avoiding caffeine, and I have been resisting the temptation to go get a kebab and instead every night i am cooking vege-rich meals, which is actually making me feel good.

With the pump and Dex site changes, the 3x daily progesterone (600mg total a day) I have actually forgotten my prenatal vitamins twice in the last 4 days. Felt a bit bad about this, but since I don't have a time machine I just have to leave that guilt and remember the next dose.

This evening I went quite high 15.0 and sat there for a while. Boluses weren't working and I realized my site change as due this morning. So I did that and changed the battery for the first time also. Good news is my blood sugar has dropped to 10.5 now, but that took a ezBG bolus, plus a normal bolus just to kick things along, plus the +20% increase basal.

It's hard to know what is a symptom and what isn't. Google is little help, but I have been reading forums about implantation signs and it seems like anything goes. Cramping is both good and an omen, or just your body recovering from the ER and ET. Sore boobs can be a sign, or a coincidence. Fatigue, cravings, having a westerly-facing letterbox: according to the interwebs these could all be predictors of both implantation or not.

So I am waiting with a certain about of chargrin. It's kind of nice to be in this space where Hubby and I can know we might be pregnant, but science can't tell yet, you know? Makes it even more special.

The lab sent me the embryo photo. Hubby thinks its cute. I will share it with you after I get the initial results. As I said in the previous paragraph, it's kinda nice having something private in all of this. Gosh, my whole office knows what I'm up to. My close family, several of my friends, plus Hubby's colleagues and friends and family too! I like to think of it as "sharing the burden either way"

Monday, October 21, 2013

CD 15: Embryo Transfer day! 0dp3dt

Our Day 3 embryo transfer went perfectly. I am now - dare I even type it? - PUPO!

Since our appointment was at 11.10am, we didn't rush getting up. I woke at about 7.30am and made us both tea and toast (I am on caffeine free tea, but not being terribly strict about it).

We packed up the motel room and drove down to the lake for a walk. Since it's spring here in NZ, there are just loads of cute baby animals all around. Awww! I saw 3 baby pukekoes and a bunch of ducklings. In case you have never heard of a pukeko, here is a pic:

Source. These rather prehistoric looking creatures have enormous feet and live in fields and wetlands.
And that is not counting all the baby lambs and calves, and kid-goats and piglets I saw out the window on the car on the drive up!

Focus. Ok, so it went really well. When we got to the clinic I was busting, since they needed me to drink lots of water for the external ultrasound. We were shown to a room where I could get changed into the beautiful hospital gown moo-moo. Once again I clipped my insulin pump to the neckline, and we then found I'd cleverly left the Dexcom receiver down in the car! Poor Hubby had to race back down to get it. The embryologist and Dr G both came to see us, and nurse M gave us a gently-toned lecture about keeping my core body temperature after the procedure, and using the progesterone pessaries until told to stop.

We were led through to the OR with the spaceship door, and I had to walk right around the bed and climb on. The lovely nurse D was helping setup the bed with stirrups and towels and stuff, and Hubby took a seat to the left of my head. The ultrasound screen was, as before, to the right of my legs and then - I looked more to the right, past the hatch to the lab - I saw our one little embryo on screen!!!! The photo had been take yesterday when it was just a 6-cell, although the embryologist, M, had said it was now a great looking 8-cell. We only get to transfer 1 embryo since this is a publicly funded cycle, and even then I don't think anyone would be in a hurry to risk multiples in a Type 1 Diabetic woman.

Hubby and I were both shocked at this tiny little thing. Granted, it was magnified to be about 10cm wide on screen (only 125 microns in real life, we later learned) but it was amazing. I am hoping to receive a copy of the pic soon, will share when I get it!

Nurse D squeezed gel on my tummy and used the ultrasound thing to show us my (full) badder and uterus-squashed-flattish-under-said-bladder. She showed us where to look. Then Dr G came in and both of them laughed about how no one had told the lab that we were in here, and how there was some mild role-reversal going on with doc making the call to the lab and nurse working the ultrasound!

The doctor inserted the speculum and did something else, advising me I would feel some "mild tugging" on my cervix. Now, how am I supposed to know what that should feel like, eh? Anyway, to me it felt like a catheter being inserted - I could feel it go the length of the, um, journey into my cervix and there was some mild stingy/cold (very mild), mainly tickley sensations. Not unpleasant at all. Just weird as it was novel. This was not the real deal yet, so I'm now entirely sure what Dr G was doing, a test run maybe?

Next thing they were checking my name and date of birth again, Dr G checked the name matched the petri dish on the shelf at the lab-hatch. The lab tech then loaded up the catheter from the petri dish. I could see her peering under the microscope and taking her time/having a devil of a job scooping up the embryo into the catheter. She passed it carefully through the hatch to the doctor, I made sure to watch the screen and take a deep breath.

Of course, I was looking in the wrong place. I caught the "bright spot" out the corner of my eye right in the centre of the screen, but Hubby saw it no worries. It stayed bright for the time the ultrasound was trained on it, and Dr G told us that it was the bubble of liquid around the embryo that we could see.

And then it was over. I wasn't asked to lie down for an hour. I could get up right away and make my way back to the first room. Cue a stream of nurses all telling me to avoid raising my core body temperature, again. Nurse H, Nurse D, and Dr G all wished us best of luck and that they hoped it would work for us.

So that is that. We drove home this afternoon. I had a horrendous high blood sugar caused by a not so brilliant lunch choice, and that damn progesterone. Seriously, that stuff is an absolute nightmare for a diabetic, let alone one who is now supposed to be watching her blood sugars like a hawk! I am having to set a 20% basal increase for 2hrs every time I have the progesterone, although unlike an injection I never know when it's going to "kick in"! Arrgh!

Apart from that it's all good. Surreal, but good. I don't feel any different and it will be nice just to be calm for a while with no trips back to Hamilton planned for the near future.

p.s. So, you are wondering about the other embryos eh? Well, yesterday the second-best one was a 5-cell and had grown to a 6-cell today. They will culture it on and if it gets to blastocyst stage, then it will go into the freezer. The other one stopped growing at 3-cells. I kinda wished we had at least one more to freeze, knowing that we have had a pretty consistent 40% attrition rate all along this journey. Maybe my stim meds were not strong enough? Oh well. For now, I will wait and see what happens at the end of the 2ww.

p.p.s. Dr G said I have a small polyp on my cervix. Looks benign, but that sux.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

CD 14: How many embryos made it?

And are we going to be doing a day 3 or day 5 embryo transfer?

Today was the first day I lost my shi*t in this whole thing. I had been getting dreams last night about the embryo transfer and so when I woke up it was the first thing on my mind. I woke at 7.30am, and then had to wait until "lunchtime" for the embryologist to call us with the news of how many embryos had made it overnight.

I didn't realise how attached I would get to them. Those three little potential-people.

MIL was preparing for her first open home so we went around there to help her prepare a bit, and we were just walking in from the garden when I heard a phone ring. I nearly jumped out of my skin and literally yelled at Hubby "PHONE!!!!" He looked at me like I had lost my mind - which I had - and politely told me it was my phone.

I answered, but in my nervousness I couldn't remember how to put it on speakerphone so we were head to hear trying to listen-in. T the embryologist was lovely, and said that of the 3, one of them didn't look so good today. But of the other 2, on looked great and the other was ok. She said "well since we already have our shining star, we will do a day 3 transfer, I have an appointment for you at 11.20am tomorrow morning."

I asked about whether it would be possible to get a photo of the embryos and she said yes she would note that down for us but we would also need to tell the embryologist on tomorrow as it will be her day off. Then I wanted to know if the clinic provided valium or anything for the ET, and she said no. I explained that I had read some things suggesting it would be good to relax the muscles, and she said "stop reading!! I have seen hundreds of ETs over 7 years and there has never been a problem like that" I felt very reassured. We thanked her once again for explaining things so well the other day, and then hung up. We were off to Hamilton again!

Every now and then the enormity of what we are doing just hits me. It is so amazing and scary and exciting. There is such hope. We have been through so many obstacles and although I am trying to think of this as "a chance at a chance" it is becoming more difficult not to get attached to those little embryos. I must try and think of this just as another medical procedure. Stay calm, as going nuts doesn't help and it just puts additional pressure on Hubby.

So we are now up in Hamilton. We have been out for a big meal and I have been writing lesson plans to send to the relief teacher who is looking after my class tomorrow.

Wish us luck. This is a surreal time.

p.s. my sister just clicked that she might become an aunt tomorrow! How cute :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

CD 13: Fertilization report

Happy news! We have 3 good looking fertilized eggs!

Last night I went to visit my parents and got home a bit too late at 10.30pm. Hubby was already asleep! I slept well but was woken rudely by the Dexcom yelling at me that I was low. The first two times the alarm went off, I didn't look at it, rather I dreamed I looked at it and in my dream it said I was high lol. Getting up, doing a test, handling the pump and wobbling about getting juice was not fun, I had pretty much list my balance from a combination of tiredness, hypo, and effects of the sedation and codeine wearing off.

Woke this morning with a really sore throat. I later looked at my throat in the mirror and there are little nodules over my throat :( boo. By tummy felt a lot better and I was comfortable stretching out today. Still had some mild cramping this morning which has since eased, but mainly it feels like I have done a million low-ab crunches.

I took the first of my progesterone pessaries (yuk) called utrogestan, this morning. Little buggers are hard to get into "location"! I feel like I am filling up with little white marbles lol. So far my blood sugars have been going low, which may be a combination of previous hormones wearing off, and tiredness. Not sure if the lows are directly attributable to the progesterone yet, as I normally got higher in that part of my cycle.

Had a shower and by the time I came out into the lounge, Hubby was sitting on the couch with the number for the lab all dialled up and ready to call. We left the embryologist a message and asked her to call back to Hubby's cellphone. With that, we could leave the house knowing we would get the info.

I really wanted a walk, but I knew I wasn't up to that yet. I had read that gentle walking is good to help stimulate blood flow to the endometrium lining so that's another good reason to get up and about.

We had to get a warrant of fitness check for our car and it turned out that we needed a new tyre. At the tyre shop they were able to do it right away so we went for a gentle stroll into town and back for 20 mins. I have never wanted to sit down so badly! But it was excellent to get a walk to loosen up all my muscles.

We took the car back to the testing station and while standing in the carpark, in the glorious spring sunshine waiting for the re-check, we got the call from the embryologist, T.

I suddenly got a rush of worry and trepidation and nerves. Her first words gave no indication of what sort of news she was about to deliver. I was simultaneously deciding that it was bad news and that I wasn't sure what my reaction would be in the carpark, and I was making deals with myself about how many embryos would be "good" or "ok". I was silently hoping for 3.

When she said "it's good news" I just about sank with relief. T went on to explain how out of the 5 eggs, 3 has fertilized normally and looked great, one more had fertilized abnormally and failed to eject one of the DNA halves it needed to, and the fifth failed to fertilize at all. 3!!! Thats a 60% fertilization rate. Yay!!!! It's so amazing to think that we have just created 3 potential people!

The embryologist will phone us again tomorrow about lunch time to tell us how the three of the have grown/not-grown overnight. She will also be able to advise us whether we will need a day 3 or day 5 transfer. Today is day 1. If we need to do a day 3 transfer then we will be back on the road again tomorrow after lunch.

T had previously explained how there are pros and cons with transfers on both days 3 and 5. If there are only a few embryos then a day 3 ET is more likely, however if there are more then they might choose a 5 day ET to grow some on to blastocyst stage. Of course, it might mean that none grow-on, but as she pointed out that would just save us from a 2ww to find out the same result. However she also pointed out that some people believe a day 3 ET is better to grow the embryo in the natural surroundings, so to speak. I am not fussed. I kind of expect a day 3 ET simply because we only have 3 embryos (as of today) but I'm not fussed either way.

My boss and friend at work both know what's going on and they support me, so I will be able to take sick leave for either time. Actually, there's not really an option is there? I mean it's not like you can move this sort of appointment lol!

Symptoms today: I'm generally feeling much better. My brain has mostly returned. The nips have been incredibly tender and almost clenched? Well, painful anyway. They did start to relax a bit today. I had some minor bleeding from the egg retrieval yesterday which is petering out today. All in all I'm feeling... well. :D

I went very high after a lunch with MIL (damned pizza and cake :( boo) and actually slept for a couple of hours. Hubby cooked another lovely dinner of gurnard fish, roast potatoes and a salad with almond and Parmesan on top.

And now we are watching an old James Bond movie :)

CD 12: Egg retrieval procedure

Please forgive me if this post makes less sense than usual, or rambles, as I am still awash with codeine!

Good news! We got 5 excellent looking eggs! I'm really happy with this and the embryologist said they all look the have good membranes.

By now, we may have a 7-hour-old! How crazy is that?

Started off this morning very early with a light breakfast at 5.40am (4hrs prior to OPU) and then napped until 7am. I got up, had a shower, got dressed and we packed up the car and drove over to the fertility clinic at 9am.

As normal we checked in and were given little slips of paper to take across to the other side of the building. Mine said OPU 9.40am (oocyte pick-up) and Hubby's said sperm sample! I told the receptionist that wouldn't be necessary or possible since Hubby had to have TESA sperm retrieval, but on closer inspection the form said "from andrology" so it must just have been a "defrost this please" note lol.

We were in the waiting room long enough for me to look through a couple pages of the morning paper, and then our old nurse came out to take us through to the Pre-op/post-op room with the armchair.

We got talking about diabetes and she told us how she has struggled with T2 and so has her family. It was nice to share with her, and Hubby showed her the Dexcom while I went to the bathroom.
Then started an onslaught of nurses, doctors, embryologists all checking my name and date of birth. I had yet more forms to fill out, and they must have told me all about everything at least thrice.
I was very impressed with the embryologist, T, who told us how she feels a great responsibility to take get time to search for the best quality sperm from a sample, since she is choosing the DNA of our potential future children. We asked her when exactly would the ICSI fertilization take place, and she said she would start the process at 2pm, carefully washing the eggs, then putting then in an acid solution to remove the outer membrane. She would then take her time looking for good quality sperm to fertilize all the eggs with. She reckoned that 2.30pm should be about fertilization time! :D

---- I had a break from writing, got a bit tired! ----

Anyway, after the doctor tried to come in several times only to find the nurse and I were busy chatting (she took my blood pressure too - slightly raised for me), she was finally able to put in the cannula for the IV. I only told her afterwards what a drama it was last time!

It made a lot of difference having a plan to manage diabetes, and having the medical folks take it seriously. I made sure that I remained calm (and I truly never got stressed even when I got locked OUT of the OR! Lol) as it can affect my blood sugars and make them drop rapidly.

Getting the cannula in meant that I could have IV dextrose should I need it, and having the early breakfast ensured I had a "buffer" in the tank. But the Dexcom was the absolute winner on the day. Hubby could hold on to the receiver and manage it, we even practiced with him testing my blood sugar via fingerprick test the night before. We made sure to tell all nurses and the doctor that the alarms might go off and not to panic. We were able to discuss with Dr G how she would give small boluses of 20% dextrose should I go hypo.

I was now in my stylish white hospital-moo-moo gown and I clipped the insulin pump to the neckline. I was told to go to the bathroom one last time, and then it was show time!

When I came out of the bathroom the pre-op room was empty, but I could hear Hubby's voice behind the big wooden spaceship theatre door. They were saying "push the green button!" and once I figured out they were talking to me, I let myself into the OR!

Setup similarly to when Hubby had his sperm retrieval, the bed was on the left and I had to walk around him at the head of the bed, around the ultra-sound machine at the foot, past the hatch to the embryo-makin' lab, and climb on from the other side.
The stirrups were padded, but they still freaked me out a bit. I knew that there would be lots of scary equipment in there so I guess I was prepared for it. I hopped up (carefully this time!) and the two nurses, H and P, kept wanting me to shuffle down the bed. I got my calves in the stirrups and they laid a large white towel across me and asked me to shuffle the bottom of my gown/moo-moo up.

--- got tired again and had some dinner! ---

While one nurse attached a blood pressure cuff to my right arm, and a blood-oxygen monitor to my left index finger (which kept slipping, causing me to adjust it, causing the nurse to scold me for moving my IV arm hehe!), the other nurse was placing black drapes over my legs to keep them warm. They unhooked the "bum" of the bed and suddenly the towel didn't feel like enough coverage lol!

The doctor appeared at the foot of the bed and asked me my weight, she then used this to calculate the dosage of midazolam and fentanyl. The nurse gave me these (and some augmentin antibiotic since I'm T1) and warned I would start to feel loopy. I got a rush of cold choking feeling all up around my neck and got a bit worried, but everyone quickly reassured me that would just be because the medication was cold.
Hubby was right by my side and kept his hand on my right shoulder. :D

The drugs took effect very quickly and I got loopy really fast! I was intent on watching the ultrasound screen - I really wanted to see my eggs! - but it was all mostly hazy. I don't remember seeing the hatch or hearing the embryologist to my right at all, although she was well within earshot.

I felt the ultrasound probe and then the doctor told me to take a deep breath and she went in for the right ovary. There was pain which made me wince, but it was over relatively fast. Two eggs retrieved on the right. I knew I'd seen 3 there the other day so my brain was still working, sort of. I was awake enough to make jokes and be surprised at how awake I was. The sedation was pretty light, but I was really loopy.

Another breath, now the left side. This one was a lot more painful, and it got worse in the seconds following the needle going in, a kind of wrenching movement. I described the nature of the pain later to Hubby as being similar to when you get an intra-muscular injection in your arm, well think of a wider needle, and then imagine you get a really bad cramp in the muscle the moment of the injection. Yes it hurt, but it was very short lived feeling and I got instant relief once the needle was out. I later learned we got 3 on the left side.

It was over! We had eggs! I was really happy to be through it, and to know that it was a calm, happy, exciting experience. Yes there was some pain but it wasn't too bad and it felt like it was only a total of 30 seconds.

It seemed like after all the activity, there was a lull for a minute. The doctor and nurses seemed to vanish out of the room (probably just out of my line of sight) and I recall a kiss with my Hubby and him telling me he loved me and how brave I was. It was pure relief.

Nurse H took my blood pressure one last time and then re-installed the end of the bed and helped me take my legs out of the stirrups. I was unhooked from all the monitors and the nurse put a pad in my knickers and then got me to slide into them while half sitting up.

Then came the slow ascent to sitting up, swinging my legs down to the left. They made me wait until I was steady enough to stand and then Nurse H helped me up and held me steady from behind by each upper arm as she walked me back to the pre-op/post-op room. I sat in the big armchair and she wrapped me up in one of those flannel blanket sheet things. Nurse P brought in a tray of tea, coffee for Hubby, and plain biscuits. The embryologist popped in to say there were a total of 5 high quality eggs retrieved. Dr G came in on a couple of occasions to check on me. Two nurses and the doc all explained on separate occasions how to use the progesterone suppositories which I have take for 5 days at least! Eew!

Oh, the embryologist wrote her direct dial number down as I have to call her at 10am tomorrow (Sat) morning to learn how many have fertilized.

She will also call us on Sunday to advise whether a day 3 or day 5 embryo transfer will be best. Looks like we will be back in Hamilton on Monday or Wednesday!

We waited about an hour then I was awake enough to leave and we went to get lunch at our favorite kitchen. I picked up the prescription for codeine and then we set off home. I took another 2 codeine tablets after the one at the clinic, but the ride home was fairly loopy and dozy, although we were both pretty happy about how well things went.

After the clinic meds and the initial Codeine wore off I got some sharp stabby cramps so took another tab. I have had mild to moderate cramps for the rest of the day, although not too bad. I can walk carefully but no long distances - by which I mean walking from the house to the car is plenty!

It was great to get home and see the pets. My friends and family were all texting me supportive texts, and after a yummy dinner cooked by Hubby, he dropped me around to my parents and my Mum cut my hair for me! Win!

Please cross your fingers, wish me luck, say a little something, or think a happy thought for good news from the embryologist tomorrow! Thank you! :D

Thursday, October 17, 2013

CD 11: the night before egg retrieval

After sitting with the national road closures web page open for most of today, the day turned out sunny and beautiful.

I taught my last class for the week this morning and we once again drove 3hrs to Hamilton. Unfortunately I couldn't get a booking for the nice motel we used at the start of the week so we are currently lounging in a crappier motel watching some of the lousiest tv I've ever seen.

Dinner was at a little South-Indian restaurant with a very chatty waitress, and apart from a walk across the road to the supermarket that is pretty much my day.

Tomorrow is the egg collection procedure, and the nurse called again this morning to confirm plans. Anyone would think that the docs and nurses don't actually talk to each other! Ah, well.

As for physical symptoms, I have some minor pressure-feelings in my lower abdomen. Also, the sorest nips ever. Seriously, I can't even handle the touch of a bed sheet! Apart from that, and some general tiredness I'm pretty much fine.

Looks like I have special dispensation from Dr G to have a small breakfast at 5.40 am (2hrs after I would normally have to stop eating) plus she wanted me to just drink some apple juice about 2hrs prior to the ER. I have no problem waking up for the breakfast, but I won't be having any juice unless its absolutely necessary! Have I said how much I hate it when well-meaning doctors try their hand at amateur diabetes management? Yeah, it's not my favorite thing.

I am still pretty calm about tomorrow. I know all I have to worry about is the IV line cos once that's in it means 2 things: there is a big bag of dextrose handy, and there will be sedation drugs coming shortly!

Roll on tomorrow. I hope the next update will be to tell you how many eggs they get!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

CD 10: Blood test and trigger shot

I was full of beans for most of today even after the huge road trip (9.5hrs) yesterday, trying to get home from the clinic through a storm, floods, slips, bridges out, trees fallen over!

The fertility clinic had called yesterday and advised that I would need a blood test this morning (progesterone and something else...?) so I was up early, had my last Orgalutran injection, then it was off to the med lab to visit the vampires. I passed over my "regular fertility patient" card for the first time, and decided to get an HbA1c while I was there. The technician was really great and told me an awesome story about the last time she got stuck on the road after a crash involving, of all things, a molasses truck. Good times.

Work was alright and I taught my class fine. In the after-lunch session the nurse called to advise me of the exact time for the trigger shot (Ovidrel): 9.40pm tonight. Since the egg collection will be precisely 36hrs after trigger, that means our appointment will be 9.40am on Friday morning (CD 12).

Mid-afternoon I felt absolutely exhausted. Yesterday is really catching up with me! I went around to have a chat with my Mum, and the Dr G (who did the scan yesterday) called twice to give me advice about the egg retrieval procedure. I can't eat for 4, preferably 6 hrs before the procedure, and can't drink for 2hrs prior. If I go low I can manage things with small amounts of clear apple juice, but the doc would really prefer if I woke up early and ate a small breakfast (this would be at 5.40am). At one point she wanted me to disconnect the insulin pump altogether as she thought that would prevent hypos, but I quickly informed her that it delivers my basal and I can't take it off. She was cool with it once I explained the difference between basal and bolus doses, but man, I really hate when other medical professionals (especially well meaning ones I have only just met) make sweeping proclamations about Type 1 Diabetes management! She wanted to know what model of pump I had, cos, she said, if I had one of the newer ones with the cgm capability that would be better. Why yes, yes I do have one of those, and Animas Vibe with Dexcom CGM and it is fantastic. I should have done it ages ago. But hey.

Paracetemol (acetiminophen) is contra-indicated with the Dexcom, and the nurse yesterday had asked me to take 3 x panadol tabs before the procedure. Dr G confirmed that I could just skip that altogether as it would be far better to have Hubby able to monitor my blood sugars, and they could manage my pain with fentanyl and codeine... good stuff. Codeine normally doesn't cut pain for me, it only makes me loopy. And I have had fentanyl before with no pain so I figure I should be fine. I confirmed that they will have a dextrose drip handy should I go low during the egg collection, and to get the cannula line in as soon as possible. That's all I really wanted them to do. I did not want suggestions on the pump or anything, I can do that thanks, been doing diabetes management for 25 years, and now Hubby and I have the Dexcom it's taken it, in his words "from a dark art to a manageable science." Indeed.

Oh, and I also had to do an infusion site change, and a dexcom site change! I was working my way through those site changes methodically while Hubby cooked dinner, and it took me over half an hour. By the end of it I thought I was going to slide off my chair with tiredness, but a tasty dinner of fish cakes, bacon, eggs on toast worked well to perk me up.

I took a shower after dinner, and didn't hear any of the reminder alarms going off telling me to take the Ovidrel. Whoops! step out of the shower and the insulin pumps says 9.39pm OMG rush out dripping and rip the Ovidrel out of the fridge. I quickly prepped my skin with an alcohol wipe and stabbed it in no probs. But man, I could have thrown the whole schedule out of whack!

No drugs or anything tomorrow. We have been madly checking the road closure websites, and it looks like we should be able to take our preferred route up tomorrow afternoon. Although Hubby has also been checking the airlines to make sure we can take a flight should it all go pear shaped! I figure we are setting off the afternoon prior to our appointment for a 3 hr journey, that should give us enough time to drive even the longest way should we need it. But I have to teach one more class tomorrow before we leave. Thankfully I will only miss one class this week (I don't teach Friday's on this semester) and then maybe another couple of days next week if we get to embryo transfer. Fingers crossed. I believe I am calm now, but I suspect I might get more tense and nervous once the transfer takes place cos then it's just up to me.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

CD 8 + 9: A Scan and a Mega Road Trip

Wow. What a way to spend a Tuesday. We have just returned from the clinic where we did the first ultrasound scan to check this IVF cycle is on track.

Results: Yes, all good.

Lining = 7.9 mm

Left side: 12, 16, 14, and 13 mm follicles

Right side: 16, 16, and 14 mm follicles

Total of 7, although the nurse said at this stage only 6 of them will probably be useful.

My scribbly notes from the meeting post-scan with the nurse.
The scan itself was the only part of the day that went well.

We started off getting up nice and early, and realising we had forgotten to pack any breakfast and wouldn't have time to get to our favourite cafe. I was due to have a FSH and Oestradiol blood test early enough to get the results in to the clinic. Got over to the path lab at 8.05am and I walked in while Hubby waited in the car. The waiting room was about a third full, and I started the-first-of-the-things-to-go-wrong! It took over 35 mins for the technician to call my name, which was plenty of time for Hubby to get worried and come looking for me.

We hurried out of there, and had 20 mins so we skipped around the corner to a cafe and got a quick bite of quiche lorraine and a cuppa tea.

In the clinic doors and up to the reception. The clinic is arranged with two wings, I like to call them the "office" and "doctor" wings. I was expecting us to be led through to the office wing to have the scan, like last time, but instead we were given a slip of paper and told to go across to the doctor wing. The doctor wing has no reception, and you have to just wait, in limbo, in the waiting room for the locked doctor-doors to open. Sometimes someone in the office will take pity and come and check on you, but most of the time we get left there for ages staring at the horrid crart (craft-art).

The nurse associated with our old Dr R came out to see us, and informed us that we were terribly early. To which I said, no, you are 6 mins late! She then pointed to the slip of paper and it did indeed say 10.22am. We had been told 9.10am!!! "Oh! But so-and-so called you yesterday and left a message!" I said no, I got no messages and no phone calls. I have asked them who-knows how many times to EMAIL ME. How hard is that? This nurse gets super-defensive very quickly, and sure enough she was intimating that I didn't know how to work my phone, or Hubby his phone, or either of us our home phone!! Grrr. Long story short we had another hours wait, so we took off and drove to a mall. I was wanting a bit of walk and it was raining, so a mall seemed like a semi-tolerable option. Of course, as soon as we got there it was time to turn around and come back. Red lights all the way back to the clinic.

When we strode into the doctor side for the second time, there were two other couples (?) in the waiting room. One of them had a toddler (! Why would you do this??? To the other patients? I mean really? You brought your CHILD to a fertility clinic. Words fail me.) and when a passing nurse asked who we were and what time our appointment was for, I said "9.10" this patient-with-toddler snidely commented "9.10!!" because we were now a tad late. Grr. Anyway we were hurried through the locked doors and I was asked to go for a wee then join Hubby and the doc in the scan room.

A new nurse, a new doc. Just whoever was on-call. I don't know their names. "Just take your bottom-things off" I nearly cracked up. Damn, should not have worn skin-tight skinny jeans! Doh! I was just hopping up on the exam table when the doc whipped back the curtain and at the very same moment my knee went through a hole in the table! Turns out it is a fancy pants table/bed and most people do not get on it knee first. lol.

Ice broken.

The scan went well, no pain at all. See the good scan results above. 7 follies. Definitely no over stimulation. Whew.

Pants on, go next door to get more drugs and talk to the nurse.

Turns out the egg retrieval will be this Friday (3 days away CD 12). I have one more stim injection of Puregon which I have given myself tonight (Tues CD 9). Tomorrow morning (Weds CD 10) I have the last Orgalutran injection, and in the afternoon the clinic will call to tell me what time to give the trigger Ovidrel injection. It has to be given exactly 36hrs prior to the egg collection procedure.

We asked what that procedure would be like, and the nurse said it was done under sedation (hyponovel and fentanyl) and should take about 10 - 15 mins in theatre. I asked to have a dextrose IV ready, and Hubby asked to have the IV cannula inserted as early as possible because we have learnt from prior surgery that a diabetic hypo + collapsed veins = no fun. The nurse agreed that this was all a good idea, and then said "so are you what, type 1 diabetic?" This was after telling her directly that I was type 1 diabetic, and showing her my dexcom and insulin pump prior to the scan to check it wouldn't interfere with the ultrasound. So she finally understood (at one point she thought it was Hubby who was the diabetic one! Read the medical notes PLEASE) and went to check with another doc if the egg retrieval procedure could be scheduled as late as possible so that I could still eat breakfast on Friday morning. This was after telling her not to worry, and that I would prefer the first appointment actually, and that I could miss a meal now that I am on the pump. People hear what they want to hear, not what you tell them sometimes.

She gave us these drugs:

Puregon Pen and needles.
My dosage for tonight is 150 more units of stimulation using the drug Puregon this time.

Puregon (Tuesday night, 150 units) (for the record, I had an unexpected low blood sugar 30 mins after injection. Don't know if it's related or not.)

Orgalutran (for tomorrow morning, this one is to prevent premature ovulation)

Ovidrel (this one is the trigger injection and is to be given 36 hrs before egg collection)

It was a bit hilarious being taught how to use the puregon pen, considering I had been doing multiple daily injections for diabetes since I was 5. Still good to watch and just make sure there was nothing new to see.

We got out of there are started the drive home knowing that a major storm had just thrashed the north island and the road south was currently closed.

The trip should consist of 3 hrs in the car going across one mountain.

It ended up taking us 9.5 hrs, and we went to 3 cities, tried to get over 1 mountain, went around 2 other mountains, across a gazillion rivers, through a million puddles, past a trillion slips and goats, and got turned back back sorry-for-themselves looking road workers in orange jackets telling us "the bridge has been washed away" "there is severe flooding" "you will have to go back" "the road is closed".

We were trying to go from a northern region to the south-western region. We ended up having to go south-east, then more south, then more east, then very south, to come right around and enter the western region from the south instead of the north! It was the longest road trip of my life and it is the only occasion that I have physically been unable to get to my homeland. At one point, I considered how it would have been easier to fly to Australia and back in, rather than drive!

But we are finally home. Everything went wrong except for the scan!

Oh, and I have to go in for a blood test tomorrow morning, do an infusion site change, and teach a class. Oh and re-book the motel for Friday. I need a nap.

p.s. If you're wondering what happened to CD 8: I went to work and taught class in the morning, then we drove up to Hamilton and checked into the motel. I had my Orgalutran injection in the morning and did a +20% temp basal increase for 4 hours which worked great guns.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

CD 7 Second Orgalutran and a bike ride

The second Orgalutran injection went well this morning. I got super frustrated with the big big BIG bubble in each vial, so I googled for other peoples experiences and found others who were quite happily prepping the syringe by pushing the bubble out.

The headache was almost all gone today: maybe the Elonva has all worn off? Plus I knew the Orgalutran would shoot my blood sugar to the moon, so I chased it really hard all day.

Went for a bike ride this morning, cooked spaghetti buns for lunch, went to the park and played statues with the step-kids, then went to the birthday party with all my family. It was a lovely day and I would be feeling pretty happy if not for...

...the damn stupid infusion set I just put in. It hurts and aches and won't let me take a nice deep breathe. :(

I am wondering what to do. I only have a limited supply of sets and skin. Boo. Think I will go to bed and try to fall asleep. Of course tomorrow I have to teach a class and then we are traveling to Hamilton. If this keeps hurting like this I will be ripping it out and putting a new one in.

Wish me luck for a headache-free class tomorrow :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

CD 6: First Orgalutran injection

Did you know that they still used glass syringes? No? Neither did I, but that is how the Orgalutran is packaged:


Orgalutran is such a mouthful of a word. I prefer to call them my Orangutan injections, and Hubby and I startled the step-kids by hooting like monkeys last night when we were talking about doing the first shot. haha

Source Where you get all good orangutans.
This first orgalutran/orangutan certainly seemed to affect my blood sugar. It is a ganirelix injection, and here is what happened after breakfast (1 slice of peanut butter toast + tea = 16g carbs total)

Blood sugar reaction after breakfast and some tasty ganirelix / orgalutran
My headache is still here. Yes. I am now grumpy and tired of having this headache. It makes me useless. I went to buy a birthday present in town today, by myself, and it was a bad idea. The Saturday crowds, the noise, and soon I was scurrying back to my car to drink water and test my blood sugar and think calm, calm, calm non-headachy thoughts. And I have at least this many more of these orangutans to go!


I found this to be the most unusual injection I have ever given myself. And I like to think I am a bit of a connoisseur. I have been doing multiple daily injections since I was 5, so I've seen the sharp end of a few needles. This syringe, apart from being glass (first glass syringe I've ever used!) had a strange cap with rubber inside which I've never seen before. The needle itself was the gauge I like to class as "drainpipe". No mucking around here with dainty little teflon coated needles. No. This one was so thick, although it honestly truly didn't hurt, I had to push it into the skin! It went pop and then it was in. No pain, but then I had to draw back on the plunger to check I wasn't injecting into a blood vessel, then inject.

The other strange thing was how both the nurse and the instructions didn't want me to remove the air-bubble from the syringe. I really struggled with this one, and was about to hold the syringe upright and push the bubble out, but then remembered the nurse telling me "no don't worry, just inject the whole thing!" I came to a compromise with myself and injected so that the needle pointed slightly downwards and the bubble rose to the plunger-end. I injected so that about half of the bubble went in. There was a little hiss noise as some of the air escaped back out from my skin.

The headache continued through lunch with the step-kinds and MIL, and just got worse. I ended up giving in and having a nap before dinner, while the kind and wonderful Hubby cooked us all a tasty dinner of lamb chops and veges with cheese sauce. He has been absolutely marvellous, and keeps checking how I'm feeling. The other day he told me he'd like "to wrap me up in a blanket and keep me safe through it" Awww :D

When I was woken for dinner, the headache was so bad I thought I would have to take some ibuprofen. I can't take paracetamol (well, I can, but I don't want to) because it will interfere with the Dexcom and it just plain doesn't work. at. all. And there is such conflicting advice on the interwebs about whether it's safe or not. Seems it's a bit of a no-no when using gonal-f, and the previous RE said no ibuprofen. But this new doc and nurse didn't mention it as a problem. I've already had 4 x 200mg capsules since CD2 because the headache turned into a migraine and there ain't no way I can deal with that pain on my own.

7pm, dinnertime, and I had a new strategy. I would do the bolus dose of insulin earlier, and give a generous dose to stop any marked spike rise in blood sugar. Also, I had some 1/2 juice and water and just drank sips of it over the hour post meal to keep the blood sugar level. This has worked very well so far, and being stable, my headache has finally alleviated:


Above, you can see a little rise from the meal after 7pm / 1900 and then the insulin on board IOB starts to kick in and bring it down gently again. I have been monitoring it now for 2 hours and it's extremely flat! Win!

Got another letter from the fertility clinic, this one from our nurse. It confirms out treatment plan with the dates for specific injections and scans, but it also suggests that "expected week of egg retrieval: week of Sat 19 Oct 2013". I am wondering what will happen after our appointment on Tuesday.

We have a birthday party to attend tomorrow night, and on Monday I am supposed to be teaching a class. If I have this headache I will stay home and nap; it's just not worth tiring myself out, and I get so very tired at the moment.

Friday, October 11, 2013

CD 5: Mostly no dramas

Got a full day in at work today which I felt was a massive win considering how craptastic I was feeling yesterday.

Oh! And how did I forget to tell you this? Yesterday we got our second letter direct from the new Dr S! He is really lovely and seems to be writing is letters to keep us up to date on progress which is great.

Dr S told us how he'd reviewed my most recent AMH test which came back much better than expected. He says I should respond well to the Elonva protocol, but that if I do "stimulate briskly" then there is a risk of OHSS and we may need to do a freeze-all cycle. We has discussed all this with him at our last appointment, but it's nice to get a reminder like this. He then went on to wish us both all the best, which is something we definitely never experienced genuinely from the previous doc.

Tomorrow I start Orgalutran which is a ganirelix injection. I have one per morning from CD 6 onwards.

The scan will be on CD 9.

A little bit of headache today, but nothing major. Just so pleased its the weekend already!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

CD 4: When the headache takes control

When I woke up this morning it was to in incessant bleep-blaring of an anxious Dexcom screaming that my blood sugar was low. Again. Two lows in one night and the result was my headache from yesterday growing super-powers. I felt awful this morning.

Some breakfast and out the door to work. Hubby offered to drive me in, which I though was a good idea since my head was feeling pretty fuzzy but it was live able.

At work things quickly deteriorated. I had a meeting and at the end of that I stood up and felt my stomach lurch: that moment when a headache takes on migraine qualities and suddenly there is aura, light and sound sensitivity, nausea, and head pain that is like a physical presence.

I got back to my shared office as soon as I could and downed some ibuprofen and a bottle of water. Blood sugars at this stage were thankfully stable at around 7 mmol.

I emailed Hubby to come collect me. I had lasted only until 10.45am :S

Once home, the neurofen kicked in and the pain went away. The pressure in my head was still there so I knew I had to be careful. I did some drawing and had lunch. Felt better. Read my book (great book! The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton)

And then I fell asleep in the armchair. I was awoken by the promise of junk food for dinner. :D

I've since brightened up and got a ravenous hunger for celery:



Nom nom nom. I love the watery fresh crispy taste.

Also I've just remembered that I should be not-drinking caffeine. Damn. Tea. I also looooove tea: black with trim milk and a spoon of raw sugar. Ooh so good. I'd bought a box of decaffeinated tea months ago and it tastes ok, but Hubby is very unsure if it's safe to drink. Being diabetic, there are very few tasty beverage choices. Juice is out (carbs), alcohol is out (I don't drink anyways), and milk is out (lactose doesn't like me in great quantities, plus, carbs). That leaves diet coke (yum, but caffeine and artificial sweeteners = headache material). Maybe tomato juice is the perfect option, but it just makes me thirstier. So. Water.

Oh, here are the pre-natal vitamins Im taking:



Left to right: Elevit with iodine, 1000 IU vitamin D (2 per night), 5mg folic acid.

That is all. Oh gawd damn! The Dex has just high alarmed again. I ate CELERY!!! (I should have eaten cake!)



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

CD 3: A headache Grr!

Don't know if this is IVF ├╝ber-hormone related, or just tiredness, but today I've had a real true headache. The kind you get when you've not had a glass of water for about 14 hours.

Thing is, I'm thirsty as all get out, drinking water like a fish, and peeing like a racehorse! Lol

Blood sugars have been a bit wobbly, but generally within my (wide) target range.



I've read a lot about people with insulin pumps shaking their fists at bubbles, and I have previously found one bubble which I primed out. Well, that yellow spike on the right of the graph was cause by a bubble at least 3cm long!!! If 1cm = 1hr of insulin... You see the problem. And I was sooo careful when I did my last cartridge change :/

No cramping or anything other than the headache (I gave in at lunchtime and took 2 x ibuprofen which did nothing) and some general fuzzy scatter-brained-ness I feel fine. But not as great as yesterday. Gosh, I really didn't want to get up this morning, could have stayed cuddled up in bed and slept all morning!

I'm reading my birthday pressie: The Luminaries by Eleanor Sutton. I'm about 2 chapters in and I can absolutely see why it won the Man Booker prize. Gorgeous writing.

As usual, I am up too late 11pm and need to stop writing and go to sleep. So that's what I'll do :)

P.s thanks for the support from all those following :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

CD 2 The Money Shot

Today I gave myself the Elonva injection; the one that will stimulate my ovaries to grow lots of follicles all at once.

After doing an infusion site change this morning, the Elonva injection seemed like nothing at all. The only bit I was worried about was the fancy schmancy spring-loaded syringe: inject, push plunger down, then once you release the plunger it springs back up inside the casing! And if you don't get the plunger all the way down then that's it! No second chances with this puppy!

You'll be relieved to know that it all went well, just as the instructions planned. The injection didn't hurt, but once I got near the end the sheer volume of liquid going in started to sting a bit. It didn't swell or go red or anything.

About half an hour later I was at work, and my blood sugar just tanked. I couldn't get off the floor and powered through my stash of emergency juice and mentos. This could have been the Elonva kicking in perhaps as it was accompanied by some weird cramps, or it could have been the arithromycin antibiotics that both Hubby and I took.

No real side effects for the rest of the day really. I have been peeing like a racehorse (unfortunately that's one of my low symptoms!) and have had very mild cramping and a really fuzzy brain. Not really able to concentrate on much!

There is nothing for me to do on this protocol except take my Pre-natal vitamins until CD 6 when I start the Orgalutran injections.

I've booked the motel as we are scheduled for a blood draw and scan in CD 9.

I let the nurse know via email about how I'm now hooked up to an insulin pump and dexcom, and her and the RE both seem to think it shouldn't interfere with the IVF treatment.

I am calm and relaxed about this. Every other medical thing I've done to my body has been a bit if an experiment, and so is this. There is no guarantee it will work perfectly, but it's also not a pass/fail situation; there are lots of other ways this could play out.

Could be that we get pregnant first go. Or I might get OHSS and have the cycle called off. The number of eggs I can muster up could be twenty or it could be zero. Things might fertilize or not. There might be some to freeze or not. Etc etc forever and ever. So many possibilities, which means do many chances for things to go in a ok-fine-good-great-wonderful direction.

Yep so that's where we're at today. More when something interesting happens or when I get some crazy hormone symptoms!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The night before the first IVF injection

Those drugs in the fridge are looming in my mind. Not because of the needles or anything like that, but rather because I am about to step (leap?) into the unknown.

I have no idea if IVF will work for us. We have been given very good chances by our reproductive endo, but still. He also gave us a whole long list of scenarios that could also happen. And I appreciate knowing that things are a bit up in the air at this point.

When I woke up this morning, it was before the alarm had gone off and even before the cat had time to jump on the bed and politely request demand and stomp all over us with wet feet for his breakfast. That familiar cramp. I decided that it was only, maybe, October the 4th??? at best so it must just be lack of a kiwifruit the day before. Oh, I was wrong. This WAS CD1!!! Wow. Never thought I would be telling the interwebs that news, especially not with so many exclamation points lol.

I dug out the phone number for the nurse and called and left her a message. Then I wondered a bazillion things, then ate breakfast.

At work, I kept jumping for the phone. It was my first day back after a short mid-semester break and the change in routine, plus first period with the insulin pump to deal with, plus waiting for the nurse to phone me back with dates and instructions just clouded my brain up real good.

Take some neurofen. Go for a walk with my friend and get doughnuts and hot chocolates. Damn, even the glorious bolus calculator can't figure this one out. Sigh.

She rang and was really personable and happy. Like she remembered who I was and actually cared. I got instructions and dates for what meds to take when, up until day 9 which is when I will need to go in for a scan and bloodwork. Once I got off the phone, I texted Hubby then got online and booked our motel of choice in Hamilton. We are 3hrs away so I will miss a day and a half of work, and since the appointment is early in the morning we will just go up the night before to make it less stressful.

I forgot to tell the nurse I am now on an insulin pump. Thinking about emailing her that info shortly.

My whole focus, my whole energy right now, is on remembering to take the Elonva injection tomorrow. Calmly, and without fuss. I have been harpooning myself every 3 days or so now with insulin pump site changes and dexcom changes, so another needle is not the problem. It's the unknown. I get one shot at this, and if I screw it up with this injection I can't grab another from the local pharmacy or anything.

Oh, speaking of said local pharmacy: I did NOT know that the antibiotics Hubby and I both have to take as part of the IVF stint are not funded. At all. Even worse, because they are prescribed by a specialist, it's a higher prescription charge. Still less than $40 for 4 tablets, but I thought this was publicly funded? I didn't quibble, just paid and decided to be calm.

Other news:

  • Hubby has a perfect heart. No really, I know this as a medical fact. Last monday, he dropped the kids off back to their Mum's and then promptly took himself in the the emergency department as he thought he was having a heart attack with chest pain radiating down the left arm with tingles in his hand. He called me at work and we then spent 7hrs in A&E, 3 EKGs, 2 lots of blood work, and a heart attack was ruled out. Stress, they said, but could be angina. So last Thursday he got to do a EKG stress test on a treadmill. They were supposed to get him to exercise to only 80% of the target rate, but pushed him to 110% because they couldn't find anything wrong. Stress, they said. So I have been trying to help Hubby calm down and relax some. He is working the equivalent of 2 x full time jobs, both very stressful. The freelance project with be over soon, and the more "normal" job is offering more security and hours so there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Last week we averaged a 1hr bike ride per day. Even in the midst of chest-pain-o-rama!
  • Holidays are good and I had just remembered how to have them when it turned into time to go back to work. Bah.
  • One of our four chickens is sick. She has a sore infected foot and I took her to the vet today. Poor chookie is also now on antibiotics. Enough for a great dane dog, according to the packet!
  • Of course, the day I need to be in Hamilton is also the second day of term! I have already provided my payroll lady with a letter from the clinic so I can take IVF days off as sick days which is very good.
  • The cat thinks he wants to go to the vet also. He has been catching (big, ginormous) rats and eating just their tails. They, in response, have been scratching him on the eyeballs. Requiring expensive and painful vet treatment and nasty sticky eye ointments which make him think that I never loved him. Poor kitty! I am hoping it's just a sympathy squint cos he saw the cat box I used to transport the chicken in.
  • I have a new hobby. I like to burn things. Don't be calling the authorities on me! I am talking about lampworking and making glass beads. Highly addictive and meditative. And beautiful.
Right. Off to take my pre-natal vitamins and watch a video about how to give an Elonva injection. Wish us luck!

And so, we start.

Monday, 7th October and it's CD1.

It's 8.30am and I'm going to have some breakfast and call the nurse.

The big money shot (Elonva) will be tomorrow I imagine.

A bigger update for you when I get home from work tonight.

Wish us luck! We are finally starting treatment after years and years and years of waiting!!!