Monday, January 21, 2008

Quick really!

This must be a quick one as it's past my bedtime and i've got to be up at 5.30 (5.30!!) to leave at 6am to teach at a cookery school in one of London's Fish Markets. I'm very excited.

Reason for a quick blog is that I got in touch with the mag today to see what was going on. To be honest, i'd have left it but Mr G kept saying I should. I asked if they'd chosen and asked for feedback on the work i did.

I e mailed at 10am-ish and at 9pm got a response. After some blah about what a strong candidate I was and what a difficult choice it had been, the Editor said they'd chosen one of the others. Mr G was all huggy and kind but i'm not actually remotely worried! If they'd offered it to me i'd have been launched into super stress mode again.

In another lifetime i'd have wanted that job, but my life (at the moment) is about making building our family. That's the most important thing for Mr G and me.

Perhaps i'll feel let down in a few weeks - most likely after a failed IVF cycle (who's says i'm not an optimist) but for now, i'm too busy to be sad AND i'm doing a little upwards lap of that rollercoaster. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps i'll be able to ride it properly in a week or so....

Oh - watched Starter for Ten last night. Great British movie. Set in mid 80's - perfect for us later 30 somethings.

That was a short post.....night night xx

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday sunday - warning, long post

I'm feeling v Sunday-ish. Outside it's grey and murky. Inside, i'm surrounded by this week's drying washing and piles of cookery books.

Friday's hysterosc.opy was uneventful. We were up at (still dark) 6.15am, out the house at 6.45am and at the clinic at 6.55am. There were already 2 other couples looking a bit jet lagged in the waiting room, 1 couple quizzing a nurse in reception about FET's. Another pair arrived before the nurses had even started showing up. I got the feeling we wouldn't be on any time soon.

This clinic so winds me up! After 35ish minutes sitting waiting I went into reception to ask what was going on. The chippy antipodean receptionist gave me short shrift and said we'd be called in about 10 mins. A couple of mins later, the theatre nurse appeared and called my name but at the same time gesturing to me that it wasn't my turn. Odd. Turned out one of the other girls had the same name as me. She was in to have a cyst removed, so lucky that got sorted.

When it was my turn. We went into the reception to sign some forms and Mr G was sent off to occupy himself for a couple of hours. (I think he was quite excited about his West End breakfast).

I was taken downstairs to the nurses locker room. A really bare room with cubby holes, a few hangers and lino floor. I was told to put on the (disposable) v see through surgical gown and a Mar.ks and S.pencer man's blue towelling dressing gown. I was given blue plastic bags for my feet and a surgical hat.

I was then led into a second room in which there were 6 trolleys lined up. On the first two were the girls who'd had egg collection. One was just waking. The other was lying with an oxygen mask over her face. Clutching my handbag, I was told to sit on a chair and wait. I'd passed my name twin walking into the theatre room. After not too long, they wheeled her back in on her trolley and they came for me. I was asked my name, told to put my hat on and get on the trolley. I had a joke with the anaesthetist whilst it shoved the iv into my arm and within minutes I was gone.

Next thing, i was waking up under the mask next to my name twin. I asked to take it off and slept some more. Then sat up for a polystyrene cup of tea and 2 digestive biscuits. I had a nice chat to her (also same age as me) and to the last trolley dolly - a girl who'd travelled miles - from S Wales - to the clinic.

Now here's the thing. This clinic takes (what i suspect must be) millions of pounds and they treat women like pieces of meat. Our partners/hubbies are pushed out the door and not there to support us pre and post op and really not made to feel part of the process at all. I lay on my trolley wondering why we put up with this treatment. Answer is...we're desperate and this clinic has the best scores in the whole of the UK.

Anyway - as i could have told them, my uteRus is immaculate. No polyps, no gunk and no stagnant water in me tubes. The previous dilation is still holding so no need to stretch me and apart from my cavity being only 7cm (av is apparently 8cm) nothing much to report.

Went home and lay listlessly - sleeping and grazing for the rest of Friday. How much do i hope my FSH behaves!
A few other news items. Went to my best friend's 40th last night. It was a surprise for her and her sis-in-law arranged by their hubbies. Mr G and i were off the booze. Felt a bit self-conscious refusing champagne. No one mentioned our abstinence - not the place for a big IF discussion but it sat elephant like in the corner. It was interesting watching them all get more and more drunk. Felt pleased (and slightly smug) we'd managed to stay off the booze.

Met a girl at the party who had (aged 42) her son at the clinic we've just gone to. She's a huge fan of the Doc there and knows he's the best in town. She was v v supportive. She's been unable to do it again and has decided to give up. She had also spoken the to the same US doc we spoke to. He's obviously v good at his own publicity.
Finally - Mistresses. New tv drama with 4 late 30 something girls. Two single - one enjoying it hugely and with lots of partners, another a Dr and mistress to a man (one of her patients) who'd just died, a third widowed in 9/11 and bringing up 2 girls and the last one, in her first year of marriage and trying for a baby for a year or so.

(Not terribly believably) her hubbie's the one reading the Fertility books and only interested in sha*gging at fertile times. She- fed up with BMS has an office sh*g with a workmate. Off she and her hubbie trot for a sper.m test and (surprise, surprise) he has v few sper.m. It's ICSI for them. He shuts down and won't talk. She goes back to the workmate. What next? PG by the workmate? That would seem obvious. What i'm dreading is a first time successful round of ICSI like in Brothers and Sisters. More misleading coverage of a couple having to do ART and succeeding instantly. No representation of the extended misery repeated cycles cause. I know it's only tv and it has to be watchable but it'd be nice for the fertiles to get a window into our world.

Interestingly, my fertile friends were discussing the plot at the party last night with no irony at all for Mr G and me - the living, breathing poster IF boy and girl in their midst.

Anyway, time to plan next week's food for my healthy eater client.

BTW - nothing at all from the magazine!! How rude!! I'm not bothered about the job but becoming angry that they've just left me - and I suppose one other candidate - hanging all this time! After all that work!! Outrageous!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Smiling to myself

I'm feeling oddly cheery.

I've even had moments of jittery excitement. You know. That feeling you get before a hot date or before something you've been look forward to for ages - you know - that butterfly-ish slightly nervous but happy feeling in your tummy that makes you smile to yourself!

I'm not entirely sure why, as there's not a whole lot to be excited about. I've a hysteroscopy tomorrow morning - but i doubt it's the prospect of heavy sedation and a fat old needle in my hand which is has me feeling a little excitable. I'm hoping for reports of a sparkling ute(rus) and immaculate cervix. No lumps, bumps or UFO's please.

Once they've cleaned up my inner bits i'll be on countdown for the arrival of that bitchcow AF. Then the blood suckers will do their very worst and let me know if i'm ok to proceed with the next cycle. Hormones behaving and no dreaded cysts. That makes me a bit nervous, but so far, so not losing much (any) sleep over that one.

I'm sure i'm readying up for a full-on stress out over it. I said Mr G this morning that we should have some sort of fall-back if this clinic won't let me cycle. If we're not a go this month, that will be 7 months without a cycle and at 39 (and a twelfth) with a diminishing batch of eggs, that's not too clever. I CAN'T believe it's been that long since my last cycle! I might see if our old Doc will do the do if the new clinic won't.

So...why am I excited? Who knows... Perhaps it's the new client I picked up today - who wants me to cook all her detox meals for the foreseeable future and deliver them to her (hurrah!) or the extra piece I persuaded my regular paper to take from me. OR is it that Mr G's hugely hard work of that last year seems to starting to pay off. With the new year he's seeing a real upturn in business. We're not about to start shopping at Fo.rtnums (v posh London food shop) or even Ocad.o (expensive home grocery delivery but things are feeling a whole lot brighter.

So....i'll enjoy feeling this way - let's face it, the positive moments for us IF-ers are not to be taken for granted - and hope it lasts! xx

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I feel as laid back as this kitty. Apart from the lingering tummy bug, I've had a much more relaxing weekend than i've had in a while. No interview stress and no work.

The magazine said they'd be in touch by Friday as they had to make a decision by then. I didn't hear anything and had butterflies every time my phone rang. Honestly, I didn't really want to hear from them. I'm actually relieved.

I actually had a great day on friday, visiting one of the schools I teach at in the morning. They've just moved to a new site and it's GORGEOUS. I love teaching and i felt really excited about getting in there. I also had a call from a school based at a huge London fish market. I'd been recommended to them and they want me to come in and do a class. If we get on then they'll send me on their fish knife skills course and for a mkt tour. That's SO exciting!! Also, one of my old pupils had got in touch and wants more lessons. There's so much for me to do and I love the freedom of not being office based.

This weekend, Mr G and I took time out. I baked - a blueberry, apricot and yoghurt cake for my in-laws and a chocolate marble cake for my auntie and uncle today. I've just bought this book and i'm loving trying new recipes from it.

Saturday was so sunny I was inspired to get outside and stay there. I washed all of our windows, and sorted out my lavender plants and tidied up my pots too. We met my in-laws for supper and that was great. A bit too great, as I got carried away eating (artichoke salad, duck breast, mashed potato and red cabbage AND apple crumble with ice cream) and sent my delicate tum back into a spin. (Too greedy for my own good)

Today we had a lazy morning. Papers, tea and toast. Then went to visit my auntie and uncle in their new flat. They live 30 mins from us but it feels like miles. We're in built up suburbia and they're in green fields. Mr G and i are inspired to get moving. It'd be great to get ourselves to a bigger home.

Anyway, it's been nice to have a stress free weekend. The only stress has been an IT issue. Mr G's laptop has crashed and BURNED. Hard disk is - in the words of our IT guru - "pooped". Mr G's been stressing about it all weekend as he needs to work and it has gone to the Mac Hospital to be rebuilt. Add to that an I-Phone dropping incident that incurred a nasty scratch and you've got yourself a grumpy husband.

We're in a lull. I so hope I get to cycle next month. My fingers are crossed that my FSH behaves and stays low at the start of my next cycle. If it leaps i won't be allowed to cycle by my new clinic. As there's nothing I can do I just have to stay calm and wait to see... I'm not thinking about the "what if's" of not being able to cycle. I'll deal with it as and when. Worrying can only harm my chances.

I read on Reality's blog that this weekend you lurkers must come out of the closet and show yourselves. If anyone's lurking - show yourselves and i'll welcome you with open arms xx

Thursday, January 10, 2008


What a day!

I woke up this morning (day of the most talked about interview of all time) feeling totally rubbish. Symptoms? For the hypochondriac - the very same as the norovirus - or for those less dramatic - a nasty attack of food poisoning. After an hour in bed and another taking it easy, I decided i'd go to the interview anyway. Was a bit concerned about poisoning the interviewers by passing on my germs, but took the view that if they'd interviewed me on Monday they wouldn't have put themselves at risk. I just couldn't wait any longer.

Took a taxi to their office with all my shopping and arrived a bit early. Whilst waiting in reception, the interviewee before me walked out. She was someone from my year at Chef School!! I smiled but she blanked me. maybe didn't recognise me but i'm not so sure. She's an Oxbridge grad only about 24 yrs old and extremely self important. That really threw me. Obsessed a while about whether she'd be better than me at the job.

Then I got called up to the magazine's floor and into the kitchen to prep my food. It was so stressful - not knowing where anything was! I managed to make my three meals in about 1 hr 20mins. A lemon and parsley chicken salad, sun dried tomato panzanella and chermoula salmon with dill creme fraiche and fennel, cucumber and pomegranate salad. Then the interviewers came in to taste the food. It was mostly ok but as i was explaining what i'd done, i realised i'd forgotten to put salt in the chermoula and it tasted RANK! Darn, darn, darn!! It was also overcooked - i wasn't really on top of their oven. I was SO cross with myself. I cook that all the time and just missed it!

The interview that followed was ok. Nothing too taxing, just some silly questions which I didn't answer that well. They asked how my friends would describe me in 3 words. I HATE those questions! Since then i've thought of some great answers but put on the spot I gave pathetic "non" answers i'm too embarassed even to relate to you!

I'm totally mixed as to whether or not I want the job. I really will be ok with it either way. If i DO get it i'll stress about fitting IVF in but i'm sure i'll manage. If I DON'T then i'll have to sort out my professional life as there's too little going on just now. They're going to let us know tomorrow.

Instead of going straight home i went via an employment agency and signed up for freelance chef work. I'm going to fill in the gaps this year and really make a living. No loafing around waiting for life to happen. I'm really going to go for IVF but in between i'm also going to get my life moving again AND Mr G and i are going to do some weekends away. We need some vacation time in new places.

But having said all of that i am, for now, on the sofa feeling exhausted and quite a bit nauseous. I'm not moving anywhere tonight but I figure i've earned this evening off.

Did I mention i went to see the Spice Girls on tuesday night? It wasn't bad. First hour was good...and enough. Mrs Beckham is a joke! I'm glad I saw them though. Had a good boogie and singalong.

btw - thanks so much lovely Leah for your kind offer of a place to stay. Big hug to you - you are v lovely. The clinic's in NYC - where are you?

I'll let you all know about tomorrow's events. xx

Monday, January 07, 2008

Just a quick one...

...because it's past my bedtime and i'm TIRED!

I've been busily creating recipes for the last week. It's amazing what a project the whole job interview has become. By last night I had a nice plastic wallet folder filled with my recipes and ideas. I got up early this morning to go to buy the last ingredients for the food I was to cook for the interview. The interview was due to be at 12.30pm.

At 10am my home phone rang. I left it - as you do when you're busily fretting over last minute stuff and still not showered or dressed for an interview. When my mobile (cell) rang I had to pick up. It was the editor of the mag i'm going to see telling me the interview is to be postponed because one of the interviewers is "working at home today". WORKING AT HOME!!!! I've worked my NUTS off on this project and they can't even be bothered to come in to meet me!!!! The interview is postponed until thursday.

I was so looking forward to having it all over with too! Never mind. I can filly fally around with it now for 2 more days!...

Not much else to report. Not at nearly midnight anyway. Had phone consult with a US I.F Dr. He was recommended by a friend of a friend who succeeded on IVF TEN - her second with him.... He has a chain of clinics but she saw him in NY.
It was v interesting but he did seem a little financially driven. I've googled him and a piece in the NY Times said much the same. He did have some interesting ideas but made me wonder if the Dr's in the UK are getting me all wrong. His view was that the protocol being used on me is all wrong....Hmmmm.....Is he just making one big sales pitch or should I be on the next plane to the big country??? Mr G and I felt all a bit shell shocked by the talk but slept on it and are sticking with our London clinic for now. We just need to be getting on with another cycle really. We'll ask the London clinic about some of what US Dr had to say.

That's all for tonight. I'm off to read my book - the second book by the man who wrote The Kite Ru.nner. The film inspired me to read the book. It has a lot of same stuff as the KR - obviously the life experience of the writer. It's v moving and actually has some IF themes. Worth a read and I can't wait to get to bed and read a bit more!!

I was going to moan about a newly pregnanct fellow IVF'er - who has just found out she has twins inside but keeps on calling me to moan how crap she's feeling. I want to shout BE GRATEFUL LADY this is what you've been trying for for 5 years, but i'm too polite. It was her 7th IVF (6th fresh cycle) so she deserves it. I just wish she wouldn't moan so much about it. I'd love to be as sick as she is.....really!

Night night. My book calls xx

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

PS - one great big positive

An apology to you all.

In my list of the plusses in my life failed to include one of the biggest. All of you!

I'm not sure how i'd have survived the last (nearly) 2 years without you all. Whether I know you as a name and web page or whether i've managed to meet you in person.

I wonder how girls survived IF before the days of the internet. They must have felt so alone and isolated.

Thank you girls.

Enough gushing. I've recipes to create!!!

Happy New Year?

That's the $50M question. Will this year be happier than the last? I sincerely hope so.

Firstly - apologies for my depressive mood. Things are v up and down around here. It's hormone central.

As you might have guessed my whisper of hope for a miraculous conception was misplaced. On the morning of NYE my period showed up in full force and made my life fairly uncomfortable for a couple of days. My body most certainly made me pay for the December Men.opur-athon. The bright side of that news is that i'm booked in for the i need to have to get moving on the next cycle.

In general, Mr G and I are at quite a low ebb. We started 2007 with one failed IVF under our belts, but with IVF 2 on the way. In 12 months we've had 2 more failed IVF's - 3 if you count the cancelled cycle last month - under our belts. With money and work stresses and fertility struggles forming a big, fat grey cloud over most of our year, we've both felt a bit blue.

Yesterday, I asked Mr G what his high points of 2007 were. He said he hadn't had any. I told him off and said there MUST be something... We eventually came up with his surprise 40th birthday party and various treats I laid on for him.

He didn't push me for my highs, but the thing is, after giving him a hard time for being negative, i'm not sure I can come up with a high for me at all. Ask me about 2006 and my high points are easy-peasy lemon squeezy! We had our wonderful wedding and honeymoon. Just after we got back, I can remember feeling SO full of happiness I could have burst. Here I was, newly married to my soulmate with our lives ahead of us. I hadn't felt that happy in so long. At the time (miserable cow that I am) I worried that such a high couldn't last. It just seemed too good to be true. It was.

Shortly after that, we got the "severe impairment" news about Mr G's twitchers - the swimmers that don't swim. That started to wear away at my joy. I still had hope though. IVF ICSI was going to save the day, so it wasn't all bad. As time has gone on and the treatments have stacked up the sadness has more constantly been knocking at my door and I haven't felt that happy since.

I'm generally of a sunny nature and of course I've had good moments - sunny mornings, a chilled out lunch on the beach this summer with Mr G, dancing at a friend's wedding, being enveloped in big hugs from my gorgeous husband - but mostly, i've felt sad. I HATE what this has done to me. To us.

BUT - that's not to say I'm not aware of the positives in my life -

1. I have a wonderful husband
2. We have close and loving parents
3. We have a roof over our heads
4. We're both healthy.
5. We both have friends to speak to if we need to; and
6. We can - for a short time - afford to keep trying IVF the foreseeable future

SO - i'm going to keep looking on the bright side. This year WILL be different. We'll keep on trying. We're about to try out the top performing clinic in London AND we've got our N.HS cycle coming up. BUT we'll have to draw a line under this at some point and we're going to end the year (by which time i'll have reached the big "Four Oh") with some resolution. Whether we've gone to ED or started on the road to adoption I fully intend to be closer to having a famly.

Many congrats to those of my fellow bloggers who've been treated to BFP's for Christmas. Well done girls!

A very Happy New Year to all. I promise my next post will be brimming with happy and interesting news! I will not stay in this pity party hole for long.