Monday, 2 March 2015

Up Myself

I once heard an interview with Martin Amis when he admitted in his youth one of his greatest pleasures was rereading his own books.

I can't say I am quite so up myself, nor do I enjoy rereading my own blog with quite so much gusto but it is useful. I would encourage anyone who is doing IVF to keep a diary because when if you do it again it is pretty handy being able to look back and compare and contrast the experience - have an idea of how things are going.

During previous IVFs one thing that never quite went to plan was the thickening of my womb lining.

Before an embryo is shoved back in the doctors like to see a womb lining of between 8-14mm. I've never quite hit it that magic depth.

Last IVF I hit the seven millimeter mark a week into the drugs and then ... nothing. My lining totally failed to grow any more.

This morning, again a week into all the drugs, I prepared myself for a similar depth and steeled myself for the fear it wouldn't get any thicker.

Turns out I was wrong.

In a good way.

My lining is already and plump and juicy 8.5mm. Not only that but it has a beautiful triple layer structure - just like the textbooks say it should.

I guess those two progynova I'm shoving up myself on a nightly basis really are working their magic.

This means are looking good for frozen embryo transfer early next week.

Do you ever get that feeling that something is going too well?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


I was grinning as I left the clinic this morning.

My scan showed everything is good. My ovaries are quiet and womb lining thin. Great for now, I have no doubt in about two weeks time I'll be on here bemoaning the fact that my womb lining is still thin and failed to plump up - but for the time being this is a good thing.

As I left clutching my next set of instructions (start the blood thinners and oestrogen) I felt overwhelmingly positive about this cycle.

In fact I was so up beat with the nurse this morning I behaved like an utter tool. I whipped out my phone, showed her a picture of Olive and said "If you could sort me out another one like that, that'd be perfect."

I know.

What a dick!

I was trying to workout why I am so positive.

Admittedly, in the past, I've had the best possible result. But prior to that I've had masses of failures. Forgetting the months when I've ovulated, sexed (yes it's a real word) and not got pregnant, and the IUIs where I've failed to become enpregulated (also a real word, trust me), I've have three fresh rounds of IVF and two frozen embryo transfers. I've had nine viable-looking embryos put back in to an environment where they should thrive and have just one prime specimen snuffling away in her sleep upstairs as I write.

But it all feels so possible.

So exciting.

I've booked in for my magic intralipid drip next week and the embryo - conceived at the same time as Olive - is the same grade that she was should be put back in two weeks.

If a Postive Mental Attitude was all that was required I'd be about to give octomom a run for her money.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Cycle day 1

Things have started, almost without a hitch.

After finishing the Primolut I started my period in record time (two days - thank you very, much no hanging about here).

I gave myself my first injection of Cetrotide and we are well into prime IVF territory.

My Doctor called with my test results and my womb lining is undiseased and all but one of my blood tests came back perfect.

Liver function - I passed with flying colours which just goes to show that a little bit of exercising the liver from time to time clearly isn't a bad thing.

Thyroid good.

Fasting blood - awesome. (she didn't use that word but I could tell she was impressed)

The only area for concern was I have a vitamin D deficiency.

Turns out, after a spot of googling, most of the population of the UK have one. You can get small amounts of vitamin D from food but the main provider is sunshine. Something that we've been severely lacking in the UK for ... oh... the last 38 and a half years. The summer of '76 was our sunny one.

Its nothing that will prevent the Frozen Embryo transfer going ahead. The Husband has previously been diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency so he already has some supplements which he has generously agreed I can 'borrow' (not convinced that he has really thought through what state they'll be in when I return them).

I'm also going to see my GP to see if there is something more hardcore they can do in the meantime. Apparently you can get a massive booster injection so I might try that.

Or... just a thought... but I wonder if one can get prescribed two weeks in the sun on the NHS.  

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Saddle up!

Today I had a 3D scan and a biopsy.

The receptionist had told me I needed an empty bladder for the scan and full for the biopsy. Can you spot the difficulty?

Knowing I have a shy bladder I decided to start with the empty bladder and intended to neck a bunch of water in between the two procedures.

When I arrived the nurse asked if I had a "semi-full" bladder. Oh was that the solution all along?  I didn't but the doctor didn't seem unduly worried.

The biopsy serves two purposes, one to scratch a few notches in my womb - thought to help with implantation in just a few weeks - and secondly to be sent off for analysis to check my endometrial hyperplasia hasn't decided to take up residence again.

My consultant had told me to remind the doctor doing the biopsy than a sample had to be sent off. I did. The Doctor said she just had to look at my notes and then turned to me with the big reveal: "I'll need to send the biopsy off for analysis". Uh-huh.

She said she'd do everything at once - turns out I needn't have worried about my bladder, so I lay back and thought of England.

I was amazed at how little the biopsy hurt, even baring in mind I'd had a Neurofen an hour before, and said as much once I was sitting back up.

Yup. She'd been concentrating on the scan and forgotten to do the biopsy.

Back down I went again.

That said my appointment was running a touch early and the whole thing was incredibly quick. I was out seven minutes after my appointment had been due to start.

Another blood test tomorrow morning, a couple more pills a day until Friday then we wait for my period when the countdown (drugs) really begin.

I feel like today I got properly back in the saddle.

Or more literally stirrups.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

And so it begins...

We are off.

I had my scan and blood tests yesterday and despite the lack of appearance of my period we are skipping straight to the progesterone stage.

I have just taken my first pill and which I'll take for 11 days - meanwhile I'll have another womb biopsy to check that nothing nasty is lurking in my womb. Once I stop this progesterone (primolut) I should have a period and all the drugs and interventions start in ernest.

By my calculations that means the frozen embryo transfer in mid March.

I'd like to say it feels good to be back again.

Despite Olive, returning to the clinic having to hear the usual gripes about my ovaries hiding and being scanned in the same room I heard about my miscarriage, the whole thing fills me with dread.

But I know how incredibly wonderful the end result can be - it really is all worth it.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

A second line

There should be a law that ensures all pregnancy tests use the same positive and negative markers.

I am on day 48 of my cycle.

I have been weeing on pregnancy tests at regular intervals without a positive in sight. On Friday I opened a fresh pack of own brand tests as the shop didn't stock my preferred brand. (How depressing that I have a preferred brand of pregnancy test.)

I didn't bother with the instructions and did my thing.

Then, before my very eyes, I saw not one but TWO lines appear.



Only problem is that this test, it turns out, requires a third line to cross the circle to indicate a positive result. This test is negative.

But hey that was an exciting thirty seconds whilst I quickly found, and read, the instructions.

So with no period and no pregnancy plan B is shifting into action and tomorrow I have a scan and bloods.

Here we go again.

No clue what is happening with my period. Turns out I should have bought this magazine.

Friday, 30 January 2015

We have a plan

It wasn't as bad going into the waiting room Olive as I had anticipated.

My clinic has two waiting rooms - one for folk at the coal face waiting for scans, blood tests, drugs, etc and one in a different part of the building for people who are waiting for a consultation with the doctor.

The former is always rammed, the second not so much.

Today there was just one woman waiting by herself. She came over to the coffee machine where I had strategically placed myself as far away from her as possible not thinking she might need a drink so ended up being in her way.

"Sorry" I apologised, meaning 'sorry that I bought my kid to a fertility clinic'.

"Its fine I can get past" she said meaning 'there is plenty of space between the pram and coffee machine why on earth are you apologising'.

So then I had to explain.

"I mean for bringing her, I couldn't find anyone to take her, but if it is any consolation she was made downstairs."

Yeah, I'm way more articulate in text than speech.

She was absolutely fine about it, said it was her first consultation - so she hasn't got to the avoiding children stage and anyway her niece was conceived here too.

The consultation itself was fine. The Doctor had skimmed my notes so had a vague idea of the plan but had missed a few crucial point like I'd never had a regular period until I restarted my periods after Olive.

I explained that now seemed to have stopped as well given that I was on day 39 now with no period or pregnancy to show for it.

The plan - and I write this more for my benefit (memory) than for yours - is:


  • Wait for period to start
  • Call clinic book in a 3D scan of my womb 
  • Day 7 to 13 have scan and blood test for all the other things that they need to double check - Vitamin D, TSH, T3, T4 (nope no idea either google it), Anti-thyroid antibodies. I also need a liver function test and fasting blood glucose because I'll be necking some steriods again.
  • Day 14 start primolut for 25 days
  • Day 21 have womb biopsy to double check that womb nasties haven't returned
  • Approx day 41 (Couple of days after primolut ends) bleed 
  • Day 1 of that period - scan
  • Day 2 start cetrotide and steriods
  • Approx day 7 Intralipids
  • Approx day 14 bung one of my two frozen embryos back in
  • Wait
Plan B is very similar expect it kicks into action in 10 days if my period hasn't started - at which point I I go straight to the scan stage and, assuming I'm not pregnant, start the primolut.

I know last time I did IVF I was writing with a 12 week delay - this time, I promise I am doing this live.  So for the outcome your guess is as good as mine (possibly better judging by previous performances). 

Thursday, 29 January 2015

I am the person you hate

Yesterday I wasn't at work and was looking after my nephew who is nine months older than Olive.

The wombmate and I currently live two minutes walk from each other. I'll have to write an another post about that, but for the moment that is all you need to know. A friend of her gave her an old double buggy so it is pretty easy taking both the kids out if one of us needs help.

So yesterday afternoon I took the two toddlers, and dog, to the park. 

My appointment with the new IVF Doctor is tomorrow and my period hasn't started yet. I've already had one negative test but I decided I better take another one, or two, tests before the appointment so I could say with utter conviction that I wasn't pregnant.

Of course I didn't have a pregnancy test in the house.

So on the way to the park I struggled into the pharmacy with a massive double buggy and two angelic looking under three years old and bought a couple of pregnancy tests.

For all intents and purposes I looked like not just a fertile, but an uber fertile.

Then for tomorrow's appointment there is no one around to look after Olive.

I am going to be that woman. The one in the IVF waiting room with a one and a half year old baby.

We all hate her.

I hate her.

But I will be there because the test was, of course, negative. 

Monday, 26 January 2015

A slight delay

I've been procrastinating.

I decided I wanted to do IVF again in January, but then knew my clinic always shuts for its massive deep clean in early January and combine that with Christmas it was all getting a bit tricky timewise.

So I decided to get the frozen embryo transfer after my first period of the New Year. For those in not in the know they time the transfer with when ovulation would be naturally - so approximately two weeks after your period. However with me I take a bunch of drugs from the start of my period so i need to be on it from day one.

My period was due to start on Saturday and I procrastinated, and put things off and didn't get in touch with my clinic until last Wednesday.

I don't know why I was putting it off, other than fear and an inbuilt optimism that I might be pregnant.

Not surprisingly my IVF doctor emailed me back on Friday to tell me that we need another appointment before starting so this month wasn't possible however if I have an appointment this week we should be able to have a transfer with my next period (current due around the end of February).

Slight hitch. My Doctor is only consulting on Thursdays and doesn't have a free appointment until well into March.

I love my IVF Doctor. She is sympathetic, she remembers me, she got me pregnant last time.

Still fuck that for sentimentality I'm seeing someone new on Friday. (At the same clinic with access to my notes so I am just going to ask for the same again.)

Slight spanner in the works is the period that was due on Saturday still hasn't actually arrived (and I am writing this is real time - it is Monday now). I've taken a pregnancy test and that isn't the cause of its tardiness, it seems my womb might be getting up to its old tricks again so good job I'm seeing a Doctor on Friday time to whip it back into shape.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy New Year

I'm not pregnant.

I feel compelled to start with that because the usual pattern when someone hasn't blogged for months and pops back is usually to make an announcement.

Not here.

I have been doing all I can to get pregnant. Well, doing the husband anyway. (I totally love writing things like that because I know that it makes all the folk who read this and know me and him in real life wince.)

I did have a pregnancy "scare" back in November.

Can you see that second line? If you can't you haven't been infertile for nearly long enough.

It was on a test that had been negative and I fished out of the bin, as you do, an hour later just to double check.

I then spent hours googling "faint line one hour after testing" and "is it a second line or evaporation line" on my phone.

The next morning I tested again a couple of hours later, I started my period.

Then in December my period was three days late.

I tested, quietly, on the 22nd on December and in the three minutes I waited for the result I had visions of wrapping up the stick and giving it to the husband to open with his other presents on Christmas morning.

As much as the husband would like another child I suspect a little part of him is quite happy he didn't unwrap a piss-soaked stick along with his chocolate money and tangerine.

Once again no sooner had I used the expensive test my period started. I know there can't really be a correlation between using a pregnancy test and starting ones period but it has happened so often to me over the years I wonder if there isn't some period starting chemical released by the tests.

So here we are in January and despite being more regular than I've ever been in my life my infertility hasn't been magically cured. I'm waiting for this month's period and we prepare for a frozen embryo transplant.

Unless I get pregnant this month of course.

No one can say I'm not a ridiculous optimist.