My mum called one evening last week while I was out. She asked DH how I was and he said "I think she's over the worst for this month". Mum asked him to explain and he gave her a fairly accurate run-down of our life cycle. So when I visited her yesterday she sat me down and gave me the "just relax and it will happen" talk.
The moral of the story is that most people will not understand without a thorough and ongoing explanation, so either I invite them to read this blog and see how it really is or we keep our problems to ourselves.
I thought about sending my mum this post from Tertia's blog, but I'm getting ahead of myself - we are not infertile yet, just impatient.
I'm feeling strangely positive about this cycle for 2 reasons:
a) AF is really heavy and an old wives' tale says that this is the system "clearing itself out" in anticipation of pregnancy - this actually happened in the month before my pregnancy last summer.
b) As there's nothing much wrong with me, I don't need to worry about forcing myself to relax, so will pretty much do as I like this cycle - it's all down to DH's swimmers now.
If I was still playing the numbers game, I would be aware that this is the last cycle
a) before we (not me, "we"!) become officially infertile b) that will give me a baby before ANOTHER birthday,
but because I have chilled out I will not be concerned with these things.
I heard DH on the phone to his mum saying "my sperm are bad", poor love. To be fair to him though, he is completely pragmatic about this and is confident that his next SA will show a different story - we did get pregnant six cycles ago after all, so it can't be that bad. It helps for one partner to take a practical approach when the other has, ahem, impatient drama-queen tendencies.
We had our Merrion Fertility Clinic (MFC) appt today.
The good news: Dr W doesn't put much weight on LP lengths and has advised me to stop taking Clomid and progesterone, which she reckons is probably doing me more harm than good. (If anyone knows where I can offload about 200 quid's worth of progesterone pessaries, please let me know.) So I have to give up on my dream of twins, but I am looking forward to going back to 25 day cycles, I had learned how to manage them - 37 days with Clomid was a whole new scary ball game to me.
The not so good news: DH's SA came back with 34% motility. Dr W says it could just have been a "bad day" and has booked him in for a re-test in 6 weeks (why can't he do it right now!!!). So in two cycles' time (grrr) we should find out if it is an issue or not.
Dr W also thinks that 5 months TTC (since m/c) is completely normal and has made a follow-up appointment for more extensive tests for the end of May if nothing has happened by then. She said she'd be reluctant to do any tests until then as my hormone profile is normal. At this point I played the age card but she was having none of it. So she's basically told us to go off and.....relax!!!.....and keep trying. Of course, if a civilian had said this to me I would have hit them, but coming from the mouth of a professional it was strangely calming.
I will never again use a digital HPT, unless it is as a follow-up to two pink lines. Even though I got the expected result, I never imagined how hard it would hit me, seeing it in black and white after only a minute. Accustomed as I am to the gradual disappointment of no 2nd line, I was totally unprepared for the shock of the immediate knock-back, and watched almost in awe as my face contorted with pain in the bathroom mirror.
Remember, I had not tested yet this cycle, so although I had no symptoms, my expectations had not yet been numbed by BFNs. Luckily I am "working" from home today, so have been able to indulge my despair to the best of my ability.
I have now broken the first four of my New Year's resolutions, and if I don't pull myself together I'm in danger of breaking the fifth too.
There is something I've been keeping to the back of my mind for several months, and have not brought it up for fear of upsetting someone. However, this recent post on the A Rocky Place blog has reassured me as to my own feelings on the subject.
I would rather have been pregnant during the last 5 months and miscarried again than nothing. At least I would have been happy during that time. Every time AF arrives, it feels like another m/c to me. And every month that goes past is another month closer to infertility - I will officially reach that target next month.
I put on a brave face most of the time, even to myself. I certainly have a brave face I usually use for this blog. I wonder will I ever again hear a pregnancy announcement without feeling like I've been kicked in the stomach - have I already reached a point of no return? I constantly read other infertility and long-term TTC blogs and weep and weep for the chronic pain that these women endure. I feel terrified that I may soon be one of them. Sometimes I even wonder if I already am, and then I feel selfish as we haven't even been trying a year yet.
And here I am once again at 9dpo, with no pregnancy symptoms. I can't take time off work to deal with my inevitable breakdown next week. Perversely, if I was pregnant I could probably pull a few perfectly acceptable sickies. And then all around me would rally when they heard my devastating news. No sympathy for nothing though. That brave face is starting to look a bit battered.
The funeral clashes beautifully with our appointment, so we have decided that DH will go to the funeral, I will go to the appointment and then leg it across town to meet up at the graveyard. I'm filled with so much terror, dread and excitement for this cycle though, I haven't thought any further ahead, and so haven't prepared at all for the appointment.
After I posted yesterday I realised that my O pain is most likely the result of a cyst caused by Clomid, so no more wishing for O pain. Today I have a slight feeling that AF is on her way; with the Clomid and progesterone there's no way she'll be in the vicinity for at least another week, so I'm taking this as a good sign. My boobs were achy when I was lying in bed, but this happens every month at this time so there's nothing to be drawn from it.
My temp dipped very slightly yesterday (.3 of a degree) and back up .2 today. Probably not enough of a dip to matter:
We had a lovely weekend, but when we got back we found out that MIL's best friend had died. Very sad news in itself, but worse still it looks like the funeral will be on Wed morning, the morning of our MFC appointment. MIL is in a nursing home so will need at least one and probably both of us to take her to the funeral. I'm not going to panic until we find out for sure if there will be a clash.
DH had his SA today. We didn't read the list of instructions that came with his letter of appointment until last night. "Avoid extremes of hot and cold". Uh-oh. DH spent half an hour in a jacuzzi on Sat (I avoided it as I could, in theory, technically, be pregnant). The possibility of male factor infertility is new to us, so we have never really addressed the issues surrounding it. So, feeling newly green and naive, we did a quick google, and after ignoring a few alarmist reports we came across some advice from Toni Weschler - ok in moderation but best to be avoided. Interestingly, she also mentioned avoiding cycling every day - DH's bike was stolen before Christmas but until then he had cycled to and from college every day. So we should be quids in for sperm by March.
As for symptoms, not much to report. On Sat (4dpo) I had a mild O pain once or twice on each side, and had a sharp pain once on my left side when I stood up too quickly. Yesterday (5dpo) I had no more O pain, but kept imagining I had mild pain in my boobs (but no pain when prodded). Today I have a slight ache behind my boobs. Still have creamy CM but expect to have that until I finish with the progesterone pessaries. So, all in all, starting to deflate and wonder how I'll cope with another disappointment.
Oh, as I write I have the slightest (possibly imaginary) pain in left ovary. Disappointment cancelled for now.
My positivity has been dealt a blow. I visited a reflexologist last night, who asked me if I knew which side I had ovulated on this month. I told her both, but the left side had been much more painful. She showed me a burst blood vessel under the inner ankle on my left foot, which indicated pain and possibly problems with my left ovary. She admitted that conception is not her field in reflexology, but when I told her I had an appt with a fertility clinic next week she suggested asking about endometriosis. She also suggested coming before ovulation next month (I had planned on doing it this time but I O'd early and she cancelled an earlier appt due to illness). Does she know something I don't know?
Now, I take all this with a pinch of salt. My first ever reflexology session was last month, and my motivation for going was to get a nice foot massage so that I could relax during the 2ww (as if it was that easy!). So I think what has happened is that I've been reminded that things are statistically more likely not to work out this month, and that I should be prepared that an identifiable cause of infertility might be found at the MFC.
But enough about infertility, cos tonight we are going to Kilkea Castle!!! So long suckers.....
I had the worst O pain ever last night, as bad as moderate AF cramps. Mostly on the left side but some pain on the right also. Hope this is a sign that lots of big juicy eggs are being released. Gone by lunchtime today, so doesn't seem to be anything sinister, in fact I am currently compiling my Internet research report which says it is normal Clomid O behaviour.
Nothing much else to report - boobs are slightly tender and have some creamy CM. Am pretty tired and finding it hard to concentrate, but don't think that's anything to do with TTC.
Still feeling positive, which is more important than special symptoms to me at this stage. Onwards and upwards.
I think I O on the same day as +OPK. I always assumed it was the following day, but since I started temping I have noticed that my temp always goes up the day after +OPK. My temps have not been textbook - they haven't dipped at all before the arrival of AF, even before I started on progesterone - so I never read much into them, but I think I will start now by declaring today 1dpo.
I got my +OPK at lunchtime yesterday so decided to do another test before I went to bed, to test my theory. Strong line but definitely not +, a good bit lighter than earlier. So there goes the theory that you should always test in the evening, as the LH builds up in your system throughout the day. In fact, I'd go as far as to recommend testing twice a day in case you miss the surge.
I mentioned yesterday that I had some O pain on the left side. Stronger today and mild pains on the right, so fingers crossed the little swimmers catch at least one eggie.
So here we go again. As I'm certain I'm pregnant this time I will document my symptoms daily, but please forgive me if I become increasingly cynical and bitter as the 2ww progresses.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, our prayers have been answered. +++OPK today. Test line darker than control line. I am taking all of this as a good omen. Starting to feel slight pain on left side only, so hoping I can squeeze a couple of eggs out from there.
So looks like I'm going to O on CD14 - how totally and utterly average of me! BC (Before Clomid) I usually O'd on CD16 and last month (1st Clomid month) it was CD17. So lots of BDing in the next few days, one more time for fun on Friday and then the remaining little swimmers can relax a bit before their SA on Monday. Perfect.
We did go away in the end - to Dublin! My parents were away for the weekend so we squatted in their house - other people's houses are so much more fun and other people's food tastes better too! We are going away next weekend to.......Kilkea Castle! I am so excited.
No sign of O yet (surely it is destined for Kilkea) but boobs are sore so the Clomid is doing something. In contrast to last week, I am now very, very hopeful for this cycle. I know it's just the time of the month and my hopes are likely to be dashed in a couple of weeks, but I'll take it while I can.
Oh b*gg*r, have just thought of something - DH has his SA next Monday and has been asked to abstain for 2-5 days. That makes Friday night our last shot. Ok everybody, let's get this O going - lots of positive thoughts, visualisation, prayers, magic spells etc. And, I hope I don't sound too greedy, but can you wish for two eggs please?
Since my speedy exit from message boards, I have spent more time reading other long-term TTC blogs, and am constantly overwhelmed at how interesting, thoughtful and witty the writing is. Contrast this with Prop Your Hips Up's assessment of language skills in fertiles and you might begin to wonder if there really is a direct link between fertility and writing skills. I might even be as bold as to suggest it could indicate an increased thoughtfulness and consideration for others among infertiles. It makes sense that people who have to deal constantly with unintentional thoughtless and hurtful comments from others would spend more time choosing their words carefully.
I have a confession - I used to be a smug first-timer. I can't remember ever upsetting anyone with a throwaway comment about how easy it was, but I also don't remember taking stock of the fertility status of those around me whenever I was talking babies. So if I ever hurt someone with a thoughtless comment, I am truly sorry.
I'm not sure how my fertility affected my language skills,
How could I forget that Clomid can cause mood swings and depression? Maybe because I had no symptoms last month I thought that I was immune? Anyway, have brightened up a lot since this was pointed out to me last night. Thanks Lisa. Am not sinking slowly into the depths of despair, just the depths of a mood-altering fertility drug.
I have failed to persuade DH to go on a whirlwind weekend to Rome at O time, so instead have booked a series of relaxation therapies for myself over the next week - facial, massage and reflexology. I will "relax" next week if it bloody kills me. I also plan to whisk him away to Kilkenny tomorrow. DS was conceived there. Am clutching at straws.
We have received a cancellation appointment for the Merrion Fertility Clinic on 18 January. Didn't expect this for another few months, and still have another cycle of Clomid to go, but will go along for the craic - what the hell. DH has to go and make a deposit next week, tee hee. He's not squeamish though, I'm sure he will perform admirably.
Hmm, only CD8. And I've already been obsessing for 8 days. Something has changed this cycle. I'm not sure I feel strong enough to get through another few months of this. I know well that a bad day is usually followed by a better one, but these days I seem to be having several bad ones in a row. Not sure how to fix this. I would also like to stop thinking about TTC every second of every minute of every day. If anyone has any tips, please pass them on.
1. I will not compare myself to others. 2. I will not cry in front of DH and DS. 3. I will not google baby and fertility stuff after 10am and before 6pm. 4. I will not test before 14dpo. 5. I will count my blessings daily.