Here we go again

I haven’t blogged much about our infertility stuff recently. Mostly because there hasn’t been much to write about but also because I have been feeling very down about it all and it’s been hard to put into words what I am thinking and feeling. Anyway, I have been on the pill again for the past month and started lucrin injections 10 days ago. Today is CD2 and I went for our first monitoring appointment for this cycle, this morning. It went fine in that everything is ‘quiet’, ie. no cysts. Because everything looked fine the doctor did not order blood tests, which I hope is ok. I have stopped the lucrin and have started an estrogen patch, estrogen pills (inserted vaginally… Joy of joys), and cetrotide, for the next six days. Then I will start gonal f (six vials a day!) with the cetrotide for about a week, and then menopur (also six vials a day!), still with cetrotide – for about a week. My next scan is only on the 6 October which seems quite far away to me. IF all goes well and there is anything to retrieve, the doctor is aiming for retrieval on the 10 or 11 October, which is the very time my husband has arranged to go and visit his best friend in Cape Town for the first time in two years. Bloody timing!!! Anyway, here’s hoping my body responds to this protocol and that we get some juicy little eggs to fertilize!! If anyone else has experience with this protocol I’d love to hear how you went… This is all new to me. Thank you!


One lovely blog award

Thank you so much to coalescedreverie for nominating me! I feel so chuffed! This is my first nomination ever and the acknowledgment is lovely. Unfortunately I am unable to follow all the rules simply out of ignorance. I have tried everything but don’t know how to display the award logo or copy a link. Sorry! Perhaps the first thing you need to know about me is that my computer skills are reasonably basic, haha!

The rules for winning this award are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to his or her blog.

2. List the rules.

3. Provide 7 facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know that you have nominated them.

5. Display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Here are 7 facts about me:

1. I met my husband on an online dating site. We chatted for about three weeks before meeting in person. The night we met up my cousin drove past the restaurant to check him out and I had an emergency ‘get me outta here’ plan incase the date was a complete disaster. The plan was that my cousin phoned early in the evening to say there was an emergency at home, so that I could ‘legitimately’ excuse myself if I needed to. Needless to say we were each the first people we had met face to face and we got on like a house on fire and laughed all evening. I ignored the emergency call and texted my cousin to say all was great. We have been together ever since.

2. As a teenager and young adult I was passionate about ballet and modern dancing and spent all my free time in classes. When I left school I was accepted by a performing arts school and very nearly pursued a career in dance. I made the more sensible choice and went to university but whilst there I qualified as a modern dance teacher. I have never used this qualification but I regularly dream that I am dancing again and always wake up feeling vaguely sad.

3. I have two recurring nightmares which I have had for many, many years. The one is that my teeth are crumbling and falling out, and the other is that I have to rewrite my final school exams now as an adult but I can’t remember anything. I always wake up feeling extremely relieved that it was only a dream.

4. I am a genuine introvert in that I love to be with people but I also find social interaction exhausting and need a fair amount of time alone to recharge. Fortunately my job allows me to spend most mornings at home and I relish the peace and quiet this affords.

5. I love to be creative and make things with my hands. I also collect Christmas decorations and without being arrogant, have the most beautiful Christmas tree once all the decorations are up. I also love Christmas and am very sentimental about it. For the last couple of years I have made personalized Christmas decorations for all my loved ones. This year I’m going to enjoy making one for my newest little niece. I dream of the day when I can make for my own children.

6. I lived in London for two and a half years and absolutely loved it. I probably wouldn’t have left except my visa ran out. At the end of my stay I did some care work, living and caring for elderly ladies in their homes. It wasn’t a good experience for me for various reasons but the real low point was caring for an elderly alcoholic. She would drink sherry all day and be drunk and aggressive by evening. The one evening she chased me around the house with her walking stick, then made me change her nappy and then wouldn’t allow me to use the toilet (incase I fell down the stairs!). She made me use a potty in my room. I left the very next morning and came back to South Africa soon afterwards. The money I made did enable me to do a two month trip through Asia though, so it wasn’t all bad.

7. I love traveling and experiencing new cultures and find it so liberating to be in places where I am unknown and can explore. It is not so easy to travel abroad from South Africa as our exchange rate is so poor and therefore makes overseas travel quite expensive. Luckily my husband and I earn reasonably well and have been fortunate enough to have some lovely holidays together. As we all know there are many difficult aspects to infertility but something I am finding very frustrating right now is that we cannot plan a holiday as we normally would in December because we don’t know how many treatments we will need and have to save all our money. It feels like a double whammy to have had such a hard and stressful year (again!), and then be unable to escape for some time out because of finances. Oh well, it will be totally worth the sacrifice to hold our bubba one day.

It’s really tricky for me to nominate 15 other bloggers as I think most of the people I follow have been nominated already! If you haven’t been nominated, please jump on board and join in…. I appreciate all the lovely ladies I follow and would love to know more about you.

Ps. If someone can advise me on how to display the award logo, I will do so. Thanks!

Timed intercourse

The blog world of infertility, as we all know, is filled with acronyms:

TWW: Two Week Wait (factual, no problem)
IF: Infertility (again, factual, it’ll do)
DH: Darling Husband (totally subjective and problematic, especially in the throws of the stressors of infertility… Depending on where you are in your cycle it could stand for Darling Husband, Dear Husband or Devil Husband or Delusional Husband or… Ok, I’ll stop now but you get the idea, right???)
AF: Aunt Flo (i.e. your period… Seriously!!!????)
IUI: Intra Uterine Insemination (factual, fine)
IVF: Invitro Fertilization (ditto)

To name a few.

Well, I have a new one (I think. If I have stolen your idea, or repeated an old existing idea, huge apologies….please do not accuse me of plagiarism, I am simply ignorant). Timed Intercourse (TI), otherwise known in my world as Traumatic Intercourse, or Terrible Intercourse or….. Feel free to jump on board and add a few of your own ideas.

It’s the pits. Timed intercourse SUCKS. A lot!!!!! I’d rather read my kindle, wash my hair, paint my nails…. And I’m not even joking…. And I very rarely paint my nails! Infertility turns something instinctively human, basic, passionate and intimate into something impersonal and sterile. It is absolutely, completely and utterly awful. Has anyone here had the post coital test??? (More on that if there is a positive response).

And this is why there is indeed a silver lining to IVF. No more timed intercourse. I will be a hell of a lot poorer and probably emotionally ruined, but at the very least, I will have sex with my husband when (and if… Which is the part that worries me… My libido is soooo low, but anyway), I feel like it, and not when I have to. Hoorah!!!!!

Infertility and weight gain

Please tell me I’m not the only one struggling with weight gain! In South Africa we are moving into spring, the clothes layers are coming off and my skin is showing again after months of cold. And oh. My. Goodness, what has happened to my body??!!! I knew I had been steadily gaining weight but this is just horrendous…. I am officially the fattest I have ever been and 10kgs heavier than when I got married. I know weight gain is a common side effect of some of the meds but I’m really starting to feel desperate! Is anyone else in the same position???

Celebrating our marriage

Our wedding anniversary is tomorrow but since we didn’t think our respective places of employment would be thrilled with us having a lunch date on a work day, we celebrated yesterday by returning to our wedding venue for lunch. It is a stunning venue and we relived some very happy memories while we were there. On the day we got married we could never have known how the future was going to play out and certainly we never, ever expected to be facing IVF. If you had asked, we would probably have said that by now we would have expected to have a toddler and maybe another on the way.

Anyway, despite the hardships (which haven’t been exclusively infertility related), we are stronger today than we were on the day we got married and for this I am infinitely grateful. We both hope that by this time next year, we will be sleep deprived, exhausted and will need to find a babysitter for our anniversary lunch.

My not so secret love affair….

….is with wine. I love wine…the act of choosing it and buying it, visiting wine farm’s and tasting it, the smell, the way it goes beautifully with amazing food (I also really enjoying cooking. And eating). I’m that person on facebook who shares this:


And this:


And this:


Last one:


Because I find them so funny and they always give me a good giggle (and also because there is a modicum of truth in them). For the first eternity of trying to conceive I put my love affair with wine on hold and sat through many functions dutifully sipping on water. But it made me increasingly aware of NOT being pregnant…. Going through the motions of pregnancy but still seeing a negative result month after month. I got more and more resentful and felt so deeply deprived anyway, on a soul level, due to not having a baby, that I resumed my love affair with wine. I eat healthily, take tons of vitamins and other good things, exercise moderately…but I still drink wine. And after the week I have had, I am so incredibly grateful that wine and I are going steady again. Cheers!

I lied earlier… This is the real last one. Hope everyone has a happy weekend, whatever stage of the lovely (said in a voice laced with sarcasm) infertility journey you are on.

Ms Grumps is here and is throwing a pity party!

Ms Grumps is my new name for myself on those days when I hold a pity party for myself. At my worst, this lasted a few weeks and occurred when our last chance at IUI failed and I had to accept that IVF and even possibly egg donation were our next options. At the moment, the pity party is mostly on hold and I have lots of good days… But believe me, I can go into pity party mode at the drop of a hat.

Yesterday was a good example of how a small trigger can snowball into a full blown, irritable, grumpy, pity party.

It started off with a whatsapp chat between myself and a person very dear to me. She is wonderful in so many ways and tries her best to be supportive. But she can sometimes get it so wrong. Our conversation related to falling pregnant and knowing our bodies….

Me: Well I know a lot about my body now, but if I had understood how things were working earlier I would have been more empowered!

Dear person: Absolutely x you are being healed

Me: Without sounding negative, I am not being healed at all… Just having to spend a fortune and take loads and loads of drugs to get things right enough to fall pregnant. That’s why I feel so strongly about knowing your body and knowing what’s going on as soon as possible!

Dear person: I shall believe you are being healed x

Me (in my head): huhhhhh????HEALING??? What freaking healing? Nothing is getting better, the more time that passes the worse things get. My ovarian reserves are diminishing at an alarming pace, there is no way of reversing it. The only thing that we got out of our abortive first attempt at IVF was the opportunity to throw thousands of rands down the toilet and I gained (another!!) 3 kilograms. So no, there is no f-ing healing going on around here thank you very much.

Me (in reality): changed the subject

As you can see, this just infuriated me. It has been so painful to accept our diagnosis and to be more or less ok with the road we have to travel. Living in Lala land is not helpful to me, despite knowing that it came from a loving and well intentioned place.

And from there the pity party went into full swing, gathering misery and company along the way. Over the course of the day it included, being sick and tired of being tired all the time and having no energy to exercise like I used to, the traffic, my business partners, my weight gain, my car that is making awful noises, my tax bill, not being able to make any financial decisions such as doing a few things round the house or going on holiday because we have no idea how many rounds of IVF we will need, our cuckoo clock, the dinner I cooked…. And and and!!

As my mom so rightly said to me “Time to close off today and consign it to history”. So that’s what I did. I took half a sleeping tablet and thankfully had a good nights sleep. But this morning I woke up with a slight headache and the nagging irritability is still there.

I think the real issue is not any of the things that were irritating me yesterday. The real issue is that I am really scared of what the future holds. Not the big picture future, the more immediate future. Will our next drug protocol work or will it be cancelled again? Will we get any viable embryos? If we don’t, how soon will we move to donor eggs? How many rounds will we have to do before we are successful. So many unknowns. Also, I am tired. I am so deeply weary of these issues. I feel like I need a break from my life… A few weeks where my husband and I can just be removed from our reality. But we can’t… We take ourselves wherever we go and so I just have to Iearn how to ride through these bad days and find a way to fight the fear when it grips me.

This time, as a prize for reading through to the end of such a miserable post, you get to see a picture of my gorgeous niece. My sister sends me a photo every day and it always lifts my spirits. Here she is….