Tag: travel

Holidays and Hospital Stays

Holidays and Hospital Stays

Last week we got back from 10 days in Northern Cyprus. We had a lovely time, Little T, particularly so!

The flights over were fine, but the layover in Istanbul was beyond stressful. Mum and my Bro went missing as we were separated getting off the plane, i had their passports and boarding cards, so they were stranded, and it took well over an hour for someone to take me seriously. This all because my Mum uses a wheelchair when travelling.

Anyway, we got to the hotel in 1 piece. Mums wheelchair spent the night at a different hotel mind you as it was unloaded incorrectly from the transfer!

My Grandad then passed away whilst we were there, but we tried to make the most of it. I think that’s what he would have wanted.

Little T was known throughout the hotel and down in the harbour. He managed with the heat incredibly well but isn’t a fan of a shower. He discovered chips and ate them everyday, along with Cyprus sausage, he learnt lots of new words and took lots of walks (not independently yet).

Since being back, I’ve booked Christmas dinner in Leeds, only to be told 20 minutes later, I’m having my MS treatment the week before Christmas and that kinda is the worst timing ever.

Ill be in hospital for 5 days from 17th Dec. Ill be given Lemtrada via infusion over those 5 days. The medication will bind to and destroy my white blood cells so ill be immunocompromised following the treatment. So being in a pub full of people 4 days later isn’t ideal!!!

Mind you, nor is handling strawberries due to the Listeria risk, but you gotta live, so ill be sat in the corner come Christmas day, keeping away from people!!!

I honestly thought after losing 2 babies and doing 9 rounds of IVF, I’d paid my dues, seems that’s not the case!

No rest for the wicked

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

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Cruising

Cruising

Little T is developing so quickly at the moment. He’s now starting to hold the furniture and cruise about. He doesnt stand independently yet but we are not far off.

He also said his first word ‘Cat’. Every time he sees one, regardless of whether its ours, someone else’s or a picture, he says it.

He can also say ‘Daddy’ now too, although he says ‘Cat’ more. He says it all dam day to be honest. He shouted it so much at lunch time the other day, the cat actually came downstairs!!!

He is teething too, molars apparently, and its hard work. He isn’t sleeping before 10pm, and for 2 nights we’ve had to drive to get him down. I was out til 1.30am one night.

That has coincided with me suffering major fatigue. I wake up exhausted and am exhausted all day. Its an MS symptom so hopefully it won’t last, in fact i have felt better today, but during the spell, my patience wore thin and i found Little T’s whining very hard to cope with. Pretty sure i said ‘f**k me, what now’ under my breath about a hundred times over the last few days!

I felt like a terrible parent, ill be honest. I usually find him so easy to cope with, but i wasnt managing. The late nights and early starts and the fatigue, were just too much.

Im glad to say today was easier though.

Little T looking very tired!!!

Having said all that, I’m almost 100% certain i want another baby. Not now, but in a couple of years, I’m not sure its doable as I’ve no idea what the side effects of the MS drugs will be. I’m loathe to read up on it as, to be honest, i don’t wanna know. I’ll deal with it when it happens. At least i can tell my MS doctor in September that another baby is on the cards, unless the side effects make that impossible/unfair to another baby and Little T.

I had my repeat MRI, this time with dye, not so long ago. I had a strange experience during it. It felt like i was rocking back and forth, so much so, i had to check with the technician that i wasn’t, after the scan. My fingers also went numb/tingly, but that happens quite a lot at the moment, so I’m probably experiencing an episode. Pins and needles i can deal with, so long as i don’t start slurring again!

Ive a GP appointment next week as i need to take vitamin D to up my levels, so that’ll be 4 medications a month im taking. Thank you NHS for doing pre paid prescription certificates, they will save me a fortune!!

Im counting the weeks to our Cyprus holiday (8.5 weeks). Im so excited to show off Little T, I’ve had a romper made especially for the visit to our clinic…

Made by https://www.facebook.com/babsandmoo/

I’m looking forward to sun, relaxation (thanks to my Mum and brother coming) and walking around Kyrenia again. I love the place, and it’ll be nice to be able to enjoy the pool, and alcohol, for the entire holiday, as no IVF will be taking place!

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Trips

Trips

Since little T arrived, we’ve had 2 ‘staycations’

The first was to forest holidays

We went to Keldy, little T was about 4 months old and still sleeping with us. We had our own hot tub and could explore the forest at leisure. It was really nice to get away, and easier than i thought. We all enjoyed it, once we stopped trying to use the hot tub when little T was asleep!! He kept waking the second we got in, so eventually we brought him onto the veranda in his buggy.

It was a lovely break and we had half decent weather too. Id defo go back, just need to wait for a deal as it’s very expensive, and you know, i have a baby now

We went to centre parcs more recently. To Sherwood Forest. Everyone told me it’d be amazing so i was really looking forward to it. I was thoroughly underwhelmed. It was good. But it wasn’t amazing.

We tried the bikes, both hated em, I had little T in a trailer, it was so wide!!! And Mr Me cannot ride a bike!!

It did snow one of the days, it looked quite pretty that day.

Little T loved the pool despite it being cold in the water. He loved the rubber ring, realising he could enjoy the water and not swim (he has weekly lessons).

We spent the majority of the weekend in various eateries and pubs!

Little T loves a menu!

So, I’d swerve centre parcs for a good few years. Despite the spa being amazing, it just wasn’t for me! And that was in the winter, can’t imagine what summer would be like!!! So i dunno what everyone loves so much, maybe i missed it?!

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

New Year, No Plan

New Year, No Plan

2018 is around the corner…its the first year in however long that i dont have a project 

Its either been; get pregnant or stay pregnant for so many years.

And now? Now there is no plan.

Its weird but utterly amazing. IVF and loss is exhausting. Its all consuming. This year there will be none of that.

2018 is about making memories…enjoying Little T and rejoicing that IVF isnt on the cards, nor is another loss.

We have 2 holidays booked, so far. Mr Me will despair if i book another break! So ill try not to! 

2018, im ready for you and i hope itll be one of the best

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

I nearly gave up…

I nearly gave up…

When we started this journey nearly 8 years ago, we never imagined it would be so long, so hard or so heartbreaking. 

I remember for the 1st 6 months or so it was fun and just meant having more sex. Then it became all about timing and not so fun anymore. Even through the investigations i never really thought there would be an issue with either of us.

Clomid would be the answer. Its a horrid medication that made me feel so hormonal and under the weather but it would work. After 6 months, with no monitoring, it was IVF time. I now know it was prescribed just to allow us to jump a hurdle and get on the IVF pathway.

IVF is a game changer. It affecrs every part of your life. It takes over. You dont stop trying naturally despite knowing there is a 0.01% chance itll happen for you. So the mechanical sex on top of the stress of waiting for the ivf appointments, whilst also trying every fad diet and old wives tale is really fun. Not. Then you deal with the people who say ‘relax, itll happen’ or ‘its just not your time yet’ and have to be polite and smile rather than bitch slapping them, because we do live in a civilised society after all and it wouldnt be proper.

When you finally get going, 6 months after the original appointment where you found out you both have fertility issues, despite being told everything was ok during the investigations, you, as the woman, are pumped full of hormones, whilst your partner can only watch on in disbelief as you get angry in a second or complain how swollen you are inside.

After egg collection youre told your number, the number of eggs they artificially pulled out of you and you live or die by this number. Only then to realise you are fairly unwell, cant stand or walk and throwing up everywhere. Youve developed OHSS, a life threatening illness only IVF ladies can get. What a club to be in. But you battle through it, not wanting to admit to how poorly you are lest it delay the cycle because in just over 2 weeks you will be pregnant.

The daily updates see those precious numbers dwindle, 23 collected, 13 fertilised, what happened to the other 10 bastard eggs i pumped myself full of drugs for? Eh?? But youre assured its ok and normal. By day 5 after collection there are 3 left in the running. 3. 20 have failed. Meaning we have failed. 1 is put back despute the environment (my uterus) not being ideal and you are sent away to manage for 17 days with no contact.

You analyse everything, every sneeze, every hiccup, noticing you tan faster than normal. This has to be it. I will be pregnant. Until you bleed bang on the day you were due on. 5 pissing days before test day. It failed. I failed. My body failed.

Luckily the other 2 embryos were frozen so you have 2 more chances. But the wait for treatment is horrendous. Youre told 3 months but its actually 6 before they can fit you in. This time you have to down regulate your body, put it through the menopause. 5 long weeks of injections, tablets, headaches, mood swings, and hot sweats. Only to be told your uterine lining is too thin and they are cancelling the cycle. I failed. Again. I cried for 8 hours that day.

6 months later and you do it all again. Same result. But no tears this time. Failure is becoming the norm now. Instead you are just angry at the whole proccess, at yourself. At the world.

You watch your friends have their babies, it breaks your heart everytime but you are over joyed for them and devestated its not you. You still hope at this point though.

The powers that be discuss your case, amongst themselves, not with you. They decide to try a non medicated cycle. You agree to anything. 17 days of early morning blood tests and finally ovulation is detected. But your lining is only 5mm. They want to cancel. You beg your nurse to put your case forward to the powers that be in the afternoon briefing, explaining youd rather have a chance than nothing at all. That your mental health is suffering and its either transfer MY embryo or a stint in the Priory.

They agree but warn you repeatdly you are wasting a chance. But it works. Then there is The Story of Milo (see 3rd ever blog) 

After a loss like that, all you want is to be pregnant again. Your body aches for what has been snatched from it. We tried naturally again whilst we waited for our turn to try with our last frozen embryo. Youre meant to be your most fertile after a loss. But youre not that lucky. Of course youre not.

6 months and we try again. Same as before. It worked before it can work again. But it doesnt. And you are left with nothing but a wait to confirm when you can start the whole damn proccess again.

But i cant wait. I need to be pregnant now. You investigate clinics abroad. Something you never dreamt of doing or needing to do. And you find that one clinic that feels right. You just know its the clinic for you. Personal loans, flights, accomodation, drugs all sorted in 6 weeks or less. Its so different and daunting but this is your chance. You get there and within minutes know you made the right decision. It doesnt matter that you cant eat or drink as your body is having some sort of weird reaction to something (turns out boling the water doesnt kill the bugs but you wont figure that out for a long time yet) you know this is the clinic that will get you pregnant.

They do too. And its wonderful. And despite many hiccups, the baby is healthy and for 9 days you feel nothing but bliss. This is our time. This is our baby. But out of nowhere, the baby is gone. Eerily timed so that you lose that baby 54 weeks after losing the 1st baby, at the same number of weeks gestation. 

And it breaks you. Mentally its too much. You try to get on, try to be normal, try to be ok. But youre not. Not at all. You know you cant face trying again anytime soon and you think by having that year out, by going to creamfields, to disneyland paris and to Australia, you are healing, body and mind. Until your mind craps out on you the week before Australia and you have another breakdown. Except you dont know you are having it until its pointed out by a colleague. How embarrassing.

Being on the other side of the world with your bestie and hubby does the trick. You reconnect with your hubby and realise you are not alone. That anxiety monster just told you you were. You drink everyday with your bestie who oozes positivity, and it rubs off. You can do this. You are ready to try again. 

So you fly out to that fab clinic that gave you that healthy baby knowing this is it. Until your hormones dont play ball and you cant transfer. You mope for 2 days. Not anticipating a freeze all cycle but you bounce back, have a holiday and feel pretty smug you have 7 to feeeze. But you need to keep going. You are back in the ivf mindset after 14 months off and you struggled through stimulation this time. So much so you dont ever want to stim again. 

So you fly out again the folliwing month, leaving hubby at home and taking Mum instead. Another villa, another hire car, another week out of work. The meds make you poorly but you carry on. You keep up the PMA. They transfer 4 of the 7 and you fly home the next day. Already pretty sure it hasnt worked. You just dont have ‘the feeling’ but you try to get through the 2 week wait with positivity until you test the day before bloods and see the whitest of white test staring back at you.

And you give up. Its all over. You had your 2 chances and it didnt work out. Youve used up all your luck. You wont be a mummy to your biological children. The hope after 8 cycles over 4 years has run out. If the amazing clinic you put all your faith in cant do it, no one can.

But they, the clinic, offer you a life line and youd be stupid not take it. It means stimming again which you REALLY dont want to do. So you decide if youre going to do it, youre throwing everything at it. You borrow money from parents to pay for this last shot, to ‘kitchen sink’ it. You dont believe itll work. Youre doing it to say you tried everything, so you walk away knowing you gave it your best shot. Time has taught you that life isnt fair and now you are ready to accept that. You do it for hubby, you do it for the potential grandparents but deep down you know its game over.

So you fly out for the 3rd time in 4 months. You know this town you stay in like the back of your hand now, sat nav no longer required. And you go to the appointments and be your cheery self and you meet the other patients and tell them it will work and that they have chosen the best clinic ever. Because they have, they dont need to know that i have used up all my luck, that my body has failed me, that ill never be a Mummy.

And you go through the motions and you have the transfer, even realising its been your best cycle yet and the numbers didnt dwindle too much and that you made 6 healthy embryos, 4 of which are inside you making you a bit crampy. But you dare not dream.

And you come home and you have ‘the feeling’ but the doubts creep in and you are so so scared to get your hopes up. But eventually you crack. You test earlier than ever before, and there they are, 2 pink lines. It actually bloody worked. It was worth the £20k you spent over those 4 months just to see those 2 pink lines.

Then you realise you have to actually get past 21 weeks gestation this time and that doesnt seem possible. You spend the 1st 12 weeks numb, especially when you start bleeding in week 10, but at your 12 week scan you fall in love with that baby on the screen. You continue to bleed and be in and out of EPU almost weekly so you spend the next couple of weeks petrified youll lose that baby you now love.

And then the bleeding stops suddenly, but you cant relax as youre now counting down to that fateful 21st week. You increase your counselling sessions to deal with the anxiety but you dare not hope for the best. And you have your anomaly scan and baby is perfect, like the last one. So you still dont hope. And then its week 21 and you are strangely calm. Something feels different this time. You cant explain it but you make it to week 22. And then week 24, youve a viable baby on board for the 1st time ever. And you are elated but cautious. Then you hit 26 weeks, 27, its a miracle.

Today im 28 weeks. Thats the 3rd trimester. 12 weeks until term. Hes a real chance of surving now. And im over the moon and cant quite believe we made it.

And i nearly gave up, i nearly didnt have the cycle that created this precious life inside of me. I was so hurt, so broken, i didnt think it’d happen for me.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Final Cycle – Day 12

Final Cycle – Day 12

Today was drug free!! Woop! 

Mr Me went up to clinic this morning to provide his sample and itll be frozen until tomorrow when i have egg collection.

He’s just left for the airport so now its just Mum and I. She’s a great support though and so willing to help despite her medical issues.

Im at clinic at 8.45am local time tomorrow for egg collection and nil by mouth from midnight due to sedation.

I enjoyed my last day in the pool today. From tomorrow its the sea only due to infection risk. Mum and I tried out the sea this morning and it was lovely! 

So from tomorrow things get really interesting! 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Final Cycle – Day 9 (yesterday)

So day 9 was travel to Cyprus day. We were up at 4.30am and hit Kyrenia about 6.30pm local time. After only 4 hours sleep, we were all exhausted so we had a quiet night in.

Ovaries now feeling very full. Arrived to a whatsapp informing me to be at clinic at 11am on day 10 (today) 

Ok less graphics from here on in out as dont always have wifi!! 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Final Cycle – Day 8

Final Cycle – Day 8

Day 8!!! Only 2 more days of stims (hopefully) huzzah! 

Physically, apart from my sore ovaries and few headaches ive felt fine. Ive also not had the obligatory ‘i hate my life, i hate ivf’ day so perhaps gonal f agrees with me more than menopur did.

On the whole im still feeling pretty calm. I must be a bit stressed as my eating has dropped, not to scary levels but enough to make me lose a couple of pounds. Im aware of it and trying to tackle it without getting myself whipped up about it. 

We fly tomorrow! If my Mum ever arrives….

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

An Open Letter….

An Open Letter….

Dear Take Home Baby Gods,

7 years ago, we decided to try for a baby.

6 years ago we were referred for fertility testing

5 years ago we found out we needed IVF

4.5 years ago i invented you.

i know you are not real, you are a figment of my imagination, but when im desperate, when i need someone to talk to/vent at/be cross with, there is no one in real life i can blame, so you came into existence.

I used to ask you to let the IVF work, all i wanted was a BFP. how naive i was eh? i thought a BFP meant a baby, but you proved me wrong.

My 4th IVF cycle saw me get pregnant for the first time, i was overjoyed, we had cracked it. Or so i thought. in a cruel twist of fate, at 20 weeks Milo was diagnosed with HLHS and we opted to end that pregnancy. it was the right thing to do.

My 6th IVF cycle saw my second BFP and despite a few hiccups, Millie was healthy. but 9 days after finding that out, you took her away. Why? was it punishment for Milo? is is punishment for a past life? is it a test? are you trying to tell me something?

If so, could you be a bit more clear about it please?

we had a year off, my head was battered, my heart broken, i was a shell of the woman i remember myself to be. it did me good, i got my strength back and i didnt think about you at all.

In May we got back on the train, yet again you are not happy with me, first throwing a freeze all in my way and then a BFN on the resulting FET. Now im planning cycle 9.

What do i need to do to please you? What do i need to do for a take home baby – ill do anything, i just need to know what.

Im so sick of being the strong one, the positive one, the patient one. its got to be my turn now? i try to get on with life, in between cycles, you know? but i know you are always watching me, deciding if ill ever get my take home baby. I can feel you there as all i think about is the upcoming cycle, and what to try this time.

if you let me get pregnant, i promise not to buy a thing until im near term – will that please you?

ill give more to charity, ill help more in the community, i WILL adopt as a thank you for letting me have my own biological child. i just wish you were real and i could offer you something so you look favourably on me. but of course, you are in my imagination. there isn’t anything or anyone that can assure me a healthy baby, or even a pregnancy at this stage. but wouldn’t it be wonderful if you were real, and i and all the other infertile/bereaved parents, could know what you wanted to ensure the next pregnancy is a safe one.

So basically, Take Home Baby Gods, this is my prayer to you. im out of money, im out of holiday and im out of steam. ive got enough left for one more shot at this. no one will love a baby more than we will, no one will ever be as grateful as we are, no one baby will have as many aunties and uncles from around the world. Please, please please, just let it be us. please?

thinking of you

Little Miss PMA xxx

I made my counsellor cry…twice

So its been a whirlwind since we got back to the UK.

I dont think i realised how emotionally hard the trip to Cyprus had been but since getting home we have been exhausted. Im still quite tired if im honest but ive picked up a chest infection so thats added to everything.

Im all booked to go back in mid June.

Im so excited to go back and get my embies back where they belong but of course time is dragging.

I have now stopped my contraceptive pill so we are awaiting AF (period) to arrive so i can start the FET (frozen embryo transfer) prep. Fingers crossed itll arrive Saturday but just to ensure it does ive booked a weekend at Alton Towers.

We go down Friday to stay in the enchanted forest and then we will spend Saturday in the park. Ive also booked us into a new restaurant where your food arrives via a ‘rollercoaster’ so that should be pretty awesome.

This is to help pass the time but also so Me and Mr Me have some quality time together as he wont be on the return trip to Cyprus. We also learnt during our year off that quality time is so important to stop us drifting apart so we intend to keep up these weekend breaks to stay connected. Will be looking at country manors more than theme parks in the future, all being well.

I made a firm friend in Cyprus and we have been keeping in touch which is lovely. I now have so many IVF friends which in a way is amazing as the bond is so strong but its also a little surreal given how taboo the whole subject can be. Its amazing to have these ‘real life’ friends rather than online friends, i mean we are spread out all over the country but its nice to Whatsapp someone who gets it rather than awaiting a reply on a forum!

I visited my counsellor the week after i came home and as i told the story i could see her getting emotional and it was her tears that made me realise that we had had quite a tough time and that it was most definitely a rollercoaster of emotions but my response is always the same ‘that’s IVF, its not simple or straightforward’ and in terms of highlighting that, this delayed cycle is ideal evidence, but again, i was told to stop thinking of others!
I really got her going when i explained Dr F is timing my pregnancy so i give birth in February but i knew that would be an emotional moment as even i got emotional when she told me and i dont do emosh!

I have made a point of seeing my friends before i go back and this last weekend i went to Junkyard Golf with our friends and it was awesome. Whole course is indeed made of junk and you can have a lil drink to make it even more fun…plus i WON! Which never happens, mustve been the booze.

Im now back on my clean living diet as caffeine and alcohol can affect lining thickness and ive had trouble with lining on FETs in the past. The clinic arent a bit worried but i am going to be doing some extras just to help it along…raspberry leaf tea to improve lining thickness, brazil nuts for the selenium, and i was hoping to have some acupuntucture but neither therapist i contacted have got in touch so that may not happen! 

I have to admit that im having the occasional flash panic about being pregnant again but i quickly remind myself i actually need that BFP before i worry about anything!!! And im able to stop it rather than having it negative spiral out of control. Counselling is definitely paying off.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx