The next instalment

So my Friday blood test has come back perfect and we’re awaiting our donor’s day one. Sunday night we receive a text “Day 1 tomorrow!!” That soon?!? I knew it was approaching that week but could it really happen quite so rapidly? Why yes, it seems it can! Day one is indeed the Monday and the clinic call me at work to tell me to start on Progynova, my estradiol valerate tablets, to encourage my uterine lining to grow. I’m buzzing. I hang up the call to the clinic and am incredibly nervous, nauseous, and excited all at once. I can’t believe this is finally happening. I’m shaking, clammy, and suddenly can’t concentrate on my job. This is it.

I’m actually more anxious than I thought I’d be and it takes me a while to calm down and relax. I should be happy and excited at the prospect of things falling into place, and I am, but after a few weeks of largely feeling positive about this I’m suddenly incredibly worried. Worried that this might not work, that my friend might react badly to the drugs or be uncomfortable, worried that I might be putting her through needless pain/discomfort/hassle for nothing, worried that my body may let us down once again. And after so many disappointments, one IVF cycle that ended in a marginal embryo and one where we didn’t even make it to transfer, it’s hard to believe that an IVF could actually go right, despite changing the one variable that’s previously held us up. I actually can’t imagine that we could end up with healthy mature eggs, that those eggs could fertilise normally into healthy embryos, and that those embryos could develop to a point that they’re worth transferring. I just can’t fathom it.

So my donor starts her stimulation injections and I start on my estradiol. That’s the physical stuff sorted, now to get my mind in shape. I’m a reasonably strong believer in the power of the mind. For years I’ve said “I don’t do sick” at even the slightest hint of illness and on the whole I’m healthy – it’s pretty rare that I even get a cold. So, despite my go-to negative view on fertility I’m determined to think positively about this, and use my mind to will my body to function. I invested in the Circle and Bloom audio relaxation sessions specifically designed for donor egg IVF long before our cycle started and, while being pretty slack at listening to the suppression sessions (I listened to them four times out of the fourteen days I was supposed to), I’ve really made an effort to listen to the estrogen sessions so far. I certainly still flip-flop between nervous anxiety and feeling positive but I can definitely say the sessions have helped. I totally recommend them for anyone else going through this.

As well as getting my mind in order I’ve also been trying to make sure my body is in the best possible shape to receive this embryo we desperately hope to have. Many of you know that I’ve been off the booze and coffee for a while now, but over the last few weeks I’ve been making an effort in other areas too. I’ve been doing a weekly yoga session for a few months and have made sure not to miss a class unless absolutely necessary. I’ve also added regular walking into my routine and have started back at the gym doing cardio and weights multiple times a week (three times a week if my schedule allows but with exercise on acupuncture days a bit of a no-no, this is sometimes difficult given I do acupuncture three times a week!). I’ve been listening to my body too and if it feels too exhausted to work out I don’t push it, luckily that hasn’t happened often.

I’ve also started watching what I’m eating more and have increased my fruit and vegetable intake. We bought a slow-juicer recently and a nice glass of fruit and veggie juice in the mornings has been helping with this. I’ve cut out nearly all junk food – not that I was having a lot before anyway – and have been trying to ensure I eat a wide range of healthy food options. I’ve not only been feeling better but I also know I’m giving it my all for Bumble, no regrets. And hey, if this cycle doesn’t work, there’s the added bonus of having a mint bikini body for summer!

And that’s where I’m at. A ball of nervous yet excited energy, attempting to think positively, and giving it my all for Bumble. Our first scans (for both our donor and I) are tomorrow so we’ll see just how well my lining is coming along and how many follicles our donor is nurturing. Fingers crossed it’s good news for all of us.

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