Amber And Leah’s Parenting Journey: Hi, Is That Leah?

Moving On To IVF

Time Amber and Leah to swap roles..

Everyone has been asking me this whole year (and more) ‘Leah, why don’t you try’ ‘Leah, when will you be getting pregnant?’ Leah, I am so sorry for you and Amber – You will have to try soon’ It was hard to answer those questions this year because I knew the answer was possibly going to be ‘soon’ I tried as much as possible to just explain to everyone that I needed to go through a process and couldn’t just start getting inseminated at the drop of a hat, but people were indeed persistent.

So anyway, where was I? When Amber started up with the IVF we talked about possibly getting me started with all the things I needed to do in order to become a Concept patient. That way if the IVF attempts failed then at least we were well on our way in our ‘backup plan’.

We had decided Amber would at least have two IVF attempts and then we would figure what to do from there. We would either continue on with IVF or I would start with IUI. First up on my ‘to do’ list was become a Concept patient. First of all I needed a referral from my GP. I made an appointment and got my little piece of paper with the referral on it at the beginning of the year. I had already made an appointment with the specialist because we knew how long it took to get in to see her. My appointment was for February and I was nervous going in for MY first appointment, I was told to get screening bloods done. I would have to go into Concept to get those done before my appointment.

We had been told that Amber was recommended to come along to my first appointment, they liked partners to both come in and talk about anything that needed talking about. My bloods revealed I was in good health but needed extra vitamin D. I was told to get a pelvic ultrasound and see the counsellor and then have another appointment with Dr W all before I started the actual process of getting pregnant. We said that was fine as Amber was only just about to begin her first IVF cycle so we had plenty of time.

When Amber miscarried with the first cycle we decided I should get prepared and get onto the pelvic ultrasound and make an appointment to talk to the counsellor. I was nervous about the pelvic ultrasound, I had not had one done before and was so worried while sitting in the waiting room, turns out I had nothing to worry about and it was fine – although the whole full bladder thing was enough to bring tears to my eyes.

I made the next follow-up appointment with Dr W and in I go. I was just going to get results for my ultrasound and paid $180 to see her for roughly 10 minutes. She said everything looked good and asked if I had seen the counsellor. I said we were off to see her the following week and that meant as soon as we had done that we were all good to start my pregnancy attempts.

Amber was waiting that week to see if she was pregnant or not with the second IVF attempt. Unfortunately once again she miscarried and we decided that she needed to give her body a break. Within days we were at Concept waiting for our counselling appointment. We had a chat with her for over an hour talking about anonymous donors, how we would talk to possible future children about how they were created and everything else on our minds. We left with more knowledge (even though we thought we knew SO much already) and knew that everything was ready to begin!

I had called Concept before the beginning of my cycle and told them I was ready to begin. All I had to do was wait for that monthly reminder. On July 14th started day 1 of my cycle. I was nervous and excited, it was so different going through it myself and not just being there for Amber. We called Concept and they said to wait until day 10 for my first blood test.

Monday 23rd July rolled around and off I went for my first blood test. Amber went with me and then off to work we went. In the afternoon they called me up and said to go back for another blood test on the 26th. They were tracking my levels waiting for me to ovulate. When they called that afternoon they said my levels were still quite low and to wait until the following Thursday for another blood test. I went and told Amber my results and thought it was a bit strange to wait so long – what if I ovulate in that time, a week was a long time to wait. Amber called them back and they said they weren’t sure why I was told to wait a week and to get another test on Sunday 29th July. I was thinking HOW LONG IS THIS GOING TO TAKE – OVULATE ALREADY!

Blood tests revealed my levels were STILL quite low (I was starting to worry I wasn’t going to ovulate at all) they said to go and get another blood test on the 1st of August. That afternoon when they called they asked me to come into Concept on Wednesday the 1st August for an ultrasound and blood test. This was again a whole new ball game – me going into Concept alone? I was very nervous and got there very early. You have to get there well before opening so you can get your name on the list as close to the top as possible. I also needed to see the nurse coordinator to ask questions.

While I was waiting in the car park there were 4 other women, all different ages and from different lifestyles I imagine and we were all waiting at the door of a building that could make or break our dreams. My favourite nurse arrived to work and let us in with her. I was sitting in the waiting room looking around at everyone wondering why they were going through fertility. I guess that’s what everyone in there thinks as we knowingly give each other a smile.

I had the day off work just in case the insemination was that day. When I spoke to the nurse (my fave nurse S) she said my levels were low and she wasn’t too sure that the procedure would be that day but to just wait until we got the results. I was annoyed thinking I had a day off and would need another the next day. I had my blood test and ultrasound. It was my first time being at Concept having more than a blood test or counselling for myself. Sure – I had been there a hundred times before with Amber for a variety of things, it was all so strange.

I had my ultrasound and he checked both ovaries and I could hear him say that he could see a 17mm follicle on one side and a 15mm follicle on the other side. This meant I had two follicles and was likely to ovulate with two eggs! I went home figuring that I could go chill out at home as nothing would happen until the next day.

Since I was home that day Amber decided to come home for lunch and maybe we would get the results while she was home. She was just getting everything ready to go back to work when my phone rang. It was early so I pretty much guessed right away that it was D-day today! They said that yes I had two good-sized follicles and my blood levels had revealed I was ready to ovulate and I needed to get there for 3:30! They also warned that because of the two follicles it did raise my chances of getting twins and they had to make sure I was happy to continue with the cycle. I didn’t have to think twice and said yes straight away. I was still shocked by the phone call when my phone rang again and it was my best friend! I was in shock that something major was about to happen so I probably seemed a bit ‘far away’ on the phone.

We went in to Concept (Amber had organised a staff to cover her if needed) and I was quietly screaming inside. I was so nervous about the whole situation. I knew that my favourite nurse was in and was PRAYING to anyone who would listen that she would be the nurse to do my procedure. I saw her duck through to the offices and wondered if I would be lucky enough. I heard my name called out behind me and the cheeky thing had gone right around without me seeing. I was jumping up and down so happy (on the inside) that it was Nurse S.

She was lovely and very reassuring. She was as gentle as she could be and assured me everything looked good and to take it easy and to go back in two weeks (16th August) to get my pregnancy results. Well the next two weeks were NEVER ENDING. I now knew what Amber had to go through every single cycle. Your body starts playing tricks on you and every single pregnancy symptom is thrown your way. I had flu symptoms, I was bloated, I didn’t feel well and I was exhausted. I am sure time was slowed right down and two weeks felt more like two months.

Midway through the two-week wait I had Concept ring. I was curious as to what they wanted? They rang to inform me that our sperm was running low! We only had around two more attempts with this donor and then we would have to start looking at another. I said we would wait until this cycle was done and we got the results and we would decide what to do from there. Amber already has 10 embryos in storage but we needed to decide what I was going to do.

Amber had picked up some home pregnancy tests on the Tuesday night and said if I wanted to I could take a pregnancy test on Wednesday morning (the day before the blood test) I said I wasn’t sure but would leave them in the bathroom and decide in the morning. Early Wednesday morning I decided I would give it a go and see. I don’t think I have ever shook as much as I did then waiting for the result. I sat there shaking while waiting to see what would happen. Not long after it came up with the line – Not Pregnant. I felt a little deflated but I am always optimistic and thought ‘you never know, I would just have to wait until Thursday.

I decided that I wouldn’t take a home test on the Thursday but just go and get my blood test and wait for the results Thursday afternoon. Well that one day felt like about a year. I had my mobile phone on me from my lunch break on and hoping for some good news. I was praying to hear my phone ring, I was starting to feel period cramps and was not feeling very confident but was trying to remain positive.

Finally just after 3:30 my phone rang, I nervously answered. ‘Hi, is that Leah?’ the lady asked. I said yes but knew already the news; I could tell already in her voice what she was going to tell me. ‘Sorry Leah, we have a negative result today’ I said that was ok, asked a couple of questions and hung up the phone. I told Amber the news and shared a hug at work. I didn’t get too upset as I wasn’t feeling confident anyway. But I was just HOPING that maybe we would get lucky and I’d fall pregnant first go.

Luckily the kids kept me busy for the rest of the afternoon and they even gave me some pretty awesome cuddles and kisses. Kids are amazing to be able to just know when we need that extra love. Amber and I then had a big decision to make, did we want to use the same donor or pick a new one or what? Nothing is easy in our life apparently!