So close!

What a Christmas it has been! We were very lucky to have a fairly normal Christmas even though my brother was on a deadline to get back to Wales before it closed!

I feel very blessed to have such an amazing family and friends who have been checking in with me to make sure I am not too lonely, it makes me realise despite not yet having children of my own I am still surrounded by people who love me.

Since I last wrote I have also had my offending tooth removed and my mouth is finally pain free… just in time for the Christmas turkey!

And of course the dreaded blood test.. something I have come to dread! I phoned today for the test result and… 2.8! Part of me wants to jump with joy and part of me wants to scream! So close to that 2.5 but still soooooo far! The clinic is closed for the Christmas break so I need to wait to speak to them next week but with treatment in touching distance, could 2021 be my year? Of course there is also the question of the covid vaccine? Not tested on pregnant women and not being anywhere on the list… should I wait for the vaccine???

It’s safe to say nothing is simple at the moment!

Happy Christmas (or any other holiday you celebrate) and Happy New Year!

Ciao for now.

Not my best day

Having not received my blood results by Friday I knew treatment this month was out. Gutting but just meant back to the original plan of December. Then, I got my test result.

Amazing how one small number can be so devastating. I need my TSH level to be 2.5, I have spent the last week picturing that number in my head. My phone call this morning told me that my TSH level is 5.8. That’s not even near 2.5.

6.3 to 5.8. I needed it to drop by 3.8, it dropped by 0.5. I booked a phone appointment for the GP this afternoon, put the phone down and cried. Then I went and bought the biggest chocolate Croissant the shop had. Then I came home and gave my cats a massive cuddle… they were ok with this to start with then decided it had gone on too long and really they just wanted to be outside!

Now, I have pulled myself together and I am trying to accept that December is unlikely to happen. In fact at this point I have decided not to set a goal. I am just going to focus on my thyroid doing the job it is meant to do.

To say this year had been shit would be an understatement!!! My family needs a boost, we need something positive. I really thought I could give that to them. It’s weird how I almost feel like I’m letting people down!

Please don’t get me wrong! I am not sinking into a deep depression! I have been there and this is nothing like that! I promise! I am just sad. I know I have said it before but when you get to this age the whole “clock is ticking” thing starts to feel VERY real. And therefore every month that passes is another loss.

My family lost someone very special last week. Someone, quite frankly, inspirational. I think part of me thought that if I could just give them a glimmer of something it would help with the pain. Not that I have told the majority of them about this. But I considered it. For the first time in a year I seriously considered telling the whole family.

But not now. Now I will wait. The reason I started this blog was to get my emotions out. I am an extremely emotional person! I have been known to cry at adverts! Putting it down in words is a way of helping me work out my feelings and emotions. So, today, writing this, I know I am grieving. Mostly for my amazing cousin but also for the baby that won’t be. BUT! I know it is another hurdle that I will cross, it might take a few attempts (and to be fair I was rubbish at hurdles in school!) but I will do it. I have amazing family and friends (even ones who have no idea) who are incredible at reminding me how lucky I am to have what I have and who support me and will continue to support me.

So, maybe not December, maybe not even January but it will happen. I just have to keep going and keep going until I get my dream. Until then I have a classroom of little people to keep me on my toes and a fair amount of uni work to keep me busy. Speaking of which… lecture time!!!

Stay safe and Ciao for now!

x

Fingers Firmly Crossed! 🤞

What a strange old time we are living in these days. Let’s face it, another lockdown has been on the cards for a while now and it has come as no surprise to me that it has finally arrived. It might be selfish to say but my first reaction was to check my fertility clinic’s website and check things hadn’t stopped again! So far… ALL GOOD!

I wrote a month or so ago to say that my progesterone had come back and showed a really good result, the excitement from that dwindled quite quickly as I was having to wait and take 6 weeks of thyroxine in the hope that my TSH level would come down to a reasonable level. I’m not sure where my brain got muddled but I was thinking that test was on the 7th November. Possibly the consequence of writing my first essay in many years. I had resigned myself to the earliest possible time to start treatment being December due to the fact I would have to wait for the result then contact the clinic on my next period , so they could prep the sperm sample, then test for my ovulation surge. With my period being due this weekend it was just not going to happen.

UNTIL… this weekend I received a text reminder for my blood test on 2nd November! Not only that Mother Nature has decided to give me one of my longer cycles and so far no sign that my period is intending to show up!!! So this morning I went off to my blood test, a nice early morning appointment to make sure I was home for lectures. Kudos to the nurse! I may have mentioned this before but I am renowned for being incredibly difficult to bleed. I have even been asked by the blood transfusion service not to come back as even when they do get a vein it point blank refuses to give enough blood to make my donation worth while! So imagine my surprise when the nurse sat me down, put the tourniquet on and drew a vile of blood within the space of around 2 minutes! Maybe, at 7:30 am, my veins hadn’t had a chance to wake up properly and realise they were supposed to play up! Or maybe… just maybe… things might be going my way?

The bad news came when the nurse told me it would take 2 WEEKS for my blood results to come back. Now, I have to be honest, her comment didn’t sink in until I was back at the car, I think I was still in shock! But then I did a delayed double take! 2 weeks?!?! Surely not! I don’t remember it taking that long last time, nor do I remember any blood test taking that long when I was a midwife. After stressing about it, I turned to a couple of amazing friends who instantly calmed me down and have suggest I phone after 2 days! I’m hoping that the nurse was also feeling the affects of the early morning start!

So now I am sitting here with my calendar in front of me working out the possibility of starting treatment THIS MONTH! It pretty much now comes down to one number! I need that number to be 2.5 or less. Whilst my essay has provided a good distraction, now that it is finished I can’t help thinking this will be the focus of my attention for the next 48 hours! And then, of course, I will be at placement on Wednesday! I can’t phone for results until after 11am, so in reality it will most likely be 4:30pm before I can phone!

This is all partly like things are really falling into place and partly like when I was standing on the edge of the Kawarau Bridge in 2002, waiting to jump off, attached to a giant elastic band! The baby dreams have returned this weekend and, once again, I see Mums with pushchairs everywhere.

For now, I will be continuing to employ the Law of Attraction, and focus on positive thoughts and visualise the number 2.5! I know some people will think it’s a load of rubbish but if there is even the remotest chance of it working, I’m there! 2.5 people, 2.5!!!

Ciao for now and stay safe!

Long time!

Wow! I haven’t been on here in months. Mainly because I really haven’t had anything to share. Lockdown really scuppered everything! I’ve also been suffering really badly with migraines recently. I was asked if anything was stressing me out and I couldn’t think of anything. Then I spoke to one of the nurses at the clinic yesterday and she asked me how I had been coping with the big gap in everything moving forward and I realised that maybe I was a bit more stressed out than I realised!

Don’t get me wrong, I started my PGCE last week and I think this has worked for the best but you just can’t help hear that clock ticking very loudly in your subconscious.

My consultant had said to me, at the beginning of this year, that I was still in the “ok” age-range but 38 was where it started to get more and more tricky. Well, in just 40 days I will be turning 38. That’s just two years off the big 4 0! This is getting real!

The discussion with the nurse was regarding the dreaded Progesterone test. Am I having it redone or not… answer finally, yes I am! But due to the fact that my cycle is not exactly regular I now have to do daily ovulation tests to check for my surge then have a blood test 7 days after! It’s all very precise! I have also had to have a repeat thyroid function test because despite my level being “normal”, it wasn’t spot on enough for the fertility experts!!!

Going through all this and knowing how accurate things need to be, it makes me wonder how people get pregnant so often!!! Having been a midwife I thought I knew quite a lot… but then I did join the party after conception!

So now I just sit and wait for that line to appear on the stick to tell me I can book my blood test! Turns out those lines have become very important in my life!!

Now I am just praying we don’t end up in another lockdown!

Stay safe everyone!

Life goes on?

We are now in week six (I think!) of Lockdown and I don’t know about anyone else but I am struggling! I was not made to work from home, I was not made to sit inside all the time nor to have no contact with people. I don’t just mean talking or seeing people in the street but hugs … I need hugs! I am a hug-loving person and I miss hugs! I am getting some lovely hugs from my cats but somehow it’s just not the same.

I’ve talked before about how I envy people in relationships but this has taken that to a whole new level. I can literally not touch a single human being. I can’t cuddle my nieces or my friends’ kids, can’t give them a kiss and say how much I miss them. I am contact free! And it is driving me insane!

The majority of my day is spent on social media or the phone (obviously when I’m not working) but it’s not the same as sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea having a chat. That moment when you are sharing stories and you touch the other persons arm, or when you give someone a hug because they have just told you some amazing news… I miss that. We are humans we were made to show affection through physical contact. But now we are told NO!

It seems not everyone is taking this social distancing thing quite so seriously though. I have seen people meeting up on the streets, sharing car journeys and even going in to other people’s houses… I’d love to give these people the benefit of the doubt and say that had valid reasons… but I don’t believe it!

There have been rumours of Lockdown being relaxed early, I’m not sure where these came from but I am not convinced. Having seen how people behave now, do we really want to risk the actions people will take? What is the saying? “Give an inch and they’ll take a mile”. Sad, but true.

There has also been talk of non-urgent medical appointments being reinstated. So that has got the big question of, will fertility treatments resume? This really puts me in a quandary. Desperation to ‘get back to it’ versus ‘can I take the risk?’ Heart says one, head says the other. But for once I will stick with my head. I am not willing to take the risk. Plus, I am a key worker, I may not have physical contact with other people but I still go to work.. with children. I wouldn’t want to risk taking something with me to the clinic. So for now, I will carry on. Plus, I am starting uni in September, now is not the time to start treatment!

So is life going on? Well, of course it is. It is just a very bizarre life that involves me having a lot of one sided conversations with 2, 9 month old kittens, lots of online training, slimming world and drama meetings via Zoom and box sets. I am even practicing with the old makeup! Times really are desperate! And there is also a lot of time for rumenation!

This was supposed be a blog about becoming a single mum by choice but has become the ramblings of a crazy cat lady in Lockdown! Sorry!

Stay safe everyone!

Uncertainty!

Sorry it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written. Things have been a little up in the air! Since I last wrote I went to the clinic and signed all the legal paperwork that is needed to ensure that I am the sole responsible parent for my future child as well as information release forms and agreements for sperm storage. It was a lot of forms and signing but it is done! So that is it, all the formal stuff out the way! Things are really moving forward… except I have been told by the nurse that they want me to re-do my progesterone blood test and my thyroid function before moving forward. I knew about the thyroid but not about the progesterone.

This is where is gets tricky. I do not have a regular cycle, and I am definitely not your 28 day cycle kind of person. So a 21 day progesterone test does not apply to me. So instead I need to have mine 7 days after I ovulate which means I need to track my ovulation. Ok, so in theory that is fine, except you have to book a blood test at my GP about a month in advance. Fortunately my clinic will do the blood test, it just means more money… worth it though!

So I went home from the appointment, ready to track my cycle and get the blood test asap. And then… hospital again! Yep, another trip to A&E in excruciating pain. This time I got an urgent appointment for the next morning. Scan done and nothing found. I was told I needed to go back to my GP to be referred to another department (not quite sure why my GP has to do it!).

My decision now is that now that I have a house to move to (oh yes, I have a house!) and as much as I want to move forward, my sensible option is to try and find out what is going on before I do anything. I feel at the moment like I take one step forward and two steps back.

Of course this probably all seems pretty trivial considering what is going on in the world right now. But everything is relative. And in my world this is still such a major thing. My brain swings from worrying about Covid-19 to worrying about how old I will be when I have my baby… or if it even happens. I hear other people talking about the issues raised with having children and all the uncertainty around working and how lucky I am because I don’t have that problem. I WANT THAT PROBLEM! I want to be coming home, thinking about whether I need to take my child to work, or if my child’s nursery/school will be open for me because I’m a key worker. I do not see myself as lucky. My heart breaks more every day that my health issues and this world health crisis goes on.

My clinic has emailed to say they will still be going ahead as normal but please don’t come in if you are at risk or showing symptoms. Right now I am technically neither but I have other issues in the way.

There is so much uncertainty for everyone right now. I work in a school and at the moment I am still going in. But for how long, I do not know. No one does. Will I need to go in everyday or will I need to work from home? Will my move go ahead in 2 weeks or will something happen to change that? Because really, should I be staying with my Mum who immunocompromised? How long will this health scare go on for? When will people stop panic buying? Surely you have everything you need by now!

What I do know is that there will be an end to this Covid-19 crisis and life will eventually go back to normal… but what is normal for me now? And will it be normal as a mummy or normal as a wannabemummy?

Grieving

For most women, hitting that time of the month is just an inconvenience that doesn’t really mean much. Don’t get me wrong, we all know what we have them for but you don’t really think about what it means. I’m talking about the fact that with every period, that is one more potential child slipping away.

When a girl is born she will have approximately 2 million eggs in her ovaries… great right? Wrong, around 11 thousand eggs die every month leading up to puberty so by the time you reach your teenage years you have around 300-400 thousand eggs. Still not too shabby… EXCEPT, approximately a thousand eggs die each month. And when you run out, well you run out. Not all women are the same some women have fewer eggs but we don’t have little counters on our pelvis telling us how many we have left.

The average age of the menopause is 51, around 5% of women will experience menopause between 40 and 45 and 1% before 40. Not a lot, except that is still 1 in 100 women. Suddenly doesn’t sound quite so great.

My point is, that whole ticking biological clock is a real thing. And with every period you are essentially losing a child. This might sound dramatic but for some of us it just feels real. So with every period, we grieve. We grieve the loss of a child we will never have. And you ruminate, you spend a good amount of time during that period getting upset and stressing over what is happening to those tiny little eggs inside your body.

It’s hard to understand this unless you have been here. And although I thought I was alone I have recently found out I am not. This is a genuine grief that women feel but we don’t talk about it. The average age for women to have their first baby is 28, well, I’m 9 years beyond that… that is approximately 108,000 eggs. Approximately 108 periods. That’s a lot of babies I have missed out on.

And this is why I am on this journey. My clock is ticking, my eggs are dying, their quality is degrading and my uterus isn’t getting any younger either. So I am here, having bloods taken, spending my spare time looking through sperm bank catalogues and imagining what my future child would look like… if this works. Please, please let this work!

Nerves

This week I had my first lot of blood tests. Nothing majorly stressful… or so I thought! I woke up on Thursday feeling, well, not quite right. Then I remembered I was having my blood test. I have no problems with having bloods done, after all I used to take blood from people all the time! But I had this weird feeling of, “what if I fail these tests?” I know you can’t fail a blood test but these are checking my fertility… what if I have a fertility problem that I never knew about, what if I’ve left it too late and my age is going to make this a problem.

Nerves have set in! Not nerves about WHAT I am doing but nerves about whether my body CAN do it! I’m taking all the advice, I’m taking conception vitamins, I’m taking myo inositol, I’m starting Slimming World this week, I’ve even massively cut down on my caffeine intake (probably the hardest one!)… but will it all be enough?

I went for my blood test, it took 20 minutes… I’m not easy to bleed! Great, all sorted. Until a few hours later, sat in traffic on the way home from work, when I suddenly thought, “did she take the right bloods?” I kept telling myself I was paranoid! But I had to phone the surgery to check… and it turns out I was justified! She had taken the LH and FSH not the progesterone! Now I’m panicking! But it’s all sorted and they won’t need me to come in again… apparently!

Nothing like a bit of added stress!!!