Too much

So I think we’ve decided to wait until New Zealand to proceed with fertility treatments. This is both a good and bad thing.

I mean, I should be happy that on top of my awful work environment and trying to sell our house (and we now need insurance repairs to the bathroom), I don’t have to add IVF. But my heart hurts from waiting this long and I wonder just how much more I have in me.




In the grand scheme of things, it’s not long.  If we can get our results from here and get an appointment in NZ when we get there, in theory we could move forward in February/March.  6 months seems interminable at times, but it’s not forever.  It’s just the not knowing. It seems unbearable to think of waiting 2 years to have a child, which is why we’re going private for at least 1 cycle, but it’s painful and scary to think of all the reasons it’ll go wrong (it may not work at all, we may not have any embryos afterwards to freeze and will have to have a whole fresh cycle, they’ll find something else wrong…) and that we’ll possibly spend $14,000 on a failure, then the following 2 cycles (public funding) will fail too and we’re at a dead end in terms of having biological children.

This is my brain 18 hours a day right now, people.

I’m my own worst enemy – don’t think I’m not aware of how ridiculous I come across sometimes. It’s just all I can think about. It’s all I want. We should be able to do this natural thing that keeps our species going and we’re just big fat failures at it, while those who don’t want children or mistreat them get pregnant on a whim or a bender.

(I am not here to judge your personal choices but I’m allowed to occasionally be bitter).




All I can do is try and breathe. Some days it feels impossible.  Some days it really feels like no one cares. Some days I want to go buy all the baby things and make plans and prepare for our future kids and other days I just think all of that is a big fat mistake, and I’m just not meant to have children.  What do you do when you feel your life’s purpose is impossible?

I looked up adoption on the weekend. I just… I dunno.

It’s a mind fuck. It’s unfair. It’s hard. It’s all-encompassing.  And with everything else going on right now, it feels too much.

Just get me to New Zealand, please. Get me out of this job, out of our messy and broken house, away from this feeling.

Deep breath. In… out.


So we went into our specialist appointment on Tuesday with me expecting them to say, “you need IVF with ICSI”, and walked out after they’d said exactly that.

Unfortunately, our results were worse than we knew, and ICSI is much more viable an option than standard IVF.  The specialist actually said, “They’re asleep” about the last SA. So there’s that. At least I could laugh.

Luckily hormone levels are normal and so was genetic/chromosomal testing which was a big relief.

I have been told to lose weight (just so that I’m a bit further clear of the 30 BMI limit – I’m currently at 29.9), eat healthy, exercise, keep trying naturally as sometimes things happen, but otherwise they’ve put us on the 12 month waiting list for NHS-funded ICSI. With the move to NZ in December so we also enquired about self-funded here, which we could get on with pretty much straight away, but it’s £5k. We’d be happy to do it but if we had any frozen embryos I wouldn’t know how to even start with getting them transferred to NZ…

We think we’ll get on NZ waiting lists when we get there and self-fund 1 cycle while we wait (doesn’t affect your place on the list). If it fails, we have 2 free cycles to fall back on.  That’s $12k NZD out of our savings, but if it comes down to that or a new bathroom in the house, I choose a baby. I’d rather have a baby to wash in the sink, than a nice bathroom with no baby to bathe.

It does mean this wait before we can even get started. I feel like I’ve spent the last 5-7 years waiting.  I’ve been wanting a baby for such a long time, and with the heartbreak of the last 18 months, it’s tough to think of waiting another 2 years to possibly hold a baby in my arms. Hence, yes, money. We’re very lucky that we’ll soon be in the position to afford these things thanks to the house sale* and a possible payout from work**.

We knew this was coming and I had done all of the research and resigned myself to it being the diagnosis but none of that has made me feel any better.  We now need to make some tough decisions.

Our options are:

  1. A self-funded cycle here for the aforementioned £5k.  If we had leftover embryos to freeze then I’d have to arrange some sort of international transfer (or forfeit them), and that worries me.  We also probably can’t afford to pay until late in the year so it might not be feasible.
  2. Wait until NZ and go on the waiting list, and self-fund a cycle while waiting.

My heart really wants option 1 but I know with the stress of everything, option 2 is really the best idea. We’re still discussing and thinking and trying to keep our heads up.

The next step is to tell our families.


*house still not on market
**work being dicks

Fertility Workups [UK]

So I thought I’d write a bit about the process of getting fertility testing here in the UK, in case it helps others. It also helps me to get it all out.

NB:  This information is based on my own personal experience in Scotland. Your experience may vary, and I’m by no means an expert.



Basically, the recommended time to be trying (if you’re under the age of 35) before they’ll start testing is now 18 months. Most couples conceive within a year, with almost all conceiving within 18-24 months.

However. If you have any other obvious issues going on (erratic periods, painful periods, no periods, very long cycles, etc) they will test you from 12 months. If you are over 35, they will test from 12 months if everything seems as it should, or 6 months if you have any of the aforementioned issues going on.



First port of call is your GP.  You’ll need a basic idea of your cycle history, notes of any issues you’ve noticed, any vitamins you’re taking, etc.  They will ask about your sex life, so don’t be shy.  Some GPs aren’t as knowledgeable on your options, but they’ll know how the referral process works at least.



Your GP will then organise to refer you to your local Fertility clinic or centre. NHS centres are hospital-based (well the ones I’ve come across) and will send back a letter to you and your Dr explaining how the process works and what tests they need run by your GP.  My GP knew what they’d ask for so prepared me for it ahead of the letter, but your letter will most likely ask for the below:

  • A chlamydia swab test (self-swab, you do this at home and drop it in)
  • A blood test early in your cycle (between CD1-CD5) measuring levels of LH, FSH, E2, Prolactin, Testosterone, TFTs (I’ll explain what these are shortly).
  • A blood test around CD21 to test your hormone levels to see if you are ovulating
  • A Rubella test (immunity, rather than whether you actually have it!)

If your partner is also at the same GP they will get him sorted at the same time to get an SA – sperm analysis.  If it’s not at the same GP, his name will be noted on your referral and he will have to go to his own GP and give your name/mention the referral to get the ball rolling on his side.  Note: SAs are done “at least” a month apart, so that will hold things up – nothing will happen until both are done. Get your man on it ASAP.

After all of these tests have been completed, then you will go on the waiting list.



LH –  Luteinising hormone:  Early in your cycle this hormone stimulates your ovaries to produce E2 and then surges before ovulation to get your body to release the egg.

FSH – Follicle-stimulating hormone:  Like LH, this is released by the pituitary gland to stimulate follicles to release an egg for ovulation. It is the main hormone involved in producing mature eggs in the ovaries. This test will help to assess your ovarian reserve.

E2 – Estradiol:  Estradiol is a form of the hormone estrogen. The ovaries, breasts, and adrenal glands make estradiol. During pregnancy, the placenta also makes estradiol. This test can indicate how well your ovaries are working/if there’s any cyst issues. Low levels of it can indicate PCOS.

Prolactin:  This is another hormone released by the pituitary gland. This test ultimate helps to rule out problems with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. Increased levels of this can mess with ovulation.

Testosterone:  Too much going on can indicate PCOS. Too little means you’re not likely to get ovulation going.

TFTs:  This is a thyroid function test.  Your thyroid can play a big part in how your body regulates everything, and needs to be at an optimal level to get pregnant. If your thyroid is over or under-performing, conceiving can be difficult.



In Edinburgh right now the standard wait is 12 weeks. This means from GP to Clinic, you’re looking at 14-18 weeks before you’ll see anyone.  The tests need to be done (including the spaced-out SAs for your dude) and then the clinic needs an available appointment that you can both attend.  So don’t think it’ll be quick and that you’ll get assistance immediately, you need to just keep trying, unfortunately.



Well, I don’t personally know but I know the possibilities – they could want to scan my ovaries, they could take more blood, they could organise an HSG (dye/scan of your tubes), they could end up doing an op to see what’s going on in there.  I’ll do another post/update this one once we’ve had the appointment.



There are many! From IUI to IVF. And I plan to go over them at some stage in future, after our appointments.



You may not need any of this. My hope is that we will fall naturally before any of this shizzle happens. At the moment I appear to have one issue which I will cover in the next post.



Coming up next: My results and where we stand.