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

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!