It’s my 1 year blogging anniversary! Blogiversary? Blogaversary? Blogging… Thing!
Apparently I signed up for WordPress 1 year ago. Which is nuts. A whole year I’ve been sending my random thoughts out into the ether! I was totally not sure about doing it beforehand… I always felt like I had something to say (but thought nobody would be interested in my random ramblings). I signed up one day on the spur of the moment because I wanted to record the IVF experience. I felt like I’d had years of never being able to talk about infertility, or only being able to mention it in passing… Not to mention my gradual thinking that I wanted to explore my thoughts on adoption (having been adopted as a baby) more, especially in the context of infertility. And plus, sometimes I just want to write stuff…
Anyway, it’s probably not an exaggeration to say that WP has been a lifesaver. At first, when I read others’ blogs, it just told me interesting stuff around what to expect for IVF. As I started following more people, it became a support group when I was going through IVF cycle 1. When I got my first ever positive pregnancy test, there you were, cheering me on. (Yes, that line is definitely a line!) And when there was no heartbeat, you supported me. When I was heartbroken going through miscarriage, you understood. When I picked myself up and carried on, and focused on the good stuff, you were there. And when my due date rolled round and I was hit by an unexpected wave of grief, you were right beside me across the miles in cyberspace.
You’re all awesome. Some of you whose journey I’ve followed now have moved on to the next stage of your lives, to parenthood through IVF, pregnancy, surrogacy and adoption. I’m elated for you! Some of you are still on the journey, still hoping like we are that one day it will happen. I salute you! We are doing pretty bloody well if I do say so myself. And I remind myself that we’re far richer people than the language of infertility suggests… I know I’ve had fun this past year even amongst the heartbreak of losing our first baby. I’ve also moved on a lot in thinking and processing my thoughts around my own adoption. I’ve had time to reflect on the good stuff as well as the tough times.
Over the past year, our relationship has continued to be happy and fun and supportive, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I decided to go to the party where I met T. My Dog is literally the best dog ever in the world and I think most people aren’t as lucky (I only have to look at his little face and I am overcome with love) so you know, really life could be worse. And I’m working my notice on a rather tiresome job and about to start a new one in a couple of months, which is a great feeling and streets apart from where I was this time last year. I’m not exhausted by work, I’m shortly about to have a pay increase and the homelife is looking up as we might finally be getting our first home (if all goes through with the mortgage) so we are in a good place and I’m thankful for that. Even if we never have a child I feel like we are in a good position to be happy in our lives. And we haven’t given up yet on the idea of being parents.
And here we are again: Cycle 2! A year on, a year older, a bit wiser, probably a good deal more
jaded realistic about success rates, what to expect, and so on.
What has it taught me?
I know how many hurdles there are to cross. In the first cycle, everything seemed new and exciting. I just kept my focus on the current stage and didn’t have expectations about the next. We were keeping our hopes dampened and yet we were still optimistic about it because we’d never done it before, and something so medicalised seemed like it was a positive thing to do – I mean, how could you go through all those injections and procedures and it not result in a baby?
Until it didn’t. And the fibroid… And the operations and the aftermath of the miscarriage and the picking ourselves up and carrying on, because that’s what you do. The unacknowledged grief that is not really very easy to talk about so we just focus on the next positive thing. The operation (ugh) and the trip to Disney (yay) and nice stuff and just Getting On With Life. That was tough, but we got through it. At times, sometimes I felt like I couldn’t possibly do it again.
And somehow we are. Cycle 2. Now for the boring stuff…
Summary: Day 21
Scan: I had a scan this am and they said my womb lining was 4.5mm. I had a really heavy period last week so the nurse said this was to be expected. Both ovaries were accessible. I had 6 + 3 follicles which seems pretty poor but hey ho, I’m old. They also saw a small (0.8cm) “something” in the same area where the fibroid was. This could either be the fibroid or a regrowth or scar tissue from the operation or a polyp. Who knows. The doctor gave me a choice: I could wait and have another hysteroscopy (average waiting time on NHS 5-6 months) or he advised to go ahead with treatment, because I had a pregnancy last time (prior to the op) and it was small enough that they didn’t think it was significant, and also because trying to remove more could do more damage than good. NB My last op was private, but that medical insurance (BUPA) was resistant to approving it last time and I’ll also be ineligible once I leave the company I’m at, in a few weeks. So realistically it probably isn’t worth delaying longer given that I’ve already had 2 hysteroscopies within a short time frame, of which at least one was specifically supposed to treat the fibroid. (Agh.)
Down regulation: I’ve done 17 days of down regulation with 0.5 Buserelin. As of tomorrow, I’m to switch to 0.25 Buserelin.
Stimulation: I start this evening on Menopur. (Edited to add: I start on 250 dosage.) Last time I had Gonal F, which was super easy as it was in a pen. This time I have to mix powder and solvent together – eek. The Gonal F pen was a piece of cake and this one looks a bit trickier. I get a bit antsy about air bubbles. I have to pick a time, any time after 19:00 so I’ll probably go for 22:00 as I’m usually home by then. 19:00 I’m quite often still at the office and I don’t want to stress about carrying around powder and mixing it in the office toilets!
Next steps: They already decided that my next scan won’t be until next Wednesday. It would usually be Monday (6 days away) and instead it’s Wednesday because based on my reaction to stims last time, they think I’ll need a bit longer. T has to come to this one as we need to sign the consent forms before egg collection. They can’t tell us when egg collection will be – based on my reaction last time (to Gonal F not Menopur) it will be tail end of next week.
Immune stuff: (Edited to add, as I forgot to mention this… Treatment from Dr S.) I’ve still been taking Pregnacare and Vitamin D and baby aspirin and Omega 3. (The fishy burps are gross but hardly ever happen… I try and swallow the capsules with a lot of water!) Once I have the stims started, I have to book in to get the IV infusion of intralipids. It’s meant to be 2-4 days before egg collection so I probably need to call up and book in tomorrow. Also I am supposed to start heparin injections too (must check when… I think at same time as egg collection) and prednisolone. Will update on that once I’ve got a handle on it – I know it didn’t start until at least stims!
* * *
So that’s where we are at. For some reason it seems far less eventful than last time, possibly because I’m working my notice rather than working out of town with a mean client who was resistant to me taking any time off for medical appointments. (I hope karma comes back and bites him on the ass!) At least working my notice is quite quiet, because they’re sort of happy with me doing anything (as they expect people to be doing not very much) and I can’t work on client work as I’m leaving. So that’s alright!
Meanwhile we are getting the house packed up, slowly. We haven’t had our house buying confirmed yet as such, as the British system is super slow. But it’s progressing slowly. So we are getting rid of some of the big stuff as we won’t be able to fit it in the new place which is smaller. At the moment we have a giant comedy television that T bought in a fit of “We have a big apartment so why not?” (I’ll tell you why not… It’s a monster.) Anyway that television has been bought by someone equally as crazy, so we’ll now have to go back to squinting at a “tiny” (normal sized) tv. I have promised T that when we have the new apartment he can buy a giant-giant tv, like 70 inches or something. He’s crazy. (I like crazy.)
Also my beloved industrial cake oven has been sold. It means at least T gets back what he spent on it, which is great. It wouldn’t fit in the new place, so I am happy it’s been sold as it’s worth quite a lot. He bought it for me for Christmas the year before last because I always complained that the oven in our (rented) apartment wasn’t any good for cooking cakes. (He is the best!) Hopefully the oven in the new place will be good. I’m still trying to decide whether to sell my hanging chair, which I don’t actually use any more. I used to use it as a reading nook in our last (even bigger) apartment until Dog decided that it’s actually a hanging dog bed! I feel bad that he might be unsettled by the move so I’m trying to persuade T to keep the hanging chair for the time being! Although I think Dog prefers the apartment we have now, as he has free run of it, whereas he couldn’t get everywhere in the older bigger apartment. We shall see! It will be his forever-ish home so I hope he likes it! T has done the majority of the sorting out because I am terrible at doing admin stuff. I have sorted through some books though.
So there we are – up to date. I’m feeling a lot better after my period stopped – it was really horrific during down regulation, and I don’t know if that’s a thing. I actually feel quite normal now so I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I’m on day 17 of IVF and last time, the whole thing lasted 90+ days, so that gives me a sense of how far we have to go. (A successful pregnancy would be longer.) We are just at the start of this journey, and our other (home, work) journeys too!
Wishing everyone else on this journey lots of luck! We can do it!
It’s rolled around again… I’ve been waiting so long it seems to be a slight anti-climax. I’ve started IVF cycle 2. (For the story of cycle 1, which resulted in pregnancy and then miscarriage, you can click on IVF experience at the top of the site.)
The reasons for the delay are a few… Firstly, I had to have surgery to remove a fibroid that was found during the miscarriage. Actually, I think it was highlighted earlier, but at any rate they decided it should be removed. Due to both the NHS (lovely NHS, but overrun with more urgent cases so loooong wait) and my medical insurance company (BUPA, who are possibly slightly less lovely as they refused to fund it if they thought it was related to infertility but it was eventually approved it due to my problems with heavy periods), the operation eventually took place in December 2015.
I think I first got called to schedule IVF in November time, and I asked the chap on the phone whether I should go on the waiting list or wait until after the op and he said to wait until after the op. Which put me back a few months. Really I should have just gone with it as that would have probably meant starting IVF in December last year (op was early December) but I guess being able to drink / eat soft cheese over Christmas isn’t a bad thing. As it turns out – it seems like the fibroid is still there, which means either the (private) doc did a bad job or it’s a super fast grower (unlikely it would grow back in exactly the same place within a matter of weeks). Not much I can do about it now – it’s quite small – 0.5 cm or something – so all I can do is hope.
We also sought second and third opinions. One from a private IVF clinic that does mild IVF, which we were quite open to, but even they recommended we take the free cycles (sounds like somewhere you give away old furniture) and then come back if it doesn’t work. In our area, we get three free cycles on the NHS, which is great. Although apparently the magic number is 4, as in most women with infertility which is treatable by IVF get pregnant within four cycles (sorry I don’t have the citation… I remember random facts but not names and dates). Good to know.
The third opinion was from Dr S who specialises in reproductive immunology. I know – lots of people think it’s bunkum. I’m undecided, but think it’s worth a shot. My history is not “just” one IVF miscarriage. It’s a forever (10+) inability to get pregnant, both in a previous long term relationship, a few shorter relationships (so judge me) and my current long term relationship with T. Yeah, I’d be the proverbial oopsie pregnancy person if my equipment actually worked. Anyway, with Dr S I’m following the borderline protocol which means that I have a few extra meds to take alongside my cycle. This is because I have a slightly outside normal Natural Killer pregnancy response (although I have a normal NK level).
IVF Cycle 2: Days 1-3
NHS protocol: Down regulation with Buserelin, 0.5ml
Dr S Supplements: Omega 3 (Urk), baby aspirin, Vitamin D, Pregnacare – detailed in a previous post
NHS protocol: My baseline scan is 12 April after which I may start stimming – my stim med this time is Menopur – last time it was Gonal F and I was a slow responder and did an extra almost week of stimming (stimulation – for eggs)
Dr S protocol: For the borderline protocol I am recommended to start heparin injections during day 4-6 of stims and have a one off intralipid infusion around the same time, and then prednisolone 2-3 days before transfer
So far I’m feeling fine although the injections hurt more than I remember! I do remember they hurt differently at different times during the cycle. I seem to be at peak hurty time if the first three are anything to go by!
I decided to do my hour (you can pick the time to do injections within an hour) between 06:30 and 07:30, which seems reasonable. Although I keep waking up earlier which is annoying.
I’m slightly up on weight this month but I think that is due to staycation and Easter. (Boo!) I’m hoping it will go down a bit so I can get back to February weight as I was doing much better then!
My boobs hurt a bit too but I can never quite tell if that’s my normal cycle or the drugs. It seems a bit odd that it would happen so quickly.
I haven’t stopped drinking coffee yet (one Nespresso in the morning) or soft cheese. I intend to eat a massive load of Pie d’Angloys this week and give it up by the stims phase! In theory the Nespresso should be fine but I’m not taking any chances. I might go decaf and see if it gives a placebo effect as it helps me wake up in the morning!
So it turns out I’m one of those “slow responders”, which in work parlance means that I’m not meeting the SLAs (service level agreements) which are expected of me.
Unfortunately for me, on top of generally not being very fertile (understatement of the year… no sniff of being pregnant for the almost 20 years I’ve been an adult), my ovaries are slow responders.
It makes it sound like they should be in remedial school or something. If only it were that simple. Following on from last week’s increased dosage (Gonal F 225 increased to 300, since you ask), they’ve gone and done a bit of a begrudging expansion, but not much.
I still don’t have any follicles at the magic 18. I have one at 17, and one at 16, and a few that are smaller. The doctors say I am a “special case” which is a bit embarrassing, but not a huge change to normal. (I got good grades at school but was apparently subversively naughty, as in I didn’t try very hard. Oh how I wish this translated to adulthood! Now I try hard but don’t get anywhere!)
T is supportive and he’s been very good about me being an elephant and not wanting to get jiggy and generally being an old bloated misery guts. The hayfever over the weekend didn’t help either as Dr Fit said I shouldn’t take the drugs so be been suffering in not-silence (sneezing and snotting mainly – attractive as I’m sure you can imagine).
So what next? I have an extra prescription of Gonal F to tide me over. Another scan in a couple of days where they’ll tell me if they’ve grown any more. The nurse may call this pm to increase my dose.
The worst thing is that work is horrific. I haven’t told them, because they are super sexist and they wouldn’t approve at all. I work super long hours (on current project it’s usually around 06:30-22:00 at least, plus being expected to be around at weekends) so it’s not like they’re being hard done by when I take the odd hour out to go to the doc. I don’t even take a lunch break half the time.
But the project I’m running is meant to be outside of London (I’ve been getting up before 4 to get there, to ensure they don’t miss out). And they’ve kicked up a stink about me not being there this week – I made up an excuse. Now it looks like I’m going to have to be in town again next week and they’ll probably cause merry hell about it. It just depresses me as I work so hard and get constant grief over it.
Anyway – rant over. I’ll just have to suck it up. And pray to an omnipotent being that this works! If it doesn’t (and I so hope that isn’t our story) then the next time I think I’ll take a leave of absence from work. I think I deserve a bit of a rest!
So this morning was supposed to be my final scan before egg collection (man, I’m looking forward to some sedation after this week/month of work!) but true to form my body hasn’t been cooperating.
The first sign of anything to be concerned about was when the nice doctor (not Dr Fit, phew – let’s call him Dr Nice) had a good ol’ dig around and called in another doctor for a second opinion. The other doc was also nice (they’re all nice) and reassured me that sometimes the follicles don’t grow as much as they expect. Typical.
So where we’re at is that my follicles haven’t really made much progress since Wednesday. Those tiny mice (see yesterday’s post) are not doing their job, or in other words the Gonal F is not really stimulating my ovaries enough to get the eggs ripening properly. I had a few on my left and even fewer on my right, and the largest follicle was 13. Given that Dr Fit said on Wednesday that they were hoping to get a minimum of 3 x 18, that means I’m some way off.
On the plus side (okay it’s not really a plus side but I’ll take what I can get) Dr Nice informed me when I asked about bloating (I am soooo fat lately) that this was entirely expected and a good thing. This means that my ovaries are getting their freak on (or not) and they’re trying to grow the follicles which hold the eggs which should eventually get harvested sometime next week.
So for me that means more Gonal F (tiny mice punches, named after the bruising the injections leave me with on my stomach) and potentially an egg collection on Wednesday or Thursday. Half of me thinks that they’re just placating me and maybe they won’t grow at all and we’ll just have to can it. But I don’t know. I just have to hope that they’ll grow.
Grow, little eggs, grow!
It’s an injection, but not as we know it!
It’s Day 20 in this whole shebang and yesterday I had my baseline scan. This was step 2 after down regulation which is the first set of injections you take.
The idea is that you trick your lazy (in my case) body into prepping for pregnancy. So the first step, where I was injecting the Buserelin, is called down regulation and it is about regulating your cycle and making the lining of your uterus thin, before you do anything else. I’ve explained elsewhere (posts under IVF experience) that the Buserelin made me feel kind of icky. The good news is that when I told the nurse that it felt like I had PMT, she said “That’s exactly how you should be feeling!” – so that’s reassuring.
T kindly came with me to the doc’s (optional as he has no input at this stage, not until they do the egg collection) and sat with me in the waiting room. It was a TV scan, which for the more delicate minded of you means that they are basically shoving a probe up your foof and doing an ultrasound to check on the whereabouts of your insides. It was hugely comical to us, which I think the doctor found amusing. I mean, it’s hard to be all serious when someone’s wanging a lightsaber around inside your front bottom and displaying the results on screen. It’s like a kind of grainy black and white comedy. At one point they sought advice from a senior doc as I had something that looked like a big old fibroid. He said it was fine to go ahead as it wasn’t protruding into the uterus. Actually I had an op a while back and they had also identified a suspect fibroid and when they opened me up there wasn’t one, so who knows. Maybe it’s an alien.
Anyway, the good news is that the lining of my womb is how it’s meant to be. I’ve no idea how it’s meant to be, but there you go. They also did a bit of digging around to find my ovaries – my right one was hiding so needed to be pressed down on, which sent me into fits of giggles. I must be ticklish in my ovaries. The doc counted up the follicles, which may or may not have eggs in them. They have no way of knowing. I think they seemed to be suggesting I had 6 on each side, but who knows… It’s all very mysterious and I’d prefer not to know any more than I have to, as I don’t want to be consulting Dr Google and getting all het up about it.
It strikes me as sort of plucky that any potential baby has to go through so many steps to come into being. It’s similar to how it is biologically without intervention, but at each point there are astronomically fewer chances for everything to happen, for the planets to align, for life to be magicked into being…
1) You both need to want to do it. Much harder for IVF – can’t just have a drunken fumble. Bloke has to agree to some fairly embarrassing stuff like jerking off into a container. (I feel worse for him than for me as I’m not bothered by examinations or injections and am positively looking forward to the idea of sedation, haha.)
2) You have to respond to down regulation – your womb lining needs to thin out. I’ve still been having random bleeding following my last apocalyptic period but apparently it’s nothing to worry about.
3) Your follicles need to have some eggs in and they need to react nicely to the stimulation drugs. When they scan you, they have no way of telling whether your ovarian follicles have eggs in or not. They might just be showing off.
4) Egg collection needs to be timed right and a decent number of eggs harvested. That’s your chance! My probably harvesting falls within what is the busiest week all year at work. Not sure how I am going to manage that. Bridges, crossings…
5) Eggs need to be the right maturity. They swish ’em about in some magic stuff and try and make them hatch, basically. I mean there are no chickens involved but you want some nice looking eggs and not some miserable shrivelled up ones, or ones which decide to go and cark it because let’s face it, my body is generally very lazy and why would my eggs be any different.
6) T’s spunk needs to get its wriggle on. Swirled around with my eggs like some kind of fertility cocktail, his swimmers need to do their thing and race to the egg. Made slightly easier by the fact that an embryologist is cheerleading them on. We’re not having ICSI which is one step further (sperm can just lie back and wait to be injected into the egg, no effort required) so these guys need to try and fertilise.
7) Fertilised eggs need to get to the right level of embryo-ness to be implanted. Sometimes they just say, hey, we really can’t be bothered.
8) Mini embryos need to survive implantation and grab a hold inside me and hang on for dear life.
Jeez. When you look at it that way, it would be a miracle if we ever managed to have a baby.
So that’s what we’re doing. I have a brand new extra injection to take. Buserelin in the morning still, at a lower dose – apparently this will perk me up and (I estimate using my rudimentary maths techniques) halve my PMT symptoms. Then in the evening I have this fancy schmancy injection pen. It’s all rather cool – you turn a dial to your dosage, whap in a needle and it injects the right dose. Bit easier than faffing around with Buserelin bleary eyed in the morning. I only have to take the new one – Gonal F – in the evenings as well, which means I don’t have to worry about doing it before work.
I’m so used to injecting myself now that I wonder why I never tried… JK! Also: fun fact – I don’t seem to bruise much. Now and again I get a little belly bruise but I think the sheer quantity of flab is staving off the bruises. Hurrah!
The next steps are more scans next week to see if the Gonal F’s done what it was meant to do, and made my follicles all excitable. Here’s hoping to a bumper batch of eggs!
Well, the carpet’s more interesting than the one at home! 🙂
Happy shooting up everyone!
PS – Today is the day we find out whether we go ahead and start stimulation. T has really thoughtfully decided to take the morning off to come with me (although I don’t think I want him to be there when I have a probe up my foof!). So this is kinda exciting. I’ve heard you sometimes have to do another few weeks of down regulation so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
I think it’s Day 18 although I’m sort of losing track nowadays. I thought it was worth doing a quick update as somehow this has all become a bit routine to me. My alarm goes off at 06:00, or any time before then (usually somewhere between 03:45 and 06:00!) and I drag myself out of bed and somehow manage to sort out the injections whilst I’m half asleep.
I’ve become sort of used to doing it now. The main thing that I find annoying is the fact that no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to suck up the Buserelin into the syringe without making an air bubble. I’ve managed to make the air bubble smaller over time but it still never seems to do it without.
*cue music* in my head where I’m thinking of horror murder scenes where someone injects an air bubble into someone’s vein and it heads up towards their heart and kills them! (Yes, I can be a bit overdramatic at times. They told me at the hospital when teaching me how to inject that it was not a big deal to have a small air bubble… Nevertheless I still try and eradicate all air bubbles from my injections.)
I do that flicky finger thing where the air bubble travels up to the top and then I stick the syringe back in the bottle, squeeze it back out (so the air bubble goes back into the bottle) and suck up the Buserelin again. Sometimes I’m second time lucky; sometimes I’m third.
Then it’s switch over time and I take off the blue (larger) needle and stick on the yellow (mini) needle and grab a flab roll and jam that sucker in. Plunge it in over about 10 seconds – usually slightly less as I’m impatient.
And that’s it.
Although it’s not quite it. I guess it’s worth saying how this sucker has made me feel. I don’t know whether it’s just me and the amount I’ve been working (a lot) but I’ve felt super sluggish on this stuff. I mean it’s like having a period the whole time. Not quite as bad, but PMTish. I understand it’s meant to be about down regulation of your cycle but I just feel really meh the whole time. My period was horrific (see last post under IVF experience) but now I just feel sort of icky and also I’ve been bleeding a bit (not a lot) for a few days.
It’s not much fun. They said during the information session that it would possibly affect your libido (T perked up at this point until he realised it might be a negative effect!) and it definitely has mine. I feel sort of bloated (although possibly this is my comfort eating rather than the Buserelin) and I just don’t feel like getting jiggy with it when I keep having this intermittent bleeding. I hope this is going to stop!
I’m due in for my baseline scan tomorrow so we shall see what is happening – I hope whatever it is has worked, as I don’t fancy taking this stuff for much longer! I know once they start with the stimulation that I’ll have to keep taking that and some other injections so I’m not looking forward to that much! I can’t concentrate that much at that time of the morning!
I’m pretty much running on empty right now. I don’t have anything insightful to say that springs to mind after 3.5hrs sleep (although I’m thinking of interesting things to discuss, haha) because I’ve just been working ALL MY LIFE. #hyperbole
One of the things I was thinking is that I’m sure it was easier in the olden days. You know, those times where women weren’t expected to do anything but sit around and look pretty, go to dances, go steady with someone, get married, have a baby, look after husband and baby… I mean, it was a lot easier back then, wasn’t it? All that stuff about “relaxing” and getting pregnant… Well it would be nice actually to have time to relax – or sleep, eat, etc!
Anyway… I guess I’ve always been a career person. I can’t imagine doing nothing all day. But days like these when I’ve had hardly any sleep following an 18 hour day – I do feel tempted to be a 1950s housewife. I’m quite good at cooking. (Terrible at cleaning, but I’m sure I could learn if I had no job. Or get a cleaner!)
Thought for the day: How do you balance this treatment with work? Have you had time off work? I’m dreading having to try and juggle the two. So far it hasn’t happened, but next week I have my first scan after down regulation, so I won’t be able to travel away from home. Eek! I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Tell me your good news!
“Red. I might have known it would be red.”
Well it’s day 11 by my (fairly rudimentary) calculations and I thought I’d give a quick update on my IVF journey. I would have done this over the weekend but I’ve been in a mad cycle (so to speak) of working for about a million hours a day and not having any down time. I even worked over the weekend. It’s the year end process at my work and I’ve been working really hard on a very demanding client during the week, so I had to try and get all the year end admin stuff sorted in my supposed down time. It’s actually quite therapeutic to write nice things about people! And I found out from my stats that I wasn’t quite as bad as I thought I was, so that made me a feel a bit better.
But OH, THE PAIN! I started my period on Thursday and although I had been warned that it might be heavier or lighter or not happen… well, being someone with horrific abbatoir style periods, of course it had to be the heavy option. (Why couldn’t I have had the not happen option?) Stop me if this is TMI, but seriously OW. I usually have really awful periods anyway as I have had endometriosis and whatnot, but really this was a whole ‘nother level.
It wasn’t helped by the fact that I had to work a horrible day on Friday and was aiming to be in the office by 06:00. Well I was working away during the week and so I had to rush back on Thursday to attend a work function, and then didn’t get home until Thursday late, and then had the early morning plan, so it was inevitable that something unplanned was going to happen. And it did!
I guess it’s not entirely unexpected that when you’re working 18 hour days you might begin to forget things, and I managed to completely forget on Friday morning at 05:00 that I had to do my buserelin injection. It was my own stupid fault I guess as I have an alarm set on my phone and my Jawbone to tell me to inject myself at 06:00. I was in the office by the time my phone started flashing and telling me I had to inject myself… Doh!
Cue a long and expensive round trip in a taxi to head all the way home, rush into my flat (where T was still snoring away), inject myself, dig out my emergency money from my desk drawer, head back to the office… where I’d lost an hour. What a numpty.
So – what they say about tiredness is definitely true. I was pretty much running on empty last week.
“Everybody hurts sometimes…”
So I’m 5 days into injecting myself with Buserelin and I’m feeling sort of down in the dumps. I’m not sure whether this is because of the Buserelin, or because I’m due to have my period in a few days, or because I’m away from home working on a really tough project.
Maybe it’s all of the above.
I think it doesn’t help that I have periods from hell so I usually feel pretty nasty for, oh, maybe half a month. I don’t think I really mind injecting the Buserelin because at least it feels like I’m doing something active… that maybe something is actually going to happen. But also I don’t want to get my hopes up because I’ve done that in the past and it’s easier not to hope for anything, because then you won’t feel disappointed.
In terms of practicalities, it seems to be working okay. I had to think slightly about how much medication, how many syringes and needles to bring with me. I brought a new bottle of Buserelin as I wasn’t sure there would be enough in the first one to last. (There probably would, but I’m terrible at maths.) I ummed and ahhed about whether to bring the sharps bin, but I decided to leave it. For one thing, I have to take my stuff into the office on the first day, and that thing rattles about like a mofo. Questions would be asked! For another thing, the needles aren’t ever exposed. I brought a heavy duty bag (that doesn’t rattle) to put them in (with caps on, obvs) and will transfer them to the sharps bin when I get home. It wouldn’t do for everyone to be discussing it in the office.
Which brings me to the question: Who do you tell? It’s a little bit ironic (see my last post, haha) that I’m putting this out there on the web but I haven’t even told my friends or family about it. It’s just too big a thing, I think… I don’t want to have to explain every time I see them or speak with them that I’m still not pregnant. I know they’d start asking all the time and that would be even worse than the times people ask without knowing.
I have some pretty great people in my life (most of them are, really, because if they’re not, I tend not to stay in touch with them!). I’ve talked to some friends about fertility treatment in general, but not really in specifics and dates and things. So many of them are happily fertile, currently pregnant or mothers, that it would just be a pity party for one. Which seems the wrong way to approach it. Right now I still feel hopeful about things because I don’t think that it’s over till it’s over!
It’s weird because I feel quite que sera sera about things sometimes. I really am happy with our little family of 2.5 (*animal counts as 0.5!) and sometimes I wonder whether the drive to have a human baby is really worth it. I think if you can have a good primary relationship and you love and trust each other as part of a couple then that’s more than many people ever have. We talk about it sometimes and we say, well… We could be happy with just us. We are happy.
So we aren’t going into fertility treatment thinking this is a last resort or a panacea. I think we are realistic (as far as individuals can be at applying statistics to a population of themselves) and hopeful (because you always want to think you’re the exception and something good’s going to happen for you). We’ve both been pretty lucky in our lives so there’s no reason for it to stop now.