The glitz and glamour of early pregnancy and the first scan.

The glitz and glamour of early pregnancy and the first scan.

I was hoping things would calm down a bit now the constant appointments were finished but since we are about halfway through the extension and L has landed herself a new job it’s unlikely that’s going to happen.

The extension has got to the point where it looks like very little is happening now the actual structure is in place. I’ve lost interest in picking out flooring and paint as I don’t have the headspace for it and I’m feeling like there’s too much left to do. Really hope it can be finished by August as we have visitors but it’s looking unlikely.

So happy for L – this new job is awesome for her and so well deserved as she totally rocks it at work but with big jobs comes big responsibility and that means long shifts and lots of stress for her. Here’s hoping things settle a little soon at least for her sake before she burns herself out and I need my partner in crime back, I miss her. When I’m at work she is with the kids and when she’s at work I’m with the kids. We are like passing ships until the weekends. We didn’t eat together for 4 nights and for us that’s pretty much unheard of.

Last week I was being a complete idiot and stressing about not feeling pregnant. Apart from being really zapped of energy I felt fine. I was worried I wasn’t pregnant anymore so I tested again. It said I was pregnant. L saw the test and asked why have I been testing. I told her I didn’t feel pregnant. Her response was “I know you are pregnant simply because you did that, you moron”. Ah ok. That’s that settled then.

And before I needed further clarification – BOOM – The sickness came over me like I was on a rubber dinghy in the middle of the Atlantic during a storm. Total urksville. Thank goodness now I feel like utter crap and so happy about it.

I was in charge of the mess at work (basically making the meals for the watch that week) and as I was walking round the supermarket I had watery mouth and wanted to puke. I didn’t fancy anything to eat at all. They’re lucky they ended up with a meal as I was tempted to just shout them takeout. One shift I had to lie down for a few minutes as I was really queasy and one of the lads brought me a white chocolate magnum. It was amazing and just what I needed. I felt better when I ate. That’s a modern day hero!

To add to my moaning my bum is causing me problems. I’m still having to shove those bum bullets up there twice a day as part of the treatment and to make it worse I’ve only got a ridiculous amount of piles. Pregnancy is far from glamourous. My body is breaking on me! Just when I thought I was feeling pretty crappy as I was I went a stubbed my toe and heard the unmistaking cracking sound of it breaking. There was a lot of swearing, then tears, as the warmth and the pain set in. This was on the afternoon I promised to take the kids to the park. So I strapped it up, popped a couple of paracetamol and soldiered on. Made it to the park and was just about getting by until G wanted me to join her on the see-saw. My cheeks were sore from the fake smile I had on my face. As I pushed up my toe throbbed and as I bounced down I literally had a pain in the bum. I was laughing on the inside really! L found it all quite amusing and so did my friend who I texted at the park. She thought I was so funny. Does she realise I wasn’t trying to be humorous and crack a joke – this is my actual life!

We’ve had our first scan. That was a nearly a 7 week scan. Apart from being sickly I haven’t given the pregnancy much thought (too busy) but everytime I get a quiet few minutes I have a little smile to myself. The night before the scan I woke up all worried about it and nervous that everything was ok for the recipient too.

On scan day I had to wait what felt like forever until the afternoon. I wanted to know there is a viable pregnancy going on and see the heart beat. That’s all you can see in these early scans. The heartbeat is a little flicker on the screen. There’s nothing that looks like an actually baby just a splodge. And after that is all ok (I hope) I’m thinking please let there just be one. Chances of twins are slim as only one embryo was put back in but you do still wonder. Not that it’s the end of the world or anything I just don’t know how we would cope. L might actually have to get up in the night. Imagine that?!

Once again I was grateful that we had the distraction of the girls at the scan. I’d packed them loads of snacks. Not the healthy ones. The totally rubbish ones that keep them quiet and happy. I don’t think I would cope if they told me that it wasn’t ok. But thankfully I didn’t need to worry about that. There was a little flickering heartbeat and the size was measuring well 7mm. That’s not even a cm! And it has a heartbeat. Nature is so amazing. Blows my mind. Recipient doing awesome too. I left that clinic beaming and all the crappy pregnancy associated rubbish was out of my mind (for a little while). L was so chuffed everything was ok but she said she knew it would be. How, I have no idea, but I like it when she says things like that. It makes me feel safe.

 

My IVF Journey: The Result.

My IVF Journey: The Result.

6 days until test day: Googled how quick people find out they are pregnant. Found some people found out early so that made me want to test then read a few that didn’t find out until late so I discarded all information. I’m feeling short tempered.

3 days until test day: I dont think i’m pregnant. L tells me I am pregnant. She says I’m showing all the signs. What does she know? I cried when I saw a 13 day old baby today. Ah you forget how small they are. I wanted to sniff it’s head but that’s just weird isn’t it. I’m not sure their parent would appreciate it.

2 day until test day: I dreamt I was at a hospital having a scan and they told me I was pregnant. Seems like the only time I can really think about things is in my dreams. I’ve also started feeling really sick. The watery mouth kind of sick. And hungry. Yes hungry too but can’t eat. Surely can’t be related. Must be coming down with some sort of illness the small people in our family like to share.

1 day until test day: Woke up feeling sick. Felt sick all day. Thought I was going to puke doing the nursery run. Held it together for the kids sake. G would say ‘yacky’ if I did that. L has read up on the testing kit. Seriously this woman. It’s the 5th time we have tested and the same type of test (testing has been her role since the very first one) all she has to do is drop the pee onto the plastic thing. It’s not rocket science. Not sure I will sleep much tonight. The tiny one wakes up at 4 usually so only 6 hours to go. In a way I don’t want to test as I want the hope to go on. It’s a nice feeling to have hope.

Test day: it’s 3:30am. The tiny ones are still asleep. It won’t be long until they wake up and ruin this rare quiet moment. I need to pee but I want to test. Wish L would wake up so we can do it. Maybe if I do a big shuffle it’ll wake her up. Yes. I can hear her stirring. She’s checking the time. Be still so she doesn’t blame me for waking her.

She checked if I was awake. Yes I’m awake and I need to pee!! So let’s do it.

L set her timer we had to wait 3 minutes. It went really quick. I don’t think we said anything to each other during those 3 minutes. Then she went into the bathroom to check the result. I was half looking, curled into a ball, half trying to protect myself against a bad result but as she popped her stupid little face round the door I knew there was no bad result. We were pregnant and she confirmed it to me when she handed me the test. Shit! Here we go again. Our world is about to grow.

Obviously we were both overjoyed to have been so lucky to get a positive but we laughed at just how nuts our life will become. As if it wasn’t crackers enough as it is!! I just kept staring at the test making sure it didn’t change. Bozo.

So I called the clinic to let them know the result but I was more nervous wondering if the recipient was pregnant but it turned out they hadn’t heard anything yet. No news is good news I hope.

About 10 minutes later my phone rang private number so must be the clinic. Please please please let it be good news.

It was. The recipient was now pregnant. That moment is like no moment I have ever felt. It is different to all of those amazing special days in my life which are the best days of my life but this moment was on par with those feelings. To be told that you’ve helped give someone the gift of life and to make their dreams come true is wonderful. I couldn’t stop crying.  I know how it feels to get the positive result, to be pregnant and to hold your baby for the very first time and now this woman was going to have this. What a fantastic feeling of pure joy for someone else’s happiness.

Now to enjoy these moments before the worry and the sickness kicks in!

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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!