A Taste of IVF Over 40

Still Pregnant After IVF

Posted on: Monday, January 19, 2009

Well, I am cruising along – here is a list of events that are not necessarily related to IVF that show that it worked (finally!):

  1. Still Spotting: At 8 weeks and 3 days my obstetrician organised a scan to investigate why I was still spotting just about every day (despite having already had my progesterone increased to 1200mg per day).  I got to see the two little ones again and they were both good sizes with good heartbeats.
  2. Spotting Stopped: My spotting finally stopped, at 8 weeks and 3 days.  How’s that for timing!!!
  3. Pregnancy Symptoms: It’s summer here in Australia and I’ve had a few nose bleeds.  I’ve also had some massive headaches.  However, the real news is that I am couch-bound.  I am seriously and sincerely suffering from debilitating morning sickness, the type that stays all day.  I am losing muscle tone everywhere from not doing any physical activity; being vertical makes me sicker.  I have no energy and get exhausted walking up the stairs in the house.  I am not overweight – just absolutely exhausted after any physical exertion.  I’m not drinking enough fluids and I’m not eating enough; I have no appetite.  My eyesite has weakened a bit and I look five years older than I am.  But you know what?  I AM PREGNANT and I DON’T CARE!!  I’m not complaining … just describing.  I have taken all day to write this (well, I actually started it three days ago) because I have to keep lying down.  I am sooo glad I am not working because I would be useless. My husband, bless him, has cooked dinner every night since Christmas Eve – no special Christmas banquets at our house, we had cold meat and nibbles!  He is treating me like a portable incubator and I cannot complain at all; I am very lucky.  I have also had a few ‘crabby’ episodes.  I had to ring my Mum one day to apologise for a phone call that would have been particularly uncomfortable for her.  She still doesn’t know we’re pregnant.  Although she may still be putting it down to IVF hormones.
  4. My First OB/GYN Appointment: My appointment with my OB/GYN did not go as I hoped or planned.  It was terrible.  I had simply asked a friend who she had used and I regretted it.  I didn’t get the feeling that this doctor really cared about me or my emotional situation at all.  She was terrible at building rapport with me and did not smile.  She asked me very matter of fact questions and gave me very brief responses.  She had very poor eye contact.  I started crying about five minutes into the meeting.  I just ended up clamming up and hardly said anything at all.  The icing on the cake was when she told me that it would probably be a caesarean because I was carrying twins (her only reason).  My sister had her twins through a vaginal birthand I’d like to know that I’m in with a chance of doing so as well (don’t ask me why, I just want to try to do it).  When I told her I’d prefer to try to have them naturally I got the unmistakable feeling that she was not open to discussing it and I seriously could have sworn she semi-rolled her eyes at me.  Now, I don’t hold this against this particular doctor; it’s just her style/preferance.  My friend was quite happy with her (but did end up having a caesar, by the way).  Really, so many pregnancy books and websites do tell you that selection of your OB is very important, so I’m listening to them.
    I just feel like I didn’t ‘click’ with this doctor.  To be completely honest, yes really, after all I have been through with the IVF process, I have now realised that I am in need of some fully fledged molly-coddling by my OB.  Now, I certainly do understand that these guys are specialists and that they are generally concerned with the technical side of a pregnancy (that’s why I am not saying that the aforementioned doctor did anything that was really wrong).  I understand that the true/original purpose of an OB was to have ‘difficult’ cases referred to them by GPs.  I understand this and so I’m not complaining.  Having said that, I also know that there are OB/GYNs out there who are genuinely more caring.  So, I did some research and have now settled on a Dr Peter England, who also works with the Freemasons Private Hospital in Melbourne.
  5. Down’s Syndrome Screening Test: This was organised by the original OB and so I am still going to go ahead with the tests.  I have checked and I can just change the doctor’s name on the request forms for the scan and the blood test.  I am hoping I shall be quite safe given the youthfulness of the lovely eggs I used.  The blood test is scheduled for tomorrow (10th week) and the scan to measure the nuchal translucency is for the 12th week.  They said we can buy a DVD of this scan so it must be an interesting one.
  6. Stopping the IVF Hormones:  Now I’m nervous!  I stopped the Oestrogen and the progesterone two days ago (yay – glad to be rid of those pessaries).  I am freaking out though – feeling my breasts, checking my undies, gauging my nausea, hoping not to see a decline in the success of my pregnancy.  The blood test for Downs Syndrome scheduled for tomorrow also asks for some other tests including checking my progesterone levels and so I am hoping that this test shows all is well.
  7. Acceptance of the Pregnancy:  I know I am pregnant and I love it.  Love it.  However, I am still in ‘protection mode’.  I am still refering to the foetus as ‘it’, as opposed to ‘them’, and I cannot visualise two babies, if I try hard I can visualise myself with one.  This is not doomsaying on my part, well I don’t believe it is, I actually think it is my unconscious psychological approach.  I still can’t believe I will have a baby and I’m content with taking one day at a time.  I can just tell you that I am ten weeks and three days pregnant.  Mind you, when I pass 14 weeks (two weeks after we lost the last little one) I shall be be on top of the world and then I will tell my Mum and Dad!

So, basically I have been a basket case 🙂

Not sleeping properly and not thinking properly.  My husband is kinda used to this seeing as how I haven’t been thinking properly, due to the IVF hormones, for quite a while.  He still gets frustrated though.

I am happy and everything seems to be going well.

Here are some lovely photos: www.sheonabeach.com


13 Responses to "Still Pregnant After IVF"

So happy to hear from you at last! So very sorry to hear that you’re so sick. I’ve only had a few days of nausea, so can only imagine how debilitating it must be everyday. I’m with you with the headaches though! People keep telling me I’ll feel great during the second trimester – so bring on week 14!

Good decision to change Ob’s. You do deserve some special treatment! And it is important to feel comfortable with the person guiding you through one of the biggest moments of your life.

I hope the morning sickness eases of soon, in the meantime take care and make the most of hubby looking after you!

All sounds normal. I am 37 weeks and we don’t have a name – part of “protection mode” – hard to let go and believe we’ll really have this baby. It’s normal. I have been sick my whole pregnancy, I hope you aren’t; but it is survivable. There are medicines that work. I take Zofran, which helps some and Unisom, which actually works better even though it’s over the counter. Both safe. I hate your OB but I”m not surprised. I watched “the business of being born,” it’s a documentary about US obstetrical care and it really opened my eyes. Highly recommend it. Being treated with respect is NOT an above average request for your OB. It’s what we should get from any doctor. I am working with a midwife and the difference is night and day. Delivering twins vaginally is possible, you just need the right care providers. Happy for you and hoping for the best.

I am so glad you posted today!

I think your decision to get another OB is absolutely the right one – too many of them want to go the “low risk” route of c-section without even giving the chance to try it vaginally. There are many more risks associated with surgery then there are with going the natural route but OBs are surgeons and they want to do what they are trained to do. I’m sorry you are feeling lousy and I hope that you start feeling better immediately!

Never having been pregnant (though trying like hell to be) I haven’t gone through protection mode but I can totally see myself doing that – not believing it is truly happening until the very end. This is what I do with every IUI / IVF cycle and perhaps I am cursing myself by doing it, but I can’t bear to have my hopes dashed. Though that isn’t going to happen here because those babes are doing well.

Get some rest!

I’m glad you posted, too!
Happy to hear that your pregnancy is going well, but sorry to hear about the horrible morning sickness–been there. Hope to be there again.
You’re absolutely right to change OB providers if you don’t “click” with someone–hope your new choice is a better fit.

So great to hear from you. Hope the all day sickness eases up soon, sounds awful. What a disappointment with your OB. Sounds like you definitely made the right decision to give them the flick. I was a little disappointed when mine brought up the 38wk c/s but in the end I feel I probably would have ended up with an emergency c/s anyway. Hope to hear from you again soon xoxo

I’ve also been anxiously waiting your next post to see all is well! Good on ya for changing OBs, this is someone you’ve GOT to feel comfortable with. Can’t wait til you can tell your folks.

Oh Melba! The morning sickness sounds just cruel! Especially in this heat…wot’s with the Victorian weather, eh!?!!! But it is all in a great cause, and seems to be path to the course…I am glad that you are able to rest up. Sounds like hubby is taking excellent care of his mobile incubator (LOL!!) ‘Protection mode’ seems only natural, especially in light of what you have experienced in order to have these little bubbers to keep protect. I love reading of your progress. Keep cool and keep us updated!!!!

Wow!!! I’ll start by saying I’m so happy for you. Your situation touches me. I am over 40 and I also used donor eggs (my sister’s). I also had twins (we lost one due to a genetic disorder). I had such serious bleeding early on I was hospitalized but it all worked out. My little boy Nolan turned 2 on Saturday. I still can’t believe it. Yet it’s all real. It really happened. A dear friend of mine also over 40 had twins by IVF.

Please please, no matter how badly you feel drink more fluids. Even if you barf most of it up some of it will make it through. You need to keep up your strength and your spirits. One thought on the c-section is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a vaginal delivery. You will have 2 beautiful babies either way.

I found your blog because we are trying a frozen cycle with our last 3 embryos. I go in tomorrow for my ultrasound and the transfer is Monday. My fingers are crossed. My toes are crossed.

If you start thinking of names there is a fun website http://www.nymbler.com

Oh, whatever you do avoid eating tuna in your first trimester.

Good luck to you!

I just got back from my IVF retrieval and cannot wait to have your symptoms!! I know, I shan’t be saying that when I am couch bound and feeling crock! Congratulations on graduating to an OB, graduating off your meds and fingers crossed for all the tests.

Melba, how are you doing? Everything going okay?



I think we’re all a bit worried since we haven’t heard any new news for nearly a month. Are you okay?

Hi Melba: Thinking of you and hoping you are safe and well after the fires!

Is anyone besides me concerned that maybe something has happened to our Melbagirl during these horrible fires? Does anyone have any insight as to if she and her husband are safe?

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