* Author Topic: Carpe ovum (seize the egg) - sibling journey (ICSI cycle 2 w/ PGS = baby boy!)  (Read 16544 times)

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Offline Liz3511

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I'm off to Athens on Sunday night! Lining was 13.6mm yesterday (I'm worrying it's too thick) and I have now started progesterone.

Transfer will be 12.30 on Monday, then I fly back to the UK Monday night. I'm going to try not to use a hotel room at all to save money, as I get in at 4am on Monday morning so doesn't seem worth it for about 5 hours of sleep before the transfer ... hoping there's somewhere I can have a little nap in the airport, perhaps. I will be completely exhausted; I wonder if Serum would mind if I fell asleep in their lovely waiting room ;)

Work is incredibly busy. I appreciate it to some extent, but I just wish my head was in the game as I feel distracted and surprisingly tired from the meds - I'm having a day off doxycycline today because I can't stand the stomach pains and nausea any more.

I don't know what I feel about this yet. Nervous that neither embryo will make it through the thaw :(



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    Offline Liz3511

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    About to check into my Aegean airlines flight - yikes, this time tomorrow I'll be on my way between Kings Cross and Heathrow Airport on the tube (plan is to take the Piccadilly line all the way unless I'm short on time).

    I figured out that I'll spend exactly 13 hours in Athens  ;D and I also gave in to common sense regarding the hotel and have booked a room with a checkout of midday - plan is to sleep until the last minute, jump in the shower, then walk down to Serum. I'm hoping to spend as long horizontal at Serum as possible after the transfer and, if they let me, sit in the waiting room for a while afterwards before heading back to the airport.  Then flight is at 5.30pm, arriving UK at just after 9, then Heathrow Express --> stay overnight with my friend, hop on the train the next morning and back at work by midday on Tuesday.

    I'm relying very much on transport being on time here ... !

    Hopefully if this doesn't work I won't mind it (quite so) much because I haven't had to bring my whole life to a standstill to do it.

    Also, my humira will be arriving on Tuesday to my office, couldn't figure out any other way of doing it. Will take the first injection immediately whilst at work... then try to figure out the best way to get the other injection home without it getting too hot!

    Offline Liz3511

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    Am home, with a couple of blasts in place. Goodness knows if they're still alive or if they conked out shortly after being transferred ... being day 6 I assume they may be anleupoid although the research is really messy in general in the area. Anyhow, my odds have to be better than 0%, which is what counts.

    If it's a BFN, I can accept it. If it's another miscarriage ... I really don't want to have to cope.

    I don't want to have to cope with the early days when you don't know for sure it's a loss, but you think it probably is. It's just utter mental torture.

    Don't get me wrong: I WILL cope, I will go to work, I will pick up the kids, I will cook, I will clean, I will lecture, I will publish papers ... and I will experience the same debilitating anxiety and stress. I KNOW I should be positive. I KNOW I can't change the outcome. I'm terrified that my stress levels actually cause the losses because, believe me, they are off the scale in early pregnancy. I'm talking repeated waves of adrenalin and cortisol flooding my body several times an hour, clinical tachycardia, sweating, severe sleep disruption ... I'm a psychologist married to a doctor and both of us know that this is pathological. But how can you fight what your body and mind are conditioned to do together?

    Anyhow, sorry for that rant. Looking ahead: I took the humira yesterday (I phoned ARGC and double checked that it was okay to 'try' whilst on humira, they confirmed that it is) and will take the next one in 2 weeks. So far I feel a bit flu-ish, with sore joints and muscles and a headache - but that might be a consequence of flying to and from Greece in essentially 24 hours! Continue to do the delightful progesterone and estrogen, clexane, prednisone, aspirin etc. Also had intralipids whilst at Serum (that was weird - a very odd taste in my mouth whilst doing it!!) and have prescriptions for further intralipids. So I will go ahead and get the intralipids purchased and get DH to do them at home if I get a positive.

    Phew, I think that's a full catch up. No symptoms that aren't related to the drugs I'm taking (shedloads of them!) so not going to set any score by physical sensations.


    Offline Liz3511

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    5dp 5dt and BFN this morning: may well change, but not likely to, knowing my body.

    Feeling mainly relieved that it doesn't look like I'll be going through the beta rollercoaster again this month - selfish, I know.

    Part of me is thinking: I've been pregnant 7 times without intervention (3 successful). What am I / the clinic doing wrong that we can't get a sticky pregnancy (only a miscarriage) with all this intervention? The other part of me knows it is a numbers game, particularly as I get older (but I'm only 35 and my AMH is good - surely we should have got one good embryo from 26 frigging eggs?).

    I really wish Serum gave us more details from this FET cycle as well; it feels like our learning is limited by a lack of information. Sad that I wasn't told what percentage of cells recovered from the freeze as that is a major prognostic indicator. A bit demoralised that if I have another fresh cycle with them, they don't plan to change anything.

    My google activities keep taking me to the Reprofit site: a PGS double donor embryo for about 1.5 k korunas (sorry if that's incorrectly spelled). I think I'm more tempted by this than DH. Our kids are at high risk of autoimmune disease (oldest has T1 diabetes and other issues) and we know youngest is at high genetic risk of both (middle child's risk not known) ... there would definitely be some kindness in going for an embryo without these risk factors. But I also hear how much the children discuss amongst themselves who remembers me / P, and who's got the same nose etc ... how 'different' would a single donor conceived child feel? I hope, not at all, particularly if they understood that part of the decision was to ensure that they were healthy ... but I worry that they would be angry with me when they grew up.

    I think part of the issue causing me to look around and wonder 'what next' is a) I find it hard to tolerate uncertainty, b) coordinating this with work is always going to be a nightmare and c) I need a clear plan to feel hopeful for the future. None of these is well served by ARGC, with whom there is no particular timescale (and they see no point in discussing one). This may be fine if you don't work, or work for yourself, or could always work remotely ... but my diary is already filling up for January. I am strongly considering asking if they will at least do an egg collection, even if my immunes aren't perfect, and if we have enough blasts go to PGS. Why do we miscarry so frequently? Surely genetic screening might help us figure out whether it's seed or soil?

    I've been looking at the literature around the reasons WHY PGS doesn't seem to improve success rates for those under 38. Part of the explanation appears to be the skill of the embryologist(s) - even when NGS is used, it seems that this doesn't always add value if not done well. But what about people like me, with recurrent miscarriages? Surely we're pretty good at the implantation thing i.e. we have more evidence than many that our soil seems broadly okay, so more likely to be seed ...

    Anyway, today is a gorgeous day weather-wise and I've had a wonderful time with the children so far. They all sang with their choir this morning at the cathedral and I was so, so proud. We're going to make a big leaf print painting for the wall this afternoon, complete some activities for Brownie badges (cooking!) and then watch either Bake-Off or the start of the TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth one) since both girls have now read the book and love it. I wonder whether they too will end up with a crush on Mr Darcy :)

    I'm really lucky. A really big part of me would just like to be 100% DONE with the children I've got (because I AM 100% happy with the children I've got)!


    Offline Liz3511

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    7dp 5dt, still BFN. Official test day is not til the 26th but I'm not staying on uterogestan until then ... !

    Have come to terms with result completely now, and relieved not to have a late-appearing BFP (these overwhelming lead to miscarriages, I have noticed!).

    Offline Liz3511

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    Period has arrived (quite a relief to get a new cycle started) and unsurprisingly the BFN did not change ...

    It's the uncertainty that gets me every time. Once I know the answer for sure, I can process and move to the next steps quite easily (of course, I know that the BFN feels particularly easy compared to my most feared outcome, mc).

    So, I think I have the next, next steps sorted out.

    1. Do second humira injection on Monday. Schedule follow-up for around 19th November.

    2. See an independent consultant in London on 15th November to discuss my concerns around immune treatments more fully with an expert and make an informed, final call on whether I'm actually handing myself over to ARGC or not. I figure that even if I don't cycle with ARGC, humira may well have helped something (or at least hopefully not hurt it?!) and effects are likely to last for a few months anyhow.

    3. Seriously look at the possibility of PGS. Discuss this with ARGC and with independent consultant.

    4. Place Serum very much on the back burner. I have until June next year to do my paid-for cycle with them if I want to. I know that people here rave about them. They are truly lovely people. Do I feel that I have had special, tailored treatment that I would not have received elsewhere - absolutely not. Unfortunately, I feel that things could have been done differently and better.

    5. Let my body have a rest and try to enjoy dtd for its own sake, get caught up on work (which is getting so busy!) and enjoy the children.

    6. Keep the diary updated in the meantime, of course...




    Offline Liz3511

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    Second humira jab done. This immune suppression lark is no fun: I have an infection brewing in both eyes (I wear contacts so more prone to them than most) and have had consistent sinus pain for the last 10 days. I think that mild infections that my body had been fighting off successfully have now been given traction.

    I'm also needing to sleep about 9 hours per night to feel even partly human (although when I lie down the sinus pressure is awful so that's not helping quality of sleep) which is pretty inconvenient. I really don't want to do another round of this horrid drug.

    Offline Liz3511

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    I've managed to terrify myself over the last 24 hours that PGS is linked to fetal problems. Is that the result of reading academic papers, you may ask? No, nothing so sensible, just a rash of posts on here and on social media where PGS embryos (note: I'm not saying that PGS itself, but embryos that have been PGS tested) have resulted in fetal abnormalities or stillbirth.

    I know that the consequences of removing some cells from the developing blast can't be known for some years, by which time it will be too late for me. I also know that PGD has been ongoing since 1990, and that techniques are moving on all the time so getting proper epidemiological data is hard because the number of cells removed, and the embryonic stage, has radically changed now that NGS is becoming the norm.

    Ugh.

    Also wondering whether we bother trying to make a 'bed baby' this month - if I ovulate! Of course, logically I know that our chances are better than 0 if we try. I just can't stand the tiny, little bit of hope!

    L x

    Offline Liz3511

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    Apologies for another less than positive post but I want to say this to my future self: if you are tempted to take humira again, don't! Remember the pain you are in now!

    The sinus pain I had at one side has now turned into a full-blown bacterial infection, and the pressure from the swelling is affecting the nerves along the left side of my face (cheek, ear, sensation in teeth on top and bottom row to the left, also eye) causing sudden bouts of intense pain, day and night.

    Can't sleep and off work. This is completely miserable - I just hope that it resolves soon, but with my immune response seriously knocked down, I have no way of knowing when I might get relief. Max doses of paracetamol and ibuprofen are achieving nothing... have to hope that the broad spectrum antibiotics do the job.

    Ugh! So much for 'can't hurt, might help' ...

    Offline Liz3511

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    I don't want to speak too soon but the most severe sinus pain appears to have eased off now .. I still can't eat with the left hand side of my mouth as the teeth are hypersensitised by the sinus pressure. I added 20mg prednisolone to my drug regimen yesterday, alongside the antibiotics I've been taking since Friday, and this may be doing the trick. I'm back at work for this afternoon only - legs are very wobbly and I'm clearly not completely 100% - but it feels good to be able to focus without having to stop and breathe through the nerve pain every 10 minutes or so.