Friday, 30 June 2017

IVF BLOG DAY 23 | GONAL-F INJECTION #2 & BUSERELIN INJECTION #23

Good morning! Today's injections went well. There was no leakage like yesterday. My fiance changed his technique slightly and made sure he let go of the skin once the needle was in. That seemed to make a big difference.

There's no doubt that the Gonal-F is working as I started getting period-like pains about 5 hours after the first injection. I'm getting them again today too. Yesterday I felt so tired that I had to go to bed for 2 hours at about 1.30 in the afternoon! It's currently 10.30am and I had my injections at about 8am. Again, I can feel myself getting really tired. My eyes always seem to feel stingy from tiredness too. 

I've been working in the evening more these days as I seem to perk up a bit around 5pm. It's a good job that I work from home! Last night I didn't finish until midnight. My sleep patterns are a bit messed up now. I think I went to bed at 2am. 

Today I'm feeling: Tired and I have mild pains. I think this is a good sign that my body is making those eggs! Yay. : ) Let's stay positive on what can be an incredibly difficult journey! 

Jess xx

Thursday, 29 June 2017

BUSERELIN SIDE EFFECTS | MY EXPERIENCE OVERALL

Although I'm still on Buserelin my consultant said that once I start the stims stage (superovulation with Gonal-F) any side effects such as low mood etc should get better. So as I'm on day 1 of stims I thought this would be a good time to reflect on my experience of using the drug.

The long and short of it is that I feel like I've got off very lightly. The only side effect that I've really had is tiredness. That said it's been quite bad, where I've pretty much felt like a zombie at times. For about 4 hours after taking it I'm not on the ball enough to drive. As it happens I've had no reason to go anywhere so I haven't driven for 22 days now! 

Other than the crazy tiredness (which isn't always bad everyday) I don't think I've had any side effects at all. I experienced two headaches which may or may not have been down to the drug. One day where I cried for no reason (I think that was the drugs!) and yesterday I felt a little bit down. But my nan has just passed away so it could be that.

Have you taken Buserelin? If so, what side-effects did you get?

Jess. xx

IVF BLOG DAY 22 | GONAL-F INJECTION #1 & BUSERELIN INJECTION #22

It's day 1 of stims which means a double dose of injections every morning when I wake up. Today the Buserelin injection went well as usual - I didn't feel a thing. The Gonal-F injection didn't hurt either, however when my fiance pulled it out I felt liquid on my stomach and we could both smell the drug. He seems to think some of it came back out of me! Now I'm wondering whether I should be concerned or not?

I've asked some of my friends on the Fertility Friends forum to see what they think. If they feel that I should be concerned I'll ring the hospital to ask for advice. My gut feeling tells me that there's nothing to worry about though. Talking of FF, if you're someone going through IVF you should check it out here. I'm quite active on the Cycle Buddies June/July thread and the ladies there are lovely. 

Today I'm feeling: A little bit tired. Other than that, there's not much else to report.

Jess. xx

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

IVF BLOG DAY 20 | THE BUSERELIN INJECTION #20 & THE BASELINE SCAN

After Saturday's crying episode I thought my week might get a bit better. How wrong was I? Sadly on Sunday night my nan passed away. I'm heartbroken. She had cancer and Alzheimer's so we knew it was coming at some point soon. Still, that doesn't make it any less upsetting as we were really close. RIP my beautiful nan.

On a more positive note, I had my baseline scan today (which was a transvaginal ultrasound) to check that my ovaries are not active and that the lining of my uterus is thin. The consultant said it all looks good and couldn't be any better. This is great news for us as it means we now get to go onto the next stage - superovulation.

Superovulation is a process that aims to make the ovaries release more than 1 egg and it means I'll be having an extra injection each day. They say I may experience tender breasts and low abdominal discomfort or a dragging sensation as the ovarian follicles develop. 

So on Thurs I'll be starting Gonal-F injections as well as continuing with the Buserelin. They estimate I'll be on Gonal-F for about 10 days. Next week I'll have 2 progress assessments which include more transvaginal ultrasounds to check the response of my ovaries to the stimulation and to assess the development of the lining of the uterus. After these visits they might have to modify my treatment by altering the dosage of drugs. They'll also be able to tell me when my last Buserelin injection will be.

It's going to be really interesting to see how many eggs I manage to produce. When reading other people's stories online I can see that it varies a lot! Anyway, I'll keep you all posted with how I get on!

Today I'm feeling: Exhausted from crying and not sleeping that well because of what's happened to my poor nan. I miss her already! Going through grief and the IVF process is hard. : (

Jess. xx

Saturday, 24 June 2017

IVF BLOG DAY 17 | THE BUSERELIN INJECTION #17

Well today was fun. After a bad night's sleep I woke up, took about a million years to get ready then cried my eyes out for absolutely no reason whatsoever! I didn't know what to tell my fiance other than 'it's the drugs'. I guess that's the truth. It must be. 

I don't know why but I've been feeling flat over the past couple of days. Today I woke up frustrated and then I became bored. Frustrated because I can't drive. Bored because I had nothing planned. My fiance said he was thinking about going out with a mate and that was it - I cried. It was all very out of context. I think he quickly realised that maybe he needed to take me out to get my mind off all of this. 

We went out for lunch and bought some new garden furniture and all was well after that! What can I say? The doctors warned him that the drugs might make me like this. I guess after getting off lightly for 15/16 days the hormonal side effects have finally kicked in! 

Happy days!

Jess. xx

Today I'm feeling: Alright now! Tired, but I'm okay. Today has gone by in a bit of a blur if I'm honest. I feel like I have brain fog!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

IVF BLOG DAY 15 | THE BUSERELIN INJECTION #15

Wow, I've just realised I haven't blogged for about 6 days now. There hasn't been anything to report. Everything's still the same. I still feel really tired. I still haven't really had any other side effects. So I guess that's good?

Feeling like I can't drive is proving to be a bit of a pain at times. It's silly things like wanting to go to the hairdressers or pop out to pick up a parcel that's getting to me. I've lost my independence a bit. 

Another thing that's bothering me is that a friend has asked if I would like to go away to a spa for the night. I would love to as spas are my thing. But she can only go within this two or three month time frame which starts the week after I would have had the embryo implanted. 

In other words I may well be pregnant. Then again I may not. Now I'm all up for going but how on earth do I get around not being able to go in the hot tub or sauna etc? It would be far too early to tell her that I'm pregnant. If I'm lucky enough to be pregnant that is. 

Sometimes I feel like I've spent years planning around a pregnancy that never happens. Its a nightmare at times, but what can you do? I've learnt to just live my life. I guess I'll just tell her I'll go and deal with whatever happens at the time.

Jess. xx

Today I'm feeling: Like I haven't got any get up and go. Thank goodness it's nearly bed time!

Friday, 16 June 2017

IVF BLOG DAY 9 | THE BUSERELIN INJECTION #9

Day 9! Where did that time go?

My routine has become pretty much the same every day:

7.30/8 My fiance gives me my Buserelin injection
(He's really good at it too!).

I feel really tired to the point where my eyes sting so I work on my laptop in bed!

11.30/12 I start to feel a bit more normal again. I get up, have a shower and then work some more.

For the first 6 days I was having my shower straight after the injection but it wasn't working out well. I was so tired I was sleeping in the afternoon. This new routine is much better, even if it does feel very lazy of me! Still, I have to prioritise and think of the end goal.

Other than tiredness, side-effects have included two headaches and feeling dehydrated. I'm blaming both on the drug but I'll never know if it's that or not.

Jess. xx

Today I'm feeling: Happy, ready to get up and get on as it's now 11.30am. Yay! The best time of the day!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

IVF BLOG DAY 8 | THE BUSERELIN INJECTION #8

Hey guys. I've come on my period as expected this morning. It's good news as I believe down reg can be extended if there's a delay. Luckily for me I've always been as regular as clockwork, coming on every 28 days. That's pretty much all I have to report so sorry this is short and sweet!

Today I'm feeling: A bit drowsy. It's currently 9.45am and I have my injection at about 7.30/7.45am. This side-effect usually lasts for a good few hours. 

Jess. xx

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

IVF BLOG DAY 7 | THE BUSERELIN INJECTION #7

I'm feeling so much better today! Nowhere near as tired as I have been since I started these injections. I honestly think my tiredness has been down to worry and lack of sleep more than the injections themselves. Last night I made a conscious effort to go to bed much earlier and it's done me the world of good. Thankfully I haven't ended up sleeping in the day like I have been since starting Buserelin. It was getting silly. Some days I would be in bed for 3 hours or so. It was really messing up my schedule.

Maybe my body is getting used to the drug now or perhaps it was lack of sleep affecting me. Either way, today is all good! Yesterday was a different story though. I was exhausted and I actually felt the injection for the first time. It wasn't that bad at all but there was a little bit of blood and it left a bruise. 

Today I'm feeling: Great in myself. Perfectly happy. Not tired. 

Jess. xx

Monday, 12 June 2017

IVF BLOG DAY 5 | THE BUSERELIN INJECTION #5

I've been having these injections for 5 days now and so far so good. I'm not really getting any side-effects other than tiredness (touch wood!). The tiredness is pretty bad though. It makes me a little less on the ball than usual to the point where I don't think it would be safe for me to drive. That said, I'm not getting enough sleep at the mo so this could be a contributing factor.

A few weeks before starting Buserelin I started getting nightmares every night. It's because I have anxiety and worry to much.  I'm still having the nightmares now but there seems to be a lot more of them! 

Have any of you guys had nightmares whilst taking Buserelin?

Jess. xx

Today I'm feeling: Tired. (Not much change there then!). 

Saturday, 10 June 2017

IVF BLOG DAY 3 | THE BUSERELIN INJECTION #3

Another day, another injection. I got my fiance to change sides this morning. I felt it a tiny bit more than usual but barely. I still liken it to the feeling that a fly may or may not have landed on you! It's just it might be a slightly bigger fly. 

I'm only a UK size 10 but I don't workout as much as I should (or at all at the moment). So I have quite a podgy belly and I tell you what I'm really grateful for it right now. Because I'm sure it's making the injections less painful! 

Last night was a bit of a weird one. I woke up at 4am after having a nightmare. I felt fine. Then after about a minute or so I started to feel a bit panicky. I ended up being awake for about an hour Googling random stuff like 'Buserelin effect on pregnancy'. That seems to be the new worry now. For once I don't actually want to be pregnant in case I am and this drug effects the baby.

I know IVF is stressful, but why can't I just relax?

Jess. xx

Today I've been feeling: Tired. I don't think I'm getting any side effects from the Buserelin yet. Unless the tiredness is one? But that could just be down to lack of sleep.

Friday, 9 June 2017

IVF BLOG DAY 2 | THE BUSERELIN INJECTION #2

As with day 1 the injection didn't hurt at all. I've been trying to think of a way to describe how it feels. The only thing that comes to mind is that it's like a really small fly may or may not have landed on you. As you can barely feel it you can't be sure. Another thing is that I can't feel the Buserelin going in. For some reason I thought I would.

Yesterday I felt really happy. Almost ecstatic, but I don't believe it was down to the drug. Maybe it was, but surely day 1 would be too soon to start feeling symptoms? I had a really successful day work wise so maybe I was super happy because of that? Also I'm not sure feeling happy is one of the symptoms. I think it's more likely to be the opposite to that!

Are you taking Buserelin too? 

What side effects do you get?

Jess. xx

Today I've been feeling: A bit tired. Happy enough when busy working, yet it seemed to take more effort than usual. By 8.30pm I felt a little grumpy and it's now 9.30 and I'm in bed writing this. I just want to watch TV then go to sleep. I don't usually go to bed this early on a Friday! Normally it would be between 12 -1.

I'm suffering from what feels like mild period pains too. As I'm on day 22 of my cycle I guess it's that. But it's hard to tell!

I've also been worrying that I might be pregnant. There's no reason than I would be, I mean it's not like I ever am. But what if I was and now I've been taking Buserelin. Would that have an impact on my child? My consultant says it's perfectly safe so I should believe what he says. But my anxious mind led me to Google it. Probably the worst thing I could do as there's mixed thoughts online.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

IVF BLOG DAY 1 | THE BUSERELIN INJECTION #1

Today my fiance gave me my first Buserlin injection as soon as I woke up. I didn't feel a thing. Deep down I knew I wouldn't as the needle is so tiny. Yet it didn't stop me from feeling anxious all night. I kept waking up wondering if it was time yet. Silly really.

I've had no side-effects at all. Not that I'm expecting any this early on. However you never know what could happen when trying out a new drug. That said I think the risks are pretty low. 

I'll keep you all updated!

Jess. xx

Today I've been feeling: Tired from not sleeping that well and relieved that the first injection is over! Tomorrow is going to be so much easier now I know what to expect. 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

IVF TREATMENT PLAN & DRUGS TRAINING APPOINTMENT

We've just got back from the hospital having had a two hour session with a clinician. She talked through our treatment plan once again and we learnt how to administer the drugs. We also practised doing injections on a dummy piece of flesh using water. 


From day one we decided that my fiance would be doing the injections as it's really not my thing. I'll be having them in my stomach to start, although you can choose to do it in the thigh as well. According to the clinician many people get their husband or partner to do it at first but end up doing it themselves. I guess we'll just have to see how it goes!

So it's official. Tomorrow is day 1 of IVF and I'll be having my very first Buserelin injection in the morning. This part of the treatment is the 'downregulation of ovaries' and it starts on day 21 of the menstrual cycle. These injections will be administered once a day until a nurse tells us to stop. It's estimated that I'll be taking them for 33 days, so should be stopping on 9th July. A few days before egg collection. 

Apparently down reg (as they call it) can cause some side effects as it's similar to what women experience when going through the menopause. Hot flushes, tiredness and headaches could all be part of my day to day life soon. Oh the joy! I'm not looking forward to this at all if I'm honest but going to try my hardest to use mind over matter to overcome any symptoms I get. Of course there will probably be bruising, swelling and some minor inflammation in the areas we do the injections but I'm not too worried about that. 

I'll give you another update tomorrow and let you know how we get on!

Jess. xx

Today I've been feeling: Mildly sick on the way to the appointment (that's just anxiety for some reason). Overwhelmed. A bit lost. Really tired. 

We haven't told any of our friends we're going through this. Not because we don't trust them. Just because we are struggling to get our heads around it all ourselves and don't want any extra pressure. In a way I wish I had told one or two just so I can have a bit of a chat. Still, that's what this blog is for. Hopefully someone out there is benefiting from me writing this too! 


Saturday, 3 June 2017

WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR IRREGULAR OVULATION?

I've been off of the contraceptive pill for 3 or 4 years and our attitude towards getting pregnant was very much if it happens it happens. (Or maybe more - it'll happen when it happens). I felt positive and didn't want to be one of those women who obsess over ovulation etc. I've been pregnant a few times before and by my fiance too, so it wasn't like we couldn't get pregnant. 

Yet looking back I realise that was some sort of fairy tail idealization. For us at least anyway. I guess we left it too late to start trying? I was 32 after all. 

WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR IRREGULAR OVULATION

When we were younger we weren't ready to start a family. I remember watching my friends get pregnant one by one and thinking it wasn't time for us yet. I also watched some of my friends really obsess over ovulation, getting pregnant and literally fall out over babies. 

That's just not me. I'm someone that claps when my friends do well and I've always been really happy for them when they got pregnant. I'm still the same now. The only difference is that I have also resorted to using ovulation tests every month too. 

My doctor advised me to do it so about a year ago I caved and started doing them every month. But I don't fully understand what's going on. My cycle is and has always been as regular as clockwork, arriving every 28 days without fail. Yet I seem to ovulate at all different times of the month. What the actual?

It's so confusing. At first I couldn't get a reading off any ovulation sticks at all and I got annoyed and stopped buying the damn things. Then when we started having our Preliminary IVF Investigations they said I'm ovulating no problem every time. So I started buying the tests again. 

Finally I started to see that smiley face, but much earlier than expected in my cycle - on day 11. My friend told me there's no need to keep testing anymore as once you work out what day you ovulate it will be the same each month. But it wasn't true for me.

I got the smiley face on day 11 every month for a while. But then it stopped. I got really disheartened and gave up buying the tests again. I told my doctor and she said that ovulation tests can cause a lot of anxiety which doesn't help with getting pregnant. I got the impression she was telling me not to bother with them and to just keep trying as we were.

Anyway, last week my fiance and I agreed that we should give getting pregnant a really good go as we are about to start IVF. (Like one last attempt at getting pregnant naturally if you like). So I thought, what the hell let's do the ovulation tests too. After all, I still had a load unused in the draw. I started testing on day 8 and got a smiley face straight away. 

I just don't get it and its got me wondering, what are the reasons for irregular ovulation? Especially when you get your period as regular as clockwork, every 28 days!

Does anyone know?

Jess. xx



THE DRUGS HAVE BEEN DELIVERED

On Wednesday I had a call from the company delivering my IVF drugs and we arranged that they would be delivered on Friday (yesterday). I got given a 3 hour delivery time slot and on the day they called with a 1 hour window. Some of the drugs have to be refrigerated so I spent the morning cooking in a bid to free up some space in the fridge!

THE DRUGS HAVE BEEN DELIVERED

I'm starting some of these drugs on Thursday, so I guess that will be classed as day 1. As I already have my schedule I know the exact date I'm having our embryo transferred and it will be 5 weeks from Thursday. Not long at all!

There are 4 types of drugs that I'll be using in this treatment cycle:

1. Pituitary down-regulation
Drug: Buserelin (Suprecur)
(Apparently some get to use a nasal spray instead. I wonder how the consultant chooses who gets the spray and who gets the injections. Does anyone know?).

2. Ovarian superovulation
Drug: Gonal-F 
(Some use a drug called Menopur instead).

3. Ovulating injection
Drug: hCG Ovitrelle (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin).

4. Luteal Support
Drug: Crinone vaginal gel
(Some use Cyclogest pessaries).

Although I have my IVF information pack I don't know exactly how long I'll be taking each drug for. We have an appointment on Wednesday where we'll be shown how and when to administer the drugs. The consultant is also going to go through the IVF process again in much more detail. 

What drugs are you taking if you're on the IVF journey too?

Jess. xx


7 WEEKS PREGNANT | UPDATE

Good morning everyone! Today we're 7 weeks and our first scan is tomorrow. In terms of symptoms from the past week, I've had a h ...