You are not just a blog…

I started this blog in the new year just as we were about to begin our first round of infertility treatment with IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination).  I started to discover other blogs like mine, and indeed other blogs some what very different to mine, but with the same dream as me – to become a mummy.  I have met some wonderful and lovely people through the blogging community who have inspired me in different ways.  No one journey has been the same and I have learned a lot by following and commenting on many blogs.  So I thought I’d share with you some people I have met along the way who have contributed something to our own journey; some of these people may not ever truly know how much they have contributed.  We have shared the ups and downs between us and despite the roller coaster ride there is still hope out there 🙂

So in order of length of following!  Here are some of the blogs I am talking about, if you haven’t met them yet, then consider this a formal introduction:

My Perfect Breakdown.  Mrs MPB (from Canada) is currently going through international adoption.  I have been following MPB for almost 11 months now and I think this wonderfully smart woman has worn her heart on her sleeve the entire time.  Everyday I see a post from her I am hoping she has found her match.

The Barren Librarian.  I started to follow this lovely lady after she became pregnant with her little cutie pie Charlotte, but she went through a lot get there.  I started to follow the Barren Librarian even though she was pregnant already because I needed positivity and inspiration – that going through all this treatment was worth it, that it is possible to beat infertility.  Infertility doesn’t give you a sigh of relief with those two pink lines, and TBL has shared her insights of this both during her pregnancy and even now as a new mummy.  I also fell in love with all her adorable fur babies too 🙂

A Silent Struggle.  Erin is now pregnant but suffered from unexplained infertility as well as losing her baby.  Erin was going through diagnosis and beginning treatment around the same time as me.  Her friendly, honest and open blog was one of the first I started to follow.

Try Try Again.  TTA has suffered from recurrent pregnancy loss and is currently pregnant after various forms of treatment after seeing a Reproductive Immunologist specialist, her story has been eye opening for me.  For someone who has suffered so much loss and sadness she is always so positive, a truly admirable quality 🙂

Que Milagro.  Ana Marie is just a fantastic blogger, she is never afraid to tell it like it is.  Ana Marie also was going through diagnosis and treatment at the same time as me, but I didn’t find her until a bit later.  Now she is expecting her Christmas Miracle in just a few weeks!

The Owl and the Empty Nest.  This lovely Owl recently went through a mini IVF and is about to embark on a Frozen Embryo Transfer…she deserves so much to see a positive result for Christmas, I am hoping so much for her because she has been through a lot recently.

In Pursuit of a Family.  If you haven’t found Ashley’s blog yet you have missed out on her exceptionally heart warming gestational surrogacy story; she has been through a tough journey, but she just kept picking herself up and is now expecting her sweet pea to arrive in the New Year.

Our Greatest Desire.  Dawn has such a big heart and has so much going on in her life I can barely keep up!! Dawn has recently become a Foster Mum! I have so much admiration for her it is off the scale. She has also suffered from endometriosis but keeps battling this horrible disease.  I love her blog because Dawn muses about many things other than just infertility 🙂

Tales of a thirty year old nothing.  This lady is going through her second IVF right now – you should follow her if you don’t already because if you miss a day you have missed out on something new to learn from this inspirational woman.

Empty Arms, Full Heart.  Wifey has proved to me that great things come to those who persevere.  This sweet lady has persevered after loss and she is now pregnant with two little ones.  Life isn’t easy carrying twins so I am hoping so much Wifey has an easier ride for the rest of her pregnancy!!

Disorderly Love.  Cesilee doesn’t just blog about infertility.  Her openness about overcoming her eating disorder and coping with PTSD from sexual abuse .  Her strength is amazing.  Sadly Cesilee recently has been through an IVF cycle with a heart wrenchingly less than desirable outcome.  But again she amazes me with her ability to reach for the positivity in life to move forward.

From Zero to Zygote.  Nara is another lady who blogs about other things that infertility.  Nara is adopted and frequently talks about her perspective as an adoptee.  Honesty is Nara’s best policy.  She also makes amazingly beautiful cakes and reminds me of all things British.  This lady has had a terribly long journey through infertility and will hopefully embark on a second round of IVF soon.

There are many other bloggers I have to thank who I have followed and have been a part of my journey…

How to Make a Baby – Sheena is about to go through IUI#3.

Baby Are you Coming? BBruComing is currently going through IVF#2

The Recurrently Hopeful Kicked recurrent pregnancy loss in the butt and is not far off becoming a mummy!

Confessions of the Reproductively Challenged – Julianna recently announced her pregnancy, naturally, after a long 4.5 long years 🙂

Turbulent Sunshine.  Lauren and Kevin have bravely shared their story with the world – infertility as a result of injury from service to his country.

Working Womens IVF.  Currently pregnant with twins after their 4th round of IVF.

The Longest Journey.  Stephanie has experienced so much loss; the last I she posted several weeks ago she was pregnant at 5W3D .  I am hoping everything is well with her.

Lonely Uterus.  Becky is currently pregnant after her micro IVF.  She hasn’t posted since her 6W scan, again hoping everything is well!

Uncomfortably Optimistic.  This lady is potentially about to embark on the journey of adoption!

Meet the Hopefuls.  Heather is currently pregnant after IVF#2.

Baby Science Project.  Rachel is just about to start a new cycle with a donor egg!

Not Pregnant in Rezza.  Recently discovering she is suffering from infertility after 2 IUIs, 2 IVFs and 7 transfers, is considering what her next steps are.

The Secret Life of Emily Maine.  This lady kicked endo’s butt and is currently pregnant!

Surviving Infertility.  Angela is currently under the process of getting rid of an Adenomyoma.

Dinks by Default.  This lady is about to start a FET from IVF#1 after PGS testing.

Maybe Baby Currently preparing for FET from IVF#2

There are others who have come and gone who still had a part to play.  But to you all….thank you X 🙂 X

An Ode to TTC Forums

Have you heard Alessia Cara’s song ‘Here’?  If you haven’t heard it yet, you probably haven’t switched on the radio in a while.  You can check out her video below.

As Alessia’s song has been on the radio a lot recently, for some reason, every time I hear it I sing along with some different ‘Dani’s own’ lyrics.  So I thought I’d treat you to my parody version….it reminds me of how I feel when I accidentally stray into online forums, in this case…. Trying to Conceive (TTC) forums.

———————–

I’m sorry if I seem uninterested

Or I’m not listenin’ or I’m indifferent

Truly, I ain’t got no business here

But since google took me here

I just came to check it but really

I would rather be on my blog all by myself not in this forum

With people who don’t even care about my well-being

I’m not a doctor, don’t ask, I don’t need your baby sprinkles

So you can go back, please enjoy your EW CM*

I’ll be here, somewhere in the corner under clouds of stupidity

With this girl who’s hollering with her B-F-P

Over this TTC advice I don’t listen to and I don’t wanna put my legs up over my head

So tell my IF sisters that I’ll be over here

 

Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here oh oh oh

I ask myself what am I doing here?

Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here

And I can’t wait till I can break up outta here

 

Excuse me if I seem a little unimpressed with this

An anti-social pessimist but usually I don’t mess with this

And I know you mean only the best and

Your intentions aren’t to bother me

But honestly I’d rather be

Somewhere with my blogger friends we can kick it and just write

About infertility with the struggle (like we usually do)

And we’ll discuss our big dreams

How we plan to take over the planet

So pardon my manners, I hope you’ll understand

That I’ll be here

Not there in the TTC forum with the girl

Who’s always asking questions like “Can I get Pregnant from a blow job?”

So tell them I’ll be here

Right next to the girl who’s complaining cause

She can’t figure out when her next fertile period will be

Oh God why am I here?

 

Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here oh oh oh

I ask myself what am I doing here?

Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here

And I can’t wait till we can break up outta here

 

Hours later reading all your bitchiness

Some girl’s talking bout baby dust

Well I ain’t got none

How did it ever come to this

I shoulda never come to this

So holla at me I’ll be on my wordpress when you’re done

I’m standoffish, don’t want what you’re advice

And I’m done talking

Awfully sad it had to be that way

So tell my bloggers don’t worry I’ll be back here

And I’m sitting on my laptop with my infertility in tow

Yo I’ll be over here

 

Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here oh oh oh

I ask myself what am I doing here?

Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here

And I can’t wait till we can break up outta here

 

Oh oh oh oh oh oh

Oh oh oh oh oh oh

———————————–

*Egg White Cervical Mucus

Thanks Alessia for the inspiration!!!


NaBloPoMo November 2015

Balancing Work and Infertility Treatment

I have been mostly open with my colleagues about the infertility treatment that we are facing.  I told a small number about the three IUIs, but in preparation for IVF I decided I needed to tell a few more of my colleagues in my team.  In fact, my team gave me a gift card for a nice restaurant as a I was about to take four days of sick leave for the Egg retrieval and embryo transfer for our first round of IVF.  But it’s not something that everyone is comfortable  initiating a conversation about it all with me.  They don’t know where the line is, so I try to  be open about it as much as possible and help them to feel comfortable asking me whatever questions they may have.

This ‘open’ approach has mostly worked in my favour; but that doesn’t mean it has been easy.  It is coming up to almost a year of treatment and my boss has known about my appointments and treatment for the majority of that time.  He has been accommodating, caring and supportive to my needs.  But ultimately, it doesn’t matter how supportive your peers and bosses are, there is the issue of the work that still needs to be done.

I feel unreliable, I feel flaky, I feel selfish and I hate not being flexible. I feel like the weak link in the team.  I hate that it is almost impossible to plan long term projects and work travel – a key part of my job.  I feel helpless, sometimes I feel useless.  I try to compensate by being overly proactive in areas that don’t require long term planning; I try to over achieve on short term goals and tasks.  But ultimately this impacts my career.  I feel like I have taken a career break. 

Juggling work with infertility treatment requires meticulous planning – and yet what are you told when it comes to IVF treatment?  Always expect the unexpected.  So planning for the unexpected becomes an overly stressful burden to your sanity.

For me, the first time we went through IVF it was a quiet time of year for us – August.  Many of my colleagues were on their summer holidays, so all was good.  This time around we are expecting to start stimulation in the New Year.  Things start to get a whole lot busier at work at this time of year.  I have already had to say no to travelling to Europe in January because it is likely my egg retrieval will be in that week.  Not attending this meeting in Europe may impact my involvement in the project overall.  Or simply just add another layer of stress even if I do pick it up afterwards from playing catch-up.

Then, there is the added problem of being physically at work; suffering from pain and tiredness as a result of the hormones and your body coping with the side effects of the drugs.  I tried to hide the pain.  I must have gone to the toilets about 25 times a day to hide.  Sometimes I just spent 5 minutes sitting there taking a timeout.  And it wasn’t just the physical pain, the emotional strain plays a part in all this too.  Simply put, the infertility treatment has also affected my mental focus on doing a good job.  For example, I was not satisfied with my output around the time of the IVF (I had a deliverable due just before the start of the IVF cycle – this was a terrible terrible idea!), although I know I am very self-critical and set high bars for myself – no one has actually complained about my work thus far.  I just hope that is because what I delivered was satisfactory, and not because people were afraid to upset me!!!

I just hate this.

And I am lucky that I do not have to lie to my colleagues.  I cannot imagine having that added pressure of guilt and keeping up with lies in addition to the stress of the treatment itself.  Some people need to keep their treatment a secret either for job protection or it is within their nature to keep family life private.

So what have I learned?  Second time around, I will schedule in a combination of annual leave and sick leave into my diary for the start of stimulation.  Fortunately it’s a new year of leave, so I will be able to do this this time around.  Who knows what would happen if we have to do IVF all over again after this round.  But this time, I’m going to try to focus on the treatment rather than juggling it with work.

Maybe I’ll take up some knitting or do some oil painting to keep me occupied.  I’m going to need to find something to keep my mind busy!!!

:-s

As for the long term impact on my career, well, I will just have to not worry too much about it just now.  Maybe if we get to summer next year and still no pregnancy, how I feel about my career is going to really influence my decisions about what we do next.

The Childless Analyst

I don’t really talk about my job much from the pure and simple fact that it is quite a dull subject to talk about.  But today I wanted to share with you something that happened this week.

I was observing a student class who had a task to describe the ‘persona’ of an analyst.  They had a template to fill out that included things like: name, role, tasks, products they produce, skills….their family and draw a picture of the analyst.  Now considering this is meant to be a ‘typical analyst’….there was always going to be some stereotyping involved with this task.

And here is what the students came up with:

the_analyst

They filled in the box under ‘Family’ a big fat X…i.e. no children.  They then discussed that in actual fact the analyst probably has a cat and some fish instead.  Well, apart from getting the name DAVE wrong, if they put DANI in the name box they would have been pretty accurate and I would have given them full marks!

But I simply sat there in disbelief as the students discussed why they put a big fat X in that ‘family’ box.

So, today I decided to give up Trying To Conceive because I have a greater desire to fit the stereotypical childless analyst in the eyes of my peers.  I haven’t discussed this with Chris yet, but I am sure he will be pleased that he can now get some fish again (he misses his fish)……

……….IN OPPOSITE LAND……..!!!!!!

IMG_1391

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Happy Birthday Mister

I am a bad wife…I am currently in Germany several thousand miles away whilst Chris celebrates his Birthday without me.  Again.  His Birthday generally falls at the busiest time of year for military exercises and training.  I suck.  And it sucks that I am not there to bake him a giant cake and celebrate.  He is simply an amazing man by putting up with my travels at bad times.

Happy Birthday Mister – you are my rock and you deserve to be celebrated…all 33 years of your life , I am privileged that I have known you for 9 of them 🙂  X

IMG_2831-0

 

 

Just 2!

My hCG beta level is down to 2! No more blood tests for a little while now 🙂 Is it weird that I felt like picking up a bottle of bubbly on the way to celebrate? A little bit weird.

So the next steps for us is a follow up appointment next week with our Doctor 🙂 

I was a bit selfish at work yesterday.  I found out that an instructor had pulled out last minute from teaching one of my courses in Germany, I probably could have volunteered to stay in Germany an extra week (I’m heading to Munich this evening for a conference I’m presenting at this week), but I remembered our scheduled follow up appointment and didn’t want to delay it. Our Doctor is a pretty popular lady and we don’t want to wait another month! So I was pretty selfish in that respect and silently didn’t volunteer to fill in. Plus, I’m already missing my kitties (and Chris too of course-having spent 24hrs together for the past 16 days I’m feeling a bit lost without him!).

All in all though, I’m very pleased with my results!! 

Pregnancy Test That Can Predict Down Syndrome, Miscarriage, And Twins May Be Available In Just 2 Years

This would be interesting…I wonder if it will come with a similar price tag as PGS/PGD?

SOMEONE SOMEWHERE

pregnancy test
The MAP Test hopes to provide expectant parents with accurate information faster.

The days of wondering what to expect when you’re expecting may soon be over. Researchers in the UK are working on eliminating much of the mystery surrounding pregnancies by developing a mail-in test that can predict everything from whether or not a couple is having twins to if an unborn child may have Down syndrome, using nothing more than a urine sample.

MAP Diagnostics is the company behind the first-of-its-kind pregnancy test that would reveal intricate details of both a mother and child’s health months before the actual due date, Smithsonian reported. The test, known as the MAP test, was originally developed to analyze proteins in a mother’s urine to predict chances of having an aneuploid pregnancy, or a pregnancy in which the child has an abnormal number of chromosomes in his cells (the cause of Down syndrome ). The Telegraph reported that the technique is…

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Show me the chocolate…seriously

I’m in a bit of a funk today. My Ovaries ache, and I’m also getting the odd sharp pain that makes me double over. I’m on Cycle Day 8 and finished the Letrozole last night, so I know I have a few more days of this sucky pain.

I think I am feeling like this because I just finished a big project at work, and finished two modules of school work, now that I’m in spring break I have nothing to mentally distract me. Well except today I went to a baby shower. Not the right kind of distraction I really needed to be honest. Plus this morning we had to get up super early to meet the water company who decided to change or meter yesterday without flushing out our pipes. This causef rubber, dirt and other crap to flow through our taps. Cheers for that.

We have funs planned tomorrow and Monday to see the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC, plus I start my new module so I’m sure tomorrow will be a new day and the funk will go.  And another plus, tomorrow is Easter Sunday, a day of celebrations. Maybe a bit of chocolate too 🙂

Can your cat tell if you are pregnant before you do?

Several months ago I googled ‘can cats tell if you are pregnant?’.  My female 3 year old cat, Sushi, was being overly affectionate just around the time I was coming close to pregnancy testing time.  It turned out I wasn’t pregnant that month, so I kind of forgot about it and didn’t think much more of it.  But two nights ago I had BOTH of my cats on my bed snuggling up to me.  This is very unusual because Diesel, my male 9 month old kitten, tends to push Sushi off the bed as soon as he realises she is on the bed with me.  So as it is close to pregnancy testing time again, I wondered about this question again and decided to research a bit more into it.  So what did I discover? Can cats tell if you are pregnant?

The Research is thin.  It is evident that cats can detect smells and vapours that are invisible to humans, after all they have 10 to 20 times more sensory receptors in their noses than humans (but not quite as many as dogs, who are far superior in this respect).  But I have yet to find any evidence that associates a cat’s ability to detect pregnancy – I could not find anything that even looks vaguely scientific.  I even tried google scholar, but found little of significance.  There is, however, a lot of discussion online about the subject, and is well discussed in forums and pregnancy related websites, the evidence is purely anecdotal.

Cats detecting cancer.  So what can cats sniff out?  Apparently, cats can detect cancer.  It turns out that there has been some research into understanding dogs’ talents in sniffing out cancer, but evidence for cats’ ability to sniff out cancer is again, anecdotal.  This is mostly because you can train a dog, but it’s a lot harder to train a cat!  So research can be difficult to undertake with cats in this respect.  However, there are stories about cats who have detected cancer before the owner even knew about it. For example, Fidge the cat constantly lay on her owner’s right breast for two weeks.  When her owner went to the doctor, they found a pea sized lump in her breast, which may have killed her if it had not been for Fidge.

Amazing stories of heroic cats using their nose.  On my scavange for evidence I came across some other lovely stories of cats who have saved their owner’s lives with the use of their ‘spidey senses noses’.

Oscar.  In time, staff at the nursing home began to rely on Oscar as an “early warning system” announcing to those present that it was time to notify family and increase hospice services for those close to death (More about Oscar here).

Basil.  As gas fumes leaked from the kitchen stove top, Basil began to swat his owner’s face as she lay in bed, trying to get her to get up and recognise the problem.  After an hour of his persistent behaviour, Basil’s nose saved the day.

Tee Cee.  This cat can detect when his owner is about to have an epileptic seizure attack.  Tee Cee sits next to his owner and stares at his face, indicating an episode is about to occur, allowing him and his partner to prepare for the attack in time.

So, my dear cats – are you clever enough to detect pregnancy before my pee stick does?  Just a couple more days to find out for sure…Watch this space!

Diesel - the 'Terrorquisitive kittie'

Diesel – the ‘Terrorquisitive kittie’

Sushi AKA 'lady muck'

Sushi AKA ‘lady muck’

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