Tag Archives: infertility

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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Filed under IVF cycle 2

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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Filed under IVF #1 - the aftermath

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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Filed under IVF #1 - the aftermath

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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Filed under IVF #1 - the aftermath