Once More Into the Breach Dear Friends…

Here we go again. Cycle number 9 or 10… I can’t remember and I can’t be bothered thinking it through. I know it will be donor egg cycle #4 though and I am feeling surprisingly positive for someone who is not going around this block the first time.

I have a good feeling. I’m relaxed, I’m ready… I’m optimistic. I’m going in with the best chance I’ve had in a long time I think.  Young donor whose AMH came back as ‘excessive response’,  good past donations, pregnancies from previous donations, a 2 month break between her last cycle and ours.

I’ve lost 31kgs had a D&C /Hysteroscopy last weekend so I’m all cleaned out and ready to go. I’m down regulated, had a good period before starting my meds a few weeks ago… start my estrogen, clexane and prednisolone on Monday and away we go.

My flights are booked – out on the 15th, EPU scheduled for the 13th (our sperm is already there)  so I know before I get on the plane how many eggs we are dealing with and hopefully a fertilisation report, day 3 is 16th Jan and I arrive in the night before , hopefully I’ll have a couple of days to relax have a glass of wine or two, have some great South African food, swim in the hotel pool and prepare for a day 5 transfer on the 18th, fly home on the 21st (Premium Economy thank god!). This just feels right! And if it’s not right, I’m actually (for once) ok with that outcome.

Option 2

I went with option 2 – new donor, fresh cycle … freakin’ ruthless in selection.  She’s yet to be screened but has has 3 previous donations and they have all been successful with good egg numbers 2/3 cycles have resulted in pregnancies, the other they had a lot of frozen embryos to go back for.  She’s 25, a non smoker, sounds interesting, looks nothing like me but I don’t care.  So I await her blood test results and hope that I get my treatment plan by the end of this month… I really hope I do as I was naughty and booked my flights already. Damned if I’m going to sit around and watch fares go up (and even managed to nab a premium economy seat for the return long haul flight on sale).. she was cycling for another couple last month and has to rest a couple of weeks after the cycle before doing her blood tests/scans.  Whatever will be will be … I can’t believe I’m pretty unflappable with this cycle so far, might help that I’m now on anti anxiety meds.. things that would have sent me into a tail spin on any other cycle just kinda mildly annoys me this time around. I’ve had a few health issues too which seem to have resolved, but for a while there I thought I didn’t have any business even thinking about another baby… but all my tests and scans are clear and I’m feeling much much better so I’m back on track now.  Just have to get through this silly season and then I’ll be away before I know it.

Expect the Unexpected

Our donor got pregnant. How very dare she! I won’t lie, I was a mess for a good 2-3 days after getting that news early last week. So much rides on a donor cycle, it’s not just the cycle outcome, it’s your career, your next steps as a family, it’s the size of the house you’re looking to move into next – it’s all of that. So all that flashes before your eyes when something changes – this time it also effects my daughter, she won’t have a full genetic sibling and for that I’m really sorry. So after the tears stopped about 3 days later I realised we have three options moving forward.

  1. Use our 2 x 3AB blastocycsts from our cycle last year with our second donor
  2. Do another full fresh cycle with a new donor (proven only – I’d be freakin’ ruthless)
  3. Call it a day and be happy with our lot.

My hesitation with option 1 is that out of 3 transfers (and 6 embryos) no recipient has seen a positive result myself included with that donor, for me that doesn’t bode well. I just have a feeling we’ll be spending good money after bad with that option. Add to this, she’s been in a committed relationship for 5 years not using contraception and has never had a ‘whoops’ moment of pregnancy and I’m suspicious about egg quality. Also we would only transfer 1 embryo at a time (we don’t want twins) with each FET costing us $4-5k when you multiply that by two trips potentially we are almost at the cost of new fresh cycle.  Also we were going to pay for a fresh/full cycle with my daughters donor (this is my reasoning to my husband) so it’s not like we hadn’t budgeted those costs into our lives already.

I really don’t know… I’m so sick of bleeding money over this. Sick of thinking about protocols, jabbing clexane and all the rest. I just want to blink and it be BT day. I’ve done this so.many.freakin.times ….

Tell me in the comments guys … what would you do?


Back on the Horse

I had an appointment with my fertility specialist yesterday – I went back to see Marie Claire fertility specialist because at least I can talk to her about the protocol, contraindications of the medications I’m on etc. and she will give me advice and feedback. My alternate fertility specialist I saw for the last cycle would say ‘you need to ask your doctor in Cape Town’, which was very unhelpful at the end of the day as their protocol is so base level with no immune protocol advice at all. So I switched back to my celebrity specialist.  I know seems a bit early to get the ball rolling for a January cycle, but she’s really hard to get an appointment with so nothing can be done on the fly with her so I want to be organised.

I came away from the appointment feeling really good. The last time I went to see her I felt rushed in the appointment (didn’t help that I had a screaming 6 month old in the room as well) and disorganised – this time we quickly chatted about how to improve my chances, so we’ll be doing a baseline scan for CT in October, a  hysteroscopy and D&C in mid December (so no need for a scratch!) intralipids a week before transfer (and another after a positive result in CT … fingers crossed), she advised not to worry about doing PGD on any fresh embryos but if there were enough to freeze maybe consider doing day 5 testing on them before freezing depending on how many we got. I’m doing all my lining scans in Australia and spending the minimum time possible in Cape Town.

I’ll double check in late Oct that our donor is still on board before I get any procedures done – we won’t do a cycle if it’s not with her. I’m very willing to turn my back on all of this and won’t entertain the idea of another donor so there’s no point doing procedures or tests if she backs out (please don’t back out!).  I’ve put in for my annual leave even though we don’t have dates… I’m just shooting in the dark here at a reasonable mid January date trying to be organised! We do have the luxury of having frozen sperm in Cape Town though so have the option to move things around slightly if need be.

We’ll be doing my standard immune protocol that I’ve always done, doxycycaline, clexane daily, prednisolone along with the standard Cape Town protocol of progynova and introducing gestone later.  She told me to start Synarel on day 21 of my November cycle (which is a bit different to what Cape Town will tell me) and then to have a blood test about 10 days past that to check I’m down regulated, I’ll think about this more as the cycle grows closer and also see how my natural cycles are looking as I can’t take the pill to regulate things. I had terribly irregular cycles last year when we were doing our last round like up to 50-60 days. Since then I’ve lost close to 30kgs and they are getting much shorter (last cycle was 27 days and average at this point is 32) but it remains to be seen if that’s a pattern or a one off occurrence.

I’m seeing her again in November just to see things are on track and that everything is looking good ahead of kicking off the cycle- so I’m feeling much more ‘monitored’ already which in turn is making me feel more positive.

In other news I have found out in the last few weeks that I have another super rare autoimmune disease called Lichen Sclerosus (it effects the vulva yay!) and have to have surgery on my bits this Monday as a result to remove tissue that looks dodgy and could potentially become pre-cancerous. I swear I’m becoming more and more glad that I used a donor egg so none of these mostly hereditary things will be passed on to my daughter – I tell her she’s dodged a bullet not having my genes, but she doesn’t quite understand yet.  Anyway that’s two weeks off work as the surgeon said ‘most people can’t walk for a week or two after this procedure’ … yeah really looking forward to this one. I plan on being in an Endone haze for 7 days and then surfacing to see how things are feeling down there.. I don’t think I’ll dare to look for a while though.  Oh and just on that… I thought I’d done most things in my time doing IVF/ DE/ having a baby, but until you’ve seen your hoo ha up on a big screen with a gynaecologist using a camera with a magnifier on it, you haven’t done it all. Sweet Jesus I had to look away!

On that note, I’ll leave you for today. Glad to be back blogging!

Never Say Never

We are going again. E’s donor has agreed to donate to us in Jan so hold on to your hats, I’ll be back on this crazy roller coaster again soon enough.

Hard Times…

I’m not sure if this post belongs on my baby making blog or my weight loss blog? I’ve been a bit up and down lately and angry a lot of the time. My husband has mentioned it a couple of times, like ‘why are you so grumpy?’, I honestly don’t mean to be but I’ve been in a lot of physical pain the last week or so – started with a 5 day migraine, then my neck went out for 2 days. I’m also really struggling with the whole letting go of trying to conceive thing. After 5 years of intensive IVF or donor egg cycles it’s hard to just stop. Especially when we wanted another baby and our last two donor egg cycles failed. I think I’m finding it harder to cope with this than I thought I would.  Then I have to stop and think, do I actually want another baby, like really deep down within myself I question it, the financial cost and just the toll it took on my body, what would our quality of life be with two kids? I mean my husband is on a very good wage and when I’m working mine is a above average but we are just making ends meet on his wage at the moment. I really don’t know how people do it…

All of these emotions have been exacerbated in the last two days because E’s donor agency emailed on Friday night to see how we were and if we were interested in cycling again because, wait for it, E’s donor is ready to cycle again now. I wanted nothing more than to cycle with her in Sept but at the time we were organising it she’d just had a baby and wanted to breastfeed etc. and indicated she wouldn’t be ready until March or so next year so we went with another donor. And here we are. It’s just a bit of a kick in the guts really.

I’m also selling of E’s baby stuff on ebay, I think this is adding to my grief and making the finality of it all so much harder.

I think I’m just dealing with a lot emotionally right now and I don’t know how well I’m coping when I’m normally so bloody good at coping with this sort of stuff.