For various reasons, I don't really post on the baby-making forums I used to go on any more, but I do have a couple of friends that I met on one of the forums who live fairly locally.
One of them started this whole process a good while before I did. She had an exceptionally hard time last year, and two failed ICSIs and one failed FET were the icing on the cake to everything else that went wrong. She's a lovely, caring, positive person, but really struggled after her last BFN - and I must admit that at the time, I couldn't really understand why she was soooo upset. I didn't really see how a BFN following ICSI was so much worse than a BFN following 16 or 18 months of trying naturally.
Then we had our first ICSI, and knowing everything that I had gone through - the invasive procedures, the injections, spreading my legs for half of south-east England, the mood swings, the hopes and fears - I began to understand.
I understood how the emotions are heightened by the extra hormones that are raging through your body, how your hopes get built up at every stage of the process, and how crushing it is when you realise that you're not one of the lucky ones.
I understood how it feels to know that you had every chance, that there were real living embryos inside you at one stage, and that those embryos are gone. It wasn't just the potentiality of egg possibly meeting sperm. Those eggs and sperm had met, shaken hands, had a party and created a little new life, and however hard you tried to be pragmatic, you had started to build dreams around that little life.
But I still didn't really understand the devastation of a second failure. Because you go into the first treatment knowing that you have to be very lucky to succeed first time, and that the first time should almost be viewed as a trial run which allows the doctor to see how your body reacts and how the treatment should be tweaked for the second, successful attempt.
And as soon as Mr No Nonsense said that he wasn't going to change a thing about my dosage or any other aspect of my treatment second time round, I already had a little feeling that it was doomed. Why do exactly the same thing again when the first time round it had led to failure?
I cried during my second embryo transfer, I despaired in the first half of my two week wait, then I dared to let myself hope. And the second negative, much more than the first, made me face up to the reality that it was more likely than not that I would never be a mother.
And then I understood the devastation that my friend had been expressing six months earlier, because I was on the same page at last.
But last month, my friend had her third fresh cycle, again with Mr No Nonsense. And he had agreed to change the protocol completely - her second cycle had been identical to her first, but this time she switched from the long to the short protocol, switched stimming drugs and changed her dosage. She felt hopeful again, because she wasn't going through the motions of something she knew had failed twice before, but was trying something new which might just work.
Two weeks ago, she got the three best-looking embryos she has had. Two were transferred, and the other was frozen.
And yesterday afternoon she texted me to say she had tested and got a BFP! I can't tell you how thrilled I am - for her, because she's gone through so much and will make a wonderful mother, but also for me.
Because if she can be successful on her third attempt, maybe I can too.