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

Back To The Drawing Board

The BFN and visit from Aunt Flo didn’t come as a huge surprise this cycle as it seems I did ovulate earlier than expected. Although I got a positive OPK the day before the insemination date, it seems I caught ovulation at it’s peak level before the drop, as apposed to before the peak – although when I did test the previous days, they were negative. Perhaps my timings have changed? I usually test in the afternoon for a good result, but it seems mornings are better now as that is when I got my positive OPK. Oh well.

Nevertheless, we’re back on it for this cycle. We’ve arranged to see the donor between the 1st June and the 5th June. We’re also hoping to get in more than one deposit so that there is plenty of opportunity for the boys to be ready to do the tango.

K

Insem #8… I think…


So it’s been a while. A lot of you lovelies have messaged/tweeted us asking for updates, assuming our silence was good news but, unfortunately, no. We’ve just been poor at writing at the moment. Nevertheless, apologies for the false hope. It’s really lovely to receive messages from followers, especially as we never assume anyone reads our ramblings – but obviously you do. Thanks. I promise though, I will keep updating as much as we can – if we go silent again, then it may be good news as I’m quite the superstitious person.

Since visiting Kate the Kinesiologist, I finished my meds and got the green flag to start trying again. Annoyingly, I finished my meds just after ovulation which meant I was just shy of possibly getting a try in after completing. Nevertheless, as with every cycle missed, or BFN received, it’s another month’s worth of savings in the bank.

We still have my outlaws staying with us (hopefully not for too long now as they signed the contracts to their new home yesterday) which has meant baby talk between S and I, has been minimal. Surprisingly, this has helped me along the waiting process as the baby blues haven’t been on my mind.

It’s been stressful, I must admit, but I have now come to realise how lucky I am to live on my own (like an adult) with my wife. I must have really taken for granted how lucky I was before, because now all I want is some alone time! Although at the same time, I’m desperate to no longer just be a family of two, but having the outlaws stay is not a suitable replacement!

Timing wise, the outlaws couldn’t have come at a better time, it’s not like we were trying so there hasn’t been an awkwardness about chucking them out of the house every month. If I can gain one good thing from the experience of having them stay, it’s been that they’ve kept me busy throughout the duration of taking my meds.

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Now we can start trying again, we’ve arranged to see the Donor tomorrow evening – which is neat timing as I got the smiley face of hope (I hope) this morning*.

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*Whilst I’m on the subject, I don’t know why or how, but I seemed to be ovulating rather early this month. I usually ovulate between the 12th-15th of every month, however today is clearly not even close. Tomorrow’s donation would have been perfect, bearing in mind the little guys can survive for a few days, but now I feel we’re cutting it close. S still thinks we have a good chance, but I’m not so sure. So with this in mind, I’m not hopeful for tomorrow, but every try is worth it I guess.

Before we try tomorrow, I’m going to be eating a ton of pineapple (http://withgreatexpectation.com/infertility/three-days-post-transfer-plus-whats-the-deal-with-pineapple/ – scroll down to almost the bottom) and iron based foods such as spinach and tender stem broccoli.

Wish us luck!

K

The Fertility Show – London Olympia – 2013 – Our Visit

Fertility ShowOn Sunday 3rd November, S and I; as well as our good friend, went to The Fertility Show in London’s Olympia. We decided to go as we wanted to take the opportunity to get some tips relating to fertility as well as seeing if professionals could give us some advice in regards to TTC.

I’m not going to lie, I am concerned that the process hasn’t worked yet, so why not visit the place that may give me the answers!

Before arriving, we had a pretty good idea what to expect at the show – reading the title – but when we arrived we didn’t expect such a huge range of services and products (unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photographs, but I can assure you it was a huge turn out). As usual, I was armed with the map so we didn’t miss a thing.

There must have been a good 80+ stalls that ranged from IVF clinics (home and over-sea clinics), fertility doctors, alternative medicine stalls, as well as general helps stalls. I was very impressed. On top of this, we got to meet the lovely ladies from Pride Angel, who were constantly surrounded by ladies!

In addition to the stalls, there were a good dozen or so talks throughout the day ranging from diet doctors to surrogacy options. I was really impressed with the variety of talks, not to mention the price. Each talk was a £1 and could hold over 50 people at a time. Although the majority of the talks were well populated, I could easily see that the headline talk was “Preparing for IVF”.

Regrettably, we didn’t attend any of the talks but if we did we would have attended Natalie Gamble’s talk which was directed especially to Lesbian and Solo women trying for a baby, as well as the various talks about “How to Get Pregnant”.

At the back of my mind, I genuinely didn’t expect to see many stalls friendly to the way we’re doing things in regards to our TTC journey. We were very much expecting to fit stalls around us, however I was very wrong. Plenty of stalls were open to all walks of life and, if anything, the way in which we were doing it didn’t seem to matter, at the end of the day; we were a couple trying to get pregnant – but failing. Everyone we spoke to was super friendly and never asked how we were getting pregnant – to them we were just a couple TTC. The fact that we are doing it via home AI was irrelevant… and it felt great.

On top of this, I expected to be a very small minority in a large sea of majority – which almost put me off going – but again, I was wrong. Although most couples at the show were straight couples, there were tons of Lesbian and Gay couples at the show; which reassured me that we weren’t alone and that Lesbian/Gay couples TTC in the UK is a very real and growing thing.

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Although we met a ton of lovely people at the various stalls, our personal highlight of the show was meeting the guys from Stork for Women. Not only did we meet the CEO and Founder who I can only describe as a bundle of delicious joy but, in brief, Stork have created an ingenious and simple home insemination device that uses a cervical cap to inseminate.

Stork

Not only does it look a lot better than the surgeon’s selection of devices that we have to use at the moment to inseminate, but it’s just the ONE item. No syringes, no speculums, nothing. No need to keep the sperm warm whilst waiting. Just stick the the Stork device in and wait. It’s friendly for both the male party and the receiving party. It certainly is going to make the process a little bit more relaxed and “natural” as natural can be.

We’ll be reviewing it more thoroughly when we get round to using it, but for the time being we want to take this opportunity to show them off to you guys. If you’re anything like us, when you see it, you will think that something has been created just for ladies just like us! I genuinely can’t wait to try it out.

If you would like to find out more about Stork for Women, you can visit their website here. Unfortunately (for us Brits), they’re US based at the moment, but they’re hoping to come to stores near you soon. I would recommend keeping an eye on where they’ll be incase they’re back in the UK, or popping them a quick email.  

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We would highly recommend visiting the Fertility Show if you’re TTC. Not only did we get tons of advice, information and help, but it really reassured us that we weren’t alone. The show itself is very new, so I can imagine that it will only grow with age. On top of this, the tickets were cheap and it was a relatively cheap day as I decided to drive. The only expenditure was buying our Stork kit.

If you would like to visit the next Fertility Show, you can visit their website here.

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