Third trimester check in…

So as I lay here, I am 34 weeks pregnant and have just finished a 6 week teaching stint from home. Back at the beginning of January, we were put back into a national lockdown, which (after a messy start to the half term), included school closures. This meant a quick flurry of activity to ensure staff, children and parents were prepared for the life of blended learning once more. Fast forward to now, it’s February half term and I couldn’t be happier!

Although we are still in a national lockdown, a week off work feels heavenly. Zoom will be used to socialise rather than teach and plenty of time will be spent outside walking or running with one other adult (so I can see people in line with the current rules). During this half term week, I turn 32. I’m looking forward to the food that will go with this. The main form of celebrating due to the restrictions in place.

A week off work also means a week of baby preparation. With Lee and I being teachers, it’s the perfect opportunity to set him off on the jobs that have been on my mind these past few weeks. It’s lovely to have a list, work through it together and potentially leave the week far more prepared! So far we have moved our bedroom round to accommodate the next to me crib for baby, set up our carrycot for our pram and completed a few house jobs to get the cottage feeling ready. Still plenty to do and go at but I’m enjoying this week off to check in with what needs to be done.

At 34 weeks pregnant, I’m starting to feel the toll on my body in relation to the ability to bend down! Although I can still run three times a week, walk daily and get some yoga or dancing in there too (my current set up to keep the WFH life fresh and active), stopping to tie my shoelace feels like a workout in itself! It could be something to do with this…

Bump post run 3 weeks ago (31 weeks pregnant)

In the time since I last blogged, I have had two midwife appointments and subsequently two growth scans. These scans were booked in reaction to bump measurements. However as concluded both times, baby is measuring on the 50th centile and is doing wonderfully in there. Seeing baby both times has been just lovely. Due to the pandemic, I attended both scans alone but when you leave with a photograph and a positive update, it’s all good.

Baby’s pouting lips at my last growth scan (at around 32 weeks gestation)

Another check I’ve had recently took place due to a call to triage. I had noticed a few changes and phones to check in. As requested, I went in and spent around 2 and a half hours being monitored. I had a CTG monitor attached to record baby’s movements and also a speculum examination and amniotic fluid swab test. Everything came back normal so I was sent on my way. The next appointment I have is with the midwife to discuss my birth plan. Eeek!

33 weeks triage check in

Recently, Lee and I have been attending the odd antenatal workshop online to educate ourselves further. It’s been good to spend time together focused on the baby and what’s to come as otherwise a week or two can pass and life gets in the way. As first timers, I want us to feel informed and prepared. Well as prepared as we can be!

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2020…let’s focus on the good

In 2020, I learnt a lot. Most of all patience and focus. It’s easy to get carried away, it’s easy to compare, it’s easy to forget what YOU need to do. I still have my moments but going through IVF taught me lots. It taught me to grab opportunities offered with both hands. It taught me that if I know what I’m walking into, I’m prepared. It taught me that talking really helps.

In January 2020, I was blissfully unaware of what was to come. By March we had an IVF referral in place and I eagerly anticipated the next step. By June clinics were reopening and it was our time. The limbo period between March and June allowed me to take a step back (once I’d accepted that we would need to be patient) and focus on me and also my little family.

During lockdown, people were trying their absolute best to survive. I did just that with the toolkit I’d created in the previous year when my health dictated I did so. However, within lockdown I took this a step further and set myself a goal. I wanted to take my running to somewhere different. So when I look back on lockdown, I see walks…lots of walks but I also see and remember key moments of success with running.

I feel proud looking back on my favourite running moments from March – May

My next challenge I embarked on was the IVF process. An emotionally charged experience. One where I did nothing but focus on myself. It worked and I’m laying here 27 weeks pregnant. Throughout the process, I was able to think about myself and also work through what I perceived as set backs or annoyances at the time. I had to learn to let go, trust the process and go with things day by day.

These skills were then taken forward into my pregnancy. The milestones, the waiting, the changes…all emotionally charged experiences (even if I didn’t realise it at the time) but with patience and focus, I’ve been able to enjoy my pregnancy, set myself little challenges but also listen to my body.

The photo collage below represents changes. 2018 me was desperate to be drunk and remember her fun self (I’m excited to do this with friends again once more when I’m able to!), 2019 me was lapping up being an auntie and enjoying our new member of the family whilst grappling with my own yearning for a baby (niece cuddles definitely allowed me some excellent practise and ultimate joy at seeing a little person be nurtured and grow) and 2020 me is excited and content with what is to come (as in 2021 there will be a niece and son/ daughter in the photo!).

Let’s see what 2021 brings and how I will wear this jumpsuit over the festive period!

Three months later…

Being pregnant can be all consuming, to the point it’s mostly all you think about! Or it has been for me. It’s been three months + since I’ve written and even though I’ve had so many opportunities to write, I’ve been more inclined to lay after a long day of work and watch Grey’s Anatomy whilst idly thinking about what’s to come.

In pregnancy it’s a lot of little milestones, a bit like when trying for a baby or going through IVF really. When trying, these milestones are on a monthly cycle and throughout IVF, it is a list of milestones you are wanting to get through, to get to the next part. When I see something on Instagram or the internet about couples going through their IVF milestones, my heart goes out to them as it is all consuming in a different way to pregnancy. Somewhat more intense. When I reflect on our experience, I am humbled at how we seemingly breezed through it. However, that’s not to say that’s how it felt at the time. I’m just in a very fortunate position, laying here 26 weeks pregnant after our first round.

Our baby at 20 weeks

Our scan at 20 weeks was just lovely. We had a student sonographer and a senior in the room to oversee and train. This set up led to a very thorough scan. A warmly welcomed thorough scan as due to the pandemic, I had been attending appointments and scans alone from the beginning of the IVF process. The NHS outlined that partners could attend at 20 weeks so this was a big one for us! Baby was all well and thriving and it was lovely to see how much growing had been going on! Alternatively, some welcomed shrinking had been taking place too. At the dating scan, an ovarian cyst had been picked up. A whopper of a 5.2cm cyst. Doesn’t sound that big but they tend to intervene over 5cm and had told me that they’d review the situation at my next scan (the 20 week scan). It measured 3.4cm in November, a big relief as it can be left now until baby is born.

In early December, I had a phone appointment with my endocrinologist. It was a reassuring call as I was able to ask questions in relation to my plan to breastfeed. Due to my prolactinoma, I wasn’t sure what route I would need to take. A bit like anything in life, I have found specialists have their own preferred methods and treatment plans. Therefore I was not sure which one my endocrinologist would take. He said he would see me in the summer and my plan to breastfeed was totally fine. Due to pregnancy enlarging the pituitary gland and raising your prolactin levels anyway, he explained that he would not put me back on any form of treatment until I have finished breastfeeding. Yey! I explained that I feel back to myself (well mostly, hormones can play havoc here and there) and would be very interested in looking at alternative treatment plans for my pituitary tumour. Early in pregnancy, I noted that the dark clouds that could linger post med days were no longer part of my week. Something that I could truly appreciate when not taking the medication.

At 26 weeks pregnant, baby is becoming very active and I’m continuing to be so too but I’m starting to notice the shift in my body. After a ten week break from running (to go through IVF and the very early pregnancy stage), I started back up again. I’ve been enjoying it throughout the 16 weeks I’ve been back at it but have realised that I’m now carrying around extra weight which has led to a few stitches and the realisation that I need to plod! Alongside running, I have been getting in walks and my personal favourite of ‘Dance Fit’ on RWB (Results with Bump).

The next chapter in my pregnancy is set to be the working from home (WFH) chapter. Due to the pandemic being in full force and there being little to no research out there, guidance (albeit very vague) states that women should be especially careful in their third trimester. So, about a month ago, I went to my boss with a plan. He was happy to support either way (for me to stay in the classroom or explore an alternative role) and after some emotional antagonising, I decided that I wanted and needed a non facing role. The pandemic has been very unpredictable and I wanted to take that out of my situation. I adore being with the children in my class but a room full of 30+ people is not the place you can shield yourself from the virus. Even if you are beyond careful, there are no guarantees!

At the time of writing this, the country is in a bit of a mess. Tier 4 has been introduced and is beyond restrictive. This is in place after a month long lockdown in November. We’re currently in tier 3, which means if I want to see anyone, it must be outside. This has led to countless walks and jogs. Some weekends I’ve had to plan when to walk and jog as my bump has been putting pressure on my lower back and it can feel very uncomfortable when you’ve jogged 5k and then walk up to 10k all in one day! So, although I’m active and love it, I have had to listen to my body and be realistic.

When I start the WFH chapter next month, daylight will be my saviour. And Steve the dog too of course! I plan to spend my dinner hour eating, resting or walking. Or all three! I’m an organised person so will find creating a routine very helpful. I am also a morning person so will no doubt spend my mornings either exercising or catching up on work in preparation for the day. A huge perk to WFH is that I can clock off at 3 to catch anyone that is around to walk with me so that I’m able to still see people. My role will mean I will work with both adults and children via an online platform but you cannot beat good old fashioned social interaction.

So, I will sign off now and will either write write write during my third and final trimester or do the opposite and blog once. I enjoy documenting this journey so I do hope that I can break myself away from Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy) long enough to capture the next stage.

26 week pregnant me, probably watching Grey’s Anatomy.

World Mental Health Day

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and it has made me reflect on how being healthy can come in so many forms. I live with a very uncomplicated man so when I’m feeling complicated, it can sometimes be hard (it mostly is a blessing though). I seem to have all the feelings and at the moment, they can all feature in one day at times.

I’ve found over the last few years that I can sometimes try and figure out how I’m feeling and fix it, rather than just feel it. Yesterday was no different. I tried to unpick why I woke up feeling flat. Was it because I woke up tired? Worrying about what will happen next with COVID? Worrying about what will happen next with work? Missing my old body as my new one is in a new awkward phase? My sister told me to take one day at a time and made me reflect that all the things above (except for being tired) were about having control.

Over the past few years, I’ve found that when I’ve felt in control, I’ve felt good or it helps with feeling good. I’m an organised and thought out person so get the most out of a day if I know what I’m doing. For some people that would be stifling, but for me, I find it comforting. I’m still flexible and up for a bit of spontaneity but deep down I love having a plan.

My plan as of June 2018 was to be pregnant and to cut a long story short, this plan brought its own obstacles and challenges. I understand myself more because of the past few years; I’ve liked what I’ve found out on the most part but there were some little demons in there that infertility and impatience brought about. However, I worked past these and also now understand that the past few years have been full of lessons. I am at an age where many transitions happen and not everyone goes through these at the same time or in fact even has them on their radar at the same time. So it’s about being supported in your transitions at the time of them happening.

My biggest transition to date has been adapting to undergoing fertility treatment and then subsequently (and amazingly) being pregnant. I’m now in week 16 and my body is working so hard. However this in turn means my mind is too. Being pregnant is a very important job! Or that’s how it feels at the moment. I feel that partly due to COVID and partly because I like to know what’s what, most of my decisions at the moment link to being pregnant and how I can best look after myself. I may have felt like this with no pandemic but I do not have the wonderful pre COVID days to compare to as this is my first pregnancy.

In reaction to yesterday’s little wobble, I took a breath, took on the advice to focus on a day at a time and slapped some make up and a dress on to celebrate my lovely little niece’s first birthday party….and what a lovely and yummy afternoon it was!

Me after a shower, hair cut and a bit of make up 🤰🏼

Photographed bubba

Since my last blog post, our little Easter chick has been busy! So busy that they seem to have grown so much (I know this is not always accurate) to change my due date by four days. Now our Easter chick is a little April fool.

Since my last blog post, I’ve seen our little baby twice. Once at a private scan that allowed Lee and my mum to join me and my NHS dating scan where I attended alone. Both were wonderful and I love the photos so much!

Baby chick at ten weeks
Baby chick at thirteen weeks

The baby’s next photo opportunity is at twenty weeks and Lee can attend this scan with me. It’ll be a wonderful experience as Lee will be able to see how much the baby will have grown and developed in ten weeks. As the woman, you feel so much. Your body changes continually whereas the man has to rely on verbal and visual updates.

At fifteen weeks, I have a little bump forming! I’m now feeling very much pregnant and it’s hit me all of a sudden that these changes are the minimal ones and I’ll soon have a baby taking over my body! It’s exciting and daunting at the same time. I’m trying to take each day at a time as being pregnant in a pandemic is definitely interesting!

I wonder what the next five weeks will bring 🥰 😬❤️.

Nearly time to join the real world…

After an amazing week road tripping around the North Coast 500 in Scotland, we are home and work and reality is looming.

As we had our early scan pencilled in, we planned our summer jaunt to launch on this date. It enabled me to keep busy in the lead up to the scan. The scan that for me felt like the first official confirmation of the pregnancy. The (four) tests I had taken at home were all clear positives but I think I was still in awe of them and needed further clarification.

Here is our little Easter chick 🐣

I felt so relieved and light after this scan as I saw the heartbeat, the images were explained (the yolk sac mostly as I didn’t know what it was at first) and the nurse described everything as ‘perfect’ and developing in line with my treatment dates. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Lee had to wait outside for me with Stevie before we could set off on our little campervan adventure.

Now I lay here in bed exhausted after an amazing week and trying to get the energy to do some preparation for the week coming. I start back at work on Tuesday. In school, in a classroom full of children. The guidance is that I social distance in the classroom as a pregnant woman. This status puts me in the clinically vulnerable category. I am hoping it’s doable, I’m hoping that I can adjust how I work to ensure my teaching style still comes across from a distance.

As the saying goes, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Currently, I have three days to go before my time is no longer free but instead governed to a teaching timetable and the school day.

Thankfully, as I reach the nine week milestone just before I’m back at school, I no longer will be taking progesterone three times a day. My clinic have discharged me into normal midwife care (I meet with her on Thursday) and have given me the instruction to stop the pessaries at the end of the eighth week. This is great timing as I can turn my medication alarms off and get on with my day at work with no interruptions.

The next three weeks are going to be big for me. I will be juggling teaching with my ever need for a cheeky nap (the first trimester is tiring) and I will also hit the twelve week mark and have my next scan to see our little Easter chick 🐣. I do not think I’ll tire of seeing our baby on the screen. Hopefully Lee can join in with this lovely moment soon. Whether that is a NHS scan (if they start to allow partners in) or whether we pay to have a private one in the near future.

🚐🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿☀️

Dan and Lee…

So the past 24 hours have been hard. I’m now six weeks pregnant. I cannot decide whether how I’ve been feeling is from the withdrawal from my pituitary medication or pregnancy hormones. Whatever it is, I’ve had these little niggles of worry creep in. Also work is looming and we are still restricted so much by the Covid-19 pandemic.

I know I will most likely revisit these niggles of worry throughout my pregnancy but for now I am shelving them and focusing on the journey to date. My body has responded well and we have a wonderful little part of us both growing inside me. After eleven years together, I am so curious to see what our mini us will be like.

As two drunk students, we met in York on Thursday 12th March 2009. Initially, I thought Lee was in fact a Liam as I was either too drunk to listen or too drunk to remember. Once we’d ironed out the name issue, we spent the next few months spending a lot of time in each other’s pockets. Most notably, we would ensure we would meet on nights out. However I do remember our first official date. A meal out at Piccolino, I remember thinking that Lee was trying to impress! I had the poshest lasagne I had had during that time. I was used to a pub lasagne for a fiver. We were poor students after all! This romancing continued until Lee left for a summer in America to coach soccer. During this summer, we were pen pals and would speak on Skype and Facebook. It was lovely and I still have the letters and hundreds of Facebook messages printed out now. I worked at a nursery and restaurant that summer so I was pretty busy too!

In our favourite place…Salvation.
Lee’s football dinner in 2009 whilst he was in his final year at YSJ and I was in my second year at YSJ.

Fast forward to November 2009 and Lee had returned to England and graduated from York St John and I lived with friends in a house near uni and was in my final year of my teaching degree. We made it Facebook official at this time and back then, that was a pretty big deal!!! Lee lived at home and would come and visit me in York lots before moving back himself in the summer of 2010. We spent lots of nights out together during those months.

Another favourite place…Keystones.

In July 2010, I went off to America for five weeks with my sister Kirsty and Lee went off to the west coast on a three week road trip with his friend Lawrence. Another summer apart but this time with a twist! We met in San Diego for a few days.

San Diego July 2010

In the September, I started my first teaching job in Doncaster and Lee lived in York. We spent this academic year going up and down the A1 spending our weekends together.

September 2010 (look at those shoes!)

In December 2010 we went on our first little holiday.

Brussels Belgium December 2010

In July 2011 we embarked on one of my favourite holidays to date. We spent the summer travelling to Thailand, Australia and Fiji.

Bangkok Thailand July 2011
Krabi Thailand August 2011
Phi Phi Thailand August 2011
Great Barrier Reef Australia August 2011
Sydney Australia August 2011
Nacula island Fiji 2011

After another year of using the A1 A LOT, in July 2012, we took the plunge and moved in together. Lee had completed his PGCE whilst living in York and had secured a teaching job in Doncaster to start in the September. We moved into a flat, something I had always wanted to do! However, a short six months later we needed to move into a house as in November 2012 a little puppy joined us and toilet training caused quite the stir!

Stevie joined the family in November 2012

In the summer of 2013 we holidayed separately and this is a theme that has remained over the following years. With me moving jobs, our holidays have not always matched so plenty of sun and cocktails have been had with my mum and sisters whilst Lee started on the journey of the abroad stag do and warm weather training holiday.

We did however still make time for trips together – Whitby 2014

In the summer of 2014, we made our third move together and downsized (from the four bedroom townhouse we moved to in a hurry so we could give Stevie a garden) to a more reasonably priced two bedroom property. We did this so we could continue going on nights out and holidays without too much worry about money!

A camping trip in Bakewell August 2014 with the Audsleys
New Year in our little Armthorpe house 2014
Paris in February 2015 to include my birthday and Valentine’s day ❤️
Scotland in May 2015 for the Bradey wedding ❤️

August 2015 saw a further favourite trip of mine. We spent a wonderful month in Vancouver, on an Alaskan cruise and in Hawaii.

Vancouver Canada August 2015
Glacier Bay Alaska August 2015
Honolulu Hawaii August 2015

After our summer travels, we spent the academic year teaching, going out, walking Stevie lots at the weekend and enjoying half term breaks. This particular academic year saw my first (and currently only) school move. I moved from teaching in reception in a large primary school to teaching a mixed key stage two class in a teeny village school. This move was over the Christmas holidays so quite bizarre timing. Lee helped me set my new classroom up amongst the festive fun.

Christmas 2015

In 2016, we spent our time house hunting, house buying and subsequently completed our fourth house move together! We also seemed to attend a lot of weddings. I loved this time. So much shopping!

The Cooke Wedding May 2016
We became homeowners of Mayflower Cottage as of July 2016
The Audsley Wedding August 2016
The Sonvico Wedding August 2016

It was around this time we both started running. We both joined Doncaster AC. Me as a beginner may I add! However my running career needed a little pause by the end of 2016 as I needed an operation on my thyroid to remove a cyst. One that got quite large!! March 2017 saw this procedure take place. Lee, as always, looked after me very well. I started running again soon after and felt so much better!

A lovely break away with the Audsleys at The Bay in Filey in April 2017
Thunder 24hr Run July 2017

The summer of 2017 saw me jet off on holiday whilst Lee made friends with the builders completing our extension. I had never heard him talk so much!

Cottage extension summer 2017

A few more weddings took place in 2017. We’d stopped being asked by this stage when it was our turn. With a mortgage and extension to pay for, we decided we were skint enough not to get planning nuptials. Also, I’m waiting for Lee to pop the question as I’m too stubborn to use a leap year!

The Leonard Wedding August 2017
The Ashworth Wedding October 2017

For New Year 2017, we returned to The Bay in Filey with the Audsleys. Such a great way to see in 2018!

Filey December 2017

2018 saw some further separate holidays. However the one in May caused me some worry as I was in Amsterdam whilst Lee was in Ibiza reporting that he didn’t feel very well. The month that followed this was very quiet as he recovered from Legionnaires Disease. I mastered making a bacon sarnie during this time! My patient quite liked one most mornings once his appetite returned. Lee also turned 30 around this time but wasn’t in party mode and was most likely pleasantly relieved that he could have a quiet birthday.

Later in 2018, we spent some time motorhoming and staycationing our summer away and attending another lovely wedding. This was the summer we decided to start trying for a baby.

Motorhoming trips summer 2018
The Hartley Wedding August 2018
The Bay in Filey with the Audsleys August 2018

By September 2018 Lee was feeling much much better and had a race win at the Cusworth 10k.

🥇

In September, we also started the academic year. Lots of dog walks and chilled weekends later, we then spent New Year with my mum and dad and a lovely NYD on the beach. It was around this time I started feeling unwell and investigations at the hospital began. I’ve mentioned this in earlier posts so will summarise here. A benign pituitary tumour was diagnosed in November 2018 and I started treatment for this at the end of this month.

January 1st 2019

February saw a lovely family holiday with the Bawdens for my 30th to the Peak District. I’m normally all for a sun lounger and a pool but fancied a quiet one with how I was feeling at that time. The hot tub and rolling hills were wonderful! The sun shone most of the week too.

My 30th birthday trip to the Peak District February 2019

March saw two big events! Our ten year anniversary and Lee’s first Yorkshire vest.

Yorkshire vest March 2019
The Fryirs Wedding May 2019
Lee’s 31st birthday in Hereford June 2019

Summer 2019 saw some lovely trips. We explored Northumberland and North Berwick by VW camper. We also went down to Bournemouth to stay with my sister Katie before heading over to Switzerland to watch the Diamond League and explore Zurich and Lucerne.

Edinburgh August 2019
Bournemouth August 2019
Lucerne Switzerland August 2019
Zurich Switzerland August 2019
The Flores Domingues wedding in September 2019 just as school had started.

The academic year 2019-20 started as normal in September and turned out to be the strangest to date! So after a straightforward start, a great Christmas, a lovely February half term which saw us both jet away to the sun (separately)…March 2020 hit! I’ve explored this time and subsequently our treatment postponment in earlier posts. However here are some photos of us doing what we do best during the start of our IVF process once it started again…dog walking!

Cleethorpes June 2020
Clumber Park June 2020
Tickhill July 2020

The bit this post has been building up to is how in July 2020 we got our very first positive pregnancy test through IVF. So, after eleven years, we have our next big thing on the horizon. There will most likely be more house moves (unless we happily squeeze our family into a cottage forevermore), plenty of holidays (together and separately I imagine) and many an academic year to start in a September (as teachers we’re not sure we’ll ever give the job up as we love this perk!) but our biggest adventure to date is due to begin in April 2021. And I just cannot wait to meet our little Easter chick.

I now do not know what day it is…

During IVF and school term time, the date, time and day were extremely important. It allowed me to plan, organise and look after myself through the process. It meant I could carry on working alongside treatment. It meant I could keep track of medication, appointments and deadlines.

However, now I am three weeks past the embryo transfer part of the process and the day and date are not as important. The time is still a big factor as I’m currently taking progesterone three times a day. But as it is the summer holidays, the day and date isn’t as much of a factor. Especially now it is August; my favourite month.

I am still taking progesterone as our embryo transfer was successful! In the two years of this journey, I have never seen two lines so it was such a wonderful shock. A surreal shock that still hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I’ve known for ten days and although I’m in total awe of what July offered, I’m still taking it in.

Last week was a flurry of activity for lots of reasons. This week has been much slower. A much needed slower week. I have been dog sitting so have taken the role seriously and enjoyed walking and chilling with the pooches. I’ve given into feeling tired, wanting to eat alllll the carbs and the odd little mood swing here and there (sorry Lee).

It’s a dog’s life!

I’m excited to see what the next few (eight) months bring. I’m currently 5 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Something IVF gave us.

Nearly 6 weeks pregnant and enjoying all that I have going on around me right now. ☀️

Day 24…

This morning I’m reflecting on the last eleven days since I last blogged. It’s been a lovely time in parts as I’ve finished work for the summer, I’ve caught up with friends and lots of lovely time outside with family. On the flip side, the days have felt long and the day of embryo transfer was another emotionally draining day.

Awaiting the call from the embryologist was excruciating! I went for a long walk with Stevie the dog and listened to a podcast all the while checking my phone for the call. I had a fear that we would not have any embryos to transfer. Finally, around an hour before we were due to leave, we found out we still had all four!! One was ready to transfer and we would hear about the other three the following day. I was shocked.

The transfer did not worry me as it was likened to a smear and as a woman in her thirties, I’d had three of those! In the car, I listened to a guided visualisation and tried to relax. I’m not convinced I did but I was being proactive rather than scrolling mindlessly on my phone so that felt good. Due to Lee not being allowed in, we decided to take Stevie with us so he had something to do whilst waiting.

Just before I went in for transfer.

The procedure was totally fine. Although I did have the fullest bladder (required) and by the end I really needed the toilet. One of the nurses commented that it was the fullest bladder she’d ever worked with! When the transfer had taken place, I felt like Rachel in Friends in the episode where she cannot make out the image on screen. The screen was so unknown to me and I couldn’t make out what I was looking at. However, the nurses and embryologist kept pointing things out to me which was really helpful. Taking an image of our embryo after the procedure that had been transferred to show Lee felt wonderful.

After transfer, we went to get doughnuts from a shop that had been recommended to us and then onto McDonald’s. I got a happy meal as I had read that their fries can help with implantation. I love a chip so I was happy to go with it! We listened to Micky Flanagan on the way home and I just tried to relax and process the day!

Fast forward to Saturday morning and we were informed we had our little three embryos ready to freeze. All three!!! I couldn’t believe it. Lee is relentless (in a good way) as he never gives up once he has his mind set on something. Our little embabies take after him with this!

They only freeze embryos of a great quality as they need to give the best possible chance of them surviving the thawing process. This gave me confidence that we really had had the best possible embryo transferred. As IVF means you relinquish all control, I have had little moments of worry that needed to be processed. Thank goodness for a patient and understanding boyfriend as the progesterone I am still taking is helping me be very moody and with this the little moments of worry can feel hard.

Lots of cross stitching, napping, dog walking, watching Netflix, seeing friends and family and eating will continue keeping me busy until our official test date. I’ll also try not to do too much symptom spotting in the meantime too…

Day 13…

I lay here on day 13 reflecting on how quickly the process has accelerated from the start to now. I had my first transvaginal scan on day 8 and my egg collection on day 11 and have my embryo transfer booked in for day 15. So my journey will be a month in total from the first day of my period to testing at the end of my two week wait.

The last time I blogged was on day 5, so just over a week ago. I hadn’t even started my Fyremadel injections at this point. Everything was so unknown then but in the space of those 8 days I have ticked many things off; final injections ✔️, trigger injection ✔️, egg collection ✔️, first call from the embryologist ✔️and embryo transfer date and time booked in ✔️. I have had some significant highs and lows during those 8 days. Most noticeably on my egg collection day.

On Monday morning, we had to be at the clinic for 8:15am for egg collection. Firstly, we were shown into our own recovery room where we would spend the next 3 – 4 hours. For me, this time was a blur with some lovely (but also painful) moments thrown in. With Lee having a very important part to play, he was allowed in with me and could stay for the duration.

I was half asleep here on Temazepam and all ready to go after administering my Diclofenic suppository.

My procedure was booked in for 9:45am. So in the run up to this time and in my sleepy stage, we listened to music and I was in a nap like state. Before I had taken the Temazepam, I had my pulse and blood pressure taken. It was concluded I was in a good place as I was seemingly relaxed (the nurse commented so). There were further people who came in and spoke to us during the build up to the procedure but as I’ve mentioned, it’s all a bit of a blur. All I know is that I was comfy in my recliner and purple get up!

I was chaperoned into the procedure room and although I was groggy, I can recall that it was very silver and there was an opening to the right for the embryology laboratory. I think the collection lasted for around 15 minutes. Although it was offered, I did not have any further pain relief in the form of Codeine or gas and air. This wasn’t a conscious decision, I just didn’t at any point request it. A nurse spoke to me throughout (this surprised me as I thought I’d be asleep) and after a conversation about Netflix, I was being ushered back into our recovery room. All in all, an ok experience.

Within the next hour or so, I became very weepy and I felt overwhelmed. We were checked on, spoken to and informed of the outcome of the collection. I had had 6 eggs retrieved from the 8 follicles on offer. I think I had expected more so I do wonder whether this was the trigger for my emotional outburst or would I have felt this way even with 10 eggs? 15 eggs? 20 eggs? I’ll never know. I cried on and off until we were told we could leave and then really sobbed when we got into the car.

At the point of sobbing in the car, Lee told me of the positive messages we had received. Collection had gone well and the consultant couldn’t believe I had had no further pain relief and mentioned that I was very brave. Also, we had 6 eggs and this was a good thing. There had been no discussion around low numbers or worrying outcomes.

Fast forward to the embryologist calling the following day and we had good news. Of the 6 eggs collected, 4 were mature and all 4 fertilised! From what I’ve read, this does not always happen. You can normally expect up to 80% to fertilise but we had a 100% fertilisation rate. The voice at the other end of the phone was pleased so I decided to be too. With the expected attrition rate, we have been reassured that we will most likely have one fresh embryo to transfer and one to freeze. We will get to find out Friday morning of how many embryos we have and their grading before our trip over to Sheffield for the procedure. And with my new favourite mantra being at the forefront of my mind, I leave this post with this…it only takes one!