They’re here…

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Hi everyone, it’s been a tough couple of weeks, ups and downs, smiles and a lot of crying for nothing but I am glad to say that I did not turn into a purple minion!

The last time I wrote we had started the hormones injections and the scans, the aim was to grow some follicles which we were monitoring as we went. We ended up needing another lot of hormone drugs, a trigger injection and also some after egg collection medicine… so add another £284 on top of what was already spent.

I’m finally back with some results, I really wanted to update you as some of you are waiting to hear from us and of course we’re here because you supported us!

Well, we (I) grew 20 follicles, 10 of which had reached a good size by Friday last week so we were told to have our last hormone injection on Sunday night. We then had a scan booked for Monday morning to check that we were ready for ovulation to be triggered so that we could mature some eggs for collection.

I felt and looked huge (in my opinion, very swollen and also badly bloated) I was also hungry a lot (though I am often hungry) and then as soon as I ate, I felt full, not that I gave up, I’ve also been allowing myself treats after months of dieting!

I have been having the weirdest dreams EVER such as being with Shirley from Eastenders in Matalan (the shop) and one where I had a dodgy crush on Gordon Brown, trust me, it’s been a very strange time.

Monday’s scan confirmed that all was fine and that night, we had our trigger injection, it had to be done at 10pm on the dot, with a planned egg collection Wednesday morning at 10am. 36 hours later.

That was it for injections apart from my blood thinners which I will be taking either for six weeks or the during the whole pregnancy… they hurt so much! I am really hoping that my consultants will keep an eye on me and help if and when I need it and we are now entering danger zone.

Shaun and I were anxious about Wednesday of course, it’s all new to us and we had a less than a pleasant visit with the nurse on Monday. She was filling in from a different clinic and she was quite rude, I was very upset. I ended up ringing the clinic back that afternoon, I spoke to one of the nice nurses and she put my mind at rest and answered all my questions. Overall I have to say the staff has been lovely.

Egg collection day was super stressful, wondering if we would get any, there is no guarantee with this process.

The thing about IVF is that everytime you get a positive news, by the time you have digested it, it’s time to become anxious about the next step going well.

I tell you what, it’s not fun, it’s not exciting, it’s terrifying and stressful day after day so don’t tell me to relax… I can’t.

The team on egg collection day were lovely, there was a few of us going through it on the day. The thing about IVF is it’s not like any other procedures or a normal hospital. No one talks to each other, no one even looks at each other, there’s no wishing people good luck either. I’m guessing that’s partly due to the taboo thing and partly due to the uncertainty we all face, it’s almost every man for himself, very sad indeed.

Infertility doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter how rich you are, how gorgeous or famous you are, whether you’re slim or you wear designer clothes, it sucks on every level, for everyone.

So we were all sat in our cubicles and there were nurses and embryologists everywhere as well as the anaesthetist.

The anaesthetist was the only man and a lovely man he was too! He came to say hello, everyone comes over to reassure you that it’s all going to be ok. I had no food or drink since the night before because of the sedation and I was starving… as always!

We didn’t have to wait long until I was taken into theatre by the anaesthetist, oh joy I have hairy legs and this man is about to see me in all my glory, that was one of my main concerns! So, I was upfront and I apologised, he humoured me and told me I should be ashamed coming into his theatre in this state and then he injected me with the happy drugs, everything turned into a blur and although I was aware of the pain, I just started to chat to him, there was two other ladies there but I didn’t notice much else.

We spoke about Dotty which I managed to sneak into the pocket of my dressing gown but shhhh don’t tell anyone.

The pain was sharp and felt like it lasted about 5 mins and suddenly I heard, six, seven… eight eggs, I burst into tears, a sign of relief, one tiny step closer.

I was wheeled back into my cubicle pretty quickly by the same man, with my dressing gown on top of me and as soon as I saw Shaun, I showed him eight fingers, I could see the relief on his face too.

Five minutes of happiness, bliss, joy and pride, the nurse kept an eye on me until I was able to have a hot drink, a biscuit and a wee, standard after sedation.

The embryologist came over to speak to us, smiling, she said that our samples looked good, let’s not forget Shaun did his thing too whilst I was under, and she said she was happy with what we had produced.

All we had to do was go home and wait until the next day to hear the next news, what eggs have fertilised, if any. Time to stress again…

To be honest, I was so sore I slept most of the afternoon and of course I still had the sedation drugs in me so it helped.

Needless to say; Shaun and I were up most of the night, secretly hoping our eggs would do good and survive to the next stage. We were up really early the next day, Shaun before me, he even took my phone in the lounge in case they rang and I missed them. Then it came, 9.30 am, the phone call, the clinic, I was so stressed I felt sick and I couldn’t answer so Shaun took the call. He walked back into the lounge after a couple of minutes, showing me two fingers, we have two fertilised eggs.

I can’t pretend that I wasn’t disappointed initially, and this is purely based on money, how sad is that? I was really hoping that we would get more fertilised eggs so that we could freeze some and not be faced with such a huge bill again if things don’t work out.

Shaun wasn’t happy with me being so negative, he felt the daily relief and I didn’t. So I had a serious chat with myself, come on, at least there is hope and these two tiny little eggs need me to be positive and strong.

I got over myself, enjoyed my five minute relief bit and then started to worry again.

For the next step, we needed our tiny poppets to split into 4 cells and look good for transfer (that’s for them to go back into me) Friday. That’s today.

Another sleepless night, Shaun and I have been watching the entire Murder she Wrote Series, Jessica Fletcher, our hero, has been helping us through the long tense nights. I have stopped dreaming weird, now I just don’t sleep much!

The clinic told Shaun; we’ll see you Friday at ten to two, unless something goes wrong overnight, and we’ll call you in the morning… As if! Shaun was on the phone to them by nine am this morning, how could we wait for a bad phone call, we had to know. The clinic called him back pretty much straight away, it was the embryologist, and our poppets did good, we had 4 cells and good quality too, well they said, one great one and one average but still both good to use.

Shaun was at work this morning for half a day and I was here, drinking water for a full bladder for transplant and then in too much pain to hold it in, up and down up and down all morning… I’m still sore from egg collection and my cyst so I’m not very comfortable at all.

Then the time came, we got to the clinic a little earlier than planned, and we were given a few bits of papers to read, a pregnancy test with our date to test and some funny plastic slip on shoes to go into the room next to the lab. There we were shown photos of our embryos, dare I say it, our babies, because of course, for many people like us, this is as close as we’ll ever come to having babies, a photos of a few cells.

It meant so much to us, these cells are a product of Shaun and I, it’s us, they could even turn into proper little humans and a lifetime of laughter and grief!

Or they could be all we ever have. We felt very proud of ourselves and each other, very proud of our “babies” for getting this far, a very emotional and tearful experience.

After that it’s pretty straightforward, one nurse scans whilst the embryologist transfers the poppets back to me. Takes less than 10 minutes.

They tell you to look on the screen and you can see them being put back in, well you can see a little white blob on the screen.

One final wee (thank god!) and off you go.

Proud as punch, Shaun, me and the twins, the four of us went back home where the next two weeks will be agony, not knowing what’s happening, hoping they stick with us.

I’ll no doubt blame myself if they don’t and if they do stick we’ll be on a rollercoaster for the next nine months hoping for the best and dying to meet them.

We couldn’t love our poppets anymore if we tried no matter how little they might be, we made them and they are ours.

So, good luck to us and if you’re having IVF too, good luck to you as well xx

PS: Shaun and I want to thank everyone who has text and been with us the last few days, you are fantastic xx