6dp5dt…written Monday 22 November.

This morning I had a completely mad moment. I’m currently on 2, 200ml uterogestane pessaries twice a day. I inserted my morning dose at 6.30 as normal. At 7.30, I went to put on a panty liner, but instead of doing that, I inserted two more pessaries… what the hell??!!! I tried to reverse it but ya… you can’t. I emailed my doctor and apparently it’s impossible to overdose on uterogestane and there’s no need to worry about it. This afternoon I had some light pink spotting and I was concerned that it was due to the uterogestane but the doc reassures me that it’s not and hopes that it is implantation bleeding.

Today I am feeling really tired despite having a good night’s sleep. My breasts are are bit tender and I am slightly queezy…but this could well be the double dose of progesterone. I’ve been having a few twinges in my uterus and am hoping those are good signs. Emotionally I’m doing OK, feeling pretty calm and peaceful. I hold onto the mental image of cells dividing and multiplying in a natural and healthy way… I love this image and it helps me to stay calm.

Last transfer I home tested on 7dp5dt and got a positive. However this time I’m planning on doing a home test on Saturday, which will be 11dp5dt. Our official beta is on Monday but I want to be at home with my husband and have a bit of time to process the result, so the weekend is better timing. I discussed this plan with my naturopath today and she supports it. If I get a positive on Saturday, she will send me the blood forms for a beta test. This means that if it is positive, Mondays test through the clinic will help us ascertain whether or not it is doubling… less waiting, yay!

Socialising is a bit tricky at the moment. I normally love my wine and so the fact that I’m not drinking is a bit of a red herring. Also, a lot of people have been asking me directly what our next step is and when we are doing it. I’m a terrible liar and have had to be very vague around the details and I’m not sure how convincing I’ve been! Oh well, whatever…this is really the least of my worries right now. 

4DP5DT…written Saturday 19 November.

The TWW wait is going OK.  I’ve been feeling calm and have been sleeping reasonably well…always a good indicator for me. The hardest part right now is the clexane Injections! Good lord! I had no idea what they would be like but it turns out that they burn like hell for about ten minutes and leave a bruise. I can actually tell how many days I’ve been taking it simply by counting my bruises. Leaning next to counters or trolleys is very sore. Oh well, nothing to be done and if it helps achieve a healthy pregnancy it’ll be all worth it. 

Today my husband and I were at lunch and I shared something that was on my mind. I know I’ve said that this is my last try but I’ve been wondering if I meant that. I think if it ends in miscarriage then I do, but if it simply doesn’t take and we get a negative result, I’d like to try again with the two frozen embryos we have. My  husband was delighted… he wanted the same thing but didn’t want to push me into another cycle if I wasn’t up for it. Yay for being on the same page!

1DP5DT…written 16 November.

We got news this morning that one embryo made it to day 6 and was frozen. This is the same outcome as our last cycle, the difference being that this cycle we used 8 eggs compared to 16 last cycle, making this cycle more successful. So we now have two frozen embryos and 8 eggs remaining…still hoping we don’t need them though. I’m feeling ok today, although some work frustrations have given me a niggly headache, grrrr.

Transfer day…written Tuesday 15 November. 

Transfer  was booked for 11.30 today but we had to arrive at 10 for the atosiban drip. Everything went smoothly, although they ran an hour late and so my bladder was FULL. The doctor was actually horrified and emptied it a little with a catheter (ouch….it still stings to wee), repeating that he couldn’t believe I had managed with that full a bladder… lol, what can I say, women are just better at tolerating these things than men?! 

What was very nice was that our actual doctor did the transfer for the first time ever. There are four specialists at the clinic and they usually rotate days…We’ve just never been there for transfer on our doctors day. But today he requested that he get called down to do our transfer despite it not being his day, which I really appreciated. He knows how long a road we’ve travelled and it was nice to not be treated as a number. 

The transfer went very smoothly once my bladder was deflated a bit. Today, Day 5 we had 4 good looking blasts, three hatching. We transferred the two best and will know tomorrow whether or not the remaining two will be frozen. I really hope they will be although more than that, I’m hoping that we don’t need any more embryo transfers ever again. We even took photos for the first time ever because we’re convinced that we will never be going back into that room. 

I also did some other things this time around which I’ve never done before. I kept my feet nice and warm. I hear this is good for blood flow to the uterus. I also avoided ice cold water and only drank tea and warm water. I know this sounds odd but I’ve met a lovely massage therapist who also does Reiki. He offered to do distance healing for me…. I’m pretty sceptical but hey, can’t hurt right? He also really helped me to visualise positive outcomes and to get my own energy right, which I did, and felt very calm and peaceful… and even a bit optimistic. From transfer my husband and I went to my naturopath so that I could have acupuncture. This was great and I’m going back again on Tuesday. Now I am just chilling with a warm heat bag on my tummy, warm feet and pineapple ready for dessert! 

Tonight I will start baby aspirin and clexane and continue with the estropause, uterogestane and estradot every second day. (Update on the clexane….ouch, it burns). 

I really couldn’t do much more and am hoping that this is our cycle. Test day is scheduled for 28 November which is 13 days post 5 day transfer. I’ve queried this as it is longer than previous cycles, so we’ll see what they say. 

A great morning… written 14 November 2016

Today was a big day in my family and I have been anxiously staring at my phone waiting for two very big pieces of news.

This morning my sister gave birth to her second daughter. It  hasn’t been an easy pregnancy at all and there was concern that the baby might have Down Syndrome. I have just had news that my sister has delivered her baby girl safely, and that she is perfectly healthy. What an immense relief. Of course we would have loved her unconditionally but I am overjoyed that my sister and her husband do not have this challenge to face.

We have also been waiting for news on our embryos, having not heard how they are doing since Friday.  I have just had the call from the embryologist and all 6 have continued to grow normally over the weekend.  We are so thrilled. Transfer is booked for 11.30am tomorrow but we have to go in at 10.15 to have an atosiban drip administered. This is new since our last transfer and is now standard with all IVF protocols at our clinic. Apparently research has shown that the uterus contracts very subtly, sometimes slowly and sometimes fast. If they can calm the uterus down and ensure that the contractions are minimal, the chances of implantation are better. I’ll take better chances of success any day. 

What a great morning. 

Nupogen wash….written Saturday 12 November 2016

This morning I had the nupogen wash. The procedure itself is similar to having a pap smear, so no big deal really. The worst part is that you have to have a full bladder. My appointment was for 8am and the doc kept me waiting until 8.45. Honestly, procedures requiring a full bladder should  always be  punctual…it’s just not fair to keep a lady with a full bladder waiting. And then you have to lie and wait for the nupogen to do its thing for 20 minutes…sob! And to make matters worse I have a slight tummy bug, so was having to keep things extra tight, if you know what I mean. Anyway, it’s over now and will hopefully help the embryos stick and implant. Here’s hoping!

We were told not to expect news of our embryos over the weekend so we won’t know how they’re doing until Monday.  To be honest it is actually better for me…somehow time passes more quickly and less anxiously when I’m not waiting for news. So on Monday morning we hear how our embryos are doing and my sister has her baby…Kismet. 

Fertilization report…written 11 November 2016

So you may or may not remember that we had 16 donor eggs and one embryo frozen. We have decided to transfer two embryos and so the decision was made to thaw and fertilise 8 eggs and then to use the best two embryos. 7 of the 8 eggs survived the thaw and as of this morning 6 are developing normally. We won’t hear back until Monday as they don’t report on the weekend.  So let’s hope those 6 have a blessed weekend. Grow babies grow.

Trying to regain confidence in my body

When I miscarried in July last year (for the second time, with donor eggs, after seeing the heartbeat of what turned out to be a chromosomally normal boy), I wanted to start trying again almost immediately. I remember emailing my specialist and asking him how soon I could try again. He very wisely suggested allowing a bit of time for emotional healing. So I headed his advise. In my mind I thought we would try again in February…  You know, get over Christmas, allow some time for getting back into the swing of things and then get back on the (in) fertility train.

But the more time that passed the more utterly terrified and UNready I became. What if I miscarry again? I don’t know if my heart and soul can cope with that. And so I needed the next attempt to be very different and I needed to build confidence in my body again. To that end I have been pursuing a few different paths.

In about October last year I went to see a homeopathic doctor who specialises in fertility issues. My goal was to help my body be more balanced and healthy hormonally. When I went to her I was very fatigued, depressed, low in energy and my hormones were all over the show. Thanks to years of treatment I have put on 10kg’s and so I was also (and still am), fat. My goal was simply to balance my hormones and to feel more energetic and ‘normal’. Through talking with her I also realised that I would have a much greater chance of sustaining a pregnancy if my natural progesterone levels could be more normal to begin with. At the time I went to her, my fsh was low, estrogen very high and progesterone very low. My amh was 1.05. I was having 50 day cycles. She’s had me on Chinese herbs with acupuncture every two weeks and my recent blood results are NORMAL!

Normal estrogen, progesterone, fsh, a 30 day cycle and my amh has increased to 1.4. So this is amazing and I am thrilled. Of course I have fantasies of a miracle natural pregnancy, but I know that is unlikely. However, just being termed NORMAL for the first time has been amazing. I also have much better energy and my mood has improved a lot.

During this time I have also been doing a lot of reading and came to the conclusion that I most likely have a MTHFR gene mutation. I asked the homeopath to test me and so we ran some genetic tests. My instinct proved correct and I am homogenous for the MTHFR gene. I have moved onto different vitamins, folate instead of folic acid, avoiding any fortified foods and we’ve gone totally organic in our home and are doing the best with food (it’s just quite expensive to go totally food organic). I have been growing some of my own food as well which has helped.

Following on from my reading around MTHFR, I started reading about mercury poisoning in relation to amalgam fillings. My mouth has been a problem my entire life and definitely a story for another day. Regardless, I decided to have my mercury levels tested and they are waayyy high. So, later this month I will be starting a process of replacing all my fillings and then chelating the Mercury out of my body.

Needless to say, had I been pregnanct with mercury poisoning and an inability to absorb folic acid, my babies would have been at risk for all sorts of complications. I am sad that we didn’t find this all out sooner, but I am grateful that we have discovered it eventually.

The whole mercury issue will probably take about 6 months to resolve and in the meantime it is not recommended that I fall pregnant. So, my February start has been pushed back and will most likely be an October /November start. I’m ok with this. I want the best possible chance of a healthy pregnancy and if it takes a few more months… So be it. In the meantime I am going to use the time to try and lose some weight and continue with my Chinese herbs and acupuncture in order to keep my hormones nicely balanced. And then we shall see… Maybe we will use our remaining donor eggs, maybe we will try one more ivf cycle with my own eggs… Or maybe by some small miracle we won’t need to. We will have to wait and see… Something I have become somewhat of an expert at doing!

A funny thing

The other day I went to collect my medication from the pharmacy and the pharmacist asked if I was pregnant…. I can’t even remember how the conversation went but somehow I ended up telling her that we had done ivf and that it had cost a lot of money (I don’t normally volunteer this information but she asked some pretty direct questions). She also didn’t know what ivf was, so I told her… At which point she looked at me with great confusion and asked why we didn’t just try ‘the old fashioned way’. Thinking I had surely misunderstood her, and feeling equally confused, I asked if she meant why didn’t I just have sex with my husband, to which she replied ‘yes’…. with a big smile on her face, as though she had just solved all my problems. No words.

Spotting and freaking out

Last week Wednesday I had a tiny bit of spotting. Of course I panicked and phoned my clinic. The nurse talked me down and reassuranced me that everything was fine and that 30% of women spot in pregnancy. I couldn’t help being fed up with this… I always seem to fall on the wrong side of statistics!  Yesterday we flew to Cape Town and met up with friends for lunch. The setting was beautiful but instead of enjoying it, I was in an absolute state of panic as I went to the bathroom and there was what I would consider a lot of red blood for a pregnant lady. Not like I would get on my period, but almost. I called my clinic and asked if I should see a doctor or try and have a scan. They felt that going for a scan would make my anxiety worse as at 5w3d’s there wouldn’t be much to see and that would be worse. Again she said that it can be normal and to try and take it easy (physically). The spotting stopped towards the evening but there has been a small amount again this morning. Has anyone else had this experience???