Hi honey, sorry I’m late …

Crazy is here.

We thought she wasn’t coming this cycle, we thought we were going to have a nice quiet cycle, just the two of us, but no, in she walks, all airs and graces, demanding we make her up a bed and leaving her crap everywhere.

There is blood today. Only a tiny bit. But it’s there every time I go.
And I’ve been going a lot.
Just to check.
Half way around Sainsburys the trolly had to be abandoned for the sake of a toilet break as I was convinced AF had arrived in full force.  I had to restrain myself from hurrying the stall’s occupants when I got in there and realised there wasn’t one free.

What does it mean though!?

One half of my brain: it could be implantation bleeding is it implantation bleeding but implantation bleeding is dark blood isn’t it this is red blood could it be my period showing up early but lighter than usual but you don’t have a period on this medication do you so why is there blood that doesn’t look like implantation blood or period blood what other blood is there what does it meeeeeeeeaaan ???????!!!!@#$%?????!!!

The other half of my brain: Stop asking questions we don’t have an answer to. No, you can’t Google it, Google does not have the answer. You may, or may not be pregnant, this is all the information we have access to. Calm down. PS, where is your punctuation?  Crazy.

I’m just going to sit down and have a cup of tea and a slice of walnut cake.  What else can I do!?

My bladder, and our embryo comes home

It all went well, the embryo survived the defrost and actual transfer was incident free.

The clinic were running an hour late.  There was another woman also in the waiting room waiting for her transfer too.  You know they tell you to come with a full bladder?  Well I take that instruction seriously.  I was already pretty uncomfortable before we arrived, and it only worsened as all the water I’d been drinking continued to filter through.  I was in quite significant pain with it, as was the other woman.  Eventually a nurse said if we thought we could ‘let some out’ we could go to the toilet.  I refrained for another ten minutes until I could wait no longer, and then had to hobble to the loo where I was not successful in letting ‘some’ out.  Have you ever tried stopping?  Anyway I managed to down another 5 glasses of water and was eventually congratulated, by the time it was eventually my turn, on a nice full bladder.  Go me.

The nurse commented that people don’t understand the meaning of a full bladder until they have had an embryo transfer.  They are not wrong.

We asked about grading while we were there, as this one was graded a 1 (lowest) before it went in to freeze (a late bloomer).  The embryologist came out and showed us our embryo, and explained they can’t tell much about it at the moment.  Apparently embryos expand and contract.  They have a cavity within them, and they kind of collapse and then expand again.  While it’s collapsed, they can’t see the quality of the cells.  At that moment, ours was ‘collapsed’ which is a bit of a scary word when you’re thinking about your future baby – but the embryologist said all was looking fine from what she could see.

I’m not dwelling on this, but kind of just wanted to record it as part of the journey.  So that if when this one turns in to a pregnancy for us, we’ll have the full story documented.  The old me would have been all over google, drawing irrational conclusions from rubbish I find on forums dated 2006 and blog posts written by someone who has no more knowledge on the subject than me.  The new me has listened to what the embryologist said, and accepted it without question.  Googling will not provide me with any further information, it will not give me a sneaky peek at the outcome of this cycle and it will not change how many lines we see on the stick next week.

Gosh, that feels healthy!

I feel so much more relaxed this time around.  I know that’s very easy to say when I’m only 2dp5dt – I am well aware that the crazy sets in about 3 or 4 days from now.  But I’m going to try and hold on to this rather sensible ‘what will be will be’ attitude.  I really don’t want to make this experience as difficult for us as it was last time.

Ha, we’ll see.  I’ll keep you updated!

The waiting … the waiting … the waiting …. oh my gosh that came around quick

It seems all we do in this process is wait.  And then get surprised that things have come around so quickly.  I think because it feels like everything takes so long, and when you put ‘the next step’ in to the calendar it seems a million years away, so then when it turns out not to be a million years away, and the date eventually does show up in your immediate future, it’s a nice surprise!

We had our scan this week.  It went fine.  While I was there I asked them to count my folli’s again (you may won’t remember that at the beginning of this process, my folli’s were 1+3 compared to Bec’s 5+10) – well, this time they were 4+6, which is more than THREE TIMES better than 1+3 (and I know that this statistic is true and correct because I dun it in my head.)  Though, she did say it may not be an accurate reflection of what is ‘normal’ because of the hormones I’m guzzling at the moment.  I don’t know why I asked her to count them, but I think I just wanted to know if my lack of follicles is a usual thing for me or if I was just having a low month.  This kind of information is useful even if you currently have no use for it.

My wee womb is all good to go for embryo receiving.  Which is good news.  *Womb, expect some motivational chats over the next week or two.  Cos we can totes do this!*  Which brings me back to the subject of things moving faster than I expected – because this time next week, we will be a coupla days in two our next two week wait! (IF our embryo survives it’s trip from freezer to incubator.)  So time is due to slow to a stop again next week.  I’m secretly looking forward to this ‘taking it easy’ period that my wife is ‘forcing’ upon me for the 48 hours after transfer.  A nice couple of days of sofa time with my doggles.  I’m going to line up some nice DVD’s to feel all cosy with.  And see if I can perhaps train Polly or Elsie to change the DVD for me between films.  Yeah!

Polly & Elsie enjoy sofa days

Polly & Elsie enjoy sofa days

I have two unfinished blogs in my drafts.  I’m going to summarise the blogs in a paragraph each.

One about stepping away from places such as forums (which are like crack houses to drug addicts) for this process, in order to try and maintain some sanity (why did she have her scan on cd14 and I had mine on cd20? Why is my endometrium lining 7.5 and hers 8.5? How can I turn all this information in to a percentage chance that I will or won’t get pregnant?) My mind is clearer and a great deal more healthy than when I click on the forums every day.  It’s liberating.  What is the average optimal lining for implantation?  I don’t know.  And you know what?  Neither do the ladies on the forum.  And, just because PrayForAMiracle2015 craved turnips 4dp5dt and then turned out to be pregnant – doesn’t mean I’m not pregnant if I don’t also crave turnips.

The other blog is about never being satisfied.  We sent our letter of complaint off to the clinic, and have been invited to meet with the medical director to discuss – we’ve asked for this to take place after our tww so that we’re not getting our treatment mixed up with politics.  However, our first appointment since the letter was this week for a scan, and I felt so paranoid when we were there, sure that everyone was whispering to one another ‘those are the two girls who wrote that letter that’s up on the staff notice board’ – and of course the care we received while there was top notch.  We weren’t just herded in for a scan and back out again with a million unanswered questions, we were sat down with the senior nurse, she talked us through it all and ‘checked in’ with how we are doing.  She was being so kind she made my wife cry, and then tried to get us to make an appointment with the counsellor.  It all felt very fake.  Why didn’t we receive this care before?  Perhaps toned down a little would have been fine.  Are other patients receiving that level of care?  Treat me really badly and I’ll feed it back to you.  Treat me really well and I will respond with suspicion.

Jus’ cruising

There isn’t an awful lot to update on … well I suppose there is, but I feel like all I do is whinge and complain on here, so I’ll start with something nice!

Bec and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary last week! Initially, as we had been married in Spain, our original plan was to spend every anniversary somewhere in Spain.  Well, that plan was scuppered at the first hurdle.  It would appear the whole world want to be in Spain in October (because it’s a super cool place to be around the beginning of October, obvs) so we couldn’t get any flights to anywhere at anything near resembling a reasonable price.  So we decided to go away for a night or two locally, and perhaps take the dogs with us.  We love going up to the Lake District – green hills, babbling dykes (ha!), expanses of water to walk around, country pubs, afternoon teas, good crisp fresh air … all things we love.  Except, we didn’t end up doing that either.  I’ve been wandering around gibbering at a calculator for the last few weeks, since we are now faced with the possibility of starting a new round of IVF – finances are looking GRIM.  I just couldn’t justify a few hundred quid on a hotel … so we had a ‘Staycation’!

Yes, I said it.

In a Valley Girl accent.

We did all the things we would have done on a weekend away, except we did it from the comfort of our own home.  We took a few days off work together.  Had a lovely walk out to beautiful places with our pooches, amazing pub lunches, we went for drinks in the bar we got engaged in two years ago, had lunch in a restaurant we’ve been wanting to get in to since we got together and a (Monday!) afternoon of cocktail drinking and general debauchery around Manchester.  It pays to do your drinking at such an obscure time!  We had such a lovely few days together.

And so … back to reality.

Reality being IVF.  *groan*

I feel a bit tired of it all.  I know we’ve barely even scratched the surface in comparison to some people who have difficulties getting pregnant and take years … but I just feel tired from it, and all the stuff that comes with it.  The money worries, dealing with the clinic, the calendar watching, the uncertainty, the on again off again medications.  We’ve just had to send a long letter to the clinic to feedback our experience to them.  We’ve put up with so many occasions where information is wrong, not passed on, phone calls are unreturned, letters and reports are factually incorrect … we just reached the stage where we needed to tell them formally.  The clinic are great for being really friendly and caring, there just seems to be a lack of systems to prevent mistakes.

So, I’m back on the oestrogen tablets, and have a scan booked in next week, hopefully to have our frozen embryo transferred back the week after.  I’m trying to be positive about it but I just have a feeling inside something isn’t going to work.  There’s only a 9/10 chance it will thaw OK.  Then of course, about a 30% chance (another statistic helpfully plucked out of thin air by our clinic) of the embryo actually turning in to a pregnancy.  I don’t know if the way I feel is self preservation – I hope so, because I really don’t want to go in to this with negativity! I will produce hopefulness from somewhere, and I will be as positive as I possibly can once it all gets going!

We’re changing a few things this time.  We were careful with me last time, but we followed the ‘continue on with life as usual’ advice.  We didn’t do anything strenuous, but we were relatively busy with life during our 2ww.  So this time, we’re going to chill things out a bit.  It looks like we’re going to have to make excuses for a Halloween fancy dress party we were going to, and will be cancelling a few other social bits and bobs we had planned.  I’m also going to have a duvet day with my dogs, my remote control and my embryo, after it’s been transferred.

If that doesn’t work?  I hereby resolve to dust myself off and start again with fresh eyes.  We have booked train tickets to go to London where there happens to be a Fertility Show on at the beginning of November – hopefully, we’ll be using those train tickets to have a lovely day out basking in newly pregnant glory, if not, we will be attending the show to research our options – whether to travel abroad for treatment, or look to other clinics here.

Oh … and regarding my last post about whether or not we can ‘buy’ those eggs back that we donated from our last cycle … They said we could, but how we’re feeling about this clinic has really put us off.  Perhaps we’ll revisit this in our minds if we come to the point of having to work out our next steps.

Fingers crossed we’ll be pregnant this time next month and won’t need to think about it!