The secret blog came about because Rob and I started doing IVF again - in secret. First things first - I AM NOT PREGNANT. We decided for a multitude of reasons to go through it privately this time around but I still needed an outlet to record the ups and downs - so here is my blof from the past 7 weeks.
I’m writing this blog entry with no intention of posting it for at least a month. I have a secret which I will eventually share with everyone but for now it’s just between me and Rob.
We have always planned to try to have at least 2 children and during the process of having Banjo and Noah we have always been very open about all of the ins and outs of IVF. As a result each of our pregnancies has been very public with everyone knowing the positive result on the day of the blood test which is done at 4 weeks.
It’s been amazing having so much support and excitement around us during these times but I’ve often wondered what it must be like to keep that little secret for the traditional first 12 weeks as most couples do. So when it came time to think about starting IVF again I said to Rob that I wanted to keep it to ourselves. Rob was completely supportive although he personally was happy to share it with everyone from the start. I felt that due to my medical issues I have no control over any of the fertility/baby making process and in turn wondered if I was missing out on a bit of the excitement of the process. As a result we decided to go into stealth mode this time around.
It feels really strange to keep it quiet especially from our very closest family and friends and in fact it has lead to quite few white lies being told – but it is nice to share it just between us as is the ‘normal’ way.
Diary of IVF # 3
Day 1 – Friday 18th September
It’s with much excitement and a smallish amount of trepidation that I called Fertility North today and announced I was ready to start a new cycle of IVF. I have seen my Dr and been given the go ahead – I just had to wait for the first day of my cycle and then make the call. So today is that day. I am to attend tomorrow for a blood test to check all my hormone levels are at baseline and then start my injections.
Day 2 – Saturday 19th September
Today Rob, Noah and I made an early trip to Joondalup Hospital for the first blood test. It was nice to be there with Noah and think about how lucky we are. Rob and I both wondered though if the other women waiting are inspired or upset by the sight of our tearaway running around the waiting room. It can be so hard when you’re desperate to have a baby and it seems everyone else has what you want. I hope it gave them hope that miracles are created in that space and that our Noah is one of them.
Day 3 – Sunday 20th September
First injection today. I had to read the instructions so carefully – I can’t believe how quickly you can forget things that once were second nature to you. Anyway it’s done and it was easy and painless – although I did hesitate above the skin a few times before making the plunge.
Day 7 – Thursday 24th September
I have been doing my daily injections and tomorrow I go for a blood test to see how my hormone levels are going. Depending on the results a new little embryo could be getting planted in my uterus in about a week. It’s all so surreal – firstly how weird that we have ready made babies in the freezer. Secondly – all our babies were made on January 24th 2007 so no matter when I have them Banjo, Noah and any other babies were all conceived on the same day.
It feels so abstract when you’re injecting and having blood tests – sometimes I forget we’re actually getting ready to try and have another baby. It’s hard to comprehend with Noah still being such hard work and Rob and I still being in the severe sleep deprivation phase. I just keep reminding myself that he will be 2 and a lot will have changed (hopefully) by the time this next bub comes along.
We would have waited until the New Year to start but K Rudd did us a huge disservice in the last budget by slashing medicare funding for IVF. I’ve really got a bee in my bonnet about it but what can I do. Anyway here we are for better or worse and the most important thing is a gorgeous healthy new baby.
Day 8 – Friday 25th September
Another blood test today – levels rising nicely. I am to keep injecting and return on Monday for next blood test.
Day 11 – Monday 28th September
More needles more blood tests. Today’s result is that my levels have risen very quickly and I am to return tomorrow for an ultrasound to check the amount and size of my follicles.
I’m actually a little bit worried because I’ve had a lot of cramping which I’m sure I’ve never had in the past and today even a small amount of bleeding as well. Don’t know what it all means but will find out soon enough I guess.
Day 12 – Tuesday 29th September
Went to the clinic alone this morning so Noah could have a nice long nap, ready for our big afternoon out at the show. It’s been nice when we’ve all gone together I like Noah being a part of the process of getting a new baby brother or sister.
The scan looked pretty good my lining is thickening nicely and there are follicles ready to go. There were a couple of largish endometriosis on my ovaries – and one ovary in particular was quite stuck to the uterus. The Doctor is not too worried about it. I have to call back at 3.00pm for my blood results.
It’s 9pm now and Noah is in bed after a really fun day at the show. In fact we got so caught up in the day that I forgot to call the clinic for my results and they had to stalk me. Previously I have been so obsessed with my treatment that I’ve been counting down all day excited to call and get the latest results – funny how priorities change when you’ve got a Noah to care for.
Anyhow I am ready - so no more Follicle Stimulating Hormone - this evening I’ve done my trigger injection which sends the message to my body to release those follicles down the fallopian tubes ready for fertilisation. Of course it’s all a big ruse because my tubes are blocked so the eggs are going nowhere but as long as my body thinks that’s what is happening. So now I wait until Friday when they are going to thaw one of our frozen embryos ready to put back into me on Saturday. I’ll call Friday afternoon to find out how the thaw went and then they’ll tell me what time my transfer is on Saturday. It sounds so clinical but believe me it’s very exciting.
Day 14 – Thursday 1st October
I’m so impatient – I hate waiting. I like to know things now. I’m getting very anxious for the call tomorrow to find out how the embryo thaw went. I have many flaws but the worst is impatience.
Day 15 – Friday 2nd October
As I stood waiting to buy sushi today, (possibly my last sushi for 9 months!!), I received a call from the embryologist. He has successfully thawed 1 embryo however only 3 out of 4 cells survived. Last time all 4 survived. 3 cells is still a viable embryo. I asked if we needed to consider abandoning this embryo and thawing another – he told me definitively NO this little 3 cell embryo will be fine and may even have divided into more cells by the time transfer takes place tomorrow. Transfer is scheduled for 10.45am tomorrow with Dr Vince Chapple ( he was the doctor who put a little 4 cell Noah into my uterus 22 months ago).
Tonight as Rob put Noah to bed he told him that tomorrow mummy and daddy and the doctor are going to try and make him a baby brother or sister.
Day 16 – Saturday 3rd October
Through various circumstances we were running late today for our transfer – I got very stressed out. Rob of course was wonderful and took great care to calm me down and get me in the right headspace. Noah came along which I loved. So sweet to think he was there for his baby brother or sister from the VERY start. It was not as straightforward as my previous 2 transfers. This time I was asked to attend with a full bladder (I’ve never done that before). Dr Chapple had some problems getting ‘in’ to the right spot. He changed speculum 3 times (wider, longer!!!!) all while I was dying for a pee. Eventually through persistence and use of the ultrasound he was happy that he was in the perfect spot to drop our little embryo in (incidentally the cells had divided and we were back to 4 cells).
So now we wait. I have 3 more injections to do plus a blood test in 5 days then a pregnancy test of Friday October 16th. We’ve been sending lots of positive vibes out into the universe (probably would have been good to have you all doing that too but it’s so fun having a little secret). I feel confident yet terrified but most of all impatient. It’s going to be a long 2 weeks!!
Day 18 – Monday 5th October
Waiting, Waiting, Waiting……….. 11 sleeps till pregnancy test.
Day 21 - Thursday 8th October
Today is the day for my interim blood test – to check my levels are progressing nicely. I’ll let you know how it goes.
So I went for my test and I hit the nurse up for any chance of an earlier pregnancy test. I also tried to get some scoop on whether today’s test can give any insight ( I thought they might check the pregnancy hormone but keep it to themselves until a week later when the second test gives a more definite result!!) Anyway – preg test is still Friday (8 sleeps to go) and I found out they don’t even check the HCG levels only progesterone to make sure the levels are high enough to maintain a healthy uterine lining – bugger.
My progesterone was low so I had to trek back in this afternoon to pick up 2 $75 bottles of pessaries which I am ‘inserting’ twice a day.
I’m not feeling very confident – trying to be positive but just have a feeling it won’t happen this time.
Day 23 – Saturday October 10th
I’m getting lots of cramping which feels suspiciously like my period coming and therefore not pregnant. I am dying to know one way or the other. I don’t think I’ll even be really upset if we do have to do another cycle – I just hate the limbo and the not knowing. I’m busting to tell someone – I’m not a very good secret keeper even though it was my idea to keep it secret.
Day 26 – Tuesday 13th October
I’ve been ridiculously tired, which has me daring to think that maybe I could be pregnant. I’ve also been very moody and grumpy so it could be the hormones or it could be PMT – I’m sick of all the analysing – I WANT TO KNOW – NOWWWWWWWWWW. 3 sleeps to go.
Day 27 – Wednesday 14th October
I have to play little mind games with myself to take my mind off all the waiting. Today I was very tempted to do a home pregnancy test so when I headed out I said to myself if a certain pharmacist was there when I walked in I wouldn’t buy one and therefore I’d wait. He was there and I stuck to my word. Tomorrow is my work day which is always very full and there most certainly will not be time for pondering. Once I get through that then I only have to wait 1 more day. So exciting.
I’m still in two minds how I think the cards will land but only time will tell.
Day 27 – Thursday 15th October
The mind games failed and last night I made a mercy dash to the pharmacy to buy a home pregnancy test (box of 2). I did a test which was inconclusive but definitely leaning towards not pregnant. I had a very rough nights sleep then woke up and did the second test – still looking negative but with a very faint hint of that much desired second blue line. So I headed off to the clinic for the real test (they said I could come in a day earlier) still holding some hope for a good outcome.
Pregnancy Test officially negative.
IVF # 4
I actually haven’t been too upset about the negative pregnancy result at all. I’m pissed off we have to go through it again but I feel really confident I’ll get pregnant. We’ve been so lucky and had positive results both our cycles so I guess it was only natural for one to fail eventually. I actually really knew it in my heart of hearts anyway.
Day 13 - Wednesday 28th October
I haven’t been recording all the details this time around but it’s all been going on – injections, blood tests and ultrasounds. I’m waiting to call the clinic for today’s blood test results and it should be news that I am ready to have my trigger injection and then embryo transfer possibly Monday.
Day 18 – Monday 2nd November
Well last Wednesday I didn’t get the expected news that it was time to trigger and be implanted. Instead I got the slightly upsetting but mostly annoying news that my oestrogen levels were not rising as they should and that I would need to do higher doses of my injections for another 2 days and return on Friday for blood tests. Friday morning I woke up and had that mid cycle feeling that I had ovulated so I attended the clinic and told them what was going on. They did a scan and it did indeed look like some of my follicles had collapsed maybe due to the egg being released. Bloods showed that everything should still be ok to continue so I took my trigger injection Friday night ready for transfer tomorrow (Melbourne Cup Day).
This afternoon I have spoken to the lab regarding the thawing of our embryos and received the sad news that of the 3 remaining frozen embryos they have had to thaw 2 to get a viable one and that even that one is not looking too great at the moment. The first embryo thawed only 2 out of 4 cells survived and then they died. The second one also only 2 cells have survived but they’re hanging in there (must be another little tough guy like Noah!!)
This is the first time I felt real concern for our chances of having another baby and I’ve shed some tears. If we don’t get pregnant from this cycle then we are back to having to do a full cycle with an egg harvest. My eggs aren’t 32 any more like the frozen babies – these would be 36 year old eggs increasing all the chances of age related issues.
Anyway I have to try to think positively but boy is that hard. I’m really questioning my decision to keep these IVF cycles to ourselves it’s turning out to be much more stressful than previously and that is made even harder without the normal support networks. Especially with Noah having been sick this weekend and just in general it’s very hard to keep coming up with viable excuses for extra babysitting without it looking like we’re slacking off on our parenting duties. Good news is I’ve lost 5 kgs so I’m getting in better shape for pregnancy and beyond.
Day 19 – Tuesday 3rd November– Melbourne Cup Day
Today has been a very upsetting day. We haven’t had our embryo transfer that was scheduled. Following on from the difficulties with the thaw yesterday our embryo did not survive overnight and an emergency thaw of our 3rd and final embryo was also unsuccessful. This is a very clinical way of saying that all of our beautiful embryos that were created at the same time as Banjo and Noah have died. It’s the end of that era and we are back to square one.
Transfer was scheduled for 11.45 but about 10am we received a phone call letting us know the sad news. We then spent the afternoon in appointments discussing possible reasons for the loss of the embryos as well as mapping out a plan for the future. At this stage it looks like I will be having surgery asap to ‘clean’ up my endometriosis and then we will go through another full cycle of IVF with an egg collection and a new sample from Rob to create fresh embryos. Rob and I are both very upset but also quite hopeful for the future and trying to look on the positive side. We are going to concentrate on enjoying Christmas and our summer holidays without too much fertility treatment and then get back on the horse, hopefully, Feb or March.