IVF #2: two week wait, baby showers + no symptoms

I love you guys for rooting for me. I’ve been struggling to transform that energy into my own and the truth is that I can’t function. The only thing I can do is obsessively Google symptoms and hide my face in a pillow whilst shouting ‘This hasn’t worked.’ I spent my entire Saturday horizontal on the sofa. Since transfer I’ve been in a constant state of anxiety. The hypnotherapist I saw said that I tend to prepare for worst case scenario and stress myself out while I do. Maybe that’s what I’m doing by feeling this way about this two week wait. Preparing to fail so it doesn’t hurt so much.. except it always hurts as much.

I’ve tried distracting myself – Game of Thrones, puzzles, walks, friends and shopping but there’s no escaping it. I feel like I’m slowly slipping into despair as the dreaded test date is approaching. (Yeah I wasn’t going to mention it, to stop me from obsessing but it appears I’m capable of doing that myself.)

Insanely I went to my sister’s trendy baby shower in the heart of Soho today. Within the first hour, someone asked me if I was pregnant. Apparently peppermint tea and frequent loo runs = pregnancy. My bladder hasn’t been the same since egg retrieval. It’s painful if I hold pee so I’m constantly going.I was told horror stories about child birth. One lost her clit.. ouch.

On my second run to the loo, my sister followed and asked me if I was okay. Then it all came out ‘I don’t think I’m pregnant, why aren’t I feeling anything? There’s no spotting or cramps.. or anything. I just feel fake pregnant with my stupid progesterone boobs and now I have sari fat too coz I can’t stop eating!’

She comforted me and I felt awful for being such a negative nancy at her baby shower. I couldn’t help it though, afterall I was surrounded by fertiles. I tried to make conversation but preferred to be hidden in a plate of food. Whenever someone asks me what I’m up to these days, I really don’t know what to say. ‘I’m focusing on IVF’ would be the honest answer. I don’t exactly have the type of work I can show off or talk about. Next time I’ll probably talk about my cats.

I know that out for every BFP with symptoms IVF story, there’s a BFP without symptoms IVF story. I’m scared of not seeing two pink lines when I test later this week because I’m scared of falling apart again. How do we keep pushing on? How do we keep doing this?

All I can say is…

Fuck this shit, I'm going to Narnia

(That means back to work where I can focus my energy on scowling)

Ps My OTD is Friday. You can expect to find me here over the weekend.. crying on my keyboard. I just hope they’re tears of joy for once.

 

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IVF #2: Post transfer – unicorn visited, still waiting on the rainbow to appear, Indian aunts banished!

I’ve been feeling on edge the last couple of nights. I think something’s wrong with the moon. Thought I’d write an update to help me process this and shake off the nerves. The Blind Date almost made me faint – if you recall IVF #1 I had one 3 cell and one 5 cell 3 day transfer – this time I blinked when the embryologist said: we’ll be transferring one morula and an early blastocyst.

Two. I figured two meant they weren’t great quality but I’m the type to obsess so I didn’t ask about grades. I was just so grateful I’d made it further than last time.

Half way through the procedure, just before the embryologist handed over the embryos she said ‘Good news the morula is now an early blastocyst.’ I had to stop myself from crying whilst on the bed with my legs in stirrups. You would have thought I just found out I’m pregnant.

This really is a big deal to me. I know there’s a chance I’ll face a negative – it’s fine. I’ll grieve and I’ll move on. But what really matters is that I’ve stopped blaming myself. In 7 years of trying to conceive, every Indian Aunty has looked at me with pity and as if it’s only my problem. Not to do with luck or sperm. I carried that blame – first due to PCO and then because my periods were scant. I accepted and blamed my egg quality and lining. In that room in the middle of a hospital in London I released the burden. I may never have my own kids. The embryos may never want to implant. However I won’t continue to blame myself.

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Maybe it was the ICSI. The increase in odds. Maybe it was the short protocol and tailored level of stimms. I honestly think diet and supplements played a huge role. I had a lot of ewcm for once. Maybe on my next round of ICSI I won’t produce eggs as good – it’s all a gamble. The body does what it wants. I don’t see this as this is it. I see it as a dose of hope and motivation to get me through another round if I have to.

So as a summary: 5 out of 6 fertilised. 2 were transferred. 2 probably lacked the vavavoom and died. 1 was a slow jam and later decided it wanted to become a frostie (which I only found out later today).

I’ve already Googled ‘2 early blastocyst success rate’ and found mainly BFN stories. I’m banning myself from Google.

My luck this cycle has made me incredibly suspicious, I’m half expecting infertility to poke it’s ugly head out and present another issue. At the sametime I’m telling myself to not be such a douchebag and accept the feeling of good news for once.

Anyhow no more cycle updates from me. All I can do is munch on Brazil nuts and pineapple and wait. I’ll be focusing on y’all instead.

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IVF #2: Pre-transfer nerves

So tomorrow marks a big day – transfer. I’m planning my outfit because I want to go there feeling my best  – not looking like death like the last time.  I’m also envisioning how zen I’m going to be while they pry apart my legs and flash a big light into my face (not). I don’t know anything about my embryos. I haven’t chased to find out. I won’t know until I’m sitting in the room getting ready for transfer.  It’s like Blind Date. I hope embie likes what it sees.

Blind Date - Mr Bean

The last few days I’ve been totally sane one minute and then a nervous wreck the next. I am so grateful for the good that has happened this cycle and at the same time I’m trying to accept that a cycle doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as I get something from it – learning for the next cycle (bloody expensive learning…) or an embryo then it’s worth the pain.

I also have to stop myself from worrying about my egg supply.  These embryo(s) are a labour of love – the hours worked to finance the treatment, the diet sacrifices made, the expensive supplement plan, the hypnotherapy, the pilates, the tango sessions to get us communicating better as a couple and to ease the stress, the injections, the extra effort Super Man put in – all of it was for the eggs. I did the best I could – we did the best we could.

I went into IVF 1 so naïve and expecting it to be a breeze. The reality of it has left me too scared to even hope in this cycle because I’m too aware of things that could go wrong. If this cycle leads to a BFN, I don’t want to fall apart and right now I’m not entirely sure how I’ll stop that from happening.  The come down from the hormones last time had me spiralling into pure grief. As a piece of therapy I wrote a letter to infertility tonight – I  got the idea from  Mindfulmumatobe – it was good writing and letting go. What will be will be.

Breathe deeply. Let go. Repeat.

I won’t have lucky knickers or socks but we’ve planned our own little ritual of gratitude for after transfer. Oh and I plan to make a crown for myself, do a speech about Venus (please contribute your excerpts to add to this below) and throw a ‘I’m getting pregnant party’ with my cats* Just your average bank holiday Monday.

After that it’s all about trying to get back into the flow of ‘normal’ life. I’m praying loads for all of you cycling this month or very soon – NewToIVF, Kiftsgate and Barren Betty – I’ll be cheering you all on.

*As seen on The Switch: If it works in the movies, it’ll clearly work for me. I never claimed to be sane.

Ps All POAS questions will be answered with an interpretative dance…

Fertility Doll | Squirrel Interpretive dance

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IVF #2: Fertilisation report – ICSI worked!

I don’t want to get into the details just yet because if I learned one thing from IVF #1 it was DON’T COUNT YOUR CHICKS BEFORE THEY HATCH <<-click the link to see an awesome pic by Livenerddierepeat.,.. I can’t be a dick and pull it into my blog.

We have days to go to see what happens. DAYS! I don’t know if they have the vavavoom needed to divide but I sure hope they do! Tango little cells… tango the night away. I feel like I don’t want to sit in one space and not be active in case they feel me doing that across London and in turn become inactive and lazy… yes, I am a loon. 

I have been praying so hard that I think a part of the prayer mat is indented on my forehead. I’m in constant conversations with God. At this point it’s all I can do.

I am on edge. I really hate this part of IVF.

Most of all I really don’t want to hear from the clinic. No news is good news in this case. Please don’t let me hear from them again.

Thanks all for supporting while I’m going through shades of crazy on this end. 

Ps On a positive note progesterone injection didn’t give me cramps like the Cyclogest pessaries did. Just a sore butt. Oh the joys of IVF!

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IVF #2: Post egg collection update – 6 eggs, puking and trying to think glass half full

Thank you soo much for all the well wishes this morning. I couldn’t reply but it felt so good reading them after. Apparently I woke from sedation saying ‘eggs’ again. I think it’s because I fell asleep staring at the operation lamp that looked like an embryo dividing. I remember the Anaesthetists making small talk with me and then knocking me out while Dr Oracle appeared to do the egg collection. That or I was hallucinating it was him to comfort myself. I can’t get used to all these strangers getting a view of my vagina.

Dr Oracle looked a little sad when he came to see me after egg collection. I could see the disappointment in his eyes, like he’d personally failed me. He had hoped for 9 eggs and even I was baffled that my plentiful follies were empty. I’m not obsessed with numbers, since the last time I got 12 and they didn’t get me anywhere but I know with PCO there’s a chance some of my eggs won’t be mature and some won’t fertilise. I’m also worried because we lowered my dose considerably for a couple of days of stimming. When I thanked him later he said, ‘No don’t thank me, I haven’t done anything. You can thank me when we get a heartbeat.’ I thought that was sweet and very glass half full.

This time even with few eggs, egg collection hit me completely. I felt seriously faint when I tried getting up, super sore and I managed to puke up too. How graceful! Apparently if you’re not a big drinker (alcohol), it’s quite common to puke up.

I am disheartened slightly and worried but at this point I can’t change the outcome. It is what it is. I can only pray that a few of those eggs will tango amazingly with Super Man’s sperm. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. I am grateful for IVF but my God this is a lot to go through. At any given moment, there’s a possibility of falling apart spectacularly. Someone keep the glue ready.

Ps I plan to catch up with comments later tonight – once I’ve eaten the world. I’m so hungry!!

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IVF #2: Egg collection nerves, blessings and traffic

Dressed in Sweaty Betty yoga pants, a loose T and a pair of Converse I’m telling myself that I’m all zen and ready for egg collection. Deep down I’m nervous of facing a replay of the last time. I’m dreading the outcome and the rest of the week. I should be happy I made it to this point.

Brace yourself I’m about to share a little bit too much.. I’m also dealing with pessary stress! 20mins after putting it in I had to poo and now I’m worried I’ve just poo’d it all out. That’s going to be a fun concern to raise with my doctor this morning. Why can’t this just be simple??

On a positive note I’m cruising barely moving through London in a cab after pulling the princess card and refusing to deal with the tube strike today. I can be a brat sometimes. I’ll take driving down Bishop’s Lane dreaming as I gaze at all the houses that don’t look as if they belong in London, than have my face squished against someone’s armpit.

Last night I felt sprinkled with blessings – because of the messages from you girls here and my friends, the spontaneous call from my mum (she’s abroad & we’re not in touch much) and the kindness my 18 year old niece showed when at 11pm she heated up pizza for me after I told her about today. I don’t think I count my blessing enough.

Bad things happen – no matter how much we prepare. All we can do is hold onto the little good things in our worlds to keep us afloat.

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Posted in Assisted Fertility, Dr Trips + Medical, Emotions + Coping, Infertility, IVF

The infertile and the fertile friend

The last couple of days I’ve been thinking about my pregnant friend and how I’m failing to cope with pregnancies around me. I’m too aware there’s a very good chance (like 70%) that this cycle I’ll be facing a negative pregnancy test or worse I’ll discover my eggs aren’t great and won’t get to even take a test. I know that at the end of it, I’ll have to lick my wounds and find the strength to get on with life – work, newborn in the family, watching my friends form and grow their families.

I also know that as a couple we’ll have to make a decision about how much of this we can really do – financially and emotionally. We are both tired. So so tired. I’m trying to live in the moment and not worry about the future but I really don’t want to fall apart post-IVF like I did the last time.

Tulips

Anyhow, my friend had the 12 week scan today and I had my final scan before trigger for ICSI/IVF. We text well wishes to each other and on my way back from the hospital I bought her some flowers. I realised that if I were in her shoes, she would do the same and genuinely celebrate it with me. I am becoming my bitterness and somehow I need to stop it before it consumes me and I can’t see beyond it.

But it’s so hard 😦

I went to see my friend later in the day. We both had small plasters on the exact spot on our left arms. Mine to check hormone levels for trigger and hers to check everything’s well with the baby. I sat and looked through her baby folder with her. I examined the scan pictures when she passed them to me. I held it together, even when Super Man stupidly said ‘Oh it’s like your scan pics!’ (He meant the same black and white scans). We all fell silent and I could only reply ‘Yeah, except there isn’t a baby in mine.’ I wasn’t sure what else to say.

I think she meant well but I almost died when she started to narrate stories about her friends that have fallen pregnant by… wait for it.. relaxing …thanks to acupuncture. It was clear that she’d forgotten about our fertilization issues.

Just relax | Infertility | Someecards

And then I got hit with the ‘I hope you’re both ready for babysitting duties.’ Seriously.

Children | Infertilty | Someecards

I forgive her. What else is she supposed to do or say? She means well. How is she supposed to know what this pain feels like?

This pain. Nobody can understand it unless they’re going through it so I’m going to quit expecting sensitivity from those who are fortunate enough to not be in this situation.

God I’m looking forward to biting into that Lindt chocolate bunny once egg collection is done. I sure as hell need it.

 

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Is there a right time?

I’m back to the keyboard to verbally puke up all the thoughts and feelings swimming in my body. So, as most of you know, another friend is pregnant.  We’ve been friends since we were 17 and her husband is BFFs with Super Man. Apparently Super Man felt sick for the past week because he was hiding it from me and was trying to figure out the best time to tell me. Our friends have also kept it quiet because they weren’t sure how to break it to me. Unfortunately I don’t think there is a right time.

After my scan this morning, we sat down in the hospital café and he told me. My immediate reaction was ‘It was only a matter of time. I might cry… sorry.’ Then I didn’t cry, all I could do was say ‘It was only a matter of time.’

To make it worse, Super Man’s 83 year old gran called and took upon herself to remind him that he’s the last in the family line (the last male…he has all female cousins). No pressure there then!

So then POW! I started to feel like God had forgotten me… again (for the gazillionth time). I cried a little and managed to splutter out why I was crying and reassured Super Man that I’m fine with the pregnancy. However, then I thought about how she probably just had her heartbeat scan and all I could think about how I have and would give so much to be able to hear my baby’s heartbeat. I cried even more.

I put on my smiling mask and text my friend to congratulate her and say I’m super happy for her. I was fine until I got a reply that outlined symptoms and that we’d be special in the baby’s life. All I could think was ‘I can’t do this.’

Every year I’m greeted with another pregnancy to support.

Every year I end up in baby shops buying toys and clothes for someone else’s child.

Every year I’m bombarded with cute newborn pics and sentimental messages.

I recalled how I received news of my sister’s pregnancy before my last cycle, the feeling of having her show me a pregnancy app just after my cycle failed and how I was quietly fighting depression. Now I’m in cycle 2 and I’ll be facing the birth. My mind just kept focusing on the fact that I could be in another cycle when my friend’s baby is born… that I’ll have to see her after this and talk pregnancy when I’m likely to be broken. I could feel that horrid feeling of anxiety just creep all over me.

I lay in bed restlessly for an hour and then I decided I had to stop thinking because I don’t want this cycle to be sabotaged by negative emotions. This isn’t the first, nor will it be the last time this type of news hits me. We’re at the age where everyone’s having babies. I have no idea how I’m going to cope or deal with it all but I don’t want to think about tomorrow.

So, I’m choosing to only focus on today and holding onto the faith that ultimately everything will work out how it’s supposed to. Slamming the door on misery, disappointment and heartache.

In other news – cycle update:

New consultant is my new favourite person. We’ll be calling him Dr Oracle here because he predicted when my period was due and got it spot on. He declined giving me lottery numbers. He also apologised profusely when doing the endo scratch because I acted like I was dying (it was bloody painful having the specula inserted) and he did my blood test by himself. He’s like a one stop baby making shop! I love him. After being on the NHS and being passed between random consultants and nurses, it’s so nice being looked after by just one person.

P.s The pregnant friend is the one that did the fertility dance in my living room. It was supposed to be for me but obviously the magic worked for her instead. So stand up and all together now..

Fertility Dance - Fertility Doll

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IVF #2 Time to get some answers around fertilisation

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein

First of all, you guys are super sweet for checking in when I was MIA. I’m sorry I didn’t reply to comments, I was trying to hide from my infertility. So, five months later and it’s almost time for cycle 2 (next week hopefully). Do you ever begrudge having to go through a medicated cycle and not miraculously being one of the lucky ones to fall pregnant between the cycles? That’s what I’m currently doing.

This cycle I’ve tried to do things a little differently with nutrition and supplements because last cycle I felt so out of control with it all. I was pushing on to meet the 70g of protein a day, downing wheatgrass and hemp even when it made me feel yuck and juggling supplements I knew little about.

I’ve also made an effort with exercise by starting tango and reformer pilates (the latter is amazing!!) I do feel like my body temperature is somewhat warmer these days – even Super Man commented on it. Usually I’m cold all of the time! Small improvements.

  • Trying short protocol and new lovely consultant. Tick.
  • New supplement and nutrition plan. Tick.
  • Head in a good space. Sort-of-tick.
  • Try not to kill my bosses in the process of juggling. In-progress.
  • Being a bit more zen. Sort-of-tick.
  • Exercise. Tick.
  • Tango. Tick.
  • Blog from the start. Tick.
  • Pray. In progress.

I’m really hoping this cycle has better results than the last. I naively went into IVF #1 thinking ‘Woah I could be pregnant at the end of this!’ This cycle I’m treating it as one big experiment. I need to know whether it’s just a fertilisation issue with sperm or whether it’s my egg quality. I’m half expecting a new ugly revelation to hit me upside the head.

I’ve been debating whether I should blog about this. Bizarrely by sharing it with everyone I feel more under pressure to report back, which is why I internalised the struggle the last time and kept quiet. Well, not this time. I should keep true to this blog and contribute to the IF community. So brace yourselves for a hormone fuelled me. Lucky you.

I’m just asking you all for one thing: don’t ask me when OTD is and when I’ll be peeing on a stick. The last time I didn’t even make it to OTD. Hell I barely created an embryo. This time I want to pretend OTD doesn’t exist. (You can do the math and work it out if you really want to know.)

With the cycle being so close my mind is buzzing. I’m not sure I’ll ever go into a cycle feeling 100% ready but this time I know I’ve done the best I can.

I have two questions:

1. Does anyone know more about switching from long to short protocol and how it might impact egg quality?

2. Has anyone had thin lining? What have you used to boost it?

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IVF – the torture of waiting

How did you feel waiting between IVF cycles? Since November I’ve been spinning in space, I can’t find happiness in anything and I’ve even failed at #100happydays. I have an interesting life filled with opportunities – what is wrong with me?

Just before Christmas, I decided to focus on cleaning up my diet (failed IVF depression = copious amount of cake) and started a nutritional plan.  I figured acting on something might make me feel more in control. It hasn’t. Initially the diet seemed to be working really well. More EWCM, strong period and less lethargy but the past month hasn’t been great. My scanty period became more scant and brown – in Chinese medicine it’s a sign of stagnation. At first, I wondered if it was because the diet is pretty strict and maybe I wasn’t nourishing myself enough but my food plan proves that I do eat enough. Then I realised that my mind really isn’t on board with this all. My mind is stagnant.

  1. I am frustrated because all my efforts seem futile
  2. I can’t imagine falling pregnant and I’m too scared to believe I’ll ever get to see two beautiful pink lines because it hasn’t happened in all these years.. why would it happen now?
  3. I am terrified of spring and the next IVF round because the last was so awful. I don’t know how I’m going to cope with a BFN.

So, I’m making an appointment with hypnotherapist in hope that she’ll help me believe I’m as fertile as Snookie.. Katie Price.. and Kerry Katona. 

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Oh, what a power is motherhood, possessing
A potent spell. All women alike
Fight fiercely for a child.

~ Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis, c. 405 B.C.

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