Well this has certainly been a week of up’s and down’s and bits in between.
Starting with the ups, I am so overwhelmed and honoured to have been part of Izzy Judd’s #LetsTalkFertility short film, which she shared on her facebook page last night.
Some time ago I became aware of Izzy and her husband Harry’s story of infertility as she had been on television and in the papers sharing their journey and also promoting her book ‘Dare to Dream’ which I immediately fell in love with. Reading it was like reading about my own life. Despite being a celebrity and very much in the public eye, she had experienced all the heartbreak, pain and suffering that I have experienced, and that made her so real and relatable and seeing how she has now got her happy ending gives me so much hope that it can happen for me and all the ladies I know going through this terrible journey.
I began following her on social media as I knew that although she has one child from IVF and another one of the way (conceived naturally hooray!) she wanted to do more to raise awareness of infertility and get people talking about this subject which is still so taboo to so many. I was curious to see what she might come up with and a couple of months ago she made a request on her Instagram page for people to send her a short video with their infertility story. As with probably most people, I hate the way I look and sound on video but decided to bite the bullet and record something and send it off to her. Since then we’ve exchanged a few emails and she’s honestly been a tower of strength for me. I had no idea she would actually use a bit of my video until I saw the finished product last night. It is such a moving piece and had me in floods of tears, although truthfully that hasn’t been very hard this week.
So proud and thankful for Izzy for sharing our stories and making the subject of infertility ok to talk about in public, and not something to be hidden away or embarrassed about. I know that she will keep up the fight and continue to campaign for all us ‘normal’ people who don’t have a voice as loud or as powerful as hers.
You can view the full video here:
I have also been doing some work with the Fertility Network UK and will say more about that in another post, but it feels really good to have something to focus on and a way in which to help other people in the same position as me.
On the down side, I started feeling the effects of the stimulation injections at the start of the week and haven’t been at my best. When I went for my base line scan the clinic informed me that they were changing one of my injections this time round. This was news to me as we had been told at our review appointment that we would be kept on exactly the same protocol as last time. As usual, the clinic not keeping us informed of things like this makes me want to scream, but what would be the point of that? They never listen anyway. We concluded that they knew what they were doing and just to trust that hopefully this new injection would prove more effective.
On the plus side I don’t think I’ve been as bloated as last time, which is great! The tiredness though has been unbelievable so I’ve had a very quiet week of doing little tasks, then taking a break, then doing something else, then taking a break. It seems to be the only way I can get through a day but also means I can still accomplish things which has been good at keeping my spirits up.
I had my 7-day scan on Monday where things looked like they were progressing well then yesterday I had my 9-day scan. I couldn’t help but be a little bit disappointed that it was evident straight away that I didn’t have as many follicles growing as I did last time. I very much don’t want to always compare everything in this cycle to my last cycle but it’s extremely difficult when that’s all I’ve got to go on.
Saying that however when the nurse measured the follicles she noted that a couple of them were already at a very good size, so despite there not being the quantity, they had grown at a much faster rate this time round. She therefore suggested moving our egg retrieval from next Monday to this Friday (tomorrow). Because of the size of a couple of them, if the procedure was left until Monday there is a danger that they would grow too big to be of any use. I was a bit shocked and didn’t really know what to think but we were sent away with a tentative appointment for Friday.
In the afternoon the clinic phoned to confirm that the egg collection would go ahead tomorrow at 9.30am, be there for prep at 8.30am. I immediately went into a bit of a panic. I still thought I had the weekend to prepare and now here it was, the dreaded day looming once again. Although saying that, despite the procedure not being pleasant, it’s not that which I’m scared of. It’s the amount of eggs that they will recover. At the moment I’m only looking at having about 5 or 6 eggs that will be at a good enough size to retrieve. And yes I know it only takes one and of course I’m trying my hardest to remember that, but having had 12 last time it just seems an awful small number. And considering only half our eggs fertilised last time, if only half fertilise again this time, we may be left with only 2 or 3. I don’t know, I’m just feeling a little bit scared at what is to come. Needless to say, last night was mostly spent being an emotional wreck and not much sleep was had at all.
We also have the unknown question of when our embryo transfer will be as we won’t know until Saturday whether we have been selected for the E-Freeze programme or not. If we have it will be some weeks before we have the transfer so I will have lots of lovely time to recover, however if we are not selected it will be sometime next week. Although we volunteered for the programme, the fact that it’s unknown at the moment whether we’ll get to participate or not is not helping my stress levels. I just like to know dates in my head so I can mentally prepare, but at the moment we are pretty much in the dark about everything. Such is the world of infertility though I guess.
The one good thing about having our egg retrieval brought forward is that yesterday afternoon I took my last 2 injections and then last night I had my trigger injection. So no more injections for me thank goodness! This time round my thighs have bruised up quite badly and are itchy as hell – just got to hope that means they’re working better!
I will of course be updating you all on what tomorrow brings. I have butterflies in my tummy already but at least I know I have the lovely drugs to look forward to which will hopefully set me off on a little day dream again.
Lastly I just want to take a moment to give a huge shout out to my wonderful husband. Without him I would be nothing. He is not just my husband but my best friend, my counsellor, my confidant, my nurse and my stress reliever. As with our first round I have been unable to face injecting myself so he has gently and carefully given me my injections every night again and been an absolute tower of strength for me when I’m having my wobbly moments. I often ask him how he is feeling as it’s a journey for both of us, not just me, but he always replies that he is great and just concerned about me. Sometimes I wish he would say he was struggling so I wouldn’t look the only looney tune haha, but really, he is my whole world and if I didn’t have him and our puppy dog Roman, I don’t know what I would do.