The numbers are in #ivf2

Yesterday was Egg Collection day. I had my final scan on the Sunday morning and things were looking good. My follicles had moved on a lot from the previous scan on the Friday and we got the go ahead to trigger on Sunday night. 

I took the trigger injection at 11pm on the Sunday, injection free day on the Monday and up for egg collection on Tuesday morning. 

It was a bit of a case of déjà u when we were shown to the exact same bed space and told that we were third on the list which was the same as last cycle, I was hoping this was in fact a good omen and it turns out it was! 

Egg collection went perfectly and we were chuffed to bits to be told we got

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We got a bakers dozen, lucky number 13! An increase of 4 from our last cycle which is good. I had gone in hoping that if we got the same as last time or one more then I would be happy so to come out with 4 more than last time made me feel very happy. 

Tuesday night was spent in a bit of daze, I was a bit uncomfy after the procedure but this was eased with paracetamol, hot water bottle and a Krispy Kreme doughnut. I slept surprisingly well and was up early to await the call from the embryologist.  Thankfully we didn’t need to wait long and the call came before 9am. I was surprised to find out that when my eggs where taken to the lab we had in fact got 14! Not the 13 that they thought straight after egg collection. 

I was hoping luck would be on our side, I had opened the kitchen blind that morning to see a little Robin staring right back at me. 

Robins mean a lot to me so I had a little word with my late Granny and asked for some good news. And good news is what we got….

I can’t quite believe I am writing that figure. Of the 13 we thought we had yesterday we have 13 fertilised normally this morning. 100% fert rate in my eyes! 

Obviously the next few days are another major hurdle as we wait to see how many are still developing on day 3, then how many are hopefully left on day 5 for transfer. This second part of the IVF process is so difficult in my eyes as you really have no control over anything anymore and can’t even let yourself believe you are doing something like you did when you were stimulating. 

It’s all up to those little embies now to keep going strong. Fingers crossed. 

Claire xx 

Stimming all the way – IVF#2

Well here we are, still stimming. Despite the short protocol feeling really fast in one respect it also feels like I have been stimming for ages despite it only actually being 10 days. I have had two monitoring scans and things have been improving steadily.

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My left ovary is responding much better this time than last. We only had two follicles on there the last time so by my second monitoring scan seeing we had 5 on there above 10mm was so good to see. Looks like changing over to the increase in stims and the short protocol has been the right thing to do. Off course on the increase in stims and a long protocol I may well have responded in the same way but for now I am thankful that I am responding at all as that was always a worry in the back of my head.

My clinic like to see two follicles at 18mm or above before they plan egg collection and the nurse was hopeful that when my results were reviewed that they would go ahead and book me in for egg collection as I had a lead follicle at 21mm and a second at 17mm. Seeing as they don’t do collections over a weekend it would give me another day of stimming to get the other to catch up over 18mm. Though when I was reviewed by the consultant and the embryologist at the afternoon meeting they decided that they wanted me to stim for a further two nights and to be rescanned again on Sunday morning with hopefully trigger Sunday night and collection on the Tuesday. I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t quite ready but on reflection the clinic know what they are doing and they are hopeful that the smaller follicles will have a chance to catch up a little over the next few days.

Overall I have been feeling really relaxed throughout this cycle. I have been receiving acupuncture, using my IVF hypnosis CD and not over thinking things (mostly) at my clinic appointments I have been upbeat and the nurses did remark I am taking it in my stride. Obviously having been through it before has really helped me to relax this time, you know what is happening, not constantly wondering what the next step is going to be so that really helps.

One thing I have noticed is that boy you do get side effects just on stimming drugs! I re read my diary from the last cycle and noticed although I felt good for a few days when I started stimming it didn’t last long. This is the same this time. I have felt so tired, headaches on and off and bloated. Again normally the bloat is worse in the evening but as we get closer to the end of stimming I am feeling bloated all day. Oh and did I mention the tiredness? Can you tell it’s been a big thing! I was in bed last night at 9.30pm and slept right through, but on waking up still felt exhausted, it’s like there is a fog in my brain and I can’t get past it. I suppose in the grand scheme of things though it isn’t something that I should be overly worried about and it will pass once I stop taking the drugs.

My mantra for this week has been all about hope. Without hope I would have nothing. I have to keep believing that whatever is for me will not go past me. Hope that this cycle will be a success. Hope that we will be a family of three in 2015.

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C xx

Here we go again ~ IVF#2

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Well here we are again. IVF#2 is underway. It feels weird writing that. As a thought before, the new short protocol is so much faster. The longest time seemed to be waiting for my period to show up which for some reason this month played with me for a few days before finally showing herself after hours sitting under my hot water bottle.

Day 3 seen me heading up to the clinic, though I thought it was day 4, my period started in the evening though so the clinic don’t class day one until the following day – everyday is a school day in the IVF world.

Scan results were good, this time they were just looking for a thinning lining and no cysts on each ovary before they can start the stimulation drugs. I got the go ahead to start stims that night and so on we stepped to the rollercoaster again.

This time I am trying a short antagonist cycle using 225 Gonal F for stimulation, an increase from last cycle and cetrotide to prevent ovulation. No nasty side effects from down regulation to contend with but there are still the stims ones. I was so pleased I blogged everything last time as it has really helped me to look over them again and see that I am not going mad. The main side effect is tiredness, followed by headaches, I’m managing them both quite well and water and isotonic drinks are my new best friend again. Oh and not to forget the huge amount of EWCM that was one thing that slipped my mind and took me by surprise again when it appeared!Thankfully I know that is nothing to worry about.

I have a monitoring scan booked in this week so hopefully I will be responding well to the increase in medication and we will get an idea of when we are looking at for potential egg collection date.

Keeping everything crossed!

Claire xx

Youandmearefamily is two!

Goodness it doesn’t seem that long ago since I sat late one night in a conversation with a friend and decided that I would like to try to blog again, that was over two years ago and today my little piece of the blogging world turns two.

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I blog mainly for me, I’m not here trying to please people, have the perfect blog or keep up with the blogging elite. I’m just here in my little corner sharing little bits of my life and hoping that people find it interesting and it’s working for me. I love my blog, it makes me feel quite proud, happy that I’m sharing aspects of my life and I’m particularly proud of being brave enough to share my infertility story on here.

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Through the blog I have got in contact with so many people, others who have or are experiencing similar things in their lives and I love the fact blogging has given me the ability to reach out. I’ve also been able to share some great Slimming World recipes which still prove to be a hit time and time again.

Thank you all for sticking around, for continuing to read my little piece of the blogging world and for supporting me along the way.

Here’s to another year!

Claire xx

Easy tomato soup ~ Slimming World

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I was passed this recipe by a friend who had found it online here after I commented to her that it smelt amazing and just like Heinz!

I’m always after new soups so was hoping this one would be a new favourite and it’s certainly up there.

Free on Extra Easy

Ingredients –

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2 tins tomatoes
1 tin baked beans
1 tin carrots
2 tbsp sweetener
2 small pickled onions
1 pint vegetable stock

Put all ingredients into large pan, blend together and Simmer to heat.

See, easy peasy and lovely!

Claire xx

#walk1000miles in a year challenge – update month one

I decided back in January to set myself the challenge of walking 1000 miles over the course of the year.  I thought it would be a good motivator for me to get up and move more.  The #walk1000miles challenge was set up by Country Walking. At first I thought ‘that would be tough’ but actually it is only walking around 2.7 miles per day, 20 miles per week or 83 miles per month.

I already measure how much I walk a day with my trusty Fitbit. So I thought it would be easy to link in with this challenge.  The only thing that I’m struggling with is an app to keep up with how much I am doing on a monthly basis.  Fitbit emails me weekly so I am currently keeping those emails and adding them together for the monthly summary.

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I am over the moon with the results from month one and am over my target!  It really is making me move more as I want to try and achieve that 2.7 miles per day.  Some days it’s easier than others!

Claire xx

Weight Loss Wednesday ~ Monthly update

I started back to Slimming World at home on the 3rd January. It’s been a 5 weekly weigh ins month but I’m over the moon to be reporting.

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I’ve been getting back into it fine and have even managed to be adding in some protein smoothies to prepare for IVF by using syns.

I do still find that in order for me to lose weight I do need to be eating most of my allocated daily syns a day which is something I struggled to get my head around until I also started adding everything to MyFitnessPal and seen how many calories, fat, carbs and protein I was eating a day. It really helped me see that on some days I was eating well below my allowance if not using my syns.

Hopefully the next few weeks will be seeing me start on a new round of IVF. I need to adjust my diet accordingly to add in some things that are really helpful for egg quality etc. This cycle though will be all about balancing slimming world and MyFitnessPal to ensure I don’t put on the 10 odd pounds I did the last time through treatment and comfort eating!

Claire

It’s just a little scratch – Endo Scratch

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I first heard about the ‘endo scratch’ from my parents, who had sent me an article from their local newspaper back in 2013. A local couple had finally achieved their dreams on the IVF cycle that followed them having a endometrial scratch and my parents thought I would be interested. I read it, it sounded good but I put it back in the drawer, it wasn’t something I really thought I would need, you know back in those naive days…..they seem so long ago now. It was something that was spoken about on twitter by my IVF twitter friends but again I didn’t really look into it as it wasn’t mentioned at my clinic as something that I needed to be doing. But now we are staring into the eyes of cycle number 2, the last of our funded IVF cycles it is something that I want to try.

It’s not cheap and it’s not overly easy to actually get a clinic to do within central Scotland. My actual clinic don’t offer them, even to private patients. They don’t feel that there is enough evidence to support them in helping with an IVF cycle but some other clinics do and I made an appointment at the Glasgow Centre Reproductive Medicine. for this morning. I felt that although there may be evidence for and against, that I needed to know that I have tried everything that I could that may possibly help this cycle be a success.

What is endometrial “scratch”?
Endometrial scratch is a simple outpatient procedure where a doctor/nurse uses a fine catheter to remove/scratch the lining of the womb. This instrument is already in common use within gynaecology for a biopsy from the endometrial lining. The procedure is usually planned in the second half of the cycle immediately preceding the IVF attempt.

How is it performed?
It involves vaginal examination with a speculum (like you have while having a cervical smear) and passing a very thin plastic tube called “endometrial pipelle” through the cervix to reach the endometrium. The pipelle is then moved up and down on the walls of the womb

Information credit.

A clinical review, published back in 2012 suggested that having the procedure prior to IVF can increase the rate of pregnancy, and suggests that women who underwent the process of gentle endometrial scraping one month before a cycle are twice as likely to see embryo implantation in that cycle, that’s a figure that I like!

The procedure itself was okay, I wasn’t too sure what to expect to be honest, but I am thankful to be able to say that it was uncomfortable but bearable. The consultant did a quick internal scan then did the actual scratch.  I could feel some movement like something twisting around then the cramping started, very much like bad period cramping.  I’m sure I scrunched my face up quite a bit but the consultant did praise me on tolerating it very well.  It was over within a few minutes.  The cramping however wasn’t, she did say that it could last a few hours and on the drive home I did have quite a few that did cause me to wince a little, but again nothing worse than bad period ones.  They have eased off a lot and now when writing this 6 hours after the procedure I am only getting mild ones which are passing quite quickly.

Here’s hoping the pain and money are worth it!  All I know is I had to try.

Claire xx

It’s the small things ~ January edition

Some of the small things that have made January.

(null) Celebrating Hogmanay with family.

(null) Looking at nutrition for IVF

(null) Feeling blessed for having this walk on my doorstep.

(null) Loving my new ‘Fluffy Towels’ candle.

(null) Enjoying a long soak in the bath complete with candles.

(null) Going a bit overboard with herbal teas.

(null) Joining my maiden name clan with good old Irn Bru.

(null) Getting the first snow for January.

(null) Getting motivated with marbles.

(null) Getting the second snow for January.

(null) Finally buying this and bringing hope into our home.

(null) Getting the third snow of January. (There’s a theme developing here!)

(null) Feeling very cold.

(null) IVF paperwork arriving!

(null) Purchasing protein powder for smoothies for IVF.

(null) Making said protein shakes.

And finishing the month with……you guessed it…..more snow!

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Claire xx

Chicken Tikka Masala – Slimming World

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I adapted this recipe from one I found in a Slimming World magazine. This needs some marinating time so bare that in mind if you are going to make it.

Ingredients
Serves 4
Free on Extra Easy

For the marinade
4 tbsp tikka spice blend
Juice of 1 lime
200g fat free natural yoghurt
4 skinless chicken breasts sliced

! red, green and yellow pepper sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
8 tbsp tomato puree
200g passata with onions and garlic
1/4 tsp sweetner
300ml chicken stock
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp quark
Handful of coriander
Lime wedges to serve

Marinade – In a bowl, add the tikka spice, lime juice, chicken and yoghurt, mix together cover and place in the fridge overnight (I had forgotten to do this part and only marinated for 3 hours and it still tasted lovely)

In a pan sprayed with Frylight, add your marinaded chicken mix along with the onions and cook for around 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, peppers and remaining tikka and stir fry for a few minutes. Stir in the tomato puree, pasatta, sweetener, stock and cinnamon stick. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and mix in the Quark, remove the cinnamon stick. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice and a slice of lime.

Enjoy!

Claire xx

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