Sunday, 22 December 2013

A New Year ahead

The end of 2013 marks the end of my first full calendar year as a Mum - an arbitrary milestone if ever there was one! It's been a fantastic year watching Baby B grow from a toddling 1 year old to an unbelievably energetic, willful, affectionate, full of personality near 2 year old.

This year also brought a strong desire for another child and our failed FET. And as 2014 approaches, I pretty much feel all over the place about where we go from here. I haven't had strong broody feelings at all since the FET. In some ways my desire for another baby has faded into the background and maybe away altogether. I wonder how on Earth I would manage a toddler and a newborn when I already struggle to keep up with sleep. Baby B sleeps very well, but I need a lot of zzzz's and do not function well without them. The weeks of jetlag we deal with each year never fail to reduce me to a quivering, whimpering wreck. Throw in the odd cold or a bad bout of PMT and I'm often reminded how poorly I cope when tired and emotional!

What if we 'got' a baby that didn't sleep? I have many friends with 2 year olds that never sleep through the night and rarely have since birth. Could I cope?

And yet, the old feelings emerged again today when a friend shared that she is pregnant. She had IVF and has a toddler and is now expecting twins. I don't know if this is an IVF pregnancy, but I know they had frozen embryos. And my stomach still sank when she told me, despite how happy I am for them. But I wonder now if those feelings are not jealousy for my life now, for a pregnancy I wish were mine, but jealousy for a life I still mourn. Jealousy for all the pregnancy announcements I never got to make, for all the unsuccessful months of trying, for the failed IUIs and FET. 

I'm not sure those feelings mean trying to have another baby is the right thing for our family. I'm feeling quite strongly that entering into fresh IVF cycles here in Korea is not on the cards for us. I imagine we will try one more FET with our remaining embryos in China but, right now, that feels like a natural stopping point whatever the outcome. But that too needs some more thought...

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Back to normal?

Firstly, thanks for the lovely messages of support after my last, very brief, post. I didn't intend to be dramatic with that non-post - at that point of time I wasn't feeling too bad, but mostly because I wasn't really ready to face my feelings.

I POAS at home early Saturday and my Bloke and I looked at it together. I didn't exactly expect a positive, but I was still somehow surprised to see no trace of a test line. It was almost like I was expecting to at least be a little bit pregnant!

There was no chance of going back to sleep, so we went out fairly early to a fun Kids cafe. Baby B had a great time and I counted my blessings. I called the clinic later and they confirmed the negative result. My last little bit of hope dissolved.

Sunday was tough. Tears came and went (don't get me wrong, there were plenty on Saturday too). I sent a couple of emails telling people the news. Every time I had to write it, it became a little more real.

But as I write this, I realize I still don't really know how I feel. I think I'm numb. Disappointed, yes. Stunned maybe. And still nursing that feeling that the last month didn't really happen. I'm trying my hardest to stay in the moment and stay thankful for the life we have. Thinking about the life that might have been is just too hard right now. 

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Not this time :(

More to follow in the next day or two. Thanks for all the support x

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Counting down

It's less than 48 hours until my beta blood results, assuming all goes to plan at the clinic. And I've decided to test at home Saturday morning, before the call from the clinic, so an even shorter time till then.

I'm feeling much more relaxed than at this stage last time. I'm sure partly because I just don't have that much time to think about it all and the possible outcomes - Baby B keeps me pretty busy! Also, I think the 'pressure' is lessened by the mere fact that Baby B exists. I was so, so desperate to be a mother before he was born. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I genuinely didn't know how I would live if I couldn't be a mother (I know I would have done - I just could never picture that life). This time is different, though this baby is wanted and would be loved no less.

Another reason for this apparent calm is an unusual sense of optimism about the outcome. I have never been an optimistic person and certainly not in all things ART-related. I felt hopeful during the cycle that became Baby B, but never exactly optimistic. This time, I feel like it could've worked. And, even whilst typing that, I feel like I'm tempting fate and setting myself up for a fall. But that is how I feel. An increase in (imagined/med-related) symptoms in the last couple of days might be contributing to this new positive outlook. I've had more belly & breast twinges or unusual feelings. Also, (TMI ahead), an increase in CM and a general wet feeling.

I know some of those reading this will be sat shaking their heads in disbelief - after a mantra of 'nothing means anything' throughout my previous cycle, I seem to have become the 'everything means something' girl.

Will this make a difference to the result? No. Is it making these days of waiting a little easier? Yes. Will it mean an even bigger disappointment if the cycle turns out to be unsuccessful? Probably.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


3 days after the transfer (& lots of bedrest, a mani/pedi, facial & massage later) we came back to Seoul. I know flying is not particularly advised so soon, but my Bloke had to get back to work and I have been careful not to do any heavy lifting.

So, it's back to routine and feeling like nothing has happened. I have been looking back through my blog posts from my last transfer and experienced the same feelings then - I think the sensation of 'Now that's all over, what next?' is almost intensified by undergoing treatment in another country. My home here in Seoul has no links to the treatment (or to our infertility, in some ways), so it's easy to feel remote from it all.

But, of course, it is still on my mind. I have decided to give in to temptation and am Googling every possible little symptom I may or may not be feeling - hey, why not?! And what are these (imagined?!) symptoms:

  • Cold and sore throat - sadly this one is very real. Yesterday felt rubbish, but am a little better today. Sneezing a lot and a runny nose. Of course, searching for this will turn up some women with these symptoms in the 2ww who were pregnant, but I don't really think they're connected.
  • Upset stomach - this is something I suffered during our last 10 day wait. But, just as last time, this could be due to my nerves as my stomach is very sensitive to my being anxious.
  • Occasional tummy twinges - or maybe I'm just tensing up & imagining them!
  • Occasional breast twinges
As before, these can all be explained away by the progesterone ( 3 tablets a day, plus transvaginal gel before bed - hooray for no injections this time!) or by nerves etc. The only way to know will be that upcoming test.

I've made an appointment at a fertility centre for Friday afternoon. Oh, the joy of being able to ring and speak to someone in English! And make an appointment! And get results by phone instead of hanging around for hours/pushing to the front of a frenzied crowd of women! I will get the blood results Saturday morning and I'm still deciding when to POAS. I'm a little tempted to test every day until then, just to see. But I can't get early response tests here, so not sure if there'd be much point. I'll either test Friday or Saturday morning. I'm veering towards Saturday - we tested on a Saturday last time and at least then my Bloke will be with me for the day, either way. But will the clinic think I'm weird if I haven't tested at home already? And would they have me POAS there?! I really don't want that, but I guess I could say no.

I'll think about it & you'll probably be the first to know :)

Another 10 day wait begins.

Sorry for the delayed absence - my grand plans of blogging in the evenings after Baby B went to bed were scuppered when I realised that Blogger is now blocked in China by the internet firewall. I had downloaded software to get round the wall (live without Facebook for a couple of weeks, no thank you!), but it didn't work.

And to be honest, for the week that I was in China without my Bloke, I was so tired by the evenings that I don't think any posts would have been very coherent!

But, the short story is that all went well. After a couple of weeks of taking estrogen at home, I went back to the clinic in China for a check-up. My endometrium was a little thin (6mm), so I was prescribed a higher dose of estrogen and some aspirin. 3 days later & 3 more mm! So the transfer was booked and my Bloke arrived to look after Baby B.

This time the transfer was less eventful (and less comical) than last time. There were 7 of us waiting for transfers & the egg collections and IUIs are always done first, so I knew it'd be a long wait. And, for some reason, the foreigner is always done last. The procedure itself was fine - I felt a little more poking than last time, but it wasn't uncomfortable (I'd thought that after squeezing one baby out of there, there'd be a bit more room for manoeuvre, but apparently not!). As I lay on the table, the nurse went to the window to collect the embies and I heard her say 'Waiguoren' which is a slang term for Foreigner - lucky I was the only one there that day!

Then they were in & the nurse had me sign that I'd received 2 Grade 7 embryos - kind of like signing for a registered delivery! Baby B (and his unsuccessful partner embryo) were both Grade 8 and I knew our other embies were lower grades, but I was quite happy with that.

An hour lying in the recovery room watching 'Toy Story' on my phone (Baby B's current favourite) and I was sent home.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Melting & thawing...

So we have begun! As usual, things have not been entirely straightforward over the last week, as our FET cycle has started but, considering we are doing an 'international' cycle involving a stay in another foreign country, things could certainly have gone worse.

The short version (not something I'm good at)... We went to China and braved the nearly 40 deg heat (hence the melting in the title). I went to the hospital while my Bloke attempted to entertain Baby B who didn't seem to stop sweating during our entire visit. We started our FET on cycle day 2, which basically involved bloods, scan, Pap smear & signing all the paperwork and getting the medication. I was expecting to need scans or bloods every couple of days and perhaps injections, but no. I was given tablets (estrogen-based) and told to come back in 2 weeks!

So, in a last minute rush as my Bloke was preparing to go to the airport for a flight back to South Korea, we packed, changed flights and went with him. There seemed little point in staying there for 2 weeks unnecessarily, with all the costs and hassle that involved. Especially when the heat and humidity made it almost impossible for Baby B and I to get out and about easily.

And now we're back in South Korea & I'm left feeling as if those few days back in China were a dream... Did we really go? Did I actually go back to the hospital where I spent so much time a couple of years ago? Am I really in the middle of a treatment cycle? Well yes, yes & yes, but it hasn't quite sunk in yet.

I'm not really expecting any medication side-effects from the estrogen. I've read that tiredness can be one, but I generally feel pretty tired by the end of the day anyway (and have taken to lunchtime naps whilst Baby B sleeps recently too!), so I'm not sure I'd notice a difference. But there's always the bloating, so I'll keep an eye out for that.

Otherwise, it's back to 'normality' for a couple of weeks - well, except for the continued bare-faced lying to most people about why we're suddenly back after expecting to be away 3 or more weeks. (My Bloke's work commitments is the cover excuse I'm using). And why we're going back again. (Not getting to see most of my friends in China because they were all travelling - that bit's actually true).

So, fingers crossed for the drugs to do their thing (prepare my endometrium) & for our little embies thaw to go well and see you soon China - don't go anywhere :)