My lovely lining

I had another scan this morning to see how things are looking for our frozen embryo transfer next week. As I lay there in stirrups with a camera up my wotsit I noticed how my doctor always congratulates me on the smallest things.’Well done, your lining is looking VERY nice!‘….’look how quiet your ovaries are! Lovely!‘. It’s quite sweet. I think he encourages me to feel good about the small (ie, insignificant ) things so I don’t feel so bad about the overall failure of everything.

He is a lovely man…..

…and I have a lovely (9mm) lining.

So everything is looking good for next week. The embryo transfer is scheduled for next Wednesday. Providing our little embryo makes it through the defrosting process I should be back on the 2ww bus very soon. I guess I’ll do my pregnancy test around Saturday 16th as our frostie is a 6 day blastocyst. I’m excited and nervous all rolled into one – please let this be IT this time around.

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Things to take your mind off IVF – #1

…..food poisoning. From an expensive plate of oysters.

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I’ve been in the midst of food poisoning misery since Thursday evening. I thought IVF bloating, hormonal mood swings and headaches were bad things. I was wrong. Those things are not that bad. Food poisoning is bad! Really, really bad.

Anyway it took a bad oyster to put it into perspective but there you go. I’ll get back to IVF whinging soon. In the meantime I have new found respect for oysters. They may now live peacefully in the ocean forever more.

Scan Day

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My period started this weekend so I went to the hospital this afternoon for my first scan. The downregulation has worked and my ovaries are nice and ‘quiet’, but guess what? The doctor counted 10 follicles. That’s the highest Antral Follicle Count I have EVER HAD. On this….. the only cycle where I’m NOT having egg collection.

Insert your own ‘Isn’t it Ironic’ quote here.

Me….then.

I’ve worked out that our upcoming frozen embryo transfer will take place almost exactly 1 year to the day since our first embryo transfer, back in IVF #1. I felt sad when I realised this. It feels like much longer than a year ago. It’s as if that cycle happened to someone else.

Back then I knew nothing about IVF – I turned up for hospital appointments, got bossed around, did as I was told and asked no questions. We couldn’t believe it when we got a positive pregnancy test. That was it -I was pregnant! Too easy, thanks for the IVF, toodleloo. We told my mum, my dad, my brother, my grandad, some of our friends. I started researching maternity hospitals and thinking about how I’d tell my boss. A good friend told me that she used to write notes to her unborn baby whenever she travelled, so she’d have stories to share with her tiny travel companion later on. So I did the same – writing a note from Chicago – feeling silly and excited all rolled into one.

Just two days later I started bleeding – I was in Chicago and had to go to A&E there. My good friend came with me – she told me about her own miscarriage as we waited to see a doctor.  I listened to her, nodding and smiling, feeling quite sure that wouldn’t be me. Thanks for the info, I’ll just continue being pregnant if you don’t mind.  Hey, we had IVF and it worked first time! We’re basically awesome.

Sure enough the pregnancy test came back negative, the scan magnified my empty womb in 3D and my blood test showed a HCG level of 5. I felt ashamed. I was so ‘un-pregnant’ that my ‘pregnancy’ didn’t even register on the scale. I must have miscarried days before, maybe even a week before, back when I was googling maternity hospitals and making a birth plan. I felt embarrassed, I felt stupid and naive.  I lay on the trolley and cried. I just wanted to crawl into bed and hide. My dear friend took me for a glass of wine and we  talked and laughed instead. I’ll always be so grateful to her for that day. I can’t read the note I wrote to my ‘baby’, it makes me too sad.

A lot has changed in the last year. We’re on our fourth cycle and I’m an expert in IVF jargon. We go to hospital appointments armed with sheaves of paperwork and data, we make our own decisions regarding treatment plans and medication. We understand the statistics and know what our chances of success are. I’ve experienced miscarriage and know what that feels like, physically and emotionally. I do wonder if knowledge is power or whether I was better off 12 months ago, oblivious to it all. It’s hard to say. Better not to dwell on it, according to my (blimming) ‘Mindfulness’ book. Anyway a bit of a sombre post but perhaps the 12 month thing is a good omen for our forthcoming frozen embryo transfer. Onwards and upwards.

Downregulation

… sounds like a ghost town in Nevada.

I’m on day 6 of downregulation with Synarel and I feel pretty good. In fact I feel completely normal. Too normal…. Are the sniffs working? Am I inhaling enough of the stuff? This is what happens during IVF. If you feel bad, you worry. If you feel good, you worry. I’m doing 2 sniffs of Synarel nasal spray twice a day. It isn’t quite as satisfying/reassuring as plunging a syringe into my belly so I’ll just have to assume that everything is OK. My period is due to arrive in the next day or two so let’s see what happens.

I’m half way through the ‘Mindfulness’ book and it’s pretty good so far. The basic premise is ‘stop torturing yourself with pointlessly negative thoughts’. I now need to start applying this information.

So let’s give it a try. The nasal spray is working and everything is fine. This IVF cycle is going to work and I am going to get pregnant soon. Boom! Easy.