Tag Archives: male factor

So much to say, so little time to say it…

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I want to blog about my pregnancy & it’s many complications. The Polyhydramnios & Obstetric Cholestasis. I’d like to tell you my birth story. I need to fill you in on the first four-and-a-bit months of parenting, or talk about raising a baby with developmental dysplasia of the hip, who is in a pavlik harness. I could certainly talk about getting Mastitis. Twice.

I will do all of these things in time, when I have the time. But firstly it is about time that I introduce my little lady, Gabriella. She keeps me busy and I am so incredibly grateful for that. She is sweet and cheeky. She smiles so enthusiastically it’s like the top of her head might fall off. She’s developing a sense of humour & often laughs until she is sick or gets the hiccups. She is strong willed & fights every nap like a ninja. She won’t take a dummy, but would quite happily sleep with my nipple in her mouth at all times. She loves music and cuddles apart from when she is overtired, then she wants everyone to SHUT THE HELL UP AND STOP LOOKING AT HER.

We’re making this whole parenting lark up as we go and it is the hardest thing that we’ve ever done, but the reward everytime that our gorgeous, goofy little lady gives us a gummy smile makes every sleep-deprived second totally worth it.

World, meet Gabriella:

“And though she be but little, she is fierce”

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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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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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A little peak inside my crazy brain

I started the week with a Laparoscopy and it’s got slowly better ever since!

I will post more about that once I’ve had the follow up consultation with the surgeon as it wasn’t as straightforward as they hoped & I don’t understand the implications, or whether further surgery is required prior to my next IVF cycle. I sincerely hope not as I learnt that:

Low blood pressure + general anaesthetic + a nurse that hurries me to pee so that I can go home = Hollie unconscious & not breathing on the toilet! Oops!

Since then my anxiety levels have been crazy high & although I’m exhausted I’m not getting enough sleep. When I do sleep I have really vivid, bizarre dreams. The hubster tells me not to tell people about my dreams as they didn’t actually happen and therefore aren’t remotely interesting. If you’re wondering where he draws the line with this logic he has never read a fiction but likes TV & films – go figure.

So, I figured I’d give you the bare bones of these dreams and we can all try to understand just how crazy I am:

Dream 1
There is a knock at the door and it is a lady carrying two newborns, one with a pink hat & one with a blue hat. They are our embryos from an IVF cycle that we decided to do with a surrogate as my body sucks. I knew that they were put in the surrogate and I knew that she got a BFP. I also knew that her scans had all gone well and when her due date was but I completely refused to acknowledge that I would get babies at the end of her pregnancy, I was only too aware of the things that can go wrong, so I protected myself. We hadn’t told a soul about the surrogate so that we wouldn’t need to tell anyone why there was no baby when things went wrong. When she turned up at our door to hand them over we had nothing, no crib or Moses basket or nappies (diapers). The girl filled her nappy pretty quickly so my mum had to run to the supermarket and buy new nappies and we had to sleep with them in our bed. A problem that I would so love to have!!

Dream 2
I only remember fractions of this dream. A friend that I went to school with and haven’t seen for a few years picked me up to take me somewhere. she was obviously pregnant. In real life she got married last year. When I got home another girl from school was in my bath (?!). She too had a bump. I happen to know that her 3 year old daughter was an IVF baby and that she was treated at my hospital. She said that she had conceived this new baby naturally after living on the endo diet since the birth of her daughter.

Dream 3
D was sat on our stairs completely naked having a chat with me. This is not unusual! The odd bit was that I noticed a cross between worms & maggots crawling out of his scrotum!! They were long and thin and really tiny & they were climbing out of a tiny hole one at a time & were wriggling around on the stairs. I freaked out & D looked embarrassed but said that it had happened before a few times & he had never seen a doctor about it. I decided that this was treatable & causing his infertility.

I think that these mainly boil down to me being one frustrated lady! I am frustrated that I may never have children and even if I do it will be a worry-filled pregnancy. I am frustrated by everybody but me being pregnant. I am frustrated that while I desperately search for the cause of our troubles, western medicine is only interested in circumventing the symptoms. Even though our diagnosis is severe male factor, D has never had to drop his trousers for an inspection, this maddens me. So much so that I would like to start a charity that researches causes of male factor infertility. Maybe I will one day.

I’m still managing to stick to the endo diet, it’s extremely difficult, but I’m doing it. I’m going to start doing weekly weigh ins & we’ll see if I can get to my pre IVF goal weight.

Wish me luck!

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Day one of my first ever IVF cycle

So yesterday the “feeling in my gut” (literally) was “spot” on (I need to get out more!). Today is CD1 so I ate my last chocolate treat and I savoured it. I washed it down with some ibuprofen and embraced the cramps. Tomorrow, even though it’s a Saturday I will set my alarm for 6am. I will calmly ice a spot on my lower abdomen – any recommendations for where hurts less? – and when it’s reasonably numb I will wipe an alcohol swap on it & wait for it to dry as I hear that it can sting if you don’t. Once I’ve finished procrastinating I will then stick myself with 112.5 of Gonal F.

From what a quick google search tells me, Gonal F seems to be relatively symptom free and easy to handle and they have put me on a very low dose to avoid OHSS. People take 3 times my dose and are relatively symptom free so that’s good news. I’ll go in for my day 5 scan to see how I’m responding & at that point if we need to up the dose then so be it. I would definitely start low and up it if needed. When I took clomid my progesterone level went from 20.1 to 173 in one month, I know that my body is capable of doing this.

My scan appt is booked in for 7am on Weds next week and it’s only 25 mins on the tube from my work so in theory I won’t even be late for work as I start at 8am. If I’m a little late I can just blame the trains.

Is this really finally happening? I am excited. My plan between now and Wednesday is to distract myself with a combination of fun activities and lots of rest as I’m really tired and I need to catch up on some sleep. So right now Wednesday is my focus. One tiny step at a time on the “road to our baby”. If this cycle doesn’t work I don’t want to think that it was because I didn’t rest enough or because I ate too much junk food and those are both things that I can control so I’m going to do my best right now and I’ll keep you posted. Xxx

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New beginnings

Welcome to my brand new shiny blog!

I am here because I am about to start my first attempt at IVF and I have lots of thoughts and feelings that, try as they might, my friends and family don’t understand. I need this to be somewhere that I can blow off some IVF-related steam in the hope that I can then talk about something else with my poor, long-suffering husband.

I have spent the last 2 years being tested for everything under the sun and the current theory is that I have mild PCOS and, although I do ovulate, I do so “inadequately” which leaves me with low progesterone levels. My husband’s sperm are few and far between, deformed and lazy. So basically, either of us would struggle to conceive on our own and yet we attracted each other like a pair of fertilically-challenged magnets.

I have spent at least a year googling all sorts of things that I shouldn’t have in a desperate search for justifaction that the way that I am feeling is ok. I kept reading blogs written by these smart, funny ladies who were feeling what I was feeling. I have finally taken the leap to join this community of brave, fierce ladies who can laugh in the face of adversity and keep on fighting.

Come, join me! x

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