Embies snuggling nicely

The babies are back on board! Two beautiful embies and we are in heaven dreaming of the possibilities. I also had a round of intralipids to help the process along. No snow babies unfortunately, but I am so pleased with these two.

Testing next Wednesday, but of course I will start POAS on Monday ;). Resting nicely now and dreaming of beautiful embies snuggling in.

Thanks for all the well wishes….


Hail Mary Pass

So I had my Day 3 (on Day 2) scan this morning. My FS gave me some bad news. My AMH is 0.4….which can be expected as I am 38, so you would expect to see it dropping. I had a 1.3 last year, so was surprised it went down so fast. but not unexpected. My Antral Follicle Count (AFC) was 5, which is also quite low. The conversation was rather positive than negative. We have decided to go ahead with the cycle as both AMH and AFC are indicators of ovarian reserve, but not absolutes. We need to see how my follicles stimulate and the quality of the eggs I produce. My FS is optimistic as I have always been a good responder to stimulation. We have never had more than three embryos so I am used to low numbers. The FS also said that as I have been pregnant with my own eggs (although baba only stuck around until week 7), this is also an indicator that we should keep moving forward.

We are going to stimulate hard with a mix of Menopur and Fostimon, which is a first for me. In older ladies (like me and my gray hairs) the lower acidity of the added Fostimon is supposed to work a bit better. We shall see. However, the FS and I spoke a lot about what this means. It basically means this will be my last shot with my own eggs. DH and I were ready to do donor eggs last year, so not too much of a surprise or adjustment for us. So I am moving forward and hoping for the best. I just want to get to retrieval, which says I can produce eggs. That will be step one, then I will worry about getting to transfer. If we do get to transfer, we will do Intralipids immediately after transfer, which is also a first. I only did them before once I was pregnant. We are also going to do Clexhane at transfer as well, so hopefully that will also assist.

All guns in. Last attempt with my own. Hoping for the best…but not the end of the road. DE is definitely on the cards. Feeling optimistic….but don’t really have a choice now, do I ? Ladies please send me all your happy-love-juju-positive-light-energy-peace-hope-vibe….praying that this is my ‘Hail Mary’ pass.

Fog on the road…

DH and I sat waiting so patiently to see the FS today.  We hadn’t been back to see him since our last cycle ended with a very short lived BFP in August.  We had prepared ourselves for the possibility of DE, we had also prepared ourselves for the possibility of walking away without a clear plan.  IF is not a simple recipe, or easy intervention.  It is a gamble in so many ways.

So we went through out entire history with our FS.  We spoke about my eggs and although I have never produced very many, our FS is happy with the quality.   DH has very few good sperm, but because we do ICSI that removes the male factor.  Also we have always had a fairly high fertilisation rate, which again supports the fact that my eggs are decent and DH’s sperm are as well.  Our FS then explained that because we have achieved implantation twice, although unsuccessful, the fact that we had some BFP’s is a good sign….however it makes offering another option a little more difficult.  There are many reasons for miscarriage, and we have already ruled out chromosomal challenges through genetic testing as well as clotting abnormalities.  My uterus is in good shape, and my endometriosis is not interfering.  The only other factor that could be playing a role is an immunological challenge, that Intralipid could take care of….partially.    We spoke about DE and if we had never had a positive result, or our embies were poor, then that would be the obvious next step.  Because our embies are good and we have had implantation…..DE may not be the solution right now.  If there is an immunological problem, I may never carry, I may continue to miscarry….but we don’t know that for sure.  We could go with DE, and that would improve our embies, but if the problem is not the embies, we are not really any better off.

So my dear IVF friends…..what to do?  Our FS said that he wished he had an easy answer for us, but it is not an easy situation.  He did suggest Clexhane to thin my blood and do Intralipids a week before transfer, so there are some minor changes we can make.  Although our FS was clear, there is little scientific evidence for this and he is going on his gut feeling based on other cases he has had that are similar to us.  This is a big shift for our FS, because he doesn’t usually go with his gut, he goes with science.  This tells me he is really grasping for options for us.  I can’t decide if that is good or bad.

DH and I have had a long chat and feel we need to give our embies another shot.  I am still 37 and as long as my embies are holding up….we think we should keep trying.  I just don’t know how long I will hold up.  So we are back on our same path…..long protocol IVF ICSI with Intralipids and maybe Clexhane this time around.  Maybe December, maybe January….we’ll see.  I wish it were all more definite and easier…..but it is not.  So we have a few months to get ourselves into the best shape we can to give the next round every chance for success.  I can’t believe we are headed for round number six!  It blows my mind (and my bank account) that we are where we are.  It will happen…it will just take more time unfortunately.

But as of now…I am on holiday. One last hurrah before we start focusing on getting ready for our next cycle.

Back on board the Mothership

We had three glorious, amazing, perfect 8 cell embryos today.  I am still so in awe because I have never had more than two perfectly growing embies.  I usually have a few 4-6 cells who are late bloomers.  For 100% of my embies to be such great quality….wowzers.  I am the embie making machine!  I am so proud of my eggs and my DH’s little swimmers.  I still can’t believe it.  The transfer went so smoothly, perfect placement.  My bladder was about to explode, but it is all worth it.  The embryologist told us that she had ‘words’ with our embryos and told them that we have waited long enough, they must keep growing nicely.  After 5 IVF’s we could practically rent a room from the FS.

After the transfer, they set up the IV for the Intralipids.  This is the first time I am having Intralipids, so wasn’t sure what to expect.  It is not often that you have as many IVFs as I have had and not be able to list every single step.  I will state for the record once more, I could run my own IVF cycle.  DH told me he could easily operate an ultrasound after all these years.  If only I could brew the drugs myself, then we would really have a home industry to consider.  The Intralipids took just over an hour, not bad, but totally boring.  When I get my BFP (so positive), I will get Intralipids weekly.  I still think it is a bit of an overkill, but the FS says it can’t hurt it can only help.  So I will have to remember to bring a book next time.

Grow little embies….grow, grow, grow.  I know that we are ready for you.  Testing on the 15th….although HP T is already planned for the 13th…he he he.

Three little embies!!!

I cannot believe that we have three glorious embies from only five that were retrieved!  I have never had more than a 30-40% fertilisation rate….I am totally in shock!  Soooooooo happy……soooooo unbelievably happy.  I am so emotional and it is so crazy because I usually don’t take this step so seriously.  I think because I am getting older and we have been talking about other options I was not expecting this result.  I still can’t believe it.  Three.  Three beautiful, wonderful embies.  I am hoping that odd numbers are in my favour.  Three embies, this is our fifth IVF and we are transferring on the fifth day of August.  Wait a minute…..we also had five eggs retrieved…..there is a string of fives.

Well I don’t care what numbers mean to anyone else, these are my lucky numbers and these little embies are going to come back on board tomorrow and settle in for the long haul.  So transfer tomorrow with Intralipids….so excited and hope it goes well.  I am going to have a hard time focusing today after this great news.  The Appletisers are on me!  Cheers!

Day 15 – Egg Retrieval

We had Egg Retrieval (ER) this morning. I was hopeful that my right ovary would come through. Unfortunately my left ovary is once again a no show. We were able to retrieve 5 eggs, which is a little lower than our last cycle at 7, but on average over 5 cycles, the result is pretty consistent. I have to stay off the forums where the young chickies post 14-25 eggs…it is just depressing. So now I am home in bed resting and hoping that we have at least three good embies for transfer. Anything lower that 3 is depressing for me. So now we hurry up and wait once more.

Fertilisation report is on thursday. My DH always calls for those results, he knows how to break the news to me so gently. We will most likely have transfer on Friday and my first round of Intralipids. So hold thumbs that we make it to ET with at least 3 embies.

Day 3 – A good start

This morning was my Day 3 scan.  Normally a pretty uneventful scan, but today my FS discussed AMH and antral follicle count with me.  I must say…my Day 3 scan will never be the same.  For some reason, probably because I never asked, I always thought that Day 3 was about ensuring there were no cysts, looking at your hormone levels from Day 2 blood tests and deciding the way forward.  I asked my FS to explain to me in more detail my AMH, as I had ‘google-fever’ and had convinced myself that 1.29 was a crap result.  The problem with google is that you start comparing yourself to everyone else…what a ‘beginner’ mistake…I should know better, but I think it is human nature to compare yourself to everyone else.  So my FS explained to me that AMH had no correlation with egg quality, it is an indicator of egg reserve and reduces with age.  AMH levels are also impacted by endometriosis.  So  I am 37, with endo 3, so you would expect my AMH to be on the lower side.  However, when we look back at my previous cycles I always produced around 7 eggs per ovary (remembering that I have a hidden ovary, which they can never retrieve from), so on average I am actually producing around 14 eggs per cycle, which is a good outcome.  The more important point is that AMH is never looked at in isolation, it is also important to look at the antral follicle count which will tell you a lot more about the potential outcome of your cycle.  FSH is not a good indicator of a potentially good cycle.  My antral follicle count this morning was good….so all is good in the world of my ovaries!  Yeah!  So now Day 3 has a whole new meaning to me….antral follicle count.

We also discussed Intralipids and my FS will give me Intralipids the day of embryo transfer.  If I get a BFP (crossing everything….please, please, please) then he wants to give me Intralipids weekly until my first scan!  Wowzers, I thought that was a little OTT (over the top), but he explained that with my history of miscarriage and that this is now my 5th IVF cycle, he wants to give us every chance possible.  As it can do no harm to increase Intralipids, I say why not!  I am just so pleased that my FS is doing all he can to help me…it makes such a difference to have a FS who is always available, realistic and practical, and is truly committed to the outcome…a baby!  By the way…he is also very affordable compared to others.  I am so happy and I love his team!  They were always great, but since the miscarriage, they really have been so amazing and it is the little extras, like all the staff knowing my name (although that is probably because I have been in the office almost every month for the last three years), asking about DH and treating me with so much kindness.  It makes the process a little bit easier.

I really hope this is my last cycle….please.  I start Menopur tonight.  The FS said 3 amps each night, but when I was speaking to the sister we spoke of my last cycle and how we did 4 amps for the first three days.  So we decided to change it to 4 amps for the first three days and she would just tell him we changed it.  Now I really know I am a Veteran IVF’er!  I could probably rent an ultrasound machine and do my own cycle!  I am happy to do some harder stimming the first three days, I have gotten more good quality eggs using this process.

Back in for Day 10 scan on 28 July, so just need to keep on keepin on until then.