“Don’t be discouraged, it’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock”. Author unknown!
My way of dealing with stress, grief and loss is to write it down and share my journey. I haven’t mentioned anything on Facebook or social media because we decided we would wait and see…
Behind closed doors Max and I have been going through round 2 of IVF. This all started in March with visits to a new specialist and clinic and then the process started in June. It was a long process of Dr visits, psychologist visits, getting our head around it all again and preparing ourselves for possible elation or disappointment.. It’s the unknown road in IVF.
After returning from our much needed holiday from Port Douglas we were ready to tackle round 2 head on. New Dr, new care plan, 2 excited and relaxed people, a higher amount of hope and a journey we were again ready to take despite such disappointment in round 1.
After seeing the specialist one last time before starting you always return home with bags of injections, cream, applicators, a sharps bin and swabs..
It all started as it always does for every couple going through IVF treatment.. Bloods almost daily, blood/disease screening for both of us- Then come the Gonal F injections (1 injection daily until your told to stop), this time from day 5-8 I was put on a second injection called Luveris which also helps stimulate follicles, and then from day 7-Finish Orgalutran injections (these hurt a lot). So all up 3 injections daily in the morning to get you on track to stimulating ovaries then an antagonist to stop premature ovulation. This is all timed to perfection.. More bloods taken to check your FSH and LH (2 hormones women have) are rising to correct parameters, ultrasounds internally and externally to check the size and amount of follicles growing and more bloods…
It takes over your life again… Daily cramps, bloated stomach, bruises, constipation, skin breakouts, being emotionally unstable, and the constant thought in the back of your mind that no matter what you put your body through it does not necessarily mean you will achieve that dream- The reason why you put yourself through this again- A baby… A precious little baby to hold, to love, to raise and to adore…
After 12 days of stimulating injections I took my final injection- Ovidrel or the “trigger” it is known as. This has to be taken exactly 36hours prior to egg pick up it helps release all those little eggs you’ve been working hard to create.
Then comes the egg pick up…
Again we were checked into hospital at 05:45am for a 06:30am pickup. I was first on the list. I felt confident going into OT. I could barely walk my ovaries were hurting so much, I felt so different this time compared to the first attempt. People don’t quite understand how painful that part can actually be. Some days I was bent over in pain that no amount of paracetamol could help with. I felt my ovary (left in particular) burning and pounding!
So I went to sleep with a smile on my face also realising that this was it.. Every injection, blood test, tear, emotion, stress, pain was all coming to an end- I would find out in a short while if it was all worth it… As I walked into the OT I was having a joke with the staff (especially anaesthetist because I work with them) to not look at my knickers (those white sexy disposable ones they give you in hospital). I was told to think of something nice while being given Midazolam. As I do I spoke about Politics and to stir me up someone told me “just imagine Bill Shorten being the PM”… “That’s a nightmare” I exclaimed! I remember slowly drifting off to sleep with the oxygen mask covering my face, focusing on my breathing and having my fertility Dr hold my hand saying he would look after me (He truly is a special man). And that was that… I was asleep…
Being an anaesthetic nurse and seeing so many of these operations take place I know exactly what went on when I was asleep but I won’t go into that…
I woke up what felt like hours later but was only 45 minutes later.. I looked straight at my hand.. 17 was the number I saw!!! I was so happy I cried. It was worth it… I had tripled the amount of eggs from our first attempt.. I felt every inch of those 17 eggs. The pain I had pre surgery was at times unbearable but so worth it.. I layed in the PACU and tried to get my head around it all while also trying to become fully alert post anaesthetic. I just wanted to hug Max so bad.. To tell him… I knew our fertility Dr was going to be the bearer of the good news…. Next it was Maxs turn…. I couldn’t wait till he came to join me in the recovery room… We both cried… Elated…
We left the hospital together knowing what a great morning it had been but now it was up to the fertility scientists to create our embryos. What a beautiful bunch of people they are. You hold all your faith in them knowing they are doing everything they can to maximise your chances of creating the perfect embryos for you.
The phone call came that day… They had actually retrieved 18 eggs from me, out of 18 eggs-15 were good and were injected with the sperm creating our little baby. That night we slept soundly. My ovaries were still sore..
The next morning another phone call.. Of the 15 good eggs, 11 embryos were created and were doing what they were meant to so far.. Again we slept soundly. I still had sore ovaries…
The next morning another phone call.. 2 had arrested overnight so we were down to 9… We were still happy… Then no calls for 3 days as there wasn’t much to report and if there was they would phone us.. My ovaries still sore…
2 days prior to embryo transfer.. 9 embryos still.
1 day before transfer- another 2 had not made it.. Down to 7 embryos… I was nervous sleeping that night.. Tomorrow was the day I had been hoping and praying for since starting this journey again.. Bear in mind we hadn’t even got this far through the first cycle so getting to this point was a bonus and still having 7 embryos a true blessing from the fertility Gods…
Transfer day- we were up early, excited, ready, full bladder, still very sore ovaries but so ready.. We headed in to our specialist room and elected to have 2 embryos transferred. It was at this point we were told another 2 had not made it, so we were down to 5.. 2 embryos had reached blastocyst and 3 were still not yet at that point but they would keep them overnight and see how they went the next day and decide weather to freeze them..
At this point my ovaries were still so sore from the stimulating drugs. I felt like I constantly needed to go and empty my bladder but I couldn’t. When implanting embryos I was told my left ovary was 3 times its normal size!!! To me that was the worst pain throughout the whole process..
Then comes the horrible 2 Week Wait! Most women say this is the worst. I agree! It’s hard, it consumes you, you try everything possible to ensure those embryos will stick, at times even taking extra precautions. As you count down the days till the 10 days is over you feel every cramp, every rumble, every sharp pain, sore breasts- these you normally wouldn’t be so bothered with but because you know, you focus on every symptom and hope and pray it is the embryo getting comfortable..
The phone call came.. The 3 remaining embryos had reached blastocyst and could be frozen. Best news!!
Everything was going smoothly thus far.. Dr Google was assuring me what I was feeling was “normal”. This feeling was amazing. I was possibly pregnant.. It had worked.. Everything we have both wanted was about to be true.. Rubbing my tummy and praying to “stick” having friends and family pray for me, I knew it was all going to be ok…
I woke up the next morning and noticed I was bleeding! As you can imagine I felt like my pure happiness had all come crashing down in an instant. That dream, that hope had quickly faded.. I googled everything- mixed response. I phoned the nurses and was told to not yet give up some women had gone full term after bleeding.. I hung onto hope despite my gut telling me that my dream was over. I took a pregnancy test- it clarified what I had thought-NEGATIVE. I still hung onto hope. I asked the Dr at work and was told it could be misacrrying 1 embryo, I could have implant bleeding which is common, or at worst misacrrying both… I googled symptoms of all 3… I still hung onto hope…
All I could do was hope, pray, cry and pray even more. I cried and cried. I was convincing myself my breasts were still sore, that cramp must have been the embryo, that pain was from the nestling.. This was not happening, not again…
I went into the clinic for my blood test and waited patiently for the call.. It was doing my head in waiting…
The phone call..
Hi Samantha I am just ringing to say that the test was negative. Unfortunately you are no longer pregnant..
My heart broke, the tears flowed, my anxiety increased, I went into the blame game- why me, why us, what went wrong.. I phoned Max and cried and cried.. He comforted me..
Again we were back to square one…
Will I ever conceive?
Will I ever carry a baby to full term?
What did I do wrong?
What could I have changed?
No words can really help you grieve for something you are yet to hold, no words can really make you feel better. Lots of women go through this so many times but it doesn’t make it any easier. Nothing makes you feel any better about it..
The only thing that keeps me positive is knowing we have 3 embryos frozen. Some women get none..
One of those embryos has to fulfil our dream..
One day we will complete our family.
As I sit here today writing this… I am still sad, my anxiety has gone up knowing there is 10% chance the embryos won’t survive the thawing process (then what do we do….), and I think and wonder what those babies would have been like, what sort of life we would have given them. The love I felt was there then taken away..
Do we continue on our journey?
Do we give up?
Is it to soon to contemplate trying again?
Will the next transfer fail also?
Am I not able to be a Mum?
Will I always miscarry?
So many emotions constantly running through my head.. I can’t switch my brain off..
Again I’ll praise Max. That man is amazing. I truly am so blessed and so lucky I have someone like him travelling on this journey with me. I wouldn’t want to create a family with anyone else.
I praise our specialist, the nurses, the scientists and even the staff at the clinic we are doing our fertility through. They truly are amazing human beings. So kind, compassionate and helped us achieve this much.. Something we haven’t achieved in the past..
My family for always supporting me..
My beautiful friends for being beside me through every step, every emotion, every bump in the road and every tear or smile.. THANKYOU for your texts, calls, PM, messages of support and gifts. I may not respond or answer all calls. It doesn’t mean I am not greatful, I’m just not ready yet… I still love you.
Pinot my best mate (my poodle) for being the best gift I’ve ever received…
So what now….
We try again..
We don’t give up….
Giving up is quitting and I’m not a quitter….
The only thing I ask.. To those who read this…
Please pray to the fertility Gods.. It wasn’t meant to be this time but there is still hope…
2 IVF cycles down.. 3 embryos remaining… 1 baby to fulfil a dream.. 🙏🏻
“Where there is hope, there is faith. Where there is faith, miracles happen” Marilyn Monroe.