The start of our IVF journey

Apologies if the sequence is slightly out here but my last post didn’t publish for some reason despite it being written about 6 weeks ago now.

Quite a lot has happened in the intervening period and I am now 3 days into IVF treatment and just starting to feel the effects. We had our treatment planning appointment at the hospital which consisted of a nurse handing me a bag of needles, a planner and a prescription and then showing me how to administer the injections. That was it, no explanation of why or what the drugs would do, what (if any) options there were or what to expect next. Thankfully from our friends having been through it we knew the basics already but I have discovered from Mumsnet that there is still a lot that I don’t know.

I’m on a long protocol (I didn’t even know there was a short protocol and am still not sure why that wasn’t suitable, or considered for us). I have buserelin injections (to block my hormones or “dereg”) for 14 days, then a scan to check the womb lining has thinned, then start on the pen injections (to replace my hormones) before having another scan to check follicles then plan egg collection “EC” which is followed by implantation a few days later.

I am a wimp when it comes to needles so was anxious about injecting every day and I freaked out when I first saw the needle on Friday so my husband is playing nurse for the moment. I will attempt to do it myself at some point so it is not so restrictive for him but need to pluck up the courage first.

Most surprising things about the treatment are that you have to use contraception (what’s that?!) if you have sex and that I can’t do any exercise (bang goes the idea of losing weight). Exercise increases the risk of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome apparently which can be serious.

I’m 3 injections in, so far I haven’t really felt them but yesterday I was moody and exhausted. This morning I am still exhausted and also ridiculously hot. I know we’ve been having hot weather but I’ve not felt this hot before. Cue menopause symptoms, the joy! The next 2 weeks are not going to be fun!

I am also anxious about EC as it is an operation under anaesthetic and I have never had one before. I’ll keep you posted, keep everything crossed!

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Back on the horse!

Whilst it is only just over one and a half weeks since we received confirmation that I had miscarried, the whole (albeit brief) pregnancy experience seems like it happened in another lifetime.

I have not grieved so to speak, have not cried even one tear and have not felt any real loss but I don’t think I ever really came to terms with the fact I was actually pregnant. I never really let myself enjoy it and was so anxious during the long 7 weeks that i didn’t actually think about the embryo becoming a baby. Yes I began browsing maternity clothes and contemplating having to buy a new bra but that was more down to the physical changes than embracing pregnancy.

I have been disappointed more than anything and perhaps a little angry. I resent pregnant people even more and can’t help but question what I did wrong, whether I pushed myself too hard in the gym, drank too much before I had a positive test, stopped taking vitamin A (in a multi vitamin) too late, worried too much?! I am “reassured” that 1 in 4 pregnancies in women of my age end in miscarriage and that it is mainly due to a defect in the embryo rather than anything I did or didn’t do.

I’m using the mumsnet talk groups for anonymous support and information. I’m back on all the supplements and have added in Soy Isoflavones as they are apparently good for egg development, we’ve restocked the German cock pills too but there seems to be a national shortage of Agnus castus at present. I’m back in the gym and sleeping terribly again (annoyingly pregnancy improved my sleep a lot).

Our long term/long suffering IVF friends have had a beautiful baby girl and we’re thrilled for them. They were the only ones we told about our pregnancy and they were devastated that it was so short lived, as are we of course.

Anyway, back in the saddle so to speak and trying again with a vengeance, apparently you are most fertile straight after a miscarriage so fingers crossed!

Now the family’s at it! 

That’s it, I’ve had it, my cousin is pregnant, my delightful, successful, single-until-fairly-recently, younger cousin! Her and her pilot fiancée got engaged last week and we were all thrilled.  She has not had a serious relationship for nearly 20 years and met her fiancé through a friend (who met him on tinder) a year or so ago.  He is lovely and they are so well suited, it was if it was meant to be and now they’re engaged and having a baby! I am insanely jealous!

We’ve been trying for nearly two years now and, apart from the one ‘glitch’ (as the doctor described it), we haven’t even come close to getting pregnant.  I am thoroughly depressed about the whole thing.  

True, I may not have been as pro-active as I could have been (I have still not called Bupa to check my cover and I haven’t altered my diet at all) but the depression has robbed me of any inclination to do so.  Until recently it had really put us off sex too (although we seem to have got over that issue now)!  

I need to pull my finger out, call Bupa, book some acupuncture sessions and start really researching what I should be doing to help. Izzy Judd’s book “Dare to dream” is out tomorrow and I’m thinking that may be a good place to start.  I need to stop resting on my laurels and expecting it just to happen as it is obviously not going to.  

Any pointers as to where to start would be appreciated! 

Yours, frustratedly! 

Progress report #1

So, I’ve been taking the Agnus castus on a fairly regular basis.  I should take it daily along with my other supplements but I often forget (as I did this morning).  Must try harder! I don’t think it is having any physical effects but we’ll see when my period is due whether it does actually help alleviate the symptoms of PMS. 

I am generally a fan of supplements and,  in the lead up to the wedding,  was literally taking about 20 a day.  I’m not sure any of them did anything other than increase the value of Holland & Barrett’s shares mind you.  I am still finishing off the leftovers (turmeric and beetroot I think) together with daily multivitamins, cod liver oil (Joan Collins apparently swears by it), calcium and vit D (I don’t like milk)  and folic acid, for obvious reasons.  Apparently there has never been any scientific research which shows that supplements have any effect but surely it’s worth a go.  

The lube however is worth a comment, it’s pretty gross and doesn’t have the same silky consistency of normal lubricants.  It’s less viscous and has the slippery quality that semen has.  It comes in individually wrapped pipette like applicators and the directions tell you to squirt the entire contents inside you.  This is no mean feat.  You need to adopt the post-coital bridge position prior to sex (which somewhat interferes with foreplay).  I think the dosage is probably a little high too as, although you don’t really feel anything until half way through, it very soon overflows.  Not particularly sexy.  

It feels similar to how I imagine an enema, like one of the high-tech Japanese toilets that squirts water at differing pressures.  It’s a bit like a flushing, but you have to keep it in.  Once applied you have to ensure semen delivery within 15 minutes too which puts you on a timer.  And they say that trying to conceive takes the joy out of sex! 

I got a bit over excited yesterday when I thought that I may be overdue but I checked the diary, counted my days and flo is not due in until the end of this week.  Fingers crossed she doesn’t show up! 

“Trying”

A year ago (34 and not counting) I went to my GP for my bi-annual blood pressure “more contraceptives please” appointment.  My GP knew of the impending nuptials.  She recommended that I stop taking the pill with a view to conceiving thereafter. Instead of six packets of Cilest I came away, slightly bemused, with a pot of folic acid supplements. 

Apparently it takes on average 8 months to conceive once you stop taking the pill.  Apparently. 

I didn’t (delusional as I was) want to walk down the aisle with a bump.  We discussed it further and decided to use ‘alternative contraception’ until at least February (3 months before the wedding).  Then we would start ‘leaving it in’.  I had visions of discovering I was pregnant soon after the wedding and having a late September baby.  This did not happen. 

The wonderful wedding took place and we departed for three equally wonderful weeks on honeymoon.  It was then that we really began ‘trying’ in earnest.  We consummated the marriage in the early hours of the morning after (having finally gone up to bed at 5:30am).  TMI? Fraid that’s par for the course.  

We consummated like rabbits throughout the honeymoon too, discovering anew our passion for each other, and for sex.  

I think I began counting days the month before the wedding, partly to make sure my period did not coincide with the wedding (in the event that I was not pregnant by then) and partly in an attempt to calculate my cycle.