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St Valentines Day – our 5th attempt

Chris and I were positive about our next cycle. Amazing really when you’ve been through so much heartache, but as humans, we are incredible. We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and come back even stronger.

On February 14th 2017, we arrived at the clinic for our transfer, naturally nervous. I’m not sure why because it isn’t a painful process, in fact, it’s rather simple. I guess it’s the knowledge of what comes next that makes you nervous. We were shown to our room and waited until collected by a nurse. We walked up to theatre and were pleasantly surprised that it was our consultant that was waiting for us. We’ve never had this before and immediately things felt different.

Our consultant talked about our embryo’s and explained that they were of excellent quality. As previously agreed, they would be placing 2 back in. He was extremely kind and very gentle with me, it felt like he had all day for us. The time came for the transfer and we looked on a screen at the petri dish holding our little eggs of hope. These were then transferred to the catheter ready for transfer.

Our consultant had a kind face, a handsome man with eyes that bore into your soul.
He asked if I was ready, he checked that he was happy with the catheter and indicated that he was ready. I’m not sure how or why it felt different, but he took his time. He placed the embryo’s so carefully, wiggling the catheter around until he was really happy with the position. When he was ready and comfortable that he was in the right place, he took a second to connect with me and then proceeded.

Our consultant put his hand on my arm, at the same time as looking me squarely in the eye and reassured me that it was going to be ok. He said the 3rd time was the lucky time and smiled. His English wasn’t perfect, but the sincerity was there in bucket loads. He told me that he wanted me to follow a low carb diet. I was also to continue with the medication that had been prescribed. With that he left, and I was taken back to my room.

I lay on my bed for over half an hour, they say you need to lie down for a short while after the transfer. Chris and I chatted, we both agreed that this transfer had been a completely different experience.

We left and went back to our hotel, both of us quietly smiling. We felt incredibly positive this time, more than ever before.

The following day, we were still reflecting on the positive experience. I emailed the clinic to personally thank our consultant for the care and time that he had taken the day before. I also wanted to check on the low carb diet, was it sugar or white carbs that I had to avoid, or both. It was both!

They sent me a diet and exercise programme. I was only to exercise 30 mins per day or 3 x 1 hour sessions per week. To be honest, whilst I’m normally a gym addict, having a personal trainer once a week, during my treatments, I have always eased back so this wasn’t a problem. However, it did mean that I wasn’t allowed to walk my dog daily as I would normally, so I would need to make alternative arrangements for this.

By 16th February, I was beginning to feel quite low, very tearful and the hope had left me. I can’t explain why but I felt that I needed some external support. I contacted the clinic as we were still in Spain, they referred me to their counsellor. In the meantime, I asked them about acupuncture or massage, I was desperate for something.

They recommended a volunteer organisation, based in Barcelona who could arrange holistic therapies. That is when I contacted Stephanie at the She Oak Association; http://www.sheoak-barcelona.com/en/home/

I cant recommend Stephanie enough, she was incredible. Stephanie was extremely calming, she listened to my fears over the phone and then went away to see what she could arrange. She managed to find me an acupuncturist for that same evening and so off I went. Tomas was lovely, he did massage and acupuncture. He explained everything to me and once again, I calmed down and tried to put my fears aside.

On the night of the 16th, I had a night sweat, and for me that was a sure indicator that it hadn’t worked again. With each failure I had had night sweats during my 2 week wait. I called the clinic the following day, devastated. I wanted to know what they could do as one explanation for night sweats was dropping hormone levels. Of course, I blamed myself for having acupuncture, why oh why did I interfere!

The clinic booked me in for blood tests and sure enough my progesterone was below the expected levels. I was to increase my pessaries up to 1200mg per day and to retest in 48 hours. I requested to see my consultant, after each failure I reported this symptom and I felt that no one had listened to me. It wasn’t possible to see him; I was terrified that it was too late to correct anything and I was beside myself with fear. My coordinator tried desperately to reassure me that it wasn’t too late, but I couldn’t be calmed.

It was a struggle to get a blood test on the Monday morning. I was back in the UK and trying to get these things done that quickly wasn’t that simple. I contacted Nuffield Health and they confirmed they could do the test and get the results back that day. The hormone levels had hit 48.3 progesterone nmol & Estradiol 750 pmol. I had no idea if this was good or bad and I was terrified.

The clinic came back to say that my results were ok but to carry on the increased dosage. Later that evening, I started with some spotting, I emailed the clinic. How on earth you are supposed to stay calm and relaxed is beyond me! I was told that if blood started to flow, then I should contact them.

On February 24th I drove to the private clinic that I had been using for scans and tests, it was now time for the blood test to see if we were pregnant. I never used the home kits, I was always too nervous. Once the bloods were taken it would take 2 hours for the results. With this in mind, I went alone and Chris stayed at home as I would be back by the time the results came in.

On the way back from having the bloods done, I got asked to join an urgent work conference call. I pulled over and did the call, it took just over an hour but was just the distraction that I needed. After that, I continued my drive home and in came the call from the clinic! I hadn’t got home as planned, so took the call alone.

When I walked in the house, I was crying. I couldn’t speak to Chris when he opened the door to me, the minute he saw my face he folded me in his arms to hold me. He was soothing me and holding me tight, I couldn’t speak for crying. I finally pulled myself away from his tight grasp and started smiling, finally finding the words to tell him that we were pregnant.

We both laughed and cried, we danced around the house like crazy people, and just like that, our world had changed.

Thank you for reading xx

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