Archive for the ‘Fertility’ Category

To follow or not to follow, that is your decision

This is just a heads up that I will no longer be publishing my blog via Facebook. So if you’d like to keep reading my posts you can either click on the Follow link in the top left hand corner, or scroll down on the right hand side to follow me via Twitter or email. I know a lot of you read my posts from Facebook so I just wanted to let you know.

Whilst I have your attention though, can you all keep your fingers crossed for a very dear friend of mine as it’s her turn with an IVF cycle at the moment? She’s a fab mum and hoping for a sibling for her little boy (also an IVF baby).
Thinking of you Mrs LT…you know who you are 🙂 xxxxx

2WW: It’s getting scary now

First week was fine, flew by, I kept myself busy and positive, but now as I enter the second week…..I think it’s beginning to get to me. I have been having random symptoms but the trouble is I’m fully aware that these symptoms could be the drugs, a period or a pregnancy so am trying desperately to ignore them. Also, this morning I had an EPIC freak out when I suddenly realised that I hadn’t been taking the 75mg of aspirin a day!!!!! How the hell did I forget this??!!!!! I am so disappointed in myself (and the hubby for not reminding me), I can’t believe I’ve paid thousands of pounds, gone through physical torture, emotional breakdowns and at the last hurdle forgotten to take something as simple (and cheap) as a daily baby aspirin!!!! WHAT AN IDIOT!!!!

I’m waiting for the clinic to call me back and tell me what an utter doughnut I am.

I have also noticed that I have developed anger issues which I suspect are coming from the steroids. I’m perfectly fine and then all of a sudden I simply want to stab something/someone. It’s really quite that aggressive and kicks in within a second; very strange experience. I had a go at a woman in Asda on Saturday, the normal shopping trolley rage, too many people, not enough brain cells type of shopping experience, but I had to stop in front of the yoghurts and out loud say to myself “Breathe, Jodie, breathe”. God knows what people must have thought of me.

I think I may give being a neurotic woman a go and start taking pregnancy tests everyday, just go with the mental flow as it where. It’ll all be over by the end of the week (ish) one way or another.

BAAAAAAAH!

Can you enjoy yourself in the 2WW?

Yeah baby!

2 week wait

Very glamorous!

This is me last night at a friend’s birthday bash down the local pub. It was an AMAZING night! I made lovely new friends, caught up with old ones and took photos of them all. I even had a bit of a boogie which I have really missed since my knee surgery and I love an excuse to shake my tailfeather 😉 During this wonderful evening of karaoke, cake and drunkenness (not mine of course) did I ponder on my 2WW situation…or did I manage to pretend I was someone else for the night? Nah! Of course I thought about my Potentials and how they were getting on; making sure I was drinking enough water, not doing any jumpy movements (I was grooving, not headbanging) and popping outside now and then to get some fresh air and cool down.

A couple of people offered me a drink and when I said “No thank you I’m good, I don’t drink” I noticed that nearly everyone reacts the same way to this statement. A frown. It’s like I’ve just said “Hi I’m actually your future grand-daughter and I’ve hitched a lift with a time traveller just to see you tonight” Saying “No” to an offer of alcohol is just…..unheard of! I used to be a HUGE drinker, loved my booze, and I’m trying to remember if this is how I reacted to tea-totallers? The reality is I probably did and I think it’s because drinking is such a big part of our social scene that you’re not really socializing unless you have a glass/pint in your hand. What’s strange though is that if you offered someone a cigarette and they didn’t smoke, you wouldn’t try forcing them to have one, but that’s what happens when you don’t drink alcohol. I know it’s well-meaning, but trust me I’m happy not drinking, and I’m happy for you to continue drinking in front of me…it really isn’t a problem. But it then leads to “Why don’t you drink?” and they’re not happy being brushed off with a small answer like health, they want to know everything.

So I told. I started off by simply saying that I’m trying for a baby, but that leads to “Oh you can have a couple, it won’t do any harm” which then leads to my explaining that we’ve been trying for years and have had IVF etc….but then they start putting their thinking caps on and start telling me “what you need to do is relax/go away for a weekend/I knew a woman once who did *this* and she got pregnant immediately/eat more bananas/etc.. etc.. etc..” then I want to say “yes I know all this!!!!!!” But I don’t because that’s just rude.

I actually think it’s wonderful that a conversation flowed after I was so open with a topic that most still keep very quiet, and what I have found is that people are actually quite interested. They also want to help; they search their memories for any useful tip they may have once read on getting pregnant just to pass on to me. I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable because I’m so open about a sensitive subject, but I’m pleased with how I conversed with others on infertility and how they did to me in return. Basically I had a wonderful evening with no worries, and I could be myself and have fun.

On another note, I am now 6 days into the 2WW and all is still fine. I do have some symptoms BUT symptoms come from the drugs or an impending period as well as from a possible pregnancy and I’m very aware of that so my feet are firmly on the ground still.

Honest.

The Two Week wait commences!

Just a quick little post to say that the transfer went perfectly, much to my joy!

Both the embryos/Potentials survived the thaw and we had them both popped in. The process itself was the least painful one I’ve ever had! For those who are unfamiliar with the transfer process it’s similar to a smear test, and the pain varies in my experience. You know how some days your smear test nurse just can’t quite seem to get the job done and it starts making your eyes smart? Well that’s as bad as a transfer can get, so in reality nothing to be afraid of. Us women are good at manning up (says she who was shitting herself all day!)

I’ve been given my instructions (no shellfish, no alcohol/fags, glass of milk daily, at least 2 litres of water daily, no marathon running or weight lifting) and my drugs (aspirin, steroid tablets and progesterone suppositories). My clinic has made a little change to the suppositories this time round…..they’re not going in the same place as before! This is a sensitive subject and I’m conscious that some work colleagues read my blog and may never be able to look at me quite the same ever again if I go into too much detail here. So I’ll just say that my husband thinks it’s hilarious and keeps blowing raspberries at me!

ivf

I am so going to get this…one day.

I asked the lovely Annette (our nurse/fertility expert) today what the situation was with my taking herbal supplements now? A very in-depth conversation followed where she explained that nothing has actually been scientifically proven that supplements/acupuncture/etc.. has increased pregnancies. Now this is something that I agree with and I’ve always viewed meditation and acupuncture as something for the woman, as opposed to creating a pregnancy. And my research into supplements has shown me how complex this field is and how you really shouldn’t chuck tablets down your neck just  because it’s the latest feature article in a Health magazine. Subsequently the tablets I chose to take were quite basic, all round good supplements that would benefit my whole body. I steered away from things like Agnes Castus for example, as I didn’t feel knowledgeable enough to know that I was doing the right thing (Agnus Castus is a supplement that you take for 2 weeks then stay off it for 2 weeks during your cycle, so quite specific, and there is conflicting advice on whether you can take it when pregnant or not). At least this is my thought process, I completely accept and respect that others have differing views on this, I was just trying to help myself as much as possible. Interestingly though, Annette explained that supplements can be quite potent and could interfere with the drugs the clinic provide for example. This is proven with St John’s Wort which can interfere with chemotherapy (http://www.bmj.com/content/325/7362/460.4). So I am now off my supplements. This is a fascinating topic though and please do reply with your thoughts and opinions.

So anyway, I am now officially in the Two Week Wait zone and can do pretty much nothing until I’m allowed to take a pregnancy test. I have no doubt that the time will drag by so I’m going to try to keep myself really busy (but not stressed). I’m helping my Mother-in-Law out with her cake making business and we have our first Wedding Fayre to exhibit at this Sunday! I’ve been making wedding favours and cup cakes by the tonne, trying to find that perfect, original and unique ‘idea’ that will make us our millions 🙂 Her website is www.cakesbymariepike.co.uk if you want to see how great she is. I digress….sorry.

I have (controversially I’m sure) already been conversing with my Potentials and making sure they’re settling in. As soon as I knew I was pregnant with my daughter (nearly 17 years ago) I talked to her constantly, I couldn’t help it, it just seemed natural. So I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t do the same now just because the beginning is slightly different. I’m gonna go with the flow!

Embryo Transfer in …. 40 minutes!!!!! AAAARRRGHHH!!!

Good grief the nerves have hit me!!!! My stomach is all over the place! I was grumpy yesterday and I’ve been comfort eating so I’m obviously trying to suppress the ‘worries’. I tried to explain how I feel about the transfer to my husband last night…

“I feel like I’m standing on a cliff with a new set of wings. I’m about to step off the cliff and my wings will either work and I’ll fly into happiness, or they will fail and I’ll plummet to the ground. I also realise that there is more of a chance that they won’t work so that adds to the apprehension of stepping of a cliff, as if that isn’t scary enough!”

My husbands reply?

“I will be at the bottom waiting to catch you if they fail”.

HE IS A MAN IN A MILLION! LOVE HIM!

infertility

First scan to start the ball rolling

This morning I had my first scan to make sure everything was as it should so we could continue with this assisted conception attempt. When you’ve had as many scans as I have (and many of you may relate to this) it becomes a very straightforward, even humourous event. Whip your knickers off, hop on the bed and spread ’em! Then hold your breathe for the freezing cold sink plunger to delve into your most precious of places whilst smiling to the nurse and discussing the weather. I love the way they show me the screen, where my insides are artistically displayed in grey tones of pencil like scribblings, and point out which blobby area is what. ‘Ah how sweet’ I think, although I have no idea why I think this is sweet.  I have been informed that this month my left ovary has produced a follicle. Bless it.

So everything was fine and dandy and I was given Clearblue Ovulation sticks to start using every day. Now I’ve used ovulation sticks before, I bought them off Ebay and they were very basic but did the job. This time, however, I feel rather privileged to have CLEARBLUE ones…ooooh get me! The infertility journey isn’t a cheap one, as most of you are aware, and so we cut costs whenever possible (hence Ebay ovulation sticks bought in bulk) but it’s quite nice to have a super-duper-top-of-the-range bit of kit for once 🙂

Clearblue ovulation predictorFor the next few days I shall be the ‘Pee on a Stick’ woman waiting for the circle on the wand to turn into a smiley face (yes I know, a smiley face? really?) indicating ovulation, and when that happens….CALL THE CLINIC!! This all happens really rather quickly as the Clinic will then defrost 2 embryos, check for viability and defrost the other 2 if needed, then I’ll be called in for egg transfer, given some steroids to stop miscarriage, progesterone to help the pregnancy progress and then it’s fingers crossed for 2 weeks! So within 3 weeks we will hopefully be pregnant! Amazing stuff huh?! I am in such a good place about this, it’s so wonderful to be able to actually keep trying for our bambino, knowing that we are far from giving up yet. I completely accept it might not work and that’s fine, I’m not picking a fight with Mother Nature, I’ll just try again. I am slightly worried about having another miscarriage as they are a most horrid thing to experience, but I’m doing everything I can to avoid one.

I have decided to refer to my frozen eggs as The Potentials. It sounds so clinical calling them ‘frozen embryos’, and ‘eggs’ makes me think of chicken eggs, and I think that Potentials is a very hopeful sounding word for them. It also makes them sound like they are part of a 70s tv detective show, which is my attempt at introducing coolness to my infertility. Right on!

So I hope The Potentials are getting ready for their performance; Potential Mama will see you soon x

Assisted conception, natural cycle..here we go

So today I am on Day 4 of my cycle, have contacted the clinic to let them know, and have made the first appointment for next week! This is a strange feeling this time round as it all seems to be happening so quickly, by the time I am Day 28 I should be pregnant…or not of course. With our previous IVF cycles (as most of you may know) it seems to drag on for a couple of months; filled with appointments, drugs and injections. This cycle, however, is a ‘natural’ one so I won’t be taking drugs or having any injections (woohoo!), just going for scans. I might be a bit weird but I find scans quite amusing; ‘oh look, there are my ovaries, and what’s that there..sneaking about… oh! it’s my bladder. Marvellous!’ Not everybody is lucky (?) enough to see their insides on a regular basis you know.

I have been told I will be given ovulation sticks to use daily and then when ovulation is occurring, they will pop in our defrosted, donated embryos. Ta da!! That’s pretty much it. After everything I’ve been through this is rather exciting and relieving. We’ve had an emotional couple of weeks too, so it’s nice that I can look forward to this.

At the weekend I visited my nearest-thing-to-a-sister-type-friend who has become an awesome health professional since the days when we used to play with Barbie dolls, and she helped me out with my latest supplement collection. I’ve actually asked her if she’ll write a fertility post for me so she can share her wisdom and advice to all of us, so watch this space. Her name is Gabriella Clarke and thanks to her I now have the following collection to keep me young and fertile;fertility supplements

  • maca
  • wheatgrass
  • royal jelly
  • l-arginine
  • pre-conception tablets including folic acid

This little lot is a total of 10 tablets and I switched from powder form to tablets on purpose as I had grown tired of the green smoothies I had to make. Not sure if that’s working out for me though as the tablets get stuck in my throat and make me gag! Yes I know, I need to man up.

fertility supplements

My morning fix

I have also managed a nice steady weight loss and have lost nearly a stone, so I’m feeling rather good about myself at present, healthily speaking. I’m also feeling very determined which I think is different to feeling positive. Feeling positive just means that I’m hoping this will all work, I’ve felt positive for some time now (apart from the occasional bad day of course), but feeling determined makes me feel like I have more control…and Jodie likes control! I’m determined to make more of an effort, determined to be healthier, determined to hit the gym, determined to lower my stress RAAAARRRR! 🙂 So I welcome this new attempt with open arms! COME ON! I’M READY FOR YA!