* Author Topic: Carpe ovum (seize the egg) - sibling journey (ICSI cycle 2 w/ PGS = baby boy!)  (Read 16531 times)

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Offline Liz3511

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Two cetrotide injections done, and one reduced stimms injection done.

I feel like the injections are messing with my ability to THINK. Does that make any sense at all? Took me so, so long to write the lecture - I'm normally quite efficient by now! - although delivering it went without a hitch this morning. Still feeling overwhelmed by work and deadline after deadline - am meeting them, but only just and had to shift a few less important ones around.

I have booked Friday off work and also Monday (? egg collection day) as a concession to how rubbish I am likely to feel by then. I don't have much of an appetite at the moment, which is similar to my previous cycle, but not yet feeling as sick as I did towards the end. Hoping that controlling my oestrogen levels will mean that I can keep going. I know that people say that you should take it very easy in the second week of stimms but that is logistically impossible for me.

Train back to London tomorrow for another scan. Hoping that the 3rd scan this week will be on Friday ... I'm considering whether they would advise a scan on Thursday as well but really hope that's not going to happen as getting heartily sick of staring out of an LNER window / at my laptop on a noisy, hot train for 6 hours per day.

P and I have discussed whether I should just stay over in London for a few nights. However, there is no-one around to pick the children up / take them places and it would be a nightmare for me to arrange, as well as exploiting the goodwill of my friends hugely. In an ideal world, I would go down on Friday and stay until after egg collection, but Sunday is my wedding anniversary and I really, really want to be home for that ...

Let's see what tomorrow's scan brings. 6.44am train - joy!

L

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    Offline Liz3511

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    Sorry for the long radio silence! Things moved relatively rapidly, so here's a potted update:

    5th Dec: scan showed progress, although most follicles still immature. However, estrogen risen to 10,000 so notified that they would do egg collection on the Saturday (8th) rather than the 10th as planned.

    6th Dec: triggered at 10pm.

    7th Dec: travelled to London with P. Absolute logistical nightmare getting children cared for, culminating in us taking our oldest (she has type 1 diabetes) with us to London at the last minute and the younger two staying at home. Sleepless night with 3 of us in a tiny double bed!!

    8th Dec: egg collection at 10am. They got 24 eggs but I knew that not all would be mature given the early trigger. P's sample was really good, so they went with IVF rather than ICSI.

    9th Dec: fertilisation update - 12 look like they may have been fertilised, but they can't be sure (!!!) - I've never heard of anyone being told this before. 5 are absolutely definitely fertilised though. Embryologist thinks that between 8 and 12 will be our eventual number of confirmed fertilised, and we'll get an update on Tuesday regarding progress to day 3.

    Feeling a bit deflated to be honest. Clinic definitely won't do a fresh transfer and I am taking more cetrotide to reduce OHSS odds - I feel fine though. Really wishing we'd got to Monday for egg collection and so frustrated that my body apparently pumps out tons of estrogen on even low stimms ... so I get all the discomfort of huge ovaries without a ton of mature eggs to show for it.

    Deflated feeling likely due to hormone crash after collection but I have this horrible, creeping gut feeling that we're not going to get anything to day 5 :(

    Have been looking at my diary to try to think when I could schedule another cycle - because actually, that's the only way I know how to cope.

    Part of me is considering natural/mild IVF because, frankly, it's closest to the way that we've made the previous 3 children, and would maybe avoid the issues around stimms. If anyone has an opinion on this, please do PM me!

    Am now going to try to forget about this for the rest of the day. I may be being overly pessimistic, I just can't tell...

    Offline Liz3511

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    No embryo updates (should hear more about what's happening by phone tomorrow) but I am a bit less despondent. I think it was the huge hormone crash after egg collection. Not sure when I should expect my period but I'm thinking around Christmas eve ...

    I think I'm scared because a) it's impossible not to be scared, b) what the hell does 'not sure if they fertilised' mean?!, c) we saw such rapid drop off with my previous ICSI and I was hoping for fewer, better eggs this time ... and we didn't get it, d) we need decent numbers for PGD as 50-60% embryos are aneuploid at my age, and e) we apparently made 3 bed babies; what the f*ck is wrong with us?

    Core fear: We don't deserve another child, and it's not going to happen. Compared to people without any children, or just with one, we DON'T deserve another child and I know this. Why, why does my selfish heart want this so much then?

    Offline Liz3511

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    Okay, the day 3 update is that 5 embryos are looking exactly where they should be and have the greatest potential to reach blast. Something between 3 and 5 others may catch up and the rest don't look that promising.

    I was feeling quite buoyed by this but then the embryologist said that this is the sort of result they'd consider good IF only 10 eggs had been retrieved. For the number retrieved, it's poor. However, he said it's not down to a failure of egg quality - the eggs are good quality - but because I was triggered early.

    Incredibly peed off that we seem to be doing slightly worse than Serum did, for an absolute shedload more money :(

    Embryologist 'hopes' that we will have 2 or 3 blasts to do PGS on.

    I am really sad that, with 50 eggs in total collected over 2 cycles, AMH of 22 and proven fertility, we just seem to do suboptimally at stimms. Am steeling myself for no blasts / all abnormal / normal but my stupid body miscarries them. Because after all, miscarriage is meant to be our actual problem - getting pregnant isn't!! Yes, I'm 35 but surely that can't explain why I overrespond like this. Wish I could talk to one of the doctors but they will just tell me to wait and see what happens with these blasts.

    What if the ARGC's tailored approach to stimms would have been the answer for me? If only it didn't come along with all the immune crap. Sh*t.

    Offline Liz3511

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    A quick fly-by update - two day 5 blasts (decent quality) have been biopsied and frozen. The embryologist thought there might be a couple more suitable for biopsy tomorrow i.e. day 6, as they were already early blastocysts this morning at 8am-ish and just needed to get to the next stage - I think it's stage 3 or above - to be suitable for biopsy.

    Technically the eggs were retrieved around 11am so I'm consoling myself with the thought that perhaps they got to stage 3 before day 5 ended ;)

    Just have to hope that there's a euploid embryo amongst them - fingers crossed one of the ones frozen today is! xxx

    Offline Liz3511

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    Further update - another day 5 blast was biopsied yesterday after the phonecall, making it 3 frozen day 3 blasts: 4aa, 4ab, 4ab. They also biopsied and froze 3 days 6 blasts, 2 of which were good quality (4ba, 4bb) and one of which is less good (4cc) but still worth freezing and testing. We also have pictures of them ... !

    So 6 in total biopsied and frozen (although I'm really thinking in terms of 5 with a possible extra bonus one) ... definitely more than I could have hoped for. Feeling very relieved and grateful to have these potential chances at life. I won't get the results for ages due to Xmas (they're due on the 16th of January!) so now is the time to relax, be well, hope my period shows up at some point soon and very much enjoy the children I have. As regards the results, what will be, will be, and the lab does give mosaic % scores as well so even if none are normal, we could talk about trying one the mosaic ones. Statistically, 40-50% of embryos should be normal (according to my age) but you just never know.

    P asked me what we would do if we had normal embryos left over after a successful pregnancy (can you tell who is the optimist in our house), assuming we use single embryo transfer (which is the definite plan)? My answer would be that we'd give it a couple of years and then go for a FET. We have created these embryos and I want to give any euploid (or minimally mosaic) embryo a chance at life - we owe it to them. I know that others would make a different decision and I don't judge them at all.

    I suspect that we're not going to have to make that decision though - I just hope that one of those little bundles of cells, sitting in a freezer somewhere in London, is destined to be the child we've longed for. A lovely, lovely life is waiting for them, with fabulous siblings, adoring parents and all the cuddles in the world.

    Offline Liz3511

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    Well, my body is finally feeling *almost* normal again after the stimms round. Breasts still really sore but hopefully when my period arrives (Thursday/Friday?) they will settle down again.

    Yesterday and today, I have had my head back in the work game. It feels amazing. I'm revising a paper for resubmission and there was so much pleasure in immersing myself in writing and thinking, without fertility popping up to spoil my train of thought. I can still think! There's no point in imagining what I could have achieved this summer if I had been fully focused on work - I am where I am. No need to think about transfers / the future until January.

    Clinic rang yesterday for a 'cycle wrap up' chat. Consultant automatically went into a description of a medicated FET and I asked him to stop because i) we can discuss this at my appointment in January and ii) I would be extremely keen to do a natural cycle. There's definitely some evidence that you get endometrial changes in a medicated FET that you don't get in a normal cycle, because the levels of exogenous estrogen are too high. I would be keen to do progesterone support in the second half of my luteal phase, and would countenance using an HCG trigger for timing purposes, but even the HCG apparently may unfavourably alter the window of implantation. If anyone reading has any views / experiences of medicated vs natural cycle FET then I would really appreciate hearing from them!

    Of course, this all depends on having something euploid to transfer in the first place! Fingers crossed.

    If money and time were no objects, I would want to leave it a couple of cycles for my hormones to settle down and do an endometrial receptiveness assay (might as well do the uterine NK cell testing at the same time if Coventry were willing).  But I have no real reason to think that this would show up a problem, the evidence base for it is weak, and I do want to get going with FET as we would need to try to do another full cycle in April (over the Easter holidays) if any blasts that we transfer from the cycle I just completed fail to implant.

    Right, time to switch off fertility mode again and back into work mode! Office Xmas party this evening and I'm really excited to go. I don't really drink, but the chance to socialise with everyone will be lovely.

    Offline Liz3511

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    Period arrived yesterday - pretty heavy. Seems like a very long time until we can do the FET. It will be right in the middle of the start of my most intensive period of teaching as well - logistical nightmare! Still no idea about medicated vs natural. I'll perhaps see how this natural cycle goes and take it from there. I'm intending to temp and use OPKs as it's quite likely ovulation will be delayed but I don't really know.

    Feeling the Xmas stress. Too much to do and I'm too disorganised to do it all!

    Offline Liz3511

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    I think everything is ready for Christmas now - apart from the small matter of the wrapping (and all the marking I have to do by the start of January... but let's not think about that until Boxing day!). Dinner broadly planned, fridge groaningly full, decorations up and house reasonably (comparatively) tidy. Just got to get a couple of work things out of the way and I will feel loads better :)

    Offline Liz3511

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    Merry Christmas to anyone reading - I see that the 'views' go up and wish I had something more interesting to tell you than my typical ramblings.

    Today was a day that I didn't think at all about IVF etc. until about 5pm. It was marvellous. And then I took a trip down memory lane as I tidied the house.

    I found myself thinking back to Christmas 2007. I'd had 3 miscarriages in the space of a year, and plenty of medical trauma to go with them. I'd had a laparoscopy for endometriosis and a D&C for retained products within months of each other, having never previously had surgery of any sort. I'd just found out that my sister in law - who never wanted children - was accidentally pregnant. We were stuck in army accommodation miles away from anywhere. I was young, not particularly emotionally resilient, and I had this huge fear staring me in the face that I'd never be a mother to a take home baby. In retrospect, I had good reason to be optimistic but at the time, the fear was just all consuming.

    I was lucky in that I got pregnant with my oldest child 2 cycles later BUT I vividly recall feeling like the world was going to end when we attended midnight mass and I ended up sitting next to the mother of a newborn baby, breastfeeding it, accompanied by her adoring husband. And I take those memories and multiply it by the many, many years that so many on this board have been trying, along with the complex circumstances that so many women/ couples face which surely magnifies the fear (and justifiable bitterness) further. And it's humbling because the emotional burden is just huge - I had to carry a smaller one, for a relatively short time, and I felt like it would break me. If you're reading, and in these circumstances, please know I am praying so hard that the burden can be taken from you.

    I hope that Christmas is gentle to you, wherever you are on the journey. xxxxxx L