They always say "just take a break". I always thought there were no breaks, that once you got on the TTC train there were no stops until the labour ward. I was wrong. As you thunder past the IUI station on the way to IVF, there is a short stop called BCP (birth control pill). You can get off and stretch your legs and try to forget about that bloody train and its bumpy ride.
There is no chance of a baby this month, no point in trying. No point in measuring out the days of the bleed, watching for changes in CM, putting our lives on hold waiting for the big O. No point in mourning the past cycle as we wait for the next one. No temping, no charting, no pee sticks, no hoping.
It's such a relief.
I feel like I've been released on bail. Due back in a few weeks, but for now I'm going to do some work, maybe some writing, file my tax returns, do some household chores. Normal things like normal people. Things other than TTC.
I'm taking one day at a time. Not going to worry about what's ahead for now, I'll let the clinic deal with that. Just going to enjoy this time out with my family and appreciate life as it is.
I don't post the cycle stuff much any more so let's have one for the road. I had an early O (CD10), as expected following an LP lengthened by FSH and progesterone. My CD10 temp was very low so I did have a shift the following day, although all temps up to 7dpo remained well below my usual LP temps. So, IVF here we come? Well, not so fast; where there's life, there's hope.
5, 6 and 7dpo saw heartburn, sore boobs and plenty of creamy CM. Today is 8dpo - a sizeable temp shift, although no preceding dip. Boobs still a little sore and a few cramps in the early hours. Not a shadow of a line on this morning's HPT.
Am I pregnant?
Yes I still do this shit. Every fucking month. There is no alternative. Are you laughing at me or nodding your head in agreement? If I added up my loss of productivity from staring at pee sticks over the last 2 years, I probably could have bought myself a year's supply of IVF instead. And the savings in pee sticks would have paid for the nursery. Oh well, so much of life to look forward to once this shit is over.
I've decided to come clean. I've been humming and hawing to myself and to everyone else for the past week, hoping to keep a low profile and to keep my options open. Well it hasn't worked, so here goes.
Having decided to take a cycle off, I spoke to my current clinic again about IVF a couple of weeks ago and was given some provisional dates for March. In the meantime I had an appointment with my old clinic with a view to doing some natural IUIs before we commit to IVF. My current clinic doesn't do unmedicated IUIs and seeing as it worked last time, we thought we might give it one last shot. There is no scientific reasoning for why a natural cycle might work when 2 medicated ones didn't (although I can come up with some convincing arguments, I can probably justify every failed cycle for the last 2 years if I try hard enough) but we are desperate people. The reason I decided to have 2 clinics on the go at one time is not because I wanted to be sly or manipulative, it is because we are confused, scared and we JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
We agonised over our decision and in the end decided to do at least one more natural IUI before committing to IVF. I called my current clinic to break the news that we would be postponing our IVF cycle and was told that the phone conversation we had the previous week where we discussed dates had constituted a booking and that we would have to pay 1200 quid to cancel those dates. I wasn't sure but when I spoke to DH we did agree that we didn't have a fucking clue what the right thing to do was, so we might as well go with the flow and take the IVF dates.
So unless I conceive this cycle, we will be doing IVF in early March. How do I feel about it? A little bit down, a little bit scared, but mostly relieved. No more messing about, straight to the hard stuff. I'm not over-confident that it is going to work but I'm not terrified of failure either - I'd give us fairly good odds of conceiving, not so great of going all the way. So it may take a few goes. Maybe I get to skip straight to Veteran IVF Barbie? Maybe I'm being too presumptuous. Maybe there's still a lot further to fall.
Stop the train! We're getting off. We will do this cycle au naturel and then take each subsequent cycle as it comes.
We have to give that 72% motility a fair go. We conceived fairly easily twice before the sperm stopped swimming properly. Head says no reason it won't work again, heart says baby at any cost. So we will give the head a cycle or two to fight its corner, then heart will take over.
I have an angel on my right shoulder, devil on my left. In my right ear I hear "Try to relax", "It happened before, it will happen again", "You've still got time". In my left I hear "Four year gap and counting", "Diminishing fertility", "Last call for babies".
I am already forty; I have measured out my life in coffee spoons from now until then. My thirties no longer belong to me, those years have been earmarked for fertility treatments, pregnancies and miscarriages. That's the devil talking. The angel reckons it will be worth it, I'll have my family by then. We'll see.