Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nothing, Nadda, Zero

I was supposed to have my transfer today, however this was cancelled since we didn't have any embryos. That's right, no embryos, nothing, nadda, zilch, zero. I now have a profound and deeper understanding of the words disappointed, deflated and dumbfounded.

Went to the clinic, with lots of hope, ready to take on the world and when the doctor steered us to the office rather than the treatment room, I got confused. Hey, I should be going the other way to prepare for transfer. This confusion soon got clarified, very quickly. Bad news, our eggs and sperm did not unite to form an embryo, so the transfer was off. They said that the eggs and sperm were of very good quality and that there is no explaination as to why they didn't connect. What the heck, were they too shy, did they not like each other, were they too lazy, did they have a headache, not in the mood? Why oh why didn't my eggs and his sperm connect to make at least 1 embryo, that's all we needed. 1 little teeny tiny embryo. C'est la vie and la vie sucks sometimes!

They said that next time they will inject/force the sperm into the egg. I never like to force anyone to do anything, but in this case, I think I can make an exception. When is next time? They said to contact them in September.

Now for some perspective, although the outcome of this 1st IVF cycle didn't work, I am thankful that my body can produce healthy eggs, as I had some huge doubts about it and that my hubby has healthy sperm. That's what they tell us, so I'll believe them. I am also thankful that this is not over, just put on hold for now. We will try again in September with a new action plan. I'm going to take this week to drown my sorrows, with what, I'm not sure, but I think I'll go and change into my PJs and snuggle with my cats. My kitty cats don't care about egg and sperm quality, but they sure care about getting lots of love and snuggles from us and this I can do very well.

Monday, June 21, 2010

No Pain, No Gain

Went this morning for egg retrieval and normally I was supposed to be under general anaesthesia, however the anaesthetist was busy so I went under local and ouch, it hurt like hell! They tried to distract me by showing me the monitor as my eggs were getting aspirated, however the pain was really overwhelming so I just shut my eyes real tight, cried a bit (or a lot), hoping for this to be over asap. Thank goodness it didn't take too long (about 15 minutes). They got 6 eggs, a bit disappointing as I thought I'd have around 10, but they said it is a good number. Somewhat tired and feeling like someone beat up my ovaries.

I am scheduled for the transfer on Wednesday morning. Almost there!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gotta Love The Cat Man

Woke up this morning feeling irritated as I had so many mosquito bites around my ankle area. I complained to the Cat Man and he gave me some kind of medical cream, but I told him I don't want to take any kind of medicine during IVF, even a cream. He put on his thinking cap and with a cotton ball he rubbed vinegar on my ankle. Don't know how he knew, but it worked like magic, the itchiness went away!

Thus far, this IVF thing has been kind to me, as I have not felt too many side effects, other than some sore breasts the last couple of days. Then it hit me at lunch time, huge pain, which consisted of major cramps followed by a very achy neck and back. I was in so much pain that I bawled my eyes out. The Cat Man rubbed my tummy, tried to massage my back and even called the emergency (they were not much help). I was a big hot mess! I put a hot pad on my stomach and was able to take a cat nap, but it was short lived, as I was feeling major cramps again, which put my whole body in pain. The Cat Man told me to take a very very deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, and then let it out slowly. He had me continue this over and over again. I was not really keen at the beginning, because even taking deep breathes pained me. Well, thank goodness the Cat Man encouraged me to continue, as it worked like a charm! After about 5 minutes of deep breathing, the pain went away. I still feel bloated, but the pain, which was unbearable, was gone.

We are not really into homeopathic remedies, but I am now a believer. The Cat Man said that we should look more into natural solutions, rather than always running to the medicine cabinet. I am all for it! The Cat Man's clients call him Macgyver, because he can fix anything and he is also my Doctor Shepherd, because he takes such good care of me when I feel sick. I am one lucky lady to have a Macgyver and a Doctor Shepherd all in one man.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bad For The Sperm

The last 3 months, the Cat Man has been working like crazy. He has been working 7 days a week and many late nights. His job is very manual, so he comes home physically and mentally exhausted. I did everything possible to support him during this difficult time (ex: making yummy meals, massaging his broken back and even bathing him when he had no strength left). He finished this crazy job yesterday, thank goodness! As he was under so much stress, I haven't really bothered him too much about IVF.

This morning, while I was getting ready for the day, I saw an open bottle of stomach medicine. I questioned him about it and he said he had a stomach ache, so he took some last night. I got a bit upset, telling him he should not take any medicine before Monday. I told him that this may be bad for the sperm. He said he didn't realise and that it was duly noted. Then he proceeded to have a cigarette. He's been smoking for most of his life and I know that 2 days before retrieval is not going to make a difference, but I told him to try and smoke as little as possible, as this is bad for the sperm. Again, duly noted by the Cat Man. At lunch time, as usual, he had some red wine, as most Frenchmen do. I told him to drink less alcohol until Monday, as this is bad for the sperm. Again, duly noted. He then took his afternoon sieste (cat nap) and when he woke up he had his second coffee of the day. I told him not to drink so much coffee, as this is bad for the sperm. He then told me that nagging is bad for the sperm. At this point, the Cat Lady and the Cat Man were going to get into a big cat fight!

I know that 2 days before the retrieval is not going to make a big difference. We have agreed to the following: he will try to curb his bad habits for the next 2 days (he's a typical Frenchman who likes to smoke, have a few cups of expresso and drink his red wine and Pastis) and I will do my best not to nag him (but I've got about 3 months of nagging built up inside of me). By the way, while I'm writing this post, the Cat Man requested a glass of red wine. He said that red wine is very good for his heart. Oh brother! I told him ok but no Pastis. May the force be with us.


Had my trigger shot this evening and did not feel any pain.

Offered the Cat Man a tall glass of water with his meal this evening. Claimed that he is allergic to water and needs wine, but made the effort and drank his water like a good little boy, sans vin.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

Well, it's not Easter, but there will be an egg hunt! Retrieval day has been confirmed for Monday! Went for the usual echography and blood test today. Apparently, there is some kind of strike going on at the hospital. I'm not surprised, in France it is unusual if there is not a strike going on somewhere. The nurses were still working, but wore stickers on their uniform ("en greve" meaning on strike) and the doctor was not in (not sure if it's because of the strike), however someone else took care of me. They may be on strike, but I'm grateful that it did not affect my care. They said I've got about 10 eggs that are ready to be retrieved for Monday. Wow, I'm so pleased with this news. I know it's still early at this stage, but I'm just grateful that I can continue on this journey.

I go in at 7:00 on Monday, will have the procedure done under general anesthesia, as retrieval can be painful for women who have endometriosis. I'm glad, as I have a really low pain threshold. I should be out of the hospital the same day at around 3:00 in the afternoon. The Cat Man will go in on Monday also, to give his donation to this cause. I hope he manages, as he is not really comfortable with this type of thing.

Tomorrow evening, I will have a new injection (Ovitrelle), which is apparently to trigger ovulation. We're almost there! I am truly blessed to have reached this point and I hope and pray that I will continue to have good news.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Bit Clueless

I've been going to the clinic every second day for an echography and blood test. Nothing exciting, they told me to continue treatment and to lower the dose for Gonal F. Normally I should have retrieval on Monday, but the doctor told me today that it is too soon (feeling a bit disappointed). Not really sure if my body is reacting well to treatment, as they don't really give much information. It's a bit my fault too, as I don't ask questions, but they rush us in and out so quickly that I don't really have the chance to ask. Seriously, I'm with the doctor for no more than 3 minutes. I don't even know what to ask specifically. Other IVF blogs seem to know all the medical jargon like beta, fet, etc. and I don't even know what that means. Unfortunately, nothing has really been explained to me. I rely heavily on internet for IVF information. Since IVF is free in France, perhaps they just do their job as quickly as possible, rather than spending some time with the patient to explain the process, their progress, etc. I usually don't chat much when I get my haircut, but I have more of a conversation with my hairdresser than with my doctor. I go back on Friday, so I think I'll write down some questions in advance to ask. At this stage, if I continue treatment, I'll take it as a good sign.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

This infertility thing can always be on the mind and sometimes we need a good distraction or simply an awesome party. My dear friend is getting married this weekend and last Saturday we had a bachelorette party for her. It was an 80s theme party, so we all got dressed up in our 80s outfit (high heels, cut off jeans, leggings, leg warmers, bubble skirts, neon pink necklaces, jackets with big shoulder pads, spandex, big hair with lots of hairsray, hair scrunchies, etc.), put up 80s posters (Wham, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, etc.), put out 80s movies (Dirty Dancing, Stand by Me, Golden Child, Ferris Bueller's Day off, etc.), and had 80s music on (Belinda Carlisle, Madonna, Wham, etc.). Had a blast and I must admit, I would love to dress 80s everyday - best decade ever!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Starting Phase 2

Had my blood test this morning and they have given me the green light to start phase 2 (yippee!!). Therefore, starting today I will have 2 daily injections, Decapetyle + Gonal F. I also had a consultation with an anesthesiologist, as I will go under general anesthesia for the retrieval (which will normally be 21 June IF everything is ok). I know it's a big IF, but I want to be optimistic. I just hope and pray that my ovaries can produce healthy eggs.

On Monday, I will go to the clinic again for another blood test and next Friday, I will go for an echography.

I've got my fingers and toes crossed that this will work out and also for my fellow IVF sisters!

PS: I had the Gonal F injection this evening and thank goodness it does not hurt. It's a very small needle, so I'm quite relieved. Stimulate follicles stimulate!! Gimme me some healthy ones!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Called the clinic and they said that it was normal that I have my period. Phew! I was so worried that my body was not reacting properly and that it was over. Part of the problem is that the doctor does not really explain the process, so I rely a lot on internet for info. Anyways, I feel really relieved and I'm still continuing my treatment.

On Wednesday, I will have a blood test and start phase 2 with the 2nd injection.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I've been getting my daily Decapeptyle injections and tonight I started having my period! Does this mean that my IVF cycle is ruined? If this is the case, I'm extremely disappointed, as I didn't even finish phase 1 of IVF. I just started the process 10 days ago and now it's possibly over already?

I would appreciate any feedback or information. I'll call the doctor on Monday, but I'm afraid that I already know the answer.