The image says it all

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Sorry I’ve been off the radar for a while. It’s been two weeks since we found out about the second chemical pregnancy with a PGS normal embryo. I’ve been attempting to get over the pain and keep myself busy and focused on positive things…with mixed results.

I was back in London for a few days last week to catch up with a very good friend who was visiting from Australia. We got drunk on mojitos and ate Mexican food and it felt great. I also caught up with some other friends and generally tried to stay positive though it wasn’t as easy as expected due to something totally unrelated to infertility…

As you can imagine I’m a strong EU supporter because I’m one of the few British people who have actually used my passport to live and work in Europe. So for me the result of last Thursday’s the EU referendum was a disaster.  Waking up on Friday morning to the Brexit result was a total shock. I felt a heavy sense of grief about the result…about those future generations (perhaps our children) who wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the opportunities that I have had, and also about of xenophobia that is on the rise in my home country.

I was also deeply upset that my father had voted for ‘Leave’ and spent my last two days in the UK in shouting matches with him. Perhaps I was taking very personally because of the extra grief that I’m carrying around due to the IVF. But I can’t help feeling that by voting for Brexit he, and the other Leave voters, have contributed in making my life even more uncertain than ever as my husband and I now face questions about visas and residency here in Italy. And adding more uncertainty to our lives was the last thing we needed. So all in all the trip wasn’t the best distraction from our IVF woes to be honest.

I returned to Italy on Sunday and started my new job this week, it’s been good, really good in fact so far. The people are nice, and I am speaking Italian a lot of the time which helps me feel more connected and integrated (it’s easy to fall into an English ‘bubble’ as an expat). In the last couple of days I’ve been feeling relatively normal in fact.

Unfortunately today I realised with a jolt that these few days had been a fantasy land. One of my of very good friends here in Milan is pregnant (she did IVF twice) and texted me to say that has gone into the hospital this evening to be induced. At first I felt excited and nervous for her and then about 10 minutes later the grief and sadness hit me like a brick wall. I was at my new work and I had to run to the toilets and hide for a while.

I guess it’s understandable as it’s only been two weeks since we found out about the second chemical pregnancy (of our third IVF). I truly am happy for my friend, but it feels like a massive reminder of what my husband and I don’t have. And at the moment our infertility journey looks harder than even.

On that note I took advantage of being in London to see a doctor at the Lister Fertility Clinic that Waiting to Expect had kindly given me. I went into the appointment feeling prepared to talk about donor eggs as a next step, but the doctor actually more pushed the ‘trying again with own egg’ option. As a result I felt like I came out of the appointment feeling even more confused. In terms of logistics doing a full IVF (not just FET) would be pretty hard with my new job in Italy and doing it at this clinic with the PGD testing (for my BT) would cost a fortune…and I feel like we’ve already tried that 3 times.

At the moment I feel like I’m pretty much at the end of my patience with doing full IVFs with egg retrievals (and the dreaded wait for PGS results). Perhaps I’ll feel differently in a few weeks. I just don’t know. I feel like I don’t have a plan anymore…and don’t particularly want one…I just want the hurting to end.

 

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Just carrying on

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Today has been a difficult day…

After finding out about out second chemical with a PGD/PGS normal embryo I had a bit of a cry with my husband on Wednesday and then tried to bumble on and focus on happier things. I was pretty surprised that it sort of worked. I kept myself busy seeing friends at the weekend and am preparing to start my new job.

I knew today would be difficult. I had to go back to the fertility clinic first thing to get another HCG test (to check that the numbers are back at zero). I hate returning for those pointless blood tests, it feels like rubbing salt into the wound. In addition my period arrived today, and when changing a tampon earlier I noticed a large clot/red blob. I couldn’t help but think that it was probably our dead embryo/foetus and the full pain of this failure hit me then.

It’s hard to describe real grief to someone who hasn’t felt it. But I guess for me it’s when I experience both acute physical and mental pain. And they actually feed off each other. When the first transfer failed I crumpled to the floor and lay there wailing (like you see those women do on TV news when they’ve found out that their child has died in an airstrike or terrorist attack).

Today was a similar feeling, though not as extreme thankfully (probably due to being toughened up by last time). I feel like I’m  walking around with a big gaping wound that just hurts like hell right now. Ignoring won’t help it heal but instead prolongs the pain. The only way is to face up to it, let it wash over and accept that in time it will ease…because I know it will.

I know we’ll be ok, we’ll get our family somehow. I think it’s likely that I’ll have to grieve lost hopes and broken dreams (i.e. a genetic link to my child or the chance of being pregnant myself versus using a surrogate). I know that these challenges will be hard, but I also know that we’re strong enough to get through them…after all we’ve got this far…and just for that I’m feeling bloody proud.

So, now the longest day of the year is finally over, it’s time to crawl under the bedcovers with the vague hope that things will hurt less tomorrow.

Night night all…

Hello rock bottom, again

So here we are…at rock bottom again…we’ve been here a lot recently…I had a cry yesterday…admittedly not as much as last time but I think that’s because I’m getting used to the disappointment.

I took another pee test this morning (just to double check that some miracle hadn’t happened overnight) but the test was pretty much BFN so that’s my confirmation. I am stopping the drugs today.

I’ve asked to see the boss of the clinic to discuss what happened. The first appointment is 13 July so a few week’s away. I’ve also emailed the Lister clinic in London to see if I can get an appointment for next week, and also IVF Serum in Greece to see when they have availability. We’re not going to rush into any decisions…but instead get opinions from a few different places before working out next steps. My gut is feeling like maybe we should move onto donor eggs (which my husband is in favour of) but then due to the 2 chemicals I’m worried that we’ll have the same issues again. I’ve created a list of questions to ask the clinics, which no doubt will get longer before the appointments.

I guess the only ‘good’ thing that has come out of this is that I feel stronger this time. When I was waiting for the beta results call yesterday I kept telling myself that whatever happened I would be ok. And even though this hurts like hell, I know deep down now that it will be ok. We will get through this, we have before and we will again.

In the previous failed FET I also got made redundant and had a very nasty break up with that employer (involving threats of legal proceedings etc). The two factors combined to nearly push me over the edge. I was in a very dark place for a month or two afterwards and have lost a good friend along the way as a result.

This time around I instead have a new job to look forward to and a bit of free time beforehand to make the most of. So things in the rest of life are much better. I know that this time around I want to get back to the happy me (the one I used to be) as soon as possible. For that reason I’m heading to London next week to catch up with friends and to attempt to smile as much as possible. I’m sure there will be tears too….but if I can even laugh a little bit then I know I’ll be getting better.

So for now I’m clinging to the words of Brene Brown in ‘Rising Strong’…we infertility warriors are the true masters of this…

Happy Thursday folks…

 

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FET#2: 10dp5dt…BFP!!!

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. Today was the day I decided to do a home pregnancy test (as I’d decided that I couldn’t hold out until Wednesday after having the chemical pregnancy last time which was only picked up on my first beta at 14dp5dt when I think the HCG was already in decline).

I nearly chickened out as I was fully expecting a negative (see the last few posts for my rather pessimistic mood during this two week wait). But I grabbed the First Response and did it anyway….and within a minute or so there was a second line!! Big fat positive!! I couldn’t believe it!!!

I flew back to Milan last night so am home here alone (my husband returns from the music festival this afternoon/evening). So I’ve been flapping around the house a bit by myself for the past couple of hours not really know what to do with myself. I emailed the hospital and they advised me to start the Clexane injections today (anyone know if there’s a best time to do Clexane…morning/afternoon/evening?)

I haven’t found out whether I should come in early for the HCG beta. I’ll call them later to find out. My test was scheduled for Wednesday but I hope they’ll let me come in tomorrow morning instead.

So yes, in shock right now. Great news but not going to get my hopes too high after last time….just hoping and praying that this one sticks around…

Happy Monday guys!!

dav

 

FET#2: 6dp5dt

So today my patience is starting to wear thin…

As mentioned in my previous post I have come back to see my parents for a few days.

The reason I did this was because I’m not working in Milan at the moment and so I spend a lot of time alone there. In addition my husband is away for a 4 day stag do at the Isle of Wight festival this weekend so if I’d stayed in Milan I would be home alone all weekend there too. So instead I’m here hanging out with retired parents.

I have a weird relationship with my parents where in the first couple of days I really enjoy hanging out with them. But after that the novelty wears off and their constant mothering really starts to bug me (I’m sure I’m not alone in this!) It means that I start to revert to the teenager who wants to escape and rebel and not be bossed around.

Normally (i.e.when not doing IVF) I would keep myself sane by getting out for a run or heading down to London to have drinks with childless mates or seeing friends with kids.

Obviously running is out of bounds at the moment…and to make matters worse my mother is such a worrier that I had a battle just to get out for a walk today.

In terms of friends I have to go into London which is quite a full on journey from where my parents live particularly as it’s hot at the moment. I could probably do it…but I don’t want to overdo it in any way and then regret it afterwards.

So I’m kinda stuck…watching endless debates on the EU referendum which are interesting for the first few hours but after that seem to repeat themselves.

I just feel so stuck.

I know it’s only a few more days and I need to be patient but I’m oscillating wildly at the moment between wanting this all to be over because I’m sick of not living life my way (for more see my ahh f*ck it post) versus moments of optimism and talking to my belly.

Today has mostly been the former, but just as I was about to shed some tears of frustration I came across an album of baby photos of me that I’m not even sure I’ve seen before (see below). My plan is to stare at them until I fall asleep tonight and ask the universe for a couple of day’s more patience. Wish me luck.

dav

This is me at the grand old age of 20 days

FYI – this FET I am taking…

  • Prometrium progesterone pessaries 3 x day
  • Progynova (estradiol) 4 pills a day
  • Prednisone 5mg per day starting from transfer
  • Aspirin
  • Vit D
  • Methylated Vit B9 & 12 (as I have a MTHFR mutation)

FET#2: 5dp5dt

So getting there slowly. We returned from our short weekend break on Sunday night and the husband went back to work which meant I was at home alone….not great for the TWW as there are few (i.e. no) distractions.

I’d had no symptoms whatsoever and was going a bit stir crazy by myself so I decided to book some cheap flights back to the UK and hang out with my parents for a few days. I flew yesterday afternoon and at the airport had a sudden, out of nowhere, tummy upset (I’m talking three visits to a toilet in quick succession in various different parts of Departures).

It could very well be the drugs (the Prednisone caused bloating and mild depression in the first couple of days of this TWW) but I also had a similar thing on 2dp5dt on my last FET which was a chemical. So I’m hoping and praying that it’s a good sign related to implantation….we shall see. No sore boobs or anything else, but I read online that Prednisone can mask pregnancy symptoms, so that made me stop worrying too much about it all.

Emotionally I’m feeling much better now the depression from the Prednisone has worn off…I was crying every few minutes on Sunday afternoon/Monday and I kept having to remind myself that it was the drugs. I’m sleeping pretty well, and I’m feeling like I’ll be ok whatever the outcome.

Being in the UK helps massively, as it feels like a mental break from Italy where all of my IVF has taken place thusfar. I’m glad I decided to come…even if I do have to watch that horrible man (i.e. Nigel Farage) on TV every night at the moment.

I’m here until Sunday evening, at which point I fly back to Milan and start considering testing at home ahead of the official beta on Wednesday (which is 12dp5dt). In the meantime I plan to eat my body weight in English strawberries and asparagus.

So in honour of the lovely English summer here are a few gratuitous shots that I took last year…

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FYI – this FET I am taking…

  • Prometrium progesterone pessaries 3 x day
  • Progynova (estradiol) 4 pills a day
  • Prednisone 5mg per day starting from transfer
  • Aspirin
  • Vit D
  • Methylated Vit B9 & 12 (as I have a MTHFR mutation)

FET#2: 2dp5dt

So after the transfer and a good night’s sleep yesterday morning my husband and I headed out of Milan for a short weekend break to Bologna. Mainly because everyone else was out of town (it’s a long weekend here in Italy) but also because we thought it would be good to keep distracted. Our hotel was lovely and I had a lovely day lazing around it whilst my husband went sightseeing. Then we headed out of a fabulous dinner at a jazz club.

Today I’ve been more subdued. This day (2 days past transfer) in my last FET was when I had an upset tummy (I had a chemical so I suspect that the tummy was related to implantation). Today I’ve have nothing so far (it’s 4.30pm here).

All I feel is bloated this time like my first fresh transfer (which was a BFN). I know it could mean nothing but it’s so hard not to compare. Plus with the fact it was a grade C embryo (ok PGD normal though).

I’m also feeling subdued as on this day last transfer I was sacked by my ex-boss (the worst timing ever). I can’t help but brood on the fact that the stress of that might have caused the chemical…I can’t prove it in any way and it’s better not to think about it, but going through the transfer again brings up all these memories and emotions again which are still fairly raw.

I’ve sent the husband off walking now and I’m sitting at a cafè having a rooibos tea (I’m trying to take it easy and not walk too much). The sun is out and I’m in a beautiful spot (see photo just taken). I should be happy and enjoying the moment but it’s just so damn hard sometimes….

dav

FYI – this FET I am taking…

  • Prometrium progesterone pessaries 3 x day
  • Progynova (estradiol) 4 pills a day
  • Prednisone 5mg per day starting from transfer
  • Aspirin
  • Vit D
  • Methylated Vit B9 & 12 (as I have a MTHFR mutation)

FET#2: post embryo transfer

Just a quick update to say the transfer went ok…well ok apart from being delayed and having to hold my bladder for AGES. I let some of the pee out but was still in pain afterwards and still am now…I have a feel that I might have an overactive bladder as I got pain on my last one and also sometimes get pain when I’m tired and stressed.

Any ideas on how to make the pain go away?? Any tips would be gratefully received as I’m not looking forward to a sleepless night with this pain.

I also wanted to let you know that my nickname for this embryo is Tom Jones…weird I know as we don’t know the gender but it seemed appropriate as Tom Jones ‘Sex Bomb’ was playing in the operating theatre during the transfer. The Italian nurse thought it was a major coincidence that they were playing an English song as me (and English woman) was having a transfer. I didn’t point out to him that Tom Jones is Welsh, as it would have spoiled the moment (haha!). I did somehow manage to make a joke in Italian related to me not exactly feeling like a sex bomb at that moment (ie in stirrups)…which I was pretty proud of…joking in a foreign language is hard at the best of times…and this was definitely not the best of times!!

bladder

FYI – this FET I am taking…

  • Prometrium progesterone pessaries 3 x day
  • Progynova (estradiol) 4 pills a day
  • Prednisone 5mg per day starting from transfer
  • Aspirin
  • Vit D
  • Methylated Vit B9 & 12 (as I have a MTHFR mutation)

 

This morning

This is gonna be me today after a bad night’s sleep. I drifted off at 11pm-ish but woke with a start when my husband came to bed (around 2ish?) and due to a combination of nerves and heat and mosquitoes I didn’t properly sleep from 4am onwards but instead drifted on and out of consciousness. Boh…

tired-dog

At least the tiredness has taken the edge off any nerves. Feeling bizarrely calm again, just expectant instead of panicked. Should get the call in the next two hours to find out if our embryo thawed out ok.

FYI – this FET I am taking…

  • Prometrium progesterone pessaries 3 x day
  • Progynova (estradiol) 4 pills a day
  • Prednisone 5mg per day starting from transfer
  • Aspirin
  • Vit D
  • Methylated Vit B9 & 12 (as I have a MTHFR mutation)