First week of Stimming!

What a week,

As most IVF ladies know the moment you walk out of the app. With your green esky full of medication you know it’s really happening. It’s a moment of excitement and nerves as you start trying to process the conversations that just took place. There I was, with my green esky wondering how do I hide this n the drug fridge at work, without every nurse and Doctor in the place knowing I’m cycling? Thank goodness for a discreet manager!

 

So for the past 6 days I have been “stimming.” The hubby has been giving me my needles in the morning before work. It’s actually a really nice few minutes together. Sounds odd I know, but we get up, make a sick joke, for example “let’s go make a baby” as we wonder down stairs to the kitchen to get the injections out of the fridge!   DH has taken a very active role which is great! He gets the needles ready, gives me a kiss, and then stabs away. The needles aren’t a problem, they sting a tiny bit but that’s about it.

I had friends stay over the weekend, one has a 18 month old and the other is 27 weeks UTD, when I found out about her pregnancy after her one month of trying I was thrilled before but insanely sad for myself. At that stage I had been trying for 6 month with one MC and my heart was breaking inside. It is a difficult feeling as you are truly so incredibly happy for your friend. They have got it first go and therefore the heart break I was going thru they wouldn’t need to feel. This was good news, but I didn’t stop crying for about 4 hours, just sad and sorry for myself really.   Was moderately concerned how I would feel seeing her this weekend as being in the emotional wreckage that is cycling thru IVF I had pre warned her I might burst into tears, but as soon as she was here it was truly gorgeous! She looked incredible and I felt nothing but happiness and excitement for my dear friend who deserves every happiness! It was a great weekend, and I felt human again! A new city where I know no one turned into dinners and coffees with my dear friends and I was so happy. It also made the weekend go fast as my first scan was Monday!

Couldn’t sleep last night I was so nervous. I have barely felt anything this week. I am tired, bloated/puffy and emotional but other than a few little twinges and aches I was starting to think I wasn’t responding to the medications! The nurse I saw in my initial consultation said I was at risk of under stimulation given my and that fact they were starting me on the lower end of the scale in terms of dosing.  I was worried, I really didn’t want the journey to come to an abrupt stop now. Imagine after two weeks of medications and a week of daily injections being told it was for nothing! No thanks!

 

Ultrasounds and bloods this morning. I don’t know blood results until later this afternoon. The only thing that could stop the process from that end is if my oestrogen has shot thru the roof and I am at risk of over stimulation. Fingers crossed its good news!

But… ultrasound! I am responding!!!!!!

24 beautiful follicles growing! The nurse thinks Friday or Monday for EPU!

 

Wish me luck! I’ll up date at the Wednesday scan or if it all ends this afternoon with bad bloods! xxx

 

 

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Ticket please, a direct line if possible!

 

 

 

The roller coaster that is assisted conception has successful rolled over the first hill!

10 days of syranel nasal spray and my nose hurts, I’m flat as a tack, bloated, emotional and headaches pounding thru my brain despite 3 litres of water a day! Apart from one massive evening of uncountable tears I have only shed the odd few!

A huge part of this journey is waiting without knowledge. What I mean by this is, your miracle is only a few massive hurdles/loops/mountains away but at the base of each hill there is a hurdle that you cannot jump without your tests coming back as they should. I had the first hurdle while waiting for my bloods tests 12 days ago to find out if I could start. This was reliant on finding out if I had ovulated and that my oestrogen was on the way down. I had the blood test then I waited, there was no way of knowing, I felt no different to any other month, I had no ability to control this. Yesterday I had my 10 days on medication/cycle day 2 bloods. This was the next hurdle. I was seriously worried the meds weren’t working; I had no knowledge or way of knowing that they were. Yes, I had side effects but I was also leading up to AF.

Clinic day, I was up and there by 7:30am, I thought this was early and there would be very few people there. NO, how very wrong I was. The place was packed, and how incredibly depressing.   Most of us needing support and people to bounce ideas off write blogs or join support forums,   yet true to social media outlets we can open up and discuss intimate details online but enter a room full of women going thru exactly the same thing and do you think we can talk to each other? You could hear crickets in this room! I was so sad; I even tried to smile at a few ladies that were coming in. Sit here, talk to me….. Silence. Oh how depressing..

The nurses were buzzing around, ladies coming in and out in different states of distress, happiness, confusion etc the raw emotions in this room was extreme. Maybe that’s why we couldn’t talk to each other or barely notice the other women’s existence. We were all in some state of desperate despair to get our miracles and to stop completely breaking down in the middle of a packed waiting room, this required intense focus!

Finally I was called in, I was expecting to be rushed in and out but the nurse was kind, patient, and didn’t seem to be aware of the bursting waiting room. I appreciated this. Bloods were taken and we discussed the barriers to the next step. As much as I try I am unable to be the glass half full person. I was to know all the bad stuff first in order to prepare. Several barriers could jump out. Firstly, pregnant, (unlikely considering I’m on cycle day 2 and WHY NOW?) and also the one I was most stressed out, my oestrogen not at baseline also known as not responding to the meds.

I was given the next round of medications and showed how to inject myself, the dose and the plan just in case everything was perfect and I could start.  I left and went to work to wait the long 6 hours until I could call for results.

Hickory dickory dock, the mouse ran up the clock, the clock struck 2:30pm and I was on the phone!

The nurse said and I quote, “wow, you can start tomorrow” sorry? Wow? “Yes your levels are very low, you responded very well to the medication”. No wonder I felt flat I barely had any oestrogen left!

Good news, thank goodness! I finally felt like I could breathe! The meds were in the nurses fridge at work, hiding in the back out of sight and my little IVF train chugging along added some more coal and repeated “I think I can, I think I can”

drug me up!

 

So now we had a plan, this is a big step and an expensive step but when it’s to make a family you don’t tend to dwell on the negatives.

So now a couple of issues arise, firstly the question of do you tell your work? You know you will need some days off and will need to duck out to appointments here and there.  But, can you do this without telling them? And, secondly, do you tell family and friends?

I am currently in a new city so I decided to tell my closest friends in Sydney and my fav Aunty and Mum. A girl needs her favourites for support.  I also decided I would tell my director and line manager, this turned out to be the best decision possible as I was knew in this job and didn’t want to test the boundaries to far without support.  Turned out my line manager had 4 IVF babies! Ok, so support locked in, thankyou ladies!   I’ll let you know what hubby told his boss later!

I could now happily and obsessively google, research, read, re-read, all the info I possibly could for the type of cycle they had picked for me!

In IVF everything seems to be planned around a women’s age, the only thing that was confirmed was we needed ICSI due to hubby’s lack of morphology.  I am young, with no diagnosed issue yet, agonist cycle was planned out for me.  This is the down regulation cycle. Also known as the Long cycle! More waiting, but at least you are actively doing something I guess.

Plan:

Syranel nasal spray once mane, once nocte. Start Friday! Or day 19 ish

Bloods Monday 24th to see if I can start Injections of 150 puregon.

So now it’s the 21st, I have three more days until bloods and the next step confirmed.

The nurse said I am unlikely to be at risk of OHSS but actually more at risk of under stimulation. I didn’t like this much! Under stimulating means, not enough follicles, leading to not enough eggs, and they won’t take me for EPU (egg pick up) unless I have more than 6. Luckily they monitor you closely during the next few weeks so hopefully they will increase meds if they pick up on that.

But for now I am on day 7 of first meds, the spray.  I had expected to feel nothing to be honest.  However, I was brutally wrong.  By day 3 I was emotional, headaches, tired, dry eyes, and generally achy.  I actually feel like a 65 year old woman.  I have no energy and no libido.  Blah! These are all common side effects so I guess it gives me confidence its working but I already miss my old self.

Hubby was late home from work yesterday and frustrated after a busy day.  I asked him a simple question and he snapped at me, didn’t yell, raise his voice or anything but the tone and speed of the reply wasn’t ideal.  Normal me would snap right back, hormonal suedo menopausal me burst into tears!   That was it, I sobbed, hurt thru to my soul for about an hour.  I think it was the first time hubby really noticed how much the meds were getting to me. Poor kid! I got a massage and he did the washing up! Maybe it’s worth it after all 😉

The green light! when hope returns

I don’t know about you, but when I want something, I find it difficult to think about anything else.  These three months we put several things into action.

  1. DH on his vitamins
  2. Regular exercise for me and whenever I could drag DH out of OT
  3. Better sleeping patterns
  4. NO/ decreased alcohol
  5. Continue eating healthy

We had been told that there was a potential for swimmer numbers in all areas could drastically increase with the above changes and vitamins.  So we were hopeful that we would have an amazing jump up in numbers and our TTC journey would end with a positive naturally conceived miracle!

Nope!

We had moved states so this meant potentially we would have to start from the beginning, I got a referral, and as luck would have it the Specialist I had picked unexpectedly did a day a month at my new work for his public appearance! YES! I was down that corridor as he walked in the door! :” Hello, I am your new colleague and patient, make me a baby!”  Thankfully he had a sense of humour and said, “ok, now or in a bit?”  I got in to see him within two weeks!

 

As I walked in with DH the FS said I looked like a women on a mission! I think he must have known messing with a Surgeon his baby hungry wife was not really an option! He patiently went thru all our previous tests and did the obligatory we could, maybe, possibly, try this other stuff first, but in the end he openly stated what we already knew, ICSI was our only real option!

So I walked out of there with the green light! Being the over obsessed, super organised nut case I am I had actually already booked my first clinic app. But now I could beg/negotiate for an earlier app. Which we got! (I should be in politics).

 A week later we were there, and by we, I mean me, DH was naturally stuck saving someone’s life in OT while I was trying to make one.  He is always there at crunch time which is great, but its times like this when I wonder what it would be like to have him working in an office with flexible hours and non-life saving callouts!  But then I remember the man he is and just think, there is no way he would be happy firstly, surgery is his absolute passion, and secondly how incredibly selfish I am sometimes, he is an incredible surgeon, the kind you would want looking after your nanna or baby! You know the Doctors that even the Nurses in theatre or on the wards say, “oh thank god he’s on today”; you know that the patients will be looked after with 100% attention.  But, this means I have to share.

Into the clinic a week later, paper work done, everything signed and first payment made, now it was just a matter of when can we start!  The head Nurse at the clinic was professional and seemed to understand my apparent urgency to commence treatment.  She made a comment “oh, you’re not a nurse are you”, aaahhh YES I am! This got things moving lol.  Bloods done in between signing consents and explaining the plan, my god I better have not missed this cycle!

Ladies going thru this kind of TTC journey will understand that often the wait to start a new cycle is worse than the TWW to test for a (+).   You have nothing to do but wait and wait and wait. Awful!  After leaving the clinic with first meds in hand just in case I can start this cycle I went to work to wait for the phone call.

 

5 hours later the nurse called! “We caught you just in time” (well I caught myself just in time by re-arranging appointments, but ok, well done) I was instructed to start the first meds Friday! A mere two days away! YES!

The first plan of action!

So long story short, month after month of getting my hopes up only for AF to show. Negative after negative!

I am too young for this! Being a nurse I naturally start thinking the worse! And of course, I think it’s all me! I am infertile, my husband will leave me, I can’t produce a child, that’s it what’s the point, can we adopt? Can we do IVF?

OMG the things in my head! Then the depression sinks in, I wasn’t working at the time as we were travelling for husbands work.  I was lonely, sad and infertile (or so I thought).

We then settled in a spot for a few months so I got myself into gear and got a referral to a fertility specialist.  I decided that with this spare time I should at least try to get all the tests done so if there was anything I could possibly do to correct this situation I knew about it now!

DH was reluctant at first but quickly got on board as I think he could see my spirits lift a bit with a plan in place.  That doesn’t mean we had it easy sailing, my emotions were such a mess I could barely hold a sentence. Poor guy, I don’t think I gave him enough credit for putting up with my disaster of a mental health crisis.  So off we went to the Doctors, got all the tests done.

Bloods, ultrasounds, more bloods, SA for hubby.  (This nearly divorced us, he is not a natural self-pleaser so it was a tough day for both of us, funny to laugh at now tho!) Then it was a wait for results and another app…. Well results are in, I am fine, and doing everything I should be, no problems.  But DH not so good.   Ummmmm I hadn’t even considered this?  It took a few minutes to sink in, DH looked confused, and I was stunned. I was fine, all this worry and now I have to worry about DH? WHAT?   Turns out it wasn’t terrible but low morphology isn’t a great! 3% are you kidding? Dr. says “look you guys are moving around, take theses vitamins and keep trying for three more months”

Not cool! Not happy with that but no choice! Hhmm

Well three months later and of course nothing!

So ED, interesting place as the patient not the nurse!

 

You see, I am a nurse; I have worked in Emergency departments for 5 years prior to a career change two years ago.  I have been the nurse looking after multiple women all experiencing the worst day in their life, they day they lose their baby.

Now I don’t know how you feel about what classifies as a MC but I personally feel that if the women says she’s pregnant even if she is only a day late she will still hurt, and suffer from that perceived loss. It is subjective and no one has the right to say otherwise.

I was 5 weeks and 4 days.  I was hurting thru to my bones.  There was not a piece of me that didn’t ache.  I recognised all the signs and symptoms and I knew what was happening but a glimmer of hope still remained.

Hope is a funny thing, even when you know all is lost and there is no coming back from this right now, even a sideways glance will stimulate your “hope” mechanism. 

 My DH is a Dr. and we knew the head of the department that night and luckily it wasn’t busy so we were rushed in.  My poor DH was white; he had never been on this side of the relationship. I was stripped off and popped into a gloriously unflattering hospital gown and bloods taken.   Then the dreaded spec exam, DH was ushered out of the room and I was left to hold hands with a random nurse as my junior Dr. was a dude.  I have never really understood this, if the female nurse needs to be in the room for legal reasons that’s fine, but I want my hubby holding my hand.  I always got the husbands in the room if the wife wanted it in this circumstance, it was weird and uncomfortable.

Well I will spare you the gory details but it was all over, bloods levels were 7, that s a definite, “its all over, rover”.  No need to be in hospital so off we went home. We stopped for some comfort food and in walks the bloody dr. oh awkward …. Ah well, had a specialist app the following day just to confirm everything was gone so there was that to look forward to,  NOT!

The next few weeks were weird, some friends who knew were extremely supportive, but my SIL was not so much.  Despite having a kid, and another on the way the response was, “oh, that early isn’t even a real pregnancy”,  oh really princess…….. Every urge I had to slap was suppressed.

 

And so began the next few months………

That 7 days…..

 

What a glorious week we had.  I felt like I was glowing, my skin looked great, I was tired and bathroom trips were getting me up continually but I loved it.  My DH was so attentive; we were in this glorious bubble of post wedding/honeymoon/baby making bliss.

Nothing Is ever perfect and out little problem was in two months we would be moving states for 6 months so I needed to be seen by a specialist asap to ensure we had a private Obs in our home state come D day!  Went to GP’s got positive bloods (levels were a bit low) but GP said “yep” positive and so I booked our private Obs for the following week.  This was clearly very early to be seeing someone but as I said we had moving dates and in NSW we needed a confirmed spot!

I discussed having the afternoon off from work; luckily I had an amazing boss who just said go for it! Appointment was booked for the following Tuesday, 7 days away.

I do regular yoga so I thought I should just let me instructor know, and a program was worked out to avoid any over strenuous positions or twists etc but on the Friday class I had a nagging throb in my lower back that I just couldn’t stretch out.  After class it escalated into sharp pain shooting straight down the back of my thigh.  I thought maybe sciatica or a muscle twinge from softening my yoga practise but I couldn’t shake it!

Saturday morning I woke up suddenly, and I could think was “I didn’t wake during the night to pee” then it hit me, all my glorious, glowing, happy feelings had completely left the building!  Everything felt different, still a minor ache in my back, but everything felt smaller, softer, less full really.

 

By Sunday night I had my first bleed, I was still getting positive Hpt so I confided in a friend who said her entire pregnancy she had bleed thru.  So my poor little heart clung to every word she said, but my soul new that it was over, this little bean inside me was never going to sprout and it was just a matter of time.

 

Monday came and by the afternoon I was a mess, emotionally I was a train wreck and the bleeding had got so ridiculous it was time to see a doctor (big ask for me! I am a nurse and DH is a surgeon) but we knew we just needed to be checked.

Emergency department is the next instalment…… 

Good night lovelies xx