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Monday, July 31, 2006

Thankful

Still pregnant. And no matter how anxious I am about the lack of symptoms, it is so, so much better than not being pregnant. When I see the pain that some of my TTC buddies are still going through, I feel a mixture of overwhelming gratitude that I have been so lucky, and anger and helplessness that I can do nothing to change their situations.

I am starting to thaw out. I can feel the blood draining back into my face and my fingers. I still walk around in a bubble, separated from the rest of the world, but it's possible I won't need it forever. I have the energy to pretend to be normal now; I don't expect I will ever be completely normal, but I'm hoping people won't notice the difference. I visited two friends recently who insisted on talking about pregnancy, birth, babies - I joined in, offered advice, never mentioned infertility. See, normal.

Of course the "oops, we weren't even trying" comments still cut me to the bone. I can't join in happy, clappy message board banter, as I know too much. But in my own silent way, I am rejoicing.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The wait goes on

I always swore if and when this happened that I would just enjoy it as long as it lasted. Easier said than done. I'm 5w3d and anxiously awaiting a symptom of any sort. If I could just have a momentary bout of nausea, a flash of discomfort in a boob, an unexpected trip to the loo, then I could start to think maybe, just maybe this will last.

I know I am (was) pregnant, I have no problem saying the "P" word, but the baby thing is not within my sights just yet. There's a good bit of pregnancy to overcome before a frequently disappointed woman will start to think of new life.

I could be negative and say that my boobs are no longer very veiny, today's HPT is slightly lighter than yesterday's, and my temp is down slightly. But that wouldn't do anyone any good, and how significant is one day's events anyway?

Instead I'll cling to the odd burp, a moment of dizziness when I've stood up too quickly. And the knowledge that after all this time, we can get pregnant.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A new start?

Thanks to NYC, Becki, Georgia, Sadie, Amber, Peach, Derv, Treelo, Moomies, Rachemm, E, Meredith, Sassy, Amber, Sandra and Lisa (hope I didn't forget anyone!). Your support means so much to me, almost makes the struggle worthwhile. And in a strange way I don't regret what has happened, but that is a post for another day - first let me bring you up to date.

All is well. But I want to be sick, sick, sick! Apart from some exhaustion and nausea on Wed/Thurs last week (which I now put down to not sleeping properly cos of temping/testing anxiety), I feel fit as a fiddle.

We had an appt with another fertility clinic (the one in Rathgar) last Thurs, which had been made months ago, so we decided to keep it just in case (we don't get on with our current doc). Very, very good decision. All the staff were fantastic, and the doc was eager to offer support for this pregnancy; my previous doc was not. My new medical diet is:

Cyclogest 400 twice a day
Baby aspirin 75mg daily
10,000 HCG once a week
Fortnightly scans

I learned a lot too that I hadn't known before. Progesterone is not given to pregnant women for hormone supplementation; it is a muscle relaxant for the uterus and prevents it contracting and therefore unnecessarily aborting an embryo. The twice a day dose prevents a dip in levels during the day. Frequent scanning is associated with lower m/c rates. MFI is associated with higher m/c rates. Our new doc estimated our risk of m/c at about 22%, going down to 2% after 12 weeks. Sounds ok to me.

He also recalculated my due date - I had based it on O day rather than LMP, but he said that it's always calculated from LMP regardless of how late or early you O, as the "getting ready for O" stage is considered part of pregnancy. I'm not entirely convinced, but I get to gain 4 days (new EDD 27 March) so I'll go with it. I asked for a HCG beta but he said they only do them if HPTs aren't getting progressively darker each day (mine are), as that can indicate ectopic, so they check the levels just in case.

He asked why we'd done IUI and we told him, low motility and morphology. He said that slight male factor is the only circumstance under which he would advise IUI, and then only 3 IUIs before moving on to IVF. In most cases the success rates are so low and most patients end up doing IVF anyway, so he advises going straight to IVF - saves time, money and tears. In other words, the complete opposite of our previous doc "sure you'll probably do it yourself anyway". He did say though that he'd actually learned something from our appt too - it was of benefit for him to see an IUI that had worked first time and to note the circumstances.

Haven't called my old clinic yet to tell them the good news. Reasoning is that if I lose this baby in the next week I'm just going to tell them that AF arrived and go for IUI as planned.

I have booked my obs and have first scan on 3 August. As I can no longer rely on the reassurance of HPTs (had first HCG shot last night), and have absolutely no pregnancy symptoms, I may well be holding my breath until then.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

And now for something completely different

It's big, it's fat, it's positive and I can't believe it.

After 17 months, MFI, one miscarriage and an IUI, I've finally made it.

I've wondered for a long time how I'd feel, whether I'd want to hide away until the 3 month mark, or whether I'd just be so happy I'd want to tell the world.

Well, here I am. Exhausted, delighted, and overwhelmed. And so, so happy. Not sure it's sunk in yet, although for the first time in over a year I feel relaxed, and not at war with the world. Got a text earlier from a friend to say that his girlfriend had just given birth, and it didn't make me want to vomit or hurl myself out of a window! In fact I was really pleased for them. In one short day, my whole life has turned around.

I thought I might be terrified, given what happened to my last little baby. But no, I'm just happy to be pregnant. I know well how fragile this is, and how easily it can all be taken away, but I know now that I can get pregnant and that's the most important thing for now.

I feel very, very lucky. How many conceive on their first IUI? It breaks my heart to read some of your blogs - why should I be so lucky when some of you have suffered so much? I will never forget what I've been through, and I won't forget those of you that are still suffering.

To those of you who have helped me through, you are so important to me and I can't thank you enough. I want nothing but good things for all of you and hope you will stay in touch.

Now, must sort camera out so I can post the proof.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Well done Lisa!

I'm going to make it official - please put your hands together for my best supporter, Lisa, who got a well-earned BFP last week!

A little pregnant

My camera isn't working and I can't find the power supply for my scanner. Can't believe I'm so unprepared for my big day!

Now, it's not a BFP, but I reckon it's a line capable of being replicated by digital technology and I so wanted to show you. I took a picture with my phone, you can't really see the line, but here it is anyway:



It's not big, it's not fat and it's only sort of positive, but it's a start. And it's more than I dared dream for this cycle.

Monday, July 17, 2006

One day hope came knocking at my door

I've started this post a couple of times already and Ctrl+a deleted. I wasn't sure how to play it. Be cool and let on I'm waiting for AF? Mention a couple of developments but not draw any conclusions? In the end I decided to be honest, with you and with myself.

My temp went back up this morning. After yesterday's dramatics I didn't want to read too much into it, and I certainly didn't want to play the "maybe it's implantation" game, so didn't get my hopes up. I got another faint line on my HPT - it is now 9dpo and 11 days since my HCG shot (5000iu of Pregnyl). The general guidelines (as per peeonastick.com) are that it takes about 1 day for 1000iu to leave the system, although I've been warned it can take up to 12 days. So, today's HPT is not exactly breaking news, but here's the crux of the matter: up until yesterday the lines were getting lighter and lighter (yesterday's was of the variety only visible to special ladies), today's was ever so slightly darker. Now I use the adjective "darker" in a relative sense; I showed this morning's HPT to DH and his initial reaction was "no line, don't bother me". But I forced him to look again, properly (proper looking needs a brief tutorial), and he admitted that there was something there.

A line that a man can see! It's not exactly a BFP, but it's certainly enough to send Hope round to my place. Banging on the front door, she is. I'm thinking of letting her in - am I mad?

DH also volunteered this morning, with no prior knowledge of its relevance, that my boobs look very veiny. What the hell, I'm going to answer that door, calculate due date, look up names, plan the rest of my life. I've been looking forward to this moment for so long, I'm going to enjoy it, even if it only lasts a few hours.

P.S. Of course I worked out my due date when I O'd, and names have been picked for over a year - twas just for dramatic effect!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Same shit, different protocol

Another very faint +HPT and a huge temp drop. Numb. Paralysed. Defeated.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

To test or not to test

7dpo and still a faint line on HPT thanks to HCG trigger. The lines have been getting fainter by the day, so hopefully today's the last "false" one. So what if I get a line tomorrow? What if I don't? You can see my dilemma.

Aaaaaagggghhhhhh.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tick tock tick tock

Any tips on how to deal with treatment cycle 2 week waits?

5DPIUI. Surely that should be 15. Longest 2ww ever. I thought I'd reached the saturation point of TTC obsession a long time ago, but it turns out there is room for more. And I'm sure I can push myself even further if needs be.

The good news is that I'll be getting another natural IUI next cycle and possibly the cycle after that (no explanation given as to what the possibility depends on). I am relieved, as it means I will have a little bit of hope to help counteract the pain of another failed cycle. DH, on the other hand, is furious! He wants to go straight to the hard stuff, doesn't see the point in wasting any more time and money on odds of 6%. Of course I would rather do a couple of medicated IUIs followed closely by IVF, but that would be in an ideal world where I had some say in my treatment. To be honest, I'm quite overwhelmed at his enthusiasm, albeit negative; he doesn't usually show much interest, just goes along with things. (Note to DH: you are a very good DH and I luv you).

Poor DH has his op next week. That's his varicocele ligation op. He's not supposed to have intercourse for a few weeks afterwards, but I hope a quick one at the clinic a couple of weeks after won't be out of the question. Won't be telling the clinic about the op, we'll take our chances with his post-op swimmers. So the longer this 2ww is, the more chance DH will have recovered properly for the next IUI. Tick tock tick tock....

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

An ill wind

Huge temp drop today, lowest temp of the cycle. 3DPIUI and depression has set in already. Am dreading calling the clinic to find out what the next step is, dreading it way more than the arrival of AF. She is due any day from Saturday and I just can't see them "allowing" me start all over again next week. I need to have another treatment cycle in the pipeline, that is the only way I can get through this.

MIL asked me yesterday if it had worked yet. Too many people know about the IUI, it is only a matter of time before people start asking me if I have any news yet. Even when the time comes, I doubt there will be any hiding out until 12 weeks. I think I'll just go and hide under the duvet until this blows over.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The two week wait

What a mis-named blog this is. I refer to the URL. It was originally titled to take account of my post-miscarriage 2ww, one that would almost certainly result in pregnancy and would stand as a source of info "so that crazy ladies the world over can find some symptoms, some patterns and some comfort in the TTC endeavours of others."

The real purpose though, was to help me through those few short weeks when I should have been pregnant, until I became pregnant again and could rejoin the real world.

I'm still waiting.

And I've never made it to 2 weeks. Ignoring a couple of ill-advised medicated cycles, my LP has only ever been 7-10 days, a 1andabitww.

I'm here again, the 1andabitww. IUI went as planned on Saturday. No hiccups, no delays, a perfect insemination. I'm hoping to get closer to the 2 week mark this time, with the help of last Thursday's HCG shot. I want the anticipation to last as long as possible, don't think I'll be ready for the usual disappointment by Saturday. I won't be able to torture myself with HPTs for a while, as I had a good strong line this morning so reckon the HCG shot will take another 4 or 5 days to leave my system. Maybe I will find a different pattern of torture, I'm sure I can do that. Or maybe, just maybe things will be different this time, a 2ww with symptoms and patterns.....ha ha ha ha, no, sorry, just can't go there, can't even imagine it. Twas a different lass that started this blog, and she has long since left the building. The current writer is a realist, a cynic - there will be no self-indulgent symptom analysing, just a simple yes or no when the time comes.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Here we go

On the week I have the most news, I have the least time to post. It's all good though. On Tuesday I had 2 follicles, one 13.5mm, the other 10mm. I hoped and prayed and visualised, but by Thursday the 10mm had shrunk and there was only one good one at 17mm. DH reminded me that a singleton pregnancy would have a better chance. A small mercy. Gave myself a HCG shot on Thursday night (easy peasy) and did a HPT on Friday morning - so that's what they're supposed to look like!

And now it's Saturday morning. DH is going in to give his deposit at 10am and I'm in at 11.30am for the IUI. After everything we've been through to get here, I won't believe it until it's happened. What could go wrong at this stage??? Well, my endometrial lining has been very thin all along, and was 6.9mm on Thursday. The midwife said that ideally they like it to be at least 7.5mm, but they have seen pregnancies with thinner lining so should be happy to let me proceed with the IUI. My accupuncturist has given me herbs and cream to help increase the thickness of the lining so hopefully I will have reached the magic 7.5mm by 11.30am.

Anything else??? I will put this one down as an irrational fear, but I'm worried that DH's swimmers may have deteriorated further. The motility was worse in March than it had been in January and he hasn't been tested since. I suppose it could be better too, will just have to wait and see.

Finally, the stats for unmedicated IUIs are not good. The 10-15% success rates are for those with multiple follicles; I'm looking at approximately 6% with my one measly follicle.

All in all though, I'm so thankful to be finally on the treatment trail that I'm just happy to be here. Somebody has to fall in that 6% and all your much appreciated good wishes will surely help us on our way.