Undergoing Fertility treatment in an age of COVID.

 

Recently a friend of mine shared the good news of her pregnancy. I was so excited for the family as this will be her second child. The first being almost 9 years old.

She’s a medical doctor, pregnant from IVF, a key worker and dealing with the all of that in COVID era is just daunting.

So earlier on during the second wave which hit the UK  at the beginning of the year, the family decided to minimise their interaction with the outside world. One of the things they did was not to send their daughter into school as part of the key workers program. My friend, reduced and limited her interaction with patients, by working 2 days a week. Happy to say the pregnancy has progressed on and she’s doing just fine.

How do you navigate through your treatment during this covid era? It is bad enough prior to covid, now patients have so many other precautions to take, from wearing a mask, social distancing to limit or eliminate completely interaction with those outside your house hold.

There is so much uncertain which comes with any IVF pregnancy any way. One of which is the constant fear that something might go wrong. I have been there and that right until I had my baby in my hands, I lived with the fear that something may still go wrong.

I think the fear was born from years of disappointment and the previously failed pregnancy or miscarriages or other delays an IVF couple may have suffered.

Now add a pandemic to the mix and you have an additional foe to contend with.

So here are some suggestions to take if you are undergoing fertility treatment are pregnant from treatment or are hoping to start treatment soon.

  1. Be cautious at all times. Like my friend, limit your interactions to if, necessary those within your household or within your bubble.
  2. Limit your bubble to a few immediate families, like parents  or a brother or sister. The reason being that they too might have a bubble and you don’t want to form a bubble with anyone whom you cannot trust.
  3. Work from home if your job allows it. If not, discuss alternative working patterns with your employer. You can possibly start later or earlier when the office is not at full capacity. If you company can, they should be able to make your place of work covid safe. So a discussion with your employer is vital at the onset.
  4. If you have to go out, social distancing is a must. Maintain 3 to 6 feet from anyone not from the same household. I have often called on my friend and stood 7 feet from her, sometimes we have had to hold a conversation with raised voices.
  5. Always wear a mask, find out the best mast avaliabile and make sure you always have one handy. I keep packets of mask in every handbag.
  6. Frequently disinfect whatever surface you work on.
  7. Regularly wash your hand and use a sanitizer after touching any food product or if you have been in a public place.
  8. Abstain from touching your face, it is an impossible feat I know, but being mindful of the dangers the virus presents, should spur you to act accordingly.
  9. Limit out doors adventures if you can help it. Only go out if it is absolutely necessary and your partner is unavailable to help, for instance choose the quietest time of the day for your walks or park visits, your commute to walk or the shops.
  10. And finally have your groceries delivered, this will save you time and give you peace of mind.

This is not ideal I know, but it will be worth it in the end when you hold your beautiful baby in your arms.

I wish you every success as you embark on this exciting new phase of your life.

Your partner in hope.

D’ebi

Relevant/related post

How to Cope With the Stress of Infertility

Strategies to cope while in lockdown

Treatment and COVID-19

 

IVF:Stages to egg implantation

  1. Meeting with Team: this is the initial consultation with the clinic to go throughout process.
  2. The process: The woman will be given medication to suppress her normal menstrual cycle. This is usually given for 2 weeks. My first cycle was a nasal spray but the final cycle was an injection which I learned to inject myself. After which step 3 begins
  3. Boosting the egg supply: This will include stimulation of the ovaries to produce more eggs than usual, to increase the number of eggs for fertility. You will be given a fertility hormone called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This is also a daily injection you give yourself or your partner can assist if they want to be involved and feel connected to the process. It’s usually for 10-12 days.
  4. Monitoring. you will be monitored while on the FSH, some clinics will scan every 2 days while others maybe twice weekly during the process. The monitoring may be ultrasound scans to monitor the size of the ovaries, blood test or both. The ovaries are usually measured to see how big the eggs are and a final hormone boost may be given 34-38 hours prior to collection.
  5. Collecting the eggs: Eggs are usually collected on days 10 or 12 depending on the sizes/ how well the ovaries have been stimulated. collecting is usually done under local anesthetic where you will be sedated. A needle is passed through the vagina into each ovary under ultrasound guidance. This procedure may take 15-20 minutes. You may experience cramp or light bleeding afterwards.
  6. Fertilizing the eggs: Once the eggs are collected they are mixed with your partners or the donor sperm in the lab. They are checked after 16-20 hours to see if Fertilization has occurred.
  7. In some cases the eggs may be injected individually with a sperm called ICSI.
  8. Egg Monitoring: The embryos are left to continue to grow for 6 days before being transferred into the womb. The best 2 are usually selected to be transferred.
  9. Embryo Transfer: The embargo’s are transferred into the womb using a thin tube called a catheter passed into the vagina. The procedure is quite simple and doesn’t involve any sedation.
  10. Then began the 2 weeks wait. see next post for how to cope.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Related post

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/05/11/a-woman-in-waiting/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/07/11/surviving-treatment/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/09/22/exploring-other-options/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/10/26/choosing-an-ivf-clinic/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/03/31/it-only-takes-one-egg/

Good News Statistics

Recent data coming from Austria reveals an increase in the Birth rate due to IVF. This increase has been attributed to major technological developments in IVF technology.

It is no secret that a woman’s age is a big factor when it comes to IVF. women are born with a certain number of eggs which decreases in number and quality, the older they become making it harder to conceive.

With the improvement in technology, there has been an increase in older women being able to conceive and bear a child.

According to a report by the fertility society of Austrian women over 40 are choosing to undergo IVF procedures as success rates have gone up by 13 percent.

The research also reported that 1 in every 25 births in Austria’s is due to IVF with over 13,000 babies born via the procedure in the year 2016/2017.

This is certainly good news to those faced with infertility, it shows nothing is impossible with the right treatment.

Austria is not an isolated success story, the increase in birth for the over 40s is increasing across the globe.

One reason is better diagnosis of the disease, advanced in technology and better education of women over 40.

I see this as a big leap in the IVF treatment, giving joy in the form of a child to couples

If you are over 40, be encourage, there is her hope for you.

If you have been trying for a while, find out what you need to do differently? What new treatments are available where you are? Are there new tests which you can be offered?

As the saying goes, knowledge is power, be knowledgeable and know what is out there.

If you enjoy reading our blogs, please subscribe, share and like.

Thank you.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi.

Related Post

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/07/25/breakthrough-miracle/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/06/04/the-over-50-debate/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/04/08/a-womans-dilemma-is-40-too-old/

Breakthrough Miracle

40 years ago Louis Brown was born. She is the first test tube baby. Today countless number of families have had their wishes come through via the same process.

I am certain that in those early days there were lots of cynics who thought this was as good as it was ever going to get that science cannot develop any further than that.

Soon after Ms Brown’s birth, Australia’s first IVF baby, Candice Reed, was born on June 23, 1980

Both babies were born using a woman’s natural ovulation cycle.

Professor Trounson and his colleagues started trialling fertility drugs to try to control the cycle.

“It worked. Suddenly everything became possible,” he said.

According to mews, Professor Wood’s team also pioneered techniques to inject sperm into eggs to overcome male infertility; egg donation resulting in the world’s first donor egg pregnancy; and freezing embryos, which resulted in the world’s first frozen embryo pregnancy.

These break through in reproductive technology was made possible by vision and trial.

Without which thousands would not have achieved their dreams.

Don’t dare give up, don’t despair,

Keep hope alive

Try and try again in your quest towards having a baby.

Who knows soon you too may celebrate your breakthrough miracle.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

It Only Takes One Egg

I had to share this story with you, because I can identify with it. After several failed IUI they decided to try IVF and now have a baby.

Parents celebrate getting through a three year infertility struggle with a photo of their baby boy surrounded by IVF needles

The process though was not without uncertainty.

The most difficult part of trying for a baby for me was not knowing when. The uncertainties and the endless questions of when and how were often unbearable.

I remembered the 3rd IVF treatment that gave me my little girl. We were excited to learn that 12 eggs were retrieved, but on a follow up call the next day only 5 were viable and fertilised. Out of those, only one developed enough to be transferred back.

I recall our disappointments at this news, we had little hope of any outcome from this egg.

The thought that this egg might not develop was enough to cause me to fret..

My previous treatments were similar to this but each time the eggs fragment before

Fertilisation. So I was not particularly hopeful or expecting anything to come out of this. My only consolation was that this time around at least they got a decent egg that fertilised and implanted

My husband reminded me that we only needed one egg and that kept me going.

I was so stressed during the two weeks Wait I was convinced the procedure had failed.

To say I was elated was an understatement I was shocked and not excited, nervous at was was to come..

it really does take one. It is only normal human emotion for our past experiences to influence our way of thinking..

Being hopeful requires conscious effort on my part. So today if you are in that place where your Hope reservoir is pretty low and almost ran out.. just remember it only takes one egg and as long as you are here and trying who knows you too may welcome your own little miracle..

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Unplanned Pregnancy

The planning, dreaming, scheming and hopes of the future can be seen in the eyes of newly wedded couples.

They have plans, written and spoke.

Where To live, jobs and career plans, places to visit, number of children to have.

Once settled and and the stage is set for children then begin the wait.

As months turns into years it begins to dawn on them that their plans isn’t going according to script.

We soon realise our plans have fallen through after several test, appointments and disappointments. The dreams and hopes begin to grow deem.

Mary had plans to wed Joseph her sweet heart, only for those plans to be scuppered by an unplanned pregnancy. An unwed mother, what scandal, how will she face the world? Joseph was definitely going to leave her.

Explaining why you remain childless is one of the hardest thing to do. how do you respond to the the unspoken accusation, the questioning looks, the side remarks and unkind comments.

How do you explain that this isn’t part of your plan? This isn’t how it was supposed to turn out.

To us and those around us, the waiting doesn’t make any sense. Just as being a pregnant virgin did not make sense to anyone.

Who was going to believe she was carrying the Messiah, the saviour of the world.

Mary yielded herself to God and trusted that his plans for her are perfect.

Do you feel like your plans for a baby has been hijacked? let the story of a virgin Mum inspire you. Believe that the end of your story holds something good.

For the best laid plans are those planned by the master.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Infertility: A lonely Journey

I grabbed a magazine and waited my turn in the Dr’s waiting room. I decided against reading and instead struck up a conversation with the lady next to me. We immediately bonded and exchanged tales of our plight. Half way Into the conversation she commented, it’s so lonely though, to which I replied,  yes it can be.

I previously shared how lonely infertility can  be here; Christmas and waiting:: Although we do have friends and family who care, when it comes down to it the pain of disappointment is all yours, nobody else’s. The trips,  appointments for endless test and procedures are all yours. Just you and your partner’s as the case maybe

How do you explain a pain so deep to those who are not in it. How do you explain the constant tears, how do you talk about the ache from that first, second and third loss? It is unexplainably and our reaction to it is can also seem unreasonable.

Loneliness at Christmas is especially pronounced. Sitting at the dinner table with the laughter of nieces and nephews only serves to highlight the empty nest waiting for you back home.

If you feel especially lonely now or at any other time, remember the name ”IMMANUEL”. Meaning God with us.

This is one of the names of the promised Messiah. “God with us.

He is with us

In the waiting room,

At the dinner table,

At the operating theatre,

As we suffer another miscarriage

As we face the questioning stares and audible alterations of others.

The promised Messiah is with us. Holding, soothing, caring and reassuring us.

His presence brings peace, hope, joy and answers.

He was certainly my hope and strength during my wait. I had his presence which gave me strength every step of the way. Some people questioned my lack of intense misery and mistook my inability to conceive as a conscious decision not to have kids. The opposite was true.

I exhibited my pains in his presence and he in turn he infused me with joy for the journey as a result of his presence, the journey was no longer lonely. I can talk with him and pour out my heart to him because he is with me.

Be encouraged today, the promised child is the risen saviour who is always with you. You can count on his present as you journey through Infertility.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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A Huge Cost:

40 years ago the first IVF baby was born. Since then thousands of babies have been born via this process at a huge cost.

The decision to undergo the IVF process is very often the last resort after other means of conception has been tested without success.

It is the last choice for couples because undergoing the procedure comes at a huge cost. And very few couples succeed at the very first try. We certainly didn’t. It took 3 attempts before we fell pregnant.

What price would you pay to have a child? So many couples have remortgage their properties, incur huge debt and lost their health in their quest to have their precious baby.

As I ponder over the Christmas story it struck me that God gave Christ to us at Christmas to redeem the world.

Redeeming mankind came at a huge cost to him. He gave up something precious to gain many sons and daughters.

If you are struggling and trying to come to terms with the cost you have to put to get your a child, be conformed in the knowledge that your Heavenly Father took a very painful decision to give up His Son for the redemption of mankind.

You may have paid a great price in your quest for a baby. Subjecting your body to endless probe and test, enduring the pain of lost pregnancies and stillbirth,

and determined to try again.

Your Heavenly Father walked where you walked, he suffered lost for a greater joy.

At Christmas while Earth welcomed a baby, heaven moaned a lost.

My prayer and hope for you this 4th day of Advent is that you too will have the outcome you so desire. That your pain will not be in vain and the price you have had to pay will be worth it in the end.

Because, He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Romans 8:32

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. Luke 1:68.

Your Partner in Hope.

D’Ebi

#IVFIS40

On the 10/11/1977 IVF was born in the person of Louise Brown. She was born at Oldham and District Hospital in Greater Manchester weighing 5lb 12oz.

Fast forward 40 years and thousands of couples have fulfilled their hopes of becoming parents VIA IVF. Louise Brown was the first of many children born via the IVF PROCESS.

A  process which has made the dreams of many couples including ours come true. Our first daughter was conceived via this process and I can truly say we are eternally grateful to have her in our lives.

Across the world this November, the birthday of the IVF process is being celebrated.

If you are still sitting on the edges wondering if this process is for you. A few stats may help you decide.

According to NHS

There are 1 In 7 couples with fertility problems.

6.5m IVF babies have been born worldwide since this technique began.

There are more than 325,000 IVF babies born from IVF to date.

24.8% of frozen embryo resulted in live birth.

26.5% of fresh embryo resulted in live birth.

15.6% resulted in multiple pregnancy

According to Resolve male fertility issues are as common as female, each represents 33% while unexplained is 33%.

Is IVF for you? This is a personal question one that can only be answered by you and your partner, taking into consideration the statistics as well as the cost of getting treatment.

Consider all the options available to you and make your decision of becoming a parent possible.

Leave us a comment and let us know your IVF story: we would love to hear from you.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi.

Related post:

Read More »

Surrogacy

In my previous post I talked about the options available to becoming a parent. One of those options is surrogacy.

Lately surrogacy has been all over the news. 
A few weeks ago the news broke that Kim Kadasian West is expecting her 3rd child via a surrogate.  Also expecting is Net-a-Porter founder Dame Natalie Massenet who at 52 has recently welcomed another child, via a surrogate. It was also reported that popular Cristiano Ronaldo had twins via surrogate.

Difficulty in conceiving can happen to anyone. Regardless of race or wealth. Infertility is a sickness and is no respecter of anyone. 

Surrogacy is  an option considered by couples for various reasons, chief amongst which is the inability for the woman to fall pregnant., repeated miscarriages,

What’s surrogacy?

Surrogacy is when another woman carries or gives birth to a child for the couple who wants to have children. However, the process differs from countries to countries.

In the U.K. Advertising and payment for a surrogate is not allowed. It is illegal to do so, however it is expected that the parents cover reasonable expenses of the surrogate.

It costs up to £2,000 to £20,000 to cover expenses, which is likely to be

lost of earnings, maternity clothes, travel costs for attending clinics and appointment, childcare cost if you already have children while you are away on appointments. Any counselling taken during pregnancy.

There are Two types of surrogacy. 

Traditional surrogacy is where the biological mother uses her own egg which is inseminated with the father’s sperm. This can be done either at home, using a donor insemination kit, or in a clinic.
Gestational surrogacy: happens when the surrogate carries a baby on behalf of the couple using the woman’s egg, fertilised by the husband’s sperm. In this case the baby is not genetically related to the surrogate.
In both cases the egg from the intended mother or donor is fertilised through IVF.

In America surrogacy can be paid for. It is very popular in many states. They have many large agencies matching up couples who want a surrogates. The cost ranges from £18,000 to £250,000.

What is required? 

Most couples wanting a surrogate naturally wants to make sure that the surrogate is of good health, and have a sound mind. Some couples spend a few good months getting to know the surrogate and become friends before making their decision. This way they get to know and bond with them.

Some intended parents have certain requirements like a certain age group. They may prefer someone who’s not too far way for easy of access and to minimise travel cost. Some parents insist on lifestyle changes for the surrogate. This will be covered in the agreement.

They may also consider marital status . As the risk of first pregnancy for first pregnancy is higher, some surrogacy prefer women with previous pregnancies, of at least one child.

Hand over

Surrogates never see the baby they carry as theirs. It is purely a legal arrangement. Their involvement is strictly to help another couple out. The terms are made clear in a contract which is signed by both parties the agreement states whose child it is.

The baby is the surrogates in the eyes of the law. When the baby is born, a parental order needs to be signed at a court to give or transfer parentage to the parents until then The child belongs to whoever carries and bore the child. 

Questions: Is it for Me? 

You may be wondering if surrogacy is for you. Consider your situation and how much you want child.

Surrogacy may be appropriate if you have a medical condition that makes it impossible or dangerous to get pregnant and to give birth.
It may also be an option for you if you have suffered:
absence or malformation of the womb, recurrent pregnancy loss, repeated in vitro fertilisation (IVF) implantation failures.

In my previous post I talked about the options available to becoming a parent.

Of those options is surrogacy, Lately surrogacy has been all over the news.
Last week the news broke that Kim Kadasian West is expecting her 3rd child.

 

They may also consider marital status and previous birth history
As the risk of first pregnancy for first pregnancy is higher some surrogacy prefer women, with previous pregnancies, of at least one child.

Hand over 

Some parents insist on lifestyle changes for the surrogate. This will be covered in the agreement.

Surrogates never see the baby they carry as theirs. It is purely a legal arrangement. Their involvement is strictly to help another couple out. And the terms are made clear in a contract which is signed by both parties. However the baby is the surrogates in the eyes of the law.

A parental order needs to be signed at a court to give or transfer parentage to the parents until then The child belongs to whoever carries and bore the child.
Is it for Me?

You may be wondering if surrogacy is for you. Consider your situation and how much you want child. 

Surrogacy may be appropriate if you have a medical condition that makes it impossible or dangerous to get pregnant and to give birth. It may be an option for you if you have suffered:
Absence or malformation of the womb, recurrent pregnancy loss, repeated in vitro fertilisation (IVF) implantation failures.

My encouragement to you is to explore this and other options available, your little cuddles of joy may just be the end result if you just explore.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

 

Sources: HFEA, Surrogacy UK, National Health Service.