People lately have been asking am I ok? Cryptic posts? What is happening? I am happy to say I can share my story with you.. A lot of women go through this process and it’s a tough one. We Arent the first couple to and we certainly won’t be the last! This is my way of letting my emotions out and if it helps just one person understand I have accomplished great things. It’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be emotional, to feel like your mourning, to feel like a failure, it’s ok to speak about it. Don’t be ashamed of your experiences it’s a part of you!
Last year Max and I decided to start the process of having a baby. Under the guidance of our obstetrician it was best we went down the route of IVF… And so the process started last year in November. It started with blood tests, taking elevit and more blood tests to ensure we were fertile, we didn’t have any diseases like HIV, Hep C etc… These all came back normal- we were stoked. Both fertile, both ready to start a family and both so excited.
What is IVF- In Vitro Fertilisation- the fertilisation of eggs (oocytes) outside the human body by sperm, usually in a test tube (taking you back to high school science days) in an incubator.
Monday the 18th we showed up to our obstetrician I had an ultrasound to check my follicle count which was 8 (this was pre injections) most follicles have an egg and it is this egg that helps with fertilisation. I was told to stick to a high protein diet, drink lots of water and all of this I did.
I left with a bag full of injections. I had to inject once daily into my tummy an epi pen type medication FSH or Gonal F. This is a follicle stimulating hormone. It is meant to stimulate you to grow more follicles therefore creating more eggs. I started off on 250 units each morning. The first week was one injection the 2nd week was 2.
Every 3rd day I would have bloods and according to my bloods my FSH levels were rising each time. My stomach was starting to bloat, my ovaries hurting, bruising appearing on my tummy and my hormones raging. I think I was ok… Maybe ask Max he may give you a different answer!! 🙂 IVF consumes your life. It can make you or break you.
On the 23/1 I had to inject myself with another injection. Orgalutran- In laymans terms this drug is used to prevent premature ovulation in woman undergoing ovarian stimulation. It blocks the effects of the gonadotropin releasing hormone. This injection is like a clexane injection (if anyone has ever had these) and it hurts!
Trying to get Max to take these photos was like pulling hair. I remember when I was younger and my sister saw moths she would do something my family called the “moth dance” this was dancing around the place shaking her hands. Max was doing the “needle dance” so it was left up to me to inject myself. (Excuse my underwear). Even though he said at the beginning we would help me inject myself. Poor Maxy, I’m not sure he will make a good nurse!
Don’t worry I am learning as I go. I remember being taught all this at University but you don’t really understand what it does until you go through the process.
After 2 weeks of injections we had a final scan with the obstetrician.. We were so excited it was getting so close and I was happy it meant no more needles.. We headed into the obstetrician and he was disappointed… My follicles had dropped instead of increasing, I now had 6, but my FSH levels were still good and increasing. So he upped my dose to 350units and we headed over to the IVF clinic to get my trigger injection.
The trigger injection must be given exactly 37 hours pre egg pick up. My egg pick up was on Friday 29/1 so my trigger was given at 11:30pm (yes I had to get out of bed) on Wednesday 27th. This trigger is to help produce mature eggs in women undergoing fertility procedures, and stimulates ovulation (release of egg). On this day another $7,500 was handed over!
We were all on track… Friday 29th arrived. Max and I were excited. I had prayed and prayed for the 2 weeks while undergoing the treatment. Max had to have a sperm retrieval. Meaning they had to aspirate the sperm from his testes. He was the first to be put to sleep. Operation went well as his urologist informed me… As Max woke up I was in a bed next to him ready to head into theatre for egg pick up. This is done under a general anaesthetic. I prayed and prayed again, I was so nervous yet I was so confident. Confident it would all go well, confident they would find 12 eggs as hoping and confident in the process I had just undertaken. After my egg pick up they would then straight away inject the sperm into the egg to create fertilisation giving us an embryo “baby”.
Off I went… Cannula put in my arm, midazolam given and bam I was asleep. Next I remember waking up in recovery crying after I looked at the back of my hand.. They only got 6 eggs… I was devastated! I cried to the nurse asking where the rest were, but I was still hopeful.
Still I tried to think positive. All you need is one good egg. One to fertilise. One to create that beautiful baby you are trying for. One egg! I kept praying and praying. Max and I both left the hospital, sore, tired and in hope all was going to plan.
We were sent home to wait 24hous until the embryologist (scientist) phoned us Saturday morning to let us know how our fertilisation was taking place. I kept saying I wonder how our “baby” is thawing! I was wanting this so bad. Praying, hoping, wishing, thinking of names, sex of the baby, what would it look like.. I tried not to get my hopes up but it was hard not to. I told friends and family (something I shouldn’t have) although my family knew already! I was just so excited we had got to that stage!
In 3-5 days time implantation would take place… That being today 😦 I was to be implanted with one embryo if it was strong or 2 if they weren’t strong.
When the phone rang and IVF clinic appeared I was so excited. This excitement quickly turned to the worst phone call I could receive. I was told in a blunt way that out of 6 eggs 4 of them were strong, but none had fertilised. She said she would keep them for another 24hours to see but it’s never happened before and we would need a miracle. I cried and cried. Max and I hugged each other like we never have before and we didn’t want to let go. We were both feeling the emotion, like our hearts had been ripped out, our dream was NOT going to become a reality and our hope was gone. We just cried together. I layed in bed all day. So sad. No one quite understands what it feels like unless you go through the process. People telling me it’s ok, just try again… Those were not the words I wanted to hear at that time. I just wanted my embryo “baby” to survive. Just one of them! Sunday the phone rang again- No they still had not fertilised, no our miracle was not going to happen and my eggs were being thrown away. My embryo, my baby. 😦 again we cried, again we hugged and again I layed in bed. I kept thinking what was the point of the last 2 weeks. We got nowhere! What was the point of the injections, when I lost embryos not gained them? The pain to inject myself, the emotional roller coaster you ride… Just what was the point!
That night I got up and went out with a beautiful friend (best thing I did and much needed). I got up, threw myself in the shower, put some makeup on, and did my hair. I must admit I felt a little better but I was still so sad, so sore and so emotional. Sitting at the table after 1 glass of wine I thought I was going to be sick. My tummy was so sore, so bloated and still so bruised. But I went back out after heading to the toilet with a smile on my face. It was tough!
A friend asked me how my eggs were thawing? Another was I ready for the implantation? I burst into tears. I knew at this point it was t going to happen. The injections, emotions, pain and hormonal changes I had put my body through had not worked!
So after the last 2 weeks of excitement, hope, bloating, sore ovaries, continuous headaches, and my hormones raging my dream of having a child had been thrown away. It felt like someone took it away from me. I hated everything and was so angry with the world. I was so mad thinking why us? What did we do wrong? How come everyone else can have babies? Why me? I cried at every baby photo I saw on Facebook or Instagram of my friends having children.. I felt how can I be excited for them when I’m fighting my own struggles? Selfish maybe but that’s how you feel 😦 I still cry over these things. I know I’m young and I know I’m not the first with these struggles but no one quite understands unless you’ve been down this road. A lady I know tried for 10 years unsuccessfully my heart aches for her.
Where to from here… Can I put my body through it again? Is it fair on Max to go through what he has to again? How much heart break can one take? How many emotions must one endure? Can our marriage survive more heartache? Will it break us or make us?
Tomorrow we head back to the obstetrician for a bit of counciling and to see what our options are. Can we go again? When? Will it work? How come I lost eggs instead of gained them? Should we give up? So many questions to ask and know! Our obstetrician is amazing. He is has been in the game for years and has a lot of knowledge. It’s not his fault. He has been so good to both Max and I from day one. I wouldn’t have chosen anyone else. The nurses at the IVF clinic amazing girls. We both thank them so much.
Without Max the most amazing man by my side I am not sure how I would have coped. He is a very special man, one of a kind. I know we are not the first couple to go through IVF and be unsuccessful. The percentage of people being successful first go is very small. I just wish I had more eggs so I wouldn’t have to do the whole process again! The injections, the emotions etc.. Financially no price can be put on a child that you hold in your arms that you know you created. We would spend thousands and thousands if we had to, just to make our dream a reality.
IVF is a tough process, it is an amotional roller coaster and anyone that has been through this I sympathise with you. I know how you feel.
To Max my husband- THANKYOU. You are my backbone, my pillar of support my strength when I feel I can’t go on and my tissues when I am crying. Together this has made us stronger as a couple. We can get through it, we will and we will keep trying! I love you. I would be lost without you. A quote by Matin Luther King Jnr sums it up- “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” what a legend my husband is. Always by my side, always supporting me and my decisions and always encouraging me that’s it’s ok. Your strength amazes me and you are my hero.
So for those wondering what has been happening… This may answer your questions.. Since Friday I haven’t stopped crying, my emotions are raw and my decisions in limbo…
Tomorrow back to the obstetrician we go… Where to from here? I so want us to have a family…. Miracles do happen, we must believe… So as the left over drugs sit in my fridge I sit and ponder… Do I do this again?