Thursday, April 29, 2010

Still Waiting

Today I'm 9DP5DT or 14 days past ovulation. If I had done things normally, I would know tomorrow if my period is late. As it is, I'm on progesterone (crinone) and estrogen (6mg per day) and that will keep my period at bay.

I have not tested and although I have been tempted to do so, I will not until Beta. I really want to avoid any negative hpt's.

This week has had some ups and downs, certainty and uncertainty. I just have to wait and see what Monday holds for us.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One More Thing about Reprofit

There was one more thing I wanted to mention about Reprofit that really played a big role in our (my) decision to go there. They minimally stim the donors. The doctors are going for quality rather than quantity, but are also looking out for the best interests of the donors. Not a lot is known on the dangers of high stim protocol on donors, but I have heard that there can be health problems or issues with fertility later in life for donors. It made me feel good to know that the doctors cared about the donors and my chances at success equally.

As a recipient you will probably get between 5 and 7 embryos (from my reading and from the website I referenced in my Review that looks about average). They will only transfer 2 of the embryos maximum unless the embryos are of lower quality. Also, they only freeze embryos that are grade 1 (highest quality).

Monday, April 26, 2010

2WW Angst

I'm currently 6DP5DT, beta is coming up soon and I have no idea if we've been successful or not. I go back and forth between positive it's positive and sure that we've got a negative on our hands. For the most part, I'm trying not to think about it and if negative doubts sneak in I try to turn them around to positive as quickly as I can. I have to keep reminding myself if thinking could get you pregnant it would have happened for us a long time ago.

My boobs go from being very sore to not sore at all then slightly sore etc. Which is all due to the progesterone suppositories, I know. I'm not nauseous, dizzy, no bleeding gums. I'm exhausted, but that's due to jet lag & the progesterone I'm on. I have a little bit of cramping I think, but I'm not sure - it could just be gas or the way I'm sitting in my chair.

I had a dream on Saturday night that I was holding our baby girl. She was so tiny, and had a smattering of light blond hair and big blue eyes. Then someone handed me a baby boy, truth be told he looked a little weird. Now that I think about it, it was like he was half new born half child, if that makes any sense. He had dark brown hair, pale skin and dark eyes, a slight Eastern Europe-ness around the eyes and nose. It was a nice and weird dream all at once.

All that to say that I'm anxious for the beta. I am tempted to take a pregnancy test, but I'm happy in this land of not knowing right now. A negative test could devastate me and if it's positive, well, that would be great. It's just, what if it's not?

I am praying for a positive, then a health pregnancy, then a healthy child and so on.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


As promised here is a review of our experience with and the clinic Reprofit.

Why myivfalternative?
At first H and I were a little skeptical of using an online company for something that was so extremely personal and critical to us. We wanted to make sure that we weren't going to be scammed - I had heard so many horror stories of people being taken advantage of during their journey to building their family. I did a lot of research about them looking for women who had used their services and what their outcomes had been. I found a few blogs from women that had used their services and also found a message board of women using the clinic Reprofit that also talked about using their services. We felt comfortable enough to move forward with them. We liked the idea of having a contact in Brno that would pick us up from the airport/bus/train and take us to our hotel, and also to/from our clinic appointments and then also drop us back at the airport/bus/train. Also, the person in Brno spoke English so if we had any language barriers she would be able to helps us. Additionally, you are given a cellphone to use so that you can communicate with your coordinator there and also the clinic. You will also have a coordinator stateside that answers all of your questions, makes sure you have your meds, and is basically the liaison with the clinic. Our North American coordinator was Sue - she was amazing, always answering our emails on time or arranging phone calls if necessary. And, our coordinator in Brno was Denisa, she made us feel at home and made sure we knew what to expect at the clinic. Also, as part of the service, Denisa took us out for a real Czech meal. The biggest thing that swayed us was that myivfalternative clients have priority over patients that contact the clinic directly. Instead of having to wait a year, our wait was about 3.5 months from the time we signed the contract with Mag.

The cost at the time of signing up with this company was $7870 USD which includes the donor's fee, the IVF & ICSI, Freezing of embryos for one year, donor's drugs, as well as the fee for Mag's services. We also had sperm frozen there which cost 50 Euros (70USD). Our total spent including spending money, flights & accomodation was $12500-ish. This would pay for about a third to a half of what it costs in Canada/US for the same procedure.

The Clinic
I had heard nothing but great things about this clinic. This message board at is specific to treatment in the Czech Repbulic and there is a ton of information about Reprofit. The clinic recently expanded, it is bright and modern. Most of the nurses speak English as well as other languages in addition to their Czech. Dr. Stepnan Machac is the lead doctor and is amazing. He just goes by his first name, pronounced Stefan. On the day of retrieveal, the surgery room was very modern and bright, they play technopop/relaxing music in there which I found slightly strange. We had a different doctor for the transfer - Marcel - he looks really young, but is 35 years old. He speaks English, but it's not great and he doesn't have very good bedside manner, but he gets the job done. The one thing to note about this clinic is that they do not give you pictures of your embryos so you have to remember to take a camera with you so that you can take a picture of the screen in the surgery that they use to show you the embryos. Oh, and after retrieval you call on days 2 and 3 to find out how your embryos are doing. You're given a number to call between 1pm and 2pm. If it's the weekend, it can be tough to get an answer because the Dr. is seeing patients and answering that line. On the day of my first appointment to have my ultrasound, we were sitting in the waiting room and we noticed that there were other couples like us but also single, much younger women as well. So the donors are in the same room with you. We may have seen our donor.

The women are young usually between 19 and 24 although ours was 29 years old and proven. You are able to describe in as much detail as you would like, the donor you are looking for to match you. I also sent a picture of myself to them. The donors are completely anonymous, you basically get age, hair colour, eye colour, height, complexion, education (if you ask for it), if they cleared the std and genetic testing and also if they are proven. This suited me since I became completely overwhelmed with other places that allowed you to see pictures. I became too worried about finding a clone of myself and it created too much stress for me.

It's the second largest city in Czech and the city centre is very nice. We stayed at the Hotel Europa which had very good rooms and includes breakfast with your stay. It's about a 10 to 15 minute walk to the city centre, but I think it was worth staying there as it's much quieter there and there's also a big park for walking/jogging just up the road. We didn't do many touristy things in Brno as we were lucky enough to have free accomodations in Prague and that is where we spent most of our time. The Student Agency bus costs $11 per person one way to/from Brno and Prague. It's about a 2 and a half hour ride - they play a movie that you can listen to in English and offer hot chocolate/coffee as part of your fare.

Overall Experience
Both H. and I are very happy with our decision to use myivfalternative and the clinic Reprofit. We would definitely use them again if necessary. Some poeple have said that paying the extra fee for Mags's business rather than going straight to the clinic is a waste, but for us it took a lot of the worry out of things. We didn't have to worry about a language barrier or figuring out how to get to and from our hotel or clinic. I guess it's whatever floats your boat.

Oh, I forgot, there are other services offered - e.g. PGD, donor sperm, donor embryo, regular IVF. I don't know about forwarding frozen sperm there, but I think it could probably be done.

ETA - The clinic freezes the embryos and keeps them in Brno, you cannot ship them back to Canada (that I'm aware of).

Friday, April 23, 2010


We made it home with no delays and really no problems yesterday. By the time we got in our door, it was around 9pm or 3am Czech time. I called my Mom to let her know we'd made it home and hit the sack. I was up at 3:30am the first time - 9:30am - Czech time, but made myself sleep in until 6:30. I'm trying to acclimate back to the time here as quickly as possible.

I'm trying to remain positive about our little czech experiment, but it's difficult. I'm not used to being positive about these things. I wish that there was a test they could do right away to give your the thumbs up or to let you know right away that things didn't work. Either way we'll know soon enough.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Heading Home

We came back to Prague yesterday and finished up our vacation/project by picking up some souvenirs - there is a lot of crap here to buy! It looks like the skies are open for flying and we should be home tonight. I'm ready to sleep in my own bed.

Only snafu is that H. and I aren't sitting together on the 8 hour flight back to Canada. That kind of sucks, but at least I can zone out and watch movies. And, it gives us an excuse to get up and walk around to see each other. (He's in row 16 on the right side of the plane and I'm in row 35 on the left side). Bummer.

We won't know the outcome of our trip over here for a while, but I already feel like it's been successful to a certain extent. From the minute we knew that we had 5 embryos, I began to think of them as mine. Not embryos from another woman and my husband. Mine. Ours. I'm invested. I had a lot of misgivings and was very worried that I wouldn't bond with a donor egg child. I've already bonded with these little embryos that are floating around inside me right now. We're choosing to believe that this will work, we are talking about things in the positive. Like H said, we might as well be optimistic and if we have to we'll deal with the fall out later.

I'm going to do a review of my entire experience shortly... I want to do it before we get the results so that it is as accurate as I can be without being swayed to one side or the other. Succinctly, the clinic and doctors were really good to work with and if need be we'd definitely use their services again.

Off to breakfast now and then to the airport...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Last night I had a tough time falling asleep. I knew that this morning would be a defining movement for me and H. We had called on Day 3 to find out how the embryos were doing, but the lab doesn't take calls on Day 4 so we were both just hoping for the best. We arrived at the clinic at 11am for our 11am appointment, they were running behind and we didn't get seen until around 12noon. We met with the Dr (Marcel) and he explained that things were looking excellent. We still had 5 embryos all blastocysts, 2 HBgr1 (hatching blasts grade 1), 2 XBgr1 (I forget what the B stands for) and 1 EBgr2 (expanding blastocyst, a lower grade). We put two back (the highest embryos - HBgr1).

The transfer was a little painful, Marcel had a bit of a tough time with my cervix. The transfer itself went really well. We forgot that we could take a picture of the embryos prior to transfer and forgot to bring the camera with us. Oh well, if we're lucky enough to get pregnant, there will be plenty of photo opportunities later on.

After the transfer I laid on the table for about 10 or 15 minutes and then I was released. Before we left, I was given my instructions to follow for the next couple of weeks and also given the beta day date. We were also told that it looks like we will definitely have two embryos frozen. They'll email is in a week or so to let us know although they freeze on Day 6.

Afterward, we walked down into the the city centre for lunch. It was beautiful, much more beautiful than I would have thought. Hopefully, when we get home I'll be able to post some of our shots. Tonight our coordinator here will be taking us out for a true Czech meal. Should be interesting. I've been told that the pork knee is a true delicacy, we shall see.

Thank-you for all of your support over the last week, and for cheering me on. It's been so incredible to log in and see the comments you've been posting. Sorry I haven't been able to follow along with you, but I'll soon be home and cheering you all on as well.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Checking in

4 embryos at 8 cell
1 embryo at 6
and 1 bonus embryo that joined the fray, 4 cells

Back to Brno tomorrow, transfer on Tuesday.

Heard about the volcano erupting in Iceland? Ya, no idea how we're going to get home if the flights don't start back up soon. At least we've got a free place to stay in Prague if we need it.

That's all for now. Hope that you're all doing wonderfully!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hello from Prague

Just a quick note to let you know how things are going so far. Went to the clinic on Thursday, my lining was 10 or 11mm, so extra fluffy. Then H went and did his deposit and had some blood taken. We filled out a bunch of forms and before we left we were told that they got 9 eggs, 7 were mature. Called to follow up today and 5 fertilized. Transfer is scheduled for Tuesday. We call again tomorrow to find out how the embryos are doing. (BTW, I love the Dr.! He's absolutely awesome!)

Also, Prague is amazing. We've done so much site seeing today (I think we walked about 10km). We had been planning to return to Brno tomorrow afternoon, but as long as the call goes well tomorrow, we're probably going to stay in Prague until the afternoon of the 19th.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Monday, April 12, 2010

So Long, Farewell....

We are in the final stages of getting ready to leave tomorrow night. The dogs are accounted for, my FIL will be taking care of the mail (and dripping toilet) for us. We just have a few odds & ends to buy, pack our suitcases and then off we go.

I can't really wrap my head around the idea that there is a woman growing eggs for me right now. I don't get updates about how she's doing, so I won't know anything until Thursday.

H. is bringing his laptop with us and there's free internet at our hotel in Brno, so I may be able to post an update at some point.

Ciao for now!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

It's a Go

Well, it looks like we're good to go. I passed the final hurdle before making the trip to CR today. I went for my ultrasound this morning and endured the longest cootercam exam known to mankind. I was seriously on the table for 25 minutes - for a lining and follicle check. I have no follicles (yay! because I was worried, based on all the ewcm that I had, that I'd o'd through the lupron) and my lining is .73cm. I also have a simple cyst in my vaginal cul de sac that is measuring 1.4 x 1.2 x 1.0 cm, that sounds pretty big to me. I don't think it will have any impact on the DEIVF though and I don't think that it will interfere with implantation. I thought the technician was getting her kicks by torturing me on the table - there weren't any stirrups, so I had to lay with my knees bent in an awkward postion for almost half an hour. By the end, my left leg was getting all shakey and crampy. Oh well, it's done now.

I then went to work and got a half caf, half decaf coffee from Tim's. Bad idea. I had a mild panic attack for the first time in a couple of weeks this afternoon. I'm blaming the coffee. I haven't had a caffeinated coffee in quite a while. Caffeine doesn't like me any more. Sigh. I used to love my morning coffee. I wonder if it will always have this affect on me. I still have a decaf every morning, but it's not the same.

I can't believe we leave next Tuesday for our trip, it just feels surreal. And, there's a part of me that just kind of wants to skip over the trip and wake up to find out the results. I'm trying to be excited about going to Prague, but I'm just not interested. I also feel like an asshole for lying to EVERYONE that has asked me "oh, Prague, I hear it's beautiful, what made you pick there?" We don't want to have too many people waiting on news of the results and if it's bad news we definitely don't want to have that conversation over and over. The end justifies the means to us, but still I don't feel very good about it. Then there's the trip itself. I am excited to go to Europe and to see the history of the city in Prague. But, we're not really going on vacation. Neither H. nor I would have Prague in the top 10 places we want to visit, so if it wasn't for this DEIVF, we would not be going there. We are going to make the best of it and I'm sure once we're there we'll both love it. I just don't want to have that feeling of filling up the time so that we can get to the real business, if you know what I mean.

Well, this post hasn't really gone the way that I wanted. I really wanted to write about all of the feelings that I'm having. The swirl of nervousness, excitement and hope - god the hope - it's all a little terrifying. And, I'm so superstitious about how I'm feeling that I'm scared to put it down in writing.

Only 5 more days, until we leave, hopefully 12 more days until transfer and 26 days until we know the results of all of this. For now, I just have to take it one day at a time.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


How the hell did I get this old? 39 years old?! I feel like I'm about 22. Actually, I have asked myself that question a couple times, but really I'm fine with it. I'm fine with who I am. I only wish I was younger so that I'd be a younger Mom when it happens, if that makes any sense. Alas, it is what it is.

It was a very full birthday weekend and I was spoiled rotten. Thursday I went with my 3 best girlfriends (unfortunately one girl wasn't able to make it) to a restaurant called Joe.Mamma's. It was so much fun, they serve cajun creole food and have live music. We got there around 6ish and didn't leave until around 1am. The band which was this funky R&B/Blues band sang happy birthday to me. So much fun!

Friday we had a bunch of my family over for Good Friday and to celebrate my bday. My Mom made me a birthday cake that used to be one of my favourites - apple spice cake with a maple fudge icing. Delish!

Saturday the weather was so gorgeous (it was around 25 degrees celsius or 77 degrees F)sunny and blue skies. So we took the dogs down to the dog run at the Beach. Poor old chocolate lab is really out of shape. Then we went home and watched Sherlock.Holmes. It was pretty good, but I though Rachel McAdams was miscast.

Sunday was Easter and we went out to an Aunt's place for dinner, there were 22 people in all. We sat out in the backyard on their patio and caught up with one another. I love spedning time with those people. They are amazing.

Monday (my actual bday) I went in to work. My team brought Szechuan.Szechuan in for lunch - crispy ginger beef = yum! H. sent me a dozen white roses, they are gorgeous and then he surprised me by showing up with an ice cream cake at my office to share with my team. Then we went and did the groceries and watched Dancing.with.the.stars.

On a TTC note, one week today we leave for Brno. Holy crap! I have to go for my visit with the cootercam on Thursday to make sure my lining is doing what it's supposed to do. I'm taking 2mg of estrogen three times a day right now and from the amount of ewcm I have I think the lining should be good. H. and I haven't got much stuff ready for the trip. We have to start thinking about getting stuff done e.g., determining how much money to bring with us, look into places we'd like to visit or restaurants to eat at etc. The dogs will be staying with my cousin while we're gone and FIL lives with us so he'll be taking care of the house & mail etc so at least we don't have to worry about that stuff.

I was in the bathroom this morning, drying off after my shower and was thinking about how close we are to leaving and thinking back to when I had my first SHG. The doctor that performed it said that we didn't have much time - 6 months to a year if we wanted to get pregnant with my eggs. I really thought he was wrong. That was almost 3 years ago. Today, I realized he was right. I wonder how many women in my position choose not to believe what they are hearing?

ETA - Based on a comment from Mad Hatter, I just want to expand on the last question that I left hanging at the end of my post. I actually think it's normal not to believe the diagnosis that we're given when it's DOR or high fsh. There are all kinds of stories out there of women who have been given the diagnosis and choose not to believe it or not to surrender to it or to succeed despite it and go on and have normal healthy pregnancies. These are the stories that we must hold onto when we are waging the battle against the odds. Hold tight to them Maddy, because they do happen.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Happy Easter

Sending out an early Easter wish to all of you that choose to celebrate it! We are having my parents, brother, aunt & boyfriend and her two sons for fish & chips tomorrow. Then on Sunday, we'll go to another aunt's house for the big Easter dinner (there will be 22 of us there). We're not a religious family, but we do make a big thing of holidays. It should be a good time.

Monday is my 39th birthday. Tonight I'm going out with the girls for dinner, drinks and to listen to some live music. Tomorrow, we'll combine my b-day with the fish & chips thing (I'm making pineapple upside down cake with vanilla ice cream - yum!) and who knows what we'll do on Monday. H. is taking me out on April 11th for a surprise birthday do - not sure what we're doing.

Well that's my weekend in a nutshell. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!