Round 2

Here we go again.

Deep breath. In, out. Quiet your brain.

You’ve got some time yet.

Do some yoga.

Drink more water.

Less coffee.

No booze.

Fewer carbs.

More green things.

Try not to worry about the weight you’ve gained in the last few years.

Try not to worry about any other medical issues they may not have found yet.

Try not to worry about getting time off work, it’ll happen.

Try to think of how to write it down on paper. How to express this anxiety that seems to be coursing through everything.

Mute your watch’s heartrate warnings.

Do some more yoga.

Breathe in, out. Don’t forget to do that.

Focus on work during the day, and being calm at night.

Calm. You’re supposed to be calm.

Don’t try to rid yourself of the worrying thoughts. Just turn them down. Lower their volume. You can worry all you like – hell, you’re going to whether you try to or not. Just try and lower the noise.

Think positively. Or something.

Don’t be scared of the negative thoughts, too. It’s normal.

Think about better success rates for round 2. Think about going into it with experience.

Think about the injections being a breeze, the scans being old hat, the ovaries doing their thing.

You’ve done it all before.

You got this.

Just breathe.

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Forever hopeful series

I wrote a series for the lovely folks over at The Spinoff Parents and now all of the parts are up, I wanted to also share them here:

Part 1 – Forever hopeful: ‘Let’s get you pregnant this month, shall we?’

Part 2 – Forever Hopeful: Infertility is all about waiting

Part 3 – Forever Hopeful: Our final chance

I’m really proud of being a part of The Spinoff, and this series has meant a lot to me. You can find all of my writing for them here.

Thanks as always for all of the love and support.

Plans

Tomorrow it will be July, and we’re taking a break.

We’ve been in treatment for basically 6 months now, and I’ve always wondered how much to share here. Only a few close friends/some family have ever known exactly what stage we’re at, and for our privacy/to save us questions we’ve kept it that way. But an update for you: we have no good news. Nothing but bad news, I’m afraid.

To keep myself sane and for the sake of my body we’re giving it a rest. We’ve got some tough decisions coming up and the last thing I need is to go right back on hormones and carry on when so much is riding on it. We’d love the world to pause as well – it’s hard knowing so many have started trying, successfully conceived and given birth all in the time we’ve been trying. Many friends are on their 2nd or 3rd kid. We’ve spent half of our savings and are no closer to our first. IVF is the reason we don’t have a house deposit.

I feel like my brain has not thought about anything else for so many years now, that I don’t know how to rewire it back. I don’t know how to see the world without this lense of infertility over it.

It’s hard not knowing whether there is something else wrong that we just can’t see, or whether it’s just luck of the draw. What if we just keep doing this over and over and failing and have no idea why? My husband has wonderful endless optimism: he is sure it’ll work soon. I don’t know anymore. I have good days and bad days. I’ve seen infertile buddies have success and I’ve seen a few give up, no hope in sight, having to reconcile their dreams as something that will never happen. How could I just put this to one side? It’s so much of me.

So, we have plans. The rest of the year will fly by I’m sure, and we’ll be carrying on with treatment. But for July, I’m going back to Hot Yoga. I’ve got a trial to a local studio for 2 weeks, then I’ll probably buy a 10 pass to see me through til mid-August.

We’re looking at puppies. A dog has always been in the plans and on the radar, and as we joked last night, even an expensive dog is cheaper than an embryo transfer. We’d ideally be getting one in September, as hopefully the house will be done by then.

We’re hoping to move into the house in August, but we’ll see how it goes. We’ve made so much progress – the insulation and new wiring is in, and once the drywall goes back up, we’ll be able to have the electricians back to add our new switches, etc. The kitchen will hopefully go in this month, though the counter tops will take longer. The wardrobe in the front bedroom has been opened up so it’ll be quite large, which is great (I probably have more clothing than anyone you’ve ever met). The floors need a sand and polish, but the Mr hopefully will be able to do that himself. Hopefully we can find a plasterer to sort the gib and then we can decorate. I’m dying to unpack. D is going to start building some of our furniture, too.

The baby’s room will still be the baby’s room. The rocking chair will still be built, and our stuff will probably overflow into it for now, but it’s not going to be anything else. In our old place, I used the spare room to get ready in, and I may still do that on mornings that D is sleeping. But otherwise we’ll be collecting things and putting boxes in there, and eventually it’ll no longer be a sad room. We have plans for wall decals and to paint the walls like the sky. I want to put glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. We’re painting a blackboard wall somewhere, hopefully near the kitchen, for menu planning and little hands to draw on.

We’re also planning a trip. Hopefully in the summertime we’ll go down to Mackenzie Country and camp near Lake Tekapo and enjoy the best stargazing in the southern hemisphere. I’d also like a weekend away soon, but with the house that may not happen.

All is not lost, but we’re hitting pause. Hopefully it’ll be a really positive break.

Thanks as always for your love and support.

Limbo

So we’re still in limbo.  As I said in an earlier post, we’re waiting til we get home to proceed with anything.

It’s a weird place to be in, and coincides with being in limbo in so many areas of our lives. We can’t sell the house til the bathroom is fixed. We can’t plan when we leave the UK until I know what’s happening with my work.  We can’t have a baby until we pay to make one.

Life is weird, guys.

 

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It’s kinda nice to not be trying, though. We’re just relaxing and enjoying ourselves and that’s a good part of it. I do panic a bit that we’re not taking our vitamins reliably – it’s a help to both of us if we remember to do it, particularly as it takes 90 days to be truly effective and all that.

 

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In other news, autumn is basically here. It’s definitely getting cooler and the leaves are changing.

Life keeps changing, and I keep running to keep up.

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.

 

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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).

 

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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.

Diagnosis

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

Cycle 14.

Sometimes I feel like giving up.

Like. I veer so wildly between feeling like there’s always hope, and feeling like this is never going to happen, so why torture myself?

I dunno. Ask me throughout my cycle and it depends on how many articles I’ve read lately – how many positive, how many negative. I feel like we’ve been doing this forever, and we’re surrounded by babies. With one coming every month at the moment to close friends.

I’m so tired.

On the positive side, our fertility clinic appointment is Tuesday. So at least we’ll get some answers, advice… maybe even a plan. I just want them to give me some hope.

But yes. Today feels hopeless. Today I feel like giving up. But I don’t think I ever could. This means more to me than anything else.

Hug your babies tight, please. Love on them. Appreciate them. You don’t know how lucky you are.