Another delay!!!!

I was so hoping that I would be starting my IVF treatment this weekend but it was just not to be… again! I have to be honest this has been frustrating. I am really trying to take things as they come but I just feel like there is always something! Thyroid sorted, injections sat ready to go but sperm donor not approved in time to be shipped from Denmark to get to the clinic. It needed to arrive by Thursday and it is now arriving on Tuesday. I understand the clinic needs the samples to be there ready to go but I just wanted to start!

I now have to wait another month and then it’s over a week of the injections before egg collection, following egg collection the embryologists will put the eggs and the sperm in a petri dish and hope they do what they need to do. I spoke to the clinic and it turns out before I undergo IVF I need to do some online learning! It’s essentially videos that talk about the process. The idea is, that after the final trigger injection, they collect around 10-15 eggs, after looking at the eggs to see which are the right size, then trying to fertilise and then seeing which ones are viable I will possibly be left with 2 or 3 that could be put back.

This is such an emotional roller coaster, but the continuing support is incredible. It will be completely worth it in the end, I know it will! I just have to stay strong! I’ve got this!!!!!

Stay safe and ciao for now!

All systems go again!

Turns out emotions got the better of me after attempt number 3. Once again it was a failed attempt and although I felt ok about it, I think deep down it hit me much harder than I realised and I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. That was 2 months ago now and since then I have had a further appointment at the clinic and I am now going for IVF. It was never really a question of whether I would try IVF or not as I am still so desperate to have this baby. But, there are days when it is hard to be positive.

One thing that really helped me was meeting up with a group of other single mums who had been through the same thing. They all had gorgeous little ones and some had been through a similar journey to me but had finally got their bundles of joy… some of which were now school age! It was amazing and their support was invaluable. It definitely renewed my excitement and positivity.

I also made another decision this week and that was to tell the rest of my family and no longer keep it a secret. I realise that I need as much support as I can get and having such a wonderful family I needed them more than ever. I have been wanting to tell them for a while but I think the negative pregnancy tests after IUI stopped me. With hindsight I wish I had told them at the start! But hindsight it a wonderful thing! And so far, those family members I have told have been amazing and I can’t wait to share the rest of my journey with them. I am so lucky to have such a close amazing family.

So it’s time for IVF! It has been delayed slightly due to an increase in those pesky thyroid levels again, but today was the green light as they are at a good level thanks to a bit of re-jigging of medication. I have also picked donor number 2 and I am waiting for the order to arrive at the clinic. It was a lot harder this time as there appears to be an international shortage of donors due to the pandemic. As if it hasn’t caused enough problems over the last 18 months! I originally found a donor in the USA but having looked into the clinics over there, it appears they are not very strict on the limit of donor siblings so I decided to stick to Europe… I can’t stand the thought of having some weird donor sibling disaster in the future!

My last appointment was quite overwhelming. I knew about the injections I would have to give myself but I didn’t realise there was three different types! Thankfully they are prepared for us being completely overwhelmed and have an A4 sheet with the routine! I can see a lot of alarms and reminders being set in my not too distant future!

It’s funny, as someone who gives people injections on a regular basis, I am a little nervous about doing it to myself! I don’t really know why. I am also nervous about the side effects of the injections. The first one essentially puts your body through the menopause, so these are the symptoms you get. Well, if my mood swings are anything like I get every now and again with my periods, I can imagine I won’t see people until it’s over! Although the nurse said I’m more likely to cry than shout! If all goes to plan, I will be starting the injections at the end of the month. I will let you know as soon I as I have more info!

Thank you for continuing to be supportive, it feels amazing that I can now put my name to my blog!

Ciao for now and please stay safe!

x

Here we go again.

So, here I am for a third time, dat in my car waiting to go into the clinic. Since I last wrote I had another round of IUI followed by another negative test. I have had a roller coaster of emotions lately. With the first negative test being very closely followed by the disappearance of my cat who then appeared again not long after the second IUI, dehydrated and very hungry. I then had a second negative pregnancy test.

I wasn’t sure at this point whether I should give up on IUI and go for IVF but after a good chat with one of the nurses at the clinic I have decided on a third IUI before a rethink.

I then had the amazing news that my cousin was pregnant! I am so incredibly happy for her but coming just a few days after a negative test I also felt a bit emotional. It’s such a strange set of emotions. I have never been in a situation where something can make me so happy and so sad at the same time. But my happiness for her has outweighed my self-pity and I am looking forward to a new member of the family!!!

Whilst waiting for my next IUI my other cat obviously felt she wasn’t getting nearly enough attention and started bleeding everywhere! She has a problem with her blood not clotting properly and although she is on medication three times a day, for some reason she started having bleeds again. So two nights in the veterinary hospital for her and more worry for me!

I am happy to say she is home now and the bleeding has stopped . We are just waiting on test results to see if there is another reason other than her illness.

And that leads me to today. Sat in the car in very windy and rainy weather waiting to see if third time is a charm. It means a day off placement but sometimes you just have to prioritise and I know which is more important! I am just hoping my cervix is cooperative today! Last time was more painful than the first as my cervix didn’t want to let the catheter in! Not helpful!

Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me!

Stay safe and ciao for now. Xxx

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!

Lockdown 😫

So I have completed 11 days in my new house in Lockdown. I am losing the plot! And I have been out to work twice in that time and done shopping for me and my Mum!! I am having one sided conversations with the kittens… pretty normal for a lot of pet owners… except I’m looking at them as if they are going to respond!!!

I have no internet in my house thanks to the previous tenant leaving his account open and unpaid… pretty much the same situation with the electricity company. An electricity company who want me to pay £95 a month… nope! So I have asked them to sort this out so I can change to a company who agree I won’t be using that much electricity!!! Oh and my 4G is pants!

I currently have no pots and pans, toaster, kettle or microwave meaning I am living on cereal and sandwiches. I have had to borrow a plate and cutlery as I don’t have these either! I am not sure where mine have all gone.. I can only assume they went to the charity shop during the clear out and Grampa’s!!! Fingers crossed my new saucepans are arriving today. 🤞

I have no bin in the kitchen either which means I have had a bin bag hanging from the cupboard… much to the joy of my kitten!

I want to go out into the garden to make it look less like a jungle but have no gardening equipment… must talk to the landlord about that!

I have so much stuff I want to chuck out but the tips aren’t open!

And despite all this I can see potential in this house! A coat of paint or 5 to get rid of the sparkly paint, pictures on the walls… a carpet cleaner… it will be a home!!!

I am trying to stay positive… I am trying not to think about the fact it is only April and we have no idea how long this could go on for. I am embracing the fact I can still go to school every now and again and see the kids and my colleagues, friends!

I am trying not to see every month that goes but one less chance of being a Mum. I know his is giving me the opportunity to do my PGCE before I become a Mum but it’s hard to get to 37 and not see every monthly cycle as another potential child gone. I know a lot of people won’t be able to understand this. But I also know a lot of women out there will. Not just single women like me but any woman who is trying for a baby. The moment you realise your period started, it Aunt Flow is visiting as my friend says, it breaks your heart just a little bit more.

I keep seeing adverts for foster parents and I am tempted… but I need to make this house suitable and by the time that happens I will probably be at uni! I cannot describe this need to be a parent. That is the other problem, I don’t know if I could let go. The children who go into foster care need so much time and support. I believe I can give that but I also don’t know if I could let them go again!

So many things going around in my head right now. So many up and down moments. And very few distractions.

So this is my lockdown so far.

Stay safe everyone, stay at home, wash your hands and remember it will end!

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!