Tag Archives: IVF

So much to say, so little time to say it…

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I want to blog about my pregnancy & it’s many complications. The Polyhydramnios & Obstetric Cholestasis. I’d like to tell you my birth story. I need to fill you in on the first four-and-a-bit months of parenting, or talk about raising a baby with developmental dysplasia of the hip, who is in a pavlik harness. I could certainly talk about getting Mastitis. Twice.

I will do all of these things in time, when I have the time. But firstly it is about time that I introduce my little lady, Gabriella. She keeps me busy and I am so incredibly grateful for that. She is sweet and cheeky. She smiles so enthusiastically it’s like the top of her head might fall off. She’s developing a sense of humour & often laughs until she is sick or gets the hiccups. She is strong willed & fights every nap like a ninja. She won’t take a dummy, but would quite happily sleep with my nipple in her mouth at all times. She loves music and cuddles apart from when she is overtired, then she wants everyone to SHUT THE HELL UP AND STOP LOOKING AT HER.

We’re making this whole parenting lark up as we go and it is the hardest thing that we’ve ever done, but the reward everytime that our gorgeous, goofy little lady gives us a gummy smile makes every sleep-deprived second totally worth it.

World, meet Gabriella:

“And though she be but little, she is fierce”

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8-9 weeks pregnant and in need of (another) nap

Hey everybody,

I am writing this from the (dis)comfort of my bed. The windows are wide open, I am stark bollock naked (sorry!) & a fan is pointed directly at me on full blast. London is experiencing a heat wave like never before. My train journey home from work was the sweatiest experience of my life. We (Brits) seriously need to think long and hard about installing aircon in our public transport system.

The last couple of weeks have been a wonderful blur of exhaustion, nausea & hunger.

At 8w2d just before I went to bed I noticed the tiniest dot of brown on the toilet paper when I wiped and I spent some time trying to decide if it was a dot on the roll or it had come out of me. I decided it was nothing to do with me and thought nothing more of it. The following afternoon the same thing happened again while I was at work. At this point I had had no progesterone for 5 days & I was slightly concerned that I had been taken off it too early. I decided to leave work immediately & go straight to the early pregnancy unit at my local hospital. They did a quick (external!!!) ultrasound scan and confirmed all is well with the baby. Phew. My sister came in with me and got to see the heartbeat and sobbed uncontrollably. Very cute.

In very exciting news a REAL LIFE FRIEND is pregnant. It is VERY early days but she is the only person that I know IRL that has had any sort of fertility issues so we keep each other up to date with our progress. I couldn’t be happier for her. Long story short, it took her just under a year to fall pregnant. All was looking great at the 12wk scan with baby measuring on the 50th percentile. So she started telling people her news. At 13w5d she was rushed to A&E as her pregnancy was ectopic & her tube had ruptured. They just failed to notice this at her 12 weeks scan. The odds of an ectopic pregnancy making it this far are 1 in 30,000. The odds of this subsequent pregnancy being ectopic are 1 in 10. I’m holding my breath until her early scan at 6 weeks to confirm the location of this pregnancy. I feel good about it though, and I truly hope to be her bump buddy.

IVF and pregnancy loss leave people damaged and unable to enjoy pregnancy in the blissful ignorance that most of society can enjoy. We met for lunch the day after her BFP and promised each other that we would live more in the moment and enjoy each second of our pregnancies as if they’re our last. So right now I am enjoying it. It’s truly amazing. I feel dreadful most of the time and am prone to complain about the more unusual symptoms – like the fact that my left ear constantly needs to pop?! – however, I had started to believe that a child wasn’t in our future and actually the cause of all of this is a tiny little person created by me and my husband. I could not be happier, and I am so, so grateful.

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5-7 weeks pregnant: blueberries to raspberries

I promise to update this blog regularly from now on.

When I first received the severe male factor diagnosis in 2011 I spent days at my desk pretending to work but in actual fact I was trawling the Internet for IVF blogs. My favourite ones were those that had similar problems to mine and then ended up with a baby. I learned not to fear IVF through reading about people’s experiences with it. I learnt so much and took so much from these blogs, they were an invaluable resource and they filled me with hope. If these women can get a happy ending then maybe one day I will too.

When the time came to start my own IVF treatment it seemed only fair that I should start my own blog and document my experience for others to learn from and refer to. It felt like giving something back to a community that I had taken so much from. And then my first cycle failed. And the depression hit. Big time. That was not conducive to blogging. And then I started cycle number 2 on a longer protocol and double the dosage. That was a very dark time. Again, not conducive to blogging.

And then I got pregnant. And I had all of these thoughts and feelings and emotions and I needed to let them out but I just couldn’t bring myself to write them as I didn’t want to upset anyone who is still in the trenches. I didn’t want to inadvertently complain about something and cause upset to a reader. But actually, this needs to be my story, start to finish. So I will document this pregnancy for posterity but also so that one day someone with severe male factor infertility, severe endometriosis, mild PCOS with one failed cycle under their belt who is almost incapable of making blastocysts will stumble across this blog and they will feel hope. If it can happen for me, it can happen for them. The only good quality blastocyst I have ever made has stuck it out this far. Let’s hope that it stays around for another 33 weeks.

I had my second scan yesterday at 7w2d and the baby is doing good. Scan pics will be posted here.

I was discharged from the IVF unit yesterday and I stop the progesterone tomorrow. Shit is seriously getting real. The depression is lifting and I am over the moon and so in love. Stick baby stick, mummy loves you so much already. X

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4 years wed, 5 weeks pregnant

Howdy folks,

I haven’t really known what to say here of late. I’m at that really stressful inbetweeny phase that is essentially just a second two week wait straight off the back of the first one. I peed on a few sticks (9 in fact) and they were all varying shades of positive. As many of you know, I started bleeding on 6dp5dt so I tested & it was actually very faintly positive. The next morning it had got slightly lighter and I was concerned that this was a chemical pregnancy. The bleeding continued for next next couple of days and stopped at 9dp5dt, at which point the tests had finally started to get darker. I took 10dp5dt as a rest day and didn’t pee on anything and then on 11dp5dt, or OTD, I peed on the official stick and became officially pregnant!

I haven’t bled since, which has helped to calm my nerves enough to think that this could possibly be happening. I would kill for some symptoms right about now though for some reassurance. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to regret saying that! My first scan is booked for a week today at which point I will be 6w2d, so I assume that they will be checking for a heartbeat. If all goes well with that scan I may start to believe!

Infertility impacts the way that we mark the passing years. Birthdays are no longer an opportunity to see friends, get presents & feel loved. They are a reminder of our biological clocks. Christmases roll round and after the first couple of years spent TTC you get tired of hoping that “this time next year there might be a new addition”.

Tomorrow I will be celebrating my 4 year wedding anniversary. In spite of our troubles, these have been 4 good years. Here is a pic of us as a pair of blissfully ignorant 24 year olds, head over heels in love and optimistic for the future:

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At this point I still had 5 months of birth control pills in my possession, I knew that I would not be collecting any more pills at the end of that pack and assumed I’d be pregnant without having to worry too much about when I ovulated.

I ate whatever I want & enjoyed a hectic social life that on the whole, revolved around alcohol & bad food. More proof of that booze guzzling can be seen in a shot taken a little later on in the evening of our wedding reception:

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Since that fun-filled day there have been a lot of tears, many sleepless nights and lots and lots of waiting. We went from excited and optimistic to deflated and depressed. Somehow, through it all we have (just) retained our sanity and (mostly) kept smiles on our faces. We may not get through a bottle of wine with a nice carb-ridden dinner quite as often as we used to, but we have fun. This last pic is from our holiday in April. I have never felt more content in my whole life than I did on that tiny island. It truly was an escape from our infertility woes and it is a memory that I will treasure forever:

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So on our 3 year anniversary we celebrated with our first trip to the IVF hospital to discuss cycle number 1. It makes me a very happy lady to have made actual progress a year later. This has never happened before! On our 4 year anniversary I will be very cautiously, nervously, tentatively, a tiny bit pregnant. No matter what happens, I am going to celebrate this progress as I am the closest that I have ever been to the life that I have always dreamed of.

Wish me luck, I’m so afraid that I’ll wake up and it will all just be a dream!

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6dp5dt: Red blood, a faint BFP & an award

Long time no blog. Again. My absences have not been intentional and I can assure you that I am being equally lax about everything else in my life, if that helps? I’ve wanted to update you all on my progress but I. Just. Couldn’t.

On Monday morning WordPress notified me that it was the one year anniversary of my blog. As is typical of me at the moment, but atypical when I’m not drugged up on whore-moans, I took a miserable view of this anniversary and thought back to all of my hopes and expectations in the run up to IVF cycle one. This year has had plenty of highs but the lows have been the lowest that I have ever experienced. It’s been a very testing year and as I near the end of my IVF#2 2ww I can only hope that the next year is a brighter one.

I am currently PUPO with a grade 4bb blastocyst and a Morula. Last cycle I only had 2 Morulas. This is definite progress. Here they are:
infertility, ivf, icsi, endometriosis, 6dp5dt, infertility blog 2013, embryos, grade 4bb blastocyst, morula

It’s an awful pic, I was disappointed with it. The one of the left is the blastocyst & the one on the right that you can barely see is a morula. On day 3, 4 of the 6 embryos were looking good at 7, 8, 9 & 12 cells. On day 5 we had 2 Morulas, a 2cc blast and a 4bb blast. We agreed to transfer the two blasts. By the time of the transfer the 2cc blast had started to arrest so she put back the 4bb and one of the morulas. On day 6 nothing had made it to freeze. I think it’s that fact that put me back in my skunky funk.*

Then I noticed that Mrs But IF over at had nominated me for a Super Sweet Blogging Award. This could not be more appropriate right now given the ridiculous amount of carbs that I am craving and the batch of 24 cookies that I baked on Sunday and barely shared with anyone! I am letting this nomination be my motivation to get back in the chair and blog about things that aren’t all doom and gloom.

So here goes:

SUPER SWEET BLOGGING AWARD RULES

Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.

Thank you Mrs But IF, I really appreciate this opportunity to blog about some other than my own misery! (And cramps, lots and lots of cramps).

Answer 5 super sweet questions.

Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in the blog post.

infertility, ivf, icsi, 6dp5dt, cramps, endo, endometriosis, infertility blog 2013

Nominate 12 other bloggers.

The questions:

1. COOKIES OR CAKE?

Can I have both please? Since the super speedy return of the endometrioma (sung to the tune of Return of The Mac, obvs) the endo diet has gone out of the window and I am once again a sugar-addicted monster. Try telling me not to eat cookies for breakfast, see what happens. I’m going to choose cookies because my homemade ones are so much better than my homemade cake.

2. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?

Chocolate. Always.

3. FAVOURITE SWEET TREAT?

My mum’s homemade scones with low sugar, lumpy raspberry Jam (Jello? Whatever the J in PBJ is) and lashings of super thick Cornish clotted cream. She made me a batch on embryo transfer day last cycle so for reasons somewhere between superstition and insanity I haven’t had any this time (see also: no facials or pedicures, as they are also possible reasons that last time didn’t work).

4. WHEN DO YOU CRAVE SWEET THINGS THE MOST?

When I’m awake.

5. SWEET NICKNAME?

At the moment Mr Turtle has taken to calling me mumma bear, which is pretty sickly sweet. That will sting if this cycle doesn’t work.

The nominations:

This has been the most fun part of this award. I decided to include a mixture of the blogs that I’ve been following for the past year as well as some new blogs and some blogs that are new to me. Some aren’t even infertility blogs would you believe it? I do not expect people to continue this chain mail but it got me sat upright and writing so I’m happy to be doing it. I do, however, recommend hitting up the below blogs, they are awesome. And in no particular order here they are:

1.
Ok this one may seem like a bit of a cheat as she nominated me BUT, read and tell me it’s not justified. She sums up so eloquently the difficulty in trying to live fully while balancing two possible futures that are the complete opposite of one another.

2.
Betty is fabulous. She will be attempting IVF cycle two shortly. Cycle one was a bit of a non-starter. She makes fantastic book recommendations when you need distractions during the IVF 2ww, and she draws fabulous (I’m hoping this wasn’t a one-off).

3.
Somehow this lady managed to get 4 eggs from 3 follicles. 2 eggs fertilised and she is having them put back tomorrow. Please follow her and wish her all the luck in the world for this, her second IVF cycle.

4.
Like me, she suffers with severe male factor infertility. She recently miscarried her first BFP from her second FET and she needs hugs. In spite of this she is a great support on Twitter @libhope.

5.
Sarah is newly pregnant after IVF#1 following 10 IUI BFNs. I like to read success stories when they are entertaining and not just gushy. Sarah does this well. And her cat is adorable/ an asshole, much like mine.

6.
Pregnant with “Turkey” and a new foster-mom to two girls after 4 miscarriages.

7.
Georgette recently suffered a chemical pregnancy and has 2 frosties on ice. Her blog has a ridiculous amount of useful info on immune issues, go take a look.

8.
Theresa cycled alongside me last summer and is the proud new mumma to IVF twins Abigail and Miles, you can catch her on Twitter at @runnergrl819, she’s pretty awesome and they are adorable.

9.
We cycled together last summer and she is now a proud new mum to a little IVF baby girl. We are diagnosis twin as her husband is severe male factor and she spots for the second half of her cycles just like me. How lucky are we?!

10.
Lydia is a relatively newbie blogger. She is currently on a short break after IUI#4 failed and her in-laws are crazy, just like mine.

11.
The best blog ever written about depression. Ally’s hilarious cartoons explain this awful condition so beautifully. I’ve spent a lot of time hunting for corn recently. There is no corn, I repeat, there is no corn.

12.
A food blog. For anyone attempting the Endo Diet or the Low GI diet this website is a godsend. Her raw brownies rock my world, as do so many others.

*tiny small print that you really should ignore…
I noticed a little blood on my liner today and tested and it was a faint BFP. I have never seen that second line in years and years of trying and I am terrified. Just when I calmed down and stopped shaking enough to question if this was really happening I started bleeding dark red blood. So far no clots, but it’s not spotting, it’s bleeding. Yuck. I really need this to be the start not the end. Pretty sure I’ll have a sleepless night before retesting in the morning. Wish me luck.

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IVF 2, Phase 3: Go!

Hello ladies,

I’ve been busy IVF’ing it up and generally feeling blue. The stim stage seemed to go pretty quickly this time because the DR stage took forever! They finally scanned me on day 19 of Buserelin & gave me the all clear to start stims on day 21.

Stimming went well, I was on double the dose from last time & I responded well. At my final scan I had 23 follicles. Unfortunately 15 of these were on the left side & the front runners were behind the endometrioma & therefore would not be accessible. They didn’t give any indication of expected numbers of eggs to collect but I was hoping for 15 and I got 12, so that was ok.

This morning I got the fertilisation report and of the 12, 8 were mature and 6 of those fertilised. somehow I’ve gone from 23 follicles to 6 embryos in a matter of days. Last time I had 3 embryos so on double the dosage I should expect double the embryos but I feel like they got my hopes up and now despite the good news I’m feeling somewhat deflated.

The weather is beautiful here for once so my sister and I spent the day in the sunshine chilling and having a nice time generally. I had been feeling fine but then this afternoon I got a bit crampy and spotted a lot & now I just want to go and hibernate for the next few weeks.

Tomorrow I go back to work and that may or may not be a good thing. I’m hoping for a day 5 transfer as that would be on Saturday and then I have the whole of next week booked off, but could be looking at a transfer on Thursday, we’ll just have to wait and see.

The timing of this cycle has been a bit crappy in that my due date from the first cycle would have been around now had it been successful. I may have avoided that if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m still keenly following the stories of my original cycle buddies and the birth stories are starting to roll in. I guess that could be me a few months down the line but right now I’m feeling too blah to believe that it could be.

I remember now that this is the worst bit. My mind is in total overdrive and I can’t shut it up.

Right now I have six little tiny potential babies in a lab in London and I’d really like the opportunity to become a parent to at least one of them. I don’t have the mental capacity to focus on much else. Wish me luck as I try to distract myself between now and Thursday’s progress report/ potential day 3 transfer.

Shit just got real. Again.

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Just keep swimming

Hello everyone,

I hope that any Americans reading this are managing to dodge Mother’s Day.

I’m on day 10 of Buserelin injections and I’m getting fidgety. Last cycle, I did the short protocol. Rather unsurprisingly, it was short. This time I’m doing the long protocol. It’s looooong.

Last time, by now I had had 2 scans & was on the home stretch. This time, my first scan is not for another 9 days. It’s getting boring. You’d think I’d be good at waiting by now but I’m not.

My life has been on hold for 3.5 years and it’s getting tiresome, I want to move on to the next phase of my life… Or at very least the next phase of my treatment. So for now I am focussing on keeping my head above water and not letting myself be overwhelmed, which can be hard when it’s just.so.overwhelming.

On a positive note, menopausal May has not been noticeably menopausal yet. The only real side effect so far is that my boobs are ready to Incredible Hulk their way out of my skin. Hubs is happy.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekends and don’t work too hard next week, I know that I don’t intend to.

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