We are currently in the latter part of our treatment, and a roller coaster it certainly is! Analysing every scan, twinge, and nurses' facial expression and dreaming and wanting and talking about this to work so very much.
This post is a jumbled collection of our thoughts, there are many currently whizzing round our heads and it'd be really hard to make them form a logical blog post. So here goes:
* Cetrotide is a horrible injection. Gonal-f is fine, it's a really tiny needle and you can't feel the medication go in. But cetrotide on the other hand is a bigger needle, the medication stings as it enters your body, leaves a big red patch and itches like crazy for about an hour. This is my first point, because I've just had it, so the stinging is driving me mad!
* The thirst during stims is unreal. Really, really mad. I think it's because I have SO MANY follicles, and the sonographer today told me I need to up my water intake as they will all be taking fluid from my system, but I am constantly thirsty, and no amount of water is making it go.
* The tiredness is also madness. I feel so tired all the time. Thankfully I have now finished work for the remainder of our treatment, so I can do nothing more than rest and catch up on some much needed sleep. I can only imagine that this exhaustion is similar to that of early pregnancy - all the effort your body is putting in to growing something so significant! I've been sleeping well at night and then napping during the day. Madness!
* I'm still eating tons of protein in the hope that the eggs I produce will be of good quality. We have been quite creative in our ways of making sure our diet is protein rich, and have used the Oh She Glows cookbook and blog loads for amazing high protein vegan recipes.
* I'm pretty uncomfortable the vast majority of the time. My ovaries feel huge and swollen. It hurts to sit for too long due to the pressure on them, so the car rides to the clinic aren't fun, and it's uncomfortable to lie on my side in bed. Even through all of the pain and pressure and stretching though I am relieved I can feel it, in a weird way it's amazingly reassuring that things are all going so well, and I can feel the medication working.
* I feel overwhelmingly positive that this is our time. Every time I think about the outcome I can't imagine anything but me getting pregnant with our baby. Of course I might not, I know that, but I really believe that your body and mind are deeply connected, so I want to believe that this will happen in the hope that it will.
* We had our baby niece to stay over last night. She turned two last week and is just the most adorable little being. She loves us both, but she really adores Sarah, and watching my incredible wife with this little person made my heart explode with even more love than I thought was possible. We seem to create this perfect partnership, and it makes me know we are so ready to be parents. I cooked dinner while Sarah played with Ella, and then I sat with her with Sarah tidied up. Sarah bathed her while I assembled the travel cot (hearing Ella shriek with giggles at Aunty Sarah's bath games made me grin from ear to ear), and then we read her a story each and put her to bed. Off to sleep she went and we snuggled up together and discussed how incredible it'll be to have our own tiny person. We are so excited.
|The football kit is her Dad's doing, not ours - she'd been a mascot for this club earlier in the day!|
* I am really terrified of developing ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome. The scan today I have 30 follicles that are all 10 - 15mm in size. Before they consider egg collection they want at least 3 to be greater than 17.5mm. I'm scared of going through all of this and then getting OHSS as that would probably mean we had to freeze all resulting embryos and wait for 3 more months before we could go ahead with embryo transfer to give my body chance to recover.
* Our first scan was on Saturday - I was meant to be working but had worked a little extra each day that week in order to finish early, cue squashing 4hrs work into 2hrs and rushing to be collected by Lauren!
* I was so, so excited by the scan. I think this was because the scan machine looks exactly like when you are scanned to see your baby - although we've had/seen these scans before when they have checked how many follicles Lauren has, this time it wasn't seeing the usual on the screen. It was strange to see all the enlarged eggs on the screen and think "one of those will hopefully be our baby, it's already there, just incomplete and very tiny!"
* The first scan showed Lauren is doing well. "Blast off" the nurse described it as, as we saw approximately 10 follicles on each side all measuring 8.5 - 10.5mm. Lauren had blood taken too, and then as she was back to work that night went to bed and I waited for the clinic to phone me with the results. They phoned a couple of hours later to say everything is progressing perfectly and to continue on the same doses of both drugs. And that the next scan would be Monday.
*We loved having our niece, Ella to stay. As someone who previously didn't want to children, and still would most definitely not describe myself as maternal (I've never held a baby, and in my opinion, there's an extreeemely small number of babies who are actually, 'cute'!) I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed it.
I am really proud of how well we did. Yes I know it was only two days and one night, but for our first time with a baby, I am really proud. I think we did so well as with like anything, we were a great partnership. I have always known Lauren will be an amazing mother but this was the first time I thought 'I'm actually quite good at this!'
* Sadly I wasn't able to go to Lauren's scan yesterday as I had to be at work early. So I said goodbye to my wife and niece that morning, and had to wait for my lunch break at work to hear the news of the scan. Unfortunately the scan showed that Lauren is over-responding to the drugs. The sonographer had told her there is a chance they will need to cancel the cycle completely, but that we would hear more that afternoon. I really felt as though I was about to cry, this was not the news we wanted to hear at all. Roller coaster indeed.
* That afternoon the clinic phoned to say that Lauren's bloods show that her body is coping well with the number of follicles she is growing, and to just continue on the doses she is on, so another scan was scheduled for today to see how things are going.
* Today's scan we were a little nervous for after yesterdays showing that Lauren has over responded. As the nurse turned the scan machine on and started measuring the follicles, her mutters of 'my goodness' and 'bless you' didn't help! It's hard to work out whether they mean 'wow you are doing well, and quickly' or 'that's not supposed to happen'! The clinic proceeds with egg collection when there are 3 follicles measuring 17.5mm or more (a follicle 15mm or above is likely to contain a mature egg) and today Lauren had an 18, two 16's, a few 15's and lots of 14-9's. Very positive!
After another blood test, we went for lunch, and then to Lauren's acupuncture treatment. We always end up talking about our treatment, and lives in general, at length with our acupuncturist - I joked today that she must feel like a therapist/fertility specialist! The clinic phoned towards the end of our session and told me that our next scan will be Thursday, that the doctor had advised to drop our Gonal-f to 125iu, and that the estrogen levels in Laurens blood were now 4900. Although they didn't seem overly worried by this, it does technically put her at risk of OHSS, so I'm guessing this is the reason for lowering the dose slightly. So we are making sure Lauren drinks LOTS of water, and rests a lot. In fact she is fast asleep as I write this!
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