Family IVF

First ICSI Cycle Aftermath and Second Cycle

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**I feel that the following journal entries should come with a warning. The end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 was a really difficult time for me. My mental health really suffered as result of the IVF and the pressure I was putting on myself. I felt like I couldn’t ask for help, because I was scared that “they” would stop me having more IVF treatment. Obviously, that was rubbish. It’s so important to ask for help when you need it.**

Wednesday 1st October 2014

The last few days have been tough. This is, of course, an understatement. The reality that our first IVF cycle didn’t work hit me harder than I expected, even though I knew it was coming.

I couldn’t face work until today. I tried on Monday, I really did. I got to the office, sat at my desk and one of my Team Leaders asked if I was OK… And I burst into tears, which suggested I was, in fact, not OK. She sent me home and I just couldn’t face trying again yesterday.

I went back today. Everyone has been so supportive, but I feel so sad. I feel like my heart has broken. I keep crying and the tears won’t stop. Just when I think I’m OK, the tears start again.

We have a follow up appointment with our consultant on Friday. I hope he has some suggestions regarding my lining. I’ve sent the sample of blood to Greece for the hidden infections tests and should get the results in about 2 weeks. I want to do another cycle as quickly as possible, but I think it might be best to wait until we have those results. Is it weird that part of me wants the tests to come back positive? Just so that we have an answer? I don’t want to waste another embryo. I couldn’t handle that.

I just feel so lonely. I know that sounds silly – Mr Becca loves me. I know that. And I’ve got amazing friends and family supporting me. But when I see my sister with my nephew and the way they look at each other… I feel lonely. I want what she and every other mother has. The thought of never having that tears me apart!

I don’t know how to get through this. How do I make the sadness go away?

Wednesday 31st December 2014

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last wrote. It’s been a difficult few months…

After our first failed cycle, we had our follow up appointment and decided to go ahead with a frozen embryo transfer. I started down regulation at the very end of October, so we only had a month between cycles.

Down regulation (where they essentially put you into menopause to shut your ovaries down) was not nice. Lots of side effects – head aches, mood swings, lack of sleep etc etc.. The cycle lasted longer than our fresh cycle, because I didn’t have to down reg for that. I didn’t enjoy the process at all, but I felt like it might work this time and I was feeling so positive! At least we were trying something different – the nurses and consultant kept saying that sometimes the uterine lining responds better during a frozen cycle.

To begin with, after we started the stimulation phase (to thicken my lining, but not to grow follicles this time, since we didn’t need more eggs), it looked like my lining was going to be better this time. After my first scan to check how I was responding, my lining wasn’t quite thick enough, but it was already as thick as it got during my first cycle. Last time, it was 3.5mm at baseline, went up to 7.6mm and then down to 6.9mm. By the time I had egg collection, it was about 6.7mm. This time, it was 1.6mm at baseline and. 6.7mm at my first scan, which was a few days earlier than egg collection would have been if we were doing a fresh cycle. We felt so positive! Since it started off thinner than last time, it had actually thickened more in less time than it did during our fresh cycle.

The clinic doubled my Progynova (estrogen) dose, which I got to take in tablet form, rather than injections, which was nice (although I still had injections to prevent my ovaries from producing eggs) and I went back 5 days later for another scan. We expected my lining to be much thicker after 5 days on double the dose. I was hoping for 8mm, which is still thin for most women, but would have been amazing for me!

I can’t begin to tell you how devastated I was when the nurse told me it was still 6.7mm. Mr Becca had to work that day, so I was on my own  and I felt like my body was letting me down all over again. I cried all the way home.

Our consultant decided we should still go ahead with the embryo transfer, so we did. I didn’t know whether that was the right decision… But I couldn’t face giving up on the cycle after getting that far, especially after surviving the horrible down reg phase!

Mr Becca and I discussed it and we decided to transfer 2 embryos, to give ourselves the best chance. I’d always said that I wanted to stick to transferring one embryo at a time – the risks involved with being pregnant with twins just seemed so huge and I always imagined that we’d have babies one at a time. But two of our embryos from our first cycle were frozen together, so they would have had to be thawed together anyway. And considering my poor lining, we were willing to try any way to increase our chance of success. It seemed so unlikely that both would implant in my rubbish thin lining!

Transfer day was Monday 8th December and both embryos survived the thaw and were transferred. I made sure my bladder was really full this time and transfer was less painful, because my bladder straightened out my uterus, which I’ve been told is “acutely anteverted” (which basically means it tilts much further forward than normal). However, it was very uncomfortable having the ultrasound wand pressing on such a full bladder! Once the transfer was done (and I’d rushed to the toilet to relieve myself!), we went and had a quiet lunch before my acupuncture appointment, and then went home, thinking about how wonderful it would be to finally be pregnant and about how we might be spending next Christmas as a family of 4 with twins!

I didn’t test early this time. I felt positive and didn’t want to ruin that. I had no spotting and I really thought it had worked. I only took one week off work this time, but took it fairly easy and kept myself busy making Christmas cards.

Test day was Friday 19th December and it was another negative. I am heartbroken. Still. I can’t pull myself together and I don’t know how I’ll ever get over how I’m feeling.

I didn’t think I could feel any worse, but a friend of mine who was going through her second IVF cycle a week behind mine, found out that her cycle worked on Christmas Day. I was (and still am) so happy for her. I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of good news. But she got her Christmas miracle and I didn’t get mine and I don’t know if I ever will. I blame myself. I feel like our embryos didn’t stick because my lining was so thin. I feel broken and defective.

I couldn’t work last week after getting another BFN (big fat negative). I went back to work on Monday and everyone is being supportive, but I feel like I’m not even me anymore. I cry all the time and I can’t sleep. I feel so alone. I feel so selfish even thinking it, but my friend and I have gone through this whole process together and now she’s pregnant and I’m not. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone and I’m so glad she doesn’t have to go through it again, but who can I talk to now? Who will understand?

I have an appointment on Monday to see about having a hysteroscopy. They’ll put a tiny camera through my cervix and have a look at my lining. Hopefully they’ll be able to find out why it doesn’t get as thick as it should and we’ll be able to fix it. I’m scared that they won’t find anything. Or that they will, but it won’t be fixable. Either of those outcomes would not be good. If they don’t find anything wrong, we’ll still have no answers and no way of knowing how to get my lining to thicken.

Then we have a follow up appointment at the clinic on the 19th. Hopefully we’ll be able to do another cycle in March.

So, here we are. New Year’s Eve. Our 2nd wedding anniversary and the end of a truly terrible year. I really hope that 2015 is better than 2014. I don’t think I can handle another year like this one.

First ICSI Cycle Aftermath and Second Cycle

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