Archive: Jan 2017

Video killed the radio star

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Video killed the radio star

Except it didn’t. I’ve got that song on vinyl somewhere in my mums loft.

Yesterday I was invited to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire by Chris Mann to talk about this blog and our IVF journey. If you want to listen you can hear me from about 17 minutes in.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04nztzt#play

It was a lot harder than I thought it would be to talk about. There were moments when I could feel my voice crack a little, but Chris made me feel at ease and asked questions that I could answer comfortably.

There are thousands of people out there going through this and other much worse fertility problems. We’re not special in any way, and I’m not the first person to write a blog about it, but if this helps just one other person, then it was all worth doing.

From all the messages I’ve received today, I know it has helped a lot, and that is truly heartwarming.

I was lucky to share the studio with two incredible women, Nicki Evans and Jade Godier from Made2Aid. They’re organisers of Rise 4 Disability, a disability conference and exhibition designed to help Research and Identify Suitable Equipment. It’s for both health professionals and the general public. You can research new and existing products, network with colleagues and peers and find supporting services and charities.

It’s free to attend on 22nd February at Peterborough Arena. Please share this with anyone you know that would benefit from attending.

www.rise4disability.com


Today we headed back to the clinic to find out what the plan is for transferring the embryos. We know that wont be till around the beginning of March but, we had a lot of questions about the defrosting process!

We learned today that all 6 embryos are good to excellent quality (Lets just stop to give the follicles a round of applause shall we, well done team follicles, well done)

So, what they plan to do is defrost all 6 embryos. There’s a 10/12% chance of embryos not making it past defrosting, so all being good and with a bit of luck, we’d be hoping that 4 of those embryos make the defrosting and then grow on another two days to make them day 5 Blastocyst.

They’ll transfer 2 ready for me to cook, and the other 2 will be re-frozen.

At that point Lee and I both said “Oh, not like chicken then!” which is exactly what we’d been thinking! I was worried that if they defrosted them all, they all made it and then they only transferred 2, we’d then have to throw the others away! I was much happier about the re-freezing.

So for now, we can have a couple of weeks off of IVF and enjoy our holiday and just live. Which is nice.

In about 16 days I’ll need to go back to the clinic for an Endometrial Biopsy. This procedure involves removing some cells from the uterine lining. The healing process from this mild trauma improves implantation potential in the following month. It has to be carried out on a full bladder and sounds delightful. I didn’t have this on our first round so, I’m excited that this could be another factor in making 2017 our year.

I’ll 100% be updating with some smug holiday posts next week. Iceland here we come!

What next?

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I woke up this morning to a little tax rebate. I should buy a lottery ticket tonight, its certainly been a lucky week.

I can’t describe how we’ve felt since Thursday morning, we couldn’t have dreamed of a better result. There is still such a long, long way to go though and so many more hurdles to get past, we have to do everything we can to stay positive.

A few people have asked me what happens next, and honestly, I’m not sure yet.

We have a follow up appointment with our consultant next Thursday where he’ll explain the next part of the process and I guess what they intend to do.

I have so many questions. Will they defrost all 6, or just 3? How many are likely to make it past defrosting? What if they defrost all 6 and then we only use 2, can the other 4 go back in? Do we have enough to try and get them to day 5 embryos, (called Blastocysts) or is it too risky with so few?

In the mean time, I’m going to do as much as I can to be positive, calm and relaxed. I have lots of things I want to try this year so I’m throwing myself in to those while I have this time.

My lovely friend Ellie gave me a lesson in crochet Wednesday night. Look what I made!

 

Yep I made a very tiny pink scarf. I’m making it into a blanket for the soon to be acquired Dachshund – Doris.

This morning I tried Hot Pod Yoga, which was really hard having done zero exercise for a good few months.

I’m usually a very active person. I run and I go to this awesome bootcamp in my village twice a week. During the stimulation phase of IVF (the injection part), you’re not supposed to do any kind of heavy fitness at all. I’ve found this stop/start regime really difficult to motivate myself to be active, especially over the winter months. That’s about to change though. I figure that if your mind and your body is at its best, then those embryos are more likely to want to stick around!

Anyway, back to Hot Pod Yoga. It was great! The pod it like a giant bouncy castle without the bounce, and it’s so warm and cosy inside. The yoga was a lot more strenuous than I expected and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna ache like hell tomorrow. I’m 100% going back.

You might not have seen but, I agreed to go on the Chris Mann show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire next Wednesday to talk about this blog.

I won’t lie, the last few days I’ve been seriously thinking of pulling out. I’m nervous as hell about talking about this out loud, writing seems so much easier. I’m scared about putting so much of myself and Lee out there in the open and what the reaction might be. Will people think this is attention seeking?

A good friend asked me this question:

“At your lowest point, would a similar interview/blog have helped you? And how would you feel if you knew it wouldn’t have been there if not for someone suggesting it was attention-seeking?

Remember, if you help one person and make a difference to their lives, what does it matter if someone else doesn’t like it?”

And he’s right. It would have helped me, and I am sure it will help someone else. And if it does, then I’ve done something good.

The show will be on Wednesday 25th Jan at 4pm.

Day 14 – My nerves are shot

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I woke in the night about 3am needing the bathroom. I’ve not slept since.

These are some of the things my mind decided I needed to think about right at that specific moment in time:

Sausage dogs. When we get ours, should I get a double lead so it’s easier to walk the small one and Fat Head at the same time? We really need to fill in the gaps under the fence in the back garden so the sausage can’t escape to next door. Wouldn’t it be nice if the dogs cuddle up together  to sleep. Must write a list of the things we need to buy – tiny bowl, new lead, tiny bed, rug for living room. Am I going to buy it tiny clothes?

Sex robots. I read an article on it yesterday. Is anyone else thinking that we should be looking for the terminators hand from Skynet right now?

IVF debate. I constructed a 4 page response (in my head) to a question posed on the House of Commons IVF debate. Struggling to pull it all together this morning.

Am I going to look like an alien when my fake eyelashes fall out? Maybe I should buy some new mascara.

But mainly I thought about what the clinic is going to say when they call this morning, and how many of our little eggs have made it.

Oh and on top of all that, Lee threw every noise he makes at me. He snored, made the weird throat click thing, talked and even threw in a little laughing action.

Of course I’m going to buy the sausage tiny clothes.


The clinic didn’t call till 11.07am. Precisely.

I was starting to worry that it was bad news and the embryologists were all sitting there going “you call her”, “no you do it”.

Good news.

One little egg wasn’t good enough but, 5 out of 5 have fertilised! 5 out of 5! That’s bloody incredible!!! We’re over the moon right now. They have to get to Wednesday and then they’ll go in the freezer to join our other little one. Fingers crossed we’ll then have 6 tiny embryos.

Keep everything crossed for the next update on Wednesday. x

Day 13 – Egg collection day

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I’ve fasted from midnight and my op is not till 12pm today. I’m starving already. We’re heading into London now, update you later.


It took about 35 minutes to harvest the eggs, while Lee went off and did his thing.
I woke up sore, swollen and totally disoriented. Ironically my tummy looks about 12 weeks pregnant right now.
Guess how many they got?
6. We got 6 beautiful eggs. My PB!
Tomorrow morning they’ll call and let us know how many have fertilised. This is the most nerve racking part. I hope we get 6/6, why not. Let’s go for another PB.
I’m tired, swollen but happy.

Day 12 – Friends

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A whole day off from medication and injections. It’s been so nice to not clock watch.

We had a huge Sunday lunch today with all our friends at The Golden Ball in Elsworth. It was noisy, chaotic and good. I’ve missed them.

I’ve found it really hard to be around the whole group for the last year. I still struggle even now. Every time I see my friends all together with their little ones, my heart breaks a tiny bit. Because ours isn’t there, our baby girl isn’t there.

I hope that changes one day.

Day 11 – A day off!

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I did have to set my alarm for 7am to take the last morning injection, but other than the trigger tonight, all my injections are done! My stomach looks huge with the bloating but I feel pretty good otherwise.

I’ve spent the whole day in my PJ’s, watching football, drinking tea and eating. Heaven. I only left the house to walk the dog. It’s been good, I really needed a rest.

We booked a holiday too! Off to try and see the Northern Lights at the beginning of Feb, one off the bucket list.

The clinic called earlier to tell me the precise time to do the trigger injection, 11.30pm tonight. Tomorrow they’ll call and let us know what time to be there on Monday for the egg collection. I’ll need to fast from a certain time too.

I feel eggcited.

Sorry.

Day 10 – another progress scan

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The snow chaos (despite the distinct lack of snow), caused a huge jam on the A14 this morning, that I sat in for 45 mins, missing a train in the process. I left home at 8.15 and finally got to the clinic art 11am, only 30mins late.

Results today are not what we were expecting.

IMG_4735

The one larger follicle has shrunk a bit, and now I wonder if it was measured properly as its now 2mm smaller. But, that is a good thing because, it means my trigger will now be Saturday night like I wanted, hoorah! That means some of the smaller follicles around 11/14mm still have another good day of growing.

I am really hopeful of getting more eggs this time and I’m going to call 6 as the magic number.

Rest of the day went well, I made it back to Cambridge for a really good sales meeting, and we headed into town early for burger night.

Oh my god the burgers were good! Definitely a highlight of the week.

Day 9 – My 39th Birthday

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“Isn’t it about time you started popping them out?”

“You want to get a move on girl, you’re not getting any younger”

“I suppose your career is more important to you?”

I’ve heard all the above (and more), a million times. People have been making assumptions about me for years, mostly wrong, and everyone has an opinion on your current childless status.

Lee and I met when I was 34. You have no idea what life is going to throw at you. No idea when you’ll meet that person that changes your life for the better, or when you’ll want or be in a position to have children. Four years ago I was 35. I wasn’t leaving it too late, we were ready to be parents.

Fast forward 4 years. Today I’ve been at the clinic again and more injections tonight. Not the greatest way to spend your birthday but if it gets us the present we want, then I’m happy.

Todays results below:

IMG_4734

So we’re up to 15 follicles, probably about 9 that could possibly get big enough. The ones below 7 won’t grow any quicker so they’ll be discounted. Its still not a great result today compared to other goes, only 3 at around the right size. The clinic called me this afternoon and have asked me to go back in tomorrow for another scan & bloods. This happens all the time, you have to re-arrange things at the drop of a hat. 

I think they are going to ask me to take my trigger injection on Friday night, rather than on Saturday as was the original plan, meaning they’ll collect eggs Sunday not Monday. I’m not happy about that and I’m going to speak to my consultant tomorrow.

Thing is, I don’t make that many eggs so I think triggering on Saturday could give some of the smaller follicles a bit more time to grow, and maybe, just maybe, we’d get a few more eggs. You might think I’m being a bit shirty about it, but at the end of the day this is my body and our money. I feel like this is our last shot to make this happen, and I’m not going to waste the chance of getting a few more eggs.

Anyway, I will fill you all in tomorrow night, after we’ve eaten our body weight in burgers.

I’ve had some amazing birthday messages today, some that have made me laugh out loud and cry all at the same time. A gorgeous friend sent me a bag of lucky chocolate eggs for the “shit hen”! I nearly wet myself laughing.

Days like this remind you how lucky you are.

Day 8 – An appointment free day

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Today I am tired. Mentally and physically tired.

Am I allowed to say that not being a parent? Sometimes I’m not sure. I’m actually scared to tell my friends how tired I because I’m sure they just won’t believe me.

I don’t sleep well at the best of times, and something I’m taking is adding to that, probably the Doxycycline steroid as a nurse mentioned it can cause insomnia. Cheers.

Today I had the gift of no appointments and no trips into London. A whole day at the office to catch up. I had to explain my situation to a couple more clients today as I still can’t commit to meetings next week. I’m still blown away at how understanding everyone is being.

So on Sunday I said I’d explain about “the trigger” injection, in my case Pregnyl. This is the last injection that you take before they collect your eggs, and it’s taken 2 days before at a very precise time. At the moment the current plan is to trigger me on Saturday evening, but that can change depending on how the next few days go.

Its my birthday tomorrow. I’ll be at the clinic for another progress scan in the morning and then home for injections in the evening. I know how to celebrate don’t I? Heading to the new Steak & Honour restaurant early Friday evening to stuff our faces instead (I mean burgers are protein so that’s totally fine).


On Monday 16th January 4.30-5.30pm there’s a House of Commons debate: IVF and other NHS fertility services.

If you head on over to the Facebook Page, you can share your experiences and thoughts on the decommissioning of IVF and other NHS fertility services.

Is it fair that IVF access should be determined by a series of local rationing and budgetary decisions or is it a medical entitlement that should be available to all?

No its not fair.

Yes it is a medical entitlement.

Yes it should be available to all.

It too late for us. Our own IVF treatment is self funded and desperately expensive. We were refused NHS funding as one test level came back too high, despite finding out later that stress levels can cause this test to be high. The test had to be taken at a clinic where I had previously miscarried, not surprising my stress levels were high.

I love the NHS, I really believe its one of the best things about this country, but it is failing us with infertility problems. It is failing hard working tax payers that need help.

My incredibly brave friend wrote this piece today and summed up what we’ve thought a million times over, so beautifully. I am so proud of her:

“My husband and I are average people, average people in average jobs, we live in an average 3 bed semi and commute to our average office work. We don’t live a glamorous lifestyle with endless disposable income. We work 9-5 pay our taxes etc etc. We don’t complain. Those taxes take care of a lot of our basic needs including our wonderful NHS. Fundamental things we need the NHS will supply. If I broke a tooth the NHS would fix it, if I fractured my wrist you’d put it in a cast, if I couldn’t walk or carry out other basic functions the NHS would investigate and find a solution. There are even stories of the NHS funding boob jobs if the patient is depressed enough. But one basic thing that most people can do naturally you want to take out of easy reach for those who cannot. Why is it a step too far to fund that? Why is that too ‘expensive’ when so many other treatments are not. So if we can’t have children you won’t help. We must pay ourselves, to hell with the pain of infertility, the emptiness, the loss, the grief, pay up or be childless. Money talks.

Is parenthood only for those who can afford it? Or should everyone get a chance. The chance to grow a life, to be Mummy or Daddy”

We all deserve the chance to be parents. Please have your say.