HPT hell

What’s that thing about the definition of madness, you know, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results blah blah blah?

I propose an alternative definition: the definition of madness is a 39 year old woman on her last IVF/FET cycle insanely doing HPT after HPT after HPT on the 2ww.

Don’t ask me why I do it, I just don’t know. Probably because, being delusional, I think it will give me some form of control over this period of limbo, except it doesn’t, as each test creates its own new agony, e.g.:

  • Why can H not seen the positive result on this test that I have stripped of its casing and held up to the lightbulb, when it is plain to see from a distance of at least 3mm?
  • Why is this superfaint line not getting darker 48 hours later?
  • Why did the same brand test read almost negative with FMU at 6.30 but a faint yet cheery positive at lunchtime?
  • Is this positive a false positive?
  • Why in the name of ARSE is this Clearblue digital which cost approximately half my monthly wage showing a BFN at this time?

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

As for you, Google, you’re no help whatsoever, with your tales of people getting BFN all the way until OTD which keep rousing my spirits interspersed with gloomy tales of chemical pregnancies which is a route down which I am extremely keen not to go again.

6 days till OTD. In order to retain some shred of sanity and dignity, I shall now commit to a  POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE.

  • The line will get darker.
  • I will get a positive on a clearblue digital.
  • The result on OTD will be a healthy, happy BFP.
  • The 6 week scan will show us a very healthy, happy embryo.
  • And I will be extremely, eternally grateful for all of this.

I am now going to put my feet up the wall (yoga pose) and watch Arrested Development.


T day

Yes! 1 x blastocyst on board, 100% intact from the thaw and expanding. All went to plan. Here, for posterity, is a brief record of Transfer Day.

  • 6.30am. Alarm goes off. Ignore. Nipper comes in. Progesterone, oestrogen, and CBeebies (first 2 for me,  CBeebies for the Nipper).
  • 7.00am. Fertility yoga sequence (aka lying on floor coughing up remnants of delightful lingering cold that Nipper kindly bestowed upon me).
  • 8.00am. Briefly check work emails. Five million emails from far east overnight. Read manically, compose update to client in haste as due to leave at 8.30am.
  • 8.35am. Get in shower.
  • 8.55am. Leave house. Eat toast in car. Beautiful day. Deposit N in nursery. Reassure H that we will arrive perfectly on time despite leaving house nearly thirty minutes later than planned. Down large bottle of water to fill bladder (procedural requirement).
  • 9.50am. Arrive at clinic. Exactly on time. (IN YOUR FACE, H).
  • 10.00am. OK, really need a wee now.
  • 10.01am. Shown through.  Dress self in standard issue towel and plastic clogs. Reassuringly brisk consultant, nurses and kindly sonographer. Embryologist puts embryo on screen and confirms all looking good. Legs in stirrups. Stare pointedly at ceiling for next 10 minutes whilst things go on with catheters and my cervix.
  • 10.30am. ‘Tis done. Best Wee Ever. Brisk advice from brisk nurse about dos and don’ts. We get a photo to take home (of our embryo, not of me in stirrups).
  • 11.00am. Brunch with my H.
  • 12.00pm. Get home. Get into bed. So do H and the Dog. THERE IS NO ROOM IN THE BED.
  • 1.00pm. Insane conversation with parents.
  • 2.00pm. Watch Netflix.
  • 4.00pm. Consider packing for mini break. Write blog instead.

Plans for rest of the day involve: brief walk with Dog, collecting car from garage, and avoiding packing until the last conceivable moment. Fascinating, no?

Official test date is 21 September. Resolved absolutely under no circumstances to go through insanity of last time and test before then. Also googled “how early can I test after FET” and “where can I buy first response tests en route to Glasgow.”

Right, little star, get implanting, and please, please stick. X


Earlier in the year, H and I decided to book a week off in June, and a fortnight in September, with the idea that we would have a “sensible” June holiday (i.e. somewhere British, damp, self-catering, i.e. like being at home but without any of the convenience), and then an indulgent week in southern Spain.

Then my parents offered to pay for a family holiday in September in a hotel in southern Spain to which we had always wanted to go, which was very exciting.

Then followed several months of prevarication by my parents whereafter they suddenly announced that they were going to buy a holiday home in France.

Then it was suggested that we would have a trial villa holiday in France.

Then it was suggested that the venue be moved to the UK, as sister in law is expecting.

Then brother and sister in law, quite understandably, said that they wouldn’t come.

Then my parents pulled out and said that the two of them were going away to New England instead.

So this left H and I mid-cycle with no holiday planned, but as it looked like transfer would fall slap bang in the middle of our holiday period, we decided we would have an enjoyable staycation for the fortnight instead, and have a relaxing time at home, and try and not get too jealous about other people’s holiday photos on Facebook.

Anyway, this is what I have learned about staycations this week.

Lounging by pool with cocktails = guiltily long hot bath with cup of tea whilst Nipper in nursery

Spa treatment = blow-drying whole head of hair instead of just fringe

All you can eat buffet = 4 pieces of toast

Banterous conversation = conference calls which I agree to do because I’m not really on holiday

Vibrant nightlife = watching Bake Off in bed at 9pm

Me time = 2 hours mumsnet

Discovering new places = trying to find baby changing facilities in local village

Absorbing local culture = argument with neighbour re: parking restrictions

Soaking up the sun = finding fifteen minute slot in endless sodding rain to walk Dog

Conclusions: screw this, booking a trip to Scotland for after the transfer.

T-3. Excited.

Yoga with a dog and toddler

So, day 3 of the oestrogen regime. Memory is a weird thing isn’t it? In my mind it’s always buserelin that has been the utter bastard, but actually last week wasn’t too awful in the end, despite my grumbling. Then I started on the progynova and, man alive, it’s shite. All I want to do is lie in bed and eat marmite toast, and the world won’t let me.

Anyway, to help build up my lining to optimum levels for transfer, and being unable to extract myself from either work or the Nipper for long enough to be acupunctured, I have been reading this book on yoga for fertility, which I was a little fearful of, but it’s very very good. There’s not too much theory or “beardie-weirdie” stuff as one of my friends calls it, just suggested programs for various times in one’s cycle and guidance on how to fit it in around ART. And loads of other stuff on diet, affirmations etc that I haven’t really touched on yet, but will probably get round to during the 2ww when it’s too late.  An experienced yogini I’m not, but I did find yoga very helpful during pregnancy and labour, and on the rare occasions in the last few weeks when I’ve organised and motivated myself sufficiently to spend half an hour or so doing the poses (which are all well explained and simple), I’ve felt a real benefit.

Exceptions to this are a) when the dog decides to join in b) when the Nipper decides to join in and c) when both decide to join in, as there is only so much labrador spit and being punched in the face by a plastic tractor  that you can take when trying to increase your prana levels (yeah?) until you decide it’s better to just get up and turn CBeebies back on and make another marmite sandwich.

So, one more full week at work and then 2 weeks or so of “holiday” (i.e. dealing with work from home) during which time hopefully I get the old size 8s into the stirrups again and display my nether regions to the kind embryologists for our final transfer. Obviously, I refuse to acknowledge the possibility of either a) the oestrogen not working or b) our final frostie not making it out of the freezer, as neither of those options is acceptable.

I should really listen to a Zita West cd and go to bed early, but you know and I know I’m going to look in the cupboard for a chocolate doughnut and then watch Streetdance.

onwards and upwards

I am officially down-regged. Hooray!

And now, twelve days of oestrogen supplements and back for a scan on 1 Sep. If all looks good then, we’ll be looking at transfer a week later, which is most convenient, as I am off work that week, and will be able to sit in my PJs watching Netflix and obsessively checking the blackberry.

Unfortunately no respite from the b-stings which continue for now, but I feel a lot better about them now we have moved onto the next stage.

I really now need to focus on my organic diet/daily yoga/increased sleep/decreased stress regime (says she, spending her day off having a massive panic attack about a job and stuffing her face with chocolate).

This afternoon we have a meeting at the nursery to review the Nipper’s progress generally as a human being. Slightly nervous about this, bearing in mind he likes to carry around three plastic tractors at all times, takes spoons to nursery in his pocket, and speaks in his own pidgin Nipperspeak, but who wants normal? This review is a practice run for the proper review with the health visitor in a week or two. Now that I am definitely not looking forward to. Had to fill in insane questionnaire, e.g.:

Does your child react appropriately to dangers such as moving cars and fire? (Er, actually, I tend not to put my 2 year old in front of moving cars and fires).

Instruct your child to put his plates in the kitchen after a meal. Does he comply? (No. He’s 2. He’s running round with no trousers on and a saucepan on his head shouting HELLO DADDY.)

Is your child too friendly with strangers? (What? I mean, WHAT?)

Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand and welcome an expert review of the Nipper’s development and, like all parents, crave reassurance that everything is tip top and as it should be. The problem is, I really really can’t cope with criticism, especially not of my boy. I do sometimes feel I’m really not grown up enough for this parenting business. (I am 39). (Oh god that sounds old).

down down down doobie doo down

Week 3 of down-regulation. Oh look, let’s not beat around the bush. I loathe, loathe, loathe everything about buserelin.

Bad things about buserelin

  • Knackered.
  • Headaches.
  • Sick.
  • Head of fuzz.
  • Temper of barbed wire.
  • Patience of toddler.
  • Rage.
  • Depression.
  • Apathy.
  • Lethargy.
  • Hot flushes.
  • Reduced interest in Great British Bake Off.

Good things about buserelin

  • Absolutely nothing.

Well, all right, I can see that this isn’t quite the outpouring of positivity and hope that it should be.  On a less miserable note: it’s all going quite quickly; the injections are a piece of piss this time round; no household appliances have been damaged; everyone is still alive.

Down-reg scan on Friday. Prior to that: my thirty ninth birthday. Let my 40s kindly be the years where I do not have to self-inject synthetic hormones.

Leaving all the crap to one side for a moment, I am actually finding this part hard. This is probably mostly due to the incompatibility of my constant desire to lie in bed and pull the duvet over my head with the more pressing demands of e.g. the Nipper, work, etc. However, I am also forcibly reminded of the last cycle and its unsatisfactory outcome, especially as, had all gone well, I would have been due this week.

Still, nobody likes a wallower, so best pull myself together and concentrate on important things, e.g. the long overdue (and fanciful) escalation of my music career when H presents me with a USB midi keyboard for my birthday on Thursday, if the confessions I have extracted under duress are accurate. Now that has perked me up.

A day in the life of a woman down regging for FET

OK let’s do this.

0600: Up. Buserelin. Washed up, loaded dishwasher, did laundry. Hey get me!

0630: Fertility yoga sequence. Terminates when Nipper stands on me shouting HELLO DADDY.

0700: Meditation (cuddling Nipper in bed whilst watching Peppa Pig).

0730: Shower. Dress. Dress Nipper. Remove pyjamas Nipper attempts to put on over clothes.

0800: Hand over Nipper to H. Make breakfast smoothie (banana, oats, organic milk). Take supplements (multivitamin, probiotic, digestive enzyme, vitamin D, omega 3, metformin, chromium). Tea (necessary to activate brain).

0830: Drive to work. Sing Ella Eyre’s “Comeback” loudly several times. (In car not in work – this is a rude song).

0915: Emails conference call urgent reports etc etc etc.

1215: 30 minute brisk walk about town. (Exercise).

1245: Lunch. Berry smoothie (yeah?), smoked salmon on brown (omega 3? fibre?), yoghurt with granola things and honey (er… glucose?), water.

1300: Emails conference call urgent reports etc etc etc.

1700: Struggling. Herbal tea.

1715: Really struggling. Cup of coffee with milk and sugar.

1900: Finish bastard report. Start next one.

1910: Have to leave work. Drive like maniac.

2000: Meeting with IFA re: mortgage.

2100: Nipper still not asleep. Slice of toast with marmite (vitamin B?)

2130: Irritating conversation with parents. Gin. (COME ON).

2200:  Burnt chicken. Out of date rocket. Leftover couscous. 2 x glasses Malbec (fuggit). Season finale of Humans on Channel 4 (WTF?). Sit in cobbler pose to promote flow of prana to nether regions. Dog sits on lap. (Dog is a big guy).

2300: Metformin. Glass of milk. Bed.

Success? Probably not.

Ah well, another day, another…dunno

Third time lucky

Hello, and welcome to IVF round 3.  You can read about round 1 here, which resulted in 1 x Nipper (age: 2; height: too quick to measure; favourite word: NO; least favourite word: bed); and round 2 here, which resulted in a brief temporary surge in profits for the HPT market, and then a corresponding rise in sales of gin.

This shall be the fascinating, detailed, well-maintained journal of round 3,  a frozen cycle with our last embryo, which I believe shall be our last foray into the world of assisted reproduction, whatever the outcome. In contrast to the exquisitely crafted, self-absorbed navel-gazing tenor of the previous logs, this will just be self-absorbed navel-gazing, as quite frankly I’m too busy and/or tired and/or grumpy  to try and be meaningful or amusing.

Yesterday I spent approximately 2.6 hours planning an intensive regime of organic produce,  visualisation, mediation, fertility yoga etc to commence at dawn each day of this final cycle to maximise success, starting today.

Today I got up at six after a shite night’s sleep (SODDING cat), did my buserelin injection, went back to bed for precisely 3 minutes,  was woken up by being punched in face by the Nipper, sat in the bathroom fantasising as to how I might hand in notice at work whilst H checked lottery ticket,  got dressed when (but only when)  H confirmed no win and I therefore had to go into work, arrived at work thirty minutes late, starting writing week plan, picked up urgent client call spent all morning dealing with said call, went out for lunch with said client, ate salad, ate cake (to counteract salad),  spent afternoon scrolling through overflowing inbox, came home, spent four hours trying to get the Nipper to go to sleep, had pointless conversation with parents, and now this. To sum up:

  1. Organic produce eaten: zero
  2. Visualisations/mediations performed: zero.
  3. Minutes spent doing fertility yoga: zero.

Down reg scan on 21 Aug. One day after my birthday, fact fans.