Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye to 2008 (you won't be missed)

It seems odd to me that in some parts of the world it is already next year. Odd but not great because it just underlines the fact that New Year is simply a step over a date line and not actually the beginning of anything new.

2008 has not been a good year. It has been full of loss and failure. The saying goodbye to my furry friends, my old cat in April and our 12 year old spaniel at the beginning of December. They are both missed terribly. My house (and heart) is so much emptier.

In July I lost my beloved Grandmother. I can't explain how much this has affected my life. I miss her every day, I want to tell her things. I miss our lunches and shopping trips at the weekends. She was everything to me. She gave me purpose and she needed needed me as much as needed her. I miss being needed. I miss having family.

On top of this there was the two IVF failures. Not much I can say about that.
The lack of pregnancy this year has also been a worry. Although I have never got to the healthy new-born stage I have been pregnant during 2005, 2006 and 2007. Not so much in 2008. Apart from a brief flirt with the faintest of second lines back in February it has been a very non-pregnant year. I know that not being pregnant is better than miscarrying again but the fact that I haven't even managed to get pregnant doesn't fill me with hope for the future.

Are you still reading? Goodness knows why. The truth is I have bored myself. I can't even talk about it anymore- It's just one huge pile of blah.... I can't imagine a happy ending. It is hard to continue trying when you have no hope.

2009. Wouldn't it be nice if it was a good year?

I'd settle for just mediocre, if truth be told.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In The Right Direction

Thank you all so much for your lovely words, even lovelier given the depressing post. I really appreciate the thoughts :-)

Strangely enough I've had a very good week. After a lot of consideration I think we will go back to treatment (I know-I was so sure I was finished but...) I also decided I wouldn't plan anything more until after the year. The breathing space seems to have brought a (temporary?) peacefulness.

I am quite proud of myself this evening.

My brother and his wife are expecting their second child.
I am pleased they are having another baby, really pleased. I adore my 19 month niece. She is such a sweetie. Perhaps it is because I love my niece so much, or perhaps I am in a better place, but dealing with this pregnancy announcement isn't half as difficult as the last one seemed.
I spoke to my brother and was able to ask about the date for the scan and general stuff like that. I really don't want, or need, to know all the ins and outs of symptoms or growing bumps but I was genuinely interested in how they were doing.

It wasn't about me for once and I am very pleased to have found this place.

On a completely different subject (or maybe slightly related)- I went to the hairdressers this week and changed my look dramatically. I have been feeling so low and boring and ordinary so I decided to go a little wild. My hair is now a vibrant shade of red! I mean really really red.
I was a bit shocked at first but I think I really like it, it is a change and sometimes change is good, no? And it'll grow.

My husband is delighted, he loves my hair but he also thinks, perhaps, I am claiming a bit of the old me back. I know how quickly I can go up and down so we'll see.

But for now it's good.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Doesn't Time Fly When You're Having No Fun?

Hell0 (hanging head sheepishly)
Again I've been quiet for a long time. I didn't really mean to disappear and I have tried to start this post again and again. I just couldn't find the words, which is odd as I have so much I really want to say.

I will make the effort to reconnect. I have been reading your Blogs but even commenting has seemed a bit empty. It is hard to offer hope and encouragement when you are down, it is hard to offer congratulations even to those who I am so genuinely delighted for, their moving on makes my stagnation more pointed, it is even hard now to share painful times, my empathy is too real and I think I feel disappointments and heartache too deeply. But I miss the connection. I feel isolated, we live in a world where the majority of people are lucky enough not to be able to relate to my feelings even if I chose to share them. I miss the understanding.

I don't know how to make sense of this deal anymore. I am just not moving on. I am as far away now (further) from having a baby than I have ever been. This long and difficult journey hasn't taken me one inch closer. That is a hard thing to cope with.

I am sorry my post is so depressing, truly I am, but that is how it is right now and I need to work my way through this.

Ok, I'm back. Things feel just a little better already :-)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Only Endings.


I can't believe it. And yet, why would it be anything else?

I wish I knew what I had done to deserve this journey. It must have been really bad.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Cycle of Life?

On Tuesday night at 11.15 my Gran passed away. She had a bad turn on Monday night and I was able to spend her last day with her. She went peacefully. Everything was how it should be but my life will never be the same again.

She was 90 years old last November. She had had a good, healthy and contented life. She used to say she was very ordinary. She was never ordinary to me.

I think it is mind blowing to think of the changes she must have seen in her lifetime. Born in 1917 during the first world war, living through the second world war- she lost her dear brother in the war, he was 21, she could still cry over that, she never really got over it, the inventions, the technology, the people. So much change.

My gran was such an important person to me. She was the stable adult in my childhood, my brother and I were very close to my Grandparents and lived with them for long periods when my mum was in hospital. She was my constant, without her my formative years would have been very different.

Ten years ago my dad moved to Australia (without a word to us), my mum re married and has a new life, my brother moved to London (although he was still very close to my Gran and visited often, he just wasn't physically here). It just left her and me. We spoke on the phone every day and we would go out for lunch and shopping every Saturday. I loved the time we spent together, I never took it for granted, I always realised how lucky I was to have this time with her.

In recent years her body became more frail although she remained fiercely independent, her mind however was as sharp as ever. She made me laugh, she was so caring. She was a very special lady.

And now she's gone. The day I have dreaded for a long time arrived and I am left trying to be grateful for the time I had and trying not to focus on the huge gap that there will now be in my world.

This week has been the hardest. I wish I could explain the connection we had or put into words the sense of loss and loneliness I am feeling right now. We needed each other. She was my family.

Tomorrow is outcome day for this cycle. I haven't tested. I don't suppose I have to explain how much more this cycle means now.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I had to do a post today, 7dp3dt. It's tradition!

I was looking through my archives to see how I was feeling at this time in my previous cycles. I was pretty sure I remembered but decided to check. By this time in both the previous IVFs I thought it was all over. I certainly hoped I was wrong but, deep down, I didn't think it was to be.

Fast forward to today. Now I am really scared because this time I am actually quite positive. Not in a 'I have loads of symptoms' sort of way. I don't. But then I have never had any symptoms before six weeks so that doesn't worry me. No, it is just a kind of feeling. Hope. That'll be what it is. Hope. Now that is dangerous.

Yes, I'm full of hope and worried that it'll come back and bite me. The other times I really hoped I was wrong, this time I am desperately hoping I am right.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It Was Fun To Think About It

It turns out the day 3 or day 5 choice was all academic. Everything you all said made sense but I really wanted to go to blast. Really, really did. Perhaps it is just the thought of doing something different, perhaps it's the thought of getting some answers (even if I don't want to hear them) but I am really down about not getting to day 5.

The clinic had been reluctant right from the start. Even if I had 9 top quality 8 cell embryos on day 3 they would have rather transferred 2 and frozen the rest. This was the one factor that was making me doubt going to blast (if given the choice) I didn't want to force the clinic into something they weren't competent at doing.

It didn't come to that. On Monday Morning the embryologist rang to say that two of the embryos were clearly in the lead and should be transferred back. I was disappointed but a decision was made and that was that.

After being at the clinic it sounds as if the rest of the embryos are a bit of a bunch. Some 5 and 6 cells, others have some fragmentation. It makes me wonder just really how good the two are that are back in. (I don't mean looking at the moment, I mean how good are they truly)

So we transferred 2 8-celled embryos, one a grade 1, the other a grade 1/2. I can't help but think the other embryos being below par must be an indication of how these two will go.

The embryologist said absolutely not and these were two 'pregnancy grade embryos'. I'm not so sure, we've been here before.

I said earlier that my LP support was a little odd. Well I'm back on the lovely Crinone pessaries but this time I am also sniffing Suprefact. (yes, that is a DR drug) Bizarre. I was so concerned about this and the hazy explanations the clinic was giving that I, very cheekily, asked the lovely, and well rounded, Geohde to help me out. She did an awesome explanation, inc diagrams, (I did wonder if I should share her explanations with the nurses as they seem quite confused too!) and I now know how it works. Feel much better but it still seems odd to me.

Now the 2WW. I am in such a foul mood, I can't shake it. I have no positivity about this cycle now. It just isn't happening. Does anyone really get pregnant when only two out of nine embryos are any good? I really hope so but, sadly, I think I'm coming to the conclusion that my eggs are fried. Blah.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Word Clouds and Cycle Update

Thank you to Luna for this link. I love my cloud!

You can make your own at Wordle

Also an update. EC yesterday gave us 10 eggs. I was very pleased and even more pleased that the phone call this morning was to tell us that 9 had fertilised. Transfer set for Monday at 1 or, if on Monday there are 5 8-celled, good looking embryos, we will go for blast on Wednesday.

I was really hoping for a blast transfer but after speaking to the clinic I'm not so sure. I don't think blast transfers are done very often here and I certainly don't want to risk my embryos on someones learning curve.

I was going to wait until Monday before stressing over this, but that would mean having to decide on the spot. I need a plan, just in case. So, if I do get to make the choice what should I do? Play safe? Take a chance? Any advice? What would you do?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

So Quick!

I've been a bit slow to update on this cycle. I haven't been so involved and committed to this IVF. I suppose this is an attempt to distance myself from the process and therefore to protect myself from the outcome. Will it work? Time will tell. It certainly has been the easiest cycle so far. I'm just going along with it and refusing to over-think.

That said it did start fairly stressfully. My first IVF was antagonist, I got only five eggs, four fertilized and we got 2 grade 1 embryos, a grade 2 and a grade 2/3.
The second time I did the long protocol. This time there were nine eggs, seven fertilized. We put back 2 grade 1 embryos (although one was only 6 cell) the rest of the embryos were so poor they didn't even get on the scale.

When my doctor was going through the recommendations for this cycle he said I could choose which protocol to follow. This was awful as I was so scared of making the wrong choice. Eventually I spoke to a nurse who said that just wasn't fair. She spoke to the head professor and he came up with this.

So the protocol this time was...

Antagonist- starting with Northesterone on day 21 of last cycle for 10 days. This was to try to recruit more follicles allowing a greater number of eggs without a loss of quality.
Then 225iu Menopur once a day. (10 days)

So far there are more follicles than before but I'm not even trying to guess how many eggs. There will be the same amount whether I spend the next 36 hours wondering or not!

Luteal support is a very strange one but I'll save that for now.

So I triggered tonight. EC Friday morning at 7.30. I hope the calm continues.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Long Time, No See

I'm not sure anyone out there will still be checking in, it has been a loooonnnng time since my last post. Thank you to all of you who re-commented, mailed and even text me to see how I was doing. It is so amazing to have people who I have never even met care.

I haven't posted because I've had nothing much to say. I was starting to bore myself with the same old, same old. Initially I loved blogging because of the connections I made with people who really knew how it was to be in my place. I think I lost a bit of that.

Life has been up and down since the end of my last cycle. At first the sense of hopelessness was overwhelming. I think the chemical pregnancy followed by an IVF failure knocked me hard. I just didn't know what else I could do. Nothing seemed to be working. I'd used up my 'big guns' options and there was no where left to go.

Lately though I've felt more settled. The thought of a future without children is manageable, not what I would choose, but I think it would be ok. I've been having fun, spending a lot of time with old friends and being a little more carefree. I think it has done me the world of good. It has been a long time since I was just me, able to laugh and care about stuff not related to IF or loss. I have such a lot of great friends and I have been distancing myself from them for such a time, a silly thing to do as when I'm with them I get to be me, to put things in perspective, to realise that I am a person whether or not I am a mother. I think I forgot that for a while.

Some may call it denial (and, to be honest, I think there is a fair bit of that going on in my head) but I also seem to be dealing with other peoples pregnancies and announcements a little better. I can't say I am 100% ok with it all but I do seem to be able to separate myself from their life. They are two different things and I am trying to remember that someone's happiness does not need to make me more sad. It is a difficult concept and it doesn't always work. Still worth a try I reckon.

In the last couple of months I have gone from hopeless to coping, from despair to moments of contentment. Therefore it is with a heavy heart that I am about to start my fourth IVF (third full cycle). I am so scared of the emotions that follow a cycle and I am afraid I may lose this stability I have finally found but I have decided to go ahead. We always said we would try three times and I don't want to live with regret in the future. I wish I could put it off for a while longer but, being a teacher, the summer holidays are the ideal time to cycle. I promised my husband we would move on from this whole deal by the end of this year so I can't really put it off any longer. I hope we are doing the right thing.

One thing I have decided, this will be my last cycle whatever the outcome. Enough is enough.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Happy(?) Blogday to Me

Today marks a year of Blogging for me. I wonder what I thought I would gain from keeping a diary when I started.
I had been a reader for a while so I think I hoped to share knowledge and experiences, to learn from others who had been there, but I had no idea I would communicate with people so deeply that I would consider them my friends.

Starting this Blog has been a lifeline. I feel so isolated from life around me right now, so withdrawn, I really don't think I would have coped without an outlet that validates my feelings. I think being able to support others has helped too. Knowing I am not the only person in the world to have ever felt this way.

It is odd then to think that such support could, in a way, add to the feeling of loneliness too. I looked back on the Bloggers that I originally connected with. I thought of my first Blogroll. So so so many of them have moved forwards in their journey. On a good day this makes me extremely happy and gives me hope, on a bad day it seems to underline my lack of progress.

I am really feeling left behind right now. I am so worried that I will always be on this side. I am trying to get together a plan of action for my next move but I have lost my way. I feel like I am fighting all the time, it has been going on for so long. I am tired of it all.

I wonder what this Blog will say in a years time?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sometimes I Hate Being Right

Another failed cycle.

I'm off to lick my wounds for a while.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Apologies for the lame title, I just want to document this phase. It was helpful to look back at this time last cycle, unfortunately I think it is remarkably similar.
I have been really very positive this cycle, I just felt this was going to work out. I've had light cramping on and off since transfer which was different from last time, I was hoping, therefore, that the outcome would be different too.
You'll notice this is written in past tense. Today I am utterly convinced this is not to be. I have that awful dull ache that always heralds the arrival of my period. Exactly the same day as I felt it last time, way earlier than I would in a natural cycle (possibly significant?).
I haven't much else to say right now, obviously I am hoping I am wrong, I will gladly eat my words.
I don't think I'll have to though :-(

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Girls are Home

The transfer went well and I now have two lovely little embryos setting up home for a while.

We did a 3dt. Out of the seven fertilised eggs, two were very much 'in front'. We transferred 2 grade 1 embryos, one was 8 cell but the other was only 6 cell (is that a bad sign?).
I wish I had asked more questions at the time. I think I get 'white coat syndrome' I just assume that the medics know best (which I am sure they do) but after the fact I think of all the questions I should have asked.
The other embryos each had some degree of fragmentation but I don't know how much or how many cells. The fragmentation means the clinic won't freeze. They don't seem to be very keen to freeze at all.

So, that's it done. Now the wait. I'm off work for a little while which is great, no need to rush about or stress.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Eggs in One Basket

9 eggs. 7 fertilised.

Day 3 transfer set for 1pm on Thursday, I'm not sure if we get to go to blast if things look good then. The clinic require 4 great quality embryos on day 3 before considering blast. I'm also not even sure the clinic do transfers on a Saturday :-(

One slight hiccup, Mr L said yesterday that he won't do IVF again. He thinks it is taking over our lives. I'm not sure if it is just a reaction from the recent stress, he seems adamant though, and he is a very stubborn man. I'm just letting it go for the moment, there is enough to think about right now. We can discuss this later if necessary.

I'm trying to be calm but it is hard not to panic a little.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Passing Time

I've been tagged by the beautiful M to come up with a list of who's hot. A lovely diversion I think!

Now, of course, I don't ordinarily search the web for fine men, but a tag is a tag, no?!

Here's who I think......

Gordon Ramsay, celebrity chef. He is such a tough guy but so nice with his family. His first three children are all IVF kids too (and the fourth was a surprise!) but I liked him long before I found this out ;-)

Johnny Depp, nothing to add!

Russell Brand, he is just sweet and so quick with words, a trait I really admire. He is also a recovering addict. I have a lot of respect for people who have overcome their demons.

David Beckham, really not my type in real life but there is just something nice about him.

I'm not sure I should admit to this one! Boris Johnson, he's a politician and a bit of a clown. I think he'd be fun! Who doesn't like laughing?

Well, that managed to take my mind off tomorrow's EC for a little while. I'm due at the clinic at the crack of dawn. At least there isn't too long to stress (this bit) now.

As for the tag, I know this isn't every ones cup of tea, but it was fun....

I tag Silver from Hope for the Best. (a new blogger and been a big support to me IRL, please pop over and say welcome) also Chicklet and Christina, and, of course, anyone else looking for a way to waste, er... I mean spend a little free time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

IVF #2 (and a half)

Thank you all so so much for your comments of support after my last post. I didn't want to write it, I felt so foolish, I thought about just walking away from the Blog. In the end I posted but didn't expect such comfort. I can't imagine not knowing all you ladies. Thank you all.

The clinic let me carry on with the IVF despite the chemical. Although I started a few days later than expected, the scan/bloods showed I was down regulated.

This cycle has been so much harder than the last. I've had headaches and felt really nauseous. Just yuck all through.

Day 8 scan yesterday showed six follicles on one side and seven on the other. All between 10 and 12 mm. I'm pleased with this but I'm just taking it one step at a time, over thinking just doesn't help.

I have a major day at work on Thursday. Very stressful but I'm taking some time off from Friday. Apart from this there is not an awful lot of excitement right now. I'm just concentrating on growing some pretty eggs!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Back in the Trenches

So it turns out I can add another chemical to my list of failures. I don't have much else to say. I am sick of feeling like a freak and a failure.

I hate that I was excited enough to be able to post some good news for a change that I went ahead and shared.
I hate that everyone was so hopeful and cheery and, yet again, I have to follow up with bad news.
I hate that keeping hold of a baby seems beyond me.
I hate that I am far less surprised about how this turned out than most people would (or should) be.
I hate that I have day 3 scan and blood work tomorrow and I have so. very. little. hope. of this journey ever ending in a real live baby.
I hate that I am so very embarassed about this.
I hate that sad is my default setting and has been for so long now.
I hate that my husband cried about this whilst I drank wine, ate chocolate and spent a whole lot on new clothes on my credit card.

I hate this whole deal. I hate it.

Also, how spooky/strange/awful is it that my latest Amaz*n book recommendations were e mailed to me today and they are all (and this is the first time this has happened) about coping with living child free and moving on?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Maybe Lightning Doesn't Strike Twice

I weed on two more sticks this morning. The internet cheapie was as faint as yesterday, certainly no darker. The Early Response one was so pale that I had to hold it at certain angles to even see the second line.
Could it just be more dilute wee? I'm prepared for a chemical. I had one of those a year past September. I'll test again in the morning, it should be very clear which way this is going by then.
Poor Mr L is working in the Northern Isles for the rest of the week. He was flying early and woke me up so I could pee! I had already, about an hour and a half earlier. He said, 'but this isn't what I expected.' Poor man really.
You'd think he'd learn not to expect anything at all.

Monday, February 11, 2008

What's With Me and The Downregulation?

Would a very very faint second line at 11 dpo (during down regulation-again!) be anything to get my hopes up for?

Time will tell.

Freaking out.

Friday, January 25, 2008

24 Months

Two years ago today we found out our 16 week baby no longer had a heartbeat. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to cope with. It still hurts. I still miss the life that never was to be.

Two years later, I'm glad I didn't know then how hard all of this would continue to be.

Makes me wonder what the future will hold. Makes me wonder if I'd want to know. Makes me wonder if it will ever be easier.

Sometimes I can be grateful for what I have, sometimes I wish things were so different.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Trying to Hope

Wow, it seems this is my first post of 2008. Now that is a little slack.

I suppose I haven't had much to say.

I'm not sure if it is the January blues, my birthday (37 today, how did that happen?) or the whole hopeless TTC stuff but I just don't seem to want to communicate.

In short, I am a miserable old girl who is wallowing in a sea of self pity. I am really quite worried that I am pushing my husband too far these days. All I seem to do is mope and moan and go on about our situation. It worries me that he'll just get to the point of thinking it isn't worth it.

I don't even like being with me right now, why should he?

Anyway, onwards and upwards as they say.

On the TTC front, well, I ordered myself £808 worth of drugs this morning! Happy Birthday to me!!! We are going to cycle again.

At my follow up appointment with the (very lovely) doctor from the clinic he said.....

Yes, the previous cycle had gone very well and we had two top quality embryos. He had no answers to why these didn't take, just bad luck probably (hmmm, more bad luck. Not so scientific sometimes,these doctors) however he did realise that, although my AMH had thrown me into the potential high/over responders group, with 5 eggs, I hadn't over responded. The next cycle will therefore be a different protocol.


I have started on Metformin (making me feel -but not be- sick most of the day, yuck) This cycle I will be down-regulated (Lupron), then the same dose of Menopur and then we'll see how I respond. He is hopeful for more eggs without a loss of quality. It does seem like a guessing game but I am happy enough with the plan.

Cysts etc allowing, down regulation is on the 4th February so starting stims around 14th-18th February? Possible EC around end of Feb.

I'm really hoping to gather a little hope and enthusiasm between now and the start of this cycle. Right now I just want to cry when I think of doing it all again. Then again, the alternative, the do nothing and get even older, scares me witless. It really is a case of being between a rock and a hard place.

I have been pregnant at 34, 35 and 36. Please let this be the one for 37. And please let this one be a real live baby. Please.