Monday, 28 December 2009

A Textbook Case

Apparently there are five classic stages of grief. Whilst I wouldn't dream of equating a negative pregnancy test with the kind of grief a miscarriage might bring, a negative after some kind of medical intervention is, for me harder than that of a 'normal' cycle. (If I can call my cycles such a thing).

And I seem to be working through the cycle of grief in a text book manner:

1. Denial
After the first IUI there was denial - or disbelief. "This can't be right," I thought as I peered for a non-existent line. Because I had known it would work, remember? I was convinced this would be it, and now a stick of plastic wrapped around a scrap of litmus paper has the audacity to try and tell me otherwise?

2. Anger
After the fail of my second IUI I wasn't just angry. I was furious. It wasn't fair, hadn't I done everything I could? I had spent a fortune on alternative therapy, not drunk booze, given up my tea. I love tea more than wine, but it was gone (and spoilt forever, I tried a proper cuppa the other day and had to throw it away due to the cloying milkiness that I use to love). But even that managed to do fuck all.

3. Bargaining
OK to be fair the bargaining happend just before the last negative.

On the morning of the 23rd, I felt the familiar hip-ache and stomach cramping that, for the twenty odd years I have been having them, signified the onset of my period.

It made sense, sure it was two days earlier than I expected but the same thing had happened last time I had a trigger shot.

All that remained was to pull on the black granny pants, fill my bag with every absorbent material known to man and go into work, and wait.

And wait.

And make frequent trips to the toilet just to check. Any sure enough; one, two, three drops of blood.

But then nothing. Hmm ... how can I write this in a way that won't spoil your turkey sandwiches?

Normally, there is more cranberry sauce at the start of the meal. If you know what I mean.

I had a quick consultation with Dr Google and discovered, implantation bleeding can happen as late as day 12, and it can be accompanied with period-like cramping.

And that is when the bargaining started. Except it was not really bargaining as, being a heathen, I had no one to bargain with, and having given up pretty much every vice already I had nothing left to bargain with. So instead my bargaining consisted of me sitting on the ceramic throne whispering "pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease" as I checked and double checked that there was still nothing that could be decently called a period.

It was that evening, when I was out with my sister that I nipped to the loo and any pretense of implantation was shattered.

So what have I got to look forward to?

Depression and then, apparently, acceptance.


Unless, things actually start working in the new year.

But that is too much to dare to hope for, isn't it?

Thursday, 24 December 2009

They Think Its All Over ...

... It is now.

Barnsley is playing at home. Translation: my period has started.

Just like last time when I had a trigger shot, I haven't had to wait the full fourteen days for a result because after a mere twelve my period has gatecrashed the party, and left blood everywhere. (Twelve days of Christmas, my arse).

So that is it.

I've had the last of the three free Intrauterine Inseminations (try saying that after one to many sherries). I go back to the doctor early February (unless I can squeeze into a cancelled appointment in January) to find out what happens next.

I suspect they will suggest IVF, I imagine I will get one NHS-funded shot, I have no idea what the waiting list is like, I never really thought it would come to this. I am not sure if I even want IVF (but that is a whole other post).

Bring on a boozy Christmas with hot baths and soft cheeses.

Not exactly what I'd planned but I'm still determined to enjoy myself. And I hope you do too.

Merry Christmas!!


Monday, 21 December 2009

Time To Break The Law?

You know what I am talking about, it has happened to you. Whether it is getting your period moments after peeing on a pregnancy test or realising your booze-orientated Christmas party falls slap bang in the middle of your two week wait.

We've all been there, but over on Fertility Authority I have claimed it as my own.

Introducing: Womb For Improvement's Law, go over and check it out.

Moving on, how many of you are actually noting down the advent calendar changes in the hope of winning an as yet undefined prize?* If you are, well done.

But, if you want to win a proper prize you could do worse than sign up for Fertility Authorities' Daily Shot. Sign up before the 24 of December and you'll be in a draw to receive five hundred bucks wort of goodies, details here.

Joining the Daily Shot means everyday you get a short email with a nugget of information, a quick opinion piece or even a fertility-boosting recipe. Just enough to remind you, you are not alone.

To enter you need to register as a member of Fertility Authority AND check the Subscriptions: Daily Shot: The FertilityAuthority Newsletter option. (And once you are a member you can comment on my posts over there, which are current woefully under remarked upon!)

*If you are planning on entering my competition not how the header has changed daily from 1 - 24 December, answers by email by 2 January please! (Email: womb4improvement (at) gmail dot com).

Friday, 18 December 2009

One week down

It has been a week since the IUI.

It doesn't feel like it.

Not because the time has gone really quickly, or really slowly for that matter, more that I keep forgetting it actually happened. Could this be the mythical 'just relaxing' that we are so often told about?

There's been no symptom google-searching, there's been no symptom to search. I feel utterly average, normal, unpregnant.

Of course this doesn't mean I'm not on my way. And I'm not prepared to write this IUI off as a fail.


But part of me is dreading Christmas now. I have stupidly told a lot of people who know about our infertility that we are getting our results on Christmas day, and that includes my Dad.

One of the worst thing about the failure of the first IUI was just texting my close friends to say it hadn't worked. I pictured them getting my text and for that fraction of a second before they opened it being excited that this might be it. (That finally I might get another topic of conversation and they could stop reading my blog). I couldn't have called anyone, I was too upset to say the words "I'm not pregnant" out-loud.

On Christmas day I don't think I'm going to be able to get away with not speaking to anyone.
I'm going to give it a bloody good shot though, the husband, dog and I are Christmassing alone. (And don't feel sorry for us, we are really looking forward to it and have declined six invitations already).

But I will have to ring my Dad, I just hope the pregnant pause in the conversation will come right before I announce a pregnancy, not because we'll both be keenly aware there is none to announce.

Hmmmm .... maybe a mince pie for breakfast will make me feel more festive and upbeat.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Festive Fun


From the makers of last season's smash hit Barren Bingo, this Christmas try Conception Deception.

Watch as your in-laws note you refusing wine.

Laugh whilst your father wonders why you aren't eating the soft cheese.

Snigger at your sisters clocking your lack of pâté.

Get bonus points every time someone asks if you are OK and suggests you put your feet up.

This year make the run up to Christmas one long guessing game - a game where even you won't know the answer until Christmas morning.

Conception Deception - a game that all the family can enjoy*.

*WARNING: This game is suitable for adult females who had an IUI on or around the 11th of December, and their families. The manufacturers of the game take no responsibility for any distress caused by the outcome of the game, and cannot be held responsible for ruining Christmas.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Compare and Contrast

The Biology - Her
IUI # 1: Three follicles measuring 23mm, 17/18mm and 14/15mm
IUI # 2: Two follicules 16.5mm and 18mm (measured day before IUI)
IUI # 3: One follicule 20mm (measured day before IUI)
Winner = IUI # 1

The Biology - Him
IUI # 1: 94% mobility of 30 million per ml
IUI # 2: 95% mobility of 25 million sperm per ml
IUI # 3: 91% mobility of 40 million sperm per ml
Winner = IUI # 3

Stress Levels
IUI # 1: 09.00: Had scan, discovered I hadn't booked an appointment for the sperm clinic, got a bit stressed, booked sperm clinic appointment for 14.00. Went back to work. Returned at 15.00 for IUI.
IUI # 2: Incredibly busy at work all morning, dashed to hospital for IUI at 12pm, dashed home, walked dog, back at work at 1.30pm, 2pm in meeting with a senior manager (which I had been worrying about for days, I thought I was going to get in to trouble, it was fine in the end but certainly stressed me out) .
IUI # 3: Took the day off work. Started the day with acupuncture, had a massage at 14.15, the IUI was delayed so didn't happen until 16.55 - but wasn't rushing to get to work so that wasn't a problem.
Winner = IUI # 3

Post-IUI Rleaxation
IUI # 1: IUI without husband, got up within 2 minutes
IUI # 2: IUI with husband, got up within 4 minutes
IUI # 3: IUI with husband, remained lying down for 10 minutes after the insemination (as recommended here).
Winner = IUI # 3

The husband's preparation
IUI # 1: No change in drinking habits
IUI # 2: Taking zinc tablets when he remembers, no change in drinking habits
IUI # 3: Took zinc tablets on a daily basis (without fail), Husband didn't drink alcohol for five days prior to IUI
Winner = IUI # 3

The Results
IUI # 1: Negative Pregnancy Test
IUI # 2: Negative Pregnancy Test
IUI # 3: Unknown

Dammit, I've only gone and let hope in again.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

And closer ...

During my mid twenties I delayed a cervical smear test for about a year because I couldn't bear the idea of anyone burrowing a machine in my tunnel of love. And when I finally made the appointment I was quite clear that I wanted a woman to perform this intimate investigation.

Nowadays I am completely blasé about medical professionals chucking one up me.

Blasé to the point when I was pleased that it was the handsome male Doctor rooting around for my ovaries, rather than last time's sour-faced scanner.

He too had trouble locating my left ovary but, unlike the afore mentioned, didn't berate me for my healthy diet or push a little too viciously on my bladder.

As it stands my right ovary has managed to grow one follicle measuring 16mm (around 20mm is what we are looking for), my left ovary is truly sulky and refusing to oblige me with anything. But as Eunice said when she looked at the results "it only takes one" (yeah, but I bet she wouldn't say that to the husband).

Anyway there is clearly still a few days growth left so I will return on Thursday morning for either the IUI or a trigger shot so they can squeeze in the IUI on Friday.

I presume it goes without saying, that I really, really hope it works this time ...

Saturday, 5 December 2009

It Is Getting Closer

As promised for any of you late to the advent party these are the first five day's changes, all you need to do is get the next nineteen and email me for a chance of a prize, (regardless of where you are based you'll get something...)

Day 1: Removed Paint Brush & Roller
Day 2: Removed all Green
Day 3: Added Christmas Tree
Day 5: Snow capped the words and tree

The header will change each day at 8am GMT. Keep your peeper's peeled.

In other news I picked up my prescription for the trigger shot so that should I need to encourage my ovaries to burst prior to the IUI I've got the drugs on hand.

The bored cashier went through her standard list of questions in a disinterested voice:
"Date of birth?"
"Are you currently on any medication?"
"Are you allergic to any medication?"
"Are you pregnant?"

I don't know if there was a catch in my voice as I answered that last question but for the first time she actually lifted her eyes and looked at me. She glanced back at the prescription, clearly realised what it was for and apologised profusely.

Actually, too profusely.

About eight times.

I've put my foot in it more times than I care to remember, I have a knack of saying the wrong thing (at this point I must apologise to the husband: Sorry love). Anyway, less than a week before the next IUI she could have said anything that didn't involve the word "cancelled" and I wouldn't have cared.