Just carrying on

Sometimes-carrying-on-just-carrying-on-is-the-sup

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…

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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)

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)

FET #2: Transfer day eve

So it’s the big ‘T’ day tomorrow. I’m feeling weirdly calm about it which is a big improvement from last time so that’s good at least. Not working helps, as does yoga.

I had a mini attack of the nerves last night am proud to say that with a bit of yoga I got over it. I know that tomorrow will be stressful but I’ll just have to deal with it when I get to it.

I have to pop a Prednisone pill in addition to my usual drugs (and pessary) when I first wake up then wait beside the telephone between 8&10am to hear whether our little C grade embryo has defrosted ok. If yes, then they’ll tell me what time to come in to the clinic. That will be followed by lots of waiting around at the hospital with a full bladder (it’s impossible to judge the whole bladder thing because of the random amounts of time they keep you waiting at our hospital…fun fun fun).

It’s a public holiday here in Italy today and 99% of the people in Milan have taken the Friday off for a long weekend. I was worried about my acupuncturist being away but he’s stayed in town especially for me (what an amazing man!) I had my pre session this afternoon with him and have my post one straight after the hospital tomorrow. To thank him I’ve baked some lemon cupcakes (see photo…the lettering spells out ‘grazie mille’). They’re a bit messy and nowhere near as good as Nara’s cupcakes, but hopefully they’ll be appreciated.

dav

So all in all feeling bizarrely ok. I think having low expectations helps this time, oh and knowing that I can’t be sacked midway through the two week wait.

I know that whatever happens we’ll be ok.

I hope everyone else out there is doing ok today. Happy Italian Republic Day from a very rainy Milan.

 

 

FET#2: first monitoring appointment

dildocam

It’s dildocam time!!

Today is cycle day 9 and I was up early and at the hospital for my first endometrial lining check.

As I was sitting in the waiting room one of my favourite doctors walked past and gave me a wave. I waved back and all the other women waiting around me turned to look. At that moment I realised with a slight sinking feeling that I have now become one of the old timers at the clinic. All the staff know me there: partly because I am a ‘difficult case’ (with BT and three IVFs to my name) and partly because I stick out like a sore thumb being foreign and about a foot taller than the majority of their patients (Italian women are extremely short and petite, I am very much the opposite).

The doctors work on rotation for monitoring appointments at the hospital so I get a different one each time. Annoyingly this time I got my least favourite doctor who always rushes through the appointment at incredibly high speed. After a quick dildocam session I found myself stood by her desk still pulling up my trousers whilst she was telling me important information about my drugs. Since I’m an old timer these sort of things don’t panic me like they used to and I am weirdly proud to say that I have mastered the art of conversing in a foreign language about drug schedules whilst  pulling on my underwear or tying up my laces…(not a life skill that I ever pictured myself acquiring).

It turned out that during my previous appointment (which was also rushed) one of the other doctors made a mistake on the drug schedule and I should be on a slightly higher dosage of estogen pills per day by now. It’s not a big deal and doesn’t affect the FET (apart from making the process slightly longer) but it’s pretty annoying as I’d emailed the previous doctor to check and she had confirmed the lower dosage. Grrr…

From today my dosage has been upped to 4 estrogen pills a day. In my previous FET this dosage made me feel generalised anxiety (tight chest, churning guts, general dread feeling). I’m hoping that this time around (without a stressful job) I will feel better. The next appointment is on Friday morning and if the lining is thick enough then I’ll be starting progesterone pessaries for 5 days before doing the transfer.

A complicating factor for this cycle is my sister-in-laws’ wedding which takes place this Saturday in Scotland. We’d booked flights from Italy to Scotland for Thursday evening but today I’ve had to change mine to Friday evening. We’ve now got to keep everything crossed that the hospital doesn’t need to see me again on the Saturday morning (an unlikely scenario I think, but you never know).

The timing is very irritating, and I’d asked the clinic whether I was able to take birth control pills on my previous cycle to time my period and therefore avoid this issue but they told me that it was bad for my body before a transfer cycle, so we’re stuck in this rather difficult situation. My husband’s family are very understanding but it’s not an ideal scenario. Oh well….deep breaths…

Happy Monday everyone.

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)