Sunday, April 29, 2007


For the first time in several weeks, I can relax...a little.

My husband's the most spoilt man in the world. As well as dinner at a top London restaurant - Galvin at Window on the World (on the top floor of the London Hilton Park Lane) AND a night at the Hempel Hotel (v glam, trendy hotel in Baywsater) he also was a guest at his v own surprise party last night.

The secrecy has been killing me. He's so "busy" (that's nosey for those that don't know) that it's really hard to keep a secret. I'm pretty rubbish at secrets at the best of times. I've been so busy cooking, shopping, inviting and generally running around and have had to pretend to Mr G that i've just been lazing about! He thought I was being super idle - which i'm not generally so he did suspect something was up. I had to get him out of our flat for most of Saturday, so he knew i'd invited someone round. I'd told him i was doing a small dinner for him and a few friends.

Unbeknown to Mr G, I'd actually invited 30 or so of his closest friends round for drinks and eats. He's said in the past that it would be funny to have a room full of people all wearing those Groucho Marx comedy specs - with nose, big moustache and eyebrows. So, I'd bought 35 pairs and, last night at 8pm, he and his best friend (who i'd asked to babysit my boy for the day) came home find his favourite people in those comedy specs. It was joyful. He laughed so hard. It was so great to make him so happy on the birthday he really didn't want to celebrate. It was really hard work, but I got so much out of making him happy.

I cooked heaps of food - three sorts of canapes (mini thai fish cakes, pizza palmiers and tiny cheese and herb filo triangles) and a buffet of lemon chicken salad, caramelised onion and thyme tarts, persian herbed couscous, roasted tomato salad, leaf salad with mint, feta, asparagus and broad beans and home made mint and thyme soda bread rolls. We then ate homemade chocolate chip cheesecake as well as birthday cake and mixed berries. I really enjoyed focussing on something other than my empty uterus!

This week has been a festival of birthday celebrations. My stepdad was 65 this week too, and we went to The Waterside Inn in Bray (Michelin 3 star grub) to celebrate. It's a very formal (but friendly) French restaurant owned by Michel Roux. I won't bore you with the meal - which was absolutely gorgeous - and far more elegant than my efforts the previous night. The dining room is right next to the river and has beautiful views. We had our coffee outside on their deck overlooking the ducks, rowers and other river traffic. It was fantastic, but, if i'm honest, too expensive. I really don't think it's right to charge such HUGE prices for food. I know there's a lot of skill involved in producing it, but when you think of the's almost criminal.

Bray is a tiny village in Berkshire which has two top class restaurants - the one we ate at and Heston Blumental's restaurant called The Fat Duck. He's the chef who makes stuff like egg and bacon ice cream and snail porridge. I've not been there, but it's meant to the the top restaurant in the UK.

Enough foodie ramblings. The best thing about this week has been time off from infertility. I still clock every pregnant woman and tiny baby and have a fleeting moment of sadness, but at least it hasn't consumed me. Lesson learnt is to keep busy. WIll be very busy this week too with work missed last week whilst planning the party.


ps: the rabbi's been back on the phone. Apparently I must ask for a blessing this time next week as it's a lucky date...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I've a thousand things I should be doing, but i'm struggling with a restaurant review and i'd rather be talking to you.

Have had a busy few days so haven't really thought too much about our conundrum. Not a lot we can do anyway until I get my next period and have a better idea of when treatment dates are likely to fall. Am definitely giving it another month for the other appts and then probably going to go with Big Hair the next month. This may change if our interim consultation at the mother of all clinics gives us food for thought.

Something that happened at the weekend made me stop and think how lucky we are though. I was working (chef-ing) at a wedding and the husband of the girl I was working for - keeled over just before whilst they were loading up at home. He passed out but came around quickly. She insisted he go to hospital and dropped him there on her way to the job. She had to keep going as there were 150 guests to be fed. Halfway through service she came down to see us in tears - he apparently had 2 brain aneurisms (bleeding to you and me) and needed emergency open brain surgery. He's 30 something, in perfect health and had had no symptoms untl then. It makes you think - life can turn upside down in a second. It really threw me and i'm still really upset for them. She had to rush off and we finished the job - 2 chefs for 150 people - which was a bit mad.

Getting back to work and having something else to focus on has helped me get a bit of perspective. I'm still disappointed that I spend most of the time i'm out looking at children and pregnant women and thinking about my situation. I'd be 6 mths pg if my first IVF had worked. IF.... I'm gettting a little bitter and twisted and I don't like that at all. Obviously the previous paragraph's news hasn't affected my selfish self too much.

Things are brighter though - I'm enjoying teaching again too. Made up a gorgeous recipe for Thai Chicken Filo triangles which I taught to last night's pupil. They were delicious. Shame she had to take them all home.

Oh! Forgot to mention Sunday's MAD phone call. We write for a newspaper about our IVF. I think i'm giving too much away at this point, but i'm sure it's unlikely that anyone who reads this blog will be a reader of this paper. Anyway, we got an e mail from a reader asking us to call him. He turned out to be a devout rabbi who wants to help us in our plight. His suggestion was that we live by the Orthodox Jewish rules for a married couple - which involves abstaining at certain times of the month and then my visiting a ritual bath to cleanse me post period. He offered to come and visit to discuss the rules etc. I was standing in our garden listening to this (very kind) man wondering how my life became this IVF theme show. It gets madder each week.

Time to get on. It's Mr G's 40th birthday tomorrow and i've lots to do. Have still to buy him a gift and card but am taking him and our parents out for a posh lunch and then he and I are staying at a London hotel for one night. I'm more excited than him! I really want to make this birthday special because he so wanted for us to be expecting our baby by now and it hurts that we're so far away from it.

Thanks to those of you who've commented recently - i love reading them and knowing that someone out there is sharing this with me.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Oooooh 50!

Well aren't I getting old? Fifty whole posts already and i'm only 2 cycles in!

Saw the doc last night and am now in a quandary over what to do. We went there absolutely determined that we'd hear him out but that we're gonna move on. He's had a couple of go's and nothing much changed, so we're ready to try out another doc. BTW we've always referred to our doc as Dr Big Hair as he has the BEST head of thick hair. I'll continue calling him that now as i'm with friends.

Well, we arrive at the clinic and greet everyone - receptionist, nurses and the v sweet girl who runs the relaxation course I did there. We've started to feel unfortunately "at home" there. The only downer is that dreadful clinic smell that hits you as you go in. Otherwise, it's not like visiting mates.

Anyway, having kept us waiting for 30mins (as per usual) Big Hair, ushered into his office. He's SO lovely, we both feel like hugging him each time we see him. If he sorted us out with a baby I think we'd both marry him. He went through my last sorry cycle. He was pleased with everything. Good down reg (is down reg ever good?!), good steady growth of eggs in an average time. Apparently 13 - 18 days is the time you should get from starting stims to harvest and I managed 16. Gorgeous almost perfect embryos - again. So far so what on earth went wrong then?!! Well, apparently he thinks the sticking point is transfer. My cervix is not only tight but also a funny shape, so that they have to use a slighter firmer catheter when depositing our embryos inside. They'd rather use the soft one. He reckons that's where things are going wrong for us, or at least he'd like to try sorting that bit out.

Tight cervix indeed. I'm sure that'd be something to boast about once upon a time. Something to put on my dating CV, but now it's a darned nuisance. I asked if they can dilate it at all, but he said it would spring back - apparently the cervix is like a coiled spring...rather like my nerves...

He wants to do a hysteroscopy (run dye through the uterus to see what's going on in there) and a scan with his new super duper scanning machine (which is 3 D) and will show us my uterus in all its colourful glory. Mr G was actually excited about the machine. They were like 2 little boys with their new

He really wants a chance to try again and Mr G and I were swayed.

Now i'm not sure what to do. Risk a whole (v expensive) cycle on this or move on to a new start with another clinic. More tests, more getting used to somewhere and a new regime. We just don't know. The good news is that I can start as soon as I like. That's cool, but I think I'll need a month to check out another clinic and have my tests for the NHS referral. I'm ready to start yesterday.

He's agreed to test FSH on the cycle month and to go on a low FSH month. I'm not sure he thinks it'll make a difference, but who knows?

What to do.....

We'll have to have a think and perhaps check out another clinic but see what they say.

Anyway, have to go and rescue a smoked haddock, creme fraiche, lemon and parmesan tart from my oven.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

nothing in particular...

Not a lot going on here. Have gone into teary mode. Walking around with heavy heart.

Snickollet's blog has really upset me. Her entry was so simple and poignant. It made me cry and I still can't get her out of my head. Life is just so unfair - you meet the love of your life and go through all this IVF s**t to have their babies and, just when life's complete, it's all taken away from you. What's it all about? How can that be right?

I think the strength of my reaction is down to 2 things: firstly my father died of the same cancer just over 3 years ago and that still hurts big time and secondly, i must still be a bit progesteroned up still post-cycle. I think it's also due to it being so terribly, terribly sad. The way she writes is so frank, you feel part of her world.

I've been ovulating the last few days. On the plus side, it's reasonably soon after our cycle, so i'm pleased my body's is clicking back into gear. It's almost exactly my normal pattern. Only thing is though is that it's making me feel really, really crap about the fact that we can't do this on our own. We had our chance last month, and no matter how fertile I am, we're not going to be able to make babies without needles and pessaries. I'm just pissed off to be reminded of another pointless egg that'll turn into another miserable period in another two weeks. It's like my own body's mocking me.

Sorry to vent and be on such a downer. I know this stage will pass.

BTW, somehow missed that the lovely Infertili-me managed to get herself knocked up this cycle and it's all sounding very healthy in her neck of the woods. Really really pleased for her!

Must get on with some chores - off to teach at cooking school tonight


Monday, April 16, 2007


Just found my way to Snickollet's blog. I'm not sure of the address or i'd include it here.

That's brave. I'm not.

Wish i'd kept my moaning mouth shut.

Tired of being brave

Thank you all for your family pregnancy notes. Seems we've all been there...

Whilst I don't really want to post another moany entry, I just had to say I'M TIRED OF BEING THE BRAVE ONE!

I mentioned it last time, but since then two MORE people have called me brave. I'm so not brave. I'm just getting on with life in the only way I can at the moment.

Maybe I should weep and wail and demand people feel sorry for me. Actually, I really don't want them feeling sorry for me. I can think of nothing worse than being pitied. I just know that all around me are people saying what a shame it is for me and Mr G and how they wish they could make it better for us. I want to be the one they all envy NOT the charity case.

Rant over. Think i've just had a bad day working at home alone. Also can't get into any of my summer clothes. When I lost my wedding weight last year, I chucked out a load of big clothes. I've not even put on that much - 14 lbs at the most, but i'm way too big for my "slim-self" gear from last summer, so i'm stuck with staying in too hot clothes or buying in a bigger size. The bigger size thing is SO wrong. Oh, and while i'm on sizing. There was something in the papers yesterday about how some jeans manufacturers have been making their clothes bigger to make us fit into smaller labelled sizes. So, a UK size 8 is more like a 12 in reality. Two of the labels - Gap and French Connection are where I buy my jeans. Seems like my size 8 jean glory moment from last summer is a nonsense. I wasn't even that thin when I was at my thinnest! Darn.

Still, I've had a reasonable diet day - stayed away from the tempting snacks in my kitchen - but there's a long way to go. All I want to do is eat comforting carbs and sweet stuff but i know i'll feel better (at some point) if I use a bit of self control.

No more family or friend pregnancies to report...yet! I'm off to buy a piece of fish to steam and eat with some steamed vegetables. Yum.....


Friday, April 13, 2007

When would be the right time?

Last night, my brother called me for the third night running from Australia. I'd thought he was calling to commiserate. As he was calling late at night, when i was at my most tired and emotional, I hadn't picked up. I texted the night before to say "thanks but i'm too sad, lets speak at the weekend".

Anyway, last night he texted to say he'd be calling and could I please pick up. I said to Mr G "I bet they're having another baby. Why else would he be so keen to speak to me? What a bad time to be telling me!". Mr G said "When would be the right time?" I agreed. When you've an infertile sibling when would be the time to tell her you're having yet another child?

Well, i picked up and sure enough, he told me No 3 is due in November. My sis in law is not yet 3 months pg, so early days. She's pushing 40 and its taken a year to conceive this time. I'm pleased for them and managed to say all the right things. They'd hoped this cycle would work so that we could all be pg together, but i'd stuffed up that plan! He was so scared to tell me. Got off the phone and Mr G rushed in to hold me as he knew there'd be a few tears. There were. But not too many. After all, i'll have a new niece or nephew...

Called my mum this morning - who's known for 2 weeks and was sick with worry over it. She was really emotional, but I said "it's ok", that i'm pleased and a bit sad. She was sick with worry over how i'd be and was so pleased with how I reacted. She thought me very brave.

I'm tired of being brave. I want to be the one ringing round with my good news.

Oh, also found out about another adoption process yesterday. You get checked out as usual here and then post your details on an internet notice board in the US. The birth parent (how else do you describe someone giving up their child?) choose you from the board. A couple known to my friend were on it 2 weeks when they were chosen and adopted a new born boy - they were at the birth! Not saying that's for me, but it's another option.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

How embarassing...

I'm back from my booze and chocolate fest in France.

Mr G and I discovered the most amazing chocolate bar - Milka chocolate filled with salted peanuts and cornflakes. It was SO good we want to import it. It was hard to find so when we did see it we grabbed armsful. Good start to the new regime...not. We also found a really, really delicious white wine - Vouvray - which we drank a bottle of each night after drinking kir royales before dinner and rose at lunchtime.

The weather was perfect - blue sky and gorgeous sun all day each day. The chateau we stayed in Chateau St Paterne was also absolutely lovely. We had the most huge and fantastic room which had previously been an Orangerie and had 2 walls lined with floor to ceiling windows. The owner cooked the most delicious meals each night.

It was the perfect way to celebrate our first year of marriage, to grieve our failed IVF attempt and to remember what we're doing together. We laughed (a lot - especially when Mr G sat on an antique chair and the legs gave way beneath him - perhaps more horrified nervous giggling than laughter) and we cried quite a bit too - more me than him. It gave us a bit of space from the world to come to.

The only really crap moment was when - at the end of a drunken meal - he joked that he had more time than me (to reproduce) as he could find a younger model when my eggs have run out. He immediately realised what he'd said and couldn't believe his insensitivity. He aplogised a billion times, but i had to rush off to mop my eyes and have a bigger cry when we were back in our room. He's usually the most sensitive man in the world, but that really cut deep. He told me that some of my jokes have done the same - comments about his lazy swimmers etc have done some damage. I'll have to watch what I say a bit more too.

Coming home hasn't been great. I'm fighting off the grey clouds that are circling above my head but the weather's good and it's harder to be a moaner when you've got your Birkenstocks out. I've even painted my toenails!

Last story - as I hear Mr G arriving home and we're going out for a bite to eat. Today i went back to the dentist that i'd been to during the cycle. Those of you who have been paying attention may remember "Toothache-gate".

The last time I'd seen him i'd told him I was Pg, or at least could be as I was having IVF. This time I thought I must tell him I wasn't so that he could do injections if necessary. So, I strode in and announced "I'm not pregnant". He hadn't remembered the last visit and looked at me like I was mad, mumbling something about how I don't look pregnant. I realised how inappropriate that was and was mortified!

I then had to endure him telling me about Indian women's periods whlst I had my mouth full of a huge gum shield full of putty. Situations you don't ever imagine you will find yourself in...

I'll have to be careful who I announce i'm not pregnant too. I'm getting a bit free and easy with the whole discussing my reproductive system thing.

Hope all you girlies who shared the failed cycle experience are doing ok. We'll just have to pick ourselves up and start all over again.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Yet another PS...

Cool and unemotional? Yeah right! A menstruating girl with a side order of extra progesterone is not likely to be either of those things.

Replace "cool and unemtional" with "in shock"

Shock's over now. Mr G and I had a big cry - HOW much do I hate to see my gorgeous boy cry. I just want to make it all better and neither of us can.

Am now feeling what I should be....desperately unhappy and bleakly grey. It'll pass. I suppose.

I can deal with another failed cycle, but I just need to know that one day, not even one day very soon, that one day it will work for us.

Until then, i'll continue eating every chocolate item in my home and mopping up my tears and torrential, nasty, gushing AF. Yuck.


No surprises here

Once again, my darned body has denied me the dubious pleasure of peeing on a stick. Will I never enjoy the fearful anticipation and bated breath of the home pregancy test? Yesterday's spotting turned to full on period this morning.

Clearly my embryos weren't paying attention in the Mind Body class I attended. Lucky I was and am actually bearing up to the (not unexpected) disappointment quite well. I'm just waiting to collapse in a sobbing heap. Think that'll happen during the alcoholic binge I'm planning for my trip to France this weekend.

For now, i'm calm and unemotional - most unlike me really. I had an odd feeling about this cycle from the start.

Will just have to get right back in the stirrups for cycle 3...coming soon.

Good luck all you girlies with as yet unknown results. I really hope you get BFP's. It's the season of new growth etc - just because my body isn't joining in doesn't mean yours can't.

I'll be checking up on you when I return from France next Tuesday.

Bonne chance....pretentious? moi?


Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Started spotting....only light but now on full panty alert...hope xx

Cramping continues....

Well i'm still hanging on in there. The cramping continues but as yet...and i haven't checked for at least twenty show in the knicker department.

I've lapsed into full symptom check - scouring blogs and chat rooms. Every so often I have a shimmer of excitement when I think this MAY have worked, but that's quickly replaced with the gloom of probable failure.

Last week's heaving bosom has rapidly deflated (nice while it lasted) and i've no other symptoms of being with child. It's a whole lot safer to assume the worst. It'll still be dismal but no surprise.

We're driving to Normandy on Friday morning to celebrate the Easter weekend and our first anniversary in a cosy little chateau. If it's a negative i'll drink lots of wine and coffee and hoover up huge amounts of smelly French cheese. See?!! I can even think about smelly cheese without revulsion!!

Am doing v badly on concentrating on work, but trying to as it takes my mind off the constant "am I or aren't I" loop in my head.

Just a couple more days. I don't even want to buy my HPT until i've made it to test day. I'm stupidly superstitious in case I jinx things and I don't even get to at least try the test. Maybe i'll succumb tomorrow afternoon if i've still not bled by then....

Fingers crossed for all you other girlies in limbo land xxx

Monday, April 02, 2007

2WW meltdown?

It's early morning of day 10 past 2 day transfer and it's like the clock has rolled back to last November. That was when I lost at my last go at this delightful game of "hold your nerve and retain some optimism as your body plays vile tricks with your mind".

Yesterday, on the same day as last time, the cramps began. Period like pains - that last time I vainly hoped were those embryos nestling down - started to appear. They've increased over the last 24 hours and what's a girl to think, other than "here we go again"...

Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!

I had a full sobbing meltdown last night after trying desperately to see the pains in a positive light - what positive light can there be?! - and feel similarly depressed this morning. I was doing so darn well.

But - and I almost feel foolish in clinging onto this raft of hope - it's not all over until the spotting begins. Thus far, no show, but if we're playing the "just like last time" routine, that should happen tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, i shall distract myself with work and some baking.

Watch this space...I shall be watching my knickers...i'm sure you'll be gagging to find out how Knickerwatch, the sequel ends