My IVF Journey: The 2 Week Wait (week 1)

My IVF Journey: The 2 Week Wait (week 1)

Ahh so here it is we are now in the 2 week wait (2ww). That’s the time from transferring the embryo to when you will know if you are pregnant or not.

This is our 5th 2 week wait. So i’m well versed in what not to google, not testing early, and making sure I don’t have too much free time to think about it.

They managed to transfer one embryo on day 5. The embryologist did say that it was unlikely the other 3 were going to be suitable for freezing but they wouldn’t make that decision until the following day. I got upset as I would’ve liked a back up but let’s just hope this one works. They said it was really good and of course you only need one. The recipient also had an embryo transferred on the same day. Eek. How awesome is that?!

The transfer itself was really quick and done in the same room we had our insemination for the girls. We were so lucky to also have the same nurse (our magical baby making lucky charm) who was there when we were inseminated for G and the crazy youngest tiny human. Here’s hoping she brings as much luck this time too, oh and one that sleeps would also be smashing.

It’s really quick to transfer the embryo, a bit like having a smear test. Then that was that; I was now PUPO. Pregnant until proven otherwise. It takes about a day for the embryo to implant if successful and then it just needs to work it’s magic while I sit and countdown what feels like the longest two weeks of my life. Who am I kidding I don’t have the time to even sit and think about it that much. Thankfully.

I would’ve liked a relaxing afternoon but unfortunately L was called into work so I was left wrestling the kids at a birthday party. It was all going well until we ended up in A and E with G who I suspected had another pulled elbow. I was panicking on the way there knowing I wouldn’t be able to go in with her for an x-ray if it was needed. I could hear them saying “any chance you could be pregnant?” And me being all flustered and sounding like some deranged neurotic woman “erm actually there is since about 9am this morning”. Thankfully it was just a pulled elbow and it was popped back in and we were on our way within 45 minutes. The NHS rocks!

When I asked G if she wanted to go home she said “no party!” So we headed back to fill our faces with copious amounts of cake. Thank God for cake.

13 days until testing: Had a lovely family day planned at a festival and it was great to all be together. I’d had a weird dream last night and when I woke up I was panicking the treatment hadn’t worked. That lasted two minutes before one child jumped on my head so no more overthinking until I got the call from the embryologist. None of the embryos were going to be frozen and would be discarded. I felt myself choke up. I got upset. There were tears. L made it all better by bringing me back to reality, as always, talking about the options we do have and was adamant this little embryo was going to work. We’ve called it “Bryo”. You shouldn’t give things names should you? It gets you all attached and emotional.

11 days until testing: It’s the “am I Pregnant?” and “am I not pregnant?” which does your head in. In the space of an hour I’ve convinced myself both ways 3 times. Looking in the mirror constantly to see if my veins are becoming more prominent or my boobs are getting bigger. Please let them get bigger!

9 days until test: Not much to report. No symptoms. Tried not to Google or look on facebook groups about how quick people found out they were pregnant. I knew it would just confuse me. G is now potty trained (thank goodness) but she managed to do the worst poo in the potty which I had to clean out. I was heaving with the stench. I could be pregnant or it’s just that it’s absolutely vile and any human would be heaving! I googled about sense of smell being an early pregnancy sign. Idiot!

Thank God for the girls keeping me busy so I can’t sit there desperate to pee on a stick and get two lines. Hoping I don’t cave in and test early. 1 week to go.

Shit! I totally forgot to mention the picture is of Bryo just before they were put in. Isn’t science incredible.

My IVF Journey: Egg collection

My IVF Journey: Egg collection

After feeling hopeless things progressed pretty quick and my egg collection was scheduled. It looked as though I had about 7 follicles ready and there was hope some of the others would grow over the final 48 hours before the collection.

On egg collection day it was an early start as we had to be at the hospital for 7am. We got the girls sorted for the babysitter to drop them both at nursery and we made our way to the hospital feeling excited and a little bit nervous too.

You could see other hopeful couples in the reception area clearly here for collection with their little bag of IVF drugs. Now I felt really nervous.

After filling out all of the paperwork and going through the details I was taken down to theatre and under general anaesthetic they took the eggs out of my ovaries from the follicles I had grown. I was weirdly enjoying being knocked out and was hoping for a good sleep!! When I came round I felt pretty uncomfortable. I was in pain and I’ve learnt not to wait for it to settle. If there are drugs on offer I was taking them!

The main thing on my mind was how many eggs they collected and what the quality were like. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long as the Doctor saw me in recovery, he knew I was anxious and told me they got 7 good quality eggs. I wanted 8 so it was an equal split so now I had to decide if I was happy to offer 3 of the eggs to the recipient, which of course I was, and there was a tense wait to hear if the recipient would take the 3 eggs or if they would rather wait for another opportunity from another donor who may be able to offèr more eggs.

In the meantime it was a case of recovery for me and I must eat and pee before being discharged. I was elated. It was the first time I’ve had breakfast in bed for ages. It was like heaven. I even milked it a bit as I’d ordered the food before theatre and didn’t fancy what I’d ordered so I pulled the “I’m the patient” card and L gladly handed over her sausage sandwich and brought me several hot chocolates.

Thankfully the recipient wanted to go ahead with the 3 eggs. I was really pleased. I felt like I had accomplished something important. That’s my work done for them; they take the eggs and add their own sperm and hopefully they fertilise.

Before we left the hospital the embryologist came to tell us about the quality of the sperm from when they defrosted it this morning. I think they actually said “thawed” as I don’t think they shoved it in the microwave on low!

So just when you’ve got your head around one hurdle and feel happy and start to relax, you realise you’re about to embark on a new rollercoaster. Now it was time to wait overnight and hope my eggs fertilise with our donor sperm. 

Next day I was feeling pretty lousy. Supposedly L has read up on it and I shouldn’t be feeling that bad. Seriously?! Just what I needed to hear after having a needle inserted through the wall of my uterus into both of my ovaries several times. Yes! I’m feeling champion. This abdominal and back pain must be in my head or I’m a complete wimp! Perhaps L should give it a go to check??

Early that day the phone rang to update me. I sat on the floor to brace myself for the news. 4 out of 4 had fertilised. I was crying with joy. Then when I found out all 3 of the recipients eggs had fertilised as well I was on cloud 9. The discomfort I was feeling was more than worth it. We both had a great chance of success.

The next call was the following day to update me and advise if they would transfer the embryo then or give it a few more days to select the best one. I was expecting their call but typically with two kids the timing wasn’t great. I was sitting on the toilet with our chaotic youngest sitting on my knee as she wouldn’t be put down whilst I was watching G try to pee on the potty. Multi tasking at it’s finest. But I figured if we are successful our whole life will be even more of a juggling act so I may as well go with it. Anyway from what I could make out my embryos were still doing good. 2 were doing the best and they would wait and do a 5 day blastocyst transfer. That’s a good thing I’m told.

So now the next step is the agonising wait (3 sleeps) until we hope a little embryo can be put back into me and then can try and implant.

IUI was a doddle compared to IVF.

My IVF Journey : When things don’t go as planned.

My IVF Journey : When things don’t go as planned.

I hope I’m not the only one who has felt like this during treatment. See I went for a progress scan expecting that egg collection would be in two days. I was already feeling anxious as my last blood result was not what it should be. I got myself on the bed ready for the scan and as soon as they called out the sizes of the follicles I felt a huge wave of disappointment. There was hardly any progress over the last few days, so there was no way egg collection was going to happen just yet.

It was a rarity but I was on my own, not even a child in tow, as it was an early morning scan before work so I had nothing to distract me or no L to talk it over with or give me a much needed hug. I could’ve done with my girls running riot. That would’ve made me smile. When I saw the nurse I asked about the worst-case scenario and that would be if the blood test today showed no improvement then we may have to cancel this treatment cycle. I like to know worst-case and best-case scenario then I can get my head around what could happen in between to prepare myself. I always like to be prepared for all eventualities which is why L mocks me when we go anywhere as I have to pack a million things “just in case”. Mainly the “just in case” equates to something she will need but she doesn’t see it like that she thinks it just me being a faff.

I was gutted. I needed to call L but I still had to go collect my meds for the next two days. I held it together until I got into the car then I felt the tears coming. I felt like my body was failing me and I was confused as to why it wasn’t doing what they expected. Plus there were also the bigger implications thinking that none of the treatment would work, we wouldn’t make a third child, changes to the plan meant changes to nursery days I’d organised for the girls while I’ll be in hospital and changes to both of our work schedules, which was a headache, especially for L.

Then the heaviest weight of all….the recipient. I felt like I was letting her down. The poor woman would be sitting waiting to hear she had some eggs she can make a baby with. She would be taking medication to prepare her body to receive them and she would probably be sitting by the phone waiting to hear some news. It was all too much. Today was definitely not a good day for Starbucks or non-waterproof mascara.

Anyway I’d had my thinking time and an emotional rollercoaster, exaggerated by the effects of the hormones, all whilst driving to work. Thankfully, I was there all day so it took me away from it all until I got that phone call from the clinic. The one that made it all ok again. The one that made me relax and to believe again that it would work. My blood results were on track so it would just mean some more time on the meds and put off collection for a few more days. Phew! And breathe.

Now I’m in a rational state I know that it’s completely out of my control but I was overwhelmed with emotion and over thinking everything. I’m a worrier. Always have been and always will. Positive thinking. The next scan there WILL be progress.

The rollercoaster journey continues.

My IVF Journey: 1 week on stimms.

My IVF Journey: 1 week on stimms.

I thought we needed our extension being built right now like a hole in the head but actually it’s been a blessing in disguise. So far it’s keeping my mind off all of this IVF stuff as it really can consume you thinking about the next injection, the next scan, the “what ifs”. So having a giant whole in the ground and a big mound of dirt is actually quite therapeutic. Wonder how long that feeling will last? G’s reaction was “oh no mummy! Big mess! Rubble, rubble, rubble”. My child is not cleverly defining the type of aggregate on the ground, Rubble is a character from Paw Patrol; a digger. I know this because I am cool and down with the kids.

It’s been a week now that I’ve been on the stimulation injections (IVF talk that is “stimms”). I’ve had a scan and right now I have 13 follicles which have grown to almost 10mm each. They need to get to 18mm before they are collected. Hopefully in each of those follicles is an egg, so I may have 13 eggs retrieved, and that way the recipient will get at least 6 eggs for their treatment and we will get 7. That’s a good number and I’d be delighted with that.

I inject in my stomach; it’s like a dot to dot and I’m feeling like a pin cushion. Can’t imagine having to do this every day for life like some people have to.

L says me injecting is putting her off her dinner! She must’ve sensed I was in a jovial mood when she said it otherwise i don’t think she would’ve dared! Her face was a picture when she got a double yolker making me scrambled eggs. She said “it must be a sign”. I really hope not as she’s not the one who would be getting up in the night…remember she “doesn’t do nights”!! I know people manage it, but 4 under 4…my personal hygiene would suffer considerably more than it does now. My main excitement about work is getting to go to the toilet on my own and have a shower for as long as I want and even then there is a chance I can be caught with my pants down if I get a shout!

On the whole my mood has actually been ok. No tears this week and I even braved a Starbucks as I knew I was emotionally sturdy not to freak out if I dropped it. I did have a bit of a wobble today as I’ve been trying to do anything I can do to grow these follicles (which isn’t much really) but mainly drinking loads of water so I don’t get unwell and making sure I’m eating lots of protein. I then thought about how I need to make them really good and healthy as I have the responsibility for the recipients eggs too. I was overwhelmed for a few minutes until I was distracted by the kids trashing the place and it didn’t stop me from scoffing about 5 chocolate brownies, so I obviously got over it quick. If the recipient is successful they have me to blame for their child being a cake addict! Sorry.

Back again in a few days to see how the follicles are progressing and to see if we are on track for egg collection next week. Eeeeek!

 

My IVF Journey: First scan

My IVF Journey: First scan

Will it ever stop raining? It’s making me grumpy as I can’t let the kids “bounce, bounce” as G says, on the trampoline. Normally I can let them loose in the garden to keep inside tidy and get them to burn off some energy in the hope it helps ducklips sleep through the night (I’ll probably still be saying that when she’s 5!). So instead I’m hoovering up mess 3 times a day, we’re still watching annoying videos on YouTube of kids opening toys and if I’ve got to balance anymore tiny pieces of brightly coloured plastic on buckaroo I may actually die. Maybe it’s the drugs but my patience is short, and at times, non-existent.

I had my first scan to check everything was as it should be. I was feeling really anxious beforehand wondering if I’d be ready to go onto the next stage of treatment and going to the clinic gets me nervous as well. We have experienced a lot of emotions there and plenty going on right now. Thankfully I had the smallest one to keep me company who was showboating as always. She is so confident and everyone comments on how happy she is since they obviously haven’t met her in the middle of the night! I loved my message from L that morning “Good luck my baby making machine”. Aww. That helped make me feel better.

The scan was to make sure that my ovaries were completely turned off without any follicles growing which they were and meant we can move on to the stimulation injections which are now to produce lots of follicles and hopefully lots of eggs.

So far the injecting has been going well. Not too many side affects apart from some hot flushes in the night and my mood is up and down. Ask L and she’ll tell you I’m being erratic.

There was an occasion, which I’m now embarrassed a bit to mention, when I spilt my Starbucks and there were tears. Not even a little sly one rolling down the cheek but full on uncontrollable flow of tears and unattractive sobs with shoulder action and snot. I can laugh about it now but at the time I don’t know what came over me. I was really looking forward to that drink and was now distraught at it swilled all over the buggy and the floor. It didnt end there though as I tried to find happiness with a slice of cheesecake and a fly landed on top of it. It pushed me over the edge. L’s WTF face was staring at me burning a hole in my soul. I wouldn’t have blamed her for divorcing me right there and then. I know, I know, I’m a total idiotic bag of hormones.

Once I’d calmed myself down and come back to reality L said “I’ve probably got another 9 months of this!” My response was a little less than friendly but I am self aware, i’m a bit up and down (well a lot) and i’m trying my best to not to kill her.

So now I will be injecting twice a day for at least the next week until I will be scanned again to check if the follicles are growing and how many of them there are. Grow follies grow!