Surgery is booked!

We were back at the doctors office this morning for the final scan to confirm surgery. All six eggs continued to grow and better yet, she found another one that didn’t show up on the last scan as it was hiding inside my lazy ovary. So that’s 7 in total and as everybody knows, 7 is a good number!

Candice snapped this photo of me. When I’m nervous I tend to clasp my hands together otherwise I fidget too much

After that scan this morning we headed up the road to the QFG blood collection clinic for my final blood test. This is just to check the levels of my lutienising hormone, oestradiol and progesterone levels are all on track.

So I am officially booked into St Andrews hospital for Tuesday, 28th January. Between now and then I will need to keep taking the morning injections of Gonal-F so my eggs keep maturing as well as the nightly injections of Orgalutran to hold off ovulation. On Sunday night, just after midnight I need to take my last injection for this IVF cycle called Ovidrel which is the ‘trigger shot’. Apparently it will tell my body to prepare for ovulation and bring my eggs to full maturity. Then exactly 37 hours later my doctor performs surgery for the egg ‘pick up’. I’ll be under general anaesthetic but the whole procedure is so quick and simple I’ll be awake about half an hour after I’m put under.

A helpful booklet on what to expect as well as 4 medical forms attached to the back that I need to fill out.

I need to fast for 6 hours before surgery so that sucks as I’m known to be quite grumpy when I’m hungry. Hopefully I’m too nervous to even feel the hunger! Candice will be waiting for me in the recovery room of the hospital to be my chauffeur home. Once my eggs are out, the scientists will put each egg into a cell-culture dish and add our donors sperm.

The next 19 hours are going to be long as we won’t find out if any eggs fertilised with the sperm until 10am the next day.

Which just happens to be my 30th birthday.

If fertilisation has taken place then I will also be told what date the embryo transfer date will be. It can be anywhere from 2 – 6 days after ‘pick up’ so I’m assuming if all goes well, transfer will will sometime between Friday and Monday.

While we were at QFG we decided to pay the IVF fees. This doesn’t include the anaesthetist fees just the QFG fees. Luckily for us over the last year we have been paying extra each week on our mortgage which now means we have $30,000 that we can access at anytime. This came in handy today.

Oh my goodness, I’m so nervous and excited all at once. I’m so happy and grateful that this is going ahead and that we didn’t hit any more obstacles this month. Yay!

I hope everyone has a great long weekend.

 

Second IVF scan

Today we were back at the specialist’s office for a scan of my ovaries to see if all these fertility drugs I’m taking are doing their job. I was under the impression that if I only produced 1 or 2 eggs then the doctor would simply increase the dosage of Gonal-F but I found out today that I am already taking the maximum dosage. This only made me feel more nervous about the ultrasound results.

The first ovary she looked at only showed 1 follicle (or egg). My stomach dropped as she admitted that it was a disappointing number and she just hoped the my other ovary has been working a bit harder. When she scanned across to the other, thankfully the ultrasound showed more than one follicle. She started counting them and in total that ovary had 5. She explained that no more will grow before egg retrieval and that at the moment they are all the same size of 11mm which is good. They will need to be double that size before egg retrieval so I need to go back in on Friday for another scan to see how they are looking. If all the follicles are big enough then the doctor will schedule surgery for mid next week.

I know 6 eggs in total is not a very high number and that someone my age taking half the dosage I’m on would be expected to produce 12-15 eggs but I feel like we are getting closer. After all, it only takes 1 egg and I have 6.

Positive thoughts.

Our doctor loaded us up with another cooler bag stuffed full of fertility drugs to last until Friday. Keep growing little eggs! It’s my 30th birthday next week and you can probably guess what I’ll be wishing for when I blow out my candles.

Today we begin IVF

It’s a new year and with that we have made the decision to start IVF this month. It’s all a bit scary but also exciting as the odds of getting pregnant this way are increased.

We weren’t sure it would be possible as the earliest appointment we could get with the specialist was day 2 of my cycle. Luckily for us our doctor usually starts treatment in an IVF cycle on day 3 so we just scraped in. I was so relieved when we were told that we wouldn’t have to wait another 4 weeks to start. Our doctor explained that I would start injections of Gonal-F and would need to inject into my belly at the same time every morning. This drug stimulates my ovaries to produce multiple eggs, hopefully 6-10. For someone of my age, injections of about 200IU (0.35ml) are given but she has instructed me to take injections of 450IU (0.75ml). This is due to my very low AMH levels, to quote her, “I think we have an uphill battle here”. She said she is just worried that with a lower dose of Gonal-F, I wouldn’t produce enough eggs worthy of retrieval. If I only have 1 or 2 eggs then they won’t go ahead with the ‘egg pickup’ and surgery will be cancelled. On the flip side if I happen to react too strongly to the drugs and produce 30 eggs then IVF will have to be cancelled also. So it’s a bit frustrating. Being on a higher dose of Gonal-F increases the risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome and I’m so scared of getting that. Hopefully our doctor knows what she is doing.

Before we left the appointment she said she just needed to do a quick scan to check that my ovaries were empty and that my last ovulation didn’t leave anything behind that could cause issues this month. An internal scan… while I have my period. She was very insistent that this sort of thing doesn’t bother her and that she does it all the time but I couldn’t help but feel very uneasy and uncomfortable about it. I wasn’t completely naive to the fact that I was going to be put in a lot of awkward and vulnerable situations when we started this baby making thing but I couldn’t help but die a little during this scan. She did it super quick though and the scan showed nothing hanging around in ovaries so we are good to go ahead with this IVF cycle. We were given a little cooler bag full of drugs and needles to use between now and next Monday.

On Sunday night I need to start the nightly injections of Orgalutran. It’s only 0.5ml but she warned me that the needle is quite blunt so it might hurt a bit more than the other ones. This is to stop my body from ovulating early. We go back to see her on Monday and I’ll get another scan to see how the eggs are growing. If there aren’t many she will up the dosage of Gonal-F but if there are too many she will have to cancel. If it looks perfect then I stay on the same dosage and continue to take the injections morning and night until surgery is scheduled for egg retrieval. The day before surgery I will need to inject the ‘trigger shot’ which brings on ovulation. I’m a little nervous about the surgery as I’m told they have to pierce through the vaginal wall but I know I’ll be completely under anaesthetic so won’t feel anything.

I also made an appointment for earlier the same day with the QFG nurses so we could get all the information on the risks, costs and drugs involved as well as how to actually do the injections. She gave us a little demonstration on how to inject and then had me practice with an empty needle on a piece of rubber.

The first needle this morning was easy and didn’t hurt at all though it has left a little round bruise on my stomach. At the end of the 2 weeks my belly is going to be spotted both brown, green and blue bruise dots.

I just got back from Medicare after registering Candice and I for the Medicare Family Safety Net. Given that we were just told of all the costs involved and then also getting an invoice from QFG for $7860 (this doesn’t include our doctor or hospital fees) we want to make sure we are registered. I’m so grateful for our health care system. It will bring that figure down to about $4000.

So that’s were we are up to at the moment. Will post again after the scan scan next Monday 🙂