Thursday, 16 December 2010

Cherry on Top

More choccies from a dear friend (thank you!) . . . gotta stop feeding me these naughty things soon though otherwise I'm gonna be the size of a house before Xmas arrives :-)

I haven't blogged for a little while as I felt like I needed to hide for a while . . . not that hiding solves anything and until now writing has helped me cope these past few weeks, but I guess it's a form of self preservation. I still feel incredibly sad that our treatment cycle didn't work and this is making it difficult to return back to normal, I do keep asking myself though, what is normal? 
My main concerns are that all the drugs, procedures and all the waiting is emotionally and physically draining . . . why were our embryo's not strong enough . . . will it ever work . . . did the other stress I was under affect anything? If I rationalise it, I know it's a numbers game too and I believe in fate and so it wasn't meant to be our turn this time.  Also seeing so many other infertility tweeps get BFPs lately does give me hope that it can happen.
I've surprised myself actually, I usually 'cope' with everything but I guess the accumulation of the events has not helped, not really sure where I go from here, I'm not sure counselling will help as I know I just need to focus on moving on and taking sick leave from work is not going to help me either. So . . . instead we've booked a holiday and boy do I need some pampering time.  So I'll be gone for just over two weeks in January and then it will be February before I know it, perfect, I literally cannot wait to get away and chill out!

I went back and read some of my older posts (makes interesting reading, ha!) and with everything going on I forgot to mention a blog award I received back in November from one of my favourite tweeps, Low Fat Lady, so sorry it's taken so long to post but thank you!  I was so chuffed to get this as this is my first ever blog and was wondering if anyone would enjoy my drivel.

The rules: link back to the person who gave you the award, pass it on to five (or a bunch of) other blogs, and leave them a comment telling them of the award.
So here goes . . . I give this award to (drum roll please) -

Low Fat Lady (rules are for breaking so I'm linking back to you as I love your blog!)

The other day @saleschick reminded me of my mantra from one of my first posts, I'd forgotten all about it!
  • Take one day at a time
  • Be strong
  • I can do this
I need to be stronger and I know that's a state of mind so that's what I'm gonna do, be strong, I know it's ok to cry from time to time, but most of the time I hope to be strong and I know it will get easier.
Actually, I'm currently in a dire 4 hour teleconference (who schedules 4 hour calls?!?!), and I am showing great strength in persevering :-)

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Toast With a Smile

Toast with a smile, that's what I asked for, so that's what I got :-)

I think I've come on quite far these last couple of days, I've made it back to office and I've been to two xmas parties (and experienced the phenomenon of 'having a good time', you should try it, I can highly recommend it). 

There have been four things key to making me strong enough to face the big bad world again
  1. My OH, I would be lost without him.
  2. My closest friends who I know have been thinking of me and are right there if I need them, some of whom have held my hand virtually these last couple of days, words cannot express my gratitude for their help.
  3. My terrific twitterers (of course)
  4. And last (but not least!) wine (obviously) :-)
I have also made some enquiries this week, for my sins I am a planner, I plan even when I'm sleeping (you think I'm lying, sadly I'm not) and so when I remembered that planning always makes me feel better, that's what I did, I took some small steps so that I'm always moving in the right direction.  I don't plan to rush in to anything but it's good to know our options for when we're ready. We fired off a couple of emails to our Primary Care Trust (PCT) and they finally replied on Friday . . . the East of England plan does require there to be a 6 month gap (from egg collection) before starting another fresh cycle with the NHS, we can mix and match private and NHS funded cycles as long as we don't go over 5 (!!) cycles in one year, and I can change from Bourn Hall (an hour away) to the clinic, Herts & Essex Fertility Centre (10 minutes away with excellent statistics), phew, some good news at last. In order to change to the new clinic we have to ask Bourn Hall to refer us to the Oxford Fertility Unit as they have a contract with Herts & Essex, so this is something that we will look into so that our NHS cycle can be lined up if we need it.
So the next steps are to plan a much needed holiday, enjoy the xmas break, have our follow-up appointment on 31 January and then go ahead with a private funded cycle . . . when I'm not sure but I will make some preliminary enquiries with Herts & Essex to see what they say about waiting lists.

I have one other picture to post today, look at these amazing biscuits from Biscuiteers!!
These really brightened my day on Saturday and are from one of the most special people in my life. If it's possible, they taste even more gorgeous than they look and they made me smile like a Cheshire cat. This whole process has reminded me how special my friends are and how important they are to me, thank you darlings.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Must Try Harder

Hmm tough one, I've been trying to write this blog post for a couple of days now, I plucked up the courage yesterday and wrote some notes on how I've been feeling, reading them back now I realise how far I've come today, I feel a bit stronger. In these past few days my tweeps have kept me sane and listened to my sadness, I'm so grateful for their support. I've typed up my notes as I promised myself I would write how I was feeling and I'd be hiding if I didn't post it. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I started spotting on Friday morning, I knew in my heart it was over as I had been experiencing constant stomach cramps since Wednesday, so I stayed home from work anyway so I could take it easy and try my hardest to remain a little positive (an impossible task really).  My brother called that evening, I explained how I was feeling and what not, he then dropped his bombshell (for those select few in my real life reading this, please cover your eyes now), his wife is 5 weeks pregnant, they didn't even realise it could happen so soon . . . and such like phrases. They just got married at the end of August so I can forgive them for thinking it wouldn't happen quite so quickly, ironic really, from one extreme situation to another. I am of course happy for them (I'm going to be an Auntie for the first time!!!!) but their timing is impeccable (he must take after my Dad's timing perhaps) and I guess it just highlights my predicament even more, we really do have a medical problem that prevents us from having children like 'normal' people do.

Needless to say I have been in various stages of a crying mess since Friday reaching it's most advanced stage on Sunday :-( My stomach cramps continued as did the spotting, by Sunday I did a test, I pee'd on a stick (my second one ever since TTC, they don't get any easier do they?). Of course it was negative, what else would it be after the year I've been having? I felt incredibly incredibly sad, the saddest I think I've ever felt, my heart literally feels broken, two months of scary drugs and procedures all for nothing. Not sure what else is worth saying about it really as it's just been more of the same since then, up, down, up, down . . . the up's are really only when I forget for a split second. On the plus side (ha, only kidding!), Aunt Flo has been making herself feel very welcome, it really is like drawn out torture.

I called the clinic yesterday to tell them the news as it was still a day or two before my stupidly long official test day . . . just when you think my day could not get worse, the nurse advises me that the HFEA new rules (she meant PCT I think) mean that there has to be a minimum 6 month break between fresh cycles (we didn't have any super quality embryo's to freeze so no FET cycle for me) . . . 6 months?!?!  they're having a laugh, surely!?  6 months from the end of this cycle too not the start of it.  I can understand perhaps a 3 month break but 6 months feels ridiculous. 
My tweeps tell me that perhaps this is a Bourn Hall thing because their waiting lists are so long as other clinics in the UK advise 3 months only.  I've had a little look online (still cannot find anything official yet), but it seems it's a PCT thing, so it's the East of England's new plan as of this year.  The nurse then went on to tell me that I will receive a letter in the post, it may or may not tell me that I need to come for a follow up appointment, depends if they think there were any issues to discuss . . . Err hold on a minute . . . I may be a crying mess at the moment but I'm not stupid. I'd like to discuss my cycle with someone and get some information about it, the nurse then 'offered' that I could of course book an appointment if I wanted to, well I do want to, so I did, earliest they can see me is 31 Jan.  Have to say that although Bourn Hall have been great until now, like really great (other than all the waiting) their 'after-care' service is a bit lacking, she could have taken the time to explain things and be a bit more gentle.

The day did get a bit better yesterday though (would you believe it, apparently, it is possible for such phenomena to occur). These beautiful flowers arrived from my lovely mother in law from overseas, so sweet and thoughtful.

I still haven't been in to work yet since the spotting started, I couldn't face it.  The office has been a hard place to be lately, the guy opposite me just became a first time father about 2 weeks ago and the office talk is baby related all day long, it's been ok to handle for the most part, but I can't face that right now, there is nowhere to hide there. I know I have to face work some time but I'm worried that I can't just bounce back after all the heartache and sadness, sure I can put on a brave face (I've become a pro these past couple of years), but this IVF cycle and the stress of 2010 has made me feel weak, I don't feel strong any more and I know inside I will continue to suffer for a long time to come. Today is the first day I feel a bit brighter, I just hope it continues.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Spot the Difference

I was hoping that my next blog post could be one a little chirpier for a change, you know about how I'm randomly keeping myself busy through the dreaded 2ww, tick tock, tick tock. I should be so lucky.

I've had stomach cramps pretty much continuously from Wednesday lunchtime, today is Friday and I am 9dp5dt. On the first day the cramps were different to what I've experienced before, but yesterday it was more like AF pains :-(  This morning at around 7:30am I had a little bit of spotting :-((((
I've looked it up . . . I'm sure it signals the end, I called my clinic and they said to continue with the Crinone/progesterone for now, she didn't sound too hopeful but then I guess she is used to people calling up with such news.

I haven't gone in to work today as I can't face anyone and act 'normal' . . . I've been sat here consulting Dr Google, there are stories of people who have had spotting and the treatment has still worked but with my luck of late I think I will not be one of these people.

So, I sit, and I wait.  My cat did a good impression yesterday of how I'm feeling today, perhaps she is psychic?

I still have some cramps, no further spotting as yet, I feel pretty sure that this is the end of this cycle and it makes me feel so sad.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Waiting Game

Hmm this first week of the 2ww really has been tough, just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, it did!

We stayed up North at my parent's place as my dad was due to be discharged on Monday, we finally got the call to pick him up early afternoon. Unfortunately the morning did not get off to the greatest start . . . with all the snow we had overnight we were worried our not so sensible car wouldn't make it up the slope in my parent's street, so we'd made a plan to try move the car in the morning before the next flurry to somewhere more flat so we'd be ready to go. Whilst OH was packing the car he accidentally locked the keys in the car boot! great stuff!  He called a locksmith who couldn't open it . . . we then had the RAC breakdown people out and luckily they were able to open it, phew!  Just in time before we needed to pick up my dad (using their more sensible car!).  When we got to the hospital, his medicines weren't actually ready so we had to wait around for that and finally we got him back home and settled. After our little outing we decided actually we should just take my dad's sensible car home as more snow was due everywhere and it would be safer.

It doesn't take much snow at all to drive our country to a halt, as I type actually there are 7 jacknifed lorries stuck on the motorway not far from here!  Anyhoo, so off we toodle home . . . we get about half way and you would not believe it, but lights start flashing on the dashboard and we break down on the motorway, aarrhhhh!!!
Cue, more waiting, for the RAC breakdown again. It's mad, we never call the breakdown people ever, and we've had to call them twice in one day, I'm jinxed!!  After waiting an hour they turn up just as it starts to snow. So to be safe they tow us all the way back home.  Said car is now in the garage and is not yet fixed.

I feel like nothing is going right in my life right now, in fact all of 2010 has been really tough. Earlier in the year the company I work for announced it was closing my office(!) and the area I work in was no longer being invested in(!!). So right from February, this year has been pretty pants and since then it's been one thing after another . . . I won't bore you with all the details as it's depressing, but on top of this we have started our first IVF cycle after TTC for 2.5 years, ideal timing. 
As we're back home I thought I should go into the office yesterday (the first time in just under a week), but I think it was too soon after all the stress lately, I found it all a bit difficult really to just revert back to normal and get back to all the work as if nothing has happened or is still happening. By the time I got home I just felt so fed up that I just broke down, I'm not really sure why (progesterone? 2ww? going mad?) . . . I guess I'm just desperate for 2010 to not be a complete wash-out and I could really do with just a little bit of good news or a sign of things going my way. 

Remedy - hugs from OH <3  <3 <3  and yummy hot chocolate with biscuits.
Once I sorted myself out we nipped out in the cold to Tesco as I had the munchies and thought this would make me feel better, check out my shopping bill :-)  I didn't eat any of it, but it's all in the house now in case I need a pick me up! Mmmmm yum!

This 2ww stuff is rubbish, this morning I'm technically 7dp5dt, I think the trigger shot will be out of my system by now so I think I could pee-on-a-stick (POAS) now and put myself out of my misery but I'm just to scared of the negative result.  I still don't feel 100% but I'm convinced this is the Crinone/progesterone side effects as I had these symptoms before ET too, they are just less so than before. How do you handle IVF not working?  I think I will just fall into a heap, and then maybe get drunk :-(

This past week I think I have become a pro at the waiting game -
  • waiting for my dad to get better
  • waiting for my dad to be discharged from hospital
  • waiting for the snow to melt
  • waiting for my toes to warm up
  • waiting for the RAC breakdown to get our keys out of the car boot
  • waiting for the RAC breakdown to rescue us from the motorway
  • waiting for the car to be fixed by garage
  • waiting for the shed load of snow to arrive so I can get snowed in and stay at home with my duvet and hide from everyone
  • and more importantly, waiting for the 2ww to be over and for someone to give me break