Twin Territory

Since my last post I was back up to see my consultant in Neo Fertility and I am back on hormones and medication. The meeting in Neo Fertility went really well. I was so nervous and wasn’t sure how I would take to the new consultant as I found the last one very cold and not invested, she made me feel like I was just a number and I felt rushed at every appointment. For the cost of the appointment and the importance of the information being discussed I would at the very least expected to feel heard and receive some compassion.

I met with Dr. Boyle and he went through my charting, what happened over the summer and my recent HSG scan. I explained that I came off medication for the summer as I believed my tubes were blocked and there was no point. He was very kind and understanding and full of encouragement. He asked how I was coping with the process mentally and I thought this was a nice touch. He discussed timelines to stick to the plan and went through different methods I could use to decrease or break down my adhesions and scar tissue, which might be beneficial.

Then it was down to the serious business, the medication. After reviewing my charts, he said that I wasn’t reacting to the lower dose of medication. This was not surprising to me as I felt all along that my doses needed to be increased. I only had one good month after an increase from 10 letrozole to 14. Taking this into consideration my dose was increased to 21, which was 7 tablets on days 3, 4 and 5 of my cycle. This was putting me into twin territory, a small chance but a chance all the same.

He also increased my HCG/pregnol injection on day 14 from 10,000 units to 15,000 units. My doses on days 3, 5 and 7, after my peak day, were also increased from 2,500 units to 5,000 units per day. The letrozole is to encourage the growth of a large follicle, being on this high dose may produce two large follicles, hence the chance of twins. The HCG on day 14 is to help rupture the follicle and release the egg. On peak plus 3, 5 and 7 the same injection is used to increase progesterone levels, which need to be at a certain level for the fertilised egg to attach itself to the womb and to not miscarry.

I am also taking cyclogest from peak plus 3 for 10 days and oestrogen for the same days. Throughout each cycle I have to take metformin, folate, vitamin D and also thybon. The Thybon is new and he prescribed it to me as I felt with all the exercise and trying to eat healthy I wasn’t getting anywhere. He asked if I cold all the time and if I felt hard done by with my efforts and said that my metabolism was probably very low and this would help give it a kick start. I was very excited about this, it’s so frustrating putting all the effort in and feeling like you’re not getting anywhere.

I left feeling hopeful and excited about trying for a baby again. In the past I got so worked up and consumed with the mechanical and scientific side of things I forgot about all the fun that can be had in the meantime. I was inconsolable every month when my periods came, and it took me days to recover. This time, after speaking with Dr. Boyle, I am going to use the time until we get pregnant to enjoy the baby making process and to become closer with Sean. If we take the stress out of the situation it might help our bodies relax.

I filled my prescription in the days that followed. I started on the metformin, folate, vitamin D and thybon straight away and waited for my periods to come to take the letrozole. A week into taking the meds I felt great and thought my body adjusted well. The metformin upset my tummy in the past, so I was relieved it didn’t happen this time. However, my relief was short lived and after taking the hormones my tummy turned. I don’t know if it was the hormones or a bug, but I was sick with diarrhoea for days. My mood also changed but I can’t really describe how I felt. I wasn’t bouncing around, I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t grumpy, I was just mwah!!! Like the emoji.

In the coming days I have to go for follicle tracking and this should give me an indication of how the medication is preforming. I will know after this scan how many eggs are going to rupture and what sizes they are, if there are more than one.

I mentioned in my last post about not knowing how I felt about IVF and not knowing if it was something I was willing to consider. I don’t want this statement to be taken out of context or to seem harsh in anyway. It was merely meant that I have been through nearly three years of trying, both naturally and with the aid of hormones. I am lucky to already have two beautiful boys and I am sure that if I had no children when I started this process I would have jumped at the chance, but now, having been through the mental and emotional strain of this process, I would not be in the right frame of mind to make the leap to IVF. I suffered really badly with post-natal depression, which manifested into anxiety and OCD. Not being able to control things has been a huge issue for me. Making a commitment to IVF would be a huge step with no guarantee and it’s not a decision I could make lightly.

I understand the overwhelming urge to have children, and I understand the need your body as a woman feels to carry a child and to be a mother. It is not fair when you are faced with difficulties trying to conceive, when you know that you would love that child with every ounce of your being. Just know that you are an amazing person and through whatever means you decide to try, you are doing what’s right for you. I wish you every happiness and hope that you and I will both get what we desire in the end. Keep your head up and your heart filled with love……………………….

To be continued


Third Time’s the Charm

So just a quick update on our infertility journey. Yesterday we attended the hospital again for a repeat HSG scan. After waiting 2 hours to see our consultant we finally got called into the X-ray room. I got up on the table and had prepared myself for the worst……………………….

The past week has been really difficult and honestly, I didn’t realise how bad I was feeling until Sunday night. I had myself convinced that we were looking down the route of IVF if we ever waited to conceive again. And I wasn’t sure that I was ready to pursue this avenue now or at all. Sunday was so hard. I was on the verge of tears all day and I was snapping at Sean because he was in work all weekend and I needed him. But instead of saying that, I gave out because he wasn’t there to help we with the boys or the house work.  I am well capable of handling all of the housework and anything those little monkeys throw at me but this weekend was an exception.

I must have got 3 or 4 hours sleep Sunday night. I watched loads of TV and played loads of games on my phone until my body gave in. Monday morning was all picture and no sound apart from the occasional rush I put on everyone to get ready in time. The boys had their school pictures and had to wear their full uniform, which didn’t go down too well. Out the door we scurried, a kiss at the school gates and we were on our way.

We checked in and I asked the girl had they got the new catheters? Of course, she didn’t know as she was only on reception. There was a lovely gentleman there that worked in X-ray and he kept us informed during our wait and later helped the consultant during the procedure. Nearly every second person that walked by knew Sean, I think working in Supervalu and being so friendly he gets to know so many people and they all said hello as they went about the hospital. Two nurses also approached us as we were waiting so long to make sure we hadn’t been overlooked.

It was a long wait and I was exhausted, nearly falling asleep on Sean’s shoulder on more than one occasion. He turned to me at one stage and mentioned that I was in much better form the last day and asked was I ok. Nope, I was not. Since the 30th of June my head has been all over the place and not to mention my heart. I just needed to know, one way or the other. Are my tubes blocked or not? I needed to move on with my life and plan for the next stage. Living in Limbo is not good for anyone’s mental health. As my youngest would say, “Mammy, you and I were not born with patience”. Well to get through the last few months you would need patience of a saint.

Sean turned to me and whispered – “It’s showtime”. She’s arrived. My belly started to flutter and my heart began to race. The lovely gentleman called us in to get ready and I climbed up onto the bed. He raised the bed up high, while the doctor busied herself getting all the instruments ready again. “Knee’s Up” she instructed and she inserted the speculum. This first part is always so uncomfortable but this time was the worst. Maybe because I was so tense but it was so painful. The catheter was inserted and the screen was pulled over my tummy. I could see what was happening on the monitor beside me. The liquid was inserted and my womb began to fill, but no spillage.

She removed the tube and inserted another, using the speculum again. This time wasn’t as bad. The liquid was inserted again and the still no spillage. Both the consultant and the gentleman attending her looked eagerly at the monitor waiting for spillage. But nothing. She mentioned that my womb was filling nicely and she was going to give it one more go. She started to insert more liquid and then the cramps started. I gasped with the pain and she cheered “Yes!!!!”, in a none sadistic way. She apologised and told me to breathe through the pain. She said it was not so good for me but she was thrilled to get a reaction. Cramps meant spillage and low and behold a tiny vein of die appeared on both sides and there was large spillage into my abdomen. I was elated and in shock. Trying to breathe through the pain as she said and also looking at the screen to be sure. The consultant told me that she had to put a lot of pressure behind the liquid to get this result and that there was probably a kink in my tubes, but this was amazing news, hope had been restored. Sean kissed me on the forehead out of relief.

The consultant helped me to a sitting position and I went to the bathroom to dress myself. While I was in there Sean asked if they could show him on the monitor what he was supposed to be looking at. Fallopian tubes are so small it’s hard to make out. The consultant said how brave I was and Sean told her of the relief I was feeling. When I came out of the bathroom she was rushing off but said that today’s result was great and to ring her secretary to make an appointment to see her in her private rooms.

The relief was unbelievable, my shoulders felt light again, the knots I have been carrying around all summer instantly disappeared and I felt like I was floating on clouds. My head was racing again but now it was full of hope. I know it’s not going to happen overnight and the problems that we had been experiencing the last few years have not gone away, but there is HOPE……………………..

To be continued