Tumbling Through the Rabbit Hole...
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Posted by Haisla Saturday, 21 June 2014 14 comments

I sometimes write blog posts that are so depressing and self-pitying that they don't even really deserve to be released into the blogosphere (this is a sentiment often expressed by IF bloggers around cycle day 1, so I will join their choir today)..

This might be one of those posts, I fear; a post that perhaps should have been left for my eyes only.
So I can only apologise to you in advance and give you a strong prior-warning to enter at your own peril. For those of you joining here from ICLW, even deeper apologies for this fairly depressing introduction - I promise it is not always this bleak out on planet Endoland and that I will post a little recap of the journey so far and a better introduction in the coming days. Unfortunately this is what you'll be stuck with today:

AF has arrived again, and together with it, the crash and burn of a progesterone come-down.

As I have said before and will say again, I dread to think how I will fare when on synthetic progesterone. I can only imagine being a god-awful mess, if this is anything to go by.

And this is the problem of infertility blogging, especially for a girl like me, for whom, so it feels, nothing ever happens (IF-wise, that is). I'm just treading water, re-hashing the same old feelings, thoughts, responses, month after month. I can take the needed emotions out of the closet and line them neatly on the bed each month in anticipation of the arrival of the dreaded nemesis. It's become a well practiced routine, with only slight variations. I can pretend that it is not happening, I can play down the levels of hope. But every month, I lay out my emotions on the bed in wait for the arrival of the inevitable, in the hopes that being organised and ready will somehow lessen the pain.

It is monotonous and it is boring; it is even boring me writing this.

In many ways it's not actually like treading water at all, because at least with water you can imagine a beautiful beach or at least a pool where you can let go and just float to the top.

Not so, in this crap-fest.

If it's unlike treading water, then perhaps it is more like going around in ever decreasing circles, visiting the same sights with each passing month, with nothing new to experience or see or say, because it is pretty much just the same each time. I feel jaded and I don't know how many more circles I can go around, before I just go f*cking crazy.

I just want something to happen; something, ANYTHING. Give me a false positive, a chemical pregnancy, betas that are wonky, even a miscarriage (and please don't judge me for these thoughts, for of course I know that each and every one of those scenarios is a terrible tragedy and I would not wish them on my worst enemy), just anything that is not this nothingness, this absence, this blank where there ought to be a pink line, this blood in the panty liner, this bloating, this spirit-sapping, soul-destroying monthly little death. Because, yes, without wishing to sound melodramatic (which I obviously do), that's how it feels each month. A little bit of me dies inside. A little bit of hope, a little bit of that heady innocence, a little bit of the person that I used to be. It is being gnawed away by the greedy b*tch that is Infertility, and I have a feeling that she wants to leave nothing behind once she is done. How long I will allow her to gnaw away at me is anyone's guess. Because the other option is stopping, and that seems somehow even more unimaginable.

So I moan and I groan and I allow Infertility to gnaw away. It seems like a small price to pay when the ultimate prize is having your own biological child. But it does leave me wondering - who will I be when (if) the much expected finally happens? Because as well as being gnawed away, it feels like something else is growing back to replace the bits that were injured or lost. Something tougher and more leathery. Like emotional scar tissue.

And what if I don't get pregnant? Will the level of scarring I am allowing myself to go through be acceptable should I have nothing to show for it? Or will I forever regret that I allowed myself to become so greatly altered? Perhaps it'll pay to have a thicker skin?

So as well as moaning and groaning I try to insulate myself. With gratitude, with positivity, with prayer; by looking after myself mentally, physically, spiritually. But all the insulation in the world won't stop the gnawing from taking place, and I have to recognise that at the end of this process I will be forever changed. And that it is up to me to decide to what extent I will allow my emotional landscape to be ravaged.

I know that for myself I will have to let this carry on for a while still. Because I am not yet ready to stop.

Disregarding 'symptoms'

Posted by Haisla Sunday, 15 June 2014 2 comments

This month I have decided to disregard any 'symptoms'.

I am also telling lady hope to stay well away from me unless she's got something concrete to bring with her, like a missed period and two pink lines on a HPT.

Otherwise, hope, I'm just not that interested, do you hear me?!

And that strategy seems to be actually kind of working, although it is getting increasingly difficult to follow as the days go by.

Somehow my pregnancy-watch-fever seems to grow exponentially in direct correlation to how close to the next period I get.

This is not helped by the fact, that my PMS symptoms are identical to possible pregnancy symptoms:

Feeling hot all the time? Tick. Needing to wee every freaking five minutes? Tick. Feeling mildly nauseous? Tick. Feeling tireder? (I promise you, that is a word - in my dictionary when I am king) Tick. Supercharged olfactory system? Tick. Sore boobs? Sure, tick. Emotionally imbalanced? Tick.

So if I ever was to get pregnant, I really wouldn't know until I'd gotten some proper proof, because these spoof symptoms just dangle the carrot of a 'potential pregnancy' tantalisingly close, only to snatch it away at last minute.

I'm really not impressed with my body at the moment.

I just want to get the blood fest started (and I know it's going to be gory - it is another 1-month-after-IUI  AF after all), so that I can get on with life. PMS is not fun, I'm tired of being hot, tired, cranky, weepy, bloated and crampy. Two more days until AF should show, and I solemnly swear no underpant-checking marathon this time.

And I've got this sneaking feeling that I've written an almost identical post not too long ago. Seriously I'm starting to feel like I'm living some kind of a de-ja-vu life or am having an eternal groundhog month going on or something where things repeat ad infinitum, ad nauseam.. 

If Bill Murray turns up, I'll know I'm in trouble..

P.S. The Common Ostrich (a lovely blogger with an amazingly funny blog - check her out) kindly notified me, that blogger was eating up non-blogger comments. I checked with blogger forum and sure enough it turned out that the word verification system was throwing spanners in the works and making comments disappear. I have now deleted the word verification system in the hopes that it'll make things better. So, my deepest apologies if you've tried to leave comments, only to have them devoured by the internets. I had no idea. I promise that the problem has now been rectified and that I will love and cherish all comments left and will try to reply to them, too.

The NHS Strikes Again - Part 2

Posted by Haisla Saturday, 14 June 2014 2 comments

You know how we were meant to have our next consultation at the fertility clinic on 19th June i.e. next Thursday?

You know how I had been looking forward to it so that we can finally have a new game plan?

Well, today I received a letter from dear old NHS stating that 'due to the reorganisation of the fertility clinic' (whatever the hell that means) they have cancelled our appointment and re-booked it for Thursday 10th July. WTF universe!!!!??? (Apologies for the excessive exclamation marks, but I kind of needed to use them to indicate the strength of feeling here).

I have had to adopt: "Breathe-'everything-happens-for-a-reason'- breathe-'everything-happens-for-a-reason'-breathe.." as my mantra just to stop me from absolutely hitting the roof. Not sure it's quite working..

This is typical NHS stuff and in some ways doesn't surprise me one bit. But it's shit all the same.

It adds another three weeks to my current wait (so not a TWW but a ThWW this time).

The ticking of my biological clock is getting deafening these days,  I haven't go the time for this kind of p*ssing-about!!

On top of that I had to cancel a session with my counselling client to accommodate the appointment on 19th.  And I don't like that. At all.

I feel like I should explain. As well as doing my day job, I see counselling clients once a week on a Thursday. (I'm proper qualified and all, but I know it's a bit shocking that they allow someone as emotionally doolally as me to see counselling clients, although I promise, all counsellors are a bit soft in the head and with their own little neuroses).

I normally try to bend over backwards to not cancel my counselling sessions as I know the disruption it can cause on the progress being made. It's just not fair on the clients, but sometimes I accept that it cannot be helped (like when I've got an infertility appointment to attend). So when the NHS starts messing me about, I'm really not happy. Basically I've cancelled next week's session and will have to cancel yet another session on 10th too, on top of two cancelled sessions in end of July  which coincide with my summer holiday. Leaves me feeling like a bit of a shit counsellor, really.

I guess I could try to contact the client to de-cancel (is that even a word?), but it does all get a little messy.. Grrraaahh.. I'll be on the phone to my supervisor on Monday, that's for sure..

The sad thing with the NHS is, that I daren't even try to bring this appointment forward. What would probably happen is that they'd cancel the appointment on 10th and then never get around to re-booking it. The above scenario is not unheard of with the NHS either. So 10th it'll be.

My last whinge is that I'd also already signed up for the IComLeavWe in the hopes of actually having something interesting (and infertility related) to say for people to comment on. Now it'll just be the same-old-same old 'twinge here, twinge there' stuff.

I think I may have to take up some exotic hobby (hang gliding or mountainboarding, anyone?) or something just to while away the days and to keep this space interesting..

Feeling deflated

Posted by Haisla Sunday, 8 June 2014 0 comments

I'm having to admit it, I am feeling deflated.

I was hoping to put it down to yesterday's bad weather, but today is sunny and I am still feeling the same.

I know it is probably partly progesterone related (I ovulated sometime around Weds or Thurs) and am now in the terribly depressing TWW territory again. I'm a bit concerned that I seem to be getting these depressive hormonal fluctuations more frequently now. It used to be just after my period (my post-period blues, that I could recognise and rationalise away) but now it also appears to happen post-ovulation.

I suppose it could also be the accumulated mileage of our fertility journey and the mounting disappointments. Or alternatively I take a really long time to process treatment related failures (i.e. our last IUI) and am just now mourning that, too. I don't know. I've always been a bit of an emotion burier and only years in therapy taught me how to dig around in my emotional quagmire to find the root causes for feeling blah at any one time.

So I think as a result of writing this post I've found it, the root cause for this bout of blah and it is the last failed IUI cycle, indeed. Thanks for dropping by sadness, it's nice to see you made it to the party after all..

But no, I should try to be a bit more compassionate with myself. It sucks. And yes, it was only our 2nd IUI and, yes I had very low expectations for it to actually work, but it sucks all the same. And I've got the right to feel angry and sad and deflated about it.

I think what really doesn't help is that I get extremely short and light periods with Clomid. Which lengthens the period of the lingering (almost psychotic) hopefulness that perhaps I may be one of those women who have light periods and then magically turn out to be pregnant after all. Well, I'm not. I ovulated last week, which I think finally nailed the coffin shut and proved to the eternally hopeful part of my brain that yes, the last cycle WAS A BUST. So now I can mourn and finally let it go. What a mind-f*ck, though, truly.

I'm sorry to be so angry and negative and deflated, but I promise you, this is actually helping.

I may now finally be able to get off my a*se and go and do something useful, like yoga or enjoy the sunshine or something. Thank you for anyone who is reading this for sticking with me on this messy journey. Hopefully I will be off to a sunnier disposition from here on end. Upwards and onwards as they say..

When things actually (sort of) work out..

Posted by Haisla Monday, 2 June 2014 2 comments

We have an appointment to see the consultant on 19th June!! Yay!

And I didn't even need to beg or pester.

I left one message. Rang the following day and was told that the appointment was already booked for us for 19th.

Should I be slightly concerned, though, that I still haven't received a letter to confirm this magical appointment? Perhaps I should re-commence pestering, just so that I'll have something in black and white. It's like the fricking Willy Wonka factory, this clinic of ours. The doors could easily shut on our faces, should we arrive without proof of our worthiness to meet the factory owner consultant.

So that's good news. Hopefully after 19th we'll have some semblance of a battle plan.

The bad news is that my next cycle is due to start two days before that appointment. Which means that my dream of getting an actual IVF cycle squeezed into this side of the summer holidays is probably not going to happen..  Timing-wise it's all a bit screwed up, but I'm trying to hold on to the hope that everything is happening for a reason and at the right time, etc. etc.

Now we just have another month to kill.. More 'natural' TTC (although I'm not sure how 'natural' it is to have a pre-planned sex schedule) on the menu then. Although I think we may just try to have fun this month. Somehow the hope of the (hopefully) upcoming IVF cycle is taking some of the pressure off. Which is nice.

And I think my gratitude exercises are helping. I am feeling genuinely happier just by counting my blessings each morning. Even if sometimes I'm just listing all the mod cons in our flat (this is when I'm still half asleep and unable to string a thought let alone list together).

So turns out that gratitude rocks. I'm going to try to keep it up, alongside yoga and healthy eating and enough sleep (not doing so well on that one considering it's nearing midnight and I need to wake up 6.30am tomorrow).. We'll see how long I'll manage to keep it all up.