Our journey

February 2003: Love at first sight one magical night on a dance floor at Madam Jo-Jo’s in London’s West-End.

December 2005: Got married in Copenhagen at City Hall and started our life together in Denmark.

February 2006: Ditched the contraceptives and started trying for a baby. I was 31 and my husband 35.

September 2007: Diagnosed with unexplained infertility / slight male factor and referred to hospital fertility clinic (Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen).

January 2008: IUI #1. Stimulated cycle (Puregon injections, 75 IU/day). 3 follicles matured and 43 mill sperm inseminated. Failed.

February 2008: IUI #2. Stimulated cycle (Puregon injections, 50 IU/day). 2 follicles matured and 5,6 mill sperm inseminated. Failed.

April 2008: IUI #3. Stimulated cycle (Clomid). 2 follicles matured and 3 mill sperm inseminated. Failed.

May 2008: Decided to stop fertility treatment and get back to living. The fertility clinic suggested continuing with IVF, but at that time we felt it was too radical for us and we wanted to give nature another change (i.e. relax, stop trying and just see…). Not a great idea in hindsight, but we were feeling worn out and just couldn’t face the prospect of IVF at that time.

September 2008: Moved to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. New city, new exciting expat life. Perfect for trying to forget about infertility, tracking ovulations, timed sex and the encounters with fertility treatment. Just living.

January 2010: Concluded that the myth that you get pregnant when you stop trying is just that; a myth! So we got back into the trying game. Started eating a wealth of vitamins and supplements to supposedly improve fertility and bought a Clearblue fertility monitor (the monitor is fantastic by the way – although of course I did not get pregnant).

October 2010: Time to get a second opinion and get back into fertility treatment. Referred to hospital fertility clinic (VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam).

April 2011: Diagnosed with unexplained fertility. But there is now a problem with an elevated FSH level (11). I’m 37 and most likely facing early menopause soon. Because of that we were put on an urgent list for fertility treatment thus avoiding the long waiting lists. The clinic did however insist on trying three IUIs again before we could move on to IVF.

June 2011: IUI #4. Stimulated cycle (Menupur injections, 75 IU/day). 2 follicles matured and 8 mill sperm inseminated. Failed.

July 2011: IUI #5. Stimulated cycle (Menopur injections, 75 IU/day). 1-2 follicles matured and 12 mill sperm inseminated. Do to a short luteal phase (10 days) after IUI #4, I was prescribed 100 mg. progesterone (Utrogestan vaginal suppositories) 3 times a day after the insemination. Blood test on day 16 after ovulation: Negative.

August 2011: IUI #6. Stimulated cycle (Menopur injections, 75 IU/day). 1-2 follicles matured and 30 mill sperm inseminated. 100 mg. progesterone (Utrogestan)  3 times a day during the luteal phase. Blood test on day 15 after ovulation: Negative.

October-December 2011: IVF #1. Long protocol:

  • First on contraceptive pills (Microgynon) and after 2 weeks also antagonist injections (Decapeptyl, 0.1 mg./day) to down-regulate my natural system.
  • After another almost 2 weeks, I started the stimulation (Gonal-F injections, 300 UI/day) while continuing with the antagonist injections as well.
  • Egg retrieval took place the 25th of Nov. I was sedated but awake during the procedure (i.e. no general anaestesia) and it all went fine. I did experience pain as they punctured each follicle, but it was not bad and it was nice to be able to follow along on the screen. 8 eggs were retrieved and 6 of them fertilized.
  • We had already decided before starting IVF that we wanted a single-embryo transfer to avoid the risk of a twin pregnancy (read Time Magazine article about single-embryo transfers). The transfer took place on day 3 after retrieval on the 28th of Nov with one beautiful 8-cell embryo.
  • The 5 remaining embryos were all good enough to be frozen down.
  • From the day of retrieval I was on 200 mg progesterone (Utrogestan vaginal suppositories) 3 times a day.
  • My official test day was Friday 9th of Dec (14dpo) where I went for a blood test. It came back slightly positive with a hCG level of 42 mIU/ml. I was told to come back for a second blood test on Friday 16th of Dec (21dpo). The result showed a perfect increase in the hCG level to 1454 mIU/ml. I’m pregnant!!!:-)

February 13th, 2012: 13 weeks and 3 days pregnant and everything looking good so far as confirmed by two follow-up scans at the IVF clinic in week 8 and week 11 and the normal NT scan today. Due date is August 17th, 2012.

March 26th, 2012: Anomaly scan at 19 weeks, 3 days. The baby looks healthy and right on target growth-wise. It is most likely a boy. Only potential problem detected was ‘marginal insertion of umbilical cord’ meaning that the umbilical cord is attached to the side of the placenta rather than in the centre as normal. This is a rare anomaly (more common in twin pregnancies), but does not seem to be terribly serious. Although there can be a risk of rupture during birth because the umbilical cord is more vulnerable. And there might also be a slight risk of restricted growth later in pregnancy. At the moment we do not have the full picture of the potential implications.

March 30th, 2012: Moved to London in the United Kingdom.

August 17th, 2012: Birth of our baby boy!!! Labour was induced with one dose of prostaglandin gel. Contractions began a few ours later and after another 20 hours of so he was born with a bit of assistance (ventouse delivery).

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2 responses to “Our journey

  1. Hello!
    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you guys! It is a long journey but you made it! I’m also following that journey. Actually we ve been trying foer years now to become pregnant but nothing was happening except a miscarriage. Doctors are thinking that it might have to do with my fallopian trump (the one I have left). A doctor is telling me to do a surgery and another one is telling me it is going to be too long that procedure for the same result afterall and it is better to have an IVF. He wants to refer me to VU. I heard that VU has an excellent reputation and following what i’m reading on you, it is perfect! I’m 34 this year and my partner is 31 this year. His sperm is perfect. I don’t know how long it is going to take. I’m even considering going in another country to get it done. Other clinics that i’m in contact with recommended IVF straight and are even ready now to start the procedure. My doctor is going to recommend me end of April for VU. I hope it goes fast. We wish to have 2 embryos transferred. I don’t know if they do more than one….Do they?
    Again congrats!

    • Yes we were very happy with the VUmc IVF center! I don’t know for sure what their usual policy is with regards to number of embryos, because we only wanted one transferred. But I did get the impression that they always recommend to start with only one. Even at my age (37).

      Good luck!!

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