Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Currently...

Feeling...
... sore.


It's all because of that little beauty up there.

That's my Clexane injection (the blood thinner) which is in a very funky preloaded syringe. Now I like the format of this, even though for the first few days I was convinced I wasn't doing in properly because you can't actually see the liquid going in. Also when you get to the end of the injection this outer tube comes down to cover the needle. It's clever.

The needle is pretty thin and although it's fairly painless going in (once you've broken the skin at least) but the solution burns and stings like crazy. It actually brings tears to my eyes (whereas in the past the tears normally come before when I'm trying to mix up the injectables).

I don't know where I went wrong this evening, perhaps I pressed in a little too hard, perhaps I hit a spot I've hit before, perhaps it was just bad luck. I managed to make myself bleed with this one.

I'm now sporting a lovely plaster on my bloated belly.

Going...
... slowly crazy.

It's so frustrating not knowing what's happening in your own body, especially when everything that could be a pregnancy symptom can also be a side effect of the meds you're on.

After having five days off work (four of which were full days post transfer) I was getting kind of ready to go back. Not so much because I wanted to work, but because I thought being out of the house would help take my mind off things.

I don't really think it has. Now I'm wondering whether my computer chair is to blame for my backache and the fact that come lunchtime today and yesterday my belly has bloated up so badly I've had to unbutton my trousers (thank goodness for long tops)!

Relaxing...
... by (attempting to) keep calm and colour unicorns.


Thus far I've completed two unicorn pictures and I'm working on a third, this time in rainbow colours:


I spent a good chunk of last Thursday, Friday and some of Saturday working on that one on the left. I'm not sure it really succeeded in taking my mind off of things, but it was good to have something to focus on. I also like that each page has an inspiring quote on it.

I'm planning on heading to bed in a minute (because I'm exhausted) and entertaining myself with a little more unicorn colouring while with watch The Dukes of Hazzard. Hopefully I'll have a rainbow unicorn to share in an upcoming blog post.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Books 48 & 49 of 2016: Christmas Entertainments by Alice Maude Kellogg & A Cowboy For Christmas by Kristen James

It's nearly June so what better time to review the books that I was reading last Christmas?

Both of these were ebooks from my extensive Christmas ebook collection, the first of which was Christmas Entertainments by Alice Maude Kellogg. This is a collection of poetry and prose for school plays written by in 1897.


Before I even get to reviewing the contents of the book, I have a bit of a bone to pick with the formatting of this ebook. The poems ended up with a scroll arrow right at the bottom of the page, which I've never seen before. It was in exactly the right place to mean when you hit it you frequently brought up the progress bar instead of scrolling down to the next stanza of the poem.

On a couple of occasions I wasn't paying attention, hit the scroll arrow, brought up the progress bar and then tapped again so jumped forward in the book and had to try and backtrack to where I'd been moments before.

I don't know if this was just my old Kindle being, well, old, or if this is something screwy in the way this ebook was set up. I've never seen it before and there didn't seem to be any way to turn it off. Perhaps at some point I'll try downloading it onto my new Kindle to see if this still has the scroll button, but I'm probably not that invested in this book to bother doing that.

This book was very dated which meant that it came across as kind of offensive. A lot of the little plays/rhymes for children to recite would need reworking to make them less racist or sexist. Plus a lot of them call for the songs to be sung to the tune of songs which aren't widely known any more.

It's a nice little snippet of history but I think it would be pretty redundant for what it was originally intended as.

Still in the mood for something festive, I followed this up with A Cowboy for Christmas by Kristen James.


When the brother she barely knew passes away, Missy inherits his share of the Stables he was running with Brent and decides that she won't let her lack of knowledge of horses put her off trying to make a go of it. Brent's not convinced she's got the staying power the business needs and, of course, sparks begin to fly.

This is a really short read, just 176 pages. I read it in a few sittings over the course of the day on the 27th of November. You pretty much know what to expect from a book like this and this book pretty much delivers.

It was fairly obvious that Missy and Brent were going to get together, you can kind of tell that from the title and the cover. It's kind of like when you watch a romantic comedy, it's not about the ending since you already know what will happen, it's about the route they take to get there.

I did like the writing style. It wasn't trying to be anything fancy but I enjoyed the descriptions of the scenery. There was also a sample of another book at the end which sounded pretty good as well.

A nice little read if you're looking for something vaguely festive and totally fluffy.

Monday, 29 May 2017

IVF #3, FET #3: Transfer Day, Part 2

On Saturday I told you about our wait to hear from the Embryologist on T-Day (and my subsequent hanging up on him, oops). I'll pick up where I left off.

We'd just had the call when we were in the shop trading in our phones. I stepped away from the counter before darting back to relay the message to Mr Click. We finished up what we were doing there, the staff wished us good luck and told us to stop back in the future to let them know how we got on.

And then we wandered round to Paperchase to cool our nerves for a little while before making the move towards the hospital.

We were to be there for 11am so well in advance of that, we caught the bus and headed hospital-wards. I'd gone from a buzzing ball of anxiety to a buzzing ball of excitement. I'd not wanted to get my hopes up too much in case of disappointment, but now we'd got the go ahead, I was so ready for it.

Now one of the worst things about an embryo transfer is that you have to have what is termed a 'comfortably full bladder'. Anyone who has ever tried to sustain a comfortably full bladder will be aware of what an oxymoron this is. Your bladder can either be full or comfortable, but not both.

I've been stung by this before. On my first transfer, when I followed the medical advice to the letter, I duly emptied my bladder an hour and a half before my appointment time and began drinking an hour before. I'd been advised to drink a bottle of water. By half the bottle I was bursting and I spent most of the wait for the transfer pacing because I was convinced I was going to wet myself!

Since we'd been given a time of 11:40am, I figured I'd start drinking at about 11am. The progesterone I'm on has been making me pee more so I thought it'd take me less to fill myself up. As it happens, just because I feel full, doesn't mean I'm actually full. Lesson learned, though hopefully I won't need to put that into practice again any time soon.

We were summoned through at almost bang on 11am, making me glad that I'd sent Mr Click away to get his coffee when I did otherwise I would've been flying solo for the transfer. One of my favourite nurses, K, took us through where we were immediately changed into our stylish transfer-wear:

Proving you don't have to shop at Ann Summers for baby-making outfits!
I started to panic slightly because things were moving along a little quicker than I'd been expecting, so I began chugging water. As I said, I did feel pretty full but as I later learned, not quite full enough.

K returned with our letter with our pregnancy test details (a date that I'm keeping close to my chest so I don't have people asking whether we know if it's worked yet or not). Followed shortly afterwards by the Embryologist, M, and our Doctor, Dr. S, who I've seen before (I think she did our first egg retrieval but I'm not sure), she remembered us anyway.

M straight away confirmed that both embryos survived the thaw and they were looking 'beautiful'. They were both top grade when they were frozen and of the two one had thawed back to top grade, the other one was still expanding (I think she said 95% so nearly there) so it wasn't given a grade but it was still looking good.

Originally we'd planned to be somewhere near the bottom of the list for the day's transfers so I suspect that if we'd not been in such a hurry to get them back where they belonged, they both would've been fully expanded and maybe even starting to hatch as some of our previous ones have been.

Neither was hatching at the time we saw them, but for me that also felt like a good omen. With Olaf and Elsa they were compacted at the time of transfer, so perfectly circular with no little bubbles poking out. Obviously a hatching blastocyst is perfect for transfer since it should be ready to get stuck right in, but neither of our hatching ones have hung around for long so I was happy with how our two were looking.

M checked that we wanted to see them on the screen when we went in, of course we did, then she hurried off to get them ready. Meanwhile, Dr. S. went over the transfer process with us. Since we're old hands at this now she didn't linger on it too much, other than discussing the risks of multiples, which we were aware of. She did mention my previous issues, particularly last year's spectacular failure. Apparently transferring a second embryo increases our chances by about 5% and I'll take whatever I can get.

And just like that we were ready to go.

We headed through to the room. I went over to the hatch, handed over my ID card to the Embryologist (so we could make sure that the Click embryos went back, rather than anyone else's), then I hopped up on the bed, stuck my feet in the stirrups and had my lady bits exposed to everyone in the room with the exception of Mr Click who had been deposited in a seat at my head.

A minute or two passed and then two little circles popped up on the screen. On the right was our top quality, fully expanded embryo and on the left was the one which was still working on re-expanding. Something they've never done before at transfer is pointing out which bit of the embryo will become the baby, but this time they did. The right one's Inner Cell Mass could be seen at the three o'clock position and the left one's Inner Cell Mass was at the twelve o'clock position; a little dark bubble of cells which could some day be a person. It was incredible.

This was probably my most uncomfortable transfer. I don't know if it's the meds I'm on or if I was really tense but I felt pretty tender while they were working on me.

The process is supposed to be a little like a smear test. A speculum is inserted, then a catheter is fed through the cervix, then when everything is as it should be the embryos are brought through in a separate catheter and they're popped back where they belong.

And if you've got a full enough bladder you can watch the magical process on the ultrasound screen thanks to the nurse pushing the ultrasound scanner on your bursting bladder. In the past we've seen it really clearly but this time I wasn't quite full enough so it was harder to make out what was going on. Dr S didn't really need the ultrasound, it was just to help make sure everything was positioned right and is actually more for our benefit than theirs.

Despite not being as clear as it could have been we were still able to see the little flash of fluid containing our embryos being pushed into my uterus. At least until I sort of giggled nervously and jiggled things a bit so we lot sight of them again. It's hard to stay still for all this.

And then you're more or less free to go. We headed back to our room, got changed and had some extra meds delivered.

Then it was time to hop in a taxi, grab some lunch and head home where I, feeling totally exhausted, hopped into bed and watched most of the second series of Outnumbered to remind ourselves of what we're getting into.

Oh, and we've named our embryos. In honour of the fact we've been watching The Dukes of Hazzard recently, currently nestled in my uterus are Bo and Luke, Mr Click even uttered a little 'Yee-haw' when they went back.

Let's hope they stay there for the next nine months or so.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

IVF #3, FET #3: Transfer Day, Part 1

It's funny how little superstitions creep in around your IVF cycles, especially when you've done more than one cycle. I'm guessing this is probably a normal thing to happen, I've definitely read of people who have to eat at a certain restaurant after transfer or will watch a particular film in the run up to egg collection, because that's what they did when it worked, so that's what they have to do this time.

I'm afraid I am one of those people.

The day before our transfer I very carefully made a list of all the things we needed to do that night and evening. This included things like organising the medication I would need the following day (since we needed to leave early and didn't know what time we would be back), laying out my clothes (so we could get up and leave with the minimal amount of stress) and making sure my lucky unicorn Ixi was packed in the bag Mr Click would be carrying (I have been banned from all heavy lifting).

The outfit I picked out is the exact same one that I have worn to every other appointment for this frozen embryo transfer; comfy jeans (with a hole in, oops), stripey top, Hogwarts Quidditch top and Wonder Woman socks. This was what I wore for the egg collection and that went pretty damn well, so I wore it for my baseline scan and that went perfectly, so I wore it for my lining scan and that went really well too. So there was never any question that I would wear anything else for Transfer Day.

Now although this is our third frozen transfer, it's our fourth transfer total. Two of those we've travelled to the hospital by car and one on public transport; the one where we travelled by public transport was the one which stuck (for a while). There was some debate about how we would get to the hospital and eventually we decided we would go by train and bus to keep the day kind of relaxed and give us something to do if we had a bit of a wait before we could go in.

The way that a Frozen Transfer works means that first the embryo has to be thawed, this only takes about twenty minutes but then they like to monitor them for a while to make sure they do everything they're supposed to. Ideally an embryo will be warmed up and then will continue on as it did before, dividing, preparing to hatch, actually hatching. Some are a little sluggish (who can blame them after being 'asleep' for so long) and others hop right back to it.

So on the day of the transfer you'll get a call from the Embryologist to let you know if they've thawed successfully. We'd given permission to keep thawing embryos if one didn't make it, but I was still hoping it wouldn't come to that. You don't like to think about your potential future babies failing to make it over the first hurdle. Nine seems like such a lot but it's strange how quickly it can seem like hardly any.

We had to leave before we got that call so we made our way into Glasgow, along the way I got very excited to see a pair of magpies out the train window (two for joy, of course) and the woman sat opposite us obviously overheard me freaking out talking about the transfer with Mr Click and wished us good luck as we got off.

Even though I knew we had pretty good odds for a successful thaw, I couldn't help but feel that little niggle of doubt that it wasn't going to work. We've been pretty lucky so far to have three embryos frozen and three make it through the thaw. That's 100% success. What if, I wondered, we'e used up all our luck? What if this is the time they don't make it? How many of our top quality embryos could we blow through in one go?

We headed up to trade in our old phones when the call from G, the Embryologist came in. Did I mention I got a new phone last week? Well I've never actually had to answer a call on this phone before!

Here's a little tip if you might be getting a call from your Embryositter: Make sure you know how to answer your phone!

I hung up on him!

In case you're keeping track, that's now twice I've failed to take a call from the Embryologist, the first being their first day of life when I totally missed their call. Thankfully G called back a second later. He was fine about me rejecting his call, I'm guessing they get a lot of that; anxious parents hitting the wrong button or something.

And he had good news for us.

Both embryos survived the thaw! And since we were already in Glasgow we got bumped up the list. Transfer was set for 11:40am giving us about an hour and a half before we needed to head to the hospital.

As for what happened when we got there, I'll save that for Monday, which is when this happened:

Friday, 26 May 2017

Frozen Embryo Transfer Update

I'll write a proper blog post later but for now enjoy this quick selfie I snapped yesterday of Mr Click and I all suited and booted (or at perhaps bootied, since we had to cover our feet with those paper booties they wear in Silent Witness at crime scenes).


This was taken shortly before we went in for the transfer, which, if I have slightly more energy than today, I shall tell you all about tomorrow.

Spoiler Alert: It went really well!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

IVF #3, FET #3: T-Day!

Today is the big day!

Note: We're not bring all nine home with us, this just happened to be the first embryo photo I found on my laptop!

Hopefully by the time you're reading this I will be what is known in IVF-circles as 'PUPO', that is 'Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise' and all being well my future offspring will be getting snuggled in nice and tight ready for a cosy nine months with me.

I have no idea which of the Nine that will be, but I'm hoping that some time in the future they might get to read the letters I wrote to them during April (along with the dozens of others I intend to write along the way).

If any of you would care to put out some good vibes into the universe in whichever way you prefer; good thoughts, well wishes, prayers, whatever, they will all be gratefully accepted.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Currently...

Making use of...
... the local library at last!


The library is open late on a Tuesday so I took advantage of this to pop in on the way home from work and pick up the May Book Club book.

Of course, this means that I'm now frantically trying to finish the ebook I'm reading at the moment. It's taking a little while since I'm falling into the habit of nodding off while I'm reading it. The night before last I woke up to find Mr Click blissfully snoring away on top of my Kindle. Luckily there was no harm done.

Preparing...
... for tomorrow! Embryo Transfer Day!

I wrote out a massive list of things I needed to get done this evening. We've got a very early start tomorrow and I've got the complication of meds to take before I go so I need to get as much done as possible tonight.

As I'm writing this, I'm charging my Kindle, Fitbit and powerbank. Next up on the list is organising the clothes I'm planning on wearing (my lucky outfit which I've worn to every appointment on this round, the nurses must think I'm a real skank with only one set of clothes). That's to be followed by doing a stock take of the meds I have in the cupboard (and scattered elsewhere around the house) so I can request extras to see me through to the Official Test Date.

Off...
... for an early night.

We do have an early start after all. And it's kind of an important day for us.

Keep everything crossed for a successful thaw and transfer.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Books 46 & 47 of 2016: The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel & Dear Almost a poem by Matthew Thorburn

Yesterday I shared The Hogwarts Tag which included a picture of my Halloween costume for last year. I very carefully hand-lettered a book cover for a Muggle Studies textbook. That 'textbook' was actually the 46th book that I read last year, The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel, the fourth book in the Earth's Children series.

When it's not dressed up as a Hogwarts school book, it looks like this:


This book follows Ayla and Jondalar's journey back across all the land that Jondalar spent the last two books travelling through. Their journey is pretty time sensitive as the last bit of the journey requires them to cross a glacier and warmer weather is rapidly approaching. They meet up with a lot of other people and have a lot of hot prehistoric sex!

This is a massive book; it clocks in at 724 pages! This was the main reason I picked it to become a Hogwarts textbook because it looked suitably massive enough to be a magical book. Sadly I don't have Hermione's beaded bag so it took me nearly a month to read as it had to stay at home rather than come out in my bag; if I'd taken it with me there was very little room for anything else!

I think it would have been better as at least two, if not three books. Ayla and Jondalar spend time with several different tribes and since Auel goes into so much detail on everything that even more detail could've been given to the cultures and the book wouldn't have been so huge. There was SO MUCH of this book dedicated to the scenery and the flora and fauna that I couldn't help but skim read those bits.

And then there's the sex. There's so much sex. Ayla and Jondalar regularly stop to 'share Pleasures', which isn't bad in and of itself but the book could have been about two hundred pages shorter if they'd not stopped to bonk quite so often!

When I finished this on the 24th of November I was initially at a bit of loss for what to read next and just planned to select a Christmas read from my Kindle when I arrived home from work to find a package from Stacy @ Stacy's Books. It contained a copy of Dear Almost a poem by Matthew Thorburn.


This is a book length poem, written after the author and his wife experienced a miscarriage. It's addressed to the child who they never got to meet.

It arrived on exactly the right day, the one year anniversary of losing our twins and it was just what I needed to read. I'm not sure I can even formulate the words to explain just how beautiful this book is. I had a physical ache in my chest as I read it. I stopped up late and cried.

You can actually feel the love and grief in the words on the page, but in a way it was also nice to read. Pregnancy loss is one of those things which is so rarely spoken about, it was strangely validating to read a book written by someone who experienced it and had gone through all those emotions you had felt and were feeling.

I don't normally share quotes on my book review posts anymore, but this one had so many quotes I wanted to save in my book journal that I can't help but share the top five I selected to copy out in the the end, because this will explain my feelings for this book far better than any words I can use.

Pages 25 & 26
I want to show you
what life is like
here where you ought to be
with us, but aren't:
a not-uncommon story
though few people will tell you

it's their story too. They choose
not to relive it, relieved
not to revisit what happened
or didn't. What should have.
What went wrong
for no other reason, finally,
than that it didn't go right.
Ours is the story of how
is became was and was became
wasn't, became no,
became not. The story of
our almost girl, our might've been.

Page 41
This is the story of
what's missing, a space
one can see only
because we've filled in
everything around it:
keyhole I peer through
to what I can't hold,
little hole in my heart
where the air leaks out,
little no more, no luck or way
or how.

Page 44
I think of you still,
so still, and not there anymore
in that dark room,
though I ought to know
better, though I feel
the tiny light I cup
deep inside me gutter
and go out. "It's strange,"
Lily says when
I come home, "and unsatisfying, isn't it?
To hurt like this for someone

we never met?"

Pages 53 & 54
There's
a piece of me that's
missing. I almost didn't
know she was there
but she was there and now
she's gone.

Pages 71 & 72
It scares me
I can no longer
picture your face,
which was only ever
my imagining of
how your face
might look someday -
not enough
to hold onto.
I've had to learn to live
with this: we
didn't see you, didn't
meet you, only
knew you
were there a little while
and then you weren't.

There are lots of little repeated motifs through the book as the seasons change and the author seems to come to terms with the loss they experienced. The sense of loving someone you never got to meet and really knew nothing about, but who you loved completely unconditionally.

Even if you've never suffered that kind of loss yourself, read this book. It might just give you a glimpse into what other people have suffered and you might come close to getting a tiny sense of understanding.

Just read it.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Hogwarts Tag

I've started keeping a little document on my laptop for blog post ideas and when I saw The Hogwarts Tag on A.J. Sterkel's blog @ Read All The Things, I knew that was a thing I needed to do.

Being a massive Harry Potter nerd, who has spent part of the last week planning a trip to London for the studio tour, this seemed right up my street. If it's your kind of thing too, feel free to tag yourself and leave a link in the comments to your answers.


The Hogwarts Tag

Am I a Pureblood, Half-Blood or Muggle Born?
I swing between being Pureblood and Half-Blood. I think maybe I'm technically Pureblood, but there's a Squib in there somewhere which muddies the waters somewhat! I'm happy to embrace my Muggle-ish side.

Which wand chose me?
Laurel, 10 inches, unicorn hair core (of course), slightly springy.


Did I take an owl, cat, rat, or toad with me?
It would obviously be a rat. I just might have to smuggle two in with me, after all, they need ratty company!

For practical reasons, later on I think an owl would be useful, but while I'm at Hogwarts I can use the school owls, right?

Where did the sorting hat put me?
I am so definitely in Ravelclaw! 

Note the rat in my cauldron!
What house did I want to be in?
Ravenclaw all the way. Ever since I first read the Sorting Hat's song in the first book I've known where I truly belong. Pottermore has only confirmed that for me (twice).

What lessons are my favourite and least favourite?
I think I'd be really good at Charms and I would love Transfiguration (though I'd need to put in a little more effort there). History of Magic would come to me relatively easily and I'd do fine with Ancient Runes. I would also really enjoy Muggle Studies.

Potions would not be one of my top subjects. I'd probably be okay on the theory but not so hot on the practical side of things; same with Herbology. I would want to be good at Defense Against the Dark Arts but coming face to face with a Boggart would flummox me!

The form my Patronus takes?
According to Pottermore it's a Sparrowhawk:


But I've always felt that it would be more likely to be a dog, specifically a collie.

Your Patronus can change over time though, right? So perhaps I'll get my collie some day.

What does a Boggart look like for me?
I'm with Ron on this one, a big spider would send me running for the hills. That or a negative pregnancy test perhaps.

Do I partake in any magical hobbies or school sports?
Definitely no on the sports front. Perhaps I'd join the Wizarding Chess Club, or the Charms Club. Perhaps I'd organise a book club or knitting group for my fellow students.

Where would I find myself hanging in my free time?
Either the library or in the Ravenclaw common room. Somewhere peaceful where I can surround myself with books.

What would I most likely get detention for?
I managed to go right the way through school with any 'bad comments', demerits, punishment exercises, or detentions. I was a swot.

Of course, Hogwarts is a different kettle of fish so perhaps getting caught performing a spell that backfires or doing something stupid in class.

What career do I want after leaving Hogwarts?
I imagine I'd go work for the Daily Prophet (or some other Wizarding publication) or perhaps get work in Flourish & Blotts. In the end I'd probably end up working for the Ministry or perhaps finding some way to get back into Hogwarts; Flitwick or McGonagall have to retire sooner or later!


How about you?

Saturday, 20 May 2017

IVF #3, FET#3: Lubion Injection

Something that I learned very early on in the IVF process is that you have to try and learn something from each failure, if you don't you'll probably drive yourself crazy. I think trying to find one positive thing from each disappointment is about one of the only things that has kept me sane during the last four years.

Case in point:

  • IVF #1 - Cancelled cycle due to OHSS. Lessons: I respond (very) well to stimulation meds, hyperstimulation is serious and very, very bad.
  • IVF #2 - four embryos made it to blastocyst, froze three and transferred one fresh which didn't take. Lessons: I can make it to egg collection without hyperstimulation, egg collection isn't fun but I can survive it, our embryos can make it to blasto stage, perhaps fresh transfer isn't best for me as my body might need more time to recover.
  • IVF #2, FET #1 - transferred two embryos and both stuck but suffered an early miscarriage. Lessons: I can get pregnant! Progesterone delivery might be an issue as have had spotting whilst on Cyclogest on both transfers, perhaps it's time to try something different?
  • IVF #2, FET #2 - transferred our last frozen embryo and switched to Crinone Gel for Progesterone support, spectacular failure five days after transfer. Lessons: Progesterone absorption is clearly an issue, time to bring in the big guns! Also, 100% success at thawing our embryos, this is a good thing.
  • IVF #3 - Return of the OHSS, freeze all cycle with 9 fabulous embryos! Lessons: I still respond (very) well to stimulation meds, our embryos appear to be better quality that the ones we produced two years ago so those lifestyle changes we made have obviously helped.
See what I mean?

The major lesson we've taken away from our failed (and briefly successful) transfers is that my body is stubborn about accepting support.

We switched from the Cyclogest pessaries to the Crinone Gel because I liked the idea of getting up and moving around after putting it in, rather than having a lie down for twenty minutes each time. The Cyclogest sort of bullet shaped and in a waxy coating which leaks out afterwards and I was suspicious that perhaps the medication was leaking out as well. It appears that Crinone Gel is even harder for the body to absorb though, so this time we're back on the Cyclogest with the added fun of a Progesterone injection once a day as well.

When this was agreed upon I did what any normal person would do. Promptly logged onto Dr Google and freaked myself the hell out!

Everything I was reading about was Progesterone in Oil (or PIO) injections. This is an oil-based injection, usually sesame (which some people then discover they are allergic to), which is injected in the posterior (and is therefore hard to self-administer), and can cause ongoing discomfort in the form of painful lumps under the skin. Oh, and it's intramuscular which means a massive great big needle. None of this reassured me and there were several moments when, despite identifying Progesterone absorption as being an in issue independently of my doctor, I seriously considered changing mind mind about doing it.

So imagine my surprise at our appointment on Thursday when our nurse, the lovely D, went off to get a collection of syringes, needles and our latest lot of meds, and returned with something called Lubion. I sort of panicked a little because a voice in the back of my head started jumping up and down yelling 'we haven't Googled that one!' but as it turns out, it's a lot easier to use than the alternative.


For one thing, there is no mixing involved! Fertility treatments are so stressful as it is without the added hassle of sucking up liquid from Vial A, injecting it into the powder in Vial B, stirring it around to dissolve it, drawing the resulting solution back into the syringe, switching needles and injecting yourself, all to a set schedule where you're not wanting to be even a minute late with it.

See those little vials, I just suck up the liquid from one of those and inject it into my tummy. And that's right! My tummy! No gymnastics or asking (the chronically needle-phobic) Mr Click to do it for me. I like to be in control of stabby things getting injected into my body, thank you very much.

Since I knew that the PIO injections were a literal pain in the ass, I was prepared for this to be a little uncomfortable. And it was. Not helped by the fact that I nicked something as it was going in and I ended up bleeding right after I took the needle out.


It also seems to be harder to push in than the injections I've been on previously. Normally when you get a stingy one (Cetrotide, I'm looking at you), you whack that sucker in as quick as you can so the burny feeling hits you once it's all in, not halfway down the syringe. Try as I might, there's no way I can get this one in as quick as I'd like to. You just have to keep pushing, grin and bear it.

I was so tender after I did this one yesterday that I had to unbutton my jeans all day, I managed to do it right where my waistband falls and it was pressing against it when I sat down. There's a tiny bruise there too and an area about the size of a 50p piece which hurts when I bent or stretched.

Today's was a lot smoother, no blood and less pain so hopefully I'm getting the hang of it (having said that, I just poked my belly to check if today's injection site is tender and it is when poked so add that to the list of things not to do)!

Fingers crossed I'll still be doing this daily injection in twelve weeks time. I'll be a pro at it by then!

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Pregnancy Paradox

As I write this blog post, I am currently one week, 6 days pregnant. Before you start getting excited and congratulating me, my embryo transfer isn't actually for another six days so there isn't actually anyone in there yet. I'm in this strange mystical stage between being and not being. Is this the point where you're a little bit pregnant?

The reason for my current unpregnancy is because of the way pregnancies are dated. Normal women can't usually pinpoint the exact hour when their offspring were conceived. Normal women don't have regular cycles where they ovulate on Day 14 to allow for an exact gestational age to be calculated. Normal people forget or don't keep track of these things or assume that Tab A fitting into Slot B is all you need to do to get knocked up. Normal people sometimes fudge things, as House so sagely told us, everybody lies; how do the doctors know you conceived when you said you probably did?

So they date pregnancies from the woman's Last Monthly Period and assume most people will ovulate about two weeks after the start of the bleed. This is, of course, wildly inaccurate since you can have a woman with a 30 day cycle who ovulates on Day 19 or a woman with a 28 day cycle who ovulates on Day 11. But this is how it's done. And IVF pregnancies get the same treatment.

Even though I know their exact age, the simple act of them making contact with my body ages them by two weeks. I suspect it's this concept which has been acting on Mr Click over the past decade we've spent together because he went grey very quickly after we got together!

Not only are my embryos magical beings who can survive in suspended animation, they're time travelling as well!

Yesterday we had our hospital appointment in Glasgow to check how I've been responding to the medication I'm on. Answer: well enough to move on to the next stage. My lining was sitting at a happy 7.3mm (they like anything over 6mm, preferably 7mm to progress onto the drugs to prepare the body for transfer).

I was sent away with a fantastic goody bag. No, seriously, look at what was in it:


Not pictured there is my sharps bucket into which the contents of that bag on the right hand side will be going as they're used (along with the preloaded Clexane syringes too) and the Progynova tablets I'm already taking.

Oh yeah, that's about two-three weeks supply just there. Most of these will be taken until I'm twelve weeks pregnant. Yikes!

At the time we left the hospital we didn't know for sure how many days pregnant I could count at that very minute. We'd been told the transfer was likely to be on the Thursday or Friday. I've spent the past three weeks planning for a Friday transfer and hoping it would fall on the 26th just in time for putting my feet up and chilling for the Bank Holiday weekend, the idea that it could fall on a Thursday as well called for some readjustments to my plans!

So we headed into town, and had lunch, and travelled back; the whole time I had a vice-like grip on my phone ready for the Embryologist calling. It came in a little after 4:30pm. Thursday.

And even though my embryos are neither defrosted nor in me, that means that I am unofficially pregnant right now. And by this time next week I will be classed as 'PUPO', an awful acronym which means 'Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise'.

Keep everything crossed!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Dodgy Unicorn

Do you remember a few weeks ago I shared this picture?


The pattern was a wee bit complicated for such a small project and when I reached this point and realised I was supposed to snip through my knitting, unravel it and pick up some stitched that would then be hanging loose, so I promptly stuck it in a bag and put it in time out until I was ready to tackle it.

On Bank Holiday Monday I decided that the time had come to get it finished. So I spent much of my afternoon stuffing and sewing and sorting out the mane.


I wound up not bothering with the fiddly cutting and picking up of stitches. Instead I went for the equally fiddly, but slightly less nerve-wracking, option of casting on the head separately and then sewing it on where I should have picked up the stitches to knit it. It made getting the eyes on a little tricky since there was a blue knitted strip in the way, but otherwise I think it turned out okay.

I also didn't bother stuffing the legs, since they were pretty stable once they were sewn up. The mane could've been a little neater but by the time I got to that bit I was ready to be done with it.

It's ever-so-slightly wonky. The horn has a touch of a curl to it, which I actually quite like, but there's something about the shape of its face and the placement of its eyes, and those massive ears, which makes me think of my little wonky Dodger rat.

I don't think I'll be repeating this patter again, but I might try adapting it into a slightly simpler version because I know of a fair few ladies who would appreciate a little unicorn paying them a visit.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Currently...

Feeling...
... very tired.


That little bottle is the reason for the tired.

It's a nasal spray which is doing the job of my Prostap injection (since that only lasts for a month at a time), this is keeping my mini-menopause topped up. I have to snort this stuff four times a day to keep my body from taking over and doing what it's supposed to normally do, since I'm taking medication that will do all that for me.

I should note that it doesn't actually come with the clever yellow chart around it, that was my own addition. I'm actually kind of regretting my paper colour choice now since the little container the spray bottle goes in is about the size of urine sample bottle, so with the yellow paper around it, it kind of looks like I'm carrying a bottle of pee around with me everywhere I go.

And why is it making me tired?

Well, it's one of the side effects, along with these niggly, almost-tension headaches which come on about twenty minutes after a spray and dissipate about 45 minutes before my next dose.

But it's also because of the four times a day rule for this stuff. There are set times I have to take it; 7am, 12pm, 6pm and 11pm. It's the 11pm one that's the kicker. I'd actually rather they were all an hour earlier because I have no problem getting up at 6am (even on the weekend I'm awake then). But stopping up until 11pm is HARD, especially when you've been snorting this stuff all day and you're feeling worn out.

Trying out...
... a new phone.

This will probably be a whole blog post in its own right because setting up a new phone is never as straightforward as it looks, is it?

Our phone contract was coming up for renewal so we took advantage of it to replace our phones (Mr Click's has no space because it's filled up with operating system and mine spends half its time with a black screen trying to remember what I asked it to do). The poor things are over three years old which I get the impression is pretty old in modern mobile phone years (Mr Click's old Nokia that his father inherited is still going strong nearly two decades later).

Mine arrived today and I took it out the box, stroked it lovingly and then put it away again. I'll deal with that on Friday, today there were ratties to clean our which was far more pressing than playing with a new toy!

Preparing...
... for my next hospital appointment.


Which is tomorrow. This one is to check how I'm responding to the Progynova pills I've been popping for the last twelve days. I'll have my blood taken as well as a scan and all being well it will show that my endometrium (that's my womb lining) is over 6mm thick so we can move onto the next stage and the Embryologist can get in touch to tell us what the procedure will be for the transfer.

If it's less than 6mm thick then I'll have the weekend to fatten the thing up before another blood test and scan. Obviously, I'm hoping it's already hit the peak point but I know my body tends to be a little bit slow on a frozen transfer, so I won't be too disappointed if I'm not there just yet (so long as I get there eventually).

Think thick thoughts for me!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Books 44 & 45 of 2016: Death Du Jour by Kathy Reichs & Songs of the Road by Arthur Conan Doyle

I feel like all I seem to be doing at the moment is writing book reviews. Since I got my new Kindle I've rediscovered my love of the Goodreads site, so I've been working back through my book journals for the last couple of years and adding all the reviews to the site. I'm all up to date again now, but I've still got a few books to add from some of my older book journals.

But here and now, I'm looking at two of the books I was reading in October last year. The first of these is Death Du Jour by Kathy Reichs.


Tempe Brennan is excavating some remains in an old convent when the call comes in that there's been a fire and she's needed to help identify the bodies. Soon the bodies start to mount up, including murdered twin boys, and it appears that there's a strange cult behind it. As if that's not enough, her sister Harry has come to town and is acting oddly too.

I've read this one several times but it's been a while since my last reread and I'd forgotten just how much was packed into this book. For some reason I thought that some of the dead bodies that crop up in this story were actually from a later book in the series.

That said, once I started reading it, I started to remember what happened at the end, so that made me read slower. I can't help it, if there's no urgency to get through the book to find out who did it, I can't help but slow down. I like trying to solve the crime which obviously, I don't need to do if I already know who the bad guys are.

I think I also found it difficult to get through this book because the deaths of the babies really bothered me. I found that hard to read and so that made it harder to pick up the book.

This book is notable for being the one where Tempe and Andrew Ryan kiss for the first time. In fact, they almost do a lot more than just kiss! Whenever I read that now I can't help but be taken back to the moment I read it, sitting on a train heading into Glasgow on my way to Uni. We were almost into Glasgow Central and I didn't want to stop reading to get off the train!

I followed this up with an ebook, picking one which had been on my Kindle for ages without having been read. It just happened to be an Arthur Conan Doyle book, Songs of the Road. This is a poetry collection.


I didn't actually realise that Arthur Conan Doyle had written poetry so it was a bit of a surprise when I opened it and discovered this was a poetry book! On the whole I did enjoy it.

The poems all seemed to follow a similar sort of rhythm. Without getting too OU-ish about it, I thought the metre of the poems was good. There's also lots of references to places in Scotland which were fun to look out for.

Some of the poems also used different accents in them which were a fun little touch. I felt like it followed on quite nicely from the Merry Men ebook which I'd read a few weeks before.

I think that there's another couple of Arthur Conan Doyle books that I've not yet read. I might have to bump them up my reading list.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Another Shopping Spree

I feel like half my blog posts at the moment are about shopping trips I've been on!

On the 7th of May, Mr Click and I went to the mainland with a couple of friends. We left the menfolk to attend a Ham Radio convention and we went off for a little retail therapy. There was only one place I wanted to go, Hobbycraft.

Like Paperchase, they've got a rewards card which includes a £5 voucher on your birthday. I heard about this about a week before my birthday so deliberately signed up for the card a couple of days beforehand so that the voucher would still be valid when we took our shopping trip. Just because I'm treating myself, doesn't mean I don't want to save a little money!

One of the things I was planning to buy was a white tree for my window. Technically these are wedding decorations but I love the idea of having something in the window which I can decorate each month. Ultimately it'll be where I hang our snowflake decorations at Christmas, but the rest of the time we'll decorate it with things that relate to what we're doing at that time.

When it came down to it, I decided against getting one because getting it home would be tricky. These trees are white and are unboxed so I'll go slightly better prepared to bring it home next time. It's actually not all bad because this way I'll have time to actually knit some decorations for it. I'm aiming to have that sorted in time for autumn, so lots of brown leaves to get knitting now.

I recently completed my collection of Jean Greenhowe knitting patterns:


That's all 27 of them right there. It's my aim to have knit something from each book and eventually to pick a pattern book and knit everything in it too.

But of course, that meant that I was looking for another designer whose books I could start collecting. Well, I've alighted upon Sarah Keen, not least because I've already got three of her books. And in Hobbycraft I picked up my fourth:

Image from Amazon.co.uk
I followed that up with some googly eyes (since the Jean Greenhowe Jiffyknits patterns, among others, use them), a set of pom pom makers and some yarn. The yarn was something that I had intended to pick up, I was looking for something that was flesh coloured for knitting dolls with. I've considered ordering it online but I needed to see it in person to gauge what colours I was getting.

That was really the only other thing that I actually intended to buy and bought. So I didn't really get what I went for, but I'm pretty pleased with what I came home with.

Do you ever have shopping trips like that?

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Post-Hospital Bargains

Last week I blogged about my hospital appointment for my baseline scan. We followed up the appointment with a little trip around the shops in Glasgow.

When we were there for my Prostap injection I got a new pencil case and some unicorn stickers in Paperchase where I signed up for a reward card with them. One of the major selling points was the £5 off voucher I was promised for my birthday, which was just over a week later and would be valid for two weeks, perfect timing for the next hospital appointment.

We took advantage of the hospital appointment to make use of the voucher. When I'd been picking up the pencil case and stickers I'd been playing 'spot the unicorn'. Unicorns are in fashion at the moment so I found a huge number of them, one of which was a book called 'Keep Calm and Colour Unicorns'. I'd wanted to pick it up then, but couldn't really justify adding to my already heaving collection of colouring books.


Well, with a voucher it was basically a free book, so I was happy to treat myself.

We had a bit of time to kill before we could get lunch so we headed into The Works where they were having a Spring Clearance sale. I spotted the unicorn mug at once and kind of fell in love with it. I love the idea of having something to boost my spirits with my morning tea of bedtime hot chocolate. In the end, after trying to talk myself out of it, Mr Click treated me.

Which meant that I was free to splurge on two more knitting books!


The Knits for Kitties book is actually one which I saw in Ayr and really wanted to get but didn't. It's got some fabulous little toys and animals in it. The other, Cute Knitted Toys, has a basic pattern which is attempted in each pattern to make simplistic animal patterns. Another two for the collection and they only cost £4 for the two!

Perhaps the best bargain of the day was one which I didn't even take a photo of.

I left Mr Click in one shop and took myself into Rymans to look at all the lovely stationery stuff. My oldest colouring pencils are getting a bit past it now so I was on the hunt for some new ones. They had some good offers in there, but none seemed quite as good as the Millie Marotta colouring book, Curious Creatures, which came with a pack of 36 Maped colouring pencils. It was originally £14.99 but had been marked down to £7.49.

Mr Click offered to treat me since it was a really reasonable price for the pencils even without the colouring book. So imagine how pleased we were when the till rang it up at £2! I almost wish I'd picked up another set!

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Lost Library Card

I recently joined a book club because the one thing I need more of is excuses to read books. I've been involved in book clubs before, mostly online and I always enjoy finding new authors and books that way; it was how I came to fall in love with To Kill A Mockingbird and Neil Gaiman.

Once the first book was selected I planned to buy my own copy for a little while but I'm trying to get fewer books at the moment since I don't really have space for the ones I've already got. Then it was time to consider the ebook version but by that time I'd alighted on a better idea.

Check it out of the library!

It's been quite a while since I'd been there, which I've always felt kind of guilty about since I used to be in and out of the place. So many places are losing their libraries and I'd hate for something to happen to ours, all the more reason to actually use it!

Armed with a plan, I went onto the library catalogue website and ran a little search. Sure enough they had the book, but it was out on loan until next week. No fear, I thought, I'll just reserve it for myself afterwards.

Now, our library system uses your library card as your login. I pulled out my purse to retrieve the card, but it wasn't there. Other places it wasn't included the bottom of my bag, the top of my bookcase and the cupboards beside my chair.

And that was when it dawned on me. I knew exactly where my library card would be.

You see, the last time I actually planned to go to the library was a good couple of years ago. I decided I would nip to the library on the way home from work, since I was walking by it anyway. Wanting to keep my library card close at hand, I stuck the card between the pages of my book as a bookmark.

Well, one thing lead to another and I didn't go to the library. I finished the book and set it aside, but never actually removed the 'bookmark' from it.

This means that somewhere in one of the boxes of books upstairs, sandwiched between the pages, is my poor old abandoned library card.

Luckily I finished work early this afternoon so was able to stop into the library and I'm not the proud owner of a shiny new book passport:


And I won't be using this one as a bookmark!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Mini Mischief

Thank you for all the birthday messages! I'm still getting caught up on comments after the A to Z Challenge (hopefully I'll have made it as far as my Z post by the end of this month) but I have read all the comments on my birthday post. :-D

Obviously, I had a fantastic day. It was wonderfully relaxed, which was just what I needed. As I mentioned, there was a definite theme to the day; Knitting and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them so I decided to combine the two by knitting some fantastic beasts of my own.

Namely, my Mischief; Dodger, Fezziwig, Jingle and Pocket.

I started off with Mini!Fez because I had the perfect yarn for his fur and I also needed to get the hang of where I would need to change colours for my more complicated rats.


And I finished up with Mini!Pocket:


As Pocket is a Himalayan I had to work out how many rows I would need to do to get the colouring right on his nose and bum. I think I got his nose spot on but may have done a row too many on his backside.


Dodger and Jingle were a little tricky to get their eyes right on since they're black and they pretty much went invisible once they were sewn on. I had great fun sewing up Dodger's black stripe on his back, though I overdid the stuffing a little and he turned out bigger than Fezziwig!

It wasn't until after I'd got them all knitted and their tails sewn on that I realised that I'd basically spend the day knitting little rat-coloured tampons!

Oops!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Currently...

Back to...
... colouring in!


I finished up the picture I'd been working on in Johanna Basford's Secret Garden earlier in the week and went straight on to this one from Lost Ocean. I've been feeling a tad wound up recently, I'm guessing it's the hormones, and struggling to focus on anything too demanding so colouring in seemed like the perfect thing to do.

I'm very much a fan of picking a few colours and then limiting myself to a particular palette in these pictures. I've managed to move away from the 'proper' colours of things (since colouring in a picture with blue and purple trees) so this time I used a random colour generator to give me an idea of two colours. It threw up green and black so that's what I've gone with, mixing it up a little with black plants and green sealife. I'm planning on adding some pink to the mix soon as well.

Reading...
... Andrew Lang's The Yellow Fairy Book.

It seemed like a nice easy choice back at the beginning of the month but oh boy! Here we are a week later and I'm still reading it.

Part of the problem is, I'm sure, the fact that my meds are making me feel wiped out (and the aforementioned lack of concentration) plus work is insanely busy at the moment. And I've been spending my time colouring in rather than reading, and a hundred and one other excuses. It's just taking forever.

And I am enjoying it. Some of the stories are a little bit repetitive, but on the whole it's good fun. But right now I'm still 20% from the end and it's probably going to take me until at least Sunday to get there.

Preparing...
... to start snorting Buserelin.

I've got two more nights where I can turn the light off at 10:30pm and happily roll over to sleep. Friday morning is going to begin with a snort at 7am, followed by one at 12pm, one at 6pm and the final one of the day at 11pm.

These are crucial timings and I am not to miss one at all. I suspect that there probably is a little bit of leeway with these, after all, the drug will build up in your system. But all the same, the nurses and the paperwork drum it into you that it absolutely has to be done at those times. And with all these things, I always think, 'if it didn't work would you wonder what if I'd taken my meds at the right time?' if the answer is yes, you should probably take them when you're told.

On the other hand, this might work out in my favour, since I'll need to do something to keep me awake (I don't trust myself to set an alarm and actually wake up since my latest trick is rolling over, switching off the alarm after its gone off and then having a sleepy Mr Click mumble 'was that the alarm?' to cause me to bolt out of bed). I might get a lot of reading done, sitting up in bed, that's assuming I don't get distracted by something shiny or which I could colour in!

What are your favourite methods to keep yourself awake when you need to stay up?

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Books 42 & 43 of 2016: The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace & Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson

When I visit my Nan in Wales, she always makes a point of making sure I'm well set for reading material and The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace was one that she passed on to me when I went down last year.

It is set during the Victorian era and features a woman named Anna who has been sent away by her husband to an institution. At first it seems as though she was sent there with just cause, but gradually Anna's story comes out which makes you wonder if perhaps her husband's motives might have been ever so slightly sinister. Alongside this is the story of a young doctor who is exploring the possibility of using photography to help diagnose the women he treats.


I felt like I had a bit of a slow start to this one. I guess part of that was because in the beginning I wasn't sure what to expect from it and even when I started I didn't know what sort of a story it was going to be. As I progressed through the book and I learned more about Anna and how she came to be where she was, I couldn't help but get hooked and really drawn in.

It was written in such a way that my opinion of Anna changed as I read. At the start of the book I believed that there was something wrong with Anna because she didn't seem to be doing much to prove her sanity, but gradually I came to realise that there was nothing wrong with her and that there were bigger factors at play in the story.

There's also the subplot featuring the family who run the institution she has been sent away to, and the realisation that they're all kind of in need of help themselves. I found their story almost as interesting as Anna's, particularly trying to figure out what Catherine was going through.

At the end of this book is a preview of the next book, however this one follows Louisa and Harriet; Anna's sister and niece. I love it when you get books which share characters, however this one is set many years after the events of Anna's story. I wonder if Anna will crop up in that one.

I followed this up with a collection of Robert Louis Stevenson stories on the Kindle, Merry Men.


I was already familiar with one of the stories in this collection, Olalla, which I have in the Penguin Little Black Classics edition. I think that I enjoyed it a little more for the second reading though.

This collection had a very 'Scottish' feel to it, particularly 'The Merry Men' and 'Thrawn Janet'. 'The Merry Men' was set on a Scottish island so I especially enjoyed the references to island life in that one. The latter was written in Scots dialect; sometimes I think in Scots dialect (even though when I speak there is no hiding my Englishness), so I didn't have any trouble understanding the story. It was pretty creepy.

'The Treasure of Franchard' seemed to go on for a really long time, but I did enjoy the ending. I think I appreciated it more when I finished it than I did when I was reading it because I liked the way that it ended up developing.

I do have to admit that I'm a bit of a Stevenson fan so I doubt that this will be the last book I read by him.

Monday, 8 May 2017

TV Series Review: 24

Towards the end of last year one of my colleagues at work summoned me to his desk as soon as I'd walked through the door. Intrigued I headed over and was definitely not expecting him to ask me whether I'd ever seen the TV series 24. I've been passed a fair few book recommendations from him over the years, but normally this kind of conversation is reserved for asking me to pick up some emails or do a little handlettering, I definitely play to my strengths at work.

Instead, he had the box set of 24 and wanted to know if I wanted to borrow it. I did and that afternoon it was duly deposited on my desk.


We didn't get around to it until the start of this year seeing as we were entrenched in our annual Christmas film session at the time he brought the series to me. We'd originally planned to go on with watching Criminal Minds at the start of the year, until I decided that I really couldn't face it at the time we were doing the IVF treatment. I needed something a little softer which didn't have people being brutally murdered and sadistic serial killers at every turn.

It turns out that 24 fit that bill quite well. This is kind of funny considering there are nuclear bombs and shoot outs and poisonous gases and all sorts of other terrible things going on in every episode but perhaps because the original series started way back over a decade ago before these things became so commonplace in out TV viewing, it didn't feel as intense somehow.

24 is basically a cross between Die Hard and Spooks. Each series is told in real-time, following Jack Bauer, a CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit) Agent as well as his friends, family and coworkers. Every episode follows the events that take place within that hour and I have to admit, it's a nice gimmick.

When we first began watching the very first series I was a little worried. As with any series with an ensemble cast, it can be a little tricky to keep track of who everyone is and what they're doing. And it seemed like there was a lot happening right from the very first second of this series. Once I got into the swing of things though, I have to admit that I quite enjoyed it.

Mr Click and I had a bit of a bad habit of commenting on everything that was going on, mainly because of how there was never just one bad thing happening. All of the bad things, things that can go wrong, and inconvenient moments all happen at the worst possible moment. Sometimes you go kind of get the sense that they were dragging the storylines out just to make sure it stretched out to the full twenty-four episodes for the series. The tension of the last four of five episodes of each series really bugged Mr Click no end, it was kind of funny watching him almost reach breaking point with every series.


Obviously the hero of the series was Jack Bauer, though at times he doesn't really come across as the most likable of guys. So many of the issues he (and everyone else) encounters in the series could be avoided if occasionally he just told them what he was doing and why. Of course, he couldn't do that because there were enemies on every side who might sell him out or take him down.

My favourite character is probably Chloe O'Brian, mainly because she is the person I could relate to most of all. She doesn't get on with most people, she just wants to get on with her job and she finds it very frustrating when other people want to do things in an impractical or inefficient way. A lot of the comments that she makes about things are the sorts of things I would be thinking myself were I in her shoes, but just wouldn't actually say out loud, or at least while there were people around in earshot. She probably undergoes the most growth as a character over the course of the series so it seemed like she may have actually learned some things from her experiences at CTU and with Jack.


Mr Click's favourite series was the very last one, whereas I liked the third one. We also both quite enjoyed the prequel to series 7, Redemption, which was included in the box set.

On the whole, I quite enjoyed the series and I'm glad that I've seen it. There were lots of little things that bugged me while I watched it, the not least the fact that for all its security and protocols, it was easier to get into CTU than the call centre where I work. Each series had a mole who was feeding information to the bad guys; you think they'd improve their screening procedures.

Also, in the 24-verse, being the President is a lonely job since you're pretty much guaranteed to lose all your family members once you get the role, probably because they're needing to go to jail for murdering people!

It's a programme I could see myself getting on DVD some time and watching again, though Mr Click isn't too sure himself. Watching it a second time would probably lessen some of that tension, but I'm sure it would make those earlier episodes a little easier to follow as you'd already have a handle on who everyone was.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

IVF #3, FET #3: Baseline Scan

May the Fourth was obviously Star Wars Day but this year for us it was something a little more important. It was also Baseline Scan Day.

It's probably not quite as exciting as Star Wars Day, but it's a pretty important day in the frozen embryo transfer process because it's the one which tells you whether you're ready to start the next lot of meds. Last year when we did our second FET it didn't go quite as planned and we had to postpone everything by a week until my body got itself in gear. And that was why I was feeling a bit nervous about this one.

I suspect this was why I didn't sleep too well the night before. We had a very early start (ten to five, ouch!) before the usual trek (car, boat, train, bus) to the hospital. Thankfully this appointment was at 9am so the journey was a little more relaxed than the last one.

I knew that this appointment would be for the baseline scan but I wasn't sure whether I would need to have any blood taken. It's ironic that when you're having an internal ultrasound, also known as the dildocam owing to its strong resemblance to the sort of thing you'd normally buy from a shop like Ann Summers, it's the blood test you look forward to the least! I guess that means I'm pretty used to the process by now.

It was the usual process. Summoned from the waiting room by a nurse (who was very friendly but I can't for the life of me remember her name now). She remembered us and asked about the island and our journey.

Mr Click got to have a nice little chat with her and her assistant nurse, I on the other hand was given a drape and sent off to the bathroom to disrobe from the waist down. Then it was up on the bed, legs in the stirrups and time for the close encounter with the scanner.

The baseline scan checks what's going on with your womb lining. The Prostap injection aimed to shut down my body's hormones and put me into a menopausal state. I had been told to expect a bleed some time after the jab and my body was a little bit slow to respond. Eventually, twelve days after the jab my uterus went into self-destruct mode, and it did such a good job that my lining measured a mere 3.2mm.

Last year it was still too thick at this stage so we'd had to wait another week for it to thin out some more. This time I got the go ahead to more on to stage two, Progynova, also known as HRT.


As of this morning I'm taking three of these little pills each day which will be doing their thing to plump up my womb lining for the next couple of weeks before I head back to the hospital to check my lining is scoring over 6mm.

Meanwhile, towards the end of next week my Prostap jab will be wearing off but we obviously don't want to risk me ovulating or my hormones getting any funny ideas about doing their own thing, so that's where the Suprecur nasal spray will come in. This is actually the same stuff I used as my trigger injection before egg collection (except that was injected, whereas this will be snorted).

Whereas the pills are taking once a day at roughly the same time, the nasal spray is far more exact. It has to be taken at 7am, 12pm, 6pm and 11pm each day (I actually count myself lucky here, I've seen some clinics instructing it to be taken every six hours - 6am, 12pm, 6pm, 12am - which is easier to remember but a lot easier to miss a dose). The really good thing about snorting the stuff at those times is that I get a hell of a lot of reading done trying to keep myself awake until 11pm; one of the Progynova side effects is tiredness.

Once we'd gone over all the meds, stowed them away in Mr Click's bag, confirmed what was being taken and when, updated all of our paperwork, and set a date and time for our return appointment, we were free to go.

By the time we go back I'll have been popping and snorting for two weeks and a week respectively. Fingers crossed we'll get a good result on the next scan.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Birthday Shopping

Last year on my birthday we headed to Dunoon as I was right in the middle of down regulation for our frozen embryo transfer and didn't feel like travelling too far afield. This year the down regulation for our current frozen transfer has started but we're not as far through it yet so we decided to follow our usual plan of heading to Oban for my birthday shopping trip.

Oban has a special place in our hearts as the first place Mr Click and I lived together (for a whole six weeks while I was on a teaching placement) was Appin and on a Friday or Saturday we would head into Oban for shopping and Chinese. I love the collection of charity shops there and we have our routine down to a fine art.

It meant a fairly early start for a Saturday (6am! Yikes!) and we headed off the top end by about 7:45am. We had planned to listen to music from Spotify I'd put onto my phone but we couldn't get the phone to connect to the car we were in, but we'd brought CDs so it was all good.

I love a good long car drive. We chatted, sang along to the music, admired the houses we were passing, kept an eye out for wildlife and tiny lambs. The journey was as much a part of the trip as the actual shopping expedition.

As usual we stopped off at a cafe when we arrived for a spot of breakfast (and after a one hour, forty-five minute drive, the loo) and then got down to the serious business of shopping. Often when I go charity shopping I'm heading out with a particular purchase in mind; new work tops, a particular book, board games, whatever. This time I didn't really have anything in particular other than a vague idea that I wanted to buy more knitting books.

Sadly, old knitting books were rather thin on the ground. There were a couple of old 1980s jumper books, which aren't my thing, and lots of odd patterns pulled out of magazines which were rather jumbled and none of them were especially 'vintage' or for toy patterns so I gave them all a miss.

I'd mentioned to Mr Click that I'd like to get some funny DVDs to watch after our frozen embryo transfer and we hit the big time in the first shop we went into with Pirates An Adventure With Scientists, The Tale of Despereaux, Miss Congeniality and Practical Magic. The latter two are old favourites that I've been wanting to pick up for ages.

I gathered a fairly impressive collection of books over the course of the day as well. I spotted The Life of Pi in one shop for about £2 and decided against if as I knew I'd be able to get the Kindle version cheaply, then found it in the last shop we went in to for 50p. I took that as a sign and grabbed a copy of it right away (along with two other cheapie books).


We also did a nice big shop to fill up our cupboards with goodies. Then headed back to Inveraray for sweets and takeaway to fortify us for the last leg of the homeward journey.

So now I've got to squeeze another seven books onto my bookcase (which I only rearranged a few weeks ago). But I had a brilliant day out and it was the perfect way to finish off my birthday.