Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lazy blogger

I've been too lazy to blog the last few days. Whilst I've been lurking about and making the odd comment, but not really in the mood to SHARE.

I'm starting to feel a bit immersed in IF. Too many appointments with Dr Google and too many hours spent trawling blogs and chat rooms for hopeful stories of success. Unhealthy.

Entirely without logic, i feel cheated of my chance for a BFP this month. I KNOW that it was extremely unlikely that i'd have got to that stage, but my false start cycle makes me feel somehow like the shi++y clinic deprived me of my chance. There have been so many BFP's in my universe, I feel it should've been my turn. I know that sounds mad, but this whole thing is kind of crazy.

Also mad is that i've been harbouring a strange (and even more illogical) hope that I might have pulled off the (might as well be) immaculate conception. Well, not so much immaculate as impossible. The thing is, i've got the sorest, swollen bosoms since my last 2WW. I don't normally get these symptoms outisde of an I.VF cycle, so my mind's started to wander... What if I pushed out more than one egg after my week on high dose Men.opur AND what if my tight os (cervix to you) was stretched to super highway status allowing maybe, just maybe one of Mr G's twitchers to shimmy on up, but then there'd have to be another "what if". What if one of Mr G's twitchers actually had a proper fully fledged tail...?

As you can see and as I type this I know it's an entirely misplaced hope, but the cruelty of IF does give you these false hopes. I almost didn't share as I know this is too far fetched to be worthy of the time spent (a) writing and (b) reading it.

Anyway, as i now have period pains and monstrous PMT, i'm sure this little fantasy will be over before we're out of 2007. Then we can plan cycle 4.5, or at least get the prep out of the way.

Enough of my crazy fantasies. We had a lovely Christmas. Mr G and I visited my Auntie and Uncle. They have a 4 yr old who's v sweet and we had a lovely relaxed day with them all. Ate (so much I was in pain for several hours afterwards) and then lounged around in their newly dug out basement with 8 foot cinema screen and HD TV. We hung out with them from 1pm until 10pm. On Boxing Day (a quaintly English day, I know) we took a v long walk to the cinema where we watched The Kite Runner, which was fantastic. It's set in Afghanistan and is a beautiful story. I got highly emotional though and at one point was so tearful thought i'd have to leave! (Won't share why or will ruin plot line)

Yesterday i met up with 2 girls from my MindBody group. They're both in their early 30's. One has decided to adopt and the other will do one more IV.F (she got OHSS on her first) before moving to adoption. They were talking about how you're in a better position to adopt in your early 30's, sending me into a panic about how perhaps we should be doing that sooner rather than later! I cooked supper for another Uncle and his wife last night. Homemade butternut squash soup (great recipe - you don't even peel the squash!), roasted whole sea bass with braised red cabbage and sauteed new potatoes and then griddled chestnut panettone with plums poachedin spiced red wine and creme fraiche.

Today, Mr G and I are off to the Cotswolds - 2 hrs NW of London and full of picture book perfect quaint villages. The weather is forecast to rain and perhaps snow!! Still, we're just going to cosy up, read and relax for 3 days. Back on NYE.

That's all my news. I'll catch up on all of yours when I get back on 31st Dec. I've a lot riding on 2008 - it's the year of action! xx

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thank heaven for blogger girls

What would I do without the support of the blogger girls?

I've had some really good advice from so many of you. Thank you so much. In particular, thanks Thalia for your experienced feedback. It does seem possible to combine new job and new clinic.

All I've got to do now is actually GET the job! They've sent me the HUGEST task to do for the next interview. I have to write so several features worth of recipes and then go in and cook three of them for them to try!! It seems a little cheeky for such a junior role (which it is) but they'll definitely know if I can write and cook! It'll give me a very good idea of the job too. Best thing about it is that I truly love leafing through food mags and cookery books and planning recipes, so it doesn't feel remotely like work. I'm planning to spend most of today doing it. I'm working tonight - teaching at a new cookery school, which should be interesting.

I've had a weird week. V up and down. Cried on the phone to my Mummy in Australia. I was doing really well being upbeat and calm about events of the last couple of weeks but something just triggered the tears and out they came...and I thought i'd been doing so well. That opened a Pandora's box of emotion and I've continued to blub on and off at inappropriate moments. I suppose it's to be expected.

I'm also having a bit of a hard time with the various BFP's which seem to be plentiful at the moment. Don't get me wrong, i'm pleased for all the lucky ladies and am encouraged by them, but I feel so left behind. It's been MONTHS since my last proper cycle and i'm not a woman with months left in her reproductively!!! Part of me wants to go running back to Dr Big Hair and beg him to let me cycle AT ONCE! I suppose it's better to give my ovaries a month to calm down after they had a week of heavy duty stimming....but I just want to feel that i'm DOING SOMETHING!!!

Mr G and I have also had a few fights. He's stressed with work and (probably) with our failed cycle. The way things have worked out - with his work and our next (hoped for) cycle we're not going to get a holiday and we really could do with one. We're being brave, but neither of us are that happy about being all alone in London this festive period with his folks and mine off visiting our siblings in foreign parts. It's just too bad and we're old enough to know better, but it's another downer.

Enough whinging! I'm sorry for (what's turned into) a mammoth vent.

I have had some good bits this week. I met up with the very lovely and impressive Almamay (of Almamay dot blogspot dot com - apologies for my rubbish inability to include a link) this week. We had supper at a very nice restaurant in X and then went to a grobby (ie: full of old men with no teeth watchng soccer on a big screen) pub for more talking. We could've talked for days. If it was a date i'd have definitely thought i was well in! I'm sure we'll meet again - perhaps she could teach me how to post links etc!!

Right - time to plan some recipes! Well done to the BFP's and a BIG hug to those less fortunate. Go give Becks (One Miracles Needed) a lot of love after her 3rd BFN. Good luck to those still waiting. xx

Monday, December 17, 2007

Food for thought

Well, what a week its been. My head's whirling with it all.

I've managed to stay relatively "up" after last week's disappointment. I keep waiting for the come down I seem to be ok DESPITE the unrelenting frenzy surrounding us as people spend, spend spend like they'll never be able to buy anything ever again. I'm not sure i've ever been so bemused by the festive rush.

We had our appt today with the clinic that scared us off last time. The Dr we saw was ready and waiting for us and totally charming. He'd clearly read our file inside out and had loads to say about what he saw. He took us at great length through all that they'd do to (a) maximise our chances of producing decent embryos and (b) to then improve the possibility of the embryo(s) implanting. It all got fairly complicated but we just about followed.

My immune tests are pretty normal but with a few slightly elevated responses. On their own the responses would be nothing to concern, but collectively, they may need to treat me for them. The treatment would involved ster.oids, Hep.arin and the infamous IV.Ig. He didn't dwell on that as it's a long way off.

He also thought the cancelled cycle had something to do with the cyst and perhaps the different drug regime. He wants me to take a month to recover from the last cycle and then we can start again next month. The last fiasco has made me suspicious. They told me they didn't want us to waste our money and now this clinic want to treat us, i harbour suspicions that they're just after our money! Never satisfied, but I suppose my reaction's only natural. Who do you trust?!!

I'll have a Hyst.eroscopy mid-cycle next month and, if my tests (FSH, LH, Oestradiol and Prolactin) check out ok, we'll start IV.F 4.5 from the end of Jan. If my horm.ones have shot up then we'll have to wait until they come down. Soooooooo, we are, once again, at the mercy of my body and another bunch of men and women in scrubs. We'd like to fit in a holiday at some point, but that's looking less and less likely until we get this cycle done.

Oh, one last news item. I applied for a really exciting job a couple of weeks ago as a cookery writer on one of the greatest food mags. Didn't really give it much thought. Someone had sent me the job ad, so i emailed off my CV. A week later I got called to interview and today they called me back with 2 others for a final interview! It's a job i'd have cut my leg off for not so long ago. Now i'm in turmoil over it. What if I get it?! How can take a job when I know i'm about to do IV.F? Mr G told me to shut up worrying as I don't actually have the job yet. I suppose he's right, but what if?!!

This is all so unfair - if I do get offered the job i'd effectively have to choose between that or IVF. I can't have both. If I was trying naturally, no one would even need to know about it. I wouldn't have to keep running off for blood tests and scans. I wouldn't have to worry that the stress of a new job might ruin my chances of success. Anyway, I don't actually have the job yet. I'll do the worrying if they offer it to me. it just doesn't seem fair. Men don't have these issues.

Time to go to bed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What would I do without you girls?

I'm just rushing out to work, but I couldn't go without a quick update.

Thank you girls so much for all your support. Yesterday I cried when I read all your kind words. Today, I'm stronger. I feel so lucky to be part of such a huge network - a virtual group hug.!

Since Monday's horrors Mr G and I have talked - a lot. We're just not ready to give up. We spoke to our lovely ex-Doc - (Dr Big Hair) and he thinks the new clinic f'd up. The cyst could have been messing with my hormones AND the letro.zole can suppress. He still thinks we've a few goes in us.

I'm not going to get my hopes up - I KNOW our chances are slim, but i've got to give it a couple more shots. We're going to get another view from the top results/bad service clinic on Monday and then we'll decide what next. If that clinic feel it's game over, we'll think long and hard about stuff.

Mr G's v anti egg don.ation but may come around. I'm not sure what I think.

One observation that has come out of the talking i've been doing over the last few days:

Everyone (who's not in the IF club) says how brave I am for going through all of this. I've always said i'm not brave. I'm not. It's just something i've got to do! How can I not? The brave bit is having the courage to give all of this up and move on to DE or adoption. That's brave. I'm just not strong enough to do that yet. I hope that if (and when) the time comes i'll find the courage from somewhere.

Thank you all again. I really, really appreciate all of you so very much

If you get a chance, go give some support to Becks (at One Miracle Needed - i'd do a link but i'm a techno-twit) she's having a wobbly 2WW


Monday, December 10, 2007

Worst news possible

You got's game over...

The scan showed a lining of 2mm - whoo hoo. A few follicles, but not much to write home about. They said they'd wait for the E2 levels before deciding whether to bin me. I went to work tonight not knowing whether or not I was going to continue. I'd asked them to ring Mr G as I had no reception at the place I was serving canapes.

WHen I got home from work tonight, Mr G greeted me with a huge hug. The E2 was 178. It was over a thousand this time last cycle. I'm still bleeding, and actually - even if they were willing to keep going - i'd rather quit now than keep stabbing myself with needles and go through the rest of the cycle for more bad news in 3 weeks time.

What's really, really bad is that the Doc there said he thinks we shouldn't try again. Not ever. Not with my eggs at least. We're not ready to give up. We so aren't! I've cried most of today - my heart aches and that lump's back in my throat.

Chanukah, Christmas and New Year can all take a leap. All my festive spirit's gone AWOL. What did we do to be in this hellish place? Why? Why us? Why can't we just have a break for once? I just want to curl up in a ball, go to sleep and stay like that until the pain goes away.

I'm officially starting my close of year pity party. Roll on 2008 - 2007's been a truly rubbish year. There's only so much me and Mr G can take.

Thank you all of you who've been there for me with kind words and support and good luck all my Cyclesistas - may you all be blessed with good news - and I mean that.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

How many MORE problems this cycle throw up?

I'm sitting with a hot water bottle on my tum and Come on the television and i'm STRESSED!!!

It's hardly begun and this cycle just keeps on throwing crap at me. Normally, things are relatively peaceful at this stage. A few jabs and headaches, but no real issues until we hit the the tears and tantrums whilst I wait for a few tiny follicles to pop out. I'm generally fairly (give or take a few scary moments) cool that we'll run the whole way to transfer - at least I am at this stage!

This time, it's been one thing after another. First the "just in by the skin of my teeth" timing of the last two periods, then the appearance of that cyst and the fun and games of the aspiration and antibiotic "clear out". Once I started stimming I thought that'd be it until the fun and games of scan time, but guess what? I'm BLEEDING!!! I've been googling for England and I can't find any mention of why this might happen. All i know is that if much more comes out (sorry to be so graphic) i'll have a lining as thick as a wafer - and I don't mean a Kit Kat.

Mr G has said just take it as it comes - he's right, and i'm trying to be cool. If it doesn't happen now then there's next month or the month after etc, but I really hope i haven't injected 6 day's of Meno.pur (and 100's of £'s) into my tummy for nothing.

I've had 2 BFP's in my immediate circle this week - one girl from the MindBody group I mentored. It was her third try and it was at the controversial clinic I couldn't stick with. The other is a girl I met through writing the column I wrote about IV.F in a newspaper. She got in touch and we're now friends. It was her 7th treatment. She'd had 6 fresh cycle andn one FET. A few cycles ago i'm not sure how happy i could have been for her, but you know what? I'm actually really pleased. If she can do it then that gives me hope. She's v worried as she had an ectopic in an earlier cycle, but it's a reasonable beta. I'd just love to join her.

I'm trying to be positive, and I'm not doing badly, I just think it could take us a few more goes at this.

Well done all my Cyclesistas - can't believe how many of my girlies are cycling with me this month! x

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Am I just a big baby?

I'm very tearful at the moment. My Mum's off to Australia tomorrow to see my bro. She and my StepDad will be gone for TWO MONTHS!!! Made supper for them last night and will not see them again until FEBRUARY!!!

I'm all hormoned up on Meno.pur (day 5 today) and I can't bear the thought of getting through this cycle without my Mum for tearful early morning phone calls and general shoring me up after a sh*tty scan. My MIL's also off for 2 weeks on 20 December! Me and Mr G will be all alone for Xmas.

I still have Mr G for hugs and general husbandly sweetness, but sometimes this girl just needs her mummy. Does that make me a baby? Should a 39 yr old wannabee mum be grown up enough not to need her mum? Maybe i should be adult enough to stand on my own two size 39's. (Oooh, just realised that my age now matches my shoe size. When people tell me to act my age not my shoe size I can tell them I'm acting both)

Actually, it does let me off the pressure of having to report in when i'm Princess Irritable and my mum wants an update AND stops me feeling that i'm letting her down too. I'll just miss knowing she's at the end of the phone.

Cycle news - had a ridiculously early scan (4 days in) and they found.....surprise surprise, very little. Oestradiol is in the basement. I'm still bleeding - bit worried about that - might be the cyst wound healing. Went for emergency acupuncture today with electrode stimulation to the needles and am hoping for some action for Monday's scan.

Am drinking gallons of water and trying to eat lots of protein. I can do no more.

Must go - all this water...need to dash xx

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ow, ow, OWWW!

Firstly, thank you so much all of you for your birthday greetings. Funnily enough, i've not had too much of a problem with 39. I think it's because so many of my mates have been turning 40, i feel relatively young. This time next year might not be quite the smooth ride...

It's been a busy old day. Mr G and I went into the clinic expecting quite a long day - a scan and the seaweed fest - but it became a marathon. We traipsed into the "check-you-out scan" (before which you shall not pass go) where a medical student stood staring whilst I succumbed to the coozie-cam. Funny how each Dr has a different method for getting you into position. This one (a tiny more than middle aged lady) who was perfectly nice, had me lie with my feet on the table next to my bo.ttom. I'd waited a long time for my turn (for a change) and so was a bit full in the bladder. She said she'd try to scan anyway as i'd need a full bladder for the dilation.

I normally breeze through this scan but today (of course) a cyst loomed big a black on the screen sitting on my right ovary. As she wanted a good look at the left, I had to get off the table, go empty my bladder and return for more camera action. The left one was clear, but we now had an issue. We could not start stims with the cyst in situ and I HAD to start stims today. Little old lady doc went off to ask her colleagues for their advice. Flippin' typical. Anway, I was muttering to Mr G it was "game over" for this month when she returned and said she couldn't find anyone to ask and we'd need to go back to reception and did we have time to wait? Too darned right we had time. I'd wait all day if it meant getting on with this cycle.

We sat down, waited an age, chased the receptionist - who'd forgotten we were there - and then finally saw another Doc. This time the pretty young lady doc, who was lovely. Said i'd need to have the cyst aspirated which she could do there and then (in theatre) and also do the dilation. Good news....I thought....

I disrobed, again, and put on a hospital gown before going into theatre. Pretty young lady doc (PYL) was helped by two lovely nurses who chatted away and held my hand as I had the most painful procedure i've had so far. They pump in some local anaesthetic before sticking a needle on the coozie cam and sucking out the cyst. I think it's effectively egg collection. She had to go in several times. First the needle wasn't right, then the darned thing wouldn't suck, then the pipe was clogged. Each time was REALLY uncomfortable and I was breathing deeply for England to try and deal with it and not move.

In contrast, the seaweed (Di.lapan) insertion was a breeze, although the two bullets (pain relief and antib.iotic) the nurse then shoved up my a. ss were fairly unwelcome.

I was taken back to a hospital bed and lay in a state of mild shock, feeling all a bit dishevelled really. I had some cramping from the seaweed but it faded after about an hour - maybe less. I was actually quite glad i'd had the cyst done because it meant I had a bed for the four hours I then had to wait for the seaweed to do its stuff. Mr G went out to a fab foodie place for goats cheese and chutney sandwich on gorgeous seeded bread. (My appetite was fortunately unaffected!)

When the seaweed came out - PYL had to pull it out by a string - it was like an amber coloured stick of jelly. It was in a weird L shape - probably because i'm a weird L shape.

Now i'm home and ready to start injecting this very night. We are a go. All a bit sudden but definitely not too soon!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Best birthday present

I've been a bit tied up so unable to post.

On Friday, Mr G's sister, her 5 yr old daughter and her 20 month old son arrived from Israel to stay with us. It was FULL ON. So full on in fact that Mr G joked we should stop the treatment! Not a minute to ourselves whilst the two (gorgeous) children demanded full time attention. In between clearing up, getting food ready, entertaining them and getting them to Mr G's Dad's surprise 70th birthday party, we had little time to do very much at all. Does make you think how much life changes when children come along...

Cycle news - I stopped the Prim.olut on Friday and have been waiting anxiously since then for the pe.riod. The clinic had set a deadline of 4th Dec to get started. I was so anxious, i haven't slept v well - also perhaps due to having a 5 yr old in our bed one of the nights - and have constantly stressed about it. On Friday one of the nurses had told me that I had to start my stims by Tuesday 4th (ie: day 3 of my cycle) when I'd thought I only had to be on day one. When the period hadn't shown up by Sunday night, i thought we were game over for this month. (And for next month as my next period would be over the break) Anyway, when I got up this morning I held my breath as i did the TP tango and there it was...finally. I rang the clinic, who failed to call me back the first time, to see if I could start a day late. I can. So tomorrow, i'm off for a scan to check all's well inside and for the Dial.apan - the sea.weed dilation device...

On the birthday front, i've had a wonderful 39th. Mr G arranged a surprise birthday tea for me, my parents and some of my friends at a London hotel. It was wonderful and I was totally surprised by it. He's SUCH a wonderful husband. We spent the night in the hotel and went to a smart L.ondon restaurant for breakfast, which other than my stressing over the "will I/won't I get my cycle this month stuff" was also wonderful. We spent all of today strolling round the Chris.tmassy Lond.ond streets, chatting, eating and generally enjoying being together. I love my husband so much - he's made what could have been a miserable infertile birthday into something really special.

Right - he's now nagging me to relax, so i'm off to watch a D.VD with my gorgeous boy.

A longer post and detail on the seaweed tomorrow xx