Wednesday, September 11, 2013

IVF Abroad - Week Two

            On the day of fertilization (the day after the egg retrieval) Jill and I left to travel northwest to Berlin, Germany for the duration of our embryonic development.  At that time our job was done for a few days except for the continuation of drugs Jill has to consume, and a shot of Progesterone in oil every night in the upper buttock for two weeks.  She thought the ovarian stimulation shots were a pain in rear until I had to stick a 3-inch needle in her rear.  Of course the first time was painful for her and I realized you literally had to stab her abruptly with this almost lethal weapon to deliver the drug intramuscularly.   WTF?  Though after the first time I became pretty good at it with almost no pain at all.  Jill is also taking an estrogen supplement three times a day as well as her prednisolone and folic acid daily.

            However, we were given a chance to see the beautiful and historic city that Jill and I both missed our last time we were in Europe.  Finally a city with a normal infrastructure for easier navigation and sight seeing, and with three days to explore this colossal city, we took to Berlin.  On our first day we visited the Pergamon and Neues museums on museum island.  Followed by the astounding Berlin Cathedral.  After lunch we spent some time around Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building.  The next day we went to the superb Berlin Zoo, rated the best zoo in the world.  We spent about four hours documenting our travels wandering through the park.  We took about 600 pictures of everything we saw to have a plethora of animal pictures to choose from for our future baby’s room.  On the way back we stopped at an intriguing street market and of course, bought souvenirs.  The following day we sought out and found our limited edition German beer stein with a piece of the Berlin Wall on the stein’s cover, and then headed back down to Brno for the final stages of IVF.

            At Reprogenesis the next day was the egg transfer and there was good news and bad news but the good news is great.  First, the bad news, of our six embryos only three made it.  Apparently this is quite common as the jump from morula to blastocyst is quite a huge developmental hurdle.  Two of the embryos just simply stopped growing.  The third had no inner cellular mass although it became a blast.  At the blast stage the cells divide into two groups - the outer which will become the placenta and sac and the inner, which becomes the baby.  With no inner cells our embryo could only form an empty sac with no baby.

            On to the good news!!!  All three of the remaining embryos made it to become a blastocyst and are AA quality - the best rating they can get.  Two of them were hatching - meaning getting ready for implantation and the best possible stage for IVF.  The third is an AA expanded blast, meaning it is great quality and about to hatch.  We had the transfer on 9/9/2013 and all went well.  They put the two hatching AA blasts into Jill’s uterus via catheter and we had the third blast cryogenically frozen and will come back for it later.  We briefly considered using all three for IVF, but because they are all AA it would be pretty risky to do so and the embryologist was definitely against it.  So our doctor impregnated Jill with our fertilized blastocysts as I sat next to my wife with her hand in mine as we silently prayed for our two little blasts to implant and grow.  Jill is now taking it very easy with mostly bed rest on the 10th and 11th, and then also pretty easy for the next couple weeks as well. 
           
            To end week two when Jill was off of bed rest we drove a half an hour northeast to the Moravian Krast and the Punkva Cave to take a boat ride on a under ground river the runs through the largest cave system in Europe.  A little adventure and fresh air for us after two days lying around in our hotel room was well needed.  Not to mention our 2nd anniversary on the 10th was spent eating doner kebab and watching BBC World News.  Though we keep on telling ourselves, “it will be totally worth it,” and now that our IVF cycle is complete we are in the two week wait to find out our results.  However, I apologize to my readers, but our results (positive or negative) won’t be announced until 12 weeks after IVF because we fall under the category of a high-risk pregnancy, and we prefer to keep a certain amount of privacy concerning the actual results.  Only our parents will be informed when we find out.
           

            In the upcoming week 3 of our IVF journey abroad, we built in 6 extra days for any mishaps or miscalculations during our trip.  Since everything actually went according to plan, well actually, we were one day ahead of schedule; we will spend the rest of our time in Europe in Vienna, Austria and Prague, Czech Republic starting tomorrow (9/12/2013).  Now that the IVF portion of the trip is over and went very well, my last blog post will be the results of our hard work and due diligence.  Thank you for reading and please keep praying for our success with our IVF journey abroad. 

12 comments:

  1. Hi, I have just come across your blog and found it very informative. What was the end result, hoping for good news and what if any was the after care like?
    All the best
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
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  2. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply, cause life is busy with a newborn boy! The care was good but they lack in monitoring vitals and follow-ups like you would find in the states. My best advice is to leave for home the 3rd day after transfer just encase you get OHSS. You will want to go through that struggle at your local hospital instead of abroad. Though all in all it was a pretty good experience. I plan on finishing the blog when I find time, but if you have anymore questions let me know!

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  3. Thanks for sharing the information. That’s a awesome article you posted. In vitro fertilization ivf Colorado is practically a household word. But not so long ago, it was a mysterious procedure for infertility that produced what were then known as "test-tube babies. IVF involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo or embryos form, they are then placed in the uterus.

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  4. Hi Paul,
    Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on your little one! My husband and I live in Northern Colorado and are traveling to Reprogenesis in July. Would you be interested in chatting with us further about your trip/experience?
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Abby - how did it go? I'm looking to travel from California to Prague this summer for my 3rd IVF.

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  6. I'm looking to travel from California to Prague this summer for my 3rd IVF.

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  8. Dear Paul

    I am a Danish girl, 29 years old, I am studying tourism, and have to write my master thesis, which I hope to do about fertility tourism.

    However, this depends on if I find any respondents, which is a bit difficult in this field. Therefore, Ive been looking at blogs as a way to find contacts and I hope you will be one of them.

    I aim to create a better understanding for the process of the fertility travel and what this contains emotional as practical (broad explained).

    Thus, it would be wonderful to have a skype interview with you, and hopefully also your wife, about your abroad fertility treatment experience. It will take about 1 hour of your life;) Naturally I will make it fit to your everyday life.

    The interview will first be later on this year because I have to do some pre-work first. But if you will state if you and your wife will like to participate already now, it would be wonderful.

    I hope deeply to hear back from you,

    All best Ida Brämer

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Paul

    I am a Danish girl, 29 years old, I am studying tourism, and have to write my master thesis, which I hope to do about fertility tourism.

    However, this depends on if I find any respondents, which is a bit difficult in this field. Therefore, Ive been looking at blogs as a way to find contacts and I hope you will be one of them.

    I aim to create a better understanding for the process of the fertility travel and what this contains emotional as practical (broad explained).

    Thus, it would be wonderful to have a skype interview with you, and hopefully also your wife, about your abroad fertility treatment experience. It will take about 1 hour of your life;) Naturally I will make it fit to your everyday life.

    The interview will first be later on this year because I have to do some pre-work first. But if you will state if you and your wife will like to participate already now, it would be wonderful.

    I hope deeply to hear back from you,

    All best Ida Brämer

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