Wednesday, June 29, 2016
So there's the little squidge! She labelled it for me, in case it wasn't clear.
Otherwise it was a relatively quick and uneventful appointment. When I got there, the radiologist was confused about why I was there for such an early scan. The first scan is usually at 12 weeks. So I said, you know, to see if it's in the right place, the right size, that it's got a heartbeat. So that's basically what she did. It was all relatively quick. My friend who works across the street from me came with me. I hadn't originally planned to have anyone go with me, but she offered and I felt like it was probably a good idea. I mean, if things had not gone well, I'm sure I would have been on the phone to people immediately, but it was good to have someone there, so that worked out well.
After the scan the radiologist seemed confused about when I would next be in. She thought I might not be in until the 20 week scan but I'm sure that's not right. But they couldn't seem to work this out, so instead have told me to meet with my midwife (first appointment in 2 weeks, week 9) and that they would make the appropriate scans. That was a little bit frustrating, but I don't think it makes any difference. I will get the scans I need when I need them, but it's always annoying when things aren't joined up and smooth.
So despite not really feeling pregnant, I clearly am. Really hard to believe. Almost as much as the first positive pregnancy test! So onward to my next hoop jumping, midwife appointment and NIPT. But definitely a huge relief to pass this hurdle.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
I read in one of the baby apps I'm following that my uterus has doubled in size now. I thought that was interesting. It also occurred to me that I don't have a good idea of how big a uterus is usually. I know how big an ovary is usually (about the size of a walnut) but uterus, no. I also read another thing that said that women with stronger first trimester symptoms have a lower rate of miscarriage. While that may be true, I thought that was a shitty thing to read. I've seen plenty of women say that they haven't had many symptoms and be fine and vice versa. So probably not the most useful tip I've seen come by on a pregnancy app.
I was going to work from home tomorrow, go to my scan, and then come in to work but work is so stressful right now that I think instead I'm going to go to work and get a taxi to and from my scan. It would be more efficient and I have too much to do.
My dad is going to see my uncles and associated family this week and asked what he could or should tell them. I told him that if the scan tomorrow was okay, that he could tell that but that I'd prefer to wait and see how it goes. Like I said, I'm a bit nervous that the news will not be good. Of course I hope that it's all fine. I'll find out tomorrow, in about 24 hours. So that's not so hard to wait for.
And of course whatever happens will happen. If it's all good, I am still going to worry that could change, and worry about chromosomal abnormalities until I can get a NIPT done. If it's not good, well, it's not good and I'll have to deal with that and plan for the next stages of trying all over again.
Friday, June 24, 2016
As someone with both US and UK citizenship, it's hard not to feel that there is no hope. Sometimes when I look at the world I do honestly stop and wonder if the right thing to do is to bring another person into it. What sort of place are we leaving for our children??!! I see around me a world that is angry, full of hate, full of blame, lacking responsibility, empathy, etc.
This morning I reflected that in the past I have truly wondered how world wars happened. How could people let them happen? Where was the common sense? How did it get so bad? And yet I fear that I am watching that very thing happen now. I can't fathom how people think that the decisions they make, in this country, in the States, in Australia, in the middle east, all over the world it seems- how are decisions based on isolationism, hatred, or fear acceptable? How are these sociopathic leaders swaying masses of people to their cause? And alongside that, as we bicker amongst ourselves and build walls and division, we're also destroying the planet. It's just so awful.
I am surrounded, generally, by people who think very similarly to myself. This means I am always astonished by the other side. It's hard to remember, or acknowledge that I'm in a minority. My work, my circle of friends, most of us are somehow involved in trying to make the world a better place. Like, our actual jobs are about exactly that. How utterly disheartening to think that it's all futile, and that humanity is doomed to self destruct. I want to think more of people. I want to believe in a better world for my hopeful child. Sometimes, like today, it's just really hard.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
My last post clearly had some unfortunate foreshadowing as the first woman in my pregnancy group on the forum has gone out. This was of course upsetting to hear. She had worries, because everyone has worries, but nothing that appeared to be anything obvious. Retrospectively you could say 'this, that, and the other', but the reality is, it's easy to look back and see obvious, I don't think it was. So, shocking, and sad.
It's hard not to hear that and have the surge of panic about your own situation. I'm mindful that I have not done PGS testing on the embryos. It was something I looked in to and was not available. My clinic was not in favor, although it's clearly more and more common in the States. While there can obviously still be loads of issues with PGS tested embryos, it does seem to reduce the chance of miscarriage by about 9-10% according to one clinic's statistics. It seems for the age of my embryo egg (38, not my current age of 41) the miscarriage rate for me at this point is around 20%+ or 1 in 5. Again, sobering thoughts.
But again, NOTHING I can do at this point. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. My mantra is simply to repeat this thought. It is the waiting that is stressful and what will be will be. Take each day is it comes. Accept each day and each moment for what it is. Be confident in the knowledge that I will be able to manage each moment, no matter what happens, but that worrying about possible futures, of which I have no control over, is not productive for me, or for the growing fetus. Repeat.
It could also be that I continue with a pregnancy and find out their are other issues that will require difficult choices. Yesterday I was looking at where I could get a NIPT done locally as a useful Facebook advertisement popped up. Usually I ignore those, but finally a relevant one indicated there's a private clinic in Grantchester which will do it for cheaper than a London clinic. If I manage to make it to 10 weeks, and it's not available through the NHS, I'm definitely doing a private NIPT.
I am also mindful that there is a potential discrepancy between my dpo and week calculation of up to 3 days. This is because my cycles are slightly longer, typically. So when I use various online calculators, they suggest based on dpo that I'm 6w1d not 6w4d. This is of course important as every benchmark is measured in what week you are at- if only you get to this week your risks reduce, blah blah blah. I of course want to be at the further ahead date, but should realistically be considering myself the further behind date.
Monday, June 20, 2016
I told my GP the results of my hCG blood tests and he mentioned that the numbers were on the low side but of course early. Which of course made me twinge with worry. The numbers doubled- which is what they say is more important than the actual number. And yes, they were low in the sense that it was 14dpo and 16dpo. I am consoled that my pregnancy tests got progressively darker and stronger meaning hCG was rising. But anyway, blah.
Today I'm feeling twinges in the gut/tummy/uterus region and of course I'm trying not to worry about it or think about it too much. I want everything to go smoothly, obviously, but I am also unable not to worry that it won't. On the forum that I frequent there appears to always be at least 2 women who miscarry within each 3 month group. So it's a rather gruesome game of Russian roulette. Of course none of us may miscarry- which would be awesome of course. But looking through the history of the pregnancy boards, there seems to always be at least 2. So that's sobering. (Apologies to those of you from the board who may have read this and found it upsetting).
A woman in my three month group posted about her anxiety levels around the pregnancy. I don't think it's possible to be pregnant and not worry, I guess it's how you process your worrying that makes a difference. The only thing I can console myself with right now is that there is nothing I can do to change anything. The future is already written- I just don't know it yet. Will I miscarry? Is this ectopic? Will there be a chromosomal abnormality? So many things that you could worry about it. But worrying about them doesn't change anything at all. If bad shit happens, I will deal with it and get through it because I have to. And I know I can, because I am a strong person and I have a network of friends and family who love me. I can't change what that future will be. I just don't know what it is yet. And that's scary and frustrating and stressful. But really I need to just be patient and wait. Take each day, each moment for what it is. I can't change the future, so I can only be present in the now. Anyway, that's how I try to get through the stress and worry. Of course not entirely helpful when you are second guessing every twinge!
In other news I told my dad last night that I was pregnant. He hasn't been the most on board with the pregnancy plan but was surprisingly supportive. Of course he was supportive in the way that my dad is able to be supportive- mainly by indicating how he would be able to provide some financial support to a child of mine. But hey, financial support is really important. And for my dad, being able to take care of someone (financially) is how he shows that he loves them. So that was nice. This isn't to say that my dad will foot all the baby bills for everything. In fact, far from it. But anyway, it was nice to feel supported.
Friday, June 17, 2016
I peed on a stick this morning and the line came up quickly and dark. So, hCG still rising! In fact it came up so quickly that I'm not sure I'll get any stronger readings off them. I think I have 3 more of the eBay strips left. I also have 4 First Response tests left which seem wasteful. Maybe I'll try and pass them off to someone? Of course everything could go horribly wrong and I may need to start this all over again, so maybe just hold on to them until I'm out of some of the danger zones.
Of course being this early pregnant everything is a worry. I continue to have small twinges on my left side where my ovary is. I am of course obsessed with wondering if this could be signalling an ectopic pregnancy. I don't seem to have any other symptoms, but I don't like occasional twinges in the ovary region. Of course the scan will help verify what is going on- but that's not for two weeks. So until then I'm just trying to not make a mountain out of molehill and be obsessive about it. I got a twinge in the other side as well, which of course then made me think it could be an ectopic pregnancy in my Fallopian tube stump that's left from the surgery. See? Crazy.
In other news I've had my first offer of baby hand me downs, which is awesome! There are some things I'm willing to spend money on if I can't find what I want for a reduced price. But most stuff I'm super happy to take hand me downs for. Babies go through things so quickly and they are barely used. It makes total sense!
Not much else going on. Still haven't heard a word from the friend who dumped on me. I got a day by day pregnancy book which is kind of fun to read over breakfast. Still not really having symptoms that I can notice, which is probably just as well. Still doing my Cycologest/progesterone twice a day at 8am/pm like clockwork. I set an alarm for the evening one- very helpful. Still trying to be good about doing yoga or walking daily (as well as cycling to work). And life goes on!
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Of course everything could still go terribly wrong and I could be revisiting this budget in the future. For now though, the final budget on trying to become a single mother is:
|Hatching and Vitrification||£850|
I still have no pregnancy symptoms and no letter telling me when my first scan or appointment is. I also have no period, so I am pretty much still pregnant, but it's very hard to tell unless I pee on a stick. It's not that I want horrible first trimester symptoms. It's just that I'm nervous something will go wrong and the pregnancy will not stick. I realize that symptoms have pretty much zero to do with this, but you can't stop your brain from trying to make sense of a crazy situation.
So I guess I'm back to waiting. I can already see that this process is going to be one long exercise in waiting for things. I might as well get used to it!
Monday, June 13, 2016
Well, this morning I managed to get out the door and shut it before realizing that my keys were not in my hand or in my coat pocket. They were not in my bag, or inside my purse inside my bag. I can only assume the are still inside the house. So there I was, unable to unlock my bicycle with all of my gear set to go. So I took off my helmet and sunglasses and ankle straps, managed to get everything into my pannier. Converted the pannier to a shoulder bag and then walked to work. It's about a 25-30 minute walk to work. So I guess I got in my walking exercise for the day. I will also need to walk home. On top of which I got up and did a 20 minute exercise routine that another lady on the SMC forums recommended. So exercise for today all sorted.
So far I've been good at my daily exercise plan. I hope I can keep it up. I have a very good reason to now, so I do find that's motivating. But there's a long way to go. The videos and doing things at home definitely help.
In other news, still zero physical feelings of being pregnant. So this morning I peed on a stick and it was darker than it was 2 days ago (I didn't do it yesterday). So hCG still rising, just not feeling anything yet. I'm sure it will come. It's just hard to believe I'm actually pregnant when I don't feel any different!
The rest of my cyclogest/progesterone suppositories should be delivered today. I still have a few days left, so I'm not in danger of running out yet. I think they were meant to have sent me a text yesterday to confirm the delivery and I didn't get any text. Anyway we'll see. If they don't arrive I'll obviously be calling. I think in the worst case scenario I could probably cycle to the clinic and get some because I bet they have some in stock. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Sunday, June 12, 2016
The other thoughts I have tend to circle around 'What have I done?!' and 'What am I doing?!'. Changing your life is terrifying. I don't care when you do it or how you do it. It's always going to come with a fear of the unknown. And a fear that you've made a wrong choice. I don't think I have, but the future is still an unknown place to me. I don't know what it will like to be pregnant yet. I don't know what it will be like to have a baby, to care for a child. So all of these things are a bit frightening. Not necessarily in a bad way, but I'm just being honest. There's a lot of things I don't know. And not knowing things is scary.
And perhaps part of it is the emotions filling in. The shock wearing off a little bit. Reality sinking in. There's plenty of time, but I feel like I need to be doing things. That I need to be better prepared. One of the things I've decided to do at the moment is daily gentle exercise. Either a pregnancy yoga video or walking around the park across the street. I think this is a good idea for any number of reasons. And it gives me something to focus on and do. Another thing I think I should try to get on top of is getting my UK driver's license. I've avoided it for years and years but I think being able to drive, or maybe having a car, would make my life immensely easier with a child. So these are things I need to do.
Then I'm doing other random stuff like some knitting projects- for ME for a change, and trying to get some personal work related professional stuff done. I feel motivated to do things. Which for me, is probably a good thing. I have no idea how long it will last.
Which then makes me think about if this pregnancy will last. I don't know if you ever feel 'safe' in this process- or if you ever feel safe again! It's really just one worry to the next. If I get to 8 weeks I'll start to feel a bit better. If I get to 12 weeks I'll feel a bit better. Etc. Early days.
Friday, June 10, 2016
Still in a bit of shock. Still know there's a long way to go. So far though, pregnant!
In other news, I'm sure that my breasts are 'fuller' or at least firmer today. They don't necessarily look different but they definitely feel different. They feel as though I've lost 20 years! Ha! At any rate, this is the first physical sign that I think I have that there is anything different in my body.
Spotting has pretty much stopped.
This morning I did a prenatal yoga video from YouTube. I feel that I need to up my exercise game during a pregnancy. I'm not the most physically active and I think this is important both for my health, the health of the pregnancy, and the health of the fetus. So I found some good full session prenatal yoga workouts that I've put into a playlist. My goal will be to try to do this every other day, although daily would be better. I may try to alternate with going for walks around the park that is just outside my house. Convenient and perfect for low impact exercise.
Still can't really believe it. Having occasional fleeting thoughts of 'Holy fuck what have I done??!!??'. On some level it's all still sort of terrifying. But maybe in a good way? Hard to explain. But I'll definitely have time to delve into my feelings over the next nine months (fingers crossed).
Thursday, June 9, 2016
|Private beta hCG blood test||£134|
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
I can't believe it yet. I don't feel anything at all to indicate there is something growing inside of me. Last night and this morning I had a bit of spotting and last night I felt crampy. I don't know if that was from the excitement, the spotting, or actual cramps. But this morning still positive tests, and no cramping, so okay.
I went for the private blood test I paid for this morning and it took her two tries to get it out of me. I have no idea when I'll get the results or what the results will actually be. Having already paid for this test and taken it, it could very well be a 'yes you are pregnant' or 'no you are not pregnant' sort of test with no actual beta hCG numbers provided. I am beyond frustrated with my inability to get beta hCG blood tests here the way everyone else seems to have as standard as part of fertility treatments. If I was in London, this would be very easy as I see a lot of the fertility clinics offer it. I've already written to my clinic here in Cambridge suggesting they make it an optional add-on (or just make it standard). I never heard anything back from my GP who I contacted and offered to pay for it myself.
However, a positive test is a positive test. So right at this moment, I am pregnant, although we have a long way to go before there is a baby.
I've told most people who know that I'm trying about the early result. I'm not a superstitious kind of person. In fact I'm against most of the 'secrecy' and 'careful' aspects of early pregnancy. First of all, if I get upset because I miscarry, I want to be able to talk to people who know me and care about me. Secondly, we need to stop freaking women out that they can control miscarriage and it's their fault if they exercise wrong or bend over funny or whatever it is. The uterus is incredibly good at guarding it's contents. Think about how hard it is to get rid of a baby that you don't want! And yet we freak out women that if they sneeze funny, they could damage or lose the fetus. So I'm going to tell people what's going on with me and continue to go to yoga and ride my bike to work, and what have you. And I will talk to people about things if they go wrong. And I'm sure I'll put stuff here as well.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
I found a way to get a beta hCG test privately. I will plan to go tomorrow which will be 14dpo and which seems the standard test day for everyone else getting fertility treatments not in the UK. Except mine costs money. However, I think it's worth it just to know for sure. I still assume it will be negative. I'm also waiting for the bill from the clinic for the laser assisted hatching and blastocyst freezing which should be around another £1k. Money is spilling through my fingers like water I tell you!
|Private beta hCG blood test||£134|
Monday, June 6, 2016
Online reading is unhelpful. A lot of women get early results, so start to see things as early as 9 days past ovulation (or in my case, 3dp6dt, and the first day I tested). On the forum I'm on, this was the case for one of the women who started to see positives pretty fast (4dp5dt). This of course makes me feel particularly negative by comparison. However, my friend who was once pregnant with twins said she only got a super faint line the day she was supposed to test. Although I don't know if that was the first day she tested or the first time she got a positive test. But looking online, it does seem a lot of people still only start to see a positive day 14/15/16 (16 is my official test). I could also look to the fact that everything about my body seems to go slower than average- longer stimulation time, longer embryo development time. So maybe longer hCG buildup time?
Still, the waiting is awful. I'm also not pleased that it's not standard in the UK to do a beta hCG blood test which is apparently completely common in North America for people doing fertility treatments. I can understand not doing it for IUI because the odds are much lower. But with an embryo transfer, you know that something went in. Even if it was an add-on, how much would that blood test cost? I can't believe it would cost very much and I would totally pay for it. Actually I'm going to see if my GP will let me pay for it. I have no idea if you can pay your GP to do a blood test they wouldn't usually cover, but again, how much could that possibly be?
I don't know. My period hasn't arrived either, which would obviously be a big sign. Although this is day 29, and that would be early for my period. My last cycle was particularly late I think. So it's not currently a useful indicator. It's also not clear if the progesterone/Cyclogest might delay your period. I don't think it delays it indefinitely but it could set it back, so again, not helpful.
For the record, I still think in my heart I'm not pregnant, I would just really like to know something for sure so I can move on from this place.
Now I really wish I'd tested out the trigger shot, just to see if those sticks work. I could give in to the madness and go buy a better pregnancy test at lunch. I don't know why I find that a problematic choice when it seems to clearly be what I should go do.
Sunday, June 5, 2016
Three days of testing, three negative tests. Still early for sure, but getting less early. I was in the pharmacy yesterday and was tempted to buy a brand name early response test as opposed to my eBay sticks. In the end I didn't, mainly because they had a buy one get one free but only one left. I might go back today to see if they restocked, or I could just keep doing what I'm doing. The outcome won't change, although my awareness might.
I feel nothing at all physically. The progesterone/cyclogest is going fine and I've taken them regularly, 8am & 8pm. The vaginal itching seems to have subsided, thankfully!!
Based on nothing but three too early tests and a lack of feeling anything physical at all, I think the transfer didn't stick and I am not pregnant. But I will obviously keep going, with the official clinic provided test on Friday. Just starting to prepare mentally for the disappointment. At least I have three embryos on ice.
Friday, June 3, 2016
Because there is nothing else to do about this. Just wait. Wait wait wait. I don't physically feel anything at all, which also means pretty much nothing. Some people do swear up and down they get various 'signs' they are pregnant but plenty of people don't. Really it's just all about the waiting.
If this cycle is not successful, then I will at some point have a period, and I believe I can start prepping for a frozen embryo transfer the period after the next one. So if I am not successful there will be a gap of a month before I can start again.
I just want to know.... it's hard to be patient!
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Of course there are people I don't want to pass it off to at the moment- mainly my mother and the boyfriend. Because these are both things I may occasionally want to talk about, which would then make this a restrictive space.
So it's a fine line- who to share with and who not to share with. Overall I'm a pretty open person, and there's very little in here I wouldn't share with anyone else.
It's interesting because becoming a single mother is by definition a solo process. But none of us live in isolation. And realistically, it is those same single mothers who also by definition come to depend on their network or village for support- emotional particularly, but other kinds as well, that they will need.
I know that if I am successful I will need my village. So why not start now?
In other news there is no news. Today is technically day 8 past ovulation, so around the earliest I could pee on a stick and maybe start to see anything at all (although still very unlikely even if I'm lucky enough to be pregnant). But it's incredibly early, and I don't know how that works with a day 6 transfer so I didn't. Tomorrow though, I might.