Tag: ivf pregnancy

#IVFis40

#IVFis40

So this year marks 40 years since the 1st IVF baby was born.

In honour of National Fertility Awareness week, i wanted to share some of my experiences/memories.

Ive done a whopping 9 cycles. 3 of those resulted in no embryo transfer. Of the other 6, 3 worked. Im INCREDIBLY lucky to have such good numbers. Sadly, only 1 pregnancy made it to term. The other 2 were lost at 21 weeks.

I remember after being referred for IVF i cried. I honestly thought we’d make a baby the normal way (or as i now say, traditional way). We had no idea there was a problem at the time of referral either.

Then at our 1st meeting at the clinic we are told i have polycystic ovaries (but not the syndrome) and he has poor sperm in terms of count, morphology and mobility. We have 0.01% chance of making a baby tradtionally.

Then the wait to cycle. I think the waiting was one of the worst things for me. Youve got your head round the idea and then you have to wait. Wait your turn. Get knocked back due to clinic being full/bank holidays/clinic closing for a clean/incubators not working/hormones inbalanced/uterine lining too thin…all of those were actual reasons i couldnt start a cycle or why i couldnt have an embryo transferred.

The 1st time i was naive. I got 23 eggs, the most that day. But only 13 fertilised. Youre not warned the numbers drop so fast. I got ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome but didnt tell the clinic in case they cancelled my cycle. I was really quite poorly but i was also desperate. Itd been 2.5yrs of trying by then. By transfer day i had 3 embryos left and a touch of OHSS. The transfer went ahead. 10 days later my period started.

Little did i know itd take another 6 years and 8 cycles before i brought a baby home.

I started out shy, taking my knickers off for a scan, WHILST on my period, was mortifying! By the end, id take my knickers off as easy as most people take off a pair of sunglasses when entering a room.

I knew all the acronyms, i was a huge contributer to online communities, i read all the research, ate brazil nuts, pineapple core, avocado, whatever the lastest study revealed. 

I lived, breathed and loved IVF. Im still an advocate for talking about infertility, and now, sadly, terminations for medical reasons and late miscarriage.

I went abroad, to Cyprus, for my final 4 cycles of IVF. I met a wonderful team at my chosen clinic. They blessed me with 2 pregnancies including the one who made it to term. They are like family, and i like to think im paying for thier kids to go to uni!! Haha! 

They were the best of times but also the worst of times

Even now, with my miracle rainbow baby sleeping upstairs, im still jealous of a pregnancy bump. 

I have 5 frozen embryos, im exceptionally lucky. But im not sure i can do anymore IVF. Its emotionally draining, its a lifestyle not just a treatment. Its scary and hard and consumes your very being.

Im so grateful for IVF. I am truly lucky to live in an age where treatments get better every year. Still, i wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

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But, what if?

But, what if?

Awesome bank holiday.

Down to Bristol to see the fam. Little T was a dream. Drinks were flowing, laughs a plenty were had by all.

But, i was late. A fair few days late. I mentioned this to Mr Me on Sunday, i couldnt possibly be pregnant, could I? 

Theres a 0.1% chance we could conceive on our own, and i thought we had avoided my fertile window. But we were worried.

In the last week we had come to a decision. We dont want another baby. We dont want to go through the anxiety of another rainbow pregnancy, we dont want to go through the IVF stress of will it/wont it in order to achieve a pregnancy. We dont want to risk another loss. Little T has seemingly not got Mr Me’s blood conditions or my asthma, would the next baby be as lucky? 

Our lives are pretty awesome just now. Little T is a great baby, sleeping through the majority of nights, happy and content. 

On a more selfish note, i cant face the 1st 8 weeks again, im enjoying being able to have a glass of wine, drink coffee, eating paté and soft cheese. I like being able to afford nice holidays and having a spare room. We work well as a 3, Mr Me and I have found our rhythm again. All in all life is pretty perfect.

Was that all about to change?

2 under 1? Really? What would we do? Financially it wouldnt really be viable. Id be permanently exhausted. A tandem pram costs a grand. How would i cope heavily pregnant with a 10/11 month old? 2 in nappies?!! The exhaustion of pregnancy, on top of parenting exhaustion? We were terrified.

The T word (termination) came up. It would be an option. But could i really go through with it after all we had been through? I didnt think so. 

Only one thing to do, test and find out.

Cue a family trip to the Trafford Centre and Boots. A latte later, and there i am peeing on a stick in a Costa coffee toilet. Classy but I had to know whether i could have a glass of wine at lunch!! 

Never ever have i hoped for a negative test. Those 3 minutes were agonising. 

1 line!! Whoop! Mr Me’s sperm hadnt made a miracalous recovery! Pass the wine!! In fact pass me 2. (It was nice wine)

So, what this taught me was: A, i really am not ready for another baby, and B, i need to get back on the pill ASAP but it looks like ive not ovulated so it may be a very long cycle!!! 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Its all starting to make sense

Its all starting to make sense

I went back to counselling this week. Mr Me made the referral when i was struggling. In the hour i was there, i managed to cover the time from his birth to my struggles to feeling better.

Over the course of this week ive realised my next session will be my last. I dont need that level of support anymore. I know how to manage my issues now. I can self analyse, know what will make me anxious and why and how to cope with that.

I know ill probably need to be medicated for depression for most of my life but im ok with that. Im ok to admit that i suffer with anxiety and depression, the same way i suffer with and am medicated for asthma. Its just part of my life. Im at peace with that.

Actually, im happy. Im happy i finally have my baby, happy that, despite all the crap, Mr Me and I made it. Happy im a mummy, a wife, a friend.

Worry, sleep deprivation and self doubt are creeping away. Little T is nearly 12 weeks old (oh my god i have a 3 month old) and hes thriving (now that hes being treated for reflux) 

Now i get more than 2 hours sleep a night, im more rational, more confident. In the last couple of weeks we have settled into a nice routine. 

Ive joined more classes, i spend more time just enjoying Little T and watching him learn and develop. I no longer constantly hold myself up to the impossible standard i set myself.

I now love being his mummy. Now that ive stopped worrying about losing myself, ive found my feet. Im still me, still put my make up on, do my nails when i can, go out with my friends, spend quality time with Mr Me. Im me AND a mummy. 

Now i know why we fought so hard for so long, now i know i was right to want this so much.

Ive stopped caring if i get all the washing done, stopped worrying about keeping on top of the housework. It gets done. Not today though. Today ive spent all day snuggling, because he needed me, and i needed him. There wont always be days where we can just snuggle so these days are special.

My family is special. And i love being a mummy.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Loving him is hard because….

Loving him is hard because….

I have the feels. All the feels. Im besotted, hes amazing, i cant remember life without him

But it took 8 weeks. 8 weeks to admit i loved him, 8 weeks to allow myself those feelings. To be honest im still cautious but my heart swells with his first smile of the day, regardless of my fear.

Infertility sucks on many levels. The months (years) of trying and failing. The agony of a period. The hoops to jump through en route to IVF, the hundreds of injections, watching all your friends have babies. People getting bored of your journey, the agony of IVF failures, of cancelled cycles, of feeling you are worth nothing as a woman. I could go on. 

Basically its shit. And you know what, it continues to be shit even though i now have my very own mini human. Why? Because it hindered the love…it took so long for Little T to feel like mine, rather than me looking after someone elses baby. I was waiting for the bubble to burst. A small part of me still is and always will be, i guess.

Im still jealous of the fertile people, they decide to get pregnant and within months, are. No military planning, no saving thousands of pounds. Just happens or a little cycle observation and bam, preggers.

I still envy a bump. Stare in awe. Wish i could do it without investing time and money. Its silly, but true.

Baby loss literally built a wall around my heart. A wall im still chipping away at. Losing 2 children, 2 (IVF) babies, is soul destroying. It messes you up in so many ways. Ways i thought id dealt with. Then Little T came along and i realised i was messed up in ways i didnt imagine. 

For weeks i thought i would lose him. That he would die. Thats what my babies did, they died. I was beyond terrified to love this tiny human in case he left me. I couldnt contemplate another loss. I just knew it would break me. So i kept Little T at arms length. Worried that loving him would mean losing him. 

That fear consumed me. For so many weeks. Until the fear of seeing my baby, my offspring, in pain. The 8 week immunisations. Thank god for them, not only for the protection they offer but for opening my heart.

Feeling guarded, not loving my child. Shameful? Not at all. Just the way things are after the hand id been dealt. I will always admit to these feelings, ill never regret what ive been through. I truly am a better person for it. Never did i think itd extend this far into my life though…

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

PS heres a cute pic of Little T

Birth Story! 

Birth Story! 

In true me style, its a little dramatic. So much so, Mr Me is helping me write this as ive forgotten a lot as i was in ‘the zone’.
We arrived at the delivery ward at about 12.15pm on Monday 15th May 2017. They were expecting us which was fantastic given the hiccups over the weekend 

We were shown to our room and met B, our 1st midwife. B talked to us about the process. Monitor baby, break waters, put me on the drip, wait for labour.

I had cannulas inserted for the hormone drip and so blood could be taken. B got flustered, bless her, so another midwife did my 1st cannula.

Bloods taken, it was time for ARM. Artificial removal of membranes. Using a hook. Its a good long hook but not very sharp. It took 2 hooks to get the waters to fully burst. I stood up to get gravity to help…they ran down my leg through 2 pads. I ended up in a puddle.

I was hooked up to the hormone drip to start contractions. Cramps seemed to start quite quickly. All the while im on the CTG to monitor baby. It showed i was having contractions before any drugs were introduced.

It became apparant i had to go to the loo so unhooked from CTG but hormone drip still attached i relieved myself. Better now than later.

The contractions ramped up at this point. Gas and air was in use. I leaned on the bed and over the bean bag. It felt like i couldnt cope, i thought i was soft. B kept telling me it was happening fast but i assumed my pain threshold had dropped. I was overwhelmed.

At 3, D came in, my 2nd midwife, i could barely talk to her at this point but i noted her pink hair and knew we’d get on. She introduced herself, i asked for drugs.

30 minutes later the anaesthetist arrived and took her sweet time setting up meds and pumps. I was litterally on the floor over a beanbag at this point and had to get to the bed for the patient administration device to be attached to my other hand. Its hard moving CTG wires and drips whilst also contracting for Britain. We moved on the count of 3.

Stuff gets blurry now. Mr Me says once hooked up to the good stuff i told the room at large i loved whoever gave me the good drugs.

I was examined and told i was 6cm. I asked ‘is that all?!’ I was told id gone from 3cm to 6cm in less than hour with no increase in meds and thats why i was overwhelmed.

Mr Me says i was sweating like a good un at this point, contracting really hard. 30 minutes later he noticed the remyfentynill cannula had come out and i was bleeding everywhere.

Gas and Air before each contraction as i no longer had access to the good stuff. Another long wait for the anaesthetist despite the emergency alarm being pulled. 10 people turned up including the anaesthetist but they all promptly left again, including the anaesthetist. Mr Me really wanted to kick off on my behalf as only he and my midwives understood i was in agony.

I briefly opened my eyes but really was concentrating on the pain. I remember being asked for my hand and D telling me she had put loads of plasters on as i was sweating so so much.

Examined again at 3.30pm to be told im fully dilated. 3hrs 45minutes after hormone drip administered. Instead of baby being born by midnight, it was going to be MUCH sooner.

15.33 i started pushing. And pushing. And pushing.

I have never sweat so much in my life. I had bought a cooling spray and it was the best thing ever, Mr Me held my gas and air, sprayed me, and gave me water in between coaching. I think id have passed out without the spray and water.

There was a catheter inserted at some point as they thought pushing wasnt working due to full bladder. Didnt feel or register that!!! 

Suddenly baby wasnt coping. Surgeons came in. I was going to theatre. Forceps or C Section were on the cards. Risks were being reeled off. I was asked to sign consents. I had no idea what i was signing. I knew i was exhausted and sensed something was wrong. All i could hear/concentrate on was the rain.

D explained what was going on so i stopped taking the meds. I begged her to get me there as i couldnt do any more. My body kept pushing.

I couldnt stop it so i pushed with no pain relief. I was sober. D was in scrubs, when and why that had happened im not sure. She reminded me about theatre. I begged again.

She told me that we werent going after all. I just pushed and she had seen baby. But i couldnt get him out. They had to cut me. I saw the scalpel but didnt register it. I was doing it drug free. And it fucking hurt. 3 pushes after the cut and they pulled him out. 18.01.

Just over 4 hours. 2.5 of those pushing… the Dr who stitched me, that bloody hurt too despite many locals, said i was a hero. 

Toby was taken away after he was briefly put on my chest. He was in shock (he was??) and quiet. Mr Me could see him but i couldnt. I asked 40 times if he was ok, was alive. Finally they gave him back. Not once did he cry.

An hour to stitch me up. 

No one tells you it feels like your ass has been blown out after birth. My vagina may not have been involved given the sensation i felt upon standing. Its weird. Really weird. I pee’d and had a shower whist Mr Me dressed Tobias. 

I thought birth hurt until labour was over. I was wrong. I still cant move properly. Think John Wayne x 1 million.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

PS it took nearly 2 hours to name this one!!!! 

Going home outfit

Induction Update #3

Induction Update #3

So, still here. For about 4hrs after the pessary im in constant pain with irregular contractions, this then tapers off into nothing no matter how much i pace and squat.

After 6hrs on the move ive given in and had a lie down. This has led to the pain easing but possibly more regular contractions. I now get a break between pains which is nice.

Next check in an hour and im hoping my cervix has shortened and dilated even 0.5cm!!! 

Wish me luck

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Induction Update #2

Induction Update #2

Just on the CTG. Baby is fine and i appear to be contracting irregularly, feels bloody regular mind even if not picked up on CTG. I do like being able to hear his heartbeat and movements though! 

Still a bit of length to cervix which was harder to find due to babys head being lower. So another pessary just to shorten my cervix and Im still as dilated as before! Annoying! 

Looks like waters will be broken tomorrow now so settling in for the night.

DVDs to keep me distracted i think is the order of play. 

Ive had some paracetamol which didnt really help! 

The TENS machine feels like loads of tiny elves punching my back which is distracting if nothing else.  

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx 

Induction update #1

Induction update #1

Arrived at 11am. Put on monitor at 11.30am.

Examined at 12.30pm and 1.5cm dilated so pessary popped in. Midwife could feel babys head and thinks ill only need the one pessary but could be a delay in breaking waters as no beds on delivery! 

Currently awaiting freedom from monitor so i can move about and get on the ball.

Will be examined again in 6hrs!! 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Final Scan!

Final Scan!

Today i had my 24th and final scan. The little man is happy and healthy and estimated at 7lb3oz. That sounds manageable.

I did say ‘shit’ when i saw the measurement across the top of his head…9.3cm. Its normal but bloody hell i have to push that out 🤔😕🤤

In less than 48 hours the induction process begins. It seems so close but so far away. It doesnt seem real still. Ive been getting the house sorted and setting up the nursery and it doesnt click that MY baby will be using it, that ill be bringing baby home this time.

Being honest, i havent enjoyed the washing of everything or the setting up of the nursery and stuff in our room. Ive found it tough, like im tempting fate or that itll amount to nothing. Even putting the car seat base in seems a step too far. Its overwhelming and makes me a bit uncomfortable.

Ive also realised that babies need A LOT of stuff, most of which involves a plug!!!
I just cant imagine having a real life baby but at the same time cant wait for him to be out so i can see, touch, smell and hold him.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

You’re Welcome, Anytime

You’re Welcome, Anytime

We moved house!!!! It wasnt plain sailing, we completed late in the day due to my buyers money going missing when it was transferred to us. This caused a few hours delay which then upset the removal people and stressed out Mr Me. 

I on the otherhand, had a lovely time at my pedicure, buying paint and having lunch with my Mum.

Around 3.30pm we got the call to say all monies had transferred and we were able to collect keys. Cats were bundled into boxes and i took them, with Mum to get the keys then on to the new house. From then on it was plainer sailing thankfully.

Despite doing as little as possible, i was flat out exhausted for 2 days following the move. I ached all over, was exhausted but struggled to sleep. We missed dinner with our NCT friends as i just didnt have the energy.

Having said all that, it was TOTALLY worth it. I LOVE my new house, the area, everything. Im so so pleased we moved before baby arrived as despite only being here 5 days, 3 of the 4 rooms that need decorating are done and everything should be in place by next weekend before my induction.

This is largely thanks to M the decorator, J, my Mum and Bro and L, Mr Me’s Mum. Everyone has really pulled together to get things unpacked, boxes taken away to the tip and to make the house liveable. I couldnt be more grateful. I have found it quite frustrating that i cant help as much as id like to, but at 8 months gone, its difficult to sit up on my own, never mind unpack a box!!

I MADE IT TO FULL TERM!!!!!!!! 

Yesterday marked 37 weeks of pregnancy. I dont think i ever thought we would get to this point, but here i am sporting a rather large bump with a fully cooked baby inside. OMG

 As thrilled as i am, im also so done with being pregnant now. Hats off to ladies who make it to 40 weeks and beyond, i dont know how they do it. Im tired of needing help to sit up, to stand, of my feet being so swollen they dont in fit any shoes. Im tired of waddling, of peeing all the time, of aching after 5 minutes of activity. Im sick of worrying about whether he is moving enough, of not being able to bend my fingers without being in pain, of my clothes not fitting.

Im ready to meet him, to know hes safe, to be a Mummy. Ive 6 days to go until we start induction but i know those 6 days are going to be a lifetime. Dont get me wrong, im hugely grateful to have reached this point, i just want him here in my arms and my body back.

I felt the need to get organised yesterday as a distraction, so a few baby things were built

His Moses Basket and Stand. Coverlet for decoration only!!
His Swing Chair. Ive no idea how to put him in, thank god for instruction booklets!!
His Pram 😍 Please ignore the boxes, we need a bookcase!!

I do feel better having a few items assesmbled but conversely, worry im tempting fate. Even at this late stage i do see it as 6 days in which things can go wrong. Which is sad and another reason i want him here, in the world, where i can keep an eye on him

After a little practice with the pram, ive collapsed it and stored it, just in case, old wives tale, but its bad luck to have wheels in the house before baby arrives. 

The lounge however is looking very family like with moses basket and swing in situ. Mr Me and I were marvelling at how far we have come last night. Its been a LONG 8 years, but we’ve nearly made it.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx