Monday, 3 May 2010

My goodness me!

Well, i never expected such a response so will post it on here after all. Let's just say that the IVF has been successful. It's incredibly early days but I'm definitely pregnant. Have had it confirmed by the hospital and am off there again on Thursday for my second blood test to check my HCG levels are going up.
I'm singlehandedly keeping "Clearblue" in business as I'm doing on of those digital tests every day just to check that the hormone level isn't dropping. I'm currently up to "2-3 weeks" on the conception indicator so it's all good and going up as the other day it was "1-2 weeks". I'm still worried something will happen as apparently IVf babies have quite a high miscarriage rate so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping. If all's well on Thursday then it's a scan about 10 days letter to check on implantation and other bits and bobs.

It was our third transfer - our fresh on at Christmas was a biochemical pregnancy but never got very far and the first forzen embryo didn't work. This was our second frozen embryo transfer and we can pretty much do them back to back because there's no problems with my hormones so they just put one in every few days after each time I've ovulated.

I'm desperately worried something will go wrong but am trying to be tentatively hopeful as this early stage may be the furthest we ever get so we're trying to enjoy it a little bit.

Anyway, reckon this'll be my last proper post for a while but just wanted to say thank you all so much for your support and keep your fingers crossed for me.


Thursday, 29 April 2010

I have news...

don't want to post it on here for the whole world to see but if you e-mail you I promise I'll e-mail back. Soooooooooooo happy!!!

Sorry not been on for ages but have decided to wind this up now - you'll find out why!


Sunday, 21 February 2010


Yay! I'm back in one piece and we've had the most fabulous holiday ever ever ever. The weather in Alpe d'Huez was brilliant - a couple of snowy days but otherwise clear skies and the best snow I've seen in 25 years of skiing. Our boarding got much better and despite a few cartwheels down the slopes, we actually got much better and managed a few red runs on the boards this year rather than the greens and blues of last year.

We had lovely people in the chalet although most of them were under the age of 10 - damn the half term break! and the food was fab, accomodation brilliant and staff amazingly helpful. If anyone wants a decent ski or boarding holiday I can thoroughly recommend skiworld's chalet L'escapade in France. I am on an absolute high after such a relaxing time and I've even managed to put on a bit of weight despite 7 hours solid boarding every day.

However, back to reality with a bump today as I got trapped over at Tom's in the snow and had a terrible drive home which resulted in me skidding onto a busy island and then getting wedged half on and half off my drive. I am so not "the stig". I was already shaking like a leaf when i finally got home and then couldn't get up the slope of my drive without skidding all over the place so ended up half on the drive, half on the road and completely blocking the pavement. I had to make an emergency call to Dad to come and dig me out and I ended up hacking at my drive with a spade whilst wearing my pyjamas, wellies and the trusty barbour as I'd literally leapt out of bed at Tom's when I'd seen it snowing again and tried to get home before the worst of the weather closed in. It was an unusual reunion with my neighbours to see me wielding a spade in cat/dog wellies and my pjs. Always glamour round my way.

Tom's at work today so it's back to the grindstone for me too as it's parents' evening two nights next week and I have all my usual planning for lessons, the headship stuff as well as 37 sets of parents to see. I'm shattered just thinking about it.

I also can't wait for our next round of IVF. I've got to wait until day one of my next period and then phone them up to get started on our non medicated round. With any luck then this should be within the next 18 or so days so it's all pretty exciting again. Never happy though as we had such a good time on holiday that I suddenly thought it might be a long time again until I could strap on a board or skis again - hence the 7 hours minimum non stop boarding every day. I did have lots of little daydreams though about tiny tots on skis and boards and happy family holidays. If anything, this holiday was the first ever where I actually relaxed totally and realised that work is just getting ridiculously stressful and is totally not conducive to a happy little me so after this academic year's over then I think I need to start thinking very carefully about looking after myself a bit more and letting Tom take the reins for a while. It's been great being the boss for a while but my quality of life is so poor that I barely have a chance to flick a duster round, let alone see family and friends or have any meaningful social life. The money I'm bringing in doesn't even really warrant the extra stress either as I'm only actually getting an extra £8 per day - I'd be better off getting a paper round!

So, just wanted to pop on and say hello before term takes over again. It's mad at work at the moment and as we didn't appoint at interview then it looks like I'm in the acting role until at least September so can't see me having much time to blog which annoys me as I miss coming on here so much. Thanks for all the messages and e-mails though - I still love hearing from everyone and apologise for my tardiness in replying!

Anyway, it's time to switch off the internet now and pick up my laptop to start doing some proper work again. Dammit. All I want to do is be sliding down a powdery perfect slope on a board with the sun in my face and Tom bombing down next to me. instead I will be holed up in my freezing house banging out reports and typing lesson plans. Yuck. However, I do have the lovely memories of my holiday to keep me going and a middle aged man whispering "Tungsten Filament" into my ear in a crowded bar will no doubt warm those winter cockles. No, it wasn't Tom with a bizarre twist on wooing but was a bloke in our quiz team giving me the answer to a question about light bulbs - it's pure romance in my world! I've also got my Valentine's present to look forward to which is bloomin brilliant. Tom's taking me to Le Manoir again so we can recreate our first-ish date. I only hope I don't wander into the kitchens and get served cheese which has been ripened in a barrel of football sock squeezings like last time.

Will hopefully pop along again soon though.

Lots of love in the meantime


Monday, 25 January 2010

Mad as a March Hare...

God it's nuts in my world at the moment.

Here's a little Maths problem for you...

One headteacher used to do the job five days a week and have no class to teach.

Two deputies share the role after he leaves but only have a total of 4 release days to do the job between them. They also have their own full time classes to plan for and teach.

Does it add up???


I am run absolutely ragged and barely have time to eat or sleep or think let alone blog so I aplogise profusely to all those people who e-mailed me a little concerned that I may have got stuck down a well etc etc

So, might not be on here much whilst this headship thing is going on but hopefully will be back to my usual self in the not too distant future.

Good news though is that we've been back to the hospital and have got a date for our next round of IVF.

We had a choice when we got there of thawing the embryos one at a time and have 7 more individual goes over the next 18 months or so. This came with no guarantee that the embryos would continue to develop or any increase in percentage chance. It did however, give us more than one free "go".

Option two was to thaw them all and try and grow one to "blastocyst" stage which is apparently when the embryo splits clearly into the part that will become the placenta and the part that will become the baby. If it gets to this stage, and twinned with the fact I had a biochemical pregnancy last time, the consultant says we have an 80% chance of success. However, this is literally putting all our eggs in one basket/test tube as although they may be able to freeze any additional blastocysts, the chances are we will only get one.

So, we've gone with option two. We've gone for the gamble and are hoping March will bring us a little good news. If it doesn't work then it's back to the drawing board, we dig out our piggy banks and go down the paid route with the whole damn needle/injections round from the very beginning again.

The other nightmare is that I am convinced OfSTED will call to inspect our school as soon as the embryologist has implanted me and peeled off her rubber gloves. I then have to think about whether I gamble my baby or my career. I have to get used to the idea that our IVF may never work and that I may only ever have my career to fall back on. Leaving my inexperienced colleagues to steer the ship when it'll be my name on the front of the legal, public document of the OfSTED report would be career suicide.

Tom and I have therefore agreed that we go ahead with the blastocyst transfer as the consultant said the funding options are changing again in April so we may not have this chance again unless we go ahead in March. We've also agreed that if it coincides with OfSTED then I'll just have to go into work too. Our reasoning is that if it's a strong little fighter and a good embryo then it'll be fine; with any luck though, our timings won't coincide with it and all will be well.

If it doesn't work then in the summer we'll be looking to going abroad to pay to have it done, probably in Estonia where I have lots of family. At least there they'll replace more than one embryo so there's more of a chance of it working.

In the meantime I'm on "project fat". I've lost quite a lot of weight through stress recently and my BMI has dropped to 21. Apparently being a little heavier than this is the ideal for pregnancy so the consultant has instructed me to put on a little more weight if possible before the next round. It's a bit hard though when I barely have time to eat and I'm desperately trying to work off the stress and keep fit at the gym 3 or 4 times a week. I don't want to give up the gym because it's what helps me to destress and helps me to sleep after a manic day but at the same time I'm struggling to get enough fuel in to keep the weight on. I've lost almost 5Kg since mid December; the consultant even laughed that I was one of the only people she'd ever known to lose weight during IVF and Christmas!

It's also been a little rough between me and Tom too. We were fine just after the news our first round had been a success and then a failure but then for just over a week we really drifted apart. He was away a lot and I just felt like I'd lost my mojo. I've felt fairly useless in all honesty since the, "loss of the biochemical pregnancy". I guess all the hormonal turmoil was a delayed shock and I've felt pretty ugly, unattractive, unsexy, a bit of a "lab rat" and an all round bit of a nothing actually.
I've had that many people working in my ladygarden over the last couple of months that I'd kind of switched off a little and just begun to treat my body as a bit of a Science experiment. The swelling and bloating which forced me into less glam clothes didn't help either and all that sitting around doing nothing does nothing to fire up your enthusiasm. I've also been so busy at work that I hadn't really addressed how I really felt and dealt with all the feelings of failure. I explained it all to Tom on Thursday and he said he felt we had drifted too. I told him how I felt unattractive and how I felt all the intrusion had made me lose my femininity somehow and now he's on "project sexy". This is his own invention and it has so far ranged from awful karaoke serenades down the phone to me at ridiculous hours, taking me out for some lovely meals, insisting that I shop for a wardrobe of new clothes (I paid before anyone freaks out) and booking us a boarding holiday to get some "us" time. He's a sweetheart isn't he. I shan't lie and say it hasn't been a bit strained lately but I think that we've both acknowledged now that we've had to have a mini-grieve for it all. At least next time we'll know to take more care of "us" as well as the embryo and me.

So, all in all, it's a bit bonkers here really but at least we have March to look forward to. Thanks ever so much again for all your support. Seems odd that it's actually now it's all over that I'm feeling the strain and not whilst I was actually in it.

Anyway, will hopefully post on here again soon but I really am absolutely shattered at the moment. Needless to say I have not forgotten this little cuddly corner of cyberspace and desperately want to be on here more as I miss you guys! However, looks like it might be flying visits over the next few weeks but I shall be thinking of you all and really do get so much support from your messages and e-mails. Am actually just off now to check out the hypno thingy!

Bye for now though.


Sunday, 10 January 2010

You couldn't write it...

Firstly, apologies for not being on here sooner but to say I have had a mad week doesn't really cover it...

On the first day of the children being back at school it was absolutely blizzard conditions. However, these helpfully did not begin until I had made the decision to keep the school open. I was therefore greeting irate parents and annoyed children at the gates in the worst blizzard I'd ever seen, trying to justify why I'd stayed open. Inside I was absolutely cringing; this was my first big decision and I'd seemingly messed up. This all paled into insignificance after what happened next.

A teacher ran over a pupil.


On my first day in charge, a member of staff managed to hit a child in a her car.

You can imagine my panic!

Luckily my NPQH headship training all came flooding back and within a few minutes I had sorted it all out with the police, ambulance crews, the unions, the local authorities and squared all the paperwork with everyone.

The child was with its mother at the time and literally stepped backwards without looking, straight in front of my colleague's car, who, because of the weather, was barely moving so the child wasn't injured at all. The paramedics didn't even take them to hospital. It was my colleague who was most shaken up by everything. When I phoned the local authority and my union rep, I swear they were actually laughing that it was my first day! Turns out that because it was before school and not on school property that it's classed as a "normal" road traffic accident so nothing to do with the school. As it turned out, as soon as the children were inside, it stopped snowing too so I'd made the right decision after all - phew!!

All's sorted now though; the child is fine, my colleague's fine and the parents of the child are fine too. A pretty hectic first day I think you'll agree though. Could only happen to me.

Anyway, have spent most of the rest of the week in absolute agony. I've had the worst headache and weird hot pins and needles all over me all week. Twin that with the fact that AF arrived on Thursday night and you have a pretty rotten week. I went to the hospital on Friday morning for my blood test to check my hormone levels and had a lovely chat with the fertility nurse. She ushered me in for a blood test and then asked me "What are we doing with you today?" I had to admit I didn't know and then all of a sudden I just kind of broke down. I sat with my head in my hands, not crying, just shaking like mad, like I was in shock. I'd kept so much bottled up since Monday that I just cracked.

She was an absolute angel and spent ages explaining everything to me. I'd got myself so worked up about the fact that it was somehow "my fault" and that I'd done something wrong. I'd been fine when I thought it hadn't worked as somehow that was just disappointment. Now that I knew I had actually been pregnant and that it had worked, I was blaming myself.

She reassured me that if I'd done something wrong, it wouldn't have stuck in the first place. She also said that a positive blood reading for pregnancy is 5 and because mine was 12 it had, in her own words, "had a really good go". Apparently it's more than likely something that was genetically wrong with the embryo, especially as we've had to have ICSI and not just IVF where they have to strip the eggs and then inject them rather than just letting them fertilise "naturally". I felt a lot better about this as I'd been beating myself up all week. She explained that the hospital view this as a really positive sign as it shows my other bits and pieces work together to make a decent environment for the embryo to attach. It just seems that my little fragglebaublebaby wasn't strong or well enough to hang on in there.

Tom's been great about everything but he's being adamant that I shouldn't think of the embryos as potential babies or as real humans. He's constantly correcting me if I refer to them in that way and although I know he's doing it to try and protect himself and me from too much hurt, it doesn't always feel like just a "Science experiment" when you're raging with unfamiliar hormones.

Basically this week, I'm having to "lose" our biochemical pregnancy which, without it being a case of too much information, has not been pleasant. I've felt wretched all week although the nurse said the headaches, dizziness and odd pins and needles is more likely to be related to the stress of it all rather than the physical symptoms. She did say that they had really put my body through a lot over the last 6 weeks or so and that I was bound to feel run down and poorly. In the words of Robbie Williams "I look like Kiss but without the make up". I have bags under my eyes you could holiday for a month with and weight's dropping off me by the day despite eating constantly - always a sign of stress with me.

We're due to see the consultant again on the 19th to discuss our options and we've decided we'll just keep on going for it. Tom says he'll support me all the way although I'm just to tell him if I get too tired or need a break from it. My mum is devastated about me "losing" this one and also wants us to get cracking again. So, hopefully we'll hear that we can get started again around easter time.

I've also been pretty much housebound this week as the TT is like driving an ice skate. Dad or Tom's been driving me into work every day although I did drive myself in on Friday. I tried to go and see my Grandad on the way home from work but after skidding backwards down a hill with my hazards and horn on full whack for about 1/4 of a mile in some sort of "backwards Olympic car sledging" event, i decided I'd probably be better off at home with my naughty car left on my drive to sulk in the cold.

I've spent most of the weekend just sleeping at Tom's; I am no longer part hen but am seemingly part dormouse. I now resemble an extra from the Thriller video rather than an actual corpse now. I'm currently back at mine though and am whipping up gallons of wholesome curries and stews to re-stock the freezer and try and bung some meat back on my bones - my leggings currently look like baggy sweatpants! Tom was laughing at my ribs this morning whilst showering - ever the romantic!!

Anyway, just wanted to pop on and update a little. Hope everyone's all well in the snow and keeping warm. My house has now been declared by the met office "Coldest place in the UK" and I'm expecting a gaggle of reporters in puffa jackets from the local newsteams to start doing their outside broadcasts from my lounge. Even the new thermal lined curtains my dad put up for me the other day are not providing any extra insulation. To add to the arctic ambiance, the bloomin radiator in here's sprung a leak so it's even colder than usual. Happy days.

Lots of love to you all in the meantime though.

Keep warm!!!


Monday, 4 January 2010

End of round one.

Well I guess the title says it all really. Started spotting last night so thought "sod it" and had a big glass of wine with my dinner at mum's after doing yet more tests which turned out to be negative.

Was up with Tom at 5.30am this morning to make the dark trip into hospital in -5 degree temperatures to have the news broken to us formally.

I had to take a urine sample in and have a blood test but the urine sample is definitely a negative so the blood test is now a formality just to check my own hormone levels.

We have an appointment to see the consultant in a couple of weeks to look at all of our options and next steps too which should be something to look forward to.

Good news is though that we thought we'd have to start saving a few pennies to pay for all the embryo transfers but apparently not! This little frozen team get thawed and replaced for nothing; it's only if we need another full round of the egg collection surgery and jabs that we need to pay. Some other good news was that although we only thought we had 6 frozen embryos, apparently one more made a last dash for the finish line and started developing so now we have seven.

Every cloud I guess therefore has a silver lining but it doesn't stop it raining and I feel like it's pouring today. I had to drive back to school alone as Tom had to dash off to catch a train to London. I had to walk straight back into a room full of over 30 staff and rally them all ready for the new term under new management. I don't quite know how I got through it. I made gags, I told little stories and somehow managed to go through the next term's action plan, staffing structure and begin the induction of 2 new other staff as well as begin sorting out a grievance. I will admit though that after that, I hid in my office, read my lovely text messages from Tom and almost broke down when our "Care Coordinator" came in to check I was OK (we have a dedicated member of the support team who is a family liaison and crisis officer as well as sometimes staff counsellor.) I told her all the gory details but didn't crack, even when she offered to make me a cup of tea which is what usually makes the old chin start to wobble on me.

I'm home now and must have looked a right miserable cow cause I didn't go round saying goodbye to anyone. Just hope when news filters round they cut me some slack about it.

Have got a pile of marking to finish off and the house needs a good clean - no more getting out of the hoovering in case I dislodge the embryo.

Am not going to lie and say things are fine at the moment. Feel numb about it all actually. The whole round of injections, early morning dashes to the hospital, the scans, the surgery, the medications and the waiting and hoping all seem like a bit of a dream now. The not so nice thing is now that we have to go through pretty much all of it again.

Oh well my little fragglebaublebaby, I don't know who you would have been, what you would have become or why you didn't stick around but I want you to know you would have been loved so very very much. I tried ever so hard to make you stay but you obviously weren't ready or thought that I wasn't ready for you. I'm so sorry if it's something I did wrong; if I'd have known how to do it, I would have done anything to ensure you were safe. Just the thought of the chance of you made me and Tom so happy and for that short time we thought you might keep growing and staying around, you made us so excited and proud.
Maybe one of your chilly little brother and sister embryos will be the one who I help to grow but you will always be so very special. You were our very first and the embryologist said you were the very best. I agree. I don't know what happened and will happen to you now but although you were only a few cells big, you changed me and Tom forever. Your chilly little siblings will have such a loving family to come into if they can stick and stay; this we found out because of you. Every member of our families from the oldest granny to the youngest cousin, from the littlest aunty to the biggest beefy rugby playing uncle were all rooting for you. We're all just waiting and waiting to love one of you. I only hope that it's soon.

Thank you my little fragglebaublebaby for showing us how much we are loved and how lucky we are to have each other and our families. I'm going to sign off now and hopefully update again soon.


OH FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!!!!!!!
Just got a phone call from the hospital and things just get worse. On new Year's Eve when I did the test, I bought it because i felt "different". I can't explain it, just that I didn't feel my usual self since the transfer but on this day I felt like my normal self again. I mistakenly thought it was because I might actually be pregnant and I was starting to "feel" the pregancy hormone. Turns out I couldn't be more wrong. The hospital just called to say there's a problem with my blood result. Apparently my blood reading for HcG is "12" which indicates that at some point I was actually pregnant and the embryo had implanted and started producing its own HcG. However, 12 is apparently too low to indicate an ongoing pregnancy. The upshot is that it appears I was pregant and then "lost" the pregnancy so the shift in feeling I had on New Year's Day is probably when the pregnancy ended! The hospital explain this as a "biochemical pregnancy" and they said it's good news as it shows I have some sticking power. Bloody hell though. Now I feel even worse. Got to go back to hospital on Friday morning for another blood test to check my hormone levels are continuing to go back down. It may however, explain the funny line on that very first "tesco toilets" test. Am utterly up in the air and completely blaming myself for overdoing it during that first week. Why can't even this part go smoothly???? AAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

What's the similarity between me and chocolate?

They both start to melt when things start to heat up...

Yes, along with my selection box that I left too near the portable heater (my house still isn't any warmer) I am experiencing a minor meltdown.

It appears that the early testing rollercoaster triggered off a lot of stuff that I had kept a lid on recently. In fact, Tom and I were only saying the other day how we seem to have sailed through all of this so far and that the horror stories of hormonal nutcaseness that were sold to us may well have been from attention seeking ladies with nothing better to focus on.

It appears we were wrong. Very wrong. The hormone train hit me like an express freight version the other day and I sobbed solidly from New Year's Day until last night. I don't know what came over me. One minute I was fine and the next minute I started sobbing and shaking and couldn't stop. I was even laughing but crying at the same time. I've had every single feeling you could ever have within the worst PMT ever. I've had a feeling of being a complete and utter failure, a self loathing the likes of which you've never seen before, anger so strong I swear I could knock out Mike Tyson in one Miss Piggy punch, utter frustration and of course complete and abject misery. I'm fine now though. A very long chat with Tom yesterday sorted me out and a trawl round some carpet shops for my new lounge carpet reminded me that there are people worse off in the world than us. (you don't half get some nutters wandering amongst the roll ends...)

The upshot though is that I feel incredibly fragile at the moment. I've therefore done what anyone does in a crisis and gone and blown a couple of hundred quid in the sales on boots that are fabulously impractical and achingly fashionable tops and jackets that make me feel better about the IVF fiasco. There's nothing more soothing than entering your pin number and being passed a shiny new pair of boots wrapped in tissue. And relax.........

Have also kept sales of early pregnancy test kits nice and high and have done at least one every day. I've not even had a whiff of the second pink line like on the first "Tesco Toilets Test" and so have now accepted that this little fragglebaublebaby just didn't want to stick around. The faint line was obviously a hangover of the HCG injection prior to my surgery. Ah well, at least we had an extra decoration on the tree this year and I got out of the washing up. Every cloud and all that.

We're off to the hospital for 8am tomorrow to have it confirmed and then at 9am I begin my first day in my new role as acting head. No pressure that morning then.... God knows how I'm going to walk out of the test results and into a staff room full of expectant faces and keep it all together. Time for some deep breaths, eye of the tiger backing music and a few shouts of "I am iron!!!" before I go in.

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks so much to everyone who has supported me so far through all of this. It has made the whole process so much easier to bear and I don't have to put my "brave face" on with you lot all the time like I do with my family and friends - you see, a lot of the time I don't want to upset them; they've done more than enough to support me over the last 18 months.

So, I'll say goodbye for now and confirm tomorrow that our little fraggle had just the one Christmas with us. Lots of love in the meantime and thanks again.

A rather wobbly,