Monday, August 18, 2014

14th IVF cycle - early egg collection (part 2)

Day 11 - egg collection is at Bethesda Hospital, admission time is 6.45am. I haven't been sleeping well for the last few nights, I toss and turn most of the night. The sounds of early birds chirping makes me stir and I glance at the clock - it's 6.30am! Both Rob and I leap out of bed, fling on some clothes and dash out the door.

At the hospital I have my own private room. The routine is the same, just a different place and different doctors. I watch the milky-white solution of anaesthetic enter my veins, the lights begin to blur ever so slightly.

Recovery is the same, oxygen mask over my nose and I manage to gather some energy and ask how many eggs were collected. 5 eggs. A bit better than I expected.

Day 12 - Saturday morning and the important phone call about fertilization - 3 out of the 5 eggs have fertilized.

Day 14 - Monday morning and day 3 results: 2 of the embryos are at 8-cells, the other is at 3-cell. I start to get a little bit more positive. The results so far are better than our first 2 IVFs this year, where we had no blastocysts to transfer at all.

Transfer is scheduled for Wednesday, and I feel a little bit in limbo. There are continued stresses with my older children, more so with my eldest son who is no longer a teenager. I no longer have the patience, time or capacity to give him more time and chances.

Jimmy is active and keeps me on my toes, I have him to thank for any recent weight loss. I cannot imagine having another one to add to my brood, resources and energy are stretched.

I know that if I do happen to fall pregnant, I will shoulder on with all the energy that I do have. But I am also oh-so-ready to move on with life, and enjoying my last child without having to go through it all again.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Shutter blinds

When we got our windows replaced with double-glazed windows, our plan was always to get some nice blinds/shutters as well. A quick visit to our local blinds place, and we chose seaview shutter blinds. Made from a poly resin instead of wood, they're a lot lighter, cheaper and more durable.

We love them! They are easy to open, look really good and makes me feel like I'm living next to the ocean. Cost - just under $2500.

The installer who took the initial measurements was very helpful, suggesting colours and practical aspects such as right-opening, hinged etc for functionality.

I've wanted shutter blinds for ages as they look so nice but I wasn't so sure of the "light blockout" factor. They definitely let chinks of light in through the slats when fully closed. But as this is just our upstairs "parents retreat", it's fine.

You can contact the installer direct and probably get a better price:- Lionel Deschamp of Finesse Installations on 0458 632 592 or email finesse-installations@live.com.au

Monday, August 11, 2014

14th IVF cycle - DHEA, cysts and progesterone (part 1)

After about 12 weeks of being on DHEA, it's IVF time again. It's been about 3 months since the last IVF and my mindset is very clear. I AM READY. I am ready to accept failure, I am ready to accept the end. If my results aren't great - poor fertilization rates, not many good quality day 5 blastocysts, then I am ready to call it quits.

I'm not quite sure how I went from wanting a fourth baby so much, that urge to be pregnant again, the craving of holding a newborn baby to ... being ready to close this final chapter. Jimmy is definitely keeping me busy, both mind and body are stretched to capacity not just with a 2-year-old toddler, but also with my older kids.

Day 1 is either Monday or Tuesday .... sometimes it's hard to tell! I head in to the clinic early on Wednesday morning, traffic isn't too bad and I'm there at 6.55am. There's only one person waiting, so blood test and scan is over and done with by 7.15am. There's a large cyst in my right ovary, progesterone is a bit on the high side but my FSH is 7 which is good.

Day 3 and I start gonal-f injections 300units.

The next blood test is on a Saturday and I have to travel to East Victoria Park for a clinic which is open. There is a bunch of people in the waiting room, and I timidly wave my form at the nurse, feeling very thankful as I am ushered in ahead of everyone else.

E2 is 434.

Day 7 another blood test and scan at the clinic. 6.50am and there's 2 ladies ahead of me. E2 is 1365. Scan shows the cyst is gone! Well, "gone" as in can't see it anyway.

Day 9 Wednesday. Continue with gonal-f 300 units and started Orgalutran last nite. Another blood test and scan this morning, got to the clinic at 6.50am and there's 2 ladies ahead of me! BIG yawns. I haven't been sleeping well, had some late volleyball games and have been feeling really tired. IVF side-effect I guess.

Scan shows only about 6 follicles and there's where everything starts to unravel. There's only 2 large-ish ones, I don't even get the sizes of the others. E2 is 2260. Instructions are:

- 6pm Gonal-F and Orgalutran, then finito.
- 8pm trigger with Ovidrel
- fast from midnite Thursday
- Friday 6.45am admission for egg pickup

I am surprised at the timing. All I can think of is - with absolute certainty - that this the start of the end. Perhaps only 2 eggs to be collected. And, if I am lucky, I may get both of them fertilized. But for one of them to become that good blastocyst? In my heart of hearts, I don't think so.

I should be heartbroken, devastated, gutted. But with the calmness that comes from acceptance, I am ready to face this final chapter.

As I prep my trigger shot, my mind stills for just 2 seconds. The enormity of my last IVF injection ever.

I press and inject Ovidrel firmly, my mind flicks back to the previous trigger which I stuffed. A thousand thoughts of the last 5+ years race through my mind.

The exhaustion comes and goes, Thursday night is a madhouse at dinner time. The roar of our rangehood competes with Jimmy's wails for Nutella. I help my eldest son with dinner while Ashlea lies on the kitchen floor, pale and sick and hungry.

It's madness with 3 kids, how on earth would I cope with 4 .....


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