IVF My story and my experience with the process Hi Everyone! My name Lucie Today's coffee talk will be about IVF and my own experience I would love to share with you what to expect if you have decided to start this journey as well. Or maybe it's not you who enrolls on this journey but it is your friend or family member and you would like to help them somehow. You could possibly give them some advice or share with them this video. To start with, In vitro fertilization is a process where a female egg is fertilized with sperm in laboratory conditions and consequently is returned back inside mother to be body. During this process you may use your eggs and your partner's sperm or one of them can be a donor material. I would like to explain first what was the reason for us choosing this process. We were trying with my husband (Olivia's daddy) to conceive naturally for a while. We got married in 2010 and since then we had been trying. That would be approximately 4 years. And eventually, we decided to get some help We were doing some research, lots of reading and collection of family and friends information about IUI and IVF. The first time we enrolled in IVF process was not even in the Czech Republic. It was in Jordan. We got a recommendation from family members. Since they heard a lot of good news and lots of experience of other family members and people they new. So at the end this was our number once choice. For me it was not necessarily a bad experience But on the other hand it was an awkward one or I would not recommend it. Despite the fact that I did speak English very well as well as all medical staff in the chosen hospital. There was still something missing. They were very nice and forthcoming but we got only information we asked for. Where sometimes you need more then that. Sometimes you need assurance, explanation or guidance through the process. We underwent this whole process twice in the same hospital. Altogether the process was to too bad. We used in both cases short protocol. Which means that from the time your menstruation process starts. You start taking hormonal therapy in order to encourage and increase growth and maturing of eggs in your ovaries. And this is followed by eggs extraction process around ovulation time. This is done under anesthesia using needle extraction through the wall of your vagina. After this, your partner donates a sample of his sperm and the process of egg fertilization begins in the hospital laboratories. We had in both cases approximately around 10 eggs extracted. Then around 5 were successfully fertilized. What was different in comparison to the process we experienced here in the Czech Republic Was the fact that all embryos were left to grow only for a period of 3 days According to the research many embryos naturally do not live past 3 days This was explained to me at the clinic we attended in the Czech Republic by embryologist. Who explained a lot and gave me a lot of details about the natural conception process. Versus laboratory fertilization including the chances and the odds of success. The actual embryo transfer in both cases I received three embryos They were not really concerned about the multiple pregnancies success And the health of mother with multiple pregnancies as they are today. It was pretty much my decission and I didn't know any better. I think that these days the trend is different. There is a major concern with regards to mothers carrying multiple babies. I felt that in comparison to the following clinic the information And new trends were not included But on the other hands I was offered Special embryo cultivation incubator Where they keep the embryos nice and safe with no interference and they are continuously monitored until embryo transfer. So to be fair they did some research and updated their methods. But some of the steps and procedures were not as new as I can see it today. Later after our previous two attempts my mom sent us some places to consider in the Czech Republic. We chose a place called Sanatorium Helios in Brno. We actually read a lot about it and eventually went there to visit and speak to the chief doctor. We felt comfortable and found the place welcoming. So we decided to try our next IVF cycle here. I completed my contract with hospital and went back home for couple month during the process To eliminate unnecessary stress and flying to create the best circumstances and environment possible. This time we were very hopeful for the success. Since we felt we did maximum to improve our odds of conceiving via IVF. Since the previous two attempts were abroad and I had no insurance we had to cover all expenses. This time we got some help from our insurance company. One of the hardest things to comprehend was the fact that you can have a positive test (HCG) confirming pregnancy This is due to the hormonal supplements and hormonal surges. and it does not necessarily reflects the success of the attemt. In both cases we repeated it second time and HCG levels dropped. Suggesting there is actually no pregnancy. This was explained to us in the Czech Republic as well. And the fact that they do a pregnancy test followed by an ultrasound to confirm the finding This keeps you more grounded until the ultrasound results So this time around, in the Czech Republic, I repeated the whole process again after a break of about 6 months This time again a short protocol. Which means you take injections for about a month until you grow multiple matured eggs I underwent extraction with approximately 9 eggs and but after fertilization process there were no more embryos growing past day 5. This is different to our previous experience. Even though it's not covered by insurance companies, it's recommended to let the embryos to cultivate 4-5 days This was again explained to me nicely by the embryologist. who supervises the process That waiting until the embryo is cultivated for 5 days closer mimics the actual conception process and it gives your embryo a higher chance for success as well as the fact that this process eliminates the faulty ones. So during our third trial in the Czech Republic we waited for 5 days end there were no more embryos growing past the day 4. We realized it's not as easy as we previously thought and that mother nature After the fourth trial I had a break. This time around it was 2 month. I left and came back. We were planning again for me to stay for a little bit during the process. To make it less stressful and to ease in. This time I underwent a longer protocol/ process. It took all together 2 months, almost 3. I brought some pills with me, to shorten the time away from my lovely husband. These you take one month before the actual stimulation month to prepare your body and to normalize everything hormonaly. And then you take injections for another month until eggs extraction time. I wanted to increase our odds and chances. So I got involved in body alignment techniques and exercises designed by a Czech rehabilitation specialist Mojzisova. And I also got involved with Chinese medicine. It was an acupuncture lesson. And I took a special blend of herbal extractions to help me to relax and calm down. All these activities helped me to feel more engaged. And to feel more responsible for a better outcome. I felt I did what I liked including exercising, walking and relaxing. So after all this there was the egg extraction followed up by a one month later embryo transfer. I am not entirely sure if any of the activities were having any impact on the success of this trial. But we managed to extract 9 eggs with 5 being successfully fertilized. And eventually the 5 day embyo cultivation period survived only 2 of them. This whole process was very new to us as previously we experienced a different approach and following process. Since they wait here 5 days for the embryo to cultivate and start properly transition from one phase to other. Eventually if you are successful and there are any embryos alive past this stage, they freeze them. Where else previously we underwent a live embryo transfer after 3 day cultivation time. This time, it felt unreal since I had some time to chill and clear my head. Stop using all meds and relatively go back to normal. So I tried some more acupuncture and more exercises. Prior to the next step. A one embryo transfer. It felt easy and calm. It felt more natural. And we really didn't make any fuss around. We did a quick blood test. And waited for confirmation ultrasound. At this time we didn't give the blood test so much weight, it was not necessarily a happiness mark. Or any other reason to celebrate anything as yet. Yes, it was positive but it didn' t mean anything. Eventually we arranged for our one month ultrasound in the capital- Prague. It was a second day after New Years Eve. And we did get a confirmation that the baby is there. And everything looks good. But it appeared to be unbelievable and after so much time of trying and hoping. I felt it's unreal and impossible. It took another ultrasound to fully enjoy our success and the reality set in. We did waited a while to share the news with family And we discussed everything regarding to whom to tell and when. To protect us from another hard time if anything goes pear shape and we would have to explain anything. From my experience I would like to share couple of things. Don't listen to anyone. Dont't over think anything you hear. Don't pay attention to advice that you find irritable or unreasonable. If you are not the one who experiences this process and you would like to help. Refrain from giving advice you didn't experience. It is impossible not to think about all of this process, it is impossible to relax while you are on medications and you hope that this time it will work out. Especially the more you try the less patient you become this makes you more sensitive to small changes in people's tone and word's meaning. Try to find a new hobby or entertainment that will keep your mind busy. If you are still working, great. This is one of the best ways to keep busy unless your work puts a lot of pressure on you. You don't need an additional stress to be added to this process. I guess some alternative method is an option to keep you slightly more occupied. And to make you feel that you did something more to achieve better results. I did some exercises following method of Czech rehabilitation nurse Mojzisova. Even though i stopped doing these right after the embryo transfer as my therapist did not recommend it. This method included a mobilization of the whole body as well. This felt really good. Acupuncture is another option. Despite the fact I started quit late. My chinesse medicine specialist explained she could have helped to assure better results during the egg growth process. To assure better quality and quantity. I did acupuncture to release some build up energy. If I can speak for us, I would love you not to give up. I believe we all get a chance one day using one way or another. It does take a while and it is a lengthy process. It takes a lot of energy but when the time comes it all pays back what you invested. Try to think as positive as possible. There are other options. This helped me personally a lot. We discussed this issue several times. We had an agreement thta if it doesnt work this time we may try some other alternatives. There are baby mamas, there is an adoption. So thinking that this is not the end might help you as well to relax and go through this process with a clear mind. I felt it was important that we were both with my husband on board. We understand each other and see things the same way. It felt there was less pressure. So if it didn't workout this time it would not have been such a big deal and would not be the end of the world. I hope it will work out for you or your family or friends. I will keep my fingers crossed. And if you have any questions. Or you need any help. Please do not hesitate and contact me. You can do this directly bellow this video or use messenger on my facebook page. Please feel free to comment or critique. I am more then happy to come back to you any time. I am connected most times so I'll try to answer quickly. I will be more then happy if you are also successful going through this process. Or it it's your family or friends. I hope you will stay with it and I wish you a good luck and a great day! Thank you very much for watching! And see you soon again!