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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Cycle!

Here are my New Year's resolutions from last year:

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.

I failed the first four miserably. Number five is easy, but can sometimes be dangerously overshadowed by the others. I have no resolutions this year. I am resolute about doing everything in my power to have a baby, but the manifestation of my actions is beyond my control so it does not make for a traditional New Year's resolution. And anyway, my life is measured out in cycles, not months or years. So here are my New Cycle's resolutions:

1. Eat organic
2. Start yoga
3. Drink water
4. Minimise MIL
5. Look after DH

And, for the record, here are my cycle stats to date:

Number of cycles TTC: 23
Number of pregnancies: 2
Number of early losses: 1
Number of late losses: 1
Number of babies lost on September 11th: 2
Number of children buried: 1
Number of failed Clomid cycles: 2
Number of failed IUI cycles: 2
Number of successful IUI cycles: 1
Number of successful natural cycles: 1
Number of babies held in arms (not in coffin): 0

Friday, December 29, 2006

Hardcore, you know the score

I start the BCP as soon as AF arrives with an early Feb date for egg collection. I feel a little startled, a tad bruised and a tiny bit unsure. I know IUI didn't give us a baby, but it did get us to 12 weeks and if I wasn't impatient and impetuous by nature then I'd probably give it another chance. But there is a far bigger mental barrier for us to overcome - if we start straight away then we won't get to try out DH's new improved sperm and it will feel like everything he went through was a waste. (DH had a varicocele ligation - removal of varicose vein from his testicle - during the summer while I was pregnant.) At the time we were doing it for the future, for subsequent children, and that is still a valid justification for doing it, but what if it is good enough to work now?

Ho hum, bring in the big guns or keep living the dream?

The process of IVF isn't that big a deal to me. If someone had offered it to me 18 months ago I would have grabbed it. Apart from ovarian pain, I haven't suffered side effects from Clomid, Tamoxifen, FSH. I don't feel any stigma attached to anything that we have to do to have a baby. The financial side is a concern, although not prohibitive. It's just, well, I was really looking forward to giving this cycle everything we've got, the old-fashioned way.

Of course we could take this cycle off, do our thing, and go for a March/April date instead. But I'm on the train now, maybe I should just stay on for the ride, keep the momentum going. And if it doesn't work, we will still have super sperm to look forward to.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I need your help. I spoke to the clinic today and we have three options:

1. Try naturally and hope that DH's sperm has improved enough for us to conceive.
2. Do two more IUIs and then reassess the situation.
3. Go straight to IVF with a Feb/March start.

What do you think we should do?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Results are in


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Nollag shona daoibh!

Happy Christmas everyone. I know it won't be easy for everyone, but I hope you find some moment of calm and happiness during the day.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fun with semen analyses

72% motility. 72%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's SEVENTY TWO PERCENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ooooh, I feel a song coming on.......

(To the tune of a well-known Christmas carol)

The first SA, the clinic did say
Was below par, we wouldn't get pregnant that way.

The second SA was as bad as the first,
We would have to have treatment before it got worse.

Why have you left us in disarray?

We went to see a doc, who told us he would
Try and make those poor testicles work as they should.

So they went under the knife and we waited and prayed
That the op would allow us get pregnant one day.

Why have you left us in disarray?

Six months have passed and it's time for a test,
Will it be one more failure just like all the rest?

But wait, what's that? It's a seven and two,
That's a first class honour sir, you're top of the queue!

Thank you for giving us hope today.

Now we are normal we'll conceive one day.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And then they tell you to relax

Our IUI went ahead as planned on Friday. Well, not exactly as I'd planned it, but I did get inseminated eventually. Here is my tale....

It all began at 9pm on Thursday when I started cramping. I had been having pains in my ovaries since I started Tamoxifen on CD2 and these had become progressively worse as the cycle progressed. By CD7 I was having difficulty sitting down and getting out of a chair, and both of my ovaries were sore and heavy. But Thursday's pain was different, not exactly O pain as I've known it unmedicated, but putting aside the considerable pain I was already feeling, I was fairly sure I was about to O.

After a restless night I took my temp for the first time this cycle. 36.61 - a high post-O temp for me. That was it, we'd missed the boat. I called the clinic as soon as soon as it was polite to do so, left a message and waited. It felt similar to when I was pregnant, bleeding and waiting for a scan. I really hadn't thought I was that stressed about this cycle but I suppose I can be good at hiding it, even from myself.

The call came and I was told that I could have a scan before the IUI to determine if and/or when I had O'd; if it had been the previous night as I had feared, then there would be no point in doing the IUI. I would meet DH at the clinic at the time he was due to give his donation and if it was good news, all would proceed as planned. If not, we would have one last ditch attempt of our own somewhere before he went back to work.

I have guessed the outcome of most of my trans-vaginal scans correctly but this one really caught me by surprise. Two collapsed but not yet flattened follicles. Yes, I had O'd but probably only in the last few hours, so IUI is go! Finally I could relax. DH went and did his bit and, as I had an hour to kill, I decided to drop him back to work. One hour and twenty minutes later I arrived back at the clinic, frazzled from a prolonged voyage through Dublin traffic hell.

So, if I do conceive this cycle it really will be one in the eye for the "just relax"ers. If I don't, well, I probably won't be thinking about them too much. It's 4dpo now, so let me see, 10dpo will be.............Christmas day! What are the chances of having a failed cycle on Christmas day two years in a row? I'm sure the odds must be huge. I won't be taking any chances though, will save that privelege for Stephens day.

Friday, December 15, 2006

You've been tagged!

I've been tagged. By Maybe Mama. So here are five things you didn't know about me.

1. I am a very odd-sized 30D.
2. The first record I bought was Oliver's Army by Elvis Costello. Not Mary's Boychild by Boney M, that was bought for me.
3. I have seen David Beckham in a towel.
4. I used to be in the Dublin Children's Opera company.
5. I survived the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001. And I'm talking about the SWP, not the tear gas and bullets!

I know I'm supposed to tag other bloggers now - I wanted to tag some of my regular commenters but then realised that they might not want to share personal info. If you want to, feel free but not obliged.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

One is not enough

I was waiting to see my GP for a smear yesterday, getting my periodical update of Hello magazine, when I came across a beautiful lady who lived in a stately home and had just had her second child. "I feel like a real mother now", "We have a proper family now". I have long suspected that three does not a "proper" family make, so thank you Hello magazine for making this official.

I do remember some mumblings about becoming a real family when I announced our second pregnancy, and I don't remember getting terribly upset about it. You live and learn.

Another day, another doctor's appointment. Scan for follicles today. So, what's the biggest follicle you've ever had? Go on, I challenge you to a duel of follicular mass!

29mm, 25mm

Do I win? Please tell me my useless body is best at something. The 29mm may just be a large cyst (although there was none showing at this stage last cycle), but the 25mm should have an egg inside. I was right about being due to O several days ago - the Orgalutran I've been taking since Mon prevents this. One reason is to avoid an early O, but the main reason that I can see is so that the clinic can ensure their patients O between 9am and 5pm, Mon to Fri.

So, 2 large follicles, lining 10mm, trigger tonight and IUI on Fri. Deep breath, and off we go again.....

Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm better now

Ye'll never believe who came knocking on my door yesterday. Twas that aul divil Hope herself!!! She didn't come empty handed either - she brought a bottle of amnesia and we drank our troubles away. So where was I? Ah yeah, this IUI is bound to work, sure why wouldn't it? And testing on Christmas day, what a great surprise that will be for the whole family!

I'm back in the saddle, but oh how my ovaries hurt. It was a close call over the weekend, thought I was going to O for sure on Sat (CD6!), had all the classic signs. But made it through to my shot of Orgalutran this morning without a +OPK, so hopefully those eggies (that pain is surely plural) will stay put until my scan on Wed. Fingers crossed for a Fri IUI and then we can try and put the whole bloody nonsense out of our heads and concentrate on a completely different 2ww.

Christmas fever is running high in our house. The tree went up last night, this morning J ran downstairs to see if Santa had come yet. We made the mistake of putting crackers on the tree and I have now wrestled the useless things off him about 50 times - "I just want to see what's inside and then I'll put it back". Aaaaaagh, there goes another glass bauble! But deep down I am thrilled for him and for me - isn't this what life is all about, standing at a Christmas tree with your son, singing carols at top volume, while your husband looks on in "mock" horror?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fall down, stand up

I am feeling nauseous, dizzy, have sore boobs, heartburn, headache. Simple explanation, I have been spending too much time holed up in my bedroom, eating crap and sobbing my little heart out.

It is CD2.

From 12th September I had been living for last week. I just had to hold my breath until the end of November and then I could start breathing again. I could start to mourn my little baby from a comfortable distance, with the safety net of pregnancy to keep me from hitting rock bottom.

The safety net failed and I fell.

Rock bottom is a place of contradictions. The only way is up, but it is difficult to get a foothold. Most of the time you just slide back down, each time losing a little more confidence. Maybe I will never climb back out, maybe I will look for a back door.

Maybe I am talking shit. I called my old clinic today, just a back-up plan. Why does someone who has given up need a back-up plan?