Our IVF journey at Ninewells Dundee ~ Down Regulating Part 2

You can read about the first 10 days of down regulating here.

Day 11 ~

Working today, no real change in my ear, suppose I had hoped it would suddenly just clear up but it hasn’t. I had a bit of a melt down last night, just felt so overwhelmed and emotional about everything. I’m scared this is all going to be in vain and I’ll end up with this hearing problem & tinnitus forever. Have been having some cramping on and off so would be expecting AF to turn up soon. Second injection went well today to but boy am I exhausted and my head is killing me

Day 12 ~

Bad headache all day not lifting with water, really don’t want to take paracetamol. Very strong cramps overnight and AF arrived late last night. Glad it’s arrived in a way though as I had been worried as the clinic had said it should arrive within a week of starting. Struggled with injection this morning, think it was because I was so tired and feeling like I’d been hit by a bus when I got up. Even managed to accidentally stab myself in the finger…ooops.

Day 14 ~

Today has not been a good day, started off with a really bad headache which I relented and took paracetamol for which did help. I’m still really pushing myself to drink at least 2 litres of water a day which I think does really help. I’ve just felt so exhausted today, like overwhelmed by it. I had to have a rest in the car at lunch time, I didn’t manage to sleep but it did feel better to rest for a while. Though over the afternoon I felt really nauseous and the headache came back. I ended up coming home from work a bit early and slept for 1.5 hours, even after that I still felt exhausted. Really hoping for a better day tomorrow! Only slight change in my ear, I was really hoping it would be back to normal by now but I suppose when I think about it why would it be when it’s a listed side effect of Buserelin not just the nasal spray.

Despite the side effects I’m still trying to be positive, to focus on the good things and to continue to choose hope.

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Day 17

I’m starting to count down to stims now. Hopefully when I get my baseline scan in a few days we can get a plan in place to start the stimulation phase and get an estimated date for egg collection. I’ve not really allowed myself to think too much about this part and I’m still trying not too as there is so much that can go wrong in this part in terms of cancelled cycles, not responding etc. It’s all a little to much for my fluffy side effect of Down regulating brain to take in! I’m just hoping that stims helps take away some of this exhaustion.

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Day 19 ~

Today is the first day I can really hold my hands up and say that I am a hormonal wreck. Angry, irritable, tearful, you name it. Not a pleasant day and I must hold my hands up to my husband not reacting to me being a snippy cow. I have been worried about the scan coming up, I had my AF around day 10 for 4 days but since then I have had breakthrough spotting/bleeding on and off. I hope this doesn’t mean my lining isn’t thin enough to start Stims

Day 21 ~

Baseline scan day. Both ovaries inactive, lining of womb thin enough to start. No issues! Did speak with nurse about the spotting after my period and it’s quite common, she said it meant things were working well and the scan showed that.
So we got our next set of injections, a prefilled injector pen this time so we had a quick demo and got the instructions for dosage written down along with booking in my action scan for next week to see how my
Follicles are growing. Tomorrow will be just continuing on the Buserelin injections and then on Day 23 I will start adding in stimulation injections using 150mg Gonal F. Keeping positive.

Claire xx

Random acts of kindness in a world of a lot of pain

People never cease to amaze me and since being open about our fertility struggles the way that people have supported us and willed us on has been amazing! The support from my twitter & forum friends have been second to none, yes I have never met them but they are my friends none the less, these girls get me more than I can imagine and I have been so lucky/overwhelmed/appreciative of the little things that they have done for me over these last few years.

I wanted to do this post to show how random acts of kindness are the best and to show you how these lovely ladies surprise me time and time again and of course to thank each and every one of you who have supported/willed us on and continue to do so. I’m so happy that I decided to share our infertility issues. It’s good to share!

IMG_8526.JPG A hug in a card from the lovely Kirsty arrived just when I needed it the most.

IMG_8527.JPG A sign of hope from the amazing Janine, this now hangs from my fridge where I look at it every morning and remember to have hope.

IMG_8529.JPG Daring to believe book filled full of positive quotes from my amazing Sister. This sits on my desk at work giving me a gentle reminder each day.

IMG_8528.JPG This arrived in the post one day totally taking me by surprise, it’s from a very old friend who I discovered was in a very similar boat to me. Infertility is a very small world and only by being open about it have I found out there are so many people that I know going through this.

IMG_8520.JPG The amazing Jo, a girl I met on Babyandbump right back when we were waiting to try and have become firm friends ever since sent me some real life ‘baby dust’ and a lovely card to put in my IVF positive corner.

IMG_8543.JPG These gorgeous ear rings were sent to me by my sister.

I want to thank each and every one of you, for every tweet, every virtual hug, for every blog comment, for thinking of me when I needed it the most and I want to thank you all just for being you! It is helping me more than you can imagine.

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Claire xx

It’s the small things ~ August Edition

Some of the small things that have made me happy over the last month.
IMG_8221.JPG There has been a week spent in the South of Ireland

IMG_8234.JPG Seaside visits

IMG_8242.JPG Quality time spent together.

IMG_8265.JPG Visits to wildlife parks for first birthdays.

IMG_8273.JPG First birthday celebrated and cakes eaten.

IMG_8325.JPG Old fashioned sweet shops visited.

IMG_8339-0.JPG Irish house blessings bought for the hallway.

IMG_8352.JPG Schnauzer loom bands given.

IMG_8349-0.JPG Picnics at the beach.

IMG_8355.JPG Seafront dog walks.

IMG_8379.JPG Football stadiums toured.

IMG_8381.JPG Dinners out and wine enjoyed.

IMG_8388.JPG Blow out pizza and movie night to finish our holidays.

IMG_8389.JPG Shaggy dogs appearing.

IMG_8426.JPG Peaceful coffees enjoyed.

IMG_8432.JPG Medication started

IMG_8446.JPG Disney movies watched.

IMG_8474.JPG Loch’s walked around.

IMG_8476.JPG Non shaggy dog reappeared!

What are the small things you have enjoyed this month?

Claire xx

Our IVF journey at Ninewells Dundee ~ Down Regulating – Part 1

I decided when I started down regulating to keep a diary of my thoughts and feelings, this post is a change from my normal style and is written in a diary style. I also figured that this part might be long so I have spilt it up so not to bore you all completly.

Day 1 ~

It’s 7 am on Thursday morning and today is the day that down regulating begins. I set all the alarms on my phone last night. It took me a while and a little internet delving to figure out good times to take it. The instructions only say spilt evenly during wakened hours. I decided to go with

IMG_8427.PNG these are the best times for me as I’ll be at home for at least three doses normally which makes it so much easier.

IMG_8432-0.JPG First sniff done, it’s not as vile as I was expecting, not nice either but I ate something quite quickly after it and the taste went away fairly fast.

Day 3 & 4 ~

Exhaustion beyond anything I’ve felt before, feels like a hangover without the alcohol x 20! Mild headaches all weekend that just won’t shift. Hoping this is my body getting used to it. Struggling to do much around the house, hard to motivate myself. Kept having to sit down on dog walk like I was an old woman. Twitter army all suggested ensuring in drinking at least two litres of water a day which really helped with the headaches.

Have been having ear trouble since day 2, thought it was wax or congestion but nothing clearing it. Wondering if it could be related to the nasal spray?

Day 5 ~

First day at work since the side effects hit, felt spaced out, no concentration and nana naps are now the order of the day. Can only partially hear out of right ear, constant buzzing. Really worried if it’s a side effect they will stop cycle, not sure whether to contact the clinic or not?

Day 6

First mini melt down, thankfully was in the privacy of my own car. Just feel emotionally drained, fed up we are in this situation and worried about my ear. Need to read up on the side effects.

IMG_8466.JPG Ouch what a nice list of side effects. Interesting to see that hearing disturbances are listed as a side effect. Wonder though if I should just put up with it or report it?

Day 8 ~

Called the clinic this morning even if this is just a side effect I need to report it. It’s really starting to affect everyday life, work has been so difficult, especially if there is background noise at all. Clinic don’t seem to think it is but have agreed if I go to the GP to check no infection that they will switch me to injections to see if it makes a difference.
Still feeling exhausted, managing to get through work though afternoons are tough, feel like I have no concentration and have no interest in things I normally enjoy. One of the things I’m pleased about is the twitter suggestion of drinking lots of water as since starting the nasal spray I’ve been so thirsty! It’s also helping to keep away the headaches, I’m trying to take a bottle of water if I even feel a twinge which seems to be making a huge difference.

Day 9 ~

GP found nothing wrong with my ear yesterday, called the clinic back and again they don’t think that it is the nasal spray causing it but have agreed that I can switch to the injection form. This is not something I’ve taken a decision on lightly, I mean who would want to inject if they didn’t need to? Not me that’s for sure! I feel though that this problem only started when I took the nasal spray, I may be wrong and if it doesn’t clear up then we will have clear evidence that it wasn’t that but I have to try to do something!

IMG_8485.JPG So this is my new medication, same as the nasal spray but in injection form. We did brief injection training, I’m fine with drawing up and giving injections to others so it didn’t take long, it will just be a matter of learning to give them to myself! Which will be happening early tomorrow morning.

IMG_8486.PNG And a new alarm has been set. I was told to do this injection in the morning as when I start Stimming I will need to do that one at night time. So from now on it will be early morning rises for injections and I doubt I’ll get back to sleep after that. Lol

Day 10 ~

I set up my injecting area before I went to bed last night, I wanted it to be a positive place so I have my little book of strength sitting out in front of it. I love this little book, it is full of pretty designed quotes and always gives me a boost when I look at it. I also have my ‘believe’ bracelet sitting on the side. This was sent to me by an old friend who has been through this process too and I love it.

IMG_8487.JPG. So it’s time to do the injection, drawing it up was fine, suppose the bonus of my nurse training is I’m well used to drawing up injections and that part didn’t bother me. I wasn’t going to allow myself to dwell on it to much as I knew the longer I delayed the harder it would be. I put on some background music to distract myself a little, pinched an inch, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and put it in. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be either. I opened my eyes again obviously to see the plunger to put it in and that was it over and done with as quick as that.

IMG_8490.JPG the clinic told me I could either inject in the tummy or in my thighs. I choose my thighs this morning as I figured there is plenty of excess there and I shouldn’t feel it as much. I need to rotate the injection site each day which I think will be easier on my thighs. I’m just hoping that now the nasal spray is finished I’ll get rid of the ear problem.
All this ear problem and nerves about switching to the injection have made me not think too much about the other side effects which I suppose is good. I wanted to make sure they are written down though so I have a record of them. The tiredness still remains, it comes out of the blue at times as well, like yesterday in the car when I just had to close my eyes as I felt so tired, headachy and sick. My boobs also feel so heavy and about to burst if I don’t have my bra on. I lay on my front on the bed yesterday and that lasted all of two minutes! You do get a period at some point on DR so I’m figuring that this is the build up to that.

Claire xx

Reading about IVF

As I’ve said before I am a person who craves knowledge, I’m often found with my nose in a book researching things so naturally IVF has been no different.,

I started by ordering The Complete guide to IVF by Kate Brian

IMG_0967.JPG It got very good reviews on Amazon and it sounded like something I would benefit from and it hasn’t let me down. It’s easy to read and I find I have been able to dip in and out of it, only reading parts that were of interest to me at that time. Kate writes in a relaxed but informative manner and takes you right through the IVF process having been there twice herself she is more than experienced to share what IVF really entails. I would recommend it to anyone about to undertake IVF for the first time.

Jessica Hepburn’s The pursuit of Motherhood is a memoir of Jessica’s journey through infertility and treatment.

IMG_0965-0.JPG it is a heart breaking honest account of the ups and downs of infertility. It made me feel I wasn’t alone in this journey and at times like someone was reading my mind. Jessica has managed to capture all the thoughts and feelings of infertility in such a moving but sensitive way.

More recently I seen a newspaper article which linked to the books of Anne-Marie Scully so I downloaded them to my kindle.

IMG_0964.JPG Her first book Mother Hoodwinked is her infertility memoir. With heartbreaking honesty Anne-Marie takes you on her journey from her initial optimism and excitement at finally trying for a baby, through to her increasingly complex pregnancy plan. The book is funny and sad and again it was like someone was reading my mind at times. Anne-Marie manages to describe the process of IVF in great detail and got me to think about things totally differently than I had done.

She has also recently released another book Five Million Born A companion guide to IVF, this book aims to guide you through the steps of IVF. It explains everything you need to know about the different options available in a very clear and factual way, from getting funding (if needed) to ways to deal with the emotional & physical aspects of IVF. It’s very well written and again I have been able to dip in and out of it as I’ve felt the need. I would recommend it to anyone struggling with the trauma that is infertility.

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Do you have any other recommendations?

Claire xx

Weight Loss Wednesday

Hello,

My name is Claire and it’s been 6 weeks since my last weigh in…

And as predicted I’ve been bad! I weighed myself on Saturday after two weeks holiday and had gained 7lbs, a half a blooming stone. You would have thought I would have learned my lesson by now but I haven’t, I need to realise that I need to be following some kind of healthy eating plan at least in my head anyway or it all goes to pot.

I did get the kick up the ass I needed though and spent Saturday getting back into Slimming World mindset and menu planning for the rest of the week and I’m over the moon to report that today there was a loss on the scales!

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So hopefully that’s me back on track, now I need to keep it going whilst going through IVF.

From what I have read, lots of people seem to put on a good few pounds during IVF with the drug regime so I’m hoping with following slimming world I can do some damage limitation.

Claire xx

One Pan Salmon ~ Slimming World

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I found this recipe in one of my old slimming world magazines and adapted it a little for what I had at home.

Serves 2
Extra Easy ~ Free

Ingredients
250g baby potatoes, halved
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 yellow & 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into bite sized chunks
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 butternut squash, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 skinless salmon fillets
2 Tsp Italian herb seasoning
200ml vegetable stock
Fry light
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 220c. Put the potatoes, onions, carrots, butternut squash, peppers and garlic into a roasting tray. Pour in the stock and bake for 15minutes.

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Place the salmon on top, spray with fry light and sprinkle with the herb seasoning and pepper. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15minutes.

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Easy to make and even easier on the washing up!

Enjoy

Claire x

Our IVF journey ~ Fear, Anxiety, Apprehension

Less than a week to go until I start down regulating for our first ever IVF cycle and the anxiety is kicking in. I am a person who craves knowledge; I suppose it’s the need to be in control that takes over and having knowledge is having some control in my books anyway.

So with that I’ve finally started thinking about IVF and what it may mean to me. There are so many variables, not just the will it work or not but also the will the drugs effect me or not, down regulating appears to be no joke, you are suddenly attempting to switch off your ovaries and with that can come headaches, mood swings, extreme tiredness, hot flushes, low mood and even some reports of depression. A stuff of dreams…not! As much as you don’t want to think about all of this I need to, purely to know I can cope with whatever is thrown at me, to know I have thought about it really does help me even though this may not help others but that’s what makes us all unique isn’t it.

I think what is causing me most anxiety at the minute is the waiting, the unknown of what I’m getting myself into, the emotional side of IVF is the major hurdle in my view. You know that hopefully the effect of the drugs will only last a short while, that there is hope at the end that all this will result in a positive pregnancy test and eventually safe delivery of our baby.

But your emotions, they are a whole different story, happy, scared, anxious, cautious, positive, hopeful, low, strong to name but a few, swinging from one to another at the drop of a hat, never knowing what one is going to come next. Putting that brave face on, not only for others but for yourself but inside doubting your every move, second guessing yourself. It’s exhausting and I’ve no doubt it’s just going to get worse as we move through the IVF cycle. I need to acknowledge all this and by writing it all down it has really helped. I know that I have the strength to do this, no matter what the outcome is I can and I will get through the ups and downs of our first IVF cycle.

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Wish us luck

Claire xx

Homemade Personalised Bunting

Recently I was put in charge of decorations for a colleagues joint retirement and I put my printables Pinterest board to good use and decided to make some homemade personalised bunting.

I have pinned quite a few printable bunting’s but this one really jumped out at me for being nice and bright. You can get it here on the Ruffled Blog it is really easy to print off and has a few options for colours for the most used letters which really helped when the same letters run beside each other.

I found then extremely easy to cut out with them being traditional triangle shaped

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And very easy to string together, I just used a hole punch in each corner and used string.

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I was really impressed with the finished article and it took pride of place on the wall for their retirement party. The ladies loved it too and I will definitely be using it again to make personalised bunting for other parties.

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Claire xx

First birthday cake decorating

I decided or foolishly thought it would be easy to decorate a cake for my nephews first birthday – before I start, let me tell you it’s not and I’m now in total awe of cake decorators. But overall I am happy with what I achieved and hope that my brother and sister in law will be too.

I wasn’t brave enough to attempt to bake a cake and ice it myself so I cheated and bought this decorate your own cake from Sainsbury’s

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I also needed to buy some ready to roll icing to do the decorations with and some alphabet cutouts.

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I picked up this mould from Dunelm Mill which is really easy to use, you just need use a small amount of ready to roll icing and press into the mould.

20140801-140456-50696182.jpg it can be used over and over again and you would be able to come up with different designs for different cakes with it.

20140801-140556-50756898.jpg This is my attempt at the bunting, excuse my messy tray as a back drop! Each pattern came out well.

I had wanted to do the candles but the cake wasn’t deep enough so I went for multicoloured letters on top with bunting around the sides.

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I’m quite happy with the end result, yes it does have that homemade look about it, it is by no means perfect but I think for my first try it has turned out well. I am sure it will get a smile from my nephew on his Birthday.

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Happy 1st Birthday wee man.

Claire xx

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