The Week That Was Ours

I was on approximately CD27 (13DPO) when I went on holiday – I say approximately, as our app and I are in disagreements as to when I ovulated. I believe I ovulated on CD14 (06/07) due to the positive OPK’s and BBT dip, but the app believes I ovulated on CD16 (08/07). At first the app didn’t believe I ovulated at all due to the fact that my BBT was all over the place during the cycle, however once I edited a few items I got my cover line.
Nevertheless, I ovulated which was a good start. However, we were only able to get the one shot in due to timings but either way, I know it was before ovulation was due. Phew!

The first week of the TWW was easy as I was super busy at work as well as getting over excited for our holiday. The second week was also remarkably easy as I was on holiday! I was stuffing my face as well as entertaining a very active 7 year old – I was keeping myself happily occupied, however I was very aware of the up and coming visit from AF which was bit of a downer, especially on holiday; which is a time I like to go swimming. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to let myself think about it for a change.
S was also really well behaved, although she did slip in the occasional “how are you feeling” which was answered with a generic “fine”. I didn’t want to think about anything TTC related.

We took our BBT thermometer with us, however we were unable to log anything on our app due to having no wifi – so we couldn’t see what my chart looked like, which was a blessing in disguise as one of the worse things during the TWW is seeing AF arrive in the form of a BBT dip before hand.

So anyway, the due date for AF came and went. I was due around 14DPO (20/07) and 16DPO (22/07) but those dates came and went. No sign of AF! Typical. I was at my most relaxed, having a great time, and AF is late! As and when it does come, it’s going to be a bad one, I thought. I wanted to go swimming and wear my white linen trousers due to the scorching heat, but there was no chance of that happening. I wasn’t taking it too seriously, though, as I’ve been late before.

But it didn’t come… however this did:-

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So as I write this, I’m currently, starting my 6th week of pregnancy (I still can’t believe it). I’ve booked my midwife appointment for 08/08 which will soon be the end of my 7th week. I then have to go back a week later on the 15/08 but I’m not sure what for – but right now, I don’t care.

I’m super nervous, as well as excited, but more nervous than anything. I want to scream the news from the rooftops – but I can’t.

The next 12 weeks cannot come sooner.

K

The Week That Wasn’t Even The TWW

If you follow us on Twitter, you would have seen that last week was one of the most confusing and stressful weeks. It started on CD12 (01/06) when we saw the flashing smiley face of hope. Everything was going to plan, we had 3 donations arranged with D for CD12, CD14, and CD16 which, according to our Fertility App and previous cycles, this was the week I was due to ovulate. Perfect!

The donations came and went, but I still hadn’t received a positive OPK. I’d started to receive 2 faint lines around CD15 and CD16 but not the strong lines I usually get every cycle. Every other sign had appeared; EWCM, Ovulation pains, and a slight dip in my BBT, but no positive OPK. By CD16 I had seen 5 smiley faces by now which was odd to say the least, but no solid smiley face and no positive OPK. Now I was starting to shit myself worry. We had everything planned, this shouldn’t go wrong! But alas, it was.

I burst into tears around CD19 when S looked at my BBT that morning and advised me that I hadn’t ovulated. I was shell shocked, disappointed, and angry. Why was this happening to me – I never “not ovulated”. That was my thing, the one thing I could guarantee. I know I have plenty, if not tons, of Oestrogen running through me, it was the Progesterone that was the problem! Clearly the powers that be did not want me having a baby. It wasn’t fair.

CD20 then came round and just for a laugh I did an ovulation test as I was still having ovulation style pains and I had started to get EWCM again. So after waiting for just over a minute, out of no where, they appeared; my two favourite lines (if you could ever have favourite lines). YES! YES! YES! So that evening, we text D and asked whether he was free – he was – so we dashed over to his and had one last donation. With any luck, CD16’s boys may still be alive, especially if I was forming EWCM again – but I’m hoping this donation will do the trick.

The only thing I am anxious about is the fact that we didn’t have any Storks left, so we had to resort to our old ways of a syringe. Although I have no doubt about the boys travelling up there (hell, girls have had babies when the boys promised to “pull out” (yeah, I went to one of those schools)), the Stork is clearly much longer than the syringe and it sits directly on the cervix before shooting the boys up there, where as the syringe isn’t and, annoyingly, we didn’t have any extenders. I made sure gravity played it’s part for a good 30 minutes, so I’m hoping I did everything I could.

The next morning, CD21, two stronger lines appeared, and S notified me that I had had a massive dip in my BBT which is my signature move before ovulation. I had ovulated! YES!!! At least I know I ovulated now, which means my TWW began on CD21.

I still have no idea what the signs around CD14 were about. A few peeps on Twitter advise it could be related to a double release – which put S’s blood pressure through the roof (we haven’t accounted for twins) – but I doubt that was it. Perhaps I was a bit stressed which delayed the egg release but my hormones kept everything else going? Who knows. Either way, I’m happy knowing that I’ve ovulated after a well timed donation.

Let’s hope THIS one works!!!

K

Insem #9

I’m feeling really positive this cycle. I know I shouldn’t but, if I truly am fixed, then there is no reason why it shouldn’t work.

According to the fertility app, and previous cycles, I should ovulate between CD14 (03/06) and CD19 (08/06) so we have arranged for inseminations for CD12 (01/06), CD14 (03/06), and CD16 (05/06),

We’re currently using the advanced ovulation sticks by Clear Blue and, so far, we received two flashing smiley faces on CD12 (01/06) and CD13 (02/06) which means I’m fertile to say the least. Once I receive a solid smiley face, ovulation could happen within 8-24 hours after that, however I expect to actually ovulate around CD16.

On top of this, we’ve decided to finally use our Stork kit that we purchased at the fertility show last year. The reason we haven’t used it in the past is because a) we didn’t want to waste it on cycles we weren’t confident about, or ones that we were only going to get one shot, and b) it looked quite intimidating. Watch this…

Without going into too much detail, it was remarkably easy to use. The male part looks and was a bit fiddly according to D, but once he knew how, it went quite smoothly. Apart from it being a bit stiff – pardon the pun – it didn’t feel science-y at all. I think I expected something quite large and clunky, being the first of it’s kind, but it wasn’t. Even when it came to releasing cap, I expected something to punch me right in the goolies but I hardly felt a thing.

Although we don’t know whether it worked, I would highly recommend getting hold of a Stork kit if you have the chance. As someone who has been on the receiving end of the alternative way to inseminate, using the Stork was less stressful than other attempts. With the stork, you just stick it in (yourself) and go (although I still wanted to let gravity do it’s thing for a few moments – just in case). There was no lying on the bed whilst your partner is armed with a syringe, making sure the goods don’t drip, and that there are no air bubbles in the syringe (You can see how it would soon get stressful). S was happier also, as she had nothing to do with it (she had been worrying that she hadn’t been doing wrong over the past few months – this is nonsense by the way).

So as I said, I’m feeling relatively hopeful. I’m still waiting for the positive OPK. Once I get that, I will know when my TWW can start. If this one doesn’t work, I’m going to want to know why!

K

So Here We Are Again…

The beginning of the year started really well, better than we ever expected, in fact. We found a new donor at the start of the year and they were able to start right away. We haven’t been able to write much as we didn’t want to jinx anything, plus, we wanted to be able to give a thorough update.

Without going into great detail, the insemination went well albeit a bit nerve wracking, but when isn’t it – you desperately want it to work, but I can honestly say that previous inseminations have either been super stressful because the donor’s been late or S and I had been arguing about something petty and insignificant, however this time the process wasn’t stressful at all. Whether this was because we were in a good place by starting a new year and mentally pressing our reset buttons, or the fact that our donor is amazing, I don’t know – I’m going for the latter.

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Jumping forward two weeks, I can sadly say that it didn’t work but I feel we were closer than any other TWW… Honestly!

The first week was like any other TWW, nothing particularly special happened, but at around 6DPO I started to feel dull AF-like pains (I don’t get AF pains until the night before she is due, and it’s been like this since the beginning of AF visits). My BBT was also starting to rise at great speed which, in comparison to previous cycles, never happens. Over the next few days, my temperature then remained at a peak (this is called a flat temp reading apparently) and then start to rise again every 2-3 days.

At around 12DPO my temperature was at it’s highest it had ever been since TTC, I was rather gassy (sorry, TMI), I could still find CF which usually dries up a week or so after ovulation, I felt intense ache and pressure down below and I was coming home from work shattered despite not being that active (I’ve also decided not to go to the gym during the TWW). I had agreed to avoid the internet and not symptom watch (which for some reason was easier this cycle!) but when I started to reveal things to S who has the painful task of noting things down for the sake of Fertility Friend so that we can compare cycles, even I was starting to believe. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t help it.

My BBT plummeted dramatically at 13DPO and AF visited the next day. I was gutted. Why my body plays these vile games, I don’t know. I think what irks me more is the fact I have no answers. Why did I have out-of-the-blue AF pains a week before she was meant to visit? Why did my BBT rise so dramatically and stay there? Why was I so tired? I genuinely didn’t take any notice of my TWW this time which I feel can create symptoms in your head when you’re so desperate for something, but thankfully because I’ve been busy at work and our family household has grown by two boys (**shudders**) for the time being it’s kept me occupied so I don’t believe it was me creating this.

So onwards and upwards, I guess. We’ll be booking in our next try this week with the hope to try once before ovulation and once on or around ovulation day.

K

Insem #6 – Part 1

So insemination numero 6 (Part 1) happened last night. We’re going to have 2 inseminations this cycle – hopefully one either side of ovulation, or one just before and one spot on. We’re still reading my temperatures at the moment, so an exact date hasn’t been confirmed by our app yet but we’re confident that we know a date range of 2-3 days.

Annoyingly, I have recently come down with a cold bug which couldn’t have come at a worst time and because of the bug, my temperatures are now fluctuating like crazy depending on how I have slept and how sick I am which is making the app work overtime.

I really don’t know how I’ve got a cold as I’m currently at my most healthiest what with all the fruit and veg I’m eating, not to mention my fitness. I can only assume that because of the piggy blowout I had last weekend that perhaps it weakened my immune system. Either way, I’m pissed off.

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The insemination itself wasn’t the most stress-free of environments, I must admit. Again, not a great start to TTC again.

The evening started with D texting us to say that he’s not sure when he would be getting off work and asked whether we could do tomorrow. After an immediate “NO” he was able to come down, just a little later. When he did arrive, I couldn’t be more relieved as I was one step closer to starting again. However, before we started, we did have to have words with him regarding dates.

In the past, when arranging an insem he’s regularly suggested another date because of his work; which has sometimes been fine, but other times and more often than not, the date he’s suggested wasn’t alright and, to be honest, was waaaay off.

D says he gets the process and ovulation, and has apparently done his research, but I’m still not sure – especially when he suggests a date 2-3 days off the date we have suggested! He’s a lovely guy, honestly, and I am so happy we have him as a donor, I just think he’s a little bit off when it comes to women and cycles still – which is frustrating as we feel awkward when telling him that his suggested date is not okay. We desperately want to keep him as our donor, but if he keeps suggesting new dates and/or not being able to make our dates, then we are going to have to seriously think about changing our donor or even putting everything on hold until we can afford a clinic. We don’t really want this, but we also don’t want our time (or his time) wasted.

When we started, we never expected the donor to know where I am in my cycle or to be all that interested to know it, why should they? But, if you want to become a donor, at least understand that a date is generally non-negotiable when it comes to insemination. Am I right? We completely understand that work can affect someones life, but if it affects it a lot – don’t become a donor. Simple.

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So once that was over and done with, we began. I think both S and I were a little nervous as we hadn’t done an insem for a few months – not that we told each other about our nerves, but it was clear as we ended up having bit of an argument over nothing towards the end, which made me feel terrible as the process should be fun, or at least relaxing! But it was far from it.

I couldn’t get comfy which stressed S out, and S was fumbling all over the place in comparison to previous times when she was in and out faster than the shake of a lambs tail, which stressed me out as I was worried the lads were getting cold (not to mention the fact that I was getting cold). Once it was done, we went to sleep all moody and grumpy. It wasn’t great. Nevertheless, I slept which is definately what I needed as I’ve woken this morning very relaxed and calm.

The sleep itself wasn’t the greatest nights sleep, either. I wanted to pee, but didn’t want to and I couldn’t breathe well because of the cold. Eventually, 2 hours later, I had to pee and I went to sleep in the hope that the lads hadn’t been flushed down the loo.

With any luck, this cold will take my concentration away from TTC and not encourage my body to fight ALL alien life forms – including sperm. I’ve read this can’t happen, but you never know. I guess, as usual, what will be, will be.

K

Are we there yet?

So the two week wait (TWW) was over on the 26th January and my period/Aunt Flo (AF) was due on the 25th January according to the fertility app and is due tomorrow according to my period app (I trust my app more to be honest).

Ask me what I’m thinking right now and I will not be able to tell you in plain english. One half of me (which increases by the day) is excited and is hoping that something has worked, another quarter of me is nervous as hell and the other quarter believes that I’m not pregnant at all.

The reason we’re starting to believe I’m not pregnant follows on from taking about half a dozen tests and none of them showing as positive – simple – and we’re fine about it. We were fully expecting the first try to be unsuccessful as we haven’t read many blogs or experiences whereby after first the AI at home the couple have fallen pregnant. So we were fully expecting a negative, but there was always a little glimmer of hope still inside.

That said, with help from friends on Twitter and several forums, there is a suggestion that I don’t have enough HCG (google it – don’t ask me) running through me yet. Apparently the sticks at home read from 10mIU (again, google it) and apparently it takes a while for the HCG hormone to actually show in urine and women within the TWW only have from 5-50mIU at best if pregnant and apparently it can sometimes take longer than two weeks for implantation. So there is hope still.

Now, before anyone starts; I know – it sounds like I’m clutching at straws. I may very well be, but the things that I’ve felt over this TWW have been strange to say the least. I’ve felt random little pains down below and I’ve (not to mention, S) have suffered from major PMT (something that I don’t usually suffer from at all) and if you think that perhaps it’s all within my head; my BBT (Basal Body Temp) has been going nuts. So something is obviously going on inside. Look!*

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Crazy graph for January.

I have never wanted (and not wanted) to see AF so much – at least if AF visited we could start again and restart the process, but this waiting is worse than knowing that we’re not. It’s awful. If only I could see what my future looked like and see whether we were successful – at least then I wouldn’t be so impatient. I would happily wait if I knew that one day we would have a child, I really would, and at least then I would know that right now is just not our time.

If AF doesn’t visit me this coming week then I will be booking myself into the doctors to have a blood test. If it is still negative then I will want an explanation (as if it’s the doctors fault. Ha!) why AF was late and why my BBT was having a disco on the graph.

K

*The attached graph is from our FertilityFriend account via www.fertilityfriend.com. I would recommend using the website rather than the app for detailed information regarding your data. It really has been an eye-opener.