Our Summer of IVF
We started our first round of IVF the end of June. Going into it I know I wasn’t prepared mentally, I had been worrying too much beforehand about being physically prepared I hadn’t even really thought about anything else. We got our medicines a few weeks before and I went into our clinic to see a nurse to go through needles and injections. This appointment lasted maybe 5 minutes and to be honest coming out of it I was more nervous than ever. I was lucky Dave wanted to be involved with the injections. He wanted this to be his way of being involved with the process and if I’m being honest it was a load of my mind that he would be doing them. The day of our first injection, I think we were both a nervous wreck and probably watched about a half an hour of how to do IVF injections on YouTube! What would we do without YouTube!!
We managed it but I know Dave was so afraid of hurting me and I was afraid it was going to hurt. It didn’t and by the second week of injections we were both pros!
By the second week I was into the clinic every second day for scans and I wasn’t progressing as quickly as they thought and at this stage they nearly tripled the amount of hormones as the first week. I think emotionally I was doing well but by the third week I was getting pretty emotional angry at everything. Someone looked wrong at me and they were in for it haha ek it was a little scary even for me. You know that IVF is hard but you don’t realise emotionally the toil it takes.
Now at this point the clinic where still aiming for me to do IUI They scanned me on that Monday and said I had two great eggs coming up and some smaller ones that I didn’t need to worry about. The nurse told me to keep up with the hormones and to come back at the end of the week. Now If I had known then what I know now I would have demanded that the doctor actually scan me that day or I should have asked to see her even. But going into this you don’t know anything and you feel like they should know what they’re doing and that you don’t need to question anything! Wrong! I was so wrong. By the Friday I had 6 eggs, way to many to do an IUI. I was so lucky I had my sister with me that day. We had a lovely Doctor there but she wasn’t our consultant. I hadn’t seen her since the start which just made me angry. The doctor that scanned me gave me the news that we couldn’t do IUI, but that we could do IVF, She didn’t want to waste my eggs and 3 weeks of hormones. I literally had 5 mins to ring Dave and ask him what we should do. He said go for it, So the doctor explained to me what would happen over the weekend and the drugs and injections I’d need to take and that we had to do for the egg collection on the Monday. That we’d also do a day 3 transfer. Again new to this I didn’t really understand much. I literally went home and went online and read up a little on egg collections and transfers. Along the way I fell into a Facebook group with ladies in Ireland going through IVF and a lot more and this group really saved me. If I had a question I could pop on and I would have an answer pretty quickly. They were such a lifesaver for an overly hormone Woman.
This was the day we did our egg transfer
We did the egg collection on the Monday and we got all six eggs. By day three with had 4 really good embryos and we transferred 2 in, which was on a Thursday. I remember thinking that day, this is it!! We could be pregnant in 2 weeks. How did we get here.. Those two weeks where the longest 2 weeks I’ve had to go through. You’re literally second guessing every twinge and every feeling within your body. A lot of woman test early I decided not to. Not because I didn’t want to but because I was afraid of what the results would be. I tested on day 14 and I got a positive result. Positive… I’ve never in my 35 years have had a positive pregnancy test. I was pregnant and for 24 hours I was so happy. Dave and I were over the moon. I went in the next day for blood tests in the clinic and that afternoon a nurse rang me and gave me not so great news. My HCG levels weren’t high enough. She had said that it might just be that the embryos were taking a little longer to stick so she asked me to come back on the Monday for more blood tests. I was a wreck all weekend and to be honest I don’t remember much of that week except going in every second day for blood tests and even though my numbers were rising they weren’t rising quick enough. By Friday’s test Dave decided to come with me and we asked to see our consultant. The nurse fair play to her went and got her and this was the first time I’d seen her since the very start. At this point I was crying and really hating that I was crying I don’t cry in front of people ever!! Well bar family.
After a 20 minute wait she came into us and basically said your numbers are not good, you probably have an ectopic pregnancy, I’m sorry about that. It’s too early to scan, we’ll see what your numbers are like today and we’ll organise a scan for 5 days’ time. Anyway my bloods weren’t great that day and so we went back 5 days later for a scan. When she scanned me she saw a sack but nothing in it. She said I had a miscarriage, she did another blood test and again my bloods were higher but not high enough for being at this point 6 weeks pregnant. She also informed me that I had to come off all my meds and that I should try and relax, take some time to get over this, have a few glasses of wine and if I hadn’t bleed by the next Monday I’d have to go to an early pregnancy unit as it was too early to tell if it was an ectopic pregnancy.
Dave was so supportive and really tried to get my spirits up. He took me out Friday night and we went for a few drinks. I was in no mood and we didn’t stay out long but I think it was good for me to get out of the house.
By Monday nothing was happening but they couldn’t get me an appointment in the Coombe Hospital until the Friday. I was a wreck at this point. We were a nervous wreck going to this appointment and while explaining to the Dr our story, I felt like breaking all over again. I didn’t thank god and she scanned me and load and behold she found a heartbeat. After everything our clinic had said this doctor had found a heartbeat. She showed it to us and I think myself and Dave were speechless and numb and really gobsmacked. I was 7 weeks and 1 day pregnant. She said it was on the small side but that we had ever chance because no two pregnancies are ever the same. We would have to go in every 10 days scans and she wanted to keep a close eye on me. She told me to go back to work but to take it easy and not doing anything to strenuous. Work had been so good and at this point I really just wanted to get back in normality.
I was so angry with our clinic and wanted to take it further with them but Dave persuaded me to concentrate on being stress free as much as possible. But all I could think was, I’d had a few drinks because they said it was ok.
Scared and anxious before final scan!
The day days flew in and it was the morning for the next scan. For some reason I was extremely nervous. So nervous I felt sick and I didn’t know where this was coming from. I suppose I thought anything can happen, they could tell us anything today. We saw a different doctor that morning and she was so nice as we told our story again. She scanned me and had to give us the heart-breaking news that there was no heartbeat that morning. At first I didn’t really hear her and she repeated it to me and I just broke. I was just devastated and I turned to Dave and cried. She had to get a second doctor in to confirm it and while she was gone Dave just held me while I cried. We were heartbroken and at that point no words were going to help. Life just wasn’t fair and I felt like we had gone through so much the last few months how could it end so unfairly.
I went in the next morning and had an Evacuation. The staff were all so kind and everyone treated me so well. I went in no problems but while they were getting me ready to go under I just felt this giant ball of grief in my chest, I felt like I was going to break and it wouldn’t be pleasant. I held myself together, thinking these nurses and doctors deal with this every day and they must have so many heartbroken woman in here crying going under I wasn’t going to be another one. Their jobs are hard enough as it is I would make it as easy for them as possible and not break.
When I came too afterwards, I cried a little and the nurse left me too it and I was grateful for that. By the time they rolled me back to Dave I was better and I just wanted to go home with him. They discharged me a few hours later, we went home and we both lay down. We talked about everything and I cried some more and fell asleep. When I woke up I decided it was time now to move forward and try to get better mentally and physically. I decided I needed to try look forward and not get caught in a downward spiral. I need to concentrate on this so that when we’re ready we’ll try again. I feel like it wasn’t meant to be this time and although I’m heartbroken I need to look forward. I need to get back to myself. I feel like the last 4 to 6 months I’ve lost myself. I’ve stopped reading as much, I’ve kept myself to myself and it’s time to get me back. It’s time to start doing things I love to do like taking pictures and baking. I need to start laughing again. Although the grief is still there and I don’t see it going anytime soon I still feel I need to move forward. Grief is a funny thing you can be fine one minute and then see something, like all your friends little ones starting school, seeing the pictures on your Facebook feed and it can bring you down. But as long as I can get straight back up afterwards that’s all that matters. We will try IVF again we are lucky we have two frozen embryos but it won’t be soon. But at least next time I will be more prepared going in and I’ll know more and I will ask more questions.
Stronger then I ever thought I could be!
I’m writing this blog post because 1 in 6 couples in Ireland have fertility problems and need to seek help with having a baby. A lot of these women go through this alone and don’t or can’t talk to anyone about their journey. I don’t want to be that woman. I want to be able to help. Since I wrote my last blog post I have had a load of people get in touch with me to ask me questions or just to tell me that they too are going through it. I want to be that person that someone who is going through this tough and hard journey can come and talk to me about how they are feeling. Even though it was extremely hard to write this blog post it has also helped me realise I’m strong, stronger than I ever gave myself credit before this. If I can get through this and come out stronger than before then I can get through anything.
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