7dpo. The first seeds of doubt have been sown; watch them sprout over the next 24 hours.
I think I have seen the end of the trigger (HCG shot), have had a series of "is it, isn't it?" lines on HPTs over the last couple of days with this morning's being more likely imaginary than not. My temps are high, very high for me in fact. If I was taking my chart as sole evidence, I would be celebrating already. However, my twice a day progesterone pessaries are as likely culprits for this as a developing embryo.
The reason for my sudden lack of certainty that I have two beautiful babies growing inside me (ok, one, the second one is a bit of creative accounting on my part), is that I noticed my first symptoms as 6dpo on my last pregnancy. Now I know every pregnancy is different, and that 7dpo is early (but please don't tell me you didn't test positive until 15dpo - you just weren't trying hard enough), but the testing phase has begun, and it's impossible to ignore any signs that aren't 100% positive. Only time will tell, most likely the next 72 hours of it.
That's how relaxed I am. My acupuncturist asked me yesterday how I was, I told her I was very excited. She felt my pulse and was surprised that it didn't feel anxious. I told her no, I'm not anxious at all, I'm excited like I'm going away on holiday. She told me then that she thought the IUI should work.
And so I am PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise). I will spend the next week planning for and looking forward to my baby/ies. And if it doesn't work out this time, then we will go straight into another medicated IUI cycle, so no time for tears.
We have another cause for celebration. DH's SA showed 45% motility!!! That's up from 30% in July. Still infertile, or "subfertile" as they prefer to call it, but such a vast improvement, we can only hope that he goes all the way. He had a varicocele ligation (removal of varicose vein in his testicle) in July, and we were given a 40% chance of improvement after 6 months to a year. So we are way ahead. I didn't get the numbers for morphology which was also a problem, but one step at a time.
The only fly in the ointment has been the fact that I very unusually have had absolutely no signs of O; no fertile CM, no cramps, no discomfort. No big temp rise today either, but hoping for one tomorrow. I mean, how could it go wrong? I had a big follicle on Wed, HCG shot at 4am on Thurs, so I must have O'd by now, right?
I'm from Barcelona, Whelan's, Dublin, Sunday 12 November
Take one down-on-her-luck ex-musician with cynical eye, add a splattering of jaded-musician husband and simmer. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find the magic ingredient that will cheer them up.
Opening act, Ham Sandwich, or "I'm from Bord na Mona" as one band member suggested, didn't quite provide the necessary cheer, although they certainly made me take my coat off. Their tight, stomping rhythm section, distorted guitars and soaring male/female vocal harmonies rose above the madding crowd and almost made me smile. Close, but no cigar.
So can I'm from Barcelona pull it off in little more than an hour? Freddie Mercury's "Barcelona" announces the arrival of the band, as they prepare to take on the challenge.
One line into the opening song and I turned around to see jaded-musician husband grinning from ear to ear. He hugged me and gave me a kiss; we jumped up and down, we sang along to Treehouse, a song we'd never heard before. Ticker tape and beach ball balloons fell from the ceiling; the 16-strong band, barely fitting on Whelan's stage, ventured into the audience to join the festive cheer.
I'm from Barcelona is (at full-strength) a 29-piece band from Jönköping, Sweden, formed and directed by singer-songwriter-guitarist, Emanuel Lundgren. The remaining 28 sing backing, play an interesting variety of instruments including clarinet, sax, flute, trumpet, banjo, accordion, kazoo, guitar, drums, keyboard, and dance like nobody's watching. The result is indie-pop from the heart, music that simply makes you feel better.
Instead of introducing the band, Emanuel Lundgren decides to introduce the audience. He then invites one up for birthday congratulations, another to sing along and yet another up to play the kazoo - even the barman is on the stage by the end of the night. All are efforts to extend the party atmosphere, although there is really no need, everyone is joining in already. "Don't give up on your dreams, buddy", "Chicken Pox" (the chorus made me laugh out loud - "once you've had it, you can't get it"), "Rec and Play" are all uplifting, catchy, sing-along pop songs, delivered with warmth and enthusiasm.
The climax of the show is, of course, the band's theme tune, "We're from Barcelona":
"We'll aim for the stars / We'll aim for your heart / We'll bring you love / You'll be one of us".
Pure pop, pure pleasure. But don't take my word for it, decide for yourself:
Scan this morning, CD10, other things on my mind, expecting routine update and see you next week. Nope, I am ready to go.
I AM READY TO GO!!!!!!!
Before the scan I told the nurse that I'd only stopped bleeding yesterday, and the look on her face turned me cold. Had already talked myself through the cancelled cycle, and was preparing to cancel Christmas when I saw a measurement on the screen: 7.2.
"Is that my lining?????" "Yes" "Well last time my lining was 6.9 and I got pregnant!!!!!"
Christmas is back on. 7.2mm is still a bit crap, but adequate. The nurse told me afterwards that she fully expected to have to cancel the cycle on hearing my news, but that the meds must have been thickening my lining while I was still shedding. I have one 17.5mm follicle and one 12mm one that probably won't make it. I've just taken my last FSH shot which might just give it a last-minute boost, but I'm not expecting twins. (Fuck it). So trigger tonight and IUI on Friday. Woohoo!!!
I had been ambling along, going through the motions of my twice daily injections, without much thought about why. I have been so detached from this cycle, I haven't had a thermometer in my mouth in 10 days, never entered my head to do an OPK. So today's news is like an unexpected gift - a 2ww, why thank you kind nurse.
Most people think that the worst thing we've been through was having to bury a baby. When I'm being pounded with platitudes, I drop that snippet of info into the mix to make the assvice stop. It works. Whether people think I'm crazy with grief or have simply earned a bit more sympathy, I don't know or care.
What they don't realise is that burying our baby was the BEST thing that has happened to us since our TTC journey began. We have a grave to visit, a tangible reminder of our much-loved little one, and so much more than we got last time. We have the two names on the headstone, so it's thanks to this baby that they both have a home. I feel validated as a mother, I'm not just a woman crying over spilt blood, a "few cells" that were flushed down the toilet. No, after all this time I have had a baby that was real enough to merit a normal, dignified resting place, and I am so thankful for that.
It has also given me an outlet for my grief. The grief of infertility. The grief that no fertile will ever understand. I'm now that poor woman who lost two babies, instead of that eejit who just couldn't relax for long enough to conceive. Of course I want to shout about how the pain of miscarriage is a tiny fraction of the pain that infertiles suffer every minute of every day, but whatever, I'll take my breaks where I can.
IUI meds start tomorrow. A cocktail this time. Tamoxifen tomorrow, Gonal F on Wed and then Orgalutran next week. I will settle for no less than twins. And no more.
Ha ha ha ha ha - I'm googling 2ww symptoms (why, why? somebody stop me) and I come across my own 2ww symptoms. Verdict: not pregnant.
Will that stop me doing a HPT when I get home? No. Will it make me think before taking my temp several times this evening? No.
I am an institutionalised infertile. Some people have a glass of wine to relax, others enjoy sex (oh, the innocence), or simply sitting in front of the telly with their feet up. I prefer to relax with a thermometer in my mouth, a pee stick drying on my desk, and a keyboard under my fingers. Sadly, that's no longer a piano keyboard. DH thinks I'm addicted to the Internet. I am not addicted to the vast world of interconnected lives and literature at my disposal; all I ask is that I have 24-hour access to my charting software and my support boards. And of course, Dr Google.
Does all this TTC paraphernalia help me get through the day? Yes. Does it distract me from other tasks that may help me get through the day? Yes. The deeper I get into this secret, painful world of infertility and miscarriage (and I fear that its depths know no bounds), the more I wonder if I would have coped better had I never been introduced to the support and information I've found online. I'm not one to sit around waiting for a miracle, so one way or another I would have found my way to fertility treatment, but could I have been spared the need to devote my life to it?
The answer is probably no, such is my desire for a whole brood of babies, along with my dogged determination to achieve something I've set my heart on. But I know deep down that I have paid a price for the ease at which I can conduct my obsession online. Career ambitions have gone unfulfilled, and my beautiful little son has been sidelined at times. I sit here before you right now, writing a self-pitying post, when I could be writing a paper, or taking my son to the park.
I could promise that this admission will force me to turn over a new leaf, count my blessings and be grateful for what I have. But AF is surely beating a path to my door, and she is not one to let good intentions stand in her way. And 20 months of habit is hard to break.
6/7dpo (conflicting fertility signs, +OPK same day as temp rise), temps still up, no symptoms. If I'd known I was going to have an almost normal cycle, I'd have started the meds 3 weeks ago. Of course, if I'd known I was going to end up a bitter and twisted infertile, I'd probably have done some other things differently too.
I no longer enjoy the 2ww, just can't raise my game or my expectations. It's just a 2ww until we can start IUI meds. My favourite time of the month is definitely the EWCM days, post-AF trauma and pre-2ww loss. Despite medical opinion to the contrary, I still feel like during those dreamy days of baby-making sex, that we can make a difference, a baby of our own. As I lie on my back with my legs in the air (only joking, I swear I never do this any more!), I always ask DH "Do you think we did it this time?" and he always answers "Yes". It only takes one you know. And we are "not infertile, just subfertile". Hurrah! Now just give me the bloody meds and inseminate me.
Ok, let's put it another way. Instead of thinking 6dpo, let's call it 5duimsa (5 days until IUI meds start again). I will be knocked up for sure in 3 weeks time. Or I will have to be sedated - either way I'm seeing plenty more drugs in my future!