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Saturday, 25 June 2016

A Little News!

So, Dear Reader, it's been a while since I posted on here, much to my shame. Apologies for not taking time to post our progress...


In the intervening three years (or so) since my last proper post on here, we have had some MAJOR developments!! Firstly, we had our second try of IVF on the NHS and it has been a success! Boney is now 22 weeks pregnant and we are extremely happy! Like so many other couples before us, when round one failed, we were so despondent and disappointed we thought we would never get past that. The crushing failure of being told that what we took, to some degree, as a dead cert, was soul destroying. I'll admit, I wasn't the best husband I could be at that time, because I couldn't say to Boney how I felt, also, I think she felt she couldn't approach me, for the same reason. I think it was a case of we felt we didn't want to "burden" each other with our negative feelings from the chance that didn't take. On  my part, it made me feel like I'd let Boney down again, due to my poor quality and low count sperm. We went back to see our consultant, who was a fantastic guy, who patiently and kindly framed it all out for us, he explained that with all the will in the world, it truly comes down to luck in the end. There are no guarantees or quick fixes, he did, in his kindly and non-patronising way, explain that my weight could well be an issue to the quality and count of my sperm. That was a hard pill for me to take, but the truth be told, it had to be taken and I did.

So, I took it upon myself to follow in Boney's footsteps and try and lose as much weight as I could to give us the best possible chance. Yes, it is bloody hard work, yes, I did and do get grumpy, and yes, I have now fallen squarely off the wagon again, but REALLY should get my toucas back in gear and sort myself out, got to be healthier for when baby gets here, so I can enjoy a long and healthy life with them. ANYROADS, I digress...

Well, last October, we decided it was high time we should try for cycle number two. I still have a fear of needles, plus getting Boney to get up early in the morning isn't the easiest thing in the world!! These were two of the minor obstacles we had to overcome. We contacted the IVF clinic who had handled our first attempt, whereupon we were informed that the consultant we had been under had decided it was time to move on and they were organising his replacement. Oh, we thought, that could put a wrinkle in the works. But still we were determined not to let anything undermine us, so we would call the clinic and ask if the replacement had arrived yet, each time to be told, sorry no, we're waiting for his papers, etc to clear. As we were on the verge of thinking this wouldn't come off, the clinic actually called us in the early December and asked us when we were wanting to begin.Cue immediate panic stations from us, we hadn't actually put any thought into timeframe or start dates. Quick bit of thinking, sign language, mumbling and passing of calender between us, we settled on end of January this year.

After the pain and heartache of our first failure, we decided it would be a good idea to visit the site councillor. Though we didn't agree with everything that was said by her, her help was invaluable in settling our minds and helping us to understand that this was a brand new attempt, not just a rehash of the first try. I think her best simile that she used was to look at it as a new, blank, unmarked sheet of paper and that it was a brand new pen, never before used. I'm guessing you could say, it's a way to write a brand new story.

Well, nature being what she is, and fate being what she is, also, we started in February, went to the hospital and met the familiar faces of the team who we'd met previously, all smiling, all encouraging, saying how healthy and well we were looking and full of hope under the new consultant. We go in for out initial consultation, speaking to the nurse and she goes through all the information that we'd gone through first time around, but had seemed to have forgotten, it's amazing how much slips out of your head during that time. The previous consultant had already suggested an increase in one of the drugs that was required and this was again all confirmed, Boney then had her first internal baseline scan (a word to the wise, if you happen to need to go on this journey, remember to pack your dignity at the door and collect it on your way out, the nursing team in these places are amazing and will give everyone the dignity they deserve, but the tests you ladies have to go through for this, I don't think I could put up with anything as "invasive") and all showed well. They then packed us off with our little bag of goodies and another appointment for a few days time to see how things are going. So, there we were, backwards and forwards every couple of days, with adjustments/increases made to the medication and the follicles growing at a fantastic rate, each time we would go in, the number of them would increase, but the sizes sounded huge to me.

Now we come to yet another wrinkle in our tale...

As I mentioned earlier, we had a new consultant, who used slightly different methods and medications to our previous chap. The day before the all important egg collection and sperm sample are taken, Boney, as with all other ladies who are on IVF, had to do a "trigger" injection. The nursing staff at the fertility clinic explained EXACTLY how to mix the drug, TWO powders to ONE water, this is VERY VERY important!! So, we go home after the appointment, I then had to go to work, doing what I do in my day-to-day, comes home at quarter to nine at night, and as I had be mixing up and prepping all of the medications (despite my needle fear) I set about making up the trigger injection. Popped the tops of of two of the ampules of water, then one of the powders, draws up the first water, and add it to the powder, then go to the second water, draws that up and, again, adds that to the now mixed powder. Called Boney through, she then does the injection. All of a sudden, the penny drops, I've properly messed up, I've got the mixture completely wrong, there's tears and screaming from Boney, there's expletives and tears from me, there's doubts, there's fears, there's....clarity! We had an emergency mobile number for one of the nurses from the unit. we call her. The phone rings for what feels like an eternity and she answers, I explain in a very shaky voice what has happened, and she takes immediate charge, what an amazing woman. She calms me down (I was the easiest, believe you me) and says she will call the hospital and speak to the duty doctor (this being a private hospital and not an NHS hospital, things are done somewhat differently), ask him to sort out a kit with the necessary meds and allow us use of a room. Boney is still virtually inconsolable, as she thinks there is nothing that can be done, she asks to speak to the nurse who manages to calm Boney down enough that she is no longer almost hyperventilating and is able to put one foot in front of the other, so we can get out to the car, Bearing in mind, we were told this injection in extremely time sensitive, we had to get from where we live over to Canterbury in a rush, which we did. Got to the hospital and there were staff there waiting for us. Two very kind nurses from the main hospital took us to a room, offered us a drink and got everything ready. The on call doctor came along with the required ampules. Even then, fate seemed determined to cause me more pain! These things are made of glass, and when I oped the ones at home, I had been supplied with a rubber gromit like tool that you slip over the top so that as you bend the top around the narrower neck, it will just crack off and snap harmlessly into the rubber. Well, this time, no rubber thingy. Snap! Off comes the top of the powder. Pop! The water one shatters into razor sharp shards, on particularly long and sharp one piercing my thumb, nice and deep, blood everywhere! Quick patch up job and all was sorted.Boney did the injection and off we trundled home.

Next morning, the BIG day, we arrive at main reception, as requested, so that we can do what needs to be done. Receptionist looks blank, can't find any record of you here. We're thinking, well I won't repeat exactly what we were thinking, it's certainly a lot stronger that the U certificate I've been keeping this at so far!! Let's just say, nerves and frustrations are getting frayed. As it so happens, one of the reception team from the fertility clinic clocked in as we are trying to explain to the main receptionist what going on. Fortunately, this particular lady was able to get the correct paperwork sorted out and expedited through, but not without Boney and I having further kittens (by this time, if I were being literal, we would have had a dozen or so litters)

After a bit of to and fro from certain managers from the hospital, we were settled in, and were then visited by our consultant who furthermore put our minds at rest regarding the time factor of the trigger injection. Needless to say, Boney went off to theatre and I went off to do my bit.

It then became another waiting game. After our consultant came through to examine Boney and explain how things had gone, we were allowed home in short order, with a provisional embryo transfer day of that Friday. We got a call on the Thursday telling us how many had fertilised and the embryologist said that if they didn't call us by nine o'clock Friday, then we were to go straight to the unit for transfer. Friday morning comes along and we are sitting there, listening for the phone call to say that they wanted to push for blastocyst. The clock moved the slowest I have ever known in my entire life, even slower than that last half an hour at work or school just before you're due to go off on a break. Each minute felt like a day, I'm not joking! Nine o'clock rolls around and no phone call, so we think we're all set to go in for transfer, all psyched up. Suddenly, at half nine, the phone goes, sure enough, it's the embryologist. They are so pleased at how six of them have divided, they want to go to blastocyst, but it is our choice, a very quick conferral between Boney and I, and we decided that if that was meant to be, then that is what would happen, so we chose to go in on the Monday.

Again, time seemed to slow to a crawl (unlike tonight, where as I write this right now, the time has flown to 2:30 AM without my realising it!!), the two days of that weekend and the morning of the Monday felt like three weeks, honestly! It was a horrible sensation.

So now comes the time for Boney to have yet another procedure performed upon her body. With bated breath we arrive at the fertility clinic's reception and get asked to go through to the waiting room. All the time I'm thinking, why aren't we going straight through to theatre? A couple of the nursing team come out, they're all beaming smiles and reassurance and friendly chatter, which is good, right? Then comes the turn of going into the consulting room with the chief embryologist. Another very friendly and warm lady (her name, like all of the people, aside from our consultant, escapes me), she goes on to explain about the grading and quality rating of embryos in general, then comes to ours and, again, she has more good news for us, there were actually seven top quality, not "just" six. We are then asked how many we'd like implanted, and we had already come to a decision on this and plumped for two. Statistically, this doesn't increase the chances of having a positive outcome, but we felt it couldn't cause any harm, so they agreed.

The procedure was harder than the first time, Boney was more worried than last time, she was also more stressed than last time. But the consultant was calming and helped to reassure her that all was right and that if she wanted to rest or stop, she could do so. All in all though, Boney was, not to sound condescending, incredibly brave. The whole process to over an hour, but was well worth it in the end.

Again, we had to wait, ten days this time, this time Boney had to get up a quarter to six each morning, as she had to put in a pessary containing the necessary hormones to help a pregnancy take. Every morning, counting down those days, waiting for the magic morning when we could go into the drawer and get those little white sticks, was like being five years old waiting for Christmas morning!

The all important day arrives! We get the test out of the drawer, check the dates, then open the first one. Boney goes through to the bathroom and does what she needs to do. It's the left in there to do its thing. After the allotted time, we go in there, look's a dud!!! Panic and heartache begin to kick in, I suggest to Boney to pee into a clean pot, if she can manage to squeeze any more out. Sure enough, she's game enough to wring a little bit more out, I then dip one of the spare ones into the pot, leave it for as long as suggested, then put it where the dud had sat previously. Five long arduous minutes later, we enter the bathroom, we want to look, but can barely bring ourselves to do so. What if it's another defective test or what if the "defective" was actually a negative. With tears already beginning to blur our vision we looked and there it was, in those beautiful pink lines and a crisp white background a positive test!!!

The most horrible thing for me that day, was I had to go to work, act normally and not tell anybody there what was going on. We did go around to Boney's mum that morning. We kept it together driving from one end of the village to the other, got out of the car and, as we usually do, just walk in. Now the, Boney's mum knew we were doing this test and as soon as Boney walked in through her mum's door, she's burst into floods of tears!! Her mum is an amazing and supportive mum, almost perfect, you could say (don't let her catch me saying that, I have a reputation to keep Her response was, "Never mind, we'll find a way, we'll sort something" and Boney is trying through the tears to explain, these aren't sad tears, these are happy, suddenly her mum gets it and it's hugs all round.

It feels so good to be able to come onto here and finally say, I am going to be daddy (even now I well up). I'm looking forward to all those trials and tribulations that parenthood brings. As our little miracle progresses, I will come on here and post little comments, maybe not as long as this one, but then again, maybe they will be, especially as I learn little things or certain milestones happen.

We have decided that we want a surprise when little one comes along, late October, early November, so have chosen to not find out what we are having, they do however have a nickname, Bumpy. The only trouble is, Boney doesn't like the link I make between Bumpy and a new nickname I have for her, Grumpy. (Admittedly, her mum is vaguely responsible for the name, from a text I sent Boney one day)

Anyroads, I now must be off to bed, as it is ridiculously quarter past three in the morning. So thank you for reading, good night,,,