Back on the bandwagon

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 It’s a little out of date now but the basics remain.

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

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

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Fertility Supplements ahoy

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

1000mg vitamin C – some studies have shown this to improve sperm count and motility. For women, some studies show that it can increase progesterone. My understanding is that oestrogen dominance is part of pcos, so I guess that may help to balance the hormones?! If not, hopefully I won’t get a cold anytime soon ๐Ÿ˜

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!

I Quit

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

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

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

 

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

Am I fixed??

So today marks natural period 2 (or possibly 3) in a row. That’s one every month (ish) since june/July. Considering I had none for over 2 years this is exciting news. Is my broken body fixed? I haven’t done anything differently. I have actually put weight on again this month because I am a ๐Ÿท๐Ÿท๐Ÿท. But my last few cycles have been roughly what they were before my body gave up so has something switched inside that’s reversed it all?! Am I just on a lucky streak? I can’t believe that after all this time everything could just go back to normal. It’s so strange. I’m not sure what it is but I’m going to feed my cramping, emotional body with junk food and trash tv ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 

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

And the journey continues!

โ€‹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! 

Today was the day!!!

Today was finally the long awaited fertility appointment. It went very badly. We had assumed it was just me with fertility issues but it turns out my partner has an extremely low count and motility. So our only option is ICSI. 

It really floored us both, but especially my partner, unsurprisingly. He is still hopeful, however, even scouring the big wide internet results as poor as his are few and far between. We have discussed it and will probably go ahead with a cycle of ICSI. Possibly abroad, as we will be self funding due to me already having a child. We have a follow up NHS appointment in around 3 months when we will get some further results for other tests on me (an ultrasound to reconfirm pcos and see whether the womb lining is actually developing, which I don’t think it will be and a dye test to check if my tubes are blocked) and tests on my partner (he is being checked for genetic issues that may cause his poor results and also a hormonal blood screening). 

Honestly…I am devastated. I have cried a lot today. When my daughter gets home I will treasure her just that little bit more. I know I am very lucky to have her, but it doesn’t take away the longing for another. I genuinely can’t quite imagine life without ever experiencing another pregnancy or bringing a child that is both mine and my partner’s into the world. I also cannot quite imagine how much it will hurt to go ahead with treatment and it possibly not work either. This is hard. It’s raw and it’s cold and it is, without a doubt, the toughest thing emotionally I have ever had to deal with. 

I guess time will tell what the next step will be!

P.s it’s now almost 3 weeks since my last dose of Soy Isoflavones and I have not ovulated that I have picked up on. So I guess that didn’t work either! Not that it would help much if it did with the semen analysis being what it was. Sigh.

2 weeks to go and Soy Isoflavones

Hey all! Hope you guys are all good! Today means it is 2 weeks to go to our appointment. Torn between excitement and facing disappointment really. I have been spending the last few months just waiting for this. Counting down to it. Cos in my head, this is going to answer all my questions and be our first step towards some treatment, whatever it may be. But realistically, I feel like it’s not going to be a success. They’re just going to tell us we have a daughter so tough luck, basically. And the not knowing which way it will go is so frustrating and anxious. I hate this. I hate it all. 

Someone I know announced their pregnancy today too. Completely unexpected. She only missed one pill and fell pregnant. I hate the way this makes me so jealous. I feel sick. Trying for a baby is supposed to be fun and exciting. Not like this. Screw you, mother nature. 

But anyway. Enough of that. Last post I said I had been trying soy isoflavones and that I would talk about them. If you don’t know what they are, they are dubbed nature’s clomid. They have some form of estrogen type properties that trocks your body into thinking it has a lot and then you stop it, mimicking the natural cycle. Or so they say. I suggest google if you are interested, there is a mind boggling amount of info out there on them!  took them for 5 days. You’re supposed to take them on certain cycle days but since today is 450 days since I stopped the pill and I’ve had no period at all, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to just take them when they arrived in the post. I took 200mg for the first 3 days, then 250mg for the final 2. Then read that you absolutely should not exceed 200mg…oops. I have to say I had no effects from the monster dose but obviously it’s not recommended so I wouldn’t advise it. Really if you fancy trying it I would definitely advise you do your own research first!

I kept a few notes on what I experienced while taking them and for the following days which I thought I would put here, since I was really curious while researching them and couldn’t find much about it. 

Day 1 – I had really mild nausea after taking them for the first time. Just a slight hint of pukey feeling, it lasted maybe an hour? Maybe two. I also noticed weird shooting pains in my boobs in the evening. 

Day 2 – exactly the same as Day 1!

Day 3 – very mild cramps in the afternoon. These went away a little before turning into quite noticeable cramps in the evening. May have been something I wouldn’t have even thought about usually but thought I would take note. I find with PCOS i often have random cramps, but still, i noticed so I wrote it down!

Day 4 – i have a few spots today. I do get spots but usually I have one monster one at a time and that’s it, but I have quite a few cropping up today. Also, really mild cramps. So mild which I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I wasn’t hyper alert to it.

Day 5 – last dose. very mild cramping again. I started feeling my cervix position in the last couple of days, for the first time. So my notes on this may or may not be accurate as I am definitely still a newbie to it all. But I have noted that I think my cervix was higher and softer than it was. 

Since I stopped taking it I have noticed not much cramping, but I do feel like my cervix has been creeping up and getting softer. However, I figured out that I wasn’t checking properly to begin with so who really knows?! Plus I never used to check before, sp have nothing to compare it to. I did have possible ewcm two days after the last dose, but did not get any positive opk’s yet and am now 6 days past my last dose. I really want to know how long after the last dose you can assume it hasn’t worked. Like if no period shows up within x days/weeks, you know it didn’t happen. The latest ovulation I read of after them was about 3 weeks. I’m fairly sure they will give me something to induce a period when we have our appointment though so I suppose we might never know if I don’t get a positive opk by then! I’ll update if anything happens ๐Ÿ™‚ 

 

The First One

So here it is, my very first blog post! Exciting hey! The main reason I’m starting this is because…well, why don’t I just give you lovely readers a bit of an introduction and then we will get into the for whys.

I am 30 (god, am I really? I’m sure I can’t be) and was blessed (although some days could question the truth of the word ‘blessed’ believe me!) with a daughter 7 years ago. I split from her dad and a couple of years later met a lovely new man. Fast forward a couple more years and we think “you know what would be nice? If we had a baby together!” and we promptly threw out my pills and got baby making. Only, we didn’t. Make a baby that is. Not the first month nor the second nor the third. In fact, I didn’t get my period back after stopping the pill in April 2015. And as yet, I still haven’t. But not because I’m pregnant.

Back in December I took a visit to my doctor. I had seen a nurse and a doctor in July time who had both assured me it was not uncommon to go 6-9 months without a period after stopping the pill. So after 8 months, near Christmas in 2015, I went to see my doctor who sent me for tests and scans and told me I have PCOS. This was a shock as, despite never having had set-your-clock-by-them-regular periods, I would have probably 10ish periods a year. So fairly regular. I was also skinny right up until a year before diagnosis. No hairiness. No typical PCOS markers. But PCOS I had. 

And so I did what all good people of a certain age do, and I turned to google. And my word if it isn’t an absolute mine of information. There is not a single ‘natural’ remedy I haven’t heard of. Most of them I have tried. None of them have worked. 

After many (many, many, many) hours of googling I have come to the following conclusions. Google doesn’t always help. There isn’t a lot of info out there for what to expect ttc #2 with PCOS. What help you get on the nhs varies wildly depending on where you live 

Wonderful people, this blog is where I will discuss where we are with ttc. What I have/am trying. What I think will be the next steps. And what to expect when ttc #2! 

I know, I know. You can barely wait to hear what I will discuss first. But it is very late and I probably should sleep. But I will absolutely keep you all updated. Until next time x