Saturday, 26 September 2009

Blood and Guts

My period has arrived.

This cycle clocks in at 34 days. Which isn't bad at all as far as sort of, kinda, getting sorta regular goes.

It means that the sexcapades didn't work but I pretty much knew that already.

And if you are thinking "At least you didn't waste your pregnancy test" you'd be wrong. Because, of course, my period only decided to appear at 10.27am. Giving me just enough time to have a modicum of hope.

Despite being 93% convinced I wasn't pregnant it was still a bit of a kick in the guts.

Actually it was a massive kick in the guts, and it is still kicking. I've necked a bunch of pain killers then, once I've finished this bowl of hot chocolate, I'll head back to bed for a couple of hours. Hence the somewhat uninspired post, I can't actually think, let alone pull together a rip-roaring tale of blood and guts.

And tomorrow I will start back on the clomid.

Let IUI cycle 2 begin.



Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The End of the Two Week Wait?

Two weeks ago I got a positive ovulation test.

Precisely two weeks ago the husband was balls dee ... well you don't need to know the details. Suffice to say, we had a jolly good shot at seeing whether a back-to-basics approach would succeed where medical science had failed.

I haven't started my period yet. My nipples nip.

You'd think I might be getting excited. But I'm not, because I broke my own rules about not testing early and had a cheeky shot at the double line on Sunday. I failed.

And yes, I know some of you might be frantically shouting at the computer and telling me to read my own posts. Don't I know that testing three days early is no guarantee that the test is accurate? Have I not heard about your cousin's sister-in-law's work colleague's friend who didn't get a positive pregnancy test until two weeks after her period was due?

Yeah, whatever. I'm convinced I'm not pregnant.

Not least - as I discuss in some details over on Fertility Authority today - because my boobs aren't hurty like pregnant boobs, they are hurty like premenstrual boobs. (I think. I've no idea I've never had pregnant boobs but I have the internet and I done a lot of research).

I'll test at the weekend if my period hasn't surfaced - or, more accurately, poured out of my nether regions. In fact the only reason why I'm at all tempted to test isn't on the off-chance it'll be positive but more - as Sarah has discovered - because it is a surefire way to bring on a period.

And the start of my next period marks the start of the next round of clomid and interuterine insemination.

Bring it on!



Monday, 21 September 2009

Colour Me Bad

My header has been described as: "radioactive split pea soup" and "a slime-green color, which ... a whopping 2% of the population actually likes."

So in an attempt to silence my critics (have you noticed my increased use of comma's?), I have been tinkering with a few other colour pallets.

What do you reckon to these?


Please take a second to fill answer this poll, (all answers are anonymous).



And, whilst I am canvassing your opinion.

That last post about Top Trumps seemed to get a fair bit of interest. And it certainly helped me get a handle on where you are all at.

Do you think I should, for those of you who want to be involved, do an alternative blog roll linking to blog via people's Top Trump cards? (And if so, should I remove longest cycle length and replace with number of miscarriages?)



Friday, 18 September 2009

Top Trumps

Whenever there is a pregnancy announcement I immediately whip out my virtual card and see whether the woman beats my stats.

Are they older?

Have they been trying for longer?

Or has the person endured more, failed, medical intervention?

It is like a game of Infertility Top Trumps:


(NB. cycle length is in days).

In other words, have they 'won' the right to the next pregnancy or have they jumped the queue?

Usually the latter.

How do you score?

* Thanks to Carolyne whose tweet inspired this post.



Wednesday, 16 September 2009

One Down, One To Go

I have to say, a two week wait which isn't bound up with the expectation of IUI, is much easier to bear.

I have very little hope this month. My obsessive peeing on sticks (my daily record was four) wasn't with the expectation that a cannily timed shag would result in pregnancy. Rather I hoped that, by knowing when to expect my period, I could work out when I was due for IUI number two.

So confident am I that, despite our sexploits, we won't get pregnant without medical intervention that I have booked a week off timed to coincide with the our next post-IUI two week wait. Well, I figured if I have to live through another interminable two weeks I might as well harness its power, and make a week off feel like a month.

But if, if, I am pregnant any doubts that I had last month are abated:

1) Swine flu hasn't raised its ugly head again. So hopefully that'll go the way of SARs, Bird Flu and The Plague. And the media will find a brand new disease to scare the bejesus out of us with.

2) My husband was definitely there for the conception this time. (Well in body, who knows where his mind was).

3) I have dyed my hair back its natural colour so I could, if pressed, last the next nine months without hitting the bottle again. (I say it is its natural colour, but turns out there isn't much of a market for dull beige hair-colourant, so it is as close an approximation as I could find).

4) Talking of bottles, I went to the works outing and publicly knocked back half a bottle of Corona and one glass of wine. I made sure everyone clocked the booze - gossip averted.

5) If it has worked this month then I'd be expecting a little 'un next June. Which gets the WFI seal of approval for 'A Good Month For Birthdays'.

Sigh, maybe the next week wait will be a little harder to bear.



Sunday, 13 September 2009

Chirp, Chirp

I've joined twitter.

Joined as womb4improvement that is.

I signed-up a while ago as 'me' but this way I can follow all the fertility related twitterers that I can shake a pee-stick at without worrying that friends and work colleagues will start to ask awkward questions.

Actually I tell a lie when I say I joined as womb4improvement. I was one digit over the maximum letter count and I feared that: womb4improvemen could be read as: womb 4 improve men. A name that has connotations of all those spam emails I get promising a wonder drug that will "have your manhood knocking on her womb".

Pre-IUI that thought was pretty vile. Post-IUI I'm thinking there is a market for a drug that could make penises the length and width of a catheter; why stop at the womb opening why not get right inside the womb?

But I digress.

My twitter name is: womb4improve

The point of this post is I have no idea what the majority of you tweet as, if indeed you do, so if you wouldn't mind me as a follower please leave your tweeting name in the comments.

(And if I am honest, I only really joined because I thought of a line I should have put in this post and decided it was too good to waste so had to tweet it!)



Wednesday, 9 September 2009

^_^

I hate emoticons.

Hate with a passion that I normally save for inanimate objects that I have stubbed my toe on.

Despite my laissez-faire attitude towards punctuation in practice, I applaud it in theory. And I fear a time in the future when emoticons might become part of our punctuation arsenal. Imagine getting your exercise book back and the teacher has scrawled over it in red pen -

"After a jokingly abusive term you should use a ;-) not a :-), which is only used to denote feelings of pure joy."

My refusal to use them has probably lost me many a blogging friend, as I write an amusingly tongue-in-cheek response and that is interpreted literally as a straight forward insult. But given the choice of risking that or using emoticons, well ... see ya. (An emoticon at this juncture would be useful).

Today, however, I succumbed. I sent the husband a following text:

Can you make sure you finish work in a timely fashion tonight, and come home and hump me before we go out. I got a :-).

I think in the context of illustrating a smile on the ovulation test the use of an emoticon is appropriate.

The two week wait starts here.

PS I could have written something a little more subtle and seductive like, "Hey Big Boy, I've been thinking about you all day and I can't wait for you to get home. I'll be wearing just my smile.", but he'd only have assumed I'd sent it to him by mistake.

PPS Yes, I upgraded the double line test to the more expensive digital variety when it didn't give me the result I wanted. It worked!



Monday, 7 September 2009

Jobsworth

I'm currently recruiting at work.

You'd think that with someone from the team leaving to have a baby, I'd be steering clear of women of childbearing age. Not a bit of it.

In fact, given the choice (and a waiver on any lawsuits), I'd be looking for someone on the cusp of family planning.

Of course there is a catch.

I'll have to throw in the odd curve ball question like: Have you ever been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries? Or, does your partner favour a tighter cut of under-garment?

Because what I reckon the workforce needs is more infertile employees.

Think about it.

Prior to my current job the longest I stayed anywhere was two years. When I was two years into this role I was preparing to get hitched, and thinking that we'd start trying for a baby in about six months. Naturally I wasn't about to leave and risk losing the maternity benefits I'd accrued.

That was three years ago and I am still in a state of limbo.

How can I start interviewing for jobs knowing that I might get pregnant between interview and job offer/ job offer and starting/ during my first week at work/ before my six month probation periods has passed/ less than a year into the job?

I can't.

And, quite frankly, even if I did get a new job, I would feel guilty if I was up the duff and out of the door a few months after starting.

I know some people consciously change job after failed conception attempts, in the hope that a new role with reduced stress would provide the magical relaxation they crave. I don't fancy trying that - I find new jobs exciting but also highly stressful.

So my advice to employers: don't bow to conventional wisdom and fear that pre-menopausal women will be a liability. You might be lucky and get the one in six who find it hard to get pregnant and are too worried to leave in case they time it wrong.

Not that I want to leave my job, but it is nice to feel like you have a choice sometimes.


Saturday, 5 September 2009

Wake Me Up Before You Go Go

I am now approaching what should be ovulation day – assuming, that is, my cycle is of an average length. Prior to the periodic hiatus of the provera and coil I could go three months between periods and who knows what that meant for ovulation – certainly I saw very little evidence of it.

But, optimistic as ever, I am putting my purchases to good use.

Urine, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Normally I am fairly slow in the morning, but at the moment I throw off the duvet and leap out of bed at around 06.30, wee on a stick and wait – like a child at Christmas – for the result. Will today be the day that our ineffectual shagging actually has some chance of giving us a result?

Whilst whiling away the three minutes between outpouring and outcome I noticed the strap line on my current brand of ovulation predictor stick:

EASY TO USE – LIKE A PREGNANCY TEST

A strap line that speaks volumes.

Essentially it is saying:

“Look love, I know that if you have shelled out the best part of twenty quid on these fancy ovulation tests you have clearly been trying, and failing, to get pregnant for a good few months (or more). So you’ll have used plenty of pregnancy tests in your time, at first with hopeful anticipation and latterly with resigned but latent hope. Now at least you have a chance of a double line. Enjoy.”

So far I haven't had my double line ovulatory signal, but I have high hopes for tomorrow (or the next day, or the day after that...).


Wednesday, 2 September 2009

I know, I know

I could tell what the woman of a certain age at the checkout was thinking as she rang up my shopping today:

"Poor, naive, ignorant cow."

Because my basket was a picture of innocent optimism. It contained:

1 Box of Ovulation predictor kit (pack of seven)
1 Pregnancy test (pack of two)
1 box of multi-vitamins - For women who are trying for a baby

I could just imagine her having a little chuckle to herself later. Shaking her head at how easy I thought it would be; a case of peeing on a couple of sticks, ovulating, have a spot of marital relations, getting pregnant, double check with a quick test, Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt and the bun's in the oven.

I wanted to explain. I wanted to say:

"I know it isn't that easy but I'd quite like to know when I ovulate this month so that I know when to expect my period before my next round of IUI. And I need the pregnancy tests because I'll have to do one at some point so I might as well pick them up now (and there is an economy of scale buying two rather than just one). And I'm running out of vitamins because I have been taking them on and off for about three years now and can't see any possibility of graduating onto the early stage pregnancy ones in the near future."

Instead I just bundled my boxes of goodies into my bag and hurried away, with all my eggs in one basket.