FET #2: Second monitoring appointment

Woo hoo! My lining is thick enough! I can go to my sister-in-law’s wedding in Scotland tomorrow!! Yay! (I’m on the way to the airport now)

After a painful 1.5 hour wait at the clinic (apparently one dr thought the other had seen me…at least they apologised for the delay) I got my second and final ultrasound and transfer booked in.

The big day is next Friday. I start progesterone pessaries (they don’t do PIO shots here in Italy) on Sunday. Now I’ve got to try and not get too wound up in the lead up to this. Last time was 100% different as work was a disaster, my boss was putting a lot of extra work and pressure on me (and then sacked me 2 days after transfer). So I know that this time will be easier for that reason alone. Let’s just hope this little PGD normal (but grade c) embryo survives thawing and does what it’s meant to do.

I don’t have high hopes for this cycle to be honest. I think after a certain number of failures it’s normal to be pessimistic…and the benefit is that I’m not too stressed or worried about it. What will be will be and there’s nothing I can do to change it and I’m gonna to my best to keep distracted in the meantime.

On that note I’m looking forward to some mad ceillidh dancing at the wedding tomorrow with the in law’s and kilted men!

Happy Friday everyone!


FYI – this FET I am taking…

  • Prometrium progesterone pessaries 3 x day
  • Progynova (estradiol) 4 pills a day
  • Prednisone 5mg per day starting from transfer
  • Aspirin
  • Vit D
  • Methylated Vit B9 & 12 (as I have a MTHFR mutation)

Nights out in Italy vs UK

Ok just a quick update before I go to bed ready for my second lining check at the hospital tomorrow morning.

I went out tonight to meet up with some girlfriends in the city centre as my husband is already in Scotland preparing for his sister’s wedding (I hope to join him tomorrow, see previous post).

I’m British and like most of my fellow countrymem I absolutely love drinking. Not in an alcoholic way (well ok maybe in a slightly borderline lush sort of way…my nickname for years was Patsy after all).

Since trying for a baby the alcohol has pretty much been reduced to zero (and especially now as I’m in my FET cycle).

Luckily I don’t find it too hard being out without booze in Italy as people here only have a couple of drinks and make them last all evening. This means that people don’t notice me cradling the same glass of red wine for hours at a time.

The downside of nights out in Italy is that everyone smokes. I was sat on a terrace this evening with 4 friends and every single one of them was smoking. It’s not that I mind if there’s a bit of wind…but at one point they were all lighting up at the same time and I was surrounded by clouds.

I hate being the boring one. Before this babyquest I used to smoke and drink and get up to all kinds of mischief. But instead tonight I did the sensible thing and ducked out early leaving a my lovely friends to their fun.

Instead I consoled myself with a cycle ride home through the city’s lovely cobbled streets (see photo below) in the warm late spring evening.

My life is a shadow of what it used to be. But I’m ok with that for a few week’s longer…but definitely not forever…

Happy nearly Friday everyone



FET#2: first monitoring appointment


It’s dildocam time!!

Today is cycle day 9 and I was up early and at the hospital for my first endometrial lining check.

As I was sitting in the waiting room one of my favourite doctors walked past and gave me a wave. I waved back and all the other women waiting around me turned to look. At that moment I realised with a slight sinking feeling that I have now become one of the old timers at the clinic. All the staff know me there: partly because I am a ‘difficult case’ (with BT and three IVFs to my name) and partly because I stick out like a sore thumb being foreign and about a foot taller than the majority of their patients (Italian women are extremely short and petite, I am very much the opposite).

The doctors work on rotation for monitoring appointments at the hospital so I get a different one each time. Annoyingly this time I got my least favourite doctor who always rushes through the appointment at incredibly high speed. After a quick dildocam session I found myself stood by her desk still pulling up my trousers whilst she was telling me important information about my drugs. Since I’m an old timer these sort of things don’t panic me like they used to and I am weirdly proud to say that I have mastered the art of conversing in a foreign language about drug schedules whilst  pulling on my underwear or tying up my laces…(not a life skill that I ever pictured myself acquiring).

It turned out that during my previous appointment (which was also rushed) one of the other doctors made a mistake on the drug schedule and I should be on a slightly higher dosage of estogen pills per day by now. It’s not a big deal and doesn’t affect the FET (apart from making the process slightly longer) but it’s pretty annoying as I’d emailed the previous doctor to check and she had confirmed the lower dosage. Grrr…

From today my dosage has been upped to 4 estrogen pills a day. In my previous FET this dosage made me feel generalised anxiety (tight chest, churning guts, general dread feeling). I’m hoping that this time around (without a stressful job) I will feel better. The next appointment is on Friday morning and if the lining is thick enough then I’ll be starting progesterone pessaries for 5 days before doing the transfer.

A complicating factor for this cycle is my sister-in-laws’ wedding which takes place this Saturday in Scotland. We’d booked flights from Italy to Scotland for Thursday evening but today I’ve had to change mine to Friday evening. We’ve now got to keep everything crossed that the hospital doesn’t need to see me again on the Saturday morning (an unlikely scenario I think, but you never know).

The timing is very irritating, and I’d asked the clinic whether I was able to take birth control pills on my previous cycle to time my period and therefore avoid this issue but they told me that it was bad for my body before a transfer cycle, so we’re stuck in this rather difficult situation. My husband’s family are very understanding but it’s not an ideal scenario. Oh well….deep breaths…

Happy Monday everyone.

FYI – this FET I am taking…

  • Prometrium progesterone pessaries 3 x day
  • Progynova (estradiol) 4 pills a day
  • Prednisone 5mg per day starting from transfer
  • Aspirin
  • Vit D
  • Methylated Vit B9 & 12 (as I have a MTHFR mutation)

Feeling a little bit lighter…

It’s been a while since my last update as I’ve been away on a short holiday to the UK to visit friends and family and get some much needed perspective after the last few months of misery (FET, chemical pregnancy, being fired, loneliness etc).

I spent the first day at a funeral (see previous post) and then headed down to Cornwall with my parents to hang out, run and do yoga. I caught up with a friend there who I haven’t seen in years who it turns out is also in the throws of multiple IVFs. It was great to be able to talk to someone who just gets it and to be able to just rant without having to worry that we’d upset someone.

I finished the week with a hen do in Bath in the west of England. I’d lost contact with some of the girls so it was great to catch up again. One of them was a former ‘partner in crime’ (in our twenties in London we’d end up going for a ‘quiet drink’ which would turn into a huge bender and possibly calling in sick at work the following day). I was severely limiting my drinking that weekend (due to my impending FET) but we still had a lot of fun with Bollywood dancing lessons and a night out on the town. The weekend was a further reminder of the former me. The one who partied and laughed all the time. The one I’m determined to get back to as soon as possible.

I’m back in Milan now and feeling mentally a little lighter than when I left. And it looks like some things might be starting to go my way at last as I may potentially have a job on the cards. Nothing is guaranteed yet but it feels good to be wanted again. The double blow of FET (with PGS normal embryo) failure and then redundancy in the space of a couple of weeks were a big blow for me.

My period started on Sunday so I’ve started the estrogen pills and booked in for my first lining check next Monday morning. I’m feeling particularly pessimistic about this FET (and so is my husband) but I’m going to do it anyway and instead focus on all the things that I’m gonna do if (i.e. when) the FET fails. So far the list contains…

1) Start dance lessons: I’ve been feeling lonely in Milan and I think dancing would be a great way to connect with other women here. I’m not particularly coordinated but I just about managed the Bollywood lessons and really enjoyed the music and have found some lessons nearby.

2) Restart my boot camp training: I’ve stopped these HIIT sessions as they are too extreme for the FET. But I did really enjoy them and they were sociable. So will for sure be back on them if (i.e. when) the FET fails.

3) Book a holiday in January to Canada to see my cousin: my cousin gave birth to identical twin girls this week (she fell pregnant by accident…however that happens) but I love her dearly and am aching to see her little girls and her. We’ve been putting it off for 3 years due to various things (getting married then infertility stuff) and so I don’t want to put it off any longer.

4) Go to Ibiza this summer to visit my old boss: see previous post

5) Have a few months properly off IVF and anything fertility related: this means eating and drinking exactly what I like and putting off any decisions for a while.

I returned to a glorious sunny day in Milan and thought I’d share with you this photo of the poppies near my house. Happy Thursday everyone…



Ahh f*ck it…

So my strange limbo of being off sick at home from work has finally finished and so I am free to leave the house whenever I want to with risk of Italian government inspectors visiting. It’s amazing what you start to appreciate when you’ve had it taken away from you for a while.

I’d been wanting to get out of Italy ever since the redundancy and miscarriage happened back in March, so as soon as my contract ended I booked myself on a flight back to the UK for week.

A couple of week’s ago my husband and I found out that a colleague we used to work with had died suddenly. He was in his late 40s and although he did smoke a lot he was relatively healthy otherwise. The cause of death is still unknown (it wasn’t lung cancer despite the cigarettes). His funeral was yesterday in London so that was my first stop on this trip home.

It might sound strange, but I enjoyed his funeral. He was such a gregarious man who, although not married or with kids, had a large and strong group of friends and family who were absolutely torn apart to see him taken away so early in life. The ceremony itself was heartbreaking but interspersed with humour as the eulogies contained stories of his fantastic sense of humour. It seemed like more of a comedy show with all of us laughing in the pews (just has he would have wanted) in between the tears.

I remember the last time I saw him, a couple of years ago, when he was smoking Marlboro Reds (as he did every day). I remember asking him if he was ever going to give up smoking and he said something along the lines of “Ah f*ck it, I don’t want to live until I’m old, that’s boring, I’m living the way I want to”. And it struck me yesterday as I remembered this conversation that he’d done just what he said, he’d made the most his life by doing exactly what he wanted.

As we raised a glass or two to him at the wake (in a pub obviously) I reconnected with old colleagues and friends. Many of them have taken different journeys through life,  with alternative careers (and some without children) but all of whom seemed fiercely happy. It was truly inspiring.

It made me remember the former me, the me who was always up for a party/drink/late night adventure. I don’t for one second regret those days, but instead look at them and smile inside. I was living the way I wanted to (admittedly with quite a few hangovers).

On the way home it made me wonder about what I’ll do if the next FET fails. I’ve been so boring through the last few years (eating healthily, minimal or no booze etc) that I’ve lost the fun mischievous part of me…and it’s high time that I got a bit stupid again.

So if this FET fails I’m going on a bender… (ok, don’t worry too much, my alcohol tolerance is so low that it probably won’t last long, but I’ll have fun).

Yesterday at the wake my old boss (who’s the most inspiring woman I’ve ever met and who also happens to be childfree in her late 40s) offered me a place to stay in Ibiza this summer. She’s just got a new job running an interactive/immersive/digital events agency there. So who knows, if the FET fails I might head over the Balearics for a party.

If this FET fails I’m gonna have fun, the way I used to, and not feel guilty about any of it any more…

Have a great weekend guys.



Up until yesterday I’d been having a pretty good couple of weeks emotionally. Probably partly due to the exercise and sunshine. I even organised a surprise baby shower for a good friend (who struggled with infertility for 5 years and did IVF). It was a lovely day and great to see her so happy.

Unfortunately I had an unexpected crash yesterday. Something small set it off, as it often does. As I mentioned in my earlier posts I was made redundant from my work (2 days after my embryo transfer). I decided to take long sick leave for the remainder of my work and notice period (which finally finishes this week) as I couldn’t face seeing my nasty boss again. This means that I have been at home, mostly alone, as I’ve had to stay at home for the majority of the day in case the health board come to check up on me (a long story but in short is due to ridiculous rules here in Italy).

These long periods at home alone have been lonely but bearable, due to the exercise and occasionally seeing friends. I’ve made my life small so that I can manage it and overcome the stress that was crushing me before.

Yesterday I was out with my husband and some friends and my two female ex-work colleagues (who are good friends and part of the small ex-pat friendship group I have here in Italy). One of them left our work on Friday and is starting at a new place on Monday….so obviously emotions are flying between the two of them for that reason.

I feel embarrassed to say it but I had the most horrible sense of jealously about their constant hugging and closeness during the weekend and particularly yesterday. It made me feel so left out (and I’m sure it wasn’t meant that way, but I couldn’t help my emotions which ended up coming out in tears like a looney person).

My departure from work was so sudden (I didn’t even have time to say goodbye to anyone). Since then, due to aforementioned logistics, I’ve not seen much of either of them and so I feel quite cut off from them now. It doesn’t help that they are a few years younger than me and obviously have more in common with each other than me, and of course they both don’t have infertility struggles so can drink at parties (which is something I really miss, having been a big party girl in my time).

I feel like I’m struggling with loneliness on three fronts at the moment…

  1. Living in a foreign country makes my friendship group is naturally smaller. We’ve only lived here for 3 years and moved in our mid 30’s so its harder to make loads and loads of friends, and many of them are younger, which can make things harder sometimes. The language barrier also makes things harder, and the fact that many Italian women are very different from me and can be very reserved.
  2. Not working at the moment, and therefore not having daily regular contact with people. This means not having relatively easy chances to make new friends or keep current friendships strong. I am in two minds about working again in the near future due to my the upcoming FET and the stress so am stuck in limbo at the moment.
  3. And of course, infertility, with the disconnection with friends who are mothers and also from single friends who are out partying and drinking (which are of course off limits for me). In addition the sadness of infertility knocks my overall happiness and ability to go out and make new friends.

I know that I’m a resourceful person…but at present, when it comes to this situation, I’m all out of ideas…the combination of these factors seem to be sucking the life out of me right now….