Babies on Board

Two hatching day 5 blasts in fact… at this stage I don’t know if any of the remaining were good enough to freeze – yesterday it looked like one might make it but I won’t get an update until tomorrow.  The two we put in are the bottom two in this picture (they have their father’s eyes). 

Image

So now I am symptom spotting whether imaginary or real… or just the leftovers from the cold. But I’ve been taking it very easy with 24 hours bedrest (aside from going downstairs to the hotel restaurant for dinner last night). 

I’m oscillating between thinking this has GOT to have worked, to planning on where I’ll stay the next time I come back if it doesn’t work. I hate the TWW and go all Jeckyll and Hyde.

Send me calming, feel-good vibes please. 

Em x

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A Dozen Eggs

That’s what our donor has given us! I’d call that a good haul! We received the call at about 11am yesterday after dropping in hubby’s sample.  I’m very calm about this cycle as I know there is nothing I can influence at this stage, whatever will be, will be.  Once there is an embryo inside me, then it’s up to me, but until then I’m not stressing about anything.  It’s now a day later and I have no clue how many have fertilised and it doesn’t worry me – so long as we get to transfer and there are a couple of good looking blastocysts I’m happy. If we have a couple more to freeze then that is just a lot of icing on this fertility cake.

Meanwhile I have caught hubby’s mexican man flu and am feeling pretty ordinary – the only merciful thing is that it seems to be moving quickly through my body – I hope to be a lot better by Saturday when I’m due for embryo transfer.

We went touring around today – this place is pretty amazing and even in bad weather the trek from Claremont to Camps Bay via Hout Bay and Chapman’s peak was spectacular. We stopped off in Hout Bay for lunch and had fish and chips at a simple wharf restaurant where Seals frolicked in the water just by our table. You can’t get that experience just anywhere can you?

 

 

First appointment

So we arrived yesterday after a hellishly long flight. My ankles are only just starting to retract back to a sort of normal size.

Yesterday was a write off pretty much as I barely slept on the plane as I was hyper aware of being more prone to a DVT given I have Factor V, am on estrogen and flying for a stupidly long amount of time. I got up diligently at least every two hours (had the foresight to book an aisle seat thankfully) to move around the plane a bit which meant I really only had about a 3-4 hour cap nap in 28 hours until our room was ready at the hotel.  Once checked in I got into bed but think I was beyond tired because I found it so hard to actually fall asleep. After a couple more cat-naps decided I’d be better off making it until 8.30pm or so and then sleeping.

I’d booked a massage at the hotel spa before we left – and was on my way to my ‘dreams’ jet lag 90 minute treatment at 6pm – it was just bliss. The day spa here is amazing, in fact, the whole hotel complex is just lovely (http://www.vineyard.co.za/)  – it’s an old house that was built  by some British Lady back in the day, but is now a boutique hotel set on a few acres in the middle of the suburbs of Cape Town. The clinic is only 5 mins up the road. It really suits us as we like things a little quieter – we aren’t into bars and being in the thick of things, I’d prefer to travel into the thick of things when I feel like it and head home to peace and quiet when I don’t.

Our room backs onto a little stream which is populated by what sounds like a huge community of frogs who come alive at night with sounds. It’s really quite relaxing. So we woke up very well rested this morning and headed down to the thing I love the most in life, the hotel breakfast. Then off to meet our Dr at Cape Fertility Clinic.

Listening to Frogs

I’d heard the clinic was very busy and rushed, but maybe it was just because it was a Saturday, I didn’t get that impression at all.  I had my lining scan and it’s currently at 9.8mm which is good and the Dr nodded approvingly and said  those wonderful words ‘triple stripe’ … go uterus you good thing! I’d been so concerned after my weird period that things might be off, but my body is playing ball.

Our donor too, is doing well with the whole process he said ‘she is very organised so I don’t foresee any issues’,  that made me laugh because I am not necessarily the most organised person in the world so this might be another good genetic bypass for any children to have as well as the Factor V, Coeliac Disease and a bit of a gas issue. I asked if she was going ok with the process and that it wasn’t too hard for her given it’s her first time donating he said she was doing really well and following all the rules – he also mentioned that she seemed lovely which is good to hear. 

He also ran through the last part of our contract with CFC – which was all pretty straight forward stating they can’t guarantee success etc. and fairly stock standard. But they also offer an egg bank program that you can opt into using. Should your donor produce more than 15 eggs you can agree to donate any extra eggs beyond 15 to the egg bank program. This in turn means that should you get to egg collection with your donor and something is wrong, like say her follicles were filled with fluid but no actual egg, you get to then use the back up egg donor selection for another donors frozen eggs. Seems like a good insurance plan to us, and considering we would be happy with just one or two top notch eggs from whatever we should get, seemed like the right thing to do for us.

So our next appointment is this Monday morning for hubby to do his bit – he’ll relax a lot more after that’s done as I think he feels some pressure at this stage. And we’ll have our egg numbers then… I’ve heard CFC aren’t the best with updates after initial fertilisation results are given so I will try not to get too on edge about it all, but that may be easier said than done.

We are off to the V&A Waterfront tonight for dinner – which should be good. We haven’t ventured too far yet (given our rental car has come with a dodgy GPS unit) but we will do a couple of day trips in between our upcoming appointments.

Take Off

D day is here, well probably the first D Day of many over the next two weeks… our flight leaves at 5pm tonight so it’s been a mad rush to get things done this morning. As my sister said ‘well you did win the late for school race in prep’ – because I always leave most things to the last minute. Mind you, I always manage to get everything done. 

I’m feeling good about the trip – I figure at this point I’m just a passenger going along for the ride. All the wheels are well in motion without me worrying about everything. There’s nothing I can do but turn up. 

I’m not looking forward to this 25 hour travel though. No amount of movies can make that enjoyable! 

I turned 42 yesterday… tick tock. My lovely donor agency sent me an email wishing me a happy birthday, which to me after the level of care and interest you receive in Australia is astounding.  The Australian fertility system could learn a bit about patient care from the South Africans I think. 

Anyway – I should get my A into G as they say. Husband is madly cleaning the house around me and I’m blogging … 

See you on the flipside. 

 

Countdown

8 days to go now until we leave for South Africa!  Everything seems to be back on track now with my cycle, I’m currently on all medications and almost need to start work later in the day to fit them all in.

At the moment my day goes like this. 7am get up, inject clexane, take estrogen. Have a coffee. 8am 2 sniffs of Synarel. Sneeze for 20 minutes.  8.30 – have breakfast. Take 9 various vitamins and 10 mg prednisolone. 10.30 take doxycyaline antibiotic. Midday take multivitamin.  I have reminder after reminder going off on my phone throughout the day.

The husband has returned from Brazil & Mexico last week with some sort of South American flu – so I am nurturing him with ginger drinks and lentil soups to get him over this and to keep his little fellas swimming strongly. Worst possible timing to get sick, but there’s nothing we can do about it. He seems to be on the mend now thankfully.

There is not much else to report at this stage… but I’m not necessarily looking forward to getting on a 25 hour flight given the weekends events… I’m loading my tablet with lots of feel good movies to distract myself. I might also put a phenergan or two in my handbag to knock me out on the flight if need be.

 

Dodging Bullets

My estrogen levels have come down and my donor egg cycle will be going ahead.

I can’t tell you what a relief this is after the stress of the last week not knowing what my cycle was doing and how this was going to work if I couldn’t go ahead. I’ll delay the start of my estrogen by a couple of days but everything else is on track.

I’ll begin my antibiotics and steroids tomorrow. I”m pretty much doing my own immune protocol as my FS here has been useless – I’m not sure why she even said she would help me with the cycle.  I had to chase her for two weeks for advice on when to time things and she told me the wrong information in the end. Telling someone with Factor V to start clexane the day before transfer, when they are taking estrogen and flying for 25 hours shows to me she didn’t really even look into my history when she emailed that advice.  Good thing I know what I’m doing!

Ok now I will go have a lovely glass of red wine and just breathe.  We leave two weeks from today.

This is supposed to be the relaxing part…

My hormones are out to make my life a misery.  My donor cycle is off to the worst start possible, actually it may not have even started. Sometimes I just get so fed up with my body not doing what it is supposed to do, when it is supposed to do it, I could just scream (in fact, I may or may not have actually done that this weekend past).

Just a reminder here that I was not able to use the pill to regulate my cycle in preparation for this upcoming DE treatment due to Factor V, so I had been diligently peeing on OPK’s, logging EWCM, feeling the tenderness of my boobs to see when ovulation and AF should be due and then bang on last Friday I started to bleed CD 35 (normal for me) – enough to need a tampon twice.  I’m on my way! I think and email the clinic to let them know my period has started.  8 hours later, my period stopped and has not returned since. It’s now Wednesday.

My South African doctor advised me to go get my E2 and progesterone levels checked on Monday (supposedly CD4) E2 was 565 and Progesterone was 1.3 which is not what your levels should be at this stage as far as I can tell. The clinic advised not to start my estrogen on Thurs but to get another BT and wait for advice from the Dr.

 I can’t help but feel that this cycle is already screwed up… I have no clue what part of my cycle I’m actually at because my boobs hurt again, and I’ve had EWCM again. I’m crying at anything (but that just could be the Syneral) and I’m trying to come up with my plan B.
Do we still go to South African and fertilise the eggs, and leave straight after with me returning by myself when I can actually regulate my cycle properly?  Do we just let the donor stim and freeze her eggs and both go over for a transfer when we can? I think it’s preferable to use frozen embryo’s over frozen eggs.
I might be jumping the gun here – but part of me honestly doesn’t think so… I’m angry that it’s not going according to plan – this was supposed to be the easy part of this cycle, not the stressful, tearful part.  I’m annoyed at my body, annoyed we may not get a decent ‘holiday’ together as we have 2.5 weeks off work for this cycle and I was generally looking forward to sightseeing etc. in Cape Town in between appointments.
 I’m annoyed I have to wait another day to get any kind of resolution on this as well. I hate not knowing.