Tag: infertility

Rollercoaster

Rollercoaster

Why is it, every month is the same? Every month i wonder if this will be the month i get pregnant naturally.

I don’t know why i do it. I know we have 0.1% chance of it happening, but every month i wonder. And then i come on, either early on bang on time, according to my app.

Its a monthly emotional rollercoaster, its exhausting.

Honestly, i think trying for a baby turns most women into a bag of emotions! From hope, to loss, to desperation, to despair to guilt to anger.

And it repeats, every single month.

That tiny glimmer of hope is actually awful, it’d be easier if it was 0% chance.

I was due on today. It hasn’t arrived as yet.

Tea tasted funny the other day, I’ve had lower back ache, and so i wonder.

But, I’m likely just having a longer cycle due to polycystic ovaries, or I’ve not ovulated again.

But i hope, and i wonder and i wish. Only to have it all taken away again.

Infertility is hard. Its cruel.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

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Keep talking, wear a pineapple

Keep talking, wear a pineapple

Ive got mine, have you got yours?

Show your support and keep the conversation going about infertility by wearing your pineapple badge.

The original concept is by IVF Babble a great website about infertility, IVF and everything in between.

Many celebs have joined the campaign, and you can too.

Badges can be purchased via Amazon

Go on, wear a pineapple, have a chat, tell your story

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Guilt

Guilt

I feel a lot of guilt. 

Mummy guilt…am i doing enough to stimulate him, does he watch too much TV, is he bored? Am i keeping him warm enough/cool enough, is he happy? Am i feeding him the right food? 

All in all this guilt i think is normal for any parent and i try not to let it ruin my day, but in the middle of the night, it eats away at me.

Sibling guilt. I dont want to try for another baby. I feel like, in the IVF world, im the only person who doesnt want another baby. Im too scared of another loss, Little T has escaped his Dad’s blood condition and my asthma, hes perfect, i like my life how it is. I dont think i could manage a newborn and a toddler. All legit reasons. But i feel guilty anyway. Like i should want another baby, that i should give Little T a sibling. I feel selfish and i hate that.

Infertility guilt. Christmas is tomorrow. For the first time in a decade, i dont feel an overwhelming sense of sadness, for the first time in a long time, we have a tree and decorations. I dont need to hide away, i dont feel angry at the world. I dont feel broken

But i do feel guilty. I feel guilty because i know so many other people who havent got their baby yet, i know this time of year is horrific for them. I feel guilty because i remember it all too well.

I feel guilty because it happened for me and not them

I know i went through the mill to get Little T, that i deserve to be happy, but once you suffer infertility, i think ot stays with you for life. I feel guilty for feeling jealous when someone announces a pregnancy. I dont even want another baby. But im still jealous. Infertilility is life long.

So, for those of you lucky enough to have all your dreams come true, enjoy tomorrow, cherish every moment. 

For those of you still waiting, do what you have to just to get through it. Hide, drink, rant, rave, avoid whatever hurts you. Dont worry about letting people down, theyll forgive you.

Merry Christmas

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

NHS Funded IVF

NHS Funded IVF

There has been a lot of press recently regarding whether or not the NHS should fund IVF. 

Many CCGs have cut all funding and all but 3 of those that do provide IVF do not provide the recommended 3 cycles.

Funded IVF has become dependant on postcode. The ability to access IVF is now wealth based, not need based.

Ive been following articles regarding this subject on facebook. Reading the comments has either made my blood boil or made me weep…

‘Infertility isnt life threatening’. No, but the side effects (depression being a big one) are.

‘Infertility isnt an illness.’ Yes it is. Something doesnt work that should meaning a baby cannot be made the traditional way.

‘Having a child is a choice’. Nope. I NEEDED to be a Mummy. I NEEDED a biological child.

‘IVF shouldnt be funded as fostering/adoption is a better alternative.’ No. Simply not true. As above, for some, if not most, having a biological child isnt just a want, its a need.

‘If you cant afford IVF you shouldnt have children. Plain and simple’. By that logic there should be no child benefit, no child/working tax credits. If you lose your job your child should be taken away and given to a family who can afford them. In fact, unless you earn Β£X amount you shouldnt be allowed to concieve.

The majority of these arguments have been argued by couples able to concieve by the way.

Many of the arguments against funding revolve around it not being a medical need…tummy tucks, boob jobs, lipo, all provided on the NHS due to the mental health impact of not having these surgeries on a patient.

How is IVF different? A couple are not awarded funding willy nilly. There are so many hoops. Length of time trying, length of time living together, years of investigations, years of other treatments, smoker status, BMI. Its not an easy option. 

I totally agree that once you have a living child, the funding stops. However if that child is from a previous relationship i do think 1 cycle of IVF should be funded. At the moment, people are being punished for having step children, which doesnt allay the NEED for a biological child.

The other problem people have is, IVF doesnt guarantee a couple a child. Hate to break this to you, but nor does the tradtional method. Otherwise every time a couple had unprotected sex during ovulation, a woman would be pregnant.

There does need to be a national standard on how much a CCG is charged per cycle of IVF. That would help enormously as some areas are charged 3 times more than others. However, that issue should affect the patient. Ever.

The widespread cutting of funding means thousands of couples are left without any options. I was lucky. I was awarded 2 cycles. Used 1 and then borrowed money to go abroad, the rest of my IVF was funded by inheritance. I opted out of my second cycle to access better treatment abroad. That was my choice. Choice being the key word. No funding means no choice. 

Alcoholics, smokers and over eaters all have a choice. And whichever choice they make, the NHS is there to help. So why are infertile couples any different? 

They arent. 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

#IVFis40

#IVFis40

So this year marks 40 years since the 1st IVF baby was born.

In honour of National Fertility Awareness week, i wanted to share some of my experiences/memories.

Ive done a whopping 9 cycles. 3 of those resulted in no embryo transfer. Of the other 6, 3 worked. Im INCREDIBLY lucky to have such good numbers. Sadly, only 1 pregnancy made it to term. The other 2 were lost at 21 weeks.

I remember after being referred for IVF i cried. I honestly thought we’d make a baby the normal way (or as i now say, traditional way). We had no idea there was a problem at the time of referral either.

Then at our 1st meeting at the clinic we are told i have polycystic ovaries (but not the syndrome) and he has poor sperm in terms of count, morphology and mobility. We have 0.01% chance of making a baby tradtionally.

Then the wait to cycle. I think the waiting was one of the worst things for me. Youve got your head round the idea and then you have to wait. Wait your turn. Get knocked back due to clinic being full/bank holidays/clinic closing for a clean/incubators not working/hormones inbalanced/uterine lining too thin…all of those were actual reasons i couldnt start a cycle or why i couldnt have an embryo transferred.

The 1st time i was naive. I got 23 eggs, the most that day. But only 13 fertilised. Youre not warned the numbers drop so fast. I got ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome but didnt tell the clinic in case they cancelled my cycle. I was really quite poorly but i was also desperate. Itd been 2.5yrs of trying by then. By transfer day i had 3 embryos left and a touch of OHSS. The transfer went ahead. 10 days later my period started.

Little did i know itd take another 6 years and 8 cycles before i brought a baby home.

I started out shy, taking my knickers off for a scan, WHILST on my period, was mortifying! By the end, id take my knickers off as easy as most people take off a pair of sunglasses when entering a room.

I knew all the acronyms, i was a huge contributer to online communities, i read all the research, ate brazil nuts, pineapple core, avocado, whatever the lastest study revealed. 

I lived, breathed and loved IVF. Im still an advocate for talking about infertility, and now, sadly, terminations for medical reasons and late miscarriage.

I went abroad, to Cyprus, for my final 4 cycles of IVF. I met a wonderful team at my chosen clinic. They blessed me with 2 pregnancies including the one who made it to term. They are like family, and i like to think im paying for thier kids to go to uni!! Haha! 

They were the best of times but also the worst of times

Even now, with my miracle rainbow baby sleeping upstairs, im still jealous of a pregnancy bump. 

I have 5 frozen embryos, im exceptionally lucky. But im not sure i can do anymore IVF. Its emotionally draining, its a lifestyle not just a treatment. Its scary and hard and consumes your very being.

Im so grateful for IVF. I am truly lucky to live in an age where treatments get better every year. Still, i wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

9-8, 5-8 (not a math problem)

9-8, 5-8 (not a math problem)

14 weeks! 

Little T burst his way into the world 14 weeks ago and forever changed our lives for the better! 

I really struggled with being a Mummy in the beginning. I found it hard to accept my new role, to accept the change in relationship between Mr Me and I. I was warned id be tired, but i didnt understand, i was warned it was hard, but i didnt understand.

Now i do. Im permantly tired, thats the new normal, so i can cope with it. Sleep deprivation is a thing of the past, because we are used to it. For example, i got 3ish hours last night whereas Little T got 11. Go figure. Think i was waiting for him to wake for a feed all night, not daring to believe he’d sleep through.

One off or is this the start of 11 hour nights? The latter would be amazing but i wont count on it, yet.

Since allowing myself to love him, im finding my new role as Mummy, so rewarding. I love watching him learn and grow, although it seems to be going so so fast. Everyday, his smile melts me, i cannot believe we made something so so beautiful and clever.

The last few years seem like a bad dream. Ill never forget Milo and Millie, how could i? They helped shape who i am, but our rainbow, Little T, glows through those dark clouds, and makes those times seem so distant, that the grief is manageable, the pain dulled somewhat.

So at 14 weeks, my little man can smile and grab, hes so close to rolling over but hates tummy time. He loves music, and the car, he has a favourite toy, and being the centre of attention is his forte. He is the most amazing waste of time, i can spend hours just watching him. I cant believe how lucky i am.

Im so happy.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Loving him is hard because….

Loving him is hard because….

I have the feels. All the feels. Im besotted, hes amazing, i cant remember life without him

But it took 8 weeks. 8 weeks to admit i loved him, 8 weeks to allow myself those feelings. To be honest im still cautious but my heart swells with his first smile of the day, regardless of my fear.

Infertility sucks on many levels. The months (years) of trying and failing. The agony of a period. The hoops to jump through en route to IVF, the hundreds of injections, watching all your friends have babies. People getting bored of your journey, the agony of IVF failures, of cancelled cycles, of feeling you are worth nothing as a woman. I could go on. 

Basically its shit. And you know what, it continues to be shit even though i now have my very own mini human. Why? Because it hindered the love…it took so long for Little T to feel like mine, rather than me looking after someone elses baby. I was waiting for the bubble to burst. A small part of me still is and always will be, i guess.

Im still jealous of the fertile people, they decide to get pregnant and within months, are. No military planning, no saving thousands of pounds. Just happens or a little cycle observation and bam, preggers.

I still envy a bump. Stare in awe. Wish i could do it without investing time and money. Its silly, but true.

Baby loss literally built a wall around my heart. A wall im still chipping away at. Losing 2 children, 2 (IVF) babies, is soul destroying. It messes you up in so many ways. Ways i thought id dealt with. Then Little T came along and i realised i was messed up in ways i didnt imagine. 

For weeks i thought i would lose him. That he would die. Thats what my babies did, they died. I was beyond terrified to love this tiny human in case he left me. I couldnt contemplate another loss. I just knew it would break me. So i kept Little T at arms length. Worried that loving him would mean losing him. 

That fear consumed me. For so many weeks. Until the fear of seeing my baby, my offspring, in pain. The 8 week immunisations. Thank god for them, not only for the protection they offer but for opening my heart.

Feeling guarded, not loving my child. Shameful? Not at all. Just the way things are after the hand id been dealt. I will always admit to these feelings, ill never regret what ive been through. I truly am a better person for it. Never did i think itd extend this far into my life though…

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

PS heres a cute pic of Little T

Final Scan!

Final Scan!

Today i had my 24th and final scan. The little man is happy and healthy and estimated at 7lb3oz. That sounds manageable.

I did say ‘shit’ when i saw the measurement across the top of his head…9.3cm. Its normal but bloody hell i have to push that out πŸ€”πŸ˜•πŸ€€

In less than 48 hours the induction process begins. It seems so close but so far away. It doesnt seem real still. Ive been getting the house sorted and setting up the nursery and it doesnt click that MY baby will be using it, that ill be bringing baby home this time.

Being honest, i havent enjoyed the washing of everything or the setting up of the nursery and stuff in our room. Ive found it tough, like im tempting fate or that itll amount to nothing. Even putting the car seat base in seems a step too far. Its overwhelming and makes me a bit uncomfortable.

Ive also realised that babies need A LOT of stuff, most of which involves a plug!!!
I just cant imagine having a real life baby but at the same time cant wait for him to be out so i can see, touch, smell and hold him.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Moving on up

Moving on up

We finally have a move date!!! We get the keys after the bank holiday, 11 days before my induction. Talk about pushing it.

We found out Tuesday we would be moving in 7 days!!! Thankfully i perform well under pressure and have arranged the removal firm who will also pack, contacted near enough everyone about change of address, arranged for utilities to be transfered, set up a mail redirection service, researched GPs and Vets.

Ive got us both a new dentist too near our new home. We both have new patient appointments, when the little dude is here!!!! It was so strange as we were talking about baby sitting duties on the day, because you know, WE WILL ACTUALLY HAVE A BABY!!!!!

Im already a little anxious about leaving him but im putting it to the back of my mind and reminding myself it will be good for both Mr Me and I to get out and about following his birth on our own, i have a PM appointment and Mr Me has an AM appointment so childcare wont be an issue…unless i crack and take him with me!! 

Ive arranged for family and friends to help with the move and im even hopeful i can get the decorating done in time! My white goods are ordered and arriving the day after the move, my bed and nursery furniture arrive the following week. I know what colour themes im having in the rooms that need decorating, ive got Feliway to keep the cats calm once they get there as well as new catnip toys so they dont hate me too much.

Do you think they can smell the cat nip?! Hehe

Wardrobe boxes arrived last night and watching Mr Me assemble one was hysterical πŸ˜‚ DIY isnt his thing bless him. Splash enjoyed the finished product though…

We finally exchanged contracts this afternoon…for a while it didnt look like it would happen due to issues with my buyer, and the people we are buying from, but with minutes left on the clock, it all came good.

I love a project but the downside is my overactive brain at night. Between little dude partying til 3am and the cogs turning about what else needs doing, ive not slept well all week. In fact at 1am this morning i was online shopping for blankets and nappies (all of which is getting delivered to the new house, eeeep!). Im luckily OK on minimal sleep and its all good practice but being able to lie in is great!!!

The baby partying til all hours is also very welcome as he had a couple of quiet-ish days which is always a worry, but hes back at full speed now.

Im so big i now have to eat at a table, i used to eat off my knee, then a lap table, but this is no longer do-able due to the massive bump!!! Instead, I sit in the corner of the lounge feeling sorry for myself!

I got measured and bought my 1st nursing bras today. The lady who measured me said she thought the bump had dropped a bit, i think she was being kind really. He still feels high, im starting to get very occassional pressure down low, but as im not a first time mum its likely he wont engage until im in labour probably!!  

Im still feeling good about the induction, no worries really other than being bored, i think ill buy monopoly just to be safe. Having said that, i cannot imagine that in just over 2 weeks there will be an actual human that we have created, who is utterly dependent on us to survive. Bump definitely doesnt equal baby yet!!! 

15 days until planned induction

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx 

A subdued Mothers Day.

A subdued Mothers Day.

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mummies, Mummies to be and Angel Mummies out there πŸ’πŸŒΉπŸ₯€πŸŒΊπŸŒ»πŸŒΌ

Today also happens to be Millie’s 2nd anniversary which did put a dampner on the day.

Ill be honest. I dont see myself as a Mummy yet. Ive given birth but havent had anyone to Mother yet so i find today a bit weird. Mr Me let slip yesterday that he had bought me a gift from bump…

I explained that i wasnt comfortable with celebrating Mothers Day without a child to actually parent. Im also slightly worried about jinxing our current pregnancy. Which is silly i know, but im still waiting for things to go wrong. Even this close to the end.

I visited my Mum today though and we stayed at her house, chatting and looking at baby clothes online. I seem to freak out less looking online, not that i bought anything though. πŸ™ˆ

Ive finally resolved to start using my hospital due date which is a day ahead of my IVF due date. This means that today im 33weeks and 1day or 33+1. The little dude could be here in the next 7 weeks. OMG. 🀀😲

Excuse the roll of chub on my back…im 3lbs off a 4 stone weight gain now so definitley a chub chubster.

This week marks the start of a very busy period! I have my first NCT (antenatal) class on Wednesday, another growth scan on Thursday, im seeing Russell Howard on Friday and its my first Baby Shower on Saturday.

The house buying is coming along. The searches on the new house threw up a few queries so we are looking to get those answered. Our buyer has finally had his valuation done so should be able to progress with more speed. Hopefully, we are still on track to move mid-late April. I seriously hope its not pushed back as that would result in me being dangerously close to giving birth and not having everything i want in place!!!! 

Fingers crossed.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx