Category Archives: Infertility

Grand Finale

After my two miracle frozen embies didn’t make it (sigh), I took a break over Christmas to regroup (read: drink all the wine and eat all the pies). Having regrouped successfully I was unfortunately somewhat fatter so I spent most of January munching on celery sticks and crying into bowls of vegetable soup.

My WTF appointment reunited me with Hero. I’m not sure what magic spell he cast on me but I came out of that WTF a paid up member of The Final Cycle: Grand Finale. This will be the 8th cycle I have started (2 cancelled, 4 fresh, 1 FET so far). I am hoping that it will be my 5th egg collection and I am not adding to my tally of cancellations but things ain’t going swimmingly so far. I’d say we are more treading water with a few sharks nipping at our toes and maybe one arm band has deflated.

I had a bit of a laugh at my first appointment as I entered to the squarks of One Direction. I don’t suppose anyone gets that joke apart from me (story of my life). Anyway, first scan looked alright. 4 follicles above 10mm and 4 below. Not bad considering my track record. Since then it has all gone how we say in England, tits up.

The second scan showed only 2 of the 4 above 10mm had grown (not much) and the other 2 had stayed the same. The other 4 were apparently too small for the sonographer to even waste her ink on recording.

I am also having the same issue I’ve had every single cycle in that my clinic only do sedations for egg collection and I need a general anaesthetic. The conversation with the nurse on Friday left me feeling pathetic for requiring additional help outside of their ‘standard’ protocol. She implied it was me being weak and that if only I could step out of my comfort zone and stop being a silly little princess everything would be much easier for everyone. Oh, and that the chances were I’d have no choice anyway because she probably won’t be able to sort it out, so really I should just man up and be normal like everyone else.

I haven’t felt so helpless in a long time. She even asked me why I needed the general and after I explained she sagely explained in her infinite wisdom that every cycle was different and this egg collection would probably be straight forward and totally fine. Based on thin air I think, who knows. So I cried. Urgh. Through everything I’ve never cried there, but this time I sobbed in the waiting room while 20 people stared at me out of the corners of their eyes.

I have another scan later on today. I wish I wasn’t going on my own. I hope I’m not told off like a 10 year old school girl again. The way things are going I will be lucky to have an egg collection to worry about at all so maybe I should focus on that little hurdle first.

I have even done acupressure on myself this weekend. Desperate times.

BB xx

 

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FET update (why can’t I think of a better title)

My appointments were actually last week (three on three different days, fact fans – excellent organisational skills there). I sat down to what I now know thanks to Mr Google was I’m Not The Only One, Sam Smith. I literally have no idea who Sam Smith is. Next up was an old clinic favourite, Your Song (Ellie Goulding version). I have no memory of any other tunes because I started to feel disorientated. The water cooler had moved to a different wall. The teas and coffees were at the other side of the room. Then I realised: THE FAKE FLOWERS HAVE GONE.

That was the big news of the day. It also means that there is no central feature to the room and as such, all the chairs have been arranged to face outwards so it is much easier to avoid looking at anybody at all. Just you and your thoughts and pictures of landscapes. Oh, and the fertility magazines have been replaced with Men’s Health and Women’s Health which made me feel terribly fat and regretting the grab bag of crisps I ate on the train on the way over.

I decided against an endometrial scratch. As you (I’m sure) remember it is more of a scrape than a scratch. A scrape of your insides. Nobody is going to be queuing up for one of those. My clinic have also stopped offering them as a routine procedure as they aren’t seeing a huge amount of data to suggest it is having much of an impact. Decision made; £150 saved. I have decided to go for the embryo glue as it apparently has no detrimental effect. It isn’t exactly a ‘glue’ per se, it is a protein that should be present at implantation which the embryo is coated in before transfer. I enquired about hcG boosters which the nurse is going to run past Hero so hopefully those will be added to my list of jabs post transfer.

What else? Oh yes, I think I have decided against acupuncture for the FET. If I end up having another fresh cycle I would probably do it again then.

I was offered the option of thawing both embryos (we only have the two) and transferring both if they both survive. Does anyone have any thoughts on that? They are both graded 4ba which is a higher grade than the one that is currently trying to pull her nappy off in the living room. I am very nervous given the amount of scar tissue and adhesions I have that my body would physically struggle to carry twins. At the moment I have decided to thaw them one at a time. The nurse pointed out that the only negative of this would be time and money. For example, if I thaw one and survives, is transferred but fails to implant or I miscarry then I am back at the start of an (insanely long) medicated FET process. Each embryo has been given a 70% chance of surviving the thaw so there is a chance that I could go through one FET that fails, go through another one and end up with nothing to transfer the second time. I would have also paid for two FETs then instead of one.

I can’t remember if I have mentioned it already but I also have a dermoid nasty on one ovary that isn’t too big at the moment (3.5cm). It will need removing surgically and I would like this to be after I have finished with IVF. The longer things drag on, the higher the likelihood of me needing an operation during it all. My ovaries are so damaged from the surgeries I’ve already had I feel in my heart that another operation will mark the end of fertility treatment for me.

I took a call from the clinic yesterday afternoon and in typical fashion my TSH has come back at 2.6. The threshold for IVF there is 2.5. Seriously, thank you thyroid, two fingers back up to you too.

So I am back for repeat bloods next week, plus a down regulation scan.

One final thing. I was on my way home from the appointments last week and a bus drove past me with an advert for Blair Witch Project on it. What’s up with that? Did I go back in time or something? I’m 99% certain I have been back in time before because I saw a pterodactyl (wow it starts with a p, who knew) flying down the Thames once.

I hope y’all having a good week.

BB xx

bb

Well guys this update has been a long time coming. I’ve had it in drafts forever* and it went along the lines of: everything is normal blah blah, something about planting two different types of potato, a story about a box of pencils and a special sharpener Mr B bought, etc etc. Baby bb was breech until the day before my 36 week appointment but she flipped in the nick of time. The most dramatic part of my pregnancy has been anaemia. It really has been one lovely long period of normal boring. Magic.
(*not forever)

So yes, that was the update I drafted on the eve of 36 weeks. Thanks to you all who have checked in on me and the lovely Single Motherhood By Choice who pointed me in the way of this for breech babies.

Well turns out everything wasn’t quite the normal I thought it was because I was reacquainted with my old enemy Red at 36+2. Red. The colour I used to love but love no more. I hadn’t seen that bitch since the first trimester, and she was back with a vengeance.

I won’t go into detail but after a short blind panic and trip to the hospital in the wee early hours my little bb embryo, all grown up, was in my arms. According to my notes, in a record breaking 1h 47m labour. I don’t know what time warp they operate in because it was 3 hours by my watch.

I am eternally grateful that she is here safe. The bleeding was likely the placenta beginning to separate and for a short while things became a little scary. But she is here. After almost 5 years, several operations, a bajillion tears, miscarriage, 4 cycles of IVF, and the other miserable cycles that were cancelled, my baby is finally home.

BB xx

Normal

I am not sure why I even have this blog anymore since my commitment to updating it regularly appears to have disappeared along with my glasses which I have not seen since well before Christmas.

I have been contacted by a few people asking for an update on my pregnancy and there really isn’t much to update on. Everything is normal so far, and come Friday this week I will hit the big 2-4, viability. Everything is so normal in fact that I have been discharged from consultant care back to the midwife. I don’t think I’ve once been referred to as ‘normal’ during the last few years – suboptimal response, yes, abnormal anatomy, yes, disappointing, poor quality, damaged, yes, yes, yes. I’ll take any normal label anybody wants to give me.

I feel strange writing about pregnancy on an infertility blog, even if that has been the goal all along. Whatever I have to say seems trivial and I can’t help but think about people reading who had their cycles with me in September and are now just staring down the barrel of another go, or giving up entirely. I think about the blogs I followed a couple of years ago when I started blogging and although the majority now have babies, it’s not everyone. I think about friends who have had multiple cycles and multiple failures and I know the desperate, empty sadness so well. I think about how I felt after my first IVF cycle ended with a miscarriage and the subsequent disastrous cycles and BFNs. I think about how never ending the process can feel (and be) and I feel sad for my friends still getting smashed and bashed by that bitch infertility. So every time I sit down to blog I just think about those things and all of a sudden I have nothing to say again. Well, nothing except posts about making felt out of cat hair, taxidermy or Henry Cavill.

I’m not sure about continuing this blog anymore.

Makes me a bit sad after almost 2 years.

BB xx

P.s. I saw the worst taxidermy of a fox last week in a second hand furniture shop that had squiffy eyes and buck teeth, and I didn’t even take a picture of it. I could worry about myself some days.

5dp5dt and I’m too lazy to think up a better title

Oh, my. This waiting is as boring as hell.

I have been doing the prerequisite symptom-spotting this weekend since the embryo should have been doing it’s thang and been busy implanting itself. I’ve had a few twinges that got me excited. I mean, I had twinges on my BFP cycle! OH MY GOD. Oh, and on the BFN ones too. Oh yeah. Actually if anything, the twinges on the BFN cycles were more noticeable and just a precursor to my uterus gearing up for my period to start early (9 days post egg collection, fact fans).

Speaking of which, it is 10 days post egg collection today and there is no sign of The Witch yet. I mean, no visual confirmation. I do have cramps from hell. They haven’t changed gear yet though and reached the endometriosis-I-am-going-to-punish-you post IVF failure cramp level just yet. I know that crampy bitch well and she can shove off.

I am pleased that the hCG and progesterone combination appears to be holding The Witch at bay, for now at least. The cramps are definitely escalating though and it’s not making me hopeful.

In other non-news,

1. I am majorly bloated. It’s disgusting. I’ve weighed myself and I weigh the same. Weird. Side note: whenever I say to my husband I “got weighed” (usually followed by lamenting about being fat) he laughs at me. I think it’s grammatically incorrect, but he proper laughs everytime. It’s not funny is it?

2. I walked past this sign yesterday near my house:

If you can’t see it and/or read (why are you looking at blog posts?) it says, “CAUTION: anti climb paint”. Lolz. It made me laugh quite a bit. I would have laughed harder, but as long time readers will remember (you guys) I’ve already laughed at burglar proof paint in the shops once. How is that even a thing? Evidence it is a thing:

Several things perturbed me about this sign. a) There is clearly no paint on the wall… is this invisible burglar paint? b) The sign is really high up. Why put a sign so high up that most people would already have to be climbing up to read it? And lastly, c) it backs on to an old people’s home. Who even wants to steal them?

3. During the composition of this blog post the cramps have become significantly worse.

4. It’s really raining outside.

5. It’s 9am and I am still in my pyjamas, I should really get up and do stuff.

BB xx

Trigger time, baby

I have really, really bad news.

I lost the piece of paper that I wrote the waiting room tunes down on and I’ve forgotten them all apart from Christina Aguilera – Beautiful, Sarah McLachlan – Angel and Take That – Back for Good.

On a more positive note, my scan results today read like an IVF dream. 12 follicles ranging from 12mm to 23mm, with 6 at 20-23mm, 3 at 17mm and 3 that are 12-15mm. 5 are still too small at 5-10mm. This is my best response to stims ever.

I know that last time I had a lot of follicles and only 1 mature egg. I know that in previous cycles I’ve also only managed 1 or 2 eggs. I know the doctors say that no matter what, I will always get a low number because of all the damage to my ovaries, but regardless, I can’t help but feel vaguely hopeful. At least all those follicles mean chances of eggs.

I will be doing cartwheels if I get 3 or 4 mature eggs that fertilise normally. It seems like such a small ask from 12 follicles and so far away at the same time.

My lining has shrunk from 11.5mm down to 9mm. Weird. My feeling is that 9mm is still fine and they probably just measured it from a different area. My uterus is special and tilted away so it can be pretty hard to measure anything in there anyway. Who knows. I’m too tired to think it through.

So trigger time is 8.15pm tonight with egg collection scheduled for Friday morning. Surely 12 follicles will yield more than a couple of eggs? Surely life can’t be so cruel to make me go through this a fourth time, have my best response ever, only to have my worst outcome ever? Surely? Surely? What have I ever done to life to deserve that?*

BB xx

*don’t answer

Improvement

Gosh, stims are making me awful tired yo.

I had a sudden panic on Friday (who am I kidding, the entire weekend) that the clinic would a) force me to have an egg collection on Wednesday when I was scared it was too early and b) forget about my general anaesthetic. As a result I made Mr B accompany me to today’s scan. As it happened the poor man just spent 40 minutes trying to find a parking space and waited for me while I sorted it all out myself. Oops.

Anyway, the most important part of the day: the waiting room play list. If you need to refresh your memory on the scoring system, here you go:

10 = Top Notch, e.g. pan pipes – nothing offensive or distressing here. Doesn’t interfere with kindle reading etc, etc.
9 = Inoffensive Drivel, e.g. easy listening
8 = Normal music
7 = Joke Music, e.g. The Lion King
6 = Slightly Irritating Drivel, e.g. Taylor Swift
5 = One Direction
4 = Melancholy, e.g. Skinny Love, Birdy
3 = Tear Jerkers, e.g. All By Myself, Celine Dion
2 = Depressing, e.g. Radiohead
1 = Candle in the Wind

Story of my Life, One Direction
Massive lolz. I KNEW IT! The first song that played as my bum hit the seat. I have to confess, I had no idea it was One Direction until I googled it just now*. Talk about a pile of poo. Scoring is pretty easy though – 5.

Side note, since when was it cool to dress like a grubby pirate? I don’t understand kidz these days.

*Mr B makes a One Direction joke where he calls them Wand Erection instead. Say it out loud (quietly, depending on your location). Funny? That might not work in another accent actually. Sorry in advance.

How Long Will I Love You, Ellie Goulding
Love a bit of Ellie Goulding me, but this song is a tad depressing. If I was about to cry it could definitely tip me over the edge. Sigh – 4.

Side note, I just googled this for verification it was indeed Miss Goulding and watched the video. It has Charlie from Casualty in it.

Written in the Stars, Tinie Tempah, ft. Eric Turner
This song collection is even weirder than a radio station. Let’s mix up all this somber drivel with some rap, yo – 8.

Some kind of unidentifiable crap. Oh, I mean “dance” “music”. Query Kylie Minogue.
Dunno – 8?

Skyscraper, Sam Bailey
Ah, another clinic favourite. I’ve heard this one almost as much as Skinny Love. I even know all the words now. It’s a bit warbly isn’t it? And so awfully, awfully, LOUD. I was just about to stick my fingers in my ears when someone turned it down and I panicked that Reception could read minds, which would be pretty bad for me because I am always either a) bitching the clinic out in my head or b) thinking something I shouldn’t about Henry Cavill.

Oh, a score. 6 I guess. This scoring system is so bad.

An African choir song. No idea.
Sounded like it could have been an outtake from the Lion King soundtrack, so – 7.

Human, Christina Perri
I’d never heard this song before and hopefully I will never hear it again – 2.

Only Love Can Hurt Like This, Paloma Faith
I wouldn’t be so sure Paloma, just wait until you need an endometrial scratch or a HSG with blocked tubes. They hurt pretty bad – 4.

Side note, Mr B started singing along to this by the end (in a lady voice) before announcing to the waiting room, “I’ve never even heard this song but I’m already getting into it!” Yep, we guessed.

I bet you are hoping that they aren’t so late with my next appointments aren’t you? Yeah well, me too. Today’s waiting room play list monitoring score is a whopping 44 with a 5.5 average. Borderline One Direction and Slightly Inoffensive Drivel. An improvement, much like my monitoring scan.

Smooth link Betty.

Follicle scan looked better. If only follicles meant eggs. At least it means a chance of eggs, which looked doubtful on the cycles where I only had 2-3 follicles in total. My ovaries are setting a new record this time around. I hope they aren’t building up to the Worst Egg Collection In History, but I wouldn’t put it past the lazy little turds.

I wasn’t paying much attention (unlike me, dunno why) but I think I have 5 on the left: 12, 12, 14, 16, 20mm and 6 on the right: 11, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17mm. I also have 7 more on the right, all under 10. 11 follicles over 10; 7 under 10. Wow. If I didn’t know better, I’d be excited about those numbers.

Egg collection is likely to be Friday. The worst of all egg collection days because it means no fert report until Monday.

Oh God, please let me some eggs and a fert report to worry about.

Almost there now. IVF4 needs to show me some love.

BB xx

P.s. Hero came in and said a very loud and jolly “good morning” to me in a crowded waiting room and it took me about 15 seconds to notice it was directed at me. It wasn’t until I looked up from my Kindle and saw him and the rest of the waiting room looking at me expectantly that I gave him a, “oh, err morning” back. Cringe.