IVF Babble

Sara’s IVF Diaries

August 16 , 2009, Sunday

It didn’t work…

I am sat here in my favourite chair, trying to come to terms with the fact that my IVF was unsuccessful. I have not cried. I feel numb.

Yesterday was a massive shock. Katie, my sister, came over to look after me, as egg collection left me feeling so uncomfortable and weak, although the actual collection was relatively pain free. Anyway, I always thought that if there were to be bad news, I would get it a couple of weeks later, once the embryos had been put back in. I did not prepare myself for the phone call I received first thing Saturday morning.

The embryologist called. He did not warn me first, there was no soft lead up to the devastation. He calmly delivered the disappointing facts. I could not take in what he was saying, so I asked him to repeat everything. He repeated my failure. Eight eggs had been collected, a good amount. He also said there was a good amount of sperm.  However, the sperm did not do its job. It did not fertilize the eggs. I just don’t understand….

We are seeing the doctor tomorrow who will explain to us what happened, or rather, what didn’t happen, and what we should consider next.

All year I have been in and out of the fertility department at Hommerton with desperate hopes of a baby. I have had to deal with injections that play with my hormones, I have had cameras shoved up places the sun will never shine, avoided caffeine, booze, cigarettes and pregnant women. Because we can’t afford to go private, we have had to wait months in between appointments. We have had two rounds of IUI and one IVF. The list will now continue.

To be fair, IVF hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. I guess as time goes on, it will be the emotional pain that becomes the killer. I am cushioned and comforted at the moment that I still have another two attempts. God help me if they fail.

I stopped drinking months ago. I have also been having acupuncture from a fabulous lady called Alison on Broadway market. I took August off and took up yoga. I visualized my children all the time. I visualized a beautiful little girl called lily and a boy called Jack. Every time the nurses stuck a painful needle in me, every time I would have my injections at night, I would focus on them and say to myself, it will be worth it, I will have my babies. I did everything I could possibly do, but I didn’t get my babies.

All around me, friends are getting pregnant. I can’t bear to be around them. How can I be happy for them when they have something I so desperately want? How can I sit in the same room and talk about how wonderful it is that they are going to be mummies, when all I want to do is cry?

I can’t stand the pity. I can’t stand the look in peoples faces. They try and make things better by telling me about a friend they know who got lucky. IT DOES NOT HELP!!!! I have had friends who have said they didn’t know how to tell me they were pregnant because they didn’t want to upset me! It makes me want to run far from here where nobody knows me.

I just don’t understand why I can’t have my babies. I am a good person and I know I will be a good mummy. I have so much love to give and have a wonderful husband who will be the perfect father. We have great lives and will give our children a fantastic life. WHY IS IT THAT I CAN’T HAVE THEM???

To an outsider, undertaking fertility treatment this year was absurd, as mummy Linda, my beautiful mother-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Me and Wag decided to continue with the treatment with even more determination so as to be able to tell Linda that she would be a grandmother. Sadly, she will not get to hear the news. She is becoming more and more ill and weak. Everyday is a battle for her. I find it so hard going to visit her, as I can do nothing to help her. I do not know how Wag is coping. He has to balance the two women in his life needing him so desperately at the same time. One needs him to help her stay alive, the other needs him to help create a life. How does a person cope with so much pain? There is only so much one person can take. Maybe we should wait and try IVF again once Linda has left us. Wag should be able to grieve first. Only then I think, can we continue.


August 17th , 2009, Monday

What do I do now?………

We saw the consultant today. As I walked in to the fertility department I couldn’t look anyone in the eye. Could they see my failure? The doctor told me that the sperm had not penetrated the egg, so instead, we would try ICSI, the procedure that involves injecting the sperm into the egg. “Why did you not do this to start with?” I asked. I was told that the NHS will only offer ICSI after a failed round of IVF. I wanted to scream. I didn’t even know about ICSI before. What a waste of two years! I should have done my research!! I should have found the money to go private!! I could have had my babies right now!!! Why did I have 2 rounds of IUI??? I am so angry, frustrated and desperate. To add to the desperation, I am told I have to wait until February to start this next round. Sadness doesn’t cover the epic amount of emotional pain my body feels right now.

In addition to the pain of sadness, I have had palpitations for two days now. Zara (my best friend) said it is anxiety. She is probably right. I spent last night with her in Damien’s flat. He lives on the top floor in a flat on the Kilburn Road. The view from his place is just incredible. You could see all the way to the Gherkin. It was actually very calming to be so high up and to almost step outside of London, to look down at the whirlpool of people and their busy lives.

Being with Zara is amazing. I have known her for more than 30 years now. I can be myself with her. She is like a sister to me. She is my age and has no kids. It feels good. We laughed and we cried, we drank wine and ate chocolate, watched my favorite TV show (Sex and the City) and went to bed at 2am, still talking way after lights out. I need to spend more time with her while I deal with this pain.


August 19, 2009

Brush myself off….

Today is a positive day on my journey to February, despite the fact that I still have abdominal pains, bloating and palpitations. It is also painful when I pee. I really hope I do not have OHSS.

The surgeon emailed me and has arranged an appointment to see him on Sept 21 at 10.30am. He has also booked me in to see the nurses on January 5th , with the aim to start treatment in February. I am going to inject the next five months with so much  productively. I am going to do the following:

1) Buy a beautiful family home with three bedrooms on a tree lined street. It will have a beautiful room for our babies.

2) I am going to get my body in to a fabulous pre-pregnancy shape

3) I am going to de-clutter and de-stress!

All of the above is achievable. I will be so ready for my babies. I have to get back on my feet for now. Brush off the dirt and carry on. I shall get healthy and stand by to be a mummy!


August 20, 2009

Re Set…

I had a great day of retail therapy followed by lunch at Yo Sushi with Zara. Being with my best friend is helping me cope with the grief.

The hospital called and told me not to worry too much about the cramps. They said that if I start to vomit and do not go to the toilet too often, then I should get myself to A&E. It still hurts so much when I go to the loo and I am so bloated. I look pregnant.

How cruel is that!!

I am reading a book called ‘Making Babies the Hard Way’. It is a couple’s journey through fertility treatment. It is fantastic to read another woman’s journey.

Roger (my boss) has plenty of work for me for now up until Christmas which will really help the time pass by. I just have to make sure that I maintain the calm attitude that has kept me sane over the last few weeks. I want to start yoga again and I really do not want to drink like I used to. I need to relax more and remember to breathe!

I have not felt so sad over the last few days. Zara has been an incredible distraction and has assured me that waiting until February is the right thing to do. She found some articles of women in their forties who are pregnant for the first time. That really helped actually.

Me and Wag are off to the Isle of Wight tomorrow for what we are calling our ‘re set’. I hope it will recharge our love and energy because boy, are we strained right now. Wag’s energy is spread so thinly. He needs this time to zone out. We must treasure this time alone, as hopefully, we only have six months until its preggers time!!


August 25, 2009

A change of scenery…

Well it has been over a week now since egg collection. I should have been pregnant, but I’m not. I have only just stopped having cramps. Wag took me away for some much needed time alone to the IOW. We stayed in a place called the ‘Enchanted Manor’. It is a favorite place of Linda and Chris’. It is set in a beautiful part of the island, so green, so many beautiful windy country roads with breathtaking views. On the Friday, as soon as we arrived, we tool a trek through fields until we arrived at the lighthouse situated on the cliff top. We sat there together, looking out at the calm yet powerful sea and took some time out. I made Wag take some long, suspended breaths.

As we sat there and gazed out to sea, I was overcome with sadness – sadness at not being blessed with my babies, and sadness for Linda whom I knew would have loved to have been sat with us. I hid my tears from Wag. I don’t know why.

I needed a distraction. I remembered seeing a leaflet at the hotel reception advertising ‘relaxing treatments available’. I was so looking forward to booking a massage. I had so much tension that had built up on my shoulders. However, as I excitedly presented myself at the front desk to book my hour of bliss, Rick the owner of the hotel kindly informed me that the masseur/beautician was so heavily pregnant that she could not bend over the massage table. I wanted to shout ‘BITCH!!!’ Just another stab in my heart. Just another reminder that somebody else was pregnant, just not me. In fact, I seemed to be surrounded by pregnant women and children the whole time I was on the island. Instead of switching off, all I could think about was what amazing parents me and Wag would make. I ask myself everyday, why me and Wag are not parents yet, and why there are such horrible people in this world who are blessed with beautiful children…WHY???


September 17, 2009

Back to work…

Well work has begun. I have started the F word with Gordon Ramsay and I go to Dublin next week for a job. Now that I have thrown myself back into work I seem to have slipped into bad ways, I’ve been drinking alcohol and caffeine. I must not lose sight of my dream to get pregnant, but at the same time, I must allow myself to switch off just a bit, to get a bit of me back. Balance is the key.

We are seeing the consultant on 21 September and I can’t wait!!!! I pray to my guardian angel that IVF works this time please please please please can I have my babies. I have to call dancing on ice in the morning and tell them if I want to do the show next year. I know I should not turn down work but I don’t know how I will be able to work with Holly Willoughby having just had a baby and her stylist being pregnant. I don’t think I can hide my sadness and fane joy at their blessings.


September 21, 2009

Life is so cruel

I practically ran to the fertility clinic. I know I am not starting treatment until February, but just being at the clinic, talking the doctors makes me feel like all is still in hand. The meeting was incredibly emotional, as we had to discuss the fact that Mummy Linda is losing the fight against cancer fast and that this could have an impact on our treatment as Wag will need to be with his mum all the time. We don’t know how much longer she has to live, but she is a fighter, so we have to prepare for all eventualities. So, we have made the decision to freeze some of Wag’s sperm in case Linda dies on the same day that I need his sperm. This conversation was without doubt one of the hardest we have ever had. Wag is an incredible man.


October 22, 2009


Since my last diary entry darling mummy Linda died. Wag is struggling. Making babies couldn’t be further from his mind. It has dropped to the bottom of the importance pile. I have to allow him the space to grieve and hold back on the baby talk. It’s hard though.

I am so sick and tired of putting on a brave face. I’m so sick of people asking me, “so are you going to have a baby soon?”, My response is always through gritted teeth “maybe” I always respond, fighting back tears.

Wag’s cousin Louise asked me that very question at Linda’s funeral. Louise is brilliant and kind, a farmer’s wife. She meant no malice, but I was just so sick of the question. I decided to be brutally honest in my response, so I told her straight, “I can’t get pregnant and I have polycystic ovaries”. Without malice, she replied “oh that’s not a problem, we have plenty of cows with that syndrome and they still get pregnant”….I was left speechless. I had just been compared it to livestock.

FYI, this is what I am dealing with…Louise has four babies, Rachel my friend just had a baby, A couple of cameramen at work have just had babies, Sinead is one month away, Rogers wife Sandy is seven weeks away from twins, and Chris Banks just had a baby boy. Allen’s wife Jo gave birth yesterday, Emily is trying for her second child, and Katie announced over dinner last night “so, I don’;t know how to tell you this, but me and Colin are trying for a baby”…. she also told me that Debbie had counseled her on how to deliver the news to me when she finally does get pregnant.

I want to run as far away as possible. I don’t know how to deal with this. I’m heartbroken.


October 27, 2009

A small break from the dark clouds

I feel like the dark clouds are getting darker I called dad and he told me that myself and Wag need to breathe some fresh air. We took his advice and headed out through the park along the canal to Broadway market. The market is fabulous, full of fresh juices, great food, music and vintage clothes. We sat outside a fantastic coffee shop totally hidden away. We ate scrambled eggs and then headed off to Columbia Road flower market where I picked up a big bunch of tulips. We chatted for ages and simply hung out all day. It was like the old days, just us, not having an agenda. By bedtime the dark clouds had dispersed a little.


November 14, 2009

Maintaining balance

I had a 90 minute one-to- one yoga session on Broadway market today. It was fantastic. I am determined to get my mind and body in tiptop shape in time for my babies. I took a 40-minute walk back home, had a quick lunch, then walked back through the park to Bethnal Green where I caught the tube to the BBC. I am determined to maintain a healthy body and healthy mind. This time next year I will be a mummy!!


November 15, 2009

Dark clouds are back

Well I knew it was going to happen…. Katie is pregnant. Her incredible news hit me like a stab wound to my heart. I was on the train when I read the message and suddenly everything was a blur. I feel okay about it now, but I was raging with anger, jealousy and frustration. I came home desperately needing Wag to charge me with positive energy, to pick me up and tell me that everything would be okay, but he didn’t, he couldn’t, he is grieving terribly for his mum and says he is running on empty.

These are such dark times for us. He wanted me to go to Newbury with him this weekend as he wanted to go to his mum’s grave, I told him I couldn’t. I couldn’t support him. We need some separation to deal with our own sadness. I need picking up this weekend. I need to recharge and rebuild. I told him that in order to help one another we have to help ourselves first.

I have decided to stop putting up boundaries around me the minute someone tells me they are pregnant. I need to send signals to my body to understand that pregnancy is okay, instead of running for the hills. I need to see my friend Katie and give her a big cuddle.


November 17, 2009

Standing up to the pain

Seeing Katie was hard for the first 10 minutes. I know she felt guilty almost. I am honestly happy for her, but at the same time it has heightened my desperation to have my own babies. I promised Katie that I would be there for her all the way and I meant it. Spending the afternoon with her was the right thing to do. I adore her and I already adore her baby.


December 27, 2009

Goodbye 2009

Tomorrow me and Wag fly to New York. We will leave 2009 and all its misery behind and return in 2010 full of joy and happiness, ready for the fabulous new year.

We return on the fourth, and on the fifth I have a hospital appointment and a scan, in preparation for my second round of IVF. It’s going to work this time!!!…. I can feel it!

I must just tell you about the dream I had a month ago….I went to pick up my babies from nursery, but when I got there I didn’t know who they were. I kept picking up children, asking them if they were my babies. How meaningful is that?? I couldn’t see any faces. So sad. Goodbye 2009. Goodbye sadness.


January 5, 2010

A new start

2010, you are so welcome! Me and Wag had the most incredible time in New York. I’d like to say that I only drank water and ate kale, but I would be lying. We just had a bloody good time. We went to amazing restaurants, drank cocktails and laughed. It was so amazing to reconnect. The anticipation of a new year and a fresh start gave us an incredible energy.

I sprinted to the clinic this morning. I had a scan to start with, where the nurse told me that I had ‘beautiful polycystic ovaries’. I loved her for that. My doctor then explained that my drugs would be slightly different this time. I didn’t really take any of this in, I just wanted to get cracking….and I have! I have actually begun my treatment today!!!!!! This has given me joy beyond belief. It’s started…I will be a mummy soon, I can feel it.

I have to stay calm happy and relaxed. I need to forget work and focus on my body.

February 22, 2010

Work/IVF balance

I worked on the Brits last night. I love doing the Brits, well, I usually do. I get to meet incredible artists and watch incredible performances. The entire show is produced with epic levels of excellence, but for the first time, it meant nothing to me. I honestly didn’t care what A list artists I had on my running order. I just wanted to be with Wag. Trying to be upbeat was the hardest thing to do, so I swerved the wrap party and went straight home the second we came off air so that I could have my injections.

My God, I feel like a pincushion. I have been injecting since January 5th . Wag has been doing them for me as I just can’t do it any more!! This time I feel very emotional.

They have put me on a different kind of drug which they say is making me feel emotional, but I know that it is my fear and anxiety causing the tears. I try so desperately to think positive thoughts, to imagine holding my babies, however, at the same time I am mentally preparing myself for the worst.

Last time, when the doctor told me on the phone that it had not worked I was not ready, I was not prepared for failure. It hurt so much. How can I be positive all the time when I have such a fear of failure and being hurt again?

I went for a scan today I have 16 follicles on each ovary but none of them are of a substantial size at the moment The biggest is 15mm they have to be at least 18 the doctor says. Egg collection will be Monday. I am still on my baby embracing mission. Tomorrow we are going to a friend’s house to see their newborn baby. I plan to hold it the entire time!


February 21, 2010

I’ve messed up my trigger shot

Oh my God I am such an idiot…..!!! I write this now with tears brimming over my eyes. Last night I forgot to take the drug that triggers ovulation on the hour they instructed. Can you believe how stupid I was??? I can’t believe I did that. I was meant to take it at 10 PM but I didn’t remember until 12:30 AM. This has huge consequences. Each woman has a specific trigger time that correlates to surgery time.

I have now screwed things up for everyone. I am terrified. I call the emergency nurse at 8 AM this morning. She sounded pretty pissed off with me. She said I had caused problems for everyone. I was terrified enough before I screwed up, now I am even more terrified. The drugs I am on have simply turned my brain to mush. I even forgot where I parked the car the other day. I have needle fatigue, the injections hurt so much.

All I think about is getting pregnant. I think about all the hurdles I have to jump to get to my babies, so why did I have to raise the height of the hurdle myself??


February 22, 2010

Egg collection

Well my lovely Dr Jude took out 20 follicles. Last time they only took out eight. It is 1.15pm right now and I have just got back from the hospital. I still feel doped up on pethadine. It feels great!! Even though I messed up by taking my ovulation trigger late they managed to rearrange the surgery time for me. It really hurt this time and I couldn’t stop shaking. A fabulous nurse held my hand I didn’t bleed afterwards this time. She said the chances look good of getting pregnant. All the components are there. We have done everything we can, now my fate is in the hands of the embryologists. Please make this work! What on earth will my diary entry say tomorrow… I want it to start yes yes yes it worked!…… we shall see…


February 23, 2010


YES YES YES!!!!! I had nine eggs fertilized. I can’t believe it!. I am so so so so happy. I am in shock. That means there are nine Marshall-Pages in a dish down the road waiting for mummy to come and get them! I have to go back tomorrow to check that all is well in the ‘nursery’ and then if the doctors are satisfied they will put my ‘babies’ back inside me on Friday. I have cancelled all work as I want to be completely rested and stress free. I want my babies to be welcomed in to a calm environment, warm, comfortable, safe. Thank you guardian angels. I’m ready for stage two!


February 25, 2010

Top Quality

More exciting news..!! Four of my fertilised eggs are top quality. I was so worried because I thought that the huge amount of follicles meant that the quality would be compromised but I was wrong. This is fantastic news. All I have to do now is make sure the ‘room’ is ready. I have got to drink loads of fluids and then go pick up my babies on Saturday. Mummy is coming to get you!!


February 26, 2010

I am ready

Today is potentially the last day before I become pregnant. Wow! My little monkeys are waiting for me. I want them to know we are ready for them. When I look back, last year was so not the right time for us to welcome a child into our world. Now, here in the fabulous year 2010, year of the tiger, year of happiness, we are ready.

I have done everything I ever wanted. I have travelled the world, met amazing people, stood side of stage to see Stevie Wonder singing ‘isn’t she lovely’, met film stars, rock stars and got to see the most spectacular places. I have worked hard to get where I am in my career, but I have worked even harder to get to be a mummy. I am so close to seeing my babies. Angels make me a mummy please!!!


March 2nd, 2010

Transfer and the wait

The last stage of the treatment was one of the most amazing moments of my life. Me and Wag went into hospital for the transfer of our embryos. The doctor put two embryos back, with a warning that there is a high risk of twins. Wag stayed right beside me the whole time. The embryologist said that my embryos were of excellent quality. The nurse monitoring my womb said I had a perfect womb! The doctor who carried out the transfer said it went perfectly. The moment the embryos were put in, was so emotional. The nurse put the jelly on my tummy and proceeded with the scan and the image of my womb appeared on the screen. “I am putting your beautiful embryos back in now” said the doctor. it was like watching a shooting star. The image was quite grainy, like a picture of the solar system and my little not quite yet babies shone as bright as a star as they travelled into my womb. As they continued the final steps home we watched in astonishment, while listening to some calming music. It was utterly magical.

The doctor said my monkeys landed right where they needed to be. I do hope they feel welcome and comfortable. I need them to stay. The wait has begun. Two agonising weeks, waiting for confirmation that I am pregnant. I wish there were signs of pregnancy at this early stage. If in some old way my little monkeys can understand through the vibrations my pen makes as it writes then I hope that they can understand that there is an amazing amount of love waiting for them.

Mummy has waited so long and it is so ready for you. You have to stay. Please stay. I want you so badly. Please stay.


March 8

More pain

I never thought I would find myself in the situation. I write my diary from my hospital bed starving hungry and unbelievably uncomfortable. I have a severe case of hyperstimulation, which basically means that my body is filling up with fluid. I look six months pregnant and feel awful. My stomach is so stretched I barely recognise it. I can’t sleep lying down or on my side as a result I have had 3.5 hours sleep in two nights and I have chronic backache. This is the worst side-effect of the IVF treatment you can possibly get.

I started to feel really unwell on Saturday night. At 1am Wag took me to casualty as the pain was and still is so excruciating. I can’t walk, I can’t sit up on my own and I can barely get to the toilet on my own. The nights are the worst, because I know I have eight long and lonely hours of pain and insomnia. I think they are going to give me a sleeping pill tonight. If only I could curl up on my side in my favourite sleeping position it would be so much easier. I also have blocked ears, cystitis and a mental woman in the bed next to me who screams all the time.

Edy, one of my favourite nurses popped down to see me today. I think she likes me because I got her Ant and Dec tickets!! She said she thinks I am pregnant, as this usually happens when the embryo settles. This is what I need to focus on, the fact that my babies are settled and home. (PLEASE!!) I have to remember that at the end of the day, this nasty pain and discomfort will hopefully bring joy, not only for me and Wag, but for all our family.

The doctor says my protein levels are very low so I must eat as much meat and eggs as possible. I ordered an egg Mayo sandwich earlier.

I am so tired…


March 9

Pain like I have never experienced before

It is 7:50am. I have been sat up since 5am on the chair at the end of my bed because it it is the only place I feel comfortable. I had the most uncomfortable night sleep. I had chronic cystitis so felt like I needed to pee all night .The sleeping pills kicked in but the pain in my back and sides was so acute that it kept me awake. I must’ve been groaning in my sleep because every time I woke the nurse was next to me trying to comfort me.

I am now waiting anxiously for tea and toast at 8:30. The tea is grey and the toast is hard and cold but I’m looking forward to it. I guess it is a goalpost. I just hope they unplug me from this machine so I can get to the breakfast trolley quickly.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so awful of my entire life. My body is swelling to a point that I barely recognize. I have no dignity left. I look so rough but I just don’t care.

Doctor Jude, my amazing doctor who has been treating me for fertility came and spoke to me earlier and said tomorrow they will tap the fluid from my body. Tonight should be the peak of pain and insomnia and tomorrow I will start feeling better


March 10

So tired

Thank God tomorrow is here. No surprise that I did not sleep last night despite being given a sleeping pill. I did doze off for a short while but was woken up by myself shouting out in pain.

They will do the tap today which I know will help me. The thought of it terrifies me, but they will drain the pain away. It is not a pleasant experience apparently.

I’m still at bursting point. I feel quite settled at the moment because I had a massage earlier. The doctors have said that my blood results suggest I am improving. I have to say it does not feel like it. I just need to know that my monkeys are safe in there.


March 11

A living nightmare

As I write to you this morning I am sat leaning on my freshly made hospital bed. I managed to sleep last night but woke up every hour due to back pain so I’m still very tired. I am drinking one of the sickly protein drinks that they make me drink three times a day. I feel so large, the fluid seems to be heading south to my legs. My stomach is even more swollen today.

The crazy girl opposite me is shouting ‘they are trying to kill me’ My legs are swelling beyond recognition. I am in a nightmare. How did this get so bad?


March 12

The pregnancy test

Today is a big day, I’m having a pregnancy test…. I burst into tears when the doctors told me. I am so scared of failure. I am so scared that the result will be negative. I will not be able to live if the result is negative. The emotional pain is immense, but now that I am in in physical pain too, I will not survive. I know I won’t. I can’t. I feel sick to my stomach with anxiety. This is the hardest moment of my life. I am desperate.

Utterly utterly desperate.

Please angels, please please make the doctor give me the news I so need.


March 13




Today is the most wonderful day of my life, for this morning I found out that I am going to be a mummy!!!!!!!!!!

The news hasn’t really sunk in for me. I don’t think the fact that there is a baby growing inside of me has hit me properly. When Dr Jude told me this morning, I went into complete shock and demanded to see the piece of paper with my name and my blood results. I don’t know at this stage if I am pregnant with twins…we shall find out in the scan, but I am pregnant. I will be a mummy. I am sobbing as I write this.

I want my babies, or baby, to stay, to be happy, to know that it will be loved, cherished, supported, encouraged and kept safe from harm for all of its life. I would like to say



I want to dance around and jump for joy!!!!





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