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