The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results…

I can’t even remember when I last wrote something. I think we were heading straight into our second round of IVF, where we threw the kitchen sink / Amex at it and did everything possible to achieve a result.

We opted for IMSI (one level up from ICSI) and endometrial scratch…as our luxury add ons. The embryos they popped back in were the best possible grade. They have no idea why it didn’t work.

The follow up meeting with a different Dr (my choice) was both misleading and unsatisfying. They tried to suggest we spend several thousands of pounds on tests that are not proven. When challenged, we were rebutted and suggested that we “keep trying, it’s a numbers game”… what the actual f*ck… Yes, it’s a numbers game; more numbers for their P&L.

So here we are; surrounded by friends and family announcing their second pregnancies, people who weren’t even pregnant when we started this journey three years ago. To say it’s heartbreaking to see my friends on Instagram enjoying their Thirsty Thursday whilst on mat leave, is an understatement.

I’ve even stopped following some. I’ve never been on Facebook, so I avoid that constant rubbing in the face.

Where’s my head at? I’m sick of this holding pattern. I’m tired of being bitter and jealous. I’m exhausted with the energy it takes to try to remain positive. I’m bored with the emotions. I’m dreading my sister in law announcing her second pregnancy – they’re apparently trying.

I’ve quit caffeine, refined sugar and alcohol (almost). I refuse to quit the gym; exercise is the only thing that genuinely keeps me sane.

I’ve quit my job. I now work for myself. I’m stuck at home all day long with only the cat for company. With this comes a whole new level of emotions; fear, lack of confidence, crippling anxiety, boredom. But also freedom, on some level.

I can lie in bed until noon or watch Netflix all day, I can go to the gym anywhere in London, whenever I want. There are no deadlines, no meetings, no conference calls.

Yet, I’m struggling to adjust.

My life, up until now, has been a 6am wake up, in the office for 7:45am, breakfast and lunch at my desk, racing out at 6pm to catch a gym class, and back to back meetings and conference calls in-between. My boss pushed me to my absolute limits. His behaviour crushed my confidence so much I spent the last 12 months in a state of anxiety. And now I doubt every single thing I do.

I quit my job to be less stressed. In the vain hope that stress was stopping me from achieving pregnancy. And here I am, due to turn 40 next year, with no job. And a ridiculous doubt of my own ability.

I know I need to throw myself into my new business and clients, but I just don’t have the focus or the energy right now. I’d rather watch shit TV and empty my brain of any thoughts.

So what IS next? Every morning I wait for a letter from the NHS to say they will fund one round of IVF.

I am so very thankful that we have this opportunity, and that we had credit cards to pay for the two private rounds previously, but its taken us three years to even get here. And because it’s NHS we’re not in control of when it happens. And with every month, my eggs dwindle, and I creep more towards 40. I’m too scared to have another AMH test.

 

 

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Scratching

The first thing I said to my Dr (who is also a friend of mine – always a bit weird to have a mate looking at your hooha) was “WHY do they have to call it a Scratch? It sounds so harsh…” She said “don’t worry, it’s not nice but is not terrible…

She lied. My friend, the doctor, actually lied to me 😒

It was horrid. And painful. And so uncomfortable. And although I was focusing on not shooting the speculum across the room, and she was keeping me busy asking about another mutual friend, it was so horrid. And intrusive. And it lives up to its name. So I guess what’s why they call it a Scratch….

And now I’m in the back of an Uber, in rush hour, because I can’t face a tube and a train journey home. I just want to cross my legs and go to bed. But I have to wait up for the Ocado van #MiddleClassProblems. 

Back to….

After picking up the latest set of forms for more blood tests from my GP to prove to the clinic we don’t have any serious afflictions, it really does feel like the end of summer, back to school and back to the next round of IVF. 

We had a lovely summer “off”, although of course our minds were still occupied by living our lives in the two week cycle of hope and disappointment (admittedly, mine perhaps more so; I’m the one who keeps us on track and makes sure we Do It on the right days, of course…) 

My husband is more optimistic than I am. And I still have this deep rooted understanding that it’s not going to work. I’ve had it since the day we started trying for a baby. I remember walking down our road, my eyes welling up, thinking we are about to embark on a journey that is going to be testing. 

But then there is a little bit of me that is still optimistic.

So what’s new for *ding ding* Round Two? An endometrial scratch (that makes me want to vomit whenever I think about it), ISCI and something about a mega microscope that can see the eyes on  sperm and selects the ones without cross eyes. Not quite. But nearly. And all at great cost. Thank you Amex and we’ll put all those BA air miles to good use, I promise. 

In the meantime, all my friends who announced their pregnancy just as we were starting our first round of IVF, have had their babies. And a whole new round of friends have just announced their pregnancies. 

And I don’t even care about being disinterested anymore.  

The merry-go-round


“Guess who’s back, back again. Yes we’re back, back again…”

I kind of hate this place. It reminds me of failure and Amex bills, but seeing all the familiar faces; the nurses who probed me with dildo-cam thrice a week, the jolly receptionist – who just had to advise a 50+ couple trying to check-in, insisting they have an appointment, that it was a fertility clinic and “we can help you have a baby, but nothing else” #LOLZ and the broken water machine. 

But then I’m filled with optimism again. My doctor is a friend of a friend, who has been incredibly kind and understanding. And she’s so pragmatic and realistic. I love her. 

So we’re back on the merry-go-round again. All ready to kick off mid-October when we get back from holiday. 

ICSI, IMFI and scratch, plus upping my Menopur dose are the most recent amends. 

Getting shit straight into my head, then getting knocked sideways by other people. 

It didn’t work. And it’s been a weird few weeks. I kind of knew it hadn’t worked from transfer day, but had to do the due diligence of waiting a few days and peeing on sticks, then the call to the nurse to say it hadn’t worked, then receive the pseudo sympathetic call from the other nurse, who suggested I come in for a blood test (I’ll refrain from repeating the expletives used in that phone call…)

And just when I get myself and my head into a better place (we’re OK without kids aren’t we? We have a beautiful house, we go out for dinner whenever we want, we go on holiday several times a year…we don’t really want kids to change all this, do we….?) BANG two friends have their babies on consecutive days and then my best friend, who didn’t tell me they’re trying, announces shes two months pregnant. 

She did at least do me the courtesy of a very carefully worded text, vs blurting it out over dinner (which is more than most of my friends have done). And she was very worried about how I’d take it, which breaks my heart in both ways. 

Anyway. So will we try again? I don’t know. I don’t know if I want it enough to go through everything again (read: put my body and our relationship through the wringer again).

Feeling a little bitter and twisted today. Please forgive me. 

Fog

I am barely functioning. My head is foggy. I have to really concentrate to even type this post and I can usually touch type. Thankfully my boss is off today and I’m hiding in my office keeping my mood from general view.

Safe to say I’m not reacting particularly well to the Synarel (Nafarelin). The list of side effects is exhaustive. And I’m pretty much experiencing most of them. Most notably; insomnia, headaches, depression, wanting to eat ALL the chocolate, reduced interest in sex (HA!) and of course weight gain.

I’ve stopped all booze and caffeine consumption, but I can’t seem to stop eating chocolate (read: stuffing my face with chocolate). I got a Hotel Chocolat “extra thick rocky road” egg from my husband for Easter. Demolished in bed last night… *shameful face*. So I got off the tube three stops earlier this morning as punishment.

My husband is bearing the brunt of it. And being saintly patient. I love him. He broke my heart last night by saying “I’m trying really hard, but I need something back from you“. I sobbed back, with chocolate all around my mouth, telling him I feel empty and don’t have anything to give. I’ve turned into Queen Bitch. And it’s unfair and brutal. I need to buck my act up.

This weekend we fly to Berlin for the weekend. I booked it months back in a vain attempt to continue our tradition of trying a new European city every Easter for my husband’s birthday. This year we have a travel companion of my syringe shots and a sharps box (which takes up most of my hand luggage). I’m dreading it, although the letter permitting me to fly with syringes is rather exciting. I will try not to be such a bitch. I must not be a bitch.

 

 

Wobbles

I had a major wobble last night. Cried at the kitchen table for what felt like hours, but was only about 15 minutes.

I completely lost all perspective on what I’m about to go through. I haven’t dealt with any of it. I’ve been on autopilot since we booked the initial appointment at the Lister back in February, since I got my period on 22nd February and since I booked the scan with dildocam for tomorrow.

I’ve been brushing all my emotions aside and instead focusing on the blood tests, filling out all the paperwork and coordinating diaries. “I’ll deal with every day as it comes“, I kept telling myself, yeah, that’s really working out well for me – HEAD IN THE SAND.

So yesterday, when I actually looked at all the instructions for my appointment tomorrow, and realised I was missing a blood test and my new credit card hasn’t yet arrived (my old one was cloned and used in China…) I totally lost it. As in uncontrollable crying, hopelessness and pure fear.

Between splashing tears on my phone, as I texted my husband dramatically saying “I don’t think I can go through with this” and trying to fix him dinner, I picked up this book again. I bought it at the start of last year, thinking at the time how it’ll never come to this, but it’s a good idea to be prepared just in case. Ha. But it did help, and it did reassure me that what I’m feeling is very normal. And I feel a bit better about things. I’m a control freak and I am totally out of control. So I guess this is how I should expect to feel.

And as I said to my husband; “we have to go through with it, if we don’t, we’ll never know…” and that’s what is 100% motivating me right now.

Anyone else had these last minute wobbles/freakouts? How did you get through it?