Anxiety · Change · Counselling · Experience · infertility · Lifestyle · PCOS · Self Acceptance

Anxiety Strikes!

I’d say I’ve always been an anxious person & I used to feel real bouts of anxiety, but mainly over social situations. As time has gone on I’d say my anxieties have evolved into more small but constant worries, especially since our battle with infertility.

Over the past two weeks I’d say this constant niggle is getting worse & I know exactly why, it’s because I’ve got something big coming up, but people who see me in my day-to-day life won’t know that. They’ll probably see me fussing over something small or, if they look closely, using compulsive repetition to regain some degree of control in my life. I’m also finding that smaller problems feel like mountains because my stress threshold is very low right now.

The funny thing is, I’m 100% aware of what I’m doing & how I’m feeling, but that doesn’t mean I can stop it. However, next week I have an appointment with my counsellor & I’m hoping to get some more tips on how to manage my symptoms of anxiety.

Life is tough right now, I’ve got a lot of weight on my shoulders that I could do without, but I’m learning that small changes now will help alleviate the pressure in the future & the smaller problems I encounter will become more manageable.

I’ve always felt a natural instinct to fight my feelings of anxiety, but lately I’ve learnt that you have to let them pass. So in my eyes I need to work on solutions to the problems I’m worrying about in order to prevent the symptoms I encounter rather than just focusing on those & adding to the weight on my shoulders… because essentially I end up worrying about how much I’m worrying!

xx Gem xx

Anxiety · Counselling · Experience · fertility · infertility · Lifestyle · Love · miscarriage · PCOS · ttc

Am I ready?

So, 6 months ago we embarked upon the next stage of our journey… the IUI. I remember being so excited yet nervous, but I jumped in with both feet first & I like to think I smashed the process with massive positivity fists!

When we miscarried our baby I didn’t even want to think about trying again. I wanted that baby, my first baby… nothing else would ever compare, but they say time is a great healer & in most part it is.

I’ll never get over what happened, so when I spoke to my counsellor she said “stop trying to get over this, you just need to move forward”. Getting over something feels, to me, that I should be forgetting it whereas moving forward feels different… so here we are, mid-September & patiently waiting for my next cycle to start so we can do the whole thing all over again. But the big question is…

…am I ready?

The answer to that is a hazy one. I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% ready, I still mourn the loss of our baby, but I know I must try… I owe it to our little one not to give up, I owe it to my husband & most of all I owe it to myself.

xx Gem xx

Anxiety · Change · Experience · infertility · Lifestyle · miscarriage · PCOS

Wellness Wednesday

Life has been a complete rollercoaster for us this year & over the past couple of months I’ve come to realise that I’ve changed… a lot.

In a good way or a bad way?

Well, let’s look at the negatives. Since I last wrote a blog post, we miscarried our miracle baby at 10 weeks & since then I can only describe myself as living life with a broken heart. This has taken its toll on my marriage, my social life & my job… oh, & not to mention my health!

But gliding past the negatives, I do have the ability to find the positives…

We actually made a baby. That is our big positive. Our dream came true & I will forever be grateful for that. Also, with the time I’ve had off work it’s given me a moment to realise how my job has evolved into something I no longer love.

So, out of this I have found the ability to put myself first. I mean I always thought I did, but I didn’t… in reality, I didn’t, but I can only see that now. Things need to change…

Welcome to Wellness Wednesday, my day off during the week where I get to put myself first. Of course it doesn’t always work out that way, I end up doing housework & babysitting, but I now feel I have the confidence to say NO if I want to. Don’t get me wrong, I love a clean house & I get a lot of enjoyment from spending time with children, but every now & again I need to just be me & that is 100% ok.

Change · Clomid · Counselling · Experience · fertility · infertility · Lifestyle · PCOS · Self Acceptance · ttc

Babies Here, Babies There, Babies Everywhere!

It’s one of those things… like when a friend says they’re getting a new car which you’ve never heard of before, so they show you and suddenly you start seeing them everywhere. Parked on the street. Passing you on the road. Pulling up next to you in the supermarket. To me, and a vast majority of women trying to conceive, that’s exactly what it’s like with babies.

At first it was ok, sometimes frustrating to see other people having what I wanted, but I told myself that my time would come soon. That lasted a little while until the desperation started to kick in and along came the bitterness towards others with a family, pregnant women and new Mums pushing their little bundles of joy around the park in a brand new shiny pram. I just felt so alone. Every pregnancy announcement on social media was met with a huff and a rolling of the eyes. I started to avoid friends with children or those who were expecting one. I felt it was a dark time for me.

I feel I must point out though that never once did I wish that these people around me didn’t have what they have… it was purely envy over what they had, and a reminder of what I didn’t.

The cherry on top of the cake was when my best friend got pregnant. It suddenly felt so close to home, this wasn’t just someone I knew, this was my BEST FRIEND. This was having to go through her pregnancy with her. This was having to come to terms with the fact that she was getting what I wanted and so far my attitude towards people with this was bitter… and I couldn’t afford to have bitterness between myself and one of my oldest and dearest friends.

I cranked up the frequency of my counselling sessions and searched desperately for a way to drag myself out of this dark place. I had to use avoidance to start with. It pained me, but it was necessary. I then realised I had good days and bad days. There were days where I would want to soak up every ounce of pregnancy happiness, no matter that it wasn’t me experiencing it physically, then I had other days where I felt if anyone mentioned the word ‘pregnant’ to me I might just punch them in the face. It wasn’t a pretty time for me and I felt it was a very ugly version of myself.


… about a month before my best friend was due, she went on maternity leave. We started to see a little more of each other on my days off and whilst out walking one day it hit me like a tonne of bricks – my best friend is having a baby that I get to cuddle, that I get to play with, that I get to laugh and joke and fall in love with. I even feel a bit teary now writing this, but that moment for me was an absolute game changer and has been my saving grace in how I now cope with infertility. Yes I have a deep desire for my own children, but in the meantime I get to explore and learn more about them and also have some extra time to mentally prepare myself for what the next chapter will bring… because there WILL be a next chapter, it may not come about in the way we would like, but we will have our family one day.

I feel extremely lucky to have been able to pull myself out of that dark place and nuzzle myself deep into a positive state of mind. It sounds silly, but some days I feel so full of positive energy that I could physically explode. It’s kind of a bizarre state to be in, but I’m telling myself after being so negative for so long that I deserve a positivity overdose… it can’t hurt right?! I wish I had the recipe of my revelation to share with you all, to help those struggling with infertility cope with watching others experiencing your dreams, but I’m afraid I don’t. Whether it was the counselling or just that I simply couldn’t contain any more negativity, I have no idea… but I am so thankful to have found the strength to keep pushing forward, to keep my head in the game and to welcome any new challenges with a smile and determination.

This is MY life I am living, I do not want to spend it in a cloud of bad vibes and to look back one day to find I have regrets.

Clomid · Experience · fertility · infertility · PCOS · ttc

“Unexplained Infertility”… Really?

Can we really be fooled into thinking that there is no explanation for our infertility? I suppose if you’re new to this game then you may do, I certainly did at first, but it’s basically a term that you are branded with when funding or testing has been exhausted… but then after all that testing, you find yourself pretty exhausted too and willing to take anything that’s on the table!

So, to catch you up, our last cycle failed… sure it sucks, but you grow a thick skin to it after a while. I chose to believe it was going to happen, which in turn really lifted my spirits. My positive energy was through the roof and when my period arrived I didn’t even cry, well until the following day but that’s progress! Another thing that probably helped was that a few days later we had our ‘next steps’ appointment scheduled at our Fertility Clinic.

Now, a week after our referral back in June we received a letter saying that our clinic would be stopping all assisted treatment from November, so it wasn’t a shock when we were told we are being handed over to a new clinic. At the moment, we don’t know where this will be, but it should only cause a delay of a month or two at the most. Had it been the middle of summer, that might have been hard to deal with, but with Christmas around the corner we’ve got lots to keep us occupied!

We have been purely funded through the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and are very grateful to receive such good care, however we are aware that the services we receive can be quite limited. Following the tests we’ve had done, we have now been put into the category of having ‘unexplained infertility’. Well, of course there must be SOME reason for our infertility, but all the tests they do through the NHS simply don’t stretch to find out our ‘why’. I could get all upset and frustrated about this, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help us get pregnant.

Due to all my symptoms, I was told I may have mild Endometriosis (which is where tissue that usually lines the uterus grows elsewhere in your body), however because there is none on my ovaries or in my fallopian tubes they no longer need to address this issue, hence why my Laparoscopy was cancelled. I get it, I do… they’re not there to deal with my medical problems, they’re there to get us pregnant.

So, we have a plan! We have been offered three back-to-back rounds of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and failing that one round of In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) on the NHS. I can imagine if you’re reading this from another country you fully appreciate what a generous offer this is. (I’ll do a post on those procedures as and when we get to them… if you’re not sure what they are, please ask Dr Google). We did have the option to jump straight to IVF, as the success rates for an IUI is only 15%, but we have chosen to believe that WE WILL be in that 15%. Whilst we’re waiting we are continuing on with my old friend, Clomid. I popped my first pill of this round last night… let the fun commence!!

Anxiety · Experience · fertility · infertility · Lifestyle · PCOS · ttc

The Two Week Wait

For those who aren’t familiar with this phrase, it’s pretty clear you’re not trying for a baby. Since we started trying, I’ve opened up a whole new dictionary of words and phrases I never knew existed. At first it felt like everyone was communicating in another language, devised especially for those in the baby making business, but soon I caught on and found myself up to my eyes in acronyms and general trying-to-conceive gibberish.

So, in a nutshell, the ‘two week wait’ is the approximate waiting time between ovulation and finding out if you’re pregnant. For some women it is simply two weeks. Two weeks of normal every day life and either a ‘yay’ or a ‘nay’ at the end of it. For other women time comes almost to a halt,o not enough to actually stop time, but just enough to make every day seem like a year. Then there’s the handful of us who experience the latter and are graced with the crippling reality of infertility.

Hi… yep, me over here. I’m in the club! The infertility club. Should we make some badges or something? I bet they would sell! Not only am I in the club, but I am also four days into my two week wait. So, I thought I would share with you what I’m doing over the week or so… which brings me to my first point:

Keep Busy

There is nothing worse than letting your mind go nuts over wondering what you’re little egg is doing… every single minute of every single day! Just as I am doing right now, right at this moment, I am keeping myself busy. My diary is packed with coffee dates, activities and work to keep my mind occupied. When I find myself without something to do, I lose myself in a box set or a book. I need to keep my mind going. That doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking about it, but I am allowing myself not to obsess over it.

Take Care Of Your Body

This month I am focusing on the foods I eat. I have read many articles and have been told by lots of women to eat warm foods during these couple of weeks. Apparently, by keeping the body warm it makes the uterus more inviting for your little embryo. A lot of women choose to take a multitude of supplements and I recently found myself almost in a state of panic at Holland and Barrett, trying to figure out what to take and what didn’t make my bank account weep. Instead I chose to look closely at the food types I am consuming. I have fallen victim to the old wives tale about pineapple and am scoffing a concoction of nuts and seeds every day to ensure I am feeding my body in the correct way, and that’s good enough for me for now. Some of you may object to what I’m doing, some of you may have good proven scientific evidence that what I’m doing is utter tosh, but to me and my mind, I am doing what I feel comfortable with and that’s all that matters. Also, they say it’s good to take any exercise down a notch. Switch your HIIT workouts for yoga, with some that specialise in fertility, and go for long brisk walks rather than running.

Don’t Symptom Spot

Haahaahaahaa! Ahahaha! Ha! Yeah right, who on earth can honestly say they don’t symptom spot? NOT ME! That’s for sure. Every sore nipple, every twinge in my pelvis and every bit of cervical mucus is mentally documented and analysed. I can’t help it, I feel like I’m programmed to do it… but that’s it, nothing more. Once it’s been noted, forget it. A lot of the typical pregnancy symptoms are also PMS symptoms, so the only definitive way of knowing that you’re pregnant is to wait and see those two juicy lines on a test. It’s good to know what your body is doing, but for reference only. I can’t allow myself to obsess for days over that tiny bit of nausea I felt three days ago, it’s just not healthy for my mind.

Get Support

If you haven’t spoken to anyone about your journey so far, I would urge you to… no matter how far along you are into it. It reeeeeeeeeally helps to have someone to talk to, to shout at or to cry with. Emotions can be high, after all our bodies are naturally gearing up for a pregnancy each month just by producing that egg… whether you choose to fertilise it or not. Also, something you may find absolutely absurd could be absolutely normal. So it’s good to talk, it’s good to share and it’s good to know you’re not alone.

Believe In Yourself

This is something that has only recently come to light for me. Each month I end up telling myself that this isn’t going to work, that I am broken and that it hasn’t happened until now so why should this month be any different. Wow… what a bitch! Would I talk to a friend that way? NO! So why do I think it’s acceptable to talk to myself like this. I think its because I’m trying to protect myself from the heartache of another negative test. I need my body to believe that it CAN happen, so I’ve made a deal with my mind that this month I will believe that I am fully capable of making and growing a baby. My uterus IS inviting. My hormones ARE able to handle it. Positivity is key!

So yeah, that’s what I’m doing with my time and so be it if it comes round every month…

Clomid · Experience · fertility · infertility · PCOS · ttc

Freshly Flushed

Finding myself spread eagled on an x-ray table on a Friday afternoon was not really my idea of fun, but needs must. You see, when struggling with infertility you have to open up your mind (and your legs) to all the testing that comes with it. So, on Friday I had a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), which is basically flushing fluid through your fallopian tubes to see if they’re blocked. From research and feedback of others having had this done, I quickly came to realise that everyone had a different experience in terms of pain, bedside manner, medicine, etc, so my expectations had to be curbed as I was hearing stories of breezing through with no discomfort to feeling contraction-like pain.

Getting the HSG arranged in the first place was pretty easy. I was due to have an investigative operation called a Laparoscopy along with the tube flush three months after our initial consultation in June, but soon that deadline passed and I hadn’t heard anything. A quick phone call later had me set straight with an 8-10 month wait, which would just not do. Fortunately, my consultant appears to be pretty proactive and within a few days I had a letter drop through my door with confirmation of a HSG referral and a telephone number to call when my period started. I also had a one off prescription for an antibiotic to take on the morning of the procedure, in case of any infection whilst my cervix was open, and a recommendation to take painkillers.

Five days later I found myself nervously driving up to the city to Southmead Hospital, where my husband met me to provide me with some much needed support. I actually felt really relaxed going in to the hospital, it’s a fairly new building and set out like an airport. You check in at a kiosk and proceed to a gate, just like going on holiday! Actually, is that some kind of cruel game they’re playing? Next time I go to the airport I’m going to be thinking about this experience!

Anyway, a friendly looking nurse called us through and unfortunately my husband had to sit and wait in a different room, but to know he was there settled my nerves. I got taken into a big wet room with a toilet, shower and a pile of gowns and was given a cup to wee in. A few minutes later the nurse came back and did a pregnancy test just to make sure. “Nope, not pregnant!” she announced. No fucking shit lady! She left to me change into the gown, which I was told must have the flap open at the back and a little while later a second door to the room opened, fortunately I had just about managed to wrap myself up. The fresh faced nurse stood before me smiled and spoke in a very soft Irish accent. She had a calm manner which set me at ease as she helped tie up my gown. Leading me through to a big room she told me to take a seat. I stood there pondering the best possible way to sit down to avoid cheek-on-chair, if you get me… so I opted for the awkward shifting of the gown and perching on the edge.

A few minutes later the door opened and a very together-looking lady walked in. “Hi, I’m Doctor, err… (sorry, can’t remember her name) …and I’m going to talk you through the procedure before we start.” She was very descriptive of what she was going to do, so at least I knew there would be no surprises! Once all explained she asked me to lay on the bed. It was a scary bed, because above it was this big circular thing and monitors and big red and green buttons, just like something I’ve watched on Grey’s Anatomy.

Now, for anyone who has had a cervical screening, the beginning was just like that. There’s a plastic tool called a Speculum that they insert into your vagina. Easy peasy, no problem. Feeling confident about my freshly spruced foof and no desire to pass wind, I allowed myself to relax whilst she had a good look. After a minute or two she popped her head up between my legs and told me that my cervix looked “raw”. Well, I wouldn’t be lying if I didn’t feel like that was true. It’s something I have felt over these past few months with the Clomid periods. I’ll do another post on that, but for now it’s not an issue. She then inserted a tube into my cervix with a little balloon attached to it, which she inflated to hold the tube in place. The nurse pulled down a big piece of equipment over my pelvis and pulled some monitors round, which showed my uterus and fallopian tubes… apparently! Just looked like a load of fuzz to me!

The doctor then attached a big syringe to the end of the tube that she had previously loaded with some sort of clear looking thick gel. This was it, the moment that could change everything… they were either blocked, or not. As the doctor announced she was about to start, the Irish beauty appeared at my head ready with oodles of small talk, I guess designed to take my mind off things, but it’s hard to talk about traffic when someone is hands deep in my vagina! Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

Twinge. Light cramp. Bigger cramp. Ouch, this hurts kind of cramp. Oh my fucking hell this is painful kind of cramp. Tears forming in my eyes kind of cramp. What to do? Count, just count Gemma… one. two. threee. ffffour. fiiiiiive. ssssssix. sssevvvven. eeurgheight. niiiiiine…”and we’re done!” The pain instantly left. Thank goodness and a relief to hear her say my tubes were both clear. Phew! So, for me it was painful but it was quick. The staff had an excellent bedside manner and I felt completely at ease and safe in their hands. Once dressed, I was handed a hot cup of coffee and was sent off to join Hubs in the waiting room. I felt a little giddy, but after 10 minutes I was perfectly fine and we were able to leave.

For me, well for us, it was a really positive experience all round. Sure, it’s not a particularly nice procedure, but the way it was all handled before, during and after was excellent in our books. It took me a good sofa session to feel brighter, but there’s nothing wrong with that eh?! I also had some light brown spotting which turned pink for a few days, but nothing a good old panty liner couldn’t handle. The following day I had a letter to say the Laparoscopy had been scheduled for the end of November, as I guess there was a cancellation or something (how bloody typical), so I could have actually had it all done in one go in the end. However, my consultant phoned to say she was happy with the results of the HSG and doesn’t see the need for me to have the surgery, so it’s been cancelled and we have a follow up appointment with her on the 22nd November to discuss the next steps. If we wish to continue with Clomid we may, as we’ve been told any assisted treatment we may have to have won’t start until the New Year, but I need to have a long think about whether I want to tackle another round of Clomid or have a hormonal free Christmas!

Hmmm, tough decision…or is it?

Clomid · Counselling · Experience · fertility · infertility · Lifestyle · PCOS · ttc

Third Time Not So Lucky

Our third round of Clomid failed. We were so sure this month was our month. We did everything right, everything was perfectly timed and plenty of it too! I had a follicle tracking scan on day 12 of my cycle which showed a nice juicy follicle measuring 25mm, with another at 15mm and would you believe another at 11mm… my body really responds to this tiny little pill! I was ready to pop and with an imminent weekend away with Hubs we had no doubt that this was our month.

Well, what a load of shit that was.

I am writing to you on day two of a very painful, heavy and clot-filled period. At this moment in time I couldn’t feel any more low, depressed and exhausted. Three months of constant hormone alterations have worn me down. I worked so hard for months and months to get myself into a better mental state; I paid privately for counselling, I made sure I used positive exercises to lift me up and I roped in Hubs to identify times when I was struggling and get me back to the counsellor for a top up session. I was in a great place both physically and mentally… then came Clomid.

Hand on heart, I completely underestimated the power of this tiny tablet. I thought that taking the lowest dose for five days would be a breeze. I had the belief that because it was only 50mg, the lowest dose I was offered, it couldn’t possibly give me all of the side effects that countless women have coined as giving you the ‘Clomid crazies’. Well, the truth is that my body responded to the medication, so no matter what dose I was taking, I was getting those side effects. The hot flushes I could deal with, the thirst was no problem, even the odd mood swing was manageable… but after a while they started to become tough. My reactions to things became heightened… I wasn’t just sad, I was depressed; I wasn’t just happy, I was ecstatic; I wasn’t just angry, I was furious; and I wasn’t just tired, I was exhausted.

I still am.

I feel like I have lost myself right now, but I do see a tiny little glimmer of the true Gemma coming back through. I don’t know where she’s been or how long she’ll take to come back, but as soon as that period started something inside me shifted. The version of me I’ve been lately has been the one I used to be. I couldn’t handle my emotions and struggled through for years, so to come back to this place has been bloody scary. Of course, it’s not just this, it’s the fact that it’s still not working. Why aren’t we getting pregnant? I want to run to my doctor and stamp my feet, I want to scream at her and order her to make this work. Life isn’t like that of course, but this is JUST. NOT. FAIR. I toggle between anger and sadness over it, two very exhausting states of mind to be in.

Anyway, this month we’re having a Clomid break, timed perfectly not only for my own sanity but also to enable me to have a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG). This is where a dye is flushed through your fallopian tubes to see if they’re clear and possibly help clear them if partially blocked. I have done some research and am fully aware that a lot of women continue to take Clomid during this time, but I think after speaking to my Consultant at the Fertility Clinic about the way I am feeling, she felt it was time for a break. We have a follow up appointment next month where we will discuss the results and talk about the next step…

…you see there is always a next step.

Clomid · Experience · fertility · infertility · Lifestyle · PCOS · ttc

If at first you don’t succeed, try again…

… but what if you keep failing? It's so tough having to pick myself up each month, put on a brave smile & try again. I am writing this in my current head fog… the state of mind that kind of sets a crown of cloud around my head & binds me to my emotions. It will lift & I will feel back to my usual bouncy nothing-can-stop-me self… but for now I'm left wandering around aimlessly asking myself how on earth can I muster up the strength for another round.

So to bring you up to speed, rounds 1 & 2 of Clomid have failed us. The first month was really rough – it destroyed me physically; I was exhausted, my immune system took a hit, I developed an awful cold & I lost myself for a little while. We had a follicle tracking scan on CD11 which showed four follicles starting to mature. We were told to hold off from trying & I was rescanned on CD15, which thankfully showed three follicles had become dormant & one big fat juicy follicle was just fit to burst… the only problem was Hubs was away & with no sperm in the pipe to catch that little eggy we quite possibly missed it.

I was apprehensive about starting round 2 due to how rough it made me feel, but after feeling our fail was probably down to a timing issue we powered on through. To my surprise I had no side effects whatsoever! I was full of energy, back to regular exercise & on top of the world full of hope that this would be our month. We timed everything perfectly… we couldn't have got any more textbook "sperm meets egg plan"! We were on it! About a week into the two week wait, I started to see evident symptoms of ovulation for a second time this cycle… so I tested with an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) & I had a line. It wasn't entirely positive by any means, but it threw me. We hadn't been given the option for a scan so we had to anxiously wait, which turned into a few extra days than normal, & was met with an extremely painful, heavy & heartbreaking period.

Had I built myself up too much? Was it just all the hormones? Who knows… I will bounce back, I always do, but right now I have no idea when that might be. I want to hide away under my duvet & leave the world to keep on spinning around me whilst I wait for my head to sort itself out. Unfortunately I can't & as we find ourselves at CD2 I am bracing myself for round 3 this evening. I tend to take my tablets at night in an attempt to bypass any immediate symptoms by sleeping through them.

So, please take a moment to wish us luck in the hope that round 3 is the one for us! I have a scan booked for CD12 this month after speaking to my clinic about the frustrations over ovulation… will keep you posted!

xx Gem xx


Our Fertility Journey So Far…

I'd like to share a little about our journey up until referral to the Fertility Clinic. I remember before all this happened I came across lots of couples on my Instagram account that were asking questions on how this process worked, so here's my experience:

When we got married in September 2014, we were deliriously happy & about to set off on our honeymoon. In terms of babies, we hadn't given it a thought as we were so focused on the Wedding, but that day changed everything… it was like we suddenly had licence to be carefree. We always said we wanted to get married before children, but within moments of saying "I do" that became our status… married; and so having protected sex became less of a necessity.

Several months went by, not entirely unprotected nor intentionally trying to conceive, & come March 2015 I was experiencing a lot of discomfort during my day to day life. I felt exhausted for one thing, dizzy, headaches & most of all, I started to feel pains in my lower abdomen – around my pelvis area. My boobs seemed to hurt all day every day & I came to the realisation that I may be pregnant. I was not. This happened for a couple of months. Feeling a bit concerned I went to my doctor & she sent me for an ultrasound. This was done at a morning clinic at the local hospital & it was like waiting at the meat counter… take your ticket & wait in line. I'd never had a transvaginal ultrasound & was very apprehensive of what to expect… but it was all done very discreetly, in a darkened room with a big sheet of tissue paper covering you. It didn't hurt, it was just mildly uncomfortable. I remember the nurse saying "ah, here we go, you've got Polycystic Ovaries!" I wondered what on earth it meant. She briefly explained & said I may have difficulty having children, but it's a very common thing in women & most don't even know they have it. So, of course I dashed home & consulted my good friend Dr Google. It all started to fall into place… the symptoms, the mood swings: classic PCOS.

After a couple of weeks I went back to my Doctor who ran some blood tests & confirmed I had PCOS. She told me my oestrogen levels were "through the roof" & discovered a mild iron deficiency. As most do, she advised me to become a little more active & focus on a well balanced diet. I started thinking about the foods I was eating & introduced exercise into my life, starting with the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels.

The months ticked by & nothing came of it. I generally felt better in myself & in a lot less pain, but my focus had fixated on becoming pregnant… which wasn't happening. I was getting increasingly stressed & felt an enormous amount of pressure on my shoulders, entirely my own doing of course! Without going into the emotional side of things, basically we weren't getting anywhere. For a few months my Doctor did some progesterone tests to see if I had ovulated & it suggested that I was. A semen analysis was carried out & Hubs was thrilled to be achieving a fantastic amount of 76 million swimmers, when average they look for as a healthy number in the UK is 15 million. There were no problems with his 'batch' so the pressure mounted even higher on my shoulders.

In March this year my Doctor referred us to our local Fertility Clinic as we had been trying for over two years. The referral consisted of a written request from my Doctor, full bloods from myself taken within the first few days of my period & bloods from Hubs… oh & a bunch of forms for us to fill in. Within 6 weeks we had an appointment & found ourselves sat in a posh little waiting room watching goldfish swim round in circles in their tank. It was all a bit surreal…

The Consultant was a friendly lady, however it was a lot of information to take in. She had all our medical history & even thought that due to my fantastic blood results that I didn't have PCOS… but when she carried out a transvaginal ultrasound she saw just slightly more than average dormant follicles on my ovaries – which are commonly incorrectly referred to as "cysts". In her opinion, it was a bit of a head scratcher… so she suggested a more thorough investigation to look at my uterus, fallopian tubes & check for signs of Endometriosis (where layers of tissue that should grow inside the uterus can grow on the outside ). There's an agonising 12 week waiting list for something I really don't want done… but I have to be realistic, I'm not just doing this for myself. In addition to this, we walked away with 6 months of Clomifene (Clomid). I was instructed to take 50mg on days 2 to 6 of my cycle & phone for a day 12-14 scan to see if my body responds.

After the appointment, in all honesty, we felt a bit numb. We were expecting a definitive answer & we kind of felt we had nothing. However, I am currently in the middle of my first cycle of Clomid (which I'll do a post about when the cycle is complete) & feeling very positive… so, fingers crossed!