So, the 6 week countdown starts tomorrow – clinic is March 11th. I will lose at least a stone and a half in that time. Excited, nervous, scared and actually quite sad.
A plan, we have a plan! I’m still waiting for the follow up appointment with the clinic, should be around middle of March. In the meantime time I will be back on the Cambridge Weight Plan and once I’ve lost another 2 and a half stone we will phone the clinic and tell them to ‘Go, go, go!’. There will be at least 3 or 4 weeks before I start active treatment, so will use that time to re-introduce food combined with a high protein diet. I feel better that I know what I am aiming for, I’ve got the determination to do this as soon as I can, after-all I have the best motivation to do it. I’m just hoping there are no other fertility issues to overcome, but we’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it. Ordered vitamins for The Husband, so he will have been having those for at least 3 or 4 months before treatment, so they will hopefully have worked their magic too. Feeling positive 😀
So, I’ve survived the first week. I think today is the first day where I am feeling ‘a bit better’. One of my wounds got infected, so I started on antibiotics 2 days ago, but woke up this morning feeling much better! I mentioned previously about trying alternative techniques to help with the IVF process. One of my internet weirdie friends has sent me a ‘natal hypnotherapy’ CD, which will hopefully provide me with ways in which will help my IVF journey. I’m not sure when to start using it, I may listen to it and see how I feel. I have always dreaded the thought of having to go through IVF, the thought of injecting everyday for weeks 9might persuade the husband to do that for me!) or inhaling nasal sprays, quite honestly frightens me, so I’m hoping this hypnotherapy CD will help me. I’m looking into acupuncture too, there is a Zita West affiliated acupuncturist who my fertility clinic will refer me to if I choose to do that.
I fear I’m becoming one of those women who will try everything and anything to have a baby, I get quite neurotic about things I am passionate about (just ask anybody who knows me about my chickens and cats…). I’m hoping the hypnotherapy will help me deal with that side of things to, goodness only knows what I’m going to be like through pregnancy, which is made even worse by the fact I’m training to be a midwife (oh the irony, I can help bring other women’s babies into the world, just not my own!) but we’ll deal with that when I have to.
I don’t know if I’m still reeling or have already accepted my situation. I expected to have days where I sobbed until my throat was raw. But I haven’t. I have a huge desire to know exactly what is going to happen. I want to know what drugs I will be prescribed, so that I can research them and understand what they will do to my body. My poor husband – he isn’t going to know what has hit him, I am such a raging bag of hormones in the 24 hours before my period, he knows when I’m due on before I do. I think I am going to be evil. My poor, poor husband. I’ve been trying to research ways that I can optimise my chances of IVF working, from vitamins and supplements, to meditation, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and beyond. There is so much anecdotal evidence of a whole host of things that may or may not work. I’d love someone to just present me double blinded, peer reviewed randomised controlled trials and Cochrane reviews of studies into increasing your chances of getting that ever illusive BFP via IVF. I don’t want anecdotes, goodness only knows I’ve heard too many anecdotes through this infertility journey ‘Michelle and John had been trying for years, they went on holiday and she came back pregnant’, ‘Jodie had IVF 4 times, they decided to adopt, but she got pregnant naturally’ or ‘just relax and it will happen’. BINGO! That’s my infertility bingo card full; I’ve heard them all. I know I’m not going to be one of those women, it is physically impossible. I want science, I want facts, I want answers and I want to plan. But I’ve got to wait. Wait for my follow up at the clinic and see what they say.
BFP (Big Fat Positive- as in positive pregnancy test) dreams. Do you ever have them? The dreams where you POAS (pee on a stick) and it comes up positive. Well, I had a good one last night. We were due to start IVF, we had everything ready to go, including a folder of information from Clearblue (the pregnancy test people – quite what they were giving me info on IVF for I don’t know!). It was my sister in law’s birthday, and my mother in law suspected I was pregnant already and made me and my husband go home to do a pregnancy test. It was positive! (albeit with 3 lines – I desperately tried to read through my Clearblue folder as to what 3 lines meant, but my husband wanted to go back and tell the family). Yay, I was pregnant! We went back to tell them, I made a big show of trying to look sad and depressed, but then made everyone sit on the sofa whilst my husband and I stood in front of them proudly, and my husband said those words ‘we’re having a baby’. I can remember in the dream that I was worried about how much stuff we need to do to the house (and for those that have been to my house, you will know we need to do EVERYTHING!). And then I woke up. Not pregnant. No folder full of information from Clearblue. No BFP.
So, enough of the ‘woe is me’. It is what it is. I can’t change it, I need to focus on the positive (pun not intended!) and look at what I can do to optimise my chances of IVF working. I need to formulate a plan. Over the last couple of days I have been researching IVF and now have a bit more of a solid idea of what will happen. I need to jump a few hurdles first, but we will get there. So first hurdle – weight, the dreaded BMI! I completely understand the focus on BMI as an important factor for fertility and pregnancy. My BMI was 44 (I heard that intake of breath 😉 ). Yes, I was a big old girl. I lost just over 6 stone last year (put some of it back on when I went on an amazing cruise around the Caribbean for Christmas and New Year). So in order for me to get to the treatment BMI of 29.9, I need to lose a stone and a half- this doesn’t phase me at all, infact, I’m aiming to get to a BMI of around 22-23, to give me some leeway. I lost a lot of the weight doing the Cambridge Weight Plan, so I will do that again, when I’ve healed more from my operation. I aim to come off CWP towards the end of April, and switch to a protein based diet. My husband had a sperm analysis done just before Christmas, so we are awaiting the results of that, but it’s likely that he will have some lifestyle changes to make too, I guess I’ll write more about that on another day. I’m feeling positive today, I think I’m getting to the stage where I’ve accepted what our situation is, and there is no point moping, almost grieving really. I need to be positive. Our follow up clinic appointment is around mid-March, I will be under the magic BMI of 29.9!
I promise I won’t keep posting daily updates – but this is new to me, and I am finding it hard to process. As I’ve mentioned before, we have known we have issues with our fertility for a long time, but when we’ve talked about it to other people (family, close friends etc) it’s just been easier to say ‘we probably need IVF’ rather than going into all the ins and outs of the different types of treatment we could have. Everyone knows what IVF is, so it was just easier. So when I told people about the results of the op, nobody really seemed phased by it. I just don’t think people understand how gut-wrenching it has been to be told that nothing else will work. Only IVF. One of my best friends came to see me today, I was really hoping I could just talk about it, but she didn’t enable me to, the subject was changed, or I was made to feel like she had been through worse (she had some investigations, but when on to have 2 natural conceptions, normal pregnancies and normal deliveries). I felt so let down. Then to top it off she told me the story of one of her friends who hasn’t had a period for about a year, felt really ill, went to the GP before Christmas and yes, you guessed it, was 12 weeks pregnant. This girl is apparently 30 today, but ‘she can’t have any alcohol, but she’s having a party on Friday, so that’s OK.’ Just what I wanted to hear!