The Bigger the Better

So this morning I nipped off from work for what I assumed would be a quick scan at the clinic a 5 minute drive away. 2 and a half hours later I was finally back at my desk. Every time I’ve been to the clinic on this cycle the waiting room has been packed, I can’t remember it ever being this busy on our last attempts. Maybe IVF is in this season?

25 mins (or 2 copies of Stylist magazine) later than scheduled I was called in for my date with ‘dildo-cam’. I’m becoming quite adept at shedding the bottom half of my clothing in seconds, I could have been in Bucks Fizz if only I’d been born 20 years earlier.

SNF28VISIONC--_1516928a

The scan showed around 17 follicles, 4 of them at 16mm and the rest between 10 – 12mm. My egg collection had originally been scheduled for this coming Monday but because of the amount of smaller follicles they’ve pushed it back to Wednesday and told me to continue with the Menopur for another couple of days in order to hopefully boost their size.

Prescription in hand I ventured off to another nearby hospital pharmacy to collect the extra drugs. I’ve never ever had a straightforward trip to this hospital, cue the standard routine;

  • Drive round the car park cursing at lack of spaces
  • Park in a 20 mins max drop off bay, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be in and out at lightening speed (yeah right)
  • 5 to 15 mins in – Sit quietly worrying about being parked in said bay
  • 15 – 20 mins in – Get increasingly agitated about the time it’s taking and spend another 10 mins debating whether to move the car whilst visualising clamping/fines
  • 30 mins in – Decide you MUST move the car and leave the pharmacy
  • Move car two spaces along
  • Return to pharmacy having missed your prescription number being called out

I’m sure they wait until they see me leaving the building every time.

In between all the stress I also managed to take it out on my partner when he phoned to ask how things had gone, he’ll probably hide the Menopur when I get it home, he should hide the wine too (just kidding).

Anyway, after the initial disappointment of it being moved slightly I’m now back to my chilled self. If more time and more drugs is what it needs then so be it.

Also, on a purely selfish note it means that I can now definitely go to a gig that I’ve had tickets to for ages. If the dates hadn’t of changed there was a chance the transfer could have fallen on the date of the gig, the other half would have had me wrapped in cotton wool and under lock and key so I would have had to miss out. Every cloud n’all that!

Flaming follicles!

Just a quick update after a visit to the clinic earlier today. I went for a scan to check the Menopur is doing what it’s meant to be doing…..apart from just making me a nightmare to live with. Although to be fair it is making me sleep loads so my fella does get a bit of peace now and again.

We had a good response on our 1st fresh cycle so I wasn’t anticipating any problems. The nurse pointed out the follicles on the screen (I nodded and pretended I could see something as per). After commenting that my lining was looking good “like a jam sandwich”?!?! She told me the ones on my left ovary are quite small and borderline in size, whilst the lead ones on the right ovary are looking bigger and are already at around 15mm. Egg collection is still pencilled in for Monday 3rd November but she did mention maybe extending my course of drugs and moving the EC back slightly if the smaller ones don’t catch up. I have another scan at some point on Friday so they can determine what to do.

In the meantime you can find me lying with my legs in the air to encourage blood flow, knocking back protein like there’s no tomorrow and wearing 17 layers to keep my tummy warm. If it needs to be pushed back then so be it but I’m hoping the little blighters grow by Friday.

10 things I hate about…

For National Fertility Awareness week I thought I’d share my thoughts on what I believe to be the worst bits about trying to conceive and going through IVF. Feel free to add your own in the comments section, I’m all about positivity but we all need a rant now and again 🙂

wholebanner

Injections – For the most part I’ve always taken my medication at around 7am, apart from our 1st FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer for you non I.V.Effers). On this occasion I took it at 7pm, this was my worst cycle ever and my moods and other side effects were horrendous, obviously I blamed the timings (no idea why) and since then have vowed to never do it on an evening again. However, this now means that during cycles lie ins are a thing of the past and every weekend I curse my choice. Mind, I only have to think back to the time in that cycle, when I was on my knees crying on the bedroom floor because of my ever increasing pile of ironing, and it reminds me that maybe the 6:30 alarm isn’t so bad.

Bloating – as an avid (read obsessive) watcher of the scales, the bloat is definitely up there in the top ten worst things about IVF. Shallow I know, but I don’t care! High waisted jeans are both a blessing and a curse, great first thing for giving the illusion of an almost flat stomach….however, come 6pm it’s a different story as your zips threatening to burst and your circulation is almost cut off. Loose fitting attire is the way forward from as early as 3 days in if you ask me.

Crying (lots of) – I’ll be honest, I’m the type of person who will cry at anything. I’ve been know to shed a tear at Masterchef just because someones soufflé has collapsed. During a cycle of IVF my crying rate goes through the roof…. if we ever have to pay for a cycle I might ask Kleenex if they’ll sponsor it.

Other side effects – feelings of confusion and struggling to string a sentence together whilst on Buserelin, the insatiable thirst throughout the whole thing, the volume of water consumed trying to beat the thirst, the constant trips to the bathroom as a result of trying to combat the thirst. Talk about a vicious circle.

The 2 Week Wait –  aka the longest 2 weeks ever, if only a fortnight sunbathing & drinking cocktails on holiday felt this long. The wait from the day of transfer to the day of pregnancy test is excruciating. When reading up on IVF before starting treatment I thought this part would be a doddle compared to the rest of it, how wrong I was. You analyse every little thing, convincing yourself that is has worked, hours later you’ve come to terms with the fact it hasn’t worked. This happens constantly throughout the 2ww, Google becomes your best friend and you can while away hours looking up symptoms. Of course it doesn’t help that the side effects of the pessaries/suppositories (your choice) that you have to use during the 2 weeks are exactly the same as the symptoms you would get in early pregnancy. Talk about a mind f*ck. Isn’t science brilliant!!!

The 3 Week Wait – as above but with added mind f*ckery!

Envy – Almost everyone in our social circles now either have children or are growing bumps. 50% of our social life is spent at christenings or in Mamas and Papas sourcing gifts for new additions to families. I mean, I enjoy shopping but sometimes I’d like to be going into such establishments to buy items for our own little family. No matter how happy you are for people when they tell you (and I am, I would never ever want someone to feel uncomfortable or worried about sharing their good news with me) you can’t help but feel a little bit envious. And don’t get me started on Facebook, it feels like new scan pics appear almost daily! And that’s why I’ve decided when we do fall pregnant I am going to bombard all forms of social media constantly, with updates of every step – pictures of me with the positive test result, scan pictures, me at 5 cms dilated etc, etc. *

Planning anything – planning a holiday, a  short trip away or even a day/night out can become a military operation. Sunglasses and accessories are cast aside to make way for the drug stash. Feeling like an extra from Trainspotting whilst ‘shooting up’ in toilets is a common occurrence. Then there’s the feeling of selfishness you get when meeting with the clinic to discuss potential dates. Feeling disappointed that the dates that they’ve given you (and that you’ve been waiting for forever) now might clash with a planned big event or night out and you might have to miss it….and then feeling selfish and beating yourself up about it for feeling disappointed.  It’s ridiculous that we feel bad for trying to lead a normal life outside of IVF.

Adverts like this…if only it was that easy!

how-to-get-pregnan-fast2_20101108153304

 

I couldn’t think of a tenth, which goes to show that for all the things we put ourselves through maybe things aren’t so bad, and we know it will all be worth it once we get that positive result.

* I hereby promise that social media updates will be kept to a bare minimum once I am    with child – especially any ‘nethers based’ statuses

You won’t like me when I’m angry (or on Menopur)

3 days in and the mood swings have well and truly begun. I almost wept whilst helping my lovely partner with a presentation he had to prepare for work last night, just because it was taking longer than expected. Totally irrational, I mean it’s not like I had any plans or anything……apart from going to bed…..and to be fair we were finished by 7:15. I was happily tucked up in bed with a caffeine free cuppa by 8pm and indulged myself in a cheeky little cry after catching 5 minutes of Surprise, Surprise whilst he was in the shower.

I should have a stash of DIY SOS or other tear inducing shows on hand to watch for those moments where you feel like having a little cry, but you don’t actually feel sad. On my last cycle I often found myself having a cry on the drive to or from work, no idea why….I didn’t feel sad or upset, I just get that feeling that I NEED to cry. I could often be spotted pulling up to a junction wiping away tears whilst simultaneously laughing at myself for crying.

It’s very weird. It’s like those days around your period where you know you’re being a complete pain in the arse but you can’t help yourself. We always try and lighten the mood and take the piss out of my ridiculous behaviour when it happens but I still can’t help but feel bad for it. Thankfully my other half is completely supportive (even when I’m being a dick) and doesn’t take it to heart. In fact I couldn’t choose anyone I’d rather go through IVF with more…..like you would choose to go through IVF if you didn’t have to. He’s always got my back, tries to make me laugh when I feel like crying and most importantly lets me cry when I need to cry.

We’re one of those (probably) annoying couples who claim not to argue, don’t get me wrong, when we first moved in together we had some major disagreements, red wine was thrown (a waste on reflection), plates were smashed and I moved back with my parents on an almost weekly basis (soz mam). We got it all out of the way back then and are now pretty content, going about our daily business with the occasional bit of pointless bickering thrown in for good measure, the drugs are just helping us along with that bickering.

So although we’re only 3 days into this phase the side effects are making themselves known (Maybe I should get my parents to make up the spare room in case things spiral)?  Lets just hope that they’re also doing the work they’re meant to be doing and that my follicles are being stimulated (ooh er).

Brace-yourself-Hormones

 

 

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13057649/?claim=4n69x39qkrn”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Just Another Manic Monday….

So after a fairly rubbish end to last week- a stinking cold, coupled with a rejection email following my first interview in months, I decided this week would start with a fresh bout of positivity. Yesterday, I jumped (rolled) out of bed at 5:45 excited that the 1st scan date was finally here. IVF can be a pretty dull experience, with lots of waiting in between appointments, so when they come round it feels like things are moving again.

I showered, got dressed and put some slap on ready for the appointment, pretty pointless considering they spend most time down t’other end, but you have to make an effort now and again I suppose. I high fived my partner and clicked my heels in the air as I left the house (ok I made that bit up, I’m just trying to paint a picture of excitement). However, come 7:30am I was beginning to understand why Bob Geldof doesn’t like Mondays.

We live around a 30 minute drive from the fertility centre so leaving at 7:10 for an 8:10 appointment  would normally give me more than enough time…..not today! 7:30 and I’d only managed to get around 4 miles from home, 8:00 and I’m still miles from the fertility centre. The traffic was definitely against me, and the fuel light was on (standard)! I called the reception, panicking that they would say they wouldn’t be able to fit me in, and that it might impact on me starting the next stage, but they were as lovely as ever and just told me to get there when I could.

Arriving at 8:45 I took a seat and flicked through a copy of Pro-Cycling…..not my usual choice of reading material but I suppose the title is quite relevant to the environment I was in. Anyway, you have to find something to do as making eye contact or attempting small talk in these situations can be a tad awkward.

Thankfully, after my not so smooth start to the day I got seen to pretty quick and was in and out within minutes. The scan showed that things are going to plan and the old menstrual cycle has been well and truly suppressed. Wahey, so onto the next lot of meds.

20141020_171834

Tuesdays supply prepped

I’ve been very lucky this time around during the down regging stage and haven’t really suffered as much as I have in the past. Apart from the tiredness, bloating and headaches it’s been pretty minimal….especially on the tears front. So we’ll see how I cope with the next lot. It’s always comforting to see a recurring theme with the side effects though. How much bloating can one person take!

20141020_173316

So, all is good in the hood and we’re looking forward to next weeks scans and the impending egg collection/transfer stage. In the meantime, it’s payday tomorrow and the Topshop sale is on, so what’s not to be positive about?

Downregging Drag

This cycle seems to be dragging on forever, my 1st scan isn’t until next Monday morning so it’s been pretty quiet on the IVF front but everything seems to be chugging along nicely…..especially the expanding stomach area.

Even my moods haven’t been bad this time (other half may have his own opinion on this) and there has been a distinct lack of tears. I had a meal out with the family at the weekend, inc 1 x pregnant cousin, another cousin with 4 month old in tow and my own little sister with her own little 11 month old. Usually I’d be wary of this set up and be nervous that all the talk of pregnancy and babies would set me off, or at least have me necking Sauvignon Blanc like it was going out of fashion (unfortunately that option is off limits at the mo). I put my big girls pants on (literally) and held it together all evening, it does help that they are all extremely cute I suppose. Mind, I was quite emosh about not having a vino, so swings and roundabouts.

So, without IVF to stress about this week I’ve been handed something else to keep me on my toes…..a job interview tomorrow afternoon. I’m being made redundant in March so always knew I’d be job hunting at some point so it’s not like it’s out of the blue, they’ve timed it well too….3pm, just around the time the daily headache and fuzziness appears so hopefully I’ll be able to string a sentence together.

So today, I’m concentrating on positive vibes…..for both the interview and for Mondays scan. I did have tickets to go and see the comedian Paul Foot this evening (they do say laughter is the best medicine but I’ll stick with the ones I was prescribed in this instance) however it’s been rescheduled to February so I’ve resorted to noting down the nice things from today to keep the positive vibes flowing;

I started the day with a green juice. This is a sentence I never thought I would write. Considering the majority of green juices I make taste like the contents of our garden waste bin, I have managed to make one that was actually enjoyable, I never thought I’d see the day when I craved green stuff. Who knew???

20141014_064936

Met up with a friend on my lunch break for a coffee (decaf) and cake (I need an intervention). She’s lovely, but one of those annoying types who can have 17 Biscuit Boosts for lunch and not put weight on, mainly because she’s what I like to deem ‘an athlete’. She’s into this thing called running, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it. Basically, its a bit like walking but faster and involves neon clothing and getting out of breath. Ridiculous ….it’ll never catch on.

New shoes – self explanatory

Johnny Marrs new album got me through the working day and boring commute. I only have to look at this man to feel positive (each to their own). Oh, and it’s a canny album too!

More nice things have happened…..but I should maybe step away and do some more research before tomorrow’s interview. Not everything can be enjoyable x

Diet Dilemmas!!!

Considering we’re only 13 days into downregging the daily Buserelin injections are already doing their best at making me look 3 months gone. All the fun of being pregnant……without actually being pregnant. I once read somewhere that Sue Perkins will lose weight to prepare for the recording of a series of Great British Bake Off (topical) so that she can happily munch her way through a hand raised pie without a thought for the extra calories.

I’ve now adopted a similar approach before starting a cycle of IVF (thanks Sue) and we recently introduced juicing to our diet. It helped in the beginning and I started off at my comfortable weight, however you can’t argue with the side effects of a cycle and I can feel the dreaded bloat creeping up as I type…..I’ll be browsing the Sunday supplements for trousers with elasticated waistbands before you know it. I’m not experiencing the full spectrum of side effects yet and have been spared the hot flushes so far, although for those who know me they’ll understand that I was quite looking forward to these as I’m perpetually cold, they would have been a little bonus in these chillier autumn climes.

In between all the talk of medical procedures and all the acronyms (soooooo many acronyms) I think it’s still the ‘diet’ and the ‘what you can/can’t eat or drink’ that confuses me the most out of everything. Forums, despite being amazing places for finding support and asking questions, can also confuse the hell out of you. “Drink plenty of milk…..but make sure it’s full fat…..and only after food”, “eat brazil nuts to improve your lining…..but not too many” and the worst offender pineapple….”eat the core, don’t eat the core, drink the juice but not from concentrate, DO NOT even look at a pineapple after midnight on a Tuesday or the embryo will not implant”. I may have exaggerated the final one slightly but you get my drift.

So for this cycle I’m taking a chilled approach. I’ll eat what I want, when I want….well maybe not everything I want as even chips can get boring after a while. So I’ll eat healthily for the majority of the time but everyone needs a takeaway now and again right? I’ve binned the caffeine for the most but might treat myself to a nice coffee on a weekend (the Queen of fertility Zita West said it’s ok, so them’s the rules) and of course the G & T’s have been consigned to Room 101 for the foreseeable….although I’m out for a family meal to celebrate my lovely mothers birthday on Saturday so I may have a glass of wine and I won’t beat myself up about it. Obviously once stimming starts I’ll be on my best behaviour, but for now, as a wise man Frankie once said, I’m going to RELAX!

Right, it’s lunchtime…….where’s that pineapple????