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!!

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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 ūü§ě

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.

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!

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.