January 2021 recap

Phew, January is finally over! It went quickly at first but by about the 25th it was really starting to drag!

Jan and I both had the first week and a bit of the month off work. I couldn’t really tell you what we did though. Went for walks. Played board games. Finally watched Season 12 of The Big Bang Theory (which Jan got for Christmas 2019!). I read some books. One day we went for a drive in search of snow because I was jealous of everyone else’s pictures.

Snow at the Passwang Pass

We actually got out own snow later in the month, and our downstairs neighbours (parents and two kids) built a snowman.

The 11th was my first day back at work and also my first fertility clinic appointment of the year – at 7am! Admittedly the early hour was my own choice but I still didn’t appreciate it very much. As those who read my recap of 2020 know (hi to all 5 of you, Kezzie sorry for making you cry!), we are doing another round of IVF stimulation before starting treatment to hopefully he’ll with my adenomyosis. The appointment on the 11th was just to make sure I had actually ovulated and start on progesterone to delay the start of my next cycle. I had to go out in the evening to pick up the prescription and also another repeat prescription that was at a different chemist. So lots of rushing around. Sigh. After that I put myself into semi-isolation. The last thing I wanted was to experience any coronavirus symptoms and have to cancel the cycle partway through! So once I had the progesterone I stayed home, apart from one walk where I stayed on the opposite side of the road to other people at all times. I went to the cemetery to see the memorial in the snow and was sad to see that a new name has been added. I hate that another family has had to experience the loss of a child before they even had the chance to meet them.

Where the snow has been cleared is the new little name plaque. Someone has put a candle and little decorations on it, which I didn’t think you were allowed to do (there’s a separate area at the front where you can place plants, etc. but I didn’t think you were allowed to put anything directly on the name). If you’re wondering, out boys’ little name plate/plaque thing is to the right of the one you can see and further from the carving, more towards where I took the photo from. I’ll never show you it though because we decided not to make the names public. (We have told a few people privately but Jan didn’t want them on Facebook or anywhere so they definitely won’t ever appear on this blog!)

This next bit is mainly about IVF appointments and it’s pretty boring. Skip if you’re not interested – I’m only writing it down because I regret not having a record of my last stimulation cycle to refer to now!
The following Wednesday I ventured out after work to pick up the rest of my prescription – the actual IVF drugs this time. Pergoveris in a pre-filled pen to make my eggs grow and Orgalutran in pre-filled syringes to stop me from ovulating. Since it was rush hour, as well as keeping my distance as much as possible I wore an FFP2 mask. After picking up what I needed I went to the supermarket and stocked up on as much food as I could carry. Then it was back into isolation until the Friday when it was back to the clinic for my first actual IVF appointment. This involved a baseline ultrasound to find out how many potential follicles I was starting with and a blood test to determine my starting dose for Pergoveris. Since I had already picked up the meds, I only went to the clinic and then home. Then it was back into semi-isolation apart from my weekly walk on the Sunday. The nurse called in the afternoon and told me to start with 200 units of Pergoveris. It has to be injected at the same time every day and I decided on 5 p.m. this time (it can be between 4.pm. and 6 p.m. – for my last IVF cycle and the IUI cycles before that I chose 4:30 p.m. so that on the days I had to go into the office I could do the injection before leaving for my train home). The first few days the Pergoveris gave me a headache, but by day 4 it wasn’t as bad and after that I was fine. I guess I got used to it. Four days later, on the Tuesday, I had my next monitoring appointment. Again I only went to the fertility clinic and then straight home, before going back into semi-isolation. I ventured to the postbox once but that was it. Everything was pretty much on track, and in the afternoon I was told to increase my Pergoveris dose to 250. Appointment number 3 was on the Friday (29th January). This time I had to get another Pergoveris prescription since I only had enough left for that day’s injection. My appointment that day was later, meaning the chemist was already open, so I picked up the pen immediately after the clinic appointment, saving me from a second trip across town that day. I learned very early on not to bother trying to get fertility meds from my local chemist when they first stared at my prescription like they had never seen one before, then said they had never heard of Orgalutran and would have to order it before finally trying to bill me for it twice after I picked it up! Now I only go to the chemist near the clinic. Once I got home, I had to give myself my first Orgalutran injection since I was now at the stage where my body could potentially try to ovulate. I remembered that it burned going in but had forgotten about the itching! Oh well, it only lasts about an hour. I can handle anything for an hour! From then, I had to inject Orgalutran every morning until trigger day. After work, I had to come out of my self-imposed isolation for a supermarket trip – again I donned an FFP2 mask and stayed as far away from other people as I could. On Saturday I was very silly… while preparing my Pergoveris injection I got distracted by Jan talking to me and put the needle on but forgot to set the dose, so I stabbed myself for no reason! It then decided to bleed loads when I pulled the needle back out. I actually had to give myself two Pergoveris injections that day since I was coming to the end of one pen, so after switching the needle I got the first part in no problem. I then had another 175 units to inject with the second pen… and that injection site decided to bleed loads as well, so now I have matching bruises on either side of my stomach. And I had been doing so well this time with barely any evidence of the injections! My fourth monitoring appointment was yesterday, 31 January – you might have noticed that they get closer and closer together as things progress. But the remaining appointments were in February so that’s it for now.
OK, end of boring IVF talk. You can continue reading again now if you want, although the rest of my month wasn’t much more interesting.

That first week of work I had enough to do thanks to a job from the end of last year, but the rest of the month was a bit up and down. A few orders trickled in, but mainly short translations. There are things I can do when we don’t have many proper jobs, but it meant things felt verrrry slow and I was often pleased when the working day was over. The last 2-3 days of January were a bit busier so hopefully things are starting to pick up now!

Apart from work and IVF appointments I didn’t really do much. Switzerland finally decided to close most shops on 13 January (restaurants, bars, gyms and museums were already closed) so I there wasn’t really anywhere to go even if I hadn’t been isolating myself. I read all my books for Erin’s current challenge – you can see my list at the end of this post – then read a few more. We watched a German film called Angst essen Seele auf (apparently the English title is Ali: Fear Eats the Soul). It’s apparently a classic. I found odd and a bit melancholy, but I’m not sorry I watched it. We are also still watching Richard Osman’s House of Games during the week. I love it! I stitched a birthday card for my grandma, who turned 82 on 27th January. (My dad and sister also have January birthdays, but I didn’t make them a card. I did send them a gift though – they both got a book.) I also sent New Year cards to Post Pals families – most were shop bought but I made 5 to send to blind pals. For each of them I cut numbers for 2021 from part of a cardboard box, coloured them in then added glitter glue to make them nice and tactile. I then stuck them on a card together with some kind of decorative element that could be felt.

I made scones, but we didn’t have any clotted cream so we had to eat them with butter and jam.

They didn’t rise evenly and some of them look more like rock cakes but oh well. They tasted good.

I bought two new folders (one for everything to do with the fertility clinic and one for some miscellaneous stuff that there isn’t enough of to justify a whole folder to itself) and finally sorted out some papers/documents that have been lying around for way too long. I would like to say I had a real sense of achievement and relief when it was done, but actually I just felt dusty, exhausted and had a headache. The last of those may have been caused by the fertility meds though.

I honestly couldn’t tell you anything else I did last month so I’ll leave this here. How was your January? Anything interesting to report? I hope you have a happy February!


13 thoughts on “January 2021 recap

  1. I read the whole thing and I didn’t find it boring at all :-). It was nicely informative.
    I really hope things go well and I’m looking forward to your next installment. I really hope things go well for you.

    Have you watched Das perfekte Geheimnis? It’s really quite a funny film we watched at the ‘drive in’ last year.

    I love your cards – great idea for blind people.

    My husband only went back to work last week, he had a full five weeks off – forced because he worked so much last year. It was nice to have him home but I didn’t really get on with any of my things. It was strange having such long holidays, but not really having anything to do. We are also being super careful as three of us are in an at risk group. Life seems so strange at the moment. Hopefully we’ll all be jabbed soon enough and we can hug our friends again.

    1. Thank you. I’m glad you weren’t bored. I’m never sure how much people want to know about this whole process.
      We have been pretty careful throughout but I’ve been extra careful for the past few weeks. The would have preferred to avoid the supermarket completely since I was having to go our so often for appointments but we have to eat and Jan always has meetings when they’re actually open!

      1. It’s so difficult. We keep weighing up the pros and cons, and then mostly end up getting a delivery (three of us are high risk). But the supermarket only offers to deliver a reduced range, and even then, lots of products are ‚unavailable‘. Sorry I’m on my phone which will only offer German punctuation! Then products that do arrive are sometimes off or damaged. I often have the feeling they are trying to palm us off with stuff they can’t sell.
        Unfortunately in our area only one shop delivers so we don’t have much choice.
        Occasionally I ran into the supermarket when the numbers were exceptionally low in our area.

        Now in public spaces we have to wear ffp2 masks or medical op masks. We got some free from the government (all high risk people get them free here now). So I feel like braving it and going to the supermarket again and just buying what I want. But my husband is still nervous about it.

        I really wish you well with your IVF. I was actually conceived through a medical procedure, all those years ago. My dad was infertile and so there was a donor. So I guess your experiences are particularly interesting for me. 😉

  2. Hello hello! Sounds like you had a busy January. Wishing you all the best with this round.

    January here was a hot mess what with the attempted insurrection on the Capitol building and all and I think the stress of that colored the rest of January for my household. I am beyond thrilled that we have a fully functioning president who actually reads and listens to science and doctors. He has quite a mess to clean up.

  3. I read the whole thing, it’s not boring at all. It’s interesting to ‘see behind the scenes’ so to speak. Unless you go through it you don’t know what it actually entails. It seems like an exhausting process. I wish you all the luck with this round. I’ll keep everything crossed for you.
    I’m jealous of everyone else having snow too. We has some one morning but it was too wet from heavy rain for it to stick around for long. We do have snow forecast for the weekend though.
    January went by quite quickly here, I’m glad it’s over as it menas spring is on the way.

  4. You got snow!
    Everyone’s other halves will play board games with them except mine! It sucks! I really like playing them.
    I find the IVF stuff really interesting because I have NO clue about it so never apologise for that!
    You are right to be so cautious though about Covid. My childhood best friend lives in Denmark now but her auntie and cousin (45years old) who were both vulnerable, were queueing for their vaccine and caught covid and DIED in the last week. It’s utterly awful so please do stay safe.
    The blind recipient cards are wonderful!! What a great thing to do!

  5. I hope all the IVF treatments will be successful for you! And yay for the snowman – I love that yours has a heart as well and you got to enjoy some snow when you saw everyone else in it too!

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