If I were a gambling woman…

My 10 day scan was this morning. I was very pleased to see 5 good follies on my right ovary and a few smaller guys. The smaller ones probably won’t catch up at this point. There were a few follies on my left ovary, but I never count those as they have never been able to retrieve from my left as it is a bit shy and hides under my bowel. After the scan, I was speaking to the Sister and saying best case for retrieval is probably 3, worst case is 1. Then we will just need to see how many embies we get. It really is a gambling game this IVF.

So a few more days of stims. They have dropped me down to 2 Menopur (instead of 3) and 1 Fostimon for the next couple of days. I have another scan on Monday and ER will most likely be Wednesday or maybe Thursday. My inlaws arrive Thursday afternoon….so it looks like I will have ER before they arrive…phew!

I can feel my ovaries, they are starting to get a bit sore. Poor DH is also taking a beating as I am quite hormonal. I go from angry – to crying – to slightly hysterical. So I am working hard to keep calm and relaxed, as well as keep some sane perspective on everything. The hormonal thing really sneaks up on you. I had a ‘moment’ yesterday where I completely lost the plot. As I was having my meltdown I actually thought to myself – you are hysterical. So I realised that I am definitely a bit of a hormonal mess at the moment.

So now I am snuggled up on the couch with my tea and my cat….soaking up the last days of the Olympics. I have been watching the 10m diving and am convinced someone is going to crack their head on that concrete slab. Freaky!


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.

Day 1…and hopefully the last

AF finally reared her ugly head. That is the challenge with Lucrin, it delays AF. So I am officially on Day 1. I am actually going in for my scan tomorrow instead of Day 3. I am curious to find out what my FS has up his sleeve.

The Lucrin usually doesn’t give me any problems, but this time around I have had migraines for the last four days. I was so happy for AF today and dropping to 10 cc’s of Lucrin, as the migraines have subsided. I have been drinking a tonne of water which also helps. For me sleep and Myprodols are the only things that actually help my migraines. I was surprised Lucrin gave me side effects, as it is usually the Menopur that kills me. Hopefully this is not foreshadowing of more side effects to come.

So we shall see what happens…I hope this is the end of our road.

First shot…..put ’em up!

Well today was the first injection of the next 30 or so that will take me through my next IVF cycle. I don’t mind the Lucrin, the needles are fine, there is no mixing and it is only in the morning. It is Day 3 when the Menopur shots kick in that I start getting very anxious….those needles are big! The sister spoke to me of a possible Menopur Fostimon mix for stimulation, as they have had positive results with women *huge sigh* my age. We shall see what my FS recommends on Day 3. He also suggested a low dose anti-coagulent, so not sure if that is still on the table. I am still waiting for my AMH results. I am sure they are in…but they haven’t contacted me. I should give them a ring.

I did something I said I wasn’t going to do. I told someone about my upcoming IVF cycle. She is a good friend and colleague and I know she will keep it tight. She has been hinting at it for a while with me, so I am sure she already knew. She has also been through several rounds of IVF, but years ago before they decided to adopt. It is nice to not have secrets, but it is also added stress having other people know. I am hoping it will be fine. Anyways, cats out of the bag now with her…so not much I can do.

Last night DH and I went out for a ‘we’re making a baby’ dinner. Very nice little Italian spot. Of course DH had a glass of wine, coffee….the works….me nada. I am off the wine completely this time, as even a little bit impacts my sleep and I really want to be in top form. Unless it gets hairy and I might have to sneak a sip. Anywho….we had a nice dinner and chatted a lot about just seeing what happens. We are prepared to do another cycle before the end of the year. So we will take it as it comes.


So I picked up the Lucrin this morning. Had a lovely visit with the sister. She suggested maybe we try a Fostimon and Menopur mix once we start stimulating. She also told me about the very positive Intralipid results they are having at the clinic. I left with my Lucrin only to receive a phone call a few hours later…..my FS is going to be away beginning of July.

Argh! So IVF#6 will be delayed one month. C’est la vie! One more month to lose some kilos and get my body ready…..focusing on the positives!

Day 7 – Brain fog and a few tears

Well today is Day 7 and I am really looking forward to my Day 10 scan.  I want to see how many follies there are and hopefully it will not be much longer before retrieval.  Based on my previous cycles, I am anticipating that retrieval will be next Monday 01 August.  I am starting to feel my ovaries, which is a bit crazy because I usually don’t feel them all laden with follies until around Day 12.  Hoping all is ok.  I am getting a little foggy in my brain, so I know the hormones are kicking in at full speed.  Last cycle I ran the whole side of my car up against a brick pillar my brain was in such a fog.  I am really hoping I don’t do anything that extreme this time.  I am also struggling to sleep, often waking in the middle of the night, or up to the loo.  I am drinking a tonne of water trying to keep the hormone headaches at bay.  I am a little teary, feeling a little emotional these days, but I think that is also the hormones at work.

All in all…not bad.  I really hope this works….starting to get anxious.  Hopefully only another week of shots, my belly is starting to look like a dartboard.  Shame, poor DH jabbed me like a rhino last night so have a bit of bruising, but other than that just a lot of little red dots.  I hate the Menopur, all that mixing and the needle never goes smoothly.  The Lucrin is so much easier.  I usually use all the syringes that the clinic gives me, but they were short on a few for the Lucrin, so I went to the pharmacy and bought a few insulin syringes….they were like heaven!  The needle went in like a hot knife in butter…beauty!  I love it when that happens. With my needle phobia, the smoother, the better.

TIP – I did find with the Menopur that if I draw up with the mixing needle, then put on the injection needle, it goes in a lot smoother.  I think the needles are pretty soft and the rubber top on the Menopur is thick.  So when I use the injection needle to draw it up, it must make the needle a little blunt.

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.