Back on the bandwagon

After a long (long, long) time off from dieting and watching what I eat I am getting back on it from Monday. As I have PCOS, I’m trying to eat well to attempt to naturally improve my symptoms. I have read a lot about a low GI diet being good for this, so I picked up a book second hand on Amazon which I am spending my Saturday night reading. My life is far too exciting, I can tell you’re all jealous of my wild weekend!! I’ve also dusted off my old slimming world book. It’s a little out of date now but the basics remain.

So far, the two seem to conflict quite heavily, so I may just give the low GI a go first. Slimming world advocates potatoes and pasta etc, whereas the low GI plan is about limiting these foods and looking for healthier alternatives. It’s interesting that there is such a difference in the approaches actually.

It’s hard trying to eat well, as both C and H are terribly fussy and don’t like to be deprived of their junk food. Neither do I, actually!! Having said that, whilst H is like a rake she does eat quite badly, sneaking crisps and chocolate when I’m not looking and C isn’t much better. He’s actually probably worse to be fair…haha. Both of us could use a little weight off and a better diet so I think now is a great time to start. I will be coming up with a meal plan this weekend, I’m excited! I need some vegetables in my life. I’ll update with a few recipes later this week.

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Fertility Supplements ahoy

I actually cannot believe it has been nearly 3 months since my last post. Where the heck did that go?! So. I’m starting to think about supplements and things in the run up to it now as you need to take things for a few months to allow them to get into your system properly before you start. With MFI and PCOS, we need to make sure everything is tip top with us both. Pcos can result in poor quality eggs and as we don’t know the cause of C’s low sperm count, we don’t know if they might be poor quality too, (little miss ray of sunshine over here assumes they’re not great, but we don’t actually know…). Anyway, we want to boost everything up really. We are taking the following daily:

1000mg vitamin C – some studies have shown this to improve sperm count and motility. For women, some studies show that it can increase progesterone. My understanding is that oestrogen dominance is part of pcos, so I guess that may help to balance the hormones?! If not, hopefully I won’t get a cold anytime soon 😁

Omega 3 Supplements – omega 3 improves sperm motility and morphology. Whilst we are using ICSI, motility isn’t really an issue as they inject the sperm directly into the egg, however morphology will still come into play (as far as I know?!)

Vitamin D – some studies show that sufficient vitamin d levels can improve sperm count in men and improve pcos symptoms in women. As vitamin D is made mainly by exposure to sunlight, we are all sadly lacking it in Britain (although perhaps not so much after the amazing summer we have just had)

Wellman and Wellwoman conception – bog standard conception multivitamin, containing differing levels of essential vitamins to promote a healthy fertile body leading up to conception.

I actually need to buy some more Wellwoman so haven’t included them in the photo. I got all the vitamins at good old Tesco, as I didn’t want expensive vitamins you can only buy online. I admit that this did influence what I bought!

If you’re looking into supplements for fertility I would encourage you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions. There’s a dizzying amount of info out there on fertility supplements and even the ones I am using have some contradictory advice online. It can be a bit of a minefield!

The results are in!

And in an entirely not shocking revelation, the pregnancy test was negative. 20180626_080017.jpg

I expected nothing different, although part of me couldn’t help imagining how amazing it would be to be one of the lucky ones who get a natural bfp miracle.

It’s not all bad news though. Not being pregnant meant I was able to join my friends on a girly weekend away which was absolutely exactly what I needed. So much fun, so much laughter. It was amazing to be out in the sun, having fun and no responsibilities or thinking about all the rubbish stuff. I feel like I have a whole new outlook on everything. I also have officially, finally!, been able to start saving for the big guns. ICSI we are coming for ya…just not quite yet haha.

Literally every time before this that I have almost got to the point of clearing debts and saving, my car has broken, or we needed a new fridge, or any other number of things that have put us back and put us back. But this time, fingers crossed, we are finally on track. Hopefully in 6 months we can do this. In fact, even if the saving still goes tits up, I’m just going to do it. We have waited enough now!

Onwards and upwards for us.

No news is no news

So as far as my update goes….I talked myself out of ordering any tests in the end. I still haven’t seen my old pal AF and my ‘symptoms’ have been on and off. I know I’m not, but a part of me keeps wondering, so I have caved and bought some tests online. I won’t buy from a shop because they’re too expensive when I know deep down it’s a waste of money! So I have to wait for my Amazon cheapies to arrive. I’m away with my friends for the weekend, the tests are due to arrive while I’m gone. Part of me feels bad going out drinking all weekend which is crazy because I really do know I’m not up-duffed, yet I just can’t shake the feeling. I do keep feeling sick, but more often than that I am starving and when I was pg with my daughter I just felt sick, all day everyday, from before I was even due on. So, I know that fleeting nausea isn’t really indicative of anything but I haven’t depressed myself with a  glaring negative for well over a year so eff it, why not hey! I’ll get it out of my system at least won’t I.

In other news, I’m so totally ready for a weekend away. Nowhere glamorous, but a couple of days at the good old British seaside with friends and alcohol is so very much needed. I can’t wait!! And I will definitely share my no news when the test arrives. Even now I cant help thinking “May be, just maybe” and I hate myself for it, because I know I’ll just be disappointed. But what is life without hope, I guess?!

I don’t have anything else to report, so I’m signing off now!

Today I have mostly been…losing the plot.

One of my very best friends messaged me earlier to tell me she’s 3 months pregnant. I knew she would be ttc soon, so I’m not hugely surprised, but I actually cried when she told me. That’s a new one on me. Actual tears! Not sure I like it as a development.

So I cried some more then met up with some other friends who made me feel a bit better. I came home, logged on to fb and saw that an old school friend had just had a baby. She hadn’t even announced she was pregnant so it was a shock and made me cry again. We aren’t even close, I just think it was the baby bombshell this morning followed by that in the afternoon that was too much for my poor infertile brain to take.

So, there was I, feeling miserable and down but I dragged myself to a presentation thing for H’s gymnastics. It was sitting there that I realised I felt really sick. Again. I had started feeling really sick on Wednesday and assumed it was one of those things. Felt much better in the afternoon and went out for a meal in the evening. This meal was really spicy and I’m a wimp so I couldn’t eat it and then I felt quite ill on Thursday too. I put this down to the meal on Wed night. Friday I was still feeling a bit iffy, but put it down to a rollover from Wednesday still. Now today is Saturday and I have been feeling a bit ill today too. I’m alternating between being really hungry or feeling quite sick. Tonight though I suddenly thought “What if I’m actually pregnant?” The chances are basically zero and I don’t even really feel like I did when pg with H but something in my head is almost convinced. I don’t actually have any tests here (because I haven’t needed one to check for a non existent pregnancy in forever) but I have given in and ordered the cheapest ones I can find off Amazon… I’m not paying for expensive ones when I can guess the result. I feel stupid for even thinking it, but I know I won’t rest until I do a test. I’m a bit angry with myself for letting myself even think it, but I do know what I am like and I know I won’t be happy until I see a snowy white bfn staring at me, at which point I will wonder why I bothered. Such is life.

Maybe I’m actually getting a period? I do feel quite crampy. I had some really painful twinges earlier this week where I told C I might even get them checked out in case they’re massive cysts to do with PCOS. Not that I’m a drama queen or anything *whistles*. But, I have been feeling funny for a few days and I can’t tell if my period is late cos I haven’t had one for 3 months. I’m sure I am really having some kind of reaction to all the baby news I have had lately and my body is subconciously like “Hey! Maybe even you’re pregnant!” Here is a list of symptoms I have had and am reading far too much into:

*Tiredness – always tired though,So not a big one.

*Swinging between nausea and hunger – weird for me to feel sick to this extent but could be a bug

*Emotional – extra tearful and snappy. Could be pmt?

*pains and cramps – see above

*Hot flashes – this one is a bit of a weird one. I don’t have an explanation for it.

*dizziness – could be bug related? Maybe ties in with nausea.

I will be sure to report back when at arrives/I have had a massive bfn. It’s going to be a big bump down to earth I think!

I Quit

Diet coke, that is. I would say this isn’t strictly fertility related, but maybe it is.

I hold my hands up and admit that I have the worst diet coke habit. Some people will be like “me too! I have THREE a day sometimes.” I’m not saying that’s a healthy amount to be drinking, but damn, I’ll have 3 before lunch most days. I am literally addicted. In the same way that back in the day I would feel panicky if I was running out of cigarettes, or I knew I was going somewhere where I couldn’t smoke for a few hours, I now have that feeling about diet coke (I kicked the fags 5 years ago). I honestly found quitting smoking prettt easy, comparatively speaking, but diet coke? It. Is. Tough! I hate the taste of almost every other drink under the sun, so even switching it out for something else is easier said than done. I have improved as I do now try and have at least some water every day, although I don’t always manage it, but I still think 75-85% of my fluid intake is diet coke. This is not good for me. I have heard about caffeine affecting fertility, although honestly coffee and tea have more caffeine in. All those other chemicals can’t be good though, right? I really hope quitting will bring some relief to my pcos symptoms. I’ve been having stabby ovary pain all day today and yesterday so feeling quite sorry for myself. I just want to be normal, whatever that is. I also haven’t had a period since the beginning of March, so 3 months now. I was having them reasonably regularly from last summer up to March so I’m sad about this. I know naturally there’s no real hope of conceiving but I do want to be in the best possible health for ivf, and in the lead up to it too. I’ve heard a lot about making changes at least 3 months before it starts. We still have about 9 to go, but I don’t want to keep telling myself we have ages and then bang, after all the waiting and saving the time is finally here and I haven’t done anything to get myself in a good place for it.

On top of everything else, I have really slipped on the weight loss too and am feeling like a very unsexy, unfeminine, bloated mess at the moment! In light of this, I quit. Diet coke has got to go. I feel a bit nervous just typing that. Of all the cool things I could be addicted to*, I had to end up with diet coke! For goodness sake, I’m in my 30’s over here! Women in their 30’s should be elegant, chic and cool right? I have hopes that one day this will be me, but for now wish me luck, and I will report back on my quitter’  life.

 

*disclaimer: I don’t think addiction to anything is cool…but diet coke is especially lame.

My Guide to Surviving Infertility

Hello!! I have been thinking about this post for a while. Not sure really how many people even read the blog, but if it even gets to one person who finds it helpful (ish) then I would be happy.

If there is one thing I am being forced to be good at, or if not good at, endure, it’s waiting. So. Much. Waiting. Literally years of it! From April 2015 when we so naively set off on this journey, to possibly April 2019 when we will finally start IVF, we have waited. Not at all patiently on my part, either. And it is hard. Everyone else is popping out babies left, right and centre. Even the many women I have virtually befriended on the infertility forums online have, for the most part, moved on and had babies via one method or another. It can leave a girl feeling lonely and isolated and, honestly, quite depressed. And so I present my guide to Surviving Infertility. With capitals.

1. Talk to each other and other people 

This is a big one. It is a very tough journey and it can test even the strongest of relationships. And, as I noted above, it can feel very isolating. Friends tell you they’re thinking of trying to conceive and 2 months later they have a positive test to show you. The girl you work with tells you she’s pregnant and they weren’t even trying. Your facebook feed is full of pregnancy announcements, scan pics and babies.

It is so important to tell your partner how you feel. Tell them you’re having a bad day. Don’t expect them to just know this (they won’t, and you’ll get frustrated). Talk about what you are worried about. Find internet forums for women in your position and talk to them, too. It all helps.

2. Don’t be afraid to take a step away

So I realise this seems almost a complete contradiction to the previous point on the face of it, but it isn’t really. Sharing and connecting with others is great, but when times are hard and you are going through a rough patch, don’t be afraid to disconnect. Hide people on your fb feed, even if it’s just temporarily. Step away from the forums for a few days/weeks/months even. It’s ok to feel a bit crap about things and to remove yourself from the situation. Just take care to not become bitter about other people’s success.

3. Step away from Google!

Lord knows I am the worst for googling. I have been known as the Google queen at my past 3 jobs, for good reason. I will google the crap out of everything. But while some knowledge is power, it’s easy to get caught up in statistics and “cures” for whatever your personal cause of infertlity is. There’s nothing wrong with being armed with information, or trying alternative methods, but it’s all too easy to end up googling at 3am when you have to get up for work at 7 (definitely never something I have been guilty of…..ahem. I’ve had to self impose google bans on myself on more than one occasion because I’m driving myself crazy).

4. Distract yourself 

When you are waiting months upon months for anything to happen in your infertility journey, it’s easy to be consumed by it all. Everyone else is further along than you are. Everyone else has had successful treatment. Everyone else is on their next Step, while you’re still firmly in limboland with absolutely nothing on the horizon for the foreseeable future. Find something to distract yourself. A new hobby, reading, exercise, anything. I have a habit of spending hours searching forums for success stories or to see what people are doing who are going through it now. For me at least, this can make things worse. So I had to find something to distract myself. I take lots of walks with the dog and when I am in a slouchy internet mood, I go on reddit and find all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff to distract myself with. Whatever it is you decide to do, it will be a healthy way to think of something else while you wait.

5. Have fun!

Lastly, but most importantly, have fun. Infertility sucks. It’s draining. Its emotional. Its hard. Its expensive. It tests your limits. But, especially when you have a long wait ahead of you, it’s so important to make time for fun things. Holidays, days out, time with friends and family…whatever you enjoy. Don’t forget to be you still.

So there you have it. I’m not an expert and these may not work for everyone, but these are my top 5 tips for surviving infertility. It ain’t easy, I have found this whole thing so incredibly difficult for so many reasons, but these are what have stopped me from going insane. If anyone has any more ideas, I would love to hear them!

The things I can change

Spring is here at last. Although it is raining and dull outside  (good old British bank holiday weather), it’s my favourite time of year. But, it makes me think of babies. Maybe it’s all the baby animals being born? Maybe it’s because I think about them most of the time, spring or not?! Well, I work loosely with animals and see a lot of notes at work about babies being born so it is even more on my mind at the moment. We are still on track to start IVF at the end of the year/beginning of 2019. Which is good!!! As usual, I am not good at waiting. Damn my impatient nature. I can feel the obsession beginning to creep in again and I’m trying hard to keep it at bay. I do NOT want to go back there.

I am drawing on something I read about recently to help me. It basically centres on focussing your efforts and energies on what you can control and trying to forget the rest. It’s called the circle of concern and circle of control. I read about it in training related to a course at work, I wish I could remember the guy’s name who wrote about it! Anyway. In a nutshell, for this situation, you ask yourself “what’s the problem here?” Obviously it’s the lack of babies and financial implications of IVF. So, then you break it down. Can I do anything about this? Can I change the cost? Not really. I could find a cheaper clinic but I think the multi cycle package we are looking at is good value, plus the clinic is our closest alongside being one of, if not the, most successful in the area. So no, I can’t change that. So it gets parked in the circle of concern. It’s bothersome, but there is nothing I can do about it so we need to take the focus off of it.

Lack of babies….I can’t do much about the fact we can’t have them, but I can save for IVF and I can take good care of myself in the run up. So, I can move at least some elements of that into my circle of control, which is something I can affect. It is helping me feel a bit more in control of a situation that is out of my control on the whole. It makes me feel more at peace with it. I’m so glad we are finally making moves towards the goal! It’s been almost 3 years to the day since we started TTC and we haven’t made any real progress towards actually having a baby or getting treatment. I am so excited to finally be getting somewhere even if we are still a long way off.

Oh, as an EXCITING aside, we recently went to Disneyland AND got engaged just afterward. It’s been so nice to have something different to focus on!! I can spend my time Pinteresting wedding ideas instead of researching ivf success rates 😁 something else to think about is helping too. I’m dreaming that one day we can get married with H and our future child in attendance. Nothing wrong with having dreams!

Well needed break

Well. It has been quite a while since I last posted. I was finding myself going more than a little crazy over the whole IVF thing and making myself anxious so I had a little break and it has helped. I am still a little crazy over the whole IVF thing, but no longer in the anxious, lay awake half the night, panic about time off from work/finances/what if it still doesn’t work dramas.

So…since last time I have had another natural period! Hooray! Only one, but I feel like my body is gearing up for another. After the best part of 2 years with none at all, I am so pleased that I do at least have a cycle now even if it is still very far from regular. Since we know natural conception is highly unlikely, my cycle returning is more of a relief to know my body is actually functioning a little better rather than yay! We don’t need any assisted reproductive help any more. Still, I am very pleased about it.

Secondly, I am finally (!) getting my butt in gear to lose weight. I wanted to lose 20 and I’m 8lbs down now, so almost halfway there. This is good. I am also only about 1.5lbs off being the lightest I have been since this time 3 years ago, so I am really pleased with that, too.

Thirdly, we have our distraction holiday to Disneyland Paris coming up very soon – less than 4 weeks to go in fact! We are so excited (except from H as she doesn’t know yet!), just praying we avoid too much rain and ideally, avoiding snow altogether.

Spring is also just around the corner which never fails to cheer me up. It’s my favourite season. The days are already beginning to get longer, not much improvement in the weather yet but I suppose we can’t have everything can we!? I can’t wait.

Finally, we are very hopeful that we actually will get around to IVF at the end of this year. Debts will have been paid, saving will be commenced in earnest and with some help from both the bank and the bank of mum and dad 2018 will finally be the year! I’m so excited for 2018!!!!!

Am I fixed??

So today marks natural period 2 (or possibly 3) in a row. That’s one every month (ish) since june/July. Considering I had none for over 2 years this is exciting news. Is my broken body fixed? I haven’t done anything differently. I have actually put weight on again this month because I am a 🐷🐷🐷. But my last few cycles have been roughly what they were before my body gave up so has something switched inside that’s reversed it all?! Am I just on a lucky streak? I can’t believe that after all this time everything could just go back to normal. It’s so strange. I’m not sure what it is but I’m going to feed my cramping, emotional body with junk food and trash tv 😁😁😁