Thursday, March 31, 2016
Still feeling a bit melancholy about this whole trying business. It's probably a good thing to get a short break between this cycle and starting IVF (if that is indeed the case). One month where I don't have to think about it too much. And where I could have a cheeky drink!
It would be so amazing/exciting/thrilling/terrifying/fantastic/unbelievable if I was pregnant. I'm just finding that I'm convincing myself that this isn't possible. I know it's totally possible. I am not so old. My numbers are not so bad. Lots of people just get pregnant naturally and here I am having medical help! This is completely doable and in that sense, the odds are in my favor.
But it's a crummy process that really just takes a lot out of you. Worse I think if you are doing it all on your own. I do have friends I can talk to, but I don't talk to them all the time, and it's not what I want to be talking to them about all the time either. This is pretty much a solo effort and so it also falls to me to do most of the damage control.
I'll be glad when I know about this cycle for certain.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Monday, March 28, 2016
I also need to remember to go to the GP on Thursday for a progesterone test. I'm not entirely sure why I need to get this test for an IUI. I'm not even sure anyone looked at it the first cycle. At least at my GP they mostly manage to get my blood out on the first try. I think I may have sorted out part of the reason for the problem at the clinic though. I usually cycle to the clinic and when I cycle for more than 15 minutes, I tend to lose circulation in my hands (my fingers go numb). So I wonder if this isn't related to why they have trouble getting blood out there. Not that there's much I can do about it!
Anyway. I don't have much to say here at the moment. Just getting on with normal life things trying not to think about if I might be pregnant while I wait for the day I can start testing.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Having done some more reading around the internet, it seems that having two follicles (or three, or even sometimes four) is not at all unusual for an IUI so I think my odds are still 6% (or 11% if you consider both cycles). I was a little disappointed by that, but I'm still happy that I had two good sized follicles for this cycle because that's got to be better than one!
On Wednesday my morning meetings went late so I only had 20 minutes for lunch and to turn myself around before the taxi came to take me to the clinic. It's a small indulgence I have to take a taxi to the clinic but the alternative would be to cycle and I don't really want to cycle around the procedure. In the grand scheme of things, the £14 return is really not an issue.
My procedure was a little bit late because the doctor had to come from the main hospital to the clinic. Once she arrived it was all very quick and straightforward like the first time. I was the only patient there. I changed in the recovery area in my own little cubicle, then when the doctor arrived and all was ready, I walked with the nurse to the procedure room. It was a little bit different from last time because there was no trainee doctor. So the regular doctor did the procedure and this meant there wasn't any ultrasound. I asked her about this afterwards, she said that because embryo transfer is similar to IUI, they would have used the ultrasound to watch the placement of the tube during the IUI for training, but it wasn't necessary. It also wasn't necessary to scan my ovary to see if the follicles had released she said. Basically, with IUI, it's a less precise procedure. There's really nothing they can do other than the insemination at that point. The ultrasound won't tell you anything and would potentially only be stressful if you didn't see that the follicles had disappeared or released. So fair enough.
The way the IUI works at my clinic is the doctor gets you all prepped with the tube through the cervix, then the nurse knocks on the window to the embryologist's lab and he hands over the sperm through the window after confirming who you are. I also have an ID card that I insert into a scanner that I think registers in the embryology lab as well. At any rate, I had a chat with the embryologist as well with my legs all up in the stirrups. I asked about the sperm motility since I didn't the first time. I think he said it was 36 or 37 which was well over the 25 guaranteed by the clinic, so that was good.
The sperm got connected, inserted, the tube was removed and all was done! They said I could lie there for a bit if I wanted or get up. I decided to lie there for a bit but asked the doctor some more questions while I did so it ended up being useful. While obviously I really want this cycle to work, I'm realistic that it may not so I asked the doctor about moving on to IVF. She explained that I'd need to come in for additional consultation and that there's a lot more HFEA paperwork that needs to be filled out for IVF. So I wouldn't be able to start an IVF cycle next month, it would have to be the month after. But that's okay. April is actually a very busy month for me so it would potentially be difficult to schedule scans around my work commitments. Again, I obviously hope it doesn't come to that, but I guess I'm more of a realist than an optimist.
So now the two week wait begins again. I've scheduled my progesterone blood test with my GP for next Thursday. The clinic also gave me two pregnancy tests and the date to take them on. I'll probably do the same thing as last time and start with my Ebay ones until the day I'm supposed to take them according to the clinic. But maybe I'll use the extra one they gave me for the day before.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
In addition, the nurse on the phone says to me, 'Take the trigger any time from now'. Wait. What?? What the fuck?! If I'd known they wanted me to do that, I could have brought the Pregnyl with me to work. But they didn't say that. Now I don't have it with me, I feel like I'm 'late'. And also, this is a completely different protocol/timing to the first IUI. The first time, my procedure was at the same time (2pmish) and they told me to trigger between 6-7pm. So what's up with the 'any time from now' bullshit??? I'm trying to think calm and happy thoughts, and console myself with the knowledge that for IUI the timing matters a whole lot less than IVF but I'm frustrated.
I really like my clinic in terms of the people there and my interactions with them. But I do not like getting mixed messages or added stress or just not simply being able to schedule more than 24 hours in advance. This process is stressful. And you really just do not need any extra stress on top of it.
Happy thoughts, happy thoughts. I have hopefully two lovely follicles and possibly a third. Everything looks good, and my appointment is scheduled..... happy thoughts happy thoughts.
Monday, March 21, 2016
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Friday, March 18, 2016
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
|IUI Inclusive Fee||£638|
|900 Gonal-F + 1 Pregnyl||£380|
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
The one thing that's driving me nuts is that I'm still sick. The flu I had a couple of weeks ago has settled into some sort of head/sinus infection. My ears are blocked, I'm blowing out fluorescent snot and I'm coughing a lot. This is all bad timing and I don't know how this low-grade illness effects my fertility chances. I'm sure it's not helping.
I have an acupuncture appointment tomorrow afternoon which conflicts with something in my diary which is frustrating. I need to see if I can get that changed and then work from home the rest of the afternoon. It should be okay. Just a stressful period which is not helped by this never ending illness.
On the other hand, I'm sure I'm not doing myself any favors by doing all the things I would otherwise want to do which has involved travelling around the country a bit, going to a workshop last night, and going to a concert tonight.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
I called my clinic on Friday morning because they ask you to report the result of the pregnancy test, plus, I wanted to immediately get going on IUI 2. This would require me to order the drugs so they are ready for me on Monday. Unfortunately, no one answered the phone at my clinic and I was forced to leave a message detailing the result of the pregnancy test, and my intentions to start cycle 2. By 3pm, no one had called me back and I was about to go into a 2-hour meeting which meant I couldn't get in touch with them until Monday. So with 5 minutes to my meeting I managed to get through and schedule a scan for Monday morning. However, there wasn't enough time to get the drug order sorted. The nurse indicated I would be able to buy the Gonal-F at the clinic on Monday. I really hope this is the case and it's not somehow more expensive for the inconvenience. Because it's not my fault they were too busy to get to their phone messages.
In the meantime, I've recently read It Starts with the Egg which was recommended on some of the forums I'm now frequenting. It was an interesting read and has made me think about making a few changes to my current routine. I was already taking conception vitamins but I think I'm going to add some CoQ10 to my routine. I'm also looking at replacing some of the plastic food storage containers I use with glass to help reduce my exposure to BPA. I figure that these are things I can do relatively easily, and that are not going to hurt me. Similar to acupuncture. There is a lot of discussion online about DHEA and in this instance I would not start taking it without my clinic's approval and probably some testing.
So how am I feeling with one failed cycle? Disappointed of course. Although I started to address that as my negative pregnancy tests kept coming in so that the final one wasn't such a shock. Maybe a little bit panicked based on how much money I have and how long I feel I can realistically give this a try. I found myself thinking I should go straight to the frozen eggs and stop fucking around. I'm pretty sure this was a direct response to feeling like it's just not going to work with my current 'old' eggs due to this cycle not working. But those eggs are not going anywhere and my current eggs could work. I think I need to try one more IUI as planned, and then one fresh IVF and then see how all that goes. If the clinic suggests going to the frozen at that point, then fine. But it won't be a knee-jerk reaction to things not going as desired.
It's entirely possible that this is going to be an expensive year that doesn't result in a baby at all. But it's far too early in the process to be thinking that way. One failed IUI which only had a 6% success rate is not the thing to be basing the entire journey on. And hey, based on my very poor understanding of how to add odds, by doing two IUI, each at a 6% success rate, the chance of one of them working is 12%, so that's a bit more hopeful for the second one, huh?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
I'm ready to go to the next cycle and put this one behind me. I am of course disappointed it appears to not have worked, but maybe less traumatized than I could have been. I have been thinking though whether it would be better to do fresh IVF or go straight to my frozen eggs. The reason to do fresh IVF would be that I'm still producing eggs and to keep the frozen ones as the last resort. On the other hand, right now all I can think is that I want one baby, so isn't my best chance to use my frozen eggs?
I think I should probably stick to the original plan and this is maybe a way that my disappointment is expressing itself. Generally in my head I keep thinking that I'm too old to get pregnant with my current eggs. But this is not a particularly sensible way to think. One cycle hardly means anything at all.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
It's 11 days past IUI and I've taken my second pregnancy test which was also negative. The first I took yesterday. I got some cheap ones off eBay which means I can take one a day and do the one the clinic gave me on the day they said. I don't think this cycle has worked although this is early testing and still possible to get false negatives. A positive would be meaningful at this stage, a negative less so.
But realistically, this cycle is probably a negative. So the next question is when will my period appear to plan for the next one? I wrote previously about the timing issue for this cycle. I think the best thing would be for my period to come late. That will just be easier.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
I think I'll go tomorrow, but instead of cycling in I might take a taxi. Especially if it's still raining like it is today. Part of the reason is that I have a progesterone test scheduled with my GP to ensure ovulation occurred. I mean, I took a trigger shot, so there's no real reason to think ovulation didn't occur. But that's fine. It's a good excuse to go back to work.
I will say that being dreadfully ill was a good way not to obsess about whether I might be pregnant or not. It was also a good way to lose half a stone in two days from barely eating. I wouldn't say I'd recommend it in principle.
Of course now that I'm feeling better I'm convinced that I can't possibly be pregnant. I don't feel anything, or rather, I'm feeling the after effects of having been ill and I don't notice anything that might be a pregnancy feeling. Two people who knew that I was trying this cycle gently asked if it might be morning sickness. All I have to say is, that if morning sickness was anything like that, no one would get pregnant ever. Seriously. But no. My landlords are here and they both got sick one after the other and then me. The virus took us out one at a time but it was clearly that and not anything else.
Then of course I also worry that having gotten sick in this critical time it would ruin any chance of actually getting pregnant or somehow interfere. Not there there would have been anything I could have done otherwise. I did manage to drag myself to acupuncture on Saturday, which could have been a mistake. But I wanted to complete the treatment for this cycle. My acupuncturist was very positive about my pregnancy chances, but then what is she going to say? She also said that lots of women get colds and flues when pregnant which I do think I've read a bit about so maybe although it's miserable for me it doesn't have much to do with the pregnancy chances. At any rate, my feelings on acupuncture are still much the same in that I'm not convinced it really does anything, but I know it doesn't hurt me. So it's fine to add it to the mix. I guess the thing is, right now I'm sort of sure I'm not pregnant. But I do have an entire other week of waiting.
When I was sick I wasn't really eating so I wasn't taking my per-conception vitamins but I've managed to get back on that today. I'm sure that 3 days missed is not going to be the end of the world. Especially as I'd been good about taking them somewhat regularly. When I go back to work there should be a delivery of some pregnancy tests that I ordered online. The clinic only gave me one which they want me to do on the 11th even though my period is due on the 9th. From some of my internet reading it suggests you could start testing a bit earlier and I'm not sure I can wait all that long. So I bought some tests to give me the option. This will also let me 'save' the one the clinic gave me for the right day without the urge to use it sooner.
I think I've had some new readers stop by from the Donor Conception Network single women's mailer. If so, welcome and do feel free to start up a dialogue on the comments. I've really only just started engaging with forums although I've been thinking about this and reading up on it for some time. I've learned some interesting things from the SMC forums related to donor sperm which perhaps would have been useful before I made my choice, but then again, maybe not. I might reflect on that in a later post.
Meanwhile, I'm off to make more lemon/ginger/honey tea.