Just one person's tale to tell....

I am a 35-year-old journalist who has decided there is no better way to overcome difficult times than to write--feel free to post, comment or just read along. This is my blog about the struggles I endured of trying to conceive. For all those out there who are experiencing the same difficulties--sometimes it is nice to hear that you are not alone.
"I have not failed 10000 times; I have successfully found 10000 ways that do not work." ~ Thomas Edison

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

22 weeks--past the half way mark

So today I had my second OB appointment and with the results that the anatomy scan and IPS #2 test all came back normal the reality has set in that in 18 weeks I'll be a mama!!

And just to make things more interesting I'll also be a homeowner on Jan. 24--meaning we'll be moving to Innisfil on Feb 2.--nothing like a 7 month old prego moving in the middle of the winter. :) We are extremely excited that 2010 really turned out to be our year and can't wait for the new adventures in 2011.

We have already started planning for the baby's room and since we are not finding out what we are having we decided on a tree/forest themed room with white furniture --lots of owls and woodland creatures to entertain!!--I've been searching on craigslist and kijiji and Im surprised people ever pay full price for stuff when sooo many people are selling almost new items. Needless to say we'll probably end up with an amazing crib for under $200!

here's some pics of the bedding we have--can't wait to paint the room and get organized!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blood type O may affect infertile women’s chances of pregnancy

From parentcentral.ca

November 04, 2010
Debra Black
Staff Reporter

Researchers at Yale University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine have found an association in infertile women between type O blood and a diminished ovarian reserve, or the number of eggs that can be fertilized and result in pregnancy.
The study found these women with blood type O were at double the risk of having diminished ovarian reserve than women of other blood types, said Sangita Jindal, an assistant professor in the department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and one of the authors of the study.
But she cautioned: “I don’t want people with Blood Type O to think they’re half as likely to get pregnant. This is only in the infertile population and it’s only an association. We don’t know what the cause is.”
The study of 536 women’s blood types, obtained from data at Yale University under the supervision of Dr. Lubna Pal and data at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, found that both blood type O and A had an association with ovarian reserve.
In the case of infertile women with blood type O, they were twice as likely to have an elevated amount of FSH – a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that is related to the production of estrogen – as well as diminished ovarian/egg reserve, Jindal said in an interview with the Star.
High levels of FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone, are a key indicator of having a low egg count.
However, researchers found that infertile women with blood type A in the study were 50 per cent less likely to have elevated FSH and diminished reserve, said Jindal who is from Ottawa and did her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto’s Department of Medicine at the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research.
Blood type B failed to demonstrate any relationship with FSH, the study found.
Jindal, also the lab director for the IVF program at Albert Einstein College, stresses it’s too soon to come to any conclusions about what the study’s results mean when it comes to helping infertile couples, which make up about 15 per cent of the population across North America, or one in six couples.
More research must be done to understand what the association means, Jindal said.
The researchers will need to look at blood types and the actual number of eggs produced through IVF in female patients, as well as a number of other variables before they can associate a response to a blood type, she said.
Once that is better understood, doctors working with infertile couples could one day use a woman’s blood type to help determine IVF treatment, Jindal said.
“I think we’re still grappling with why ovaries age. This is another piece of information we bring to the puzzle – yet another association.
“The field is still pretty new.”
The study, which Jindal and her co-authors hope will be published in a journal next spring, was recently presented at the annual American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Denver, Colo.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Feeling like I won the lottery

I am almost at the 16 week mark--FOUR MONTHS pregnant and this week I realize just how lucky DH and I am. I've been following all the ladies I cycled with during IVF that resulted in pregnancy--I think there is about 8 or 9 of us---out of 30 or so...each one of us knowing how extremely lucky we were.

While I was browsing around some of the other ivf blogs I just can't belief the amount of heartache and disappointment that goes along with it. I read one woman's story after four ivfs---her cycle yet again has been cancelled due to poor response from her ovaries (even with all those injections pumping in the crazy hormone drugs)--I don't know where they find the strength to keep their chin up and look ahead to the next cycle. 

The odds are low and I knew that going in which just makes me realize just how much of a miracle my lil bean is!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

MIA but back in action

So I realized this morning that I've really put my blogging on hold and I'm not sure what happened...part of me didn't want to write my joy into words in case things took a turn for the worse. As a first time pregger and IVFer I can admit I have been pretty calm about twitches, cramps, aches and pains--I have yet to drive to the ER for confirmation that my bean is still where it should be--BUT throughout my whole first trimester it did sit in the back of my mind that things can go wrong at the most unexpected moment.
Well I am officially onto my second trimester and after an amazing u/s on Tuesday I am feeling more like this is all really happening. The baby was extremely active--so much so the technician had a very difficult time getting the neck measurement. The entire time I had a permanent smile across my face and be amazed at the baby bouncing its feet off my uterine wall (of course I won't be smiling if he/she does that all day once I can feel him/her  LOL)
My symptoms are as strong as ever with nausea (and sickness) getting worse by the weeks---I was hoping week 12 was my saviour but oh no it only gets worse with my poor DH having to witness me losing my breakfast into a bag while we make our morning drive into the city.--no stopping on the express lanes during rush hour :(
I have also just discovered I am anemic--probably from being pregnant but is a HUGE explanation as to why I've been breathless after going up the stairs and a high heart rate (130 resting!)--but no fear it is typical in pregnancy and I'll start a supplement after a second test.
One of the hardest things for me has been being under the care of my family DR. and not my fertility DR. who I trust immensely. I have told my family DR. twice now that I am an IVF patient--every time she fills my blood work form she goes to tick off NO in the IVF box. I just feel like the care isn't up to par and am counting down the days till I get to my OB at Credit Valley Hospital!!
So until Nov. 17th I'll try and stay sane!
This weekend should be a great time for us as we have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to. I went on a buffalo shopping trip with my sister and two close friends (all of whom are prego) and couldn't resist buying one little outfit at Carters---a first thanksgiving onezie with a turkey hat--can't wait to show it off next year at the cottage!!
Happy thanksgiving to all the mommas, mommas to be and mommas in waiting!

Monday, September 20, 2010

In-vitro success rates much higher in spring

September 16, 2010
Debra Black
Staff Reporter
The Toronto Star

Spring is often associated with the blossoming of new love. It may also be the best time for in-vitro fertilization.
New research presented at the World Congress on Fertility & Sterility in Munich this week indicates that in-vitro fertilization is almost one and a half times more likely to be successful in March, April and May than in other months.
That may be due to the increased amount of daylight in those months and its impact on women’s hormones, said Dr. Daniela Braga, the lead researcher of the study, which was conducted at the Assisted Fertilization Center in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
“It has been suggested the fertility of animals is increased because of the length of the day,” she said in a phone interview from London. “That probably happens in humans as well.”
Braga, a former veterinarian, had noticed there is a seasonal breeding period in the animal world.
“I used to work with buffalo and cattle,” she said. “We know buffalos are seasonal breeders. We also have noted that there are other mammals that are seasonal breeders, as well as others that are not mammals, such as fish.”
She wondered if the same could apply with humans. So, Braga left her career as a vet, went back to school and studied human reproduction and the biotechnology of reproduction. She eventually joined the team at the Brazilian centre in Sao Paolo.
There, she and a team of researchers looked at the cases of 1,932 women undergoing egg retrieval for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a kind of in-vitro fertilization treatment, during all four seasons.
The results surprised her. While the percentage of developing eggs, high-quality embryos, implantation and pregnancy rates didn’t differ between seasons, the rate of fertilization did.
Specifically, the study found a 1.45-fold increase in the fertilization rate in the spring.
The researchers also measured the levels of different hormones in the female patients and found that the estrogen levels were significantly higher in the spring as well. That increase may be due to the increasing daylight in the spring, she said.
“It is possible that what we are seeing is the effect of changing light on the neurons in the brain which produce gonadotrophin-releasing hormones (GnRH).” That hormone controls the secretion of estrogen from the ovaries, she explained.
The study could ultimately improve the chances of some women getting pregnant, Braga said.
“In practical terms, this may mean that if you are having real difficulty in conceiving, it may be better to have an assisted-reproduction cycle during this season.”

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Finally an update!

Sorry its been so long since I've blogged---but we went for our official 7 week u/s and we have one healthy  little bean right where it should be! Leading up to the u/s I was worried about ectopic and then had two days off work for cramping a few days before our appt.---got a bit scared that the embryos had floated back up my tubes--which many people don't realize is still a risk for IVFers. So it was a HUGE relief to see that beating heart right where it should be. (and the cramping can be a side effect of the prometrium)
We have just passed our nine week point--almost 10 weeks and what that means is NO MORE PROMETRIUM!! I know those lil puppies are really good for my uterus lining and the little bean but I will not miss those at all. I'm actually going to have a Farewell Prometrium party (with sparkling juice of course!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Panel calls for state-funded IVF in Ontario

01 September 2009
By Antony Blackburn-Starza
Appeared in BioNews 523
Leading fertility and adoption experts have called upon the Canadian government to fund three cycles ofIVF for women under 42 in the state of Ontario. The Ontario Expert Panel on Fertility and Adoption, which released its report last week, recommended the province should fund IVF as well as including proposals to reform the adoption system.
The report acknowledged that cost was the major obstacle for those seeking treatment with one cycle costing around $10,000. ‘These recommendations will go a long way toward helping couples face infertility issues - their implementation will make both infertility treatment and adoption more accessible and affordable,' said Beverly Hanck, Executive Director of the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada. Supporters said it was only ‘equitable' to fund fertility treatment as with other medical interventions. ‘What we're advocating is that when your doctor prescribes it, because it is medically necessary, that it should be paid for equitably, not for some and not others,' said Mr. Attaran, professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa.
The report also recommended that IVF clinics should be accredited and as part of this be obliged to reduce the multiple birth rate to 15 per cent in five years time and ten per cent within ten years. The multiple birth rate following IVF was 27.5 per cent in 2006. Multiple births pose a risk of health to the mother and baby and the authors of the report said that the high cost of IVF was putting pressure on patients to opt for multiple embryo transfer in the belief this would increase the chances of pregnancy.
In addition, the report estimated that the province could save between $400 to $500 million over the course of the next ten years by reducing the frequency of multiple births. ‘Over a period of years, the savings from those multiple birth incidents would more than cover the cost of public funding of three cycles of IVF,' said the chairman of the panel and president of the University of Waterloo, David Johnston.
A similar postcode lottery in access to IVF treatment exists in the UK, where a report published last month showed that 8 out 10 Primary Care Trusts are failing to provide couples with the full three cycles of IVF treatment recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
A year ago the British Fertility Society (BFS) and the Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE) introduced new guidelines advising all UK clinics to adopt a single embryo transfer (SET) policy for all women under 37. The move is aimed at reducing the number of risky multiple births amongst IVF patients in the UK.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Prometrium..ohh what joy!

As most IVFers know that as soon as you do your egg retrieval your clinic will start you on prometrium--or some a drug form of progesterone. These are little pellet pills that you have to insert (with no applicator) three times a day--two pills each time! and of course just like canesten...you get a pretty gross elmer glue discharge (sorry for grossness but you should be warned-right!)
These pills have to be inserted until you are 10 weeks pregnant so I only have FOUR WEEKS LEFT..*sigh*.
I know they are doing their job and keeping my lil bean or beans snug in my uterus --as it thickens your uterus lining--but I'm not going to lie, I will be extremely happy when I no longer have to pop these puppies in there.
I have to take mine at 7 a.m., 3 p.m. (at work!) and then 11 p.m.--and since I've been pretty exhausted during these first few weeks but DH has been amazing at waking me up at 11 p.m. so that we stay on schedule. Its usually pretty funny because I'm half asleep in a zombie state while I trek off to the bathroom with pills in hand.
Also I've heard from a few friends that prometrium can be prescribed for those women who have experienced miscarriages--and they do take the pills until 10 weeks.
Some women on my fertility form have been taking an different brand--Endometrin "effervescent vaginal tablets...and they come with an applicator!!! Apparently they dissolve quicker and produce less of a discharge. The only downfall is they are considered a reproductive pharmaceutical so if you are not covered for fertility drugs you will have to pay for the full prescription. We unfortunately do not have fertility drug coverage but our prometrium is covered under my regular drug plan---so looks like I'm stuck with elmers glue!! :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pics from the day we got our great news!

so excited to hear of our BFP  :)
Town of Sparta

Minutes after hearing the news!
John holding SPARTA the bear!

another positive..arghhhh

While my DH and I are completely over the moon with our news, I cannot stop and think about all the women who are still struggling to conceive and when I tell my news or make a post I can already feel their stomachs drop with the news of yet another positive....something I understand oh so well.
No matter how happy you want to be for someone its devastating and almost spirit breaking that it is not you. I remember hearing three pregnancy announcements in one day and that was it for me...total breakdown-- Or the horrid world of Face book that is forever filled with cutesy status updates of lil beans, ultrasound pics and birth announcements....yet you somehow can't force yourself to shut your page down.

So Ladies I want to continue to post about infertility and continue to be a part of ivf.ca-- Its a topic I cannot stop reading about and hope to continue to help those that need to know there are people out there that have gone through the same pain. When we started our journey almost two years ago I searched everywhere to get information that would help me get through another month and I'm glad I found the blogs and sites (and even an old friend) that openly told me their stories --some with happy endings and some with very sad ones so I hope people continue to read my blog as inspiration!

Hugs to all

Friday, August 13, 2010


I cannot believe that I am officially pregnant....4 weeks and 5 days to be exact!

Yesterday DH and I made the trek to London so that we would get our blood-work results back in the afternoon (you are allowed to do it here in Toronto but then you have to wait a few days for results)--the blood-work is at 7 am and then you have to wait ALL day to hear from them--usually around 2-3pm so we decided to take the scenic route home and drive through Aylmer to stop at some antique stores and a winery that a friend had recommended (where I sampled the amazing non alcoholic peach wine..haha--umm isn't that just bubbly peach juice!) . So while it was a great idea to keep our minds off of things, what we didn't realize is that we were COMPLETELY out of cell phone range.

We got back in the car and when we were driving I noticed I had a missed call but for the life of me I couldn't get a call out to anyone. So here we are driving in the country with me trying to get a signal on both my and DH phones...kicking myself for missing the damn call. Finally my DH's phone starts ringing and we pull over on the side of the road. We have to wait a while for the receptionist to get the nurse Kim on the line and then she is there...asking if I've had any spotting or bleeding..and I'm thinking OH NO..its a negative and she wants to know if I've had my AF.
So I respond a nervous "no?!" and she says well that's great because you are pregnant! Instantly DH and I are both crying and then I realize we are on a side road in between two corn fields--just too funny!
My beta level was 683 (anything over 100 is prego) so some of our friends and relatives are convinced its twins but we'll have to wait until u/s on Sept. 2.

After the call we drove into a sleepy town called Sparta in Elgin county---we stopped for some lemonade in this old british tea house and went shopping in the small country store where I purchased our first grey teddy--  who we named Sparta--to remember the day of our great news!!!

For all you mommas-in-waiting---I know your time will come and until then I am throwing my dust your way! XOX

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tomorrow we will know..eeek

So it's 3:50 pm on Wednesday and my DH is picking me up in 40 minutes for us to make the trek down to London once again. For two whole weeks I have managed to not drive myself crazy or read too much into symptoms that could be pregnancy--or just crappy side effects of progesterone!
We are spending the night with a good friend of mine that just happens to be in town (as she lives overseas) so it should be a great night of reminiscing, chatting away and perrier water for moi! Needless to say it will be a great distraction to the 7 am blood work and the waiting around all day for the clinic to call..ughhh...but what is one more day when you've waited almost 2 years for this right?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

and then there were nine!

So we just got word from our clinic that out of our 14 remaining embryos, nine of them were viable for freezing. My DH was pretty happy with this number (as he should be because some couples don't get any) but I couldn't help but feel a little sad for the five that didn't make it. I mean there is a reason embryos aren't viable for freezing and most of the time it has to do with development or abnormal cells so transferring them may not be an option to begin with--in the end I have to look at it that I still have nine more chances of being a mom with this cycle!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The dreaded wait is not that dreaded

So we are one week away from doing our bloodwork and a lot of people have been asking me how I can stand the wait...and honestly it hasn't been that difficult. I guess its hard to explain but almost 2 years of waiting every month you really don't build yourself up anymore. It is much easier to not think about it than drive yourself nuts constantly wondering. My DH and I haven't really spoken about the "what ifs" over the past week and it has certainly paid off as I'm not feeling stressed about things at all.

I know for most woman it sounds crazy and there are a lot of woman on my forum who give tips and ideas on how to handle the dreaded 2 week wait---but for me I'm focusing on work (which is extremely busy), getting our new "basement" pad organized and trying to enjoy the rest of the summer...so much so I'm going to hang out on my friend's boat at Ontario Place while we listen to the sounds of the rihanna concert tonight (of course I'll be drinking perrier while they have much tastier cocktails!). Life cannot stop and one thing I've really learned through all this is it is much easier to be disappointed when you build something up so much in your mind--it will be such an amazing surprise when I get those 2 lil pink lines one day!

Both my DH and I are extremely optimistic--but we also are aware of the risks that come with IVF and of course one of them is that it's not always beginner' s luck--we are excited for next Thursday and have decided that regardless of the results Thursday will be our day. We are shutting our phones off and I will not be posting (just a warning so you don't constantly log on) any results---with our complete openess throughout the whole procedure I feel this day is one for us to enjoy just the two of us...like any other couple who finds out they are pregnant --its a moment to cherish (hopefully with complete joy!)

Till then I'm just plugging away, still putting those pretty progestrone pills up the hooch (oh yeah 2 pills 3x a day...but it will keep that uterine lining nice and thick!) and thinking of all the mommas-to-be...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What are lil embies are doing in there!!

For those of you who may wonder what is going on with those two lil embies...here is what we are hoping is happening!!

3-DAY TRANSFER:  (dpt= days past transfer)
1dpt ..embryo is growing and developing
2dpt... Embryo is now a blastocyst
3dpt....Blastocyst hatches out of shell on this day
4dpt.. Blastocyst attaches to a site on the uterine lining
5dpt.. Implantation begins,as the blastocyst begins to bury in the lining
6dpt.. Implantation process continues and morula buries deeper in the lining
7dpt.. Morula is completely inmplanted in the lining and has placenta cells & fetal cells
8dpt...Placenta cells begin to secret HCG in the blood
9dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops
10dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops
11dpt...HCG levels are now high enough to be immediately detected on HPT

Thursday, July 29, 2010


On July 28 we had our embryo transfer--a day I think I'll hold close to my heart regardless of the outcome because it was the day I became 'pregnant until proven otherwise'!
Our two lil 8-cell embies were transferred at 10:13am (my DH made sure to record the time) and we could not stop smiling. The procedure is heaven compared to ER and took about 3 minutes in total. They doctor came in and asked how many we were transferring--which was still 2 ---and then the lab technician came in to talk to us about freezing and how our 16 embryos were all doing well--with only two of them less than 4 cells but she thought they would catch up and may be able to be viable for freezing. Then they put up on the screen our two little beans....soo perfect and an amazing sight to see. We got to keep a photo (i will post as soon as DH scans it in) and it is proudly hanging on the fridge..finally we have a pic to hang on the fridge! :)

Our two lil embies....hopefully they are sticky like spider man!

Now we have the grueling 2 week wait!!!!! But we have had tremendous support from family and friends --even recieving a loving care package in the mail from my SIL---filled with distractions and indulgences (thanks sistah! XOX)

For now I will enjoy being PUPO and have the best outlook as mamma to be!

Leaving LHSC with lil embies inside!

Egg Retrieval = SERIOUSLY?!!

Sunday morning came just in time as I was feeling extremely full and ready for relief...little did I know how that would come about.
Our appointment was at 9:30am so we had to check into the hospital for 8am. It was pretty quiet since it was a sunday and we were admitted right away. They got me all comfy in my recovery chair with my sexy gown on and got my IV going. We were extremely lucky that our nurse Nancy walked us through everything and answered every question we had---just another amazing nurse we've met.

In talking with Nancy I let her know that I normally have low blood pressure when I have pain killers or go under for surgery so they decided to start me off with half of my dose--maybe that is where it all went downhill.
We walked over to the u/s room right at 9:30-they are very very punctual---and got me prepped---which included a very relaxing foot and leg massage!! I was pretty calm and almost instantly felt the drug (Fentanyl) wave over me as I got lightheaded (and glassy eyed says my DH). They said I would feel some pressure when the needle goes through the back vaginal wall and a pinch like freezing at the dentist--I was pretty calm and didn't feel the freezing needle so thought that was a good sign...but GAWD I was wrong. As soon as the needle went into the ovary it was excrutiating pain---I didn't know what hit me and I could barely speak.  I just kept taking deep breaths and trying to focus on what they were saying. You can see the needle go into the follicle on the u/s machine screen and you can see it collapse as it is drained...as each follicle was drained the pain was getting worse and I guess I started to breath quick short breaths..which is not good as it makes your ovaries "dance" around. They ended up giving me more  pain medication ( I don't think you are suppose to feel as much as I did) and then Nancy had to push down on top of my ovary to "hold " it in place--silent tears of pain!

My DH was great and kept telling me how amazing I was doing and to keep taking deep breaths. I could barely talk from the pain so I just kept nodding to questions and was glad they gave me a bit of a break between ovaries--although I already knew the pain that would come with the second one.
We ended up with 21 eggs retrieved and I was beyond estatic...it was all worth it!!
We had to wait two days to find out the fertilization success---which was 16!! I swear we were made to concieve in a petri dish cause we're so damn good at it! ;)

Saturday was a day of rest...

I've been a bit out of commission but I'm going to try and write from where I left off. Saturday was a great day because it was the first day in almost a month I didn't have to wake up early for my synarel nasal spray and also didn't have any shots to do--it was a drug free day!
DH and I were enjoying ourselves and with the rainy weather hit up an afternoon movie--Despicable Me--very cute but I think the hormones were starting to hit me because I got all teary eyed at the end and SERIOUSLY who gets teary eyed at the end of a 3D cartoon!!

Some pics from our adventures of the day..

                      Story book Gardens...hopefully we'll bring some little ones here one day!

John at the wishing well ...I wonder what he wished for
Fertility Time...I'm soo full of eggs

Random sign but freakin hilarious!

Our guest house--which used to be a convent and orphanage

statue with rosary

John preaching

went for a walk on the grounds and found this weird shrine...

sunset at the guesthouse

lake behind the guesthouse

Friday, July 23, 2010

The drama of an Hcg shot

It's 10:30 and I am officially done all home injections--but man was the last one stressful. It isn't as straightforward as the puregon pen and since I'm not used to mixing any meds I wasn't that familiar with the process. You have to first inject 1cc of saline solution into a vial of powder which will then dissolve into your solution. Then you have to draw out the medication but for the life of me when I turned the vial upside down to draw it out the needle wasn't drawing it out right--or should I say at all!.....which then lead to a slight bit of panick from both DH and myself. We couldn't get it right and then had to switch needles when we had to pull it out of the vial. At first I thought we were going to be making too many holes in the top of the vial--then we started sweating and I was yelling..turn the A/C up (as we are cramped in our lil hotel room) I wish I had set up a video camera cause the drama was worth an oscar!
Luckily we finally got it right and then I realized "Wait!! I still have to stick it in me!!"
You then have to switch the needle to a smaller one to inject..thank gawd! I took a nice countdown of 5 in my head and then jabbed...it doesn't go in as smooth as the pen and you can feel a pinch but what surprised me is how long it took for all the liquid to inject--with the pen it is literally 5-10 seconds but this felt like 30 (which in needle time is long). It burns slightly but nothing major--so no worries to you ladies out there who are gearing up for your HcG shot--obviously the jab is the easiest part! :)  Now all we do is wait for ER!!

                                  Getting it prepped...much bigger needle to extract the saline!

                       First vial has the white powder in the bottom while the second is saline.

                                              DH trying to help out his very stressed wife!

Flats, churches and berry shakes

A few pics from yesterday when we got a flat and then had to hang around downtown for 2 hours!

Stobie's Pizza...this one's for you Jacs!!

Getting an early morning berry shake
John changing the tire at LHSC

St. Peters Church

Lighting a candle for hope

Beautiful pipe organ

And we are on!!

SO the clinic just called and WE ARE ON FOR SUNDAY!! I am going to take my Hcg shot tonight at 9:30pm then I am med free tomorrow until we check into the hospital at 8am sunday! I am so excited that we are finally at the ER and realized how much can go wrong till this moment. I don't know how woman handle going through all the meds only to be told that they don't have enough follicles to do IVF. We are extremely lucky that we still have around 13 mature and will do my last shot tonight so maybe a few more. The clinic likes to see 8-10 mature so we are well ahead of expectations!

Here's a pic of what my ovaries kinda look like --its not of mine but its what I see every morning at the u/s...hard to believe we normally only have one follicle that grows!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Getting used to all these pricks!

So we are on Day 9 of Puregon and things are pretty much still going day to day. My u/s today showed 13 matured sized follicles with about 7 more close behind. They were debating giving me my Hcg shot tonight which would've been a saturday morning ER....but decided with my E2 levels at 17217 that I should come back tomorrow morning for more blood work and another u/s. This experience is literally a day by day thing and very hard to plan anything around it.
My DH and I have been staying in London since Sunday--not sure how women acutally work through all this (as I'm partly working from here but not sitting in an office waiting for results every afternoon). We are staying at the Guesthouse on the Mount, which is right across the street from the hospital. They have a huge TV lounge, kitchen and dining area so we have been able to make our own meals and relax as much as possible. My DH is too funny and actually brought our own flat screen TV from our room at home, along with his xbox of course! lol I thought he was crazy when he starting carrying it to the car in Toronto but now realize it was the best thing ever. We rented entourage and prison break and have been loving our free time together!
me all snuggled in bed reading!

John's sweet xbox set up!
So we continue to wait things out as I get more FULL and FULL---they also continue to keep my puregon at 125u. We were given a DVD to watch the other night about single embryo transfer as it seems the clinics are really trying to push women under 35 with a healthy grade embryo to transfer just one. We did the test at the end of the DVD---and basically it came back that we were indifferent--well that was freakin helpful! LOL needless to say I think we are sticking with our decision to transfer two embies and will consider ourselves blessed if they both implant. I think some women are panicked over the idea and the clinic wants to make sure you know you have an option...but we are more than okay with the possibility of twins.
We also got our training for the Hcg injection--I thought after all these injections and daily bloodwork that I would be used to all the pricks BUT i have to actually mix this once myself and its longer and more liquid  = more burn! But it just one more step to our wee ones. After our Hcg lesson and u/s we left the hospital in pretty good spirits until we got to our new car...and our new flat tire. DH took charge getting the ol donut out and then trying to find a local tire shop--while I sat on the side taking pics of him changing the tire. At this point all you can do is laugh cause seriously what is another $187!!! for a new tire when you've already shelled out so much cash for IVF and accomodations and meds!
On the bright side we spent two hours walking around downtown--- where we found ourselves outside St.Peters church..a gorgeous european basilica. I strolled inside and instantly made my way to the candles and lit one for our lil one to be--a prayer that my mum and nana would always do when when we were little. Now everytime my DH and I travel abroad I find myself lighting candles for all my loved ones and thought that this time I would light one for us!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Am I a KFC chicken??

So we just got a call from our case nurse and apparently my E2 levels have jumped to 9340!!! Apparently I  should've been a chicken in this life and I would be rich with all the eggs I can produce once injected with hormones..I'd put KFC right outta business with all my chicks! So needless to say they have reduce my Puregon dose to 125u per shot from 225 --they said not to be concerned because my u/s shows that my cycle is going really well and we are on track for ER sunday!

The rollar coaster of emotions

Well this weekend has been quite the ride so brace yourselves for a long one...

Friday afternoon I left for London with a close friend of mine--we made the trek in pretty good time, checked into the hotel and then met up with an old friend from Highschool. It was a great night--tons of old stories and plenty of laughter to go along with them. I also got a chance to chat with her about her own IVF experience at LHSC and also meet her adorable 22 month old twins...great night to begin with.
The next morning I headed for my bloodwork, had a great breakfast at Oscar Taylors and then began the trek home. When my case nurse called she said that my estrogen levels were a bit high--2500--when they should be around 500!!! They needed me back first thing in the morning for more bloodwork and an ultrasound.
That night was our clothing swap fundraiser so I decided that after the event I would turn around and head back to London--check into our guesthouse on the mount for the week and just be ready for the week ahead.
THe fundraiser was a huge success and we raised $540 dollars!! The girls had a great night with tons of stuff to choose from as well as some cool raffle prizes. Hopefully I can upload some pics to show everyone. After the fundraiser all the men stopped by for some drinks and mingling--and even grabbing some extra items for girlfriends--so by the time I left Toronto it was 2:30am. My DH had to work that day but luckily one of my old friends from Taiwan was also heading back to London and came for the late night drive with me.
I rolled into town around 5:30am and decided just to grab a tea and read my book by the lab (as the hotel wasn't ready for me till checkin at 3pm!)--I got my bloodwork done at 7am and then ultra sound at 9am--now time to find something to do all day with no sleep!
After a relaxing day in Victoria Park (at a music and craft festival going on) I was able to snooze a bit on the grass and have a great lil picnic. My case nurse called right on time but again was a little concerned that my estrogen levels were up to 3390--SERIOUSLY! grrr I was starting to think they were going to cancel the whole cycle. She said not to worry but that I needed to come back on Tuesday for more bloodwork and ultrasound. My first ultrasound showed 19 follicles--a bit more than they expected and none showed any signs of maturity so the possiblity of me being in hyperstimuation was being raised. I was in tears and felt after all these meds they were either going to cancel or have to freeze eggs after retrevial in order for me to recover from hyperstim. By the time I checked into the hotel I was exhausted and climbed into bed where I realized I had left my second vial of puregon in my fridge in TORONTO--total panic set in as I realized that I only had time to get back in the car and drive back---a long 2 hour drive with plenty of tears along the way!
Well here we are on Tuesday and DH and I just got back to guesthouse and are estatic to report I have 18-19 follicles with 13 maturing--so looks like the ovaries have turned off the kitchen sink....thank god. I will go back on thursday for more bloodwork and ultrasound but if all goes well we are looking at a sunday retrieval!!
WOOHOO---now I must get back to work as I am still working this week from London!

Friday, July 16, 2010


I've been so touched by all the emails and words of encouragement that we have received lately...I've saving them all to put into a scrap book so that one day our lil bean can see how much they were loved leading up to all this. But I thought I would share one of the greatest things I received from one of my best friends who knew I was feeling nervous about "sticking" myself with Puregon--it was just too great not to share! (it also came in a wallet sized card so I can keep it with me)

When you have to muster up the courage to prick yourself with those little giant needles, remember that this is NO SWEAT because already you have accomplished the following:
-Climbed Machu Picchu to see the Inca ruins
-surivived months of pain and horrible urinary tract infections because of a burst appendix
-had staples across your tummy from the operation
-got through the stress of planning a wedding
-got through the stress of being a bridesmaid a bunch of times
-trained for and ran a half marathon
-taken a lot of shots at the bar and lived to tell the stories
-Hiked up a big hill on salt spring island with a massive pack on your back when no one would give us a ride
-finished bootcamp in the pouring rain with mosquitos attacking you
-danced all night in tight (but very sexy) boots for so long that your toe nails fell off


Thursday, July 15, 2010


So after reading through the steps and loading my cartridge I was all set and it wasn't until I pulled the cap off the needle  that I felt a bit apprehensive. My friend gave me the good ol' 1-2-3 countdown and I took the plunge. The needle is so fine that it goes in pretty pain free--phew!
After injecting my 225u I held the needle for 5 seconds (which I also got my friend to count down for me) but realized when I took it out I still saw a bead of medication. I think tonight I'm going to hold for 10 or 15 seconds just to make sure it is all in there. Tomorrow another close friend of mine is coming to London with me to spend the night for my early morning bloodwork. It's great that I have so many friends willing to tag along for all these adventures--hahaha.
London should be a fun trip as we are meeting up with an old friend from high school who not only lives in London but also worked AND was a patient at our clinic. It's so great to be able to talk to someone I know that has gone through all this before and has a healthy baby girl and boy as a result! Miracles do happen :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting ready to stick myself

So tonight I start my Puregon---I think I'm just working myself up and this is going to be a breeze. My DH has to work so my girlfriend offered to come over and just be there--for some moral support. I know it sounds silly but just in case I really chicken out I need someone who is willing to stick it to me! What are friends for right?

Here's a pic of what $2000 can get you...seriously about $1000 a vial!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Suppressed but still waiting--grrr

This weekend has certainly been a busy one. On Friday I spent the night at my parents house so that my dad, mum and I could wake up at 430am and make the trek to London for my first bloodtest. Meanwhile my DH was stuck in the city packing up our basement storage unit and moving it with a friend.
The drive wasn't too bad--getting to watch the sunrise and all--and I was the first one in line at the Gamma Dyncare Lab. 5 minutes later I was done and we were able to turn right around and head back to Mississauga. I kept thinking that my blood work was going to come back that my estrogen levels were too high as I didn't really feel a lot of effects from the synarel.
Right before 3pm the case nurse called to say that I was infact suppressed---I was at 193 (anything below 200 is good) and that I could start my puregon shots. But I still had no AF and as soon as I told them this they told me I would have to wait until AF came. I went from being excited to start stims to completely upset and worried that I wasn't going to get AF and then the cycle may have to be cancelled.
Sure enough 2 hours later AF showed up--isn't that always the case!
So now I am starting my puregon injections at 225 units/shot on Wednesday and then back to London on Saturday for bloodwork. It seems like I will probably be spending from July19 onward in London until the ER---lets hope my ovaries cooperate!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

And then you

Through every disappointment I am glad I'm not alone. To my amazing DH.....


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tummy aches and a missing AF

So I have passed my first week of Synarel and a little concerned that my AF has not shown up yet. The clinic said to expect one once starting the sprays and this Saturday I go for my first blood test to find out if my levels are low enough to start my injections. I'm a little concerned they won't let me start if I haven't gotten my AF. (and no no no I am not pregnant..haha I know what you are all thinking)
Yesterday I had to leave work cause I had really bad stomach pains although I'm not sure it was related to drugs or something I ate or maybe just this crazy heat wave we are in. After a two hour nap I woke up feeling fine.
My appetite is still pretty much one meal a day--although I am trying to eat a smaller lunch and get in a bigger dinner for energy levels. I hope to finish packing a lot of our loose ends over the next couple days and my DH is spending his days off taking loads over and organizing our big moving day on the 17th. We also get our new car today--thank god for the A/C as I almost died driving across the city in this heat!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

sniffing away...

I started my synarel nasal spray last Tuesday and so far so good...besides a few headaches (mainly after my 7 p.m. spray) and a lack of appetite (no complaints here about that one) I feel pretty good. Some women say they start to feel nauseous so I think I'm pretty good. Here's some instructions they give you on how to jam something up your nose!

take off caps

Hold with thumb and fingers
Blow your nose to clear it
tilt head back and insert
Plug other nostril

tilt head back after 

On another note we are still in the process of moving and will have everything out of the apartment on July 17 :( It has all started to hit me that I will no longer be a city girl--I have a feeling all my city friends are going to be seeing a lot of me. :)

On a better note my DH and I finally found time to purchase a second more reliable car that we will definitely need for all the road trips to London and hopefully *fingers crossed* when we get pregnant! Its a 2005 ford focus sedan and we are picking it up on Wednesday. Just one more thing crossed off the list before all the craziness starts!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

One more day till vaca!

I'm sitting in my office basically counting down the hours till I am off for a whole week! I start my synarel nasal spray on Tuesday and decided I wanted to have some time to pack and relax before this all gets started. We have most of our small stuff packed up--books, CDs, Dvds, half the kitchen and winter clothes are all at the door and ready to go. Thankfully my father-in-law is going to be helping us do a few loads on Monday and my hallway will start to clear out a bit for me to start stacking more boxes to pack.
On Tuesday my DH and I decided to do something fun just the two of us (he only has the monday and tuesday off and since he works at a golf course we RARELY have days off together) so we are planning for a day at Canada's Wonderland---what better way to start our roller coaster ride than to actually ride the coasters! ;)
The rest of my week I'm going to head to our family cottage with my sister-in-law and our youngest nephew Jackson (who is sure to make me smile the entire time). I've stocked up on my summer reading and can't wait to relax on the dock--while sniffing my nasal spray every morning at 7am and 7pm!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stuck in the land of boxes

Since my DH and I have found out that we will be starting our cycle on June 29, things have started to move pretty quickly. Prior to our consultation we had already decided to move back in with my parents in order to save for our procedure--as well as be able to afford a house when the time comes. We had planned to move on July 24 in order to be out of our beloved downtown Toronto apartment by August 1,  but now that it is quite possible we will be doing our ER that weekend everything has been put on hyperdrive.
We have to move majority of our stuff about three weeks sooner than expected as well as find a cheap and reliable car for me to get to work (currently I am 4 subway stops from work *sigh*). The stress is definitely starting to build and I have to keep telling myself to stay stress free. It will all get done in time like it always does..right?
We have started to take some carloads of stuff over to my parents in Mississauga which will be our new stomping grounds for now, and are setting up shop in the basement. We do have a pretty good set up, with a bedroom, bathroom, TV room and not to mention a full irish bar (which I obviously will not be getting any use of!) 
While I love my apartment and the bustle of the city, I am looking forward to taking the next step and if it means a bit of sacrifice than so be it. I am excited to have the support of our family and friends but also from my DH who is willing to move in with his in-laws during the same time his wife is going on meds! (I think he may get use out of the bar ;) 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Best Birthday Surprise

I recently just celebrated my 32nd birthday and was estatic when our clinic called with a cancellation appointment for June 17. We instantly jumped at the opportunity and even after an exhausting four day business trip I was up and ready at 5am to make the 2 hour drive.
We arrived right on time and was taken through the five hour consultation appointment--which was really just amazing -- the entire team at our clinic are extremelly thorough and understanding, once again reassuring me that we have made the best choice with LHSC . We met our case nurse Monica and after reviewing my cycle discovered that I could in fact start this month!!
Best birthday ever!!!  So on June 29 (Cycle Day 22) I will start my first set of drugs--synarel--a nasal spray that will bring my estrogen level down and suppress my system. On July 10 I go back for blood work and hope that my estrogen is below 200 so I can start my injectables!
Never thought I would say I am excited to stick a needle in myself on a daily basis but here I am in anticipation!! If everything goes well we are looking at implanting some wee embryos around July 24. That would be an April DD----keeping my fingers AND toes crossed for our first IVF cycle to be a success.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Learn to Relax....seriously???!!

One of the most frustrating pieces of advice I constantly hear (since publicly discussing our fertility issues) is that I just need to learn to relax. It’s amazing that everyone and their mother seem to think if you just relax  then you will spontaneously combust with child. At first I could nod and smile and say “yeah I am a fairly relaxed person but thanks for the tip”—but now I feel like giving them a complete biology lesson on the mechanics of a woman and that sometimes relaxing does #!%* all.  Even if I ever conceive without any ART I swear I will never give that piece of advice to anyone struggling with TTC because it is honestly just useless. Try telling someone who has to take their temperature every morning, or is charting their ovulation week or has a regimented schedule of meds to take that they should drop it all and BAM it will all work out—because the reality is that sometimes it doesn’t work out and it is devastating for people just to assume you are an uptight person and that is why you haven’t conceived. I am lucky enough that not one of my close girlfriends or sisters have given me such useless advice and instead have all sat with me, countless times, to just listen to what I have to say. They nod and smile and encourage what I am doing—they ask me questions with sincere curiosity—and while they all tell me that maybe one day a tiny miracle will be inside me, they never tell me that the route I have chosen to take, is one that I have done in haste. And I can honestly say that I am never more relaxed than I am after a chat with my gals!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


....that we finally got our case worker appointment for June 30 at 8:30 am. Apparently the clinic was trying to get a hold of us as we cancelled our home phone and they didn't have our cells---ughh-- was kicking myself for that but relieved that we got in for June. I am suppose to start AF around July 3 so that means we would begin cycling in JULY!!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First Oogla (OWL) SALE!

Today I sold my first Oogla---very exciting as all proceeds are going to our IVF treatment. I plan to try get about 40 precious owls ready for sale over the next couple months and see how I do selling them online.

Here is my friend Beth buying my first Oogla COLBY

                                                              MADE WITH LOVE