Hello again – a triumph to report!

Wow I thought I’d take a little break from blogging, as nothing really was happening, and suddenly it’s been two months!

So in some ways, nothing much has happened, but then in some ways an awful lot has happened.

To begin with HSG results – all fine. I was disappointed really, I was hoping I might have a blocked tube that the dye was going to push through and unblock and then suddenly I’d be all fertile and pregnant. However, this was not the case. When I picked up my results I was told all looked normal, but because of the pain I experience during my period (vomiting, fainting, unable to move) it was very likely to be endometriosis and I should book in for another laparoscopy. Following that, IVF would be the way to go.

Now I’ve already had one laparoscopy five years ago, and nothing showed up. I”m not keen to have yet another one, only for the same result to potentially come back. It took me weeks to recover from the first one, and I guess I just don’t feel ready for all that again. And if I do have endometriosis, they might be able to laser some of it off, and I’ll have a fertile window, but who knows for how long, and ultimately it will most likely come back.

I decided to go down a different route for a bit, implementing a massive diet overhaul and started taking Chinese herbs on top of my acupuncture. And do you know what? IT’S WORKING. I honestly cannot believe it, but for the first time in maybe 7 or 8 years, my period has not ruined almost two days of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I still need to take painkillers, but the difference is my body is responding to them – and just over the counter painkillers, not extra strong prescribed ones.

So this last weekend, when my period showed up (I had hoped it wouldn’t, even did a pregnancy test last week as was feeling hopeful, how silly of me) I WENT OUT on the main day of my period (usually the most painful). I went for lunch with friends, then later, my sister stayed, and I cooked dinner, and we watched a movie. I had a normal day. This is MASSIVE for me, life changing. My periods have interrupted my life for years and years: normally I can barely move, even getting to the bathroom is difficult, often I crawl around just willing time to pass whilst slowly going insane – I’ve even called A&E before.

What I’ve done: on top of the Chinese herbs, I’ve cut out all red meat entirely, and only eat chicken maybe once every two weeks if it’s organic. I have cut out dairy and also cut out about 80% of sugar from my diet (can anyone do 100%?!, surely not possible). So my diet has been mainly of fish and vegetables. Also (and I appreciate this is a bit nuts), I’ve switched my body wash, shampoo and conditioner to organic brands, with no added nasties.  I’ve also been using a magnesium spray which is meant to be a good way of boosting your levels as it absorbs quickly through the skin. Magnesium is meant to help with muscle relaxation and all sorts of good things – have a little look on Google if you’re interested! I guess the only downside is that I don’t actually know which of these things is actually working, or maybe it’s a combination!

I’m not saying it’s easy, or even possible to keep up long term, but I intend to keep it going for a good little while to see if my body balances itself out. And here’s my thinking, if my infertility is caused by endometriosis, then the inflammation is part of the problem. If I can reduce that inflammation and balance out my body naturally then who knows, maybe one day I can get pregnant. I know this is wishful thinking, but for now, the natural way is so much more appealing than going into hospital again for yet another procedure. As for the pregnancy thing, I’m not even thinking about it this month, I’m enjoying feeling fit and healthy and trying to listen to what my body needs.

SC x

Advertisements

Here We Go Again

So I haven’t mentioned this yet, but the HSG test did have a side effect after all: my period. A week early. Only a little over 3 weeks from the previous one.

For some, this probably wouldn’t be a big deal, but for me, it’s a nightmare because of the crippling pain / missed time off work. And this one was bad. Bad in a way I won’t even go into, but it was three days of utter agony and was physically and mentally exhausting.

But anyway, onwards and upwards – we are onto a new month of trying. I thought I’d feel excited but to be honest I just feel a bit defeated by it all at the moment. I’m still waiting for the HSG results and have been tormenting myself with what they might show. Despite a laparoscopy five years ago which said no endometriosis, I’m convinced I must have something like that, because what else could be causing this type of pain? Pain that causes black outs and prevents me from being able to think in a coherent way cannot be normal can it? But to diagnose this I would need another laparoscopy – last time I took a long time to recover and I just don’t feel that I can through another. And it’s more time off work again. I guess I’ll worry about that if and when it becomes a possibility.

So yes, trying to muster up some enthusiasm for this month, but to be honest, after almost a year and a half of absolutely nothing it really doesn’t feel like pregnancy is even a possibility. I see pictures of people’s positive pregnancy tests, with the two lines peeping out, and  can’t even begin to imagine what it must feel like to see those two little life changers staring back at me. I’ve only ever been a one line kind of girl.

Last month was my month off, and it was interesting because despite knowing that there was absolutely no chance of pregnancy, I still had “symptoms”. Of course the sore breasts, but also weird stabbing pains, nausea and bleeding gums. What I hope this has shown me is that obviously these “symptoms” do not automatically mean that I am pregnant, sometimes they are just part of my monthly cycle. So I’m hoping this month I can ignore a lot of these feelings and therefore feel a little more sane as we move onto a brand new month on the TTC treadmill.

SC x

“No sex this month – do you understand?”

So, a break from everything from me this month: it’s been the month of the HSG test. And just to explain my title there – at our initial appointment we were warned, not once, not twice, but THREE times by our nurse that we were not, under any circumstance to have sex before this test. I mean yes it was obviously very important that we didn’t – but come on, we don’t need telling three times. And nor do I need it written down in bold AND underlined on my information letter. Thank you but I can see the warning just fine in normal font.

So anyway, the HSG test. I was nervous. I promised myself I wouldn’t Google horror stories. But of course I did. I might as well have googled the actual words “Google horror stories”. I really don’t know what’s wrong with me, I just can’t stay away from ridiculous Google searches which are never going to do me any good whatsoever!

The test itself wasn’t great, but not as bad as I”d worked up in my head. Having the speculum inserted was far more painful than the dye being pumped through, which I’d read was meant to be the worst part. I suffer from horrendously painful periods and this wasn’t anymore painful than those. What I was disappointed about though was that I wasn’t able to watch the dye going through my tubes on the screen, like I’ve read some women have been able to. I have to wait two weeks and then phone up to make an appointment to get the results.

I”m worried what it will show. Blocked tubes? Fibroids, cysts? A weird shaped uterus? Part of me wants everything to be all clear, but part of me wants there to be something wrong, something to explain the pain I go through every month, and something to explain why after 15 months we are still not pregnant. For now, I have to be patient and wait. Oh dear. Not my strong point.

And, since my HSG test was after ovulation, we really haven’t been able to try this month. And this forced break has done me the world of good. I’ve had a lovely month feeling like myself again. No living my life around my cycle and when I might be ovulating and whether I should be drinking etc. It’s almost like a little holiday, away from the “trying to get pregnant” person I seem to have become. The only problem is, we didn’t try because we were forced to have a break this month (quite literally, see title of this blog and remember the bold and underlined scary letter), but I”m not sure I would be able to take a break if there wasn’t a real reason to. The temptation of trying when I know I”m ovulating would be too much and I expect I would give in – but hey, another six months of this and maybe I will go on another little break and enjoy being just me again for a bit.

So for now, it’s all about the patience. Oh good.

SC x

A Bit Angry

I’m a bit angry. Not just on behalf of myself, but on behalf of all the women out there struggling with trying to conceive. The more I read of other blogs out there, the more I realise how much time, energy and emotion is taken up with this trying to conceive bullshit. But women struggling with infertility should not be pitied, they should be respected and admired, because the strength and resolve I’ve seen out there has knocked me sideways. Those who never strive down this path do not realise what infertility is affiliated with: blood tests, intimate investigations, hormone injections, surgery, risky procedures, reoccurring pain, reoccurring loss, grief……..and I really could go on.

I had a difficult week last week and hit a bit of a new low following my appointment at the infertility clinic. I sometimes feel as though I have forgotten what I was like before all this crap. I absolutely refuse to let this define me, I was/am a strong minded individual who knows my own mind and is very comfortable in my own skin. This infertility journey will NOT rob me of who I am. It’s not going to be easy, because it’s always going to be everywhere – I have tests coming up and not to mention period pain that interferes with my life. I have pregnant friends and I want to be a part of that, so avoidance isn’t an option, but what I do have is determination to stay on top of this – this doesn’t mean I’m going to be fine all the time, but if nothing else i will continue to fight.

SC x

Lucy. Much needed love and company

Today is my least favourite of the month. It’s the day my period turns up, bringing along the familiar disappointment with it, the crippling pain and of course the worry of missing work, yet again. Since 4am this morning I’ve been awake with debilitating pain, it’s 10am now and I’m just being allowed some respite before it all kicks off again. I deal with this all day, completely alone, I get a few hours of respite followed by pain that sends me out of my mind. Getting up, even for a glass of water kicks the pain off again, so I limit my movements as much as possible.

So yes, today is a struggle, but one little thing that keeps me going is my Lucy. I totally appreciate that not everyone loves cats as much as I do – but for me, she’s my saviour at this time of the month, she just doesn’t leave my side. It’s a real comfort and I’d be lost without her, she absolutely knows when I’m feeling unwell like this.

We found Lucy online from a private seller. We had picked up Freddie our boy cat the previous day and decided on a whim to get a friend for him. Lucy wasn’t a very happy kitten when we got her, she was covered in fleas and had worms. She had sad eyes but also a bit of an attitude and I was worried we had made a mistake. I couldn’t have been more wrong. A month or two of getting her sorted and she was a different cat. Loving, friendly and there isn’t an aggressive bone in her body.

I can never resist taking a photo of her looking so sweet, and decided this morning to look back over previous months when I had taken photos of her during the first day of my period,  and thought I’d share them, as they really are very sweet.

So I need to get over the hump of today, and then onto the next month (month 15 of trying) for us.

SC x

PS the first photo below is right now and the rest go back over the past 7 months 🙂

image1 image7 image4 image5 image1 image3 image8 image6

Q: How are you? A: I’ve got my period

So I’ve noticed that I talk about my period too much. When it shows up, I cannot resist telling my poor unsuspecting friends and family every single month. When we first started trying I arguably did a silly thing and told a lot of people. I was excited: M and I have been together since 2001 and so it was fun to spreading the news. I really wish I hadn’t now.

But, as time has passed, I realise that I have this compulsive need to announce to people that my period has arrived, and to let them know that once again I am not pregnant. I don’t like the idea that they might be wondering if I am, and now I’m in the habit of talking about it each month, I can’t really stop! I don’t even really want the possibility of me being pregnant to cross their minds as it feels like an additional layer of disappointment that is out of my control.

I don’t know anyone else that rambles on about their periods as much as I do. I guess because they are such a big part of my life (I have debilitating period pain), but I do hear myself sometimes and realise that it’s not the easiest thing for someone to respond to.  I’m due my period this weekend (see I’m telling the world now, I just can’t help myself) but I am going to try and challenge myself this month not to talk about it to my long suffering friends and family!

SC x

28 Days Later

It seems my life is ruled sometimes by the 28 days of my cycle. I don’t want to live my life from month to month, but as soon as I get my period, I find myself waiting for the window of ovulation so we can try again. And then of course I’m in the two week wait, before my period arrives again. When I do get my period, it hits me hard because:

1) I’m not pregnant. Again.

2) The pain is horrendous – I consider it a good month if I don’t collapse and black out, or vomit from the pain

3) Whatever I have planned, be it going to work or seeing friends, has to be cancelled, as I can barely leave my bed let alone the house. When it’s work that I miss I spend the whole day worrying and feeling helpless

And so to deal with this trauma, I’ve decided that each month when my period comes (which of course it does, every time), I get a little treat.  It’s not always possible to buy myself something every month, so I have to get creative, but I always decide what I’m going to get before I get my period so I have something to look forward to. So for example, a few months ago I decided that if I got my period then I would go and get my hair dyed really really blonde, just for a change as much as anything else. So I had a few miserable days but it helped knowing that I had something that was going to make me feel good: it’s almost an incentive to keep me going sometimes. Other months I have treated myself to a whole night of pampering (something I love but never make the time for), or I’ve bought a lovely bubble bath. It doesn’t have to be something huge, but just something to acknowledge that I’ve been through a time.

I think the point of this post is that when you are trying to conceive and it’s not happening then it’s hard. It’s exhausting and it feels like a battle that might never be won. It’s draining and sometimes the only answer is to have a really good cry. So we should take the time to be kind to ourselves, to accept that this is not an easy time and perhaps acknowledge that we are stronger and braver than perhaps we give ourselves credit for.

SC x