At least you know you can get pregnant

I think I’m quite a tough lady when it comes to receiving mis-informed and unintentionally hurtful infertility advice from the more fertile.  I experience it frequently because I am open about our infertility journey.  I forgive them because I know they don’t understand infertility as a disease and they only mean the best for me.  And I also know they couldn’t possibly truly understand how I feel because it has never happened to them.  Similarly like to people who have suffered from other diseases such as anorexia or depression or cancer, I don’t know what it is like or how it feels…I would never offer my uninformed opinion about treatment options or ways to overcome the symptoms of these diseases.  I won’t offer consolation that attempts to make them feel better about their disease.  Rather, I will offer my ear and my hand.

So why is infertility any different to any of these other diseases in how we talk to other people about them?  Why do so many bloggers end up writing about this struggle?  Is lack of education really the cause of this? May be other disease sufferers experience similar unhelpful comments too.  I really don’t know.

Have you seen that film about depression where friends and family offer their advice about depression, but the recipient of the advice is portrayed as a cancer sufferer?  The point of the video is that you wouldn’t say these things to someone who has cancer, so why would you say these things to people who have depression?  I think it is a great educational video (it’s at the end of this blog post if you want to see it).  Ultimately, I think there needs to be a film in a similar light about infertility.  I know there has been outrage on some forums of comparing infertility to cancer.  I understand that it is outrageous because people generally won’t die from infertility.  Comparing depression to cancer may also outrage many people as well…but depression can lead to suicide, it can kill too, but it is not a well understood.  So what is my point?  My point is that there are helpful things you can say to someone with infertility, and then there are unhelpful, even hurtful, things you can say to someone with infertility.

I have written about things that hurt, what to say, what not to say to someone with infertility many times before (ignorance is bliss, a voice of the child free family, Grow some thicker skin, you are so lucky you don’t have kids, Understanding: #YouAreNotAlone, Reblog from Que Milagro: Pardon Me While I burst into flames).  Today’s post adds to this list.  Today I am writing about one particular comment I have received multiple times since our loss from IVF cycle 1 from both fertile and infertile people:

“At least you know you can get pregnant”

I’m just going to put it out there straight away.  There is nothing consoling about this.

I get that there are many women who have never seen those two pink lines, me being one of them until our fist IVF cycle.  So I understand how hard it is to get negative after negative 25 times in a row.  But being pregnant  and losing a pregnancy is not consoling, knowing that I ‘did get pregnant’. I didn’t stay pregnant.  Maybe they would say “But it’s one step in the right direction”, yes perhaps, but it was then like ten steps back after our loss.

Would you say this to someone after they lost their baby during childbirth?  No.  Would you say this to someone who lost their baby in their third trimester? I doubt it.  Would you say this to someone who has suffered from recurrent pregnancy loss and miscarried 6 times? Definitely not. Would you say it to someone with secondary infertility? For goodness sake, NO.  So why does this need to ever be said at all?  It makes absolutely no sense at all and simply reminds me that we simply FAILED.

I am due to have my first beta test on Friday and in some ways, I am afraid of a positive than a negative.  Don’t get me wrong, I WANT A POSITIVE MORE THAN ANYTHING.  But I am afraid of when the positive comes, I know that even if this is my one successful pregnancy, my journey through the first trimester is going to be a psychological challenge.  If we ended up in a similar position to last time with a slow rising beta levels, pregnancy of unknown location suspected ectopic, yes it will be easier knowing the process the second time around, but it will be bloody damn hard to go through it all again.  And that is why I cannot accept the statement  “At least you know you can get pregnant” as consoling.

exhausted

IVF Diary Vol 2: 2-8 Feb 2016

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.  I have failed to pierce the skin myself yet, I am so close, but I have managed to do everything else, including doing the actual injecting part…I had a couple of mis-haps, including one evening as I removed the needle, blood gushed from the injection site.  The blood poured down my leg and I just managed to catch it before it landed on the nice white hotel towels.  I have no idea why it happened, I guess it’s going to happen once in a while.  The injection site was sore for a couple of days after that 😦

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I had to put a plaster (aka band-aid) on this one after the blood gushed from this injection site!  Minions to the rescue!

 

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

What are my symptoms?  I have had a few sharp pains and cramps here and there.  All good signs I guess.  I have also managed to catch a cold and sore throat. WHYYYYYYYYY??!!?!!  Now the wisdom of the internet says this is an early pregnancy symptom. Well, it is the runny nose/cold part which is the symptom that can be explained by the extra estrogen caused by the pregnancy, apparently that creates a stuffy nose.  Well, I have a sore throat and that can’t really be explained by that theory.  Some argue that your immune system drops after implantation.  Well in my case, this cold was inevitable because it was going around at work.  I was the last person to catch it because it was going around mostly when I was out of office for the stimulation/egg retrieval part of the IVF.  There were some remnants of the cold hanging around the office when I returned.  It was bound to happen.  Also, this happened to me the exact same time last year during my second IUI, excitedly thinking it was an early pregnancy symptom, I was wrong.  SO I am not taking this cold as a sign of anything except for being a pain in the butt.

The night sweats.  It’s gross and I hate it.

The cats have been on my lap again (two nights in a row)…I have already written about this (Can your cat tell if you are pregnant before you do) and whether it could be an early pregnancy sign.  I think they can detect a change in something, whether it is pregnancy or just a change in your body temperature, I don’t know.  One thing I do know, they can’t tell if the pregnancy is going to stick around or not 😦

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Sushi sitting on my lap and tolerating Diesel laying next to her, it’s not a common sight

Having said all that, today I do feel a little nauseous and I couldn’t bare to eat my chicken sandwich.  So who knows?  May be I am pregnant!  I don’t know because I haven’t tested yet!!!  Yup, today I am 9DP5DT (9 Days Past 5 Day Transfer) and I haven’t pee-ed on a stick yet. I am impressed with myself! I’d like to thank a very lovely lady who I met at my local Resolve Support Group who is IVF cycling with me…she encouraged me not to do the test it out thing, and to wait it out with her!!  Last time around I tested 12DP3DT (i.e. what would be tomorrow, when my period would ordinarily be due).  But this time I am not testing until the evening before my Beta test (which is scheduled for Friday).

How do I feel today? You may have noticed my absence for the past week.  Well I took my ‘Must keep busy during the 2 week wait’ a little too literally!  Although I have been hampered a little bit as a result of work.  Last week I got home in the evenings with my brain frazzled – I wasn’t doing overly long hours, just lots of hard thinking and writing.  The thought of updating my blog was too much for my poor brain, so I did mindless (mindful) things such as knitting, TV watching and colouring in.  I even taught Chris how to knit 🙂

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My IVF knitting project 2/3 complete!

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Chris learning how to knit!

We also went away on a mini road trip/city break to Charlotte, North Carolina to see the Charlotte Hornets v Washington Wizards (Basketball).  My first NBA game, it was my birthday present from back in December.  I had a fantastic time, I really enjoyed the experience and appreciate the very talented athletes.  I think it might be my favourite American sport so far!  Along the road trip we visited some random places, like a Lemur conservation, the world’s biggest chest of drawers, and a mountain that was only 350ft tall (it was a slightly misleading name of a state park!!!!).  Planning a city break in this 2 week wait was perfect! (Except for the catching a cold part).

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Our first NBA game!

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The World’s Largest Chest of Drawers – It’s in a town called High Point in North Carolina!

Any results?  Not much longer to go now!

What’s next? Beta HcG test will be 4 days from now :-s

Weight. NSTR.

Waist. NSTR.

Boobs. So, so sore and sensitive!

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

Two week wait fun times planning

After two years of trying to conceive unsuccessfully I reckon I am getting quite good at this two week wait malarky.  Admittedly, I’m a bit rusty at it.  So in light of my previous post where I declared my new year’s resolution: I will embrace time, I decided to start thinking about my next two week wait for IVF cycle 2.  Now, I know that I will not be doing anything ‘extreme’ or ‘partying like it’s 1999’….but that doesn’t mean I can’t plan for some fun! right??!

Evening Fun Activities (i.e. post work)

Self-Pampering – Mud mask, jacuzzi bubbles bath, trashy magazine, a bar of chocolate (something fancy like) cosy pyjamas and early to bed.

New food (2 nights) – Cook or bake something outrageously random for dinner that requires some new cooking skill!  Like working with pastry or something equally different.  Glug it down with a random new TV programme from Netflix or Amazon Prime. Sadly no alcohol to glug.

Fun with friends – hang out with friends, either invite them over for take-away (take-out) dinner or try somewhere new together.

Fun with family – I can’t really do this well, but I will spend some time writing a couple of letters to my family back in the UK.

Meet some new people – go to one of my local social and sports club nights, make an effort to be sociable!!!

Crafty and creative (2 nights) – do some knitting (including teach myself a new stitch and practice it), start/continue my new painting (it’s a secret what I am planning to paint!!!)

Date night with hubby – Trip to cinema or rent a DVD with lots and lots of popcorn and some BIG SNUGGLES.

Blog focus night – discover some new blogs and write a new blog post (perhaps from my collection of ideas I have left over from NaBloPoMo 15).

Weekend Fun Activities

Well there is potentially only one weekend I will need to keep busy for!

Road trip to Charlotte, North Carolina (to include going to a Basketball game, a walking tour, perhaps a nice meal out and a trip to Lemur Land on way back!!!!).  I am pretty excited about this road trip.  My Birthday present was tickets to see the Charlotte Hornets play the Washington Wanderers.  I don’t support any particular team, I just really wanted to see basketball game!!! It was perfectly planned by Chris.

I looked back at all my previous blog posts that were tagged with the 2 week wait (2WW)…I think the key for me is to keep myself busy, even if it means I am just ‘planning’ to relax and pamper 🙂

Ohhhh I should also mention that I have ZERO home pregnancy tests in the house!  I used them all up last time and did not replace them.  So no sneaky testing will be happening this time around!!!

Do you have any other tips for the 2WW?

Time

Today I am reflecting on time.

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This week I turned 33 years old, and so I decided to celebrate all the threes, 33!  I had a few friends over for an afternoon tea party and we learned how to knit.  Yup….you may have been mistaken into thinking that I was actually having my 65th Birthday Party.  But haven’t you heard?  Knitting is totally hipster.

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This is how I imagined my friends and I to be like at my Birthday party.  Very Cool.

Thinking about turning 33 I realise that I am quickly heading towards 35.  Yeh, yeh, that is two years away.  But 35 is the age that women apparently ‘may find it more difficult to get pregnant’…note – it can be difficult, not impossible.  And that is to be said for a woman who was supposedly more fertile than myself.  So, if the next round of IVF is successful and we do decide to have a second child I would definitely be past 35 if we ever tried to conceive again.  Not exactly what I had in mind!   But time is never going to be on my side and I can’t cheat it!

Today as I did a bit of early spring cleaning, I took down our four photo frames Chris and I put together for our Wedding day.  They were starting to curl and look a bit raggedy.

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Our photo collage we put together for our wedding day…we look so young!

I peeled the photos off the frame and I noticed the lack of wrinkles on my face in some of the photos.  A couple were from over eight years ago when Chris and I first met.  As I look in the mirror today I see my slightly more pronounced furrow lines and wonder how much my life experience impacts these lines.  Often we associate wrinkles with ‘wisdom in life’, and I sure feel like that.  Since I met Chris we have done incredible things in our lives.  If I were to die today I would think I had led a pretty amazing life and would go with a smile.  But experience and wisdom doesn’t simply come from the good things in life, it’s also the bad things.  I think it’s difficult to truly appreciate the good things without experiencing some pain.  So when I see those furrow lines in the mirror I don’t just see time fading, I see time enriching me.

“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” – Jean Paul Sartre

With infertility, I want time to pass quickly, I’m always waiting. The dreaded two week wait (How many of those have I written about on this blog now??!), waiting to start treatment or waiting to end treatment!  But I don’t want it to pass so quickly that my furrows grow deeper and I realise too late that infertility made me accidentally press the pause button on gaining that life experience and wisdom – the good, bad and ugly.

So as I move forward into 2016, my new year’s resolution is to embrace time and make every bit of sand in that hourglass of life count for something.

My Mountains Monday Memoirs: Healing Holidays Days 10 to 16

Well after starting NaBloMoPo15 yesterday with a mantra to write more meaningful and deeper posts I have lost my way already!  But it is Monday….so I will finish off My Mountains Monday Memoirs post from last week.  You won’t find anything deep in this post – just a recount of my healing holiday part 2 😉

(If you missed part 1, you can read about our first 9 days here)

Day 10.  Albuquerque (NM).  We thought we would be in Albuquerque as the worlds biggest hot air balloon festival would be going on because we found it difficult to find a campsite for that night.  But in reality we arrived about 2 hours too late.  The festival was over.  Booooo. Anyway, we headed off to the Petroglyph National Park (A petroglyph is a rock carved drawing) for a mini adventure.  We took a hike and viewed some incredible old rock carvings.  We tried to imagine what people were expressing when they carved them into the rock hundreds of years ago.  Here is one that looks like a stork carrying a baby – although it is actually a frog…but apparently the whole image may represent thankfulness for fertility or water.  Because, you know, these things are so similar (!??!! the sign told us this, I didn’t just make it up!).

The stork and the baby story originates from Europe so we know that this is meant to be a frog!

The stork and the baby story originates from Europe so we know that this is probably actually a frog!

We decided not to head into Albuquerque city centre but rather spend more time getting outdoors instead – at the petrified forest.

Day 11.  Petrified Forest, AZ.  We took a spectacular hike into the wilderness – i.e. there was no path.  You had to ask the park ranger for the ‘special’ instructions to do this hike.  So armed with the ‘map’, instructions and a compass (my iPhone because we forgot to bring ours!) we headed out into the wilderness to look for a giant petrified log that crossed a wash (a temporary river when it rains).

A 'wash' in the petrified forest wilderness

A ‘wash’ in the petrified forest wilderness – no paths to follow here!

I felt in my element here.  I was sooo happy.  No one else around.  No sounds of vehicles, very little wildlife except for lizards and ravens.

A lizard on a piece of petrified wood

A lizard on a piece of petrified wood

The petrified logs were incredible.  I had never seen anything like it.

Petrified wood in a valley

Petrified wood in a valley

It is very tempting to just pick up a piece of petrified wood and put it in your pocket, but of course that is illegal so we didn’t!

The different colours are caused by different minerals the wood absorbed a few million years ago

The different colours are caused by different minerals the wood absorbed a few million years ago

There was so much wood lying around, especially from the giant logs I could really imagine what the forest would once have looked millions of years ago when the dinosaurs roamed.  Now just a desert.  Apparently this is the most ‘driven’ through National Park in the US.  If you ever head this way, don’t just drive through it….get out and see it!  There are many natural surprises that lay hidden throughout the park.

Day 12.  Grand Canyon, South Rim, AZ.  This time around we had planned to arrive in the Grand Canyon in style by taking the Grand Canyon train!  Although, this did mean we only had 3 hours actually at the Canyon.  We managed just 3 miles of hiking, the canyon was cruelly teasing us.  BUT! this time we got to see the canyon in its finest.  Not a cloud in sight.  Once we escaped the crowds I was a happy bunny.

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For the return trip on the train we bought luxury parlour class tickets – it was fantastic!  A bit of a treat to ourselves because quite honestly it is a bit of a frivolity.  Our tickets gave us full roaming of the train, including the back porch of the train.  It was very cool being able to stand outside as the train was clickety-clacking along through the national park with the sunsetting.  By the way, at no point do you get to see the canyon from the train (the pictures on the website are totally misleading), but it was still a wonderful journey.  Our train was ‘robbed’ on the way back by cowboys – quite an amusing little bit of entertainment.

A wild west train robbery in action

A wild west train robbery in action – apparently a pretty casual affair.

To end the day we went back to our campsite to finish off with a little bit of relaxing Jacuzzi action.  Spoilt rotten.

Day 13.  Lake Mead and Hoover Dam (NV & AZ).  Mostly a day for driving, but at the end of the day we ended up at the Hoover dam.  Wow, I learned a lot about this dam!  We took the ‘full works’ tour of the dam and got to go inside the actual concrete dam itself.  An incredible piece of engineering.  I can understand why it is one of the seven engineering wonders of the world.

Hoover Dam - One of the 7 engineering wonders of the world

Hoover Dam – One of the 7 engineering wonders of the world

We ended up at Lake mead RV park with an amazing lakeside view.  Sadly this was our last night in Trippy 😦

Lake Mead Camping

Lake Mead Camping

Day 14 & 15.  Las Vegas baby! (NV).  We handed Trippy back first thing in the morning and took a taxi to our hotel, the SLS.  I had some Hilton points to use that I have collected over the last year so this was definitely a treat of a hotel.  By the way, it was sooooo good to be in a real bed!!!

We gambled a little on the slot machines and learned how to play ultimate poker (where you play poker against the dealer only).  We didn’t win big.  But Chris did win 2 half dollar coins with 2 flushes, which we will keep and not be spending!!  Half dollar coins are not commonly used any more, but it is possible to get half dollar coins to collect.  Unfortunately, neither of them were the Kennedy half dollar coins that are worth something.  But hey, it’s a novelty!

Our total sum winnings in Vegas...2 half dollar coins

Our total sum winnings in Vegas…2 half dollar coins

We decided to be a bit different and went to the mob museum…you could even buy a beer to take around the exhibits with you!  This was followed by a seafood buffet at the Freemont Casino.  It was totally over-the-top with Vegas cheese, but we decided to go cheap rather than fancy because we thought it would be a waste of money spending money on a buffet when we are not big eaters.  Chris was surprised at how much food I actually did pack away!  We were both ill with funny tummies almost immediately afterwards, not because of food poisoning, just from the sheer amount we ate!  We are clearly not well trained in buffet eating.

We treated ourselves to a dinner and show package.  We chose to see ‘Absinthe’ at Caesars Palace – a variety show in a small intimate circus tent (there were only 10 rows of people!).  It was comedy mixed with erotica, show dance girls and circus acts.  There was something for everyone!  It was excellent entertainment– not for the faint hearted or the straight laced!  There was absolutely no political correctness here!

All in all, Vegas was highly entertaining, but I don’t think I could spend more than 2 nights there.

Day 16.  Time to fly home.  Reflecting upon our epic adventure, it made me realise that there is definitely a whole lot of America we have yet to see and experience.  But most importantly, I came home refreshed and ready for whatever life wants to throw at me back in the real ‘non-vacay’ world.

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Bye Bye Grand Canyon! ’til we meet again…

IVF DIARY VOL I: 18-20 Aug 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1Medication(s) administered and dosage(s).  Progesterone 1ml, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

Medical procedures undertaken. Beta pregnancy test.

How do I feel today? I have written a separate post about this today as I felt that my feelings should be captured in their own space.  To sum that post up…I’m cautiously optimistic.

What are my symptoms? Sharp pains, sore back and I can feel the nausea coming.

How does Chris feel today?  He too is cautiously optimistic too and has an occasional outburst of tears welling up. I love how he shares his feelings with me openly and honestly.

Any results? Maybe I should have put this one higher up.  Yes – I am pregnant according to my beta test.  I don’t know my hCG levels yet, my phone is playing up so I can’t access them at the moment.  But I know that the doctor is not concerned about them. Yey 🙂

What’s next?  Second Beta test scheduled for Tuesday next week.

Weight. Holding at a reasonable level.

Waist.  Getting smaller!!  But not for long, hopefully.

Boobs. Getting bigger!!

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 I got some last holiday sun yesterday as it was my mum’s last day in Virginia, so we headed to the beach for some dolphin watching.

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This concludes Vol 1 of my IVF diary and this will be my last ‘diary entry’ (Of course I am blogging still – duh!!).  It has been a roller coaster of emotions, I have learned a lot.  I will share my ‘lessons learned’ of this cycle later this week.  But overall, it’s not a bad note to end on 🙂

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

On being PUPO at P-1 Day (Prove Day)

I officially have the status of being Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise (PUPO).  I can ‘enjoy’ this status for about 24hrs longer because tomorrow morning I have my first ever beta pregnancy blood test.  What is a beta pregnancy blood test?  This is a blood test that will reveal ‘quantitatively’ the amount of hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadatropin) in my blood (hCG is the hormone that is produced when a woman is pregnant).

The last 24 hours have been interesting.  Yesterday I thought my period was about to happen.  I discovered a bit of dark brown spotting….I freaked out.  Then I thought perhaps implantation bleeding?  But surely this is way too late for implantation bleeding and unlikely to be possible??!  (Remember I have an upside down uterus so perhaps the blood from the implantation has taken a while to ‘gravitationallly’ find its way out! Perhaps it is not impossible?!?!)  But then I had horrible aches that felt like a period for several hours afterwards.  I felt that it was all over.  I went to bed last night pretty much expecting to wake up to my period flowing.  I even got upset when Chris told me I should go to bed with a pad and knickers on.  I shall not surrender!!!! But no!!! Cruel Aunt Flow teases me!!! Nothing has shown itself since.

Last night I had a weird dream.  I basically took three different home pregnancy tests.  The first was positive, because I couldn’t believe my eyes, I took a different brand…and it came back positive.  So Chris made me take this crazy test.  The results were really hard to interpret.  The lines looked like inter-twinned ladders and required knowledge of matrix calculus to understand it, and so we argued over whether it was positive or negative.  It was positive.

Today, I have been aching like my period is about to arrive, however, I have been experiencing those sharp pains again like in many of my other previous 2 week waits.

The problem with being PUPO is that the progesterone injections and estrogen patches I am being ‘topped up with’ each day to help make a cosy and attractive womb to Huckleberry and Huckleberina are probably causing all of these symptoms.  So I am not going to think too much about it all….I remain as I mentioned in my previous post – indifferent.

Lots of people have been sending their love and support over the last few days, and for this we are truly appreciative for the kind thoughts.

So….all that is left to do now is…Prove!  I’m excited, nervous and scared all in one breath…or maybe it’s just the drugs!!! Who knows?!?!

Ohhhh just one last thing I will levae you with to make you smile….here is the spectacular bio-luminescent plankton we observed on Sunday.  Chris did a great job of the pics! I hope we didn’t use up all our luck this epic weekend of fun!

the bio-luminescent plankton

the bio-luminescent plankton

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Patience is a virtue

No matter if you have been trying to conceive for 3 months or 3 years, there is something about the two week wait (2WW) that makes us question every single little pain, change in body, or change in any bodily function.  Is it a sign?  Is the pain normal?  Is my body supposed to do this?  I am currently in my 2WW and I have been thinking about early pregnancy symptom watching.  I have also been thinking about how different my 2WWs have been between a medicated 2WW, a ‘natural’ 2WW and just an ordinary last two weeks of a cycle (i.e. without trying to conceive).

Last cycle we took a break from trying to conceive – I gave my body some respite.  I noticed a lack of pain, but I did have a couple of twinges that were likely to be PMS or IBS.  I felt like I was also pretty good at not actively looking for any changes in my bodily functions.  Except for the associated period pain, overall, last cycle I was painless.

This cycle we have been trying to conceive naturally, without any medical intervention whilst we wait for IVF….because there is still a chance we can do this on our own!  I have not done any ‘temping’ or ‘peeing on a stick’, so I am not really sure exactly when I ovulated, but I know, give or take a day, that I am 9 Days Past Ovulation.  Having been through 17 2WW, I’m starting to wonder whether every single niggle and pain I have ever experienced is just my imagination?  It is probably more about the fact that I am looking for a sign.  I’m impatient.  I want a sign.  So my brain is telling me to look for a sign.  This 2WW I have experienced short sharp pains, but not as painful as I have had them in the past.  These don’t feel like IBS type pains (By the way, the doctor suspects I may have endometriosis, but I have not ever had it confirmed, so the pain just may be that).  I have been tired, yawning a lot (I just yawned as I wrote the word yawn – weird) but I can’t tell what is jet lag or otherwise.  I have been very emotional, random bouts of tears.  Also a few nights ago I had the strangest dream.  I dreamt that I gave birth to a baby, the placenta followed, and then the baby ate the placenta.  It was a pretty gruesome and a graphically detailed dream.  So far, my 2WW has been eventful in comparison to my last cycle, but not as eventful as when I was taking the medication.

So, do I just ignore all these niggles, pains and possible early symptoms of pregnancy?  Well, I probably should – after all, the only real way to tell if I am pregnant is with a blood test.  But I know at some point I’m going to google it.  And google usually confirms most of my suspicions.  (I know – google usually can confirm ALL suspicions, like “Am I an Alien from space?” google tells us “probably”)  Yes, all of the above I experienced in this 2WW could be early symptoms of pregnancy.  So I tell myself today:

“Dani, just be patient.  You’ve waited this long, a couple more days won’t hurt.”

I’m not very patient when it comes to queues (lines) or being in crowded places trying to get somewhere, I’m afraid patience is my weak spot.  I’m going to have work hard at it, I’m going to have to learn to deal with it.  Maybe, this is one of the positives to come out of infertility – learning how to be more patient.

Period Pants (The trouser variety)

I took a home pregnancy test last night just to be sure.  I had a bit of spotting so I was still holding onto hope.  But at the same time, I didn’t want to take another progesterone suppository if I didn’t have to.  No matter how much I squinted at the test this time, there was nothing but white space.  I awoke this morning to the fat lady singing.  And no she wasn’t a beautiful opera singer, rather the heavy ugly type, and a little bit out of tune too.  And so the period pants come on.  Both the knicker type and trouser type, just to be clear.

Our appointment with our doctor to discuss the next steps is scheduled for 4th May, the earliest appointment possible.  I am looking forward to it, but mostly I am looking forward to not trying to conceive this month. After 17 months, its time for a little break.  Time for some alcohol (just a bit), exercise (a lot), some dangerous sports and diet (just a bit because I’ve put on a bit of weight the last few months, time to get into that bikini!!).  No more temperature taking, no more peeing into a cup, no more hormones, sex when we want to and hopefully a little less pain.  Doesn’t sound so bad, does it really?

Ps. Oh and if anyone tells me it will happen now we are relaxed I’ll punch them in the face.  Sorry.

Time to get back to some of the more 'dangerous sports'...sorry mum!

Time to get back to some of the more ‘dangerous sports’…sorry mum!

Facebook: The sad truth of the matter #NIAW, #YouAreNotAlone

Facebook – you kept me awake this morning contemplating giving you up.

I have 423 friends on facebook.

40 of my friends liked this picture of me drinking beer….almost 10%!  That’s pretty high!

Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Mmmm Beer!

Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Mmmm Beer!

The irony being that in this picture, these were not my beers, and I was drinking non-alcoholic beers that night because I’m trying for a baby!

However, only 17 liked this photo and blurb about National Infertility Awareness Week (incidentally only 2 of the 17 were men, I salute you because this is not just about women)….

Did you know that 1 in 8 couples you know may suffer from infertility? Did you know that 1 in 100 births in the US are made possible from Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF? Infertility IS a disease, it is a hidden disease. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, so please share the message and remember friends ‪#‎YouAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎WeAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎NIAW‬

Did you know that 1 in 8 couples you know may suffer from infertility? Did you know that 1 in 100 births in the US are made possible from Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF? Infertility IS a disease, it is a hidden disease. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, so please share the message and remember friends ‪#‎YouAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎WeAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎NIAW‬

So why do I feel judged or failed by sharing this photo and message?  Why do I feel like the number of ‘likes’ is a measure of my success in sharing the message about Infertility Awareness Week?  Maybe people read it, but felt awkward to like it or share it?  Did I make people feel uncomfortable?  Was it not interesting?  Did they know these facts already?  Was it too boring?  Do people not care? Was it not controversial enough?  All these things I wonder….but they are silly.  If I hadn’t posted the picture of me with the beer last week and got so many likes, would 17 ‘likes’ have satisfied me that I had some success in sharing the message?

I have thought about ways to raise awareness.  Before we started this journey, the hunt for the great pudding club, I had no clue about infertility.  I knew it happened, I didn’t know how many people it affected, and how differently it affected people.  The pain and suffering of these people were hidden from me.  It is a personal journey so it shouldn’t have to be shared with me and the whole world, but I feel like I should have been educated in it.  When I was at school and I learnt about conception, the biology behind it, the sex education classes I was unaware of quite how truly each conception is a miracle.  The events that have to occur all in line for conception to be made possible is amazing.  I only learnt about all of this over the last year.

I want to raise awareness so I drafted a blog post as part of the National Infertility Awareness Week blog challenge under the theme of #YouAreNotAlone.  I drafted it last weekend, but I have not posted it yet because the tone of blog will be highly dependent on the outcome of IUI round 3 this week. I have written two versions of the post, the first version is aimed at inviting close friends and family to help us on our journey which is about to get more difficult or, alternatively the second version, announcing to friends and family that we are pregnant in the early stages, as a result of help and assistance from fertility treatment.  I’m still waiting to post my blog.  Here is how it has gone so far…

Sat: 10 DPIUI – I landed back in the US and made Chris drive me to the pharmacy to buy us some of the expensive early pregnancy tests.  I was feeling like I was pregnant 🙂  I took the test and there was the faintest of lines.  I even took apart the test to look closer because the reflection of the plastic made me wonder if I was imagining it.  But could this be the hormones left over from my Ovidrel shot?  I went to bed smiling either way because there was still a chance.

Sun: 11 DPIUI – I took another early pregnancy test.  Nope, nothing, nadda.  Saturday must have been from the Ovidrel.  Why did I take the test so early?  Well, I have never taken a test before my period was due, I was in experimentation mode and thought what the hell.  A sad Dani.  But it is still early and definitely not over til the fat lady sings (AKA Aunt Flow).

Mon: 12 DPIUI – Chris told me not to take a test.  I didn’t.  Chris came home from work sad, he had been thinking about it all day.  I was sad too. It was a sad evening with many hugs.

Tues: 13 DPIUI – I took a cheapy test.  I saw a very very faint line!  Well at least I really thought I did.  Chris took a look at it and told me there was absolutely nothing there.  I didn’t listen to him and went to be with a little smile.  This morning I woke up and looked at it again, he was right, there is nothing there, I was actually hallucinating.

Today Weds: 14 DPIUI…….No testing today.  I will wait for Aunt Flow to arrive.  She is rumbling.  Unless I am sorely mistaken.

Whatever happens, I will be posting my blog challenge for National Infertility Awareness Week very soon. #YouAreNotAlone, #WeAreNotAlone