They call it the two week wait…

Once we arrived home I set myself up on the couch and tried to calm down. EVERYTHING you read says it’s important not to stress. Other “tips” for success I’d heard were:

  • Keep warm. Especially your feet.
  • Laugh. Funny movies were suggested.
  • Eat the core of a Pineapple.
  • Reframe from sex.
  • No heavy lifting.

I could go on and on. I did all of the above and more. If you had told me to sleep hanging from the roof I would have. I also spent a lot of time rubbing the acupuncture point on the top of my head Anni had told me about. She explained this was to drawer the embryo up and encourage it to stay put. If you run your index and middle finger along where you might put a centre part in your hair you should feel a little soft spot. This is the spot to rub. As I type I’ve rubbed it again and I swear I can feel a twinge in my tummy when I do so. Can you?

Our horrid transfer appointment was still playing on my mind the next day, so I phoned the clinic looking for a little reassurance. Our specialist wasn’t available to speak with. I instead relayed the events to one of the nurses. She seemed a little unsure what to say. She just encouraged me to stay positive…

Once you’ve had an embryo transferred you must then wait two weeks before visiting your clinic again for a pregnancy blood test.

During the two week wait you might:

  • Bleed. Could be implantation bleeding. Could be your period. Could be an early miscarriage.
  • Go insane. The wait is one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. I went back down the internet rabbit hole googling 1-day post 5-day blastocyst transfer positive symptoms, 2 days post 5-day blastocyst transfer positive symptoms, and so on.

And how could I have forgotten to mention Crinone vaginal gel?! I’d call it a cream. It’s not a gel. Such lovely stuff! I was told I had to insert a Crinone suppository once a day from egg collection through to the pregnancy blood test and possibly beyond. Pre-bed was recommended. The reasons behind this recommendation soon became horrifically obvious. All I will say is that lying down for 6 or more hours post insert helps it to absorb. You definitely want it to absorb. Not just for the sake of your embryo but for the sake of your knickers as well!

FUN FACT: 

CRINONE is a vaginal gel that contains natural progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that is produced by the ovaries during the second half of the menstrual cycle. It is an essential hormone for preparing the uterus (womb) for pregnancy and on-going support of pregnancy. Progesterone supplementation is essential for getting and staying pregnant after fertility treatment. IVF disrupts your natural progesterone function. So, you need lots more of it for proper luteal support, from egg-retrieval day onwards. Progesterone facilitates implantation and can stop a miscarriage in its tracks.

Common side effects of Crinone include:

I suffered from the bold ones. Just so happens most of these are also early pregnancy symptoms. Total mind fuck!

Bloating
Stomach pain
Dizziness
Drowsiness
Tired feeling
Headache
Nausea
Vomiting
Stomach cramps
Diarrhoea
Constipation
Pain in your vaginal or rectal area
Pain during intercourse
Loss of interest in sex “You do have a tonne of Crinone built up in there. Why would you also want a Penis?” 
Breast swelling or tenderness “This was crazy.” 
Joint or muscle pain
Increased night-time urination “I suffer from this anyhow. It’s an OCD thing I think” 
Vaginal discharge 
Vaginal burning, and vaginal itching.
Spotting “Crinone irritates your vagina, often causing spotting.” 

From memory I had the day after my embryo transfer off of work and then attempted to rejoin normal life. This was hard. I didn’t feel great physically. My mental and emotional health were poor and even though I was trying my hardest to keep it together you get completely consumed.

I had still had a few days to wait. Those days just happened to coincide with a massive event at work. At that time, I was working for a fashion label in the city. They design, manufacture, and distribute hats and handbags. Once a year they hold a pre-Christmas warehouse sale to clear all of the excess stock, and samples etc. The warehouse sale was my gig. I would stay in the city for the week and make sure it went off without a hitch. Outside of the warehouse sale the brand never went on sale. We discouraged our stockists from putting the product on sale too. So, the warehouse sale was NUTS. Thousands of people attend. Some fly in from overseas just for the sale and line up for hours waiting to get their hands on it all. They would buy stuff by the box load. Acting like complete animals.

It was sale day 1 and I was experiencing a little spotting. I phoned the clinic and they said it could be a late implantation bleed. Phew!

FUN FACT: 

Implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy and happens when a fertilised egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus in order to begin growing. It is completely normal and does not need any medical treatment. It’s thought about one third of women experience implantation bleeding. The difficulty is that it happens at a similar time in your cycle to menstruation, so it’s often confused with having an early period.

What are the signs and symptoms of implantation bleeding?
– A pink or brownish discharge or spotting
– Light or faint stomach cramping
– Mood Swings
– Headaches

But by sale day 2 I was properly bleeding. You could no longer call it spotting. I remember gripping my stomach in the hotel toilet with tears running down my cheeks and saying goodbye once again to our dream of a family. I wanted to grab my bag and run away. I wanted to be at home with Tristan screaming into a pillow. But instead I had a bunch of inexperienced casuals relying on my guidance and hundreds of crazed shoppers wanting a piece of me. So, I put on my game face and got back out there.

As soon as I got a chance I phoned the clinic again and they told me it sounded like I was having an early miscarriage and that I could experience a few big clots etc. They instructed me to take it easy and come in on test day regardless. I still had to have the blood test.

Tristan came in and joined me at the hotel that night. He was great. He didn’t say much. There wasn’t much to be said. But he was there and that’s what mattered. I spent most of the night sitting on the toilet wiping away blood sobbing to the point of vomiting.

My blood test was scheduled for the next afternoon.

 

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