Friday, 20 June 2014

Making plans

I am guilty of making so many plans for the future that at times I forget to live in the present. Well, it's not that I don't enjoy the present - I am happier than I have ever been, and than I thought possible, but I can think of nothing more that I enjoy than to while away hours making plans for the future. Except spending time with my lovely wife. Or maybe, spending time with my lovely wife making plans for the future….

Planning our wedding day was an absolute dream come true. We loved the chance to plan every little tiny detail of the day in minute detail. So many people warned me not to pin my hopes on it being perfect, as they say nothing about a wedding day can be THAT perfect and there will be something to go 'wrong', but maybe we were lucky, because our day was perfect. Most guests commented on the sheer attention to detail and thought and effort that had gone in to our day, and many said it must be because two women had planned it! All I know is that I loved every single minute of planning it, and I loved that on our day we could look around and know it was our ideas, our dreams, our personalities, and whilst making sure that all of our guests had a great time, our day was all about our love. Not a wedding planner or pinterest board in sight!

At the moment I can't close my eyes without plans upon plans running through my brain. This time next week we set off for an amazing trip to the USA. Originally planned to coincide with a wedding we are no longer attending, we have planned the trip to be better that it was originally ever going to be. Flying in to Las Vegas, where we will get over the jet lag in the city that never sleeps, we will spend a few days finding out what all the fuss is about in one of the craziest places on earth! (I have visited Vegas before but its Sarah's first time to the US - my parents have been to Vegas numerous times and gave us great hotel recommendations!) From there we will cross (and stay in) two national parks before reaching San Francisco, where we will stay in a hotel 211m tall and celebrate our first wedding anniversary, which just so happens to be on the 4th July! After a couple of days exploring the beautiful city of San Francisco we will head southwards, along the famous Highway 1, stopping off at Monterey, Carmel and Cambria, before reaching Los Angeles 5 days later. We will spend 3 nights with the rich and famous in our Beverley Hills hotel and then continue southwards still, to San Diego, for a few days relaxing on the beautiful beaches there before flying home again. This is the biggest project I have ever 'planned'. Hotels, flights, routes, restaurants, things to do and see - it has honestly been a project that has taken me 12 months to complete, and one that I hope will provide us with the once-in-a-lifetime and last-trip-before-children that we really hope it will be. It has been planned so far in advance that it didn't seem real, but this week we realised "it's next week!" The excitement has definitely hit us!

And moving on to children - well the planning never stops. We have decided to rethink ruling out a private clinic - the waits involved with the NHS have put us off slightly, even with us being very lucky that Lauren knows our consultant and so have already managed to shave quite a few months off the wait; we'd have had to wait until November for our 2nd appointment otherwise! At times all of this will we do this / shall we do that / how much will this cost / how much should that be….has driven me a little insane in my over analytical and planning focused brain, but we also very strongly believe in what is meant to be will be - and as long as we end up with a happy, healthy child at the end of all of this, the how we get there couldn't really matter less.

So to summarise - Sarah's FSH is high, which meant one of two things - polycystic ovaries or reduced egg reserve. A scan two weeks later confirmed polycystic ovaries. This rules her out to egg share on the NHS, but our Consultant suggested we pay for a private test of AMH. AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) gives a more accurate picture of fertility, as it is a hormone that is released by immature eggs. So high FSH + low AMH would  = very few eggs. However we then got Sarah's AMH level results back, and they are off the chart high! Meaning quite the opposite - she has loads of eggs! Well, loads of immature eggs. The concern now is that even though we can't egg share (donate half of her eggs to an anonymous recipient who needs donor eggs), we still have the option of straight forward IVF with partner - to partner egg share (see how this all gets tangled up in your brain?!), but with her results she is at great risk of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome, and producing lots and lots of eggs that are all quite immature and so wouldn't be able to fertilise. For more info on OHSS please read our lovely friend Laura's blog who suffered with it when creating their gorgeous twins (here).

So we talked over and over about the biology of all of this and how much we want to proceed with a treatment that is three times the cost of standard egg share with little promise of it working. Which brought us to the answer we now feel that we are happy with - I will have treatment, use my eggs and carry the pregnancy. Which led on to us talking about going back to the private clinic, as they state that from initial consultation to treatment is 12 weeks - meaning we could actually be pregnant in 12 short weeks time! OMG! But then the private clinic, when I spoke to the very patient nurse on the end of phone and told them the whole saga, said they have very different criteria for egg sharing and would like to consider us. The to-and-fro'ing of being told we can/can't use Sarah's eggs has stressed us out a little, and as we have concluded that we most probably can't egg share to an anonymous couple, our costs would be £2000 higher to use Sarah's eggs with standard partner - to partner IVF.

So we are going ahead with our appointment at the private clinic, and the appointment is the day after we get back from America. At that appointment we will both be re-scanned (all of my results have been as normal as normal can be so far), and the results of the scan in conjunction with the AMH result already taken, will give us a definite answer. However we have pretty much set our minds on just using my eggs. At the end of the day, we whole heartedly believe in the nurture argument with the whole nurture vs nature debate. Any embryos created from either of our eggs will be just that, ours, as equally hers as mine and vice versa. And our focus is on getting pregnant, as quickly, easily and fairly cheaply as possible. I just keep thinking, that the moment we hold our new tiny son / daughter in our arms - will be really care whose egg it was created from? Absolutely not! So as you can see - our heads have been filled with this clinic vs that one, each one has it's positives and not so. Fees / schedules / when might we start / what will happen next / next appointments / possible conception month / possible due dates…the dreaming, planning, imagining and hoping never stops. And that's before we get on to possible names, dream nurseries and what we will need for little one…the planning, hoping and dreaming never stops!

So apologise if our blog posts aren't quite as frequent for a while - we will absolutely do our best, as we endeavour as always to get down in one place all of our wonderful memories we are making! Here's to the next crazy, wonderful few months!


  1. Hello from Southern California! So happy to hear you will be visiting us! A couple of local suggestions:
    1. The Getty Museum - Beautiful!
    2. If you can, attend a concert at The Hollywood Bowl
    3. Griffith Park Observatory
    4. Santa Monica Pier and 3rd Street Promenade (you can park at one and walk to the other:))
    5. Venice Boardwalk - a little crazy but fun. Ok a lot crazy!
    6. Long Beach! Shoreline Village and 2nd Street in Belmont Shore. (filled with little shops and restaurants It is about an 45minutes to an hour south of Venice. Good place to stop on your way to San Diego.

    You will love San Francisco! We really love Sodini’s Green Valley Restaurant in North Beach. Ask for the little table in the window (the romantic one!)

  2. Thankyou so much for your comment, we love hearing people's tips on where to go - your suggestions sound great!

  3. Hey,

    I've just been reading your blog and had to comment on what similar places we are in! My wife and I just got married last month and then went straight on honeymoon on a trip similar to what you both have just done to celebrate your first wedding anniversary, although in a slightly different order: San Francisco, Monterey, San Luis Opisbo, LA, Vegas, Palm Springs and San Diego. It was amazing and it sounds as if yours was too!

    It is now "Project Baby-Making" (as my wife likes to refer to it) for us too and we have an appointment tomorrow to discuss which option we will take. We had our initial consultation a few months ago as we wanted to find out our options (and the local PCT's rules!) but we had to have additional tests done to check my fertility (I will be carrying first) as I have irregular periods and high FSH hormones before they would recommend the best course for us. We will find out all the results tomorrow but the radiologist who carried out the HSG test told me there and then that one of my tubes was blocked - although we have no idea if this means that we will fall within the "known fertility problem" category and qualify for Nhs funded IVF, or affect our chances at IUI (which was our first choice as less invasive) - I guess we will (hopefully) find out all tomorrow! This whole process seems to throw up more questions than answers which can be a little frustrating as, like you, I like making plans!!

    Anywho, just wanted to say hi! And I will be following your blog post to see how your journey to motherhood unfolds alongside ours! All the best with yours!



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