A Day in the Life

We are all set for IUI #5! I take my last Menopur and buserelin this morning, inject the Pregnyl at midnight, and then the insemination is booked for 2pm on Monday.

This month, I feel more relieved than excited. I’ve found superovulation to be a gruelling process. I don’t mind the injections per se – sticking a needle in myself no longer seems like a big deal – but the drugs are faffy to prepare and have to be taken at the same time every day. A typical day looks something like this:

No scan appointment (every other day)

06:00 – Wake up whether I like it or not, and wonder why on earth I opted for 9am injections “so I could have a lie-in”.

08:00 – Start worrying that I will inadvertently miss my injection slot, will have run out of needles, or the drugs will have frozen in the refrigerator.

09:00 – Evict cat from kitchen and close door. Realise other cat is still sat on windowsill. Lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually wipe down kitchen table, wash hands and set everything out. Worry that I will somehow cock up the injection process. Draw up buserelin and inject. Uh-oh, now it’s time for the Menopur. I’ve managed to cut myself snapping the top off the glass vial several times, and my fear is that it will completely shatter and I won’t have any solution for injection. OK, breathe. Make up Menopur with the scarily large pink needle, change needle and inject.

09:20 And relax! Or in other words, switch on the computer (also on the kitchen table, since we’re decorating my office) and start work.

Scan appointment

06:00 – Woken up by my alarm. Clearly, today is the day I would have had a lie-in.

08:00 – Arrive at clinic. Worry about where to do injections in an hour’s time, and again, wonder why on earth I decided on 9am. Scan shows my follicles are growing nicely (though I get scared when the sonographer starts with the smallest one, which wasn’t worthy of mention last time. For a moment, OH and I both think my follicles have shrunk). Nurse takes my blood – it’s been quite some time since I’ve had to lie down for a blood test, and I start to wonder whether I might be brave enough to watch.

09:00 – Do injections, either at the clinic (they let me use one of their rooms) or in OH’s office. Go for (placebo) coffee and breakfast.

10:00 – Fill prescription at hospital pharmacy, which is on the other side of town. I walk, so at least I’m getting plenty of exercise.

11:00 – Arrive home, realise I forgot to put my out-of-office on (oops), and attempt to cram a day’s work into a few hours.

16:00 – Ring clinic for blood test results. I really must ask what they’re testing for one of these days, because the ‘result’ they give me is usually something like, “Come back on Wednesday.” I’m working on the assumption that they’re checking my oestrogen and the levels are OK.

18:00 – I’m shattered, but my back is also killing me from working at the kitchen table, so I’d better get on with that third coat of paint.

A word to the wise: Don’t embark on a major decorating project at the same time as any fertility treatment that involves injections and close monitoring. I thought I was “getting on with my life outside TTC”, but I was wrong. What I’ve actually done is ensured there’s chaos in several areas of my life rather than just one.

Now, I must go – it’s almost time to wipe down the kitchen table and evict the cat.

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HSG & A Look Back Over 2012

First things first: after what has seemed like a very long wait, I had my HSG on Friday. I was quite scared of the x-ray, both because of the slight possibility it might show I needed further investigations and/or IVF, and because I’ve heard some women find it excruciating when the dye goes in. I have very painful periods, and a bendy cervix that makes it difficult to insert a catheter, so I’d just about convinced myself I’d be in the “this is agony” category. I needn’t have worried! I warned the nurse about my cervix and she decided to try just holding the catheter against it, which didn’t hurt at all and resulted in about half of the contrast entering my uterus – enough to show that my tubes are absolutely normal. 🙂 As for the promised “period-like pains”, they barely registered. Admittedly I’d taken paracetamol, ibuprofen and diazepam before the procedure, but I was still pleasantly surprised by how quick and easy it was.

Knowing that everything’s normal, and that we can finally try to conceive again next month, has been a wonderful end to the year. 2013 feels like a new start and, although it may take a few attempts, there is no particular reason (statistically or medically) to think that I will not be able to achieve a viable pregnancy. There are no guarantees when it comes to fertility, but I know I am lucky compared to most IF bloggers. In the past few months I have been struck by the unfairness of my situation, that not only do we need to spend thousands of pounds on IUI and donor sperm, we also got hit by pregnancy loss, but that’s only one side of the story.

When I look back over 2012, too, I realise that apart from the miscarriage and the grief of the last four months, it’s been a very good year. This time 12 months ago, OH had just left her job in extremely difficult circumstances and we faced an uncertain future. We didn’t know how we were going to cover her share of the bills, never mind find extra funds for fertility treatment. However, 2012 turned out to be the year when our finances improved drastically thanks to an inheritance. It was the year OH could finally go back to uni to study museum and heritage management, something we never thought would be possible before. It was the year she found a good part-time job reasonably quickly despite the state of the economy and some issues with references. It was the year she landed an amazing placement, which is in such a niche area that I won’t mention it here to protect her privacy, but if you follow me on Facebook you’ll know. And of course it was the year that we were able to get started with fertility treatment after an 18-month wait, even though our first cycle of IUI didn’t have a good outcome.

For me, 2012 has been a year of growing much closer to my family and my in-laws. Again, I can’t go into too many details to protect my relatives’ privacy, but it has been a year of healing rifts and learning to look past imperfections (or even more major flaws) to see the good in people. It was the year I left my therapy group, and came off antidepressants, both with unexpectedly good results that have left me feeling far more empowered regarding my mental health. It was the year we got our wonderful cat Bertie (a local stray who rocked up during my miscarriage in need of some mothering!) and the year we had great fun taking part in a musical show at church. It has also been a year of wrestling with God, but I think on the whole, my faith is stronger than it was 12 months ago.

Bertie the cat

Our newest cat Bertie.

I have joked to a few friends that I have two New Year’s Resolutions for 2013: get pregnant and stay pregnant! Seriously, though, I hope 2013 will be a year that I can continue to develop my relationships with the people in my life and with God. I want to continue to work on reaching out to others and learning to trust them, and to keep up my daily meditations in one form or another. I also hope it will be a year of continuing good mental health without too much heartbreak, but I will have to take that as it comes. And I hope all my readers have an enjoyable and fulfilling 2013, with the strength to cope with whatever life throws at you.