4+3 weeks. GP visit and sick bird!

Yesterday: I called in sick at work for the second day because on my last shift I was feeling really dizzy and completely exhausted and then got an appointment to see the GP. Before I went I rang the clinic to tell them of my positive pregnancy test and they booked me in for my 7 week scan, which will be the last of my treatment package with them. They told me to continue all my medication until twelve weeks, which is annoying because they have rubbish side effects but brilliant if they keep baby sticky!!

The GP appointment went well. She referred me to the midwife and booked my 12 week scan but we’ll probably have to cancel anyway as we’ll have hopefully moved into our new home by then in Sussex and will need to re-register. We received a pregnancy pack with a book that will have all my notes in, birth plans etc and some magazines. I also got my maternity exemption certificate meaning that I won’t have to pay for NHS prescriptions or dental care and she even wrote me a prescription for free Pregnacare (Folic acid, vit D etc) vitamins! The main bonus was that after telling her about my job; driving 3 hours and standing 10-12 hours, starting in the middle of the night etc, she wrote me a letter for work stating that I need to do “office based work” for the next 4 weeks! It feels strange asking for special adaptions at work so early on but at the same time, this is the most vulnerable time in pregnancy and I don’t want to risk problems because of my job, which is exhausting enough when not pregnant. I think when we move closer to the airport and also after I’ve had the first scan it’ll be easier. I emailed work with the letter but haven’t heard anything so I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing on Saturday when I’m next due on shift. 

Today: Booked an appointment at the vet for Buddy (budgie) as he’s been increasingly unwell 😦 He still can’t put weight on his foot after the accident on egg collection day and his eyes keep sticking shut. The vet quickly diagnosed him with a respiratory infection and gave us two lots of antibiotics which we need to give him in a syringe every day. This’ll be more challenging than giving M her injections! The rest of his nail also broke off when the vet was holding him and started bleeding again. The vet cauterised it so hopefully it’ll heal now. Poor bird, I really hope he’ll recover. He’s very special and we’re very attached to him ❤

 

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Sitting on the mirror- he’d do it all day if he could but we cover it up otherwise he becomes too attached to himself! 

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Buddy as a baby 🙂

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4+1 weeks PREGNANT!

4+1 weeks PREGNANT! Now I believe it!

After several, very faint second lines I persuaded M to get the digital one that would actually spell it out for me before I could believe it! I’m still so shocked, even though we had IVF and a good chance, I just can’t believe that I’m pregnant!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 Chicklets! You’re coming!!

11 DPT: Exciting times!

I have stayed clear from posting in this two-week-wait for fear of somehow jinxing it! (Sounds a little irrational I know!) But now I feel ready, we’re in a good place 🙂

I work shifts, took 4 days off and along with my actual days off, managed to have two weeks off from work in which I have not lifted a finger and just sat on my butt watching TV and producing smell 🙂 My wife has been amazing, coming home from work to feed me, cooking dinner even washing me in the shower and not letting me even push/pull a door! I’ve been really careful with my diet, only eating organic, no caffeine and nothing cold! It’s been hard and sounds crazy but we’d go to any length to increase our chances, even if it’s just by the tiniest fraction!

This waiting has been SO difficult! It’s on our minds the whole time! I’m back at work tomorrow and looking forward to the distraction but I work in a airport, I have 3am starts this week and my job is quite physical so I worry about exhausting myself. Nevertheless, I will put my pregnancy first and take it as easy as possible! It also doesn’t help that nobody in real life knows what we’re doing so my colleagues will be wondering where I was and why I’m now refusing to lift heavy bags! It’s a wonderful secret to have though 🙂

Symptoms have been coming and going. Firstly I had a lot of cramping, I’ve been constantly bloated. My boobs are sore and fuller and I started feeling nauseous about a week ago and that keeps increasing. I’m also really tired but that might be from doing nothing! Of course most of these symptoms are also side effects of the medication I’m on so I shouldn’t read too much into them!

Anyway the important part:

Our test day as advised by the clinic is on Tuesday 27th but of course we couldn’t wait that long!! In fact we’ve taken 5 tests already :-s

Test 1: 6DPT= negative (of course! way too early!). We were still disappointed, now we understand why people tell you to wait!

Test 2: 9DPT= negative (still too early)

Test 3: 9DPT, evening- wife has a good feeling and tells me to take another test even though it’s the same day. There is a really really really faint second line, that you can just about see if you look at it from an angle and under a bright light!

Test 4: 10DPT, again there is a really really faint second line but it’s slightly easier to see than the test before.

Test 5: 11 DPT (this morning). Second line is still really faint but it’s definitely there! You can see it from any angle and even from an arms length distance! See below, you can see it can’t you?!

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I’m pretty sure I’m pregnant……. so watch this space….!!

4 DPT and Feeling Hopeful!

We called the clinic today to find out the fate of our 4 remaining embryos. The four that were developing too slowly at day 3 but which they kept until day 6 in case they developed enough to be frozen. Unfortunately none of them made it 😦 It was disappointing news but the two that were transferred on Tuesday were way ahead and so we feel that they must be the special ones and keep praying for a BFP! 

We asked why they hadn’t used ICSI. Apparently they don’t on the first attempt, especially as the sperm was fine. We were just unlucky to have a low fertilisation rate and this couldn’t have been predicted. We will definitely insist on ICSI next time, whether it be a second attempt or (hopefully) returning for siblings. 

Since the transfer I have been a lot more bloated and a little crampy. My boobs are also super hard! It could be the medication but we’re remaining hopeful and there is no way we’ll make it 14 days before testing!!

What Happens After an Embryo Transfer?

Of course we’re trying not to read too much into it, but the below time-scale is useful to know! This is for a 3 day transfer only though, although a five-day is the same just a couple of days ahead. 

By the way, do you count days past transfer, starting the day after transfer or the same day as transfer?!

 

3-Day Transfer

Days Past 
Transfer (DPT)
 Embryo Development
 One The embryo continues to grow and develop, turning from a 6-8 cell embryo into a morula
 Two The cells of the morula continue to divide, developing into a blastocyst
 Three The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell 
 Four The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
 Five The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation 
 Six Implantation continues
 Seven Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop 
 Eight Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream 
 Nine Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted 
 Ten Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted  
 Eleven Levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy 

 

Day 15 & 16. It all happened all of a sudden!

Day 15 & 16. It all happened all of a sudden!

Monday:

This was two days post egg collection. We spent the whole day attempting to do a mortgage application, which seems to be impossible at the moment, which worries us as the longer it takes, the more chance we have of losing the house 😦

And then we spent the whole evening, Googling about how to convince the clinic that we want two embryos transferred, which is notoriously difficult thanks to the ‘one-at-a-time’ policy that the government is trying to implement.

We knew that the embryologist would phone the following morning to update us on how our six embryos were doing, but we were still convinced we wouldn’t be going in for the transfer until Thursday- day 5.

Tuesday:

08:20, the embryologist phones with the update. Out of the 6 embryos, only 2 had developed fast enough to make it to blastocysts/day 5. Those 2 had 8 and 9 cells and the remaining were; 2x 5 cells, 1 with 4 cells and 1 with 3 cells. They gave us a choice; either have 2 embryos transferred at day 3 (the same day) or 1 on day 5. However, despite the one-at-a-time policy they actually recommended the first option because even thought they had a lot of cells, they were still grade 2 (as some cells were fragmented). So before we knew it, we were off to the clinic for an unexpected transfer!

This whole journey has been a real eye-opener for us. We went into it so naively. We really thought that because we are still (just) under 30, are healthy and have no known fertility problems, that it would be a walk in the park. That we would get loads of healthy embryos and have all of the siblings from frozen ones (we want a big family). It hasn’t been like that at all. First we thought that 18 eggs was bad, then we accepted it was fine. But then only 6 fertilised, which was still okay. But then to hear that only 2 of those were strong enough was upsetting. We were disappointed that we went from 18 to 2. But we need to stay positive. The remaining 4 embryos will stay until Friday (day 6), to see if they develop enough to be frozen, so there’s still hope for them. And even more exciting is that, while I’m sitting here typing this, the two strongest are inside me, hopefully becoming a pregnancy! 🙂

Here’s a summary of the transfer.

We went to the clinic and both put on a gown as M came in with me for the actual procedure. I then proceeded to drink 4 bottles of water to fill my bladder. We went into the same room that M had her eggs collected in. The embryologist came in to confirm the plan. And then they started. A speculum was inserted and then they cleaned the cervix with something and the embryologist came in with the embryos in a long thin tube and we watched them being inserted via ultrasound. I can’t remember the exact details as it all happened so quickly and we didn’t know where to look exactly, it was quite confusing! The worst part for me is that it was SO uncomfortable! Firstly was the fact that, although I was used to opening my legs frequently for scans, there’s nothing quite like opening your legs, having your vagina opened wider than you knew it could go, then the bed being raised to eye-level and then having a massive light shining right at it!! But worse than that was having a completely full bladder at the same time, not being able to squeeze tight and having the ultrasound pressing right on it!! I have to admit that my concentration was wasted on trying not to wet myself in the embryologists face rather than what should have been a magical moment! It was the absolute opposite to relaxing! Afterwards I kept asking them if they had put the embryos in the right place, as if me trying to control my bladder had somehow blocked them. They assured me they had 🙂

And fortunately we got a picture to show for it! Our first scan photo! The embryos are difficult to see but they are roughly where I’ve circled it. We love this photo so much!

After the transfer I lied down for an hour in the recovery room. They told us we would be fine to go but we just wanted to be safe. And then we got a taxi all the way home. So weird to be watching all the tourists and workers of central London going about their daily lives when we’ve just done such an amazing thing!

Since then I’ve been on bed rest with M running about doing everything, amazing woman! Of course I’m capable of getting on as normal but we just don’t want to take any tiny chances at all.

This two-week-wait is going to be the hardest part now!

Day 14. We have embryos!

I was at work today, not expecting to hear anything from the clinic as they said they would ring on Monday. But sure enough at 8am, while I was right in the middle of handling passengers, my phone vibrated in my pocket, and I just ran off to answer it, it was the embryologist. 

So…. from 18 eggs collected, 14 of those were mature and 6 fertilised! 

I rang M straight away with the news. Again, we had been expecting more so we were a little disappointed but then we got to thinking, wow, we have 6 potential babies waiting there in the lab for us! And from all of the reading forums and blogs, trying to understand if 6 is a good number, there’s just no answer. No amount of maths or probability can predict our result. If it’s in our destiny it will happen and all we can do is stay positive and emanate positivity 🙂

The lab will call us on Tuesday morning with an update. If it looks like they will survive to day 5, I’ll have the transfer on Thursday, otherwise it’ll be on Tuesday 🙂

And my amazing wife is doing well after collection, still sore down below and she’s got very swollen boobs but other than that she’s not in pain, which is great 🙂