28 February 2013

48 Hours Later

I'm finally starting to feel a little bit more normal.

When I wrote my last post, I was at home relaxing after the procedure.  I did manage to go up to Cambridge that night and I did note that the more I moved around the more "crampy" and "achy" my abdominal area seemed to be.  And it wasn't only concentrated on my left side where my ovary is.

I took some paracetamol as I was told I could and slept okay when I finally got home, although I woke up with more abdominal discomfort and a bit of bloating.  When I got up to go to the bathroom, I had a lot of gas but not much productivity.  This reminded me that when I had the surgery to have my ovary removed, they told me that abdominal intrusion can make the digestive track seize up.  In fact, they wouldn't let me leave the hospital until I'd pooped back then.  So I started to wonder if something similar wasn't going on.

Yesterday I had a course to go on so I did that and continued to have the occasional over the counter painkiller.  Uncomfortable, but not really worse than bad period pains.  I was noting that it seemed more 'abdominal' than 'right side' and although I was drinking a lot, and peeing a lot, no other action was going on.

As I didn't bring my bicycle up (like I usually do) I decided to walk home last night which is a little over a mile.  It wasn't the most comfortable walk, but I took it slow and steady.  I felt that getting some light physical activity in might help my system get moving.  Got home, lots of air, no action.

This morning however, my abdominal area feels much better.  I got up and had results in the bathroom.  I have no idea of I'm making connections that aren't there, but I do know I feel much more comfortable and generally better.  Still a bit of bloating and now any aches are pretty much identifiable as on my left side where the ovary is still enlarged.

Also, I've noticed that I think I bit my tongue under sedation and maybe it pressed on my jaw a bit funny if they gave me an oxygen mask as both sides of my jaw, close to my ears is sore to the touch.  First I thought it was a pimple, but then I noticed it was on both sides and think it was something else.  The tongue thing is annoying, but it will sort itself out.

So I guess I just wait for my period and finally my body can return to normal for a bit, before I go for it again in June.

I feel less disappointed by my six eggs.  And I'm really pleased that they are there waiting for me in the freezer.  It does make me determined to do at least one more cycle, but I am glad that I have done this.  My chances at future pregnancy only diminish from here on out, so those six eggs, and whatever I get in June are a great investment.

When I get back to London I will try to do a break-down post about my costs, as I think it's something useful there should be more information about.  I should also have my formal letter from the clinic regarding the extraction, so I will post if there is anything interesting from that. I may also, in the interim, post some thoughts on future parenthood.  But in general, I suspect this blog will go a bit quiet until my next cycle starts up.

I'm glad that my story has helped some people.  Any questions, please email or leave a comment.  And if you are starting your own journey and begin a blog, please send me the link and I will add it to the blog roll on the right.

26 February 2013

Day 17 - Egg retrieval

So it's about a quarter past noon and I am at home sprawled on my couch chilling out.  I don't know anything yet, so I'm going to probably save this post as a draft and update it later so it contains the entire story of the day.  Although if you're reading this and I've posted it, it will contain the full story.

But while it's relatively fresh in my head, let me record how today has gone so far.

So I had dinner last night around 8pm and then only water with the last water being probably  around 10:30 or so.  Was feeling a bit anxious- just went to bed after setting two different alarms.

Woke up before both alarms and also at some time in the night because I had to pee.  I did try to drink a bunch of water yesterday- not only because I hear it makes recovery after the collection better, but also because my veins can be fiddly so it's better if I'm more hydrated than not.  So I just lay in bed in and out of sleep waiting for the alarms.  Eventually got up.  Straight into the shower.  Just a single swipe of deodorant, no other perfumes or scented products.  Took care of the suppository, put my clothes on, grabbed my sealed sharps bin and headed out.

Got to the clinic around 8:20.  The receptionists weren't there yet, although I saw people moving about inside, they didn't come answer the door when I rang.  Had to wait about five minutes for someone to come to work who let me in, asked if I was there for a procedure, had me sit and then it was really a minute or less before one of the nurses came to get me.

First she asked me to empty my bladder, so I did that.  Then she took me into the procedure/recovery suite.  She showed me to a cubicle area and said it would be my area.  It had a hospital type bed covered in paper, a pillow, a blanket, a hospital gown, a blood pressure machine, a chair, and a wardrobe.  She told me I could put all of my things in the wardrobe.  After covering my name and birthday, taking my blood pressure, and checking when I had last eaten or drank, she asked me to change into the gown and then just wait for the anesthetist.  And she closed the curtain to my cubicle.

So I did all this.  It's a bit awkward to try to tie up a gown in the back on your own.  Yet another moment of "Ugh, this sucks to be on your own." but it quickly passed.  I got changed, on the bed, covered myself up with the blanket and tried to just stay calm and rest.  After all, I hadn't slept all that great, and I was nervous.

Another couple came in to a different cubicle for another procedure.

Then the anesthetist arrived.  A kindly older man who asked me again for my name and birthday and when I last ate or drank and we went through some basic medical history that would be relevant to anesthetics.  He seemed to suggest all was in order, so we could get ready to go.

The nurse came back for me and we walked to what I'm going to assume was a prep room.  I'm not at all sure it was the actual procedure room and if pushed I'd suggest it wasn't.  Based on my only other experience with UK set-ups, when I had my ovary out, they prep you in the prep room but everything happens in the procedure room which basically you never get to see.  I could see that there was a very wide door to a more clinical looking room at the other end of what I think was the prep room.  But, I may never know.

Because, basically, they asked me to get on the table which had an absorption pad for under your pelvis.  They brought the pillow and the blanket so once I got settled they had me covered and resting on the pillow.  They attached three electrodes to me and hooked them up to a machine.  In the meantime, the anesthetist needed to get the cannula in my wrist.  Despite drinking lots, my veins were being fiddly so he had me do a bunch of pumping and then he got it in.  Cannula's are not the most comfortable things.  It's not that it really hurt, it was just uncomfortable, but he was very gentle with it and once it was in placed my hand across my chest.  My doctor showed up and asked how I was.  I said I'd felt more bloated since the trigger shot and more uncomfortable on that side, which he said was normal.  He explained the procedure, what they were going to do and went through the possible risks.  With all that done, the anesthetist said he'd give me a drug that might make me a bit woozy and then asked what my PhD was about.  I was telling him, and he said something like, "Oh, so you could tell me how to improve my Victorian terrace house." and I said something like, "Yeah, I could." and the nurse was having me get my leg into a stirrup and that is the last thing I remember.

Next thing I know, I'm coming out of a very pleasant sleep feeling nice and warm and toasty.  There's a blood pressure cuff on my arm I think, or maybe just the thing on your finger.  At any rate, I'm completely back in the cubicle I started off in.  No idea how I got from the one to the other.  I don't feel particularly much of anything out of the ordinary.  My abdomen is a bit crampy, but nothing worse than period pains, although I'm also on painkillers, so I should bear this in mind as at some point they are going to wear off.  A nurses comes in and gives me a cup of water which I drink.  Then she asks me if I'd like some tea and how I take it (with sugar, no milk).

So then she brings me a mug of tea and some hard cookies/biscuits.  I drink the tea, I eat the biscuits and I feel very alert.  Almost euphoric.  I want to laugh.  I suppose it's just the stress of everything being really over.  I ask if my friend has arrived and they say yes.  I look at the machine and realize that it's past 10:30.  I've been out for a while!  The nurse comes back after a bit to take out the cannula.  Another nurse comes to remind me of the info sheet.  What not to do today, what drugs not to take.  And then basically I'm discharged.  They say the embryologist will call me later with the details of the collection and I can get dressed.

I do, I give over my sharps bin.  I realize I'm in a slight daze.  I'm alert, but everything seems a bit surreal.  I meet up with my friend, and we head out.  It's that simple.  I took public transport home although they said not to, honestly, it was completely fine.  I just feel a bit crampy.

On the way home, stopped by the grocery so I could pick up a ready-meal for lunch as I don't have anything in and don't want to have to go out until later, my friend got me up to my front door, and then he went back to work, and here I am on the couch.

The embryologist just called around 12:30.  I have six eggs.  They collected six, and all six were mature and able to be frozen.  I don't know if they were all fully mature or the various gradations of mature.  As per usual, I was slightly in shock by the call and so did not have the wherewithal to ask the questions that are now going through my head.


Closer to five than to ten.  But better than nothing.  Not as good as I had hoped for.  But six eggs in the freezer is six eggs I otherwise did not have in the freezer before.  So cycle two will definitely be June.  I guess before then I'll try to have an appointment with the doctor to see if he thinks we should change the protocol based on this one to see if something should change to see if I can get closer to the ten.

Because I was completely out of it for the procedure, I have no idea how many follicles there actually were in the end.  On Friday there were 13.  But I only have one ovary.  The response is within the expected range of five to ten, so that's good, just on the lower side of the expected range, but hey, that's life.

Now I just have to be gentle with my body over the coming days until I get my period and my ovary starts to deflate back to normal size.

I'm not going to lie, I'm a little bit disappointed by six.  But then this entire journey is just one crazy emotional roller coaster ride.  And I need to remind myself- what is the alternative?  Six eggs in the freezer, is six 38 year old eggs that would otherwise have been flushed.  I will do a second cycle.  If I want to preserve my fertility chances, then this is the best possible thing I can be doing at this point in time, and if this is what my body gives me, then that's what it is.  I have to remember, the alternative to this, is to have absolutely nothing.

Six is basically enough for one IVF cycle.  Hopefully I'll get at least as many on the next cycle.  Then I'll probably need to see if I can find finances for a third cycle depending on how the second one goes.  But as my doctor tells me- one step at a time!  For now, it's be gentle, wait for period, enjoy the break in between, and then prepare to do it all again.

25 February 2013

Day 16 - It's the Final Countdown

I can't believe I have taken my last shots of this cycle!  I was very good about taking my two shots last night exactly on time.  My last Cetrotide was at 7:01pm and my Ovitrelle was at 8:01pm.  Go me.

And because it's something new, I also have some new pictures to share.  First, there's the Ovitrelle.  It needed to be kept in the fridge.  I looked online and it seemed reasonable to believe that I could remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before injection so it was less chilly.  So I did.  Here is the box:

And here is what is inside the box.  One pre-filled and ready-to-go syringe.  Oh, and also there was a little instruction and information sheet, but it wasn't very useful or interesting so I didn't photograph that.

Having removed it from the fridge 30 minutes before injecting, it wasn't noticeably cold in any way or uncomfortable compared to my other injections.  Now, you might notice the air bubble that it comes with.  I did ask the nurse and she said not to worry about the air bubble.  That as the injection was subcutaneous, it doesn't matter.  Air bubbles really only matter if they get into your veins.  But I wasn't thrilled with the big air bubble so I did get rid of most of it before doing the injection although not all of it- as I didn't want to risk losing any of the injection itself.  It went in no problem and then I was done:

I did think one thing interesting about this syringe was how it was sort of "all glass".  The Cetrotide syringes had a plastic plunger.  I thought this was actually a rather attractive sort of syringe.  If such things can be viewed in any was as attractive.  Anyway, I put the cover back on the needle and put my last bit of sharp into my sharps bin!

So here you see it.  The results of my first cycle of sharps.  Pretty much filled the bin.  you can see that it says not to fill above the line and I'd suggest that it was pretty much filled exactly to the line!  This was mainly due to all of the extra and unused needles that come with the Gonal-F pens.  Pretty wasteful, those.  Anyway, I figure I will take this with me tomorrow morning to the clinic and give it to them for disposal so I got to lock down the lid!

And so that's it really.  The only thing left in my bag of tricks is the lovely suppository.

Oh yippee.  It's funny to read some of the forums where people get all squeamish about suppositories.  Honestly, you've been jabbing yourself with needles for two weeks and getting done by an ultrasound dildo every few days and you can't manage to pop something up your bum?  I find this line of modesty sort of amusing.  But in reality, that picture makes it look a bit invasive.  Really, it's very tiny and I'm sure it will be no problem at all.

And so tomorrow I will have answers to questions that no one can answer for me.  Today I am going to drink huge amounts of water and eat sensibly but light (I had a massive Sunday roast yesterday and ate red meat like it was going out of style).  No food or drink after midnight- though I plan to be asleep by then.  Then up bright and early to have a shower and then avoid putting on deodorant or anything else with a scent as instructed by my clinic, pop in the suppository, grab my sharps box, and get on public transport at 7:30 to be there for 8:30 for my procedure at 9am.

It's hard not to be hopeful.  And simultaneously afraid of a bad result.  It will be what it will be.  There is nothing else I can do but wait and see.  And I will update here when I am able.  I still plan to travel up to Cambridge tomorrow night though, so we'll see how everything is going.  It could all be panic stations around here just due to my life, as of now put on hold, resuming with force.

24 February 2013

Days 14, 15

Last night was my last Gonal-F injection!!  It was 187.5 as opposed to the 225 I've been taking for the rest of my cycle.  And of course the Cetrotide.  The past two days all of the injections have been pretty easy which has been nice.  Today I have my last injections before egg collection.  At 7pm I take the Cetrotide and then at 8pm I take the Ovitrelle that is waiting for me in the fridge.  Monday- no shots!  Then Tuesday morning I need to pop in a Voltarol suppository before heading to the clinic super early.  The Voltarol is for pain relief and seems standard practice for some UK clinics according to forums on the internet.

I've arranged for my friend to be there by 10 and I imagine I should be able to leave by 11 at the latest.  So the end is almost here.  I can see it.  I'm both nervous and excited.  And I'm not going to lie, I'm also excited to get my life back for a couple of months where I'm not injecting myself every night and giving up alcohol and caffeine.

My right side where my ovary is feels a bit tight but honestly it's felt worse at different parts of this journey.  I've been very careful to avoid twisting and I can't help worry about things like OHSS and what happens after egg collection, but by the time my period comes it should all be flushing away and reverting to normal.

It's easy to get wrapped up in this experience but I still find it challenging that the support and advice for egg freezing is just dwarfed by IVF.  The issues are entirely different.  I do find it useful to read IVF forums for understanding issues regarding the egg collection process, but all this DH this and BFN/P that- it's not relevant to my journey and in some ways highlights the wrong thing about this process as it only painfully reminds me that my life is not where I had hoped it would be at this point.

It's also interesting the responses I've had from different friends about what I'm doing.  I have been reasonably open about telling friends of mine what I'm doing and the results have ranged from "That's amazing and you would make a great mother." to "Why would you do that?" to "Why don't you just get pregnant now?".  The responses have not necessarily coordinated with the friends I thought they would have, either.

I'm not rushing in to any decisions.  I just feel that this gives me an option I would otherwise be passing up.  And I believe that it is a good idea and the right thing for me to be doing at this time.  In addition, having lost an ovary already, it makes sense to try to preserve eggs from my remaining ovary which, as discussed already has a small cyst on it, because as I well know- anything can happen and then your choices can be taken away from you.

On the other hand, it puts into stark relief things about my life that have disappointed me.  It forces me to consider things that I have not necessarily been considering.  And I feel it is additionally challenging to be undertaking all of this alone without anyone to truly share 'the burden' of the harder thoughts with.  Or just the stupid moments of having injections and sharps boxes.

It's part of the reason I made this blog, and have tried to find others.  Or maybe I'm just someone who likes sharing.  Anyway.  Enough Sunday morning rambling!  I will continue to keep this blog updated with the results of this cycle, any thoughts in between, and when I do the second cycle (which I am entirely assuming I will do as there is no reason at this point to think I won't) I'll return to it, though possibly not the day by day description that this first cycle has been.  But as my doctor says, that's still a ways away.  First things first!

Last day of shots today!! Woohoo!!

22 February 2013

Day 13 - Scan

The end is in sight!

Had my scan this morning.  The doctor said that Tuesday would really be better for collection as the goal is to have as many good eggs as possible and I do have some follicles lagging behind.  I'm sure that I could question him for his reasoning and thinking, but as my IVF experienced friend said, "What is he going to tell you really except that this is what he thinks they should do based on all the other patients they've seen and the results they've had with different protocols?".  It's true really.  Whatever they say to me isn't going to be the magic pill that "promises" the prize.  Either you trust your doctor, and the clinic, or you don't.  So lesson of the day- be very happy with your clinic and doctor because that's really all you've got.

At any rate, he counted 13 follicles and there may have been a couple others.  They are getting big!  He suggested that I should be looking at 5-10 eggs.  Of course there is a massive difference between 5 and 10.  And there is absolutely nothing I can do about it except wait and see.  Obviously I hope for 10 and I will be disappointed with 5 but it will be what it will be and lets just hope that it's not any less than that which is of course, also entirely possible.

So I have my final drugs now, and I need to be back at the clinic at 8:30am on Tuesday morning for my procedure at 9am and I might be able to go home by 10 and hopefully by 11.

Tonight, I'm on the same drugs as usual- Gonal-F at 225 and Cetrotide.  Then tomorrow I do them again but the Gonal-F reduces (I have it written down- I think it's one eight something or other).  Sunday at 7pm I take the Cetrotide and then at 8pm I do the Ovitrelle which came pre-packaged and is currently in my fridge waiting for me.  Monday- no shots!  Hooray!  Before I head to the clinic on Tuesday morning, I take a suppository.  I think it's a painkiller.  I'm not sure, I'll need to double check, and I will post more about all that later.

This has of course prompted me to consider does the procedure actually hurt? It may sound stupid but it hadn't actually particularly occurred to me.  Then of course I made the mistake of looking at the internet which is full of both sides- people in pain and people feeling nothing.  Well, there just isn't any way to know what it's going to be like until it happens.  I'd say my tolerance for pain can be pretty high, but I do tend to flinch.  Hopefully I get enough sedation to just knock my ass out.

I've arranged for my friend to come meet me at the clinic and go home with me.  It's all heading to the finish line now!

I did say to the doctor today that my ovary feels uncomfortable, my digestive system seems to be a mess, and I've been feeling particularly grumpy.  He said it's all normal.  At least I can be objective at the moment.  The hormones haven't gotten that bad yet!!

21 February 2013

Day 12

Okay, I've taken to writing in the morning, not after my injections in the evening.

Last night's injections sucked.  They all seemed to be painful and pokey.  I say "they all" because although the Gonal-F is super easy and not a problem, I had to do the Cetrotide 3x before I got it right!!  First I tried a spot that was just too pokey so I couldn't manage.  Not sure I properly broke the skin but I think I must have been just on top of a nerve or something.  So needle out.  Pick another spot, still pokey but just want to get it done with, get it in and AGAIN I realize I've forgotten to get rid of the air bubble.  Needle out.  Third spot still a bit pokey.  At this point I wonder if I've blunted the needle with too many tries, but I get it in and done with and then just generally felt uncomfortable and poked from the shots.  And even though the Gonal-F is fine, I still picked a somewhat pokey spot.  So a big blah to the injections last night.

In the meantime, this amused me for no particular reason.  And as my cleaner comes today, it will all be gone shortly.  I wonder what she's going to think of my rather full bedroom garbage....

Looking forward to my scan in the morning.  I am hoping with all my might that they think Monday is perfect for collection.  Although I did ask the doctor I saw on Wednesday if I have the collection Monday morning did she think I could be traveling Monday night and she pretty much looked at me like I was crazy.  And said I should definitely not be riding a bicycle for a couple of days.  I think I'm someone who always thinks I can do things before realizing I can't.  So in my head these were completely sensible questions.  And to be honest, I'm going to see how I feel and if I think I can travel the evening of the collection, and if I think I can ride my bike, I'm going to do it.  I just can't keep putting off my normal life for so long.  Although I could skip the bike- it would mean a lot more walking and possibly taking taxis which is not ideal, but also not impossible.  Anyway, we'll see how I feel.

I've decided that I'm getting grumpy.  And this could be a side effect from the drugs.  It could also be a side effect from undertaking a somewhat stressful procedure.  But I feel particularly grumpy and irritable which is how I tend to feel when I have periods.  So yeah, maybe this is a mild side effect.

20 February 2013

Day 11 - Scan

So I had a scan this morning with a different doctor.  All going well.  I saw her count ten follicles and I saw a few more she didn't count.  She said it was good that they were mostly growing uniformly- that there weren't one or two 'ahead of the pack' in terms of growth which is good.  I guess they try to generally measure only the biggest ones.  She said they were also growing at a regular and steady and desirable rate.  So that was also all good.  The sad news is she said my collection could be Monday or even Tuesday.  It just keeps getting pushed further away!!  Ugh!  I hate the waiting!!!

Also this means I need to try to rearrange my "support" person as the person I had lined up is only free Thursday and Friday.  I think I've arranged someone though, so that's good.

I'm staying on the same dose of Gonal-F (225) plus the Cetrotide.

I asked if I was at any risk of OSHH.  The doctor told me that she didn't think so- especially as I had only one ovary.  If I had two ovaries, then maybe.  I thought this was interesting as I haven't seen anything about OHSS risks being reduced by having one ovary, but hey, I'll take it.

I learned the leftover injection pen and vials can go directly into the trash.  I'm not sure I 100% believe this, but the nurse said that they just put it all in regular trash so I can put it in my trash at home.  So I guess I will, even though it feels vaguely wrong.

Also, I learned that the clinic does see patients on the weekend for procedures- but they don't do scans and regular consultations on the weekend.  That seemed reasonable.

I definitely feel a tightness or pressure on my right side where my ovary is.  It's mildly annoying but not painful.  I can't say I've really had any other side effects that I've noticed.  I have some mild bruising across my belly from all the shots, but it's not that bad, and not painful.

Just back to shots and waiting...

19 February 2013

Day 10

Here is some advice.  It is not always great to read the things you find on the internet.

On the other hand, it can be useful to read things you find on the internet.

I'll be honest.  I haven't done loads and loads of reading on egg freezing or IVF cycles and I don't know all the terminology and all of the steps and measures.  I've had to learn as I go.  And it turns out I often have questions.

Of course my first response is to look up answers on the internet.  And there are loads of people talking about stuff- mostly IVF, but still relevant.  But sometimes what they say makes me worry about my protocol or my results.  And that's really a bit useless.

So this is what I think I learned today.  First, I'm on an OCP-antagonist protocol (I think).  The purpose of the norethisterone was to suppress the proto eggs briefly in the hopes that they all come out together so that there are more mature eggs at collection as opposed to varying sizes of eggs which would mean many are not good enough for freezing.

I learned that follicle numbers seem to have very little to do with egg numbers.  And according to IVF blogs, even a good number of good eggs can result in only one or no transferable embryos or blastocysts.  This was depressing.  I even read someone posting about how they had 8 follicles and NO eggs.  Of course this is useless information for me to be reading.

I'm just getting anxious to get to this particular finish line.  I have another scan in the morning with a different doctor.  I'm going to try and get them to tell me as much as possible.  I know there's no use in worrying over things I can't change, and at the moment I don't have anything specific to actually worry about!  I suppose in the space of waiting for what will be, my mind just continues to manufacture a steady stream of 'what ifs'.  I will be very relieved to finish this cycle, one way or another.

Although obviously I will be happy with a good outcome!  I'll be relieved but terribly disappointed with a poor outcome.  Just hate all the waiting!!

18 February 2013

Day 9 - Scan

Back from the doctor, had a good chat with him about the whole cyst thing.  He showed me how a (my) dermoid cyst looks a lot like the bowel.  Because my dermoid cyst is very small, it can be difficult to spot.  It is able to seen now because the ovary is enlarged.  It "moves" with the ovary.  But, when the ovary is smaller it can be hard to see from the surrounding gut.  He reiterated that it's very small and nothing to be concerned about.  So I feel much better about all of that.

On to more exciting news!  Follicles!  Now I see from reading other blogs that people get measurements on their follicles and I don't know what mine are.  So I can't say if I have good size ones or not.  I know they are growing though, because the doctor says so!  However, they are growing slowly.  So instead of collection being Thursday or Friday this week, I may be looking at Monday.  Which frankly, sort of sucks.  But I'm going in for another scan on Wednesday and then again on Friday.  So this is going to be a very busy week for my vagina. :)

I was careful to count the follicles he was measuring- so he measured 8 but he didn't measure a bunch that were on the other side.  So I counted ten or eleven follicles.  Obviously some are bigger than others.  Anyway, from everything I can gather, this seems like a good foundation.  So I'm excited.  I just now wish the little eggs would mature faster!

Obviously I'll find out more on Wednesday.  Unfortunately I don't see my regular doctor but I'll see another doctor in the clinic.  Although I'm not concerned about that.  I'm scheduled to see my regular doctor again on Friday.  I have this sneaking suspicion that perhaps they aren't open over the weekend?  I hope that's not the case as it would upset me to think that my collection is predicated on what is best for the doctor's schedule and not what's best for my body when I'm paying a lot of money for this.  But that's me making a gross assumption.  I'll not worry about that until Wednesday, when I'll try to glean more.

Oh, also, this longer stimulation time is a little bit annoying on the budget.  At this rate I'm going to be paying an extra 50-60% for the expensive drugs because I'm going more days than I thought.  In the grand scheme of things, it's okay, but it's a little bit annoying and I wasn't necessarily prepared for that length of extension.  I'm figuring it will be an extra £600 (~$900) per cycle.  Across two cycles, it's something to think about.  But hey-ho, in for a penny in for a pound!

Oh yeah, last thing- when I asked about the break between cycles the doctor said that after collection my period would hopefully come around the 11th of March.  Then April, then May, and THEN I could consider the next cycle.  So assuming everything goes as planned, my second cycle will be June.  Which gives me a good amount of time to relax and have fun in between.  Of course the doctor says to me "One step at a time!".  But I am a busy person and I need to schedule!!

Tonight, the further adventures of the human pin-cushion.  I'm still staying on Gonal-F at 225 with the Cetrotide.

17 February 2013

Day 7 & 8

Missed a day of posting because yesterday was a horrible disaster.  Nothing to do with the egg freezing mind you.  More to do with a friend of mine getting attacked and mugged on my doorstep.  This would have been bad enough, but it was followed by a car with shot people in it coming to find the police for help (who were obviously at my flat) and then a million police showing up to deal with that, while I was left to deal with my traumatized friend before the police got around to coming back to her.

On top of which, this incident has pushed my flatmate over the edge.  She just got home having left the house in a panic yesterday night after the excitement.  I'm fully expecting her to give me notice that she's moving out, but as it is, she clearly isn't talking to me.  Charming.

So yeah... injections.

Last night they were about an hour late.  Tonight I got them done on time.  I'm looking forward to my scan tomorrow.  My right side is definitely feeling tight and bloated.  I'm finding it hard to regain my 'happy place' of thoughts with all of this bloody drama going on.  I mean you have got to be kidding me!!  But I'm not freaking out, so that's good.  Definitely looking forward to the scan and talking to the doctor tomorrow.  It's not until the afternoon, but that's okay.

I hope for some good follicle news and a better idea of collection day so I can arrange for my friend to come with me.  Getting close now!!

If only there wasn't all this outside stress now to also contend with.... I'm not sure how much positive vibes and calmness help with follicles and eggs or how much stress and agitation may hurt follicles and eggs.  All I know is- it is on it's own a somewhat stressful thing to undertake.  It's a shame that my life at the moment is adding to it in a negative way!

Tomorrow is another day.

16 February 2013

Day 6 - Shots

Just a quick one on the shots last night.  Again I was a little bit late so I just wanted to get home and get it done.  I was still just trying to get my mind in the right place after the panic.  I am also going to guess that my reaction to the cyst was maybe due to all these hormones I'm taking?  At any rate, I just thought I'd have a nice calm night of doing my injections and going to bed.

So first I finished off that 900 Gonal-F pen which kept sticking at 25.  I was careful to ensure it pressed the entire way down for the last dose and did not get stuck on 25 so that was good.  Then I went to mix up the Cetrotide.  Did all the steps, ready to go, get the needle in (and it was a bit pokey in the place I selected), I look down and realize I didn't expel the air bubble!  Ugh!

So I had to withdraw the needle which now had a bit of blood on it and blood welling up (because I picked a pokey spot).  I slowly expelled the air bubble which also meant a little bit of blood that was in the needle tip came out.  I wiped it with the alcohol wipe and let it dry and didn't let it touch anything else and when the air was gone I picked a new spot and did the injection.

You think you're just getting to be good at all this stuff and then oops!  At least I caught it.

I'm starting to feel a bit of "tightness" in my right side (where the ovary is).  It's not pain or even twinges, but more like a small fullness.  It's interesting of course because I can compare the two sides as one has no ovary and I can tell a difference.  Or maybe I'm just getting a little bloated.  To be fair, none of it is particularly bothersome.  And other than yesterdays breakdown in tears, I can't say I've noticed any side effects in particular.  Although I still have five or six days to go... I tell you what.  I'm already looking forward to my "down time" between cycles.  The one thing I am starting to feel is just a bit stressed again.  I just want to get to the end and know how it's going to go (and really know if this was all worth it)!!

15 February 2013

Day 6 - Scan, Freak Out

Just back from my second scan and I'm feeling very negative today and worried.  Not about the follicles- there were a good number of those growing along.  But no, more about the dermoid cyst that has reappeared and was clearly visible on the scan.  In part I'm upset because on my previous 2 scans, neither doctor saw the dermoid cyst.  So maybe I was just sort of hoping it was gone or some sort of mistake.  But it was clearly there today, a white mass on the ultrasound in contrast to the nice little black follicles.

A dermoid cyst is how I lost my first ovary.

Now on the plus side, the doctor measured it and said it was about 14mmx18mm (less than 1"x1") and I know from having it scanned every year it's around 14mm.  So that means it hasn't grown.  But still it's just upset me tremendously to see it there, or, to rather 'suddenly' see it there.  And of course I'm getting worried about what taking hormones might be doing to it, or what will happen if it grows.

So today I feel rather bummed out and depressed.  And because it's Friday, I don't see the doctor again until Monday.

He was really not worried at all about it, and when I expressed my concern, told me I shouldn't be.  My IVF experienced friend said that he's given me the answer.  Either I trust him and continue or I stop.  I trust him.  But I don't trust enough to be comfortable with the situation- not because I don't trust the doctor, but probably more because I don't trust my own body.

It's my only and last ovary you know?  Ugh.  Just ugh.  Emotional due to emotions or emotional due to drugs?  Don't know.  Just... not very happy today.  (Although before all that happened, I was happily counting over 7 nicely forming follicles and being happy about that, but I can't get in touch with those feelings just now.)


In other news, staying on the Gonal-F at 225 with the Cetrotide.  Next scan Monday afternoon.  Expected collection Thursday or Friday next week.  I really want to try to be staying happy and positive.  Not worrying that I'm doing something that is going to lose me my only remaining ovary.

It's times like this when it just sort of sucks to be on your own. 

14 February 2013

Day 5

I have two tiny circular bruises on me from the shots.  The biggest and darkest is actually from my very first shot.  They seem more likely to bruise if they well up with blood when the needle is removed.  To be fair, I don't have that many dots on me having now given myself a total of 8 injections.  Maybe half have been followed by a blood dot?  Oh yeah, in other news I was talking to a friend who did many IVF cycles and she said that she had been told to stay within a two inch radius of the belly button and not to go out to the sides.  Which could have explained why the shot I did further to the side hurt more.  So sticking closer to the belly button it is!

I did the Gonal-F first again tonight.  I was holding it in for the ten seconds and then I moved my thumb and saw it was stuck on 25 again!  So I moved my hand and pushed the plunger more firmly and the last 'click' went and the rest of the drug went in.  Now I know what happened yesterday.  Which makes me feel better about doing the second injection of 25- it was the right thing to do.  Today though, I got it all in, albeit after a bit of a pause.

Anyway, on to the Cetrotide.  Today with pictures!  So first, out of the box we have a sealed container, and an info booklet.  Peeling off the top of the sealed container we have two alcohol wipes, two needles, a pre-filled syringe, and a vial of the Cetrotide in powder form.  Let me preface this gallery by saying that if you are going to take Cetrotide, make sure you read and follow the instructions that come with it fully- this is an abbreviated version and is no substitute for correct medical advice.

Right.  The first thing you do is get the little vial of the powder, remove the blue cap, and wipe it down with one of the alcohol wipes.  You can see when the blue cap is removed it exposes a rubber stopper end where you will insert the needle.

Next, you attach the big (yellow ended) needle to the syringe.  On a hard surface, you insert the needle into the rubber stopper and then depress the plunger to add all the liquid in the pre-filled syringe into the vial.

Now they say that it dissolves instantly.  But then it says if it doesn't all dissolve you can swirl it gently.  They say not to shake it as that adds air bubbles.  As you can see from the photo on the left, it really doesn't dissolve cleanly.  It takes quite a bit of swirling and scraping at the bits stuck to the bottom with the needle.  And some tapping on the side of the vial.  It's really a matter of being patient.  It does get there eventually, even if I did get a few air bubbles in it (as shown in image on the right) but some gentle tapping sorts those out.

The part that I didn't show is how you are supposed to turn the vial upside down, draw down the needle so it's just in, and then suck up all the liquid.  This is not so easy.  You don't want to withdraw the needle, and you want to get all the liquid, and not fill up the syringe with air.  Again, I think it's more about patience.  Taking your time, and if you get too much air, pushing that back so you have space to try to get the rest of the liquid.  I managed to get pretty much all of it eventually, as well as a bunch of air.  So then I swapped out the big nasty needle for the injection needle (as shown below) and slowly pressed the plunger until the tiniest bit of liquid was visible on the tip.  Ready to inject, and so I did.

Next scan is early tomorrow morning.  I need to get myself to bed to get up early to get across town to the clinic.  I'll be getting more drugs tomorrow as I only have enough Gonal-F left for one more injection at 225 and 2 more Cetrotide boxes.  I will definitely be asking about when possible collection day is going to be.  Lets hope everything has been continuing in the right direction.  I continue to oscillate between being hopeful and being terrified there won't be anything out of this.  Useless, I know.  And I try not to do it, but I don't see how it can possibly be completely avoided.

Day 4 - Scan Day

Today's entry is in two parts.  First, the scan. 

Today I had my first scan after 3 days of injections.  I could see the screen as he looked at my ovary and measured the little follicles that were there.  I counted about 7 or so.  Two were clearly bigger, which I assume is a good thing.  I will never get used to the UK doctor approach which is basically not very talkative.  I prefer the continual information dump and running commentary approach.  I suppose it's in part what I'm used to, but you know, I like to be included in my medical health discussion.  Not that I have any complaints at all about the clinic- or the doctor for that matter.  As when I ask him stuff, he is happy to answer and discuss with me.  It's just that I need to ask, it doesn't happen automatically, and I find it a little bit weird.

So as I say, I saw him measuring all the little follicles.  I sort of lost count, I swear he measured some of the same ones twice.  But he was also very quick.  It was definitely more than 5 although some were small.  So he said I should stay on the same dose of the Gonal-F (225) and tonight I also add the Cetrotide.  My next scan is Friday morning.  He didn't see any cysts (which is good).  He said it all looked like what he'd like to see so far (without being particularly descriptive about what it is he likes to see).  He said that the trick is that they wouldn't want to overstimulate the ovary- you don't want 20 follicles on one ovary.  But that a good response would hopefully see me get 10.  If I actually got 10 eggs (and if those could all be frozen) that would be superb, because two cycles would give me the magic number of 20.  I'm not sure I'll actually get 10 freezable eggs, but the closer I can get to that number the better.

It's kind of crazy to think I'm just back there in less than 2 days, but the more scans, the more information, the more care and looking at I'm getting, then the better as far as I can tell.  So like I said, I'm very pleased with the clinic so far really.  Oh, they said that my unused needles should all go in the sharps bin and that any unused medicine or medicine containers I can bring in and they can dispose of.  So that was good to know.  Although today they took the unused needles in the Gonal-F box, even though they say on their handout that they don't take unused needles not in a sharps bin.  I don't think it was a big deal really.

I'm writing this in a cafe just now.  I'll return to it later tonight when I discuss my shots.  The regular Gonal-F and the new part of the regimen, mixing my own Cetrotide.

Okay, I wrote that part before and I'm picking up this post where I left off.  My intention had been to take pictures and post about the mixing but I got home late so I just wanted to get the shots done to stay close to my schedule.  I took the Gonal-F about 45 minutes after my 24 hour time and the Cetrotide about 15 minutes after that.  All within reason to be fair, but I was just conscious about getting it done.

And what an annoyance last night was!  First, I did the Gonal-F.  I figured I had it down, I understood what I was doing, and it's easy.  So I prep, I measure, I inject, I wait ten seconds, take the pen out.... and it says 25 left in the black window.  Crap!  If it has a number left it means you didn't take the full injection.  But I did depress the plunger all the way (or so I thought).  So I was first annoyed, then worried, then I just decided to give myself the 25 with a new needle.  So I did that and it definitely went to 0.  But it was an extra little bit of bother when I was already just trying to get it done!  Ugh!  Also, two pin pricks.  Double ugh!

Or, make that three pin pricks.  Because I had to mix up the Cetrotide.  This was more complicated than I thought it was going to be.  I will take a picture of the box set up hopefully for day 5 and post more about the mixing.  Needless to say, there were a number of steps, it didn't all dissolve straight away so I kept trying to mix it without shaking it (as that adds air bubbles).  Getting it back into the syringe was also not 'obvious' and I got a bit of air in there and I'm not convinced I got 100% of the drug back in the needle (although I did get most of it) and then I had to do yet another injection although that went fine when I finally got to that point, I was just glad to get it done!

Now my next scan is first thing Friday morning.  I look forward to getting more information on how this is all going.  It would be good to have an idea of what day collection might be for- as I need to figure out who I know that can come with me.  If it's Thursday or Friday I have someone but if it's Wednesday, I might be on my own.  I think that's the only shitty thing about this whole exercise- is really being on your own.  It's part of the reason I don't find as much help from the IVF blogs- they're all with partners, they have different objectives, it's really a different sort of procedure and expectation.  Egg freezing is similar, but it's different.  I wish more women were sharing their stories!!

12 February 2013

Day 3

Okay, that shot hurt more than the first two.  I tried more to my side, and a little higher up than my belly bulge and I don't think I'll be doing that one again.  I'm not sure- maybe I didn't go at a complete 90 degree angle?  To be fair it's hard to tell.  And it's not like it was "painful" just more painful than the first two.  So tomorrow, it's back to the belly bulge.

Tonight I started my new 900 pen.  It comes with a lot more needles (that I also won't use) as you can see here:

 It's not clear where you are supposed to dispose of the extra needles- or the empty pen for that matter.  I think I'll take it all back to the clinic.  They must have medical disposal waste there.  Or maybe it all goes in the sharps bin?  I don't know.  I'll find out tomorrow.  So here is a view of the pen with the cap still on.  The little black spot there shows the dosage.  It's all very easy.  Turn the red end until it reads the right number after attaching the needle and away you go!

If I hadn't been annoyed by the sting of the shot tonight I would have tried to take a photo but I was trying to work out if I had the angle all wrong so couldn't manage it.  But hey, I have lots of time to mess around with cameras and stuff!

In other news... I can't tell how it's affecting my body.  I have a cold so I feel crappy because I have a cold.  I also have my period (though it's ending) so I feel sort of crappy because I have my period.  And of course I'm taking the Gonal-F, which does have side effects but it's basically impossible right now for me to say if I feel crappy because of my period, because of a cold, or because of the drugs, or some combination of any of the above.

I do feel bloated.  And I definitely brought the wrong pair of jeans up with me.  Luckily, I go home tomorrow and I can change back to some comfy pants.  I have my first scan tomorrow afternoon, so I can find out if the three days of drugs have actually done anything.  And tomorrow night I also add the Cetrotide, so then I get to have two shots.  And the Cetrotide requires some mixing, so I'll post more about that too.

Onwards and onwards!  Grow little egglings, grow!

11 February 2013

Day 2

Just did my second injection about a half an hour ago.  That's one expensive pen all done!  I have a tiny little dark bruise from the injection yesterday.  Today I can't even see where I did it.  I don't know what I did differently.  Well, the one thing I know I did differently was that I kept my finger on the plunger until the needle was completely removed!  But other than that, I don't know if I did anything differently.

I'm hyper conscious of any small changes in my body which is weird.  I feel every twinge and ping and ache.  I swear I can feel my ovary pinging every now and then.  I don't know if this is just me being particularly hyper sensitive or if it's anything real.  I read through the leaflet that comes with the Gonal-F all about the possible side effects and the likelihood of the various side effects.  I don't usually find reading such things helpful- it just implants suggestions in your head.

I spoke to the clinic this morning- I have an appointment for a scan midday on Wednesday which will be Day 4 which is when the doctor wanted to see me.  So that's good.  In other news I was looking through various egg freezing sites last night and I think the best I can hope for is 5-10 eggs.  Of course there's a big difference between 5 and 10!  I know this is something I shouldn't be thinking too much about.  There isn't anything I can do to change what it's going to be.  But I know I will be really disappointed if it's 5 or less.  Because then even with two cycles I haven't secured very good odds for all this hassle.

However.  I will worry about this when I need to worry about it and there is no point in worrying about it now!!

10 February 2013

First Shot

Well, it's 10pm and I have just administered my first shot.  I was more nervous than I thought I would be.  I watched a couple of videos online about how to do it, then I got my stuff together and got it done.  First things first, I got to open the box that it all comes in, so it looked like this:

So here you see then pen, a shitload of needles that I will not need (for me, this pen holds 2 doses), an information sheet telling you all about what the drug is for and what the side effects are, and then a brochure on how to administer your dose.  Another view:

Now it tells you to take everything to a 'clean place'.  So I figured my bed was maybe not the cleanest dust-free environment so I took everything down to my dining table which I wiped clean.  I also washed my hands (as instructed).  Luckily I had some antiseptic wipes in the house.  The doctor neglected to tell me I needed any, and they didn't come in the box.  And of course I had my sharps bin ready.

Now I didn't take pictures during the needle prep or anything as I was just too focused on getting it done.  I had no air bubble in the pen, so I put on a needle, set the correct dose, wiped my side/stomach down, pinched an inch, and injected at a 90 degree angle.  I did feel a bit of a poke and didn't like it but that was really just an instant and then I honestly didn't feel anything.  I depressed the plunger.  It seemed to go very very slowly.... and then you need to hold the pen in for ten seconds.  Then I went to remove the pen- and as I removed it I accidentally took my finger off the plunger like you are NOT supposed to do, so I sort of freaked out that I screwed something up, but then pen showed a '0' which meant I gave myself a full dose, and I didn't see any blood or anything sucked back into it so I think it's okay.  It did well up with a tiny dot of blood, as you can see here:

Which is probably why they also tell you to have some sterile gauze with you, but I didn't have any of that, so I just gave it an extra wipe with the alcohol pad and it seemed fine.  Now it's gone a little bit dark and it's got a bit of a bump to it (fluid underneath?) but it's all fine and done.  So that's shot one.  Tomorrow, and the next night I am in my 'other' home, so I need to pack up all my stuff and take it with me.  10 pm should be fine tomorrow, although Tuesday night it might be slightly trickier.  Wednesday night, which will be day 4, I add the Cetrotide.  As I get more skilled at this, maybe I can take some better pictures.

Now what am I supposed to do with all of those unused needles?  I guess they all just go straight into the sharps bin. I'll ask the clinic tomorrow when I call to make an appointment for my scan.

09 February 2013


Well, my period arrived with a vengeance this morning!  Woke me up with cramping.  Unusual.  My period is usually fairly light.  I have no idea if this is from the norethisterone.  I usually never have cramps or anything!  At any rate, I'm pleased because today is officially day 1.  Tomorrow night, first injection!  I'm excited to be moving forward and of course hopeful.  My internet is acting up and I'm running around all weekend doing things.  I need to do an intensive internet search on if I can take any drugs at all while doing the egg freezing drugs.  I'm guessing it's 'no' though, so I'm not taking any, but with cramps and a cold, I really wish I could!  Oh well.  It will all be a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things!

08 February 2013


End of day three off the norethisterone and finally, just a hint of color... I might get my period tomorrow!  I was starting to worry- what would happen if I didn't get it after all this??  Stress and periods do not go well together!  At any rate, I'm hopeful that tomorrow might be day 1.  But I can tell that it's coming.  So day 4 scan will be Thursday or Friday next week- perfect!

In other news, I am coming down with a cold.  My first thought is "How is a cold going to screw with my egg freezing??" my second thought was "Crap!  I can't take any drugs!!".  This is going to be a very unpleasant cold.  I'm usually a clockwork dayquil/nyquil user.  But I'm not taking anything at the moment.  Not even painkillers for the neck pain I get from sitting at the computer.

I'm still anxious that this is not going to go well and I'm not going to get many eggs. But part of me is also excited to get it started.  And another part of me just wants this first round to be over so I can take cold medication and have a drink!

I think it's a common thing for women who decide on egg freezing - once you decide you want to do it, all of the waiting is particularly painful.  I just want to be getting it done!!

Soon soon soon....

07 February 2013

First Drugs

So now I'm just waiting for my period...

In the meantime I thought I'd put up what I got from the doctor.  They had it all ready for me in a blue plastic bag.  This is probably about half of the drugs (or a bit less) than I will actually need.  I appreciate that they are only giving me what I need.  I've read some blogs where people were encouraged to buy all the drugs up front and of course they may adjust the dose so then you have left-over very very expensive drugs.  You're looking at over £600 of drugs and equipment here ($900).

To give you some idea of size, that paper on top is A3 (11x17).  I felt like a serious junkie on my way home from the clinic!  I will post more pictures as I go through the process.  I don't know.  It helps me feel calm and collected to document the process.  The first thing I'll be taking is the Gonal-F on the second day of my period.

For the love of... I'm not computer illiterate!  I don't know why it insists on rotating this photo.  I give up.  So anyway, these are two injection pens.  I'll give more details when I open my first box.  Probably the 450 box.  I'm starting on a 225 dose, so the first pen will have 2 doses.  The second 900 pen has 4 doses.  But they may lower the dose after my next scan which should be on day 4 of injections.  On day 4 I also start the Cetrotide which is the one that came with the instruction sheet because I have to mix it.  That is always the same dose, so each box is a single dose with everything you need to mix it up.  Again, more on that as it happens.

But the thing that really made me feel the most like a druggie?  The sharps bin.  Here you can see the place for my needles... and the top of my instruction schedule.  The nurse was very careful to tell me that as it's shown there it's 'closed' but if I push it the whole way, it will lock.  So don't do that.  Of course I need to travel around with this thing and I'm thinking, if it doesn't close, can't things fall out of it???  I'll just have to pack it carefully.

Now on with the waiting for my period... honestly.  It's worse than being a 12 year old girl!

05 February 2013

All Systems Go!

I've just returned from my meeting at the clinic.  Had an ultrasound scan of my ovary to see if it's good to go, and it is!  So had a chat with the doctor to answer some of my questions, he prescribed the drugs, I met with the nurse to collect my drugs and learn all about how to inject myself.  Got a blood test for sexually transmitted diseases and so now it's just a matter of waiting for my period to start.  Last norethisterone is tonight!  I start injecting on day 2 of my period, and need to go in for a scan and possible blood work on the 4th day of the drugs.  I'm nervous, but I'm actually really excited.  I felt really positive about it today!

So I'll do another post with all my drugs but I wanted to also record here some of my questions and answers, in part so I won't forget, and also because maybe it might help other people.  So in no particular order:

  • How am I supposed to understand AMH numbers against having one ovary?
    • The doctor told me this is a two part answer.  He said if I want to know how many eggs I have left, I should stick with the number as it stands.  But if I'm trying to understand how my ovary might respond to medication, then I should consider the number to be doubled.  Of course I will only get half of what one would expect from the doubled number, so again, tempering my expectation.  But this is kind of great news because it bumps up my AMH to a better bracket.  So that was good news.  Actually, he said my one ovary was actually very promising.  So I felt really good about that (I may regret these words later!)
  •  If I think I'm going to need two cycles, how much time should I prepare to leave between cycles (if any)?
    • The doctor said they recommend to take a two or three month break in between cycles.  Now on the way home I realized I still didn't understand this perfectly.  I'm having a February cycle now.  March would be one month off.  Then is April possible?  Or does a two month break mean not to do it in March or April?  May won't be any good for me as I'm traveling to the States to see family for the annual trip home so I guess I'm looking at June.  If I want to do a third cycle, and need to take a break, that means my third cycle will happen when I'm 39.  I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, it depends on a number of other factors.
  • Is there a way for them to know if an ovary has twisted?
    • I was reading up about how you shouldn't do any impact activities or twisting activities while stimulating.  Because when I lost my other ovary, it had twisted 3x, I'm a little worried about it happening to this one.  Twisting cuts off the blood supply and is pretty much bad.  I mean, why does it twist??  So apparently there is no actual way for them to 'see' if it's twisted and the only way for them to know would be if it was very painful.  He said that as the ovary gets larger, that's what might make it twist.  Now my cyst, that was large- around 15cm.  He said under stimulation, the ovary will grow to between 7-8cm so hopefully not so large to make it twist, but large enough that I need to be careful.  That's fine.  I plan on being very careful.  They said to call of course if I had any pain or worries during the treatment.
  • How many eggs should a woman freeze to have a very good chance at one future baby?
    • Okay, this one has been bothering me because a lot of the egg freezing stuff I'm reading have women talking about freezing 10 or 11 eggs.  When I met with the doctor the first time he said ideally I would really want around 20.  I saw a different doctor today who will be managing my process and he actually said 20-30!!  But that 20 was probably a good number to have a very good chance at one successful baby.  His rationale was because the clinic results (see chart below for 2011) show a 33% success for clinical pregnancies with women 38-39.  So because I am 38, the eggs I am freezing now will give me about a 1 in 3 chance of a successful pregnancy.  He said that one IVF cycle will use about 7 eggs. So 20 frozen eggs accounts for 3 cycles and the odds show one of those would be likely positive.  It's important to note that for live birth the number drops slightly.
Patients age <35 35-37 38-39 40-42 43-44 >44
% clinical pregnancies*  44% 37%  33%  13% 6%  -
Clinical pregnancies per cycle commenced 72/165 27/73  20/60  11/84  2/32 0/12

03 February 2013

On the Pill and Considering Diet

Just an update.  I've been taking the norethisterone for six days now.  No side effects that I can tell, not that I think there are supposed to be any.  I have my scan and nursing appointment on Tuesday which is just two days away.  I'm so anxious to get to it!

In other news I've been trying to moderate my diet in preparation for the procedure.  This has meant trying to eliminate caffeine and alcohol from my diet.  This has not been easy at all.  I could do alcohol fairly easily, but it gets hard when you can't have a coke instead of a glass of wine.  I've managed fairly well but I've had 2 glasses of wine in the past week because... well, I have no excuse.  I read that and then I think, what the hell, I haven't managed fairly well at all!!  But I've turned down quite a bit of alcohol in the past week, so I feel like I've done well.  Ugh.  This will be it until the procedure is finished.  I fear it's too much money to be wasting and not taking it seriously.  I've looked on forums and seen mixed information on how strict you should be and when you should start.  Some people say to cut all caffeine and alcohol three months before the procedure (which I have completely missed the boat on) and some say only when you're on injections.  Most seem to agree that a small cup of tea or coffee a day is okay, but caffeine isn't really my issue as I don't drink many hot beverages.  It's the alcohol.  I've cut back, and I'm happy to cut it out completely for the next three weeks.  But it is hard.

My mind still wanders to worrying about egg collection and how few there might be.  It's the whole one ovary thing.  I read other blogs and other people's experiences and then I have to remind myself that they have two ovaries.  I want to be hopeful but I am so terrified that I'll only get one or two or three when I really want seven or eight or nine.  I know I just need to do it and see what happens but it is actually incredibly stressful.