The Long Down Regulation.

Woah.. It’s been 8 weeks since I posted anything! ooops. No excuses, let’s get to it!

The biggest thing that’s been happening in our lives over the last few months is the next round of IVF. As you may (or may not) know, we used up all 4 of our embryos from the first round of IVF. Tristan was the only one who stuck around. We’re incredibly grateful for him… sooooo lucky but i did promise him a brother or sister in exchange for milk so we’ve got to get things sorted.

Over the last two months I’ve been poked, prodded and scanned. Our Dr was a little surprised that we only had one success with our little frozen pals and surprised us when she suggested that we investigate further. There were two possibilities for them not working. Something was up with my uterus and/or the embryos (although looking great under a microscope) were genetically not viable and so didn’t stick around.  After biopsies and blood tests galore and we discovered that the plasma homocysteine levels in my blood were slightly higher than they would like. After doing an MRI they also discovered that I have areas of Adenomyosis.  Neither of these discoveries proved conclusively why the other embryos didn’t work out but we’ll never know if they contributed.

IMG_5541We went ahead with the first (and most arduous) part of the process.  Get some eggs growing and get ’em out. Last time we did this (to get our Mr T), I was quite sick.  I am susceptible to Ovarian Hyper Stimulation (OHS).  My Dr decided that the best course of action was to start me on a higher dose of the drugs for a few days and then reduce it down.  She was confident that I would not go through the same thing as last time….

Well…  That didn’t quite go to plan..  An internal ultrasound on a Wednesday showed 2/3 follicles at the right size with a further 4/5 that might grow to the right side..  By Friday there were 26 full size beasties ready to go and I was feeling pretty awful.  By Saturday evening I was in bed – I stayed there until Monday when they removed a whopping 29 eggs. I then returned to bed for another couple of days.  Poor Matt and Twisty 🙁  I also got to spend a few hours at the Women’s and Children’s hospital being tested to make sure I was OK to manage the OHS on my own.  I was so nauseous, it was not fun at all 🙁

After the process was over we had 6 little, happy embryos in the freezer.  Now, do you remember that the other potential factor we have to consider is whether or not the embyros, so seemingly good, are in fact genetically sound.  Our Dr explained to us about a genetic screening service that they offer.  After much discussion and reassurance that biopsying an embryo would not result in a baby with a missing eye (lol) We decided to go ahead and give that a go.  I’m glad we did.

We’ve tested three so far.  1 came back all good! (Huzzah!), One came back with some strange results.  It had an extra X Chromosome as well as extra 6 and 16 chromosomes. – That’s a perfect example of an embryo who looks great and would never have stuck around.  The other one we had tested was inconclusive – they didn’t pick a cell with a well developed nucleus.

So, what we know now is that there may indeed have been a chance that, of embryos from Twisty’s batch, the other 3 embryos weren’t genetically viable.  There may also have been a chance that my uterus wasn’t being too friendly.  We still don’t know (and never will know) what the deciding factor was in those failed attempts but at least now we are armed with all the facts we need to increase the odds.

We have one embryo who IS genetically fine.  We know what’s up with me and so i’m on extra vitamins for my bloods and my levels are now back inside the expected norms.  As we know about the Adenomyosis. we can also make sure that we do everything we can to reduce that causing any problems.

Instead of just popping in genetically beautiful freezy, we now have to “prepare the uterus”  (Everytime I hear that I imagine someone shouting it down a corridor, town crier style for some reason) with a down regulation cycle.  This means that next Friday I will have an implant placed under the skin on my belly.  This implant will slowly release hormones designed to switch off my natural cycle.  It could take 4/8 weeks to do so (hopefully we’ll head to the lower side on that number).  Once i’ve been rendered almost menopausal, they will ask me to use low doses of the same drugs I had in the first part of the process (the ones which make me produce an entire army of follicles) to slowly raise my hormone levels back up.  They will have complete control of my entire reproductive system.  They will ‘reboot me’ (that’s how I like to think of it) so that my hormone levels never reach levels that would cause the Adenomyosis to cause issues for our frozen pal (Is it an Olaf or an Anna I wonder?).   Once they are happy that all that is ready to go we can give them the chance to implant and grow into Twisty’s brother or sister.

How crazy.  Thank goodness that this science is available.  There is, of course, no guarantee that this will be a success but surely, after all that our chances are higher?  I have to tell you though, that I am really not planning to go through an Stim cycle again (stimulation and egg collection)  I don’t think I could cope.  I am just praying that this next hormonal experiment doesn’t make me feel anywhere near as awful and that it’s the last little unnatural hormonal dance my body has to do.  Baby Woowaa number 2  you are very much wanted.  Can you tell?

2 Comments

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  1. Laura 2 years ago

    Awww Sel I had no idea you were going through all this! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you all that everything goes to plan & maybe the high-tech science will meet up with the faith and give you what you want. xx
    Laura recently posted…My Favourite Holiday MemoryMy Profile

  2. Vicky Athersmith 2 years ago

    Massive good luck guys, keeping everything crossed for you xxx Lets try skype again soon 🙂 xx

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