Thursday, 31 July 2008

What's Up Doc?

Thanks to everyone who spent so much time giving me advice in advance of my appointment today. I really appreciated it. So here is the outcome.

The Doctor is a crazy woman! Furiously active, non-stop talker in a thick French-accent, but genuinely nice and wanting to help. However, as the husband couldn't stop saying once we left "absolutely fucking barking!". I liked her.

I didn't get the name of the irregularity they found at the HSG but she told me what it was. Basically when they take the x-ray of my tubes they expect to see a a smooth edge to the tubes. Mine have a jagged appearance, so unblocked but possibly some scar tissue. Doc isn't too worried especially as it hasn't shown up on any other scan I've had to date. But she is going to show the x-ray to a specialist and has suggested another scan to check this out specifically. Depending on what they find they might do a hysteroscopy.

We then got onto the subject of the bloody cycles. Or not so bloody. At the moment I am on day 40 and the last cycle only ended on day 83 after provera. (And yes, I took another pregnancy test this morning just in case ...)

This really galvanised her, and I didn't think she could get more energetic. She booked me in for the scan next Wednesday and told me to book the next available appointment with the specialist nurses clinic so that they can start me on something to regulate my cycles.

The next available appointment with the specialist nurse is in September, the end of September. In 56 days. Most women will have two more opportunities to ovulate/ conceive within that time. I have no idea if I'll get another chance before then. But at least things are still moving forward. And whilst the waiting is annoying I know I'm pretty lucky to be getting this kind of help for free (taxes don't count, right?) and they are taking us seriously.

So generally feeling pretty positive, but had hoped that I'd be coming away today clutching drugs that would start my ovaries pinging out eggs.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For ...

On Thursday I am going to the Doc's to get the official feedback on the HSG.

The consultant told me at the time the tubes seemed fine but there was a slight irregularity. He told me this as I sat up directly after the x-rays, a blue robe covering what little dignity I had managed to maintain, I had just had two different blokes and four different tubes up 'there', radioactive liquid was seeping out of me. I've regretted it ever since but I bundled myself out of the room as quickly as was possible and didn't ask for any more details. I have no idea what this might be, he told me it was nothing to loose sleep over but what does that mean? So Thursday I should get some answers.

But I will also have some questions. And I would really appreciate help from the blogosphere.
I have had regular periods (cycle between 30 - 32 days) for about six months and all recent tests have shown that the polycestic ovaries I was diagnosed with about 5 years ago (before all this ttc malarky started) has disappeared.

However, my last cycle was a staggering 83 days and that only came to an end because I was prescribed provera to enable me to have a period and then have the HSG. It is day 36 of the current cycle and there are no warning signs that suggest I'm about to start my period any day soon.

So this is where I really really need help from people who have been through this before.

What should I ask my doctor for?

I can throw a few drug names into the mix like clomid. But does anyone know if this stimulates ovulation and therefore will also help regulate my cycles or should I be looking at trying something else?

When I took provera it was made very clear that I shouldn't take it if there was a chance that I was pregnant, so I can't see how that is compatible with trying to conceive.

I know the internet has become a doctor's nemesis with people self-diagnosing and then not understanding why the doctor thinks that they just have a cold rather than a terminal tropical disease that normally affects a small tribe of indigenous Amazonians. So I will listen to what she says and take her advice as well but I would like to go in with some ideas of what to ask for and what she is likely to suggest.

Thank you in advance for any advice.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Clear Private Data Now

We have houseguests. Very old friend from University and his girlfriend of 3 years over from Canada for a mutual friend's wedding tomorrow.

So yesterday I had to scurry round the house hiding evidence of trying to conceive.

Pee sticks shoved in makeup bag which in turn is put behind bubble bath at back of cupboard.

Folic acid still needs to be accessible, mask it with marmite jar. Do they like marmite or hate it? Ok, further back behind the Lee & Perrins - they won't be cooking.

Blog writing and reading restricted to when they are out. Forgot to clear my internet history yesterday and houseguest went on the lap-top to check something out. I scanned his face trying to see the reflection of the website he was looking at in his eyes. Think I got away with it. Casually moved laptop.

Is it to much to leave a pack of condoms lying around?

Last night the girlfriend regaled us with a tale about her friends who got married on exactly the same day as us. The gist was she told husband that he wouldn't be able to get her pregnant, he said 'I'll show you', they had sex on a daily basis and now she is 7 months pregnant. I don't know these people, I don't care, I don't understand why the girlfriend felt the need to share the anecdote. I don't want her to know what we are going through.

The husband spent the duration of the tale trying to comfort me by rubbing my foot with his.

We changed topic. Was it bitchy to bring up the fact that tomorrow's Bride and Groom have been going out for less than a year and are already getting hitched; "You two have been going out three years, right?"

Well, fuck 'em. If they are going to be tactless I can play at that game too.

Yup, I'm turning into a bitter bi-atch.

It's just some people I don't mind knowing, even the boss. Others I can't stand the idea of them guessing we are having trouble. Do any of you have a distinct can know/ can't ever find out groups?

Resolution Update:
Last cup of tea Sunday
No Booze Monday - Wednesday, had a few beers tonight (can you tell?), tonight counts as the weekend cause off work tomorrow for a wedding
Folic acid taken daily
Not found yoga class
Not attempted acupuncture

The second most frequent search that ends up on this blog is 'clear private data'. Now, as interested as these folk might be in the trials and tribulations of trying to have a baby, because I am nothing but thoughtful and caring of my readership I've updated this post to give some real insights:
To delete your browsing history, cookies, saved passwords and form data from Internet Explorer:
  • Click the Tools button in the Internet Explorer toolbar.
  • Select Delete Browsing History... from the menu.
  • Click Delete All....
    • As an alternative, you can choose to delete Temporary Internet Files (the browser cache), Cookies, Form Data or Passwords selectively using their respective buttons.
  • Click Yes.
  • Close all Internet Explorer windows.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

A New Resolve

So I'm back from my holiday. It was fantastic, this picture says it all, and is a chance to show off the camera I got for my birthday. It was very English, lots of amazing food (we all enjoy cooking) and excellent company, but this blog isn't about my holiday.

And The Big Push is really starting tomorrow.

So I've had a fantastic break. I drank copious amounts of booze, ate runny cheese, shunned my vitamin supplements, stayed up late, had unprotected sex (though only with the husband, and I still shoved a pillow under my hips afterwards).

And hoped against hope that this flagrant disregard for my well-being, refusal to pee on sticks to find out whether it was business time and utter relaxation would become one of those stories to tell the children. "We'd given up hope of anything happening without medical intervention so just went away on holiday and - bingo - along you came".

I came back from holiday did a quick pregnancy test this morning. Negative but I have no way of knowing just now whether I have ovulated since March or will ovulate tomorrow, whether my cycle will be 30 days or 90. So I don't know if now was the right time to test anyway.

So as from tomorrow here are the rules:
  • Back to the folic acid
  • No caffeine, mint tea all the way
  • Yoga at least once a week
  • Acupuncture
  • No mid-week boozing (come on, I can't give it up all together)
  • And not forgetting ... lots and lots of sex.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The Big Push

No, not that big push, that one comes 9 months after the deed.

I mentioned milestones before, but it was pretty negative. This is a positive one.

It's my birthday on Monday, 14 of July. The husband's is the start of June. And we both LOVE having summer birthdays.

I always remember feeling really sorry for my Grandpa who was born on Christmas day, especially when he told me one year his little sister got more Christmas presents that he got birthday and Christmas presents combined, this was 60-odd years later he told me so it really must have stung at the time.

So the optimum time for me to have a baby would be sometime between May to August. Its a win/win situation, the baby has the best time of year for a birthday (in my humble opinion). And I can sort my maternity leave out so I get the summer 'off'.

So bit of calculations, ideally I want to get pregnant between now and the end of November. No messing around, this is business time.

I'm giving myself four months of positive thinking and positive action.

Then, if that doesn't work, I can descend back into a miserable fug.

Oh go on! Wish me Happy Birthday for Monday - 32. What the hell happened to having a baby when I was 30?

I'm off now for a week and a bit but will catch up with your comments, and blogs, when I get back.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

We're All Going On A Summer Holiday!

I'm off for a week on Friday.

And when I say 'we're all' going I mean all of this lot. My sisters and oldest friends are renting a house for a week.

In total there wil be 14 adults and (apologies if I get this slightly wrong but I think), 1 three year old, 2 two year olds, 1 one year old, 2 under ones and two in the womb due end of October and end of November. And the dog.


I was telling another mate (who isn't part of this group) who is also trying to conceive and she asked me how I felt about being surrounded by so many kids, 'would it be difficult?'

And I though about it. I hadn't really asked myself this question I'd just been looking forward to getting the gang back together (we live in different parts of the country) and having a holiday.

I want to share my conclusions with you (and them, because they read this, although don't comment!).

I'm not jealous or bitter about it at all, I love their kids and really enjoy hanging out with them.

It is like going round to other people's homes (bear with me on this one). Someone might have a really beautiful house, in the perfect part of town but they are stamped with their personal tastes. I maybe wouldn't have chosen that colour for the wall, or sofa, so whilst I can appreciate what they have, and wish I could afford the mortgage, I don't want to move in!

Equally with other people's children they are great to hang out with but I want one that I can see my husband in, or my own traits. (And before anyone gets upset this doesn't rule out adoption, I'm a great believer of nurture over nature and think that our mannerisms will still shine through).

I do feel a stab of pain when another pregnancy is announced but it passes quickly and, as much as anything, as their pregnancies progress I just feel sad that this one will be so much older than mine, when it does eventually appear, so won't be a little playmate.

At 19 months of trying I'm comparatively new to this game, so who knows I might change my mind, it might get harder - and I'll let you know if it does.

On the other hand after a week in a house with so many children it might make me realise just how much freedom the husband and I have, and we'll be delighted to get back to our child-free home complete with the sofa we chose and the flying ducks on the wall!

(And guys, I'm not saying I don't like your kids, or sofas, hopefully you get what I am trying to say - I'm really looking forward to it).

Friday, 4 July 2008

Totally Off Topic

You know when everything seems a bit bleak and meh! and then something happens that makes the world seem a bit sunnier?

In May we had the elections for the next Mayor of London. It was basically a two horse race with the liberal lefties wanting the incumbant Ken Livingston whilst the right wing wanted the Tory golden boy Boris.

A few days before the election this popped up in a little ally that I walk down to get to work:

A couple of weeks later this appeared:

Then I was walking down the alley and a note appeared stuck on the wall saying something along the lines of:

"Dear Mr Graffiti Artist, Please can you do a picture of Clint Eastward"

And today this:

And this:

and between seeing it and going and getting my camera this:

I love it! When you are having a rubbish day and something like this happens the world seems like a friendly, happy place and you can't help but smile. All afternoon.

Mr Ted Womo, graffiti artist, if by any chance you google yourself and come across this blog then, sir, I salute you.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Investigation update

5.07am: woke up, checked clock, fell asleep.

5.12am: woke up, checked clock, fell asleep.

5.36am: woke up, checked clock, mused that I'm more excited than nervous about today, this feels like the first positive step I've made towards being pregnant for 3 and a half months.

5.37am: Mental note. There is no eggs and sperm going to meet today, this is just a test.

5.38am: Ask the husband if he is awake, I know he is not, the husband doesn't stir, the dog pricks up his ears.

5.59am: Almost 6 - officially morning.

6.00am: So what? I don't get up until 7.15

6.15am: Do I need a wee?

6.17am: Yes

6.18am: Pee on a stick because the instructions for today say that I have to do a pregnancy test on the morning of my HSG.

6.19am: I know I'm not pregnant I have taken loads of these over the past 3 months, I have followed instructions and not had sex since the first day of my last period, which was 11 days ago.

6.20am: So why am I still checking?

6.21am: Negative. Obviously.

7.20am: Take dog out for a walk. Wonder how I'll feel about these early morning walks if I had morning sickness.

7.23am: Scoop the dog's shit. Nappies will be a piece of piss after this.

7.24am: Literally. Make myself laugh out loud like a mad woman. Man in park with can of special brew moves away nervously.

8.01am: Read instructions for todays HSG. Nothing to do until 9.30 two hours before the test.

8.15am: Have shower wash bits with care, don't want health care professionals thinking I am a mink.

8.16am: Can I be bothered to shave my legs?

8.17am: Yes, don't want the doctor thinking 'No wonder she can't get pregnant who would want to have sex with someone with stubbly legs'.

9.01am: Have to take antibiotics 2 hours before appointment on an empty stomach. Hungry now.

9.30am: Double check instructions for the painkillers. "gently insert one suppository into the rectum two hours before the procedure". Gently!

9.31am: Climb down from the step ladder and put broom handle away.

9.32am: Bit of a rush now have to put two up that orifice and swallow the other.

9.35am: All done and think I got the right slots for everything.

9.36am: I really need to do a poo.

9.37am: No I don't. Its psychosomatic. I refuse to give in.

9.45am: I've managed to distract myself - do you think it is absorbed by now? Why does my stomach hurt?

9.55am: Stomach really hurts now but have to wait an hour after taking the antibiotics before eating.

9.58am: Appointment in an hour and a half, hospital half an hour away. Might go now.

9.59am: You know, just so that I can pick up some breakfast on the way and find the right department.

I'm back
I'm not going to stick to the minute by minute but for those of you who are having a HSG in the future and want to know what happens here goes (for those that don't just read the last paragraph):

I put on a fetching blue gown and was taken through to the x-ray room. The doctor went through what to expect, they were going to squirt some fluid into my tubes and take a quick x-ray, it might be a bit uncomfortable and expect a bit of spotting and cramping for a few days afterwards but would only take 10minutes.

I asked when I could start trying to get pregnant again because the pamphlet was a bit vague and he said once the post-procedure symptons had died down we could start again as there wouldn't be any long term effects.

So he got a big sheet of paper and tore a hole in the centre - all very Victorian marital sheet - and asked me to pull up the gown. He placed it so that the only bit of my body I would rather not have on show was on show. (There is the doctor, a student doctor and a nurse in the room).

Sticking with the Victorian theme he pulled out a big metal instrument of torture designed to hold my vagina open whilst he fiddled around. They have used these on my before during smear tests but they are usually administered by a matronly nurse who has been through these things themselves and are very gentle and careful. Today's doctor shoved it up, pushed it around, squeezed it left, wiggled it right, pushed on my bladder, asked me to put my hands under my butt. That was easily the most painful bit. Eventually not able to get anywhere he withdrew that piece of apparatus and used a longer plastic one which was much less painful.

Next came the filling of my fallopian tubes with a liquid that would show up on the x-ray. Tube one didn't work, tube two (with a balloon on the end) seemed to go ok so they pulled the x-ray machine over my tummy and tried to take some pictures. A shout from the back of the room, the consultant that I hadn't noticed asked for more contrast. The left tube was clearly causing some problems, someone suggested using a leech. And reader, even in my compromised position, I am proud to say I managed to make a joke about assuming they weren't talking about blood sucking parasites. I even got a laugh.

The floppy-haired consultant came closer he had a go with a fourth type of tube he told me that it would be a strange sensation and I would feel pressure, I resisted the urge to ask when he last had his tubes tested. I was asked to roll on my side. They commented on my long cervix. They said I had a tight something - it sounded like a tight arse but maybe they said tight oss whatever that is, I took it was a compliment. They took more pictures.

The result my tubes look fine. But there is "a slight irregularity, nothing to loose sleep over, it might be something it might be nothing. Have you ever had an infection there? No. Oh well. And have you ever been pregnant? No? Right. Well, sure its nothing to worry about I'll put it in my letter to your doctor. Here's a sanitary towel. Goodbye".

So in summary, maybe it was the painkillers, but other than the initial entry it didn't really hurt. Don't know if it will help but at least they are taking things seriously, and after hearing about xbox's experiences yesterday I know I am lucky that they are getting on and doing some investigations.