Category Archives: IVF #1 – the aftermath

2013?… Oh go on then

Goodbye 2012, year of incredible highs and horrific lows. Never have I felt so many conflicting, vivid, passionate emotions in the space of an hour, let alone a year.

Waving goodbye to 2012 means leaving behind the year that we had our first failed IVF attempt, I had my first proper infertility related meltdown, and the year that I found out that I most likely have endometriosis.

Sounds like a year that would be very easy to let go of doesn’t it? In some ways it is and I can’t help but think that it would be hard for 2013 to be worse, but then I wonder how much harder IVF #2 will be, as it’s going to be a longer, higher dose protocol. I wonder how much harder it will be to dust myself off and try again after cycle #2. I am scared to let go of 2012 & throw myself into another cycle. I can’t bare the thought of letting that evil bitch hope creep back in.

2012 had some really excellent moments that I will remember forever as the highs that made living through the lows worthwhile. In February, work sent me to New York for a few days. When I arrived in the office for the first time my colleague that I speak to every day but had never met rushed over and hugged me and had baked me a cake. I managed to contain the rush of happy tears that I could feel creeping up on me. That moment reminded me that I am a good, nice person who makes friends easily. My husband flew out with me and we extended the trip by a few days and took in lots of sights, I was 2 months off clomid & just starting to feel like me again, I suppose it was the first of many turning points.

In April, my mum turned 50 & we went on a family holiday to a tiny island in the Maldives. It was by far the best week of my life. Every second of the entire week was too good to be true. I will treasure the memories forever. The turtle part of my blog name comes from the last afternoon spent in the Indian Ocean when I swam alongside a turtle with my sister and husband for at least 15 minutes. I had never seen one in the wild before and it was just incredible. (Immotile being a memory of the worst day of my life thus far – when we were given the severe male factor diagnosis).

In August we flew to Rome for a long weekend of indulgence before starting the cycle. We ate ice cream twice daily & ate pasta washed down with red wine from wine glasses the size of my head. It was exactly what we needed to relax.

I confided in a few people about my cycle and their response was so much kinder than I could have hoped for.

I had 6 counselling sessions with a therapist that totally got me. She helped me picture happy endings that don’t include children. I know that this current state of hoping and wondering and crushing disappointment is not forever, no matter what the outcome, life will get better again.

As I leave 2012 behind, I start 2013 laying in bed next to the man of my dreams, the man who runs me baths & fetches me hot water bottles & makes me hot water and lemon at the first sign of a painful cramp. He is there through all of the bad times and he will be there for the good too, my fun sidekick.

We’re starting to make plans for 2013 and so far they involve visiting another Maldivian Island, doing a road trip down the Westcoast of America and my first ever skiing holiday. I am excited to get started with these things and I suppose that cycle #2 will be the rough that goes with the smooth.

I hope that every single one of us has the 2013 that we wish for, whatever it looks like. We certainly deserve it!

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A different kind of hope?

Hey everybody,

I think I have had an epiphany!

I’ve been thinking about my future ever since my last counselling appointment and I’ve realised that if I don’t have children (melodramatic after one IVF cycle, I know – but bare with me) it might not be shit.

Only might not, but that’s way better than the previous option which was either definitely will, or at my lowest point once my last friend has a baby I’ll drown myself/leap in front of a train. Now that I’m being a bit more rational I can see how happy I am at times even now right in the middle of all of this shitiness. It won’t be like this forever. Even if it keeps failing, one day I will stop trying. Then that son of a bitch hope will stop messing with me & I can move on to the next phase of my life.

In trying to avoid the hurt that comes with hoping that I will one day have children, I had shut out any kind of hope. Now I am slowly allowing little bits of hope to creep back in, like hoping that I will have a happy future. It doesn’t have to look the way that I thought it would, as long as it’s fun.

Obviously it goes without saying that I desperately want children. I certainly wouldn’t put myself through another cycle if I didn’t. But this way, as I start thinking about getting ready for cycle number 2, it feels less like life or death than it did last time around.

Epiphanies are good like that!

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Crappy doctors appointments, super-fertile people, and my mid life crisis

Hello beautiful bloggy buddies, I have been putting off updating since my follow up WTF meeting as writing about things makes them more real somehow. To recap, at our initial WTF meeting the doc said that she thought that the cyst on my left ovary that stopped them collecting any eggs on that side wasn’t in fact endometrial, she thought it was a straight forward haemorrhagic cyst. She was also impressed with the SA on the day of retrieval as the count had increased from 4m to 37m & so she sent us away with homework: I was to have a follow up scan to decide if the cyst was endometrial or not – if it was still the same size a month later then it is endometrial, as they are persistent, unlike haemorrhagic cysts, which come & go. The hubster was to have some fun with himself again & they were going to do a “swim-up test” to see if a “spontaneous pregnancy” is likely… HA! As if I could spontaneously get pregnant!!

Long story short the doc smashed our hopes when she said that actually my cyst is endometrial & the SA only had a count of 9m this time. Once they applied a gradient to the 9m little dudes to see if they could swim uphill that 9m became “occasional motile sperm”. She reassured me that this meant that there would be enough to perform ICSI… I had NEVER considered that there wouldn’t be… Until now!

I had to BEG to be referred for a laparoscopy as the doc said that endo doesn’t interfere with IVF so there was no point… bitch, please?! I’m waiting for the letter now so that I can get that all booked in, I’m expecting it to take a while.

The weather here is gloomy and miserable, like my face, and to make my Monday morning all the more sunny I got 2 pregnancy announcements within 20mins of each other this morning. The first was an old work colleague. I should have replied congratulating her, instead I hit delete. She got married in April THIS YEAR for gods sake!! Shortly after this my HR director – you know, the one that I poured my guts out to on my return from the failed cycle? -emailed me to let me know that she’s pregnant, that she had her 12 week scan last week & that she didn’t want me to hear through anyone else. I thought that that was thoughtful & tried not to think too much about how far gone she would have been when I bared my broken soul to her.

All of this doom and gloom is giving me all sorts of crazy ideas to brighten up my life. I worry that I am at the start of a mid life crisis. In fact I’m pretty sure that that is where I am heading. I spend a lot of time fantasising about handing in my notice and doing something exciting. I want to be envied, not pitied, which I’m pretty sure makes me a bad person. Hey ho, bad people seem to have no problem making babies so that’s something to look forward to.

I will snap out of this moany place, but for tonight I am wallowing. Feel free to join me! X

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I think I broke my tear ducts

Hey everybody,

I’m back! The real me, not the me that cries at everything.

I had a therapy session on Halloween and I properly cried at it. The floodgates finally opened and the grief of roughly 36 cycles, including 3 with clomid & 1 with IVF all came out in one big, snotty, sobfest. It felt like something snapped in my head and then there was nothing. No worrying, no wondering about the future. Just silence. It. Was. Bliss.

That night we carved pumpkins together for the first time ever (on our 13th Halloween as a couple – how did it take that long?!). We laughed belly laughs and had FUN. You know, that thing that you used to have before you realised you might never be a mother? Yep, that. I had it.

And it didn’t stop there. Since then I have found things funny. I have wanted to see people. And do things. LIKE A NORMAL PERSON. I went to the fireworks with my parents and I really enjoyed the display and then played with sparklers like I was a kid again. After a few days the hubster even commented on how much fun he was having.

I told my ice queen boss everything. Well… almost everything. I didn’t tell her that I’ve already done one cycle of IVF, but she knows about the endo, the low count, and the fact that I am on the IVF waiting list. She was suprisingly nice about it and has even said that I can work from home for 2 days a week until I feel totally back to normal. That felt like a huge weight lifted. It’s so novel not having to think of excuses to go to appointments. Especially this week. Tomorrow I am seeing a kinesiologist about the allergies side of endo. Wednesday I am seeing the fertility doc to discuss next steps and get the result of the follow up SA. Friday I have therapy. Then next week we have booked the whole week off work to have fun together as a couple, and I actually believe that we will do exactly that. And I cannot freakin’ wait.

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Remember when everything wasn’t shit?

You don’t? Me neither. Sometimes I remember it a little bit, but then a pregnant lady walks past (why do they follow me around these days?!) and everything is soon shit again.

I was telling the hubster about a conversation I’d had with my therapist where I’d said that I felt like this had fundamentally changed me & how I used to be so extroverted but now I’m happiest in the bath with a good book & she said that it hasn’t changed who I am, it’s just made me sad, which will pass. He then said that he thinks it has changed us as we used to think we were invincible & now we don’t & we used to be so carefree and now we’re not. *sigh*

In other news, my cyst is indeed endometrial, so it is endometriosis. Hubs has to go for another SA in the next week & then we go for our WTF follow up to discuss next steps in 2 weeks.

My therapist told me to let my hair down so I did. My first day back in the office after 2 weeks signed off sick I made a couple of guys in my team go for a drink to fill me in on what I’d missed while I was away. A bottle of Rose later & no dinner & I threw up on the train home. Not in the toilet, just on the floor (and my shoe). That wasn’t the end of it though. Years of infertility has removed my ability to process alcohol as my body is so temple-like (Pah!) so I made it to work the next day but threw up repeatedly throughout the morning & even took a 10min power nap on the floor of the disabled toilet. A new low? I think so.

Happy Halloween & I hope all you NYCers are safe x

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Never f**k with a premenstrual infertile

So it turns out that period number 2 following IVF fail number 1 is going to be almost as bad as the last one. Excellent. I have been the moodiest most horrible person to be around today, apart from when I’ve been lovely. It’s like i’ve got multiple personality syndrome.

This morning I dropped the hubs at the station & then drove to my friends street & tried to get parked. Parking there is always a nightmare as its right next to the station & the station carpark is like £5 a day so everyone parks in her street. We’d said that we would go for a morning run & I knew that we wouldn’t go far so I pulled in on the corner where you’re not really supposed to park & made sure that I was tucked right in so that it was safe & then I got out of the car.

A lady was walking her dog the other side of the road and she shouted over at me “you know it’s illegal to park on a corner”. I sighed & thought to myself “why now, I just need to go for a run with my friend, I can’t get parked and now this evil woman is trying to ruin it for me”. I said “I’m only going for a quick run and there is nowhere to park”. She said “well, it’s up to you if you want to break the law” in a very judgmental voice, which REALLY pissed off my inner hormonal wench. I did something I am slightly ashamed of, I said “you’re a nosey old b*tch”, got back in my car and was about to drive off but then I thought to myself “I shouldn’t have swore at her as now she has the moral high ground and will be thinking to herself what a rude girl I am and how I’m incapable of parking” so I drove after her, wound down the window and apologised for swearing.

I explained that I don’t make a habit of swearing at strangers, it’s just that I’ve been signed off work due to a very early miscarriage of twins (I still feel like a fraud saying this but it’s what the therapist says to call it as I have photos of two living embryos that were placed inside my uterus and at that point I became pregnant) and I’m very hormonal and stressed. Then I cried. In front of her.

Hopefully she’ll keep her mouth shut in the future as you never know whose day you are crapping on & that person might just be batshit crazy!!

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It’s official: I’m mental

Hi everybody, my name is Hollie and I’m crazy. There I said it. That wasn’t so hard. Phew!

So I went to the doctor with my mum (or mom for those of you that don’t speak English ;-)) and we talked about the bleeding and the doctor said that as I’m being seen by specialists in November I should discuss that with them then. Then she signed me off sick for 2 weeks because she could tell that I need time to get over the emotional strain of my cycle – I think that translates as “you seem crazy, don’t go to work”!!! I haven’t been signed off work since I had my tonsils out when I was 20! She signed me off with anaemia so that work don’t know I’m crazy!

My boss has taken it well & we’ve agreed that I’ll finish off a few things from home today that are hanging over me & then I’ll relax for a bit. After the first week off I’ll start doing more from home before I go back to the office at the end of the 2 weeks.

This is good news. I’m full of energy and enthusiasm for getting old Hollie back. My husband says that when he rules the world I will be his “Ambassador of fun”, he isn’t being ironic, I am generally recognised as someone who is fun. I want to be her again.

So I’m coming up with some rules for my time off to make sure that that happens:

1. I will spend no more than 15minutes a day on Facebook, Twitter, babyandbump, WordPress and google.
2. I will exercise every week day and be active and outdoorsy at the weekends too.
3. I will cook a healthy, fresh, homemade meal every day.
4. I will get into housework routines that I can maintain whilst back at work without feeling overwhelmed.
5. If I want to bake, then I will bake. It makes me happy. I refuse to feel guilty about something that makes me happy at the moment.
6. I will fill at least 1 dustbin bag full of clutter each day until my house looks like I want it to look.

Does anybody have any other good rule suggestions?

Are any of you one of those people whose house is permanently tidy and clean? If so, got any tips for maintaining that and working full time?

I know it’s mad but I feel like having a baby can bring chaos & maybe if I spend the next few months organising myself a bit better then maybe that’s why it didn’t work this time: to give me a system to organise my life before a baby turns my world upside down in the best possible way. We’ll see I suppose! X

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