Sunday, 31 March 2013

Easter Sunday lunch

Happy Easter!

Easter Sunday and we've all got together for a late lunch. When I say all I mean the family which actually consists of just four of us in the UK. 

It's lovely to see everyone and just hang out not doing a lot and not having to do a lot.
I'm not cooking thank goodness, I'll help out but actually cooking is beyond me on this scale to be honest. 

It's nice to do something different and take my mind off of things a bit. 

Saturday, 30 March 2013

I caved

Ok this morning I caved and did another pregnancy test. 
I know I'm not supposed to but I just so desperaely want this all to work and to finally have the chance to be a mum I gues I'm getting a little impatient. As well, it's Easter weekend and tomorrow I'm going for dinner with the family and I just thought if it was a positive test then wouldn't it be great to share it with them all tomorrow but it's not to be, not at the moment anyway. I know it's really early to be testing so it's no surprise it's still negative but I did wonder if there might be a little faint second line I could see but sadly nothing.
After taking the test I did feel a bit deflated and low but it's not the end yet, not yet.

For the rest of the day I didn't really know what to do with myself but I know that there's probably going to be more days like this so I have to really try to keep going and try really hard not to let it get to me too much.

So what to do today? 
First I went off to buy some more gardening goodies and then the rest of the moring I spent clearing one of the many areas on my list, the pile of stuff in the dinning room. A job well done I'd say, although to be fair all I seemed to do was tidy it up and put it all back where it was.

It's so easy at times to just sit on the sofa and do absolutely nothing, watch bad TV and while the time away but I just know that's the worst thing I can do. At times it's a trial just to keep myself going from day to day, just trying to keep busy and keep my mind off of everything, but I really have to I can't let myself get dragged down by it all as after all there's no one but me who's going to get me back out of any hole I end up in.  

I really fancied a stroll along the seafront this afternoon but one minute it seems to be starting to snow and the next it's bright sunshine but through it all it's freezing cold and I just hate the cold but after an hour or so of umming and aring I just went for it and headed out. It was as cold as it was the other day along the seafront but it was nice out there really and definintely good for me to be out and about. It's a long walk along the front a four mile round trip and each time I do it I just know it's the best thing I can be doing right now. There's a cafe at the end of the promenade so after a peppermint tea stop I headed back home and then off to my allotment.

I still have this shed to decide on and it's proving to be tricky, which is the best one to get and two doors or one door?? I have absolutely no idea, what do I know about sheds after all?! Anyway more measuring and talking to crazy Nigel and it's back home for fish and chips, I'm a bit fed up with veggies at the moment but more than that I'm fed up with all the washing up every night!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Passing time

I have absolutley no idea where the time goes you know!
Not only am I now 40 (!), having had no idea where the time has gone but as well, week to week, where does it all go?
This week has now come to an end and its a week today since I had the IUI and looking back what actually happened this week?

Ok I'm sure I can sum it up a little better than that.

Monday.......erm! Oh no I remember, my uncle visited and then my dad did, so a bit of a busy afternoon. 

Tuesday I went to the allotment to do some digging. The potatoes are, traditionally, meant to go in on Good Friday but on the one hand I'm not sure the potatoes are ready yet and on the other, the ground isn't ready yet. So that was the plan for the afternoon, to dig over the potato plot again. It's hard work digging but from Wednesday onwards I'm not really supposed to be doing much so it needs to be done when it can.

Wednesday, dad visited and we went to do some more work at the allotment, I had an apple tree that needed to go in and dad wanted to finish off two raised beds we were making. It was freezing cold down there and by the end of it I honestly thought I had frostbite but it was a job well done, thanks lots and lots dad. :-)
I received my bulk load of pregnancy tests as well on Wednesday and despite not wanting to get obsessive about peeing on a stick (!) I do want to know when the trigger shot has left my body so I did a test in the afternoon and it was negative. Now to hope for the positive test result. :-)

Sleep this week hasn't been very good for me, I've just had three nights of really bad interrupted sleep, which is pants! It doesn't help that my restless legs syndrome seems to now be happening in my arms as well as my legs and occurs all day not just at night so when it comes to going to bed it's even worse. My lodger doesn't help the situation either at times by not being exactly quiet at night, and on Wednesday night when she got up to the loo at 01.30 that was it for me for the next three hours, wide awake and restless. I know as well there's lots of things going round in my head which doesn't help either but I've been listening to a relaxation CD which is supposed to help but to be honest I'm not so sure it's working, I think it's just making me think more as I try to go off to sleep.
Thursday I did a pregnancy test again using my first morning wee and again it was negative so I think that's it now I'm going to leave it a few days now before I test again and try and stay calm in the meantime.

The weather here has been so cold and horrid lately it really hasn't been that inviting for going out and getting any exercise and apart from Tai Chi I'm not really doing a lot at the moment so today I went for a nice long walk along the seafront which I hope is going to help me sleep tonight, annoyingly though I ended up with a blister from wearing my new boots, you can't have it all I guess!
It was a lovely walk along the front though and I really enjoyed just getting out and about. My plan when I first started this treatment three weeks ago was to walk along the seafront every day, four miles round trip, I think I've done it now three times! It has been horrid weather though so it's not just me being lazy. I know it's not good for me though not doing a lot and I'm sure it's playing a part in my sleep, or lack of.

Friday, the end of the week and exactly a week since my IUI and thank goodness I slept better last night which was a massive relief, I have to admit I was beginning to lose the plot! Today I had a plan to go allotment shopping, well not actually shopping for an allotment as I have one, but shopping for things for my allotment. Not big stuff shopping but I managed to get some plants at a reduced price and as well some warm gloves I hope.  

So now it's Easter weekend and as usual on a weekend and a holiday weekend at that I have nothing planned, no one getting in touch with me asking me if I want to do something and no one inviting me out, I really am 'Billy no mates' as usual, but I'm just so fed up with making the arrangements, it's always me asking someone else if they want to do something, never anyone asking me and I'm fed up of it! I do feel really pants about that sort of thing but I also know in a way I've bought a lot of it on myself and I also know that I'm not the only person out there who's in the same position, I'm constantly seeing people on facebook at times when if they had better things to do they'd be doing them! And I just know I can't be the only person home alone, perhaps a difference with me though is that I don't want to be home alone, I've never wanted to be home alone when there's so many different things going on, I'd love to be out and about seeing people and socialising, seeing bands and generally just being out and about but sadly that just isn't how it's been for me, it doesn't help that I live in a town where not a great deal goes on and if it does it's in the form of tea dances etc but oh well you can't change a habit of a lifetime I guess. :-(

All week I've being having some twinges and symptoms, symptoms of what though I'm not sure. Apparently the symptoms of pregnancy are similar to the onset of your period which is similar to what you get when taking progesterone like I am. I guess I wont know for another few days for sure but at the moment I'm having mild crampings as well as feeling a bit sicky at times and generally tired but to be honest I feel tired all the time anyway! I'll just have to hold on a bit longer and hope for the best wont I? 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The start of the 2WW

So officially and on recommendation, I have two weeks to wait till I can take a pregnancy test and of course I want to take it before then but to be honest I really am a firm believer in what will be will be and apart from take it easy a bit there really is nothing more I can do now.

With IUI, implantation takes place between 6-12 days after the procedure and that's the time to really be careful physically and my understanding is that until implantation occurs a pregnancy test would only show negative, as well as this, the trigger shot I had to take before insemination shows as a positive pregnancy reading anyway. 
I've read that some people test out the trigger shot, which means they take a pregnancy test everyday until it shows negative then a positive after that would be a real positive. Some people talk about getting obsessive about the tests doing them everyday and seeing lines that perhaps aren't there or feeling symptoms that maybe aren't there. I hope I'm not going to do the same cause there's no one but me to keep all of this in check but at the same time I think I will buy some cheap tests off the net so I'll at least know when the trigger shot has gone from my body.

So with the weekend over, having not done a lot, I'm two more days into my 2ww and its exciting. Although a few people do know what I'm doing and are aware of the 2ww and are asking me how it's going, really other than that I'm on my own with it all and that's quite nice at the moment. No one to dissect any symptoms with, no one to argue with or share disappointment with but of course similarly there's no significant other to share any success with. But this is the choice I've made and I'm ok with it. Ok it's not ideal but it's what it is and right now this is good for me. :-)

I wonder what these two weeks will have in store for me. I'm hoping to do a bit to my new allotment before my 'take it easy time', and I have big ideas for sorting out different things around the house......but you know I bet I don't do any of it!

Friday, 22 March 2013

The big day :-)

So here we go, the big day.

I'm really excited, I'm excited that this could really be it, that in just a few short hours I could be on my way to being a mum for real, what could be more exciting??
At the same time though I'm trying to keep my feet on the ground.

My aunt keeps asking if I want her to come with me to various clinic appointments but I always saying no, a part of me thinks this is my journey and I need to do it in the best was I can but another part of me wonders that if she did come people at the clinic might think we were gay! Now you really couldn't be further from the truth so up unitl now I've gone it alone but today I just want to take it easy and although IUI isn't as delicate as egg transfer with IVF you're still recommended to take it easy for the day and driving home from the clinic in possible rush hour really wouldn't be taking it easy. 
 So this time I take my aunt up on her offer and make arrangements for her to come to me at 13.00, my appointment at the clinic is 14.30 and I don't want to be held up anywhere, plus my aunt is (usually) always notoriously late! Apart from today of course when she's bang on time. 
Even so though we leave a little later than we should and only just get to the clinic in time which can't be good for my keeping calm idea, neither is the fact that I hate her driving. I knew when I agreed to her taking me that her driving alone would stress me out a bit but I can hardly cancel now, grit my teeth and bare it I think.

My appointment is at 14.30 but it's after 15.00 when I'm finally called in by Jo, friendly and very capable Jo. She goes over a few preliminaires before going off to get my sperm.

I've had a bit of a wobble about my donor just because of his age as I read somewhere that as a man gets older his sperm count etc is lower and this guy is around my age. The thing is he was the only donor on the site that sounded genuine, the only one that I think had really thought about what he was doing and not doing it just for the money. Anyway when Jo came back and gave me the news I was over the moon and knew there and then I'd made completely the right choice. Apparently the average sperm count per ml is 16 million, my donors sperm count was 60 million. 60 million sperm per!! Go little fellas!

To be inseminated is the same procedure as egg transfer in that a cafeter has to be passed through the cervix in order for the sperm to be transferred. This is an area I had difficulty with before during the trial and I'm nervous about it again, they just always seem to have difficulty with me and that worries me that things aren't all ok in that area, you just never really know do you?

As predicted Jo had real difficulty inserting the cafeter into my cervix. At least this time she had no problem actually finding my cervix, normally when I have a smear test they can't even find it! So she'd found it which was great now just to insert the cafeter. Jo tried four or five different cafeters and two different speculums before she had any joy, apparently my cervix is an 'S' bend. I was on that bed for about 45 minutes with my legs akimbo with a speculum inserted and a nurse between my legs making it even more uncomfortable but in the end Jo had joy and once the cafeter was in the right place the sperm was inseminated in seconds. Now I just need them to swim swim swim!

After a 15 minute lay down listening to some delightful Mike Oldfield I came back out to my aunt and we headed off. My acupuncturist wanted to see me for half an hour after my IUI so after being held up by the traffic a bit we ended up going straight there where she aimed to directed the energy in the right direction. 

Now I just have the dreaded two week wait before I can test.
I keep reading on different websites that people find this the worse time of the entire treatment. I wonder how I'll get on.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The moment of truth

So here it is the moment of truth.
I'm apprehensive and nervous going into the examination room, I want everything to be ok but I really have to be realistic and think positively about that fact that it might not be. 
I love that everyone says just relax, easier said than done for most people I know but at the moment I have to say I am feeling relatively relaxed. Maybe it's because I have no one to mull it all over with or dwell on it with or maybe its just my own sanity I'm trying to protect, perhaps we'll never know but for sure at the moment I'm feeling ok.

This time the scan showed that only two of my three follicles have continued to grow and I now have one measuring 21mm and the other measuring 16mm, the third has stayed 12mm. My womb lining still hasn't done too much thickening and still measures only just 5.7mm.
Based on this the decision has been made to convert this cycle to IUI, but that really is fine. As I've said before I'm doing the best I can and I know my body is working the hardest it can so that's all I can ask for really. 

Something that I did find out today which was interesting was that my FSH tested again on the first day of my meds was 14.8! Wow. This is an increase from 6.6 from when they tested it the first time. I'm not really sure what it all means but apparently the higher the number the less likely you are to respond to the drugs, mmm interesting. I just knew my body was doing the best it could given the circumstances.
The clinic have a cut off limit of an FSH result of 15 so I was only just in the parameters of them treating me. FSH fluctuates each month and I guess this month just wasn't my month for a low result.

So now I'm on the route for IUI, not such a great success rate but then I don't have such a great success rate anyway and any chance is a chance I think, I'm just glad I'm able to have a chance at something.

Friday is the big day, I have to inject myself tonight with a different drug before I go to bed which will bring on ovulation, I think! 

So what to do for the rest of the day?! 
I have at least another couple of weeks off work and I really need to try and make the most of it so on my list of things to do is loft clearance, wardrobe clearance, cupboard under the stairs clearance......anything clearing related really, these are all things that have been on my list for ever but I've just never quite got round to them and the realisation now is that if I am lucky to have a baby then I'm really not going to have any free time! :-) Bring it on!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Willing things to grow

I'm trying to keep my mind busy and not spend too much time thinking about things but it's hard you know? And as I'm not working at the moment I don't even have obnoxious passengers to take my mind off of it all. It's ok though because actually I think I'm doing ok, I'm doing a lot better than I have dome in the past about things.

I had an acupuncture appointment today which I think helped me and of course I went for another couple of listens to the hypnosis CD, after all it can only help right??

Monday, 18 March 2013

Not great news

So not great news today really. :-( Despite hoping against hope over the weekend.

I went off to the clinic for my scan and was seen pretty quickly which was nice and my oestrogen had gone up from 100 something to over 900 which apparently was great news but unfortunately only three of my follicles had grown any. They measured my three growing follicles at one at 15mm, two at 12mm and the rest were just 8mm. My womb lining measured at 5.6mm which was a tiny bit better than the scan on Friday but again not great. I have to say though although only three follicles are growing and my lining isn't thickening as fast as it should I know everything's doing the very best it can and after all, this is just my first time of taking these drugs, I just know my body's working as hard as it can though. 

Victoria, the nurse I saw today, made the suggestion that it might be better to convert to IUI to give me the best possible chance. I am still strugling with the know how of it all but I do know that with just three follicles growing not all of them may actually contain an egg and once they start the procedure my understanding is that they possibly lose some on the way so with only three it really does seem to minimise my chances. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't upset but I have to put myself in their hands for them to be able to do their very best for me.

Victoria went off to speak with the doctor but she was busy in theater so I just had to go home and wait it out for a phone call after shed been able to speak to her.
The phone call came at 13.15 and this time it was Jo. She's a lovely very bubbly and very efficient nurse and I trust her completely, but it was still upsetting when she confirmed that if my scan shows similar results on Wednesday then they would definitely convert to IUI.
I was really upset because I, like everyone else of course, desperately want this to work and as I'm self funding I'm really not sure how many chances with this I'm going to get but really I just need to put all my energy into this chance working right now.

More of the relaxation and hypnosis CD then I guess.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

A weekend of relaxation and photography

This weekend I made the most of the time I've got off of work and booked myself onto a DSLR wildlife course. And it was really fabulous.

I've had my DSLR for a couple of years now but have absolutely no idea how it works. I've taken photos of a friend's wedding and also some late pregnancy pictures and to be honest I have absolutely no idea how I ever managed to, I really had no idea what I was doing. Now though I feel like a lights been switched on for me, It's all very suddenly come together.
It was a great course and it was so nice to do something interesting and fun with like minded people which took my mind off of everything else that's going on at the moment.

After the course I had three hours to kill before heading up to the airport to pick up my uncle, unfortunately it really wasn't worth going home and coming out again but it did mean I had to stop at a service station to give myself the injections! If anyone saw me in the car drawing up the drugs I dread to think what was going through their minds!

Friday, 15 March 2013

First scan after starting drugs

This morning I'm back at the clinic for my first scan since starting the drugs. I guess this is what everyone's talking about when they say its an emotional rollercoaster. I desperately want things to be going well but you know what will be will be, I've done everything I can so far and right now there really isn't anything more I can do. The thing is you do absolutely everything you can to give yourself the best chance but when it comes down to it your body will do the best it can at the time and you really can't change that anymore than you already have.

I had the scan which showed that I had eight follicles all at approximately 8mm, the number of follicles was good but the fact they hadn't grown more than 8mm wasn't so great. I'm on almost the maximum of Menopur so they're not looking at increasing the dosage at the moment as the little they could increase it by wouldn't really make any difference. :-( So we're going to give it another couple of days and see how they're doing on Monday.
The scan also revealed how my womb lining was doing. They want it to be thickening and today it was 5.4mm thick, I think it was 4mm something on Monday so that's encouraging as well.
Now I guess I just have to wait to see what Monday holds. Hopefully larger follicles and thicker womb lining.

I have a relaxation and hypnosis cd which I intend to use every day in the hope that the visualisation part of it will work it's magic and Mondays appointment will be better.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The first injections

I was quite nervous about doing the first injections. I don't like needles at the best of time so to actually draw up drugs and then inject yourself is quite some ask really.
Up until the drugs arrived I honestly thought they would be pen like administered, like epipens. But no, and not only that but first I had to mix the drugs before I could administer it, scary, what happens if I get it wrong??

Fortunately and I guess obviously as I'm writing this blog, everything went ok and in actual fact it was a lot easier than I thought it would be, the needles are really small and went in very easily.....I'm beginning to wonder what all the fuss is about. ;-)

I don't have to go back to Brighton until Friday so I have four more days of drugs before we can get an idea as to how it's all working. It seems like a long wait but I'm going to try my best to keep myself busy and keep my mind off of it all, I don't think it's going to be as easy as it sounds though.

The second day of injections.......and I know now what all the fuss is about! It hurts! Ok a slight exaggeration but it is sore and I just know by the end of these two weeks or ten days I'm going to resemble a sore little pin cushion. But really it's ok and I'm just getting on with it.

The doctor didn't want me flying while I was doing IVF so I'm off now until there's a result. Mmm what to do? I'd love to do some gardening but I really don't want to do anything I'm not supposed to do.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Day one

So today's the big day!
I'm up at the crack of dawn literally. I woke up at 5am and seeing as I was in bed by 9 last night I guess that's pretty understandable, oh the joys of jet lag! To be honest though I don't really mind. It's very rare that I actually see this time of day by choice, in fact scrub that, I never see this time of day by choice. So it made a nice change really and gave me plenty of time to get up leisurely and get ready for my drive over to the clinic.

I'm still quite nervous about how today will unfold as I know they have to do a scan and a blood test just to make doubly sure I'm ok to start this cycle. Thing is I'm so desperate to get started, it's been three months since I made the big decision and started the ball moving and I really just want to get started, get pregnant and enjoy the rest of my life! :-)

At the clinic I'm relaxed and calm and enjoy a delicious hot chocolate before being called in for my blood test and then 10 minutes later for my scan. It was another internal scan to look at the antral follicles and this time they saw 2 on one side and 6 on the other so very similar if not totally the same as before which is a good sign now I just need to go home and wait for a call or no call to confirm my blood test had come back ok.

Back home I make a valiant effort to try and stay busy and keep my mind off the possible forthcoming phone call and when the phone rings at 5.30pm my heart sinks, Laura said they wouldn't call if everything was ok and now the phone was ringing. :-( Thankfully it was Jo just to confirm that everything was ok to start injections tonight. Fantastic! Now just to get over my fear of needles.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Driving home from Manchester

I've had the most perfect week away, I've had great company and the weather has been just perfect, just what I needed before I start my first IVF.
Starting IVF depends on my period starting at the right time and not early and also on blood tests and a scan that will be done on the start day. So really I need lots of things to be going my way to be able to start the treatment this month.

For the last few days I've known my period was coming soon and I really thought it was going to arrive on Friday so had to call the clinic from away to change the provisional appointment I had, but then they told me  that with my period starting Friday Monday was too late to start treatment, fortunately it didn't start, and they made an appointment for me on Monday just in case.

I've been hoping and praying, despite not being religious, that my period wasn't going to arrive early again this month and perfect timing it started this morning. The fact that I now have a five hour bus journey from Manchester to Gatwick to contend with is now nothing to me, I'm silently really excited about the fact that tomorrow evening I could be starting the first of my IVF injections, I can't wait. First though I need to get home and then I need tomorrows clinic appointment with a scan and blood test to go ok. But if that's all ok then I'll be starting the injections in the evening. Yippee!

All the way home on the bus all I could think about was what the next few weeks are going to hold for me and how I'm going to make the most of the time off work.....but knowing me I won't do a great deal, just the same as I normally do when I'm off just intersected with various clinic appointments. I may surprise my self yet though.

Back home I'm shattered and head for an early night before what is going to be a big day tomorrow.