In the middle of the night….

Life always seems worse in the middle of the night, those gut wrenching what if’s and but’s can’t be silenced as easily as when day light filters through and the rest of the world is up and about. I have had a few of those nights recently where things escalate and the bad voices in your head take over any logical brain activity.

(Villa Boy says I shouldn’t talk about voices in my head as it makes me seem mad. It’s more an internal dialogue rather than voices if you are worried!).

Over the years I have tried various solutions but for me consistently the ones that work are self hypnosis CDs or mp3s. For general relaxation, positivity and sleep Andrew Johnson is great. If I think about it too much I find it disconcerting that someone talking to me before I go to sleep can actually change the way my brain functions to make life a bit easier. He’s not a miracle worker and doesn’t make all my problems disappear but somehow things seem easier. I suppose on a basic level it helps me get a decent nights sleep and the world is always a better place when you’ve slept well.

For the fertility stuff Zita West rocks, as with all these things the only downside is that I haven’t got pregnant! I have her trying naturally pre-conception and pre and post embryo transfer IVF CDs and again it gets you in “the zone”. Our disastrous January IVF cycle was the month I decided that it probably made no difference and so didn’t listen to Zita before during, or after treatment, a lesson learnt or coincidence? I’m not entirely sure but it was the kick up the backside I needed to crank it out again.

I suppose there doesn’t have to be some great reason as to why it helps acknowledging the stress that infertility and IVF put you under is a good first step. If something cheap, and easy like a cd or an ivf app helps even for a short while why worry about the how and why and concentrate on the benefits. I would recommend giving it a go and not ignoring the negative thoughts that can end up being so destructive.

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One year on

So it’s been a while, but I always wanted this blog to be about infertility and not get distracted by parenting as sometimes when you are googling for information a load of infertility information on a parenting blog is like a stab in the heart. I can’t lose my interest in infertility issues so am definitely going to be off loading some thoughts here still! But I did think that it was worth a post on life after infertility.

In those darkest days I often wondered whether it was worth putting myself through the roller coaster ride we were on. Sometimes as I was juggling money around was it worth all the money we were spending ? Mostly I consoled myself by knowing that if it didn’t work I knew I / we wouldn’t sit there in years and decades to come saying I wonder if, when we stopped it would have been because we exhausted all options available at the time. But we were lucky it worked our final roll of the infertility dice worked.

I have to be honest even when heavily pregnant I never truly believed we would bring a baby home, and even now I really can’t believe he is here. That probably means that I am still a little bit screwed up but it also means that I do genuinely take pleasure in every day. I said it a year ago and I will keep saying it he was worth every tear I cried, every emotional low I hit and most importantly every penny we spent. Sleepless nights pah, clingy boy hurrah he loves me, screaming tantrums in public yeah bring it on!! Maybe he’s an easy baby, maybe being older we have more patience, maybe the journey we went on to he him meant we were more than ready for him who knows or cares frankly. He brings us joy and happiness every single day.

I know that often post natal depression is common in women who have had a journey of infertility to get pregnant and I feel for them it must be awful to be ill and unable to appreciate the success of your fight. But I thought it would be good to it’s not a given, just because you ticked every other box in the infertility bingo game doesn’t mean you add PND to that card.

So those of you still fighting the infertile battle keep going lovelies the rewards are definitely worth it.

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Happy Endings

I am amazed & delighted that there really was a baby growing inside me! Our baby boy arrived on the 27th December 2012 weighing in at 2.6kg or 5lb 11z. A perfect end to 2012 & of course our journey.

I will finally get round to blogging about why I didn’t blog during my pregnancy but in short until he landed in front of me I never really believed we would be bringing home our baby. I really did keep expecting something to go wrong, but despite gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia he’s here :-).

We are in awe at how perfect he is and of course now he’s here he was worth the wait and the all the tears x

May you all be as lucky as we have been x

Posted in About me, IVF, pregnancy | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Make like an Ostrich

Hello poor neglected blog, I feel like one of those people who blogs until they get upduffed and then jump ship.  I can assure you I haven’t I have just been burying my head deep deep deep somewhere and getting through the days by managing to wake up pregnant and go to bed pregnant.  I have also been a Games Maker at the Olympics which was a very good distraction technique and made me admit to people every day that I was actually pregnant, something I am finding hard to do.

So we have now had our 20 week scan and so far still so good, friends have given us a cot and at some point I will have to admit that we are maybe actually going to finally have a baby!  I still can’t quite bring myself to believe that it won’t go wrong at some point.  My anxiety is something that I am working on, and I think every medical person I have dealt with is also aware of exactly how worried I am.  At first I was embarrassed by this, now I am embracing it, if it means people are gentler with us, humour my concerns or take longer over our scan showing us why there is nothing to worry about it is all good!

People have been lovely but you know those friends that never mentioned your fertility issues or disappeared as soon as you admitted you were having issues, well they are now appearing back in our lives.  Villa Boy doesn’t do grudges so hasn’t really noticed,  me I have to admit to feeling a slight resentment at their reappearance now everything in life is working as it should.  It is probably this that has led me to tell almost anyone and everyone that I mention my pregnancy too that it is an IVF pregnancy.  I am not sure why I feel the need to do this but it comes out very easily and the more I say it the more important I feel it is to mention it.

So life is obviously good, pregnancy is everything I thought it would be and a few things I never imagined!

Posted in About me, Infertility, IVF, pregnancy | 11 Comments

Drugs and superstitions

I know it’s a cliche but I know a lot of you are probably thinking what was different this time, is there anything I can do?  Now as you know from this blog I am a great believer of trying anything and everything that might make a difference, however this time round I didn’t really do anything I hadn’t tried before.  It’s easy to say now but I do believe that maybe we finally got to the front of that bloody queue there is no other reason why this should have worked and the others didn’t.  I also suppose if you try something for long enough the chances of success must increase, not that we have got there yet but I am trying to be vaguely positive! Anyhow IVF wise we went back to the same drug regime we did in July 2011 which was Antagonist Profile

Because of my low AMH I don’t take the pill to shut off my ovaries so we went straight in at day 2 to 450 iu of Gonal F and then added in at day 5 Orgalutran .25g to prevent ovulations

On Day 14 I triggered with a double dose of Ovitrelle 250 mcg (so 500mcg)

Post Egg Collection I took
– 25mg of prednisolone a steroid
– doxycycline twice a day -an antibiotic for 7 days
– progesterone perseries not gel twice a day – how much nicer than the gel??  Seriously Crinone is horrible !

Post embryo transfer which was a 3 day transfer I started on clexane 40mg, which I will now remain on until 32 weeks as per the new St Mary’s recurrent miscarriage clinic guidelines.

Now the “alternative” stuff.

I had acupuncture this cycle, which I didn’t have in January but did in every other cycle.  I also had it in the lead up.  I am still not convinced it does anything but given I have better cycles when I have it it must magially do something!

I ate a load of protein during stimming and had a decaff latte every day to up my milk intake.  All this is meant to help with egg quality.

I cut out the booze / caffeine and took my vitamins like a good girl but that’s normally isn’t is?

Post Embryo transfer I have had one of these green smoothies EVERY day!

We went ski-ing about 10 days before we started this cycle and I got the worst cold I have had in years, which probably meant my immune system was the lowest it had been for years so maybe that with the steroids helped?

Now I did also mean to detox the month before but with our ski holiday and various other stuff happening I didn’t have time so I had a colonic.  I will do another post on this as I am so not convinced but in the interest of sharing what I did I will!

So there you have it.  Nothing special, nothing magic, nothing different – it’s really annoying isn’t it!?

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IVF Round 4 – The Conclusion

So those of you who clocked the dates in my last post will realise that my 2 week wait was at the end of April.   It was the same as any 2 week wait really with the ups and downs that one has come to expect.  It was the 2 weeks that the entire cyberworld seemed to be getting BFP’s.  The only difference was on the Sunday before our test on the Wednesday I did comment to Villa Boy that my boobs looked fuller.  Plus I never had the gut wrenching feeling the night before we tested that it hadn’t worked which I had had in every other round.

So Wednesday morning came, I got up and said to Villa Boy “I won’t bother coming up to tell you the result we know what it’s going to be.”.  “Don’t be silly” he said! Approx 3 minutes later I was waving a pissy stick under his nose saying “How many lines can you see?”.  Yes we had a feint positive and a slightly stronger one on the other test I had done, just to make sure whatever result was collaborated you understand!

Wow I didn’t stop shaking for what seemed like days.  Then the next 2 week wait started, the one that ends with a scan.   Now during this one I did go slightly mad, this cumulated in me being too anxious to take the stuff I had bought for anxiety!  It was also during this 2 week wait that several of the cyber bfps sadly turned to miscarriages, I felt for all of them although all I could do was hide myself away and live 1 day at a time.

Our 6 week scan was fab, we had a strong heartbeat and everything was spot on for dates.  “What happens now” I said to the lady who scanned us, “you’re pregnant” she said “you go to the doctor and everything is as if you got pregnant without us!”. That sounded a bit scary.

Long story short, with my history of miscarrying I still had to fight for some early scans and we were scanned at 7 & 10 weeks, it put my mind at rest for about 5 nano seconds but generally it was a terribly long few weeks.  But somehow with a lot of love and support from family and friends we made it to our 12 week scan.  Most importantly we walked out of the 12 week scan without having to see a doctor, with a scan picture of a live baby with a low nuchal measurement.  7 days later our blood tests came back showing us at very low risk for chromosome abnormalities.   I have even managed to utter the words “I’m pregnant”.  It still feels very fragile and I can’t believe that we may get a happy ending.  But one day at a time is getting me through.

I won’t be banging on about being pregnant this blog is about infertility and things to help you get pregnant but I thought I ought to explain my lack of posting over the last few weeks.

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IVF Round 4

So my poor neglected blog what has been going on? Apart from WordPress being a bit temperamental on the iPhone and iPad?  Well having blogged in minute detail about IVF round 3 back in January and it going so spectacularly wrong superstition prevented me from discussing the decision to try one more time.

Our follow up appointment left me feeling that Mr Lavery really wasn’t hopeful that trying again was worth it but given that we had practically paid for it, had a few drugs left over it seemed sensible to go again.  However we were both decided that whatever happened this was probably, definitely, maybe our last go.

So April 2nd the drug regime commenced, we went back to the formula we used for our 1st drug induced round last year with was straight Gonal F 450ml, no menopur for me this time!  Every scan was a nightmare I was convinced we would be cancelled again, and may have shared those fears with every doctor who scanned me!  In the end we stimmed for 13 days,  which is longer the we have before, and actually much more in line with my normal cycle.  I had a double dose of trigger shot on the Saturday night to ensure the eggs were as mature as possible. I had a little panic that because no egg collection  happens over the weekend I would be over cooked by the Monday.  On reflection this again meant it was much more “natural” timing wise for my body.  All was well and we got 5 eggs.  At this point I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed, we had about 9 follicles and previously we had managed an egg from each follicle so I had hoped for more.

I had left Villa Boy’s number as the contact as I couldn’t cope with waiting for the have they fertilised haven’t they phone call and WOW what a revelation much less stressful!  They all fertilised, 1 abnormally, 1 gave up overnight so on the Tuesday when they called we had 3 left all looking OK.  They said they would call on Thursday but would probably let the, go to blast on Saturday.  So when they called Villa Boy on Thursday morning to say transfer was scheduled for Thursday afternoon I have to admit I presumed the worst.  I even said “have they started to give up?”  Villa Boy was like “no they just said come in”.

Transfer went well we had 2 put back in as the 3rd was starting to look fragmented.  My obsession with asking about quality had obviously been discussed in the lab as the lady that handed me the photo of our embryos as I was being wheeled out of the theatre said “they really are very good quality embryos”

We left the hospital and went for lunch and let the 2 week wait and it’s associated madness commence!

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Father’s Day pondering

Happy Father’s Day!

However I’m not sure that Father’s Day is quite so emotional for those struggling to become parents as Mother’s Day appears to be.   Which kind of reflects society doesn’t it?  I commented to someone at work in Friday that forgetting Father’s Day doesn’t seem as bad as forgetting Mothers’s Day where failure to send a card immediately renders you the worst offspring ever.  Why is this?

So I am not sure that today there will be many of  the men that are currently working through the infertility thing with their partners dwelling on the fact that another year has gone by and they are not  someone’s  daddy.  Certainly that’s the case in our house, Villa Boy won’t connect it with  something he should think aboutand certainly not something he should stress about.    Where as Mother’s Day to me is another opportunity for a day of self loathing and dwelling on what might have been.   Today I will think how lovely it will be if next year I can buy Villa Boy a Father’s Day card, and feel a moment of sadness that another year has past without being able to do this.  Villa Boy, if I mention this too him will look at me like I am a loony!  I admire the way he can do that.  Villa Boy lives in a great place where he doesn’t dwell on things, beat himself up when things go wrong, he  doesn’t hold a grudge or envy other people, he is completely contented in his own life.  That is why I love him, why he’s my absolute rock and why I know when the time comes he will be a great daddy.  I have a lot to learn from him.

I hope that our house is a reflection of lots of other households and that no one gets too upset over another year of not being parents, and I really hope that next year we too get to embrace the day celebrating, embracing and starting traditions  that mean our children appreciate the equal importance of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as they grow up.

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Ongoing fears

You may or may not have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet lately. Not for any particular reason but I think a cumulative of things. About 10 weeks ago there was a very exciting rush of BFP’s on a lot of the blogs I follow. I was thrilled for all those concerned, but reading the early pregnancy posts really bought home how whilst achieving a BFP is a great start it really is only one more hurdle jumped. It brings with it a whole load more angst, worry, stress, strains and uneasiness. It scared me and I did that thing that is too easy to do on this journey and buried my head in some deep deep sand!

I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me that what I am aiming for is to bring a baby home and that this infertility journey that I am on won’t be over until that point.  Pregnancy is just another part of that journey.

Last week on the forum I belong to our community was once again rocked by a still born baby. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens too often and it never fails to draw our community together. This one was a pregnancy that had taken 3 years to achieve, had occurred post hsg and just before ivf was due to start, still births are always shocking but somehow when a pregnancy has been so longed for you like to think the universe really can’t be that cruel. In these situations I really wonder what sort of higher power, if one exists could be so cruel.

Now don’t get me wrong I am ready for the trails and tribulations that come with a BFP I think I am up to riding that roller coaster!   I just long for those days when I believed that pregnancy ended with bringing home a baby. When I could speak to friends excited about their pregnancies without that nagging internal voice saying “how can they believe this will end in a baby?” or “how can they be so damn positive and not worry about miscarrying or something else going wrong?. Infertility mucks you up in so many ways many I don’t even allow myself to admit and when I do sometimes peak in it scares me.

So I bury my head and hope that all the pregnancies recently achieved end with a baby in a crib a home keeping those new parents awake all night.  I feel so so sad for those that miscarry along the way, understanding the pain and lonliness that brings, and sensing the deep dark place it sucks you into.  Then I keep hoping and dreaming that it’s our turn soon to get to experience the whole journey and not st the start.

Posted in About me, Infertile Madness | 3 Comments

Of things we should not speak

I been pondering about posting this for ages but I think I should, it’s not comfortable reading but it was a horrible part of our ttc journey that I couldn’t mention to anyone in real life.  Google wasn’t really any help and if by getting it down it helps one other person feel “normal” it’s worth it

Sadly there are a number of night I have lain in bed silently crying wondering how horrible I must be for all of this to be happening, the cause not another negative cycle or concerns about when I will get pregnant but whether Villa Boy still loves me  Villa Boy doesn’t do stress he is the most laid back man in the world but this whole ttc thing affected him in a way that neither of us would have expected, and in a way that is never talked about in real life.  He couldn’t finish having sex, not really ideal when you are trying to get pregnant but actually more importantly not very good for the ego, his or mine.

Everything would start off fine, working as it should and then bam it would go soft and could not be coaxed back into action. Of course the more it happened the more it became an issue,the more it became an issue the more it happened. I really didn’t know what to do and nor did he.  We talked about it, we didn’t talk about it, I initiated sex, I didn’t initiate sex. I asked him if he loved me, if he still fancied me, if he was sure he wanted children.  I wasn’t always calm I cried and shouted and sulked a bit, accused him of sleeping with someone else, that was a properly low point.  Of course that didn’t help matters and is not something I am particularly proud of but I have to admit I was completely flummoxed.   He assured me he did love me, he did fancy me still, and of course he wanted children. The accusation of having an affair really hurt him, he assures me he wasn’t and I believe him 100%, besides logically he doesn’t have time!

Then after about 3 months, although it felt like longer, he went to the doctor and got some Viagra. Of all the drugs involved in this journey that’s not really one that you want to admit too, especially not for the whole erection thing. Although it shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of , it certainly doesn’t feel like something we wanted to talk about with anyone.  He asked me not to ask when he had taken the Viagra and we got back to it so to speak.  Things got better, he never went back for a repeat prescription as we seemed to have got over the hump. Now for the majority of the time things do work as they should. When it doesn’t logic says its stress, the failed ivf, whether to go again or not, me being so upset by it all and it’s no longer the end of the world.   I think it takes it’s toil on a guy having to be strong all the time and guys don’t talk about infertility with each other or have online outlets.

Now if you are reading this and have never had this happen you are probably thinking for gods sake women get a grip something is obviously wrong with your relationship, if you never had this issue before something has changed. He obviously feels pressured and doesn’t want children, or you are obviously now unattractive to him or he really is having an affair and lying to you. I know before this happened to us that’s probably what I would have thought. But I am not deluding myself it really isn’t the case it is just another unknown rubbish part of being infertile that no one talks about.

If you have had it happen or are going through it at the moment hopefully it will make you feel all is not lost and that it isn’t a relationship problem causing it. Most important hopefully it will make you feel not alone and not blame yourselves.  If it is happening get some help, admit it to the doctor, the more it festers the bigger a problem it becomes and it really doesn’t need to.

Posted in About me, Infertility | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments