Category: Infertility/IVF

Pregnancy after infertility – When does it get easier?

This is a post that is very hard to write, pregnancy after infertility is not quite how I expected it to be.  There I said it.  It’s not all a bed of roses with happiness at every turn.  In fact is currently the opposite really.  I feel that infertility has robbed me of the joy of being pregnant, robbed me of my innocence where all things pregnancy are concerned.  It has left me afraid to even enjoy being pregnant.  Something I never thought I would be experiencing, something that I have found hard to acknowledge never mind talk about openly.  But today I decided that that needed to change and I took to twitter to voice my worries over feeling detached and a little flat overall about being pregnant.  It would seem that I am very much not alone in these thoughts, with so many lovely ladies reaching out to me today to say that they felt the same, that they understood.  And do you know what I have realised today.  It is okay to feel this way.

Pregnancy after infertility is a strange place to be, you are neither back in the trenches or really feeling that you belong in with other ‘fertile’ pregnant ladies, feeling isolated, feeling in limbo, not fitting in the infertility world any longer but not fitting in the fertile world either.  I mean, would someone who never experienced the bumpy road of infertility understand why I am struggling to get excited about preparing for the baby, how I am not excited about choosing things for the nursery, about how it really doesn’t feel like I deserve this after this length of time, so why would it actually be happening to me?.  Some of the friendships I have built up over the years from the blog and from twitter suddenly feel off-limits, not due to those lovely ladies, don’t get me wrong, everyone has been lovely to me.  But I don’t want to hurt anyone.  A pregnancy after infertility is hard enough sometimes for those still stuck waiting to see if their time will ever come, never mind one that actually ended up being a natural pregnancy.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had exciting times, I have felt emotions of joy and complete amazement that this is currently happening to me.  But these feelings aren’t sustained currently, generally I am just feeling that little bit flat about it all.  Why am posting about this though?  Well I think that by talking about it, it will help me, by opening up to the fact that it is not what I expected it to be will help me to deal with the thoughts and emotions that are attached to that, help me to move on and get enjoyment out of the pregnancy that I have waited so long for. To no longer feel an imposter in the world of pregnancy.

Claire x

4 years of infertility

Four years have come and gone since we decided for me to get my implant out and for us to try for a baby.  Having a baby has been something I have wanted with my now husband since not long after we met all those years ago, but we waited, waited until we were married, until we both had good jobs, you know, we waited until everything was the way we thought it was supposed to be….

But for us it’s not supposed to be that way is it?  It’s certainly not supposed to be easy, that’s the one thing the last four years has shown us.  You have all these dreams, all these views on how things are supposed to be, but you have no power over them,

Sometimes things just aren’t how you thought they were supposed to be, and that hurts.

Claire xx

Words that comfort ~ Infertility Quotes

Sometimes I browse through Pinterest looking for quotes that mean something to me. 

Over the last few years these have mostly been related to infertility. I post some of them on my Instagram account but I don’t want to come across as needy, attention seeking or negative. 

But as this is my own little space of the Internet and I can share the ups and downs of living with infertility, I wanted to share some here. 

  
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I find them cathartic, they help me sum up what’s in my head when my own words can’t. They may appear negative at times but then infertility emotions can be quite negative despite you trying your hardest to stop them.

I do have a lot of positive ones saved too though, ones I turn to when I need a pick me up, a reminder to be positive, to stay hopeful. 

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Quotes may not be for everyone but for me I really do find that no matter what my emotions I can either find a quote that helps me make sense of it or one that helps me regroup, pick myself up and start again. 

Do you have any quotes that help you? 

Claire xx 

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week in the U.S. #niaw

This week sees National Infertility Awareness Week in the U.S. The UK will be running their own in November in the run up to the fertility show at Olympia.  Infertility is a international issue and any way that we can raise awareness to it should be used in my opinion, so here I am blogging a little to raise awareness this week.


The theme is ‘you are not alone’. My one hope from being open and honest and blogging about how tough it has been for us and the challenges that we face with infertility is that I help someone feel that they are not alone.

  
One in 8 couples suffer from some form of infertilty, stop for a second, look around you, that’s a lot of people and most go through this in silence. Infertilty knocks away at you, you live your life with the hope of a different future, often only able to talk to your partner about it, sometimes not even being able to do that.

You are not alone though, I am one of those 1 in 8 people too.

  

Let’s talk about infertility, support each other, remind ourselves that we are not alone.

Claire xx

Empty arms on Mothers Day.

Today is Mothers day in the UK.  A day where my arms are empty of my own child, a day where my infertility seems to scream from the rooftops, a day where I am not yet a Mother.

But one day I dream that my baby will still come and one day I will be a mother in the true sense of the word.  For now though, on this lovely day of celebration, please don’t forget those ladies who are still waiting on their dreams to come true.

I found this poem on the internet a few years ago.  The words say it all.

Claire x

And the grief washes over us….. The end of IVF#2

And so it is all over yet again, however this time it feels more final. As I’ve mentioned before we are very lucky to have received two funded cycles of IVF on the NHS and for that I am very grateful. We have used these up with little or nothing to show for it, apart from a lot of heartache. For those that think IVF is the easy option, you are so far wrong it is unreal. This is by far one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through and today it has broken me. Infertilty is a disease, not a choice….

We are totally numb, again we got to 8dp5dt (8 days past a five day transfer) and I started to bleed. Official test day is not for another 6 days, though Dundee do do a long testing wait period. This time I won’t be testing again, I will just call the clinic on the day which ironically happens to be Mothers day and call in the negative result.

Part of me didn’t expect anything else, once we were told at transfer that we basically made very shite embyros this time, I zoned out of the two week wait that never was. People told me to have hope and there was a tiny bit there but it was tiny. I couldn’t allow myself to believe that the outcome would be anything other than a negative result, I suppose it was a bit of self preservation, you know what I mean? Trying to pre-empt the bad result so when you get the bad result it doesn’t hurt as much. Rational? Maybe not. Did it work? A tiny bit, or so I thought.

When the realisation hit, the early test that was negative….done to try to prepare myself. My attempts at self preservation to try and stop it hurting so much were forgotten, it hurt like hell, I feel like a zombie, head not really with anything I am doing, thinking about it, not thinking about it. One thing I know though is that we gave it our all this time and there is nothing about the cycle or the way we prepared for it that I would change. I wanted to make sure before we started if it was to fail that we wouldn’t be able to say “if only we did this or if only we did that” and I am grateful to be able to say that with all the things going through our heads, regret is not one of them.

Where we go from here is another question and probably a lot more soul searching and I am sure there will be blogging. All I know is for the minute we are stepping off the trying to conceive roller coaster all together. After basically being told that it would look like our sperms and eggs aren’t compatible I think the kindest thing to do for ourselves is to stop for a while. We will need to look at whether we do further IVF at some point in the next few years but for now, no more waiting and praying every month for a different outcome. We need to remember what life was like before trying to conceive. It will never return to that naive place, the place before we ventured into the world of infertility, I am not that stupid to think that way.

Normal will now have to become a new type of normal, it won’t go back to what we used to think of as normal. A we can’t have kids naturally or possibly at all? now the new normal. Will we cycle again ever? is now the new normal. Will be ever be parents? is now the new normal.

Infertility is the loss of an assumed future….. Never take it for granted.

C xx

Day 3, Day 5 and Egg Transfer – IVF#2

Sorry for the delay in posting this update and for those who don’t follow me on twitter I am not going to dress up this post. This cycle really wasn’t good at all. Our Sperm and Eggs really didn’t seem to like each other this time.

The embryologist seemed to think this was okay. I breathed a sigh of relief, there was a chance that the slower ones could catch up before day 5, but at this point we had 4 on par with what was expected and that was better than last cycle. As usual Dundee aim to culture all embryos to day 5.

Off we headed for transfer on day 5, full of chat about how many we would transfer, never even passing a thought to the possibility that we may have little or none to transfer. I mean this cycle felt so different, from start to finish. We were totally dumbstruck when we were led into the room and were told that we didn’t have any even reasonable quality embryos to transfer. Two blastos had been discounted, I’ve no idea why, they obviously weren’t good enough to return and you have to respect that decision, they are the experts in their field after all. Then the major blow, the only other two were early blastocysts, they couldn’t be graded which is what you want. We vaguely remember being told that one had ‘odd looking cells’ appearing at the top of it which she didn’t know that they might mean. When we questioned it, she did say that due to the same presentation on the last cycle, we may have just found out the reason for our infertility and instead of being unexplained we are possibly looking at having some from of chromosomal incompatibility. Our sperm and eggs just don’t match, they may never match and that was overwhelming.

We were told that we could return the two early blastos, but basically not to expect too much from them, even mentioning that we could just not transfer anything at all. But there was no way that we could do that.  That damn little spark of hope that you have, you know, hearing all those stories of crap embryos becoming lively little babies. It snuck in and took over.  So we decided to transfer both, in for a penny and all that.  There was no excitement though, the drive home was actually spent discussing our options in the future.  Could we afford to cycle again?  Would we use Dundee?  Should we ever try to get to blasto stage again or are we better hoping a day 3 transfer would stick? Would we want to adopt?  Not the questions that you expect to be coming home with after a transfer that’s for sure.

I’m not going to leave you hanging, the cycle as predicted didn’t work.  We gave it our all.  We are done…..

C xx

The numbers are in #ivf2

Yesterday was Egg Collection day. I had my final scan on the Sunday morning and things were looking good. My follicles had moved on a lot from the previous scan on the Friday and we got the go ahead to trigger on Sunday night. 

I took the trigger injection at 11pm on the Sunday, injection free day on the Monday and up for egg collection on Tuesday morning. 

It was a bit of a case of déjà u when we were shown to the exact same bed space and told that we were third on the list which was the same as last cycle, I was hoping this was in fact a good omen and it turns out it was! 

Egg collection went perfectly and we were chuffed to bits to be told we got

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We got a bakers dozen, lucky number 13! An increase of 4 from our last cycle which is good. I had gone in hoping that if we got the same as last time or one more then I would be happy so to come out with 4 more than last time made me feel very happy. 

Tuesday night was spent in a bit of daze, I was a bit uncomfy after the procedure but this was eased with paracetamol, hot water bottle and a Krispy Kreme doughnut. I slept surprisingly well and was up early to await the call from the embryologist.  Thankfully we didn’t need to wait long and the call came before 9am. I was surprised to find out that when my eggs where taken to the lab we had in fact got 14! Not the 13 that they thought straight after egg collection. 

I was hoping luck would be on our side, I had opened the kitchen blind that morning to see a little Robin staring right back at me. 

Robins mean a lot to me so I had a little word with my late Granny and asked for some good news. And good news is what we got….

I can’t quite believe I am writing that figure. Of the 13 we thought we had yesterday we have 13 fertilised normally this morning. 100% fert rate in my eyes! 

Obviously the next few days are another major hurdle as we wait to see how many are still developing on day 3, then how many are hopefully left on day 5 for transfer. This second part of the IVF process is so difficult in my eyes as you really have no control over anything anymore and can’t even let yourself believe you are doing something like you did when you were stimulating. 

It’s all up to those little embies now to keep going strong. Fingers crossed. 

Claire xx 

Stimming all the way – IVF#2

Well here we are, still stimming. Despite the short protocol feeling really fast in one respect it also feels like I have been stimming for ages despite it only actually being 10 days. I have had two monitoring scans and things have been improving steadily.

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My left ovary is responding much better this time than last. We only had two follicles on there the last time so by my second monitoring scan seeing we had 5 on there above 10mm was so good to see. Looks like changing over to the increase in stims and the short protocol has been the right thing to do. Off course on the increase in stims and a long protocol I may well have responded in the same way but for now I am thankful that I am responding at all as that was always a worry in the back of my head.

My clinic like to see two follicles at 18mm or above before they plan egg collection and the nurse was hopeful that when my results were reviewed that they would go ahead and book me in for egg collection as I had a lead follicle at 21mm and a second at 17mm. Seeing as they don’t do collections over a weekend it would give me another day of stimming to get the other to catch up over 18mm. Though when I was reviewed by the consultant and the embryologist at the afternoon meeting they decided that they wanted me to stim for a further two nights and to be rescanned again on Sunday morning with hopefully trigger Sunday night and collection on the Tuesday. I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t quite ready but on reflection the clinic know what they are doing and they are hopeful that the smaller follicles will have a chance to catch up a little over the next few days.

Overall I have been feeling really relaxed throughout this cycle. I have been receiving acupuncture, using my IVF hypnosis CD and not over thinking things (mostly) at my clinic appointments I have been upbeat and the nurses did remark I am taking it in my stride. Obviously having been through it before has really helped me to relax this time, you know what is happening, not constantly wondering what the next step is going to be so that really helps.

One thing I have noticed is that boy you do get side effects just on stimming drugs! I re read my diary from the last cycle and noticed although I felt good for a few days when I started stimming it didn’t last long. This is the same this time. I have felt so tired, headaches on and off and bloated. Again normally the bloat is worse in the evening but as we get closer to the end of stimming I am feeling bloated all day. Oh and did I mention the tiredness? Can you tell it’s been a big thing! I was in bed last night at 9.30pm and slept right through, but on waking up still felt exhausted, it’s like there is a fog in my brain and I can’t get past it. I suppose in the grand scheme of things though it isn’t something that I should be overly worried about and it will pass once I stop taking the drugs.

My mantra for this week has been all about hope. Without hope I would have nothing. I have to keep believing that whatever is for me will not go past me. Hope that this cycle will be a success. Hope that we will be a family of three in 2015.

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C xx

Here we go again ~ IVF#2

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Well here we are again. IVF#2 is underway. It feels weird writing that. As a thought before, the new short protocol is so much faster. The longest time seemed to be waiting for my period to show up which for some reason this month played with me for a few days before finally showing herself after hours sitting under my hot water bottle.

Day 3 seen me heading up to the clinic, though I thought it was day 4, my period started in the evening though so the clinic don’t class day one until the following day – everyday is a school day in the IVF world.

Scan results were good, this time they were just looking for a thinning lining and no cysts on each ovary before they can start the stimulation drugs. I got the go ahead to start stims that night and so on we stepped to the rollercoaster again.

This time I am trying a short antagonist cycle using 225 Gonal F for stimulation, an increase from last cycle and cetrotide to prevent ovulation. No nasty side effects from down regulation to contend with but there are still the stims ones. I was so pleased I blogged everything last time as it has really helped me to look over them again and see that I am not going mad. The main side effect is tiredness, followed by headaches, I’m managing them both quite well and water and isotonic drinks are my new best friend again. Oh and not to forget the huge amount of EWCM that was one thing that slipped my mind and took me by surprise again when it appeared!Thankfully I know that is nothing to worry about.

I have a monitoring scan booked in this week so hopefully I will be responding well to the increase in medication and we will get an idea of when we are looking at for potential egg collection date.

Keeping everything crossed!

Claire xx