It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had time to sit and write. The last 2 weeks have been a little crazy but I think everything I filled my time with has helped me prepare for what we have just embarked on. I am on day 3 of stims for what is our fourth fresh cycle but this is our 9th cycle in total. Even writing it, it seems a little unreal that it is us in this situation, but we are and we have to go with it.
How do you prep for a cycle? Well, there is no straightforward or single answer. For me, I’ve just made myself as busy as possible.
I’ve had a couple of counselling sessions, which have really helped me to calm my fears and anxiety. I would not be doing this again without those sessions. My anxiety has been up and down, talking it through has helped immensely. My counsellor also has a wonderful way of bringing me back down to earth from planet ‘lets think about all of the worst possible outcomes’. I’m a natural worrier, a pessimist maybe, I look for the negative in everything. I cannot allow that to take control of me right now, so I’ve used my counselling sessions to bring me back round to a place of calm. I promised myself a few weeks ago that I would take care of me through this next cycle, yet I found myself questioning whether I should take time off work or not. I seemed to be going round in circles between wanting to give this IVF cycle my whole focus and having some loyalty with work & feeling like that was also a priority. After a heavy session yesterday evening, I knew today that I have to put this first and I have to accept that its ok that I do that.
I’ve also used my time over the last few weeks to try to help others going through this thing called infertility. If you read my blog regularly you will know that I volunteer for Fertility Network UK and last week was the first meet up of the support group that I run for them. I was really nervous in case no-one turned up. I shouldn’t have been. It was a small group but it was great just to chat with others who really ‘get it’. All of us were at very different points on our journey’s but yet we were able to just talk, freely and openly. I’m so glad I took the leap of faith in myself to get involved. It is great to be able to support and encourage others who are going through the same thing. Its a very different kind of support to my counselling, but no less important. I have already set the date for the next one in the New Year.
I was also approached a couple of months ago by Natalie who produces The Fertility Podcast. I came across the podcasts a few months ago through Twitter (@fertilitypoddy) and listened to a couple of them. It is a great resource for anyone trying to conceive or going through assisted conception. Natalie had read my blog and asked if I would talk to her about how infertility had affected my mental health. It is something that I had written about in my blog but had never really spoken in depth with anyone about (other than my counsellor). Of course, I said yes! This was a fantastic opportunity to help raise awareness about the deep impact of infertility and treatments on mental health. It isn’t something that I have seen much written or talked about, so if my own story helps others then I was happy to talk about it. I knew it would be quite exposing but the only way that I’m truly going to help raise awareness is to be honest and to own my story, even when that means talking about some of the depths that I sunk to because of infertility. I am so glad that I said ‘yes’ that I am now part of such a fantastic resource.
My first ever podcast can be heard here.
Last weekend was hubby’s birthday, so we booked a weekend away. In the back of my mind I knew this would also be the weekend that our next IVF cycle might start. And it did.
Saturday was cycle day 1. I called the clinic to request treatment. I was told someone would call me back to let me know that I was ok to start. An hour later the phone rang. This was it, this was the start. I was to do my first injection the next day, between 6 am and 8 am. I was booked in for a blood test on day 4 so that my E2 levels can be monitored closely due to my OHSS history. A scan was booked for day 7.
Sunday morning at 7.30 am, I snapped the top of the Menopur bottle, mixed the first lot of drugs, held the needle and quickly stabbed myself. There was no panic, no hovering, no hesitation. It was done. Monday morning at 7.30 am, injection number 2 was done.
Monday evening I felt really tired and a little uncomfortable. I also felt very emotional and on the verge of tears, yet none came. Tuesday morning at 7.30 am and injection number 3 was done. I started to get ready for work but something inside was screaming at me not to go, its too much. I need to just concentrate on this right now. I called the Doctors surgery and waited for a phone call back. The GP that rang me back was lovely and has signed me off for 3 weeks. That will hopefully be enough time to go through the stims and come out the other side (without OHSS).
And so it begins. My ovaries are kicking into action and reacting to the drugs. I am very aware that something is going on inside me and I just have to try to stay calm and not panic.
I will not overstimulate…I will not overstimulate…I will not overstimulate…
Tomorrow I head to the clinic for a blood test and then they will let me know whether to change the dose of Menopur.
I also received the bill this morning from the clinic, there isn’t much change out of £6,000 because we are having a freeze all and we have also decided to use the embryoscope this time. I’m annoyed that I have to pay extra for it but in the words of hubby, we are throwing everything at this cycle.
I feel ok, I feel well, I feel calm. Hubby is excited that we may actually have a chance to have a family, I am petrified. Petrified of so many things, but whatever happens, I know I will be ok.