Thursday, July 26, 2012

Black and White < 2

Well, we did not wake up to the pretty coloured email of congratulations.  We received the black and white version that was full of support and condolences for getting a negative.  :(
Sadly, this is the nature of IVF, it either works or it doesn't.  We know we had great chances with our surrogates and Dr Shivani, but this time it just did not work.  We thank the whole team at SCI for their efforts and giving us another shot to try an expand our family.  Just after the email I received a call from Dr Shivani to talk about it, and she was quite disappointed for us that not even one embryo stuck.  It is always great to talk with Dr Shivani and kinda spit ball ideas.  For now, this chapter is closed.

Friday, July 20, 2012


This tww feels oddly different.  I am not sure if it is because I am so busy with Cailyn in my life that she is a distraction, or do I not feel as intense of pressure this time as a result of having Cailyn.  Either way, we are well into our two week wait and counting down the days. I do have nightmares of 4 confirmed heartbeats, but the awake and rational side of me remembers Dr Shivanis words that at my age, we will be lucky to have one.  Her words are very comforting to us as we know the reality of the situation which is the best place to be in.
Just as a FYI, I had some pretty good looking embryos, and those of you who know Dr Shivani know that she would never sugar coat the quality of embryos.  So, I am assuming that these beauties were a result of the supplements I took for almost three months in advance.
Here is what I took:
A vegan based prenatal vitamin daily
A vegan based Alpha Lipoic acid supplement 300 units/ day
A vegan based CoQ10 at 600 units/day
DHEA 25mg , 3 times a day
Absolutely NO alcohol was consumed which I think is quite important (and I still have not had a drink yet..what is wrong with me..sheesh, looks like time for a gin and tonic this weekend)
And that is it, it definitely seemed to work and I just wanted to share it with anyone considering self cycling.
The DHEA made me feel somewhat short fused after about two months of it, but I read this is quite normal.  Upon stopping it, I felt back to myself immediately so there were not short term extended effects.

Here I was pre-op at ISIS

And post-op

Today, 10 days post op I am happy to say my swelling is gone and I feel great!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pregnant until proven otherwise!

Well, its official, we are pregnant til proven otherwise when Dr S does our beta near the end of July!!! Our transfer was on Thursday and to my surprise Dr Shivani said we had 4 top quality embryos and 4 average (8 total).  At my age I never expected to hear the words top quality!!

The travel home has taken a toll on me.  Dr Shivani is such a skilled surgeon and immediately after ER I felt good, as I did for the next 15 hours until I started my marathon flights home.  Fortunately Dr S gave me some good pain meds which I am actually taking, and also needing after carrying around chunk a munk Cailyn. 

Good luck to all my fellow cyclers - I hope to see all of you in March 2013!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Delhi-Munich-delay-London-DELAY, reroute Halifax- delay-Toronto

Holy moly!! Did we have a hell of a trip home! We left for Delhi airport around 6 am.  I was feeling a bit rough since it was just over 12 hours since being discharged from ISIS hospital.   Fortunately, the staff at Shervani hotel helped us with our bags, as Dr Shivani told me no heavy lifting at all!  Rahul picked us up and sped us off to the airport, and I when I say sped I mean it.  We travelled at speeds of 120-160km/hr!  It was a bit of a death trap drive, but we laughed all the way!  Delhi airport was easy, check in, security, wait then board.  Smooth sailing! The flight to Munich was easy, no issues.   Munich airport ended up switching gates on us, and the walking around the airport started to cause me pain, real horrible abdominal pain.  I managed to find a few seats in the airport to lay down, but it was not enough rest.  We boarded the plane in Munich, sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes then finally got up in the air..hmm...this delay was pushing it for our connection at London, but, lets not panic.  Finally we land at Heathrow.  We had to hustle to the shuttle buses to get to Terminal 3 as we landed in terminal 1.  Trying to walk at a speed to catch this plane became too much for me.  The pain and sheer exhaustion caught up with me.  As we boarded the shuttle bus, I had a melt down.  The pain was incredible and we we shoved into a bus, like sardines, I couldn't breathe, the pain was overwhelming and my temperature was soaring.  I was not feverish, just hormonally spiking. I melted down, having I guess what would be called a panic attack - not like me at all. After the shuttle bus we had to climb the emergency stairs to the plane, and my pain level continued to soar.  On the plain I loaded up on pain meds and calmed myself down.  After a few minutes I started to feel better, as best could be considering the circumstances.  I could not wait for this plane to get going, we we on the home stretch.  But of course, no...we sat there and sat there.  The pilot said there was a weather delay, then 1 hour later he said we were #22 in the cue to leave, then 1 hour later we started to reverse out of the gate, then we stopped.  Then 1 hour later the pilot said there was a mechanical issue and that the mechanic team was on its way, one hour later we saw the luggage trucks and shuttle buses arrive and 35 minutes later we were de-planing and getting onto the shuttle buses.  OMf'ingG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Almost 5 hours stuck on the plane with no action!!  We were told we would be rerouted to Halifax then shipped home to Toronto.  The shuttle buses carted us to gate 28 where we sat for another hour, then finally, we boarded the plane.  It was more than time for my pain meds again, way more than time!  Finally, we boarded and our captain welcomed us aboard.  Surprisingly the entire plane full of people were well behaved, and all going with the flow.  The senior steward had a great sense of humor and his announcements were quite entertaining as he mocked the last 6 hours.  We made it to Halifax and sat on the plane for about 1 hour as they refuelled and the new crew boarded.  Two hours later we landed at Pearson airport.   Thanks to Air Canada we waited 2 hours for our luggage - being the only flight at that time of day you would think our luggage would have come quickly!  Finally after almost 37 hours, we departed the airport and headed home. 
Travelling after egg retrieval can be a bit stressful to start with, but add on the crap we dealt with and I was done. My abdomen swollen and painful, bending and sitting difficult, but it did not matter at this point as I was home!!!  Marky picked us up at the airport with coffee in hand.  We dropped my sister off after this long journey and made our way home.  I was excited to see Cailyn!!!!  Baby girl was asleep when I got home, so I enjoyed my coffee and caught up with Mark and his mom. About one hour later Cailyn awoke and it took her a minute to figure me out.  She sat up, looked at me and eventually said Hi, waved then gave me a big hug.  Her hug melted my heart, and I was now really and officially home.
Dr Shivani gave us our initial results, which were pretty good.   12 eggs retrieved, 10 mature and 8 fertilized.  All very average looking embryos at this point!  I am thinking today is transfer day, but am feeling quite confused with what day is what!
Congrats to Kathy and Dave on your BABY GIRL!!!! Amy Claire is very lucky to have parents like Dave and Kathy!! Cannot wait to meet this little girl when you return to Canada.
My poor sister had a rough return home as she got very ill - we are thinking it was just pure exhaustion and the 37 hours of chaos catching up with her.  Hopefully today she feels much better!  I doubt I can convince her to do this travel with me again!
Ok,I am exhausted..time for a coffee and snuggles with Cailyn! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Last few days in Delhi

The last few days have gone by so quickly!! It is now 3am Delhi time, I am awake and soon to get ready to board a plane for the long trip home. 
Monday was a very big day for me as I had a documentary team come and film me.  The team arrived at 9:30 am and we had decided to do the filming on the roof top patio at the hotel, but sadly after about 40 minutes the threat of rain brought us into my room.  The documentary is intended to present the positive side of Surrogacy in India, with discussion from both IP's (like me) and surrogates.   All in all the interview was very very positive and I really hope I get to see the end result.  The documentary will take a long time to complete and we are optimistic that we will return in March for baby pick up and be able to film a conclusion to our story.

After the excitement of the shoot we decided to head to the SCI office so I could take care of one outstanding thing.  As we entered the lounge at the office I immediately recognized the man sitting there, it was Fredrik!!!  After catching up, he invited us to come back to his apartment for coffee and meet the twins!! We were really excited to meet the twins Selma and Alexander.  Fredrik and I started out in Mumbai together many years ago, so to finally meet was wonderful!

As you can see the twins are GORGEOUS!! Perfect little bundles to complete Fredrik and Roberts family.  Their two year old awaits the return of them back in Sweden.  We had a coffee and chatted about how improved the exit process now is and swapped stories. Meeting IP's makes for wonderful memories, and especially meeting people you have known via blogs and forums for a very long time.  Congrats Fredrik, Robert and Alwina on the twins!! A beautiful and very full family.
After our social visit with Fredrik we had dinner plans with the gang.  We met at Diva in M Block Market GK2.  A really nice Italian restaurant, a little pricey, but with good company it made no difference.  We were a large group!  Dave and Kath from Canada, a couple from Ireland, Leonie from Australia, Megan and Bob from Australia, Elland and Issac from Tel Aviv, Philip and Adam from UK/Aust who brought sweet baby Noah and of course my sister and I.   The food was good as was the company!  I think it is super important to connect with IP's when you are in Delhi - make dinner plans and spread the word! The memories you make with all these new people are everlasting!
I am waiting on a pic of our big group to share, but for now, here is a nice enough pic of Megan and I.

Next trip to Delhi will involve a trip to the plastic surgeon for my neck rolls!
Tuesday was egg retrieval day.  We decided to hit up Ashkradham temple in the morning with Kathy,  Rahul got us there and the place is huge!   No cameras were allowed so we ended up getting the cheesy professional posed shot!  As we walked the temples I mentioned to the girls that it was so perfect that it looked almost fake.  They were trying to convince me to enjoy the awe of how old the structure was and just how perfect the stone work was.  I didn't really buy into it, but, went along.  Well, sure enough, I was speaking with some gents here at the hotel for a conference who informed me that this marvel of a temple was actually constructed about 5 years ago!  They laughed at us even thinking it was built in the 1700's and also laughed at how it maybe now lost some of its mystic charm! 

Our cheesy shot in front of the temple!! Good memories!

A very impressive sprawling temple!

After the temple, we returned to the hotel to freshen up then grabbed a rickshaw to ISIS hospital.  The nurses at the hospital are amazing, very warm and caring.  I was checked in, filled in my consent, had my pulse, bp and weight done then we were ready to roll.  Dr Shivani came to my room quickly to say hi and wish me well.  Soon after I headed to the operating theatre where the very efficient team we in the midst of getting ready.  The anaesthesiologist was very kind in explaining what was being shot into my cannula, and soon Dr S entered.  We had a quick chat, then I was asleep.  Next thing I knew I was in my recovery room, struggling to open my eyes despite being alert.  I had some episodes of dizziness and nausea but overall my recovery went well.  Now, we await fertilization results, then transfer details, then beta!! The fun is officially ON!!
This has been a great trip to Delhi, despite missing Cailyn and Mark.  It has been fun to share this experience with my sister and hope that she enjoyed her time in Delhi and Agra~!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Delhi Day 6

I had to let my sister try MacDonald's in India, it is kind of a fun thing to do. So, this morning we passed on the hotel breakfast buffet and walked over to Nehru Place Metro station area for a McD's breakfast. There was merely one person in line ahead of us, that's it, just the whole place.  We waited patiently behind this person and about 10 minutes later we were able to finally place our order.  It was a strangely long wait, but I guess the crew working there today could only manage one order at a time.  My sister asked for a cup of tea, and no, no tea was available.  Tea not available in India - sure seems strange. So, my sister ordered a diet coke, and again, not available, so under pressure she ordered a Fanta (yuck) and a bottle of Kinley water.  We were asked to take a seat and wait for our food.  A good ten minutes later some of our food was delivered to our table, I say some as the egg mcmuffin and bottle of water were still pending.  What a riot!! The food was good, typical McDonalds and the experience memorable.  As we finished up eating a man approached us and asked if we knew where a particular street was.  He was from France and backpacking around the world with his girlfriend.  My sister spoke French to them and I told her to tell them to come back to our hotel so they can use out Internet and phone.  They were very happy for our offer!  They have been gone from France for 3.5 months now having been to Italy, Turkey, Iran and Nepal.  They will be in India for one month then off to Thailand.  We were able to help them get where they needed to go and they were grateful for the help.
My belly is full, not of food but follicles.  I feel satisfied with carrying around my sack of potatoes belly, despite the fullness and being mildly uncomfortable. This is a good sign and one you hope to have at the end of an IVF cycle!  Since I am starting to feel this weight and fatigue that comes with it, my sister and I decided to have a pretty quiet day.  We both had a lunchtime snooze then headed off to N Block Market,   I NEVER shop in India, never, but I got totally suckered in today when it came to a few items for Cailyn. 
A blanket for Cailyn, sweet pink baby birds!

Bread and More cafe in N Block - amazing service and lots of great food to eat! Also is a bakery with fresh baked breads.

Shalom - where we ate dinner on Saturday night

Bread and More - YUM!

Cailyn is old school and likes Teletubbies - if we are ever in India with her we can get this cake for her!
A special outfit for Cailyns first birthday!
It is late and I have to do my trigger shot very early in the morning, YAY!! Last needle of this cycle, well besides the 18" needle Dr S will use to pierce each and every one of my follicles in both ovaries, methodically draining them of every ounce of fluid, looking for mature eggs, but that will be it, last needle!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Delhi Day 5

Day 5 in Delhi meant I have  been on stims for 11 days and suppression drugs for 33 days, so needless to say I am feeling it!  My left ovary feels huge, especially when I pee.   In the morning of Day 5 in Delhi we went to Lotus temple via auto rickshaw.  The grounds of the temple are quite nice and the temple itself was as impressive as it was the first time I laid eyes on it.  It is a Baha'i faith temple, welcoming people of all religion's to enter for silent prayer and reflection. 
My sister doing her tourist pose

Our rickshaw driver Raju offered to stay with us and take us on to other destinations, so after our temple visit we headed to Delhi Haat.  Delhi Haat is a mid sized handicraft market located just minutes away from Lotus temple.  I was remembered by some of the staff there, and I quickly saw the boy who grabbed my boobs last year when I was trying on a Sari!  We ended up looking at Sari's to take home and my sister ended up buying one for herself and one for a gift.  I caved, having never purchase one after 6 trips to India.  I bought a beautiful Sari for Cailyn to have as she becomes a teenage girl.  The woman selling us the saris was 8 months pregnant and very excited and nervous about the upcoming birth.
Making myself comfotable on the sari display
Raju then took us to A1 Kailash Colony so I could have my scan.   I waited only a short time for Dr S and watched as the surrogates came through the doors, one after another having completed their own scans for lining check.  I looked at each girl to see if one was my surrogate, but I am sure mine were already in the van outside (I thought I saw them in the van as I got to the hospital).  Once Dr S was done with the surrogates it was my turn.  The sisters (nurses) asked me to pee then took me to the scan room.  I love the sisters at Dr Shivani's hospital, they are all so sweet and also tell me how adorable Cailyn is!  They recognize me from the pics of Mark,Cailyn and I that are included in the wall of fame at the front of the hospital.  Dr S came in and we were ready to roll.  My left side is indeed performing better than my right side, but nothing to stress about, just another few days of meds to ensure maximum egg maturity. Luckily I am able to see the end of needles in the next few days as I have my trigger shot in my fridge just waiting to be used!! The only worrisome bit is that my egg collection will be at 3pm and I will board a plane 17 hours later.  I know Dr Shivani will ensure I am fit to fly, but I wished I had a day to recoup before flying...not the case this time, so I will just have to deal with it.

My big juicy folicles
My sister and I ended up at YoChina for lunch and both had yummy sticky rice bowls!! Big time yummy!!
YoChina at M Block Market
I had to return to Dr Shivani's office at 5:30 pm to do my legal stuff and meet my surrogates.  As we sat in the lounge we met a couple from Tel Aviv and a second couple from  Kitchener Canada.  We invited them to join us at N Block market for dinner at Shalom (funny to invite two Israeli's to a restaurant named Shalom - food expectations for them may be higher than us). The boys from Tel Aviv came back after their meeting and confirmed the location for dinner, so we were pretty sure they were going to join us.  Soon I had to do my shots so I was given the OB's office to do this and as I was mixing my meds and mixing the next meds with the next one the lawyer walked in and after a two second convo her left me to finish.  I ended up with three needles and after slamming them into my fat rolls around my belly button we were then ready to continue on with the lawyer. I had soft copies of the contracts so I was able to review them in advance for correct spelling and dates.  The whole legal process was very easy this time, like doing anything for a second time.  Then, I met my surrogates.  Both my surrogates have names that start with the letter "S" and they were both beyond adorable.  SM #1 was just such a tiny girl and I felt like a giant towering over her.  She was excited to have been selected and ready to get this show on the road.  To me it is important that the SM's are excited and not too scared.  The whole process for them must be nerve wracking!  Then I met SM#2, who was somewhat bigger than SM#1.  She too was excited to get going and hoping that we have success.  Since these are my #9 and #10 surrogates in India, meeting them was not as emotional as in the past.  I know I cannot get attached to these women, and I will more than likely not see them again unless we have success and I see them after the birth.  For now, my surrogate meetings are quick, I am able to thank them for signing up and trying to help us grow our family.   I know they are medically fit as Dr Shivani has this process down to a science.  The meeting went well and then we were off to Shalom for dinner. 
Shalom is a nice place, has a very western feel, tunes cranked, dim lighting and reasonably prices.  About 15 months ago I had dinner with a couple who live quite close to me - they were trying to decide on clinics in India etc...and now, I sit with them here in Delhi as they await the arrival of their baby!!! So excited for them (I hope their baby comes while I am still here...but if not, I will see the baby at home in a few weeks)

My Canadian friends!!!!!!! I cannot wait for you to hold your baby!!!

I am using a small 9" net book for blog updates so I apologize for the spelling or word issues...I am also too lazy to try and reread what I wrote on this tiny screen...signs that after 40 you might need glasses!