The latest weekend terror – 8 wks

Long post alert – and rather graphic too. Avoid if you’re feeling queasy.

As mentioned in my last post I went back to work at the end of last week. On Friday I had to give an important presentation – it went well. It went very well indeed until I said goodbye to the participants and felt a warm gush. More red blood – this time flooding through the liner and soaking my tights. A truly horrible feeling.

A quick text to our doctor and I was in the stirrups within 30 mins. And there they were again – two perfectly sized blobs, two perfect heartbeats. Accompanied by lots of full flow red blood coming from….nowhere. My lining looked good, my ovaries looked good, my cervix looked good. No haematomas, no shadows. Just terrifying, inexplicable bleeding.

He instructed me to go home and rest. Take a week off work….take two weeks off work, do whatever it takes until the bleeding stops.

I wish that was the end of the story. Unfortunately not. Last night a post-dinner bathroom visit revealed a huge bleed that filled the toilet bowl with bright red blood. Even worse – I passed a couple of pretty large clots, each the size of a ¬£2 coin. One plopped out on to the floor when I pulled my pants down and one disappeared down the toilet. I know, gross. Apologies.  I called husband and showed it to him, I just didn’t know what else to do. It was dark red and kind of liverish. Had I miscarried? Was this one of our babies? I was in a terrible state. I texted our doctor (10pm and he replied straight away! Honestly, that man….) and he asked us to come in for a scan first thing in the morning. Husband and I hugged and cried – the last couple of weeks have been horrendously stressful – for nothing. I just couldn’t believe it was over.  We talked about bad luck, trying again, failure, sadness and disappointment. I lay on an old towel in case of overflow bleeding and eventually fell into a horrible, restless sleep.

Fast forward to 10am this morning. Well…guess what. There they were again. Two blobs, one 13.5 mm and one 12.9mm, each grown a couple of millimetres since Friday. Two pounding little heart beats. I lay in the stirrups and sobbed. I have no idea how these little guys survived the last 24 hours. The bleeding has been intense, like a super heavy period. And those clots! Incredibly my lining is still intact, my cervix is fine. The doctor saw a tiny little bleed on the scan but nowhere near big enough to explain the quantity of blood. He told us that the clots can’t have been uterine tissue, they must have been congealed blood. When he pulled the U/S wand out of me a load of blood dumped on to the floor, like a horror film.

I’m back home now. Needless to say I have been instructed to rest with  capital R.E.S.T. No cooking, no laundry, no tidying up, no snack hunting. I need to lie down and only get up for the loo. I’m scared to go to the loo quite frankly but the bleeding seems to have calmed down a bit since we got back from the hospital. If heavy bleeding resumes tonight/tomorrow we’ve been told to go to the EPU as I may need a drip/iron injections/a couple of nights in a hospital bed. I truly hope that will not be necessary. I’ve doubled my dose of estrogen and vitamins and I’m doing the fanny bullets via the back door so I can give my vagina a ‘rest’. Seriously.

I am so grateful and happy that our babies are alive and well. Even though they are teeny tiny I feel overwhelmed by love for them – they are clinging on to life despite my body waging a war on us.  I am also grateful for my husband for being so supportive, loving and kind. I am in awe of women who go through this alone, it is utterly terrifying. Finally I am grateful every single day for our gynaecologist. He is a treasure.


6+6 weeks – another weekend, another panic

Pretty miserable 24 hours here in London. Horrified to discover fresh, red blood during a casual bathroom visit yesterday evening. Cue panic. Again.

I called our fabulous doctor and he advised me to A. Do nothing until he could do a scan today (Sunday) or B. Go to A&E if it was very bad/heavy. Well, I did what any self respecting panic merchant would do and went straight to A&E. I was distraught. I was utterly convinced that it was over – the bleeding was pretty heavy and I had quite dull ovarian pain on both sides.

The staff in the hospital were lovely and husband and I were shown to a private room pretty much straight away. They did a urine test (fine) and then various blood tests. And then we waited….and waited….and waited…. It didn’t take long to realise that we’d made a mistake. Why was I subjecting myself to a miscarriage in a harshly lit emergency room? Why wasn’t I tucked up in bed, dealing with this privately?

Anyway, after several grim hours the blood results came back. All fine. HCG of 127,000 (!?). Nobody available to do an internal ultrasound until Monday. They recommended I see our doctor for a scan ASAP. We headed home in the dark, owners of a massive HCG but still none the wiser about what was happening.

By this morning the bleeding had stopped. Even though this gave me a bit of renewed hope I was horribly anxious on the way to the hospital – had I miscarried one twin? Both? Why the f*ck is this happening? Anyway I will keep you in suspense no longer…..fine. The babies are FINE. Unbelievably, despite all the bleeding, there they were on the ultrasound. 2 blobs, 2 heartbeats, 2 sacs. Both exactly the right size for 6+6 weeks. Like….totally, utterly, completely fine.

He couldn’t see any haematomas or clots on the scan. Basically, the bleeding remains’unexplained’. It’s terrifying and stressful and I hate it. He has instructed me to take it easy for the next few days, until the bleeding completely stops. He is also going to refer me to an Obstetrician who specialises in twins, bleeding and all that stuff. 

It’s good news and I’m relieved and delighted. Mentally I feel like I’ve been pummelled by Mike Tyson. I’m so grateful to still be pregnant. I just hope I don’t have to deal with this every weekend for the next 7 months. ūü§ē

A stressful evening – 5+5 weeks

Yesterday was not a great day. I had quite painful ovarian ‘twinges’ throughout the day and a general heavy feeling down below.  Akin to period pain. I decided to have an  early night. Bedtime ‘knicker watch’ revealed….bleeding. Well, a reasonably small amount of brown blood. Cue panic.

I emailed our doctor for some advice around 10pm and didn’t sleep a wink thereafter. I was either in the bathroom checking on the bleeding situation (brownish discharge, TMI I know – apologies), or lying awake in the dark, mentally preparing for another miscarriage. I cried. I prodded my boobs and assessed their size. They don’t hurt as much as they did a week ago and they’ve shrunk a bit. I must have nodded off because I dreamt I bled all over the bed. I didn’t of course. Basically 6 hours of total mental anguish.

5.30am the phone pinged – our doctor. I cannot explain how much I love our doctor. He is the most responsive, wonderful, kind, workaholic gynaecologist in the world. He asked us to be at the hospital for 8am. Yep, the man is doing emails at 5.30am on a Saturday morning. He is a saint.

I trembled in the stirrups this morning. I fully expected him to see nothing – no sac, an empty womb. After 5 cycles of IVF I know my body well and I just felt ‘wrong’ last night.

Well, I was wrong. Straight away he spotted the sac – or sacs. Yes, twins. And they are exactly the size they should be for 5 weeks and 5 days. No blood clot, no haematoma, no visible problems. Just a bit of apparently ‘normal’ bleeding associated with implantation (especially with twins). No heartbeats yet, we’re too early for that. Enormous relief. Now we just need to make it to week 7 and the next scan, and the scan after that, and after that, and after that. I’m relieved but we’re not allowing ourselves to get excited. Kind of sad, I know.

Infertility has turned me into a nervous wreck. I know I need to look on the bright side and concentrate on ‘positive visualisations’. I’m really going to try to do that, I just wish my body would make it a bit easier for me. I can’t handle the bleeding, it’s messing with my mind. Hopefully it will go away soon, the doc thinks it will. I am STILL PREGNANT TODAY and that is all that matters. I need to re-read my ‘Mindfulness’ book and do some (gentle) yoga this afternoon. After a long nap.


9dp5dt – Doctor Google will see you now

The last 24 hours have been pants. I slept badly – mad progesterone dreams, cramps (real or dream cramps, I do not know) and hot flushes (perhaps caused by my mum’s central heating system or my internal heating system, I also do not know). Gross TMI alert – I’ve also been having some pinkish/brown spotting, mainly noticeable at fanny bullet time. I’m worried. It really does feel like my period is on its way. Anyway I am now on obsessive knicker watch which is really not good for one’s mental health, especially when one is still staying at one’s mother’s house.

Looking forward to getting back home to London soon so I can pee on a stick in the privacy of my own bathroom on Thursday morning. I’m pretty convinced that this cycle hasn’t worked out. I know my body and I’ve been here 5 times before….signs are not good. I’m terrified at the prospect of more bad news.

Obviously I have been madly Googling ‘9d5dt’, ‘spotting’, ‘dreams’ and all the usual palaver. If you are reading this blog because you Googled something similar please rest assured that you WILL find BFP/BFN news on this site very soon. Seriously folks, what is wrong with people who post symptoms/questions/worries on forums and blogs and DON’T close the loop?! I need to know if ‘Babydust77’ got a BFP after her 9dp5dt brown discharge and cramps! I need to know if ‘Stickyvibesgirl’ got a BFP after experiencing bleeding and bad dreams! As all obsessive IVF Googlers know, living vicariously through the lives of others is the only way to get through the 2ww….

My luxurious triple lined uterus

Happy to report that my womb lining is both ‘triple lined’ and ‘luxurious’ according to my lovely Egyptian gynaecologist. He is always enthusiastic about my uterus, which is nice.

Anyway all is looking good down below. My donor (donor C…Carmen¬†as I like to call her) is also doing well. We’re heading to Madrid tomorrow so¬†we’re¬† ready as soon as¬†she’s¬† ready for egg collection. There will be lots of hanging around and waiting this week but that’s ok. I suppose there are worse places to hang around and wait than Madrid.

We’ve booked into an AirBnB place and guess what the owner’s mother is called? Carmen. Yep, we’re meeting Carmen tomorrow to pick up the keys. Karma (Carmen) or what?

Our Donor – what matters and what doesn’t matter when really it ALL matters.

Our clinic emailed with news of a donor this week. Let’s call her…..donor A. Or, because she’s in Spain, let’s call her Ana.

Ana is:

  • 19 years old
  • Slim build
  • Dark blonde hair
  • Blue/green eyes
  • 5ft4
  • About to start a degree in Economics
  • A first time donor

Sounds good right? Right. Except she hasn’t donated before, and she doesn’t have any kids of her own. In donor-world, she is not ‘proven’. This is not a particularly good thing.

So, we went back to the clinic and explained that although Ana sounds great, we were really hoping for a ‘proven’ donor. So they emailed about¬†donor B. Let’s call her¬†Betty.

Betty is:

  • 21 years old
  • Slim build
  • Light brown¬†hair
  • Blue eyes
  • 5ft4
  • A¬†proven donor
  • a high school graduate – she works as a nursery nurse

So now we have a proven donor and Betty¬†sounds great. Except – she doesn’t have a university degree. This bothers us. It particularly bothers DH, who doesn’t really believe in nurture versus nature. He gave a good example of his own (adopted) brother who sucks at maths, even though they were both brought up by the same parents (DH is good at maths, even if he does say so himself). We’re both smart people. If our child turns out to be ‘average’, would we blame Betty? I know¬†how ridiculous that sounds.

So I emailed the clinic again….feeling¬†whiny and high maintenance. My mum and DH reminded me that we are paying for this and that it’s ok to want someone who ticks ALL the boxes. We have a small element of ‘choice’ in this matter, even though this person is a stranger. I don’t know what to think. What is more important? Education? Height? Weight? Hair colour?! Is there a priority list? Should we make one?! What matters most when really it all matters?

The whole process feels very strange indeed. This person is the¬†future biological mother of my child. European law does not permit us to receive¬†photographs or too many¬†details of the donor. We’re trusting the clinic to do their bit. I’m feeling rather meek and thankful for Ana and Betty¬†when really I need to be strong and hold out for (hopefully) donor C – who will be perfect.

Fed up/bored/annoyed/over it?

Sorry I haven’t posted for ages.

A wave of ‘something’ has come over me over the last couple of months. What is it? I’m not sure, but it¬†seems to be one or some of the following:

  • annoyance
  • irritation
  • boredom
  • anger
  • lethargy
  • fed up-ness
  • over it -itis
  • poor-me-ism

It’s a weird feeling. I’ve spent the last 18 months¬†¬†in a blur of IVF-fuelled enthusiasm. It’s like I’ve been on an enormous infertility bender and I’m coming down from it all.¬†I’ve just woken up in a¬†soggy field after an all night infertility rave and I have no taxi money and no phone.

ANYWAY. I’ve had a month of feeling sorry for myself. I’ve given¬†myself a kick up the arse and a stern talking to. If we pack everything in now, the last 18 months will have been for nothing. 5 cycles! Litres of drugs! Miles of needles! Several arguments! Many bruises! Thousands of pounds! Hundreds of panty liners! (I exaggerate). For nothing. Despite everything fertility related annoying me at the moment, we need to keep going.

So, we’re forging ahead with the Madrid fertility clinic. It’s a good place¬†– we visited last month and it went well. It’s a very zen, Ibiza type environment. The staff are good looking and quietly glide about in white tunics, smiling all the time. Everyone speaks good English. Two donors came in to sign some paperwork whilst we were in the waiting room and they were both very nicely dressed and slim, with great hair and designer handbags. Weird, right? Well, probably not weird. I (wrongly) have it in my head that all egg donors must be toothless crack heads. I need to stop thinking that way. The clinic assured us that they have several blue eyed donors of my height/weight and they are sure they’ll find someone by December (when we want to do the transfer). So –¬†muy bien.

I started birth control pills yesterday to regulate my cycle. Probably won’t have much to do for the next month or two so I am going to try to ¬†stay positive and not slide back into the pit of ‘don’t care’. It’s not easy. But if I really don’t care anymore, there will be no more fertility treatment. And no baby. And I definitely don’t want that.

Plan B(aby)

I’m feeling better this week. Dare I say (cautiously) optimistic, (quietly) hopeful and even (a bit) excited? It’s time for plan B.

Farewell own egg IVF, you cruel mistress. Hello donor egg IVF, you beguiling temptress.

After 5 miserable rounds of IVF we have decided to try something different. Well, ‘decided to try’ is a bit coy; we HAVE to try something different. We have two options at this stage – donor eggs or adoption.¬†I want to be pregnant. I want the morning sickness, swollen ankles and stretch marks. I want to give birth. I want to be one of those people who post annoying bump photos on Facebook (no I don’t). I want a baby which is genetically half ours, and will hopefully get my husband’s smile, eyes, killer bod¬†and BBQ skills. Maybe I’m a bit¬†selfish but I would love to experience motherhood and birth in the ‘traditional’ manner. We are both keen on the idea of¬†adoption and that will certainly¬†be plan C, but I think donor eggs are the way forward for now. If it doesn’t work out then at least we’ll know that we did everything¬†possible to make pregnancy a reality. I know adoption could work for us, but I’m just not ready for that yet.

So – we’re off to Madrid!¬†There are lots of highly regarded clinics in Spain and no waiting lists for donors. It’s cheaper than the UK. Our hospital consultant in London has given us his blessing and recommended a couple of clinics. I’ll be able to have scans with him in London and just fly to Madrid twice – once for the initial consultation in¬†September, and then later on for the egg transfer. I won’t need to do any injections or rely on my creaky old ovaries.¬†I just need to make sure that my womb is ready to receive 1-2 nice embryos courtesy of our young, fertile donor and husband’s sperm.

That’s the weird part I suppose. No getting around it – after our first meeting the¬†clinic will match us with¬†a donor who is¬†blue eyed, blond’ish, slim and about my height. They’ll check that she is healthy and of sound mind. We’ll never find out who she is or see a photograph. We just need to rely on the clinic to do their part (and this is where the wonderful world of internet reviews come in….Madrid is a good place for blue eyed donors as there are plenty of¬†international students from Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and other blonde countries).

Anyway, I’m less concerned about physiological factors. I firmly believe that if we’re lucky¬†enough to get pregnant¬†the baby will be ‘mine’, hair colour or otherwise. The study of epigenetics has shown that much more goes into ‘building a baby’ than DNA.¬†Our¬†(imaginary, at this stage) baby will be loved and cared for, and we’ll tell her/him about the helpful donor when he/she is old enough to understand. I think that’s all that really matters. Who knows if we’ll make it that far? We just want to give it our best try.

Our first appointment will be on 21st September. In the meantime I remain (cautiously) optimistic, (quietly) hopeful and even (a bit) excited.