IVF #3 – the stats, the lowdown and where it’s all at

I have made a conscious decision this cycle NOT to blog about it as I go. Mainly as I find that blogging about what is happening puts me in a position where my brain needs to entertain all the options – the ones were the outcome sucks as well as the ones where the outcome is great. So I decided to just stick with keeping only the positive outcomes in my brain.

I am keeping this post as a record of my stats as they are useful for myself to look back on and also for others going through a cycle and wanting to know what’s up. I will publish it when the cycle itself reaches an end. Whether that is before PGD or after I’m not sure yet.

(PGD is chromosme testing of embryos).

Now: if you don’t want a blow by blow account of what went down then feel free to scroll to the bottom and just see my stats. There is a heading with the word Summary in it. This is the one your want.

Ok, off we go. 

Stims Phase – the one where they pump you full of hormones

Dates: Wed 4 March (CD3) to Wed 11 March (CD10)

This would have to be my best stims phase in terms of how I have felt. I had one day (day 2) where I felt ready to rip someone’s head off run away from it all head in hands and screaming with rage but aside from that, I have felt good. None of the usual tiredness that I have previously felt.

What have I done differently?  I significantly reduced my stress.

  • I worked less.
  • I stopped going to the acupuncture appointments that were taking me 2.5 hours round trip.
  • I started the combo Kinesiology/acupuncture thing (but only went once).
  • I put sun on my ovaries every single day.
  • I ate really well but wasn’t anal about it (thanks to everyone who recommended that)
  • I ditched Chinese herbs and slimmed down my supplements (on advice from the Kinesiology chick).
  • I did a fertility hypnosis almost every single day, sometimes more than once per day.

Egg Collection

Friday 13 March – CD12

Lucky I don’t get the heebie jeebies about Friday the 13th.

The scans leading up to the collection had Dr D predicting a collection of 11 eggs. I was feeling a bit disappointed about the number to be honest but just kept believing that it didn’t matter about the numbers, what mattered was quality and that I was going to make some amazing quality eggs. I kept my mind on the prize.

On collection day we had to be up early as our appointment was 7am. I was worried about sleeping in but needn’t have bothered as woke as 5am wired as all get out. As I laid cuddling Eric first thing I said “You know one of the eggs that comes out today could actually end up being our baby. Isn’t that amazing?”.

I feel it then in that moment more than ever before.

The day ended up being quite a good day for us. We got 16 eggs! That is 5 more than expected. Huzzah! I kept saying “Did you say 16?”. I just couldn’t quite believe it.

AND when they weighed me before theatre I came in at 1.5kg (~3lbs folks) LESS than when I started stims. I cannot freaking believe it. I lost weight on stims. I guess all that healthy eating shiz does work, eh?!

great day

So egg collection day left us with many smiles.

Fertilisation to Blast

Day 1 – they injected all 16 of our collected eggs which was a bit wow. Normally I lose some as they aren’t mature or are abnormal yada yada. Anyway, it didn’t really make much difference to the outcome. Nine of the little suckers fertilised which is one more than we had last time. Here’s hoping they are strong and grow well.  I am off to get more sun on my ovaries to promote healing. This needs to be a safe warm healthy space in one month’s time when we put a healthy embryo back in there.

Day 3 – man this was a really confusing phone call. It started out really well.

“You have 7 embryos still going.” – well that’s great, we have only lost 2. This is a good number moving towards day 5. Then there is the rest:

“2 look great, they look really beautiful. However 2 others are only at day 2 stage as opposed to day 3 so a bit slow. The remaining 3 look much more (or a bit more? I can’t remember and it makes a difference) fragmented than we’d like”.

Oh. Right. I’m not sure if maybe this is similar to what was there last time but the delivery from the lab was different but I felt really deflated and extremely anxious after hearing all this as all I heard is “You pretty much only have 2”.

Later in the day I went to do some deep breathing and hypnosis and that helped me A LOT. Man that shiz is more powerful than you realise. But yeah, I felt a bit gutted when I first got this call. Then a blogger reminded me that miracles happen every day and I thought yes they freaking do and why shouldn’t one happen to me? So we are moving forward to Day 5 with smiles on our faces and a positive hopeful outlook.

Day 5 – Today’s phone call sucked. We only got 1 blast. ONE. And that might not even end up being “normal”. When they first told me my immediate thought was “fuck, I need to transfer today” but we ended up deciding to wait. Basically we have 2 other embryos that are at the stage before blast so we are hoping 1 or both of those will tick over to blast the next day. I talked to Dr D about it all and his advice was because I am getting a high number of abnormal embryos that we really do just need to stick to our plan and do the PGD testing. So that’s what we are doing. Hopefully tomorrow’s call will give us more embryos to increase our odds of having a great one.

Day 6 – you think you will know all the answers by day 5 but you never do. But today I don’t care because WE GOT ANOTHER ONE! Wahoo! So we now have 2.

The other almost blast is still trying to morph so they are giving it one more day. We don’t have high hopes for that one as they are thinking that it might not be great quality but we will hold our collective breaths and see what tomorrow brings.

Day 7 – no new embryos. 2 it is. I am OK with this as my head was already there. Our biopsies have now gone off for PGD testing. Fingers crossed we get our baby this time.

Summary for those who don’t want to read it all

16 eggs collected, all OK for fertilisation, 9 actually fertilised, 7 remaining by day 3, only 1 blast at day 5 (but 2 little laggers), 1 additional blast at day 6. Total of 2 sent off for PGD.

**************************************************************

Lastly, I am going to leave you with this great quote from Russell Davis’ Fertile Mind Newsletter this month (the dude who does the hypnosis thingys that I listen to. It really spoke to me.

Acceptance is recognising your wellbeing is not dependant on circumstances. It comes from within you. From here you can continue your journey with a sense of peace, being able to find happiness and joy in the now and stop putting life on hold because you think you need things to be a particular way to be OK. You are OK. I know you may not feel that way. But you are not feeling your circumstances, that’s impossible. You are feeling your thinking about your circumstances.

                  Russell Davis, Fertile Mind Newsletter

 

 

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33 thoughts on “IVF #3 – the stats, the lowdown and where it’s all at

  1. Fingers crossed for you my friend! I don’t remember how long the next step takes, but hopefully it goes fast for you! Wishing for all the best with this one (or two, as the case may be)!

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        • haha yeah I thought it was awful when I first heard it but now that I know I’m like meh. It is what it is. My lab doesn’t actually do the PGD testing. It has to be sent to the nearest big city which thankfully isn’t that far away. I think that has something to do with it. Plus the lab that does it will only do batches once they have a certain number of biopsies (and I don’t know what that # is) as the process is so exe so sometimes you are waiting for more biopsies to get there before they start. *sigh*

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  2. Em, I’m so glad your doctor recommended you get PGD testing done. I know if you did have that embryo transferred you would have always wondered if it were normal or not if it had not have taken. Both of our 3rd IVF’s (i’m not counting my 2 fet’s) had only one blast on day 5. I hope that PGD give you some answers about those 2 precious embryos! Our embryologist said that sometimes the girl embryos can take a bit longer to develop into blastocysts and that is why they see a lot of 6 day embryos turning into blasts. So lets try and think of it this way 😉

    Those little embryos go through a whole lot to get to 5 days old; being punctured with a needle to being outside of their natural environment and being moved about under a microscope and bright light – they do have their odds stacked up against them but the fact that you have 2 blasts is a really hopeful thing. I so badly hope for you that at least one of these are a healthy take home baby. You so deserve it. How long does it usually take for the results to come back? Do you mind me asking roughly how much your PGD costs? M and I are strongly considering it for the next cycle but need to find a clinic in Sydney that do it well! 😉

    Keep positive girly, I have faith in them! xxx

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    • Oh thank you so much for this lovely thoughtful message. Your messages often help me so much. That is interesting info about the Day 6 blast girl thingy and nice to think of it that way. And you know I’ve never really thought all about what those poor embryos have been through to get there. You are so right. The fact they get that far makes them so amazing.

      The result usually take about 2 weeks to come back so it is a 2WW to see if I get a 2WW. I’m ok with that. As I don’t really know when they will call it is a surprise so it’s not like I’m hanging or anything. There should def be a clinic in Sydney that does the PGD. They have recently bought the price down at my clinic. We pay a $550 biopsy fee (this is a one off fee) and then $500 per embryo for testing up until 6 embryos. If we had 6 embryos then it would just be a flat rate $3k. So with 2 embryos this time we will pay $1550. If you are having troubles getting blasts from decent egg collects and they aren’t sticking then I think it is a worthwhile exercise just from a getting answers point of view.
      You keep positive too. Have a lovely weekend xxx

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      • No problem Em I hate to know that you are feeling down or disappointed but they really get put through hell so those ones that do make it and those that do make it that far are fighters already. We are all just waiting for that perfect timing and perfect egg and sperm to meet (just like your Boy).

        Oh! Well that sounds reasonable especially since M and I also get only 1 or 2 blasts by that date too. I was always worried that if it were a flat rate and we only had one blast I would be wasting my time spending $3000. I might find somewhere that does per embryo also, i think it just makes sense. We are looking into Genea and apparently they aren’t bad so we”ll see how we go eep.

        Thanks so much for all your info, have an amazing weekend. Hope to hear an update soon about your precious babes! xxx

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  3. I like that quote. Thank you for sharing your blow by blow. This whole process is definitely not for the weak of mind, body or heart. I am currently in the waiting room for my Cd 13 ultrasound (did you really have egg collection on day 12? Mine always seem super late (like beyond normal O time). I’ll never understand how our docs determine their recipes for us. Anyway – Friday the 13th is a lucky day in my opinion. You’ve got your golden egg, I can feel it! Hang in there for your 2ww for results. Xx

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    • Yeah the timing is so weird. This cycle and last cycle I went for EC on day 12 but the first cycle I went on day 15. My usual ovulation is actually day 17ish so who the hell knows. Obviously all the drugs fuck with us. Hope your scan went well. xx

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  4. I love the quote at the end. Wow – what a roller coaster couple of weeks you’ve had. I am so glad you are finding the meditation and deep breathing is working because I know I would seriously struggle with the stress of waiting for numbers and outcomes.

    Those two that made it have really fought to make it – and they are by definition the best and strongest of the bunch. I am so, so hoping that you get a good result and a smooth transfer next cycle (are you allowed to ttc next cycle? or is that completely off the cards in case of multiples?).

    Hoping and waiting and hoping and waiting with you! xxxxx

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    • Yeah actually I never thought about TTC the same month as transfer. We might do it anyway. Why not? Not like I usually get a pregnancy? lol I do feel I will get an embryo this time. I hope I am right. xx

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  5. All you need is one. One embryo, one baby, and quite obviously these 2 embryos just want it more than the others. Like when poor Charlie Bucket gets his golden ticket in Willy Wonka.
    THIS will be a kickass baby. I feel it in my bones.

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  6. That Russell Davis. So wise. Thank you for this update. I have been dying to know how you’re getting along. My last IVF yielded one blast on day five and another one on day 6, just like you. As you know, the one they transferred was genetically normal, so two is definitely enough to get a good one! You got this, girl! I’m sending these two embryos all kinds of good vibes. I can’t wait to her about at least one genetically normal blast in two weeks. Also, side note, but isn’t it crazy how IVF cycles can be so different, even though you only did them a few months apart? Like, you’d think you’d get the same results every time. The human body is such a mystery. Xo.

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  7. Wow, simply wow! Thank you for sharing. I totally understand the need for privacy. I am always in your corner and hope for all the best for you. My clinic in the US (and maybe my brain was foggy when I tried to retain a lot of info the other day) told me that it would take about a month for the testing, although there is one company who can turn it around in one day if they like your insurance. We are definitely going the testing route next time. Question: do you have to do anything to prep your body in these 2 weeks?

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    • Wow one month is awhile to wait. Interesting about the one day thing! I am just kinda prepping as if I was going to have a transfer next month when I ovulate so whatever you would normally do for that. Reduced stress, healthy diet, yada yada. I’m acting as if I’m still on the train (with a treat or two thrown in at the moment but I’ll clean that up again in the next week). x

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  8. Wow! I’m so hopeful for you and loved this post with all the details, super clear. Our numbers were really similar (except I stayed at 11 collected and only 9 to get fertilised). All your hard work and cutting down of other hard work 😉 has clearly done something good that your body has responed to. I’m sending so many good thoughts while you wait out the final of the 2 weeks for results. Your positivity is radiant, I wish nothing but good news for you!

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