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Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007-Welcome 2008

So 2007 is almost over.

I was going to write a good/ bad list of things that have happened but I've decided against it. Trawling over things won't change anything and, as much as I'm a little fragile right now, I have a lot to be thankful for.

2007 really was a year of two halves. The first half was quite positive really. Nothing much happened but I healed as a person.


You see, at the beginning of 2006 I was pregnant and positive, into the second trimester, quite relaxed even. When this went wrong, on the 25th January, that was the end of 2006 for me, I sank into the most awful black time. I went from bad to worse. 2006 was THE year from HELL.

At the beginning of 2007 I started to get back on track, making plans, looking forward. We found a clinic and committed to IVF. Scary but it was progress

Then a massive up, we came to the first IVF in June/July. Surprise pregnancy during down regulation, yeah!

The second half wasn't so settled, a drawn out miscarriage and then an IVF (take 2) failure.


But I survived. Yes I was sad, I am sad, but I didn't go back to where I had been in 2006, not by a long way.

After the miscarriage and even the IVF failure I was really worried about how I would cope. In 2006 I realised how easily one can fall into a pit of blackness and how difficult it is to try to climb out. I never want to be in that place again. Sometimes that makes me anxious to avoid situations that could push me in this direction. Unfortunately, when TTC , it is just impossible to avoid. There is no way around it. Either you put yourself on the line and try, or you don't. There is no way to protect yourself or guarantee success.

I have had an up and down year, and some of it has been hard, but there has been a difference too. In 2007 I joined an amazing community of woman who were struggling with the same demons as I was/am. I was no longer alone. I no longer felt isolated and afraid of my own feelings. I could relate to others who communicated their feelings better than I ever could, if you can relate to others then your own feelings are validated too. It was my saviour this year. You all made the difference this year.

This community can't change the outcome but it certainly has made the journey so much more bearable. Thank you all for being there.

As for 2008. Let's hope it is filled with happy news and good things. I know it'll be full of support, no matter what. For all of us.

Happy Hogmanay.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007

Hope everyone has managed to get through Christmas without too many scars. It really is a bittersweet time of the year for me, and I'm sure I'm not alone.
This year my brother, SIL and 9 month old niece stayed with us. On Christmas day we were joined by my mum, her husband, my granny and aunt and uncle. My entire family were focused around my niece. She is adorable and I am so pleased I could share her first Christmas. But it is hard. Very hard.
I can't help but think that without the miscarriages we would have been sharing Christmas with our own child/children. How different it would be with a two and a half year old, or an eighteen month toddler or even to be seven months pregnant?

As for IVF #1. The clinic were very sweet on my outcome day. I arrived to find a little crowd around a new born baby at the front desk. A nurse spotted me immediately and virtually ran to me, she took my arm and led me to a side room. I can't fault the staff. They have been as kind and caring as is possible.

I got a (surprise) phone call on Thursday to say that the team had reviewed my case and they felt everything had gone well. The recommendation would be to repeat the same protocol if I wished to cycle again. I have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow to discuss the cycle and possible next steps.


This is where my problem now lies. I have no idea what I want to do next. Ironically, my husband- remember him- the reluctant one, is now hell bent on jumping straight into another cycle. Starting in January. He reckons there is no point in putting it off. It'll be soooo much easier next time, he tells me, now we know what to expect. It wasn't that bad at all, not half as bad as he expected. Oh how I laugh.
I, on the other hand, am not so sure. I can see his thinking, the longer we leave it the more of an issue it becomes. I know I feel better doing something than marking time, but my attitude stinks.

This IVF failure wasn't nice, it was hard, but my expectations are no longer that high. I didn't expect it to work but I certainly wouldn't have done it if I had no hope at all. It is staying pregnant that I worried about most. I certainly didn't expect a take home baby and a failure at this stage is easier to cope with than another miscarriage. But that's the problem.

I no longer think this process is going to work. The getting and staying pregnant. I really don't see a happy ending. Mr L is also fairly realistic about this, we have decided that three (possibly four) IVFs and natural TTC until next January, when I'll be 38, is it. We'll have to draw a line and move on. I have been getting pregnant, being pregnant or getting over being pregnant for almost all of my thirties. It has to stop, I can't do it half hearted, it's taken over my life. The whole IVF thing is as much to be able to look back without regret, to know we tried.

What now, another IVF? Jumping through the emotional and financial hoops. Is it worth it?

Perhaps I'm being over-dramatic, perhaps with time this will all seem less traumatic. Right now, four miscarriages, two perfect embryos and a failed IVF, it all adds up to nothing. Isn't it foolish to expect anything different?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A picture is worth a thousand words.....

Monday, December 10, 2007

7dp3dt

A quick update so I can use the snappy title. I can't do a whole IVF cycle and not have at least one title like the above!

I'm halfway through the second week now. The first week was ok really. I was off work and took it easy doing little tasks, watching daytime TV and relaxing. Perfect to be honest. I was so glad to be off work. I was also quite tearful at times which took me by surprise. I know that I have been overly emotional (well, for me) when I was pregnant in the past so I thought this was a good sign, if somewhat embarrassing (not that anyone saw me, just embarrassed myself thankfully!) it seems to have settled down now though.

This last few days I am much less settled, and also less hopeful. I have had no implantation bleeding and last night I felt as though my period was starting. I even dreamt it had started overnight, and woke up in a state. It isn't here, but it feels like it's on its way :-(

'Outcome day', as they call it, is Saturday. It's not a beta just a urine test. If I get that far I'm going to test before then myself. I was thinking Friday, but I'll probably crumble by Thursday (10dp3dt.) It should be clear by then. I peed on a OPK this morning, just because it was there. It was lily white! Hmmmm. I've never tested + before 13dpo before so it still could just be too early. I'm not sure if it's the fear of knowing, or the lack of symptoms, but right now I'm pretty sure this isn't the cycle for us. Still hoping though, it is a magical time of the year after all!


I hope the 2WW is racing by for all my cycle sisters too. There is a whole bunch of us, Becks, Chicklet , M, Amy, Tracey, Geohde and Makingpeace and it has been so great to be travelling with such great company, it makes this whole journey that little bit less frightening. All the very best girls!

Monday, December 03, 2007

We Got There!!

We made it to transfer! I'm so grateful. I really didn't think it was going to happen and it would all be for nothing. I understood the physical process already, but I really under-estimated the stress of waiting for each next step.

The transfer was fine. A few catheters were tried out first (more than one would expect, I believe), but it was ok.

We transferred two embryos. Both grade 1. One eight celled, one nine celled. I am a bit worried about the nine cell, I thought they should have been even numbers. The embryologist didn't seem worried. We had another eight celled but it was grade two so she choose this instead.

So now it's the waiting game. No matter what, I'm pleased we got this far.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Breathe Out

Four out of the five fertilised. We may still get to transfer on Monday (please, please, please).

As von so rightly said, I should try to cross one bridge at a time. It is so difficult to do but it makes sense. The whole deal is just too overwhelming.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Not So Much of the Over-responding

I had a feeling this cycle was doomed right from the scan that showed only six follicles. I had thoughts of cancelling but decided to go with it for a bit. As you know, a few more follies joined in and I felt a lot more happy.

At retrieval today I was hoping for about eight eggs. Not the biggest crop but I thought it would be ok. As it happens we only got five. 5. I'm so disappointed.

The embryologist was very sweet and said we're looking for quality here, not quantity. I know she's right but it stands to reason that more choice is best.

Of course some won't fertilise and then, out of any that (hopefully) do, some won't divide well. I'm not all that hopeful that we'll even get to transfer at all. Shit, this is tough.


I suppose it is all a learning curve. It did seem that I was at risk of over-stimulating. Seems quite funny now. We can change the protocol for next time.

Fertilisation report tomorrow morning. I'd love to be able to post a happier story soon. Please keep your fingers crossed that some of them make it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What Could Go Wrong?

Could the trigger injection make me ultra emotional? Perhaps I have just finally cracked, something is definitely making me cry.

This week, the one where I'm patting myself on the back for taking -almost-everything in my stride, just took on a new look.

Last night I had to trigger at 7.30 to be ready for theatre Friday morning. I must say that is one pressure injection, I was worrying about spilling it or screwing it up all day. I got home at six and decided to walk my dogs locally rather than drive to the usual park, just in case the car broke down or I got held up. Over the top cautious but 'better safe than sorry' is a definite trait of mine.

I walked them around the woods out the back of my house and played with a ball a little. It was pitch black so not much fun but good enough. About 6.45 I thought I'd head back to get all sorted. Bath, mixed up etc. Mr L was working late so it was just me. I trudged through the woods until I was just at the back of my house, not far from the garden gate, and then Wham!! I fell over. Spectacularly.

There is a huge log that has been there forever, I was being so careful about walking when it was so dark, but I must have lost concentration and forgot. I fell right over it. A comedy fall, not a trip. My hand went down a ditch and ny head/nose hit a huge rock. There was such a cracking noise and this huge white flash. Like a cartoon. I didn't think that really happened but it does! I was sure I'd broken my nose.

I gathered myself together in a daze and headed indoors, collected ice from the freezer and made a cold pack. I looked at myself in the mirror. What a mess! and I mean mess.

I phoned my mum and as soon as she spoke I started to howl. I gave her such a fright too because I just couldn't speak for crying. And I couldn't stop.

It was now twenty past seven and I had to get ready for the trigger. Still sobbing, I put the ice pack down, mixed the Pregnyl, injected the mix and went back to cooling my eye. I didn't stop crying.

I'm swollen today. It hasn't really bruised (I never bruise) but both my nose and left eye are fairly puffy and fat. And I'm still emotional. So much so I've taken the day off work, that's just not like me.

Theatre tomorrow morning. No make up, as spotty as I've ever been in my life, and now with a fat nose and swollen eye. Fantastic. It gets better and better.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Little Better

Thank you all so much for your comments on my last post. I cannot imagine where else one could find such a wealth of knowledge alongside people who understand the emotional swings involved in this journey. It's truly been a gift to stumble across such a place. I'm really grateful to have you all :-)

The latest scan room news is actually better. There are now 10 follicles. All but two measure between 13 and 17, the two little 'uns are 8 and 9. I feel better although I had decided if six was all there were to be then I would just have to deal with it.

On a very positive note, I am really growing to like this clinic. I have seen the same nurse every visit, she's so gentle-mannered, and I like the familiarity of the same face each time. Last night she said she would reckon on theatre on Friday (which was confirmed after blood test results today) but then she told me that she was sorry but she wouldn't be there, she goes on holiday on Friday. I'm really worried. I told Mr L that this had thrown me and he reassured me that he'd be there. 'Yes I know that but I want Nurse Gentle,' was my less than tactful reply. Oh dear, I seem to have offended him now!!

This week has flown by. I can't believe it's only a day or two of injections left. It seems too speedy when I consider the build up. And now theatre is looming.

Now that is scary on a whole new level!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Only Six

The first scan, after 3 days of stims, was last night.

3 measurable follicles on each ovary. 8,8 and 11 on each. Symmetrical, yes, but not so good I think?

After being put on this protocol, due to being classed as a potential over-responder, I kind of hoped for more.

Now for some help, even although I have read so many blogs for so long, I am still unsure. Does having 6 measurable follicles at this stage mean that this is all there will ever be, or can some still join in this game? I'm sure I should know this but I'm uncertain. I know I should have asked the nurse.

So the roller coaster continues. I don't like the dips.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Show is on the Road.


Yeah! I survived Granny's birthday party. The family behaved very well and the oldies had a ball, even the entertainment was better than I expected. I'm so relieved it is all over. I don't think I truly realised how worried I was about it all until the Saturday afternoon. I've included a picture especially for Ms. Planner!!

Another reminder that I was not 26 weeks pregnant as I had, at one point, worked out I would be for this event. Saturday was also CD1. Still, it wasn't a huge surprise, just another ironic sign that the world is laughing at me.
I phoned the clinic and made an appointment for a day 3 scan on Monday morning. (This was really so awkward for work too. I couldn't even inform them until I wasn't there, if you know what I mean).

I had convinced myself that there would be a reason to be delayed this month. I mean really. I was quite shocked when we got the go ahead to start. The next shock was the box of drugs. Yes, I've seen pictures, but there really are a lot of drugs, huh? The lovely nurse talked me through the procedure and I gave myself my first injection. It was fine. Really fine. I'm so glad.

So, this is my second day of injecting. 225 iu Menopur twice a day for the first two days. Tomorrow I'm down to 225 iu once a day and on Thursday I'm back to the clinic for a scan and (hopefully) if all is well, will start Orgalutran too.

I still can't believe we are finally on this part of the journey. For as long as it has been in the planning stages I didn't actually believe it would come to this. I'm sort of in shock. It is probably best to be in shock. It kind of tones down the reality.

I hope I can continue with my head in the sand for a little while longer. Real life can be ugly. This afternoon I had two pregnancy announcements within an hour and a half. No one who is a big part of my life but they still launched me through a range of emotions, mostly anger (why??). The second one was a girl who told me she was trying when I was pregnant (before it was looking dodgy) I just had this awful feeling that she'd have a baby before me. Even then. That's all sorts of messed up. And sometimes it is really horrible to be right.

I'm calm now. Just got to make it to Thursday without freaking out. Hopefully something is happening and we will get to see this cycle through. Isn't it funny what we wish for sometimes?!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Next Exciting Event in my Life.

My Granny is 90 on Friday and we are having a big party. My brother suggested the idea about a year ago, and then went back home to London leaving mum and I to sort it! We're having a meal (Tip to everyone-Don't book a sit down meal when you have a complicated family, the seating plan was a nightmare) As if this wasn't bad enough, we have booked The Tar*tan La*ds ( a pair of silver haired old crooners, must be at least seventy each by now- highlight of Granny's DVD collection) to play. Still, she's really excited so I hope it'll be worth all the headaches. Family are arriving towards the end of the week. Mostly from the UK but my dad, and his wife, are flying over from Australia (she's his mum but my mum was always close to her MIL and continued to be after my dad left)
It'll be nice to see everyone although I am feeling a little tense about both sides of the family being in the same building. It hasn't happened since my parents split. Surely everyone will behave?

And I can't help but think, when I was pregnant in July, I was hoping to be doing all this with a bump. Sigh.

Still, the up and coming cycle helps me not to dwell on what might have been. The short version is....

No down regulation due to my AHM being 17.4 . Seemingly being over 15 puts me at risk of over responding, so I'll start on day 2 or 3 of my next cycle.
CD 1 expected on Sat or Sun so scan/bloods/startMenopur probably Mon or Tue
Another scan/bloods on day 4 of Menopur. Start Orgalutran.
See how it goes.
Possible egg retrieval dates 27 Nov- 3rd Dec??

It all seemed so wooly and far away. I really haven't given it a huge amount of thought. Not really like me. Now I write it I can't believe it is all kicking off so soon.

It's probably good to have had Gran's party to organise, saves over thinking everything else. The major downside of this timing will be having to cope with Christmas only a week or so after learning the outcome. It may not be easy but I still thinks it beats having done nothing. The frustration was killing me.

Please spare a thought for me on Saturday night. Between kilted, geriatric bagpipe players, a room full of 80+ and 90+ (mainly) woman and a family with a LOT of baggage, all in the same room for the first time in a decade. I just hope I manage to make it to next week!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Cross Pollination Day!!

Today is cross pollination today. I'm afraid I can't display the jazzy bee icon because I'm at work and my work won't let me into Goehde's site. Too many rude words it would seem. Who'd have thought it?!
If you can't guess who the host writer is then follow this link to find out.

Today I am a guest blog writer here. It's Cross Pollination Day! I thought I would take this opportunity to answer the question I posed to the group for the last book tour - Happiness Sold Separately.
When I began visiting other blogs and reading responses I was surprised to see that nearly everyone had answered my question - which I thought was pretty cool. It was my first book tour and I wasn't sure my question was even any good, but apparently it really got people thinking. So, I wanted to share with everyone where it came from.
I have quite a few infertility books, and I keep them on my bookshelf, but when my family or friends come to visit, I always take them off the bookshelf and put them in my bedroom, or at least turn them around so no one can read what they are. I don't really know why I do this. Everyone we know knows what we have been through. But for some reason I still feel a twinge (or more) of embarrassment for not being able to do something that seems so simple, something so many other people do without thinking about it. I'm actually ashamed of myself for feeling this way though because I know that I am helping to keep infertility and pregnancy loss topics that people just don't discuss. I don't want to do that anymore. This is such a lonely and isolating experience that I hate to think about someone else feeling the pain I have felt and not having anyone to talk to about it.
I understand what many of you expressed about it being a private matter that you don't want to discuss and I completely respect that. But for myself, I feel differently now. I used to feel that way too - it was and is a personal matter. But I now feel a really strong need to share my story, my knowledge, my experiences, to help people better understand infertility and people who face it each day.
My goal for myself is to make an effort to not hide my infertility, to not be embarrassed that I couldn't carry my baby for a full-term, to share information with people at appropriate times so that I can help to educate people about these things. I began volunteering for RESOLVE in my area, even though it really hasn't taken off yet here. But I will keep at it and hopefully one day there will be more of a presence. I shared my story with someone the other day whose daughter is just starting fertility treatments. (I heard this through the grapevine) It was difficult to do, to explain to someone who doesn't understand, and of course she said all the "normal" things like not trying so hard and we'll end up with 8 babies using fertility medication, but it was good. I offered my help should her daughter need someone to talk to, to help with shots, or questions. It definitely made me feel less embarrassed of my own situation and I think it may help her better understand what her daughter is going through too.
I want to help to increase the amount of empathy in this world, to make infertility a subject so important to everyone that it gets the attention it deserves from politicians, employers, etc., and to help at least one other person from feeling the isolation that I've felt.
So, that was my motivation for the question. I really enjoyed reading everyone's responses to it. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Short Protocol, Why Would That Be Then??

I got the results back from shiny new clinic. AHM 17.4 (pmol/l), the nurse said this was a good number and, based on this, they would expect a good response.
I only have her word for this as the only guide I have managed to find is their own which reads.....

<1.0 Negligible responses to ovulation drugs. Expected yields of 0-2 eggs. Most are stopped prior to egg pick up.
1.0-5.0 Reduced responses to ovulation drugs. Expected yields of 1-6 eggs (normal average=11 eggs)
>20 High responses to ovulation drugs. Risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

We have an appt on Monday for the consent forms etc (and payment, no doubt!) I asked if I was to start down regulating on day 20 or 21, which is either Tues or Wed. The person on the phone (nurse?) said no, I'd be starting on the first day of next cycle.

I didn't question this at the time but now I'm not sure why this would be. Is a short protocol not for those who don't respond well? I've never done stims before so I don't know what to expect. The ovarian assesment was to decide the type of cycle. I'm now wondering if they think I'll have a poor response, in which case why would she say my result was good?

As much as I hate feeling out of my depth, it does look very like we will be able to cycle this month and, for that, I'm grateful. I think it will be a relief to do something, to be trying. I'm not overly confident that it'll all come together and I certainly am not taking the process as a given. I know starting a cycle is only the first hurdle.

I do feel quite at peace though. At the moment I feel we are doing the right thing. I am writing this now to remind myself it the next few weeks. I hope I can hang on to this feeling!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's All Happening, Or Is It?

I've been back from holiday for over a week now and had great intentions of updating quickly, there has been quite a bit going on.

The holiday was great fun, just what we needed. The days in each port were whirlwind fast as we tried to see as much of each country as possible. The evenings on the ship were amazing. Such good food, reasonable entertainment and friendly people. An added bonus is that the general age range was 50+ (although there were a good number around our age) this meant I felt quite young which was very welcome as I have been feeling very past it lately. Too many bubbly young teachers at work. It was nice to feel spirited again.

The only downside of the whole time away was the fact that I was in the 2WW. CD 1 was due on the Mon and so I was quite excited by its absence, I had decided that if it hadn't arrived by Thur I would be quite safe to POAS in Barcelona. I had this romantic notion of finding out in such a beautiful city. By Wednesday night, however, the dull cramps arrived. I got really quite upset. It is hard enough without all this extra drama. I always find the first couple of cycles after m/c extra traumatic.

Ok, so it was hard to be thrown a scrap of hope but it did lead to a silver lining. It wasn't going to be possible to do blood this cycle but I had already made an appointment to see my GP on the Monday that we arrived home (to ask her if she would go above my consultant and try to refer me for m/c testing directly). This now would be day 5. Yea, blood work for the new clinic could take place this month after all! This means I can return to the old clinic to squeeze in another cycle before Christmas. It isn't as good as being pregnant of course but it is a bonus and it cheered me considerably.

Now I was all geared up. All I had to do was phone the clinic and ask for a day 20 appointment. I hate making these calls. I'm not sure why but I really procrastinate over certain phone calls, they become huge lumps of dread. The reality of the call is always such a relief compared to the build up. I can't work out why I put myself through the anxiety and why I rarely just clear the tasks at the first opportunity.

I hadn't been in touch with this clinic to tell them of the outcome of the pregnancy. On their records I would show six months pregnant so I knew I had all the explaining to do. I should have been in touch with them ages ago but (see last paragraph!) I just have never felt that they deserved an explanation. I was happy to walk away and have nothing more to do with them. Only my recent need to move ahead QUICKLY has made me reconsider.

The phone call didn't go as I'd planned. I asked for a day 20 appointment and she told me I was too late?????? Turns out the clinic is closed for refurbishment. Aghhh. I came off the phone and sat with my head in my hands. I didn't cry, just sat there. To have to cope with not being able to cycle and then it all seemed to work out in the end, why this? Why can't it just be easy.

After about ten minutes of sighing I had another thought. I had recently been told that there was yet another (newly opened) clinic in our area and they had no waiting list yet. I looked up their net pages and liked what I saw. I gave them a phone. They said they thought it may be possible to cycle with them this month. Yea! But I had to have an ovarian assessment and scan. - that evening in an hour and a quarter- if I was to make the cut off for the blood work in time for a decision this cycle. OMG. MR L wasn't even home but he was due in soon. I took the appointment and decided to go for it. He arrived home that very moment, turned around without a grumble (which is unusual when he's expecting to eat!) and off we went.

We only just got there in time. I really liked the clinic. Very nicely presented and the staff seemed thorough. Mr L felt the whole set up was so much more pleasant than the old set up. I am waiting to hear the results of this blood test and to hear whether we will be able to cycle there this month. It is all very rushed, it's not how I like to do things at all. Not a bit BUT I am quite at peace with it all, strangely enough. If we can cycle then I will be pleased to commit despite my lack of previous research (of course I have been Googling ever since and I'm really pleased with my findings) If we can't cycle then I'll be ok with that too. I've done everything possible to make this happen and now there is nothing to be done other than accept the outcome.

(P.s. Has anyone had any experience of the 'Ovarian Assessment Test and AMH blood test - used to determine ovarian reserve' or know the standard results or how does it influence differences in a cycle? )

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Happiness Sold Seperately

Elinor seemed to turn all of her books on the subject of infertility backwards on the bookshelves, where Roger found them while cleaning. Why do you think she did so? In what ways do you think people who are struggling with infertility help in keeping infertility such a "taboo" topic? Do you see infertility ever becoming a more accepted or understood topic?

I can completely relate to this one. When I went on holiday I put all my books on fertility and miscarriage in the attic. My mum was feeding the cat. My mum! She knows what we are going through, more or less, but I didn't want her to see the rather well stocked library I have built up. Why? I'm not completely sure. I don't think I want her to know truly how much this whole deal has taken over my life. I don't want her to know how desperate I have become. I don't want her to pity me.
I think that is what is behind my secrecy. I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I feel like I have failed and I don't want others thinking of me in this way too.
I know this is not a rational way to think. My losses are no more my fault than any random illness would be, but I see infertility as a failure. My failure. Maybe it is just a pride thing.
I also don't want to discuss infertility with others if I feel they can't really understand how totally consuming it can be. To bare my real feelings and the depth of hurt to someone to be repaid with a, 'well, if it is meant then it'll happen' type comment would ensure the end of a friendship for me. It is just too difficult to explain to the wider world, so I won't.
Unfortunately, although this is a self-preservation technique, it is doing nothing to help infertility to be understood. Even my close friends and family aren't invited into my world. Unless people like me can be comfortable enough to talk, explain and share I don't see it becoming a more understood topic. I think it will always be taboo for me.



The book explores different kinds of love. It seems that their battle with fertility (and really Elinor's battle with herself) has changed the type of love Ted feels for his wife. Has your journey with infertility and/or loss changed the love between you and your spouse?

Absolutely. No one in the world has a better idea of my journey than my husband. He doesn't always understand everything but I can be totally honest with him. His babies died too so I don't get angry at his advice or assume he doesn't understand the hurt. Having him be my rock has taken me to a new level of respect and love for him. He has stuck by me through some black times, he has shown patience I didn't know he had. He doesn't judge me or expect me to act or feel a certain way. He has held my hand through some ugly scenes and he still loves me. We have definitely grown closer. I wish it hadn't happened for these reasons but I am glad our relationship has developed such depth.





As we see glimpses into Ted & Elinor's relationship after their unsuccessful fertility treatments, we discover that Ted seeks solace in the garage and the gym -- places where he can "fix" things. Elinor finds refuge in the laundry room and by re-reading classic novels from college. Why do you think Elinor is drawn to these activities? What activities do you engage in as a way to soothe your soul during your fertility quest and why do you think you are drawn to them? What about your partner - does he/she have places or tasks that provide some refuge?

We are very like Ted and Elinor in this respect. My husband retreats to the garage and motorbikes. He likes to restore classic bikes. When life is difficult he'll start a new project. It takes his mind off things I suppose. Gives him an escape, a focus. It seems to work for him.
I am like Elinor too. When I am down I can't bear to be with people. Nothing seems to cheer me up as much as a full day of housework. No interruptions. I love to clean. It has a purpose, it is physical and it makes me feel good. I can lift my spirits. I don't know if it is symbolic, it doesn't feel it. I just like to clean.
Funny that I don't like to clean nearly so much when I am happy. I haven't realised that before!


Intrigued by the idea of a book tour and want to read more about Happiness Sold Separately? Hop along to more stops on the Barren Bitches Book Tour by visiting the master list at http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/. Want to come along for the next tour? Sign up begins today for tour #8 (The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood) and all are welcome to join along . All you need is a book and blog.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Frustration, More Frustration and a Little Fun.

It is getting so early dark here. Winter is just around the corner. It has made me impatient, another year almost over, I'm still not pregnant, time is marching on. Here's the frustration part..........

We went along to the potential new clinic last Monday. I liked the doctor but he reckons we don't need IVF straight away. He wants to wait 6 months (What for?) and then start in March. He's not asking us, he has decided. Now this seems like a long time away to me. March. I was hoping for.......hmmmm......next cycle. We have started the proceedings with the Hep B, Hep C, HIV tests having been done there and then . I have a line for day 3 testing of... FSH, estradoil, LH, Prolactin, TSH, rubella, full blood count, testosterone and thyroxine. Most of these have already been done but he wants them done again. Seems to me that no doctor actually trusts another, doesn't help me to trust any of them!

Even more frustrating, I have drawn a blank at the miscarriage testing. My gynaecologist just will not entertain it. She does not accept the first two pregnancies as clinical (they didn't need any medical intervention and the first wasn't even on my GPs notes). She will not even speak about them other than say early losses are very common. I even wrote to her asking that she refers us for further testing based on 4 losses, being over 35 and about to start another IVF cycle (which she did refer me for) I wrote so that there would be a copy of my letter in my file and she'd have to reply in writing. I thought this would make her a little more accountable for her actions and therefore more likely to help. In her reply she only referred to the losses that needed ERPCs and told me that guidelines do not recommend testing yet. I am so frustrated at her, at the NHS, at the whole deal. There seems to be nothing I can do to receive decent healthcare round here.

So I now have a problem, well two problems really. In a complete about turn from not wanting to try again, I now want to try IMMEDIATELY. I have had it with the waiting and hoping. I want to do everything in my power to get, and stay, pregnant or have closure if it doesn't happen. I need this torture to end, I can't have my life on hold indefinitely.
So the first dilemma was whether or not to go back to the original clinic ( I have already paid for a cycle and haven't done it yet) I wasn't impressed by their treatment last time but it would be a start, then I'd have new clinic to fall back on in March. I kind of decided that this is what I would do when problem number two emerged. My husband doesn't want to. He want to DIY until March.

I have tried to explain my need to move forward quickly but he reckons we are going to fall pregnant in the next couple of cycles. Based on what?? Of course I asked him this and he replied that he just felt it. Sigh. After much discussion, ok , me talking, him glazing over, he said, and I quote, " Well, I won't fight you."
What sort of commitment is that? It means I have to decide, if it all goes wrong I've wasted our money and I'll have to put up with the look. The 'I told you so' look. I am going mad with the overthinking. Absolutely mad.

Everything if complicated even further by the fact that we are going on holiday and my period is due that week (why wouldn't it be?) This means I can't get the day 3 blood work done for the new clinic. This will also mean I can't start down regulation, at the old clinic, on day 20, I think. I'm no doctor but I would imagine that doing day 3 blood work next month whilst down regulated may lead to some interesting results, no? So.... Now it looks like the earliest we can cycle, if everything else goes our way, would be December. What are the chances of the clinic running as normal. I just know I'd end up with retrieval on Christmas day or something equally as awkward. Cycling in January might be too close to March? I really don't know. It's all too hard. My head hurts!

The fun part is the holiday I mentioned. A cruise round the Med. We booked it on the Friday after the final scan, (before the ERPC on the Monday). We really can't afford it as, of course, we are looking at further IVF treatment but we felt we needed to get away. For a while I felt like it was a huge mistake. I was so miserable that I didn't really want to go away but I am looking forward to it now. It'll be fun to spend some time together.

Perhaps I'll relax so much I might even........ Well, I can dream.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Change of Heart

I'm still alive and fairly well. Thank you all for your concern and support. To be honest I read over my last post and I think it seems a little over dramatic now I look back. It was, however, truthfully the way I felt at the time so I guess it's good to look back at and realise I am making progress.

Life is very busy at work right now. It always is at the beginning of term but this year we have had a huge staff turnover. I'm sure the new (very young and super keen) staff think I'm an unfriendly old crow but I can live with that! I have one of the most challenging classes I have ever had so that keeps me on my toes.

I'm still a little anti-social but I'm feeling better about life in general. I don't see any reason to force myself in to social gatherings at the moment so I have given myself permission to stay home if I like.

The exception to this is the gym. I haven't been at the gym for such a long time. During my last pregnancy, mc and aftermath I put on a fair bit of weight. I'm determined not to put on any more so I forced myself to go back. In fact worse, I forced my (fit and active) husband to join so I had company and someone to motivate me. It was the best move ever. I feel so much better for the exercise. I forgot how much I enjoy having exercised, if not the actual exercise itself. And I can't believe what bad form I'm in. Yikes. I knew I was carrying more weight than usual but I'd kind of convinced myself that I was still fairly fit under it. No way! Still, it's a step in the right direction.

On the TTC or not TTC front. Well that question really answered itself. I ovulated four weeks after the ERPC, I wasn't charting but I did pee on a few OPK. It felt wrong to ovulate and not even try. I guess that's the plan then, keep trying. It is CD 1 so this cycle was a bust, fancy that, but I feel better now we've decided not to quit.

I also saw my consultant about two weeks ago. She has referred me to a different IVF clinic. I wasn't keen on going back to the other after the doctor was so dismissive at the 7 week scan. We have our first appointment there on the 24th. That is super speedy for my part of the world. It is only to discuss possibilities and we haven't committed to anything but I think we probably will.

So, I said never again and, without doubt, no IVF ever and here we are trying again and looking at IVF. How fickle is that? It seems that giving up is far harder than I imagined and way, way harder than trying again. I can't stand the thought of looking back in 10 years time and wishing we'd tried a little harder, I don't want all these attempts to be for nothing. I hope I'm doing the right thing. I guess time will tell.


P.S. Jan, the lady who left me the comment about the Edinburgh Miscarriage Group. Thank you very much, I got in touch and went along. Sue says Hi. I finally met someone, in real life, that gets it. How bizarre!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Scared To Look Forwards?

How can I possibly thank you all for all your comments and support. I really can't put into words how much this has meant to me. I have read and re-read each one. From those who I have a Blog relationship with, to new people who have been pointed here by those who care and want to help. Thank you heaps. I am truly amazed by the power of the internet. I couldn't have believed that strangers all over the world would be able to relate to me when I was really down. To help me feel less isolated. But you have, you really have.

I still feel really flat. I'm not as emotional as I was after the big miscarriage. It doesn't compare to what I 'lost' then. That was a baby, a fully formed baby. This was the beginnings, the potential, and to me, it was the hope of a baby.

I think what is really troubling me this time is the realisation that this may never work.

See part of the problem is that I had tried really hard to convince myself that it had all been bad luck. The first loss was so long ago, when my cycles were so screwed up, I'm really guessing at dates and the second was really early, even the doctors don't seem to see these as anything other than normal, upsetting, but not a medical issue and I kind of didn't either. They both happened easily so there was no lead up to the pregnancy and no fear that it wouldn't happen again. Then I told myself that perhaps the last one had really just been 'one of these things', lots of woman miscarry, and this one would be fine. I really thought that this pregnancy, which happened as we were down regulating to start IVF, was a gift. Saved from the mouth of IVF. In fact we had been delayed for month due to test results, perhaps this was the reason why. Fate. Because we were meant to have this baby. Sentimental, but it is how I was thinking.

So now I don't feel the intense sorrow of the last time, I don't feel the same huge loss and bereavement, but this time I feel defeated. Finished. It is draining. I am functioning on a day to day basis fairly normally. To my colleagues I'm sure it appears that everything is just fine. I'm maybe slightly quieter but not so as they'd remark. To my friends and family I'm texting but keeping my distance, they all know how busy a time this is being back for a new year at school. It's not unusual for me to be a little hermit like anyway until I get the term underway. Only my husband sees the real difference.

It isn't only sorrow for this particular pregnancy this time. It is a deeper feeling, a feeling that nothing is ever going to be all right again, that there is a huge shadow over me and it is going to be around for a while. I smile with my mouth but can't with my eyes. I say what I think I should because I'm too scared to even think about how I really feel. Everything seems so shallow and pointless. I try to listen to others news and be glad for them but it's hard because I don't care. That's not a nice thing to realise but I don't care. I don't care about their daughter's wedding or who's bought a new house. The only emotion I can connect with right now is sadness. I'm finding it hard to put how I feel into words. I guess I feel empty, I feel pointless. I don't feel strong enough to try again and yet I can't imagine not trying. To accept that this is it. It was all for nothing.

With each loss, a little bit of my spirit is gone. The first two only took my innocence, they made me realise that bad things could happen, and did happen and could happen again. They made me more weary and afraid of life in general. The biggest loss scarred me like I didn't know was possible. I wanted to stop feeling such intense emotions that I really contemplated unwise choices. I experienced depression for the first time and it wasn't pretty. The infertility that I then experienced took away the living for the moment. I was always planning and waiting, waiting to ovulate, waiting to test and trying to eat well, live well, avoid toxins, give my body the best chance possible and then still having to cope with disappointment after disappointment. The loss of hope.

That's the awful part. I'm not really sure what effect the loss of this pregnancy will have in the future, but, from experience, I do know it will take its toll At the moment I am just trying to get through. My heart is heavy, my hope has gone, I feel less like my old self than ever. And the process has only just started, it's scaring me.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Being A Bit More Honest

I have realised that I am repeating old patterns. I am shutting myself off from everyone, and now even my Blog. I think if I can't be a little upbeat or positive then I just run away from everyone. This is not a great reaction in real life but I reckon it is even worse here. This is supposed to be a journal of my journey and I'm avoiding writing because I've nothing jolly to say. So I will write how I feel, for me, for the future.

It has been a long week. My hormones seemed to hit rock bottom at the end of last week. I saw my GP on Monday and she is the best. She had phoned me at home when the report came in from the EPU because she was so upset for us. Unfortunately we have moved house and I hadn't updated my details but I really, really appreciated her taking time to do that. She kept saying, 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry.' and she was so kind I started to cry, I mean really cry, could barely catch my breath crying. I just don't cry in front of strangers but I couldn't stop. She let me cry and I know that the appointments are only meant to be ten minutes long, she must have run behind for the rest of the morning after that. She doesn't have the answers, but she cares and that means a lot. She asked if I wanted signed off work but I'm off until Monday anyway. I said I'd rather go back then. She told me to give myself time and to go off if it was all too much. Its only a job.

Monday was the last of the really terrible crying. My husband was so worried about me over the weekend that he went to work on Monday morning, sorted his week out, and came home again at lunchtime having arranged to take the rest of the week off. I know this isn't convenient for him. He said he doesn't know what to do or how to help but his place was with me, not at work. I so love that man.

That brings me to the point of this post. The running away. I don't want to see anyone right now except my husband. I am absolutely dreading having to chat politely with my colleagues on Monday, of course the opening sentence, again and again, will be, "Did you have a good summer?" Sigh.

My mother is worried about me, I know she is but I just can't speak to her. It doesn't make me feel good about myself. I let the phone go to voicemail mostly. Every so often I'll answer and she'll ask how I am. I just say, "fine, and you." I'm shutting her out. Completely. This happened last time too. This is not her fault but she just doesn't understand how I feel. She hurt my feelings terribly last time and I'm not letting her close enough to do it again.
I've spoken to some friends but, again, I won't talk about how I feel, or even what's happened this time with most of them. I've not been open with any of them about IF. They all know of the big miscarriage but I just can't seem to let people in. My counsellor called it inappropriate pride, I have thought about that often this last 10 days. I agree with her but she never did help me sort it out. I'm still full of 'inappropriate pride' it would seem.

So how am I feeling? Shattered, defeated, a failure, sorry for my self, angry - so angry, unable to think ahead, unable to live for the moment, sad just plain sad. I don't want to feel this way, I don't want to dwell. I don't want to mope. I certainly don't want to go down the same road I travelled last time.

I'm trying to have a word with myself but it would seem I'm not listening. So my lovely ladies, the ones who do get it, the ones who have coped, what do I do? How do I sort myself out? How do you get back on your feet, ready to fight again?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Where Am I Now?

I don't really know where I am but I do know it is very black and I don't like it. I thought I was doing OK but I'm not.

I keep going over and over the day of the procedure, like I have to relive each event. Not healthy I think? I'm going to write the main parts down. It'll be lengthy so feel free to skip.

I was admitted to the EPU, which is a room at the end of the maternity ward, at 8am and told theatre would be at 11.00. Then I saw no one else for hours until a nurse arrived with some tablets (the vaginal pessary) to soften the cervix and laughingly said, "These are for you but you're not getting them in your mouth!" and she was so jolly, like she had just cracked the best of jokes. I realise I may not have been in the best of moods but I found it totally inappropriate. She then sat on my bed and said nothing more as I stared at her. I was still dressed and she didn't give me a gown or tell me what to do. I didn't want to just strip to the waist in front of my husband and her and hop up on the bed, I've never been asked to undress in front of people like that before. I've always been given some privacy and a sheet or something to cover up before they come back into the room. I've little enough dignity left without this. So it was very awkward. 'It's just like a vaginal exam," she said. I asked for some privacy and she seemed quite put out. When she did administer the pessaries she seemed to think my cervix was just below my ribcage. I'm not sure that she is used to this job?

After that the rest was fairly straight forward. Each midwife/doctor/anaesthetist was really nice in themselves. They all seemed quite caring people however no one seemed to know what anyone else had said and so each had some variation in instructions. It was like there was a procedure missing. Just a bed at the top of the ward to be dealt with with no one really knowing what their role was. A different face each time. The procedure was explained and I was told, by the anaesthetist, I'd wake up comfortable with no pain but may have some cramping later. My husband was allowed to come down to the theatre prep place with me and stay till they knocked me out. I really appreciated that.

I didn't get taken down to theatre until about 1.30. I'm not sure why but I suppose these things happen. The theatre tech even apologised for my wait.

The next thing I was aware of was waking up, and what a shock it was. I was in loads of pain and I was howling. I must have been crying before I was aware of being awake because my face was wet with tears, It was all really scary. I hadn't any pain like this last time and remembered waking up quite sleepily. This was a complete contrast. I seemed to go from asleep to hysterical in a heartbeat. I can't really explain it but I wouldn't want to do it again. They gave me painkillers in the recovery room but they took a while to kick in. Even as I was wheeled back to the ward I was barely aware of anything but my cramping. It was a different anaesthetist to the one who had promised me no pain, perhaps due to the delay, I'm not sure if that would make a difference.

The midwife on the ward got the doctor to give me another painkiller, a purple one, much better, I always did like purple and after 20 mins or so it all died down to a bad period like cramp. As i was feeling less distressed I became aware of my bottom lip. It seems my lip must have between the air tube and my teeth. It was all swollen like I'd been punched and it was tingly as if I'd been to the dentist. Its still a bit swollen now and all cut inside. Its still a bit tingly too but at least I can drink tea without it running down my chin now. I guess these things happen too but no one was all that interested or able to explain why. The midwife said that maybe I'd bitten it and she was sure it'd be fine in a day or two. OK then, I'll just leave looking beaten up, no problem.

Later in the afternoonI asked when I could leave but then they discovered my drip hadn't been dripping. The valve was blocked and my blood was going up the tube rather than the stuff coming down, so I had to stay until this was sorted and then I had to have something to eat.
I finally left at 7.45pm with a bottle of painkillers. Physically all sorted I suppose, emotionally in bits.

I'm finding it more difficult than I thought. I just seem to swing from anger to distress and back. I really don't know how to move on. I feel as if I'm on my own now. The health care service has patched me up but there is no focus on how you feel. None at all.

I phoned my midwife this morning to cancel my appointment tomorrow she said she had heard from the EPU so she knew I wasn't coming but thanks for ringing. She then asked if this meant another trip (another trip!) to the Assisted Conception Unit (what to 'pick up' another pregnancy?) I said I just didn't know what I was going to do. I hoped she would speak to me but she just said that she hoped to see me sometime in the future. This got me really upset and I cried for ages when I got off the phone. There isn't any support.

I see my GP on Monday and I love her, she's so empathetic, but really, what can she say? What can anyone say? I don't know what to say myself, I just walk round and hear myself sighing.

I'm hoping this is all the hormone crash. I keep telling myself I've been through worse, I'll get through this too. It is probably true, I will, but I can't tell you how much I wish I didn't have to.

Friday, August 03, 2007

That Will Be That Then.

Firstly, thank you all so so much for your kind and thoughtful comments. Really. Thank you.

Final scan today at the early pregnancy unit, of course nothing had changed so I'm booked in for an ERPC on Monday.

I'm doing ok right now. Not sure how I'll feel when the hormones crash.

My husband is not so good. His best friend's partner had a little boy on Sunday. It has hit him quite hard this time. We went to see the baby last night and Mr L held him, I've NEVER seen him hold a baby before. He said it was the first time he's thought of a baby as a person, like a mini G. He spoke of how proud his friend is and how badly he really wants to be a dad. It isn't like him to be so emotional. I'm finding that hard.

He also keeps saying how we'll try again, straight away. How we can go straight to IVF. I felt like this after my other losses but I don't feel the same this time. I just don't want any of it. I don't want to try and I don't want IVF. I don't think I can go through this process again. Its too hard.

Anyway, I'm going to try not to make any decisions right now, it isn't necessary at the moment.

So ERPC on Monday, after that........well, we'll just wait and see.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Closure.... Not Quite.

I was at the Early Pregnancy Unit today. The difference in care between this and the IVF unit was so vast. The sonographer here to the time to measure everything and explain the findings rather than me having to guess.


Still no heartbeat.
Fetal Pole only 4.3mm (about 6 weeks) so they won't do an ERPC yet.
Repeat scan next Friday.

This is all a precaution due to the one in a million chance that things develop. Hospital protocol rather than actual hope. They have to be careful.

The hope is finished. It is over.

Monday, July 23, 2007

7 Weeks 1 Day.

No heartbeat.

Doctor said it was all fine! I asked why there was no heartbeat then, he said he thought it might just be the angle. He didn't measure or freeze the screen or magnify it or anything and he was very abrupt with me and my questions. I am mad at myself. I should have been stronger and pressed him for measurements etc. but I didn't.

Next scan Friday. So we wait again.

I think we know what it means.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Not So Calm

Warning- This is a huge big whinge. Don't read if you can't stand whingers.


I've started this post dozens of times. I just can't put my feelings into words.
I don't want to whinge about my current state, after all it is what we've been trying to achieve for so long.

I am, however, finding the whole deal mega stressful. I swing from despair to hope and back again hundreds of times throughout the day. I lie awake at night worrying. I'm ruining the whole deal for myself and I just can't snap out of it.

I've had a fair bit of spotting (always good for calming one's nerves) and on Thursday night I had a major, major freak out where I really sobbed for over an hour. Just uncontrollable crying because I am so scared. Scared of what may (or may never) happen. I get so mad at myself.

The one thing I'm pretty sure of is I now don't want to do IVF. I just don't think I could cope. This emotional torture has me at the end of my rope. The thought of having to go through such an ordeal to get to this position (with no more guarantees) just seems too much. I am not coping well.

On a more positive note I have managed to get past my consultant and I'm being looked after by the Early Pregnancy Unit at my nearest hospital. I rang them directly after spotting last Thursday night and they had me in, they didn't need my consultant's say so as I had been told. They scanned me to check everything was where it should be (at 5 weeks and 4 days all measured fine but not a lot to go on) and have put me on a special care programme and I can be scanned every week starting this Friday. They are so kind and take the time to listen, they really seem to understand how difficult this time is.

I also rang my IVF clinic this Thursday. I peed on (another stick) and the pregnant line was not nearly as dark as previously. I did another and the same. Major freakout, and I mean major. I asked the IVF clinic to move my scan from the Monday to the Friday as I just couldn't cope with this. The doctor wasn't in but the nurse said she'd speak to him and get back to me. She said he couldn't move the scan as the doctor wasn't in on the Friday( and he has to do it) but they'd have me in for a Beta. Now they'll do a beta!!! They told me, several times, they didn't do them. So Fridays beta was 24,000 (so what's with the fainter line?) They were to repeat the beta on Monday( as even I who comes from the land of no Beta knows, one on its own doesn't say much) but they have decided not to and just go ahead with the scan. I'm also feeling quite icky now. Perhaps there is hope. Who knows?

So, to sum up, early scan at the IVF clinic is tomorrow. 7 weeks and 1 day by my dates. I am soooo scared.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Welcome to Edinburgh





The Old Town of Edinburgh runs down the Royal Mile. At the top Edinburgh Castle. At the bottom the Queen's official residence, the Palace of Holyrood House.




I grew up in a close off the Royal Mile where I lived with my Gran parents. The close itself was rather grim but the buildings around are so beautiful. Here is a picture of my primary school.



Later, although I had moved away I went to university here. I also had a part time job as a waitress in a Pizza restaurant (and met Mr L here many moons ago)


Edinburgh is built on an extict volcano which makes it very hilly. Just a few minutes from our old flat is Arthurs Seat and Holyrood Park.




As I went to a school slap, bang in the middle of all this history, we had a lot of lessons about the Old Town. I found it a huge bore at the time :-( but the one story that I really liked was about Mary Kings Close. Mary Kings Close is an underground street that runs under the Royal Mile. It was a complete community with shops etc. It had been bricked up during the black plague as the people thought it would save the spread of disease. All the inhabitants were simply bricked in and left to die. Years later my husband, through his work, was invited on a tour of the close. We entered, down a stairwell, through the City Chambers in the middle of the Royal Mile. The place was amazing, still intact with the butcher shop still having its meat hooks and everything. Very spooky.


I love Edinburgh. I don't live centrally anymore but I still love to wander in especially during the festival which starts in a couple of weeks. I hope you enjoyed the look around! I'll leave you with some random Scottish pictures.







Thursday, July 12, 2007

Birthday Wishes

If things had gone differently, this week would be my baby's first birthday. Perhaps a party, some cake, visitors for sure all reminiscing on how she had grown and what milestones she had achieved in her first 12 months. Of course things didn't go like that and instead I've been looking backwards over the past year, in fact the 17 months since I lost her.

I'm not the same person now as I was then. I certainly wouldn't be the same person if I had become a mother and gone through nurturing a child to their first birthday. I can't even imagine how that would change me. I realise there would be things I will never know unless I get the chance. I know this because I have learned things in my IF journey that I never could have guessed.

My feelings for that pregnancy loss have faded so much in the last 5 months. For a full year after the loss I was a mess. Very tearful, very depressed, not interested in much. I'd never experienced emotion that was as powerful and I could not shrug it off. In the last 5 months I have accepted things. It still makes me sad to think of it but not the raw grief I once had. It seems quite unreal now.

I thought that being pregnant again would make me more hopeful. In a way it has but I had a little spotting last night, not much and it seems to have stopped, I'm trying not to freak out, but the terror is truly here. I just don't know what another loss would do to me. I don't want to imagine. I don't want to see.

Some of you made great suggestions in your last comments. The NHS is an awful thing to deal with. There seem to be no choices at all. I am already getting 'special' treatment due to my losses. Usually I wouldn't be offered a u/s until 12-14 weeks. My consultant (who I hate) told me she would do an early scan but, 'don't come until about 9 weeks, you don't want to get your hopes up.' That is what she said. Word.for.word. The scan I have arranged on the 23rd is privately, at the IVF clinic. I could probably move that up but I don't want to go until we will definitely see a heartbeat, or not. I don't want to hang on wondering what it means.
I think my G.P. (who is so lovely) may do betas for me if I explain (they just aren't standard over here) because she has gone out of her way to help me before. The only problem with this plan is I had to wait 2 weeks to get an appointment. Bloody NHS. I'll write a whole post about it one day. I have so much to vent!

On a happier note, I was at acupuncture today. My lady said my pulse showed a strong pregnancy. I'm not sure if they can really tell anything from this, but it certainly was nice to hear. She also recommended no scans. Yup, NO SCANS. They're not natural she says.

I said I'd think about it! I did, no scan, huh, that'll be right!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Wish I Had a Crystal Ball

Thank you all so much for your warm and lovely comments. I realise that reading of someone else's pregnancy, even if you are pleased for them, is a difficult thing to do. I know that some of you are going through really tough times at the moment and I can't tell you how much I appreciate you being so upbeat over here. Hats off.

I've been in London so I've missed what's going on. My mum was driving down to see my brother's new house and help out a little. When she initially made the plans I couldn't go as I'd be in the middle of stims. After this turn of events, and due to the fact that I was driving my husband mad with my continual obsessing, I decided to join her. It wasn't an easy decision as I was so terrified of something going wrong while we were away. Mr L thought it might be a good distraction though and help pass some time.

I'm glad I went although it was difficult to keep up a normal front. Those of you who have had miscarriages will appreciate the sheer terror that early pregnancy brings. Every lack of symptom or twinge sends me running to the toilet. I lie in bed at night praying that this will be the one, that its still ok. It is hard.

We don't have betas over here. They just don't do them. I have no way of knowing how this pregnancy is going. On Sunday night I was convinced it was all over. Boobs not sore therefore vanishing pregnancy signs. On Monday I made an excuse to go into town. I did (yet another) pregnancy test in the toilets in Debenhams. Classy, huh? The pregnancy line came up instantly and was way darker than the control line. That's all I have to go on but it did make me feel a little better. The sore boobs also returned.

I have a GP appointment on Monday and my scan is the following Monday. I will be 7 weeks and 1 day by the scan date (by my dates, 7 weeks 6 days by LMP) I can't tell you how far away that seems to me right now.

I hope I can make it, and without going mad would be quite a bonus.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The One I Hadn't Considered

Throughout my journey through infertility and miscarriage I have grown used to things not going well. I have become accustomed to being under a black cloud due to my frustration and inability to become pregnant, despite the oh so carefully timed sex, the lack of caffeine, alcohol, the consuming of whole grains and the continious bypassing of refined carbs and sugar, not to mention the pile of vitamins I throw down daily.

I've tried acupuncture, reflexology, hypnosis and meditation. I've upped my exercise and then calmed it again in case it was too much. I've stayed still for hours after sex. I've tried to smile through others announcements. Watched colleagues at work grow round and go on mat leave, I've visited friends and family with newborns. I've watched these babies grow into happy, cute toddlers. I've had to watch as baby number two is announced and cried as we've got nowhere. Nowhere at all.

I've been at the Clinic and I'm back home. I thought I knew why this cycle wasn't going well. I thought I was responding poorly to the down regulation. I'd never heard of this before but I was sure, if it was at all possible, if anyone could get it wrong, I could. Why not?

The reason that the down regulation hasn't gone exactly to plan is because I'm pregnant. Yep, somehow in the middle of a down reg cycle. How the f*ck? I was speechless. Not even emotional, just stunned. Of all the possible reasons for my lack of period, I never thought this would be it. (or could be it.)
I hope some of you are ok with reading this. It's kind of a surprise announcement situation. If you were following this story at all, you certainly wouldn't have been expecting this. I certainly wasn't. I hate surprises, and for that I am sorry. Especially if it is difficult for you to read. It would have been for me.

Of course, I've been here before. It isn't as much exciting as absolutely terrifying. There's even the extra worry of the effect of the Prostap (Lupron) to consider. I'll post about these thoughts when I have time to gather myself. But it's a start and, wow, I'll take it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Freedom

I'm on holiday. Yipee, yipee, yipee. Seven weeks off.

The last couple of weeks have been full on. A school performance to perfect and then perform to parents and all the usual end of term stuff. I've let my Blogging slip a little but I'll have plenty of time to read all your news now.

On the cycle front, a bit of a hitch I reckon. I was told that I would get my period 7-10 days after the Prostap injection. I'm now on day 13, that can't be good. Does anyone know what this might mean?
I'm guessing that it'll mean that either I'm just slow to down regulate and will be ok, just a little behind schedule or (and I have to say I think this is more likely) I've not responded to the drug and therefore haven't down regulated. This is one that I think may be true as I have had none of the afore mentioned side effects, the only ones I have experienced are tender breasts and a little nausea (how ironic, isn't my body just full of fun little digs.) I'll phone the clinic tomorrow. My fear is that if I haven't responded well to the down regulation they'll suggest starting it all again next month. Is that likely, do you think? That would be extremely frustrating. Still no point getting in a state yet. Tomorrow will do fine!

Right I'm off to see what's been happening around here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Real Me.

Firstly, thanks everyone, what a lot of lovely, encouraging comments you left after my, trying to be positive, post.

Secondly, I think I need to sort out some confusion. I may have left you all with the impression that I am all calm and zen. Not quite true. I'd love to be one of these incredibly giving woman who goes through life with never a bad thought. Also not true.

What I really meant in my last post that was, although I'd still rather not hear of all these pregnancies, I've kind of learned to distance myself. To keep myself from falling apart over every announcement. It isn't easy and I still have the panicky sick feeling and the want to scream BUT after the initial stinging slap, for my own best interests, I am learning to separate their good news from my lack of good news. To try and remember they are not getting pregnant to annoy me or to prove how much more womanly or healthy they are, it doesn't make them better people or more deserving. And, I try to remember, that although I want to be a mum so badly, to build OUR family, I don't want their lives. My life, apart from the obvious, suits me very well.

That said, I still have a pregnancy radar. I feel the need to continuously assess the likelihood of anyone I know, of child bearing age, becoming pregnant. I dread surprise announcements most of all. I still avoid pregnant woman, even my friends, whenever possible. I rarely ask how someone is keeping, or when they are due or any of the other appropriate chit chat. It's just too hard still.

Just thought I'd clear that up. I'm really not a happy, positive, salt-of-the-earth type. I'm just trying to make my life easier to live, for me. Hope I haven't disappointed anyone!

On the cycle news.
I've been at the clinic yesterday. The scan showed everything fine (No cysts, whew) so I had the Prostap injection. That's that then, The show is officially on the road. OMG.OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG. Just waiting for the mood swings/ hot flushes etc to start. Joy.

There was a little moment in the car park where I really, really thought about just not going in. I mean seriously. It does overwhelm me, it really does.

Just to demonstrate what a wicked person I am, the highlight of my visit had to be the nurse warning my husband of the possible probable mood swings etc. She really laid it on thick (well I really hope she was!) His face was a picture. He's even text me today to see how I am.

I reckon, for the first time ever, he's just as nervous as me right now. Yahoo.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Well I Never....+ Thinking May Actually Work.

There might actually be something in this positive thinking stuff. I can't quite believe that something as simple as just accepting stuff really reduces stress, but you know, I think it does.

Last Friday I found out we had been lapped. Now when I was between pregnancy two and pregnancy three a friend of mine got back in touch. She was about six months pregnant. Even then I wasn't too keen on hanging out with pregnant woman but she's really, really sweet, and she ended up working temporarily in the same school as me. I knew she had suffered a miscarriage the year before and I kind of filled her in on what was going on in our lives. As I said, she was really sweet.

In November she had her little boy. I was newly pregnant with my longest pregnancy. It was quite exciting. I lost the pregnancy in the January but I actually continued to spent a fair bit of time with her and her son. She really seemed to understand and she's a very good listener and I have very few people I've opened up to so it was nice to be able to talk things over.

Anyhoo, I was speaking to her mum on Friday and she just mentioned that my friend is pregnant again. Cue sick feeling. I can't believe people are on to baby number two and we still aren't happily expecting number one. Just. shouldn't. be. like. this.

This announcement would normally have floored me and sent me under a black cloud for at least a week, maybe two but I keep thinking of my acupuncture lady and her advice. This too is going to happen anyway and nothing I can do or say will change that (and of course I wouldn't really want to change it. I just don't want to know about it) so I tried out my newly found positivity.

It's ok. I keep saying it over and over again. And it is because her expecting again really doesn't make me any more or less pregnant, or less likely to be (if that makes sense.) I can't believe how calm I feel, every time it comes into my mind I just say, it is ok. It is.

Now I'm not suggesting I'm overly jolly but I'm not in a huge heap of self pity as I usually would be. I certainly have thought of all the times I may run into her and made a mental note of ways to avoid such meetings.

But I'm ok, because it will happen anyway, and that's ok too.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I'm Trying to be Positive (it isn't always easy)

Hello!
What a week or two its been, I've been flat out trying to get everything done. Work is manic, it always is at this time of year. Being at school camp last week left me behind with a load of stuff to catch up on at home. I feel like I've hardly stood still (except for watching The Apprentice last night but that was a have to do!)

With all the stress of everything I'm actually really pleased that this cycle was delayed. If things had gone to the original time scale we'd be smack bang in the middle of it and I can't imagine how stressful it would be to fit in appointments. I'd also worry about the stress I'm under and if it might have decreased our chances.

Tonight, straight from work, I had the hairdressers. I'm not really into the 'treat' element of a trip to the salon. It's more a necessary chore, today however, I was looking forward to the break. Two and a half hours of sitting still and chatting. Bliss.
As the first few foils were applied a girl was placed next to me. I didn't really notice at first until her hairdresser started talking about hormones. Yup, you've guessed haven't you? Of course, she was pregnant.

Over two hours of pregnancy talk. A surprise baby. Not particularly wanted by all accounts. The continuous moaning of how life would have to change. How much she was sacrificing. How she was fed up with being pregnant. I tried to glance and see how far on she was, I couldn't get any idea due to the gown but during the conversation it transpired she was eight weeks. Eight weeks and fed up. Sigh.

On our cycle news- Drugs have been ordered. Down regs start 18th June assuming no cysts at scan ( please no cysts) and the rest will pan out after that.

My lady at acupuncture was asking how my mood was and if I was up and happy. I was trying to explain how anxious I was. She said I have to be joyful and hopeful. I answered that although that sounded like a jolly plan I was struggling to get there. She replied by saying 'No struggling. You will do this anyway so no worry, You embrace it.' I was about to dismiss this comment as her not understanding but, with a little more thought, I see what she means.
So I am.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Down to Earth with a Bump- and not the sort I was dreaming of.

Wow. That was hard. I should know better.

Every cycle for the last 14 months or so I've had a dull ache for the last few days, sometimes longer, of the cycle. That and a little spotting from 10 DPO or so. This month... nothing. No pregnancy symptoms but no premenstrual ones either.
I started to dream a little. Well quite a lot actually. I even voiced my hopefulness to Mr L. What a silly thing to do.

As you've probably worked out by now, the bubble has burst. Spotting has started this evening (although still no cramps) looks like CD 1 tomorrow. I sometimes think someone/something is just playing with me. I knew getting pregnant this month wasn't likely, but why the hope? It kind of crept up and bit me. Now that's just not playing fair.

I'm off to camp with my class tomorrow and will somehow find a quite corner to phone the clinic and order my drugs. Thanks for your comments/ advice. I'm not stressing anymore, I'll just stick with my choices and get this show on the road. Ha, that sounds blasé. I'm not. I'm terrified. This cycle has reminded me how difficult it is to have hope and then have to deal with disappointment. Still, what's the alternative? Carry on like this?

No, it's time. It's scary, but it's time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Plodding On.

I can't believe it's over a week since I posted. Where does the time go? At the moment I have a few major things happening.....

Work has moved up a gear with end of year reports and testing. Next week I'm off to the Lake District with my class for camp, I hope the weather is good, and then there are only four weeks of term left. Yea and yikes all in the same breath!

My new hobby of gardening is also quite time consuming. Whenever the weather is good I'm trying to get out and do a little more. I love it but hours go by so quickly. It's also hard work! I didn't realise. I thought that little old people pottered in the garden, how hard can it be? Hmmm someone should tell that to my aching body, it feels like I've been in a fight with a truck.

I also compete in dog agility and flyball, you know like horse jumping for dogs. Madness for sure. I used to be quite heavily involved but gave it all up (along with everything else) last year. In an attempt to move on and have a normal life I've tried to get back into it again. I'm now back at Flyball, this is a team event, and we have a qualifier (for Crufts) on Saturday, so we have been training a couple of nights a week. I don't think I'm back for good, it's funny how things I used to enjoy now seem pointless, I'm not sure I still have the same passion for the whole scene but the company is good.

In a direct contrast to the busy stuff mentioned above, life in my TTC world seems to be very dull and soooo slow. I'm now 8dpo on a completely natural cycle. I ovulated on day 19 which is usual for me without Clomid. Of course I'm hoping that we'll have nailed it this month and will have a newborn early next year but, realistically CD1 is expected Sunday or Monday. On CD1 I have to arrange my day 20 appointment and order up my drugs. This is causing me a little difficulty.

The clinic have provided me with a number of choices of drugs, a little like a dinner menu.
For starters I can choose between sniffing Synarel, sniffing Suprefact or one or two injections Prostap. I don't fancy sniffing and remembering the timings etc so I think I'll go for Prostap injections. Any advice?

For main course the choices are Menopur, Golal F or Puregon. This course appears to be the most important choice and the one I have spent most time obsessing researching. I think I might opt for the Menopur but I so hate when you eat out and, halfway through the meal, wish you had chosen something else.
I'm not aware of the desert options yet. I usually like desert the best and always check them out first, choosing the other courses accordingly. This time I'm not so bothered. I don't think any of the choices are going to excite me awfully.

I'm sure I read somewhere that one of the primary stresses of modern life was all due to having too much choice. Now I HATE being told to do something without an option or an explanation. I wouldn't like just to be dictated to. I am, however finding this choice very difficult to make, I just don't have the knowledge. I'm trying to console myself with the fact that they all must be pretty similar or the clinic would be much more advisory in my selection? Perhaps this is just their way of trying to make me feel like I have a little control? I'm so scared of doing the wrong thing. Anyone tried any of these? Any helpful thoughts would be appreciated.

I have been tagged for the eight game but I think I've written enough for today. A feast or a famine, hey, that about sums me up!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Here's Who I am.

Oh, I've been tagged by Becks at One Miracle Needed, how exciting. It feels like I'm staying up late with the grown ups! I really enjoyed thinking of this list.

I am clumsy with words but at home with numbers.
I am an animal lover
I am a very private person who finds it hard to share my thoughts and feelings
I am cynical
I am a little sarcastic
I am older, on paper, than I think I should be
I am a daughter, a grandaughter, a wife, an aunt and a sister. I take all these roles seriously.
I am especially close to my grandmother
I am patient
I am not competitive with others, but very with myself
I am recently blonde for the first time in my life
I am absolutely lacking in all creativity unless it involves clothing or decorating
I am friendly but shy which can come across as being reserved
I am unable to show any vulnerable emotion in public. At all.
I am realistic, bordering on pessimistic
I am inquisitive perhaps even nosey
I am a very enthusiastic shopper
I am overly sensitive at times
I am only just getting back on my feet after a year of depression
I am a maths teacher and a dog trainer!(I'll not tell you which is easiest)
I am slightly obsessive, and can be a bit of a nerd!

I e mailed a copy of this to my husband who knows I'm writing a blog, but shows little interest-I think he's glad it's saving him hearing it all again!- and asked him if it was honest and representative. He sent me this reply.

"Only slightly obsessive ????????
What about methodical, organized, sexy, supportive, caring, faddy plus you read all the manuals and understand instructions, and you are not a nerd. "

I thought that was quite sweet of him really. He has a point about the obsessive!

So now I've to tag five others. This is such fun because I've only just learned how to add a link! I'm on a learning curve with a whole lot of things.

I know a lot of you have already done this so please forgive me if I duplicate
Erin at Vicious Cycle of Cycles
Tipsymarie at the Folliefiles
Christina at TheOneLiner
Dmarie at Labellavida
Cibele So I Wait for You

I can't wait to read your lists.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Only Slightly Disappointing

The appointment on Tuesday almost went well. We completed all the paperwork, good grief, there are masses of forms to fill in.

Next was to hand over all the lab results from the last set of bloods. The HIV, Hep B, Hep C for both of us. Rubella, Chlamydia, FSH and Oestradiol and Smear test (which I'm still waiting results from) for me. The nurse said my blood results (Oestradoil/FSH) were fine but I would still really like to know what the normal ranges are, just for my own obsessing /interest.

There was a problem with the Chlamydia test. It was out of date. This test was done over two years ago before my longest pregnancy (In my referral forms it actually states that I had a successful pregnancy in Oct 05. Well unless I have a baby at home that I've failed to notice I really can't think of a much less accurate term, but there you go.)The point is this test must be carried out within the last two years. So we have to repeat this test and also chase up my smear test result.


The other surprise was with Mr L's results. He'd already had 2 SA that had come back with all good outcomes but this time his motility was low. Now I'm not freaking out over this as the sample was meant to be in within an hour and it wasn't (at least 90mins). I'm going to count this as a red herring for the time being, at least until we have the retest.

So that left us with a new SA, another Chlamydia test and a smear result to chase before next Tuesday. I phoned my GPs office and they say the Chlamydia test will take a couple of weeks and they cannot guarantee the smear result this week either. So that was that. A months delay.

At first I was really disappointed with this news. We could get the IVF clinic to do the Chlamydia test (4 days) but still had no way of speeding up the smear test. The more I thought about it the more I realised that 4 weeks isn't an awful long time and other factors will become much more straightforward.

My work will be so much easier. As a teacher I get lots of holidays but have no way of taking time off without begging/asking. I am entitled to time off for medical but I work in a small school and it's difficult to get periodic cover. Also my frequent trips out would gather some, very unwanted, attention. By waiting four weeks I'll start down regulating whilst still at school but it'll be into the summer holidays by the second week of stims. It also means I'll be off for retrieval and transfer which makes things so much easier. I can also relax for the two week wait. (This is all assuming I get to every stage, and that is something I certainly am not taking for granted.)

It also means I can give my health kick an extra month AND another chance at a natural cycle. I know, I know, I should know better. It's hard not to dream though.

When I was going over all the positive points for waiting a month I really started to question why I had been so keen to get going sooner. The answer is... maternity leave! Truly, that's it! As I have set holidays, if maternity leave falls over a holiday then it's a lost holiday. So no one would want mat leave to include July and August as this really is wasted. This made me chuckle. There is obviously a part of me, deep and hidden, that thinks this might just work out. I hope that little bit of optimism doesn't get beaten up too badly!

So that's it. Possible timetable.....

Day one phone call to order drugs.....around 28th May
Down regs........around 14th June
Poss starting stims....... 25th June?
Holidays commence......29th June.


As for the rest, we'll just wait and see. It's all rather sketchy but at least it's a plan. And that's got to be good.

Friday, May 04, 2007

And Now My Mood is.....Green.

I can't believe how quickly this week has flown by.
I've been busy with work and then the evenings have been taken up with my new pastime, gardening.
Now of course as you don't know me this may not sound bizarre but it really is not my sort of thing at all. I have never taken any interest whatsoever in the garden before, not a bit.
We moved into this house at the end of last summer and the garden was pretty low maintenance if somewhat concrete and boring. For the last three weekends my husband has been digging concrete and carting it into skips, digging and moving at least a ton of pebbles and generally working really hard. By Saturday night the place looked so different that I started to take an interest.
I have now visited loads of garden centres, learned about some plants and created my own little haven. And I'm so pleased with it. Into the bargain it seems to have really calmed me down. How odd!
I'm not sure if my enthusiasm will last, I tend to be faddy. Throw myself into things (but not gardening, no way) and then move on BUT at the moment I'm not worried about that. Right now I'm finding this a wonderful distraction and that's got to be good. Maybe it's a mixture of the peace, beautiful weather (very odd for so early in Scotland) and also the exercise that's helping lift my spirits. Who'd have thought it!
On the IVF side, we're nervously awaiting our appointment on Tuesday. Well I'm nervous. I get myself all worked up.
I got back the results of this months blood work. I've googled and googled but I just don't know if it's good or bad. I can only find American measures and I don't know how the UK ones compare.

FSH 7 (U/L)
LH 3 (U/L)
Oestradiol 149 (pmol/L)

I mean, what does it all add up to?
I guess we'll get the verdict on Tuesday but that seems like a long way off. I'm trying not to but I know I'll google some more when my nerves can stand it (anyone else manage to freak themselves out googling?)

So Green it is, for just now anyway.

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Story

Thank you everybody for your kind words on my last post. My black mood lasted most of the week. I just felt life was not fair and I didn't want to pretend that it was. I tried to stay by myself a lot as I find it hard to be interested in other people's news or general chit chat when I feel down like that. It doesn't make me feel good about myself that I am so self obsessed at times.

I'm feeling a bit better now. My period arrived as I had expected although not until Thursday which means I had dull pain for the best part of a week, that doesn't seem right. Since I was so absolutely sure it was on it's way it didn't get to me too much. I think I did the disappointment nearly a week ago. So that's it. We move on. I'm still very nervous about our step into IVF but I think I'm making peace with the decision to go this way. Our next appointment is on Tues 8th May and we should then have a clearer idea of things to come.

I did glance at my profile when I logged in today and realised it may sound as if we've been trying to conceive since 1993. This is not the case, thank goodness. I couldn't keep this level of anxiety going all that time! No way.

This is my story.....

I was with my husband for four years when I fell pregnant the first time. Four years of no birth control! You'd think I'd have guessed there was a problem. The pregnancy wasn't planned (clearly I wasn't doing a lot of planning either way) and was at a difficult time. I had only just graduated and he had gone back to study as a full time student. That said we were still very upset when it ended at around six weeks. Still no birth control, or periods really, for another two years or so. By this time I was starting to get more symptoms of PCOS and went on the pill which kept everything ticking along nicely for the next nine or ten years.
At this time I was perfectly happy with no children. I knew from my history that conceiving was likely to be challenging but felt quite content that life without children suited us fine. As I turned into my thirties we thought we would have a try for a family but accept things if it didn't happen. I came off the pill and I fully expected my PCOS to return as it had been before.

In the beginning it did return, months and months without a period. After a good while I went to the doctor who referred me to a consultant. Whilst I was waiting for an appointment I read a few self help books and tried several recommendations and to my surprise, with a few supplements and lifestyle changes, my periods became quite regular and the PCOS seemed to have disappeared. Yahoo, now it'll be easy. And it was fairly easy from then, ovulation kits bought, temping started and I fell pregnant in a couple of months.
I lost this pregnancy at six weeks too. This time losing the pregnancy really threw me. I now knew for sure that I wanted children. I no longer felt that life would be ok without them. I was so driven to fall pregnant again and overcome this "bad luck"
Finally I fell pregnant again. Right from the beginning I was so cautious. We told virtually nobody and I wouldn't even talk about the baby until the second trimester. After 12 weeks I felt we had turned a corner, we told more people but by 14 weeks I felt something was wrong. I felt ill, my midwife told me it was normal to feel like that, a lot of people worry when their early pregnancy symptoms fade and they can't yet feel the movements. I still thought something was wrong, so much so I didn't tell anyone else about my pregnancy. I just hoped I was wrong. A scan at 16 weeks showed the heart had stopped.

This all happened January 06, and I then I fell apart.