Pumpkini travels – part 2

Well, I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath to find out where Pumpkini went next! Last time we saw him we’d been livin it up in London, Sydney and Berlin. The heady city life was all getting a bit much for him so he headed off for some R&R in the Welsh country side with the wonderful @Mandy_J1

Mandy_Menai StraitsHe surveyed the Menai straights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He got all regal at Conwy castle

Mandy_Conwy castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then he got his melon twisted by trying to pronounce the most unpronounceable town in the world

Mandy_LlanfairPG

 

As beautiful and refreshing as the countryside was, Pumpkini is a city boy at heart, so he set off for Paris and the Elisa_Effil tower 2warm welcome of  Today I hope. He totally loved the Eiffel Tower…well, who doesn’t?

 

 

 

 

Then of course, it was off to see the Arc de Triomphe

Elisa_Arc de Triumph

 

Finally, Today I Hope took him out for a night on the town….I’m not sure I approve of her corrupting my little boy. Oh la la!

Elisa_Seine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next was Surrey, back in the UK to see the horse-loving and general outdoorsy @lordysgirl . Pumpkini’s life of debauchery was soon forgotten with the hearty activities @lordysgirl had lined up for him.

LG_showjumpingHe went showjumping….

 

 

 

 

LG_cycling….bike riding…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And had quite a lot of fun playing hide and seek – can you spot him?

LG_Hiding with van

LG_hiding with horse

 

LG_Having wine

 

After all this excitement he relaxed with a cheeky glass of wine – who can blame him?

 

He’s just arrived stateside to visit @onfecundthought in San Diego….and so the adventure continues!

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Birthday girl

Yesterday was my birthday, and to be honest I’d been dreading it. DH had to go to work; I had to go to the clinic for a blood test to monitor my progesterone (its fine) and I’m on the bloody 2ww for god’s sake!! And my birthday/May in general is tainted for me as 3 years ago, just after my 30th birthday we started ‘trying’, and then last year in May we started our first round of IVF.

But, it actually turned out to be a pretty good day. Firstly, after DH had gone to work I got a text from him to say ‘go downstairs, there’s a surprise waiting for you’. I went down to find a cute homemade ‘happy birthday’ banner hanging up in the hall way. As I walked through to the kitchen DH jumped out at me shouting Surprise!! He frightened the life out of me!! He’d secretly taken the day off work – I was so pleased.

We made our way up to the clinic and about 5 mins walk away the heavens opened – it absolutely tipped down. DH gave me his coat to try to stop me getting wet, meaning he got totally soaked to the bone – my hero. I was wearing linen trousers which had to be wrung out when I got to the clinic! This was not good as I have a serious wet clothes phobia…really really hate having wet clothes on, its just blurghghghgh… even as a child I hated having water fights in the summer, no matter how quickly my clothes would dry.

Anyway, after the clinic we went off for lunch at one of our favourite restaurants near Waterloo where we had our engagement drinks too many years ago. Then on the way home we stopped off for cake from my favourite cake shop – perfect.

I was also totally spoilt by my friends and family with lovely gifts, flowers and well wishes.  This IVF business is so shit but it does make you appreciate all the wonderful people in your life (and it kinda makes them make a fuss of you hehe!)

Decisions decisions

After a fairly sleepless night the call came early this morning – 3 of our 4 embies had survived. One had 6 cells, two had 7 cells. The clinic advised us to wait to go to day 5 and try for a blastocyst, saying it was unlikely that we’d have any to freeze as only 3 left, but they also said they understood if we’d rather go for transfer today (day 3), and if so would recommend transferring 2.

What a decision to make. In such a short amount of time. We decided to go into the clinic to talk it through with the doctor (as only spoke to embryologist on the phone) but we’d pretty much decided to transfer the two today. The thought of getting to day 5 (which is on my birthday!) and being told that none had survived was just too too scary. It was also pretty scary going against the clinic’s advice – they are the experts afterall – but we just had to go with our guts.

By the time we got to the clinic (3 hours after the call from the embryologist) our little 6 celled embie had been doing funny things. It had gone from 6 cells back down to 4 cells – apparently this is very unusual. Embryos should not do this, normally they just stop growing not regress so the decision was kind of made for us. The doctor and embryologist agreed that with just 2 embies still going, the best plan was to just get them back into me today. I’m so pleased we followed our guts and went into the clinic, I really do feel like it was the best decision in the end.

So in they went. And I am very grateful to have got here and be sat in bed PUPO but also….really very disappointed to have no embies to freeze. This round cost so much money, especially as I needed a load of extra stims, and we’ve just got this one shot.  If it doesn’t work – which, quite frankly it probably won’t – we’ll have to start all over again. Again. And I ain’t getting any younger (or richer).

But for now I’ve got to try to put this all from my mind and just relax and welcome my little embies. Wish me luck.

The report is in!

My recovery cuppa...not quite the NHS dishwater in Styrofoam cup!

My recovery cuppa…not quite the NHS dishwater in Styrofoam cup!

Yesterday I went in for egg collection at Lister….let me tell you people, private hospitals are the way to go! This was my first experience of having an actual procedure in one (apart from all the appointments/blood tests etc in the clinic) and it was brill!

Anyway, onto the important bit! The consultant managed to get 7 eggs, which is one more than my first fresh cycle last year although she did say that a couple were from smaller follicles so might not be mature, but had already kind of expected that as only had 4 leading follicles at the scan on Monday.

Then we had the agonising wait to this morning to find out the fertility report. Unfortunately DH had to go into work so I got my mum round to wait for the call with me. It came at 10.30….4 of the eggs fertilised, the other 3 weren’t mature. I think I was hoping for 5 to fertilise so am slightly disappointed but mostly just relieved that we’ve got some! In our last round we had 6 eggs, all fertilised and 4 went to blastocyst. So I’m kind of expecting to lose 2, which will leave us with 2….2 is obviously better than none but, man. I’m having a bit of a hard time today with the ‘but its so unfair’ feelings. A colleague of mine has just had non-identical twins. She managed to pop out 2 embryos for free and I’ve spent the best part of £10k on a maybe. I’m getting really sick of this shit.

Just been talking to DH about getting our lives back for a bit. If this cycle doesn’t work, and we do manage to get a frostie I just don’t think I’ve got it in me to do a FET before our wedding in October. It takes so long to get back from the brink of despair – its harder each time and don’t think I can do it twice before the wedding. So if it doesn’t work then I think we’ll just have our lives back again for the rest of the year. We’ll eat what we want, drink what we want (well, obvs not anything, I will be on a wedding diet!!) and just be us again. Three years of relentless ttc-ing has been so exhausting and as awful as it is to not have our baby, it would be way worse to not have each other. I think it will be time to just be normal again for a while.

And that sounds pretty amazing right about now.

Booked in

Apparently the universe decided I haven’t already had enough medication-buying induced stress as on Saturday morning when Healthcare at Home were supposed to deliver more Gonal F, they didn’t. I called them. Their fertility department is closed on a Saturday. Their ‘customer service’ department couldn’t tell me if it was or wasn’t going to be delivered at some point that day (it wasn’t).

So we called Lister in a panic. Luckily we called 10 minutes before they closed their pharmacy. The nurse who answered my call was amazing. She was so nice and calm and lovely. She collected the meds from the pharmacy and stayed at the clinic until DH got there at 2.30pm, even though she was supposed to leave at midday. Amazing. I’m SO angry at Healthcare at Home. If we hadn’t been able to get the meds from Lister the whole cycle would have been ruined – we would have lost thousands of pounds, but worse the last few weeks of drugs and stress and general awfulness would have been for nothing. As it was, it took poor DH 4 hours to get to the clinic and back as the trains and tubes had various engineering works going on. My hero.

Anyway, today we went along to the clinic again for a third stimms scan and have finally been booked in for egg collection on Thursday. I’ve got 4 follicles between 16-19mm and 2 at about 14mm. I’m hoping so much the smaller ones will catch up – I have to say I’m a bit disappointed to be on this massive dose of drugs for longer than I was on the lower dose last time, and at the moment have 1 follicle less. I’m trying not to stress about it as you just never know with IVF, nothing is a given – I’ve got to try to keep focused on just having one to transfer.

If we do manage to go to blastocyst like last time, transfer day will be next Tuesday – my birthday. Not sure how I feel about this. Wasn’t exactly planning a party but not sure spending the morning with a strange man putting his hands in my vagina is really the best way to celebrate! Said this to my sister, who is recently divorced and she said that’s exactly what she wants for her birthday!! I guess it’s a matter of perspective 😉

Pissed off and judgey

I know IF likes to take the piss but this is just getting ridiculous now.

All my sexual health tests are still in date from my first fresh cycle, apart from the chlamydia and gonorrhoea tests which were done earlier. In an effort to keep the costs down for this cycle since we’re paying for it now I thought I’d get the tests done at my GP. But they don’t do it at the GP, I have to go to a specialist sexual health clinic. There is one near-ish to us (half hour drive) but I thought I’d be clever and go to one that is near work, meaning I’d have to have less time off work – a good thing considering how many appointments I’m going to at the moment.

The only problem is I work in Tower Hamlets, the most run down borough in London. So this morning I went along to Whitechapel sexual health clinic. There are no words. They pretty much used posters about domestic violence and prostitution as wall paper, and by the looks of the people around me, with good reason. (and yes, I know how judgey that sentence is but if you were there, you would be judgey too. And if you think I’m a bad person for this then you’re judging me for being judgey so where does that leave you?? Judgey, that’s where!)

I did the swab test in the grimmest toilets I’ve ever been in (including festival toilets and holes in the ground in Asia) and then waited for 45 mins. Went in and spoke to the woman who said ‘call this number on Friday and it will give you the result’*. I asked if I could get a print out of the result as my fertility clinic aren’t exactly going to take my word for it…and I can, but it costs £30 (and another £30 for DH) and I have to go back to the clinic next Friday, when I was planning to work at home as I’ll be exhausted as I’ll have been on stims for over a week and have 2 full days of meetings on Wednesday and Thursday (and will also have to fit in a visit to Lister on Thursday somehow). UGH!

So then I thought I’d go back to plan A and check if my local-ish sexual health clinic will charge me, and if not go and do the test again there. I got back to the office at 11.10am and went to call them. They close at 11am on a Friday.**

I AM SO FUCKING SICK OF THIS. Seriously, I feel like I’m going to break. I just want a baby, why does everything have to be so hard? I just want a baby.

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*She also offered me condoms….seriously lady, I’ve just told you I need these tests for my fertility treatment. I do not, and apparently have never, needed condoms!!

**Even in the throes of my anger/despair I couldn’t help but chuckle that the local sexual health clinic’s phone number ends in 6969….you can’t make this shit up!

I miss them

Babies. Toddlers. Kids. Little Monkeys. Horrors. Whatever you want to call them, I miss them. I used to love spending time with kids, playing games, running around the park, getting lost in a game of pirates. My life seems so much duller without them. But as this hideous IF journey has gone on its just got harder and harder to spend time with them, especially since we started IVF a year ago and even harder after each of our 3 failures.

I have a group of friends of 10 couples that I’ve known since we were teenagers (or at least one half of the couple if that makes sense). We’ve grown up together, taken each step together from hanging round parks to trying to get into pubs to clubbing every weekend to University, festivals, holidays, travelling the world, settling down, buying houses and now….DH and I are being left behind more and more each month as we repeat the step of ‘try to get pregnant’ over and over again. Most of my friends already have at least 1 child and I know at least 3 of the girls are planning second pregnancies this year.

We’ve always been so close but I hardly know their kids, and their kids have no idea who I am. We braved the tail end of a first birthday party recently and it stung to hear my friends’ todders call my other friends ‘auntie so and so’ but look at me with blank faces. I want to get back out there, I want to get to know them all…hell I want to be able to spend more time with my baby niece. She’s 4 months old and I’ve only seen her 3 times – my brother only lives 10 mins away. But the pain when they’re gone is so huge. The come-down in the evening after spending a day with kids hurts so much and I just don’t know how to deal with that.

The ache seems to be spreading to other parts of my life as well. I know I’m over emotional at the moment with starting a fresh round of IVF (not to mention down regging) but I can’t even handle watching nature programmes anymore. They’re always in most part about mothers protecting their young and it makes my heart ache that I will probably never have any young to protect.

And the other day my sister and I were reminiscing about summer holidays we used to have at the seaside with our cousins and THAT gave me a lump in my throat. Because I might not get to make memories like that with my kids. Now every time I remember something from my childhood I’m left with a sense of loss.

Even talking to my mum is becoming hard, especially at the moment as its the Easter holidays so she’s looking after my nieces and nephews. Every day is another brilliant activity my mum and stepdad have thought up for the kids to do and it breaks my heart that if I ever do finally manage to have kids my parents will be too old to do the things they do now with my brother’s and sister’s kids. My (maybe) kids will never know how amazing their grandparents are.

At the weekend I was talking to a friend who is a bit of a hippy…I’m pretty sure she’s the founding member of the ‘everything happens for a reason’ brigade but I love her anyway! She said “I think the universe only gives people as much as they can handle”

I know. Puke.

My reply was: “what a load of old shit, people kill themselves everyday – the universe obviously gave them more than they could handle didn’t it?!” We had to agree to disagree!

So in summary:

–          I miss kids but can’t be around them

–          I can’t watch nature programmes

–          I need amnesia to get through the day without crying

–          It hurts to talk to my mum

–          I’m 1 failed cycle away from bat shit crazy