Just keep swimming…

As far as I my boobs know, I am still pregnant.  This is what I keep telling myself when I wake up each morning and realise my girls are feeling more sore than they did the day before.  This is a good sign.

Anyone who has been following me for some time knows that the next few weeks are critical for me.  Sure, they’re critical in any pregnancy but with my history  of reoccurring missed miscarriages (i.e. viable embryo with heartbeat suddenly losing its heartbeat) to say I am on tenterhooks is putting it mildly.

As of today I am 5w2d pregnant, which is barely pregnant. My symptoms thus far have been mild to non-existent: a bit tired, but not as much as I was with pregnancy number 1 (although I am taking steroids which could be giving me some bonus energy), increasingly sore boobs which are also getting marginally larger progressively, hungry practically constantly (potatoes remain the favourite food – this also happened with pregnancy number 1), bloated, and cranky (according to hubby, I deny all charges).

As with all previous pregnancies, I have no nausea or vomiting, but maybe it’s too early. I must be the only person on the planet who actively wants morning sickness because it’s considered a sign of a healthy pregnancy, #weirdo!

I will confess to being a tiny bit more optimistic for this pregnancy than the last. What with all the medications – steroids, aspirin, intralipids and high doses of blood thinners, SOMETHING HAS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, RIGHT?!

So the next step for me is to have a scan later this week. It might be too early to see a heartbeat but I remain optimistic.  Hopefully this one will be growing at a regular rate AND have a strong little ticker.  Keeping fingers, toes and legs crossed!!


Third time lucky?

I actually got really nervous today about my third hCG test and not just because they’re running out of places in my arms to take blood from. Lurking in my not so deep conscious is the never ending fear of this all going bad again. Even though my first two hCG tests have been more than ok, I just can’t let myself think it’s all ok. 

Well all the worry was for nothing. Today’s test result came in at 1305. So I’ve gone from 176 on Friday (14DPO) to 500 on Monday (17DPO) to 1305 today (19DPO). If this was someone else’s blog I would be telling them to chill out because everything is good. 

So yeah, note to self EVERYTHING IS OK!! 

In case anyone is interested, I knew something was happening on the hormone front because even with steroids keeping me perky I’ve been so bloody tired the past two days. And my boobs are getting increasingly sore – and a little bigger (hubby is delighted). Also my skin is kind of washed out like I’m hungover so don’t know where all this “pregnancy glow” BS originates because I don’t see any glowing yet (although clear skin so yay!). 

Good news today. Please keep growing little embryo!!! 

Everything is fine, right?!!

You know the worrying never actually stops, does it? I am feeling pretty confident this time around, but the spectres of the failed pregnancies of yore are really tenaciously digging their nails into my puny little mind. 

Even after the strong blood test results on Friday I still started to get edgy yesterday, so I did another home pregnancy test to see if the line was darker (it was). Then today I went to have another blood test and the hCG results came back at 500, which is well within a normal range. Somehow though I still have the lingering frustration that I wish it was higher. I wish it was heading towards the 1000 mark right now, which is not impossible but might have been a bit unrealistic.  

The thousands of online articles I have read on this subject say the rate of increase of hCG is often related to the chances of a full term delivery. So while I’m still definitely in the acceptable range, I long to be in the exceptional range!! I’m not settling well for mediocrity right now.

I have even put my results into this super-fab HCG calculator – http://www.babymed.com/tools/hcg-calculator (get on it, ladies!) and it tells me that my hCG levels are tracking above average! It is very hard to trust anything right now as I know that even though my data is technically good (see below), it doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Does anyone have any data on their hCG levels that will make me feel better about mine?



My IVF doctor (the one that is literally desperate for me to have a full term pregnancy so that I will leave him the hell alone) gave this feedback: “It’s only been 3 days since the last one so it seems ok for now. Let’s keep doing them every 2-3 days to see how they go”.

Which means I am going to do another round of hCG testing on Wednesday. While I am not enjoying being stabbed every few days I think I am finding the testing mentally helpful (though it might not seem it here).

I also had my progesterone tested today so I’m waiting for those results too.

Apart from regularly freaking out and googling everything every time I get 5 minutes to myself (standard), I had a pretty restful weekend. I must say I felt pretty average on Saturday – a bit dizzy and fuzzy headed. I also did my second round of intralipids on Saturday afternoon and they took more than 3 hours – it was so incredibly boring! Not helped by the fact that while I was at the clinic strapped up to the IV hubby was off having a beer with friends (he told them I was having my nails done – ha, I wish!)

Another fun part of this weekend was that I had the most epic outbreak of insomnia yet. I’ve been a bit plagued by insomnia recently, waking up around early every day, but this is probably thanks to the steroids. However, this weekend on both mornings not only was I awake, but I was unbearably so and just had to get out of bed before sunrise. It’s like jetlag without the nice holiday destination.  

Yesterday afternoon I had an afternoon nap and then I slept really well last night so maybe the jet lag insomnia is tempered for a bit. I haven’t really noticed any other steroids-related side effects but the messing up my sleeping is definitely, definitely not my imagination!! However, if it means we get a baby out of this then I am TOTALLY FINE with my jet lag insomnia.

Apart from the aforementioned jet lag insomnia, I also have tender, slightly bigger bbs and I think my husband would tell you I’ve been a bit cranky. Otherwise, no other symptoms yet. I have got some mild bloating, but that’s most likely down to our best friend, progesterone pessaries.

I’m trying to stay positive, but my heart is so fragile. Part of me knows I have to not relax into this and consider it a done deal because it will make any potential loss so much worse, but at the same time I know I have to stay optimistic. Arrgghhh!

The small things count

Today I don’t have any news but I want to do a shout out to my lovely husband. This IVF stuff is hard and miscarriages are even harder, but this guy has stuck through it all with me and has been my strength. He probably knows more about female hormones and how they work than he ever wanted to know about. But he’s amazing and I love him. 

Last night I can’t home to the most hilarious and touching gift. In our bedroom were 3 giant balloons spelling out 176! 

It was so incredibly thoughtful, funny and cute. I laughed so much and so hard that I was doubled over – tears streaming down my face and snorting with laughter!!!

We are not clear yet by any means but the fact he wanted to celebrate this small victory in the sweetest way really touched me!! It’s funny how it takes such tough times to make you stronger. 

Also, the balloon shop people were very confused by why he wanted 176 in balloons!! Not your usual order!!

Show me the numbers!

My blood test was this morning and I went in feeling good after yesterday’s positive home test and all your wonderful comments to me over the past 24 hours. 

But you don’t care about that. You want to know my numbers!!

The magic number is 176!!

This is entirely normal for 14 days past ovulation and 9dp5dt. It is also the highest number I’ve had for the beta test. Pregnancy one was 120, pregnancy 2 was 80 (ugh). 

Please let this one be my baby!!


Hellooo potatoes!

Potatoes. Probably not your usual early pregnancy symptom for most people, but for me yesterday’s sudden and intense desire for potatoes was a very welcome sign! 

In my first pregnancy I could not get enough of potatoes in all forms so this was good news for me. I was starving in general yesterday and this is also very strange for me so I knew something was up. 

In my previous pregnancies I have known before test day that I was pregnant by the way my body was (mis)behaving and so I was pretty confident something was going on as of yesterday. 
I know some people enjoy the surprise reveal of the blood test results but the one time I held out for them I nearly had a nervous breakdown on test day. Now I make sure I do a home pregnancy test beforehand so I have a general idea of what to expect. 

So of course I tested this morning!! And the result was a faint but visible line showing a positive!! 🎉🎉🎉

As I have shown twice before with my miscarriages, while this is good news, it is far from a solid win for us. The next step is the blood test to make sure my numbers are viable. If they are (fingers crossed) then we have to make sure it sticks. 

But for now, we are happy!! 🍀

The Phantom of the Uterus

….. is there.

Inside my mind!

One for the fans of show tunes there!

The Phantom of the Uterus is in full session right now at 6dp5dt. I have symptoms galore and I’m not sure which are my imagination, which are the result of the medications, and which might (might) represent a potential BFP. I am sharing these “symptoms” here merely as a record of my observations and of course if I get a BFN at the end of this week you can all laugh at me for my vivid imagination.


Yesterday I was quite confident my boobs were bigger. Husband came home yesterday (yay!) and was required to do a full visual and feeling test to assess their growth or lack of (he gets all the good jobs!!). He confirmed that he too believes them to be bigger – and was incredulous that I was doubting it. This morning I woke up and they feel even bigger and more sore which I’m delighted about. This is probably the best bit of all of this for the husband as my usually micro-sized boobs grow to be quite a lovely size and shape. Of course they usually get really sore at a certain point and then he can’t touch them so he has to enjoy them while he can! Haha!


I have felt a tiny bit more tired than normal, but nothing like previously when I had BFPs. This could be for several reasons, one of which being there is no BFP (not the option I’m going for), but most likely is because I am taking 16mg of Prednisolone and from all reports that gives you a lot more pep in your step than you might otherwise have. I did go to bed a little earlier than normal last night at 10:30pm, but I was then WIDE AWAKE and ready to party at 5am this morning, which is great except there was no one who wanted to party at that hour with me. I also needed a 5am toilet visit which has previously been a sign of BFP, but maybe this is just because I went to bed a little earlier than usual. Hmmm….


I am very bloated (eeewww) and I seem to be having low level cramps on and off almost constantly. I think I’m a tiny bit more hungry than usual too, but I’m not sure if that’s just because I’m back in the office this week and being in an office usually makes me crave the munchies. 

Husband is convinced the transfer has worked and is expecting a BFP. I am afraid he is a little over confident but don’t want to ruin his buzz as he is in charge of positivity in our partnership. But I bought a double-pack pregnancy test yesterday so that we can test before the blood test on Friday. I know some people like the element of surprise, but for me I like to have a sense of what to expect in advance of the ominous call with the blood test results.  No testing before Thursday though. 

Please, please let this little one stick!

Gimme some cheese!

Today is 4dp5dt and I am floating about in that special kind of mental hell solely reserved for the 2WW. I have no idea if this has worked and it’s driving me crazy!

So what symptoms or “ghost symptoms” do I have?

Since Friday I have had a very, very sore back but the reality of that now seems to be that I actually do have a sore back.  I’ve got a reoccurring thing with my back which is not serious, but I think that’s what’s happening now, rather than implantation pain.  However, occasionally today I have felt some feelings that might be a little like period pain, but I am afraid I am imagining it.  Also, as my back is so sore I feel that any other pain would be almost unnoticeable in comparison.  After my last transfer, it was day 4 when I got very noticeable implantation pain so I am a bit worried that I haven’t been feeling the same things as last time. Maybe that’s a good thing though as we all know how last time turned out. 😦

Overall today I feel a bit lousy.  Nothing really serious, but that kind of weird feeling you get before you come down with a cold.  Your throat is a bit scratchy, you’ve got a bit of a headache, maybe you’re a bit hot and then a bit cold. However, I am also feeling freaking miserable and I’ve been home alone now for 4 days (husband is abroad with work – great timing) and I think I’m losing my mind.  Can losing your mind give you a headache? (I’m sure the answer is yes, by the way)

I am a bit tired today, but not sleepy.  I am wondering if this down to our nice friends the steroids? Normally progesterone makes me super snoozy, but this time round I’ve barely noticed its impact. I can’t say I have insomnia either (one of the reported side effects of steroids) though I will confess to waking quite early the past few days.  Both times when I was pregnant I also found I would wake up very early, but again, I don’t want to read anything much into this. I’m also really into eating cheese today and I don’t each much cheese generally.

Finally, I’ve got a couple of small, blind pimples that have popped up in the past 24 hours and I think my boobs are microscopically bigger, but I can’t be sure.  All of these (ghost) symptoms could mean nothing or something.  Arrgggggh!

This weekend has been such a downer in general with my husband away and I’ve felt so incredibly lonely. One of the drawbacks of living away from your own country is that in times like this when you just want a good friend to come over and watch movies with you there is no one to turn to – not to mention someone help you do the grocery shopping (helloooo lifting!!).  My best friend back home has been sending me encouraging text messages of support but she is really my only support beyond my (currently absent) husband.  I might have underestimated how hard it was to go through the 2WW without him here…

And just to stab me in heart a tiny bit more, someone I know well and who knows my IVF situation (I will not describe them in any more detail for fear of identification) very kindly called me last night to ask how I was doing.  We had a nice chat, she asked me what I was doing today and when I said my schedule was pretty open she invited me to lunch with her and some others. I accepted the invitation and she said she would call me in the morning to arrange the details.

The morning came.  No phone call.  Of course I could have called her, but as the invitation came from her it seemed a bit pathetic for me to go chasing after her to check she still wanted me to come. At about midday I see on Facebook that she’s posted selfies at lunch – that’s the lunch she had invited me to go to but didn’t tell me where it was or when. Might have been nice to hold off on the selfies don’t you think?!

It wasn’t so much the lunch itself, but rather the rejection that struck me right in the core of my heart. So I went grocery shopping at lunchtime instead and bought cheese.  I think I might actually be looking forward to going to work tomorrow as a distraction!



Breaking records (and backs too)

Today I am 2dp5dt, otherwise known as two days since my embryo transfer, and I have the most intense back pain!  I do remember with my previous two successful transfers that I experienced the kind of back pain associated with period pain.  I even noted it here after my last transfer, but I’m not sure if this is the same or not.  I think I might just have a really, really sore back.  But in the interests of thinking positively, let’s try and hope that my suffering is all down to some super-intense implantation. The strange thing is that after the previous two transfers, the back pain was at about 4dp5dt, so perhaps I really do just have a sore back.

The past day and a half have been so incredibly boring. I know the 2WW is not massively fun at any time, but my husband took off for a business trip early yesterday and I’m working from home so as to encourage myself to stay relaxed and I AM SO BORED! Apart from a trip to the pharmacy yesterday, I have not interacted with any other humans (email and text messages do not count).  I went to bed at 10pm last night, not because I was so tired I couldn’t stay awake longer, but that I was so bored I couldn’t be bothered to stay awake anymore.

This morning I was up bright and early (thanks to my early night!) and realised shortly after getting up that I was in a lot of pain.  I took a gently walk for 45 minutes or so and even that didn’t make me feel better.  So I did a bunch of yoga/back stretches and that didn’t help. It’s really weird! In a normal situation I would now be knocking back ibuprofen, but of course I am not today. I’m happy to keep the back pain if it equals implantation, otherwise it can really go away now thanks.

Anyway, reflecting back onto transfer day, at some point after the transfer our doctor was chatting to the embryologist who mentioned we still have 15 embryos in the freezer (we had one left over from our first EC and we got 15 fertilised, top quality embryos in round 2). At first he didn’t react to the number of embryos, but then it sunk in.  His face was priceless!!  My husband asked him if that was a record or something and he confirmed that indeed it is!  So even though we are useless at making babies, apparently we make kick-ass embryos.  Yay us!


Maximum deja vu

Do you believe in signs? These days I am not sure what I believe in but I am having a serious case of deja vu today. On this day, 9th November, in 2015 I had my first FET.  It resulted in my first pregnancy and my first miscarriage.

Today, 9th November, I had my third FET. How freaky is my body that I can manage to schedule my embryo transfers on precisely the same day one year later?!  I am obviously hoping with all of my heart that the result from this transfer is a whole lot more successful than one year ago!

I am usually interested in what other people do as part of their preparation for an embryo transfer, but I’m pretty sure that I do not make a good case study today. Traditionally you’re meant to be well-rested when you arrive at the clinic. Well… I got up this morning at 3.30am to watch the US election results (I’m Europe-based). I am fairly certain that having half a night’s sleep is not the textbook preparation!  That said, following the elections was part of my job, but I also really enjoyed watching the results unfold so it help me to feel excited and positive (if a bit tired).

I requested to have my transfer at 3pm (given my doctor is trying excessively to please me right now, he did not deny me this) and I carefully structured my working day so that I would be free from 1pm. This gave me plenty of time to go for my pre-transfer acupuncture session, and make it to the clinic on time.

All went pretty smoothly, although the embryologist tried AGAIN to give me two embryos to transfer. I definitely do not want twins so we declined this option for the third time.  I was annoyed though because they didn’t ask me before they defrosted my embryos, which meant they had to refreeze the spare one. I can’t help but think embryos are like chicken – once you defrost chicken once you can’t refreeze it again without risking something bad happening.

Hubby was excellent today – held my hand throughout the procedure (he doesn’t usually do that) and told me he was feeling really positive about this one.  While we were waiting for the regulated 20 minutes after the transfer we were chatting about all the names we were not giving to our magical embryo child. I was wearing a t-shirt with “Brooklyn” written across my chest and joked that if the embryo baby is a boy we will have to name it Brooklyn.  However, hubby over-ruled this as apparently Brooklyn is banned as a name (not that I like it) because of the Beckhams’ son! Haha! Then there was a large debate about other celebrities’ baby names and whether they too would be ruled out based on the same protocol.

Afterward the transfer and the much-needed wee, it was back for some more acupuncture and then home, which is where I am now. I am feeling absolutely no different whatsoever so I have no idea if it’s worked.  I am tired, but I’ve had half a night’s sleep, and run about a lot today so that would make me tired on an average day!  The next few days are going to be comparatively very quiet as we await testing day on Friday next week.

Please let this one be in it for the long run….