I am now 24 (almost 25) weeks pregnant. This is a huge milestone for me. The whole way through this pregnancy I’ve been thinking “if I can just get past Christmas, if I can just get to 24 weeks it’ll mean I’m almost definitely having a baby”. And now it’s here. Of course there are still things that can go wrong but we’d be very very unlucky for that to happen…and surely I’ve had my fair share of bad luck?!

The other milestone was getting to Christmas, getting through Christmas without it being heart wrenchingly painful. Last year was just so awful that when we were booking our honeymoon to Sri Lanka (before shock BFP) we booked to fly on Christmas day to make sure we would avoid having to go through it all again. We cancelled the trip – 3 weeks backpacking around Sri Lanka at 5 months pregnant was not going to work – and instead actually enjoyed Christmas for the first time in years. I thought many times of my wonderful blog/twitter friends still struggling in the trenches of the hideous IF war over the Christmas period and hope it wasn’t too painful for you.

Now we’re past Christmas and well into the new year I’ve pulled my head out of the too-worried-to-plan sand of the first part of the pregnancy and headlong into oh-shit-there’s-so-much-to-do phase! I’m basically freaking out. About everything.

We’ve started looking into what type of pram we should get. Jesus. Christ. The choice is too much….the price is waaaay too much! I’ve spent hours and hours online going round and round in circles reading a million reviews for a million different prams, all of which have reviews saying “this is the best thing ever” next to ones that say “its evil and dangerous”. Asking friends doesn’t seem to help either, it just confuses the process even more.

The conflicting information is not just limited to prams either. I thought I should probably buy some books about babies and what to do with them as, whilst I know A LOT about getting pregnant, and even a bit now about being pregnant, I really know nothing about having an actual baby other than bits and pieces gleaned from my siblings and many, many friends that have kids. But even baby books are contentious and views on them conflicting. I’ve been told to read loads and pick the best bits from each one and to read none as they’ll just freak me out! And my goodness do people get het up about different people’s opinions to childrearing!!

Also, looking on all these sites, forums etc reminds me what bloody morons (most some) fertiles can be. Seriously, they make me want to stab myself in the eye. Which is probably recommended and disapproved of in a forum somewhere.

So any advice on baby books/prams/anything else I might need is welcome!

For those still struggling, I hope so much that 2015 brings you happiness, in whatever form that comes in xxxx

Twas the season to be jolly

And I almost managed it! The run up to Christmas was ok, a bit tough but I avoided the Christmas ads on TV which helped and just tried to get into the spirit of it (read: just got drunk). On Christmas day DH and I went to my mum’s house and I sat next to my brother’s (soon to be) wife who could not have been more pregnant…she was due on 20th December and still had no twinges. But I sat next to her and smiled and sympathised with her for being so uncomfortable and not being able to drink…as I literally threw wine down my neck. I only had one teary trip to the loo but got over it and no one noticed.

Then after dinner and presents with my family DH and I went over to his sister’s house. She lives literally round the corner from my mum so it’s nice and easy at Christmas as we can just walk round. His (half)sister is in her 50s, and as DH’s parents live in Cyprus is really the matriarch of the family and always hosts Christmas day for the huge Greek hoard that is his family. I was fairly tipsy when I got there but had a nice time chasing the kids.

I thought I should probably make more of an effort to be with the adults so went to help out with the washing up. DH’s half-brother is in his 50s. He has always been a free spirit and a few years ago he lived in the Philippines where he had a 20 year old house keeper (…can you see where this is going) who he then knocked up. So now they all live over here, their little boy is 3 (Philippino + Greek = SO cute) but I’m not really sure what kind of relationship they actually have. They don’t seem to talk about anything that isn’t related to the care of their son, so whilst DH’s brother knows about our infertility I’m not sure his ‘partner’ does.

So, we’re stood doing the washing up and she says “So you still don’t have any children then?” and then went on and listed the 5 other siblings of DH that do have children ending it with “hahahaha but you have no baby – so strange!”

Now, I know English is her second language, I don’t know what she knows of our infertility and I’m sure that she meant no malice in what she said she was just trying to make conversation. But. Ouch. On Christmas Day, literally laughing in my face about my lack of baby …fuck you very much.

I just mumbled something about not getting there yet and dashed out the room and back to the room with the kids. DH knew something was up so came to ask me and I burst into tears. If I’d had less wine I would have gone to the loo or made an excuse and left but instead Matriarch sister saw me cry, then grilled DH, then had a go at SIL for making me cry, which then made her cry…..UGH. It was all just a fucking disaster. I stayed as long as was polite then ran back to my mum’s and cried there as well. Talk about a black cloud over everyone’s Christmas.

I felt so embarrassed the next day, not to mention hungover. But we were at my mum’s again and although it was still hard with preggo SIL it was definitely a better day.

But I think over the whole holiday period the best time I had was on Saturday night. DH and I went for a lovely walk in the afternoon through the woods near our house, stopping half way at a pub for a drink then came home, cooked dinner together and had a really silly night playing board games and drinking wine. It was so lovely, we had so much fun just messing around and making each other laugh.

Tomorrow night is NYE and I’m pretty sure it will be emotional. We’re going to a friend’s house for dinner with 3 other couples, all of whom have kids so I know it’s not going to be easy as the baby talk will be flowing. SIL has finally started having contractions today so she’ll probably give birth tomorrow, which is just going to add to the ‘fun’.  I know I will love my new niece/nephew when we’re here, but at the moment I’m just dreading it, and that really makes me feel like shit.

I just can’t wait to be rid of 2013. I know there are so many of you in the blog/twitter world who feel the same way, so many awful things happening to so many lovely people. It has, by far been the worst year of my life and it can suck it.

2014 IS going to be better. It HAS to be. Otherwise I’m cracking heads.

Pleasantly surprising post

On Tuesday I came home to 2 pieces of pleasantly surprising post!

Firstly there was a letter from the clinic to say they had booked in my hysteroscopy for 7th January! I can’t believe it’s being done so soon, it’s totally unheard of for the NHS! I then had a little google for the right time to perform a hysteroscopy/endo scratch and it seems that this is the in cycle preceding transfer, after ovulation. Now, I know that my clinic have not looked at my cycle to see when to book this in, they’ve just sent me an available appointment. This is a perfect example of the good and bad sides to my clinic: they get things done, but it’s not individualised to what I specifically need. But luckily if AF shows up on time, the hysteroscopy will be just after I’ve ovulated. If it’s late I’m buggared. Sigh. Plan of action is to wait for AF, if it’s late I’ll just get the appointment moved into the next week which will be a total nightmare for work but…. whatevs.

Today I called the clinic to ask some more questions about their unmedicated cycle, i.e. how unmedicated is it? From a quick google it seems (as ever) that different clinics give different levels of drugs for ‘natural’ cycles but my clinic only give progesterone after transfer. This has me a little concerned as for my last FET my lining wasn’t thick enough and I had to have another week on the meds. But I have no idea what my lining does naturally. So I suggested to the nurse that this month they scan me to see how my lining normally looks. It went like this:

Nurse: they’ll scan you during your cycle and if your lining isn’t thick enough they won’t go through with the transfer

Me: yes, I get that but wouldn’t it be best to check out my lining the month before transfer to predict what it’s likely to do

Nurse: well, they wouldn’t defrost your embryo if your lining wasn’t thick enough for transfer

Me: I understand that but I’m having a hysteroscopy the month before so think it would be good to check my lining too

Nurse: but they wouldn’t defrost your embryo if your lining wasn’t thick enough for transfer

Me (through gritted teeth): I understand that. But. I’m having a hysteroscopy to improve my chances of implantation. If then my lining isn’t thick enough the next month it will have been wasted. Isn’t it better to be able to predict how my lining will be and then do something about it if it’s not thick enough and not ‘waste’ the hysteroscopy?

Nurse: well…..I suppose we could book you in for a scan this month if you really want one.

Jesus – it’s like pulling teeth! I feel so bad for people who are not pushy like me, they must get nowhere in this process.

Anyway, the second piece of pleasantly surprising post was a lot more of a surprise. It was a package from my dad. A while ago I wrote this post about how my dad is pretty useless and not great with understanding/caring about others.

A week after my BFN I called him and left a message to let him know. Then I opened a bottle of wine. Three quarters of the bottle later (yes, I was drinking a bottle of wine entirely to myself, alone on a Friday night. Don’t judge me.) he called back. For the next 2 hours (and the remainder of the bottle) I preceded to chew his ear off about the general awfulness of IF and IVF. I didn’t quite cry but I was definitely on the wrong side of a wobbly voice a few times. This is the longest I have ever spoken to my father in one go, and definitely the first time I’ve ever been even close to wobbly voiced whilst doing so. I usually save my tears for when we get off the phone after he’s said something totally insensitive.

So on Tuesday when I saw the package I assumed it was presents for my nephews (which in its self is pretty unusual) as my dad will often send things to the wrong sibling (I’ve had birthday cards on my sister’s birthday and vice versa, many times). I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be a present for me – the last present my dad bought me was a pink Barbie bike with stabilisers. Each year I get a cheque for Christmas and a cheque for my birthday (or sometimes on my sister’s birthday!) and don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the cheques but presents are not something dad does.

Until now. He sent me an umbrella with a blue sky printed on the underside. There was a card that said he was sorry he hadn’t realised how hard the whole process had been on me and the umbrella was to remind me there are still blue skies.

Total. Blubbing. Mess.

So today, I feel good. I feel positive! Because, you see miracles can happen. I just got one in the post.

Lady in Waiting

Well, here I am about half way through my 2ww. So far I’ve been pretty ok. The odd wobbly moment, one round of Christmas-advert-induced-sobbing but mostly ok. Definitely better than the first time I did this. Somehow having less hope has made it easier I think. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not without hope – I have been stupid enough to let my mind wander into how I’d tell family and friends if it was positive (why does my brain always do this?) but I’ve also had many daydreams about all the alcohol I’m going to drink at Christmas!

I think a big part of the reason I’ve not been too bad is I’ve been obsessively watching TheTudors whilst I sew a tapestry cushion cover thing! I’m literally a Lady in Waiting. It’s weird, it’s like I go into a zone when I’m sewing and watching where I don’t think about anything else. I had all sorts of other things planned for this 2ww and I’ve done none of them. I just sew and watch, watch and sew like I’m in a trance.

I’m hoping this almost-lack-of-crazy (although reading the paragraph above, maybe not such a lack of crazy) will continue for the remaining 6 days I have to wait. I could test before my OTD but I’m not going to. Although it is really tough living with the unknown, anxiety ridden world of the 2ww it’s preferable to the crushing sadness I felt after my last BFN. So for now I’ll just keep the dream alive until Saturday.

PS someone found my blog by goggling ‘got drunk during IVF’…oh dear, think I talk about alcohol too much!