Coping with fertility treatment my way

It’s been a difficult journey so far. 6 unsuccessful IUIs, 2 miscarriages and a cancelled cycle has taken its toll, and coping with it all has been hard.

This last few weeks I’ve filled my time with lots of baking. Bread, cake, quiche, all sorts. And it’s helped. It keeps me busy and I feel like I’m achieving something.

Unfortunately there’s only so much baked goods we can eat, so I have to rein it in a bit. Bit at least I’ve found a way to cope.

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One of my favourite bible passages

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”” -Revelation 21: 2-4 (NIV)

I usually find it so comforting.

Today I feel a long way from God.

We need prayers and baby dust!

Today is day 14. The end of the 2 week wait. Blood test day.

OH has peed on 3 sticks over the last few days, and has got some desperately faint lines to show for it.

She had spotting on Sunday, and nothing since. Her boobs are sore. She is nauseous. This is the first time we’ve got beyond day 13 without her period starting.

OH feels pregnant.

Why can’t the damn pee sticks reflect this?

I realise Sunday is quite late for a whacking great positive test, but this feels so familiar.

When we had the miscarriage, OH knew she was pregnant. But the tests never showed it. I’m terrified it’s happening again.

We’ll get the blood results back around 4. Please pray for us?

Are we nearly there yet?

When I was a child, we used to drive to various parts of the UK on holiday. The familiar refrain rang out again and again, long after my parents had lost patience with it.

“Are we nearly there yet Mam?”

Sometimes I would say it with my tongue firmly in my cheek, sometimes one of us would say it before we left the drive…

Fast forward a couple of decades, and I’m at it again. 9 days in to the 2 week wait, and I’ve asked the TTC equivalent of ‘are we nearly there yet’ a couple of times already. As soon as I ask, I hate myself for it!

Do you feel any different? Do you feel pregnant?

And this doesn’t take into account all the times I’ve bitten my tongue to stop myself asking similar questions.

We’re testing in a couple of days.

Until then I have to bite my tongue. Are we nearly there yet?

Today

Today would have been our baby’s due date.

There should be a bag all packed, ready to go to the hospital at a moments notice.
OH should be on maternity leave, complaining about an aching back, little bubble not letting her get any sleep, and just be desperate for baby to come.
The spare room should be freshly painted the pale shade of yellow I see every time I dream about our baby. There should be a cot, a nursing chair, and drawers full of tiny little clothes, all clean and ready.

Instead, there is no bag.
The only medical establishment we’ve been near is the fertility clinic, as we learned today about the process for superovulation, should our next cycle fail.
OH is still working – a long, late working day to deliver a big project.
The spare room is a disaster zone. Needs painting, carpet showing the effects of the baby bunnies I fostered a while back, and just totally full of crap, most of which is probably for the tip.
The only fresh paint is in the hall, which I began painting today.

Nothing is as I imagined, all those months ago clutching that little white stick as we realised that was a second pink line, however faint.

I don’t have much in the way of memories of our baby. She was never seen on any scan, and I never felt her in any way, not like OH who had all the pregnancy symptoms. What I remember from the brief time we knew she was there, is that I talked and sang to her.  And then I made an early morning trip to the supermarket for ginger tea to help with OH’s nausea, and sanitary pads for what eventually turned out to be OH starting that long, drawn out and painful miscarriage.

I’m struggling to believe we’ll get there. I have to believe it will work again at some point, and that when it does, we’ll have a baby to bring home, but today, it’s a hard thing to believe. Maybe it’ll be easier tomorrow.

One more natural cycle

We spoke to the clinic today and got the go ahead for another natural cycle. They were really understanding about our feeling that we need to have another try before July.

I actually have some mixed feelings about it.

On the plus side, we are having a try. We don’t have to wait until July.

On the down side, I am just not enthused about more IUI, and especially more natural cycle IUI.

It is not the same, at all, remotely, but this is how it feels:
We have a broken tap in the bathroom that I keep forgetting to look at. I think it just needs a new washer. If it isn’t the washer, we would get someone in to try something else.

Having more natural IUI feels a bit like trying a 4th new washer, when changing the washer has never worked before. 

As I say, not remotely the same – this is just something that doesn’t work every time. But in my head – the part of my head devoid of proper logic – it feels like the same type of thing.

So I am not hopeful. Firstly, OH is away for a few days this month, dangerously close to her expected ovulation date. So there is a chance her ovaries won’t play ball  at the right time.

And then, the usual chances of it working also don’t fill me with hope.

However, I do think the fact we can try this month will make it slightly easier to cope with next week – our baby’s due date would have been 7th May, so perhaps us being able to do something will make it a bit better.

Who knows?

The worst of both worlds

At present, we are not eligible for NHS treatment.  Instead, we are private patients at an NHS clinic.

This makes us feel that we are kind of experiencing the worst of both worlds: we have (some of) the same delays as NHS patients, but we also have to pay for our treatment.  It feels like the delays are killing us.

I’ve posted about the waiting before, probably ad nauseam (I apologise), and just how frustrating it is, and how far away July seems, which is when we’d be most likely to have our next treatment.

To try and make this better, OH had a thought: that we could have another natural cycle treatment in her May cycle.  I rang the clinic this afternoon to ask about it.  In my view, there should be no problem – we are paying, it’s not us asking the NHS for more money.  The nurse I spoke to said she had to speak to our consultant, so we have to ring back tomorrow.

I sound like one of those people who thinks “we’re paying so we should get preferential treatment” don’t I?  It’s just frustrating – people we know who are being treated at private clinics don’t have to deal with such delays.  I wonder if the delays would be easier to deal with if we weren’t paying?  Probably not.

I hope when I ring tomorrow we get the green light.  I think I do, anyway.  I have mixed feelings.  But that’s another post, for another day!

In the mean time, I have a pair of bunny wabbits to clean out :-s

Waiting. (And other news)

Always waiting. Waiting until I think my head will explode if I have to wait any longer. And of course, we just have to wait longer.

Since we got our last negative test, we’ve known we’d have to wait until July for our next treatment. We were told that before we start with superovulation we needed a clinic appointment with a Dr.

In the mean time, we learned that we are now at the top of the clinic’s waiting list for their sperm, so now we don’t have to pay for the jism any more. Today we went in to look at their limited choice of donors. It was nothing like our last sperm shopping experience. For a start, there were only 3 to choose from (although one was cmv+, so we ruled him out since OH is cmv-). Last time, we got pages of information about the donor, his medical history – more information than I could reasonably take in actually – and a baby photo of him. This time, we got a reference number (no comedy code name like Fritz), height, eye colour, hair colour, skin tone and what he does for a living (oh, and cmv status).  We still managed to get one with similar colouring to me, which is nice, since we weren’t sure we’d be able to. And he’s only new, so we’ve got a greater window of opportunity for siblings.

While there, the nurse saw we didn’t have a clinic appointment until 14th may. She spoke to the Dr, who said we didn’t necessarily need the clinic appointment before starting, but we do need to see a nurse before we start to go over the practicalities of the drugs. We now have that booked in for 7th may. We got quite hopeful that this would mean we could have a treatment in may, but as it turns out, when we checked OH’s period app, she’s due on 3rd may, just too early. Obviously, this is pretty disappointing, having got our hopes up, however briefly.

We did also learn though that, even if we weren’t going on holiday in June, we couldn’t have had treatment then as they shut for maintenance for 3 weeks in June, and while there is some stuff they can do, the labs are shut, meaning they can’t prepare sperm. At least this means we can enjoy our holiday knowing we aren’t missing a treatment opportunity.

July is still a bloody long way away though.

Meanwhile, we spent last weekend visiting OH’s family. We don’t see much of them, as they are dotted all over the country, but on Sunday we were at our niece’s thanksgiving service (a bit like a baptism, but without flinging holy water about) and everyone was there – aunt, uncles, grandparents, cousins – and none of these people knew about our baby plans. Only OH’s parents, sister and brother in law knew.

We were pretty certain that the majority of the family would be fine with it (and we were right) but there were question marks about OH’s aunt, who was a little uncomfortable about OH being gay, and I think has had reservations about gay parenting.

As it turns out, she was fine too. And when she heard about the miscarriage she was really understanding. She couldn’t have kids herself, which has caused her a lot of pain, and really seemed to get how difficult this is.

Some definite good news then. It makes me realise just how lucky we are in some respects, having the love and support of our families as we go through all of this (my family are very supportive too). I know people whose families disowned them when they came out. I can’t imagine how difficult that must be.

Now. Back to waiting…