I really wasn’t sure if i was going to share any of this. It’s all so personal and fresh but I think in some ways it might be therapeutic to write it all down and get it all out of my head.
As I mentioned recently, we have been ready to start trying for another baby. We decided to jump right in and do a February cycle. In retrospect, it was a terrible idea. I think we both knew deep down that it wasn’t the right month but for some reason we let the wheels keep turning and went ahead with it.
The first curveball was that my cycles have been so irregular for the past few months and so cycle day 1 came almost a week before we expected it to. It really took me by surprise and I didn’t quite feel ready but I went ahead but made the call to my doctor so she could start tracking ovulation via blood tests. Four blood tests later, we had our embryo transfer date booked and the nerves and excitement were setting in.
Throughout this, we had some awful news. Candice’s Mum was told that the doctors would be stopping chemo for the terminal cancer she has been living with as it was no longer working. The timeframe that they’ve given her Mum is devastatingly short at 6-8 weeks. We decided that Candice would go down to part-time at work, working 2 days a week so she would be able to spend those days off with her Mum. We should have called off the cycle at that point but again, that ball kept rolling.
Another set back we faced was that the childcare rebate for Oscar had reached its cap for this financial year, meaning that we are now paying full daycare fees which isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s the same as our weekly mortgage repayments and with Candice now working part-time, things are extremely tight. Still, we didn’t call it off. We reached into our pockets and handed over the $3000 for the cycle and transfer fees.
The next hurdle was realising when the due date would be if this embryo transfer worked. It would have been very early November and because I foolishly changed health insurance fund at the end of last year, all my waiting periods had reset. Meaning that if that baby came before the 31st August, my insurance wouldn’t cover me and we would be slapped with $8000 in hospital fees. So I was feeling quite tense about that. But again, we didn’t call of the cycle. The fees were paid, the date was set and our excitement was too much.
Finally the morning of the transfer came. We were relieved to find out that we still had 2 remaining embryos as the one they chose to transfer survived the thawing process. The actual transfer was horrendous. My doctor had a really difficult time getting through into the entry of the cervix as for some reason it was really tight. It felt like an eternity and they had to send the embryologist back into the other room with our embryo to keep it warm because it was taking so long. After a painful 5 minutes of her trying, she got through and they brought the embryo back and transferred it. I had been on night shift all night so I was able to go home and sleep for the rest of the day which was great but when I woke up, my throat was sore, I had a temperature and flu-like symptoms. I took paracetamol for the next few days to keep any fever down but I felt like absolute rubbish and was scared that getting sick was going to mess up any chance of the embryo sticking. When I took a home pregnancy test 10 days later and saw that there was a positive line, we were shocked. We actually didn’t believe it but a few days later the official blood test confirmed that yep, I was indeed pregnant.
The joy was short-lived though and it wasn’t long before we found out that the embryo stopped growing, my HCG levels started declining and I had lost the baby. The next few days were awful, just waiting for the cramps to start. For it all to be officially over. Yesterday morning it started and late last night it reached its peak. I had constant cramping and lower back pain that was so intense it had me in tears. Not because it was unbearable but because I was scared and didn’t know how long it was going to last. Candice wasn’t home as she was staying at her Mum’s place for the night and as I lay there doubled over in pain on the couch I thought about how fucked up this entire cycle was. It was as if the universe was trying to tell us it wasn’t the right time but we didn’t listen.
We’re going to take some time. We aren’t sure when we’ll try again but I think emotionally, we’re so spent at the moment. There’s just too much going on. I find myself asking if we would be okay with an only child if it came down to it. If our remaining 2 embryos don’t stick. If we are faced with having to start an entire IVF round again. It’s not something I really want to do but at the same time I can’t quiet the voice in my heart that wants a sibling for Oscar. It’s out of our hands anyway, clearly the universe is in charge.