Friday, April 25, 2008

Forgot to mention...

I'm OFF the PIO shots!

I know i've used this image before, but I love it and it shows how i'm feeling!

Thank goodness - it was really starting to get me down.

I feel guilty and a little ashamed to admit that as i know plenty of people would kill to be in the position of having to have those shots and really, i do realise daily how lucky i am to be doing them; but I'm still really bruised from the last couple, and the whole upper outer quadrant of both cheeks is almost totally progesterone filled lumps. They feel so tender. Whilst Mr G is mildly sad not to have his nightly eyeful of my bare buttocks, he's not going to miss my nightly whining as he administers the dose - so to speak.

The stupid clinic told me on Wednesday to just stop the shots. I then got a call from a nurse yesterday (thursday) after i'd gone cold turkey, telling me to switch to the gorgeous (Cyclo.gest) bottom bullets so as not to suddenly drop my proge.sterone! HOW useless are they?!

Still, hopefully no harm done and i'm now on a halved dose of steroids for the next 3 weeks or so and a reducing dose of the bullets for the same period. So, v soon i'll be almost totally drug free, apart from the once a day Clexane and aspirin and continued high dose Folic Acid for my positive MTHFR gene thang.

As I self-medicated the Folic originally - on the basis of advice from Almamay (who is now password protected or invite only) - i'm not entirely sure i have the right dose. Must do some research into that. As the clinic think i need to continue that indefinitely, i should perhaps double check my daily 5mg is correct.

I think probably all the drugs i'm taking may or may not be necessary, but i'm not willing to take any chances. This has been too long coming.

Right - i'm off to a Food Show and then a celebratory (?) waxing session. As i'm still pretty nauseous - it came back this week with a vengeance - i'm not sure how long i'll last at the show. It's a gorgeous sunny day here in London town and it's Mr G's birthday.

We'll probably have a fish and chip supper tonight after we've been to synagogue, and then tomorrow we're meeting his folks for lunch at one of our favourite restaurants which is near Portobello Road. After that i've booked a night at a hotel in a part of London we don't usually visit - Knightsbridge way. As he has worked almost all of the last two weekends, it'll be lovely just to hang out together for a couple of days.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Go TP (Warning: post contains some over excited baby stuff)

I am so relieved and excited.

TP passed the Nuchal Scan with flying colours.

The v plush scan centre we went to was all marble floors and soft music. We instantly felt they were making too much money, but hey, at this stage, we've spent so much money, a few hundred more pounds for peace of mind is not an issue.

First a wait, then blood was taken and then a longer wait until we were called. We were the 5th couple in for a Nuchal that morning. At 9am!

Anway TP was in fine form although seemd to have an attack of hiccups and he/she kept jumping up and down. The heart was beating away at 167bpm and Crown Rump length now 5.85mm. Nuchal Transluscency was 1.5mm with a (huge) nasal bone. All markers looking good.

They also check an angle of the face as Down's babies have flatter faces - that was also good. They checked blood flow in the stomach and the heart chambers and all were looking good. We saw both hands and feet, the cord and had a good look at blood flow in the placenta. It was so emotional for both of us.

Anyway...the numbers. The risk stats for my age are 1 in 93. Once they added in BP's measurements and my blood results we were down to 1 in 3101! That is, apparently about as good as it gets for my age. The Trisomy 13/18 risk is 1 in 5775 - even better.

It's hard to explain how I feel. I'm still aware we've a long way to go, but we've cleared another hurdle. I have that excited bubbly feeling in my tummy/chest that I had around the time Mr G and I got married. Before we got our "severe impairment" news just after we got back from our honeymoon. That was more or less two years ago now as we've just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary.

Thank you G-d for getting us to this place and thank you all out there for being there for me along the way.

I still can't quite believe it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Technology is great, but not always...

Recently, someone sh*t hacked into one of my Yahoo accounts and has been sending (under my name) e mails to all my mailbox addressees offering "my" recommendation and discounts at my special store in China. I'm not sure what I was purveying but some (idiotically thick) people (who KNOW me!!) mailed me back thinking the pigeon English mail was actually from me! Durr! I suppose i was lucky it wasn't a mail offering P*n*s extensions or some hot chick and her sexual fantasies.

I think my Yahoo address has also now been sending other random offers. As i've cleared the address book on that account I think (hope) it's only me getting them. I tried to sort it out with Yahoo but they were TOTALLY useless.

IT Issue 2: I'm now being invaded by computer generated comments in my blog. Well, invaded is a bit strong, but it's happened more than once. Does anyone know if you can delete a comment? Does whoever is behind this REALLY think i'll just click on their link?!

It's almost as stupid as those pathetically bad fake bank "phishing" (is that how you spell it) e mails asking you to confirm all your most secret bank details, passwords, pin number etc OR even those mails you get from the Nigerian man or woman asking you to babysit several million pounds or dollars for them. Anyone who falls for that rubbish (almost) deserves what they get!

Soooooooooo.....the upshot of my having had my privacy invaded is that i've had to chang my blog settings. I didn't want for you all to have to do that "type in these letters" thing because I find that quite irritating, so i'll now moderate each comment before it goes up. I figured I read them on my email anyway so what difference.!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Passenger's first pic

We had our first Midwife appointment and Nuchal scan on Friday. This was our first involvement with the NHS - state-funded medical services - since I went to my GP.

We had no idea what to expect. We didn't have to wait TOO long for the scan and, despite the sonographer being a total loon, it was pretty efficient. It was my first "knickers-on" scan, which was a joy. When we explained we were a IVF pregnancy, the sonographer demanded our letter from our clinic. We didn't have one, nor did we know what she was talking about. We were severely told off and told we must bring something next time.

There followed some confusion about dates and last periods before we got down to business. As you can see from this the passenger was present and correct.

We heard a heartbeat (v emotional) for the first time and then struggled to get TP - as i'll refer to the passenger from now on as it's a bit of a mouthful to type - to do anything other than lie flat on his/her back. No amount of prodding would get any action, so I had to lie on my side for a minute or two to dislodge him/her. I turned onto my back and there was a flurry of movement as TP did a 180 degree flip to face the other way and then moved back again, onto my back. Difficult so and so - bound to be a boy! After that we got a little fist in the air - probably telling us to go away - and, at one point, a turn of the head to face us which was really eerie as it looked so alien. Gave Mr G the creeps! We also saw two arms and two legs - hurrah!

TP was measuring 11 weeks and 6 days, 4 days ahead of our dates, which was good. Crown Rump Length was 5.75mm (i think) and the Nuchal Fold was 1.6. They weren't v forthcoming with any info jsut kept barking at us whether or not we wanted to do the blood test for Down's. We do.

After paying for 4 photos of TP, we met a midwife, who was super surly. We spent about an hour answering her questions before she took some blood for the Down's test. That will go with the measurements and other info to work out our risk. They estimate 3 weeks to get the result unless you come back as high risk in which case they fast track the result. Just a teensy bit stressful....I've had moments of worry, but the measurement seems fine.

We've our private scan (paid for) on Wednesday. They do everything there and then and give you your risk levels same day. It might be best to stick to private scans from now on if i'm to stay calm.

Last night we went to Mr G's folks for a Seder supper. Mine were there too. We gave each mum a scan pic. They were delighted. They're gagging to tell everyone our news but we don't want them saying anything until after we know Wednesday's news.

My sickness had abated a bit last week but has returned in the last few days along with a HUGE (feed me RIGHT NOW) appetite. I can't WAIT to stop the PIO shots - my bottom HURTS!!

Friday, April 18, 2008


Sometimes I love my job...

This week, i've dined (and reviewed) at one of my favourite pizza pasta restaurants - which has just opened in my area - lunched at a Michelin starred restaurant and written a feature about teashops.

For three days this week I visited a series of gorgeous tea shops and sampled so many lovely cakes i was actually craving fruit!

I ate here and here

It was all done in the line of duty...of course!!

I managed - in all but one lovely place - to eat half (or even less) and take half home with me. I actually threw away half a - very lovely - chocolate muffin and half a peanut butter sandwich cookie last night. As I then ate a whole packet of chocolate buttons (yum) i'm not sure that actually says too much about my will power.

I - and by body - am lucky it's Passover this weekend and that my carb (if not my sugar) consumption will drop for at least a week.

I'll be dreaming of those cakes by this time next week.

Happy Pesach to all my Jewish readers - if any.

Sadly, both my friends doing cycles here had BFN's. My friend trying her last frostie - which had been PGD'd and was a perfect blast - was cruelly tricked by two lines on a stick followed by a lowish beta that failed to rise. My friend on her first cycle with one embie was beaten up by AF pitching up before she even got to test. I wish I could make it all better for both of them.

Friend one has decided to give up. In her early 40's she feels enough is enough. She's done enough cycles now - even got pg but lost twins at 9 weeks - and cant' go through it any more. Friend two is only at the start of her journey although she's just 40 and only managed to produce one egg this cycle. I hope she gets there. I hate seeing her and her husband going through this. F'ing IVF - it stinks.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Anxiety attack

Tomorrow i'll have reached the 11 weeks mark.

This week has not been without it's dramas. On Saturday - after three days of fairly intense lower back cramps - i saw what i'd not seen for some time - the pink tinged wipe. I like pink - one of my favourite colours, but I don't want to see it on my toilet paper. A trip to the bathroom produced this unwanted colourway. A frenzy of wiping followed with more dreaded pink.

My sickness has been letting up for the past few days and my boobs have been less painful... My mind raced forward to facing a start from the beginning again. Slipping all the way down a big fat snake (a la snakes and ladders) all the way to the start again. How would i tell the world our adventure was over? After a call to Mr G - stuck on the North Circular Rd on his way to Ikea - I rang my clinic's emergency number. The almost personality-free Dr - my least favourite one there - was unimpressed. He said not to worry. Shove a pessary up tonight and come in for a scan on Monday - IF I wanted to. He said he was really not v worried as he thought i'd have massive cramping if the passenger was leaving and was only offering a scan as I sounded so anxious. So much for TLC.

Subsequent bathroom visits produced brown stains (tmi i'm sure) and - after hours on the sofa doing v little - the back pain lessened up a bit.

Sunday produced some more staining and backache but I was feeing a bit more comfortable. By this morning I was relatively calm - probably because I was at the clinic and getting comfort just by being there. Just before we went in - after an hour's wait - I felt a dread of disaster but all was well. The Passenger is now 5cm and even deigned to give us a wave before swimming around a bit. I almost cried with relief - both that Passenger was there but also that for the first time we had seen movement. My back is still killing me. It's just like my pre-period back pain. Suppose it's just all that extra activity.

Sorry for a long self indulgent post. Good luck to my girls entering their 2WW's. I've everything crossed for you. I've a real life friend in her second week after her first IVF. She had one egg, one embryo. I'm praying for one of those miracles you read about... Lets hope April's full of miracles.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Scan update and post 155!!

Last scan with the clinic today and the passenger is measuring 3.75cm. The Doc pointed out hands, feet, arms legs and the all important heart beat. It looks like a teddy bear. The screen looked really blurry and it was only later that I realised i'd forgotten to put my specs on!!! Durrr!

That's it there except i'm waiting for the NK results. Had a full blood count done today and they were meant to call to tell me if i need IVI.g or not. No call, so i'm hoping it's good (no need) news.

I hate to moan but my rear is SO sore. All that gestone is taking its toll. Not only is the injectable quadrant on both cheeks almost totally covered in painful lumps but now i'm getting an itchy rash too! Gorgeous! I'm going to go into the clinic on the next couple of days to get them to inject into my leg. I'm too scared (what a wuss) to do that myself or to ask Mr G to do it, so i'm trusting the nurses to do it for me. It's agony if I just catch myself on the corner of a table or sit down too heavily.

I'm far braver and cool about needles than i'd every have believed. At today's blood test, i chatted so much that the vampire used the wrong coloured tube test tube. She had to chuck away the first tube FULL of my blood and do the whole draw again!! I was so totally fine with it. I'm just an old hand.

I've booked my Nuchal scan. Fingers crossed the passenger crosses that hurdle too.

ps: thanks for the iron advice ladies. V useful and thoughtful.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Pam and George

I'm not sure if i've mentioned this before, but i've unofficially adopted an old couple. Coming hot on the heels of my "Grandpa John" post this is going to sound like they're Grandparent surrogates. They're not.

The story began back around Xmas time. Mr G and I were out on long walk. We do a lot of walking and, as we live, reasonably close to the centre of London and so some beautiful parks, we use the weekend to go places on foot.

Anyway, about 5 minutes after leaving home, we passed an old lady struggling with heavy shopping. One bag suspended on a walking stick on wheels and the other in her hand. Mr G (who's actually much more thoughtful than me) turned to me and said should offer to help? We hummed and hah-ed for a minute or two and then went back to offer her some help. To our surprise, she wasn't scared and handed over the bags.

As we walked along we talked and she turned out to be bright and interesting. She does a crossword from one of our daily nationals and was asking us about the clues. She doesn't have internet - which we take for granted - and therefore no real way of finding out the answers other than in the next edition of that paper. I felt ashamed that i'd automatically judged her to be less intelligent because she's old. I think assumption that probably makes me less intelligent or, at least, ignorant.

She's married and her husband is housebound so she goes out when necessary. They do have someone who comes and does their main shop once a week though. She said her niece - who lives miles away - brings her the newspapers every so often, but in between she doesn't get it as it's too heavy for her to carry it home. I asked if she had children and she said no. An old woman living with her husband in a basement apartment in our suburb...she felt like the ghost of Christmas future....(We also live in a basement apartment)

We walked her to her door and she thanked us. We basked in a warm glow of having done something nice for someone.

I kept thinking how irritated i'd be to do a crossword and never know the answers, so I decided i'd take her a newspaper every Saturday - the edition she reads. First time I went back, it took ages to get in. Pam (for that was her name) and George, her husband, were delighted and happy for me to come back regularly. She only wants the paper every fortnight as she says there's too much for her to read otherwise. Sort of defeats the object on the crossword thing, but there you go.

Since then i've been back each fortnight. Sometimes I bake them stuff. Other times she gives me little gifts. I spend a little while with them - their apartment STINKS of cigarette smoke so I can't manage too long - and leave feeling really happy, if a little whiffy of smoke.

Such a small part of my life brings me a huge amount of joy, and, I hope, gives my old couple some pleasure too. I hope that doesn't sound sanctimonious.

pg stuff follows:

Life generally is fine. I've had some awful morning sickness - well, all day sickness really. No chucking up but just permanent feelings of sea or motion sickness. No complaints - it comforts me the passenger is on board. My GP found my haem.oglobin is low, so i'm now on iron tablets as well as my mega folic acid, steroid, multi-vits, dha/epa, B6 and daily aspirin. When super queazy i have to take them in yoghurt. I'm ok at this minute - which obviously then stresses a little that

Last scan with the clinic on Tuesday and i'll find out if more IV.Ig is on the cards. I'm starting to relax a bit and feel so immensely grateful for having got this far. Still anxious about getting to that magic 12 AND that the NT scan doesn't throw up any scary stuff, but at this point, every day is a miracle.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fool's Day

Today would have been my Grandpa's birthday. He was my last grandparent to die. I, my brother and sister and both my cousins ADORED him as did my nieces and nephews. He was a child magnet and an immensely popular man. I'm not sure anyone didn't like him.

I remember spending loads of time with him and Grandma as a child - playing games, gathering conkers (horse chestnuts), eating Cadbury's Dairy Milk and, when he was still working, visiting his "shmutter" factory in the East End of London. His factory used to make ladies' clothes and he himself was an excellent tailor. He used to make many outfits for my Grandma and had a tailor's dummy and sewing machine at home. We used to go up to their flat every Saturday for high tea - with loads of crumpets and cakes. Grandma was an excellent baker but as they got older, Grandpa did most of the work as she was more frail than him.

He had an amazing sense of humour and always had a joke for us. He outlived my father by about 5 months but (although we tried to hide it from him and he was very much "gone" mentally) i'm sure he knew Daddy had died. That makes me sad, but my great memories are of my laughing, joking Grandpa. I wish he'd met my darling Mr G as I know he'd have loved him. I hope he's looking down on us now with a smile on his face.

Today's scan went fine. The passenger is now 2.7cm - not a great change from last week which concerns me a little - but the Doc was pleased with progress. They took my blood to send to Chica.go for the N.K assay panel. The results will be back next week so I'll actually back there next week for a final scan. I'm quite pleased that i've another scan there. Nice to have that safety net.

After the scan I went to the lovely neighbouring patisserie and ate (healthy) 5 seed bread slathered with (not quite so healthy) choc praline spread. It was every bit as good as last week. I still can't stomach any hot drinks. The closest I can get is hot water with lemon in it. Other drinks just turn my stomach. Weird.

Happy Birthday Grandpa John.