I started blogging because I needed to talk about my infertility journey and I felt that people around me couldn’t understand what I was going through. Interacting with other bloggers has been a fantastic way to feel less lonely and more normal in my madness, to laugh at infertility at times and even to exchange useful information, which in my case made a huge difference as it’s thanks to another blogger that I found my miracle Doctor (who’d better do a miracle for her too now!). I even had the privilege to meet some of these wonderful bloggers in real life. And a few others I have become so close to that I often forget we haven’t even met in real life (yet!). So many lovely and brave people!
While I will miss this blog , I think its raison d’etre is (luckily) gone. Like others, I know infertility will still impact my life in many ways. It has during my pregnancy and it still does. But as I write with my wee one lying on my chest, I really feel like it’s time to go and to let go a bit of this infertility identity.
But before I go, I want to thank those who followed me and supported me throughout the journey. I don’t know what I would have done without you! To those still fighting to get their babies (one way or another), I will still be around and cheering on you.
To those who may find this blog later on, I hope the write up of my journey brings you some hope. My advice to anyone struggling with infertility:
– be nice to yourself.
– find out what works for you to feel better and try to do it (massage, going out to get wasted, going shopping or whatever else).
– learn to be surprised: some friends will let you down; other people will unexpectedly be there for you. It’s hard but it’s ok… C’est la vie..
– don’t ever do an egg retrieval without a general anesthesia while you are on ovarian hyperstimulation, unless you have to for some reason. it really hurts too much.
Wish you all lots of luck, health, love and happiness!
It’s the middle of the night and I am all chuffed as I just finished giving an exceptionally easy feed. I should sleep but, since we are heading home from hospital in the morning, I wanted to take some time to write.
Our daughter, our little miracle, arrived on Monday evening. She is perfect and we are so unbelievably happy.
I haven’t cried when I saw the positive pregnancy test or when I got out of the 12 week scan (I instead rewarded myself with a slice of carrot cake, a muffin AND a chocolate chip cookie..). I hardly shed a tear when the midwife put her on my chest after she was born. But on Tuesday morning all tears came up when I saw her next to us and heard my husband say “the IVF doctor was right: ugly embryos can also make beautiful babies”.
My mum asked me if I can now say thay all the injections and struggles were worth it. I love my mum but that’s a silly question… She is definitely worth every minute of waiting, every injection, every cycle, and even more. But that was never the issue. The issue was knowing whether there would ever be a baby at the end of it. Now that she’s here I can only better measure my luck that our lazy little embryo has made it safely to our arms.
Right, this post can win messiest and cheesiest post of the blog. Sorry about that. You can blame it on hormones, lack of sleep or overdose of happiness. Before I go, let me send a quick request to the universe: there are a few embryos under decision making, please have them decide to stick!
I don’t know what it’s like where you live but in general people are rather antisocial here, especially in public transports. But there are exceptions, and one of these is food markets.
About a year ago a nice lady- about the age of my mum – started talking to me while waiting at my favourite fuitmonger’s. A conversation that started with courgettes and aubergines soon turned to THE question: do you have kids? I remember tears coming down. She tried to cheer me up, and said I should stay hopeful. But the hope argument never quite worked with me.
Today, the same lady came up to tell me she was happy to see things had changed. I was really touched that she remembered me (I didn’t remember her until she reminded me of last year’s chat) and that she took the time to come talk to me. It was a nice surprise.
I really hope that the Universe has planned more surprises and that things this time next year will be very different for those who are still waiting.
Today marks the start of the third trimester of this pregnancy!!! OMG!!!! Hard to believe. I feel like crying of joy even just thinking about it!
My first trimester was characterized by fears that this baby may leave me. They slowly decreased as weeks went by and as I started feeling her move.
I spent most of the second trimester in a high, as it started sinking in that I was likely going to have a baby. For real. I only had the exception of a couple of weeks of feeling low mostly due to (yet another) flu as well some emotional stuff going on around me, which reminded me all at once how hard it was to get here. But it didn’t last long!
I don’t really know what to expect from this third trimester, other than focusing on getting ready for this baby to arrive. I hardly have any experience with babies so I really need to do a bit of preparation. It’d be a pity to do something silly after all the hard work…
To start this third trimester, I am actually focusing a lot on crossing fingers, lighting candles, doing fertility dances and poking unicorns because there has been and will be a lot going on between my IF buddies. Some need confirmation of good news, some are in serious need of good news very soon and some will be giving it another shot at IVF soon hence needing good news in the next months.
So, Dear Universe, please please please be nice and do some more miracles. These lovely ladies have been working hard and they’ve been waiting for too loooooong already!! Thanks!
One thing that I find helps a lot during infertility is to do things that make us feel well. There is no strict rule and everyone finds different activities. Some people who go for physical activities (tap dancing, tango, zumba, running, swimming… ) while others for more creative type of activities (sawing, knitting, crochet, painting, decorating…). Some go for couple or group activities, others prefer to find some time for themselves.
Personally, I tried several things (football, bootcamp, zumba, flamenco, knitting, making felt Christmas decorations…) but really had two main ones: running, which I had always hated before, and photography. They both really helped remind me that there was a lot of beauty around me.
Why am I telling you all this today? Because with some of the pictures I took in the last years I won a photo competition at work! Besides being rather excited about winning something, this also reminded me of all the pictures I took and how much it helped me. In fact I took so many that I wouldn’t have managed to pick 3 for the competition without my super sister. She helped me chose last summer, making it become a fun distraction activity during treatments.
Here are my winning pictures!
(Who can guess where they are taken??)
About a year and a half ago I did a glucose and insulin test to help decide if I should follow some particular diet that could help IVF or take metformin. The endocrinologist said I did not have diabetes but that my insulin reaction was a bit borderline. She advised to carry on with low GI diet and actually gave me instructions to follow a diet for gestational diabetes.
I had already cut sweets and desserts of all kind, but that added more restrictions, such as on bread, pasta, rice and – the toughest of all – fruit. I followed that diet for over a year and I only went back to a less restrictive diet after I got pregnant.
Today I had my glucose test (which is compulsory at the 5th month of pregnancy in here). Having in mind what the endocrinologist told me before, I was expecting to be positive but I am not. I am seriously amazed that my body is behaving so well and I am very very thankful that all is going so well!
A couple of weeks ago I went to my first mid-wife appointment. There were 4 of us there: one very grumpy lady pregnant with her 2nd child, one slightly older lady with a very complicated pregnancy and one younger lady. We were all asked how we were feeling and how the pregnancy was going. I answered that I had a healthy pregnancy and that I was generally feeling well. When it was her turn, the younger girl said that she didn’t have any health issue but that she was really struggling with pregnancy symptoms. She said – giving me a nasty look – that she also felt bad because around her everyone else loved being pregnant.
That was really weird for me! It made me wonder if, after looking at other women with easier journeys towards pregnancy with varying degrees of jealousy, I have now become the nightmare of many pregnant women: the one who loves being pregnant! Not that I spend my time telling everyone how awesome it is to be pregnant, but if asked I usually just say that all is well…
Besides initial bleeding episodes I am extremely lucky to have avoided other issues so far (hope I’m not jinxing myself..). And I guess years of dreaming of a baby make it really easy for me to feel that annoying symptoms are a small price to pay for the massive chance I have. I haven’t been immune to pregnancy symptoms but my mind keeps making it all relative to IVF:
- Morning sickness? After having it every time I had to take estrogen patches (that is a month each time I had a FET), it was good to finally have it for a good reason!
- Bloated? Not nearly as bad as OHSS!
- Food restrictions? A lot less traumatic than giving up sugar 2 years ago!
- Tired? The levels of tiredness of my body were and still are impressive but I still found it easier compared to the combination of body and mind tiredness that a failed IVF or a miscarriage can lead to.
- Anxious? Scared? Yes, I am bloody scared and I often have nightmares that this may all be taken away. But I am getting a chance at this and that’s a lot more than I had in the previous four years..
I can see how me saying I was doing well may have made the young lady believe that I am luckier than her. But I am also pretty sure she wouldn’t swap with me if she knew the whole story. Because, while I am well aware of how lucky I am now, it was hard to get here. She doesn’t know that and probably hasn’t even thought of it. But I do.
I am thankful every day for what I have, and even more so this week: the second semester scan showed all is still going well! Oh, and it’s a girl!