I wanted to call this post fourth time lucky. In the end I opted for a more neutral title, after all I’m never too sure if positive thinking works, or it’s just tempting fate. So here I am, attempt number four.
I had a scan on day three to check I could start the process. Gone are the days when I used to try and look vaguely respectable when I arrived at the clinic. I stripped off and jumped onto the bed still in my sweaty cycling gear like I was in a rush. To be honest I was in a rush – managing a son, a job, and a part-time career as a human pin cushion is a pretty time consuming affair! My next scan is tomorrow – day ten. This whole process is making me so in tune with my body and also totally paranoid at every sensation in my womb area. After tonight’s injection I felt my ovaries react. In general the past six nights of injections haven’t resulted in much, not like last time round when I felt like my ovaries were on fire. As it turns out, they were. Now my fear is that those sensations were my follicles rupturing and I will have missed the boat. I’m sure it’s nothing, but I doubt I’ll sleep well tonight. All things being good though they will tell me I have one or two follicles growing (three maximum!) and tomorrow night I’ll be sent home to administer my ‘trigger’ shot and Tuesday will be the big day.
It’s Monday now. I’ve just gone in for my scan and it turns out I’m some kind of medical miracle (go me), even on the lowest dose of meds I’ve created four follicles (five if you count the little one trying to catch up with her brothers and sisters). That’s not good. The doctor comes in. Her advice is quite clear and direct, do not go ahead with the procedure. So what do I do? I go ahead anyway.
I’m saying that flippantly. I wasn’t flippant in reality. I took time out to phone a friend (well my mum to be exact) before I made a decision either way. I had already considered carefully what I would do in the case of three follicles and it was that I would go ahead regardless. One more didn’t really feel like that big of a difference. Maybe some would say I was reckless, I would just say I was frustrated at how many months this has been going on for. I just want to have some chance of being pregnant. If I don’t even have any sperm inside me it’s never going to happen.
That night, I was excited. I couldn’t wait. Although quite clearly I had to. I even managed to get a good night’s sleep – I put my son and me down at half eight so I could catch up on three years of sleep deprivation. I figure it might be one of my last chances to do so. The evening was spent Googling when is the best time for Insemination. Apparently 24-36 hours after the trigger with most chat veering towards the upper end of this. I had a mini panic when I realised I’d be doing mine eight hours later. Then I realised I just can’t count, it would be nineteen hours. As I can already feel things happening down there I figure knowing me and my reaction to drugs I’m probably the fastest ovulater in history so early is probably good in my case.
As I fell asleep I had a few last minute jitters. Am I really willing to give up my sex life and a chance for any romance for the foreseeable future. Don’t misunderstand me I currently don’t have a sex life or romantic life but in theory I could. Reality is so different to the dreams though and I have to remind myself that just because it could happen doesn’t mean there’s even a one percent chance it will occur.
I decide if this fails I’ll throw caution to the wind and go on as many tinder dates as is humanly possible. Contrary to popular opinion fertility treatment doesn’t need to take over your life, it can help you bring your life back into perspective and I’ve already decided that’s what I’ll be doing after the obligatory cry if this fails.
It’s Tuesday and I’m back in. The decision to go ahead still feels right so I’m doing this. In all honesty it was one of the first times I’ve actually felt excited in the last few years. It’s not an emotion I’ve had the chance to feel lately and it’s pretty nice to experience it again. Maybe this time I’ll have a real chance of it working, after all four follicles must increase the chance significantly. Perhaps it won’t feel like quite such a needle in a haystack chance now. Perhaps I’ll be able to feel positive and hopeful during those two torturous weeks which are about to start. Although it’s not really just about feeling hopeful, after all hope is why it hurt so much first time round when it failed. It’s just that now the maths and science might be on my side too.
This time I’ve dressed for the occasion. Gone are the tight jeans I wore last time which I didn’t want to button up for fear they would push out the sperm (I know, I know). In fact this time I’m dressed as if I’m already pregnant – leggings and a big baggy top. Well, they say dress for the job you want, right?
It’s all done. I’m sat on the bus heading homewards. It felt a lot more clinical this time, I had a gown and shoe covers, I was taken through to theatre, last time I just got treated to a normal appointment room. Apparently it was a great sample, 5.5 million sperm, 42% motility. Or was it mobility. Who knows. But they kept telling me how hopefully one would stick. All I could think was well let’s hope four don’t stick, 5.5 million sounds like a hell of a lot of sperms.
I left the clinic feeling quite optimistic. A few pains started on the bus but this time I wasn’t getting so stressed.
It seems the longer I do this the easier it becomes. Whilst the first time was hellish emotionally I feel like I can handle it this time round. It’s become a part of my daily routine. After months of (almost) trying, being given a chance to actually try feels great.
I made it through the weekend. I only really had one night of over zealous googling sending me into a panic, convinced that they had triggered me too soon so there was no chance of fertilising any egg because it wouldn’t have been a mature egg. Aside from that I had a lovely weekend, the sunshine certainly helped. But now it’s Monday, nearly one week since the procedure and I’m feeling incredibly down. I guess it’s to be expected. My body is all over the place with hormones, and if you think you get sexually frustrated when you’re ovulating, try ovulating with four eggs on the go, it sent me into a new level of snappiness.
I just wish it was one week later already. I know it’s stupid, it’s not like a week is a long time. But I hate living like this, trying over and over, back and forth for scans, tests and injections. I just want to know if I’m pregnant and get on with being a ‘normal’ family. If it’s bad news I just want to know so I can start preparing the next stage of treatment, whatever that might be.
I’ve never in my life wanted to feel sick so badly as I do now. I fantasize about feeling sick when I open the bin or clean the toilet, but so far there’s nothing and I can’t help but think it’s going to stay that way.
Tonight as I was getting undressed my son saw my breasts and asked, “why are they so heavy when there’s no milk in them?” It shocked me. I wasn’t aware that he knew boobs got bigger when they were full of milk. Also was this a sign that they were larger than normal and he had noticed? Surely my son couldn’t be the first one to notice I was pregnant, even before me?
Yesterday I started to feel things happening. Not exactly pains but sensations in my womb area. This is it I thought. I tried not to get too excited, after all this is what happened last time and I was negative. I decided to try my early test in the morning. I woke at 5am, the crazy dreams still keeping me awake. It was negative. It didn’t matter which way I held it, how tightly I squinted my eyes, it was totally, completely and utterly negative. I rolled over for some disturbed rest.
A few hours later we woke up. I looked again, just to be sure. It was still negative. I rolled over as my son woke up. “I love you”, he said. It broke my sadness for a second. Then he ran off to play marble run downstairs and I was left with my thoughts. The main one being how I wished someone would just hug me. I haven’t had a proper hug in years. I have hugs with my son all the time but it’s just not the same. I want a hug with big arms holding me, telling me everything will be OK. A hug that helps to suck out the sadness and the pain. A hug with someone who knows and cares what is happening in my life.
I want to not be alone in this long and difficult journey. Until then, I’ll be moving on to attempt number five. There were more tests after that early one and the results were all clear – attempt number four was not successful.
This post is part of my single mum by choice series. You can read all about it here:
- Thinking about becoming a single mum by choice
- Deciding to become a single mum by choice
- Choosing a Clinic
- Single mum by choice: The Process
- Fertility Treatment Implications Counselling
- Choosing a Sperm Donor
- Preparing for insemination
- Booking the IUI appointment
- IUI insemination day
- Solo Mum Waiting To Take a Pregnancy Test
- Still Waiting To Take The Pregnancy Test
- Trying Again: Donor Conception
- Planning Fertility Treatment: The Wobble
- Planning Your Second Round of Fertility Treatment
- Fertility Treatment the Second Go
- Fertility Treatment Failure: Third Time Unlucky