Thursday, 27 March 2014

IVF and Life: Not A Great Combination

It's almost 3 weeks since I started downregging. I've known a few people who have been through IVF, so I had some idea (or so I thought) of what to expect. Of course, everyone is different and reacts differently to the treatment, but it's fair to say I wasn't actually prepared in the slightest.

I'm tired. In fact, tired doesn't cover it. Dead on my feet is a little closer to the truth. If I'm not at work, I'm in bed. I had expected to have less energy than usual, but it's so much worse than I imagined. I spend my days yawning constantly, those big yawns that bring tears to the eyes. I have little to no concentration or attention span. I hear people around me talking, laughing, and I just don't have the energy to try and focus on what they're saying. I don't even want to try. At home, I'm struggling to hold a conversation with Boy because I can't remember from one minute to the next what the last thing I said was. In the past, there have been times I've been awake for 40+ hours straight, had jetlag to deal with and I'd honestly trade the way I feel now for that. That was a walk in the park compared to this!

All aspects of my life have had to be put on hold because of this treatment. Blogging has taken a slide (as you've probably noticed); my creative juices just aren't flowing at all and stringing a coherent sentence together is way more challenging than it should be. Reading blogs just isn't happening either. My unread Bloglovin posts went over the 1000 mark a couple of days ago, but as I'm going to bed when I'm at home I haven't switched my laptop on for long enough to even start to make a dent in the backlog. It's taking everything I have to keep going with the #100HappyDays challenge on Instagram. I missed a wedding a couple of weeks back that I've spent the last 12 months looking forward to; not only was I exhausted, but the timing of my injections and the time of the wedding reception just couldn't work.

I've always known that I don't like needles, and would avoid them if at all possible. Since starting this process, I've learnt that if I have to have daily injections, I'd rather be in control of them than somebody else. I hoped that I might reach the stage of grudging acceptance, but I haven't. In fact, I'm suffering from nightmares about needles - believe me, this is not helping the process at all!

I also didn't realise that when you start poking sharp objects through your skin every day, after a few days your skin starts to develop some resistance. I found that out the hard way, a week in to my treatment. It took me 15 (yes, fifteen!) attempts to pierce through beyond the top layer of skin. I drew blood for the first time; not once, but twice. I cried my eyes out. I'm not great at dealing with pain, but what was worse than that was the fear of failure. What if I couldn't get that injection in, and it ruined everything?

So that, dear blog friends, is what I've learned about IVF so far. I knew it wasn't going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but I admit that I underestimated just how hard it was going to be. I'm told that once I start stimming my energy will come back, and I really hope that's true. I'm tired of being tired. I miss having the energy to be happy. I miss having interaction with others. I miss feeling that I'm living rather than just existing.

**This post originally appeared on my old blog and has been imported to Living for the Victories**

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Book Review - I Have People by Taylor Dean

I Have People - Taylor Dean

What Goodreads Says:
Missing any memories?

Holly Sinclair is happily married to the love of her life, Gabriel. Young and in love, Holly hopes to have their first child soon. Of course, Gabriel wants to wait till Holly's health is restored, much to Holly's dismay. She feels perfectly fine. So what if she just woke up from an eight-month coma? So what if some of her memories are missing? She remembers Gabe and that's all that matters, right?

That is, until HE enters her life again . . . she forgot about HIM.

What I Say:
I've mentioned a few times recently that for the last month or so, my reading mojo was gone. I just didn't have any inclination to open a book at all. Then, by chance, I spotted this on Kindle, and decided to try get my mojo back.

I started reading this at 4.30pm on a Monday. I read the whole journey home. I got home, and instead of turning the TV on, I read. I went to bed, and I read. I read on the journey to work on Tuesday. I got to my desk, and was so desperate to know how the story ended that I read at work. I finished the book only 18 hours after I started it - and I had a full night's sleep in there too!

I don't want to say much about the story, because the author has done a fabulous job and I certainly couldn't do it justice trying to summarise it. I will say that Gabe is a perfect leading man, and it's easy to see why Holly loves him so completely. There are difficult moments, and upsetting moments, but overall this was a lovely story, told very well, and I will definitely be looking for more books from this author. She also has her own blog, which you can find here.

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

1096 Days

That's 3 years, in case you haven't got a calculator to hand. That's how long I've been married to my best friend.
Living for the Victories

To celebrate our wedding anniversary, we're heading off to a gorgeous hotel for the next couple of nights. We're staying in a spa suite - yeah, that's right; we are going to have our own private spa in our room! Mood lighting, a double Jacuzzi bath, a sauna, and a 7ft four-poster bed... Does that sound heavenly or what?! I can't wait to share photos of it with you when we get back.

If you want to read about how we spent our first two wedding anniversaries, you can read my guest post on Elizabeth's blog, Army Ever After.

On that note, I wish you all a fantastic end to the week and a lovely weekend!

 **This post originally appeared on my old blog and has been imported to Living for the Victories**

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Appreciating The Good Times - #100HappyDays Recap 1-50

If you're following me on Instagram, you will know I decided to take part in the #100HappyDays challenge. And now I'm already half way through, how crazy is that?! So today, I'm going to recap those 50 days.

Days 1-25:
Day 1: slippers, coffee and TV remote. Is there a more perfect end to a manic day? I didn't think so. Day 2: who doesn't love being invited to a wedding?! Day 3: this is what my watch looked like the moment I arrived home today. That's right, 2.10pm! Day 4: Indian takeaway that we've never tried before. This one is chicken in a pineapple, banana and cream sauce. Sounds a bit weird but is delicious! Day 5: Early to bed and a movie tonight. Day 6: A small act of kindness made my day today. So much so, that I blogged about it. Day 7: this may seem insignificant, but new thermal gloves keeping my hands toasty warm outside today definitely seemed like a positive to me! Day 8: off work sick. But at least I get to spend a couple of hours with Zac Efron, which is no bad thing! Day 9: baked eggs on toast made for me by my wonderful husband. He looks after me well. Day 10: today the husband passed his driving test. First time, and only 3 minors!!!! Proud wife right here. Day 11: had a brief visit from this little princess. Can't get enough of that smile! Day 12: that moment when uncle and niece are having a little play and giggle, and the dog gets jealous and wraps herself around his neck... hilarious! Day 13: Monday mornings are always a little more bearable with a Costa coffee. Day 14: I'm developing a serious addiction to these. The ones with a chocolate mousse centre are even more delicious. And what's that about share??? Hmm, not too sure about that one..! Day 15: making words out of haribo and then eating them. So much fun! Day 16: I may not have a trip planned, but 99p for a guidebook was just too much of a bargain to turn down! Day 17: found half an hour to get some filing done, at last. Day 18: I read this today. Safe to say I'm pretty excited at the idea and will definitely go see it! And as it's 2015 next year, I'll probably take my flying car and hover board to get there! Day 19: brand new, bright white bedding. Can't wait to crawl in later! Day 20: I was so tired yesterday I forgot to post this. Crawling into bed was most definitely the highlight of my day. Even more so than it was on day 19, because my pinched nerve had released itself and I actually got some sleep last night!!! Day 21: to the untrained eye, this looks like a plastic bag and a sheet of paper. However, it is SO much more than that. This bag contains my IVF drugs, and the paper has all my dates on. That right folks, the IVF train is getting ready to leave the station and we're on board!!!! Day 22: making cartoons of me and Boy, because it's funny. Day 23: this morning there was a rainbow as I was walking across the river to work. I do like a rainbow. Day 24: climbing into bed with a hot drink at 7.15pm. It's been that kind of a day. Exhausted!! Day 25: I couldn't decide which of these was better. Finally having s2 of Nashville screened over here is fantastic, and some yummy desserts!

Days 26-50:
Day 26: I got a ton of compliments on my hair today. Always nice! Day 27: not much to be happy about today, the universe has been trying to pee me off all day long. But leftover Sunday roast for lunch certainly helped raise my spirits. Day 28: arriving home to a letter telling me I'm getting an extra 3 grand in my next pay will do me very nicely thank you!! cha-ching!! Day 29: sometimes you just gotta take orders from a mug. Day 30: tickets booked for Wicked on tour this summer makes me very happy! Day 31: we've just been asked to be godparents to this precious little princess! Day 32: relieving feeling bored with a board game. Always a great way to pass a couple of hours! Day 33: delicious dinner lovingly created by my amazing husband. I'm one happy wife. Day 34: because I forgot to post this on Sunday, here it is now. This had me giggling more than is appropriate. Day 35: It's not even 8pm and off I go to bed to watch a movie on the laptop. Sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Day 36: forgot to post this yesterday. This cartoon made us all laugh at work, it is just like one of our colleagues. Day 37: walking across the bridge, heading home. Day 38: looks a bit like spring doesn't it?! Day 39: very happy day today! Pub lunch, theatre trip and then a bit of shopping. Highlights of the shopping trip were Marvel PJs, Minnie Mouse slippers and (yet another) NYC tshirt. Day 40: getting creative with biscuits, cream, caramel and a grated orange Aero bar. Yummy! Day 41: chicken and chocolate curry. Sounds weird but was really nice! Day 42: digging out some old CDs to put on my phone, classic dance tunes will always make this girl happy! Day 43: all of my annual leave requests signed off! Yay!! Day 44: I love this photo of me and my dad. Happy days indeed. Day 45: that's right, there's a car parked on our drive! And it's ours for the whole weekend!! Day 46: finding an old CD with holiday photos on makes me very very very happy! Day 47: First alcohol drinks of the year, in honour of the occasion. Day 48: I get to travel home every evening and enjoy these beautiful views. This evening is particularly gorgeous. Day 49: We've booked our anniversary break tonight, and I can NOT wait to spend 2 nights relaxing in our own private spa suite!! Day 50: buying spa treats for our spa stay next week.

**This post originally appeared on my old blog and has been imported to Living for the Victories**