And so, as you might reasonably have expected, and as I might have slightly given away in my last post, given how contrarily these things go, the fact that I was so convinced it wasn’t going to work meant that when, on the morning we were going away for the weekend, and I did a precautionary First Response test, it showed the faintest of faint – but still very definitely there – lines.
Or, as I put it to B when I walked back into the bedroom “Well I’m not ‘Not Pregnant’.” But I wasn’t going to get too excited. It was early. It could be a chemical pregnancy. It wasn’t a thing until it was a thing.
But then, when I did another test 48 hours later, that line was definitely darker. And 48 hours after that, the blood test confirmed that, that day at least, I was pregnant. Because that was how I thought of it. That’s how I’ve continued to think about it. On those fertility forums I despise, I’ve seen women talk about being “PUPO” – Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise, but after the miscarriage, after everything we’ve been through, I feel quite the opposite. I feel like “that day I know I was definitely pregnant but until the next blood test / scan, I can’t assume I still am.”
But once bitten, twice shy and all that. We said yes to the agency, we signed paperwork, we paid sums of money for treatment, but I felt very detached from it all. I just didn’t really engage with it. It was all taking ages, there were tests for her, tests for me, tests for B – the tests went on and on, the weeks and months went by. The process of getting our donor to the point where she could actually donate, that we’d been told would take three months, dragged on and on — if this were a film or TV programme, this is the point at which you’d see the leaves on the trees changing colour from autumn to winter to spring to denote the passing of time.
I ran away in January. To a place that I didn’t associate with trying and not succeeding. Somewhere I drank wine and stopped worrying about whether I was eating enough vegetables. (I wasn’t.) Somewhere I stopped caring if food was packaged in plastic (it was), or whether the tomatoes were organic (they weren’t). Somewhere my life wasn’t measured out in blood tests and supplements and scans and injections. Where I rudely
Well that’s what it felt like at least. I’d done the three cycles I’d signed up for, this is the last — well the only — frozen embryo in storage. I’d already mentally decided that if this one didn’t work, it was time for a rethink. That although I didn’t feel done, I had to look at other options beyond my clinic. Seek second and third opinions, work out where I went from here. So in a way, whether or not it worked this time, it slightly felt like the end of an era.
Because I told him. And he was about as amazing about it as I could have hoped he might be. And now writing about all this feels a bit weird, because I’m not just writing about me and something that affects me. I know I’m anonymous, and by extension so is he, but it feels like I don’t have the right to talk about how he reacted in any detail. It’s not just my story any more.Continue reading →
So I came back from my holiday, went for a scan, and then later in the week there was a whole load of last minute fucking about that made me wonder — yet again — how on earth anyone who doesn’t work for themselves does this.
The call at about 4pm on a Thursday went something like this:
“So your bloods suggest that you might be near ovulating so can you do an ovulation test and then call us back with the results? If you are, you’ll have to have the egg collection tomorrow and we’ll have to work out what time you do the Ovitrelle tonight, and if you’re not then it will be on Saturday and if it’s on Saturday you’ll have to stay up until quarter to 1 tonight and do the Ovitrelle injection, but you also need to do the Cetrotide injection when you get home tonight, oh and start taking the Indomethacin straight away but don’t take it on an empty stomach. Anyway, just call us back when you’ve done the ovulation test.” Continue reading →
It shouldn’t really be that much of a surprise – who gets pregnant on their first round of IVF with one embryo? Well obviously some people do but not me. And while the logical part of my brain had committed to at least three, maybe more, cycles, there was a sliver of me thinking, “It could be me, I could be one of the lucky ones…”
And now, I’m going to sound like a complete dick, but I’m going to say it anyway. I don’t really know how to fail at stuff. I’ve passed every exam Continue reading →
I realised that in my last post I rather glossed over that crucially important point when they actually put the one good embryo inside me. Which, rather like my not spending much time thinking about the actual donor, is a little bit weird when you think about it. But then I think my reactions to so many parts of this process are weird — they definitely seem weird to other people.
Various friends asked if I wanted them to come with me for the embryo transfer. I didn’t. Continue reading →
I just realised, in the same way that I’ve realised in real life, that up until this point I’ve been fine jabbering away about things, but now shit just got real. (I said that ironically, OK? In a pseudo-American accent. Don’t think I’m one of those people who say “shit just got real” in a deadpan way. I’m not.)
Anyway, what I mean by that is that this is all so timed, in that if you ovulate on this day, then your eggs and the sperm are defrosted Continue reading →
Ugh I just found this in my drafts – it’s from about a month ago, sorry about that, but you know, read it, then you’re pretty much up to date…
So, of course it wasn’t that straightforward, like I said, these things never are. Before I left the clinic my consultant sent me for a blood test to test my thyroid levels. Yet another of those things that you never even think about, but apparently your thyroid has to be operating at a certain level to create optimum conditions for pregnancy.
And whaddaya know, mine wasn’t. My blood test showed that my Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels were at around 5. The top end of normal in the regular population is 4.5 (although other people will say that normal can go up to 10) but crucially if you want to get pregnant with IVF, they want it closer to 2.5. The solution: daily pills of a drug called levothyroxine, which I have to take for three weeks or so and then get tested again to see if it’s doing what it needs to, or if I need a higher dose. Continue reading →