Category Archives: DEIVF

When saying so little says so much (written 17th February 2015)

The disappointing news comes Thursday. I hear back from San Diego and they’re not keen on moving my blood test forward, preferring instead to leave it as the 16th to try and avoid a false negative, “to err on the side of caution” as they put it. Luckily it doesn’t last long as when I message my clinic here to tell them we need to leave the test date as Monday, they come back with “oh don’t be silly, just come and do a sneaky one for us on Friday and we won’t tell San Diego” WOOHOO!

I’m anxious as I wake on Friday, rushing to do another pregnancy test (I’ve already done 5 others) just to make sure Bumble and/or Bee are still there before I head for my bloods. It’s crazy I know but I’m just so scared everything is going to disappear. It’s still positive, phew. Breakfast, bloods and off to work. And the fretful wait begins.

I expect the call to come around 1pm as results calls in the past have always come around then, it doesn’t. I wait and wait, convinced that something’s gone wrong. I can almost hear our favourite nurse saying to us “I’m sorry darling, it’s not the result we were hoping for”, we’ve certainly heard that often enough, we know the drill. Still no phone call. By 3pm I’m really panicking and email the clinic asking if they’ve heard anything. I feel bad because I know how busy they are but I’m absolutely beside myself.

Five minutes later the call comes. I’m in the toilet, typical! I rush out (don’t worry, I was done) and try to think where I can go to take the call. “Can you talk?” our favourite nurse asks. “Hold on, I’ll just pop into a Quiet Room” as I duck into one of the tiny quiet rooms in the office….”You’ll hop into a quiet room and scream” says our nurse. “Will I?”, “Yes, you will. Are you ready? Are you sitting down?” “Yeeeeeees”, “Congratulations darling, you’re well and truly knocked up!” I can’t talk. “I’m going to cry” I manage to whisper. This is so surreal.

She runs through my numbers, which go in one ear and out the other. I’m trying not to cry too much as one of the girls who works with my husband is sitting just outside the room I’m in and there are windows – don’t want to give the game away at this stage! I’m absolutely amazed, stunned, thankful. The rest of the conversation is a bit of a blur, and I end up emailing her afterwards to make sure I’ve got everything I need to know.

Now to find my husband. He’s gone AWOL. I eventually get a message to him, ‘meet me in the basement carpark.’ He finally turns up and I tell him the news. We’re crying, shaking, both of us a little in disbelief. We sit stunned for a few minutes, trying to chat through what’s just happened, then I have to boot him out, if we’re going to tell Mum in the way we want to tonight I need to get to the shops!

I dash up the road to a shop where I saw a Buzzy Bee frame earlier in the week while hunting something else. I grab that. Then off to another part of town to buy the bumble bee booties I’d found online, and finally a Kodak shop to print a photo of our digital pregnancy test. I also grab some picture books for my siblings, but more on those later. That all took a little longer than expected but I manage to get back to work and get some work done before it’s time to head to Mum’s. A quick detour home to throw everything together (something I couldn’t have done in our open plan office) and we’re off to Mum’s place.

It’s my brother’s birthday and he’s at Mum’s for drinks before he goes elsewhere for dinner. We really don’t want to hijack his birthday so decide not to tell him and his partner until later in the weekend. It’s impossibly hard sitting there chatting for an hour or so, trying to pretend everything’s normal when we’re actually bursting with excitement, but we achieve our goal. My brother leaves for his dinner and we settle down into the comfy seats in the lounge.

I pass Mum a bag of stuff we’d bought her while we were in America and on top is a little black box containing my purchases from earlier in the day. Lucky for us she grabs this first as I’m not sure I could’ve waited too much longer. She takes off the lid and looks perplexed as she lifts the booties out of the box. She stared at them confused and jokes “am I supposed to give these back to you at some stage?” I smile and she delves back into the box pulling out the photo frame. “Is this…? Are you…?” she exclaims as she looks up at me. I raise my eyebrows, nod, and smile in affirmation. And all hell breaks loose…

It’s a better reaction that I could ever have imagined and I’ll forever kick myself that we didn’t film it. My Mum leaps off her chair, screams, hands over mouth, tears streaming down her face. Her feet start running on the spot before dashing to me for a big hug then continuing to traverse frantically around the room, all while her hand cover her squealing mouth in shock. This goes on for a good minute. It’s amazing. “Let’s celebrate!” both my Mum and hubby cry. “Champagne!” “Yeah great, champagne,” I say laughingly “I’ll have a water please”

 

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I’m not going mad (written 11th February 2015)

Am I? Could yesterday have all been a dream? I still can’t believe that this could actually be real. Lucky for me we bought an extra pregnancy test yesterday so bright and early this morning (ok, not so bright and early at 7:20am – my boss said I could have a sleep in) I test a third time just to be sure. 3 minutes later those two lines appear again. This might actually be happening but I don’t think I’ll believe it until the clinic tells me it’s so….and even then I might not believe.

I thought the anxiety would recede a little with a positive result but it hasn’t, it’s just changed. Now, instead of being worried that we might get a negative result, I’m panicking that the positive result we have might disappear. Cue the pregnancy test madness. With three positive tests in 24 hours I email both the clinic in San Diego and our New Zealand clinic to beg to bring my OTD forward. It’s scheduled for Monday but I’m hoping for a pre-weekend test so I can not only put my mind at ease a little, but also start telling those close to me.

It’s a strange position we’re in. So many people that I know in real life read my blog, they know we’ve been away, and they know exactly why. This makes it hard when it comes to the pregnancy announcement, they’re all going to know that we are aware of the outcome long before the time any normal/fertile pregnancy would be announced. I’m not sure how I feel about this. There are of course some people I would tell straight away regardless, but there are others I would probably have waited to tell, especially as the gossip in this town spreads like wildfire. It’s almost like we won’t have the luxury of this being ours for those 8-12 weeks that others get. But I guess that’s the decision I made when I shared this blog.

So back the pregnancy tests. I hear back from our New Zealand clinic reasonably promptly. They’re excited, assuring me that it’s not likely to be a false positive (yes, I asked), and after a bit of backwards and forwardsing on what my dates are, my blood test is bought forward to Friday. WOOHOO! Now I just need to keep this little Bumble or Bee (or both) happy inside me. And I need to reassure myself that everything is ok.

I stock up on home pregnancy tests at the supermarket, one for tonight, and two for tomorrow (morning and night), which will bring us to the Friday morning time for my blood test. In the last 36 hours we’ve spent $80 on pregnancy tests, but don’t judge me too harshly, they’re expensive in New Zealand. The cheapest I could find was $7.99! So all up I’ve purchased only six tests. This may seem excessive to some but I’m comfortable with that, knowing that it’s easing some of the extra tension.

Now to just keep up this charade of pretending I know nothing. I think I did ok today. The stress of my “this pregnancy is going to disappear” paranoia is reasonably easy to morph into “I’m worried this isn’t going to work” fear for the sake of others. I did have a look around the baby section of a shop today though so that might have tipped off my colleague who was with me. Not long to go now…only two more sleeps.


Two week wait craziness (written 10th February 2015)

This two week wait is absolutely killing me. And I blame hope. On the two previous times we’ve made it to transfer we’ve been warned in advance that things weren’t looking so good, so we went into transfer and the two week wait totally prepared for things not to work.   This time however we’ve got a good chance, with decent quality (and multiple) embryos, and that’s sparked that bitch they call hope in me again. I feel like there’s so much riding on this that if it doesn’t work I don’t know what we’ll do. Well, I suppose I do, we’ll save up some money and head back to San Diego to give it another shot with some of our frosties.

So it’s Tuesday and my second day back at work. I thought being back at work might actually help with the two week wait as I’d have something to distract me, but in fact it’s made it worse. I don’t want to be there, I can’t concentrate, I can’t focus. Monday wasn’t so bad, everyone came over to chat and catch up on our trip, so the day was somewhat light-hearted, although I may not have got as much work done as I should have. The hours still dragged though and I was left thinking that this was going to be the longest week of my entire life.

And then Tuesday rolls round and things get worse (is that possible?!?). I’ve hardly slept, due in part to jet-lag and in a larger part to worrying, so I start the day at less-than-optimal. Hubby’s not feeling great either, we’re just both so stressed about this not working. He’s worrying about work also and has a mini-meltdown in the car on the way into the office, which isn’t helped by me losing the plot and getting angry at him. I feel bad about it but I’m barely holding myself together, I just don’t have the capacity to hold him together too. It’s ok, we make up over hot drinks in the café not long after we get to work, but we’re both obviously at our wits end already and it’s only 5 days after transfer….there’s still a week to go until our test day!

I struggle through the morning, it’s like each second takes a full hour to tick by. I’m so close to tears I can barely talk to anyone and even tell one of the girls I work with it’s better to pretend I’m not there today. I honestly think I’m going crazy. I don’t know how people do this! I don’t know how I can keep this up for another week! Luckily my colleagues and bosses are really understanding and are supportive in my wobbliest day so far.

By 11am I can’t take it any more and, after a whinge on Twitter followed by further encouragement to test from one of the girls there, I decide to do just that. It’s still early enough that I can write off a negative result as “too early” and if it’s positive then it will hopefully ease my anxiety a little. I’d been researching online last night and there have been plenty of people who have had a positive result at 5 days past 6 day transfer (5dp6dt) so it’s not out of the question.

I grab my bag and wander out of the office without talking to anyone. There’s a pharmacy just down the road so I walked quickly down there, praying that no one would see me and put two & two together. I was hoping the pharmacy would have early test kits, thinking that these would have a better response what with me being so early in my two week wait. They didn’t, but after agonising for a while over which test to choose I grabbed a Clear Blue and headed to the counter. I’m sure the salesperson thought I was hoping for a negative result, he gave me that kind of quiet sorrowful look that people sometimes give young mothers (not that I’m young but I do still get ID’d occasionally). I made sure to pay with my personal credit card so that if the result was negative I wouldn’t have to divulge my moment of weakness to my hubby….not that he’d mind but I guess I didn’t want him to feel down if the result wasn’t what we’re hoping for.

Back to the work loos and I’m fumbling the test as I try to unwrap it, ever so conscious of the other person in the cubicles. What must they be thinking! I’m nervous as I pee on the little white stick and nearly forget to start the timer on my phone to time the two minutes. I watch anxiously, praying for a quick positive result….it doesn’t come.

What does come is a very slow fading in of a very faint second line to form a +. It seems so light I don’t dare hope that it’s a positive result. I think it is but I’m not totally sure. I snap a quick photo of it, tuck it into my bag with all it’s packaging and head back to my desk (stopping in a quiet room on the way to snap another couple of pics).

When I get back to my desk there’s a message from my husband, asking if I want to go for a walk to clear my head and hopefully make us both feel better about the day. “Sure” I say (I know exactly what I can do to make him feel better!). We meet at the main stairwell and wander off to the park near to our work. It feels good to get some fresh air but my legs are shaking as we head down the small hill to the park. I’m still not believing this could even be remotely real.

We sit down on one of the benches just inside the park and chit-chat about this and that trying to brighten the day. I last about a minute before I pull a little black box out of my bag and tell my hubby I have a present for him which will hopefully make him feel a bit better. He has no clue what I’m about to drop on him.

Now this little black box comes with a story. Four years ago, in our first month of trying to conceive and sooooo sure it would happen just like that, I bought a little newborn baby onesie and wrapped it up in a box ready to give to my husband as I announced we were pregnant. Well, that little black box has sat in my cupboard at work for all of the last four years, surviving both a role change AND an office move, waiting waiting waiting for the chance to come out and surprise him, and today it got that chance.

He slowly unwrapped the box and pulled out the little suit. He turned to me with a confused look on his face. “I caved and tested,” I said “and it came up with a faint positive.” I wish so much that I could’ve captured the look on his face as his confusion turned to absolute delight before he grabbed my face and gave me possibly the most excited kiss he ever has (ok, maybe not really the most excited kiss ever, but it was pretty amazing. TMI?).

I pulled out the test to show him (knowing that it was past the 10 minute time limit, but given the test looked the same as just after I’d tested I figured it was ok). “There’s a definite line there” he comments, and we’re both buzzing. We sit and chat and exclaim a few minutes longer, try to capture some better photos of the test to prove it’s real, then head back to the office. Shit, I think, I now have to get through the rest of the day without telling anyone.

The anxiety eases a fair bit, I’m a little euphoric with the idea that for the first time ever I may have just got a BFP on a pregnancy test, but then, as the minutes creep by the unease builds again. What if I did the test wrong? What if that’s not actually a second line on the test? What if it’s a positive but it disappears over the next few days? I’m nervous again. I’m going to have to test tomorrow, and every day between now and my official test day (OTD).

I make it through the remainder of the day, actually managing to concentrate on some more menial tasks I have to do, and buy a couple more pregnancy tests (First Response brand this time) from the supermarket on our way home in order to test for the next two consecutive days. Hubs thinks I’m a little nuts as I ask him whether we shouldn’t grab one more and retest today just to make sure, and puts his foot down, “NO”. Well we’re barely inside the door to our house when he’s changed his mind…..admittedly I bought it up, but he agreed! We retest and this time there’s no mistaking it. There’s a very clear and well-defined second line. OMG, we’re pregnant.


Give a little

To all our gorgeous friends and family who contributed to our Give-A-Little fund (you know who you are),

Thank you so much for contributing to our treatment in San Diego. As many of you know we were a bit hesitant about the whole Give-A-Little thing, knowing that you all have your own things to pay for and deal with, but we truly are so grateful to you for helping us out. The money raised covered the cost of our donor, which is just amazing! We’re so lucky to have such fantastic friends and family who care so much about us. Fingers crossed for a happy outcome!

Thank you so much once again. We love you all.

xx


A short post on silly worrying (written 6th February 2015)

OK, so now I’m being paranoid. Yep that good old friend Worry again. And I know it’s stupid to stress about silly things but sometimes you just can’t help yourself right?!? It’s all because I lifted a silly suitcase.

I’m under strict instructions not to lift anything heavier than 20 pounds, or approx. 9kgs, at least until my pregnancy test, and up until now I’ve been good. Then I lifted my near empty suitcase up onto the airport shuttle, a suitcase which later turned out to be 11.7kgs, and now, especially with a little cramping after the lift, I’m worried. I know it’s ridiculous and that the extra 2.7kgs (hopefully) won’t make a difference, but what if we get a negative result – will I feel guilty because I lifted that damn suitcase? Let’s just say I’ve learned my lesson and I’m not touching anything even remotely heavy from now on.


¡Adiós San Diego! (written 5th February 2015)

Let the two week wait crazies begin! I’m trying not to think about it, to only to think positive thoughts, sending loving vibes to our little embies (hopefully) nestling deep inside me, but with a fair bit of cramping from yesterdays transfer, it’s hard not too contemplate what’s going on within my body. I’m not desperately seeking signs, over-analysing every little twinge or symptom my body experiences, it’s waaaaay too early for that, but I’m sure I won’t be far off.   It’s going to be a looooong two weeks.

Today’s our last day in San Diego and by lunchtime tomorrow we’ll be well on our way back to Los Angeles. I’m not looking forward to heading back, not back to LA and not back home to New Zealand. I’m loving San Diego, it suits me, and I’m loving the break from all stress that awaits me back home. I’m wishing we’d taken another week off and had a bit more of a holiday now that all the nerve-wracking IVF stuff is done and dusted, but the plan was (and still is) to try and save my leave in case we (I) need to come back here for another cycle soon.

Aside from the sunny warm winter here and chilled out atmosphere, I’m really going to miss hanging out with my friend L and her gorgeous wee cherub. L and I met through Twitter (neither of us can really remember how), becoming Facebook and email friends not long after, and finally getting to meet in person last week. It feels like I’ve known L forever, although in reality it can’t be any more than a couple of years as I’ve only been on Twitter that long. She’s one of those amazing people who could entertain you for hours, knows just what to say when (usually when you need it most), and is always there no matter what shit she’s dealing with herself. Thank you L for being such a great friend, for showing us around this beautiful city, letting us hang with your gorgeous family, and for just being you. You rock!

Despite not wanting to leave San Diego there are some parts of going home I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to seeing my fluffy wee fur-babies and having some snurgly munchkin cuddles – although I know at least one of them will be grumpy with me for being away so long and will make me earn back her affection. I can’t wait to see my friends and family, and sleep in my own bed. And on the plus side it’s still summer so I’ll hopefully be going back to sunshine and warmth.

So heading home’s not all bad, and I guess the stress of returning to work will help distract me throughout the two week wait. I’m going to miss San Diego but I’ll be back, hopefully on holiday with my own little cherubs in tow.


Day 6 – part two (written 4th February 2015)

It’s time. We head to the clinic early in the hope of meeting the donor coordinator before transfer. We didn’t get to meet her on our last visit and it feels wrong leaving the States without saying “hello” as she was part of the reason with chose to go with San Diego Fertility Center. I’m excited as we travel the 20 minutes to the clinic, nervous about whether this is finally our golden ticket but excited all the same.

No luck on meeting the coordinator before treatment, she’s in their afternoon meeting but hopefully we’ll get to meet her afterwards. After a short wait in the waiting room we’re ushered through to our treatment room. Here we go!

I strip off my bottom half and climb up onto the bed, swathing myself in blankets to keep warm and maintain some kind of modesty. Then there’s more paperwork to complete – I’ll never get over how much additional paper work there is in the States! – and we’re ready to go. Two of my friends back home have given me ‘hope’ and ‘wish’ stones, good luck charms, and I clutch them tightly as the procedure begins, praying that this is the one that works!

The actual transfer process is much the same as it is back home. As mentioned previously I don’t need a full bladder (joy!) but other than that it’s pretty similar. The added technology is different though. The ultrasound images are clearer and there’s a little screen up on the wall that links through to the embryologists so that I can see our little embryos and exactly what the embryologists are doing with them. It’s awesome!

A bit of internal manoeuvring to get my body parts in the right place, in with dildocam to check it all (it looks good and apparently my uterus looks perfect), then in goes the first catheter. This ones a bit more rigid and will be used to guide the softer, embryo-containing catheters, to the correct place. Now the exciting part. In with our babies. The doc guides the softer catheters in and dildocam’s back for another visit to make sure everything’s all in the right spot. Then BAM! We see a spot of white on the monitor as our embies go in. The soft catheters come out and go back to the lab to make sure no embie was left behind and the doc removes everything else, confident that the procedure was a success. It was.

With Bumble and Bee safe on board I get covered in more blankets and allowed to rest for 30 minutes to relax. The image of our embies safe in their uterine home remains frozen on the ultrasound monitor so Hubby and I (and Bumble and Bee) take our first family photo. I feel elated, relieved, and only mildly worried about what the next two weeks will bring.

Thirty minutes later and we’re free to go. We get taken through our discharge paperwork (yep, more paperwork) of what to do and what not to do over the next wee while, given a printout of our Bumble & Bee ultrasound image, and we’re off. We do get to meet the donor coordinator on our way out. She’s lovely and happy for us but I get a bit tongue-tied (it’s a far too emotional day) so it’s a mildly awkward meeting. Whoops.

And that’s it. For now we’re a family of four. I only hope that it stays that way.

 

 


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