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

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

A Cake Escape

A short while ago I did a cake decorating class. I have no real skill at baking and certainly don’t have the patience to do anything fancy at home, but this class was a freebie and I liked the idea of learning something new.

The class was a mixed group with a different level of ability. I was immediately excited when told to choose a colour for my rose. I initially went with blue as I wanted to be different, then I switched to purple, but finally decided on pink as there was a good chance that what I was about to make may not look like a rose and therefore would need all the help it could get.

We rolled out our icing and gradually added the colour – it was exciting to watch the icing become and deeper and more satisfying blush of pink with every drop of colouring I added. And then came the constructing the rose part – we broke off a number of tiny balls from our coloured icing and squished them all flat with our thumbs. Then, following the teacher carefully we started with one squished piece and gradually added the additional pieces to it, overlapping and moving it round as we went. Probably not the most technical explanation I could give, but it was much easier than I thought and I didn’t reach the “I hate this and I’m throwing it all in the bin stage”  – which is a plus for me.

Next we made the leaves, which involved pressing newly made green icing into little plastic templates. We were rewarded with perfectly shaped little leaves for our rose to nestle in.

And here is the end result, I was thrilled with it! It was lovely to lose myself for an hour or so in learning something new and to have something to eat at the end of it too, well that was just an additional bonus!


SC x

Just Relax And It Will Happen

Anyone who has been trying to conceive without success has probably been given this advice.  But how many women who have been branded with the infertile label are generally feeling relaxed about it?! Most of us have been prodded and poked to within an inch of our lives. We follow weird diets (“pineapple anyone?”) and we take a million supplements a day (“mmm fish oil, yes please”). We google our symptoms (“my little toe hurts could I be pregnant”?), and we worry about never having a family of our own. We work hard at our relationships during the stressful times and sometimes take it out on those we love the most. Sometimes we allow ourselves to be hopeful, that perhaps this is the month after all, and then we deal with the disappointment that follows. Doesn’t sound like a recipe for relaxation to me.

Because what people forget is what time can do to a person. We all started trying to conceive in a good place. We were relaxed and we were hopeful, but until you personally go through it, until you experience the disappointment month after month, it’s hard to explain how waiting for something that just isn’t happening can simply wear you down sometimes.

As for me, I do not currently use ovulation sticks, or take my temperature, so I wouldn’t say that was anything I could physically change to relax more:  I really think that if it was as simple as just “relaxing” then something would have happened by now. Whilst obsessively googling ways to get pregnant, I often come across the phrase “we just stopped trying and it happened for us”. It’s great that for some people that works, but I just can’t see that ever working for us….I have a very good idea of when I”m ovulating, and so I know when we should be trying, so why would we not try around the very time I know we should be? I cannot pretend I have forgotten where I am in my cycle, I’m too far into the “trying to conceive” game to be successful at forgetting this information. And how is not having sex at the right time really going to help?

Hmm this post has become a bit of a rant – just about to start another month of TTC and not feeling it today – better file this one under “negativity”, and of course “patience” 🙂

SC x

The Patience of the Pomegranate

My last two posts have been about trying to conceive, so here’s one about learning patience, and my favourite subject of all: food.

So today I found a very large pomegranate in the supermarket – I love a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and so took it home to commence the battle immediately: me versus the pomegranate. A pomegranate makes you work for the good stuff- it isn’t like an apple or a peach where you give it a quick wash and it’s ready for consumption. Oh no, a pomegranate wants you to earn its juicy little red jewels. And so I began. I cut through the large fruit, and was immediately rewarded with a splattering of red juice all over my grey jumper.

Pomegranate: 1   Me: 0

I carefully and gently worked on busting out these red little beads for 25 minutes – talk about a test in patience! Red juice soon became a feature of my kitchen: on the floor, across the wall tiles and even on the light switch.

But it was worth it.

The end result was a bowl full of ruby gems which were simply amazing to add to my fantastic couscous salad (roasted flaked almonds, lemon, coriander and mint). Not that I can take credit for that – it’s from one of my favourite cookbooks, Home at 7, Dinner at 8 (@SophWrightChef ).

Lesson learnt? Sometimes amazing things are worth the hassle.

SC x