The last few weeks since our follow-up appointment have been tough. The feelings we’ve both experienced are very different from before our first round.
The first cycle we were so excited and hopeful. This time round we both feel low, angry, anxious and struggling to “keep positive”. When the drugs arrived this week, I didn’t open them with any excitement, just dutifully put them away and thought about all the horrible side effects, the waiting, the invasive tests, the worry; all possibly for nothing. Anyway, down regulation starts today. I’m doing the long protocol again with Buserelin.
At the same time, I don’t want to appear unappreciative that we do get another try on the NHS. We are very lucky, as many couples don’t get any funding. We waited so long and fought so hard to get our go at IVF. Even though we both feel this way, we will give it our all. We’re back on the supplements and I’ve started acupuncture to try and improve our chances.
I’ve always been quite skeptical about alternative medicine. It wasn’t until I learnt about compassion focused therapy http://www.compassionatemind.co.uk and was taught mindfulness meditations that I began to open my mind to Eastern therapies.
There’s bit a lot of evidence and plenty written around the subject of Acupuncture for IVF. Given that this will very likely be our last try (unless we have some good frozen embryos) we wanted to throw the kitchen sink at this try. I sourced a Zita West affiliated Acupuncture practitioner on her website: http://www.zitawest.com/national-network-of-affiliated-acupuncturists/what-is-the-affiliated-acupuncturist-network/the-zita-west-affiliate-national-network/
I had my first session with Jody last week. http://www.well-being-acupuncture.co.uk
The first half hour was a consultation about my medical history. After this, I lay on the treatment table and Jody made sure I was comfy. Firstly, she checked both of my wrist pulses and looked at my tongue. This helps with the diagnosis. She then told me where she’d place the needles and that she’d use a Moxa stick on me. This a warming procedure. She was very gentle and i barely felt any of the needles enter my body. I felt a great sense of relaxation and then a very deep warmth when she used the Moxa on me (known as Moxibustion) After just 15 mins of treatment, I felt very relaxed and a lovely sense of warmth.
I completely recommend it and I’m looking forward to my next session next week.
Not so much looking forward to tonights injection! Fingers crossed the side effects aren’t too bad this time.
Like Nic said we have found the last month or so really tough. I didn’t realise the stress that I was under until I started noticing physical symptoms. I put on weight, had a very bloated stomach and started getting short term memory loss and loss of focus. I went to the Dr and they put it all down to the stress of the failed cycle and the build up to the next one.
Since then I have actively been trying to relax. Much to Nic’s annoyance I have become totally obsessed with photography (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tootalltom1313/). I now develop my own film at home and have just acquired a darkroom set up for making prints. I went on a course to learn studio portrait photography and my company now offers that as a service. I think the reason for the obsession is that the process of photography is very creative but the technical aspect requires concentration and I get absorbed so deeply that I am not thinking about anything else. It is great and works well… for me. The problem with it is that it alienates Nic and pushes us apart. She is not especially interested, despite being a really good photographer herself. I know I can’t stop because it is like an addiction but I also know I need to focus on us not me. Nic will need me more than ever over the next few weeks and I need to step up and be there.
I have decided that after Nic’s successful encounter with acupuncture I will try it too. Hopefully this will help with my stress levels and make me less reliant on disappearing into the abyss of trying to capture light in a box.
It all begins again today. One tiny injection that will result in a life changing event, whichever way it goes.
Bring it on.
Thanks for reading
Nic and Tom