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Sae’s IVF Timeline

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It’s such a crazy thing, infertility. I felt like there was this epic sense of urgency and boy, was the learning curve steep. A lot of the posts here are information based – it’s all the research I’ve done for myself and my journey. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to share the raw emotional stuff as well as the informational. 

IVF Round #1 – Jan 2015. Ovulated early.
IVF Round #2 – Feb 2015. 2 Frozen embryos.
IVF Round #3 – Aug 2015. 3 Frozen embryos.
IVF Round #4 – Oct 2015. 1 Frozen embryos.

Infertility Discovery
– Oct 2014. When fertility punches you in the face. 
– Nov 2014. Shock and making decisions.
– Jan 2015. Have an IVF Plan. Yet to execute.
– Tagged IVF Discovery

IVF Round #1
– Jan 2015. A green light. IVF straight on.
– Jan 2015. The screening tests.
– Jan 2015. Today I tried to stab myself with a syringe.
– Jan 2015. What IVF looks like.
– Feb 2015. I ovulated early.
– Feb 2015. The aftermath.
– Feb 2015. How to be kind to yourself.
– Tagged IVF#1

IVF Round #2
– Feb 2015. Being hopeful, while still giving IVF the side eye.
– Feb 2015. Round Two.
– Feb 2015. Egg Collection.
– Feb 2015. Fertilisation! Through the gate! 
– Mar 2015. Waiting and wishing.
– Mar 2015. The end of Round Two (An anticlimax).
– Tagged IVF #2

IVF Round #3
– Jun 2015. Back at the Clinic.
– Jun 2015. We’re not doing IVF this month. My FSH is too high
– July 2015. FSH Levels – 8.1!
– July 2015. Getting through the shots.
– Aug 2015. Egg Collection.
– Aug 2015. I’m scared to hope.
– Aug 2015. Please survive, little embryos!
– Aug 2015. Two of Twelve, a Sad 16%
– Aug 2015. Bonus Blastocyst
– Tagged IVF#3

IVF Round #4
– Oct 2015. Round 4 – CD1
– Oct 2015. Bloods, chaos and practicing patience.
– Oct 2015. Kick off and IVF Costs.
– Oct 2015. Counting Down – Four Days to go! 
– Oct 2015. Egg Collection.
– Nov 2015. OHSS + Watching our Embryos Grow/Die
– Tagged IVF #4

After IVF
– Nov 2015. Sharing is Caring
– Jan 2016. Happy New Year
– Jan 2016. On taking a break from IVF
– July 2017. Turns out 2016 *was* our Year.

Have an IVF Plan, have yet to execute.

By Personal No Comments

January 2014.

I find myself dragging my feet. It’s taken a few months, but we’ve come to a round-about agreement. We’ll do IVF and we will freeze some little embryos and then we will start trying. The conventional way. We haven’t tried proper, and there’s only a few bloodtests and an expensive doctor telling saying my chances are non-existent. 

We sat on the couch one day and talked about logistics, with spreadsheets and numbers and dates and had this vague plan come together into something more concrete. That is The Plan: IVF, and then trying. For a family. For the future. 

I’m okay to talk about The Plan and tell people about The Plan without fear or fuss or any justification (though, yesterday as I ran along the river as night fell early, I was grateful for my 6 foot Welsh friend who ran with me. He took the moment to acknowledge its enormity, and say woah, this is a big moment. This is a big thing, this thing you are doing. And I said yes, yes it is. And we ran on).

So, Zee and I have The Plan. And yet I have a week or two out in front of me, the perfect opportunity for all of the things required for actioning The Plan… and I’ve done nothing. I haven’t yet organised an appointment at the fertility clinic. I’m procrastinating, and think about how I want do more research into the ‘right’ clinic and find the ‘best’ one. I’m not quite sure how I’m meant to do that exactly, I think internet reviews work great for restaurants. Probably a bit less for a fertility clinic who will be extracting my eggs from my body and storing them. I’m knee deep in HFEA statistics but I’m really quite overwhelmed.

I’m scared you guys. Time is of the essence (tick, tock and all that) but I’m reluctant to move into the unknown just yet. I don’t feel like I have the luxury of time and yet I don’t want to dive right in.

This cognitive dissonance has me all wound up. I feel like emotionally this is such a huge thing to get my head around. I’m not there yet. Oh infertility. 

Shock + Making Decisions

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Nov 2014

So. It’s been a while since my doctor instilled this insane sense of urgency with procreating.

At first it was all of the shock. What do we do, what does this mean, how do I feel about it? How does Zee? What does it mean for us? And our future? Can we handle the logistics? Can we afford a child? What does it mean for all our dreams??

For a while there I wasn’t sure whether Zee was in this with me. Not because he wasn’t, but because that was my ultimate fear: that if I wanted a child of my own I might have to do it now and alone with a faceless donor. Oh fears, look at you with your big scary takeover-ness.

There was a lot of crying before there was talking, but eventually we had ‘conversation’ spurts. It was this really long conversation about everything that was going on over several weeks. It paused when real life (jobs, social events, other people) got in the way. Slowly the conversation moved from what do we do/why has this happened/what does this mean to should we get married/would one of us stay home and parent full time…

All of the questions, including a handful of plan type questions. Because somewhere in that ongoing conversation we decided. IVF? Freezing little blastocysts? Okay. Okay it’s scary, but let’s try that. We’ll make it our back up plan, freeze some blastocysts for later and call it Plan B. Plan B, we can manage that.

But let’s not get too hasty. There were a few moments where we’d emotionally backtrack. No, we can’t possibly do this now. I’m not ready. I can’t possibly be a parent. I don’t want to talk about baby names *subject change*. I’m not in this, I’m not sure this is the right thing to do, the immense heavy future and commitment and oh, I just want to go back to drinking all the bubbles and dancing on bars again. This sense of ominous and heavy future decision making is hard.

It’s been a big back and forth, with all of the feelings. We’re doing this. We have a plan, and we’re planning for a family…

I’m freaking out. I feel like everything is moving so fast, fast forward future, here we come. A family.

When fertility punches you in the face

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October 2014

Fertility isn’t something I ever worried about. Children, babies. They seem like such a future thing – once I’ve done all the things I want to do then I’ll think about it. But I’m not done yet, I’m not done travelling, or having all the freedom or doing exactly what I want to do when I want to do it. I’m not ready for all the responsibility that comes with being a parent. I’ve only just turned 30!

Except, my FSH levels are too high.  Apparently FSH stands for Follicle-stimulating hormone and is my pituitary glands way of telling my body that it should mature an egg in my ovary, to kick off that whole fun cycle. It’s too high. My FSH is too high, and my AMH (whatever that is) is too low. Which, essentially means that despite everyone telling me how young I am, and how I have loads of time – that’s not true. I’ve got very little time, and essentially it’s now or never.

Just in case you missed that – NOW or NEVER.

What. How do I decide that? Children – now or never. Whaaaat. Now has never seemed so immediate, or so scary. At first I was all, pfft. You doctor, clearly are lying. All of society tells me I have plenty of time and I want that time, so you must be wrong. And so I took my results an expensive fertility clinic and oh… Perhaps not so wrong.

(Fun side note, turns out the NHS will help you out, but only if you’ve been trying for a year… They will help you interpret existing results, which is helpful if you happen to go into a private fertility clinic to figure things out and want a third/fourth/fifth opinion).

So, there I was. Expensive fertility clinic, fancy art on the walls (koi watercolours, lake vistas. Clearly aiming for calm, but with the fear and urgency whipping up a storm in my head, calm wasn’t happening today).  I wanted to hear that my GP was wrong. That is what I wanted. And after several blood tests and a wand up my vajayjay this expensive fertility doctor, with all her knowledge, told me otherwise.  I was at the end of my fertility season.

Womp. I was disappointed and quite close to panicking. Seeing this, my doctor said if I don’t want children right this moment (or if I’d like more than one child down the line) I could do IVF now (as in, next week, next month, definitely within the next few months but ideally right now) so we can harvest eggs, fertilise and freeze the little embryos. Store them, till I was ready to have babies. It was an option I latched on to, filled with hope. Babies, I could still have them *and* I wasn’t forced into having them right this minute.

However, if I wanted that as an option, we should do that now. Literally, as soon as possible. Don’t delay. Don’t delay don’t delay don’t delay. This sense of urgency is overwhelming. My body is broken and I feel so betrayed! But no time to process, let’s get started. Tick tock.

I’ve been reading as much as I can find on all the things, and the success rate is not awesome. The idea of needling myself with hormones freaks me out, especially because the possibility of what is called a ‘negative outcome’ is so high. The odds? Not in my favour. Very much not in my favour. 

I’m scared. Everything feels urgent, and I’m terrified. I’m scared about what this means. I’m not ready for now, and never seems to impossible to contemplate. I’m only half of this equation, too, there’s Zee to think about. I’m scared about what it means for us. About what it means for our future. The unknown is scary, the future is scary, change is scary as fuck.

So. Fertility. Woah buddy.