Thursday, 21 July 2011

Anxiety eating away at me

After the joy of the strong positive on Saturday I just can't relax now.  On Monday I confidently phoned the clinic to ask for my paper work to be sent through so that I could go to the GP to get some more progesterone pessaries.  Since then my confidence has waned.  I can't think straight and I can't think of anything else other than losing this baby.  I know technically he's a ball of cells still but it should be a well-formed blob now, starting to resemble a tadpole-esque baby.

I haven't had many concrete symptoms.  All I have to report is that my boobs are now a bit tender (I keep prodding them to check) and I have a few blue veins on them.  I am also really hungry all the time but this could just be greed or the last few weeks of illness catching up with me.  My OHSS tummy has gone down to what it was almost prior to egg collection and so I'm now worried that my hCG isn't high enough as surely it would've continued to grow/stayed the same.  I am also weeing often but I think this is more to do with getting rid of the fluid that's been hanging around my abdomen for the last couple of weeks. So all of these 'symptoms' can be explained.

Yesterday I got my hospital letter which states my "LMP" (not a real date) is the 17th June and that my EDD is the 22nd March.  The internet calculators I have used worked it out as being the 19th March.  So all in all I'm about five to five and a half weeks pregnant. It's not much is it? Every day is going so so slowly it's unreal.  I have to phone the clinic on the 1st August and they will arrange my scan for some time in the week commencing 8th August so it's still weeks away until we will see our baby again, hoping he's changed from the little white blob on the screen to a bigger blob with a beating heart. My biggest fear: That he's not there.  There is no baby.  He's stopped growing.  There's no heartbeat.  I am constantly looking up things online to try and make myself feel better but often I just feel worse.  So many people miscarry.  Most people can carry on and try again the next month.  Not us.  I just want to hold onto our embryo forever, til he's born screaming.  No one can guarantee that.  I know that I am lucky - we have got this far.  We are one of the 40% who get a positive test.  Let's just hope we're the 1 in 3 who take home a baby at the end.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

I am pregnant

I just had to start a post with that title.  I mean, why not? It's true.  I am unbelievably weary of it and very very scared but I need to say it out loud.  So there you go, I am 4 weeks and 6 days pregnant. 

I feel a tiny bit more confident in saying that.  When I did that test on Friday I was worried that underneath the digital reader the lines would be minimal again and it was just that the digital reader could pick it up.  Because the stick has to come out of the reader so you can re-use it I wanted Mr Waiting to dismantle it as I did not want to see the lines just in case it was faint again.  However, 30 seconds later he came and shoved it under my nose! Here is what we saw:

There's not much arguing with those lines! Although seeing the word 'Pregnant' is so lovely, there's nothing more satisfying that seeing two strong blue lines, lines I've never seen before in all the many tests I've done throughout the last 18 months or so.  

Today I was thinking how we are just at the beginning.  A time when most people don't realise they're pregnant yet.  Definitely a time when not many people know you're pregnant.  Yet, in our case, most people in our families know because of my hospitalisation.  And we really are just at the start. But to get to the start we've had such a journey.  Today I made a list, and I don't even think it's exhaustive.

Just to get pregnant: 
  • 21 contraceptive pills
  • 29 buserelin injections
  • 59 (and counting) metformin pills
  • 3 packs of pre-natal vitamins
  • 10 stimulation injections
  • 3 follicle scans
  • 1 internal uterine measurement via catheter through cervix
  • 1 trigger injection 
  • 11 blood tests
  • 42 rectal pessaries (still counting)
  • 84 estradiol valerate tablets
  • 2 surgical procedures (one under heavy sedation)
  • 1 abdominal ultrasound scan
  • 2 IV cannulas
  • 4 anti sickness injections
  • 3 anti sickness tablets
  • 4 fluid drips
  • 15 Clexane (blood thinning injections) and counting. 
  • 1 pair of compression stockings
  • Several co-codamol/paracetamol
  • Dozens of bruises
  • Several severe vomiting episodes
  • Severe constipation 
  • Oh, and four semen samples for Mr Waiting 
So in total that's about 257 tablets (not including pain killers), about 58 injections, and 42 pessaries.  Not forgetting that I am still going with all three of these categories!

And all of that was just to get to where we are now, 4 weeks and 6 days pregnant.  We have so far to go yet we have been through so much.   I am still taking the Clexane injections, the metformin and the pessaries and vitamins so it's not straightforward yet.  

Please, just get me through that 7 week scan soon so I can relax a bit (though I bet I post after that very un-relaxed!). 

Friday, 15 July 2011

The most difficult week yet?

After being hospitalised on Friday last week I didn't think it could get that much worse, surely? But it did.   And Monday morning I was all geared up for my scan and the grandparents came to take me.  I had been sick since about 4am but had stopped by 9am or thereabouts.  I still felt horrifically sick though.  When Grandma arrived I nearly cried.  I don't think I've cried much in front of her in my adult life and I surprised myself that I would feel so emotional.  We set off straight away.  I was  struggling to breathe by this point and was generally in pain and feeling panicky.  I had preemptively packed my hospital bag and took it with me - I had a feeling that I wasn't going anywhere that night.

We arrived at the hospital and I went into the maternity part of the hospital for my scan and navigated my way around all the pregnant women to the place I had to be.  When the receptionist saw me she asked if I felt faint as I was struggling so I explained that I had hyperstimulation and fluid and that I was probably going to be admitted.  She got me in half an hour before my appointment time but the five minutes I spent waiting was still difficult.  I think I jumped the queue as I went in before others that were there before me but at the time I didn't much care, though I did apologise when they asked if I was ok.

The scan took a while and was uncomfortable and a bit painful.  She told me I had fluid (ascites) on my abdomen and sides and possibly a little bit in my lung.  She wrote up a report and we took it up to the ward where after five minutes I was in a bed.  My grandparents left shortly afterwards as there was not much they could really do and I did start to feel a little more comfortable just knowing that I was in the right place.  I was admitted officially and eventually I was put on a drip and given some anti-sickness medication.  Throughout the day I couldn't concentrate on anything as I felt too ill and it was a case of managing to get through the day and trying to sleep.

In the afternoon my consultant came to see me.  He examined me and talked to me about what was happening and then said "I think you're pregnant".  My response was more of a question "yea?".  And he asked when Egg Collection was and once we'd talked about how it was two weeks ago and that the hCG injection was 16 days ago he was happy to say that my hCG was now at 98 and that I was therefore pregnant.  I was over the moon and didn't expect to be told so I was in shock.  I asked if I still needed to do a test on Friday and he said that he would bet that I'd do one any way!

Later in the evening I phoned my dad to let him know that I was in hospital.  I hadn't let him know that I'd been in hospital the first time as he was away and I wanted him to enjoy himself.  It turns out that he'd figured there was something wrong by one of my texts that I'd sent and so was worrying anyway! He asked on the phone if I was alright and I was like "well, don't worry, but not really... I am in hospital.... don't panic though I'm fine!"  I mean, how do you tell your worrier-dad whose recent experience of hospital = death that you're in there? In the very same ward where his wife, your mum, had her double mastectomy 6 or so years ago?  He came straight down and I chatted to him for a while and I think he felt better seeing me and knowing that I was actually going to be ok.  Though when I said I wanted my mum too he started to cry.

Mr Waiting eventually made it to visiting after a really long day at work.  My dad made himself scarce for a few minutes which was actually really good because then I got to tell Mr Waiting the good news.  I cried a few tears and he put his hand on my tummy.  We decided we should tell my dad when he god back.  Dad came back and I couldn't stop grinning before he even sat down.  There was no time for small talk when I said "we have something to tell you....the treatment worked!".  He then got out his handkerchief and cried a bit more (at which point I think I called him a 'jessie' - whoops!).  We were all still in disbelief.

Once I'd told Mr Waiting I text my sister saying "Well, hello AUNTIE xxx".  Her response was so excited! I also logged on to my lovely ladies forum and announced the good news, which was amazing to do after all this time.

I had a bit of a rough night that night.  I had more anti-sickness intravenously which caused the veins on my arms to do strange things and it didn't actually work in that at 4am I was being sick again til about 8am.  This time I was sharing a room which I felt bad for because I was keeping the two other ladies awake with my throwing up.  In the end the nurse came and gave me more sickness relief in a different medication which seemed to do the trick.  They all went on at me to eat something for breakfast - I managed one bite of toast.... The nurses also thought that it was morning sickness but I'm not convinced of that.  There was far too much fluid pressing on my abdomen for it to be bog-standard morning sickness.

Later the next day (Tuesday) I started to feel marginally better and had several visitors.  My grandparents came again (although they arrived and hour before visiting so had to go elsewhere first). Then dad came, during which I was asleep pretty much the whole time as I couldn't stay awake.  Then once I had woken up my other grandma and my auntie came, eventually followed by Mr Waiting.  It was lovely to see him.  His week has been so tough at work, never mind having me in hospital to contend with as well.

On Wednesday morning I was feeling lots better. They gave me two drips during the night as my urine out put was so low and it definitely helped.  By lunch time they said I could go and so I asked my cousin to come and get me after lunch, where I ate more than I had in a week! I still felt poorly but it was a relief to get home.  I think you know when you're ready to come home - in my case I had started to feel a bit bored which meant that I must have been feeling better.

When I got home I did a ClearBlue Digital pregnancy test that I'd had in my bathroom drawer since the last time 18 months ago.  I did it without thinking and it was only after I'd peed on it that I started to panic that it might be negative, despite the blood results.  Here it is:
 I text the image to Mr Waiting who I think was a little annoyed that I'd done the test without him, but I couldn't wait just in case the screen disappeared! In the end it lasted for over 24 hours.   I also sent it to my sister eventually too.  That night Dad came round with his girlfriend and they brought me sausage and chips from the chippy which was great! 

On Thursday I was still feeling poorly but had lots of visitors (too many visitors) to our house to keep me company.  Firstly my cousin came round and she cleaned the kitchen and hoovered for me! Then my grandma  and grandad came again and finally my dad, who mowed the lawn and picked some sweetpeas for in the house. Mr Waiting got home late and it was so lovely to be able to see him.  

Friday came and it was official test day.  I was nervous doing the test, despite everything.  I went to the loo at 2:50am without thinking (as I was desperate) and then I did the test at 6:45 before Mr Waiting was going to work.  The line did not appear very well at all.  In fact it was so faint that you could hardly see it.  I was instantly worried and upset.  In my head it was all over, despite knowing that it might not be and despite knowing that a friend's sister had a negative test from the hospital cheapy tests after having blood positives like I had had.   We were trying to make excuses - I hadn't left it long enough between wees, the test was crap etc. but at the end of the day we were worried sick that Embryo Stanley had gone.   

I phoned the hospital when I could eventually get through and the nurse was kind and said that it was positive because of the bloods I had on Monday and that I shouldn't worry and that I should've waited 8 hours before peeing on the stick and I didn't.  She also said that it doesn't matter how concentrated the urine is (mine was still orange) because it's about the amount of time the body has to synthesise the hormone and put it in your wee.  I felt better after talking to her but there was no way I could relax, even with a hundred ladies on BaBs telling me it would all be ok.  I spent a lot of the day in tears, worried that, like last time, it was all over before it had begun; that my body can't keep babies.  

Last night was the last night of Mr Waiting's show and so my sister came up to my house and comforted me for a while before we headed to our dad's house for an Indian. I had been desperate for Indian food for so long! I did feel better for being distracted but deep-down all I could think of was the two digital tests that my sister had just bought for me in Sainsbury's sitting in the carrier bag.  

Last night I decided to have one last wee at 11pm so that I could do the test when I woke up, hopefully at 8am ish, giving it 8 hours.  However, I woke up at 4:45 desperate to pee.  The nurse had said that having to wee in the night is a good sign.  I managed to hold on til about 5:30.  Mr Waiting didn't want me to do the test as it hadn't been 8 hours wee but I said that there was no way I think I could ever hold wee for that long and so I decided to do it anyway.  

This test was very similar to the one I did the previous day, except that I had to stick the pee stick into a digital reader.  I weed in a cup and was so relieved to have finally been able to wee! Needless to say the wee filled and over flowed the quite large beaker! I dipped in the test and this time I ensure I left it in for 17 seconds (recommended 15 seconds) as I didn't think that I had done that yesterday with the other test.   I went back into the bedroom, nervous as anything and put the test face down on the bed and we decided we weren't going to look at it until the time was up.  After probably four minutes rather than three I turned it over and instantly smiled.  It said "pregnant".  Phew.  What a week. I ran to the bathroom after that, tipping the wee out (I thought I'd keep it in case I needed to do another test) and almost threw up with relief. Mr Waiting has now gone back to sleep (after giving Stanley a little talk and a few kisses) and I  may join him in a while but for now I'm too relieved and excited.  I have been up for two hours already and it's just past 7am! I think this week has been the hardest week so far. Thank God it's over. 

Sunday, 10 July 2011

OHSS is not fun

So it's been only a mere four days since I posted and what a four days it's been.  I can honestly say I feel awful.  I went to work on Thursday as normal but by the end of the day was feeling a bit sore and swollen - I had to unbutton my trousers under my work shirt! In the evening I noticed my tummy looked distended a bit.  I felt really uncomfortable but (silly me) still went to the school leavers' prom.  I was lucky that the dress I had hid my newly-appeared 'bump'.  I was feeling ok but a little sore.  I had phoned the hospital who said that it didn't sound too serious because I was breathing alright but to ring again in the morning to update them.  When I work up on Friday I was feeling more swollen and in pain.  I was free first two lessons and I tried to call the nurses for a couple of hours but there was no answer.  By this point I was crying at work.  Eventually I got through and they said to come down to see the consultant at 1:30pm.  This meant I had to ask work for cover. I still had to teach my Year 7s period three(!) so stuck on a French DVD as I couldn't do much more.

When I go to the hospital the consultant examined me and said there was evidence of fluid and he ordered bloods.  I also got 'told off' for going to work and driving myself there.  I had to wait between 2-3 hours for the blood results. When they came back the consultant said that my clotting factor was high and that I would need heparin to thin my blood.  He said that I could be admitted or treated at home and I preferred to be admitted as I was feeling so rough.

They found me a bed in a side room so I had my own private room with ensuite which was great. I had to monitor fluid intake and out (vomit included, sorry!).  They measured me under my bust and it was 81cm - not sure how much bigger it is than normal! They took my weight and I am now 9 Stone 4lbs..... which I know is more than I used to be... I was 8 Stone 12 when we started fertility investigations in December.  I started being sick after I'd eaten the tea they gave me. It was actually lovely - fish and chips with cake and custard - but I clearly ate far to much for my tummy to handle. Mr Waiting came and stayed for a while and brought my stuff. I was impressed with what he'd brought with him, the only problem being the 'deodrant' was 'intimate' body spray from years ago rather than my regular deodrant.

The pain was pretty bad but I somehow have developed a strong gag-reflex and find swallowing tablets hard. Mr Waiting fell asleep in the chair next to me! I made him leave shortly after and told him to get some bad food for himself for tea to cheer himself up.  The nurses were all lovely.  The Dr was a bit scary but I only saw her a couple of times.  I couldn't sleep well during the night because I kept being disturbed by the nurses to tell me the Dr was prescribing more drugs or that she'd be round soon.  At about 1am I had an anti-sickness tablet and the heparin/Clexane injection (I think the nurse forgot to give it earlier!).  I think I managed a couple of hours sleep but it was difficult because I keep jumping and getting startled by noise and by seeing a nurse stand by my bed in the dark - quite a scary sight if you are not used to it.

In the morning I was given an antiemetic injection into my leg which really stang! I then managed/forced myself to eat a sausage and a piece of toast (I made a sausage sandwich!) and a cup of tea.  I was all for not drinking tea during the two-week wait but in hospital they said it was fine and it was a nice change from the copious amounts of water I was forcing down.  I managed to keep that down thanks to another anti-sickness tablet.

Originally the ward Doctor told  me I was to stay in another night but later my consultant visited and said that I could be monitored at home until I had a scan on Monday (tomorrow).  Mr Waiting came to collect me at about 3pm after begging a lift of my cousin's boyfriend (trust all this to happen when my dad is away!).  I hobbled my way to the car and back to bed at home.  I was sick again later on (I fear my beef hula hoop craving may now have disappeared...)

Mr Waiting is at a rehearsal all day today for the school show which  is this week but will be going to pick up the heparin injections later.  I won't be returning to work now until September most likely and I will pick up a sick note on Monday when I go for my scan.  My Grandparents are taking me for the scan as Mr Waiting has to work (or it will be unpaid!).  I don't mind at all but it did mean I had to come clean about what's been going on.  They knew we were having IVF some time soon and kept asking but I just said I didn't know when it would start.... feel bad for lying but they understood why. So they are taking me tomorrow but I won't know the time until the morning.

So that's it for now.  My tummy is harder and distended and my belly button has changed shape at the top.  I still feel nauseous a lot of the time (accompanied by wretching) and can't seem to eat properly at all.

In other news, I have a new baby nephew and I can't wait to meet him! I best go, this has taken me such a long time to write.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

9 days past egg collection, 9 days until testing

This is the hard bit, getting to a week after embryo transfer and knowing that I still have 9 days to go before we find out.  I am now terrified and have been feeling quite angry this afternoon.  There is so much pressure on me.  I am going back to work tomorrow so maybe that will take my mind off it all? Maybe it will get me more stressed, after all dealing with teenagers IS stressful for me, and maybe that might mean it won't work.  Maybe it's all over anyway, but I just don't know it yet.  Maybe embryo is comfy and settled there already so nothing I do will make a difference.

I don't want to go back to work because I am scared of facing the questions from staff/students.  I already know that my boss has told the rest of the department that I got loads of eggs as some of them text me, which I feel a bit funny about.  What shall I say to well-meaning, or indeed nosy, colleagues who ask? Maybe if I say I've had some gynaecological surgery it will be enough to shut them up? Or maybe it will intrigue them more.

I have decided not to reveal my test day to people (other than my sister and dad) in the real world.  I know people will ask at work but it's none of their business and I just want to get on with it alone (well, with Mr Waiting).  The only issue is that I have to test on a school day.  I will have to go to work after I have done that test.  If it is negative I'm not sure how I will hide it.  Maybe I will have to come clean?  But if it's positive then I will be able to get on with it.  The good thing is, if it's positive, by the time I go back in September it will be around 12 weeks and so I will feel comfortable with telling people.

I want Stanley or Lucy.  Is that too much to ask?  Am I allowed that one thing in life that almost all achieve?  Will I be a mum? Will I hear those words "I love you mummy"? My heart is breaking at the thought of not hearing those words.  I am disheartened today.  Yesterday I was more positive - my acupuncturist was talking to me like a pregnant person.  He was saying "so when you have your baby in 9 months"; "you may want to come back in the first trimester for relaxation or help with morning sickness".  And the thought of me, ME!, being a normal pregnant person is just too much.  Could I really be?

I went back to the hospital today for more tablets that I need and the nurse came and gave me them.  She is so lovely.  The kind of woman who you want to hug.  She asked me if I was having any symptoms. Well, I can't say that I am really.  But here's what I've noticed:

- sore boobs
- bigger boobs (popping over my bra)
- veiny boobs
- hot-to-the-touch boobs
- a bit of cramping (could that be implantation?)
- achey legs last night (had this when I found out about my last brief pregnancy).
- hunger

All of these could be linked to the medication or normal pre-menstrual symptoms.  I often get sore boobs for example, and often get cramping too.  None of them could be pregnancy related. I hope they are. Please.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

6 days past egg collection, 4 days post embryo transfer

Not that I'm counting.
Our little embryo should be a blastocyst by now.  This is a picture of a hatching and implanting blastocyst.    I hope that our little four cell embryo has now made this stage.  I talk to it every now and then, as does Mr Waiting, who also prods my tummy and kisses it.  I have had some sensations which could amount to something and nothing.  Yesterday I felt sharp pains low down in where I imagine my womb to be and had a few cramps.  Of course, these could be unrelated, constipation/wind, or residual from egg collection or embryo transfer.  Then today I had a speck of blood (I'd stopped spotting from egg collection by Thursday) and I was hoping that it was implantation bleeding but really, it was that small it could've been anything.  Still, there's no harm in hoping.

Being genuinely 'in' the two week wait is weird. I don't know how to feel. I don't know how to be optimistic or how not to become anxious and worry.  I keep thinking "why won't it work?" after all this is maybe the only time (since the miscarriage) that there's been an embryo in me.  Maybe this is the time it will stick in there and make itself at home.  I hope so.  Make yourself at home embryo.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

The last few days

Firstly, I am sorry for not keeping up to date with this when it's at the most exciting and crucial time! For several reasons I haven't felt up to posting but I'll do my best now to remember everything!

Wednesday 29th June - Embryo Transfer Day!

Mr Waiting had managed to get the day off from work and I was so pleased and I am so glad he didn't miss this.    We had a little bit of a lie in than what would be normal for a work day and had a leisurely start to the day before making our way to the hospital for 10:15.  We arrived early (it's funny that Mr Waiting can be on time for really important things!) and the lady that let us in asked how I was and, thinking that she was a nurse, I started rambling about my constipation.  She wasn't a nurse, but a sympathetic receptionist.  I was a little embarrassed after that! There was a couple opposite us.  They were the couple that had been in the bay next to us that had got 19 eggs.  I was in first for embryo transfer and there was one couple before us.

After filling out some paperwork that I'd filled out wrong last time (it was an admittance form and I'd assumed one was for me and one for Mr Waiting, rather than both being for me seeing as I was getting admitted twice...) we were led to our bay and asked to put on gowns.  I put my usual two gowns on and Mr Waiting had some surgeons scrubs to put on and some surgical clogs.  He was very (very!) excited about this and pranced about in them asking me to take photos of him "looking like a surgeon".  What he was really after was a clipboard but settled for a couple of poses, one with the disinfectant hand-gel dispenser.  We had to wait a little while and in that time the embryologist came to speak to us and show us drawings of our embryos.  At this point 9 had reached the four cell cleavage stage which was where they should be.  The embryologist told us that because of my age, this being our first treatment and the quality of the embryos with so many to freeze that they would do a single embryo transfer (SET).  I was really disappointed.  She didn't seem to understand why but, to me, we weren't allowed to go to blastocyst because of the clinic's working days and we couldn't be sure we were putting in a really good embryo, despite it being the best of the four-celled embryos.

When we had our initial consultation the consultant had explained that we were eligible for a SET and that usually only 10% of patients had one.  I didn't actually realise that this could be 'forced' upon us and I still thought it could be recommended though ultimately it is our choice.  She spoke to the consultant who echoed what she had said. She said that we had enough to freeze for another go with this cycle so it wasn't worth putting two back.  And so they didn't.  I did get over my initial disappointment later but it does keep coming back to me. What if?

We were led through to surgery and Mr Waiting was surprised that it was just through a normal door from the ward.  He got his own chair next to the monitors and had taken in my phone to take some pictures of the embryo.  Before we got started the nurse squirted some gel on my tummy to have a good look at my ovaries and uterus.  This was the first time that I've had this done and straight away it reminded me of the 12 week pregnancy scanning that must go on, that I've only seen on TV and dreamt about.  The consultant showed me my swollen ovaries and their now empty follicles.  Well, I say empty, he said they were battered and bruised and full of fluid and blood! And then they showed me my womb. It was fascinating to be able to see you own insides.  They also showed me my bladder which had to be full for them to do the transfer!

They got me in position and the embryologist showed us our embryo underneath the microscope.  Here it is:

The lines are the lines from the monitor and, unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of it without the lines.  But you can see it there, perfectly formed.  Our possible baby-to-be. Our possible Stanley or Lucy (though we think Stanley).  It was amazing and we couldn't stop staring at the screen  until it disappeared. 

The consultant placed the embryo in my womb through a catheter that I didn't even feel! It was strange because every other time I've had a catheter or smear I've really felt it but I felt nothing! In the catheter tube they put a tiny air bubble behind the embryo so that they know that they have placed it in the right place.  We could see the air bubble on the screen:


It's the little concentrated white circle inside the apricot-shaped blob.  See it?  That's our embryo, somewhere in there, inside its mummy.  Mr Waiting was fascinated by the whole process and it was so lovely having him in there, stroking my hair throughout.  I know he's going to be an a amazing comfort to me in any subsequent labour and birth.  I hope we get there.

Test day is officially the 15th July 2011.  I will not be testing before then like some people do.  The longer I hold off, the longer I can believe it's worked and have hope.  We have about a 1 in 3 chance.  I keep forgetting that that's a 1 in 3 chance of a live birth, that the pregnancy test isn't the end.  Please let us be that one in three. There were three ladies in the hospital on embryo transfer day.  I want to be the one out of us three.  

After the transfer I got straight up off the table and went for a wee (my bladder could hold no more) and then it was home! We decided to stop off at a little cafe and garden centre on the the way home where we lowered the average age by about 20 years or more.  Then we went home and I rested up, staring at our embryo in the photo and sending it to my dad saying "hello Grandad".  I know it's premature but to us that little four-celled blob is a baby, one that we will grieve if he doesn't make it.  Dad's response was "wow!".  I am never failed to be amazed at what technology and modern medicine can do and so for someone of the older generations this must seem miraculous.  And it is miraculous.  

We had a phone call that afternoon saying that 12 had made it to four cells and were all frozen.  So as well as our 'on board' embryo we have 12 snow babies which is amazing as many people don't even have 12 eggs to start off with.  In the evening we went for tea at the pub with my dad and his girlfriend and excitedly showed them more pictures.  I can't wait to be showing them pictures of a scan that has an actual baby in it.  

The next couple of days have been a bit difficult.  After the initial positivity we felt on Wednesday I started to wonder by Thursday if our chances had been reduced by only having one embryo and it being only four cells put back.  I have since learned (through internet/book research) that the success rates for a SET + a subsequent frozen embryo transfer (FET) equal the success rates of a fresh double embryo transfer (DET).  Which is promising I suppose for our subsequent embryos. But I cannot give up on the embryo inside me so I'm fighting to stay positive.  Mummy has talked to the embryo, Daddy has talked to the embryo and we have told him to stay comfy where he is and get all nice and snuggled in.  Daddy frequently kisses the embryo through mummy's tummy and tells him to give mummy "inside cuddles".  I hope you're listening little embryo!

Both on Thursday and yesterday I  have felt weak and sick and have actually been sick too, which is rubbish (but a good practice for morning sickness I suppose...).  I haven't been back to work and indeed I have a sicknote til at least next Thursday.  The doctor was lovely and said that if I need more time after just phone up and they will extend it.  I wasn't going to get a sicknote but as the teaching strike loomed it seemed that I would need one to prove I wasn't striking.  I do feel guilty about being off but my embryo needs me at the moment.  

I have felt slightly better today though still feel not quite right and am very constipated. I can't do a lot without feeling weak and light headed.  I ended up phoning the nurses last night and she said that if I started to feel worse or stopped weeing normally then I was to go up to the ward to be assessed and possibly have intravenous fluids.  This scared me so much but made me realise just what a trauma my body is going through (and maybe will continue to go through for 9 months).

So, if you're reading, keep everything crossed that we are one of the lucky ones. That we will have our miracle baby.