13dp14dt…hanging in there…

Yesterday I saw the strongest positive I’ve ever seen in my life! It was very timely as I have been petrified of having a chemical again.  Last time I had good positives (or I thought were good positives until I saw these ones!) but they started getting lighter at 12dp5dt and on 13dp5dt I got such a light positive I did a digital and came out as ‘not pregnant’ which was a shock after seeing the words ‘1-2 weeks’ a couple of days before.  So yesterday and today have been the days I’ve been dreading and thankfully the tests have been getting stronger and stronger – and as you can see, the test line was stronger than the control line yesterday! I did do a cheapie this morning just to make sure it’s still there (yes I’ve gone mad!), and it was very positive and dark so I’m happy…for now!

I’m finding it very hard to relax and enjoy this experience as I am literally just waiting for it to go wrong.  But I also do have something in the back of my head saying it’s the one this time…oh god I hope so!  I’ve been asked a couple of times weirdly when my due date would be.  I haven’t worked this out!! I’ve been concentrating on getting past my official test date which is tomorrow, and not thinking that far into the future.  I stupidly did that last time and look where that got me.  Anyway, I do kind of know – it’s January sometime.  I’m not going to properly work it out until I need to, and when I have had a scan at least.

I follow a lot of people on social media, and although it’s lovely to share journeys with each other, it really is sad to see all of those pregnancies that go wrong.  Life isn’t fair.  It also makes me not get too ahead of myself.

So official test date tomorrow.  Ironically I’ve run out of tests! I’ve ordered some from Amazon but they won’t be arriving until later.  I might need to just grab a cheapie today to do tomorrow to officially tell them it’s all going ok.  Then we get to book the scan! What?!!!! I’m not sure whether they do this at 6 or 7 weeks, but I think it will be in a couple of weeks or so.

Work has been an absolute nightmare the last week since I’ve come back.  I’m in recruitment and a lot has gone wrong, as it often does, and had lots of very annoying and frustrating conversations internally and with clients over different matters.  I think my hormones aren’t helping here though – for example, our admin assistance at work told me she didn’t have time to do my work as she was doing everyone else’s.  Well I kicked off! I’ve had a couple of naughty law firms trying to screw me over on fees too which hasn’t gone down too well.  I’m just trying to chill and realise it’s a job and not to take it too seriously – I want a baby more than a job!

Symptoms wise – it’s pretty quiet to be honest.  My boobs have got a couple more veins but not loads.  They look no bigger, and have had a little bit of pain but nothing like I’ve felt before.  I did have itchy boobs earlier so I’m not sure whether that’s something.  I am getting frustrated quite easily, like PMT feelings.  It’s weird as I didn’t have that at all with the IVF drugs.  I’ve also been a bit annoying with my husband – he can’t do anything right, but I feel like he’s doing things specifically to annoy me!! I’m sure he’s being absolutely the same but I can’t see that.  He is good in some ways as he does do a lot of washing and cooking.  He gets home a lot earlier than me so he has a lot more time than me, which I find highly annoying! Also he has decided to find a passion in his bike that he never had before – I think just to get away from me.  I just feel a little lonely in the process as I’m the one who has to take all the drugs, remember to take the drugs, inject myself with horrible Clexane (which I’m developing a fear of) and worry about what’s going on with this pregnancy.  I can’t get away! I’m stuck in my body while he gets to escape and not have to do anything horrible to his body.  Rant over!  Poor man living with me!

My biggest symptom at the moment has to be utter exhaustion.  I have heard this is pretty normal and the tiredness at the beginning of pregnancy is overwhelming, but I’m really struggling with it and keeping my job and life going slightly! Who knows what’s going to happen when morning sickness joins the party!  Onto official test date we go….

The truth about IVF

I’m now 11dp5dt and everything is still very much the same as yesterday.  I haven’t tested today but not had any signs that it’s gone wrong yet and still holding out to test on 14dp5dt as my official test date.  It will then be another 2 week wait for the 7 weeks scan…it’s all waiting!  So I wanted to use this opportunity, whilst I’m in the midst of a cycle, to hopefully tell you some truths about IVF.

As I mentioned before, I got really scared when I heard we would have to do IVF as I had reacted quite badly to the pill and the morning after pill previously and had also heard some very scary stories about IVF.

  1. You know nothing about IVF until you go through it – this is my first truth!
    Before I started IVF I thought I knew what it was about, but I really didn’t! I hadn’t a clue.  I had heard stories from the media or acquaintances who has been through it and who said ‘you go mad’ on the drugs, or injecting yourself is just awful etc.  It made me SO scared before I started and could have easily put me off altogether to be honest.  But you will never understand the enormity of IVF until you do it, and also the many myths that accompany it.  Please don’t listen to anyone else, it’s not that bad.  Especially don’t read into everything on the internet as it seems only people with negative experiences ever write anything (and that’s what I’m trying to change!).
  2. IVF drugs are nothing like the pill or morning after pill
    I have realised there’s absolutely no correlation between not suiting the pill and IVF treatment or actually pregnancy hormones for that matter! I went on the pill when I was younger and on one that I took, actually felt quite suicidal.  I quickly came off that.  I also took the morning after pill a couple of times in my life and have had very bad anxiety attacks after each.  With this in mind, you can see why I was petrified of the IVF hormones!  Well, I have had absolutely no reaction to the hormones given to me in IVF.  The only reaction I’ve had was when I came off the hormones the first time as I think my body went into a bit of shock.  I have had friends who have reacted to the hormones with IVF but haven’t had reactions with the pill.  It’s all very odd.  Also, having no reaction to the hormones used in IVF does not mean you won’t react to pregnancy hormones judging by my mood today!
  3. Injections don’t hurt (unless they’re Clexane)
    I watched a really good film the other day called ‘One Last Shot’ on Netflix all about a couple’s journey with IVF.  It was brilliantly shot and really did show the truth about the experience of IVF.  The only thing that annoyed me was all the faces and noises pulled when the lady was doing her injections! THEY DON’T HURT! Stop making people scared of injecting themselves.  The needles used are small and you inject subcutaneously, so into fat basically!  The only exception to this is the progesterone injections they seem to do in America that we don’t do over here – they look hideous with a big needle and into muscle, and the Clexane injections I’m doing at the moment that are quite hard to get into the skin as the needle is bigger, it feels like a bee has stung you afterwards for about 5 mins and leaves some crappy bruises!
  4. You can still live a normal life
    I’ve managed to continue working whilst doing most of the IVF process.  I’ve continued to do yoga and get on with life basically whilst down regging and stimming.  The only time I’ve changed my life is post transfer where I usually take a few days off work, mainly because I find work stressful and frustrating – not a good combo for when you’re trying to be relaxed.  Actually this time, I went straight to a hen do after transfer and didn’t really rest except on the long train ride!
  5. Sometimes it doesn’t work!
    People don’t tell you this! When you start IVF it’s usually after a long time of trying to get pregnant without success, so you think IVF is the last resort and often the answer to your prayers.  Well it’s not always! I have a friend who’s IVF worked first time and that’s amazing, but I think she might be the only one I’ve heard of! Be prepared for a long journey.  I’m not trying to be pessimistic, but no one was realistic with me and it was hard and quite shocking to me when it didn’t work the first time.
  6. Sometimes it does…
    I still can’t get excited this time.  I keep thinking maybe I will once I get past my clinic’s official test date on Thursday (17th May), or maybe after the first scan, or maybe after the 12 week scan, or maybe at 20 weeks.  Who knows.  It’s so easy to cloud this whole experience with what ifs and thinking negatively.  I now need to teach myself how to be more positive!

My reason for being here…

I decided to start this blog to help others, help myself, hopefully find some cathartic healing in writing everything down! I have found solace in other people’s blogs and vlogs for years now, particularly on the subject of fertility and IVF, and now I’m becoming an old hand at this process, I was hoping to perhaps impart some wisdom, or just have a moan.

I’ve never written a blog before and not even sure anyone reads them!

Our story:  So we started trying to have a baby in December 2014.  We were naive and thought it would happen very quickly.  January came and went without anything happening, and I seem to remember being so angry and upset when I came on my period on my husband’s birthday in February.  We were both disillusioned then!

We did manage to get a positive in July 2015 when I was at a festival.  I remember being very emotional on the journey to this festival, my boobs were massive and hurting, and I thought finally, maybe, this has worked.  The next day I did a test in a portaloo and there it was, the other line! I was so excited.  I cancelled my surfing lesson that day and walked around the festival in this serene glow of pregnancy.  I chose to ignore the horrendous period pain I was experiencing!  The next day I came on and that was that.

Fast forward another year of burying our head in the sand and trying every remedy known to man, we finally decided to seek some help.  We went in for testing and were told in May 2016 that in no uncertain terms we would need IVF.

I have always been so scared of IVF – I think the media, TV, chinese whispers, blogs on the internet all lead to making IVF much bigger than it is.  As soon as I was told the only way I would make a baby would be through pumping myself full of drugs and hormones, I broke down.  I also hid from the truth for another year before actually starting on the IVF journey.

We did the research on the clinics, we visited open days and got all the holidays and festivals out of the way before dedicating our lives to this next stage of the process.  We got my 30th birthday out of the way too so I could drink for one last night, and started our first round in July 2017.

Round 1 – July 2017: We managed to get 6 eggs, 4 fertilised, 2 became blastocysts, had one put back and one in the freezer.  BFN.  Terrible day as you go through the first round thinking it will work.  This is the answer to our prayers! I actually knew it hadn’t worked way before my official test day.  I am not known for my patience and 4 days after our 5 day transfer, I started testing!  I didn’t see a thing.  Even my eyes couldn’t deceive my brain.  There was nothing there, nothing changed and I started bleeding exactly 2 weeks after my egg collection and 9 days past 5 day transfer (9dp5dt).  I’ll talk about things in more depth in other blogs, but the drugs were fine!

So we booked another holiday to get over it!

Round 2 – October 2017:  We decided to go for a natural frozen transfer (FET).  This meant no drugs at all.  I had to track my ovulation and when I ovulated I called the clinic and they booked me in for a transfer 5 days after.  It was a much calmer process.  Even though the drugs didn’t affect me, it is stress for your body and the egg collection really wasn’t great so this time round seemed much more…natural.  However natural IVF can be!  And from 5 days post transfer I started getting a positive line! A very faint but definitely there line.  However, it didn’t get darker and I knew as time went on, it was very unlikely to be good news.  2 weeks after my ovulation I started bleeding again.

So we decided to take some time off as I couldn’t cope emotionally to keep going through this disappointment.  It was nearly Christmas and we thought – let’s at least enjoy ourselves.  And we very much did! And then we went skiing because apparently holidays are the only remedy to an IVF broken heart.

Sorry this blog isn’t very joyous – I promise I’ll get better.  Just having to tell the back story!

We went to the clinic to get answers.  I asked:

  • Can we get an endometrial scratch?  You can but we wouldn’t bother.
  • Can I get tested for the natural killer cells?  No we don’t believe in that.
  • Can we use embryo glue?  No we don’t believe in that.
  • Can we put two embryos back?  Do you want twins?  Because you’re young and you’ll end up having them.

It was a really helpful visit as you can see.  They just blew us off and said we’ll have a baby it might just take a few goes.  No more investigation.

Round 3 – February 2018:  So I got christmas cheer and skiing out my system, I went back to being healthy and we decided to start treatment again in February.  It was a fresh cycle again and they jacked my drugs up and we managed 11 eggs this time, 7 fertilised and 3 blasts.  One was put back and two put in the freezer.

It was different this time – everyone had hope.  My friends and family all ‘had a good feeling’.  I had dreamed I was pregnant with twins – it was weird.  The first two times I knew it wasn’t going to work in my head – but this time I knew it would work.  I had all the same feelings I did the second time (I’ll go into that in another blog) and I tested 4 days after transfer and could immediately see a positive line.  I didn’t tell my husband as I wanted to see it get darker.  So the next day, 5dp5dt, I saw the faintest line again but very clear.  Much clearer than the first time.  I did another test later that day and it was clear as anything.  It was such a magical day – I sent a photo of the tests to close friends who knew and we all couldn’t believe how dark it was already.

The best day was 5 days after that on the Saturday.  I was pretty used to seeing positive tests and did one in the morning ( a first response).  I went back to sleep and when I woke up the line was the darkest I had ever seen.  I then dipped a digital in the same wee from the morning that I had saved (mmm) and it came up ‘pregnant 1-2’.  It was true! I was pregnant!!

We were very much trying not to get excited but we couldn’t help it.  I just wanted to get past my period day and then I could start believing it.  So the Monday was period day and I sailed through that.  I stopped testing as there wasn’t much point testing any more and I went on for 5 more glorious days…

My clinic had told me to wait until the Friday to do another test, make sure it’s all going ok, then ring them to book in a scan.  A SCAN! What?!  I don’t have those because I’m never pregnant – oh wait, yes I am!  However, on the Thursday I was at work and something odd happened.  I came out of a meeting and just felt odd – I couldn’t put my finger on it.  So I went to Boots to get some tests as I needed them for the next day anyway.  I went to the bank and all of a sudden felt a rush of something downstairs.  I panicked, ran out and ran all the way back to work.  It was the worst feeling – I was hyperventilating and crying.  I got into the loo and I couldn’t even look.  When I did, everything was fine, but I really scared myself.

So I decided to do a test and it was a lot lighter, but I just blamed that on the fact I held my wee for only an hour.  I then waited another 1,5 hours and did another digital and FRER – digital said 1-2 still and the frer was darker than before but nowhere near as dark as earlier in the week.  I figured it was the dilute wee that cause the lines and the digital not moving up in weeks.

The next morning I woke up at 5.30am to test.  I did a clear blue this time and another digital – I saw straight away – the clear blue barely showed a line and the digital was doing it’s usual time dance before showing the result.  It finally came up ‘not pregnant’.  What?  I couldn’t believe it.

I won’t go into the rest of this for now, but let’s just say I’ve had an awful week.

So that’s me – our story. We are now on the 4th round journey and will be updating this as much as I can along the way.  Thanks for reading if you’ve stumbled across this 🙂

K x