Thank you

Dear blogging Ladies

Thank you so much for your kind words and congratulations yesterday. It has been amazing to have you guys offering support during times of fear, anxiety and despair, but it is also wonderful to have such joyful responses in the good times and I really appreciate it. I finally got my two pink lines and whilst I am so terribly anxious and scared to feel too excited incase something goes wrong, I am also trying to enjoy this moment – whatever happens, it is the first time my body has carried a child and I have longed for this moment literally for most of my life. Second Beta is on 3 November, last Beta on the 7 November and first scan booked for 20 November…I can’t believe this is my life.

Lots of lovexxx


D-day tomorrow

So tomorrow is D-day. With every other cycle I have ever had, including all our IUI’s, I have been very pessimistic and have known in my body that the result would be negative. But this time is different. I saw the embryos, I knew conception had taken place. With the progesterone I have felt different physically, tricking me into feeling even more positive. I guess that isn’t a bad thing… There has been so little positivity in this journey of ours and if I have spent the last 12 days in a slightly happy bubble, imagining and dreaming (twice), that we got a positive result, isn’t that better than the opposite? I hope so. I don’t think it will make a negative result tomorrow any more or less devastating. But I still hope for a positive result tomorrow and I am determined to be positive tonight.

Nevertheless I have prepared for both scenarios. I have planned and bought dinner, easy peesy lamb chops and salad so that I don’t have to go shopping. I have bought non alcoholic AND alcoholic champagne. I have warned my secretary that I might cancel clients in the event of a negative result. I have paid my maid and gardener (to all my USA/ UK blogging ladies, this does not mean I am ultra wealthy, just that in SA there is such high unemployment that these positions are affordable to the common person like myself), because I know I might forget to draw their money if I am in a funk and it is month end. I bought an expensive home pregnancy test, have read the instructions and have left a pee cup next to the toilet. I took my puppy for a walk today just incase I am horribly down and can’t do it for the next couple of days. Guys… Can you see the pathology creeping in? There’s being organized and then there’s this… What seems to be a very desperate attempt to control things and mediate the damage as much as possible.

Anyway, that’s a worry for another day. Time to cook dinner, watch some tv and then Go. To. Sleep.

Beta dilemma

Guys, beta day is in 36 hours. I am climbing the walls. I could POAS tomorrow morning but I am frankly superstitious about it. If you have read my ‘about’ page you will know that I have never, ever gotten two pink lines… Not even on ovulation tests when we were scanning and triggering and I KNOW I ovulated… I feel like my pee is stick repellent. So, I am waiting for the blood test but I am very anxious. What if I get the call when I am at work? If it is negative, how on earth will I continue doing therapy for the rest of the day as though nothing has happened? But do I have the patience to wait until the end of the day to listen to my voicemail? What if they won’t leave a message giving me the results and I have to wait for FRIDAY for the results? I don’t know how best to manage this process… What have you guys done? Any pearls of wisdom for this bag of nerves posing as a cool, calm and collected therapist??

An anxious day

I thought I was handling this tww reasonably well but today has been a very anxious day. Last night as I got into bed I started getting a bit of lower back ache and a crampiness in my uterus… Kind of like I might feel just before my period but also not exactly the same. They’ve continued today and I’ve spent the day running to the loo to check to see if my period has arrived. Arghhhhhhh!!!! Usually when I get a heavy, achy feeling in my back my period comes almost immediately but there has been nothing today.

Whilst I can’t wait for testing day on Thursday, I’ve also been the most optimistic that I have ever been during a tww and there’s a part of me that doesn’t want this feeling to end. I’m not ready for my bubble to burst and I’m so hoping that these twinges I’m feeling are just my little embryos causing some shifting around in my womb. Has anyone else had this experience and ended up with a happy result??

The casualties of IVF

After feeling pretty awful since last week Monday when we had our retrieval, I finally felt somewhat normal enough on Tuesday to take my beloved pup for a walk. I normally take him about 3 times a week but I just haven’t been up to it, so the poor guy has been pretty restless. Added to this, he normally comes with me to work everyday where he gets to play with lots of children, but we were at home all of last week so he really wasn’t a happy camper. Anyway, I digress. We had a little, um, incident at the end of our walk which made me think about some of the things in my life that have become casualties of IVF… Those things that have been sacrificed, or at the very least, put on hold, due to IVF. One of these, is my pup’s obedience, something which became abundantly clear to me yesterday.

When I walk him I take him to a wonderful big park near our home. I’m able to let him off the lead and give him the freedom to run and sniff and generally have a whale of a time. At the very end of our walk, literally moments before getting in the car, he spotted an enormous mud puddle that had formed due to a storm we had a couple of nights ago. And he was off. Before I could even register what he was about to do, he was in the mud puddle, wallowing and frolicking like a little pig. Although I was filled with despair at the knowledge that I would have to make a plan to clean him before putting him in the car, he was having so much fun that I just sat in my car and took some photos, giving him the time to do what he loves best – play in water. Needless to say, I finally called him out, found a hosepipe, and spent about ten gruelling minutes trying to get some of the mud off him. With his thick labrador coat, this was no mean feat, and by the end I was physically exhausted from bending over and had a sore back. And then. As I turned my back to switch off the tap, his lead slipped out of my hand… and he ran straight back into the puddle, despite me yelling and screaming like a banshee and generally making a complete arse out of myself.

Now, you must understand that this is one very intelligent dog who has been going to obedience classes since he was 14 weeks old. He is bilingual for goodness sake….knows his commands in both English and Italian! However, we stopped going to classes in about May, when I first started taking IVF meds for our doomed cancelled cycle, as I just felt it was an extra expense that we couldn’t afford at that point. I thought we were jogging along reasonably well at home, but clearly not!! I absolutely lost it and shouted at the poor guy – which I never, ever do. I am generally very calm and appreciative of the fact that he is just a pup and that it is my job to be strong, kind and assertive. But between the sore back, the general physical fatigue and the fact that the progesterone is making me extremely emotional, I didn’t have as much patience or control as I normally do. So now I know that his obedience training really has fallen behind and we need to work on it.

This is Amico wallowing around in the mud like a little pig/ hippo!

Amico in mud

As I said, this little incident got me thinking about some of the other casualties of IVF… a few easy ones spring to mind instantly… our bank account, my weight, our sex life and my energy levels. But there are also some less obvious ones as well… my friendships have definitely changed as I have for the first time in my life, evaluatued my friendships and distanced myself from people who are draining, or who cannot tolerate my heartache. As a counter-balance to this, the friendships that I DO have, have deepened and I have been profoundly grateful for the awesome support I have had from a handful of friends and my family. My relationship with facebook has definitely changed as I’ve unfollowed so many people that I barely have any friends left TO follow. I’m sure there are a host of other things that I will probably reflect on over time, but these are the things that come to my mind right now. And lastly, the final casualty of IVF are these flowers:

This is what they looked like pre-IVF:

Flowers 2013

This is what they look like now:

flowers 2014

How sad is that??!!! On a positive note, reflecting on these casualties of IVF has also got me thinking about post-IVF and the kinds of things that I can start reviving again once we are done. I hope that this is soon (like, next week, soon), but if not, then I will have to start anyway as I will definitely be taking a break from IVF if this cycle fails. Having been on meds since April, with only one completed IVF cycle under my belt, I really need to get a few things back on track before we start again…I think I’ll start with the flowers!

Transfer day

Today was transfer day… a day I didn’t believe we would even get to at certain stages of this journey. We are both so immensely grateful. We last heard how our embryos were doing on day 3, at which point all 7 were looking good. I waited anxiously all of yesterday before finally contacting my doctor to ask how they were doing, only to be told that they don’t open the fridges on day 4! I was off work as I was still in a lot of pain. Because of this my doctor told me to come in early for a scan to make sure everything was fine for transfer and then he told me to have faith that my embryos would be ok. I tried very hard to do this, but was a ball of nerves waiting to know how they would be today. We were told to prepare for an approximately 50% drop off, which made me really sad and worried…. I didn’t want to think of any of my precious embryos dying off. I held tightly to my mantra ‘all we need is one’, to get me through the day and night.

So this morning we arrived at the clinic early and were given the all clear! At 10.45 we were told that 2 of the 7 had made it to blastocyst stage and we had them both transferred. Two was double what I had been holding on to, but I did shed a tear for my 5 embryos that didn’t make it. Whilst the retrieval was so much more painful than I was expecting, the transfer was much easier than I was expecting. I was completely overwhelmed to see the blastocysts on the screen and could clearly see which part would become baby and which part would become placenta. They were such beautiful blastocysts and now all we can do is be patient and pray that they snuggle in and make themselves at home for the next nine months. We were given a list of instructions for follow up and some advice for self care during the two week wait. I loved this list. It started off with saying that there is nothing we can do to enhance or prevent a pregnancy at this stage and that we are now “off the hook”. It also said to avoid stressful situations or people and if that meant avoiding overly fertile people or baby showers we could consider ourselves under doctors orders to do so! They also recommend scheduling a special evening at home with your partner for the day of the blood test so that we can celebrate with non alcoholic champagne or mourn in private, depending on the outcome.

I have my paperwork for my blood test which will be on 30 October and I will not be peeing (trying not to) on a stick before then. I know the time will pass because that’s what time does, it just marches right on regardless, but I do wish I could be put into some kind of semi-conscious state (a healthy one of course!), for the next 12 days, and wake up with a positive pregnancy test!

Fertilization report

7 out of the 8 fertilized. We’re thrilled for today and trying so hard to take it one day at a time. Unfortunately I have still been in terrible pain and went back to the clinic, after landing up in the emergency room at 2am this morning for the first time in my life. Apparently I have an uncommon but not unusual side effect of the retrieval which is that blood has pooled in my ovaries causing pressure on my organs. Bed rest and a mild pain killer are the only cures but it has no long term effects and we’re still on track for a Saturday transfer (if there are healthy embryos). My secretary told me that I have some furious clients for canceling on them and for being booked off until the 16th, despite being informed that I am unwell, which annoyed me terribly and proved that my priorities (family first) are exactly where they should be!

Retrieval day

The big day arrived at last! My husband and I arrived at the clinic at 7am and got processed along with a few other ladies. And then…. Nothing…. 3 hours of waiting. I was pretty anxious and agitated and felt extremely hot. Fortunately I had my husband with me who is my best friend and we had lots of laughs together. Unfortunately we did laugh at another lady’s expense but she was so outrageous that we couldn’t help it!

She was clearly very anxious and it seemed to me that she might have self medicated her nerves as she was going bananas and behaving very weirdly. At one point she stated loudly that she is allergic to cats and dogs… Which had us in stitches thinking about the theatre cat and dog who would now have to be chased out of the theatre😂. As I was being wheeled away my husband called out ‘be careful of that theatre cat’, which meant I went off laughing.

She also stormed out in her sexy gown because she was furious about waiting even though she only arrived about half an hour before, long after the rest of us, and went off to the cafeteria despite the fact that we couldn’t eat or drink. Earlier on she read her forms and then threw the folder onto the ground. She then demanded to be moved to another girls spot and that her curtains be closed, all of which had to be refused for various reasonable reasons. Eventually she made her poor husband put her bed upright and proceeded to cover herself completely with the sheet. Anyway, I assume she was just having a bad day and is not normally so out of control.

The retrieval went well and we got 8 eggs, which is more than I ever expected. I had the retrieval under conscious sedation, but felt pretty unconscious and only remember having the injection into my arm and then being wheeled out of theater. I had a big cry when I came out, purely from relief, and the nurse was very sweet and came and pulled our curtains for some privacy. It didn’t take too long to feel ok enough to go home. Since getting home I have been very uncomfortable though. I have a lot of pain under my rib cage, extending into my shoulder and it is sore to go to the loo. I contacted the clinic and they said to come in tomorrow if it is not better.

Anyway, I am so thrilled that we got 8 eggs. After our last cycle was cancelled I didn’t think we would get this far. Now we pray that there are at least one or two healthy eggs in the bunch and that we get something to transfer. Transfer will be on Saturday. We will get a daily phone call to let us know how the fertilization is going… I think it’s going to be an anxious week!