My IVF clinic in the news

Yesterday, in my local newspaper, was an article about a woman in her 30’s who was diagnosed with cancer, had her chemo treatments and then went on to do IVF and get pregnant. Before she started chemotherapy treatments, to try and preserve her fertility, the clinic took some of her ovarian tissue and froze it. After her treatments were done, the clinic put the tissue back in her. Four months later, she had her first period and then the clinic did a round of IVF. The fresh cycle didn’t work but she did get pregnant with a frozen embryo transfer (FET). Pretty amazing don’t you think?
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The article states that this has been done 4 times in Finland, but that this is the first time a baby will be born due to this procedure. In addition, there are over 40 other babies in the world where this is how they got their start.

This is amazing news and I’m just in awe over it!

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Good bye little frozen embryo

Three years ago at the end of November/beginning of December we were finishing up our third and final fresh round of IVF through the public health system. From this round, we ended up with 3 embryos. Two of these were transferred into my uterus (one of these became Paxlet) and one was frozen. Our clinic will keep embryos frozen fro 3 years, without any charge. Knowing this, I was ready to call them at the beginning of August this year to do our very last FET with our final lonely little embryo. This never happened, as I magically fell pregnant in the cycle just before August.

While we were in the US, we received a letter asking what we wanted to do with our last embryo:
1. Store it for another 3 years for 321€.
2. Use it now.
3. Donate it to “science” for stem cell research.
4. Have it destroyed.

For me it was a no-brainer decision: donate it for stem cell research. We won’t be using it. We are done growing our family. Even if shit hits the fan with this pregnancy, I think know we are done. Mr Siili and I filled in the consent papers and I put the envelope in the mail today. There is no going back now.

Good bye little embryo! I am not sad about this good bye. You gave me hope during the last 3 years. You were the “what-if” if we ever decided to try one last time. In the end, we have been fortunate enough to not need you. I am ready to let you go and do what you can in hopes of helping others.

NIAW: Say Something

So this week (April 21-27) is National Infertility Awareness Week and this year’s theme is: Say Something. And that is what I am going to do.

As Mel over at Stirrup Queens said, infertility week is every week for her and that there isn’t a week that goes by (if not more often) that she doesn’t think about infertility. I couldn’t agree with her more. Just because I have my little one, it doesn’t mean I am not infertile any more, nor that I don’t think about it, often. In fact, I am still very much aware of my infertility, especially when I think about wanting another child.

We TTC for almost 3,5 years before I got pregnant and it was 4 years and 4 days after stopping all birth control when Paxlet was born. It took us several IUIs, FETs and three rounds of fresh IVF cycles to get one single BFP that resulted in our take home baby, plus one frozen embryo still waiting for us. I have no illusions about how difficult it just might be to get pregnant again. Sure, we could be one of the “lucky ones” and my endometriosis will behave itself long enough for me to get pregnant without much/any problems, but I’m not counting on it.

While we are not TTC right now, the thought of ‘what if’ we want another one is always lurking nearby. There are many factors that I feel are against us trying to have another child. First off, We are not getting any younger (I’ll be 37 this summer and Mr Siili 39). Money is another obstacle, if we don’t get pregnant on our own. We only have the one frostie, and we don’t have ant more fresh IVF tries via the public clinic. That means that if/when we need assistance getting pregnant we will have to go through a private clinic which is more expensive (I am still very grateful to be living in Finland where ‘expensive’ is still much cheaper than in the states). And right now money is in short supply (isn’t it always?) as we have our house loan and I will only be going back to work part time, by choice, for some time. And most importantly, if there is any chance at all for me to get pregnant without any outside help, we have to have sex. So, while we aren’t TTC right now, I have put a lot of thought into it on the ‘what if’ chance.

Infertility is something I definitely think about. And often. I am also no longer silent on how long it took us to get our little guy and why it took so long. I have found that I am more than willing to say something, anything, about the disease that is infertility and how it affects me.

Happiest news for a friend

One of my friends, who started TTC around the same time as Mr Siili and I, is 10 weeks pregnant after her first IVF!! I can honestly say I am so very happy for her with my entire heart. There is no IF knee-jerk negative gut reaction this time. I cried tears of utter happiness when I read her news.

This friend came to me last year, knowing I was pregnant and that we had needed help to get there. She told me that they too had been trying for many years and it wasn’t working. She wanted to know how we got the ball rolling to see if we qualified for the public IF clinic and what treatments we did.

My friend qualified for the public clinic, but because of her age (same as me), they were going to skip trying IUIs and start her right off with IVF. Except there was a 6 month wait for this. Fast Slow forward a bit and her treatment was in January.

I had lunch with her about a week before she was to test. I told her that I am here for her, but I won’t be asking any questions, I’ll wait for her to talk if and when she’s ready. So, I’ve been waiting to hear from my friend. Alternately, I’ve been worrying that it didn’t work and she hasn’t wanted to talk and also thinking that it did work and she was waiting a bit before saying anything. I am so thrilled it is the latter.

The funny thing is, I was JUST thinking of her yesterday. I was thinking to myself that I hope and can’t wait to go baby stuff shopping with her and show her where all the children’s second hand stores are. This is so exciting!

What a difference a year makes

I’ve been trying to write this post all day long, but due to my little boy, he’s kept me busy and away from the computer. Which is exactly the point of this post: One year ago today, little did I know my world was going to change, for the better. It was exactly 2 weeks after my 3rd (and final) IVF protocol that I peed on a stick, two to be exact, and got a faint second line.

A year ago, I had some psychologist appointments to help me come to terms with my mom’s death and more pressing the fact that I may not become a mom myself. While I didn’t care for the psychologist much herself, she did raise a few good questions and help me start processing things in my head. I am so thankful that my life didn’t end up that way. I’m lucky, I know it.

I am one of the very fortunate ones. Not only did I finally get the long awaited BFP, but I had a very easy pregnancy that went full term (41 weeks and 2 days), the delivery was fast and uncomplicated and Paxlet has been a wonderful child without colic or major screaming fits. I know I have it good and I never forget it.

Progesterone post

Yup, today is going to be about progesterone. All the nitty-gritty, leaky and fun funky tidbits that are on my mind and what I have to offer. Hah!

But first, I want to quickly interrupt this post to say Mr Siili survived his first day of work! Poor guy, he went to bed so late last night that he’s just exhausted today. After I got home and we ate dinner, we tried watching the 2nd half of a TV show that I was falling asleep during on NYE, but he fell asleep this time. *grin* He’s taking a bit of a nap now, but I hope he doesn’t sleep too much so he can actually get to bed at a decent hour. Mr Siili just isn’t a morning person.

Now back to my ‘scheduled’ post about progesterone.
Ever since the first time I had to use progesterone during a cycle, I’ve hated. Especially the first few rounds when I was using some synthetic stuff that if you’re allergic to nuts, you shouldn’t use. Well, I’m not really allergic allergic to nuts, but a few of them make my throat slightly itch, sometimes. That was enough to make my lady bits react to the synthetic stuff. I’d get quite sore, swollen and feel dried out, especially after stopping the stuff. That’s on top of all the leaking! I finally mentioned it to the doctor and she switched me to the more natural stuff. (This new stuff also cost me much less too! Grr.)

The natural progesterone I’ve been using these last couple of cycles has been better, in the sense of no bad reaction, but it’s still just as annoying to leak all the time. BUT, now when a cycle has actually worked and I know the progesterone is doing a job, I find myself not minding the progesterone as much. Sure, I still grumble a bit about the leaking, especially when it leaks onto my undies. Urgh. But, it’s something that I can tolerate (most of the time), even if I do majorly look forward to the day I can stop the suppositories!

I finally found panty liners/pads that I can live with during the day. They are still not something that I’d choose to use voluntarily, but they do their job, stay in place and aren’t too bulky. The night ones are still bulky and annoying. Plus, I think it’d just work better if I wore an adult diaper instead. LOL
. o O (Hey honey, check me out! *Wiggles a bulky behind in Mr Siili’s general direction* ROFL)

I mentioned the other day that I’ve finally figured out how to prevent most of the soreness to my lady bits. I believe what was making me raw and scrached-feeling-like inside my lady bits was a dry finger dragging along my vaginal wall. Ouch! So, these days I quickly run my finger under (warm) water just before inserting the progesterone. No more pain for me! Oh, and for the times when I still get a bit sore or irritated, a quick rinse of my lady bits works many times and when that doesn’t work a bit of hydrocortisone rubbed on the lady bits works wonders too!

Another not so fun thing about the progesterone is that it has to be kept refrigerated. How does one do that while at work? I definitely don’t have my own personal fridge next to my desk… So, I just keep a cute little Tupperware container (no name on it) with my suppositories in it. Hopefully people are leaving them be. At least I’m not noticing the numbers dwindling faster than I’m using them.

What brought this post about today was the fact that I forgot my pads at home. So, I asked a friend/co-worker if she had any to spare. Thankfully she did! But, she also said she was sorry for the reason I needed them. I told her it wasn’t for AF, but for progesterone and that was all that was said on that topic.

So, I’m hoping and keeping my fingers (and legs) crossed that I only have one more week of progesterone to deal with. I have my first doctor’s appointment next week’s Monday! Time sure is going by so slowly and yet quickly.

I can’t believe it! Those BFPs are mine!!!

I tested twice this morning and didn’t or just couldn’t believe that those faint second lines were actually BFP lines. They had to be evaporation lines (even though it had been less than 10 min since I tested).

On my way to work I went and bought a different kind of test and held my pee for the next several hours. But before I tested at work, I called my clinic to see what happens next if I am indeed pregnant. I told the nurse that I wasn’t sure if the tests I did in the morning were positive or not and that I was going to test again later today. The nurse said I should just wait until tomorrow! As if I could do that!! I mean, I probably will test again tomorrow, but no way was I going to only/just wait until then to re-test.

I tried asking about betas being taken, but I have no idea what they would be called in Finnish, so I only mentioned blood tests. She said that a blood test would reveal the same results as a home test. When I explained to the nurse in more detail (using many small Finnish words) what I meant by ‘blood test’ and ‘beta’, she said they don’t do that at this clinic, they have too many patients for that. I still have no idea if they do beta draws in Finland at all or if this is just a public clinic standard. Oh well, no betas for me. Well, unless I start spotting or there are other complications, then I’ll get betas taken. Let’s hope the later doesn’t happen.

I was also informed to continue taking the progesterone (that I knew) and to call again on Monday with the “official” results. At that point, if I truly am pregnant, an appointment will be made in 3 or so weeks (January sometime) to see how everything is going. O M G! I would really have to wait that long to be seen? Oh well, that’s how it is done at this clinic. If there is anything I have learned about IF treatments, they vary considerably from clinic to clinic and especially around the world.
And this is what I got when I tested just after lunch. A huge freaking BFP!!

I still don’t believe! Or rather, I do believe it, but not really.

I know my news is going to be hard for many and for that I’m so very sorry. (I won’t be offended or hurt (not much at least *hugs*), for those of you who need to un-follow me.) This isn’t the end of IF for me and my struggles won’t just go away. There have been way too many tears for all of it to just be forgotten. It’s been almost 3,5 years that we’ve been trying to get even this far. This is just the beginning of a new phase in this whole ‘trying to get pregnant’ process and I know that nothing is ever certain. I’ve followed too many other IFers through their journey to know the facts of it all. This very well could end sadly at any moment. But, until something changes, I’m going to try and wrap my head around this new information and try not to offend too many. At the same time, know that this is my blog and my journey, I write here what I feel I need to. This blog has given me the outlet I’ve needed when things have been their worst (and best). Then, when I found this wonderful IF and ALI community via the Stirrup Queens‘ blog earlier this year, I just can’t imagine my life without you all. Thank you for your support and kind words.
I can’t believe I rambled on this much… (Mr Siili could.)