Okay, maybe not 10, but close… this year has been one of the most stressful years of my life and I am only a quarter (and a bit) through it!
I have jumped through hoops and over hurdles all year and I am getting pretty sick and tired of it. It’s not making me any damned skinnier either, enough is enough, thank you.
Now I have gotten that off my tiny chest, I have a little update on the good ole health sitch and of course, I need to fill you in on the first IVF appointment we had last week.
The past couple of weeks I have been battling a flare up of my Ulcerative Colitis, nothing I haven’t handled before, but this time has been slightly different. I have been having heart palpations and fainting spells, which have been pretty scary, not going to lie. On top of seeing the Gastro team, the Assisted Conception team and living with Dr Know It All Crowe, I now have a Cardio team – if only that meant a personal trainer…
On the plus side, I am feeling better and managed to only stay locked in a hospital room for 3 days, meaning I can have a cheeky glass of vino instead of sneaking in the hip flask!
I am about to rewind time to last week, the first appointment, drum roll please…
Monday night, I couldn’t sleep, I was tossing and turning, mentally organising a baby nursery and trying to remind myself that this journey we were about to embark on was not going to be an easy ride and I had to slow myself down by 3872 steps! Saying that, baby tipis are CUTE as and I may have started a Pinterest board.
Tuesday morning, we drove through to Ninewells, paperwork in hand which has been double-checked 800 times. Traffic was stressing me out because if anyone knows my better half you’ll know we left the house 10 minutes later than the time I gave him to be ready. However, we did make the appointment on time and I got the “I told you so” look on arrival. We checked in at reception and waited patiently with some finger tapping.
The nurse called us along and that’s when the fun began, well, for me anyway! I have been ill for 10 years, so hospitals, Drs, Nurses, appointments etc. don’t freak me out. They are pretty much a part of my life. They don’t phase me in any shape, size or form. So when I walked in to the room and saw the mini yellow bin and mini tubes, I knew it was time to roll up my sleeve and give some blood. Fraser on the other hand thought it would just be me getting blood taken, until the question “who wants to go first?” came out the Vampire Nurse’s mouth. Believe me when I say I have never seen the colour drain from that guy’s face so fast in all the time I have known him, I was holding in the laughter (so supportive I know). You could see the beads of sweat building on his forehead. I am confident you can guess who went first!
I am happy to report that Fraser did survive after a small scream and maybe a tear, however, has not survived the mocking I have since laid on THICK. This appointment was pretty basic if I am being honest, it was just bloods and tests. They check your CO2 levels to ensure you are not a smoker and ask you a few lifestyle questions to make sure you are still eligible for the treatment. They also checked my BMI as it must be between 19 – 30, mine is 23 for those who were interested.
We will receive our blood results in the post within the next 3 weeks. Once they come back and if my AMH level ((Anti-Müllerian hormone), (the higher your hormone level the better)) is good our Dr will decide our course of treatment and we will start it within the next 3 months. You only have 3 months to start the treatment after the bloods so it is pretty much “all go” very soon!
While we were there I was asked to take part in a research programme that the NHS are currently working on, as I have never had a baby and this our first attempt at IVF, I am the type of candidate they are looking for. It is called an endometrial scratch and it is a procedure used to help embryos implant more successfully. Currently the evidence suggests that superficially scratching the lining of the womb may improve the chances of pregnancy.
There will be a group of woman who will volunteer to be a part of the research and we will be split in to two groups. One group will receive the scratch and one group will be the control group and will not have the procedure, they will go through their treatment as normal. I won’t have a say in which group I am, a computer will make that decision for us, I won’t find that out until closer to the time of our first cycle.
I personally volunteered to be a part of the research because I want there to be a higher success rate for IVF and I really hope they are on to something, that one day they prove that this is a new way to help people become a family. I will keep you posted on this adventure too!
Overall, the first appointment was very exciting because it’s the start of the biggest adventure of our little young lives. I know people are worried that we are pinning all our hopes on our first cycle being successful but we are both very firm on the belief of positive energy. We are 100% all in for this and we will take each appointment as it comes and face it head on, together. We are both very grateful and are hopeful for our future.
Watch this space!