It doesn’t feel real

So we had our latest IUI on Tuesday, and it just feels weird, not real, like I dreamed it. There are a number of reasons I think this is the case.

First, I generally feel sort of a step removed from the process – sometimes like I’m watching from behind glass as OH goes through the treatment.

This time was different though. First, we’d been away visiting family, so we only came back in time for one scan, at which there was a lovely follicle mature and ready to roll. Usually we have several. So this time we didn’t have the big build up and rising anticipation.

Then it came to basting day. We arrived at the clinic and it was different. We Were called through, and the first thing I noticed was the nurses weren’t wearing scrubs. Then we were taken into one of the scan rooms, rather than theatre. Apparently theatre was busy that day, so the treatment happened in one of the normal rooms.

It was all so low key: no need to change into gowns or anything. It actually felt like a pretty standard dildocam appointment.

I was really taken aback at one point when the nurse asked me if I wanted to do the insemination! I said no, but in some ways I might have liked to, to feel more involved. But I was all worried I’d screw it up – pull the catheter out by mistake or drop the sperm or some other dumbass thing.

It was so low key that we both feel like it didn’t really happen. In some ways, it’s making the 2ww bearable, as if it didn’t happen then we have nothing to wait for do we?

OH is convinced it didn’t/won’t work. Who knows? All I know is that it feels really odd this time.

Funny story: when we came to pay, the secretary brought the card machine out, then leaned back to sit on the radiator, and burned her arse! This made my day!

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IUI #3 tomorrow, and clutching at straws…

Good news! Tomorrow we get to have our 3rd IUI. We weren’t sure it would happen this month – we’ve been away and we were worried OH’s ovaries would be uncooperative. But we went in for dildocam today anyway, and we have a lovely mature follicle in the right ovary, ripe and ready to go! So tomorrow afternoon OH will be basted. Hurrah!

We’re not sure how is best to feel about this. I feel like I shouldn’t allow myself to hope that it will work.

But I can’t help it. I’m already thinking of reasons it will work this time. Not ‘might’. Will. My brain is already talking itself into believing it will work. It has several ‘reasons’ it will be successful.

This follicle is in the right ovary. The failed attempts have all been from the left, so maybe being from the right will make it work. We think it might have been another early miscarriage last month and don’t they say you’re at your most fertile when you have just been pregnant? Clearly this means it will work this time. And this time OH has triggered with pregnyl rather than ovitrelle – maybe her body will particularly like it and that will make it work. After all, something with a name like pregnyl clearly makes you pregnant, ovitrelle will simply make you ovulate…

Clutching at straws, see?

Life in limbo

We’re waiting. Always waiting. We’ve been waiting continuously since our first IUI back in August. 2ww. Months of uncertainty during the miscarriage. Waiting for HSG. Waiting for follicles to grow. Waiting through a cancelled cycle. Waiting for next IUI. 2ww. And now waiting for another treatment again.

It’s hard to believe we’ve only had the two treatments – I feel like a veteran at this.

All this waiting has me feeling like my life is on hold – I’m living in limbo.

I feel like I’m stumbling through life, just going through the motions – doing just enough at work, turning up at church, keeping up appearances, but really, my heart’s not in any of it.

The only thing I want, the thing that means most in the world, is something that in reality I don’t have to do anything for. I go to the appointments. I anxiously watch the follicles growing at each scan. I hold OH’s hand as they inseminate her, then anxiously sit out the 2ww.

So I sit and watch as all this is happening, and the rest of life just doesn’t seem to mean anything much. I feel flat and empty, and spend most of my time not knowing what to do with myself and where to put myself.

I know that a successful treatment will then create more waiting – and more watching from the sidelines as OH goes through pregnancy.

I hadn’t expected to feel so upset at the last treatment not working. Once we knew it was ‘just’ a failed treatment and it wasn’t going to be another drawn out miscarriage, I’d expected to to be able to move on quite quickly. Apparently not.

So I thought today would be better

Yesterday was the clinic day.  Clinic day always messes me up in some way.  And we knew yesterday was going to be a crap clinic day, since the best possible outcome was going to be a simple negative pregnancy test.  And then yesterday evening we got the best case scenario – straight forward negative, try again next month.

I thought today would be less emotional somehow – having got the blood test and the clinic stuff out of the way for another couple of weeks, I thought I could get back to a more emotionally steady place.

I guess my first act of the day was a stupid one: OH and I watched One Born Every Minute.  OH seemed fine with it, but not me.  It just upset me.  None of the 3 families on it had wanted kids at this point – one even admitted that had it not been Christmas morning, she would have gone and  got the morning after pill.  That just hacked me right off!  People who get pregnant without particularly wanting it upset me the most really.

So today I’ve been emotional and tearful, and I’m just totally drained.  I’m exhausted, I feel like I’ll cry for no reason and I want to comfort eat.  A lot.  I’ve resisted though so far.  Not quite sure how.

The current plan is to watch the rest of the football and then go to bed, and hope tomorrow is a better day.

Since this was a miserable post, I will make it better by inserting a picture of some rabbits.  Image

Snuggly bunnies make the world a better place. Fact.

Relief

Today we went for the blood test to confirm our BFN.  OH and I were very nervous all the way to the clinic, and then while we were there they were so busy, we had to wait about an hour before they could do OH’s bloods (bloods are not appointments – turn up before 10 and wait your turn).  It felt like a pretty torturous wait, we were both bloody miserable, and there was a woman nearby who was far too cheerful for our liking ;-P

We rang for the results at 4 this afternoon, and the negative result has been confirmed, and we are so relieved!  Obviously we are still gutted that the treatment didn’t work this month, but the current emotion is relief that it’s ended up a straight forward negative, rather than dragging out into the hell that we went through last time.

So, we wait again. We’re going away next week, but we’ll be back to the clinic for a scan on day 14 of OH’s next cycle, in the hope that we can press on and have treatment again next month.

Fingers crossed again.

B.F.N

Or Big Fat Negative, for any readers not in the wonderful world of fertility treatment.

To be honest, I’ve been expecting this over the past couple of days.  The faint pink line on the pregnancy test that offered so much hope on Friday never darkened.  The spotting OH had yesterday became a definite period by this morning.  OH decided to POAS again, just to see what it showed, and it was a definite negative result.

Obviously, we’re both gutted.  We’d been really hopeful for this cycle – the nurse had commented on how things looked positive on treatment day (physically) and OH had been getting the same kind of pregnancy symptoms that she had before.  But that damn pink line never became any more defined, and then disappeared altogether.

Our new worry is that this could turn out to be like last time.  The pattern of events is almost identical, and OH feels/has felt the same way as last time, physically.  There are a couple of differences though: this morning’s test was a definite negative, unlike last time, where each test showed up a fain positive, and OH now feels like this is a normal period. 

OH rang the clinic not too long ago, and we’re still going in for the blood test tomorrow, just to check the hormones are behaving themselves, and we are hoping to be able to have another try next month.  Our window of opportunity for the next treatment is small, as we are going to be away until quite late in OH’s next cycle.  Fingers crossed the timings will work out for us.

Another disappointment then.  Maybe next time… but I guess I need to not get my hopes up.  Perhaps it’ll be easier if I don’t hope but I don’t think I can help it.

To pee (on a stick) or not to pee?

As of Friday, OH was far enough from her trigger shot that she could pee on a stick (POAS) with some hope of an accurate result. This puts us in a bit of a dilemma. Testing that early is not hugely reliable, so many ifs and buts and maybes, and it ends up damn expensive – the tests that pick up such miniscule amounts of hormone are not cheap!

I’ve been given the advice of not testing until blood test day, but really – who could possibly resist the temptation of knowing as early as possible?

OH tested at around 5am on Friday: v faint pink 2nd line
Tested at 4am yesterday: possibly a faint pink line, possibly not.
6am today: just maybe, but are our eyes playing tricks on us? Who knows!

I can’t help but wonder – is it worth it? Are we just torturing ourselves every morning?

But even if that’s the case – could we really do anything other than test, since the possibility is there?

Where it all began

It was New Year’s Eve 2010.  As yet another bottle of wine was opened, a friend’s voice piped up from the corner.

“Do you want to hear something exciting? We’re going to have a baby!”

This couple were the first of our group of friends to have children, and that short statement was like flicking a switch.  OH and I had always known we wanted to have children, in some kind of abstract way, in sort of the same way that you know that, some day, you would quite like to go to Australia or somewhere equally far-flung – you know you want to go there, but you haven’t really thought about the specifics of when, where or how you’ll make it happen.

Lunch time on New Year’s day saw OH and I sitting by a roaring fire eating a very yummy pub lunch and choosing baby names.  Suddenly we had realised that OH was 30 and we didn’t have forever think about this.

I got to work.  I looked into fertility clinics and sperm banks, and we ended up going for an information session at the London Women’s Clinic.  At this point, we had no idea how we were going to afford it, and thought their egg sharing programme was going to be the best way forward, although there would still be some pretty hefty costs anyway.

OH went to our GP to talk about our options, and our GP thought it might be possible for us to get the treatment on the NHS.  As it turns out, we can’t, but we could be put on our local clinic’s waiting list for donor sperm, which would be free.  Given the dearth of sperm donors in the UK, this list is LONG.  We got ourselves onto the waiting list.

And we waited, still with no idea how we could afford treatment, free sperm or not.

Fast-forward to February 2012, and unfortunately OH’s Gran died, leaving us with a substantial inheritance.  We now had the means to move forward.

We contacted the clinic, and first asked where we were on the sperm waiting list.  Answer: nowhere near the top.  So we looked at buying our own.  We’d both always felt that using a known donor wasn’t the right way forward for us.  Who would we ask?  How do you begin that conversation?  What if things change and we fall out with our donor, or he changes his mind about involvement with our child’s life?

I stumbled across the European Sperm Bank, and this was the most affordable option for us. We embarked upon the weirdest internet shopping trip, and came away with 3 little vials of IUI quality sperm, frozen and ready for delivery to the clinic.

Finally, we could begin!

August 2012 saw our first IUI.  Neither of us knew what to expect.  We expected the whole “emotional rollercoaster”.  I now feel it is more like emotional bungee jumping.

OH arranged the scans, and finally, we went and got her Ovitrelle trigger shot, and then the next day was basting day!

Then… back to waiting.  The lovely 2 week wait.

As soon as the HCG injection was out of OH’s system, we got some super sensitive First Response pregnancy tests, and there it was: the faintest of faint second pink line!  We went, full of hope, to our blood test, then, at 4 o’clock, we rang for the results, which showed low levels of pregnancy hormone, but not enough for a viable pregnancy.

Unfortunately for us, this early miscarriage dragged on and on.  Finally, after just under 3 months of OH playing pin cushion with fluctuating hormone levels, the blood test was negative, and since we weren’t sure what had happened,OH had a test to make sure nothing was wrong with her tubes.  All clear!

We could now start again, and in February began the scans and aimed for treatment that month.  Unfortunately, the cycle had to be cancelled as OH ovulated before her follicle had matured.  This was gutting.  We needed to start again to move on from the miscarriage.

March. Finally, our second IUI happened, and we are currently in our 2 week wait, and have spent the last 3 days agonising over whether there really is a faint second pink line on a pregnancy test each morning.

We just don’t know.

In limbo for another couple of days.