35+4 weeks – the Cautious Countdown Commences

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So here I am….amazingly still pregnant. If all goes to plan these babies will arrive by C-section on 15th August, just 10 days from now. I’m nervous, grateful and excited all rolled into one. It has been a long, long road to get here.

There’s something about an IVF pregnancy that makes you doubly, trebly, quadrupully anxious. I’m scared of the ‘jinx’. I’ve avoided talking about these babies too much – at least in real life, not on this blog. I’ve been waiting for the next thing to go wrong. I’ve been expecting a big ‘yahh boo’ from the universe in return for getting my hopes up. And yet here we are, nearly at the end. And I’m still worried something will go awry.

I read sad news from fellow blogger The EcoFeminist this morning. I’ve been in her shoes and it is a hateful, angry, lonely place. There’s really nothing anyone can say or do to make it better. ‘Don’t give up’ is not good advice. Quite frankly many people do give up and it’s the right thing to do. Infertility is all consuming; it’s like a black hole of relationships, hope and money. Sometimes there is a happy ending – oftentimes there is not. Obviously I’m glad  we decided to keep trying but I’m not sure how I would have coped with another loss. You put your mental health and happiness on the line every time you have another spin on the wheel of fortune.

So, in a nutshell, this incredible twin pregnancy is a result of:

  • 2 years of ‘trying naturally’ with OPKs
  • 5 back to back cycles of own-egg IVF
  • 1 frozen egg cycle
  • 2 miscarriages
  • 1 donor egg cycle in Spain
  • 1 hideous first trimester of heavy bleeding
  • 1 very short cervix and 1 magical rubber pessary
  • Thousands of £ sterling
  • Many, many hours of tears, terror and hopefulness

And we’re almost there. I will say no more! I don’t want to jinx it (even though ‘jinx’ is a silly, childish concept). I just can’t wait to see these much-wished for babies in my husband’s arms on 15th August. Wish us luck.

 

 

 

 

 

9+5 weeks pregnant – to move or not to move

We met our new obstetrician yesterday and he is  – NICE! Of course he’s nice. I think I had a progestodream* that he’d be bossy/arrogant/dismissive but I was completely wrong. He’s lovely and inspires complete confidence. Within a matter of minutes I was oversharing about my brown bleeding and constipation. Must be love.

Here are some of the things we learnt:

  • It’s very likely that I’ll need a C section – mainly due to twins, ongoing bleeding and my previous bowel surgeries
  • My official 40 week due date is 5th September, but most twins are born at 38 weeks or even before….so probably early/mid August in my case
  • As this is classed as a ‘high risk’ pregnancy I’ll need scans every couple of weeks and regular checks for pre-eclampsia and other nasties
  • The bowel surgery I’ve had for Crohn’s Disease means I’ll most likely need B12 injections and checks to make sure the twins are getting enough nutrients
  • As I have B negative blood, and my husband and the donor both have RhD positive blood, I’ll probably need an ‘Anti D’ injection soon. Especially because of the bleeding.

He did a quick ultrasound scan (my first abdominal one) and the babies are both looking good with strong heartbeats. Unfortunately the frigging SCH (sub-chorionic hemorrhage) is also still there. It’s like a pantomime villain – it pops up in every single scan. ‘It’s behind you!’ etc etc.

Anyway, he seemed relatively unconcerned with the SCH. The settee rest has certainly helped – when I’m doing nothing around the house the bleeding goes away. However it pops up again as soon as I walk anywhere….in the hospital yesterday, to the corner shop this morning. It’s brown blood but more than just spotting. Ladies who bleed – what did you do? Did you go back to work and try to get on with your life? Or did you ‘rest’ for weeks and weeks?

Our obstetrician says there is no evidence that bed rest helps. I’ve found people online who think it’s best to let the SCH ‘bleed out’, and there are others who think that rest is best. I have an understanding employer but I need to get back to work sooner or later. I have an office job so I think I’ll be ok….I’m planning to go back to work on Monday and just stay off my feet as much as possible. Obviously I’ll call him if the bleeding becomes red/heavy. Any advice welcome here. The bleeding is terrifying but it seems unavoidable.

Here’s the best thing of all….the icing on the cake….the cherry on top. He sympathised about the bleeding and we explained that it has certainly sucked, and we’re just desperate to make it to 12 weeks. He said ‘of course you’ll get past 12 weeks’. What? Nobody has said this to us thus far. A small comment but it gives us massive hope. Everything – apart from the bleeding – is looking good. For the first time I’m allowing myself to feel a bit optimistic about this pregnancy.

*Progestodream – weird, vivid, psychedelic dreams caused by progesterone supplements.

 

 

 

 

 

Another Spin of the Wheel of Fortune

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People loved the idea of a ‘wheel of fortune’ back in the Middle Ages – ‘Rota Fortunae’ – I wrote a paper about it once. What comes up, must go down. The fickle finger of fate. Well,  we’ve decided to have one more spin of the wheel with my own eggs. Maybe I’m daft – I don’t know. At the moment that’s me in blue, getting squashed by the wheel (see picture above).

Our consultant was very keen for us to try again. He said our last cycle was exemplary – 7 eggs, 7 fertilised, 7 blastocysts. If we can replicate similar success again he thinks we have a reasonable (1 in 4’ish) chance of it working. Back in the day I probably would have felt excited. This time I did not – it’s impossible to say the last cycle was ‘exemplary’ when it didn’t work!  Anyway, I need to stop thinking like that. If we’re going to do this I need to think positive and upgrade the PMA.

We’re going away in June so I’m going to wait until early July to start the next cycle. Same short protocol as last time….and I’m going to start taking DHEA too. I’m not sure it will make any difference in 7 weeks but I guess it’s worth a try. I’m also still on CoQ10 and all the other stuff. And – I’m going to try a high protein, low carb diet. This study suggests it’s well worth a try.

Do I need my head testing? Possibly. Am I going to get my hopes up again? Definitely. Is this our very last time trying with our own eggs? HAS to be.

We’ve been at the bottom of the wheel for the last 12 months, the only way is up right?