Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Living life

I've been feeling a bit better the past couple of days, after a very emotionally fraught weekend. We have booked a holiday for 5 weeks time and the planning and booking has given me something else to focus on and I've been feeling very excited and positive, which is a lovely change. We have also been going out for dinner and I've been making plans with my friends. Basically we're taking our lives back for a little while before we get ready to devote ourselves completely to IVF again.

It's strange, I was saying at the weekend that I felt so much calmer and happier in the middle of my cycle than when I'm trying to live life normally. I suppose it makes sense to some degree, in that I feel like I'm being proactive and have something tangible to focus on for those couple of weeks, as opposed to a far off dream for the future.

I'm struggling a little to get back into a routine however. I'm still finding it hard to focus and my mind is still racing but I guess we're somewhat in a state of limbo at the moment. Maybe after our appointment with our doctor on Monday, I might be able to quieten my mind. Or an information overload will send me into a spin...

I have to say the aftercare from our clinic has been second to none - a nurse rang me everyday for about 4 days after we got the news last week and although I didn't get to speak to anyone (I'd rather not talk to them while I'm at work), it was nice to know they were there and that we hadn't fallen off their records as failures. I got another call on Monday from a lovely nurse, who was just checking in. We had a good chat about what might have gone wrong (egg quality, sperm quality etc) and what supplements we could take to improve things. She suggested we wait 3-4 months before going again which threw me a bit. I had May in my head and thought two months was a generous waiting time but apparently not. I think we'll go with whatever our doctor suggests (within reason!). Hopefully no longer than 3 months. The waiting gets VERY old! In the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy the wait and take a holiday from my busy infertility obsessed mind.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

My Job Doesn't Define Me

I feel claustrophobic the past couple of days. There is a constant swell of panic and anxiety just bubbling below the surface, waiting to burst out if I let my guard down just for one second. I have been so up and down this week. Some days/hours, I feel okay and manage to summon hope and enthusiasm for the future but other times, like now, I feel lower than low.

This new level of sadness/panic that I'm feeling is partially due to work. I don't like my job and I don't like my workplace. The only reason I have stuck it out for so long is convenience and the fact that they pay full maternity leave. This is pretty unusual where we live and would make our lives so much easier than if we had to scrimp and save. So this is basically why I've stayed there for so many years. And I'm still waiting to get to use the ultimate perk. The thing is, I feel this situation has eroded my confidence hugely over the years. The thoughts of going in to work sometimes just makes me break out into a panic. Some days I'm fine but unfortunately the bad days are becoming far more frequent.

The thing is - I feel stuck. Even if I could find a new job, I can't very well walk in and then expect to be given lenience with frequent appointments and then days off straight away, or even for the foreseeable future. I could give up on the possibility of getting paid maternity leave too - the few companies who do offer this generally need you to be employed there for at least two years. I keep telling myself to think of it as "using" my current job for this purpose. I don't care what they think (or I try not to) so if I need to be at an appointment for a couple of hours/be signed off for a few days, I try not to feel guilty because I get nothing else from them, only diminished self-confidence and self-worth!! I get my work done, I keep my head down, I'm not a trouble maker, I am a pleasant colleague. What more do they want?

Now that I've seen another outcome to our IVF cycle, that I had never really envisioned for myself before, I am filled with panic and anxiety that I'll be stuck in this job, where I feel so simultaneously exposed and claustrophobic, for years and years to come. I need to look after my mental health and I had a good grip on things prior to our cycle starting. Work doesn't define me. At least not now. The only job I've ever really wanted was to be a mother and I've put any attempts to further my career and myself on the back-burner and really given it very little thought over the years, as it is just not high up on my list of priorities. I work to live and my priority in life is family. Now I'm scared that that's a pipe dream and I've pigeonholed myself into this situation with no way out.

I know I'm not thinking rationally at the moment and I'm not sleeping much this past week so that definitely doesn't help my head and my thought process. I wish I could see things rationally and put some perspective on things. My priority is still our family and I have other things in life that I'm passionate about and good at. I need to remind myself of this. I spend a long time at work, but it doesn't define me. It's a means to an end and I can only hope and pray that I make it to that end sooner, rather than later. I think while I struggle with this (and I hope I can get a grip on things soon), my mantra will simply be:


I am so much more than this. It is not who I am. It's what I do for right now, in order to follow my dreams, and live my life. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016


And it's over before it began. I got the call on Sunday morning from one of the embryologists that things were looking pretty behind compared to where they should be. There was hope for one embryo but they wanted to give it an extra day. Sure enough, yesterday morning they rang to say that the last one had given up the fight. We are absolutely crushed. I don't know that I have ever felt sadness like it, it feels like it's going to suffocate me.

We both took yesterday off work, went for a drive, went to see an afternoon movie and then came home and had pizza and wine for dinner. We haven't eaten pizza since last June and haven't had a glass of wine in about 6/7 weeks but it was little consolation. We threw everything we had at this. I feel like I have no more tricks up my sleeve. There is nothing that I could have done differently.

I went back to work today and there were minimal tears. I feel a small bit better but I'm ready to put my feet up and disappear into Netflix again for another few hours. Anything to escape for a while. I'll try and get back into a routine in a few days but for right now I'll allowing myself to just feel sad and do nothing.

M is taking the review phone call with our consultant on Thursday. I'm upset to miss it but I can't answer my phone and talk in an open plan office space and I'd rather save my time off for our next cycle (please let there be the hope of a next one). I really hope he can provide some hope and encouragement so that we can get some closure and look to the future. Right now it just looks like a scary place.

Saturday, 5 March 2016


Ugh has to be the word that about sums up how I'm feeling at the moment. My scan yesterday was very positive - my lining is "beautiful" and things look "really nice" in there so I'm okay to go ahead for a fresh transfer on Monday (please God there is something to transfer by Monday). The doctor was also pretty shocked at my ovaries and she said I must be super uncomfortable. They're the size of oranges right now but they're not leaking so apparently that's the main thing. She sent me home with STRICT instructions to relax - no housework, no exercise, no nothing. I've dreamt of hearing those words my whole life so it was pretty special!

Now though, the novelty has worn off and I am just FED UP of feeling so uncomfortable. I am so bloated and miserable. I'm trying hard to keep positive and I do feel positive - mentally I'm doing okay. Apart from this morning when I cried uncontrollably because I couldn't decide what to wear (I was sneaking out for a break from the couch and Netflix for a quick coffee (herbal tea) with friends). I'm going to go ahead and put it down to the hormones. And the discomfort. I'm just a bit concerned that things aren't right in there but I have to stay positive and just hope that I start to feel better soon. The doctors know what they're doing and she said that I'll be scanned (and drained!) if necessary on Monday.

Also, my acupuncturist has gone AWOL - what a time for that to happen. I left her a message yesterday asking her to contact me to set up pre and post transfer sessions but so far, nada. I'll give her until tomorrow and try her again but I can't help but worry (obviously - I've nothing else to do and sometimes I need to take a break from worrying about my embryos and give something else a go). It sounds like I'm a crazy person but in general I feel pretty okay mentally. If only my tummy would deflate and my ovaries would shrink. In the meantime, my hot water bottle and Netflix are calling.

Thursday, 3 March 2016


I finally got the call...out of the 14 eggs, 12 were suitable for ICSI and 7 have fertilized normally and are going well. RELIEF! I just burst into tears when I got off the phone. Please God let them continue on developing normally. I was told that they would call me on Sunday afternoon with transfer details - assuming we get that far AND assuming my scan tomorrow gives me the okay to go ahead with a fresh transfer.

For a little while, I have some relief but's back to waiting...

Waiting for that call

I had my egg retrieval yesterday - 14 eggs. I'm pretty happy with that. The doctor said that they don't like to get more than 15 generally, as the quality tends to reduce when you go above that. So we're happy with where we're at. As for the procedure itself, I was pretty nervous beforehand but it was a breeze. I've had problems with general anesthetics before, with sickness and taking a long time to recover, so I had the egg collection done under sedation with a hearty dose of zofran to counteract the sickness. So that worked a treat and apart from feeling a little tender (only when the nice painkillers wore off) and wiped, I was fine.

I'm back in tomorrow for a scan to check me out for OHSS as I had so many follicles. I'm drinking as much water as I can - aiming for 4 - 5 litres a day and trying to get protein with every meal. I'm off work for the next few days so my plan is to lie on the couch, hot water bottle on my tummy and Netflix on the go.

I should get the fertilization results today. They said they'd call "at some stage" so I'm getting really nervous as the time ticks by. I really hope we get a good result. We're hoping for a 5 day transfer (and the doctor said he was hopeful that we'd have something left to freeze) as long as the OHSS doesn't become a problem. So there's a lot of variables, but I'm trying to take it one day/one hour at a time....and in the meantime, I have everything crossed for some good news.