Friday, 30 September 2011


Like a fool I tested with a FRER hpt last night when I got in from work. BFN at 6and a half dp3dt.

Then, like the desperate woman I am I stared at the little screen trying to see whether there was even a ghost of a line. I thought there might be at some angles, but I suspect it was my brain playing tricks on me. When I finally held it up to the light I couldn't see anything there.

Today I'm feeling conflicted. While I know it's very early to test, the FRER tests say they have a 78% accuracy rate four days before your period is due. And I just have that feeling as well, which I've had for the last couple of days, that this hasn't worked at all.

I'm so angry with myself because I knew I would feel this way if I tested that early and it was a BFN. I would be both upset that the cycle had failed, and still hoping because it was so early to test .

The only things that are stopping me from giving up right now are some recurring twinges I'm getting in the same place on my left side. Of course, even these can't fill me with joy as they are on the same side as my ectopic. So I've got paranoia  mixed in there as well.

Not a great start to my weekend. I'm going to try to forget about the whole thing and then test again on Monday if AF hasn't shown her face. Beta on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Worried Wednesday

My worries are myriad and often free floating, but I'm hoping writing them down will help assuage them a little. If not, then a problem shared is a problem halved (or at least reduced a little). I have shared my worries with my husband, but he just says 'I know,' as in 'I know you're worried.' It's true that there is very little that can be done to stop me worrying, but I just want to get them out there. In no particular order:

  • In my fresh cycle back in July I started spotting today, 5and a half dp3dt. It was horrible and I don't want it to happen again. I keep repeating to myself that I'm on completely different meds (except for the progesterone) and that I didn't trigger this time around, which my doctor agrees was a factor. Logic suggests, as I'm following my natural cycle, that the earliest AF would show herself would be next Tuesday (as I ovulated last Tuesday. I know this for sure as I had a u/s on Monday and hadn't ovulated, but I had at u/s on Wednesday.) However the 2WW is anything but logical and I've been on toilet roll check since Saturday.
  • I thought that the progynova would stop AF from coming early, but an internet search suggests that that isn't the case. If AF wants to show her horrible face, she will.
  • I don't have any symptoms at all. I have a little bit of cramping but that could so easily be from the medication as well.
  • Writing my last post made me think about how much I really want this FET to work. I'm glad I wrote it because it had been kicking round my head for a few days, but it's also made me think a lot about what success of this cycle would mean. It's not just two lines on a pee-stick, or a rising beta. It's the life of a human being: my potential child.
  • I'm going to test with a FRER on Saturday (or maybe Friday). I'll be 8-9dp3dt which I know other people have seen results on. The other reason is that if it's negative I can be upset on my day off, rather than on a work day.
  • I've listed my blog on both Cyclesista and ICLW this month, but I haven't been able to face exploring/following people's cycles. I did that on my fresh cycle and it seemed everyone else got pregnant and I didn't. If this cycle is going to fail, I don't need to have everyone else's success rubbed in my face. I even had one lovely woman, who was spotting at the same time as me and very sympathetic, end up with a BFP. I can't deal with it again.
  • If this doesn't work out we're not going again until the new year. It's too stressful to start again right away and I think I need to give my body a break.
  • With that in mind, I've promised myself that if this cycle doesn't work then I'm going to try to lose some weight and get in shape before the next cycle. I'd started going to the gym before this cycle and I was a little... conflicted... about stopping for the FET. I want a baby more than I want to lose weight, of course.
That's all for now, but I definitely feel better writing it down.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Dear Embryos...

Dear Embryos,

I have learned in the past that asking pleading for you to stick is not enough to make you decide to make my uterus your home. I realise that I never really sold life with me and your father well enough. So here goes.

If you choose to settle down and implant over the next few days, you will be making the best decision of your short lives so far. You will be settling down to nine comfortable months in a cozy space. Doesn't that sound good?

But that's not all. After your sojourn in my uterus is up (all good things must come to an end after all) the real fun will start. You'll get to be a baby. A cute, chubby baby with cute little clothes, some of which I promise to try to make myself. When you cry you'll get picked up and fed and changed and coddled.

Being a toddler will be super fun. You'll have so many things to play with, all bright and colourful. You'll also have you cat-bro Patxi to play with. You'll love him so much. He's white and likes to run around. I suspect he might be your first word! You guys will have a ball together. You'll get to try all kinds of different foods, and different games. Oh the fun we will have!

Next up, childhood. Books, art supplies, iPads, school, TV. Everyone wishes they could be a kid again, don't you want to stick around long enough to get there?

When you're a teenager, things might get rough between us. You'll want to do things that your Dad and I will disagree with. Maybe we'll fight. Maybe you'll do things in secret. Just know that we'll love you and you can always come to us, no matter what happens.

Then - the world. The choices you will have. You can do whatever you want with your life, and we'll try our hardest to get you there.

If that doesn't sound enough, your family are amazing. Your grandparents will love you so much - more than you could imagine. And you'll have uncles and aunts as well. You already have four cousins! Two of them aren't much older than you'll be.

This offer has a time window of the next few days. It's all up to you. I'm doing my best to make my uterus homely enough, so please consider living your life with ours.

Love Mum and Dad.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Transfer and the Sandwich


Dearie me, I just re-read my post from yesterday and I don't think it could have been more incoherent! It reads like a drunk person wrote it (which I guess in a way I was with the valium). After a fairly bad night's sleep I feel much better and more able to construct a coherent paragraph.

As I said yesterday the transfer went well. I was much more relaxed (except during the part where my doc put the whatever through my cervix, that always hurts a little for me) and then went to sleep for an hour or so. As I was being wheeled out Dr K gave me a high-five for 'sticky embryos.' Seriously.

As I was leaving, as last time, I was given an egg sandwich and a small box of soy milk. I drank the soy milk as we were leaving the clinic.

Onto the infamous sandwich. Here it is:

I couldn't face it after the transfer, but I did have an egg in my burger when we went out to lunch, so I don't feel too bad about not eating it.

Why the sandwich and soy milk?
I posted a week or so ago about the fact that my clinic doesn't offer intralipids. However I looked it up and intralipids are basically a mix of soy oil and egg yolks. It might be a coincidence that my clinic gives an egg sandwich and soy milk after transfer, but I doubt it. As it couldn't hurt anything I started drinking soy milk instead of cow's milk last week, and I will continue to until my test date.

I should add that my clinic does not say 'you must eat this sandwich and drink this soy milk to aid implantation' and that the whole 'soy milk' theory is one I have invented myself.

It can't hurt.

Friday, 23 September 2011


The FET transfer went well this morning. Of the three frosties we had, two survived the thaw. I have no idea what they are supposed to look like, but one looked round and other other sort of round but a bit blobby. Only an embryologist knows I guess.

In contrast to my last transfer, there were only two of us there, and my doc wasn't doing any retrievals either. This mean I went in around 8.20, and the transfer was done by 8.35! I then slept there for about an hour, lay around for an hour, and was allowed to go at 10.20. I also felt much more relaxed and less anxious than last time. I asked the woman at the desk how many embryos we had before going in, which relaxed me a lot.

I feel a bit spacey now (valium again) so I'm lying in bed. I don't think I need to sleep, but I'm going to just take it easy. We then went for a ten minute walk to the bus stop, and got the bus home. My husband has gone to the gym, then we're going out to lunch.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

September ICLW

Welcome to everyone from ICLW.

I am doing my frozen transfer tomorrow so I am trying to distract myself from all things fertility related. I am reassuring myself that I have been given aspirin to increase blood flow, progesterone gel to support a pregnancy, and progynova to hopefully correct a luteal phase problem I have had in previous cycles (when triggered, which I'm not being this time).

Update tomorrow after transfer (fingers crossed)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Ready, set, FET!

We have a date - Friday 23rd, in 2 days. Lining at 0.7cm today, so hopefully it will get a bit thicker by Friday.

I also got a nice big pack of drugs as well, which I was glad to get. Astrix - which is basically aspirin, an antibiotic, Crinone gel again (beats an injection) and Progynova to keep my lining thick.

We're going ahead with thawing all three embryos - lets just hope at least one (though hopefully two) will survive the thaw. I'll probably update next after the transfer (assuming it goes ahead).

Monday, 19 September 2011

FET 2nd Scan

Nothing exciting happening. I was a bit disappointed not to set a date for the transfer today but I have to go back in on Wednesday. I guess this is the price I pay for having a relatively drug free cycle - we just have to keep on checking. I was in and out of the clinic in about 10 minutes.

I have a follicle on one side (1.5cm) and lining at 0.6-7mm. Hopefully by Wednesday we can set the date.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Feeling Worse

I've been having the usual worries over the last couple of days. Those worries that even though I know IVF success is cumulative and it will probably be successful eventually, that I will be one of those women for whom it doesn't work. Even after 2 or 3 or 4 cycles.

I know everyone has that worry as well, but sometimes it's difficult to shake the feeling.

I then read this article in the newspaper. It's sensitively done, but it freaked me out. I think it is important to point out that for some people IVF doesn't work. There seems to be a belief in modern culture that IVF is the key to all infertility problems, when in fact the success rates, no matter what an individual clinic might say, are around the 30-35% percent point per fresh cycle for someone in my age range. It's not like on TV.

Anyway, I read the article, and felt even worse.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Parenthood (TV show)

I really like the show Parenthood. I don't expect it's a trendy thing to like, but I started watching it when I found out Lauren Graham was in it (huge Gilmore Girls fan) and got hooked. Each episode never seems to be long enough for me.

Anyway, the reason I'm blogging about it is because I'm impressed with the way in which they have handled an infertility story line so far. In case you don't watch it: one of the four adult siblings, Julia, is suffering secondary infertility (due to uterine scarring I believe, but I can't quite remember - it was last season). Last season she discovered her diagnosis, then went through various reactions, including throwing herself into her older child and hoping that would make the pain go away. It didn't, and by the end of the season she and her husband (though, mostly her) had concluded that they wanted to try adoption.

Oh, also it was revealed at the end of last season that her sister-in-law, with two teenage kids already, was pregnant. Non-infertiles might see this as a plot contrivance, but as most infertiles I suspect will agree, the best way for other people to get pregnant is for you (still) not to be.

This season kicked off with the SIL being 6-7 months gone, and Julia and her husband not having had any response to adoption videos. She's getting desperate. Last night introduced the teenage, snarky, I'm-sad-to-say-Juno-rip off coffee cart girl who was - oh surprise! - pregnant. (I accept that it's a TV show and you have to have plot lines. It would be pretty boring, though realistic, if an infertility storyline stretch for years - I know I'm bored of my own, personal infertility storyline.)

After gushing over the coffee-girl's pregnancy (not sure I would have, but every one is different) being rebuffed and then discovering that coffee-girl isn't keeping the baby, we wander into some predictable territory. On to conversations with siblings and husband about 'buying' the baby.

At first I was a little uncomfortable with this language about 'buying' a baby, but then I mellowed to it. Not everyone hangs out on ALI blogs and is up to date with the correct terminology. The character was immediately pulled up on using the term 'buying' by her sister, and I expect that some people might refer to it as 'buying.' I was a bit shocked it was used a second time, but there you go.

I really hope that Parenthood doesn't go down some ridiculous road of having Julia actually attempt to 'buy' a baby. What's wrong with showing an actual adoption storyline with the stresses and worries that goes along with it?

Anyway, so far so good as far as I'm concerned (though people going through adoption may disagree).

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

FET 1: Scan 1

Went in for the first appointment for the FET. Had a quick scan. Lining at 0.5cm; no follicle to show oncoming ovulation yet. Back on Monday.

Talked to Dr K about the number of embryos. He said that because they don't know how well the embryos will survive, he recommends thawing all of them. I don't mind really, despite wanting to try just one embryo at a time. He said the maximum we could transfer would be three, which as I only have three makes no difference to me.

That's all for now. No drugs as yet.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Moving Forward

Today is September 11th and the ten year anniversary of the 911 terrorist attacks. I feel I can't write a blog post today without acknowledging that fact, even though the horrible events of that day didn't directly impact my life. At the time I was about 3 months out of university (my graduation ceremony was actually the next day) in my first proper job, and knew nothing about life. Oh, and of course thought I knew everything.

I've been reminded of my twenty-one year old self over the last week, not just because of the anniversary of 911, but because I have a student in one of my classes who is clearly in that early twenties 'I have found myself and I know everything about life' phase. It was quite amusing actually as all the other students in the class are hovering around the 30-35 mark (as am I), and clearly found his youthful know-it-all attitude both amusing and irritating in equal measure. Hopefully like me they took it as an opportunity to look back and cringe a little at their young selves.

At twenty-one I thought I knew everything. At twenty-five I thought I knew even more. Now I am at the ripe old age of thirty-one I believe quite firmly that I know very little about the world and life. If I met myself back then I know I would not like myself much.

So many things have changed in the last ten years:

  • I have changed careers and am in one that while it is not my dream job I am relatively good at it and I work for a well respected company. If I wanted I could travel to many different places in the world.
  • I am with a different man than I was ten years ago. When that relationship ended in 2004 I thought I would never get over it, and it took a while, but I did. I've now been very happily married for two and a bit years.
  • I left London in 2003 because I hated the place. It was too busy, too dirty, too big. I know live in a much bigger, more crowded city, and I love it. I realise now that I was the problem, not London.
  • Above all, I'm happy. Despite our fertility issues, I am happy. I can't say that I was in 2001.
I know some people may find it a little distasteful to be using the anniversary of terrorist attacks to talk about myself, but as I said, I don't feel I know enough about the world to comment intelligently on anything except for myself. And this is a blog, if you want an in depth analysis of world event, read The Economist website or something.

Today I am in a time-zone where I will be going to bed by the time the 911 memorials start, but my thoughts are still with everyone who lost friends and family in the attacks, and all the countless, nameless, faceless people who have died in the resulting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

FET #1 CD4

The witch arrived on Monday, a few days earlier than expected but still at a respectable 28 days. I'm happy that I've apparently come back into a regular cycle after my f-ed up fresh cycle in June. I feel confident that most of the drugs will have left my system by now, and we're headed into a 'natural' cycle, though I suspect I might be on progesterone.

Yesterday I made my appointment to go in on CD10. I assume it will be for a follicle check and lining thickness, and to discuss the procedure. I have to talk to the doc about how our embryos are frozen, as that will affect how many we may transfer.

I'm leaning hard towards a single embryo transfer (eSET) if we can. I've been doing a lot of research and I'm pretty convinced that two embryos only marginally increases the chances of a viable pregnancy. It increases the chances of multiples, of course, but actual implantation rates are not much higher. As we only have 3 frozen embryos, it means that if we did two this time, we'd only have one left. We'd then have to head into a fresh cycle sooner. If we can do eSET, providing the embryos thaw OK, we could have 3 more cycles.

Of course, if the embryos were frozen together, then we will have no choice in this.

I realised last night how much my dh actually understands what's been going on. He's not a stupid man, but certain salient details don't always register. We were walking around the supermarket last night and he asked me about what he should do about making his swimmers better this time around... Um, well, as we already have embryos... Oh dear. I think he's still feeling burned about his swimmers being described as 'sluggish.' Personally I think it's more that they wanted to get as many embryos as quickly as possible and so did the ICSI. We'll see I guess if we have to do another fresh cycle.

On a slightly different note, my clinic doesn't offer interlipids, so I was wondering whether drinking soy milk might have a similar effect. After my fresh transfer they gave me a little box of soy milk to drink (along with a really nasty looking sandwich). I didn't realise it was soy milk, didn't make any connection to interlipids, and so didn't drink it. I have no idea whether it would make any difference, but soy milk is pretty healthy regardless and quite inexpensive (in fact it's cheaper than cow's milk here), so I'm going to introduce it into my diet.