Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tissue territory

Well, we're here. Time to invest in a bumper pack of Kleenex. The waterworks are ON!

To be fair (to me) i've been tested these last couple of days. I'm 8 days into Buserelin and the weird 'having my menopause but still menstruating' period has shown up. AF's arrival is ordinarily heralded by a good sob, so that's all usual stuff. Crying at the wheel of my Mini is not.

It was brought on by our boiler deciding that just after we'd got the (£5k) credit card bill for our second IVF cycle would be a good time to throw in the towel. The boiler's successor is going to cost us something in the region of £2k. Marvellous. Good job!

Refusing to let it interfere with my routine, i decided that i'd still go out and exercise first thing. I got back with a good hour to wash, dress, inject, breakfast and leave the house at 9am for my osteopath appt. I got 3 huge pans of water on to heat up. Our kettle - in league with the boiler - had decided to give up the ghost at the weekend. To add to that, one of the gas rings won't fire up either! What is it with our domestic water heating arrangements?!!

One of my bigger pans was in the fridge as it had braised red cabbage in it. I emptied the cabbage out and gave the pan a quick rinse so that I could get max water over the 3 gas rings I had. When I started filling the bath, I found we had no running water - hot or cold - to our bath, so I had to bail in cold water from the sink. Marvellous. Anyway, by the time the water had heated up it was 8.40 and I ended up sitting in about 2 inches of hot water. I'd just managed - by lying flat on my back with my legs out the bath - to wash my hair when i noticed some floating bits. Cabbage. I must have missed some when I rinsed the pan and was washing in cabbagey water. Nice.

I managed to wash and dry me and my hair, inject AND put on make up by 9am. An achievement, but not exactly what my relaxation course would recommend!

The plumber promised to arrive at midday. He rang on my doorbell at 15.45. I was SO not amused. My day has been totally wasted! To top it all - he said there's no time to do the job today! He's taken the boiler and says he'll be back tomorrow morning to finish the job. So, no hot water (again) and no heating tonight. Joy. Probably time to take a few DEEP breaths and listen to my relaxation CD.

At least this is happening now and not in 3 weeks when i'm sure i'll be knee deep in sodden tissues and wearing the gorgeous swollen red eyes of the mid treatment IVF'r.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Granny Smiths

Every morning, I slice a crisp, green Granny Smith apple in half. I then core and slice one half over my morning porridge. Every morning I forget that the apple has a little blue sticker on it and watch as the small pieces of apple dropping onto my steaming oats have tiny blue sticker remanants over some of them.

Why do the people who sell us the apples think we need a blue sticker? I don' t need a sticker to tell me it's a Granny Smith apple. If it's for those who don't know, then if you're not interested enough to work out what breed of apple you're buying, you're not going to care much anyway. All that the stupid sticker does is leave glue on my apple - probably - and end up in pieces over my breakfast. I make the same stupid mistake every day and have probably ingested a large amount of blue paper - wonder if that's bad for me?

Worse for me probably is the anxiety and frustsration my new drug of choice (?) is creating. I'm 6 mornings into my Buserelin regime. Overall, i'm not too bad. I've mastered the whole drawing up the drug/tapping the needle/air bubble thing - which always makes me feel like a medic or at least a fully paid up drug addict! The only effects that i've noticed are massive tiredness - really full on need to flop - and thirst - need to drink all the time. Otherwise, apart from some minor breast tenderness, all's good. My boy's on red alert for terrorist outbursts from me or perhaps some unwarranted and inappropriate sobbing, but...not wanting to speak too soon...all seems ok. I don't even have the bruises i inflicted all over my tummy last time. Obviously, it's very early days in my chemical menopause though.

I'm doing a daily half hour of relaxation - as prescribed by my MindBody course, and trying to make some me time. I seem to get enough me time really in any event.

Otherwise not a huge amount to report. This time I have a posse of IVF'ers around me going through the hoops. Two are ahead of me by a week or two, one (an FET) is almost the same start and another started her down reg at the same time as me. I think she may be a bit younger, but i'm not sure. It's comforting to have them alongside, but a little corner of my mind is scared that statistically, we can't all succeed. Who's going to get the luck this time? 2 have had (sadly failed) pregancies before, so my money's on them. My body wouldn't recognise a pregnancy if it came up and punched it in the ovaries.

I'm fairly relaxed about everything this time. I almost feel resigned to it not working, but do expect it to work on the third or fourth try. Not sure why I feel like that, but it does keep me calm. Maybe it's a protection mechanism. My boy reads these entries, and will go mad with me for my negativity. It's not total negativity, just a way of not expecting too much from this, my second foray into reproductive medicine.

Whilst the medical side isn't especially different this time, the mental side is better. There's the MIndBody course, weekly massage at home and acupunture. Annoyingly, my acupuncturist is off to India (what a cliche that is) for three weeks around the main even of this cycle without directing a needle towards a potential replacement. I'm on the hunt for a sub - and may well have found one - but am seriously unimpressed with her karmic feelings.

I'm now venting and rambling, so i'm off to lie with my relaxation CD for 30 mins. After the dim sum fest my boy and I just enjoyed, i think i may be snoring in minutes


Friday, February 16, 2007

Valentines, drugs and other bits

I've been reading Hopeful Mother's wonderful entries and finding myself thinking about her later and smiling to myself. Apologies - if I was clever i'd set up a link direct to her site here, but I can't and i'm increasingly feeling a techno twit. Still you'll find her address to the right of the page anyway.

Her reaction to her BFP has been adorable and so well written. Obviously I read it with an element of "what about me?" but then don't we all but she's given us so much of herself on her blog that you get drawn in and can't help feeling elated that with her. It gives us hope and I'm just so pleased for her.

I'm trying to limit my IVF related activities. I know that once I really get started with this cycle it will - as last time - take over. I want to keep myself in the real world as long as I can. The number of IVF hours are creeping up though...I've joined a Mind and Body relaxation group run at my clinic. There are 11 of us girls in it plus the co-ordinator and two helpers. We're all in the infertility trap. Some have had a few goes at IUI and IVF but not all have gone through the IVF rollercoaster yet. Many are nervous of the journey and are in the group to help them get the courage up to go through the experience. The aim of the course is to teach us all life skills of relaxation so that we can better cope with treatment and with many stressful experiences. We're meant to keep the goings on in the group confidential, so that's about all i'll say, other than i'm really enjoying it so far and i'm sure it'll do me some good. Oh - one of the girls in the group is cycling the same time as me! A brilliant coincidence to share the experience!

I HAVE to report on my Valentines Day. I'm SO not a Val Day person - never really thought much of it, even more so now there's such pressure on all of us to perform on the day. Still, on our first married Val Day, my most gorgeous and wonderful husband pulled out all the stops. He evicted me for 2 hours at around 4.30pm. I sat in a cafe with wifi up the street and worked whilst waiting.

When I got the call to come home, he opened the door and there were candles EVERYWHERE, the table was laid in the kitchen with lovely red tulips in vases and, in our living room was a massage table and a lady waiting to give me a massage!! After the most fantastic massage, she left and he fed me a home cooked meal of my favourite food. I hate to sound cheesey but it was so lovely. Made me realise that what i've got - even without babies - is very wonderful.

Just so you know - I didnt' forget him...i had a box of mini breakfast pastries and jams etc delivered to his radio station (where he does a breakfast show) and I baked him some heart shaped cakes which I iced and left in a box for him when he got in from work. Yeah, yeah, i know it's the height of cheese, but we're newly weds!!!

Last bit of info for this post is the drugs. I ordered the drugs on Monday - and they cost TWICE AS MUCH as i'd been told and EVEN MORE THAN LAST TIME!!! I was horrified, but what are you going to do? My cycle buddy from the course got her drugs on the NHS - FOR FREE!!!! That is so unfair. Anyway, the big box showed up yesterday morning, with a huge needle kit and sharps bin this time. I've stacked them in one of our bathrooms. it's a horrible moment when you unpack the drugs as it brings it all home. I'm a little nervous of my Buserelin injections. I didn't do them last time and i'm not entirely sure how to get the drug out of the vial and into the me. I know it's a syringe, but i'm going to have to ring the clnic for advice.

Enough now. Time to get back to work. IVF is a HUGE distraction - much easier to vent for 20 mins about it on line than to concentrate on today's work!


Thursday, February 08, 2007

IVF works

It's official...IVF does really work.

First Heather (Desperatelyseekingbaby) and now HopefulMother have reached the end goal. I'm so pleased for both of them and every piece of good news gives me a boost because it proves that this journey i'm on can end in success.

I'm in that weird twilight zone pre-cycle. Just starting to crank up the hours spent cruising the internet for information and success stories, leafing through the various self-help books and beginning the abstinence from all good things in life! Had my mid-cycle scan today to check all my bits are in order. Good news was that all my bits are doing what they should. About to ovulate and no nasty bits found. Bad news is that apparently I don' t have a number of follicles. Could be age but also could be just one of those things. The doc said that some of us are just made that way. He said that as my cycles are really regular and not long/short/intermittent, it doesn't look too bad BUT that we're doing the right thing in getting on with treatment. Sometimes I think he's a bit of a good news guy - and doesn't like to give the harsh reality.

I'd been thinking of delaying longer to get our life a bit more sorted, but I think we'd better just get on with it! The doc was lovely and tells me that the eggs I do produce are good ones. I was sad that my chances of a multi-egg cycle with loads of gorgeous embies is extremely unlikely.

Never mind...there's so much good news going around, maybe some will land with us! The doc has just got a patient pg. Not unusual, but what was unusual was that her hubbie had prostate cancer and they'd had to rush to treatment with frozen sperm before his chemo. it worked for them and they've twins on the way!

I'm not sure i've much more news. Oh, it snowed here all day. It was GORGEOUS! I sat and watched for a long time and then just had to go out and play. I'm such a baby when it comes to snow - just gotta get out there and feel it on my face! Shows how little snow we get here.

My boy - i've realised he's been both My Darling Boy (MDB) and Darling Husband (DH) already during my blog. Need to find a name and stick to it. Anyway, that man (MDB/DH) is on my case to get some rest, so i'm going to stop tonight's ramble.

Many, many congrats to the girls with BFP's tonight. I can't imagine how good that must feel...amazing...but i hope to one day!


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Just a quick one

I always say that, and then get carried away with my ramblings.

I forget to mention in my last post the lady of 67 (SIXTY SEVEN!!!!) who's just had twins. They reversed her menopause, fertilised donor eggs and sperm and implanted. IT TOOK!! And she has TWINS!! Apparently she lied to the clinic to persaude them to treat her. How MAD is that? Funnily enough, I don't feel sad or even angry about it, just pleased that even a 67 year old womb can hold onto embryos..suppose the sperm and eggs were super young though...

Also had to share that I have reached the countdown. AF arrived yesterday - been feeling unusually yucky with it all, but pleased to be (finally) on countdown. Rang the clinic who've given me w/c 19 March as my provisional retrieval/implantation week. Seems a long way off, but I know it'll fly. Injections will start on 20 Feb.

Rang to order my drugs and they're HALF THE PRICE of the last cycle. Half of me's worried that cheaper drugs surely can't do the trick, whilst the cheapskate in me is delighted! I still couldn't help a quick surf to see if i could pick them up any cheaper. Found a post giving a telephone number of a place that does them cheaper on a fertility site. Called, only to find it was the same company! They do different deals with different clnics. It's SO outrageous. Never mind. I'm back into the "whatever" frame of mind - just so long as it works.

On that front, i'm even more negative than last time! I'm now so much more aware of failures and almost resigned to our having to do this several times before it'll work. Not good, esp since DH has had some bad news on the work front and money's going to be a bit tight.

Never mind - we'll just carry on dealing with everything life can chuck at us in this first year of our marriage!

We're off to France for a long weekend tomorrow. Staying with newly engaged friends, which should be lovely. Lots of eating, laughing and the odd glass of soothing wine. Gotta enjoy something in this life.

I hate to admit that i dread any of my newly wed or about to be wed friends announding "good news". I have a few and I know someone's going to do it soon. They'll all be too scared to tell us. Not a lot else to say about that - just rambling.

Must sign off now. Want to finish off some work.

The vanilla ice cream was delicious. Only problem is that i'm not meant to eat ice cream - my acupuncturist says it's bad for my fertility!!!

When i'm pregnant, i'll make (and eat) ice cream every day.