Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Dreams can come true ...

There can be a sense, when you are doing IVF, that you are just another vagina to the doctors.

Despite being in and out of the clinic for a good few years I never seen more than a flicker of recognition from the receptionist, and the nurses are all lovely but again I never got the sense that they knew me.

Doctors have come and gone (not literally: that would be both disgusting and profoundly unprofessional), but my most recent physician has seen me through three of the last five IVF/ FETs. From her, more than anyone I got the sense that she was monitoring my progress between appointments and treating my womb-base conundrum with the respect it deserved.

I felt vindicated, therefore, when I went for a scan in the lead up to this transfer and my Doctor declared she'd had a dream about me and woke up sweating. Disappointingly, it transpires it wasn't a sex dream she had, but one in which she panicked about how to get me pregnant.

I have rarely felt such a sense of achievement.

I do feel that this round she really has thrown all she can at me. As well as the pharmacy of drugs I listed in this post I have also been main-lining intralipids. One session about a week before the FET and another one scheduled for four weeks later.

If I am pregnant.

I guess I'll know in a just over a week. I am hoping that it is my dreams that will come true, not my Doctors. 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Curse Of The Speculum

This was my fifth embryo transfer.

I've had good ones - number four was awesome. The doctor was up there like a ferret up a trouser leg filling me full of embryos before I had time to say "Is it in yet?"

And, I'd thought, I'd had bad ones.

I hadn't.

Not until now.

Doctor Number Four was on hand for the transfer but for some reason he gave the task of getting the speculum in place and winching me open to a woman I'd not met before. I have a feeling she was a trainee.

On day one of her training.

It would be churlish to assume she was just being awkward when she ignored my slightly know-it-all advice that I "usually need a longer speculum." Fair enough she wanted to try with the standard length first, and after a few minutes shoving and pushing I was in too much pain to look triumphant as she replaced that one on the tray and reached for the longer one. Even though in my head I was thinking "I fucking told you so" and trying to alternate those thoughts with " and relax ... I'm in a garden... let me open up my lotus flower* to the humming bird of destiny ...."

The longer speculum it turns out was the least of my worries. After the Crinone and Protogest being shoved up there twice daily and the inability to use any kind of lubricant for a embryo transfer should it interfere with the embryo I was dryer than dead dingo's donger (thanks to our antipodean cousins for that simile).

She cranked, shoved, twisted, pushed, really put her back into it.

"Cough!" she'd bark periodically. Then "Relax!" with all the charm and effectiveness of a brutal prison officer.

"So, do you normally find smear tests quite tough?" she panted at one point, by way of conversation. I was close to tears, both trying to relax and at the same time hold in a bladder full of dutifully consumed water, and in the process of holding the husbands hand so tight I was in danger of cutting off circulation to all his fingers.

"No" was all I could squeak back.

Way to make her feel even more inadequate!

Bearing in mind what I've told you about my sex life recently it got to the point when I was starting to wonder whether my hymen had actually grown back and was causing the blockage.

Eventually, after literally twenty minutes of hardcore near-bondage action, Doctor Number Four came to my rescue. He let me slip out of the room and empty my bladder by two cups. Then with a degree of difficulty but not the sweating and shoving of the other woman got me poised to receive the embryo.

Just the one embryo this time.

Let's hope that the inauspicious start doesn't affect the outcome, but on the plus side if it does work I can't imagine labour can be any worse that getting it in there in the first place**.

*Not really the whole lotus flower thing, but I really was trying to think calming thoughts.

** Chill out mothers amongst you, I know that labour will be hundreds of times worse, it is called hyperbole. And I wanted to get in there with that before my comments section fills up with labour tales. 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Womb scan update

Four days ago I needed just one more millimeter of growth to get the 8mm lining that my Doc was looking for. Eight to 14 is the optimum thickness for embryo transfer.

Four days ago I'd been scanned and judged to be increasing womb thickness at a rate of about a millimeter a day.

Four days ago I was taking - and have been continuing to take - a shed-load of drugs to help that womb lining plump up. Shall we just recap on what I am taking to try to my make womb lining do what it should be doing naturally at this stage of a cycle?

I'm slapping on Oestrogen patches (Everol) on each upper thigh and refreshing them every 48 hours (as a fun bonus giving my upper thighs a little three inch square waxing as I rip them off). But this isn't the only stuff worming its way into my system.

As an added Oestrogen-fix I'm swallowing three little Progynova pills a day, and for added straight-to-the-womb goodness shoving two of the same little ones up the love tunnel.

But that isn't all that is going up the wizard's sleeve. I've got Crinone being squished up there twice a day - a progesterone chaser. And, of course the bloody bum jabs, Prontogest for straight to the arse-muscle progesterone.

So bearing that in mind.

How much do you reckon my womb lining has grown?

Wanna throw a ballpark number into the ring?

And before you go betting the family silver on this, just remember one thing:

This is my womb-lining we are talking about. (Have a quick look at the blog title, see it isn't over optimistic about my womb).

And you answer?

Bonus points and a free subscription to the blog if you said zero millimeters.




Fuck all.

Still 7mm.

My Doctor is, amazingly, unconcerned. She is happy to go ahead with the transfer regardless. I am not sure if her nonchalance is a front to reassure me, or if she really isn't that bothered, but her optimism is kind of infectious.

The good news, as far as she is concerned, is that its constituents parts are looking top-notch - if a little thin, kinda like Demi Moore after her break up.

It has the triple-layer that my Doc looks for and that is more important than a fat old womb.

Also an embryo is tiny right? If a person can drown in seven inches of water an embryo can dig-in in 7mm of plumped-up womb.

Transfer will happen this week.

Bring it.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

tap ... tap ... is this thing on?

Well this blogging lark hasn’t really taken off for me in 2013 has it?

Never fear, you have not been forgotten - merely my blogging has been superseded by real life events.

This year I’ve moved.


First into my older sister's house for a week which was in many ways brilliant. We get on really well, and luckily so do our respective husbands. In fact to the casual observer one might almost suspect the boys get on better than the girls as a peek into the sitting room at night would see the chaps discussing their shared passion for football, wine and – a newly discovered one – Pawn Stars. Whilst my sister and I curled up at either end of the sofa grunting monosyllabically at each other whilst playing Words With Friends (with each other).

I became the bedtime story reader of choice for my four year old nephew. Whilst the six year old, trying to read his own book, stomped off to another room for some peace and quiet – clearly my dramatic voices for Bob the Builder’s various mechanical friends were too distracting.

It wasn’t all fantastic and any vaguely nurtured thoughts of moving to South London were swiftly cast aside when I let both trains and tubes pass me before managing to haul myself on to the third of fourth that came along and squash myself under someone’s armpit for the journey. As someone who, in ten years of working in London, has only ever walked or cycled to work it was a hideous shock. Four days of the commute was enough to put me off forever.

The next move was into a rented flat in the area that we have decided we want to live in. A road away from ‘the house that fell through’. The flat is smaller than our last one and colder.

So, so much colder.

But we are in, we have the dog back, we are surrounded boxes and we have no internet or TV. So are discovering the lost art of conversation (and huddling together for body warmth).

But you don’t want to hear about the mundanities of my new flat - this blog is Womb For Improvement, not Room for Improvement. Snort! And the womb has not been inactive.

From a standing start of a womb lining that was so thin it was practically non-existent I started the drugs. So many drugs. Side effects haven’t been too bad. I read that the steroids I am taking (Prednisolone) have a tendency to make the takers really energised to the extent they suffer from insomnia. I’ve not noticed this but I do, on advice, take them in the morning with food so maybe the insomnia would be more pronounced if taking them just before bed.

The other side effect is said to be weight gain. I have definitely chubbed up. I have been eating a lot, but is is difficult to know whether the drugs are really to blame or just my natural greed being given full reign on the basis that I am always happier to treat myself when undergoing a cycle (and depriving myself of booze and tea).

So the other day, a week after starting the drugs I went for a scan to see how things were developing and it was awesome. 7 mm in 7 days. They are looking for 8mm and with at least another week to go things are looking very positive.

I go back on Saturday for a another scan and hopefully from that a date for the transfer.


Long post.

And this is why I shouldn’t leave it so long between posts in the future.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Changes are afoot

I can now say with more confidence than I have felt for the past six years, next Christmas will be different.

In previous years I've hoped that difference will be a baby. For a very short while it looked like 2012 might be that year, or at least a Christmas where I would be waddling around four days overdue.

Next year however things will definately be different. Whether there will be a baby it is too early to tell. One thing I know for sure is we won't be in the same flat that I have lived in for the last eight years.

I told you we were selling our flat and buying a house. Well, we are halfway there. We move out of our flat on the fourth of January. The house purchase however, not so much.

It has been an incredibly stressful few weeks and two weeks ago it became apparent that the house we wanted to buy wasn't really for sale. (Long story, but from agreeing to rent it for a couple of months between selling ours and actually buying the house it turned out the sellers wouldn't give any kind of date by which time the house would be ours, and after months of changing stories we got to the point that we didn't trust them to ever sell.)

The upshot is we pulled out of  the purchase so are moving into my sister's house for a week and then a rented flat whilst we try to find somewhere else to buy.

After eight years in this flat it does feel time to move on but with just a few days to go I am starting to go dewey-eyed about what we are leaving behind.

It was the first place the husband and I bought together, we got engaged in the pub opposite, got married up the road, moved the dog in, even put up shelves (with the help of my Dad).

Oddly enough it is the memories that haven't happened here that also haunt me. The spare room has never become a nursery. I always thought this would be a good place to have a baby - it is small enough to not need a baby alarm and there are no perilous stairs for inquisitive children to fall down. I won't take junior to the local play park where I see other parents when I take the dog for a walk. My child will miss out on the mothers and babies music group in the theatre opposite.

Still maybe next year I can make some real memories.

Happy New Year all of you, I hope 2013 is the source of some wonderful memories for you as well.