Medical intervention

So I am back in the waiting room at the docs having dutifully dropped off my sample yesterday morning.  It’s the first time I have pissed through someone’s letter box (not literally of course)! 

It’s been a turbulent week and I am now pursuaded that I am not pregnant but I have to go through the motions regardless.  I didn’t have a normal period at all but have probably bled enough over a longer period of time for it to actually have been one.  I had the most painful cramps I have ever had in my life (so much so I almost had to call in sick) coupled with the continued bloating and general bleurgh-ness.  

I think the proper bleeding started just after my visit to the GP on Wednesday, whether the internal prompted it or not I am not sure.  It wasn’t like normal period blood though, fresher looking and very red.  It didn’t really get that heavy (which it usually is) either.  The amount of blood seemed out of kilter with the amount of pain.  On Friday there was something other than blood, something bigger than a clot and (pardon the imagery) quite meaty.  I have no idea what it was but took it as a bad sign nonetheless.  

Whether I have actually been pregnant I suppose we will never know.  I am just keen now to get back to normal and start trying again.  An article in the Independent yesterday prompted me to download the app ‘Clue’ which is basically a cycle tracker.  It was useful to go back over my symptoms over the past week and it will hopefully help me with the counting going forward.  

I don’t know what to expect from the appointment this morning.  I am not sure what the doc can say or do.  Perhaps she’ll suggest some tests? Perhaps not.  At least I am on the radar now and moving to the next stage of the conception journey. 

And that is exactly what the doctor said, test was negative (unsurprisingly) so no idea whether what I went through was a very early miscarriage or just a blip in my cycle.  I am booked in for blood tests mid-cycle (estimated) and if they’re ok husband may have to have his swimmers tested, not sure how he will react to that! 

Not Pregnant 

That was the conclusion of the second test.

No sooner had I finished my last post than I started spotting.  Apparently this too is quite common and can either be a remnant of your usual period hormones or an ’embedding’ bleed so I did not lose hope entirely.  However, during the course of the day I started having cramps which increased in intensity.  The bleeding did not really increase but remained an occasional watery spotting with a very slight sign of clotting.

I took the second test this morning after retiring with a hot water bottle early last night in an attempt to ease the cramps.  I half expected to wake up to a full blown period but I didn’t.  I was not expecting a positive result from the test though.  

It is disappointing but I am now keen to get back to ‘trying’ just not sure how to go about it when I have yet to have a period.  On my usual cycle I should be ovulating next week but this must have thrown it.  I am currently sat in the waiting room of my GP to discuss it with her.  

I don’t know whether I have actually been pregnant or whether it was just something that delayed my period.  I could have been reading more into the symptoms because I wanted them to mean I was pregnant.  

Been in to see the doc now, had a thorough examination (which did not reveal anything unusual) and she did not seem overly concerned by anything I told her.  All quite common.  Apparently I could still be pregnant and have to do another test next Monday.  They will test my urine and then I have to go in on Tuesday for a further consultation. 

So, all hope is not quite lost, not yet! Back to the cramps.

Still none the wiser

So the result of the test was ‘Not Pregnant’ and I don’t know what to think.

I had planned to take it Friday night (being a novice) but the guidance informed me that first thing in the morning would give a more accurate result so I waited.  At 7am I woke up needing the loo so, half-blindly (without glasses) I turned the light on in the bathroom and clumsily tore open the wrapping on the first test (I bought a twin pack).  I removed the cap and, even more clumsily, proceeded to wee all over my hand! 

I cleaned up, put the lid back on and took the test back to bed with me (husband was away).  I think I checked it twice before the requisite 3 minutes was up and then, disappointingly, the ‘Not Pregnant’ message appeared on the screen.  I was a bit dejected to be honest, and a bit baffled as to why my period (and PMS) was still nowhere to be seen but went back to sleep for a few hours regardless.  

I told my husband as soon as he got back home and he didn’t seem overly concerned.  

Despite the negative result I remain convinced that I am pregnant but perhaps that is just because I want to be.  I did some research and learnt that an initial negative test is quite common, particularly if it is taken early.  I also re-confirmed that the symptoms I have been experiencing are all signs of early pregnancy.  Pretty much the only thing I don’t have is sore breasts.

There are however complicating factors which could either have skewed the result or even affected my cycle.  I had a flu jab on Thursday and am also on antibiotics for an infected finger.  Perhaps the combination has had an adverse effect in a way? 

I have already started acting like I am pregnant, I have stopped drinking (alcohol and caffeine) and am avoiding the no-go foods but so far the hardest has been avoiding pain relief.  Today I have had the worst, skull splitting headache all day and am reluctant to take anything just in case.  I gave in and had a paracetamol this evening though.  

I have decided to do my second test in the morning, on the advice of a well know parenting site, 3 days after the first.  Perhaps that will give me the result I was after! 

Unchartered territory

So, still no show from flo.  It’s 28 days today and I normally have a short cycle.  I have none of the normal PMS symptoms like bad skin, sore boobs, mood swings but that could be down to the agnus castus.  

However, I am very bloated, very bloated, feeling slightly sick and light headed and have new floaters in my eyes.  These can all be symptoms… but I may be reading too much into it all.

Just to be sure I am on my way to the pharmacy to buy my first ever pregnancy test!

 I’ll keep you posted….

Progress report #1

So, I’ve been taking the Agnus castus on a fairly regular basis.  I should take it daily along with my other supplements but I often forget (as I did this morning).  Must try harder! I don’t think it is having any physical effects but we’ll see when my period is due whether it does actually help alleviate the symptoms of PMS. 

I am generally a fan of supplements and,  in the lead up to the wedding,  was literally taking about 20 a day.  I’m not sure any of them did anything other than increase the value of Holland & Barrett’s shares mind you.  I am still finishing off the leftovers (turmeric and beetroot I think) together with daily multivitamins, cod liver oil (Joan Collins apparently swears by it), calcium and vit D (I don’t like milk)  and folic acid, for obvious reasons.  Apparently there has never been any scientific research which shows that supplements have any effect but surely it’s worth a go.  

The lube however is worth a comment, it’s pretty gross and doesn’t have the same silky consistency of normal lubricants.  It’s less viscous and has the slippery quality that semen has.  It comes in individually wrapped pipette like applicators and the directions tell you to squirt the entire contents inside you.  This is no mean feat.  You need to adopt the post-coital bridge position prior to sex (which somewhat interferes with foreplay).  I think the dosage is probably a little high too as, although you don’t really feel anything until half way through, it very soon overflows.  Not particularly sexy.  

It feels similar to how I imagine an enema, like one of the high-tech Japanese toilets that squirts water at differing pressures.  It’s a bit like a flushing, but you have to keep it in.  Once applied you have to ensure semen delivery within 15 minutes too which puts you on a timer.  And they say that trying to conceive takes the joy out of sex! 

I got a bit over excited yesterday when I thought that I may be overdue but I checked the diary, counted my days and flo is not due in until the end of this week.  Fingers crossed she doesn’t show up! 

The motherhood conspiracy

I have long been convinced that there is a motherhood conspiracy and, once you give birth (or perhaps even before), you become party to that conspiracy.

As I am not yet ‘in the club’ I can only guess at the extent on the conspiracy but I am sure that it includes the following: 

  • not revealing how difficult raising a child actually is;
  • not revealing how painful childbirth actually is;
  • not discussing the finer details of pregnancy; and
  • not discussing plans to conceive or the difficulties which are encountered along the way.

I am obviously going against the grain here, hopefully that won’t get me thrown out of the club before I even get the invitation! 

As I have mentioned, my first friend to get pregnant discussed everything openly with us and shared all the disgusting details of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood but, as she did not have any difficulties conceiving any of her thre children, she was not party to my final assumption.  

I raised the subject with my closest work friend last week (she has just returned after maternity).  She knows that we are probably trying although even I am reluctant to discuss my concerns openly with her.  I know that it took her quite a while to conceive but she didn’t admit to it until she was pregnant and I, out of politeness, did not pry.  One of our mutual friends with a younger baby has also revealed that it took them over a year to conceive.  This really surprised me, they have been married for several years and she had always said that she was not ready for a baby.  Her pregnancy was a surprise to most of us (her friends) but had obviously been in the offing for sometime. 

This led me to contemplate the fact that it may actually be quite normal to have to try, to have to count, but you don’t realise it as nobody talks about it.  I can understand the reluctance as I myself have not openly admitted to anyone that we are trying.  The problem is that it raises expectations and, with that, questions.  If you are having concerns the last thing you want is a daily inquisition over whether it is working, what you are doing, what you should do.  It may also be that it is simply not polite, being British it is not the done thing to acknowledge sexual activity in any way.  The subject is taboo.  

I am thrilled to have finally found out how to tag terms in my blog and to now have likes and followers! Thank you all, it is most encouraging to think that somebody is now reading what I write. Hopefully it will also go some way to helping others who are also trying, also counting, to make them realise that they are not alone, that there are a lot of people going through it.  We may even go some way to exposing the conspiracy! 

Fertility and me 

It seems this subject is very topical.  Alex Jones (One Show presenter on BBC1) has just done a one off documentary entitled “Fertility and me” (personally I prefer “35 and counting”). I missed it when it aired on Monday but watched it on demand (thoroughly modern of me).  It was essentially about trying to conceive after the age of 35 (she was 38 at the time it was filmed) and she raised many of the same arguments I have for leaving it until now to try.  

I tweeted her to say how brave I thought the show was and she, very surprisingly, responded to thank me.  However, I had not been totally honest in my tweet as I also found the documentary very depressing.  It left me feeling disheartened.  Apparently after the age of 35 you have a 75-80% chance of getting pregnant within a year (which is just coming round for us), those odds are ok.  It is the odds for the 20-25% that fall outside of the bracket that scared me.  As soon as you look at the chances of success if it does not happen naturally for you the task seems impossible.  

As I mentioned, we have friends who have been/are going through IVF, some successfully, some less so, all expensively.  Science is miraculous.  The things they can do these days is incredible.  Being able to shoot still-wiggling sperm into the centre of an egg and watch the cell division on a time lapse camera to determine the best quality egg is amazing.  However they can’t do it all yet, if your eggs are too old and too tough there is no breaking through their tough exterior.  There are other options of course but I am not sure that I could carry a child which was not genetically mine like the woman did on the show.  

It was a success story for Alex.  She has recently announced her pregnancy, at 39. I am really pleased for her.  Let’s hope we have similar luck! 

Check out http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zq9m82p for some additional information on fertility after 35