Egg retrieval results

I am happy to announce they retrieved 29 eggs!!!!!!!!

I am pretty loopy and still drugged up right now. 

My even better news is that WE CAN TRANSFER!

Dr H is comfortable with transferring. My estrogen dropped a bit yesterday. They’ve already given me a shot of HCG and my first intralipid IV. They’ve changed my protocol to PIO which means more injections. ūüė¶ At this point in the game, I’ll take it if it increases my chances of a BFP. He made me promise that if I had any complications or signs of OHSS that I would stay in Victoria or even fly back. Obviously, I agreed.¬†

Overally, I was very comfortable during the retrieval. Yes, there were a few pinches and painful points, but it was totally bearable. 

My favourite part was when Dr. H said to the RN, “Ok let’s get this woman a drink!” – meaning inject my first round of sedation. It totally feels like you are coming down from a drunk.¬†

Anyway, I’m going to sleep this drunk feeling off. Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!¬†

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Preparing for egg retrieval

All systems are a go: my egg retrieval is scheduled for this Sunday August 31 at 8:30 am. 

Today, Dr. H measured 23 follicles total between the range of 12.9-19.5 mm with the majority being in the 16-18mm range. Ouchie. My poor ovaries. 

Yesterday’s count was 31 follicles! I’m thinking he just didn’t count the smaller ones today or maybe a few dropped off.¬†

Dr. H gave me a small glimmer of hope that we may transfer, but it would depend on my embryo quality and if I’m showing an signs of OHSS.¬†¬†I asked the nurse after he left the room what she thought and she said it’s highly unlikely. He wouldn’t want to risk it especially with us being from out of town. Sorry, I should clarify: the freeze-all cycle came from Dr. G, but Dr H runs the show at our clinic. Dr. H has not given me a definite yet as to whether or not if will be a freeze-all cycle. At this point, we understand that it’s highly likely to be a freeze-all. Wow how many times did I say freeze-all in that paragraph? Hope that made sense folks.¬†

We are still taking things one step at a time. We know that we won’t know for sure until mid-next week.¬†

In the past three days, my estrogen has gone from 5980 to 7670 to 9775. I wouldn’t say this has been much of a sleep-in vacation. We’ve been at the clinic for 7:30 am for two days in a row and will be again tomorrow for another blood draw.¬†

Tonight, I am triggering at 9:30 pm with 2 mg of Suprefact. The Suprefact is given instead of HCG to help prevent OHSS. I’m also starting Dostinex tonight which is also supposed to help prevent OHSS (Dani – is this what you had?). Tomorrow morning, I start the antibiotic Doxycycline twice a day.

In Canada, we aren’t completely out for our retrieval, just consciously sedated. Did any of you ladies bring an iPod or something in with you to listen to? My clinic said I could, but I had never really considered it. Thought it might make sense to listen to a meditation, but then again, I might want to listen to what’s going on.¬†Insatiably¬†curious, clearly. ūüôā¬†

I’ve got Gatorade on the go and plenty for afterwards.¬†

Countdown is on…¬†

Any other tips to prepare for retrieval? 

Another curve ball on the journey to baby

As we all know too well, this fertility journey can be unpredictable. 

We had our 1st monitoring appointment at the clinic today. Turns out, I’m responding VERY well to the drugs. I expected the opposite¬†since my AMH count showed I was low fertility and therefore considered as diminished ovarian reserve. I wish I had said more as I had a hunch I would stimulate better than they expected.¬†

My follicle count is 29 Р18 on the left, 11 on the right. 

The downside is my estrogen is WAY TOO HIGH and rapidly increasing. 

On CD1, I started out with an estradiol count of 183. 

On CD6 (Monday), my estradiol was 3703. 

On CD8 (today), my estradiol is 5980. 

This puts me at high risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). The clinic has advised that we do a freeze all cycle and return in 2 months for a FET. 

Sad face

This is my “I’m disappointed” face

Although this is disappointing, I know that my health and safety is not worth the risk of transferring (even with a CD8 lining of 9.6 mm). 

I’m still praying for a miracle (meaning rapidly declining estrogen levels). Since that’s highly unlikely, we are just hoping for a successful retrieval with a few high grade, beautiful embryos on ice awaiting our return.¬†

I’m going back tomorrow morning for another blood test and ultrasound. My RE thinks the retrieval will be Sunday.¬†

Right now, my biggest side effects are bloat, swollen ovaries and slow walking due to swollen ovaries. I’m still getting tired easily if I do too much. My husband is pretty adamant that I take care of myself (meaning I’m not getting many opportunities to go shopping. haha) I’m actually feeling really emotionally stable. This taking things one step at a time is really helping.¬†

As much as we received some unexpected news today, I am still grateful that we have a good chance at quite a few eggs. 

I’m also grateful for:¬†

  • Gluten-free chocolate cupcakes – a must-have after today’s news. MMMMMmmmmmm good
  • The dog park beside the ocean at the end of our street which my husband drives me to
  • Maxi dresses to hide the bloat
Maxi dresses and an ocean-side dog park = best things ever

Maxi dresses and an ocean-side dog park = best things ever

For those of you who have been through similar scenarios:

  • What do you recommend to prepare for retrieval?
  • Is there anything I can do now to decrease my chances of OHSS?
  • What other advice do you have about OHSS?¬†

Rest and relaxation in Victoria (with photos!)

We arrived without any issues yesterday. We had a quick connection to make in Calgary. I slept from Regina to Calgary, but stayed awake from Calgary to Victoria to enjoy the scenery. 

 

My husband and I - this is what we look like after waking up at 3 am

My husband and I – this is what we look like after waking up at 3 am

Flying over the Canadian Rockies.

Flying over the Canadian Rockies

 

Landing in Victoria, BC.

Landing in Victoria, BC

We found our rental apartment quite easily. I absolutely LOVE the area. It’s called Rockland. All of the houses have so much character. Our own apartment is Craftsman-style and filled with antique furniture.¬†

Living room

Living room (with my husbands stuff already scattered everywhere)

fireplace

Beautiful fireplace

Bedroom

Bedroom – very comfy bed

 

Bedroom window

Bedroom window

Kitchen

Cute kitchen includes a table that seats 4, a fridge, stove, dishwasher and microwave.

Bathroom

Our bathroom

Our day was fairly low key. When we were out for lunch,  we got a call from the clinic that they had finally received my blood results. I needed to take my orgalutron ASAP, so we rushed back to the apartment. We had a nap in the afternoon, then I went to acupuncture. We grabbed some groceries and stopped by the ocean on the way back. 

Ocean view

Ocean view at the end of our street

We also ate supper at Ithaka, a Greek restaurant recommended by my infertility sister Laurie. It was delicious! I think we may even go back another night for supper. 

This morning, I woke up early, caught up on my blog reading and did some yoga in the living room while my husband slept. In a few minutes, I’m off to the clinic for blood work, an ultrasound and an intralipid IV. I’m hoping we find out what day our retrieval will be.¬†

So far, so good. The energy in Victoria is calm and serene. I’m hoping my IVF cycle is the same. ūüôā¬†

Book Review – Ever Upward: Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to Own a Childfree Life

The infertility community is undoubtedly a web of inter-connectedness. Often, I don’t even realize how I discover new resources, practitioners, authors or blogs. I stumble upon them and a connection is born.

This is exactly how I met Justine Brooks Froelker and began reading her blog Ever Upward.

Justine shares her stories about struggle, hope, fight and recovery through infertility and into child-free living ‚Äď a choice and a voice that is unique within the infertility community.

When Justine asked me if I would be willing to read a chapter from her upcoming book,¬†Ever Upward: Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to Own a Childfree Life, I immediately said yes and chose Chapter 6 ‚Äď Reigniting the Spark.

It’s no doubt that passion dwindles for couples facing infertility. My husband and I have definitely felt the strain, so I figured this topic would be a good fit.

In this chapter, Justine explains how she was able to reconnect with her husband Chad after enduring the hardships of IVF and the grief of letting go of the need to have biological children.

As I read each page, I smiled at the similarities between our stories, laughed at Justine’s humour and took moments to digest the personal insight that Justine so easily conveys through her words.

Over the course of 12 months, Justine and her husband planned monthly date nights ranging from low cost stay-at-home evenings to extravagant nights out on the town. It didn’t matter what they did; what mattered is what they discovered while rekindling their love.

  1. They are a family (even if they are childless).
  2. Their relationship is a priority.
  3. They are a team.

These three lessons are valuable for any couple, not just those going through fertility treatments. These factors build the foundation of a relationship and are crucial to its success.

Justine and Chad have found balance in their relationship and peace in their choice to continue on as a childless couple. It takes strength to know your limit.

Justine’s story is vulnerable and raw, yet completely relatable. I guarantee you will laugh, maybe even cry, but most of all, you will heal.

Whether you are just beginning your fertility journey or nearing the end of it, I highly recommend you get yourself a copy and support a fellow infertility blogger/author.

You can order your own pre-sale copy of the Ever Upward¬†via¬†Justine’s website. The book will be available on Amazon and in book stores Spring 2015.

Grab a copy, flip to Chapter 6 and uncover¬†inspiration for your next date night! I hope to ‚Äúborrow‚ÄĚ some of Justine‚Äôs ideas to reconnect with my own husband. If we aren’t in this together, we aren’t in this at all.

Ever Upward by Justine Froelker

The joys of being remote from your fertility clinic

It’s 4:30 am MST. Wayyyyy too early if you ask me. We are just waiting at the airport for our flight.¬†

We got some great news before bed last night. 

  1. The apartment we rented lowered our rent by $100/week
  2. We have access to laundry

After I found this out, I ended up removing quite a few pieces of clothing. I’m still a horrible packer though.¬†I never backpacked Europe for a reason.¬†

Yesterday didn’t go quite as expected. I went for my¬†blood work just after 8 am. Got in at 8:30 am. 3 techs and 3 pokes and 35 minutes later, they finally got my blood. I have deep, difficult veins. I always tell them where the best spot is, but if the tech isn’t listening or isn’t confident, they often miss it. Now, I’ve got a new bruise on top of last week’s bruise.¬†

This delay meant that I missed the 9 am pick-up, but my blood would be going on the 11 am pick-up. No biggie. Last time the clinic received my blood about 2 hours after pick-up. My fertility clinic is also an hour time difference behind us which means they would be there if the results came through end of the day. 

Well, they didn’t receive the results.¬†

I was instructed to maintain the same dosage of Puregon and Repronex and to NOT take my Orgalutron until the clinic gets back to me.

Surprisingly, I didn’t let this stress me out too much. Although, I was dreaming about it last night. My local health care always pisses me off. I’m glad we will be in B.C. in a few hours where I will have access to the on-site lab at the clinic.¬†

I’m also looking forward to getting settled and enjoying our mini-IVF vacation.¬†

Hopefully I can catch a few more ZZZZ’s on the plane. I don’t do well on lack of sleep.¬†

Goodnight… er, I mean Good Morning ūüôā

Oh, I almost forgot: It’s easy to get through security with your injectibles meds. No hassles at all.¬†

The power of sisterhood

Our stories are different, yet our feelings the same. 

We’ve been lost, confused, hurt, broken, blamed, and alone.¬†

I used to feel unsupported on my fertility¬†journey. ¬†No one seemed to “get it”.¬†

Then, I realized I have more than enough support right in front of me. 

We are in this together, my infertility sisters and I. 

We unite to: 

  • Release the burdens of infertility
  • Ease our pain and heal¬†our broken hearts
  • Find comfort on the journey
  • Offer guidance to those just starting out¬†
  • Cheer each other on throughout our cycles

You have been a blessing that words cannot describe. 

My infertility sisters are there for me ALWAYS with a 

  • Supportive comment on my blog offering advice as they have been there before
  • Quick text to let me know I’m in their thoughts
  • Small package – so thoughtful and sweet – to¬†give me inspiration and hope
  • Heartfelt card wishing me success on the next leg of my journey

My new found family, my infertility sisters and I. 

My journey would not have been the same without you. In fact, I don’t think I would have made it this far without you. You have been my lifeline, my hope, my inspiration and my biggest support.¬†

THANK YOU Рall of you Рfor being you and sharing your story with me. 

Much love. 

Xo 

Lindsey 

sisters