A little more brutal than I remember…

 

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I’ve realised that perhaps IVF is a little like people say childbirth is ie you forget what it was actually like, so that you do it again! I thought the photo was apt, as although I’ve always wanted to buy something from @Muthahood, I always felt a bit like a fraud, because I’m not actually a mum yet. But I’ve realised that all the women and couples going through IVF epitomise exactly what this sweatshirt says, and everyone needs a positive slogan in their life

To give this some sort of context, I thought I would give a little run down on what I’ve been pouring into my body to help mini Dwighty along, and how it makes you feel.

The first week of the treatment/ cycle that I am on, which is called a FLARE/ Natural cycle, is pretty straightforward, as these things go. It means I didn’t have to take any drugs prior to the first day of my cycle. Often some people have to down regulate first which means suppressing your natural cycle, so that the drugs can then takeover and determine when your cycle begins.

So for the last week or so I have been on a lovely cocktail mix of the following, everyday more or less:

  • Fostimon – which is a form of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
  • Merional – is also used as part of the hormone treatment for stimulating ovaries. (FSH & LH)
  • Cetrotide – is a synthetic form of a natural hormone that blocks ovulation. This prevents a premature surge of LH (Luteinising Hormone – which is the hormone that ultimately results in the release of the egg from the ovary) and allows the follicles to develop fully. This is the one that they seem to believe you have to take at 5am!
  • Aspirin – thins the blood and this can help in improving the blood flow to the lining of the uterus, which may help improve the chances of implantation.
  • Clexane – also helps to thin your blood and works by stopping blood clots forming and improving blood flow to the uterus and lining, and in turn helping with implantation. Anything sounds good!
  • Levothyroxine – another little gem to help the whole process and my immunes. Thyroxine controls how much energy your body uses.
  • Dexamethasone – is a steroid and an effective way of treating inflammation in the body and this also may improve implantation. I’ll take that thankyou!
  • Cheeky course of antibiotics after my cyst aspiration, which gave me some lovely side effects, that don’t need to be elaborated upon!

 

Straightforward does still mean: Cetrotide injection 5am; tablets in the morning before I leave the house; 7.30am Blood Test; Fostimon/ Merional injections when they “call” after my bloods have been screened (which can often be straight away, I was in the loo in John Lewis the other day!), and Clexane 12 hours after my aspirin.

You have to carry your medication around with you all the time, hence my “walking pharmacy” analogy, mine is in a fetching Thermos cool bag. The best advice I was ever given is to carry a notebook around with you as well, so you can note down all the instructions correctly, as often there is more than one and the information can be a bit overwhelming/ confusing. Even when you do though, you still doubt yourself as to whether you have taken the right drugs at the right time, or forgotten one completely! You go into automatic pilot, which is good in many ways so you don’t think about it all too much, but it doesn’t help your sense of self-questioning at any moment of the day.

The second week is always a little more “hanging around”… still 5am injection, 7.30 blood test, but then also a scan…then wait for blood results, take medication and usually have a repeat blood test and repeat scan, and then get the call with your medication! Along with the drugs from last week that continue, this week has also involved:

  • IVIG infusion (and a side of Benadryl for any side effects) – this is basically concentrated human immunoglobulin, which I guess when you think about it, is sort of bizarre…but is believed to be very beneficial for those with immune issues in subfertility/ pregnancy and reduces natural killer cells. It takes about 2.5hrs for the infusion and although you desperately just want to have a good kip, it’s a time to get stuck into a good book or have a chat with the person next to you who is also hooked up!
  • Oh and of course THE TRIGGER injection (this time it was Gonasi) – once the follicles get to a particular size, this then stimulates the final maturation and ovulation of the eggs, and eggs are then collected 34 to 37 hours later.

 

This time round the drugs have definitely taken more effect than I remember from previous rounds, so it’s just as well I’m not at bloody work, as not sure how I would function! But then I know that before, half my energy came from pure adrenaline, which is pretty much how I managed to do my job half the time! (and the love of course;))

Fortunately for Dwighty there haven’t been any meltdowns or tears, just a lot of “I’m so tired”… it’s been a big one though, particularly in the last four/ five days, essentially as soon as those pesky 5am injections started and the alarm goes off at 4.50, and you want to cry a little inside. My new bedtime is around 9pm!

I’ve felt nauseous this time too, and light headed. Maybe I did before??? These are really common side effects, along with feeling bloated (massive tick, struggling to fit into my jeans!), headaches (tick), and general lower abdominal niggling as your ovaries basically inflate (tick)! Although, as ever, I’m pretty lucky I think, in that none of my side effects have been too severe or made me feel very very unwell.

It’s funny I guess that when you are trying naturally, you don’t then launch into a conversation with friends about the details: how many times you had sex that week, what stage of ovulation you are at, or what consistency your cervical mucus might be! Yet with IVF, the minutiae of detail that you know about your body, what stage it is currently at and how it is reacting, is quite extraordinary. Sometimes I often feel it’s quite good in that it distracts from what is actually going on… the science creates a smoke screen for the fact that you are literally preparing your body to create and then accept a cluster of little cells, that will ultimately become your baby (all things being well). BONKERS! It still amazes me how this works, and how incredible it actually is.

So the next stage is a bit of a head f*ck. We’ve triggered… which means we are back tomorrow to collect the eggs and get the little blighters fertilised! (Dwighty enter stage left;)). I think for me this is one of the hardest parts, when you wait for the call from the embryologist to let you know if any eggs have fertilised and how they are doing! What if they haven’t? What if they have, but aren’t good enough? If they are, how many? What grade are they? Honestly it makes your head spin. You are then called every 24hrs with a progress update and an indication of when you are then going to transfer any embryos back in! I have to admit to becoming slightly numb at this juncture, as there is literally nothing you can do to affect the outcome. Science and nature completely take over at this point, and as the old saying goes “what will be, will be”. I think that that is something I have definitely had to come to terms with so far, and get others to understand. The fact that this isn’t a given, that there is no guarantee, and we are playing a very unfair game of Russian roulette…but that’s exactly what it is.

By the way this isn’t suppose to try and illicit any sympathy, it’s more just to explain what is actually involved in the process for those that might not be aware (well at my clinic anyway, and mine is extreme, and every treatment is different and very personal both to the person and to the clinic involved). I think it’s really hard to understand if you haven’t been through it, and that’s not a slight on anyone as I wish we didn’t have to, but I think it really is important for there to be an awareness around the commitment and the level of “stuff” that is going on, whilst you are trying to “relax” and “not think about it too much”! And to hopefully explain why, it’s sometimes hard to keep this all to yourself and still continue living your “normal life”. This process doesn’t equate to normal, but it becomes your own sort of normal.

Fingers crossed!

 

X

 

 

Fancy a drink…

Just a bit!

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Even though the end game is clearly the best incentive ever at the moment to being tee total, it doesn’t make it necessarily any easier. Our social lives in part have always revolved around finding the next fantastic restaurant or bar, enjoying great food and the drinks that go with it (who doesn’t love a tasting menu with some fabulous wine pairings?!?). So I think when you make a conscious decision to curb the yearnings for a lovely pinot noir or a pint of IPA, you tend to remove yourselves from social situations, ie remove the temptation, or at least we do. It makes us sound ridiculously dependent, and that’s not it at all, because actually not drinking is bloody marvellous, but it does make you rethink how you behave in those situations or indeed how you want to feel.

Ironically, our first and only pregnancy to date, we think was fuelled by a weekend of Pinxtos and fine wine in San Sebastian, but I know, and indeed consultants the breadth of London have told us, that low alcohol intake is mandatory (which equates to zero for me, due to astonishing lack of willpower!) Which is pretty annoying when everyone you know basically got pregnant the night they went on their biggest bender of the year… that’s what everyone says… just relax, have a drink, don’t worry too much about it. But I do, and so why risk it. I also think because I know, or at least I’m told, that elements of my natural killer cells can be high, then my rational thought is, why put more “alien” things in my body for my body to fight, if it’s already trying to fight to keep this little thing viable (ugh that’s an ugly word, but one that is used a lot in fertility!).

I know we should all probably be those people who can enjoy a good social occasion without the need for alcohol, but unlike the current generation of 18+yr olds who eschew a pint for an hour in the gym, that’s just how my peer group grew up, and we had a bloody good time doing it. However, as my friends and I enter our early 40s, it’s become more apparent to me that that’s exactly what people need these days. Maybe it’s because we don’t see our friends as much as we did when we were all out every weekend. Perhaps it’s because what everyone feels like they need, actually more like deserve, is a nice couple of glasses to wash away the week, or to remove themselves from the argument ensuing between their 6yr and 4yr olds. I definitely know that stress plays a part and makes these decisions easier for all of us, plus the fact that having a few drinks is really good fun! By the way, I’m not saying it’s the answer by any stretch of the imagination; there are things that definitely do NOT need addressing through alcohol or dependency of any description, but we wouldn’t be honest if we didn’t say it feels like it helps now and again! What’s been really interesting is that a lot of my friends, who would always usually turn to a glass or five to decompress from stressful situations, have realised that actually it just serves to fuel whatever current anxiety is top of the list, rather than making them feel better. Clearly that is a symptom of alcohol, but one that is a little hard to admit, let alone accept!:)

Mine is less a need, than I just really enjoy a glass or two (in the loosest sense), always have done! I love the taste of a glass of fine white wine, or a scrumptious G&T, and all their variations and current pretentions. We also all know it gives us a little more confidence or a sense of ease, and that’s ok in my books, but as they say all in moderation.
However, it is curious to admit that at the moment, it’s just really hard being the non- drinking ones in a crowd. Friends and I, and indeed Dwighty and I, have always enjoyed debriefing over some G&Ts or a few beers in the pub, or putting the world to rights over dinner in the company of a sumptuous red. It used to be, right or wrong, the way that I decompressed after a long week in advertising (and usually mid week too!). I always knew that the right thing to do after a long week would be to have a relaxing weekend, but inevitably that relaxation centred around a night out with friends, and a Sunday roast in the pub with a couple of bottles of red! I’m not saying this is true of everybody, I just think that most of my peer group, friends and family would say the same.

I think what I’m learning at the moment, is that you still have to put yourself out there, sober in a land of merriness, and the more you do it, the easier it gets and the better you feel. Weekends have become markedly longer, and active! Long walks in the forest on a Saturday or Sunday morning, have taken the place of watching Saturday Kitchen and Sunday Brunch for hours on end with a hangover, and we bloody love it. Don’t get me wrong, 10pm I’m out of that pub. As the rest of the party descend into slightly more than tipsy, my patience levels start to reduce slightly, and as we all know a boozy conversation operates on a different plane to most.

Some might say, well wait till your pregnant and then you’ll know what missing a drink feels like. But to be honest, then I’ll be pregnant and the last thing I will care about is a drink, as it will be the thing we’ve always wanted, and the reason we have put our “good living” on hold. Hey, not going to lie and say I won’t really be looking forward to some bubbles at the end of it!

Reading this back, makes me sound like some obsessed lush! Haha back in the day I probably was, not obsessed, but definitely a lush (in a good way), but I make no apologies for that. However, I know having changed our lifestyle, it has definitely contributed positively to the process we are in, and that I am pretty confident about.

As they say, the rollercoaster of fertility drives you to different emotions, and ironically when something doesn’t go your way, all you want to do is have a bloody great big drink! 🙂

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

The story so far…

Bear with me, this one is a long post, but it gives background to the whole reason for this damn blog in the first place and brings up topics that I’m likely to revisit in others!

So here it is…

After having been through a fair bit in the last four years, I finally decided that maybe the best thing, both for myself and hopefully for others, was to share what that has all been about…..

First off, I’m a lucky girl, and am not ashamed to admit it or be proud of it (slightly, in a very nice understated and humble way). I live a very nice life. I had a pretty awesome childhood, was spoilt but in a very positive way, went to a great school which I loved, met amazing friends, went to uni and met more amazing friends. Started climbing the career ladder from the bottom up, and worked at some amazing places that made me the Producer I am today. Met some more amazing and talented people, some of whom are my bestest of friends today. Don’t get me wrong, there has been a load of shit that goes along with all of that, but that’s another story! (n.b I love the word amazing!)

I was single at the wrong time ie my 30s! , or rather I hadn’t really found the person I wanted to settle down with, ha and my mum was starting to worry I would never find anyone to have a family with…. I also loved my career, although it has been brutal at times, but I’ve had some amazing experiences (some awful and stressful ones as well), so I just bumbled along… I never wanted to “settle”, and I am so glad that I went through all of that, because it means I married Dwighty (my husband, that’s not his first name btw). Despite the fact we actually sort of went to school together (well he’s a toyboy ;), we didn’t get together until 16 years later! He’s my soulmate, and I couldn’t have gone through all of this with anyone else….

So I come to the point of the drivvle above… I would never have settled, but not going to lie trying to be a mum in your mid to late 30s (40s!) is exhausting and no one tells you that that might be the case (even though you sort of know it). I mean cos I’m the lucky one right, so why would trying to have a baby be any different?? It should just happen, like everything else and to everyone else… Wrong…this is what happened, what I have learnt and what I am still learning… three failed IVF treatments, one natural pregnancy, and one miscarriage later….

Firstly, we have been very open with people we know about our journey, not everyone feels like that and that’s ok, it’s all a very personal choice.

I just felt that if I was going through this, and my life was going to change then it was easier if people know about it, saves telling a lot of white lies to hide what is going on…

So here it is and what I have learnt:

  • It’s ok to have a career and meet the love of your life later in life.
  • I wouldn’t have changed what I did up to the age of 33 for anything
  • Some of those experiences people can only dream of, and that was my life.
  • Meeting and committing to the man of your dreams in your 30s is actually one of the most grown up things I’ve ever done.
  • Not saying that meeting someone in your 20s isn’t by the way….
  • You just know what you want and what you don’t, you also play less games.
  • I think Dwighty and I knew it was forever from our first date, and that isn’t an exaggeration. Ahhhh!
  • We always knew we wanted a family
  • we told each other on our first date over a lychee martini!
  • and being the healthy, active and kind people that we are, we just thought that was a given…
  • As we have discovered that’s not always the case…
  • We started trying about 3 months after getting married (age 35)… I was already conscious of my age, and I knew it might not happen straight away, so hey why not crack on..
  • We kept trying
  • Less about the pee sticks just more sex.
  • Friends kept having kids (whom I love to pieces btw).
  • Doesn’t mean to say that when you see all your friends spawn out loads of kids between them and get pregnant by just thinking about it, it doesn’t make you feel a tinsy bit jealous and wish that was you…
  • After a year we decided that we should go to the doctor and just make sure everything was ok, I mean nothings a given….
  • Went to GP, various blood tests etc later, we were told that everything was normal and they couldn’t explain it. At that point we decided that IVF or at least some form of assisted reproduction might be the way forward, so we began the journey…
  • The NHS were great (and are great believe me), but the wait times felt like forever, particularly for someone who doesn’t have time on their side as a geriatric mother! (that’s actually what they call you over 35! … please!….)
  • We are very lucky that we could afford to, so we went private.
  • More tests….
  • The same tests…
  • More tests…
  • Hycosy – Checks the tubes are in working order by sticking a load of saline solution in your uterus.
  • Intravaginal scans (repeatedly).
  • Still “unexplained infertility”…
  • So we go for it….
  • Although some of my close friends have had difficulty conceiving, and some have had drugs to help them along, none of them have had IVF. It’s a strange old world and one that until you start talking about is a very mysterious one.
  • Once you start saying “we are going through IVF”, it’s amazing who’s friend of a friend has been through it! Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes you are like “that’s great, but I’m not them”, and everyone has a different experience.
  • It’s a confusing and scientifically baffling process…but an incredibly humbling and amazing one.
  • Once you start becoming an amateur expert on fertility, you realise how f**king difficult it is to conceive, and how anyone actually gets pregnant naturally in the first place is amazing!
  • Injecting yourself, carrying around syringes and popping pills at odd times of day becomes weirdly normal, and disappearing into a room at work, or the bathroom, you start to actually feel like a drug addict.
  • You are a walking pharmacy.

Injectionsinjectionsinjections

  • Blood tests are like buying a pint of milk from the shop, every other day you pop in and then carry on your day like nothing has happened
  • Our first round, although bizarre and slightly surreal, was a fairly straight forward process.
  • I responded well to stimulation and we collected 9 eggs, 4 of which fertilised.
  • We had one put back in. Seeing your embryos up on a screen, and having to identify them as yours is bizarre but kind of cool at the same time!
  • That could be your baby and to all intents of purposes I kind of think it is, even though it’s just a collection of cells.
  • You have the dreaded two week wait…
  • It didn’t implant.
  • Back to square one.
  • We always knew IVF was never a given, but you do kind of hope it will just happen the first time… I mean I’m lucky right.
  • 4 months later… we go again… same clinic, same process. Although I have to say I wasn’t in love with my consultant’s bedside manner, you just trust they know what they are doing and I trusted them.
  • Blood tests, scans, blood tests, scans, injections, more injections.
  • I was lucky in some respects in that the drugs didn’t affect me too badly (although you would have to ask Dwighty about that ;)!)
  • Collection, yeah eggs! Fertilisation, yeah 3! One goes back in…on our wedding anniversary! Must be a good omen…
  • One of the worst experiences of my life…
  • During transfer they “lost” the embryo … Never heard of that?… neither had we and neither had a million other people that we spoke to after it happened… and neither really had the consultant, we were that 1% of cases that something happens to… they had transferred through the catheter (after having a done a practice round, which they must must do), the consultant was having difficulty getting the catheter through (I have a retroverted uterus which although makes it a little more tricky, is not unusual and should never be a problem). SO she decides to change catheter….
  • Catheter and embryo go back to the lab… whilst I’m lying legs akimbo on the bed with a speculum in and Dwighty holding my hand (looking like something out of ER with his scrubs, and hair net on!)….
  • 10 mins…
  • 15 mins…
  • Finally the lovely nurse decides to make me more comfortable, i.e take that bloody thing out of my vagina!
  • Consultant comes back in… now when she first said this we couldn’t quite believe what she was saying… they had LOST the embryo when they went to change catheter… what this means is that when they went to flush the catheter out, the embryo wasn’t there, which means it must be in my uterus but they can’t confirm… in theory there is no other place it can be, but it won’t have been in the optimum place.
  • We were in shock, and our after care was pretty shocking… we sort of just walked out in a daze (my mum was there too bless her). One minute we were hoping for our second chance and the next…
  • After about 24 hours I then got really angry. How could this happen?! So we started complaining and trying to understand what went wrong.
  • The consultant just said these things can happen and that was it.
  • We changed consultants, we just felt so let down and there is no way we could trust her again.
  • More friends are having babies.
  • Younger friends are having babies.
  • Luckily an amazing nurse there recommended another clinic, a bit controversial, but bloody hell we didn’t care….
  • More tests, blood tests, scans….
  • But this place was something else, a step up from where we had been, purely in terms of the intense nature of the treatment and feeling like they are throwing everything at you to make it happen.
  • I started having immunology tests, to test my natural killer cells. Apparently my Cytokines (which are chemical messengers in the blood) have a tendency to elevate and I was given drugs to “normalise” my levels and after two rounds of HUMIRA (bizarrely an arthritic drug that does this), we were ready to go.
  • Getting up every day at 6am, to be in Harley St for 7.30 for blood tests every day…
  • Having your phone on in every meeting at work, ready to take your instruction for drugs that day, going back 2 hours later for more tests or another scan.
  • Waking up at 5am to do another injection before the other 4 you have to do that day…
  • Injecting in the meeting room.
  • But again I responded (not as well as the first two but I responded), we collected 3 eggs and one fertilised.
  • The consultants were amazing, if a little robotic, it’s a little like a deli counter in there, you are a bit of a number, but if it gets results hey who cares…
  • Having said that, there is one nurse there whom I trust implicitly and she is amazing at looking out for us. I think sometimes you just click with people…
  • Transfer was a dream (anything compared to last time)… And we wait…
  • Anyone will know that has done it, that that 2 week wait is the longest two weeks of your life…
  • The morning of the blood test we walk for three hours, have breakfast, wait for the phonecall.
  • 3 rounds and nothing… surely third time should have been lucky right…
  • Well 4th time lucky was our new mantra
  • 3 rounds of IVF in 18 months…
  • All of the above was happening whilst I was working my arse off, with amazing support from friends, family and work, but anyone who works in advertising/ production knows that it is pretty relentless, unforgiving, long unsociable hours and stressful (despite being fun!)
  • I work hard, always have, can’t not commit 150% all the time…and although people say that you should just be relaxed when you are doing IVF or trying for a baby, are they F**king kidding! I mean you try but…
  • Although I have realised what it can do and that I have been stressed at periods over the years, and I know what people say about stress and pregnancy, we kind of realised that we had been doing everything possible to make the treatment work and it wasn’t. Something had to change.
  • It was one of the most difficult and yet one of the easiest decisions I have ever made. I needed to try and eliminate any factor that was being detrimental to the process. So…
  • I quit my job.
  • Although it was hard, I knew that after 17 years of working tirelessly I hoped I had established myself enough for it not to make any difference when I decide to go back…for once I had to put my personal life first and the time was right. I felt burnt out, both from the intensity of my job and everything we had been going through.
  • It helps if you have amazing support, Dwighty didn’t have to think twice about it, as he says “you just make it work”.
  • Lots of things go through your head during this process… you start to doubt yourself/ blame yourself. It must be me, I must be the thing that’s wrong (even if it’s unexplained), why is my body doing this to me?, why won’t it work? You feel a failure even when everyone is telling you how amazing you are.
  • So for the last 7 months I have been having time off…
  • Having time off has been one of the most liberating and incredible things I have ever done.
  • For once I wasn’t trying to juggle a million things at once
  • I could concentrate on just looking after Dwighty and I.
  • Most people were really supportive of the decision, I did have a few people say but won’t that make it more stressful that that is all you are thinking about and you won’t have anything to take your mind off it?
  • I can tell you ABSOLUTELY NOT!
  • For the first time in a long time I have put me first.
  • Last year we had a personal trainer for a bit, and he does this amazing semi private training, so I started doing that three times a week (not as expensive as you think!)… I started to feel like my old self (I have always been super sporty)… Never had the time or couldn’t find the time to go to the gym/ train at work.
  • We have never “eaten badly”, but because I had the time, we started eating even better! I love cooking, but I never did it, cos I used to get home at silly o’clock and my fab husband was always there with dinner for me!
  • I started changing just a few things, eating the things we always had, but finding substitutes for others… making my own protein bars (I know seriously who am I??!!!!)… I am just finding it really fun finding these things out, experimenting and coming up with some delights (and a few disasters…. Btw not everything tastes as good as the pictures).
  • I also spent more time with my family, seeing my mum for coffee and babysitting nieces and nephews, just being “around” or “present” (!)… not checking my phone every five seconds, or “just taking a call” that lasts 45 minutes while everyone has finished their dinner and are onto dessert.
  • Three months almost to the day after this kickstarter… we were gearing up for another treatment (4th). I had to do Humira again, twice. (which is essentially a 6 week process, 2 injections, 2 weeks apart and then a 3 week wait for blood test and 4 days for results!)
  • That week I was waiting to come on, ready to start feeling like a human pin cushion again and…
  • WE FELL PREGNANT!!!!! NATURALLY!!!
  • A get away weekend to the awesome San sebastian did it we think?!!!
  • Yup will repeat that…. WE FELL PREGNANT!!!!! NATURALLY!!!
  • I woke up, being three days late, and just thought I’ve got a test in the bathroom, might as well just see. Three positive home tests later (digital and non digital) and a blood test at my clinic, I finally believed it.
  • We were in shock, complete and utter shock, but elation at the same time… how could this have happened?
  • Then, by the way, you get a lot of people saying… oh yeah this happens all the time, you often find people having gone through IVF get pregnant naturally… well when it hasn’t ever happened for you, those stories are great, but you kind of want to tell people to p*ss off… this isn’t normal, because it’s never happened TO ME!
  • You can imagine what the family was like, especially the mums, people were so delighted for us, but worrying nonetheless, trying not to get ahead of themselves.
  • It took a few days to sink in, but the realisation that we had fallen pregnant, that an embryo had implanted and that this was happening, was just the best news… (I was worried that implantation was my next issue).
  • But… it’s us right… the “unluckiest conceivers in the world”……..
  • When you are in IVF, they scan you VERY early, like at 4 weeks…. And they expect to see a gestational sac. My hormone (HCG) levels were very high, and they thought I should be further along…but my periods are very regular, so I said couldn’t be.
  • Having IVF and becoming knowledgeable about conception is great, but you also become far too aware of science, hormone levels etc etc. We know detail that anyone who falls pregnant naturally will never ever know about and would never doubt… sometimes it does your bloody head in!
  • The next rollercoaster began…
  • For the next week we were diagnosed with a “PUL” (yup new term!) – a pregnancy of unknown location no less… they couldn’t find the blighter anywhere!
  • New worries about Ectopic pregnancy (could l lose a tube if that was to happen, god what would that do for our chances either way??!)
  • A night in A&E. Not that I had any symptoms of ectopic or miscarriage but the anxiety over what was happening was all consuming, we just wanted to see a doctor…
  • CHRIST ALIVE!
  • By this point we had been referred by our clinic to our local EGU (Early Pregnancy Unit) at Whipps Cross (we are east!)… and we had seen them three times during that week..more blood tests and scans. Of course!
  • Four consultants later, an amazing consultant steps into our lives. She finally finds a gestational sac, we are now 5.5/ 6 weeks pregnant…. Another wave of relief, it’s in the right place, it’s there, she can even tell us where it implanted!
  • BUT…
  • Yup another one…
  • It is very small for the stage that it should be at…. Having discussed all of our history with her, her advice is wait. Wait 2/3 weeks and see how it progresses… what ‘s the harm, we have waited this long and it could happen….. not to give false hope in anyway but it could.
  • We will take that..
  • So we wait…
  • And wait…
  • It’s a nice relief not to have blood tests or have various people looking at my vagina for 2 weeks I tell you…. Although you do sort of become immune to it….
  • Deep down I knew it wasn’t happening… from the day we saw her, I then started to bleed, but only a little, so then the confusion of whether this is “normal early pregnancy bleeding” and everyone you talk to, says oh yeah I had a bit of that don’t worry…. But I just knew…. It’s so hard, you want to be positive, but when all you’ve had is disappointment you just protect yourself… also as everyone says “you just know”.
  • We go back for our scan, and she confirms that we have a “possible failing pregnancy”.
  • Because I’ve been on supportive IVF drugs to support the baby, she says to stop and hopefully this will cause the pregnancy “to pass” naturally…
  • Sure enough three days later…. It happened.
  • Not going to lie, it was not pretty, and sitting on a loo, crying, realising what is happening, is not fun.
  • You go through emotions of what could have been, to thank god that it is over, to do I have to go through all this again? You are wiped out.
  • BUT…. I’m lucky…… it could have been a lot worse, and although in no way am I trivialising this, I had sort of come to terms with what was happening before it happened.
  • We have to be positive….
  • It’s Bloody hard though…. Sometimes you just want to cry and be really angry…
  • People are still telling you you are amazing and brave and that if anyone deserves a baby then it’s you.
  • They are right, we do deserve this… but I don’t feel amazing and brave.
  • I don’t want to be amazing and brave… I want to be a mum.
  • So we are being positive…. We never thought we would fall pregnant naturally and we did, we really did, and I put all of that down to me putting me first for a change, I have no doubt. It implanted, so that can happen. And I miscarried naturally, didn’t have to have help or another bloody procedure, my body was doing the right thing for me and for the baby… it wasn’t meant to be.
  • So here we go again…….
  • Our NHS consultant was so positive for us and really believes that it will happen, and for the first time since all this started I actually think I believe it too…
  • There is still that protective shield, of course, that’s just self-preservation…. But hey come on if anyone deserves this we do.
  • We are “lucky” and…
  • I’m just trying to be a mum.

 

PS. Believe me, I know that there are amazing couples out there that have been through many more cycles of IVF than we have, but this is just my experience to date and one I wanted to share.

 

So…a blog. Didn’t see this coming.

unnamedFor those who don’t have a clue who I am, my name is Keeley and I am a 39 year old Producer, who lives in East London (/ Essex border) with her gorgeous husband, aka Dwighty.

Some people know about our journey, others don’t but probably suspect/ assume, so I decided to have a go at writing this blog.  Not only to help me work through this strange, confusing, and hopefully exciting period in our lives, but also in the hope that by sharing my experiences I might help someone else feel something, something that resonates with them in some way, hopefully. There are people out there going through stuff good and bad, and it’s good to know that we aren’t all going mad and feeling all these things. Right?!

I know it can be a very sensitive subject, and a private one, but personally I’ve found it so much more liberating being completely open about our situation. One, I’m too old for people not to ask the bloody question, ” so how many kids do you have?”, or to completely avoid it as they assume (rightly or wrongly) something must be wrong for it to  have been so long and not have any, when we are very open about wanting the little blighters! Two, it saves a hell of a lot of exhausting lying about our alcohol intake and refusing social invitations, when we would always clearly go to anything and everything!  It just makes it all easier. The whole thing is stressful enough without lying to everyone you give a shit about.
There are a lot of amazing women writing about being a mum and all that that entails, from the challenge of life itself changing, to the much needed glass of vino, (I mean who doesn’t need that, kids or no kids!). But as I was searching around, there didn’t seem to be many writing or sharing about actually trying to be a mum in the first place. So here we go…
This is my first ever blog (it’s quite scary!),  and I’m still getting to grips with it all (ha technically that is, sorry I know they are supposed to be pretty straightforward!), but the aim is to share past and current experiences, not only of fertility treatment but the rest of life that goes with it. Don’t worry it won’t be all serious stuff, hopefully some light hearted humour will help!

Hopefully someone, somewhere, might find something in it for them. If not… haha, it’s going to be like therapy for me 🙂

K x