Archive | January 2014

A boring summary of my 4th IVF cycle (part two…yay!)

I awoke at 4.45am on Tuesday morning feeling like I had been punched in the stomach.

Normally I feel sore and crampy before an egg pick-up, but this was a different type of pain. I wondered when I lifted up my nightgown if I would see a gigantic bruise across my torso. Thankfully I didn’t, but I was certainly hurting.

We left the house just before 5.30am and drove to the hospital so I could be admitted. The one thing I love about the hospital where I have my day surgeries is the efficiency of the place. Almost straight away my hospital ID tags were strapped onto my wrists, my weight was checked (I’m up to 77.5kg ugh no I DIE! I DIE!) and I was dressed in my sexy hospital gown.

Before I knew it, I was kissing Doug goodbye and being wheeled by an orderly towards the surgical theatre.

“Have fun!” I called out to Doug as he watched me leave. “At least I get to be asleep for my part!”

I think the orderly got a bit of a chuckle out of that. I’m a funny girl.

My egg pick-up was scheduled for 7am, exactly 38 hours after my trigger shot. I was wheeled into the pre-surgical room where I had a clear view of a large old-fashioned analogue clock on the wall. The type that goes tick tick tick tick loudly enough to give you anxiety. It quite clearly read 6.50am.

The IVF nurses Shirley and Flo came in soon afterwards, all smiling and happy. I was glad to see them. When I am nervous I am often comforted when I see familiar people.

“Hi Sadie! How are you feeling? We’ll see you soon!” they both called to me as they continued into the theatre to prep the room.

Next the anaesthetist arrived. She was dressed in blue scrubs and I liked her immediately. She explained that she was placing an alertness monitor on my forehead because she was using a type of anaesthetic that is best suited for an egg pick-up to take good care of my eggs, but it was also essential to closely monitor patients when under because it created a lighter sleep than more commonly used sedatives??

I dunno really, I was too nervous to pay much attention. All I know is when she placed the monitor across my forehead it felt like she was sticking huge velcro strips onto my skin. It kind of tickled but it wasn’t painful.

“We will wait for Doctor Eventi to arrive,” the anaesthetist said. “Once you have had a chat to the doctor then we can start the process of putting you to sleep.”

So there we were in the pre-surgical room. Me in my backless gown, lying on the hospital guernsey under warm blankets. And the anaesthetist in her blue scrubs. And together, we waited. And waited. And waited.

Then the clock ticked over to 7am.

I looked at the anaesthetist and she looked back at me. Neither of us said anything. I knew we were both thinking the exact same thing – where the hell was the doctor? The replacement doctor who I had never met before. The replacement doctor who was apparently so fantastic my actual doctor was losing all of her patients to him.

At 7:05am the anaesthetist actually bit her lip and checked her wrist watch.

“My eggs.” I said feebly. “My eggs need to be picked up. It’s been 38 hours.”

“Yes I know sweetheart.” she replied. “I’m sorry there’s nothing we can do until the doctor arrives.”

At 7:10am the anaesthetist sighed audibly and shook her head. I could feel the frustration radiating off her, and I’m sure she was feeling my anxiety. Suddenly she spun around, walked over to the theatre door and called her assistant into the room.

“Look the doctor isn’t here but we need to prep her now.” she said. “Right now.”

“But…” the assistant started.

“No this is ridiculous! We need her ready to go or the eggs will be gone by the time we start the procedure.” the anaesthetist snapped.

So suddenly I was wheeled into the theatre and transferred across to the operating table. Then I had a little army of people buzzing around me, checking my vitals and repeatedly asking me my name, date of birth, and reason for surgery. The anaesthetist put my IV cannula into my arm and she was rushing so much she actually hurt me. Normally I don’t mind a bit of pain, but it was actually so bad I had to let her know and she had to readjust where she had set the cannula.

Honestly I was just so grateful that she understood the urgency of the situation. She was truly so fantastic. I so much appreciated the fact she was clearly on my side and doing everything she could to help me. She talked me through exactly what she was doing, and explained the quickest way to get me to sleep.

“As soon as the doctor speaks to you, I’m going to put this mask over your face.” she told me. “When the mask is over your face tilt your head right back and take four deep breaths. The deeper the better. Then we’ll get you off to sleep ok sweetheart?”

Once I was fully prepped and ready to go I looked back up at the clock.

7:25am.

I started to quietly hyperventilate. This was a doctor I had never met! What if the eggs were gone when the procedure began? What then? I kept thinking over and over again I’m going to sue this bastard I’m going to sue him!

Then I could hear one of the IVF nurses on the phone in the pre-surgical room.

“I need you to urgently patch me through to Doctor Eventi’s phone.” I heard her say, and my stomach begin twisting into knots.

Then a few moments later, her voice changed. “Doctor Eventi! Where are you? We need you in surgery you know!”

The clock ticked over to 7.30am. The anaesthetist had her hand on my shoulder, patting me reassuringly and telling me it was going to be okay.

Finally five minutes later the doctor breezed into the room, followed closely by Shirley the nurse. He looked calm and relaxed. Not at all like a man in a hurry.

“Hullo!” he said, breaking out into a huge grin. “We haven’t met before have we?”

“No.” I managed to get out, between my clenched teeth.

“My name is Doctor Steve! Pleasure to meet you! ” he said, holding his hand out for me to shake.

First of all ‘Doctor Steve’? What kind if lame-o doctor uses their first name? Secondly what the hell did he expect me to do? I had an IV in one arm, and they were monitoring my blood pressure with the other. It was almost impossible for me to comfortably shake his hand. Thirdly, why the frig would I shake that man’s hand?? He was over half an hour late for an extremely time sensitive procedure.

He held his hand in front of me for a few moments, then slowly withdrew it. He frowned at me and then shrugged a little, apparently hurt that I had snubbed him. Meanwhile, the anaesthetist was still hovering the oxygen mask inches from my face ready to pounce as soon as she was given the okay.

“What are you having done today Sadie?” the doctor asked.

“Egg pick-up.” I confirmed quickly.

“And how many eggs will we get?” he asked.

“Doctor Holiday thinks maybe 10 to 14.” I replied. “My guess is 10.”

“Can I put her under now? Please?” the anaesthetist asked.

Doctor Eventi nodded and the mask was pushed onto my face. Immediately I started breathing deeply. My final thoughts were that the eggs had better still be there, or that doctor was in deep deep trouble.

When I woke up in the first recovery room, the first thing I did was check for a sticker on the back of my hand that would tell me how many eggs were collected.

10 eggs

The number I had predicted! I was relieved and elated both that we had still managed to collect the eggs, and that we’d picked up 10. I thought it was a great number. Enough to give us a great chance of making a real take-home baby, but not so many that it would give me OHSS again. Perfect!

The nurses in the first recovery room found I was responding really well and hadn’t had any of the dramas I’d experienced after my last egg pick-up when I’d passed out. I was, however, complaining constantly that I needed to pee.

“But the doctor drained your bladder during surgery.” a nurse told me. “You shouldn’t need to pee, dear.”

“But I do!” I insisted.

So they brought me in a bed pan. But ugh I hate those things and just can’t use them. After about 10 minutes of wiggling around trying to get myself at an angle so that I could pee, I eventually used the sides of the bed to haul myself up into a sitting position.

“No no no dear!” the nurse cried. “You can’t sit up like that! You need to rest!”

But eventually, she agreed to release me into the second recovery room, seen as I was clearly wide awake and also determined to find a way to empty my bladder. In the second recovery ward I was allowed to get up out of bed so a nurse helped me to shuffle to the bathroom, wheeling my IV drip beside me, and let me use the toilet. Yep, my bladder was full. My mama didn’t raise no fool.

After that my blood pressure dropped suddenly and I was made to get back into bed again. But I was allowed to eat some breakfast, and also have a cup of tea. I always reward myself after a successful egg pick-up with caffeinated tea. Yep, I’m a rebel. But it was delicious! I also scoffed down sandwiches, crackers with cheese, sweet biscuits and a bowl of fruit. I guess I was hungry…

I also had a chance to peep at my surgical notes as they were briefly left on the table beside my bed. I had 5 eggs picked up from each ovary, which I thought was great. The last time I’d gone through egg pick-up only my left ovary had eggs within the follicles. This showed both my ovaries were still doing something right.

I did notice that the doctor had scribbled down notes about a haemmorhaging cyst. It must have been the endometrioma that Doctor Holiday had picked up in her final scan. Doctor Eventi had written down that it was “large + + +” so obviously it had grown even bigger. And if it was seeping blood no wonder I’d been in so much pain before my pick-up. The doctor had drained the cyst, but made no other mention of it on the notes.

Before I was allowed to go home I had to go through the usual ‘toilet and scan’ protocol. To make sure my bladder was emptying properly after the procedure I had to go to the bathroom, and then one of the recovery nurses scanned my bladder. In order to be discharged from the hospital the reading had to show under 100ml of residual fluid in my bladder. This never, ever, ever works for me the first time. Sure enough, even though I felt like I’d emptied my bladder fully it showed 150ml of residual fluid.

The nurses then made me drink two cups of black tea and go to the bathroom again. When they scanned my bladder I had 200ml of residual fluid. And so began my nightmare.

“Oh my gosh it’s gone up!” the nurse said, super confused.

“It’s fine.” I explained calmly. “The ultrasound is picking up free floating fluid in my abdomen from the egg pick-up. It’s not in my bladder.”

“No it’s in your bladder.” the nurse disagreed.

And then she went off to phone the doctor, who decided I certainly wasn’t allowed to be discharged. Instead I was told to keep drinking and peeing, and then having my bladder scanned.

“But Doctor Holiday would let me go home.” I tried to argue.

“Well Doctor Holiday isn’t here right now.” the nurse scowled. “And Doctor Eventi will not let you leave until your bladder is empty.”

The hours started to slowly pass in the recovery ward, where patients normally spend around 30 minutes before being discharged or moved to a proper ward. Patients came and went all around me. But I kept repeating the same process: drink tea, heat pack on my abdomen, urinate, scan. Each time they scanned me, my bladder was more full than before, even though I knew I was emptying properly.

As the clock hit midday, the head nurse came to visit me and scan me herself. She couldn’t figure out what the problem was, and suggested I walk up and down the ward with a heat pack firmly on my abdomen to try and wake up my bladder. She also told me to completely stop drinking liquid, and start double and triple voiding. She was confident that protocol would see my bladder empty before lunch.

She was wrong. So wrong! Every time I went to the bathroom and they scanned me there was more residual fluid. By 3pm it was above 400ml and I had spent basically the entire day in the recovery ward. The head nurse decided to call down a consulting urologist, and also call Doctor Eventi again because it looked like they were going to have to keep me overnight at the hospital.

Then they decided to try a catheter. I wished they’d just tried the catheter right at the beginning of the day. Last time I had an in-out catheter that’s literally all it had been. They put the catheter in, pushed on my bladder, and then removed the catheter. This time, the head nurse inserted the catheter then tried to jiggle it all around to get the best result. It was super super uncomfortable. When they pushed down on my bladder they got basically no urine out.

“See!” I said. “It’s not in my bladder. It’s free floating fluid.”

But still that head nurse was determined to prove the fluid was in my bladder. She kept wiggling the catheter in me, had one nurse scanning my belly with the ulrasound wand and another nurse forcefully pushing down on my bladder. The three of them tried for about half an hour while I lay there in an awkward position with my legs in the air and completely spread open. When I eventually complained that it was a bit uncomfortable, the head nurse dismissed me with the good old “if you’re complaining about this, how are you going to handle child birth?” line.

But for all of their efforts they only managed to get about 70ml of urine out of me. And only because it slowly dripped out over the course of the half hour, which would be fluid naturally arriving in my bladder anyway as my body digested my lunch.

The head nurse sent one of her assistants off to phone back Doctor Eventi and explain that the catheter had shown there was nothing in my bladder. She returned a few minutes later with a grim look on her face.

“Doctor Eventi says that it’s free floating fluid in the abdomen from the egg pick-up.” the nurse grimaced. “And the patient can be discharged.”

Ha! Victory!

By the time I was released from the hospital it was early evening. I was pretty disappointed, because usually after egg pick-up I like to rest on the couch at home watching movies and eating chocolate. It’s another reward I give myself for a job well done. But I’d missed out on that because the stupid nurse wouldn’t listen to me or take me seriously.

But it hadn’t been all bad. I ended up making such good friends with a few of the nurses they actually walked me out of the hospital when Doug came to collect me.

One of them was only 23 years old and had just found out she has endometriosis and blocked tubes. She asked me for advice on what she should do, because she did want to have children eventually but wasn’t quite ready yet. I talked her through what I had been through myself and how my biggest regret was that I hadn’t started trying for children when the doctors first picked up my problems. She seemed very grateful just to have someone to talk to about her own issues and I felt good that I could give her advice and some things to think about.

As I left the hospital, the nurses said they’d see me next time.

“Nah you won’t.” I corrected them with a big smile. “This time around I’m going to get all the embryos I need so I’ll never need to do another egg pick-up.”

And for the first time ever, I truly believed it when I said it. I felt so positive and happy, like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. This would be my last egg pick-up. My take-home baby was one of those 10 eggs collected. This time I would be successful. I just knew it.

The next morning, the embryologist phoned to let me know my fertilization result. Of the 10 collected, one egg was immature, and one was degenerating rapidly so they had only performed ICSI on 8 eggs. And of those 8 eggs, 7 had fertilized!!!

I was so excited!! It was by far our best result yet. In our first cycle our fertilization rate was 57%, our second cycle was cancelled due to poor ovarian response, our third cycle the fertilization rate was also 57%, but our fourth cycle the rate was 87.5%!!

To me, it just proved my own theory to be true: everything was falling into place. This would be my last ever egg pick-up. We would be able to do a fresh transfer, and also freeze multiple embryos. I would have many chances, without ever having to do another fully stimmed IVF cycle. I was ecstatic.

But sometimes life just doesn’t work out the way you’ve planned……

(to be continued…again…)

Advertisements

A boring summary of my 4th IVF cycle (part one)

This IVF cycle started quickly and quietly, with little fuss.

I’d spent the past weeks overseas, and hadn’t really had time to consider fertility treatment because I was off having the time of my life.

But stepping off the plane onto Australian soil, our treatment started almost immediately. I didn’t have time to build up anxiety or stress or worries. I highly recommend this way of doing things. It should be mandatory to have a holiday directly before every cycle of IVF. We all pay enough money for treatment, the least the fertility clinics could do is throw in a weekend getaway…

This was our fourth fully stimulated IVF cycle, or as I like to call them “fresh” cycles. Because they aren’t frozen cycles. And because it’s my blog and I can call them what I want.

I have mentioned previously that Doctor B had decided to try something a little different this time and not start day 1 of FSH injections in tandem with my cycle. Normally FSH injections start on CD2 or CD3. But after 30 days of bleeding late last year following a failed pregnancy, I had not had a period in a few months.

Before that, I hadn’t experienced a spontaneous period in over 2 years. Fun! Normally prior to fresh or frozen cycles (yes, I’m still sticking with those terms – deal with it) my period is started artificially through provera or another drug. But the doctor wanted to see how my body would respond by not forcing a period.

So as soon as I got home from Malaysia, I started my cycle by getting a blood test to check to see where I was up to in my reproductive cycle. My first blood draw for 2014 – I wonder how many I will have this year….

The next day, already nursing a sore throat and a headache (because I’m the type of person who gets sick after moving between climates) I went into the clinic to visit Doctor B for a diagnostic scan, so we could decide when to start the cycle. She noted that both my ovaries were quiet and my endometrium was measuring 5.9mm. My LH was 14, my progesterone <0.5 and my oestrogen 184.

Honestly I had no idea what any of those numbers meant. Those types of blood tests are rarely done for me because my body is so silly and useless, so my hormone levels usually don't impact upon my cycles. Ultrasounds on the other hand, they make sense to me. I can read a pelvic ultrasound just as good as my brother. And he reads ultrasounds for a living. Legitimately – he's a radiographer.

Then I was told to have my first injection right there in the clinic. Bam! Just like that! No warning or anything. The cycle had begun.

I absolutely hate injecting myself in front of nurses. They're so….judgy. Like seriously what if this whole time I've been doing it wrong? I don't want to be told I'm not administering injections right during my FOURTH cycle. That'd be really embarrassing.

Luckily the nurse's eagle eyes only picked up one small mistake -I put the cap back on my needles before I remove them from the epi-pen and dispose of them. Apparently that's wrong because you could prick yourself while you're recapping it. But when you unscrew the needle and dispose of it there's no risk of pricking yourself (note my sarcasm here guys).

Anyway, this cycle we decided to inject a Puregon dose of 125+1. If you want to know the basis for that decision, you can read about it here. After my first dose, the doctor told me that she was going away and wouldn’t be around for my egg pick-up. I’m pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head.

This lady is seriously never at work. I’ve bitched in the past (here, and here for starters) about how my doctor is never in the office. On more than one occasion she had significantly delayed a cycle because she was going away. She had literally just come back from 3 weeks of leave over Christmas, and she was already going on vacation??? From here on in, I am officially changing Doctor B’s name to Doctor Holiday.

“You might want to delay your cycle for a month until I come back.” Doctor Holiday suggested.

“No thank you.” I replied.

“It’s just that you have a tendency to hyperstimulate, so I’d like to be here for your egg pick-up to make sure you’re ok.” she explained.

“No thank you.” I replied.

“I suppose you were ok after your last pick-up, so it might be safe to leave you in the hands of my capable replacement doctor.” she muttered.

“Sounds good!” I agreed.

Honestly I just wanted to get the show on the road and didn’t mind if the replacement doctor was a leper. But I did agree to attend all of my scan appointments with her so she could monitor my progress until she went away. In fact, she wanted to see me on day 5 of stims. It’s highly unusual for me to be seen before day 8, and even then the biggest follicle I’ve ever had at that stage was 5.6mm. I thought a day 5 scan sounded like a big ol’ waste of my time but said nothing.

And luckily I didn’t because day 5 showed my lining was already 10.1mm triple, which was excellent for that point in the cycle, and I had follicles! Real, proper, growing follicles! Even in spite of the fact I’d been suffering from a head cold all week!

In the right ovary I had an 11mm follie, and 2 measuring 10.9mm. In the left ovary I had a 10.4mm and a 12.6mm. Yes 12.6!! Doctor Holiday and I were both shocked and she had to put me onto my orgalutran shots early to stop me from ovulating.

“Do you know what this is?” she asked me.

“What?” I asked, confused.

“It’s what a normal IVF cycle looks like, Missy.” she gushed. “You’re being normal!”

And there was much rejoicing. For I am never normal, but when it comes to fertility all I want to be is normal. I mean hey, don’t we all?

After that my growth slowed down a little and at my next scan 3 days later I had one 15.5mm follicle on the left and on the right four follicles ranging in size from 15.5mm to 11mm. I was actually starting to become disappointed that I only seemed to have five follicles growing.

I’m 27 and I have PCOS and super high egg reserve so I know my body is capable of more than that. Plus in someone my age usually only 80% of follicles contain eggs, so I was concerned that we were only going to have four picked up. How could I go from having 34 eggs picked up in a cycle to only four?

“It’s not too late.” Doctor Holiday pressed me. “We can cancel this cycle and just start afresh when I come back. You really don’t need to use the replacement doctor. Maybe next time you’ll get more follicles.”

“No.” I shook my head. “I just want my eggs picked up. I don’t care who picks them up.”

“But everyone loves Doctor Eventi.” she sighed. “What if you decide you love him too and never come back to me?”

Ahhh so the plot thickens. The real reason Doctor Holiday didn’t want me to see the replacement doctor was far less noble than her need to protect my health. In that case, I was definitely still going ahead with the replacement doctor.

I agreed to come back and see Doctor Holiday for one more scan before she went away. It was a Saturday 7am appointment. Who has appointments that early on a Saturday? That’s just nasty. No wonder patients were choosing to stay with the replacement doctor…

“Ok!” she said cheerily as she began the scan. “We have lots of follicles now!”

I was flooded with relief as she began to measure and record the follicle growth.

“On the right we’ve got a 22.7mm follicle which is probably too big to contain an egg actually.” she started. “Let’s just forget about that one.”

Well, ok, that’s not such a good start then…

“But the others on the right side look good. We’ve got a 16.6mm, 15.7mm, 14.5mm, 14.3mm and a 12.2mm.” Doctor Holiday said.

Yes five follicles! On one side! Great news!

“So now let’s look at the left ovary.” Doctor Holiday continued. “Well we have a 12.6mm, 12.3mm, a 20.6mm that’s filled with blood, a 17mm…”

Sorry, what?

“Wait.” I spluttered. “Wait wait wait! What do you mean I have a follicle filled with blood?”

“Oh,” she frowned. “Wasn’t that there before?”

“No!” I shrieked.

I could not believe she didn’t even remember my stats from the scan I’d had days earlier, let alone the fact I had been coming to see her through three fully stimmed IVF cycles and ovulation induction! So unimpressed. My doctor constantly unimpresses me.

“Right. Well. It looks like you have a really large cyst filled with blood.” she said matter-of-factly. “It’s an endometrioma.”

“What caused it?” I asked nervously.

“I don’t know.” she admitted. “It’s probably from your last period.”

“But I haven’t had my period since November.” I said, unable to comprehend that she couldn’t remember we hadn’t started the cycle with my period this time around. “And it wasn’t there three days ago!”

“Oh well,” Doctor Holiday shrugged, clearly confused herself. “If you don’t get pregnant this cycle we’ll investigate it further.”

And after that she promptly dropped the matter and didn’t mention it again. It left me scared and confused, and worried for my egg pick-up which Doctor Holiday had agreed could go ahead on the following Tuesday at 7am. I was worried that the endometrioma was going to detrimentally affect the quality of the eggs, and also concerned that it had grown so large in just three days.

As I was leaving the office, Doctor Holiday wished me luck for my egg pick-up with Doctor Eventi, and then she said something really odd…

“Just remember that women who have a few failed pregnancies in a row often go back for another cycle of IVF and just end up with a negative.” she said. “Don’t feel disheartened if this cycle is negative for you. It doesn’t mean you’re broken.”

Seriously. She said that. Like gee thanks for being a ball of optimism! Thanks for basically slamming my hope and courage into the ground. Thanks for making sure I’m going into the egg pick-up with the mind-set that I’m definitely going to fail. Doctors are just useful like that sometimes, aren’t they? When I got home and told Doug what she said, he was so furious.

On Sunday at 5pm I pushed all negative thoughts to the back of my mind and triggered myself with Ovidrel. It was a messy injection because I somehow managed to pull the needle out of my skin before all of the drug had injected. Then I panicked and shoved the same needle straight back into my stomach, like some kind of reflex. I ended up with a bruised and bleeding tummy, and more anxiety that I hadn’t given myself the correct dose.

And then, after that, there was nothing left to do except wait for 7am Tuesday….

(to be continued)

A story told through photographs

My time overseas feels like so long ago.

This year feels so old and hard already, as I’ve already been through a fully stimmed IVF cycle and started a new job. But when the clock ticked over to 2014, I was standing on a beach in Penang laughing and dancing and happy. That was a moment I’ll never forget.

I don’t have the strength or energy to write about my very first trip outside Australia, so I’ll just share some photos at the end of this post and fill you in on a few highlights. These photos are from both Penang and Kuala Lumpur. They’re certainly nothing fancy (I ain’t no photographer) but they’re my memories and I treasure them.

Our New Years Eve was perfect. We shared drinks with two Italian girls who were also holidaying in Malaysia. We quickly made friends with them and after a few hours of talking and laughing we all headed down to the beach together, clutching our shoes in one hand and our drinks in the other, to welcome 2014.

All of the occupants of the local nightclubs ran out onto the beach too for the countdown. At midnight there was lots of whooping and yelling and kissing. It was quite euphoric. After the fireworks and celebrating, we looked further down the beach and noticed a large group of people had gathered at the other end of the cove. At first we wondered what they were doing, then we saw the lanterns launching into the sky. I can’t even describe to you how beautiful it was to watch hundreds of fire lanterns drifting up over the water and disappearing over the horizon. I felt like we were starring in our own Disney movie.

Our little party of four headed down the sand to observe the lanterns, and found that you could purchase the lanterns for a small amount of money. My husband Doug bought three – one for us, one for the Italian girls and one for us to take home as a souvenir. For a while we watched other tourists trying their luck with their lanterns. Most of them drifted up for a few moments then sank into the sea.

After a while the locals showed us how to light the lantern and demonstrated how to launch it, then explained that as we let it go we should make a wish for the year. No guesses what I was wishing for…

I was petrified that our lantern would sink into the sea and it would mean our wish wouldn’t come true. After a few seconds sure enough it started to fall rapidly. But then something awesome happened. Just as it was about to hit the water, a young local boy ran out into the shallows and caught it just in time. Then he helped us to relaunch our lantern. This time it drifted up and up and up and up and floated on forever until it disappeared over the horizon. Here’s a photo of our actual lantern as it floated away:

20140122-204350.jpg

I felt like it was an amazing metaphor for our lives, and what I hope 2014 has in store for us. We tried our hardest to make a baby on our own, but even though we wished so desperately to succeed we couldn’t do it on our own. But then an expert jumped in and rescued us, and just like our lantern went all the way so will our dream to be parents. Together, we will make it through this and weather the storm. The wish I whispered into the lantern will come true. We are fighters, just like our lantern. With the right amount of help we will succeed in the end.

When we arrived in Kuala Lumpur I found out that 2014 was the year of the horse. I bought a pendant with the Chinese symbol for a horse on it because I’m trying so hard to feel strong and positive, and believe that 2014 will be our year. If this isn’t the year I have my baby, it will at least be the year I fall pregnant and stay pregnant.

20140122-213114.jpg

I am keeping the pendant by my bedside, and every night I touch it and remind myself that 2014 is our year. It’s tremendously helping me to remain calm and positive. I even wore the pendant to the hospital this week when we had our egg pick-up. I felt comforted knowing it was there with me. It’s completely silly, especially because I don’t believe in religion and don’t have any real faith, but it’s helping me and that’s all that matters.

I will update you all on my IVF cycle tomorrow and how things are progressing. For now, here’s some photos. That’s kind of the same thing, right?

20140122-204049.jpg

(the Italian girls launching their lantern)

20140122-202728.jpg

(my first alcoholic cocktail in 3 years!)

20140122-204144.jpg

20140122-204325.jpg

20140122-204135.jpg

20140122-203958.jpg

20140122-204057.jpg

20140122-204030.jpg

20140122-204017.jpg

20140122-204008.jpg

 

20140122-203941.jpg

20140122-203932.jpg

20140122-203919.jpg

20140122-203908.jpg

20140122-203855.jpg

(we had dinner beneath this tree!)

20140122-203821.jpg

(relaxing afternoons at our hotel in Penang)

20140122-213141.jpg

(happy 2014!!!)

20140122-214447.jpg

20140122-214308.jpg

Advice needed!

Hey guys!

I’m back from my overseas vacation!

I promise to update you on my shitty Christmas and my amazing time in Malaysia in the next few days but right now I just need some advice…

I’m currently on day 5 of my fourth fully stimmed IVF cycle (yep I started a cycle as soon as we landed in Melbourne – super keen!) but I’ve come home from my holiday with an awful head cold.

For the past 48 hours in particular I’ve had a sore throat, fever, cough, headache and terrible blocked up nose.

I don’t know what it is but I always seem to get sick around my IVF cycles. Right before my first attempt I had temperatures above 40 degrees celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and severe vomiting. Before my third cycle I had pneumonia. But I’ve never actually been sick during a cycle. Not while I was injecting myself with FSH anyway.

Right now I’m panicking because I have no idea what affect my illness will have on the quality of my eggs and also because I don’t know what I’m allowed to take right now to make myself feel better.

I’ve been sleeping a lot and gargling with warm salty water but so many medications say “do not use while pregnant” and I don’t know whether that excludes me or not.

So here’s my questions for you all:

1. Is there even any point still bothering with this cycle? Will my sickness severely affect the quality of my eggs?

2. Can anyone advise what medication I can take at the moment to relieve symptoms? I’m dying here.

Thanks in advance!

I look forward to catching up on all of your blogs soon.

Sadie xx