Hi Sam and thanks for your answer Sorry to hear the IUI's didn't work out but best of luck with this IVF.
Were you at the clinic this morning? I was, for the first scan since starting stimming and it sounds as though you might have been too if you're waiting to see if you can stimm. Hope you can, by the way! I had to wait an extra day for clinic planning reasons and I was chomping at the bit.
You're completely spot on about the lack of information: if I hadn't found this site (unfortunately after my first failed ICSI) I'd have known NOTHING about the process. I'm really quite indignant about it. NO-ONE told me to have a full bladder before ET, I had no water on me and no-one offered me any. I find that the staff are all lovely (with the exception of one doctor ) but it's true that you're utterly left to your own devices and their administration's a mess, too. This morning they presented me with a demand for immediate payment of 3,600 euros despite them having received an order for direct billing to my health insurer. I know the ropes now, but on my first cycle they'd ask ME what I was in for when I hadn't even been told...
would you like to keep in touch? I'd like to have cycle buddy at my clinic?
Yes I was there this morning! just for blood test, not an echo. I am new on the techi word stuff, what is stimming?
I totally agree with the bladder thing - i was the same! they never told me either and during the second IUI the doctor had difficulty and ended up cutting through my cervix! she didnt even apologise... it wasn't too bad I just bled for 4 days. When I asked her questions she told me not to be too 'intelligent' and just relax. I found it very frustrating! Do you communicate with them in French or English? I have started to insist on speaking in English, for my sake as they can be very dismissive in French and take it more slowly when forced to speak English.
I would be happy to be a cycle buddie! Are you based here in Brussels?
Ooh great my very own cycle buddy! Delighted to make your acquaintance Samb. I work in Brussels but live 25km south of there. I get the train into the clinic then metro to work.
Maybe we saw each other this morning? I'm very tall (5'10") and all dressed in pale pink with a pink/cream dogtooth jacket and pink skirt. I arrived just before 8 and left at 9:30.
Sorry to hear about your experiences: it's amazing to me that they don't give more (any) counsel and I've also had the brush-off from them and the sense that my (very basic) queries are an irritation to them. I'm hoping this cycle works, obviously, but if it doesn't I might switch to the UZ.
I usually speak French and although I'm fluent they look at me askance for some reason. My favourite doctor speaks to me in English at his instigation, which is very kind and friendly, especially during egg collection when you're out of it anyway on local anaesthetic.
The Gonal-F injections have the purpose of hyper-stimulating the ovaries to produce more than the usual one egg, and that's what we all mean on this site by "stimming".
I didnt see you but I was there at around 7.40 and just had bloods taken so I didn't have to wait around. I just got the call to start my injections tomorrow and to go back in on 17th so maybe if you are there the same time we can meet?
I meet the anesthetist tomorrow - I am having a general rather than local for egg collection. I was advised to and I don't think I'd be brave enough for a local anaesthetic - fair play to you for going local! As it is my first time I really wasn't sure which to do, lets hope all will be ok.
Re the clinic, I have heard very good things about CHU - as much as for UZ. Two friends have gone to the UZ, one conceived naturally on clomid and the other via her first IUI. I can imagine you wishing to change if it doesnt work out this time - lets hope it will!
Are you due to start taking your injections this week too?
I'm ahead of you in my cycle as I'm already on day 8 of my Gonal-F injections after downregulating with Suprefact from day 21 onwards of my last menstrual cycle. I'm on "long protocol" and it sounds to me as though you may be on "short protocol": did you just jump right in with the stimming injections or have you also been sniffing?
This is my 3rd cycle and they all seem to have been identical: same drugs (Suprefact + 150 of Gonal-F per day for 10 days) and same duration: egg collection on the day I would have ovulated naturally (day 14 after AF). I have to go in again this Saturday morning, have egg collection on Monday, embryo transfer (Lord I'm praying hard that I get embryos!) on Thursday of next week probably.
I wasn't at all uncomfortable during egg collection on local, although they got the dosages wrong both times (not effective enough) and jabbed me in the buttock on the operation table Personally I was delighted to be able to follow the whole procedure, hear what was being said and done and ask questions. Although they WERE embarrassing questions: I asked the doc (in front of everyone) how soon DH and I could have again. And then obviously forgot because I asked a second time Also, as I was lying there in the alltogether with my feet in the stirrups, the operation room lights beaming on my naked nether regions and lab technicians wandering in and out, I told my DH "mmm this is really comfortable"
Have you done your injection yet? If not I can assure you it's nothing to worry about.
If you have any questions for an old-timer, don't hesitate to ask.
Good luck with everything (crossed fingers for me too next week please!)
oh good luck! I started with suprefact on day 3 and still on it but went in for a blood test and echo last Friday and they said that i had too much progesterone? i think. So I start the injections (150 gonal-f) tomorrow. I am a bit nervous about taking it - not afraid of the needle, more afraid i'll do it incorrectly! it appears to be the long protocol i think. I wasn't given any other option.
Your EC sounds hilarious! I guess they also are completely used to that too!
Can I ask the difference between IVF and ICSI? Your procedure sounds the same as mine?
I really wish you all the super luck with this cycle!
I THINK that if you only down-regulate from day 3 of your menstrual cycle then it's short protocol. Long protocol's when you start down-regulating (Suprefact) 1 week BEFORE you get your AF and then get scanned on day 3 to see if it's worked and you're menopausal and therefore ready to start stimuating. Anyway...
Difference between IVF and ICSI? Absolutely none for the woman. For IVF, in-vitro fertilisation, the lab takes your partner's sperm cycle and works on it by separating the sperm from the seminal fluid (I think) and doing various other things such as untangling the crowds of sperm so that the sperm are concentrated and in an optimal condition to do their job and then they're poured into the test-tube (or whatever the recipient is) on top of the egg and left to get jiggy. I.e. the sperm are politely introduced to the egg in ideal conditions but they still have to do their job of penetrating the egg to fertilise it.
ICSI is an extra procedure used for severe male infertility. If the sperm wouldn't be able to fertilise the egg (the case of my DH ) then the lab technicians inject a sperm into each egg and hope that fertilisation happens. I understand that the injecting of the egg can cause damage to the egg (can even blow them up!) so it's a very delicate procedure.
This is why I'm always as nervous as h*ll after egg collection, wondering whether the technicians will achieve this difficult task.
OOh, the stories I could tell about my EC! They must see all sorts, although all the ladies I've seen being wheeled in and out in front of me have been fast asleep... When they were trying to jab me in the bottom with the booster dose of local anaesthetic I thought they wanted me to get up (instead of just roll over) and promptly tried to, kicking over a bin and had to be dragged back on the table. And I apparently kept shouting "what? what? what did he say?" to my husband each time the consultant said something in his careful but rather basic English and the poor man eventually said "I'm glad your husband is here to translate my English into English" ahh poor man
Hilarious! I am so glad I'll be asleep for all that! I can only IMAGINE what I'd do or say... I say the wrong thing in delicate situations at the best of times! agh! At least you have something to joke about afterwards
thanks a million for the explanation on the differences between IVF and ICSI. I have avoided looking up stuff on the internet up until now. When I started trying some time ago I went a bit mad about all the things i should and shouldn't be doing. And then of course being devastated with the BFN. That said, I'm finding this website v good.
You are right about the protocol procedure. I went for the echo and blood test on day 3, not start the spray. I started my nasal spray before that. I actually got my AF 5 days early I think due to the nasal spray.
Actually I'll let you into a little secret which explains why I didn't want general anaesthetic: I snore I wouldn't be able to cope with knowing I'd be doing that in "public" Are you aware that on general anaesthetic your partner can't accompany you into the operating theatre? As I said before, I'm glad I had a vague idea what went on and that mine could fill in all the gaps as it's interesting to know what's what.
Know what you mean about surfing the internet: my hair's stood on end many a time at the frightening statistics
I expect you're doing what I'm doing: drinking lots of water, taking a good multivitamin, including protein in your diet, cutting down on/out alcohol, trying to get enough sleep and not overdo things physically? I don't believe there's much else to be done.
I'll let you know how EC goes and what I said this time around
Yes I know DH cant join me but that's ok. I think you were right to do the local and therefore be aware of everything. I was just worried I would stress too much and then become too uncomfortable.
yes to all the above re taking care of yourself. I also stopped coffee except for the occasional one. although my doctor didnt feel there is any real case against it. That's all we can do really. And of course be really really positive. (which can be the hardest thing to do)...
Best of luck on Sat and Mon if I am not talking to you. I'll be sending lots of baby dust your way!
Aww thanks Sam for your kind wishes. Just back home from the clinic: sore tum but absolutely fine otherwise.
I thought I'd tell you all about the procedure since you'll be zonked and I do think it's fun to know what our procedure involves.
I had my blood pressure taken in the hospital room and jabbed in the buttock with a sedative which they use not only to calm you down mentally but also to ensure that your muscles "down below" aren't contracted for the procedure. Once in the operating theatre my DH and I were introduced to the two lab technicians or embryologists and the doctor, whom I've never met before. He wasn't particularly friendly but did his job swiftly... and hopefully effectively. They insert a metal speculum to keep you opened up and then inject the local anaesthetic in a couple of places in the vagina, testing out its effectiveness by giving you a good poke with a needle and asking if you feel it I replied that I could feel him poking me that it didn't hurt, so we were good to go. They use the same probe you'll have seen for the scans but also a huge (DH is always appalled ) needle to puncture the vagina wall to get to the ovaries.
To extract the eggs they puncture the follicle,fill it with a red-coloured fluid and aspirate the contents including the egg, which the technician immediately studies under the microscope in the same room. We got bad news for the first follicle: the egg wasn't mature enough to be useable. Which was the case for another. The good news was that they decided to collect the eggs from both ovaries and worry about the maturity or otherwise afterwards, so I ended up with 10 eggs which I'm very pleased about. Did I tell you that at my last scan they thought one ovary had been over-stimulated and that they'd have to abandon the over-mature eggs from that side.
They let my DH look at one of the eggs under the microscope, which we thought was a thoughtful gesture. Was wheeled back up to my room and left to rest for an hour, given a tray with tea and bread and jam and then dispatched once they'd re-checked my blood pressure. As always, they looked a bit concerned that my heart-rate's in the 40s but that's normal because I used to do loads of sport.
I shared a room with a Bulgarian couple who spoke neither English nor French but who had a French-speaking Bulgarian friend with them to do all the translating. I'd seen them in all my previous visits and thought they were a couple plus egg donor but clearly not. The translator and I got chatting, she told me she's a psychic and that she can see me with a baby girl and her friend with a baby boy. If only that were true
How are you getting along with your injections? Good luck with your first follicle scan which must be soon, mustn't it?
thanks so much for sharing that information. It was very thoughtful of you. I hope you are feeling better and hope that you are not in work?!
its great news that they got 10 eggs - and it is good to know that they collect all the eggs (whether over stimulated or not) giving you the best possible chance. I guess you have to try and relax now and wait for the ET.
On my side, I started the injections, was momentarily terrified to self-administer, but then got over it a second later when I realised why i was doing it You were right they are not difficult to do at all - certainly after you get used to it.
Am running out of nasal spray - and not due the echo until Thursday. I am not working this week which is super coz I feel shattered all the time, I'm presuming it is a side effect of the drugs. That, and very emotional. Currently reading The Kite Runner and finding it difficult to read through my tears. (There is a certain relevant part in the book..).
Hope you are relaxing and enjoying the sunshine...
Don't hesitate to put any queries you may have to me: as you rightly observed, the staff at St Pierre don't have much time to devote to that side of things and I've found this site an absolute Godsend. I get through almost two full bottles of Suprefact per cycle and it's a drug regular chemists usually have to order in (same day delivery in most cases provided they have your prescription in the morning) so don't take any risks: if necessary go down to the clinic before Thursday for a repeat prescription.
It's normal to feel tired as your follicles are hard at work (and perhaps it's a side-effect of the drugs too). I don't do anything active when I'm injecting as it's about all I can do to put in a day's work and some essential housework. Take it easy and try and get as much rest as possible. Don't know about you, but at least my mood lifts once I start injecting: the nasal spray practically rendered me depressive
Oh, and - sorry if TMI - I get constipated on the Gonal-F and take a mild laxative. I didn't last cycle and ended up displaying an attractive cluster of hemmorroids to all and sundry on the operating table for my egg collection You've been warned
Nah, I'm not in gainful employment this week but I've just come in from pruning and tidying in the garden which is far more satisfactory work. My DH is being a real sweetpea and just hoovered the upstairs floor and changed the bedsheets: bliss I reckon this will last until my pregnancy test and then it's back to pulling my weight again
Hi Samb That already gives you an idea of how many eggs they could collect.
I'm just home from embryo transfer followed by shopping, collecting DH's kids from their sports stage and then more shopping. So much for taking it easy
Anyway, I didn't have fantastic news today: not one of my embryos could be considered excellent or even very good: they put back 3 because the overall quality was pretty poor and they're unlikely to take. I have 1 "average" and 2 "not very goods". Don't know if you know, but embryo quality already gives an indication of an embryo's likelihood to implant. At my last cycle I had one "excellent" and one "good" and I got pregnant with one foetus. So, it's not great news but you never know, right?
Hope you're well? I expect you're feeling your ovaries now, aren't you?
I am so sorry to hear about your eggs
I knew they were all about quality but didnt realise it was that touch and go. You never know one of those guys might just decide to surprise you! it happens (apparently) all the time. here's praying that one will. And you only need one...
my ovaries are definitely letting me know they're there, I have eight follicles but obviously no idea of quality yet... I have to go back to St Pierre on Sunday and will have EC on Tuesday they reckon. Size wise they were only 15, 14, 13, 11, 11 and 9 i think so they need to grow hopefully a little more before EC.
I heard a story yesterday about a woman who conceived after her 10th IVF! The first time she was taking it easy etc, doing everything 'right' etc and by the 10th time she drove herself home on her scooter, (she lives in Italy) obviously not expecting much... she gave birth 9 months later to a bouncing baby boy!
We just never know...