Tuesday, June 19, 2012

IVF round one

Well, we have finished our first round of IVF – unsuccessfully.  I have a month off now to recover and then we go again.

Unfortunately, we only got one viable embryo, which was of course implanted.  So with no frozen embryos to use, I need to go through the whole process again to produce more eggs.

It was a difficult month.  I didn’t have any trouble with the injections nor did I go through any mood swings which was great.  But I was exhausted.  All the time exhausted. 

And then there was the ovary bleed.  After the egg retrieval, I had what I thought was the usual discomfort after this procedure, only to wake up in complete and utter agony in the middle of the night.  It was excruciating.  Fortunately our clinic has a 24 hour service and we called them at 1 am. 
The doctor on call was fantastic.  He diagnosed what was wrong and I went on a high dose of pain medication and we were able to manage.  I couldn’t move on my own, couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t straighten.  It hurt so much to pee even.  I was on my back for a week.  And then I continued to get spasms of pain right up until I sadly got my period.  I knew something wasn’t right.  I said to Dave “being pregnant shouldn’t feel like this”.  That night we found out I wasn’t.  Sad smile Even now, a week after my period has finished, I still feel mild symptoms of discomfort which could be the residue of the reproduction system getting a complete battering!

The next working day after the bleed began, I was at the clinic having blood tests and scans to confirm the diagnosis.  Fortunately it wasn’t ovarian hyperstimulation, but a bleed from the ovary.  The doctor is not sure whether it began a day after the surgery or was a slow bleed that took a while to manifest.  Either way, it didn’t matter, we knew what was wrong.
In the end, I had two weeks off work from the exhaustion before the retrieval and then from the bleed.  The end result of all of that, is that I have cut my teaching back a day.  There is no way I can go through all of that again and try and maintain the same workload.  I am so relieved!!  As of now, I am teaching one day less.  Woohoo!

We learnt a lot from the egg fertilisation.  They got 10 eggs and they fertilised half via IVF (natural selection) and half via ICSI (where they inject the sperm into the egg.) 

From the IVF procedure we only got one embryo.  Apparently as you get older, the outer lining of the egg hardens and it is harder for the sperm to break through. That explains a lot.
From the ICSI , we got 4 embryos! 

However, none of the ICSI embryos developed.  It was the IVF embryo that got through to a stage of being able to implant.  But even that had a lot of fragmentation and the doctor wasn’t really happy with it.

So, over the last three years of us trying, if one of the little suckers actually managed to break through the outer lining, we may have been fertilising eggs and they just didn’t develop. 

I am feeling a little disheartened with the results and what we have learnt.  I knew age was a real factor but this bit of science really made it a reality.  Nevertheless, we go again in a few weeks.  And I need every minute of those weeks to recover – both emotionally and physically.

I’m  not doing so well right now.  My anxiety levels are up and I am just not with it.  All I really want to do is hide away in bed and read.  But after next week, I have two weeks holiday, so the timing of that is terrific!