Coincidental?

Today after work I went to have my eyebrows waxed. Given that I am not allowed to do fun things like go running, or to the gym, or drink wine at the moment, I suddenly have found all these extra hours in the day. (As a side note, I am now starting to wonder what the hell non-exercising people do with all their spare time?!)

You would think waxing your eyebrows would be a pretty uncontroversial move? Well, I’m here to tell you that even though I’ve waxed my eyebrows 700,000 times over the years and it’s been done by the same lady for the past five years, today for the first time EVER I have developed huge welts on my skin where it was waxed.

WHAT?!

I mean, I’m sure it will go down soon and I will survive, but right now I’m quite a fright!  A quick little Google showed me that apparently if you’re pregnant you need to be careful with waxing as your skin is extra sensitive and prone to reactions!!  WOW!

Also, my one lovely cystic acne spot that I was celebrating yesterday has been joined by two friends so half of my face now looks like angry teenager skin and the other half looks like my waxing lady attacked me with a hot hair curler tool. Usually my cystic acne is caused by hormonal fluctuations so I am hoping I have a whole bunch of pregnancy hormones responsible for messing up my face right now.

I cannot help but think this cannot ALL be coincidental, can it?!  Sure I could have imagined a few of these symptoms, but some of them have been way too strong to be coincidences.

So tempted to POAS.  Can I hold out until Thursday?!

 

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The fragility of hope

It was back to work for me today after four days off last week.  I was actually quite pleased to go back as I was becoming increasingly restless towards the end of last week and work was a welcome distraction.

My boss knows my situation and she is really encouraging, but she doesn’t always remember the details, including how long it is before you find out results.  So she bounded into work this morning giving me a secret thumbs up sign and seemed a bit disappointed when I just shrugged my shoulders. She is a big pusher of the power of positivity and keeps reminding me to believe that this one will work. It’s nice having someone so positive around, although sometimes I am afraid to be as positive as she suggests.

Following my various theorising on symptoms, I continue to have no cramps despite still taking the pessaries, so I am still feeling confident that the cramps I had which peaked on Saturday were implantation cramps. Please let this not just be my imagination!

Today I have felt pretty good actually, apart from the giant, cystic acne spot that I have on my cheek. There’s no hiding this bad boy! Thankfully it’s only one spot, but cystic acne for me is 99% down to some kind of hormonal fluctuation.  For possibly the only time in my life I’ve been celebrating a giant spot!

Other potentially relevant symptoms (or potentially not) have been increased thirst (I drank nearly 3 litres before 4pm today) and fatigue.  I’ve felt quite wiped out from about 2pm today, although I did go to bed a bit late last night so I am not entirely sure if I’m willing to claim that one as a symptom today.

I have so far not POAS, but I’m still in a quandary about that one. I am increasingly leading towards waiting, but there’s still 3 days until Thursday so maybe I’ll weaken before then.  Until now it’s all good until it’s not. Fingers, toes, hairs, and eyes crossed!

Definitely maybe

Ok, I’m going to be frank here. I’ve had a lot of symptoms the past few days and I’m starting to wonder, hope and dream that they are signs that this little embryo transfer has worked.

Here is the evidence thus far:

  • On-and-off cramping since Thursday, culminating yesterday in a day full of cramps that were so bad last night I couldn’t sleep. Cramps in my front, cramps in my back, but definitely cramps. This was NOT my imagination. The cramps are not really the same as period pain, but are more like something is trying to make a space down there and is having some challenges.
  • I fully recognise that the progesterone I am so daintily providing to my body up my lady parts each day can cause cramps and other symptoms, so why the hell didn’t I get ANY symptoms for the 3 days before the transfer that I was also using the progesterone pessaries.  And why did I wake up today to have zero cramps even though I’m still taking the pessaries?
  • Most of yesterday I just felt lousy.  Kind of like a bad hangover.  Nothing specific that I could pinpoint, but just not right. An afternoon nap yesterday was non-negotiable.
  • This morning, I spent a few hours again feeling not great.  I would characterise this as similar to what I get after a few too many wines the night previous, i.e. low-level nausea and a mildly dizzy sensation that doesn’t stop you doing anything but it’s much nicer to have a good sit-down.

For the previous FET which was positive (until miscarriage) I also had quite substantial back pain for about 24 hours at around the same stage of the process. After the fresh transfer (negative) I had no symptoms. I remember this clearly because all of my online searches were looking for examples of others who had no symptoms but went on to have a positive test (there’s loads, but clearly I wasn’t one of them).

Based on this (admittedly dubious) analysis, I’m starting to feel a bit more positive that this might have worked. I have also bloated up BEAUTIFULLY over the past few days and my boobs are substantially bigger (v likely related to the progesterone that one) so I really hope there is good justification for feeling so gross.

My blood test is due for Thursday and I’m currently playing mind games with myself as to whether I should consider a POAS test before that. Before the blood test for the fresh transfer I did POAS the day before the test and it came back negative. To be completely fair though, I was testing myself at that point because I’d lost faith that it had worked because I had no symptoms. The negative test made me so super-depressed in advance of getting the bad news that I swore never to do one again.

During the last FET I kept to my word and I didn’t POAS, but instead waited for the blood test results.  Until the day before I really thought it would be positive and then I had some kind of crisis of confidence where I doubted myself. I ended up going for the blood test and sobbing to the nurse that it was pointless because it would be negative and also to my boss at work. It was positive.

So what do I do?  Do I hold tight for the blood test on Thursday?  Or do I do a home test and (potentially) get a sneak peek in advance of Thursday?

I took the dandelion photo here on a walk on Friday and thought to add it as dandelion can be a symbol of life. While to you it might seem to be an unimpressive weed, I liked a description that I read that said  it is”… nearly impossible to remove because of its spectacularly strong roots. Then, when it goes to seed, it is suddenly beautiful, fluffy and white, standing proudly above the grass and weeds. But then finally, one strong wind and its beautiful geometry is gone.”

I feel like the dandelion today.

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Symptoms or imagination?

I have officially reached the stage where I am trying to self-diagnose every single ache, pain and twinge in my body and attribute it to a sign that this transfer has worked. Ugh.

I am without any doubt bloated, but that is almost certainly due to the evil progesterone pessaries (which also generate wind; IVF is so sexy!). Regardless, it’s never fun to have a sticky-out belly without being sure there is a baby inside.

I really hope there is a baby inside.

For most of yesterday afternoon and evening I had quite substantial backache and this has started to excite me – the only time that backache can be considered legitimately exciting. During my last FET (which was successful until miscarriage at 9 weeks) I also had quite strong backache but I think it was on day 5, not day 3 as it was yesterday.

 

I have read, during my excessive online searches, that if implantation is successful the embryo starts burrowing into the lining on day 3 which could – technically – cause backache.  But also I’ve not been moving about very much these past few days and maybe I just have backache in general. So I am no closer to understanding if backache is good, bad or means nothing. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I have been off work since Tuesday and I return on Monday, which will hopefully give the little embryo some chill time to make it’s way into my lining and set up home. I’ve got to say that this time off work has felt ultra-indulgent (not in a good way) and also I’ve been quite bored. Even though there are things I could do to pass the time, I have felt a bit listless and had difficulty concentrating.  All I can think is has this worked??!!!! 

Apart from my boss at work and hubby, there is no one else who knows we have made this transfer which has made my restlessness even harder. People are asking why I’m not at the gym, why I’m not participating in the annual local running festival this weekend, and why we haven’t booked a summer holiday. They must think I’m a really boring person because my standard response is I can’t be bothered when that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Please let this one work.

 

 

Daring to dream

It’s almost been a full 48 hours since my embryo transfer so I’m now officially allowed out of the house. I started to get a kind of cabin fever yesterday – hubby and I have taken the decision that for two days I would stay at home and take it easy, including no work.  I’ve not even looked at my work emails, which is unheard of for me. It’s all these small things we are doing that don’t seem like much but will hopefully add up to a bubba.

I went into this transfer a lot less optimistic than previous attempts, but now I am allowing myself the chance to wonder what if it has worked?!  And how amazing would that be! I’ve been having some low level cramps the past couple of days, does this mean implantation?

After my miscarriage at Christmas I have not even allowed myself the opportunity to entertain the thought of having a baby. I even started to talk about how our life may be if we don’t have any children – suggestions so far include moving to another country (my husband and I are different nationalities and we live in his country now), but I suspect the real danger is I might instead create a zoo at home as I love animals! But now… maybe… just maybe there is a baby on the horizon for us.

I’ve only been on here for a short while, but I’ve already been gaining strength from the other brave and persistent wannabe mammas on here. One of the biggest challenges for me during all of this IVF stuff is that I have had very little support outside of my husband. But here there are a whole host of women who seem to be going through similar things and reacting the same way (I’ve decided this means I’m not crazy). Whereas most of the time in the “real world” I feel very alone and somewhat of a failure, here in IVF-blog-land,  I feel a real kinship among ladies.

I’ve commented on a few bloggers posts in the past few days where they have spoken about people being close to them being very insensitive. I can certainly relate to that. Just two days after the doctor scraped out of me what remained of my non-viable baby I had to endure a full-scale Mediterranean family Christmas and pretend like nothing had happened and that I was super-happy. And just for an extra sting in the tail, my hubby’s brother and girlfriend had given birth to a baby boy (accidental conception) just 3 weeks previously so everyone was naturally cooing all over the baby.  I have never wanted the world to swallow me up more.

While there were few people at that Christmas gathering that knew what was really going on with us, those that did never said anything.  Never asked me if I was okay. Never even asked if maybe I would like to skip the party or leave early. They just ignored the whole thing while swept up in the euphoria of a new baby in the family. And they have never said anything to me since either.  So in the almost-four-months since we lost our baby, they have not even acknowledged our loss.  This blows my mind and stabs me right through the heart.

Since then, for reasons too boring to write here, my husband has built a lot of the baby equipment/furniture for this couple and it breaks a little part of me every time to see him putting together stuff for someone else’s baby. Just Monday night (day before our transfer) hubby was asked to put together their new pushchair.  Hubby is excellent at this (bodes well) but I just want him to be building stuff for our baby.

Is that too much to ask for?