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

It’s getting nearer!!

I cant believe I can finally write this but it is *finally* getting to the countdown for when we can get started. In the new year it will be time to start losing a bit of weight and beginning to take our vitamins and supplements to make sure we have 3/4 months built up in our systems before hand. I’m so, so excited!!!!!!!!! The savings are coming along, maybe not quite so much as I would like to have but still on target.

I’ve been semi active on Instagram and babycentre, following ivf boards and ladies going through ivf. It’s so nice to feel less alone and isolated, knowing there are real live women out there going through the same things, feeling the same feelings that I am. Feeling the same lost feelings, the same jealousy over people you dont want to feel jealous of. It’s also been hard. I’ve been following them for 18 months or more, so have seen many, many women go on to get their happy endings and some who are still trying, or who have moved on. I have found the hardest thing without a doubt has been the limbo. I still feel it now, although I’m thrilled it won’t be for too much longer now (still feels like a lifetime some days though!)I just cannot wait to get on with the next stage.

I have been following other women’s stories and I keep getting a little tingle of excitement. What if that’s me in a few months? What if I’m sharing a picture of a positive pregnancy test? Moaning about feeling sick even though I’m so so grateful for it? Sharing scan photos, picking names, buying baby stuff? I almost dont want to think about it, because what if that jinxes it somehow? It’s ridiculous. This is a dream of mine. When I dreamed of going to uni and graduating I never stopped myself from thinking of it in case it jinxed it. When I went for my dream job, I never stopped myself imagining it in case it meant I didn’t get it. Maybe I want to spend a few minutes imagining it all and pretending it will be me. It might be me! Maybe one day next year, I’ll be able to update with amazing news for a change. I hope so. I cross everything and will allow myself a day dream today.

Green Eyed Monster

Jealousy isn’t pretty, and just lately I’m feeling almost consumed by it. One of my oldest friends is just bout to pop her second baby. I know it’s ridiculous but I’m jealous of everything she has. Husband..well I’m happily engaged but can’t afford the wedding as we are saving for ivf. She has just bought a beautiful house – we are and will be renting for the foreseeable. See previous point re:saving for ivf. Second baby – well I am very lucky to have had one but she has definitely got way ahead of me having the second. Career – my job is fine, but both her and her husband have really interesting exciting jobs earning lots. I love my friend and we have been friends for, I dunno, 25 years? It’s just really hard. I know it’s not her fault she has all this stuff and honestly, I truly am happy for her, but man am I sad for me too. I feel pretty pathetic to be honest

It just seems everything is so hard for us. I’m really in a woe is me place lately, which isn’t great. Having a baby is meant to be fun and free. It’s not supposed to make you depressed and miserable, scraping around and borrowing almost enough for a deposit on a house just to do so. It isn’t supposed to make you cry, hating everyone with a baby bump and feigning indifference to the idea of more kids, when really your heart is hurting to hold your baby. It’s not supposed to put you into years worth of debt.

I’m angry. I’m really fucking angry and upset and just plain sick that we can’t just make a baby. I know we’re not the only people in this situation. I know we’re not the first, nor will we be the last, to get into thousands of pounds of debt to chase this dream. I know this. But still somehow it seems like a personal attack. Like someone has marked our card and we are being punished, what for I wouldn’t know. Maybe I’m just being a bit…self-centred? That may not be the right word for it. Thinking that we are the only people who feel this way. Of course we’re not. I’m just so lonely and isolated. I have well meaning friends but they say the wrong things. They can’t understand and that’s not their fault, but they can’t help me either. My mum is not great either. “Oh, I thought you weren’t going to bother with IVF any more?” “It’s such low odds of working isn’t it?” “At least you already have one. Maybe you should concentrate on her instead?” “Im sure it will happen for you one day. I really can’t see why it wouldn’t!” Maybe because I don’t ovulate and C has basically no sperm. Is that not a prettt good explanation of why it wont? An explanation I have given countless times.

This is just a massive, raw, emotionl rant to be honest. I’ve been holding it together really well for a few months, so I suppose it’s my regular meltdown showing it’s face. Im just foing to give myself some time to feel it and then move on. God, but do I hate this

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 ūüėĀ

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!

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!

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!

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!!!!!

And the babies have arrived!

Not mine, obviously! C’s cousins both announced within weeks of each other early this year that they were expecting and they are both here now. And beautiful they are too. Gorgeous baby boys, who, despite only being about 4 weeks between them will actually grow up to be in different school years. Funny how that can be. Both mummies and babies doing well and it’s all very exciting. But. Of course. It is also a little bit shit too. I’m trying very hard to not let myself be completely consumed by this shit shower that is infertility and being too broke to do anything about it for the very far foreseeable future but it isn’t always easy. And I tend to only blog about it when I’m feeling crap so probably makes it seem to any reader that I am always negative and miserable but I’m not (honest!). And sometimes I think it’s ok to accept that you feel like crap sometimes. It’s hard. It’s miserable. And the never knowing if you will eventually be lucky enough to have a baby or not is the absolute worst thing. If someone was able to say “it’s gunna take 5 cycles of ivf but you will eventually be successful” or “i know it’s awful to deal with but it’s just never going to happen for you” or even “surprise mo fo’s!! You win the infertility jackpot and get preggo naturally, but it will take another year!” Then it would be oh so much easier to deal with. Some people say it’s the surprises that make life worth living and in some cases I absolutely agree but I would 1 billion percent like it to not be like that for this. 

But, sadly, these things are not things I can control at all. Something I can control, however, is doing something about my weight. My target is officially 1 stone off, although secretly it is 1 stone and 5lbs, which will put me squarely back to where I was before all of my huge weight gain. I’ve already lost a stone from my heaviest, but it has been up and down over the last 2 years. Happily, I am already half a stone down. Happy days!!! So, plan of action is 1. Lose weight 2. Save. And save. And save. 3. Get a super lucky first round positive ivf success. I’m all over this.