“I’m pretty sure I’m not pregnant”
The earliest and more importantly more accurate test for pregnancy is, and excuse the technical term, the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin better known as hCG (as if that helps) blood test. This can detect increases in hCG levels as early as 11 days after conception. As I wasn’t present at the conception we followed the doctors dates and got the test done privately. Apparently the levels of hCG double every 72 hours when a woman is pregnant so we had to go back 3 days later to confirm (or not) the fairly positive first test results. Being a typical female my wife was obviously excited, nervous and impatient and insisted on getting some home pregnancy test products, these can give false hope we discovered as one was inconclusive but showed a slightly higher chance of a positive result. This would have been fine but as it was my urine I was pretty sure I was not pregnant!
The second blood test showed that hCG levels had increased dramatically and although it was early days, the one egg that was viable and the one strong swimmer I supplied had done its job, it was confirmed, via Turkey, that my wife was pregnant.
Now the hard part began, not for me I should point out, but to give the embryo every chance of growing, a twice daily, self administered, injection of progesterone into the tummy area is required. My wife had been doing this ever since the “transfer” and its to help the womans body to do what it would normally do if the pregnancy had occurred normally. Now IVF isn’t normal so the injections are very important to prepare the womb for the little life to live and grow in over the coming weeks. (Here endeth the lesson)
Excited….apprehensive….worried…scared….in fact just like watching Chelsea play every day. The next step would be the early scan after about 8 weeks to check for a heart beat but before then both our heart rates increased dramatically as we received some news from the clinic in Turkey.
As mentioned in a previous blog, we were given a months supply of the progesterone injections by the Turkish clinic, but it was recommended by the doctor that these would be needed the first 8-10 weeks. The remainder of the syringes were to be sent to us direct from Turkey. Now this was the problem, either Turkish customs would not allow this or UK customs wouldn’t, it didn’t really matter who was to blame what mattered was we had a weeks supply left and needed to source these urgently. Its not something you can get on ebay (although plenty of creams) but after a quick search on line I discovered you can get them in UK…..as long as you have a prescription and at about £6 per jab (twice a day) it was double the expected cost from Turkey. So we made an urgent appointment with our GP to try to get a prescription sorted. We explained the problem and without hesitation he filled in the form and said that the NHS can pay for that now as you are pregnant after all (I even detected a slight wink) and he included the patches that were also required.
Problem solved and I’m sure my credit cards breathed a sigh of relief also.
The days over the next few weeks were pretty much the same apart from my wifes tummy looking like I’d been using her as a punch bag and having more needles and syringes than an addict in the home. We had the early scan and yes there was a heart beat, its really amazing to hear the sound of a new life that I, literally, had a hand in making.
It would be another month before the decision to know the gender of the baby, I wasn’t bothered but the wife wanted to know and said she wouldn’t tell me if I didn’t want to know but that would never have worked as she is an addicted ebay buyer and wouldn’t be able to resist buying pink or blue items before the birth.
The day for the scan came and after a couple of attempts, we had to go for a jog to wake the little one up to help move a little, we were told it was a boy. We had discussed names before and if it was to be a girl she would have been Lily Sou (pronounced Sue and means water in Turkish, so water lily) but if a boy and as due date was early in May then straight away I said Jon.
My brother John was taken from us at the much too young an age of 56 a few years before and his birthday was 3rd May and in his memory I wanted to call our son after him (but without the ‘h’) and my wife agreed.
Now throughout all this IVF process we hadn’t told anyone on my side of the family or friends, as we didn’t want to have people asking how things were going in case the things weren’t going. The time was right now though to let my son and daughter (from previous marriage and 22 & 20) that they were to have a baby brother. I wasn’t sure how they would react to this bombshell so we invited them both over for a meal and I just dropped it in between mouthfuls of the roast beef. “Open mouthed” and “gobsmacked” and “stunned silence” all followed before my daughter broke the silence “Ooooh that’s great news and I’ll babysit for you…£15 per hour!” They were both very pleased with the news and my son said he’d babysit for less!
We rang my brothers wife to tell her our news and decision to name him in memory of John, that was an emotional phone call…..the rest of the family were duly informed but we didn’t want it circulated on social media just in case, and there were a few more worrying moments to come.
Next week: The arrival and after birth.
With apologies to my email subscribers the following image was not on the blog last week as I couldn’t actually find it……but I have now and for those who don’t subscribe its a shot I took for Crawley newspaper back when the world was in black & white, during a heatwave (and I paid for the ice cream)