Thursday, May 24, 2007

more good news...not...

I'm not even cycling and i've had a really up and down sort of a week.

My NHS cycle monitoring reached day 21 (whoo hoo) and off I trotted to the blood letting dept to offer them my vein - not before i'd had a quick lie down on the scanning couch so they could have a good look inside at my post-ovulation uterus. The blood letting was particularly good - the lady who did it cause me absolutely NO PAIN at all - and it would have been an uneventful experience but for one thing.

As I rose clumsily from the scanning couch, holding a white sheet around my dignity and feeling proud to have such perfectly formed and well functioning ovaries, the very lovely and extremely tall lady Dr threw rain on my parade when she asked me to repeat my day 2 FSH test. When I asked why, and she told me that the first test had come in at 11.8 (ELEVEN POINT FRI**ING EIGHT!!!) and at the upper end of normal. It was only 7.6 not so long ago! I left the room in a state of shock and immediately called Mr G. He, sensing looming hysteria, told me to come home - where he was working that morning - and we'd talk.

I spent the rest of the day and much of the next in an "I'm too old to have a baby" funk. All the information shouts "Low Ovarian Reserve" for an FSH at that level. Where have all my eggies gone?!! I sort of knew this was coming, but I really didn't want to hear it in such a black and white way. I'm starting to feel like this:

...except I don't have a frog to wear on my shoulder

I had Mr G speak to our private specialist - Big Hair - to tell him the new scores and to ask what he thought. (For the record, it's best to have these conversations directly for yourself as men and women always hear different things when having a fertility chat with their specialist. I hear "your eggs will all be off in minutes" whilst Mr G finds the words that say "you're still in with a chance there guys")

So Big Hair's chat made Mr G more keen that he and I start our next cycle asap. Like next week. That sent me into an even worse panic of "i'm not ready and I can't cycle in this stressed out state or it'll never work!". After some discussions and another call to Big Hair (by me) I decided to hold for a month. I'll be cycling in the 3rd week of June (flare protocol) as planned. In between, i'll do lots of FSH lowering things like keeping calm, drinking water, sticking to my coffee free regime, and other gems from Zita West's babymaking bible.

Today, we saw the very tall Dr again. She assured me that i'm in good working order and not to be too influenced by the 11.8 FSH score. It's when it gets to 15 that we really need to worry....

Otherwise, not much to report. Lots of juicy catering jobs coming in - canapes for 24 and a Moroccan dinner party for 20. Looking forward to those and to the lovely long Bank Holiday weekend. Going to get some cooking in - need to come up with a nice vegetable tagine recipe for the Moroccan job and to practice my sushi (maki rolls) for the canape job. Mr G should eat well. I'm also getting a picnic hamper delivered that I need to review - it's a tough job....

Thanks for all the advie from my last post on the protocols. Thanks Thalia for your kind offer - i'd love to take you up on it and i'll e mail you to sort out collection.

Good luck to Becks at One Miracle Needed in her 2WW and to Larissa at The Waiting Womb in her early BFP days. I really tried to set up a link to them but ran out of time to mess around any more....


Friday, May 18, 2007

what's with all the babies?

I have had just about the MOST number of babies and pregnancies in my world this week - none of them mine...obviously!!

1. On Tuesday my lovely friend (who's had a terrible time with her fertility) had a little girl - Anastacia (gorgeous name).
2. Then another good friend - who I really didn't expect to be ready for babies just yet, told me she's 20 weeks pregnant.
3. Yesterday, close friends of Mr G - a lovely couple - had son number 2.
4. And last night, I found out from a v close friend that one of our mutual friends is due in August and hadn't yet told me! We haven't spoken in a while and I guess she's just a bit scared now to do the deed.
5. Today I had yet more pregnancy news - a friend of a friend pregnant with her third!

Add to all of that, my sis-in-law and 2007 will be another babytastic year! I thought last year was bad enough, when three of my closest friends had babies in 3 months of each other, but perhaps that's just how life will be now. Hope some baby dust rubs off on me!

I was grumpy and angry and then thought I must reframe this or i'll go crazy. I'm now trying to think of it as good, because when I get pregnant i'll have lots of friends with little ones and they won't all be on to toddler or school age stage... I'm really trying to keep it positive.

Second thing to report is yesterday's visit to our specialist - Mr Big Hair. He thought he'd take advantage of Monday's HSG to see if he could get into my cervix any more easily. He kept us waiting 45 minutes (and Mr G - heavy with man flu and v grumpy) was really cross. By the time we got in there my bladder - full for the mock transfer - was BURSTING!

I stripped off my jeans and underwear and climbed up on the couch - I've lost count of the number of different people i've done that for this month. And no, don't be getting the wrong idea - it's all above board, in the interests of fertility treatment!

Anyway, Big Hair scanned me with his state of the art scanning wand and mapped out a cm by cm route in. He then got on with the mock and wadderyaknow - straight in there with the soft catheter, no probs at all! He almost punched the air and shouted "Yessssss!'. It was very funny and actually quite exciting. I almost felt as elated as if i was actually pregnant - i know that sounds odd, but we've perhaps crossed another hurdle. Another move up on the roller coaster ride.

BIg Hair also agreed that I could do the short (flare) protocol if I want. He says he prefers the longer one, but if I feel strongly, he thinks the results are much the same. To me, it seems a no brainer....why do a 4/5 week protocol which you only start on day 21 of your cycle when you can do a 2 week one that starts on day 2? I could be having my next treatment in about a week when my period comes! Big Hair said to go away and think about it. Mr G and I will decide over the weekend.

I don't want to go with the short protocol if it's going to give me less chance of success, but i'd love not to have to do the down reg again - i HATE that stage. I'm all of a tizzy with indecision...Does anyone know anything about whether the short protocol is less succesful?


Thursday, May 17, 2007


Here goes with a few little "I am's" about me:

I AM lucky to be in love with and married to a wonderful kind, sweet and thoughtful man who is making this journey through the world of needles and scans far easier

I AM a smitten, doting Auntie to two gorgeous red haired children down in Sydney and I don't get to kiss them nearly enough. Here's a pic of my niece when she was a bridesmaid at my wedding last year

I AM eternally grateful for the chance I had to change my career from law to something I really love - cooking! Every day's like a holiday!

I AM never going to be happy with my weight and that's almost certainly because I AM such a greedyguts - I love my food so much and I eat for a living!

I AM so very ready to be a mother...but can't ever really imagine myself with that baby in my arms.

I AM the owner of a gorgeous Mini cooper and nothing makes me happier than driving up the motorway on a sunny day singing my heart out! (Pic's of another Mini - not mine, but mine's similar and - I hate to admit - called Ruby. Yes, i've named my car....)

I AM in need of a bedtime book - since I finished my last one I just haven't found one I want to read

I AM going to 2 weddings this year and I'm looking forward to both of them - they're such happy days. I'd love to do mine all over again! (The pic's not me and Mr G - we're shorter, rounder and got married in Central London!)
I AM writing about my trials and tribulations in the world of infertility for a newspaper but I write a whole lot more in my blog as that's my private place.

I AM severely in need of time in "blogschool" - as i'm of an age that didn't learn much about computers at school, i'm totally rubbish at the techy stuff - I can't do links to other blogs in my text, and - as the sad alignment of my photos shows - whilst i can get pics on the screen but can't move them!

I AM surrounded by lovely friends who care but don't quite "get" what infertility is like, so the support I get from you blogger girlies is the best - thank you all !


There seems a shortage of people to tag. Anyone i read has been tagged already. I'll do a little surfing and throw out some tags tomorrow should I find any untagged victim

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Just to set the record straight...

...i'm not waiting 6 months until my next cycle. No way!!! I think i've not made it very clear especially for you girlies overseas and the system here in the UK is pretty mad.

The nhs cycle will be state funded but the huge waiting lists mean huge waiting times. As i'm racing towards 40, I can't afford to wait for them to treat me. Sooooooooooo, whilst I do all the tests and creep up the list, i'm fitting in cycles at our (very expensive) private clinic in the hope that by the time I get there i won't need it anyway. If I still do need that cycle, it'll save us several thousands of pounds which i'm sure we'll be running out of by then.

I'm planning on starting my next cycle next month. AF's due in about 10 days. We'll do a Day 2 FSH test to check it's a good month and then get started with the down reg in mid June.

I've been tagged by Babyblues (thanks for thinking of me, my dear) but haven't time to do it justice now as have to make this a short post. I'm running late as I spent all morning making platters of "gourmet" sandwiches for Mr G to use at a meeting tonight. Two sorts of wraps - Goats cheese, onion marmalade and rocket and Parma ham, avo, spinach and sun dried tomato wraps and mini bagels with smoked trout and lemon and chive cream cheese.

I'll be back tomorrow with a full entry -v excited to be tagged xx

ps: spoke to Dr Big Hair - our specialist - yesterday. He'd like to try a mock transfer this week to see if this week's HSG has dilated my teeny, tiny Oss. I really hope its done the trick... At least we'll have something to go on for the next go.

pps: went to the second charity ball last night. Wasn't in the mood after the HSG but had a good time. Only thing was that we were sharing our table with a really, really overexcitedly smug pregnant girl. She's a minor celebrity here - her name's Mylene Klass. She looked gorgeously trim and blooming and didn't STOP going on about her pregnancy. Grrrrr.

ppps: You may remember my friend who was my one close friend in infertility. She'd tried 5 years to conceive, had 5 miscarriages and 3 failed IVF's but then fell pg naturally. I was really pleased for her but GUTTED for a few days when she told me. Anyway, she's in labour right now. I found out her waters had broken yesterday and (when off the phone) I shed a tear or two. I can't wait for her to have her baby she so TOTALLY deserves it as she's one of the truly nicest people I know. Part of me is just a little bit sad though.

Monday, May 14, 2007

busy, busy, busy...doing v little

I can't believe its been a whole week since my last post! I've been so busy being prodded and poked the time has just flown!

I'm in the middle of my nhs cycle monitoring. Scans have told me that all is working fine. I've one more blood test and scan on day 21 of this cycle and then they can refer us for our state funded cycle. Its only taken a year to get this far. Apparently it'll take another 6 months to get to the to of their IVF list!

As part of that testing, I had an HSG this morning. I'd heard such bad things I was a bit worked up. It was actually fine! Well, because of my tight cervix there was a bit of faffing around to get the dye in. They had to put a balloon thing in and that part was a bit yucky, but only a bit crampy. The proper name for my biology is that i've got a "tiny oss". Oss is the name of the entrance to the cervix. Nice if I had a tiny ass too. Bit harder than changing an "o" to and "a" sadly. Anyway, once they were in, they found nothing at all to worry about. Tubes fine, uterus clear as a bell.

It's almost annoying to hear that all my bits are in such good working order. It's just so unfair that my boy's sperm don't want to play. Still, apart from the Oss, it should mean it's easier to make this darned IVF work.

We visited the top notch private clinic this week too. Just want a back up plan if this next cycle doesn't work. We thought them very good - they said our chances were good - 35%. I think we'll go there if we're not blessed next time.

Was thinking about the whole percentage chance thing. It's mad really. If someone asked me to bet £5k on a horse (for example) and the odds of it winning were 35%, i'd no way take the bet. That's effectively what we're doing here. Only difference is that if we win the bet, the reward is priceless. Still a bit mad. All or nothing.

Friday night's ball was lots of fun. We drank champagne and danced and just had a good time. Afterwards we went to the bar on the 28th floor of the London's Park Lane Hilton and drank champagne cocktails. It was so lovely. I felt v guilty the next day, but we deserve some fun in this life!

I'd bought "hold me in" pants for the night and they were rubbish. They kept riding up so that I was gagging to tug them out again, i'm not sure they held me in v much AND they gave me a tummy ache! Won't waste my money on them again.

Last thing - yesterday I met up with some of my Mind/Body group and went to a big flower and plant market in East London. Ibought some gorgeous lavender and other flowers to go in a lovely terracotta window box for outside my office window. I'll be able to smell lavender as I type. I'm getting to be such a gardener!

Good luck to all those cycling and congrats to Larissa at The Waiting Womb - who's had a BFP this week. xx

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bank Holiday gloom...

Why are bank holidays always gloomy and grey? We've had the best April for years which (global warming aside) has cheered things up no end. Bring on the May bank holiday and it's grey and rainy!

Mr G and I have really struggled this weekend with our grey and gloomy mood. It's so hard when both of us are feeling the IVF pain together. When only one of us is down the other can pull it back. Sometimes it ends up with a mood swap - so the down one is then up and the up one is down....stay with me on this! I've done lots of sobbing this weekend. I spent much of Saturday reappplying make up to sore red eyes and went to sleep last night with tears on my cheeks.

The inbetween cycle parts are the hardest to deal with. Powerless to do anything but be, and waiting to get back the high of being in treatment, you just dwell on the misery of the situation and worry if it'll every change. It's at these times I feel like giving it all up, but actually am too scared to give it up because then we'll never be 3.

I'm also really struggling not to eat like a hog. Every day starts with good intentions and ends in piles of cake or just feeling disappointed with my lack of will power. I've got to go to 2 black tie balls - next Friday and Monday, and, if I don't do something, i'll have nothing to wear as all my smart dresses are about a size too small at the moment. I think it's actually a bit late by now - perhaps fruit and veg for a week and some "hold-you-in" pants - well, "hold-you-in" wet suit perhaps!

I made supper for friends on Saturday. A pea, mint, avo and feta salad, then salmon roasted with home-made pesto and pecorino crust, herbed new potato cakes and spinach and then lemon parfait - made with home-made lemon curd - with summer berries and some home-made almond tuile biscuits. It was meant to be healthy, but we all felt so stuffed afterwards i'm sure it wasn't!

Enough moaning. A news story here in the UK has really upset us. A 3 yr old girl has been abducted whilst holidaying in Portugal with her family. The parents (both medical doctors) left her with her twin baby brother and sister sleeping in the apartment. They were eating dinner about 150yds away and checking each half hour. Someone broke in and stole the little girl from her bed!

What where they thinking?! The bit that has really struck us about this is that all 3 children were IVF babies. I can't imagine how anyone would feel losing a child like that, but how must you feel having gone through all of that to have a child and then lose her like that. They must be torn in pieces. How could the parents have just left their babies like that though? Easy to point out - but who knows what the situation was.

Here's a pic of little Maddie:

Please g-d they find her safe and well. Our thoughts and prayers are with that family.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A big first.....

Here's a pic of Mr G's birthday cake and dessert/cheese table. Tonight has been one huge step for Portia P but just a small step for blogging kind. A beast has been unleashed - can't wait to get busy with more pics!


Friend audit....?

I wasn't going to blog today - i'm meant to be working (as ever) and am due to meet a friend tonight, but i suddently felt the need.

I've spoken to two friends today. Both blessed with three children and both have made flippant comments that I just had to bite my lip over. This morning's friend was moaning about her three year old and said something along the lines of "you don't really want this do you?". Hmmmm. The second heard how i've had quite a few working lunches and lunch with a FII (Friend In Infertility) this week and said you know you won't have time for all this socialising if you're successful in your treatment. I think that was born of her being totally snowed under by her brood.

Both comments made me feel a million miles away in terms of mindset from two girls who i've known since I was 10 yrs old. It makes me feel I need to mix with other childfree girls rather than my old girlfriends. I HATE what this S***ing infertility does to all aspects of life.

Vent over.

Had my first NHS screening appointment today to get referred to the IVF unit for NHS treatment. It was amazingly efficient. I didn't for a minute feel that they were less good because it was free. They scanned me and took blood to do Day 2 FSH and LH bloods. (BTW I got my period a couple of days ago which was a bit of a downer, but not really unexpected) I was in, scanned, bled and out in just under an hour. It can take that long at my v expensive private IVF clinic!

Must go. Going to see if I can post photos of the party food tomorrow. Am totally useless at technical stuff, but will do my best! xx