Blog about having premature ovarian failure and trying donor IVF with my sister's eggs

Posts tagged ‘embryo transfer’


I didn’t want to find out the results of my pregnancy test while I was at work last Friday, so my husband said he would take the call from the fertility clinic.

I asked him not to call me either way once he knew, so I wouldn’t know if it was negative or positive until I got to the safety of home that night. We didn’t have any contact that day, apart from me calling him in the morning to let him know I’d had the blood test.  Then just before I left work that night, I called him again, to let him know I was on my way.

I tried to guage from the tone of his voice if the result was positive or not. But I couldn’t tell. Because of that I presumed the test was negative. I then cried and cried and cried all the way home. There was some music on the radio by a band I had never heard of before called the ‘The Unthanks’ who recently played at the Sydney Folk Festival. They are a northern UK folk band and their music was so sweet it made me cry even more. I cried for my husband and me and everyone who so badly wants a baby and has so many problems conceiving.

By the time I got home my eyes were red and puffy and stinging from the salt of my tears. My husband met me at the door and led me into the bedroom and sat me down on the bed where there was a bunch of flowers. I thought the flowers were out of commiseration. Then he told me the test was positive! I couldn’t believe it!

I had my follow up blood test today which confirmed I am definitely pregnant. So we are over the moon. But cautiously so, given that we lost our first pregnancy. But for the time being, I am treasuring this feeling, this wonderful feeling.


Are we there yet? On the home straight to test

This Friday we find out if we are pregnant following our last embryo transfer.

Since then, I have had two rounds of acupuncture, been to the osteopath to get my back fixed, ditched the nightly whiskys (but not the chocolate) and have being doing my ashtanga yoga with no vinyasas (jump throughs and jump backs), and no ujjayi breath. This is because both, especially the breathing, work to heat up the body like an internal pressure cooker, which is NOT what we want for our little embryo. We don’t want to pressure cook it – instead we want it to settle into my womb lining, lie back and have a nice long sleep for while fattening up into a healthy wee baby.

I’ve been trying not to think about it, but have noticed some subtle changes to my body, just like I felt the first (and only) time I was pregnant. For instance, my left boob is a little more tender than usual and I am feeling a bit sick – a bit like I am hungover. I also have a slight feeling you get if you stop yourself weeing mid stream. Last time I had a tweaking feeling but this time it is a ‘mid stream’ feeling.

It’s no doubt way too early to be feeling any symptoms but I can’t help zoning in on them, hoping, really hoping that it has worked this time.

Infertility journey finally ends via surrogacy

Many of us travel a long road before we realise our dream to have a baby. Some of us never make it, while others pull out all stops to get there. The following outlines what can happen if you are persistent and have the resources to be able to make it happen.

My husband’s workmate in Melbourne, Australia has just had her own biological child  – to a surrogate in California, USA.

Ann-Lee and her husband left Melbourne last week for the birth of their biological child in California. By now their baby will have been born. I keep imagining how amazing and exciting it must be for them.

Using a surrogate followed six years of unsuccessful IVF which included 17+ embryo transfers for the couple.

Finally coming to terms with the fact they could not carry a baby themselves, they travelled to the US to find a surrogate as the practice is a common there and is legislated for, to protect the surrogate, the child and the parents.

They decided not to try it in Australia.  A surrogate cannot be paid, so surrogates carry babies out the goodness of their hearts. When the baby is born, the parents have to adopt the child, even if the embryo was biologically theirs’.  There is also the chance that a surrogate could change her mind and not want to part with the baby, causing horrible distress for all parties.

Recent developments in Australia are threatening to confound things further.  The NSW state government is about to pass a law which will prevent Australian couples being able to travel overseas to use surrogates. Apparently it is to protect vulnerable third-world women. But in listening to a recent radio program (link below), it appears that most surrogates are educated, well informed and wealthy women acting out of altruism.

I really wish that the NSW Government was a little more forward thinking, as passing this law will hamper the dreams of NSW infertiles wishing to use surrogacy. I really hope it doesn’t set a precedent for other states to follow suit.

Making the process illegal also casts a shadow over the way surrogate babies to date have been conceived. Anne-Lee and her husband’s baby was conceived out of love and determination. My view is that the baby’s conception is unique and something to be proud of – not something to be mired in covert illicitness.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this and what the arrangements are in your country, if you know.

If you want to read a bit more about Anne-Lee and her husband, there is an online article below:

If you want to listen to the radio show I mentioned earlier, which includes an interview with an American attorney specialising in this area of family law, go to the link below:

Our beautiful, beautiful embryo

Our eight-cell embryo looked like this when we saw it on the tv screen just before the transfer - described as 'beautiful, beautiful' by the embryologist - which is hopefully a good omen!

“Beautiful, beautiful embryo,” declared the embryologist as she handed our embryo to the doctor before he transferred it to me.

How nice is that? Our doctor said it was “alive and kicking” as it had divided into eight cells since it was thawed as a four-cell embryo. We saw it on the tv screen on the wall as the embryologist focussed on it before sucking it up into the skinny transfer device.

My husband and I swelled with pride and anticipation – perhaps this is a good sign? Our previous two embryos, which didn’t work, have both been four cells at the time of transfer. Maybe this one is going to be robust and strong and grow into a lovely fat little baby.

Our doc then went on to say that of course, it doesn’t matter what the embryo looks like at the time of the transfer. He said that ugly embryos can grow into beautiful babies, telling us that he had in the past transferred some dodgy looking embryos which have now resulted in beautiful looking kids.

We joshed along, wondering if our beautiful embryo could grow into an ugly kid (?!)

We would love our child whether it was ugly or beautiful – for the time though, we are taking pride in knowing we can at least produce a beautiful looking embryo!

Roll on the two week test….for now though, it’s time to take it easy, put my feet up and watch another episode of the brilliant Game of Thrones. Have you seen it?

Transfer one or two embryos?

We’re heading towards a new embryo transfer. On Wednesday a scan will hopefully show that my womb lining is nice and thick and ready to receive another embryo. I’ve been building it up with daily doses of oestrogen pills so hopefully it will be ripe for the sticking.

We have six embryos left. Deciding on whether to give two a shot in one go has been playing on our minds. Do we try two and risk conceiving twins? Or do we play it slow and steady by transferring one embryo at a time?

We are missing our family and friends in New Zealand and think we would like to move there soon. But our little cache of embryos is keeping us here in Australia. Getting through them as fast as possible would release us to be able to move on with the next phase of our lives – whether as parents or not.  It is tempting to speed things up by toying with two.

But I know from experience that twins are hard work and that I would prefer to conceive one if possible. When I was nine, my Mum had my twin brother and sister (naturally conceived), taking our family of three kids to five overnight. We had so much fun as a family but it took its toll. My poor Mum says she doesn’t remember anything about the first five years of my siblings’ lives as it was all too stressful. If I can, I would prefer not to have twins.

I’ve also read up on the topic and notice that recent research leans heavily on the side of one at a time. My doctor says he would be happy to transfer a duo and thinks it would be safe but I think we’ll just go the one next time.

Anyone out there got any gems to share about their experience?

IVF more successful with one embryo transfer than two, Herald Sun, Dec 23, 2010

IVF Study: Two embryos no better than one, TIME, Mar 30, 2009

IVF – one or two embryos?, The Lancet, 13 Sept, 2008

Yes to yoga, no matter what

My back has painfully seized after I stopped doing yoga following my last embryo transfer, making moves like this out of the question (not that this particular move was ever in the question for me!)

So I had my first yoga class in three weeks yesterday and spent the rest of the day in pain. I will therefore never stop yoga again, no matter what I read about it being potentially risky for the success of an embryo transfer.

My back has literally seized up. I can hardly bend over and the pain makes me feel sick. I’ve been in pain now for almost a fortnight. But my yoga teacher and my osteopath tell me I ‘must get things moving again’ so I obliged in yesterday’s class by creaking my way slowly through the asanas.

Afterwards I went to lunch a friend and spent the whole time writhing around on my seat trying to keep my back as mobile and comfortable as possible. To outsiders I must have looked like I was either coming onto her or being very overexcitable and animated – luckily she knew better.

Driving home was painful – I had to breathe through the discomfort. Half way, I stopped at a chemist to buy some voltaren and panadeine, both of which I spit swallowed (yummy!) as I was desperate for instant relief. My lovely husband was waiting with a hot water bottle and some tiger balm when I got home, after which I fell into a stupor when the pain finally eased.

Today it’s a little better. I am moving it as much as possible and will do some more yoga.

I never want a repeat of this so will continue with my yoga through future embryo transfers, as I think my health and well being must be optimal if I am to carry a baby to full term, should I ever fall pregnant again. I will just make sure that my practice is much slower and more gentle and will take some tips from ‘Hoping for Rainbows’ who commented on one of my previous posts.


The nonchalance, needles, lack of yoga, avoidance of alcohol and shellfish didn’t make a smite of difference as my pregnancy blood test came back negative.

I asked my husband how he felt and he said deflated, which is pretty much how I feel. Just numb and flat. As if one of those acupuncture needles (or perhaps it was my blood test needle this morning) has pricked our little balloon of hope.

And I was beginning to convince myself that my sore back was a symptom. Christ knows why it’s sore if I’m not pregnant. How dare it be sore and tease me into thinking it could be a sign!

So now I have to go off all my medication for a few days. That includes the oestrogen that my ovaries no longer make. This means I’ll end up having a horrible hormonal crash in a few days, which is when my period should also start. Brilliant – definitely something to look forward to.

But after all the nastiness, I’ll be able to go back on my oestrogen to start building up my womb lining again. This is something I seem to be good at – my doctor is always pleased with the thickness of my endometrium. So all going well, I could be up for another transfer in a few weeks – how crazy is that?

If we keep going at this rate (rapid fire transfers but no pregnancies), we’ll be through our embryos in no time. Now there are six left. I don’t know why but I am reminded of that nursery rhyme ‘Ten green bottles hanging on the wall’… you know it? Hopefully our story will have a different ending…