43 and hopeful

Hi all - this is my first post so please go easy on me! My husband and I are currently undergoing IVF treatment - we're doing a 3 cycle package in order to try to collect my eggs before I get even older. From the first one we got 3 eggs and 2 fertilised into 8 cell 'Grade 1' embryos by day 3 and are now in the freezer - from the 2nd we got 4 eggs and just one fertilised but was still classified as a 'Grade 1' and also went in the freezer on day 3. I know all the horribly pessimistic stats that are available about the tiny chance we have of being successful, but I also know that it does happen and my clinic seemed to not think it was out of the ordinary for me to be attempting this with my own eggs. I don't need to hear more about how slim our chances are but if anyone has any positive stories to share I would love to hear them. Thanks...

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  • Hi there, I would just like to say that the fact youve got 3 eggs in the freezer is great! It only takes one! Just try to stay positive and do what you can to put your mind and body in the best position as it will all help. Take some time off work, get a healthy diet going making sure your also taking your vitamins etc, some people have accupuncture/reflexology etc to make you relax. A nurse also said to me that she doesnt believe in harsh lifestyle changes so if you want a glass of wine or 2 then go for it! I wish you the best of luck with your process... Its one hurdle at a time ☺️ But this forum is great for asking questions as we're all in the same boat and everyone is so supportive. Good luck xxxπŸ€

  • Thank you Boo that is really sweet. Currently struggling last few days with bursting into tears for no obvious reason and with a feeling that this whole exercise will be for nothing. (hormones anyone?!)

  • Bless you... I think that would definitely be the hormones and Im not sure it ever stops lol

    Its hard to not feel like it wont happen as it is a long road to walk but you have to have a little positivity 😌 I was the same at the start, now im just taking each day as it comes and praying it does.

    Also, maybe have a contingency plan for if it doesnt work on your 1st cycle... Me and DH have said that if it doesnt work for us we're gonna blow the credit card and book to go to vegas πŸ˜€

    When will you have your ET? Xxx

  • Hi there, welcome 😊 People will definitely go easy on you here, this site is so helpful and supportive. I just wanted to say good luck, it's fantastic that you have those little Frosties stashed away. When are you looking at transferring one (or more)?

    You hear success stories all the time, I think nature is often just as amazing as science. An ex-colleague of mine had IVF then fell pregnant naturally at 44, then she would joke it was be careful what you wish for!! I'm 38 so a bit younger obviously but I had to have my stims dose reduced quite dramatically mid-cycle as I over stimulated, the clinic said they were surprised a women of 38 hadn't needed a higher dose. My point being our bodies often surprise even the experts!

    Lots of luck to you, it only takes one don't forget 😊 Xx

  • A contingency plan is a really good idea Boo - will talk to husband about that. Feels like we've already spent ages not being able to do things we used to do as we adjust to a significantly reduced alcohol intake (yep we were happy pissheads before all this started) and having to arrange even weekend plans around the timing of scans and collections (Ordinarily I wouldn't mind but my in-laws have just been here for a month from Australia and we were quite restricted in what we could do with them which made a long in-law visit feel even longer...!!).

    The plan is to aim for a fresh transfer with one or two if we are lucky enough to get them from the third cycle in late August. We are going on holiday with my mum who has cancer in July so are having to wait two cycles rather than one until we can do the next one. I've also got to have a polyp removed apparently so am waiting to hear from the clinic on timing for that.

    Georgina you are right - in fact my grandmother who I am always told I am like had my aunt naturally at the age of 46 - and I myself am one of 6 - so I'm hoping I have decent fertility heritage that may help somehow....

  • I love your happy pissheads comment! Myself & my hubby are the same, we certainly make the most of life and have a lot of fun & laughs together which was something I really struggle with throughout this process..not the actual not drinking itself (although a nice wine would be such a stress reliever 😬) but how you don't feel like yourselves as it takes over everything soooo much. I stopped drinking a few months before we started our first cycle then didn't have a single drop till test day (BFN obviously) and being that strict also added to the stress! It's hard because you want to know you've done everything possible but being so hard on yourself doesn't help either πŸ˜•

    As 1Boo advised, a contingency is a fab idea. That's exactly what we did, we had a big blow out holidays and had an amazing time, we didn't think or talk about IVF at all. Now we're about to start cycle 2 we're thinking about what else we can look forward to if it doesn't work again (maybe something a little cheaper this time!)

    So much luck to you, sorry to hear about your mum, that's such a lot to deal with. Hoping you have good news this year πŸ™πŸ»

    Xx

  • Thankyou Georgina, I really appreciate everyone being so lovely. I was getting to a banging my head on the wall stage and these responses have just been the perfect tonic (sans Gin obviously ;-)

  • I've felt that way many a time, this site is a godsend! So nice to not feel so alone and to know there's so much understanding, no matter how crazy you think your feelings are! x

  • Hey there, welcome to the group. Don't worry - no one judges on here, we are all in the same boat with our own struggles to get there. I just wanted to say that although you may not think it, your numbers are good. I am younger at 37, my AMH was low and I also had other issues but I had a similar result to you on my first round with 4 collected, 3 fertilised and then 2 made it to blastocyst. When you read of women getting double figures, it can be hard but the ones that have made it through fertilisation and onwards are the fighters. My 2 settled in well and I'm expecting twins in a few weeks. So the fact that you already have 3 grade 1 waiting for you and a further cycle coming up is really positive. Just make sure you're taking your folic acid and whatever other supplements you need. I take Pregnacare and omega-3 as well as other prescribed meds. They may also want to transfer 2 for you due to your circumstances, something to think about as there is a real possibility of twins in that scenario as I now know!

    Best of luck - enjoy your holiday before you need to do your next cycle! We did the same, took one last big holiday before treatment, I think it's a good thing to do to help relax and prepare. And I know people are saying give up alcohol months before treatment but I was on prosecco most days while on that holiday - I think you can let your hair down a little without going overboard. I haven't touched a drop since starting the actual hormone treatment.

    Hope your mum can get the treatment she needs for her cancer as well, that can't be easy for you either. x

  • Wow, twins! Congrats that is amazing! and thank you for your kind words, its much appreciated. I am certainly open to the idea of twins if the clinic think it is feasible - I know it's a little higher risk but the chance to have an 'instant' family would be beyond my wildest dreams TBH.

    I'm taking all my supplements - am also on levothyroxine as the clinic noted my thyroid levels were a little low. I've pretty much cut alcohol out - I allowed myself a few glasses of wine after the egg collection last week but am now planning to have as little as possible for next 2 months and yep obviously 0 when on the actual drugs. But maybe the odd glass of wine on holiday :-)

  • It's good they are checking your thyroid. This was my initial problem when I couldn't get pregnant. Just make sure you stay on top of it as the levels change again when you get pregnant and they may need to change the dose. I didn't have a clue about thyroid until I had all these investigations but it's such a delicate balance to keep it right and so important for all this! You should see a change in energy levels and weight gain as well once it's all under control,

  • Hi not sure what you've been advised to take supplement wise but DHEA is highly recommended when over 38 (25mg 3times a day) also, 300mg of ubiquinol daily and 3mg of melatonin while having all the injections. Also double up on your folic acid.

    Even if you dont do all this like the other ladies have said your results are promising. Im 36 & never had any make it to the freezer yet. Enjoy your holiday & wishing you so much luck in August x

  • Thanks Poochi - I have emailed my clinic to check on DHEA - as I'd heard about it - will talk to them about upping other supplements too - many thanks and good luck to you too x

  • Hi poochi do you happen to know of any articles on this please? I may try it x

  • Hi behappy I read it in 'it starts with the egg' by Rebecca fett. She is a scientist that suffered infertility & did a lot of research on it. She then did further research before writing the book & references all the studies. She had amazing results first time.

    She does state that DHEA hasn't had a full clinical trial as due to the nature of women not having time on there side it's difficult to have a sufficient amount of women agree to take a gamble that they won't end up on the placebo & potentially waste another 3-6months of fertility time.

    I'll see if I can pm screenshots of the pages this evening xx

  • That's really kind of you thank you. I was bit unsure because dhea can convert to testosterone which isn't always good. Wishing you good health xx

  • Yes i believe it increases estrogen & testosterone which is why its no good for PCOS.

    Ive found a website (although ive not found it easy to use)

    its evidence.nhs.uk - a couple of articles I found are below which agree there is some evidence of the benefits of DHEA but also state there havent been enough studies for a definitive

    evidence.nhs.uk/Search?q=dh...

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/264...

    good luck xx

  • They are a bit complicated to understand but think I get the gist lol X

  • I started treatment at 41. Anything over 35 is considered "old"! However we're still "young enough" for treatment.

    Hopefully you'll be successful using your eggs. It's great you've got frosties waiting. After 2 rounds of ICSI with my eggs we were advised to use donor eggs. Sadly a 3rd BFN for us but it is still possible for ladies over 40.

    Good luck.

  • Thanks PM - we did ICSI too as I figured I didn't have enough eggs to risk leaving them to their own devices - and sorry to hear yours didn't work out. Having said that I have a friend who is 49 who has just had her second set of twins, all 4 gorgeous boys under 2.5 yrs old, and all from donor eggs. She is very happy (and very busy!) good luck to you x

  • I bet she is!

    We had ICSI due to male issues. The consultants wondered if the age/quality of my eggs might have been a factor hence the suggestion to use DE. That took me a while to get my head round. I found the experience of DE egg sharing disappointing as we only got 3 mature eggs.

  • Sounds like you are in a strong position with Grade 1 embies already. This is a high level quality, and as you know it only takes one!

    As far as any advice, I'm also in a similar situation as I'm 41 and felt great stress from the undeniable time ticking away. I tried acupuncture but found it didn't work for me. So a couple of months ago I decided to try meditations (the ones I found are specifically for the IVF cycle with Circle and Bloom) and I really think it helped me tremendously. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but as I am quite an anxious person anyway and this whole thing is so stressful, I think it really did the trick in keeping me on an even keel emotionally and also helped me to think much more positively about the whole procedure. So although I'm not putting it down to that as to why I finally ended up with a BFP (still a long way to go, and waiting for 8 week scan now) I certainly think it may have helped and it definitely made the whole process a bit easier. They have a free trial one and I used this in the month gap between FET. It made such a difference to me, even my husband noticed - saying you seem much happier (he didn't realize I had been doing them!). So I decided given we are spending so much on IVF, the price of the dedicated IVF meditations wasn't really that much in the grand scheme of things. And it's a darn sight cheaper than paying to see a therapist ; ) I'm so glad I did as they had special sessions for before and after transfer (and ofcourse for egg collection though I wasn't doing that this time) and I felt completely different this time. I am now on the pregnancy meditations, lol!

  • Hi Rose that is a really good tip I will investigate thank you. And congrats on the BFP, exciting stuff! X

  • I'm 40 and I completely understand how hard it is dealing with all of this whilst also knowing that time and statistics aren't on your side. I'm booked for FET on 28th June as they couldn't transfer after EC due to high progesterone and likelihood I would also over stimulate. First round I failed to even respond to the drugs.

    Your numbers seem pretty good. I had 20 follicles, 8 eggs, 4 fertilised and one made it to blastocyst.

    Good luck. You're not the only 'oldie' on here!

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