Saturday, May 31, 2008

Perhaps I was wrong...

I really enjoyed my visits to blogs new yesterday. I'm rubbish at remembering the names but at one I got to watch a video clip about Star Wars nerds that made me laugh out loud. Another played me music and another had me thinking about my favourite piece of kitchen equipment. Little things, but I really enjoyed the tour.

It's also making me post more so that my visitors - of which there are more now, thanks girls - are kept up to date.

The sun's shining here in London and i've had a lovely walk today on Hampstead Heath. I walked with the wife of one of my ex-bosses. He's a solicitor and i used to work for him when i was a legal beagle. I got on really well with both of them. We took her dog - a gorgeous lassie looking collie called Count Basie, Basie for short.

We bumped into a group of youngish (20 somethings) on the way. She knew one of them as he'd been very close to her son when they were growing up. She introduced him as Johnny. We chatted to him for a short while about a book she's about to publish about her son's drug addiction and bi-polar disorder (another story) in which Johnny's mentioned. He seemed nice enough. He was obviously in a band and said he's currently recording and it's going well. I assumed it's a hobby.

It was this man As we walked off she asked if i knew who he was. I said no and she told me he's Johnny Borrell the lead singer in Razorlight. I wouldn't have recognised him in a gazillion years and couldn't tell you a single Razorlight song. That makes me feel like my mother - AND i'm not even a mother!!!

Would you have known who he was?

Now, to steal an idea from another blog i visited and to give you something to comment on - what makes you feel old?

Friday, May 30, 2008

I think I can feel TP


Thanks for the comments girls. Glad i'm not alone here!

I'm not sure and perhaps it really is too early but i'm getting little flickers inside from TP. I thought you were meant to get the feeling when you lay down on your back, but I seem to get it when i'm upright. It's probably wind or some other charming ailment!

Did i mention we have not one but two dopplers? We caved and bought one a few weeks ago. I feel a little embarassed to admit to owning one. My mother was very down in the idea. My BF sneered and said i'm the only person she'd EVER heard of getting one. I explained they're more common in the IF community.

The second one was given to us by a friend of MR G. We met up with him down in Mallorca. He lives out there with his wife and they've got 2 IVF children. She got severe OHSS both times and was hospitalised. They've been through all of that together and have been married 10 years. They've just decided to separate. Mr G was really upset about it. Seems very sad to me. I met her too and they make a really lovely couple.

Anyway, he brought us their doppler and said they listened every night. We've only been using ours every few days or so. We'd not taken it away as i figured what would we do if we had a problem. Anyway, once we had one in our hands it was too tempting not to have a cheeky listen. As we had no gel, we improvised with some of the hotel freebie shampoo! It worked and we got to hear the best sound in the world.

Mr G doesn't like me listening on my own, but i have had the very occasional sneaky go when i'm a bit nervous.

I hope i have been feeling TP and i hope there's lots more.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Not sure i'm a big fan of NaComLeavMo so far.

It's taking me AGES to get through the commenting - especially when I try to keep up with my usual blog reads. How does anyone spend this long on line each day??!!

AND - to add insult to injury - i didn't get one comment yesterday. The 217 commentors must have been elsewhere!!

I'm not sure i'm reaping what i sew, but perhaps i should be more selfless...!

I'll keep going - until my work deadlines mean i haven't as much time to join in.

On a less grumpy note - i had lunch with one of my Editors today at a really, really great vegetarian restaurant in Primrose Hill called Manna. I was amazed how good it was and not at all hemp wearing knit your own underpants. Well worth a visit.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Back from hols

Original title, hey?!

It's late, i've just come in from teaching 8 beginners to make plaice in a lime and parsley crust, salt and balsamic potato wedges and dark chocolate and walnut cookies. I love them dearly, but they're hard work! I ate a large number of cookies and wedges so i'm pretty full too.

We came back yesterday from Mallorca. The day before we flew, i googled the 5 day forecast. It was rain, rain, rain. My mood plummeted and i removed most of my summer gear from my suitcase and packed an umbrella. It was every bit as bad - weather-wise as the forecast and we were even treated to thunder and lightning!

Now I'm a total sun queen and was in dark mood as we left and when we arrived to clouds but Mr G and I actually had the BEST time. It was like a second honeymoon. No, actually, it was probably better than our honeymoon. We chilled out, laughed til we cried more than once and generally enjoyed being together. We even resurrected our s*x life, which has been almost entirely non-existent since the start of this last iVF cycle. Between G.estone injections, fear of dislodging TP, nausea and general lack of interest, we haven't had much in the way of intimacy. It was great to get it on again. (Sorry for TMI - especially if you've only just found me via NaComLeavMo!

Anyway - Mallorca is covered in lush green vegetation including heaps of fruit laden orange and lemon trees. It looks SO pretty. Our hotel was gorgeous and best of all, we were upgraded for the second two nights as the blind in our room was broken when we arrived. Our upgraded room was a penthouse with its own roof terrace and HUGE bath tub surrounded by windows looking out onto the surrounding mountains. When we walked into the penthouse we were beside ourselves with excitement. I'm almost embarassed to say that I felt so full of emotion at having such a fantastic time with my darling boy that I cried with happiness. First time i've done that in many, many months - no make that years!

I still have a dark corner of my mind that remembers being this happy before IF took over our lives and is worried this will be taken away from me again. Am i really allowed to feel this good?

RE my clinic. You may recall they wanted me to repeat my NK cells bloods to see if i needed more IVI.g. They called yesterday to book me in for the IVI.g. A minimum £1400 procedure - and most likely more. I asked if they'd had the results of the bloods and they said no. What are they up to?!!! Anyway, it turns out they HAD got the results but hadn't reviewed them. They asked me to come in for a scan first thing this morning when they'd check the results and decide if I needed IVI.g. To cut a long and boring story short - we scored a sneaky look at TP - bless - who seems to be doing ok and then waited nearly 2 hours to be told I didn't need IVI.g. My NK cells are ok again. I was pleased to be released but mildly irritated to have lost 2 hours of my day sitting in a waiting room. Still, on the scale of things I figure i'm still doing pretty ok.

Oh! I bumped into a friend and cycle buddy at the clinic. She's immensely private and hadn't told me she was cycling again. She was shocked to bump into me but admitted she'd got a positive beta yesterday. That has MADE me day. I can't stop thinking about her. I know it's early days - especially as she lost her last IVF baby at 9 weeks - but its a strong positive. I so hope it sticks.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Up to date

Right, i'm up to date with all my blogger buddies and even managed a few comments on the way.

Now, i'm off to stay here in Mallorca first thing tomorrow until Tuesday, so if you could all refrain from writing anything until I get back that would be just dandy.

As that NaCom-thingy starts on Sunday, I fear i'm going to have some heavy catching up and commenting to do come tuesday. Just don't be writing too much!

Have a lovely weekend all of you


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I'm in a bad mood today.

My grumpiness is due in part to two things.

Firstly, to the ignorant and ill informed comments of a radio presenter on this morning. The background is that our government has been debating changes to a Bill to update the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. There are several changes including a move to allow scientists - for research purposes_ to created hybrid embryos - the shells of cow eggs housing human nucleii - as well as recognising same sex couples as legal parents of children created by fertility treatment using donated sperm or eggs. Much of the changes have been been highly controversial and has meant fertility has been in the news here far more than it might have been.

Additionally, a move to reduce the legal limit for abortion below 24 weeks was last night voted down by our Parliament. This has (not surprisingly) also been controversial. My views on this have become stronger. I am, essentially, pro choice, but feel that if a child could survive outside the womb then it should not be aborted. 24 weeks does seem quite late to abort and should perhaps only be allowed where the baby is severely ill or disabled. I think that the majority of (if not all) late abortions are for this reason.

Anyway - that's a digression as i'm not trying to create a heated debate. The reason I was angry was at a phone in on Fertility on Women's Hour on Radio 4 this morning. the presenter insisted on referring to IF as a 'lifestyle choice'. A LIFESTYLE CHOICE!!! She queried whether or not IVF should be available on the NHS for that reason. That somehow people had chosen to live their lives in a way that cause their IF! I was furious. If it hadn't ended then i'd have called in. Our IF was down to a medical issue and NOTHING to do with our lifestyle. I'll bet the presenter has a raft of her own offpsring. The fertile world wants to do its research if they are going to make broadbrush comments.


My OTHER irritation is my clinic. I had my NK tests done 3 weeks ago. As usual, there were no results from them. I didn't chase, because they told me that they'd call if it was urgent. Yesterday i had my full blood count done. It was fine BUT i got a message at 6.30pm telling me i had to go back for another (£300+) set of NK bloods with a view to IVI.g early next week. I called today to establish what was going on. It transpired that my NK cells are right up and although the FBC was fine, they want to test again. If it's still high, they'll treat me next week.

We're off on our weekend away on Friday and not back until next Tuesday. I can't get anything done before then. I asked if I should be worried and my Dr said - you should be worried until you have your baby. Great. Why couldn't they have told me this two weeks ago? Now, my long awaited for weekend will have the shadow of this hanging over it. It's f'ing irritating.

I'm sorry if this offensive to you girls still waiting for your BFP's who probably think I should calm down and shut up complaining. I really don't mean to be. I just want to be able to stop worrying about all of this. I had a good antenatal appt yesterday morning and now my clinic are holding up the warning flags again.

Anyway, i'll get my bloods done in the morning and perhaps I won't even need it doing. The only plus in all of this is that if they feel the need to do this then I get to score an extra scan as they check TP's ok before they do the IVI.g. If (G-d forbid) anything was wrong, they wouldn't need to do it at all....
Essentially, i'm not convinced I should be worried, as who knows if the NK stuff is valid, but it's an unwanted fly in the ointment.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

20 May already

Been a while since my last post. I've actually been quite busy working! I've seen quite a lot of this Believe it or not, in my restaurant critic capacity, I judged a hummus making competition on Sunday. I had to sample 33 different hummuses (hummi??). i've also been teaching people how to make it. I'm not sure when i'll be ready to eat any more chickpea dip.

I've also been teaching and doing some more writing as well as sorting out the odds and sods of our imminent holidays. I'm really struggling with holiday clothes. I need to have another trawl through my summer wardrobe, but i fear i'm to large for much the old stuff. I bought some swimsuits - TWO sizes bigger than my usual - and most have gone back. I think I may just take one of these the blue will go with my eyes.

Been snivelling a lot through my favourite dramas. Brothers and Sisters (second season) is just fantastic. I cry every week. Desperate Housewives is also good although i'm not sure if a few weeks ago i'd have been able to stomach the baby stuff going on the moment. Mr G and I watched "PS I Love You" at the weekend which was ok but another snivel fest. We were exhausted by the end.

Actually, there was a bit I REALLY identified with - look away now if you plan on seeing the film - which was when our heroine was away with her 2 best friends. One was pg and the other newly engaged. Our heroine was newly widowed and childless. They were both bubbling over with their good news and couldn't wait to be alone so they could really enthuse with each other. Our heroine was clearly mortified. She just closed off and one of her BF's later had a go that she couldn't just be happy for her. I think we've all been there.

Struggling friendships are something that i'm reading a lot about in blogland and something close to my heart at the moment. There are a few of my close friendships that i'm not sure have survived IF. I seem to be closer to some of the girls i've met since the IF journey began. I've felt quite let down by some of my girlfriends but haven't been able to broach this with them. I'm not sure our friendships will ever recover, but perhaps that's just time moving on.


TP has reached the grand old age of 16 weeks. Never did I think i'd get this far and i'm still counting my blessings.

We had an ante-natal appointment this morning with the NHS consultant. After we'd negotiated our way round the immensely rude other staff there we saw the MOST lovely man. Mr John Smith (almost a comedy name) who heads up the Pink Team at St Mary's. Each team has a colour. I'm very happy to be in the pink. One of my favourite colours.

He was wearing a pink shirt and socks and could not have been nicer. After asking about my history he immediately worked out the clinic that had got us our BFP. He didn't raise any brows or sneer at the drugs i've been taking and he was happy to let our IF Clinic carry on prescribing the Clexane for me. He also thinks i should stay on folic acid due to my positive MTHFR.

He told me my uterus is now up close to my navel! Wow. I thought it was just fat belly. Go TP. He plonked his doppler just below my belly button and we got TP's magical beats immediately. I LOVE that sound. It always reassures me no end. Next appt is our 20 week scan. I so hope all's ok...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Thought this might be of interest to some of you.

It seems really exciting, and a way for some of us Brits getting to the stuff the Sher Institute have been up to for some time. It's not cheap, but then, with IVF, what is?!!

I had a fertile friend berating me for wanting a private 20 week scan - as opposed to NHS, who still have yet to give me my Nuchal results from the tests they did 1 month ago. She was telling me not to be so neurotic. I know i am perhaps a bit on the nervy side but had to explain to her that this baby is very precious, that an ICSI conception is not quite the same as a natural one and she eventually backed down and apologised. If only they knew what we've been through.

Have a lovely day girls xx

Monday, May 12, 2008

As you can see - i managed to get a ticker up. Feels very strange. There's a lot of days to go until TP's due to make an appearance. I'm just counting down to the next scan at 20 weeks. Another hurdle to clear. I'm getting a lot of crampy pain in my lower back which freaks me out a bit but i think that's just TP growing.

My gorgeous thoughtful husband came home with this a kit full of goodies to pamper myself with. It was all wrapped in girlie pink paper and he'd even put a ribbon on it. He is SO fantastic. Can't wait to use it. I love a beauty product.

The gorgeous weather has been a total distraction. The only downside is that i've done so little work! It's also difficult to find clothes in my wardrobe that fit/look ok. My collection of figure hugging vest tops looks less attractive over my new roll of belly fat. Entirely unrelated to TP, but to the last 3 months of overeating and under-exercising. I'm not sure the steroids have helped but perhaps that's just a good excuse as i'm not exactly starving every time i shove some food in my gob.

Despite the fact that little fits, our cupboard is bulging with clothes - both me and Mr G tend to fluctuate in weight and have entire collections of bigger and smaller sizes. We were due to have a sort out this weekend but it didn't really happen for me. He managed to jettison a few things on Sunday night so then starting smugly taunting me with my failure to do anything.

I was busy planting pots in the garden. Our flat has direct access onto a big communal garden. I keep a few pots outside. We got up early on Sunday to go to Columbia Road Mkt you can buy great cheap plants and flowers. It's also a good place for a bagel breakfast. I bought some white lavenderbut was at a loss for what else would survive. Parts of our outside space get v little sun and other parts get blasted with hot sun all afternoon. I was thinking of calling my mum as she knows this stuff but thought it was too hard to do over the phone.

Anyway, after we'd had a breakfast stop at a Portuguese cafe - where we had custard and almond croissants and coffee for Mr G and hot water and lemon for me - we popped into a shop owned by a friend of my brother. He's not always there but when i poked my head round the door, not only was he there but so was my StepDad! He and my mum had come to the market too. They live MILES away and I had no idea they were there. As you can see from the pic, it gets totally packed with people it was amazing that we saw them at all. I got to take my mum round to advise me on what to buy!

I bought some of these Not my favourite flowers, but colourful and they will (apparently) trail. I now need some more pots and more flowers to really sort things out.

My next problem will keeping away the squirrels and pigeons who constantly dig up the pots. They ruined last year's floral display totally. I've been told to try chili seeds which i shall, but any tips gratefully received.

I've felt for all those girls facing Mother's Day in the US and Australia. It's a horrible day - really rubs the salt in the wound. Like Valentine's when you're single. You just wish you could hide away and not see all the flippin' marketing and advertising reminding you you're not even eligible to take part. It's nice that some of my blogger buddies have been cared for by their families in a sensitive way. I was thinking of you all.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

On a more cheery note

My last post was written under a bit of a cloud. I think I had a slightly hormonal attack of the blues. I had a full-on weep on Sunday night which Mr G dealt with admirably. All sorts of issues came up - fed up with constantly being scared, fed up with needles and (the most embarrassing part which i'm ashamed to even 'fess up to) upset about my new hair do!

I'd been looking forward to getting my grey roots sorted for AGES. I'd decided to go for more highlights as I thought i could avoid tint that way. My hairdresser said that i had to have tint as I've always had it, so I ended up with highlights AND tint and a full-on (silent) panic about chemicals seeping into my skin and getting to TP. I also had a fairly drastic cut - from shoulder length to just about chin length with a new fringe and lots of layers. The colour was so much lighter i got a fright every time i looked in the mirror. The end result was VERY different to my old hair and I've not been sure how to manage it. A week on and i think i'm getting used to it and getting to quite like it...sort of. My meltdown was a little OTT but perhaps just a bit of steam being let off.

There I go again sounding a misery guts. I'm really not!! We've booked a long weekend away and i CAN'T WAIT!!! We're off to Mallorca for the next May Bank Holiday to a tiny hotel to chill-out and recharge. I can't begin to tell you how excited that makes me. It will have been two years since our last proper holiday - our honeymoon!.

More good news (for me) is that I've bought some clothes that fit! I bought a couple of pairs of maternity jeans and some black trousers. I know it's a bit early to be doing that but i just can't fit into anything but some stretchy wide leg trousers I bought a few weeks ago and I was feeling a mess. It's SO great to be looking a bit more normal again. Now i just need to buy some summer tops - and there's so much out there as fashion this summer seems once again brilliant for disguising a big tum.

I'm having a bra dilemma. I went to a specialist bra store who told me my 34B's are in fact 32DD's. Blimey! They also told me that an underwire is fine in pregnancy so long as it fits properly and doesn't cut into the breast tissue. I bought two of their v expensive bras - all I could afford. I thought i'd buy more at my favourite store for underwear - Marks and Spencer. At their store, i was told NEVER wear an underwire when pregnant! I'm now confused. I'm happy to go without the underwire - i'm not that big to need one - but i'd really like a definitive opinion on this.

Sun's still shining and it's beyond lovely. Just looking out the window makes me smile. I wish it was always like this here, but i'll enjoy it for now. I'm off to meet a friend for a gossip and a walk on Hampstead Heath followed by lunch. I've absolutely nothing to complain about so please feel free to tell me to get a grip if I do.

Monday, May 05, 2008


Been a while since i posted. I've had quite a bit of work and that hasn't left much time for reading or commenting on your blogs or for writing on mine.

I've had a few issues with friends that have upset me a little and i've come to a realisation.

1. We will never be like them. "We" being us fertile-ly challenged folk and "them" being those lucky enough to have a baby more or less when they want one. I'm not sure if pregnancy for them is quite so stressful, because if anything were to go wrong, chances are, it would be a whole lot easier for them to get knocked up again. As it took many thousands of pounds and two and a half years of my life to get this far, the thought of having to start again is...unthinkable.

2. They're NEVER going to "get it". They think that just because Mr G and I are now knocked up, we are now just like them. To them, all the horrors of the last few years have faded away. Since news got out of our lucky break, we're receiving invitations from "babied-up" people who we've not socialised with once since we got married. "We MUST get together" they say. Why? Why are we suddenly eligible to join some club we were previously excluded from?

I didn't want to be part of that crowd before and I definitely don't now. I'm just not comfortable enough that TP is here for the duration and in any event - nothing's changed for us. We'll stick with the friends who've stuck with us, thank you very much, not the baby club folk.

3. They can plan. They're most likely booking ante-natal classes and planning births the minute those two magic lines show up. I still hold my breath and check the toilet paper every single time I wipe. Every single time. I'm not sure i'll ever stop - well, not until early November, that is.

I'm even still too superstitious to remove the boxes of various sanitary protection on the shelf behind our toilet. I might research some ante-natal classes this week - mainly because i keep being told they'll get booked up otherwise.

4. They (often) take the blessing of a child for granted and see reproduction as their natural right. (And maybe it is) They don't hold their breath each day that it might get taken away. I (silently) thank my lucky stars (and G-d) every morning, afternoon and evening for TP. Mr G and I really can't believe we've been so blessed but a part of us keeps expecting it to be taken away. How can we be allowed to be so happy?

5. They talk about their "first pregnancy" and are already planning their second. They take for granted that if they want more than one, that's what they'll have and often they take for granted being able to plan when that child or those children will be conceived. I know that if TP makes it to term and beyond, that will be it for us. We may adopt (if we can afford it) and that's what i'd like to do. But we won't be making any more babies. This pregnancy ain't my first, it is, most likely, my only.

6. Their men (that sounds a bit cave man) can strut around, peacock-like, chests thrust out with pride at how manly they are having impregnated their wives/girlfriends. I bought Mr G a book called "The Bloke's Guide to Pregnancy" which (unfortunately) bangs on and on about this part of pregnancy. It has made my gorgeous husband feel rubbish and even more emasculated because of how TP started out. I hate that. I could tell him a million times he's just as much of a man to me - actually even more so than many of their men - and i'm SO VERY PROUD of him and how he has got us through this so far, but i know he won't believe me. It's true.

Now things are looking more promising, he's starting to let the walls down a little. The tears - which he held back for my sake when I did all the crying - are starting to flow. It makes me well up when I think of how much he has retained and how full of longing he is for this baby.

I really hope I don't sound bitter. I'm not. I just feel closer to those of us who've been in the trenches and who are still there than I do to those haven't but at the same time, i know those of you still fighting will perhaps think we're a world apart. I know i've leapt one of the fences, but i'll never stop being an infertile.

I think i may have blathered on a bit long but i needed to get stuff of my chest. There's more, but it's not for now. There's also the mundane stuff, but i think i'll save you that stuff for another post.

BTW - today has been GORGEOUS here in London. 70 degrees plus and sunny. Bliss. Mr G and I met my parents for a lovely lunch at another favourite haunt - Cafe Med in St Johns Wood - where we sat out on their terrace eating delicious food and drinking wine - them not me. Perfect.