What a week

This has been one heck of a week. It started on Monday, when I went to the doctors and was prescribed antidepressants. Took one, but the clinic told me they weren’t ideal to take during treatment, so I could either have the dr prescribe something different or try their counselling service. I opted for the counselling, and had a session on Wednesday. I really…it seems wrong to use this word, but I did enjoy it in a way. Inasmuch as it really helped me and was so good to see someone who wasn’t trying to push positivity on me or tell me everything would be fine, but who was instead just helping me sort through my own feelings. We touched on how I feel about myself, and how I feel about my relationship and how I feel about secondary infertility. It was just really good, it helped me a lot.

Then on Thursday, we found out that we do not qualify to have refund cycles using Access fertility. This was a huge blow, as we relied on that as our cushion…like, ok we are spending thousands but if it doesn’t work we get half the money back which meant we could either pay off a lot of the debt or gk on holiday or something. Now we can’t do that. I also feel like they’re basically saying they think it won’t work for us so they’re not willing to offer a refund element as it’s a bad bet for them. I’ve found that pretty hard to be honest. I have been trying hard to be positive and feel like that’s just telling me we are wasting our time. Regardless, we are going ahead anyway. I guess it doesn’t mean anything really. It either works or it doesn’t at the end of the day!

Urgh. Anyway. We have now paid up, booked our final viral blood tests, C’s backup sperm freeze and our injection teach training session. It’s finally coming round!!

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The day I admitted it’s hard

8.30am – I’m typing this as I get ready to leave for a doctors appointment. I’m finally admitting to myself, after all this time, that I am not okay. I haven’t been for a very long time, but I tell myself I’m good. I’m strong. Everyone goes through bad times. But I’m tired. I’m fed up of being sad, with no motivation or energy.never wanting to do anything. Having terrible sleeping patterns. Feeling anxious, angry and irritable. I think that I have anxiety and depression. I’ll update with what the doctor says when I’m back. Part of me feels like a fraud though. Do I really feel bad enough to see a doctor? What if they think I’m making it up? I’m not crying all day, or suicidal, so surely I’m ok? Only….I don’t feel ok. I’m going to finish getting ready now and come back later

10am – back now. Feeling confused and crap though tbh. First off, I’m taking a few days off work and I feel guilty and useless, and dreading having to explain it when I’m back at work. I don’t like telling people things about my private life, ironically enough since I have a blog that is very open. Anonymous, though! Second, the dr told me I should probably stop taking the medication once we start ivf. Well. Im hoping to start very soon so is it worth taking? What if I take it then stop and it still causes problems with the pregnancy? I’m not sure how to deal with this.

On the plus side, he did explain that all the weird stuff I do (not being able to sleep when H is away with her dad, worrying something is going to happen to us all when we go away etc etc) is all related to depression and anxiety. Which is what I have, exactly as I thought. I also should contact the clinic, but I’m scared to in case they say I can’t carry on with treatment. This is rough 😞

The results are back!

Eeeeeek!!! Finally. The final results we needed are back with us!!!

I’ve sent them over to the clinic and contacted Access Fertility to ask what we do next. And then I guess they will send us what we are eligible for and we are ready to go. Eek. And also argh! And also yay! Jeez. Im so excited and also nervous and also just all over the place. Of course it would be bank holiday so we won’t hear back for a few days, typical.

So next step should be enrol on the access programme and C needs to go and get a sperm sample frozen as a back up and we both need blood tests to make sure we haven’t got HIV or hepatitis. Then it’s injection training and then we start.

Can’t wait to hear when we can get going, hoping it won’t be too long

Today I am not ok

Honestly. I’m feeling so bad today. I’m angry and fed up and sad and all kinds of feelings balled up together. I don’t even 100% know why, I think I have just had enough of most parts of life at the moment (not in a suicidal way, just fed up)

Work sucks. I had a terrrible day at work, compounded only by a very baby filled day. And actually, I wasn’t upset about the baby stuff. I was genuinely happy for the 2 mums and cooing over the babies in a genuine way, they were adorable. I just felt a bit sad afterwards, but nothing major. I just think the fact I’m at the end of my tether with a lot of work stuff and then that was added into the mix = a bad, bad day.

Also we are heading into starting ivf soon and myself and C just aren’t getting on much. I don’t like to write about it much, even though it’s not like many people read this, but infertility only ever seems to being other people together. Also, everyone must think I am crazy – why would I be thinking of having a baby with someone when we’re not even getting on that well? We all know about band aid babies. They don’t fix things…except, what if one of the reasons you’re so broken is that you can’t have a baby? How does band aid baby fit then?

I feel like im losing myself completely. I’m not fun anymore. I don’t smile for real anymore. Im so stressed and fed up that it spills into every area of my life and im so sick of feeling this way. I called C when I was on my way home to talk about my shit day at work. He let me spill it all out and then said “I’ve got to go” no kind words or support. He was at work but I just think, surely you could have taken 5 minutes, walked away from everyone and just said something nice, right?! Maybe I’m being over sensitive cos ive had a bad day.

I also find that I just dont feel for him the way I used to. We have times where we are the old us, and laugh and joke and feel close to each other, but mostly we barely even talk these days and when we do we argue. We are so close to starting ivf, yet I feel like its just the entirely wrong time for us, while at the same time feeling like we need to do it because I do believe it will bring us closer together again. I feel like this has pushed and tested this relationship very, very close to its breaking point. I don’t want to go ahead with treatment if I dont think we will stay together, and I think going ahead is the best chance we have of staying together. It’s a very, very odd situation.

Im also finding H is hard work. She is so needy and demanding and I think, I’m obviously shit at parenting. Why do I think id be any good with 2 when I am shit with 1? This is hard. Ive babied her so much and im paying the price now, and I worry if I did have another baby she would feel so pushed out cos id have to give the baby so much attention. At the same time, she would make such an amazing aister too because shes honestly so kind and caring.

And finally, im so fed up with myself. I put weight on and am shit at dieting. I hate how I look but im too rubbish to lose any weight. I always end up eating cakes, crisps or chocolate. Or all 3. Im just fed up with my home life, my work life and myself right now. I just want to spend a week hiding by myself, getting my head together without all the constant demands on my time. Being an adult is too much sometimes.

I’m hoping by the time I update next, it will be a much more positive update! This is really not a fun day

Late as always…diet edition

Anyone who knows me knows that punctuality is not my strong point. I don’t deliberately set out to be late, but I just seem to have no inbuilt timer to think “probably should make a move now if you don’t want to be late”, plus despite best efforts I always forget something until just before we leave. Or, which happens more and more often these days, I leave H to get herself ready while I get ready and come downstairs and she is still in her pjs, breakfast only half eaten. So, my point is I always leave everything late/to the last minute.

Case in point, about 6 months ago I decided I was going to diet. And I did, dabbling with Slimming World, Weight Watchers, standard calorie counting, low carb….the list goes on. I was always hungry though and this made it hard to stick to. At our clinic appointment, the consultant we saw again recommended low carb for pcos, and this time with my googling I came across low carb, high fat. I started looking into it and when you’re used to slimming world and the like and the first thing you seeis things like “use more olive oil! Add butter to things! Avoid 0% fat”you do sot back and think there is no way this will work! But I am giving it another go. I’m still dubious, although I did try it for a week before I went on holiday last month and lost weight so there may be something to it. The key is, healthy fats and low carb. It won’t work if you don’t go low on the carbs. I’m definitely still working on my menu plans – sometimes I don’t do too well om the ratios of fat to carbs but generally, they’re all good! It’s a tasty way of eating, and I feel far fuller on the same amount of calories than eating more carbs. I don’t know if it will make a huge amount of difference to my health or weight in the few weeks we have until we start, but I’m giving it a go anyway!

Speaking of my health, im actually wondering what to do when we are done with all this ivf, one way or another. My dr always said the pill is how they generally treat pcos, and whilst i dont love the pill I would love to mask the crappiness that is the symptoms, so I might look into it. Hopefully thats a very long way away though. I’m also kind of hoping that all the drugs and/or pregnancy might reset my system somehow. I’m looking forward to finding out, to be honest

Stalemate and losing “me”

Time is still whizzing on by. I’ll never understand how days drag but months fly?!?!

We are now in the position that we have our loan safely in the bank ready for when we get started, but as usual things are never that simple! We have been chasing around the results for c’s karyotyping blood test since our appointment with the clinic at the end of March. I was hoping after that appointment that we would be able to get started in April, but it’s now the 21st (Happy Easter!) and it will definitely by May now. We have chased everyone we can think of, and contacted the nhs PALS service for our hospital in order to obtain these results. They’ve suggested C submits a patient medical record access request, which we posted yesterday. It’s bank holiday weekend though, so the hospital won’t get it until Wednesday at the earliest and then they have 30 days to respond. Theoretically then, we may not get a response until late May and then won’t get started until June! I’m so used to waiting and setbacks that although it’s really frustrating it almost doesn’t even register as a problem. I cannot imagine us ever being lucky enough for this to work out for us and actually getting a real live baby at the end of it, but at the same time I can’t imagine it not working either. It’s a really strange feelung and hard to explain, but I swing between feeling certain that we will have a baby and certain we won’t.

I actually had a bit of a meltdown last night (making it infertility induced breakdown number 5,557 through the past few years!!! I swear this shizz is driving me crazy). I feel like this has been such a heavy burden to live with for the past few years, and I’ve been so sad for so long, I feel like I may never be “me” again. I feel like even if we do get pregnant and have a baby…will it be like waving a magic wand? Will all the hurt melt away just like the click of my fingers? Or will it be hard, will I always have lost a part of myself? It’s something I’m worried about. I feel like I’ve spent so many years thinking “when we have a baby it will all be ok”, but what if it’s not? I don’t know what to feel or think about that. I think for now,I just have to keep on with the journey and trust everything will all work itself out one way or another.

Once I have more news I will update again

Update

Can’t believe it’s been almost 2 months since I last updated. That really did fly!!! I’m going to try and update as much as I can remember, in case it helps anyone who ever reads this and also for my own records!

So, last time I blogged we had booked our first consultation. I had my AMH tested for the first time ever and it came back at a mind boggling 102!!! The reference range for my age was something like 4-56 so….yeah!! With PCOS, amh is almost always high so I wasn’t shocked it was outside normal range, but I was shocked by how high it was. Cue panic that I would be too messed up for IVF altogether. It was an anxious wait til the consultation.

I was also supposed to have my ultrasound at the consultation but for one reason or another the clinic rescheduled it for the day before, and altered my initial appointment to a later one as I would be making excuses to leave work early. As it happened, I decided to go for a half day off of work and checked the appointment had been altered. Turns out it hadn’t, so a mad rush ensued to get there on time. The clinic was very apologetic and it was no real issue, but I hope we have no more issues like that during actual treatment! Anyway. The ultrasound showed an antral follicle count of well over 80 follicles, meaning I will be on low stims to begin with as im at high risk over overstimulating.

The next day, 29th March, was appointment day. Finally!!!!! Excited and nervous we got there for our alloted time. I can’t fault their timing this time, we were literally in on the dot of our specified times. C had his first SA since 2016 and things were still bad, but actually  the count was up from 0.1mil per ml to 0.67mil. So still very low, but instead of less than half a million total count we have over 2 million which I was personally very happy with. The consultant wasn’t as thrilled as me funnily, and suggested we freeze a back up sample just in case of issues on the day. I was going to ask about thid anyway, so that was good too. Basically, we will be on the antagonist protocol and once we obtained results from my GP confirming i dont have chlamydia and have rubella immunity, and we get copies of C’s karyotyping results, we are ready to roll!

Side note, I always knew I caught german measles as a young kid just after my vaccinations. I think my sister had it around the same time too. I literally found out this past weekend that german measles and rubella are the same thing. Who knew?!  (Probably everyone except me, but never mind) so I have actually had Rubella in the past. Anyways. Im definitely immune because I remember being tested while pregnant in 2008 too.

We are having issues getting C’s results as nobody seems to have them and the consultant’s secretary at that hospital have ignored multiple emails and voicemails asking for them. I’m hoping they send them soon so we can move onto the next stage which is speaking to Access Fertility about their refund packages. Once the clinic have all results, we call Access who will get our records and let us know which, if any, programmes we are eligible for. We want to do the 3 cycle 50% refund, so 🤞🤞 we are eligible. Once that has been decided, we pay them and then we can get going. It’s scary that it’s finally almost here, but also so, so exciting! All being well, I want to be starting soon, hopefully by the end of April. Eeeeeeeeek!!! Will update when I have more news x

 

Something has happened!

20190204_193941Finally. In this extremely loooooong process, we finally have something happening. We went to our chosen clinic last week for an informal chat and that went well. Because we have been waiting a while and I am a Google obsessive, ahem sorry, fan, I already knew the majority of what they told us, but there were a few things they cleared up. We also booked our first real consultation! So exciting. So that is booked at the end of March. We have also completed quite a few forms and consents online which made it all feel a bit more real. I now need to get my amh tested, which I will do at the end of the month and then we are all systems go for a new semen analysis for C and a new pelvic ultrasound for me, complete with antral follicle count, which I didn’t have before. I’m actually not really clear on how this count will help,as with pcos I’m assuming I will have a lot of those, but I may be wrong.

So we are almost ready to start at last. I’m not sure how I feel. As it has been so long, I’m sort of used to doing nothing and being in limbo. It’s beyond frustrating and has been the toughest time of my life, but it’s also safe if that makes any sense? I don’t need to worry about wasting money or injections or anything like that while I’m in the safe limbo. I am terrified of this not working. At the moment, that’s an “after” problem. Right now, we are “before”.once we start treatment, we will be “during”, and that’s one step closer to the resolution, whether it’s the resolution we want or the one we don’t. I tell myself I’ll be happy when we are done, whatever the outcome, because we can finally move on. And that is true, to a point. I do want to be over this trying to conceive stage of my life. More than anything, I want a baby. But I also want to stop thinking about babies, and if the sad reality is that it doesnt work, I want to be able to work on moving on, healing and making peace with that. I really do. But…I also don’t want to have to deal with it not working. That’s 3 cycles (or more) away though, so I’m trying not to let myself think on that. What will be will be, I guess.

The most pressing matter for now is the not insignificant task of borrowing the mammoth amount of money required. I’m really nervous of this, convinced we won’t be able to. We both have fairly reasonable credit files and neither of us are in huge amounts of debt, but we both have some debts. In the scheme if things it’s pretty low, but I feel like we will have no chance of borrowing so much. Part of me wants to just apply for a loan now to see what the outcome is, reasoning I’d much rather find out now whether we can or not than when we are just about to start. Having said that, we still want to save a bit before we borrow and if I borrow now, I wont have as much to put towards saving as I’ll already have started paying ut back. It’s a tough call!

Sometimes I wonder how my head doesnt explode, theres always so much floating around but for now, I’m going to enjoy thinking about the exciting times ahead. I might be pregnant within 6 months!!

News at last!

Well. It’s been probably 2.5, nearly 3 years since we last had anything fertility and ivf related actually happen so I’m very excited that we are still on track for starting IVF sometime in the spring. I’m literally so excited I feel sick thinking about it. Or maybe that’s nerves?! I think it quite possibly could be a bit of both. It’s just a tiny thing but I’m so happy it is something at last! 

We are going on a tour of our chosen clinicom 4th February – a week on Monday. I can’t wait and I’m hoping it will at least dampen down the overwhelming feelings I have regarding starting this process. Being able to see the clinic and meet some of the people involved will remove a little of the unknown surround everything I hope. It is always daunting to everyone, but I feel like I’ve had so many years to think through every possible scenario and feeling that might be involved that it’s almost built it up to more than it is. Perhaps that sounds silly. After all, everyone is nervous, scared and excited all in one go when they start IVF. I can’t really compare these feelings directly with other peoples experience, you only know what you know, right?! Either way, I’m feeling all the feelings and it’s still a few months til we start.

Which brings me to my second point. We really need to start upping our health game! I’ve been saying for months about taking supplements and losing weight and exercising more, yet most evening you will still find me on the sofa with a big bag of crisps and chocolate and the Netflix remote. Whatever gets you through, amirite? Seriously though. We actually do have to start this now. We could be only 3/4 months from starting, timescales permitting. I’m so excited!!!!! I will report back after the visit with my views and how it went.

 

 

 

Happy 2019!

Another year begins! They sure roll around quickly. 2018 wasn’t a great year for our family – my grandma passed away in August suddenly and my grandad is becoming really quite distant with his dementia, which has accelerated massively during the past year. He began the year still reasonably competent but since my grandma passed we realised that he is not at all capable of taking care of himself and my mum, my sister and I now have deputyship over him, and power of attorney ey over my great aunt and my uncle, who both have various health problems. My grandma was really healthy until around June when she had some kind of “turn” and went into hospital but recovered fairly well. Unfortunately she had a huge epileptic fits couple of months later that she never really fully came round from, a thing called Status Epilepticus, and she passed away a few weeks later. I never got a chance to see her between Christmas 2017 and her last stay in hospital, where she wasn’t properly conscious and it was quite honestly an awful time. Her death was the first close family member of mine to pass so it was hard , and it’s been really very hard to see the effect on my mum, grandad, uncle and great aunt. My grandma was definitely the glue that held the family together and I kick myself for not making the effort to see her. I’m trying to make sure I dont make the same mistake with other family members. Added to that is of course the constant grind of infertility and all in all it’s definitely been one of the worst years.

So, it is for more than one reason I am happy to see the end of 2018, as finally *finally!* we have reached the year where we can actually do IVF!! The year of IVF, as I have been referring to it with C. Depending on how the saving goes, and how much we can borrow, I’m hoping to get it started in June, or earlier if possible. We have 2 MOT’s for our cars to pass before that though, and my car is still hanging by a thread at being roadworthy! Literally once ivf is finished it is on the list to upgrade, I just need it to hang on a little bit longer!!

I cannot believe that IVF is finally within touching distance. I can definitely say that this year we are starting it. By the time we get on with it it will have been 4 years ttc. FOUR YEARS! A generally miserable and sad 4 years it has been too. I keep getting a little jump in my tummy when I think that I might be pregnant for Christmas 2019. I don’t want to get too over excited though, but eeeeeek. Nope, I can’t help it. Maybe we will be. The clinic we are using has a 49% success rate for women under 35 and I will be 33 when we start, so well within that range. Plus we are going for 3 rounds plus any frozen transfers, should we get so lucky.

I’ve started taking vitamins and stuff again in the last few days. I don’t want to go too crazy or spend too much, so have whittled it down to me on pregnacare conception, C on Wellman conception and both on 1000mg of vit c and 300mg of coq 10. I’m not convinced they will have any effect, but at least I feel like we are preparing. They do seem to have some reasonable benefits to fertility and let’s be fair, we need all the help we can get! Also, we meant to be on a health kick now 2019 has begun but we have *So. Much. Chocolate* in the house from Christmas. Namely, 2 tins of celebrations, one pouch of Mars sweets (which has the exact same sweets in as celebrations so why it’s not called a celebrations pouch I don’t really know) and also a tin of pick your own quality street that my parents got us. Not to mention 2 tins of shortbread. Jeez. We’ll be eating it til Easter!

Speaking of which, I’m so excited for spring. I know it’s only January 2nd, but 2019 got me excited. Here’s hoping it’s a good one 🤞