Friday, 29 January 2010

FET Day 5

Today is Day 5 of my first FET cycle. I haven't had any side effects from the down reg injection so far, I don't know if any side effects are common? AF is lasting longer than normal, but I'm not too concerned for 2 reasons.
1) My first attempt at IVF last summer was abandoned due to my womb lining not being thick enough. At the moment, my greatest fear with the FET is that this will happen again. So I think the longer AF goes on, the better my chances of a nice thin womb lining.
2) At the last scan I had after the miscarriage, the nurse showed me the ultrasound picture and pointed out where my baby had been. You could actually see a kind of shadow where the sac was. There was obviously still some kind of tissue that needed to come away, but not enough for a D&C. I haven't had AF since that day until now, so I suppose in a way, I am kind of cleansing myself ready for a fresh start with the FET.
I went for my first session of acupuncture today for this cycle. I decided in my last ivf cycle that I would go for acupuncture. I looked on the British Acupuncture Council website and found a couple in my town. I chose one, but it was not a great experience. I didn't feel comfortable with the man at all, in fact he was a little odd to say the least. He was asking me questions such as what is my favourite season (???) The room was very clinical, bright and white, he didn't dim the lights and there was no relaxing music. When he put the needles in, he manipulated them, and it REALLY hurt. He kept asking if the area had gone numb, all I could say was that it was hurting. When I left, my foot was really hurting and it was still sore the next day. I didn't feel relaxed at all, just really uncomfortable. He gave me tablets to take, which he shouldn't have really when I was on IVF medication. I made another appointment but decided afterwards that I would cancel. I rang to cancel it, he then rang and even texted a couple of times to make new appointments. I didn't have time to find a new acupuncturist before the egg collection, which was a shame.
In the meantime, my mum had been going to another acupuncturist, a little Chinese man, and was really pleased with him. So, this time, I've gone to him. I think I felt better knowing that my mum had been to so many appointments with him. It was a completely different experience altogether, I felt so at ease with him. It was so interesting to see him scribbling down in Chinese everything I was saying to him! The room was much more relaxing, with nice lighting and music playing. He put needles in my head, ears, arms, hands, stomach, legs and feet. This time it didn't hurt at all, the only one that was a little uncomfortable was my head, but it was fine after a while. He also had a little lamp that gave off heat and this was placed over my stomach and then my feet. I found it hard to relax at first, but I fell asleep in the end up!! He then took the needles out and massaged my face and head, then my shoulders and back.
I was so impressed I've booked and paid for 10 sessions!! I'm feeling much better about this FET cycle all the time, I just can't wait to get started properly!!

Monday, 25 January 2010

1st day of my 1st FET

10 days ago I had my first appointment to get started on our first ever FET cycle. I was given Provera to take for 5 days to make me bleed. I thought that the nurse had said I would have to have an injection on CD2. Once I'd finished the tablets, I got out my FET information leaflet just to have a read through about what would be happening next. It said I would need the injection on CD21. When I looked this up on the calendar, AF was due very near to our Valentine's Paris trip, and so I went into panic mode...
Last time I took Provera before my IVF cycle, it took well over a week for AF to come, but you can never be too sure with these things. I worked out that as long as AF stayed away until today, everything would work out fine.
Until AF showed up yesterday. Day 21 would be the day we came back from Paris, and the flight isn't til 9pm. I was just so upset and down, thinking that everything was ruined. I checked online to see if we could change the flights, but it was going to cost a fair bit. DF as usual, was very calm and just told me to wait until my appointment today, there was no point stressing.
I had my appointment with wandy and everything looked ok. I told the nurse about my worries with the timings and luckily she put my mind at rest.
An injection is given on CD21 in a natural cycle. Seen as I've had an artificial cycle with the Provera, and I don't usually ovulate myself, the injection is given on CD2 (I was right after all!). So the injection was given today, and it lasts for 5 weeks, but I will be starting tablets in 2 weeks, which is a few days before we go to Paris. I take one dose for a week, then a higher dose for 3 days. My next appointment is the day after we get back from Paris, so it's all worked out really nicely. I will then need pessaries for at least 3 days before the transfer. All in all, we're looking at the embryo transfer in the last week of February.
This is a lot quicker than what I had originally thought. From reading the leaflet, I was thinking it would be more like the 2nd half of March. With me starting from CD2, it's obviously brought everything forward. No complaints here though!!
I'm really glad it's all going ahead now, and that we can still go to Paris, and hopefully enjoy our last child-free holiday! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and now I can relax and stay positive for our FET!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Our fertility issues

For those who don't already know, here is a blog about our TTC journey so far.

I always knew in the back of my mind that I would have trouble conceiving. My reasons were as follows:

1) My AF started when I was 12. My mum gave me a little calendar on which to mark each month when it came so that I tell when I was due. I never could tell. They were so irregular. I read somewhere that if they had not become regular after 4 years, you should go see a doctor. Well 4 years later they were still all over the place, but as a shy 16 year old, I couldn't even tell my mum what was happening, let alone a doctor. By the time I met DF at 17, AF was on her way out. I met him in June - by then that year I'd only had two AFs and the last one was pretty non-existent.

2) I went on the pill 3 months after meeting DF. I was extremely bad at remembering to take it. I mean really bad. But after 6 years of being on it, I had never had the 'accident' of falling pregnant, like a lot of people seem to do.

3) My mum had fertility problems, that were unidentifed in the 70s, and it took her four years and lots of fertililty drugs to have me

So, in August 2005, I decided to come off the pill, not to TTC, I can't even remember why now, but I think it just didn't agree with me anymore. By November, AF hadn't showed, and after doing a test, I got my first BFN. Over that Christmas, DF asked me to start trying for a baby! I knew I had to wait around 6 months after coming off the pill before going to the doctors. So in February 2006, after only 1, AF I went.

I was given some blood tests to check for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which came back positive. I then went for my first appointment with wandy to confirm. I remember feeling really sad that my first ever ultrasound wasn't to look for a baby.

After a 5 month wait for an appointment at the hospital, I was given 3 months worth of Clomid. The first three months passed with no result, and so I was given another 3 months supply. After the 4th month, things got a bit out of hand. Almost out of nowhere, I decided that I no longer loved DF. I hated him, I couldn't stand being around him and I dreaded coming home from work and having to spend time with him. Looking back I'm really ashamed of how I behaved. I then decided that there was no way I could stay on Clomid, as I didn't want to be a single mother at 24. I went back to my doctor and told her, in tears, how I felt. She told me that life wasn't like Pretty Woman! I had to think about it for another week and then let her know my decision. After another week I felt the same, and so I went back on the pill. I probably would have left DF at this point, but we had a holiday to Mexico booked for the following month with our best friends. I decided that I would still go, and that it would be a make or break holiday. We got on ok, and as the weeks passed, I slowly got back to normal. After Christmas, I felt completely fine, and just couldn't understand what had happened to me. Looking in the Clomid leaflet to see the side effects, it stated depression, mood swings and personality disorders. OK, thanks Clomid!! It explained a lot. All in all, it probably set back our TTC journey by about a year.

In March 2007, DF asked if we could start TTC again, to which I agreed. I went straight back to the doctors, who referred me back to the hospital. I was given another 3 months of Clomid. This time, I told DF exactly how I had felt previously, which was pretty hard on him. I also told close friends and family to watch out for me, and luckily I didn't have any of the same problems. DF was also referred for tests. In September 07 I underwent a laparoscopy and ovarian drilling. The drilling didn't make any difference to my cycles. The laparoscopy revealed one blocked tube.

I was then put on 1600mg of Metformin a day. I hated it!! I felt so sick all the time, the sight or even thought of most foods turned my stomach! My weight dropped to 7st 10 because I basically wasn't eating. At my next appointment I told the consultant that I didn't believe this was healthy if I was trying for a baby. He agreed and cut my dose in half. The only side effect I got from Clomid this time around was horrendous hot flushes!! There's a really flattering (ahem) picture of me at my sister's wedding. I was having a flush outside and I was sat on some stairs feeling awful, my mum is trying to loosen my bridesmaid dress for me, and the photographer decided to take a picture of me! Thanks!

I carried on with Clomid and Metformin until December 2008. By this time, DF had several semen analysis tests done and it revealed that he had a low sperm count. We were never going to get pregnant on our own, with or without Clomid. At this point we were referred for IVF. As the consultant said, 'You only need one sperm for IVF to work!'

Most of you know my journey from there as I joined Twitter just before we started the IVF treatment in June 2009.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Me and DF

My first blog should really be a little about myself and DF.
We met when I was 17 and he was 21. I had a weekend job in a shop where his best friend worked. One night, we had a night out with a few people from work, and along came DF. I was initially scared of him! I was very shy, especially around boys. There he was, this weight lifting, muscly older MAN, who had a job and a car, he was way too cool for me! But we got chatting and he asked me out on a date the next day, and the rest is history! PS he's not muscly now haha!
DF bought his first house in 2003 and I moved in a year later. We've now been living together for 5 years. We bought our first house together in 2005 and we have been here ever since.
We got our first fur baby, a female kitten, Sam in 2003, and our second, a male rescue kitten, Bart (now mostly renamed Dude) a month later. Our third, a male puppy, Archer came along in 2007. We were already TTC by this point, but lived a very selfish life, doing what we wanted, when we wanted. We decided that the extra responsibility of a dog might ease us into it, and then a child wouldn't be too much of a shock. He's certainly a handful, I think I could handle any toddler over him!
We finally got engaged in 2008, after 8 years together. It was down to me to propose though! I first wanted to get engaged when I was 18. Two of my best friends got engaged and I was so jealous! But their relationships failed and mine didn't so I suppose that says something. As the years went by, and one by one my friends got engaged and married, it was becoming a bit of a sore point. As you ladies well know, the most dreaded question is 'When are you going to have children?', well I was getting pretty fed up of 'When are you getting engaged?' or 'When are you getting married?'. I went through a stage of mentioning it to him all the time, and then another stage of not mentioning it all, but nothing worked.
After 8 months together, a leap year occured, but we hadn't been together long enough for me to think about engagement. Three years later, a few people asked me why I didn't ask him, but I was so adamant that I wanted the whole fairytale proposal that I wouldn't have even considered it. But by 3 years later, I'd had enough! The proposal was nice and simple so as not to raise suspicion. I booked a table at our favourite restaurant and off we went. I had already bought him an Armani watch, and some specially printed Love Heart sweets that said 'Marry Me' on them. I placed one of them in the watch box, and after the meal, I presented the box to him. I didn't want to get down on one knee, it would be too cringey!! He said yes straight away! I initially wore my great grandmother's engagement ring, but it was very fragile and I lost a diamond out of it. I had to have the band strengthened and the diamond replaced, and so I bought a cheap temporary ring. I finally got the ring of my dreams last year :o)
To say he had never been interested in marriage, I suggested getting married in 18 months time, and he agreed! He was actually really getting into it which was a big surprise! The wedding was booked for December 2009. We then got referred for IVF and so we postponed the wedding for another year. It is currently booked for December 2010, but seen as our IVF plans have not run smoothly so far, we may postpone it again.
Since I got engaged, I've been really content, and I don't feel the need to get married straight away. I'm happy to have the commitment of engagement for now. The wedding will surely happen one day, but we can't do IVF and get married at the same time, so for now it's babies :o)