Crinone: otherwise known as the witch

The last drug I’ve had to take throughout this process is called Crinone (8%). It’s a progesterone gel that mimics what your body would be producing (if it wasn’t so jacked up on other hormones). It’s taken…um…internally. Thankfully not a suppository, this one is instead a pessary. In plain language, that means an applicator where the action is. You squeeze a gel up the wazoo once or twice a day (once for me), and the progesterone is absorbed. 

the ever lovely Crinone

Sounds simple, right? Oh it is! So simple! No problems whatsoever, except for the side effects. The main one being, I’ve become a cottage cheese factory, right where you don’t want to be eating cheese. 

never, never going to be able to eat this again..

Progesterone is also the hormone responsible for all pregnancy symptoms, including:

  • Cramps
  • Fatigue 
  • Sore breasts
  • Irritability 
  • Constipation (lovely)
  • Gas (even better)
  • Dizziness

ALL of which I’m currently experiencing. So the question now is, are these symptoms the Crinone? Or is my body trying to tell me something? I’m already terrible with symptom watching, and this gel is not making things any easier. 

On another note, tonight I noticed a very, very small amount of light pink spotting. Like, a drop in the ocean, a teensy tinge, the lightest of light pinks. But still pink. Could it be implantation bleeding? Please, please, please let it be!

And lucky last, we found out they managed to freeze one of our embryos today, unfortunately the other three didn’t make it. This means we have another shot though, just in case things don’t work out this time. If they do, then we have a chance for another baby somewhere down the line. But let’s just focus on number 1 for now!!

Jane xx

IVF: Embryo Transfer

Here we are, me and my little blob. As of yesterday morning, I am potentially pregnant, or as the web calls it: PUPO (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise). 

On Wednesday morning, I arrived at the clinic, and sat down with the nurse to go through the current situation of my embryos. Amazingly, all 5 were still going (I was sure we were going to lose a few along the way!), although some were much stronger than others. In order of development, we had:

  • 1 grade 5AB blastocyst, which is a very good quality 5 day old embryo, that was starting to hatch out of its shell. 
  • 1 early blastocyst – not as developed, but still good quality. 
  • 2 morulas: embryos with 12-16 cells (blasts have 32-64)
  • 1 8 cell embryo – lagging quite a way behind the others. 

They had decided to transfer the best one, and leave the others for another day or two to see if they progress enough to be frozen. That means that this little champion below (described by the IVF scientist as a “beautiful blastocyst”), is currently residing in my uterus, and hopefully finding itself a lovely, comfortable place to hang out for the duration. 

my beautiful little blob

The little blots on the bottom right are the embryo hatching, the thickening around the edges is what will become the placenta, and that little inner blob? The one on the left there? That’s what will hopefully, hopefully become our little baby. Kind of amazing to have a photo this early on! Is it strange that I’m really feeling very attached to it? When the scientist said how beautiful it looked, I was quite proud. I suppose it IS our genetic material, but it’s very surreal!

So anyway, the actual transfer. This was like an exciting Pap smear. Speculum and all. A little bit of pain as they stuck a tube through my cervix and into my uterus, but otherwise just uncomfortable. They then inserted a ridiculously thin catheter containing my little blob, and in it went! All of about 10 minutes, and 30 seconds later I was pulling my pants back on and waltzing on out of there. 

I’m now in Day 2 of the endless length of time that is otherwise known as the two week wait – made longer by the fact that my blood test is booked for two weeks after transfer, not ovulation. I’m already planning on rebelling and testing on the two week point of “ovulation”, which will be 9 days past the transfer of the 5-day embryo, or 9dp5dt. This is 1dp5dt, so a little while yet!

Until then, it’s just me, Mr Nester and our little blob, hopefully currently burrowing nice and deep into my uterine lining. 

I’ll also find out tomorrow if any remaining embryos made it to freeze, and I’m really hoping we have at least one, as if this doesn’t take that will have to be it for a while. Until I find another $6,000, anyway. Staying positive though, and focusing on having this lovely little blob growing here with me for the next 9 months. 

Symptoms wise, I’m feeling exhausted most days, and I’m getting some very light cramping on both sides, with the occasional jab on the right. Come on, baby, implant!!

Jane (& blob) xx

IVF: Fertilisation & Egg Retrieval Aftermath

I am so freaking sore! Kicked in the soft parts kind of sore. That said, I’m much better than yesterday, and ten times better than I was on Friday, but still. Sore! I guess having a needle puncture 15 follicles through the wall of your vagina will do that to a lady. 

As you may have guessed, I’m post egg retrieval, and not quite as high on sedatives as I was in my last post. Apologies for all the spew talk. It was at the forefront of my muddled mind. 

After the retrieval on Friday and the ill fated trip home (read all about it here), I’ve been resting, resting, eating and resting. I found that lying on the couch was my most comfortable position, and who am I to argue with my body? Couch it is. Somewhere in the middle of all that resting was a block of stressing, where I was waiting to hear from the clinic how many eggs fertilised. They had told me after the retrieval on Friday that they would call me in the morning with the fertilisation results, so I had naïvely assumed I would receive a phone call before midday. I didn’t. So I panicked. The ridiculous things that went through my mind:

  • Maybe they’ve lost my number (they’ve called me plenty of times already)
  • Maybe they screwed up and lost my eggs
  • Maybe they leave all the bad phone calls until the end 
  • Maybe the scientist forgot to come in and my eggs were never fertilised…

So, completely rational hypotheses. I actually ended up googling the scientist, finding her email address and asking her to call me, before the clinic rang at 12:17pm. NOT morning, may I emphasise. A lovely lady let me know that of the 7 eggs retrieved on Friday, 6 were mature, and using ICSI, 5 had fertilised. 5! I was dreading that phone call, expecting them to tell me one or none had been successful. But 5! Such great news. Of course, there’s a good chance they won’t all make it to the transfer date, but it’s possible they will as well. I’ll find out tomorrow morning how many have made it to Day 3, and that will dictate whether I have a transfer that day (if they’re not looking great), or if they wait for Day 5 (if things are progressing well). So, more waiting, but the good kind!

Mr Nester and I have had a chat about what a good outcome would be, so I don’t get too disheartened if we lose some of the embryos. Obviously having any at all to transfer would be great, but ideally I’d like to have at least one to freeze as well. That would mean we’d have another shot if things didn’t go as planned this cycle. 

It’s funny, but I’m feeling quite attached to my little embryos, currently hanging out in their Petri dishes across the city, and looking something like this:

one little egg at 2 days

So, I’m hoping against hope that all my zygotes grow to blastocysts (from a ball of cells to a bigger, tougher ball of cells), even though chances are I’m likely to end up with a third of the embryos making it, leaving me with maybe 2 at the 5 day mark. Then it’s transfer time!

I’ll keep you posted tomorrow, come on future people, grow grow grow!

Jane xx