Thursday, October 30, 2008

Starting to feel okay

I'm always amazed at how resilient we as human beings are.

On Friday I thought that I'd never be okay again and yesterday I found myself laughing.


I had a "moment" this morning but really, NOTHING as bad as Friday.

I had a lovely weekend - had breakfast with two friends from the infertility support group, and then spent the rest of the weekend with my wonderful husband.

I started my period on Sunday and it was BAD. Very bad. Horrible to look at and oh, so painful.

I went in for another scan on Monday (I don't quite know what they were looking for) but he wanted to check whatever on day 2.

On Monday I had a terrible day again. I think it was also having to be at work and I got news that a job I'd applied for internally (which I STILL think is perfect for me) went to someone else.

Very weepy, very emotional, very weird for me.

But slowly as the days pass, I find myself getting hopeful again.

Hopeful for next time.

I can't believe I'm thinking about a next time!

Friday, October 24, 2008


No real queasiness yesterday which doesn't say anything one way or the other because Tuesday's queasiness didn't do a thing to those HCG levels.

Today we both went in at the crack of dawn (7:30 pm) to get my blood tested. I am getting to be a real pro with these needles as I hardly flinched :)

Sat in the waiting room for the results and when the nurse again said that Dr G was ready to see us, I knew that it was all over.

There are two waiting rooms - the main one is full of music and is warmer, sunnier and a lot more vibey. That's where we wait most of the time.

The second waiting room is cold in atmosphere and temperature, no magazines, no music, no nothing. We had to wait there for them to take us through to the doctor's office and I was freezine, both from the cold and from the impending news.

And yes, my beta had dropped further to 23.

I've been told to stop all the meds and wait for my period. Since it's coming down so slowly, they told me to only come in next Wed or on day 2 of my period, whichever comes first.

I am numb.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beta down

I was so sick yesterday that I felt sure my beta would have at least doubled by today but alas, it dropped further from 57 to 38.

We'd decided that I would go in to the clinic early to get my blood drawn and DH would join me in time for our appt at 10:00.

Well, at 9:20 the nurse called me and said Dr G was ready to see me.

I knew that something was wrong because they tell you good news themselves and only make you see the doctor for the bad stuff (which is right, that's why they earn the big bucks).

So I have to continue with the meds and retest again on Friday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Today I felt pregnant

Gee whiz - today was hard - bouts of queasiness almost the entire day.

Remember I am as healthy as a horse so am NEVER sick and what alerted me is I am off most of my food (that is a BIG sign because I love eating).

I couldn't drink more than a few sips of tea or coffee, water was fine and I didn't even want lunch but I forced myself to eat one slice of toast with avocado and cucumber.

I want healthy things only - I had salad for supper, no meat, and am EXHAUSTED. Have been yawning the entire day.

So dear ones, I'm off to bed because I have to get up really early tomorrow for my blood test. I know my levels will have increased, otherwise why on earth do I feel so terrible?!

On the bright side, I'm pregnant!

P.S. My friend also said 57 is not that low. She knows someone who had 38 and was pregnant with twins.

Anyway...i'll let you know the verdict tomorrow

Monday, October 20, 2008

Finally - D-day

I went for my blood test today and… I am pregnant!!!

BUT before you get all excited... they told me my HCG levels are “lower than we’d like” so I have to go for another blood test on Wed, by which time the levels need to have doubled or more!

Today my HCG level is 57 - how low is this anyway?

Of course, if they drop further then it means bad news.

But I am positive for the first time in a week …………..and I'm telling Baby Bean to GROW!

When she said, "you're pregnant" I said, "you're joking" - really I did. I still feel like it's a dream.

It was SUCH a shock because I took not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 pregnancy tests – all negative. Now I know why – my levels were too low to detect.

So next update on Wednesday - if you pray, pray for increasing HCG levels.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today I was good

The discharge stopped sometime last night (which made me very happy even though I still only had one line on that stick) so this morning I decided to be good and not POAS.

Today my boobs are sore again - I don't know if that means anything - but I thought I'd throw it out there.

However, tomorrow I am peeing on that stick again. After all it will have been 48 hours and I read the inserts - they say "if you get a negative, wait 48 hours and test again".

Of course I'm not even supposed to be testing but I'm not patient and honestly, the doctors must know we're going to do it.

My favourite infertility blogger is pregnant. I'm still in shock but very hopeful for the rest of us!

Anyway, good night - I've been reading blogs too long. My head hurts.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I did it again

Yip, looks like I can't stop peeing on those sticks.

This morning I woke up bright and early again and dashed to the loo. Today only one line.

I agree with you, Blythe - it's the medication that's keeping all this at bay. The nurse said to NOT STOP the meds no matter WHAT happens. Okay, I get the picture!

I wrote this on Blythe's blog

I have told myself "if it's over it's over" but thankfully it is still just a brown discharge (TMI, sorry)

The nurse told us that because they pump us full of all these drugs to make our uterus nice and PLUMP! sometimes the ladies will shed a bit of it - it is nothing to worry about.

I will POAS (thanks Debbie for the IVF lingo translation) again tomorrow because our blood tests only get done on the 20th!

Blythe, what's your tummy looking like? Mine is huge and round like a ball - if I wasn't so vain, I'd take a pic!

P.S. I have the BEST girlfriends from the infertility support group - they've been praying and texting me to support me and that part's been great.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


There's something else on my mind besides babies (I'm actually quite glad about that) that I want to talk about.

I'm having a catch-up session with my boss tomorrow and one of the agenda points is a salary discussion. Of course I put that on the agenda.

He has to give me feedback on something I raised with him over a year ago. The fact that I'm underpaid according to our salary scales.

The only reason I stay is that freedom is one of my highest values and I get lots of freedom here - to do my job and to come and go as I please.

Actually, the other reason (which is fast growing old) is that I have to get this salary sorted out. Part of our recruitment processes here (is it the same where you live?) means that you have to disclose what you currently earn AND give a copy of your payslip.

I am GREAT in interviews and I stall as long as possible but then, I have to tell them and that's when everything goes south. I understand it perfectly - they're thinking "if you're such a quality candidate, then why on earth are they paying you so little?"


It happened because when I started here I was on a very low pay scale so even though these guys increased it by something like 36%, I never really caught up.

My thing is - why should I be penalised for them not sorting this out years ago?

what would you do in my situation?

Oh dear

Last night I went to the loo and there was a brownish discharge.

My heart stopped and I quickly told DH to turn on the lights (I'm lazy so I go straight to the loo instead of to the light switch first). I decided there and then to jump straight into bed.

This morning I woke at 6.30 (unheard of - my alarm's set for 7.15) and he told me I tossed and turned the whole night (I wasn't even aware because I slept soundly).

I peed on a stick straight away - one clear line and one very faint if you squint and look into the sun line. No discharge.

So far, so good.

But while at work, some more brown discharge. It's almost like I'm getting my periods...

This evening yet some more discharge so we just phoned the clinic (their literature says to phone if you're concerned so I made D phone!) and the nurse said it doesn't mean I'm not pregnant, but if it increases, to phone back tomorrow.

I've cried once since this little blip happened. Otherwise I feel kind of resigned. Today I was looking at the budget and thinking "HOW can we pay for another cycle?"

(I keep telling my little baby bean - you have ME as a parent and I'm a fighter so FIGHT! Shame, poor thing, the pressure!)

Tonight I spent hours reading (happy) infertility blogs - the ones who eventually got pregnant - to encourage me that it WILL happen.

Enough about me. How are you guys doing?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Infertility support group

My monthly support group on Monday was just fabulous - I felt fertile and like a "real" part of proceedings because I'd entered the secret club of IVF.

Coincidentally my friend who's pregnant with twins was wearing the exact same colours as I was. Of course, I took it as a "sign".

We were a smaller group than usual which was lovely because we could all talk a lot more! One of my friends (who's been encouraging me with text messages) was a bit "off" though - I think she felt left out with all the IVF talk. They can only afford to do theirs next year, around Feb/ March. I tried to draw her out, but nothing. So I'll send her some text messages.

One of the new girls is in the middle of an IVF cycle so we all said next time when we come back, the two of us will be pregnant.

The clinic gave us literature explaining that "there is nothing you can do to control the outcome" and "whether you stress out or relax won't affect the outcome", both of which make me feel a little out of control. Which, of course, I am!

I don't know how I should feel now - on the one hand, I'm trying to block it out but on the other hand, I feel like I don't want to get too excited. It's crazy!

I reconciled the budget today - what I do is a separate spreadsheet called baby. I kept track of exactly what I paid and when. It's so easy to forget how much it all costs when you're paying a bit here and a bit there. These 3 weeks of going through this IVF cycle cost us R34 000 (would have been R37500 if we got the medication from the clinic, and not from the pharmacy). That is crazy!

(BTW, did I tell you guys I'm in South Africa?)

There's no point to this post; I just wanted to keep you guys updated.


(debbie, can't wait to hear your news!)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Embryo transfer done!

I can't believe it is DONE!

Surprisingly, I overslept a bit so we were about 10 minutes late. As usual though, the clinic was full of ladies there for scans.

I saw one of the ladies who also had her egg retrieval on Thursday. This was the lady who only got two eggs. It's true about quality over quantity because her two performed beautifully and came through the 3 days, and were also grade A eggs, so they were both transferred.

Now, me.

My one embryo was still beautiful but the other two exhibited some other weird signs, so even though they were behaving properly (as I'd been praying!), he said that they might look like that simply because of the ICSI. We can't be sure that they have actually fertilised normally. In fact, based on past experience (other women), they probably have something wrong with them.

So I'm like, "why don't we transfer them and if they fall off, then we'll know"

But this stopped me in my tracks.

If they transfer a dud, it will negatively affect the beautiful, perfect embryo.

And that we are all not prepared to do.

So they'll let those other two grow for another two days but for now, we have a bun in the oven!

My husband asked him what he was going to do with those two and I said, "they're going to throw our babies away" to which he said, "that's a very emotive statement".

Um, yes. Of course it is!

Anyway, I was just having fun with the doctor. He's not my usual Dr G - this one is very straight-laced and together so I can't resist :)

When we left his office to go to the theatre area, I ran into the third lady. We exchanged quick updates - she also only had 1 fertilised egg out of 5 and says to me, "now we know why we haven't been falling pregnant" which is a good way of looking at it.

I said that I'd see her downstairs but I didn't. I later found out from the nurse that they'd decided to do a day 5 transfer for her.

Now, for all you clever IVF people...why would they do that?

I drank 4 huge glasses of water before I was ready.

The nurse said, "there'll be slight discomfort" so I gave her my "look" and she laughed when she remembered. We'd had a whole debate on Thursday because in my view, all medical personnel say "discomfort" when in normal English, that means pain!

It wasn't too bad. I must say, after reading Sarah and Shelli's blogs about their transfers, I was a lot more scared.

This was my first time with my feet in stirrups! I was a bit nervous that I'd leak while they were pushing that thing down on my belly. Fortunately I didn't embarrass myself in that way BUT the first speculum flew out so I had to endure the insertion again.

I definitely felt the catheter go in and felt some pain but once they found the right spot it was okay. There was a flash as the embryo was transferred and that was that.

Good luck all around from the nurse, doctor and embryologist, and off I went to have a nice, big pee after reassurance that no, it couldn't "fall out".

So how are you guys doing?

Saturday, October 04, 2008


My friend had progesterone injections in the bum for about 4 - 6 weeks after her transfer.

I was NOT looking forward to that but fortunately, they've given me Cyclogest, vaginal pessaries, 1 in the morning and 1 at night.

The night one is fine because I insert it right before I go to bed, and now that it's been weekend, I do the morning one and then relax in bed with my book and a cup of tea.

It's quite disgusting because it leaks (sorry if that is TMI but this is an infertility blog, right?!) but I'd rather have this than an injection every day.

What kind of progesterone are you getting?

God is a miracle-worker

First of all, thanks so much to all of you for your lovely comments yesterday. I really appreciate it :)

I was SO scared of phoning to find out the state of affairs this morning so I made my husband do it! Of course, I was thinking about it all the time so I was up bright and early (that is NOT me!) about 2 hours before we could make the phone call.

So he phones and...there are not 1, not 2, but 3 good-looking embryos. He kept repeating what they said so I could (kind-of) participate in the conversation and the moment I heard 3, I burst out crying from happiness.

I am amazed! Truly!

My God has come through for me yet again.

When I sent text messages to my 3 friends from the infertility support group, the one messaged back and said "tears are falling down my face at how good God is".

I couldn't have said it better myself.

So tomorrow we have to be there at 7:30 to meet with the doctor and then they put them back. This clinic doesn't put back more than 2 unless the woman is very old or there are lots of other problems. Since that's not me (at all of 34), we'll probably transfer 2.

More tomorrow...

Friday, October 03, 2008

The power of one

Guess what?

Only 1 of those 6 fertilised properly even though they did ICSI on all of them.

Dr G phoned me to say, "since we only got 6, we did ICSI on all of them". So much for "it doesn't matter about the quantity, it's all about the quality of the eggs". But that's why we're with him, right? Because he's a straight shooter!

there is one that they're not sure about - tomorrow or next day will tell more. The rest are duds. Dr G says there might be a sperm quality problem.

I have been crying on and off for the last 2 hours; I am just praying for that one to develop properly and make it to Sunday, and then to implant. I have red, swollen eyes and if it wasn't for my two meetings later, I'd go home because I'm in no place to talk to people.

My DH said, "at least there's one" - oh my word, does he not know that your chances are better with more.

If you pray, please pray for my one little embryo...thanks :)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Egg retrieval

Amazingly, I woke up easily (probably due to nerves) and we got to the clinic on time (well, 3 minutes early which is UNHEARD of for us).

Got the gowns to change into and was then shown to my bed where I had to fill in the usual forms.

This is now the 6th time I've been under anaesthetic, and only the first was regular stuff (wisdom teeth) because all the rest have been to mess around my womanly bits!

When the nurse took my blood pressure, I asked what it was (119/67) because "it's usually low" and when she told me, she said "it's probably elevated to normal range because you're a bit nervous"

YES - she got it in one!!!!

There were two other ladies there - I'd met the one on Tuesday - and I was first due to the timing of my trigger shot.

I was literally wheeled away, the doctor put in the IV and I woke up in the ward. I can't tell you how relieved I am at that because I was worried that I'd hear things and get more anxious.

They retrieved 6 eggs from my 10 follicles so I woke to find this on my hand:

I was tired so I slept for another 45 minutes and then forced myself awake. They don't let you go until you've eaten something and had a pee, so I had water, tea and some fruit.

By this time, the other ladies were also back and we started comparing notes (terrible!). I had 6 eggs, and the other two had 5 and 2.

I am in absolutely NO pain whatsoever and except for STILL feeling a bit whoozy (8 hours later), you wouldn't even know that my insides had been poked and prodded.

Pray for fertilisation and then for beautiful dividing embryos :)

I've got to phone them tomorrow at 10 to see how my "babies" are doing so I'll report back then.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Tomorrow is the big day

Well...the big day for me.

I am petrified of the "conscious sedation" and really hope I fall asleep - I don't want to hear a THING!

I had my blood test today (some more drama - they couldn't find the nurse and I sat around waiting for 50 minutes!) and tomorrow I have to be there bright and early at 7am!

Which means I have to go sleep - I'm already past the "goal" bedtime I'd set for myself (9:30pm) because like you, Debbie, I need LOTS of sleep :)

So goodnight, everybody, pray for me (and Blythe) tomorrow and for the retrieval of lots of beautiful healthy eggs.

Also paid the last bits of this cycle's money - for the retrieval, ICSI and the embryo transfer on Sunday. It is SCARY how much this is costing - as my husband says, it's only money!

P.S. Christi, I didn't get your email yet - can't wait to read it. It's leigh1010 AT gmail DOT com :)

Drama drama drama

Yesterday while at the clinic the nurse asked if I'd be getting my medication from them or from my pharmacy.

She said phone them and check if they have it first because you've got to have it tonight so nothing can go wrong. Fair enough.

So I phoned and read each of the medications out, dosage and number of boxes, and yes, they had everything.

Later when I got back to work, I faxed the prescription and then phoned and they said they had everything and it was all in order.

I got there at about 5.20 pm and they brought my medicines. Well, while she was tapping away on her computer, I checked everything and they only had ONE of the TWO boxes I needed for the trigger shot.

I pointed this out so she went to look and they had no other boxes. I started freaking out like this - "but this is PRECISELY why I phoned first before I even left the clinic". And "I need that stuff tonight" - I've spent thousands on this thing and it can't go wrong now.

Remember all the normal pharmacies are closed (this one is HUGE) and so is my clinic. So the girl starts phoning every. single. pharmacy within a 30km radius and not one has a box of this stuff (Ovidrel).

So at about 5.45 I phoned the clinic's emergency line and left a message so they could page whoever was on duty. Usually they phone back within minutes but of course, not this time.

I'd vaguely remembered the nurse saying something about Pregnyl so I asked them if they had that. They did!

After 5 minutes, I phoned Dr G himself (even though it was Jewish holidays) and he said I could have 10 000 units of Pregnyl instead. Apparently Pregnyl is better than the other one but is now discontinued so you actually can't get it anywhere.

So that's what I got.

The minute I left the pharmacy I burst into tears - I couldn't believe that it could all come down to this - lack of attention to detail from the pharmacy.

The Ovidrel was going to be mixed and administered subcutaneously but Dr G said this stuff has to be done intra muscularly (in the bum) so he suggested I go to the clinic where I had my laparotomy.

That part all went fine - the nurse jabbed me quickly and relatively painlessly. And on time (7.25) - she said we could be 15 mins early or late but absolutely no later!

Hello Christy

Christy, I've been trying to find a way to email you or comment on your blog, to no avail.

I so appreciate you reading my story and I'd love to reciprocate.

Can you send me your blog address?

Thanks XXX


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