Thursday, 28 February 2013

Choosing the donor

The rest of February has been relatively uneventful really. I've had a couple of appointments at the clinic, one with the IVF nurse to talk about the procedure and the medication although she didn't tell me how to actually take the drugs. The other appointment was for a trial run of egg transfer the first of which didn't go well at all.
As I keep telling the nurses I'm doing this as a single person and as I'm single there's not a lot of activity that goes on below the waist for me! :-( And this is coming from someone who really enjoys the physical side of a relationship. Typical isn't it, it's the ones that enjoy sex don't get to have any! So any smear test like examination is really quite uncomfortable for me. The nurses are very understanding though but I am aware it's a problem and will continue to be a problem for me on this journey.

Since my last blog post I've also had to go about choosing a donor which has been interesting, I mean really where do you begin with that one?
The clinic has advised me that they generally use sperm from the European Sperm Bank and so to have a look at their site. I know there's a local sperm bank as well but then I guess you run the risk of potentially your child meeting one of it's siblings without knowing it. The local sperm bank doesn't charge the massive 'pregnancy slot' fee that the European one does but then the prices are slightly more expensive. It's yet another decision to make.

Buying the 'pregnancy slot' involves paying 1000 euros on top of everything else and is just because the sperm is coming to the UK and being used in an English clinic. What you're paying for, in my understanding, is the guarantee that your donor will only be able to father ten families, not ten children but ten families, so technically that could still be an awful lot of siblings. You do get 75% of your money back if you don't get pregnant but of course in this instance I'm hoping I wont be getting any money back.

In the end I did go for the European Sperm Bank and if you go on their website you're able to narrow your criteria. To begin with I thought there was the option to have an anonymous or non anonymous donor and straight away I decided that a non anonymous donor would be what I'd go for. In reality when you put into the website that you're in the UK the available donors drop from 196 to 48 as all donors are non anonymous that are sent here, then if you're after someone similar in appearance to yourself, like most people are, the figure drops even further. This is a good thing for me as choice makes life so much harder sometimes!

So after I'd put in ethnicity, hair colour and eye colour I had under 25 to choose from and when you get into looking at each of the donors, their profiles, baby pictures and audio interview it's actually not such a hard decision to make.

I made my choice on the one person that sounded the most genuine and appeared to really want to do this to help people rather than do it just for the money. So that's how I came to be spending almost 2000 euros on a couple of vials of sperm shipping and a pregnancy slot.

But at least the decision has now been made and I can go off on my trip and just enjoy the sunshine and relaxation.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Birthday week

This week it's my 40th birthday and I know it's usually a big celebration for people and and a big milestone but I'm just not in the mood for socialising at the moment to be honest.

Over the last couple of years I've really withdrawn from life, I know I have and I know it's not particularity good for me but 18 months ago I went through a very upsetting relationship breakup which I know is still having an impact on me. One thing that's a problem for me is that it was with someone I work with, so everyone knew about our relationship, knew about us breaking up and now knows all about what he's been up to ever since and for me I just find that humiliating.

It doesn't help that he lied to me throughout our relationship of course and now I find it almost impossible to trust someone or even believe what someone says to me but I'd never take him back, despite the fact he spent the whole year after we'd broken up trying to get me back. I know the drama of our relationship at such a sensitive time in my life has had a terrible effect on me and to be fair the thought of attempting another relationship anytime relatively soon just fills me with dread. I guess this is one of the main reasons I've found myself where I am now, that and the fact I'm now 40.

I know every relationship breakup is horrible for people but I think for me it was the timing. During our relationship he promised me the world, like they all do, he wanted to marry me, travel with me and have a family with me yet it turned out in the end that this was never what he wanted at all and it all just came at completely the wrong time for me, it came at a time when I thought I could have this so called fairytale everyone talks about, I thought I could have it all. It seems I was right and I couldn't have it all after all, it seems that journey was never to be mine. It's not the loss of him and our relationship that hurts me so much it's the fact that I desperately wanted a chance to have a family and bring new life into the world and the end of our relationship meant that wasn't now going to happen in the way I once thought it would.
For a while after we broke up I was convinced that as there was no going back with him that I would move on relatively easy and find someone else to have this journey with but 18 months later that still hasn't happened and I'd be lying if I said that didn't make me sad but now the time has come to pursue my dreams, for now, alone and what will be will be.

So 40! Where did that time go?! I certainly don't feel my age and I'd like to say I don't look my age but it'd be a little odd for me to presume so. ;-) So as I said I'm sadly not really in the mood for celebrating and again I find that a little sad as everyone expects you to want to have the big party, and part of me feels I should but over the last 18 months shutting myself away from the world seems to work as now I really don't see anyone, having a lodger saves me from insanity but apart from her I don't really see anyone from one week to another which is a shame but again it's just the way things are so there's nobody to actually invite to a party! :-(

So no big party or big celebration just dinner the might before my birthday with a couple of friends and then out with my family on my actual birthday. As it's my birthday and it is the big one I treated myself to two glasses of wine each night and I really enjoyed them but to be honest I didn't fancy anymore and as of the morning after my birthday I was back to no alcohol.

Now for the rest of my life......perhaps life really does begin at 40! :-))

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Deciding on the clinic

I decided to cancel my appointment at the other clinic I was booked into in the end as I felt they'd probably want all the same tests repeated again and ultimately the decision of which clinic to use would come down to how comfortable I personally felt about each one.
I do feel comfortable and relaxed at the clinic I'm going with and I really get the impression that they're going to try their best for me, they're probably more used to woman outside of the normal heterosexual relationship which I didn't think my first clinic were that aware of, I actually felt I was an anomaly which is not a nice feeling when you're going through such a sensitive part of your life. 

So the choice has been made and now ultimately I just need to wait until my period starts to be able to begin treatment but in reality I've actually decided to aim for treatment in March rather than February as this will give me another month of healthy lifestyle living, good eating and acupuncture as well as give me a chance to go on another trip away somewhere lovely and warm and just perfect prior to starting IVF.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Not a real 2ww

I've just had my first 2ww but fear not things haven't moved on that quickly for me! It's just been two weeks since my first appointment at the new clinic and apart from a couple of appointments with Sue my acupuncturist not a lot has been happening on the fertility front.
I've been eating the best I've ever eaten before, making sure I eat several portions of fruit and vegetables a day as well as continuing to not drink alcohol or caffeine and drink plenty of water.
I'm taking pregnacare conception and DHEA tablets that the doctor advised to me take and now two weeks later I'm back to find out my latest results.

Firstly my AMH level has increased this test which is fantastic news, the AMH was the worrying level as it was so low before but this time its 1.6 pmol/L which is one whole count up from what it was at 0.57 pmol/L, I'm thrilled. Of course it could be because of the sample going off to a different laboratory but it also could be because of all the changes I've made to my lifestyle since New Year, either way it's an increase which is the main thing. :-)
My FSH, which the first clinic never tested, is 6.6 IU/L and my LH is 7.8 IU/L which are both good for my age which is great news to hear, some clinics wont even treat someone if their FSH is over 15 IU/L, and
the last thing you want to hear at this stage is that you really have left it too late and there's no hope at all.

Based on these results my doctor has advised that it's definitely worth giving IVF a go. Over the last couple of weeks my understanding of the amount of follicles and whether IVF is worth it has increased and I now see what the doctor was talking about two weeks ago. But seeing my results she thinks there's every chance I may respond well to treatment.

I'm so relieved by what shes said today, I was so worried that I'd just have no chance whatsoever.
And so the journey continues. :-)