Diary of a Single Mum: Trying to Conceive – IVF (round 1 – part 6)

Friday, February 7th 2020

Was awake from 4am again, obviously stressing, I think. I have such high hopes. I just keep picturing myself at each point and I’m the exception!  Which I know is unlikely, but what if I am? What if I get 15 eggs from this cycle and say 10 fertilise and then 6 make it to embryos- that’s my dream right now. And maybe I’m naïve but I pray that it can happen. I’m trying so hard to hold onto hope but sit in my own reality knowing that hope might just crush me. Driving to my scan, I’m trying to stay positive. This is it; this is my time, this is when I get my rainbow baby. I deserve this. It’s all I’ve ever wanted…. Hope… hope… hope…

The scan is hard. The nurse struggles to even find my ovaries! I’m propped up on wedges and being pushed and pulled and spread like never before. Lining is good (I’ve never had to worry about lining because I’ve only done egg collection, but it’s always been good). It takes forever but finally she finds my ovaries. She’s counting 1… all my concentration on her lips, I’m waiting for her to mouth 2… she doesn’t. After the longest time she removes everyone’s favourite mate ‘Wanda’ and says, ‘there’s 2’. Well there’s 4 but the first ones are 18 and the next ones are 10 and so they’ll never catch up. 2? WTF!!! I’ve always had at least 10 on first scan- varying sizes but 2? I meet with my nurse who asks if I’m happy to go ahead with 2. I dissolve into tears, I’m not happy, but what if this is all I get? I had one great round (for me) with 7 collected, all 7 mature. Then I had a cancelled cycle and then I had 4 collected with 2 mature. I’ve had one good round from four rounds, maybe that was a fluke. She says she will call me later with my blood test results and we’ll decided then.

I try to keep it together until I at least reach my car. I can’t! Walking along a busy road, tears streaming down my face. I pass many people; they don’t seem to care. I wonder to myself if the locals are used to this, seeing women walking down the street in tears having just left their fertility appointment. I sit in my car hunched over the steering wheel, sobbing. What if I never get to be a Mum? I know some women come to the point where they are ok with that and they just have to enjoy their lives with the hand they were dealt but I don’t know if I can ever be that woman. It’s all I have ever wanted. I didn’t want to travel. I didn’t want fame or fortune. I didn’t really even want a career. I did those things (travel and career) because I didn’t want to just wait around letting a man (or marriage) define me, but they were never my priority. I’m glad I’ve done them. I feel like a richer person but if I could trade them all for the chance to be a Mum I would in a second. I wanted to be a nurse growing up but honestly, I thought I’d do it for a few years and then resign to be a stay at home Mum. I wanted to get married at 22 and have my first baby at 23 (at least be pregnant by then). I wanted 5 kids! FIVE!! And now I’m sitting in my car at 37 years old, sobbing, not sure if I’ll ever get one! Holding onto to any faith is hard. I just don’t understand. I never made a step out of place. I waited until I was in my 30’s to find love because I believed without hesitation that God had my best interests at heart. That he knew my only desire was to be a Mother and by waiting for his time he would give me that. But I waited and my body didn’t! It ran ahead and thinks I’m in my 40’s. I’m feeling robbed. I just don’t know anymore. I love God, I believe in him and still despite everything I do feel a comfort in him; but I’m questioning his love for me.

Later in the day the nurse calls me and says that my specialist wants to cancel, knowing we can and have done better. It’s comforting to know that he still has that faith in my body. She said that even with the 2 follicles my estrogen is really low. It should be over 1000 and it’s only 700. I looked at my day 9 test in my last cycle and it was over 5000 (explains why I haven’t been feeling like death). She explained that with those levels the most we could hope for would be 1 mature egg. I’d already decided – given the amount of money on the line and still praying my body can achieve more- that I’d cancel and see what happened next time. If I get another poor round next time maybe, then it’s time to say, ‘ok this is what my body can do and maybe all I need is one’. But I need to give it another chance. So, I was glad my specialist was on the same page. I’m guessing that the follicle stimulating hormones just couldn’t cope with the drugs to suppress my ovulation. Not sure.

I’m feeling raw and pretty low. I really, really want to meet my baby in 2020. Having had a due date of December 25 previously and knowing I conceived that baby on the last weekend in March (Good Friday actually – how weird is it that I conceived on Easter and would’ve been born on Christmas- sadly that bubba only stuck around a couple of weeks). I know I have only a very small window to make a 2020 baby a reality. Maybe that expectation is too high. I know I’ll be ok if that doesn’t happen; I’m always ok. I’ve been lower than I ever thought I could possibly return from and I’m still ok because I’m strong. I’ll keep fighting to make this dream my reality, I feel like it’s still ok to hope.

Saturday, February 8th 2020

Feeling better today, still disappointed, but not as Anne Shirley would say ‘in the depths of despair’ anymore. Going off to celebrate my nephew’s 3rd birthday. Hopefully not too triggering as I know there will be babies there. But my nephew is one of my favourite people and if I just follow him around with a camera, I may avoid having to converse with too many people. I’m glad I don’t have raging estrogen as I know I would feel worse. I’m hanging out with my sister tomorrow night, so I’ve delayed my trigger shot by a day to postpone those side effects.

Sunday, February 9th 2020

After having a nice night out with my sister, I give myself the trigger shot at around midnight on the Sunday. It makes me anxious as I’m very sensitive to it and have ended up with quite a lot of pain after the trigger in previous rounds. I believe this is tied to my IBS type symptoms. I have a sensitive bowel anyway (always controlled by my monthly cycle). When I was pregnant, I was incredibly constipated (so much that my first normal bowel action while I was miscarrying, I sobbed because it meant my pregnancy symptoms were fading). I made the decision that regardless of what my bowel was doing during the cycle I would take fibre and a stool softener every day. The reason I decided this, was because my hormonally driven IBS wasn’t like a normal ‘constipation’. When I was nursing, a patient had to have gone 3 days before we gave them anything. The problem with my previous stims cycles has been one minute I’m fine and 8 hours later I’m in absolute agony and trying not to tear my bum hole! (I know too much information- but this is real life!). And it’s this weird combination of being constipated at one end of my bowel but having severe diarrhea at the other – but it’s trapped in my belly due to the constipation!!  I’m hoping that by being proactive the symptoms will be less! There’s also the possibility that because the cycle did not work and my estrogen isn’t high, that the symptoms will be less anyway.

There’s a twinge of pain as I give myself a trigger for a failed cycle. Putting myself through more for nothing. But the sooner this cycle is done, the sooner we can get onto the next cycle.

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