Saturday, 28 May 2011

Hormones from hell...

After re-reading my last post and reflecting on my behaviour overall yesterday, it's become clear that it was not a good day for me yesterday! After the ultrasound I spent the rest of the day (till mid-afternoon at least when we went to the cinema) either in tears or really angry and snapping at my Bloke. He didn't know what to say that wouldn't make me cry or get angry, so didn't say anything. This just got me more frustrated because, somehow, I wanted him to be able to make all my worries and concerns disappear and he just couldn't and can't.

Once we'd watched a fun movie (including a little nap for me), I did feel better and I'm feeling better again today. I'm still disappointed that we couldn't see more on our scan, particularly seeing some of the other blogger's pictures that are at around the same stage as us. But I am trying to be positive, take solace in how happy the Doctor seemed yesterday - to be honest, she looked more excited than either of us! - and try to 'believe' that everything is fine until someone says it isn't, which may never, and hopefully will never, happen.

I'm also glad that my post rung true for a few of you yesterday. As always, you reassure me that I am not alone and my feelings are not so very strange. I'm hoping that yesterday's outbursts were partly pregnancy hormones, but I know they were stress-linked as well. In some ways, I wish I had more symptoms to reassure me, but I recently realised that I am still going to acupuncture designed to relieve symptoms!  I guess that's about as logical as I get right now! I'm still feeling very hungry, pretty often. My Bloke described it as 'hungry to the point of distraction' meaning that I can't do anything or think about anything else until I've eaten. I also feel a bit nauseous if I get hungry. I'm hoping this is a good sign though I always wonder about it being 'imagined'...

This morning I went to the ER as usual for my Sunday morning shot. The nurse who speaks English was on duty and remembered me from previous visits. She asked if I was having all these shots to keep my pregnancy. Then she said 'You tolerate a lot of pain to have a baby'. And for a moment, I felt maybe a little proud or maybe just pleased to have someone acknowledge all that I'm going through (and that so many of us are going through) and I thought - Yes, I am and every shot and scan and poke and prod is worth it. :)

Friday, 27 May 2011

1st ultrasound

Today has been a strange day so far. I woke up freaking out about our 6 week scan this morning and actually started crying during the 3 minute walk to the clinic. I tried to explain to my Bloke that, despite our 'success' so far, I will still be worried, at least until we get to the 2nd trimester. He didn't really get it, as I'd anticipated. He said that we have to think positive and if something does go wrong, we'll try again. Needless to say, at that point, that was not what I wanted to hear!  I pulled myself together a little and we made it to the clinic.

And the scan went well. But I feel like 'well' describes it perfectly.. it wasn't amazing or mind-blowing or life-changing. I could barely see anything. I saw a black circle surrounded by a white ring. We couldn't see anything inside it, but the Doctor was perfectly happy. She said they only see heartbeats 50% of the time this early on and, in some ways, I'm not surprised... the ultrasound machine doesn't seem to be as high resolution as others, judging by the photo she gave me and those I've seen on other's blogs. So, when I should be over the moon at the implantation being in the right place and that the Doctor is now weaning me off the progesterone and other meds, so must be happy with my progress, all I can think about is that I wish I could be one of the 50% who could see a heartbeat. How ungrateful and wrong is that?!

Our next ultrasound is in just over a week, by which time I'll be 7 weeks 3 days. Until I see that baby in there with a heartbeat, I still can't relax completely. When will this start getting easier?

2ww?.. How about the 12ww?!

Tomorrow is our first scan - I will be 6 weeks and 1 day. And, as ever, I am getting more and more nervous as the day approaches. I'm feeling physically fine - I dither between feeling that my current relative lack of symptoms is good or bad but, logically, I know it doesn't really mean anything.

My Bloke thinks I'm crazy for being worried at each stage of this journey.. the 1st and 2nd betas, this upcoming scan... and that's even though I've managed to keep him pretty isolated from my craziness - partly due to him being in Seoul Monday-Friday and partly because I don't know if voicing my fears will help my state of mind or hinder it. Would it help to tell him all the things that could go wrong? Would it help to warn him about ectopic pregnancies, missed miscarriages and stillbirths? Would it help him understand why I still can't relax and accept that this pregnancy will actually lead to a baby? Or would it just result in two of us worrying all the time? Not that I'm a nervous wreck... I'm not. I just can't really relax and enjoy this pregnancy yet.

I'm finding it hard to plan. We need to schedule our move from China to Korea and I'm finding it hard to commit to a date. I've decided not to fly at all before 12 weeks so that's our current timeline, but part of my brain is still calculating whether, if necessary, I could fit in an FET before we leave, if we just delayed our departure a little. I haven't said this to my Bloke... he definitely would not understand this kind of negative outlook. For him, we had a goal and we've achieved it. Now it's time to move on to the next goal.. a new home for our new family.

So I've been wondering, do non-IFers who conceive naturally feel any of this? How can they remain calm when they have to wait until 12 weeks for their first scan?! It's seems absurd that you might get that BFP at 4 weeks and have to wait another 8 weeks for any real examination/confirmation.. it seems that most places in the UK don't even do a blood beta if you want your pregnancy confirmed, just an HPT.

How lovely it would be to spend these 8 weeks assuming that everything will be OK...To start picking names and designing a nursery. I'm still holding off on buying a pregnancy book and a belly band until after this scan - I just don't want to jinx it or something. And I'm not even superstitious!

Or maybe all women feel like this after seeing those 2 lines. Maybe non-IFers just don't know about the extra monitoring we receive or they would be asking for it too!

I hope this post hasn't come across as too depressing and negative. I'm not spending my days wracked with fear - I've spent most of today watching crappy TV and loving every minute! But those worries just won't leave me completely alone, particularly with such a big milestone to come tomorrow...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Before starting this post proper, I'd like to say that I am not usually an attention-seeker, at least as far as my birthday is concerned. I rarely do anything special and don't demand an array of presents, unlike some friends of mine!  But if I can't mention my birthday on a blog which is entirely about me and my life, where can I?!

So today I am 34. Birthday activities so far:

  • Breakfast in bed (made myself as my Bloke is in Seoul) whilst opening a few cards
  • Trip to clinic for injection
  • Emergency visit to H&M to buy something that fits me... I am absurdly bloated, partly from the IVF and presumably from fluids/gas. Anyway, I have a couple of pairs of linen trousers and some skirts that I can get into, fine for the summer. But I woke up to a colder day today (temperature has dropped 20 degrees C in the last 3 days!) and realised I had no pants I could do up.  I managed to button some combat pants on the wrong button but couldn't zip them up, so had to cover and hold up with a long top. I'm reluctant to buy maternity pants - it just seems too early, both physically and mentally/emotionally. I'm still getting used to the idea that this pregnancy is real and hopefully here to stay... Anyway, in the end decided that a couple of long tops/shift dresses worn over leggings will probably be OK. Tried to stay away from anything too 'smock-like' as that is not my usual style and people could start getting suspicious!
  • Lunch by myself at one of my favourite restaurants, having my absolute favourite greek sausage dish. I could eat it all over again just thinking about it :)
  • Nap at home after lunch
  • Now just waiting for the removals company to come round and assess how much crap we have to move to Seoul.
Hope that doesn't sound like a bit of a sad day!  I have a lunch with friends and book club evening planned for tomorrow and that's enough of a celebration for me.

Now back to something I mentioned in my last post... telling my siblings. I had decided not to tell my older sister and brother yet.. it's still so early and it seems too soon. My little sister lives with my Mum, so she knows, but will not say anything. They all know about our IVF, but only my Mum knew the schedule. Then I realised that my big sis usually calls me around my birthday. I remembered this when our home phone rang on Sunday night (a rare occurrence!) and I couldn't hear anything but echo when I picked up the phone. This could only be my sister having technical trouble! I panicked and turned off my mobile phone quickly as she was sure to try that next. I felt a bit stupid after in case it was just a cold call, but then the email arrived Monday morning - yes, it was her and which number should she try me on to wish me Happy Birthday?

That means I have a choice - lie or tell the truth, as she will inevitably ask about the IVF. This is a more complicated decision than it sounds (isn't anything involving family!). My sister is in her early 40s and single. It would be a cliche to say she's been unlucky in relationships... this is what I would've said in the past, but recently it's become clear that she is suffering from some level of depression and is struggling to come to terms with her life, both now and her past. Some of her angst is related to our childhood. That really is a saga long-enough for a week of posts and I can't be bothered going into it now. In a nutshell, we didn't suffer any hideous trauma, but my sisters and I are all in-fact half-sisters and we didn't have a stable father figure around for most of our childhood. I've dealt with my Daddy issues over the years and have realised that parents are just people, equally entitled to make mistakes as anyone else. But it seems my sister hasn't and still blames our Mum and her Dad for not having the picture-perfect upbringing. Somehow, she also seems to think that I had and have the perfect life. This despite the fact that her Dad is still in her life (however imperfect he may be), whereas I've had no contact with mine since I was 18 months old.

Imagine then her feelings as I met my Bloke, fell in love, moved overseas, found a vocation and eventually got married. Over the years I have faced some anger and resentment from her, sometimes hidden, sometimes more open as her mental status became more unstable. I have dealt with it, knowing I am lucky to have the life I do, though I have had my struggles to get here. In some ways, the infertility seemed to almost start to even things up between us - 'at last, something in my life wasn't perfect!'. But she wants children and is aware that her time is running out (her words, not mine). So, in the end, I still 'win' because at least I've got a husband to have fertility treatment with!

So how is she going to deal with my news? I had planned to tell her in an email, followed up by a phonecall once she had time to process. This is how I've liked to be told when a friend of mine got pregnant and I think the situation here is the same. But if she calls, I will have to be upfront. I can't lie. I would have to do it outright and there's no way I can do that. So I guess really, I have no choices. But that doesn't stop me being afraid of seeing her name come up on my mobile phone.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Radiation shields and keeping secrets..

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments on my 2nd beta :)

This post is a bit mixed in terms of content, some of it makes slightly difficult reading, so just wanted to give you a heads-up...

My partner in pregnancy was also at the clinic on Saturday getting her 2nd beta (this is the girl who had her collection and transfer at the same time as me). I was a little surprised to see her already wearing her maternity smock. But in China, this is not uncommon. As soon as women get pregnant, they begin to wear a 'radiation shield' smock.

There is some debate about the make-up and purpose of these delightful items of clothing. At first, I thought they were worn to announce your pregnancy to the world and encourage people not to push and shove you on the subway/bus. Also, it makes it more likely you'll get a seat on public transport!  But people have also told me that they are made of some kind of metal fibre that protects the wearer from radiation.. imagine the lead aprons they wear to shoot X-rays. I've done a web search and there does seem to be some evidence to back this up... evidence that they are sold as radiation shields that is, not that they actually do anything!

But this all got me thinking about announcing pregnancies. It's clear that, here in China, lots of people do not keep this secret to themselves until the 2nd trimester. It's public information from the start. This is backed up by an awful example of an Chinese ex-colleague of mine (CAUTION - sad story ahead). She and I were supposed to attend a meeting together one day. She sent me a text message saying she couldn't attend, because she'd had an abortion and would be off work for a week. Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I presumed that there was a translation problem and she meant a miscarriage - after all, she was recently married and I knew she wanted children soon, though I hadn't known she was pregnant. I was surprised for her to share something so personal and as it turns out I had presumed wrong. I later found out that there had been a problem at a scan and she'd been advised to end her pregnancy. This was backed up by her email auto-reply, also stating that she'd had an abortion. I was horrified.. horrified at what she was going through, but also that it was now public knowledge all around our large company and possibly to external clients.

But should I have been so shocked? Should the biggest events of our lives, whether happy or sad, be kept from others? Why do we choose to keep this particular secret, yet other societies clearly don't? Does it come from living in such close proximity to one other in countries like China, where privacy is hard to find and not necessarily desired? I mean, in the olden days (and still in some parts of the world), several families lived under one roof and 'bodily functions' such as sex, just went on under the cover of darkness, not in a separate room. 

This doesn't mean I'm about to run out and buy my smock (though I have considered wearing one to my clinic, because seeing them seems to give others hope)... I'd not even planned on telling my siblings or my Bloke's parents yet, though that might be difficult to avoid this week for reasons I'll explain in another post. But this certainly got me thinking...

Saturday, 21 May 2011

2nd beta :)

I'm back from our second beta HCG and it's looking good at 2835 :)  This is a doubling time of 41 hours and well within the average figures for 5 weeks. The Dr was happy with this too. She knows me well now and, once all the IVF girls' test results were handed to her by the nurse (they all come back from the lab together), she saw me loitering and quickly passed me my result paper - I guess she knows by now that I know what I'm looking for!

I needed this reassurance today. Most of the week has been fine but, when I woke up this morning with less sore breasts than usual, I did start to have a minor panic. I gave in to Google and it seems that it's common for symptoms to come and go. I am trying my best to stay calm and think positive, but it is still difficult.

The good news is that we get our first scan next week instead of 2 weeks from now, as originally scheduled. This is only because I don't have enough meds left for 2 weeks and I don't think the Doctor could be bothered giving me a new prescription and having me traipse around the hospital for the sake of a couple of boxes of progesterone and estrogen!  Anyway, I am very pleased that we only have 1 more week to wait until we get that extra confirmation that everything is happening as and where it should :)

Monday, 16 May 2011

Getting used to the idea

Not much to report here as I'm still waiting for my 2nd beta blood test on Saturday. I'm feeling fine and my stomach problems are finally calming down, which confirms that they were due to my overactive nerves.  I don't think I feel any different... it's so hard not to 'imagine' symptoms. Things that I might be feeling if I'm not imagining them:

  • Feeling warmer.. yes, the weather is quite warm but I generally still feel cold when I'm indoors, particularly my feet. This last week I get hot much quicker than usual and my feet are staying warm :)
  • Feeling a bit more hungry... this could also be due to my stomach feeling better and getting my appetite back, so not sure about this one.
  • Still have bigger, sore breasts but this is probably down to the progesterone shots still. This has not been helped by getting 3 mosquito bits on my right nipple (can you believe that?!).. which I can't scratch. Have you ever tried scratching your nipples? Actually, not sure I want the answer to that one ;)
I gave in and did another HPT this morning. I just woke up thinking about it and thought 'why not?!'. Pretty sure the line is darker and it definitely appeared much more quickly than at the weekend, so happy with that.

Other news.. I told my Mum the news on Sunday night. I wasn't sure whether to tell her yet or not. I didn't want to get her hopes up in case things don't go according to plan. But I'd kept her up to date on our IVF cycle and felt that I couldn't lie at this stage, because she was pretty sure to ask about it. Also I decided that, if anything did happen, I probably wouldn't be able to keep that from her anyway, so she might as well enjoy the good news. I also thought telling her was in line with the positive attitude I'm trying to cultivate :)  She was very surprised when I told her (no fancy news-breaking here... just asked her if she was sitting down before I told her!). I did point out that, since we were doing IVF, it shouldn't be that much of a surprise, but apparently she had no idea how long the whole process took, so wasn't expecting news yet. Of course, she was happy!  This will be the 1st grandchild that she is able to have in her life (long story, for another day). 

Questions from Mum and my answers:
  • When's the due date? January 21st
  • Will we still be in Korea then? Yes... I hadn't told her exactly how long my Bloke's contract was.. actually, still not sure myself but at least 2 years! You can see my Mum's chain of thought here.. any chance we'll be back in the UK by then?! Sorry Mum!
  • Will we find out the gender? My Mum has always said she thinks people shouldn't find out the gender because it spoils the surprise. I've pointed out that, when you find out at the scan, it will be a surprise then instead! She didn't really say what she thought we should do. I've always imagined I would find out and I said this to her, but I've no idea of my Bloke's opinion. Personally, I think we can hold off on this decision for a little while!
She's agreed not to tell my siblings yet if she can avoid it. We'll see how that goes! She managed not to cry until we said goodbye and then I could hear her starting to crack... aah!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Day after HCG... Revised post

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments yesterday. At a time when I've only told 2 'real-life' people (my best friend here in Shanghai and Dr F), it's so nice to be able to share my joy with all of you.

Revised post:  I'm removing my HPT picture because I've been reminded how hard seeing them can be on others. Thanks again for your comments xx

A couple of people suggested, very sensibly, that I could go to another hospital and get a beta blood test mid week. This is definitely possible.. I could go back to my expat-type hospital and get a test there, but I don't think I'm going to. Why? Well, I'm trying to start as I mean to go on and take a relaxed, positive approach to this pregnancy. I had a freak out on Thursday (before even knowing I had a BFP) about all the things that could possibly go wrong and I know I can't spend the next (hopefully) 9 months like that. So maybe I should practice regaining my zen and wait... 

Today I'm feeling fine. I couldn't get to sleep last night and woke up early this morning. But how amazing to wake up and have that happy realisation that I'm pregnant :) Of course, those happy thoughts were then followed by an anxious check for potential symptoms! I'm still having problems with my digestion but the Dr didn't think it was connected to the pregnancy. So now I'm focusing on getting rid of this bug or whatever it is, so I can be sure any nauseous feelings are the reassuring symptom I'd like them to be!

At last :)

Despite the trip to crazytown and the lack of positivity in the past few days, it has happened. I got my BFP!!

This morning started out very stressful (I feel so stupid saying this now..). I woke up at 5.30am when my alarm was set for 7. I got to the clinic at 7.10am, not realising that they don't really get going till 8.30, not 8am on Saturdays. So I was first in the queue for my blood test and had lots of time to freak out whilst sitting alone (I hadn't made my Bloke get up to go with me). I had stuck to my plan of not testing, but was now desperate to get home and do that test, whatever news it held.

I basically ran home almost in tears after the test.. my Bloke was awake and asked how I was doing.. bring on the waterworks! After crying and telling him how scared I was, we did the HPT together. Watching that window was the strangest sensation. The control line was clear and dark immediately. Then I thought I saw a test line... my Bloke agreed. We watched it develop and darken over the next couple of minutes, with me repeating 'Crap, crap, crap' over and over again (you wouldn't believe I actually have a great vocabulary, would you?!). By the end of 5 minutes, there was no doubt there were 2 lines. I apologise, but I was intending to post the picture because it's the only BFP I've ever had and I still can't believe it's real. But it won't upload so maybe that's the world's way of telling me that the blog-reading public don't need to see a piece of plastic that I've peed on ;)

After more swearing and hugging, my Bloke and I just looked at each other, stunned. We decided to try and stay calm until the results of the beta came in (here, please interpret 'stay calm' as me watching Glee whilst staring at photo of HPT every other second).

At the clinic, the Doctor confirmed it "You have pregnancy". I pretty much snatched the test results out of her hand:

Beta 1: 176!

She seemed very happy with this, but then came the inevitable China moment. I don't get another beta test for a week! I can't get another till next Saturday! Can you believe that?! This actually prompted me to say the words I'd always sworn not to... "But in the UK and US...". My pleas for an earlier test were ignored. Apparently if the beta were lower then they would repeat it earlier, but as mine is considered good, it's routine to wait a week. I know that's reassuring but still.. I wouldn't mind a bit more reassurance, earlier!

So how am I feeling now? Stunned really. Happy, definitely. I don't think it's sunk in yet. I called to tell my best friend in Shanghai and have yet to tell anyone else. I'll probably tell my Mum this weekend because she knows we should have finished our cycle and I haven't spoken to her for a few weeks, as she's been away. In some ways I wish I hadn't been so open about the cycle with her, as I don't want to get her hopes up too early. I'm still considering bending the truth a little and telling her next week if the 2nd beta is OK. Because I know there is so far to go yet. I know there's so much that could go wrong. Having to wait a week for another beta and then 2 weeks until a 7 week scan will be difficult. But all I can do for now is be happy, hopeful and positive :)

Thanks so much to everyone who posted comments and sent emails saying that you were thinking of me. It really does mean a lot and makes the waiting more bearable and the joy of today even more special. I am thinking of those who are yet to see their own BFP and know how difficult these announcements can be. But I have always (OK, most of the time) taken joy from other's IFers success stories, so I hope this will help more than it hurts. That, at least, is the intention.  xxx

Friday, 13 May 2011

Brace, brace, brace...

Disclaimer... this is the post I wrote yesterday and couldn't post. Update on results coming later when we're back from the clinic... keep everything crossed for us!

Thanks everyone for your supportive comments and advice on my last post. I’ve been finding the last few days pretty tough to be honest (when am I ever anything else in this blog!). I know that this is not unusual.. Zita West has a survey of 2ww diaries in her book, where women rate their level of positivity on a 1-10 scale over the 2 weeks and the vast majority of women feel less and less positive as the days go by.  But it’s hard to cope with because, although I know nothing is different now compared to 1 week ago, that there is no less chance of me being pregnant now than then, my emotions don’t follow logic!

I’ve also been feeling off physically which hasn’t helped in a number of ways. Warning -TMI approaching…  I’ve had pretty horrible diarrhea for about 3 days which makes me not keen on eating, although I still feel hungry, when I’m not feeling a bit queasy.  Of course, I am analyzing every twinge and unusual bowel movement (not literally, in case you were wondering how far my crazy has gone…) in the hope that they are early pregnancy signs. I still rationally know it is unlikely I’d be feeling so bad, so early. I also have a nervous stomach in general and these kinds of symptoms are the first thing that happen when I’m stressed out.  And this bout did start around the time that I started mentally flipping out. So, in all likelihood, nerves are the cause and those are not going away until tomorrow at least.  But, of course, this hasn’t stopped me Googling the hell out of every possible symptom combination! And, of course, there are plenty of women who have these as early symptoms, but they are also side-effects of progesterone so, what d’ya know? Nothing means anything, as always!

As you know, my Bloke has been away nearly all week. When he went, I was pretty sane. In the days that he’s been gone, I’ve traveled into crazytown. Hence his surprise when I started crying down the phone to him last night. He hates it when I do this (we did 2 years long distance, so it’s happened before!). He hates that he’s not there to comfort me. He never knows what to say and knows that only a hug will stand any chance of making me feel better. He doesn’t understand how I’ve gone from so positive to so negative in a matter of days. He thinks that being positive and saying it will all be OK, will make it so. Failing that, he offered to buy me something nice… in this case, that’s just not going to cut it! He’s back tonight and is probably currently bracing himself for the emotional onslaught awaiting him.

Meanwhile, I am bracing myself for tomorrow. I will probably go with my original plan and POAS before getting my blood test results. At that point, whatever the outcome, I need to start calming down because my heart (in more ways than one) can’t cope with this constant feeling of panic for much longer…

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The calm before the storm.. uh, what calm?!

My calm and zen has been gradually slipping away over the past few days.. I've been busy and having fun with friends and I'm sure that's helped during the day, but my main panic moments come in the mornings and evenings when I'm not occupied and, at the moment, mostly on my own. The last 2 days I've woken up and it's all I can think about before I'm even properly awake. I wake up anxious, my heart pounding, my brain running through all possible success and failure scenarios. Yesterday I woke up so anxious that I felt sick, which then prompted a whole bout of 'morning sickness during 2ww' internet searches. I'm still pretty sure that it's physically impossible for me to have morning sickness at 7dp3dt but that didn't make any difference in the craziness that my mind is fast becoming.

This morning there is no nausea, just pure panic. I have been away from blogs for a couple of days, but woke up this morning desperate to get to the computer and find out how everyone else in their 2ww was doing.  I was so excited and happy to see Marilyn's and the Princess's tentative BFPs :)  And then the insanity hit and I've been thinking 'how likely is it that we would all get BFPs this cycle... someone has to get that BFN and it will be me'. Oh my god, typing that has actually brought me to tears. How could I have thought that I could get through these 10 short days calmly and rationally?!

So, what to do? Well, there's nothing to do, is there?! I could test early but everything I've read says that, even if the embryo/s implant, I'd only start producing HCG today and there's no way a normal, Chinese HPT would pick it up. I could test to start coming to terms with that BFN.. in some ways I'd rather get that out of the way on my own whilst my Bloke is away in Korea. But I have lunches planned for the next 3 days and I don't know how I'd cope with seeing that test result in the morning and then putting on my smiley face and meeting friends, all of whom know about my cycle and will be waiting for news.

My original plan had been to test on Saturday morning, after getting my blood drawn and before going back to the clinic for the result. I could then prepare myself for the worst in private (with my Bloke there for support), but still be pleasantly surprised if the blood shows up positive. But that was before this craziness started. Would it be better to test earlier to give myself more time to get used to the idea that this may not be the cycle for us? Or should I just delay the inevitable as long as possible?

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Halfway house...

I'm 5 days down with 5 more to go before my beta hcg blood test and I'm in a weird state of limbo. I haven't been blogging daily because there's nothing for me to say!  I feel fine. Great, in fact. I feel back to normal, as if I've not been through IVF at all (except perhaps for a little extra weight around my middle because of lack of exercise).

Which is weird, right? I'm so used to cycles that lead to nothing, whether natural or IUI, that it feels like I'm back there again.  Not in a particularly negative way, just in a 'well, that's done and out of the way - what's next?' kind of way.

I spent the first 3 days after transfer at home, taking it easy. I only went out to get my progesterone shots at the clinic or emergency room. Friends came over and I kept myself busy with TV, books and some of my planned time-filling projects. Unfortunately my Bloke had to be in Seoul for work so I was a bit lonely, but generally I've been doing fine. I don't feel any symptoms.. the progesterone seems to be slowing down my digestion, but I've found ways to deal with that. So I feel normal. As normal as it's possible to feel when you're a week away from immense joy or huge disappointment.

So, like this blog post, the whole experience is seriously underwhelming!  In some ways, I know this is good. I feel calmer than I have during my IUI cycle 2wws. I'm not symptom-spotting and am trying to stick to my mantra 'Nothing means anything'. This is not a depressing, fatalistic, pessimistic mantra.. it's what I've tried to live by when driving myself crazy during other 2wws and applies even more now. Basically, any 'symptoms' I do experience could be due to the meds I'm on and, in all probability, I wouldn't experience any symptoms at such an early stage, even with a positive result. So, no symptoms don't mean anything bad, anymore than a possibly imagined symptom means anything good. Does that make sense?  And I know there are women out there who do experience very early pregnancy signs and I would love to be one of them, but I'm not counting on it.

The week ahead is near-filled with fun things to do.. lunches, picnics and visits to friends. This will be the first time I've seen most people since announcing our move to Korea, so conversations should be filled with that topic. Hopefully, these will help me maintain some sense of calm and stop any potential obsessing in it's tracks. Hopefully.... ;)

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

10 day wait...

Good news everyone! I was totally freaking out yesterday morning as we waited to find out if any of our 12 eggs had fertilised, particularly with the panic over my Bloke's 'sample freshness'. I woke up super early and just lay there with a billion thoughts going round my head.. We got to the clinic at 9am and didn't have to wait too long before getting the news from the nurse initially..

6 embryos!!

The doctor confirmed it and that they would transfer 2 that day and freeze the other 4. I was really pleased with this number (kind of feels like an understatement!) :)  I'd been trying to be cautious and hoping that we would get at least 1 to transfer, so this was unexpected. We were sent to get meds and then told to go home and come back at 1ish because the board was rammed with loads of procedures to be done that day and, luckily we live close enough to go to and fro. I couldn't keep the grin off my face for the rest of the morning :)

Back to the clinic at 1pm. Now the water-drinking/bladder-emptying saga began. I knew I had to drink some water for the ultrasound, but I didn't really know when the transfer would be, so when to go to the toilet? Consequently I spent the hour or more that we waited dying to go to the bathroom and trying not to think about it... which is impossible because it becomes all you can think about. The nurse came over and told me to drink water and I couldn't explain that I already had, so I had to drink more...

I finally get called in.. no Bloke to keep me company, no hand-holding or chanting in China... I get into the stirrups and am just praying I won't empty my bladder on the Doctor. The ultrasound lady says something to the Doctor and she comes over to ask me if I need the toilet.. she was concerned that I wouldn't be able to hold it whilst resting after the transfer. We agreed that I needed to empty it a bit, thank goodness! Now I know that this is normal. I've read about it on other blogs. But I'm assuming that in other countries you get to go to the bathroom?! Not in China. I had to squat right there, over the medical waste bucket that sits between the stirrups to collect the used surgical gloves, tissue bed covers etc. With 2 nurses and the Doctor looking on. Talk about pressure! I was trying to stop myself laughing which at least reduced the stress that had been starting to build (along with my bladder pressure). I

It just occurred to me that maybe I should have warned you guys about the content of this post? My apologies if anyone finds this topic TMI :)

In the end I had to squat twice with an ultrasound inbetween to check the volume! Strangely enough, the comedy value of this totally helped to calm me down and the rest of the transfer went fine and was very quick. I didn't get to see the embryos and we don't get a photo, but we found out that the 2 transferred are Grade 8 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best quality). I was reassured by the Dr and the porter, as he wheeled me to the recovery room, that this was very good!

A 90 minute rest accompanied by podcasts of my favourite funny radio shows (prompted by this research) and I'm sent home. I popped to Dr F for my acupuncture and then spent the evening watching comedy shows with my Bloke.

Now the 10 day wait until my beta test begins... :)