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  1. #901
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    Kcraig, I recommend going up to Mt Lycabetus, the highest point in Athens. We went up one sunset to light a candle at the little church up there named after St George. It was freezing and about to snow. I bought an overpriced little icon of St George, from one of the stall vendors outside the church,that now sits on my kitchen window sill. Afterwards we had a drink at the bar area just a few steps below the church. Whilst looking out of the window at the view of Athens, I recognized the President hotel, one of the the few high rise buildings in that part of the city. Knowing that Embryoland, was next door to the hotel with our embryos, I said to my husband that we were "watching over our kids". Sitting up there in a bar, after having prayed and lit a candle in a church, overlooking the clinic that had our embryos, just added to the whole surrealness of being in Greece and the whole donor IVF process. That memory still makes me smile.

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    kcraig  (02-06-2015)

  3. #902
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relais View Post
    Hi, have any of the pregnant ladies tried the Harmony blood test? I've provided two different lots of blood samples but the clinic that does the test in the U.S. kept coming up with inconclusive results. I've been told that there's no point in going for another Harmony test. I'm 17 weeks pregnant now with twins and have been told to just wait for the 20 week scan to get the most complete okay about the bubs that we can get. Given the NT scan went well and all of the tests my husband and the young donor went through at the beginning, I shouldn't be so anxious. I'm curious if anybody else has tried this test? I'm not going to do an amniocentesis.
    Hi Relais - I did a test like the Harmony test I think it was called NIPT. I think I've got the names right - when I was about to head off for the blood test, paperwork in hand, I read the fine print and it said not suitable for donor eggs, my ob had forgotten about my donor, so he apologised profusely and gave me the referral for the NIPT test which was ok for donor eggs ... Or maybe it was the other way round, anyway if you check the paperwork one of them will say it's no good for donor eggs.

    Having said all that, with both tests there is a possibility of the results being inconclusive, one if my other donor egg ivf buddies had that but in the second try, she got a result. I would say that if two attempts haven't worked and all other indicators are fine, then I would let the test go and try and relax, after all, by the time you got the results of the next test you'd only be a week away from the 20 wk scan. Also think about what you would do (at 19 weeks gestation) if the results came back with an issue, if you think you wouldn't do anything, then there is no point doing the rest (other than mental prep of course but the 20 Em scan could help you there)...

    I'm sorry you're in this situation, that really sucks!

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    Relais  (03-06-2015)

  5. #903
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    justcantstop Im sooooo happy you got your period Nothing worse than waiting for it to arrive ! high five from me too !!

    Thanks for your concern, I feel 100% better since I reduced meds on saturday, NO headaches !! I talked to my O.B yesterday and he said I will be off them by this week, I have just enough pessaries (i cant wait to STOP those) till my appointment on Thursday !!! wohoo !! Two more sleeps till nuchal and I hope I can find out what it is!!!! I really want a healthy baby more than anything!!

    I too went to that little church on the hill, Kostas took me there, it was a lovely climb up, though it was sprinkling with rain, but oh what a view !! We lit candles and I prayed for good fortune, and I hugged the cute little old lady that was looking after the church, she was so happy after I hugged her. Everyone needs a cuddle now and then.

    There are some good places to see in Athens, Kosta took me to the Acropolis museum, but it was closed so we climbed up some hill and i took photos of it behind me. Good enough for now. Next time I must go to the museum, its supposed to be amazing with glass floors so you can see the relics below, a must see.

    I met that other doctor that works with Dr Kanakas, he is very nice and was there for my transfer, since my lining was so small, Dr Kanakas had him there to assure me it was ok, hes very polite and a happy chap. Most people at Embryoland and polite and nice, but some don't speak english. The nurse that jabbed me with a progesterone needle didnt speak english, so she didnt understand me swearing and carrying on. Man that progesterone oil shot hurts. I feel sorry for girls who are on that for their whole cycle, eeeeeeek !!!

    I've been de-cluttering my wardrobes and removing everything that I havent worn in decades, took 5 bags to the op shop and am still filling them today. I was a size 8 in my younger years, but I dont think I ever will or want to be that skinny again, im a 12-14 now, but I'd like to be size 12 ideally. This was my short break from my cleaning schedule, my dishpan hands and dusty nose needed a break. Back to house duties.

    Good luck you all and may the gods/goddesses of fortune smile upon us all.


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    francesthecat  (02-06-2015),kcraig  (02-06-2015),kymmymichell  (02-06-2015)

  7. #904
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    Hi Ladies,

    Wow I can finally type a reply, Ive been unable to type any responses on my tablets. Now I have my MAC back from Apple. I got a nasty mailware virus from using the free Hotel Wifi at the President Hotel. All better now.


    Hello to all the new ladies

    Thank you to the lovely Yasna for her very very funny updates
    Plus your Greek brother Kostas is such a lovely kind man.
    Thank you for the recommendation to use him as a driver, he was great for airport transfers & also local info. Yep certainly won't let you lift any bags.

    Ive got soo much to reply properly too.

    AFM I had a massive bleed thought everything was lost. But had a scan 1 week later after strict bed rest.
    No still there all on track, FS has said it was the other embryo being lost, as the bleeding was huge and then just stopped.
    So taking it one day at a time, still worried Ill start bleeding again.

    Its great to read all the updates xx
    Thank you for sharing ladies.. I think its a great help for people making this journey.


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    Yasna  (03-06-2015)

  9. #905
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    Quote Originally Posted by justcantstop View Post
    Hi Everybody

    Tayto: I am so sorry your transfer did not go as smoothly as you would have liked. I plan on going to Embryoland in Sept and just hated to hear something negative! But, everyone's experience is different and I thank you for your honesty about it. Hopefully it will still yield a positive result !!+++ All of my retrievals and transfers as well as all monitoring here in NY were at 7am in both clinics I used, so that's not new to me! And I had 3 day transfers too. But, I am assuming the way you wrote that it wasn't just the time, etc., but that it may have been a bit uncomfortable. Just wondering, did they give you anything to relax you beforehand or was it all the water to drink, etc.? What I've learned through my IVF journey over the last ten years is most people's ultimate opinion out their cycle, doctor, clinic, etc. is based on the outcome. You hear some people rave about docs and clinics, etc. that have poor reputations/bad stats, rude staffs or who you find are just not very good - but since they got pregnant, all is right with the world! I pray that happens for you!!

    That being said, if you have to go back again and are skeptical about Dr. K, etc., you might want to try using his partner, Dr. Mantzavinos (spelling could be off here). He has an excellent rep and resume too and my sister-in-law introduced me via skype to her friend in Greece who is 50 and pregnant on her 2nd donor try. Her first was with Dr. K and did not work. Second done by Dr. M and here she is.

    Oh boy, let's not think beyond the 2WW now. Please keep us posted on how you are are doing. Keeping the fingers crossed for you!!!
    It's alright, I just caught the short straw. Funny thing was I had taken a Valium & I never had previously, must've figured it wouldn't be smooth. As I said it was public holiday, as we walked to clinic at 6.30am we saw loads of locals packing their cars up to leave. The clinic was busy & everyone was rushing around way moreso than we had seen during the week. Pick up was 9.30am 3 days prior. So it was about 68hr mark. I have always had 72hr+ for 3 day transfers.
    In Oz the last clinic I attended was very professional, you get tagged before transfer having to repeat name, D.O.B. etc. you go into a bright transfer room & everyone is very calm. This was very different ball game.
    I'm from Europe so none of it was any surprise really. Here I went into a darkened room where when starting ultrasound they shone one bright light on the vejayjay area and all were blathering away in greek. Nurse did hold ultrasound guide on me for awhile but then she went off and dr was doing both. Here they used metal speculum & it was at this stage I got pinched or something, even my husband flinched. Previous transfers involved disposable plastic speculum.
    I have not received any information about what if any embryo are left. I'm thinking zero because of no contact. We've been out and about doing touristy things but have a greek cell number so communication is not an issue. In melbourne the embryologist called with updates on day 5 & a hard copy summary was mailed later.
    I supplied pics of myself & husband and found out on arrival, dr had matched donor to my husband rather than me. I guess I should have emphasized I would've preferred something closer to me but I thought that would have been obvious. Might be a bit lost in translation. So emphasize if this is important to you. Regarding interests & hobbies of donor dr said this is not a concern because these girls are from poorer backgrounds & will unlikely to be affording 80e per hour for tennis lessons. I felt a bit bad about this & didn't quite know what to say. I was just curious if the girl had any interests. Dr K loves to chat & goes on a bit sometimes.
    I guess I would come back if I had to, my options are not plentiful. I just hope this works out

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Tayto For This Useful Post:

    Dette  (05-06-2015)

  11. #906
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    Tayto I'm glad you and your dh are enjoying the remainder of your trip. Take advantage of this special time together. We are all with you and sending major good vibes your way!

    Glad to hear Yasna and France's are feeling good!

    Releis you mentioned a US clinic. Where are you? Most on here are from AU. Are you from us, like me? That would be cool!!

    Re Harmony test, it was my understanding it can be done with donor egg but only for singleton pregnancies not for multiples. But Vixjc has more recent experience and probably knows better. Just remember these tests are just screens and can only give you a risk score not a definitive answer. If your donor was young and healthy and your dh is healthy, you should be very low risk for what they test for. One benefit of doing de even at older age is amnio not required since eggs are young. In years past, these tests were not even given to women under 35 because they were low risk and it wasn't necessary to confirm that. There are some great articles about it online.

    Dr k got back to me re my period coming so late. So now I see my doc on June 9th and will do my yearly, get my scripts and schedule my blood work and vag scan. Then I will really feel like it's happening!

    Be well lovely ladies! Good night.

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to justcantstop For This Useful Post:

    Dette  (05-06-2015),Yasna  (03-06-2015)

  13. #907
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    Tayto you sound quite upset about a few things, some of which I understand. Metal speculum vs plastic, is all up to cost, using metal is old school and used in many clinics even in Australia, and I'm sure they don't use plastic for financial reasons. Save money on wasting plastic. You felt awkward with people staring at your vagina? Please, im so over that after so many ivfs, pap smears etc. I'm there for a job to be done. They need a bright light shining on your vagina, why? so they can see your cervix clearly !! Oh and the room is dark so you can see the screen clearly. Everyone in my presence spoke English except for one nurse, and when they spoke Greek I wasnt offended since guess what, IM IN GREECE derrrr !!!

    They don't do things in Europe like they do here, or in the USA. When applying for California Conceptions in the USA, I had to jump through so many hoops, take so many blood tests, do a saline ultrasound (which was very painful) and have psych reports done, all at my expense. Torture. Those documents did however help Dr Kanakas see how my health was, but in the end it all really depended on my lining and whether or not the embryos stuck.

    As far as my egg donors interests, I really don't give a ****, I don't care if she liked needlepoint, played soccer or loved eating pizza. All I cared about was that she was a brunette like me. I am the mother now, I will be the one influencing my child's life and I will be the one carrying, nursing and supporting my child. Not my donor. A child's environment is very influential, I like music because my parents always played music, I love gardens and animals, because my father always had nice gardens and we had pets all our lives. The environment you are surrounded by will influence you, tv, media, music, all influences you. I know a lot about my sperm donor, which I wonder if is all true or not, but hes also has dark hair and likes animals and music. In the end, I will be the biggest influence on my child. Me, my family, my surroundings.

    I thank my donor for giving me the opportunity to have a baby and I'm sure she was paid a measly amount of money for donating. Thats the only part I wish I knew, how much she actually got? I'd like to know if she was paid well for going through such a painful, emotional process. The gift of life is precious and I will never forget this experience and I'm sure she did it for cheap, just to get by. In Europe the working class/students make hardly any money, so this would have helped her a little bit.

    I hate seeing bad reviews about the Doctor who so far, has made my decade long dream come true. Tomorrow I will go for my nuchal scan and I'm scared ****less. Will my baby be ok? What is it? Will it have downs? Will it be deformed? Will i give birth? Will I be a good mother? Will my baby be cute, or have a *big greek nose then I'll have to get plastic surgery for my poor child before it hits kindygarden? *jokes.

    Seriously though once you pass the hurdle of leaving your own eggs behind, and trust me, I cried like a baby to my mother last Saturday night feeling like a barren woman carrying someone elses baby. I said to her its not easy. I will never have my own genetic child, but, I have the chance to have a child, I have always yearned to be pregnant and give birth and complete my circle in life, to be a mother.

    I'm grateful, yet confused, sad yet hopeful, lost yet found something worth believing in. After tomorrow, I think I will be more relaxed * if everything is ok.

    Oh my god have I just ranted. I'm a bit emotional tonight, feeling the pressure of the whole 12 week thing and hoping this pregnancy will last until the end when I'm actually holding a living child in my arms. One that has no complications and is normal, just like me. Lets hope its more normal than me.

  14. #908
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tayto View Post
    It's alright, I just caught the short straw. Funny thing was I had taken a Valium & I never had previously, must've figured it wouldn't be smooth. As I said it was public holiday, as we walked to clinic at 6.30am we saw loads of locals packing their cars up to leave. The clinic was busy & everyone was rushing around way moreso than we had seen during the week. Pick up was 9.30am 3 days prior. So it was about 68hr mark. I have always had 72hr+ for 3 day transfers.
    In Oz the last clinic I attended was very professional, you get tagged before transfer having to repeat name, D.O.B. etc. you go into a bright transfer room & everyone is very calm. This was very different ball game.
    I'm from Europe so none of it was any surprise really. Here I went into a darkened room where when starting ultrasound they shone one bright light on the vejayjay area and all were blathering away in greek. Nurse did hold ultrasound guide on me for awhile but then she went off and dr was doing both. Here they used metal speculum & it was at this stage I got pinched or something, even my husband flinched. Previous transfers involved disposable plastic speculum.
    I have not received any information about what if any embryo are left. I'm thinking zero because of no contact. We've been out and about doing touristy things but have a greek cell number so communication is not an issue. In melbourne the embryologist called with updates on day 5 & a hard copy summary was mailed later.
    I supplied pics of myself & husband and found out on arrival, dr had matched donor to my husband rather than me. I guess I should have emphasized I would've preferred something closer to me but I thought that would have been obvious. Might be a bit lost in translation. So emphasize if this is important to you. Regarding interests & hobbies of donor dr said this is not a concern because these girls are from poorer backgrounds & will unlikely to be affording 80e per hour for tennis lessons. I felt a bit bad about this & didn't quite know what to say. I was just curious if the girl had any interests. Dr K loves to chat & goes on a bit sometimes.
    I guess I would come back if I had to, my options are not plentiful. I just hope this works out
    Ah hon - that sucks you had a fizzer of an experience, I can hear the disappointment in your post While I know that at the end of the day you'll be happy if you get a positive result, given we have all gone through so much already before we get to this point, my thought is that we all deserve some smooth sailing! We should all get to feel as comfortable as possible with the process, both mentally and physically. Thank you for writing such an informative post and contrasting the difference between your australian and greek experiences, it will help the other girls - and all our lurkers doing their research :-) -to know what to expect on the day of their ET, as well as know the issues they might like to raise or emphasise with their chosen clinic.

    Like you, I found the first ET I had in Greece to be quite different to the ET I had in Oz. It felt quite slap dash and undignified. The second ET I had in Greece was with a different clinic and was much better and far more dignified, but from memory it was in a dimmed room (although I don't remember a spotlight but there must have been one) whereas my Oz ET was in quite a bright room. The first clinic I went to were also pretty slack on the communication which I found incredibly frustrating, I was forever chasing them (with limited success - like you I also had a Greek phone) to try and find out what was going on. It really raised the stress level for the whole experience. Serum was different, the midwife Dimitra was very contactable and she would immediately get the answer to any question I had, she was awesome.

    Also like you, I wanted my donor to be similar to me, we were able to nominate anything that we sought with the donor and Penny would see what she could do. Not in a "designer baby" kind of way (Penny won't compromise physical similarity) - but for example you can ask for the same blood type as you, she also believes that the child needs to fit in with the family in more ways than just physical appearance. We asked for someone that looked like me physically and who was academic and enjoyed sport. I realise there is the whole nature vs nurture argument, I guess my view is that some character aspects, personality and interests can be genetic so there is nature and nurture at play. Regardless, it can't hurt for the donor to share some characteristics with me :-)

    Maybe try not to think about what you will do if this cycle doesn't work, try to think lots of positive thoughts, continue to enjoy your holiday with DH and if it all turns to $h!te decide on your next steps when you've got some distance from the experience. Actually scrap that, I would not even follow that advice myself, I would be making plans straight away just in case (I'm a planner, I wouldn't be abl to help myself!). Do whatever helps you get through the 2WW! It sounds like you and Dr K didn't connect in the way we all hope for in this experience, maybe his colleague that someone else mentioned above would be a better fit for you? But let's hope that's not an avenue you'll need to explore

    Wishing you a quick, and fertile 2WW!

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    Dette  (05-06-2015)

  16. #909
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    Oh Jeez Tayto, I feel like by asking more about your experience I've prolonged your stress by everyone discussing it and sharing their experience and thoughts, etc. But I think Vixjc had the right idea at the end - get through the 2WW any way you can and then take it from there....!

    Regarding the modesty issues, I'm prepared that Greece will be different than US. I was told to make sure I take a towel with me to clinic and/or wear a skirt that can be pulled up for easy access but will still be able to come down for quick cover!! While going through all the IVF stuff has de-sensitized me a bit on this, I'm still weary about my lady parts being on display for all to see!!

    I was told that donors in Greece receive 1000 to 1200 Euro. Considering the economy there, the lack of jobs and how low pay many receive per day, this is not bad. Especially if the girl is a student, it could actually really help her out. Personally, I think what the donors get in the US is crazy. Donors with college degrees from ivy league schools get major bucks. Its out of control really and that's why people like me have to look at other countries.

    I do want my donor to resemble me in basic ways (ie brown hair/eyes/tall) just so when mixed with DH the child looks like it could possibly have come from us. I don't want a blonde haired, blue eyed donor because it would all be too obvious. I think its our business what we tell people and who we tell and when we tell. If I adopted a child, I'd feel differently. But part of doing DE is to be able to carry the child which will mean everyone will know I'm pregnant! I don't want to have to emerge from the delivery room already having to explain things!!

    After typing all of that - you know what I really want? A healthy baby.... I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I am going to trust they will find me a suitable donor and as along as she produces healthy eggs, I will be happy!

    Yasna - Scan today or tomorrow, right? Can't wait to hear your update.

    Cheers all!

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  18. #910
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    Hi everyone,

    I am a very new member to this forum though have often read the comments. I am in need of some advice/experiences from anyone else who has been to Genesis in Athens for egg donation.
    I hear/read a lot of positive reviews about Serum & Embryoland but hardly seen anything on Genesis.
    Our FS Nick Lolatgis at Monash has recommended Dr Pantos as he is affiliated with this clinic. Also are we better to go through our FS or liaise direct with the clinic in Greece? I have elevated NK cells so intralipid will be needed.
    Sorry if i've posted this in the wrong area...first ever post on a forum!
    Any shared experiences would be most welcome! Thanks heaps!

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