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. ūüė¶

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….

Bring it on!

Since my last post I have been doing way too much thinking. Sometimes thinking is good, it’s important and it helps you find a way through the grey days. ¬†But geez, it takes it out of you!

As I suggested previously, I am finding the prospect of the next embryo transfer incredibly loaded with anxiety. The reality is that the first time I didn’t feel this way. ¬†I was anxious about whether I would have a positive pregnancy test or not (still a concern), but I never entertained the concept of getting pregnant and then losing the baby. Yes of course that was naive, but it’s also an important survival method as keeping positive is only ever a good thing.

But then after the two losses and the alarm bells screeching that there’s something wrong with my body, I am just so bloody nervous right now. It had me thinking all sorts of things along the lines of:

  • Maybe I’m just not meant to have a baby
  • What if I fall pregnant again and lose the baby again the same way (or a different way)? Can I cope with a third loss inside 12 months? (Answer: no)
  • What if I fall pregnant and then turn into a giant fat monster and never, ever have sex ever again?
  • What if I never have sex again, generally? (IVF does not often make couples more likely to get down and dirty in my experience and in my non-scientific surveying)
  • What if I am so bloody awful to live with that my husband trades in and trades up to a newer/younger model? Ugh.

So yeah. ¬†That’s where my head has been recently. ¬†And several other people I know have recently made baby announcements which has just been the icing on the cake. ¬†I’ve become a bit numb to other people’s happiness now but at least I no longer get hysterical about them, so that’s something I guess.

Anyway, on a physical and medical side of things, everything is going SUPER FANTASTIC! In the past 7 days I’ve been in the clinic 6 of those days – including 5 blood tests. ¬†My arms resemble those of someone who might enjoy sticking needles in them recreationally. My doctor – who is notorious for his poor bedside manner – annoyed me so badly on Monday I lost my sh!t in his office. ¬†I was asking him why he prescribes one steroid over the other and why he chooses the dose he does (i.e. to explain his methods) and he just kept saying I could have whatever dose I wanted. ¬†I have no medical background so that is pure lunacy to tell me I can choose my own dosage. ¬†I told him that he was wasting my time if he was just going to be so dismissive of my questions and then I burst into tears.

And I haven’t even taken any of the crazy hormones recently!!

Husband saved the day by taking on the role of (super) good cop while I stared at the wall and pretended to be invisible. ¬†I had to go back for scans Wednesday and Friday (without the husband) and it was like the doctor had been given a lobotomy or personality transplant in the meantime. ¬†He kept telling me how great my lining looked, that it was the perfect cycle for a transplant, that he’s sooo happy about my recovery from the egg collection. ¬†I’m not sure if I prefer him being himself (rude) or this new Disney-version (fake). ¬†It sure was funny though!

Down to the medical stuff.  My transfer will be this Wednesday. This time I am on EVERY DRUG THERE IS!  I am going to be so batsh1t crazy!  Please check back here in a few days time so see the latest update in my hormonal rollercoaster and laugh heartily at my crazy!

Here is what I am on for the next few days:

  • Cyclogest 400mg: Progesterone pessaries – twice a day
  • Nuseals 75mg: Aspirin – once per day
  • Medrol 16mg:¬†Methylprednisolone – once per day
  • Cyclacur white: Estradiol (oestrogen) – 2 tablets, twice per day, i.e. 4 tablets per day
  • Clexane 0.4ml: Blood thinners injection – once per day, starting after the transfer (my haematologist might bump this up to 0.6ml if I get pregnant but she’s currently arguing with my IVF doctor about this)
  • Folic acid 5mg: Once per day
  • Euthyrox 5omg: levothyroxine sodium (thyroid drug) – once per day
  • Today I spent 3 hours having IV intralipids. This will be repeated in the case of a positive pregnancy test on the notification of the test and then every 2 weeks later of the first trimester

In addition to the medically prescribed stuff, I also take the following vitamins especially for those trying to conceive:

  • Zita West Vital DHA – twice per day (husband also takes these – they make your hair grow super fast!)
  • Zita West Vitafem – three times per day
  • Zita West Vitalem Boost 1 – three times per day
  • Zita West Inositol & folate (dissolves in water) – once per day
  • Zita West vitamin D oral spray – once per day

One of the current challenges is just remembering what to take and at what time.  And FYI, the Medrol is freaking disgusting tasting even if it lasts only a micro second on your tongue!  I follow it with a chaser of milk and I know others who take it with a cookie to kill the nasty flavour.  Whatever gets you through it!

Regardless of all my “thinking”, it’s full speed ahead this Wednesday. We’ve come this far, and¬†we are not giving up so easily. ¬†Keeping our fingers and toes crossed because, as my friend said the other day to me, “the universe owes you a baby now”.