7dp3dt

For those not aware today’s blog title means I am 7 days past a 3 day transfer. That means today my little ones finish the implantation process and tomorrow the placenta cells start to release HCG into my blood. This then takes a few days to get strong enough to show when I test.  Assuming all these timings are correct, what I am therefore not quite clear on is how I meet ladies who got a positive test 6dp3dt (and carried on testing and got their BFP (big fat positive) on test day? Are their embys just marvellous little geniuses already and ahead of the game? Is it just a fluke? Whatever the case I am not tempted to test early.. I’ve always been good at sticking out until test date. I actually don’t even have a test kit in the house as yet!

So far I’m holding out ok. I am feeling quietly positive and optimistic. It is in God’s hands. Saying that I felt this way at this point in my FET and look what happened there. But that was clearly not our time, and now so much is different, we’ve given this go all we possibly could have done, and it feels like that should pay off. I’ve had some very slight cramping at times, my boobs are a bit bigger and heavier.. But I’ve been resolutely not symptom spotting. So much can be down to the drugs just as much as it could be positive signs. 

I think my week of rest last week really did me good. Today I woke up about 8am with no alarm, and was wide awake and full of cheeriness and looking forward to getting on with my day. This is like the polar opposite of my normal morning self… (“Just one more snooze.. Surely it can’t be time to get up yet… Ugh… Don’t talk to me until I’ve at least had a cup of tea and about half an hour has passed…”), OH actually said to me, “who are you and what have you done with my bunkle?” *

This weekend we were in London with friends. Yesterday we ate at a fabulous Michelin starred Indian restaurant. We had the tasting menu and the food was delicious (all except the pudding which contained both rose and pistachio, neither of which I’m a fan of).  They also made a very cool non alcoholic berry cocktail! 
 

I came across a TED talk today that really resonated – The Pace of Modern Life vs Our Cavewoman Biochemistry by Dr Libby Weaver. The trying to do everything to make everyone happy is something I know I can suffer from.  It has an interesting part about progesterone, and how because often we are so stressed in our lives our body doesn’t make enough for us to then successfully get pregnant. I’d say it’s worth a watch.  I know these last couple of months when Ive been working reduced hours, I have felt just SO much better in myself with less stress in my life. It’s like discovering who I am again. I’m so happy it’s something I decided to ask my work for especially during this treatment and so grateful they were able to accommodate it.

It’s back to work tomorrow for me after having had last week off. I’m partly happy to get back to routine and it will bring Saturday and test date around much quicker, but partly I just can’t be arsed with all the crap there will no doubt be to deal with! But hey ho…..

6 more sleeps! 

* “Bunkle” is somehow the pet name I’ve ended up with… Just don’t ask!! It’s odd I know, and sometimes I think how can I even answer to that, but at the same time I also like it (just not in public… Why can’t he remember not to say it in public?!?) 

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The journey to life really is amazing!

This cycle we paid for an embryoscope to monitor our little ones, and as part of doing so we were then given a video of our two transferred little ones as they grew. I watch it, then I watch it, then I watch it again! It just amazes me to see how our bodies work, how the cells divide and grow. I took some stills of it to share with you.

At the beginning
At the beginning

Above in the first picture, the very faint two little circles in each embryo are my DNA and OH’s DNA, about to combine and poof, they become two cell embryos!

Two cells
Two cells
4 Cells and growing...
4 Cells and growing…
59 hours past fertilisation
59 hours past fertilisation
Just a short while before ET
Just a short while before ET

Today I’m 3dp3dt, that means they’ll now be hatching blastocysts, getting ready to start to nestle down and make themselves at home as implantation takes place over the next few days.

So far the 2WW has been kind to me. I’ve been off work which is nice and really I’ve just been chilling out. I’m doing a jigsaw, which I always find is good for relaxing and keeping your mind occupied at the same time. I’ve been sat reading in the sunshine (“The Love Song of Miss Queeny Hennesy” by Rachel Joyce.. so far I’m loving it and found it hard to put down!). I got Season 7 of Grey’s Anatomy in the post today (I know I’m way behind.. but we don’t have any fancy channels to watch it), so I watched two episodes of that whilst knitting. I’m making a little knitted bunny which goes with a story book about the bunny. It’s for one of my cycle buddies from last year, who got a BFN in that cycle but has since got her BFP and her daughter is due in August.  I’ve done daily visualisations. I’ve been doing a little cooking too (I’m trying a gluten free foccacia bread tonight.. OH isn’t allergic to gluten but does better without it). So time is flying by and to be honest there just aren’t enough hours in the day to relax.. which is quite something coming from me! OH has been remarkably impressed at my powers of relaxing!

On a slightly sad front, we got a call yesterday morning to say, as we’d really expected, that we didn’t get any frosties this time. I was actually surprisingly quite accepting of it, I think I went through the panic of it the other day, and now I’m trusting that it’s because we don’t need them and the little ones I have on board are all the family we need.  OH was a bit withdrawn and grumpy at times through the day as I think he came to terms with it, but he’s doing better today.

…and now I am three!

So my dozen eggs actually turned into only 10 they could inject for ICSI, and of those 5 fertilised. I was a bit sad we got one less embryo than last cycle, but happy with the 50% fertilisation rate which was better than before for us. So yesterday we were busy with DIY (what else are bank holiday weekends for!) and I was thinking I’d have today to clean the house and then Monday to chill out, ready for a 5 day transfer (dt) on Tuesday. Our update call from the embryologist was a long time coming, not until after lunch, and when it did it was with the news that monitoring through the embryoscope identified two clear front runners and I was booked for a 3dt today at 9am! 

Oh. My. Goodness. That just completely threw me into a panic, I was so not mentally prepared for it. I know if it’s clear which is the best emby it is best to get it back where it belongs ASAP rather than sitting in a Petrie dish for any longer than necessary. And I know the chances of success are just as good as a 5dt, but it completely put me into a spin. It seemed to suck all my hopeful PMA from me, and I was hit with doubts. I think it struck me hard what if this doesn’t work, and what if we don’t get any frosties, then this really is game over. There is no plan B, short of winning the lottery or remortgaging the house (which we wouldn’t want to do). We could save for a while, but the clock is ticking, and although obviously there are so many over 40’s new mums these days, it isn’t what we wanted for us. We always said this would be our last try, and I guess the reality of that hit home with a thud.

OH was fab, kept calm, wiped my tears, made me a “relax” herbal tea, had me do a Zita West visualisation, and I felt much better after that and pulled myself back out of wobble land.

So we were up with the birds at 5am this morning, left home just before 6. Traffic was non existent at that time so we got into London dead easy. I had pre-transfer acupuncture at 8am, then transfer at 9. It went so much easier than my last two transfers, and that’s saying something as they hadn’t been a problem at all. It was over before we knew it. I had the good two put back in the end, to maximise chances. By day 3 on average they should each be about 8 cells, and one was an excellent grade 1 of 9 cells, the other a very good grade 2 of 7 cells. Of the remaining 3, two are really slow growers, and the third was 8 cells but the growth patterns seen in the embryoscope were really irregular and research has shown those types have a much lower chance of success. They would have ditched those 3, but we asked if they could culture them on, just on the very unlikely chance they catch up and could be frozen. We are probably clutching at straws, but couldn’t say goodbye to plan B until it really is dead in the water.

So I’m PUPO with twins! We got to see the embryos under the microscope and will be sent a video too of them growing as they were monitored in the embryoscope.  How cool is that to hopefully one day show my child(ren?!?) this is what you looked like when you started life! So incredible and awe inspiring that a little cluster of cells can turn into a little person. I’m digging deep to muster all possible positivity and hopefulness that this is our time. I would just LOVE to have twins, but all I need is one to succeed. I don’t go to church anymore, haven’t in years and years, but I do still believe in God and I’m putting my faith and trust in him and that if it’s His will we will be parents, and if it’s not he’ll give us the strength to deal with it.

So after transfer I had another acupuncture session and then we drove home, where I’ve been relaxing ever since. I’m definately contemplating a nap after this post! I also ate way too much last night watching the Eurovision (I’m not sure if it’s the steroids, but I’ve been SO hungry lately it’s ridiculous), and am suffering for it today with a nasty burning acid feeling in my throat 😦 Am hoping some sleep and a rennie will help it.

Oh just as an aside.. How the other half live! When I was waiting to go for transfer I could hear the lady in the next cubicle talking to her doctor. She sounded a bit whiny (although it’s probably mean of me to say so), and was asking him what on earth she should do to get through the 2 week wait as she was a “restless” person anyway. He’d already told her to just live live pretty much normally just to relax a bit more, avoid baths, avoid heavy lifting etc.. Anyway ended up her saying maybe she’d just fly off to Dubai for a few days of sunshine! As you do. It’s ok for some!

To end with something uplifting, here are some cheery flowers OH bought me today 😉 Now Everything crossed for as easy and calm a 2ww as possible! 

Cheery flowers in my hopeful colour!
 

My dozen

OH and I were up bright and early for the tedious slog with the traffic into central London for my egg collection op. And urgh.. London traffic! It really is just soul destroying sitting in the car crawling along and not moving for many periods of time. I have no idea how people do that commute every day and stay sane. Anyway we left loads of time so there was no stress, and we got to the clinic about half an hour earlier than we needed to. After the paperwork, I gowned up and was taken through for sedation. 

Well it was over before I knew it, and actually I didn’t believe they’d actually done the procedure! I don’t remember it but apparently the first thing I said to OH when I got wheeled back to our area was could he please go check as I didn’t think they’d done it! I also have no recollection of the doctor coming in to tell us how many eggs he’d collected, or me also asking him was he sure the collection had happened! I bet he thought I was loopy! I don’t generally do very well with sedation or anaesthetic. My pulse was up and down and my blood pressure really low.. They had to keep me laid back for quite a while and give me a saline drip. Anyway, after that and 2 teas with 4 very scrumptious dunking biscuits, I started to feel more awake and with it! I am a person who needs four hourly feeds, so I think having not eaten since 9 last night, plus the sedation, just takes its toll on me.

I’m not sure how many eggs they got in total, but of those they did then the magic number of mature ones they can do ICSI on is:

  
I’m happy with that. Last cycle I had 16 eggs for ICSI but only 6 fertilised, but we’ve done a lot to work on my egg quality so I’m hoping for a better fertilisation rate this time. The doctor thought we should get at least 6, but maybe more. Only time will tell. Let’s hope they’ve turned the lights down low in the “love lab” with some crooning tunes (my cycle buddies joke that Barry White songs are played), and we get an encouraging call tomorrow as to progress!

Rules for falling asleep – welcome to my world!

So I have a confession, whilst I consider myself a normal, sane and balanced person, when it comes to going to sleep I turn into a bit of a crazy lady with a set of rules my OH has to follow or I get annoyed and frustrated! My OH is I think both equally amused and at times frustrated by this! I suspect I’m an odd ball in this department, so would love to hear from anyone who has anything similar to prove maybe I’m not!

1) Don’t breathe on me.
 This is the most important one.  I can’t stand the feeling of someone else’s hot breathe on my face when I’m trying to sleep. OH likes to cuddle in close but if so he has to have his face pointing down and mine up, as I like to feel nice cool air when I breathe in otherwise I feel really uncomfortable. A spooning position is preferable. 
2) No gripping!
 If I’m wearing pj’s or a nightie, OH has this habit of loving to take a wadge of it in his hand. The thing is sometimes he pulls hard at the material and one I don’t want my clothes stretched, and two it feels wrong if I can feel the pulling of the fabric against my skin. Therefore he gets told in no uncertain terms to stop “gripping”!
3) No tension!
Sometimes when OH cuddles up to me I can feel so much tension in his arm or leg, even though he “claims” he is relaxed. That tension transfers to me, and I can’t get to sleep if I’m feeling tense!
4) No interlinking fingers if holding hands.
If we hold hands when we are falling asleep I just can’t do interlinking fingers. In the day, no problem, but at night don’t ask me why but it feels wrong and uncomfortable!
I don’t know what it is but often when we go to bed and I’m so tired I could drop and fall asleep in about 2 seconds, that is when OH decides to be the most chattiest! I just get to the point I almost can’t physically speak anymore I am so tired, and usually end up just saying “Hon, I’ve no more words left in me…”  OH laughs as I also do this like involuntary triple sigh as I settle down and relax.. He calls it my “end game”. As once that’s happened there is slim chance of getting me to speak or move until the morning!

Embracing orangeness

Last year when I first started seeing my fertility acupuncturist she gave me a leaflet about IVF from holistic view.. It included points like eating more protein during Stimms, being careful with exercise during Stimms etc.. It also had information about how colours can affect us. I always knew blue/lavender was a calming relaxing colour and therefore good when you are stressed, but what I didn’t know before was the effect of orange. It is uplifting, and the feng shui colour for fertility. I have therefore embraced it wholeheartedly and refer to it as my hopeful colour! In particular I like a corally/orange shade. I never previously had anything orange in my wardrobe, but now it’s decked with orange knickers (I’ve worn on my scan days, including today!), corally orange tops, some scarves with corally orange in, a lovely orange radley umbrella and a fab orange Nine West bag! I have done and will continue to wear this colour in particular for embryo transfer. It makes me feel strong and encouraged, and so hopeful.

 

my colour of hope
 

I’ve rubbed off the orangeness onto my virtual cycle buddies group too.. Some have taken it up with much more impressiveness than me, and even some of their other halves are joining in with the vibe, by wearing some orange too! That makes me smile and feel happy inside;)
So I haven’t posted in a bit, I’ve been feeling really tired and the train journeys to and from London for my scans also seem to take it out of me. I wasn’t this tired during stimming last time, but I’ve also been on some different drugs this cycle which might make a difference. Whilst I am bloated, I am not as much as I felt last cycle, yet I have pretty much the same number of follicles as before (22) and at similar sizes. I had scans on day 5,7,9,11 and today, day 12. And I’m ready for Egg Collection on Thursday and will be triggering tonight! Eek! It wasn’t unexpected timing, but somehow when it is confirmed it does make you go a bit weak at the knees! I guess because after this point it’s pretty much out of your hands, most of the drug taking is done (I’ll still have some more to take during the 2week wait but that feels different to the injections in the lead up to collection), and it’s really up to God and nature, with a bit of help from modern medicine, as to how many eggs we get, how many fertilise, how our embryos progress, and the result at the end of the two week wait. I believe and hope and pray with all my might that we will get our positive, and this time it sticks, but the next stage of waiting can be so tough! As I know any of you readers who have experienced IVF will totally know and relate to!
Good news is I have a star quality endometrium lining at 12.5mm! My acupuncturist is very happy as she’s been working on that and always hopes her clients get to 12. So a nice soft juicy place for my emby to settle in and get comfy! I say emby but actually I’m really hoping we might get two transferred. Whether we decide for that will all depend on how things go and how many we get, as it would be nice to have one or two to freeze too as a back up plan. OH and I agreed we won’t go through a full cycle again… We would struggle to afford it, plus the emotional impact and really putting your life on hold as you go through the process is not something we want to keep going through year after year.  If it’s not to be we’d rather work to accept it and move on with life on another road. We would proceed with a FET though if we got some frosties. If 2 could be transferred to maximise chances that would be great. I’ve always had a feeling all my life that I might have twins (and would love it if I did,), perhaps because my grandma was a twin.  I do know and appreciate a multiple pregnancy carries more risks though and that there is always an outside chance you could end up with 4! I did meet someone online that this had happened to! 
So now on my way home to work from there for the rest of the afternoon. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to concentrate though. Although tomorrow is not a working day for me I’ll do a few hours to make up for missing time this morning, but I’m also looking forward to just being able to chill and relax before Thursday. 

“Picking up paper!”

So every so often yours truly comes out with some cracking “talking in her sleep” moments. Last night appears to have been such a one. OH was woken in the small hours, to find me hovering over him kind of brushing his chest with my hands. I think it fair scared him to death! Composing himself from the initial shock he proceeded to ask if I was ok and what was I doing, to which apparently I replied in a tone that suggested wasn’t it obvious, that I was picking the paper off him! Intrigued he tried to press me for more details, but as is often the case when I sleep talk I don’t like being tried to be engaged in conversation, so apparently I muttered some slightly incomprehensible things and then curled back down beside him straight back to a deep sleep! Needless to say he didn’t get back to his sleep so easily! I have no recollection of this… Really wish I did know what I’d been dreaming though!

So day 6 of Stimms. Here are what the two stimulation drugs I am taking look like. The gonal F pen is by far the easiest. The merional I’m not liking..it’s more tricky with having to mix the water in the vial with the powder and then inject it, and I feel the injection going in a lot more than the gonal f or my Burselin injection. Still it will all be worth it if I get super duper eggs! I have a next progress scan in the morning.