My next period 

I’m obsessed with reading about IVF. Unsuccessful IVF particularly. I don’t think this is beneficial at all, everyone keeps telling me that I need to think positive as it will help. We’ve done some positive things, like put the heating on in the would be baby’s room. What baby would want to come into a world where it has a cold room?? 

But it won’t make a bloody difference will it, not really. So what’s the point. Argh, Every time I think about our upcoming IVF I just want to cry, and often I do. I want this so very badly, just like all the rest of you out there. Wanting it doesn’t change anything. 

I’m pretty nervous about the whole thing too, I don’t feel excicited exactly but I do feel this overwhelming yearning to.just.start.already. I want this, I need this. I feel a bit desperate.

We start potentially on my next period!  Which I estimate is about 2 weeks away. We may get deferred to next cycle due to the numbers of people they have on their books ATM. It’s NHS so I’m happy to wait to when is appropriate as I’m just so bloody grateful for the opportunity. I can’t wait til my period! What a strange thing! 

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Fertility counselling 

I had massively bigged this appointment up in my head as the really real official for sure its gunna happen fo reals start in our ttc journey. Ok, maybe not just in my head either, I pretty much told everyone! This was it!

We got to graduate you see, from gynae clinic to The Fertility Centre. It has its own reception and everything. It seemed a big deal! I even took the day off work. Slight regrets. 

We arrived 20 or so minutes early and pretty much ran up the stairs to the clinic. Through the double doors to the reception and proudly announced we had an appointment. They had our notes ready, a set each, eek! And then through the other set of doors to the long awaited fertility clinic. 

Ok so I expected something a little more geleemy. It was a bit of a hole, a corridor with no end point and rows of chairs. A depressing coffee machine and ‘lost families’ on repeat. Probs not the best choice (just sayin’) 

we waited a good 40 minutes to be called but we didn’t mind (we took a couple of selfies and even spotted a couple of other lesbos!) and then it was our turn! 

We followed the nice lady in eagerly. Into a hot tiny typically nhs non room, full of Windows and too low furniture and then she made some bad joke about why we were there. Mmmm. Ok now I was off my game. I can do jokey but this is not joke to me, this is my life lady. It just got worse, so some bad info about IVF, of which she clearly she has no idea. Worse info about how to tell your child they were conceived! Show them this book! That’ll do! (What about the love and blood and sweat and courage and and and!) and the really bad so terribly awful non info about our funding! I’m not even going to go there but she gave us her pointless opinion on possibly the most important financial status we wil ever go through with no knowledge no facts and without considering the impact her speculating may have.

I love the NHS. But jobs like hers would save us a shit load of money.

Acupuncture

One of the IVF success blogs I read (stalk) got pregnant on her first try. She had acupuncture. So, thanks to her amazing success, I started reading about it and actually there has been some real documentation of positive impact of acupuncture on conception via IVF. We’re talking RCTs. Yup the real deal. A Google search will take you where you need to go….

Anyhooo, I did some googling of my own and found 4 acupuncturists near to me. I whittled down the 4 to 3 based on websites. You know the old ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’, well, I am a firm believer in doing just the opposite of that. A shoddy website for your buisness just screams lack of effort, lack of passion. And if they don’t care about their business, why should I. 

I called the other 3. One answered first go, and repeatedly told me I sounded as if I was in a tunnel or underground or something. She seemed to find it offensive. I found her rude. 

The second I called on her advertised number whilst driving to work. The woman who answer said that she wasn’t an acupuncturist but had had these calls before. I asked if she would like the name of the company advertising her home number in error so she could correct them, but she declined. 

So… One left! I left her a voicemail and she text me back quickly and with so much passion and detail, despite being on holiday. I felt reassured and as if she was genuinely interested in me and my journey. She works in the NHS part time, then works as an acupuncturist part time. She also rescues bunnies. What’s not go like. So off I went….. And, well, it was a bit odd. 1st you talk about yourself a lot. Including periods and mucous and all that jazz. Then you lie on a couch and get covered in a blanket. Then a woman pokes sharp pins in you, you give her money and leave. Also, maybe I’m a bit naive (twat) because I didn’t think they would hurt!!!!! I thought it would’ve like a scratch, nothing offensive or significant. But you can really feel those little nuggets! And sometimes they put electricity through them. Who knows what’s going on. 

All in all, I think it’s with a shot. The lady is nice, it’s expensive but not bank breaking and our first round of IVF is free so let’s give it a bash. I’m going twice monthly for now then 6 weeks prior to IVF I’ll start weekly treatments. 

Anyone else had acupuncture??? What were your experiences? Did it work/help?? Xxxxx

Changes…

In my quest to become a mum I’ve made a few changes to my life. 

1. I’ve cut down on drinking. Not out but down, girls got to have some fun. A and I were quite big drinkers, we would have a couple most nights… I love wine, and mainly red. I do believe that alcohol was one of the main reasons I put on so much weight, not only in the drinking of excess calories but also because of the bad decisions relating to food I would make when I had had a glass or two which then quickly became habits. So that was the first thing to ‘go’. I have stopped having a drink during the week unless it’s a special occasion or a holiday, and try and just stuck to having a few on one night at the weekend although occasionally it will be two nights. I still love my wine, but where I can I opt for lower calorie drinks such as gin and slimline tonic or vodka and Diet Coke. The other game changer was a vow to eat prior to having an alcoholic drink, not after! That helped me keep my mind on good healthy food and off the junk! It’s also stopped late night cupboard raids. If I’m desperate for something, I’ll eat some fruit. 

2. Stopping Shift work. It wasn’t exactly intentional, I wanted to go to a more normal working pattern and was keeping my eye open for opportunity and there it was. I worked mainly nights for about 8 years, 12 hours shifts on busy wards. Not easy and not good for my mental or physical health. I never have suffered with any depression or anything like that, but when your sleeping all day and miss entire days of daylight (night shifts in the winter) well honestly I struggled with that. So since October I’ve been working 9-5 Monday to Friday and it’s pretty awesome. I feel healthier happier and basically normal! I won’t miss the constant jet lagged feeling of nights, or repeatedly sleeping separately to my wife. 

3. Diet… Well that’s the biggie. Initially I did 6 weeks ish of dukan. Yes it works, and maybe it can work long term if you stick at it but it is HARD. It is also unforgiving. You feel like shit most of the time and slip ups are painful both physically (when your on no carbs then accidentally eat a slice of pizza…..wow it’s uncomfortable!) and in that the scale does not forgive them easily. I went from 14 stone 4 down to about 13 stone 4 on dukan. When I came off it I went back up a few pounds immediately, that’s when I declined to try slimming world as so many people I know we’re having great success with it. The biggest boost to my weight loss has been doing slimming world with A. We shop cook and eat together so me being on a strict diet and her eating what she pleased was hard and didn’t make financial sence. She needed to shift the pounds too, and it’s been great! We are a little competitive but mainly we are just supportive of each other. I am now down to 12 stone 9 1/2 and I’m feeling good about myself again. I’ve discovered a love of fruit, and I feel so healthy right now. I’ve also cut down on caffine, again not cut it out but down. This one is hard for me and I still slip up regularly. I’m trying not to have more than 2 cups of coffee a day, I would like to cut it out completely but that seems impossible at the moment. My goal this week is to have one cup a day only and switch to raspberry leaf or red bush tea for my other hot drinks. We will see. 

4. Supplements. I have been taking, on and off, folic acid 5mg (due to raised bmi) raspberry leaf tea and a pregnancy multi vitamin from sainsburys. I’ve been doing some research into other supplements and have decided to add; 

Co-enzyme Q10 – all cells are powered by tiny little organisms called mitochondria, and those mitochondria rely on Co-enzyme Q10 for power. Studies have shown that women who supplement with Co-Q10 produced better eggs, in greater quantities, as in human terms, an egg is a really huge cell, so needs lots of power to work efficiently.

Royal Jelly. Another one that is supposed to make really good quality eggs by giving your body a boost in the energy sector.
The areas I need to work on now are getting good at taking the supplements and keep on reducing caffine. I was exercising quite a bit and that has slipped the last few weeks as I’ve been doing some extra shifts at my old job in attempt to get rid of my credit card!!! But I’ll be back on that as well this week. I am also considering starting acupuncture but I’m not sure how that will work financially as it costs £40 a session and I imagine I would need them on a regular basis.

Overall I’m happy with the choices I am making though and I’m feeling healthy and happy. If anyone has any advice on lifestyle changes that feel helped them conceive I would love to hear from you 😘 

Results are in

Today was our much anticipated fertility clinic appointment. We’ve had to wait for 5 months for it due to waiting lists and it being an NHS clinic, but we’re not grumbling as routine tests and consultations are all free, so we’ve saved a lot by being patient. We were expecting to pay for treatment itself, but it it is still a damn sight cheaper this way.

Free/cheap isn’t the only reason we’ve chosen to go NHS. We looked at private clinics initially and were fairly set but decided to go along to our initial NHS clinic appointment in January to compare, and I am so glad we did. The advice was to the point, reasonable and fair, tests were based on need and nothing else and everyone was so professional. I feel confident in them. They’re also very convenient for us as they’re relatively close to home and a couple of miles for work. The private clinic we had considered was twice the distance away from home, and the travelling quite stressful. Q

The registrar we first saw requested an internal scan, hsg, and a load of bloods; progesterone fsh etc and requested I lose weight. Bmi above 30 and they wouldn’t treat me on the NHS for sure but if I could get it under 30 there was a chance we would qualify for a cycle of IVF on the NHS as we had been doing home inseminations for some time. My bmi at the time was 33 ish, weight 87kg. 

So…..today my weight was 80kg (12 stone 6) and bmi was 30.6! Woop! Also, I’m not ovulating and have low ovarian reserve. Bugger. Wasn’t quite expecting that! 

On the plus side uterus ovaries and Fallopian tubes appeared normal and as I am now apparently diagnosed with fertility problems we get a couple of goes at IVF on the NHS, although obviously chances of success are a lower. My age is in my favour and so is my continued weight loss. 

I’m feeling pretty positive… IVF is what we had decided we wanted and now we get a freebie, but shit! Where did the bloody eggs go?!? I really hope there’s a couple knocking around in there and they don’t decide to pop out whilst we’re waiting to start IVF! 

Low

Im having a bad day. 

I feel low and flat. 

Weight loss is not going well. I need to sort myself out. It just feels like it’s never going to happen so what’s the point. Gah. 

We’re going round to our donors tonight for food. We’re breaking up with them and I feel bad about it, frustrated and  apprehensive. A was adamant she was going to arrange telling them but she never did. Times moving on and we can’t just leave them hanging so I suggested meeting up and bringing food over (they have small kids so it’s easier for them that way). She’s got a lot on with uni and work but still. 

A works weekends and I work in the week. Weekends have started to get a bit lonely. I want my wife. 

In on cd 3. My cycle lasted 38 days! Wtf??? And it’s so fucking painful. I’m beginning to think I’ve got endometriosis. Irregular bleeding, irregular length cycles, cramping up to two weeks before my period, very heavy painful periods, tummy trouble…. 

Everyone’s pregnant or having babies. Not me, I’m not. Trying to be happy for my friends, but I’m just plain jealous. 

I need my mojo back! I need my positivity and drive. I think I may need to start going to slimming world or something. I need focus. If I can lose weight it’s going to improve my chances, so it should help me feel like I’m working towards our goal of becoming mummy’s. Maybe I need to take A with me, to help that feeling of togetherness.