…..Pregnancy Test Result…..!

Ok here goes, let’s get straight on with telling you all this result…..this is the email I received from the Fertility clinic today…

“I hope that you are well.  Just wanted to update you that the recipient couple have had a positive test today.  They are delighted and so happy.  I just wanted to share the wonderful news with you. Thank you again for all you have done and making such a huge difference for this couple.”

Yes, yes, yes! Pregnant, they’re pregnant, really pregnant after trying for a baby for so, so long! Wow it is so hard to put into words how I am feeling right now!  Absolutely over the moon for them!  Finally, after a very long, difficult, emotional journey, they are going to be parents to a beautiful, little miracle baby!

In 9 months time, they are going to be welcoming their baby into the world….cradling that tiny, fragile body, gazing into its eyes….”hello baby, we are your mummy and daddy and we have an incredible story to tell you….!”  Something I know they thought would never happen!!!

What a lovely email to wake up to…..my poor husband wondered what was wrong as I burst into tears as soon as I read the email!  Then started the task of telling of my lovely friends who were all so thrilled to hear this wonderful news!

Thank you all again for your support through this!  What an amazing, rewarding, heart warming journey!  Times like this I am absolutely blown away by community spirit, I have been thoroughly touched by how many of you have been really rooting for my couple, keeping everything crossed that they get that positive test, so many of you have sent me such lovely messages and shown me so much love.  I am so glad to have shared this journey with you all!

So, please join me in raising a glass to my couple and their amazing miracle baby! Massive congratulations to them, here’s to the beginning of their lives as ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’! ❤ ❤ ❤

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The two week wait!

It has now been 4 days since my egg collection so thought I would give a little update as much as I am able.

As I mentioned, my 15 eggs would have been fertilised on Friday afternoon.  Over the weekend, the embryologists would have kept a close eye on them to see how many fertilised successfully. I had been warned by people not to get my hopes up too much as the number of eggs retrieved does not always have any bearing on the amount that are fertilised – sometimes only a small amount of them will fertilise, the others not being viable.

On Monday morning, I received the amazing news that 12 of the 15 has successfully fertilised and survived the weekend! Wow that is incredible!  That gives my lovely couple 12 chances at getting their miracle baby!  Absolutely over the moon to hear this and I am sure my couple would have been too!  I am thrilled that everything is going so well for them so far, long may it continue!

The embryo’s would have been watched for another few days and depending on quality, have their strongest little embryo transferred back on day 3 or 5 – that may well have already taken place! Updates for me are going to be less frequent now as my part is now finished, there is nothing else I can do apart from send positive, well wishes to my couple.  So they may well have begun or will soon be beginning their agonising two week wait….

I cannot even begin to imagine how they must be feeling right now… fear, anxiety, dread, vulnerability, excitement, hormonal, desperate!  I should think they probably feel quite helpless for there is nothing else they can do now either…apart from her following a healthy lifestyle and ‘treating her body as if it is pregnant’. They have done all they can, they have the eggs, he produced his sperm and they fertilised well, the embryo’s survived the weekend and are now growing hopefully going to grow into a beautiful baby…..

For as long as they can remember, they have been planning for a baby and now, all they can do is wait!  Wait for another negative?  Wait for that wonderful positive?  Wait for the double line, the smiley face, that word ‘pregnant’ to appear in the little window.  Wait for that day when they will probably have a pot of urine and 3-4 pregnancy tests all lined up in case one malfunctions!  Wait for that test that is going to turn their world upside down and confirm that all of their dreams really are going to come true, after so, so long!  I really don’t think I could put myself in their shoes….they must be incredibly strong people and my heart absolutely goes out to them.

Even though the physical part I play in this process has ended now, it by no means ends my emotional involvement.  I too, am going to be counting the days of the next two weeks.  I know it is not me doing the pregnancy test but I am so eager to hear that this has worked for them. Come on Mother Nature, be a Chum! 🙂  I go back to work this week so that will at least keep me a little distracted and busy but I know that they will never be far from my mind.  I know when the time is nearing, when I see an incoming phone call from Altrui or City Fertility, I am going to be pretty anxious to hear that result!  I am going to have to wait until I am at home – it is going to be an emotional one no matter what I am told!

So, until then, I will continue to send them positive vibes and hope that little embryo is doing its absolute best to grab hold and start growing! ❤

Oh and thank you to everyone for all your well wishes and beautiful messages of love, support and checking I am ok!  I have been absolutely overwhelmed by how many lovely, emotional, heartfelt messages I have received!  Thank you for confiding in me, thank you for trusting me and thank you for loving me! And to my husband, as always, thank you for being my rock! xxxxx

Egg collection day! :D

So, Thursday came and went as I packed my bag of things I may need with me for my egg collection.

I was ok, until I decided to look at youtube for egg retrieval procedures….I knew how it was done anyway but wanted to see it!  Then it sunk in,’ I am having a needle stuck into my ovaries tomorrow!’ Eekkk!  I knew I was going to be asleep though and had been assured that I wouldn’t feel anything!  At 10pm, I had my last cup of tea and snack and went to bed…..I hesitate to say “went to sleep” because I didn’t..but at least I rested!

I got up early Friday morning and triple checked I had everything packed.  I was sore, very sore! It is expected due to the trigger injection starting to release the eggs which can also cause ovulation cramps…..and oh boy did it!  But that was the first and only day that I would describe my symptoms as ‘pain!’  Certainly not a bad thing, just meant that my eggs were getting ready to be released!

After a rather painful journey to London, feeling every single bump in the road, we arrived at City Fertility!  We were promptly shown to my room and I was asked to get changed……disposable (see through!!) gown, slippers and sexy hat!! Wow, what a looker….as well as having bags under my eyes and no make up to cover my hormonal spots! 😦

I saw the nurse, anaesthetist and Dr performing the procedure and we were all ready to go.  I walked into the operating theatre, confirmed my identity again and laid down.  I had a cannula put in my hand and the anaesthetist started to sedate me!  I know they said I wouldn’t feel anything but that was more like a general anaesthetic than sedation – I was fast asleep and I didn’t know a thing until I was back in my room!  “All done” they said as they got me tucked up in bed where I slept soundly for another half an hour. I remember seeing my husband and checking that he had been out for lunch and was ok…..what I didn’t realise was that I went on to ask him 5 more times in my sleep! Oooops 🙂

I came round and brightened up quite quickly.  I had some water, and my home made electrolyte drink and soon after, enjoyed my first lovely cup of tea!  Aahh bliss!  Apart from having a hard tummy and being a little sore, I was feeling surprisingly ok!  

The Dr then came in to tell me the wonderful news that they had managed to retrieve 15 lovely eggs!!!  I was so happy!  A brilliant number!  It also means that should this attempt for my couple not result in a pregnancy, they have enough eggs to try again without having to look for another donor.  If it is successful, apart this being fantastic, they will have the eggs frozen so that they could potentially have a another baby with the same genetic make up – therefore a full sibling! Clever stuff huh! 😉

I was then given a gift and card that my couple had left at the clinic that morning for me. A beautiful necklace of an egg inside a follicle, the egg engraved with “Our thanks always, 2014” …. that was it, hormones got the better of me!  Such a lovely gift and a wonderful keepsake!  How sweet of them! ❤

After a few hours, once I had visited the loo, I was allowed to go home.  Problem – we got a few miles down the road (in very slow moving traffic) and I became desperate for the loo again.  I had had 2 bottles of drink and tea and now, I had to go….even though I had been before we left. An excuse to stop for some food in the hope that some of the traffic would die down.  It didn’t but it was a lovely stop off, all the same!

We finally got home at 7pm. I got straight on the sofa and there I stayed with my lovely husband making sure I was ok 🙂

So, what happens now?

The eggs will have been fertilised yesterday afternoon.  Today, my couple will be told how many fertilised embryo’s they have!  They will then be left for a few days to make some magic, hopefully lots will continue to grow!  In 3-5 days, depending on growth and quality, one embryo will be transferred back into her womb…..and then the rest is down to our dear friend Mother Nature!  My couple will then have to wait an agonizing two weeks before they can do a pregnancy test!   I am sure that when that time comes, they are going to be going through such a broad spectrum of emotions!  They will probably be so scared to even look at the test! 

Willing, hoping and keeping all fingers and toes crossed that it is a positive for them!  I know how desperately they want this.  Please, everyone, keep them in your thoughts as they face a very difficult, emotional few weeks! ❤  I will update as I can but now, my part in all this is finished.  I will, however, be told if they are pregnant!  That will be a nerve racking phone call that’s for sure!

Huge thanks to everyone who has supported me through all of this.  I received so many good luck messages yesterday morning and so many messages from people praising me, all so unexpected and amazing to hear people saying such wonderful things about me!  Talk about make me emotional though!  Feeling incredibly loved right now!  Thank you all! ❤ ❤ ❤

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That’s it, eggs are ready to collect!

Well, after that wonderful scan on Monday, I was actually looking forward to going back to the clinic for my next (and final) one on Wednesday!

I had been feeling a lot more bloated and ‘full’ so thought there had probably been another growing spurt!  Well, there certainly had!  The scan revealed that I now have 27 follicles, 19 of which are good sizes! They were counted and measured again which showed that I have 6 follicles measuring 20mm and above – yes 6 follicles at more than 2cm each….no wonder I am bloated!!!  And the rest all measured 17mm and above!   Wow, looks like they will get a good number of eggs!  I was absolutely over the moon, especially to see how lovely they all looked on my scan!  I had done lots of research and had looked at countless scan pictures on the internet….this was exactly what I had wanted to see – lots of large black follicles – hopefully each one holding a nicely matured egg!  That’s it, they were ready!  Eekk!

With the scan over, it was time to get everything ready for my retrieval on Friday.  We went over the last few bits of paperwork, made sure my consent form was signed and gave in my goodwill message!  I was to be Nil By Mouth 6 hours before….I can quite easily go without food but no morning cup of tea?! Oh no!  At least I wont be going through the usual pain of a full bladder during the drive to London this time then!

Next was instructions for my trigger injection.  A final, very important, one off injection which needs to be EXACTLY 35 hours before egg collection!  This is to help the eggs mature and starts the process of releasing the eggs so in 35 hours time, they will be ready.  My retrieval is at 12.30 on Friday which meant that I needed to do my injection at 1.30am Thursday morning! I was already knackered so made sure I set my alarm to make sure I didn’t miss it!  For the first time in this whole process, I actually felt nervous doing this one.  Not for the injection itself but making sure I didn’t get it wrong!  If I did, it would be disastrous, for my eggs and for my couple!  I drew up the Suprecur, double and triple checked it and even got my husband to check it with me, then gave it in my tummy!  Cor that one stung but all ok.

So 23 injections later, the treatment part of the process is complete!  Yes, I am bloated and quite uncomfortable now with the retrieval being tomorrow but the process has been a lot better than I thought it would be! 🙂

Well, big day tomorrow!  I am ok, looking forward to hearing how many eggs they managed to get which they will come and tell me when I have woken up! 😀 Zzzzzzz

I will, of course, update again as soon as I can tomorrow or Saturday!  Thank you to all of you who have messaged me and wished me luck!  I will be fine, I will have my husband with me so of course I will be ❤ . Please, please, please keep my couple in your thoughts.  Even though it is me going through the collection tomorrow, I know they are going to be anxious to hear how many eggs have been retrieved.  After all, this is all for them.

Fingers crossed that tomorrow will be part 1 of their dreams coming true ~ 11th July 2014, the day that their miracle baby was first fertilised and became a tiny embryo!  Hopefully a day that they will always remember and smile! ❤

A marvellous, magical Monday!

Well, Monday was scan day again and I must say I was pretty excited to get home and get this blog written so I could tell you all the good news….

We made the journey into London again, ensuring we dodged the Tour de France route, thank goodness I have a husband who knows his way around our big city!  I had had quite an emotional and tense weekend.  As I mentioned in my last blog, I was disappointed in the growth of my follicles at my scan on Friday.  As much as I was reassured, I was still concerned, even though no one else was.  A friend asked me “what happens if they just don’t grow?” “Ah, they will!” I replied with a smile but then I thought “well, what if they don’t??!”  I tried not to dwell on that possibility but I really needed my next scan to be positive……not that my last was negative at all, but I do tend to over analyse and worry, sometimes when worry is completely unnecessary!

Well, I got ready for my scan, keeping my fingers crossed I would see an improvement.  And there it was – the image I had been so eager to see – a picture of my ovaries full of large black follicles! “That’s a bit more like it!” I said with a smile!  “Certainly is!” came the reply!  I tried not to look too over excited but in my mind all I was thinking was “YES, thank goodness!”

Then began the usual task of counting and measuring the follicles!  I have 25 now so quite a lengthy process!  Some biggies measuring 18mm – considered mature, quite a few at 16/15mm, some at 14/12mm that need to grow a little bit more and some little’uns but all looking fabulous! Again, it was reiterated that quality eggs that grow at a slower pace is always much more preferential! Very nearly there! The medium ones just need a little bit more time to cook and should be as big and mature as the others.  I also had another blood test to recheck my hormone levels.  They will be significantly raised due to the injections but they just wanted to check that they were not too high as they monitor carefully to ensure that my ovaries are not being overstimulated ~ my levels were all fine!

So, the plan now is to continue my injections at the same dose and then go for another scan on Wednesday.  This will be my final one to make sure everything is ready for egg collection on Friday! 😀  I will need to do a ‘trigger injection’ Wednesday night to get ready but I will explain more about that later.  It’s all so close now! 😀

How am I feeling?  In a word – bloated!  I could feel myself getting a lot more bloated and ‘feeling full’ over the weekend so hoped I would see an improvement on my scan.  I have quite a bump now…which gets bigger as the day goes on…..I am ending my days waddling around and laying on the sofa! According to my friends, I look like I am 3 months gone.  I did chuckle as one friend commented “I’ve never seen you with a belly!” 🙂  Jeans are far from comfortable now and I have traded them in for summer dresses and clothes without a waist band!  Much better! 😉

The tiredness and lethargy is quite hard to get used to, I am usually a very active person.  At the moment, I go out for 3-4 hours and need a kip!  What?!  Fascinating how your body reacts to different things and basically tells you what it needs.  I haven’t always been the best at listening to my body but I am trying to at the moment ~ if I get a headache I drink, if I am tired I try to sleep and if I need to chat to a friend, I do ~  Thank you to all my wonderful friends who are there with me through every tearful phone call, every happy scan update and every photo of my bloated belly ~ your support has been amazing!  And thanks to my incredible husband for putting up with my hormones 😉

It is all getting so exciting now, so close!  Just think, in just under 3 weeks time, my couple will anxiously be doing a pregnancy test to see if they will finally, after all these years, become parents!  How must they be feeling right now?!? ❤ Thoughts are with them always xxx

Slow and steady wins the race!

Friday and time for another scan at my local clinic.

This is going to be a short blog as I don’t have a lot to report. Everything is going in the right direction but still on the slow side. I now have 24 follicles but some are so small that there is high chance that they wont grow big enough to be nice mature eggs, so I am going to discount these little’uns and just focus on my original 19.

I must admit, I was a little disappointed today and when I got in from my scan, I had a little weep. I am feeling very hormonal today which again, is quite normal and expected. It probably doesn’t help that I didn’t sleep well last night so things are more intense when tired! I am so eager to look over at that monitor and see lots of large follicles. They are growing, just at a snails pace! I suppose it’s true what they say – a watched pot never boils! I never have been the most patient person and I have to remind myself that this week, there has only been 48 hours in between each scan so not a lot of time to see a difference really.

My egg collection which was scheduled in for Monday has been postponed and I will be rescanned instead. Again, I am reassured that everything is absolutely ok and everyone grows at different rates! So I will continue my injections over the weekend and see what Monday brings! 😀

My other task for the weekend is writing a ‘goodwill message’ for any resulting child. As I have mentioned, this is an anonymous donation but any child that may result from my donation, has a legal right to know more information about me and their genetics when they reach the age of 18 – non identifying information but things like eye colour, hair colour, my job, personality traits, age, why I chose to donate etc… so to help them, I have been asked to write a little message to tell them a bit about myself in my own words. It is hard to know where to start bearing in mind, this wont even be opened for at least another 18 years potentially, and by then I will be getting on for turning 50 – now that is scary!!! This is certainly going to take a considerable amount of time and thought!

Thoughts are always with my couple but especially on days like today. When I got in from my scan feeling emotional, I re-read the letter I received from them back in April. I am actually carrying it around with me at the moment, it helps somehow, a bit like a security blanket! Reading it, I just know how much this means to them and exactly why I am doing this. I feel so close to them, which I know is a strange things to say, especially since I have never met them, probably never will and this is an anonymous donation. However, this is such an incredible journey we are all going through together and no matter what the result is, they will always be in my thoughts and I am sure that I will always be in theirs ❤

How do you like your eggs in the morning…?

Today was my first scan at my local clinic ~ the same clinic that my friends went to for their successful IVF cycle ~ it was quite surreal realising that I was sitting in the same waiting room as they were a few years ago when they started their process.  It is amazing to now see their little girl running around full of life!  Whilst waiting, I also received a text message from a friend telling me about her pregnancy! Such wonderful news and what a perfect time to hear it ❤ 😀

As I sat there and looked around, I saw that I was surrounded by lots of nervous couples…sitting there so quietly, hands tightly held, looking anxious as if they were forgetting to breathe, red eyes full of tears just waiting to spill over and roll down their cheeks.  I so much wanted to give hugs and just wish them luck with whatever they were going through. It really reminded me of the appointment I had many years ago to have my implant fitted to treat my Endometriosis.  The word ‘infertility’ was still very new and very raw.  A ‘family planning clinic’ is not generally somewhere people who can’t have children want to go!  I was very emotional sitting there and it didn’t help being surrounded by new babies, cute toddlers, and mums who were there to discuss contraception.  I remember how much I just wanted to run away! My heart goes out to every couple embarking on the fertility journey, may all your dreams come true and you soon hear the pitter patter of tiny feet!

Do you realise that 1 in 5 couples have trouble getting pregnant?!  I think that is quite high but it is such a taboo subject, not many feel comfortable talking about these issues.  As I have started to be a lot more open about this journey, I have been thoroughly moved by how many people have confided in me about their own fertility issues.  You will be surprised by how many people have needed a little helping hand along the way.  Also, it has been wonderful to hear such lovely stories from people about friends who have received donor eggs and are now enjoying their beautiful little families! So many people have told me about someone they know, almost everyone I have spoken to knows someone whether it be friend, colleague or family member 🙂  When I hear friends talking about their beautiful babies and how much they mean to them, it warms my heart and brings a tear to my eye!  This is exactly why I am doing this ~ so someone else can experience something so beautiful!

Anyway, my scan went well, I still have the 19 follicles but because there are so many, they are a little bit on the slow side ~ all jostling for room! This is quite normal and I am assured, nothing to be worried about. So for now, I am continuing on the increased dose of Gonal F and have another scan on Friday. Tomorrow I will begin taking the second injection ~ Cetrotide, this is the one to stop me releasing the eggs too early! I am quite impressed with how well my legs are surviving ~ so far, I have only one injection site that has bruised!  I am making sure I stick to my healthy diet so my body has all the right nutrients to aid healing.

Another big tip – keeping hydrated!  I have been drinking lots of water – hence the previously mentioned regular trips to the loo! But it is also really important to drink fluids that will replace electrolytes.  My husband found me a wonderful recipe for a home made, natural electrolyte drink containing fresh orange juice, fresh lemon juice, organic honey, Himalayan salt and coconut water.  I tried it for the first time yesterday and it is actually very tasty! Doing my best to drink plenty! 😀

Since my little follicles are a bit slow to grow, there is the likelihood that my egg collection will be postponed by a few days. This can happen quite a lot and is nothing to be concerned about.  Best to give them enough time to mature, after all these things can’t be rushed! 😀 Could say they are being a bit stubborn…they are my eggs after all 😉

Let’s see what Fridays scan brings …….