HOW IT ALL BEGUN
Looking back 14 years ago (I`m now 39)…I lost one fallopian tube. I didn't think much of it at the time, but a couple of years, later on, I just couldn`t get pregnant. Had several chemical pregnancies, which means I got a BFP (big fat positive), but just bled out a couple of days after. Wouldn`t even know if I hadn`t tested. As you presume I`m a bit of a POAS (pee on a stick) addict. Did everything from tracking BBT, CM, keeping a calendar, and of course to keep my legs up haha….you gotta try it all…. 8 years ago we started the first consultation at an IVF clinic.
Here in Croatia, we do have some privileges, we have free, 100% paid by health system procedures. We have 4 IUI’s, 2 IVF treatments in a natural cycle, and 4 stimulated cycles. So, that`s great, but also there are some flaws…. they treat you like a number, you wait for hours every second day, don`t give you answers you need (so you become an online expert like me, haha), and god forbid if you dare to sound smarter or dare to confront…
Anyway, not all are like that. My fertility doctor, dr.V. was the best… he had that human touch that is so important to us ladies. Others weren`t so human… there was one dr that constantly made a woman cry… come on lady! Is there a point in devastating a woman that’s already crushed? To me, at that delicate stage, a nice word meant the world. Don`t you agree? The waiting room is always full. We all come at 8 am, about 30 to 50 of us. So you lose half a day, need to change your shift at work…not the fun part.
So we started with the general….the blood work, hormones, spermiogram….everything was fine. Then the process of checking if my tube isn`t blocked with hysterosalpinography. Oh, that one I`ll never forget. It`s the only time in my life I was happy not to have 2 tubes. The one that I have given me enough pain. The liquid went through, but not easily. They said probably there was some little blockage, but now it`s ok.
TRY NOW FOR 3 MORE MONTHS ALONE…
Of course, nothing happened in those 3 months. So, we started finally to do some business. I was 33 at that point. The dr. V. said that we`ll go with natural cycles, no meds. If I ovulate on the side with a tube, we go for insemination… If it’s the other we go for the IVF treatment.
It’s Murphy`s law that 2 MONTHS in a row I had Ovulated on the left with the tube, so we did insemination….nothing… Big fat negative (BFN). I am sure you are aware that IVF vs IUI has much better chances of success.
The main thing for me was moving on. Not to wait. Most ladies did pauses for a couple of months between procedures. Not me! It was a waste of time for me! IMPORTANT! If you are one of them… please… don`t wait… GO FOR IT! It will be worth it! Nothing good is gonna come out of waiting. Close your eyes, breathe….and go again… Maybe it sounds like I didn`t go through much… but trust me, I know what I`m sayin… you`ll see later on (in a new story).
FINALLY, IVF TREATMENT – NATURAL CYCLE
So, in the third cycle, we finally went through the IVF timeline. From CD (cycle day) 7, during the follicular phase in menstrual cycle, we started monitoring follicles. Luckily my cycles are short, so by day 10 my follicle reached 15mm and we did trigger that day… I can still see myself going for that first trigger shot!
THEN AGAIN THE WAIT… it’s 2 days…but decades to me
CD 12 I went for ER IVF egg retrieval I was scared…a lot. They don`t give anesthesia here in Croatia. Only for stimulated, but mostly then either… Imagine! It’s a story for some other day… Ladies in the waiting room told me that the most important part is when the embryologist shouts through a little window: We have a cell!
I`m looking at that hallway…its a hallway I never made it so far. It`s one step closer to my little girl…
The process itself wasn’t so painful. I was just looking at that window and waiting for a sound… Now as I`m just writing about it my head started to spin… it all came back to me, and it was 6 years ago. it changes us forever. So finally I heard: We have a cell! OMG! I hugged my dr. V and went home. Later on, I had cramps, even a fever of 37.8. But by the next morning I was fine, and off to work. It was unreal to think about our little cell and what kind of a party it’s having there in the lab…
I know You all ladies from the modern world get to call in the morning and see how`s it going. Not here.. We have to wait by day 3, get there, and see if it got fertilized and divided properly…
THEN THE WAIT… AGAIN… at least I believe it thought me some patience.
On the third day couple of us got there at 10 am….waiting to see… The nurse told us to stay with a full bladder if we go to ET (embryo transfer). About half an hour later she called me. She started talking like it`s just another sentence…: Now, when you go for the ET… WHAAAT? I’m going? I hugged her like she was my sister and laughed like crazy. The girls outside were all smiling because they saw me throw myself at the nurse through the glass hahaha…
In the end, only two of us were going to embryo transfer process. I must mention that girl is still my dear friend and this whole journey led to many beautiful friendships. We waited for 3 hours. Full bladder – no way! I went to pee at least 5 times by then. I was so nervous I constantly had to pee 🙂
Anyway, finally, I got to the door for ET, I finally went through that hallway. Felt so proud and strong. The dr showed me the picture on the big screen. it was a ball of cells… he said: We have a perfect 8cell A1 embryo! I’ll never forget those words. They even gave me a picture of it… How many of us have a picture of being a 3-day embryo? WOW!
The ET – embryo transfer process was totally painless. I had to lay there for an hour and then home. I`ve read that lying down doesn’t really help.
Interesting… But no harm is done if we do lay down a bit.. finally a part that’s not painful or frustrated. Just lying there and keeping hands on your belly full of hope and happiness.
2WW – THE TWO WEEK WAIT
AND THEN…YOU`RE GUESSING…ANOTHER WAIT…THE FAMOUS 2WW (2 WEEK WAIT)
While I was waiting for the ET felt like catching the flu or something. And while lying started coughing….later on I really got sick, the fever and everything… Didn`t want to take any meds, just baby aspirin for fever. Didn`t know at that point that maybe that was the key to get myself pregnant (A story for itself).
… A WORD ABOUT EARLY PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS BEFORE MISSED PERIOD
3 days post transfer I`ve gone to work. While preparing to go my mascara had smelled strange. Don`t know if that’s possible that soon, it’s actually 6dpo. 8dpt (days past transfer) I believe I got my first BFP, it was the faintest line on an internet cheapie One step. As a POAS addict I’ve had many evaps so wasn’t sure, but it felt different this time…
Later on, while still working I started getting cramps on my left abdomen side. Like ovulation. The cramps got worse with time. In the end, I had to lock up the store where I’m working and had to lay down because the cramps were terrible. Just layed down curled up. But REALLY BEING HAPPY ABOUT IT!! I NEW THAT IT MENT IM PREGNANT! The cramping subsided by the night but was still there, located on the left.
The next day did a proper test with a stick and all because my DP (dear partner) was seeing nothing on a cheapie… YES, IT WAS A BIG FAT POSITIVE!! The chances of success in the IVF procedure in the natural cycle are really low. But we did it… the first try and… bingo!
I must say that my DP was a great support, that’s the important part. He actually makes a joke about everything, listens to me, and keeps me positive all the way.
So, to give hope to all of you, yes, you can make it the first try, not just any try, an IVF treatment in the natural cycle. Only one egg did the job. The stats on that one were low as 20%. But as idiopathic infertility obviously I had problems with my tube….also thrombophilia that baby aspirin helped…. I’ll tell you about it another time.
BELLA – OUR IVF TREATMENT MIRACLE
The pregnancy went along just fine. Felt great the whole time. Worked till 20 weeks pregnant. I did develop hypothyroidism, also a story I have a lot to say… So my first love was born on MY BIRTHDAY!!! What a present I got ha?! I call her my first love, because as you can presume there is a second love… But that’s a new story. It didn’t happen from the first try, we had to do so much more…and it was heavy, but ended great.
Meet Bella and me!
Don’t give up…be brave…. you can do it. Trust me… You are not alone… If you are like me and don’t talk about it (no one knew what I was going through), you have the internet. That literally saved me. Reading … a lot. From researches to other people’s experiences… It helps… Hope my IVF pregnancy story helps you
You can read more about Marina's journey on her motherhood blog, A Mum to Mum HERE.