Fertility treatments

The Transfer

One embryo made it! One out of the 10 they saw in the ultrasound. Still, it’s a miracle. I’m heading for the transfer in half an hour, and I couldn’t be more conflicted. I’m so excited, but I’m also exhausted and sad. Only one made it? So, if this doesn’t implantate, I have to go through this yet again. But then again – one did fertilize and divide enough. It’s not a top notch egg – it’s only 4 cells – the biologist called it slow and said it has good chances of growing to be just fine. The 2 others that fertilized are so poorly developed that they’re not going to cut it.

But we have our chance now! Finally there’s a chance that we might have a baby.

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Fertility treatments

The Third IVF Cycle

You want news? What’s been going on?

Two IVF cycles. First one ended with 4 mature follicles and ICSI because of the low sperm count. None were fertilized. Second one ended before it began. After 4 days of injections the ultrasound revealed only one huge follicle. They did an insemination, but it was a long shot.

Now we have started the third ever IVF cycle of our lives. We feel so pros now, that we can even joke around about injections. Our doctor was really hopeful and that gave me hope. She even prescribed an injection that’s supposed to help the embryo implantate after the retrieval of eggs. That means she believes we might get as far this time. I really hope so.

I’m clinging on to the knowledge that I was pregnant for two to three weeks after our first IVF, on my regular cycle. I even got the coveted plus on a pregnancy test, although it was short-lived. That should mean that there isn’t a big chance of us not being able to conceive at all. Also, they haven’t found anything. No chromosome problems, no endometriosis, not nothing. Except of course the very low sperm count and morphology. That is luckily covered with the ICSI procedure. Except of course the follicle development problem I have. That is covered with… we hope… the flare up protocol. You can read about it here, if you want to know more.

I feel relieved to know what’s wrong. My ovaries are poor responders to the medications they use to stimulate them. There’s a problem with my follicles developing. The ovaries just want to develop one egg as is usual. I feel I understand my poor ovaries. You know, that’s their job! No wonder they’re not performing as hoped.

This also gives me a sense of closure. We both have something wrong with us. Now we know what it is. Now I can deal with accepting it. I feel like I can’t really be ashamed of this or really even sad. This is just one of the properties of my body. Just like the fact that I’m rather short. Just the way my body is I suppose. Just like my ovaries have development issues.

The doctor is hopeful that with the right doze we will get some good follicles – since my ovaries will never give away too many of them. We don’t really need that many. They were satisfied with the 4 mature ones we got last time. Now if they only would fertilize!

I’m going to the ultrasound that last carried tragic news to us on Friday morning. If there’s a good response, I’ll be going through the retrieval next week. I’m looking forward to it… and also not. I didn’t much enjoy being poked with a huge needle in my vagina, even if I was on drugs. But I’ll do it to have kids one day.

Hope this works!

Ps. A lot of progress has happened in the d/s side of our relationship too. Now that I’m on these hormones I seem to have a lot more energy. Maybe you’ll hear about that next! 😉

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Passing Woman, Pregnancy, Volatile bodies, What Women Really Want, Wonderboy

Time Is On Our Side

I’ll freely admit, to anyone, that I’ve had almost two glasses of red wine by now. So, you know, if this will be a somewhat flow kind of piece, please check the first sentence again.

I got news today. They’ll take the blood tests whenever we are ready. Wonderboy’s trying to get Wednesday off, so we can go, because he just doesn’t want to tell. I understand, but I think he should. He’d get paid leave, if he did. We still have to go tot he doctor in the other city where we used to live, so it’s kind of a hassle. And I sold the car, too. They’ll check caeliac condition (again), chromosomes and then something I didn’t quite understand but it seemed serious. And they’ll check Wondeboy for chromosome problems. Then they’ll send him to get his sperm checked, again, so that they can check the DNA of the sperm.

Anything could turn up. Anything could be wrong with us. Or not. Our doctor said that they’ll put us to another IVF cycle as soon as they get the results… maybe even THIS YEAR. I’m shocked. In a happy way. But because this is so fast and because they weren’t in such a hurry before…

I need to tell you something.

Remember my big sister, Faith? Remember how I told you that they haven’t been conceiving either?

I got some quite stomach turning news Friday night. In the preliminary testing they found out that my sister is suffering from early menopause. This is a serious, serious illness. She’s only 1,5 years my senior, so only a bit over 30. Menopause? At thirty?

We’re all in a shock. I spent my weekend crying, trying to write here, and crying and not typing it. Because it’s not fair. She doesn’t deserve this.

I am so worried for her. It’s not even the trying to have kids thing anymore. Now I’m worried for her life. Because they’re not sure yet, if it actually is early menopause or something worse. They sent her straight into IVF and to the same  private clinic as us to get everything checked. Early menopause is also quite dangerous. Cancer for example is a serious threat to women with (early) menopause. And you know… sexuality and everything. Feeling a Woman, not a grandmom.

We cried together when I called Faith straight away. We talked for two hours and I tried to console her and hear her fears out. The doctor had said to her that “it’s not a matter of weeks”. So, it’s a matter of months that she’ll be out of follicles and go straight into menopause.

What it made me realize is that we are incredibly fortunate. We have time on our side. Years and years…

BUT.

The doctor had asked my sister “isn’t your sister also a patient here? Interesting.” And te next day I get the message that we’re being pushed forward quicker than I thought. I don’t think that’s a coinsidence. I think the doctor’s afraid that I’ll have the same faith as faith. A year and a half from now.

And I want two children. One for each arm. One for each breast. One for each parent.

I don’t know what to think. Not really. I feel hopeful for sure, for us both. I feel a crushing fear and sadness and a need to help and support my sister. And then I have my own sadness to deal with. But somehow. It seems much smaller now, in comparison.

They’ll change the injected hormones, and I’ll start with the antagonist treatment again as soon as we have the results and my period start. I’m not afraid of the needles or the procedure anymore. I’m not quite afraid of anything anymore. Except for my sister.

I’ve challenged my alcoholic dad and said I’ll only visit them on Christmast, if they’re sober enough. I might go now, but only because he promised (!) and mostly because I need to see my sister and be there for her.

I’ve also openly told people about my kink. I’ve attended a party that was openly kinky.

I’ve been open about what I want and where I want it. I’ve been beginning to have squirting orgasms again with Wonderboy. I’ve been falling into subspace with force and surfacing more. I’ve even been able to communicate without sacrificing my sub experience.

I’ve been strangled again and hit a lot, again. I’ve been tied and held a lot. I’ve been kissed and missed a lot. I’ve been made dinner and cleaned for and I’ve done the same, a lot.

I’ve been loved a lot.

And I’m not afraid anymore. I just hope Faith will be okay. I’ll do whatever I can. But maybe it’s not what I can do. It’s what our little sister can give. Her follicles.

❤ Is there any way that you can show your love more? No. No there isn’t.

I could keep going on with these ramblings, I guess, but I don’t have anything to say anymore.

Next I’ll write about my wicked ways. About flirting. I promise.
Edit. Oh yeah. I read a study that said that even two glasses of wine per week during the IVF treatments can result in a 10 to 15% less likeliness to become pregnant. So, that’s why I’m drinking wine on a Monday night. That and maybe the fact that I’m in a shock. These could be the last couple of glasses I can take, because I’m seriously going to do everything just right the next time. I swear!

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Fertility treatments, Love, Pregnancy, Wonderboy

Bigger Than Us

Things have changed. Change is so hard to see, though. When it’s here, you’re already used to it.

I want to give you an example. I found this on my computer. I had written it before starting on the IVF extreme adventure, before I knew any of this.

He’s worried…

That we will have a child

That it’s forever

That he’ll end up losing (some part of) me

That it’ll be terrible for him

That he won’t learn to love the child

That the child won’t learn to love him

That I will gain weight when pregnant and stay that way

That our sex life will suffer (oh boooy, like it hasn’t already)

That we won’t have time for anything fun anymore

That I will change into The Mom

I’m worried…

That the procedures won’t help

That my feelings and pain will go unheard

That we will NOT have a child. Ever.

That I will grow tired, exhausted, stop believing

Of needles. I’m scared of needles. There. I said it!

I can say now, for certain, what Wonderboy’s biggest fear is. It’s not any of the above. It’s losing me.

Whenever we face a setback in the battle against infertility, he gets scared. But he’s scared of a different thing I am. I’m scared that we can’t have a child. He’s scared that we can’t have a child… and then I’ll leave him.

He has voiced it many times in the past. When we got the news on Wednesday, the devastating news that none of my eggs had been fertilized even with the latest and most advanced medical techniques western medicine has been able to produce, he knew enough to suspect that the fault was all his. His sample had been poor. My eggs had been perfect.

This could be true of course. We can’t know for certain, though. It could be my body’s antibodies which attack his sperm. You can’t see those, even through the microscope. But for now, seems that the ball is in his court. When he got home, after cancelling all of his plans and lessons for the night by way of lying he’s sick, he hugged my for a long time and then he said,

I don’t even have a chromosome. Not even one!

It was a joke, but it was also his biggest fear. What if he has Klinefelter’s syndrome? There’s no cure for that.

I laughed and hugged him, and I don’t even remember what I said. Probably something along the lines of us both not having any chromosomes at all. It’s still possible, although my six perfect eggs would seem to suggest that I am in fact fertile. There would’ve probably been some kind of abnormalities in the shape, ripeness, size or cell intactness (is that a word?), if the problem was in my eggs. It was such a huge relief for me. They got out so many perfect eggs from me. It seemed that finally things were going to be alright, because the poor quality of the sperm should’ve been treated with the ICSI procedure.

And then it wasn’t.

I was so fortunate that I got to speak with our wonderful midwife/nurse from the hospital. She assured me that even some chromosome problems can be solved by way of testing the embryos and only using the healthy ones. She also said that it’s not very probable, even considering our zero result IVF ICSI, that we would have a chromosome problem.

These things do happen, and sometimes there’s just no reason for it that we can find. The second run could go without any trouble at all. We just have to try and see, she said.

The clinic doctor did comment that I should be tested for the coeliac disease (allergy for wheats, in the short and scientifically spesific terms), because that has a tendency to cause “Recurrent miscarriage and unexplained infertility”. But I was already tested for that in the Spring, because I had a hunch I am indeed allergic to wheats. And the things is, I’ve been keeping to a strict coeliac diet almost 6 months now, because that’s what the infertility doctor recommended. Sometimes the tests only show the allergy after you’ve been suffering from it for years, so I could very well have it, even if the tests don’t show any autoimmune bodies in my blood.

I don’t know how long the autoimmune disease could affect my fertility, if I’m on a right kind of a diet, but certainly not forever, right? It does seem probable considering all of my five early miscarriages that there might be some kind of a decreased maternal immune tolerance towards the fetus. That would explain a lot, and also more importantly, it can be fixed.

So, it all comes back to Wonderboy. And you know what he confessed to me, when we had been cuddling on the bed and the worst of my crying was over?

I already though how awkward it was gonna be, if me met at a bar somewhere. After we’d broken up.

It might sound really bad to you, I don’t know. But this is very like Wonderboy. It seems to always be his biggest and first fear that this will be the end of us. I guess this just was the first time that I wasn’t worried about it at all. I was actually very upbeat all things considered.

Why would we break up? I asked him. And then I asked him The Question again. I did give a bit of a back story to it by describing how I would feel, if we had to resort to my little sister’s eggs, which she has bravely and lovingly promised to us, if things don’t go as we hope. It’s not ideal, but we do share the same genes. We even laughed with my little sister, that then we could get the best genes of our grandparents and named the awful one, my dad’s mother, who’s kind of an asshole a lot of times. I asked Wonderboy does he still feel totally against donor sperm. And he answered no, no I’m not against it.

Why would we ever break up then? I ask and hug and kiss him. Then we will have a baby, one day.

**

Finally being on the IVF treatment – the real treatment that shows him that this is serious – has made him change so much. He now sees, how it isn’t in my head or in my body. It’s visible to him and understandable. We are injecting medicine to me. I was in an evasive operation. There were doctors and biologists handling our sperm and eggs. When that doesn’t work, it doesn’t leave you a lot of room to deny the fact that you are infertile.

He was sad about the results. He was sad about the results of his sperm and about the results of the procedure. He had to face, I think for the first time, that it could be his fault, and it could be forever like this.

I have tackled those feelings for almost a year and a half now. I’m way past not considering donor eggs or sperm. But it still isn’t my first choice. I want to see this through. I need to see, if we can make it. Us.

But it occured to me for the first time that it’s not only him who has to give up on being a biological father. I have to give up seeing him in our children too, if it comes to that. I’m not saying this, because I suspect the fault’s in him. I’m saying this, because if we were to use my sister’s eggs, it could be possible that they would have our father’s eyes – the same eyes I have, or our grand grandmother’s stature – the same I have. But if we use donor sperm, it will have nothing to do with Wonderboy. In either case Wondeboy could see me in the child. That is amazing. An amazing thought. Because he loves me and he has always said how he would want our children to look like me. He would still get to have that. He would recognice my big and dashing smile, or my low forehead or my hazel eyes. How could he not love that child?

It seems that there’s nothing wrong with my womb, and the progesterone deficiency I seem to have is actually easily fixed with these capsules I still have to take to make sure I get a normal cycle again. (And heal, thanks for pointing that out Jnakabb!)

**

It’s been so hard since Wednesday, but I’m beginning to feel better. Most of it is perhaps, because Wonderboy was just so wonderful with the news. He cancelled all of his plans and came home. He was sad too, but not as devastated as me. He still believes we’ll be able to do it. He got me to smile and to laugh. We got all hopeful and loving again, together. We are so good to each other, it doesn’t matter what we face.

That’s actually what my little sister said on the phone, when se heard. Why do people who have the best and loving relationship ever not get to have a child? It’s CRAZY!

I totally agree with her. 😉

The next step, according to our nurse, is that they’ll take the chromosome tests out of our blood (and they especially want to see about the (male) Y chromosome on Wonderboy) and they’ll also test for antibodies that I might be producing to attack the sperm and keep it out. That will probably be next week, already. The results will be in once again only after 2-3 weeks, but at this point I feel that I need the time in between. I’m still on sick leave and I can’t really even walk fast because of my ovaries hurting so much, so I’m not in any hurry to be back on the operating table. Although the Diapam high was quite a laugh, afterwards.

I actually remember that we talked with the infertility doctor about taking cortisone with the IVF cycle because of the possible coeliac condition, but somehow they forgot about it. We will probably go through the next cycle with cortisone to make sure that doesn’t affect anything.

I’m not sure, but I got the impression that none of the eggs even started dividing. The doctor said that the 6 eggs were all perfect (two weren’t mature so they threw them out). And they did the ICSI, so we know for certain that the sperm reached the ovum, so now we have to figure out why nothing still happened.

But the doctor and the nurse both said that it’s also possible that this just happens in some IVF cycles, and they can not find any reason for it. They said that even some people who have children from IVF can have a cycle like this. So it’s not as sure as I first thought that we’d have a chromosome problem.

I’m going to hear from the doctor today or next week about our blood tests and the next round, so I’m really focusing on the future now. There’s really not much else we can do. We can’t decide about the IVF cycle ourselves, but I believe the doctor might be willing to put me on a medically assisted cycle after this one being budged as Jnakabb has suggested to me personally. I’m not sure why she wanted to do the short one even when I had so few eggs, but it’s better now because I didn’t have to go through all the terrible side effects of putting down my own hormones before kicking them up again. Maybe she thought about that – that I’m prone to having terrible side effects from the hormones and wanted to spare me. That would’ve been the first.

Today when I woke up, I had gotten an SMS from Wonderboy. It said I love you so fucking much! Kisses! And good morning! This is what has changed. We are in this together, now. I feel so much more loved than I have felt ever, ever in my life. If this has taught us one thing, it’s taught us that sex is certainly not the only glue to keep love together. Sometimes love grows out of hardships. Sometimes it grows precisely because there can be no sex. There has to be something else.

What else could there be?

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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Love, Pregnancy, Wonderboy

I got out alive!

And they got six beautiful follicles just ready to make us babies! I’m so happy. The results were better than we hoped for. There were actually eight altogether, but all of them didn’t make it. We still don’t know if they were all ripe, but some of them certainly are. This increases our odds a great deal! (You know because the prediction was only 5 follicles.)

The news about Wonderboy’s part was actually less positive. There was even less sperm than last time they tested. (Dammit, we should’ve held back on the sex on Saturday. But I can’t really feel bad about that. It’s been so rare these days. We really needed it.) The doctor told us that they will probably go with only ICSI (the micro injection) because there was such low sperm count and they’d need about 20 000 moving for each follicle to do the normal conception.

It doesn’t bother me at all for some reason. That’s actually what I was hoping for, because this has certainly been an issue for us. Why not make the most of what little follicles I could produce and not play games and hope for the best?

Also, the procedure did hurt like a mother fucker, but the medicine was very good and I had Wonderboy holding my hand and caressing my hair, a nurse caressing my thigh and talking to me and another nurse tending to my medicine etc. And the doctor was nice too.

It was funny, though, because I really spaced out when they gave me the 5 mg Diapam to start with. I couldn’t even move by myself and Wonderboy had to carry me to the wake up room, where they took off my clothes. The nurse was laughing that this was turning into a kindergarten when she had to dress me up in the wrap around skirt and socks they gave me for the procedure and she had to take me to the toilet. And she couldn’t lock the door, because I couldn’t even sit on the toilet seat without falling down. It thought it was funny too, but I was so out of it that I couldn’t but smile a little.

When I had to roll over from the procedure bench after the fact, I rolled straight on to my face. That was funny. They probaby tell stories about the small woman, who rolled onto her face.

Everything went better than expected. Wonderboy really came through with everything. He took care of me, fed me, caressed me, called the nurse twice to give me more medicine after the procedure. I just cried. I think I cried before the procedure on the table and after it. I just had no shame and I was so shocked and happy at the same time, when they said everything went fine and that there were so many follicles to take out. I couldn’t help thinking that one of them might be our baby.

Now I’m home lying in bed and Wonderboy tends to my needs. It still hurts a little but more like a pressure, not an awful pain I was dreading.

Here’s Wikipedia’s page on IVF, if you want more info. I was on the “mild IVF” that followed my own cycle, so taking that into consideration the 8 follicles was pretty good.

I’m starting on the progesterone today and have to take until the pregancy ultrasound two weeks from Thursday.

And now we wait. And hope.

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Love, Pregnancy, Wonderboy

Finally they set a date!

It’s crazy, isn’t it? To feel so excited that I want to rush to the doctor on Monday. I want to tell Wonderboy that we’re going to have a baby! I just want to be happy, and it’s so close I can almost feel it.

And nothing’s for certain.

The new doctor did an ultrasound on me on Friday. Yesterday. It feels as if it was months ago. There had been some miscommunication between the doctors in our old city and now in the new, so she thought I was just beginning to take the second hormone. She was almost shocked about the size of the follicles already and scheduled the procedure for Monday. Only one more day to go!

I know how much can go wrong. I already know that I have a low follicle account, and now I found out that my right ovary is only producing one follicle – even with the hormone injections. It’s the one that always hurts too. But the other one was playing ball with 5 follies, and although only two of them were the right size, I can’t really concentrate on the negative now. I need to believe even if just for a moment. A week from now I could be pregnant. And that’s what I choose to think.

They were concerned about choosing between the normal IVF and ICSI (which is micro injecting the sperm into the follicle and is done, if the sperm isn’t moving well). I don’t understand why they can’t just ICSI the whole lot, but for some reason they won’t. Because I have so few eggs to choose from, they don’t know how to decide and divide the ones being treated normally in a petri dish and the ones being micro injected. Oh well. We don’t even know, how many of the follicles will be ripe, will make it out whole – and we don’t know, if they’ll be good cells.

The doctor asked me, out of the blue, if this was my first time (damn right it is!) and if I know about the cell information. Well, duh. No! That’s what I’m worried about! Maybe she was reacting to the fact that I told her about the miscarriages. I also told her that my first doctor doesn’t believe in them at all, because I never had the positive pregnancy test. But maybe this new doctor did think it could be about poor cell development and not about the progesterone. I guess we’ll see, if the capsules help this time.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important part: the implantation is done on Thursday. I’m on sick leave until then. Although I’m very afraid about the news, about my cells, my poor follie babies, I still can’t wait! We’re finally here. Somewhere. Finally something’s being done.

We also just had the best sex ever. Twice. Maybe the second time was ecouraged by me saying that this might be the last time before I’m pregnant. Since Wonderboy has to be abstinent from now on until Monday to get good amounts of sperm for the procedure and I won’t be able to fool around after the evasive procedure. Pretty damn scary! And so, so exciting and miraculous!

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