Friday, 29 October 2010

Furry Friend

Here's my furry friend . . .

Cute huh :-)
My furry friend was a birthday gift last year, she is adorable . . . she gives unconditional love, she is always there when I come home shattered from work full of love and cuddles, she makes me smile (a lot) and she sits by me quietly when I'm upset, bless her.

On the whole this week has been better than last week, but then again it wouldn't be hard to beat last Friday. I had a small blip mid-week, I've not been sleeping well generally since starting my down regulating drugs three weeks ago and this week I suffered a bit of insomnia. usually but not so much when you can't sleep. After 3 hours of trying to sleep I broke down in desperation . . . hmmm is it the drugs or am I actually going loopy? I like to think the former, but who knows.  I slept fine last night though and hope to tonight as well and to top it off it's the weekend, whoop whoop. Feel a bit more positive today too, I think this is down to finding some fellow IVF'ers on Twitter and having their unconditional support, it really does help.

I start my stimulation injections next week, my clinic, Bourn Hall, haven't told me what day exactly yet . . . they kinda feed you information one little bit at a time only, I'm sure for good reasons, but hard for a OCD-prone Mrs Organised.  I've forgotten some of what the pharmacist said about administering the injections :-/  Also I'm trying to have a high protein diet and taking Pregnacare Conception but I'm unsure on what other things I should / shouldn't be eating and drinking . . . that's my homework for this weekend.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Loopy, Lonely & Low

What a week :-(
Symptom wise I've not really been improving, still suffering from twinges and pains in all sorts of places and perhaps AF wanted to stick around for a bit longer just to be nasty . . . the menopause in a month, I get it and I'm well and truly over it, bye, see-ya, go away.
Intermittent headaches, not sleeping well, difficult to concentrate at work and exhausted too, ugh.

On Friday I hit an all time low, so so sad, so so so many tears and feeling so alone in all of this. That evening I said more than once that 'I can't do this' and 'I'm not superhuman' . . . how can I let myself fail at this first hurdle, how pathetic. 
One lovely friend gave birth to a very cute, healthy baby boy on Thursday . . . then another friend, even more lovelier than the first (one who I have confided in) announced her 12-week scan news on Friday.  I'm so happy for both of them, amazing news and they will make absolutely fantastic parents, no doubt about it.  At the same time though, as I'm sure fellow IVF'ers will understand completely, I felt devastated that my life is not moving along like it should, it's stopped still and I'm stuck. I had such an empty feeling that night, I felt lost . .  like a little bit more of my heart had broken and I cannot cope any more.
Cue miserable miserable weekend . . . cue understanding and very loving OH with lots of love and hugs and breakfast in bed too. Lots of silent, pondering moments, where we understand each other completely without needing to utter a word. 
By Sunday evening though, OH's magic has worked, after a long chat, somehow I feel lifted, no idea how, but I feel relieved to come out the other side, I really didn't think it was possible after Friday.

My new mantras
  • Take one day at a time
  • Be strong
  • I can do this

Monday, 18 October 2010


Took my lunch time dose of Suprecur today at work, dialled into my teleconference meeting, and then, 'a-chooo', ffs I sneezed, P-A-N-I-C!

  • Frantically search google
  • Can't find anything . . . supposed to be talking at this meeting :-/
  • Panic some more
  • Message my OH online . . . not sure what I would do without messenger at work, mmm probably get a lot more work done, meh
  • Help! . . . Calm down
  • No need to panic, was at least 3 minutes since I sniffed, OH assures me, it's fine

Home now, with blanket, Monday's suck.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Infertility Etiquette

Here's the article that I mentioned earlier about Infertility Etiquette, I found this on another blog I was reading and I think it's pretty good. I've pasted below some parts of the article . . .

Infertility Etiquette
By Vita Alligood

Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew.
Knowing what not to say is half of the battle to providing support.

Don't Tell Them to Relax
Everyone knows someone who had trouble conceiving but then finally became pregnant once she "relaxed." Couples who are able to conceive after a few months of "relaxing" are not infertile. By definition, a couple is not diagnosed as "infertile" until they have tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant for a full year. 

Don't Minimize the Problem
Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Infertile couples are surrounded by families with children. These couples see all of the joy that a child brings into someone's life, and they feel the emptiness of not being able to experience the same joy.

Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen
Along the same lines, don't tell your friend that there are worse things that she could be going through. Who is the final authority on what is the "worst" thing that could happen to someone? Is it going through a divorce? Watching a loved one die? Losing a job?

Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy
This message is for pregnant women-Just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile women plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier.

Let Them Know That You Care
The best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care. Send them cards. Let them cry on your shoulder. If they are religious, let them know you are praying for them. Offer the same support you would offer a friend who has lost a loved one. Just knowing they can count on you to be there for them lightens the load and lets them know that they aren't going through this alone.

Support Their Decision to Stop Treatments
No couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief.

A Problem Shared

. . . is a problem halved, or is it?

Since TTC I barely told anyone the trauma my OH and me were going through, it was just too painful. After a while I did manage to tell a handful of trusted friends, I found it very difficult to articulate the heartache we have been suffering. In fact in the first 2 years of TTC and dealing with the never ending bad news each month that it didn't work and then the shock news that we also had a male infertility factor to deal with, I don't think I have ever felt so alone in my entire life, not even in my dark days growing up as a grunge head, this was far far worse.
I felt overwhelmed by all information on the internet and the zillions of forums (and acronyms to boot), I didn't know where to start, so instead for the start of those two years I avoided a lot of it and just told myself that everything will be ok. 

Well life sucks and everything is not ok. 

From dabbling on the internet I have picked up quite a lot though I think . . . I'm pretty good with the acronyms now (I'll add some to the side of my blog soon) and I can see there is a lot of support out there, I'm just still too scared to join any forums . . . although I'm finding writing this blog is really therapeutic, a chance to off load my thoughts and stop them whirring around in my head.

I can't count the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep these past 2 and half years, but why all the tears? I often think about that and I always come back to one point - I feel alone, not many people know, the insensitive questions and remarks, all my friends having babies left, right and centre . . . talking about it usually makes the water works appear anyway, so it's catch 22. In the last few months I have been able to confide in a few more close friends so I must have turned a corner, not sure why or how, maybe because my treatment was scheduled and I felt like something was finally happening. I should just tell all my friends though, they are my 'friends' after all, but I can never find the right moment or the right words and I don't fancy much the faces of pity looking back at me, self preservation.

A handful of the friends I have told though have been fab, not an easy job mind and I don't envy them. I'm intrigued how I would handle the situation if the roles were reversed, I know I'd be straight on the internet researching it like I do with everything else . . . so I had a little look and found that a lot of other bloggers are quoting this article about infertility etiquette, it makes interesting reading actually, I might even post it to my blog.

There is one very important person in my life that I had neglected to tell though, my mum (shock horror - yes, seems strange - also yes). My mum worries a lot, I do too (inherited from her no doubt) and she has had a fair bit on her plate recently and so I didn't want to worry her more (silly - yes). My mum never asks me any of those typical questions, 'when are you going to make me a grandma' and the like and so it kinda never came up in conversation really. My mum knew about the suspected endometriosis and maybe that's why she hasn't mentioned it. 
Anyhoo, I hadn't told her, until this weekend. I was feeling so poorly with the stomach cramps and headaches this weekend (we were 'oop North in Leeds visiting my folks) that I couldn't really hide it any more. I hadn't expected I would get upset telling my mum though (d'oh I know . . I'd imagined the conversation a million times over but hadn't factored the tears bit). My mum took it well, like all mums probably do, feel silly for not telling her much sooner now but I do feel relieved :-)

Friday, 15 October 2010

Aunt Flo - Hello

Aunt Flo, nice to see you, to see you, not.

For anyone out there like me TTC and in this infertility hell, AF is more often than not, an unwelcome visitor.  It's a bloody stupid name anyway, I don't get it, no Aunt of mine would do this to me, ggrr! Anyway, AF has come with a vengeance this time, I guess I half expected it from what I had read but I was probably in a tinsy winsy bit of denial . . . the pain was, well, painful, and going on a 4hr long car journey perhaps wasn't my most genius planning. The stomach cramps were bad and feeling sorry for myself appeared to reach a whole new level, I'm hoping it won't last long and must stay focused, the sooner this bit is over and done with the sooner it will be to starting the injections.

One good thing is that I guess I was sniffing properly then :-)  how many ways are there to sniff anyway?  Meh, you question and over analyse everything in this process . . . I may be one step closer in my treatment but also may be one step closer to going ever so slightly loopy.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


  • Sleepy
  • Headachey
  • Bloated :(
  • Feeling sorry for myself :( :(
In one way I'm getting used to the nasal sprays, the yucky taste is not so bad I guess, it could be worse . . . but in other ways my body is now definitely reacting, I'm not sleeping well and I have intermittent headaches all day. Bourn Hall said only to take paracetamol from now on . . . but it's rubbish, it literally works for about an hour and that's it.
I'm so sleeeeepy and in desperate need of a lie-in, but there is no chance, the latest I can take my nasal spray in the morning is 8am and it raises my heart rate and so there's no way I can get back to sleep again, I lay there like a lemon instead in my warm cosy duvet, boo :-(
Mmm feeling pretty sorry for myself, but I'm putting that down to exhaustion, I even fell asleep on the sofa before 10pm the other night, wowsers, I haven't done that in years. My OH is being super good though, looking after me, hugs on demand, I like :-)

Hmmm almost forgot to mention, I reckon I've gone up a bra cup size too, woo hoo, that side effect can stick around! The bloating, however, can f right off.  I know what the bloating means anyway, Aunt Flo must be on it's way, so c'mon Aunty, if you think you're hard enough.

Sunday, 10 October 2010


Thankfully the heart palpitations haven't returned so far, phew.
Symptoms this weekend include the following!
  • Feeling fuzzy
  • Slightly raised heart rate
  • Boobs are growing!? :)
  • Strangely off cakes and cookies!? :(
I've had a lovely weekend with some friends who came to visit . . . I almost plucked up the courage to tell another one of them about my treatment, share the load, but couldn't find the right moment though (is there ever a right moment?).

Friday, 8 October 2010

This is It

So, this is it, the start of my first IVF & ICSI treatment, can't believe I am finally here, today, after all this waiting, am I actually ready? I'm not sure :-(
I didn't sleep very well last night and surprisingly my stomach appears unhappy too. 

Let the down regulating begin . . . 

Suprecur (buserelin), 3 times a day, once in each nostril, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
In the end I just did it very quickly and I felt ok until a couple of minutes later, heart racing and I felt like I'd swallowed a rock, probably more from nerves than anything else. I laid down for a few minutes and then I felt absolutely fine, quite sprightly in fact! I can taste it at the back of my throat though but the toothpaste soon fixed that.

Other than feeling a bit 'odd' and a couple of intermittent headaches through the day I felt fine, I can do this.
I took my third dose in the evening and after a lovely meal out to celebrate starting the treatment . . . 10 minutes later, mild panic sets in, my heart is racing super fast and it feels like my heart is beating outside my chest . . . heart palpitations. Not pleasant and a bit worrying but I've taken it easy for the rest of the evening and hopefully it will do the trick, watched The Hangover, fab film! 

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Night Before (eek)

Work is S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L full stop. 
It shouldn't be, but it is.
Circumstances outside of my control have made it so and it makes me sad, not good timing. Actually my work "thing" warrants a blog of it's own, it takes up so much brain space that I refuse to blog about about it too, end of.

So, I guess you could say I'm not in the best place (mind or body), especially with my Dad's recent ill health which was unexpected, impeccable timing again. 
In a bid to R-E-L-A-X and chill out given the big day ahead we headed out to the local pub for some drinks with friends. Was a bit off the wine (what is going on??), couldn't concentrate and I even felt a tad bit irritable (this does not bode well, I'm having the blummin' side effects and I haven't even started the drugs yet?!).  I think part of the problem is that there are only a few trusted friends know of our 'situation', but it's not the easiest topic to suddenly bring up . . . What are you doing this weekend?  . . . err I'm starting fertility treatment . . .  Did you see the Apprentice last night?
Instead, I always opt for the easy option, but on a brave face (bloody sick of putting on a brave face, life is not fair).  Anyhoo, I made it through the evening, I come home and very carefully assembled my nasal spray, tested it works (it does), read the package insert (again) and I'm all set for the morning (eek).

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Drugs R Us

I sat at home waiting patiently for my drugs to arrive . . . I'm supposed to be "working from home", hmm not a whole lot of work going on here, I can tell ya, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Jeremy Kyle (tee hee, any distraction will do this morning).
I finally get the magic phone call about 10:30am, the courier is just round the corner, sounds like a nice man :-)

Errr blimey, that's a BIG box, why have I been sent such a BIG box :-(
I carefully unpack, stack everything neatly!  Take a photo (of course).

Errr not just nasal sprays and needles then, why the hell do I have 3 boxes of progesterone vaginal gel, no one told me about that . . . wtf

Deep breaths . . . just stack them nice and neatly.
Panic over, they have sent a lovely purple carry case, all is forgiven.

I meticulously do down the check list, everything present and correct, needles in the fridge (interesting next to the wine and milk) and the rest at room temperature. Will study everything more closely when I get back home tonight, omg I start on Friday :-/

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

No Need to Panic!

This is the beginning, IVF/ICSI Cycle 1 (eeek!), hard to actually believe that after TTC for the best part of the last two and half years, here I am, at Bourn Hall, so they can show the potions and needles I will start using this Friday, shit, this Friday, only 3 more sleeps!

I'm sat in the Bourn Hall outpatient waiting room (kinda Laura Ashley stylee) . . . for those who haven't been to Bourn Hall before, it's a truly amazing place, not just because of the magic they perform here on a daily basis, but it's a breathtaking old country house set in a little cute village, just outside Cambridge (Bourn Hall Clinic), hard to believe you can actually come here as part of the NHS East of England plan . . . it may be an hour drive from home, but well worth it when you get here, a different world to the Lister Hospital. 
Headcount . . . 3 couples in the room (some with other halves, some with their friends) . . . it's a bit like being on the Tube for me . . . quick scan around and off my mind goes making up silly little stories for everyone there . . . who are they, where are they from, have they started their treatment yet, are they coping? . . . the list is endless.  Searching for answers to my million questions in my head, it's quite overwhelming really.

The nurse just called my name, uh oh, that's me, stop day dreaming, it's my turn . . .
Turns out we're seeing the pharmacist not a nurse and she is going to give us a quick run through of all the medications.  

Quick scan of the pharmacy:

Needles - check
Nasal spray - check
Rubber pin cushion - check!! P-H-E-W yippee!

No need to panic, there is a rubber pin cushion, thank goodness, she won't be sticking the demo needle in me after all, and R-E-L-A-A-A-X
The nice pharmacist spends about 20 minutes taking us through everything . . . super fast though, blink and you'll miss it! She's obviously a dab hand at assembling that nasal spray thing, take this bit off, put this bit here and this bit here, and bob's your uncle, simple. Apparently I'm going to be taking Suprecur nasal spray (buserelin) rather than Synarel as there is a problem at the manufacturers of Synarel, so unlucky for me (there's a surprise) that means spraying 3 times a day instead of 2, fab.
Next, the dreaded needles . . . must pay attention . . . this one's gonna take some practice, yikes, hope I don't do it wrong :-(  I know, let's look at the positives (yes, lets) . . . the needle is only about one cm or so long . . . it's very thin . . . it's gonna be hard to get the dose wrong . . . and I can ring them at any time.  I ask about the other needle I can see there . . . Ovitrelle I think . . . that must be the last injection, the one that's supposed to sting :-(  It's ok, she's read my mind, she says she'll take me through the other bits closer to the time . . . and R-E-L-A-A-A-X

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Hello, I'm Moon!

Hello hello, I'm Moon and this is my first ever blog, a newbie (eeek!)  . . . I'm a little bit scared but I thought why not . . . I'm about to embark on my first IVF / ICSI cycle and so I might as well go all out and try blogging.
I'm hoping it will be therapeutic for me to write down how I'm feeling to get me through what seems to be a very scary journey, meet others who are feeling the same and hopefully help each other by sharing experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly, I wanna hear them all).
Mmm so where to start . . . a little background about me first:

Name: Moon (my pseudo name for now)
Age: 32
Status: Married for 6 years although we have been together for almost 14 years (yikes)
Female Fertility History: Several investigations for suspected endometriosis in 2006 - 2007 and after a few months back on oral contraceptives to help subside the symptoms we were advised to try to conceive sooner rather than later. Symptom free from early 2008 onwards.
TTC:  Since June 2008
Male Fertility History: As a routine check before being referred for ART we received diagnosis of male infertility issues in April 2009 (low sperm count and motility)
Referrals: Referred to Lister Hospital in September 2009. Ultrasound in October 2009 and HSG in January 2010, both reported as normal. Referred to Bourn Hall in May 2010.
IVF / ICSI Cycle 1: Down regulating scheduled to start on CD21 on 8-October 2010

I can't actually believe I'm doing this (both the blog and the fertility treatment), but there you go, I've started now, no going back.
Hmm the name of the blog "Moon on Stick", well I couldn't get Moon on a Stick so I've had to settle for this one, who needs the little filler words anyway.  It's an ongoing joke between my OH and I that I always want what I can't have . . . big house, zillion Prada handbags, moon on a stick . . . little did I know that having a child would be so far from my reach, literally it's like I'm asking for the moon on a stick.