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.

 

 

 

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Almost Christmas!

It’s so near to Christmas now, I love this time of year. I always feel massively unfestive until I finish work though…thankfully I finish up on Thursday, so only 4 more days to go. Woohoo. I cannot wait to spend time with my family, and just not have to get up for work or spend my days rushing round like a looper trying to get school stuff/work stuff/general life organised. Also looking forward to a pre Christmas clear out, get the house in good shape in time for the deluge of stuff that H will get. Our house is nice, but small. We have the spare room (the one we earmarked as the nursery when we moved in, started ttc the month after we moved…how ironic), but other than that I do wonder where the heck we would put all the baby’s stuff, should we ever be so lucky. I’m sure that can be easily figured out though, I’d single-handedly gut the house if needs be haha. Seriously though, I am looking forward to a big declutter and starting 2019 fresh and relaxed.

Work has been manic and not much fun recently, so will be pleased to get away from that. My boss also asked me for the I don’t know what time this week if I was planning on having another kid. I totally get being asked once, or even twice…but I swear this is the third month in a row she’s asked, and at least 10 times in the past 18 months that I’ve been there. I get being asked once or twice, but its beginning to get quite annoying now, especially what with being infertile and that. My friend suggested I just come clean and tell them we are having problems, but that’s way more personal than I would like to get with my boss thank you! If we ever have a baby, like when it’s actually born, I’m not completely against coming clean then and explaining s/he was an ivf baby. In this really difficult time, though, I don’t want to make it public knowledge, or even private between me and my boss. I think part of me can’t bear that people might pity me, and part of me can’t bear admitting we can’t do something so simple – I know this isn’t true, but I do feel like we are both failures. That isn’t to say I think we are both useless, or that I blame us…or maybe I do a little. It’s very hard to come to terms with, even after all this time. You’d think almost 2.5 years from diagnosis for C, and 3years this month for me, that it wouldn’t be so hard to get to grips with. But it is. It still is.

At least now, I know that 2019 is finally the year we get started. I just have everything crossed that by next Christmas, I’ll be writing some very different blog posts

 

 

 

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

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!

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. 

2 years ago today

I threw out my pill. 2 whole years. We’re still on a ttc break, but I felt like I should mark the occasion :). Two years ago, C was saying how this time next year we will have a baby. Ha. I actually knew we would struggle. I didn’t think it would be this much of an issue, granted, and definitely expected to have had a baby by now, but I knew we would have problems.  Just a gut feeling I had. It took 9 months to conceive dd too, which I know isn’t really that long but it also wasn’t super fertile fast either. Either way, I kept telling C I thought it would take ages and he kept saying I was being silly. Even my friends said no way, it only took so long cos of the age of H’s dad (we had a pretty big age gap, him being almost 15 yrs older than me). It seems weird now, I feel sad for the hopeful and happy me back then. I feel like there is always a bit of me that will be a little bit sad because we can’t have a baby naturally. I’m sure (really, really hoping!) that actually, that feeling will disappear as we get older, either because we get an ivf miracle or if that doesn’t work, we just accept it. I used to spend ages looking at reviews on pushchairs and cots etc, picking out the best ones and working out how much money we would need to save. Like “if i get pregnant next month, we need to save x amount a month”, and thinking ‘jeez we are gunna need about 2 grand for all the baby gear I want and a nice wedge in the bank to get through mat leave. How are we going to save that up?!’ And now….we need at least 5 grand just to have 1 go at making the actual baby. Ah, the irony! I really do miss that hopeful feeling that in a month or two it’s sure to happen now. I mean we could get incredibly lucky cos it does happen and fingers crossed we are the lucky ones, but statistically speaking it really isn’t a plan to rely on so I don’t feel all that hopeful at all. 

Also I just wanted to talk about relationships. Everyone else seems to find it brings them and their partner closer together. Personally, I have found it very tough on our relationship. I have a bit of me that thinks how unfair it all is, why us, why him, why me? Why the two of us together? Part of me, totally wrongly, blames both of us a bit although it is completely beyond our control. Who said emotions were rational though?! And it has been HARD. I feel like we are the only ones who have struggled with this, but wanted to write about that too. I feel like our sex life suffered too, with me, again irrationally, feeling like it was a bit pointless if we weren’t going to have a baby out of it.  That has changed now, but it was definitely something I had to work through.

Anyway. Happy 2 year anniversary to us…it’s been one hell of a ride. 

Drumming up some positivity

So I have been pondering lately how rubbish IVF success rates are. I mean, really they are LOW. But then when I thought about it, in a given cycle there is only around a 20-25% chance of falling pregnant. Added to which our chances naturally are less than 1%. And suddenly that 30 odd% chance of success per cycle doesn’t seem quite so bad. Not ideal but not the worst it could be either. 

Hurry up genetic results and please be ok then roll on next July!!!!! 

This month, I am mostly…

Doing things I can’t do when pregnant, and slimming worlding it up.

Myself and C are off to Thorpe Park next Friday for their Fright Nights and then I am out for a shitload of alcohol and giggles for my friend’s birthday the Friday after. So that is nice. I suppose. Although I would rather that I couldn’t do any of it but looks like that is not in the plan sadly!!

Still largely on a Google ban over here too. And on the very plus side I have been back eating healthily for the past 3 weeks and am half a stone down!!! Woohoo!!!! I am now actually back to a healthy BMI so I am really pleased about that. I have heard that with PCOS if you gain a lot of weight that can actually be the trigger for your PCOS. Up until 2013 I had only been ‘heavy’ twice in my life….once when I was pregnant and although I lost baby weight very quickly I then went back up to 40 week pregnant weight in the months following my little girl’s birth. When I say heavy though, my 40 week pregnant weight was 9 stone! So really not heavy at all. But in 2013/14 my weight crept up to 8.5, then 9 and a bit stone. I then lost a bit and entered 2015 at 8st 11. By sept 2015 I was 10st 11!!! 2 stone in 9 months was a LOT. I am only 5 ft 4 too so it wasn’t like I could carry it, plus in true pcos style it pretty much all went to my stomach. I do wonder if it maybe messed something up in my system, as this is when I came off the pill and my period never returned and I was diagnosed with pcos. Apparently you always have pcos but i had pretty perfectly functioning ovaries right up until i started the pill again in late 2014 so I am not convinced this is the case!!! Anyway! What I was trying to say before I distracted myself is that if you can get back to the weight you were before your pcos was noticeable it can be, well, reversed, if you will. Or at least the body can function and fertility can be restored. So in the absence of any funding for IVF currently our plan for the limboland is to get me as healthy as we can. If we get insanely ridiculously lucky, it might even give us a little miracle (did the consultant not say miracles can happen in my last update!?) but possibly being more realistic it means I will be in great shape for ivf at least. Also, I have been skinny my whole entire life, being fat doesnt suit me and makes me feel pretty crappy and miserable. So I am looking forward to that.

I feel like with a visit to a theme park coming up I should do a hpt just in case we have managed to miraculously beat the odds. But at the same time I really don’t want to because I don’t fancy seeing a bfn. But then my mind jumps back to what if somehow we have managed to do it and I dont tale a test then go to thorpe park and end up finding out im pregnant by causing a miscarriage. Which is ridiculous. But then, I have never claimed to be sane…..and even less so since all this infertility business began!!! So I guess I can look forward to taking a test next week and then kicking myself when I get the inevitable bfn and feeling sad for that little bit of hope that it will be a bfp. 

Next stop, HSG!

So FINALLY I finished my 2 week course of provera last Tuesday morning and today is cd1. After a 511 day”cycle”. Which wasn’t really a cycle because I had no ovulation, but hey. Jeeez. I wish I knew what the hell happened to my cycle, I used to have them regularly and then they were gone. 

Anyway. I need to book a HSG but of course! It is bank holiday weekend so I can’t get through to anyone. I am hoping all is fine. As I had my daughter previously I assume it is, but I would bet it to be yet more crappy luck that it isn’t. Fingers crossed though. 

We also found our follow up in October has been cancelled….there is so much great stuff about the NHS without a doubt, but not a singular part of anything to do with our infertility jas been great. It has been awful from start to finish and I fully intend to complain. Not that I expect anyone will care, but it needs to be mentioned. 

And last thing, after nobody at my doctors or at the fertility clinic caring, I have managed to get some metformin privately online. Which I am hoping will help regulate things for me and sort out the hormone imbalance and general crappiness of pcos so we at least have a really really low chance of naturally conceiving vs the absolutely no hope at all we have at the moment! 

So that is it for now. I will update after the hsg and when I have the metformin 🙂 

I feel at least a tiny bit hopeful now, which is better than I have been! 

And the journey continues!

​It has been just about 2 weeks since our appointment at the clinic, where we found out it isn’t just PCOS but male factor infertility we are dealing with. 

It has been such a strange couple of weeks. I have swung from feeling ok about it all to having…almost a breakdown maybe about it. I find myself excitedly researching ivf clinics one minute, to crying about how rubbish the statistics for success are the next. Swinging between thinking things will be ok, and raging at how unfair it is. I feel so envious of people who get pregnant just by missing one pill. We have been trying for 16 months now and I haven’t had a period in that whole time and with my partner’s semen analysis results it wouldn’t really make much difference anyway. And I know we need to make peace with that, but it is hard.

Also not helped by the fact the nurse we have been seeing seems to be fairly useless. Firstly, at a scan I had last week she got me mixed up with someone else. I mean, I know they’re busy, but that wouldn’t be acceptable in many lines of work, but when it is something like this I think it is awful. She also sent a letter to my doctor saying they will monitor me through a menstrual cycle, which will be tricky as I don’t have them! And that my partner has no sperm at all. Which he does, so I don’t know what she is on about. She seems to have meshed our notes with someone else’s! Which doesn’t fill me with confidence and is maybe the only glimmer of relief I have at having to go privately, as the NHS seems to be not that great from our experience here. 

I guess I am using this as an online diary almost. Nobody I know has been through IVF and although I linger around forums, we aren’t anywhere near having any procedures done yet so I feel like I don’t quite fit there either. Also, maybe someone out there is reading this and going through the same thing and maybe that is helping someone else. I like to hope that one day we will get the best news and someone will be able to see all this and realise there is hope. Because I know right now I don’t feel much of it, so it would be nice to get a happy ending. I really hope we do get a happy ending, although I do think it is going to be a long, emotionally and financially draining journey. But if at the end of the day I am the only one who reads this, I hope it is something to look back on and see how far things have come. 

As for the here and now, my next step is to take some provera to induce a period and then get a hsg to check my womb and tubes for any issues. Since I had a daughter a few years ago I am hoping all is well but apparently the coil can cause scarring and I have had 3 since my little girl was born, so with our luck so far I probably have got some problems there too! Fingers crossed for the all clear from them though.

I’ll probably update after that, depending how I feel. We go on holiday next week too, something nice to look forward to at least!