Saturday, January 30, 2010

Still holding my breath

Just heard from the clinic and we're now up to 1340. That embryo is motoring.

My progesterone is a mood (un)enhancing, husband snapping, nerve fraying 173. We're really feeling that one - or at least Mr G is. Not that he's being noble about it. He just keeps telling me how highly strung I am and that i need to calm down. I KNOW THAT!!!!! (Said in shouty voice) Not that easy when you're pumping syringes full of chemically induced hormonal angst into your butt muscles every night. I wonder if normal pg women are terrorists?

Never mind, it's all in a good cause. The best cause.

It's bitterly cold again and there was a thin layer of snow out there when i left for today's beta. They didn't tell us that was coming. It melted in Central Lon.don when the sun actually came out today. Long may that continue.

I'm writing a piece for a restaurant mag and struggling to concentrate. I've visited 2 cafes in the last couple of days that i'd like to write about - one excellent one in Hampst.ead - Ginger & White and a second, in, which was also worth a return visit - mostly for the ice cream bar part of it, called Cocorino. Whilst i've enjoyed gorging myself on cranberry granola, porridge, oreo cupcakes and red velvet cupcakes, banana caramel cake and olive bread, i've still not really got it nailed and have a deadline looming. My brain has been a bit (entirely) ambushed by this embryo. I need to find a bit of focus.

B started swimming lessons yesterday. We both went and Mr G went in. I should have vanished, because my screaming son only wanted me. I ended up borrowing a swimsuit and going in to hold him. Once he'd seen other babies enjoying themselves and worked out it could be fun in there he released his clamped arms and legs from around me and started to actually enjoy himself. I backed off so Mr G could do the Daddy thang as planned and they had a great time splashing around. He was enjoying it so much that when it was time to give back the float to the teacher he just said "na" and snatched it away from her. He was so happy on our drive home - I hope next week starts where we left off...

Next beta is on Monday. We're catching up with B's scores, but still only about half of what they were last time. Main thing is that it's moving.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today's scores

This morning's HCG (15dp3dt) was 495. More than double Tuesday's score. Funnily enough, i'm feeling less pg than ever.

I get the odd moment of nausea or light headedness and the tiredness, but it's so early, there's a lot of disturbingly normal time.

That said, this little embryo does seem to be hanging on in there. (I hate even saying it just in case i jinx anything!)

I'm exhausted. It's partly my body feeling tired but more because of my own anxiety and B's continued early wake ups. I can usually doze when he wakes at 5 something in the morning and starts trotting out his vocabulary of about 10 words. Well, he mostly says "Daddy" and "Car" with the odd "Mama" to make me feel better. At the moment, i'm up as soon as he is and up we both stay. Both of us in our own beds. Me silent. Him increasingly noisy until it reaches a fever pitch of "come and get me" wails and Mr G goes in to get B up.

I'm still awaiting my instructions from the clinic for today (at 6pm!) but imagine it'll be a blood test on Saturday morning.

I'll post again when i've got more to say. Feeling a bit monosyllabic today.

Oh - went to work last night which was full-on but fun. Taught apple tarts with creme anglais and spinach, bacon and mango salad. A new group of demanding beginners but i'm sure they'll improve. I had to 'fess up to my colleague what's going on for me as I need to avoid heavy lifting just for now. She told me she did years of IVF and then adopted. IF truly is all around.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Movin' on up ... 195 today.

Not double, but then it's only 24 hours. I'll be back in on Thursday for another blood let.

I still have a niggling worry about these numbers compared to B's. He doubled in 24 hrs from 330 to 660 AND my progesterone was double what it is now. I KNOW every pregnancy is different, but i'd feel a whole lot better if this little one could catch up even a little. Perhaps it's my nature to fret and I should shut up and enjoy but I do feel that this is all a bit too good.

I'm feeling super tired and on-and-off nauseous and really suffering strong smells. Had a sleep earlier which has helped.

This is all so weird - i feel i'm in a halfway sort of a place. I'd forgotten how stressful this first few weeks is. I'll just try to immerse myself in B stuff. I don't want him to have a distracted mother because of all of this.

I can't quite believe i'm pregnant.

I called my mum and stepdad, who've been in Australia with my brother since early December. I hadn't told them we were doing the FET - no sense in having her worry and spoil her trip. She was gob smacked. I woke them up early and when my stepdad asked what was going on she said "Portia's pg". That sounded SO strange and 'out there'. It was a wonderful moment though to have told her like that. Something i've dreamed of.

Please let this little bundle make it to real, live, babyhood.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Trust in the sticks

...cos they're telling the truth and now i must buy more and more and more, because..... beta results came back at 106. Not the whopper score in the 300's that I had with Barney, but apparently (so the clinic tell me) frosties take a bit longer to get going.

OMG. I seem to be pregnant and i'm stunned.

When the head nurse of the clinic called to tell me I cried. I was pushing B's buggy down the street.

It's almost too good to be true and a little nagging voice is saying "things like this don't happen to you without a lot more angst and pain. Wait and see...something'll go wrong in a while." I'm not going to listen to it - well i'm trying not to.

I think i'll do some googling to establish where my beta sits in the scale of things and, for a while, i'll sit and smile like a looney. I really can't believe this has happened. Fingers crossed that tough little frostie (from my very first cycle) continues to do it's stuff, that I continue to do mine and the wonder clinic do theirs.

Thanks girls for being there for me. Again. xx

ps: BeeCee - i m sorry i managed to delete your last comment, but as we've been in touch via txt i hope that makes up for it.
pps: the pic is not of my sticks, just the same brand. I'll try to shoot mine for posterity.


Woke at 5.50am - ahead of B for once and after lying there a while decided it was time to POAS.

This morning's stick was darker and i'm now feeling a bit symptomatic. Sense of smell is stronger and some nausea - surely way too early for that - and some major tiredness, but that could well be the lack of sleep the last few nights. There's a little part of me is concerned i'm thinking myself into it.

Went for my beta and now just gotta wait.....

tick tock tick tock

Sunday, January 24, 2010


So I caved.

Tested this morning and got a v faint BFP. Not so faint you had to examine it with a magnifying glass and torch, but not the deep, dark lines I got at 14dp3dt last time. It came up reasonably fast too.

You'd think we'd be jumping around and I want to be excited, but the line is so faint that i'm not sure I can be. Last time, my HCG was 300ish on day 12. If it was even half of that today, it would be MUCH darker. I thought of asking to have my beta moved up to today, to sort this out, but decided i'd like to stay in this twilight almost PG world just a little longer. Problem is, i've next to no symptoms again. Very occasional cramping and perhaps the slightest swelling of the Oh, and also some dizziness and light headedness.

Perhaps this is chemical. No point second guessing. I'll use the second stick later or tomorrow and the bloods will give me more of a clue.

Goodness gracious me this embryo is giving us a run for our money.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weird place

I'm too scared to test.

I have NO idea how I got to the beta last time without testing. How can I go to the test place on Monday morning without having first got an idea of what the scores on the doors might be. BUT this time i'm too scared to test. I had no test kits at home last time and refused to buy one as I was too superstitious.

This time i've given in and added to my internet grocery shop a sneaky HPT kit. Somehow that felt less 'naughty' than going into the chemist. It was, of course, the first thing i laid my hands on when i unpacked the groceries last night. I looked at it a little and took it straight to my bathroom where i hid it on a high shelf behind my jumbo box of tampons. The shelves are glass so I can still see the bottom of the box but i'm trying not to look.

I woke at 4am needing the bathroom and lay wondering if i should test, but I sort of like this place where i'm "almost pg". Where I can daydream of what might be. [I typed some daydreams there, but had to delete them, because it felt too 'out there' in print.]

One of the websites calls this place 'PUPO' - which i imagine means pg unless proven otherwise. (I'm sure that's a common term) It's a better place to be than - where i'll be after a BFN. I didn't test, but couldn't get back to sleep until almost 6am when B started chattering so i'm now a bit zombied.

Emotionally this really isn't as bad as last time although Mr G says it's harder for him. The only way it's harder is because i have now had a BFP and am second guessing myself wondering if this is like that - sadly it doesn't seem to be as I have next to no symptoms. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Except for some cramps. No AF yet. As i'm not nearly as drugged up as last time should AF not be here by now? I'm on day 31 of my cycle. But then maybe not, as i ovulated really late this month. Who knows!

I spent yesterday afternoon in a room of pg women. My NCT (childbirth class - not sure if you have an equivalent where you are?) group met. Of the girls who had their first with me, 4 are already well on their way to their second. There was a lot of bump patting and pg chatter. I know I should be gracious and happy for them but i find it hard and, at times painful. Guess i'll just have to get over myself...or stop seeing them. I got a bit comfortable in the fertile world there being matey with them. i should know better!

I do think we'll have to try again now. A friend I saw on Thursday has 2 girls. The first conceived naturally, the second after 2 rounds of IV.F. She conceived her little girl (3 months younger than B) at 41 and was just 42 when she was born. I could do that.... Will - with Mr G's permission - find out about the next steps as soon as we can.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2 4 6 and 7dp3dt

The number of posts i have written to date and where i am in my 2WW.

Thought i'd update so i've some record of how things have been going.

I've had fairly bad cramps pretty much since transfer. Today's the first day it's not been quite so bad. I THINK that's when AF (still hating that term but too lazy to think of an alternative) tends to show up. It all goes quiet on the western front and then BOOM, in she charges giving me the fright of my life. (I'm still half hoping she won't show up, but do need to be careful with my optimism)

I can still feel the trembling shock of the discovery of AF's arrival during my 2.WW of each cycle. I go into shock which only really turns into full-on misery hours later. I'm now on high alert Kn.icker Watch now, expecting bad news every visit to the little girls' room. All my previous failures have ended around day 10 or 11, and they were without the glorious, so who knows what will happen this time.

I'm fully on board the rollercoaster. Spent yesterday moping around West.field shopping centre because I was sure AF had arrived or was about to and today, as my are making their presence felt (and why wouldn't they be after a week pumped up on proges.erone) i'm feeling in with a chance. They're not exactly tender but 'full' - perhaps TMI.

I went for a muddy walk with B and a friend and felt lightheaded walking up the hills. Won't be fooled by that one either, as i've had that every cycle no matter what. It was good to keep occupied though and really helped take my mind off things. Oh, and i've no tiredness, but then i'm not sure you would feel tired at this early stage anyway.

On Monday, a friend visited and took some lovely pix of my little boy, so here's a gratuitous shot of me and he, to break up all this text:
For the record he does have more than one sweater, but, as you can see, I really like this one and he'll grow out of it soon, so it gets a lot of wear!

Other stuff
I've been trying to eat healthily - good for me whichever way this goes - and have made some yummy meals this week. (If i say so myself)

I'm really into beetroot at the moment and served a roasted beetroot, yoghurt and dill salad with smoked haddock fish cakes last night. If beetroot wasn't such hard work i'd make it all the time.

Night before I ate a beef casserole (made in the slow cooker I got from Mr G for Xmas) which took me straight back to my mother's casseroles that we'd eat as children. It was just missing peas, which i love when they've cooked ages in a casserole to a dark olive squidginess. I've also made baked red cabbage and apple in the slow cooker which was also yummy. It really makes a difference to flavours.

Tonight i've 2 sea bass to cook and have yet to decide what to do with them. I want to try a new recipe using parsnips to so with them too. Just realised Mr G's out so might have to freeze the fish. I've some gingered chick peas - also done in slow cooker - which would go well with a baked potato. If you're not already asleep from my food filled ramblings, i'm done now! xx

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lucky i'm not (too) superstitious

After I saw 2 magpies (meant to be good news) before my 2nd IC.SI BFN, i've stopped believing in good or bad omens.

Lucky, as i've had two things happen this morning. Firstly, one of B's bottles had a crack in it which i didn't notice til it kept on leaking everywhere. Then, just now, as i was pouring boiling water into a mug, the mug cracked and hot water went flooding everywhere. Glad i wasn't holding the mug.

2 cracked vessels in a morning. Could get me worrying about something, but no point. What will be will be.

Enjoying my again (not) and already sore on both sides. Did my own jab last night, which was not easy as it's near on impossible to pull the plunger out a bit to check for blood. Decided just to press on. Proud of myself for managing though. A big psychological hurdle passed. That needle is SO scary.

Feeling a bit distant from B as Mr G keeps taking him to give me a break. Better go and put my feet up for a short while.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Back on Gestone

I think my earlier post might be taken as the ramblings of a drugged up loon. I'm not sure quite what i meant as I think actually IV.F is all about survival and nothing more. Maybe it comes down to who can survive it intact.

I've heard from the clinic. A call at 16.30 to tell me to start on : ( As i had not knocking about (funnily enough) nor a prescription for some, I wondered how I was meant to do that. The helpful embryologist who called said she'd get a script ready and would hang around til i could get there.

Lucky we live close to the clinic. Many others would be drugless tonight.

It has, of course, sent me into a spiral of gloom. If my Progesterone is low that must be BAD news! She told me it hasn't fallen, it could just be higher. Hmmmmmm... They'll test again on Sunday.

Can you be 'good' at IV.F?

We've been discussing whether or not we'd go again. (If this cycle fails that is)

There's every possibility. Mr G said i was 'good' at IVF. That it suited me. He said I like a structure and a project, a bit of planning, research and organisation.

I think what he saw was my taking control. IF makes you lose control over your life. I've been used (as most of us are) to being in charge of my destiny - as far as you can be. Having it taken out of your hands is petrifying. Reclaiming control - through finding the best clinic, researching everything to the nth degree and speaking to everyone I could about it made me feel back on top of things again.

Nonetheless, it made me think. Can anyone be better or worse at this? Does it suit some more than others? Definitely the result is irrelevant to how able you are to cope with it.

Am still hanging out at home. Will take it a bit easy until the weekend's over. I figure that if this embryo wants to stick around it will have made its mind up by then. After that it's just a matter of taking care of myself.

I've discovered i'm a useless blogger. I was trying to see how I did last time and my blog entries are RUBBISH! I've no idea how i was feeling for much of the 2WW. For the first two cycles i recorded every niggle and cramp but i'd obviously got over all of that by then. If anyone was checking out my history for some clues of how it feels to be pg or of how i was coping it just isn't there!

For the record, i feel pretty normal. The odd lower back cramp but nothing else except stressy moments.

I do seem to be having a reaction to the Rito.drine - a drug to stop muscle spasm of the uterus. It makes me jittery and anxious - the last thing i need right now. I can stop if necessary and may well do if it doesn't improve. No mention of that in my record of last time. Also no mention of which steroids I was on last time. I'm sure they were different. Again, never mind. Doesn't make much difference. They've decided no IVI.g for me this time and no Ges.tone. That may change today when I get the results of this morning's Prog test. Of course, i'm worrying that i'm NOT on those now as they worked last time!

For now, i'll keep on drinking the water, lying low and chilling. Just got to take B for his jabs this afternoon. Poor little lamb's going to HATE it : (

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

deeper and deeper

Soooooooooooo, at 8.30am the clinic calls. The embryo has done its thing and divided into a lovely 8 cell-er. They want us to go in in 1 hr and 30 mins to have it transferred. It's pouring with snow (does it 'pour' with snow or is there some other verb?) so they say not to stress over timings. Get there when we can.


I simply wasn't imagining this would happen. The 50:50 chance of a successful thaw has gone our way. Not only that, but apparently the embryo is almost top class, just a little bit of fragmentation knocking it off the top spot.


I'm playing with Barney and grinning like a lunatic. I HATE this! It's the top of the rollercoaster. The bit where you smile, you laugh and all's groovy. I've been here before. We're in with a chance.

I'm so unprepared for this. I've done no 'prep'. No depriving myself from caffeine, no acupuncture course, no vitamins or other paraphernalia. This can't be IV.F. IV.F doesn't work like this.

On the way in, I called two local acupuncture clinics to see if it'd be worth doing a post-transfer session. Both said yes. One (the lady who did my treatment pre and post last time) said she'd squeeze me in for pre and post. Bingo.

And then we're there. Back in the room where Barney joined us. The head Doc shaking our hands. Almost 2 years to the day. (Barney was transferred on 14th Feb) Everyone was lovely, but how weird. I left with a huge list of drugs to start. The usual, Cle.xane, Cyclo.gest, Prednis.olone, Ritodr.ine and aspirin. No I.VI.g this time. At least that keeps the cost down a little.

Mr G's started looking forward but I can't, can't, can't imagine it working. This is dangerous. Like the first cycle when you know it's not likely to succeed, but when it doesn't, the disappointment hits you like a ton of bricks and shoves you over into a hopeless, black precipice. We all know of top class embryos that have hit the dust. Still, the stakes are so different, there's a little boy living with us now. It must surely hurt less.

Luckily we had a sitter booked for today. She's hanging on to help out with B today whilst I loll in my bed. Mr G's on high stress alert and wants me off my feet and not lifting as much as possible. Yeah right. I've now told a few close people what's going on, but only on a 'need to know' basis.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Heard from the embryologists

My hormones must've been fine. I took a call during Rock-a-bye (music class) to hear they were thawing our embryo right then. They'd call me back within the hour. I went back to chasing a toddler more interested in the radiators and buggies parked around the walls than in the lady at the front.

I took the second call whilst walking in our (frosty, freezing) local park with Barney, a local Mum friend and her little boy.

Our 4 cell embryo defrosted ok, but they want to hold off on transfer until they've seen if it continues splitting. We'll know tomorrow what the score is.

I had tears in my eyes when the embryologist told me the news. Darn. And there I was thinking i was pulling off the world's first emotionally detached cycle. They'll let us know tomorrow if it's lasted the night and if we're to go in for transfer.

Mr G said (and he's right) that this feels like we're testing the water for another fresh cycle. It does feel like i'm observing all the girls at the clinic going through their cycles. He seemed open to more fresh cycles. Am I? I think so, but part of me feels we should quit whilst we're ahead. We're a bit old for all of this.

I'm very aware of my age - even though I don't feel it especially. When they do your blood test they ask you your date of birth. I used to announce mine loud and proud, but this time I whisper it. I don't hear any other children of the 60's. The girls sitting beside me in the queue are all of 70's. Even those born in the early 70's are all pushing 40 and i'm well past that milestone.

Anyway, B's asleep and I need to have a lie down. Been going to bed too late and am feeling it. I've also got cooking lessons to plan. Wonder what tomorrow will bring for that microscopic ball of cells.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy New Year


Gosh, it's been so long since i published a real, live blog entry, i'm feeling a bit strange about posting. I feel a bit outside the clique.

I've kept my eye on my ladies and even commented on a few. I'm still the IV.F guru to my nearest and dearest and. I'll always be infertile and IF will be a large part of my life.

I just don't feel I can get quite as comfortable in that world. Where once I could walk in heave off my shoes and have a good old vent about life with friends who shared my emotions, I don't feel I've liberty to moan about my wanting for a second child when there are countless others still waiting for one. How dare I?

But every time yet another of the girls in my NCT (childbirth) peer group announces their second pregnancy ("oh i really didn't think it would happen so soon!!!") it's a kick in the guts and it takes a few days to shake off the grey cloud that sits Linus-like, over me.

I don't feel connected with them - the fertile majority, discussing 'when' not 'if' they'll have their babies. Accidental pregnancies and 'first go' conceptions abound. I'm not one of them and I don't want to know about it. I'd be fine living in a little bubble of me, Mr G and B, as then I'd feel ok about my one, gorgeous adorable child. More than ok, blessed. Totally and utterly. I love him so very much. Here's a gratuitous pic

I didn't come online to moan though. I came online to report that we're finally close to finding out if that lonely embryo has any chance of making it further than the 2 days of existence it has reached. I've been visiting the clinic for the last few days for bloods and scans and they called today to say they MIGHT attempt a thaw tomorrow.

The solo embryo has travelled across town and is waiting patiently for its big moment. It has a 50:50 chance of defrosting and then a itty, bitty chance of making it to a real, live pregnancy. If it's not going to make it then i'd almost rather we don't get past the defrost. I'll be upset, certainly, but at least I won't spend a fortnight obsessing, injecting £'s and £'s worth of drugs and fantasising about a future little P.

I'm playing all of this down - to myself even. I keep reminding myself it's SO unlikely to work - but who am i kidding? Which IV.F cycle isn't followed by a huge emotional precipice from which you spend the next few weeks crawling out of? It's like a woman saying that she doesn't get emotionally involved after s*x. Yeah, right.

So, in the next few days we'll know the score and then Mr G and I can decide what next. Are we too old to try IV.F again? Do we have the stomach for it? Are we brave enough to try adoption? Who knows? If only it were as easy as the happy accidents that happen all around us. But then, perhaps we wouldn't appreciate what we've got as much as we do.