You know I’m not superstitious. But perhaps inevitably I can’t help being with this. Given everything that’s gone before, I don’t know how I couldn’t be. How I could ever be someone who would assume it would all be fine. Despite all the scans that told me otherwise.
Because we’d had that six week scan, and then our clinic offered us an early scan at eight weeks, and then because we wanted to do the Harmony test (a blood test that looks for three different chromosomal abnormalities and can be done from ten weeks onwards. It’s sometimes offered on the NHS but if it is, it’s usually at a later stage) we booked a private package that combined a 10-week scan, the Harmony test and a 12-week scan. And all of them were fine. In all of them, the measurements were what they should be. The things they were meant to be able to see, they could see. Everything looked normal.
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
For various reasons I’ve not seen my pet consultant in a while — she’s been on holiday, she’s been in theatre, she’s been ill — and so the cycle that was cancelled I didn’t see her at all, and so far this cycle I haven’t seen her either. The clinic doesn’t make any guarantees about this, after all it’s a 7-day-a-week operation, you can’t ever guarantee to see the same person each time. But because I have up until now, it’s been a bit weird for me.
I sort of feel dumped and cut adrift even though I know Continue reading
So I started my second cycle, a medicated cycle — oestrogen three times daily from day two to suppress ovulation and build my womb lining, then at a certain point progesterone to mimic the effects of ovulation.
The idea is that you have a scan somewhere between day 10 and day 12 and the endometrium looks thick and then you start on the progesterone, and then five days later they do the transfer (assuming all the eggs/sperm defrost OK and you Continue reading
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.
I realised that in my
Various friends asked if I wanted them to come with me for the embryo transfer. I didn’t. Continue reading
So I wrote about the fact that I was going back to the clinic on a bit of a fact-finding mission. And that’s exactly what I did. I’d made a point of booking to see the consultant that I’d really liked when I was freezing my eggs. I didn’t just trust her from a medical perspective, but from an emotional one. (She’s the one that I cried on in all of my first three consultations.) I felt like she totally understood my reasons for freezing my eggs, and she was really positive about what I was doing.
And, when I saw her, I felt totally vindicated Continue reading
Ok, so now I’ve finished my egg freezing cycles, I’ve done what I planned to and totted everything up. Out of interest, out of geekery, out of wondering whether there was any pattern that I could see in terms of the drugs I took and the results I got and the length of the cycle.
I have no idea whether the below will be of any interest to anyone but me, but if you are thinking about egg-freezing, it might give you a realistic idea of what you’ll spend, because when they quote a cycle fee, although it includes all scans, consultations and the procedure, it doesn’t include blood tests, sedation, storage, drugs and, as I discovered, they can mount up… Continue reading