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I’ve decided to take the next few posts directly from my journal, which I wrote throughout our IVF and pregnancy journey. When I was going through the whole process, I searched the internet for any information I could find and I loved the few honest, diary entry type blogs that I found. So, I hope that someone finds these useful, or at least interesting.
I previously published these on a more private blog in 2015, so I’m using the magical powers of copy and paste (plus editing out Mr Becca’s real name) to share them with you.
Saturday 30th August 2014
My period started today, on the exact day it was supposed to. I have to believe that’s a good sign. Maybe everything else will go to plan too.
I have my baseline scan booked for Monday at 10:30am. I hope it goes OK. They’ll check the lining of my uterus to make sure it’s thin enough to get started, check that there aren’t any cysts on my ovaries and count the follicles so they know how everything looks before we start. Then they’ll tell me when and how to do the injections and my first IVF cycle will officially start. I’m nervous. But also really excited. This might be it! This might be the start of the last part of my journey to being a mum. I’m spending the weekend resting, relaxing and planning all the things I can do to give this the best chance of working.
Mum’s going to come with me to the clinic on Monday. Mr Becca wanted to be there, but he needs to work and there are so many appointments. He can’t be there for all of them. I should go on my own really, but I’m so nervous, I need someone there.
Wednesday 3rd September
I had my baseline scan on Monday and everything was fine. My uterine lining was thin and there were lots of follicles on each ovary, waiting to be stimulated. I started my hormone injections that morning and today is day 3 of stims. I had to do two injections of menopur on Monday and Tuesday. I only have to do one injection of menopur, but also have to do an injection of cetrotide. Menopur stimulates the ovaries and cetrotide stops me from ovulating and losing all the eggs.
I’ve felt a bit poorly. Very nauseated and headachy yesterday. I had to come home from work because I felt so awful! And so emotional!! I cried all the way to work and felt like crying the whole time I was there! I feel a bit better today. The nausea isn’t so bad, but I still have a headache, so I decided to stay at home today to rest. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow.
My next scan is on Friday. They’ll have a look at my ovaries to see how many follicles have started growing and how big they are so far. If everything goes well, egg collection will hopefully be next Friday. I’m hoping we’ll stick to that date, but it can all change depending on Friday’s scan and the scans they’ll do on Monday and Wednesday.
I just want this to go well. I hope it works.
Saturday 6th September
So today is day 8 of my cycle and day 6 of injections. I’m feeling better than I was earlier in the week, but very tired. I’ve woken up every hour without fail for the last 3 nights. Hopefully I’ll start to sleep better soon, because everyone keeps telling me how important sleep is! It’s not like I’m not trying!
Yesterday was a big day. As part of the treatment, I have to have regular scans to see how well I’m responding to the menopur and how the follicles on my ovaries are growing. Yesterday, day 5, was the first follicular scan. The lining of my uterus is thickening – it was 3.5mm on Monday and 7mm yesterday. I’ve read that it needs to be between 8mm and 12mm for implantation, so it’s going in the right direction! Must be all the pomegranate juice I’m drinking!
The nurse also measured the follicles on my ovaries. As of yesterday, there are 10 follicles between 8-11mm on my right ovary and 6 follicles between 5-9mm on my left ovary. I think that’s about average, but obviously my left ovary is a little behind. Grow little follicles! 16 is a good number if they all grow to the right size. I think they need to be around 18mm for egg collection. I’ve read they grow between 1-2mm per day, so I’m hoping they’ll all be over 10mm by my next scan, which is on Monday morning. After that, they’ll scan me again on Wednesday morning and I’m hoping we’ll still be on track for egg collection on Friday. Just have to get those follicles growing! I’m drinking 1litre of organic whole milk everyday and eating lots of protein. That’s supposed to help with egg quality. I’m doing everything I can. Grow little follicles, grow!
Wednesdays 10th September 2014
I had my last follicular scan today. They counted a total of 23 follicles on my ovaries, so lots more than last Friday. Only a couple more than Monday’s scan, but I forgot to write about that. Not all of the follicles are big enough, but they’ve decided to do egg collection on Friday, because they’re worried I’ll over stimulate if we wait until Monday. They think we’ll get half a dozen eggs from all of those follicles! I’m so disappointed! I thought everything was going so well!
The bad news didn’t end there! My uterine lining, which went up to 7mm on Friday, was 7.6mm on Monday. Today, it was 6.9mm. It’s not supposed to get thinner! They couldn’t tell us why. Apparently, it’s still good quality, with the triple layer they look for, but definitely thinner. If it gets too thin, they won’t do embryo transfer. They’ll freeze our embryos and do a frozen transfer at a later date. All this for nothing! The nurse said they’ll check again when I have my egg collection on Friday. I’m praying it gets thicker!
Friday 12th September
Today was egg collection. I don’t remember anything about the actual procedure. We got to the hospital at about 7:15am and were put in a private room. It was a bit like a hotel room, but with a hospital bed. My egg collection was at 8:30am and our consultant walked us down to the theatre. I said goodbye to Mr Becca and then went into the theatre while he went to produce his sperm sample.
I got up on the bed, had a chat with the nurse while the anaesthetist stuck a needle in the back of my hand and gave me an oxygen mask. Then the next thing I know… I was in recovery. They collected 16 eggs, which is great and so much better than they expected! I just hope they fertilise!
Unfortunately, that’s where the good news stopped. After I was discharged by the nurses, we went back round to the fertility clinic and they scanned my lining again. They took three measurements – all thinner than on Wednesday! I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong! Our consultant said the triple layer is still there and it’s not so thin that I definitely won’t get pregnant, so he wants to go ahead with the embryo transfer. I just feel like we’ve failed already and it’s all my fault! He said we can freeze the embryos if I want, but there’s no guarantee my lining would be any better on a later cycle. Also, I just really don’t want to go through all this for nothing!
Now we just have to wait for The Call tomorrow to find out how many of the eggs fertilise.
Sunday 14th September
So, The Call… Of my 16 eggs, 14 of them were mature. Of those 14, 9 eggs fertilised! I was so pleased when I got The Call yesterday. It’s a really good result! Transfer is set for tomorrow at 11:30am, but they’ll call at 8:30am if our embryos are good enough to go to blastocyst stage. If that happens, transfer will be on Wednesday. I’m really hoping we get that call! It’s about time things started going right!
I’ve been really sore all weekend since the egg collection. Friday night was the worst – I couldn’t lay down on my side, and wasn’t comfortable standing either. It was like the world’s worst period cramps. It’s not so bad now, but I’m still a bit sore and so tired! Not looking forward to going through all this again. I’m trying to be positive, but I already feel like it’s failed because of my thin lining. We just won’t know for another 2 weeks!
Monday 15th September
Today was a bit of a mess of a day. We were supposed to be having our embryo transfer, so we set off early to go to my pre-transfer acupuncture session. I don’t know whether acupuncture makes a difference, but there’s some evidence that it does and it’s so relaxing. Anyway, there’s roadworks on our usual route, so we had to go a different way, which I messed up! Then, just around the corner from my acupuncturist’s house, the clinic called!
Five of our 9 embryos are top grade, which is fantastic! So we’re delaying transfer until Wednesday, when they will hopefully be blastocysts! I’ve read that the lining of the uterus is more receptive on day 5 as that’s when an embryo would usually make it out of the Fallopian tube and into the uterus if we were doing this the old fashioned way! So hopefully that will work in our favour with my dodgy lining!