I don’t know where to begin.
I should probably begin at the beginning.
Last Thursday I had a bit of a bad day. I thought the weather was really warming up (it is Spring here in South Africa) and I decided instead of pants and socks to wear a skirt and sandals.
Big mistake. I froze. I could actually feel my thyroid gland around my throat throbbing. I got into my nice warm bed that night with my socks on and had a good night’s sleep. And felt much better the next morning.
But, as you know, with Infertility, we always worry. So after a few panicked emails to Hanlie, I decided to go in on this Monday for more thyroid tests. My TSH turned out to be 1.5 and the FT4 was 18.6. This is really good news, and now we know that things with my thyroid are under control.
Well the next thing was to get ready for my IVF cycle. I was expecting my period to come on either Tuesday or Wednesday. I was a bit stressed about the whole thing because with the Day 3 scan it would mean missing a bit of work on either Thursday or Friday.
So Tuesday came and went. OK, must be coming tomorrow then.
Wednesday. Still no blood. Oh come on, already!! When you want it to come, it never comes.
By now I’m convinced it will come on Thursday because I know I ovulated two weeks before that.
So? what could I do, but to eliminate that one thought that was sitting there in my mind that I kept dismissing as totally improbable. I mean, it’s never worked before, why should it work now?
Well, Bleeps, I actually went out and got a home pregnancy test. Two in fact.
And as an aside, I have only ever done that twice before. Once was early on in our relationship when I was a bit paranoid for nothing. The other time there was a legitimate reason: I was about two months late after going off the pill. I really had hope that time, but I guess it was not to be, and more my body sorting itself out.
Well?. (drumroll, please)?.
IT WAS POSITIVE! I’m talking TWO LINES PEOPLE!!
So I get this positive test on Thursday night. I do another one on Friday morning and the line is a bit weaker. So the worry game begins again.. (Does it ever stop with infertility? I think not..)
I get out of work as soon as I can after telling my boss (who already had her suspicions, as I hadn’t told her about my IVF starting yet…). She was so happy for me and was going to say a special prayer for me. She is a Hindu but she is also one of those praying people who I know has effective prayers.
I had been emailing Hanlie all day (Oh thank God for Blackberry! And thank God that by Friday the Blackberry problems had been sorted out!). She wanted me to come in right away for tests, but I was like… um I’m at work? And they close early on a Friday. But she did get Dr R to email me a script for the immune meds which I was really concerned about. I remember her saying that even if I am one day late to make sure I get going on those so my antiphosholipid antibodies issues don’t cause a problem.
So off I went to Medicross. I managed to get two of the immune drugs (Ecotrin and Meticorten) but not the third Intragam injection. The guy even phoned Olivedale for me and they didn’t have it either. I decided to leave that for now and focus on getting the blood tests done.
The buggers at Medicross (Ampath) refuse to do a blood test unless you have a doctor’s letter. They said Olivedale would do it for me. So off I go in in five o’clock traffic up Malibongwe (Joburgers will understand). Oh my gosh. I started thinking maybe I should have waited at Medicross where there were just five patients waiting to see the doctor so I could do the test there. But now I was in the traffic, what else could I do? I eventually got there.
Again, Ampath was very snotty insisting on a referral letter. But thank God for Lancet. And when I explained about Medfem being closed on a Friday afternoon they still used Dr R as the referring doctor and even put it directly through to the medical aid. I have decided to do all future blood tests with them. Cheaper and they are open 24 hours!
So I got there about 5:30 and they said they will have at least some of the results in 3 hours. So off I went to get B (who was very tired of waiting) and we did the Friday night grocery shop.
Unpacked and had supper. B was exhausted and went to sleep. I of course couldn’t sleep and drove out to Olivedale.
This is where the next wave of worrying set in. The test said:
This result may be consistent with very early or abnormal pregnancy state. Advise quantitative HCG test on current sample and repeat after 72 hours to reassess (HSG values double every 48 hours during normal pregnancy). A progesterone level may help to differentiate between a normal of abnormal pregnancy state.
Off course they haven’t managed to do the blood count or progesterone test yet. No use.
So I spend the night tossing and turning and worrying about having an abnormal pregnancy. It was really awful and compounded by the fact that I was worried about my blood pressure drug having an effect on the pregnancy so I didn’t have that, so now that was up as well. Eventually at about 3am I took the pill, did some tapping, and got
back to sleep. A bit.
I have to mention one thing while I was tossing and turning. My poor hubby didn’t sleep much either with this news. But at a crucial moment he just put his hand on my body. A reassuring touch that things were going to be ok, we would get through it.
Something else that occurred to me was this film clip they showed on Sunday at church on that guy with no arms or legs. He said he did not want to serve God unless the question “WHY” was answered – as to why he had no arms or legs. And one day he got his answer. It was another question: “Do You Trust Me?” And I felt that question speaking to me. Trust in God here, Heather. It will be ok.
Up at 7am the next morning it was back to more practical matters. I phoned the lab to check if they had done the rest of the tests. Thank goodness they had and I could pick it up at Cresta, instead of driving to Olivedale.
And the results looked good: Blood count 160.7, Progesterone 49.1.
I got home and B was in tears with relief. Off we went together to Medfem. B watched the rugby next door at the theatre while I waited.
We were so lucky Dr R was on duty and he completely calmed me down. He said it was so bad that they called it “Weak Positive” with such a strong number. I asked him about the progesterone and he said the number was fine for a natural pregnancy and he wouldn’t add to it unless I had spotting. Which I haven’t. He also said my blood pressure tablets werepregnancy safe. And then said he would see me again in 2 weeks.
We then went to the pharmacy to get the Intragam and then the nurse injected me. I will have to keep coming back every Saturday for 8 weeks for that. But what a small price to pay compared to IVF. (B is going to get his deposit money back, he is happy about that).
But for myself I am experiencing Total Disbelief. How is it possible after five plus years of trying to conceive, that trying this time made all the difference?
Well if you think about it, there are some factors that helped:
1. Dr R clearing me out with the laparoscopy
2. Going through all those blood tests and identifying what was wrong (auto-immune issues and thyroid) and sorting that out with meds
3. Having acupuncture and homeopathic assistance (I did acupuncture on the day I conceived)
4. Circle and Bloom. I have to mention them. I have been playing their pre-cycle IUI/ IVF audios. I was actually playing one on the day of conception. I know they say don’t do it while driving but I was in bumper to bumper traffic coming back from acupuncture and it calmed me down from road rage and relaxed me. I liked the one thing they were saying: focus on something that will help in your healing journey. So I just imagined a big fluffy bear.
5. Friends! Online and offline. You know who you are. I have to mention my friend Z who just got pregnant with IVF 3 who I have literally been emailing every day. People like that are just amazing because they understand what you are going through more than the average person. All the blogs have just been so invaluable as well, as we are all in this journey together. But even my friends and work colleagues who have watched me wait over the years are so happy for me. My cell group praying friends who have prayed this into existence.
6. EFT Tapping. Has been my life saver to calm down in moments of stress. And Fertility Yoga has been calming.
7. Oh and last but definitely not least, my family. My dearest hubby. My parents. My dogs. In financial ways, in supportive ways, and just being there for me.
I am so very, very grateful. God is good.