The Bump’s On Its Way!

What else causes cramps, bitchiness, spotting and sore boobs?

A BABY!

Turns out last Saturday’s belly ache wasn’t Aunt Flo at all, it was little Baby G making a home for itself in my belly.

Yep, I want to jump for joy too!

I turned up for my pregnancy test on Monday morning with a face like a bag of bashed crabs and absolutely convinced it would come back negative.

I chatted to the nurse, who told me that unless I wanted to try fertility meds, I’d have to use ovulation sticks at home until I was ready to face the drugs.

Grumpy, gloomy and wondering where the hell my period was anyway, I cracked on with Googling the price of ovulation predictors, then tortured myself with Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred.

Then I got the call – which I was too chicken to even answer and let go to voicemail.

“Good news today, the test is positive, with a good strong number of 289.” That’s as much as I heard.

The rest of the message, about blood tests, prenatal vitamins and ultrasounds, might as well have been in Japanese.

I paced around the house, shaking, crying, wondering how the f*ck I managed to get pregnant.

Then sat down and Googled what I wasn’t allowed to eat, what I needed to go out and buy, and my due date!

It’s early days. A lot could go wrong. So far, my thyroid is out of whack, so I’m taking medication and having regular blood tests , meaning I’m not totally finished with the fertility clinic yet.

But as my acupuncturist said today: If, God forbid, something goes wrong, it will hurt like hell regardless of whether we get excited or not.

That’s a good argument for giving in and enjoying the moment!

I can’t lift a glass of something strong and delicious to toast my good news, but I hope other people can do it for me, and I wish everyone going through something similar gets the BFP really soon!

March 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Agggh Crazy Feelings!

I didn’t expect to get pregnant this month.

It’s our first month trying (well our first month cycle monitoring at the clinic) and I was just blimmin’ happy I ovulated.

And my hormones were all normal. My body worked – all on its own! I don’t know if it’s done that before, ever!

I was kind of amazed just how many things need to happen to get pregnant. How the heck does anyone ever do it just by having sex?

Anyway, I was so sure I wasn’t pregnant that I booked laser eye surgeryfor this Thursday.

I Spy With My Little Eye - At least I'll have pretty eyes!

My period’s due tomorrow. I bought a box of tampons, fully knowing I would need them.

Aggghhh, so why do I still feel a little sad? I KNEW I wasn’t pregnant! But the tell-tale tummy cramps I’ve been feeling all day have been tugging at my heartstrings all the same.

It’s better this way. Now baby (when it’s conceived) will have a mummy who can see well enough not to confuse nappies for onesies.

The fact I got a yeast infection right at our fertile time, meant my vajayjay probably wasn’t the friendliest place for sperm to kick back and make out with my eggs either.

And like I said, I didn’t expect to be so lucky to snag our happy ending on cycle one.

But it just goes to show that nothing is predictable about fertility struggles – not hormones, not ovulation, not yeast infections, and certainly not your feelings.

How do y’all cope with period disappointment?

February 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Making Baby-Making Sex Sexy

I’m married to the horniest guy alive. He never has a “headache”, is ALWAYS in the mood and spends at least 75% of his time trying to get me in the sack (or anywhere, really).

That is, unless we’re trying to make a baby. Who knew baby-making sex would be so awkward?

Well, I guess sex for practical purposes is always going to be a little bit different, and it’s not like he didn’t enjoy it, or wasn’t warmed up.

My husband doesn’t need to feel “connected” before getting busy. Straight after a fight, in the middle of one, first thing in the morning, last thing at night – it’s all good for him. But when all’s said and done, it’s always because he wants to have sex.

A wife less bothered about her libido and more excited about her high estrogen, LH surge and a “a follicle measuring 2, yay”, does not a horny husband make.

When I got the phone call from the clinic telling us to go forth and (try to) multiply, my man told me to put on something sexy and he’d be right in. I was surprised how nervous I was.

This is my husband, the guy I’ve been sleeping with for eight years. Yet it felt like there was a third person in the room, whispering: “Oh my gosh, you’re trying to make a baby!”

Getting in sexy time number two was more of a problem. We had tickets for the basketball and hubby drank a few pints, which made me a tad nervous about our chances later.

Okay, so he wasn’t this bad: Image: ‘No, really – Im fine.’

Back home, I was getting antsy about getting up at 6am to go back to the clinic. We needed sex, and we needed it now.

But oh, aren’t there a million pointless/not-at-all-time-sensitive chores to be done at midnight on Saturday? DVD shelves to be arranged, ottermans to be tidied, dishes to do…. Anything but try make a baby?

By the time he came to bed, I was grumpy and pissed off thinking he wasn’t taking this seriously, which meant that even though he got into it, I almost didn’t care. Who wants to make a baby like that?

The next day my uterus and bloods were looking good. He played basketball, while I worried he wouldn’t have the energy for our match back home.

I turned on my best “horny as hell” act but, after two hours of sweating on the basketball court, the tank was dry.

A lot of water later – and a bit of a cry on my part – and we were back in the game. And it was great, yeah!

But doesn’t it all make you feel so damn guilty? I spent my entire weekend making sure he didn’t exercise/drink too much and trying to silence the tick-tock in my head that I knew was counting down to ovulation.

I shed a few tears about this, apologising for wanting him for one thing only, since despite him unashamedly chasing me for nooky a lot of the time, he doesn’t limit my alcohol or enjoyment to get it.

I’m lucky; he totally understands. He told me I wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought, and there was a big difference between watching how much he was drinking, and taking the beer away. Still, I wasn’t proud. He had been making the effort, drinking lots of water to keep his energy up and doing his best to meet my demands.

And I can’t stop thinking about the mood. I don’t want our child to be conceived during awkward sex, or while one of us is grumpy, or nervous.

But then, as my husband pointed out, babies are rarely conceived in ideal circumstances. At least this child will be wanted, and that goes a long way.

Hopefully, next month will be easier. We’ll know what to expect, and both make a little more effort to get it done in a timely fashion.

If not, hubby better get used to being wanted for his body!

How do you guys keep baby-making sex exciting? I’d love to know!

February 14, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

I Survived!

What’s a sure sign that a woman’s on her way to a fertility clinic? She’s guzzling water on the subway at 7am.

I wondered whether I was giving my game away, clinging to the rails on the Sunday morning bus, gulping anxiously from my pink metal flask.

Prepaing for the day 3 ultrasound: Image: ‘untitled’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/58871905@N03/5407274414

In my last post, I lamented my   misery of starting cycle monitoring on a Sunday. I felt robbed of my last normal weekend, and doubted  whether I wanted to start fertility treatment at all.

What I’d actually overlooked is that I wasn’t the only one at home on Sunday mornings – my husband would be there – looking forward to his Sunday snooze – too.

This was huge! None of our family lives in Canada and, as my husband has a busy, demanding job, I’ve been through the diagnostic procedure entirely alone. I’d had to answer his questions when I didn’t understand the answers myself, and deal with the grim medical faces (and a few smiling optimistic ones).

Bless him, he agreed to come – even though it was the final of the Australian Open tennis tournament. Together, we negated the security codes in the huge Toronto clinic, and sat in a room full of women (and some partners too, yay for supportive partners), waiting for ultrasounds and blood tests and results. It was packed, I was anxious, and had drunk far too much water.

Spot the newbie, I thought, rocking back and forth wondering how much longer I’d be able to control my bladder. In between bitching about my bladder, I couldn’t stop myself looked at these couples, wondering how they were feeling. Did they, like me, try not to let anyone we met in the elevators realize we were coming here? Had they done this so often it was simply part of their day? Was I really such a wreck? And why was my damn bladder so much weaker than anyone else’s?

After 40 minutes, I considered just letting it all out and going home. That’s when they called me.

My husband came in too. I had to undo my trousers, and lie on a table. When I say I felt like my insides would tear if I laid down straight, it’s not a lie. How the hell am I going to cope with having a baby? Luckily for me, the technician was an angel. She realized my pain, gave me a cup and sent me to the bathroom. “Fill this once or twice, I’m good with that, then come back,” she said. Later, she said the water instructions are simply guidelines – some people don’t need nearly as much as that. The point is, if you’re so uncomfortable you can’t sit still, go to the bathroom. Have another drink afterwards – your bladder will soon fill back up. Don’t suffer like I did – ultrasounds are unpleasant enough.

It’s a lot easier with someone to hold your hand: Image: ’19th Sept: 5 years of marriage’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/64958688@N00/3934526517

Happily, full bladder scans are just day 3 affairs, so I won’t do it every day. After she looked at my pelvis, I was sent to the bathroom, then undressed for the internal procedure. This ultrasound was to look at my ovaries, to measure the follicles and check for cysts. The duty doctor came in to see, and answered any questions. I wanted to do an unmedicated cycle (I’d been diagnosed with PCOS seven months prior, just before my wedding. Since then my periods had returned, so I wanted to see if I was ovulating without any medical interference) and she agreed quicker than I imagined. “You do realise nothing might happen,” she asked. “I know, but if I don’t try, I’ll never know,” I replied.

There was one bit of good news. There weren’t any cysts on my ovaries, and there were 19 follicles in one, and 14 in the other – better numbers than during the diagnostics, when I had at least one cyst and 21 and 22 follicles.

Later, the nurse rang with my blood results and told me my estrogen, progesterone, LH and FSH levels. Each time I go to the clinic, these are the results I’ll get. They will let us know – alongside the ultrasounds – whether I’m likely to ovulate, and which hormone seem to be the problem at various stages of my cycle.

Because my cycle length is around 35 days, I don’t need to go back for seven days – my day 10. Sunday, again! But this time I know I’ll be okay.

It might be a far cry from the lazy hazy Sundays I’ve enjoyed in the past, but when I get home, my husband will be there, ready to make me a lovely breakfast, and hear all about my experience.

And let’s face it, Sundays will never be the same once we have a baby. Which hopefully, might be sooner than we think.

February 9, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Day One Drama

There’s no woman more confusing than a hormonal one, is there?

I’d been itching to start fertility treatment since the day I found out I had PCOS, but now that golden “let’s go make a baby” milestone is here, suddenly, I don’t want to get started at all.

I know I should be excited that, in theory, we’re one step closer towards having our baby, that treatment is our yellow brick road towards the Emerald City of parenthood.

Yet right now, I couldn’t feel sadder if I tried.

 Today is Friday, and it’s day one   of my cycle.  That means that my  day three, which is when fertility clinics start monitoring your cycle, will be on Sunday morning.

For some reason, having to start this whole process on a Sunday is more upsetting than I can feasibly explain. I guess I just expected to start on a Monday, like all other things.

No one likes Mondays, do they? I could just get on the subway pretending I was going to the office, like everyone else with a face like a slapped ass on a Monday morning.

But no, it has to be on Sunday, the first of daily 7.30am visits to the fertility clinic where I get an ultrasound probe up my who-ha to see what those darned ovaries are doing.

Because we’re not sure whether I’m ovulating or not at the moment, here’s what will probably happen: After days of ultrasounds and blood tests, at some point – probably about three weeks in – said ovaries will hopefully do what I want them to do, and ovulate.

Then I’ll get a phone call from the clinic, and pretend to my husband that I’m really horny and need sex three times in the next 12 hours or I’ll explode. (We agreed for ambience’s sake that I wouldn’t burst in the door shouting “honey, we need to try and make a baby NOW”.)

Then, we wait two weeks to see if it worked. If it didn’t, the whole process starts all over again, and again. Ahhhh. I feel tired and emotional just writing it down. God knows how I’ll cope with pregnancy.

While I think it’s natural to feel apprehensive about starting fertility treatment, I can’t decide whether it’s the invasive nature of cycle monitoring that’s getting me down, or just the thought of going to the fertility clinic.

Last time I was there I cried – a lot. I don’t even know if I can go to that damn clinic without springing the water works.

Seven months have passed since those dark days of diagnosis. In that time, I’ve had weekly acupuncture, tried to improve my lifestyle, and my periods have started again which, let me tell you, felt like Christmas. Whereas most people groan at the first telltale signs of a period, I actually get excited.

No, I feel proud. Proud that after months of not getting periods at all, my body is finally doing what it’s meant to – bleeding once a month. It takes all my strength not to update Facebook and Twitter with this momentous occasion – I want a cheerleading squad in the bathroom!

But when you start fertility treatment, the first day of your period, or day one, is when they start monitoring, and you can embark on whatever drugs or treatment plan you’ve agreed on. That’s where we are right now.

So I haven’t had that “woo hoo I got a period, yay my body works” moment today.

I just feel rather sad.

Sad that from now on, the first thing I have to do most days is get intimate with an ultrasound probe and a needle.

Sad that although we haven’t yet tried to get pregnant, I wish by some miracle I had, and saved us having to go through this at all.

Sad that my poor husband has to go through this with me, always wondering whether to ask me how I’m feeling about it, whether it’s worth risking his head being chomped off, or whether to just leave

Deutsch: Lesbische Zweisamkeit im Bett

What I'd rather be doing on a Sunday morning.... Image via Wikipedia

me alone.

Sad for every other couple who has to go through this too.

I plan to be as positive as I can be throughout my journey, and won’t be spending too long dwelling on the negatives.

But just for this Friday night, I’m allowing myself a few choked-back tears and a bit of a complain, before setting my alarm clock for Sunday morning and hopefully, day one of the journey to the best experience of our lives.

February 3, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Well Here Goes….

English: Silhouette or a pregnant woman and he...

Image via Wikipedia

When my husband and I discussed making babies, we pictured the horniest sex of our lives and an “oops, on our first try too” moment while dancing with glee around a positive pregnancy test.

We did not imagine hurrying to an infertility clinic at 7 in the morning, with a newspaper under one arm and a sperm sample under the other.

But that, it seems, is how it’s going to be.

After years of irregular periods, I’ve been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), one of the most common types of infertility in women of a child bearing age.

Despite the rest of my family getting pregnant by batting their eyelids, I don’t ovulate, which means no matter how hard we try, there are no lovely eggs waiting to make-out with my husband’s sperm.

Frustratingly, no one really knows why people get PCOS, but medical intervention – through drugs to stimulate ovulation and other procedures, like IVF – can be very successful.

Although sometimes losing weight can help women with PCOS a lot, that’s not the case with me; I have thin-type PCOS, which means my weight has nothing to do with it, and might make it a little harder to get my happy ending.

I’m sure I’m going to get it, though – it just might take a bit longer than we planned.

So far, I’ve found it hard to join in on forums, probably because I struggle hearing other people’s bad news, or reading low treatment success statistics at the same time as trying to be positive.

So I decided to blog. This is our journey, about diagnosis, its effect on our relationship, and trying to come to terms with a life-changing condition.

It’s also about how we’ve chosen not to tell anyone close to us about my PCOS, instead facing countless “when are you starting a family” questions from family and friends who should know better, but  don’t. It’s also about our treatment, which to date has included Chinese medicine such as acupuncture and drinking herbs but, in a few weeks, will involve cycle monitoring and, if we need them, fertility drugs.

I hope I can inspire you, or at least stop you from being terrified and giving up.

So let’s raise a glass (of something nice and strong before we’re all pregnant and can’t drink) to cracking infertility. Here’s to happy endings.

February 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.