Friday, May 13, 2016

BFP

It is with great excitement and a lot of trepidation that we announce that our beta test came in and it was positive, I'm pregnant. (maybe it was the good luck egg!)  It is still very early so its really soon to start actually celebrating, but when I started this blog, the goal was to be open and honest about my journey so that others wouldn't feel alone and those not directly involved could get a glimpse into the life of a couple on this journey.

Out of respect for my friends that are still on their journeys, I will end my blog here and continue on a new blog to keep everything separate.  It is extremely painful to read anything about anyone being pregnant when you aren't and every aching fiber in your being wants to be.  I wish all my fellow fertility challenged friends the very best of luck and hope to see you soon on the other side of it.

If you would like to follow the next part of this journey, my new blog is called The Pregnant Infertile and you can find it here: thepregnantinfertile.blogspot.com

Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Brno

Today starts my official bed rest period. We decided to do our bed rest in Brno. We are flying out of the Vienna airport and Brno is in between Zlin and Vienna. While we would have loved to go back to Vienna, our hotel is much less expensive here. We actually have a suite with an office, a living room and two bathrooms which is not a bad way to do bed rest.
I went down for breakfast earlier and that's all I plan on doing today. Ryan ventured out to explore a bit of what Brno has to offer.

Through this whole process, I find it very difficult to hear when people say that I am brave or that we are brave. I don't feel like I am at all. I still break down and cry often and find it to be a very difficult journey but I don't feel like I have a choice. Quitting just isn't an option. So I plow along, going through the motions and doing what I have to do with several freak outs and tears along the way.  I brought this book to read while on bed rest to give me some inspiration of actual strong women.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Transfer Day

Today started as predicted. Ryan and I handle stress very differently. He sleeps a lot and I don't sleep at all. So I've been up since about 3 am. The IF PTSD is a tough thing to shake. Everytime I gear up to do this again, all my brain thinks of is the last failure and keeps replaying that in my head. I am trying very hard to push those thoughts away.
I figured since I was up I would start my morning medication routine. I starts with my thyroid pill that I can only take on an empty stomach.  Then I wait an hour, then I ate something in order to take all my pills that I have to take with food.
Next up is getting ready for the transfer. We needed to bring our meds, our clothing for the transfer, our paperwork, my meditation tapes from Jeneanne for post transfer and my good luck stone, egg and St. Gerard card and last but not least, a crazy pair of transfer socks.

Next stop, back to the Tomosov for bloodwork. That went fine, except when I left I ran into the wife of the husband that was mentioned earlier that wore underwear and slippers and she too was wearing her pajamas and slippers. I didn't have my phone handy so I couldn't snap a photo of that.

Next up, downstairs for a hearty breakfast. They make some really awesome fresh smoothies here. I ordered the pineapple and mint.

Next we explored Zlin because we had about two hours to kill. We walked around the very small city center. There was a farmers market and several little shops. We found the University where our donor came from. For a brief moment I looked around to see if anyone fit her description but quickly got over it.

We then made the trek back up the hill for our embryologist appointment and to meet with our transfer doctor. That was the most nervous I have been the whole time. Luckily we recieved good news. We had a total of 4 embryos to work with. We decided to transfer two and freeze two. Hopefully the two frozen will be for a sibling, but if this doesn't work at least we have another chance.

Next up, transfer time. We checked in and were escorted back to our recovery room
. I changed into a lovely skirt/gown and my new hopefully lucky socks.
 Ryan carried all of our lucky charms in his pocket and we waited for our final instructions. Next came in Anna, my coordinator who went over all of results and protocols. She gave us my blood test results and ryan sperm test results, all in English for our files and our doctor back home. We also ordered all of our final medications. The best news was that my progesterone levels were high enough that I didn't need to supplement with PIO!!!!! One less shot so I'm happy.

We transfered the two embryos and then they wheeled us back to our recovery bed. We had the 4 bed room to ourselves. I put on an eye mask and put on the meditation tapes. I ended up falling asleep and ryan read a book on his nook. We stayed there about an hour and a half. Then I slowly got up and we headed to the lobby to meet our driver to our next hotel in Brno which is about an hour away. As soon as we checked in to our room, I put on my pj's and bed rest officially begins.  And now the 2WW....

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER



Friday, April 15, 2016

Fertilization Report

Our ER was yesterday and below is the report and our next steps. We are very happy with the results, but will be on pins and needles until we get our final report on the 19th.

We will try and keep busy over the next few days. I found a place to hang our good luck egg in our hotel room. Tomorrow we are taking a day trip to Saltzburg which we are very much looking forward to.

Here is our report:
Yesterday we retrieved 12 eggs from a donor,

12 of them were mature, and 10 were fertilized with  PICSI, so you have 10 embryos now. They are monitored by EmbryoScope.

Your partner had his semen analysis done and the result is  asthenosperm (sufficient for IVF)  . He had 0 dose of sperm cryopreserved because the whole sample was used for fertilization.

Embryo transfer is scheduled for Tuesday 1:00 pm( 13:00 pm).

Please, have all your medication as prescribed as well as morning Progesterone (Utrogestan) pills vaginally. The main ingredient will be absorbed within 30 mins and white discharge will be cleaned in the operation theatre during embryo transfer.

Please come at 10:00 am  to 3d floor to give your blood for progesterone level.

You can have your breakfast before giving a blood.

You will have your consultation with embryologist at  12:40 pm    – please come to the 3d floor, you will be given an information about how many embryos you have and what quality they are.

Take your passports  and filled consent forms, which you will sign in front of the doctor or other clinic staff.  We cannot provide ET without signed consent forms.

After the consultation please come to 1st floor to financial dept. to balance your payment.

Then please come to 3d floor for the transfer. Please, take a bathrobe (long t-shirt) and slippers (socks) with you.  You will stay in the recovery room after the transfer for about 1 hour and I will then bring you the final report to your room.

It is better if you have a half full bladder for embryo transfer. You may drink around 2 glasses of water 1 hr before the embryo transfer, or just do not use the bathroom 2hrs before the procedure. Please, do not lead it to the critical as well, because you need to lie for 1 more hour once embryos are transferred.

You will continue taking medications prescribed, so please  make sure you have enough until  week 12th . I can give you the prescriptions for the meds you missing or make sure you will be able to arrange the meds in your country.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Clinic Day 2

Today was Ryan's day. We went back to the clinic. We had to check in between 8 and 9 am. Calling the cab proved again to be difficult because our phone did not want to cooperate even though we used it the night before without problems. But we have someone in the restaurant call for us and the cab was there about 20 min later.

We arrived with plenty of time to spare. We filled out some paprework and took a seat. Now being IVF vets and doing this and living through all this, I really thought I had seen and heard it all. Well....... today was a first. A man walked into the sperm collection area wearing slippers and boxers.
 What the heck man! Dude! Ryan and I didn't know where to look. At least it gave us something to laugh about at least.

Now I sit in the train station anxiously awaiting the report from the clinic about how the ER went.  We are somewhere just outside of Zlin.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Clinic Day 1

Well after months and months of planning, today we finally stepped foot into our clinic. It is called IVF Zlin.

The morning started off super frantic. We had asked the hotel to call us a cab for 7:45 am and that time came and went with no cab. We had an 8am appt at the clinic. There is never anyone at the reception because they live next door. We figured this out last night. So Ryan went down to the restaurant to find someone to call a cab for us. Well 15 min later still no cab. One eventually came but we ended up being almost 30 min late to our appt. Lesson learned, call our own cab.

First stop was the 3rd floor for intralipids. Of course they had a problem finding my veins the first few times. The nurse ended up not being able to do it and she called for a more experienced person to come try. After several minutes she finally got it and she started the drip. The room where you get it done has two comfortable beds. I laid down and got comfortable. Ryan set next to me and we set up the tablet and watched a stupid Ben Stilled movie. It took about 90 minutes.

Next stop was our first meeting with our doctor. He was very similar in his consultation with us to what we have heard from other doctors back home, just in a very thick accent. Our doctor is Dr. Milan, second from the right on the top row. Our coordinator is Anna, bottom row far left.

After we met with the doctor we did an ultrasound. They wanted my lining to be between 7 and 16. My lining was at 11.5. He found two cysts in my cervix but he said that wouldn't interfer with the transfer. Ovaries were ok and there was no fluid in the uterus so we got the green light to transfer.

Next was a consultation with our IVF coordinator. This is who I have been emailing for the last several months so it was nice to finally meet her in person. She gave us our next medication schedule. And our schedule for tomorrow.

Great news is I don't start PIO yet, they want to check my blood before the transfer after being on progesterone suppositories and oral pills first and see what the levels are. So 4 more days without PIO. Best news ever!

Our donor had her final exam yesterday and she was at good numbers so she triggered last night for retrieval tomorrow. Ryan does his part between 8 and 9am and then the ER. We will get an update that night and another one in the morning with our transfer time.

After all of this we are exhausted and going to take the day off from traveling. We asked if there was anywhere to walk around even and the answer was no, this is an industrial town. They directed us to a zoo, but living in San Diego and having access to one of the best zoos in the world, I think we will pass.

Also everyone keeps telling us the cabs and the people at our hotel speak perfect English. We haven't really been able to communicate with anyone at all. As I am writing this we are still having issues trying to get a cab.

Tomorrow we leave for Vienna and we are very much looking forward to it.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Donor Update part II

Here is the update from the clinic:

The size of these 10 follicles is optimal around 16 mm. There are 5 follicles, which are smaller, so it is hard to say, if there will be mature eggs. Maybe the number of retrieved eggs will be higher than 10, we will see on Thursday.

Our room at Penzion Uno
I started my lovenox shot tonight and my steroids in anticipation of the intralipid infusion in the morning. Then after that I meet the doctor and do and ultrasound and blood work.

Today was fun but exhausting. We hired a guide to drive us from Budapest to Zlin and to stop at towns a long the way. We were in three different countries in one day. As an American, that just amazes me

We made it to Zlin at about 6pm. We quickly checked into our room and headed downstairs for dinner. Happily, a couple sitting next to us introduced themselves and we struck up a conversation. They are cycling here too from the States. They had already been to the clinic a few times so filled us in on how everything works.  Hopefully with all the anxiety, I will be able to get some sleep because I am so tired. Below is a picture of our room.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER