5+5 weeks. Just waiting…

5+5 weeks. Just waiting...

I never realised how slowly time goes in early pregnancy and how that first scan seems like an eternity away. Even though we’re having a scan at 7 weeks with our clinic and most people have to wait for the standard 12 week scan. I guess it’s because when ever you find out that someone is pregnant, the next minute their bump is showing and it’s all a big sudden surprise. You don’t realise the slow and agonising wait they’ve already gone through, not knowing if everything is as it it should be, worrying about all their symptoms and what they should or should not be feeling, it’s quite a lonely experience but overwhelmingly exciting at the same time!

So far the only people that know are M’s sister and occupational health at my work. And I haven’t been to work for two weeks now because my GP requested amended duties and work haven’t sorted that out yet. It’s great to not have to worry about occupational health hazards but doing nothing at home every day (in our tiny box of a flat) is so boring and makes the days go so much slower! And all I can think about is whats happening inside me!!

Symptoms have increased this week. I feel constantly sick and still cramping and getting back pain. Not to mention extreme tiredness- and I’m not even doing anything!

We took the last pregnancy test this morning and got the celebrated “3+” result. We’re are really really wishing for twins but are just ecstatic to be pregnant!

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!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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 wonderingΒ where I was and why I’m now refusing to lift heavy bags! It’s a wonderful secret to have though πŸ™‚

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?!

image

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.Β 

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!!

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! πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 ranΒ off to answer it, it was the embryologist.Β 

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

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚Β 

Day 13: Continued. Eggs collected!

M was in theatre for nearly 40 minutes and when she came back she was hilarious! And smiling thankfully. It was so funny, like she was completely drunk, she was just talking nonsense, I’m not even sure it was English and repeating herself over and over again, asking the nurses if they collected what they needed and how many eggs and kept saying “I did it”, “I did it!”. She was completely knocked out for the procedure and didn’t feel a thing. I guess the nervousness before was all about the unknown (we didn’t understand what the sedation was) and I’m so glad that it went well for her πŸ™‚

After a cup of tea and a biscuit the consultant came it with the news: 18 eggs collected! πŸ™‚ They said that that was really good, but we were initially slightly disappointed after having read so many stories about 40/50+ eggs being collected. At the end of the day, it’s the quality that counts and after 18, hopefully M won’t be in too much pain. So far, so good, we’re back home and tucked in bed and she feels okay, just a little uncomfortable. Oh and the bird’s foot is recovering πŸ˜‰

After the egg collection I also had a scan to check if my lining is ready yet, on Wednesday it was 6.5mm and needed to be 8, now after increased doses and patches it’s 8.3mm, so that’s another piece of good news! Now I have to start on Cyclogest twice a day (pessaries up my bum). The horrors we have to go through! Gross!

We’ll hear from the embryologist on Monday morning about how the eggs and sperm got on πŸ™‚ And hopefully they’ll make it to 5 days! If they need to do ICSI (if the sperm didn’t thaw well), they’ll let us know today, but so far we haven’t heard anything so it sounds like some good sperm πŸ™‚

Today really made me grateful and glad that we are doing this together and creating our baby together. M’s done her most important part now and is passing the baton on to me. It feels so special ❀

Happy days so far! Wish us luck!

Day 11 & 12. No more injections!!

Day 11 & 12. No more injections!!

Day 11: 18:30, M has last Gonal-F and Orgalutron injections. 21:30 (sharp!) M has the trigger injection Buserilin!!

Day 12: Rest day, no more drugs for M, just the most important part tomorrow, egg collection!

I’m really proud of my wife for having had all these injections, they’ve made her feel pretty crappy too. Just praying for a successful collection tomorrow! I’ll write all about it.

Day 8, 9 & 10. Eggs are ready!!!

All of a sudden it’s all happening!

Monday: M went for a scan, follicles had made an improvement but were nowhere near ready. Maybe egg collection next Monday at the earliest. M started Orgalutron injections. Orgalutron works by preventing a surge of LH and allowing the follicles to develop fully. The injection is slightly more painful than the Gonal-F as the needle is thicker and afterwards the injection site (for M anyway) gets red and little swollen for a couple of hours.

Tuesday: We had a lazy day at home. M’s stomach seems to be getting really bloated and she says she can feel something going on!Β 

Wednesday: Back to the clinic, scans for both of us. I went first and have been told that my womb lining is thickening up, its around 6.5mm now but needs to be at least 8mm, so my dosage of Progynova has been increased to 5 tablets a day and I now need to wear Estradial patches on my thigh to speed it up because….. woah, M’s follicles have grown massive and she’s ready for egg collection!!!

Β 

So tomorrow night she will be taking Buserilin trigger injection, having a drug-free day on Friday and then back to the clinic Saturday morning for collection!Β 

We are so excited!!! I know M is nervous about the collection and I’m worried about theΒ pain for her, just hoping it’ll be as comfortable as possible and we will have some good quality eggs/future chicklets ready for the oven πŸ™‚Β 

Day 6 & 7. Gonal-F video

This weekend has been pretty uneventful. I’ve been working and we’ve been taking our medication as usual. So to liven the blog up we made our first video! It also doubles up as an instruction guide to injecting Gonal-F (hopefully). Tomorrow is M’s next scan to see if the increased dosage has worked, she thinks it is because she’s feeling more bloated and like something is happening- fingers crossed!