Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Frozen Embryo Transfer Diary...

As you will have read, we are happy to announce that our IVF was a success, and we are now expecting a baby - Lauren is pregnant! We kept this diary a secret during our treatment, but now we know our result, we are publishing it here as a record of a very memorable time for us both.

Cycle Day 1 - Thursday 17th September - Lauren
So our first frozen embryo cycle officially begins today! My period has been 'on it's way' since Sunday, so it's a relief it's finally here. We have our niece today, as we do every Thursday, so our minds have been more on taking her to the nature centre down the road to see the "sssss" snakes and the "ooh ooh ahh" monkeys than it has been on our impending cycle. But I rang the clinic this morning to let them know that it's started, and booked our first scan for Monday 28th September, day 12. It seems like ages away! We are both feeling positive, relaxed and excited.

Cycle Day 3 - Saturday 19th September - Lauren
I've been taking my oestrogen pill three times a day for a couple of days now. I think my body must be fairly sensitive to hormonal changes because I've had a killer headache since Thursday afternoon (after the second pill) and I feel quite nauseous. My appetite seems to have disappeared too, not that I'm complaining on that one! My period has already nearly gone - it's odd, it was heavy and short. Moving out the old to make way for the new. The one that will become home to our baby, such a funny feeling!

Cycle Day 6 - Wednesday 23rd September - Sarah
Today has been a lovely day. We have both been at work an awful lot for the past few days, I am just about to open a brand new store and have been working like crazy to get it all ready, and Lauren has just finished three long days. So a mid-week day off together has been really welcome. We went to see the acupuncturist this afternoon which is always lovely, Lauren feels great after a session, and it has become almost like therapy too. No-one knows about this cycle apart from us, so it was really great to talk through the happenings of the IVF cycle and discuss this cycle with someone who understands all of this. And then we went for a wander round Solihull…where we mainly looked at all the gorgeous tiny baby clothes, and to Starbucks for an autumn themed coffee and cake (decaf for Lauren!), to talk a little more about just how excited we are, and how surreal it is that Lauren will be carrying our embryo in a couple of weeks!

Cycle Day 9 - Friday 25th September - Sarah
Our 11th anniversary! And a fairly non eventful one for us! We had to plans to spend the evening out in Birmingham, but we were so tired from work! I have been very busy setting up my company's new store in Birmingham's new Grand Central centre, and Lauren has been working lots in preparation for not working during the two week wait. So we both agreed that what we really wanted to do, was eat lots of good food at home, and snuggle up with some champagne.

Cycle Day 11 - Sunday 27th September - Lauren
I now can't believe how quickly the past 10 days have gone! Nothing much to report really, still taking my oestrogen pills three times a day. I have an app on my phone to remind me - and I've still managed to forget on quite a few occasions and suddenly remembered again an hour or so later! I've spent more and more time dreaming of our baby and visualising what is going on in my body. Without a doubt Sarah and I believe in the power of positivity and good energies so I undoubtedly believe that this cycle will be the one that results in our baby. My work is slowing down a bit and this week I'll be spending more time relaxing and meditating too. And will hopefully fit in another acupuncture session before transfer day too. Tomorrow is scan day! We will find out if the oestrogen has done its job and thickened up my lining, and will also get a date for transfer. The arrival of Autumn is lovely too - everything feels exciting, in a calm, happy, positive kind of way! Our favourite season by far, and the perfect one to make a baby!

Cycle Day 12 - Monday 28th September - Lauren
Scan day - I am having a scan to check my womb lining is thick enough. It is ideally meant to be over 8mm, mine is 14.7mm! Sarah was at work so I texted to let her know, as she was excited/anxious to find out! After she finished work, we went back to the fertility clinic together to sign our consent forms (to say we want one of our two blastocysts to be defrosted and transferred), and to be given news of when our transfer date is - it's Wednesday 7th October! We are having embryo transfer next week! We haven't told anyone, not a soul. The temptation to tell our mums is huge but we want to surprise them with an announcement. During our last IVF cycle a lot of our families and friends knew what was happening, and constantly asked for updates, so we feel this way is better for us, and more exciting for us and them!

Cycle Day 16 - Friday 2nd October - Sarah
It's my birthday! We have had a pretty amazing day together that has been quite chilled out. Lauren went to her parents this morning to drop Willow off while I was at work, and then we've spent the day in the spa we went to for our hen party back in 2013, and are going out for her birthday to an Italian tapas bar for cocktails and tapas tonight. I can't help but wonder what my next birthday will be like, hopefully with a 3 month old in tow!! Lauren is still continuing to take oestrogen pills but today has had to start to take progesterone pessaries too, which prepare your body for a pregnancy. As our embryos are 5 day old blastocysts she need 5 days worth of progesterone before transfer. And so far, no side effects! Woohoo! The time to transfer day is dragging so slowly and yet speeding along at the same time. Two weeks today we will be taking a pregnancy test, and hopefully, with all our fingers and toes crossed, be seeing those two little lines staring back at us!

Cycle Day 20 - Tuesday 6th October - Lauren
Day four of progesterone pessaries and it lots of ways they haven't been as bad as I was expecting. I was completely expecting a ridiculously bad headache but haven't had one. No sore boobs. No moodiness. Instead I am experiencing hunger like you'd never believe, to the point of feeling sick if I don't eat, terrible skin and the most awful tiredness. In fact I feel quite similar to when we got our chemical pregnancy last year - and I put it down to a steep rise in progesterone at the time. I did get sore boobs then though, but maybe it's hCG that has that reaction in me, and I'm yet to have any of that in this cycle. So...embryo transfer is tomorrow! Today I'm off to London with my dad to go and watch a show and have dinner. The temptation to tell our parents is ever present (especially when they ask what's happening!) but I just want it to be our secret for a while longer - and then get to surprise them in a couple of weeks time!

Cycle Day 21 - Embryo Transfer - Wednesday 7th October

What a beautiful and peaceful day we've had. If you could design a day for your baby to be transferred in to your tummy it would indeed have been today. We began our day going for an acupuncture session, which as usual was incredibly relaxing and positive, and left us both feeling focused and optimistic for what will come. As the appointments are in Solihull, we often take the opportunity to wander round one of our favourite town centres afterwards, and this indeed we did - going for a very relaxed brunch at Giraffe.

We then wandered around the shops in an effort to waste some time, very excitedly coming across a guide dog exhibition, where we said hello to an 8wk old puppy, and then saw this awesome Halloween shop - we absolutely love Halloween and have decorated our house every year we have lived together, so this was awesome!


Whilst we were there, the fertility clinic phoned to let us know the outcome of the planned thaw of our embryo - and we were incredibly relieved when the embryologist reported that our expanding blastocyst had thawed very well, had re-expanded and was a 'beautiful' little embryo. Transfer was confirmed for 1:30 that afternoon.

Having received the news we were waiting for, we set off on the hour long drive to the clinic. We were both feeling very calm, and happy, and listened to some beautiful music as we admired the changing autumn scenery on our drive. Arriving at the clinic we were shown to the ward area, and given our clothes to get ready for theatre. A gown for Lauren and scrubs for Sarah - beautiful!


The transfer itself went very smoothly - you need a very full bladder which was pretty uncomfortable (Lauren may have overdone the water intake on the drive there!), and they simply guide the catheter in to place, and then you watch the little 'puffff' as the embryo is deposited in to your womb.
Here are a couple of what have to be the earliest baby pictures ever - our 5 day old blastocyst under a microscope just before being transferred, and a scan of the exact second our blastocyst was transferred!

It's a pretty incredible experience, and we were so, so grateful that Sarah could sit next to Lauren and hold her hand and watch the whole thing. It made us both pretty emotional!

So that was that - after a little lie down, and Lauren making the nurses promise and then promise again that it wouldn't fall out if she stood up (!!) we were free to go! We had a second acupuncture appointment following the transfer, and then brought our little blastocyst home where it can snuggle in nice and tightly and stay with us for the next nine months. We have followed a few old wives tales for fun and because they can do no harm, so Lauren chilled out with her legs up for a while on our return!


Our next post is about our 'Two Week Wait', and finding out our result!

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