Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Wonderful World of IVF


How I became a modern day Hippie or something close to it -

The Wonderful World of IVF

My Hippie journey started many years before I ever thought twice about the fact that I might be becoming a modern day hippie. Now that I’m truly on my way to being one (and re-named it Hippeo), I’ve embraced it with two hands and a foot. I say foot because one foot is still dragging on the floor, screaming you should have taken the BLUE pill! We're picking up the journey after three years of infertility, so if you stumbled onto this page, it might be worth reading The Beginning first.  
After three years of trying, testing and not knowing, the prospect of doing IVF was exciting! Crazy, I know. But for us we were out for an answer, maybe a baby, hopefully, both. NO one else was out there telling me that there was a different path, I hadn't found my SOMEONES yet, and honestly, I'm not sure we would have listened. I was blissfully stuck in the head lights- whatever the doctors said, I listened. Remember I was fit, healthy, active, happy, in love, with wide hips and ready to push one out! Why would I be thinking out of the box- looking back we were very narrow-minded (more on that subject here).
Magsblog
So down the IVF road, we went, filling in forms, more testing and yes MORE scans (insert worried looking icon here)! I am one of the lucky ones as my body loves drugs and I handle all the different injections well. I didn't even mind the needles and even found them moreish- I would be the best junkie ever. I got given a higher dose of drugs due to a low AMH score (which suggested a low ovarian reserve. Spoiler Alert:  I'm not saying this test was wrong, but in the doctors own words "she has a good antral follicle count" as I produced 12 eggs in the first round of IVF and went on to produce 13 eggs in the second round of IVF.)  So the collection day came. We were in good spirits (and I wore my business socks), but we soon felt like cattle. The clinic that we were at, corralled about eight couples in a big room divided by curtains and took us in one by one to collect eggs.


 At the time, I was trying to make the most of it (that's why there's a photo of my business socks) but looking back it was ducking awful! They put you under to collect the eggs, and my husband sat and waited in his fabric cubicle (after he did his deed) and was by my side when I woke up in a drug haze. At this point, the news was good with 12 eggs, but it stopped there. Over the next few days, we found out that six were mature enough to fertilize, but embryo development was poor - deplorable really. They decided to put two embryos back in (The UK are very strict about how many embryos they put back in, their decision to put two back in was bad news). Fast forward two weeks, because I was your typical two-week wait psycho and it's a little bit boring to talk about. I got my period bang on day 28, on a Sunday, in London away from home. I was back to work the next day, and two days later all drugs exploded throughout my body (insert last over the top emotional cry here).
 
Making the best out of a sh*t situation with my business socks (skip to 2:15 to find out what business socks are all about- yes it's massively ironic)!
We were now left thinking we couldn't make healthy embryos- was this the answer and if so what were the DOCTORS going to do about it (still in the head lights here)! When we went back for a review consultation, they told us that these things just happen (understandable) and will just try again. We asked what they would change or do differently they said: "nothing" (Not Understandable)! In the letter we got in the post a few weeks later, the doctor said: "They are keen to consider a further attempt, but are aware that the overall chances of an ongoing pregnancy is lower than average given our findings during the cycle and they do you appreciate that the treatment itself does provide a lot of information about the underlining quality of the eggs within the ovaries. There is nothing that we can do to further enhance the situation...." (WTF, the Hippeo in me wants to punch him in his face- I know, very un-hippish!) The headlights that were blinding me over the past few years, just struck me. I was hurt, but ready to move on. Considering that nothing was the doctors best solution, I came to the realisation that I had to take control and do something about my health and my shitty embryos. The only way was up, right?

Luckily I finally found my SOMEONES, and I was willing to listen (more on that subject later). Remember my first SOMEONE? The book Is Your Body Baby-Friendly?: Unexplained Infertility, Miscarriage & IVF Failure - Explained by Alan E. Beer, M.D. I don't have the book anymore. I rarely keep books and always given to charity shops in hopes others will find them, and I'm sure there's plenty of women out there who need to find this book. So I can't quote from this book, but for me, in summary, this book stated: You are a woman, you were designed to get pregnant. Things DON'T just happen, and unexplained infertility is not an answer, figure it out- there is a reason you're are not getting pregnant- and that stuck! We had already decided to change clinics, so I started to look for a clinic nearby that did "controversial testing" of the parent's blood types, genetic testing, reproductive immunology, and chromosome screening. I know this is TOTALLY not hippish, what so ever, but it will tie in with my new Hippeo self soon, you'll see! 
My hippie friends:P No7 by nikolkri
The really Hippie in me started to come out thanks to my other SOMEONE. Remember my good friend, who was so passionate about nutrition he offered to pay for us to see a Functional Medicine Practitioner? Enter here: He's still to this day an amazing friend and support system. And I'm not talking about the kind of support like; "It will happen, I know it," "Just keep trying, these things happen" or "I know someone who...."! I'm talking about the not afraid to tell you how it is kind of support system - "You think you're healthy, but your not! Get your ass into gear and start taking control of your health, your body, and your life!" Followed by a big hug, a spoon full of cod liver oil and a cup bone broth. With his and my Functional Medicine Practitioner's support, I changed my diet and then my way of thinking. After four years of infertility, I was truly on my way to becoming a hippie. OH and my husband was now on the bandwagon dragging both of his feet screaming "But beer, once it hits your lips, it's so good!"

NEXT TIME on
How I became a modern day Hippie or something close to it: Becoming a Hippie SUCKS!

Side Note:
As much as the not knowing was painful and the word infertility has so many different emotional ties, our perspective on what was going on in our lives was further strengthened when within a few months of each other, two sets of friends lost their baby girls within weeks & months of their births.

In two different conversations I had with my friends, we talked about loss. They both expressed that their situation helped them understand what we had been going through for the past four years, a little better. As I was grateful that they understood a bit more of our situation and were sympathetic, I expressed that even though we're in the same body of water (meaning, we yet had a healthy baby in our lives) we were in two separate boats. All the pain and emotions we've gone through doesn't compare to the emotional and physical bond that they were lucky enough to have, which unfortunately was painfully taken away. Getting a negative pregnancy test, is no comparison to having to put your child to rest (this is my personal feeling).

 Moments like these can be powerful and can help you to put your life into perspective- Yes, having two unsuccessful rounds of IVF is hard; yes, it sucks; yes, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but it's definitely not the worst thing that can happen to you and your partner. I was well and truly already on my hippie journey, so the emotion of gratitude for the world around me was already strong. I was grateful that what we were going through, was simply that; I am grateful to be able to be there for my friends, if and when they needed us and I am grateful that they both now have beautiful, healthy little monsters!
  
Other great post about my journey -
If you'd like any support on your own journey or have any questions Let's Talk
Please remember that this is simply my story and what I have gone though. These are my opinions, that I have formed over the years, through trial and error, study, reading, listening and observing. I am open to change, challenges and new scientific developments. What works for me, may not work for you. I am not a doctor and all medical advice, should be gotten from a qualified professional. If you feel like your doctor isn't reading from the same nutrition and lifestyle book as you are (or want to be), go find one that is!

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