* Author Topic: Carpe ovum (seize the egg) - sibling journey (ICSI cycle 2 w/ PGS = baby boy!)  (Read 16540 times)

0 Members

Offline Liz3511

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
Still feeling better today (fingers crossed)

I got a positive(ish) OPK yesterday and this morning, so recruited P for some early morning action. It seems to have been a really weak surge, although part of the problem is that I've been hydrating well to try and banish the sinus lurgy - urine much less concentrated than usual. Clearblue dual hormone indicator went from low on CD8 to high on CD10 then gave me a peak yesterday (CD13?). I do wonder whether I'll actually ovulate though, since I've read that ibuprofen can cause lutenised unruptured follices and .. well, knowing my luck I'll have one of those. Waiting semi-patiently for the ovulation cramps that signal the egg's release... I think the egg will come from the right hand side this month, the first time since my fresh cycle in June (we got a lot of eggs from the right ovary so I think the left took over for a while to give it a rest!).

FertilityFriends

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Offline Liz3511

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    As far as I can tell, I ovulated. At least, it hurt very much like ovulation usually does, for much of last night ... and from the right hand side, which statistically results in a greater number of pregnancies (something to do with increased blood flow to that ovary). However, I'll settle for ovulation as a win and not get hopes up.

    Another good thing is that I've scheduled my repeat immunes for the same day as I am in London seeing the independent consultant - so don't have to shell out for two trips to London. Now just have to hope that the trains are running on time to enable me to get my blood drawn before my midday appointment (I'm due to get into London at 10.40am ... and the clinics seem to be 'round the corner from one-another). Allows me approx an hour to get blood drawn at TDL and get to next appointment - should be doable. IF trains on time.

    Sort of wishing I'd booked an earlier train!

    I know that P's sperm results were super-good last time they were measured at ARGC. Just hoping that the little blighters have kept up the good work in the meantime. He has always had a varicocele but this obviously predates our natural conceptions so I'm assuming that its effects are not getting more pronounced with time. And, comfortingly (but slightly oddly!) he has pointed out that he sees a good number of testicles as part of his job and many other men with kids seem to have varicoceles too ... I try not to think about this aspect of general practice to be honest (or the prostate exams!!)

    Offline Liz3511

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    Hmmm, credit card bill was painful this month. It included the humira (approx 850) as well as the flights to and from Athens etc.

    Part of me is considering not repeating the immune tests at all (and saving 400) but as DH says, that would mean closing the door on ARGC for good.

    The thing is, if I'm not fully 'bought into' the immunological approach of the clinic, am I opening myself up for a world of trouble by using a clinic that clearly believes so strongly in its efficacy? If the TNF-a results turn out to be still high, what then - I bet they wouldn't let me use my intralipid prescription from Serum, I am not willing to repeat humira and we straight cannot afford IVIG. So I don't know what we would do with the knowledge gained from having the blood test. I still very much believe in the skill of their embryologists though.

    I had a chat with Vladimir (one of the ARGC embryologists) last week and forgot to write about it. We discussed the practicalities and limitations of PGS and its suitability for my case. He said he understood why we would pursue this option in our circumstances, and we were in a good position to get some genetically normal embryos if we proceeded. I was feeling pretty sure of my options, but then I started looking at some of the literature about PGS and made myself confused again. For example, looking at the issue of miscarriage and screening further ...

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27692437 <-- indicated that 'euploid' embryos resulting in miscarriage often show genetic problems upon further analysis of biopsy tissue (and, interestingly, some 'euploid' embryos that DIDN'T miscarry also show apparent genetic issues when biopsy tissue is further analysed)



    Offline Liz3511

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    So, it's been a while since I updated. Part of that is having whole days away from thinking about fertility things (as much as possible) which has been lovely.

    Part of it is that we've officially changed clinic and are going with the private consultant's clinic we saw on the 15th. He has recently started a clinic called the Evewell (https://www.evewell.com - not advertising, but I doubt anyone has heard of it!). The consultant (Colin Davis) was recommended by Bananafish81 on here, and she kindly emailed with me about the experience of being treated by him. I'm actually seeing one of his colleagues but Colin supervises all cycles.

    I had my repeat immune bloods with ARGC but haven't got my results back. They have arrived at the clinic but no-one will tell me what they are ... which has sort of cemented my decision to move. I actually don't know when I would have got round to a cycle with ARGC but I doubt it would have been this side of Xmas. Maybe I'm too impatient and should have waited, I don't know. I just know I was getting more and more anxious about being pressured to do IVIG, which we simply could not afford. At the moment, the cost of one IVIG drip isn't far off the cost of carrying out PGS on a batch of blastocysts, because there's a shortage. Once you go down the immune rabbit hole I think it's very hard to turn around and get out. So I want to get out now - and if I'm wrong, and it would have been 'the answer' then so be it. The science just isn't there (from my perspective) and felt that I was compromising my core values by participating in it.

    So ... I'm now waiting for my period to start, in order to begin a short protocol cycle with the Evewell. We're only going to use 112.5U stimms to start with, to see how my body responds. I'm anxious we might not get many eggs but to be honest, 26 eggs on just 150 units was too many and it's not like any of them were any good!! I won't need to be in London for as much time as I would for ARGC, so I can travel down for scans/bloods every other day before staying for a few days near egg collection.

    The aim then is to do PGS on any day 5 blasts that make it. If we have too few, or we don't even have many on day 3, then we will move to transfer that cycle. If we have PGS, the blasts will be biopsied then frozen and I will be able to enjoy a drink (or 3) over Christmas before looking at transferring on a natural cycle some time in the New Year. They are keen to only do SET and if I'm doing it unmedicated then I think that would be okay from my perspective ... cheaper anyhow.

    And then there's the costs. It's not cheap. But equally, it's not ARGC-style expensive and they are incredibly flexible around my schedule / very responsive to contact and questions. The consultant thinks that my difficulties with pregnancies (both successful and not) may stem from undiagnosed anti-phospholipid syndrome - I'm still not 100% convinced by this - so wants me on aspirin and heparin throughout. I have no issues giving this a shot as 5 miscarriages, 1 x pre-eclampsia, 1 x premature birth and 1 x intra-uterine growth restriction is not an obstetric history that anyone wants to write home about!

    I think that's the bare bones of the update. I have been scanned at the Evewell (15 antral follies on the right, 8 on the left ... WTF right ovary?!) and had blood flow to endometrium, uterus and both ovaries checked, including arterial resistance. I have had the nurse appointment and all the delightful compulsory STI testing (I just gave in and did it all privately with them ... dealing with my GP surgery isn't worth it). P is travelling there on Tuesday to do his blood tests, sign paperwork and have another semen analysis. Please, please let his swimmers still be doing okay!!

    I just hope, hope, hope we get some euploid (or minimally mosaic) blasts. I'm aware this may not be the magic bullet but at least the PGS analysis will give us some data about what actually happens when my gametes and P's make embryos ... and from a scientist's perspective that's incredibly exciting.

    L xx

    Offline Liz3511

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    Now irrationally concerned that my period won't start. Last Provera tablet was yesterday so hoping for period 'round about Tuesday ... I have a train ticket to London for a day 2 scan booked for Thursday, so I bloody hope that it hasn't gone AWOL.

    As many have pointed out before me, there is an irony in longing for your period whilst longing for a baby.

    I'm also trying to calibrate my expectations of the cycle. Although I know that PGS is best for us, part of me is gutted at the thought of not even having a chance of pregnancy this cycle. And the thought of waiting for NGS results of Xmas is not exactly a pleasant one either.

    If I base it on my previous cycle, I suspect I would have ended up with about 5 blasts (the 3 day 3 embryos they put in, and the two day 6 blasts they ended up freezing and which didn't take). Surely one of them was genetically normal? Statistically, about half of my embryos are meant to be normal ... but than, having had 3 miscarriages at the age of 24, I never seem to be on the typical side of the statistics.

    Right. Time to go to bed, take melatonin, vit D, ubiquinol, fish oil, inositol (last ditch attempts at improving egg quality, never mind the family sized bags of crisps I was eating 3 months ago when all the important egg-building stuff apparently happens) and try to bring on a period by force of will alone! xx

    Offline Liz3511

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    Period has started and meds have arrived!!  :)

    Offline Liz3511

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    First stimms injection this morning - it's a lot more of a faff mixing the Pergoveris with the saline than using the Puregon pen last time. Much harder not to spill anything! However, done successfully this morning as far as I can tell.

    They've given me 12 days of stimms. I wonder whether it will take that long. Really no idea what to expect from this cycle. I am going for my 'day 2' scan tomorrow on day 3 - presumably if anything is radically wrong they would just stop the stimms at that point. Going all the way to London for a scan but at least I know they'll be accurate, unlike (some of) my babybond scanning experiences ...

    So 7am train to London for me. I have so, so much work to get done. Hope I sleep well and then can work all the way there and back ... I have a first class upgrade special offer so may well bit the bullet and pay a little extra to sit somewhere nice and get tea / coffee / breakfast.

    Will update once I've got the scan results. P travelled down yesterday to do his semen analysis and blood tests. He had a 2 hour wait to get bloods drawn! I don't think he was that impressed although he did say the staff were lovely. Ah well, at least all he needs to do now is show up and produce some swimmers on egg collection day - I'll be the one waiting around in the clinic instead.

    Offline Liz3511

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    CD3 scan done - lots of follicles, broadly the right size for this point in the cycle. 16 on right ovary and 18 on left although one or two of them really small (3-4mm) so unlikely to come to anything. A good result at this early stage I think. Now on the train back from London, trying to do online marking of essays, but the wifi is distinctly iffy so it's extremely frustrating. Next scan will be Monday next week - I will definitely start cetrotide then, but may be asked to start it sooner. Yikes. I wonder if we will get to 12 days of stimms or not?

    Offline Liz3511

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    Off for my CD7 (stimms day 6) scan tomorrow. So grateful that I have, largely, been able to get work done around the appointments - although I did work for several hours today and yesterday to try to catch up. Peer reviewed 2 articles today and wrote some of a 2 hour lecture to be delivered on Tuesday ... will try to finish the lecture off on the train tomorrow, although as usual planning that if I have to sleep for some of the trip to London, I will.

    Feeling pretty bloated and IBS playing up. Don't know if this is related to stimms or entirely unrelated! Am expecting to be asked to start cetrotide tomorrow though... I'm hoping that's not what made me feel so, so rubbish when I was in Athens because I am really going to struggle to work if that's the case.

    I got my ARGC immunes back on Friday. Apparently on the 15th November, my cytokines had gone up to 47 (ARGC say that it's a flare up and only 5% women experience it ... well, a cursory search around these boards would suggest that it's far more than 5% but the complete absence of published evidence means I can't exactly check). I told the Dr that I can't do humira again as it made me so unwell, and he said that in that case it would be intralipids, which would have to be delivered by them (300 per go!!!). At that point I said that I would have to discuss any further steps with my ENT specialist and my husband, and politely ended the call.

    My current thinking is that I am tempted to file the immunes stuff under b*llocks. I am going to chat it through with my Dr from the Evewell tomorrow at the scan, and hopefully get some more reassurance. I'm not going to have an embryo transfer for a good long time anyhow, so even if the immune stuff has a negative impact then it's highly likely to have settled down by the time we come to transfer. I still have some Serum prescriptions for intralipid so if we were feeling uber-cautious, P could hook me up to an intralipid drip a couple of times before and after transfer.

    I felt a bit emotional about the less than brilliant cytokine level on Friday but I've honestly not thought about the immunes at all over the weekend (work, Christmas decs and children help with that a lot).

    Oh, and DH got his semen analysis back. 114mill/ml concentration, 78% motile (all types) and 4% morph (strict Kruger). He's very pleased and so am I ...

    I'll update once I know what tomorrow's scan shows! Praying for steadily growing follicles, but not too many of them.

    Offline Liz3511

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    Scan update: follicles looking good, although not especially even (I think this might be normal though?). There's one big-ass follicle on the left that we're probably going to lose before collection, but something in the region of 10 other decent sized (approx 11-15mm) follicles on each ovary as well. Only issue is, my estrogen is on the high side. They've reduced the stimms to 100 units and are talking about a buserelin trigger. I don't want to point out that my estrogen was probably tons higher in my last cycle (I'm not quite sure how I escaped OHSS to be honest) but maybe that's making me unwisely complacent. I really, really hate having to throw away some of the stimms dose every day though. Incredibly annoying waste - why can't I use a pergoveris pen? I would imagine the dosing is far more accurate too.

    Lining is 11mm, although it doesn't really matter because a) hoping for a PGD cycle and b) the clinic seem so cautious that I doubt they'd let me transfer with high estrogen anyhow.

    However, optimism ... hopefully estrogen will settle down and we will be back on track, bloods-wise. I started cetrotide today too.

    xx