Heading for the rickety bridge

Don’t fear, I am over the jet lag and crazy “world free of IVF” posts and am back to normal, alas my dry-old-jealous of-fertile-people self.

Apologies for the long delay between posts – I know the 5 of you who follow me must be beside yourself looking for an update- but the Hoboken Hilton (i.e. Mr and Mrs IVF base camp) has been rammed with guests from Australia. Damn that useless weak American dollar.

Actually seeing fam and friends is good we just need a break between them.. .our mate Nate, then dad, then my aunt and a mate of hers, a week or so “free” with Mission Denver and then mum meets up with us for Christmas. So today is the first gap in a while with my aunt, (or to pronounce that in American: “ant”) ,out of town for the weekend, Mr IVF is back (briefly).

The lovely Mrs IVF, the ever positive Mango Princess of my life, is storming through our baby quest challenge with her consistent resolve to land this kid thing once and for all, and what a few weeks its been. She has been avoiding chocolate as we did a food tours Greenwich Village with guests (cruel, very cruel on her), she avoided aussie chocolate and wine (and aussie chocolate is awesome) that our guests bring (time and time again) she has been shooting Lupron up in toilets as we have been out for dinner, (always at 9.30 – must keep to the clock!), sneaking into our bedroom to do likewise while I chortle with the guests over a bit of Karmel Sutra Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the lounge….It has been tricky. But she remains laser focused and generally unfazed. Amazing. I would be a loon by now.

She is also on such a busy timeline of drugs, patches and “thing you put in your bits” (and I am not talking ice cream here people) that air traffic control at JFK would be easier to keep an eye on that this.  Checking over her mind boggling calendar, she has had to do 105 things to herself since oct 22nd – 43 days. So at least 2 things a day. She has been on birth control pills, Vivelle (which soulds like a type of ice cream… what is it with the ice cream theme tonight?), patches for estrogen (ranging from 1 every 2 days to now 4 every 2 days.. and she is running of out space where she hasnt slapped one on), Asprin (why not), Viagra “bullets”, and of course you need a needle of something, so why not our old mate Lupron. Today was a 4 patch switch over day, an AM asprin, an 8am, 1pm, 6pm and the pending 11pm viagra and of course 5ml of lupron to wrap things up. I thought she would be all chilled and bored with this but the viagra suppositories are like a magic trick to her, they are solid when they go in, but she never ceases to be amazed that they just keep dissapearing. Enough, this is starting to freak me out.

Clearly Mr IVF is not playing any Barry Manalow CD’s around the master bedroom these days, in fact I am on a 9 month ban. (yes months and yes, 9.)

I think Mrs IVF’s drug day peaks around Thursday next week so try this for a hobby… Vivelle patch refresh (quantity yet to be determined) in the morning, followed by asprin, will take some blood, endometrin (progesterone) in the AM sometime, Tetracycline at 8am (fck knows what this is – wikipedia says it treats acne, which Mrs IVF doesnt have), Endometrin at noon, tetra again at 1pm, then 6pm then some medrol  (wiki: supression on inflamation?) in the evening and then 1 more tetracycline at bed time. Why not. When does she get time to do any work I ask you, dear reader.

Anyway – we are ramping up again and heading for the bridge of hope. It’s safe here in IVF land. You know your current kid free life sucks, but it is sort of pain free (well as pain free as it ever has been) but you are not going out looking to have your heart ripped out.  As we walk on the rickety old bridge across “heartbreak canyon” next week in our quest to get to parentville, we will be putting ourselves back out there for the risk of emotional catastrophy. It’s safe here, we wont have kids where we sit today (well not more that 5 day old icicles which is a bit useless really, you would like a bit more interaction from your kids than that) so we need to do the bridge. While our friends around us fly over this canyon in no time on their freshly build, 100% sturdy concrete 4 lane freeways, we take the tricky, painful slow walk across the shaky bridge further down the valley from them. They cant see out bridge from their position as they blindly cruse up to parentville like it buying a coffee from starbucks and of course they would never take our path, who would, but we cant take theirs, so we have no other option. Wish us well for our emotional journey, we are off to try again after falling into the canyon 4 times and climbing back up the cliffs to the bizarre but unfulfilling “home” of IVF land. What a shitty outcrop in life to live, so its time to head to the mountains to see if we can grow our gourmet, hand made in the mountains, kiddies into real little princesses and nut bags.

We fly out of Gotham City Sat 12th. Trf is 14th. Mrs IVF is doing the limbo for 3 days then we are heading to Park City Utah (over 2 days) where Mr IVF is planning to lose the battery on his blackberry as he skis and Mrs IVF will lay low and take it easy and have her 1st holiday for the year. 23rd December is preggo test day… the day we fall in the canyon (again) or the day we know we have a decent chance of getting to the other side for once. Here we go, wish us luck.

Dear blogroll and crew – will catchup on your posts in the coming days. Hard to read about IVF with the guests  – dont want to give away our secret life now do we. Considering we have nothing but water & juice in the house , Mrs IVF, a well known sweet tooth, on no chocolate and neither of us on booze I am sure our guests think that a couple of late 30’s arent sending out “we cant have kids” signs anyway.

Chow for now



transfer: 1 or 2 or…..?

So the debate in our household at the moment is how many do we transfer. This debate comes up randomly at any time and it never seems to be far away from the top of either of our minds. We are incredibly fortunate to have this option and while you think the “two for one” option of twins would be good, here are some chilling stats to think about:

(1) At the gourmet, mountain side, baby making retreat we hang with the chance of getting pregnant with a single transfer (post microarray) is 65%. No stats yet on going full term. For dual transfers, pregnancy success is 77% with 73% going full term (so a 4% loss rate)

more general stats from some surfing….

(2) 60% of twins are pre term (<37 week) and av 35 weeks and weight 1.5 – 2 lbs less that a singleton on average which can cause all sorts of issue particularly if you are below the 35 week av.

(3) twice the rate of gestational diabetes as a single pregnancy

(4) higher placental problems, heart problems (for mum and bub), blood pressure problems etc

(5) “vanishing twin” – 20% chance that one of the twins will miscarry

(6) Still birth  (1-2% chance vs 0.5% chance)

(7) twin to twin transfusion – one bub gets more blood that the other

(8) IVF twins twice as likely to be admitted to neonatal care in the 1st three years of life

(9) twice as likely to die just before or after birth

(10) Twice the risk of postnatal depression for Mrs IVF

(11) bed rest etc etc for Mrs IVF and the risk we trash her ute for future attempts

(12) just about anything they talk about in the infamous NY times report:


(13) one year post birth, twin parents are more likely to experience severe parenting distress (22% vs 5% for singletons)

(14) 1st trimester risks. Increased risk of: bleeding, loss of one or more kiddies, increased nausea / vomiting  (“that may require medical intervention”), a stitch in your cervix (that just freaks Mr IVF out no end)

(15) Trimester numero deux / trois: really the diabetes, maternal anemia and exaggeration of most common complaints of discomfort etc. Risk of pre term labour.

(16) our background read pack from the baby factory had some very interesting articles about this and advising against twins. A Perinatologist who is a guru at such twin things wrote an article and used phrases such as the following:

– “…most twin gestations in fact do reasonably well. However, there are many many additional risks to both the mother and babies that come with a twin pregnancy that, in my opinion, suggests that twins should be avoided when possible.”

– “Maternal death (no more Mrs IVF!!!) 6 times more likely with twins”

(17) the occasionally blogged thought that one embryo that doesn’t grow can wipe out the other one out, (bad ju ju in the ute I believe )

So.. what to do. We are speaking with the chief baby maker next week but will take any thoughts on the topic if you have ’em. In one corners Mrs IVF is thinking of doing the solo transfer and then 2 if not successful. Mr IVF, even after reading all of this, is thinking two then who knows what next. (77/ 73% is a great stats while 65 / ? – is significantly lower in my book)

So appreciate any thoughts you have, just to recap:

1st cycle: Day 3 transfer. No genetic testing. transferred 3 – pregnant with a single. Miscarried at 8 weeks with trisomy 13

2nd cycle:  PGD genetic testing: no transfer

3rd cycle: Day 4 transfer. PGD genetic testing: 3 passed and 3 transferred. Chemical

4th cycle: Day 3 transfer, No PGD. 4 transferred. Negative pregnancy result.

5th cycle: day 5/6 transfer coming on 12/14, 6 passed microarray. transfer?????

So you could say 1 (maybe 2) out of 3 cycle success rate in terms of getting pregnant OR you could say 10 transfers and only one (maybe sort of 2 – the chemical) embryos stuck. You could also argue that none of the advanced sperm analysis was done on our previous cycle embryos (PICSI, IMSI) and that best of all these 6 this cycle have passed the complete genetic checkout (whereas PGD only test 9 chromosomes). So you could say, we are completely confused..

vote in the poll as well if you like (don’t worry – your decision wont be binding but I am interested to see what you are thinking dear reader)

Dealing with my brain

Back from the baby factory and nice to be home. A 500 sq ft hotel room can be really fun for well, 5 mins, but 2 weeks. well. So bit of an update:

– a final push on the chicken nugget front at the airport before leaving babyland seems to have cured Mrs IVF of her dreaded nugget curse. The crap food now ceases and we are back into behaving well on the eating front.

– we walk around all day saying “11′ to each other and smiling, knowing full well mother nature can king hit us with one of her random brick throws at any time, but fck it, 11 is awesome, so why not feel good for once. Lets watch this implode from here.

– as we roared down the runway heading back to gotham city Mrs IVF looks at me and say “bye kids, see you soon” with a really nice big sweet smile on her dial.

– according to the genetic elf 50% good is the success rate back from microarray testing so if that comes off we get 5-6 to play with. They wont transfer more than 2. If we go 2, then there is a 77% chance of pregnancy and 73% chance of it going full term. Thats the baby factor stats

– thinking ahead to the results. So if we score..

zero – we are screwed. There is no way they will every stim Mrs IVF that much again, so we have a choice as to weather this was just a bad roll of the dice and try again, or if we give up and go donor etc

1-2 – do we transfer now, or do we hold off and stim again? Here is Mrs IVF’s theory. If we go trf and get pregnant it will be 2 years before we get to probably go again and by then we will probably have a birthday starting with a 4. So do we farm a bit now, or are we kidding ourselves and just go for one, shut up and be happy. Another stim cycle could be over by christmas… hmmm.

2-4.. see 1-2 or see 5-6

5-6. Probably transfer

7-8. Write a book  on how we manager to get this far.

8+ probably hit the daytime TV shows, starting with Oprah. Book a slot in US weekly and ring a few TV producers (even though of course none of these have turned into a bloody child that has been any more than a 5 day olds blob of cells)

So , no idea why  I wrote that out, but I guess there is nothing else to do on this front, (now the nugget addiction has been licked) for another 3 weeks 5 days and 12 hrs, (not that we are watching a clock or are anxious at all)

– Work has been a real haul the last few days. I worked a lot remotely while in babyland (which thankfully my job has that flexibility to allow that), but I came back feeling useless, some what emotionally exhausted and just tired. One part of me was sort of yelling at me to get my shit together as I have been out of the office for 2 weeks and the other part of my brain was telling the pushy side it can stick itself where the sun done shine (to which the pushy side said ” I am already where the “sun dont shine”  as when was the last time the sun shone inside your head – moron”)….. hmm interesting day in my brain today.. anyway – the more lenient side of the brain was saying “chill out dude – you have been back on the emotional roller coaster and you know what – it aint easy and you know what, you work to hard anyway and you know what, you need a holiday and you know what – cut yourself some frikkin slack. You are going through an incredibly hard time in your life, so how about a little bit less on beating yourself up.”

“nice work” says the brain referee (somewhere between the two) … lets go for a drink, so I headed out with a mate who is in town from Tokyo and slammed down 6 rather tasty no alcoholic nojitis.

Thankyou all for your posts. I really appreciate it and Mrs IVF loves to read them as well. I recognize there is a world of lurkers out there (or Mrs IVF has just been spamming the site to get the dashboard stats up), either of which is cool I guess, but we do appreciate all posts, so thanks. Click the poll and let me know what you want to hear about so I can keep my mind active for the next few weeks!

The key

I just got a phone call from a good friend and his wife in London checking on how we are doing. It’s about midnight there and the have been enjoying some wine but wanted to touch base none the less. They are a great couple, Mr Mate is the most relaxed, water-off-a-ducks back type of guy and Mrs Mate is a classic type A personality who is a bit of a high flyer etc. She was telling me that last week they were in Spain at a completely rammed beach and lost their room key in the sand and were worried as it had their room number and the hotel address on it. Surprisingly, so the story goes, Mr calm was freaking out about getting robbed and Mrs Stress head was calm for once, (which I didnt believe at all!!). Next day she decides to wander down the beach and she was no where near where they were the day before, but guess what she kicked up out of the sand as she walked down towards the water….. “Matey” (they are aussies as well) she says  “I just knew it would work out somehow, I know I would normally freak, but this time somehow I knew it would be fine, so never got worried. I had the same feeling when I once lost one of my diamond earings from my wedding in an enormouts resort pool in Sardina , Mr Mate freaked, but I didnt. He found the earing 4 days later on the bottom of the deep end of the pool. I have the same feeling with you and kids. Dont ask me how, I just do, so I am not worried at all for you guys. My mum had strong intuition, but I didnt think I did, but am starting to wonder if I do.”

I went in to Mrs IVF who has been attempting to break the world sleeping record and told her the story between grunts and groans. She is still in a lot of pain but she is starting to mangle my ears again (a personal favorite of hers) so things are hopefully, slowly, looking up

So keeping with the key theme, I wanted to respond to JV’s question against my last post over what I find are key difference at the baby factory. Here’s  10 things  in no particular order that could have helped our numbers this time (and remember, there are just my thoughts, so nothing more than that in this):

(1) They miscalculated Mrs IVF’s repsonse to stims. On paper with lower and lower egg retrievals over the last 4 cycles they took her to be a low responder so cranked the drugs right up. Pulling in E2 levels around 4-5,000 on day 5-7 stim cycle is very early in my mind, but was advantageous as we got lots of eggs and they had time to mature. In a nut shell, they over compensated for the screwed up retrieval last time, (she had a great follice count last time on half the dose of stims).  If we need to go through this again, there is no way in my mind they would do this level of drugs again.

(2) Mrs IVF is, sadly, ideal for IVF torture. She is such a lovely person who never gets angry and has such a chilled and calm attitude to life that somehow I think manifests into the fact that she doesnt wig out on these drugs she just somehow absorbs it. She is a remarkable and truly unique indivdual that way. Ok – she is in phenominal pain now, but her E2 was astounding and she hasn’t retained fluid and to date (touch wood) hasn’t required hospitalization for a dose of drugs that I’m sure could hospitalize an elephant, (but hopefully not this leopard!).  My only real life experience with IVF has been with Mrs IVF and whoever happens to be in the recover ward when Mrs IVF is doing her retrieval or transfer tour of duty and there is always somone in there who seems more wiped out and in serious trouble than Mrs IVF. Even this week somone else was panicing and screaming while Mrs IVF (pulse 62, bloody pressure 110/50) was looking to see if they give her pound cake after her retrieval.

(3) The baby factory looks closely at the little things. We feel they turned over more rocks. We did 4 IVF treatments at the other place and at no time did they do any of the following:

– do a count (which they did 4 time) of Mrs IVF’s resting follicles . She had a ridiculous count of 30 or something huge, which made them think she had polycystic ovaries, but turns out she had no other symptoms. They even went looking and found a follicle that had fluid in it that they wanted to keen an eye on, and all of this  at a 1 day workup well before any stim cycle. All up – very thorough, explained at every step and in no rush at all.  We really didnt expect them to find anything new. We were IVF veterans. We knew all. We were also wrong!

– they did a 3D view of her uterus (new to us) but can’t reacall if that had any groundbreaking discover, but looked cool. I cant wait for the Wii version.

– they tested the blood flow to the uterus and found hers to peak and trough out of recommended range, which can make implementation harder, so she is now doing a special electronic acupuncture with “the Oracle” to correct. Seen the matrix? remember the Oracle is the unassuming woman making cookies in the kitchen… thats what this acupunturist was like, completely unassuming in a small,out of the way,  somewhat untidy office, but you knew, she was a complete legend at what she does.

– Mrs IVF passed out on an original HCG (poor thing) so never completed it properly. The baby makers wanted it done again as they were worried that they saw something they werent quite happy with (thankfully – it all turned out ok)

(5) They took my male factor more seriously, (this is huge I think). I still think that Mrs IVF is probably normal and that I am causing all this (my suckers dont hit the mark on swim factor, normal shape and average 5 million a shot, I think my lowest count was 790,000 for one cycle. So well short of the 20 million normal mark.) The old clinic just thought they they still had heaps to choose from, but here they put me on a special set of vitamins (1000mg of vitamin C, 200mg of CoQ-10, centrum Untra mens and 400 mg of Vitamin e – all avail from a drug store or GNC). I was already on other ‘erbs, that the old clinic were ok with, but these guys wanted to change – so thats just a flavor of each clinic – who knows who’s right. They also wanted to do PICSI and IMSI at the baby factory (which the old clinic said they didnt think these things made a difference). Maybe they don’t, but neither hurt (one is a sperm trap in a dish and the other is $500 of looking through a very high powered microscope so neither are invasive), but even if a placebo, I felt better that they were trying to select good spermies. oh – by the way my freeze shot of 7 million last week  and then the 10 million for the “live” session on Wednesday were world records (for me). So maybe the vitamins worked or maybe its point (6)…

(6) Lifestyle. Each cycle we get tough and tougher on our lifestyle. No chocolate this time at any stage – baby makers order – and here I was for the last cycles buying Mrs IVF some chocolate on retrieval day to make her feel better. No caffeine now for a year. I used to do 5 grande black coffees a day, then decaf, then tea, now nothing. No alcohol for a year. Used to have a few beers or a night out after each retrieval, but with 60 day lag in the sperm shop, its just out full time now. More oganic food this last cycle. Looked for organic shops for lunch. Very careful what we eat. Not crazy sprout freaks, but not chowing into mexican . No painting the house. Our new kitchen (from 18 months!!!) needs a good paint and the house needs a a good internal paint overall. All off limits. I even bought wireless for the house and then never installed it as a mate of mine tells me he went to a fertility “specialist” and was against it.  Mrs IVF doesnt go under the sink and bring out chemicals and most of the household stuff is nautral now. We avoid smokers (childishly we hold out breath as we pass them)…. hand sanitizer is a constant all over work and home. We even frikkin flew to the baby factory with masks on (Mrs IVF has got sick after 2 recent flights) …all these tiny stupid rules that have crept into our lives. Writing it now sounds freakish, sad, and overkill, but nearly 3 years at this and constantly questioning everything, its just become a way of life, choices all come up with the question of “what helps with the #1 priority”.  A few extra things on the boy front, no tight boxer, no bike riding, no hot tubs, cooler showers, all these things were new whe we realised I was sub fertile and needed to change.  So – some of the luck this time is probably unmeasurable benefits from highly controlled lifestyle of all these silly little thing. Or maybe not, but we certainly will never walk away from IVF not thinking we didnt try our absolute best.

(7) blog and technical reading. We learn a lot from reading about the rest of you and seeing what you have done. It’;s like we are all in a huge dark room looking for the door and each of us has part of the flashlight.

(8) fine tuning and timing of drugs. Last time Mrs IVF did gonal F, anytime in the day. Now we time every shot to exactly the same time of the day – dr’s strict orders – and Mrs IVF was on a bigger mix of cocktails this time (probably twice as many drugs – let me know if you want to know what they are)…and they changed them up quite a bit. We even started the cetrotide early, straight after one of the phone calls, so decisions felt quick.

(9) 2 sessions with the genetic councselor were well worthwile. None of this was mandated at our old clinic and their genetic section seemed a bit disconnected from a patient perspective. I also think now that PGD isn’t so hot so maybe we shouldn’t have been so aggressive in using it. Going for day 5 vs day 3 is riskier in some ways but I now am not a fan of day 3 biopsy’s but have learnt more since earlier cycles, so have changed our way of thinking. So this ties back to point 7. 1st time IVF is really a bit blind. Cycle 5, well, at least you have some experience under you belt (sadly).

(10) The baby factory offering / approach – I think the vitrification, full 46 chromosome checking, the ability for 4-6 weeks between retrieval and transfer etc are very good advances that just havent really existed until recently. They seem logical and am hoping they are as good as they feel and the baby factory seems to have good experience at these.  They picked one path of all the scientific options avail, and well, maybe its a good one.

In the end I think different clinics have different styles. The old clinic felt they were legends at PGD ( I think they played a big role in pioneering it) and feel it’s as good as CGH and microarray, because they are just that good at it. But part of Mrs IVF and I  feel like they have an excellent VCR when the world is into DVD now. So you will always have that sort of flavor with different clinics at all different aspects of a cycle. The support is the same in either clinic. Both clinics have excellent IVF staff and Dr support and care and both clinics make mistakes. For my freeze sample last week they though I was just testing. They wouldn’t have frozen anything unless I raised it and realised they had the wrong paperwork. Hardly groundbreaking, but no one is perfect and remember, we havent seen the ugly side of the baby factory yet and that worries me as 5 cycles down we are running out of options and I feel they are more brutal and blunt here.

So the baby factory isnt perfect. Enough of you IVF veterans can read out numbers yourself and think we have a good chance but as I said yesterday, we have all seen this movie before.  The bay factory isnt a magic castle. They just do things differently, and maybe with their stats they are cutting edge and are on Bue ray while the rest of the world is DVD, but here’s another thought, lets say that we’re 30 years in the past and these guys are selling an awesome new cutting edge insulation product made with asbestos… sometimes, it can be dangerous being out in front. Who bought the 1st ipod just to find 18 months later a cheaper, bigger better one was released? We dont have time to wait 18 month, the clock wont last that long, so we made a call.

Still – overall, I feel that it’s male factor playing a huge role here and if thats it then,  well, we might just be lucky, as my “sub fertile state” might still be good enough in the masterful hands of the baby makers, and if that truly is our biggest problem then (a) this is hopefully one of the easier problems in IVF land to overcome and (b) makes Mrs IVF the most amazing woman in the world for putting herself through this for us.

Hope these thought help with a piece of your own flashlight. We have no magic pill, but hopefully I have a great friend in London with some excellent intuition.

Sorry for the long post… with our sleep world record contender going for gold, its been a long day 🙂

Hurdle 2 & 3

So our spot free leopard headed back to the baby factory today to see if she is building any form of internal fluid lake. The poor thing has been in pretty excruciating pain and spend every awake moment since retrieval, well,  pretty much asleep, or trying to roll around in bed or just grunting as some form of random pain hits.

The scan was straightforward and as ever they took heaps of angles and thankfully found no internal fluid lake, so poor old Mrs IVF felt bad that we went down there for a scan if she didnt really have any problems (hello? – she is in huge pain from having her ovaries bombarded with a needle – the pain is legitimate darl!).

We needed to pick up some extra drugs so we headed down to the drug store to try to burn a new hole in the credit card. We succeeded. “Sorry buddy your insurance doesnt cover it, but I’ll give you a special price of just over $700 – thats nearly $100 off! for 6 tiny viles of sugar” gloats the chemist with a bright shiny gold teeth grin. Just like  that the guy on the muppet show who had a hat and played the piano. He never spoke, he just smiled all the time and showed his perfect teeth.  Remember him?

I also learnt the meaning today of ” a leopard never changes her spots”…well nearly.. Our legend leopard was not keen on eating and yours truly was determined to get some salt into her (dr’s orders!). We had a very civil conversation about it as we headed to the muppet show that was clearly very productive: ” I think you need some salt,how about a hash brown”. “No, I dont want anything” ” I think you need salt” ” I dont want anything” ” I think you need…” ” I do need to toilet though” “oh, I know just the place”…

So with a goodie bag of salt laden fried potato we headed back to the hotel. On the way back, we got THE call. Mrs IVF reaches for her phone, looks at it, says “here we go” and then proceeds to answer it.

Mr IVF, trying to negotiate 65 lanes of interstate traffic (what is it with these enormous roads in this country) and trying to avoid every bump on the road (as each bump gets a groan from Mrs IVF) tries really hard to focus on the road but is truly glued to the call:

“hi, leopard here, yes, oh, Hi elf, yes, no not feeling great, yes, thats what the nurse said, ah ha, oh, really, well, hmmm, oh, thats interesting, mmm”….

time hast literally stopped. This conversation feels like it’s going on forever (when so far its gone 3 seconds)

“yes, well, oh thats interesting… wow, oh, really.. thats very good.. yes, oh yes, ooh, ah well, excellent. Ok thanks”….

(in hindslight she now realises mentioning numbers might have been handy for the rest of us in the jeep)

the invisible calm is back. It’s the same feeling as yesterday, I know nothing new, but my hyperactive brain is in analysis overdrive, but as yesterday’s feeling never left, it literally feels like a stronger floor, a step up, something more solid and here are the 1st words, I kid you not, from our poor tired and slightly wiped out leopard:

“sorry I didnt ask more questions… I dont feel so great”

“numbers, numbers what are the numbers my love!!!!”

“oh, 23 mature and 17 fertilized”

Holly shit. Hurdle 2 and 3. Tick. Big tick.

We drove on for a bit further and if it wasnt for the leopards keen eye I would have missed our exit off the interstate. In fact, I probably would  have only realised something was not right when I hit the Mexican border (or just ran out of fuel).

So clearly, these are stunning results and we were speachless in the car. Just holding hands with a dumb grin on our heads with the gentle scent of deep fried potatoe lurking on the edge of our senses as we  repeated the numbers 23 and 17 randomly every few mins.

Still – we’ve all seen this movie before so we still need to pass 3 more big tests – get to blast, pass genetic testing and then a bloody successful pregnancy would be nice!!! We are no where near out of the woods and this feeling of comfort has been a false floor before. So the apprehension is high but as a good mate said to me last night “if it all goes to shit, you will feel horrible, so if it’s going good, enjoy it and allow yourself to feel good.  Dont fight it. Deal with the down if it fucks up, but enjoy feeling good about life for once.”

So there it is, the stim queen strikes again, lets hope these little mini us’s have the legs (well cells have stamina) to keep going.

Driving around tonight there was a stunning sunset over the Rockies. It reminded me of the sunset on day 1 of our 1st ever cycle. Equally as awesome. I went home and told Mrs IVF back in cycle 1 that this was some form of message from god that our child was downloading (sort of like itunes). The funny thing was – that cycle was the one Mrs IVF got pregnant (and later miscarried – download got disrupted). So here’s hoping this is an omen that will repeat itself (and we get the full song this time)

oh – looks like the IMSI and PICSI seemed to help as well as this % level of fertilisation is a little higher than normal, but who knows if thats statistical or just luck.

Thanks again for your notes. Mrs IVF thanks you for your kind words and asking how she is. 23 out of 25 and 17. wow. Just wow. Your well wishes and positive vibes are clearly coming through strong.

In Denver

Update from Denver…

Arrived tonight after one of the most uneventful flights of my life which is (a) perfect and (b) very rare in the domestic US airline marketplace these days.  We had a carry on bag packed to the hilt with drugs, ice blocks and insulated bags that if I was a TSA agent would raise some suspicion, but they didn’t even look, ask to look or show much care at all. Thank you for your tips, you were right – no issue.

On the ovary growing front we had a scan yesterday back at the old clinic with the mechanic (for those of you who remember old posts). We had around 18 follicles with 1 at 10mm and the rest lest than 9.  So I guess thats good, but we have been down the nice follice count / few egg path before (last cycle 18  17-18mm follicles, E2 at 4,000 but only 5 eggs and still no explanation)

We have been stimming away on 300 units of Gonal F at night and 2 viles of menopur in the morning. So to me  -that’s quite a dose. Mrs IVF is starting to bloat and we are almost at the stage of dinner out with the pants down (well the top button not done up). Last few times we were generally doing just 300 a day of the gonal F (150 night and morning). The other thing we are doing now is strictly timing shots. 9am and 9pm NY / 7pm and 7am Denver time now we are here.

Coming in to land tonight I came up with another thought around what IVF is like (long term readers amongst you know how I develop all these parallels / comparisons)….When I was a teenager I remember going on a night hike back in Australia with the scout troop I was in. I have done this particular track many times and knew it very well but hadn’t done it in a while and hadn’t done it at night. One part of this track is very a very steep decent into a huge valley so you zig zag across the side of the valley slowly going down.  Over time a path straight down the mountain had developed and we often just ran down that which was a great buzz (but prob not great for the landscape), so that’s what I decided to do in the dark this one night, run the shortcut. One minute I was flying along roaring down the hill wind in my hair have a great time in the pitch dark and the next, all I remember is alot of pain across my chest, my stomach and my shins and then being flow back against the ground and lying there wounded in extreme pain. What had happen was that I had run full speed into a crude wire fence  made with three wires some rangers had put up to stop clowns like me doing what I was doing. No one runs down this thing at night so its hardly a health hazard, except for fools like me and I didn’t see it coming and hit it at full speed (I actually could see wire marks in my body when we got back after the hike… it hurt like hell, but looked impressive enough!)…. so the link to IVF? Well – you can feel you can be cruising along at any point , but really, you are in the dark, you are in control of very little, and out there is a wire fence for us to slam into as soon as we start to get revved up and these wire fences aren’t friendly, they don’t half hurt, they only dish out extreme pain. Maybe we’ll miss a fence, but who knows – we are putting everything into this – it has 100% of our attention and effort and out there is an inconvenient fence, just waiting.

A similar though I also had. This whole IVF process is like running around in a dark room with someone else (lets call her mother nature) in the room randomly throwing bricks. She is not necessarily trying to hit you, but her job is to throw bricks and sometimes they connect with you. Wasn’t intentional, you were just in the way of a random happening and remember she’s not throwing marsh mellows, they’re bricks. Again – you don’t half hurt through this stuff. Fertiles of course – run around with the lights in the room on.

So with that I’ll leave you. I think our fears are clear – can we grow to blast, (haven’t done that since cycle 1 as we have always trf before that), can we get through CGH with a biologically sound embryo and well oh geez, can we get through all this?

Next scan 7.30 tomorrow (central baby factory time). Will keep you posted

Thanks again for the posts and well wishes. They really are appreciated.

Surging forward

Picture this….. Mrs IVF has peed on a stick and she sitting there staring at it, she looks up and comes screaming across the house.. “look look” she yells with a big grin on her head, “2 lines, deffo 2 lines tonight, last night was only one faint line… this is it”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have surged. (No we’re not pregnant, but it felt like exactly the same drill.)

So expectations in IVF land here as so muted that we get excited around actually ovulating. Not having a kid, not counting mature egg or fertilizing them or a pregnancy result, but actually the fact that she is ovulating (and right on time – well done my dear)

So this kicked off a flurry of emails, phone calls, drug orders (legal drugs), further emails and a touch base with Mr IVF to update him on all the happenings. I have nothing to do at the moment in this whole process (I am not even driving the car for those who have been reading my tale for a while) , but I am preparing to start doing STUFF ALL again (http://wp.me/pvsWz-P)

So lots of news, but then again, not much I guess. Next on the do list: chase down remaining Dr letters, drugs are on their way and then we start on Estrace next week. No idea what that does, but suspect its some for of hand break before we start on the stims again.

On a completely different note, had a great dinner with some pregnant (no bad feelings!) friends tonight at la esquina tonight. Awesome Mexican restaurant hidden in the basement of a grotty diner near spring street in NYC. You have to walk through the kitchen to get to the hidden room. Its pretty cool. Recomend it if you are in this neck of the woods. (http://www.esquinanyc.com/)