Monday, 30 June 2008

Boss-a-nova

So I didn't spill the beans. But between hard work sawing, marking bits of wood and putting up shelves as well as helping my dad make the most of being in London with two art exhibitions, dinner round at both the sister's and the twin's house there wasn't much time for deep and meaningful conversations. I was alone with the stepmother for about half an hour and she was asking lots of leading questions which I innocently ignored and chatted about the most inane things I could think about. So I can keep a secret, see?

Or not.

I have told my boss.

On Wednesday I have my HSG (tubes checked for blockages) and with an appointment at 11.00 there is little point in going to work first and I have no idea how I'd feel afterwards so thought I'd better take the day off.

Couple that with the appointments I've had over the last six months I felt I owed him some kind of explanation and didn't want him thinking I was going for interviews or anything.

Also he is a mate he is only a couple of years older than me and we often go out boozing together (we have very similar taste in men so he gets on with the husband too). And I can't be arsed with lying or half truths (if my dad or step mother had asked me outright I would have told them what was going on).

I did a straw poll of 'the girls' first and got different responses. Generally they said I should tell him (although one made me laugh by questioning the wisdom of telling the guy who decides my promotion and pay prospects that I might go on maternity leave, she reads this and, mate, I didn't say at the time but a) he's been waiting for me to announce I am pregnant since I got married this way he's more secure about the fact I'm not about to leave than he has been for a long time and b) I'd only get statutory pay after 6 months maternity leave so even if he was budget watching he'd be more likely to give me a raise knowing there a chance he would have to pay a whole years worth anyway!)

His response was to roll his eyes say "you too?" he mentioned a three other couples, friend of his who I know, who have had or are having problems and told me to keep taking the pills.

Phew. Wish me luck for Wednesday.



Thursday, 26 June 2008

Spill the beans


So I said earlier that I couldn't keep a secret. That's not quite true. There are some folk that I can't keep a secret from. I mean the girls who know about the blog knew I lost my virginity before the guy I lost it to knew.

But I can keep a secret from my Dad.

Now a bit of back story. My dad is brilliant. Since my Mum died, when I was 15, my dad has been great (well he was fantastic before hand but since he's had to do two jobs). Looking after three teenage girls (even nice, unrebellious ones like us lot) wasn't easy. He'd bulk buy us tampax (always making the same joke about nose bleeds - now do you see where my sense of humour comes from?), he would drive us around if necessary (we lived in the middle of nowhere so it was always necessary), and if we got grumpy he'd cuddle us till we relented and smiled. And tomorrow he is coming for the weekend to make me shelves. (The husband isn't a DIY-er)

I thought about telling him about the whole baby-making deficiency (not about the blog for obvious reasons). But decided that it would raise all kinds of questions I didn't want him to think about (like the fact that I have sex).

It's his wife's 60th next year and she has invited his daughters, their husbands, her daughters, their husbands and the three existing grandchildren to celebrate it with her on holiday. Fine. Portugal will be nice in May. But that is 11 months away, who know's whether I'll be about to drop or have a young baby, or be puking my guts out with morning sickness by then. But they invited me and I didn't feel I could say yes with a caveat of impending pregnancy.

I mentioned to the twin I was surprised they hadn't considered this might be a problem. And then it came out. They spoke to the twin first (who got married about a year ago - 6 months after me) and mentioned the holiday "As long as you aren't pregnant then". The twin is due to start a new job in August and certainly doesn't want to start it pregnant so isn't planning on trying for kids for a wee while so it didn't upset her, but, knowing what we are going through said:

"You'd better not say that to your other daughter [well obviously she said my name but in the spirit of anonynimity you get the picture]".

"I haven't mentioned it to her yet but why not"

"Why do you think? Its not all that easy getting pregnant!"

"Oh”

So now my secret is out and whilst we spend the weekend with father/daughter shelf-building bonding (did any of you get here through googling that phrase?) we are going to have that particular infertility elephant perched on the sofa.

So I'm taking bets on who will crack first. What do you reckon:
a) Womb4Improvement you clearly can't keep you mouth shut, you'll definitely talk to him about it
b) Your dad's going to be dying of curiosity, of course he’ll bring it up
c) You said in your previous post you were British, naturally you won't talk about it but you'll have a jolly good chat about Wimbledon.

Take your pick. Answers on a postcard (or comment box).




Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Wait for it


I have my HSG (hysterosalpingogram / fallopian tube check) scheduled for Wednesday 2 July. I've read the information sheet says: "Because of the X-ray nature of this examination, it may be advisable to avoid pregnancy until after your next period has begun".

“May be advisable”, what does that mean?

My last period was over 80 days ago, so if the next cycle is as long do I have to wait all that time?

I haven’t ovulated since 18 March so already feel like I’m making up for lost time even if the next couple of cycles are regular, if I wait the next time I can have sex with any kind of reproductive intentions will be August at the earliest. Which means I'd have had 5 months without any chance of getting pregnant.

But if I go ahead and a miracle happens and there are abnormalities will I wish that I had waited?

If they were clear “Use contraception until after your next period” then I wouldn’t question the advice. But “may be advisable” it just sounds like a catch-all caveat.

Don’t worry I don’t need you to answer I’ll put these questions to the doctor on the day and will report back.

By the way, when I rang to make my appointment, the nurse also told me that I ‘wasn’t allowed ANY physical contact with my partner between now and the HSG’. Wow. Any?! You’d think health care professionals who work in the reproductive medicine unit would be matter-a-fact enough just to say no sex. Unless the girls in the playground were right and you really can get pregnant holding hands with a boy!




Sunday, 22 June 2008

Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow ...


So the Provera (or Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Ph. Eur.) has finally worked. Now I have to wait for my HSG (tube to be checked for blockages) in 6 to 10 days.

For those of you who want to know how long it takes Provera to work. I took 10mg a day (5mg twice a day) for 7 days. Finished on Wednesday and got my period this morning (Sunday), but I did a fair bit of internet research and it sounds like it can take anything from 24 hours to 14 days after the last pill for it to bring your period on.

I'm quite a matter-a-fact type person so use the word period to describe, well, a period or menstural flow; but I know many folk prefer euphemisms so here is my thesaurus of words to use instead of period. (Mainly because I've got nothing else to write about).


Aunt/ Auntie Flo - an internet favourite, never heard it used in 'real life'
The Curse - this was what we called it at school, at the time it wasn't a curse, now it really feels like one
On the Blob - doesn't really need an explanation
Rag Week - for those not in the UK, Rag Week is normally when students run around dressed as animals raising money for charity
Barnesly Playing At Home - Barnsley (the football team) wear red shirts when playing at home
Monthlies - Once a month?! I wish.
Having the decorators/ painters in - because they are..
... Painting The Town Red
Surfing The Crimson Tide - its almost poetic
Riding the Monthly Cycle - Again I say, monthly?
Flags are out - think bunting, but just in red

I warn you, those of a delicate disposition don't read further!



Really, this is not nice but in the interest of science I have to include it.



OK ... but I'm not going to be held responsible ...



If you found this site be searching for this phrase you should be ashamed



(But secretly I'm quite impressed.)




Bleeding From The Axe Wound
On that note, I'm off, anyone got any others?



Thursday, 19 June 2008

Still Waiting


If I was Phileas Fogg I'd be bounding into the Reform Club, new bride on one arm and the trusty Passepartout lugging my luggage behind.

Instead it has been 80 days since my last period and I have very little to show for it. If I had got pregnant during my last cycle I'd be gearing up for my 12 week scan just now, and probably suffering from morning sickness and feeling bloated - like a bilious hog (do you see what I did there?).

Even Jesus only spent 40 days in the wilderness I've been scratching around with my barren desert of a womb for double that (latent catholicism coming out there - see I'm culturally programmed to have at least 14 kids).

I feel cheated I should be ovulating for the third time since my last period

But I'll try and put a positive spin on it:

Positive: I've saved a fortune on tampax, pain killers and chocolate
But: I've spent a fortune on pregnancy tests and ovulations tests (I'm like the Pavlov's dog of the ttc world, now when I go to the loo I need to pee on something or it doesn't work)

Positive: I haven't had to take any time off work because of crippling period pains
However: I've had to take time off work to get rummaged around in and be prescribed Provera to bring my period on.

Positive: I haven't had to force the husband to have sex
Although: I haven't much felt like having sex

Positive: Without various hormones tearing round my body my mood has been consistent
Negative: My mood has been consistently a bit miserable




Monday, 16 June 2008

B.A.B.I.E.S


I started this blog because every other blog that I could find about trying to conceive seemed to be full of those tickers that tells you the author's baby is 30 weeks and now has toenails, or full of the trials of having a two year old. Anyone who started blogging about trying to get pregnant was now there. Fantastic. But didn't help me, I wanted to find others in my situation.

Initially disheartening, I figured that I should take solace from all these people who were a similar situation to me who have now got there. And you never know maybe someone in the future will feel the same about this blog.

So I call this list:

Blogs About Being Infertile Eventuallly Succeed (geddit!)

Baby Wanted

DysLexie's TTC Blog
Mission: Impossible, or adventures in infertility
My Fertility Stories
The Sticky Bean Preconception Journey

The Trying Game
My Little Drummer Boys
Making Babies

Uncomplicate Me
Maybe If You Just Relax


If anyone out there wants to be added, or has recommendations, drop me a line or comment and I'll update.



Saturday, 14 June 2008

Can you keep a secret?


I can't. Not at all. I mean other people's I'm fine with, but not mine.

Originally this blog was gong to be totally anonymous, a chance to vent with no fears about how people would judge me.

But I had to tell the husband, otherwise he'd assume the constant tap-tap-tapping on the keyboard was some recently kindled internet romance.

Then my twin, my womb-mate, she's been with me from the start (quite literally) she had to know.

If she knew my older sister couldn't be kept in the dark.

But that was it.

OK, just one more, the friend going through the same experiences but has been trying for even longer than me, who told me the first year was the worst.

Last lot.

The four girls I went to school with, my best friends who I have known since I was 11, I have been their bridesmaids and they have always been my confidants, and I tell them as much as is in the blog anyway – this way I don’t have to repeat it lots of times.

Done now. No one else.

For now...



Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Bite the bullet (point)


So Doctors today:
  • Just the 3 departments on 2 sites before I found the right one
  • Had to walk through maternity section - just to remind me what I was missing
  • Handed over a fresh, warm cup of wee, another pregnancy test (negative)
  • Had an internal scan, they couldn't find one of my ovaries - though it has been seen before so it was probably hiding under my bowel (and who wouldn't if an ultrasound was banging around your home)
  • Was prescribed Medroxyprogesterone Acetate, two a day for seven days, to bring on my period
  • Picked up 2 rectal pain killers for the HSG when they test my tubes, (well, they probably thought my 'front bottom' was getting all the action so wanted me to shove something up the back passage too!)
Lovely!





Sunday, 8 June 2008

Bring it on!

I'm going to be induced on Wednesday. Don't worry I haven't been deceiving you. I'm not pregnant, but if you read my post in May, Day 58, then you may have wondered what has happened since. In a word, nothing. So they are going to bring on my period

Last time I went the the doctors she had the results of the first battery of tests. Lets get his one out of the way, sperm count was normal (his not mine, that would be weird). And the tests they did on me all came back fine, even to the extent that she said because I had been regular for the last 6 months it didn't look like I had polycystic ovaries (pcos) anymore.


That was in March and the doctor suggested we went away tried some more, and to book a follow up appointment at the end of June. In the meantime she ordered a quick look at a possible cleft womb that one of the internals indicated, and for me to have my tubes checked.

The appointment for the check for the cleft came through and it was on day 31 of my cycle. I went along paranoid that the guy doing the internal scan would have to contend with a whole lot of blood (yuk) but it didn't appear. At the time I asked him about pcos and he said that it didn't look like I had it. However, I also asked him whether it looked like I was about to get my period (I thought maybe I was at the very early stages of pregnancy - the scan would have been safe if I was), and he told me my womb lining looked pretty thick - so yes I was due anyday. That was 38 days ago I am now on day 68 of my cycle so I don't have a whole lot of respect for his judgment any more. Oh, and I don't have a cleft womb.

The tubes test I was quite excited about because a couple of people have told me of friends who had it done and although they couldn't find a blockage they got pregnant really soon afterwards, so they thought it had cleared something out. I had to have it done on day 6 - 10 of my cycle and the results would be discussed at the end of June.

I decided to be sensible and wait for my May period before I had it done (I also wasn't happy about the fact I was given a prescription for strong pain killers to take before hand - ouch). Of course May has been and gone (and my last day 6 was back in April when I thought I had plenty of time) and the doctors appointment when she goes through the results is coming up. So I called the hospital and they are bringing me in to induce a period this week, then I can have my tubes fiddled around with, and the doctors appointment has been postponed until the end of July.

Phew. Has anyone had a period induced? Do you know what it involves - or is ignorance bliss and I don't want to know?

I'll let you know how it goes.






Friday, 6 June 2008

A question ...


What do a 19 year old couple and the sleezy guy in the pub last night have in common? They are both complete strangers who have recently told me that I "should have children".

Whilst it it very flattering that these people who have only spoken to me for a few minutes have been so quick to notice my clearly outstanding genes, and no doubt feel that for the good of mankind I have to reproduce, it does leave me floored as to how to respond.

I normally say something quite lame and non-committal like "yeah we probably will have kids someday", blatently lie "Kids?! God, I'm not ready for them yet", or try (not very successfully) to be humorous "Oooh no! You have to have sex for that, yuk".

I'm sure you guys can do better. I want witty retorts that will not invite more questions, and not let them know that we have been trying for a year and a half without success. Any ideas?








Thursday, 5 June 2008

Milestones


I went to the dentist this morning. I'm very good to my teeth. I go every 6 months.

I went just before my wedding and the dentist asked, as he always does, if I am on any medication, if I am allergic to anything and if I am pregnant. At that time it was almost exciting to be asked because I said no but thought, maybe next time...

When he asked today, the third time since then, again I had to say no, but now it sounded more like a taunt than a standard question.

A friend of mine who is going through a similar experience to me but is a year further down the road told me when I blurted out that I was trying to have a baby but hadn't had any joy, that the first year is the worst. And she is right because during that first year you are ridiculously hopeful and excited and only after 12 months of trying do you try an protect yourself a bit more and expect the worst so any good news is a bonus.

What she didn't say was that there are also little milestones that bring it home how long you have been trying. Like the dentist appointment, like my birthday (number 32 is coming up and I know that I'll remember last birthday I hoped that in a year I'd either have a baby or be pregnant), like 3 months after my birthday when I'll know that the youngest I'll be is 33 when I have a baby, and like my wedding anniversary. I really want it to be a happy occasion but I am worried that it will be yet another reminder of how long we have been trying and how difficult it has been.

What are the milestones that you have, that marks the passage of time?



Monday, 2 June 2008

Don't You (Forget About Me)

I found a site the other day and the writer, a mother of three, said that each time she tried to get preganant her and her husband did everything right, they ate well, they stopped caffine they charted her ovulation cycle. All good. And each time, nothing, then they stopped trying. Tore up the charts and just did what they wanted when they felt like it. Quicker than you can say "is that a pregnancy test in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?" She was pregnant. The moral. Don't try, let nature take its own path.

Nice idea but how the hell do you do that? Fair enough, maybe writing a blog about trying to get pregnant isn't the best way to 'stop trying'. But even if you try to pretend that you are doing what you'd naturally do anyway you can't help, in that post-coital moment, thinking "maybe this is it ..."

In an attempt to fool myself into believing that I wasn't really trying I have continued to drink alcohol, got a dog, gone for promotions, planned holidays. Still nothing.

The answer, I believe, is there is no fool proof way to get pregnant, and anyone out there who confidently tells you what worked for them, it doesn't mean it is a panacea that will work for everyone. Instead it is incredibly unhelpful for people to start swapping 'foolproof ways to get pregnant', there is no fool proof way. And even if 'forgetting about trying to get pregnant' worked for someone there is no real way of telling whether, they would have got pregnant that month regardless of how they acted or not.


Can you tell this has started to piss me off? Has anyone else been give 'tips' by their fertile friends?