Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Internal Battle

 ~ This was written in the first week of January. I was weak, confused, hurt and let down by my body. I'm getting through it. Day by day. Learning to accept it and accepting that I am doing the best i can and that is ok. I am giving my everything for our baby but it's still hard and my feelings are still real ~

I'm not suppose to say these words. I'm not suppose to write this down. I have been blessed with an amazing gift and it should be the happiest time of my life. I dreamed of this moment my entire life...and I mean entire life. We waited 2 and a half years and fought to the death for this to happen. Women who have gone through infertility aren't suppose to feel like this and women who have gone through IVF surely aren't suppose to be feeling like this. But I am and it's hard.

I need to write this now, before the feeling goes away. I need to show every path that my journey is taking me. I know it will pass soon...because I'm a strong stubborn shit like that, but right now I'm in a darkness that I can not get out of. I pray every night it will pass and that in the morning I will wake up happy and strong and empowered just like I used to be. As soon as I wake however, it all hits me and I return to the flames that burned me the day before.

I know women go through this every single day. Women experience it absolutely 10 times worse then this. I am not those women. I don't get sick. My body doesn't get weak. I placed so much faith and confidence in myself in the years leading up to my pregnancy that I thought I would be able to handle anything this baby threw at me. As soon as the pregnancy sickness came my world got turned upside down.

When you spend 2 years of your life perfecting every aspect of your being you create a strong and powerful willpower. Nothing could stop me and nothing would effect me. I knew I had no control over anything and I let my faith and optimism guide me through life. I was happy. I was free. I was confident. I was positive. Even through our infertility struggle and our IVF journey I remained this person and was proud of how I dealt with it all.

This all fell apart during my 5th week of pregnancy. 

All that is happening to me is that I am sick. Just your normal text book pregnancy sickness. I don't know why they call it morning sickness because it lasts all day and all night long. For the first time, in a very long time, I am completely out of control of my body. My mind can not fix this. I have a beautiful angel growing inside of me and it is stripping me of every last bit of nutrients, strength and balance I have. I know why it is happening. I know it's for the best. I know it means I have a strong healthy baby but seriously haven't I gone through enough? I put in the fight already. I worked hard and now I finally got my wish and my dream has come true and I am absolutely despising it.

No one can really understand. I've tried to tell those closest to me that I am not handling it. That my body has been shaken and my spirit is struggling. No one understands. To them its just pregnancy sickness and I just need to move on and deal with it. I do. I deal with it every day. I still work my ass off every day but it doesn't mean I don't battle with myself every single minute. I have lost faith in myself. I have lost faith in my body and most of all I have lost faith in my mind. If I can not handle something as simple as this 'morning sickness' and early pregnancy, how will I be throughout the rest of the pregnancy and let's not even touch on the labour story. It is just morning sickness to every one else but to me it's an internal battle and at the moment I can't handle it and my body and mind are letting me down. I spent years falling in love with the person I am and was proud of how strong my body was. When something compromises this strength you lose control and get shaken to the core. It truly took me by surprise and its taking everything I have to fight back.

I cry most nights because I've let myself down. I should be fine with this but I'm not. I should be able to suck it up, force some food down for the sake of my baby and deal with it. That's what everyone tells me. But no one understands the heartache behind it all. Maybe the hurt, frustration and anger of the last 2 years is finally hitting me. Maybe I have let my guard down for a split second and my whole battle is being laid down on the table for me to deal with. Why now? It's done now. Ive got what I wanted. Why the hurt, anger and disbelief in myself.

It is a silent internal battle that I deal with every day but on the surface I try to be strong and I am trying to get through these first few months with a smile on my face. For 3 days all of my sickness went away and we feared we were losing our miracle. I would never trade this sickness for the world. I know that it is the best possible state to be in. I know my baby is thriving and it is all because of me. Deep down I know this. I just seriously wish my mind would handle it better. I wish I could be strong and not hate myself for being so weak. In time, I will realise my strength and this hatred will turn back into self love, but right now it's hard.

I have lost some friends because of my silence, because they don't understand, because they haven't taken the time to really listen to me. I can't control this and I can't change how I deal with this. I can't put effort into anything right now because all of my attention and strength is being put into waking up in the morning and pretending everything is ok. I'm sure my family is sick of my whinging, but I whinge to ensure I don't cry out loud.

I know you won't understand. I'm not asking you to understand. I'm just making you aware.

This isn't who I am and I hate it but I pray it will soon pass. 
I know it will, becasue as I said before...I am a strong stubborn shit like that. 

x S.K.K x

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Our IVF Egg Retrieval and Transfer

Our whole IVF cycle literally flew. I think at the time I was caught in the moment but looking back it felt like no time at all. Our first appointment after starting the injections was with our Doctor on the 4th of November. This was to see how I was responding to the medications and whether Our follicles were growing. The ultrasound showed that we were progressing beautifully. We had 8 solid follicles and they were measuring between 12 and 16 mm. We were aiming for 18-22mm by the time of our retrieval so these numbers were perfect. Straight away we were given a trigger date and a retrieval date. It was all happening. Remember how I said we didn't have much time to plan or worry. We literally didn't have time to think throughout the entire cycle. It was bam bam bam. 

Doctors, nurses, councillors, people who have been through it before, whoever you talked to there was always doubt. No one ever gave you 100% reassurance it would work. That's because it probably wouldn't. The success rate of a first time IVF cycle is extremely low. The nurses council you through the cycle and prepare you on some level that you may fail. It's a hard battle to fight and one that you have no control over.  You tend to take on these feelings and thoughts and this really bothered me. This wasn't who I was, actually it isn't who I am. I never let failure be an option or the answer. 

On the nights leading up to our retrieval I didn't sleep. How could I sleep knowing that in just days our baby will be created. This also allowed me to battle with my positive side and giving in to the 'what ifs'. Finally a few days before my retrieval, late one night, I posted this picture on Instagram and wrote the following...

"I have found it difficult to find a healthy balance between being positive and being realistic through this IVF journey. I've never once said to myself 'yes it's going to work' because you know what...there is a strong possibility that it won't. This isn't who I am and I pride myself on my strength and positivity and here I am in the biggest fight of my life and I'm scared to believe and I'm scared to have faith. The time has come to take a breath and jump. I know the risks, I know the statistics and I know it may not work but from this point on there will be no more 'preparing for the worst' I'm strong and I can handle the worst so it's time to lift my head, open my heart and give myself completely to this adventure. In a few days our baby will be created and I will do everything in my power to fight for my family. I've got this! Lets make a baby!"

There was no turning back. This was our reality and I couldn't change it. I could not allow room for the 'what ifs' and the 'it may not work' I completely and 100% believe in power of your mind and the power of your thoughts. So from that night on there were no more negative thoughts allowed. Our IVF was going to work and we were going to get pregnant and that was the end of it. 

On the 10th of November at 6.30pm I did my final injection. That was it. 10 days and I was done. My body responded. We were ready to make a baby.

Friday morning on the 8th of November 2013 we left at sunrise to go in for my surgery. I don't want to go into detail of the surgery because it was honestly the most horrific experience of my life. All I had to remember was I just had to get through the surgery and when I woke up that beautiful magic number would be written on my hand. If you're an IVF girl you will know what that beautiful number is. For those who are just following our journey the nurses who look after you during your surgery will write the number of eggs they retrieved on your hand. That way when you wake up from your anaesthetic you can look straight at your hand and know. That's the whole point of the surgery. To retrieve the eggs. I had a hard time dealing with this number. From all the numbers I had seen written on my fellow IVF friends hands their numbers were high. 12, 15, even 25. We only started with 10 follicles and that was down to 8 by the time our retrieval came around so we had a chance of getting 8 at the max. 8! I could not believe it. Each day between retrieval and transfer your number dropped. Not all eggs would fertilise and not all eggs would mature. With a starting number that low I was freaked. All my support system told me "all you need is 1" and they were right. I just had to believe it would all be ok. 

There was our magic number.
I had grown 6 beautiful eggs. It was no 12, 15 or 25 but it was our 6.
Our perfect 6!

I was very lucky that my retrieval was on a Friday which allowed me to recover and rest over the weekend before starting back at work on Monday. We were doing a 5 day transfer which meant that 5 days exactly from my retrieval we would transfer an embryo back into my uterus. The doctors had my 6 eggs and they had Robs sperm. We now had to leave it up to nature, with a little bit of help from science, and hope that our eggs and sperm would do the baby dance in the dish and create some embryos. 

They did and they nailed it. 5 out of our 6 eggs were fertilised and made beautiful embryos. 

And over the next 4 days they survived. Of all the journeys I've followed everyone lost a few embryos each day. Not us. Our baby's are strong. All 5 lasted the 5 days! I literally screamed every morning when the nurse rang me to tell me they had survived the night! I was so dam proud of our embabies. 

By the time I transfer day came we still had 5 embabies surviving. It was time for the embryologist to choose the perfect blast to transfer into my uterus. This would be our baby. 

On the 13.11.13 our beautiful embryo was transferred to me. 

I always always always want our beautiful angel to know that above all he/she was created by love. Even though we needed a little scientific help it hurts my heart to know it wasn't by mummy and daddy making love. This is hard to come to terms with but I hope our darling will always know that we fought to the death for them and even though we had some help our baby was created by nothing else but love, dedication and passion.

Our transfer was a success!
All we had to do now was hope and pray that our beautiful baby stuck to me, implanted and formed a beautiful pregnancy. 

Peace, Love and Hope
x S.K.K x