IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


It’s not an uncommon story with Infertility.

Imagine the best possible circumstance translating into the worst possible outcome.

When Mr. S and I were first embarking on IVF we were told that we had an extremely good prognosis. That we’d gotten pregnant naturally seemed to be a very good indication of us doing so again with the scientific help – and having it stick.

6 cycles later = nil, not even one snowbaby.

Before I was ready to accept that we would need a donor I made sure we had every possible test done – both of us.

We did the Miscarriage Management Program and had every single dna/chromosomal/ immunology test possible. Then Mr. S went and saw the ‘top’ Urologist in Sydney, and had a couple of further tests.

All tests said we were both fine and dandy – I have slightly elevated ACA’s, and Mr. S has excellent ‘fertility potential’.

When Star offered to be a donor, we were overjoyed. We went through all the initial getting to know you, met in person, then she and her Mr. S had their blood tests, counselling etc.

Everything looked great.

Getting 100% fertility on Monday was a dream. We’d had 100% before with our own cycles, so we were feeling great.

I had my doubts yesterday at transfer. How come we weren’t being told that our embryos were fantastic? 50% chance of making it to freeze? Why did SDD ask me if Star had her own children?

Today the scientist called me as I was running to catch the train.

‘I just wanted to let you know that none of your remaining embryos are good for freezing’.
‘I’m shocked, tell me about the embryos’.

In turns out that 1 of our 4-cell embryos just stopped, 2 reached 6-cell but fragmented to almost 50%, the remaining 2 started compacting in a bizarre fashion that indicated that some of the cells had started dividing super fast and some had remained stationery.

In all my 6 cycles I’ve never had a report like it – with my f****** old eggs. Day 3. every cycle we had normal 8-cell embryos, even when we only had one egg. From there, when we had lots, they would all progress to Day 5, and usually we had a blastocyst or two. In our last couple of cycles where we only ended up with one embryo – we transferred a Grade 1 Day 3 embryo both times. Clearly they never had the energy to go further, but up to this point, they were all developing normally.

‘The one you had transferred yesterday was perfect, it was nothing like the others, there is a chance it will work, drink lots of water’.
‘I’m sorry, but is this an unusual situation with a donor so young’?
‘It does happen, just because a donor is young, sometimes her eggs might not be good quality’.
‘So if she were to cycle again, would you expect the same outcome’?
‘Not necessarily, sometimes it’s the drug protocol that causes this, sometimes changing that can make a difference. Some will cycle the same again’.

Star is shocked. She’s now worried about her egg quality and the embryo we’ve transferred fragmenting to the same degree as the others. I have not given her the ‘full’ report, just the bare bones – fragmentation. But she’s a smart girl.

I share both sentiments.

She is more than 15 years younger than me, and my embryo reports were incomparable.

I’ve assured her that having her child is an indication she has good quality eggs.

I spoke to Glamour Nurse, she is very upset for us. She is going to get SDD to call both of us. She just rang me back to say, he’s rushed off his feet and will have to call at the end of his consulting today so he can talk to us properly. Let’s see what he has to say. She mentioned that they may run some extra tests on Star for her.

Remember when I believed that this was too good to be true? How revolting. I refuse to wallow in self-pity, because the truth is I met Star through this experience. Hopefully this is a friendship that will continue.

Right now, I feel sick to my stomach but also strangely calm. I’m starving, but anything I put in my mouth tastes and feels like glue.

Of course I’ve had to tell everyone at work that I have hay fever.

What will we do next? I have no idea.

At this point, I think only a fool would believe there is any HOPE at all of us becoming pregnant with the embie transferred yesterday. I’m sitting here, and don’t even believe it’s possible that it has made 8-cells. Maybe not a fool, but someone who wants to believe in miracles.

Certainly not Star or I.

I almost wish my period would arrive tomorrow, as it is, I’m going to have to keep taking the medication and not drink until it does in a couple of weeks.


At December 21, 2006 2:16 pm , Blogger Kris said...

Oh, that's bad news about the other embryos. I'm sorry that's taken away your hope for the one on board. I really hope things turn out differently than you fear. I really, really do.

At December 21, 2006 6:59 pm , Anonymous fuschia said...

I have read of women becoming pg with just one not very good embryo..,

Please don't give up hope!


At December 21, 2006 9:27 pm , Blogger Lut said...

I blanched reading this post. It is absolute horror.

I'll gladly be the fool hoping for a miracle for you, so you don't have to.

At December 21, 2006 10:33 pm , Blogger KikayC said...

it's not over yet. :)

At December 22, 2006 12:39 am , Blogger Thalia said...

What a shocker. Are they sure it's egg problems? Could there not be a sperm involvement?

At December 22, 2006 12:46 am , Anonymous Lori said...

I'm so terribly sorry about the embryos. Horror sums it up indeed.
Are there any tests they can do to assess sperm quality?

At December 22, 2006 4:08 am , Blogger Jade said...

This is just so unthinkable.

I am so sorry for all your aggravation.

- Jade

At December 22, 2006 7:14 am , Blogger Summer said...

I started reading your blog a couple of weeks ago. And even though I have only just gotten to "know" you, my heart breaks for you and what you are going through. I am thinking of you.

At December 22, 2006 8:26 am , Blogger Jade said...

I emailed my RE's office today to find out more about how they monitor Donor cycle's - you may be interested in what they had to say.

I am really shaken up by your experience.

How much do you have to endure?

At December 22, 2006 10:32 am , Blogger Carol said...

I'm sorry you got such bad news. After all that. We think that donor egg is the answer, and I guess it's not 100%. I'm wishing you strength as you figure out your next steps.

But don't yet give up hope on the one you transferred. You never know.

At May 20, 2007 10:43 pm , Blogger Drowned Girl said...

Fuschia/Drowned Girl here, just reading back your past blog and remembering how it turned out :-)

I DID have a good feeling for you!


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