Taking the plunge!

So, it’s been nine months since the ‘glitch’, nine months since the GP referral and five months since the hospital acknowledged the referral and I have still not heard anything.  I’m not getting any younger and we’re not having any luck on our own so today we decided to finally contact a private fertility clinic.  

I called Bupa and my policy unfortunately will not cover the fertility investigations so it looks like we’ll be shelling out for them ourselves but the cost is just a drop in the ocean if we actually need fertility treatment.  Besides, I have had enough of waiting and feeling completely helpless! 

My GP said to do some research into the local clinics and look at reviews so that’s what we have done this evening and we have chosen one with a good reputation and some excellent practitioners.  Coincidentially it is also the clinic that our friends who have previously had IVF have used (and are using again at the moment) so we are amongst friends.

If nothing else apparently they have a good coffee machine in the waiting room which is good news.  NHS say that caffeine has no adverse effect on fertility too so I’m glad that’s one thing I don’t have to give up! 

I bought some more fertility lube, started yoga and have been back on the agnus castus too, at least that makes me feel like I’m doing something positive.  Next stop acupuncture!

Now the family’s at it! 

That’s it, I’ve had it, my cousin is pregnant, my delightful, successful, single-until-fairly-recently, younger cousin! Her and her pilot fiancée got engaged last week and we were all thrilled.  She has not had a serious relationship for nearly 20 years and met her fiancé through a friend (who met him on tinder) a year or so ago.  He is lovely and they are so well suited, it was if it was meant to be and now they’re engaged and having a baby! I am insanely jealous!

We’ve been trying for nearly two years now and, apart from the one ‘glitch’ (as the doctor described it), we haven’t even come close to getting pregnant.  I am thoroughly depressed about the whole thing.  

True, I may not have been as pro-active as I could have been (I have still not called Bupa to check my cover and I haven’t altered my diet at all) but the depression has robbed me of any inclination to do so.  Until recently it had really put us off sex too (although we seem to have got over that issue now)!  

I need to pull my finger out, call Bupa, book some acupuncture sessions and start really researching what I should be doing to help. Izzy Judd’s book “Dare to dream” is out tomorrow and I’m thinking that may be a good place to start.  I need to stop resting on my laurels and expecting it just to happen as it is obviously not going to.  

Any pointers as to where to start would be appreciated! 

Yours, frustratedly! 

No news is unfotunately not good news! 

It’s been a while since my last post and for no good reason I’m afraid.  I don’t have any updates, good or bad really and nothing to report but an ominous bout of depression which is forever lurking in the background.

My husband had the results of his tests and they didn’t show anything abnormal as such, the only feedback was that the ‘look’ of the sperm was not great but that in itself does not necessarily cause complications.  I now just have to wait for my next tests.

We have had a bit of a dry patch over the previous months for a number of reasons, I was very busy with work during the first few months of the year and working long hours which meant I was very tired by the time I got home then he had a bout of illness (terrible timing) and I think the frustration of struggling to conceive is getting to us both.  I am determined to get things back on track this month though and we kicked things off with a mini break which helped.

I am putting off researching too much into conception woes as I have heard a few things recently that have scared me.  Of course I know you should try to live a healthy lifestyle and by and large that is not an issue, I exercise regularly (and largely enjoy it), eat healthily, don’t smoke (and never have) and drink lots of water.  I do however have two main vices (i) caffeine and (ii) alcohol.  I know that neither are good for you but I don’t drink either to excess.  I was brought up in a drinking household and have always enjoyed a little tipple.  It helps me relax.  I don’t drink daily  (well not normally) but I don’t deny myself if I fancy a G&T or a glass of wine.  I also like a coffee in the morning or after a meal.  I love my nespresso machine.  I don’t usually exceed more than two (strong) cups a day but that increased to four when I was working long hours (I have cut down again now).

I follow Izzy Judd on social media, I’m not sure how I first came across her.  I wasn’t a Mcfly fan (I’m too old) but love Dougie Poynter and came across Tom  Fletcher in the media (his wedding speech I think) and that led to easy-on-the-eye Harry Judd which led to his wife Izzy.  She has just released a book about her experience of ivf (which I will bring myself to read at some point but it is still early days and I don’t want to run before I can walk) and she recently mentioned that she had given up caffeine completely when trying to conceive (apparently abbreviated to “TTC”).  This was my first scare, I hadn’t thought about it previously, should I be giving up caffeine? This will certainly make everybody at work suspicious and how do I explain away that?! 

I looked at the reader comments on Izzy’s posts and people were sharing what they had given up when TTC.  This scared me even more, people had given up gluten, dairy, carbs, meat and, worse of all (although probably most obvious) alcohol! “Do you think I should stop drinking completely?” I asked my husband.  “How would I explain that to friends?”.  They would automatically assume I was pregnant and answering questions when I wasn’t would be depressing.  

So I am putting off reading anything else.  Can I face giving up alcohol and caffeine when they are two small pleasures in life? I am finding the whole TTC thing quite depressing and I think no alcohol or caffeine will make that even worse.  Of course I want to give myself the best possible chance but will it really help that much? Do I consume enough of either for it to make a difference? Obviously if we were at the IVF stage it would be different, I would give both up straight away then.  Do I need to start phasing them out now? 

To make matters worse I spoke to a colleague last week and in passing she mentioned that she was tee total for 10 years (but isn’t anymore).  When I asked why she said it was because she couldn’t get pregnant so had given up drinking and then when she had her daughter she couldn’t face the thought of a hangover, then she had her son and just didn’t start again for 10 years! I am going to have to change my mindset I think, it is going to take some will power though.

I’ve just seen the GP again, I had asked to be referred privately as the wait for an NHS appointment is apparently ridiculous.  Our IVF friends went privately.  She has said I should research the local clinics to ensure I am getting the best service for my money.  If Bupa won’t cover it that is, need to check my policy.

I have been having some issues with irregular bleeding too though so I mentioned that and she has asked that the hospital expedite my appointment.  She has also suggested an examination and more swabs and booked me in for the morning.  That’ll be fun! 

When the happiness of others feels like a kick in the teeth! 

Yes, I’ve got to that stage.  I was probably at that stage at the time of my last post, probably even before Christmas, but it’s getting worse.  

My newly pregnant friend is blooming and having a problem free pregnancy so far, an old adversary has a bonnie little baby which a mutual friend has recently met and an old friend has just announced that they’re expecting their second.  I would normally be happy for these people, for their happy news and share in their joy but I’m not, I’m becoming bitter, every new announcement is a stark reminder of the fact that I am not pregnant, not expecting, do not have a baby on the way.  

We are still making no progress and work commitments have prevented me from going back to the GP for my test results in recent weeks. I am hoping that if they did show something worrying she would have called me by now but that is no consolation for the lack of progress.  

One of my closest friends (and my goddaughter) visited last week and I haven’t seen her in a while.  I think she expected me to be pregnant, she expected an announcement.  I’ve not told her we are actively trying but given my age, and the time since the wedding now, it’s what people expect.  I am sure my mum feels the same.  She asked, she asked when we’d be having a baby.  I found that a bit insensitive but she is not known for her tact.  As she has given up trying for her second now (after 5 years) I thought that she would realise that that type of question is inappropriate, and can hurt! What can you say in response?! “I’m not sure it’s our decision to make”? “We’re trying our best”? “God knows”! 

Other than that I have learnt that one of my other friends had acupuncture when she was trying and, after a while, she conceived.  I hate needles and had a horrible experience with acupuncture a few years ago but I may well give it a go.  If I go to the same person she saw hopefully he will not butcher me like the last one did! It’s worth a try, anything is! 

Happy new year! 

New year, new post but still sadly nothing to report.

I had another round of blood tests before Christmas and am still waiting for the results.  I will chase my GP this week I think as it has been a while now.  I am hoping no news is good news.

Only other points to report are my increasing annoyance at friends’ announcements of their pregnancies and I have openly confessed that we are trying.  I decided to tell our friends who have been having IVF, if there is anyone that will understand our frustration it is them.  She gave me a brief low down on what to expect on the investigation front and told me about other people in the same boat (including a mutual friend who has PCOS).  I think it did help to tell somebody, particularly somebody who has been through it.  

They are having a break from IVF and seeing a holistic therapist (which is very unlike them).  She thinks it is really helping and she seems a lot more relaxed.  She is convinced that grief plays a big part (we have both lost our fathers). I am sure that it is partly responsible, it subconsciously affects your entire existence so it must.  

As for my other friends, the one who struggled with miscarriages has just had her beautiful baby girl.  She is adorable and I am genuinely thrilled for her.  She is struggling with breast feeding but it is still early days and we have all said she shouldn’t put pressure on herself.  

Another friend has announced she is just over 12 weeks pregnant.  I casually asked whether they had been trying for long and was even more frustrated to hear it was only their second month of trying.  She is a little younger but only a year or so.  Annoying! 

Another is due in February but only just telling people (she is very slim).  I am happy for her as I suspect they have been trying for a long time.  I suspect that her weight was an issue for them too but I do not want to ask personal questions to confirm my suspicions.

And finally a girl that I used to work with is pregnant with twins! She is quite a bit younger and I doubt that they had any issues but you never know.

Anyway, will keep you updated on the yet results and visit to the GP.

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.