Monthly Archives: November 2013

Dear Me

Dear Me,

I know you have found this cycle a lot tougher than last time but you can do this.  You’re nearly there.  I also know you have been battling not to get your hopes up.  11 decent sized follicles on the scan doesn’t necessarily mean 11 eggs.  And even if you do get 11 eggs remember that they might not all be usable.  Out of your 9 eggs last cycle you only got two embryos, and even these weren’t of great quality, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t end up with many this time.  Some is better than none.  I realise it’s difficult to remain balanced but you’re doing great.  Hope for the best but prepared for the worst. It will all be ok.

Love Me.


But who’s counting….

It’s now been a year since I started this blog.  Its first birthday slipped by without my notice, a sign I guess at how lax I have become with my blog posts.  I’d aimed for one a week but at 14 posts off that pace it seems I didn’t quite make it.  Still, it’s been enough to keep me going and, to be honest, 38 posts isn’t half bad.  So what’s happened in a year?  So much and yet at the same time so little.

When this blog was started we’d been trying for Bumble for 597 days.  We were frustrated but hopeful.  We’d sought specialist help and had a plan…a laparoscopy to remove my suspected endometriosis then clomiphene to hopefully end our unexplained infertility.  Needless to say our four cycles of Clomiphene didn’t work, although I’m sure the removal of my endo has certainly taken out one of our obstacles.  The jump from Clomiphene to IVF, bypassing IUI and other treatments was definitely a shock, but once again we were convinced that this would be it, the miracle cure to our plight.  Alas, once again, no result and the options were starting to feel like they were running out.  There was no explanation for why IVF #1 didn’t work, and if we had a similar result from the next IVF cycle then that would most likely be the end of the road, no insight into the problem causing our infertility means no direction for treatment.  So where are we now?

We’re 965 days in and doing IVF round two.

As mentioned in a previous post this starts off with three weeks counterintuitively on the contraceptive pill, before ending that and beginning the stimulation injections.  Throughout most of this time an ovulation inhibiting injection is also taken.  Not knowing what to expect from this longer cycle I went in with much the same mindset as I had with the first IVF cycle, except this time my expectations weren’t so high; I am somewhat prepared for this not to be the miracle cure.  Overall the pill was fine, and the stimulation injections are much the same as last time.  I’m on a slightly higher dose but it doesn’t seem to be causing me any issues.  The thing that IS causing me grief is the nasty injection to stop me ovulating.

Each morning I inject what I like to call ‘Lucky Dip Lucrin’.  This is also known at Lupron for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere.  I name it ‘Lucky Dip Lucrin’ because you never know what you’re going to get on any given day.  I do my injection at about 7:30am each day and I can time it pretty much to the minute that exactly two hours later I want to cry.  After that it’s a wait-and-see process as to what horrible side effects I’m going to get for the day.  Most days I have a headache – the lucky dip side of this whether I have it from 2 hours after my Lucrin shot or whether it develops later in the day.  Some days, although thankfully not many, I feel nauseous.  Not nauseous enough to actually throw up but nauseous enough that I sit at my desk pondering whether I could make it to the toilet in time if I had to.  Lately I’ve also been suffering from vertigo from it which makes working extremely difficult.  And let’s not even start on my dodgy gut!  I’ve also been insanely tired but this is one side effect I don’t mind so much.  I hate being tired and it’s a struggle to get through the day sometimes but I figure functioning in the equivalent of a sleep deprived state is good practice for if I ever do become a parent, so this is one side effect that makes me feel better about this whole process.

Coming towards the end of the stimulation part of the cycle I’m finding it harder and harder to function as a human being.  I guess this has to do with the drugs building up in my system or something but the last few days have been really tough.  An email that should take me 5 minutes to write is taking a couple of hours (due to an inability to concentrate on one thing for a sustained period of time), and my vertigo is so bad I often have to sit with my head in my hands, eyes closed (trying not to move) at frequent intervals throughout the day.  I know others who have gone home ‘sick’ when feeling the same but I refuse to let this defeat me.  This IVF cycle is a path I have chosen to take and my work should not suffer more than it already does because of it.  At least the end is now in sight.

Scans and blood tests are looking good.  My follicles have been a little slower in developing than last time but Dr Google tells me that this is not uncommon with a long protocol cycle.   All going well my egg collection should be at the end of this week.  Fingers crossed we get the miracle we’ve been hoping for all this time.


“Try to swim to stay afloat”

I was planning on writing a blog post on giving up because that’s what I feel like doing right now.  I thought that last month could’ve been the month.  Again! Why do I do this to myself – I get myself into a good place full of acceptance and ready for wherever the battle takes us, and then I have a random cycle that throws a spanner in my works and makes me believe that this could be possible “naturally”, only to succumb to disappointment when the spotting shows up.  This month we timed things perfectly, then a few days post-ovulation my boobs got sore and I had random cramps but alas, it wasn’t to be, the spotting began and my body lets us down again.  I guess I need to pin my hopes on IVF #2, although I’m also wary of pinning any hopes on that as my body seems determined to have its own way no matter the cost.  Anyway, this isn’t a post on giving up, not any more.

The thing that changed my mind on what I would write about came about from a comment on this blog.  I love reading comments, I not only love to hear other peoples perspective on what I write but it also reminds me that I’m not alone in this, that people actually read my blog, that there are so many others out there like me and they are all so lovely and supportive.  The comment just happened to be so perfectly timed and succinctly worded that it reminded me I have to keep going.

The last couple of weeks have been particularly testing for me.  So many pregnancy announcements, new babies bought into work to visit, photos of the kids online.  It’s hard.  I like to think that I’ve coped pretty well.  I’ve congratulated whole-heartedly, I’ve cuddled babies so small they could drop through your arms, and I’ve commented on pictures online….and for the most part I have actually been really happy for everyone (especially you B).  But there have been moments where my confidence has wavered, where I’ve struggled to hold back the tears or the heartache and I haven’t really known what to do.  Until I remember the comment, and my resolve is restored.

I know there are a few people out there reading this blog who are in the same situation as me.  These are some of the strongest people you would ever meet but if you told them this I bet it would take the majority of them by surprise.  I’ve had a couple of people tell me over the last few years that I’m strong and I’ve never really believed them.  I certainly don’t feel strong, you just do what you have to do to survive, to open your eyes in the morning, put one foot in front of the other, and to make your way through life.  So this particular comment told me I was strong. To have this come from a virtual stranger (we read each other’s blogs but have never met) blew me away.  They also mentioned that I “provide so much support for other women”….which made me cry.  Hehehe, real strong huh!

As I’ve already mentioned in previous posts, I primarily started this blog for me, as a way to capture the process and as an outlet for my emotions.  I’ve also said that if writing this could help just one other person work their way through this hell then it would be an added bonus.  So to have someone state that my ramblings provide support to someone other than myself makes me feel so overwhelmed I can’t do anything else but cry.  I am amazed, and truly, truly grateful.  This one little sentence, and the fact that someone I barely know took the time out of their day to write it to me, gives me a massive reason to keep moving forward.  It gives me hope, and it gives me a great sense of camaraderie.  We’re all in this together, regardless of the outcomes, and we’ll help keep each other afloat.

So this isn’t a post on giving up, because we all know I won’t do that, no matter how much I may feel like it right now.  It’s a post about swimming, and about throwing the life-saver to anyone out there getting too tired to doggy-paddle.

(Sorry, I know I was supposed to ‘Sunshine Award’ from the comment but I’m hopeless)


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