Tag Archives: endometriosis

4 years wed, 5 weeks pregnant

Howdy folks,

I haven’t really known what to say here of late. I’m at that really stressful inbetweeny phase that is essentially just a second two week wait straight off the back of the first one. I peed on a few sticks (9 in fact) and they were all varying shades of positive. As many of you know, I started bleeding on 6dp5dt so I tested & it was actually very faintly positive. The next morning it had got slightly lighter and I was concerned that this was a chemical pregnancy. The bleeding continued for next next couple of days and stopped at 9dp5dt, at which point the tests had finally started to get darker. I took 10dp5dt as a rest day and didn’t pee on anything and then on 11dp5dt, or OTD, I peed on the official stick and became officially pregnant!

I haven’t bled since, which has helped to calm my nerves enough to think that this could possibly be happening. I would kill for some symptoms right about now though for some reassurance. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to regret saying that! My first scan is booked for a week today at which point I will be 6w2d, so I assume that they will be checking for a heartbeat. If all goes well with that scan I may start to believe!

Infertility impacts the way that we mark the passing years. Birthdays are no longer an opportunity to see friends, get presents & feel loved. They are a reminder of our biological clocks. Christmases roll round and after the first couple of years spent TTC you get tired of hoping that “this time next year there might be a new addition”.

Tomorrow I will be celebrating my 4 year wedding anniversary. In spite of our troubles, these have been 4 good years. Here is a pic of us as a pair of blissfully ignorant 24 year olds, head over heels in love and optimistic for the future:

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At this point I still had 5 months of birth control pills in my possession, I knew that I would not be collecting any more pills at the end of that pack and assumed I’d be pregnant without having to worry too much about when I ovulated.

I ate whatever I want & enjoyed a hectic social life that on the whole, revolved around alcohol & bad food. More proof of that booze guzzling can be seen in a shot taken a little later on in the evening of our wedding reception:

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Since that fun-filled day there have been a lot of tears, many sleepless nights and lots and lots of waiting. We went from excited and optimistic to deflated and depressed. Somehow, through it all we have (just) retained our sanity and (mostly) kept smiles on our faces. We may not get through a bottle of wine with a nice carb-ridden dinner quite as often as we used to, but we have fun. This last pic is from our holiday in April. I have never felt more content in my whole life than I did on that tiny island. It truly was an escape from our infertility woes and it is a memory that I will treasure forever:

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So on our 3 year anniversary we celebrated with our first trip to the IVF hospital to discuss cycle number 1. It makes me a very happy lady to have made actual progress a year later. This has never happened before! On our 4 year anniversary I will be very cautiously, nervously, tentatively, a tiny bit pregnant. No matter what happens, I am going to celebrate this progress as I am the closest that I have ever been to the life that I have always dreamed of.

Wish me luck, I’m so afraid that I’ll wake up and it will all just be a dream!

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6dp5dt: Red blood, a faint BFP & an award

Long time no blog. Again. My absences have not been intentional and I can assure you that I am being equally lax about everything else in my life, if that helps? I’ve wanted to update you all on my progress but I. Just. Couldn’t.

On Monday morning WordPress notified me that it was the one year anniversary of my blog. As is typical of me at the moment, but atypical when I’m not drugged up on whore-moans, I took a miserable view of this anniversary and thought back to all of my hopes and expectations in the run up to IVF cycle one. This year has had plenty of highs but the lows have been the lowest that I have ever experienced. It’s been a very testing year and as I near the end of my IVF#2 2ww I can only hope that the next year is a brighter one.

I am currently PUPO with a grade 4bb blastocyst and a Morula. Last cycle I only had 2 Morulas. This is definite progress. Here they are:
infertility, ivf, icsi, endometriosis, 6dp5dt, infertility blog 2013, embryos, grade 4bb blastocyst, morula

It’s an awful pic, I was disappointed with it. The one of the left is the blastocyst & the one on the right that you can barely see is a morula. On day 3, 4 of the 6 embryos were looking good at 7, 8, 9 & 12 cells. On day 5 we had 2 Morulas, a 2cc blast and a 4bb blast. We agreed to transfer the two blasts. By the time of the transfer the 2cc blast had started to arrest so she put back the 4bb and one of the morulas. On day 6 nothing had made it to freeze. I think it’s that fact that put me back in my skunky funk.*

Then I noticed that Mrs But IF over at had nominated me for a Super Sweet Blogging Award. This could not be more appropriate right now given the ridiculous amount of carbs that I am craving and the batch of 24 cookies that I baked on Sunday and barely shared with anyone! I am letting this nomination be my motivation to get back in the chair and blog about things that aren’t all doom and gloom.

So here goes:

SUPER SWEET BLOGGING AWARD RULES

Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.

Thank you Mrs But IF, I really appreciate this opportunity to blog about some other than my own misery! (And cramps, lots and lots of cramps).

Answer 5 super sweet questions.

Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in the blog post.

infertility, ivf, icsi, 6dp5dt, cramps, endo, endometriosis, infertility blog 2013

Nominate 12 other bloggers.

The questions:

1. COOKIES OR CAKE?

Can I have both please? Since the super speedy return of the endometrioma (sung to the tune of Return of The Mac, obvs) the endo diet has gone out of the window and I am once again a sugar-addicted monster. Try telling me not to eat cookies for breakfast, see what happens. I’m going to choose cookies because my homemade ones are so much better than my homemade cake.

2. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?

Chocolate. Always.

3. FAVOURITE SWEET TREAT?

My mum’s homemade scones with low sugar, lumpy raspberry Jam (Jello? Whatever the J in PBJ is) and lashings of super thick Cornish clotted cream. She made me a batch on embryo transfer day last cycle so for reasons somewhere between superstition and insanity I haven’t had any this time (see also: no facials or pedicures, as they are also possible reasons that last time didn’t work).

4. WHEN DO YOU CRAVE SWEET THINGS THE MOST?

When I’m awake.

5. SWEET NICKNAME?

At the moment Mr Turtle has taken to calling me mumma bear, which is pretty sickly sweet. That will sting if this cycle doesn’t work.

The nominations:

This has been the most fun part of this award. I decided to include a mixture of the blogs that I’ve been following for the past year as well as some new blogs and some blogs that are new to me. Some aren’t even infertility blogs would you believe it? I do not expect people to continue this chain mail but it got me sat upright and writing so I’m happy to be doing it. I do, however, recommend hitting up the below blogs, they are awesome. And in no particular order here they are:

1.
Ok this one may seem like a bit of a cheat as she nominated me BUT, read and tell me it’s not justified. She sums up so eloquently the difficulty in trying to live fully while balancing two possible futures that are the complete opposite of one another.

2.
Betty is fabulous. She will be attempting IVF cycle two shortly. Cycle one was a bit of a non-starter. She makes fantastic book recommendations when you need distractions during the IVF 2ww, and she draws fabulous (I’m hoping this wasn’t a one-off).

3.
Somehow this lady managed to get 4 eggs from 3 follicles. 2 eggs fertilised and she is having them put back tomorrow. Please follow her and wish her all the luck in the world for this, her second IVF cycle.

4.
Like me, she suffers with severe male factor infertility. She recently miscarried her first BFP from her second FET and she needs hugs. In spite of this she is a great support on Twitter @libhope.

5.
Sarah is newly pregnant after IVF#1 following 10 IUI BFNs. I like to read success stories when they are entertaining and not just gushy. Sarah does this well. And her cat is adorable/ an asshole, much like mine.

6.
Pregnant with “Turkey” and a new foster-mom to two girls after 4 miscarriages.

7.
Georgette recently suffered a chemical pregnancy and has 2 frosties on ice. Her blog has a ridiculous amount of useful info on immune issues, go take a look.

8.
Theresa cycled alongside me last summer and is the proud new mumma to IVF twins Abigail and Miles, you can catch her on Twitter at @runnergrl819, she’s pretty awesome and they are adorable.

9.
We cycled together last summer and she is now a proud new mum to a little IVF baby girl. We are diagnosis twin as her husband is severe male factor and she spots for the second half of her cycles just like me. How lucky are we?!

10.
Lydia is a relatively newbie blogger. She is currently on a short break after IUI#4 failed and her in-laws are crazy, just like mine.

11.
The best blog ever written about depression. Ally’s hilarious cartoons explain this awful condition so beautifully. I’ve spent a lot of time hunting for corn recently. There is no corn, I repeat, there is no corn.

12.
A food blog. For anyone attempting the Endo Diet or the Low GI diet this website is a godsend. Her raw brownies rock my world, as do so many others.

*tiny small print that you really should ignore…
I noticed a little blood on my liner today and tested and it was a faint BFP. I have never seen that second line in years and years of trying and I am terrified. Just when I calmed down and stopped shaking enough to question if this was really happening I started bleeding dark red blood. So far no clots, but it’s not spotting, it’s bleeding. Yuck. I really need this to be the start not the end. Pretty sure I’ll have a sleepless night before retesting in the morning. Wish me luck.

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IVF 2, Phase 3: Go!

Hello ladies,

I’ve been busy IVF’ing it up and generally feeling blue. The stim stage seemed to go pretty quickly this time because the DR stage took forever! They finally scanned me on day 19 of Buserelin & gave me the all clear to start stims on day 21.

Stimming went well, I was on double the dose from last time & I responded well. At my final scan I had 23 follicles. Unfortunately 15 of these were on the left side & the front runners were behind the endometrioma & therefore would not be accessible. They didn’t give any indication of expected numbers of eggs to collect but I was hoping for 15 and I got 12, so that was ok.

This morning I got the fertilisation report and of the 12, 8 were mature and 6 of those fertilised. somehow I’ve gone from 23 follicles to 6 embryos in a matter of days. Last time I had 3 embryos so on double the dosage I should expect double the embryos but I feel like they got my hopes up and now despite the good news I’m feeling somewhat deflated.

The weather is beautiful here for once so my sister and I spent the day in the sunshine chilling and having a nice time generally. I had been feeling fine but then this afternoon I got a bit crampy and spotted a lot & now I just want to go and hibernate for the next few weeks.

Tomorrow I go back to work and that may or may not be a good thing. I’m hoping for a day 5 transfer as that would be on Saturday and then I have the whole of next week booked off, but could be looking at a transfer on Thursday, we’ll just have to wait and see.

The timing of this cycle has been a bit crappy in that my due date from the first cycle would have been around now had it been successful. I may have avoided that if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m still keenly following the stories of my original cycle buddies and the birth stories are starting to roll in. I guess that could be me a few months down the line but right now I’m feeling too blah to believe that it could be.

I remember now that this is the worst bit. My mind is in total overdrive and I can’t shut it up.

Right now I have six little tiny potential babies in a lab in London and I’d really like the opportunity to become a parent to at least one of them. I don’t have the mental capacity to focus on much else. Wish me luck as I try to distract myself between now and Thursday’s progress report/ potential day 3 transfer.

Shit just got real. Again.

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Just keep swimming

Hello everyone,

I hope that any Americans reading this are managing to dodge Mother’s Day.

I’m on day 10 of Buserelin injections and I’m getting fidgety. Last cycle, I did the short protocol. Rather unsurprisingly, it was short. This time I’m doing the long protocol. It’s looooong.

Last time, by now I had had 2 scans & was on the home stretch. This time, my first scan is not for another 9 days. It’s getting boring. You’d think I’d be good at waiting by now but I’m not.

My life has been on hold for 3.5 years and it’s getting tiresome, I want to move on to the next phase of my life… Or at very least the next phase of my treatment. So for now I am focussing on keeping my head above water and not letting myself be overwhelmed, which can be hard when it’s just.so.overwhelming.

On a positive note, menopausal May has not been noticeably menopausal yet. The only real side effect so far is that my boobs are ready to Incredible Hulk their way out of my skin. Hubs is happy.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekends and don’t work too hard next week, I know that I don’t intend to.

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The Infertility Lessons

Apparently it’s National Infertility Awareness Week, I figured that was as good a time as any to pull my head out of the sand that it has been buried in for the past 2 months. I start Burselin injections on 3rd May so I really need to accept that IVF cycle 2 is about to be all systems go…

If anybody fertile said “everything happens for a reason” in relation to my infertility I would knock them out. That said, I try to believe it because otherwise everything just seems so f*cking pointless. I’ve spent the last 3+ years on a quest of self improvement. I’ve lost 30 lbs, started an English degree, explored the possibilities of other careers & put the wheels in motion so that one day I can escape my day job. I’ve discovered running, yoga, pilates & kung fu. I joined a fancy gym with a nice pool. I’ve hired a cleaner and had a clear out. I’ve discovered slow cooking, I make better use of my freezer & do grocery shopping online. My diet is now dairy free, gluten free & sugar free. I feel like I’m running out of things to get better at.

I had a moment of clarity this morning when I was going through this list in my head and thinking what else I could possibly work on before motherhood & then I realised the thing that has been going on in the background this whole time: my relationship with my husband has evolved.

To put things into perspective, I will have been with my husband for 13 years in September, we’re pretty tight. But things are better now. So much better.

We got together when I was 15 & he was 16. We were two fiesty, loud, opinionated teenagers and looking back it amazes me that we made it through those first few years. Everything was so incredibly intense. I loved him so much I could strangle him. His opinion mattered so much to me that when we disagreed it drove me crazy. Our fights were heated & loud. We’d laugh til we cried & we spent every second of every day together. He is incredibly funny and silly but he’s also completely able to blend in and behave, which I am not & never have been able to.

I commented once that I felt like the infertility had fundamentally changed me and made me less sparkly. Actually, I think I sparkle more. At least when I’m with him. Perhaps only when I’m with him – my friendships are suffering as a result of all the babies that my friends keep having!

Since we started this journey my cousin’s wife died of ovarian cancer aged 33, my house flooded & we had to move out for 8 weeks while it was completely renovated (I love you house insurance!) and Mr Turtle lost his job & was unemployed for 6 weeks.

What I’ve realised is that if you can function each day, holding down a stressful and high-powered job in the city managing a team of people over two continents when your entire world is falling apart, things don’t get any more difficult. When life is as hard as it gets, it doesn’t get harder. I’ve learnt what is important to me & I’ve learnt that while we disagree on small things we are completely and absolutely in alignment on the big things.

I love how he just has to take one look at me on a bad day & he’ll fetch me a hot water bottle. I love that he’ll help me cook weird and wonderful meals to fit in with my ridiculous dietary requirements & I love that he’ll then go and eat fish and chips with his mates when I’m not looking.

I love that he’s given up booze again in the run up to this cycle & is back in the swing of exercising every day before work (and he’s getting buff – think Eminem in the “Love the way you lie” video. Mmmm)

I love that although he doesn’t do fiction he read through my first creative writing assignment really carefully and made some amazingly astute observations and suggested improvements. I feel like I am one half of a team that would be incredible parents, or incredible fun buddies who travel the world leaving chaos in our midst. If there is only one thing I can be completely and utterly certain on it is him.

We don’t need to fight anymore. There is nothing on this earth worth fighting over.

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IVF Round Two… Go!

What a week: Pancake day, Valentines day, my first run post-op – man did that feel good – and then my appointment letter came through for my next IVF cycle!!!

Pancake day
Is pancake day a thing outside of the UK? I was considering just ignoring it given that I’m sticking to The Endo Diet but I found a recipe for gluten free, dairy free pancakes that consisted of 1 mashed banana & 2 eggs cooked in a little coconut oil. YUM!

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I covered it in pecans, cocoa nibs & agave syrup & it was DELISH.

Valentines Day
This consisted of a trip to see Die Hard & a card from D that made me cry. Inside he wrote some really sweet things & at the end he put ‘don’t ever change’ *sob*.

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And finally, in 10 days I will be discussing round 2 with the IVF hospital. This means that I could start as early as April, although I think I’ll actually be starting in May because of my holiday. I am excited and am focusing on getting my body back in shape between now and then.

Things are finally moving again! X

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Two pregnancy announcements, two reactions

I was numb to my news, I blogged about that numbness and less than 24 hours later I was sobbing about it. It really is an emotional roller coaster this infertility lark. The floodgates opened and it all came pouring out. I was given the diagnosis on Monday afternoon and then I had a very busy week at work. On Saturday and Sunday I had far too much alone time, which meant that I had to really face how I was feeling. It turned out I was not feeling too great.

D had just calmed me down when I felt my iphone vibrate in my pocket. I took it out and would you believe it there was a 12 week scan photo staring back at me. Needless to say the iPhone was thrown across the bedroom and the sobbing started again. The scan pic belonged to a guy friend from our circle, one of the last few childless couples. Bad timing.

And then this evening I am home alone again after another busy day in the office. I checked my reader to see that Kim has got her BFP. I could not be happier. I think that this is Kim’s 5th cycle (2x fresh, 3x frosty).

I am going to use my happiness for Kim to send my friend a congratulatory text as I can’t quite muster up the genuine happiness for him just yet. It will come with time though, it always does. It just takes longer than it used to now that I’ve been stuck here for so long.

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The mixed emotions of a diagnosis

On Monday I was told that I have severe endometriosis and my left ovary is stuck to my uterus and my bowel. The surgeon actually briefly mentioned this immediately after the laparoscopy, but I was too groggy to take it in properly at the time. I couldn’t remember the precise wording that he had used and was hoping that they were wedged there, rather than stuck with adhesions. You know you’ve been in the trenches for too long when you’re hoping that your ovary is wedged between your bowel and your uterus. I had rather optimistically been googling “how do I move my ovary” which returned a disappointingly (but not unsuprisingly) low number of responses. But no, they’re stuck together with nasty black endo goop.

So far I have had no reaction to this news whatsoever. I am numb. I get up, get ready, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to sleep, and then I start all over again. The repetitive, unstimulating work week has gone by and now I am sat home alone on a Saturday afternoon and I am trying to decide how I feel.

On the one hand, 50% of my ovaries don’t work. This is bad given that 99% of D’s swimmers don’t work. I do not like those odds.

On the other hand, 50% of my ovaries do work. That’s more than some people. I can still create a child that is biologically mine. I should be grateful for this.

The most confusing reaction that I am having is the overwhelming sense of relief. I always knew that there was something wrong with me. Not my borderline PCOS hormone profile, something bigger than that. When doctors asked me how painful AF was I used to comment on the subjective nature of the question and then mention that I needed to medicate for the first couple of days of my cycle. I’m not really one to dramatise my pain and I consider myself to have a high pain threshold. For a while now I had been concerned that endo had spread to my bowel as I was always very uncomfortable before a bowel movement. There is a small part of me that is pleased that I AM NOT GOING CRAZY and that I do know my body. I need to listen to my body more. My infertility struggles have taught me how to do this. I think D was really suprised with this diagnosis. He has been fetching me hot water bottles and watching me bloat up and struggle to fit into my clothes once a month for 13 years and yet I guess he must have thought that that was normal.

I remember being 9 years old on my sister’s first day of school. I couldn’t pick her up afterwards because I had severe AF pains and all I could do was lay on the sofa. I remember being 10 years old and bleeding through my towel at school. I told my teacher and she took me to the staff toilets for supplies. I was wearing a skirt and as we walked, blood started to run down my leg. That memory still freaks me out 18 years later. I wish the doctors had listened to me then. I wish that they cared as much about diet and lifestyle as they do about medicines and surgery. Most of all I wish that this next cycle gives me the family that I long for. Because it is a longing now, I long with every fibre of my being. I am ready to be a mother. Fuck you infertility.

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Laparascopy follow up: My sticky pelvic mess

Did anybody have the children’s book “Funny Bones” when they were growing up? It’s a classic. I loved it. The children that I may never have will certainly love it. It has a very repetitive rhythm and children can join in and chant along with their parents. Most of the book is devoted to a high level run down of the human skeleton that goes something like this “your knee bone’s connected to your… thigh bone, your thigh bone’s connected to your… hip bone” etc.

infertility, endometriosis, ivf, icsi, cyst, laparoscopy

It turns out that this does not only apply to bones. If you’re extremely (un)lucky this can apply to other body parts too. I met with my consultant this afternoon to have my post laparoscopy follow up appointment. So, my uterus is connected to my… left ovary… my left ovary’s connected to my… bowel. I have severe endometriosis on my left side and it’s all a bloody mess. The right is fine though, so that’s something to be grateful for. He drained the cyst on my left ovary and burned the side of the capsule that he could get to without damaging anything else. This means that the cyst will return all the more quickly. He gave me photos of my right ovary and before and after shots of the left ovary. The left one is still an endo-ridden mess, but it’s better than it was. He recommends starting IVF round 2 asap as he has guaranteed that it will come back quickly.

We discussed the endo diet and he said that any difference that it made would be a drop in the ocean given the severity of the adhesions that are already there. I’m not ready to give up on it yet though so I will persevere until my next cycle at least and see if it’s helping me to lose the weight.

So, now I am at the mercy of the ridiculous NHS appointments system. I have no idea when my next cycle will begin, but I would expect it to be around April time now, judging by last year’s waiting times. I’ll be doing the long protocol this time, which is what most people do. Does anyone know at what point in the cycle down regulating begins? Last time I went straight into stimming on day 2 of my cycle. This time it’s going to be far more involved.

In other news, I went back to work today. It was exhausting. This Laparoscopy really took the wind out of my sails. It is a major operation & I didn’t really realise that until I was unconscious on the toilet in my hospital room! I’m still walking at half speed and I’m still a bit bloated. I’m half expecting someone to ask me if I’m pregnant at some point. Not sure how I’ll react to that, although I expect violence is inevitable…

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I’m being haunted by my dream baby

I read a blog post last night that moved me. Please pop over and send love and positivity to IdioticInfertility as she has had a very tough past few days (weeks, months, years) and is feeling blue.

I read her post aloud to D while we were in bed. I cried as I explained how well she describes all of the negative, hopeless thoughts that rattle round my mind as I contemplate my next cycle. We discussed what an incredible support network the blogging community is and how much her posts and emails have cheered me on through my dark days. I really hope with all my heart that she gets her happy ending and I’ve never even met her. This got me imagining my own happy ending as I drifted off to sleep.

I had the most vivid dream that I have ever had in my life. It was so lifelike, I still struggle to believe that it didn’t actually happen. I had a newborn son. He was biologically ours and I had just given birth to him. The midwife put him in a little babygrow and handed him to me and I could feel his weight. She told me to try breastfeeding him and I could feel his gums on my nipple. I could smell him. I can still picture his face. And when I woke up this morning I had a full second of blissful happiness before reality hit. I do not have a child. It was a dream.

All day I have been daydreaming about this little boy. I feel like this need for a child that has been steadily growing in the pit of my stomach for the last 3 years has always been a faceless hunger. I wanted a baby but I couldn’t imagine it. I couldn’t imagine myself being a mother. I just couldn’t believe that it might happen. I have been focusing on squashing my hope, burying it. I could hope for a BFP & if that ever happened then maybe I could hope for a heartbeat at 7 weeks, I could handle the hope in safe little increments, without ever getting too carried away.

This little guy has totally fucked that up. Now I need him. Now I can’t imagine life without him. Now I need to hurry up and book my next cycle and it needs to work.

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