Thursday, 29 May 2008

Is romance dead?


Remember make up sex? The passion, the fury and energy that went into fighting being transfered to passion in the bed room.

Its not like that with us. Instead we have grumpy sex.

Here's a typical exchange:

Her (lets face it, me): Hmmm, I'm going to bed now.
Him: Ok.
Her: You coming?
Him: I'll be through in a bit I'm just going to finish watching this.
Her: Oh come to bed now, it'll be nice.
Him: I won't be long.
Her: Come on we could, you know ...
Him: Nice, but I just want to see the end of this.
Her: No 'cause by the time that finishes I'll be asleep, and I want to get into work early tomorrow.
Him: Well maybe we could have sex tomorrow night.
Her: BUT I'M OVULATING TODAY!
Him: Oh....
Her: Come on.
Him: Fine, but I'm knackered too so you can go on top.
Her: Great you want me to do all the work as usual, just forget it I don't feel like it any more.
Him: Well neither do I but I've turned the telly off now so come on.

Who needs candles, pink champagne and Kenny G on the stereo when you can have seduction like that on an ordinary Wednesday night?



Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Day 58

I have irregular periods, not like 2 or 3 days overdue but a cycle of sometime 80 or 90 days. Once again this month I'm making like the white rabbit.

A summary of where I am at:

Years ago I went 5 months without a period. I was concerned so went to a doctor, she diagnosed polycystic ovaries (PCOS). At the time she said there was no point in doing anything about it, it wasn't doing me any harm and would only become an issue when I wanted to get pregnant. Then, she reassured me, there were drugs I could take. Brilliant. No worries then.

Fast forward 5 years we started trying for a baby, and I figured I'd give it a couple of months and if nothing happened, pop along to see a doctor, take a couple of pills and I'd be away.

We started trying in November 06, and in March 07 I went to the doctors, only to be told that we had to wait at least a year before they could justify any medical intervention.

A year later, a new Doctor, this time I was told they wouldn't refer us to a specialist until we had been trying for two years.

And here is tip number one:

Don't take no for an answer. I was polite, but firm. I whipped out my list of dates clearly showing my periods were irregular, threw in a few carefully chosen words like Luteinizing Hormone and Clomid to show I had done my homework and, due to the wonders of the NHS waiting list, it was only another 3 months before I was waltzing into my first appointment with a specialist.

Incredibly, by that time my periods had started to get really regular. For the last six months I could practically set my calendar by the surfing of the crimson tide. This was it. I thought I had got better all by myself and pregnancy was just round the corner.

And then 1 of May, no period, negative test, repeat ad infinitum for the next 28 days. I'm not pregnant, it has just been 58 days since my last period. Great! At least I'm saving money on tampons.



Face Up To It


Facebook, Friends Reunited, probably Bebo, myspace, facespace, myface, stalkpeopleyounolongerwanttotalkto.com. Or just plain googling folk. It all makes it so hard, and so tempting to find ex's, old friends, people you once met on holiday and discover they have children. And its hard.

I looked up an ex on facebook the other day. I had no intention of getting in touch with him but wanted to see if I could find him, let's face it what is the point of the internet if you can't find your exes?

His profile picture was him. With two small children.

My heart stopped.

I couldn't look anymore.

In the first flush of excitement upon joining facebook I became 'friends' with a girl I have barely been in touch with since leaving school. Other than a picture on my friends list she hasn't troubled my inbox, or thoughts, since. But she lurched back into my life this morning with a facebook status update: "Colette is delighted that she is having another boy"*.

Wow.

Right there.

I knew she already had one child. One that she gave birth to just as I started trying, now she has another on the way.

The moral? There isn't one really. I realised that I half wanted to discover other people who had had children, its like biting a mouth ulcer or prodding a bruise, you know it will hurt but just can't help yourself.

So I've gone into self-protect mode. I've deleted the old friend from my facebook friends list (I've been reliably informed they don't get an alert if you do this so you can slip quietly away). I've stopped myself from looking up people I use to get in touch with. Although I know I will continue to hear about old friends who have had children, and will continue to feel upset by it, I'm not about to go out there looking for it.

Is it just me or do you find yourself scouring the internet for proof of other people's fecundity?

*names have been changed to protect the innocent, I may have also changed whether she was expecting a boy or it might be a double bluff and she really is. You decide!



Monday, 26 May 2008

Making sense of acronyms

How many of you, on a first foray into the virtual world of conception, have been completely baffled by all the acronyms and short hand for writing about pretty basic stuff? It's taken me ages to understand them and I'm still coming across new stuff. I try not to use acronyms in this blog but incase you come across them in other places here is a quick guide. But please add anymore that you come across in the comments section - it all helps.

2ww - two week wait, the time between ovulating and when your period is due (and you can take a pregnancy test
AF - Aunt Flo (Menstrual flow, Period, the curse, the blob, rag week, barnsley playing at home, being 'on', monthly bleeding, you get the picture)
AFNW - Aunt Flo Not Wanted
AI - Artificial Insemination
Babydust - bit of a twee one but way of wishing someone good luck at getting pregnant - doesn't seem to work!
BB's - Breasts, Boobs, Boobies, Bouncy funbags, Bristols, Bongos, Bazongas
BBT - Basal Body Temperature, a way of working out whether you are ovulating
BC - Birth Control
BCP - Birth Control Pills
BD - Baby Dance, having sex
BFN - Bloody Fucking Negative (excuse the language but I'm guessing we are all adults here)
BFN - Big Fat Negative (more polite version of the above not that the acronym will give any indication of how rude you are being)
BFP - Bloody Fucking Positive (positive text result)
BFP - Big Fat Positive (As above and again you can chose to interpret the acroym with or without the swear words)
BIL - Brother In Law
BMS - Baby Making Sex (makes it sound like a chore rather than for fun)
BTDT - Been There Done That
BTW - By The Way
CF - Cervical Fluid
CM - Cervical Mucus
CY - Cycle (monthly rather than bike)
DE - Donor Eggs
DH - Dear/ Darling Husband
DI - Donor Insemination
DP - Dear Partner
DPO - Days Past Ovulation
DTD - Doing The Dance, Sex
DW - Dear Wife
EDD - Estimated Due Date (let's hope we all get one of these)
EPT - Early Pregnancy Test
FIL - Father In Law
FM - Fertility Monitor
FMU - First morning Urine
FP - Follicular Phase
FTTA - Fertile Thoughts To All
GF - Girlfriend
GIFT - Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer
GP - General Pactitioner (UK)
HCG - Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (pregnancy hormone)
HPT - Home Pregnancy Test
HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy
HSG - Hysterosalpingram or as I put it, getting your tubes checked
Hx - History (no I don't know why it has an x in it either)
ICI - Intra-Cervical Insemination
IF - Infertility
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
IUI - Interuterine Insemination
IVF - In Vitro Fertilization
KWIM - Know What I Mean
LMP - Last Menstural Period (the first day)
LH - Luteinizing Hormone, hormone that helps regulate ovulation and increases dramatically just before ovulation. It's what they test for to see if you are about to ovulate.
LOL - Laugh Out Loud - not Lots of Love but it can be confusing!
Luteal Phase - time between when you ovulate and when your period is due (basically the old two week wait).
MC, Misc - miscarriage
MS - Morning sickness
NHS - National Health Service (UK)
O - Ovulation
OB/GYN - Obstetrician/Gynecologist
OC - Not the TV programme but Oral Contraceptives
OPK - Ovulation Predictor Kit
OTC - Over The Counter, something for the weekend sir?
PC - Post-Cotial, after sex
PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (there is gonna be a post about this)
PG - pregnant
PMS - Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
PMT - Pre Menstrual Tension
POAS - Pee On A Stick
RE - Reproductive Endocronolgist (American)
S/A - Sperm Analysis
SO - Significant Other
STD - Sexually Transmited Disease
TTC - Trying To Conceive
US - Ultrasound
V - Vasectomy
ZZZ - time for sleep (actually just made this up because I wanted to end with a Z but it is probably used some where out in the world wide web)


So a test, can you translate this sentence.

DH and I are TTC so we have stopped the OCP and on CD14 we start furiously DTD, you know BMS. I usually POAS to see if I am O then it is just a case of waiting for AF, if you KWIM.

And that is why I try not to use acronyms on this blog! Oh, apart from this post which might make things a bit easier.



Sunday, 25 May 2008

Allow me to introduce myself


Thanks for looking in.

Its a Sunday morning and, as is often the case, I'm thinking about why I'm still not pregnant after a year and half of trying. I did a quick search for blogs to find people going through the same things as me, and the only ones I found were of people who now have a baby. You never know maybe this is the answer start a blog about how difficult it is to conceive and - bang - up the duff.

It's my first entry, I hardly know you, so I'm not about to launch into a long tirade or outpouring of emotions, I'm British after all. Equally this isn't the time to go into detail about what I've tried and what I haven't - I'm sure that will come. But if any of the following scenarios sound familiar maybe this blog will help other women in my situation, but its not all about me, please add your comments too, one lone voice isn't much comfort but hearing other peoples stories will help me and all those others out there.

How women like us differ from the rest of the population:
  • you don't mind putting on a bit of weight - you can rub your rounded tummy and imagine
  • you go to yahoo answers and look up questions asked a year ago about chlomid or another wonder drug then virtually 'stalk' the person who posed the question to see if 9 months later they are asking about knitting patterns for babies booties or the best position for breast feeding
  • you curse the fact that so many early pregnancy symptoms are similar to pre-menstrual
  • the two week wait between the green light for conception and when you can take a pregnancy test is exciting, you tell yourself you can test on Sunday but always slip in a cheeky early test on the Thursday because some of these new tests can show a result four days before you are due and you just can't wait any longer - but its always negative
  • at a dinner party or party you have a booze-dar for any woman not drinking alcohol and can't fathom any other reason for their abstinence other than they must be pregnant
  • you have a mental list of women who are younger than you, or in newer relationships and develop a seething jealousy when they have the audacity to 'jump the queue' and get pregnant before you
  • you look at young self obsessed celebrities like Nicole Richie, Charlotte Church and Christina Aguilera who seem to find the whole pregnancy thing really easy and realise life just isn't fair, you are much more forgiving of Nicol Kidman, Jennifer Lopez and Courteney Cox Arquette who seem to have put some real work in!
These are just my signifiers I'm sure you have more - please comment and share.


Saturday, 3 May 2008

Timeline

For those of you who really want the gory details. Here is a summary of what has happened so far (with links once we get past May 2008 when I started to blog). But for a quicker summary I'd suggest you stick to my About Me page.

2000-ish - I didn't have a period for about 6 months. I wasn't trying to get pregnant but did lots of pregnancy tests - all negative - to try and work out why I wasn't getting a period. I went to the doctor, had a scan and was told I had polycystic ovaries (pcos) and the doctor packed me off saying; "Its not a problem until you want to get pregnant then there are drugs we can give you." Simple. Or so I thought...

Nov 2006 - Finally tied the knot with my long-term boyfriend. Chucked the condoms (not that we had to wait until we got married but it seemed like the right time), started taking the pre-natal vitamins. Got excited about the idea of becoming parents.

March 2007 - No sign of a pregnancy, decided to go back to the doctor, because we knew I had pcos so it was time to get on them drugs I was promised. However it was a new doctor and my old notes seemed to have evaporated. He practically laughed in my face, and told me I had to be trying for at least a year before they would consider medical intervention.

April - October 2007 - Lots more shagging, ovulation predictor kits, more vitamins. No positive pregnancy test.

November 2007 - We'd waited a year. So it was back to the doctors (new doctor again - not my fault this is the nature of the National Health Service in the UK). Doctor tells me I have to wait TWO years before a referral. I wasn't about to stand for this. I pulled out a sheath of paper with all the dates and duration of my periods for the last year (I just about managed not to catalogue our couplings). It showed just how erratic my periods were with up to 93 days between periods. The doctor conceded there may be a problem and referred me to specialist fertility clinic in hospital. The appointment was scheduled for the next free slot ... January (the nature of waiting lists on the NHS)

January 2008 - Had an appointment with fertility specialist, I left with a mass of tests booked in - but no answers or those long promised drugs.

March 2008 - Test results all seem really positive, the blood test showed I was ovulating, and for once my period seemed to be fairly regular. A scan seems to show the pcos has gone but they think I may have a subseptate womb, a subsequent 3D scan shows that I don't. Husband has sperm test, he passes. We were told there was no reason why we shouldn't get pregnant very soon, so to keep at it and come back in June, 11 days after a period for a HSG (getting tubes checked to ensure there isn't a blockage) if we aren't pregnant.

May 2008 - start this blog. Figure loads of people who have a blog get pregnant.

April - June 2008 - I don't have a period, I'm not pregnant. Call hospital as worried that I can't have a HSG without first having a period prescribed Provera to bring my period on.

June 2008 - finally get a period, have a HSG

July 2008 - Possible irregularities found at the HSG need more investigation.

September 2008 - Have Hysteroscopy, discover abnormal womb lining

October 2008 - Get prescribed 3 months worth of Provera to help clear out my irregular womb lining.

January 2009 - Stopped the provera. Didn't get a period, womb lining remains intact and isn't very healthy. So have had a coil shoved up there for six months to blitz the lining and get it all tumbling out to prepare me for insemination.

27 July 2009 - Coil removed. Womb lining is a mere point 1 of a millimeter thicker than hoped, and that is good enough.

End July/ Early August 2009 - Take clomid for 5 days to kick start ovulation. (At last those drugs I was promised).

10 August 2009 - Have Interuterine Insemination. Was convinced it'd worked. It hadn't.

9 October 2009 - Have IUI number two. Fail.

11 December 2009 - The third IUI, best chance yet. Have a really good feeling about this one. I was wrong.

January 2010 - Get the go ahead for IVF.

March 2010 - Meet the IVF specialist who orders all of the tests again.

June 2010 - Have the appointment one final test outstanding, another hysteroscopy.

July 2010 - Have the hysteroscopy. Turn 34. Get the Hysteroscopy results it isn't good, I still have endometrial atypia. The plan is birth control for three months before starting IVF.

November 2010 - Coil removed. Biopsy to see if womb is clear.

December 2010 - Biopsy result shows my womb is still not fit for breeding. Have to have a womb-scrape to try and remove the abnormal cells. This is scheduled for Christmas Eve.

January 2011 - Get go ahead for IVF. IVF number one is detailed here. FAIL.

May 2011 - IVF number 2, details here. FAIL.

Nov 2011 - IVF number 3, Details here. FAIL

Jan /Feb 2012 - Start IVF number 4. Egg collection in Feb but then freeze egg whilst my womb is prepared for implantation.

April 2012 - Frozen embryo transfer. Got pregnant, but there was no heartbeat at 8 week scan.

Dec 2012 - Frozen embryo transfer. Pregnant.

Feb 2013 - 12 week scan.

31 July 2013 - Had a beautiful, healthy, baby girl!



Who Are You?

Well, maybe not you specifically but here is a whole lot of blogs written by people who are also trying to conceive (many of whom are regular readers here). But you, who are you? Please leave a comment below and let me know and if you also write a blog and want it added to the list let me know and I will continue to update.

Those on their way:
Drowning in paperwork (adopting):


And blogs who are out the other side:
Those who aren't blogging so much anymore: