IVF – Moving Forward Positively

IVF the next step

Reading my posts over the past months, you will know my first IVF treatment experience was a very positive one. Everything went very smoothly and so nicely, with such positive results along the way, we were SURE we would get a positive result when it came time to do a pregnancy test.

However, it was negative and the numbness, disbelief and disappointment that surrounded the days after this were truly terrible.  I didn’t have so much time to really process the feelings. A very sweet friend was being married that evening, a friend was arriving from Australia the following day, less than a week later another friend arrived from the UK and another very dear friend (who is 6 months pregnant) was getting married.  I also received the wonderful news that one of my best friends was 3 months pregnant. It was a period of wonderful celebrations & excitement for these very dear friends coming right at a time when I felt like hiding in a cupboard in the dark with the disappointment of my ‘failure’.

Putting my own feelings aside, I celebrated and connected with the positive energy of the moment and rejoiced in the excitement that these special people in my life were feeling. There were difficult moments for sure, but in hindsight, its clear that in doing this, it was in its own way,  a precious gift I gave to myself also.

When I eventually took  some quiet moments to sit with myself I found that an unconscious rationalising of my circumstances had occurred.  A wise and positive sense of perspective had been created with the absence of ‘my mind’.  I realised a few things that I believe are incredibly important to remember when faced with the disappointment of a negative pregnancy result.

1.  Few things in life work the first time round 

Consider your experience with  finding love, a career, a home and even learning to ride a bike!!  All of these things have usually needed more than one try to find the success and contentment we imagined for ourselves. We have needed to brush off our wounded hearts/egos/ mind and carry on in search of ‘the one’  

IVF is the same. When it doesn’t work the first time its painfully disappointing there’s no doubt of this, but its not a reason to give up. As we do in our lives, we need to learn from our experience and move forward trying to do it better next time round. Maybe its putting more heart in to the diet the doctor suggested, maybe its meditating more regularly in order to keep  stress levels down and the body more at peace during the process, maybe its sleeping more, maybe its simply being more positive, visualising the positive result we want rather than spending the majority of our time gripped by the fear of failure. There are so many little changes we can make to help things along.

2. The financial costs

Its so common and natural when the sense of failure comes that we consider the financial cost of the attempt. ‘What a waste of money’ etc etc. However, its really not helpful to think like this.  Money is money, its purpose is to buy us the things that we need and want in life.  If being a mother is something we really want then its the perfect use for money.  After all, if its not spent on another IVF treatment, at some stage in our life it will eventually be spent on a home, a holiday, a new sofa, car or any other number of ‘things.’ If we really want a child, we really want to experience the joy of motherhood and we are having trouble naturally then money is simply a means to try to get what we want. If you can afford to have another go then why not and if you cant afford it, begin a determined search to find what funding is available, what options are out there for you. There are options, but it means being super determined in your hunt for information.

3. There are no guarantees in life

This is an important one. All throughout our lives we learn this essential  lesson and we need to remember to put it into context in our journey through IVF as well. When we really want something with all our heart, the best we can do is to go for it, to give it everything we have, to believe as strongly as we can that its possible and to do everything that needs to be done. That’s all we can do, life determines the results.

We have all had dreams that we gave our complete heart and soul to that didn’t work out. We have all felt that disappointment, that heart wrenching feeling of not achieving a dream or goal. But we also know that we survived it, we moved on and with time the pain subsided and other wonderful things occurred, other successes were experienced. 

One of the things I believe that help us to move on is that there is no guilt when we know that we really gave it everything we had, we were focused, we were determined, we put our heart and soul into it.   When it doesn’t happen, its devastating and heart breaking but we know we did everything we possibly could to make it happen. Its the best we can do, the rest is out of our control.

After my next period I return to focussing on babies. I am blessed with not needing to do the full hormone treatment as my little body produced enough eggs for another try. I feel good,  I feel determined and I feel very focussed.  So Lets see ..

Until next time

much love mysticmiss

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IVF at 41 is going fabulously!

courtesy of bbc.co.uk

courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Im in the final stages of my first IVF treatment and so far my expereince has been a really positive one. Everything was much easier and a whole lot less emotional than either myself or my husband ever imagined it would be. 

Of course we are all individuals and each will respond differently to the treatment. My story is just one experience. However I felt compelled to share it on the off chance that women searching the internet to get an idea of the expereince they may go through, may come across my IVF story and take some ‘feel good energy’ from me.

I remember when I was considering IVF treatment, I was gripped with fear. It all seemed so clinical and cold. Searching the internet I found more horror stories than positive ones and the stories shared in casual conversations about friends of friends just fed the fear rather than calmed the nerves.

By  writing and sharing my story, from the actual decision to have a child at 41 to finding the doctor and beginning IVF treatment,  I have hoped to perhaps be the positive feedback for women that I struggled so hard to find in my searches.  

Ive written posts on my experience from day one of the treatment (all filed under IVF on my home page) and  have been truly humbled by the beautiful connections made with women around the globe who have appreciated my ramblings. Many were, like me, petrified of process and most named the adverse effects of the hormone treatment on emotions as one of their greatest fears. Quite understandable..I was the same who wants to turn into a big bad nasty witch!

My experience has been so positive in this aspect. I have been astounded how simple, easy and smooth the process has been, how little effect the hormones have had one me and how relaxed it is actually possible to be in the treatment. (this is a choice obviously and takes focus, but it is possible)

I am 41.  ‘Quite old’ according to Doctors and a point, they for some reason, have felt important to remind me of on numerous occasions. (not great for the self esteem, hence my post on my emotional wellbeing angel) Add to the age factor, the quality of my husbands sperm, his little swimmers are not really in the greatest of conditions and yes, that made us a classic IVF couple.

 We tried to conceive naturally for 6 months without success. and then began looking into IVF treatment feeling this was the next logical step.  As Ive mentioned, so far its been ok. Well more than ok, the IVF process has been, all things considered, a breeze.

The hormones didnt effect me very much, apart from a bit of tiredness and a little weight gain. Its actually more like bloating, but I was so overwhelmed at how smooth everything was going that feeling a bit ‘fat’ seemed easy to deal with.  

The daily hormone needles ended up being, in a weird sort of way, an opportunity for my husband and I to feel deeply connected to one another in the treatment.  Im totally afraid of needles, so in the daily ritual of injecting me, my husband witnessed both my vulnerability and fear. He developed a very sweet compassion for what I, the woman was going through and within him, a sort of admiration grew. He saw me as being really brave. It was nice.

And here we are, in the final stages. On wednesday, my eggs were taken out. Not a difficult process. You go under for 20 minutes while they do the removal and then spend an hour or two in the hospital afterwards, to let the saline drip put some liquids back in to the system and to have something to eat.

courtesy of bbc.co.uk

courtesy of bbc.co.uk

You are then sent home with instructions to take the anibiotics twice a day and to begin inserting the vaginal tablets 3 times a day.  (hubby graciously offered to be responsible for this chore..bless him.. any opportunity to be up close and personal with his beloved V… I declined his kind offer )  

They took out 13 eggs in total, apparently a great result. 9 eggs were of good enough quality to inject the sperm into and today (friday) when I went back to have the eggs transferred back inside me, we were told all 9 eggs fertilised.

The Doctor decided (because of my age) to put 3 eggs back inside me. This took about 10 minutes and was not at all painful or scary.  And now its a waiting game. In 12 days we have an appointment to go and have a blood test to see if I am pregnant. Gosh !!  Modern technology amazes me. Its mind blowing.. absolutely Mad.  Mad Mad Mad!!!

Who knows what the results will be. Its now in the lap of the gods!  For now my emotional wellbeing is where I am putting my focus. Being relaxed, happy and thinking positive thoughts. Im visualising being a mother, Im doing guided meditations to connect with my eggs to let them know how very welcome they are in my body and Im doing reiki on myself.  My goal is to have as much positive energy around and within me and to feel at ease.  A daily ritual is a great idea to help with this.

Daily chakra clearing meditations help me to feel I am keeping my energy flowing at its best for conception and asking angels to be close to my side helps me to feel I am being supported by the universe.  All a bit airy fairy I know, but I love ‘airy fairy’ and I really feel its helped me have the positive experience Ive had so far.

We’ll see..  Ill write again in 12 days with an update. 


Until then, much love
mysticmiss

What a relief..no transforming into the wicked witch on IVF hormones.

No wicked witch appeared...what a relief

No wicked witch appeared...what a relief

With all the horror stories Id both heard and read about of how women react to the hormone treatment in IVF, I was absolutely terrified. My husband was too.

Im at the best of times, a sensitive, sometimes over emotional soul, so I assumed that on the IVF hormone treatment, Id instantly transform into the wicked witch from the west.   

How surprised we have been. There’s been no change in my mood at all. Its such a relief!!

Sure Im a little more tired than usual, though that could easily be caused by the early morning appointments for blood tests and ultrasounds that are apart of the process in this stage.

On the whole though, theres been no adverse reaction at all. I feel pretty normal. Its really fantastic!!

Tomorrow we have yet another blood test and ultrasound and after the doctor recieves these results, he believes he’ll probably be able to set the schedule for next step of the process, the procedure where they remove my eggs for fertilisation. 

Its amazing how smooth the process has been so far. Both my husband and I feel pretty relaxed and are enjoying the sweet connection created by the morning ritual of him giving me the hormone needles. He was very nervous about doing this, but now sees its really quite easy. We didnt think it would be such a soft and gentle experience. 

My chinese doctor, whom I have visited weekly for accupuncture treatments during this whole adventure has told me she’d like me to have a treatment on the day they take the eggs out and on the day they put them back in, she wants me to have a treatment both before and after the process.

She is such a gem. I call her my emotional wellbeing angel and I couldnt imagine going through the IVF treatment without her. She has offered me a space to share any fears and has treated me according to these. With much of my fear now melted away, she simply continues to ensure my chi(energy) is flowing freely hence helping my body to best deal with the increase of hormones and prepare for pregnancy.

Blessings to her, to my doctor and to the universe for the support I really feel I am recieving.  

Until next time,

much love

mysticmiss

IVF – Nasal sprays, daily needles & a fabulous sense of excitement

Ok we are doing it !!  No more procrastinating, no more questions..

Ive  been a witch from the darkest village this past weeks as I come to terms with the deep intense, never leaving me for a moment fear that has taken up residence in my heart. 

I cant put my finger on what it is I am so afraid of.. fear of failure, fear of motherhood, or just plain and simple fear of the unknown! 

My ’emotional wellbeing angel’ (my delightful accupuncturist) suggests its probably all of the above AND says its completely natural. ‘Be gentle with yourself and accept this is how you feel… dont keep trying to fight it or dig too much to pin point why’   were her wise and loving words of wisdom. 

Last night we went to the ‘Professor of Sperm’ to sign all the IVF documents and get a run down of how the process is all going to go. To our surprise, as it was the first day of my period, he said ‘ok lets rock and roll!!!’  

He gave me the nasal spray Syneral with instructions to start shooting it up each of my nostrils from now on twice a day morning and night, 12 hours apart and left his office with prescriptions for Bravelle and Gonel F and instructions to return on Friday to learn how to inject these. 

We were stunned. Wow gosh.. we are doing it !!! Thats it,  we are on the horse, no more procrastinating. It felt good. We were filled with a sense of excitement and ironically, a lightness of emotions that we have both not felt for months. So much of the fear just seemed to melt away. 

We are officially in the IVF process, we are trying a new way to have a baby.. and it feels… well.. great!!

IVF and Women In Their 40’s

photo courtesy of acupuncture-medicine.co.uk

photo courtesy of acupuncture-medicine.co.uk

If you are going through IVF, seriously consider finding a Chinese Doctor to compliment the process.  He/She may just well be your life line when your emotions are peaking.

My Chinese Doctor is my Emotional Wellbeing Angel

Last week my husband and I visited our IVF Doctor to go over the process we will be undertaking.

After an hour of listening to the Facts.. how old I am, how old my reproductive system is and how there is only a very small  percentage of women in my age group who successfully fall  pregnant through IVF, I left the Doctors clinic feeling nothing short of terrible.

Tears streaming down my face, my self esteem at level zero, I caught a taxi home and just sat and stared at the wall.  How is it that one can feel so positive about oneself and their health and then a medical  professional can just wipe it out in a few moments?

When speaking to my Chinese doctor prior to going down the IVF path, I mentioned that it was important for me to find a sensitive doctor.  She was very clear in her warning that while IVF doctors are great at what they do, they do not tend to be very sensitive when it comes to ones emotions.  They are the Facts folks!! Period!

‘Thats why you have me’  she said ‘They take care of the technical side of the process and I take care of your emotions.  How right she was!!!

At my appointment with the chinese doctor the next day, I relayed the experience to her. Wow !!! What a different response I got.

She was so positive, reminding me gently that all the hormone tests I had done were very positive, that the tests on the amount of eggs I had were also very positive and that with regular periods, good general health and a good positive attitude, there was no reason the process couldnt be successful. She helped to regain my belief that everything was possible and I left her office, once again optimistic.

Ladies, I urge you to seriously consider finding a good Chinese Doctor, preferably one who specialises in Fertility, to compliment your IVF program. The emotional support is invaluable and could well be a life saver in helping to keep you optimistic, calm and emotional healthy in the often stressful process of IVF.

Until next time

Mysticmiss

The ‘Professor of Sperm’ says.. Try this Before IVF

 

So where were we… oh yes..

‘The Womb X-Ray’  (HSG)   

The ‘professor of sperm’  has reccomended that BEFORE  we start with IVF that I get a womb x-ray to make sure my womb, tubes and god knows what other reproductive pathways are clean and clear. 

If there is a blockage of any sorts, it could well be one of the things preventing us conceiving naturally as sperm may not be able to get  where it needs to be.

It’s apparently not uncommon for women to have minor blockages and  this test can detect them. Interestingly, the Dr carrying out the test told me that the very process of procedure can often be helpful in clearing the pathways as well.   

The procedure needs to  be done in the time frame between when you have stopped bleeding and your ovulation day….. AND  you are not permitted to have sex in this time

A quick re cap of that  – the first day of your period is day 1 of your cycle, so the test ideally wants to be done any day between day 5 – 10 of your cycle.  I think its a good idea to book the x-ray appointment in advance so you are booked in for 2 -3 days after you have stopped bleeding.

By being organised, its all out of the way and you are then free to have copious amounts of sex to try and get those little swimmers up where they are meant to be and waiting patiently to meet their match, come ovulation time!!

And hows this for a bit of positive feedback.. the Dr who performed my x-ray said that in the cases where ovulation and sperm counts/movements etc are healthy and normal in a couple  but conceiving has not been successful..  40% of those women fall pregnant after this procedure.  Ok I am not in that catagory, we  are part of the ‘problem sperm gang’,  but still it was nice to hear.

Onto the procedure.. I had mine done in the x-ray dept and It took about 10 minutes. The appointment was at 7.30am and I was told to have a light breakfast. It was a little invasive. Legs spread, the Dr put a plastic device inside me to open things up.  It reminded me of the device used when having a pap smear to open things up – the cold metal thing. Ok so this was a little uncomfortable. Next, the tube, like a drip, is put inside you. This is how the dye will be filtered in.  Inserting this was also a little uncomfortable, but not too bad though.  

When the dye/substance was filtered in I felt a  very strong pain. Like an incredibly strong period cramp suddenly coming. It was a bit of a shock, to be honest, I didnt think it would hurt that much.  It only lasted perhaps 40 – 60 seconds though and was then all over.  I did feel quite tender throughout the rest of the day.

I  got my results within the hour. All is clean and clear. The Dr said there was a minor blockage, hence the strong pain, but that the procedure cleared it and all is now fine… And that was that.  

He suggested we have sex as many times as we can in the next days running up to my ovulation to give ourselves a chance of conceiving now I am blockage free. So we will see.. I have an appointment with Prof. Sperm in the next few days as he wants to see the results and we will go from there.

Link to article on HSG X-Ray:http://www.ivf-infertility.com/infertility/investigations/female/hsg.php 

Please remember I am not a Doctor, nor even an authority on this subject. My language/explanations are relatively informal and my explanations may not be completely accurate. It is important that you do your own research and to always consult with your Doctor for clarification.

The purpose of this and all my posts on IVF and my road to pregnancy is simply to share my experiences  with others who may be in a same or similar situation. 

I hope this has been some help. Your feedback, thoughts, feelings, ideas are all so welcome. I look froward to hearing from you.

Until next time

mysticmiss

Babies…. No thanks..Life is great just as it is.

 

In my 20’s and even early 30’s when the question of children came up, I was one of the girls who quickly piped up with ” my maternal instincts seem  non existant, I think life is giving me a message”

At 35 I still didnt think I wanted to have children. Life was brilliant just as it was.  A constant adventure  of excitement and fun, I didnt think I needed to add anything to my already fabulously blissful life. It was perfect.

At 37 , life was just as perfect as it had been two years before. I was on a super fantastic journey, an amazingly  exciting experience, full with adventures.  However, when I asked myself  ‘the children question’ again, the No didnt come up quite so immediately.  Something within me had changed.

My boyfriend at the time ( now my husband) was not at all ready to think about kids. He was not even sure he wanted them.  On the surface, I was feeling like him, yet something subtle and much deeper was tugging at my decision strings.

After some contemplation, I realised it was fear poking me ever so gently. An internal voice had begun to wisper sweet nothings in my ear… ‘The maternal time clock is ticking girl, are you sure you dont want kids?  its all very well to say it while you still have the choice.. but what about when the choice is taken away due to age.. how will you feel then? ‘

Ohhh gosh.. what a nightmare!  I really didnt see where children would fit.  We had such a great life, completely free.  We could work and travel whenever and whereever we wanted and we loved it that way.  We travelled  3-5 months of the year and worked the rest of the year in all manner of jobs, in all manner of countries. The world was our oyster. Freedom was ours and we loved this spontaneous style of living. 

With a boyfriend not ready to think about it and me not wanting to think about it, the inner voice who felt it was essential to think about it, become personal enemy number 1. 

I tried to contemplate the idea, tried to visualise it, but no matter what I did, it just didnt conjure up any excitement.  I spoke to a friend who was 43. She, at 39 was certain she didnt need to add something to her life. She was more than happy with her lot and was not considering children. At 42 it changed, but so had her body. It was too late. And she regretted it.  Ughhhh!!

At 39, it was really time to be mature about all this and make some decisions, before the decisions would be made for me!  Discussions ( sometimes seeming more like full scale battles) began to happen more and more frequently in the house hold.  I was having trouble making the decision and was projectiing my fury at my husband that he couldnt either.

At 40, our decision was made. We were going to go for it. We admited we were afraid, we admited life was still super lovely with just us, but we also both admited that the idea of children had somehow begun to have a little sparkle to it.  “We will never be anymore ready for it than now, so lets just go for it. We will be great parents. ”

At 41, we are now seeing speicalists as no babies have come naturally. My husband has a few sperm issues and me.. well.. the doctors say at 41 I am considered quite mature for the reproduction zone.  The general tests I’ve done,  all point to a young, fit and healthy woman, none the less 41 is a mature age for procreating, so there are issues.

I dont feel bad that I am where I am. My life is and has been amazing and I wouldnt change it for the world. I am a little nervous though.  I hope it all works out ok.  Interestingly, next to the nerves, there is a sense of confidence or perhaps even faith. Life has always taken great care of me. Everything has always worked out for me… so I am going to put my trust in the process of life yet again.

Ive decided to write about the experience as I go along in case it helps others in some way who may be going through something similar. Either trying to decide whether to have children or not/trying to have children later in life as we are.

Ill try to share the facts, the difficulties, the Dr’s feedback, the process, the tests and hopefully in the end the fabulously positive results.

So tip 1:  There are a few basic tests available to give you a basic idea of how your reproductive health is. its good to know this information regardless of where you are at in life.   

guys  –  sperm test will let you know the health of your sperm. See your GP. He may refer you to a specialist but the test is simple and non invasive. Results are back to you in a day or two.

girls – hormone level test (blood test done on 3rd day of cycle) Our hormones are at their highest apparently on this day so Dr’s can get an indictation of our general reproductive health from this.

Ultrasound on day of ovulation –  to see if eggs are being produced ok.  This does a few things. Firstly it allows you to learn the exact day of ovulation in your cycle. It also allows the Dr to see if the eggs are the right size at ovulation time.  Apparently the Dr can also see if you have a healthy amount of eggs.  The Dr will discuss the results with you.

I had these tests done recently. I ovulate on day 15 of my cycle. I have the hormones of a 17yr old and seem to have plenty of eggs. All looking good so far.  The Dr says the results are great. He does say though, that while all these things are positive, the fact still remains that my eggs are 41 yrs old. (we apparently get all the eggs we are going to have in our life at once. We dont get anymore.) So whatever we have we have, and they reduce in numbers each cycle and each year. So time is of the essence and we need to be very active in our endevours to have a family.

My husbands low percentage of normal healthy sperms could be a problem. Before we go deeper into though, the Dr thinks its important for me to get a womb test to see if there are any abnormalities. I plan to call and book the test today, so will keep you updated in this.

Few other tips:  With the focus on my cycle that trying to have a baby naturally brings, I noticed that I am a very moody around ovulation time. Obviously good for me to know, since intimacy is important for procreation!!  I have shared this with my husband and we are both trying to create a more gentle quiet environment in this time.

I have also begun to have weekly accupunture to help balance things out emotionally and prepare my body for pregnancy and am also taking omega 3 and folic acid. 

Until next time

mysticmiss