Getting my freak on!

Every Time I think about going for IVF#2 my tummy does that whole flippy thing. That’s normal, right?

I suppose the main feeling is nervousness or maybe to rephrase it to really saying how I feel it would be more a totally crapping myself kinda feeling.

I’m not nervous about the appointments, the injections, the medications or even the egg collection this time. What I am totally crapping myself about is the whole part of this being potentially our last attempt. I don’t know if we will ever be in the position to self fund, I’m not saying never but it’s not something that we are able to look at at the minute. Now I know we are extremely lucky to get two free cycles and I’m not moaning about that, it’s just so damn scary thinking about the last cycle looming and trying to emotionally prepare for it.

I’m trying to prepare that’s for sure but it seems so much bigger this time. That big that sometimes I just want to phone up and delay treatment again, you know, to just keep this last cycle in the bank, always having it as a back up. I know though that’s not possible, I know I have to big up and just get on with it, to fill myself back up with positivity and hope, to try again and pray this time is different.

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Claire xx

Will 2015 be the year?

This day last year I posted this blog post  ‘will 2014 be the year?’  I can’t quite believe that I am writing a post a year later still asking the same thing.  I never in my wildest dreams thought that we wouldn’t be at least sitting here pregnant now, or if I am really honest with you, I thought that we would have just celebrated our first Christmas with our baby.  But things in my dreams have not become a reality and I’m faced with wondering again if 2015 will be the year that we finally become a family of three.

IMG_1020.JPGWe started the year off with fertility drugs and full of hope and optimism but it wasn’t meant to be.  By August we were embarking on our first round of IVF which also wasn’t meant to be.  And by Christmas we were lost and didn’t really know how to move on from a year that was filled with so much hope but in relation to infertility, gave us nothing but disappointment. There were points in the run up to Christmas that I just really couldn’t see how we could carry on, I had thought I was coping so well but honestly there were some very very dark days where I felt so overwhelmed I couldn’t see how we were ever going to move on from the failures of 2014.  But move on we must and somehow we got through Christmas, we allowed ourselves to feel happy and sad and the hope for New Year started returning.

I’m writing this now with that hope continuing to return, with thoughts of our next and final NHS IVF cycle coming up in the next few months, dreams slowly coming back to me, wishes and hopes that 2015 will be the year that we have been waiting for.

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Yes 2014 wasn’t kind, it didn’t come up with the goods that we wanted but it did show me that my marriage is solid, it showed me that through shared pain we have become even more of a team than I ever imagined we could be.  Infertility is an evil, soul destroying illness, one I would never wish on anyone, it may give me dark dark days but it will not ruin me.

Bring it on 2015!

Claire xx

 

Snowman Soup

I came across Snowman Soup when I was browsing Pinterest – the invention of Pinterest has a lot of answer for in this house that’s for sure! Though a quick google of Snowman Soup, brought up hundreds of links to different versions of this so I suppose I’m just late to the party.

I found a link to a lovely printable to attach to the ingredients over on Ginger Snap Crafts

Ingredients:

* Brown paper bags – I picked up 10 in Home Bargains for 80p
* Hot Chocolate packets
* Candy Canes
* Hershey Kisses – I got a packet of these in Tesco in their international aisle for £3
* Mini Marshmallows
* Ribbon
* Printable Snowman Soup poem found here

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I cut the handles of the bags I had as I thought they looked better without, folded the top over then punched two holes in to be able to tie with ribbon and added the Snowman Soup poem.

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I think they look really cute and they were cheap and easy to make so a winner all round.

Claire xx

Christmas Printable O Holy Night Print

O Holy Night is my favourite Christmas Hymn of all time and when I came across this printable last year I knew that I really wanted to make it.

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It is available via the lovely Emily Hope over at Hope Ink . Emily has very kindly set up the print to be downloaded and printed as an 10×8″ PDF print so it is really easy to print out at home. I decided that I would like to frame mine too so that I would have it for every year so I picked up a cheap 10×8″ white frame to put it in to match my living room.

I also decided that I would like to add a little bit of sparkle to it so that it would reflect when my Christmas lights were on. I felt the design really lent itself to adding some small gems which I had at home already

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I loved the end effect of adding them, I didn’t put too many on, I just wanted a few to help set it off and to draw your attention to it.

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I then put it into a plain frame so I could put it in the living room for Christmas.

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It now takes pride of place on our fireplace and I am so happy that I finally got round to printing it off.

I couldn’t blog about making a print from my favourite Christmas hymn without linking into my all time favourite version of the song. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Claire xx

Coping or not?!?

This infertility lark catches you unawares, coasting along thinking I’m coping fine. Telling everyone I’m coping fine, putting a smile on, believing I’m coping fine.

Then bam, it hits you like a slap around the face, the feeling of being so overwhelmed, that maybe you’re not coping, maybe you’re just kidding yourself…. What’s the truth? Am I coping or I’m I just kidding myself on?

To be honest with you, times like this morning, I’m not actually sure. But what I do know, the coping face needs to go back on, it’s the only way I know how to survive.

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Claire xx

Quick Christmas candle crafting

I had seen a picture of candles covered with cinnamon sticks on Pinterest a while ago and thought it would be a really easy Christmas craft that would look great on our dining table so I thought I’d give it a try.

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You really don’t need much to make them.

* candle
* cinnamon sticks
* glue
* string or ribbon
* small decorations of your choice

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I picked up everything I needed in Hobbycraft and set to work.

All you need to do is glue the cinnamon sticks on around your candle, tie with the string and allow to dry then add your decoration. Easy peasy!

I had a few cinnamon sticks left over from my bag so decided to make a cinnamon stacker.

IMG_9107.JPG I just cut enough string to gather them together then tied them up leaving one out to glue to the top and added some decorations.

Overall I’m really happy with the end results.

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Are you planning any crafts for Christmas?

Claire xx

It’s the small things ~ November edition

The small things that have made me happy over the last month *disclaimer, features lots of sunshine pics to start. Sorrynotsorry

IMG_8912.PNG There was comparing the weather forecast whilst lying by the pool.

IMG_8931.JPG Cocktails by the marina.

IMG_8934.JPG Beautiful marina views.

IMG_8955.JPG Cloud watching.

IMG_8969-0.JPG Anniversary cocktails at the end of the pier.

IMG_8988.JPG My first viewing of the ‘holidays are coming’ ad!

IMG_9003.JPG Beautiful sunrises

IMG_9022.JPG Scotland excelling itself with beauty at sunset.

IMG_9037.JPG Memories of my beautiful Granny.

IMG_9054.JPG 5th Birthday’s celebrated.

IMG_9066.JPG Hearts filled with hope.

IMG_9086.JPG First red cup of the holiday season enjoyed.

Claire xx

IVF follow up appointment

We had our IVF follow up appointment last week, Or what is more affectionately known as the ‘wtf’ appointment in the infertility world!

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I wasn’t expecting too much from it to be honest, but I couldn’t go into another cycle without making the long trip back to the clinic to ask some questions about why they felt we may have been unsuccessful, or what we might be able to change when we cycle again. We are very lucky to be getting two attempts on the NHS and I want to try and ensure we give our final attempt our very best shot so off we went to the clinic armed with all our questions.

My main focus I suppose was on response and quality from the cycle, all along I was told that due to having a good level of AMH that I was at a high level of over responding to the stimulation drugs and therefore was put on the lowest dose of Gonal F. When I had gone to my scan during stims I was expecting lots of follicles and was disappointed with only having 10, now I know that for some that is an amazing result but I suppose that when you are thinking you might over respond, 10 doesn’t seem that many. Obviously I wouldn’t want to over respond either so there goes the emotional see saw of infertility again, carefully trying to balance everything, wanting a good response but not too good a response. The consultant was okay with my response but did say that they would like to see a response of around 8-15 eggs so although my final count of 9 mature eggs was good it was at the bottom end of the scale so for our next cycle we will up the stimulation drugs to 225 Gonal F.

That brought us onto the topic of the next cycle. It was initially suggested I re cycle with the increase in stimulation drugs but keeping everything else the same so long protocol like this one which lasts around 7/8 weeks

IMG_1007.JPG Image Credit ~ Ninewells ACU

However I wanted to speak directly to the consultant about the side effects that I had using the down regulation drug or mainly the hearing loss I had and the tinnitus that I still have 3 months later! Again the consultant was of the opinion that it was unlikely to have been caused by that but I’m not convinced that it could just be a coincidence that it happened when I took it and as it is listed though seems to be a very rare side effect of this drug. We had quite a bit of discussion about it and he offered me the chance to do a Short Protocol it had been something that was on my list to discuss as I had read that it was good for people with a good AMH level. It lasts 4 weeks from start to finish and no waiting on Day 21 to start with Dundee starting this type of cycle at Day 3 of your cycle, so very fast.

The consultant felt that we have no egg or sperm quality issues, or at least none that are overly obvious from this cycle anyway and felt if we decided to swap to a short protocol we would be looking at 1-2 eggs less than a long cycle but with the increase in stims we would hopefully get around the same as our first cycle. He left it up to me to decide what I wanted to do as obviously he doesn’t have a crystal ball and can’t tell exactly what will happen but was agreeable that I could go into the next cycle on a short protocol. Cue, a tweet of ‘help’ when I got home and lots of advice from Twitter ladies who have done a short protocol and particularly those who have switched from long to short. It was so helpful and thank you to everyone who helped me over those next couple of days. The general consensus seems to be that a short protocol is not only faster but is kinder to you without the effect of the down regulating drugs and all the twitter ladies felt it helped them with egg quality compare to their previous cycles. I know the consultant felt quality was not jumping out as a issue but our embryos dwindled very quickly leaving us with only one left to transfer so if I can do anything to help then I will, so it’s a Short Protocol for us for our next cycle. Nerve wracking but exciting!

Because I’ve decided to do a short protocol I’ve also decided to delay for a month. I never thought I would be saying that, that’s for sure, but it makes more sense and I’m happy with our decision. I’m pleased we went to the appointment, it was good to talk through some of our concerns and to get a plan for the next cycle that we are all happy with.

I’ve now got a few months between treatments, we will off course keep trying naturally as you know there’s always a chance even if it’s a small one. My main focus is now going to be on losing more weight, using supplements to enhance fertility and looking into natural fertility approaches. I have found a natural fertility centre in Edinburgh that I’ve made an appointment with so hopefully I’ll blog about that soon.

Before I go I just want to say thanks to you all for reading and supporting me. It’s been so much easier knowing I’m not alone.

Claire

Weight Loss Wednesday

After a slight break for a week in the sun, weight loss Wednesday is back in my life. I did weigh myself on the Monday we got back from holiday and wasn’t surprised with a gain.

IMG_9043.JPG I think most of that was on vodka! But I went there with the full intention of putting the last few months behind me and that I did. I started back on Slimming World on the Monday so this weeks weigh in a 10 day one.

I’m working to increase my walking back up again and I’m quite happy with

IMG_9042.JPG I normally average between 22-25 miles per week and still love using my Fitbit.

I was very happy with the scales this morning and am pleased to report the holiday gain is gone!

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I’m giving my diet an overall as well in an attempt to plan for our next IVF, I’m hoping that following a fertility friendly diet will also help with my weight loss. We are not looking to cycle again for at least another few months so my focus is on to get my weight as low as I can before then. Wish me luck.

Claire xx

It’s the small things ~ October Edition

The small things that have made me happy over the last month.

IMG_8693.JPG There was a double rainbow and a wish made.

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Autum Schnauzers posing.

IMG_8772.JPG Saturday afternoon cocktail drinking.

IMG_8777.JPG Amazing cocktails drank, hair let down and all the worries of the last few weeks let go.

IMG_8784.JPG Seaside visits that were good for the soul.

IMG_8840.JPG Autumn batch cooking.

IMG_8844.JPG 3rd Wedding Anniversary celebrated.

IMG_8845.JPG and because I love our wedding photos an extra picture!

IMG_8852.JPG Amazing gifts from very special friends.

IMG_8868.JPG A well needed holiday countdown begun!

IMG_8878.JPG The last park walk done until the light nights come back .

IMG_8892.JPG Autumn holidays departed.

IMG_8898.JPG life celebrated with cocktails in the sun.

IMG_8894.JPG Beach sunsets admired and all troubles pushed to the back of our minds

Claire xx