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!

The Pox have arrived!

The Pox have arrived!

We’ve had a super relaxing couple of weeks. It’s been absolute bliss. The kids have been amazing and really well. We’ve enjoyed some relaxing ‘normal’ weeks at home enjoying the weather and getting our garden ready for the summer. It sounds a bit boring really but after how hectic we have been since January this chill time has been welcomed by all of us.

I managed to finish my personal description and goodwill message for the egg donation. It took me ages and my first draft L said was “too formal and like a cv”. She said I needed to make it “more like me and not some weirdo” (I love her honesty). Erm thanks! So it’s all submitted now and I’m happy with it. This means we are ready to start treatment next month. Excited with an equal measure of nervous too. I’m starting to get worried about the number of eggs they will retrieve and the implications for us all involved. If it’s less than 8 then I have to decide if I keep them or give them all to the recipient and try again another month for us. Which is what we would do as I really want to donate. An extra month for us is probably nothing compared to how long they may have been waiting. Trying to take it one day at a time as there are lots of different parts to the treatment.

Just when I thought we couldn’t get more chilled L and I went for massages which was a wedding gift from a friend. I’m usually put off with stuff like that as I can’t actually be bothered with the faff or making small talk with someone I don’t know. I am morphing slowly into L every single day! But after the last few months, I didn’t need much persuading to have an hour to myself where someone would massage all of my aching muscles. I’m so glad I did – it was the best massage I have ever had. I took my tired, weary, tense body to them and they nurtured it and gave it the tlc it needed then sent me on my way feeling awesome. I signed up for a subscription for a massage every month. L thought I was completely sucked in and was making fun of me until she went for her massage on Monday and loved it just as much. Ha! Told you so! Although I still spent time trying to justify the monthly cost then thought screw it; She’d spend the same amount on wine and pork scratchings and not even bat an eyelid!!

Following on from the heatwave at the weekend the normal monday blues were missing with only one more week until our familymoon road trip in the USA! Well that was until I saw 5 big, red, angry and evil spots shining on G’s back. The feckin pox has finally won and made its way contaminating our household a mere 7 days before we are meant to be jetting off. I knew we were having it too good. I spent Sunday packing teeny, tiny people’s holiday clothes all neat and folded nicely in the suitcases the kids were playing hide and seek in. FML I’ve completely jinxed it. I shouldve done an L – a rock up Roger – pack the night before and ask me a million times where things are that I may as well have packed her bloody stuff myself.

Well I don’t need to worry about that now unless ducklips gets the pox within the next 24 hours there’s no way they will both be scabbed and fit to fly by Sunday. So I am wishing G to scab over and I’m also wishing ducklips to get the spots pronto but the poor kid has got yet another chest infection so we had a trip to the doctors in quarantine. Seriously starting to think this trip is doomed.

I’ve spent the day googling every recipe under the sun to conquer this disease. The girls had an oatmeal bath with a generous helping of bicarbonate of soda and every potion going from the local chemist who clearly think i’m some sort of neurotic mother and/or their best customer as I’ve been in there 3 times today!!

If anybody has some pox healing tips send them my way…failing that, some recommendations for ‘holidays in Britain’ (giant eyeroll) might be my only hope!

Normal service has resumed.

Normal service has resumed.

As if I needed any more reality checks to remind me that all the hype and excitement of the wedding day was now over, but now I’m surrounded in the most unpleasant of bodily fluids while we try to crack the toilet training of the G force. Feel like I’ve got myself a puppy. I’m currently working with bribes. I’ve taken out a second mortgage in paw patrol mashems along with unlimited use of you tube to watch this annoying show where someone in America opens toys. Yes literally a show about opening toys. G is absolutely addicted, I on the other hand, HATE it. The voice of the woman is driving me insane but as she will do anything if I let her watch it, I will suffer in silence. Crack on G!

So now I can be regularly seen running round the house like a complete idiot singing ‘wee wee in the potty. Wee wee in the potty’! Inspired by the 90s look who’s talking too. FML! I’m sure I used to be cool. Or at least cooler than this. Sometimes I feel like I’m looking in on my life, and it’s not my real life, and what I see is a complete moron! I’ve stocked up on the winter spice plug ins in the hope it masks any smell developing from the numerous stains dotted around the house. Guess it’s lucky we haven’t got our new flooring down yet… and then it dawns on me we could potentially be doing this twice more if we are lucky enough to have a third child. We are crazy!

With that in mind we are back to focussing on making baby number 3. Waiting for all of the test results to find out if I can donate, and if there are any implications for our girls with the genetic testing, has been pretty tense. Thankfully, all of the results have come back absolutely fine so nothing to worry about for any of us and looks like we can carry on as planned – an IVF cycle with half of the eggs collected to go to a recipient.

So what next? Next step is starting treatment which also means that the clinic will match us with a recipient. It also means that I need to confront the paperwork which the recipient and (hopefully) any donor conceived children will receive. I’ve been asked to write a goodwill message about why I am donating and then a bit about myself. It’s so hard thinking about what to write. I’ve read what our donor wrote for our girls several times and it’s really lovely and inspiring. I am probably over thinking it all but I really want to make it good. Just trying to put myself in their position and what sort of information they would want to know.

L said she wishes baby number 3 would hurry up and get here. We are both feeling really broody seeing lots of new babies appearing. Although L thinks it’s all a “faff on” and can’t be arsed with “emosh hormones” and just wants the next one here without the “arsing about”!! She’s already mentioned her distaste at not drinking for 2 weeks before the baby is due in case she has to drive to the hospital but lucky for me she has researched the cost of a taxi just incase! Don’t worry I will try not to inconvenience you too much L, like when Ducklips was due and I wouldn’t let you stop for a sandwich while I was having contractions.

We are now on countdown for our holidays and really looking forward to some quality time together with our familymoon coming up. Only problem is we’re on high alert for spots as there are 32 cases of chicken pox at the girls nursery and we only have 4 weeks until we fly. Come on kids if you’re going to get it, get it now PLEASE!

Egg Donation – our chance to give back

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Our home – the building site, newborn snuggles, and Ducklips new shoes ❤

It’s been a mad few weeks (even for us!) We’ve had the wall knocked down at home, on week 3 without a kitchen, final dress fittings for the wedding, a trip to Wales to meet my 5 week old nephew with delightful newborn snuggles followed by 2 hours in soft play hell with the stench of deep fried nuggets of doom, which are still haunting me today from my pushchair footmuff, and our little Ducklips has started walking and got her first pair of shoes. To top it all off L and I are both doing dry January in a last ditch attempt to be good before the wedding but both drooling at the thought of drinking wine around our newly constructed kitchen next weekend.

The novelty of eating out every day has worn off as I just want to be in my comfy clothes at home but on the plus side we have managed to catch up with a lot of people we haven’t seen for ages as I’m doing the rounds accepting meal offers from our lovely friends.

Amongst all this, just to add another cup of crazy to the mix, we’ve been to visit our consultant at the fertility clinic to discuss our options for making baby number 3.

Stupidly we turned up early (big mistake!) and they were running late so we were trapped in a confined space with two hungry kids. It was like an endurance test arranged by the clinic to check our suitability to add another tiny human to our family. There were times when we both had the look of ‘how the hell are we going to cope’…I mean there are only so many times your children will laugh at you blowing up latex gloves and the bloody Ipad was out of battery.

The consultant was offered a manky bit of sausage roll from G force which they politely declined several times before giving in to the adament toddler (wonder who she gets that from). Supposedly they were going to save it for later! That’s what I say when I’m faced with the prospect of having to eat something a snotty bug-ridden child has handed me. Hmm yummy!

We discussed the prospect of me donating some of my eggs to someone who can’t conceive with their own eggs. It’s something we briefly looked at when we first started the journey to make babies but at the time it didn’t feel right for us and, although a lot of your treatment costs are covered,  we didn’t feel that a financial incentive was the right reason to do it.

4 years on,  and two babies later, we can truly appreciate what our sperm donor has done for us and we are so grateful that our world has been completely turned upside down (for the better!) by having our girls in it. I feel life rich. It is also since having kids we have met so many people who have/are struggling with conceiving so to give something back feels like the right thing to do.

It wouldn’t all be one sided though as egg donation would involve IVF which would have a greater success rate than the IUI treatment we’ve had previously so hopefully we wouldn’t need any more sperm as we only have 2 vials remaining. So fingers crossed we can all benefit from this treatment.

We’ve been told that it takes quite a while before you find out if you can donate as there’s a fairly lengthy screening process involved. The next step for us is to have a counselling session to discuss the implications with donating eggs and to begin blood tests to screen for diseases. So we shall see and in the meantime I’m gearing myself up for the party we have booked for G forces third birthday next week – L’s face will be a picture spending her Sunday afternoon in soft play hell, forced to climb the 12ft cargo net by G force and having to deal with other people’s kids and their parents! She’s going to be ecstatic!

3 is a magic number!

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Ducklips giving the thumbs up to baby no. 3!

Well we’ve got a big year coming up. L and I are not ones to shy away from challenging situations but we’ve completely outdone ourselves this time.

We’ve kick-started 2017 with a complete remodel of the downstairs of our home, converting our Civil Partnership to a Marriage on our 10 year anniversary in an all-singing, all-dancing wedding next month, having an extension built, our familymoon in April and all while riding the roller coaster of life with our very bossy two year old, G force, whose favourite word is no and the ‘always eating – but never sleeping’,  one year old we call ducklips. And breathe! So just when I think it couldn’t get any more crazy I’ve only gone and gotten L to agree on trying for baby no. 3!! Woo hoo!!!!

You may think that I must’ve just kept nagging and nagging until she would do anything to shut me up. Yes! That is my normal tactic. However, with this she is probably a bit more excited than I am mainly as she “doesn’t do” night shifts when it comes to the kids. An agreement we made early on in our parenting journey for the sake of our relationship. L is the type of person who likes what she likes and can’t be arsed with anything else in between. Her no nonsense attitude attracted me to her but it also annoys me now when I’m trying to get her involved with social gatherings or any extra curricular activity taking her out of her cosy home where she may have to interact with another human being. If she doesn’t want to do something she simply wont. I call her the gruffalo and she quite openly admits she is happy being miserable but when she has to see to the kids in the night her misery levels fly off the chart and even my Patty Simcox chirpy (L says annoying) personality with rainbows, marshmallows and movie scene daydreaming cannot suppress it. So for a good 9 months she’s set for a good sleep and that’s probably what she’s banking on.

So faster than Usain Bolt on speed, the clinic appointment was booked to discuss our treatment options. A quick reaction was essential before L can back out as we are currently experiencing less than satisfactory sleep levels with a poorly baby suffering with a stinking cold which is creeping it’s way round our house.

Waiting for the appointments to come round normally feels like ages but with work, the girls and numerous spreadsheets finalising every minute detail of our wedding – I’m sure it will be here before I know it. Third time round I’m feeling pretty prepared for what is to come with ‘making baby no.3’ and especially for the stupid/awkward/thoughtless questions.

“Is it L’s turn to have the next baby?” Has hell frozen over?!! Not only does the thought of her having a tiny human growing inside of her seem like an alien concept I can not physically or emotionally cope with L in a pregnant state. I don’t even think she would manage to be happy being miserable if she were pregnant.

“Will the next one look like you or L?” (Eye roll) Probably L you absolute moron.

“Will it be the same dad?” (WTF face) Erm no. Our children have two mummies and zero dad’s but we will be using the same sperm donor.

When there is sperm in the bank and your ovaries are twitching!

This is the current dilemma I have running through my mind at 100mph! I keep telling myself if there wasn’t any sperm then I wouldn’t be thinking we should have a third child. That our family is now complete. We have two beautiful little girls who we absolutely adore and they are perfect. It’s bloody hard work and there are days when it feels too much to cope with and equally there are days where you feel like you’re sliding down rainbows eating candyfloss and ice cream with an ear to ear grin on your face. But would it be any harder or better with a third?

I think it would just take one parent to tell me they considered another baby and didn’t have one and now regret it for me to get straight down to the clinic and be inseminated-do not pass go and do not collect £200!!! You only have one life, its not a dress rehearsal, and I couldnt risk feeling any regret but then is it possible to feel regret the other way? Could you have changed the dynamic for the worse? Would it have been better, easier, happier with two? Geepers how on earth do people make these decisions? I guess you just close your eyes and go for it-take the plunge.

I’ve carried out a short survey with 3 child families…Well what that really means is I’ve spoken to about 4 families who have 3 kids and they are happy and look like they’ve got their s@#t together. I could totally do this. We could totally survive this.

But then there is the when? Geepers both are still currently in nappies, our sleep from ducklips is erratic to say the least, and the last 3 mornings I’ve folded myself in two to try and cuddle G Force back to sleep in her toddler bed (really must get her a proper bed soon or get a block booking with a chiropractor). If we leave it too long though we will get ‘comfy’ and that will be that idea out the window along with the moses basket, crib, sterliser and any other baby-related paraphernalia! But aww cute tiny babies. Little tiny fingers and toes and newborn baby smell. They smell like heaven.

If we did it now…(bugger I must be nuts) we would have 3 kids under 4. Gulp! What the hell am I smoking?! Would we really survive? How bad can it be? Course we would. We can take on the world together.

If the second child was pretty straightforward and easier than the first surely, the 3rd one just slots into place. I guess my biggest fear is what if we forget it. I don’t mean leave it out or not give it enough attention. I mean actually leave it somewhere. We will need to start doing a register wherever we go. They won’t all be wearing shoes or have their teeth brushed that’s for sure and no doubt there will be weeks where I would be lucky if I even shower at all! But weirdly it doesn’t put me off.

Once you’ve had one child you know what you’re letting yourself in for and you either love it or hate it. It’s marmite. There is no in between. And even though it truly is the pits at times. You feel like death warmed up. You flip your lid when another tantrum happens or you’re sick of cleaning up vomit/poo/food. There is still nothing better than that warmth you feel when your child smiles or laughs or cuddles or looks at you with an ‘I love you mummy’ face. I have enough love to go around for sure as it just seems to grow exponentially with each child so much so I could explode and if we had started sooner we would be like the family in Cheaper by the Dozen or the Von Trapps and don’t believe what L says – she would be too!

So while there is still sperm in the bank I’m pretty sure this feeling is not going to go away. Come on L surely it’s about time we made a withdrawal???