Firstly, WOW – thank you so, so much for the absolute bundles of support and love after I put out My IVF Story Part 1 last week. It’s been totally overwhelming and has totally spurred me on to get part two out nice and quickly for you all. I’m sorry I ‘teased’ you with two parts (as some jokingly suggested) I just wanted it to be a bit shorter and easier to read thats all. So I hope you’ll join me for part two with as much enthusiasm as part one, as it’s been truly amazing!
Right, so if you haven’t read Part 1, click here – as the rest might not make too much sense! Onto the rest of the story…
WHAT GOES ON IN THE LAB?
So our little eggs were whisked away (hopefully not literally) to begin the first stage of the process in the lab – fertilisation. So, while we were sleeping that night our eggs were much busier than us! I woke up the next morning eagerly awaited the phone call from the embryologist as to how they were getting on. The call came, 11 out of 14 had fertilised, another fab result and a sigh of relief! So, then began the waiting game – our eggs were then left in the lab monitored closely by the embryologists for 5 days, giving our little embryos time to split (many times) and change into the next phase which is called a blastocyst. I love watching this video to imagine what happened over those 5 days. It helped me get through the 5 days as I had a weird feeling of attachment to the embryos, like I wanted to go and sit with them for the week, like a mother hen waiting for her eggs to hatch.
So just when I thought the jabs were over, I was the prescribed an ultra strong dose of Progesterone, which embarrassingly had to be injected into my bum cheek every morning for 8 weeks (this was the WORST bit of the whole IVF procedure as my bum became so sore and we kept having to inject into the bruised area, it was just hideous!) When I saw the size of the needle I winced, THEY ARE MASSIVE. But, V being lovely bought me some Disney princess plasters to try smooth things over in the sore bum department. Bless.
Finally, the best day in the whole IVF process arrived – the egg transfer. Out of our initial 11 fertilised eggs, 7 had made it to the required blastocyst stage and our embryologist had chosen the healthiest out of the batch to transfer that morning. I was so hyper and excited that morning, I changed into my hospital gown and danced around the room. I’ll always remember that morning as Vee had just worked a night shift and couldn’t keep her eyes open and napped in the waiting room while I got myself ready. The clinic told me I was allowed to keep my socks on, so I wore a lucky pair of rainbow socks I bought in Peru, although I had to wear little plastic booties over them too, ha!
The process itself was relatively straight forward and only slightly more intrusive than a smear test. The worst part was that it has to be conducted with a full bladder (so your uterus is pushed into a straighter path for the embryo) so it was just a bit uncomfortable having the procedure done at the same time as the nurse was pushing an ultrasound scanner onto my belly. It was so lovely watching on the screen as our little embryo was placed in his/her home for hopefully 9 months. The Dr then printed me out a scan picture so I can keep that memory forever. I know IVF is an intense process, but not many people can say they’ve seen their babies as blastocysts, right?!
THE TWO WEEK WAIT
So, now we move into the dreaded ‘two week wait’. If you’ve ever been part of any ‘trying to conceive’ community, you’ll know this is the toughest part psychologically, as all you can do is WAIT. The two week wait is typically the time between ovulation and when your pregnancy will show on a pregnancy test (although if you are lucky it might show earlier) and IVF is no different – you still have to wait. It seems to drive even the sanest of people a little loopy. Luckily for me, with the IVF process, 5 days were in the lab, so I actually had a 9 day wait, but it still felt just as long.
I managed 4 days out of 9 before I caved in and bought a pregnancy test. Knowing this was SO amazingly early and I’d be SO disappointed if I saw a negative, I decided to risk it anyway. Immediately the second window went blank, I took one look – negative. I scolded myself in my head as to why I tested so early and left it on the kitchen side. Luckily, my good friend Dani was on her way over, so I decided to brush myself off and get ready for her arrival. By the time I’d showered and got dressed, I returned to my discarded pregnancy test on the kitchen side and realised I might be able to see a second line. The line was was so light I felt like my eyes were playing tricks on me. I stood in the garden (hello natural light!) for nearly 20 minutes squinting at this test like a woman possessed, changing the angles, turning it different ways, wondering if I was just hallucinating.
PLEASE PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY!
Dani arrived and immediately came out into the garden with me so we could scan the test together. Being an expert in this department, she confirmed I was not going mad, there was a very faint, but definite line. She then recommended a pregnancy test that was slightly more sensitive and we literally flew out the door to the chemist for another go. I did the test and there was another line – this time it was a little more obvious! I sneakily did a mini jump for joy but as it was so early, I felt like I couldn’t get too excited just yet.
I then went crazy doing 1-2 pregnancy tests every day for the days leading up to my 14 day milestone (yes I know thats mad, but I couldn’t help but check everything was ‘still there’ every morning). As you can see the lines get stronger and stronger as we go on meaning my hormone levels were raising every day, this was so reassuring and became a bit of an addiction. During this time I went away on my good friend Rachael’s hen party to Poland with a stash of pregnancy tests in my suitcase. As I’d only just had the full IVF process and the operation, Rachael and her lovely family and friends looked after me SO well, carrying my bags and making sure I was ok at every stage. I was a bit boring and had to go to bed early every night as my body was doing crazy things – but I had such a lovely time and it was a great distraction from everything.
On the 15th day I got home from Poland – instead of a cheapie pregnancy test I bought the one I’d been saving for the BIG DAY – The Clearblue Digital – this would be our final verdict. I stood with V in the bathroom as the egg timer flashed on the screen, then after an eternity, our result popped up and FINALLY it felt real and I let myself get excited………
So this brings us to the end of our amazing IVF journey – I’m finally pregnant – I can’t believe it but it’s finally my turn and my moment to tell the world. It only went and WORKED! I don’t think I believed it properly for a couple of weeks, it was just a surreal time. After all that fear, every injection, every sleepless night, every pregnancy test – there is a baby growing and we both couldn’t be more over the moon and excited. I also learned so much about myself through the IVF process. I proved to myself that I am a lot tougher than I thought I was and I can do anything when I put my mind to it. Sometimes you just have to do things and face your fears. I now think to myself when things get tough that I’m an ‘IVF warrior’ and nothing seems so bad anymore. It’s even given me confidence to stand up for myself more. I just keep thinking ‘I’ve been though IVF, I can DO this‘. It’s changed my life, and I’m not even talking about the baby!
So over the last few months, the first trimester was rough, but that was nothing compared to everything we’d been through and I’m so grateful. To get that positive test I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat 🙂 We also have 6 high quality embryos left which are stored, so who knows, they might be our future children, down the line!
This could be just the start…..
I’ll leave you with some snaps of the progress so far. Thank you for reading my journey, join me for pregnancy updates over the next few months to come! 🙂 🙂 🙂
If you are going through fertility treatment and want to ask a question or talk things over, drop me a line – I’d be more than happy to help you out if I can 🙂
Pin for later: