A very late update. Trigger warning for anyone suffering Infertility.

Hey everyone,

I thought that i’d write a blog post to say i’m still here! I have genuinely sat down at least once a week and thought about creating a post, thinking about what to put.
I’ll admit, 90% of those posts would have been about my struggle with being infertile. I’m not going to put a bow on it and make it pretty. I’ve struggled. Jon and myself, by some sheer miracle, managed to fall pregnant with our very first ever IVF cycle. The only one that was funded by the NHS. That’s some luck isn’t it?!
When we had Evie, I can honestly say I have never been so happy and thankful in all my life. She completed us. She was absolutely gorgeous, totally worth all of the heartache and pain we had gone through for the 6 years prior. She is still our whole world. I love her so much I literally can’t put it into words. She makes me laugh, cry, smile and yawn every single day! She’s now a crazy 1 (nearly 2?!?!) year old. Her little personality is really starting to shine through. I can make funny faces and she giggles with me, she’ll laugh when I laugh, she’ll come out with some random broken sentences! And she’ll pucker up for a kiss….on her terms of course.

But….

And this is going to sound ungrateful. online bullies look away now because I odn’t need your opinions!
This is going to sound terrible to anyone who is in the same position we were before Evie brightened up our lives. But we long for another child. We have always planned for 2 or 3 children, even before we knew fertility would be an issue. I guess that has never left the back of our minds. We thought that when Evie came along the world of infertility would be left behind and we would never have to think about the awful circle of negative tests each month, and the heartache of each pregnancy announcement.
You know what? It did. Evie was so much our world that those memories faded away the moment she entered this world. But we planned to go back to Nurture when Evie was around 1 year, to have another round of IVF to use the frozen embryos we had from Evie’s cycle. A true, genetic sibling for our beautiful little girl. It’s the least we could do after she made our lives so much happier and truly worth living.
Who knew that saving money goes out of the window when you have a child?! We have been living paycheck to not even paycheck. There’s no chance we could save over £2,500 for IVF. It’s not a lot at all in IVF terms because we don’t pay for the donor side on this next cycle, but it’s a lot for anyone who doesn’t have residual income. Then there’s the fact that we may need additional drugs to down reg, or the whole treatment may come to a little extra than we had planned.
We have no credit cards or loans, and we don’t have much credit history to give us good standing ones either.

We began trying for a natural baby again around when Evie was 3 months old. We knew deep down that I wouldn’t get pregnant, but a few months I had so much hope. All of those Contraception talks by health professionals “But you know you’re really fertile after having a baby”, I guess they got my hopes up.
We quickly fell back into the infertility hole again. Every month I have sat waiting for the inevitable to happen, and to start it all again for another month. My heart has been broken on every birth and pregnancy announcement and i’ve cried about it all just as much as I used to before Evie. I sound ungrateful for what I have….i’m not. I’ve just slipped back into the infertility zone and guys, it’s HARD. It’s hard whether you have no children, or 1 or more children! That feeling never leaves like I thought it did. It never goes away no matter how ‘complete’ you think you feel. I love Evie so so much but i’m desperate to give our embies a chance at being 1 or more little humans dancing around and singing with Evie. I want to give her the brother or sister she deserves, because she’d be amazing at being a big sister.

A few of you know about how the online friends I made in our “May babies” facebook group, when I was pregnant with Evie, raised a huge amount of money (in complete secret!) to give us a chance at IVF one more time. I have a draft post written up as a thank you, but I keep adding to it! These girls have been there for me and each other through everything. I love them as family and wish I could meet every one of them in person ❤
On that May Babies group, there have been so many women become pregnant again. Some very soon after our little May babies were born, and some this year. Some have had devastating news on their pregnancies and some have given birth.
The birth announcements keep rolling in and as selfish as I sound, i’m literally fighting back the tears on every.single.one.  How bittersweet is it that you can feel so so happy for someone, but feel broken, angry, upset and despair for yourself.
I’m not as active on there right now. My head isn’t in the right place, I just feel every time I go on i’m reminded in some way of how different our journeys to baby are. How some are getting babies, and how, even when we have our next IVF, there may not be a baby waiting for me at all on the other side. Evie may be our end of the beautiful, choatic, heartbreaking, road of TTC. I speak in general here, not about the may group, but so many women complain about TTC for 3 months. Some 6 months. On average, it takes one year of careful timing each month to conceive. I sit and think how positive I was when I had been TTC for 3 months. The excitement, positivity and freshness just seems completely different to what some people portray. 3 months is nothing compared to our 6 years. We tried for 72 times longer than them, and ended with IVF.

I just hope they know how much I love them all! How grateful I am for the gift they have given my family, and how i’m not being absent, i’m just secretly hurting, a lot.

I say this all the time on my facebook profile, but for anyone going through anything similar to me and my family, know i’m always here. I’m someone who knows the heartbreak, knows the heartbreak of birth announcements, and someone who is more than happy to be a shoulder or an ear.

xxx

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Back to reality- Infertility & HRT

Yesterday I had what I thought was a routine appointment to have a scan of my bones to check for osteoporosis. I was wrong.

It was a consultation with funnily enough the same Dr who runs my fertility clinic Nurture- James Hopkisson. He’s always really lovely, he knows his stuff and you feel you can always talk to him about anything. Last time I saw him was when we had been referred for tests just before Nurture. I had my hormone levels checked and he said that I was entering the menopause again and that normal IVF wouldn’t work as the drugs wouldn’t stimulate my ovaries enough, so if we were to go down that route it would be donor eggs. This time, I felt like there was no messing around. He basically said, a letter is going to my GP to prescribe me HRT & to give me regular check ups to manage my tablets. I needed a blood test that day to check my FSH,LH, oestradiol, thyroid,calcium & vit d. No idea why the calcium or vit d? But I didn’t argue. I also need the bone scan asap. He asked if we had any embryos frozen, like he was confirming that we have a back up for future rounds.

I am gutted. I haven’t had chance to see if my body will go back to normal! It’s literally like “right you’ve had the baby now straight onto HRT” going off the blood results from before IVF. I’m day 3 of my first proper cycle since Evie was born, so my body has kicked in naturally and I thought that would count for something, but obviously not. We were looking forward to spending the next year ‘trying ‘ & saving then going back to Nurture if we weren’t successful. Easing our mindset into it rather than going head first into a wall like we did last time.

Overnight I have literally snapped back into my old thoughts. I’m jealous of any pregnant woman & I’m jealous of the parents who haven’t tried. I am in no way ungrateful for Evie. She is the most amazing thing that has ever happened and I would hate to think of her not being my partner in crime anymore. She is my life & I live every day to see her precious little face I really do. But I was looking forward to trying naturally. I want the excitement couples get when they go “oops I’m late, better test!” I want to be normal. I loved IVF, I loved the control it gave me over my body, which I haven’t had since I was a child. The appointment yesterday made me realise that I’ll never really gain that control back. I’ll never be a ‘normal’ 24,25,26 year old. I’m going through the menopause again. Nothing can stop it. My body has given up just like my other consultant said it would. The tablets I stopped taking when I was 16 I have to take again, every day, for the rest of my life! I know that although I’m regular it doesn’t mean that I can have children, James said before that my egg quality are quite possibly really bad. I just can’t get my head around being menopausal and still having normal, regular cycles! Previously when I was on HRT I was very irregular. Before IVF I was regular (even with weird blood results) and now I seem to be too. 

The basic end line of this is that I don’t think I’m ready to close that part of my life yet. I’m not ready to give up. I want to hope for the next year and if nothing happens I’ll hold my hands up & admit that I need the HRT & IVF. I am hoping that my blood result come back ok, and that somehow he phones me to tell me not to take the tablets. I have had no hot flushes, no mood swings, nothing. I usually know if I need to go back on them by my mood. I actually went to the dr to say I needed them again previously, so I just don’t know what to think. Hopefully my results are ‘normal’ and he’s wrong.

Here it goes again! 

IVF baby Evie (Almost) 10 week update

Wow…. I haven’t posted for so so long. There IS a reason. Evie has reflux and I have been so tied up with rotating clothing/muslin cloths in the washing machine (I know how silly it sounds but fellow mums with reflux-y babies will understand!) and making sure she’s as comfy as possible that I have hardly had time to sit down (literally). I wouldn’t have it any other way, but this reflux lark is hard! She doesn’t tend to sleep or nap very well because of it along with a lot of other things, but I’m content in knowing that it’ll be making its disappearing act soon as her body develops 🙂 for the moment she’s on Gaviscon infant to try to help along with comfort milk and also the usual keeping her upright for half an hour-and hour after feeding etc. 

She is just the smiliest baby I’ve ever known! She’s got the cheekiest grin and the funniest dirty look. She has grown so much since she was born and each week it seems that literally overnight she suddenly grows a bit more….it feels like it’s all going past in such a blur! It’s bittersweet, because on one hand you never want them to grow up, you want them as your little baby forever. On the other you want them to grow, to develop their personality and to do all the adventures you have planned. 

I have a bag full of her newborn/up to 1 month clothes and I always thought I’d be tough and strong and not want to cry when I took them out of her draws….but I totally had to hold back the tears haha!

I can’t wait to post about the adventures we will go on and the laughs we’ll have along the way. I hope I have the same bond with Evie as I do my own mum. If I do half the job my mum did then Evie will think of me the same I think of my mum and that would be amazing 💕.

I’ll end this quick post with a few pics of her as she really has grown so much.

My mum has 6 dogs (we did have 9) and my little man Archie and the family nutter Toby are completely besotted with her. They absolutely adore her! I’ll be waiting for their reaction when she starts walking and crawling up to them 😉

Birth Announcement! Our IVF baby is HERE!!

Before I start off, I apologise for the total lateness of this announcement! I’ll explain why it’s late in a mo.

Our little girl Evie was born on the 10th May weighing 7lb 11oz. We are completely and utterly in love! She is gorgeous and dinky and the most amazing thing I have ever seen. 

I went in on Saturday 7th to be induced due to reduced movements. I had the pessary at 2pm and made it my mission to try to have a walk around to get things going. I had minor cramping but nothing major. At 2pm Sunday, as labour hasn’t progressed I needed to go back down to the labour suite to go onto the next step of induction-the gel or breaking my waters. However there were no beds! I was left waiting around until about 3.30  on Monday when there was finally room for me. I hadn’t dilated much (I was JUST 1cm by then) but they ‘could try to break my waters’ so they did. I was put on the drip too. Contractions started an hour or so after and as they increased the dosage they got much stronger. By early Tuesday morning about I was having to have gas and air with each contraction which was around every 2-3 minutes. I got examined  4 hours later and still hadn’t dilated any more. I was given the option of carrying on or having a Csection (anyone who knows me knows it has been my worst nightmare all throughout pregnancy!) and after a mental breakdown in front of Drs & midwives I agreed that’s the only option. 

As Evie was being born I heard them say ‘that’s the waters’ so I know that they hadn’t got one of my waters previously, which annoyed me as that would have been one reason why I hadn’t progressed on the drip very well. I ended up feeling really faint and I lost 1.5l blood. They whisked Jon off but we were both oblivious really to what was happening! We thought everything had gone okay! 

By weds I was allowed home (yes I know, very early for a c section!) and I came home with iron tablets and some Clexane. Since weds Evie has screamed all night & day, we have literally not slept. I knew something wasn’t right but was being told it was normal. Then she refused food during the day and screamed as she had no energy to feed. Our midwife visit on thurs noted the developed jaundice but she just said to keep up with feeds. This didn’t work so on Friday I was called by a community midwife and asked how things were. I explained that I was still worried and that I thought her jaundice had got worse. I was told that it was normal and it was nothing to worry about and to basically stop being silly. On our 5 day check up on Sunday the midwife noted how yellow she was and that she had lost 15% of her original weight. I’m now in hospital watching her in a little box and hoping she gets better soon, so that me and Jon can finally feel like our family is complete. I can’t wait until we have our first trip out together. I wish some people would take mothers worries a little more seriously, because this could potentially have been sorted 4 days ago and I wouldn’t feel like such a failure for putting her in distress for so long. I was dismissed as a first time mum. She even said ‘this is your first baby isn’t it so it’s a worrying time’! how patronising. 

Enough of my blabbering away- here’s a picture of our little lady! 

37 Weeks Pregnant – IVF

So I’m currently 37+4 today and I am so ready for our little munchkin! 

I woke up physically sick out of nowhere on Friday night. I’ve had stomach cramps on and off for a week or so, nothing major just along with my nausea. We went out on Saturday and it seems as though I kept getting massive stomach cramps that lasted around 30-60 secs. No idea if these are the type of contractions I’ll have at first or not but they’re different than just going ‘I have an upset tummy’. 

Since then I’ve heard a big pop with no waters (bizarre?!), had nausea still, been really hot & the last day has seen me get really bad pain in my ribs. Feels like I have fallen on something hard and bruised them. I can’t cough, sneeze or move without pain and overnight it’s got even worse 😢. 

I saw my midwife last week who just said that she was leaving for another job, forgot to take my blood for iron levels until I mentioned it, told me head was down but not how engaged she is (I forgot to ask but she usually writes it down) and that was it really. I’m hoping at my next appointment the midwife will let me know. 

So little one, if you’d like to make an appearance now, I’m terrified of labour but I’d absolutely love to hold you now and feel like myself again and not moan all the time! 

Fetal Monitoring again!

Since Wednesday bubs hadn’t moved much at all. I’d felt a couple kicks here and there but she hadn’t moved half as much as normal and she hadn’t had hiccups either, which worried me as she usually gets them 3+ times a day. 

I didn’t feel anything at all yesterday morning so I decided to phone our MAU, who said I had to go in at 3pm and she was really concerned.

Because it’s my second episode (first was at 28weeks) she also advised that I have a scan too. I got hooked up to the machine to monitor her for about 15 mins until it said criteria met, and it didn’t show I had any Brixton hicks either! I was hoping that I’ve been having them and not noticing but apparently not 😦 

Anyway, had the scan and she ended up kicking the sonographer a hand so hard that she lifted her hand up haha! After her tantrums, we saw that everything was still perfect, and she still likes having a hand/arm over her face. 

These past couple of weeks have been really stressful. I won’t go into detail but there have been numerous things go off, nothing ‘upsetting’ but just stressful/really frustrating things….nothing with Jon though! On top of these things, being in the uncomfortable end of pregnancy and my hormones being everywhere & informal worries of labour etc, I just feel things are amplified tenfold. 

We had our health visitor come round the other day and I haven’t ever mentioned anything on here, but I’ve previously suffered with low mood out of pregnancy and I’ve mentioned how worried I am re PND, as that’s been a big worry I’ve had for a couple months now. It seems silly that someone who has wished to be pregnant and have a baby for so long could have PND, but it really has nothing to do with wanting/not wanting a child. It really does just happen, and from how I’ve been recently i would prefer to prewarn others than suffer in silence once our little cherub is here IF it happens. She’s prepped me for any different forms I may need to fill in if they suspect PND once baby is here and I’m happy to have finally let someone know, so that she can monitor me and help if needed. 

I’m 36 weeks now now and due in 4 weeks. That means I can pretty much say she’ll be here any time now, because I’m considered term next week! I just cannot imagine waters breaking (if they do!) or actually being in labour. I’m sure in a few weeks time when I’m actually doing it it’ll all be different.

Not long until we meet our little lady! 

Mummy cat

I have come to the conclusion that my cat has turned into my mum. It started when Jon began working away all week in Nov/Dec. Thankfully he has recently started commuting each morning & night,  but Bella still seems to be acting the same way!

She watches me like a hawke. If I lie down and try to get up but I’m in excruciating pain and cry out, she’ll look at me like I’m dying and she really cares. If I start cleaning, whether it’s just sweeping, wiping the counters, hoovering, putting laundry away, anything that involves me being on my feet, she’ll meow and meow until I sit down. She’ll sit on my chest and pur (something she’s always done in bed at nighttime, she knows it sends me to sleep!) and wait there until I begin to drift off to sleep. This can be at 9am, 12noon, 3pm or 7pm. Anytime of day! I’m exhausted now. I struggle to get dressed. I know I may be anaemic, my consultant said I looked really pale but I assured him that I’m always pale & that my MW would be doing bloods next week so I’ll see what the results say, but having Bella then ordering me to sit down mid-task makes it so much harder to do anything! 

She’ll tell me it’s time for bed. Now I know a lot of pets do this, and Bella sometimes did it before, but since becoming pregnant it’s every night at 8pm. She’ll literally sit inches away from me and stare at me with an occasional meow. If I ignore her she will go upstairs for 5 minutes, come back down and sit on the floor staring at me until I go to bed. It’s like she knows I’m tired. Sometimes it’ll be at 7.30pm and I’ll be thinking about how tired I am and suddenly *puff* Bella appears telling me to go bed! 

She literally sits almost on my shoulder in the bath. She’s NEVER done that. She is fascinated by water but never gets very close and now suddenly she’s there almost making sure that I don’t bloomin’ drown. 

Few examples of the times I’ve managed to catch her in the act!    

   
Now if anyone goes back on my blog posts, or my Instagram, it’s easy to see that Bella is an attached kitty. She appeared on our doorstep and she’s so close to me it’s unreal, but since being pregnant it’s increased x100! 

Any other pregnant ladies have pets that seem to have taken on more of a carer role?! I’ll have to admit it’s cute, but fest rating when I’m already tired and really having to push myself to clean or do bits around the house!