IVF Prep

Super-Secret Post
Concerning month 36 (approx. September, 2014)

The protocol we were put on didn’t require any ramp up of medication in the cycle preceding IVF so we could go straight to IVF. But my hubby should visit his grandmothers every chance he gets and there’s a wedding in his hometown next cycle, so we’re taking a short break (and a leisurely pace to get all the paperwork and information sessions out of the way) before we jump in.

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Ottawa Testing and Results, Continued

Super-Secret Post
Concerning month 35 (approx. August, 2014)

There were a few crossed wires when I went in for further diagnosis, but it went OK anyway.

First, I was experiencing my regular anxiety over determining if I was really on day one or not before calling.

Also I didn’t know how much to drink beforehand (the booking confirmation email said “not empty bladder” but the assistant had said “full bladder”) and when I called for clarification I got the line “Oh it is in your welcome package.” Uuuuuugh since I am coming from another clinic I am a weird special case so somehow I skipped receiving the welcome package but still ended up punted back to the beginning of the process and was now trying to navigate it package-less.

Then I was missing a requisition for my bloodwork (which it turned out I had never received).

And finally I did a terrible thing by not noticing for a good ten seconds and two sentences that I wasn’t speaking to the same receptionist I had been speaking to 3 minutes earlier (they’d switched out while I ran upstairs for the req form) aaaaaand since they were of similar-looking ethnicity this seemed extra rude and callous. But I did start to realize that the person wasn’t wearing glasses or the same outfit and started to say “Wait a second…” just before she said “Yeah you weren’t talking to me; what can I do for you?” Then when the other receptionist came back and I realized an additional reason for my mixup, I made sure to apologize profusely.

But somehow despite all these things going wrong, the kinds of things that usually drive me crazy, I was walking on air when I left.

First, the ultrasound technician actually had a sense of humour, unlike those in Kitchener who I couldn’t get a smile from. When she asked how I was doing (in a mindless “How’s it going?” pleasantries way) I replied “Well the good news is that my bladder is full…” while obviously in discomfort. “And how are you?” “Well *I* was allowed to pee this morning so *I’m* ok.” Then she tried to give me better guidelines about how to make my bladder full enough but not bursting for the scans for an IVF cycle, and asked after who it was who told me “full bladder” so they could be corrected.

After the scans she asked if I was indeed blogging this (as my tshirt proclaimed “I’m Blogging This”) and I told her a bit about the blog.

The literature I did have about the test mentioned that the ultrasound technician would not discuss my scans nor interpret the images for me, which sounded completely reasonable. But not only did she count maturing follicles out loud, but also chatted away about what she was seeing.

The biggest reason I was walking on air? My mature-follicle count was nearly double the last one, matching my AMH number which had implied I have tonnes of eggs left. So there’s that to work with.

A week after that, we sat down with the doctor to talk specifics. Things looked good for them to medicate me minimally (which is easier on the pocketbook too) with no need for a ramp up cycle.

Too bad we’d already booked a trip in September and would need to skip that cycle anyway. Although this was a really good thing since my husband got to visit his grandmothers and we had a final chance for a big unpacking and organizing push (mostly it was only decorations still packed) and a housewarming party.

I did leave a little confused that they would need to stimulate me and then be worried about over-stimulating me. It’s just scary since the number of large follicles that would cause the doctor concern for hyperstimulation syndrome was “30-35” and that’s what I was already maturing.

The next steps were consent signing, an online education course, and an in-person injections tutorial. With six weeks to do this instead of just two, we were hoping for a less-stressful ramp up, but the anticipation may have been worse.

The Ottawa Test Results…. Part A

Super-Secret Post
Originally composed during month 34

Ok — so we only needed this one test result from the Ottawa clinic. Or so we thought.

The doctor’s tone immediately after pleasantries was such that I thought for sure my AMH number was terrible. She had some stuttering and false starts and looked generally like she was going to deliver bad news. (“So… we measured your AMH… and…. well…”).

And in a way it was bad news — the number was high but that didn’t match my low number of maturing follicles from the Waterloo testing. To figure out what was going on, she said she wanted “to do the testing I would usually do if you were coming to me in the beginning.”

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The Ottawa Consultation

Super-Secret Post
Concerning May, June, and July 2014

I am catching up to the point where I have to pay attention to when I post these such that I keep the 3 month delay I originally intended. I knew that a couple of posts covering longer stretches of time would help catch up and that’s why things were overly-delayed for awhile.

For a short period of time, we were under the impression that the time we forfeited in fertility progress was well-worth it: I’d finish a time-sensitive diploma requirement, we’d get ourselves moved to Ottawa, and we’d be able to hit the ground running at the Ottawa clinic. After all, I had just completed massive amounts of testing in Waterloo and had been an hour from starting IVF when we found out I was pregnant.

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Break for My Work Placement and Our Second Move

Super-Secret Post
Pertaining to February through May, 2014

I know how complaining about delays must look. Here I am, with other things I’m prioritizing above treatment (like deciding to do a work placement instead of IVF), and moving cities twice in a year which obviously sets us back.

It’s something that you can’t understand unless you’ve been there, and even then it’s a lot about personal coping. And for me, it’s a lot about working with incomplete information and making the best decisions possible which end up being predicated on incorrect assumptions.

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Gravida 2, Para 0

Super-Secret Post
Pertaining to Month 27 (which wasn’t over yet)

More terrible news, this time far less expected.

When last we left off, we were waiting for my next cycle to start so we could dive into the world of IVF.

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Waterloo Counseling

Super-Secret Post
Pertaining to Month 27

As promised, here separately is the account of our private couple’s pre-treatment counseling session. (more…)

Waterloo Testing

Super-Secret Post
Pertaining to Month 27 and 28

The testing in Waterloo was very different than in Vancouver. With all the appointments scheduled for me at the beginning of a cycle and performed at one location, it painted an extremely detailed picture of one cycle instead of piecing together data from different points of different cycles from different specialists at appointments I had to secure for myself.

Much detail follows. (more…)

The Waterloo Consultation

Super-Secret Post
Recap of the end of Month 26, composed near the present since I had no contemporary notes

We were pretty excited about our consultation in Waterloo. We had been referred before we left Vancouver so we had an appointment waiting for us within three weeks of our arrival. With 4 cycles between then and my work placement, I figured there’d be no problem getting our 2-3 bank-up IVF cycles done by March (the idea being that we wouldn’t transfer any embryos and bank them all; the idea was from our doc in Vancouver).

Right away, things felt very different. (more…)

Break for the Road Trip

Recap of Months 24, 25, and 26, composed in the present since I had no contemporary notes

We had been waiting for quite some time to decide if we were going to relocate. When we got the bad diagnostic news in May of 2013, I said we were picking up and relocating without a reason to do so except that we needed to come home (and I wanted to feel in control of *something*). We picked our university town of Waterloo and started making plans.

We hired a moving truck, but to get ourselves there, we opted for a road trip. It gave our truck time to catch up with us and also killed some of the time before we could get our referred consultation at the only full-service fertility clinic in town. I had to take some time off school, but I thought doing so would free up December, January, and February to be IVF cycles before my next work placement in March.

Ultimately, it meant we were out of the assisted-fertility game for three cycles, and about 3/4s of the way through cycle 26 when we saw the specialist in Waterloo. But more on that next time.