Monday, 30 August 2010

You do the math

I think there must be some sort of mathematical equation for trying to get pregnant. I was never very good at maths but I’d say it goes something like this:

The longer you try to conceive + the more you try to find out about why you’re not conceiving = the less you know + the more confused you are X the number of people around you getting pregnant and having babies at the drop of a hat = the less confident you feel about everything in the entire world.

Or is that just me?

Last week I went to have my first scan of a monitored cycle (Day 7, Cycle 14). The last time I was scanned was at Month 7 when they checked to see if my tubes are open (they are + ovulating naturally = v positive). At that point they sent me away with a recommendation to carry on trying naturally using Cyclogest for a few months (thin lining + short luteal phase = bit of a problem) and to have a hysteroscopy to check an irregularity they thought they saw in my uterus during the scan.

Four months of Cyclogest and a hysteroscopy later (progesterone + no pregnancy + clear uterus = sad but hopeful), I had no idea what do next. I took my friend’s good advice to go back for another monitored cycle to double check what’s going on down there (phone call + appointment made = feel much better for having done something).

Everything looked fine at the first scan (old lining gone + good number of follicles visible = ovulation expected) and even better at the second scan today (lining thickening up + ovary showing strong signs of action = ovulating now).

So I took the opportunity to ask some questions about what my next step might be. Pretty much everyone I’ve talked to in a professional capacity about this, right from Month 6, has been very quick to mention IVF (I thought there were other things I could try + seems drastic = v confused).

I was told by the Scan Man (with funny speech impediment): “Errum, the reason the specialists would have, errum, suggested IVF to you so quickly was, errum, out of kindness, not for, errum, business reasons.”

Errum, right. I smell shit of the bull variety.

Anyway, apparently there are some steps between Cyclogest and IVF after all (duh) and once this cycle is well and truly monitored and I have all the facts I can get my hands on, I’ll go back to the fertility specialist and talk through what that next step will be.

That is, assuming I don’t get pregnant in the meantime (ovulating now + sex = baby making).



Until next time.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

No (wo)man’s land

This may sound a bit weird but I’ve kind of got to a point with trying to get pregnant where I don’t really know what to feel, almost as if I’m in no man’s land.

I’ve had a year of trying naturally and know a bit more about my body now – I have low progesterone and a short luteal phase but on the positive side, I ovulate naturally most months and my uterus is clear.

Right, so what do I do now? At 38 I feel I have a responsibility to give my body the best chance to get pregnant, and that probably means taking this process a stage further. I know I’m not the first to feel reluctant to do this but for some reason it’s taking me a while to get my head round it.

Surely I should instinctively want to do everything in my power to get pregnant as quickly as possible? I suspect the reluctance may have something to do with feeling like I’m a failure for not having conceived naturally – I find it easy to blame myself for most things – and also a fear that whatever I try next might not work.

But at the same time, I know I have to do something – I don’t ever want to regret not doing anything.

Unfortunately, I haven’t felt particularly ‘looked after’ by the professionals up until this point so I haven’t even been sure of my options and what would be best for me.

But tomorrow I go for the first scan of a monitored cycle to double check the facts, to ask lots of questions, to assess the answers and to decide on the next step.

With any luck, it’ll be the first tentative step out of no man’s land and a big stride towards getting pregnant.

Until next time.


Thursday, 19 August 2010

I knew it wasn’t my baby

The other day one of the people I follow on Twitter tweeted that she’d dreamed about a baby. She sounded really excited about it and I felt a pang because I hadn’t had one of those dreams for a long time and I know how lovely it can be.

Well, this morning I had a dream just before I woke up that took hold of my heart and wouldn’t let go.

I was in my grandma’s old flat. My grandma died a few years ago but I was really close to her and spent a lot of time in that flat when I was growing up so it has very good memories for me. I dream about it a lot.

Anyway, I was in the kitchen and the daughter of a family friend was with me – this is quite random as I haven’t seen this girl in ages and we’re not close. Plus she looked how she did when she was a teenager, which was about 25 years ago.

Still, she was there, gatecrashing my dream for some reason, but I wasn’t really paying much attention to her as I could see there was a baby sitting in the corner of the kitchen. It was probably a few months old and had light blonde hair and bright blue eyes and it was just sitting there on its own, good as gold, playing with a little toy.

I couldn’t take my eyes of this baby, it was so cute and gorgeous-looking, and after watching it for a bit I went over and picked it up and took it back to the counter and sat it down there. I played with it for a while and then I went to hug it and it hugged me back and we just stayed like that, hugging and rocking gently from side to side. I knew it wasn’t my baby but I didn’t want to stop hugging it.

Then something woke me up. It was one of those dreams I knew I didn’t want to leave so I tried to stay with it for as long as possible but I slowly came back to reality and I knew it was just another morning before work.

I felt such a deep sadness I didn’t know what to do and I cried proper heartache tears. My lovely husband hugged me and brought me tissues and asked me what was wrong. I told him briefly about the dream but it’s so hard to explain a feeling like that.

After I’d pulled myself together and he'd left for work, I went to the toilet and saw the heavy blood stain on my panty liner and I came right back down to earth.

I know I’m particularly hormonal at the moment but this feels hard.

Day 1, Cycle 14, decisions to make...

Until next time.


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

I want my money back

I don’t get it.

The instruction manual said when you get the smiley face, it means your egg will pop out soon so the man has to quickly stick his thing in your thing until the sperm shoot out.

And while you’re going about your business, the sperm will be happily swimming around in your lady bits until one of them remembers it has a job to do, at which point it races off to find the egg.

Meanwhile, the egg has been lazily swimming down the tube, when she is suddenly accosted by the frantic sperm. After a bit of a scuffle, they agree to join together and then they both go swimming until they come across the lovely velvety cushioned lining.

After all that swimming, they need a bit of a rest and that lining really does look inviting so they squeeze themselves in there and don’t move for a good long while until it’s safe to come out. At which point they’ve become one tiny little foetus that grows and grows and grows until nine months later, it’s an actual fully-formed, healthy baby and it slides smoothly (and painlessly) out the lady bits and then the man and the woman love it forever (even though it can be a real pain in the arse sometimes).

The end.

It was definitely something along those lines. And it seems quite straightforward - other people do it easily enough.

But I’ve tried it 13 times now and it hasn’t worked.

And it makes me sad.

And scared.

I want my money back.

Until next time.


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Homicidal urges and chocolate cravings

I’m now well into Cycle 13 and just days away from THE TEST.

I’ve been taking Cyclogest this cycle for the fourth and final time. I’m not sure they could have come up with a stickier, messier, more inconvenient substance to shove up your lady bits but the bastard does lengthen my luteal phase so I’m grateful for that at least.

I’m really trying to be positive this time but sobbing uncontrollably because I’ve forgotten my Amazon log-in and swearing like I’ve got Tourettes because we’ve run out of ketchup makes me wonder whether I may be just a touch pre-menstrual.

Can you even feel pre-menstrual when you’re on Cyclogest? Quite honestly, the least that horrible gunky white stuff should do is take away the homicidal urges and chocolate cravings.

So the dread of peeing on that digital stick of doom/joy is well and truly starting to kick in now. I’m already planning my bunking-off-work excuse just in case. So far over the past year I’ve used:

The washing machine’s exploded

The boiler’s broken down

There’s a leak from the flat upstairs

I’m snowed in

I can’t move my neck

I’ve got a dodgy stomach (4 times)

I have to take the cat to the vet (I don’t have a cat)

The thing is, if the test doesn’t go the way I want it to, I need to think seriously about what to do next. I’ve been set on getting pregnant naturally and there’s a big part of me that wants to carry on that way but a year down the line and I’m starting to waver. Trouble is, I have no idea what that next step should be.

I really hope I don’t need to start thinking about it.

Until next time.


Monday, 9 August 2010

Dedicated to the ones I love

I wanted to dedicate the content of this blog to two people who are extremely important to me and are helping me through this period so much more than they may realise.

The first is my beloved husband. He came into my life at a time when I seriously doubted I'd meet someone who I could fall in love with, but even more so, who could fall in love with me. But we did, and I did, and he did.

I knew on our first date that he was special and I never looked back. He makes me laugh, he's intelligent and sensitive and kind and great with technology (believe me, when you're as inept with technology as I am, it's important!), and we get on ridiculously well. But more than that, he sometimes surprises me by doing something so incredibly thoughtful that it takes my breath away.

Such as hunting down a list of positive affirmations specifically for women trying to get pregnant - when I was going through a particularly negative phase. Or booking a surprise massage for me at the hotel we stayed at for a night after my hysteroscopy the other week. Or leaving a comment on my blog like the one he left last week.

Simple things, perhaps, but they mean so much to me.

On our recent first year anniversary I found this card for him:

To me, that said it all.

The second person is my very close, very lovely friend. I won't go into detail here but she is going through something pretty bloody horrible at the moment and it breaks my heart to see it.

She has always ALWAYS been there for me, and I haven't necessarily been the easiest person to be around or to help over the years. But she persevered and stuck by me, and showed me what true friendship means.

We can talk endlessly and make each other giggle like school girls. Her wise words and good advice are invaluable to me, and she never fails to provide them.

She is consistently positive for me, often lifting me when my spirits are low - right now I sincerely hope I can reciprocate, even in some small way.

I’m so grateful for the people I have around me. Today I’ve written about just two of them, but I’m lucky enough to have lots more.

Life may throw some curve balls at times but as I continue on this challenging and often bewildering journey to pregnancy, I know that at least I’ll have some bloody great company along the way.

Until next time.


Thursday, 5 August 2010

Please can someone come and find me?

If I’m going to be honest, I don’t feel entirely comfortable putting my feelings out there and letting the world read about them (which is ridiculous when you think about it as I am completely anonymous on here – except to the three people who know me).

So my blogs have always skimmed the surface of my feelings. I’ve tried to make my blogs more of an entertaining read than a truly honest account of what’s really going on inside my head and my heart.

But today, I just want to be honest and say how I’m really feeling.

I have no idea what to do now.

Every specialist or so-called ‘expert’ gives me different advice.

If I search on the internet to try to find some answers, I am confronted by endless horror stories that upset me and make me even more worried.

Every time I feel more positive or hopeful, something happens to bring me right back down again.

I’ve begun to avoid seeing and speaking to the people closest to me because I don’t think I have anything to offer.

I hate not having control over any of this.

I can’t think about anything else any more.

I usually know what to do next but now I just feel at a loss.

Actually, I feel lost.

Please can someone come and find me?

Until next time.


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

I’m sorry if I’m upsetting you doctor, but I’m not ready to do IVF now

Yesterday I went to see my GP about something totally unrelated to fertility. I know! Apparently, there is other stuff in the world...

To help you picture the scene, my doctor is a tiny, skinny, 50-something, grey-haired, glasses-wearing, fairly nondescript-looking woman with a strong Israeli accent. She may be tiny but she doesn't exactly hold back. I am fairly used to this after quite a few years of being her patient but this particular conversation really blew my mind.

This is how it went:

Me: Hi doctor. I just wanted to ask you about blah blah.

Doc [checking her records]: So, you had a hysteroscopy last week?

Me [fairly upbeat]: Yes, that was all fine which is great. But I wanted to ask you about this other thing...

Doc [impatient]: Hold on. How long have you been trying to get pregnant?

Me [starting to get nervous]: About a year.

Doc [looking perplexed]: Are you not going to do IVF?

Me [flummoxed]: Er, sorry?

Doc [checking records again]: How old are you? 38?? Omigod! My daughter-in-law is 36 and she just got pregnant and is having a terrible time!!

Me [confused and a little bit scared]: Right. And that’s relevant to me because....?

Doc [incredulous] : Because your ovaries are basically drying up now and you don’t have a lot of time!! Why don’t you do IVF now?!

Me [starting to get a bit upset now]: Er I don’t really want to...

Doc [shouting]: I don’t understand what it is you’re waiting for! You’re 38!! It’s been a year!!! How much longer are you going to give it??!!

Me [wondering why I am being shouted at by my own doctor]: Ok. I don’t want to do IVF now, I’m well aware of how old I am and how long I’ve been trying but I’d like to carry on trying naturally for now. I actually came here to ask you about...

Doc [fairly red in the face now, I am obviously really upsetting her]: But how long for?!! I don’t understand why you’re waiting!!

Me [vulnerable, imploring, trying not to cry, at the same time wondering why I feel bad for upsetting the doctor]: I just really don’t want to think about IVF now. It’s expensive, invasive and a very big decision. There’s nothing major wrong with me physically so I think it’s a good idea to keep trying naturally.


Me [regaining my composure, realising my doctor actually has mental health issues and I am the fairly normal one in this conversation]: Ok. The bottom line is that whether or not I do IVF is my decision. I will continue to try naturally for as long as I feel happy to. I don’t want to discuss this any more.

Doc [coming back to earth from whatever faraway planet of madness she’s been on for the previous five minutes]: Yes. Cool and calm. That’s the best way. I have a patient who was trying for 11 years to get pregnant, tried IVF three times, nothing, decided she would stop trying and BANG!!

Me [completely bemused by the sudden change of tone but soldiering on with the conversation nonetheless]: She got pregnant?

Doc [happy now]: She got pregnant.

Me [forgetting what I actually came in for]: Well, that’s great. Thanks doctor.

Doc [satisfied with a job well done]: Ok. Take care. Bye bye.

Not much to say to that really, is there??

Until next time.