Pause.

Pause.


There’s been a distinct lack of posts on here this year so far with this only being the third. I’ve been feeling a bit indifferent and detached from writing and I’ve felt as though I’ve been a bit inside my own head, unable to put in to words how I feel.

So how do I feel? Well where do I start? The last time I checked in we had just met with our fertility specialist and we seemed to finally be on the right path with clear plans for us to move forward with.

I had my HSG (hysterosalpingogram) procedure, or a ‘tube flush’, where a catheter is placed inside the cervix, dye is pushed in to the womb and up in to your tubes while under an x-ray to determine whether there are any blockages. Top Tip; if you ever have to do this do not read up about it online first. The horror stories gave me anxiety. For someone who took out their own coil (long story) I should not have been worried at all. The nurses made me feel at ease, even with my legs akimbo, they reassured me that it would be completely fine. The procedure lasted no longer than 30 seconds with 5 seconds of sudden ‘cramping’ which I was told would happen and soon subsided when the dye stopped being pushed through. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride when the nurse told me I had the perfect v-shaped womb, as if I had any sort of influence over it. It was good news, no blockages, nothing to be worried about. So off I waddled, with the ugliest NHS sanitary pad between my legs, to go get cleaned up and get on with my day.

We had already booked our next appointment with the fertility specialist to discuss the results of the HSG and next steps when the pandemic hit the UK and everything started grinding to a halt. So it came as no surprise that two days before we were due to visit the clinic all fertility appointments were cancelled. Of course I completely understand that everyone’s health and safety comes first but to have another set back is disheartening. I was under no illusions that this journey would be difficult but Jesus take the wheel I didn’t expect a pandemic to be thrown in to the mix.

So yeah, that’s where we are at. Everything is on hold. It’s been oddly refreshing to have a little bit of a break between tests and appointments and medications. It’s been nice to just be ‘us’ and enjoy our time with each other, without any added pressure. It’s incredibly hard to explain but you tend to forget yourself when you’re so focused on treatments and next steps.

The time will come when clinics will open and the cycle will start again. But until then I’m using this opportunity to reduce my caffeine and gin intake, relax and just breathe.

What to expect when you’re not expecting?

What to expect when you’re not expecting?

Expect to be given mixed messages. Expect your emotions to be all over the place. Expect to leave appointments slightly more confused. Expect to laugh. Definitely expect to cry. Expect everyone in the world to get pregnant around you (or so it feels). Expect more doctors to see your bits ‘n’ pieces than you’ve had hot coffees in your lifetime.

Just don’t expect it to be easy.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of finally meeting our fertility specialist. After some initial questions about lifestyle, health and just getting to know us she had a look at the tests we’d had already. Until now our treatment has been relatively straight forward. A few blood tests here and there, a couple of scans, sperm tests, 6 cycles of medication and many trips to the doctors surgery. We have never really been given any cause for concern except my blood tests appeared to show my hormone levels aren’t quite right during ovulation.

However, within 5 minutes of meeting our specialist she diagnosed me with polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. She explained that our GP should never have prescribed clomid at all, let alone let me take it without constant monitoring with blood tests and ultrasounds. Morgan’s results aren’t as straight forward as originally made out and require a few lifestyle changes. Plus, just to top it all off, we should have been referred 11 months ago considering the length of time we have been trying.

*cue a stunned and confused couple of Bloomers*

It’s incredibly frustrating to find that the last 11 months have essentially been a waste of time. We have spent the last 11 months riding an emotional rollercoaster, constant up and downs, wondering when or if it will ever end. What is really alarming is that a medical professional has wrongly advised me to take medication which could have made the situation worse. It also means that our specialist now cannot prescribe it (to be used in the right way with regular checkups) as it should only be taken for 6 months in total.

However we did get a couple of positive points from our appointment:

– Age is definitely on our side. The specialist explained that as we are both 30 there is plenty of time to try various treatments.

– PCOS is a road bump, not a stop sign. The blood tests I have had clearly show I am ovulating every other cycle. It can be treated with medication and the one saving grace is that the clomid I have been taking may have actually helped in this particular instance.

– The weight I’ve lost already definitely helps our situation and speeds the next steps up by around 4 months.

So what happens next? I need to have my tubes flushed, I have to have more blood tests, Morgan needs to take vitamins and stop vaping, I should stop drinking coffee and alcohol and I need to drop 2 more stone. We have multiple appointments over the next 4 weeks to get this show on the road and I’m actually feeling pretty positive. I’m ready to draw a line under what has happened already and move on to the next stage of this process.

So what should you expect when you’re not expecting? Just expect the unexpected. Anything can happen, good or bad. You’ve just got to roll with the punches, pick yourself up and keep going.

Fingers crossed we’re now in good hands

January 1st 2020…

January 1st 2020…

Today marks the start of new beginnings. The time to reflect on the past. The amazing highs, the almighty lows and all the bits in-between. The time to share resolutions you’ll set with good intentions but struggle to keep beyond the first month. A new day, a new year, a brand spanking new decade.

So why do I feel so damn flat?

Let’s just say 2019 was character building. I’m a stronger woman after enduring challenge after challenge whether personal or work related. But I’m tired. Tired of getting my hopes up, tired of constantly putting a smile on my face and muddling through, tired of pretending everything is ok when actually it’s not.

‘2020 is going to be my year’ I keep telling myself. But what if it’s not? What if I’m sat in the bath January 1st 2021 writing the same ‘woe is me’ post because abso-bloody-lutely nothing has changed once again?

This isn’t a cry for help by the way. I’m just feeling particularly sorry for myself. Maybe it’s because my period started yesterday? A fabulous way to end the year *virtual thumbs up*. A middle finger from Mother Nature. I mean, at least it was bang on time though. No pissing about like last month. Note to self: I must remember to remain thankful for small mercies and avoid constantly sounding ungrateful. Repeat after me ‘you are healthy, you are happy. You are healthy, you are happy.’

This month, more so than last month, I had completely convinced myself we were pregnant. That the spotting I got Christmas Day and Boxing Day was a sign that 2020 was going to be ‘The One.’ I had obsessively Googled implantation spotting, timescales, cycles. Thoughts constantly whirring around my head for 6 days. Wondering how I go about cancelling the consultation we have booked with a specialist in January. Staying up until 5am reading post after post telling me not to get my hopes up until I’d done a pregnancy test after my period was due. Looks like one of my resolutions needs to be ‘follow other’s advice’ because I did the exact opposite.

Yes, 2019 had it’s struggles but life would be boring if everything went the way we want it to right? 2020 will no doubt have its own hurdles to overcome and we will get through whatever is thrown at us.

But today I’m a little down so I’m going to get back in my pjs, drag the duvet to the sofa and watch back-to-back rom-coms before I have to head back to work tomorrow. Let me wallow in my hormonal sadness for a few hours and then I’ll be as right as rain.

So cheers everybody! Here’s to 2020! New Year, Same Me. Just 34lbs lighter and a little more exhausted.

4 days late…

4 days late…

That’s how long it was before I was woken up with cramps at 5am this morning. 4 long days of silently hoping this was the one, that we would be starting the New Year with some amazing news.

I hadn’t told my husband that my period was late until yesterday. I didn’t want to say it out loud for fear of jinxing it but I dragged him in to the pharmacy to buy some tests ‘just in case’. I told him I wouldn’t do it until the morning, that I’d give it one more day. I guess I just saved myself £10.99. Every cloud and all that.

This news, or non-news, shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. Our third round of Clomid was quickly followed by a bout of pneumonia which had to be treated with some very strong antibiotics. Let it be known that there is nothing less sexy than someone coughing up their lungs constantly.

Yet this time I feel completely betrayed by my body.

I don’t know whether it’s because I knew this was our third and final round of Clomid, or whether I was hoping for some sort of Christmas miracle, or whether I consciously hoped to be pregnant before I turned 30 in a few days. Maybe it’s just that I don’t like to feel like I’ve failed at something.

This just means that the start of 2020 is going to look very different to how I imagined. Don’t get me wrong, we both knew this was a possibility, our doctor outlined next steps in our last appointment to prepare us. I just hoped we wouldn’t have to start the year with more trips to the fertility specialist. It also means I definitely have to shift those last 14lbs before we move forward.

The last two years have been incredibly difficult but Morgan and I are most definitely stronger for it. He keeps me going with his positive outlook on life and is overwhelmingly supportive no matter what. Whilst I’d rather not be on this particular pathway I’m glad I have him by my side, keeping me going when it is all too easy just to say “I give up.”

So for now I’m going to stick on some sad music, have a little cry, get it all out of my system and then I’m going to relax and enjoy the festive season. I have birthday celebrations planned over the next couple of weeks, too many Christmas parties to attend and I intend to eat and drink my way in to the New Year.

Overwhelmed and Uninspired

Overwhelmed and Uninspired

It’s been 5 weeks since I last posted on here. 5 weeks of looking at a blank post, writing utter drivel, deleting it and starting again. 5 weeks have passed and I still have absolutely nothing to say.

Let me just update you with where my head is at. I’ve just finished my second cycle of Clomifene. When I found out that the first round of medication hadn’t worked I was sad but I hadn’t expected it to work straight away. After nearly two years of getting your hopes up and your body letting you down you learn not to get too optimistic in order to protect yourself.

Cycle 2 has been completely different to the first. Maybe because work has been a distraction and I’ve been constantly busy for the last few weeks. I’ve not had the mood swings I experienced before or had to argue over the aircon. I’ve not been emotional or irrational (well, any more so than usual). But I have felt distant and a little introverted. I’ve pushed though and focused on just keeping busy but last week I finally felt myself crack after a customer very innocently asked me a question and I knew I needed a break.

I saw the above post and completely identified with it. I spoke to my manager who has been incredibly supportive and I’ve got myself a little three day weekend. Morgan’s working, I’ve got the house to myself, I’ve got a night out with the girls planned and I’m just going to rest, refocus, reevaluate and reset.

I promise (ish) that I’ll have more to say next time I post on here!


Twitter post credit : @alexmuench

All Things ‘Ovulation’

All Things ‘Ovulation’

Let’s talk about how bloody inconvenient the menstrual cycle is when you’re trying to make a baby. There are four phases to a woman’s menstrual cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulation and luteal. On average, the ovulation phase will last around 1 or 2 days out of your 28 day cycle. That gives you a 24-48 hour window to get knocked up. This shrinks to 12-24 hours when you consider an egg will not last longer than a day if it isn’t fertilised.

The tablets I’m currently taking trick my body into thinking my oestrogen levels are lower than what is considered ‘normal’ which in turn causes the secretion of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinising hormone). This stimulates the production of an egg follicle or multiple follicles to be released and then ovulation occurs. The window of opportunity stays the same. The process doesn’t change. All it means is I’m a hormonal, bloated mess.

Tracking my ovulation has been relatively easy for the last two years. Since coming off contraceptives my cycle quickly settled in to a regular 28/29 day process. There’s a few days every month where my skin is clear, my hair is glossy, I sleep better and generally feel more rested and have more energy during the day. However, the tablets I’m on have flipped that on its head this month. I feel constantly nauseous and bloated. Hot flushes are incredibly real (poor Morgan has had to put up with me tinkering with the aircon every few miles as we’re currently on a road trip). Everything generally feels like an effort and I could nap in a heartbeat at any moment. It’s tough but the side effects are just signs that the tablets are doing what they’re intended for.

I’m lucky to have a husband who gets it. He doesn’t take it personally when I refuse to talk to him for an hour because he laughed at me taking a photo of a box of éclairs in the middle of Bicester Village. He waits patiently while I try on every single item of clothing in my wardrobe, complaining that nothing feels comfortable because I’m so bloated, eventually settling on the loosest, baggiest outfit. He silently squeezes my hand when someone asks if we have plans for babies any time soon, a small smile on his face when I manage to explain the situation without tearing up.

We planned an impromptu trip away to coincide with this stage. It’s important to spend quality time together, laughing, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company as it can become easy to forget that this should be fun, especially when having to track dates and hormones and various appointments and tests. It was the most perfect distraction.

Tomorrow marks the start of the next stage. 12 days of appointments, blood tests and playing the waiting game. It’ll be 12 days of feeling very similar to how I do now but with added mood swings and the overwhelming urge to just hide in a dark room away from human interaction. 12 days of letting my body do what it needs to do and preparing to accept whatever outcome we get at the end.

Let the countdown begin!


Photo Credit: Designs By Duvet Days