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

Posts tagged ‘New Zealand’

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

Trying for a baby with my sister’s ex (sic!)

I caught up with an old friend visiting Australia this week during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. After dinner I began filling him in my husband’s and my plans to try for a family this year.

He was listening intently. We have known each other for 15 years but I had never talked to him about this side of my life. He was being sensitive and quietly listening as I related our story.

I said we were trying for a family with my sister’s eggs. (My sister had visited us from New Zealand in February and donated some eggs with which we have made eight embryos).

He looked at me cautiously and asked: “Which of your sister’s exes?”

I just about had hysterics – who needs the comedy festival to have a laugh!

The day that stood Christchurch still

Tomorrow I find out if I am pregnant following our embryo transfer just under two weeks ago, using a donor egg from my sister.

We are so excited but this past week has been massively overshadowed by the events in Christchurch, New Zealand, where I lived for 8 years some time ago.

I haven’t been able to write a blog up until now as I have been consumed by a constant cold sweat of anxiety; firstly hearing the news of the quake last Tuesday, and then waiting, hoping and praying for news of loved ones, including my brother who lives there.

Thankfully he, and friends I know who live there, are safe. But many others, as you will know, are living in a nightmare of massive upheaval, enduring untold suffering and uncertainty.

The quake not only changed the face of their lives personally; it has changed the face of the city, its social fabric, infrastructure – everything that is normal.

The quake shook everything up. But in its rude disturbance, it has actually halted the city – paralysed it to a violent stop, holding everyone to ransom in their homes, devoid of food, electricity, communications, transport.

Meanwhile, we will be over the moon if tomorrow’s pregnancy test is positive. But if it isn’t, I will be thankful for the home I have, the loving husband I treasure, the job I go to, my workmates, my friends, our neighbours, my yoga studio and teachers, the train I catch, and the food I will eat for dinner tonight.

My friend Zara has just moved there and wrote a harrowing personal account, which you can read here.

Flowers for Zoe

I have just returned from the florist with a beautiful bunch of flowers for my sister. I bought them on behalf of my brother in law, who is miles away in New Zealand. He asked me to give them to my sister on this Valentine’s Day, the day on which she gave my husband and I 14 of her eggs.

I think it very fitting that the day of my sister’s egg collection be Valentine’s Day, today.

What a wonderful act of love she has carried out for us.

It was the first time she has ever had general anaesthetic so she was a bit nervous but very brave.

I waited for her in the reception of the day hospital, reading magazines and drinking tea. I felt guilty to be sitting back and relaxing while she was going through the ordeal of being put under and having her insides poked and prodded and retrieved.

Meanwhile, my husband was next door giving his contribution. We had wondered if I should go in with him while he produced it but then thought the nurses and medical staff might think us weird so decided against it. I think usually those rooms are the domain of men only, allegedly furnished with red leather couches and porn mags.

So we have a wonderful clutch of eggs – just over a baker’s dozen – with which to try to fertilise into embryos and then transfer to me.

We feel so lucky to have this chance – I can’t believe we have got this far.

Awakenings

I’ve been waking up early this week. This morning I placed my hands on my lower abdomen and imagined my womb lining thickening up, and what it would be like to actually be pregnant. This is something I have never experienced so even this would be amazing.

Tomorrow my sister and I have our first scans. We are both quite excited to see what hers will show. Will there be two ripening follicles, five, 12 or 21 – or none?

We dropped her fiance off at the airport this afternoon to fly back to New Zealand. I felt so guilty to be separating them for over two weeks. This is the most time they have been apart since meeting just over five years ago. It is especially hard now they have a daughter and I felt so sad seeing him say goodbye to her. I hope she doesn’t start crawling whilst here or passing any other momentous milestones as it would be such a shame for him to miss that. How on earth do families with one person travelling a lot for work manage?

We are now all home again and settling down to normal life. My brother-in-law’s departure signals the end of the holiday and highlights the fact that my sister is here to help us get pregnant.

I am woman; hear me borg

They say the eldest siblings get the best genes due to the youth of the parents. It’s most likely rubbish and definitely not true in my case.

I am the eldest of five but given the modifications I have had, you would not think I had the best genes.

Firstly, I was born with such a big ‘outtie’ belly button that I had to have surgery at two. Goodness knows how big it was but it must have been substantial to warrant an op. Plus I share the same deafness in one ear as my aunt.

I have also had: braces on my teeth (they weren’t just a little wonky; I had fangs and an overbite so big it could have offered shelter in a rainstorm; roaccutane for acne; glasses then lenses then laser surgery for short-sightedness; bilateral bunion surgery; and chronic asthma which is completely controlled with meds so no worries there.  Also my ovaries decided to go to sleep earlier than expected in my mid thirties.

Now I am trying to conceive a baby in a most unconventional way; by IVF with eggs donated me by my sister who is travelling from New Zealand to Australia tomorrow.

She is younger than me and by comparison is the picture of genetic perfection: She is the only one with straight teeth in the family; has perfect eyesight; beautiful skin with a smattering of freckles which has made her a boy magnet since age 15; no asthma or allergies; great feet and apparently an egg reserve which puts her in the 90th centile for her age group (34).

How great is that? I feel so lucky to be getting the chance to procreate with such fabulous genes.

It makes me feel quite borg-like.

Organised for life

I’ve just been reading Womb for Improvement’s (WfI) blog. She is also about to begin an IVF cycle which is very exciting news.

I’m very impressed as WfI seems very organised. She already has the drugs she needs for her cycle beginning on 8 Feb. Her doctor must also be very organised.

By comparison our/my doctor forgot my sister would be arriving for her inter-country inter-body baby-conception trial next week and booked himself on an overseas holiday. Luckily my sis is arriving on the evening before he leaves, so we will drive straight from the airport to the hospital so we can have our night time consultation with him.

We also have no idea what kind of cycle she will be on. Plus we need to have ICSI at the time of fertilisation to make doubly sure my husband’s sperm can permeate the walls of my sister’s ovums. We haven’t talked about any of this so far. Thus I am feeling a little disorganised.

Another sister of ours concluded an IVF cycle in New Zealand with an embryo implanted just yesterday. She is also very organised and wanted to know what type of treatment sister 1 and I would be embarking on. I was embarrassed to say I didn’t have a clue. By the way, keep your fingers crossed for my sister.

Plus our police check certificates still haven’t arrived (yes, in Victoria Australia, we have to prove that we are not paedofiles before we are allowed IVF.)

Honestly, I feel like instead of planning with military precision for what may be the making of our baby; my doctor and my husband and I are approaching this with the carelessness and casualness of a weekend break away somewhere.

But in a way I quite like it like this as it doesn’t make the situation seem as serious.