#hope

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 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 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.

 

#CystFreeFriday

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1st of March brought the start of springtime and along with it my overdue monthly visitor.

Hoorah! Never been so happy to see that before.

I headed into the clinic Friday morning for a baseline scan, this is to check you’ve no cysts and your womb is in a good state to begin the process. Were having what’s called a natural frozen cycle – meaning I’ll not need any medication before the embryos are transferred, just supporting medication afterwards.

Anyway, good news – were all clear and good to go. My fried joked it’s #CystFreeFriday – think it might catch on?

This round of IVF has seemed easier as we know what to expect. There’s been less questions to ask, less information to take in. We’ve felt much more in control.

I feel 50% excited and 50% apprehensive. The apprehension comes from knowing how hard it is if it doesn’t work out, it’s a long way to fall. Mentally I’m in a much better place this time around, I’ve even started to look at nursery photos again – all without blubbing into my decaf tea.

I could kill for a glass of wine right now, I resorted to sniffing a friends glass on Friday afternoon. Lets hope that’s as close as I can get till December.

How a photograph can break your heart.

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Today began with a relaxing acupuncture session and ended with a drive home sobbing into the steering wheel.

A photograph broke my heart today. Sound a bit dramatic?

It was just a photograph of children playing.
All my close friends children together.
The children that were bumps when I had a bump.
The children that are missing another playmate.
Our missing little girl.
I’m trying not to live in the past really I am, and I am hopeful for the future.
But today that photograph and the sudden reality that our embryo transfer will fall around what would have been my little girls 1st birthday, well that just broke me a tiny bit.

Hope

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It’s been a week of really good news for friends and I’m over the moon.

One friend is finally on the way to the help she needs for endometriosis, and another is being referred for IVF after an incredible year of guts and determination. I’m so proud of both of them for the women they are, and so grateful for their friendship.

Is it just me or does 2017 feel better? Or maybe I’m better.

I’m definitely better.

Whatever it is, there’s hope now, and a lot of it. Despite Trump.


So quick update for you. We have 6 embryos in the freezer and our consultant has said they are all of a really good quality. Last Tuesday I went in for the scratch (you’ll have to Google that, I still can’t bring myself to describe it, and yes it really bloody hurt) and now we’re just waiting for nature to take its course this month – should be Friday 24th.

The scratch was completely new to me as we didn’t have this on the first failed round. It’s generally used for people who’ve experienced unsuccessful IVF cycles, despite good quality embryos having been transferred. The process triggers a repair reaction, making the lining of the womb more receptive to the embryo implantation, which in theory should increase the chance of pregnancy.

I plan to get as much work completed this week as is humanly possible and I have 2 networking events to attend which I’m really looking forward to. I’ve been able to roughly work out when I’ll be off work on the two week wait and keep my diary clear. After the 24th, my diary becomes a daily planning exercise again!

I’ll need to go in for a baseline scan between day 1 & 3 of the cycle, and then again on day 9. After that it could be every other day or daily scans until they are ready to transfer the embryos.

It would be incredible if all 6 embryos make it past defrosting and then another 2 days of growing, getting them to day 5 blastocyst embryos. The likelihood of that is slim as around 10/12% will die after being defrosted.

If that’s not possible, then the result we’re looking for is 4 to make it to day 5. Our consultant has already advised us they will transfer 2 again this time, and then we can re-freeze the remaining 2.

Embryos, much to our surprise, are not like chicken from the freezer.

I’m excited to start, but I am so busy this week that the time is going to fly by!