Let the journey begin….

Can’t believe its been 12 months since we first started TTC….. time flies when you’re having fun (if thats what you call it)!

September 2015 I came off contraception (implant rod removed) & we decided to just “see what happens”

January 2016 – We decided to get basic bloods done and all came back clear. Derek had a sperm test complete and although his per count was high, his progressive sperm was only 15% (you need at least 30% for chance of natural conception). We were asked to provide another sample in one month.

February 2016 –  Completed a 2nd sperm test and once again the progressive sperm was low, but this time it was 20%. We got referrals to a Fertility Specialist & decided we would go through IVF Australia.

April 2016 – Decided to have a break from TTC and thinking about seeing a Fertility Specialist until after our Holiday to Phuket, Thailand. We went to Thailand for 10 days & we were so relaxed, revived and happy. Had the most amazing time and realised it was EXACTLY what we needed.

7th June 2016 – We met with Dr Tucker from IVF Australia and he advised we would need to consider IVf , due to the low progressive sperm. He requested Derek to provide another sperm sample (but this time through their rooms, as the scientists will  analyse it straight away) and for me to get an AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) / egg reserve test done, before our next appointment in July.

5th July 2016 – Met with Dr Tucker & he was happy to see that Derek’s sperm test came back at 40% progressive! a big improvement from the original test 6 months ago of only 15% progressive!  Unfortunately we have now found out I have a low egg reserve – 7 AMH. For my age it should be between about 20-50 but my level is showing for someone who is in their 40’s. So regardless, we will need to consider IVF to create our family.

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We will be put on a short cycle and high dose of Gonal F  to hopefully stimulate my eggs to all develop and mature for egg collection.

We decided to start our first cycle in August (when my period starts – towards end of Aug) to give us some time to process the information, emotionally and mentally prepare and to save money.

25th August 2016 – Day 2 of my period means we have our orientation day at IVF Australia toand I have some blood tests to see what my FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) levels are. They are hoping for them to be below 10 – which means my hormones are at a good level to start. I will get results in the afternoon.

In the afternoon, we got a phone call to say my FSH levels were raised and were at 14.5 – which was higher then expected & if they are at 15 the FS will cancel the cycle. So they wanted me to come in on Friday 26th for another blood test in hope the levels have dropped. I was gutted. We had build ourselves up for this cycle and already its in jeopardy.

26th August 2016 – Had the blood test and the Nurse called in the afternoon to say my levels had somehow come down to 11. They were a little surprised but happy to say we can begin our cycle! The Nurse advised that the FS wanted to increase my FSH injections (Gonal F) up to the max dose of 300gf.

So we had our first of many injections!!!!

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31st August 2016 –  started our second injection  – The Antagonist (Orgalutron) which switches off my own hormones and stops me from ovulating naturally (or premature relate of my follicles).

2nd September 2016 – Today I had my first Scan to see how my follicles are going. Unfortunately there were only 7 follicles and of those 7, only 2 were mature. This is not a good result. I was absolutely gutted, this is a poor response to the drugs and was asked to come back on Monday for another scan in hope more have grown over the weekend.

5th September  2016 –  So, this morning we went back to the clinic for another scan (thankfully this time Derek was with me) and unfortunately we only had 3 mature follicles. So the Nurse discussed with us possible options & said if we wanted to go through with IVF we could, although they do prefer atleast 4 mature follicles for an egg retrieval. Another option would be to still do the ovulation trigger (which would release the 3 mature follicles) and to try to conceive naturally – BUT, they needed to warn us that if we were to conceive their would be a high risk of multiples, due to 3 eggs being released and also them splitting.

We decided to take the risk/chance and do the ovulation trigger & try naturally. My progesterone was checked at day 21 of my cycle and it was high at about 340 (anything over 60 is good and means you have ovulated. The Nurse was very happy and positive about my high progesterone.

21st September 2016 – This morning we had our blood test to see if we conceived.

In the afternoon Derek called the Nurses for the results (as I was too anxious) and unfortunately my HCG level was zero. There was no sign of any attempt of fertilisation at all. I was absolutely gutted. I can’t put into words the devastation I felt, but I am so thankful to have Derek beside me and on this journey with me so we can support each other. Derek reminded me many things on this day… that everything happens for a reason, it will happen when the time is right, we were planning on IVF – so nothing changes we still are on that journey & that together we can get through anything. How did I get so lucky to have this man in my life? Sometimes I don’t feel like I deserve him, but I am just so grateful for the constant love and support (and wise words) he gives me every single day.

Derek is right – together we can get through anything.

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We have decided to take a short break before starting our 2nd IVF Cycle. I was feeling so stressed and anxious about starting another cycle, we thought it would be best to spend some time focusing on improving my mental, emotional and physical health before we dive into Cycle #2. There is no point starting another cycle when my body and mind is already in such a stated of stress, I need to be as prepared and calm as I possibly can be.

I have started doing acupuncture once a week to help with my anxiety (which is working!) I have changed my diet, incorporating a smoothie with some good probiotics and supplements for my immune and digestive system each day, exercising more by walking the dog, or riding my bike a few times a week…. and have already lost just over 1kg – which I am really proud of .

We are going to enjoy the rest of the year with activities we have planned for our birthdays, including ghost tours, comedy shows & weekends away – before starting our second cycle in the New Year.

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