A new arrival

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No, it’s not what you’re thinking, well not yet anyway.

We’ve found our Doris. On Saturday we took a little drive over to Biggleswade to see a puppy dachshund and completely fell in love. She comes home this Friday.

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You might think this isn’t super sensible considering there’s a chance I’m carrying twins. Thing is, we’ve spent so long not doing things we’ve wanted to do, or not booking things ahead because I might be pregnant by then. It’s really life limiting and we cant live like that anymore. The excitement of Doris coming home Friday is helping me not think quite so much about the impending test day. And although we feel nervous, we have something else to focus on now who needs us. Just look at her face <3

So now we wait. For Doris and the test.

I feel pretty good in myself. My skin has reacted badly to the progesterone I’m taking which I knew would happen. Nothing that a few layers of Mac Studio Fix can’t hide.

I’m back working today but just from home. That’s going to help keep my mind busy, there’s lots to do. I’m really looking forward to seeing friends tomorrow night for a good catch up and Wednesday I’ll be at the SME Cambridgeshire Awards. My networking group Grub Club Cambridge is up for an award – fingers crossed. I have to find something to wear that I can actually fit in..

A good friend had some incredibly sad news this morning, and my heart goes out to him and his family. Remember to to hug the ones you love tonight just that little bit tighter. Life really is too short x

 

After the transfer

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The transfer went well. There’s two tiny 5 day old embryos tucked up in the warm. No lie, they look a bit like Cadbury mini eggs.

The clinic called on Sunday, Mothers Day to let us know that three of the four remaining embryos were being re-frozen. The last one didn’t make any progress after it was defrosted.

We’re really happy and it made what is a tough day, a little bit brighter this year.

This is day three of five days off work resting. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I spent laying flat as much as possible, apparently it helps the embryos embed and I’m not taking any chances.

Lee has been amazing. He’s cooked, cleaned, walked Fat Head and kept the tea flowing. He’s also been a tiny bit bossy about my laptop hence no updates, but I’ll let him off.

Mum & Dad came on Sunday and brought with them chocolate cake, chocolate hobnobs (the true king of biscuits) and four easter eggs. Beaut neighbour Lucy visited that morning with flowers and fake fizz. My Julie brought cakes and more flowers Tuesday and Ellie, well Ellie left the sausage roll at home so you know, she’s got some making up to do next week! 

My gut will never be the same.

I’m a tiny bit bored but, hoorah for Deepa keeping me updated on the world, mobile purchasing and Netflix! No chill though (and that had to be explained to me because old). I’ve binge watched Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and Stranger Things – how good was that?!

I’ve bought a beautiful vintage dress – what do you think?

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/518864355/70s-boho-dress-70s-floral-dress-chiffon

It’s got a stretchy waistband. Luckily.

Every night I’ve continued to listen to the Zita West visualisations. They really help me relax and sleep and that can only be a good thing.

A morning of crochet awaits me tomorrow before another lovely friend visit. I could get used to this.

Eggstatic

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We got the call from the embryologist yesterday at 11.27am.

All 6 embryos survived the defrosting process.

To say we were shocked would be an understatement. I mean we hoped, but usually 10-15% don’t make it. It really was the best news.

They called again this morning to say that all 6 are still viable. 1 is really strong, already at blastocyst stage, 4 are good (at the stage they should be) and 1 is developing a little slower than the others.

We go in tomorrow at 11.30am for the transfer.

We’re both excited, and I am so looking forward to a rest next week. The whole process is an emotional rollercoaster and I feel like I could sleep for a week. I won’t though, I’ll be climbing the walls by Tuesday. I have Netflix, books & crochet to keep me busy but I’m banned from any work. I’ll sneak updates on here from my phone…

I’ve had some lovely gifts from friends this week that have brought happy tears to my eyes. We feel lucky to have such kind people in our lives.

Day 22 – last full day at the office

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Once the embryos are transferred, I’m going to take a week off work. I’m knackered and my head needs a rest. As we don’t yet know if that will be Thursday or Saturday, today is my last day at the office for a while.

Yesterday was a brighter day. We had a dog visitor to the studio, lovely little Rosie. She sat on my lap for a bit while I worked. Dogs make me super happy, and this is just another reason why we need to get a Doris! My search for Doris has not been fruitful so far, I can’t find a litter of Dachshund’s that have girls. I can’t get Fat Head to the office anymore, he can’t do stairs and he’s too heavy to carry up three flights of them.

A lovely friend from the village brought me flowers round last night, completely unexpected. It made me feel very grateful for the friends I made in the village last year. Working full time and 45mins from where I live, means you’re often ships that pass in the night with neighbours.

When Longstanton Bootcamp opened a couple of years ago I was over the moon. I could regularly make 2 of the 4 sessions a week and, it meant meeting new people who live right on your doorstep. Some literally! I met neighbours in the crescent I never knew before and are now good friends. We’ve all achieved so much more than we thought we could, we’ve competed in muddy team assault courses and there’s been a few boozy nights in the local pub too. I haven’t been able to go for a while (heavy exercise and IVF don’t mix) and I miss it. If by any small chance any of you reading this live close by, get yourselves along. Danny is a fantastic trainer, he’ll get you to be the very best you can be. You can book in online here.

Day 20 – we’re good to go

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Today we were given the go ahead and I burst into tears. I seem to be doing that a lot lately.

What happens next?

They wont defrost the embryos till Thursday. This is to try and sync the embryos to the natural cycle. Today is classed as day 0, tomorrow (Tuesday) day 1, so Thursday will be day 3. Our frozen embryos were grown to day 3 then frozen – so if defrosted then, we’re back in sync.

On Thursday depending on how many make it past defrosting and how strong they are, they’ll call us to go in that day for the transfer.

If a higher number make it past defrosting, and they are strong, they’ll try to grow them for 2 more days and transfer them on Saturday.

So now we wait for a call from the embryologist.

I’ve been slowly drowning over the last couple of weeks since the start of this cycle. I think brought on by fear of failure and the birthday that never was. I feel sadness, I should be excited.

All I can do is try and pull myself out of it over the next few days. Does this ever go away?

I’m sorry to friends that I’ve ignored or worse hurt with self obsessed words. It’s not you, it’s me.

Day 19 – Overdue

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Today marks 11 days of clinic visits on the trot. I should ask them if this is a record, then I’d feel like I’d actually achieved something this week.

There’s been better news. Although I’m now 5 days late for a usual ovulation, the follicle is growing. From Monday to Wednesday it didn’t grow, which is why they were considering cancelling the cycle.

One tiny millimeter saved the cycle for us on Thursday morning.

At every stage of this process, you never really get all the information you need. There always comes a day where you’re thrown into total melt down by the omission of some small piece of information, which for you is huge, for the clinic, not so much. For an already slightly fragile mind, it causes unnecessary worry and stress, ironically something you’re supposed to avoid.

Today’s clinic visit (a 2.5 hour round trip) lasted 5 minutes. A quick scan, the news that the follicle was 2 mm bigger than yesterday and the booking of another appointment for tomorrow.

We’ve been questioning whether we made the right decision choosing the London based clinic over a more local one. It’s the tiredness talking for sure, we had no idea that I’d need daily scans for this stage (we were told every other day) and no-one could predict my body would react the way it has.

So why didn’t we choose Bourne Hall Clinic local to us in Cambridge? It all came down to the stats. We were refused NHS funding so we’re self funding our IVF treatment. Our decision was based on where we hoped we could get the result we wanted, with the limited funds we have. CRGH had the best success rates for my age bracket.

My work diary has again been thrown into chaos.  I’d gone through my handover doc with my business partner on Friday as I assumed I’d be off from Tuesday this week, now it looks like Thursday, although I won’t really know till tomorrow after the scan. My diary was carefully arranged, now I’ll need to move meetings that I assumed I’d be back at work for. I hope everyone understands.

 

 

Day 16 – The D word

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Last night we received a call from the clinic to say they’ll scan and take bloods again today, and then decide whether to cancel the cycle or not.

I don’t fully understand why, ovulation is only 2 days late but I don’t know what the bloods are showing. I have a lot of questions to ask.

I struggled with depression last year, and I can feel it bubbling under the surface now. I’m worried it will overflow and drown me again. I’m already beginning to avoid seeing or talking to friends.

Day 13 – Frustrations

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I’m snappy as hell today. Tiredness from the seemingly endless clinic trips is taking its toll. Sorry everyone that I’ve spoken to today.

The nightly meditation which usually helps me sleep had no effect last night. My mind decided that 1.25am was the perfect time for me to remember a rather unfortunate incident with a blocked toilet on my school german exchange, when I was 14. “Beate, hast du die Toilette im Ensuite benutzt?” is etched in my mind forever. And no, she didn’t – I did and it ended badly.

My main frustration is that I can’t control the situation. I can’t do anything to make it happen quicker or better, and I have no idea when the next step will happen or what the outcome will be. I have to keep picturing us with our baby, us with our toddler.

Tomorrow is March 14th. Our little girl might have turned one tomorrow. We might have had a party, or family day to the park or seaside.

I won’t be writing tomorrow, but I will be remembering her.

 

Day 11 – London sun

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Saturday morning clinic visit and scan over with, we took advantage of the spring sunshine and spent the day in London.

We hit the shops along Oxford Street and the we headed over to Spitalfields market for a mooch. Lunch at Pho with a window table, chatting and people watching then a walk along Shoreditch high street before jumping back on the train to Cambridge. It was so lovely having the sun on our faces.

I’m currently not taking any medication so feel pretty good. My skin is really behaving itself too, which means I’ll now wake up with a giant spot of some sort!

As I type this I’m home alone, well not totally, Fat Head is snoring away at my feet. Lee is out this evening for a few drinks with his brother.

He’ll no doubt have a hangover tomorrow so I’ll be heading back in to London again alone. I think my credit card might take a bashing in Zara…

 

Day 9 – the adventure begins again

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Clinic this morning, the first of 4 days of clinic visits in a row. Actually that could be 6 or 7 days but next week is still in the “who knows what the hell will happen” pile.

Each morning I have to be scanned and monitored until ovulation, then they’ll defrost the embryos and grow them on for 2 more days before transferring them back in for me to cook.


Yesterday I went to see my counsellor. She’s been a huge help over the last few months, giving me a time and place to talk, sometimes cry, but mainly just say all the things that are on my mind with no judgement or agenda.

We talked a lot about being on the sidelines, not being part of the “club”, and how that makes me feel.

There’s often an assumption that as I’m a woman of a certain age I must have children, and when the inevitable question does come, it stings a bit. I see other women bond instantly over a conversation about children, knowing I can’t join in. I have no understanding of what they talk about, no way to help them or offer advice.

Many of my own relationships have changed, I think some of them forever. I can accept now that some people can’t or don’t want to understand how we feel, and I’m comfortable enough in myself now to let those friendships just drift away.

If you’re based in Cambridge and you are struggling with your mental health, please take a look at the CPFT Psychological Wellbeing Service. They’ve been a huge help to me.