A year on: Blogiversary

It’s my 1 year blogging anniversary! Blogiversary? Blogaversary? Blogging… Thing!

  
Celebrate!! (through interpretive dance)

Apparently I signed up for WordPress 1 year ago. Which is nuts. A whole year I’ve been sending my random thoughts out into the ether! I was totally not sure about doing it beforehand… I always felt like I had something to say (but thought nobody would be interested in my random ramblings). I signed up one day on the spur of the moment because I wanted to record the IVF experience. I felt like I’d had years of never being able to talk about infertility, or only being able to mention it in passing… Not to mention my gradual thinking that I wanted to explore my thoughts on adoption (having been adopted as a baby) more, especially in the context of infertility. And plus, sometimes I just want to write stuff…

Anyway, it’s probably not an exaggeration to say that WP has been a lifesaver. At first, when I read others’ blogs, it just told me interesting stuff around what to expect for IVF. As I started following more people, it became a support group when I was going through IVF cycle 1. When I got my first ever positive pregnancy test, there you were, cheering me on. (Yes, that line is definitely a line!) And when there was no heartbeat, you supported me. When I was heartbroken going through miscarriage, you understood. When I picked myself up and carried on, and focused on the good stuff, you were there. And when my due date rolled round and I was hit by an unexpected wave of grief, you were right beside me across the miles in cyberspace.

Thank you!

  
You’re all awesome. Some of you whose journey I’ve followed now have moved on to the next stage of your lives, to parenthood through IVF, pregnancy, surrogacy and adoption. I’m elated for you! Some of you are still on the journey, still hoping like we are that one day it will happen. I salute you! We are doing pretty bloody well if I do say so myself. And I remind myself that we’re far richer people than the language of infertility suggests… I know I’ve had fun this past year even amongst the heartbreak of losing our first baby. I’ve also moved on a lot in thinking and processing my thoughts around my own adoption. I’ve had time to reflect on the good stuff as well as the tough times.

Over the past year, our relationship has continued to be happy and fun and supportive, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I decided to go to the party where I met T. My Dog is literally the best dog ever in the world and I think most people aren’t as lucky (I only have to look at his little face and I am overcome with love) so you know, really life could be worse. And I’m working my notice on a rather tiresome job and about to start a new one in a couple of months, which is a great feeling and streets apart from where I was this time last year. I’m not exhausted by work, I’m shortly about to have a pay increase and the homelife is looking up as we might finally be getting our first home (if all goes through with the mortgage) so we are in a good place and I’m thankful for that. Even if we never have a child I feel like we are in a good position to be happy in our lives. And we haven’t given up yet on the idea of being parents.

And here we are again: Cycle 2! A year on, a year older, a bit wiser, probably a good deal more jaded realistic about success rates, what to expect, and so on.

What has it taught me?

I know how many hurdles there are to cross. In the first cycle, everything seemed new and exciting. I just kept my focus on the current stage and didn’t have expectations about the next. We were keeping our hopes dampened and yet we were still optimistic about it because we’d never done it before, and something so medicalised seemed like it was a positive thing to do – I mean, how could you go through all those injections and procedures and it not result in a baby?

Until it didn’t. And the fibroid… And the operations and the aftermath of the miscarriage and the picking ourselves up and carrying on, because that’s what you do. The unacknowledged grief that is not really very easy to talk about so we just focus on the next positive thing. The operation (ugh) and the trip to Disney (yay) and nice stuff and just Getting On With Life. That was tough, but we got through it. At times, sometimes I felt like I couldn’t possibly do it again. 

And somehow we are. Cycle 2. Now for the boring stuff…

Summary: Day 21 

Scan: I had a scan this am and they said my womb lining was 4.5mm. I had a really heavy period last week so the nurse said this was to be expected. Both ovaries were accessible. I had 6 + 3 follicles which seems pretty poor but hey ho, I’m old. They also saw a small (0.8cm) “something” in the same area where the fibroid was. This could either be the fibroid or a regrowth or scar tissue from the operation or a polyp. Who knows. The doctor gave me a choice: I could wait and have another hysteroscopy (average waiting time on NHS 5-6 months) or he advised to go ahead with treatment, because I had a pregnancy last time (prior to the op) and it was small enough that they didn’t think it was significant, and also because trying to remove more could do more damage than good. NB My last op was private, but that medical insurance (BUPA) was resistant to approving it last time and I’ll also be ineligible once I leave the company I’m at, in a few weeks. So realistically it probably isn’t worth delaying longer given that I’ve already had 2 hysteroscopies within a short time frame, of which at least one was specifically supposed to treat the fibroid. (Agh.)

Down regulation: I’ve done 17 days of down regulation with 0.5 Buserelin. As of tomorrow, I’m to switch to 0.25 Buserelin.

Stimulation: I start this evening on Menopur. (Edited to add: I start on 250 dosage.) Last time I had Gonal F, which was super easy as it was in a pen. This time I have to mix powder and solvent together – eek. The Gonal F pen was a piece of cake and this one looks a bit trickier. I get a bit antsy about air bubbles. I have to pick a time, any time after 19:00 so I’ll probably go for 22:00 as I’m usually home by then. 19:00 I’m quite often still at the office and I don’t want to stress about carrying around powder and mixing it in the office toilets!

Next steps: They already decided that my next scan won’t be until next Wednesday. It would usually be Monday (6 days away) and instead it’s Wednesday because based on my reaction to stims last time, they think I’ll need a bit longer. T has to come to this one as we need to sign the consent forms before egg collection. They can’t tell us when egg collection will be – based on my reaction last time (to Gonal F not Menopur) it will be tail end of next week.

Immune stuff: (Edited to add, as I forgot to mention this… Treatment from Dr S.) I’ve still been taking Pregnacare and Vitamin D and baby aspirin and Omega 3. (The fishy burps are gross but hardly ever happen… I try and swallow the capsules with a lot of water!) Once I have the stims started, I have to book in to get the IV infusion of intralipids. It’s meant to be 2-4 days before egg collection so I probably need to call up and book in tomorrow. Also I am supposed to start heparin injections too (must check when… I think at same time as egg collection) and prednisolone. Will update on that once I’ve got a handle on it – I know it didn’t start until at least stims!

   *    *    *

So that’s where we are at. For some reason it seems far less eventful than last time, possibly because I’m working my notice rather than working out of town with a mean client who was resistant to me taking any time off for medical appointments. (I hope karma comes back and bites him on the ass!) At least working my notice is quite quiet, because they’re sort of happy with me doing anything (as they expect people to be doing not very much) and I can’t work on client work as I’m leaving. So that’s alright!

Meanwhile we are getting the house packed up, slowly. We haven’t had our house buying confirmed yet as such, as the British system is super slow. But it’s progressing slowly. So we are getting rid of some of the big stuff as we won’t be able to fit it in the new place which is smaller. At the moment we have a giant comedy television that T bought in a fit of “We have a big apartment so why not?” (I’ll tell you why not… It’s a monster.) Anyway that television has been bought by someone equally as crazy, so we’ll now have to go back to squinting at a “tiny” (normal sized) tv. I have promised T that when we have the new apartment he can buy a giant-giant tv, like 70 inches or something. He’s crazy. (I like crazy.)

Also my beloved industrial cake oven has been sold. It means at least T gets back what he spent on it, which is great. It wouldn’t fit in the new place, so I am happy it’s been sold as it’s worth quite a lot. He bought it for me for Christmas the year before last because I always complained that the oven in our (rented) apartment wasn’t any good for cooking cakes. (He is the best!) Hopefully the oven in the new place will be good. I’m still trying to decide whether to sell my hanging chair, which I don’t actually use any more. I used to use it as a reading nook in our last (even bigger) apartment until Dog decided that it’s actually a hanging dog bed! I feel bad that he might be unsettled by the move so I’m trying to persuade T to keep the hanging chair for the time being! Although I think Dog prefers the apartment we have now, as he has free run of it, whereas he couldn’t get everywhere in the older bigger apartment. We shall see! It will be his forever-ish home so I hope he likes it! T has done the majority of the sorting out because I am terrible at doing admin stuff. I have sorted through some books though.

So there we are – up to date. I’m feeling a lot better after my period stopped – it was really horrific during down regulation, and I don’t know if that’s a thing. I actually feel quite normal now so I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I’m on day 17 of IVF and last time, the whole thing lasted 90+ days, so that gives me a sense of how far we have to go. (A successful pregnancy would be longer.) We are just at the start of this journey, and our other (home, work) journeys too!

Wishing everyone else on this journey lots of luck! We can do it!

  

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45 comments

  1. wonkygenes

    Ahh great! Lovely to see you feeling happy. Progress always feels good. Sending all the luck in the world to you for this cycle. Will you be doing a fresh transfer?

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you! The plan is to do a fresh transfer if we can. The doc did say if we wanted to delay for fibroid treatment we could freeze the embryos, but that’s a massive assumption. We didn’t have any to freeze last time. We retrieved 12 eggs, 6 fertilised and only 1 made it to transfer, so I don’t rate my chances.

      I am thinking if this one fails then we might pursue a private mild IVF cycle. That’s where they just try and collect your eggs with mild stimulation (no down regulation) over a few cycles and then transfer when your uterus is in the best possible condition. Which might mean waiting for treatment. I guess we will see what this one brings.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. waitingbetweenthelines

    Don’t worry too much about mixing the meds… You’ll get used to it in no time. Don’t worry about air bubbles as they can’t for any harm (the injection does not go into a vein) but yoi can get rid of moat air by holding the needle up and flicking the part with the meds. Good luck!

    Like

    • Nara

      Thanks! I’m just a bit nervous as I haven’t tried it before, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it! I was so worried the first time but now I can do Buserelin (two needles, one to suck it up with and one smaller one to inject) whilst I’m half asleep! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Like

  3. thegreatpuddingclubhunt

    Happy Blogiversary!! It’s amazing to look back and think how much has actually happened in just one year!! thank you for blogging and sharing your thoughts and ideas, they are always refreshing to read!

    Yeyyyyy for stimming phase!!!!! What is your menopur dosage going to be to start with? You will be mixing up that menopur with your eyes closed in no time ๐Ÿ™‚ The Q-cap makes it super easy to mix. Wow, I can’t believe they are not going to see you for a whole week before your next monitoring scan!

    It’s awesome you don’t have stress at work this time…it’s a shame they didn’t put you on gardening leave!!!! Although I guess it is good to also keep slightly busy ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you! I hope you (eventually) get what I sent to you in the post!
      It’s a bit annoying we aren’t exactly in sync but I’m only a couple of weeks behind you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah I’m sure Menopur won’t be so bad once I’ve tried it. I’m starting on 250 per eve until next Wednesday’s scan. I’m hoping it gives me an awesome result like you got! 17 is amazing! I’m actually feeling a lot better on Buserelin now. I am due to start Menopur this eve. Also need to check the immune stuff as I have to start taking that soon too. I’ve edited the post to include the stuff I forgot! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  4. Courtney

    You sound so much like I felt when we started our second fresh cycle. Excitement is over, reality has set in, expectations are low. Honestly, I wish I’d been that way with cycle #1 because that failure was CRUSHING. I wish I’d had a better grasp on reality.

    This is your cycle. You’re in a better place without that damn fybroid. I’m hoping you have an embryo or two for transfer, and a couple for the freezer. ๐Ÿ˜ My second cycle produced only 4 viable embryos, and I was devastated. But we know how that turned out (2 kids, born 2 years apart). Don’t let egg collection, fertilization reports, etc. get you down.

    I think they should scan you on Monday. You’ve had a drug change and they’re not sure what that will do. You don’t want to over cook your eggs, seriously. Can you request a scan for Monday?

    Happy blogiversary! So glad I found you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you! I’m always thinking of you in relation to this… You are my inspiration for cycle 2! โ˜บ๏ธ I always think “Well it worked for Courtney and she has TWO kids now!” – really I often spur myself on by thinking of you guys. I really hope I can do as well as you did! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I don’t know about getting a scan on Monday. NHS is a bit difficult for stuff like that! I can wait and see how I respond to the meds as I’ll definitely feel it if I’m over responding, I’m sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jein

    Congrats on your Blogiversary! And all the best for the stimulation period – I’m sure you’ll master the mixing part in no time! I was pretty much in the same situation exactly one year ago. I had started down regulation in late March, and had egg retrieval in late April, and it was the first time I had long protocol in IVF, and… I’m crossing my fingers you will have same outcome in the end! xxx

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  6. Nara

    Thank you! Yes I remember being IVF buddies with you last year. I hope I can have a positive outcome like you did! โ˜บ๏ธ

    Like

  7. My Perfect Breakdown

    I love that you joined the blogging world!! Honestly, every single day I look forward to your posts, and when you don’t post I’m kind of sad! I love learning from you – adoption, IVF, cakes, dog, London, work stress, etc. I never know what you are going to share, and I just love it. Honestly, I just love you!!! You are truly an inspiration and a light in my life. I am thankful for our friendship and I am determined to come visit you one day. ๐Ÿ™‚
    And of course, I am cheering you along every step right now. Honestly, I am just so hopeful that this cycle with everything you are doing is going to be the cycle that bring your little one into your arms!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Aww that’s one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me, and I’m sure I don’t deserve it! (I’ll take it though!) I’m so happy to have “met” you too and it’s awesome to have a friend across the ocean to shoot the breeze with! I love that you are so enthusiastic about all the random topics we talk about! And I know you’re cheering me along, just as I am you. It’s a great feeling to know that you are there! Xx

      Like

  8. pinksnow78

    Oooh happy blogiversary!!! I was worried about switching from Gonal F to Menopur for the same reason as you but it’s honestly fine. I have a good feeling about this cycle for you ๐Ÿ™‚ keep us in the loop x x

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you so much! I’m glad that it’s not too bad! I’ve mixed it up and just waiting till a bit later to inject it (so I can do it at the same time every night) and I reckon it looks easy enough! ๐Ÿ˜‚ x

      Like

  9. Amy M.

    So much going on! Congrats on the blogversary! Glad you’re feeling better, and getting some things taken care of for your hopeful upcoming move. What kind of dog do you have? If you’ve said at some point, I missed it. And since I work with animals, I feel I need to know lol! Good luck with this cycle!! Hopefully things continue to go well and you get lots of good eggs and embies out of it!!

    Like

  10. EmilyMaine

    Congrats on1 1 year of blogging! Things seem to be stepping up for this cycle and you seem to be in a great place mentally. Good luck with the menopur. I am sure it is fine as many use it but I was nervous about it too as all my previous cycles were the gonal F pen. You got this!! X

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you! Yes it does seem a bit easier this time (mainly not being on the project from Hell!). I have mixed the Menopur so off to inject it now… Ha! T says it looks like I am a drug addict! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Like

  11. 30yr old nothing

    Happy bloggiversary!!! And yay for stims!! I’m a few days behind you my baseline was this morning. I’m so glad everything seems calm especially work. It’s going to be a great cycle!

    Like

    • Nara

      Ah brill! I’m about the same distance behind Dani from The Great Pudding Club Hunt, so we are all in it together! โ˜บ๏ธ I hope yours goes brilliantly! X

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      It went fine thanks! It was a bit harder to inject than other injections, which is a tad annoying. Like I had to sort of push quite hard to make it go in! I didn’t have to break the top off any vials though – phew!

      Like

  12. babydreamsandlove

    Happy blogiversary! ๐ŸŽ Isn’t it crazy how something simple like a blog can help in so many ways!! When I first started blogging; I never followed anyone or interacted; I just read and wrote. Now I do it all non-stop! WordPress IVF sector really is a little community of love and support!! All the best for this cycle!. My fingers and toes are ALL crossed for you!! ๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽˆ

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you! Yes that’s so true! I felt a bit worried at first about commenting but then realised everyone’s happy to have comments! I think it’s fantastic to “meet” all these different kinds of people!

      Like

  13. cdnchoicemom

    Happy Blogiversary! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am new to blogging and like what you said, I am so thankful to discover such an amazing infertility community of support out there. I definitely don’t feel as alone. Thank you for sharing your journey and I wish you lots of luck this go-around!

    Like

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