PCOS - check. Infertility - check. IVF - check. 43 years young - check. Sick of babydust - fricking double check. Join a Scottish infertile as she slowly swirls down the plughole. Now with added donor egg flava.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Checking In

8 weeks today, I will be on that KLM flight via Amsterdam!!! Whoooeeee! It is getting slowly closer. I am arranging my meds now from the International Pharmacy in London and almost all the accommodation is booked. I am still procrastinating about where to stay at the latter part of our trip. I want somewhere at the beach and I am a Libran so give me more than one option and I am screwed!!

Saturday's weigh-in was a good one. I lost 2.2 kgs last week which is 4.8 lbs. I know it will have been mostly water weight but it is a good start. Someone in the comments talked about eliminating food groups and that is what I do anyway. As a PCOS girl with Type 2 diabetes, I cut out all sugar and the only carbs allowed are good ones eg. wholegrain. Obviously when I have had bad news of a failed cycle or an ectopic or the end of the West Wing, my first instinct is to dive headfirst into the scones and the doughnuts and any kind of cake at all. Can you spell self-medication?

However, I can cut out all the sugar, eat right and still not lose weight without paying attention to exercising and calorie/portion control. So the walking is still continuing, mixed with a little rebounding and cycling. I even did some gardening yesterday. I definitely can feel my stamina returning. It is actually pretty scary how quickly I lost it.

The way I am keeping my calories down at the moment is by not having a full evening meal. At the moment, my favourite is to have home-made soup with a lot of pulses or beans for protein. A couple of organic oatcakes and we are all the road. It would not work for everybody but it works for me. However, I have not had to go out socially in the evening for dinner yet and this would not work for that. I must say that I have a healthy breakfast and lunch with all the food groups represented. I don't know if it is because when I was pregnant, I never felt like eating at night-time and it has just carried on? Who knows but I am not arguing with the scales.

I am not taking the Proz*c, as prescribed by my doctor. The black hole is not deep enough for that right now and although it says that some weight loss side effects may be experienced, I don't want to mess with that or start taking it so close to doing another donor egg cycle. I know that I am getting better slowly. The ectopic knocked me back hard but I know that I would not be interested in a haircut or new clothes or going out of the house if I was in the hole. I have been there before.

If the next cycle is a bust, I will probably be swigging it down in handfuls with the gin but let's hold thumbs* that I stay teetotal for the next year.

The South African expression for crossed fingers for good luck.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ho Hum

So what's been happening here in the barren Pamplemousse household?

Mr P's band have a gig at an arts festival on the West Coast, beginning of August. It looks pretty cool but I bet it will be crawling with legions of children with their faces painted. And we are maybe camping out so the midges will get me.

We had blood drawn last week for our up-to-date HIV/Hepatitis B and C/syphilis screenings. This is needed for treatment in SA, never mind the fact that my old clinic let us cycle this year with out-of-date results. Little did they know that I love to celebrate an ectopic pregnancy with dangerous activities like too much Pimms, too much cake and not enough shared needles full of heroin. Let us not even mention unprotected s.e.x. What is that???

Ditto the semen analysis required for Mr P. Last one he had done? 3 years ago. Do you see a pattern here? My clinic tried to fob off my complaints with the defence that counting the sperm during ICSI was almost like an SA and I am like "What, dude? Does the embryologist have a copy of that scribble for faxing to SA???

Then to add insult to injury, because I am daring to go elsewhere for treatment (subtext-abroad), the shutters come down and the clinic are unable to provide new testing for us so I have to plead with my GP for help with further testing. Luckily, she steps up to the plate like a trouper but what the hell? I swear that I was ready to start killing people.

Hmmm, what else? Oh yes, my GP also prescribed me Proz*c at the same time. It was probably the wild eyes and the sobbing that gave me away. I am not taking it though, at the moment. I just like to keep a stash in the drug cupboard, together with 3 million unused Gonal-f needles. Anyone need needles, just drop me a line. You are not getting the other stuff in the cupboard yet though.

Amongst the angst and sobbing, I also decided it was time to stop the Pimms and cake and get back on the bandwagon. You know, the diet one. Otherwise the way I am going, I will not fit in my seat on the plane to Capetown.

I have 9 weeks (minus a couple of days) to lose 8 kgs (17.5 lbs). This gets me to my lowest ever IVF weight. Needless to say, I will still be gigantic and wobbly but it would be a start (albeit a small one). I started back on the multivitamins and chromium and magnesium and folic acid, all of which I had stopped when the ectopic was discovered. I know I will struggle once I add the hormones back in in September but I figure I can give it a good go until then. I am due to have my depot Lupron shot around August 31.

This leads me on to my next rant. It is over 2 weeks since I have been at zero HCG so where is my period? I am tortured by my body endlessly. The stupid thing never does the right thing at the right time. I am due to start BCPs when it arrives in July and it is almost August. I emailed the good doctor in Capetown and he says no worries. It is easy for him to say. He is not the one whose body is dysfunctional and cannot ever do anything to a timetable.

And of course, there will be no help forthcoming from my old clinic, will there?

Kudos if you have made it to the end of this ranting post. Feel free to mutter "Oh, shut up" at the computer screen as I do that often too.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

We Built This City on Rock and Roll

The third stage of defoliation occured yesterday. After the triumphant success of overpowering the monobrow and ejecting the hamster from my lip, yesterday was the cut and colour of my so-called crowning glory. Begone grey crone, hello dolly!

Well, not quite a dolly but coiffed, dyed and flat-ironed within an inch of my life. I felt pretty until the sea haar rolled in last night on our nightly walk and totally frizzed me up. It was worth it to feel bonny for a few hours.

Yes, I did say nightly walk. My recent choc ice and sultana scone consumption has meant that drastic action had to be taken. But no-one warned me that after the meth shot, I would feel weak as a baby for weeks afterward. Even just last week, I tried to bounce on the mini-trampoline and had to cry uncle after a couple of minutes as I was pooped with rubbery legs.

What happened to my stamina? Disappeared, laughing with my hopes for a successful pregnancy. Much like any will to get on the fricking trampoline in the first place.

So...last week, seized by a fervour to recover my thighs, I announced to Mr P that we would walk every night. We have no discernible excuse, other than the death ray emitted by the TV that pins me in front of NYPD Blue and King of the Hill. Also I live in the sticks. We just have to fall out of the door in either direction and we have a ready-made walking circuit of 1.8 miles to torture my calves with. I used to do this circuit at a fast clip in 20-25 minutes.

First time out, I had to keep stopping to ooh and ahh over the new baby cows, the Shetland pony, a patch of nettles, the stone on the road in an interesting shape and any other distraction to catch my breath and hitch up my trousers with a very red face. I kept shouting at Mr P to slow down as I had to PLOD!!!! It took us 50 minutes the first time and I could have watered the Gobi desert with my ladylike glowing.

A week later, we are down to 30 minutes per walk and I still have to occasionally pause for a quick calf cramp and a sniff of a rosebush but things are getting better. I am not shouting at Mr P. Well, hardly at all as sometimes I still don't have enough breath.

Next stop...back on the trampoline.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

We Moan About The Weather Regardless

Check this out. As Thalia said, it is not normal for the UK.

I am just alternating between choc ices in Mr P's room on the puter and the hammock in the shade.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

There's No Crying in Baseball

But you cannot watch it here in this country so I will just have to make do with my copy of A League of Their Own.

HCG down to 6 on Monday and I have been officially kicked loose from Ectopic Watch 2006. Apparently, my consultant doctor wants us to have a review appt. in 2 months. Ha! Yeah, right!

Plans for going to South Africa are moving on. The good doctor wants us there on Sept 25th so I have booked flights, trying not to wince at the cost. They are the most expensive flights I have ever paid for.

I don't know what the trick is with all these folks using frequent flyer miles to get free or cheap flights. Is it to fly everywhere, every week or use the same airline all the time to book with? I don't fly often enough and when I do, I am usually looking for a bargain fare, rather than loyalty to a particular airline. My Scottish cheapskatedness does like the sound of free flights.

Our weekend away was great. The weather was pish but what else to expect in July (or any other month) in Scotland. It matched my blah-de-blah mood. There is something about the coastline round Arisaig that speaks to me. It is utterly wild and desolate yet beautiful. Even now, it does not get too crowded. Most folks are on the way to the ferry for Skye and do not tarry much. I did see the cottages in the flesh that I have considered booking online before and now that I know exactly where they are (in an utterly beguiling position), I will be booking a week there for next year.

One thing I did realise at the weekend is that I have not had my hair coloured or cut since March. It was doing away fine until I was pregnant and then I did not want to colour it. Once I was not really pregnant, I did not feel like it. Ditto with the eyebrows and the facial hair. Now I have at least 2 inches of grey roots, a forest of mono eyebrow and a hamster on my upper lip. Even in the depths of depression, I am horrifying myself. week, as well as having who knows how many vials of blood drawn for our up-to-date STD screenings for SA, I am having all my separate hair needs attended to. I don't know if it is an indication of my feeling better or not. It depends on which day you ask me. I am being gentle on myself and trying not to castigate myself for my moping.

One thing I wish I could shake is the knowledge of exactly how many days and weeks I would still be pregnant if it had been viable. When does that go away? (11 weeks tomorrow, in that parallel world where good things happen). I just want to forget now, to stop being haunted.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Gone Fishing

And we are off!

I will be back on Monday for a hopefully final HCG test.

Until then I will be dodging the rain and the midgies and the chips.

I have packed the tankini but it is more likely I will need my cagoule.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Spaghetti Junction

My brain is like spaghetti at the moment. If I was at work right now, I would be totally stressed out haha!

First of all, on the pregnancy front, we are almost not pregnant. Frankly, thank fuck. My HCG went from 3oo-something last Monday to 26 yesterday. No wonder I have been in the toilet emotions-wise. My body is trying to reverse so fast that everything is spinning.

I am still having residual pain (sharp at times) on the side where the ectopic is. The scan yesterday showed the mass is still there but my RE said that it will eventually be reabsorbed into my body. Eeew.

It is the same size, if not a little bigger than my ovary and pressed right on top of it hence the pain. It is more like bad ovary pain than anything else. I keep reminding myself that there is not much room in there and my ovary is protesting at the squatter. Get out, begone, leave me alone.

On the emotional side, I have been indulging in some very unhealthy emotional eating of the sugar kind. You will remember that prior to this DE cycle, I was all about the organic skimmmed milk, bottled water, healthy carbs, my body is a temple preparing to bear my beautiful child, etc, etc. Blech.

Well, that has pretty much fallen by the wayside again and it is all pretty much "What can I eat to make me feel good temporarily and then horribly sick as my blood sugar hits new terrifying highs??". So hence yesterday's gourmet menu (aided and abetted by a side trip to M&S on the way to the clinic):

6 pieces of caramel shortcake
2 iced fruit buns
sushi selection (with free bag of grapes when you spent over £2.50 on sushi)
umpteen cocktail mini sausages
cheese and onion crisps
bombay aloo
chicken dopiaza
pilau rice
onion bhaji nan bread
1 choc ice

Needless to say, by the time I staggered to bed after Big Love, I was ready to heave and was bleating piteously for the Rap-eze indigestion sweeties. Nobody's fault but my own.

However, I am not allowing this orgy of over-eating to continue. Miraculously, I am the same weight I was before I started this last cycle and it is time to re-focus on healthy eating again. Without a focus, I am lost so I have been busy this week.

We have picked a donor for SA, she has accepted, deposits are being paid this week and I am now on the medical documents paperchase for the clinic.

Things have moved fast as I am not prepared to wait for longer than necessary. The time frame should mean that it will be 3 months from the meth shot and hopefully, end of Sept/beginning of October, I will be healed and ready for this next go.

In between that, Deadwood, The Shield and Huff are returning to UK TV screens just to keep me happy. I mean I know I already have Big Love, Lost, CSI Everywhere and NYPD Blue (4 episodes a week!!) to occupy me but a girl can't have too much American TV to entertain her in times of emotional crises.

Oh, I just noticed that it is Independence Day today. I hope you are all enjoying yourself on a beach somewhere. I hate when nobody posts cos they are all on holiday. I imagine everyone doing glamorous things in the Hamptons, or on a yacht, or lounging by the side of a pool. Even in this country, the southern half are getting 90 degree temps where as per usual, here North of the border, torrential rain and thunder storms and lucky to be 70 degrees are the order of the day. No wonder we are all depressed here.